Mentors – Mellody Hobson

Do you love having mentors?  Do you love learning from others? I always have.  Lately I’ve been curious about what life is like from a black person’s perspective. Actually, I always have been interested in multiculturalism and learning from others. I have lots of mentors and have been wanting to make friends with people who are different from me – in my beliefs and from the way I look and live. I am curious about everyone and want to learn from others, and lately I’ve been wishing for a close, black friend with whom to share conversations and ideas.

Today I happened to be on Facebook after work, and was alerted to a live presentation by Sheryl Sandberg, featuring a brief Lean In interview with Mellody Hobson.  I fell in love and found my virtual friend.  Isn’t she beautiful?  Smart too!!


Mellody Hobson photo by Joi Ito from 2007

Photo By Joi Ito –, CC BY 2.0,

After all the crazy talk at the Oscars about race and lack of diversity and racial tensions, seeing and “meeting” and hearing from and about Mellody Hobson today was refreshing. HER story is actionable and real and dynamic and beautiful. And yet, have I been living under a rock? How come I have never heard of her before? I wish her story and those like hers were celebrated and in the news more often.

Part of why I write HERE I AM is to change our collective story and to share examples of positive living, just now, in the daily moments of life.

Mellody knows how to live it up and her story is remarkable, from what I know after just less than an hour of reading and research.  I want to meet more women like her.

From the brief interview I listened to with Sheryl this afternoon, here is what I learned about Mellody and what I wish to share with my daughter and others:

  • Be Authentic.
  • Speak your truth.
  • Work hard.
  • Be BRAVE!
  • Be comfortable as you are. Accept who you are and unapologetically BE what you are.
  • Be rooted in extreme confidence, yet be humble and stand up for yourself.
  • Build your team and trust them to stand up for you.
  • Be curious about others.
  • Actively work together.
  • Be a magnet and draw others in by being wonderful.

Mellody worked hard to become the President of Ariel, a money management company in Chicago. She was raised by a single mother who taught her to help herself. She is married to George Lucas, and has a 2 year old daughter, named Everest.

To read more about her, check out this link to a Vanity Fair article about my new girl crush, Mellody:  Vanity Fair Article about Mellody Hobson.





My Quilting Friend, Carmen

In honor of Carmen’s quilting patterns and love of color and good food, here’s my perfectly imperfect tribute of something beautiful on an old table. Yin and yang   

I left Carmen’s house tonight, inspired, as always. Carmen makes me smile and I love just being near her. She exudes light, through her eyes and her smile and her confidence.  Her house is filled with bright colors and as you look around, you can’t help but feel happy, looking at the bright orange walls in her kitchen, the rainbow carpet in her family room and at the whimsical and colorful hand made, intricately designed quilt that covers one wall.

She always has a little bit of wisdom to share, that I hold onto and want to remember. For example, tonight somehow we were talking about problems and worry, about what exactly I don’t remember, but she shared something that her brother taught her about how we shouldn’t spend our time worrying, for if there is a solution there is nothing to worry about and if there isn’t a solution there isn’t anything you can do anyway, so why worry?  I’m sure I messed it up, but the message was to stop worrying and the way she shared her story just made me smile.

She showed me her quilting room and I was in awe. It was my favorite room in the house for several reasons. It was organized and neat and was a creative haven for her to practice her art. She had all the right tools and bins and surfaces needed. It wasn’t huge, but it was perfectly balanced and I could imagine what it would be like to be her, inside her little room during the day with the sunshine streaming in, listening to her music and quilting away in her happy place, making quilts to give away, which makes her even happier.  I loved this space and love that she is so passionate and has created a place to work her magic.

I also love that she loves to travel and how she adores her family, especially her grandkids, and lives life up beautifully, every day.

It’s always great to have mentors, and Carmen is one of mine.

Who is one of your mentors and why? What do you admire about the person that inspires you?

Thank you Carmen – for the visit, for the treats to share with my family, and for being such a lovely soul. xo



Everyone should have at least one mentor, preferably at each life stage, as we are learning and navigating our chosen paths.  I have had many and have several now too. When I think of each one, I smile because of the fond memories and experiences we have shared.

We are human. We learn from and mimick each other, which is why I think it’s important for us to have people that we look up to and admire and who provide us with examples of how we want to live and practice being who we are. 

Knowledge is easily transferred from the one who knows and has wisdom and the one who is learning and back again. We shape each other, and that’s a beautiful thing. Choose wisely with whom you surround yourself and share your time.

Who are you some of your mentors and what are you learning?  Who do you admire and for whom are you grateful. Tell them. 🙂


Smart Girls and Great Mentors

I was at a dinner tonight and listening to so many different conversations.

My favorite conversations were those of the women who were sharing stories about their smart daughters, not that they used those words, but that’s what I heard.

One friend’s daughter is studying chemistry at a California University and wants to go on to graduate and further her studies to become a pharmacist. She had a great science teacher in high school who inspired her to become who she is today. She also has 6 pharmacists in her family whom I’m sure have also inspired her.

Another mom was talking about her daughter who is studying for her PhD also in chemistry and was studying nanotechnology and how to use it to administer cancer treatment in a very focused manner. I love hearing about young women who find and are pursuing their passions.

And the last 20-something that captured my attention had her degree from USC and came home to help her family and respectfully gave up an opportunity to provide community service abroad. I wonder if she knows how awesome she is to be of service right here in her own community. I bet it doesn’t feel like that right now, but one day I’m sure she’ll know she made the right and best decision.

My own daughter dreams of becoming a doctor one day and one of my BFFs is her mentor. I wonder if by the time she gets to college, if this dream will become a reality. For now, I’m happy that she’s thinking about her future and how she’d like to spend her days as a grown up.

We have some cool, super smart, future women leaders among us!! Maybe it’s because they have some cool, super smart Mom mentors too?!?

Someone asked me what my dream job would be and for some reason I replied being a talk show host like Oprah Winfrey. I think I would love talking to people and hearing their stories and making connections. I’m fascinated by the differences and connections we all share and the struggles and celebrations that come in so many different forms. This made me smile. Maybe I’ll be a talk show host when I grow up. What will you be when you grow up?

Goodnight BeLovers. Sweet Dreams.


Day 326: Today is My Birthday!!


I Am Happy!

I love birthdays! I love mine and yours and celebrating life. I love the songs and presents and decorations. I love the attention and the meaning of birthdays, and bringing people together.  I love chocolate cake and ice cream and blowing out candles, as long as I don’t think of spit flying out on the cake when you blow!!  I am so thankful every time another milestone comes and have no problem with getting older, except I don’t really like the wrinkles and gray hairs that serve as receipts for the aging process. I’d just as well skip the receipt!!

Today is my birthday and Father’s Day and I was lucky enough to celebrate it in Amsterdam with my family and friends, out on the water. Nothing makes me happier than being on the water, in the sunshine and being with loved ones. Thanks, Kurt and Ali for sharing your boat and day with us. And thank you Blythe for my cool card and delicious birthday cupcakes. You made my day!

I Am truly blessed and am filled with gratitude for the 40+ years of my life! It just keeps getting better! Thanks mom and dad for giving me life. Thank you to all of my friends, family, teachers, mentors and acquaintances who have connected with me and made my life more meaningful.

My birthday wish is to share with you peace, love and happiness. Namaste.


Char and I went for a bike ride with the Bakfiets this morning and found a fun, new little park.


My “twin” boys enjoying each other on the tram ride into the city. I love when they get along.


I love Amsterdam!


Beautiful Amsterdam from the Prinsengracht


My honeys making our birthday/father’s day dinner. Juliana picked the menu and Jeff helped her while I got to lay on the couch. Thanks, guys!! The best part was not thinking of what to eat/cook and hearing Juliana say she understands how much work it takes to get a family meal on the table. Love her. Love this life. Loved the dinner! xoxo Thank you!!