Saturday, December 26, 2020

Despite everything - Thank you for the good things in 2020!

2020 was an unusual and hard year due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and its tragic (mental) health and economic consequences, police brutality that led to social unrest, and a shameful last term of the Trump presidency. However, on a personal note, there are so many things to be thankful for. Therefore, per tradition, I want to share this year's highlights with you.


I became a US citizen in January. Together with 1,358 immigrants from 99 countries, I celebrated my dual American-German citizenship in Oakland's Paramount Theatre of the Arts. This formality allowed me to participate as a voter in the Democratic primaries and the historic presidential election.

Dual Citizen
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ Welcome to America! πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ


After the big ultrasound, we officially shared the good news that a baby boy would join us in July. As a fourth of Course Hero's workforce are parents, my manager and colleagues reacted wonderfully when I told them. While this SHOULD be the case, I encourage all mamas and papas to be to share their news proudly. Bonding time is really important, and parents add new perspectives to their work upon return. 

πŸ‘ΌπŸΌπŸ‘ΌπŸΌ Hello, world! πŸ‘ΌπŸΌπŸ‘ΌπŸΌ


Carlos' birthday was one of the last social gatherings with friends before the city, state, and the country went into a COVID-19 lockdown. While we didn't know it back then, it was good to see our group of friends and share many hugs without distance nor masks.

🎈🎈 Feliz cumpleaΓ±os! πŸŽˆπŸŽˆ


After getting a private showing, we made an offer for a Victorian single-family house in the Mission. After moving in we realized, that we have common friends with our direct neighbors and that Philipp who I know through the local German community lives on our block as well. Small world!

πŸ—️🏑 Home sweet, home! πŸ—️🏑


Due to working from home and sheltering in place, most of my pregnancy passed by almost unnoticed. Our good friend and talented photographer Natalia took some incredible maternity pictures of us to capture the last moments of just the two of us.

 πŸ“ΈπŸ“Έ by @nataliaborecka πŸ™πŸ½πŸ™πŸ½


Our friends threw us an outdoor baby shower with socially distanced small groups of guests in four shifts. Thank you, Olivia, Ana & Natalia for organizing this special day.

Baby Shower
🍼🍼 The final countdown... πŸΌπŸΌ


After a neighborhood hike in Bernal Heights with my friend Katja, Lucas was born two days ahead of his due date. 

πŸ’›πŸ’› Thankful to the hospital staff for taking great care of us. πŸ’›πŸ’›


The three of us got to know each other better during my maternity leave. Despite what most Europeans think, California has a similar paid family leave policy and most tech companies like my employer Course Hero offer a parental leave of 4-6 months.

⚽πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ Honoring our German heritage ⚽πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ


My friend Christian Byza interviewed me for his OMR #SiliconValley Update on my journey from rural West Germany to Silicon Valley, Airbnb's IPO, Women in Tech, and Currywurst. Listen to the full episode here. While I stopped hosting my own podcast, it was great being back on air again.

🎧🎧 My Silicon Valley Update πŸŽ§πŸŽ§


Whenever the little guy allowed I volunteered with MoveOn texted undecided voters in battleground states. I also donated via Act Blue and took some time to review all local ballot initiatives and voted early by mail. 

πŸ’ŒπŸ’Œ Voting early by mail πŸ’ŒπŸ’Œ


Through my friend Vanesa, we found the best daycare for Lucas. His nannies are native Spanish speakers, pick him up and drop him off, send us many pictures of him during the day, and cook delicious meals. I got so much peace of mind, that I could jump right back into work (from home).

πŸ›πŸ› Yummy home-cooked dinner πŸ›πŸ›

At 36 years this is the first Christmas I am not spending at home with my parents but with Lucas and Carlos in San Francisco. We even got our own Christmas tree. We hope that we can travel to Europe for Lucas to meet his European grandparents next year. 

🌲🌲 Natural born Santa Claus πŸŒ²πŸŒ²

I wish you all happy holidays with your loved ones and hope to see you in 2021! 

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