Six Months in Italy

And just like that, six months in Italy has come and gone.

I knew the milestone was approaching, but somehow April 18 slipped by without my taking time to really let it sink in.

I think it’s because the “everything is new” phase has worn off and we’re in the groove of our new normal. I’d been waiting for this period in the transition – waiting to mark the normal life moments. Here it is. We’ve arrived. And like most things in my life, I have mixed feelings.

In some ways our move here has been everything I dreamed it would be. We’ve embraced the European city life. Walking everywhere, seeing the same families and people as we walk our kids to and from school. Shopping at the market and grocery store multiple times a week. Eating meals outdoors at cafes in the piazzas. We live near family, and while they’ve traveled and worked a lot, we see grandparents, cousins and auntie and uncle more than we have in the past few years. We’ve opened our home to an intern from the US, and we regularly have friends over for meals or hangouts.

All of these things were in the dreams and plans in my heart for years. They’re the things I wanted most for our family. Read More


How to decorate like a minimalist

Good ol’ Timehop has been reminding me that I’ve hit two years since I started down the minimalism path. I’ve been reminded of how a book sparked it all. I’ve seen photos of closet cleanouts and status updates of donating car loads to a women’s shelter and Goodwill.

Even before that two year mark I was a purger and we definitly lived with less than most Americans. But looking at the photos of my then closet and office now, after having sold almost everything and moved half way around the world, it feels so cluttered and full.

Two years ago I said the words “sometimes I wish we had to sell everything and start over” or something along those lines.

And here we are. Fresh start. Less stuff. White walls. Read More


The Italian Hospital Experience

Now that I’ve fully recovered from an entire three weeks of illness, I’m ready to blog about my hospital experience.


Let me first say I’m not a fan of hospitals to begin with. I mean who is? Really? Now, I’m a little crunchy, but my no means do I dislike modern medicine.  I love Target clinics with all my heart. How glorious they are. And I’d have given anything to cruise those isles with a red cart while waiting for my diagnosis and prescription to be filled. Read More


Italian Home tour: Kitchen


I’ll be honest,  I’m not one to watch videos on blogs or “vlogs” as I guess they’re called.   I’d rather read than watch someone talk to me from their chair.  I also don’t watch videos often because my girls come running to my phone to watch even if they were in the middle of some serious playtime. I love that Facebook and Instagram let me watch videos without sound.  Genius.

But I digress.

Today I dusted off our selfie stick and made a video of myself.  Not sitting at a desk for heaven’s sake –  I’m showing you our kitchen.
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Another step in the schooling journey – Italian Elementrary


This Thursday, we’ll take another turn in Mariah’s schooling journey. She’ll begin first grade in Italian elementary school.

We’ve been homeschooling since she  finished kindergarden – technically since May when I was home for my summer break.

I never expected I’d homeschool. After all I was a product of public school, earned a degree in elementary education and taught college freshmen. But during our transition time it was absolutelty the best fit.

It also fit well with Mariah being gifted – she was able to work at her level and we could tailor the lessons to her interests.

Over the last nine months, we’ve gone a bit more down the “unschool” route and I’ve suprised my planner, classroom teacher self as she’s done her school work. Read More


First Italian Christmas


I’ve seen several friends share a little phrase on social media this week.

That bit between Christmas and New Year when you don’t know what day it is,  who you are,  or what you’re supposed to be doing.

Amen. This time between Christmas and New Years is a tricky time for me.   I’m someone who loves routine and productivity and this break makes me go a little nutty.

Our neighborhood has been really quiet with most people on vacation.   The university students don’t fill the streets anymore and the town center is much less crowded than normal.  Bonus: grocery store trips are faster since the one open register doesn’t have a line anymore.

We’ve hunkered down inside in attempts to rest and overcome this never ending sickness Read More