Iowa City Moms has always been, and will always be, a collaborative voice and perspective. We try our very best to represent as many viewpoints, cultures, traditions, and journeys to and through motherhood as we can. Please take a moment to meet all of the wonderful moms who make up our team–both the contributing writers and the support team. ICM would be nothing without this group of dedicated volunteers who share their time, their talents, and their vulnerable stories to help all of you readers and followers feel less alone in motherhood.
Liz Araguas is an attorney and mediator with the law firm of Nidey Erdahl Meier & Araguas, PLC, headquartered in Cedar Rapids. She speaks Spanish and enjoys serving a diverse array of clients in eastern Iowa. Liz moved to the Iowa City area for college and never left. She lives in Coralville with her husband, Adrian (an actuary at Transamerica) and her two sons, Oscar (5) and Bruno (1). Liz became a grateful part of the Iowa City Moms community through the Iowa City Moms Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Group, after the loss of her first pregnancy in an unexplained late-term miscarriage in 2016. Liz loves to read, walk her dogs, and do all manner of crafts.
Sarah is a proud Iowa native who currently lives in North Liberty with her husband Jonathan and their 2 sons, Aaron and Isaiah. She grew up in rural Benton county and moved to the Iowa City area in 2005 to attend graduate school at the University of Iowa in Physical Therapy. She and her husband met at Luther College when they were both undergraduate students, but they did not begin to date until after she returned from service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras in 2004. They married in 2007 and welcomed Aaron to the family in 2012. Isaiah made his appearance in 2015 on Christmas day, making them a family of four. She loves being a “boy mom” as well as her day job as a pediatric physical therapist. Along with work and family life, Sarah loves music, playing her cello, running, baking, crochet, church activities, cheering for the Hawkeyes and the Minnesota Vikings, and photography.
Megan, an Iowa native from West Branch shares her home with husband Cody, 3 adorable kiddos Charlie, Gwen and Ben and their two dogs Dottie & Ham. When she is not smooching on them she is trying to change lives as a social worker. You can find her rocking out in her minivan, scoring deals at second hand stores or taking walks around her neighborhood. She saves recipes she’ll never make and plans trips she’ll never take but appreciates she’s in that season of life with littles.
Brenda is an Iowa native who has lived in the Iowa City area since 2005. She is married to her love, Robert, since 2012. Brenda is an elementary teacher by trade. She spent almost nine years as a stay at home parent but is now back in the classroom spending time with her school kids and being a mom to her own kids. She is the mom of three; Gabe (April, 2013) Maggie (April, 2015), and Julianna (September, 2017). Brenda enjoys being active by running and working out. She also enjoys trying new recipes, volunteering, playing board and card games, and being involved in church. Brenda is an elementary teacher and loves cheering on the Cubs, UNI Panthers, and the Iowa Hawkeyes. It is a busy but beautiful life!
Sherri aspires to be the okayist mom ever. Originally from Oregon, she moved to Iowa City in 2006 to get her PhD in Higher Education and Student Affairs. She is married to a fellow Hawkeye, Kyle (fun fact: they got married at Kinnick Stadium!) and they have a daughter Aissa. She works from home full-time as a college enrollment marketing consultant. You can usually find her with her nose in a good book and a cup of coffee in her hand.
Sharon is a Central Iowa native who came to University of Iowa in 1991 and essentially never left the area. She is involved in local community theater, notably as one of the co-founders of Iowa City’s Dreamwell Theatre. She has also directed children’s plays with the Young Footliters group. Sharon is the Advisor for Students in English Language Classes at Kirkwood Community College. She lives in Coralville with her husband, Matt, and three daughters Rachel, Samantha, and Piper.
Kerry currently lives in Iowa City with her husband, Tom, and three daughters (soon to be four). A born and raised Iowan, she double majored in Accounting & Management at the University of Iowa. After working in the busy accounting world for many years she became a stay-at-home mom when her husband was on a one year deployment and she welcomed her first child. Less than two years after her first arrived, she welcomed identical twins in 2020, at the start of the pandemic. She has also been a boxing instructor for almost ten years and continues to instruct classes in her “free time.” When she’s not chasing around her three toddlers or at the boxing gym, you can find her baking, cooking, organizing, endlessly cleaning, watching Hawkeye men’s basketball, and enjoying time in the great outdoors.
Emily is a permanently homesick Marylander who fell in love with Iowa City while studying at the University of Iowa. She’s spent most her of life (cringeworthily) trying to be nonchalant and cool, and is just now finding the inherent coolness in being her truest (and very earnest) self. Emily believes that speaking frankly and transparently about uncomfortable topics demystifies motherhood, ends feelings of isolation and, ultimately, empowers women and moms. Thus, she does not shy away from the “TMI.” Emily lives in North Liberty with her husband, mom, and two daughters. Her fiercest hope for her girls (and for all kids) is that they live authentically, embracing their confidence, empathy, creativity, and intuition.
Jen was born in Texas, raised in Wisconsin, and has been living in the Iowa City area for the last 20 years. A midwestern kid through and through, Jen came to Iowa City to attend the University of Iowa’s Dance Program. While attending UI, she met her now husband, Nick, was part of a sorority, and graduated with a degree in Dance and Entrepreneurship. Jen spent the last two decades teaching dance at studios in the area. She recently transitioned out of the world of dance to pursue business ownership and fitness training, and is the owner of 9Round Kickboxing in Coralville.
Jen and Nick have two kids James, 8, and Nora, 3. They also have a 10 year old Siberian Husky that thinks she’s a cat. Her family is beginning to navigate life with kids in multiple activities, learning about sports, legos, and princesses. In her free time Jen enjoys reading, trying new pinterest recipes that would make her a great contestant on Netflix’s show Nailed It (a family favorite to watch), and a hot cup of good coffee.
Haley, an Iowa native, currently lives in North Liberty with her husband Kevin, son Frankie (2018) and 2 dogs, Roxy and Buddy. She tried to leave Iowa a couple times, but kept coming back to be close to family. Haley attended the University of Iowa for psychology and also received her Masters in Social Work from Iowa. Haley works at the University of Iowa as Assistant Director of the TRIO Student Support Services program. Along with work and family life, Haley loves practicing yoga and is certified in Trauma Recovery Yoga, trying new recipes and relaxing on the couch watching a good show. As a family they enjoy cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes, going on adventures, tending to their backyard vegetable garden and spending their Saturday mornings at the Iowa City Farmer’s market.
Haley is also a loss mom and loves connecting with and finding ways to support other moms experiencing grief and loss.
Audra M. King
Lisa lives in North Liberty. She grew up in eastern Iowa and graduated from Iowa State with a degree in marketing. She married her college sweetheart, Matt, and soon after moved to the Iowa City area in 2010. She’s a mom to three boys, Miles (2018), Everett (2020), and Mason (2016, forever seven months). She enjoys traveling and sightseeing, museums and zoo trips with her family, baking and trying new recipes, and trivia/game nights.
Jillian is an Iowa native who grew up in Dubuque until graduating college. She then spent the next 16 years living in Wisconsin before finding her way back to Iowa. She is mom to a bright and creative seven-year-old son, two dogs, and a hamster. She looks forward to rediscovering the Iowa City area and connecting to the community here.
Jillian has been a stay-at-home-mom, a full-time working mom, and is now learning how to also be a co-parenting mom. She enjoys art, writing, running, hiking, and the rare moments of sitting still to read. A current parenting joy of hers is building LEGO creations with her son. You may find her – with or without her child – browsing the LEGO aisle of any area store that carries them.
Katie is a proud wife and mother of two children (and a dog). By day she works as a digital marketing professional and by night she edits for Iowa City Moms. Katie is a proud Iowa alum with degrees in journalism and political science, as well as a master’s degree in strategic communication. You can find Katie and her family cheering on the Hawkeyes at live sporting events, playing and walking the grounds at City Park, and enjoying lively culture and food in downtown Iowa City.
Brigette lives in North Liberty with her husband Brian, energetic daughter Kate (October 2014), smiley toddler Jackie (August 2021) and their cat and a dog, Penny and Dexter. Originally from the Chicago suburbs, Brigette came to Iowa City to attend the journalism school at the University of Iowa, fell in love with the area, and decided she couldn’t leave. After meeting Brian while working at the same Iowa City restaurant in college, they got married in August 2015 in the heart of downtown. She works full time in project management and earned her MBA at Upper Iowa University. In her free time, she goes garage sale-ing, tries to keep up with her reading list, and enjoys a good meal on a patio.
Lauren has lived in the corridor for 12 years with her husband, Cody, since graduating from the University of Iowa. She works as a structural engineer during the day and enjoys spending time with nearby family and friends as often as possible but also likes to stay in and relax with a glass of wine and a book or tv show. A favorite hobby of hers is starting DIY/house projects and never finishing them. Lauren is mom to two boys – Logan, forever in her heart, and a wild toddler, Archer.
Born and raised in Haiti, Marie Racine Montilla has lived in many different places before finally landing in Iowa. She moved to the U.S. in 1995 and has lived in Kentucky, Indiana, Arizona, and Massachusetts. While in Indiana she met and married her husband who is from Venezuela. Together they have three children. She was blessed with the opportunity to live and work in Venezuela for 4 years teaching music to young people in the world famous El Sistema music program. With her music background Marie has worked as a violinist, music educator, and spent many years in nonprofit management designing and directing performing arts programs for youth from underserved populations. She is passionate about arts and education and currently serves as a teacher in the Iowa City Community School District.
Laura Portier Lalumiere
Laura works full time from home as the fundraising and marketing director for a children’s charity and has a master’s degree in nonprofit management. She is married to her college sweetheart, Ryan. After moving together from Maryland, to Southern California, to South Carolina, they moved to Iowa City in 2010. They are having a great time raising three smart, funny, and busy kids. Laura loves watching her kids do what they love, so she is frequently at the ice rink or the soccer field, and you’ll often see her there with a crochet project in her hands. She reads a lot, worries obsessively about politics, watches sappy tv shows, and escapes to the beach whenever possible.
Jordan was born and raised in Iowa and graduated from the University of Iowa with a BA in American Studies. Jordan met her husband Caleb when they both worked at Hy-Vee and got married in 2013. Caleb served in the Navy Submarine Force from 2012-2021 and they were stationed in Connecticut and Washington state. After 3 deployments and many days apart, Caleb separated from the Navy and they moved back to Iowa in 2021. They currently live in Tiffin with their 2 boys Aiden (2015) and Mason (2018), and 15 year old dachshund Wrigley, who is also an Iowa native.
In 2020 Jordan became a Certified Personal Trainer and started her own business. She provides online virtual training and fitness plans. Her focus is to teach that fitness is so much more than just weight loss and encourage people to move their bodies for overall well-being.
Jordan and her husband are also directors on the USS IOWA Commissioning Committee helping spread awareness and raise funds to help support the crew and families of this new submarine. In her free time Jordan loves golfing, reading, playing outside with her boys, cheering on and teaching her boys about the Hawkeyes, Bears and Cubs, trying different local restaurants, being closer to family, copious amounts of coffee and coming up with new recipes.
Sanaa is originally from Lebanon-Beirut, she completed her Master of Arts degree in Journalism and Communication at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik Lebanon. She began her career as a news reporter, then she worked as a writer for a local newspaper, and finally, five years in a production house producing TV series, commercials and media broadcast for the Middle East region. In addition to working in the communication field, Sanaa taught Arabic at a public primary school. In 2018 she moved to the US due to her husband’s work at the University of Iowa. She is now the mother of three, George (2018), Rita (2019), and Chloe (2022). In 2020, she was chosen to be the co-president for the International Women’s Club of Iowa City, a club affiliated with the University of Iowa that has been in existence for 60 years and serves international women visiting Iowa. she speaks three languages; Arabic her native language and French and English are added languages. She loves being a mom and gives most of her time to her kids. She considers herself a hardworking person. Sanaa loves reading, cooking and traveling.
Sara Sedlacek is a financial advisor and the mother of two feral children, Ruby and Logan. She is divorced and currently living her best life.
Ashley is currently working as a 3rd grade Dual Language teacher in the West Liberty School District. When she is not teaching, she is usually volunteering her time to one organization or another. She is a member of the Sigma Alpha Iota Iowa City Alumnae chapter and the West Liberty Education Association. She is also a volunteer for Relay for Life of Linn County where she fights cancer by co-captaining “Team Super Bob!” and raising money for The American Cancer Society. A Cedar Rapids native, Ashley currently lives in a perfectly chaotic house in West Liberty with her husband of six years, Nick, her two children, Amelia (4) and Colin (10 months), and their two feisty cats, Ed and Penny.
Linda is a Michigan native who moved to Iowa City in 2011 and hasn’t left. She and her husband of 13 years, Jacob, have two spunky kids – a second grader and a fifth grader. Linda works full time at the University of Iowa as the Administrative Director for the Medical Scientist Training Program. Together, Linda and her family enjoy cheering for the Nebraska Cornhuskers (shhh!), going on adventures both big and small, and playing board games (they have over 100 and will play with anyone they can talk into it). Linda is often told she has two volumes: on and off, and she will enthusiastically respond to any news you tell her. No matter the volume she uses, Linda is an “old soul” with a love for baking, embroidery, and old movies.
Jenna Wendt, originally from Barrington, Illinois, now resides in Coralville with her husband, Ryan, three children, and two dogs. Mckenna is 5, Madelyn is 3, and Memphis is 1. Jenna is a stay-at-home mom with numerous part-time jobs. She subs for ICCSD athletic trainers, works for UIHC sports medicine department as an athletic trainer, owns her own Rodan and Fields skincare and haircare business, and most recently started a photography business. Jenna feels it is so rewarding to be able to stay at home with her children to watch them grow up, but getting out of the house to fill her cup is so necessary! She enjoys all her part-time jobs, running errands alone, moms nights out, date nights, and getting the occasional massage.