Our Stage of Life Team
Stage of Life® is unique in that it's one of the few websites that is building a community around "life" versus just one niche. Our mission is to make the world a better place, one story at a time. And through that, we have the pleasure of working with a talented team of individuals from many walks of life. From our IT and web teams to our artists (you'll see our original work throughout the site in our various headers, etc.), to our slew of editors to our interns, each individual working with us adds a special perspective and their personal flavor to the diversity that is Stage of Life®.
Eric Thiegs - CEO/Founder
Eric is the CEO and Founder of StageofLife.com. The idea of sharing stories is a simple concept...but a powerful mission. All of the contributing users for Stage of Life® add to a multi-generational voice that Eric hopes will help change the world, one story at a time, as people become life-long readers and writers.
Eric was recently named one of the Forty Under 40 by the Central Penn Business Journal...which was just time as he turned 40 two months later. His career profile and resume can be found below via the LinkedIn link.
In addition to his professional life, during his 30's, Eric served as the Theater Director at Red Lion Area Senior High School for 11 years (2002 - 2013) directing over 800 students actors and producing award-winning high school productions for over 30,000 people in the community.
During his 20's, Eric played in the local Twin Cities band, Bug Candy, releasing four independent albums and performing in venues across cities ranging from Minneapolis, St. Paul, New York City, Philadelphia, Wilmington, etc.
Eric's current passion is to continue to grow and develop StageofLife.com into a must-visit website destination for anyone who loves to read or write.
He currently lives outside of Chicago with his wife and two daughters.
Eric's Work Profile
Joseph K. Thiegs - EVP & CFO, Co-Founder
By day, Joe is the Senior Planned Giving Officer for Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media in St. Paul. Previously, he worked at the University of Minnesota for nearly seven years, first as a Planned Giving Officer with the University of Minnesota Foundation and then as Associate Director of Advancement at the University of Minnesota Law School, following more than five years as a tax, trusts, and estates attorney at Dorsey & Whitney LLP in Minneapolis. Joe was named a "Rising Star" of Minnesota law by Minnesota Law & Politics magazine four times. He is a 1999 cum laude graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School, where he was a Managing Editor of Law and Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice and won First Prize in the school's 1999 Nathan Burkan Memorial Competition for legal writing. Joe received his undergraduate degree in 1996 from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
Joe has served or serves on boards and committees for several professional groups and nonprofit organizations. He currently serves on the Governing Council of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Probate and Trust Law Section as well as its Legislation Committee, and previously served on the MSBA Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA) Task Force. He serves as well on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Planned Giving Council and is a member of several other professional organizations, including the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and various bar associations and their probate and trust law sections. From 2009 to 2012 he served on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Crescendo Project, and previously served on the Board of Directors of the Tangletown Neighborhood Association.
Joe is very excited to be working with Eric—his cousin and one of his best friends—to help develop and grow Stage of Life from Eric’s original seed of an idea into reality and ultimately to its full potential. Joe loves applying his legal and financial insights to a fledgling business which, much like his day job, focuses on making people’s lives better. He also loves people, music, wine, beer, cheese, cooking, reading, writing, learning, camping, hiking, being on or in the water, photography, sports, games of all kinds, humor, social media (@jthiegs on Twitter), his wife, Lisa, and their three children..
Rebecca Thiegs - Education and Curriculum Consultant, Co-Founder
Rebecca earned her Masters of Education from the University of Minnesota and has spent the last 14 years teaching high school English, Language Arts, Creative Writing and Public Speaking in a wide range of schools from an urban setting in Minneapolis to an affluent suburb of Philadelphia to a rural, small town in York County, PA.
In addition to her high school teaching career, Rebecca is a certified National Writing Project fellow, current sits on the board member for Kaltreider Benfer Library, was a featured educator on Teach.com, and served for two years as a senior curriculum consultant for McDaniel College as part of their Summer Enrichment Program through a partnership with the DC Success Foundation, an initiative supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
She's lived in London England, been published (one of her own blog essays from Stage of Life ran in Central Penn Parent Magazine), and is the passionate mother of two.
Rebecca was a featured session presenter at the 2012 Pennsylvania Council of English and Language Arts conference (Session Title: Expanding Digital Literacy through Teen Blogging) and is available to speak or consult on various digital literacy and education topics ranging from blogging, writing, Language Arts curriculum and the simple idea of helping educators to get students writing outside of the classroom.
If you need to reach Rebecca - please Contact here or visit her book blog...
Board of Advisers
Stage of Life fortunate to have the counsel of some amazing business and legal leaders who help guide us and provide invaluable feedback
Meet the Stage of Life Board of Advisers
Meet Our Stage of Life Editors...
Katie - Virtual Teen Intern
Katie is a senior at Darien High School. Contrary to popular belief and to her parents' exasperation, she actually knows more Spanish than she does Mandarin. She cannot bake a proper cake, is terribly afraid of calculus, and believes it to be physically impossible for her to run a mile in under seven minutes. She is two minutes older than her twin sister, Sophie, and loves her to death.
One of Katie's greatest passions is writing. She is the Teen Times Reporter for her town's newspaper, and she started a popular book review column to increase readership in her community. Her poetry and short stories have been published in multiple student literary magazines such as Teen Ink, and her work has been recognized by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and the National High School Poetry contest. She is extremely excited to join Stage of Life and its editors.
In addition to being an avid reader and writer, she loves painting and drawing (check out some samples on www.katietsui.weebly.com) and is a not-so-secret biology nerd. She is studying Alzheimer's diseases, and has worked at Zhejiang University School of Medicine in China for the past two summers.
Derek - Peer Editor, Writing Contests
Derek Yu is a walking, talking paradox, not to mention a rhyming triceratops. He eats, sleeps, reads, and yes...he writes. As a writer, he works as the Editor-In-Chief of a leading overseas human resource firm - english.Job168.com, publishing articles for millions of members. His literary pieces have been highlighted in places such as Center for Global Leaders, Rotary International, Live Poets Society, and National PTA Reflections. Some hobbies include doodling pretty words in his notebook, reciting poetry in the shower, and swimming in a fat pool of ink.
As a die-hard Premier-League club soccer player and potential college recruit, Derek has competed all over the world-from Hawaii to Asia to his front lawn. At school he has been a Captain, MVP, and a 4.0 Scholar Athlete for consecutive years. When he’s not busy writing or playing soccer, Derek enjoys playing the piano, snowboarding, and taking long walks to the park.
He feels truly honored to be a judge, laying down the “pen” of justice with respect to the “laws” of writing.
Virgina L. - Editor, High School
Hello everyone! My name is Virginia and I am a high school junior. I am so excited to be apart of Stage of Life’s editor team, what a privilege! Well, I’ll give you guys a little snippet of who I am. I am 17. I have an enduring passion for writing that sometimes I get lost in my own work; furthermore, I love to sing and dance. As an opportunist, I am involved in almost everything that I can expand my knowledge in. Some of my aspirations are to be a successful attorney, a writer, a philanthropist and most of all, a mentor to others that seek for a hand to hold. Throughout this journey, I also hope to “Change the world, one story at a time.”Assisting others through your writing, connecting with soul’s and even providing one with the boost they need, are the greatest accomplishments a writer can achieve. With that being said, I hope my writing will be an inspiration. So there it is you guys, that’s a snippet of who I am, if you would like to know more, feel free to ask!
How's it going, everybody? This is Keilah (pronounced Kayla).
Keilah - Editor, High School
Little bit about me: 1) I'm a firm believer in procrastination. It's one of the few beliefs that I practice on a daily basis. 2) Love writing, love reading, loathe math. 3) I am a serious sucker for s'mores. 4) I have a spastic yellow lab mix who WILL eat your cat. 5) I one day intend to have a string of NY Times bestsellers stapled to my pen name (I wish . . . ), but for now I'm sticking with publishing in Teen Ink and various other poetry and essay anthologies, as well as "working" as a Teen Editor here at Stage of Life (it's not work if you're having fun!) - Yup, that pretty much sums up my life.
Jessica L. - Editor, High School
Since I was young, I have developed a deep passion for literature. After coming to the United States at the age of nine, I immersed myself with a diverse array of timeless works ranging from Homer’s epics to Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle. To me, writing is not only a medium of expression, but a mission through which I reach more profound insights about society and life. In addition to patching together works for magazines and anthologies in English, I also translate articles for Singtao Daily, the largest Chinese newspaper worldwide.
Furthermore, I love violin and community service. I’m also a devout tree-hugger… perhaps my neighbors shall witness a extravagantly-hyper Lorax this coming Halloween. Oh I’m also a member of the roller coaster fanatics club!
What I also firmly believe in is that everyone should celebrate their own identity. In case your environment discourages you from being proud of who you are, I wish that in here, you can free yourself from such insecurities in writing.
Allison S. - Editor, High School
Hey guys! I’m Allison, a soon-to-be junior in high school. As a high school student, school can be kind of overwhelming at times. When I do get free time though, I love to play tennis, bake, play the piano, ride my bike, and of course write! I’ve realized that I’m kind of a perfectionist, yet at the same time I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.
I’m still discovering myself as a writer, and a person, but I hope you all enjoy my occasional thoughts on life!
Zoe F. - Editor, High School
“I was one who never spoke unless it improved upon silence.”
I’m a girl who is in the beginning of a blossom. I’m finding out what I love and who I love and all the things that make me giggle and I’m realizing how beautiful it is. But I’m still discovering all the things that hurt in life too: heartbreaks, boyfriends (or lack thereof), bad friends, stresses in school but I see the struggle as part of the beauty too. Aja Monet once said, “Don’t talk to me of love if you don’t know broken.” I know the shattered pieces are still part of the glass. I would describe myself as a poet, writer, lover of music, mother of compassion, child of paradox, sister to fashion, and somewhat of a Popsicle connoisseur (if I may say so myself). I just recently found my passion for writing. I’m in a place in my life where I’m happy and anticipating the future and expecting the changes it brings, whether good or bad, to bring me more happiness. My favorite color is sunshine yellow. I love reading Baldwin, Twain, Morrison, Meyers. And I love poetry; writing is becoming who I am. And I really like who I am right now.
Makayla L. - Editor, High School
Hey everybody! I'm Makayla. At my high school in the suburbs of Pennsylvania, I'm involved in Junior Classical League (JCL), Student Council, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), Mock Trial, the gifted program, chorus, symphonic band, musical, and Varsity Cheerleading. I also have time to breathe in between all of that. I consider myself a self-driven perfectionist. I currently have no idea about my future; I'd like to attend an Ivy League college if at all possible. Some possibilities are a career in optometry, law, or politics. I should probably start narrowing down choices, but there's too much to experience in my life right now. Despite my sometimes bossy exterior, if you get to know me, I'm that girl that sings loudly with the radio (hand motions included), experiments with baking projects, wears Halloween costumes for fun in March, and can laugh until crying at any given lunch period. I hope you enjoy my work and come back for more!
Megan - Editor, College
Hello :) I’m Megan! I graduated with honors from Red Lion High School, and I was involved in a lot in my four years. I was my senior class president, yearbook editor, varsity softball shortstop, field hockey goalie, and I even sang in chorus for a year. I attend Shippensburg University where I am a secondary education English major. My dorm room is purple, even my Mac Book cover. I love to play softball. It has always been a big part of my life. I’ve been playing since I was five, and it has taught me a lot about everything. I normally don’t wear matching socks. It’s not because I don’t have the other, it’s because that’s just me. I take my camera with me pretty much everywhere because I love pictures. Other than that, I think I’m a pretty fun person. Talk to me, I don’t bite!
Justina - Editor, College
Justina Tran is a curious whippersnapper who is perpetually in love with writing, film, and travel. She attends Emerson College as a Visual & Media Arts major with a concentration in Writing for Film and Television and minor in Sociology.
While originally from California, Tran decided to denounce Manifest Destiny by moving to the east coast for two years. Although she’s concluded her Boston-based adventures (which included countless walks throughout the city and Cambridge; volunteering at the Engagement Game Lab, film festivals, and homeless shelters; creating silly 16mm films with a light meter in one hand and Bolex in another; etc.), she is excited to spend her last semester at her college’s Los Angeles campus.
She looks forward to journeying into terra incognita after her graduation.
Follow her on Twitter
or check out her about.me
Amanda B. - Editor, College
I sing, I laugh, I dance…actually, I don't dance, but that's alright. I'm a teenager who has been homeschooled her entire life. Currently, I'm attending a university in Washington DC, studying Journalism. I'm a writer, an artist, a dreamer, and a lover. I write about my crazy life on the farm on my personal blog, Farmgirl Writes. I am an artist in many different ways, through my music, and through my work as a graphic and web designer.
I'm a dreamer because I'm a writer - and am firmly convicted of the belief that the two go hand-in-hand. I am a lover because I am loved by Jesus. Love is contagious, especially when you are blessed to have amazing people in your life.
Jason - Editor, College
Jason is a husband and father. He met his wife while stationed in North Carolina as a Marine. He’s been to Iraq and Afghanistan and likes to think that he has a better perspective on the world. After getting out of the military, Jason went moved back to Illinois where he grew up and attended Trinity Christian College. During this time he pursued writing. It has always been a cool idea to be a writer, but now he’s actively pursuing the lifestyle of a writer.
The past year has been one of moving back to North Carolina, living with his wife’s family with his wife and their new baby. Taking a break from school, he is hoping to attend college in the spring and finish out a degree in the next three years. Jason also enjoys coffee, his favorite energy drink is Full Throttle, loves Mexican food, and loves watching movies from Red Box or, when they can afford to he likes to go to the movie theater with his wife when the grandparents babysit.
Amanda P. - Editor, College
Amanda is a 16 year old artist of many trades and attributes. She has a wide range of interests and talents including art, dance, writing, environmental science, acting, and photography. Her poems and articles have been published online by Stand & Voice, Stage of Life, The Keystone Connection, and in print by Teen Ink. In addition to her magazine publications, Amanda self-published a poetry collection called “Alternative”. Amanda teaches a poetry workshop at Barnes & Noble Fresh Meadows.
Now for the fun part of my bio - I’m a vegetarian, I’m homeschooled, and I take competitive dance classes. I have lots of pets, my room is painted black and turquoise, I like all types of music but particularly indie rock and alternative (aka, stuff most people don’t listen too). I love to read fiction, mythical creatures are awesome. I don’t watch much TV, but I love movies both old and new, especially Tim Burton films. Last but most exciting—I live in New York. For more information you can contact her here.
Raisa - Editor, College
Random ideas Raisa the Writer currently firmly believes in:
(1) Only in writing do we have a good grasp on our memories (2) Reality is created with every moment of life as the work desk, (3) Conflict is progress, (4) Real smiles can save the world, and (5) Happiness is wanting what one already has.
Although a clinical psychology student, Raisa is also highly interested in other social sciences such as sociology, anthropology, counseling psychology, and educational psychology, just to name a few fields. There is a lot to observe and learn, but what is life without new experiences to stimulate our senses?
Laura - Editor, On My Own
Laura Parson works in the higher education industry in Salt Lake City, Utah and blogs at LauraLivesLife where she chronicles her life that revolves around running, yoga, discovering how to live a full gluten-free life and maintain a 120 pound weight loss. She is the founder of Running & Reading Long, an innovative online training course that integrates running, blogging, Twitter, and reading into a comprehensive running community and training program.
Laura has a master’s degree in Adult Education and ESL from Westminster College, a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Utah, and has recently been accepted into the higher education PhD program at the University of North Dakota where she plans to continue her master’s thesis research on gender studies, focusing on the educational readiness of former female members of polygamous societies.
Rachel - Editor, On My Own
Rachel Russo is a NYC-based Dating, Relationship, & Image Coach for marriage-minded singles and couples. She is the founder of StatusMakeover.com and has based her business on helping people fall in love with their love lives—no matter what their status!
Rachel has a master’s degree in Marriage & Family Therapy from Iona College, a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Rutgers University, and is a certified Intentional Relationship Coach. She has seven years of experience working as a matchmaker and dating coach for well-known agencies.
Rachel's articles and commentary on dating, sex, and relationships have been featured in Elle Magazine, Happen Magazine, Time Out New York, The Paramus Post, Elite Magazine, J Mag, The New Your Magazine, RTV International, WGN Morning Show, LA Talk Radio, The Mancow Muller Show, and several Blog Talk Radio shows. She is the Resident Dating & Relationship Coach of Conversextion.com and answers "Ask Rachel" questions on a regular basis.
Rachel knows what it is like to rock her single status and even went on 92 dates in one year and blogged about them as Ms. NY of 3six5dates.com. She enjoys sharing her insights with Stage Of Life fans!
Elle - Editor, Wedding and Married Without Kids
Elle is a newlywed living in Hanover, PA. She is a bonafide Jersey girl and is still adapting to her rural surroundings.
Elle graduated from Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in English. While there, she wrote for the MountEcho, the University’s newspaper and hosted a radio show. She accepted a job offer in the PA area from an internship she completed while at school. She is currently the Membership Manager at a non-profit preservation organization and enjoys the daily challenges her job brings including writing for the newsletter, solicitation appeals, and countless member correspondence.
Elle met the man of her dreams and that is how she landed in Hanover, PA- his hometown. They are truly a country- mouse- meets -city -mouse pairing. In her free time, she enjoys shopping, gardening, reading, journaling, blogging, spending time with family and friends (which requires bi-monthly trips to Jersey!) and attempting to cook.
Elle just recently planned her wedding and had the time of her life doing it. It wasn’t always easy, but it was more than worth it in the end. She encourages you to share your stories, send her any wedding questions or stresses you have, and have fun!
Michelle - Editor, Wedding
Michelle is a Professional Writing graduate from York College of PA. She really likes Harry Potter, cats, and feminism.
Cece - Editor, Married Without Kids
I am a perfectionist but I am far from perfect. I am still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up and I am truly my own worst critic. I love horror movies, music, reading and writing. I am frugal not cheap! I have a wonderful man by my side who has made me happier then I've ever been in my life. Our wedding day was July 10th 2010 and it was truly one of the best days of my life.
I wrote in my very first diary at age of 10. It was a Cabbage Patch Kid diary that now sits in a huge 30L Rubbermaid bin alongside numerous diaries and journals that I have filled up since then. For as long as I can remember writing has always been a passion of mine. It's just something I love to do and have continued to do all of these years in one form or another. I am thrilled to be an Editor on Stage of Life. Not only do I get to write about things that matter to me but I have a wonderful opportunity to share it with others. I blog because I love to write. Always have, always will!
Amy - Editor, Home Ownership
Amy Mullis lives with husband, Bill (a computer tech who manages to undo all her technical catastrophes), and two sons (who study college courses she can’t pronounce) in a pinto bean-sized town at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in upstate South Carolina, along with a tangle of wayward animals who stopped to smell the bacon and decided to stay.
Besides a full-time career of fighting the kudzu that threatens to overrun the driveway, she is a part-time church secretary and freelance writer. She was excited to win Honorable Mention in the 2010 Erma Bombeck Writing competition. Share some “I hope this never happens to me” moments on her humor blog, Mind Over Mullis or on An Army of Ermas where she is one of a platoon of writers who take time to stop and sniff out a punchline. She has had essays published in Chicken Soup, A Cup of Comfort, and The Christian Science Monitor among other places, but is most creative when thinking of reasons to avoid cooking supper or coercing Bill to rearrange the furniture. Join her in the Home Ownership section of Stage of Life—and make yourself at home!
Jay - Editor, Home Ownership
Jay Remer has been The Etiquette Guy since 2007 and has written columns, taught workshops, and advised thousands of people on matters pertaining to social and business etiquette as well as international protocol. A proud graduate of The Protocol School of Washington, Jay's background includes careers in the worlds of fine arts, dog shows, philanthropy, hospitality and travel.
Hailing from Wilmington, Delaware, Jay now resides in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada; writes a weekly etiquette column for a regional newspaper; produces his own local television show; enjoys working with children of all ages, but especially school students preparing for college and the highly competitive job market. The foundation for Jay's philosophy about etiquette and civility is that respect for others above one's self, compassion for all living things including ourselves, and a good dose of common decency and common sense would go a long way in helping people people make better choices for themselves and for those whom they serve. Being of service to others is the highest calling. Greatly reducing poverty, ensuring civil rights, and eliminating domestic violence are but a few of his greatest passions.
Warren - Editor, Home Ownership
I retired following two rewarding careers. After being tethered to Cornell University for 30 years, including time as a student, I resigned as a professor and spent the next 20 years as a scientist with the federal government.
Among my retirement activities is a well-illustrated and often humorous (usually by intent) personal blog, "Retired--Now What?" And now I’m stepping forward to reveal my near total lack of homeowner capability by helping out with the Homeowner Stage of Life.
Buffy - Editor, Raising a Family
Buffy is a pediatric RN with over 20 years experience in pediatric critical care and pediatric sedation. She also serves as a lactation consultant on a busy pediatric unit. She also recently returned to grad school to obtain her MBA.
Buffy has a passion for children and has always wanted to be a parent. The journey was difficult and long, but after 14 years of struggling with infertility, her best friend offered to be a surrogate. Their beautiful, healthy daughter was born a year later, and changed their world forever.
As their daughter grew, it became apparent that their "warrior princess" was falling behind in key areas. She was evaluated by a developmental pediatrician and was diagnosed with Autism in August of 2012.
Now Buffy's journey of parenthood has taken a different turn. She blogs about her daughter's experiences with learning to speak, dealing with sensory issues and living with the day to day challenges of having a child with Autism.
When Buffy isn't blogging, completing a paper for school, attending a therapy session with her daughter she is...... well okay, that's exactly what she's doing!
Jonda & Dan - Editors, Having a Baby
Who would have ever thought that a girl from California would marry a guy from Wisconsin? Well, Jonda (the girl) and Dan (the guy) did. They went to the same university, the University of Minnesota, but did not meet there. They met through mutual friends after college and have been married for seven years. Jonda spends her work time as a project manager for the retail industry. Dan worked as a civil engineer but after his MBA became a business consultant for the airline industry. For fun, they fill their time with travel, exercise (marathons, 10 mile races, spinning), reading, golf, and enjoying local, fresh food.
Five of those seven years were also spent trying to have a baby. After trying everything, including the big kahuna IVF, this last April 2012 Jonda and Dan were blessed with twin boys. For the last 4 months, they’ve slept very little, changed about 1500 diapers and loved every minute of it because they know how lucky they are as a couple and as a family.
Lisa - Editor, Raising a Family
Lisa Dewey Wells is the parent of two middle schoolers and taught for nearly 20 years in independent schools in Maryland, New York and Massachusetts. Her passion for teaching includes a commitment to knowing each learner as an individual and creating a classroom community where the social curriculum is interwoven with the academic fabric. She has received training from the Gesell Institute for Child Development and the Gurian Institute on gender differences. She a site leader for the Responsive Classroom Approach and has presented regionally on constructivist learning and research workshop, the Responsive Classroom Approach and reflective teaching practices.
Lisa sustains her passion for teaching by making time to reflect on the practice of teaching and regular writing, including a (mostly) weekly-blog (www.wonderfochiildren.wordpress.com), contributions to the online magazine Independent Teacher and Stage of Life, and time on the water and slopes with her family.
When I’m not teaching or writing, I’m usually outdoors with my family skiing or on the Chesapeake Bay, or recharging my batteries running or practicing yoga.
Sarah - Editor, Raising a Family
Sarah Hamaker spends her days juggling an at-home freelance writing and editing career with raising four children ranging in ages from two to eight.
She enjoys talking and writing about parenting issues and the joys of children. Sarah frequently writes on family issues for Crosswalk.com.
She blogs about working from home on her website, www.sarahhamaker.com
Nicole - Editor, Raising a Family
Nicole is a free-lance writer living in Michigan with her husband and three children. When her oldest was nine, she started writing a humorous column about family life for the Battle Creek Enquirer. Her oldest is now fifteen and the column has become a regular Sunday feature. Her work has been featured in several newspapers and websites and, recently, a couple of literary magazines.
Susan - Editor, Grandparenting
I am known as Mom, to my six kids: four boys (yes, I still call them ,"my boys") ages 37, 35 27 and 25; and two girls - ages 20 and 18. And my four grandchildren: ages 5, 2, 17 months and 13 months - call me Oma. To everyone else, I am Sue.
Drawing on my 40 some years of being a grandchild, my almost 38 years of parenting and my six years of grandparenting experience, I hope I can provide some insightful blogs for the Stage of Life readers. Knowledge of the issues - both past and present - will be one of the assets I bring to this job. My mind is always open to new ideas and ways of doing things, yet, I have core beliefs that keep me very grounded. I have been known to admit I am wrong, and will fight for what I believe is right. Most of all, I bring to this arena of discussion and questions about grandparenting, my love of children.
Hopefully, I will hear from many of you about your experiences being grandparents. And I hope I can inspire you, give encouragement and provide a venue where we share our stories. I can't wait to "meet" all of you through your words!
Jane - Editor, Grandparenting
My name is Jane. I was born and raised in central Minnesota, in a small town that boasts the Original Main Street. I now live on the edge of a suburb in the Twin Cities – country and nature – and I love that.
My husband and I have four grown children, two boys and two girls, two daughters-in-law and a son-in-law. I became a Grandma at the age of 48, when our first grandchild - a boy - wormed his way into my heart. He’s been joined by two sisters and a boy cousin.
I love that all four grandchildren live close enough to be part of my life. Each can remind me in an instant of the precious side of life! They’re forgiving and hopeful spirits.
I’m a registered nurse, and have also been a music teacher - though I’m currently doing neither of those. My husband is retired, and we are caregivers in our home for my 92-yr-old mother. I like sharing events with four generations, in spite of the challenges.
I love to read, decorate, write, cook, and sing. As an editor of the Grandparent Stage of Life, I look forward to sharing thoughts and insights with readers.
Greg - Editor, Empty Nest & Retirement
My love for writing has given me the opportunity to be the Editor of the Empty Nest/Retirement section, here on Stage of Life. I live in Alaska with my wife and three beautiful Malamute dogs, where I am self employed as a handyman, as well as a potter with a small pottery business.
Two things I believe in and try to practice daily in my life are simplicity and flow. These two beliefs have been contributing factors in helping me to facilitate the patience and understanding needed in the sometimes difficult and awkward transition into the empty nest status. All of this has also opened up a new awareness of the coming years and the need to prepare for a comfortable retirement.
I have found continuously throughout my years, that the best lessons in life are acquired by listening to, and observing or taking note, others who have gained wisdom by experience. My hope is to nourish a dialogue of thoughts, ideas, and contributions from members and viewers alike, to help us all grow within these stages of life! Whether you have “been there, done that“, are new to this, just wanting to share stories or you are here to obtain advice, we would love to hear from you!
Suzanne V. - Editor, Empty Nest & Retirement
I am a former Human Resources Administrator/Part-time Salesman for the Family Business/Stay At Home Mom/Early Retiree who is an avid journal writer, photographer, and tennis player. I believe that pursuing your passion and maintaining balance through introspection and evaluation is essential to being a happy and productive person.
Learning to be a retired couple has been much like learning to ride a paddle board. Just when you think you’ve got it an unexpected wave comes along and knocks you off center. We are still trying to figure out how to anticipate and steer into the waves. I look forward to hearing about your journey and learning something new every day.
Follow Suzanne and read her writing on her blog: Life Out Loud
Lauren Podolsky - Financial Literacy Consultant
Lauren is the voice behind Say What You Need to Say where she chronicles her daily life of health, fitness, and food. With over 10 years of work experience in the financial industry, Lauren received her financial literacy credentials by creating a full functioning education program within her credit union.
As the Director of Financial Literacy, Lauren managed seven high school branches, established a high school co-op program, ran several award and scholarship programs, and oversaw a committee of associates to lead financial presentations within schools and businesses. She developed herself as a speaker on topics such as "Budgeting for a Healthy Lifestyle", "Managing Your Fiances", "Job Interviewing Skills", and much more.
After 10 years in the corporate world, Lauren now pursues her lifelong dream of combining health, wellness, and financial happiness all into one as a free lance writer, blogger, public speaker, and marketing consultant. Her plate is full but she loves every moment of her crazy schedule and is passionate about sharing her love of health (all on levels) to the rest of the world.
Becky - Editor, Floating
Becky Aud-Jennison, MA, LCPC has been compelled to write her entire life. She has written freelance articles, poetry, essays and fiction and is currently narrowing down on her goal to complete her first novel before she turns fifty~ working title Fool Me Once~ and is finding the experience absolutely exhilarating. Becky is a psychotherapist with a lovely husband and blended family of nine ages 23-6 (his, mine, ours).
Becky has a unique perspective on the various stages of life blending her personal experience with helping her clientele negotiate the terrain of their own stages ~ from youngsters to end of life.
Currently she works with her cardiologist husband in weekly multidisciplinary clinic, runs a study using an integrative/alternative method of treatment, consults and WRITES. Their 2 oldest children have just graduated college and live independently, there are 2 remaining in college, 2 in high school, an 8th grader, a 5th grader and Montessori 1st grader. The last child was her husband’s first experience with natural (non-c-section) childbirth and Becky lived a dream of having a beautiful homebirth. Becky’s life motto: everything happens for a reason.
You can read more about Becky at www.beckoningbalance.blogspot.com or contact her through Stage of Life.
Stage of Life is fortunate to have some talented and dedicated college interns that have helped with the development of our little start-up. Their duties have ranged from help with social networking, graphic design, public relations, grassroots marketing, blogging, content generation, and much more. We love working with these young and vibrant individuals.
Our interns complete assignments virtually from their assigned colleges and universities. They are given a project for the website and work on it via their own schedule with oversight, feedback and review by our founding staff.
If you are in college and want some hands-on experience working with Stage of Life, please contact the CEO/Founder Eric Thiegs to arrange an interview.
Katie - College Intern
Katie Nelo is currently a college student studying English education and literary theory. She writes at horrible hours of the night, and has, to date, been published over 20 times, 5 of which have been outside of the United States. In her spare time, she knits fiendishly and chases cows on a dairy farm.
She can be reached on her blog: http://confessionsofacolicwoman.blogspot.com/
Savannah - College Intern
Me? Oh, yeah, I guess it’s my turn now. Umm, ok here goes: Hi! I’m Savannah Thorpe. I was born in Arlington, Texas, but I currently live in Central PA. I graduated from Linden Hall School for Girls and am currently studying English Writing at the Cook Honors College of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Here’s some quick random facts about me:
In high school, I was very helplessly nerdy and hopelessly romantic in the most literary way possible. My best friend and I used to spend our mornings and evenings debating Shakespearean symbolism, and hope to co-write a sequel to Macbeth someday. I was so deeply nerdy that, for Halloween one year, I went as Langston Hughes, mustache and all. I do pride myself a little on winning a silver medal in the Scholastic Arts and Writing competition for a writing portfolio I submitted. And in truth, it’s not so much the medal – it’s the fact that Truman Capote and Sylvia Plath also won that award in their day!
- My favorite color is yellow.
- I listen to John Mayer and OK Go obsessively
- Life comes to a pause for the movies Tangled, Mary Poppins, and The Pacifier
- I’m a bit of a mango addict
- My biggest fear in life is being underdressed when I finally meet Prince Charming
Anyway, in my house, there’s my dad, whose an engineer, my mom, who stays home, me, my two younger brothers, and my two younger sisters. There’s also my two pet cats named Maisy and Blue, and my two pillow pets named Walt Whitman and Earnest Hemmingway. Someday, I hope I can be a renowned author with a half-decent income (because, well, eating is kind of nice), but for now, I have a summer job at Aaron’s Books in Lititz and blog my life away at Stage of Life.
Follow Savannah's Blog
Nate - College Intern
Hello. My name is Nate. I am a junior Professional Writing major at York College of PA. I am a huge proponent of technology and have always enjoyed playing and writing about video games. I also love music – I play guitar, constantly try to discover new artists, and go to as many concerts as I can. I like all genres but tend to lean towards alternative and indie rock. I am a huge Baltimore Ravens fan. I enjoy researching random facts for random things on the internet way too much.
I guess that about describes me!
Pattie - College Intern
Full-time York College of PA junior majoring in Professional Writing with minors in photography and religion. Creative non-fiction is my focus and recently my piece titled "The Corey Hollinger Story" was chosen for publishing in The York Review-a yearly publication.
Mother of three, Jarrid 21, Zeth 19 and Tesla Rose 6. I enjoy writing about life as a mom, college student and believer in God. No topic is too sensitive and there are days I just tell it like it is. I boxed in the past in York and somehow my life has become an online boxing match at www.girlboxer1970.com. Tickets are free :-)
Graduate of Dover Area Highschool 1989 and former PA tax specialist in Harrisburg for Labor and Industry. My goal is to travel and write with my daughter as my sidekick
Kristen - College Intern
I’m a senior at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania – suffocating in a sea of Philadelphia fans. I’m majoring in Professional Writing with a minor in Public Relations. I’m very active and love to be outside running, hiking, snowmobiling, skiing – you name it. Any outdoor activity mixed with music is a huge plus for me. I love giving my life a soundtrack, this way when I actually wreck myself on the slopes, I don’t need to hear people yell “yard sale” from up on the lifts. I’m simple and easy going, would chose a bonfire with good friends over a raging club of sweaty men any day of the week.
Samantha - College Intern
Samantha Bise is currently an English professional writing student at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, with a minor in anthropology. She is beginning graduate school in fall of 2013 to earn a master’s degree in library and information science to become a librarian. She loves to learn, so she plans to eventually earn her doctorate degree.
Samantha is an avid reader and writer with a passion for words. Some of her favorite books include the Game of Thrones series, Stones from the River, Little Bee, and The Thirteenth Tale. Besides reading, writing, and her love for libraries, she enjoys hiking, fishing, spending time outdoors, and visiting museums.
Laura - College Intern
I grew up in Middletown, NJ. In middle school I fell in love with reading and writing, and that love affair has pretty much set up the rest of my life for me. I attend York College of Pennsylvania where I am earning my Bachelor's in Professional Writing, and I'm grateful that I get to study what I love. I hope to have a career that involves writing, but only time will tell what fate has in store for me!
Maura - College Intern
Maura is currently a student at Penn State University - York Campus. With an intended major of Communications, focusing in advertising, she plans to transfer to Penn State University Park to finish out her Bachelors Degree. With plans to eventually go to graduate school, she looks forward to filling her days with constant learning and encountering different people.
Aside from her love for meeting new people, Maura has a passion for music -- singing, piano and guitar being the primary focus. With her eclectic choices of genres, her favorites include jazz, acousitc/folk, and showtunes. A few other interests include reading, watching movies, and spending time with family, friends, and crazy dog, Harley.
Tracy - College Intern
Hello! My name is Tracy. I am a senior Professional Writing major, Psychology minor at York College of Pennsylvania. I am the type of person who likes to keep busy and am always running around at school. In my downtime I love to re-read good books, sing songs from musicals when no one is listening, write and draw the world as I see it, and be outdoors doing anything, especially if my two dogs, Luke and Sarah, come along for the adventure. I have a passion for drinking tea which has spilled into the lives of those around me and laughing as loudly and as much as I possibly can. My goal in life is to take in as much as life has to offer me no matter what stage I am at.
Elly - College Intern
Hello! My name is Elializ. I am a senior at York College of Pennsylvania. I am majoring in Professional Writing with a minor in Creative Writing. My favorite classes include poetry, literary publishing, creative nonfiction, and fiction writing. My poetry has been included in our schools yearly publication The York Review. I'd love to continue school and get a master's degree in creative writing.
Outside of school I love to spend time with my family and friends. I have two younger brothers David, 21 and Josiah, 6. I also enjoy taking summer drives in my jeep ( I've affectionately named Tortuga) listening to music, drawing/painting, and camping. I am overly excited about all of the opportunities in my future and I can't wait to share my story with the world.