Welcome to The Umbrella Tree Cafe, my little home on the web!
I created this virtual cafe as a place for moms to connect and find resources.
I want my kids to grow up to be leaders. To be creative problem solvers that make a difference in the world. I want my kids to love learning and exploring and adventure. I want them to live big, beautiful, exciting lives.
Heck, I want all of these things for myself.
And I’m hoping to create a place that can foster all of that for you and your kids too.
I believe that the best way for kids to grow up to become lifelong learners is to have parents who:
- read to them consistently from a very early age
- make learning a fun part of everyday life
- and give them opportunities to learn about the world outside their own little bubbles.
This is going to look different for every family. But I hope you find inspiration here.
My sister and I often ask, what was the key to our own success? We spent our early years growing up in a trailer park in rural Pennsylvania. Then after my parents divorced an apartment, getting reduced price lunches and coming home from school while Mom was still at work.
No one in our family had gone to college, but we were smart, so that was the expectation for us.
So that’s what I did. I went to college and I paid for it myself. I worked. I joined campus organizations and held leadership roles. My resume could fill 10 pages. I networked. I did everything I was supposed to do (except get an internship because I’m pretty bad at interviews). Then I graduated and instead of the success I dreamed of, I found myself back in my hometown waitressing at Cracker Barrel and I stayed there for 4 years until I met my husband and moved away. It was humbling.
Along the way, I learned that life is a journey.
I learned that just because you aren’t doing exactly what you dreamed you’d be doing or want to be doing YET, doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Just do the next thing that gets you toward where you want to go. Take one step. You don’t have to know what you’re meant to be.
That reveals itself after you’ve done things. They start to string together and make sense.
And if you find you don’t like where you are, you can always start over again.
As a parent, I finally feel like the pieces are starting to finally come together for me. And this website is about the things I’m working on at the moment. It turns out this brave, new online world of entrepreneurship is specifically suited to me and the skills I’ve been developing over the years. So I’m building myself a little online business. But I’m also raising a family.
- I’m working from home while raising my kids, two things I love.
- I am navigating the balance between giving my kids the unplugged, playful childhood I remember and the tech skills they’ll need for the future.
- I’m figuring out how I can make a difference in the world.
- I’m learning skills and discovering resources and I’ll use this online space to share them because that’s sort of my thing. I’m resourceful and I like to share.