Our Lisbon Meetup Begins :)

Since I work for a distributed company, I only get to see my coworkers in person twice a year. Last year my team met up in Durham, and this year it’s Lisbon. Another team is here at the same time, and another team will be coming halfway to the week so I get to see lots of my Automattic buddies. 

There is just something super exciting about knowing that your friends and coworkers are all on planes and trains and busses, heading your way for a week of in-person collaborations, learning and fun.

This picture shows where James and I are hanging out at our co-working office for the week. We are working outdoors as we wait for our teammates to arrive. 

Packing and GM Prep

Pride isn’t a super attractive trait. That said, I’m pretty proud of my latest packing feat. It’s always my goal to pack light–usually packing for a week in a single backpack. I went a bit over that this time, but not much. These were the factors I had to incorporate:

Travel for a week in Whistler, Canada. (Passport and paperwork essential.) Temperatures in a high near 70F for half the week, and highs in the mid 40s the other half. Nights in the 30s (and I have to walk to restaurants). And room to bring home extra stuff I accumulate during the week.

Events to pack for:

  • Presenting a flash talk
  • Teaching a short class
  • Attending workshops/classes/meetings
  • Early morning (cold) walks with friends/co-workers.
  • Three hrs mountain biking (rain predicted)
  • An ecology/geology walk
  • A jiujitsu class
  • Two swing dance classes
  • An escape room
  • A party for which we were encouraged to bring neon and sparkly clothing

This took a lot of thought…compounded by the fact that I had to find warmer clothes, which were still in boxes from our move. And I discovered key essentials (such as travel toothpaste) were still safely ensconced at our old house, three hrs away.

But I did it! And I have a bag mostly empty, ready to bring home swag I pick up at the Grand Meetup 🙂

What’s the GM? I work for a distributed company and interact very closely with my co-workers in an online environment, but all 450-ish of us only get to meet face-to-face one time a year. (We have smaller team meetups during the year, but this is the biggie.)

For an entire week we play, bond, pool brain power to make WordPress.com/Jetpack/mobile apps (I wrote this using the WordPress mobile app while I was on the plane yesterday)/etc. better. In short, I get to geek out and collaborate with others like me with no guilt.

It’s exhausting, exhilarating and inspirational. Meeting my co-workers makes me more comfortable working with them online throughout the year, and I love how this team effort helps us help others.

And I’m super happy I got all the traveling stuff in my bag.

Proms, Grads, and Life – Our Week

I am sooooo behind on my blog reading and writing, and I miss you all! But it’s temporary and for a good cause. We have some really fun stuff going on in life. I’ll do a brief summary  of our past week here, then will post lots of pics in the future when I get more time. Consider these teasers…

In the past week we:

Enjoyed watching Hudi and his buddies get ready for the prom. They had a great time.

We enjoyed having Zeb’s girlfriend’s family stay with us for graduation weekend.


We got to see the girls in our lives graduate (so proud of them)!

We met Lauren’s extended family. I didn’t take any pics during that fabulous meal, but it was really fun.

We took a load of stuff to our new-to-us home with Mom (no pic of that, either).

We went to Connecticut, where we saw some great friends and family, I got to see Kurt’s horse, and Chris sold a few mobiles.

We came home and finished filling out paperwork for college stuff for Zeb and Hudi.

We ran our local WordPress meetup, and got to hear a great talk on Search Engine Optimization from CJ. Although he lives in Utah, he’s home visiting for a few weeks.


Also, I’m on a work rotation so I’m learning lots of great stuff about Jetpack and Akismet.

Here’s one of my favorite moments from the week. Love to see my boys together again and goofing around. You can’t see it well, but they were posing to show off their geek-belts. Zeb highlighted Pokemon while Hudi sported Legend of Zelda, and CJ had his piano keys:


That’s why I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog-world. All great stuff, though, eh? What have you been up to? I guess I can find that out for myself, and hope to be catching up on my blogs soon, but feel free to tell me, anyway, in the comments 🙂

My First Contributor’s Day

IMG_20151030_120931811While I’ve been to numerous WordCamps, I’ve never been to a contributor’s day before. It’s pretty wild seeing people group themselves by strength and interest, dedicating a day to make WordPress stronger and better. Nothing like seeing the community in action. My group? Lesson plans. We are working on creating, testing, and fine-tuning lessons for meetup organizers and educators. Love it!

Rings and Things

IMG_20151016_131333857About 16 years ago, my husband got a tattoo. It was a wedding ring, and I love it. He often works with heavy equipment and didn’t want his ring to catch in a machine, causing him to lose a finger. Good idea.

While I love my own wedding and engagement IMG_20151016_132714417rings, I don’t totally love the feel of anything on my fingers. I also don’t like appearing single when I am very happily married.

For years I jokingly said that when they came out with a tattoo with bling, I’d get a tattoo done as well. I hear that exists now, but it’s kind of an implant thing. Not really my style.



IMG_20151016_124157334About a decade ago, I wanted to surprise my husband by getting a wedding ring tattoo as well. My dad decided to join the
adventure so he and I hit a few tattoo parlors while I was visiting my parents on Long Island. None of them would tattoo fingers. How crazy is that?

The thought was pushed to the back of my mind for  years, then this year, when we had our Grand Meetup (a week when all Automatticians get together for fun and learning and bonding), I joined a fantastic group activity – tattooing at the Cathedral Tattoo Company!


Along with ten or so co-workers, I headed into Salt Lake City to finally get my ring. Chris drew the design to match his own, and I got to have it done surrounded by friends. What a postive experience. And now I match my man 🙂



First Local Meetup for the Southern Tier

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It’s officially a “thing.” 🙂 Tonight was our very first NY Southern Tier WordPress Users/Bloggers Meetup…and IMHO, it was really fun.

Chris (my husband) and I were the meetup organizers and thought maybe one person might show up. While making blogs and websites is totally cool and awesome, we know people are super busy.  But there were SIX who weren’t family 🙂 And five more mentioned they wanted to come but had scheduling conflicts.

So what was it about, and what did we do? We learned about WordPress! There were several writers wanting to get their blogs going. There were some who wanted to document adventures and learn about affiliate marketing, and there were some who wanted to learn more about the community of blogging.

The local meetups and WordCamps I have attended have a lot of WordPress.org users. I was surprised by the fact that everyone who came wanted a WordPress.com site.

While devices were not mandatory (we had public computers to use), everyone brought something. Some came without a computer, using just the app. Quite frankly, I was impressed and not-a-little-geekily-excited by that. Might be because a main part of my job is providing tech support for the WordPress app 🙂

Our many thanks to the local library for letting us use their meeting space. This is a great new adventure. I’m already looking forward to our May 20 meeting.