Join Us at Unity Temple on the Plaza on 5.3.14 at 7:30PM!

Click here for all LTYM: Kansas City show info. BUY TICKETS HERE.

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2014 Season Videos Are Live on YouTube!

by Lisa on July 22, 2014

I’m not a big fan of summer. The heat makes me crazy, kids at home when I’m trying to work makes me weary and the sweat—oh my Lordy, the sweat—makes me cringe. I’d happily trade every single summer day for an equal distribution of spring afternoons and fall evenings, and I have the sweaters and fuzzy socks to prove it.

There is one thing about summer, however, that makes me ridiculously happy: Listen To Your Mother Show videos live on YouTube!

Of course, we’re partial to the Kansas City show. We want to thank Buck Sommerkamp (again) for doing such a fantastic job and capturing our readings so well. As a director, it was a huge relief to know that Buck was up in that balcony, and our team is so thankful that he is a pro. We’re lucky that he’s worked with us for these past two years.


Buck’s vantage point. We thank him for capturing this image, and for his talent with the video camera.

If you want to watch the entire Kansas City show all the way through, in the order of appearance on show night, you can simply watch this playlist.

If you want to jump right to a certain reading, you can do that through these links:

Mary Katherine Kerbs – Grandma’s Best Advice

Katherine Bontrager – If You Want to Make God Laugh

Renee Lawrence – Lucy’s Return Home

Natasha Ria El Scari – Feminist Children

Debi Jackson – That’s Good Enough

Amy Carlson – Together

Sarah Guthrie – The Rabbit Shrew

Debra Carter – Ask and You Shall Receive

Kathleen Fisher – Coming Out and the Pursuit of Happiness

Liz Tascio – When You Were a Fish

Amy Zoe Schonhoff – The Heroine’s Journey

Lisa Allen – Three Little Letters

Mary Carver – Stay Weird: A Letter to My Daughter

Stacey Lucas – A Little Healthy Fear

Once you’ve watched the Kansas City show, I hope you’ll also make the time to watch shows from the other 31 cities. There are so many that have taken my breath away! Even better, Listen To Your Mother’s Online Content Manager Stephanie Precourt has taken the time to put together some super cool playlists:

LTYM 2014: Producers and Directors (Sarah Guthrie and Lisa Allen are included in this playlist)

LTYM 2014 Featured Videos (Debi Jackson and Lisa Allen are included in this playlist)

LTYM 2014: Humor  (Stacey Lucas, Natasha Ria El Scari and Sarah Guthrie are included in this playlist)

LTYM 2014: “Non-Moms” (Mary Katherine Kerbs is included in this playlist)

And last but certainly not least, we want to say thank you once more to our local and national sponsors for making the Kansas City show possible.  We were overwhelmed with the support of our local sponsors: Hoopla Studio, Dr. Michelle Robin, Maid in Kansas City, Becky Blades, Oprava Studios, Greenleaf Garden Services, Dawn Swanger Photography, Junque Drawer Boutique and Studio, Taylor Trims, Brookside Party Warehouse, Savvy Style, St. Luke’s Health System, Eppelheimer Graphic Design, Storyline Kansas City, Childers Counseling Services, Le Fou Frog, James W. Lusk Law Office, Creative Printing Company and Just Because. We thank STUFF for the donation of gift bags for our cast, Sheryl White at Fiddly Fig for the gorgeous flower arrangements that graced the stage, Cosentino’s Brookside Market for the donation of snacks, Christine Garvey at Unity Temple and of course, Buck Sommerkamp for his support and encouragement. Please check out their sites, especially the national video sponsor, If you purchase their booklet for $5 now, all of the proceeds go towards their charity, Junior Achievement USA.



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In Retrospect: The Stories That Bind Us

by Erin on May 15, 2014

“You see us as you want to see us, in the simplest terms and most convenient definitions.” ~The Breakfast Club

You see us as:

A mother. A Girl Scout troop leader. A journalist. A bookworm. A professor. A mother. A fundraising consultant. A writer. A basket case. A mother. A poet. An accountant. A life coach. A blogger. A brain. A mother. A non-profit founder. A daughter. A board member. A mother.

Yes, motherhood is in that list more than once. It’s there over and over because being a mother seeps into every single part of our lives. We juggle, we prioritize, we triage; sometimes successfully, other times by grace. We are — collectively and individually — a force to contend with. No wonder the 2013 LTYM: KC cast coined a new word during rehearsal: “motherherd.”


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2014 LTYM KC cast member Kathleen Fisher, photo credit Dawn Swanger Photography

The thing about herds is…they stick together.

And that’s precisely what we did.

We clung to one another on the roller coaster of stories: tales of divorce, a baby’s death, a son coming out, a son becoming a daughter, a son with Sickle Cell who becomes an addict. We held each other up through dementia, a dad fighting for custody of his daughters, infertility, and grief so thick and heavy it couldn’t even be named.

And you know what?

We made history up there, on that stage at Unity Temple.

These women brought Everywoman, Everymom to life. They gave her a voice and a name and podium with a microphone. Before Listen To Your Mother began in 2010 with Ann Imig, Everywoman felt unseen, unheard, and unsure of herself; she even doubted her very existence. She questioned her worth, her importance, her value.

Not anymore. Not in 32 cities across the country. Our cast stood on that stage under those bright lights. And they knew they weren’t alone. We were surrounded by Spokane and St. Louis, Detroit and Denver, Baltimore and Boulder, Portland and Providence (just to name a few).


Motherhood and our stories bind us.

And in many cases, they save us. Not just us, but others who hear them.


Thank you to Listen To Your Mother’s national sponsors BlogHer and Chevrolet. We couldn’t do this without you! And we’ve loved #FindingNewRoads!

We’re also grateful to our local sponsors who helped us give Kansas City’s cast an opportunity to shine. Thank you Hoopla, Saint Luke’s Health System, Maid in Kansas City, Taylor Trims, Greenleaf Garden Services, Brookside Party Warehouse, Oprava Studios, Dr. Michelle Robin, Becky Blades, Savvy Style, Creative Printing Company, Dawn Swanger Photography, Junque Drawer Boutique & Studio, Lusk Law Office, Childers Counseling Service, Le Fou Frog, Just Because and Eppelheimer Graphic Design.

Special thanks also to our videographer, Buck Sommerkamp, for sticking with us through year two!

We are still reeling from the show, and we can’t wait until the videos go live on the Listen To Your Mother YouTube Channel! Stay tuned for details on that this summer!


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Local Sponsor Spotlight: Dawn Swanger Photography

May 1, 2014

  Listen to Your Mother is about connections. All along the way, you’ll find yourself meeting special people who share in your spirit. This is what happened with Dawn Swanger, our photographer for 2014. I met her one night at a function and we clicked. We talked a great deal about the upcoming show. I had just accepted the role of co-director and we’d selected our charity partner, Women’s Employment Network. She told me about her recent divorce, finding her new place in life and her love of photography. I excitedly shared with her that WEN offered business classes to women who were looking for a reboot and encouraged her to go. I told her about the Women’s Business Center and the Capital Connection. Over the next month, Dawn enrolled in classes and completed her course work with WEN. I kept in touch and loved hearing about her success. It seemed natural that […]

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Local Sponsor Spotlight: Just Because

April 29, 2014

It was a dark and stormy night — no, wait, it wasn’t stormy but it was dark. Melisa Brown was waiting for a ride home from work.  So she began to dream… about cupcakes. Yes, cupcakes. Cocktail cupcakes specifically. What if she could create recipes using ingredients from popular cocktails?   “I did a bit of research to find out the best way to bake them,” she said.  “A lot of people infuse them after they are baked but I wanted to use the alcohol as an ingredient.” So her Tequila Sunrise, Chocolatini and Lemon Drop cupcakes were born! But don’t ask her to share the recipe. “I never share my secrets!” she says. Melisa started baking and named her bakery Just Because. Because, well, sometimes you don’t need a reason to eat a cupcake.  You want it Just Because. Melisa still holds on to her day job leading a team of data entry […]

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Local Sponsor Spotlight: Creative Printing Company

April 26, 2014

Sheryl Leavey, owner of Creative Printing Company in Merriam, KS, did not plan to become a printer. However, when her husband-to-be, Frank Leavey, asked her to marry him in 1968, he said he wanted more than a marriage partner.  He wanted a business partner too. So Sheryl, who is always up for a challenge, said yes to both. “He taught me everything he knew and I learned from the ground floor up how to run all the equipment,” she says. “The two of us worked day and night to get the business up and running and to be successful.” Since that time the business has grown from a small “Mom and Pop” printer to a diversified printer that fills 58,000 square feet of manufacturing space. It was a good life working together, raising two children and growing the family business.  But in 2003 Frank died. “I thought “where do I go from here?’”  […]

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