It's that time again- time to meet another one of our motivated (and motivating) mamas! Every month we feature an interview with one of our fabulous runners so you can get to know us. How do we choose who to interrogate? With a draw out of a hat by the nearest toddler in tow.
Lenora G hails from Edmonds, Washington, where she spent many hours traipsing the beaches and shorelines of the greater Seattle area. Nowadays her waterfront running usually takes place around Town Lake on the Butler Hike and Bike Trail. Lenora can be found navigating either her Summit X3 double stroller, or her BOB double stroller (yes, she owns two of them, and no she won't be getting rid it either of them anytime soon) over the many hills of the trail with her two eldest kiddos. In fact, most of the mileage she has done while training for races has been on the trail, and with good reason. Its restrooms, water fountains, accessibility, and popularity make it the go-to spot for most Austin runners. This also means there is never a shortage of random passersby who will cheer on this pregnant mama (baby #3 is due September 1st) as she speeds along.
Lenora is no stranger to running while pregnant. Gideon (3) and Gloria (1.5) are both seasoned pros at bouncing along with their mama, or cheering her on as she races. In her running career, Lenora has completed an impressive 24 sprint/Olympic triathlons, 6 Half Ironmans, 2 Ironmans, 13 Half Marathons, 6 Marathons, and thousands of training miles. It's no wonder her most prized running attire are her Ironman finisher shirts. Lenora also completed the Bastrop Ragnar this year while pregnant, which proved to be great training for the sleep depravation that a newborn provides.
Her long list of running accomplishments and her six years of teaching middle school reading and writing made Lenora more than qualified to be the Marathon High Director for four years. This non-profit trains underprivileged middle and high schoolers to run the Austin Marathon. Education and working with kids is a family affair, as her husband, Sam, is the assistant superintendent for IDEA Public Schools.
Although people have told her she looks like Brooke Shields, Lenora claims she does not have any hidden talents aside from swimming, running, cleaning, cooking, and parenting (which are all pretty darn impressive talents). She does, however, have a penchant for picking great young adult fiction books, and dreams of one day being a middle or high school librarian whose only job is to put really great books into the hands of students. Her dream library would probably also feature a cardboard cutout of Thor, although she is ready for the superhero genre of movies to take a backseat, since she's seen the insides of her eyelids more than the plot lines as she has tried to support Sam's fandom in recent years.
When they're not racking up the miles in the stroller (while Lenora tells them over and over again, "We are almost done!"), Gideon and Gloria love to play at Roy G. Guerrero Park. This huge park and playground is rarely crowded, although the lack of shade makes it a better fall/winter destination for play. Lenora's laid-back attitude is rarely ruffled, but she still cringes at the memory of Gideon throwing raisins at the rows of people in front of him on an airplane ride. If you see her on the trails (and you will not be able to miss her triple stroller this fall), say "hi" and prepare to be greeted with a smile!
VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE + DELICIOUS
I'm still trying to figure out why this amazing cauliflower puree tastes as divine as any full-fat, dairy-laden alfredo recipe I've had before. Either way, I sure am glad it tastes the way it does, and that it's gluten and dairy free and contains WAY less fat. Definitely worth giving this sauce a fighting chance.
Ingredients + Instructions:
2 T olive oil, heated in a medium/large sauce pan
2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
2 tsp pine nuts
*Cook over medium heat for 3-4 min (or until amazing aromas begin to fill the air)
1 small head of cauliflower (about 3 cups), chopped
2 1/4 C. almond milk
2 tsp salt
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp basil
1/2-1 tsp pepper
*Cook over medium heat for 8 min (or until cauliflower is tender)
Put ingredients into blender and add:
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 C. nutritional yeast flakes
Blend until smooth
Tips/Things To Try:
Since we are a group of stroller pushing runner moms, chances are that at any given point there are moms either anticipating pregnancy, currently pregnant, or navigating the postpartum world.
One thing I remember vividly from my pregnancy days was the idea that my running (or lack of) was something that would go by the wayside during those 10 months.
The good news is that being on the other side of multiple pregnancies now, I’m here to say that your running doesn’t have to drastically suffer just because you are pregnant. Also, I want to give you a short pep talk and tell you that if you find yourself pregnant and unable to (or under doctor’s orders) run, that is completely okay!
By the way, I’m not a doctor and don’t know your specific situation, so please take this post with a grain of salt. These are just observations I had during my experience of running during my pregnancies.
My hope is that if you are considering running during pregnancy, that you would find some encouragement and maybe even helpful tips from this post.
Before my last two pregnancies, I was running consistently and had a solid mileage base and specific pace. By consistently, I don’t necessarily mean a huge amount of mileage but I was consistently running and was comfortable with my routine. This means I had a solid base established and wasn’t going to be starting something new, once I found out I was pregnant.
Mileage varied with each of the pregnancies but overall, the main thing for me was that I wasn’t looking to increase mileage very much if at all. Pace also varied a lot (honestly, every run can feel so different!) but I always again made sure to tune in and listen to my body.
One of my first thoughts when I found out I was pregnant, was “thank goodness I’ve been running consistently!” Don’t get me wrong, there were much more important thoughts happening but in regards to exercise, those were my thoughts.
Thinking back, it was a validating moment for me as a runner. I’ve been a runner for 11 years now, so knowing that I could continue running in this new phase of life was encouraging. Seeing other moms who were pregnant and still running (even while pushing double strollers) was also encouraging and motivating.
During those first few weeks of the first trimester, being sick all day long is almost an automatic recipe for not having the desire to peel yourself away from the couch or toilet, lace up your shoes and go for a run.
Mentally, I had to tackle each day as it came. I knew that once I started running, I wouldn’t feel sick anymore. One tip to have a strong mental game? Don’t talk yourself out of it. Even if you get sick before and after a run, knowing you’ll be just fine during the run helps your mind stay strong in getting that run done.
Another mental roadblock that you might encounter as a pregnant runner is the comparison to others of distance/pace/duration/a previous pregnancy/you name it. Just the fact that you're out there, running during pregnancy and pushing a stroller is AMAZING. Don't sell yourself short.
Hydration was super important in those early weeks of pregnancy, as were plenty of snacks. Depending on the time of year and climate where you live, this could look like a bunch of extra ice water or a thermos of hot tea/coffee. Snacks are just as crucial and this can certainly vary from day to day and person to person. Find something that works for you, have it on hand and eat it before you start feeling sick.
Part two of this series will cover running during pregnancy in the second trimester, more practical tips and always some encouragement.
Until then, happy pregnant running!
Disclaimer: I’m not an expert, just a girl who loves running and has been doing so for over a decade. Everything I share about running during pregnancy is what has worked for me and what has been okay for me to do during my pregnancy. Always check with your doctor before starting or continuing an exercise regimen.
It's Featured Member Friday! Each month (ok, about every 4 months) we interview a member of our tribe so you can get to know us better. This month we are talking to Monica H!
If you've ever wondered what it's like to run about 4 miles with a 3-foot Minnie Mouse piñata in your stroller (along with your 3-year-old daughter), Monica could tell you. After her daughter, Emilia, decided that it could not be sacrificed at her birthday party, she started toting it around like it was not actually the same size as she was. This included bringing it in the stroller with her for several runs until it was replaced (and retired to the dumpster... did I mention Monica's biggest fear is mice?).
Despite her unorthodox stroller accessories, Monica earned herself the nickname "Speedy Garcia" because of her quick feet and Mexican heritage. She was born in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico and her incredible cooking abilities reflect her roots. Her still strong accent has led people to compare her to Sofia Vergara, too!
Monica is a Ronan & Fields Consultant in addition to staying at home with Emilia. Before baby, she was a Food and Beverage Manager with a nutcracker collection, and an affinity for SXSW. Luckily her daughter has inherited her love for festivals, and is happy to accompany both Monica and her husband, Mike, on any and all Austin adventures they can dream up! She has sported headphones at SXSW shows, biked the Town Lake Boardwalk, and been to plays at the theater.
When she's not taking full advantage of this city's incredible offerings, Monica is putting in some serious miles. She pushes her single B.O.B., and rocks out to the tune of Justin Beiber's "Despacito." Monica says she cannot run without her hat, especially in hot weather, and her dream job is to be a professional runner. She has already completed a full marathon, and has plans to do more. Her first was partially unplanned, as she had registered for the full, but decided before the race to do the half. However, after completing the half the day of the race and slamming a beer, she got going again and finished the full after all!
Monica's favorite post-run indulgence is tacos, though she says she also has ice cream every night before bed. Food is the way to Emilia's heart as well, as Monica says the key to keeping her happy in the stroller (aside from the giant Minnie) is lots and lots of snacks. Bringing their rambunctious beagle, Rocco, along for runs is another way Emilia stays entertained, as she and Rocco have a close connection (think Nana in Peter Pan). Monica's favorite running spot is Katherine Fleischer Park, but will always go for a day at Town Lake, too. Next time you're out and about (or your kiddo is insisting on packing something ridiculous to accompany you on your run), give Monica a high five and know you're not alone!
My daughter, Gemma, will be 2 in March. March 10th to be exact, and she's still drinking from a flippin' bottle. I am aware that it's my fault. I take full responsibility (ok, partial only because I'm not ready to fully admit that I created this bottle-crazed monster).
It began when she first started taking a bottle. Of course this came after multiple days of trying to remove nipple ever so gently and replace it with an awkward, cold, silicone tip instead. Gemma was no fool. Sleep deprived and rather looney, I sought out help from a fellow Trotter whose daughter had also been picky about her drinking companion. I was able to borrow SIX different brand bottles from Helpy McHelperson (well, Clara really I suppose) and this didn't include the other 4 brands I had stacked up at home from baby showers/sprinkles/first born. We tried them all--glass bottles, Dr Browns bottles, $15 bottles, nothing. Advice from friends, family, strangers alike was that eventually she would be hungry enough and would take the bottle. Gemma reinvented the word stubborn that week.
In the end, after several WEEKS of introducing bottle after bottle, what did she end up choosing? Latex nipples (which had actually been included in the insanity pack that we borrowed from Clara, but I had forgotten about them). You know the great thing about latex nipples? They are discontinued. Yes, completely and totally discontinued. What does this mean? It means that the latex-hoarding individuals on amazon could sell them to us needy AF parents for WAY more than their actual monetary value. This 'lucky' couple scored a 3-pack of latex nipples for a measly $33. Be jealous. BOOM. Yep, my daughter preferred $11 nipples that we knew would eventually deteriorate over time--as latex naturally does.
There was even in incident where we traveled out to California, and one of the nipples began to show signs of wear and tare. I didn't realize it would happen as quickly as it did (thinking perhaps Gemma was an alien after all and had strange levels of acidity in her saliva) and so I was an unprepared mother and the only other latex nipples that existed in the world were in ATX. What did this mean? We needed our dear old friends to OVERNIGHT a latex nipple to California. It does not get much more ridiculous than that. Really. I shake my head and laugh as I type this. And this was our SECOND child, people.
Any woo, time went by, latex withered and silicone became our new bestie. Lucky for us, solid foods were being given and fluids were being had in other ways than through a rapido nip. We were able to continuously give her a silicone nipple, and eventually she took to it (phew)!
So now it's present day. We had collected the insanity pack of sippy cups, and I'm reliving the glory days of introducing a bottle all over again. Straws, hard spouts, soft spouts, training cups, etc. Our daughter is SO stubborn that she actually made it 48 hours without taking a single sip from a cup. Back to the bottle (and wet diapers) she went.
So if any of you have some glorious tip as to how to get your stubborn (for lack of a better word) child to do something they really don't want to do, let me know. As for now, it's off to the google machine to search for $33 sippy cup with a latex top---or at least for a kind of cup that's being discontinued.
Happy February everyone! It's Featured Member Friday... that means you get to meet one of our amazing members up close and personal. How do we decide who to feature? With a super un-biased draw out of a hat by the nearest tot.
If you had met this month's featured member a year ago, she would have told you that running a half marathon was impossible for her. Trust me, she told me more than once when I tried to convince her it was a good idea. One year later, however, she has now completed not one, but three half marathons (at break-neck speeds) and will be running the Austin MARATHON in a few weeks!
Susan C, aka Tex-Sass, or Susie Q, is the proud mama of a spunky almost 2-year-old named Evelyn, and a 5-year-old named Bodie who has the sweetest disposition, and better organizational skills than most adults. Her husband, Josh, is a member of the Trotting With Tots Bald Dads club (population climbing rapidly), and an avid runner as well. Unfortunately for him, his running season is shortened each year during hail season, as he does paintless dent repair and works long hours when there are ice showers. However, he makes up for it by being Susan's biggest cheerleader, often finishing races hand in hand with her (if he can catch up).
Before she became a mama, Susan worked for a neurosurgery practice. She grew up in Wimberley, Texas, but settled in the country in South Austin, where they see plenty of wildflowers and wildlife. Since she has conquered her fear of running long distances, maybe she will tackle her fear of snakes, scorpions, and frogs next. Some day, Susan thinks she might like to be a pilates or fitness instructor, working with people to help them be healthier.
For now, Susan spends her days running around with her kiddos in their BOB stroller. Her favorite places to run are Circle C Park, and Zilker, which also happens to be her favorite place in Austin. She would rather run that trail than any other, and holds out hope that she will spot her celebrity crush, Justin Timberlake, there one day (where I'm sure he would appreciate a mob of moms chasing him with their strollers). If she remembers to pack it, she loves to run with her Rogue American headband, and can usually be spotted with her headphones in, since her running playlist is full of songs that are not so kid-friendly (Bodie does know most of the words to "Booty Wurk" by T-Pain). The song she would pick to play on repeat while she racks up the miles is "Lay it All on Me" by Rudimental. Susan also swears by running with gum in her mouth, often switching pieces out mid-race (ask her where she keeps the extras).
Bodie and Evelyn stay busy in the stroller with snacks, milk, and an iPad if times get desperate. The whole family is rewarded with a trip to Pieous or Torchy's Tacos post-run, because chips and queso are the perfect way to top off a sweat session. Since she says running helps with her sanity, she has decided to make it a daily occurrence and has been streak running since early July 2016. The other reason she runs, she says, is to be able to indulge in things like dark chocolate, extra caffeine, and Lisa W.'s cakes. Whatever the reason, it has definitely been a good habit to pick up, and we are glad she has joined us!
When she's not running, Susan spends time taking Pilates and Barre classes at the gym, and gardening. She has quite the green thumb, even saving other people's plants that are in need of help. While at home, Susan tries to keep Bodie away from Sponge Bob, because he is "so gross" and bakes 2-3 strawberry pies for her family every week! Susan is a smiley addition to the group, and if you need someone to encourage you to keep going when you want to quit, make sure to say hi at our next meetup!
New year, new blog commitment! Up first, getting back into the groove of things with a new Member of the Month post!
If you've been out and about on Town Lake's amazing trail lately, you may have spotted this month's featured member sporting the Red Rocket that is the TRIPLE stroller! Portia H. and her trio of tots are frequently found on the trail, since, as Portia put it, "You can do an easy 3, or practically a full half marathon and it's beautiful every step of the way." This may well be her favorite spot in Austin, too, because she loves being in the midst of nature yet still in the middle of a big city.
Averill (4), Clive (2), and Phebe (fresh from the oven in November) stay busy in the stroller with pretzels and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on YouTube. If their mom had her way, though, they would not be doing the Hot Dog Dance anymore, since Toodles and his endless bag of tricks is a little too nonsensical for her taste. Their favorite place to run and play is the Georgetown playscape because it is close to home and has some crazy fun slides.
Before Phebe was born, Portia was chugging mocha frappucinos after every run, including the Halloween Half Marathon, which she completed at 36 weeks pregnant! She says this most recent race was somewhere around #10 for halves, and she has completed 15 or so 5Ks, but this was her proudest moment.
Cheering her on from the sidelines, and also making sure she does not get injured (her biggest fear), is her Orthopedic Surgeon hubby Trey. He can be spotted accompanying his family on some weekend runs, or hosting beer-brewing bashes for the Trotting with Tots Husbands.
In her pre-kiddo life, Portia lived in Santa Monica, California, and was a Pilates instructor. In her dream world, she would be a professional musician or maybe a music teacher. She plays several instruments, including piano and cello, so this would not be a stretch. If you enjoy orchestral arrangements, you can spot her in concert with the Williamson County Symphony Orchestra, where she plays cello.
Portia binges on music, and also on Chicks and Rabbits candy each spring. She describes these Easter candies as "orange circus peanuts, but in delicious chick, rooster, and rabbit shapes" and has been known to overdose on them every year. As a mom, she says her most embarrassing moment was when, shortly after Clive was born, she was sitting in a restaurant with a friend talking about how she was afraid of leaking. Little did she know that she had already soaked her shirt!
Although music is obviously a big part of Portia's life, she runs without it. She says it took her a while to train herself, but she enjoys that it has made her appreciate her surroundings more. If she did want some tunes to run with, she would choose jazz, especially Dave Brubeck. She started running to control her asthma, and prove to herself that she can do what she once believed was impossible.
Be sure to give her a wave (and maybe a hand up the hills) when you see Portia on the trails at the next Meetup!
It's Featured Member Friday er... Tuesday! Each month, we feature one of our magnificent members so you can get to know our crazy crew. How do we decide who to feature? With a super fair draw out of a hat by the closest toddler in tow.
This month we are focusing on the Blonde-Shell herself, Lyndsey, "Lyns" V! Originally from Florida, Lyns worked in the medical field before staying home with her boisterous baby boy, Beckhem. She and her husband, Shawn, are new(ish) to Austin. So far, her favorite playground is the Play For All Abilities park, and the best running route she has found is Zilker, because of the shade.
When out on the trails with Beckhem, Lyns provides him with an endless supply of food and/or his paci to keep him from trying to break out of the B.O.B. while she jams out to Lapdance by N.E.R.D. You will not see her running without a secure ponytail, clips and bobby pins, since one of her pet peeves when running is having her hair touching her face.
Lyns says that you probably will not see her indulging after a long run. She usually treats herself before her workouts, putting the cart before the horse, or the snack before the sprint. If you catch her doing extra laps around the lake it might be because she snuck some raw cookie dough, or had too many Red Lobster biscuits the day before.
The March of Dimes races have been Lyns' favorites so far. She says they are put on for a good cause, and are always a good time. When she's not raising money doing races, she collects Lenox "Winter Greetings" Christmas dishes. She also loves spending time at the San Gabriel River running, biking, swimming, and playing with her dogs. She daydreams about working with animals at Sea World or Busch Gardens, where she might be able to put her hidden talent of doing a monkey call to good use, and about a world where Mariah Carey does not exist.
Seeing her with Beckhem, you'll know immediately that her fear of not being a great mom is one that she need not worry about. Lyns loves to run because she loves nature, and sweets. Say hi at our next meetup!
A couple of months ago, way too long ago actually (Ehhh hmmmm, Lisa), our Trotting with Tots group had a potluck dinner. One of the recipes that we tried out was called Bacon-Parmesan Spaghetti Squash, and because I wanted to make it for dinner tonight, I thought I would share it with you too! Only I will not be arriving at your house with the dish already made---you will have to make it yourself. wah wah. And who wouldn't want warm Fall food on a SUPER freakishly hot Summer day? Pfffttt.
Bacon-Parmesan Spaghetti Squash
*This is often posted as a side dish, but I find it to be quite filling and very satisfying as a main dish. To each their own...
1 large spaghetti squash (approximately 4.5 lbs)
1 pound bacon
1/4 c butter (8 T.) cut into small pieces
1 c. shredded parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat over to 375
Line baking sheet with parchment paper
cut squash into 1" rings, width-wise like so:
Remove pulp and seeds from squash and cook (laying flat) for 40-45 min
While squash is baking....
Cut bacon into small pieces and cook in skillet until nice and crispy
remove bacon from pan with slotted spoon (so not to grab excessive grease)
set bacon aside
Remove squash from oven, allow to cool just a bit before handling
Remove strands from each slice using a fork until the squash resembles spaghetti (so fun!)
Place squash in a large bowl and add butter pieces, shredded parmesan cheese and bacon crumbles
Season with salt and pepper as needed
**Please note that this would have been posted yesterday, but the internet went out for a mere 12 hours.... because that happens often**
It has most definitely been one of THOSE weeks.
Monday: Wake up to a broken FitBit (perhaps I shouldn't have gone swimming with it on for over an hour the night before--oops), two rowdy kiddos and a gassy pup (what the hell did she eat?!). Assuming my day would progressively get better, I was still optimistic about my Monday. Met with the group, only about 5 min late (better than our normal commute I'd say), and saw that the Clarksville Splash Pad was functioning this 'fine' morning (side note: on our last visit, Ethan (age: 2.92 years at the time) had managed to get the splash pad going for just long enough to soak him, but the remaining 8 ADULTS couldn't get the thing started again to save our lives. We left that day with one super-soaked Ethan and a group of perplexed parents on the phone with Austin Parks and Rec). As we begin our run to Town Lake, dodging cars across 6th (I survived...barely), and up onto the Hartford Bridge, POP! Who needs an achilles to run? My calf instantly swelled and my ankle looked like a tree trunk. Rad. I hobbled my way back to the (optimism insert: WORKING) splash pad and waited for the rest of the mama tribe to run their 4+ miles through my favorite part of town. Did I mention I love hills? Tarrytown and I get along quite nicely for that reason, but I disagree with the cost of said hills. $800k for 1600 sq ft? I'm good. I'll stick to gawking as I run hobble through the hood rather than pull into a driveway there. Wah wah.
After the splash pad, I ventured home... with my ever-growing calf pushing the clutch in my manual car (why?!). Engine light goes on, optimism is failing. Or 'Fialing' as us Trotters like to say. The rest of the afternoon I tried to lay low, and focus on watching The Bachelorette that evening. Oh wait, it was an OFF week. Buckets.
Tuesday: Wake up excited to run at Robinson (a fav park of mine), and on a new trail!!! But I remember I can't run so depression sinks in. Call docs. No availability for over a week. Show up to walk. It's flooded. Walk old route with two friends, good times. Go home for lunch and call around to more doctor's offices, no one is able to see me for what seems like an eternity. Find a guy who specializes in Manual Therapy and he's free tomorrow (thank you, Tara!). Kids do not nap until WAY after they are suppose to. Wake them after approx 45 min of sleep to take the youngest to her well check where she gets hella shots and then off to TBall with a boy that has no desire to go. Drag them anyway, sweat, argue, leave hungry. Baby blowout in the car on the way home. Carpet shampoo is involved.
Wednesday: Have 20 people over for crafts in the morning, YL oils own me, husband comes home to be with the kids, go to see Kerry Rickelman, aka Master Manual Manipulator. Doesn't like the Cubs. White Sox fan. Reminds me of my Dad (also a Northie and Sox fan--I don't understand), so I like him. Manual Therapy is NO JOKE. Equivalent: Someone dragging brass knuckles across a freshly opened wound. Yep. That enjoyable. Leave after 93 minutes of agony (but who's counting), shake my way home in my stick shift car... again, think about stopping at CarMax on the way, make it through my front door, kids are sleeping... breathe. Naps are over, husband stays home and helps me, Book Club that night. Two glasses of wine. ICE BATH. Satan. Should have had 3.
Thursday: Calf (achilles) is feeling SO MUCH BETTER. Run Brushy Creek with the Eagle. Ahhh... feeling a bit normal again. Play at the park, eat lunch, pick up a minion for a friend, we all nap, play and then... ICE BATH per Doctor McEllin. Fudge nuggets.
Friday: Friend goes into labor, add a kiddo the bunch, insert carseat, pawn off +1 to a friend for jogging (with my stroller #1), drive to splash pad, prep for run.... flat tire in stroller #2. FIAL. Play at the splash pad, daughter is clingy, labor was a false alarm, friend goes home, kids eat lunch, nap time is happening.... I squint. There is light.
And because the kids are napping and I deserve a treat, I am attempting these:
If I don't burn them (because let's face it....), I'll let you know how they are.
Here's to not chipping my tooth! Cheers and bring on the weekend!
UPDATE: They're not too shabby. I added mini dark chocolate chips and cinnamon. I think they could have used more PB2. Overall, 4 stars.
LISA W: ex Arizonian hockey player (does Arizona even have ice?), psychs herself out every time she gets close to breaking a 9 min mile, Mom to 2 curly-headed squirts + a non-bias food-loving dog, Tonks... wifey to her college love, Timothy, Lego fanatic. And can't put up any guests in her spare bedroom since it has turned into JoAnn fabrics.
IRADIS J Native Floridian, plays the flute like a champ (she is the beauty behind our National Anthem on race day), Mom to THREE kiddos under 4 years of age (and she does it with ease, people), met her hubs in a coffee shop in the Sunshine state, avid reader and has the most gentle soul of anyone you'll ever meet.
DANIELLE D Midwesterner at heart (Go Royals!), lover of all things pink and green (you should see her daughter's rooms), eats sweet peppers like they're candy, had two completely natural childbirths (hint: she has superhuman powers), breastfeeding advocate, Mizzou grad (she and Loren actually attended the exact same years, but did not know one another), loves to quilt and does not own an inside voice.
LOREN M Central IL born and raised attempting every sport possible. Mom to 2 polar opposite kiddos and wife to a man she met on an airplane, her magic Mike. Throw in a white lab with too many allergies to count and you have yourself a fine fam. Loves pickles, green olives and is a (temporary?) vegan. Took up running in order to eat french fries on a regular basis (they're vegan, right?). Mizzou grad. Skincare junkie and waxing Nazi. The Queen of random encounters. To all the TWT members: Don't hate, just Belieb ;)