Tomorrow, Celeste (aka Average Jane) and I are heading to San Jose for BlogHer 14. We both attended the first one in 05 and have attended many more after that (although, I missed 07, 12, and 13). BlogHer 05 appealed to me because I was 7 months pregnant with my oldest child at the time and I saw the conference as a fun trip to take with Celeste before I became shackled with the duties of a parenthood. Little did I know that BlogHer would end up launching some amazing friendships and connections for me over the next 9 years.
Anyway, I'm stealing Celeste's idea of "getting to know to me" since I have not been posting regularly for a long time.
First and foremost, these days, I am a parent with my husband Manoj-- my son Arun is 8.5 and my daughter Anjali is 7 (aka Team Chaos). They are at the age where they still take a lot of my time. HOWEVER, they are also at the age where they are so much freaking FUN to hang out with that I am trying to enjoy every moment I can before they become teenagers and realize what an impossibly boring dork I am. Besides, who else will watch the Powerpuff Girls and play the WiiU with me?
Speaking of my husband, Manoj is a serial entrepreneur -- we are always working on a business idea of his. I do not really have the personality of an entrepreneur but I am grateful that his tenacity, work ethic and awesome ideas have pulled our life in this direction. It is exciting to be on the fringes of whatever he is working on and fortunately, my skillset often allows me to help him in a variety of ways. When Manoj isn't working, he is always hanging out with our kids.
When I am not being a parent or a wife, I am usually sucked into one of my million hobbies -- I am addicted to hobbies and learning new things. My favorite hobbies are reading, knitting and arachnids. I am pretty serious about my reading and try to get through at least 50 books a year (Yes, I'm on Goodreads -- friend me up, yo!) In the past year, I have been learning how to sew and have been dabbling in photography. I also love cooking, but I consider that a lifeskill, not a hobby.
Besides two kids, Manoj and I have are crazy about our pets. We have 3 cats (Pearson, Harry and Sam), 2 tarantulas (Nya and Little Celeste -- yes, named after my friend Celeste, with her permission, natch), a fish (Alex), a gecko (Gordon), and a dog (Lucy). We do take our pets very seriously and responsible pet ownership is a pet peeve of mine (pardon the pun!). I wrote a post about things to consider when making the decision to get a pet, particularly exotics.
I have mostly been a SAHM with a bit of WAHM here and there. However, a few years ago when Arun started Kindergarten, I began freelance contracting work -- mostly in IT audit, Sarbanes-Oxley and internal audit projects, process documentation and improvement, and some systems development. I have loads of opinions on the topics of working mothers since I have literally DONE IT ALL. However, I have found that no matter what I say, someone is offended and mostly, I just keep quiet these days. Suffice it to say, I am so glad that I was able to stay home with my babies and those early years with them are some of the happiest memories of my life. I am very grateful that Manoj and I are in a situation where I can do freelancing and have the ability to take on projects with flexibility so that I can be home in time to pick up the Team from school.
To wrap this up, I would like to say that I really miss writing. I lost my direction and I am hoping to find some inspiration at this year's BlogHer. I have always been my own Audience of One and I do not see that changing. While I do hope that my kids will get a kick out it of one day, I have always written this blog for ME.