She enters our world with Grace….

Good Morning from beautiful Long Island. June is a favorite month for me. Everything is blooming, growing and thriving. The sun is warm and bright and the birds are happy and chirpy (especially at 4:30 am). So, I get up early and plot my day. I stroll my gardens and sip my much weaker coffee than I got used to in Spain. But, I am grateful that I slept well. I am grateful for lots of things today. If you are able to open your heart, again and again, many beautiful gifts surface and grow. My daughter is a June baby, a Gemini. I swear she was born with a college degree.

I went to Spain in April. International travel was still closed. My daughter was able to get approval from the Spanish government for me to join her for the birth of her baby. I was so shocked that I got a special “ok” from Spain. I knew she needed her Mama. I hadn’t seen my daughter in a year and a half. So, off I went. I luckily was vaccinated and felt safer to travel abroad. I was very excited and eager to get there. She had her baby two weeks after I arrived. Our Granddaughter, beautiful little sweet pea was born right before Mother’s Day. Mommy and baby were healthy and I prayed many times during her long labor that all would be ok. I prayed to my son in heaven, please HELP your sister! Five minutes later, she was born. Our precious Emilia was born at 2:34pm. I immediately remembered my son was born at 2:37 pm. I smiled, thinking he may have been helping all along. It was a beautiful experience. Sharing all of it with her and her husband. Holding my precious, perfect Granddaughter in my arms. I felt love bloom even stronger than when I had my own! She continued to fill my heart in so many ways. She expanded our family and didn’t even know how healing and special she truly is.

I am so proud of my daughter. She had a clear vision and a commitment to caring for her baby in the most beautiful, organic way. She and her husband were a team. They both found a rhythm and a schedule. I was amazed at how mellow and content her little baby girl was. She mostly…eats, sleeps and poops like a pro. She cries little and is easily soothed. She filled my heart with such pure love. Each day, watching her thrive and grow and feed, feed, feed! I was so happy. I took a zillion pics and videos. I couldn’t even think of leaving her. I allowed myself to cry ALOT, simply because I didn’t want to leave them. Goodbyes can be bitter sweet. The cab ride to the airport was a snotty, hysterical mess. I tried to keep it together? Then I thought. Don’t hold back. Tears are our way of expressing the deep love and admiration we hold for those we love and cherish. I know I will return. I know they will come back and visit. We are lucky to have face time and whatts app. Yesterday, as Emilia turned 6 weeks, her Mommy got her first smiles from her. I can imagine that LOVE spreading through my daughter. I reminded her that it just keeps getting better. The bond grows stronger, she becomes more alert and adapts to life outside the womb. She will fill your heart and soul…like no other. Love is a beautiful thing.

This circle of life. One we certainly dream of, but, we can never quite predict the outcomes. I’ve learned to truly embrace and cherish the “moments”. I’ve learned to collect beautiful memories and write about them often. I’ve learned that love spans across countries and continents. I never even dreamed my Grandchildren would live in Europe. Up until 2019, I never even travelled outside the USA. Now that I caught the “bug”, I can’t wait to explore Europe over and over again. In my previous post, I shared about exploring Spain and how humbled I was by the culture and lifestyle. Life’s lessons. They keep coming if you open yourself up to new experiences and adventures. Embracing the GOOD….heals us. Expands our horizon. She is our Light…our little sweet pea of Hope and everything good in our world today. As I finish this post, my daughter sends me a video of her exploring her activity center. She is wide eyed, GORGEOUS, and kicking up a storm. Her little voice and excitement fills me with such pride and joy and I am teary typing this. A precious child, a Gift from God. Thankful beyond the heavens. One beautiful moment before I left Spain, my daughter was feeding her baby. She looked up at me and said… Mom, when she sleeps and closes her eyes, she looks and reminds me of Mikey. I was speechless for a moment. Then… I remembered his big, beautiful, sparkly eyes. The kind that can take your breath away. I’m so glad she see’s a glimpse of him in her baby. I like to think he is forever watching over her and his sister. It’s the little things…that become unforgettable, irreplaceable and forever in our hearts. Our sweet grandchild is our most precious gift of all.

Love & Light

~leelee

Adventures & Living Life with Love & Passion

Hello! It’s me, Leelee. I’m so happy to return to blog land. I am excited to catch up and pen my leelee moments as I feel and see them. Truly, I’ve missed you! Pandemically and poetically. Life seems to be returning to a new normal with far less restrictions and rules in the USA. Europe, is still extremely cautious, uber diligent about masks (surgical or N95)the only exception of No mask, but, only when eating! They are happy to oblige. Health is most important. Covid in this small quaint college town was very low. As the temperatures began to rise, the mask rule did not waiver! The rate of vaccination is much slower in Spain. No one ever complained or didn’t comply. It was quite humbling for a New Yorker!
I hope this beautiful, sunshiney day brings a peace and smile to your heart. I write this with so much oooomph! So much emotion and a bit of good ole jet lag. Hola, & Buenos Dias from Spain! I quite enjoyed learning a bit of Spanish prior to me living there for two months. I practiced everyday and felt confident that I could communicate my wants and needs, and find my way around in Santiago de Compostela. Well, I was wrong. Learning and speaking a new language takes years of practice. Also, living in that country helps and listening to the different dialects. Honestly, I was in southern Spain, close to Portugal and many are Galician. It’s a mix of Portuguese and Spanish. I was fascinated to learn about it and the history of St. James. Spiritually, learning about Santiago and it’s roots, moved me. It is said and believed that St. James is buried there. They certainly love and worship their God and their faith in him. Churches and church bells are everywhere. I tried to visit every one of them. I was again moved and in awe. Immaculate, clean and lovingly restored. History, wars and politics. Spain is full of it. Santiago certainly has amazing history and a story. It dates back to early 1700’s. The city center is one of the most clean, organic, historic and spiritually beautiful places I have explored and instantly fell in love with all of it. The Cathedral Santiago de Compostela is breathtaking, pristine. I couldn’t stop photographing it, over and over. I toured a few museums (for 1 or 2 Euro’s to enter). I simply couldn’t get enough. The artifacts, sculptures, tombs, saints and glowing, sparkling gold everywhere, many beautiful, sculpted angels in abundance! Just mesmerizing. I strolled around daily and walked the quaint blocks for hours and hours. I never grew tired. I absorbed the culture, the cafe’s, outdoor markets, I sampled all delicacies from Galicia & Spain. I found my favorite cafe’s and little bakeries with their famous Galician almond torte and portuguese custard pastries. I adapted to living in calmness easily. Peace.. was simply abundant, everyday. No horns blaring no yelling, fighting, no anger or hostility. I never saw any areas of sick and addicted. I was fascinated by that. I enjoyed the shopping and the authentic musicians, soloists, bagpipers and ancient horns serenating the squares and praza. I loved learning the history of this quaint, charming, peaceful town. I quickly learned what they value and live for. It’s simple traditions and caring & loving their family. The Galician’s know how to live. Many migrated from Portugal & set off to Santiago. Many of them walked across borders. They all paved a spiritual trail. So personal, brave and healing. Their authentic, private pilgrimage. I get it. I’m on the same wave and vibe myself. They sought to find a better life. To journey across the countries and find themselves, their beliefs, perhaps deepen their faith. Today, thousands of people, young and old still walk the El Camino, daily. They travel from all over Europe. Their final destination is Santiago de Compostela. Some trek a month, or several months on foot! Some peddle across countries. They all have one thing in common; It is their life long dream. To explore, to hike to walk to bike, and most importantly, to meet new people along the entire journey by walking the El Camino. The center square of Santiago, the Cathedral, is where everyone comes and celebrates their excursion. Hikers, trekkers, bikers, all scream & shout and cheer & chant! in pure delight. They have reached their destination. They have accomplished a life long dream and pilgrimage. I would sit and watch them arrive and celebrate with pure joy. All from different countries. Small or large Groups and families, young lovers and friends. The energy is uplifting and inspirational. Tired feet and bodies. Loving Life. Being in that moment of bliss! The lifestyle is admirable. Europeans value family and God above anything else. I could feel it all around me. I could see it daily, in their eyes, smiles and faces. It was a spiritual awakening for me…living there among the peaceful, quiet most humble people. Observing, taught me so much about simplicity and abundance. I left with a feeling of admiration. I made a sacred pact that I too would attempt to walk the El Camino one day. It also taught me something else. The journey inward is what most seek. To grow and expand our horizons. The final destination isn’t necessarily the goal. Most cherish the experience and knowledge you gain along the way. Priceless!
I also observed the culture daily. Socialization, walking, and strolling are part of daily life. The cafe’s are packed mid morning till late at night. They socialize with a cold Estrella beer daily, often before noon. They don’t rush or get up early. They eat late and stay up late. Everyday, in the late afternoon, everything and everyone stops. They close most stores at 3pm and reopen in the evening. A siesta perhaps for some. I thoroughly enjoyed my late day naps, after walking for hours and hours, I rested. Dinner, is a light fare, usually after 8:30 pm, often closer to 10pm. Seafood and fish are the staple. They enjoy simplicity. They love to chat, laugh and spend time outside. Children are welcome everywhere. I would stare all day at the adorable babies and children, dressed like they were going to a formal affair. I admired mothers and daughters all having matching outfits. The boys match too! Mucho adorable for sure. On Sunday, young and old dress up and play at the park and perhaps head to their favorite cafe. The elderly dress up in their Sunday best and they stroll. Slowly and quietly. They chat it up on plentiful park benches and absorb the sunshine and socialization. Of course, Sunday’s, holy day, Everything closes. They have mastered ” a day of rest” and nobody is mad about it. Those quaint streets in the city center have ice cold beer and wine and delicious espresso coffee! Addicting for sure. I noticed much love and laughter all around. I got a kick out of hearing American music often. I stared in awe of life in Santiago. Families together, sipping drinks and nibbling tapas. I quite enjoyed people watching and the art of doing absolutely nothing. Brilliant! I can’t wait to return to Spain and find new amazing places to visit and fill my heart with awe and joy. Ciao for now, Adios…amigo’s. I know I will see you again one day.

~leelee

Winter moods

Hello! to all my snowed in friends! I hope you are staying warm and healthy. The foot of snow that beautifully landed on Long Island, actually lived up to the media Hype! I put up a big pot of soup and watched the flakes swirling around. I photographed some pretty moments. I felt gratitude for my warm and cozy home.

I figure with all this quarantining and a blast of super cold air, I would need a big project to propel me through the long, freezing February days. Honestly, and for the 100th time, I am ONCE again, errrrr.. DE cluttering all my stuff. None of it ever appears as “junk” to me! I think I secretly hoard things that spark sentimental vibes (not necessarily JOY! OK, so thank you Marie Kondo!) As many of you know, we tend to hold onto objects and “things” when a person dies. It’s a part of them and hard to part with. Over the last decade, I have parted with some things of my parents. I took on a huge project last March. I took months and months sorting through the family pictures. Bins and bins of photos, memories, our entire childhood. I just focused on organizing five bins for each sibling. Then I organized all my own photos and made albums and scrapbooks. I decorated my scrapbooks sorta like Martha would. My dream trips and all the memories that were made, labeled and all gussied up. Then I thought… who will want to schlep these around for the next 100 years? I still completed it. It was important to me. I sat alone and stared at 1000 photos of my son. We didn’t have cell phones when he was born. It was camcorders and cameras. He, my Michael, was a bright, happy, delicious child. His energy and enthusiasm, his love for life, his SMILE…it all jumped into my heart. He was the first grandchild in a large family. A prince for sure! He was a BIG deal. Adored by everyone. God, I miss him so, so much. Be grateful today for what you have and hold. I am grateful that love remains….even after they are gone from here.

My next project is super exciting. I am decorating and making a new nursery for my Granddaughter to be! My baby is having a baby! My beautiful daughter, who resides in Spain is having a baby girl. We are all over the moon and anxious at the same time. Spain, yep, Europe! All I know is, I have to get there by May! I have stayed positive and determined. We have been separated over a year. They frequently came home for long visits. UGH… Homesick is a real thing now. So, I allow myself to have a good pandemic cry every now and then. I highly recommend you let those emotions surface. It’s real, isolation and anti socialization effects all of us. Also, this “pandemic”, is nothing anyone EVER could have predicted. I also stand strong in remembering the most important part. This Pandemic will NOT last forever. With that being said, I need to acknowledge and send love, condolence and compassion for anyone that has lost their loved one due to COVID 19. As of late, 422,000 Americans have died due to COVID 19. I am so very sorry for your loss. I send you love and healing light as you mourn your loved one. Our world has changed, this is a fact. The vaccine will be helpful for so many essential/front line workers. Thank you for ALL you do, everyday for US. We have not forgotten YOU. I hope that by this summer we see the light and businesses and musicians can perform again and stay afloat. I pray we see a decline over time. Allow yourself to do your part. A little something. If everyone shows kindness and compassion, imagine how healing that can be!

Now, onto the nursery. I dream about it everyday. I love design and decor. I love transforming a room and repurposing items. I was feeling brave and decided to freshen up some plain old furniture pieces. I watched a ton of YouTube videos and decided to give it a shot. I am so glad I did! The painting process was much easier than I expected. A couple of coats later and it transformed into a beautiful piece! Easy peasy. I am totally enjoying myself. A new baby! What could be more exciting? She is already loved and I can’t wait to meet her.

Find the miracles in your world today. Even the tiniest ones matter. Take good care and stay safe.

Love & Peace

~leelee

January thoughts 2021

So, it looks like WE made it. Through the 2020 uncertainty and this year of struggles, strife, eruptions, protests, violence, and a pandemic, chaotic, elections and an eruption of extreme emotions, making our world sometimes unstable, divided and unsafe. COVID 19 is not over. 2020 is, but, the virus is very much here. The vaccine has been approved and they are plugging along as best as they can. I sincerely hope we can thank Pfizer for eradicating and saving lives one day. I saw my town numbers quadruple in the last couple of months. I now know many families that have gotten COVID 19. I am just laying low. I really am avoiding contact and exposure. I cooked meals for a neighbor for two weeks while she recovered. I try and do my little part. Yesterday, I avoided taking down my twinkly Christmas tree…just a week more! and then I thought…Well…why NOT? I quickly went about my Saturday, cleaning, cooking and COVID crafting! It’s become a big favorite of mine. Occupy your mind for a few hours, focus on art and creating a new wreath or sign. It’s simple fun. It’s relaxing and therapeutic. I gathered all my hearts and Red and Pink bows, flowers, ribbons and went to town. I enjoy creating whimsical decor. Valentines day is inspiring and romantic and it also stirs up my serotonin! Bascially, I glue and attach shit together and I feel loved! Be good to yourself this year. Do things that Make you feel Happy. Try new projects and hobbies. We all have time to expand our horizons. I love baking for my neighbors and dropping off a special treat. Remember, it’s the little things that wind up being so Important. So many pantry’s need food items. Make a small donation to your local churches and food pantries. We all need to take care of one another. I believe, hope & kindness will see us through.

I take time to write. We tend to let the most important priorities fall off. Like, self love, self care rituals In 2021, these are so important, now more than ever before. It’s ok, we humans are easily distracted! What is important is that you get back to it. Writing is a HUGE release. It is a tool for healing, a tool for anger, grief, and it can also help you process and start to heal your pain or grief or trauma. Perhaps you have pushed down childhood trauma? abuse? Start to write it out. Burn it if you want! Just get it out. If you can spare ten minutes a day to journal your thoughts, what you’re feeling.. or not feeling, try it. Take a month to write about YOU. It can be a gift of releasing sadness and grief after a break up. It can motivate you to start that project, paint that room, tear up the rug, finish a floor or redecorate your living space. It can help you clear out feelings of loneliness, insecurities, self doubt, guilt, self loathing. If you are feeling depressed, writing can open up the soul. It hurts to write sometimes, it hurts to remember sometimes. What is important here is to just Write it OUT… get it out, release it. I promise you.. you will feel a lightness inside. Another act of self love, self improvement.

So, take small steps. This isn’t a race. Life isn’t a race. We hold many chapters of our lives deep in our soul. Peeling some of the layers exposes us to find our new self. Our authentic self. Our world is forever changing and evolving. So should we. You’re worth trying something different or new. It’s ok to change your course. You can heal pain and trauma. Small steps. Most importantly, remember that you matter. Get OUTSIDE in nature. Gods gifts allow us to appreciate simplicity. Fresh air, tall trees, trails and waterfalls. Gardens and places that make you smile and feel loved and supported. Finding your very own gratitude and nourishing your soul. Let that be your mantra and motivation for 2021. Our new 46th President, Joe Biden said; Our country is in desperate need of healing and hope. I think he “gets it”! For that, I am hopeful too. Peace and Love to all of you in 2021.

~ leelee