Thursday, May 22, 2014

Return to Me

I can't even believe how long it has been since I've sat at this computer and typed on this keyboard. Years, it seems like. Of course, it hasn't been years. But it sure has been a long time.

And the days . . . oh, they have been busy.

Instead of taking up a whole bunch of time giving you the blow-by-blow of the past few weeks, I thought I'd bore you with some quick little highlights. (Although, I've just come back to proof-read this part after writing out the whole post, and I do believe I end up giving you the blow-by-blow. You know, nothing is that simple for me! Sorry for that!) It's going to be a bit "all over the place", because that is just sort of how my mind is working these days. Bear with me. I'm sharing a bunch of pictures, too . . . because sometimes a photo just needs to be shared!

So, this is the last few weeks of my life:
  • It all started with a great fortune . . . what it means, I have no idea. If I knew what idea it was referring to, perhaps that would help. I have so many ideas. My original idea? Well . . . I guess we'll have to wait and see. But the fortune . . . it makes me smile. 
  • I have been working on a little bit of art . . . like this this special Communion piece for Maggie. I was honored to make something special for her, and love how it came out. 
  • Maggie's Communion was earlier in the month, and in addition to celebrating this special time for her, I was able to reconnect with some of my oldest and dearest friends. We had the absolute best time at the party and laughed probably much longer and louder than anyone else there. I absolutely love these girls. We may not see each other for months at a time, but when we get together, it is as if we just saw one another yesterday. We added up the years we have all been friends, and it came to some outrageous number of 196 years. Seriously, 196. This is friendship. 
From left to right: Pam, Kathleen, Karen, and me (and yes, my nutball Phil is the photo-bomber in the background!) 
  • Sushi, Sushi, Sushi. I've been on a sushi kick this month. Can't get enough. Well . . . I think I may have reached my limit after this meal that Phil and I shared, at Mariano's (of all places!) It was delish . . . but we were SO FULL!!! Yummm! 
  • Mother's Day was absolutely perfect . . . Phil arranged for afternoon tea for us at the Russian Tea Time Restaurant in downtown Chicago. It was incredible! This was the first Mother's day (in a very long time) that I did not entertain a house-full of Moms. And while I felt slightly guilty in this, I soon forgot my guilt as I sat down to an absolutely perfect lunch with my husband and daughters. 
  •  These girls are my whole heart. 
  • The following weekend, I hopped a flight to New York City! Phil was in Washington DC for business, so he took a train to NYC and met me at the airport, where we were picked up by my wonderful brother-in-law, Angelo, and my absolutely adorable nephews Carlo and Angelo. It took Baby Angelo a little while to get used to his nutty auntie . . . I won't even begin to tell you how he begged for me to sing him "Let It Go" from Frozen. Let's just say - I am the baby whisperer! ;) 

  • As soon as his brother, Carlo, got in the picture . . . all was well. I adore these boys.  

  • My sister-in-law Maria gifted me this beautiful set of Alex and Ani bracelets for an early birthday present for me. I have never seen them before, and I absolutely fell in love with them. (Can't wait to add more to them!) 

  • We had the most wonderful dinner in Manhattan, and I was reminded (as if I needed a reminder) just how much I love this man. He is my heart, too. 
  • I snapped this next photo while walking around after dinner. We passed this awesome mural painted on the wall of a building in NYC. It speaks to me, so I had to share. I don't know who painted it (sorry!), but I love it so. Sometimes I feel like these people . . . just falling through life. (Deep . . . I know.)  

  • The whole purpose for visiting New York this particular weekend, was to attend Surtex*, which is THE trade show for selling & licensing original art. It was a dream come true - to be able to walk the show and catch a glimpse of this business side of art. So many dreams, so much opportunity, so many talented people in this world. I left feeling thrilled (I got to meet the AMAZING DONNA DOWNEY and gush over her and give her two hugs) and overwhelmed (I have no idea where to begin) and yet so very excited, too. I have more reflections to share about Surtex, but I'll do that in another post. For now, the biggest thing I want to remember is that one day, I want to exhibit there. And one day, I will. 
  • And then Wednesday of this week, the girls surprised me by waking up before me and making me a very very special birthday breakfast. With place cards, scrambled eggs, salsa (they know I love to put salsa on my eggs), french toast, and fresh coffee. They did it all. And it was the best birthday morning, ever! 

In the middle of this and that, I . . .
  • took my mom to have cataract surgery, and then took her to a few other doctor visits
  • saw two high school friends perform on stage again, and smiled from ear to ear as I watched them rekindle their God-given talents
  • taught two art classes
  • encouraged Katie as she joined a local swimming team 
  • wept as both girls "bridged" up in Girl Scouts (Ella is now a Brownie, and Katie is a Cadette)
  • mourned the dear passing of a family member (married to a distant cousin of Phil's) who lost his battle with renal cancer - his beautiful wife and children are in our prayers
Yes, that has been life this past month. That is what has taken up a lot of time, and kept me away from the ol'blog. 

Today, I took some deep breaths. I reflected on life the past few weeks, and thought the time was right to come back here. A Return to Me.  

Tomorrow . . . Lord only knows what the day will be. 

Peace, my friends. 

For now. 



  1. Hi Leanne!
    Wow... you have been busy :-) So many wonderful things going on - loved reading all about them and seeing the photos too... so much happiness and love there!
    I know how it is, life just gets in the way of blogging and I never seem to find the time any more... so many things to write about one of these days....

  2. I wanted to click "like" after every picture. :) It's a beautiful life.

  3. Sounds like wonderful things are happening for you. Sorry about the death in your family. Those are always hard.

  4. You my friend have a BEAUTIFUL Life!!! Just beautiful:) So much love and joy!! Thanks for sharing. I always love being here and reading about your life:)


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