Leslyn's Lovely Life: May 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Keepin it Real...

This was probably the worst month as far as goals went. We found out that we were moving, lost someone that we loved, were out of town most weekends, and were incredibly busy. I didn't read a book this month, didn't get to work out as much (although my students and I had a Zumba party... which was super awesome). Our house looks more like a rent house because we are packing. I won't go into any more details because this just wasn't the best month.

BUT we are moving today!!! I can't believe we are moving back to Conway... Initially, I didn't like Conway at all. Too many bad memories associated with that place. However, there are too many wonderful things happening in our lives, therefore I am THRILLED to live there again! It's going to be nice to not have to worry about driving 2 hours for Starbucks or Target (tragic, I know!).

I am so grateful for the time we had here in Monticello. It was a wonderful first place to live as a married couple. I loved having my in-laws nearby (seriously!). They weren't the pushy annoying in-laws that most people had. If anything, they have been one of the biggest blessings in my life this past year.

Okay, I'm going to stop being mushy.

And I promise that I'll do a lot more next month.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Today is the last time that I will see any of my students at school. My 8th-12th graders are gone. Technically, I don't have 7th graders anymore either (but for whatever reason, they like to come hang out in my room). It's hard to believe that an entire year has come and gone. I remember the first time I walked into my classroom, and how excited I was about the year ahead of me. I had no idea what I was getting myself in to.

Let's just say that this was definitely a rebuilding year for the DC choir. I'm pretty sure that I shared with you before that they had 6 different teachers in the past 2 years. The kids were used to instability, and this was the first year since 2008-2009 that they had only one choir teacher. I went in extremely optimistic, and I was convinced that this year wouldn't be THAT difficult.

I was wrong.

Never before have I had to rely so heavily on the Lord. I begged him to get me through the day. When all I wanted to do was to use choice words on the students who called me terrible names (on one occasion, I was called the "c" word), I closed my eyes, prayed for the Lord to give me the ability to forgive, and moved on. On the countless occasions where I was mistreated, I could hear the Lord whispering in my ear: "I love you. There is a purpose. Forgive them. My plan is greater than anybody else's." I've had to hold on to that hope (and to my Savior) this year. And he delivered me! 

Another way that the Lord brought me through this year was through my high school students. Man, they were the most incredible kids. I learned so much from them, built wonderful relationships with them, and I am going to miss those kiddos more than they will ever know. There were also some colleagues who were SO helpful this year. Any time I had a question about handling a situation with students, parents (or other people...), they were 100% supportive, and were eager to assist in any way that they could. I am really going to miss a lot of them.

I know that I normally, I would look back on this chapter of my life and say "That was the worst year of my life." But this time, I'm choosing to hold on to the few good things about this year. Instead of thinking about when I was wronged, I will think about the precious students and co-workers who added so much joy to my life. It's just not good to dwell on the bad. And quite frankly, the "bad" doesn't deserve to be a part of my life any longer. 

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Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

So I'm sure that the majority of you are at the lake (at least that's basically what instagram is telling me), and your're getting a savage tan/sunburn (unfortunately, I would be getting the latter of the two).

Well, get jealous people. The hubs and I are packing all day.

We're awesome. I know. :)

Our intention was to finish packing over the weekend, but with JoJo, everything changed. SO we are packing the rest of our house today. And we're going to make it fun (hello, Michael Jackson dance party).

Have a fabulous Memorial Day weekend, loves!

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Nails, Nails, Nails....

The colors this week are a combination.... "Tiffany Imposter" by Finger Paints, and "I Juggle... Men" by OPI

I NEVER wear blue nail polish, so this is a big step for me. And you can't really see the sparkly color in the picture, but in real life, it's legit. I like it!

Hope you guys have a great memorial day weekend!


The Nail Files
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A Different Friday

Today's post is going to be a little bit different... Yesterday, I lost probably one of the most hilarious, wonderful people in the world, my husband's grandma, JoJo.

I haven't really had to deal with death. I lost a friend when I was in high school, but we weren't THAT close... JoJo has been my #1 fan since the day we met. She swore up and down that she just KNEW that I was going to marry her grandson from the moment she laid eyes on me at Cracker Barrel. She loved to hear all about drama (whether she knew the people involved or not), always wanted to go to the movies, and was known for leaving the movie theatre with popcorn all over her shirt. So instead of high fiving about Friday (because quite frankly, this hasn't been a great week), I am high fiving for JoJo, and listing my 5 favorite things about her.

1. We loved listening to music. DJ & I have spent hours putting together playlists for JoJo. Once we gave her the CD, we had to hop in the car and drive all around Southeast Arkansas so she could hear every song. Her favorite song of all time was "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan. That song was on every mix we made (we felt that it wouldn't be acceptable otherwise). She also loved Elvis, so we had to make sure to include him too.

2. She loved her grandkids. One year, she asked DJ what he wanted for his birthday. His response was: "I want to fly in an airplane for the first time." She flew him to Dallas that year, and they had a very memorable weekend. That's the kind of grandma I want to be someday.

3. Every person who had ever crossed paths with JoJo didn't have a bad thing to say about her. She was probably one of the most loved people in the world.

4. We would go to the movies all the time, and we would have a blast! She was probably the best movie critic of all time. If there ever was a time that I went to a movie she didn't recommend, I would walk out of the theatre saying "I should have listened to JoJo."

5. Her faith in God was such a beautiful thing. I don't think there was a day that we were together where she didn't talk about going to heaven, ESPECIALLY after Doozer (her sweet husband) passed away. She loved the Lord (and kind of had a mild obsession with the Jews, which we always found funny?) with all of her heart. She was an encourager, a servant, and an incredible woman of God.

This is probably one of my favorite pictures of her. It was taken at our rehearsal dinner, and she had to just "strike a pose" (which was typical of her).

Her dream of going to heaven finally came true- and I couldn't be happier for her!


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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Music Library: After

Back in January, I posted about my music library. It was a big hot mess. At that time, I didn't realize that I wasn't going to return to DC, so this project was honestly a labor of love, and it became a project that was my attempt to simplify someone else's life. Here are a few of the "before" pictures to refresh your memory:

There's nothing good about that, is there?

Well, after MONTHS of sorting, labeling, boxing up, sweeping, etc., IT'S FINALLY DONE!!!!

I could not be more pleased with the results! Except those labels... Which I have to take off because they are gutting the building to replace the air conditioning (PTL).

Oh, and by the way, it's been like this since the building was opened....
 In the 70s. Gross.
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Monday, May 21, 2012

Letters from Leslyn

Dear Mondays,
I'm glad that you are no longer something that I dread. I am so happy that you are going to be pleasant to me again, now that I get to do something I've always dreamed of.

Dear Pizza Hut,
Thank you for having the most incredible crust on Pan Pizzas. For real.

Dear God,
THANK YOU for providing the most INCREDIBLE apartment for me and the hubs to live in.

Dear Hubs,
You're really cute. My students are so obsessed with you... It's kinda weird.

Dear Mom,
You only have 4 more early morning phone calls from me. I hope you enjoy them! :)

Dear moving boxes,
You're really, really heavy. I don't want to have to go back to the chiropractor because of you.

Dear AR weather,
You make me not want to exercise. At all. This is no bueno.

Dear readers,
You're totally awesome. Or if you're from OBU, "Ur totes awes"... Anyhow, thanks for the sweet comments. They always make my day. Keep them coming!!

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Friday, May 18, 2012

I Heart Fridays

This week was pretty cool. Let me tell you why.

1. I got to see my sister on her 14th birthday. Which was AWESOME. I love her.

2. I gave her some awesome nail polish for her birthday. And she shared. Because she's the best. The color is  "Watermelon" by Essie. 

3. We started packing. Which is stressful to some. But I like it. Yes, I'm strange. BTW, only 14 days until we move (momentary freak out moment).

4. One of my sweet friends got engaged to DJ's cousin!!! Check out that bling!!

We love being classy.

5. I only have a few more real days of school. I heart summer.



The Nail Files
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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Big Announcement

I hate keeping secrets. Especially really exciting ones. Like a few weeks ago, I found out that one of my good friends was getting engaged. And I couldn't talk to ANYBODY about it. I only had to keep that secret for 2 days.

Imagine keeping one for 3 MONTHS. Holy cow. It has been hard!!!! I mean, close family and friends know about it. But not everybody. However, I FINALLY get to share the news with you, my wonderful readers.


I recently announced my resignation at DC and shared that I would start grad school this summer. Well, after praying about it, DJ and I decided that I should go to school full time to get my masters in Music Education. Just last week, DJ got the most INCREDIBLE job offer at a corporation in Little Rock. What's awesome is that he was specifically praying for a certain salary, and God totally answered that prayer. He is good, isn't He?

We move in a whopping 2 weeks (gulp), so I am going to be quite busy for a little while! We have already started packing, and our house is looking super weird without any decor. Last night, as we were packing, I found myself getting a little bit emotional about the move... We are about to leave the place where our marriage began... Gosh, I'm NEVER this sentimental!

Anyways, we are super excited about the move! We will probably live in Conway (the location of my school), which is where I graduated from high school! Ah, memory lane...

That's my news. Sorry if you were hoping for a pregnancy announcement. Maybe you'll read about that in a few years. :)

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

99 things

So I found this awesome list from 'From Kristen With Love', and I totally am going to work on doing all of these things now. :) You should copy and paste this list, and see what all YOU have accomplished! It's really fun! Oh, and please comment if you decide to do this list too- I love to see what friends have accomplished!

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightening storm

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (I call them "mental health days")

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching

63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club

93. Got a tattoo

94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a law suit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee

While there are some things that I will never accomplish (see #85), I must say that I have the desire to cross quite a few of these things off of my list.
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