ThemeConf in Keswick

I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at ThemeConf in Keswick, UK this last week. It was quite a trip; I think I covered all manner of modern transportation to get there — planes, trains, buses, and taxis — but the conference, the people, and the scenery made the journey worth it.

The conference was generally about forward-thinking web development, with a bias toward WordPress. Attendance was small, but that made it more intimate and easier to socialize. I learned quite a bit from each presenter; the level of each talk reminded me of CSS Conf, but without the massive venue and hefty price tag.

As for Keswick itself, the town is adorable. Small enough to be walk-able, with lots of cute shops and restaurants. People had a lot to say about the weather, but I had no complaints; I got re-acquainted with my sweaters.

(I did not enjoy coming home to 80-degree temperatures and suffocating humidity, but that’s a different story.)


We had a great time in the city last week, seeing the sights and hanging out with my brother and his fiancée.

Unfortunately there was no Comic Con for us, as Gillian Anderson canceled her appearance, but we had plenty to do; the aquarium and the science museum were big hits with Ellie, who demanded “more science!” Cheap tickets from a good friend meant we were able to stretch our budget, and the kids saw their first IMAX show.

But their favorite part of the trip was the Legoland Discovery Center. Most of the attractions are for little kids, but it was worth the price of admission just to see the city of Boston made entirely of LEGOs. Gwen plopped herself down in front of a bucket of bricks and basically didn’t budge until one of us prompted her to look around, while Ellie ran from activity to activity with glee.

We had lunch with E, the girls’ former sitter, and they were so excited to see her I thought they’d try to stow away in her car when we said goodbye. It’s amazing how a person can be part of your life for such a relatively small amount of time, but have such a great impact. I keep coming back to how lucky we are — and how lucky the girls are — to have the village we’ve had.

I only wish so many of our family and friends didn’t live a 7+ hour drive away. Ahh, the price we pay for living in the boonies. 😉


Automattic Grand Meetup 2014

Tim and I spent last week in Park City, Utah, for our company’s annual grand meetup. After much discussion, laughter, food, and games, I am feeling both energized and exhausted by the experience — a pretty common post-meetup feeling.

radio silence

I’ve been working on a post about fanfic writing and how that’s coming along, but it’s pretty uninspired. Ironic, given I’m feeling otherwise inspired about writing; I guess writing about writing is too meta for my muse.

Pink shirt!The last month has been a bit crazy with travel, which is why the blog has been quiet. After Miami in May, Tim traveled to Saratoga Springs for a week, then I had a barely-two-day fling with Florida, this time for CSS Conf.

The conference itself was great, but the next time I say I’m going to fly to the opposite end of the country for a one-day conference, and fly back at 6 the next morning, just slap me. I’m claiming brain damage from a too-long winter and sunlight deprivation, because who in their right mind takes a “day-trip” across the country and back with two connections? Me, apparently.

But I did get a bright pink t-shirt out of the deal, so I’m calling it an overall win.

Haircut!This week, Tim’s galavanting around in Scotland with our colleagues while I try to work around the kids, both of whom are home for the summer. This amounts to 100% less getting up at ungodly hours to get Ellie on the bus (win), and 100% more whining about all the random things five-year-olds whine about (lose). This is the part where I thank my lucky stars for our amazing nanny and the abundance of parks within driving distance.

Oh, and Ellie got a haircut!

As for the two-year-old, she’s requested Cheez-its for breakfast every morning for the last month.  “Accept no substitutes” is Gwen’s motto, and she applies it liberally to every aspect of her life. That tells you pretty much everything you need to know.

Meanwhile, I’ve discovered the joys of cold-brewed coffee, and am dominating the DVR with David Duchovny movies and old X-Files episodes since Tim’s not here to roll his eyes at my weird and/or obsessive taste.