Meet our Contributors

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Christie

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:: 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

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:: 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 I ended up in Southeast Asia after college. For the better part of six years overseas, I lived an incredible life: I met my husband, learned two languages, ran three half marathons, and became the person I was created to be. But I never dreamed that my greatest adventure would come in 2011 when I gave birth to our first child, Penelope.

Now, in our new life back in Tennesse, my husband is a corporate accountant while I am work-at-home Mommy to Penelope and Eldon. We live on the edge of Blount County where we love serving and being a part of our church and little community. In my free time I love drinking coffee (alone or with friends), serving on the PTO, and sneaking away to the mountains with my kids- partly to relive my memories of former adventures, but mostly to create beautiful new ones!  

Kara

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:: 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

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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

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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

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:: 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

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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

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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

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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

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:: 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.

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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.

Crystal

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Hi there! I am Crystal and I am an East Tennessean/Knoxville native…sort of. I actually was born in Detroit, Michigan but moved to Knoxville at age 14 and have been here ever since. I am a graduate of the University of Tennessee and love everything about our great region, especially the southern hospitality. I recently transitioned from a SAHM of 6 years to a full time WIC nutritionist. I love helping women make healthy choices for their families and supporting breast feeding moms.

I am wife to Matt, mom to Billie (age 16), conjoined twins Joshua and Caleb (9 years in heaven), and Harper Grace (age 6).

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

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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.

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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

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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

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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!

Jenny P.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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. 

Laura

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

Shayla

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Greetings! My name is Shayla Bullock. I was born and raised in Knoxville, TN.  I am a graduate of The University of Tennessee – Knoxville; earning a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s degree in school counseling. I love to travel and experience new places, but there is truly no place like home! 

I am married to Jason, who is an engineer at Y-12 National Security Complex. We are blessed with three beautiful, amazing children; two rambunctious boys (ages 9 and 6), and a baby girl (age 10 months).  I love being a full-time mom, taking care of our children and our home. Our children definitely keep me moving and busy.

Before becoming a full-time mom, I worked as a school counselor at a local inner-city high school. I have a great passion for families and underprivileged/at-risk children and young adults. I try to live by Martin Luther King’s quote, “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” 

We are members of a church located in East Knoxville; where I serve as an associate minister. We love worshipping and serving together as a family! 

 

Rachel L.

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Hi, I’m Rachel L., and I’ve lived in Knoxville almost my entire life! I live with my family in West Knoxville and love being in such a great area to raise my son! I am a wife to an amazing man named Daniel and mom to an almost-toddler boy with enough energy to power a house! 
 
If I’m not reading another urban fantasy novel, you’ll find me planning meals, window shopping with my husband, and writing about self-care and learning to be a parent over on my blog, A Life With A Little (www.alifewithalittle.com). I love writing and have several almost-completed novels in my “someday” list of goals to complete. My favorite hobbies are crafting, cooking, reading, and window shopping. 
 
I’m a Halloween baby who loves traditions. Birthdays, holidays, and family traditions make me happy. You can always follow me for updates on when and where to get free donuts because I’m a bit obsessed with finding free donuts. (My favorite donuts right now are at Status Dough, and I’m a sucker for an opportunity to dress up for free donuts, like on Talk Like A Pirate Day!) 
 
I’m happiest with a cup of coffee in my hand and something sweet to eat. I love making new friends and look forward to sharing some of my favorite things with all of you!
 

Ashley B.

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Hey ya’ll, I’m Ashley. I’m a Tennessee native, born and raised in Byrdstown and Cookeville. I adore all things Southern like: sweet tea, biscuits and gravy, and the liberal use of ya’ll in conversation.

I met my husband, Matt, back when we were young whippersnappers in college. He had long hair, wore birkenstocks, and had the whole ‘nerd’ vibe working for him. We worked at the same restaurant, Bellacinos, and I’m pretty sure that my oogling of him resulted in many a grinder being made wrong. We went to the same party, played truth-or-dare and BAM, five years later we were married. Wait, what? Yes, we took a long way around. We moved to South Carolina, I graduated with an education degree (second time is the charm, right?), he beat Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and THEN happily ever after. 

We have two children, Evelyn (born 2013) and Theodore (born 2017). Growing up, I never dreamed of being a Mom and especially not a stay-at-home mom, yet here I am, killing it. Kidding. Just when I start to think I’m rocking this Mom gig, we go to Target and one of my children will remind me that I still need training wheels. 

I love bookstores, crafts, walking around Target, Dr. Pepper chapstick, and collecting recipes. I’m a hobby collector but not necessarily a hobby follow-through-er; my office is currently the space where projects go to die. You can find me over at (www.3momcircus.com) writing with my two cousins about all things motherhood.

My family loves to visit the zoo, hold living room dance parties, watch St. Louis Cardinals baseball, and play trivia. We love getting out and exploring Knoxville—we fall more in love with this city every day!