December 15, 2014

I made these bytes for you

Amongst the long long list of ways David and I are different (artist/engineer, carnivore/sometimes vegetarian, super tall/kinda short) is our gift mentality.  To him it's a language of love, both on the giving and receiving end.   So you can imagine why I was dubious when he proclaimed (several times) I shouldn't get him anything for Christmas.

To me, gift giving is largely a source of anxiety.  Just another way I awkwardly fail to express my appreciation.  I keep putting it off because I don't know what to get that says the right thing.  There was a long time in my 20's when I was so bad at it, and also had no job because I was in school, that I proclaimed taking long trips across the country to visit people was my gift to them.  It was generally a large amount of work and greatly appreciated so it worked out pretty well.  Man, I wish I could still do that.  Unfortunately my mobility is at an all-time low.

But every once in a while, I can be inspire with a gift.  It rarely happens when it's supposed to (socially acceptable holidays) which is so annoying.  But when I do come up with that one perfect thing they didn't even know they wanted/needed; that's so inspired it doesn't even have to be expensive to be great; that's just so fitting they know you're thinking of them and that you know them so well that you could pick it out.  They know they are loved.  Or at least that's how I hope it comes across.

So I guess it's really just the ridged gift-giving schedule (birthdays!  anniversaries!  christmas! it never ends!) that I have trouble with- because I can't count on my little spits of inspiration and I'm left with the crapy choice of wasting money on something uninspired or feeling like someone important doesn't know how much I appreciate them.

But maybe this holiday season is an exception.  Well, I guess it's still not on schedule because I already told him about it :) but I decided to make David an online photography portfolio.  It was basically free except for $12 for the domain- yay open source software- and my time but it was super fun to learn some new things.  I think it's really fitting- something he needs and hopefully wants.  There are a lot of things I'd like to add/finish up and it's by no means revolutionary but I'm pretty proud of myself and think  it'll get the job done.  I hope he likes it.

And if clicking the link is too much investment, here are a few teasers.

On the extreme off chance that someone is interested: I used a static site generator built on top of Node.js called Wintersmith and it's hosted on Amazon Web Services.  You can see the code here.

December 12, 2014

Belgium without the Half

I have a few more pictures from David's recent trip to Europe, specifically the Belgian ones.  He didn't take tons of photos and only had his phone camera but I love looking at travel pictures because it makes me feel like I went, too.  And I also though these might be particularly apt as the blogs namesake.  

Looking at the photos, a few things jump out at me:
1. I need to go there!!
2. Now I understand David's taste in food: he likes Belgian food.  (Duh.)  In case you don't know; potatoes, sausage, fries, waffles, chocolate, and really good beer
3. Everything looks grand when the buildings are hundreds of years old.
4. Traveling without a toddler is preeeeeeeetty nice.

I don't have a lot else to say besides I know it was an emotional trip- the death that instigated it, the family and long overdue homecoming.  It's hard for me to imagine what it was like to go back after so many years.  But I can tell it was positive.  And being reminded that "home" is back here with Aiden and I is also pretty great.

December 7, 2014

An Unexpected Jet Setter

On our last day in LA, David got some sad news from Belgium and needed to make an emergency trip back.  Unfortunately Aiden and I couldn't go but I am grateful that he was able to- it was so long over due.  Lucky European countries are less spread out than states here in the American West he was also able to make a side trip down to Spain to see his beloved aunt and her artist husband.  Yes, it's as idyllic as it sounds- that first picture is from his studio.  I mean... wow.

I have never been to Spain and needless to say, after seeing and hearing about it now, I cannot wait to go.  Hopefully soon.  It looks impossibly romantic; white stucco, turquoise water, cobblestones, fruit growing everywhere, well preserved history, amazing food.  The weather is mild and the pace of life seems so much calmer and that all sounds just about heavenly to me right now.