Leslie loves her natural blonde hair. She has brown eyes. She has a slight build, coming in at about 5'5" and weighing exactly 124lbs. That's important. She has to keep her weight manageable for sports, as she is an avid swimmer and is trying to get back into figure skating after a fall (she'd ALMOST completed that Quadruple Lutz!) that badly messed up her right ankle. Her arms are strong, she has a toned core and legs. She normally wears a tee-shirt and jeans, or shorts, and sensible shoes. She loves dressing for comfort. That, and she's a mom now -- comfort is key, right? She does dress up for church, though. She wears her hair either down and straightened, or in a messy bun.
Leslie is good-natured, kind, and has the whole 'mom' personality. She has a kind word for everyone, and no matter your age, if you're in trouble her maternal instincts will kick in and she'll definitely help solve the issue if she can. She sometimes contributes to blogs and forums about motherhood and 'mom-bods' and is super body-positive and loves to build up people's self esteem and let them know that they are beautiful and worthy, because everyone deserves that. She adores children especially because the things they have to say, and the things they do, can throw you for a loop in a good way. They can surprise you with their kindness, intelligence, and humor. Leslie believes that all people are born good and that it is mostly nurture, not nature, that turns them into darker paths. She gives everyone the benefit of the doubt, and maybe trusts a little too easily.
That said, it is quite easy to hurt Leslie. She is very sensitive. She's strong enough that she won't always show that she's been hurt, but wrong-doings do affect her quite strongly. She isn't one for revenge, but she will not hesitate to let a person who hurt her know what they did. She used to let the hurt eat her up inside, but now she prays about it, prays through it, prays for whoever hurt her to learn how to love better and more. She knows that things happen in a person's life that can cause them to be rather guarded and mean, making them lash out, and that those things aren't really her business or most times even their fault, and there's nothing she can do but pray for them. She will definitely help if they come to her for help, though. She is very good about turning the other cheek and it's as easy to gain her forgiveness as it is to hurt her.
Excitable is Leslie's middle name. Okay, actually it's Anne, but you know. She gets excited about everything. Maybe happy-go-lucky is a good synonym. And cheerful. She loves holiday celebrations, surprise parties, weddings and baby showers, festivals. Just as much, she loves when she hears her favorite song on the radio and will often give a little verbal cheer. She has the tendency to react to good news with a huge grin, a little cheer, and a little hand-dance. She's a bit goofy, she knows it, and she embraces it. She reacts to bad news with optimism, and she is able to cheer people up easily, so long as something in their psyche is open to it.
She may be happy and excitable, but she is also cautious, particularly with children and animals. Better safe than sorry with them. If the neighbor kids are over and it's time to go home, due to all the strange things happening in town, she will take Connor, Phoebe, and Tiffany with her, and bring Sniper the German Shepherd along for protection, and walk the neighbor kids home. If the killer got one of the neighbor kids on their way home, Leslie would never be able to forgive herself.
Everyone has flaws. Leslie is late for everything. Sometimes it's a matter of getting Tiffany and the Kelley kids all ready and in the car for an appointment or something, but usually she loses track of time, and THEN has to get all the kids ready and in the car. She tries to set alarms on her phone to get the older kids to school when their parents are working, and that usually works out well, but for appointments she often remembers at the last second and then it's a mad rush to get everyone ready and out the door. She's working on getting better about that. She knows it probably drives Rachel and Jason nuts sometimes.
Leslie can be a bit childish. Not really jealous or catty, but the thing is that she was barely an adult when she gave birth to Tiffany. She had to grow up way too fast. Mostly this manifests as her excitable trait, but she can get pouty and sometimes argues with the kids about Scrabble ("That is NOT a real word! You can't do that!" "Why, Leslie?" "Because I said so!") She's never mean about it though, and it does not affect her parenting, nannying, or her serving job much. Mostly it affects the fact that she's never really been good at "adulting" like putting together grocery lists and not forgetting anything, and she has no idea how taxes work (she gets hers done at H&R to be honest.) To be fair, most high schools don't teach kids taxes anyway. That's her argument. She is good at "doctor's office-ing" though, had to get good at that really quick when she was pregnant.
Leslie was born in Lochland Grove to John and Emily Morstan, and is an only-child. John was a driver for UPS and Emily was a stay-at-home mom, and Emily sold Mary Kay and Avon and things like that a lot. There was enough money to get Leslie into ice skating when she was five years old. Ice skating was Leslie's favorite thing and she grew to look forward to the four days a week they'd go into the city for her lessons. Most of her childhood was go to school, eat, sleep, practice. She was eight years old when she decided she wanted to go pro. She wanted to train for the Olympics, but she had a lot to learn still, and was too young anyway. Either way she worked hard.
When she was twelve years old, she took a bad fall that shattered her ankle and she needed surgery to piece it back together. It was never quite the same after that and she had to give up skating for a while, and replace her lessons with intense physical therapy. Her physical therapist suggested she take up swimming as a low-impact alternative to skating to keep her in shape, and she learned to love swimming and learned that she was quite good at it. She pursued swimming for years and years afterward, even up until now she swims.
When Leslie was fourteen years old, she made a friend, Helena Anderson, a new kid at her school. Helena was one of the resident goth kids, but most of the goth kids already established wouldn't be open to her, so Leslie felt that she had to be. Leslie wasn't super popular anyway, had a handful of friends at best, who welcomed Helena into their circle. Helena was raised Wiccan and practiced it herself. She got Leslie into it. Leslie believed in a Christian-ish god, don't get her wrong! So Leslie became a Christian Witch, for all the wrong reasons. Reasons being she wanted a guy to love her and she wanted to be more popular. That, and her parents were starting to become a little too overbearing for her taste; she needed some way to escape that.
She later learned that popularity wasn't everything, when she was fifteen, as a spell she did for popularity "worked" and she was invited to hang out with the popular girls in her swim meet. She found that all they did was gossip. Literally all they did was gossip. Leslie did not feel good about speaking ill of other people. So she kind of smiled and nodded.
But she still wanted that guy, Brandon. He was everything rolled up in a package. Good-looking, smart, nice... well he was popular, but Leslie was already a tad bit in with the popular crowd from the year before, since she'd smiled and nodded, they didn't see her as an unmentionable. Or worse, a nerd. She still hung out with Helena, who was starting to climb the ranks of popularity by giving the popular girls Tarot readings about love, success, money, that kind of thing. Leslie did the same thing. Leslie and Helena had their own little psychic room set up after school for as long as they were allowed to stay without getting kicked out before lock-up of the school. Mostly during club meetings and that. But Brandon, man! He was a hot commodity.
So Leslie snuck into the gym when he was practicing basketball and put a little spell concoction of herbs into his shoes. A spell that would make him "run" to her. She did that four times. Until he caught her the fourth time and asked what she was doing with his shoes. She told him they stank and it was offending her senses and she was making them smell better; he asked what she was putting in them, because whenever he went home, his mom said his shoes smelled great. Leslie just kind of laughed. Was it something in her eyes, or her smile? She didn't know, but Brandon asked her to date him on the spot. So, in Leslie's mind, the spell worked. She and Helena celebrated with a new moon rite that night. Helena said that because it was a new moon, it was a good time for new relationships and that it would thrive. And it did, for a while.
Leslie and Brandon were the cutest couple, or so the school thought, and they voted them Homecoming Queen and King. When Leslie was seventeen, she made the decision that she wanted to lose her virginity to him. She trusted him. What she didn't know was that he had at LEAST two side-girls. Three to be exact, and none of them knew about each other until later. Was Leslie a side girl? She didn't know. But despite them using protection, she wound up, in the very off chance, pregnant. She found out about the same way Juno from the titled movie did – taking about five pregnancy tests. Hoping for a false positive. There was no way to “undo that doodle.” Well except abortion, but unlike the titular character of that movie, she didn't even consider that as an option. It was a life! Unfortunately, Brandon didn't see it the same way, and offered her a few hundred bucks to get rid of the baby, but Leslie wouldn't take it. It was against everything she stood for.
Leslie, thinking her parents would understand, told them. And they didn't understand. “You have a swimming scholarship!” her mother had yelled, just making Leslie cry even more. Did her mom care more about college than the fact that her daughter was basically played? Like a darn fiddle? Her father, a cold expression on his face, told her to get out. She called Brandon, but Brandon told her, word for word, to “Fuck off.” So she was homeless now. Without a boyfriend, without a family. Four months pregnant, as she'd managed to hide it for that long. She didn't really start showing until five months, as she was a tiny girl. She cried herself to sleep every night in a local women's shelter, but then she was offered a job at Gerties after having told herself “suck it up, Leslie, you need a job if you're going to raise this kid!” She was offered the job, and she walked orders to tables even until her feet looked like meatballs, that swollen with both work and being pregnant.
The best thing that ever happened to her was that she was offered a place to stay, and a side job sitting for two kids, at the Kelleys' house. She could have cried, she was so happy, but she graciously accepted. She grew to adore the Kelley kids, and she doffed her title as a Christian Witch and joined the church the Kelleys went to. When Tiffany was born, Tiffy was baptized there. It was the proudest moment in Leslie's entire life. Her baby was safe from harm, as was Leslie. The second proudest moment in Leslie's life was taking her first Communion. Anointing herself and her child with Holy Water brings her comfort even in the worst mental and physical situations. She now loves working at Gertie's and as a live-in sitter. She may have lost her scholarship, but she gained a good life. She adores the Kelley kids, and cares for them as if they were her flesh and blood.
Tiffany is now a little over a year old and isn't hitting her milestones as soon as expected, but Leslie is happy to let her bloom at her own rate. Leslie's friends think that maybe Tiffy could be autistic, but Leslie herself was kind of a late bloomer, so Leslie's going to wait until Tiffy's a toddler before seeking an opinion.
God, Christianity, her church -- She is a born-again Christian, if you could even call her born-again at all. Even while she did dabble in some iffy witchcraft, as it was all a rebellious act against her parents and a way to align with her friend, you couldn't call it whole-hearted. She did always believe in and love God, and did kind of near the end of it, call herself a Christian Witch.
Brownies. Leslie doesn't usually bake, and when she does it's usually treats out of Betty Crocker boxes... But she does have a soft spot for brownies, and does very much love baking them, even with the Kelley kids sticking their mitts into the batter.
Kids. Leslie adores kids, all kids. Her own daughter, and other people's kids. She has sort of a way with kids in that she can calm a crying baby down with just a silly song she makes up off the top of her head. She rather likes to think that her own baby enriched her life, and never ruined it. But Leslie adores monkeying around with kids.
Exercise, particularly swimming and skating. She's skated since she was five years old, and after the injury she had when she was twelve, her physical therapist recommended swimming, and she just latched onto it, and even had a swimming scholarship to the University of Maryland before she got pregnant. She swims just as well as ever now, and she still loves to practice skating and learn new jumps, now that her ankle is healed up nicely. She keeps up in the interim by doing Pilates and HIIT on the elliptical.
Gospel music -- There's just something about those voices that gets Leslie's heart strings!
Southern food -- Shrimp and grits, all day, every day! Leslie's life was once transformed by a friend's pot roast. She always knew them as kind of gooey and gross, but to humor her friend Kate, she tried it... and begged for the recipe. Cornbread is something Leslie's tried to perfect for about a year now. Jalapenos are good in it, right? Oh, and plenty of honey!
Photography and scrapbooking, arts and crafts in general -- She is not the world's greatest photographer, far from it! But she loves happy events like weddings, baby showers, birthdays, and will take hundreds of pictures and share them, and put the best ones in scrapbooks to gift to the person whom the party was for, about their event. She is rather good at making cute, unique scrapbooks and knows how to bind her own books by hand. Pre-made scrapbooks are expensive! She loves knitting and sketching as well, even though she's not the best artist. She tries!
Closed-minded and willfully ignorant people. Judge not, lest ye be judged yourself. Leslie can't suffer racists and bigots, people who think one gender, race, whatever, is better than another. People who don't broaden their horizons, by reading and researching. People who only read one news source and take it at face value without question. People who don't question everything -- for instance Leslie is a Christian, but she does question things, like how the world can possibly only be six thousand years old, and where the heck the people that do think that, think the dinosaurs came from? Carbon dating, people! She is happy to say she does believe in evolution and believes that it was God's will for various species to evolve in the first place!
Being alone. Leslie is fortunate to have never been alone in her life, and while she has faced alienation from certain people or groups, for long or short periods of time, she's always had other friends, family, mentors, and such, to fall back on for mutual support. So while she can't dislike being alone on experience, it is something she very much fears.
People who abuse alcohol and/or drive drunk. She has no issue with people having a few drinks and having a good time, and though she doesn't drink now, as she's underage, she has had champagne at New Years in the past, and has experienced having a beer or two before, and rather likes it. So she's sure that when she turns 21 she'll buy a six pack and have a drink now and then, safe at home when she has no other responsibilities or obligations. But alcohol abuse turns a person into something they usually aren't, and she's terrified that maybe one day she'll be hit by a drunk driver with Tiffany in the car, and Tiffany could die. Or Leslie could die and Tiffany could live, and Tiffy would grow up without a mother. Leslie is all about responsibility. She's not a prude but does believe that people should think of others, not only themselves, when they imbibe.
Illegal drugs. Enough said. Marijuana is a grey area for her because she does read a lot and has read studies about marijuana helping cancer patients, epileptics, and people with autoimmune diseases. But she believes that marijuana should strictly be used for medicine. Any other drug is a no-no for Leslie.
Large chain stores and restaurants, to a degree. Leslie works for a mom-and-pop diner, Gertie's, currently, and knows that if an Olive Garden were to crop up in the middle of Lochland Grove, it might take business away from the diner she knows and loves and it could go under. She feels the same about huge supermarkets and Walmarts taking away from small town business. She understands that in bigger cities they are very convenient, but in Lochland, people love to shop small, and Leslie is a huge fan of supporting local and small businesses. Basically she's afraid of the small town she's grown to love selling out and hurting its own residents.
Product recalls. Or rather, the ones that are caused by negligence. On baby products, specifically. She realizes these are things that happen, but it's inconvenient. She makes sure to share any baby and pet product recalls she comes across on Facebook so that her friends know, if they use that product, to take it back and find an alternative. She likes that companies will put out recalls and make sure it's widely spread, and that honor their promises when you bring back the product for return and refund, but it's just so hard to keep up with them all. There was a batch of diapers that she used for Tiffany that was recalled and she didn't know it and it gave Tiff a bad butt-rash once, that blistered, and now she uses cloth diapers.
People who hate ALL cops. Leslie can see how some people were wronged by cops, but knows that doesn't speak for all cops. Jason and Rachel Kelley are some of the kindest, most fair, most loving and upstanding people she's ever met and they'd never hurt anyone without reason. She hates that people would target all cops without realizing that the bad ones are very much a minority, and that most cops really do mean well. Yes, you find crooked cops, but you find crooked bankers, crooked cashiers, and crooked babysitters all the time too, so why focus on just cops?
Hearing about someone leaving kids or pets in a hot car. No explanation needed.
Leslie drives a sort of beat up old 1993 Volvo 940 Turbo, white. It may have some dents and dings in it, but it's a very safe car for her daughter to be chauffeured around in. Thing's built like a tank and while it has external damage, the internals are in good repair. Leslie makes sure of that. She keeps very up to date with oil and other fluid change outs, brake pad changes, and tire changes.
Leslie's daughter, Tiffany Louise Morstan, is a little over a year old now, and is walking like a champ and getting into everything. She can say a few things, such as "Hi," "Lub you," and "Dog." Tiffy is sort of a late bloomer and should be speaking more words, but doesn't. However, when other words are spoken to Tiffy, Tiffany recognizes and understands them, so Leslie thinks her daughter is just shy. Leslie's friends think she should take Tiffany to be "tested," but Leslie is happy to let Tiffy develop at her own rate. After all, she is only just over a year old, too early to be diagnosing anything.
The Kelleys. They were kind enough to hire Leslie on as a sitter and give her a place to live, and they often watch Tiffany when Leslie is at work. Leslie does help them out with groceries, the electric bills, stuff like that. Leslie pays her own way as much as she can, and any extra money is spent on Tiffy's things, and the occasional arts and crafts Leslie does. Leslie adores the kids and spends time with them even when their parents are home. She is happy to be welcomed in almost as family and loves having a bit of tea or coffee and conversation with Jason and Rachel.