Des Moines Moms Blog is made up of a group of amazing women who share their stories, wisdom, and ideas. You can learn more about Andrea and Kara, the co-owners of DMMB, here.
Meet the Des Moines Moms Blog Executive Team
Kayla is a full-time journalist turned work-at-home mom to four young kids. Her oldest son joined her family via international adoption, two more sons joined the old-fashioned way, and her sweet daughter completed their family via a domestic special needs adoption.
Kayla has been hitched for 10 years to her husband Jonny, who pastors The Bridge church in Johnston. She cares deeply about living an authentic life of faith and her heart beats for amplifying voices of those who are often unheard. Kayla attended Drake University.
When she’s not changing dirty diapers and refereeing lightsaber duels, she enjoys hammering out stories and recording episodes of Upside Down Podcast, where she co-hosts conversations on life and faith. She shares glimpses into her chaos on her micro-blogging drug of choice, Instagram.
Nicole grew up in Quincy, Illinois, before studying Visual Communications at Iowa State University. After over a decade of living in Portland, Oregon, she now calls Waukee home with her husband, two girls, and a constantly shedding yellow lab. She is passionate about food and is constantly regretting her dedication to homemade meals when it comes time to wash the dishes. When not cleaning, she enjoys gardening and exploring the metro area and beyond.
Social Media Coordinator
Megan doesn’t really fall into any one mom category. With three kids from ages 3 to 10, she’s been a working mom and a stay-at-home mom. She’s breastfed and bottle fed. She’s kept kids on strict sleeping schedules in their own beds and also embraced the benefits of co-sleeping. She’s a big believer in finding what works for you and your kiddo (and it’s often different for each kid).
Megan is an Iowa native and lives in Ankeny with her husband Darren. They love to travel and are often planning their next road trip (even it’s a year away). They also enjoy entertaining and are famous among their friends for throwing big bashes to celebrate the Olympic Games. But her everyday life is mostly comprised of playdates, trips to the park, and trying to stay ahead of the never-ending laundry pile.
Anissa moved to Johnston in 2016 after living in Iowa City for more than 20 years. She has two girls, Faith (15) and Fiona (9). She and her husband, Patrick, have been married for 21 years. Anissa is a registered dietitian and currently works part-time as a wellness coach for the YMCA. For fun she loves to clean, organize, read, and binge watch Netflix. Her vices include watching the “Real Housewives” franchises and doughnuts!
Becky grew up in Iowa and moved to Waukee in 2009 after she and her husband, Russ, settled into teaching jobs in the Metro. She and Russ have been married since June 2006 and have three boys, Henry (2010), Wesley (2013), and Calvin (2015). She teaches in Waukee and loves the small town feel that one of the fastest growing zip codes in the U.S. has to offer. Becky enjoys spending time with her boys, blogging at ByBMG, keeping up with fashion and make-up, making crafts that can be accomplished in a nap time, and “vacations” to Target.
Brianne Sanchez is a writer and community engagement professional who calls herself an “Iowan by Choice.” A transplant from Chicagoland, she moved to Des Moines in 2007 and acquired a house, husband, dog, son Emmett (June 2013) and Eileen (October 2015), which means she now has deep roots in this place.
Brianne blogs at bsinthemidwest.com and is a frequent contributor at DSM Magazine. When she finds free time, she spends it crafting, reading, hiking, biking, and volunteering, but never cleaning.
Brittney and her husband, Tyler, have been married for 10 years and live in Ames. Their two sons, Beckett (5) and Hudson (3), keep them on their toes with constant wrestling, dinosaur-related questions and daily inquiries as to when their next trip to get ice cream will be.
Brittney works full time in marketing and communications. She likes to bike (the kind with pedals), visit family, hang out with friends, be in or on water – and always has good coffee and red wine on hand.
Christine claims to be the “World’s Okay-est Mom” and discovered the key to finding joy in motherhood: grocery delivery. Well, grocery delivery and knowing “B is a good grade”!
She and husband, Michael, have three funny kids – York (2004), Tess (2006) and Jack (2008) – and Team Meggison loves reading books aloud together when they aren’t at ball games, play rehearsals, and dance recitals. Christine is a Central College graduate and work-from-home mom, living in Grimes and worshiping at Lutheran Church of Hope where she is a regular speaker for Hope’s monthly worship service for moms – MOMentum. Christine is a speaker, author, blogger, and podcaster and hopes to encourage other women to live authentic, imperfect lives in community together. Connect with Christine at christinemeggison.com.
Erika Stevenson grew up in San Antonio but has made her home in Des Moines for 15 years. She and her husband, Darin have been married for 14 years and live in a turn-of-the-century home in the heart of Des Moines where they raise Lucy (10), Collin (8) and Nora (4). Erika first became a mom to Lucy in an open domestic adoption and eventually gave birth to Collin and Nora. When she’s not busy with home-school lessons, laundry, and meal-planning, she loves to sew, knit, and read.
Erin a wife to Scott and mom to Solon (8), Vera (6) and Lucy (2). Their family is currently in the process of adopting a little boy from China. Her heart’s passion is to encourage and connect with women in her local community and via her blog, Simple Purposeful Living. She loves to find adventure with her family, laugh everyday, and find the bright side in life.
Born and raised in Central Iowa, Haylie feels so lucky to still call Des Moines my home. As a full-time working mom of two girls, wife, and lover of the many events Des Moines hosts, her weekends are never empty. While it’s easy to get caught up in their day to day routine and social calendar, she appreciates a laid-back night of sweats, great company, and good wine most. She is so grateful that her life has been filled with amazing memories, but her short, humbling journey of motherhood has by far been her greatest adventure.
Jennifer is a single mom to two active boys, Spencer (2005) and Elliott (2009). She grew up in the Des Moines area, received her degree in Elementary Education from Iowa State University, and married right after college. Throughout her 12-year marriage, she lived and worked as a teacher in Norwalk, Iowa; Dubuque, Iowa; and Houston. A separation and divorce brought her and her two boys back to West Des Moines to be close to family. Divorce is the last thing she wanted for herself or her boys.
Although that was a very painful and hard season of life, with a little help and a LOT of faith, she feels that it has made her a stronger, healthier person. She hopes now that she is no longer a victim of domestic abuse, but a survivor, she can take this experience and use it to help others who find themselves in her situation. When she is not teaching 6th grade, she loves spending time with her boys, being active, cooking, advocating, and being involved in her church.
Jessica is a stay-at home mama to sweet and spunky little Ava. She’s usually running on espresso shots and roaming the aisles of Target. She’s married to her best friend PJ, and lives in the heart of Des Moines. In her free time, you’ll find her lying in bedbinge-watchingg Netflix, spending minimal time in the gym, or reading a good book.
Jessie is a talkative storyteller who makes friends everywhere she goes. She is married to a Colorado native and together they have four beautiful children: Leela, Cora, Lincoln, and Theodore. Her son Lincoln is a pediatric-cancer survivor and caring for him has earned her the title of momcologist.
A teacher by trade, Jessie loves to collaborate with others. In her free time Jessie enjoys movies and popcorn with her family, browsing the aisles at Target, and trying to find an excuse to eat out.
Kara Swanson is a mom of two little girls, certified nutritionist, recipe developer, and meal plan creator at Life Well Lived. Her passion is to show that eating clean and healthy is not only simple but also really delicious. Life is crazy and Kara loves making the food part for moms a no-brainer by sharing quick and easy meals for those busy weeknights. No more boring chicken and broccoli. Come say hi and follow along on instagram @karaswanson where Kara shares all her fave recipes and tips for living a healthier life.
Katie is married to her high school sweetheart, Wes. They have two energetic elementary aged boys. They love to explore Des Moines, travel around the country, and do anything sports related together! She owns her own birth and postpartum doula business, The Iowa Baby Lady, and loves serving mothers in the area as they grow, birth, and mother their babies with confidence!
Kimberly is a Northwest Iowa native, a Drake University graduate, and a fan of all things Des Moines. She is a girly girl who grew up and became a boy mom and is now an expert on all types of construction equipment and big machines. She shares her Des Moines home with hubby Sam (2006) and sons Jack (March 2014) and Henry (December 2016). Kimberly studied magazine journalism in college, spent 10 years working for a newspaper, and recently joined the digital marketing world. In her abundant (and almost nonexistent) free time she enjoys writing about mom life, drinking coffee, documenting time with family and friends, starting Shutterfly projects she rarely finishes, doing Crossfit, and daydreaming about future decorating and crafting projects.
Liz is mom to preschooler Jonah and toddler Gwendolyn. She married Troy after a 13-year love story, and they moved to Des Moines in 2009. A teacher on maternal hiatus, Liz prefers reading to housekeeping and uses West Wing reruns to settle her mind. She believes any problem can be solved with fiction but loves to explore her reality in Des Moines.
Liz is a wife and mamarazzi who enjoys decorating, shopping way too much for kid clothes, adventuring around Des Moines, and trying unsuccessfully to stick to any semblance of a workout routine. She runs on a cycle of coffee and red wine and shares a little more of her home and the stories within it over at LifeInYellow.
Nicole grew up in Iowa and graduated college, moved to West Des Moines, and got married in 2007. After working in the corporate world for a few years she became a stay at home mama in 2010 (then again in 2012 and 2014). She spends her days refereeing sibling squabbles, going on adventures with her kids, buying stock in Band-Aids, and wondering how everything in her house got so sticky.
Nicole owns Sweet Harper Designs where she creates handmade signs and blogs about anything crafting/DIY related. When she isn’t in mom mode Nicole likes to be creative, enjoy girls’ night outs, and binge watch Netflix with her husband.
Niki grew up in Earlham, Iowa, and now lives with her husband Ryan, daughter Riley, and son Merritt in Johnston. Riley has an observant stare that inspired the Facebook page Riley Is Not Impressed. Niki is an assistant director of public relations, social media at Drake University where she runs the university’s main social media accounts. She is also the director of the world-famous Beautiful Bulldog Contest. She has an Olde English Bulldog named Dexter, but he is ineligible to compete because she already knows he’s the most beautiful bulldog.
Niki serves as President on the Board of Directors for Animal Lifeline of Iowa, which is a special needs, no-kill animal shelter. Niki is a two-time graduate of Drake University with a bachelor’s in journalism (2008) and a Master’s in Communication Leadership (2015).
Sarah stopped through Des Moines while moving from NYC en route to Chicago. She quickly met the love of her life and, after a marriage proposal in a hot air balloon over the bridges of Madison County, ended up planting roots in Iowa! Now a mama to four amazing kiddos ages 9, 8, 6, and 1, she spends most of her time running to doctor appointments, choir rehearsals, and swimming lessons. When not on official mom duty, Sarah can be found teaching English online, directing a youth show choir or teaching private music lessons. She strives to always make a difference while keeping a smile on her face and a mocha in her hand.
Shay is wife to a self-proclaimed IT nerd and mama to two daughters, Sophia (5) and Saidey (2). She is a licensed mental health therapist providing addiction and mental health services to children, adolescents, and adults. She finds herself continually searching for the balance between work and home, and although life can get a little hectic, she wouldn’t have it any other way!
You can find Shay blogging over at Three Gals and a Guy, writing, reading, binge-watching Netflix and reality TV, and spending time with family and friends. Shay and her family have set their roots in West Des Moines and enjoy lots of trips to Target, cooking, reading, and enjoying all the fun activities that the community offers! They also have a healthy banter between which team is better — the Cyclones or Hawkeyes — and of course, the Cyclone side always wins out!
Shelly is a Dubuque, Iowa, native who is currently living in West Des Moines with her husband Todd (August 2014), their daughter Sofia (July 2017), and their pup named Mister.
Shelly has a BFA in Graphic Design from Iowa State and currently works as an Art Director at Meyocks. Her nights are spent navigating life as a new mom, while also running a small online apparel company called Shell Yeah! Design. Aside from that, Shelly enjoys strong coffee, being creative, random girls’ nights, DIY projects, Crossfit, red wine, healthy baking, and ice cream.
Stacie is an Iowa native, living in Urbandale with her tall, dark, and handsome husband, Kyle (May 2014). They share their home with the light of their life, their son, Calvin (August 2015) and his two doggie brothers. By day, Stacie is the Director of Development for Animal Lifeline of Iowa. By night, she’s a toddler chaser, Pinterest-recipe chef, Instant-Pot creator, thrift-shop find make-over artist, DIY project amateur who enjoys reading, hanging out with her guys, and an occasional girls’ night out.
Always up for taking on new roles, Steph is a hobby enthusiast and now enjoys sharing her varied interests with her amazing, silly, sometimes-adventurous step-kids Olivia and Wyatt. Exploring outdoor spaces and coming up with messy science experiments are favorite family pastimes. Steph is a life-long Iowan, Des Moines area resident since 2006, and happily settled down with husband Alan in 2015. She has a couple different gigs including an adjunct instructor at DMACC and graduate student at the University of Iowa School of Social Work, but step-parent is (usually) the most fun.