Photography courtesy of the talented Lauren Allen Photography
Meet Our Team of Portland Writers
Carrie is the author of a foster parenting memoir, What Led Me to You: How a mother’s faith and family grew in ways she never expected. She is also a columnist for Fostering Families Today magazine where she shares her heart through reflective articles.
Carrie has lived in Portland and the surrounding areas her whole life. She has been married to her husband, who she has known since childhood, for over twelve years. Together they are parenting six children through birth, adoption and foster care. Their ages are 8, 6, 5, 5, 4, and a baby. Carrie has always wanted to be a mother and while she never imagined having a large family she loves every bit of it.
Friday nights in the Dahlin household often include homemade gluten-free pizza, movies and dance parties with the kids. Carrie loves to tackle DIY projects around the house, finding new ways to organize the chaos and throwing themed birthday parties for her kids. If Carrie ever got a day to herself, she would wish for a loud rainstorm, a hot cup of tea and a hallmark movie marathon. You can find more about Carrie at carriedahlin.com.
Chara loves the verdant, drizzly PNW and can often be found with her nose in a book. She is a wife and stay at home mom to four, three girls (10,8, & 6) and one boy (4). She does biblical counseling at her church and loves to come along side others as they navigate the deep waters of life. She holds a MSEd from Corban University and may return to teaching when all her kids are in school, but for now she enjoys freelance writing and speaking to women about motherhood, culture, and faith.
Chara savors the beauty of words and loves to give hers away, so that they may reach the hearts of others to offer hope for the diaper changing, the fight moderating, and the day to day mothering marathon. She longs to be a voice that says, “Hey, we are in this together, and there is room for us all.” You can find more from Chara at Anchored Voices.
Amber is wife to her elementary school crush and mother to three kiddos, ages 7, 5, and 2. Having recently moved to Portland from California, Amber is embracing her “new normal” as she navigates parks in the rain (bring a towel), the line outside Pip’s Donuts (it’s worth it), and where to find good Mexican food (still searching).
As bio mom to her two oldest and adoptive mom to her youngest, special needs child, Amber understands and appreciates the importance of “me-time.” When she’s not wearing her “mom” hat and can get away for a couple of hours, Amber loves sipping on Chai while hunting mid-century treasures at local thrift and vintage shops. Though she enjoys planning family adventures exploring the PNW, Amber is just as happy on the couch, with her man and glass of wine, watching Parks and Rec re-runs. Keep up with Amber on Instagram and her personal blog: HerYesLegacy.com.
Leanne is an Oregonian, born and raised. She spent the first 18 years of her life in adorable Corvallis, OR and then moved to Portland, where she’s been ever since. After 12 years of living in North Portland, she and her family made the looooong move to Happy Valley, where she is currently living in suburban bliss.
Everyone’s journey to motherhood is unique and Leanne’s began unexpectedly at the age of 23, when she found herself pregnant with her now 7-year-old son Tabor. After four years of doing the single mom thing (no small feat, to be sure), she met the love of her life on OkCupid. Ironically, Leanne and her husband James battled infertility for 18 months, but are now happily expecting twins at the beginning of 2017.
With her family almost doubling in size, Leanne isn’t anticipating much sleep over the next year. Which is too bad, because Leanne LOVES to sleep. But she’s looking forward to experiencing life’s newest adventures with James, Tabor, and 2 babies by her side.
In her lifetime, Jennifer has lived in the North, East, South, and West of the continental U.S. But the Pacific Northwest stole her heart when she was stationed in Washington with her husband who was in the Navy.
Jennifer and Jeff have known each other for 16 years, since middle school, but they have been together for 5.5 years and married for 5 of those. They have an adorably rambunctious and frighteningly intelligent 3.5 year old daughter named Athena Rae. Athena was recently diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum. So, Jennifer and Jeff are learning the ropes kind of as they go, as they delve into the world of being special needs parents and advocates for their daughter.
Jennifer is a stay at home mom who loves to read and write in any free time that might come her way throughout her days filled with her typical Momming errands and appointments. Jennifer LOVES the LA Dodgers and is pretty rabid about her fandom during baseball season. She has a funny blog she likes to write to decompress about Mom Life, and to get some chuckles from fellow parents. You can find her blog at MommyKeepsItReal.com
Jennifer grew up in the Portland area and loves the rain, the trees, and especially the coffee. She is a work-from-home mom, primarily helping other writers with the launch of new books and also doing some freelance ghost writing. She met and married her husband, Nate, in 1998 and thanks God everyday that their whirlwind relationship worked out so well. They were happily raising their three kids together when, in 2012, they committed to legally adopting their young nephew. A week to the day after their nephew moved in they received the shock of their lives, discovering that they were also expecting again. They now have five children, two daughters ages 14 and 12, and three sons ages 8, 6, and 3. Jennifer has discovered that she finds great joy in her children and she and her husband speak often about growing their family again, likely through another adoption. In 2008 Jennifer moved across the river with her family so her husband could be closer to his job. Although she still thinks of herself as an Oregonian, she has fallen in love with the small Vancouver community in which she lives.
Jennifer truly believes that everyone has a calling and writes to inspire others to live out that calling. She shares book reviews, encouragement from her faith, and stories about her crazy, messy, beautiful life on her website jennifermclucas.com. She also loves to connect with friends on Facebook or Instagram.
In anticipation of her daughter’s birth, Jo bought Hangover-inspired family t-shirts, “my wolf pack, it grew by one.” And the three best friends they are, Jo, her husband, Alex, and their “I’m-three-and-three-quarters-so-I’m-basically-like-four” year-old daughter, Francine. They live in a SW Portland neighborhood they adore, with their favorite coffeeshop and multiple playgrounds within walking/biking distance. Both Jo and her husband grew up in the Portland metro area, but met while living in Lake Tahoe and working at the same small newspaper. After ski-bumming and traveling on an epic South American adventure, they returned to their Oregon roots to re-career and start a family. It’s not all roses, of course, and Jo loves nothing more than to tell it like it is, alongside obsessive archiving and aspirational musings, on her personal blog, Stuff Jo Knows, which she defends to her husband is an “artful over-share.”
Jo can generally be found working part-time as a speech-language pathologist specializing in brain injury; on local adventures with her Bean during Mama Days; enjoying “flamily” time with pretend birthday parties, walks to the park, and Memory games on repeat; in her home office making lists or starting but not finishing embroidery, home décor, or writing and photography projects; or probably on the couch.
Jody grew up in a small town in Central Oregon, graduated from Oregon State University, traveled to Africa for three months and, upon returning, moved to Montana to be near her then fiancé. They lived in Bozeman, Montana for nine years working on the Montana State campus in full-time ministry.
They now have lived in SE Portland for nearly six years, still work with a faith-based non-profit and have been married for 14 years. They have two beautiful kids. Their 8-year-old daughter is a miracle biological child after years of infertility, and their son (age 5) is a miracle child through the gift of adoption.
Jody loves living in beautiful Portland where flowers are always in bloom and there is always an adventure around the corner to be had. She loves Jesus, coffee, a good book, deep conversation with people she loves, being intentional to love those around her, hosting events in their backyard, sausage, beer, traveling, being a wife and mom. The beach is her happy place. She also blogs at jodymccomas.com about motherhood and ministry.
Katie is a native of Portland, Oregon and lives in the Tigard area with her two young children and husband Rob. She is a cooking enthusiast, athlete, and a Graphic Designer by trade. She has spent the last 15 years learning about health and nutrition, mastering the art of healthy cooking for weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Her passion for food comes from her own experience losing weight and craving something delicious along the way.
She is the author of a cookbook, Eating Lean & Green, and she continues to write recipes on her blog eatingleanandgreen.com/blog. She writes with the intention to provide healthy alternatives for favorite foods that not only fuel your body, but taste good enough that you’ll want to share them with the people that you love.
Kendra moved to Portland from the East Coast with her husband, Steve, and five-year-old daughter Karys in the summer of 2014. A middle school teacher for the last decade, Kendra now spends her days writing, training as a doula, making jewelry, and exploring Portland with Karys.
Krista is a stay at home mom to a rascally son lovingly referred to as AB (almost 7), and a wife to Scott, a bond-trader who works East Coast hours and keeps the household on an early to bed schedule!
Though she grew up on 6 country acres in a small town in California, Krista currently loves living in NE Portland and enjoying all that a walkable neighborhood offers. She has been in Portland for 14 years and can’t imagine living anywhere else (unless her dream of living in New York City for just one year comes true!)
Krista became a runner 4.5 years ago and can be seen, rain or shine, logging miles throughout the city and on Leif Erikson, her favorite trail. She ran New York City Marathon last November but finds the half-marathon to be her sweet spot. She is currently a running Ambassador for Every Mother Counts and has many races lined up this year. She also enjoys hanging out in her backyard and going for bike rides with her guys, reading, cooking, sipping wine with friends, shopping Farmers Markets, and searching the city for the best cheeseburger – which she hopes she never finds so she doesn’t have to stop looking!
Krista blogs about her running journey, motherhood and day to day life at foundchange.weebly.com.
Growing up in Alaska provided Lynn with the strength and tenacity required to be a later-in-life first-time mom. While she still has a tenuous relationship with her unconventional upbringing in Alaska, she is thankful for the unique personality that it helped her define. She spent 11 formative years in southwest Missouri where she met her partner and husband. In 2008 they moved to Eugene, OR only to finally fully settle in Portland in 2012. They adore their East Portland home where they welcomed their son, Lincoln, into the family in 2015. Her three cats still aren’t sure what to make of him.
Lynn is an avid dragon boater on an amazing and inspiring team of women who saved her life and sanity during many of life’s changes and struggles. She is a full-time working mom in your average corporate job as a recruiter where she tries to help people self-discover what their career path may look like. But her true work in the world is to connect with everyone she meets and try to empower them to understand that they have all the courage and skills they need to live the life they want.
Molly is mother to two daughters: an 8-year-old girl who climbs everything and a 4-year-old girl who only wears undies. She grew up mostly in the rural areas outside of Portland but left for college in a slightly farther-away rural area. After finishing school with a degree in education, Molly taught emotionally-disturbed middle school students in Corvallis, OR. Next, she moved to Alaska where she met several emotionally-disturbed men but also her husband. They moved to Michigan for her husband’s school, then returned to Portland, which she vows never ever to leave.
Before becoming a full time mom, she worked as a behavior specialist in the school system, which is not as helpful as you would think when raising your own children. Molly volunteers as a garden coordinator, taking elementary school classes into an edible garden each week because hey, someone needs to do the weeding. Molly loves feeding her family good food and getting outdoors. While she is all in for parenting with intention, good cooking, Frye boots, and aspiring to a Martha-esque home, Molly freely admits she just isn’t all in for homemaking.
You can follow her frustrations and celebrations at Half Ass Homemaker.
Nadia loves people. Like most moms, Nadia has worn many hats personally and professionally: mom, recruiter, teacher, sales professional, daughter, sister and maid to name a few
Her true passion involves helping people by developing their personal and professional skills (or brand) so they can be successful in their career. To do this, she works as a full-time high school teacher striving to educate productive citizens in society while working summers supporting people of all ages with career development.
She started writing to deal with the insecurities she felt as a mom navigating colicky diapers, poopy babies, constipated kids, messy houses and kids who won’t eat their vegetables. Now, she realizes everyone is figuring it out and it’s not so bad. She is most thankful for her parents who live five minutes away as free on-call babysitters (which comes with tons of unsolicited advice from grandma). In her free time (which barely exists), she loves to go to the park with her kids and loves Zumba.
Roxie and her husband Jason grew up in North Dakota and moved to the SW Portland suburbs shortly after their wedding in 2006. Originally she planned to attend midwifery college in Portland, but soon found out she would have a first-hand experience in the delivery room herself. Bekah was born in 2007, followed by Ben in 2010 and Bethany in 2013. Although Roxie doesn’t work outside the home, she seems to find applications for her degree in biological sciences in her role as a stay-at-home mom, especially during flu season.
Between extricating her toddler from the dishwasher and helping her fourth-grader with her homework, Roxie can often be found practicing her guitar or tickling her giggly six-year-old son. She loves to try new recipes in the kitchen. When she’s not taking care of her family, she spends her time helping out with various ministries at her church, gardening, hiking, or playing video games with her husband. She blogs at Kung Pow HausFrau!
As a child, Samantha journaled, composed songs on the piano, and dreamed of someday becoming a travel writer like the character in The Accidental Tourist. Today, she writes grants for an international non-profit, teaches her kids to play piano, and relishes long walks alone so she can think. Having recently conquered her fear of public speaking, she now enjoys presenting to groups on a variety of subjects.
Born and raised in Salem, Oregon, Sam now lives in a 1950s ranch in Lake Oswego with her husband, three school age kids, and lots of extended family a stone’s throw away. Years ago, Sam studied English–and almost minored in Spanish–at Portland State University. Today, her kids enjoy a Spanish Immersion program in the public schools, and as a family they look forward to the day they can go overseas to a Spanish-speaking country.
Instead of vacations, Sam joins her husband on “runcations” as he conquers various marathons around the globe. Every year she tries to read more books than the year before, and when she’s not reading she enjoys pop culture, trends, and learning something new every day.
Sara is a self-dubbed “child of the Northwest” having grown up in various parts of Oregon and Washington. Aside from brief stints living in Bordeaux, France and upstate New York, Portland has been her home since college, and she feels at home in its unique combo of wackiness and environmental activism. Sara has been passionate about green living since she was a teenager sneaking recycle bins into the classrooms of teachers reluctant to follow the three Rs of reduce, reuse and recycle. Now as a mom of two energetic girl sprites disguised as children (aged 2 and 4) Sara spends her days balancing green living priorities with the realities of being a busy mom (kale in the mac n’ cheese!).
Life is short and parenting can be as challenging as it is beautiful. Sara is a firm believer in finding fun and meaning in everyday moments. Weekends you can find her hiking, making soup, doing yoga, reading or generally frolicking with her family. You can read about her adventures in green living on her blog, greenmindedmama.com and watch her as the Green Living Expert for More Good Day Oregon.
Wynter is wife to Jonathan and mama to Chloe, Adaya and Liam. She is a writer, artist, a lover of stories, an avid gardener, TV watcher and chocolate-covered cherries addict.
In 2012, she self-published her first book, The Secret Inside Me, a memoir about an unplanned pregnancy at twenty years-old and her journey to choosing adoption. She founded the Made to Mother Project in 2013 to encourage, support and inspire women all over the world by sharing their diverse stories of motherhood. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.