Sluiter Nation written by Katie, is one of the first blogs I have ever read. I have always loved her stories about her children, Eddie and Charlie, her honest posts about battling postpartum depression and anxiety, and more recently, her posts about writing and teaching. If I had to go back in time and be a high school student again, I’ll pick Katie as my English teacher, because she rocks. She genuinely cares about the kids in her class, and about education (read her posts on the Common Core Standards – so good). She’s also been a very good friend to me, and I am thrilled to swap questions with her for #AskAwayFriday this week.
This fun weekly link up is hosted by Penny of The Real Housewife Of Caroline Country , Amber from Bold Fab Mom, Mrs Tee – Love Life & Laughter, and This Momma’s Ramblings. Typically for Ask Away Friday, bloggers pair up, swap any 10 questions, answer them on their blogs, and link up their posts with the hosts. It’s such a great way to get to know someone better.
Here are Katie’s questions for me.
1. You take beautiful pictures and I know you love learning all things photography. How did this love affair begin?
Thank you. That is very generous of you to say. I think my love of photography goes a long way back – back to when I was a teenager, although I didn’t realize it then. My sister and I used to take pictures of each other just for fun, not really knowing anything about photography. I was also fascinated with old photographs of my father’s family – wondering about the stories behind each picture. In a sense, my love of photography goes beyond learning the technicalities of taking a good picture. For me, it is about telling a story. Always.
2. Your “Know Me” section of your blog claims that you don’t really have advice for parenting, cooking, or anything, but that is not true. You give wonderful advice about blogging and creating community. How did you become such a lover and expert of all things Internet?
Again, you’re being very generous, Katie! The Internet fascinates me, always has, always will. But it was not until I started blogging that I really learned what it means to be online, how all-encompassing technology and Google and Apple and what-have-you really are, in our lives. It goes back to wanting to learn the stories behind what you see on the screen, whether it’s a blog post, or a news article, or an Instagram picture. I am fascinated by the way people have evolved because of the Internet. My curiosity feeds my love, my love feeds my curiosity, hence my need to read, learn and absorb everything I can about the Internet.
3. You have done a lot of traveling–especially in your pre-mommy life–what has been your favorite place to visit/travel to?
New York City in 2008. When I was 18, I had planned to go to Manhattan to visit my cousin, who was working on Wall Street at the time. I was obsessed with the idea of New York. I didn’t make it there because my parents did not think it was safe for an 18 year old to travel alone to such a far off destination. When the opportunity came up to head to the US for a work conference, I decided to fulfill my New York dream. And it was everything I’d hoped it would be.
4. I remember you saying once that you don’t like to bake from mixes. What is it about making treats from scratch that is so appealing?
Baking soothes me. It’s a filler for when I am empty inside (not just my belly!). There is something satisfying about measuring and mixing the ingredients, knowing that the final result is all you, not Betty Crocker.
5. Which of your personality traits do you see the most in Monkey and Scrumplet?
Monkey, my 4 year old, is stubborn and persistent, just like me. Even at his age, I can see his introvert self emerging – where he needs to recharge in the quiet, on his own, and that’s me too.
Scrumplet has proved to be really adaptable and resilient, and I like to think that I’m that way too. Not much fazes him, and he leaps with both feet. I love that.
Both boys love chocolate. That’s all me.
6. Which of your husband’s traits do you see the most in each boy?
Both of our kids love to figure out how things work, and that’s their father to a T. They also inherited his inquisitiveness and intelligence, fortunately! And, they both love the outdoors, just like him.
7. If I was going to come to Malaysia, and you were going to make me a list of HAVE TO DO’s, besides eating cupcakes with you, what would be on the list?
First, I would hug your face off, and tell you I can’t believe you’re actually here. Then I’ll whisk you off for some local food – take your pick from Malay cuisine, to my favorite Nyonya restaurant in my neighborhood, or Indian food, if that tickles your fancy. Malaysia is very proud of its cuisine, made rich by the many different cultural influences we have here. Then we’ll go shopping. There are huge malls with recognizable designer brands, to local open markets selling fake Rolexes. Whatever rocks your boat.
I assume budget would not be a concern (because this is a dream right?). I’ll take you to the best spa I can find in Kuala Lumpur, and you can relax after a day of eating and shopping. For the rest of your time here, you must visit some of our beautiful islands.
8. What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
My Dad told me once: It’s always better to try and fail, than fail to try.
9. What books have impacted your life?
My love for reading came from reading the entire series of the Encyclopedia Brittanica when I was a little girl. Is that….. strange? That love was cemented by Enid Blyton books, and I recall tales of The Faraway Tree and Brer Rabbit, fondly. My first recollection of feeling all the feelings after finishing a book, was George Orwell’s 1984. More recently, I have been inspired by Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird, and Stephen King’s On Writing; and left breathless by The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
10. What do you hope your legacy will be?
Thank you, Katie for your thoughtful questions. I really had fun with them! Now, head over to Sluiter Nation to check out what I asked her.
What would you like your legacy to be?