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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2014 Wrap-up & Thank You!

It was a productive year here at Let Why Lead! I did a re-design, wrote 9 articles for other sites, finally started a newsletter, made some wonderful new friends and connections, hosted round two of the Marriage Diaries, got quoted in the WSJ, and published 122 posts. Phew! (All for barely any money / just because I love doing it! haha)

I wanted to share some of my best posts today. If nothing else, it helps me see the forest for the trees—what I’m really writing about week after week. And if you missed any, now’s your chance to catch them!

Top 5 Posts of 2014 

42 Ways to Make Your Kids Feel Absolutely Loved – For sure my favorite post of the year!

12 Must-See TED Talks for Purposeful Women – Pinned like crazysauce. :)

The One-Dimensional Mom – A warm fuzzy about how our kids see us.

One Word to Erase from Your Vocabulary – I admit the response to this one kind of surprised me!

What We’ve Lost and What We’ve Gained – since becoming parents.

My More Unassuming Favorites

Wholehearted Living: That Time I Played

Wholehearted Living: Sometimes People Will Hurt You – When that guy wanted to have me fired.

“Do You Have Any More Stories?” What Children Gain When You Open Up

A Surprising Top-Searched Post

Wholehearted Living: Knowing Your Shame Triggers

One that Struck a Chord 

The Difference Between Being a Single Parent and Parenting Solo

Best of Let Why Lead 2014

I couldn’t end the year without a monstrous thank you to all of you who visit here regularly! Sometimes I think that thoughtful writing has a hard time finding a home on the internet. But we’re carving out something special here, and I’m so grateful for all of you like-minded, big-picture women who read and discuss and share and just generally keep coming back. Thank you so much!

I’m off for the rest of the year (moving!), but keep in touch on Facebook, and I’ll see you in 2015!

Linked up with The List.


Best of TED 2014 | 7 Amazing Talks for Purposeful Women

Best of TED 2014 | 7 Amazing Talks for Purposeful Women

I enjoyed curating my list of 12 Must-See TEDs for Purposeful Women so much that I decided to do it again with TED’s latest offerings. They’ve had so many great talks in the last year, and I’ve loved the challenge of listening and narrowing down the list to my absolute favorites.

Covering everything from body image to parenting to a better way to donate, I hope you enjoy this playlist for purposeful women.

Ready to get fired up about life?

7 AMAZING Ted Talks for Purposeful Women. From body image to parenting to a better way to donate—the ultimate playlist for purposeful women.

Best of TED 2014 | 7 Amazing Talks for Purposeful Women

1. Why Thinking You’re Ugly is Bad For You by Meaghan Ramsey. This is a must-see for all women, especially mothers of daughters. What low body confidence is doing to women and girls—and what we can do about it. Inspiring! (1.7 million views)

2.  For Parents, Happiness is a Very High Bar by Jennifer Senior. This talk is like a warm hug saying, “Don’t worry, Mama! There’s a reason you have no idea what you’re doing!” From women entering the workforce to couples divvying up more of the household management to us trying desperately to raise kids who are equipped to do ANYthing, we’re all forging new paths. And last—if all you want is for your children to be happy, is that really a fair weight to place on your shoulders? (1.2 million views)

3. Why a Good Book is a Secret Door by Mac Barnett. The intersection between truth and lies = fiction, art, imagination. This touching and witty talk will have you scheming ways to infuse your child’s life (and yours!) with a little more mystery and wonder. (I love this one so much that it inspired a post of my own.) (1 million views)

4. How to Practice Emotional Hygiene by Guy Winch. A heartwarming case for valuing psychological wellbeing as much as we value physical wellbeing. How much impact would better emotional maintenance have on your quality of life? I found his thoughts on loneliness to ring especially true. (TEDx)

5. Should You Donate Differently by Joy Sun. Sun questions two assumptions: that poor people are poor because they are uneducated and that because of that, they need people like us to figure out what they need and get it to them. “I believed that I could more good with money for the poor than the poor could do for themselves.” A convincing case for unconditional cash transfers. (700,000 views)

6. Meet the Mom who Started the Ice Bucket Challenge by Nancy Frates. I don’t know why this one surprised me so much, but it did. Maybe I thought it would apply most to people who felt called to be advocates of disease research, or maybe I thought it would be braggy. It was neither. It was a call to grab life by the reigns and contribute however we can. (400,000 views)

7. The Art of Stillness by world traveler Pico lyer. “We can make contact with people on the farthest corners of the planet, but sometimes, in that process, we lose contact with ourselves.” I always benefit from reminders to find stillness; the problem is actually doing it. And doing it often. So next time you want to go somewhere, try watching this and then going nowhere. (800,000 views)

PS. Let’s change the world.

Linked up with The List.


Changes! Plus, This Mama is One Step Closer to Being a Bona Fide SAHM

After six and half years here in our two-bedroom apartment… After bringing all three of our babies home to the same place… THIS happened!  We bought our first home and are moving an hour south to start phase two of our family’s life! I’m operating in a state of overwhelm at the idea of moving. Of starting again. I’m out of…


Lace Tiered Dress Giveaway! For the Little Love in Your Life

Oh Quinn. You are joy and trouble and sass all rolled up into one squeezable bundle. Before I had you, I never understood moms who called their little girls sassy, fiery, or feisty. I (secretly) thought maybe those moms were projecting those qualities onto their little girls, and that it might just become a self-fulfilling prophecy once they reached teen-hood.  Was I ever wrong. …


The Memory Jar | A Great Gift and an Even Better Family Tradition

Two years ago, I ran across this idea on pinterest and decided to spruce it up a bit and turn it into a gift. For Christmas I gave a jar to each of my siblings, so they could use it throughout the upcoming year with their families. The idea is that the family jots down memories on squares of paper and drops them…