Alexa Bigwarfe is a mother to 3 wildlings who keep her on her toes. She is an advocate, activist, speaker, author & author coach, publisher, and podcaster. Her writing career began after her infant daughter passed away at 2 days old and she turned to writing for healing. Since then, she has used her writing platform for advocacy and activism to support mothers, children, and marginalized voices. She began a nonprofit, Sunshine After the Storm, to provide support, care, healing retreats, and grief recovery to mothers in their most difficult time. She is the creator and co-host of the Lose the Cape podcast, which features moms working to make a difference in their children's lives and has co-authored and published four volumes under the Lose the Cape brand. Her primary business is Write|Publish|Sell, a company dedicated to shepherding authors through the massive process of writing and publishing their books like a pro. She owns her own publishing house, Kat Biggie Press, and a children's book publishing company, Purple Butterfly Press - both dedicated to bringing stories of hope, inspiration, encouragement, and girl-power to the world. Learn more at alexabigwarfe.com.Brooke is many things, but normal is not one of them! She’s a native of SC who was raised in Bamberg and has been living in Columbia since 2017. She’s a Mom of 3; JD (19), Alyssa (13) and Will (2). Brooke and her husband Chris married in 2014. Together, they’ve become avid advocates for autism awareness in support of their son Will. Brooke holds a Masters in Information Technology and works as an IT Security Risk Analyst. In addition to her love for writing, Brooke also loves running, bow hunting, and tattoos. She’s a Christian who’s definitely not without flaw, a survivor, and an advocate for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. In her spare time she writes for her blog at BrookeMcAlhaney and feeds her social media obsession on Facebook.Caitlyn is a Florida native, but now home is wherever the Air Force sends them. She resides in NE Columbia with her husband Josh, daughter Chloe, and sons Daniel and Levi. They also have a spoiled yellow lab named Zoe. Caitlyn holds a B.A. in Rehabilitation Services/Psychology and a Masters in School Counseling with an urban focus. Before kids she loved her work as a school counselor in Title 1 elementary schools. Now as a stay at home mom Caitlyn enjoys spreading autism awareness through writing, baking, and chasing after three kids while drinking large amounts of coffee.Originally from Indiana, Carey moved to South Carolina in 2009. She and her husband, Brett, met during college at USC and now reside in Forest Acres. She is an elementary school teacher turned stay-at-home mom to their wonderful baby boy. After struggling with infertility for years, their son, Milo, joined their family in November of 2017 through the beautiful gift of adoption. Carey enjoys writing and crafting in her spare time and even has a small Etsy shop and personal blog, both named Simply Shofner. Coffee and cats are her love language and she's passionate about adoption, education and social justice issues. She would describe herself as your totally basic, semi-crunchy, hot mess mom who loves strolling the aisles of Target and play dates at Starbucks."Write it Out to Get It Out!" is this vibrant young woman' s motto. Charlita Bowman is a 31 year old woman who resides in the northeast. Living life with her high school sweetheart and husband, Jacob, and their 4 wonderful children, Te'Asia (13), Israel (8) Landen (4) and Khloe (6 months) has been amazing (although chaotic at times). Charlita currently works with SCDHHS, and holds an AA in Medical Assisting. Reading, spending time with family, writing, music, God and nature are just some of the things that bring her joy. You can find her actively involved as a minister at her church, volunteering as a sexual trauma advocate and using her creative platform , Litaspeaks to blog, write poetry and offer creative services. Charlita has newly launched her Litaspeaks T-shirt line " Lita-Ology!" and will be debuting her first book later this year! Above all else, Charlita cherishes her role of being a mom and a wife!Hannah is a former full-time working turned stay-at-home/homeschooling mom. She lives in Irmo with her husband and two daughters, ages 8 and 4. She graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Marketing and Management, and spent some of her time at USC as a political cartoonist for The Gamecock, the university’s newspaper. She is passionate about writing, painting, social justice, wine, and raising strong women. Hannah is a contributing writer for Her View From Home. You can also find her at her blog, Palindromic Musings, where she writes about living with and navigating through grief.Marketing CoordinatorKate is a self proclaimed news geek who has worked in radio, on the air and behind the scenes, for the last 17 years. She and her husband moved to Columbia in 2011 with the intent of staying just five years...but they never ended up leaving. Originally from upstate NY, Kate has also lived in Chattanooga and Los Angeles. (Notice the theme? She moved away from the snow and never wants to deal with again.) Kate stays home with her three children and homeschools the oldest two. Her work from home gig includes editing audio for a radio program that airs worldwide. She is active in her church, is passionate about orphan care and will never turn down chocolate. When stressed, you can find her baking or crafting while singing along to the Hamilton soundtrack.Wildly in love with her perfectly imperfect life, Kathy’s been married to her most favorite person in the world, “The Professor,” for 14 years. They moved to Columbia from Atlanta seven years ago and are enjoying raising their two girls, Gracie (12½) and Tate (10) here. After undergrad and her MBA, Kathy worked in Corporate America for 10 years before retiring to work full-time for the girls. Most recently, she was a grant writer at a college here in town, but had to leave that job when her family moved to New Zealand for six months for The Professor’s sabbatical. She started her blog, Kathy Goes Kiki, to document that amazing adventure, but now she’s home and trying to figure out what to do with her life. Again. Probably the loudest and most foul-mouthed introvert you’ll ever meet, she can usually be found curled up with a trashy romance novel, on the tennis court, at her awesome gym, or drinking wine with people she loves.Katrina is a mom of three great kids and has been married to her first love for more than 10 years. She’s grateful to have a job that allows her the flexibility to both work from home some days and in the office others. On the surface, Katrina is pretty crunchy – she loved breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping, natural birth, and the idea of homeschooling — but still loved her stroller, having her kids in their own beds at some point, her epidural was fantastic, and she’s sending the kids through public school. Most of all she loves the fact that we have all these choices, which makes life interesting! One of her favorite experiences was moving to Japan in 2002 to live as an adult dependent with her USMC family. It was an amazing experience, and if it weren’t for that, she probably wouldn’t ever have met her husband.Kelly Barbrey is an early riser, old soul and retail therapy expert. She is a wife to Jonathan and a mom to two strong-willed daughters, born in 2007 and 2010. Kelly grew up in Atlanta, GA and earned a degree in magazine journalism from The University of Georgia. She has worked full time in tourism marketing for Experience Columbia SC since 2004, where she loves to share all the exciting things happening in Columbia, SC with potential travelers. When she’s not working or wrangling kids, she enjoys date nights with her husband at local restaurants, exercise, reading and sharing real and humorous accounts of life, motherhood and nostalgia on her blog, Up Early + Often. photo credit: Kickstand StudioKelsey Arender is a Lexington native who fell in love with her work in libraries in 2012. Prior to her recent career change, you could find her at the public library's children department. Now, she happily works in a middle school library. On the weekends, Kelsey and her husband, William, enjoy watching reruns of their favorite TV shows, attending church, and reading with their one-year-old daughter. Kelsey's favorite things include endless mugs of coffee, cozy sweaters, rainy days, and laughing with friends. She may be an introvert but if you start a conversation about personality types, toddlers, or hygge, you'll make a fast friend. You can find her hanging on Instagram at @we_all_get_sleepy.Kimberly is a writer, speaker, wife, and new(ish) mom. She directs the teen pregnancy prevention program for Daybreak pregnancy center, and is a founder of Pearls, an organization that serves women in the sex industry and fights human trafficking in the Midlands. She studied English literature at Florida Atlantic University, and though she will always be a Florida girl at heart, she has called Columbia home for the last seven years. She and her husband Braden have been married for a fabulous decade, and they welcomed their first child, Declan Finn, into the world on June 3rd, 2015. She is a contributor for Scary Mommy, the Huffington Post, and The Mighty. You can find her wandering around the great outdoors, drinking far too much coffee at her favorite local shops, and on Facebook.Kristi is a pastor’s wife, mother, writer, and former public school teacher for English for Speakers of Other Languages. She grew up all over the United States as an Air Force brat, but moved to Columbia in the 1990s to attend Columbia International University, and has called the Midlands “home” ever since. Her days are kept full with the antics and activities of her children - homeschooling, church activities, American Heritage Girls, and Trail Life - as well as writing and leading her Columbia-based pregnancy loss ministry, Naomi’s Circle. Kristi is a contributing editor for Rainbows and Redemption: Encouragement for the Journey of Pregnancy After Loss and a co-author of Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother. She shares her thoughts about faith, family, and femininity on her blog, This Side of Heaven.Lauren was born and raised in West Columbia, South Carolina. She is a stay at home mom to Jack (January 2005) and Heidi (May 2014). She is a full time bonus mom to Summer and Autumn. Lauren and her husband Rodney were married in June of 2013 on his family’s farm in Hominy Falls, West Virginia. The George family resides in Lexington, South Carolina. They started Hot Rod’s Upholstery on August 1, 2014 in Lexington. Lauren graduated from Midlands Technical College in May 2011 with an Associate degree in Public Service in Criminal Justice Technology, and she is also a certified Emergency Medical Technician. She is the event coordinator for the annual Brittany Allison Corgan Memorial 5K and an advocate for epilepsy awareness. Lauren enjoys spending time with her children, babywearing, boating on Lake Murray, sewing new dresses for Heidi, and relaxing on Folly Beach.After living in the frozen tundra of Western New York, Pennsylvania, and Chicago, Leah was thrilled to move to the warmer climate of South Carolina in 2014. Leah is the mother of two rambunctious boys and is married to a wonderful man she couldn’t live without. Leah has the privilege of being able to work from home part time while raising her two fun loving boys. When she’s not chasing lizards out of her house, Leah enjoys spending time with her friends, reading, going to the beach, photography and writing. Leah started her blog, SecretsofMommyhood, when Giovanni was a baby and enjoys sharing her daily life as a Christian mother, an allergy mom and a military wife. Leah also does some freelance editing work and is a contributor for our sister site Military Moms Blog. Leah loves being a part of the Columbia SC Moms Blog team! You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.Lisa is a transplant from the Midwest. She was born and raised in Kansas (yes, she has seen a tornado) and spent a few years in Ohio before moving to South Carolina in 2014. She holds a degree in Biology and works as a research assistant at the USC School of Medicine. Her career in science spans 11 years and she can't imagine a job anywhere else. She has also been married to her college sweetheart for 11 years. He is a professor at USC, so they are Gamecock fans by default. They are proud parents to a spunky 2.5 year old girl who keeps them on their toes. As a family, they enjoy being outside in the wonderful southern sun, gardening, playing tennis, and going to the beach. They also are parents to two fur babies who still aren't sure about their little sister.Marissa was born in Charleston, South Carolina on Sept, 27, 1986 to James Sweat and the late Tracy Graham. She is the youngest girl of six, two sisters and three brothers. She grew up in Holly Hill, and graduated from Holly Hill Roberts High. Marissa furthered her education at Midlands Technical College, receiving a certificate in Early Childhood Education in 2017 and an associate degree in Early Childhood Education in 2018. She has been married for seven years to her husband Terence Evans. Together they have three children (Jaylen, Jada and Ny’Asia Evans). Her oldest and only boy, Jaylen, has cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and autism.vShe is the COO of a non-profit organization called Our Children’s Story South Carolina Chapter. Marissa and her husband are also the founders of the movement #Dontstare which is to raise awareness to how rude staring can be.Mee Jean is a mom of three who is married to her high school sweetheart. A native from Atlanta, Mee Jean holds a Journalism degree from the University of Georgia while her husband, Greg, graduated from The University of South Carolina (House Divided!). Together, they have three children: Alyssa (8), Jacob (7) and Isaac (1). Once wondering how she could live in a small town like Columbia, she now embraces it and loves her home in Blythewood. Working as a marketing analyst at BlueCross BlueShield, she loves being involved in the community and making Columbia the best place for her kids. As a graduate from the Leadership Columbia Class of 2017, she has learned a lot about Columbia. Mee Jean loves hanging out with her girlfriends, reading, watching Georgia football, running races (5ks or Spartans), taking pictures and making memories (lots of selfies and hashtags) and relaxing with some wine by the pool.Melanie has a southern drawl that matches her pace of life. Slow and steady wins the race. You might find her sipping a coffee (that husband Andy made for her,) rocking a baby (at Brookland Academy,) or watching a history video (with middle school son Ian.) She sometimes writes about children at www.beingmissmelanie.com and often shares the whimsy of girlhood found in Matilda Jane Clothing.Growing up in a small town in India, Mona Verma never dreamed that she would immigrate to America. She came to Columbia in 1996 when her husband found a job here and they were newly married. It was an arranged match but she did get to meet her future husband and give her approval and there has never been a shortage of love in their marriage. With a Masters in English and a Masters in Library and Information Science, Mona divides her time between being a part time Reference librarian and a part time writer. She is however, a full time mom to three teenagers, a girl and two boys. Volunteering, gardening, reading, binge watching her favorite TV shows and drinking wine with girlfriends spark tremendous joy in her. She is a very laid back person who likes to live and let live. Cups of hot ginger tea and hugs and cuddles from her family keep her going….Born and raised in Columbia, Paige runs a photography and graphic design business from home while raising two young boys with her husband, Stephen. Most days you will find her juggling between her boys, cooking, finding time to read a book, editing a photo, or enjoying a conversation with her friends. A graduate from the University of South Carolina in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art Studio, Paige finds creative ways to use her talents to take her career to the next level in-between building forts, nap times, and tears. She enjoys exchanging stories about the day to day joy and challenges of motherhood. Ashton (4yo) and Boone (18mo) keep her busy but Paige always finds ways to make the most of this mom life.Ronisha is a native of Columbia, and has lived here most of my life, apart from a short-lived US Army career. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a Master of Business Administration, and works as a Software Specialist for a local non-profit. Ronisha is a single parent to one daughter – Trinity (2013), who has a love for visiting local attractions such as Riverbanks Zoo, EdVenture, and the South Carolina State Museum. She is good at doing lots of little things, but claims to be the master of nothing. Her passions are cooking things her child will never eat, and baking things that she eats too much of. In her leisure time, she enjoys reading, coffee, discovering local food, and traveling. Family is very important and she tries to spend as much time as she can with her extended family as"the fun auntie!" Her blog Ro Made It gives way too much information about her life, but it is such a fun ride!Sarah has lived in Columbia since she was a kid, but it never felt like home until 2012 when she married her husband, David, and moved to Forest Acres. They met in 2010 when she was as a single mom, and have two children together, Hannah (age 4) and Titus (age 1), and Madison, (14). Sarah has a cosmetology degree, and is a part time stylist, while being a full time wife and mama. She has a deep desire to connect with other women, whatever season, to remind them they are not alone. She is a 'social' introvert, a deep thinker; who pays no attention to details, loves reading, but never finishes a book, she has a strong love for God's word, and despite her many flaws she desperately wants to be used to further the kingdom. She is a foodie, coffee drinking, wanna be perfectionist. She can identify with blended families, infertility, teenage parenting, and mental health issues.Tamayah is a Pediatric Ninja Specialist, which means she uses the Martial Arts to help kids be the very best versions of themselves so they can rock this thing called life. She is the co-owner of TNT Martial Arts & Fitness, located in Cayce and she loves being able to work, play and parent along side of her husband Tim. They have 2 little ninja's of their own, Quinton and Sophia who you can find hanging out on the mats at TNT. Along with inspiring the kids she works with, Tamayah wants to encourage other moms that are just starting out in business and motherhood. Being a mom can be tough and being a business owner is hard but both jobs are incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. When Tamayah is not working at TNT, she enjoys baking and trying new recipes, taking her kids to the different parks in Columbia to explore, date nights with her husband and hanging out with friends while watching the Ultimate Fighting Championships. You can follow her on Instagram and Facebook @TamayahGoodwin.Tasheena is a California native who moved to Columbia in the Fall of 2018. She has been married to her college sweetheart since 2013 and together they’re raising two feisty little girls. Tasheena has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education with a minor degree in Child and Family Science. She worked as a kindergarten teacher until her second daughter was born in 2017 and she transitioned to life as a stay-at-home mom. Although being home full time has its challenges, she loves being her girls’ first teacher and experiencing the world their eyes. Tasheena enjoys yoga, impromptu dance parties, exploring the community, solo trips to the grocery store, and sharing pieces of her life on her blog, The Cinnamon Mom. With so many transplant families in Columbia, she hopes to share a newcomer’s perspective and connect with more mommies in the area!Valerie Byrd Fort was born in Florida, but when she was four years old, her family moved to the midlands and never looked back. She is mom to Katy (human) and to Lucky, Mozzy, and Penny (rescue dogs). She is married to Marty Fort, owner of the Lexington School of Music, Columbia Arts Academy, and Irmo Music Academy. She is an Instructor for the School of Library & Information Science at the University of South Carolina, where she teaches Children’s Literature to future classroom teachers and librarians. She is also Coordinator for Cocky's Reading Express, the University of South Carolina's literacy outreach program. Valerie is passionate about books, literacy, libraries, and reading aloud with children of ALL ages. She writes about books and other literacy related topics on her blog, Library Goddess. In her free time, Valerie enjoys reading, Barre3, going to Target and endless scrolling of social mediaValerie was born in 1985, which means she identifies with both Gen X-er's and Millennial's depending on the time of day. She grew up on Florida's treasure coast, and graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.A. in History and Literature. This is where her love for reading and writing blossomed. After working many years in Retail throughout the east coast as both a manager and district trainer, she and her husband, Rick, moved to northeast Columbia. There she took the opportunity to become a SAHM. Valerie has both a smarty-pants little girl, Mary Sue, and an overly mischievous baby boy, Connor. In her spare evenings she is a local Girl Scout Co-Leader for younger girls. Her interests also include expanding her talents in the kitchen, as shown by her participation in a local Baking Club and a general obsession with all things Food Network.Vickey Finkley-Brown was born Columbia. She attended Lower Richland High school, where she met and fell in love with her high school sweetheart. They’ve been married for 20 years and have three beautiful daughters; Kay (18), Sonne (15), and Sadie (13). A graduate of The University of South Carolina with a BA in English, she went on to earn a M.Ed. in Curriculum from Lesley University, during her 13-year teaching career. She retired early after developing lupus and being diagnosed with narcolepsy and cataplexy. Vickey is now a stay-at-home (school) mom and caregiver to her youngest daughter who has with Klein Levins Syndrome- a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty Disease and Sighted Non-24. When she isn’t in hot pursuit of her second career as a romance writer, podcaster, and blogger under the pen name, Ella Shawn; she’s probably maintaining the 10 guinea pigs, crocheting, meditating, reading or sweating in hot yoga.
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