Sunday, January 31, 2010


I was just messing around with no flash and the bride on the dancefloor at a wedding this weekend.  I adore these photos, and this couple.  I thank them for sharing their day with us!

Friday, January 29, 2010

My LDC Sweatshirt

My mom got me a new hoodie.  I've been wanting one for many years, and I love it.  I'm just feeling awful guilty that I haven't been to one game yet this year.  Sorry, Ryno. 

She got my maiden name on hers and felt really bad that it got put on my hood too.  It actually got me thinking.  When I first got married, I was kind of weirded out changing my name.  It was so bizarre when people called by my new name.  The first day back in the office after our honeymoon, someone walked up to me and said, "Hey, Mrs. P."  I remember feeling really freaked out.

It didn't take long for me claim it.  I LOVE my new name.  I love the life I've created under it.  I love that I share it with my husband and my boys, and selfishly, I'm glad it's Cole's name too.  We're gonna do great things under this name, me and my boys!  But on my hockey sweatshirt...I'll wear my old one.  It's my brother's name, and he's the one in the goal.  I'm proud of that every day of the week!

In an effort to capture my hood in a self-portrait (I need longer arms!), I got this shot. 
I realized that I never see the back of my head.  I had no idea it looked like this.  :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The HaPPy Post

I love these guys.  I love these photos.
(No, I did not take them.)
Oh, I ordered another one of Cole.  It's going to be totally blog worthy...I should have it in a few days.


I'm a pretty positive person overall.  But I have a bad case of the Grumpies.  Winter Blues.  Vitamin D deficiency.  SOMETHING.  Usually this blog stays happy, but I want to vent for a minute if that's okay.

It's been a tough week.  Cory had to work 17 out of 18 days the end of this month, so I was expecting it was going to get nutso.  It didn't let me down (or I brought it on myself.  I was anticipating chaos, and it came.  I'm sure there's an energy/real life correlation there).  Here are the things I survived:

1.  The Vikings lost.  I didn't care about the loss.  Don't get me wrong.  I held my breath.  I thought a Vikings Superbowl would be awesome.  But I'm not a huge fan, and was keeping in in perspective (Haiti earthquake has given me continued perspective.  Except where my Grumpies are concerned. Shame on me for that.)  But after the game my friends went CRAZY.  Someone actually said they should die in a plane crash on the way home.  I understand disappointment.  I do not understand violent anger.  I was suprised how much others' reaction affected me at the beginning of this week.  (Blog post to come:  The Downside of Today's Social Media)

1.  Pipe leak on main water pipe into our house.  Cory had to take down some drywall, was able to clamp it but the actual fix is going to involve taking down some ceiling in the mudroom, which means it will cost a bunch to put back together.  Our plumber friend said because of the leak's location, it's good Cory is a firefighter. That alone is nervewracking.  Especially this week.

2. I opened the fridge and dumped a container of mandarin oranges.  In syrup.  I cleaned the entire floor.  Five minutes later, Jack dumped a drinkable yogurt in the same spot.

3. Mr. Rooter found a matchbox car 7 feet down our bathroom pipes.  $235 repair.

4.  I yelled at the boys three or four times this week. Like, yelled.  And I never yell at them.  I scold, I give time-outs, I even give an occasional hair pull.  But I don't yell.  This might have made me more sad than any of the other things on this list. 

5.  It's below zero again.  20 below zero.  Well, at least the windchill.  The cold makes me grumpy.

6.  Come the Wednesday night State of the Union, I was in no mood for objectors.  I bit my tongue and plagued my friend with my rants.  

(Blog post to come:  Are Facebook Status Updates Open Forum for Discussion or Simply Status Updates?):  You may have your own opinion.  You may share it.  I consider facebook status updates an open forum for you?  I was actually considering a separate blog entry about this...please share your thoughts.  I think I comment too freely sometimes...)

7.  I miss Cory.  The boys miss Cory. 

Thank God we're on Day 17.

I will follow this with a HaPPy post.  I promise.  Give me a minute to scan something in.

(Oh.  I fixed the Grumpies.  I bought myself more yellow roses.  Those things make me feel much better.)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mexican Tossed Layer Casserole

I am making this for dinner tonight.  I have no idea if I already shared it with you (I need TAGS!).  It's really easy and delicious.

1 c uncooked rice
12 oz ground beef
1/3 c picante sauce
1 tsp ground cumin
2 c shredded sharp cheddar, divided
1/2 c sour cream
1/3 c finely chopped green onion
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground red pepper

Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly coat 11 x 17-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.

Cook rice according to package directions.  Meanwhile, heat skillet over medium-high heat until hot.  Add beef, cook until browned.  Add picante sauce and cumin, stir well.  Set aside.

Remove cooked rice from heat. Add 1 c shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, onion, cilantro, salt and red pepper.  Toss gently and thoroughly to blend. 

Spoon rice mixture into prepared baking dish.  Spoon beef mixture over all.  Cover with foil.  Bake 20 minutes or until heated through.  Sprinkle remaining cheese on top, heat until cheese melts.

I always make one and a half time the rice mixture. 
This time I'm using a Mexican cheese blend.  I am also using chicken instead of beef.


Sunday, January 24, 2010


I shared this before, but with the hype of today's playoff game, I thought I'd share it again:  I'm a total fair-weather Vikings fan. And I'd share a few of our total poser pictures. Okay, not total posers. Although Matthew calls them the Hikings at least 50% of the time (he also calls them the Hackers, for the Wisconsin fans out there.) I, admittedly, could live without football, but don't hate the color purple. I'm sure I'll watch at least part of the game. Whatever kind of fan you are, I hope you enjoy it too.

Worth noting:  I speak only for myself.  There are genuine fans in this bunch:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My Addiction

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

I've been meaning to talk about this for awhile. 

I have an addiction.  A serious one:

I'm addicted to people. 

Thinking back, I always have been.  Ever since I was a little kid.  I love being around people.  I've been having trouble formulating this blog entry, so I thought I'd try this.  I'm going to list my thoughts numerically.  Hope they aren't too disjointed to follow!

1.  I always had a lot of friends.  When I was in elementary school, I always wanted a Best Friend.  Everyone had a Best Friend.  Turns out I was way better equipped to be friends with everyone.  My dad actually told me at one point that it is better to have a lot of good friends than one best friend.  That was a hard lesson for me, but I blew a couple Best Friend chances, big time.  My dad was right.

2.  I can't get enough.  I love how people work and how they respond.  I am facinated by politians, celebrities, and my real life friends.  I love books like Blink, that explore how we react and respond.  I love analyzing relationships and am facinated by how people get along.

3.  My favorite job EVER was serving.  I worked at Doolittles (ah, the air cafe...) for four years.  Being around the other servers and waiting on tables was the best.ever.  I miss it, and hope to do it again someday.

4.  I've been accused of being addicted to social media.  I love Facebook, and my blog.  I've been on Twitter for awhile, too, but it's not my mainstay.  I'm not addicted to any of those outlets, but the people in them.  As I became reacquainted with people, I often remember why I liked them in the first place.  Everyone has something to give.  Everyone has something to share.  We learn from each other.  Bits and Pieces.  If it were possible, I'd like everyone I'm in touch with to sit in my living room and visit with me.  Virtually, that happens every day.

5.  I genuinely love people.  I hate to see people suffer, and I feel deep joy when others are happy.  I'm deeply invested in politics, but not just for the politicians, but mostly for the people.  If I could be a fairy godmother, I would.  In a heartbeat.  I'm convinced that God wired me this way; and very little of it is my own desire or effort.

6.  I work really hard to make sure my boys are good communicators.  We talk to everyone we the grocery store, drive-thrus, school, everywhere.  My addiction is a blessing.  I hope they inherited it naturally and work to make it a fine art.

Yep.  My name is Leanne and I'm a humanaholic.  (I made that up.  I like it.)

Thank you for being part of my addiction.

Serenity, please.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Life in Photos

Ode to Joy
Our Home Today

It was pajama day at preschool this morning.  He stayed in them all day.

Just 'cause I love this one.  Messy table and all.

Saving maidens since 2007.
Note the little boy hands.  May they grow into loving, capable man hands.

Monday, January 18, 2010


We're all talking about it.  We're all thinking about it.  It was an earthquake and devastation beyond my comprehension.

I have to stop watching CNN.

I feel selfish, but those babies without moms and those children hurt and heart can't take it. 

I have been struggling emotionally the past couple days, and I'm starting to realize that this tragedy is at the core of my sadness.  I am helpless and I don't want to be.  I do not have the resources to do much, and that makes me sad.  If money were no option, and if there was a way, I'd go there.  I'd take those babies home. 

And I know that none of this horror should be about me.  But this blog is and I wanted to share how I'm feeling right now.  I won't stop praying and asking God to be with those little ones (and the big ones, of course), and give them healing and peace. 

I say this all the time, but I didn't ask to be born in the United States of America in 1977.  It was a beautiful gift, and for it I am insanely grateful.  Thanks to God for that good fortune. 

Additionally, Kendall's struggle continues.  Please, my readers, say a prayer for her too. 

I am humbled.

Thank you, God, for my healthy children, the roof over our heads, and the food on our table.  Help me always remember those without and never take for granted the gifts You've given me.  Amen.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

I'm letting him speak for me today.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Miracle

This is Throwback Week on Facebook.  I spent a few hours going through some old photo albums and album boxes and pulling out some of my faves.  I posted between fifty and sixty photos yesterday. In the 24 hours following, I got over 200 comments from friends on the photos.  So many people took a little trip down memory lane, and it was, in a word, a miracle.

This is my life.  These photos are a representation of who I was and how I got to the place I landed today.  Each photo is a moment.  A moment that at the time, I deemed worthy of capturing in a photograph.  I never dreamed that I'd have a chance to sit down with the subject of each photograph ever again, much less than the dozens of people I had a chance to sit down and share them with virtually.  It's a miracle.  I am so lucky to have been given this opportunity, and still a little overwhelmed at the power of social networking.

It's my Bits and Pieces premise.  That I am made up of the bits and pieces of each person who touched my life.  Today, I'm reminded of that, and I'm grateful.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Prayers Needed

If you can spare a prayer, Kendall could use yours.  She's having her fourth heart surgery tomorrow, in as many years. 

You can click on her Caringbridge page here for more information and to see her adorable face.  She's a fighter, this one.  So's her momma.  Love you, Kelly.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Things I Love - 2010

Alternate title:  Ode to Joy, Volume 1.  That's how she rolls.

It's probably too early for the Valentine's Day lovefest, but it's a cold winter day, and I'm procrastinating.  So I walked around my house and took a few photos of things in it that I love.  Thought I'd share them with you.

The flowers that replaced my poinsettias. 
It didn't focus correctly, probably because of the little dude behind them.

Yeah.  I know the A is broken.  I'll fix it someday.

My third Thymes Frasier Fir candle this season.

I almost forgot this!

Friday, January 8, 2010


This what happens on Lake Superior, just north of Duluth this time of year.  I realize I didn't explain it in my last post, and it's stunningly beautiful, so I thought I'd share a couple more.  Might as well find the beauty in the COLD.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Random Photos

A few photos from a few years ago. Just because they're cute and I'm sick of looking at that other photo.  And I have no written inspiration right now.  :)