Join Us at Lamar University Theater on 5/9/15 at 7PM!

Tickets on sale now! 

Local Sponsor Spotlight, Whole Mothering Center

by jenniferwilliams on April 16, 2015

Elaine and I are so excited to partner with the Whole Mothering Center as a local sponsor this year.

Whole Mother Center offers doula services to Southeast Texas.

In addition to birth and postpartum doula services, Whole Mothering Center offers placenta services, Chandra prenatal yoga, postpartum bone closing, and many classes and events throughout Southeast Texas. Additionally, they manage several very successful parenting groups on Facebook to help connect moms with one another including, WMC Playgroup and the Beaumont Breastfeeding Coalition.

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I asked what inspired them to start the Whole Mothering Center. Co-founder, Heather M. Thomas, responded:

“We started WMC because as new mothers with small children, there was a noticable lack of community and resources for things we were interested in and needed. We had a La Leche League group, which was great, but the narrow focus excluded a lot of moms. We wanted something more inclusive, that covered more than just one aspect of mothering. We had the playgroup (then called SETXPlaygroup), but we wanted more of a central hub for women and families interested in a more natural focus.

One of the things we noticed was that there was a rise in C section births in this area and that VBAC, which is a vaginal birth after cesarean, wasn’t readily available and so our focus became trying to help women either have a natural or vaginal birth to begin with, or help them connect with resources so that they could have a VBAC. That led to doula training and the establishment of some of our other groups in the area that focus on birth and informed consent and choices in childbirth (including the right to have an elective c-section). We also started the Beaumont breastfeeding coalition which was more centered locally and included health professionals and lactation consultants in our local hospitals.”

With my second pregnancy, I questioned my doctor about the possibility of a VBAC and was very discouraged with his response. I’m so glad that there is now a group of women in our area that are supporting women with their birthing options.

Whole Mothering Center

Heather also stated, “Our mission was and remains to help women access the information and resources they need, and to support them as they navigate motherhood.”

LOVE! I’ve attended a couple of meetings and seen their kindness and support in action. These ladies are the real deal, and we are so honored to have them supporting our show.

They have also recently launched a podcast series called Welcome Earthside that shares birth stories from a variety of angles. Be sure to check that out and also follow Whole Mothering Center and Beaumont Breastfeeding Coalition on Facebook.

Tickets are on sale now for the show on May 9, 2015 at 7:00 pm at the Lamar University Theatre. Buy your ticket today to help support this wonderful organization.

Group photo by Yvette Michelle Photography all other images provided by Whole Mothering Center.

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Meet the Cast – Summer, Donna and Tassie!

by elaine on April 14, 2015

Today is the second post highlighting a few people in our amazing 2015 cast.  When I think of these three ladies I think of motherhood in many stages, because their stories encompass that.  They also center around the part of motherhood that is out of our control.  We have a lot of control when they are babies, and we do our best to keep them safe and raise them well but even so, we cannot always predict the outcome of their decisions or even our own.

First we have Summer Lacy!

Summer is wife to her quasi-high school sweetheart, Chris, and mama to their three wild boys, ages 7, 5 and 3. A teacher at heart, Summer readily traded her role as a professor of Communication Studies for an amazing gig as stay-at-home mom when boy#2 made his debut. Summer continues to teach, but has moved out of the college classroom and into the realm of everyday life, writing and teaching her own Bible studies. Convinced of the ability of God’s word to meet each of us right where we are, no matter where we are, Summer has a passion for sharing the unending beauty of Scripture with women in all stages and phases of life. Her blog, earlymorningmama.com, chronicles how the Gospel has intersected her own life in the most mundane and extraordinary of ways. Summer’s writing has been featured on Houston Mom’s Blog and as a part of the blog tour for Jen Hatmaker’s “Interrupted”. She and her family live in Kingwood, Texas.

 

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I asked Summer how she found out about the show…

“Two of my friends were in the show last year.  One in the Chicago show and one here in the Southeast Texas show.  As soon as I heard about the show, and was introduced to the idea behind the show I thought, I would love to be a part of something like that.”

 

I also wanted to know why she thinks it is important to be in the show…

“I’ve always found that listening to someone’s story is the best way to get to know them.   This show is about sharing your motherhood story.  As a mother, I don’t just want to hear these stories, I need to hear these stories.  I love being a mom.  It is, much of the time, the most joy-filled and rewarding role I play.  But at other times, it has been the most discouraging, heart-wrenching and isolating role I have ever played.  What’s astounding is that it can actually be all those things at exactly the same time because there are no little feelings when it comes to motherhood.  As a mother, somehow all your feelings become huge, magnified and over-exaggerated.  So when I listened to these other women, and this man tell their stories about their mothers or becoming a mother themselves, or being a mother, and all the victories and defeats that come with that, it was like being thrown a life line.  All of a sudden you realize that you are not alone in this huge, weighty undertaking of motherhood.  That there are others who have gone before, there are those walking the tough road right alongside you, and there are those who are still coming after you.  And for me, being reminded of that is huge.  Knowing you are not alone in this thing is huge.”

I love those words and I totally agree with Summer!

 

Next up is Donna Gail Ellis.

Donna, a single mother, has worked in the field of criminal justice for over 30 years.  She’s a proud 2nd generation Texan but quite possibly the only Texan who doesn’t care for football.  She is passionate about watching baseball (her beloved Red Sox), reading, hanging at the beach, family and her friends, watching dark twisted movies, writing poetry, watching live Americana music, cooking Cajun food, and practicing amateur photography, but not necessarily in that order.  She began blogging to interact with other Red Sox bloggers yet her site, “Don’t Mess With Tex”, became an avenue to write again. She has three Sayings: Believe, Never Settle and – To find yourself isn’t as hard as it may seem. Just look in the mirror, then in your heart.

 

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Donna also told me how she found out about LTYM…

I was living in Austin at the time of the first LTYM show there.  I joined a writing class and began a blog mainly because of my all my baseball web friends but the blog turned into more of a place to just write. I thought about auditioning but never quite got the courage to until I moved back to my supposedly non-creative hometown area and saw that Southeast Texas was having their OWN LTYM SHOW!   I did not audition the first year but I followed and watched for the next one and this year is My Year!

 

And when I asked Donna what being in the show means to her she had a lot to say (but that’s okay)…

“Well, I could give the short answer but there is no short answer.  I have two personal reasons for doing this show, one is my creative goals and one is overcoming my fear of what others think of my son and me.

Since moving back home against my will, I’ve wanted to do something personally and career-wise that will satisfy my creative side and passion.  I am very self confident when it comes to my criminal justice career…however, my self-esteem waivers in my writing pursuits.  After attending many writing classes with Dean Lofton of Austin in her Write Your Life As A Woman class and her encouragement, I am now in the planning stages of my own writing business and possibly non-profit that will have a few avenues of focus. The non-profit focus is going to be on young women who have gone through tragedy of their own doing and of others doing. I’m calling it “Writing The Wrongs” because I believe and research backs me up, that writing helps to heal.  I also want to begin a writing group with other women in my community to come together to encourage writing their stories in a safe setting where bonds and friendships can be formed.  The first LTYM rehearsal gave me the affirmation I need to be more confident in my goals and dreams for what I want to do creatively.  Since moving back a year ago and joining a group of women who are very supportive of one another, although they all seem to come from many varied cultural and ethnic backgrounds, I am given hope about my hometown area.

Without giving my story away before the show, I’ve hidden a lot away to many new friends and some old friends who just never made a connection. I cringe sometimes reading on social media about all the mothers out there bragging on their children, grown and young. I guess you could say I am jealous and envious of their stories. But those are their stories and without My story I would not be in the show. I hope to reach others in my shoes. I hope to touch a cord in folks out there who judge.  But more importantly, this is giving me the platform to TELL my story in a safe place, among friends and family that I know will stand with me and just be there for me, not against me.”

 

Powerful stuff people.  This show is so amazing!

 

Tassie Kalas Hewitt is a freelance writer who delights in entertaining others with her slightly exaggerated tales of family bliss.  She is a single mother of three who lives in Houston, TX and spends her days collecting embarrassing moments and her nights changing the names to protect the guilty.  Check out Greek tragedies and other funny stories on her blog, Tassiewritenow.wordpress.com.

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This is how Tassie found out about the show…

“As a freelance writer and single mother of three, who is guilty of threatening to write about my children without changing their names, I was delighted to discover in the Houston Writers Guild newsletter that Listen To Your Mother was accepting submissions.”

And what it means to her to be a part of it…

“It was as if the show had been designed just for me, and at the point in my life when I could appreciate it the most.  With my last child filling out college applications, I reached the bittersweet end of a stage of my life I would miss terribly.  Motherhood is laughter, and tears, and failure, and hope. Listen To Your Mother gives us a voice to share these experiences.  I cannot imagine a more fitting way to celebrate motherhood than to showcase real stories about real women and the people they love.

Listen to your mother.  You might learn something.  After all, mother’s always write.”

Isn’t that the best?

 

How awesome is this show going to be? You have NO idea unless you come see it!

Tickets are on sale now. A portion of the ticket proceeds will benefit the Julie Rogers Gift of Life ProgramWe cannot wait to see you at the show on Saturday, May 9th at 7 p.m.!

A great, big thanks to our local sponsors: Divergent TheaterWhole Mothering Center, and Flora Padilla Photography.

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Meet The Cast! Tiara, Christina & Nicole

April 7, 2015

It is always so fun and exciting to really get to know the folks in our show.  Last year I had met a couple of the people before-hand but this year I knew no one coming to audition.  I love meeting new people and especially those who are willing to share their stories but really getting to know these people through their words and personalities is such a neat bonus of this show. I am going to introduce you to our cast three at a time and today I present a little background and info about the first three, Tiara, Christina and Nicole.   Tiara Little is a wife and mother to a 3 year-old daughter who always keeps her on her toes. She is currently gaining experience as a labor and postpartum doula and questioning everything about the world around her. She writes about life in her spare time. When I asked Tiara how […]

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There’s a First Time For Everything

March 31, 2015

I was nervous and excited as I drove up to our first rehearsal at Howell’s Furniture in Beaumont on Saturday.  I had met all of these people before, of course, however they had yet to meet each other. Thankfully, I had nothing to be nervous about.  Every one settled in quickly as we got to know each other.  We ate together and laughed together and cried together and took photographs together.  After Jennifer set up the camera, on furniture and crazy expensive bolster pillows. Their stories flowed freely and beautifully and in perfect order – their truly amazing stories. And as I drove away, all I could think about were these individuals and how as a collection, they are making one gorgeous show.  One full of life experiences and tales of motherhood that carry hope and life and light as their main themes.  Even the funny ones. Each story is different but still connected. […]

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Local Sponsor Spotlight – Divergent Theater

March 27, 2015

Elaine and I are so happy to welcome Divergent Theater as a local sponsor to our LTYM Southeast Texas family. Divergent Theater aims to create theatrical works for the benefit of the community, with an emphasis on plays and readings that highlight women’s experiences. Divergent Theater also offers educational acting workshops for children, teens and adults, as well as interesting plays that cover the range of human experience. “While women’s issues are our emphasis, Divergent’s overriding mission is to enrich and elevate the theatrical opportunities in Southeast Texas,” founder Ramona Young says. Divergent has presented several plays in various locations around Beaumont. In September, the troupe presented “Gab Fest,” a collection of monologues gathered from a variety of sources, including some by local authors. They presented “Love, Loss and What I Wore,” a reader’s theater by Nora and Delia Ephron, which played to standing-room only audiences. Another popular show was “Motherhood Out Loud,” […]

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