With friends like these…

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by Cheryl on March 27th, 2014 | Posted in Write on Edge

Tickets for Listen to Your Mother The OC went on sale a week or so ago.

I went through my email list and did something I never do: I sent out a mass email. Only it wasn’t random. Not even close.

I chose moms I admire. Moms with whom I have shared stories, gotten advice and commiserated.

Softball moms. Soccer moms. Baseball moms. School moms. Old friends moms.

Co-directing/producing Listen to Your Mother The OC is truly a labor of love. There is nothing more sacred then someone trusting you with their story. And in turn, they can feel not so alone.

Community. That is what mothers do. We form communities. Whether it’s to carpool, babysit, someone to have a glass of wine or a latte or a hard run with, confess our worst parenting nightmares, our concerns about our kids’ behavior or issues at school, to help through a crumbling marriage, cancer, pregnancy, cheer on our successes and those of our children – everything that comes along with being a mother, we know we are part of a larger group. A group who understands. Who’s been there, either literally or physically. Or just to hold a hand.

When my first child was an infant, I remember sitting in the glider rocker in his room nursing him in those silent hours before dawn, and knowing that all over the world, there were women doing the exact same thing.

Even when we are alone, we are never truly alone.

So I sent that email, and I felt a little guilty about asking my friends to buy tickets to come see the show. Almost apologetic. And then came the return emails and texts and personal conversations.

At 4 p.m. April 27th at Ebell Club in Santa Ana, 14 cast members will take the stage to share their own stories. In the audience will be many of my friends. My community, joining with the larger community that is Listen to Your Mother.

I am humbled by their support. Beyond thankful.  And thrilled because I know they will be inspired and moved and amazed by what they will hear.

Maybe, they’ll also realize they are not alone.

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I’m back

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by Cheryl on March 17th, 2014 | Posted in Just me

I had an intense pull to write.

Which is what this blog is for.

Except, as was pointed out to me a few weeks ago, I hadn’t blogged since November.

Well. It’s my blog. I can not post if I want to. Not post if I want toooo!

Only, last week, I WANTED to post. So imagine my surprise when I tried and found my blog was broken.

Oh, you could read it. The website was fine. But not the editing part. I logged into WordPress and found only the White Screen of Death.

I did what every smart person does. I took to the Internetz. First I asked on Facebook. No one had any advice. I texted friends. I googled. Cleared my cache.

Nothing helped.

Then I called my hosting service. Because maybe somehow something happened and they weren’t hosting me anymore. Which makes no sense but whatever. I was desperate. Desperate not to spend mucho buckos on having someone fix the blog for me.

Luckily, the awesome tech took a look and discovered some bad coding. He stayed on the phone with me while I updated all my plugins, and when I once again got the White Screen of Death, he fixed the bad plugin. He held my virtual hand while I upgraded WordPress.

And just like that, I’m back.

When I say back, I don’t mean I’m going to be posting every day. But lately I’ve had things on my mind that I want to get out, and I’m glad my home is once again my home.

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Knott’s Berry Farm get Merry

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by Cheryl on November 14th, 2013 | Posted in Blog Events, Sponsored Post

I kissed Snoopy.

I can’t help it. I love him. With his floppy ears. Big black nose.

And his Santa hat.

That’s right. Each year at the holidays, Knott’s Berry Farm transforms into Knott’s Merry Farm, and everyone gets into the spirit. My kids always look forward to it. Well, maybe not the part about their mother kissing a large dog in a Santa hat, but all the rest of it.

One of their favorites is It’s Christmas Snoopy! ice show. My daughter loves to ice skate, and watching the performers left her transfixed.

 

Other highlights this season include:

Santa’s Christmas Cabin, where you can take photos with Santa, get a sundae, or taste wine and craft beer.

Lucy’s Wish List at Camp Snoopy Theater.

A Christmas Carol or Gift of the Magi at Bird Cage Theater

Snoopy’s Magical Night of Lights at Camp Snoopy.

As you enjoy your time at the park, you might see strolling carolers, and don’t miss the giant Christmas Tree at Calico Square.

It is also the perfect time to get your 2014 passes for unlimited visits to Knott’s. They can be purchased online for $78 or with six installments of $13, for a limited time.

In the meantime, keep a lookout for that cute white-and-black fellow.

GigaSavvy sponsored this post. The whole kissing thing was entirely my doing.

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LTYM: The OC in 2014

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by Cheryl on November 6th, 2013 | Posted in Uncategorized

Two-and-a-half years ago, I took part in something that still, when I think about it, gives me happy shivers.

I put myself out there.

My words. My self.

Myself.

One of my proudest moments came in May of 2011, when I read a personal essay in front of a LA audience for Listen to Your Mother, a national show about, well, motherhood.

Talk about empowering. I was among an incredible, talented cast whose stories about being a mother, or having a mother made all in attendance laugh, nod their heads, and more than a few times, grab Kleenex for tears.

Southern California has been without a show the past two years. So my friend Ciaran Blumenfeld and I started talking about bring one here. Could we do it? Could we pull it off?

And we ended up with the same thought: how could we NOT do it? So along with a very talented writer, Katherine Kotkin, we applied.

When I got the congratulations email from National Director Ann Imig, I might have peed my pants. Then again, after three kids, shifting in my chair could have the same results. But this was from jumping up and down and shrieking.

SO excited. SO FREAKING EXCITED! Listen to Your Mother will be here in The OC in 2014!

Those of you who have been lucky enough to participate in a show or simply go to one understand why. The power, the emotion, the truth of what voices of motherhood bring is something you will never forget.

We have six months. The show will be right around Mother’s Day. You won’t want to miss it. Bring your girlfriends. Bring your mother.

Bring yourself.

We will have information in the coming months about how YOU can audition for the show. That’s right. You. Just like I did, I’m going to ask you to step out of your comfort zone. Imagine how you’ll feel after (here’s my thoughts).

But today is for celebration. Something important – something lifechanging – is going to happen right here in The OC.

I can’t wait.

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This is The Voice

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by Cheryl on May 22nd, 2013 | Posted in Blog Events

My arms drooped.

Watching Monday night’s DVRed Top 10 show of The Voice Tuesday morning, my limbs went full-out spaghetti – just thinking about how much the audience has to applaud during the show.

See, last week, as a guest of Kia, I got to attend alive taping of The Voice results show. Have you ever wondered what it’s like to actually be there?

They tell you how to clap: with your arms up over your head. On and off for at least an hour. Ouch.

But that was only part of the experience. Which was ah. maz. ing.

The Voice with Kia

Here is what I learned about attending a live taping:

You wait. Our call time was 4 p.m., but since we drove to Los Angeles from The OC, we gave ourselves plenty of time. And arrived an hour early. We spent that time sitting under a large tent, helping ourselves to bottles of water and waiting to be taken to the studio. We sat among guests of the coaches and contestants, and other VIP types. We used the posh port-o-lets. Then drank more water. We were told to wear dark colors, no artwork or logos, and if you watch the show, you’ll notice most people comply with that.

You have to give them your right arm. Did you hear that? YOUR RIGHT ARM! Okay, by right arm I clearly mean cell phone. We were told ABSOLUTELY NO CELL PHONES. Seriously. All caps. Imagine our surprise when we saw just how many people (everyone) went right through the metal detector and kept their phones. I got all twitchy. What was I going to do for hours without my phone? ACTUALLY TALK TO PEOPLE??? So while those around us in the tent were taking selfies, we curled under our chairs in the fetal position.

The studio is heated the temperature of artic igloo. With a strong breeze. The night before, the air conditioning broke and the studio went up to 105 degrees. Eager to overcompensate, it was fuh-reezing. This poor woman in the row in front of us had her hair blowing around all night as she hunched over. By the way, we were all informed that if anyone took a picture with their phone, they’d be thrown out. Hmph.

We got to see the Starbucks stand where the coaches get their drinks, and four directors chairs with a coach’s name on each one on the way to our seats. We were on the left of the stage, on a section called Blake, since we were closest to him.

There’s a guy  (The Guy) who tells you what to do. When to stand, how to applaud, how loudly to applaud, when to be quiet, what’s going to happen next. We were like a bunch of trained monkeys. But in the best possible way.

Even live shows are filmed out of order. The coaches were introduced and came out on stage, with Blake flipping Adam the bird. Usher did a little dance. Shakira? Tiny. TINY!! She’s like a little miniature person. (Incidentally, the judges spent most of the commercial breaks texting on their phones while makeup and hair people fussed over them or dashing backstage.) Then Lady Antebellum recorded their performance 30 minutes before the start of the live show. The Guy told us there was a chance they’d have to do the performance twice, but they got it in one take. During the show, if you watched at home, Robin Thicke performed. But we watched it on the monitors: it was recorded some other night.

Adam. Yeah. What you think he’s like on TV? Just as that in person.

The singers don’t sound amazing because of the magic of television. They are amazing. And incredibly talented. I was truly blown away by their voices.

We were told by The Guy not to yell out who we hoped America kept during Carson Daly’s announcements. Then we were told that we should yell. It was all very confusing. Luckily my faves were safe. Have I mentioned I’m a huge fan of the show?

The Guy said there would be a special surprise after the show. A post-show taping. And it would be … Bruno Mars. Now, I’m not a huge Bruno Mars fan. Well, I wasn’t. Until…

Meanwhile, because we had to wait awhile after the end of the live taping and Bruno Mars (usually during this time the coaches tape their thoughts about the eliminations, but for some reason they didn’t do that), ushers brought around food. Not Usher. Though that would’ve been awesome. In fact, the judges and contestants were gone. Some people got boxes from Subway. We got pizza – we were handed the box and told to take a slice and pass the box. We also got Gatorade, fruit, candy and chips. Some people actually complained about the selection. I just thought it was nice of them to feed us. Tough to kvetch about free food.

The setup for Bruno Mars included ginormous disco balls suspended above the stage. The Guy came back out to tell us the taping would start soon. As he spoke, Bruno Mars and his band – all wearing red suits – walked onto the stage. Speaking of tiny, Bruno Mars and Shakira would make a perfect matched pocket set. Carson Daly reappeared and introduced Bruno Mars – and holy. shnikeys. He sang Treasure and totally rocked it. The audience went nuts. Bruno Mars has a ton of energy and put on an amazing show. And then. He had to do it again. Apparently there was a technical glitch of some sort. This time, The Guy told everyone to dance. Which we already were but whatevs. So Bruno Mars sang Treasure again. Nailed it again. Tremendous performance.

That was it. Almost. On the way out, my friend’s 16 year-old daughter touched Adam Levine’s empty directors chair. And sobbed for the next 20 minutes.

Such a great experience, and so fun to get the inside scoop on what goes on during a live taping – and how the idea that Adam Levine’s butt touched a chair can reduce a teenager to hysterics.

Thank you to Kia for providing me with a super-fun Kia Soul to drive for the week and passes to the live taping. All observations (and possible shrieking at Adam Levine) are my own. 

 The Voice with Kia

 

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