hello fox hunt in winslow, england

hello monday, Leonards take England By January 11, 2016 No Comments

Hello friends! During our holiday, we went to a fox hunt in Winslow England. They don’t actually hunt foxes any more, but it was all very traditional and charming–complete with red coats, hounds and mince pies. It was something straight out of Downton Abbey. So fun!

I’ve been so jet lagged coming home. Fighting a cold along with not sleeping during the correct hours has me exhausted. I’ve been going to bed by 8pm and waking up way to early. Crazy!

It’s Monday and I have lots of pics to share from our day in Winslow. And of course, hellos for a brand new week! It’s Monday–let’s do this!
winslow england -07Hello beautiful horses and traditional red coats.

winslow england -04Hello cousins.

winslow england -13Hello bright red berries.

winslow england -06Hello hounds! They were adorable–but definitely working dogs.

winslow england -10Hello English cousins. I’m so thankful for these people.

winslow england -11Hello picture taking. Isn’t he cute?!

winslow england -12Hello Matthias. You have become such a great traveler!

winslow england -14Hello brothers. Hello heart-melting.

winslow england -09Hello beautiful trees and old estates. England just can’t help how charming it is!

winslow england -05Hello to my three favorite boys.

winslow england -16Hello smiles and exploring.

winslow england -17Hello making memories together.

winslow england -19Hello mince pies. I ate a lot of mince pies. Yum!

winslow england -23Hello stopping to take another pic. They’ll look back on these pics in a few years and thank me!

winslow england -26Hello old church where our cousins got married years ago!

winslow england -30Hello Phoebe getting a lift from daddy. Life is good!

Hello still unpacking from our trip.

Hello taking the tree down. It’s down. And the house feels more quiet.

Hello tail end of a cold. The sniffles seem to last forever.

Hello rain and rain and more rain. Love it.

Hello celebrating Matthias this week. He is turning 12 years old. My baby!!

Hello laundry. I swear it multiplies while we sleep. How can we still have a mountain when I did 10 loads last week?!

Hello to YOU. It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found. Join me?

What are you saying hello to this week?

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the day everything changed.

david, inspiration By January 7, 2016 55 Comments
At some point in each person’s life, pain shows up. That’s the day everything changes. What was true one moment is gone the next. The path turns sharply in an unexpected direction. It’s disorienting, unfamiliar terrain.
When it happened to me, I knew in the depth of my soul, things were broken and would never be the same again. The pain, in all its heavy darkness would be with me for the rest of my life. Instead of the happy, healthy baby I imagined, our son was born with a severe disability and a body that didn’t work correctly. The joy of anticipating our son turned to grief as they hooked him up to monitors and tubes.
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But slowly, as I started to accept it, the pain became part of me. It was still there but it wasn’t quite as heavy.  I loved cuddling with David and feeling his soft breath as he cuddled into my shoulder. And that first smile when he was three months old was like wind behind me–moving me forward. Each footstep didn’t feel so exhausting.

from pain to joy-01Then, to my surprise, a little bit of joy peeked through the clouds, like ray of sunshine. I wasn’t expecting it and I almost felt guilty. It must be a fluke, right? A little accidental joy. But little by little joy showed herself. The pain was still there, it’s there today, it’s part of me and part of my journey. But the pain has allowed me to feel joy in a new, fresh way that I couldn’t before. The pain helps me appreciate the joy. The pain makes the joy much, much sweeter. The day that pain showed up, it changed everything.
And in it’s crazy, mixed up way, the brokenness of pain is making me more whole.

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Every morning I slip the sunburst ring on my finger as a reminder.
Has joy started to peek it’s head through the clouds in your journey? I’d love to hear.
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hello Salcey Forest, hello heading home

hello monday, Leonards take England By January 4, 2016 3 Comments

Hello friends! We are headed home from England today. It was a wonderful trip overall filled with family time, relaxation, beautiful sites and delicious food. We had a very scary night with David in Cambridge. We didn’t realize how serious it was until we got to the hospital–but he had pneumonia and on top of that had an ‘asthma-like’ episode. We received excellent care at Attenbrooke Hospital in Cambridge and he is much better now. I think I’m still trying to recover from how serious it was and alternative outcomes. Thankfully, he is on the mend!

It’s a brand new week and a brand new year. There is much to be grateful for. How about some hellos and pics from our walk through Salcey Forest?!
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Hello cousins. They had lots of time together. I love that they are making memories.

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Hello helping your little sister.

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Hello trees with stories to tell.

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Hello healing. I’m so so so grateful this kiddo is such a trooper and we got him to the hospital when we did!

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Hello hunting for the perfect stick.

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Hello mud. Lots of mud. Hello getting muddy and not minding it at all.

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Hello brothers. Matthias was very worried about David. I love how they love each other.

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Hello red head. Love it.

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Hello smiles. Hello chilly air. Hello breathing deeply.

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Hello to a new year and a new journey. I have high hopes for 2016.

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Hello muddy shoes. We had quite the mess to clean up after the walk.

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Hello meeting a pug along the path. Hello missing Louis and Beasley. We can’t wait to see them!

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Hello looking up and seeing a beautiful site.
Hello jetlag and unpacking and laundry.
Hello jumping back into real life. I’m not sure if I’m ready!
Hello emails to catch up on.
Hello snuggles with our sweet pups and being gentle with ourselves while get back into the daily routine.

Hello to YOU! What are you saying hello to on this brand new Monday?

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DIY painted globe

DIY By December 29, 2015 3 Comments

I found this large globe at a thrift store a couple weeks ago. It’s not vintage and the colors weren’t vibrant–so it was perfect for painting. Plus, it was only a few dollars–so if the project failed, no problem.

Supplies:
black and aqua acrylic paint {I found mine at Target}
brushes in a variety of sizes {small of detail areas, larger for the oceans}
oil based sharpie for writing continent/ocean names
thrifted globe

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David enjoys spinning the globe–so fun.

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First I painted all of the aqua {water} areas. It took about 3 coats of paint. The first coat of aqua looked pretty bad, but as I ket going with the second and third coat of paint, it came together. Then I filled in the land with black. The black paint covered much easier and I only did one coat.

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After the paint was dry, I used a gold oil-based sharpie and wrote each continent name. I also wrote ‘every heart matters’ over the large aqua side of the globe.

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The globe is sitting on our hearth. I really like how it turned out!

DIY painted globe lisa leonard-07

And obviously the dogs love it, too! The globe is nowhere near geographically accurate. But it’s fun, right? Now I need to find my next project. Have you done any great DIYs lately?

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Hello Christmas in England

adventures, Leonards take England By December 28, 2015 1 Comment

Hello friends! We are in England with family celebrating Christmas and New Year’s. It’s been relaxing, exhausting and mostly wonderful. We’ve been splitting our time between relaxing and exploring. David had a hard time kicking the jet lag and was waking up at 4am every morning. That makes for a very long day!

It’s Monday. How about some hellos for a brand new week?
Christmas in England1-01Christmas in England1-02 Christmas in England1-03Christmas in England1-09 Christmas in England1-04 Christmas in England1-05 Christmas in England1-06 Christmas in England1-07 Christmas in England1-08
Christmas in England1-10 Christmas in England1-11

Hello mild weather. It’s hardly cold at all and we’ve been able to spend lots of time outside. Usually England is freezing this time of year–so we’re very thankful!

Hello cousins! They are all growing up so much. I love that they get to make memories together.

Hello girls day. Sara and I are going to foot massages and some shopping–just us two. Hooray!

Hello eating all of the english chocolate, scones with clotted cream and hot tea we can handle.

Hello taking a break from ‘real life’. It’s good for us.

Hello Cambridge tomorrow. I’ve never been and I can’t wait to take it in.

Hello to YOU! It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found. What are you saying hello to this week?

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hello yellow, hello monday

hello monday By December 14, 2015 2 Comments

There are vibrant yellow leaves every where these days, and I can’t get enough. These pics really don’t do them justice. It’s Monday-a brand new week with beauty to be found. How about some hellos?

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Hello sunshine and rain. The weather has been chilly and wet lately–then the sunshine breaks through. Beautiful!

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Hello busy busy. Man, it’s just a crazy season. Everything feels busy. I’ve been having some anxiety–and trying to slow down and breathe deeply. Everything will get done and rushing never helps.

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Hello doggies. We are loving having Louis and Beasley in our family. They are such love bugs.

Hello wrapping gifts. I’m trying to get ahead so I’m not up until midnight.

Hello meetings. Lots of meetings and lots of good stuff happening.

Hello quick trip to NY this week. I want to see the tree in Rockefeller Center.

Hello to you! It’s a brand new week. Let’d do this.

What are you saying hello to this week?

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hello walking in morro bay

hello monday, Louis and Beasley, san luis obispo By December 7, 2015 2 Comments

We’ve always enjoyed walking in Morro Bay–but with the dogs, it’s even more fun! Saturday was gorgeous and clear with a beautiful view of the rock and lots of otters playing.

It’s Monday, how about some hellos for a brand new week?!
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Hello pug lover. Matthias is doing an amazing job taking care of Louis and Beasley. He feeds them, walks them and picks up their poop. I’m impressed. hello walking in morro bay-03
Hello outnumbered. Five boys and one girl. I’m seriously outnumbered here–and I don’t mind one bit!

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Hello beautiful day.

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Hello silliness. David had some tummy pain when we started, but then he cheered up and had a great time walking and dancing.

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Hello running! It’s so good to get out and move!

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Hello long shadows. Winter days are short–we try to soak up the sun while it’s out!

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Hello sunshine. So much love.

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Hello dog smiles. Beasley {with the dark forehead} has the best dog smile ever.

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Hello giving David kisses.

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Hello happy and tired pup!

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Hello long nap for the doggies after we got home. They snore and it’s hilarious.

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Hello eight feet and eight paws. Awesome.

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Hello finishing up Christmas shopping. I need to start wrapping!

Hello lots of work around the house this week. We’re having the carpets cleaned. Hooray!

Hello brushing the dogs everyday. And still having to link roll the couches and vacuum regularly.

Hello preparing for England. We’re spending Christmas there and it’s going to be COLD! I can’t wait to see our British family!

Hello Christmas party and Christmas cards and all things Christmas. So fun!

It’s a brand new week. What are you saying hello to this week?

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keeping everyone happy

christmas, finding beauty By December 2, 2015 10 Comments

The Christmas tree is up and December is officially here. So we should be feeling happy and joyful, right? Magic is in the air! So how come I feel overwhelmed? I love the twinkling lights, the cinnamon candle I’m burning smells good and there is a chill in the air. It’s a festive time of year–but that doesn’t mean I have to feel festive–at least not all the time. It’s still real life, right? Mornings are rushed, dinner time comes too quickly and by 8pm I’m ready for bed. As a mom, I feel responsible to make everything run smoothly, to keep everyone is happy and to somehow make every moment magical. It’s an impossible task I put on myself. It’s too much pressure. And bottom line–it doesn’t work.

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Today I’m reminding myself–every moment doesn’t have to magical. I’d rather have moments that are real. Real is good. Real is honest and true.

Today I’m reminding myself–It’s okay to not feel happy. It’s okay if I don’t’ feel happy or the kids aren’t happy. The pressure to be happy doesn’t make anyone happier. It’s okay to feel tired or sad or even angry. It’s okay to not be okay. And strangely, things are more okay when I let them be what they truly are.

Today I’m reminding myself that grace is real. I have a family that showers me with grace. I have friends that don’t expect me to be perfect and actually embrace me in my brokenness.  This community is real. In the craziness of life, we share our stories–the beauty and the mess. I love that.

Instead of keeping everyone happy, I want to keep things real. To let this journey be what it is–beautiful and crazy and messy.

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lightening my load

what I'm wearing By December 1, 2015 3 Comments

A couple weeks ago we spent a few days in Boston. We had so much fun! We walked a ton, saw historical sites and ate great food. But as the trip went on, I began to despise my shoulder bag and how heavy it was. In the morning I packed a bag with food, diapers, snacks, camera, etc–to last the whole day. The heavy bag combined with having to lift/carry David throughout the day was tough. By afternoon, my back and shoulder ached. I began to think about the virtues of a backpack. So last week I invested in a backpack I can love for a long time. Hopefully, my shoulder and back will thank me! Plus with all the pockets and sections I can get super organized. Lately I’ve been using it every day. I’m sure I’ll still use my favorite shoulder bags sometimes, but for travel–this is the way to go.
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Outfit details: Backpack, Frye via Amazon {20% off today!}. Another {more affordable} backpack here. Jogger pants, Cloth + Stone. Black tee, Target. Denim jacket, Gap. Booties, Frye via Zappos. Birthstone cuff/rings, My shop.

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hello pug love

hello monday, Louis and Beasley By November 30, 2015 6 Comments

Hello friends! Last week we got home from Boston, and the next morning went and picked up two pugs who are joining our family. We were connected with these two sweet dogs through the Central Coast Pug Rescue. Louis is 3 years old and Beasley is 5 years old. They couldn’t be sweeter! It’s been a fairly easy transition and we are loving having them around. It’s a big change for our family. We’ve been talking about this for a long time–and we finally made the leap!

How about some hellos for a brand new week?IMG_1569

Hello cuddles. These dogs want to cuddle all day, every day. And we’re not available, they cuddle each other. Adorable.

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Hello lounging in the sun. It’s a good life! PS the tree is up. Hooray!

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Hello daily walks. We are working them up to longer and longer walks. They love it!

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Hello watching me get ready. They like to follow me around. Beasley has the black forehead, Louis has the light forehead. {Beasley black, Louis light}

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Hello exhausted. After our walks, they crash big time. And they snore!

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Hello bowties. Aren’t they fancy?

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Hello David, warming up to new dogs. He is doing great. Lots of smiles {from the dogs and David!}

Hello busy busy in the shop. Christmas is in full swing! You can save 20% on everything in the shop today with code happyholidays.

Hello cleaning out the fridge and wiping it down. Feels so good!

Hello Christmas shopping–making lists and checking them twice.

Hello enjoying leftovers from Thanksgiving. I don’t want it to end!

Hello brand new week with beauty to be found.

What are you saying hello to this week?

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