Paris

As an Automattician, I get to travel all over the world to work with my co-workers. While this experience is amazing, having your family or friends travel with you always enhances the experience. This last trip my team went to Cyprus, as you may have read. On the way home I decided to take a little detour.

The detour was to Paris, France and with a little coercion to my mom (I bought her an airline ticket), she joined me in Paris for the weekend.

We stayed just two days (mom was there three) but we got to see a ton of stuff. We saw some of the most famous Paris tourist stuff including The Louvre – the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo.

We also got to see the Eiffel Tower!

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Now, you may or may not know that my mom and I are big Disney fans. You also may or may not know that there is a such thing as Disneyland Paris. Did we go? … Yes!

I will only say this, Disneyland Paris was nice but we are spoiled and very lucky to have Disney World (in Florida).

I’ll leave you with a few photos from our trip.

Cyprus – Automattic Style

One of the best things about working for Automattic is our team meet-ups. Currently, I sit in the hotel lobby of our team meet-up in Cyprus. In case you aren’t familiar with Cyprus, it’s an island in the Mediterranean Sea. Here is what my office looks like this week:

cyprus

Photo Credit: Siobhan Bamber – a coworker

So, as I sit here, you are thinking…right…she’s working. I’m sure! Believe it or not, I am. I’m signed into live chat, helping our Business customers with their blogs. All this week, we have been meeting in small groups for projects and it’s been a ton of fun. Working with my co-workers face-to-face is a nice change of pace. I’ve enjoyed the time with them. Plus it’s been great to finally get to meet everyone and see what they are like in person. The crazy thing about Automattic, we work so closely together online every day of the week, that when I first “met” my co-workers, here in Cyprus, it wasn’t like I was meeting a stranger. It was more like meeting a friend who has just moved away. Pretty awesome if you ask me.

So, while I won’t give you the details of our projects, as they will be deployed on WordPress.com at some point, I’ll just share some photos with you from our outing the other day and a few fun photos to go along with it. On our day of exploration, we were given the option to stay and be in the spa, go on a Safari in a car, or a walking tour. I chose the walking tour. We got to see some pretty amazing things. Enjoy!

Introducing Lady!

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Steve and I have been toying with the idea of getting Lucky a playmate for quite some time now. With my recent switch of jobs, Lucky hasn’t been acting up too much, but he still is not as active as I would like. I take him for runs when it’s warmer out-ice isn’t a good mix for a dog who had knee surgery.

A friend of mine mentioned that her daughter had just got a bull dog puppy. My ears perked up, as Steve keeps saying he wants a bull dog. I got the info and called the girl selling them. Turns out they were American Bull Dogs. A female would get bigger than Lucky.

Too big.

So I thought and thought about it. I kept looking at this face….

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After some time, I decided to look at our local humane society and saw “Beth,” a pitt bull terrier/shepherd mix. She was 2 months old and it said she was very laid back.

Hmmm…Lucky’s laid back.

I talked with Steve about her and he wasn’t sold. I went to Petco anyway, taking my mom with me to aid in my decision.

At Petco…

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I fell in love. She came home. Steve fell in love. Lucky….
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He’s still getting used to having another animal in the house-but I think he’s going to really enjoy her. When they do play…it’s so cute!

Stay tuned for more Lucky and Lady updates!

FitBit – Live Changer?

As a Christmas present my boyfriend, Steve, gave me a FitBit One. I was super excited when I opened the box, as I had asked for this particular model of the FitBit. Having previously been a waitress/bartender, I was always on my feet, not to mention I would go running after work. So, I was pretty thin. Over the course of the past year and half, with a new job and sitting at a desk all day long, while I still go for my runs, I’ve managed to gain a small elephant few pounds.

At one point, I decided that I like my old clothes and it would be nice to fit into some of them here in the near future so I began thinking of ways to lose these extra pounds that have been haunting me lately.

Enter FitBit One.

photo 1

The FitBit one is quite small and clips onto your clothes so you kind of forget you’re wearing it. As you can see from the image above, it tracks your steps, but it also tracks the stairs you climbed, the distance you’ve gone, and how many calories you’ve burned. The device syncs with the mobile app quite nicely. In the app you can set daily goals for calories eaten (You can also track your food with the app), steps taken, distance covered and calories burned. When you hit your daily goal, everything in the app turns green. It’s pretty rewarding:

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As part of the FitBit One, a wristband is included for sleep tracking. You wear the FitBit while you sleep and it monitors your sleep! I haven’t been using the device for too long, but I’m already crazy about it. In fact, if you ask Steve, he’ll tell you I’m crazy. Walking/running around the house all hours of the day trying to get my daily goals.

At least I’m not just sitting around anymore :)

2013 – A Year in Review

2013 – What an amazing year!

So many things happened this past year and I am completely blessed by every single one of them. Let’s take a quick (or maybe not – who knows) look at what this year had in store for me:

I feel like a photo recap with captions will do the trick – Enjoy!

In January I was reborn. On the 20th, I publicly proclaimed my love for Jesus Christ and was baptized in front of my peers at Woodside Bible Church. Without the Lord by my side, the rest of the things I’m about to type would not have been possible.

I turned 28 (oh boy)

I turned 28 (oh boy)

Saw the BSB for the 10th (or 11th?) time with my awesome best friend, Jessica.

Saw the BSB for the 10th (or 11th?) time with my awesome best friend, Jessica.

Took Lucky for lots of walks.

Took Lucky for lots of walks.

Went to a wedding with Steve.

Went to a wedding with Steve.

Visited Colorado and my Aunt Nancy for the first time since she moved (3 years ago!)

Visited Colorado and my Aunt Nancy for the first time since she moved (3 years ago!)

Camping with dad and Steve. Lucky went too (it was his first time!)

Camping with dad and Steve. Lucky went too (it was his first time!)

Visited Colorado a second time with Steve. Saw the 4-corners monument.

Visited Colorado a second time with Steve. Saw the 4-corners monument.

Did meth with Heisenberg. :) Actually, visited New Mexico and saw Breaking Bad sites.

Did meth with Heisenberg. :) Actually, visited New Mexico and saw Breaking Bad sites.

Hired Full Time at Automattic as a Happiness Engineer!

Hired Full Time at Automattic as a Happiness Engineer!

Went to Disney World

Went to Disney World

Ran the Tower of Terror 10-Miler

Ran the Tower of Terror 10-Miler

Ran my first full marathon! (And ugly cried at the end)

Ran my first full marathon! (And ugly cried at the end)

My first time out of the country! LONDON!

My first time out of the country! LONDON!

Ran the Turkey Trot (10K) on Thanksgiving

Ran the Turkey Trot (10K) on Thanksgiving

Got a new car!

Got a new car!

Wow! How am I going to top this awesome of a year?! 2014…I’m ready for you!

Orange!

I did it. I made a split second decision.

A little back a story. A little over three years ago, I was in a pretty bad car accident that landed me in the hospital for three days (nothing serious just cuts and bruises-thank The Lord) and my dream car in the junk yard.

In need of a car to get from work to home, I grabbed the first thing I could find. Which happened to be a 2008 Cobalt. It was an ok car, low miles and in excellent condition. Not to mention, I paid for it in cash so there was no car payment. However, it wasn’t the sporty Scion tC I had prior. I was sad, but oh well.

As my 29th birthday is approaching this April, I decided that I was going to get myself a birthday present. I started thinking about a new car. But there was no pressure to buy. I had a decent car, no monthly payment, what more could I ask for.

Then it happened.

My decent car started making a little bit of noise.

oh no, breathe.

I thought, “ok, $200-$300 is ok. I can handle that.”

Then the mechanic called, “hi Jackie? It looks like the timing chain is out of whack. This will be about $1000.”

ahh!

Here’s the big decision

“Don’t fix it. I’ll just buy a new car.”

I was going to do it anyway, right?

So, I traded in my 2008 Silver Cobalt for this baby….

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I’m happy :)

What Christmas means to me

The word “Christmas” is a very sensitive word these days. Everyone all of a sudden becomes offended if I say “Merry Christmas”. I do not become offended when someone says “Happy Hanukkah” to me. This is how I feel- when I say “merry Christmas” to you, I am simply wishing you a joyous holiday season, whatever your holiday is, and mine just happens to be Christmas.

Jackie steps off her soap box

That being said, I love the holidays. I was reminded today how much I love the holidays as I wrapped my gifts and put them beneath my tree.

Christmas to me is first and foremost about celebrating the birth of our Lord and savior. Singing carols and worship songs-amazing!

However, I am like the rest of you. I love family, food and festivities just like everyone else.

A tradition since I was little includes making Polish sausage. My grandmother used to spend hours in the kitchen on holidays. Now that she has passed, I continue to make her famous sausage (my dad even asks me to!). A dinner without that, feels like it’s not Christmas. And in a little way, it feels like my grandma is there with me-watching me cook. It’s nice.

With that, I sign off. Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas!

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Lucky found his present!

Snow!!

My backyard

My backyard

I love snow. Especially now, working at Automattic. I get to enjoy looking at the snow and never have to deal with driving to work in it! I get to look out my office window and see my snow covered car, as I sip my hot cocoa and nestle my feet deeper into my slippers. Just another reason why working at Automattic is great!

Now, if you’ve been following my blog posts (or even if you haven’t) you will know that I have a dog, Lucky. In many ways he is like my child. I take him everywhere with me. He’s only 2.5, so this is his 3rd snow season, but I’ve begun to recognize that he does not like snow. Let me back up. He likes the snow. He loves to play in it, but only for about 10 minutes. 10 minutes – which is long enough to get real far away from the house and then realize his paws are freezing. When his paws get cold, he doesn’t move. He just stands there and stares at me with that pathetic little face. One time, he actually laid in the snow and put his paws in the air! So, to combat this, I decided to buy him doggie boots. Yep, doggie boots. Have a look.

*note* Don’t mind the background noise :)

Now, Lucky goes out in the snow and never wants to come in. Problem solved.

A Runner’s Goals

As the new year approaches, I’ve started thinking about what my goals for the year to come will be.

I know for sure that I would like to attempt the runDisney coast-to-coast challenge. This is where you run one marathon or half-marathon in Disneyland (CA) and another marathon or half-marathon in Disney World (FL). I’ve participated in a few runDisney races, and they are awesome!

However, I’m also thinking of possibly doing at least 2 other half marathons in the coming year and also a few 5k and 10k races. This is where you come in! I’m looking for suggestions on good races to be a part of. I know the Detroit Free Press marathon is in October, so that would be a possibility, but I’m looking for a race more in the beginning of the year. Possibly one if February and then one in April? I’ll be doing a Disney run in August and November.

Any suggestions would be warmly welcomed! I can’t wait to add to my wall of medals.

medals