Meet our Contributors

Christie

kmb-christie

:: Social Media Assistant ::

Hi friends! My name is Christie Elkins and I am a cop’s wife and the mother of three awesome children, Eden, August, and Titus. We reside on a farm in LaFollette, where I am the Executive Director of the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce, newspaper columnist for the LaFollette Press, and small town blogger at lettersfromthenest.com. In my spare time, I feed and wrangle farm animals, paint my nails, tend to our garden, write articles after the kids are in bed, and drink way too much coffee. I am a huge cheerleader for all things small town/simple living, as we love sweet tea and East Tennessee and cannot imagine calling any other place home.

Jenny

KMB-Jenny

:: Assistant Graphic Designer ::

Hi, I’m Jenny and I am not from East Tennessee.  But I do love calling it home!

I actually grew up in a small town in Kansas where I had quite a view from the center of the country.  I spent much of my childhood traveling (or dreaming of traveling) so it was no surprise that when I graduated from Kansas State University God sent me to Taiwan for a 9-month missionary internship… and I stayed for 4 years.  During that time I learned Mandarin Chinese, taught English to every age possible, ran three half-marathons, saw half a dozen countries, made about a million friends, and met my husband, a Tennessee native named Casey!  But I never dreamed that my greatest adventure would come three years later when I gave birth to our little girl, Penelope.

Now, in our new life, my husband is an accountant while I am a stay-at-home Mommy to Penelope and our newest little adventure, Eldon.  In my free time, I am a 2-year-old teacher at Ridgedale Mother’s Day Out, an avid blogger, cook, tightwad, seamstress, and Facebook stalker.  We live on the edge of Blount County where we love serving and being a part of our church, Faith Promise.  Oh… and we’re huge Kentucky fans.

You can find me on my blog, Rediscovering Yesterday, trying desperately to find a simpler life in this crazy modern world, and looking to previous generations for wisdom and guidance in everything from homemaking, to marriage, to child-rearing!  I’m excited to share a taste of what I’m learning here at Knoxville Moms Blog, and hope you enjoy the journey as much as I have!

Kara

kara-kmb

:: Assistant Event Coordinator ::

I’m Kara, wife to Creed and mama to Reese (born 2010), Preston (born 2012), and Hadley (born 2016). A Florida native, I relocated to Knoxville 8 years ago to pursue a master’s degree where I promptly fell in love with the endless supply of sweet tea, southern hospitality, and peach cobbler. When I’m not at the hospital caring for sick patients, I enjoy caring for my three littles and spending time with my friends and family at local events downtown.

An Etsy enthusiast, nothing makes my heart skip a beat more than a perfectly planned party complete with swirly paper straws and sprinkled cake pops. Given my love for fashion and live music, you can find me impatiently waiting by the door for my next Stitch Fix delivery or singing along at the next concert that comes to town. I revel in the Florida State Seminoles and all college football, savor a good S’more more often than I probably should, and relish in a date night out at one of my many local favorite eateries.

You can find more about my family, the things we fancy, and our adventures around Knoxville at Living Happily After. I look forward to hearing from you all on the blog and meeting you at an event one day soon!

 

Julie

Julie KMB

Back when I graduated from the University of Tennesse {GO Vols!!}, I never thought that one day I’d be working a full time job, getting to raise two amazing kiddos with a pretty great husband, oh and by the way starting a small custom gifts business out of our house {check out Two Blooms!}  I grew up in the Buckeye state, and between college and now, my husband Chris and I did a brief stint in the Windy City.  Living in downtown Chicago was amazing, but it has made me appreciate Knox-vegas even more!  There are so many things to do and see here, and we are always on the go enjoying activities and trying to keep our little guy, Collier, and sweet girly-girl, Emerson, entertained.  Just like my scatter-brain, I’m looking forward to sharing all sorts of great random tips, tricks and finds with other mamas in Knoxville. We’re all sharing this crazy life together – and that’s the part of being a mom that’s the most fun for me!

Caitland

KMB-Caitland

My name is Caitland, but feel free to call me Caity. I’m wife and best friend to an amazing guy named Nick, who just so happened to turn my world upside down when we met in college. After 12 years together and a short-term relocation to Charleston, SC, we traveled back to my native town of Knoxville. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Writing/Communications from Maryville College, but my greatest accomplishment is being a mother to two kids, Evaleigh and Kellan. During the week, I work full-time at the Knoxville Area Association of Realtors as Communications Director and love what I do! When I’m not working, I try to make the most of every weekend with my family, hanging poolside, taking trips to the zoo, or just making it up as we go along.

 

Lauren

kmb-lauren

:: Assistant Media Relations ::

Hey y’all!  I’m Lauren and it’s so nice to meet you!  I’m married to my college sweetheart and am a mama to four precious children.  Three of my children are here with me and one is in Heaven.  Our second child passed away shortly after birth.  My husband, Tommy, and I have adopted two girls out of foster care, and we are constantly learning how to be the best parents to all of our kids with their special needs.  About a year after our son passed away, I launched Project Gabriel in honor of our son to reach women who had also lost a baby.  In my free time, I love cheering on the Tennessee Vols, expressing my love of Tennessee falls, being outside, blogging, and wearing boots. I blog at Adventures of Jack and Me.  Also check out my organization Project Gabriel.

Lisa

kmb-lisa

My friends would describe me as “different,” artsy, retro, earthy, and spontaneous.  My colleagues would say I am highly organized, three steps ahead, and always a go-go-go.  The contradictions make me giggle. I see myself trying to stay sane. I would add that I strive to be genuine in all of my interactions.

I moved from Alabama to Tennessee almost 20 years ago to pursue my independence and education.  They don’t say “Crazy in Alabama for nothing, ” which is why I left.  I graduated from Maryville College with my BA in Literature and worked in adult education and social services for several years.  I received my MSSW in Social Work from The University of Tennessee in 2009, have since married my better half, and am now a first-time mom of a little fella.

I am now working on my “next steps” as a new mom and professional social worker. I am reconnecting with finding balance, time for myself, and being creative. My priorities are now on raising an emotionally responsive boy, keeping romance alive, enhancing my skills as a professional, and finding time for fun.

Mary Beth

kmb-mary-beth

Hey, I’m Mary Beth! My family moved to Knoxville when I was 6 weeks old, and I just never had the heart to leave. My parents raised me to love God, honor family, and cheer on the Vols! I met my husband, a PK (pastor’s kid) from Illinois, during my senior year of high school and never looked back. My plans for my life did not include getting married at 20 nor starting a family at 22, but if there is anything I have discovered in the last decade, it’s that my plans pretty much never work out. I am learning to trust God as I go.

After graduating from Maryville College, I went through a semester of grad school at UT and several different jobs trying to find myself in the professional world. Shortly before having my 3rd child, I finally took the plunge to become a full-time stay-at-home mom. Five years later, being a SAHM is officially the longest job I’ve ever held down, and I think I deserve a raise! We welcomed our 4th child in 2015, and let me tell you, it has been a whole new experience. I am a very novice cook, a wildly mediocre crafter, and a sometimes-when-I-feel-like-it gym rat; mostly I consider it a win to keep everyone alive and fed every day.

My kids range from infant to elementary school, but I get lots of time with teenagers too, thanks to my hubby’s long-time career as a youth pastor. I love to tell stories, I try to be funny, and I always keep it real. You can read more from me at Unthank You Very Much. I hope to help you get a little laugh and maybe not feel so alone in this mothering ordeal. I’m looking forward to connecting with you!

Beth

kmb-beth

Who needs to climb mountains, jump out of airplanes or go deep sea diving when you’re living with a preschooler and a baby?  Not me! All the adrenaline pumping adventure I need is at home sweet home. 

Hello, I’m Beth.  I’m a former TV news producer turned stay-at-home mom to my loving daughter Madeline and sweet son Bennett. I’m wife to my funny (and patient) husband Andy.  And I can’t leave out our fur kid Reagan.  She’s a very friendly—and did I mention very tolerant?—black lab.  We call the LC (aka Lenoir City) home.  As a family, we enjoy grilling, gardening and exploring East Tennessee and beyond.  While I may stay at home, Madeline, Bennett and I strike out in our minivan nearly every day to one of our fun activities with new and old friends.

I’m a coffee addict, book lover, fashion-phile, occasional cook and bargain hunter. My guilty pleasures include Pinterest and bad reality TV.  I believe a sense of humor is an essential survival skill!  I hope my musings on being a mama—whether it’s practical information or matters of the heart and spirit—resonate with you.  Please join me on this exciting journey and follow my posts here on the Knoxville Moms Blog. I also serve as the “Momambassador” for the Lenoir City/Loudon KMB Neighborhood Group.  I look forward to getting to know you!

 

Stephanie

kmb-stephanie

:: Community Outreach and Project Coordinator :: 

I am a Knoxville transplant from northern grounds, but I can’t imagine being anywhere else. My blue blood has strangely become orange and I get chills when I hear Rocky Top. I became all things mom in 2013 and it’s crazy to think how much life has changed. I love temper tantrums, watching Toy Story over and over, and making food that doesn’t get eaten. Welcome to the Toddler Years. When I’m not doing that, you can find me running, reading, shopping, or taking pictures {check out Adara Photography!}
 

Ashley C.

kmb-ashley-c

 

Mama hen to Maddox, Walker, and cooking baby C until Spring 2017; addicted to Downton Abbey (RIP). Will frequently stop in the middle of the road to rescue furniture and turtles. At any given time I have had the same load of laundry in the washer for 3 days. Caffeine is my love language, Charleston SC is my happy place, and it’s never too early for wine. This past August I married my dreamy ex- boss who introduced me to my ex- husband (no that’s not a joke) and we live in a 100 year old Sears Craftsman home with two Yorkie girls and SpongeBob the immortal $.27 goldfish in North Knoxville.

Jenna

kmb-jenna

Hey Everyone, I’m Jenna!  I’m a lover of coffee, cooking, baking and CHOCOLATE…dark chocolate that is! I was born and raised in San Diego, California but have called Knoxville my home since 2010. While the transition from the West Coast was complete culture shock at first, I feel like I have settled in and have embraced my inner “Southerner.” I can truly say that I love Knoxville!

My husband and I have been married for seven years and have two handsome fellas, Owen (4) and Brodie (18 months.) They definitely keep me on my toes and make life exciting! I am currently blessed with the ability to stay at home with my boys and help my husband with his real estate business. As a family we love spontaneous ice cream trips to Brusters (peanut butter sundaes are my weakness), indulging in carne asada or baja fish tacos, playing outside on the tire swing, traveling to see family and most importantly serving our Lord! (Oooo… I can’t forget entertaining and cooking for others! Did I mention I love to cook? I think that might be the way I show love to others!)

Before I put on the title “Stay at Home Mommy”, I worked in the child development field. One of my most rewarding experiences was partnering with the Center on the Social Emotional Foundations for Early learning (CSEFEL) while I was a preschool teacher. Social emotional development in young kids is a passion of mine and I hope to share helpful ideas that might be of use to you. We are all on this journey of motherhood together and what works for one, might not work for another. Just remember to “keep on keepin’ on”… You’re doing a great job Mama!

Crystal

kmb-crystal

Hi, I am Crystal and I am an East Tennessean! Ok, I was actually born in Michigan, but moved to Knoxville at 14 and have been here ever since. I went to Central High School and the University of Tennessee, where I got my degree in Nutrition. I love Knoxville and feel so blessed to be raising my family here. I am a Dietetic Technician, Registered, but I work as a stay-at-home mom currently.

I am wife to Matt, and mom to Billie (age 14), Conjoined twins Joshua and Caleb (who are 7 years in heaven), Harper Grace (age 4), and a Boxer named Blue. I absolutely love my role as a wife and mommy, and I would have 10 kids if I could!

As a family we love to snow ski, tent camp, hike, and play on the lake. Some of my favorite things are ice cream, reality TV, cool fall days, boots, and scarves!  I spend my free time cooking, reading, writing, sewing, and supporting others through difficult pregnancies, infant loss, and premature births. I love to share my nutrition knowledge with others, as well as spread awareness about colon cancer and conjoined twins.  You can find me sharing my heart on my blog at Miracle Twin Boys. I am so honored to be a part of this Knoxville Moms Blog team, and can’t wait to get to know all of you!

Andrea

kmb-andrea

Hey Ya’ll,

Okay, that is still going to take a little while to get used to…

I’m Andrea, a very new-to-Knoxville transplant. Born and raised outside of Chicago, IL with a stint in Boston for college and study abroad experience in Spain, you can definitely say moving to the South is a great new adventure for us!

My husband and I share a passion for travel and the great outdoors. We discovered the Smoky Mountains about 5 years ago and completely fell in love. When a job opportunity arose in the Eastern Tennessee region, we jumped at the chance. This area feels like a “vacation” to us, with all of the incredible outdoor opportunities it has to offer. We are so excited to get out and explore it with our 4-year-old son and 15-month old boy/girl twins. We truly love it so far and continually marvel at how niceeveryone is down here!

With our fresh start here in TN, I decided to pursue my passion for writing by starting my blog, Stroller Savvy where I talk about all things motherhood. Being a mother is more incredible than I ever dreamed, and even though our days are utter chaos riddled with exhaustion, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I am truly honored to join the ranks of the KMB team- an incredible resource that has made the transition to Knoxville far easier.

Can’t wait to meet ya’ll! (How many times do I have to say it until a habit forms? And please don’t “bless my heart”- I’ve learned what that means!)

Sarah E.

kmb-sarah

Hello, everyone! I’m Sarah. I moved to Knoxville from a very small Minnesotan town of 350 people when I was 11 years old. It has been home to me ever since and I absolutely love living here. My husband, Nick, and I are high school sweethearts and we have three kids, Matthew, Cambria, and Mason. We have two cats, Bella and Muffin, and a mini German shepherd, Saydee.

We moved back to Knoxville in late 2014 after spending 7 years in Fort Drum, New York while Nick was enlisted in the Army. He is now a “weekend warrior” with the army reserves. The military life is something that I am glad I got to experience and would never take it back, but we are so glad to be home and not have to experience those Fort Drum winters ever again. I could tell y’all horror stories about those winters!

I am passionate about cooking and baking and I blog about my kitchen adventures on my food blog, Fantastical Sharing of Recipes. I try to cook from scratch as much as possible and I like to have a variety of different foods. I also blog a little about non-food things on my regular blog, Rocky Top Real Talk. Some random things about me: I love to read, especially Young Adult novels, and play video games when I get a free moment. I’m a giant nerd, Pinterest addict, gigglebox, and planner. I am easy-going and handle change well (thanks to the military life). I absolutely hate being late – if I’m not 15 minutes early, I’m already late. I like to be a happy, positive person and like to make others happy, too. I’m honored to be a part of the Knoxville Moms Blog team and I am so excited about this new journey!

Katherine

kmb-katherine

Hi friends!  I’m Katherine, a mom of 3 year old twins and a fur baby named Peter (the sweetest beagle in the world).  My husband Jay and I have been married for almost 12 years and we had no idea what we were in for when we became parents.  Any time I tell people that we have twins I hear a few things right off the bat: 1. You must have your hands full! 2. Do twins run in your family?   It’s true that we always have our hands full but, more importantly, we always have our hearts full too.  No amount of books or advice could’ve prepared me for what life is like with twins but it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me.  The moments these two share and the bond they are forever creating is why I get up every morning and hug them so tightly.  And no, twins did not run in either of our families – we used fertility drugs.  And it was a painful long road to meeting the kids we had always dreamed about but boy was it worth it!

My husband and I met in college and were married months after graduating.  We went to Berry College – a small liberal arts school in GA.  After graduation we lived in Atlanta for a few years, I got my Master of Arts in Professional Writing, and then I was ready to return home.  I grew up in Clinton, TN and while the small town charm made me ache to leave as a high schooler, it also beckoned me home as someone who had learned that being close to my family was way more important then almost anything else in this world.  I just missed them too much! But Clinton seemed a little too small for my Atlanta raised husband so Knoxville was the perfect compromise.  We are so happy to call this place home.  And don’t worry, he’s a Vol fan too!

When I’m not chasing my 3 year olds who are undoubtedly chasing my dog, I am working as a photographer.  To say it is my dream job is an understatement.  I love to capture the emotion of weddings and families and create images that burst with love.  And I’ve been doing it for almost 10 years now, which almost feels impossible.  But yes, juggling some little ones and a small business has a lot of challenges too.

I love me some real hot yoga, broadway musicals, road trips with my girlfriends, anything chocolate, snuggles by a campfire, and days warm enough for bare feet.  I’m really looking forward to sharing some of my journeys with you!

Lindsay

kmb-lindsay

Hi, y’all! I’m Lindsay, wife to my high school sweetheart, Branden, and proud mama to our three precious kiddos: Baylor, Jolee, and Elyn. I was born and raised in Knoxville, but our family has settled down in Sevierville after four years traveling up and down the East Coast while my husband served in the Navy.

When I’m not playing chauffeur, you can find me hanging out with our enormous extended family, play-dating with the best girlfriends in the world, exploring the gorgeous area we call home, or blogging away over at Between Hallowed Breaths. I am a little Italian and a lot Southern, so if I like you, I’m feedin’ you. I love old book stores, playing with makeup, farmers’ markets, baking, Netflix, Indian food, Burt’s Bees lip balm, and discovering new places in/around Knoxville. I live in a house full of jokesters and pranksters, and that means I need all of the Jesus and coffee to stay on their level.

I am so thankful for the friendship and inspiration this community of moms provides, and I am so thankful to share and learn with all of you!

Erika

Erika-KMB

Hi all!  I’m Erika – a mom, wife and professional, who’s trying to keep it all together, one day at a time.  I’m been married to my professor husband for 13 years, and we have three kiddos (2008, 2009 and 2012) who keep us on our toes.  I’m been a meeting and event planner for almost 15 years, and just left the corporate world to start my own freelance company (www.biddixmeetingsandevents.com) Before that, I did stints in the advertising world and as a traveling sorority consultant.  On the side, I sell Rodan+Fields skin care with some of my best friends from college.  (www.ebiddix.myrandf.com)

I’m originally from Indiana and Texas, but have lived more than a few places in between there and here.  I graduated from the University of Missouri (Go Tigers!), and while I’m still confused about their membership in the SEC, I’m just thrilled it means I get to cheer them on here in Knoxville every other year. I love running and Barre, Disney World, once a month freezer cooking, traveling and chocolate.

We’re a family who believes more in experiences than things, and we get out and about as much as possible.  Our greatest adventure just wrapped up – we moved the five of us to Montreal, Canada for school semester, and loved every minute of it.  I’m looking forward to connecting with you!

Brooke

Brooke KMB 2

Hi, everyone! My name is Brooke, and I was born and raised in Knoxville. It is such a great city! Not too big, not too small.

I have an Associate Degree from Pellissippi State, and just finished up my Bachelor of Science in Management at Tennessee Wesleyan.

My husband and I live just down the road in Maryville.We have one daughter, Ali, and she will start kindergarten in the fall. My husband travels out of state frequently for his job, so it is just Ali and I most days. We have two dachshunds, who also think that they are children.

Ali and I try to stay busy on the weekends, so we find little things around town to do, head up to Dollywood for the day, or take a short day trip to explore a new place. We enjoy going to church on Sunday to worship with friends and family.

I have found along the way that my mom friends and I seem to focus on what we haven’t accomplished during the day rather than relishing the sweet, candid moments that happen by chance. Life is hectic, and I hope that I can share some stories with you that you can relate to, or at least laugh at!

Things I love::sweet tea, Starbucks, Target, and a good mani/pedi.

I feel blessed to be a part of this awesome Knoxville Moms Blog team, and I look forward to getting to know you!

Marisa

Marisa KMB 1

Hello fellow mamas! Let me introduce myself.  My name is Marisa Tania McCroskey and I am a born and raised Floridian. I was born in Hollywood, Florida and I spent my first 15 years of life there. Then, my family and I moved to Tallahassee, Fl. GO NOLES!! I went to an enormous 3 story school, Leon High School, from which I graduated in 1999.  I was a proud band nerd and also served as Miss Junior Tallahassee, when I was 17.

I went to Tallahassee Community College for several years, then left and started North Florida Cosmetology.  In the Spring of 2005, I became a Licensed Esthetician and decided I wanted to get my hands in makeup. I started out as a Freelance Makeup Artist with MAC Cosmetics in Tallahassee, FL and shortly after, I was promoted to Assistant Retail Manager.  It was one of the most demanding, yet FUN jobs I have ever had, but I  needed a big change.

In 2010, I packed my life up, and moved to small town Maryville, TN. This is where my life truly began to have meaning! The following year, I met my AMAZING husband, Brian and his beautifully daughter Lauren. Not too long after that, I got pregnant with my son, Bryson Kyle, who was born on June 17, 2012.  Talk about a wild child! My son has been in “go go go” mode since birth! My husband and I finally got married on Memorial Day, May 27 2013, on the beach in Destin, FL. Last but certainly not least, along came our princess, Stella Elyse, on June 29th, 2015.  She’s my mini, my little dress up doll…

I enjoy lots of things in life, including shopping (what woman doesn’t), crafting, creating fun DIY projects, and I always love spending time with my family. My family is my everything! Since I am lucky enough to be a Stay at Home Mama, I spend most of days surrounded by toy cars, baby dolls and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. You can follow our adventures over at www.burlapandbananas.blogspot.com, a mama/diy blog I started to help inspire other mamas with fun ideas.

I am so excited to now be a part of such an amazing group of women and I can’t wait to share some inspiring ideas, home DIY projects, fun kids crafts and more, with all of you mamas.

Ashley H.

kmb-ashley-h

Hi ya’ll!  I’m Ashley, wife to my long time best friend, Justin, and momma to two sweet kiddos, Jackson (4) and Kate (16 months).  I have lived in Knoxville since I was 4 years old and while watching friends move away after college did seem appealing at times, there was something about this place that I just couldn’t leave and I’m so glad that I didn’t!  My husband and I both are passionate about this quirky little town and having our children grow up with our families and everything this sweet place has to offer.  I have dreamt of being a mom for as long as I can remember and it’s not something I take for granted.  My first memories include me wagging my baby sister around on my hip or running around with a camera strapped around my neck.

I graduated from the University of Tennessee with a major in photography.  From there, I started my own business as a wedding and portrait photographer which I have done for the last 10 years.  Once I started having my babies I scaled back a bit, but it is still something I absolutely love to do!  You can still find me on most days with a camera in my hand!
 
My husband and I have been married for 7 years.  We spent the first part of our marriage traveling around the South with his band The Dirty Guv’nahs.  Last year they had their farewell tour as the band came to and end, but those years were some of the best of our lives for sure!
 
I start most of my days before the sun comes up.  Coffee is pretty much my best friend and is my drink of choice all day long.  I am a Target addict and a Chick-Fil-A groupie.  As a family we love being outside as much as possible!  In the warmer months you can find us at the farmer’s market downtown, at a nearby splash pad, or grilling out on the back porch with friends.  I am so excited to share life together and to be a part of the KMB crew!

Jenny P.

kmb-jenny-p

Hello! My name is Jenny and it’s wonderful to meet you. I grew up in East Tennessee and graduated with a BFA from the University of Tennessee. Go Vols! I met my husband, Nathan, during our time as collegiate runners. We love calling Knoxville our home and raising our two boys, Caleb (6) and Noah (3) here. In addition, we both own local businesses in our community. You can follow my adventures in life and shopkeeping at @shopbpm and @xoxo_jennyleigh on Instagram.

My passion for art and creativity runs deep. I made my love for good design into a full time business in 2013 when I opened my lifestyle shop, The Back Porch Mercantile, located in Bearden.   I am blessed to have assisted many people in our community with creating beautiful spaces that they love. My other favorite job is being Mama to my sweet and active boys. They keep me busy with their love for the outdoors and crafts!

Some of my favorite things are traveling, gardening, running, design, art, local places of interest, pets and the lake.   I can’t wait to start blogging again with The Knoxville Mom’s Blog and picking back up with my past blog on www.thebpmercantile.com.

Autumn

kmb-autumn

Hey everyone!  I’m Autumn Longmire.  My family and I live in a small town about an hour North of Knoxville.  We live on a big farm in a cozy home with our dog, Polly.  We raise chickens, cows, and a pony named Lil’ Sebastian (any Parks and Rec fans out there?). My husband Luke and I met in high school at the J. Frank White Academy (Go Knights!) I am a teacher with a degree in K-6 education and am also obtaining my master’s degree at Lincoln Memorial University.  I deeply love children and watching them explore and learn.  Our own child, Amelia, just turned 4 years old.  She’s the definition of spunky and sweet.  Our second child, Lincoln, will be joining us in October.  We are so excited to meet him!  My husband currently serves in Army National Guard while also doing real estate and auctioneering full time at our family business, Longmire Realty.

We attend the La Follette Church of Christ, and one of my favorite things to do is work in the church helping my husband to plan events and VBS activities.  I love seeing our congregation grow and thrive.  I also enjoy writing, seeing movies, traveling, US history, camping, and all things comic book and star wars related.

People would describe me as really positive and happy person.  I would have to say Joy from ‘Inside Out’ is my spirit animal.  I get my happiness and joy from the Lord, who keeps and sustains me [Psalm 54:4].

Christine

Christine

Hey, y’all! I’m an adventurous wanderer who put down roots here in East Tennessee back in 2014. My little family moved here from the wilds of suburban Alaska in 2014, and just love all that Knoxville has to offer. My husband and I have two chaotic little boys, ages 18 months and nearly 4 years old respectively, though how they’ve grown so fast I can’t understand. They are super energetic, strong-willed kiddos so we are often quite exhausted. Our two dogs are female black labs, to help balance out the boy-ness of our home. 

My hubby and I are both Florida State alumni, so if you’re looking for us on any given autumnal Saturday, we’re most likely rooting for our Seminoles (and the Vols, of course!). We also love exploring Knoxville and the surrounding areas, especially in the Smoky Mountains. My other interests include baking, especially if it involves pumpkin or chocolate; books of all subjects, shapes, and styles; and all things Disney. I’m a Disney addict! You can find me fan-girling over my Disney love at my blog, Paw Prints in the Sink (www.pawprintsinthesink.blogspot.com). Sometimes I write about other things, too, but be prepared for at least a little Disney mention in any post.

I’m a big fan of all things even remotely dessert-like, and I drink coffee like a Gilmore Girl. My favorite scent in the world is probably that of Barnes and Noble- fresh coffee and new books! Yum. Excuse me while I drool just thinking about it. Since becoming a mom, I’ve been able to add Lincoln Log architect, Lego contractor, and sibling mediator to my resume. I’ve always been a bit of a jack of all trades, as I’ve worked and/or volunteered as a tutor, teacher, circus instructor, bookseller, amateur baker and, of course, writer. I remind myself of this as I tell my kid not to sit on my other kid’s head.

 

Carly

KMB-Carly

A warm and glowly hello to all! First and foremost, I’m a proud mama bear to Jasper, Caulder, and a new, rather exciting bump that should be on the scene in Summer 2017.

My passions include writing, drawing, rescuing vintage items for project purposes, and occasionally hiding from my children at the end of a particularly long day. 
 
Technically I’m a work-at-home mom, running two small online businesses in my spare (ha!) time. Realistically, I’m a little bit frazzled, a little bit uncoordinated, and a whole lot joyful about spending time with my little family in the undeniable beauty that is East Tennessee. 
 
Originally from England, I now proudly call Knoxville my home, and I’m finally beginning to learn the rules of American Football – we’re the ones in orange right? 
 
Oh, and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t any get better than this. Blessings to all. 

Nadine

Nadine KMB

Greetings all, my name is Nadine. My family and I moved to Knoxville with great opportunities calling our name. Having grown up in a military family it seems I have kept the never endless travel alive living in four different places in just three years. Even so, I am glad to know another part of Tennessee. Being part of a thriving community is always a welcoming feeling, and we are glad to be part of the Knoxville community. We are parents to a beautiful little boy named Orion Lee (1 1/2 Years Old). As energetic as our son is we couldn’t have a found a more perfect fit geographically!

Mommy-hood has opened my eyes up to a whole new world. I have a real appreciation for the awe this life has to offer, but it fills my heart with joy to see my son’s eyes light up when he experiences the magical moments. I love it! Being a mom has brought a great many things into my life:  Spontaneous laughter and cuddles, the nose of a bloodhound to sniff for dirty diapers, beautiful chaos, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  

Having moved to Knoxville has brought an abundance of new newness, including a job. I now know another take on motherhood. Having a background in Public Relations I have been able to apply my passion to my job, a wonderful feeling. Although it seems my eyes may just plunge from my face due to a lack of sleep, I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

My life has been joyful, and most importantly fun when I am adventuring with my family. When I am not slaving away in the kitchen, or cleaning up messes you can find me working on some DIY project, eating at new restaurants, getting my Tina Turner on, exploring the city, thrifting my money away, binge watching shows on Netflix, or just relaxing with a motivational book in hand.

I always look forward to meeting new people and getting together for coffee or any new exciting activity. I can’t wait to hear from other moms and share my experiences. 

Katelyn

katelyn

Hey ya’ll! My name is Katelyn.  I have lived in Knoxville for most of my life and am married to my college sweetheart, Robbie.  We have two incredible kids together.  I am blessed to say that I am a cancer survivor and have been cancer free for nearly 5 years!  My cancer journey changed a lot of things, including my ability to have children.  My husband and I have felt called to grow our family and are currently working our way through the adoption process for baby #3.​  I am a nurse practitioner at a local OBGYN office and absolutely love taking care of my patients.  I love being a mom, the mountains, anything outdoors, the fall season, crafting, cooking, Tennessee football, and singing.  I think that coffee is the best thing ever.  I don’t remember what the term ‘well rested’ feels like, and that is okay!  I exercise regularly, eat healthy, get 8 hours of   sleep, keep my house spotless, and make homemade everything for my kids…just kidding.  I am far from perfect, but I do try my best every single day.  You know, we are all working our way through this crazy thing called motherhood and doing our very best.  And we need to lift each other up, laugh a lot, accept our imperfections, and encourage one another.  And that is why I am super excited to be part of KMB! Stay tuned!

 

Laura

KMB-Laura

Hi! I’m Laura, and I claim Knoxville as my hometown even though it’s not. I lived in Knoxville for a brief time as a child. That brief time happened to include the Peyton years and a football national championship. You just don’t forget that kind of magic. Though my family relocated to Middle Tennessee 20 years ago, I returned to Knoxville to attend UT, where I met and married my handsome husband Chris. Our wedding vows required me to move back to Nashville with him while he pursued his doctorate in physical therapy. Very recently (as in we still have unpacked boxes), we took a leap of faith and returned to Knoxville. Lord willing, we fully intend to call this our forever home!

During our time in Nashville, we were blessed with two sweet children. Our daughter Caroline is 3 years old. She’s a social butterfly with a thirst to know everything about everything. Our son Colin is 1 and is quite the determined adventurer. He loves his mama fiercely and is passionate about food. They are my very own tiny versions of Hermione and Peter Pan. 
 
When I’m not making my children their sixth meal of the day or begging them to sleep, I run an Etsy shop for monogramming and appliques. It’s the perfect excuse to play with little baby clothes without having to birth said baby. My husband and I are also “mom and dad” for a group of college students at Calvary Baptist Church.
 
I am a former second grade teacher and have a master’s degree in early childhood education with a background in child development. I love filtering my motherhood experience through these lenses. I certainly don’t have all the answers. In fact, I’ve learned there is truly no amount of education that can prepare you for your specific child. We’re all making it up as we go. I’m excited to be on this journey with you!

Haley L.

Haley-KMB

My name is Haley and I really only have one hobby: words.  I can most often be found with my nose in a book, or at the very least, my hand.  Any spare time that I have from my day-to-day, you can either find me reading or writing.  If I could be anything that I want to be when I grow up, I would be a book editor or maybe an English teacher.

On the flipside though, I have a Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration and I work as a consultant at a company in Knoxville that I have been with for 4 years.  I love what I do even if it isn’t the ‘dream’.  Having a career makes me feel like I still have a piece of me where mommy and wife has consumed the rest of me and it’s about keeping the perfect balance.  While I cannot be a SAHM, I spend most of my days working from home now, as opposed to commuting ~10 hours a week like I used to.  I was born and raised in Jacksboro, Tennessee where my amazing husband Brandon & I are raising our one and only baby girl, Harper Capri, and our fur baby, Esme.

We attend Faith Promise Church at the Campbell Campus where we serve as a family in the worship ministry and love every moment.  My joys include all things Jesus, Christmas, fall, Harry Potter, fountain Coke, literature, hosting people in our home, Disney movie cuddles with my girls, and family.  I try really hard to have it all together but the reality is that I’m taking it day by day.  My life is a series of unexpected events drenched in grace and I wouldn’t trade it for anything

Being a wife and mother is my greatest adventure through all the highs and lows.  Nothing has ever inspired me like wifehood and motherhood, and that’s what started my small outlet blog You, Me, & Harper Capri where I primarily write about family, the struggles, and conquering the hard stuff.  I firmly believe that this is the moment I have been created for and that I should be a shining light of hope in an otherwise dark world.  I’m so excited to continue this journey alongside everyone at KMB and do my best to shine my light.

 

Rachel D.

KMB-Rachel D.
Hi, I’m Rachel, and I’m a Florida girl who has been calling Knoxville home for the last three years. I was born and raised right outside of Orlando, and I lived in the same house (and the same bedroom!) for my entire life until I graduated high school. I was really sentimental about my home growing up and heartbroken to leave, but once I started college, my life took a turn towards adventure!
 
I attended Florida State University (Go Noles!) and that is where I met my husband, Justin. We got married when we were still babies, right after graduation, at 21 years old. We recently celebrated our 10 year anniversary! For the first several years of our marriage, we moved around from place to place, pursuing better jobs and a better life. I’ve lived in Boone, North Carolina; Savannah, Georgia; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and even Zhejiang, China. We have really enjoyed each of those places, but we never really found a place that felt like home until we moved to Knoxville, Tennessee.
 
Knoxville has been on our hearts for a long time. In fact, we talked it up so much to my parents that they moved here a couple of years before we were able to! When my husband’s company in Pittsburgh offered to transfer him to their office in Knoxville, we snapped up the chance and it felt like we were finally going home. We bought our first house, and we have settled in here nicely with our boys Jake (three years old) and Teddy (one year old), and our cat The Fonz. When I’m not at home taking care of my two little loves, I’m pursuing my other love–teaching. I’m a high school English teacher, currently teaching 10th grade at Concord Christian School. You can read about my latest shenanigans here: www.yourfavoriterachel.wordpress.com
 

Jennie

KMB-Jennie
 

I am a writer and photographer living in the rolling foothills of East Tennessee. As an Army brat, I was raised to embrace life on the move with a passion for exploring new places, an appreciation my husband and I have passed on to our two sons. Together, we enjoy the outdoors, college football, and board games. Our family was made complete with our black cat, Salem, and bluetick coonhound, Major. Unfortunately, they hate each other.

My first newspaper byline appeared in 1995, when, at 17 years old, I started writing for the Teen Times section of the Chattanooga Times. I went on to study journalism at Middle Tennessee State University, where I served as editor in chief at the student newspaper, Sidelines. After graduation I began an eight-year stretch of writing weekly columns in the Chattanooga Times Free Press about life in my 20s as a newlywed and, eventually, a young mother. We moved to Amarillo, Texas, in 2008, after which I took a position as the features writer for Amarillo Magazine. By 2011, we were back in Tennessee, where I continued to freelance for the magazine while designing and editing a coffee table book about the Green Bay Packers, Green Bay: A City and Its Team. Go Pack Go!

Today, I am a freelance writer for numerous print and online mediums, a local photographer, and the creative writing and composition teacher at our homeschool co-op. When I’m not writing, reading, or wrangling kids, I am training for my next half marathon. Read more at jenniecreates.com.

Lindsay

FullSizeRender2

Hi, friends! My name’s Lindsay. I’m a born and bred Knoxville girl. I had always assumed I would move away from home for college, but I ended up staying and graduated from the University of TN with a degree in Psychology.

I married my college sweetheart the year after I graduated and we welcomed our daughter in 2012. I work in social media for a local real estate development firm. When I’m not putting in my 40 hours during the work week, you can find me at the movies with my husband, playing go fish with our daughter, or drinking copious amounts of coffee. In my spare time, I like to do yoga and write on my blog Lindsay Overshares.

I am so excited to get to work with the KMB team and look forward to many adventures to come.

 

Sara

KMB-Sara
Hi! I’m Sara, native to Knoxville in birthplace only.  After living here for the first two years of my life, my dad joined the Air Force and moved us around the country every three years for the next 20 years.  I hightailed it back for college at East Tennessee State University, where I met my husband, Jimmy.  We lived in Middle Tennessee for a bit but the mountains of East Tennessee kept calling us home.  We were thrilled when a job opportunity for Jimmy, a licensed professional counselor, opened in Knoxville and we moved to the area in 2014.

Previously an elementary school teacher, I gladly welcomed the chance to enter my dream profession of stay at home mom in 2013 when I had my daughter. In 2016, we added our son to the family.  We enjoy time at the park, trips to Trader Joe’s, library outings, play dates with friends and local events.  I love keeping up with all the festivals, new restaurant openings, and kid-friendly activities happening in Knoxville.  I’ve been waiting to “belong” to a hometown for my whole life and I’m throwing myself into a Knoxville love affair with wanton abandon!

When I’m not out romancing the city, I love to be in my kitchen.  I cook out of necessity and boredom with the same meals every night but I bake as a catharsis.  I dream of owning a bakery someday as my third career and am working on a short list of names (submissions accepted).  I’ve always loved the written word and am excited for a creative outlet here at Knoxville Moms Blog.  At the end of the day, human connection around shared experiences and emotions is what makes life beautiful. That and fresh baked goods.

 

Leah

Leah KMB photo

Hey, y’all! I’m Leah. I am a proud wife, mama of two, and volunteer, both as a University of Tennessee alumna (and Vol fan!) and as someone who loves being involved in this wonderful community. Knoxville has been home my whole life, even when I didn’t live here. My dad’s military career moved us around, but East Tennessee roots run deep. I guess it wasn’t a surprise when I married a Knoxville-native Marine. After a few years following USMC orders, we were happy to return to Knoxville ten years ago. It is the perfect place to raise our family.In 2014, I left my job in higher education to become a stay-at-home mom. During this season, I have had the privilege to serve on local non-profit boards, which has fueled my passion for helping the community while meeting inspiring people. I love to encourage other women and moms and strive to lead by example, but I need grace daily. Parenting has taught me to let go of perfectionism and to laugh at myself and at life’s unpredictable twists.

In our free time, my family loves visiting with friends and relatives, spending time outdoors, attending sporting events, and exploring Knoxville’s local venues.  When I’m not chasing or chauffeuring, I enjoy Bible study, reading, group fitness classes, dressing up, daydreaming, and planning my next adventure. I am delighted to share some of those adventures on Knoxville Moms Blog.

 
 

Haley M.

Haley McManigal

Hi there, I’m Haley, a middle-aged-momma to Lukas, my precious 5 month old bundle of joy whom God finally blessed me with at the ripe old age of 36.  I met my husband Dan on Match.com and we’ve been best friends ever since I tripped over a speed bump at our first real in-person date.  We live in Northeast Knoxville with our baby boy and two fur baby girls in our dream home with a huge yard and great views of hay fields, creeks and cows.  We both have roots in the country, so it feels like home to us.  I grew up in east Tennessee and have lived here for most of my life, and I have the most amazing southern drawl to prove it.  I work full-time as an architect and marketing coordinator at an architecture firm in Knoxville, and (mostly) love what I do.  In my free time you’ll find me reading, spending time outdoors, exploring our great little city, letting my creativity run wild, decorating cakes (and eating all the frosting), and writing about creativity and facing fear on my blog at www.haleymcmanigal.com/.  I’ve only been a mom for like a minute, so I am certainly no parenting expert, but I do look forward to sharing this strange and important journey here with all you great mommas and learning a few things along the way.

 
 

Lyssa

Lyssa-KMB
My name is Lyssa, which is pronounced like Melissa but without the “Muh” part! We moved to Knoxville mid-August last year.  Prior to that, we’ve moved around quite a lot for school and jobs.  We hope that Knoxville will be our permanent home though. We instantly fell in love with it all within the first week living here.

I grew up in the West and only now do I appreciate the humidity found here. I stayed over there for college and I was able to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Brigham Young University.  I planned to teach but instead started a family with my husband. I have been married for 13 years now.  We have 5 kids…yes, 5 kids.  Do they keep me busy? Yes. Yes they do.  Let’s see, we’ve got Emma (12), Kate (10), Luke (7), Jake (4), and Jane (2). We are in the thick of it all, with shuttling my kids around for church, school or sports and making sure my youngest gets in a nap every day. We are very active in our church.  I have a calling where I am a leader over the 8-11 year old girls and I love it so much.

My main purpose in life is to try to enjoy the moment with my family, to have them have memories instead of stuff.  I’m in the midst of trying to reclaim my home from the later. It’s definitely a work in progress because no matter how much you get rid of stuff, there continues to be more! When I do have me time, I love to take photos. I’m a part time photographer over at www.lyssabethphoto.com  and I love newborns and families.  

Most of my life will be found in picture form on my Instagram account. Telling stories through images are the best way, I feel. It’s a modge podge of the collected chaos that can be found in my home.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way!