Where we would be at Families in the Loop without our amazing mom and dad bloggers? Nowhere, we tell you. Nowhere! Take a look below to learn more about them and how they’re making moms and dads like us laugh, cry, complain, and sigh, sometimes all at the same time. Yes, they are really that talented.
Families in the Loop: Where Parents Let Loose.
Jacoba Alderink, a born-and-bred Midwesterner with degrees in English and art secondary education, resides in Texas with her quirky husband and two underwear-clad kids. A stay-at-home mom and part-time homeschool teacher, she blogs at A Yankee Mom in Texas, littering her unseemly confessions and absurd musings with sub-par illustrations and pointless observations. When she’s not writing, she’s either failing miserably as a parent or cleaning up the cat vomit piles drying randomly around her house.
Karen Schwartz Alpert
Karen Schwartz Alpert is the ridiculously hairy, self-deprecating writer of the blog Baby Sideburns. She spent the past 15 years working for national advertising agencies until she was promoted to her newest favorite job – mommy. She lives in Northbrook with her two amazing kiddos and a very forgiving husband who is kind enough not to call her “Cousin It” when she undresses for bed every night.
Mitchell Brown is a husband, stay-at-home dad, writer, and serial hugger. He loves a whole lot of stuff, like cashew butter and slippers and sweet stand-up bass solos. He also marvels at the fact that food grows right out of the ground and that the word “marvel” can be used so effectively as a verb. His blog, Thoughtful Pop, is where he tries to arrange words into semi-coherent thoughts in order to communicate ideas.
Maureen Smithe Brusznicki
Maureen Smithe Brusznicki is a wife, mother, and friend to Mother Nature. When she’s not playing with her kids, experimenting with homemade cleaning products, or cooking in the kitchen, she likes to blog about living a healthy and simple life at Homemade Mothering. She recently launched her own line of reusable diapers, Terra Baby. You can follow her on twitter and join her on Facebook.
Trey Burley is a stay-at-home dad to two growing boys and husband to a loving, tolerant wife. He also has a handful of cats and dogs and blogs at Daddy Mojo. Before becoming a dad, Trey traveled widely and worked in radio, public relations, and social media management. When he’s not being a dad, he still manages various social media platforms.
Kristi Rieger Campbell
Kristi Rieger Campbell is a marketing and lead generation expert who has wasted away her brain as a semi special-needs mom wearing Uggs or flip-flops, depending on the weather. Although she misses her career, she gets great satisfaction blogging about her speech- and language-delayed son, Tucker, on Finding Ninee. Sometimes it’s about him. Sometimes it’s about her. Sometimes it’s about absolutely nothing but her really horrible drawings and life in the crazy. Did we mention she’s grandma aged? And a mom anyway.
Leah Campbell is a reluctant 30-something who spent most of her late 20s trying to have it all despite endometriosis, infertility, and a dating life that could be described as nothing short of comical. Just when she was sure there was no such thing as a happy ending, a baby girl fell into her lap through a serendipitous series of events. After a last-minute adoption that was far too simple to be real, she is now trying to make it all work as a single mother, living the fairy tale even while covered in spit-up. She maintains the blog Single Infertile Female and recently released her first book of the same title.
Kristine Castagnaro is the mother of two precocious girls, wife to an extremely forgiving husband, and professional in the field of inter-country adoption. It’s Not Wine, It’s Mommy Juice documents her attempts to not suck too badly at any one version of herself. Most days, she ends up hanging off the tightrope by her pinky. She lives in Hawaii and works from the beach — MacBook Pro on lap, mai tai in hand. (Okay, that last part’s a fib.)
Elle Davis is a Navy wife and mama to a toddler who’s like a hummingbird on crack. She’s also a passionate cherry limeade lover and the scribe behind the hilarious blog, This is Mommyhood. When Elle’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing.
Julie DeNeen is a full-time freelance writer and blogger who resides in Connecticut with her husband, three children, and far too many domesticated cats. In addition to writing Life According to Julie, she also authors a how-to website for beginning bloggers known as Fabulous Blogging. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +.
Kerri Denton blogs at Elbow Deep in Someone Else’s Sh*t, and while she desperately wishes it was a home-decorating blog, we all must write what we know, so she transcribes the chaos. She has spent the last four and a half years wiping butts, eating mac n’ cheese, reluctantly watching Caillou, and pretending to be in charge. Now with all the skills motherhood has bestowed, she’s headed back into the workforce. Based on the number of times she’s received memos on proper disposal of yogurt cups, corporate America is not much different than a house full of toddlers.
Amy is a Pacific Northwest native living in Connecticut with her husband and two kids. She does not consider herself a housewife, as she owns no pearls and only one apron. Amy is a freelance writer and contributing author to the best-selling book, I Just Want to Pee Alone. You can find her laughing at the absurdity of parenting on Facebook and Twitter and pinning things she’ll never do on Pinterest. She writes embarrassing stories about her family and herself at Funny is Family.
Keely Flynn, a playwright and blogger in Chicago, resides with her husband and daughters in a home held together primarily with duct tape. A recovering actress and former nanny, she’s happily rocking the mom hat these days. Follow her reality slaps at Lollygag Blog, Facebook, on Twitter @LollygagBlog, Pinterest, or at the tamale stand on the corner.
While searching for the best coffee and doughnut outposts in Chicago, Maura occasionally finds time to search for greater meaning. Moments ago, she was travelling extensively lecturing on neuroplasticity and literacy. These days she ventures no further than the CTA and her jogging stroller can take her, with an embarrassingly large supply of mommy cards in hand. Emboldened by the support of a terrific husband, she’s braving the seas of a new city with sweet toddler and mean dog in tow.
Andy Goldstein is a very proud husband to a wife who is out of his league and father to two stellar boys in a league of their own. His time is spent reading, putting off starting his novel, playing drums, watching sports, and trying to figure out the best way to raise kids while remaining one himself. Find out more than you care to know about Andy via his blog, The Dadconteur.
Mandy Gray Hartley
Mandy Gray Hartley is a stay-at-home mama who writes through nap time and naps through action movies. Married to a woman who was eager to carry both their children and their mortgage, she spends her spare moments thanking her lucky stars and telling people not to throw things. A psychologist by training, she’s traded data collection for truck collecting and journal articles for board books. She loves ginger snaps, the Bravo network, and the occasional rainy day. She blogs at Love Invents Us.
Devorah Heitner is founder and president of Raising Digital Natives, an organization that guides parents through their children’s digital world and helps schools articulate smart and fair tech policies. Devorah earned a PhD in media, technology, and society at Northwestern University and a BFA in media arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She teaches media studies classes at DePaul University and enjoys raising her own digital native with her husband in Rogers Park. You can follow Devorah on Twitter or Facebook.
Samantha Hines, a native and almost lifelong resident of Newport, RI, started her blog My Three Sons not long after — wait for it — she and her husband adopted her three sons. Oscar, Edgar, and August, who may or may not have been named after eccentric authors. Now 9, 8, and 4 years old, they are a never-ending source of inspiration, including her middle son’s recent diagnoses of both epilepsy and ADHD. In her bounteous spare time, she is a full-time high school English teacher, freelance writer, and Ph.D. student. Occasionally she sleeps, and you can follow her on Facebook.
Stephanie Barone Jankowski
Pennsylvania native Stephanie Barone Jankowski left the traditional classroom when she and her husband started their family in 2009. Now a WAHM of two, Stephanie earns a paycheck as an online English teacher and gold stars when she uses the potty. Stephanie’s attempt at adult conversation can be found over at WhenCrazyMeetsExhaustion as well as on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
Alan Kercinik has always been a Chicagoan and always knew he wanted to be a dad. He got lucky by marrying above his weight class and helped make two great kids (so far). He still likes superheroes. He says it’s for the boys, whom he blogs about at Always Jacked.
Angie Kinghorn is a recovering attorney turned writer and stay-at-home mom. She lives in Charlotte, NC, with her husband, their twin first graders, and the world’s most ornery and incontinent dog. Her work has been published in several anthologies, including the best-selling You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth. When she’s not struggling with first-grade math homework, you can find her writing at AngieKinghorn.com or on Twitter @AngieKinghorn.
Jennifer Laughlin is the Midwestern mother of a spirited 3-year-old boy conceived through fertility treatments. When Jennifer’s 11-year relationship with her son’s other mother failed, she met her struggles with anxiety, depression, and single motherhood head-on while working full-time and embarking again on the dating life. In 2012, she met her true soulmate, who has become an amazing co-parent. Together, they are on the adventure of their lives, which she blogs about at Chunk and Mommy.
Mackenzie Lawrence and her husband have three children, and when she is not busy deejaying dance parties, fighting off imaginary dinosaurs, or changing diapers, she works as a freelance editor and chases the ever elusive dream some may know as sleep. Besides her family and friends, some of her favorite things include serial commas, cheese, chapstick, Brad Pitt, flip flops, and anything having to do with vampires. Her dislikes include snow, folding fitted sheets, matching socks, running, the phrase “just sayin,” and toilet paper rolls hanging the wrong way. She blogs at Raising Wild Things.
Kristen is an average mom to five super kids living in Portland, OR. She is the author of the humor blog Life On Peanut Layne, which promises to provide laughter, entertainment, and permanent birth control to the entire neighborhood. She is also a contributing author to the Life Well Blogged ebook series as well as the best-selling book I Just Want to Pee Alone. She can be found on Twitter or Facebook when avoiding housework, so chances are high that you’ll run into her.
Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies and with one the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison shares stories of motherhood on her blog Writing, Wishing, and her writing has been featured on Mamalode and Huffington Post. She is also community lead at The SITS Girls and the founder of Little Love Media, a social media consultancy. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and two boys.
Jerry Mahoney is a stay-home dad to a pair of shenanigan-causing 3-year-old twins. He brags about his parenting successes and apologizes profusely for his failures at Mommy Man: Adventures of a Gay Superdad. It took him about two hours to write this brief bio, but he could have done it much faster if it weren’t for those meddling kids. You can also follow him on Facebook or Twitter if you’re super nice. And we know you’re super nice.
Jeni Marinucci is a freelance writer with two children. She has a guilty conscience, countless dead hamsters (see “guilty conscience”), and a questionable home-haircut. At 34, she went back to college to complete her B.A. in English literature, a designation which has provided her with an extensive library and resume full of menial jobs. When no teaching college wanted her, she had to choose between taking orders through a window or from an editor. She chose the latter. She blogs at Highly Irritable and can be found on Twitter @highlyirritable.
Molley is a true blue Aussie living in Harlem, NYC. She arrived kicking and screaming behind her eccentric, entrepreneurial, ADD, OCD husband, herding her small children along the way. She writes at A Mother Life about her experiences navigating parenthood in a foreign country. She’s also a pet parent to Sir Lickalot, the brain-damaged, one-eyed rescue dog, and Sid Fishious, the giant, helium-filled clownfish. This year she’s reluctantly featuring in a reality show about it all. Jealous yet?
Amanda Mushro is a mommy of two who blogs at Questionable Choices in Parenting. Sometimes she thinks she is doing a great job as a mom, but then she does something that really makes her question her own parenting abilities. She tries to laugh at life as a parent so they don’t commit her. A native of Pittsburgh, she now resides in Maryland with her family. You can find her on Twitter @QuestionableCIP and on Facebook.
Emily Paster writes about food and parenting on her blog West of the Loop. She is also a regular contributor to Chicago Parent magazine. A co-founder of the Chicago Food Swap, Emily’s passion is celebrating the work of home cooks and making everyone feel empowered in the kitchen. To that end, she teaches private and group classes on home food preservation. You can find more of Emily’s original recipes on Artizone.com.
Beth Prystowsky is a grateful mother, wife, yoga teacher, and writer of Ups and Downs of a Yoga Mom. She candidly shares her highs and lows as she attempts to raise calm children in a chaotic world while eating green and coping with MS. Beth can be found on twitter at @upsanddownsyogamom.
Lisa Rochlin is a stay-at-home mom of three girls who lives in Brooklyn, NY. Some days, sanity is just an arm’s reach away while others it seems like a past life. Before Lisa was a mom, she taught elementary school and loved it but has never lost the dream of being the musical theater rock star her inner therapist says she could have been. In the meantime, she keeps her hot pink dish gloves on to bring the sexy back to housewifery, because Playtex yellow is so last generation. Read about her attempts to squeeze some fun, a sense of humor, and maybe a glass of wine into the madness at Forever Five Blog.
Stephanie Sprenger is the mother of two precocious daughters and works part time teaching early childhood music classes. She considers herself a warrior for mommy rights, believing that every parent is entitled to the occasional relaxed meal, leisurely hot shower, and uninterrupted phone conversation. In her plentiful free time, she can be found failing at craft projects, drinking wine in her pajama bottoms, and spewing parental angst on her blog, Mommy, for real.
Kim Strickland lives in Chicago with her husband, three kids, two cats, and one dog. She has written two novels, Down at the Golden Coin and Wish Club, and blogs as A City Mom on ChicagoNow.com. When she’s not being a mom or a writer, she flies jets for a major airline, which means that every now and then she gets to eat an entire meal sitting down.
Annie resides in the Wicker Park neighborhood with her husband, Lee, and son, Ellis (aka EK). Originally from Wisconsin, she moved to Chicago in 2008 and has since embraced her new Illini identity. With that said, she and her husband are determined to raise EK to be a Packer fan who isn’t ashamed to put ketchup on his hotdogs. She blogs about her kid, her mom, and whatever else comes to mind at Swirleytime.
Kathy Vary is a stay-at-home-mom, theater actress, and blogger at Don’t Forget to Feed the Baby. She lives with her smallish son, shortish husband, and two enormous cats in Baltimore, MD. When she’s not acting, blogging, or mom-ing, she can usually be found geeking out over Doctor Who, fantasizing about Captain Picard, or playing computer role-playing games. But please don’t tell anyone, okay?
If Thelma, Louise, and the Kardashians created offspring together, they’d likely end up just like Tracy’s zany little beauties, all glitter, gun smoke, and Barbie’s pink corvette. A recent transplant to California, Tracy Winslow gets her cardio by bludgeoning anything that looks remotely like a black widow with her lethal weapon, flip flops. When not beating hairballs into submission, Tracy can be found crying into her coffee over her stretch marks and Ouija-boarding her metabolism, all of which she chronicles on her blog, Momaical.
Beth is the writer and humorist behind Five Kids Is a Lot of Kids and was named one of SheKnows.com’s “Top Five Moms Who Will Make You Laugh Out Loud.” Beth and her longsuffering husband, Greg, are parents to five kids who are adopted and homemade, singletons and multiples, and some with special needs. Most importantly, Beth says, “They’re all our very own.”
Amy Wruble is a freelance writer and mom to a delicious toddler. She has written for Babytalk, Parenting Early Years, The Huffington Post, What to Expect, and Yahoo. Her blog, Carriage Before Marriage, was named a 2012 Top 25 Funny Mom Blog by Circle of Moms.
Shannan Younger is a a work-at-home mom, editor, writer and recovering attorney living in the Chicago suburbs. She fears the additional hormones making their way into her home via her tween daughter but thinks her husband of two years should be even more afraid. She blogs about that and the other fun aspects of parenting a tween at Tween Us on ChicagoNow. You can find her on Facebook or Twitter @shan910 or @tween_us.
Not long after Marie and her husband, Ron, set out on the road of marital bliss, they detoured off into parenthood with their two young sons, Nic and Aaron. Having been an independent, corporate type most of her adult life, becoming a wife and stay-at-home-mother in her late 30s has taken some adjustment. Add to the mix the fact that both of her sons have been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and she is in a whole new territory. Follow Marie as she muddles her way through motherhood, marriage, and redefining who she is at Imperfect Mommy, where she is one half of a hilarious writing duo.