She took most of these amazing pictures.
And she is so adorable AND has amazing style.
You will be able to tell the one's I took on my phone.
They are all shaky and steamy because I WAS NERVOUS PEOPLE.
HAAAAYAA. Photo courtesy of Balee Images.
I mentioned I was lucky enough to be cast as a reader in the 2014 Listen To Your Mother lineup back in February.
Well, the show was last weekend and YOU GUYS!
I waited an entire week to start writing this post, which is long for me to wait to put "pen to paper".
There was no actual pen or paper because HELLO 2014.
Why did I wait so long?
ALL THE FEELS.
I wish, I wish, I WISH I could just put it into one big sentence or statement.
One that will make you buy tickets to next year's show, like RIGHT NOW.
You can't buy tickets for next year yet, it's the thought.
It was the best thing I have been a part of in my entire life.
I am not at all embellishing.
This is the thing, I didn't even realize that it was the best thing until I was walking off the stage after reading my piece.
Like wading through a pool of Jello pudding.
As I was walking, all I could hear in my head were the wah wah wah voices like on Charlie Brown when the adults talk.
WAH WAH WAH. WHAHA WHAH WHA.
You know what I am talking about??
For me to do a recap, I need to write in paragraphs with titles.
Otherwise my recap would look like this:
HOLY CRAPBALLS THE FEELS. Omg wait! I forgot to talk about the nervous stomach OH AND DRY MOUTH DROPS. I didn't sweat. Graffiti on a house. THE PIZZA WAS AMAZING. Tree.
Me with some of "my people". I love them all. Photo courtesy of Balee Images.
My parents were so amazingly supportive of this whole process.
So in February when they said they were driving all the way from Chattanooga to be there, I was so excited.
For many reasons, but for my dad who is a pizza fanatic, to try Pizano's.
It doesn't take much for us to get excited.
So when my dad called on the Wednesday night before the show to tell me my mom had the flu, think H1N1 type flu, I was pretty upset.
I would say devastated but that sounds too dramatic for me.
Yet it did suck.
When this huge bouquet of flowers came on Saturday afternoon from my parents, I literally sobbed.
Because it meant that they were FOR SURE not going to be able to make it.
Yes they will see it on YouTube in July but it just isn't the same.
That is why I think we should recreate it when they come up in two weeks!
I will say that the "devastation" was definitely a lot less because I knew "my people" would be in the audience.
I hate how possessive that sounds but I think you know what I mean.
Everyone has "their people".
My immediate family and close friends, or in my case, friends who have become family.
I had lots of love in the audience.
Knowing they were there supporting me, cheering me on made this day so special.
You know who you are.
Thank you for being my surrogate mommies and daddies that day.
It meant so, so much to me and I know to my parents too.
WE HAD A DRESSING ROOM
Like the old fashioned kind with the big bulbs and everything!!
Not gon' lie, I was nervous starting the week before.
Every time I would think about it or read my piece, my palms would sweat.
My feet would sweat.
My boobs would sweat.
Once I got to the theater, I actually felt calm.
Being around all these other amazing women was so calming and just unforgettable.
I might forget walking to the podium, the feeling as I left the stage or even what type of pizza I ate afterwards but I will never forget the conversations I had with my cast mates before going on stage.
Oh and I will never forget that Secret Clinical Strength is LIQUID GOLD.
I am a nervous perspirer.
I didn't sweat the entire day, I smelled fresh as a daisy and all was right with my arm pits.
It is worth the 9 bucks.
These women. THESE WOMEN. Photo courtesy of Balee Images.
Like Bobbi Brown. Only better. And cuter.
When I found out I made the cast, one of the first things I fretted about was, "what in Pete Rose's name am I gonna wear???"
Because I am known to rock Capri pants.
To important events.
The second worry was, "what in Pete Rose's name am I gonna do about makeup???"
Because I don't wear makeup.
To important events.
Then I remembered!
I have a 14 year old daughter who is training to become the next person who does a lot of makeup!
By the way, it's BOBBI Brown not BOBBY Brown.
There is a difference.
One will make you look pretty.
The other will Rock Witcha.
When I asked her if she would do my makeup, she was taken by surprise.
In a good way.
Then agreed right away and maybe threw in an "OMG Mom" and I think I heard something like, "do you even know what a brow brush is?"
The answer to that is no.
Was I worried about my appearance?
If you know me, you know it is uncharacteristic of me to not fret or freak out about things like this.
But I didn't.
I had total faith in her.
And it was the best I looked, like ever.
Even better than my wedding day.
Probably because I did my own makeup that day.
Maybe I can wear culottes.
I think what I enjoyed most about the Listen to Your Mother Facebook group was the pre-show wardrobe banter.
I wasn't in crisis mode about finding a dress as much as some of my friends but I did have an A-Ha! moment.
I bought my original dress for $ 11.88 at the Gap Outlet in March.
It was black and simple but just, eh.
Then three weeks before the show, I was at Old Navy, not looking for a dress when the dress found me.
Green, perfect shape, looks pretty good on and was 25 bucks on sale for 19.99.
I bought a coordinating necklace there for 9.95.
Wore shoes I bought last summer at TJMaxx for an embarrassingly low price.
And I was done.
It fits me and my whole MO.
I bought my entire outfit for LTYM for under 30 bucks.
Top to bottom.
WORKIN WITH WHAT YA GOT.
Helllooooooooo. Is anybody out therrrrrrrrre????
I am not gonna lie, when I stood at the podium, it was like talking to an empty theater.
Because the lights were so bright, oh so bright, that I couldn't see one person in the audience.
And there were plenty.
Think 500 plus plenty.
But I just couldn't see them.
Which made this experience so much easier.
It was like I was reading it in my living room with a laugh track.
It was amazing, awesome and quite honestly, like an out of body experience.
I don't remember how I read my piece, I don't remember if my speech was slurred, if my upper lip was sweating, if my boobs were saggy (BTW, TOTALLY wore "the" bra.), if I had dry mouth, dry eyes, dry skin.
I think I even gave gang symbols on my way out to the podium.
That is all I remember.
It was surreal.
THIS KIND OF PHOTO OP NEVER GETS OLD. Photo courtesy of Balee Images.
DO IT. NOW.
You want to be a part of this experience.
The feels, the people, the bonding moments, being a part of something bigger than you.
You want it.
I want this to come to every single state in America.
Ohio, you don't host this show yet!!!
I had so many people who asked me HOW DO I GET IT TO COME TO MY CITY after seeing the pictures of me so happy because you want this feeling too.
Here is how you work on getting it to come to YOUR neck of the woods:
According to one of my co-producers, Melisa, the call for new cities comes in October, so make sure you are in the know by following Listen to Your Mother on Facebook AND checking for updates on the Listen To Your Mother website.
It is a labor of love putting together a show like this, but it is so worth it.
The feels, THE FEELS.
I would totally produce a show in Ohio.
If I lived in Ohio.
Or remotely near Ohio.
MAKE IT HAPPEN OHIO PEOPLE.
I LOVE YOU MANNNNNNNNN
I wanted to go home with my cast mates after the show.
Or go out for a beer.
I didn't want it to end.
It was this amazing experience that only 14 other women at that moment in time could understand.
AND the 24 other Listen to Your Mother alum in the audience.
Side note: There was a little moment of OMG DID YOU SEE SO AND SO FROM THE 2012 CAST???? SHOULD I GO SAY SOMETHING?? HOLY CRAP, I WANT THEIR AUTOGRAPH!!
LTYM Alumni Picture. Isn't this amazing??? And boom we are alumni now! Photo courtesy of Balee Images.
But it was due to the talent and hard work of my co producers Melisa and Tracey.
OK here is something not many people know, I was a little unsure of my piece.
It was a personal confidence thing that I am sure a lot of people can relate to.
Especially when it is something you are going to read aloud in front of hundreds of people.
I cried the whole way home from the first rehearsal because I thought I was going to bomb.
The first week after I was in a confidence funk.
It was when my mom, among a few others, said something to the effect of "trust in them. They picked you for a reason."
They saw in me what I could not see in myself.
And for that I am eternally grateful.
Sometimes we need a push.
Thank you for the push.
Listen to Your Mother was the brainchild of Ann Imig.
She is a blogger, mom, beautiful human with some mad style.
Visit her blog here and head to LTYM's You Tube page to listen to all the amazing stories of the past.
Our stories will be there in July!
Be sure to watch this video here, it encompasses why I wanted to be a part of this and why you want it in your city in 2015.
It is now a full week later and I am still flying high.
I am still full of confidence that I absorbed from the energy of 14 other women in Chicago on May 4th.
I will never forget this experience, how it made this stay at home mom feel like a rockstar for just one day.
I am forever changed by it.
And if you live near a city that participates, you will be too.
My take away from Listen to Your Mother was many things.
More confidence in myself as a writer, stepping outside of my zone as well as learning that I am worth standing on a stage for 5.1 minutes and telling the world my little piece.
But the biggest take away's were Lea, Andrea, Sarah, Paulette, Julie, Kim, Melisa, Kristen, Saya, Keely, Meggan, Tracey, Hyacinth, and Crystal.
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