"I am a scrappy activist and advocate. The seeds of my activism were planted and have bloomed in and out of seasons and pushed me ever closer to my purpose. Season One: Childhood I was born into a family of educators who spent their careers educating children in large urban school districts. Growing up I heard stories about children who were poor, lived in marginalized communities, and often did not have enough to eat.  Of the many stories that I heard there is one that stands out. My mother was an elementary school principal.  One morning my mother was called to the cafeteria because a first grade student...

Dr. Phing Saurer's story is one of focus, resilience, and loyalty. It's a story about overcoming and working hard. Like all of us, Dr. Saurer's story begins with her parents. In this case, her parents' quest to America in search of opportunity. "My parents came to this country, leaving behind their entire family and everything they knew to give their kids a better life. They knew no one and barely spoke any English, but giving us a brighter future was the most important thing to them. I am in awe of their selflessness and sacrifices." Dr. Saurer's parents faced many obvious challenges in their journey, but no hurdle...

Part 1: Saira (Right) @dahliaoccassions; After meeting at a community gathering years ago and becoming instant friends (through their shared passion for decorating and weddings) they decided to became business partners. Saira is originally from Pakistan and came to the United States in 1997. "I got married to a wonderful man and I am blessed with two beautiful daughters." Saira has been teaching Pre-School for the past 10 years as a head start teacher, "I love it. My other passion is weddings--I love weddings! Happy people, bright lights, bright colors, and beautiful decor always makes me happy. And ultimately this was the reason I decided to go...

Meet Don & Claire [caption id="attachment_9326" align="aligncenter" width="537"] In Loving Memory of Claire Glass[/caption] "Claire was an amazing young lady, and I think it’s easy for a father to say that, but she truly was.  She was blessed with giftedness. She was extremely academically gifted. It was a challenge because when we realized she needed more, nobody believed us.  It wasn’t until the 2nd grade when we saw a psychiatrist, and they did an analysis of her and they basically said, she’s brilliant. When she was in 8th grade she scored a 30 on the ACT, and got a perfect score on the PSAT. You look at...

Part I: Emily Blake Emily is a Licensed Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist. "I have been in the beauty industry nearly 10 years, but have had a passion for it my entire life." Her mother did hair and makeup-- so she was a witness to her mothers passion. "I remember having sleepovers and doing makeover parties with my friends. So, since the start of entering the beauty industry, beautifying #brides was something I loved. And, If I'm not #beautifyingbrides, you can find me at the nearest country concert enjoying an ice cold beer, or road tripping exploring a new town. I'm 27 and have always been an...

We’ve actually touched on this before, but figured we could revisit.   Quality time. This past weekend, my husband and I spur of the moment (kind-of), decided to go out of town.  And, it made me extremely anxious to leave the girls for the first time.  Also, extremely anxious to do something spur of the moment.  I’m a “Type A-plan ahead” kinda gal. The last time my husband and I went away together out of state was when I was 5-months-pregnant.  We stayed at a bed and breakfast and played  the board game Life far too many times. And, I complained the entire way up a mountain. We...

My wife Addie and I are both from Central Ohio. We married in 2006 and started trying to have children soon after we were married. In 2007 we decided to move to California. My wife went to college at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles and spent most of her 20's living up and down the coast of LA County. I never imagined I would move out of Columbus, let alone out of the state.  After spending the first year getting settled into our California life, we then turned our focus back toward starting a family. After months, and then years of no...

We met at a bar in Washington, DC, in April 2006. [caption id="attachment_8750" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Tom & Rick [/caption] Being 40ish, we dispensed with niceties fairly quickly, and soon found ourselves talking about what we did and didn’t want in a boyfriend. Smoker? No and no. Drug or other addictions? No and no. Rural, city, or suburban? City and city. Pets? Yes (Tom) and no (Rick) – we couldn’t match up on everything. And kids? Yes and yes. That conversation didn’t mean that we were necessarily going to get together – we had just met, after all – but it was nice to know where we stood. As...

Who would have thought that three little lines could be so life changing? The result window on my pregnancy test showed a total of three lines, the plus sign being the most significant. My husband was in the bathroom with me that night, per my request. And as nervous as I was, he was excited to see what the results would show. I had a little reservation, as we have three children between us, and my incredible husband sacrifices a great deal of time from home to be able to provide for us. In short, I am home with the kids and he has to be...