I finally have some free time again and it is taking the form of some template updates.
While sempress worked for a quick solution (and I am still using a number of elements of it), I really need something new. So I have begun work on a new layout. Its not quite going to work the way I had originally imagined it, but I believe that it will suffice for now.
More to come soon now that I'm out of the weeds of my last project.