Passionate About the Corridor
and the Moms Who Live Here

Meet the Cedar Rapids Moms Blog Contributor Team

Photography courtesy of Afton Marie Photography

Meet the Cedar Rapids Moms Blog Owner

Kaitlyn Swaim

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Kaitlyn is an Iowa girl who has been married to her husband, Joshua, since 2007! She’s a busy work-at-home mama to their five children: three girls and two boys! A true Hawkeye, she graduated from the University of Iowa with her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, something that comes in handy on a daily basis while trying to raise five kids! She is passionate about motherhood and connecting moms to one another. Her favorite things to do include spending time with her family, cheering on the Hawkeyes, reading a good book, shopping (of course!), and checking out all the activities the Corridor has to offer!

Meet the Cedar Rapids Moms Blog Contributor Team

Amy Lovseth

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Managing Editor

Amy is a mama to three little girls with big personalities. Five-year-old twins, Julia and Emily, and their three-year-old sister, Madelyn, make sure that even on the rough days, there is still something to smile about. Since no houseplant has ever survived their home, pets are not an option. Before babies, Amy loved teaching third grade in Marion where she lives with her children and husband, Barry. After the goodnight hugs and kisses are done for the day, you can find her doing something crafty, taking an online photography class, or making photo books for family.

Brittney McNutt


Event Coordinator

Brittney is a wife and mama to three.  She was born and raised in Cedar Rapids. Shortly after she and her husband were engaged, they moved to the Philadelphia area with their two daughters, Paris and Sophia. In the four years that they lived on the east coast, they moved four times due to her husband’s job, got married in Iowa, and welcomed their third child, a baby boy named Marz! Shortly after Marz was born, they decided it was time to move back to Iowa to be closer to family.  When Brittney isn’t running her 13- and 11-year-old around to their activities or doesn’t have her 11-month-old on her hip, she loves experimenting with new recipes, date nights with her husband, party planning, learning about photography, hanging out at Brewhemia, and binge watching Netflix on the couch with popcorn and a glass of red wine. Brittney is passionate about her faith, being a wife and mom, and making connections with other moms throughout Cedar Rapids.

Amanda Larson


Amanda is a planaholic Cedar Rapidian who is a working wife and mother. She met her husband, Nick, while they were both playing college basketball at Upper Iowa University. They returned to Cedar Rapids after graduation and were married in 2010. They have a 5-year-old son Jimmer, 1-year-old son Jordy, and a baby girl named Jerzy. Amanda is a Business Analyst with United Fire Group, where she has been since 2007. She enjoys all things sports, working out, performing in local theatre productions, and anything that involves her family and friends.

Ashley Caton

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Ashley lives in a world of organized chaos. She lives by her color-coded calendar and love of bullet-coffee. Ashley and her husband, Tom, have been married for 10 years. They have four, crazy beautiful children: Jordan (11), Nina (9), William (7), and Rico (6). They keep busy taking kids between sports and church activities. Did she mention they also have 3 dogs, an indoor cat, and several outdoor kitties? It just adds to the marvelous chaos that is The Caton Family! In addition, Ashley also works part time as a NICU nurse.

Jaclyn Richmond


Jaclyn is an Iowa native with roots in the Midwest, but a heart full of wanderlust. She loves to run, read and travel. She and her husband, Mark, have 3 daughters (11, 9, and 6) and an incredible baby boy in Heaven. She spends her days split quite evenly between teaching Spanish at Xavier High School and taxiing her girls around CR as they try to find their passions. She’s a firm believer that it’s not joy that makes us grateful, but rather gratitude that makes us joyful.

Cassidy Davis


Cassidy is an Iowa native that spends her days working at Frontier Co-op supporting the sales of their brands in natural food stores across the country. She spends her evenings running her seven year old son to year round soccer, and her five year old daughter to weekly gymnastics. In her spare time she crochets hats to pay for her tuition where she is studying aromatherapy. If she has any extra time at the end of the day you can find her snuggled up on the couch with her favorite guy, or in the gym trying to still be a fitness enthusiast amidst the all the busy. She fuels all of it with an addiction to coffee and dark chocolate!

Jessica Lyon


Jessica is a newcomer to Cedar Rapids, and the Midwest in general. Before moving to Iowa with her husband and daughter, she lived in Utah. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Elementary Education. She left the classroom behind when her daughter was born and since transitioned into a full-time stay at home mom and hasn’t looked back since! In her spare time, you’ll find her cooking, cleaning, baking, or lazing around watching Netflix in her sweats.

Elizabeth Kreher


Elizabeth is a personable, outgoing mom living in Cedar Rapids and working as a high school counselor. She met her husband, Ryan, in high school, but were friends for several years. They started dating while they were both at the University of Iowa and have been married since 2009. After enjoying 5.5 years as a married couple with only a dog to be responsible for, they added to their family in November 2014 when their daughter Elin was born. They welcomed their second daughter, Myla, in October 2016. In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys being outside, reading, traveling, attempting to be crafty, running, cheering on the Hawkeyes and spending time with family and friends. She’s loved seeing Cedar Rapids through the lens of a mom and all our city has to offer for families.

Kailee Meskimen

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Kailee is a crunchy mom with a passion for natural living, writing, cooking and traveling the world. She spends her days working for Frontier Co-op as a Content Manager and with her daughter, Stella, husband, Cole and dog, Jax. She has lived in Cedar Rapids most of her life and loves the “big city, yet small town” feel. Although her journey to pregnancy and parenthood didn’t come easy, Kailee and Cole are taking it by the horns – every laugh, breakdown, cry, face palm, and memory that comes with it.

Courtney Dayton


Courtney likes to describe herself as a lover of lists and post-its, all things nerdy, and as an all-around pretty awesome person. She lives in Marion with her husband, Jon, their two sons, and their two crazy cats. Both of her boys are rainbow babies, with Everett arriving in December 2013, and Hendrix in March 2016. Courtney is a Penn State graduate, and currently works as a case manager for a state agency. Aside from attempting to be successful at this parenting thing, Courtney likes to binge watch Netflix, attempt all things from Pinterest, and dream about the day where she will be able to eat dairy again and sleep through the night (though in her mind, cheese can definitely come first).

Brenda Saville


Brenda is a working wife and mother of 3 daughters. Almost an empty-nester, Brenda will be adjusting to a quieter home-life by trying her hand at writing about her motherhood experiences. She attended the University of MN-Duluth with a Bachelor of Applied Arts Degree in Art and Interior Design graduating in 1986 and marrying her husband of 26 years, Scott in 1990. After moving around a bit for her husband’s job, they settled in Cedar Rapids for good in 1996. Currently working as a high school secretary and holding down a part-time job as well, Brenda still finds time to enjoy her daughters’ track meets, scrap-booking, tending to her 2 dogs Tucker and JJ, and attempting to show some swagger in Zumba class!

Ingrid Glessner


Ingrid is a small town Iowa girl loving life in Cedar Rapids. Soon after marrying, she and her husband Jon witnessed the incredible need for foster parents in Cedar Rapids. In July 2013, they welcomed home their son, and later his sister, which resulted in the adoption of both of their precious children in 2015. They just had their third child, a baby girl, this year! If she’s not having dance parties with her kiddos and sweet husband Jon, then you will find Ingrid writing, encouraging women as a local heart coach, and styling hair as result of her former career in cosmetology. 

Jess Wygle

Jess Wygle

Jess is a born and raised Iowan who has lived in Vinton for the past 10 years.  She has two children, 8-year-old Landon and 3-year-old Fynnlee.  Jess attended Kirkwood and UNI and now operates an in-home daycare.  She considers herself an independent author and has self-published a few eBooks.  She enjoys attending Landon’s sporting events, spending time with her family, as well as writing and reading in her free time.

Madeline Greene


Madeline is an Iowa transplant from deep in the heart of Cajun country – south Louisiana that is! She and her husband Josh moved to the Cedar Rapids area (Ely!) nearly 4 years ago. They have two little girls, Ellis (3) and Emerson (10 months). She once considered living in Iowa to be a short-term season…until she fell in love with the community that she and Josh built here. Now, they are laying down roots and raising their family! She has recently become a stay-at-home mom who often strives to find that elusive unicorn called “balance.” Madeline would describe her self as a lover of the outdoors, public speaking, spicy food, deep heart-to-heart conversations, ministry, NAPS, and “momming”! She is passionate about her faith and her people! 

Jeannie Kutz


Jeanni is originally from Minnesota and has called Iowa home since 2015 . She is mom to 4 littles; Max (12), Ruby (5), Violet (3), and Olive (2). After a career as an early childhood teacher for 7 years, Jeanni is now proud to be working as a full time mom. The bitter sweet emotions of watching her children grow motivated her to pick up a camera and become a photographer. Photography is her heart’s work and she loves to capture joyful, natural moments. She also has a deep love for her husband Brad, a strong cup of coffee, the color white, and all things vintage.

Kaitlin Kuehner


Kaitlin was born and raised in small-town Center Point, Iowa and grew up across town from her high school sweetheart, Jordan. They didn’t go far, as they both attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids, getting married just a month after graduating. They now live in Marion with their 2-year-old daughter, Ella, Golden Retriever, Millie, and are adding twins to their family this summer! With a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a passion to teach and help others, Kaitlin is studying at the University of Iowa in the Masters of Teaching Science program. When she’s not in class or teaching piano lessons from her home, her favorite thing in life is staying home with her daughter. If she can ever find a spare minute, she also enjoys the outdoors, scrapbooking, cooking, party planning, and German chocolate cake. Though life is jam-packed right now, she wouldn’t have it any other way!

Katie Ripke

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Katie is a mama of two rambunctious, sweet, cuddly and highly energetic boys. Growing up in Mount Vernon, Iowa, she briefly left the area to attend college at the University of Northern Iowa, and had a brief stint living in Chicago before settling down in Lisbon with her husband Bryan. Katie has been in the marketing field for over 10 years and is currently a marketing manager for an area health care organization. When she is not balancing life as a working mom, Katie enjoys binging on Netflix/Hulu, learning about all things boy and squeezing in a workout from time to time. Her current addictions include coffee, LaCroix, and cookies.

Lindsay Talsness

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Lindsay grew up in Cedar Rapids and is surprised and delighted to find that she lives here as an adult. She’s been married to a really great guy named Christian for 10 years and during that time, they’ve added three amazing kids to their family – Eadie (7), Graham (5), and Greta (2). Lindsay has spent time working as a content strategist, freelance writer, stay-at-home-mom, and now a new adventure – homeschooling! When she’s not reenacting the Boston Tea Party for her kids with stuffed animals and fruit snacks, she loves being active outside, watching baseball games, reading great books, and having friends over for any reason at all. At the end of the day, Lindsay hopes she consistently lives out her faith, builds a strong family culture, and encourages moms around her in a meaningful way.

Lindsey Blocker

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Lindsey is married to her husband Nick, and is a mother to nine-year-old b/g twins, Emerson and Brayden, and boxador puppy, Legend.  They are transplants from the Quad City area and have lived in Cedar Rapids since last fall. She works full time as a four-year-old preschool teacher and is currently taking classes online to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management. In her free time, Lindsey enjoys working out, reading, writing, staying active with the kids and attending all of their extra-curricular activities, watching her teams on TV (in all sports!), and traveling as a family when they find the time. She looks forward to what the future holds and continuing to learn about the Cedar Rapids community!

Megan Moore

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Megan was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, where she met her husband Thomas while attending high school. Megan attended Mount Mercy University and completed her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. After college Megan began working as a nurse at Mercy Medical Center and soon moved into their first home in Benton County, with their dog and two cats. Megan then became mama to their daughter, Elaina in 2015. They are expecting their second daughter this summer! With their growing family, Megan has recently started a weekend option nursing position which will allow her to stay home during the week with her daughter. In her spare time, Megan loves to read, binge watch her favorite shows, or try to sneak in a nap with her daughter.

Meredith Zuspann


Meredith was born and raised in Cedar Rapids before attending Central College in Pella and settling in Vinton.  She and her husband married in 2011 and welcomed their daughter, Claire, in February of 2014.   Meredith is a Title 1 Reading Teacher at Shellsburg Elementary and is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Education. Meredith is passionate about her family, connecting with friends and teaching.   When she’s not spending time with her daughter, you can find Meredith catching up on social media, watching reality TV or eating tacos.

Missy Drzycimski


Missy is an Arizona native who will gladly call herself an Iowa captive. She is a social worker by profession but stepped away from her career to be a pseudo-SAHM to her two girls: 6 year-old Selah and 1 year-old Mercy. She has been married for 10 wonderful years to her TV man husband, Andy, and Bo, the black lab pound puppy completes their family. Most days you’ll find Missy working part-time at a local non-profit, leading worship, spending time with her family and trying to figure how the dog got into the butter again. In her spare time, she enjoys writing/composing music, connecting with other women who are also in the trenches of life, and finding time to get to the giant pile of laundry in the basement. Missy loves a good laugh, crime documentaries, coffee, and naps. She also writes about overcoming strongholds on her blog: <a href=””>Inching Toward Freedom</a>

Ashley Bass

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Ashley is a ‘small town’ girl who moved to the ‘big city’ of Cedar Rapids after high school. A graduate of Coe College, Ashley is currently a kindergarten teacher and a true lover of yoga pants, cozy sweatshirts, chai tea lattes and cookie dough. Ashley and her husband, Mitch, first met each other back in middle school, dated when they were freshman in high school, then reconnected one final time via Facebook back in 2006 shortly after Mitch returned from him first deployment. Together for 11 years and married for 8, they’ve stood by their vows of ‘for better or worse,’ and aren’t afraid to admit that marriage isn’t easy. They adopted their dog Mya in 2011 and welcomed their first child, Stella Grace Bass, in May of 2013. They welcomed their second child, Archer Mitchell Bass, in December of 2017! Photo Credit: Rebekah Stewart Photography

Paola Ayers

Paola Ayers

Paola, originally from Puerto Rico, came to Iowa to study at Iowa state University where Ryan, an Iowa native, won her heart and they’ve been married for almost four years. They moved to Cedar Rapids about two years ago and both work as landscape designers in North Liberty. They welcomed baby Olivia in February 2016 and have enjoyed watching her grow ever since. Currently, they spend most of the time chasing Olivia around as she learns to explore the world. Whenever Paola finds some spare time, she enjoys staying active with yoga and running, as well as getting creative with anything from jewelry making to baking cookies. A self-proclaimed craft-aholic, there’s no craft project she’ll say no to.

Samantha Wood

Samantha Wood

Samantha is go getting, optimistic, glass half full type of person. She is a mommy of 1 little guy, two angel babies, and two puppies. She has been married to her Kohawk sweetheart, Eric, for 4 years, and both are transplants to Cedar Rapids. They have experienced the ups and downs together in a short period of time which include two miscarriages, IVF, moving, and balancing the triple threat of graduate school, working full time, and becoming new parents. When she’s not in survival mode, Samantha enjoys running, shaking her groove thing to 70’s and 80’s pop with her son, Oliver, and family cuddle time.

Taylor Schminke


Taylor is an Iowa native, currently residing in rural Benton County. A graduate of Iowa State University in Animal Science, she works full time in the agriculture industry as a key account manager. She is wife to Cody, and a first-time mama to sweet little Everly born in February 2016. She and her husband’s hobbies (second jobs?) tend to revolve around their farmstead: sheep, pigs, fields, a seed dealership, and following the livestock show industry. They also have a dog, Ace, and a cat, Aspen. When trying to maintain a sense of sanity Taylor loves being active, gardening, DIY projects, traveling, friends, coffee, and anything dark chocolate or salted caramel.

Valerie Earnest


Valerie is from Naperville, Illinois, and is a Midwestern girl at heart even though she spent the last 16 years in Phoenix.  She moved to Marion in 2016 with her husband, daughter (11), and two sons (9 and 7).  Valerie graduated from BYU with a degree in Instrumental Music Education.  She is a former band director, a current piano teacher, and an avid reader and crafter.

Whitney Rasmussen

Whitney considers herself a lucky lady to be surround by all boys in her house! This teacher-turned-stay at home mom is constantly entertained by hubby Grant, sons Anders (3) and Nels (1), and furry pal, Gordon. She’s a self-proclaimed funny girl who stays active by golfing and biking with Grant and taking walks to the park with her boys. Whitney is seemingly handy in the kitchen and loves inviting her boys to pull up their step stools to join in the fun. Connecting with friends and strengthening relationships are at the core of this extrovert’s heart. After some good conversation, she always walks away feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the demand’s of this life. 

   Photography courtesy of Afton Marie Photography