Thankful for Opening Day of Snowboard Season — In November!!!!

Opening Day at Jiminy Peak

It’s November 17. Not even Thanksgiving, and Chris and I got to hit the slopes. Last year was less than stellar as I slipped a disc in my back on Valentine’s day and had to sit out the rest of the season (yes, I slipped it putting on my snowboard boots, which makes me not-quite-so-hard-core, but  ¯_(ツ)_/¯ ).

But that all aside, we hit the slopes today, and it was amazing. Walking back to our abode, I commented to Chris that there are just moments that hit you once in a while. Moments in which you are reminded you are blessed beyond blessed, and it would be a crime to not acknowledge that. And we are that. #sothankful.

Opening Day at Jiminy Peak
Opening Day at Jiminy Peak

So for those of you that know and love me (thank you for that). This is the year. I am finally going to get comfortable with turning right. I know I say every year that I will learn to turn right, but last year I actually did it, and I think that doing it on opening day is a good sign that it will only get better. I know  I’m flailing a lot, but I’m adding this video as a baseline so I can hopefully see improvement. By the end of this year, I will do it naturally. Right? (Please say yes.)

Figuring out how to turn right and go toe-side.

Thankful for Sleep

Last night the wind was howling, and the snow was swirling, as I tucked into my cozy bed for sleep. Since I’m on vacation this week, I didn’t worry about having to get up and do anything so I didn’t start my next day for another 10.5 hrs. Pure bliss.

sleep GIF

And the best part? Now I’m blogging in front of a fireplace movie, looking out at the snow and the trees, and the setting is lulling me to sleep once again. Nap time. Catch you tomorrow… 😉

A Scarf Story – Beautiful Gifts from Beautiful Friends

Earlier this year I met with my team in Montreal for a week of work and bonding. This is a treat since we don’t have a typical workspace water-cooler space as we all work from wherever we have Internet. My teammates at that time lived in Brazil, Bolivia, the UK, Portugal, Canada, various parts of the US, etc. With new hires, it was my first time meeting some of them in real-person. One of the people I met was Laetitia from Lisbon.

My friend Lae
My friend Lae

She’s really super awesome, and as we got to know each other more, it frustrated me that I hadn’t met her earlier in time. Just last year when Chris and I were living in Lisbon, and it would have been so fun to hang out with her there. Ah well. Next time 🙂

Lae is so sweet. We knew a company meetup was happening in a few months so we would get to see each other again after the Montreal visit, and she asked me if I wanted her to bring me anything from Lisbon. I thought about one of my favorite possessions, and mentioned it to her. My scarf.

There are many images of me in the past year wearing my scarf I got in Lisbon. Formal occasions, casual occasions. I love the thing. It’s so perfect! When it’s hot out, I just have it as a small wrap around my neck or tuck it in a pocket. If folds so tiny! And when I’m cold, I spread it out as a shawl. It’s amazing how warm it is. If it is pouring, I drape it over my head. So versatile!

Funny story, as an aside: Chris and I packed for the Lisbon month using our regular carry-on luggage. But we checked a large suitcase for the gifts we were going to bring back. Then we got everyone scarves so the bag we checked was pretty empty each way. haha.

Anyway, back to the scarf. Since I do wear it all the time, it’s starting to look a bit worn.

My old scarf
My old Scarf

Worn Out Scarf

I asked Lae if she could find me a similar one, and told her the general direction of where I remembered the shop was. And she found it!!! When we had our company meetup she brought me this:

My new scarf

Is that impressive or what? It’s so similar to the old scarf. Here they are side-by-side:

Old and New Scarves Side-by-Side

I particularly love the elephants on the new one.

Elephant on Scarf
Elephant on Scarf

When we snowboard, on early season days and in the spring, we go out with “rock boards.” These are the boards that can handle rougher conditions. An old board you don’t mind getting scratched up as you go over rocks and mud. Now my former scarf is my Rock Scarf 🙂

I happily wear it to keep warm in my office, on the beach, at local restaurants, etc. And I’m keeping my fresh new shiny for fancier occasions since it’s so vibrant.

Either way, now when I wear either, I feel loved and and super thankful for the story behind my scarf. Thanks, Lae!!!

My Job as a Happiness Engineer

Every day I wake up thankful that I get to go to work as a Happiness Engineer at Automattic. Who can say that after 4+ years on a job? It’s so true. The WordPress community is amazing, and I get to meet other members of the community and help them build dream sites and troubleshoot issues. If problems are discovered, I get to be part of the process for a solution. While I’m supposed to be providing happiness, I am almost always the receiver. Just saying.

This image of this storefront has nothing to do with my job, aside from the word “Happiness,” which I loved. Oh, and it was taken while I was in Perugia, Italy, working at a conference. Super great trip!

Happiness in Perugia in 2017

At our last company meetup in Orlando we were given these pens with our Slack handles on them. I’m glad I use my name 🙂 The pens are so awesome, I’ve started journaling. I had almost forgotten how to actually use a pen and paper… I love how it has the name of the company I so enjoy working for on it, too.

At that same meetup, we enjoyed munching on these candy bars. The ingredients cracked me up:

I am so thankful for my job and for WordPress.

Smart Designs

My room on my last work trip was one of my favorites. The bed was super comfy, I had a lovely view of Orlando, and the design was pretty cool.

Although there were no labels anywhere, the room was set for accessibility. While I’m grateful that at this stage in my life, I don’t need the benches in the bathroom and such (as I have had to have in the past), I have to admit that I found the design worthy of images.

Having a bathroom one can hose down to clean is so smart. Yeah, I understand it’s built that way to help people in wheelchairs, but it’s still brilliant. And my favorite part? A closet right there in the bathroom.

My guess is that it wouldn’t be a great option in a home where things could mildew, but for traveling, when one doesn’t stay in one spot too long, it’s fantastic. Every time I showered, I opened my closet so my clothes could get some “ironing.”

I haven’t been that wrinkle-free in a long while. 🙂

And the coffee? It not only made great-tasting hotel coffee (usually I have to double up on the coffee bags to get a decent cup), but it made two at once. Or one. It was kind of a new experience for me, and I didn’t know if two would spew out if I set it to one, so I used two cups, but it was true to its advertising. Only one filled.

If Chris had been there, we could have enjoyed our coffee at the same time. So lovely.

Love it when people put just a bit more thought into the design of something.

So Thankful for Zeb

Young Zeb Lauging

How was it only a year ago that Zeb was still living with us, and we were toasting his 21st b-day? 


Talk about a year of change. New home (several of those), new job, new friends, new adventures, and still the same passionate heart.

As we watch you take your steps into adulthood, fixing appliances and purchasing furniture and a car, etc. it flashes us back to the first steps you took back in the day. Little did we know all the places those tiny feet would go.

We are so proud of all you have accomplished this year, Zebulon, and for the way you have tackled obstacles in your path. Hope you have a truly fabulous upcoming year. We love you and thank God you were placed in our family.

Motivational Messages

In late September I was browsing the racks for a pair of jeans. As I checked through the sizes, I came across some tags that simply said, “You are beautiful.” I smiled and continued browsing. In spite of the fact that I walked away without finding a pair I wanted to invest in, that message brightened my day. It reminded me that people in my life, the ones I care about, truly do find me beautiful. A few days later I was traveling to Orlando for a work trip, and in the bathroom stall, instead of the usual grafitti, this is what I saw:
This time I grabbed the pic so I could share it. Remember, it applies to you as well.