This post is sponsored by Aether Cone. All opinions expressed are my own.

Music shapes our world. Hearing our favorite song come on the radio can change our mood for the better. A single line in a song can capture exactly how we feel with words we could have never come up with on our own. A melody can transport us back in time to a powerful memory. It’s just amazing!

In case you didn’t know it, we’re big music people around this house. Well, I like to play Taylor Swift on repeat and Josh likes to play everything except Taylor Swift. Ha ha. That’s how you know you’re a good fit… we balance each other out. You can bet that if you’re at our house, there will be music playing constantly. That’s just how we roll. Music becomes the sound track to our lives.

So you can imagine how excited we were to get the opportunity to try out the brand new Aether Cone! When we moved into the new house, we looked at a lot of Bluetooth speakers. And I can tell you pretty much every one of them was ugly. So the first win for the Cone is that it’s actually well designed! It fit right in with our minimalist decor.

We got the Cone set up and I was surprised at how easy it is to use! Sync up your Rdio account, push the button and tell it what you want to hear. Turn the dial to skip a song. There’s even an iPhone app you can use to control the music. We used the Cone during our annual Friendsgiving dinner to play our favorite Christmas songs. I cannot confirm whether or not a full-on karaoke to Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You happened or not. (But it totally did!)

After our holiday party, we moved the Cone to the living room. Since we have an open floor plan, the sound carries throughout the whole house. And it sounds AMAZING! (P.S. If you’re a tech person, I’ll translate for you: the Cone has a 3″ woofer, dual tweeters and 20 watt amplifier.) So what’s my favorite part about having the Cone in my living room? Instant, after-school dance parties. This is something we used to do a lot as a family and with all the chaos in our life lately, we’ve really gotten away from it. But you can’t deny that shaking your booty for ten minutes really helps get rid of the after school grumpies. Here are some fun photos from our most recent after school dance party!

And P.S. You can get your own Aether Cone here. This would make a fantastic gift for the music lover in your life!

Much of my life lately has been letting go. We spent months letting go of our things in preparation for our trip to Europe… which has now been postponed until next year. We’re in the process of buying a new house right now and all of our things are in a 10×15 storage unit. Even though the process of letting go of things was painful, the prospect of moving into a new house without much to put in it is pretty exciting.

For a long time, I’ve felt like my life was too full… I know that sounds a little crazy, but it’s true. Sometimes in the process of filling up our lives with all of the things we want: experiences with our family, fulfilling work, coordinating dishes… we go too far. That’s how we end up with boxes of things we never opened from the last move. It’s how we end up with kids’ organized activities six nights a week. And it’s how we end up working for years on a project that takes up too much time and doesn’t make any money.

And that’s where I am right now. This fall, our kids are in Scouts, but no sports. We suddenly have six nights a week free instead of six nights a week eating PBJ’s in the car on the way to practice. We had a huge garage sale before we moved out of our house and after it was over, we took everything we had left to Goodwill. This week, I shut down one business already.

And the truth is, as much as I love sharing about our life here on the HFM blog, it’s time to move on. I’ve put so much of heart and time into HFM these last 3 1/2 years and just never found a way to make any money for my efforts. It got to the point where I felt a lot of pressure to create good content on this blog and it was affecting my ability to create work that pays my bills.

I believe whole-heartedly in creating an intentional life. I used to be very focused on the goal of creating meaningful work that would pay my bills in order to create the life I want. I’m starting to realize that not all meaningful work will pay the bills. And that’s okay. So now I’m focusing on work that will allow me the freedom to pursue the type of lifestyle that I want… maximizing my time with my family and allowing us to adventure and explore the world together. And I still want to do meaningful work, but on my own terms.

And right now, that means moving on. But this is really more of a see-you-soon than a goodbye… But I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to thank you, my dear friends, for all your love and support these last several years. I have treasured every single email, Facebook message, blog comment, and letter I’ve gotten from you. Your kind words, thoughts, and prayers have done wonders for our family. So thank you!!

P.S. We’re going to leave this blog up and I may come back from time to time, but I’m not going to keep writing over here consistently. We’re working on a new website and I’ll be writing over there occasionally, once we get it up and running. You can sign up to be notified when the new site launches by clicking here and entering your email address.

 

summer bucket list giveaway hfm adventure guides

This week’s giveaway is for our Indoor/Outdoor Adventure Guide Combo pack! Everything you need to create 30 unique adventures for your family! The Adventure Guides are pdf e-books that also come with printables for some of the activities.