Meet The Colorado Springs Moms Blog Writing Team
Amanda grew up in Colorado Springs and, while she and her family love to travel the world, she is very happy to be raising her three kids, Akif (7), Aydin (3), and Ayla (1) in our beautiful town. She and her husband have been married 10 years and own Mavi Turkish Arts and Mavi Kebab in Manitou Springs, but she spends most of her time out of the store these days, enjoying the crazy fun life with three kids. Amanda graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in history and is still a major history buff! When she is not busy with her three kids or working on their businesses, Amanda loves to bake and decorate cakes, bake anything else that is good to eat, curl up with a good book, or take her kids hiking, camping, and backpacking. She loves more than anything to snuggle with her babies and enjoy the beautiful Colorado outdoors!
Amber was born and raised in the beautiful state of Colorado. She grew up in Rockrimmon until she was 9, when her family moved to the eastern plains of Colorado until she was 17. At 17, Amber came back to Colorado Springs and stayed put. She married her favorite guy in 2008 and settled on the east side of Colorado Springs. Amber is mother to two sweet, rambunctious girls, aged 7 and 4. Amber’s two girls share her love of being outdoors, comic books, and Harry Potter. They stay busy (and keep their parents busy) with their creative play and soccer practices and games. In Amber’s free time, she enjoys reading young adult fiction books. She just finished Pax by Sarah Pennypacker and is always open for suggestions for her next read! She also enjoys listening to and telling life stories with friends over a nice glass of wine.
Ashley is a wife, mom to two zany little boys and former reporter. She has moved a couple of dozen times through the Midwest, California and Hawaii. She lived in Monument and Colorado Springs for a few years growing up and, having always had family in the area, visited at least once a year since moving away. In 2013, she and her own family made Colorado Springs their permanent home, built a house and settled down. They LOVE Colorado and plan to stay! Ashley has reported, written and edited for The Associated Press, Bloomberg News and other newspapers and magazines. These days, she volunteers at her kids’ school library, paints glass, works out when her boys are at swim lessons and sneaks up to the loft to read when she has a rare free moment. Before meeting her husband, travel was her true love. Fortunately, it was his, as well. Between them, they have visited more than 50 countries. Their sons (4 and 7) have the travel bug, too. They have spent hundreds of hours on planes, trains, ships and road trips – these rugged little boys can’t get enough. They consider themselves lucky to live in Colorado, where countless camping trips and other adventures await them. Ashley is honored to contribute to Colorado Springs Moms Blog because if we all help each other, life is better.
Crystal is a Colorado native that grew up right here in Colorado Springs. Although she has left on occasion to satisfy her wanderlust, for Crystal, all roads continue to lead her home. Before becoming the mama of two darling girls, Calista (Nov. 2012) and Hartlyn (Sept. 2014), she graduated from the University of Denver with a degree in English Literature and International Studies. After graduation, she taught reading, English and drama in the inner cities of Miami and Denver. She then moved back to Colorado Springs to teach at a local high school, right here, in Monument, CO. She is a SSAHWM (single, stay at home, working, mom.) When she is not blogging for CSMB, she is running her event (photo booth) company, www.reddoorphotobooth.com and her tutoring company lamptobelit.wordpress.com. Finding balance is a daily challenge but she is learning to not only find but to embrace the crazy in life. There is peace in every storm and sunshine in every day. She is a mama with a bucket load of faith. In her downtime she seeks out sunshine and water, Netflix marathons and is beginning to find solace at the gym. She loves this community, all things organic, DIY skin care, coffee, treats, laughing until she pees, finding the beauty in the banal, dance parties in the kitchen, quiet moments, finding a great deal, having an adventure, doing nothing and a lot of somethings. Her life song is Garth Brooks, “The River,” and her current life motto is “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” –Francis of Assissi. She is honored to be writing beside a team of amazing women.
Jenny grew up in South Dakota, right by Mt. Rushmore, but is now firmly rooted in Colorado Springs with her husband, their baby daughter, Clara, and their dog, Milo. She works in water engineering/water law and helps to ensure Colorado Springs residents have water for the next fifty years. She’s trying to figure out what life looks like with the addition of a little one, but remembers loving to linger over good food with family and friends, making jewelry, playing piano and reading. Most of all she loves being helpful and hopes that by contributing to Colorado Springs Moms Blog she can encourage others.
Kate is a Hoosier by birth but knew in her mid-teens that she’d live near the mountains. In college she spent a glorious summer in Colorado Springs volunteering at Glen Eyrie and vowed she’d come back somehow. This summer, she’ll have lived at the foot of Pikes Peak for ten years. She and her husband and one-year-old son live downtown in a home almost as old as the city itself. Kate attempts to garden in her free time, making a commitment to grow something strange and new each year. So far luffa sponges, quinoa, and various pumpkins have fed nothing but the squirrels. Prior to staying home with their son, Kate wrote and edited for a nonprofit that transformed the lives of children all over the world. She is passionate and nerdy and is continually surprised at the joy she has found in this new season of motherhood.
Katie and her husband, Cameron, have only ever known Colorado Springs as their home. A busy mama of her own two Colorado natives, who are conveniently 13 months apart in age. One girl, and one boy. After recovering from the curve ball of two babies, she dove into motherhood head first. Active in MOPS, play dates, and hits up target as often as possible, even when all she needs is to get out of the house. Before Katie became a mama full time, she was an interior designer, and loves it still. Call on her when you want some tips! Loves everything DIY! Be sure to look for some design related posts! Katie lives for runny noses, dirty diapers, snuggles, and kisses. Literally, and in that order. Considers cookie dough a meal. Sarcasm is her first language, and is thrilled to be contributing through her writing, to the Colorado Springs Moms blog!
Kris has called Colorado Springs her home since she was just six months old. She has been married to her high school sweetheart for 13 years and is a stay at home mom to their three wonderful children, ages 7, 4 and 1. When she’s not momming it up she loves to play a variety of sports including volleyball, basketball and tennis. She dreams of one day having time to coach basketball again after falling in love with coaching a J.V. team for one season. She loves being in the kitchen baking deliciousness but doesn’t do it as often as she would like, because she also loves eating the deliciousness. She and her husband Mike love watching movies and binge watching good series on Netflix. Kris has two fur babies as well, a three-year-old Bernese Mountain dog weighing 140 pounds and a one-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that weighs 20. They keep her almost as busy as her fur-less babies! Colorado Springs has been a wonderful home for her and her family and she thinks it could only be better if it had a beach and a shorter winter.
Kristal is a native of California, lived in Utah, and now lovingly calls Colorado Springs home. She grew up in a household with four younger siblings and graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz. Kristal has worked in summer camps and after school programs. She and her husband are the proud parents of a seven-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son. After years of renting, they recently purchased their first house in Briargate. Kristal is an active member of her local MOMS Club chapter and PTA board. In her spare time, she enjoys long walks in the aisles of Target, dancing it out in Zumba classes, drinking copious amounts coffee, cooking dinner as a form of therapy, and last but certainly not least, spending time outdoors with her family.
Kristin is a stay-at-home mom to three kids. Spanning from teenager to toddler, it keeps things interesting as she juggles building legos, driving lessons, diapers and the newest high school trends. She knows one day she’ll have it all together, with a clean house and perfect meals on time. But until the kids move out and the house becomes hers again, she’s pretty sure it isn’t going to happen any time soon. She’s fairly certain that only her sense of humor has kept them all alive. Her husband regularly reminds her that when he left there were three kids, and he expects there to be three when he gets home. To which she has often replied: do they need to be the same three? Or will any three do? Because on any given day at least one of them is driving her crazy!!
Lindsie is a Midwest transplant who loves living in Colorado. Her husband Dave keeps her laughing and dreaming. Their family has been uniquely knit together through biology and adoption in a way they never could have planned. Lindsie gets to stay at home with their four kids and is excited to be on the adventure of homeschooling them. Lindsie also owns a small business that is her refreshing creative outlet. She absolutely loves getting to “work” from home and create while she’s doing it. In her “spare” time, she loves to drink coffee with friends, write, and spend time outdoors. As loud, chaotic, and messy as life often can be, she strives to find the beauty in everyday moments.
Meg is a mommy to three small ones, Gracie, Everett, and Henry. She is married to her one and only Joel, and they look forward to having more adventures together! Meg likes to drink coffee, coffee, coffee and continues to try (in vain) to take a decent “selfie”. She also loves to get candid pictures of her littles as they go about their day, which almost always involves crazy getups and the wrong size shoes. She is passionate about allowing children to explore the great outdoors at every opportunity; Colorado’s natural beauty cannot be denied!
Rachel is a native Coloradoan, though originally from the Western Slope. She followed her husband Chris to his hometown of Colorado Springs after having met in engineering school at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO.
Together they have two (almost three) beautiful children, Tommy (2011), Tazzy (2014) and Baby Lawhorn # 3, set to debut sometime in December of 2015. Having a young and active family keeps Rachel on her toes trying to find ways to keep the ship sailing while still meeting all the demands of motherhood. Though Rachel loves her most important role as Mommy most, she also works full time outside the home as a Water Resources Engineer for the Colorado Division of Water Resources. This role helps keep her life in balance, bouncing from detailed and complex discussions relating to Colorado Water Law with her husband ( a mechanical engineer) to daycare and preschool drop off and pick up schedules, while being constantly interrupted by the equally complex musings of her 4 year. When Rachel isn’t busy with work or kids, she enjoys visiting family, making jewelry, baking, photography, writing and seeing how many balls she can keep in the air at once.
Rebecca is a Colorado Native, living first in Loveland and then in Colorado Springs. She spent time in the Republic of Boulder for her Bachelor’s degree, and then traipsed out east to Pennsylvania for a Master’s degree, both of which are in Psychology. She works part time as a caseworker at a local nonprofit helping homeless families get back on their feet. She is happy to be a wife to her hard working husband, and a mama to her school age son and daughter. As a mom, she has lots of practice in not sleeping and surviving temper tantrums, and is really good at reading aloud. Her purse and mini van are clean on some days. She is not good at organizing papers and managing to keep in touch with people. She didn’t realize she was an introvert until she was well over 30, but did not have any babies until she was well over 30, so go figure! Favorite things include working out at the gym, travel, drinking real tea, listening to (far too many) podcasts, reading, gardening, exploring the world with her kids and husband, catching up with her network of sweet friends, and trying to make life meaningful.
Sara was born in Colorado Springs, and lived here her entire life until she attended college at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. There, she earned her degree in Journalism and Political Science. Sara met her husband, Luke, in the summer of 2008 while working at Wag N Wash Healthy Pet Center, although they didn’t start dating until 2011 – after Sara had graduated from college and Luke had joined the Air Force. They married in 2012, when Luke was stationed in a small town in West Texas. Shortly after moving to the Lone Star State, Sara started her career in local television. She did everything from running the cameras, to producing the five o’clock news, to creating marketing campaigns for local businesses. Sara’s daughter Cora was born in 2013, and Sara got her first taste of being a full-time working mom while living over 600 miles from her own parents. Luke’s Air Force enlistment ended in the summer of 2015, so they high-tailed it back to Colorado Springs as soon as they could. Now, Sara lives near Old Colorado City and works in the marketing department of a law firm in Downtown Colorado Springs. She loves spending time with her family, cooking, biking, photography and playing with makeup (that’ll happen after working in television in Texas).
Sarah lives in Colorado Springs with her husband Kevin (Jr High Math Teacher) and three boys, Jordan 9, Lincoln 2.5, and Quinton 8 months. She spent the first part of her life growing up in a small town in Massachusetts. When she was 12 years old, her parents moved the family to the beautiful Colorado Springs. She went to college in New York, majoring in Communications and playing two collegiate sports, soccer and basketball. She recently decided to change career paths and went from working outside the home, to a stay at home mom. When she’s not running after three active boys, you can find her playing competitive volleyball, hanging with her close girlfriends, hiking with her family, watching too much reality television or hiding in the bathroom for a moments peace. She is a very proud coach’s wife that loves to support her husband at games as he coaches boys varsity basketball. Sarah loves many things in life including fashion, food, DIY projects, singing, good reads, sports and will blog about it all and more!
Mom to a one year old and pregnant with another, Tabitha is a hard core decaf coffee drinker and sometimes nap taker who has lived all over the Unites States, but fortunately landed in Colorado. Her current aspirations are actually finishing an entire book and going to the bathroom without the assistance of her toddler. In her spare time, Tabitha is inspired by a variety of blogs and Pinterest. She can spend hours antiquing and crafting, with the hopes of turning her house into a home. Often that just means rearranging the furniture in the house, just one more time. Ten years ago, Tabitha somehow met the man of her dreams in the aisles of Wal-Mart and life changed forever. No warranty necessary. He challenges her to be wild and adventurous, but mostly to not take herself too seriously. Together they camp, climb fourteeners, and sit in their backyard by a roaring fire. They’re known to debate theology, talk philosophy, and taking one from Seinfeld – joke about nothing. Relationships and community are also very important to Tabitha. She cultivates her love for people in her part-time School Counseling job where she has been helping students emotionally and socially for over four years. In 2014, Tabitha started blogging as another way to connect with others. Her blog,Tabitha Panariso, is a space where you can find her writing on faith, community, motherhood, and daily life. You can also find her on Instagram, Twitter, and of course, Pinterest.
Tonya grew up in Iowa and attended the University of Northern Iowa, where she majored in Health Promotion (the degree you choose when you know are meant to make an impact but you don’t know exactly how) After graduating in 2003, her adventurous spirit lead her to pack up her little car and move to Colorado Springs. Her heart was easily won by the beautiful landscape, the amazing weather, colorful Aspen trees, and the fabulous people in this city. In 2008, she married her love and best friend, Ryan. They added two amazing boys to the family…Landon (2009) and Kellan (2011). After a rewarding career as a Director for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and a sales representative for Pfizer, her heart desired more time with her boys. In 2011, she became a work from home mom, focusing on her very busy boys full time and her health and wellness coaching business part time! Her passion as a mom includes building legos, trips to the zoo, family hikes, fishing, and camping. Her passion as a health coach is helping people see their potential, reach goals, and lead a healthy lifestyle. In her spare time (what is that again??), she loves working out, running, and reading. Her favorite things to do with her handsome hubby include riding bikes downtown Colorado Springs for date nights, hiking the incline, trying new (exotic) foods, spending time with great (adult) friends, and trying craft beers (inspired of course by her husband!).