London and Manchester 2017

How lucky am I? The second time in a year to go to my favorite place on Earth, and this time, no one was barfing all over the Airbnb. (Okay, honestly, nothing could ever beat our trip last Christmas, but that was definitely a low point.)

This trip was for work. My team (the Happiness Hiring team, also known as Athena) met up in London to work on things, and then we went to Manchester for a couple of nights for an event. It was very busy, but what better place to be busy? Plus, we’d just made our three European teammates (Dan, Cécile, and Hannah) travel to Canada for the Grand Meetup, so it was only fair we went to them this time. We’re so kind and generous.

Monday
Read More

Auckland time!

Sorry for the delay, have been catching up on work and life and sick kids.

So I left off with us leaving Sydney on Friday. We had breakfast at the airport (Beckett said it was the best eggs benedict she’d ever had) and then got on our flight to Auckland.

You know, when you are flying from Australia to New Zealand, you think “oh, that’ll be an easy jaunt, it’s so close” but then you realize it’s a) not as close as it looks on a globe and b) another country. So the flight was almost four hours but since it was international, we got a meal and wine. Score! (But it also means passport control and customs yet again.)

So anyway, we watched La La Land on the flight, ate some reasonably yummy airline food, drank some New Zealand wine and then landed in Auckland. We got in a cab to get to our airbnb and proceeded to sit in gridlocked traffic for an hour and a half. The traffic was due to torrential rain that was causing…I dunno, flooding? Or just bad driving? In any case, our trip took three times longer than usual so by the time we got to the airbnb, we were tired and missed the speaker dinner.

Welcome to Auckland!

Read More

Accountability and public speaking and green hair and other things

It’s been way too long since I’ve posted a real post. The kind with words and stuff. I feel pretty bad about just posting a bunch of pics about Austin, when I have lots of great memories that I really should be writing down. Let’s just hope the pictures help me remember them later. Or maybe I’ll end up editing that post with more details. We’ll see.

I think the best way for me to organize my thoughts is with bullets, since this’ll be all over the place.

I’ve been thinking for a long time about doing some kind of bootcamp fitness program, but I’ve been unable to find one that was at the appropriate times, etc. I was talking to someone a few weeks ago and she mentioned she was going to Orange Theory Fitness so I looked into it and ended up going to a class yesterday.

It was tough, I gotta say. It’s funny, you think “I can run a few miles at a time, and I can do half marathons without dying, so I must be in some kind of shape” and then you do a class like this and

noooope.gif

It’s high intensity interval training, and there are treadmills and rowing machines and weights and floor exercises and wow, when I got off the rowing machines after a few minutes my legs were like jelly.

So I signed up to go as much as humanly possible and try to get really fit over the next two months (and beyond) because in two months, this is happening…
Say hello to our next group of #WCEU speakers!

Yes, my coworker Erica and I are giving a talk at WordCamp Europe in front of, oh, I don’t know, more than the 20 people I spoke to at WordCamp Dayton. At least I can hide behind Erica, except she is tiny.

Anyway, my only point is that I want to feel good about myself before getting on a stage in front of more than 20 people.

In non-me related things, I continued to allow my children to really express themselves through their hair. I mean, it’s not hurting anyone. It’s temporary (ish, I mean, I did have to bleach their hair to get it this vibrant, but hair does grow) and if you could have seen how happy Linus was after we made his green, well, any doubts would have been wiped away.

IMG_0670

IMG_0677.JPG

Miles wanted to be in the picture too. He of course also now wants to dye his hair, but I pointed out that his acting career might suffer if he does. So we’re leaving it as is for now. Anyway, if I have to end up dying Linus and Oliver’s back, I’ll need a reference for the original color. Ha!

I had a really fun weekend with the boys, not just dying their hair. We saw Jungle Book (really good) and watched a bunch of baking shows on Netflix. MilesCupcake Wars in particular inspired us to whip up a batch of homemade vanilla cupcakes and vanilla buttercream frosting. I even scraped seeds out of vanilla bean pods, that’s how serious we were. They were deeeelish, in spite of the fact that I apparently left a box of powdered sugar at the grocery store after paying for it, so our frosting was more butter than anything. Nothin’ wrong with that

IMG_0664.JPG

Miles approves of my frosting recipe.

2015 in review

Man, did this year go by fast, or what?

January

I turned 40!

In Barcelona!

Then celebrated again with my friends once I was back home.

February

Not much besides Mardi Gras, really.

My Achilles’ tendon started hurting.

Went to Vegas for Kiki’s 40th.

March

Spoke at my first WordCamp, in Dayton.

Ran the Shamrockin’ Run for the third time.

Emily and Ellie visited.

Scott Bakula was in our front yard.

April

Kiki came to visit and we had a garage sale.

We also went on a big boat and watched missed seeing Heather finish her first Ironman triathlon.

It was…a slow month.

May

I took the boys to Virginia.

The boys made a movie.

Miles danced.

I wrote a v popular post for the New Orleans Moms Blog.

Started physical therapy for my Achilles’ tendon.

June

George and I gallivanted around England.

July

I went to NYC for BlogHer.

Completed my third (and last) triathlon.

August

Got the attic insulated.

My coworker came to visit.

I photographed my friends’ wedding.

The boys started 2nd grade.

I went uber-Goth for the NOMB Mom’s Night Out.

September

We got a new fridge!

I was volunteer coordinator at WordCamp DFW.

The boys started playing soccer.

October

We were devastated by the loss of our dear friend Gareth.

I went to Park City again for the Automattic Grand Meetup

I got another tattoo.

Ran my twelfth half marathon.

November

George and I celebrated our tenth anniversary!

We went on a big cruise.

December

The boys turned 8!

We got a dog!

My ankle still hurts.

In blogging news…

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 190,000 times in 2015. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 8 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

In Dallas

I’m in Dallas now for work, helping out as Volunteer Coordinator of the DFW WordCamp. It’s really great to get to see how these events come together, since we’re working on organizing a WordCamp NOLA sometime next summer. This has been a great learning experience.

This is my second WordCamp ever – I attended the WordCamp in Dayton, Ohio earlier this year and gave a talk on Making Blogging a Habit. I…have not been habitually blogging lately. But I am going to take my own advice and just put something down and publish it.

  
  

Getting into the habit

Well, I can’t very well give a talk on Making Blogging a Habit and then just not blog, can I?

I should talk about my trip to Dayton. It was nice. The flight there was uneventful, as was the flight back, which nowadays is a pleasant surprise instead of, you know, just the way things should be.

The hotel I was staying in was attached to the convention center, so I didn’t see too much of Dayton, but dinner Saturday night was at an Irish pub in an interesting district not far from downtown.

I have to be honest, didn’t expect there to be a red light district (really red light 1/8 of a block) in Dayton, Ohio, but there you go.

I’m kind of skipping around here. Friday night was a speaker’s dinner, which was nice. I met some great people in the WordPress community, had a delicious meal, and got to see some of my coworkers.

A lot of people seemed puzzled by why I went all the way to Dayton for a WordCamp, when they happen all over the place. Well, there’s not one in Louisiana. In fact, guess who will probably be helping to organize one, one day? You’re looking at her. Dayton was a perfect first WordCamp for me. It wasn’t too big, so I didn’t feel too nervous about speaking.

(That’s a total lie, of course. I was petrified. I had assumed maybe 10 people would come to my talk, but it was more like 25, which filled up the small room.)

In the end, my talk went well, I got lots of great feedback from people, and someone even QUOTED ME in a TWEET during my talk! That was pretty amazing, I have to say.

Love that! I’m going to frame it.

Now I’m excited about the next one. Speaking, attending, organizing, whatever!

Technology, man.

Airplane selfie!
Airplane selfie!

I am sitting on an airplane. In the air! Hurtling through the skies! Posting this! I know, it’s not THAT exciting, but this is the first time I’ve experienced functional wi-fi on an airplane. I should be working on tomorrow’s presentation, but Keynote doesn’t require wi-fi, and I don’t want to waste it.

Plus, tomorrow’s presentation is about blogging, so it only makes sense that I blog now. So it’s kind of related.

Last night, a few of my friends came over and watched me awkwardly give my presentation, and gave me some great feedback. So hopefully it will go well.

Facing a fear (i.e., what have I gotten myself into?)

Like most people, I have a fear of public speaking. I mean, it’s not the same kind of fear like my one of cockroaches. Cockroaches have a way of sneaking up on you. Or flying in your face. ::shudder:: But public speaking is generally something you have to opt in to.

I submitted a speaker proposal for WordCamp Dayton, thinking, okay, this is a perfect place to get started. There will be friendly faces in the crowd (I don’t just mean people in Ohio are friendly, but also several coworkers will be there) and it won’t be a massively sized one. I have had an idea for a talk ever since we had a public speaking learnup at work last year, so I decided to bite the bullet and just go for it.

And it got accepted and now I have to stand up in front of, I don’t know, at least dozens of people, I guess, and talk about Making Blogging a Habit.

If you’re reading this and you have been blogging for a while, I’d love to hear how you’ve managed to keep it up. Please, I have a speech to write now!