No one is going to hand you your dream. You want it? Go out and work for it! There’s joy in the earning...
Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things can not be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime. Mark Twain
Never in my life would I think I’d be sitting on a damaged steel bridge next to a very large glacier in Iceland. For many reasons, but one is that I tend to be afraid of heights and err on the side of safety. The older I get the more I think of what could go wrong... but lately, I’m forcing myself to lean in to that sense of adventure I had in my youth, before I had kids and responsibilities. I’m pushing forward telling my brain that life is meant to be embraced. The more I tell myself that, the more often I scramble up bent up pieces of steel sitting on the side of the road. You can do this too, you know? Confidence and courage are skills not character traits. They are learned over time by trying.... so next time you’re faced with a challenge- lean in, embrace courage and press on!
This place has been on my bucket list for a few years and this year my hubby decided to bring me for our “alone” vacation. Sorry kids, you’ll have to figure out your own way to see #Iceland! (These are the moss-covered lava rocks over by the Blue Lagoon)
Quiet moment on the back patio, watching the colors of the sky change, listening to my little one make up games while coloring, hearing my 7th grader singing while she does the dishes (small miracles!), and taking one more calming breath before hitting the routine of bedtime with four kids. Good night, world.
#10thingstotellyou I grew up in a house full of people. (I have six siblings) My mom worried I’d grow up to be a recluse because I would steal away to my room and read - a lot! (#introvert) I’m not a recluse - anything but- however, if I’m missing, you can still most likely find me tucked into a corner somewhere with my nose stuck in a book. Tell me one thing about when you grew up.
Piper approached me yesterday for a selfie. She said, “Can you take a selfie with me? I’m a big fan!” How can you say no to that? She proceeded to go between “Coral” and “Sarah” as we went through the morning. At one point, acting like Sarah she said, “bye Mrs Marquiss. You know I'm a big fan but I have to go. Coral is a bigger fan and she doesn't like other fans around her fan. So I have to go. She's coming.” Then breezed back in as Coral and picked up with another conversation. She even asked me if I knew Sarah! Listen- I’m a big fan of yours. If I was sitting next to you, I’d ask to get a selfie with you. You are capable of doing great things so go grab this weekend and make it good! Happy Friday!
I talk about the books I’m reading on here a lot! I’m an avid reader and once I’m into a good book it’s hard to stop myself from being consumed with my current read. Sorry family. ***** Loves this question from @hayley.e.morgan today so posting it here too because I want to know!!! Like really want to know and can’t wait to read your answers!! ***** What 3 books have shaped your life other than The Bible (that’s a given for me)? For me, 1. Boundaries series by Townsend and Cloud (I’m reading the Teens one now) 2. The Lies We Believe by Chris Thurman 3. Experiencing the Cross by Henry Blackaby ***** I seriously think there needs to be categories as I found this so hard to narrow down. But these 3 definitely had an impact on my life and changed my thoughts in certain areas. ***** Okay, hit me with yours. I have a feeling my “to read” list is about to grow exponentially.
I’m a huge proponent of growth and change but one thing I know to be true- you need to know who you are, what you want, and where you want to go based on you- your values, your strengths, your weaknesses and your dreams- not based on someone else!! It’s really too hard to keep up with someone else and much easier to create change by focusing on you and what you need to do to get there. ***** If you don’t know where to start, try this- jump on a 30-minute consult call with me and then we can go from there. DM me to schedule.
If you need me in the next few hours I’ll be hiding in my room with a book and cuppa Earl Gray. ***** We did a work weekend the last two days and I’m ready for a day off to rest. I should go to the grocery store, do the dishes and create my weekly menu, but I don’t want to... anyone else deciding not to adult today?
I turned 41 this month. I’ve had extreme pain in almost every decade of my life. Just since April my sister was in a terrible accident that required us siblings to rally and take care of her and run her household of 7, my grandmother passed away and my husband’s 21 yr old cousin died in a motorcycle accident. Yet- I constantly tell people I have an amazing life and I DO! I’ve learned that life is one thing after another and our circumstances can not determine our inner peace. ***** Life can be hard and wonderful all at the same time. Joy and sadness can coexist even though it doesn’t seem right. Life isn’t about eliminating stress or hard things, it’s about learning to manage them and that all starts with perspective. ***** So even though life isn’t easy, I feel extremely lucky to have the family I’ve had (even with all the childhood trauma and divorced parents), I feel extremely lucky to have the hubby I do (even though we think completely differently about almost everything!) and extremely lucky to have the kids I do (even the one with the ridiculously difficult heart defect that nearly killed all of us). ***** I don’t feel lucky because I am, I feel lucky because I choose to focus on the positives and allow myself to grieve the negative but then move on. ***** Do me a favor, tell me why you feel lucky in the comments.
Sometimes work looks like showing up even in the little things - like creating free resources for busy women. ***** This one’s going to be packed full of great tips for increasing productivity. I’ve looked at a lot of lists and this one aims to be different. They are the secrets I’ve learned over the last 25 years of streamlining life and business and making it work without making myself crazy. ***** If that sounds like something you want, click on the link in my bio to get my secrets to productivity. It will be ready any day and I can’t wait to get it into your hands!
I vividly remember I couldn’t nurse my first baby in public for weeks because I couldn’t figure out to hold my shirt up, latch the baby and see if she was eating correctly. I literally sat in my house without a shirt on every time I nursed. ***** I remember wondering what was wrong with me and comparing myself to the millions and millions of women who have nursed babies for millenniums. Millions! And I couldn’t do it! (We also had latching issues which complicated things and vilified me further in my mind.) ***** With my second, I would nurse while standing up and doing the hokey pokey in a mommy and me class. ***** What’s my point? ***** That when we start something new, it feels hard. IT IS HARD!! Sometimes we might even be doing it wrong. Or need someone to help us figure it out. (Thanks, mom!) Or need more practice. We get frustrated, start to look at others’ stories and tell ourselves we suck. ***** Instead we need to give ourselves some grace to try, fail, make mistakes, and try again. We can’t make mistakes if we aren’t trying something new. That in and of itself is worth applauding. ***** Whatever it is that feels hard right now. That you aren’t sure you’re good at or if you’re doing it right. Keep going. Keep trying. Next year, you might just be able to do it while dancing. ***** P.S. this is me trying to do a handstand on a wall. And failing. I tried so hard. I finally gave up and did pigeon pose. Check out my stories for the progression.
For a lot of of us, Friday is our favorite day, but I have to be honest, I’m a sucker for a Monday morning! It’s a new week with new opportunities to serve women, see lives changed and witness small miracles. This first day of the week has weaseled its way into my heart in ways I hope for everyone. ***** I’m cheering for you to make this Monday - and every Monday - a great one too!
Today I turn 41. I spent a majority of my adult life under the weight of stress. I always felt stressed out… my to do list weighed on me. Improvement weighed on me. Relationships felt hard. It wasn’t until I realized that stress was really me striving to be heard, striving to prove myself worthy, and most of all believing these things myself that life began to feel doable. If I could write a letter to my younger self, I would tell her “You are worth dropping everything for. Running out the door for. Fighting for. YOU. No one else has to get it and won’t, until you do. Stop trying to prove it to everyone to prove it to yourself. Prove it to yourself and everyone else will follow suit.” This epiphany is what made me become a life coach. I’m really good at productivity. I’m really good at looking at the big picture and seeing the forest for the trees. And then chunking things down to make it accomplishable. I’m really good at gritting my teeth and getting through, teaching resilience and reframing difficulty. I am GOOD at these things. They make me a pretty darn good coach, if you talk to my clients. BUT, the real reason I became a coach is because I meet women whose stress resonates with my old self. I can feel it in their stories and if I can help one person be free from that feeling, all the training and fees and certification exams and stress of starting a business from scratch were worth it. Cause I’m not going back there and I’m going to take all the women I can with me on the way up. Cheers to 41. It’s really the best I’ve ever felt. #birthdaygirl #thisis41 #mindbodysoul
Listen, you’re good enough, you’re strong enough, and gosh darn it, people like you! ***** We all tell ourselves a story - all day, every day. Most of us have self-doubt and the tape that plays is negativity - what if I’m not good enough? What if I fail? What if my friends and family think I’m foolish? ***** Successful people have self-doubt, but instead of fueling the flames and playing those questions over and over, they change the tape. They make the what if’s into positive mantras and they say it often enough to believe it. ***** If you don’t like what you’re telling yourself, then switch tapes. If you don’t believe in yourself, you’ll not only not make your goals, but you’ll make yourself miserable in the long run. ***** What lies are you telling yourself?
Today was hard. My concentration was off making it super difficult to get through tasks; however I still somehow managed to slay my day using my priority list and Pomodoros. So, girl, even on the hard days, if I can do this, so can you!
#weekendvibes on Mt. Washington this morning. #icecream for breakfast? Why not?
Breathing space (like a long vacation) gives our creativity a place to flourish. I told you a few days ago that my time away proved this adage true once again. ***** This week I’ve been almost manic with ideas of what I can provide to help women become less frazzled and more fabulous. ***** Cue a FREE guide on productivity hacks!! They aren’t what you think! I’m busy behind the scenes (see my stories) creating one for you and hope to release it shortly. For now, I leave you with this quote above. When deciding how to prioritize our time, it’s important to ask what we SHOULD do, so that we aren’t just in the business of getting things done. We want to be sure to get the right things done. ***** If you’re interested in receiving the free guide when it releases, sign up in the link in my bio! You’ll be the first to know because I’ll send it straight to your inbox when I’m done.
Tomorrow’s Friday and I am like 🙌. This week has been really really productive- being back from 3 weeks away and having to catch up on all the things. I like to pick 3 things to get done each day with a few little things thrown in. What three things do you need to get done tomorrow before you can start your weekend? I have some spreadsheets to make and some numbers to crunch. #productivity #goals #thursdaymotivation #thursdaythoughts
I can never get just one. Swipe to see my library haul. #bookshelf #avidreader #canthelpmyself #cantstopwontstop #mindbodysoul #selfcare #winddown #itssimplytuesday
Hi. I’m Leighann. For the past three weeks I’ve been on a driving trip with my family. Today we are heading back to Pittsburgh from a campground in Vermont. It’s the last 10 hours of a gazillion hours we’ve already logged. ***** If you’re new around here, I’m a life coach who’s passionate about helping busy women go from frazzled to fabulous. I talk about winning imperfectly at life, finding hope in every season and learning to live with less stress while accomplishing your goals. ***** If this sounds like something you crave, DM me. I have 4 spots opening in September for women looking to make the next quarter the best of 2018. #fridayintroductions #goals #sidehustle
Our last few weeks have been packed with driving, new cities and new activities. This week we are hanging with the grandparents at a campground in Vermont where we are unplugging by swimming and eating on repeat. I’m so grateful for the memories we’ve made together as a family and now with my mom and stepdad. While we are enjoying the quiet, I wanted to remind you to enter the JORD watch $100 credit giveaway through the link in my bio. Contest ends Aug. 12. Everyone to enter gets a 10% off coupon and one lucky winner will get a $100 credit. If you haven’t seen these watches, they are made with wood and are really beautiful. They have male and female styles so they’re great for gifts too. Enter now in my profile. (Swipe to see the watch up close) #jordwatches #giveaway #travel #familymoments
Friday morning Henry and I got up early and went hiking while the kids slept (the beauty of having a teenager!). ***** We took a trail to Bubble Rock - a famous glacier boulder in Acadia that was on Henry’s bucket list. The trail we took to get there wasn’t very difficult- a little elevation here and there - but mostly a steady grade and well worn. ***** I didn’t feel like a hiker, just like a person who was out trying a hike. ***** When we got to the top, the views were incredible- so incredible I got butterflies in my stomach thinking how close to a cliff we actually were... **** The top was the real thing but somehow I still didn’t feel like a hiker. It made me think of how many of us don’t feel like the “real thing.” We wake up many days feeling like a fraud. Or perhaps a beginner - someone who’s still trying to figure things out- but not the real business owner, or the real mom, or the real wife. Or fill in your own blank. ***** We feel like we don’t fit it and can’t really call ourselves the expert or the experienced one. ***** I kept thinking on that hike, we hike so little I don’t even have hiking boots! How can I call myself a hiker. How often do we do that in life? We discount who we are because we feel like we don’t have the right equipment or right programs. ***** But here’s the thing, I realized on the descent down- the one that was exposed to the lake and was right up against the side of the mountain. The one that made my heart palpitate and my stomach knot- I realized I was a hiker- one who hikes- because I was hiking. Whether the trail is easy or hard, I was at least on the trail. And whether I have hiking boots, a special hat or wicking clothes from L.L. Bean doesn’t matter. ***** To become something just means doing it, and then doing it again. There will always be someone who knows more than us, but that doesn’t mean we sit down and give up. It just means we work harder and smarter. ***** Does anyone else relate to this? What thing are you holding back on pursuing because you don’t feel good enough, experienced enough, or prepared enough? ***** I’m here to remind you this morning to go for it! Keep pursuing it. Don’t sell yourself and
We hiked in Acadia National Park today... and by hiked I mean we walked around on a trail for a few minutes after driving to the top of Cadillac Mountain and parking. ***** Our plans didn’t work out, one of the kids was in a funk and pretty much sabotaged a lot of the afternoon. It was pitiful. ***** BUT- we hiked anyway and we saw amazing views. And it wasn’t all bad. It just wasn’t a storybook. ***** That’s how life tends to be. We have grand plans and when obstacles arise in the path, many of us fear we aren’t doing the right thing or decide it’s too hard to keep going. But no matter what - keep going. Maybe you have to tweak the plan, or maybe you have naysayers that need to be ignored, whatever the obstacle is that stands in your way- figure out a way through it- use it to propel you, because inevitably to get to the top, you’ll have to do a bit of climbing.
We made it back to the States and settled into Bar Harbor Maine for the next few days. It’s our last city befor daddy flies back home for work. We’re about to head out for a hike in the Acadia National Park. The beauty of nature on this trip has been overwhelming- and good for the soul. It stirs my creativity and makes me have a million ideas. None of which I can follow up on while on vacation - ha! Looking forward to going home even though I’m still enjoying the time away. Life is funny like that. How’s your August starting out?
We’ve been continuing our trek through Canada- we were in Halifax Nova Scotia the last few nights and are at St Andrews by the Sea tonight in New Brunswick. We plan to be to Bar Harbor by tomorrow night. The Bay of Fundy is really pretty so our drive today was full of beautiful, rustic scenery. Headed to bed happy and tired.
So proud of my girl for trying her first mussel during our clam dig in PEI.
Our last night in PEI we did a clam dig at a local fisherman’s. Jim taught us how to find several different types of clams, oysters and mussels. We gathered quite a few then Jim cooked them up for us for dinner. The fresh shellfish were especially tasty. The experience was definitely fun and family friendly.
Greenwich National Park PEI - it is the north easterly side of the island, but oh so beautiful. I saw pictures on google when I was researching this trip. Those pictures didn’t prepare me for the amazing beauty. My own pictures here don’t even touch it. ***** If you’re ever on PEI, I highly recommend this National Park. We easily could’ve taken this hour hike out to the dunes (round trip) and then spend most the afternoon swimming in the shallow water. As it was, we had to cut our swimming short to head to a clam dig. ***** We head out tomorrow for Nova Scotia- PEI definitely was a success.
We made it to the red sands of PEI and they are glorious! The mustard fields of PEI and the red sand cliffs make it like nothing I’ve ever seen. It’s absolutely stunning. There are so many beautiful places in this world worth exploring and this is one of them!
Day 2: Quebec City- we found this cool mural of the Beatles Abby Road cover at the #museedelacivilisation But first, we wanted to see more than the old town so we headed on a ferry across the river. It cost us an entire $14.60 Canadian dollars for the whole family round trip. ***** If you’re traveling with kids, heading across the river is a great choice for an inexpensive day. The city just invested several million dollars to build a water fountain/splash pad complete with picnic tables and wooden lounge chairs. Families were there with bathing suits and full-on picnics. There is a farmers market here similar to the one we went to in Montreal but we didn’t go. It would’ve been easy to buy ingredients for lunch if we had. ***** If you don’t have time to make a picnic, there was a food truck there today with burgers and fries for about a 1/3 of the price of old town. We opted to eat at Barbacoa, a BBQ place just across the street from the ferry port and splash pad. It was delicious and kept us all full for hours. ***** Back across the river, we headed to the Musee de la civilization - which we ended up being too late in the day to make it worth it. If we come back (which, hello? We think this would be a fun time around the holidays!) I’d love to explore this museum. ***** There are so many great things yet to do here, but it’s time to head to our next stop. We ended tonight playing go fish in the hotel, eating cold cut sandwiches and snacks due to pouring rain... (we found a small grocer on the walk back from the ferry and had stocked up for our car ride tomorrow). ***** Next up- PEI!! But first a 10 hour drive to get there. Argh!
We made it to Quebec City! Traveling with kids is a little like herding cats, but I wouldn’t have it any other way (well ok, maybe a little less whining and complaining when they’ve walked a long way and they’re hangry!) ***** Loving the historic vibe of #Quebeccity with its old stone wall and stone buildings. It’s a tad touristy but after fighting the crowds I decided to celebrate #nationalselfcareday by letting Henry and the kids go back to the hotel to swim while I browsed the streets by myself for a few hours. After some much needed #metime I’m ready to hit the streets again tomorrow with the #family.
Today we went to #montrealbotanicalgarden and it was fun. We went thinking they’d have the “living sculptures” that come up when you google the gardens, but alas, those were removed 5 years ago. Instead we walked through a Japanese garden, several really lovely areas for kids (although my kids spent an inanimate amount of time trying to pet the koi) and some inspiring cottage gardens. It ended up being a really great day even with partly cloudy skies. We ended up being there about 4 hours and if we weren’t so hungry for dinner could’ve easily spent an entire day seeing the nooks and crannies of the place. Although we were disappointed not to find the sculptures we decided in the end it was well worth the money. p.s. if you love flowers and organic material, don’t forget to enter the #jordwatches contest at the link in my bio. Check out my stories for a closer look. Lucky winner wins $100 gift card to JORD and everyone gets a 10%off coupon. Contest ends 8/12. *not affiliated with Instagram. #JORDwatch #handmadejewelry
Wherever you are today I hope you partake in the wonder of worship. Check out my stories for highlights of our day in #montreal #notredamebasilica #notredamemontreal
Traveling with kids is never easy - especially when you have teenagers or preschoolers - and we have both! We drove almost 10 hours to get here over the last two days and we’re excited to finally explore #Montreal. ***** I was nervous we would be snipping at each other, there’d be lots of kid fighting and whining, but so far there have been very few negative altercations. (minus breaking a glass at a restaurant and losing my expensive sunglasses. Waaaa!) ***** My hope is that my children will remember these years with fondness and there will be lots of “remember when” stories at future family Thanksgivings. ***** Check out my stories for some beautiful scenery from our border crossing near 1000 islands area.
Successful people do boring well. They show up day after day to do the things that have to be done even though it isn’t glamorous. ***** They are the ones who get up motivated, stay focused on their goals, and don’t let life’s circumstances derail them. ***** They know that in order to see results you have to put in the time. And sometimes that looks menial, boring, and non-instagrammable. ***** What are you trying to see movement in? Take the time to do one thing that will create forward momentum today. The one thing that will make the biggest impact. And then do it again tomorrow. And the day after that. And the day after that until it’s habit. ***** p.s. all of us need a little help getting through the mundane sometimes. If that’s you, DM me. I’m opening up four spots in September for motivated women. Grab your spot now while you’re thinking about it!
Some days you need a treat. This is one of those days. We leave for a trip this weekend, but first,all the things when it comes to planning and logistics. ***** If I’ve learned anything over the last 10 years is that everything that has to happen will and the things that fall through the cracks are rarely life or death. ***** One handy trick when I’m feeling under pressure and started to feel “stressed out” is asking myself if what I’m stressed about will matter in 5 years or 10 years. Most things won’t matter next week!! ***** Will it matter if I forget to return the library books and get a $20 fine. Maybe I’ll hate paying the fine, but in the scheme of things, it won’t matter in 5 years. ***** Will it matter if I forget to bill a client this month and have to do it later or can’t fit in buying road trip snacks? Not in 5 years. ***** See how this works? Your turn. What are you stressed about today? Will it matter in 5 years? If not, let it drop or move it down the to do list.
My mom used to tell us stories about her family driving cross-country and camping out of their van when she was growing up. I saw this van today and it reminded me of her. ***** Stories are powerful! Her stories inspired Henry and I to travel with our kids here in the States and all over the world. ***** You never know what part of your story that you take for granted will inspire someone else. Share your story! #pittsburgh #pghvintagegrandprix #familygoals #travel #bucketlist #inspire
Friday afternoon pick me up from my favorite local coffee shop @convivecoffeeroastery. Nothing like an iced chai latte with coconut milk to start the weekend. Do you have a favorite local coffee shop? Tag them below and show them some love. ***** And don’t forget to enter for the chance to win a $100 credit from JORD watch company. Swipe for a closer look at this beautiful wooden watch! They have a lot to choose from. Link in bio to enter. Everyone gets a 10% off coupon. Enter now! #ad #jordwatches
I’m a life coach that helps busy women go from feeling frazzled to feeling fabulous. Many clients come thinking life balance and cultivating calm is about eliminating all the stress and stressors in their lives and only ever feeling bliss. ***** The reality is it’s so much more complex than that. 1. We gain balance by understanding our core (yes, pun intended) values and strengths. 2. We gain balance by understanding how to deal with difficult circumstances not by eliminating them. 3. We gain balance by understanding where we are and where we want to be and taking the actions steps necessary to make it happen. There’s a lot of confidence that comes from self-awareness combined with purposeful action. If you’ve experienced any of these, comment below about your journey. If you need help with any of these steps, DM me for a free consult call to see if coaching is he right next step for you! • • • • • • • • • •
Have you ever met someone who always looks pulled together, her kids have matching outfits with hair perfectly coiffed, and her house looks like a magazine? How do you feel about her? (In awe... jealous... skeptical?). How do you feel about yourself when you leave her presence? (Inferior... insecure... depressed?) ***** Many of us want to present a perfect face to the world, but rarely do you find connection with perfection! ***** To connect with others we must be willing to drop the perfection facade and get real. When we let go of trying to present ourselves as perfect we find it was taking important energy away from the things we should be focusing on- family, career, goals, and self-care. ***** What’s one thing you could do today to stop trying to present yourself as flawless? Mine is to lighten up and be ok with what I’ve gotten done vs what got left undone. What’s yours? • • • • •
We all face obstacles - walls in our path that we can’t seem to knock down. Sometimes the answer is to approach the obstacle from another angle - like going over instead of through. Are you facing any obstacles right now? How can you look at the problem differently today? • • • • • • • • • • #authenticity #beyou #happiness #goals #positivevibes #dreambig #teamwork #encouragement #abundance #followyourdreams #beinspired #yougotthis #bebrave #movngforward #keepmovingforward #choosejoy #intentionalliving #speaklife #takecontrol #fulfillment #feelinginspired #gratefulness #liveintentionally #findyourpurpose #yourstorymatters #preachingtomyself #followyourtruenorth
Happy Monday! This weekend was one of those weekends where I need a weekend from the weekend! Monday morning started off super busy but I’m in the groove of things now. ***** Last week I Pomodoroed through a lot of my tasks and I’ll be doing the same thing this week to get through my list. If you don’t know what a Pomodoro is, they are what needful for upping your productivity during unmotivated or especially hectic days. Check out my blog post in the link in my bio... and some exciting news! ***** While you’re in my bio, click the link to enter for a chance at $100 credit from Jord watches. Have seen these amazing wooden watches? I’m wearing one in the photo above. I’ll show you mine up close in my stories and throughout this month. Contest ends August 12 so go enter today!! Everyone who enters will get a 10% discount code and one person will win the $100 credit. #jordwatch #ad #mondaymotivation #mondaymood
When’s the last time you stopped at a farmer’s market? And by farmer’s market, I mean an actual farmer’s market. This one was surrounded by fields of corn and other crops. I just can’t help it when they’re this beautiful, I have to stop and get some of the produce. Can’t wait to eat it. Happy Saturday! #farmersmarket #saturdaymorning #saturdaymood #weekendvibes
Couldn’t help but chuckle when I saw this on @stephanie.fair feed. #truthbomb especially in the summer! We’re back and forth over here with the kids playing well and then sneaking off to be I electronics. Just had to remind one to read for 20-minutes first. Anyone else feel my pain? Tell me I’m not alone! #momof4
Happy Independence Day from our family to yours. ***** This time three years ago we were sitting in a CICU beside Ryan’s bed waiting to see if his Fontan surgery would work and he would fully recover. ***** Sure enough- as God would have it - after five weeks in-house, I brought home a pink boy who was so weak and fragile from weeks spent in a hospital bed that I had to help him walk. He started kindergarten three weeks after that and hasn’t looked back since. ****** Sometimes I get tired of telling his story. Sometimes I want to talk about what’s new in our lives and remind everyone that there are 5 other people who are living, struggling and growing along side our miracle boy. ****** But other times, I sit and weep at how grateful I am that we have him. That the boy who defied all odds is ours! That we get to see him laugh and cry and smile his huge pepsodent smile. I sit in awe that it all worked! That our team at #childrensnational hoped along with us and used their amazing God-given skills to save Ryan’s life. It’s times like these that I want to shout our story from the rooftops! ***** (If you don’t know our story, you can find my memoir on Amazon by searching “Showing Heart” in the books section. )
Walking the campus of the U of Chicago with my 13-yr old. This time last year she was shorter than me by 1/2 an inch. Now she legitimately looks down at me. She’s making dreams and plans that don’t involve her father and I, which is exciting and terrifying at the same time. But it’s natural and right and good. Same goes for you, ya know... when you start dreaming big and it’s something that seems too wild or grown up or high to reach- going for it is exciting and terrifying. Take the chance. Go for it!! It’s never too late to grow. #growth #growthmindset #lifelessons #uofchicago
The best #tacos in #Chicago are at Taquiera Hildago in #rogerspark The El Pastor is yummy in my tummy. Don’t believe me? Give them a try! Have your own local taco shop you love? Give them some love by tagging them below!
Lookin forward to a great weekend with my sister @dottiejward in Chicago. Always a fun trip.... this is our idea board so far. We’ve already added a few more. Check out my stories to see her putting on some finishing touches. #summervibes #chicago #chitown #familygoals #handlettering #shoplocal
For those who missed last month’s book club, we are starting another one. This time focused on how to find and nurture deep and lasting friendships. We will be reading Christine Hoover’s book, “Messy Beautiful Friendship” throughout the month of July. Check out my stories for table of contents. No Zoom calls just discussion in the online FB group. You can request joining by clicking the link in my profile! Don’t let the name fool you. We finished Girl Wash Our Face but are using that same group. We’d love to have you!! #bookshelf #bookclub #virtualbookclub #onlinebookclub #read
Good night. Tomorrow is the start of a new work week. What is one thing you can do tonight to help your week start smoothly? Pick out your work clothes? Lay your exercise clothes out for the morning? Get a good nights sleep tonight? Now go do it!
I bought these avocados last Sunday. I had to wait almost an entire week for them to ripen enough to make avocado bacon toast this morning but - oh man- the wait was worth it. ***** Sometimes we want to push things forward faster than it takes for the ripening process. We want it now, without the time and effort. Sometimes we need to push ourselves if the waiting is based on fear of getting out of our comfort zone. ***** But other times, the right answer is to wait. To let things grow, mature and ripen. Only then will we be ready to partake and get the most benefit. ***** Is there something you’re waiting on today? Is there a situation that feels like it’s taking way too long. Take heart, there is growth in the waiting. Even if you can’t see it. ***** What dream or vision are you allowing to ripen for the future?
When we are constantly searching for something outside of ourselves to make us happy or feel peaceful, we are wasting our time, energy and resources. We are searching for those things because of how we feel inside! If this is you, it’s time to slow down and ask yourself the right questions, gain self-awareness and focus your time, energy, and resources on getting to the root of the problem. It wasn’t til I stopped running from my feelings and started really digging deep that I felt internal peace. (A life coach 🙋♀️ is a great resource for helping with self-awareness!!) comment below if you have a similar story and if you found someone to help you sort through things!
I’m sitting in here sipping tea for a few minutes to create a sense of calm. The last few days have been full of appointments followed by afternoons of fun. Yeah!! But as an introvert, who thrives on productivity, I know I need to steal a few minutes every day to just breathe. ***** I’m doing it now because the next 7 days we will have house guests and the next 7 days after that we will be house guests. Quiet is something that soothes my souls and keeps me sane. ***** Head over to my latest blog post (link in profile) to check out how I change up my routine in summer so I don’t end up feeling crazy. #summervibes #summerroutine #habits #productivity #hottea #hyggehome
Another great year at Whispering Pines Farm festival! It’s our third year as a family and we continue to make wonderful memories. @wpfarmpa #festivalinthewoods #farmlife #outdoors #glamping
Whether it’s flowers, veggies, or people- I’m fascinated by growth. A seed of an idea can spark a huge change just like a seed can grow into a huge plant. It’s a mystery and amazing all at the same time. Do you love watching things grow? #growth #mindset #summervibes #weekendvibes
Help a mama out... do you do audio books for the family on long trips? We don’t really allow much electronics on trips so we do audio books to pass some of the time. IM looking for a good one for this year’s Chicago trip. We’ve done several we’ve loved and a couple we didn’t love. Haha! Little House on the Prairie, the entire Narnia series, the secret garden, a river runs through it, wonder, etc!! Tell me your good ones. #readers #summerreading #meanmom #momof4
High school and middle school water battles done. 2 minutes til elementary bus arrives. #lastdayofschool #waterfight #traditions
You guys... this is from a year ago. I can’t believe how fast these kids grow up... their voices mature, they grow out of clothes (oh my lands how they grow out of clothes) and they get these big, massive ideas of their own. I have a rising 9th grader- a high schooler - wasn’t I just a new mom like 5-seconds ago. Here’s your free tip- live in the moment for 5 minutes today. I know you have stuff to get done, places to get to and dinner to make. But puh-lease- slow down for a hot minute and look at the ones you love. Look at their eyes, their smile or tears- ask them about their day and actually listen and ask questions. It will warm your heart like no other and keep you going through another day at the grindstone.... pulling out another workweek. Just 5 minutes. That’s all it takes. And I promise if you take 5 minutes, you’ll want 5 minutes more. #mindfulness #slowdown #takeitallin #simpleliving
Looking forward to unplugging with my peeps this weekend. It's one of the only weekends on the calendar for the next few months where we won't have house guests or won't be traveling. Looking forward to just being... what are your weekend plans? #weekendvibes #fridaymood
It's June 6 - D-Day - 74 yrs ago my grandfather was in the greatest battle of his life and survived. Although he came home safely, he suffered with PTSD for the rest of his life. Sitting in a metal plane getting shot at for hours at a time over 31 air raids will do that to you. So grateful for his sacrifice. **** He didn't let his PTSD stop him from living life. Were there triggers- yep! For sure. But he went on to lead a normal life giving back to those around him for the next 60 years. Always telling people about Jesus and praying they'd understand His love for them. **** There are some of us who've been scarred by battle too. Maybe not by bullets but it felt like it, that's for sure. **** I, too, suffered from PTSD but I'm proud to say I've also had post traumatic growth. It's a real term - look it up if you don't believe me! It's when a traumatic event causes growth. **** There are things I wouldn't have learned without my story. Hands down. My head would've stayed in the sand. Or I wouldn't have been as compassionate or empathetic. And while I don't wish trauma on anyone, I do wish growth. **** If you're struggling today, take a few minutes to wonder about the struggle. About what you can learn about yourself, others, God, and the world. Don't let the struggle go to waste.
So sad to hear about the apparent suicide of designer Kate Spade today. I don't pretend to know the details and I'm always saddened when I hear of anyone - not just celebrities- who takes their own life. **** This is a real life problem. **** If you suffer from overwhelm to the point of thinking about taking your own life, please reach out to a family member, mental health professional, or the suicide hotline. 1-800-273-8255. You are not alone. **** If you're a busy woman barely holding on to your sanity, dreaming about if I had an accident would a stay in the hospital grant me rest?, or starting to feel resentment, anxiety or anger over your life situation, a life coach 🙋 or mental health provider is a great resource. Slow down. I beg you. Your body, mind, and spirit depend on it. *** My love to all you busy women and mamas out there today. We must stand together. I see you. I'm with you. You are important enough to take care of.
Family fun at #xfest in #pittsburgh. First up @awolnation then @officialjackwhitelive So excited to see both! #weekendvibes #summervibes
My lovely and talented sister Dottie, a graphic designer and handlettering artist, made this gorgeous photo for me. She started her business 2 years ago (tomorrow) after we brainstormed some ideas about what starting her own business might look like during a clarity call. She was scared to take the leap, but I'm so proud of her for doing the hard work and making it happen. Now she's able to stay home with her new little girl and still do the things she loves. Congratulations, Dottie! **** Clarity Call defined - a call with a life coach designed to help the client reach a clear decision in terms of goals or life direction. Typically used when someone is trying to make a tough decision and doesn't know what to choose. #dotward #chicagoletteringartist #shopsmall #shoplocal #customlettering
You guys... these words from Rachel Hollis make me want to stand up and shout as if my favorite team just scored the winning touchdown in the super bowl. **** Why? Because as a life coach, I love seeing women realize that they are the hero of their own story. They are the gold at the end of the rainbow. God created each of us with talents, personalities, and passions to share with the world. When we understand them, we come alive! **** But so many of us spend years trying to be someone else.... trying to find the magic that someone else has created. Guess what? You have that magic too and when you find it, you'll know it's right. It will fit. You will be wearing the suit of armor because you are the hero! **** So let's stop trying to be someone else and find out who we were meant to be... together.... join us starting June 1 (that's this Friday!) as we read Rachel Hollis' best seller Girl, Wash Your Face. Join our virtual book club in the link in my profile.
Calling all book lovers! In case you missed the announcement last week, or lost track of time, here’s a friendly reminder that my virtual book club is starting this Friday - - that’s 2 days from now - - so go sign up! (Link in profile) We’ll be taking the month of June to read Rachel Hollis’ bestseller Girl, wash your face: stop believing the lies about who you are so you can become who you were meant to be. There’ll be daily discussions in our private Facebook group (link in profile) and a weekly online Live session where we’ll discuss what we’re learning and how we’re growing. If you haven’t heard about Rachel’s book, here are a few reviews: “Readers won’t just walk away inspired; they will walk away with the right tools in hand to actually do their dreams. Dream doing is what Rachel is all about. You will be, too, when you read her newest book.” (Jessica Honegger, founder and co-CEO of the Noonday Collection) “Rachel lovingly but firmly tells us it is time to stop letting the tail wag the dog and get on with living our wild and precious lives. Girl, wash your face is a dose of high-octane straight talk that will spit you out on the other end, chasing down dreams you hung up long ago. Love this girl.” (Jen Hatmaker, author) If you’re looking for some fun reading and some great community sign up now… what are you waiting for?!
NOTE- if you haven't signed up for my free #virtualbookclub starting in June, now is the time! You have 3 more days to order the book - Girl, wash your face by Rachel Hollis. We'll have ongoing discussion in a private Facebook group and a weekly live call. It's going to be a great time of learning and growing together as women! I can't wait. Join now in my profile link! **** And on the above... Back to the grindstone, which in all reality I actually love! Going over client notes today and rolling through a checkoff list (in between a sick visit to the dr for my hubby, picking my daughter up early from school, and playing with/distracting my preschooler who's school year is now over!!) It's a wonder I'm getting anything done but I am. And I'm grateful for a flexible schedule. #momof4 #mompreneur #momsinbusiness
On this Memorial Day weekend, I pause to remember those who sacrificed their lives so that we have freedom... freedom to go to school for the vocation we desire, work for companies we respect, play outside without fear, vocally disagree with our own government, and on and on. America, with all of its faults and shortcomings, is still a wonderful place to live. And that's because of the vision and sacrifice of those who serve. I am grateful for men and women who are willing to push their bodies and minds to its upper limits so that I don't have to live in fear. Thank you to those who served, have served, or have fallen on the battlefield in this generation and those past. My grandfathers, Gordon Morris and William Ennis, my uncle Richard Loomis, my brother John Ennis Jr, and the many on my husband's side of the family. Please feel free to honor your favorite soldiers in the comments. We are forever grateful for their service! 🇱🇷. #memorialday #thankyou #unitedstatesarmy #unitedstatesairforce
Pretty sure this is what my weekend plans entail! #memorialdayweekend #holidayfun #summervibes #weekend
I've always felt very fortunate to still have my grandmothers in my life. Sunday morning, my grandma Jo went home to be with the Lord. She is an inspiration to me in many ways and I hope to show the same resilience and determination she did throughout her 91 years. #loveyougrandma #grief #grateful
She got dressed up on her favorite pink dress and flowered pants the first time we met her piano teacher. She was excited to learn how to play! She's heard her mama and sisters play and wants to play pretty songs too. **** No one told her it would take practice. No one told her it would be hard or not come naturally. No one told her she'd have to sit still for longer than she was used to or focus on things she never knew existed - the curl of her thumb, the grip of her pinky, the movement of her wrist. **** Doing something out of your routine will feel uncomfortable. Whether it's learning a new skill, starting a new habit, stopping an old one, or creating a new thought pattern. It all takes work and discipline. And that is hard in a world that conditions us to want easy, fast and comfortable. **** It feels like we're doing something wrong. Like it's not going to work. Like maybe we aren't good enough so why even try? **** If you're feeling frustrated - keep going! If you're old thoughts are still popping - keep trying! If you're about to give up- don't! **** Hold out for just a little longer - stretch yourself until everything becomes one big sweet song. You can do this!
Hey you! The one who's always beating herself up. Let's make a pact, you stop beating yourself up and I'll support you in the effort! **** Step One: sign up for my upcoming book club reading Rachel Hollis' best seller - Girl, wash your face. Let's give ourselves a little grace. Let's stop believing lies and start speaking the truth to ourselves and about ourselves. And then let's take that into the world and speak truth to others! We start June 1 and I want to see you there. (link in bio) #bookshelf #virtualbookclub #momof4
I've heard amazing things about @msrachelhollis 's new book Girl, wash your face. **** I just got it from the library and looked at the table of contents and man, is this going to be good!! It's all about the lies women believe and how to stop believing them. **** Does this sound interesting to anyone else? Want to join me and do a virtual book club? **** If you're interested, please sign up at the link in my profile above asap. I'd like to start reading by June 1!! I'm too exited to wait longer! #letsFaceit #together #dontMASKit #GirlWashYourFace #virtualbookclub
Mother's Day weekend started with a surprise spa visit from Henry and the kids. I'm milking if for all it's worth. #mothersday #selfcare #momof4 #momlifestyle
We meet up at the same time same place each week for an hour. She gets to talk about her dreams and goals and actually implement a plan to realize them. I get to help her brainstorm, think through mental roadblocks and help keep her on task. **** When we started meeting she felt overwhelmed, guilty, and resentful. Now she feels on top of her game and grateful. **** It's amazing what having a certified life coach can do for you. Athletes work with coaches, so do actors and performers. It makes perfect sense that so would the normal, average, everyday person looking to do life in a big way... accountability works, an outside perspective works, encouragement works. **** Have you ever thought, man, I keep meaning to do xyz... maybe some day. **** Or, I wish I could finish that project. **** Or, I'm so overwhelmed something has to give. **** A life coach can help! And lucky you, I happen to know a good one. You can DM her by pushing the message button above! #goals #opportunity #youreworthit #mindsetiseverything
How many of you work from home and still have kiddos hanging around with you during the day?? **** This is my 4 yr-old helping me do some admin work at the bank. She's my side-kick most days. I could complain that she's an interruption and distraction (which is all true) OR I can be grateful I have a flexible job that lets me be with her most days... that she's watching her mom run a business... that she is learning independence and confidence by watching it modeled. **** I know a lot of mamas who have created a career with a preschooler sitting on their lap. It can be done. And yes, there are tricks and tips for sure, but the first is seeing it as a positive instead of a negative. **** Do you work from home? What's your biggest struggle? #workfromhomemom #momof4 #grateful
Totally random, but about a decade ago or more, I saw an article about an abandoned apartment in Paris that hadn't been entered since WW2. It was a hidden gem of antiques and there was question about who actually lived there. **** I immediately thought- that would make a great jumping off point for a book. Who was the woman? Why did she leave? What was her story? **** Well guess what? @mgablewriter thought so too!! As I was checking out another book A Paris Apartment caught my eye and I thought, Could it be? I'm about halfway through and loving it! Thanks, Michelle, for writing such a great story! **** Have you ever stumble across a story or idea that you thought would be a great book? Or are you reading something good right now? #whatimreadingnow #bookshelf #booksofinstagram #whatareyoureading #aparisapartment #michellegable
We went to @naturollcreamery today in #Cranberry township. There's one in #Lawrenceville too. Y'ALL!! They have dairy free options. And so many toppings it was easy for me to get a delicious cup of goodness. (It isn't nut allergy friendly, but works for basically everything else...) if you are in Pittsburgh, and looking for a fun place to go, put this on your list. Check out my stories for the making of the bowl.... and comment if you have food allergies and have a favorite local place.
May the Fourth be with you!! **** We love Star Wars in our house so I can't help but celebrate May 4th!! **** While I don't believe in Sith Lords, I do believe in the power of positive and negative energy. **** We only have so much energy in our day, week, month, year (and so on). When we allow negative energy to creep in, it steals the energy we have to use toward positive movement and attitudes. Don't let the Sith Lords steal your joy today!!! **** Wishing all of you a great weekend and especially a great Friday! Do you love Star Wars? Yes? No? And why? #maythe4thbewithyou #starwars #weekendvibes #fridaymood
Say hello to my office this week... in case I forgot to mention it, I'm at my sister's house helping out since they were in an accident a few weeks ago. I've been taking my client calls from the deck and loving it! This accident reminded me how fragile life is and how grateful I am for every moment, the good, the bad, the pretty, and the ugly. **** I saw a saying the other week that said we often think we are humans having a spiritual experience when in reality we are spiritual beings having human experiences. **** The things that happen to us now are really to help us gain maturity and growth, be drawn closer to our Creator, and to experience connection with others. Often we fill our time worrying about things, literal things, that don't matter. **** Things like near-fatal accidents help us remember what is important in life. **** What are you stressing over that won't matter in 5 years?
You guys!! This made me laugh aloud! Shout out to all the mamas out there getting IT done, getting some of it done, or not giving a crap. Seriously. We all do it differently and should still be cheered on. What's important is knowing what you want and being confident enough to move forward with that goal in mind. So 🥂to all the mamas!! Tag your favorite mom-friend below. (Repost from @hillhive5)
It's finally feeling like #spring!! I am cheating just a little bit by spending this week at my sister's house which is in a sunnier location, BUT I'll take it! I'm coming off a great weekend retreat and heading into a weekend of sun and warmth... it sounds good already! Does it feel like spring where you are? #grateful #wellnessretreat #choosejoy #sisters
This is our view out the back door this weekend and it feels so good for the soul. Unplugging to nature is such a great way to bring rest and nurturing for your spirit. What is your favorite place to unplug? #wellnessretreat #cultivatingcalm #girlsweekend #weekendvibe #saturday
Heading into a weekend of #cultivatingcalm with some really great ladies. Can't wait to hear their stories and learn more about embracing our stories. Check out my stories to see more of the surrounding scenery. And click the link in bio to get some easy tips on incorporating calm into your day. #weekendgetaway #weekendvibes #wellnessretreat
Y'all! The @pittsburghpirates edged past the Detroit Tigers, the sun is out, and I'm about to head out this weekend to host a private ladies retreat! As much as I love #Friday, #thursday is looking mighty fine this week!! What are you looking forward to this weekend? #cultivatingcalm #goals #opportunity
Saw this quote today and love it. As I approached my forties I became aware of underlying fears that controlled a lot of how I maneuvered through life. When I was able to address them, they no longer had such a hold on me and I have been able to thrive. I wish the same for every person reading this! DM me if you're feeling tension every day and wish you knew how to find peace. #quotestoliveby #goalsetter #stopstriving
Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the greatest thing will ever do. But I know it takes more than courage to own your story. We own our story so we don't spend our lives being defined by them or denying them. And while the journey is long and difficult at times, it is the path to living a more Whole- hearted life. **** Love this quote by @brenebrown and love #risingstrong ! I'm about halfway through and love how much it speaks to the topic of my private retreats this year - Embracing Our Stories. **** I'm gearing up for another one this weekend and can't wait to spend time with the ladies who are joining me! **** Do you have a group of friends you get together with annually? Or want to connect with for a girls weekend? Consider contracting with me to come speak!!! I'll help you plan and execute an amazing weekend with the added benefit of personal and spiritual growth. DM me! #booksofinstagram #personalgrowth #mindsetiseverything #goals
Happy Friday!!!! There a ton of new faces around here so a quick introduction! I'm Leighann. Mama, wife, friend. I love connecting with others and helping frazzled and overwhelmed women feel a sense of empowerment and calm confidence. I'm a life coach that loves goals, planning, and achievement, but I've lived through periods of intense stress so I also understand that sometimes we need to give ourselves grace and work through things without beating ourselves up. I like the Phil Jackson style of coaching as opposed to the Bobby Knight kind and if you get those references, then we should definitely be friends. I love talking about serious things but don't take myself too seriously. Which is why I find this photo so funny.... it looks like I'm grabbing my own butt. 😂 I love connecting so please feel free to comment, DM or ask questions in general. Weekends are my favorite time to spend time with my favorite people so Friday is like a big day of anticipation waiting for my peeps to walk through the door. How about you- jot down one thing you'd love for me to know about you.... #fridayintroductions #keepsocialmediasocial #chicago #pittsburgh
Perspective really is everything. Life is so very good, even amidst the chaos and stress. Even when it snows almost every day in April! Even when someone ate all the vegan chocolate chips before you could get to them. Amen? #choosejoy #showingheart