Did You Miss Me?

Hello readers!!

My sincere apologies for being extremely negligent in my blogging these past... er... *cough* three months *cough.* Life seems to have gotten away from me. But it hasn't been without its adventures! Now that I'm being a responsible blogger and writing again, it seems only fair to catch you up.

So. What have I been doing for three months? Wellllll, if you must know... here's the abbreviated version:

January/ February:

- Tanner and I moved into a new apartment, roughly 45 minutes away from where we used to live. Though it's a nicer place, it feels sort of sad and lonely since our friends are far away.
- Just as soon as we got all our boxes into the new place, Tanner left. On a business trip. For two months.
- I had the joy of unpacking every box and trying to find homes for every piece of junk by myself.
- In the midst of this, I was starting a new job, getting up at 5am every day and working until 4pm.
- Then life got chaotic as Valentines season hit full swing. I was literally logging into Etsy the second I got home from work and packaging orders until 9 or 10 at night. My life became nothing more than: Sleep. Work. Etsy. Eat. Sleep. Work. Etsy. Eat. Sleep.
- From January 1-February 14, I processed 1,300 orders and shipped out over 2,500 cards. Of the 1,300 orders that came in, 900 of them were placed in the last two weeks before Valentine's Day. Can we say insanity? Oh yes.

Speaking of my shop, I made some interesting changes this year to help expedite my order-processing. Last year I had Tanner and a whole slew of friendly worker-elves (namely my good friends Elizabeth and Jason and a few bottles of wine) to help me out. This year I was living far away and by myself, so I did most of the work solo. It made me re-evaluate my process and realize that I was spending more time than I needed to on menial tasks, such as creating shipping labels.

Hence, I bought a label printer! This fancy little gadget is worth its weight in gold. Plus, it works with my Etsy shipping program so I can send hundreds of shipping labels to it in one go and it prints them all out in a matter of seconds! Brilliant. I'm not sure how I lived without this thing in my life. LOVE IT.

I also bought a card folder. You know... one of those $5 bone folders that you can get at any craft store. It seems like a silly purchase, but I discovered that after folding thousands of cards, I was literally wearing away my nail bed on my thumb and gaining some crazy calluses. Ouch. So I invested in a bone folder and, silly as it seems, it's straight-up one of my favorite shop purchases now.

March/ April:

- And.... rest. My shop got significantly quieter after Valentine's, and I was able to remember what "free time" was like.
- Plus, Tanner finally returned home!
- My 30th birthday! More on this later. But weird. I'm thirty.
- Wedding planning kicks into full steam ahead. Only six months left until the big day!
- My mom and sister came out for a visit to help with wedding plans and to see the sights for a week.
- I started an illustration class! More on this later, too. But it is awesome so far.
- Mother's Day card season starts ramping up... and I have some fun plans for the shop (I know I keep saying that, but it'll someday be true...)
- Also, April 25 was my one-year anniversary of starting the Pacific Crest Trail. It seems so surreal that it was a year ago... and how I miss it!

So that's my life in a nutshell. Of course, there are lots of stories in there, but I imagine I'll get a chance to talk about them soon enough. In the meantime, how's life in the blogosphere? I've definitely been out of touch and need to invest in some rainy afternoons catching up with my favorite bloggers. Until then... take care. And thanks for hanging in there with me while I took that unexpected hiatus! You guys are the best. :)