Monday, December 30

Christmastide & New Year Greetings!

Well, 2019 has certainly been a “bumpy year,” as the Queen so wryly noted in this year’s Xmas address. In a lil’ over a year, we’ve lived in 3 states, experiencing wholly different cultures from slow, sweltering hot & soggy cold Appalachian country life to baking n’ bountiful Californian vibes to finally arriving back again in our very own cosy corner of Narnia, right here in N. Colorado, loving once again children and kin. All told, we drove well over 9,000 miles, flew to England to see my family, had my wallet & ID stolen and are still somewhat exhausted, must say. Oh, and did I mention, whilst in KY, Alexandra broke her back and was on bed rest for many months?! Yup, some deep lows, and highs.

With promises of helping fam/others in need, the chance for new opportunities and challenges, I had to give up a long time job/career I loved in order to meet the tasks at hand, sacrificing in the process, let alone taking these huge steps of faith into the untested unknowns for the better good. We gave it our heart and soul, poured into everyone we could and left with having built some lasting rewards that are definitely beyond measure whilst experiencing losses.

We started two companies, grew our creative potential, number of clients (nationally & internationally), and reach massively; created an awesome, diverse and strong portfolio; challenged ourselves to not accept the mundane yet easy (but oftentimes dulling) status quo and are excited to see where 2020 leads!

We overcame both petty and huge trials together by looking beyond to the promise of greater things. Our trust could have been easily broken on occasion - many situ’s were extremely challenging, if not wild -  but rather than stay mired, we dug deep, found the courage to fly, to try new things, to never give up or lose hope, to imagine and further realise bigger dreams.

My passion for life, others, let alone as a creative professional is bursting at the seams. I feel renewed, alive and can’t wait to see what these new ’20s bring! How about you?

BTW, if you’d like to catch up more, the best way in terms of social platforms (and through which we get much of our work) is truly on Instagram with mine (@itsrainingmarmalade) and Alexandra’s (@alexandrasillos) accents. In fact, there you’ll find our own recently completed joint Christmas Countdown Art challenge - The 25 Doors of Christmas! (With that said too, I’ll be sure to update my IG icon.)

Thank you to each of you for your lovely comments earlier (all of which I’ve replied to now). We’ve been quite busy with some new exciting projects and have at least enjoyed seeing a few of you out there in IG land! I’m going to now visit those of you who commented in the last post so s to catch up here a bit too...whilst able during this holiday downtime!

I do hope all of you have had a full, thrilling year.... but, perhaps not quite as much as ours! :)


  1. Hi Michael!! :)
    Oh what a year you two had!!! My gosh, THREE MOVES....insanity lol! I'm glad you're back in your little nest! 2020 is going to be a very exciting year for me too, I'm very much looking forward to it! I have been off IG for some time, but plan to get back on, maybe in the summer after we buy the house and move. YES, we are buying a house come hell or high water in 2020, no more renting. Even if it's not our dream house, Alex and I decided it's time to stop renting. We'll buy a starter house and if needed, sell it down the line to buy our dream property! Fun and exciting things for me as well in 2020! So glad to see a blog update from you! Much love to both you and Alex and wishing you both all the best in 2020!!! (I think I'd make a good flapper gal by the way lol!) :)

    1. Dear Rain, sometimes duty calls and when it gets tough, the tough get going, as they say! Hahah.

      Yes, I just replied to your last reply on my last post if you haven’t see that yet, where I learned of your move! Exciting times indeed. Congratulations!

      So great seeing your reply here. Oh, and I just added an important tidbit not included on first draft but now added, on top of everything, Alexandra had a bad slip and proceeded to break her back!! She was on forced bed rest for 3.5 months and has slowly been recovering!

    2. Oh my gosh...poor Alexandra!! She's been through too much. Sometimes the tough has NO CHOICE but to get going right? :)

    3. Haha, more true than ya know!!

    4. Flapper girl- love that idea! :)

  2. Thanks for the update Michael, glad you are back home close to the kiddies. All the best to you and Alexandra for 2020!!

  3. Lovely to see you here again Michael and many thanks for the card and note. Bob and I have fingers crossed that this coming year will be calmer and easier for you and Alex. May good health prevail (no more accidents!), and being settled once again in your much-loved beautiful CO town will bring good times, plenty of interesting work, and unstoppable happiness and joy for you both dear people.
    Love, Mary

    P.S. Little Bird Bakery must be glad to see you back!

    1. Haha, I think they are, dear Mary, and yes/Amen to everything else you wrote! I'm believing the same things too.

      Still need to go follow your blog and catch up but maybe not every post as I'd spend until the end of January catching up! :)

  4. All those moving around sounds exhausting but I'm you and Alexandra made it through.

    I hope your new year is filled with luck and joy and all the wonderful little adventures.

    Have a lovely day.

  5. Trying to catch up on reading the blogs I subscribe to this evening and was totally surprised - happily - to see your post, even though I wasn't quite sure at first where I was going as you've changed your blog name. I've been following your moves through your IG accounts and was very happy to see that you've settled back into your Colorado home. You've both been so upbeat throughout the year in spite of all the moves and setbacks - quite inspiring actually to see you seem to transition so well from one place to another. But even though you've left family in KY it has to be so heart-warming to be near to the grands again. Like I said, I'm happy for the both of you.

    I started your 25 doors event and wish I could have done more. This month of December wreaks havoc on our schedules and there's so much to prepare for. I'm retiring end of June, so next year it should be more enjoyable and less stressful. I'm looking forward to more art adventures in the coming years.

    I wish you and Alexandra all the best for 2020 and can't wait to see what's up your sleeves next. Blessings!

    1. Thank you, Lorraine. We've loved having you follow us on IG and also having your entries of 25 doors. In fact, you are the 4th pick just in case anyone of the top 3 people don't want their prize drawing, which sometimes happens! We will announce the winners on Tuesday, a few days later than planned.

      Yes, if there's anything I've learned this year is that attitude is everything which can be tricky when mislead of mistreated but every corner and move has things one can grow from. It was very hard giving up a job I loved but it was time to do new things and whilst not all that was promised panned out exactly, I have done so many new and exciting jobs that I'd never have had opportunity to do otherwise. Yes, a huge step of faith and big sacrifice that few can really appreciate but, particularly for Alexandra, there are soe ever lasting rewards which I'm glad for. We also ready know we should go to KY and it would like by for only a year or two so it ended up being a bit shorter, but led us to Cali which is far more me and even while it didn't last, I had some great times with my father and our biz opps, while not followed through in the end, were confidence building!

      When duty called, we can both say with confidence, we didn't shirk but followed our leading. x