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Fight For Your Work/Life Balance: Your Work Will be Better For it

Fight For Your Work/Life Balance: Your Work Will be Better For it 2560 1707 Alicia East

Hustle culture is losing its appeal with younger generations. But while they value the idea of having a work/life balance, they’re bad at it. Still, having a robust non-office life might counterintuitively benefit your work one. According to Mental Health America, “When workers are balanced and happy, they are more productive, take fewer sick days, and are more likely to stay in their jobs.” So whether your motivation is just to enjoy life more or to be better at your job, it’s worth fighting for your work/life balance.

Work/Life Balance is Harder Than Ever

Conference rooms, spontaneous conversations at the proverbial water cooler, and in-person meetings are simply not necessary for many work situations any more. With Slack, Zoom, and other digital communications taking over, much of our work is no longer tied to a physical location. That has some benefits. On the other hand, most of us no longer have the luxury of clocking out and leaving our work behind. That makes establishing a work/life balance incredibly difficult. How many times have you responded to a work request while putting your kids to bed or having lunch with a friend?

No longer having a forced separation between work and home means it’s a lot easier to ping someone with a random thought or question late at night or on the weekend when you aren’t risking waking their kids with at 9 PM phone call. Shooting off an email or a text at 9 PM is socially acceptable and reading work communications as you’re going to bed or first thing in the morning is often expected.

A “delayed” response of even 10 minutes can cause concern. Now, it almost seems like you literally have to go underground (on the subway) or take a flight to get a break from electronic communications. All our “time savers” eat away at more and more of our time.

Establish Work/Life Balance

It’s worth making balance a priority though. We all know the basics: Snooze Slack when you’re done for the day. Turn off your notifications. Take frequent breaks from the computer, etc.. But have you tried locking your phone in a safe? Sometimes that’s what it seems like it would take to get a true break.

The reality is you may not always be able to avoid working odd hours or catching up after a busy day home with sick kids. So if you must do work outside of regular hours, you can take some steps to respect your coworkers’ balance, too. Use your schedule send option. It’s the best! Instead of sending at 1 AM, schedule an email to send at 8 AM the next day. It’s a small, but worthwhile way to show respect for their time and prevent conditioning them to expect you to work at all hours.

Chances are, if you are so bold as to want a life outside of work, you’ll get a little pushback, but maybe not from where you expect. You’ll likely encounter the most resistance from yourself. Sure, there may be some unreasonable bosses, clients, and coworkers out there, but most understand that a work/life balance is NOT about being lazy or doing less than satisfactory work. It’s more about living in a way that positions you to give your best in every area. Consider what kind of life you want to have and whether your current situation reflects your values. If not, then you can read some of the (many) articles about how to establish a work/life balance.

The Bottom Line

With the current level of access, it takes discipline to have boundaries. Fight for your work/life balance and respect others’ boundaries, too. Everything will be better for it, including your work.

Your Secret Weapon For Eliminating Red Tape For Hiring (a Quiz)

Your Secret Weapon For Eliminating Red Tape For Hiring (a Quiz) 2560 1920 Alicia East

For companies that hire a lot of freelancers, an Employer of Record (EOR) can be a lifesaver—or at least save some headaches if not literal lives. A partner for handling hiring temporary workers can be a key to avoiding fines and court dates by keeping businesses out of trouble. An employer of record is defined as “a company or organization that is legally responsible for paying employees, including dealing with employee taxes, benefits, insurance, etc.”

As such, an EOR deals with the administrative problems and mountains of paperwork that come with hiring, paying, and insuring workers. Outsourcing parts of business that require extremely-specialized skills and those that deal with risk and compliance can be a very wise business move. These issues have very high stakes and a partner is required when devoting the time and resources toward doing the job right simply isn’t feasible. Keeping your workforce happy and paid on time/with accuracy is also crucial to maintaining a happy workforce. In addition, the laws are always changing and audits, fines, and penalties follow when airtight systems and processes are not in place. An EOR keeps everything running as it should and serves as the employer. As such, it takes on many of the related responsibilities and liabilities while employees work for another company.

Would an EOR Benefit Your Business?

  1. Does hiring new workers slow you down when you’re trying to accomplish a goal or staff an event?
  2. Do you have a lot of freelance hiring needs on tight deadlines?
  3. Does freelance payroll management cause your team headaches?
  4. Would maintaining current headcount when engaging freelancers save you trouble?
  5. Do you have compliance concerns?
  6. Does your staff need refreshers on workers’ comp and necessary insurance for contractors every time you hire freelancers?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you might consider whether an EOR would help you. In addition to easing the above concerns, an EOR turns a mountain of hiring paperwork into a molehill and handles certificates of insurance, I-9s, and E-verify forms. They also terminate employees when necessary, administer benefits, and conduct background checks and drug screenings.

Bottom Line

Not every company needs an EOR, but for those who do, it’s a game changer. We find clients benefit greatly from partnering with an EOR when they need help onboarding or don’t have the capacity to handle hiring-related HR issues. Since PayReel specializes in these services, we have systems in place to make everything as efficient and smooth as possible. Sometimes, having an EOR in position can be the difference between staffing and finishing projects on time and tanking a project before it really even gets off the ground. If you think you might benefit, reach out to PayReel and we’ll talk through solutions for your unique situation.

Do You Have Workers in Oregon? 

Do You Have Workers in Oregon?  2560 1707 Alicia East

Engaging independent contractors comes with a high level of responsibility no matter where you are. Still, some states have a reputation for being especially risky. Oregon is one of those and any business that engages independent contractors in Oregon must take extra care to stay compliant with worker classification and labor laws. 

Some employers like having more employees, feeling it gives workers more ownership in the company’s success. Others say it makes their business model unsustainable. Whether a worker performs work outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business is the main determination for which workers qualify as independent contractors. 

Some companies have restructured operations completely to avoid hiring more W2 employees (new laws have a way of precipitating new ways to get around said laws). Another way to avoid reclassifying is simply to operate business as usual and wait to be challenged. Smaller companies have been known to get away with this approach indefinitely. It’s risky, but it does happen.

Worker Classification in Oregon

While Democratic and Republican governments have decidedly different approaches to worker classification, the recent trend is going in the direction of making it harder for companies to classify workers as independent contractors, with democratic administrations prioritizing accurate worker classification and punishing employers that don’t comply. 

Federal legislation is one thing and then states have their own rules. Companies that engage workers in Oregon need to be in position to observe Oregon’s worker classification rules. Violators can face penalties such as fines, possible jail time, and damage to their reputations. 

Why Does The Department of Labor Care?

Independent contractors have been known to write off business expenses and sometimes underreport income, small businesses have avoided certain taxes with fewer W2 employees, and independent contractors are more difficult to track and tax accurately than W2 employees. In California’s Dynamex decision, the court identified some of the challenges misclassification causes, saying it is “a very serious problem, depriving federal and state governments of billions of dollars in tax revenue.” 

What About The Workers?

Oregon’s approach to worker classification (among other topics) purportedly intends to protect workers and many consider Oregon one of the most worker-friendly states. 

Still, some independent contractors have been unhappy with the changes and expressed concern for their livelihood. Even if all the perks afforded an employee (healthcare, time off, etc.) bring them close to their original pay in practice, their paycheck may look a lot smaller on the surface. Many industries have been granted exemptions, indicating that, as always, there is no simple cut and dry to an issue this complicated. 

Independent contractors set their own schedule and manage their own businesses. While ICs are still responsible for paying taxes, they can also take advantage of many write-offs. Along with the perks, they do have the responsibilities that come with owning their own business. They run their own books, pay quarterly taxes, advertise, purchase their own equipment, and deal with the seasonal nature of business. Independent contractors also don’t get paid time off and are responsible for purchasing their own health insurance.

Some workers prefer the stability and possibility for advancement that come with having a greater presence at the office and familiarity with the ins and outs of the company.

What Best Practices Mitigate Worker Classification Risks in Oregon?

Unless a company is made up 100% of full-time employees, this subject is relevant to operations. Failure to classify employees correctly could result in fines, back taxes, and even jail time. Stay well on top of worker classification rules and know the exemptions that may apply to your industry. Of course, if your business doesn’t have the bandwidth to stay on top of everything, engaging a partner is an excellent option. Working with an Employer of Record (EOR) or Professional Employer Organization (PEO) is standard best practice in this evolving freelancer economy. 

While both provide payroll and insurance services, the differentiating factor is that an EOR relieves employers of much of the regulatory risk involved in working with independent contractors while a PEO operates as a co-employer and does not assume the employment risk.

What Are The Stakes for Mistakes? 

Big companies like Uber make headlines for their missteps and pay equally big fines for their worker classification choices. Still, it can be a costly mistake to think it’s only the big companies that face consequences. By rescinding the Trump Administration’s “Worker Classification Rule,” the Biden administration made it easier for workers to argue for minimum wage and overtime protections/compensation. In addition to having to pay back 100% of the matching FICA taxes they would have paid had they classified the worker correctly up front, employers can end up subject to additional penalties such fines for each W-2 form they fail to file, penalties equal to 1.5% of the employee’s wages, and a $5,000 penalty for the first misclassified employee and up to $25,000 for each subsequent violation

Suffice to say, misclassifying workers does not save money in the long run. Perhaps scarier than the possibility of monetary damages, misclassification has landed some business leaders under house arrest. 

In addition, class-action lawsuits, failed audits, and negative headlines can damage a company’s reputation to the point where both workers and consumers are hesitant to engage with a company. It’s just not worth it!     

Bottom Line 

The most common mistake when engaging contractors in Oregon is misclassifying workers. Being lax about any risk and compliance issues is a danger to your operations. As the economic landscape shifts and independent contractors rise in prevalence, the financial stakes and potential for missed revenue rise, too. Government agencies such as the IRS and DOL will continue to ramp up their focus on the subject. States are also attempting to crack down on misclassification while tightening the reins on training requirements, and payroll guidelines.

There’s big money in class action lawsuits and new cases are always brewing. Fear doesn’t serve you well, but businesses should be very, very conscientious when engaging independent contractors in Oregon. A high level of vigilance protects your business. It’s worth doing whatever it takes to stay compliant and reduce the risk for fines and unpleasant attention from the IRS.

When is Engaging a Partner a Good Idea?

If you don’t have the in-house capacity to do it yourself, it’s worth engaging a partner. Doing business in Oregon is complicated and the consequences for errors can be very damaging. While the onus is on employers to classify workers correctly and stay in line with the state’s changing requirements, the right partner can make a rocky landscape smooth.

For PayReel, accurate worker classification and top-notch risk management are always the priority. We strive to stay aware of changes in the regulatory climate, monitoring state and federal regulations to the best of our ability

If you think a partner would help your business stay compliant, contact us now. 

Meet The Team: Kaitlyn Kimmel

Meet The Team: Kaitlyn Kimmel 992 1322 Alicia East

Kaitlyn’s background handling property tax issues and motor vehicle dealers has sharpened her customer service skills. She loves being able to help people find solutions and just generally make their day better. Kaitlyn stays extremely organized so she can be at her best in her role. She lives by her calendar and planner.

Growing up, Kaitlyn’s parents owned a roller skating rink and the passion for skating has stayed with her into adulthood. She’s a serial DIYer and especially enjoys silversmithing and refinishing furniture. On the weekends, you might find Kaitlyn hanging out with her two pets or volunteering in her local animal shelters or soup kitchens.

Something else: Kaitlyn believes that good things take time, so if you drop by, you’ll likely find some of those good things fermenting on her counter in the form of kombucha or kimchi.

Engaging Independent Contractors in Washington

Engaging Independent Contractors in Washington 2560 1334 Alicia East

While California is the state that makes headlines for its frequent legislation and tough employment guidelines, Washington is very similar. It’s considered a risky state to bring on independent contractors due to its strict worker classification rules. The high stakes for mistakes mean it’s important for businesses to take care to stay in good standing. 

Worker Classification

Federal rules around worker classification continue to make it harder for companies to classify workers as independent contractors. Each administration has its own approach to worker classification, but democratic administrations tend to have their sights set on prioritizing misclassification. 

In addition to the federal legislation, states have their own rules. Washington has some of the strictest requirements surrounding worker classification and it’s important for companies to pay attention because violators risk strict penalties such as fines, possible jail time, and damage to their reputations. 

Why Does The Government Care About Worker Classification?

It depends on who you ask. Governing officials are quick to say their first motivation is watching out for workers. Beyond that, it’s clear that there are serious funds on the line, too. Independent contractors write off business expenses and sometimes underreport income while small businesses can avoid certain taxes with fewer W2 employees. In addition, independent contractors are more difficult to track and tax accurately than W2 employees. 

What Does it Mean For Business?

Properly classifying workers is a highly-complicated task. The distinction can depend on factors such as the ability to hire or fire a worker, the kind of occupation, the method of payment, location of the worker and more. Some employers lean toward hiring employees, feeling it gives workers more ownership in the company’s success. Others say leaning on independent contractors makes their business model sustainable. Either way, some companies have had to restructure operations completely or bolster their Human Resources departments to make sure they’re above board. 

What About The Workers?

Washington’s approach to worker classification (among other topics) purportedly intends to protect workers and provide reasonable protections, which is why many consider it one of the most worker-friendly states. Still, some independent contractors find such an approach makes it difficult for them to operate.  

Independent contractors set their own schedule and manage their own businesses. While they are still responsible for paying taxes, they can also take advantage of many write-offs. Along with the perks, they do have the responsibilities that come with owning their own business. They run their own books, pay quarterly taxes, advertise, purchase their own equipment, and deal with the seasonal nature of business. Independent contractors also don’t get paid time off and are responsible for purchasing their own health insurance.

Some workers prefer the stability and possibility for advancement that come with being an employee and having a greater presence at the office and familiarity with the ins and outs of the company.

What Best Practices Mitigate a Company’s Risk?

Unless a company is made up 100% of full-time employees, this subject is relevant to operations. Failure to classify employees correctly could result in fines, back taxes, and even jail time. To stay well on top of worker classification rules, businesses can first determine if their operations are exempt from applicable laws. From there, they can follow classification news and observe how changes play out in practice. For those without the capacity or interest in having an internal team dedicated to the task, engaging a partner can be a great option. Working with an Employer of Record (EOR) or Professional Employer Organization (PEO) is standard best practice in this evolving freelancer economy. 

While both provide payroll and insurance services, the differentiating factor is that an EOR relieves employers of much of the regulatory risk involved in working with independent contractors while a PEO operates as a co-employer and does not assume the employment risk.

What Are The Stakes for Mistakes? 

Big companies like Uber make headlines for their missteps and pay equally big fines for their worker classification choices. Still, it can be a costly mistake to think it’s only the big companies that face consequences. By rescinding the Trump Administration’s Worker Classification Rule, the Biden administration made it easier for workers to argue for minimum wage and overtime protections/compensation. In addition to having to pay back 100% of the matching FICA taxes they would have paid had they classified the worker correctly up front, employers can end up subject to additional penalties.

Misclassifying workers does not save money in the long run. Perhaps scarier than the possibility of monetary damages, misclassification has landed some business leaders under house arrest. 

In addition, class-action lawsuits, failed audits, and negative headlines can damage a company’s reputation to the point where both workers and consumers are hesitant to engage with the company. It’s just not worth it!     

Bottom Line 

With the increasingly narrow definition of an independent contractor, the US is embarking on the real-time evolution of the economy. The most common mistakes when engaging contractors in Washington are misclassifying workers, (of course!), being lax about training requirements, or making privacy and meal wage/overtime errors. 

As the economic landscape shifts and independent contractors rise in prevalence, the financial stakes and potential for missed revenue rise, too. In response, government agencies have been ramping up their focus on the subject. The IRS and DOL are not alone. States are attempting to crack down on misclassification while tightening the reins on training requirements as well as payroll guidelines.

Where the money goes, lawyers follow. There’s big money in class action lawsuits and new cases are always being filed. While fear is never productive, companies should be very, very conscientious when engaging independent contractors in Washington. Companies must be very vigilant to protect their business, stay compliant, and reduce the risk for fines and unpleasant attention from the IRS.

When is Engaging a Partner a Good Idea?

If you don’t have the in-house team to do the job right, it’s worth considering working with a partner. The bottom line is that doing business in Washington is complicated and the consequences for errors can be very damaging. While the onus is on employers to classify workers correctly and stay in line with the state’s changing requirements, it’s possible to navigate a rocky landscape with relative ease.

In our world, accurate worker classification and top-notch risk management when it comes to overtime, meal wage, and other laws are always the priority. We are the first to be aware when change is in the air. We track rules in every state as well as on a federal level and offer services to help clients stay compliant. Curious where your business stands? Reach out for a free consultation on your risk profile

Cybersecurity: Five Digital Hygiene Practices That Protect Your Customers

Cybersecurity: Five Digital Hygiene Practices That Protect Your Customers 2560 1707 Alicia East

If you’re a production company with expensive gear, you lock it up well and insure it. You keep your wallet or purse close to you while you’re in public. Unlike tangible items though, we can’t keep our identity, data, and personally identifiable information (PII) in our sight or locked up with a key. Cybersecurity requires a different approach. Businesses have extra responsibility because they have access to their workers’ personally identifiable information. Every time you engage an employee or a temporary worker, some level of personally identifiable information changes hands. Just think about how many social security numbers pass through your system. If those stay on your hard drives, you are putting your customers’ information at risk! This is one reason, among many, that it’s so important to have a high level of data security on a company level and to train staff in digital hygiene practices.

Current Threats

It seems every week, a major company, city, or hospital experiences an alarming security breach. Each error compromises something, whether it’s privacy (hacked laptop/phone cameras or Zoom calls, for example), data, or PII. Credit monitoring companies, phones, hospitals, and entire cities have been compromised or even taken hostage. The government has identified the cyberworld as its own domain (after land, air, water, and space). As such, it requires businesses and individuals to have a strategy and implement measures to keep countries, businesses, and people safe.

Businesses and consumers increasingly rely on apps and software to get their everyday work done. Customers, employees, and sometimes patients trust companies with their information. This comes with a responsibility to handle that information well.

So What’s a Company to do?

It’s kind of scary, sure, but there are solutions. While some require third-party software, many of them are basic.

  1. Password Management: There are tools that offer super secure ways to make sure your company passwords are accessible only to whom you want them to be. If you’ve ever tried to access a company account after the person who managed it is no longer with the company, you see the value here. Aside from the convenience, it’s a way to keep information super secure.
  2. Make Your Policies And Procedures Airtight: Prevention is always ideal. Train employees on good security etiquette. For most organizations, human error is by far the most likely source of mistakes that lead to breaches.
  3. Check Your Insurance Coverage: Should you experience a breach, having solid insurance coverage in place can make it a lot less painful by covering the financial loss. Talk to your insurance provider about your current coverage and where there might be gaps. 
  4. Conduct Penetration Tests: Have third parties perform monthly security checks and an annual penetration test to ensure that anyone that tries to come after you will have a tough go of it. 
  5. Encrypt Customer Information: Encrypt all information at multiple levels. Encryption scrambles data so that it’s unreadable without the encryption key. 

Conclusion

Any investment in your security is a wise investment indeed.

Meet The Team: Ethan Morse

Meet The Team: Ethan Morse 450 940 Alicia East

Meet Ethan Morse–our market researcher.

Ethan’s background in computer science and his penchant for both programming and creative endeavors make him a natural fit for his role at PayReel. As a market researcher, Ethan identifies and reaches out to prospects who could benefit from PayReel’s services and software.

Previously, Ethan spent a decade as a sushi chef. He most enjoys making nigiri because of the level of excellence it requires. At one restaurant, he had to pass a test—making, plating, and serving the delicacy in front of his head chef. He stayed after hours practicing the form, which appealed to his desire to continue learning and improving. While the connection may not be intuitive, his current role requires similar skills—extreme attention to detail, organization, and patience.

While he considers himself an introvert, Ethan enjoys skateboarding, getting outside, and spending time with friends.

Something Else: Ethan is an avid reader and has three different books available at all times to suit his changing moods. At the moment, his reserve includes a classic novel, a book on economics, and a collection of short stories.

Itching For Something New? These States Offer Relocation Incentives

Itching For Something New? These States Offer Relocation Incentives 2560 1920 Alicia East

Do you ever get a little antsy about your life and find yourself wanting to change careers, remodel your house, or even cut bangs? In certain ways, it’s getting easier than ever to scratch that itch by getting a change of scenery without having to establish a new career. Between the increase number of self-employed folks and those with traditional roles that have recently turned remote, people are working from home in record numbers! This study predicts that the trend will only continue, with almost a quarter of the American workforce working remotely within two years. While some enjoy the traditional office environment, this study shows that 60% of employees find an out-of-office work life aspirational. That, in combination with the 46% of workers looking to change jobs in the coming year means a lot of us might be spending some time daydreaming on Zillow. Some states are willing to put up some cash to get you to consider making their location home.

3 States That Will Pay You to Relocate

The requirements vary a bit from place to place and you’ll need to make sure you qualify. For example, you may need to bring your own remote job and stick around for a minimum amount of time. Their incentives range from straight up cash to housing assistance and even office space.  Whatever you’re looking for, there might be something here to help you with a new start.

Vermont

If you’re ready to brave mud season and get a good dose of their famous Fall colors just heading out to the supermarket, consider Vermont. There, you could get a $7,500 grant if you’re selected for their relocation incentive program.

Iowa

If you could use some Midwestern hospitality in your life, head over to Newton, Iowa, where you’ll get big-time support buying a home if you qualify for their housing initiative (rhubarb not included).

Oklahoma

You’ll be blown away by Oklahoma’s incentives. Duncan offers $4,000 to new arrivals through its talent relocation initiative while Tulsa is luring folks with $10,000, free work desk space, and more with their Tulsa Remote program.

The Bottom Line

If you’re among the many folks looking for a change, you may as well consider the states that are incentivizing folks to bring their talents (and their remote incomes) to their locations.

Tax forms and calculator - Payreel

1099-K Requirements Are Changing: Here’s What You Need to Know

1099-K Requirements Are Changing: Here’s What You Need to Know 2560 1799 Alicia East

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 changed the way businesses report income from payment cards and third party network transactions such as Venmo and CashApp.

Here’s What You Need to Know

Which Transactions Qualify?

Any payment after December 31st, 2021 is subject to the new rules, which indicate that a threshold of $600 in aggregate payments (with no minimum transaction requirement) will trigger the need for a 1099-K. Since it only applies to third-party network transactions for the provision of ‘goods or services,’ personal transfers/gifts and reimbursements do not qualify. The policy does not represent a change to the taxability of income, according to a release from the IRS, which notes that “All income, including from part-time work, side jobs or the sale of goods is still taxable.”

While this form applies only to business transactions, it’s possible to mistakenly receive a 1099-K for a non-business transaction. If this happens, you can contact the issuer directly to address the error.

Tips to Make Tax-Time Easier

1099-K payments belong on a taxpayer’s Schedule C along with business expenses/deductions. Keep all your personal and business transactions separate from each other, including 1099-K earnings.  Keeping separate banking accounts and credit cards will make tax time a lot easier. This, along with keeping careful records and maintaining receipts, is also beneficial should you ever face an audit. Having transactions separated will keep you from breaking your brain trying to retroactively parse out expenses on your credit card statements. Credit card statements are not considered sufficient records to the IRS. To that end, keep receipts for any business expenses you plan to deduct.

The Bottom Line

The threshold has changed and you may be seeing a 1099-K that you weren’t expecting. Report it properly and you’ll be good to go!

10 emotions of Thanksgiving Week (Brought to You by Will Ferrell)

10 emotions of Thanksgiving Week (Brought to You by Will Ferrell) 150 150 Alicia East

Once a year, a holiday that calls to mind all we have to be grateful for rolls around. And every year, we think of you–the clients and customers who make our work possible. We also think of pie. This year, we’re sharing 10 emotions of Thanksgiving week (with a little help from Will Ferrell gifs).

10 emotions of Thanksgiving Week

Glee

On Monday, with a short workweek ahead and the comforting knowledge that nobody’s calling a meeting on Wednesday.

Panic

On Tuesday, when we realize that if the year keeps going at this speed, 2023 is basically tomorrow.

Anticipation

As we strategize our meal–knowing we need to leave room for Aunt Ida’s corn soufflé and Grandma’s cookies with the “secret” ingredient (everybody knows it’s almond extract).

Overwhelm

When we try to decide which treats to bake, consume, or skip altogether.

Awkwardness

When the conversation inevitably turns to politics and we have to decide whether to body slam Aunt Ida or hand her a drink and gracefully change the subject.

Regret

When we eat the first, middle, and last pieces of pumpkin pie and then opt to plop down in front of the football game.

Relief

Did someone say stretchy pants?

Tired

When you’ve baked and stirred and whisked everything under the sun and you still have a dozen dishes to go.

Gratitude

For family, friends, and love (hopefully).

Joy

When it’s finally Thursday and for the first time all year, nobody’s in a hurry.