Who is Carissa Howard?

I live in Pittsburgh, PA with my husband of nine years, my six-year-old son and four-year-old daughter. My husband and I met in Pittsburgh, but we lived in Los Angeles for six years before moving back to the same cozy suburb that I grew up in.

My husband grew up in Ireland; his whole family still lives in Ireland. Therefore, I have Irish in-laws and have traveled to Europe and beyond a dozen times. My only brother married a girl that grew up and lived in Spain up until a year ago. My brother and I marrying two Europeans is fairly ironic considering my wonderful parents didn’t hold passports until they were told that they needed them to travel to Canada on their retirement bus trips a few years back. (They’ve since caught the travel bug themselves.)

There’s my family. And our geography lesson. Now about me.

I was a straight-A honors student who showed a propensity for math and science. I was also a decent athlete three lifetimes ago, and even managed to play basketball for a year or two at the division one level. Even though I loved reading and writing as a child and throughout high school, it was fashionable in the 1990s (and I suppose still today) to push women into science and engineering if they are any good at it. Hence, I ended up at Cornell University where I successfully received a bachelors of science in chemical engineering.

After that, I couldn’t fathom working in an oil refinery (although my husband does) or chemical plant, so I went immediately into law school. After four grueling years of calculus, organic and physical chemistry, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, and other subjects that I can’t even remember the names of, law school was, dare I say, almost easy, and certainly way more fun than my undergrad experience. I pursued intellectual property law, so that I could make use of my engineering background. I graduated with honors, on the Law Review and in the top 10% of my class at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

As a top graduating student, I had the option to work as an associate at the top firms. So I entered into the world of big law firms. The scary places that pay young twenty-five-year old lawyers hundreds of thousands of dollars to perform tedious tasks, such as reviewing millions of pages of documents. I worked in major law firms in both Pittsburgh, but mainly at Sidley Austin LLP in Los Angeles, for the next six years. Drawing on that experience, I wrote a few unpublished manuscripts that I’m currently trying to get published.

Please, please don’t contact me for any legal advice. I don’t want to write any more patent applications.

After I had my son, I never returned to the law firm. For many reasons. Primarily because the best thing for him at the time was for me to stay at home with him. I tried for several years to keep up a few special clients, but ultimately, I decided to put that career to bed. For real.

I started a blog in 2015 called My Misadventures in Mothering. Several of my articles ended up on the Huffington Post and on other popular parenting and lifestyle sites, including Mamalode, the Mighty, MommyEffect (which is now Chocolate & Chaos), and Scary Mommy.

Because I was trying to find more and more time to dedicate to my writing, I started outsourcing my weekly chores. Then, I wanted to help other people do the same and I started Shopping for Time.

Thank you for joining me on this journey.

And, the latest step on this journey is that I am now a contributor to a great site, servicing the parents in Pittsburgh, PA and surrounding areas: Pittsburgh Moms Blog.