Convenience is big. Not clear what this actually means "It's kind of unwieldy to use if I'm not recording."
I have a little PreSonus AudioBox iTwo that I carry in the "portable studio" backpack along with my laptop and a few other odds and ends.
Bus powered. Simple to use. I can even use it with my iPad (as long as it gets power from something else like a powered USB hub - oh, yeah, I carry one of those as well)
My portable studio (not for 16-track recording) is
PreSonus AudioBox iTwo
USB hub (with power adapter)
KORG nanoKONTROL (faders and knobs)
KORG nanoKEYS (25 key keyboard)
Audio-Technica ATH-M40fs headphones (closed back)
I can easily take it on the bus (big vehicle, moves lots of people) to go to downtown places.
If I am just using the Mac I can plug the iTwo into one of the USB ports and I'm all set.
In the home studio I made the decision to use my XR18 as my main audio interface, so I got really good at unplugging and plugging the box to take out on live gigs. It's convenient for me - small rack with a slide-out shelf, power distribution, patchbay. I can unplug/plug in less than 5 minutes before/after a gig. Mostly I had to learn how to control the audio with no knobs or faders - just kept a copy of X-Air edit running on the Mac with essential faders always on-screen.
Life got really easy when I broke down and got a monitor controller (Behringer MONITOR2USB) and plugged all the things in there. It's a really handy tool. Multiple headphone outputs (handy for attended mixing sessions), multiple sets of monitors (3), and effectively 3 inputs as long as I don't use the B side from both USB and XR18 at the same time 😉
So, Just Lisa, what would you like to be happening at your mixing station and how can we help you come up with a nice solution? Mine took me 3+ years without any particular help...I believe we're all here to share.