• Confessions

    All You Need To Know About Me Is Right Here.

    The videos from the 2014 season of LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER are now on YouTube! Naturally I’m a little biased and highly recommend that you watch the Chicago show first (the playlist in show order is HERE). That said, I did visit the Madison, Milwaukee, and NW Indiana shows and they were awesome too, and I will be watching ALL of the other ones at some point, likely after the conference-that-shall-not-be-named-so-I-don’t-make-more-work-for-myself. You can catch all of them too, by going to the LTYM YouTube channel. Here’s my “very Melisa” reading from this year’s show.

  • Food,  Review,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    Lunch Bus Helps Kids Have a Hunger-Free Summer

    I am thrilled to work with The Motherhood, ConAgra Foods, and Kid President this summer to help combat child hunger. This is a sponsored post. Also, how great is it that I can say I’m working with Kid President?? One of the reasons I was excited to work on ConAgra Foods’ Hunger-Free Summer Initiative with Feeding America was because I was paired locally with the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD). The GCFD was actually our charity partner for Chicago’s 2013 LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER show and they received ten percent of our ticket proceeds. My co-producer, Tracey, had done some work with them the previous year and now it’s my…

  • Amazing People,  Best Thing Ever,  Favorite Things,  Fun in Chicago,  I've Got Mad Skillz,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz,  Pretty Pictures

    Listen To Your Mother Chicago 2014: Wow, That Was Quick!

    It’s been a full week (eight days, actually!) since the show, and I can’t even believe THAT, let alone the fact that the 2014 season, our THIRD season in Chicago, flew by faster than a…what is one of those cute southern sayings? These last two weeks, in fact, have flown by faster than a…never mind. I can’t think of anything. QUICKLY. They went by QUICKLY. In the last two weeks Tracey and I drove to Milwaukee to see that show, we put on our own show, we drove to Valparaiso to see the NWIndiana show, and yesterday I drove up to Madison, where it all began five years ago, to…

  • Review

    Find New Roads With Chevrolet? Check. And That’s A Wrap!

    This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Chevrolet’s sponsorship of the Listen to Your Mother Show, but opinions are my own. Two weeks ago, LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER national sponsor Chevrolet helped Tracey and me #FindNewRoads as we drove up to America’s Dairyland to take in the Milwaukee show in a Volt. (Such a cool car, by the way!) We had an awesome time and you can read about that HERE. This past week, we were at it again: we had a date to hit the NW Indiana show in Valparaiso last Thursday, and then yesterday (Mother’s Day) I drove back to Wisconsin, sans Tracey, to…

  • Review

    #FindNewRoads With Chevrolet and Listen To Your Mother

    This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Chevrolet’s sponsorship of the Listen to Your Mother Show, but opinions are my own. I have written at length about LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER here, naturally, because it’s a huge part of my life. (Especially this week, OMG the Chicago show is in five days and wheeeeee!) The 32-city national series of shows that feature local writers reading their original essays about the “beauty, the beast, and the barely rested that is motherhood” is an extremely impactful experience no matter if you’re in the audience, a member of the cast, or a member of the production team. The stories…

  • Reflections on Parenting

    A Different Kind Of Motherhood

    Being in the thick of LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER season, I tend to get a little crazed because there is just so much to do. Okay, that’s my life. It really does get a little more intense this time of year, though. Tracey and I don’t just spend our time thinking about (and taking action on) all of the logistics involved with producing the show—Chicago’s third, this year!—but we also give a lot of attention to the development of a strong family vibe with our cast, because that’s important to us as a part of the whole experience for everyone. We become very protective over each and every one of…

  • Random Thoughts

    Game Show Car Work (Not Necessarily In That Order)

    I have been covering the BlogHer Twitter stream for Momo this week, who took spring break off so she could spend quality time with her kids without keeping one eyeball on her phone or her laptop at all times (seriously). Because I work with her AND because she is one of my closest friends, I am hyper-aware that she needs a vacation more than just about anybody in the world. Each time I cover for her when she takes personal time off, that point is hammered home even more thoroughly. Standing watch over a Twitter stream with 90,000+ followers to make sure questions are answered and potential problems are addressed…

  • Amazing People,  Proud Moments

    I Just Helped Give Birth to 13 Babies And I’m Exhausted.

    After an anxious, emotional (understatement), and sleepless (mostly) weekend of laboring, Tracey and I finally gave birth to thirteen bouncing baby girls. Well, adult girls. And we’ve both already lost all of our pregnancy weight! Amazing, right? The cast of LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER CHICAGO 2014 was announced today (by us, the proud parents). I might have even sent LTYM Founder and National Director Ann Imig a text asking, “If LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER CHICAGO is Tracey’s and my baby, would that make you the grandmother?” Maybe I sent that text. (I did.) I am so glad that the hardest part of our season is over, and now it’s onward…

  • Random Thoughts


    This is the second night in a row that I am wide awake in the middle of the night for an extended period of time. Coincidentally, yesterday was the second day in a row that Tracey and I conducted auditions for LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER CHICAGO. Though the audition process isn’t about the two of us—naturally it’s about the stories that are presented to us in hopes of snagging one of a very (very!) limited number of spots—it affects me deeply enough that it warrants some release here on my personal blog. My inner circle knows exactly how agonizing auditions are for me. They’re exciting, of course, but agonizing all…