Meet Our Contributors: Kaitlin, Amanda, and Jennifer P.

Meet Kaitlin Kuehner, CRMB’s Marketing & Community Involvement Coordinator

Hello! I’m Kaitlin & I’m so excited to be a part of this community of moms with you all! I am a wife to my amazing husband, Jordan, and Mama to our 1 year old daughter, Ella. I grew up in small town Center Point just a few miles across town from my high school sweetheart. Jordan and I both went to Coe College in Cedar Rapids where I studied Biology with dreams of med school in my future. We got married right after graduating and found out we were expecting our first child 9 months later. The extravagant plans I had for our life paled in comparison to the joy I found staying home with our daughter after she was born. Our world and our plans were turned upside down in an amazing, unexpected, exhausting & perfect way. We’ve grown to the understanding that planning this life is futile when God’s plans are far more perfect and wonderful than we could imagine.

I am a graduate student now at University of Iowa studying in the Masters of Teaching Science program. The rest of the time I love staying home with our daughter and Golden Retriever, Millie. In my “free” time I enjoy scrapbooking, photography, teaching piano lessons, cooking and party planning. I have a great love for the outdoors (when it’s not an arctic tundra out there) and enjoy camping, fishing, jogging and exploring new places with my husband. I hope to create many new memories with those hobbies as we raise our little family together. I also have a guilty pleasure for frilly drinks from Starbucks and German chocolate cake…but really the rest of the time we’re actually super healthy 😉

As a younger mom, I don’t have many friends who are mommies themselves yet. I am excited to share my experiences and thoughts here and hopefully learn from you and the other CRMB bloggers along the way as well!

Meet our Contributor: Kaitlin Kuehner

Meet Amanda Larson

Hello! My name is Amanda and I am a wife and soon to be Mother of 3! I was born in a small town in Indiana but my family moved to Cedar Rapids where my Dad is from when I was just a baby.  So I wasn’t born here, but was raised here my entire life. I played basketball at the University of Northern Iowa from 2002-2005, and then at Upper Iowa University from 2005-2007 where I met my husband Nick who also played basketball. After graduation we decided to return to my hometown of Cedar Rapids. I took a job at United Fire Group in August of 2007, and I am still employed here today as a Business Analyst. Nick and I were married in November 2010 and one year and one day later welcomed our first son Jimmer. He kept us busy enough for the next 3 ½ years before welcoming our second son, Jordy in May of 2015. We were thrown a curveball recently, with the news that we would be welcoming a third (and final) baby this coming September. Still wrapping our heads around how we will manage that but there will be no shortage of love.  Just a shortage of sleep!

I am a person who functions by planning (another reason surprise baby #3 threw me off a bit). Having a plan makes me feel more put together, and gives some order to the chaos. When there is an opening in my daily life plan, working out, playing and watching sports (March Madness!),  house projects, hanging out with my other half, and attempting/sometimes failing Pinterest efforts fill my time and relieve my stress.  I also love performing in local theatre productions. This has obviously taken a back seat as of late and most likely won’t be picking up any time soon but over the past 8 years I have performed in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Legally Blonde and Spamalot through the Theatre of Cedar Rapids, and the Cedar Rapids Follies. The rush of performing very closely mimics the rush competitive sports gave me and I have found it isn’t so scary to sing on stage after all!

My faith, family and friends are the most important things in the world to me. I love a challenge and have always found writing to be a creative outlet for me so I am very excited to be a part of the Cedar Rapids Moms blog to learn and share in these crazy experiences!

Meet CRMB Contributor Amanda Larson

Meet Jennifer Pitkin

Hi!  I’m Jen, and I’m going to muddle through introducing myself to you remotely.  Summing up my life story is pretty simple and equally difficult. It’s easy to tell you about the tiny people that we bred, but summing up the rest is odd in few paragraphed word form (so please excuse my attempts to try).

We have three kiddos, born in 2008, 2011, and 2015.  The oldest is a brilliant, tiny girl.  The middle is a brilliant, but equally clumsy, climby little guy that often is covered in bruises. He’s sweeter than sweet, and wears his heart on his sleeve.  Our tiniest is unbelievably independent. He just started walking at 9 months to avoid my attempts to snuggle him.

I met my handsome, awesomely bearded husband my freshman year at Kirkwood. He was my biology lab partner. We weren’t friends then, but our paths crossed through mutual friends 4 years later.  He told me that ever since we met 4 years before, he’d had a crush on me and called me the “cute girl in biology.”  I was instantly smitten.  When I told him I was moving to Ames to go to ISU, he said he was coming with me. We dated for a few years, then married in Vegas with close family in tow.

Kids came next.  We were still in college when we had our first child. It was difficult, balancing it all, but well worth it.  We wanted our children to meet their grandfather before he passed (my father passed away after 8th grade) and two of our children did, thankfully.  He was a tremendous man, and I’ll write more about him someday.

I went to college at Iowa State in Ames, for psychology.  Then…I became a Lactation Consultant. After my first child broke my boobs, I sought help from the OB, the lactation line, and peds.  In retrospect, I received pretty stupid information from all of the above.  I know now that it’s because there’s little education provided in this field to those providers, so I pursued the long (3 years) and expensive (SO expensive) path to becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.

Now I co-own a private practice lactation clinic, Encompass Lactation, with my very breast friend.  I couldn’t be more fortunate.  In addition to raising my own kids, gently, respecting their tiny personalities, I try my best at being a wife and working mom.  Things aren’t always perfect, and I plan to write about it.

Meet CRMB Contributor Jennifer Pitkin
Photo Credit: Abundance Art

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