So many changes!

Fall seems to be a time of change. This whole year has been transformative, but there are lots of new things happening at Casa de Moore right now.

A couple weeks ago, Tim left his job at Automattic to become a stay-at-home parent, writer, and freelancer.

We’ve talked about this for a long time, so it’s hard to believe it’s finally come to fruition. When we originally moved here, the idea was to reduce our expenses and save money, with the end goal of living comfortably on one income.

It goes beyond our budget, though. Tim has wanted to be a writer for as long as I’ve known him. I’m sure it was one of the first things we talked about during the get-to-know-you phase of our relationship, fifteen years ago.

It’s an adjustment, but a necessary one. We’re already seeing the short-term positives to having someone on full-time house- and kid-wrangling duty, and the long-term benefits make the loss of income more than worth it. It helps that my job is secure and still fun and engaging.

Speaking of my job and big changes, I recently started a new lead role at work. Prior to this, I led a “squad” of about eight people; now that’s almost doubled, and with it, my responsibilities. I’m lucky to have a great team and a solid support system in my leads, but it’s going to take a bit for me to settle into the new role.

And finally, Gwen started pre-kindergarten this week, which is mind-boggling and exciting and scary and sad. This will be the first time we have the house to ourselves on the weekdays to work, the first time she’ll be away from us for a few hours at a time, and her first time in a structured learning environment.

She’ll be fine, but I’m not sure I am. :)


Someone turned four last week. I would have made this post earlier, but something always got in the way.

Then I realized, maybe the reason I’ve hesitated to write this is because I’m having a difficult time accepting that my “baby” is four years old.

It’s so much harder the last time around.

Happy birthday, Gwen. No matter how old you get, you’ll always be my baby.


Variations on a theme

JokesterGwen: “Knock knock!”
Me: “Who’s there?”
Gwen: “The interrupting butt.”
Me: “The interrupting bu —”

Gwen: “Knock knock!”
Me: “Who’s there?”
Gwen: “The interrupting horse.”
Me: “The interrupting ho —”
Gwen: “MOOOOO!”
Me: “Moo? I thought it was a horse.”
Gwen: “Yeah, the cow kinda got in the joke.”


ThemeConf in Keswick

I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at ThemeConf in Keswick, UK this last week. It was quite a trip; I think I covered all manner of modern transportation to get there — planes, trains, buses, and taxis — but the conference, the people, and the scenery made the journey worth it.

The conference was generally about forward-thinking web development, with a bias toward WordPress. Attendance was small, but that made it more intimate and easier to socialize. I learned quite a bit from each presenter; the level of each talk reminded me of CSS Conf, but without the massive venue and hefty price tag.

As for Keswick itself, the town is adorable. Small enough to be walk-able, with lots of cute shops and restaurants. People had a lot to say about the weather, but I had no complaints; I got re-acquainted with my sweaters.

(I did not enjoy coming home to 80-degree temperatures and suffocating humidity, but that’s a different story.)

Adventures in Crafting: Home Décor Edition

Despite my love of all things pretty, home décor is one area of visual design I’m terrible at. It’s not so much my taste, but I find the process of decorating so overwhelming that I’ve become adept at ignoring my surroundings when I don’t know what to do with them.

The orange wallCase in point: Our last home had a hideous hunter-orange accent wall in the living room, and it stayed that way for five years because every time I tried to imagine something different for the space, my brain folded in on itself like a dysfunctional camp chair. In fact, the only painting we did while we lived there was Ellie’s room (a five-person effort that took months) and our teeny downstairs half bath (and only because there was water damage, and I still had a meltdown mid-project).

Thankfully most of this house was painted when we moved in two years ago, but we haven’t done much beyond that. I put up a few pictures, but most of the walls remain bare, and there’s one wall in the living room that’s particularly sad. It’s in an awkward place, partly behind the wood stove on the left and the mounted TV on the right. It’s large, and all our furniture is oriented toward it, so this wall is the focal point of the room, and it’s blank.

It didn’t help that, while in Boston, I visited Ikea for the first time. If there’s anything that can make you feel sad about your current living situation, it’s a trip to a perfectly curated furniture store. I came away with a few bits and bobs, but mostly what I got out of the trip was determination to do something about the living room to make it cozier and give it some personality.

You wouldn’t know it, but that big empty space in the background is a living room.

First step: Figure out what to do about the damn wall. Pinterest to the rescue! I’d seen the wire + clips method of hanging photos before and decided to improvise using clothespins and hemp rope.

For the technical bits, I measured from the top of the sheetrock, starting about eight inches down and spacing the strings eight inches apart. I drilled eye hooks into the wall on each side, with the hemp rope tied tightly between them. The rope still drapes a bit, and I staggered the lengths to give it a less rigid feel. As much as I love modern design, our house doesn’t look the part.

I don’t have a before and after picture, because that would require foresight and planning, neither of which factored into this project. Just imagine this wall with absolutely nothing on it, and you get the idea.


The final result is a mishmash of family snapshots, postcards, and art prints and photographs. For accents, I made some flower medallions out of scrapbook paper, collages, old keys, and bottle caps from my collection. I eventually replaced the larger standard clothespins with miniature versions, so they’re less intrusive and add less weight to the strings.

The beauty of this is the ability to change out the photos when we (read: I) inevitably get bored.


I also put down a new rug. It’s bold. It’s bright. It has loads of personality! I was worried it would be too much, both in size and pattern, but it fits perfectly. The dog has already thrown up on it, but his opinion doesn’t count.


Add some throw pillows, repurpose the kids’ toy box as a coffee table, and throw a sheet over the run-down love seat, and voila! We have a brand new living room for basically the cost of the rug and a couple pillows.

Next up: The stairwell wall gallery.