Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Happy Holidays!

This really is one of the most wonderful times of the year. The holidays bring quality family time, the excitement of Santa, beautiful snowfalls and more importantly, my Grandma Boylen's annual Christmas letter. Each year I anticipate receiving her card in the mail and each year she ceases to amaze me! In these letters she gives the rundown on what each of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren have been up to within the year.

While we send out a holiday card each year, I never take the time to write a letter - so I am now.

2012 has been a busy year in the Leschisin household. With each passing year our lives get more hectic and it seems no matter how hard we try, we continue to take on more. We would probably be bored without all the hobbies, projects and to-do's in our lives.

The biggest news is the addition of our second child, Will. Born on August 4th at 8 lbs. 2 oz. - he has completed our little family. He is very good-natured (as long as you feed him non-stop) and smiling all the time to show off his Ella-like dimples. He attends the same daycare as Ella and just learned to roll over. He is pretty laid back so far, which we appreciate and are hoping he will continue to be the Yang to Ella's Yin.

Ella is full of something! She recently celebrated her 4th birthday and has enough personality and attitude for a fourteen year old. She has a lot of friends at daycare and loves going on regular field trips. She attends speech therapy at the local elementary two days a week and basks in the one-on-one attention she receives. She loves every day life, but she might say one of her top events this year was meeting Bucky Badger!

In between golf outings, Joe has been busy crossing things off his project to-do list. We've lived in our home for over three years and in that time we have overhauled the landscaping, built a deck and fence and this year focused on finishing our basement. Recently he decided it was time to leave his full-time job to focus on Kella Design, the marketing business we started in 2005. His remaining time is spent working part-time at the Kennedy Communications, the advertising agency I have worked at since 2007.

My life is about the same as always, unpredictable. I turned 30 this year and have been adjusting quite well to old age. As I mentioned I'm still at Kennedy and was recently named the Chief Operating Officer over the entire agency. It's an honorable promotion and I'm grateful for the opportunity. I try to remain active by competing in a women's volleyball league each week and juggling the day-to-day chaos of our lives.

The world around us is complicated. Life gets busy and we all get wrapped up in the things that do not matter. Sadly, we lost Joe's grandfather a few weeks ago and while our hearts are heavy, its a timely reminder of what the holidays should be about. This holiday season, take the time to tell your loved ones just how important they are and stop focusing on all the material gifts and give the only one that matters - your love and attention.

Happy Holidays and a Festive New Year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Times Have Changed

I am embarrassed by how I acted as a child. I was wild, snotty, ungrateful and downright mean (not to mention, not very cute). I wish I could go back and change things, especially my hair - but it’s not possible. My saving grace is that I have a terrible memory and times were very different then. My parents didn’t own a camera, let alone one with video capabilities.Just think there could be more gems like the one below!
Ella on the other hand is not so lucky. I suspect she’ll look back at her childhood like I do – after all, we are very similar. The major difference though is that her entire life is documented. I have more than enough blackmail for the rest of her life and we haven’t even reached teenage years.

From photos, to videos, to this blog – every silly picture, crazy dance move and hysterical life story lives on the World Wide Web.

FacebookTwitterYoutube, the options for sharing are endless. Kids have to worry about so much more than the one-time naked bathtub shot or the baby photo in the senior yearbook. For better or for worse, kids today will be able to look back on their life and remember every. single. moment – whether they want to or not.

As my Newsfeed fills with updates from kids ranging from 10-18, I feel grateful to have escaped my college years sans Facebook - no one needs those moments shared with the world, especially potential employers. I know I can say that there is no way my kids will ever be allowed to be on Facebook at 10, but it's so hard to say at this point. I didn't have a cell phone until I was a sophomore in college and now every 8 year old has the ability to be reached at any given moment.

I understand the convenience aspect of it all and I know that growing up in a small town makes things easier, but what happened to kids being at a location they are told, when they are told - no questions asked? If you weren't there, you walked home.

As the mother of a four year old going on fourteen, I can’t begin to fathom what things will be like when she’s really fourteen. Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely grateful to have amassed this digital scrapbook to look back on for years to come. My children have so many things worth remembering - but I'm sure at fourteen, they won't agree.

Who knows, by then maybe we’ll be lucky enough to live like The Jetsons. It could be worse - who doesn’t want to have a robot maid, get ready for the day by hopping on a conveyor line and have the ability to fly to work.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


I am the mother of two, I have child-ren and …. I’m about to turn 30.

In one day I will be 30 years old. How did this all happen so fast? In 1982 I could have never imagined that this would be my life (mostly because I was a baby). I know this is cheesy, but I am so grateful for the way things have turned out. 

I graduated from college, I have a fantastic job, I married my best friend and as my first panicked statement already mentioned – I am the mother of two beautiful children. I am not overly religious but in my book, that’s pretty blessed.

I don’t particularly love birthdays. Everybody fusses over you because they feel like they are supposed to and it’s just a reminder that you aren’t getting any younger. Turning 30 though is a whole different type of birthday milestone that I’m not looking forward to.

Like most, I have a bucket list, but instead of the deadline of “in my lifetime” a lot of my to-do’s have the expiration date of “before I turn 30.” With one day to go, a lot of those items won’t get crossed off the list - Skydive. Learn to play the guitar. Sing in front of an audience. Leave the country. 

As I’m putting those things in writing, I realize that while I may not have reached my initial deadline – they’re all small goals in the scheme of life. They are all attainable and I still have plenty of time. My twenties were fantastic and I can only hope that my thirties are just as memorable.

Too bad we all can’t view birthdays through the eyes of a child – nothing more than an opportunity for cake and presents! I know this because we recently celebrated Ella’s 4th birthday. Again, I can’t believe I have a four-year-old daughter (not to mention a 4 month old son). While she and Will are the best things I have ever done – she single handedly kick started our lives. From the day we found out we were expecting, our lives have not been the same.

We grew up. We became selfless. We learned to sacrifice. We learned what love and family are all about. She did that. I’m getting emotional writing this because she frustrates us on a daily basis but I have no idea where we would be without her. There is no better feeling than to sit back and watch her head spin. It’s so full of imagination and creativity. Often times people say parents make kids who they are but in our case, Ella made us who we are. We are her parents.

I couldn’t be more proud of who she is. She is strong and brave. She endures and keeps going - without ever being phased. I admire her and am amazed at her ability to touch the lives of people all around her. I have the highest hopes of what she’ll grow up to be. No matter her decision, I know it’s going to be something great. She is going to do big things – there is just no other path for her.

Happy Birthday to my beautiful, spirited, little Ella Bella. Thank you for the best gift any 30 year-old could ask for - being your mom!