let why lead
Welcome to Let Why Lead, a place for the purposeful wife and mom. I’m Erica, and I'm passionate about living fully and filling my family with love and belonging. For regular reminders of the whys of your life, I hope you’ll keep coming back.
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10 Simple, Easy-to-Miss Pleasures of Home Life that You Can Be Grateful for Today

One of my goals for this year is to devote at least a bit of time every night to filling myself back up.

Fewer late-night sessions packing lunches and filling out kindergarten registration forms (oh wait, I did that on Sunday night) or binge-watching Downtown Abbey Season 5 (uh…did that last night!).

Clearly, I’ve got some work to do, but it’s only February. Hopefully I’ll have it down by the end of 2015. :)

10 Simple, Easy-to-Miss Pleasures of Home Life that You Can Be Grateful for Today

Writing in a gratitude journal? That one is big. Contemplative, spiritual, restorative—it checks all of my self-care boxes. :)

Whether you keep one or not, I hope reading this simple list helps you look at your surroundings with a fuller heart today.

10 Simple, Easy-to-Miss Pleasures of Home Life

1. Color-coordinated fruit, clothes, books—anything. Happy, happy.

2. Inexpensive daffodils in the spring.

3. The funny things kids say and do.

4. The relief you feel when your child has lost their special, precious random object and has recruited your help looking for it—and it magically turns up before any drama ensues. Sweet relief!

5. The moment when your kids are so lost in imaginative play that they forget about everything else. (Including your instructions to clean their room.) :)

6. The way the air smells first thing in the morning when you leave the house.

7. The sound of your husband rolling in the trash bins on his way in from work.

8. The soft pinkish blue of the sky when you open your shades first thing in the morning or when you stand at the kitchen sink that evening.

9. The way your child bars his teeth and wiggles around while you move a toothbrush around those chompers.

10. How warm the bed is in those moments after you first wake up, right before you have to get out of bed.


No post on gratitude would be complete without the monkeys who fill up my heart (and wear out my body!) every day.

What little things have you been grateful for lately? 


Adding Affordable Art to Your Home | 6 Etsy Artists You’ll Fall For

With a house full of empty walls, I’ve got art on my mind. I thought I’d mix things up and share some of my very favorite Etsy artists with you today. I absolutely believe that what’s on our walls seeps into the hearts of our families.

Art prints on Etsy are usually pretty affordable, and shopping through them means supporting a mom, wife, friend just like you and me. Let’s dive in!

Adding Affordable Art to Your Home | 6 Etsy Artists You'll Fall For

1. Spenderbuks

Danish artist Nynne Rosenvinge does abstract art prints in pastels. They’re feminine and whimsical with just a touch of mystery, thanks to the use of blacks and grays as well. I’ve had my eye on Nynne’s work for about a year, and I plan to purchase something as soon as I narrow it down. Maybe this one? Or this one for Quinn’s room? Choices, choices…

2. Sweet Dreams and Honey

For soft photography that makes you feel like you’re far, far away, British artist and mom Laura Evans is your girl. I have an abiding love for photos of populated beaches (which is random, since I’d rather be on an empty beach in real life), so I’m a bit obsessed with this print.

3. Honeycup

Most of this Australian-based artist’s work is of cute characters that would look darling in a nursery, but I’m also taken with this mixed media art print for anywhere in my home.

4. Up in the Air Somewhere 

Tell me you aren’t drooling over these hand-crafted ceramics with gold leafing. If you need a place to toss your keys, why not buy from this Midwesterner artist. (Can anyone resist gold polka dots??)

5. Eye Poetry Photography 

City lights, rolling country hills, galloping white horses—whatever your thing is, this artist has got it. Canadian Irene Suchocki says her work combines her love of travel and nature with a dreamlike aesthetic. Perfect description. I also really like her winter scenes, for some seasonal decor.

6. House of Belonging

I’m smitten—for the beauty of their pieces, for the quotes and sayings they choose, but mostly, for their vision. If what’s on our walls matters as much as I think it does, the family behind this shop agrees. My current favorites?

{1} “Little boys should never be sent to bed. They always wake up a day older.” Peter Pan

{2} “Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been called.” Esther 4:14

House of Belonging on Etsy

I’d love to hear where you guys have found affordable art for your home, since I’m on the hunt for mine! If you have any favorite Etsy shops or other art sources, fire away!

Oh and feel free to follow my “Art for the Home” board on Pinterest:

Follow Erica Layne | Let Why Lead’s board Art for the Home on Pinterest.


20 Kid-Approved Acts of Kindness You Can Do THIS Week

“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong, because someday in your life, you will have been all of these.” George Washington Carver | botanist, agricultural chemist, inventor, educator At the beginning of the year, my husband and…

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This Is Our Love Story (And Maybe Yours Too)

We’re a decade into our love story. It started with a boy who appeared on my doorstep during my sophomore year of college. Last night, that same boy snuck into our sons’ bedroom and made valentines with one son while the other snoozed soundly in his bed. That same boy who proposed with two dozen white roses is bringing home my…


20 Things You Can Do to Reduce Friction in Your Home Life

Shoes on the stairs, misplaced phone chargers, lost homework folders—these everyday annoyances add up, keeping us from living the calm, present lives we’re all chasing. (There’s some irony in chasing a calm life. But sometimes that’s just how it feels, right?) When we moved to our new home, all I cared about was setting up systems that would eliminate some of…