Tuesday, September 30, 2008

September 30. Not July 30.

It was 93 degrees here in sunny Southern California today.  I wore (from the bottom, up) Sketchers, jeans and a sweater...a turtleneck sweater with flouncy sleeves.  

"Leanne," you say, "why did you think it would be a good idea to wear any form of sweater on a day like today?"

"You," I answer, "obviously you don't understand that when it's the day before October, the weather should allow for a bundling up of sorts."

So, just to make sure that I am not completely crazy, I decided to do a Google search for "Fall Clothes".  Among many other things that support my nutty ideas, I found an article stating that the following are important parts of "The Basic Elements of a Fall Wardrobe":

Fabrics:  corduroy, faux fur, suede, cable knit, quilted fabrics and wool
Pieces:   turtlenecks, long cardigan sweaters, jeans, pants, scarves/mittens, long skirts, long- sleeved button down shirts, boots, hoodies, etc.

Next Tuesday is supposed to be 73.  I guess I'll have to break out my wooly gloves and go buy me a pair of Uggs.

Come on, California.  Could you at least get it below 70 for October?  That would be great.

The individual responsible for this list obviously does not reside in Southern California.

Yay for stuff!

The rest of "us" has finally been redeemed from Middle America.   My Mom arrived yesterday to begin her new contract in Fountain Valley, and along with her she brought a UHaul filled with most of the things we left in Missouri when we moved to California two years ago.

There are still a couple of prized possessions that I suspect may be gone forever, but we got back a ton of pictures and books, dishes, curtains and other various parts of our past we'd forgotten about.  Yesterday was a very busy day of unloading, unpacking, cleaning and visiting.  And we still have a TON of stuff that needs to find a home in this apartment.  And I look forward to finding those homes.

For now, I'm content to see our dishes and crockpot (the one of two items we actually received from our wedding gift registry) sitting on our countertop as I go along with my busy day.

  Speaking of which, I need to start grading some papers!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Let's call it an experiment

Lately, there's been a lot of talk around Revolution about "being" the church.  With the start of Life Groups, a lot of us now have opportunities on a weekly basis to step up into our role as "the Church" and I am hoping to go as far as to utilize this very blog on a regular basis to give you (my readers) opportunities to help others whom you may not even know.  So here is your first opportunity.

There is a couple I know who's gone through the adoption process but still has a few fees to pay before everything is completed.  The total left is around $500.  To a lot of us, that's not a huge sum of money.  But to this family, it will help close a chapter of their lives and move on into the future as a fully legal family.  Would you consider helping them?

You need to be aware that when I do this, I (typically) won't give names.  Therefore, you can either do a trust fall in the form of a blank check given to me or you can email me and I can connect you with whoever might have the need (or let you know where you can buy a gift card, etc.).

As the title of this blog suggests, this is an experiment.  I hope to see a positive outcome from my faithful readers!  Wouldn't it be cool to have a blog that's dedicated to randomly meeting needs?  Wouldn't it be cool to be a reader and a need-meeter of that blog?

If you can help this amazing family, email me (Leannelytle@gmail.com).  

Friday, September 26, 2008

A challenge

I've spent the last couple of nights reading my Self magazine.  The focus of this issue seems to be almost solely on issues surrounding Cancer (mostly breast cancer).  And let me tell you, I'm a little concerned.

Let me preface by saying that there is a history of cancer in my family.  Neither of my parents have suffered, but my Grandmother and Great Aunt both lost their lives to Breast Cancer...so I have cause to be somewhat worried.  I think.

Okay, so there are a few things.  First, over and over again I've read that to keep your chances of developing cancer down, exercise and keeping weight at a healthy level is paramount.  I've been working on weight loss the last 6 weeks, but only for the sake of aesthetics and not having to buy a whole new wardrobe.  This takes my motivation to a whole new level.
Second, I read about these things called BPA's and a woman who believes they are to cause for her development of the disease.  BPA is freaking everywhere.  If you don't believe me, go here.  

To those of you who are alarmists, I hope this doesn't ruin your day.  But I do hope that it will give you pause to look at your life and think about what you are doing to and with your body and if you are taking the best care of it as you can.  I firmly believe that God has given us our bodies, and just like everything else he's given us, we are supposed to take care of it.  We can't treat our bodies wrongly and expect them to last or even work correctly for us.

My challenge to you today is to take the link above and do a little cancer research.  But I not only want you to get information; I want you to find ONE thing that you can change about the way you live that might help your body stay healthier longer.

My goal?  30 minutes a day of exercise.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My life is my job

Has anyone ever had one of those weeks where, although great things are happening, it feels like nothing is getting accomplished?

As I sit at my desk after just waking up at 8:45 (almost unheard of for me) looking at the disaster that is my home realizing that I have no clothes because my laundry is incomplete and not even here because I left it at my personal laundrymat (my in-law's)...I think to myself...

So this is what it would be like if I worked full time.  

And, for now, I'm really glad that's not the case.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I have the smartest 18 month old ever

Well, I'm sure there are others like her.  And even some more advanced.  But this morning, after breakfast, we were in the living room reading books and Bella stood up and pointed to her diaper.  I figured that meant she already peed or pooped, because that's what it usually means.  But I went with my instincts and asked if she wanted to try using her potty.  We both ran into the bathroom, I took her diaper off, and to my surprise, it was dry.  So she sat down on the potty and after about a minute, I hear this wonderful tinkling sound.  Bella peed in the potty for the first time ever!  Yay!  

And here is the evidence...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Oh the things you can get away with...

...when you're 18 months old.

Today, Bella's lunch was turkey and provolone on toasted rye, tomato/roasted red pepper soup and applesauce (which I gave her toward the end of the meal).  She wasn't the least bit interested in the rye bread until the applesauce was introduced.  That's when she decided, since the bread couldn't possibly get any worse, maybe she should try dipping it IN the applesauce.  Well, I guess that was a good idea because that's how she proceeded to finish the entirety of the bread.

Far be it for me to keep my daughter from trying new things.  Even if they might seem gross to the adult eye.  

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Halloween help!

Since my husband is currently elbow deep in "The Fringe" I have no one to talk to about this except the blogosphere.  

We need halloween costume ideas.  We'd love to have a family theme, but I'm finding it's easier said than done.  So I've been looking at everything from farm animals to the Jetsons (there's a pretty cool Jane Jetson costume) to....well, you name it and I've been looking at it.

So here's a chance for you, my readers, to help us, The Lytles, come up with some ideas for this halloween.  Nothing is out of the question, so lay it on me!

I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Dear lister of sale-838585793

I want your chair.

Christopher makes fun of my new-found hobby of checking Craigslist daily for deals that, even if they are amazing, I don't have the extra cash or storage space to take advantage of. I love to shop, even if I don't buy anything, so Craigslist is PERFECT for me. And here are the reasons why:

1. There is no impulse buying. Any purchase made on Craigslist must be quite calculated and you have to have the proper equipment to be able to pick up the item(s) you are purchasing, which leads me to point 2...

2. I have a Dodge Intrepid. Most things I want don't fit in my car. And even if they did, I would probably have to drive out to Hollywood or Santa Monica because that's where all the cool stuff is anyway, and honestly...

3. Gas is too expensive to drive to pick up someone else's junk when I haven't seen it in person to know it's really okay and they're not just trying to lure me miles away from my home in order to break down my defenses and sell me something crappy simply because I don't want to have wasted the trip.

So I ask you: What is worse? Spending time looking at things I can't have just because I can and it fills my desire to "shop" (I like to think of it more as hunting) OR going to actual stores and spending money I don't have on stuff I don't really need, or, in some cases, don't even want?

I thought so.

So Christopher, if you're reading this, I hope you can appreciate the fact that I'm on Craigslist instead of NY & Company dot come or victoria' secret dot com or borders dot com or going to the mall every other day spending more money that I shouldn't be spending.

And for the rest of you, it's true. If I had my $60 of blow money (it's the money we budget to spend on anything we want) already saved up, this chair would be mine. I have no idea where I would put it, but it is now my goal to have a *fully functioning* barber chair in my home.

And I did show Christopher, and he thought it would be pretty cool too.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I wish the world could revolve around me

I think I have the only 18-month old around who is not totally enthralled with the TV when it's on.  For the last half hour, I've been trying to get some work done on the computer, so I put the Jungle Book on for Bella.  The entire time, she has been standing next to me, crying for me to pick her up.  When I pick her up, she sits on my lap and watches the TV from across the room.

Apparently, Isabella is a very social creature who cannot bare to be alone on the other side of the room watching a dancing bear.  As we speak, she is sitting on my lap attempting to pull my face down to look her in the eye and she is crying because I'm not doing it.

Don't get me wrong, I love playing with her.  When she woke up from her nap, we played in her room.  Most days, we go for walks and play chase all around the house.  But God forbid that I try to get anything done that doesn't involve her while I am in her presence. 

Yay for being 18 months old and thinking the entire world revolves around you.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I woke up and was getting ready to go start another day of intern life at Mountain Christian Church in Joppa, MD. Uncharacteristically, I had my TV tuned to one of the morning news shows, so for once, I actually knew what was happening as soon as the media knew what was happening. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I stood frozen in my make-shift basement apartment staring at planes crash into the twin towers just a few hours away from where I was standing.

By the time I'd made it to the office, one of the towers had fallen and the other was pretty close to the same. The pentagon, which was only a short drive down I-95 from where I lived, had also been targeted. Heath (my boss) told me to go home.

I didn't go home. I went to my college campus where all my friends and I stayed in the lounge of the guy's dorm for (what seemed like) two days straight wondering what the heck was going on. No classes (they were cancelled), no work (a lot of stuff closed down for those 2 days) and no clue what just happened to our neighbors (when you live in Maryland, New York and DC, although you may not like it sometimes, are definitely neighbors).

Here's to the memory of the 343 New York City Firefighters and the 2,974 civilians who lost their lives on that day. Here's to the children who've been growing up without parents and grandparents...the spouses who've bravely faced the loss...the parents who saw their children die needlessly.

May we remember today, as a country, that vengeance is not the answer. More lives lost will not bring back our dead.

And may we remember, as the Church (if, indeed, you are part of the Church) to take care of the widows and the orphans...for this is true religion.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

It's okay to pat yourself on the back sometimes

It's been a long busy week. Which explains why I haven't done an update on Gustav (no major damage...yay) or Kenya (they finally left from New Orleans on Thursday instead of Monday).

I'm quite proud of myself for this week. I exercised almost everyday. I even incorporated yoga because my hips are turning into those belonging to an 85 year old woman (I need to get new shoes). I always feel better when I do yoga. I scheduled my week and, for the most part, stuck to it. That's a huge step for me. I still have a long way to go (scheduling dates with my hubby, family time, time with God, etc.), but I took a step in the right direction. I even RSVP'd to a party. Granted, I did it an hour before it started...I still did it! This morning, I knew I needed to get away, so instead of forcing myself to stay in Downey out of obligation, I left at 6:30 and headed to the beach for an hour long vacation. I needed the beach. Oh, and I'm working on an article for possible publication (long shot, but I'm still working on it).

On top of all that, I think God finally broke through something that I didn't even know was there. He just keeps coming closer...layer by layer. I'm grateful that He knows how to get through to me. He knows I don't have a clue how to get past myself, so He's gotta do most of the work.

And right now, I'm going to ignore the urge to think about what implications that last statement might hold for my own parenting, turn my computer off, take a shower and go to bed.

Sometimes doing the right thing means not being so hard on yourself all the time. At least for me that's what it means.

Monday, September 1, 2008


My friends from New Orleans are scattered over much of the Southern United States. My mom is among them (she flew down to meet the Kenya team on Friday, and evacuated to Paragould, Arkansas Saturday morning). I just checked on Gustav and he's still a Cat 3 with a possibility of strengthening. I'm tempted to stay up for another couple hours until the next advisory pops up, but I know I need to sleep.

Waiting for a hurricane is the most bizarre experience ever. You never know what's actually happened until after the storm, so until then, all you can do is pray. Or, like some people I know, have parties so everything in the freezer gets eaten before they leave town and their fridge stops running. Truth be told, although I'm nervous for my friends down South, I'm a little jealous that I'm missing the party.