Meet the Rochester MN Moms Blog Writing Team
Alicia is a native Minnesotan living in Zumbrota with her husband of 8 years and their two boys (ages 2 and 4). Alicia works full-time writing for the corporate world, which many would consider a total snooze-fest but somehow she enjoys it. She loves her family more than bacon, can multi-task like nobody’s business, and would eat cereal for every meal if she didn’t have to feed her family.
When Alicia is not being mom, you can find her Pinteresting garden ideas, doing anything and everything outside, dropping by friends’ houses unannounced, pondering why it has taken her a week to put away the clean, dry and folded laundry sitting in the basket and last but not least, cleaning (because she is a total neat-freak).
Amy moved to Rochester from Wisconsin in 2012 with her husband of 13 years, Adam, and their two children. Since moving to Rochester, they welcomed child number three to their fun-loving crew. She and her family are very happy to call Rochester home.
In 2007, Amy earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Visual Art with an emphasis in Painting. She spent the following 7 years as a Stay at Home Mom and Artist. In 2014, she put on her dancing shoes and became a licensed Zumba Instructor. Since then, she’s been immensely entertaining to her family with her impromptu dance parties in the kitchen.
When Amy isn’t busting out her mad dance skills, she’s usually chasing after her kids with camera in hand. She also enjoys being active outdoors with her family. Other hobbies include attempting to garden, running, DIY-ing, eating Korean food, making handmade jewelry, teaching painting classes, going on dinner dates with her hubby and singing in the shower. You can find Amy at her Zumba classes at the Rochester Area Family YMCA and Empowered Wellness & Fitness Studio and learn more about her art at AKrause Studio.
A Rochester-area native, Amy is a Midwestern girl to the core. She loves each of the four seasons equally, lives by the “Minnesota Nice” philosophy, and prefers lakes to oceans.
Amy always has her hands in a project or two. She knows how to orchestrate one heck of a party and loves planning adventures whether near or far. Her passions also include searching for vintage treasures, tacos, reading, arts and crafts, and trying new things. In her free time, you can find her along with her husband, Alex, and their two-year old son, William (Willy), checking out local events and happenings. You can follow her family adventures on her lifestyle blog, Sahl + White, or on Instagram.
Ange is a Yooper (Upper Peninsula native), who lived in Wisconsin for 12 years with her husband Alex and four children before moving to Rochester MN in 2011. Since the birth of their first child in 2001, she has been a stay at home mom. With all her children now in school, you can often find Ange with a paintbrush in her hand working on projects in her home and sharing them on her personal blog. She loves to inspire other women whether it’s in their home with décor and projects or in their own personal journey of motherhood and marriage.
Having been diagnosed with Anxiety at the age of 21 and now helping two of her own children manage their own anxiety, Ange enjoys sharing with other moms some resources and tools she has found helpful in her mental health journey and who have children that struggle with anxiety.
Ange and her husband love to DIY together and one day dream of flipping a house on the beach. They also love to go on dates around town, hosting parties in their home and raising two teenage daughters, a tween daughter and a 7 year old son. A lover of all things lemon, brass and anything floral, you can read more at Ange’s blog, The Blooming Hydrangea.
Casie grew up in Rochester and after living in various other states, she and her family moved back to Rochester to settle in and raise their family. Casie is married to Ben, also a Rochester native, and they have three children: Sidney, Isla and Marcus.
When Casie is not working as a school counselor and spending time with her family, she likes all things creative: writing, art, photography, house projects, etc. She also loves to exercise (balance and energy!!!), participate in philanthropic activities and spend quiet time with her girlfriends.
Christa moved to Rochester in her middle school days, and hasn’t really left since. She and her husband Aaron have two freckled faced kids and enjoy their life just north of the city in Oronoco. Their family was living what she calls The Oblivious Life until spring of 2015, when their youngest child, Hannah, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma at the age of two. Devastated by the pediatric cancer diagnosis, Christa left her career to be a full time mom while Hannah received cancer treatment. Despite the heartache and hurdles, Christa still finds joy in navigating the murky waters of having a child with a complex medical illness. She enjoys putting miles on her motorcycle, summer life in their culdesac, and collecting yarn to crochet. She’ll forever be a loud advocate for childhood cancer causes. She chronicles her favorite mom moments on Instagram and Hannah’s medical journey on Facebook.
Beautiful Chaos is the theme to her life. Married to a pastor and a mama to Zion and Zakiyah, Christy stays very busy running two businesses. She has a home salon called Tala Hair Studio and a watercolor shop called Christy Cass Art. Coffee, barnwood, blogging, empowering teens and women, baking pies, and decorating are her passions and loves her Rochester community (tribe). Summer is her favorite season, and loves all things yellow! Her addictions are Pinterest, Netflix and Iced Jamaicans at Moka. You can follow along with Christy at ChristyCass.com and on Instagram here, here, and here.
Colleen Timimi, a former middle school English teacher turned stay-at-home-mom, moved to Rochester in 2005. Texan by birth, Floridian by high school graduation, she has truly found her home here. She and her husband are parents to a nine-year-old daughter and an eight-year-old son. When she isn’t trapped in the great internet time suck aka Facebook (Hey, where did that hour go?), she spends her days chauffeuring children and volunteering. She is passionate about reading, writing (eventually one of those works-in-progress will be finished), and running (and you thought the next word was going to be arithmetic!).
Nearly 10 years into motherhood, Colleen continues to navigate parenting, where she is her own boss and the schedule is never consistent.
Cristin grew up in Rochester and after living on both coasts and life throwing a few unexpected curves, she found herself back in her hometown in 2015. Cristin is a single mom to her almost two year old son and five year old goldendoodle.
When Cristin isn’t teaching barre and yoga classes at FireFly Barre Fitness or running after her rambunctious toddler, she loves to travel, cook, read a good book and drink red wine. She’s passionate about coffee, interior design, kombucha and her family. A Minnesota girl through and through, Cristin loves the outdoors and all four seasons and she never misses the chance to be at her family’s lakehouse.
A creative spirit, Cristin is notorious for being an idea generator who’s constantly searching for her next project!
Danica lives in Byron with her husband and son. After living in the San Francisco Bay Area for a few years, they returned home to Minnesota and are thrilled to have their child(ren) grow up in this community.
Danica has an education degree and taught preschool before pursuing a new career in health and family care. She now serves Southeast Minnesota as a labor and birth doula and holistic health coach. She’s passionate about supporting women in their journey to and through motherhood on a (realistically) healthy path.
Danica loves reading books, exercising, being outside (winter isn’t her favorite), experimenting in the kitchen, and dancing around the house with her son to the Elvis Pandora station.
Hannah has a passion for adventure and is curious about the world. She developed this passion while growing up in five different states; Minnesota, Florida, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Illinois. After all that moving around, Hannah went to college in Minnesota and fell in love with the state and a wonderful guy who also loves Minnesota. After living in the Twin Cities for a few years, Hannah’s awesome teacher husband got a job in Rochester and now Hannah and her family hope to call Rochester (actually Byron) home for a long time.
After a few years working in marketing and public relations, a tiny little baby girl named Lilly (’12) entered the picture. Ten months later when her husband finished graduate school Hannah became a stay-at-home mom. Just under a year later another tiny baby girl entered the picture, Dahlia (’14), and she was a game-changer. Now, Hannah is at home with a one-year-old and a two-year-old and spends the majority of her day playing referee for the two tots.
Besides her family, Hannah is passionate about God and her church. She is a complete nerd who loves history, travel, Ecuador, coffee with friends, cooking and following current events. On the weekends, you may run into Hannah and her family exploring Byron, Rochester and Southern Minnesota.
With four young kids within five years of each other, Heather’s hands and heart are absolutely full. She’s passionate about good food, literature, social justice, handmade items, and making her house a welcoming and comforting space for all. She also spends a lot of time nursing her long-term relationship with coffee. Heather and her husband Michael blog about homeschooling, living life with a hearty mix of both abandon and intentionality, their future working with refugees in France, and other sundry topics at Those Kinds of People.
Jessica is a Rochester transplant from Texas, and she loves the look on people’s faces when she tells them she loves Minnesota winters. She adores the life of being mom to two hilarious boys (5 and 3,) wife of her high school sweetheart, Independent Ambassador for Noonday Collection, and Assistant Director at Rochester’s storied Aldrich Memorial Nursery School.
She grew up lucky enough to travel the world with her parents and sister, and she learned that while language, culture, architecture, and lifestyle are greatly varied from one place to another, beauty, kindness, and human connection flourish everywhere.
When she’s not working, writing, arguing politics, or chasing her boys, you can find her unplugging with a good movie or (let’s be honest) sleeping in broad daylight. Follow Jessica’s juggling act on Twitter, or on Instagram (also here).
Jessica has lived in Rochester for the past 15 years with her husband, Mike, and their two children –Benjamin (10) and Lucy (5). After spending time living abroad in southern England and experiencing a truly walkable/bikeable city life, she began to become frustrated with the car-centric design of Rochester’s streets. Since then she has become very active with volunteer groups in the community and is currently Vice President of We Bike Rochester, which has been leading the effort to create a more bicycle friendly community. She can often be found commuting around town coaxing her oldest child to confidently ride on the streets of Rochester and with her youngest strapped to the front of her beloved orange commuter bicycle.
When not biking or advocating for biking, Jessica enjoys giving back to the community in many ways. She teaches a digital photography community education course called Momarazzi Photography and recently had a leadership role in a community impact project with her Leadership Greater Rochester class to install free mini libraries in the yards of 40 Rochester homes. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce and works full time at Mayo Clinic as a Program Manager in Education. You can follow her thoughts on all things #rochmn and #bikerochmn on Twitter and Instagram here and here.
A Rochester native, Jodie moved away for 3 years only to return in 1997 when she was pregnant with her first son. Many moons ago, in college, Jodie met her husband Brian during a lively game of cards, it was love at first sight. Together they share the joy and challenge of raising 2 boys. Benjamin is 19 and Christian is 17. After being a SAHM for the majority of the boys’ lives, Jodie now works from home for a local podiatrist and chases around her friend’s preschooler. Her family shared a school year with an exchange student from Slovakia in 2014. They intermingled American and Slovak cultures and grew to love a charming young Slovak girl before sending her back across the world again to be with her family. Fortunately technology keeps their worlds connected and the relationship close. For the last year, Jodie has been in the process of becoming a surrogate for a couple who have not been able to have their own children. After two failed transfers and heartbreak in 2016, they’ve had to kiss a few frogs, but are on their way again to help fill the arms of 2 loving parents. Though large social functions can bring out some anxiety for Jodie, volunteering and community service are important, so you can often find her helping with school functions, helping out at a local charity, or organizing fundraisers. These activities are not possible without copious amounts of coffee, which also means Jodie can often be found writing, researching or working well into the night.
Juanita is a native Texan who calls the Byron, MN countryside her home. She, her husband of 14 years, and 3 children enjoy life on a hobby farm and outdoor activities. While not an expert farmer, nor a green thumb, she has fun involving her kids and learning new things.
A passion of hers is supporting families through their childbirth and breastfeeding journeys. She is a doula, Lamaze instructor and lactation counselor. She loves motherhood, its sacredness and its life-lessons.
Most days, she loves the challenge of creating meals from whatever ingredients are left in the kitchen (or garden). She often joins her husband on DIY projects around the house and farm. Other things she likes are warm beverages, yoga, thrift shopping and fun with family and friends.
Kahla hails from Wisconsin, but heard the siren (loon?) song of Minnesota calling as she selected a college. Then, after eight years living in the Boston area for graduate school, her family moved to Rochester in the summer of 2010.
Kahla and her husband have two children: one daughter and one son. They enjoy spending time outside, especially on Rochester’s hiking and bike trails. She loves finding inexpensive ways to pass time, and also enjoys her favorite form of recycling: shopping at thrift stores and yard sales.
An avid reader her entire life, working as a school librarian is the perfect fit for her outgoing, book-loving personality. She also enjoys running, baking and knitting. She loves spending time with her family, book club, and running group.
Kim is a Rochester native who in 2006 unexpectedly found herself back in her hometown, marrying a boy she had dated as a 15 year-old, and putting down new roots. Kim and husband David have two rambunctious boys- Gavin (5) and Caleb (2).
Kim works part-time at Mayo Clinic as an Education Program Coordinator, and spends the rest of her time chasing her boys, refereeing their wrestling matches, and stepping on Legos. She loves to escape the chaos with a run, putzing around in the garden, making guacamole in the kitchen, and enjoying a cup of coffee or a glass of wine (not all at once). She is also actively pursuing the world’s best chocolate chip cookie recipe.
As a writer, Kim strives to inject some humor and common sense back into the internet, which in her opinion has turned completely bonkers. As parents, we need more humor, more support, and more common sense–and a whole lot less of the judgmental crackpot ideas that seem to take hold in this crazy online world.
Mamisoa, a native of Madagascar, grew up in Australia, Papua New Guinea, the U.K., the U.S., and Kenya because of her missionary doctor parents. She moved back to the U.S. to attend college and earned a B.A in Communications from Waldorf University (where she met her husband Matt) and a M.A. in Leadership from Augsburg College. She’s glad to have established roots here in the Med City with Matt and their infant daughter Gracelyn.
Since her miscarriage in September 2014, Mamisoa strives to let other women who have experienced miscarriages know that they are not alone in their miscarriage journey. She shares her miscarriage and growth story as often as she can.
By day, Mamisoa is the Director of Communications at a church in Rochester. Mamisoa has a passion for elephants, cooking, and helping people gain access to clean water. She cherishes family meals, laughter, and birthday celebrations. She is a firm believer that birthdays should always, always be celebrated. Follow Mamisoa on Twitter or her blog.
Megan wants to live in a world full of strong women, with a self-replenishing stash of dark chocolate and where “because I said so” actually is the answer. Over 12 years ago she and her husband made Rochester their home. She aptly uses her degree in physics to over-explain the answers to her childrens’ questions and do ridiculously elaborate science projects with preschoolers.
She is sherpa, chef, chauffeur and loving mother to Cara (13), Gillian (10), Jayce (3) and Addison (3). Being a mother of multiples and children spanning a decade in ages keeps her minivan rolling. She believes fiercely in the importance of nature, strong community, service to others and good coffee; she tries to experience them each day.
When not embracing motherhood, she helps her smokin’ husband with their business, North Pointe Dental. (Seriously, the man puts everything on the smoker, even eggs.) She loves to travel. When not in Rochester, she is most likely sinking her toes in sand somewhere.
SMelissa Meyers, along with her best friend a.k.a. husband John and two kids worked in Central Asia for ten years with a Christian development organization. Native to Minnesota in 2014, they returned to the greater Rochester area, where she proclaimed to her children, Malcolm (now 11) and Emily (8) it was time to learn “all things Minnesotan.”
She is a Neonatal Nurse at Mayo Clinic. Some of her adventures can be found at Thrive Connection, a magazine focusing on Global Women. As a family, building community, spending time at church, staying active, and screen-free times are top priorities.
Reading, drinking more coffee than is probably good for her, bird-watching, and painting pictures of coffee cups are her hobbies.
Nicole jumps at the chance to travel the globe but finds comfort upon returning home to the comfort and familiarity of her native Rochester. After attending the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities for her undergraduate degree in architecture, she skipped her graduation ceremony to marry a guy she met at a waterski show when she was 19. Nicole returned to the “U” to pursue her master’s degree, and this time walked in the ceremony despite giving birth two weeks before graduation. Her baby girl is now 12 years old, with a 10 year old biological brother and 10 year old adopted brother recently home from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In what is clearly a trend to fully integrate all aspects of life, she and her husband involve their kiddos in everything from politics to rehabbing old buildings. She feels strongly that work and travel and family and marriage are best enjoyed simultaneously, and that life is all the richer that way.
As a working/ volunteering/ care taking mom passionate about kids, women’s health, historic preservation and the arts, Nicole sits on several committees and boards in the Rochester area and loves nothing more than providing baked goods and themed cakes for any of the aforementioned causes.
Nicole thrives on copious amounts of coffee, a love/hate relationship with running, and searching real estate listings daily. Check out Nicole on Instagram for shots of her bulldog Lucy or follow her design blog Old Spaces New Places.
Sara spends her days attempting to corral two young boys and toddler daughter. Growing up bossing three younger brothers, she finds the task similar to childhood – difficult but not impossible! This year brings new challenges with the introduction of homeschooling and hockey practice. She grew up in Rochester and married her high school sweetheart. She loves living in Rochester surrounded by close family and friends. Sara chronicles the mundane and hilarious aspects of life and parenting on Instagram.
Growing up in a military family, Sara spent her childhood in eight different states before marrying her college sweetheart and settling in Rochester in 2011. Before embarking on healthcare careers, she and her husband both earned degrees in music, which they now put to good use harmonizing Disney lullabies for their three girls, Isla, Lily, and Amelia. She is passionate about yoga and backyard chickens, and will drop everything for a ladies’ night. Amidst the happy chaos that comes with having three kids in four years, she can often be found babywearing the youngest with a glass of wine in one hand and an Ina Garten recipe on the stove.
Music is my passion and writing is my outlet. Through both, I desire to be a positive influence in people’s lives. I live this out through my call as a minster serving at NewDay Covenant Church, as a volunteer at the Olmsted County Detention Center in a class for detainees I began called “Your Story / Your Song,” and as a song/writer currently working on “The Worthy People Project” in which I tell the stories of people who find themselves in the muck, mire and margins of life. I have three young children I swore I would never have and am married to a wonderful man who can build something out of absolutely nothing. We savor the simple things as we grow food, drink wine, laugh and roll down the windows to breath deep whenever we pass a freshly cut field of alfalfa. With an aversion to travel, I prefer to stay at home and let my thoughts do the wandering. I’ve called the Rochester area home since 2003. Visit Sarah Monson Music or stay updated by liking “The Worthy People Project” on Facebook.
Sarah moved to Rochester in 1997, fresh out of college and has not left. A few jobs later and considerably older, life is full, dirty and smelly. After growing up in Austin (MN) with her mom and sister, Sarah has been blessed with a house full of men. Sarah and her husband have been married for 15 years and together are raising 3 mighty men, Marcus, Maxwell and Mason.
If Sarah could give herself a nickname it would be Sporty Spice. Her entire life, career and passion, has revolved around sports and fitness. In the beginning it was coaching volleyball and basketball. Once as a teacher in the Rochester Public School, then as a health educator and wellness coach at the Mayo Clinic, and forever as a group fitness instructor and personal trainer, Sarah is helping others find a way to improve their health and wellness.
Recently, Sarah began working at Clements Subaru as a Product Specialist in addition to actively growing the Nguyen’s AdvoCare business. To label Sarah would be difficult because she has so many roles. Mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, fitness guru, entrepreneur, cook, chauffeur, schedule manager, swim mom, baseball mom…..to name a few. Life is full, life is dirty and at times really smelly. But she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Shari grew up near Rochester in tiny Millville, MN. After graduation she moved to Duluth to attend UMD, with big dreams of eventually moving East. Unbeknownst to her, life had other plans. She returned to the Rochester area after 5 years and began working at the Mayo Clinic.
As chance would have it she met her husband, Piyush, at the local Indian restaurant during a very embarrassing belly-dance performance! The rest, they say, is kismet. They married in 2009 on the beautiful shores of Lake Superior.
Before she met Piyush, Shari was a horrible cook. Luckily, that all changed. Once she was married, she started seeing food as a hobby instead of a chore– and that made all the difference. She enjoys learning about, making, eating and introducing her opinionated toddler to different foods and cuisines. She’s not one to discriminate (usually), but does have a soft spot for a spicy Indian curry and a steaming cup of chai!
Stacy grew up in Rochester, but spent the next several years of her life traversing the globe, temporarily setting down roots anywhere and everywhere. Stacy is extremely passionate about the world of adoption and foster care, having spent a year in Uganda adopting her oldest daughter in 2008. Now a wife to Jesse and mama to three little loves, aged ten to brand new, Jesse’s career brought their family back “home” in January. Stacy obtained a Master’s degree in child psychology in 2007, but currently uses it only on her own children! A stay-at-home mama since moving back to Rochester, Stacy has stayed busy keeping her children alive and relatively entertained. She loves her little crazy crew fiercely and is enjoying exploring Rochester through new eyes.
When she’s not chasing her kiddos, Stacy is likely traveling or daydreaming about traveling. She also enjoys coffee shops, silly amounts of “cop drama” shows, and perusing pinterest for ideas that have little chance of ever getting done. But they’re good to have. Just in case.
Steph is a newly-divorced momma originally from central Wisconsin, who has lived in the Rochester area for 8 years. She has a 4 year-old daughter named Sydney and a large lab named Gus, who is a bigger kid than the 4 year-old! Steph works full-time for a non-profit in Rochester as a social worker and studies for her Master’s Degree in social work during her (limited) free time.
She enjoys reading and pop culture crossword puzzles to keep her sharp! Also coffee, lots and lots of coffee. Which is essential, as she was recently diagnosed with Lupus, a chronic autoimmune condition. With this new diagnosis comes a new reality of parenting her child while managing a chronic illness. A journey she did not plan to take, but a necessary one to get back to the precipice of health.
Steph is passionate about learning and sharing helpful information with others, which is one of the reasons she applied to contribute to this Rochester MN Mom Blog community! She is learning how to slow down and take care of herself first, which is a new concept for this high-level multi-tasker. She hopes her candid and honest writings resonate with other mommas out there struggling with health issues and/or divorce and separation.
Tricia is a proud Stewartville native. She lives there with her husband, Tony, and two boys, Charlie and William. Tony and Tricia are raising their boys to love the great outdoors. In her “free time”, Tricia loves to read fiction, crochet silly projects for her boys, bake homemade bread or work on new Pinterest projects! Tricia is a teacher in Austin, MN. In the fall of 2016, she decided mom life, teacher life and wife life just wasn’t busy enough for her, so she went back to school to earn her Principal and Special Education Director licenses. Tricia likes to be on the go, but she always makes time to thank God for the wonderful blessings in her life. Follow Tricia on Twitter or Instagram.