Disneyland Diamond Celebration

Disneyland is having their Diamond celebration, which means they have been open for 60 years! How amazing!

This past week, I had the opportunity to travel to California and visit with coworkers. We planned a trip to Disneyland and had a great time! It was only my second time visiting Disneyland but I greatly enjoyed it. Also during the visit was the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend. It was quite strange for me to be in Disney during race weekend and not be participating in the race. (As you may know I participate in quite a few Disney races, including the upcoming Princess weekend in Florida)

The experience was a lot of fun and if you have a chance, I recommend heading to Disneyland before the celebration ends. The castle is beautiful with all the lights on it. Here are a few photos from my trip.

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Disneyland Diamond Celebration

Christmas Cookies!

It’s that time of year again. When everyone is in the holiday spirit and eating all the things!

A tradition of mine is to bake Christmas cookies! The tradition started when I was 6 years old with my Aunt Nancy. We started out small, just making a few cookies for our family, but then continued to bake cookies each year – making more and more cookies every year.

When I was little, I even made a special sign that my aunt would pull out every year and put up on her front door that said, “Nancy and Jackie’s Bakery”.

Now when I say we made cookies, I’m not just saying we used store bought dough and made 2 dozen cookies. I mean, we went all out, from scratch, dozens upon dozens of cookies.

This tradition was something that meant a lot to me. I enjoyed spending time with my aunt and it was always a blast to be working with her making cookies from morning until night. (Often times my uncle would come home in the evening, sneak a few cookies, eat some dinner with us, and retire to the living room while we continued baking into the night.)

About 4 or 5 years ago, my aunt moved to Colorado (I live in Michigan, so quite the hike!) and I was upset when it came time to do our annual baking. Then something wonderful happened! My best friend, Jessica, stepped up and helped me bake that year.

Since then, we have been keeping the tradition going strong!

This year, was no different. Except! This year, more people joined in on the fun. Instead of just Jessica and I, Neal, my friend from grade school, and Jessica’s mom, also helped. We also had another helper, Adrianna, Joe’s daughter. She enjoyed working in the kitchen and even built a gingerbread house with her dad during the whole thing!

Thank you to everyone for keeping the tradition going! It means a lot to me.

Oh and Aunt Nancy, be on the lookout for your annual cookie delivery! :)

Christmas Cookies!

Automatticians Run Through Park City

Running is something I do at least four times a week when I’m at home. I really enjoy it. And it’s become a tradition for me to go for at least one run with my coworker Joe at our meetups. 

Automattic is currently having our annual Grand Meetup in Park City and keeping with tradition, I decided to join Joe for a run.

Just a little information on Joe so you know who he is- his blog is title “Crazy Running Guy”. He likes to run from the airport to our meetups (or WordCamp). This year he ran from Salt Lake City airport all the way to the Canyons resort we are staying at. Something close to 50 miles. You see he did this last year too, this year he was able to get someone to join him. Not just anyone either, our CEO Matt Mullenweg joined Joe for the last 14 miles of his run. 

While sitting having a conversation with some coworkers at the resort, we spotted Joe and Matt coming down the hill. Jeremy (a coworker) and I decided to go cheer them in.

This made me think, I really need to make sure I run with Joe this year! Then I heard about the half marathon he was planning. Yes, a half marathon…in the mountains. So what did I do? I signed up to run! 

There were 9 of us who got up at 6am this morning to run the mountains. I’m not going to lie, on the hike up the mountain, (almost 9,000 ft up there) I was questioning if I had made a huge mistake. However, when I got to see the beautiful sunrise, and even more, when we got back to the resort, I was not even questioning my decision. It was a great experience! I had a blast. It took about 4 hours, but I, or should I say, we did it! Here’s a glimpse at some of our running fun. Oh! And we’re running a 5k tomorrow! You should join the fun!

 

We saw a baby moose!
  
    
Automatticians at sunrise
    
Joe at sunrise
  
Our resort is down there somewhere
 

Automatticians Run Through Park City

Hugs

Working as a Happiness Engineer, we see the ups and downs with customers. It’s very rewarding to be working on live chat and to see a user open a chat with a question and help them understand exactly how to get to their desired outcome.

The best thing about working in support is receiving what we call Hugs. These are where the user expresses to you their gratitude and gives you a virtual hug. I really enjoy them and they give me the warm fuzzies. I thought I’d share some of mine, not to toot my own horn or any thing, but it’s always nice to see them.

Thank you WordPress.com users! I love you too!

Jackie – WHAT!?!?! You are the BOMB! How!? What!? Dude! I have been in
mourning for the past year thinking that all the contents from this bad-boy
had vanished into thin air! WOW. Thank you, thank you, thank you so
much! For the love! Thank you. Do you love the fun content on here!?! :-D

Oh, and HA-HA – I’m looking at your title and YES, that IS accurate – you
SO are The Happiness Engineer! Ha-Ha! I just can’t stop saying, thank
you! Bless your heart.

P.S “Happiness Engineer?” Love it. Sounds like a high tech version of the Good Fairy! ;>)

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Jackie was very polite and helpful with her message. She explained fully a billing question that I had and offered to help further if needed. I appreciated her prompt attention and care.

I really can’t think of anything that could have been done better with Jacklyn’s support chat today. She was one of the best I’ve ever had in my 2 to 3 years of developing this, my first website. And that includes GoDaddy’s support people. Jacklyn is my first time with WordPress and she knocked it out of the park!

Jackie is just great! I really enjoy working with her. She is supportive and takes the time to really find solutions. I have learned a lot from Jackie in terms of how to optimize the features of WordPress. I always feel confidant that I will accomplish a lot when I work with Jackie!

:hugs: <3

Hugs

Good News!

I’ve got a closing date!

Let me back up. The last update I had on my moving was that I was selling my condo. Since that time, a LOT has happened!

Selling my condo was a process. Stressful to have the house in “show” condition at all times with two large dogs, and stressful to have a showing come up randomly when you were planning on doing something else that night. (Two dogs…remember? Gotta get them out!)

That being said, I ended up getting two offers on my condo the same day! One of them was a cash offer and the other was a conventional loan. For ease, I decided on the cash offer. We closed on the condo 1 week from the date the offer was put in. Amazing!

Now what?

As a renter, I didn’t want to stay in the condo long, I mean, I’m now paying a LOT more money to live in the same place. That doesn’t make much sense. Once I had accepted the cash offer, I went out and looked at homes.

I only looked at 4 houses and found “the one”. I love it! That day, I put in my offer, which was accepted the very next day and we have been in the process of closing since.

Yesterday I got the good news that my official closing date will be August 31, which is exactly 4 years from when I closed on my condo! It was meant to be! The other good news? The sellers are giving me the keys at closing. Originally they had asked for 45 day occupancy, so this is exciting news! I don’t have to wait to move!

Next week I will be in my new home! Time to get packing!

Good News!

DIY Tombstones

I know, I know. It’s the middle of August. Halloween it’s still two months away. But I can’t help to be excited. I’ll be living in my new home at that time and I plan to throw a house warming party with a Halloween theme. So you can imagine, I wanted some cool decorations. My condo is currently in boxes (moving) and I am waiting for my close date. I don’t have a ton of money to spend on new decorations but I do have some free time. 

I love doing crafts. You may have seen some of my wall art posts that I’ve done. So I figured I would take to Pinterest and look for some fun and scary looking DIY Halloween decorations. I came across this post and figured I would give it a shot. 

 

This took us (Steve and me) about 30 minutes to do. The only reason it took so long is because we are not cement people and had no idea what we were doing! Here’s how you can make your own creepy tombstones.

What you need

  • Quick dry cement
  • A bucket for mixing
  • Cookie sheet
  • WD-40
  • Screwdriver (we used a stick)

Directions

To start you need to use a cookie sheet. I choose to use two of my old ones in case they got ruined. The original post has the tombstones in a rectangle shape, just using the whole cookie sheet. I wanted to get the rounded top look to mine. I had some extra plastic cake tops (you know when you buy the throw away cake pans? The plastic lids that come with those) and used those to get the round top look.
 

this is the pan after. you can see the cake top on top and also that the pans are still in ok shape

Once you’ve got the pans all set up, be sure you spray them with WD40. 

The WD40 makes the cement not stick to your pan. I was skeptical but it worked really well! 

All that’s left is to mix up your cement and have fun! We found that the cement dried a lot faster than we thought it would (it was really hot outside). I am not a cement finisher (my dad was though!) and I don’t have the appropriate tools. So I made due. Using an old spatula to smooth out the surface (I think our cement was a little too thick but it still worked). As the cement starts to dry use your screwdriver (or a good stick) to write your message. You will have to remove the excess cement. 

   
 Let them dry (we left overnight) and then turn the pans over. Your tombstones will pop right out! And VoliĆ”!

  

DIY Tombstones

Run Disney Races

As you know, I am a runner and I love Disney. You may not know that Disney has something called RunDisney. If you haven’t heard of this, let me enlighten you.

RunDisney is amazing. You run races 5k, 10k, half marathons and full marathons through Disney parks! I’ve done a few races including the Wine and Dine Half Marathon, the Tower of Terror 10 Miler and the Avengers Half.

They also have “little” challenges, like the Dopey Challenge. You run a 5k, followed the next day by a 10k, followed by a half marathon, followed by a full marathon! Then you get 6 medals for your completion! I’ve done one of their challenges, you may have read about it previously. The Coast to Coast challenge takes you from Florida to California, at both Disney parks running at least a half marathon in each state. It’s a lot of fun.

This year I decided to try another challenge. The Glass Slipper Challenge. The Glass Slipper Challenge is where you run a 10k Saturday morning and Sunday morning you run a half marathon. So a total of 19.3 miles in 2 days. Sounds do-able! Are you up for a challenge?

The best part of Disney races? The costumes! In the past I’ve been Snow White, Snow Whites Evil Queen, Rapunzel and Captain America. What should my new costume be? I’m open to suggestions!

Run Disney Races

Selling my condo

I recently decided to put my condo up for sale. This has been a long coming decision. With two large dogs, it was only a matter of time before I saw they need a yard to play in. It’s too hard to take them both for a walk as they are crazy on walks. So this means double walks. Living in a condo, potty time is a walk. So you can imagine, I’m going outside a LOT with two of them.

Over the recent holiday, the dogs were playing in my moms and future mom-in-laws backyards and I saw how much fun they had, running free, rolling in the grass, loving it! That was it. I decided then and there to sell my condo.

My condo has been up on the market for a little over a week now, and we’ve had a lot of showings. I’m hopeful that soon I’ll get an offer so I can start looking for my dream home. However, let me tell you! The waiting process is stressful. I’m one of those people who wants to see results NOW! :)

I’ll keep you all updated as the excitement builds. Stay tuned…

Selling my condo

100 Day Challenge

At the beginning of this month, I reblogged a friend of mine’s post about May Fitness Challenge. To exercise every day during the month of May. Making no excuses, I did not follow through with this challenge. I did work out a lot this past month, but no where near every day. (He did though! Great job!)

However, I would like to extend a new challenge to you. It’s called the 100 Day Challenge. It started a few days ago, but it’s never too late to join. This is a challenge for you to get to know the Lord. Over the next 90-some days, Uversion has a plan in place for some bible scriptures each day. The idea is to get through the bible in 100 days. Yes, some parts are skipped but it’s to help get to know some of the bible stories and learn more about out loving God.

I find the easiest way to follow along is with the UVersion Bible App. It sends daily reminders to your phone or tablet to remind you to read today’s scripture.

So will you join me?

I leave you with this song, because I love it!

100 Day Challenge