Today is the first of a two-day introduction to our AMAZING writing team! We are so blessed to have such a great group of mamas writing for us here at the Iowa City Moms Blog. They all have wonderful, diverse, unique mommyhood stories to share with you. We would love for you to get to know them better, because starting Monday (April 8th) you will be lucky enough to read their words every day! Today, meet Tara, Lianna and Lana. Stay tuned tomorrow for Brook, Kelsey and Katie. A big thank you to all six of these ladies for going on this journey with us!
Originally from the Des Moines area, Tara got engaged to her husband Gabriel in 2006, when she was only a 17-year-old senior in high school! They welcomed their first baby boy in November 2007, and since then the kiddos have just kept coming! All three of them were wonderful, surprise blessings! Tara and her family moved to the Iowa City area to launch a new church, and have loved living in small-town Kalona for the past 18 months.
Tara’s oldest son (Simeon) will be starting Kindergarten this fall, and her middle son (Solomon) will be heading to pre-school. She admits that she is emotional and is already suffering from “empty nest syndrome”, even though she will be plenty busy with her 2-year-old daughter Suri running around! Tara hopes to keep her mind off of her empty nest by staying busy in her new leadership role with her local MOPs group.
One place you can frequently find Tara and her family is the Coral Ridge Mall. They enjoy a membership to the Iowa Children’s Museum, they love ice-skating, and the kid’s zone is always a nice break from shopping. They also have tons of fun at all of the different parks in the Iowa City area, in particular the carnival rides and train at Lower City Park. If and when Tara gets an afternoon to herself, you can probably find her hitting up all of the local thrift shops that Iowa City has to offer. She could spend all day scoping out a good deal and finding lost treasures. If she and Gabriel get a chance to escape, they’re testing out new food venues and froyo shops in the ped mall. Along with many of her fellow contributors at the Iowa City Moms Blog, Tara’s family bleeds black and gold. Go Hawks!
Lianna comes from a family of teachers (her husband also happens to be a high school teacher) and she herself graduated from the University of Iowa’s College of Education in 2006. She is passionate about changing the way we educate our children, and for that reason she has started the Wondergarten Early Enrichment Home: a multi-age, play-based early childhood program. Lianna is mommy to a two-year old girl and recently welcomed a sweet baby boy.
Lianna and her husband live on the eastside of Iowa City with their two children and two dogs. However, Lianna says she wished that she could live on a farm and have goats, chickens, and maybe a dozen dogs. She has been called “Laura Ingalls Wilder” on more than one occasion, due to her old-fashioned hobbies and interests. A self-proclaimed “queen of dabblers”, Lianna dabbles in things such as gardening, canning, painting and sewing. Because of this, she happens to get along great with retirees.
For Lianna’s family, their top three Iowa City destinations are Wilson’s Orchard, the Farmer’s Market, and Hickory Hills (all during warmer months, of course). They enjoy walking in their neighborhood and to many local destinations; they only wish Kinnick Stadium was a little closer to their home.
Lana came to Iowa City for college, and never looked back. Ten years later, she lives in Iowa City with her husband of two years Tom, their daughter Jessa (4 months), and their dog Charlie. Lana works 80% time as a Speech Language Pathologist for the Children’s Center for Therapy in Iowa City, and is happy to say that the rest of her time is spent at home with her baby girl.
She enjoys taking walks with the family (and the dog, of course!), reading, and attending Hawkeye games. She loves baking and cooking, which means we hope to see some recipe blog posts from her in the future!
Some of Lana’s favorite things to do in Iowa City are the Arts Festival, the Taste of Iowa City, camping at FW Kent Park, or just hanging out downtown with friends on a nice, patio-friendly evening in the summer. She is a season-ticket holder for the Hawkeye football games, and also enjoys attending the Hawkeye basketball games as well. Another local attraction that Lana and Tom enjoy is Wilson’s Orchard, although Tom says that Lana “conveniently” cuts herself while prepping the apples to go in the freezer and leaves him to do the work. Lana says this is not on purpose!