Ancestors

I just received this old photograph in my email inbox. My uncle’s been going through old pictures and sent this gem to my dad. It’s a picture of the woman I’m named after, Alma Wunderlich, my dad’s mother’s mother. I don’t see myself in any of their faces, apparently the only thing I inherited from her is her amazing ability to give a deadpan #wut look.

wunderlich sisters

hiro + wapuu = BFFs

Karen:

So excited to have 55 new coworkers! Hiro and Wapuu are already a great team and I look forward to a lot of great swag. You can read more about the recent acquisition here: http://ma.tt/2015/05/woomattic/

Originally posted on Hi, I'm Nick:

wapuu_friend

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Scuffles and Scars

1978-01-18-Wednesday: Picnic in mts across the valley. Karen cut her chin 1 in gash in scuffle over skate board at Lillegard’s (emphasis mine). Off on a picnic about ten AM with sandwiches, cookies & lemonade. All but Boo – he had to go to math class. Explored hills that we see from balcony of the house and down into valley on other side. Lots of people living over there – poor areas, poor roads off the main highway. Two elegant looking eating houses near the top. Things are greener over there from clouds hovering over mts much of the time. Back home. Karen cut her chin a gash about an inch & 1/8 deep (emphasis mine). Lights were out this morning and again this eve.

This excerpt is from my Grandma Olivia’s travel journal, kept while visiting us throughout the years. Grandma Olivia is my mom’s mom and in this excerpt, she’s writing about a visit to San Jose, Costa Rica. The view she mentions is probably the one in the featured image on this post. And yup, poor little adorable Karen got pushed off a skateboard by her mean big sister. I cut my chin and I have the scar to this day.

I remember sitting on the end of the skateboard, my sister really wanting me to get off, and then my sister making me get off, as sisters do. Then I remember the blood gushing out of my chin, my brother carrying me to my mom and Grandma, the butterfly bandaid they put on my chin to stop the blood and help the cut heal. From time to time I enjoy bringing this story up, just to get a little sympathy from my family. Being the youngest of 6 and all, I have to work my angles. Wink wink.

San Ramon, Costa Rica
Here’s me with my mom about that time.

I’ve had this post sitting in my Drafts for months and it’s appropriate to post today on the day we celebrate Mothers in the US, as it’s a story of two moms, working together to fix up a wound and some tears. My Grandma saw fit to mention my injury twice in her notes so it was clearly a significant event for her. I am sure it wasn’t as horrifying as I remember it, but after all these years what I remember most is sitting on a high table, having my mom and her mom fuss over me, console me, love me, and fix me up right as rain.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Who, What, and Why?

My two youngest kids woke up too early this morning. Maybe the rare sound of rain on the roof woke them up. We don’t hear that very often in the high desert. 

In any case, they piled into bed with me and in the course of our early morning half asleep chatter someone said something that reminded me of the Abbott and Costello Who’s on First skit. I pulled it up on YouTube and sent them back to their room to watch it. All I heard for the next 8 minutes and 4 seconds from the other room was was deep belly laughs. Best sound ever. 

Press Publish, Phoenix

This past Saturday, April 18th,  I got to hang out with about 130 amazing bloggers and 13 of my coworkers at Press Publish in Phoenix, a new WordPress.com offering. The first one was in Portland a couple weeks ago.

I gave a 15 minute presentation about Blogging on the Go with the WP mobile app and spent the rest of the time at the Happiness Bar helping people with WordPress questions and issues.

IMG_2902

While I’ve been at my fair share of conferences and have enjoyed them all, Press Publish had a unique vibe that I can’t quite place my finger on. Perhaps it was the focus on blogging, the workshops about writing, and presentations about finding your voice. Perhaps it was the energy of notable bloggers like Kathy Cano-Murillo, Russ CrandallKatherine Fritz and Emily Austin. Or perhaps it was the sea of smiling enthusiastic Automatticians (my coworkers at Automattic), I always love an excuse see my distributed coworkers face to face.

In any case, lately I’ve lagged a bit in enthusiasm for support and outreach (for a number of reasons that very likely deserve a dedicated post but we’ll leave that for another day) and Press Publish was just the thing to renew my soul.

I spent the first few years of my WordPress life helping people use it to make websites. WordPress was a site building tool, not a blogging tool, for me until about the time I joined Automattic. While I enjoyed creating websites immensely, I’ve come to realize that I love helping bloggers so so much. Here I was, for one whole day, in the midst of this diverse and beautiful community of bloggers, hearing their stories, helping them jump hurdles, encouraging them in their journey and in turn being encouraged. This is what it’s all about and I can’t get enough.

Want to hear more about how Press Publish went? Stay tuned. The  talks aren’t online yet, but they will be soon and I’ll link to them from here. In the meantime, if you’re interested in learning more about the event check out the website.

Green Monster – My New Crush

I work at home, in front of my computer, and if I don’t get out of the house to work out I might take 100 steps on a given day. I like to eat. Actually, I love to eat. And I often eat out of boredom or restlessness so I eat more than my body needs when I’m being particularly sedentary. 

For a couple of months I’ve been experimenting with drinking homemade smoothies instead of other meal options like a sandwich. I came across green monster smoothies when searching around to try and find something filling, yummy, and highly nutritious. 

When I first started making them I used recipes (do an online search for green monster smoothie). Now I have a couple variations that I know work great and they taste fantastic. 

The basic recipe is kale or spinach, liquid (I use coconut milk or water), fruit, protein. For good measure I throw chia seeds in there. 

The best version is what I call a chocolate peanut butter cup. I add a couple tablespoons of cocoa powder, cinnamon, honey, a big scoop of peanut butter, and a banana if I have it. Best thing ever. 

The prettiest version is extra kale, a few strawberries, some vitamin C powder, a raw egg (don’t judge, we have backyard chickens), and some peanut butter. It’s so green and pretty, I love it. 

The main drawback is that often the smoothie is a rather disgusting color. It can look like anything from stew to, well, something pretty unappetizing. On those days I just drink it down as fast as possible. 

Oh, and it helps to drink it out of a straw. Trust me. On occasion the blender doesn’t quite do the trick and I’m too much of a cheapskate to get a juicer or a more heavy duty blender. Straws help on those days.  

Here’s some pics, in case you’re into that :)