Category Archives: Random

Pinning Inspiration

I find when there is a lesson, quality, memory verse, mindset or habit I’m trying to gain, I need to be reminded of my goal.  Often.  Very often.

Enter Pinterest.  This has become my go-to tool for visual reminders.   I’ve been gathering artistically displayed verses and quotes on a board titled “Points To Ponder”.  I’ll select a pin fitting my current circumstance and display the image as many places as possible.  Seeing these reminders throughout the day has really helped my growth in desired areas, memorizing verses more quickly and often restoring my mindset on frazzled days.

One great place to display such prompts is on your phone or desktop.  For example, recently I was struggling with feeling overwhelmed.  I grabbed a pin from my Pinterest board, copied the image to my phone’s wallpaper and voila!  My mind was directed towards the Lord EVERY time I used my phone.  Every call, every text brought this verse to mind.

Its a little trick that I’ve found greatly helpful.  Hopefully it will encourage you too.  Get pinning!


Filed under Patience, Random, Resources, Thoughts

Still Here…

To say the past few months have been a whirlwind would be a ginormous understatement.  In a blink, time has flown from being massively pregnant and traveling to DC to now being a mother of two amazing kids.  Evan Garrett turns 3 weeks old tomorrow and though he has only been with us a short time, I could not imagine life without him in it.  I am completely smitten with this precious little boy and amazed at the love Eliana shows him daily.  Jordan continues to astound me with the incredible father he is to our kids and how he finds little ways daily to encourage and love me.  Simply put — I am blessed beyond measure and comprehension.

I hope to blog more regularly in the days and weeks ahead as I adjust to our family’s new routine (and hopefully gain more sleep).  There are pictures to be posted, stories to be told, posts to catch up on, and hilarious pregnant moments to share.  But for now, know that the Leinos are having an amazing summer.  Thank you all for your prayers on our behalf as we waiting for Evan’s arrival and the joy you have shared with us since his birth.  More to come soon!

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Filed under Blogging, Eliana, Evan, Family, Jordan, Patience, Pregnancy, Random, Thoughts

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!


Filed under Family, Fun, Patience, Photography, Random

Potato Chic

Eliana has really improved in learning how to feed herself at mealtimes.  Mostly neat and no longer throwing things on the floor, our little girl is growing up so fast.  Then we had pot roast with mashed potatoes…

No, that’s not water nor styling gel in her hair.  This lovely do comes from a whopping handful of mashed potatoes!  In a blink, Eliana’s hand scooped up a fist full of spuds and wiped it all in her hair.  Needless to say, she went straight from the dinner table to the bathtub.  She is one adorable, messy lady!



Filed under Eliana, Fun, Photography, Random


Eliana has a new favorite game: Peek-A-Boo.  She loves hiding behind things, giggling all the while, then popping out with a cheery, “Boo!”  Of course, I don’t quite think she has fully grasped the concept of a good hiding place yet.


Filed under Eliana, Fun, Photography, Random

Hump Day

Well, it’s here again.  Wednesday.  Hump Day.  The half-way marker to the week.  A barometer really of whether the week has been trying or flying.  Either “wow, this week is flying by!” or “Is it really only half-way over yet?!”

For me, this week has both crept and flown.  Battle of the Sinuses for the past two days has rendered me feeling somewhat unproductive and wanting to just crawl in bed for the day and sleep.  On the other hand, life’s to-do’s, meetings, caring for my baby girl who is under the weather again, keeping up with my reading plan (more on that later) has made the days since Sunday seem to race by.  Quite a funny place to be – feeling both lazy and über productive.  Hmm.

So Happy Hump Day, everyone!  Whether today is the marker of getting through or time seeming to escape your grasp, my hope for us all is that we would remember this above all: God’s mercies for us are new at the break of every dawn. (Lamentations 3.22-24)  Even on a Hump Day.

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Filed under Random, Thoughts

The Crud Has Left The Building

We’ve been battling a bad case of the crud at the Leino household.  And by we I mean Eliana & Patience.  Since meeting Jordan in 2002, he’s been truly sick twice.  TWICE!  I mean really.  We eat the same foods, take the same nutritional supplements, drink lots of water, stay active.  Lucky Jordan.  Of course, I make up for us both in the under-the-weather department.  (Thank you allergies, pregnancies, migraines, etc)  Let’s just say God gave me great balance when He brought Jordan into my life.  But more on that whole balancing act another time…

Eliana went from two weeks of molars teething to bronchitis to pneumonia.  Thankfully, she’s 100% well now & completely back to her full-of-energy, curious-about-everything, talking-up-a-storm self.  Even on her sickest days, she always had a smile and a snuggle to share.  I probably sound like a broken record but it still blows me away that God would bless me with this precious, beautiful treasure of a child.  What a joy she is.

When it comes to me and health, you have to know two things: I’m big into health & nutrition, & I’m very stubborn.  I’m never one to jump at taking a pill (though I will when necessary & wise) & I’d rather try waiting out a bug to see if it improves on its own than call the doctor as soon as I’m sick.  (Though when it comes to my kids, I’m overly vigilant.  Again, another story for another day.)  I’ll push myself hard, not wanting to admit that I’m sick, until my body says “enough!” & shuts down.  Irish German first-born female perhaps?

I started dealing with a respiratory bug the week before Thanksgiving.  Once it got to the point that it was clear something was definitely wrong, I called our awesome family doctor.  He hooked me up with a 10-day antibiotic to hopefully knock out the infection.  It kept me from getting worse, but I never quite got better.  I kept waiting and waiting…”surely it will turn around today.”  Well 2.5 weeks later, my body finally got tired of me avoiding another doctor’s visit & gave out.  2 days on the couch & I got the message loud & clear.  “You’re not getting better on your own.  Would you call the doctor already?!”  (Told you I have a stubborn streak.)

After my appointment diagnosing full-blown bronchitis (complete w/a gentle but firm talking-to about not waiting it out so long next time when it comes to my breathing), he sent me home with a strong specific antibiotic & orders to rest.  Thank you, Lord, for an excellent physician for our family!  Within 24 hours, I can already tell a huge difference.  I finally slept through the night w/o coughing nor breathing issues of any kind – first time in weeks!  Of course, I’ve been kicking myself, “why didn’t you go in sooner?”  Oh well.  Thankfully I’m finally on the mend.  Soon I’ll have all my energy again & be back to being fully involved w/Jordan, Eliana & all such things in life.  Jordan has been amazing taking care of me & our family during this 3-week sick spell.  Never complaining, always serving above & beyond.  He exceeds my hopes & dreams in a husband.  Seriously!

So now its back to cleaning, cooking, blogging, singing, fully engaging w/my family, singing w/o sounding like a man, talking w/o loosing my breath, writing, growing a baby & other such wonderful things.  Here’s wishing my family & yours a healthy, happy holiday!


Filed under Patience, Random

Green Belts & Cookies

I’m in Chapel Hill for most of this week for Six Sigma Green Belt training.  Full days of learning statistical analysis and other such lovely things, I’m training with my 6 teammates from UNC’s PICU in a project for improving daily communication between families and PICU clinicians.  Its a LOT of work but work that we hope will have a big payoff.

To be honest, this busyness has taken most of my creative energies at the moment.  So I leave you with this – a recipe that I can take absolutely no credit for but one that want to eat RIGHT NOW!  (Call it a preggo craving, but these cookies look friggin’ delicious!)  So pull out your mixers, crank up your ovens, whip out your best apron!

Courtesy of the amazing Tasty Kitchen website, I give you Oreo Cheesecake Cookies.  Let the drooling begin….


Filed under Chapel Hill, Food, Fun, Random, Recipes

Writers Block

I have writers block. SEVERE writers block. It seems to come in spurts – a few days of inspiration, maybe even a bit of humor. And then nothing. Completely blank.

So until the next spurt of fresh ideas come, know I’m wishing you all well and hope your having a simply fantastical day!


Filed under Random