July 13, 2014

Sunday Blogaround - 7.13.14

I've been meaning to revive the Blogaround for a while now, but this week I'd like to do something a little different.

This is a list of of the Listen To Your Mother videos of women I've known forever online, or who I've read since before we had any idea what we're doing, or whose careers I've followed forever.

In short, these writers and my icons, my role models, and my friends.


Of course, the place to start is with the Listen To Your Mother Chicago show. The whole thing. The WHOLE thing.  They're all spectacular.

This is Jessica of Four Plus An Angel, which is one of the first blogs I started following as a mother of multiples. She's just reached her kickstarter goal for her new children's book, Soon. You can still donate and get yourself a copy for another three days.

Last year, when my letter, "Dear Less Than Perfect Mom," went sort of viral... I got this weird note from a stranger saying that somebody had stolen it, and she was going to take care of it for me. Julie ushered me into the world of blogging in a way I'd never seen it before- as truly a community not of back-stabbing content thieves, but of writers supporting each other and looking out for each other. I've been thrilled to watch Julie's NFP, Sober Mommies, grow, and when this piece first appeared on her blog, Next Life NO Kids, I loved it and cried and loved it some more. Putting a voice to all her words has been remarkable.

This is Kristi of Finding Ninee. I've been reading her blog for ages, thinking that THIS is where the quality writing of the blogosphere was. When I met her at BlogU, I made an ass of myself by mispronouncing its name (It's NINE-ee, not nee-nee). Her calm and humor always impress me. Both online, and in person. And now, on film as well.

This is Ashley of Clothesline Confessional, who I met and fell in love with at BlogHer last year. In the past year she went from starting a personal blog to reading aloud her letter to the mother of mass shooters on the news, and now to the stage. I am so proud of her, and so happy to hear her voice again.

This is Kerry, one of the geniuses of In The Powder Room. I've been laughing my ass off at her expense for years, and having a voice to put to all the hilarious stories she's shared in the past brings them all to life all over again.

Another friend from BlogHer 13 is Cheryl, who runs Busy Since Birth. I can't tell you how grateful I am that I got half lost looking for the bus, because it led me to spending an afternoon in her inimitable company. I was thrilled when she became a LTYM producer, but I had no idea how utterly spectacular her piece would be.

I also met Erin and Ellen of The Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms at BlogHer last year as well, but I'd been following them online for a while. Sometimes, when you watch people interact as a duo on the internet, you feel like it's got to be some sort of act. But it's not. The love of these two women for each other is completely heartwarming.

This is Janel, of 649.133, which I've featured on the Blogaround more times than I can count. I love this woman. She's amazing.

This is Rebekah. Once upon a time, I was an AmeriCorps VISTA, and she was the VISTA before me who trained me in. She taught me the ropes of managing the recycling truck, and talked about her undying love for the Dave Matthews Band. When she drove down to Chicago to see our show, she joked that she would run into people from her AmeriCorps days. And as it turned out, she was right. It was wonderful seeing her again, and it's wonderful to feel like she's back in my life.

Another writer I followed vaguely on Momaical before meeting her at BlogHer, and religiously after, Tracy is utterly hilarious. And insightful. And she's just plain great.

This is Carissa, who I also met at BlogHer. I know, there's a theme here. She's one of the sweetest, most considerate people I've ever met. When I saw he again at BlogU, she hugged me and asked all about my family. As though we'd spent all of high school together rather than a weekend a year ago. She's charming and wonderful, and you should listen to her, and read everything she's ever written.

Amanda, of Questionable Choices in Parenting, is in a group of bloggers I call my tribe, and she's hilarious and warm, always. Watching her read this story was amazing, because it might have been the first time I'd seen a writer I knew speak, and thought, "Yup. That is EXACTLY what she sounds like in my head."

Kelley's Break Room was one of my first favorite places to connect with other bloggers. She hosted a humor linkup, and I linked up. She's always so funny, and I was thrilled when I got to meet her, briefly, at both BlogHer and BlogU. I love getting a chance to hear her voice again.

Zakary was one of the speakers at the Voices Of The Year last year. She read a piece about nearly killing herself with poisonous plants, and immediately became my anti-Pinterest hero. I love getting a chance to listen to her read again.

I met Jessica of Welcome to the Bundle at the BlogU open mic a month ago, where she read this piece. And it was hilarious. It's still hilarious, and I still love watching her read it.

This is Debi, who I've never met. Who's writing I'd never read, until now. She reached out to one of my cast members, Meggan, and shared each others' stories. It is a remarkable thing to see a friendship grow between these two women, one finally actualizing as her true gender as an adult, one supporting her young child in the same struggle. There need to be more of these stories out there, showing that gender and identity aren't the black and white issues some claim they are.

Ann of course, Ann Imig. The woman behind all of Listen To Your Mother.

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