Aubrey Portwood

Life Update, June 20th 2015

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^^ Just what I’m listening to while I write this, just so you can get the vibe with me ūüôā

So I decided to actually make time to write a little bit. Saturday. Coffee. Starbucks. Get out of the house…write something. Blog something that isn’t just WordPress stuff…

Yes, get out of the house. Ever since I got my job at WebDevStudios I have been working at home more than I really ever have. And even though I can’t express how thankful that I get to do that, you still need to get out of the confines of your work environment once in a while…

So this is just going to be an update blog on what I’m doing, how it’s going…all the things.


I still get a bit star struck that I actually work for such a great place, a great team (the A-Team) everyday. Things are going really well there. I just logged on to my WordPress install to write this and had a thought, “Shit I know where everything fucking is now.” My knowledge and familiarity with WordPress had multiplied 10 fold. I WordPress now…every damn day…and it’s great! Everyday that I work I feel more and more like an expert at this stuff, and that’s exactly something I set out for!

We’ve also been busy! Really busy. But, I’m not sure my team understands really how well we have it. Before WebDevStudios I was the project manager, the coder, the planner, the budgeter, you name it…even the recruiter (for offshore workers). I mean my work life was stretched pretty thin. I am so appreciative that we have great project managers, leads, and that WDS has such a great structure in place to really help people keep their sanity! (I elaborate on this more below.)

New things I’m learning (Friends, this will be technical, skip ahead)…

SASS: I’ll admit when I first came on, I was a bit of a CSS purist, and I still am. That means I’m not into preprocessors that much. But I’ve come to realize that for big project SASS is great for organizing large teams and I can’t express enough the power that SASS gives teams so that you don’t step on each other’s toes. Because you can use nesting in SASS you can make sure you are styling specific things vs. possibly styling very generic things and possibly changing things other people are working on. I mean it still happens, but it’s really rare. I will also say that now I wish CSS was written like SASS, it’s extremely more natural feeling to write.

Grunt all the things: Again more processors, but Grunt does save a ton of time. And on tight deadline projects, Grunt does help make things happen a lot quick. Grunt is just a great tool to get mediocre things done quickly. I am a Grunt convert for sure, though I still have lots to learn.

Bower: Easy dependency management. I’m still a bit of a noob here too, but I do know that when I want to include an external library, bower makes it super easy.

Teamwork…yeah. Working with a team has been enormously gratifying. I’ve always been the loner guy who does all the things. It’s a totally different dynamic. I mean I see sites churned out in weeks! I work for a few hours on a site and I see it being launched suddenly a few weeks later. I remember having that moment on a recent project we were working on. I saw that the site was about to be launched, and I just thought to myself, “We just started that thing, and it’s done!?”

BTW, WDS is hiring still! I didn’t think I would be doing fun stuff with them, but here I am! APPLY if you read the above without a strange look on your face.


So working at WDS has introduced some new things into my life. For one thing, because I work in Arizona (where the time does not change) I get a chance to be a “westie” and a “mountain man” (terms used to refer to people in pacific and mountain time zones). Right now I’m a westie, I wake up at 7am and work until about 2 or 3pm with people in the pacific timezone. Being done with work around 2 is great! I can run errands, play with my kid, I mean it’s great! I keep wondering what it’s going to be like to be a mountain man.

I believe, just like normal physical energy, your mind has a limited amount of energy per day. Since I’m not spending all that energy stressing about budgets or project planning, etc, I have a lot of leftover mental energy. This means I can work on losing weight and I actually have some mental energy to focus on it. Having some mental energy for me is a great nice to have and really make a big difference.

I’m still a bad Buddhist lol

Although I have been learning a lot by having more time and energy to dedicate to reading, I still haven’t become that great meditator. I meditate rarely. I feel guilty actually, because I know, now, stress is not an excuse I can use. I’m still working on actually putting more and more things into practice, but I still have yet to really knuckle down and start meditating. But I’m also not beating myself up over it, I know it will come when I’m ready.

I’ve still been spending a lot of time learning about meditation. I am the kind of person that when I see a clear benefit of a goal, I’m on it and I’m into it 100%. I guess I haven’t really felt like meditation is going to turn it around for me. I read a lot, I spend a lot of time on the insight side of Buddhism. It’s something that has definitely helped me and had an effect, so I spend a lot of time there.


So a big part of Tennis changes lately are all around trying to become more fit. I don’t feel like there’s much on the technical side of things that are going to propel me forward. Losing all this weight is going to make me faster and beat up less on my body…period. So that’s all I’m working towards really right now.

I’ve made some¬†changes, though, technically to my game. A year ago I changed some things about how I play and it definitely helped in one area: exhaustion. The changes I made were put into place to help take less of a blow on my body, and it worked! But it had a negative effect on my game overall. Being a power-driven player, those changes made me have to work harder on strategy, etc, which I just am not good at. Coupled with weight loss I’m hoping that I can move my game¬†back to a more aggressive power-driven style. So, I’ve been making those changes lately, and how my back feels at night is proof that it comes with a price.

But, I’m still really enjoying Tennis! Family…Code…Tennis. That’s life for me and that’s exactly the way I like it. I think the weight loss is really going to help me enjoy it more. I know the reason I don’t play well is because of my weight, so I feel like it’s really the only thing holding me back.

Fatherhood (Being Dad)


I absolutely love my kid! But I think everyone says that about their kid, no duh. I always knew how much I would like being a Dad. Being a kid who grew up without one I was really excited to experience the whole Dad thing, and it’s really turning out to be a great experience. We were even blessed with such a great kid; not fussy, happy, smiling, fun, and smart. I always look forward to the future with Lexie, I know I’m going to enjoy every step of being her Dad.

She’s just about to turn 1 year old. She’s grown so much in just one year. I try and make sure and really take in the time knowing she’s going to grow so fast!

Lexie’s personality is really starting to show too. I see a lot of her Mom in her; happy, fun loving, curious, joyful. Those are all words I would use to describe Ashley and they totally apply to Lexie. She’s walking, and just like crawling it happened in just a couple of days w/out warning! She’s even trying to climb the gates we put up to keep her out of certain areas of the house.

But, doesn’t mean I love diapers or loud screaming! This great bundle of joy still comes with her challenges. And now that she’s getting older I’ve noticed she is getting a little more attached to Mom and Dad. She’s getting “stranger danger,” so it’s a gamble whether she’s going to enjoy being handed to someone else. I recently went to try on suits with her and she just wasn’t having it, so it’s safe to say I didn’t try any suits on that day.


So, I am getting married pretty soon. I’m so ready to have that official stamp placed on our family. Marriage has always been about family for me, and Ashley, Lexie and I are already a great family. But we’re both excited to make it official!

…and Wedding planning is no joke…


So after writing that I feel like that’s not a lot. My life is pretty simple right now (and that’s a good thing). It’s funny how complicated things can feel still.

But I’m glad I finally got to do some “blogging.” Blogs aren’t just for nerdy¬†WordPress stuff people!