Robin is a lifelong Rhode Islander currently living in Providence with her husband of nearly 11 years and two sons ages 6 and almost 3. She is a Bryant University graduate (back in the day when it used to be called Bryant College) where she also received an MBA. In between refereeing her boys’ disagreements over trucks/robots/dinosaurs and handling work issues outside of business hours, Robin enjoys cooking and baking, 80s music, checking out local family friendly events and destinations, taking way too many photos, online shopping (Amazon Prime for the win!), and of course, naps. Robin believes that, while not always easy, it is possible to find both motherhood and having a career rewarding at the same time when the right support system is in place.
Sara is a native Long Islander who has managed to shed much of the accent, but cannot get rid of her love of a good New York bagel, the Mets, and the Giants. She moved to Providence in 2001, with stops along the way living in upstate New York, Baltimore, Washington, DC, and Pittsburgh. Sara and her husband have been married for close to 15 years and have two fantastic, funny kids – a 12-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son – who attend Providence Public Schools. She graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Psychology and has her Masters in Social Work from the University of Maryland at Baltimore. These degrees have served her well in her career working as a fundraiser for a variety of social service and educational organizations and in her home life negotiating détente between her kids.
In her copious amounts of spare time, Sara enjoys going to a museum or the theater, reading, listening to 80s music, cooking and piling everyone in the car for a day trip. She also admits to a love of funny and occasionally sophomoric movies and has been known to recite entire scenes from Monty Python or Mel Brooks. She tries to find the humor in all things which is necessary when juggling a household with two jobs, two kids, two religions and only one car. Her attitude can be summed up by a print she saw at Frog and Toad: When life hands you lemons, try to figure out something to do with those lemons.
Alica is the rookie mom of our contributor team. Her first child, a girl, is due in August. Alicia is thrilled to be writing about the joys (?) of pregnancy and those early days of motherhood after her little arrives. (She’s heard the first months are a breeze, so she’ll have plenty of time to blog away.) Alicia grew up in Seekonk, MA and has lived in Orlando, Nashville, and most recently Eugene, Oregon. However, she couldn’t stay away from the Providence area any longer. She is currently an attorney in Seekonk and a contributor for the Huffington Post. Alicia enjoys not camping, spending time with her cute, librarian husband, and Uncle Tony’s Pizza.
Carol-Ane Woodard was born in Rehoboth, which is in Massachusetts, but really should be a part of Rhode Island. She grew up taking the Trailways bus into Providence and shopping at the Warwick Mall. She currently lives in Foxboro, Massachusetts with her husband of of 38 years, Paul Woodard, but she misses coffee cabinets, red clam chowder, and hot wieners, and she still considers Providence to be her home city.
Carol-Ane graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1973 with a degree in sociology. She minored in business at U Mass Dartmouth and took a job for the FDIC as a bank examiner. She worked there for 30 years and retired 10 years ago. Other than her 3 children and 5 grandchildren, her hobbies include reading, reading, and more reading, interrupted only by hikes in the woods, Freecell, and knitting. Although her Linkedin profile lists her as a stay-at-home grandmother, Carol-Ane actually has a rather nervous disposition and is frightened by small children. Nevertheless, she persists.
Kim Votruba-Matook is the proud mother of a three-year-old son and a fifteen-month-old daughter, wife to her high school sweetheart, a professional holding down a full time job in the nonprofit sector, AND an entrepreneur as founder of The Artful Educator. Kim’s primary motivation for everything she does stems from the belief that there is always a way she can help make someone’s life better. She was raised within a close-knit, quirky, huge, creative family (and then married someone who has an even larger family!) that is now and will always be an integral part of her life. Her world revolves around traveling within Southern MA and Northern RI to say “hi!” to them all.
When not working on her business, Kim loves researching and borrowing books, ranging from graphic novels to fiction to biographies, from her local library to read with her kids. She loves chai lattes with almond milk, tea, and baking any carb-tastic treat. Her all-time favorite recipe is her Gram’s baked macaroni and cheese, which she could easily eat every day. Her exercise routine is chasing, picking up and carrying her kids across driveways and parking lots and up and down stairs so she isn’t late to family events or church. She seeks out new, local diners for monthly Saturday brunch with friends and restaurants that make amazing burgers and/or macaroni and cheese entrees for date nights. Also, she really likes mac and cheese…in case that wasn’t clear. She loves Motown dance parties with her kids, watching movies with her husband, checking out local craft fairs, embarking on her own craft/sewing projects, and empowering her kids to make their own art. And sometimes she manages to get some sleep.
Darlene is your typical Rhode Islander – she’s never left. She grew up watching Paw Sox games, drinking Dels, and gives directions according to landmarks, most of which no longer exist. She did attend high school in Southeastern Massachusetts, if that counts as leaving, and traveled all the way to South County to attend University of Rhode Island. After four years, she left with degrees in both Elementary Education and English.
After college she began teaching and eventually found a home in third grade. Third graders are inquisitive, beginning to exert their own independence, and constantly make her laugh. They put up with her quirky sense of humor and her sobbing throughout read alouds.
Darlene ended up marrying the boy she fell in love with in high school. She and her husband have two daughters, an energetic two year old and the sweetest seven month old. Most days are spent trying to navigate full time jobs, raising two young children, reading, and drinking coffee. She loves to be outdoors and hopes that her girls will love camping, hiking, and kayaking as much as she does.
Jess and her husband live in Providence with their 4 kids. Jess stays at home full-time with her tiny humans and is figuring out how to manage her home, manage her homeschool, and manage her own sanity. She is mostly convinced that 2 out of 3 is the best she can do!
After the kids go to bed, Jess enjoys ice cream and Netflix. Or ice cream and a good book. Or just ice cream in a dark quiet room. Being a mom is a wild and unpredictable ride. While Jess has figured out that she cannot juggle it all, she can try to find joy in the small moments as her own family grows and evolves. Her life, (like her house) can be a mess sometimes, but Jess hopes her readers find encouragement in knowing they aren’t alone in the challenges and triumphs of motherhood.
Melody is a photographer and stay at home mom (SAHM) of three kiddos 4 years and under. With a passion for photography, the great outdoors, health, wellness and education, Melody works to inspire her children daily to learn, explore, and create. After leaving her career in the active duty army, Melody’s role quickly changed from full time working mom, to full time SAHM. It was a big adjustment, and with three young children to keep busy she decided that homeschooling (tot school and preschool) would be the greatest way to ensure her children were staying challenged and learning while out of the public or private school systems. Melody writes mostly about exploring the outdoors in the state of Rhode Island with her three little ones, capturing milestones and memories of her family through her camera lens, planning homeschool preschool lessons for her two oldest, and watching them learn!
Amelia lives in Massachusetts with her handsome older husband (okay, just by 10 months) and her adorable son, Cole Everett. She graduated from Syracuse University, is the public relations manager for a global tour operator, and sits on the board of Girls on the Run Rhode Island. She can’t function without Post-it notes and coffee and loves being outside, traveling, the Red Sox, and Narragansett. She likes her routine but is trying to grow to appreciate and acknowledge that change is needed to succeed. In the few months since becoming a mother, she has realized that she used to have so much spare time to run, read, write, ski, and sleep in. She only misses it sometimes. She believes every mom (working, stay-at-home, or work from home) should cut themselves some slack when it comes to right or wrong.
Amanda Vaughn spends her days attempting to balance a little bit of everything! She and her husband are raising four boys ages 4 and under in Barrington, RI. Amanda works as a Marriage and Family Therapist, an occasional professional photographer, and is a wine, cheese, and #bachelornation enthusiast. Most days are spent wrangling her crew while finding new places to explore, fun things to do, and keeping everyone alive.
Jackie is a Rhode Island mom who honestly gets what other mothers go through. Having worked full-time, part-time, and been a stay-at-home mom too, she sees motherhood from a variety of angles. And thankfully, with a sense of humor. Jackie blogs about her take on motherhood and mid-life at ventingsessions.com and writes about it in her award-winning gift book, How to Spread Sanity on a Cracker.
Jackie is a native Texan with some roots and relatives in Rhode Island. (She’s a NASA kid and her Houston accent usually comes out when she’s blasting Willie Nelson in the car.) She has more than two decades of experience in public relations and journalism and holds a BA in journalism from Texas A&M University, where she received the “Best Aggie-Life writer” award. (She still has the tacky maroon plaque in her home office to prove it.)
Jackie was a cast member of the 2013 and 2017 Listen to Your Mother Shows, where she formed lasting bonds with the incredible women she shared the stage with in honor of Mother’s Day.
Her writing has been featured in The Barrington Times, the book Mommy Diarist and blogs like Scary Mommy and BluntMoms. She has donated her PR expertise to many local non-profits from Arts Alive to Dress for Success since launching her professional PR consultancy in 2006.
When she’s not writing, consulting, volunteering, ubering her kids around, vacuuming up dog hair or folding laundry while binge-watching Netflix, she likes to vent with dear friends over cheese dip. Jackie is married to her high school sweetheart and they live in Barrington, Rhode Island with their two teens and three fluffy and friendly Golden Retrievers.
(Headshot courtesy of Cris Almeida Photography)