NaBloPoMo: Connected to Community

BlogHer July NaBloPoMo July NaBloPoMo

This post is brought to you by the NaBloPoMo July prompts from BlogHer. This month, I am writing about connections. 

Today’s Prompt:  Do you feel that you are connected to your community?

I absolutely love my city of Pittsburgh, and feel very connected to it. My neighborhood in Tarentum might not be my favorite place in town, but how could I not love the city that:

* Has three rivers

* Has three pretty great sports teams

* Welcomes you home from the airport with a stunning view

* Has organizations that raise money for kids with Cancer, holds birthday parties for kids whose parents can’t, or holds company fundraisers to give money to sick kids

* Holds an incredible Marathon weekend

* Has a crazy awesome Twitter community (and bloggers too — have you seen my post on “Ya Jagoff” today about bathroom Jagoffs?)

* Brought me home after three years living at the beach because this is home.

* Bleeds Black and Gold


NaBloPoMo: Regretting Connections

BlogHer July NaBloPoMo July NaBloPoMo

This post is brought to you by the NaBloPoMo July prompts from BlogHer. This month, I am writing about connections. 

Today’s Prompt: Do you have any regrets about the connections you’ve made over the years?

Oh, NaBloPoMo. you don’t even know. My post high school years’ theme was “No Regrets”; however, I cannot say that I truly can say I live that.

Here’s the thing, every connection I have made in life has made me the person I am. Certain connections, as craptastic as they were, brought us Arianna. Others brought me healing at the time and hurt at the same time. Some friend connections have come and gone–people I trusted and thought were accepting and come to find out they are not. We all have our choices, and if in the future they are not right, it doesn’t mean they are not right at that time.

So, do I have regrets? No. I have lacked faith in my judgement at the time certain connections were made, but regrets, nope. Great memories, some scars on my heart, and hilarious stories to tell? Heck yes. Regrets, nope.

NaBloPoMo July 12: Unconnected

BlogHer July NaBloPoMo July NaBloPoMo

This post is brought to you by the NaBloPoMo July prompts from BlogHer. This month, I am writing about connections. 

Today’s Prompt:  How do you feel when you’re unconnected to the Internet?

Honestly, it could go one of two ways. I could be completely freaking out or completely in peace. There really isn’t an in between. That’s pretty sad, huh?

Because of that, I’d like to turn this post into an admission that I am addicted to the Internet because I am addicted to learning, growing, and networking. To my family, I apologize for the time’s my fingers are typing away or my nose is “in my phone”. It’s probably worse than I imagine, but not as bad as it could be. The Internet has given us so many opportunities as a family, and I am grateful for that. It’s in those times of opportunity; however, that I should put my phone down and live in the moment!

I am going to work on this, and I am glad for opportunities (like last weekend) when I am completely off the radar and cannot get to the Internet. Still…I have no idea how I ever lived anywhere that “4G” didn’t show up on my phone.

NaBloPoMo Day 10: Comments Please

BlogHer July NaBloPoMo July NaBloPoMo

This post is brought to you by the NaBloPoMo July prompts from BlogHer. This month, I am writing about connections. 

Today’s Prompt: Think back to that first blog comment: how did you feel when it popped up on your computer screen?

When I first saw a comment on my blog, I had the same reaction I do every time I get a comment–someone actually read what I had to say and took the time to let me know they had an opinion on it! A smile comes across my face, my fingers tingle in anticipation as I wait for the e-mail to load, letting me see your words of wisdom. I wonder if it is someone new, a family member, or an old friend.

Comments are a bloggers best friend, even when they don’t agree with your POV. When you comment, it means that the writer and reader are connecting. People are not just lurking. You’ve engaged them and they’ll want to come back for more.

On ‘lil Burghers, comments are rare, beautiful gems. I appreciate those of you who take the time to say hello, offer a suggestion when I write about a parenting issue, or give a HELL YEAH when you agree with a post. If comments aren’t your thing, maybe calling me to say you liked what I wrote (hi, Aunt Amy, MWAH!), a Facebook like, a Pinterest Pin (did you know you can do it just by hovering over any photo on a post on this blog?), or a share on Twitter. Whatever it may be, those of you who stop by and engage with me make my writing 100x more meaningful. And if you don’t? No worries, I know my writing will mean something to the kids one day, which is why I do what I do. But lurkers? Take a minute and say hi tonight, k?

first blog comment




(First ever ‘lil Burghers blog comment, from my mother-in-law, about 3 months into blogging)


Internet Meeting

BlogHer July NaBloPoMo July NaBloPoMo

This post is brought to you by the NaBloPoMo July prompts from BlogHer. This month, I am writing about connections. 

Today’s Prompt: Who was the first person you met over the Internet?

This prompt is pretty tough because I honestly can’t remember the  person I met over the Internet. Is that sad? Are you that person? And if so, feel free to slap me across the head and say, “hey, that’s me!”. Since getting on the Internet, I’ve met a number of great people, but no one sticks out as my “first”.

Happy Monday.

Connection Problems

BlogHer July NaBloPoMo July NaBloPoMo

This post is brought to you by the NaBloPoMo July prompts from BlogHer. This month, I am writing about connections. 

Today’s Prompt: Do find it easy or difficult to connect to others?

Trust is a huge issue for me. I have to feel safe and loved thanks to my past. Therefore, I do tend to put up walls from time to time. For that, I am sorry but it is who I am.

So…I guess it can be difficult. I have just started to make more friendships at work, and I have only one friendship in my neighborhood.

Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t connect. I have plenty of connections via blogging, Twitter, and Facebook. These I appreciate. We may only have one or two things in common, but its enough to work for now. We can say hi when at Kennywood (hi, BurghseyeFam!) or bumping into each other at the grocery store and it mean a lot.

I am working on deeper connections, but until I kill some inner demons, this extrovert is going to have a small shell around her.


Connecting In Real Life

BlogHer July NaBloPoMo July NaBloPoMo

This post is brought to you by the NaBloPoMo July prompts from BlogHer. This month, I am writing about connections. 

Today’s Prompt: Do you think you still spend the same amount of time connecting in the face-to-face world now that socializing is so easy online?

Absolutely. I love being with people. I am not an introvert, but I am a quiet extrovert. I’d much rather be out and having fun than to be alone. So, it’s an easy answer for me, I still spend the same amount of time connecting face-to-face.

It’s honestly funny that this is tonight’s prompt because my introverted husband just shared this buzzfeed with me, one he connected with on lots of levels. I just shook my head. Opposites do attract, you know.

IMG_7668 (Copy)
Me socializing for my birthday

Take Me to BlogHer ’13!

One of the things I really want to do this summer is make it to BlogHer ’13. This could mean a lot for me as a writer and blogger, but as with many other things in my life of recent, I’ve let the whole “get me there” thing slip to the back burner. Perhaps you can help take me to BlogHer ’13!

You see, I’d really like to go so I can meet some of my blogging friends (like Jen at Life With Levi) and make connections to bring you awesome things here on the Blog. I’ll also be able to learn about things like being a social media leader (hello, dream job), getting published (shh, yes, this IS a dream of mine), finding balance, and writing about the hard stuff (so I can learn how to blog a post that could get me a Voices of the Year award!). And the best part? I’ll get to see a keynote with one of my newest favorite women,  Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and the best-selling author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (which we just discussed at a work women’s resource group!).

Sure, there will be parties, networking, good food, and fun. It would be a ‘lil break from the standard of working mom by day, blogger by night, Pittsburgher 24/7.  I feel like this opportunity would give me a personal kick in the butt to be a better mom, friend, and blogger.

I am going to do everything I can to pinch the pennies to make this happen, perhaps ask a friend or two if they’d be willing to share a room with me, and figure out travel. What can you do to help take me to BlogHer ’13? Let me know if you’d be interested in sponsoring the trip (I have ad space wide open!), or if you just have some inspiration to get me there. Or, if you’re that friend who will room with me. I promise to be fun!

Or…you can join The Mission List and in the “refer to”, tell them Becky Willis sent you–I’m in a contest to get to BlogHer for free (ending 6/15).

This post was written to give me an entry in The Mission List’s contest to send a blogger to BlogHer ’13, but I mean every word. I REALLY want to make it this year, and would love your support. Smooches. 


BlogHer '13
Source: BlogHer


Blogging for LGBT Families Day

When Sue Kerr, a fellow Pittsburgh blogger, posted about “Blogging for LGBT Families Day” on her blog, Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents, I knew I had to participate. You see, this event (hosted by Mombian) isn’t reserved just for those whose nuclear family is LGBT. It’s about our differences and supporting each other. It’s about making connections, and I hope this blog helps do that.



Being a “different” family, we get it and believe that everyone, regardless of their choice of who they love, should be able to be a family. We’ve made it clear to our kids that a family doesn’t always look like the cookie cutter family most people envision.

Come to think of it, that’s pretty much the family I had growing up. There was my mom, my dad, me,  my brother, a dog, and a menagerie of other pets. Although we were pretty cohesive, our parents did not make it feel like this was “right”. We had friends who came from divorced families. Friends who had a little. Friends who had a lot. Friends with parents who were in their 60s or 20s. It was a good mix, but not anything as diverse as we (the ‘lil Burghers) have going on.

If you’ve been reading here for awhile, you know I come from a Christian background (Pastor’s Kid) and had a daughter in a previous relationship. Greg is biracial, a Stay at Home Dad, a Baha’i, and from South Carolina. Evan just gets everything mixed in and is an adorable ‘lil bundle of difference. We don’t look like we belong in a department store ad (but that’s something that should change). We look like a family that’s built on love.

If you extend beyond our four walls, you’ll see an incredible extended family. On both sides, there are many beautiful differences. You’ll see the beautiful picture when you look at our family photos:



As you can see, we are very different. If I can have this amazing family to share with my ‘lil ones, I can only hope others can have that as well. I hope one day my sister Nurin can have pretty ‘lil babies to add to these photo opportunities. She (and everyone) has the right to have a family that is different but perfect all at the same time. That’s why I am here blogging for LGBT Families Day. It’s time for us to embrace our differences and allow love to be love.

Give Me Energy

This morning, I posted a sad weight loss story, a gain of 3.6 pounds. Let me be for real and tell the truth. I gained three pounds between Christmas and New Years’ then another 0.6 after New Years. I am stumped, but worked hard on getting back on track today even though I didn’t feel well. It’s never fun to post that you’ve gained when for so long you’ve posted that you’re losing, but it had to be done.

Life isn’t always about rainbows and unicorns, is it?

With that said, and being sick, I am going to share with you a really quick blurb from a NaBloPoMo prompt: What is your favorite song that gives you energy?

Right now, “my song” would have to be “The Fighter” by Gym Class Heroes. It pushed me when my PT was having me run on the treadmill after spraining my knee. It pushed me through the Turkey Trot. And it’s going to push me through whatever it is that’s making me gain weight and feel like crud. Watch out world, here comes The Fighter.