Silver Lining

May 23, 2017

the end of Silver Lining

Today is the big day! After six years of actively blogging, I'm pressing publish on my last blog post ever here at Silver Lining.

Last night, I felt a little panicky about finally making this plunge as I turned in my last sponsored links to a brand. But this morning, right now as it's 6:05 a.m. and I'm rereading it one last time before I push publish, I feel flooded with peace and excited about this big shift.

As I've been telling people about the end of this blog, the most frequently asked question I've been getting is, "Why?" So here's my answer.


When Silver Lining became a for-profit blog (a.k.a. when more than just my family started reading my blog) I felt very inspired to write specific things and to create a bright and happy online space. I really felt strongly that there were people who needed to read specific experiences I've had with grief, with marriage, with teaching, with young motherhood, and with finding happiness in all stages of life.

Then, rather abruptly at the beginning of this year, I stopped feeling inspired. I felt like the things I needed to say had been said.

Also, I have never thought of blogging as my career. I have never pictured my social media presence as my lifelong, fulfilling source of income. It's always been just a job to me; a really great job, a job I've loved, and a job that's been a fantastic fit while I'm home with my young kids, but just a job nonetheless. My blog was at the point where I needed to either commit and take it to the next level (hire an intern, attend bigger blog conferences, increase my babysitter time) or else get out. And as I thought about that decision, everything inside me said, "It's time to bow out."

A little bit of my decision had to do with blogger burn-out. A little bit had to do with feeling stretched thin as the sole proprietor, where nobody was stopping me from working every night and weekend. A little bit had to do with that hard balance between maintaining my family privacy but also making money from sharing my family online. A little bit had to do with the stage my family is in right now, with lots of big changes happening. But mostly, it's based on strong feelings that it's time to move on, that bigger and better things are ahead.


What's next for me?

This is the best part of it all.

And also the most absolutely terrifying part of it all.

I have no idea what's next.

Ever since I was fifteen years old I have constantly been employed (except for six months when my mom died). Not having a job right now is a weird feeling that my workaholic self isn't used to.

So the first thing I'm going to do is TAKE THE DANG SUMMER OFF. No sponsors, no deadlines, no pressure to maintain a presence on any social channels, nothing!

First up? Today during nap time, instead of working like I've been doing every nap time since 2014, I'm going to relax on the couch and read my kindle book I've been on hold for at the library that just downloaded last night. I cannot wait.

Walking away when I've spent years establishing a strong online presence and have brands that want to work with me seems just so foolish and scary some days. But I'm going to do it anyway.

The second thing I'm going to do is figure out what's next. I have a million ideas, a million goals, a million small business plans, a million graduate degree programs, and a million things I want to do in my professional life.

I've been doing lots of research lately about vulnerability. I've also listened to lots of podcasts about entrepreneurs who embrace the time between jobs. They come, they see, they conquer, and then they take time to figure out what's next, to really think through everything, to get inspired, and to begin realizing their next great adventure.

And that's what I'm going to do. Try my hardest to embrace the uncertainty. Embrace the possibility. Embrace this period of being unemployed, and the abundance of time and mental clarity it brings. as I figure out what my next big thing is.


If you think for a second I'm going to stop sharing cute pictures of my babies, you have another think coming.

I'll still be active (and still accept an occasional paid campaign) over on my Instagram account here, and I would absolutely love to have you follow along.

I'll also stay active on my personal Facebook page here. If you think I won't recognize your name, send me a quick message along with your friend request and I'd love to connect with you there.


This is what I want to say the most (it's now 6:13 a.m. and there are tears streaming down my face as I read this one more time).

Thank you for reading my blog.

Really, truly, thank you. Thank you for every single page view on every single post. Thank you for pressing that like button, for double-tapping my posts, for clicking through to the brand page, for every single comment, pin, and share over the years. Your support is what enabled me to grow and contract with brands I love that supported my family through our years as students, young professionals, and new parents.

I truly hope this has been a space of meaning for each of my readers. Whether you clicked through once on a Pinterest post, or whether you've been here since day one reading my more personal posts, I hope you've found a space that has left you feeling a little more knowledgeable, a little more prepared, a little more happy or inspired or positive, or just leaving with a great book recommendation, parenting tip, or recipe.

But most of all, thanks for supporting and loving me through everything I shared online. I have poured my heart, soul, energy and brain into this blog. Thank you for being kind as you read these things. Thank you for giving me the benefit of the doubt, for sending sweet words, for sharing my content. Thank you for providing a safe space to land when I sent vulnerable and raw thoughts out here to the vast Internet in hopes that somebody else needed to hear those things.

Thank you, so much, for everything.

And now, I'm taking one last deep breath, and just like that - on to my next great adventure!

May 19, 2017

happiness is now

Earlier this week, Sam and I loaded all the kids in the car and drove to the park. It was only 77 degrees, which is almost unheard of for the middle of May in Arizona, and such a beautiful, breezy day.

At one point we took a walk around the lake, with the twins in the stroller and Claire running around looking at the ducks.

At one point we had a sack lunch (these pictures are of a park date a few weeks ago when we brought ice cream). The babies tried to snack on the grass as well, and were not thrilled that we said no.

At one point we held hands, until Claire tried to interrupt us and hold our hands. We said no at first, mainly because we still like to pretend we're in charge at our house (ha), but eventually we let go in favor of the 1-2-3-swing! game she so likes to play.

At one point we put the twins in the same baby swing, with one twin facing each way. They both love the swing, and it creaked along with our babies for a good fifteen minutes.

At one point Claire worked up the courage to go on the zip line, and loved it so much she did it five times in a row. I think I'll always remember her big belly laughs after a year straight of trying to be brave enough for that zip line.

At one point we all got sand in our shoes, and had to shake our feet like maniacs as we watched the sand fall out of our sandals in soft sheets on the sidewalk.

At one point Claire fussed because we told her it was time to go, and Lincoln fussed because he bonked his head on the metal part of the swing, and Addison fussed because we wouldn't let her eat the grass.

At one point, watching the babies grinning and Claire laughing and Sam making everyone happy, I had a very clear thought in my mind.

"Happiness is now."

I've always known happiness has little to do with my financial/ work/ living circumstances, but on that day I realized it has absolutely nothing to do with that. Happiness is 0% related to whether or not I have the perfect job. Happiness is 0% related to whether we're currently renting or owning. Happiness is 0% related to what others think of my life choices, or my success online, or whether I'm twenty pounds heavier or lighter, or what car I drive.

Happiness is right here, and happiness is right now.

Heaven is right here and right now.

Love, God, forgiveness, grace, and the ability to be happy regardless of your current circumstances is right here and right now.

And that tiny burst of clarity made me cry a little, standing there in the middle of the park pushing a creaky swing.

Then we went home, and the regular chaos of trying to get three small humans down for a nap at the same time ensued, and our day continued as normal. But since then, things have been a little lighter. A little easier. A little less confusing in a very confused world.

Because happiness is right here and right now.

May 17, 2017

a fun idea to recognize college graduates

This post is sponsored by Minted, but my words and my love for their beautiful, high-quality announcements is my own. 

So much is done for high school graduates these days. Grandparents fly into town. Relatives mail you money. You get senior pictures taken. Your parents host an entire party for you. You send out announcements. Your graduation present is a month spent traveling through Europe.

Okay, my high school graduation had basically none of those things, but you get it right?

I think it's great to celebrate graduations - high school included. But isn't it funny how much less is done for people earning bachelor or graduate degrees? It's a huge accomplishment, and they should totally be celebrated too.

That's why I wanted to make graduation announcements for Sam this spring. I've seen the graduate announcement trend more and more and wanted to hop on the bandwagon for a few reasons. First, it's a fun way to share our happiness with family and friends who are far away. Second, nobody remembers what Sam's second masters degree is (myself included) so this would be a handy cheat sheet way of reminding people (me). It's also just a great way to celebrate all Sam's hard work.

So we worked with Minted to design some graduation cards. I uploaded the picture I wanted to use, and then spent a happy hour scrolling through beautiful designs with our picture automatically added to them so I knew how it would look. (Anyone else think it's fun to try out a million options before you buy something online?)

We decided on this simple, modern layout. I love that the focus is our family, but there's also enough words to make these cards informative. 

Other favorite touches? The return address automatically printed on the back of the envelopes so we don't have to write out our address a million times. They also have free recipient addressing (yup, you can send them a list of who you're mailing cards to and they automatically print it on the envelope for free). I didn't quite have my act together in time to do this, and I'm already kicking myself for the extra time I'm spending hand-addressing.

Our other favorite touch is the customized stamps. I figured if I have to pay for postage anyway, I might as well make the stamp fun and cute. Also our only other stamps were leftover Christmas stamps with wreaths on them, so it was time for new ones. 

If you're in the market for graduation announcements, Minted has a HUGE selection. Modern cards, letterpress cards, collage cards, minimalist cards, foil cards (rose gold foil too!), and the list goes on and on. And if you join Minted More you can get 30% off your order (almost a third off - what!).

Pin for later:

What graduation traditions do you have at your house?
Any fun ideas for us?
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