Meet The St. Louis Mom Team!
Lauren, a Saint Louis native, is a Newborn Sleep Consultant and mother of two, constantly learning how to embrace the chaos and change motherhood brings. She changed jobs, moved twice, married her high school sweetheart and had twin boys in the same calendar year! Originally trained to design, build and fit prosthetic limbs, Lauren now channels her energy to educate, empower, and equip mamas to overcome the overwhelm during the newborn season of parenting. Lauren taught her newborn twins to sleep twelve hours a night by the time they were twelve weeks old and created a business and sleep consulting service, the TinyTracker, to help parents do the same. She’s just the right mix of “got-her-ship-together” and “totally winging it” with equal parts advice, encouragement, and raw transparency. She’s always on the hunt for the best gluten free pizza in town and lives for dark chocolate, exercise, her family and lazy days at the beach.
Ashley Atkins is a newish mom to St. Louis. Moving here at the end of 2018, she’s still learning what is to be a St. Louisan. From the foods to the dialect, this Chicago native has a completely different view of STL. Currently she resides in University City, with her hubby (collage sweetheart) and 3 kids under the ages 5. Ashley works full time at a local University. Aside from work, she loves adventure and family time. She has a passion for maternal health and wellness. You can follow her at @momyandmoon.
Angela Nelson Baker moved to the St Louis area for grad school 18 years ago and never looked back. Currently she lives in West St Louis County with her husband, two young daughters, a miniature schnauzer and two wily cats. Outside of working and #momlife, Angela enjoys politics, true crime podcasts, HIIT workouts, and drinking a cup of good coffee before it gets cold. Her passion is empowering working mothers and advocating for family-friendly policies in her workplace.
Kristi, a small-town IL farm girl, finally feels she can call St. Louis “home” after 8 years. She and her husband Dan have two boys – Carson (6) and Harrison (3), who happens to be rocking an extra chromosome. A former Parkway teacher, Kristi now stays home with her boys and leads a local MOPS group. A ripple of life changes quickly taught her that adapting and pivoting is the name of the game: starting over in a new state, full-time working mom to stay-at-home mom, battling PPD, navigating Down syndrome and Autism diagnoses, and most recently walking the painful road of grief after the loss of her brother. Her faith roots have been her lifeline, and she always seeks to be a voice of truth, compassion and hope, especially in the messy. She is passionate about advocating for individuals with special needs, sharing encouragement through the roller coaster of life, and supporting moms in overall health and wholeness so they can show up just as they are in every season of motherhood.
Rashida is a proud St. Louis native and mom of Dominic and Parker. She lives in Kirkwood with her husband Ben and works full time as an account manager at a local advertising agency. She is a motherless mom who blogs about how the loss of her mom affects her own journey at themotherlessmomblog.com. Rashida’s passions include maternal mental health and helping others navigate their grief journeys. When she’s not working, blogging or momming, she can be found exploring new cocktail recipes, attempting to work out or binge watching every show Bravo has ever made.
Courtney and her husband Matt were born and raised in St. Louis. Courtney stays home with their little boy, Noah and is a certified run coach and trainer. She found her passion in health and fitness through her own journey to better health, losing 50 pounds with good old fashioned diet and exercise. She has ten years of experience coaching run groups with Fleet Feet, Fit4Mom and she now coaches her own local Run Club here in St. Louis. A former ‘couch potato’ to marathoner, she even ran a half marathon during each trimester of her pregnancy. Besides running, she loves early morning workouts at Burn Bootcamp, traveling, running around town in her workout clothes and baseball cap, spending time with her family and relaxing with a glass of wine! She’s all about having fun, laughing, spreading positivity, meeting new people and motivating others to live their happiest, healthiest life. She is thrilled to be a part of the STL Moms Blog team and can’t wait to share her health and fitness tips with you!
Shifra is originally from Virginia. She went to high school in Silver Spring, MD and lived in Jerusalem for 7 years before making her way to St. Louis in 1992. She has come to motherhood through adoption, fertility, fostering and teaching. She is passionate about children’s rights and will advocate to make sure each child gets what they need to succeed. She is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and, later, domestic abuse. She uses her experiences to educate others and to help victims feel safe to come forward and share their stories. She is an active member of the orthodox Jewish community and resides in University City.
A St. Louis area transplant of 12 years, Kelly now considers herself at home with her husband, daughter and son. Having spent time in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and even Orange County, California, throughout her childhood and adolescence, Kelly and her husband are committed to putting down roots in St. Charles, Missouri to raise their (hopefully growing) family. As a full-time working mom, Kelly is focused on navigating the twists and turns of motherhood while still building her career in corporate America. When Kelly finds a spare hour of time to herself, she’s likely doing something active – running, walking, or sweating through a class at Orangetheory Fitness. Or just enjoying a glass of wine!
Stephanie is a wife, homeschooling mother of 4-year-old Osila, sister, daughter, devoted auntie, blogger, entrepreneur, artist, coach and encourager. She has a background in leadership, communications, social services and education. She serves breastfeeding families in the St. Louis are as an accredited Leader with La Leche League of Greater St. Louis. This southern-bred mama carries about 20 hats on any given day, but tries her best not to wear more than 3 at once!
Maria Ines Goncalves is yet another Portuguese mom named Maria (like most of the women in Portugal), but now she is a Portuguese mom in the USA. Born in Portugal, Maria graduated with a degree in Political Science and believed she was not ready for motherhood, wanting to pursue her career and travel the world, although not wanting to live overseas. Guess what? She turned into a stay-at-home-mom of three (2007, 2010 and 2018) and moved to St. Louis due to her husband’s job in 2017. Changes are a pattern in her life and, when she’s not adjusting to another life change, she loves to dance, bake, photograph, sew, draw and paint with the kids. But mainly she loves to enjoy the beauty and craziness of motherhood, her real and most precious purpose in life.
Courtney is a tiny human tamer, spouse, advocate, ambassador, and storyteller. And, after years of therapy, she’s also unapologetically herself. Courtney is a journalist-turned-marketer spending daytime hour as a Director of Marketing and Public Relations. When the clock strikes 5 pm, the caffeine turns to wine, and the supermom cape comes out. Courtney and her husband, Kyle, are parents to Ruby (born March 2016) and Miles (born April 2018). After a life-changing battle with Postpartum Depression, Courtney found her passion for advocacy work. As an official ambassador for 2020 Mom, she brings awareness and fights for change in the maternal mental health field.
As a Kansas City native and University of Kansas alum living in enemy territory, Courtney can regularly be found in KU Jayhawks or Kansas City Chiefs or Royals gear. Her recent accomplishments include earning a master’s degree in Strategic Communication from Maryville University in 2019, joining the St. Louis Mom’s Blog contributing team, and using humor and self-deprecation to get through most of life’s crap, especially, uncomfortable situations.
Aliah was born and raised in St. Louis. She comes from a family of community leaders, activists, educators and volunteers. After her experiences in both public and private education in St. Louis, Aliah attended New York University, where she studied Mass Communications and Journalism. She worked in the New York ad industry for several years before returning home to start a family and continue her communications career. Her experiences in both cities gave her a unique perspective on the ways that social, economic and cultural issues impact the growth and development of our citizens and our cities.
In addition to her current work as a crisis management communications specialist, Aliah has served as founding board member of St. Louis Language Immersion School, as a St. Louis City Commissioner for BiState Development, and as a board member for We Stories. Her 6-year-old Quinn enjoys reading aloud from books in English and Spanish from their extensive personal library.
Caitlin Ladd is mom to two boys, Harrison (2014) and Anderson (2019) and wife to George living in St. Charles, Mo. A St. Louis transplant who came to the area for college and never left, Caitlin is continuously busy exploring community philanthropic and cultural diversity efforts which has truly made St. Louis her hometown. As a working mom, she’s eager to discuss balance, embracing a full life in this mommin’ season and what it means to “have it all.” With that, she tries to layer in opportunities for self-care, sanity checks, some Shiraz and most importantly, SLEEP as a mom of two littles.
Meghan was born and raised in North Carolina but has lived all over the US. She is by default a professional packer after spending 6 years relocating her family multiple times a year for her husband’s professional baseball career. They now call O’Fallon, MO home where her husband was born and raised. They have two daughters and one angel baby girl. She is a dentist by day and a small shop owner by night, running her handmade jewelry business, SoLayne Designs, and blog. You can learn more about her on her personal blog www.cirquedusolayne.com.
Aimee is a St. Louis native who grew up in Afton and attended Bishop DuBourg High School. She received her Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Lindenwood University in 2016. Aimee has worked in many different fields but found her career as a project manager for CI Select in 2017. Aimee is married to her husband Joshua, whom she met nearly 7 years ago. They reside in Valmeyer, IL and are the adoptive parents to one beautiful daughter. They have two spoiled fur babies, Jake and Chloe, who rule the roost. Aimee enjoys reading, writing, hiking, traveling, motorcycle riding, trying new restaurants, and spending time with family, especially her toddler. Aimee also enjoys spending time on her charcuterie board business, For the Love of Grazing.
Amber and her husband Justin, are navigating being first time parents in their late thirties, to their son Beckett (2019). When not baby wrangling, yelling don’t eat that or Googling how to deal with back pain, what is this rash, or is my baby teething, they are usually busy DIYing the renovations on their new home in the Metro East.
In her work life, Amber works in event sales/event management full time. In the tiny amount of free time she has you can find her perusing interior design blogs, researching clean beauty trends, exploring art fairs, antique stores, estate sales and creating her own adventures all over the city.
Hi y’all! I am a full-time working mom of 2 beautiful girls, 8 year old Eleanor and 3 year old Violet. I have been married to my husband for 10 years, going on 11. I am not just a regular mom, I have the privilege of being a medical mama for my 3 year old. I am a lover of coffee, wine, tacos, margaritas, chocolate, Chris Stapleton and so many other things I can’t even begin to list them all. Outside of my family, my main passion in life is connecting with other medical mamas and supporting them throughout their journey. In addition, we do all we can to support our local hospital (Mercy Children’s) and our non-local hospital (Cincinnati Children’s) through toy drives and supply drives for Ronald McDonald House.
Erica is a native St. Louisian who lives in Webster Groves with her husband and two boys, ages 5 and 7. After living in Minnesota and Nashville, Tennessee for 7 years, they moved back home to St. Louis in 2014. Erica taught high school English for ten years, but has been on a temporary hiatus from the classroom to try out professional boy-wrangling. When she is not overseeing the manufacturing of sticks into weapons, she loves to exercise and read. Erica’s hobbies include cooking, wine, hiking/camping, and travel.
Katie is a Des Peres mom of two young boys, Trace (2014) and Henry (2016). Katie stays home with her boys most of the time but also spends a bit of time away as a high school lacrosse coach. Katie enjoys connecting with other moms to run, meet at parks, explore new restaurants, listen to live music and discuss books. Katie and her boys can be found enjoying many activities around St. Louis including the Science Center, Zoo, Magic House, Museum of Transportation, Urban Fort and Frisco Train Store, but what they enjoy most is just being outdoors. They have tried many of the parks around St. Louis City and county and also love hiking trails at Laumeier Sculpture Park, Powder Valley and Shaw Nature Reserve. Katie and her family love all that St. Louis has to offer for families of young children and can most often be found taking advantage of all of the many opportunities.
Michelle is a homeschooling mom of two (a nine-year-old girl and a three-year-old boy) who lives in South City with her husband, kids, two cats, and a dog. Her family loves reading, hiking, and art. She likes to write about education, work-life balance, and exploring all the wonderful experiences St. Louis has to offer.
Mara Proost is a born and raised St. Louisian living in Eureka with her family. Married to her college sweetheart, Brad, they have three boys: twins Cooper & Logan, and littlest one, Beckett. Suffering from an autoimmune disease has given Mara a passion for healthy eating, healthy living, and self care. She is a working momma who loves fashion, green beauty, cuddling with her kiddos, and drinking all the wine with her husband.
Amy is in her thirties with three kids under the age of 8, so her kitchen is always stocked with coffee, wine, and goldfish. She works part-time, tries to keep up with her book club, and is fluent in sarcasm. She loves raising her family in St. Louis and couldn’t get by without her tribe (or Netflix).
Danielle Sawyer grew up in St. Charles, and now resides in Florissant with her husband Devon, and son Harrison (age 2). Danielle is an Autism Teacher. Like the majority of her family, Danielle is deaf and hard of hearing, due to genetics. She has one cochlear implant (2018). Danielle’s hobbies include cooking/baking, riding four wheelers, sitting around a campfire, and crafting, when she has time! You can find Danielle and Harrison at some of their favorite spots: Magic House, Purina Farms, and Grant’s Farm.
Vannah Shaw was born and raised in the City of St. Louis. She graduated from Metro High School (to answer that question) and then left for several years to pursue an education in journalism from the University of Missouri and then law in Virginia. She returned to be close to family. She is a wife, a mother to her two young children and shares a home with her aging mother. She is apart of the “sandwich generation,” a term used to describe adults who care for children and parents at the same time. She currently works part-time, so that she can be full-time with family, while finding time to serve her community through volunteering and fundraising.
Meg Smidt is a confetti-throwing life and business coach, mother, grandmother, sister, devoted friend and love-spreader. She is super passionate about helping driven and compassionate women create balanced, joy-filled, intentional lives that they love (and that love them back). She spends her days strategizing with and encouraging women all over the world to be their very best. YourCoach Meg lives in Benton Park/ St Louis with her husband, one of her five adult kids and 2 silly dogs.
Trisha is a science educator and mom to Aiden, Lily, and Elon. She’s been married to her college sweetheart for 20 years. Trisha taught high school science before staying home with her kids. Before she was a classroom teacher, she was in the informal science realm working as an education specialist at an aquarium and zoo. Trisha is the creator of Inspiration Laboratories, a blog dedicated to encouraging learning through creativity and play. Her passion is sharing science activities with parents and teachers and demonstrating how to do science with even the youngest learners. Trisha lives on the outskirts of St. Louis and enjoys spending time with her family exploring the city and everything outdoors. She’s currently working on a master’s degree in science education and trying to decide what to do once her youngest starts kindergarten next year.
Alicia Steele was born in Southern California but grew up in Colorado Springs. She has been a military spouse for 16 years, and has spent a total of 8 years at Scott AFB in Southern Illinois. Alicia earned her BA in History and French from Colorado State University in 2006. She is a sewing blogger and creative guru. Alicia spends her time caring for her two sons, Kian 11 and Gaige 8, who are both medically fragile. She is a passionate disability advocate. She cares deeply for children of all abilities. She has consistently spends her time giving back to and advocating for military spouses.
Katie is a St. Louis native, coffee lover, and difference maker. She has a passion for teaching at-risk high schoolers how to find joy in reading and writing. She is a divorced mother of two incredibly strong girls who can be found watching The Voice, eating ice cream, and staying up late reading. Katie and her girls love exploring St. Louis-hiking and playing at local parks, getting away to Pere Marquette, breakfasting at Strange Donuts or The Barn, and learning at all of the museums.
Natalie is a single, working, foster mom, currently to two little boys (4 & 6). When she’s not working, chauffeuring kids to all the things, and dishing out 10,000 meals and snacks per day, she enjoys running and reading!
Katie is originally from the South County area of St. Louis. She’s lived in Ohio, Wisconsin and Texas but has always considered the St. Louis area to be home. She now lives in a small town, Hoyleton, IL, about an hour east of St. Louis with her husband, Nate, daughter Zoe, and sons, Zach and Max. When she’s not chasing Zoe, Zach, and Max around she enjoys hanging out with friends, having dance parties in the kitchen, sitting on her porch and sipping on some Diet Coke. Katie records a podcast called Blessed Mess Mom and has her own blog, ablessedmess.net.