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A New Job, Some Travel, and a New(ish) Gallery Wall

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!


  1. So nice to see your home updates. The gallery picture wall looks great. I agree, mixing some other colors in with the black frames allows the walls to take on much more interest.
    I LOVE the paint color on your walls. Do you mind sharing what it is?
    What been going on in my world? –My husband and I have been helping our son to choose things while getting his first home built. We mostly have packed loads of boxes and helping him to get ready for his move-in this next weekend. It’s been exciting to help him, but we feel so old (mostly tired) 🙂
    Look forward to seeing more of your lovely home.

    1. Wrenda, how exciting for your son! And for you! I can relate to the old and tired feeling, however. 😉 I’m happy to share the paint color: Stone Hearth by Benjamin Moore. We first painted our family room in this color and I loved it so much it’s now on the walls of many rooms of my house. It’s my go-to neutral. It’s either a warm gray or a cool taupe, depending on how you look at it. Looks great with white woodwork.

  2. You HAVE been busy! Welcome back!
    Congratulations on the job and great job on the house updates. Loved seeing pix of your family. How lucky to all spend time together.

    1. Thank you, Janet. I agree…family time is the best.

  3. Cindy Ridgway says:

    Hi! When your mail pops up, I don’t read it right away- I wait till I can sit down, take a breath, & enjoy spending time with you! Thank you for the special minutes!

    1. Cindy, that comment really touched me. Thank you so much. Love spending time with you too. xoxo

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