When Julie Reed isn't advising college students or caring for her two young children, you'll find her working on her other passion: TucsonMama.
Reed, 42, created the website for Tucson parents three years ago - a year after her first child was born.
TucsonMama has a growing audience of parents who check it for local events for children and families as well as issues pertaining to children.
Politics, health, schools, nature, food and fun activities are among the many topics Reed covers. Her perspective, politically, is "progressive," and she doesn't pretend she's unbiased. She wants to attract like-minded parents who can share ideas and advice.
The site is a hobby for Reed, who works full-time as an academic adviser for the University of Arizona's Honors College. She offers her own musings as well as links to information she finds relevant.
Her idea to start TucsonMama stemmed from the grief and frustration she experienced at not being able to conceive or carry a baby to term. During those difficult years - in which Reed had several miscarriages - she found support in an online group.
"I found that having a huge pool of people who were similar to me really helped," she said. For a while, Reed kept a blog on infertility and miscarriage, which she discontinued around the time she launched TucsonMama.
Kate Gann, 39, is part of Reed's current online community. She checks TucsonMama at least once a week. "I have it on my Facebook feed, so whenever Julie posts something new ... I go to the site for the full scoop," said Gann, who has an 8-month-old daughter.
Gann said what she likes most about the site is that it's local.
"Parenting books and famous blogs don't really give one a clue about having a kid in the desert," she said. "The TucsonMama community not only celebrates what is special about the region and highlights opportunities to share that with one's kids, but also has practical applications. I know that I can go there to ask about schools, sunscreens, cactus safety, local products and so on."
Kate Nostrant Bessey, 42, reads as many as 100 blogs each week - among them TucsonMama.
"Most are crafty type of blogs, but what I like about them is that many of them are written by young mothers, so they usually have personal posts about things that have happened with their children or things that relate to being a mother and wife," she said.
She said she logs on to TucsonMama three or more times each week to keep up with Tucson events. "She provides a lot of information about local happenings, and I like her folksy style," said Bessey, who has an 8-year-old son.
Jeffrey Larish, 40, a stay-at-home father, also checks out Reed's site regularly.
"I like the fact that it's local as well as deeply honest about … issues we, as parents, run into while raising our children in this day and age," said Larish, who has a 4-year-old daughter. "The site is a great tool for the entire family."
Contact reporter Patty Machelor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 806-7754.