How Instagram changed my faith


Yeah, you read that right. Instagram. The social medias changed my faith and relationship with God. How crazy is that?

The story goes like this…

In April of 2013 I found a hashtag #mth2013 – “Making Things Happen 2013”. This led me to finding Lara Casey’s blog and walking through some of her goal setting posts. Because goal setting is my jam. One line hit me: “Time with God is never unproductive. What is unproductive is when you try to do everything on your own. That leads you in circles.” As a perfectionist who needed control, that line began a big change in my relationship with God.

From others who posted using #mth2013 I came across more hashtags and users who taught me how to study the bible. Then I found so many books to read. I followed the authors on their blogs and Instagram. I’d see who else they followed….. it just . kept . going.

Recently I’ve discovered the world of podcasts. Yes, I realize I’m late to this game. I’m not sure why. Learning is also my jam. Sidenote: I’d also like to mention this has changed my laundry hanging and folding time – I don’t dread doing the chore anymore…it means learning time!

Anyway… Read More


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