Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Where the Ghetto Meets the Sea

 Once upon a time I was a fresh faced college student at UC Santa Barbara. While I was there I met 2 beautiful princesses named Vero and Violet and together we founded a chapter of Hermanas Unidas. That organization is still one of the most active and powerful on campus. Though that process I met a lot of amazing ladies and thanks to Facebook I have been able to stay in touch with many of them.

Back then we were just college kids dealing with exams, finals and picking careers. All that what kind of a long time ago for many of us. Our lives have changed a bit and one way is that a lot of are parents now. We are busy raising a whole new generation of HaU members! I found myself turning to many of my Hermanas for advice on all things parenting. That network and support system never really goes away. I knew that I wanted to create a space for Hermana's and all parents, where they could be a support system for each other, just like we were in college.

Then Irene came back into my life. Irene Quevedo was one of the original members of Hermanas Unidas back in 1999. I found myself really liking all her positive facebook status updates and the short essays she would post. She was positive, powerful, loving, so smart and filled with energy. I just knew that she would be the perfect person to build something new with. I approached her with the idea of developing a website as a support system for Hermanas and other Moms. A place that had a little bit of everything, but most importantly a place to turn to for answers, encouragement and support. She loved the idea.

We launched on August 30th. Let me give you an example of Irene's spirit. The first day we launched we also launched our Facebook page. Irene told me that she wanted to reach 100 likes in the first day. In my mind I thought "no way!". But Irene pushed, promoted, posted and we hit it, no freakin problem. Her enthusiasm, creativity and work ethic is amazing and makes her the best person to go on this journey with.

So the site launched over a month ago. Irene and I have been in communication probably every day since, but we hadn't seen each other in years. One of our goals for HerMamas was to get together before the end of the year. We met up on Sunday and we went.....

"Where the ghetto meets the sea" 
Ports 'O Call in San Pedro. 

 Irene, her husband Diego and their 3 beautiful babies met up with us. We went for the seafood and it did not disappoint. We all had shrimp and it was fresh and seasoned and cooked to perfection.

Our kids are close in age. Irene and Diego's oldest Isaiah is 6, Sofia is 2 and......

 Baby Noah is 11 months old!

 We did the best we could to get a picture of all the kids together. Mission impossible. This was the best we got. We really wanted this picture because at the end of it all these 5 amazing human beings are the reason Irene and I are so passionate about HerMamas.

When I went back and looked at the photos we took that day this was my favorite. It captured motherhood and Irene and I working together perfectly. Here we are trying to get a good shot for our site when one of our babies comes running in. It's our life, we work hard but when a little one comes running we stop and mother. It is a careful balance and because we are working together, and there are 2 people dividing the work load we are able to keep the site new daily and still be Mommas.

After our meal we walked the shops. The kids slowly started to warm up to each other.

There was an ice cream stop and that helped the kids open up a little bit more.

How cute are Irene's kids???

Irene's husband Diego has a great eye for photos. He noticed this background and we set up for family pictures!

The Quevedo Family!

I have known Irene for 13 years now. She is still that ball of energy as fun as I remember from UCSB.

 As the parents talked about parenthood, the site and the future, the kids played.

A few game booths were set up and the kids tried their luck with ping pong ball in a fish tank.

And wouldn't you know it, not 1 but 2 winners!!! As of the time I am writing this post I am happy to say that both "Goldie" and "Samurai" are both still alive and swimming.

By the end of the few hours we were all together Phi and Isaiah were walking side by side chit chatting away.

Of course the time went by to quickly and we had to say our good-byes. But we plan to meet up together again soon. These meet up are great to brainstorm and re-boost the energy and drive.

So if you haven't already visit and like us on Facebook


  1. TEAR! Thanks for capturing this day as beautifully as you did. As I scrolled down and read, I could't help but think this is only the first of many, many adventures to come and I'm PUMPED! After all, we do plan on owning a port one day ;)

  2. Thank you, Elissa! This was wonderful. I had a great time with you and your beautiful family. I'm looking forward to creating many more of these memories!


Dirt Road Diary- Berdoo Canyon

It had been awhile but Joey recently convinced me to head out on an off-roading adventure. Mostly because the San Berdoo trail ends inside J...