A Year like No Other

In a year like no other Brent and I were blessed with ample time together and the arrival of Bodhi Walker Harris. While there was so much struggle and sadness in the world, we wanted to take a moment to look back at the year to reflect and express gratitude.

Meet Bodhi

Brandi Carlile, an artist we love, has a song with a line about the meaning behind her daughter’s name. Brent and I borrowed from her and sought to create a name filled with meaning we hope carries him through life.

  • Bodhi:  Something to guide us. A name of Sanskrit origin meaning enlightenment or awakening. It’s synonymous with the state of nirvana or being freed from hate, greed, and ego. The Bodhi tree is a large fig tree under which the founder of Buddhism received enlightenment.
  • Walker: In honor of people who inspire us.  Brent has spent much of his career in philanthropy.  He’s inspired by Darren Walker, who found his way from humble origins to become the president of the Ford Foundation  I grew up surrounded by entrepreneurs and have spend most of my career in business education with a passion for supporting female entrepreneurs and executives.  I have long been inspired by Madam CJ Walker’s story and legacy.  Not only was she the first female African-American self-made millionaire but she created a business that employed thousands of women at higher wage jobs than they might otherwise have found.
  • Harris: A connection to our roots. If you can’t tell from the photo, Bodhi is a mini Brent! We’re proud to give him the last name Harris.

While Bodhi’s been outside in the world for a short time he’s had a big impact on our lives. We are enjoying our parental leave and grateful for our colleagues who make it possible for us to spend time together as a family. Bodhi is smiling, holding himself up whenever he’s awake, and deepening his milk addiction. While our journey to get to this moment was long and winding, in the end it led us to him. Bodhi is the greatest blessing we could imagine.

Brent typically travels a significant amount for work, however, starting in March Facebook canceled all business travel and we spent the year together in Menlo Park. 2020 marks the longest streak of consecutive days we’ve spent together in ten years. Kodi, Charley, and Jack believe the 100% work from home is the best outcome of the year. We truly appreciate our former office colleagues accepting our new work from home colleagues.

Brent used the additional time at home to continue to expand his cooking repertoire to include risotto, omelettes, salad, and a wide variety of stews. My role as chief taste tester is the best job I’ve ever had! I used the additional time to grow a Bodhi!

On the two occasions when we left the 94025 in 2020, we left together. We enjoyed a winter getaway to Forestville in California Wine Country where we hiked by day and dined on incredible food by night. Our “babymoon” was a pre-Bodhi’s arrival stay-cation in Tahoe with our fur babies. We enjoyed as much hiking as a 7-month pregnant woman could do and ate the best celiac friendly pizza we’ve ever had at Rubicon Pizza.

While we were not able to travel to see family we were joined in Menlo Park by my parents Dave and Elise Young who moved out from Connecticut. Bodhi is blessed to have five grandparents with us and we’re lucky Gram and Grandad Young will be just down the street as he’s grows up. While we haven’t been able to give hugs yet, we’ve had several meetings through the window and masked walks through the neighborhood.

Throughout 2020 we continued to invest in our work. Brent and his team at Facebook launched the Oversight Board in May and most recently referred the decision regarding former President Trump’s account. He had the opportunity to lead several other dynamic projects for the company keeping him on the edge of technology and policy work. I transitioned into the role of Managing Director of Marketing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business overseeing marketing for Executive Education and the Stanford Executive Program. It was a challenging year for many organizations and executive education was no exception. At the same time, COVID’s constraints pushed us to innovate and pivot. We rose to the challenge and I am proud of our work and our collaboration.

Outside of work we continue our volunteer work supporting efforts to combat climate change and it’s impact. I serve as the Chair of the Environmental Quality Commission for the City of Menlo Park. We pushed for an ambitious city-wide climate action plan of net zero by 2030 and are working with the city staff and city council to make that goal a reality. Brent continues to serve on the board of Menlo Spark.

The past year was unlike any year in our lives to date in more ways than I could have imagined a year ago. We are grateful for our health, family, friends, and network of support that has made our journey into parenthood smoother than expected. As Brent and I look ahead at 2021, we are expecting the unexpected and hopeful that the future is brighter for us all.

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