Community Weekend

We’ve been saying for awhile that we need to form relationships with people who live near us and this weekend we got an opportunity to do that. 

On Saturday morning, my wife hosted a group of moms who came over, with their kids and let the kids roam free in our backyard. 

Then, in the evening, we hosted a block party for our whole street. I’m ashamed to say, we met some of neighbors for the very first time, even though we’ve lived here for nearly seven years. 

Of the 21 houses on our cul-de-sac, we had seven families stop in throughout the evening. It was a lot of fun and we will have to do it again. 

We are going to be intentional about getting to know more of our neighborhood and spend at least part of a weekend each month hosting neighbors at our house.   

Learn Spanish with Memrise

I’ve been using Duolingo for about the last two years trying to up my Spanish fluency. 

Yesterday I downloaded Memrise (again, as I’ve used it before) to my phone again to give me a new challenge. 

This app seems to focus on listening, which is usually the hardest part about learning a language, able to hear was a fast native tongue says. 

I haven’t outgrown the free plan yet, so it’s free to try 🙂

Email Free

I checked my personal email for the first time since Saturday this evening. 

My inbox was full with nearly 200 messages, but nothing was urgent and only needed to send a few replies. Plus I was able to process them all in about 30 minutes. 

I’m going to start checking my inbox only a few times per week and see how that goes 🙂

How often do you check email?

Deep Work

Since returning back to work from paternity leave, I’ve found it hard to concentrate for long periods of time. It seems like there is so much going and my mind goes in a zillion directions.  

Today, I started reading Deep Work by Cal Newport in hopes of learning some techniques to exercise my brain muscles so I can concentrate better. 

I’ll report back when I’m finished reading 😁

Boys Pic

Just got home from Nashville and too tired to write a post about our weekend trip. 

Here’s a shot of me and the little guy at brunch. 

(He wasn’t this smiley the whole 5+ hours home, but we only had to make one stop!)

Donut Cheat Day

A few weeks ago, I mentioned I had completely cut out all forms of sugar and grains/gluten. 

I didn’t have a plan to stop or cheat on my plan but when in Nashville this weekend we found a great bakery that had paleo donuts. By definition a paleo donut fits into my criteria for food and I was excited to have a treat. 

Their was some miscommunication between me and the donut lady and only one of the donuts we got was paleo (the smallest one in the box). 

So I ended up having a cheat day and boy was it a good one. I had a S’more one that had chocolate icing and marshmallow filling. 

Back on track tomorrow 🙂

Carrot Dogs — Emerging Adult Eats

This looks like something we would make 😂

Place 1,013 I do not fit in: CrossFit tournaments. I think even the toddlers had protein in their bottles. We went to the West Coast CrossFit Regionals in Portland on Saturday. Garr loooovvvveeeesssss CrossFit. Like, gets up at 3:30 am every weekday to do CrossFit loves. He’s also insanely good at it and I will be […]

via Carrot Dogs — Emerging Adult Eats

That’s Not What I Asked

Today on our way to Grandma’s house, we made a quick stop in Whole Foods for some yummy snacks and a potty break. 

Since it was raining out, I asked her to get in the car and take her rain coat off so I could buckle her while in the car and not get soaked. 

And then, this happened:

Typical Breakfast

During my paternity leave, usually made breakfast for myself everyday. I’ve really enjoyed having a hearty breakfast, especially if I go to 5am CrossFit. 

Here’s what my breakfast has looked like durin the last week (minus the potatoes)

I start by sautéing some eggs, then add some veggies from a salad mix from Trader Joe’s. Next I add some butter and spinach and any other vegetable we have in the fridge. 

Then I add either 3 or 4 eggs and topped with some Mozzarella cheese. 

The waffle is a grain free waffle made primarily of cashews and are amazing. 

I have been avoiding grains, anything that isn’t a whole food, and sugar (and substitutes like honey or maple syrup) for the last 6.5 weeks. 

It was tough at first constantly craving sugar, but now I’m trying to see how long I can keep the streak going. 

I’m starting to see some great improvements at the gym and I’m down about 8 pounds of fat in that time (says my smart scale). 

Bonus Day with the Kids

On my first day back to work today, our baby sitter shows up with a 100+ degree fever. 

Not wanting to risk our kids to get sick, I sent her home and we found a friend to come and play Barbies for a few hours with our daughter, while I tried to work with our 3 month old son. 

I was able to be about 80% focused while he slept (since I kept glancing at the video monitor) and about 50% focused while he was awake. 

Luckily I had gotten up at 4am to start working, so I was able to get five hours of “catch up and see what’s happened since I left on paternity leave”

Still fun to hang out with this smiley boy:

Back to Work

Today is my last day of my 12-week paternity Automattic generously gives new parents. 

These last few weeks have been awesome but I’m thrilled to be going back for several reasons. 

Adult conversations 

On Monday’s, Tuesday’s and Thursday’s I have been watching the kids from 6:45a until about 5:00p. Typically during this time, it was me and the kids. Conversations revolved around Barbies and her play kitchen. 

I Miss WordPress

On average over the last three I’ve spent about 60 minutes on the computer. I had to find nuggets of time to record my weekly podcast. 

Goals and Projects

I’ve had to postpone my goals and project and few things were checked off my to do list (mainly because of the lack of computer time). I found that instead of doing household projects at the end of the day, I’d try to catch up on my email or other small computer tasks. 

By going back to work, my goal is to finish everything computer related before dinner time, then work on home projects after the kids are asleep. 

Sure I’m going to miss all the fun mornings walking to the park, playing Candyland at lunch and all the other joys of being a stay at home dad. 

Thankfully, I get to work from home and our kids will be here with our nanny, so I can be active in their lives each day. 

It’s a joy to be a dad and send time with these kiddos:

So You Want to be a Happiness Engineer, Huh?

Great thoughts on what skills and abilities are needed as a Happiness Engineer by one of my colleagues.

Sandy McFadden

Since joining Automattic (and to the annoyance of some people, I’m sure) I tend to go on about how much I enjoy my job and the company itself. I’ve often been asked what it takes and what you need to know to get the job. Especially since I called people to join me in my last post, I thought I would put together my thoughts and some resources which I can point people to or they can hopefully find through searching online as well.

I’m going to go a bit further and not only talk about what you need to do to get the job, but what I think you need to be successful in the Happiness Engineer role at Automattic. Please note that there are a lot of points here and you don’t have to be an expert in all of them to apply, but having a good understanding…

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Much Cooler

One of the air conditioning lines in our MDX had a leak so we’ve been without A/C for the last few weeks. 

It definitely pays to have a dad with a lot of tools. The new parts from a dealer would have been close to $200 plus labor and I got the parts online for only $60. 

Time Blocking

I’m a huge fan of time blocking 🙂


What is time blocking? Time blocking is the act of scheduling sessions of work on a calendar. By deliberately assigning work time on a calendar, we automatically acknowledge the immutable resource of time. Several productivity writers tout the strengths of time blocking including Mike Vardy at Lifehack, Cal Newport of Deep Work fame, Gwen Moran…

via On Time Blocking — Using OmniFocus

Is This Poison Ivy?

Several times last year and now once this year, I’ve gotten poison ivy.

I’m highly allergic, so it’s not a good situation.

The weird thing is, I haven’t been able to figure out where I got it. We don’t live near a woods, nor have I been in a woods, yet, I have the ichy rash on four different places on my body.

Today when inspecting my flower bed, it looks like this might be the culprit. It follows the “Leaves of three, let it be” slogan of poison ivy, but doesn’t look like it.

Any experts out there than can identify this plant?