Gosh, it’s been such a long time since I’ve popped in here. I hope you’re doing well and enjoying Spring!

I have a new gallery wall in the living room to share with you, but first, since I’ve been gone a while, I thought I would give you some life updates.

Part of the reason it’s been kind of quiet around here is that last July I took a part-time job doing marketing and development for a Catholic elementary school where I had been on the board for the previous three years. My job is mostly work-from-home (hallelujah!) although I do get to travel to the school for events and meetings, which is the perfect balance. The variety of different things I get to do with this job is amazing (working for a nonprofit is like that…you wear many hats) and I’m stretching my wings and learning a ton. In short, helping raise money for and awareness of this special place is a perfect fit for me right now. (Our school has a Facebook page and a brand new Instagram account if you want to check us out.)

On the family front, we spent Easter in Florida with my parents. Lindsey and her boyfriend flew down with us from KC and Grant flew in from St. Louis and met us. (Yay for adult kid time!) My sister came in from Pensacola, so the whole gang was together, which is rare. And fun!

The guys did a lot of golfing. That’s my dad in the middle, my Tom and Grant on the left, and Lindsey’s boyfriend Morgan and my sister’s boyfriend Tim on the right.

I love this pic of Lindsey and Morgan on my parents’ patio. As I was putting this post together I realized that I should have taken pics of their patio. I’ll try to get my mom to send me some to share with you. It’s gorgeous.

I had a conference in St. Louis that started the Tuesday after Easter, so Grant and I flew back there together from Florida and I got to spend some time with him, which was a treat. On my next to last night I took him and some friends out for Italian on the The Hill. Our favorite restaurant is on a corner at the end of the most charming residential street. It feels like stepping back in time, and the food is great.

To get back to Kansas City after my conference I decided to take the train, as much for the experience as anything. The train between St. Louis and KC is called the Missouri River Runner. Wonder why? 😉

It’s been years since I’ve been on a train, and it is so much easier and more relaxing than flying. But it takes so long. I wish all the time that we had high-speed trains in the US like they do in Europe. Traveling would be so much more pleasant.

As far as the house goes, you may remember that late last year we had a ton of work done (popcorn ceiling removal, painting, hardwood floors, plantation shutters). I really meant to share the results with you, but once it was all done all I could manage was to put the house back together and get it partially decorated for Christmas.

Then I wanted to wait until everything was perfect, or at the very least perfectly done, before I took pics and we all know that that never happens. So here I am with a few iPhone pics of one of the projects I completed: putting the gallery wall back up after the painting.

I used some of the same frames and pictures from the previous gallery wall, but I wanted this one to have a slightly different look.

For starters, I didn’t want all the frames to be black, so I added some gold and brown frames for warmth, and switched out the ‘M’ initial from a black one to a brownish gold one. I also mixed a few pieces of artwork in with the photos.

And – while last time I measured and diagrammed and traced the frames onto paper first – this time I didn’t mess with any of that. (The fact that I was doing this all the day before I hosted my niece’s baby shower had something to do with that.) I laid everything out into a loose arrangement on the dining room table first and then just started moving things to the wall one by one.

Having a looser arrangement is much easier and more forgiving than a grid to put up, and I think more interesting  look at to boot.

When I was done, I plopped down in “Tom’s chair” to take it all in, and decided to take a couple of pictures from a perspective I’m not used to.

The baby shower, by the way, was a great time. I’ll share some pictures from it next.

And if you’re okay with imperfect photos and unfinished rooms (I’m certainly learning to be), I’ll try to blog a bit more often.

What’s been going on in your world? Let’s catch up!