lately…

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Way back when my dear friend Sara and I were the two nerdiest teens ever, we wrote each other letters that spanned the course of several days. They were typically 7+ pages long. At some point we started doing these little status posts at the start of each day:

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I scribbled a couple of things out in this photo because I want Sara to stay friends with me. Do note that there is a ‘left sock’ category, though. We intentionally wore mis-matched socks for… probably years. I still think that’s cool, actually.

I’ve seen similar things done on the web and I’m always really intrigued by them. Susannah does Sunday Check-ins, and Elsie & Emma did this super cute Sister Stuff post awhile back.

I thought it might be fun to offer you a little peek of my personal favorites as of late. Maybe it will turn into a recurring thing! So, without further ado…

Lately, I’ve been…

drinking: a lot of water, thanks to my Camelback eddy (mine is lavender). Really working on my water intake. Also, Marina recently made a cucumber/grapefruit/gin cocktail for a party, and that was pretty delicious. I don’t have her recipe, but this might get you close.

eating: jackfruit! This obsession started when my-friend-who-makes-delicious-things (Marina, if you haven’t been paying attention) made a Thai curry version of these shredded jackfruit tacos. R.T. and I recently made another variation of jackfruit tacos (no recipe because R.T. is the taco master and just wings it), and buffalo jackfruit pizza. I also learned how to make vegan ranch for the purpose of putting it on that pizza. YUM.

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reading: Forest Feast (visually breathtaking!), Isa Does It, The Strategic Web Designer, Women, Food and God, Tell the Wolves I’m Home

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wearing: my Keen sandals – mine are a couple of years old, but this is their current take on the same model. (Sidenote: This is the summer I finally fell out of love with flip-flops. I’m more than a little sad about it.)

digging: my bicycle, the ocean, quiet evenings sandwiched between lots of time with friends, everything to do with tiny houses, particularly Tiny House Nation (we buy the episodes on Amazon), and TINY (available on Netflix)

crushing on: Sas Petherick (We’re working on a project together this summer – she’s totally brilliant + hilarious.)

indulging in: Finding Carter (what even is this show? Guilty pleasure for sure), sour patch kids

listening to: The Bleachers – ‘I Wanna Get Better’ (Lena Dunham directed the music video), Allison Weiss’ ‘Call your Girlfriend’ cover – both on shameless repeat.

proud of: creating healthier habits both food + movement-wise (sour patch kids aside). I recently ran my first non-stop mile since high school! High five, me! (I’ve been calling my running posts ‘Chubby Asthmatic Runner Progress Reports’ on Facebook. Who doesn’t love a humblebrag? Ha.)

creating: a homemade version of a Midori Traveler’s Notebook (loving it), Project Life (I may do a post about that soon!)

looking forward to: Marie’s beta run of Digital Strategy School starting this month, Mara’s Restore Retreat in September, my first whale watch sometime in the next few weeks!

And, scene. Tell me what you’re digging in any (or all!) of these various categories. Especially happy/upbeat songs I may not have heard, because I am in constant need of new music for my jogs.

June Adventures: Part two!

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Ahh, the long-awaited second installment! (Note: I wrote on that photo with the hand-me-down tablet I got from my friend Adam. How long before using a stylus stops being super difficult?)

In the first installment, I regaled you with my adventures from the first half of my trip to Michigan — so let’s pick up where we left off, shall we?

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R.T. flew in to town on the 12th. We’d been apart for 9 days at that point, which is close to twice as long as we’d ever been apart in the past. This will sound co-dependent, but let me tell you: I hated that.

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In typical R.T.-and-Evan fashion, we set right to having adventures. These were all taken along the Paint Creek Trail, which is one of my favorite places in Michigan. When we lived there, R.T. and I walked and/or biked the trail regularly. The whole thing is lovely.

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Friday night, Sara made us delicious veggie/GF Indian food. (I’m totally blanking on the names of the dishes, but they were so delicious.) Sara’s husband Michael, sister Emma, and dear friend Tim joined us for dinner. Such a nice night! You might know Emma as “Baby Roommate” – she lived with us for most of our time in Michigan and we just adore her.

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Saturday, I attached this milkcrate (which I found in my parents’ garden) to the back of my bike, and the four of us (Micayla, Mathew, R.T. and I) set out for a bike ride. My parents’ live between mile marker .75 and mile marker 1.25 on a 20-mile rail trail that stretches from Columbiaville, Michigan to Millington, Michigan. (High five if you’ve heard of either of those places before now.) We rode all the way to Millington and back!

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Mom in the garden. That hat. Those Crocs. My mom is such an adorable little farmer. (Bonus background shot of Diesel with his dog-cousin Token.)

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R.T. and I sat around this little fire and talked with my dad Saturday night.

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And then! The second of the two main events in my trip to Michigan: my sister Kristina graduated from college! She has a degree in Auto Body Repair, which is pretty cool. She also graduated with honors & a program award. (I’m blanking on what the award was called, but each program selects one recipient.) She’s one of the most badass gals I know.

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After graduation, we toured Kristina’s school’s garage, where she presented my dad with this 1969 Chevy C-10. The truck used to belong to R.T. and I, but she restored it as her senior project and gifted it to my dad for father’s day. Isn’t it pretty?

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And with this photo of my sister’s goat Ella (Edrich? I don’t know. I can’t tell them apart), our trip to Michigan came to an end. We left around 4am the next morning to make the drive home.

Back in New Hampshire…

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Marina and I went to the beach, where I attempted to teach her to hoop. I’m bad at teaching, it turns out. I should work on that.

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These buddies missed us while we were away. (Hat tip to Tory & Tucker for critter-sitting. Thanks guys!) Note: you will never see a non-blurry photo of Specter. She’s just a blur 100% of the time.

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R.T. is teaching me how to golf. I don’t have a lot to say about that. It’s really difficult, actually.

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The guys played the solstice music festival in Plymouth, New Hampshire. The whole lot of us headed up and spent the day there. It was a weird and exhausting but ultimately fun day. The guys had two sets, but the gazebo in the town common was probably one of my favorite shows to date.

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Our friend Remi came into town with their partner Jill. Remi is one of the best humans I know and it was really lovely to spend time with the two of them. One of the highlights of this summer for sure. (Everyone was having more fun in the second picture than I managed to capture – I think everyone but me was listening intently. Oops.)

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R.T. and I closed the month with a little sunset trip to the beach. It was a super gorgeous night and a nice way to end this busy, adventure-filled month. July has been much quieter, but I’ll share some of our adventures with you soon.

xo,
Evan


PS. I recently polished up my services page – I’d love for you to take a look! Get in touch if you’re interested in working together — I have space in my calendar for projects beginning as early as August or September.

June Adventures: Part one!

June was such a busy and full month that I’ve decided to split the recap into two posts. Part one starts… now.

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We started the month by hiking in the Whites. Micayla had never been to the mountains before, despite having spent a lot of time in NH the last few years. It was a perfect day with perfect weather. (I probably say that a lot, but I get REALLY excited about good weather days here.)

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Mic and I left for Michigan two days later. We left around 4am and were well into Miley Cyrus Dance Party mode by the time the sun came up. The drive from my city cottage to my parents’ farm is 15 hours, and we made it non-stop with the dog and the bird in tow. Victory!

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My baby brother Mat graduated the day after I got to Michigan. He graduated 10th in his class, with a near perfect GPA. His senior year he was senior drum major, captain of the soccer team, prom king and class president. Totally the guy you’d hate to love if you went to school with him, but as his sister, I’m pretty damn proud.

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With me in NH and Johnny in Georgia, it’s pretty rare that all 4 of my siblings and I are together. We have a ton of fun when we are, though — I don’t think there’s anyone funnier or more adorable than my brothers and sisters. In the picture above, Johnny is reading an issue of Cosmo to us and we are all in hysterics. This time together was such a treasure. Mic is in Hawaii now and Mathew will be headed to school in Pennsylvania this fall, so these reunions will be even more challenging to coordinate for at least the next little while. (Sad.)

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On the day of Mat’s graduation, Diesel started acting kind of lethargic. After a few hours, it was clear that he was in pretty rough shape. My mom and I ended up taking him to the emergency vet at 10pm. We were there until around 2am, and they ended up keeping him hooked up to IVs overnight. The next day we transferred him to another vet for more tests and he continued his IV treatment through the day there.

He got to come home from the vet the second day and has since made a full recovery. Thank goodness for emergency vet care. The second vet said that he probably wouldn’t have bounced back if we hadn’t brought him in when we did. TERRIFYING. In the end, we didn’t really get any answers about what was wrong with him. His blood indicated traces of anaphylaxis or toxicosis, which had caused him to become severely dehydrated. I wish I knew exactly what had caused it so we could be on the lookout in the future, but shy of that, I’m so relieved that he’s well again. He’s the best dog ever and I can’t imagine life without him.

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My baby sister got married in June (she eloped just after moving to Hawaii), and her mother-in-law threw a sweet little bridal shower while I was in town. It was nice to meet some of my sister’s new family.

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Time in Detroit with my best friend Sara is a must when I’m in Michigan. For our first visit, my friend Andrew came up from Ohio for dinner at Seva. I hadn’t seen Andrew in a couple of years, and he moved to Boulder later in the month, so it was lucky timing that we were able to get together. (A lot of people I know are making big moves this summer! I’m a little jealous, I have to admit.)

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Isn’t Sara lovely? She’s my oldest and dearest friend. We met twenty years ago, which is pretty impressive for two homeschooled kids who didn’t live in the same town. She and I have been through a lot of tough stuff together and I wouldn’t have weathered as well without her. I’m so grateful that our friendship is still going strong even though we’ve lived a thousand miles apart for the majority of the past decade.

small slices of life in Michigan:

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My mom has this sign in her kitchen. You know that phrase, “It’s funny because it’s true?” Ha. (Just kidding, mom.)

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My dad finds Sam really fascinating… although I found out later that he kept trying to teach him to say, “This sucks”. Not cool dad. Not cool.

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Riding bikes with my siblings. (That’s Mic on my bicycle, Harriet.)

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My mom is one of those grandmotherly types that likes to feed everyone. Mixing bowl sized salad, anyone?

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Workspace at my parents’ kitchen table. (I worked part-time the whole time I was in Michigan. Ahh, self-employment!)

I’ll leave this here for now. The second half of my June adventures coming soon!

May adventures

Somehow the end of June is upon us already! I had a really busy month, and I’ll be sharing photos on that soon, but first I’d like to travel back in time for a little May recap.

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May 4th was R.T.’s 29th birthday. I made a mix CD for him – you can listen to the playlist here if you’re so inclined. We’ve been exchanging mixes the whole time we’ve been together. He’s a lot better at making them than I am — I think he’s given me twice as many as I’ve given him. Nevertheless, it’s one of my favorite gifts to give OR receive (and a physical CD with a personalized cover is way better than a playlist, even if it is a bit archaic).

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We celebrated his birthday in Portland, Maine. We made a stop at Portland Flea-for-All (which was really great!) and had tapas & cocktails at Local 188.

TRAGIC news about this day – I mistakenly deleted all of the photos I took with my actual camera that day. UGHHH. Thank goodness for iPhone photos and my Instagram addiction.

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A few days after R.T.’s birthday, we had a little art & wine night. I LOVE these – it’s such a great way to spend time with friends during the week — so much cheaper than happy hour AND you can be productive & social at the same time. I’d like to start doing these once a month or so.

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Hiking is one of our favorite activities, but we somehow made it to mid-May before we got the chance to go to the mountains. (That’s because New England REFUSED to be spring this year. It was so cold for so long that I started to believe winter would never end.) I was just recovering from some weird sick-bug that came with a bonus of back pain (verrry curious) so we just did this little mountain, Black Cap. The views were INCREDIBLE and I would definitely do it again — it would be a great little hike for beginners or young folks.

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After 2.5 years as a single car household, we bought a 2010 Mazda3 Hatchback. We got really lucky and found it about 3 hours into car shopping. It wasn’t the car we were looking for, but as soon as we saw it, we knew. R.T. has made it ‘his car’ and he’s fallen increasingly in love with it. (I named it Owen as I was in the midst of binge watching Grey’s Anatomy when we bought it. Ha.)

heymickie(she hates when i sing that song to her. ha.)

Mid-Month, my baby sister Micayla flew in from Michigan. She stayed with us until early June and then we roadtripped together back to our home state. She moved to Hawaii this month — I’m so grateful we got to spend a few weeks together before she left for the other side of the world!

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Hanging out at friends’ lakehouses is one of my favorite things. In fact, when I hear the term “friends with benefits” I always think “lakehouses”. (Kidding…)

That picture of R.T. and our friend Sarah cracks me up. I also like this one, where they’re pretending to gaze adoringly at each other. What a bunch of dorks.

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Our friend Tucker had a writing assignment in Burlington, Vermont, so the five of us (R.T., Micayla, myself, Tucker, and her boyfriend Tory) headed up for the day. Rain was forecasted, but it turned out to be a totally perfect day. Burlington is one of my favorite places (R.T. and I visit every fall), and it was great to share it with my sister.

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Micayla is a big fan of geocaching and we went a few times while she was here. This day, we drove back to Portland (Maine) and looked for a couple of caches at the Portland Head Light. (We couldn’t find the second one!)

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My little buddy Ian turned one! He and his mama are two of my favorite people & I’m so happy to be able to watch Ian grow up.

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Jess came for a visit over Memorial Day weekend. Just as she got into town, the very rainy weather cleared and we headed to the beach, which was almost completely empty. (A rare treat around here in the summer!) Jess is headed west for new adventures very soon & it was great to see her before she departs.

and a few other slices of life…

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Lunch in Prescott Park with my dear friend Marina.

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My friend Adam and his adorable kiddo.

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Bruschetta prepared by a friend and served on this really cool plate.

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A scene from a walk through my tiny seacoast city.

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Cocktails on movie night with Marina.

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Babysitting my friends’ daughter Morgan.

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Mic and R.T. in Portsmouth.

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R.T. taking pictures in the park.

At the end of the month, I upgraded cameras from a Canon 40D to a Canon 60D, and I’m completely in LOVE. So! Many more photos to come!

A June recap will be up shortly. Stay tuned! xx

New year, new decade, and other life updates

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2014 has required a bit of gearing up ’round here. I had a lot of 2013 lose ends to tie up, and I wasn’t quite ready to hit the ground running when the new year rolled around. I gather that I’m not the only one. It’s okay. Every day is a fresh start and all of that.

Related note: moving at the beginning of December? I don’t recommend it. With two cross-country moves under our belts, you would have thought that moving to the next town was going to be cake. We certainly thought that! It wasn’t. And then the holidays hit. It took alllll of January for me to bounce back. I’m only just about caught up.

I was, however, caught up enough to take a few days off for my birthday. 30! I’ve been so excited to turn 30. I’m not sure why – perhaps just because 30 seems like when stuff starts to happen. I used to think that our twenties were for figuring out who we are and what we want — but now it seems more obvious that we never stop figuring out who we are and what we want.

Special delivery! Sent by my sweetest husband.

The best story I can tell about all of my three decades on this earth.

Birthday museum wandering.

A bunch of birthday balloons from Marina. Feeling very loved today. <3

My birthday was very lovely. R.T. and I spent the day in Salem, Massachusetts, where we visited the Peabody Essex Museum to see this exhibit by Céleste Boursier-Mougenot. Finches playing guitar! It was amazing. (They ask that you don’t take photos or video, which is why I don’t have anything to share.)

Ian's first fire!

The day after my birthday, we had friends over for a little gathering that included a backyard fire.

Chris and Circa working on the art project.

Elise working on the collaborative art project Chris and Randy put together for my party.

Our friend Chris had the very sweet idea to put together this collaborative art project, which all of my friends worked on throughout the party.

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So far, 30 feels pretty good. This winter, on the other hand… It can ease up any time.

A tiny life update + moving to our new city cottage

New place. #citycottage

I was so touched by the loving & supportive response to R.T.’s return to a full-time job and my decision to make some changes in my business. It’s been a busy couple of weeks, but I figured I’d give you the tiniest of updates.

R.T.’s job is going well and we’re adjusting to his new 8-4 schedule. It’s motivating me to keep similar hours — I’m not quite there yet, but I’ll be keeping it in mind as I schedule future projects. (More on that to come.)

The guys rockin' out at Battle of the Bands yesterday. #chasetheghost

I’m not sure how much I’ve mentioned it here, but R.T. and his two best friends have a band called Chase the Ghost. They played a short set at a local Battle of the Bands this past weekend, and they have a show tonight, for which I designed this adorable poster:

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We’ve been really busy with band stuff, but after this show, we’re switching focus to moving to our new home in a neighboring town. I call the new place our city cottage – it’s a large duplex in an old colonial. The house is u-shaped, so the walls only touch in one room on each level & it feels very much like a separate house.

Breakfast nook. #citycottage

The other stairway. #citycottage

The new place is quite a lot bigger than our current cozy one bedroom, and I’m very much looking forward to having room to stretch out a bit, to have people over and, when it gets warmer, to spend time in our lovely back yard.

Moving is stressful and exhausting, of course — but this move will be so much easier than our last two moves (NH to Michigan and back again), so we’re not terribly stressed. Plus, the place is so super charming – just look at it!

More photos to follow once we’re settled in.

Heading into 2014…

Just a quick note before I go: In 2014, my Rebrand Experience intake process will include a short but thorough application. I currently have one opening for January and a few others for early 2014. I’m planning to start taking applications on Tuesday, December 10th. We’ll have a little preliminary chat (via e-mail) before you dedicate the time to filling out the application, so if you’d like to start that conversation early, feel free to email me at leah@sixteenjuly.com — I look forward to hearing from you!

I hope you have the most marvelous Thanksgiving!

On reaching my sales goal & tearing it all down

Painted on my chest. Lovely lettering by @missviv.

5pm on Sunday. Tomorrow, R.T. starts a full-time day job with the company he worked for when we first started dating. He left that job two years ago to move with me to Michigan and help run my business. We’ve been through a lot together in that time.

It’s hard for me to write this without a really obvious tone of sadness. I’m feeling the weight of this change a lot more than I expected I would. I’ve loved having him here with me all day — looking over mockups, putting together to-do lists, pausing for lunch breaks or a long walk. He’s been a driving force in making my business what it is today — My income has increased almost 150% in the last two years with him by my side.

So, that’s the thing. I reached my 2013 sales goal in early October. Last December, when I settled on that target, it felt really bold — like the psychological act of reaching for that number was, by itself, very dangerous. Still, I hit that goal with almost three full months to spare.

But I didn’t feel successful. I didn’t feel relieved. I just felt tired.

I’ve never wanted to build an empire. I never wanted to 4-hour-work-week my way to wealth. I just want to show up every day and do work that matters. I want to build relationships. I want to build a meaningful web. I want to help creative small business owners show the world their true colors.

I’ve never shied away from a little hard work.

But let me tell you: it’s been really, really hard. Running a small business is difficult and full of risks and just plain exhausting. Being my household’s sole income provider has felt wonderful at times and oppressive, terrifying, reckless at others. Some months we make well into 5-figures, and some months (well, okay, one month last year) we lived mostly off of my savings account. Some weeks I get to spend Thursday afternoon hiking in the mountains, and some weeks I don’t leave the apartment for days on end because deadlines have started to play bumper cars (and I am loath to miss a deadline). I have worked through entire vacations, missed concerts I’d purchased tickets for months in advance, and lost friendships to too many “It turns out I have to work” last minute cancelations. It goes with the territory — just about any other small business owner will tell you the same thing.

When I hit this year’s sales goal, I finally paused to take a good look at the situation. I wanted to feel something. Pride? Excitement? Instead, the only thought in my mind was, What’s next? Can I double this next year? Is that goal big enough?

I built this business to be a lifestyle business. I choose this work over building a career with fancy titles like Creative Director or Senior Designer or Lead Developer so that I can travel regularly to Michigan to spend time with my family, so that I can spend our short and fleeting New England summers at the beach, so that I can make my own rules.

Instead, I got caught up in that corporate mantra: if you’re not growing, you’re dying.

But what if it’s not always about the hustle? In fact, what if I take growth out of the picture all together? What if I scale backwards and work with fewer people? What if I just let it be easy?

The truth is, I define my worth in numbers. I do this in all areas of my life: the number on the scale, the number of emails in my inbox, the number on the bottom line.

I don’t want to live by the numbers anymore.

When R.T. and I talk about our future, it doesn’t involve very much that wealth can buy — we’re not interested mansions or lavish vacations. We’re more interested in simpler joys — really, we just want to be able to turn off our computers and enjoy one another’s company on a regular basis. Maybe play a little music and make a little art. We do want to have less debt (no easy feat for two poor kids who took out loans to put themselves through college), and buy a house in this area, where even starter homes average around $400k. I won’t suggest that we want to live a meager, starving artist lifestyle. Certainly not. But we don’t want to hustle our lives away, either.

Ease is the word that keeps coming up for me. I want a life more filled with ease. I want more time to rest, more time to create, more time to stretch, more time to learn, and more time to do my best work with my best clients.

So, R.T. is going back to a full-time day job as an act of encouragement, as the start of a lifestyle renovation. His stable salary gives me room to breathe, permission to take a step back. I’m working with my beloved life coach on letting go of the drive to always be serving, on not being such a workaholic, and on finding new ways to express and define myself. I feel very grateful for a partner who is mature enough to have made this decision for us, who is selfless enough to take on more so that I can take on less. (As an aside, we recognize that we’re very privileged to be able to consider all of this optional — we are grateful for that every day.)

All of that said, it’s the end of an era, and I’m mourning that. I’ve spent a lot of time crying this weekend, staring down the barrel of much lonelier workdays & more separate lives. I know that it’s ultimately the right thing for us — for me. The optimism and the relief will come, I am certain.

But, as it turns out, moving into ease is really difficult. That’s where I am right now.

Ordinary Stories: The end of summer [09.05.13]

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Ah, September. When I was younger, I was all about summer. As I age (and perhaps as I come into my own as a highly sensitive person), I’ve fallen more in love with the transitional seasons — spring and especially autumn. I’m wearing jeans and a cardigan today and truly loving this dreary, 60-degree day.

That’s not to say, of course, that I didn’t enjoy summer. I really, truly did. Here’s how my life has looked the last couple of months.

I found these tiny shells for you.

Little respite by the sea.

A little solo ocean respite to center my spirit. (I never stop feeling spoiled by the ability to saunter to the sea anytime I so desire.)

New bridge in progress. #nofilter

My blue-eyed guy and I. #datenight

Adventures with my number-one best guy.

In bed with everyone. (Not pictured: husband to my left, cat to my right.)

Beings I would like to trade days with, exhibit A.

These cuddles are not on my terms and I hate you.

And these beasts.

Perfect day for a park break.

Also enjoying a park break this afternoon.

… including hooping in the park. (My favorite!)

Double trouble.

I got to see this guy and his mama for a few minutes this evening.

Earlier, Ian sleeping on my shoulder. He covered his face with his fist like he was exasperated. So funny.

Getting to spend time with this guy. He’s the son of my friend Brigid, and I feel a particularly special heart-connection with him. (Check out Brigid’s Etsy shop in that link — she makes the cutest things.)

I got to meet this sweet girl today. She greeted me with a smile. #love @eliseweeks

I also got to meet (but haven’t spent nearly enough time) with this little darling. (She’s pictured above next to Ian.) This is Amelia True, the daughter of my dear friend Elise.

Brigid and Elise are the first of my close friends to have children, and I’m thrilled by the additions to the landscape of my life. As someone who loves children but is childless for the foreseeable future, it does my heart a lot of good to spend time around these tiny humans. I adore them, and I’m awed by the mothers that my friends have suddenly become.

Kale chips & pumpkin granola.

Two years together!

Oh, this guy again. We celebrated our official two-years-together milestone on 7/30. (We actually started dating in April of 2011, but didn’t consider ourselves ‘a couple’ until the end of July.) To celebrate, we did a little hiking and then hit a few favorite places in Portsmouth for a little tour of tapas and drinks. And then we went out with Chris and Stephen for a couple more celebratory drinks.

Brothers. (Jeff is alive & well.)

Said goodbye to this little buddy this morning. Big heart for such a tiny life. Rest well, Arlo Guthrie.

At the beginning of August, our rat Arlo died. It was sudden but not unexpected — he was an older dude who had spent much of his life in a pet shop. He came to live with us last summer. He was a real charmer and we were very sad to say goodbye to him.

Messy beach hair with my babymost sister.

My sweet mama. She's changed so much this year & I'm so proud of her.

Being tourists today. #nubble

In happier news, my mom & sister Micayla came to visit for a long weekend. It was so great to see and spend time with them. Mickie was my tiny sidekick when she was little and I’m so proud of the young woman she’s grown up to be. She started college this week, which blows my mind a little bit.

This is filling me with such joy tonight. Just adore her. #darwilliams

We saw Dar Williams play a show at Prescott Park a few weeks ago. She’s one of my absolute favorite musicians. I discovered her not long after moving to Maine in 2002 (when I was barely 18) and I have a lot of happy memories of driving along the coast listening to her songs on repeat. (The Babysitter’s Here still makes me teary, it turns out.)

From our hike this morning.

We’ve been spending as much time as possible hiking in the White Mountains. I’ve been stealing most Fridays off from work, which sometimes means working a bit over the weekend, but it’s totally worth it. We’re going to try to keep up our weekly hiking adventures all winter — we’ll see how that goes. (I’m possibly the least-hardy person alive.)

Friends with clasped hands. Bonus Josh Cyr in the background.

Lighting candles at the Bobbett beach house.

Good morning.

Summer flowers & cranberry kombuchma.

This morning. #nofilter

Favorites.

Just because. #besthusbandever

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Last days of summer.

All in all, it’s been a great couple of months. Very full and busy but with just enough downtime for rest & relaxation.

R.T. left his part-time job at UNH at the end of August, so he’s been working with me full-time, dividing his time between my studio and Website Refinery.

I’ve settled into this pace of working just enough and my entire life is better for it. I’m doing some of my best work. I’ve been spending a lot of time reading both for pleasure and to keep up with my always-changing industry. This is the first time I’ve worked at a moderate pace and I’m really enjoying (and feeling rather proud of) the shift. I’m working on a blog revamp when time allows. You might see that soon or it might be months from now.

If you’re interested, I’m currently booking for projects beginning the second half of October. Feel free to get in touch.

If you’d like to keep up with my adventures in real time, feel free to follow me on Instagram. I’ve also been spending a little too much time on Pinterest lately.

Ordinary Monster Days: Happy 4th! [07.03.13]

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Happy summer! Happy Independence Day, American friends! Sorry I missed the chance to wish you a happy Canada day, friends to the north. (Fun fact: most of my clients are in Canada. Maybe I’ll move there someday.)

Everything I need is in this car. Husband, dog, parrot, hoops, art supplies. Vacation!

When we last met, R.T. and I were getting ready for a trip to Michigan to visit my family. We split the 15-hour drive into two days because we decided to take the bird. That drive looked a lot like this:

Out of his cage because I wasn't prepared to endure a fourth hour of screaming. #roadtrip #birdonthego #africangrey

And this:

Current status. Sigh.

And, finally, about an hour before we got to my parents’ farm, this:

Sleeping. Finally. (Only an hour to go, but I'll take what I can get.)

So, it was pretty loud and exhausting. Also, I’d sprained my ankle the night before we left, so that was no fun. But, we finally made it, and it was so lovely to see everyone and spend time at my midwestern home.

My parents. My dad is wearing my Mom's purple sweatshirt. I think they are the cutest.

Haha. My dad is totally wearing my mom’s purple sweatshirt here. My mom had lost 30lbs in the three months that I’d been away. Amazing! So proud of her.

Downpour out of nowhere this morning. #midwest

My sister/mechanic.

My badass sister totally fixes cars for a living. She does mostly auto body work, but she was kind enough to do our brakes for us while we were there.

Gorgeous day.

Today's trek.

We did some light trekking around despite my sprained ankle, and then we had dinner in Detroit with my beloved *Sara and her sister Emma, who used to be our baby roommate at our Ferndale house.

Prettiest graduate.

Speaking of my family, my brother has these Warby Parker glasses and I want them. #latergram

And then, the main event! My tiny sister graduated from high school. (That’s my brother John in the second photo. He lives in Georgia but flew in for a day.)

Message from the mountain.

We went hiking a couple of days after getting back to New Hampshire. When we came upon this tree, R.T. reached into our pack and pulled my phone out before I’d even asked. Ha!

Did maternity photos & had lunch with this lovely lady today. #happysunday

That weekend, I did maternity photos with my dear, dear friend Elise. I’m still working on processing the photos. Slowest ever. (Obviously why I have no dreams of being a professional photographer.)

Watching Nest and Danielle practice counting at the coffeeshop.

Speaking of pregnant friend, Danielle and John welcome their daughter Morgan to the world last weekend. This photo was of Danielle about a week before her daughter was born. I haven’t met Morgan, but her big brother Emrys was my buddy when he was younger & I can only imagine Morgan will be as delightful. (Congrats, guys!)

Evening cocktails on my friends' porch. New Hampshire in the summer. Yes.

Lovely day for a trip to the farmer's market.

Good morning.

That's Joel's Crown Royale face. Not a fan, apparently.

Boys debating whether or not it's going to rain. With iPhone technology.

Weekend closing ceremonies: Card games & Moscow mules.

We worked hard for this view.

Otherwise, we’ve been fitting in summer fun wherever we can — hanging out with friends, hiking, and playing lots of Gloom.

This weekend, I get to meet my dear friend Jen in person for the first time! So excited!

Some changes are happening ’round here, on the LeahCreates Web Studio front. Don’t worry — I’m not going anywhere. In fact, I’m currently booking projects beginning in August — and August is the perfect time to start your revamp if you’re planning to have a new site launched before the holiday season. Get in touch if it’s something you’ve been considering. (I’ll reply on Monday, after my little holiday staycation.)

Mwah!

Ordinary monster days: In pictures [05.30.13]

Pierce Island.

Hello, friends!

I’m getting ready for a 10-day break from studio work. The first week will be spent back in Michigan at my parents’ farm. It’ll be the first visit since our move, and I’m so looking forward to it. I love summer in the midwest. I’ll be spending most of my time outside – having art picnics, reading, hooping in the grass, swimming, going for long walks on the rail trail… all of my favorite things.

Before I depart, a little update on what I’ve been up to, in pictures:

From our walk this AM.

Taking Samson on fun outings, like the beach and the park. (He hates the grass.)

"I came all the way to the park on this very nice day, but I'm a baby and won't leave my mom." #fancychicken #africangrey

Had a lovely working Sunday downtown with my friend Jess:

Current scene. #sundayworkin

R.T.’s friends refer to him as a robot, so I fell in love with this button at Gus & Ruby:

This button is about my marriage.

I’ve been painting again! (I find art is best with a glass of wine.)

Related: really glad I did my nails today. #sarcasm #artistlife

Signs of a good night. #art #wine #workinprogress

I got in touch with my handy side and built this playgym for Samson. Aside from the sanding that R.T. is doing in this photo, I built the entire thing myself. I even learned how to use a couple of power tools to get it done. Proud! (Pardon the mess in the second photo. That’s my living room. It’s always that messy – not going to lie. This is real life, people!)

I built this thing. Now, Randy sands it. Next, make it awesome.

Not a great photo, but this is the mostly-completed playgym. I did everything myself (except the sanding R did yesterday).

I went to Northampton, MA last weekend to do some work (and have some fun!) with Jess Greene of Seek Your Course. I’d never been to Northampton before and I just LOVED it!

Love this floor. (I also love this city - first visit to Northampton, MA)

Very cool bar in a former subway tunnel.

And then R.T. and I spent the rest of the weekend adventuring around New Hampshire. (Yes, 4-day weekend before a 10-day vacation… I’m going to get a degree in taking time off! Love it.)

Old Fashioneds are breakfast cocktails if you add orange juice.

Passenger seat.

Isn’t R.T. the cutest?

My husband is THE most adorable human I've ever seen. And look - he's even smiling. That's a rare treat for you, Internet.

AND THE BEST NEWS OF ALL!

On May 23rd, my dear friend Brigid welcomed this sweet boy, Ian Daniel into the world. He’s a little preemie and THE cutest, tiniest thing. Brigid is already the best mama ever. I’m so excited to watch this tiny sprout grow up!

New favorite baby.

This is my friend (and fellow designer!) Elise with Ian. Elise is due to have her own little one in July. So many babies!

Elise is wide-eyed over how tiny Baby Ian is.

Unpictured…

Another highlight of the last couple of weeks was getting to meet friend and client Mara in person. We had lunch at one of my favorite Portsmouth restaurants. I realized as soon as we parted ways that I didn’t get any photos of her/us together, which is super sad — but it was fantastic, so she gets an honorable mention.

Off to the races…

Time to finish up my to-do list, pack up way too much stuff for a 6-day trip, and turn on the auto-responder.

See you in June!