This is an example page. It’s different from a blog post because it will stay in one place and will show up in your site navigation (in most themes). Most people start with an About page that introduces them to potential site visitors. It might say something like this:
Hi there! I’m a bike messenger by day, aspiring actor by night, and this is my blog. I live in Los Angeles, have a great dog named Jack, and I like piña coladas. (And gettin’ caught in the rain.)
…or something like this:
The XYZ Doohickey Company was founded in 1971, and has been providing quality doohickeys to the public ever since. Located in Gotham City, XYZ employs over 2,000 people and does all kinds of awesome things for the Gotham community.
As a new WordPress user, you should go to your dashboard to delete this page and create new pages for your content. Have fun!
The first time I met my next door neighbor she was young, newly married and expecting her first baby. She had no idea how much she would learn in the coming years. I was a seasoned mom with a teenager, a preschooler and two in-between. I had no idea how much I would learn in the coming years.
I was the first person to meet and hold that baby. The first to hold the next three. We have been friends through painful times of life and times of joy and hope. Through toddler drama, pregnancies, potty training, diaper rash, and tantrums. Through terrifying teenager trials and bittersweet transitions from one stage of motherhood to the next.
She has loved my kids and counseled them as they navigated elementary school and high school and then adult life. She has watched them grow and mature and change with a mom-like love. She has cried with me and for me when my children have gone astray and broken my heart. She has cheered me on as I found my footing after life has knocked me down again and again.
I have loved her kids, hugged them, pushed them on the swing for literally hours, snuggled them as babies and watched them become independent and wonderful little people. I have captured literally thousands of photos of them playing in the yard, jumping on the "frampoline" and being little people from the time they were born. I have sat by my friend as she grieved the loss of her expectations, navigated the journey from a powerful working woman to stay-at-home mom of more and more kids. I have cheered her on as she found her footing after life has knocked her down again and again.
We've had backyard barbeques and smores around the fire. Impromptu chats in the yard too numerous to count. Days when I wandered from my house of teen-horrors for a long snuggle with a small person who still loves purely and simply. We have keys to each other's houses and borrow each other's tools and eggs (okay, I "borrow" their eggs and butter and flour and paprika and they borrow our tools). Our trampoline is pretty much their trampoline and I put in a swingset to get the kids to come our way (it worked). I wander over with a cocktail and keep her company while she cleans her van, wipes noses and answers 2,000 preschooler questions. Her toddler comes to my house with dandelion bouquets and her kids have all learned to say my name before they could say much at all.
I freaking love them. Having neighbors like that is what life is all about. One day they will move away and a little piece of my heart will go with them. Actually, six little pieces. We will always be friends but there is nothing like having a friend like that living next door. It's kinda' the best.
Pull our your calendar, find your space and grab your session before time gets away from you!
West Coast (click to get started)
SF Bay Area:
March 6-8 (location of your choice in the Bay Area)
Fri, Mar 6th: 5:00 pm
Sat, Mar 7th: 10:45 am,
1:30, & 4:30 pm
Sun, Mar 8th: 8:30, 10:45 am, 1:30, &
Short & Sweets:
Sat, March 7th: 8:30, 9:00, 9:30, 10:00
Cuesta Park, Mountain View
May 1-3 (location of your choice in the Bay Area)
Fri, May 1st: 6:15 pm
Sat, May 2nd:
9:00, 10:45 am, 3:30, & 6 :00 pm
Sun, May 3rd: 8:30, 10:45 am, 3:30, & 6:15 pm
Short & Sweets:
Sun, May 3rd: 8:30, 9:00, 9:30, 10:00
Portola Valley Town Center
Austin/San Antonio TX
Portland, Oregon/Oregon Coast:
TBA (early August)
TBA (Likely June)
Recently a young mom friend was chronically the chaos, struggle and exhausted-grasp-for-survival she feels every day. We were sitting on her patio, me with a coffee in my hand, my grown kids busy with their lives, my young teen running through the yard, waving and saying "I'm going to Lizzie's, see you!". Across from me, she sits, looking defeated with her young baby crawling all over her, pulling her hair, grabbing at the breast for a snack and then turning away to look around, nipple gripped tightly in his teeth. The other three are on the swings in the background, intermittently calling out for her to "Watch this, Mommy!" or "Did you see that?" while she tries to complete just one full sentence without losing a tenuous and exhausted focus. I watched with a tinge of nostalgia and not-a-little bemusement. Oh, how I remember those days. Oh, how I understand. Oh . . . how I miss it.
When I was a young mom my grandfather told me that parenting is a roller coaster. That I just needed to hold on and remember that there are ups and downs on every ride. I think he's right; it's a wicked but exciting roller coaster. It looks, from the waiting line below, like so much fun. We, the mass of unsuspecting first-timers, apprehensively yet hopefully, search the faces of the finishers for signs of what to expect; they seem all smiles, if not a little dizzy and green. So we wait with anticipation and excitement for our turn. We buckle in and smile at the friend next to us, exchanging nervous shrugs with the stranger strapped in behind us. The cars start to click-click-click up that first hill and we think "Oh, wait, stop! I want off, I changed my mind!" But there is no going back. The shoulder straps are locked down tight and we are in it now. Before we know it we are at the summit of that first hill. We plummet, and rise, we lurch and bounce and question our sanity for willingly taking a seat on this torture-train. We even paid money, we waited in line for this!
Just as we are screaming at our friend that we HATE this ride, we come to a hilltop that is actually kind of beautiful. We see some vistas of the park that take our breath away, if only for a moment before we are yanked violently back down a harrowing drop. Up and down and side to side we fly, sometimes laughing, sometimes gritting our teeth in fear, anticipating the worst. Sometimes smiling contentedly at the spectacular views.
Before we can even process all that we have seen and experienced, the ride pulls into the station with a sudden and jarring lurch. We smile and look at the friend beside us as we both say "Whoa, that was actually fun!" The mass of unsuspecting participants, still eagerly awaiting their turn, apprehensively, yet hopefully, search the finisher's faces for signs of what to expect when their buckles click into place. All they can see are happy smiles, a slight dishevelment of hair and clothes and a little bit of gathered wisdom on faces and so they strap in, excited to take their turn on the ride of a lifetime, blissfully unaware of what's to come.
Hang in there, parents. This ride isn't all fun and laughs around every turn or down every steep drop, but one day the car will lurch back into the station and you will smile and remember that it was, indeed, the ride of a lifetime.
Around every corner in
We trekked back to the top of that steep, dust-swept hill and grabbed Yazmin and Roman, plus Isabella, who, as part of our group brought laughter, joy, and levity to everything. I hung back as the four teenagers marched and laughed their way down the hill. They couldn't communicate beyond hand gestures and smiles, but they were carrying on like old friends just the same.
It struck me, as I watched these four teenagers from immensely divergent backgrounds giggle and snack on junk foods like they'd known each other forever, how universal the need for friendship and connection is. These kids have never gone to school, they don't play volleyball or rock climb in expensive gyms. They work all day to be able to eat that night. They take care of their younger siblings and help build and repair their family's shelter. Roman dreams of moving somewhere to get a good job so he can help his family climb out of poverty. He is sixteen years old and he bears the weight of 12 other lives on his young shoulders and in his heart. Despite all that, despite the daily struggles they face, struggles that gratefully our daughters will never face, they still want to laugh, to drink a soda and spend time with other teenagers and for just a moment to forget everything and just be kids.
Sigh. Mi corazón.
To be continued . . .
Several months before we left for Mexico I decided I should try to learn some Spanish. I knew I couldn't become fluent in a few short months but I could at least pick up a few useful phrases and greetings. "Dónde está el baño, anyone?" I took Spanish in high school and remember almost nothing. I took it again in college where I managed to get a C, one of only two grades below a B earned in my tenure there. Undeterred by my past failings I downloaded DuoLingo and got busy. Armed with my new words I attempted to order tacos at a Milwaukee restaurant in Spanish, only to confound the waiters who apparently don't understand bad Spanish with a Minnesotan accent; who knew? I tried it out on my beloved housekeepers whom I have been trying to befriend for years but without a shared language I barely knew. We shuffled along poorly but still, it was something! I was far from a Spanish speaker with my sad list of forty or so words but ready or not, the day came when my knowledge, such as it was, would really be tested.
It was only Day One of our
I think that learning someone else's language is a form of respect. You honor them, even if your attempts are broken and silly and completely out of order. You show the other person that you are not there to make Mexico or Africa or Haiti into a Little America, but you are there to stand alongside them in their own journey, in their own country. It feels good when someone tries to understand your language, whether it's spoken or unspoken. We all want to feel heard and known.
The day I met the Ochoa family, that wonderful family with ten children at the top of the steep hillside, had I not learned my little basket of Spanish words we would have simply said "hola" and gone our separate ways. I would not have come home with twelve new friends. They may have continued to feel isolated and alone and would not have found a new community in a local church (more on that later). Beautifully, we made a meaningful connection, starting with broken Spanish and flourishing through a translator, a translator app, Facebook's multi-language interface and now hours of chatting through Messenger and texting using Google Translate.
I am so excited to build on my Spanish, to keep learning more about this family, to get back to Ensenada to visit them, get real-life hugs from them and most importantly, to have deeper conversations with them using my newly acquired language skills. It is a journey worth taking,
Yesterday, Roman, the Ochoa's oldest son, told me to hug my husband and kids from him and from his family. I told him to hug his family, too, teasing that it will take a while to hug them all. He replied to me "Oh, no, solo reuniré