Author: Samantha Leslie

Elena’s Birth Story

Each pounding wave crashes hard and is felt deep through my core. At first, the waves seep into my pelvis, then creep into each thigh. Breathe in and howl out again and again. Next, relax, let go, and sink into the pain. Each contraction was like a wave starting low, building strength, then peaking. I was determined to conquer the waves ahead. Before I began to surf through 14 hours of natural labor, I felt like my little one was never going to arrive. Everyday I would go on long walks with my husband, friends, and mom. I tried everything I could to get labor started, the birth ball, raspberry tea, and spicy food! Everything was unplanned and unknown. Even the due date was uncertain. The Doctors office had recorded November 30th but when I called to verify, a nurse said based on both ultrasounds the due date was November 17th. The reality was that my future, and my baby’s future, were in God’s hands. Brightness flooded the morning as we waited for Elena, much …

The Stages

It has been awhile since I have posted to the blog! I have unknowingly focused a lot of energy on going through “the stages”… The first stage was morning sickness and fatigue, which made me feel at times kind of useless and depressed. The second and third stages have been alternating back and fourth! One stage is nesting and the other is figuring out my “work life”. I knew my focus was off centered due to the emotions of pregnancy but I didn’t realize how common this is for a lot of people and that I am not some exception! After we got home from vacation, my husband probably thought I was crazy for how fast I put the nursery together! Now, I keep saying all the old furniture needs painting and it should get done before the baby is born. Oh and there is the constant anxiety over the fact I don’t have a concrete job, I will be a new mom, and have no idea where Uncle Sam is sending us after Elena …

Pure Joy

Dear Little One, You are the size of a plum! It is almost the 2nd trimester! this means (hopefully) less food/smell aversions, sickness, and more energy! This also means we told all of our family and friends about you (aka. Facebook “official”)! For the first time I got to celebrate mother’s day not only for all the mamas I look up to, but for this new special family I treasure. Nic told everyone “there have only been a few times in my life when my wife has left me speechless. The first was when I saw her walking down the aisle at our wedding. the second was when she told me I was going to be a dad.” Now, I am pretty sure I scarred him speechless with my peppiness when we first met and maybe a few times when arguing haha… let’s be real, no one is perfect! But wow your father is a special person. He tries to rub my belly and give you a kiss or two, often when I am grumpy and …

With Me, With You

Dear Little One, How dreamlike it is to realize you are growing inside of me at this very moment. Knowing our life will completely change come November 30th, is absolutely unreal in the most blessed way. You were not necessarily planned but at the same time you were not unplanned. That statement is slightly confusing so let us put it this way, your dad and I have always known embracing a family of our own was a life of love and purpose. We had discussed wanting to to begin a family in the summer. There was a different plan though that God new about as he watched over us in the stars. Come late February you were with me and I with you. I plan to continue journaling this adventure with you, so that one day, your curious mind can look back at the memories captured and know there is great love in this wild world. Keep on growing little one… its going to be quite the ride. PS: These journal entries may be personal but I want …

Lost In a World

Flipping through pages we dive deep touching the atmosphere of another world. Our minds wander with the written words of an artist lost in thought. Nerves tingle with new knowledge and we suddenly become attached to this unfamiliar world. We embrace it as our own for just a little while every day, until reality blows the pages shut. A book seems so simple: a writer, concept, pen, and paper, but this is a facade. Books leave us legacies to remember, unheard stories, and magical galaxies across a multitude of lands… space. It takes true grit for an author to put their whole heart into hundreds of pages that may or may not be welcomed by readers. I appreciate this courage, whether the book I read ends up being more of a flop than a success. Writing for Cinnamon Starlight encompasses the same concept. Books are meant to inspire the mind and soul with ideas to enrich daily life. I remember the first book I read entirely out loud to my parents, Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. …

Denim Dreams

One leg steps into a pair of faded blue pants. Then wobbling to keep balanced, the next leg settles as her foot discovers an opening to reach the ground. Hooking her fingers through the belt loops, she wiggles into the tightly woven fabric. While in sync with a few jumps (more so looking like a dance in honor of the day), a slight stretch helps the pant fit to perfection around her waist. There is something about wearing a great pair of denim jeans that can seem down to earth and sexy all at once. Remember the time when we all walked around in leggings 24/7? In actuality most of us still do, because who does not loVe the modern freedom spandex offers throughout the day-to-day life of women. Now though, at 22, instead of feeling uncomfortable and itchy, I search for the perfect pair of fitted jeans. I never realized until recently it is not the style that previously influenced my hatred of the pant, it was the fact that I had not learned quality jeans make all …

#Goals

Is there room for me at the table? I see them laugh and wonder if they know about my secret. Only I can hear the whispering. It tells me I should move on, Past the hidden conversations, manipulative snickering, and intolerable exclusion. The bell rings. I am meant for something more. Really though, aren’t we all?   That was then, This is now.   People ask… “What do you do?” My thought hidden deep behind hazel eyes… “Well… I eat chocolate every night, sing in the shower, and watch too much Netflix” Instead, it seems the expectation of an answer meets the qualification of knowing… I am meant to bring glowing life into the world, Or to find power in the jungles of concrete towers.   So I pick my poison with pride, With the knowledge we all have a choice, And  in this very moment I choose neither. I am content discovering who I am in the present. Love on my lips. Paint seeping on canvas. Words touching keys. Don’t you see? We are all meant to be …

Wanderlust in Santa Rosa

Most call wanderlust a trend… a trending travel word, a trending thought process. After at least 3 years of hearing and reading this word from college friends, magazines, and even professors, wanderlust is here to stay. Wanderlust is a trend no longer but now more so a dreamer’s way of approaching life with an inexorable determination to dive deep into the invisible boundaries between cultures. Personally, I love the concept of wanderlust. In college stepping through classrooms I would hear peers talk about how they have wanderlust. I sometimes have to admit a bad twinge of annoyance was hidden under a happy ambiance. I graduated with a fashion merchandising degree. Often, people do not view the degree seriously, but just as most in college this degree was earned through tears, sleepless nights, and 1,440 days of hard work. Okay enough of my rambling, the point of bring up my degree is that I know these girls who are beautifully bright. Yet, they would sit before class scrolling through Instagram proclaiming the desire of wanderlust in their hearts, …

Starlight in the New Year

“You can be clumsy yet clever. You can be classy yet poor. It’s not tearing a leaf off a calendar which will make you a better or a worse man but the attitude that you have from dusk till dawn every day.” – Indeewara Jayawardane Change: A prevalent instant that has created a different path consistently throughout my life. This change has not always been my will but often the will of faith’s hand. As I gaze back at the past years remembering the 9 schools I have attended and the 4 times I have moved, The New Year approaches like sunbeams tasting growing evergreens. As many believe, it is a time for new beginnings. How can we not have faith in this fresh start, but how can we not also view every day waking up as a beginning to seize? Just as an Evergreen, our leaves remain in place growing with the minutes, hours, and days. As long as our hearts are nourished, goals are set, and mind exercised in strength, new beams of light …

Romantic Untouchable Badass

2017! Who will I be? Looking in the mirror, I want to see a blank pallet. But I have not changed, Only remain the same. I am who I was made to be. Habits move with motion, But my core remains still, Even with time moving uphill. There are days I want to feel romantic, Hours I want to feel badass, Minutes I want to feel untouchable. So what is my style? Style changes with mood, So don’t tell me I need a staple. Fashion finds me when needed. When I want to be a poet, That’s when I feel most romantic. I dream of a dress made in the deep Atlantic. When I want to be a fitness queen, That’s when I feel most badass. I wear my workout gear with sass. When I want to be a model, That’s when I feel most untouchable. I strut my strappy LBD to not be functional. Who will I be in 2017? I will be me. Stylist: Cara Cubbage Photographer: Nicholas Scarpinato – http://www.nicholasscarpinato.com/ Clothing: Editorial was …