In the pool with Dara Torres

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by Cheryl on August 12th, 2014 | Posted in Blog Events

When I received an invite to meet five-time Olympic swimmer Dara Torres, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. And when I found out she’d be swimming in the pool with my kids, well, I can’t describe how excited I was about the opportunity.

So you’d be correct if you said I’m a total fangirl. I wrote about her in 2008 – when she won three silver medals at the Beijing Olympics, at the age of 41.

I was completely awed by her talent – and her abs. Her biceps ain’t bad either. The woman defines fitness.

I love Dara Torres. Just a little bit.

I love Dara Torres. Just a little bit.

She came to the USA National Championships in Irvine last week to promote swimming, through USA Swimming’s SwimToday, as a great sport to involve your kids . “No one on swim team sits on the sidelines, like in soccer,” Dara told us. Her 8 year-old daughter, Tessa, swims. Can you imagine signing your kid up for swim team and then discovering one of the best swimmers in the world is one of the swim moms? Dara claims she goes out with the other moms and has a glass of wine with them while the kids practice.

Still. Yikes.

Meanwhile, through the floor-to-ceiling windows behind her, we could see the swimmers warming up in the lap pool. Two words: Eye. Candy. Two more: Holy. Shitballs. Even the PR guy mentioned the view. Not that I was looking. Especially not during the behind-the-scenes tour of the swimming championships, where we actually got to walk on the pool deck during the competition, which felt odd but, hey, again, not looking.


After she spoke to us, Dara posed for pictures with our kids. Xander was too shy – although he let her help him with his goggles. She told me she’d get a picture of him in the pool. And she so did! Possibly the best photo bomb ever.


Dara had the kids line up on the wall to practice kicking. Then she had them do side breathing, and stopped everyone and told them to watch how my eldest son did it.


The kids had a race (NOT against Dara, can you imagine?) and Sawyer won easily. He seemed to be enjoying his time in the pool with her. See, my desire for the event was that it would inspire him to return to the sport. He was on swim team for about six months, but said he didn’t feel comfortable because he was the youngest; the other kids were at least two or three years older than him. He quit when baseball started, and hasn’t gone back in two years.

Before the event ended, I thanked Dara and told her I hoped Sawyer would be excited about swimming again.

“He has talent,” she said.


I called Sawyer over and asked her to repeat it to him.

“You have talent,” she told him.

A five-time Olympian, one of the best ever, told my kid he had talent.

I might have kvelled just a bit.

On the way home, Sawyer said he had a lot of fun and thanked me for taking him.

“Do you think you’d like to swim again?”

He thought for a moment. “Maybe.”

I smiled to myself. It wasn’t a no.

Thank you, Dara!


And thank you to MomTrends for the invite to the awesome event!


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Win tickets to LTYM The OC


by Cheryl on April 17th, 2014 | Posted in Giveaway, Listen to Your Mother The OC

The big show is TEN DAYS AWAY!

I wish I could adequately explain how amazing Listen to Your Mother The OC is going to be.

We had our final rehearsal this past Sunday and the magic that was in the room was something I want you all to experience. We laughed. We cried. We nodded our heads and clapped our hands.

We connected.

I want all of you to go. Every last one of you. If not to our show, then to one of the other 31 cities around the country.

But really to our show. That’s why we are giving away TEN pairs of tickets to LTYM The OC! What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day?

If you live in Orange County, San Diego, LA or the Inland Empire and can make it to our show – which is at 4 p.m. April 27th at Ebell Club in Santa Ana – then enter our giveaway!

For one entry, simply leave a comment below. There’s also opportunity for more entries! Good luck!

To buy tickets, click here. Ten percent of our proceeds go to help mothers – we’re donating to WisePlace, a women’s shelter in Santa Ana.

Rafflecopter giveaway


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With friends like these…


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


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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