Passionate About the Portland area
and the Moms Who Live Here

Meet the 2017 Contributors

Photography courtesy of the talented Lauren Allen Photography

Meet Our Team of Portland Writers

Amber

amberk

Amber is wife to her elementary school crush and mother to three kiddos, ages 7, 5, and 2. Having recently moved to Portland from California, Amber is embracing her “new normal” as she navigates parks in the rain (bring a towel), the line outside Pip’s Donuts (it’s worth it), and where to find good Mexican food (still searching).

As bio mom to her two oldest and adoptive mom to her youngest, special needs child, Amber understands and appreciates the importance of “me-time.” When she’s not wearing her “mom” hat and can get away for a couple of hours, Amber loves sipping on Chai while hunting mid-century treasures at local thrift and vintage shops. Though she enjoys planning family adventures exploring the PNW, Amber is just as happy on the couch, with her man and glass of wine, watching Parks and Rec re-runs. Keep up with Amber on Instagram and her personal blog: HerYesLegacy.com.

Chara

_2015_09_PMB_WebRes_5409sq

Chara loves the verdant, drizzly PNW and can often be found with her nose in a book. She is a wife and stay at home mom to four, three girls (11,9, & 7) and one boy (5). She does biblical counseling at her church and loves to come along side others as they navigate the deep waters of life. She holds a MSEd from Corban University and may return to teaching when all her kids are in school, but for now she enjoys freelance writing and speaking to women about motherhood, culture, and faith.

Chara savors the beauty of words and loves to give hers away, so that they may reach the hearts of others to offer hope for the diaper changing, the fight moderating, and the day to day mothering marathon. She longs to be a voice that says, “Hey, we are in this together, and there is room for us all.” You can find more from Chara at Anchored Voices.

Autumn

Autumn

Autumn is a Pacific Northwest native, born and raised in Seattle before moving to Portland at twenty-eight. She met her husband within a week of the move, graduated from PSU the following year, and now is the proud momma of one baby boy and one medium-sized mutt who she admits, is much more popular on Instagram than she is. Autumn has been an outdoors enthusiast her entire life, thanks to adventurous parents. She summited her first peak at age eight and hasn’t looked back. A firm believer in getting kids into nature, she is looking forward to including her little one on future wilderness forays.

Autumn’s husband is the chef at Portland’s well-loved Laurelhurst Market. A great dad who loves to cook at home, she clearly won the partner lottery as she can barely boil water without catastrophe. Autumn’s hobbies include hiking, camping, blogging, and battling her Instagram addiction.

You can follow Autumn’s blog at pnwmountainmommy.com and her baby-based Instagram at @pnwmountainmommy. Of course, if you want to go all in, you can also follow her dog @marmotthemutt and her personal outdoors account @adventurepony.

Leanne

leanne

Leanne is an Oregonian, born and raised. She spent the first 18 years of her life in adorable Corvallis, OR and then moved to Portland, where she’s been ever since. After 12 years of living in North Portland, she and her family made the looooong move to Happy Valley, where she is currently living in suburban bliss.

Everyone’s journey to motherhood is unique and Leanne’s began unexpectedly at the age of 23, when she found herself pregnant with her now 7-year-old son Tabor. After four years of doing the single mom thing (no small feat, to be sure), she met the love of her life on OkCupid. Ironically, Leanne and her husband James battled infertility for 18 months, but are now happily expecting twins at the beginning of 2017.

With her family almost doubling in size, Leanne isn’t anticipating much sleep over the next year. Which is too bad, because Leanne LOVES to sleep. But she’s looking forward to experiencing life’s newest adventures with James, Tabor, and 2 babies by her side.

Connie

letting go

Connie is a wife and stay at home mom to four. She holds a BA in Interpersonal Communications from Wheaton College in Illinois. Her family recently moved to the PNW from California, and are enjoying the opportunity to explore the beauty that surrounds them.

For over a decade Connie has been enjoying life along side my best friend and husband, Taylor. Their love multiplied and in a 5-year span added four children to their tribe. Margot, Ryken, Hudson and Lucy are the spice of her life. Her family is a beautiful gift that Connie continues to unwrap.

When she isn’t out exploring the beautiful PNW with her family, Connie can often be found reading or writing at Stoked Roasters & Coffeehouse in Hood River. The phenomenal coffee served there, paired with the breathtaking view of the Columbia is an invitation to come back often. Connie is motivated by, and built for relationships with others. She loves a good story, whether found in a book or hearing one from a friend face to face. Connie enjoys writing and some of her own stories can be found at conniearmerding.com  or on instagram @carmerding.

Jennifer M.

_2016_06_PMB_WebRes_Cropped_9840

Jennifer grew up in the Portland area and loves the rain, the trees, and especially the coffee. She is a work-from-home mom, primarily helping other writers with the launch of new books and also doing some freelance ghost writing. She met and married her husband, Nate, in 1998 and thanks God everyday that their whirlwind relationship worked out so well. They were happily raising their three kids together when, in 2012, they committed to legally adopting their young nephew. A week to the day after their nephew moved in they received the shock of their lives, discovering that they were also expecting again. They now have five children, two daughters ages 14 and 12, and three sons ages 8, 6, and 3. Jennifer has discovered that she finds great joy in her children and she and her husband speak often about growing their family again, likely through another adoption. In 2008 Jennifer moved across the river with her family so her husband could be closer to his job. Although she still thinks of herself as an Oregonian, she has fallen in love with the small Vancouver community in which she lives.

Jennifer truly believes that everyone has a calling and writes to inspire others to live out that calling. She shares book reviews, encouragement from her faith, and stories about her crazy, messy, beautiful life on her website jennifermclucas.com. She also loves to connect with friends on Facebook or Instagram.

Kathleen

Kathleen

After visiting family in Oregon as a young girl, Kathleen became smitten with the Pacific Northwest and decided that someday she would settle and raise a family in this rainy wonderland. Bitten by the travel bug, she went to college, travelled, studied and worked in Europe for 3 years. But upon her return to New Mexico where she grew up, she knew it was time to pursue that childhood dream. She moved to Portland in 2003 with her adventurous fiance (now husband) who she met on an elevator. She still pinches herself occasionally when she realizes how blessed they are to live in this amazing state.

Kathleen is mother to two entertaining children. The flexibility of her part-time job as a writing instructor at a local college allows her to work mostly from home, as well as home school her oldest child two days per week. When she’s not grading essays, wiping snotty noses, or picking up dog poo, she spends her time gardening, discovering hiking trails, teaching herself the fiddle, and exploring Oregon with her little brood.

Jody

sq_2015_09_PMB_WebRes_5391

Jody grew up in a small town in Central Oregon, graduated from Oregon State University, traveled to Africa for three months and, upon returning, moved to Montana to be near her then fiancé. They lived in Bozeman, Montana for nine years working on the Montana State campus in full-time ministry.

They now have lived in SE Portland for nearly six years, still work with a faith-based non-profit and have been married for 14 years. They have two beautiful kids. Their 8-year-old daughter is a miracle biological child after years of infertility, and their son (age 5) is a miracle child through the gift of adoption.

Jody loves living in beautiful Portland where flowers are always in bloom and there is always an adventure around the corner to be had. She loves Jesus, coffee, a good book, deep conversation with people she loves, being intentional to love those around her, hosting events in their backyard, sausage, beer, traveling, being a wife and mom. The beach is her happy place. She also blogs at jodymccomas.com about motherhood and ministry.

Katie

_2016_06_PMB_WebRes_Cropped_9806

Katie is a native of Portland, Oregon and lives in the Tigard area with her two young children and husband Rob. She is a cooking enthusiast, athlete, and a Graphic Designer by trade. She has spent the last 15 years learning about health and nutrition, mastering the art of healthy cooking for weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Her passion for food comes from her own experience losing weight and craving something delicious along the way.

She is the author of a cookbook, Eating Lean & Green, and she continues to write recipes on her blog eatingleanandgreen.com/blog. She writes with the intention to provide healthy alternatives for favorite foods that not only fuel your body, but taste good enough that you’ll want to share them with the people that you love.

Kendra

_2015_09_PMB_WebRes_5314sq

Kendra moved to Portland from the East Coast with her husband, Steve, and five-year-old daughter Karys in the summer of 2014. A middle school teacher for the last decade, Kendra now spends her days writing, training as a doula, making jewelry, and exploring Portland with Karys.

You can find her blog at kendrakarysma.wordpress.com and her Etsy store at etsy.com/shop/kendrakarysma.

 

 

Krista

_2016_06_PMB_WebRes_Cropped_0002-2

Krista is a stay at home mom to a rascally son lovingly referred to as AB (almost 7), and a wife to Scott, a bond-trader who works East Coast hours and keeps the household on an early to bed schedule!

Though she grew up on 6 country acres in a small town in California, Krista currently loves living in NE Portland and enjoying all that a walkable neighborhood offers. She has been in Portland for 14 years and can’t imagine living anywhere else (unless her dream of living in New York City for just one year comes true!)

Krista became a runner 4.5 years ago and can be seen, rain or shine, logging miles throughout the city and on Leif Erikson, her favorite trail. She ran New York City Marathon last November but finds the half-marathon to be her sweet spot. She is currently a running Ambassador for Every Mother Counts and has many races lined up this year. She also enjoys hanging out in her backyard and going for bike rides with her guys, reading, cooking, sipping wine with friends, shopping Farmers Markets, and searching the city for the best cheeseburger – which she hopes she never finds so she doesn’t have to stop looking!
Krista blogs about her running journey, motherhood and day to day life at foundchange.weebly.com.

Susan

susan_headshot

In 2010, when Susan and her daughter met Tom and his three kids, Susan knew right away that one day they would be one big, crazy-happy family. One year later her dream came true and thus began her new roll of wife and stepmom.  Then on Mother’s Day in 2015, the same year their oldest started college, Susan and Tom found out that they were expecting another child. Alice became the littlest of their crew in Dec. of 2015 and has filled their home and hearts with unimaginable joy.

The greatest gift bestowed to Susan is that of being a mother. She has worn many hats in her 43 years but being the mom to 5 amazing children is definitely the hat she wears with the greatest amount of pride.

Susan does not consider herself a natural writer but rather found the gift of writing as a tool to help her move through grief after her daughters, Anna and Abigail, went to Heaven due to a tragic accident in 2013. A dear friend set up a blog and gifted her an outlet to pour her broken heart.  She’s been writing ever since. She will forever be grateful for this gift as she has found that the written word along with her unwavering faith in God has allowed her to stay very connected to her daughters and their beautiful lives here and in Heaven.

You can find Susan’s blog at love-drenched-life.com and information about Love Rocks, a movement of love and joy that honors her daughters’ lives, at love-rocks.org.

Molly

sq_2015_09_PMB_Watermarked_5450

Molly is mother to two daughters: an 8-year-old girl who climbs everything and a 4-year-old girl who only wears undies. She grew up mostly in the rural areas outside of Portland but left for college in a slightly farther-away rural area. After finishing school with a degree in education, Molly taught emotionally-disturbed middle school students in Corvallis, OR. Next, she moved to Alaska where she met several emotionally-disturbed men but also her husband. They moved to Michigan for her husband’s school, then returned to Portland, which she vows never ever to leave.

Before becoming a full time mom, she worked as a behavior specialist in the school system, which is not as helpful as you would think when raising your own children. Molly volunteers as a garden coordinator, taking elementary school classes into an edible garden each week because hey, someone needs to do the weeding. Molly loves feeding her family good food and getting outdoors. While she is all in for parenting with intention, good cooking, Frye boots, and aspiring to a Martha-esque home, Molly freely admits she just isn’t all in for homemaking.

You can follow her frustrations and celebrations at Half Ass Homemaker.

Nadia

sq_2015_09_PMB_WebRes_5332-2

Nadia loves people. Like most moms, Nadia has worn many hats personally and professionally: mom, recruiter, teacher, sales professional, daughter, sister and maid to name a few

Her true passion involves helping people by developing their personal and professional skills (or brand) so they can be successful in their career. To do this, she works as a full-time high school teacher striving to educate productive citizens in society while working summers supporting people of all ages with career development.

She started writing to deal with the insecurities she felt as a mom navigating colicky diapers, poopy babies, constipated kids, messy houses and kids who won’t eat their vegetables. Now, she realizes everyone is figuring it out and it’s not so bad. She is most thankful for her parents who live five minutes away as free on-call babysitters (which comes with tons of unsolicited advice from grandma). In her free time (which barely exists), she loves to go to the park with her kids and loves Zumba.

Ranya

Ranya

Lebanese in origin, Ranya became a US citizen in 2007. Shortly after meeting Jeff through a job ad in Beirut in 2003, she moved to Portland to pursue a doctorate at PSU. From there, the two of them moved to the East Coast to begin their adventures. The last fourteen years have seen them in Portland, OR twice; in Arlington, VA twice, in Columbia, MD as well as Lebanon and Morocco.

In her current life, Ranya is a stay-at-home mom who loves to embark on special projects with her seven-year-old daughter. Their signature Mama-and-Me activity is going to high noon tea and hosting their friends for formal tea parties. She is trilingual, and is passing on the torch of language to her children who are fluent in English and Arabic.

Ranya is passionate about hot yoga, and is working on her 200-hour yoga teacher training. She enjoys long walks and long phone conversations. She absolutely hates driving, and reserves it for cases of dire need. She believes in the wonders of essential oils, and advocates for their daily use.

She lives a walking distance from her all-time favorite restaurant, Saburo, with Jeff, Jannah-Rae and four-year-old Yousef. They share their one-bathroom house with her parents and Leo, the Arabic-speaking cat.

Ranya writes thoughts, tots and essential oils on her blog Ranya, the Memory Keeper.

Samantha

_2016_06_PMB_WebRes_Cropped_9867

As a child, Samantha journaled, composed songs on the piano, and dreamed of someday becoming a travel writer like the character in The Accidental Tourist. Today, she writes grants for an international non-profit, teaches her kids to play piano, and relishes long walks alone so she can think. Having recently conquered her fear of public speaking, she now enjoys presenting to groups on a variety of subjects.

Born and raised in Salem, Oregon, Sam now lives in a 1950s ranch in Lake Oswego with her husband, three school age kids, and lots of extended family a stone’s throw away. Years ago, Sam studied English–and almost minored in Spanish–at Portland State University. Today, her kids enjoy a Spanish Immersion program in the public schools, and as a family they look forward to the day they can go overseas to a Spanish-speaking country.

Instead of vacations, Sam joins her husband on “runcations” as he conquers various marathons around the globe. Every year she tries to read more books than the year before, and when she’s not reading she enjoys pop culture, trends, and learning something new every day.

To connect with Sam, visit her on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.

Sara

_2016_06_PMB_WebRes_Cropped_9852

Sara is a self-dubbed “child of the Northwest” having grown up in various parts of Oregon and Washington. Aside from brief stints living in Bordeaux, France and upstate New York, Portland has been her home since college, and she feels at home in its unique combo of wackiness and environmental activism. Sara has been passionate about green living since she was a teenager sneaking recycle bins into the classrooms of teachers reluctant to follow the three Rs of reduce, reuse and recycle. Now as a mom of two energetic girl sprites disguised as children (aged 2 and 4) Sara spends her days balancing green living priorities with the realities of being a busy mom (kale in the mac n’ cheese!).

Life is short and parenting can be as challenging as it is beautiful. Sara is a firm believer in finding fun and meaning in everyday moments. Weekends you can find her hiking, making soup, doing yoga, reading or generally frolicking with her family. You can read about her adventures in green living on her blog, greenmindedmama.com and watch her as the Green Living Expert for More Good Day Oregon.

Jenny

Jenny headshot

Textbook extrovert. If there’s a stage, Jenny wants to be on it; whether it’s singing in church, doing stand-up comedy or acting. She has recently joined a cult called LuLaRoe. Her husband, David, is deeply concerned.

Jenny and David, a pastor, are recently celebrating eighteen years of marriage. After years of infertility, they became adoptive parents of two year old twin boys in 2014. They’ve never been happier or more exhausted. Every day is an adventure.

Jenny blogs at thefivestages.wordpress.com and has a regular feature in Tualatin Life newspaper called Everyday Heroes to celebrate those serving our community. She and her husband started a clothing line based on their story and you can check it out at bottlecapbadge.com.

There’s nothing we can’t do with a little bit of love and a whole lot of caffeine.

Heidi

Heidi

Heidi moved to Portland from sunny Southern California and is continually discovering the wonders of raising little ones in the PNW. She is a mom to Maia, almost 2, and her and her husband Greg are expecting their second baby this summer.

Prior to beginning the adventure of motherhood, Heidi received her Masters in cross-cultural studies and worked to assist survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Her love of learning led her to later complete her Masters in nursing. Heidi works part-time as a labor and delivery nurse allowing her to blend her passions and support women on their birthing journeys.

In the ever-evolving transition into motherhood Heidi, who is a registered yoga instructor, has numerous chances to practice her yoga everyday off the mat. Learning to be present to the magical moments of mini dance parties, soaking up the sweet sound of hearing “I love you momma” and watching her little one grow amidst the constant flow of diapers, dishes and laundry is a continued practice. In this beautiful chaotic season with tiny ones, Heidi hopes to cultivate balance and joy in her various roles while staying engaged with the non-profits she enjoys volunteering with.

Wynter

wynter

Wynter is wife to Jonathan and mama to Chloe, Adaya and Liam. She is a writer, artist, a lover of stories, an avid gardener, TV watcher and chocolate-covered cherries addict.

In 2012, she self-published her first book, The Secret Inside Me, a memoir about an unplanned pregnancy at twenty years-old and her journey to choosing adoption. She founded the Made to Mother Project in 2013 to encourage, support and inspire women all over the world by sharing their diverse stories of motherhood.

You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.