2016 So Far, Part 2: Arizona Visitors and PressNomics

The first part of this little miniseries took care of my “2015 in review” and included some of my favorite candid shots from volunteering with CANTER Arizona. In this post I’ll move away from the equine side of my life and share some snapshots from adventures with my two-legged friends.

Visitors and Adventures

February was stressful at work for me as I headed up the launch of some code that had been many months in the making. As a small development team of 7, we’re responsible for revising and building features for a network that served up over 80 million pageviews in February. It’s exciting and rewarding, but it also made it tough for me to look beyond work to things like traveling or hosting visitors. Thankfully the visitors I had during my birthday month made things easy on me and I’m so glad they got to enjoy the beautiful sunshine and balmy 70+ degree weather.

More Cars

My dad visited first and we spent plenty of time in the sunshine looking at cars at the Fountain Hills car show and throughout the valley. We were on a bit of a mission to find another 300zx to send back to Pennsylvania with him. As evidenced by the fourth shot below, we succeeded. More on the newest Z later this summer.

The Grandest of Canyons

Following my dad’s visit, my good friend Sarah joined me in Phoenix from her home in British Columbia. We made the most of the few days I was away from work by heading up to see the Grand Canyon. We had a blast hiking where we could (there was still quite a bit of snow and ice on the trails) and finding great natural light for a photo shoot when we couldn’t keep on through the more dangerous footing. Sarah is a professional photographer so it’s always so much fun when we can nerd out over photos and get in front of the camera ourselves (as the one always behind the camera, the photographer rarely gets her photo taken).

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We saw a ton of squirrels while out hiking around, and one wanted to get into the shot with Sarah:

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Sarah captured some shots that will keep me from needing new headshots for a long time. Her work is wonderful. If you’re interested in seeing more of her work, be sure to check out her website at sarahunderwood.com.

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PressNomics

Rounding out my early 2016 run was a conference I’ve looked forward to for the past three years: PressNomics, a WordPress conference that was held nearby in Tempe, AZ. The single-track event is a departure from your average WordCamp. I enjoyed some incredible content about hiring, diversity, work-life balance, and challenges with handling services for enterprise customers. I also caught up with many of my favorite people in the WordPress community that were in town for the event — chats over drinks, dinners with old and new friends, so many fantastic moments. I’ve still got some notes to go through and write a separate piece about, but suffice it to say the takeaways were substantial.