Wrapping it up...

First, I wish all of you stopping by here a wonderful holiday season and a very happy new year! May 2018 be filled with joy and prosperity for each and everyone of you. 

Second, the real reason for this post. After a lot of soul searching and pro/con list making... I've decided to shut this blog down. While I've been going strong here for 11-ish years... I think it's time to move on. 

It's no secret that this place doesn't give me the same joy it once did. In part, because I don't feel as though I can write with the same honesty and transparency that I once used to, due to several factors outside of my control. In part, it's because my kiddos are getting older and very opinionated on what is shared and where. (Which is COMPLETELY their right.) Lastly, I seem to have absolutely no spare time due to my work and the general day-to-day business of keeping the household going and getting the kids where they need to be. 

That said, I miss writing more than I thought was possible. So while I'm shutting this blog down, I am not disappearing for good. Instead, I'll be blogging over at modern little me, micro.blogging over here, and posting to Instagram as @modernlittleme. (Sense a theme here?) "modern little me" started as a personal project (that failed) and has since become the place (and the identity) I feel most comfortable with. And while I feel blogging is no longer the same... it's an activity I really do love. (For those of you who receive my posts via email, there will be a subscription link on the new site under the "Contact Me" header.)

The content there will focus on a much broader scope than our family, but you will still be able to get the occasional update there (and photos, natch). But for the most part, it will be more about me and my projects than them and their antics. {Bonus: I have big plans for 2018 and that's where I will be sharing them.}

So to all of you still here with me. Thank you. Thank you for the years of support and friendship. Thank you for taking time out of your busy lives to read my thoughts. Thank you. I do hope you will join me over at my new online home...

Before we go... one last photo. Our traditional visit to the big man in red. He looks just like I feel...



[This site will remain active for a few months... but then I plan to archive it and have this url forward to my new site.]


Whoa, Summer!

I'm not even sure how it's already September 1st. I feel like Summer passed in a flurry of activity and monotony. There were lots of good moments... and also several not-so-good moments. But overall... it was simple. And that's exactly how summer should be, right?!  

I unintentionally took a break from social media this summer. No Instagram and no blogs for almost a whole month. While completely unplanned, it was incredibly refreshing. It gave me time to reflect on where I wanted to go with this blog... what I want to represent in my feeds... what I want to focus on for the remainder of this year and the years to come. I'll begin to share that in the upcoming days and weeks... I hope.

Next week we head back into the school routine. Kindergarten for one, fourth grade for the other. While I'm looking forward to the schedule the school year provides, I'm absolutely dreading the return of waking to an alarm clock. (Just like years past, my boys finally figure out how to sleep past 6am in the final days of summer.) This weekend will consist of some last days of summer activities, as well as some last minute back-to-school shopping. But today, I choose to focus on lazing my way through the [almost] last day of summer break, which feels incredibly fall like with weather in the low 40s and a crisp scent in the air.

More soon friends.  

Five Things & A Finish!

Whoa. I cannot believe that we are days away from the end of May already. While I realize that every year seems to pass a bit quicker, and every year seems to be a bit crazier... I've never felt this behind, or this overwhelmed, by general LIFE before. Oy.  

Since it's been so long since I last posted... I'm going with the first five random tidbits that pop into my head, ok?!

1. It's May 29th and it feels like March. Today marks Memorial Day, but it was only in the forties, was raining, and I was told that it flurried in the early morning hours. WHAT?! I can't deal with all this global weirding. 

2. Last week I turned 42. How did THAT happen?! In my head, I'm perpetually 28 so this was a real shock to me. I can't even wrap my head around this fact. (But the wrinkles and the weirdly placed weight are doing a great job convincing me...) 

3. I have a new client (actually, two) and while every new client brings a learning curve to the table, this has been a relatively easy transition. Way more work than I was expecting out of the gate, but also way more creatively challenging. I'm pushing myself in new ways for both clients and it's very energizing to be in this mode again. 

4. I'm in a home-purging phase again. I tackled the basement and garage for a few hours this morning, and I will probably tackle a closet or two tomorrow. Or maybe some cabinets. It's very gratifying (and slightly horrifying) to see the bags of trash and donations pile up.  

5. I could really use some Netflix and book suggestions. I'm currently binge watching old CSI episodes (why, I don't know) and need a book palette cleanser after a couple of really great, really intense reads. (I need a beach read next!)  


See, random list! 


While I haven't been blogging much, I have been sewing. Sadly, I've started three new projects and only finished one. That's not really how this whole "finish things before you start new things" idea is supposed to go... But it's a pretty sweet finish if I don't say so myself! This was item No. 7 on my last WIP list... Presents for the Twins! To recap, my nephews turned 1 in February. I started a gift for them, hated it, and started over. Then February Break happened, and then Spring Break, and then the next thing you know... the new and improved gift is getting to them in May. Luckily, they are too young to notice. While there were several goodies in their birthday box... the highlight was... 

Fishing Sets!! Their daddy is an avid fly fisherman, so these were definitely on my "mental must make" list for them. So when gift number one fell apart... I moved on to these. And I'm so, so thrilled with how they came out! 

Each boy got a pail of fish... complete with a patchwork initial...

Inside are six unique stuffed fish, with a little metal ring to "catch" them by...

And each boy got a little fishing rod, complete with a "fly" at the end (concealing a magnet) with which to catch the fish!

I'm totally biased, but I think it's the cutest thing ever. Next, I'm making my dad's cat some fish filled with jingle bells to play with... 

{I used this tutorial for the fish aspect.} 

Five on Friday: April Showers

I've lost count of how many days of rain we've had this month. I know they say "April Showers bring May Flowers" for a reason... but really. Rain most of last week, all of this week (except Monday) with many episodes of torrential downpours. Enough already!  I'm seriously ready for Spring to arrive. 

Last week was "Spring Break" for the boys. Remember how I said--after barely surviving "Mid-Winter Break"--that there was no way, no how that I would end up sitting in our house for another break, ever again?! That I learned my lesson!? Guess what?! Yup. We spent all week at home. And they were absolutely horrid to each other and to me. The timing of their break and Doug's work schedule didn't align to allow for a vacation. So any hopes of going away were dashed relatively early for me... and in hindsight, it was for the best. I would have been FURIOUS if we were in another city... paying to listen to them bicker, and fight, and taunt, and tease. It was "Behavior Bootcamp" take two for most of the week... sigh. One day, they will be well-behaved at least some of the time, right?! 

I'm tempted to also note that it's the last days of April. How did *that* happen!? But instead... 

 Moving on to what this post is supposed to be about. Five things. 

So let's see... five things... It's been an incredibly busy week... I feel very accomplished right now! 

1. Milo started Tae Kwon Do.  We've talked about this for quite some time now. We felt like the spring would be a good time to start, but we were dragging our feet a bit since it's a significant time commitment. But after the Korean Culture Show, Milo was determined to get going! So he and Doug went over one day and got all registered. He's been doing incredibly well so far... and has already earned two of his four stripes necessary to test for a yellow belt. (So we now wait for the other shoe to drop.) 

2. Hayley had a grooming appointment.  Her first one since coming home. We've bathed her here, and done some nail and ear maintenance... but it was time to call a professional. We hired a service that comes here and washes her in a specially outfitted van. It was so easy. I was able to continue doing chores around the house while she was being bathed and fluffed and trimmed and buffed. It. Was. Awesome!!! And now she's incredibly soft and sweet-smelling. 

3. We're having the house deep cleaned. It desperately needs to be done since I haven't done a proper "spring cleaning" since Milo joined us. So I made it clear that it's all I wanted for Mother's Day/Our Anniversary/My Birthday... and then went the extra mile to actually interview cleaners and book my top choice. (I'm leaving nothing to chance here... can you tell?!) But really. I can't keep on top of the cleaning lately. So a fresh slate and some new chore charts should help. I hope. 

4. I have a new work opportunity... that will either be awesome, or a complete disaster.  How's that for intriguing?! I'm feeling optomistic about it overall... but don't want to jinx it... 

5. On this coming Sunday, we have the big school fundraiser. It's a concert with two professional bands and always a lot of fun. It seems to have snuck up on us this year and I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed about it all. Not that I have too many chores or responsibilities... but I'll feel better once it's behind us. Actually, I'll feel better once my last assignment is done and the music starts... 

6. I've added some new podcasts to my rotation... While She Naps with Abby Glassenberg, Explore Your Enthusiasm with Tara Swiger, The Moth (which is insanely awesome), and TED Talks Audio. I adore TED Talks... but I struggle to actually watch them. This is the perfect fix for me since most episodes are less than the time it takes to drive to school. So I get a last-minute "adult think" fix before diving back into "kid think." I absolutely LOVED the talk on April 20th, "A doctor's case for medical marijuana"... not because I have strong opinions about that subject... but because it was so incredibly refreshing to hear a medical professional talk about the relationship the medical industry has to form with patients who have chronic disease or illness. (I've finally surrounded myself with medical professionals who respect and honor my medical history and the path I will travel with my chronic issues. But that took a long time.) Yes, the episode talks about medical marijuana. But at the heart of it is the issue of patient respect and empowerment.   

7. I've been reading. Lots and lots of good books. The past three weeks I've read... A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn, I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, Rules of Civility by Amor Towles (this was actually a re-read and yes... it did get better the second time), Exit West by Mohsin Hamid, and Weathering by Lucy Wood. Whew! That's a higher average than normal. And I loved it! 

8. I've mentioned my love for essential oils before. And I'll mention it again... but this past month I've found some solutions that have blown me away. Nutmeg has been kicking my adrenal fatigue to the curb! Between that and my endoflex blend... I feel so. much. better. It's such a relief to be able to get through the day... and not my clawing my way to the finish line (aka bedtime). I'm also currently obsessed with a face serum I made using lavender, clary sage, and cypress. My 41-year-old skin actually GLOWS some days. And the uneven tone I had is almost non-existent! And this isn't even including the daily oils both the boys and I use to help our health be the best it can be...   

9. Last Sunday was the last KASY event for the [school] year. How did THAT happen?! I feel like we JUST started up again!? We'll definitely miss seeing everyone for the next few months... 

10. And lastly... but not leastly... it's Spencer Day! So very, very hard to believe that it's been EIGHT years since this guy joined our family. I surprised Spencer by picking him up early from school for a special treat, he got to choose the restaurant for dinner, and there was a sappy card from Dad in there too. All in all, a good day! 

And there you have it. Five things times two. See?! I said it was a productive week! 

{I feel like I should reward you all with some photos now. But ... I've got nothing. I do have some photos on my camera and phone... but I'm too exhausted to download them all. Next post, I promise!}

Five on Friday : Happy Things

I've had a really fabulous couple of weeks. I find that I don't often (maybe ever) post about the positive that happens and tend to focus more on the negative. Maybe it's because I'm worried that it will come across as "braggy" or "selfish"... maybe it's because life just seems to be really hard lately... but today I choose to post five things that have happened this month that just really made me HAPPY. Really happy. 

1. It's been sunny and warm-ish this week. While this past winter has been exceptionally mild... there's nothing that makes me feel like the end is in sight more than opening the windows. And open the windows I did! (I even left them open all night one evening... gasp! That was a little odd, but I will take it!) Soon we will hear the sounds of people working in their yards and kids playing outside until it's dark. 

2. Last weekend was full of culture for us. On Sunday, Doug and I went to see a touring Broadway show, "Rent." It's one of my all-time faves and it was so incredible to see it again... It brought us back to the 90s completely. (And the cast was fantastic!) On Saturday, our family went to see the annual Korean Culture Show put on by the Korean Student Associations of Brown and RISD. Again, it was incredible... I don't know what I enjoy more, the hefty dose of Korean culture (both traditional and contemporary) or watching the boys soak it all in...  

3. Up until a few years ago, I was what I would call a foodie. I think most people would. Not crazy adventurous... but adventurous enough to keep it interesting. I. Loved. Food. Then some medical issues reared their head and a whole lot of my favorites got taken away. Then Milo joined our family and cooking for his intolerances and my restrictions made it... hard. I just didn't enjoy food the same way as I used too. But the past few weeks, our meals have been on-point (thank you Instant Pot) and something we can all enjoy. I'll probably never be able to eat the same way as I used to... but to have several days of back-to-back food bliss?! Amazing. 

4. For the first time this year, I feel like I'm actually making forward progress on housekeeping, rather than just keeping my head above water. This past week, I tried a bunch of new homemade house cleaning products and I love how they are working. While I've been using "natural" products for years now... this is the deepest I've delved into the creation of the products and it makes such a huge difference. Not only in the appearance (and feel) of the surfaces in my home... but how I physically feel after cleaning. (Not that I wouldn't adore having a housekeeper, mind you.) 

5. Happy Mail. The month started off with an unexpected surprise from a fellow adoptive mama... in the form of a book by Denyse Schmidt. (Who I adore!) It was in the mail when I arrived home from this month's quilt guild meeting... so it was extra serendipitous. I've been enjoying leafing through it when I have a few minutes of quiet. Denyse is someone who is so inspiring to me, so I'm savoring this for sure. A local friend also left a book on my stoop for me unexpectedly. "There is no one who would enjoy this more than you..." read the note. And she's right. I get so hung up on what I "should" be reading that I forget to include what I WANT to be reading... I also received a few monthly subscriptions (socks) and orders (photo books) that I have been saving up for. 


Ah! Five things that make me happy. What a great way to start Spring Break! Happy Weekend everyone!