Renee Nelson

Renee Nelson
Renee holds three titles that are of utmost importance to her: mom to Cale and Ian; wife to Andy; and Communications Director for Grant Wood Area Education Agency. Although she has a Master’s degree from the University of Iowa, her heart still shines cardinal and gold for Iowa State University where she received her undergraduate degree. Renee’s a foodie who loves cooking, travel, her friends, her family, the Oxford comma, and happy hour. Cheers!

How Kristen Wiig and her Robe Redeemed my 2020

The Saturday Night Live skit proliferated through my social media feeds like candidate ads during Iowa’s political season. By now you’ve likely seen it yourself. I’m talking about Kristen Wiig in a SNL skit as...

Defeating FOMO With Six NEW Cedar Rapids Area Activities

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a real thing. Even before the pandemic, scrolling through your personal social media accounts could trigger a sense of drowning in self-doubt and a feeling of being left...

A Few of MY Favorite (Cedar Rapids and Marion) Things

  We've had lots of time in self-isolation since this pandemic business started, and it's made my heart grow fonder of the things I love about Marion and Cedar Rapids. We don’t have the bustle...

Three Things Parents Can Do To Support Virtual Learning

When our children are grown, they’ll tell their own kids about a time when they would excitedly hop out of bed on a winter school day morning and eagerly wait for the signal of...

Tap Into Your Superpowers As You Look At This School Year

I made a pretty significant move in my professional career several years ago.  At the time, I was struggling to balance the demands of a rewarding but intensive work life with the needs of my young...

Prepare Today for a Different Return to School This Fall

The end of this school year hit with an unsatisfying thud. Parents of graduating seniors hosted drive-by open house parties. Elementary parents picked up a garbage bag of school supplies at a pre-scheduled time. Our angst-filled...

Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet COVID Lies

Welp, now it's obvious. I’ve been spinning a web of lies for years. You know, like how I told myself that our laundry would all be folded and put away if I “just had a...

My Hope for Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

I know a little something about family togetherness.  We drove from Iowa to Yellowstone National Park when I was fourteen. Our family of four packed two tents and everything needed for a week’s worth of...
kid making homemade pizza

Oh, Snack! A Pantry Survival Plan for Impromptu Play Dates

It starts with an innocent request from your child to have a friend come over, and before you know it you have double the expected number of children in your home. Regardless of the time...
Almost Free Christmas Gifts

Three Almost-Free Gifts for Your Children

You hit the streets on Black Friday, trekked to the small shops for Small Business Saturday, and blocked off your lunch hour on Cyber Monday. I trust that the biggest gifts of the season...