Meet the Rochester MN Moms Blog Writing Team
Amanda is a lifelong resident of the Rochester area (except for a brief three-month period in which she tried to live in the Metro area, but the traffic was a bit overwhelming. Please don’t make her go back there). When she's not navigating the labyrinth of parenting a teen, a tween, and a first grader, you can find her rocking out as the worship leader at Homestead Church, and with her band Sterling and the Silver Lining. Amanda met her husband Brandon back in 1991, in the second grade (but if you ask her, she didn’t really like him back then!) They married nineteen years later, in 2010. On that unseasonably warm October day, Brandon went from bachelor to stepfather of three. He adopted Amanda’s youngest son in 2014. Amanda’s other hobbies include going on Paranormal Investigations with her husband, reading, painting, and sleeping.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.Bethany is a wife, mom to a two-year-old firecracker, part-time barista, full-time research junkie, and natural living nerd. She is passionate about intentional motherhood, minimalism, and really anything that leads to a better life for herself and those around her. She is originally from the Pacific Northwest and loves doing everything she can to help people find crunchy resources here in Med City. She blogs about her unexpected adventures in life over at Things I Never Planned, and you can connect with her about her love of essential oils on her Young Living team page! She also spends a ridiculous amount of time drinking coffee, reading books, and dreaming about the day she can travel anywhere she wants to.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, Zakiyah, and Keza, 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 two year old son and six year old golden doodle. When Cristin isn’t teaching barre and yoga classes at FireFly Barre Fitness or preschool at Aldrich Memorial Nursery School, she loves to travel, read a good book and drink red wine. She’s passionate about health & wellness, kombucha, interior design 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 lake-house. A creative spirit, Cristin is notorious for being an idea generator who’s constantly searching for her next project!Danica is a Minnesota native, so after living in the San Francisco Bay Area for a couple of years, her and her husband returned home to Minnesota with their son. They’re thrilled to have their child(ren) grow up in this community. Danica has an Education degree and taught preschool for a bit before pursuing a new career in health and family care. She now serves the Rochester area as a Birth Doula and Holistic Health Coach through her business Danica Buss Birth Services, and she’s part of Rochester’s Doula agency, MedCity Doulas. She’s passionate about supporting women in their journey to and through motherhood. Danica loves reading, exercising, being outside in the sunshine (winter isn’t her favorite), baking new recipes, and spending as much time with her family as possible.Elise grew up in NW Iowa and met her husband, Jeff, while attending Luther College. Over the past 12.5 years, the two have been lucky enough to try out a few different communities in SE MN before settling in Kasson. Elise is blessed to be the mama two energetic boys: Luke (2016) and Gable (black lab 2009). She treasures any amount of time spent with friends and family; whether it be in person, on the phone, texting or any social media avenue. In her spare time, you can find Elise devoted to her full-time career in laboratory science, developing leadership skills, and networking across her interests.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. 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. Follow along with Hannah on her blog, Dreams of Adventure.Things Heather loves: blue skies, green grass, trees rustling in the wind. Heather is a country girl through and through. She grew up on 10 acres of rolling countryside in SE Iowa. Over their 7 years of marriage, Heather and her husband (Ted) have lived in 3 different states. But Heather grew tired of the big, grey city so, in 2013, they moved to Rochester (Ted’s hometown) for some green Minnesota living. Fast forward a few short years and she now has two bustling boys – Everett (3) and Judah (14mos). Heather also loves food. Full disclosure - she eats ice cream nightly! She is a registered dietitian and is passionate about how she feeds her family. In order to stay home with her boys, only a year ago she became a licensed family childcare provider. She feeds her daycare family with the same enthusiasm. Her goal is to provide readers with practical tools so they may also feed their families well. Need help feeding your kids? Check Heather out at Flourishing Friends!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.Jessica is a Twin Cities native and a stay-at-home mom to her three kids, Theo (born in 2012), Rosie (born in 2013), and TJ (born in 2015). She has lived in Plainview, MN since September of 2014 when her husband, Nick, became the Associate Pastor of a church in Plainview. Before that they lived in Louisville, KY while Nick attended seminary. Jessica and Nick are high school sweethearts and were married in June of 2010. It sure was a busy first few years of marriage! Settling down in the Rochester area has been a blessing for their family after moving five times in five years. She is a coffee connoisseur and loves to try out local spots; however, she will always have a special place in her heart for Caribou. Aside from all things coffee related, she likes to travel and go on dates with her hubby, antique shop, paint and redo furniture, and watch movies (especially old classics and musicals). She’s also busy homeschooling now and offers daycare for a local family. You can read more about her family life and hobbies on her personal blog.A Rochester native, Jodie met her husband Brian at a college party during a lively set of cards. Together they have shared the joy and challenge of parenting 2 boys, Benjamin and Christian, who are now young adults ready to show the world what they can do. Her family shared a school year with an exchange student named Silvia from Slovakia in 2014 who they can't wait to reunite with, and for the last few years have had the privilege of being unofficial parents to a young lady named Jacqulyn. Most recently Jodie and Brian were able to unite their family with yet another, and have made a lifetime of memories through a surrogate pregnancy. 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. You can learn more about her work at Nurtured Momma. 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 are busy parents to 3 boys (born in 2011, 2014 and 2017). 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 University. She’s glad to have established roots here in the Med City with Matt and their daughters Gracelyn and Maeva. 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 Christmas. She cherishes family meals, laughter, and birthday celebrations. She is a firm believer that birthdays should always, always be celebrated.Marnie and her husband, Brent — Minnesota natives and high school sweethearts — call Rochester home with their son, Gordon (born June 2017). A recent stay-at-home Mom, Marnie finds herself babbling, giggling and singing like a baby all while teaching her baby boy how to grow. To stay sharp and connected, Marnie freelances for marketing communication services where she exercises her brain in new ways. A passionate do-it-yourselfer, she finds herself behind a pair of safety goggles, prepping for wood, tile and art projects. Marnie loves designing spaces and shopping for home decor and her pantry is full of homemade canned goods. Her happy place? Up North at their family cabin on Lake Carlos near Alexandria.Masuka was born in the USA when her parents were students and grew up in Nairobi, Kenya. She has been married for 23yrs to her childhood sweetheart Robert and have three children Michael, Benjamin and Victoria. Besides managing a busy household, Masuka is also a registered labor and delivery nurse at Olmsted Medical Center. She loves her job and for fun she loves to paint rooms and has been learning how to speak Korean. Masuka and her identical twin are married to brothers. In the summer, Masuka and her children can be found jumping and doing somersaults on the trampoline in the backyard. She says she will do it until she cannot do it anymore.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 (2005) and Emily (2008) 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.Michelle is a solo parent of a kindergartener named Jonah and a pre-k student named Cleopatra. The mantra that has empowered her most is, “If I don’t do it, who will?”. She is a self-employed as a childhood literacy advocate. She is an ambassador for Barefoot Books and runs the Facebook page Barefoot Books with Michelle. She is a member of the PTSA at Rochester Montessori School and C.U.R.E. (Communities United for Rochester Empowerment). When she isn’t standing up for others, she can be found baking in the kitchen with her children, hiking, sharing stories, bussing her kids to and from after-school activities, and drinking unusual amounts of coffee.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 was born and raised in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and has been married to her camp crush, Steve, for 13 years. Together with their three energetic children (born in 2009, 2011, and 2014), they live in Stewartville under a layer of white fur from their lovable lab, Asia. Sara is an online science teacher, and also recently earned her certification as a personal trainer. She has a hard time sitting still, and can often be found working out, completing a DIY project around her house, cooking, playing piano, or participating with InStep Ministries at her church. As an introvert, Sara cherishes time alone sipping coffee, but is also more than happy to partake with a friend. You can follow her on Instagram or Facebook, where she shares healthy living tips.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. Read more from Sara on her blog, Everyone Romaine Calm.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 was born and raised in Stewartville. After spending her college years, and then some, in Wisconsin, she moved back to God's country in 2011 to marry her hubby Tony and begin their family. She stays very busy with her two boys, Charlie (2013) and William (2015), and daughter, Lucy (2018). Tricia is a mom on the go. You can usually find her with a babe strapped to her back or a stroller in tow in search of the next adventure. This family of 5 enjoys exploring the amazing state parks Minnesota has to offer, especially along the Northshore. When Tricia is kid free, she enjoys crocheting, reading and perfecting her bread baking. After 5 wonderful years in the classroom, Tricia took her teaching hat off to stay at home with her kiddos and run an in-home daycare. Even though Tricia keeps her family hopping, she makes sure they take the time to thank God for their blessings every day.