Liz is a curly-haired Philadelphia native, cognitive neuroscientist, and lover of all things orange, lush green landscapes, Americana music, houseplants, imperfect crafts, late night talk shows, public art, and cheese. She is fiercely proud and supportive of her amazing friends and family and enjoys bragging about their achievements whenever possible. Her happy place is being surrounded by said friends and family, with no set plans and lots of good food. She lives with her husband, Greg, and son Eli, who she thinks is *objectively* the best baby in the history of the world.
How did you discover LTYM?
I first heard of LTYM from my best friend who participated in San Francisco in 2016 (shout out to Minna Dubin!). I also went to the Pittsburgh LTYM in 2016 with a good friend and my husband. We love storytelling, so it was an easy sell.
What is the craziest thing you remember saying to your children?
How about singing “I got your whole tushy in my hands” to the tune of “I got the whole world in my hands” while changing my son’s diapers? Ask me again in a few years- hah!
What is one of your favorite things you’ve ever written?
I don’t write often (except for academic articles), but an English class assignment in high school ended up winning a city wide poetry contest. I still think it’s pretty good. The topic was Philadelphia. I love Philadelphia, where I grew up, and I love my LTYM story. I think when I’m given the proper inspiration, writing has been a great way to express myself. The last line in the poem is “The sounds of the city seep into my daily daydreams, and connect me, like a baby in its mother’s womb, to the city that I call home.” The motherly imagery was with me even then
When did you first start thinking about your parents as individual people and not just “mom and dad?”
I think that was a gradual process. It probably became more apparent when I moved out of the house, then when they retired, when my friends started having children, and certainly since I’ve become a mother.
What do you wish most for your children?
Of course happiness and a fulfilling life, but also compassion and empathy that allows them to have a positive impact on the world.
What do you love most about Pittsburgh?
It’s hard to pick one thing. I love the community I’ve been able to be a part of at Pitt, New Mom’s Coffee, the start-up and outdoor community through my husband, and now LTYM. Pittsburgh has a lot of character, and I love that people in Pittsburgh are proud of their city. I love having the big city amenities with a small town feel.
What do you hope the audience takes away from your essay?
I hope my essay shines a light on those who have experienced pregnancy loss, as it seems to be a taboo topic in our culture. It isn’t discussed as much as it unfortunately actually happens. I hope that my essay provides support to those who have ever had to grieve the loss of a child, and that it may give hope that what seems like insurmountable pain can evolve to peace.
If you could only ever eat at one restaurant in the ‘Burgh, what would it be and why?
If I was cheating, I would say Smallman Galley (four for the price of one!). There is great variety of amazing food, and a fun atmosphere. If I wasn’t cheating I’d say Smoke. Because brisket tacos. Drool.
Liz + you = Live show on May 12th