Category Archives: Family

Under The Weather

I’m not sure what it is about this week: perhaps the change of seasons, this ever-growing baby boy, or some bug that’s going around.  Whatever the cause, I have certainly been under the weather this week.  Nausea, leg cramps, heart burn, migraines.  Not my best week for sure.  But despite the lingering yuck and sleepless nights, I’m reminded there is much to be thankful for in the midst of feeling ill:

God has provided so much for our family.  A safe home, a warm bed, food, clothing, medicine to help with aches and discomforts, healthy children, a new baby on the way, white cells.  While I don’t feel my best at all, I’m in far better shape than countless many in our country and around the world.  This too shall pass.  Being physically slowed down for the week, I’ve been able to focus far more during my reading times in the Bible and elsewhere.  Some times the most undesired circumstances can bring about rich, hidden blessings.  Who knew the Book of Numbers had so much to say!

My husband is truly amazing.  He has cared for Eliana and I incredibly well all during one of the busiest work weeks of the year so far.  He sweetly tells me I’m beautiful on my yuckiest days, rubs my ever-cramping feet, and has made many runs to Target for more ginger ale…at all hours of the day.  My daughter is precious.  She seems to understand why Mommy has needed to be on the couch so much, often running over just to give me a hug or lay there with me.  So sweet.  I’m blessed with an wonderful family, both immediate and in-laws.  They are all caring and considerate, praying on my behalf and sending encouraging messages throughout the day.  I’m surrounded by incredible friends.  They are always a delight to be around and can bring a smile to even the most nauseous face.  Friends in every season.  What a blessing!

This may not be the most fabulous week of my life, but it certainly has not been the worst.  My life is not perfect.  However, in the midst of the good, the bad and the mundane, God promises to with me (Deut. 31.8).  He truly is all I need (Phil. 4.19).  Whether we’re at the top of our game or under the weather, enjoying the views from a beautiful mountaintop or trudging through the fog of a dark valley, there is always an opportunity to be thankful.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”  Philippians 4.4


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Filed under Eliana, Family, Friends, God, Jordan, Patience, Pregnancy, Random, Thoughts

Friday Facts

  • I’m 27 weeks pregnant today.  Little Man Leino has become quite a busy-body.  He is definitely strong, kicking and moving his arms with far more force than my other two kiddos at this stage.  At times it feels like he’s doing somersaults or boxing.  I can’t wait to meet this feisty little guy in June!
  • The warmer weather has allowed Eliana to spend much more time outside and she has loved it!  She wants to be outdoors every chance she gets.  Often her first word in the morning is “outside?”  Such a happy little girl.  Whether she’s flying kites with Daddy, helping Maima in her garden or coloring on the porch in a hula skirt, Eliana has a blast anytime she’s in the sun.

  • Leino Studios had a fabulous first week in its new location.  We are so thankful for the new space God provided for Jordan’s business.  Though we are still putting some final decorating touches on the space, Jordan has already enjoyed the benefits of having much more space for all his musical and business needs.  A step forward in every way, we’re excited to see all that is in store for the Studio in this next season.
  • Our little girl loves to sing!  Any time music is playing, she’s singing and dancing along.  Maima has been teaching Eliana the words and motions for “Itsy, Bitsy Spider”.  It amazes me to watch her pick up phrases and hand motions so quickly.  I found her trying to get one of her baby dolls to do the motions this past week.  Precious!
  • Journey just finished a series on Love.  Boy, has it impacted me!  Over four weeks, our church took an in-depth look into what Scripture says about Love: God’s love, our love for Him, our love for others and our love for ourselves.  I’ve found myself reading through my notes over and again, wanting to listen to the sermons more than once as they have really challenged me to grow and convicted me in areas I certainly need it.  I highly encourage everyone to take the time to listen to the messages.  Since Jesus said that the world will know His disciples by our love, its an area we all could grow in.
  • Well the sunshine and an energetic little lady are calling me outside.  Be sure to check back here on Monday as I’ll be sharing the most amazing carrot cupcake recipe I have ever tasted!  Seriously….BEST EVER!  Happy weekend, everyone!

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Filed under Eliana, Evan, Family, Fun, Jordan, Journey Church, Leino Studios, Patience, Photography, Random, Weather

Blast from the Past

I have the best siblings in the universe.  Growing up with Ian and Corinne was always a laughter-filled adventure.  How truly thankful I am for them both!

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Filed under Family, Fun, Patience, Photography, Random

Day At The Beach

Our family traveled to Brandon, FL, this past weekend to visit Jordan’s family.  Between the good company and beautiful weather, it was a great trip.  We spent Saturday at Vero Beach visiting his grandmother, Virginia, along with his sister, Kim, who drove in from Gainesville to see us.  Good food, great conversations, and an intense game of Bananagrams.  We had a wonderful time together.  I’m so grateful that Eliana has the chance to know two great-grandparents – both who are still vibrant and living life to its fullest.

The weather in Vero Beach was stunning.  60’s and sunny.  Quite a relief from the frigid winter we’ve had in Raleigh.  Despite the chilly winds, we took Eliana to the boardwalk to run to heart’s content and see the ocean.  She had a blast! 

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Chef In The Making

One of my favorite memories as a child was cooking in the kitchen with my Mom.  Whether cookies or crepes, pasta or peanut butter sandwiches, Mom always allowed me to work beside her.  Yes, those recipes always ended up far messier than if she had done it herself and I’m sure took three times as long.  But she took advantage of every possible teaching moment.  I have her to thank for my love of cooking and adventurous palate today.

 

To my delight, Eliana loves to hang in the kitchen anytime I’m cooking.  So following the wonderful example from my Mom, she has become my little kitchen helper.  It’s hilarious to see her in my apron.  Her favorite things to do are practice whisking in a bowl and help pour ingredients into the mixing bowl.  She’s adorable!  During breakfast, she gets all giddy to watch us scramble eggs…and of course, eat them.  We made sugar cookies on Christmas Day.  Eliana did a great job pounding the mess out of her dough and cutting out shapes.  I’m so curious to see what type of palate she’ll develop as she grows up.  She certainly is the cutest chef in the making.

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Filed under Cooking, Eliana, Family, Fun, Patience

Winter Wonderland

Christmas Night brought a beautiful gift to the Raleigh area…well, most of the east coast for that matter.  SNOW!  We woke to a winter wonderland the next morning as fluffy white covered everything in sight.  By day’s end, over 8 inches had fallen in the Triangle.  Eliana had a blast playing in the snow!  She was fascinated by the little white specks that kept falling on her nose from the sky.  She couldn’t help but laugh.  What a joy to watch our sweet girl fully experience this winter blessing for the first time.

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Christmas Chaos

All month long, I’ve been pondering what this Christmas would be like.  We’d begin our own family traditions this year with Eliana, opening presents together Christmas morning while eating a delicious Christmas breakfast.  Family would come over for a scrumptious lunch and to relax together.  All gifts would be purchased and wrapped by the week before “The Big Day” to allow plenty of time for cooking, cleaning, sending cards and making gifts for neighbors and friends.  Everything thought through and prepared, it would be the first of many Leino family Christmases.

This week has not gone as planned.

Sunday began with NO Christmas gifts purchased yet.  (well, I take that back.  Jordan had bought a gift for me, but as far as my gift-getting responsibilities – nada)  Church was AMAZING!  Our pastor, Jimmy Carroll, preached a strong sermon focused solely on celebrating and exalting Jesus.  Seriously, its worth your time to watch it.

Sunday also brought the beginning of a nasty stomach bug that slowly overtook our entire family.  Poor Eliana got the bug first, followed by myself and finally taking out Jordan.  It even took out my mom and brother who live nearby.  From Sunday through Wednesday night, the Leino family was down for the count. Jordan was a CHAMP and did a bulk of the shopping before the bug sent him to bed (and as you know from earlier, this hardly EVER happens).  By Thursday morning, we were all well enough to venture out to finish the shopping, raid the grocery store and recover the apartment from its former invalid-ridden state.  Well, we hoped to do so anyway.  As of 8 o’clock tonight, the presents have all been bought and wrapped.  That’s it.  No grocery shopping done.  No prep-cooking completed.  The apartment is….better but not great.  Christmas cards will have to wait for 2011.  And I haven’t even begun to prep for our trip to the mountains on Monday.  Last week’s Corolla debacle has reduced us back to one vehicle so I’m home with my precious little girl while Jordan practices w/the Journey worship team for tomorrow’s Christmas Eve services.  In short, this week has felt more like chaos than Christmas.  Tonight has found me frazzled, overwhelmed by lack of checks on my to-do list.

Getting tired of my pity-party yet?  God certainly was.  As the evening has wound down, I’ve sensed Him wanting to bring comfort and ease into the midst of my self-imposed madness.  My heart began to still as I felt His reminder, “This season is not about your to-do list, your boeuf bourguignon, your perfectly clean apartment, your ducks standing all in a row.  Rest in knowing it’s not about all you have to do.  It’s about all I’ve already done!  Perhaps I allowed sickness to hit your family for a few days to make you slow down and simplify.  Whatever doesn’t get “done” won’t matter in the end.  What matters is Jesus came for YOU.  He died for YOU.  He rose from the grave, victorious over sin and death for YOU.  Relish in that.  Rest in that.  Remove your chaos from what Christmas is really all about: love, sacrifice, humility, My pursuit of humanity’s heart, and above all – Jesus.”

So here I sit, peace now replacing my previous frenetic state.  Lord, thank You for your continued patience with me and Your gentle calls back to Your heart.  Yes, I’ll do what I can to finish preparations for this weekend, but the task won’t drive me as it was before.  Its humbling to be this age and still finding myself in need of such a reminder.  But oh, how grateful I am He never tires in giving it.

May you be surrounded by the peace that I so desperately needed…and God so graciously gave.  May you rest in the true heart of Christmas rather than be caught up in the tempting chaos we so easily create around it.  Above all, may your heart and mind be filled in knowing Jesus came out of His limitless love for YOU.  Not you as in humanity in general, though that is true.  He laid aside His divine deity to come in human form for you specifically.  For YOU, you.

Merry Almost Christmas, everyone!  Time to get back to cleaning…

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Filed under Eliana, Faith, Family, Jordan, Journey Church, Patience, Thoughts