Two Years Too Long


Hello again, remember me? I’ve been away from this space for a minute (or two….years). Once, I wrote here frequently, documenting what I felt was worth sharing with the world on a fairly constant basis – and then, life happened. Cliché, I know, but it’s the simplest way to explain the absence. The more complex answer boils down to stress and stressors that I put on myself and stressors that were put on me externally. For a while, the writing lost its appeal, and my day-to-day didn’t feel like it needed one more “deadline,” one more “task,” one more stressor piled on it. I lost motivation to find the words and to make the time to post. Over the past few months, though, the writing itch has been inching its way back, and after dealing with several domain name issues, I’ve picked up the pen (or rather keyboard), and sat back down in front of you to share in this space once again.

I can’t promise the posts will be regular at this point. In all honesty, this is probably not the best time in my work-life to be picking the blog back up. I spend my day-to-day serving as a Rural Community and Economic Developer serving a 12-county area roughly the size of the state of New Jersey’ and the month of March is by far my busiest of the year with a major grant deadline, and 16 (and counting) grant applications to write. But maybe it’s because I’ve been doing all that writing – and will be continuing that writing for the next 3 weeks until the deadline passes, that I want to carve back into this space. This non-work related space, where I can write for myself.

I’ve spent the past few hours reading my back posts and remembering my voice. Remembering that I’m honestly very proud of the content I once put forth and that maybe, it’s time to give that another go. So, over the next few days, I’m going to be working on my archives. Culling posts that are no longer relevant, and relinking lost photos for the posts that I want to save. I’m also going to roll out a new archive system, which means you’ll be able to find those old posts – and posts like them- much easier. I’m also looking forward and planning what I’ll be sharing. Want a sneak peak? Here are just a few of the things on the horizon for the next few weeks:

  • Spring StrawBale Garden Prep – What year are we on again? 6?
  • Quilting – sew many quilts & quilted items (see what I did there?)

and the big one……

Are you ready?

I’m headed back to Ecuador in May! So of course, I’ll once again be sharing my pre-trip planning, and my trip once I return. The other fun thing I’ll be sharing leading up to my trip is the “individual tour” I took with Compassion International in the fall of 2016 – see the photos at the beginning of this post.

I’m looking forward to putting together several posts about the individual tour, and how it differed from the group tours I’ve been on in the past. For the 2016 visit to South America, I saw all 4 of my (& my mother’s) sponsored children and went to three different countries over a two week period. (and yes, I would absolutely do it again – in a heartbeat).

So, with a semblance of a plan in place, and a renewed desire to be back, I hope you’ll forgive me for my extended absence.

And I hope you’ll join me as I continue to navigate life with elephant grace.


Around Here – A 3 Month Update

pooltime - 1

Around here I’ve been:

  • working to get this blog back up and running after some longstanding issues with my former web host. I’ve decided to revert back to using to host the site. Since I’m post less frequently, this is a more affordable option, and honestly, is the most reliable. I don’t have to worry about viruses, server problems, or random take downs. (hello months Feb.-May) It’s a tedious process, switching back, because the back-up import brought over all of my words, but none of my photos. So please bear with me, I’m slowly working my way back through the archive re-adding the photos.
  • sewing up a storm. I’ve got a big trip planned this fall, and several sewing deadlines to meet before I go. Expect to see several quilt posts very soon.
  • planning for a South American excursion. Yep! This fall (specifically early-mid October) my friend Jodi and I are venturing south for a two-week, three-country vacation to see 8 sponsored kids with Compassion International. We’ll be visiting Ecuador, Peru, and Columbia. It’s going to be a big trip, and I am so excited! (But we’ve got lots of planning still to do).
  • planting the garden. This is our 5th year to do a take on a straw-bale garden, and so far it’s amazing. I’m planning an update post for later this week to detail what we did differently this year, and what all we’re growing. It’s safe to say, though, that we’re just days away from the first big, juicy tomato – and that is gold!
  • working, working, and working some more. I’ve been traveling for work more recently (which is amazing, to be honest, and one of my favorite parts of my job) Plus, spring is typically a very busy time for us anyway, and now so is summer. We recently had several long-standing deadlines move up from December to August – so I’ve been tracking down all the info needed to meet these new deadlines, and doing my best to keep my head above water.
  • and speaking of water, we’ve been doing quite a bit of swimming, too. Dad and I downsized our pool this year from a 24′ above-ground metal pool to a 18′ “pop-up” pool, and it has been such a good move. We’re hoping to take a couple of years and put back some funds for a saltwater pool, but in the meantime, this pop-up Walmart pool has been great. If we get a few years out if it, we’ll be all set.

What all have you been up to the past few months?


Today I am returning to work from my wonderful trip with Compassion International last week. Words still escape me – the expierence was, once again, amazing – and hopefully I’ll be able to share many moments with you all soon. Until then, enjoy your Tuesday!


“But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” ~Mark 10:14

Curate 2015: Capsule Wardrobe Part 2


It has been a bit over a month since I did a serious edit on my wardrobe and filled two giant tubs with clothes that I no longer wore. Clothes that, while perfectly fine, were not comfortable or attractive to me. I cleaned out dresser drawers, emptied closets, and found room to breathe. I’m by no means finished with this process, but rather, have realized that it is just that: a process. I had high hopes of diving in and completing this task cold-turkey – but you know something? It’s tiring – and a bit scary.

The clothes that I have narrowed down to are my favorites, and limiting them further makes me a bit nervous – even knowing that I’m not getting rid of any of them, but saving them for another season makes me a bit antsy. Plus, I hate to do laundry. I HATE IT. Actually, I hate the having to put laundry away part. And knowing that having less in my closet means I’ll be doing laundry more often is not a positive in my book….This has led to me buying more clothes to keep from having to do laundry as often – which, in turn, led to having to put up wayyyy more clothes when I did do laundry. Vicious cycle. But, I’m keeping my eyes on the final product and pushing through. So far, I have successfully limited the number of new clothes I’ve purchased (as in I haven’t bought any), and have a system in place for continuing the reducing process. I’ve spent the last 2 months trying out my limited wardrobe, determining which pieces that I love actually love me. This has been most helpful in the shoe department – considering I adore a beautiful shoe, but have no use for one that I cannot wear comfortably at work.

And, because I realize the truth in the quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupery that states “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” I’ve laid out my action steps for completing the wardrobe overhaul below. 

  1. Define Seasons.
  2. Limit everyday clothing items to 50 or less per season. This number should include: dress shirts, dress pants, coats, blazers, and shoes. This does not include workout clothing, weekend clothing, or pajamas. For Weekend Clothing I’ll be doing a mini-capsule wardrobe “add-on” since the majority of my time requires me to be in business casual attire. This mini-wardrobe will be limited to 10 items including jeans, t-shirts, and casual shoes.
  3. Store out-of season items out-of sight to avoid temptation
  4. Enjoy the simplicity

Ok, so written out like that it doesn’t look bad at all. In fact, with so few steps, I’m almost ashamed to even list them. I know that the big step will be #2, but I also know that if I can get through that one, I’ll be set. In fact, it’s actually where I’ll be starting this week. I’ve already defined my seasons, I just hadn’t put it in writing…until now. My four seasons will flow like this: December-February, March-May, June-August, September-November. By grouping the months in this manner, I’ll be keeping similar weather patterns together, and reduce the likelihood of dipping into other seasons for wardrobe items.

It’s my goal this week to get that March-May batch sorted and see if I have any gaps in foundation items. It’s all a numbers game now: how many pants do I have? How many shirts do I need? How many over pieces do I need (blazers, sweaters, etc.)? Which shoes go with the resulting outfits? Am I missing anything to be able to wear these clothes (slips, camisoles, etc.)?

It will be nice to be able to start using my wardrobe at the beginning of a season, and I look forward to sharing how well it’s working.

To my fellow Capsule Wardrobers, did you have difficulty starting the process?

2015’s Big Goals

So, we’re a month in to 2015 and that means I’ve got about 30 days of Curate under my belt. It’s been a whirlwind month – with lots of big revelations about what I’m keeping and what I should be keeping – which makes looking ahead both fun and scary. And, when I look back, I’ve got several projects that I keep “meaning to get to” but keep putting off – and I’m tired of that. So, in 2015, I hope to get at least most of these crossed off my list.


photo credit

2015’s Big Goals:

  • Reduce debt
  • Book Big Trip for 2016
  • Clean/Organized Space
  • Reduce “Stuff”
  • Increase Experiences
  • Create a Blog Business Plan
  • Establish Healthy Habits

I’m sure there’s more, but that seems like enough for me. I know these are lofty, and a bit vague, but I’ve got some specific details behind each one that I likely won’t be sharing. Even so, I know this vague-ish list will help me continue to curate a good year and a good life.

Do you have any major, pie-in-the-sky goals you’ve set for yourself this year?