Vote Now for Iowa City Moms Blog’s Super Mom 2015!

Today is the day, everyone!  You sent in your nominations (24 of them!), and with the help of our lovely team of contributing writers, we have narrowed it down to the top 7 finalists for our Super Mom Contest!  And let us just say, this was NO easy task. These moms that you nominated were truly ALL super moms, and as you are all voting for the winner this week, let us remember that every mom is a super mom in her own way!

**Our Super Mom Contest winner will receive an AMAZING prize package (worth over $500) including a Family Photo Session by Photography Ever After (1 on-location shoot, including edited images on a disk), 1 Hour Massage from Massage Heights-Iowa River Landing, haircut and brow wax from Enve Salon & Spa, painting for 2 from Brush and Barrel, a 3 month personalized subscription package from Just Duckie, and a $50 Target gift card (courtesy of our friends at The Family Dental Center).**

Without further ado, here are the finalists! (In alphabetical order to prevent bias)…Please read their nominations and then cast your vote at the end!  Each voter may vote only once, and only for one finalist.  Voting begins today and will go through Wednesday, May 6th.  The winner will be announced on Thursday on our Facebook page!!

::Anna (Nominated by her stepsister, Hannah)::

Anna Canton familyMy stepsister Anna is so deserving of the title Super Mom. She is such an encourager of other moms. She is who I looked to for guidance and support when I found out I was pregnant in 2012. The pregnancy came as a surprise to me, and she was without question so supportive and excited for me. For she knew how much of a blessing children are. You see Anna is mom to four. Stepson Bryson (11), stepdaughter Bridget (8), son Briggs (4) and son Brokk (2). The Bs are all so loved by Anna. She encourages Bryson’s passion of running, which he shares with his father, Nate by attending countless Iowa Speed practices. She has special girls days where her and “little mama” Bridget get hot coffee and pedicures. She allows Briggs to be himself when he wants to wear dresses and play with dolls. She finds the delicate balance of allowing Brokk to play with the big kids because he thinks he is one while also keeping her youngest safe.

This Valentine’s Day we received handmade Valentines in the mail from Anna’s four Bs. She encourages inexpensive, creative family time, and is an exquisite model for her children of thoughtfulness, honesty and determination. She somehow juggles four children at 3 different schools, preschools and daycares all while being a full time teacher. Her love of children helped carve out her career as a kindergarten teacher where she’s “mothered” hundreds of kiddos. She has a tender heart for children who don’t find school to be easy and for those who find solace at school because their home lives are unstable. She wants those children at risk to persevere just like she did through her education that didn’t always come so easily. She’s struggled with the home/career balance just like so many have, but she’s been reflective and realized she needed to make positive changes for herself and her loved ones and courageously done so.

When my daughter Helene arrived in July of 2013 at only 5 lbs. 5 oz., Anna came to my house with freshly washed baby clothes Bridget had been using on her dolls, because Helene couldn’t fit into the clothes we had for her. She brought dinner and fruit, and what’s more is that she had previously given me so many of her baby things (Bjorn, car seat, swaddles, bottles, Boppy, etc.). I was married in October to Helene’s father, Jay, and we officially became a family of four with Jay’s son Owen (4) rounding us out. Anna knows how hard it can be to co-parent with the countless emails back and forth, waiting for a response before plans can be made. She’s taught me that all we can do in tough situations is what’s right and what’s best for the children, pray and drink wine as needed. 🙂

 ::Brandie (Nominated by her aunt, Roxanna)::

Brandie is the mother to 7 (ages 13 to 2) & step mother to 2. Her youngest, Carter, was born early & she never left his side; she is an amazing mother to her full litter. In April of 2013 at age 4 months Carter was shaken by his biological father in their home while she was at work. This woman not only lived through this nightmare not knowing for weeks if her child would live, but became an advocate to bring attention to this horrific crime & how often it happens. She, her mother, and her sister have raised awareness on their own, walked every county/city parade making banners, signs, passing out items, literature etc. to FIGHT to bring awareness to this cause. We had a biker fund raiser for Carter and we hung blue ribbons on the entire route throughout Jones county & every bike & vehicle displayed the ribbons as well. We involved the local Midland Times paper to help people to understand how often this is taking our children’s lives & well-being away from them and their families. She never laid him down during his crying purple issues, when he cried for HOURS, these 3 ladies passed him around so he felt safe to cry. He had seizures daily for months, was placed on a liquid diet & she always found the strength to reach out and assist other parents going through the same issues, supporting her other children’s mental issues knowing what their dad/step dad had did and how it affects them all. To know her child will never be able to SEE her or his family because of his own father’s hands.

She is an amazing MOM to put her own needs aside to spread awareness to us all, to give such awesome care to ALL of her children and put Carter & ALL of his disabilities her priority. She keeps her family in church & has faith in society still after this tragedy has happened to her family. She is an amazing friend to so many mothers with children that were shaken & takes calls night or day to talk them through rough moments. I can’t say enough about this amazing woman and how she has touched so many lives and just how proud she makes this family! She is an amazing MOM.

 ::Brittany (Nominated by her friend, Becky)::

Brittany FamilyBrittany is the epitome of a Super Mom. My family and I had just moved to North Liberty last June and I had posted on the ICMB North Liberty Weekday Playgroup asking other Mommas if anyone was interested in setting up some sensory activities for our little ones. Within a few hours I had a response from her welcoming us to the neighborhood and saying that she would love to get together sometime soon. It would have to be in a few weeks though, since she just had her 3rd kiddo two days ago. Here she was, two days postpartum with her 3rd beautiful angel, and she was making sure her older two boys had something purposeful and educational to do. I think most of us in her position would have been trying to take a nap or calling for a pizza delivery…not Brittany though.

When I finally had the privilege of meeting her in person, she was just as welcoming as when she sent me that first Facebook message. I watched in amazement as she effortlessly attended to her two boys (ages 3 and 2) and newborn girl at a park while talking to me about all of the wonderful things the Iowa City area has to offer. We bonded over the fact that our husbands are both residents at the University Hospital, which made her all the more amazing to me since her husband is working a grueling schedule.

Brittany is at most (if not all) of the Iowa City Moms Blog playgroup events. She has also volunteered multiple times to plan events for the group, keeping it active and its members engaged. Also, if a new member joins the group, she is the first one to send them a welcome message and tell them she is looking forward to meeting them. It is Mommas like Brittany that make everyone feel accepted and comfortable attending their first get togethers. We all know how scary it can be to be the new face showing up at an event where there are already established friendships. Brittany melts away that uneasiness and makes everyone feel at home.

Recently, a group of moms and I set up a little pre-school co-op where we meet once a week and focus on a particular theme. Whenever it is Brittany’s turn to plan/host, you know you are going to get not only an educational afternoon, but also one that is fun and engaging for our kiddoes. Brittany’s activities are always well thought out and are often new ideas that I have never heard of or would have tried with my son. When Brittany plans something, though, she makes it seem like nothing is too difficult, too messy, or too complicated. My son has had many meaningful experiences because of her enthusiasm and dedication to our group.

It doesn’t take long before you realize Brittany’s life revolves around the health and happiness of her family. Yes, she has and does many other things that define her as a person, but I believe she takes the most pride in her role as a mother. Brittany has an amazing talent for putting things in perspective: when her daughter only wants to be held for a nap, she does is gladly because she knows she won’t be able to get those snuggles for much longer. When one of her sons jumps into a huge mud puddle in a parking lot, she is thankful for the kind people who helped her get him cleaned up. She may not know it, but her positive attitude about her children makes us all better moms for own families. Sure, there’s days when our situations don’t seem too peachy, but Brittany will be the first one to tell you you’re not alone and somehow get you to laugh about it. You might be laughing through tears, but laughing all the same.

Brittany deserves to be acknowledged for the wonderful things she does for her family and our community. She IS Super Mom.

And if what I have already mentioned isn’t enough to convince you that Brittany deserves the title of Iowa City Moms Blog Super Mom, I will leave you with one more remarkable fact to seal the deal: she takes all 3 kiddoes to Lucky Duck Swim at the North Liberty Recreation Center by herself. 3 kiddoes under 4. In a pool. Successfully. Enough said.

::Julie (Nominated by her friend, Shae)::

Julie familyJulie is one of the most amazing women I have ever met! She is a local mother of SIX beautiful, well mannered, active and creative children! Julie is a selfless mother to each of her children, and has a sweet relationship with each of her children as individuals. She strives to know each of them and their interests and talents. They are very involved in the community, they each participate in many sports and activity leagues (Iowa City Kickers, Iowa City parks and Rec division soccer, competitive baseball, rec softball, basketball, national dance academy, and many after school clubs such as band, Spanish club, boys choir etc!). She is heavily involved in her church’s youth program and she spends much of her time preparing lessons, planning and organizing activities and programs, as well as making personal visits to those in her local congregation that are less fortunate or ill.

She always has a friendly face and loves to socialize with other moms! She is active in helping beautify her community. Just a few weeks ago she started weeding the HOA street sign, when an employee came and informed her that they hire crews to take care of the maintenance. She smiled, finished her job and went back to cooking dinner for a friend’s family! She makes ʺbusyʺ look easy and she loves to bless the lives of her children and others! She is a wonderful example of kindness, involvement and an all-around great ʺmom!ʺ I nominate Julie Randall with love.

 ::Kim (Nominated by her friend, Roxanna)::

Kim familyKim is a stay at home mom, home schooling 2 daughters (3 & 5). Katelyn, age 5, was born with a rare bathroom issue & has faced many surgeries & requires home health care provided by Kim. She has devoted her life into research & has the faith to make a difference in Katelyn’s life style & healing/maintaining her comfort. She studied the YL Essential Oils & uses to use them instead of chemicals & medication, grows her own garden, cans their food & saves every dime for the yearly trip to Ohio’s children hospital. Family stays close & is involved with their church, community, moms groups etc. She created a color for the ribbon now used in her daughter’s illness. She spends hours caring for her family without complaining. She is an amazing wife, mother, friend to all that she meets. The list is endless in the giving this woman does & is truly an amazing MOM!

Kim was also nominated by her friend, Anna:

Kim is an amazing mother. She is a stay at home mom due to her daughter having medical issues. They spend a lot of time with her medical issues at doctors and traveling to Ohio to see specialists. Kim has devoted her time to research for things to improve her daughter’s life. She buys everything organic she spends a lot of time gardening to help provide for her family. She has 2 girls under the age of 4. She does all the doctor’s appointments and all the shopping and caring for the house and the girls while her husband works so hard to financially provide for their family. Kim deserves a break and a little surprise. Please help her release a little stress!

::Lydia (Nominated by her husband, Nathan)::

Lydia familyLydia is a Super Mom, because she convinced me to become a Dad.

My whole life, I didn’t want kids. I saw them as money and time drains. This was all rooted in personal issues and a childhood not worth going into, but when Lydia and I started dating we seemed to be on the same page.

“Do you want kids?”

“Nope. You?”


Boom, win.

Unfortunately, that wonderful power known as “The Biological Clock” soon started ticking, and Lydia realized the only reason she had never wanted kids was because she hadn’t been in a loving relationship yet. Once she discovered the joy of a union devoid of drama and nonsense, she knew the only thing that could make a coupling better, was a family.

So, before we were married, she told me: “This is a deal breaker. No babies, no me.”

I was intimidated, but ensnared. I put all my previous fears on hold because I understood that if I let her slip through my fingers I would never find love again.

Sadly, it turned out making babies wasn’t as easy for us as it might be for your average high school student. Lydia couldn’t ovulate; she could make the eggs, but they wouldn’t travel down the fallopian tube to be fertilized. Infertility was a struggle for several years of our marriage, and through it all Lydia was stalwart. Through the struggles, she had her eye on the prize, and never gave up.

Our daughter, Hillary, was born two-and-a-half years ago. Our son Truman followed two years later.

There is a philosophy that argues that when you earn something, rather than having it given to you, you respect your accomplishment more.

Lydia respects her position as a Mother. She fought for it every step of the way, and shines bright in the role.

I travel for work, and Lydia takes on “Single” Mom duties full-force every weekend I am away. Feeding, bathing, clothing… Given that our daughter is two-and-a-half, it’s like dealing with a mini-diva. Irrational demands, specific hairstyle instructions—“NO MOMMY! TWO PONYTAILS, NOT THREE!”—a mood that changes on a whim… The only difference between our daughter and Jennifer Lopez is that our daughter wears Elmo panties, and is a decent singer.

On top of that, our son refuses to sleep for more than two hours a stretch. Lydia gets up with him every single time. Breastfeeding is that important to her. When he refused to take solids—and by “refused” I mean he swung his left hook at any spoon anywhere near his face—Lydia kept at it. Where I had given up long ago, Lydia persisted, and after weeks of failed attempts finally got Truman to chow down on solid food.

Little Truman endured seven straight weeks of ear infections before he was able to get tubes. Once again, Daddy was off wandering for work, so Lydia attended the minor surgery alone with him. Ever the strong woman, Lydia is constantly taking on all the duties she has to so her kids get whatever it is they need.

Lydia deals with all of the above with the grace of a ballet dancer and patience of a saint.

And, all of the above aside, as stated: she gave me the opportunity to be a father.

I owe her everything for that.

If she hadn’t pushed, I might have never known what it is to be a Dad, and I would be an incomplete person because of that.

They say that behind every good man, is a great woman. I say nonsense. My wife isn’t operating from the shadows; she is front and center, leading by example. Imagine what good she will instill into our children, given she will place her values into them from birth, considering the way she was able to shape me, a grown adult.

Just imagine.

::Marcia (Nominated by her mom, Leberta)::

Marcia familyMy daughter & her husband moved to Iowa where his job lead him. He’s doing what he loves…he’s a pediatrician who helps kids with cancer. But the sacrifices my daughter has done is just beyond imaginable. She was pregnant with her first when they moved. She’s had to do without family for holidays and the delivery of both her children. Her family is from Michigan. Our jobs and certain responsibilities keep us from the long drive out there to her.  Her sister has children in school and she works; she can’t get out there to see her sister. We have been out there to see the babies after they were born. I stayed a few days but then had to get back, so I haven’t been able to be there  helping her. Her husband works long hours at the hospital. He helps when he can, but she juggles all these activities for the two year old.  She’s doing a lot on her own. I just feel I would like to nominate her. She does an awesome job.

WOW!!! What an AMAZING group of women in our community!  Now it’s YOUR turn to decide which one of these awesome mamas will receive the title of Super Mom!!

::How to vote for your favorite Super Mom nominee:: 

Fill out the survey below.  Each person is allowed to vote for only 1 nominee, and you are only allowed to vote once.  An email address is required to verify and submit your vote, but will not be used further unless you choose to be added to our email list!  Be sure to share this post on your Facebook page and with all of your friends and encourage them to vote as well!  Voting will end Wednesday, May 6th at midnight and the winner will be announced on Thursday!

**Voting is now closed.**




Kaitlyn Swaim
Kaitlyn is the owner of Cedar Rapids Moms Blog and is an Iowa girl who has been married to her husband, Joshua, since 2007! She’s a busy work-at-home mama to their 5 children: 3 girls and 2 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 5 kids! 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!


  1. Kim is an amazing woman . She cares for her family very well. Stay at home mom and looks after her girls while her hard working husband provides for them. She’s very involved with her church and community. Love her dearly.

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