Time of our lives

by Elise on May 14, 2014

You aren’t supposed to start at the end, but it’s hard not to start there when the end looks like this.


A standing ovation for Spokane’s incredible 2014 Listen To Your Mother cast.  I wanted to kiss every single person in the audience in that moment and grab their cheeks and give them big sloppy, crying hugs, because it felt like Elise and I had said: “Look at them, aren’t they beautiful?  Aren’t their stories unique and universal and important?  Don’t you feel changed?  Will you be able to look at any one tomorrow and not wonder about their story? Their struggles? Their triumphs?”

And they stood up and replied – yes, they are … and no, we won’t.

Producing LTYM is a privilege start to finish, from audition day, through all the headaches and details and planning, to show day, but the real privilege is watching that arc of electric connection form between the cast and the audience on show day. It’s seeing them finally get it, what it feels like to be heard in this new way.  We try to tell them what it will be like and they don’t understand until they are standing there under the lights and it happens.


We’ve yet to see anyone not shine their brightest ever and read their best ever and have their best timing ever. It’s pure magic.

Thank you to our amazing cast for letting us witness their moment yet again.  Thank you to our local sponsors, Bella Cova, Overbluff Cellars, Farm Girl Fit, Little Nutmeg Productions, and Community College of Spokane’s Parent Education Program – LTYM Spokane could not exist without you.  Thank you to Ben Fowler, our videographer, Amalia Fisch, our photographer, Phaedra Jarrett, our stage manager, and Tony, Davis, and Michael at the Bing Crosby Theater.  Thank you to national sponsor Chevrolet and national media sponsor BlogHer.

Thank you to our volunteers (Amy, Kristina, Amy, Deena, Becky, Lisa, Jeni, Jennifer, Brittany) – you rock and we couldn’t handle the pre-show stress without you!

Thank you to every single person who came to the show and listened to our stories.



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by Elise on April 10, 2014

Farmgirlfit is a fantastic gym which provides daily group workouts designed specifically for women. Workouts are run and attended by amazing women who support each other’s goals,  push you to exceed what you thought were your limits and strive for personal excellence without comparing yourself to anyone else.  Each of these traits is shared with Listen To Your Mother – we are a perfect pair!  So when FGF came on board as a LTYM sponsor this year I was over the moon.

When I had gastric bypass surgery in November of 2012 I was more than 100 pounds overweight.  After recovering I knew I needed to exercise, and I knew that exercise needed to include strength training.  I started running and, after recommendations from several people I finally, trepidatiously, decided to try a class at Farmgirlfit.



It was awesome in the most literal sense of the word.  I am stronger, leaner, and feel better than I have in my adult life, thanks in huge part to the trainers and classes at FGF.

When I tell people about the FGF classes the questions I am most often asked are “how does it work?” and “what if I can’t do it?”.  Soooo, here is the completely unofficial skinny on what to expect from you first class:


An example of a Grind – don’t worry, they go over everything before hand and there is an intro class you have to take wherein they show you all the basic moves.

Classes are an hour long (you can check out their website for the schedule) and the first ten minutes are devoted to individual warmup: row, jump rope, stretch, practice a lift, climb a rope, whatever wakes up your body.  Then there is a group warm up (which gets my heart rate up!) and then the primary workout, called The Grind.  The Grind is a set of  exercises which usually mix cardio and weightlifting.  And when I say weightlifting I mean, like, legit weightlifting with the bar and the weights on either end and you feel like a total bad ass.  The Grind is short and intense – usually between 15 and 25 minutes, and then you are a hot sweaty mess and an hour is gone and you are done!  You can stay and chat and stretch if you have time, and the trainers are always around after class to answer questions or help work on anything you’re having trouble with.

There are changing rooms, a place for your kids to play while you work out with supervision Tuesday through Friday mornings, or without any time (and I am so not above showing up with 2 kids, handing them each a screen and telling them *not* to bother me for an hour) and FGF does all these great “extras”, like yoga classes, challenges (with fantastic prizes!) and even a co-ed classe every once in awhile.  

The answer to the second question, “is it too hard for me?” is, I promise you, “no”.  There are levels for everyone, and I truly mean that.  Can’t run?  Row on the machine.  Can’t lift a lot of weight?  Use a light dumbbell.  Can’t do a pull up?  They have these bands you can use that allow even me, of the no- upper-body-strength, to do at least 3 before I collapse.  There is N.O. judgement.  In fact, no one else except the trainers is even paying attention to you!  This is fantastic for me because my face does this weird involuntary squishy thing every time I do a sit up, and I grunt when I climb the rope.

I truly encourage you to try a class (for free!) and THANK YOU, again, to everyone at Farmgirlfit for supporting Listen To Your Mother Spokane!


*Don’t forget, tickets are now on sale for Listen To Your Mother Spokane.  The show is at 7pm on Mother’s Day, May 11, at the Bing Crosby Theater with a reception to follow for cast and audience alike.  You can buy tickets here or at the door on the evening of the show for $15.  If you have a group of ten or more please contact us (listentoyourmotherspokane@gmail.com) for group rate information.  See you there!*

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Bella Cova

March 28, 2014

I kept on hearing about this “new place for families with young children” which seemed to have everything – an amazing store showcasing local and regional baby goods, a place to grab a snack during the morning or a drink and a snack as the day wore on, a coffee bar,  yoga, cloth diapering and lactation classes and more!  All that AND you could – ney, you were encouraged-  to come hang out with your children, chat with other parents and escape the confines of your house which, as we in Spokane know, can start to feel pretty darn confining come March. When I finally stepped in to Bella Cova I was thrilled to see that it lives up to it’s hype.  The space is lovely – large, open, calm and welcoming, even to sticky little hands. As if having a locally owned and operated shop like Bella Cova isn’t great enough, they have been […]

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Meet the 2014 Spokane LTYM Cast

March 24, 2014

The 2014 Spokane LTYM show is teeming with talent.  Check our our cast below and mark your calendar to come hear them tell their stories on May 11! Briana Loveall is a recent EWU college graduate, new wife to lucky husband Zach, and not so new mommy to daughter Madison, age 4. She now uses her Creative Writing degree to fuel her blog which dives into the complex relationships of husband and wife, mother and daughter, and cat and dog. Briana has been published in Northwest Boulevards Literary Magazine and continues to pursue writing. In the minimal amounts of free time that mommy-hood grants her, Briana dirt-bikes, skis, camps and builds tent forts in her living room.   Erin Davis is a mother of three sons, a wife of one husband, and a grader of many essays.  Originally from Orange County, CA Erin has lived in Spokane for nine years.  When her oldest […]

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The Fourth and Fabulous LTYM Spokane Cast

March 7, 2014

Stacey and I sat in a yoga room with bamboo floors and a mural of the Buddha at Bella Cova last Saturday, everything we would need for auditions spread out before us: forms, paper, pens, caffeine, snacks (cheese, almonds, chocolate), cell phone charger, camera and tissues.  In our fourth year of LTYM Spokane, we have audition day down to a science. But not the casting process.  That only happens through blood, sweat and tears.  We only hope that in the brief time we spent with each person we succeeded in conveying the trust, compassion and admiration that each of our auditioners deserved. And now … may we present Spokane’s 2014 Listen To Your Mother Cast! Erin Davis Natalie Peters Jessica Vaughn Briana Loveall Sarah Werkman Erin Houy Nicole Lor Mackenna Kuehl Lisa Fairbanks-Rossi Laura Cook-Crotty Elise Raimi Stacey Conner We have an amazing array of stories again this year.  We always say it […]

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