The Final LTYM Austin Cast: 2017 in Pictures

by kristin on June 1, 2017


2017: the final LTYM Austin cast

Giving motherhood a microphone one more time…

Seven years ago, the first Austin cast took the stage at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, and our final cast finished our run in Austin in the same place, on the same stage. It feels very circular, this path, and it all came to a close perfectly with the 2017 cast. Each one of them, as every one of our cast members, had a unique and beautiful story to tell. Each one of them has emerged changed from this experience, including me.


Welcome, one and all.


Shoe shot

The now-traditional “shoe shot” for the entire cast, 2017.

Six years ago, I submitted what was essentially a simple blog post to the first producers of Listen To Your Mother Austin, and was terribly disappointed when I received my rejection notice. I wasn’t deterred, though, and I studied the YouTube videos of past readers and made it my mission to write an essay worthy of telling on that elevated stage. In 2013, when I received my invitation to audition and then to join the cast, I was jubilant. Nervous, but thrilled.

LTYM cast 2

The first time I took the LTYM stage in 2013

That fall at the BlogHer conference in Chicago, I heard in a chance meeting that the producers were stepping down and that Austin would need a new set to bring the show to fruition in 2014. I immediately indicated my interest, and my friend Leigh Ann and I (whom I got to know and love in this process even more) were awarded the incredible opportunity to carry on the LTYM tradition. We got our feet wet and learned with our friend Heather King, and the former producers and alumni cast members came back to watch our show the following spring.

LTYM Austin LA and KS 2

Leigh Ann and I up front in 2015, with cast members A’Driane Nieves and Lisa Marshall-Owens.

Every year, my heart grew, my knowledge grew, and my confidence grew. I started reaching for bigger goals because of LTYM, and the support of the community of producers and cast is astounding every time we interact. It’s feels as if we are all embraced in this beautiful community like a blanket wrapped around the whole of us. Watching former cast members move on and shine every brighter than before is a gift to us on the production side.

This year had a special magic. Leigh Ann decided to move on to other interests and spend more time with her girls, and Susanne Kerns stepped into the role to co-produce. She is the Texas-via-Washington-State-via-Idaho Martha Stewart, finding sweet and thoughtful ways to let our cast know how much we appreciate them, and taking care of the details I had never thought of. She is dynamite, and her positive, sunny personality lifts us all up on a daily basis, long after the show.

K and S 2

Susanne Kerns is a rock star. She is a terrific human being and was a stellar co-producer this year.

Susanne and I met a few years ago when she read one of my essays and reached out to me to ask me to meet her for coffee. I said sure, of course, and we hugged for the first time at Lola Savannah over hot coffee and a love for the written word. Since then, she has become one of my dearest friends. LTYM helped cement us together, as well.

I wish I could explain to you what every cast member has given me, and what my co-producers have taught me. Perhaps it’s enough to say that their stories have mingled with mine to create a master book about motherhood, forever and ever intertwined. Every laugh, every tear, every thank you and clap is imprinted in my memory.

For 2017, these stars burned so bright: Mahani, Jenna, Laurie, Sherry, Jessica, Kristin, Laura, Amy, Kelli, Lindsey, Kathy, and Wendi. It was a special honor to have Wendi Aarons in our final show, and it was perfectly fitting, since she was the very first LTYM Austin producer.

Ann, look at what you’ve done. You’ve created a FORCE.  Thank you forever.

A million thank yous to our supportive sponsors, including

Let’s Move Austin,

Maudie’s Tex-Mex,

Austin Storytelling,

Special Addition (multiple years of support!),

Meditation Bar,



3 Train Pizzeria,

AHD Multimedia,

and Elizabeth McGuire photography. For ongoing photography fun visit her two Instagram feeds:
@ewmcguirefollow and @siblingrevelryprojectfollow.

And last, but not least, our national team – our Sensei mentor team of Melisa and Stephanie, who can always be counted on for solid and logical advice, the amazing Taya, and Deb. Thank you. Thank you.

Much love,

Kristin Shaw, 2013 cast and 2014-2017 producer, LTYM Austin



WendiLaurieMahaniLaura HumeKristin FAmy laughingLeigh Ann and Jamie




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