Photo by Rita Thomas Photography at Knoxville Moms 10 Year Celebration
:: Assistant Graphic Designer ::
Jenny, Senior Contributor
Hi, I’m Jenny and I am not from East Tennessee. But I do love calling it home!
I actually grew up in a small town in Kansas where I had quite a view from the center of the country. I spent much of my childhood traveling (or dreaming of traveling) so it was no surprise that I ended up in Southeast Asia after college. For the better part of six years overseas, I lived an incredible life: I met my husband, learned two languages, ran three half marathons, and became the person I was created to be. But I never dreamed that my greatest adventure would come in 2011 when I gave birth to our first child, Penelope.
Now, in our new life back in Tennesse, my husband is a corporate accountant while I am work-at-home Mommy to Penelope and Eldon. We live on the edge of Blount County where we love serving and being a part of our church and little community. In my free time I love drinking coffee (alone or with friends), serving on the PTO, and sneaking away to the mountains with my kids- partly to relive my memories of former adventures, but mostly to create beautiful new ones!
:: Project Manager ::
Beth, Senior Contributor
Hello, I’m Beth! I’m a former TV news producer turned stay-at-home mom to my loving daughter Madeline and sweet son Bennett. I’m wife to my funny (and patient) husband Andy. We call the LC (aka Lenoir City) home and love all the amenities Loudon County has to offer. As a family, we enjoy boating, grilling, gardening and exploring East Tennessee and beyond.
I’m a coffee addict, Jazzerciser, book lover, fashion-phile, occasional cook and bargain hunter. My guilty pleasures include British period dramas and spas. I believe a sense of humor is an essential survival skill! I hope my musings on being a mama—whether it’s practical information or matters of the heart and spirit—resonate with you. Please join me on this exciting journey and follow my posts here on the Knoxville Moms. I also serve as the “Momambassador” for the Lenoir City/Loudon KM Neighborhood Group. I look forward to getting to know you!
Christie, Senior Contributor
Hey friends! I’m Christie and the proud mama of three amazing children, Eden, August, and Titus. We love to watch 80s commercials on YouTube before bed, grilling on the back deck, a good round of Clue, and loudly playing basketball and jumping on the trampoline, keeping our neighbors on their toes. We currently have zero pets because they all seem to run away, I cannot keep real plants alive, and the kids will be in high school, middle school, and elementary school in the fall, so all thoughts and prayers are welcomed and appreciated.
I am a senior social media and digital strategist by day and Knoxville Moms social media assistant by night. Being a part of Knoxville Moms has been such a blast and I have met some incredible women that have since become some of my dearest friends. Take a look at their stories, you’ll love them just as much as I do!
Kara, Senior Contributor
I’m Kara, wife and mom of 3. A Florida native, I relocated to Knoxville over a decade ago to pursue a master’s degree where I promptly fell in love with the endless supply of sweet tea, southern hospitality, and peach cobbler. Oh, and my husband!
I’m a physician assistant by day, wife and mom by day and night. When I’m not caring for sick patients, I enjoy traveling as a family and spending time with friends at local events downtown.
We had always called Knoxville home, but after returning from spending two years living abroad, our lives are forever changed. We left a piece of our hearts on an island out in the Pacific Ocean and took with us the desire to see more. If words could explain, I’d write a book, but until then, occasional blurbs and social media posts will do!
You can find more about my family, our travels, the things we fancy, and our adventures around Knoxville and the world on my IG account here or Living Happily After. I look forward to hearing from you all on the blog and meeting you at an event one day soon!
Mary Beth, Senior Contributor
Hey, I’m Mary Beth! My family moved to Knoxville when I was 6 weeks old, and I just never had the heart to leave. My parents raised me to love God, honor family, and cheer on the Vols! I met my husband, a PK (pastor’s kid) from Illinois, during my senior year of high school and never looked back. My plans for my life did not include getting married at 20 nor starting a family at 22, but if there is anything I have discovered in the last few decades, it’s that my plans pretty much never work out. I am learning to trust God as I go.
After graduating from Maryville College, I went through a semester of grad school at UT and several different jobs trying to find myself in the professional world. Shortly before having my 3rd child, I finally took the plunge to become a full-time stay-at-home mom. Ten years later, being a SAHM is officially the longest job I’ve ever held down, and I think I deserve a raise! We welcomed our 4th child in 2015, and let me tell you, it has been a whole new experience.
I am a boring cook, a wildly mediocre crafter, and a sometimes-when-I-feel-like-it gym rat; mostly I consider it a win to keep everyone alive and fed every day. I love to tell stories, I try to be funny, and I always keep it real. You can read more from me at Unthank You Very Much. I hope to help you get a little laugh and maybe not feel so alone in this mothering ordeal. I’m looking forward to connecting with you!
Stephanie, Senior Contributor
I am a Knoxville transplant from northern grounds, but I can’t imagine being anywhere else. My blue blood has strangely become orange and I get chills when I hear Rocky Top. I became all things mom in 2013 and it’s crazy to think how much life has changed. I love temper tantrums, watching Toy Story over and over, and making food that doesn’t get eaten. Welcome to the Toddler Years. When I’m not doing that, you can find me running, reading, shopping, or taking pictures.
Crystal, Senior Contributor
Hi there! I am Crystal and I am an East Tennessean/Knoxville native…sort of. I actually was born in Detroit, Michigan but moved to Knoxville at age 14 and have been here ever since. I am a graduate of the University of Tennessee and love everything about our great region, especially the southern hospitality. I recently transitioned from a SAHM of 6 years to a full time WIC nutritionist. I love helping women make healthy choices for their families and supporting breast feeding moms.
I am wife to Matt, mom to Billie in college, conjoined twins Joshua and Caleb (14 years in heaven), and Harper Grace.
As a family we love to snow ski, tent camp, hike, and play on the lake. Some of my favorite things are ice cream, reality TV, cool fall days, boots, and scarves! I spend my free time cooking, reading, writing, sewing, and supporting others through difficult pregnancies, infant loss, and premature births. I love to share my nutrition knowledge with others, as well as spread awareness about colon cancer and conjoined twins. You can find me sharing my heart on my blog at Miracle Twin Boys. I am so honored to be a part of this Knoxville Moms team, and can’t wait to get to know all of you!
Andrea, Senior Contributor
Okay, that is still going to take a little while to get used to…
I’m Andrea, a very new-to-Knoxville transplant. Born and raised outside of Chicago, IL with a stint in Boston for college and study abroad experience in Spain, you can definitely say moving to the South is a great new adventure for us!
My husband and I share a passion for travel and the great outdoors. We discovered the Smoky Mountains about 5 years ago and completely fell in love. When a job opportunity arose in the Eastern Tennessee region, we jumped at the chance. This area feels like a “vacation” to us, with all of the incredible outdoor opportunities it has to offer. We are so excited to get out and explore it with our 4-year-old son and 15-month old boy/girl twins. We truly love it so far and continually marvel at how niceeveryone is down here!
With our fresh start here in TN, I decided to pursue my passion for writing by starting my blog, Stroller Savvy where I talk about all things motherhood. Being a mother is more incredible than I ever dreamed, and even though our days are utter chaos riddled with exhaustion, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am truly honored to join the ranks of the KMB team- an incredible resource that has made the transition to Knoxville far easier.
Can’t wait to meet ya’ll! (How many times do I have to say it until a habit forms? And please don’t “bless my heart”- I’ve learned what that means!)
Katherine, Senior Contributor
Hi friends! I’m Katherine, a mom of twins and a fur baby named Peter (the sweetest beagle in the world). My husband Jay and I have been married for almost 19 years and we had no idea what we were in for when we became parents. Any time I tell people that we have twins I hear a few things right off the bat: 1. You must have your hands full! 2. Do twins run in your family? It’s true that we always have our hands full but, more importantly, we always have our hearts full too. No amount of books or advice could’ve prepared me for what life is like with twins but it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. The moments these two share and the bond they are forever creating is why I get up every morning and hug them so tightly. And no, twins did not run in either of our families – we used fertility drugs. And it was a painful long road to meeting the kids we had always dreamed about but boy was it worth it!
My husband and I met in college and were married months after graduating. We went to Berry College – a small liberal arts school in GA. After graduation we lived in Atlanta for a few years, I got my Master of Arts in Professional Writing, and then I was ready to return home. I grew up in Clinton, TN and while the small town charm made me ache to leave as a high schooler, it also beckoned me home as someone who had learned that being close to my family was way more important then almost anything else in this world. I just missed them too much! We are so happy to call this place home. And don’t worry, he’s a Vol fan too!
When I’m not chasing my twins who are undoubtedly chasing my dog, I am working as the Executive Director of Historic Clinton.
I love me some real hot yoga, Broadway musicals, road trips with my girlfriends, anything chocolate, snuggles by a campfire, and days warm enough for bare feet. I’m really looking forward to sharing some of my journeys with you!
Jenny P., Senior Contributor
Hello! My name is Jenny and it’s wonderful to meet you. I grew up in East Tennessee and graduated with a BFA from the University of Tennessee. Go Vols! I met my husband, Nathan, during our time as collegiate runners. We love calling Knoxville our home and raising our two boys, Caleb and Noah here. In addition, we both own local businesses in our community. You can follow my adventures in life and shopkeeping at @shopbpm and @xoxo_jennyleigh on Instagram.
My passion for art and creativity runs deep. I made my love for good design into a full time business in 2013 when I opened my lifestyle shop, The Back Porch Mercantile, located in Bearden. I am blessed to have assisted many people in our community with creating beautiful spaces that they love. My other favorite job is being Mama to my sweet and active boys. They keep me busy with their love for the outdoors and crafts!
Some of my favorite things are traveling, gardening, running, design, art, local places of interest, pets and the lake. I can’t wait to start blogging again with The Knoxville Mom’s Blog and picking back up with my past blog on www.thebpmercantile.com.
Autumn, Senior Contributor
Hey everyone! I’m Autumn Longmire. My family and I live in Campbell County-about an hour north of Knoxville. We live on a big farm in a cozy home with our dog, Polly. My husband, Luke, is an auctioneer and filmmaker. Lately, he’s been writing and directing short films (one of which was a winner in a Knoxville film fest!). He is the backbone of our family and the biggest supporter in my journey through motherhood as a working mom.
I am a teacher with a bachelor’s degree in K-6 education and a master’s degree in instructional leadership. I currently teach kindergarten and yes- I have the patience of Job. I love building relationships with families and working as a team to build confidence in children. I have 3 children of my own- Amelia, Lincoln, and Arthur. I love to write about them. They are as different as night and day, and I love them with every fiber of my being.
We attend the West End Church of Christ where I assist in teaching Sunday school. We love to plan events and activities in the church to build confidence in young learners. I would have to say Joy from ‘Inside Out’ describes my personality. I get my happiness and joy from the Lord, who keeps and sustains me [Psalm 54:4].
Laura, Senior Contributor
Hi! I’m Laura, and I claim Knoxville as my hometown even though it’s not. I lived in Knoxville for a brief time as a child. That brief time happened to include the Peyton years and a football national championship. You just don’t forget that kind of magic. Though my family relocated to Middle Tennessee 20 years ago, I returned to Knoxville to attend UT, where I met and married my handsome husband Chris. Our wedding vows required me to move back to Nashville with him while he pursued his doctorate in physical therapy. We moved back to Knoxville in 2017. Lord willing, we fully intend to call this our forever home!
We have three beautiful children. Caroline, our oldest, is a social butterfly with a thirst to know everything about everything. Colin, my middle child, has the most exuberance for life than anyone I’ve ever met. Caleb is the baby of the family and expert charmer.
I have a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and am currently a kindergarten teacher. I love filtering my motherhood experience through the lens of child development. I certainly don’t have all the answers. In fact, I’ve learned there is truly no amount of education that can prepare you for your specific child. We’re all making it up as we go. I’m excited to be on this journey with you!
Haley L., Senior Contributor
My name is Haley and I really only have one hobby: words. I can most often be found with my nose in a book, or at the very least, my hand. I am happily married to the love of my life, residing in a small town north of Knoxville where we were born and raised. We are raising our one little girl with no plans for more. We love to frequent Disney World as often as possible and watch Harry Potter on repeat in between trips. I am a career mom who has spent the majority of my career in healthcare technology before a switch to fintech. My number one goal in all that I do is to make the world a better place, so as long as I am doing that, it doesn’t matter what type of work I’m doing. Having a career is important to me, because I like having a piece of “me” outside of being a mommy.
There are many days I long to homeschool or be there every moment of the day, but that isn’t what is best for our family, and we know that! I try really hard to have it all together but the reality is that I’m taking it day by day. I have the same laundry pile that most of us do and dirty dishes in the sink. My life is a series of unexpected events drenched in grace and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I spend a lot of time writing about mental health awareness and surviving some of the hard stuff, because if I can do it, I believe that you can too. Being a wife and mother is my greatest adventure through all the highs and lows. Nothing has ever inspired me like wifehood and motherhood, and that’s what started my small outlet blog You, Me, & Harper Capri where I primarily write about family, the struggles, and conquering the hard stuff. I focus on each moment being what I was created for and that I should be a shining light of hope in an otherwise dark world. I’m so excited to continue this journey alongside everyone at Knoxville Moms and do my best to shine my light.
Rachel D., Senior Contributor
Hi, I’m Rachel, and I’m a Florida girl who has been calling Knoxville home for the last three years. I was born and raised right outside of Orlando, and I lived in the same house (and the same bedroom!) for my entire life until I graduated high school. I was really sentimental about my home growing up and heartbroken to leave, but once I started college, I definitely became a bit of a vagabond! I attended Florida State University for undergrad and earned my B.S. in English Education in order to fulfill my dream of becoming a high school English teacher. After (unsuccessfully) trying to settle down in Tallahassee, I ended up moving around from place to place for several years, pursuing better jobs and a better life. I’ve lived in Boone, North Carolina; Savannah, Georgia; and I earned my graduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. One of the greatest adventures of my life was spent living abroad for a year in Zhejiang, China, teaching English at Huzhou Vocational and Technical College. There are so many things that I enjoyed each of those places, but I never really felt like I was home until I moved to Knoxville, Tennessee. I’ve been living in Knoxville now since 2014. I’m the proud single mom of two elementary-aged boys: Jake and Teddy. I recently hit the ten-year mark of my career in education, and I’m currently teaching 10th grade at Concord Christian School. Writing is one of my biggest passions, and I’m so grateful to be a contributor for the KM team!
Leah, Senior Contributor
Hey, y’all! I’m Leah. I am a proud wife and mama of three. Knoxville has been home my whole life, even when I didn’t live here. My dad’s military career moved us around, but East Tennessee roots run deep. After graduating from the University of Tennessee, I married a Knoxville-native Marine. We left for a few years following USMC orders, but we were happy to return to Knoxville in 2008. It is the perfect place to raise our family.
I recently returned to work in marketing after six years as a stay-at-home-mom. My family and job keep me busy, and I am constantly looking for balance. Parenting has taught me to let go of perfectionism and to laugh at myself and at life’s unpredictable twists. I love to encourage other women and moms and strive to lead by example, but I need grace daily.
In our free time, my family loves visiting with friends and relatives, spending time outdoors, attending the kids’ activities and sporting events, and exploring Knoxville’s local venues. When I’m not chasing or chauffeuring, I enjoy Bible study, volunteering, reading, and squeezing in fitness classes whenever I can.
Haley M., Senior Contributor
Hi there, I’m Haley, a middle-aged-momma to Lukas, Laney, and wife to Dan. We live in Farragut with our Boston terrier Ali and cat Maxi. I was born and raised in East Tennessee and I love Knoxville and the Smoky Mountains so much, I can’t imagine living anywhere else! I am happiest when I’m reading, writing, exploring, and making things.
I met my husband Dan on Match.com and we’ve been best friends ever since I tripped over a speed bump at our first real in-person date. I grew up in east Tennessee and have lived here for most of my life, and I have the most amazing southern drawl to prove it. I work full-time as an architect and marketing coordinator at an architecture firm in Knoxville, and (mostly) love what I do. In my free time you’ll find me reading, spending time outdoors, exploring our great little city, letting my creativity run wild, decorating cakes (and eating all the frosting), and writing about creativity and facing fear on my blog.
Rachel L., Senior Contributor
Hi, I’m Rachel L., and I’ve lived in Knoxville almost my entire life! I live with my family in West Knoxville and love being in such a great area to raise my son! I am a wife to an amazing man named Daniel and mom to an almost-toddler boy with enough energy to power a house!
If I’m not reading another urban fantasy novel, you’ll find me planning meals, window shopping with my husband, and writing about self-care and learning to be a parent over on my blog, A Life With A Little (www.alifewithalittle.com). I love writing and have several almost-completed novels in my “someday” list of goals to complete. My favorite hobbies are crafting, cooking, reading, and window shopping.
I’m a Halloween baby who loves traditions. Birthdays, holidays, and family traditions make me happy. You can always follow me for updates on when and where to get free donuts because I’m a bit obsessed with finding free donuts. (My favorite donuts right now are at Status Dough, and I’m a sucker for an opportunity to dress up for free donuts, like on Talk Like A Pirate Day!)
I’m happiest with a cup of coffee in my hand and something sweet to eat. I love making new friends and look forward to sharing some of my favorite things with all of you!