Drum Roll Please...Introducing Our 2018 LTYM-STL CAST!

TERRY BAKER

Terry Baker is the mother of 5 adult children, “Mimi” to 6 precious grandchildren, wife to Jim, her husband of 47 years, and faithful caretaker of Murray, her geriatric West Highland Terrier. Terry has racked up years of church committee and volunteer work, cooked her way through major holidays as well as the more mundane daily food offerings necessary for a large family, worked several decades as a speech and language pathologist for Early Childhood Special Education, participated in at least 3 different book clubs over the years, and entertained friends with her humorous stories derived from six decades of experiences. Her stories span her childhood with her brother in the 50’s and 60’s, college years (be sure to ask how she met her husband), adoption and child rearing years, and now retirement living, as well as those other difficult to categorize moments. Her friends encouraged her to “write it down” which she has been doing for the last 5 years. She is working on a collection of essays and a novel for middle school students. Terry is delighted to have been selected to participate in LTYM!

ANDREA BLEVINS

Listen to Your Mother is Andrea Blevins' first live performance since 8th grade! Thrilled to be a part of this heartfelt production, she is living a life she never would have imagined in 8th grade, but would not change it for the world! Andrea has been married for twelve years to Andy, her fun-loving and dashing husband, and is the proud mama to two dynamic tweens, Celia and Charlie. Their home is full of jokes, sarcasm, eye-rolling, music, and LOVE! Together they like to bike ride, play games, cook, golf-cart (It really is a hobby!), and take their two crazy pups to the dog park.

As an ESL teacher, writer, and mother, Andrea is constantly learning and growing! She loves to hear, and help others tell their stories of hope. Her first books were written for the St. Louis non-profit Gateway to Dreams: St. Louis Dreamers and Dreamer's Journal. This Spring she will begin Volume II of Gateway Dreamers. In addition, she runs the Facebook group Auto-immune Warriors and teaches at Midwest University. Early June, Andrea will start looking for an agent for her book- Living: The Conundrum of Chronic Illness and Hope, which tells the story of facing life with a chronic illness head on and coming out stronger, braver, and brilliantly alive as God's creation. Catch up with Andrea on Facebook or through email at rerebodega@gmail.com.

TERRI BUCKNER

I’m Terri Marie Buckner, the oldest of four children - Alexandria, Korie and Christian. We are as close as we can be, even though we sadly all live in different states. To be honest I hate it, but it does give us all a reason to travel. My mom, Marcia Buckner, and my grandmother, Doris are two of  the strongest women I know. I am blessed to have two children Na’omi, 11 and Aiden who just turned 9. Sometimes I can’t believe I have children that old. They are beyond words. It’s funny, because they are so different, yet so similar. When I have time to myself I love to read and meditate. I don’t get to do it often, manly when my kids are sleeping.  

That’s when I get to do a lot of the things I enjoy. Reading new books, watching reruns, catching up with friends if they are awake or trying new recipes. I’ve always enjoyed cooking. I”ll look in magazines or online for new recipes. Writing is my other love, but I always kept it to myself until now.  For fun I like to get St. Louis magazines and look for new things my children and I can do.  We love to try out new restaurants in the city.  We love going downtown, because it’s actually where I’m from. 

I work 4am to 2pm at Walmart in Florissant as a baker.  It took me a while to get used to that schedule, trust me, but it works better for my children. 

Right now, I have to say that one of my proudest moments in my life is being chosen for the 6th Annual Listen To Your Mother Show. I’ve accomplished many things in my life,  but this is the first one that I did for my passion. It’s unbelievable!!!  I can’t wait to meet the other mother's in the cast. It’s like we are already friends,

 even though we haven’t even met yet. I’m also hoping that being in the show will help me to continue my writing. This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.  I also hope that being in this show will bring my Mother and I closer.  I believe!

MARY K. CLEMENS

 Mary Clemens is a native of St. Louis.  She and her husband Rick will celebrate their 25th anniversary on May 8th.  They are the parents of four beautiful, smart and talented daughters.  Alex, (24), Bethany and Grace (20) and Hannah (18).  Mary loves reading, gardening and taking walks in her Benton Park neighborhood with the family's two beagles, Tucker and Hamilton.  She likes to bike but doesn't do it enough to call it a hobby and she loves to travel both within the US and abroad. Mary works as the Marketing and Development Coordinator for the Performing Arts Department at Washington University in St. Louis.  Outside of her family, her proudest accomplishment occurred in 2016 when, after 6 years of study she earned her Master of Liberal Arts degree from Washington University. Mary is a charter member of WUSTL Speaks, one of the three WashU Toastmasters International clubs on campus and earned her Competent Communicator level within the first year of the clubs formation.  She has represented her club at several area and division competitions as an extemporaneous speaker contestant.  She is truly looking forward to hearing her Listen To Your Mother colleagues speak as they celebrate motherhood.

She can be found on Facebook at Mary Hanewinkel Clemens; on Twitter at @MomClemens and Instagram at MomClemens.

JAN KEENOY

 Jan Keenoy has  spent a 47 year career as a classroom teacher and professional development presenter, because it feeds her unwavering faith in people and her firm belief that learning is the answer.  She has four genX  kids,  five grandchildren, two English Cocker Spaniels, ­­and a veterinarian husband, all of whom have been her students for life’s lessons, as well as teaching her a great number of things along the way.  Her favorite activities are spending time with those kids, oldies rock,  NPR, thoughtful books, movies with good stories to tell, large refillable buckets of popcorn, and smiling, a lot. 

KIM SCHAEFER LEHNHOFF

Kim Schaefer Lehnhoff is a wife, mother of three, stepmom of three, and is the proudest Grandma to eleven perfect darlings.

Employed for many years as a technical writer, Kim is now between gigs, and is staving off boredom and senility with Facebook (and its insipid games), reading, and writing fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.

Kim is an award-winning writer who has published short stories in several anthologies. She is a member of WWWP (Wild Women Wielding Pens), a local critique group. She is a negligent blogger at The Ratio of Failures, at http://ratiooffailures.blogspot.com.

On the home front, Kim is a Wilton cake decorating school dropout and an Instant Pot™ evangelist. To keep her fingers nimble and to build her Grandma street cred, Kim has spent the past year teaching herself how to crochet (and learning new and innovative ways to hide a growing yarn stash from her husband, Tom). Kim is an alumnus of the inaugural season of LTYM, and is looking forward to getting all those feels again this year. You can find Kim at Facebook, and Twitter.

JENNIFER MAZELLA

Jennifer earned her Certified Professional Coaching and Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner Certificates from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC). She is the author of 2 books, This is not what I signed up for: One Mom’s reluctant journey through parenting a special needs child and My Father’s Daughter. After 10 successful years as The Special Education Parent Coach© she decided to launch a new venture, Quantum Leap Leadership © in 2017. She is excited to launch Quantum Leap Kids coming in the summer of 2018. When not coaching, advocating and educating her clients, she enjoys spending time with her husband, 3 children, 2 cats and 2 dogs in what she affectionately refers to as The Mazella Madhouse. Jennifer can be contacted by email Jennifer@SpeakerJenniferMazella.com or through her website www.SpeakerJenniferMazella.com.

AMANDA MILLER

My name is Amanda Miller and I’m a marketing professional who would prefer to make art, but my gig at T.G.I. Fridays didn’t pay enough. I’m a retired marathon runner and now stick to 5Ks and yoga. I went back to school to get my master's degree and consider it one of my greatest accomplishments since at the time I was a single mom, perpetual dater, worked full time and was running a lot. I’m a collector of friends who, along with my family, have been my support, my inspiration and who make everything better. I started a blog when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a way for me to share what was going on, but I have now found a love for writing mainly so I can be snarky and honest. I lived in Benton Park for fifteen years with my amazing daughter Corinne who is twelve. We just moved (like last week) to TGE with the love of my life Ben and his three kids, Lucy and Gabe who are also twelve and Nate who is nine. I think next year I will have a story about blending families because it is crazy-town! I’m really excited to be a part of LTYM and I’m looking forward to what I imagine will be an incredible experience!

DEBORAH LEE ANN MORLEY

Deborah LeeAnn is a workaholic turned stay-at-home Super Mom, self-proclaimed nutritionist/ health coach and serious organic kitchen witch. She’s also the wanna-be author of several books, one titled How NOT to Move Your Family Abroad: Best Ways to Sever Ties and Go on Sabbatical. From matching people’s talents and skills to their dream jobs to consulting with nonprofits on human resources best practices, she has relied on a combination of Art and Science, Intuition and Intellect and Masculine and Feminine traits. Deborah has spent her entire professional career helping leaders become their most creative, competent, authentic selves, while helping organizations become places where talented people love to work and can accomplish great things in and for the world. Her diverse range of experience has included Human Resources, small business consulting, community service on nonprofit boards, starting/running a small nonprofit for Native American children, workshop facilitation empowering women leaders, and serving on the Board for Gateway to Dreams. She’s passionate about community activism for social justice, ecological awareness, youth development, education issues, and diversity and inclusion for all. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri and is the proud mother of two adult daughters who she’s raised to be emotionally intelligent citizens of the world. 

MAUREEN QUIGLEY RAGSDALE

Irish, Catholic, Democrat. Once a daughter now orphaned.  I'm a sister to 3 wonderful siblings, Sharon, Ronnie and Terry. Once a wife, of 28 years, to Bob Ragsdale, now a widow.  A mom to my beautiful 32 year old daughter, Caroline. I hope a decent mother-in-law to my wonderful son-in-law, Tyler Brady.  And a proud and over the moon Mimi to my adorable granddaughter, Maren Murphy Brady.  Sister-in-law to 18, Aunt to 35, Great Aunt to 20! Cousin to 100’s! Obviously family is my main “hobby”.  Being present in all of their lives is my primary goal.  I have worked in the financial industry for 36 years.  I have actively volunteered my time and talent in my community, church and for causes dear to my heart for over 25 years.  I am happiest when busy, and especially on projects that I feel make a difference.  I love to read, travel, and go to Wine Down Wednesdays on the Hill and I have a habit of keeping my friends close forever.  My proudest moment in my life has been giving birth to my daughter.  It is amazing the power of a woman to withstand so much to bring life. 

I am humbled and thrilled to be chosen to read an essay about my mother at the 2018 LTYM STL Show, it feels a bit cathartic and has saved some funds on therapy.

MELISSA RODRIGUEZ

Melissa Diane is the “Girl who knows no stranger,” as her mother would always say. Melissa’s will to understand the “Why’s” has taught her forgiveness, kindness, love, hope, patience, faith, gratitude, laughter (A LOT OF LAUGHTER) and hard work is the fuel that drives her bus though this journey called life. Just like in one of the “I Love Lucy” shows, Melissa has been honored to wear many hats; daughter, sister, granddaughter, Aunt Nissa, MOMMA, ask Celine what it stands for Boyfriend’s, Cheerleader, FRIEND, Bestie, Artist, Storyographer, College Student, Executive Assistant, Lifeguard, Swim Instructor, Insurance Adjuster, Employer and COLE family inspired ENTREPRENEUR. Oh and now…'LTYM peep'. Her biggest accomplishment is her life education, through what she calls, “Mom University”. Melissa loves people. As she prepares for her next chapter in life, she hopes to build business’ that inspires, empowers, and employees many. She believes everyone has talents and if they are offered the opportunity to use them, they will succeed. Melissa is very grateful to her family, friends and the AMAZING E3W Ladies! With out them & God, she would have never entered the Listen to Your Mother. To learn more about Melissa’s life adventures follow her Instagram page Melissa_being me_or Being Me Company, LLC on Facebook.

JENNY ROGERS

Hi, I’m Jenny Rogers.  I am a wife and mother among many other things (please note: other things does not include quiet, graceful or demure). I am married to my best friend; and that fool has stuck around for the past 21 years and counting! We have two children, Warren age 16, and Elaine age 13. I am a reformed Accountant who discovered a passion for Recruiting, and I have been a Recruiter for the past three and a half years. I’m a late in life runner and triathlete – not competitive at either – and I spend the rest of my free time pining for more hours in the day, more time with my friends, more time with my sisters, more time with my husband and kids and… I am proud to say I have completed two Olympic distance triathlons, three half marathons, and countless 5Ks, 7Ks, 10Ks and 15Ks. My goal for all of these races is to complete the race and not die - so far, so good!

I love reading – mainly nonfiction – which can be super depressing, so I balance that with some truly crappy tv. I also read a lot of empowering and self-improvement books – my current fave is You are a Badass(How to Stop Doubting your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life) by Jen Sincero. She’s a model badass! I have loved writing since my youth. I have many journals in which I shared my deepest thoughts and unrequited love interests as a teenager. I wrote in journals while pregnant with my kiddos, and I started a blog when we lived in Kansas as a way to keep family updated on our life and children. I no longer post on my blog, as life got in the way and I got busy. I’ve wanted to be brave enough to share something in writing or in person for years, and with a push from my cousin Pat, here I am. I am SUPER excited and VERY terrified, but the best things in my life have happened under that exact combination so I am all in! I am on facebook (Jenny JR Rogers), twitter (@mom2werogers) and Instagram (mom2werogers).

DARCY HARDWICK SMITH

Writing a biography for Listen to Your Mother is quite a daunting task. Starting with my professional life (always a must) I’ve worked at the same major corporation for 37 years. And I’m milking it for everything it’s got. But recently, my real passion has transitioned from a single focus to my wearing multiple hats: that of a passionate artist, mother to an amazing daughter, loving 3 amazing rescue puppies, observer of crazy human behavior and best job ever…grandmother to a very busy little boy – Bear. No, he’s not a bear, but his Mamie calls him bear. And can’t forget grandmother to rescue Howard.

Being raised the daughter of a die hard, true southern belle was NOT easy. It had its moments, many moments where we as mother and daughter clashed, sometimes silently, sometimes loudly; but we always retained a mutual respect for one another. I miss my mother, I miss her style and grace, but I know she is always with me – we speak frequently.

My investment in Listen to Your Mother is simple – I want to share the intimate mother / daughter relationship I had with my mother. Her voice needs to be heard. Please, may you enjoy today, and know that southern mothers never leave us - never!


Co-PRODUCERS/DIRECTORS

NAOMI FRANCIS

Naomi has been planning parties & events for more than twenty years, specializing in sponsored events & fundraisers.  In addition to loving every minute as Co-Producer/Co-Director for LTYM-STL, she is writing a book.  She is married to Ron, who is serving our country in the military and has twin 8-year old boys, Jake & Luke, along with a rescue puppy.  So, her household is always one big party that she's forever trying to clean up!

LAURA EDWARDS-RAY

Laura has two daughters in college, and one stepson in Savannah.  She is the author of 'Brain Dead in the Burbs & Cooking Your Way Back to Sanity", "Still Brain Dead & Cooking", and "Forever Brain Dead".  She just finished her first screenplay, "Walking on Lily Pads - Unfortunately a True Story", & a coffee table book about her husband Tom's record store, Vintage Vinyl  called "The Book of Vintage Vinyl - Volume One".  For the 6th year, she is very proud to be Co-Producer/Director of LTYM-STL and for the second year, "The Story Bee Show - STL...Creating a Buzz One Story at a Time."  She also starred in "Funny Girls -The Experiment" and every Wednesday, co-stars in the YouTube cooking show with her two BFF's, Regi Drake & Fritzie Reeves, called "Brain Dead & Cooking with Friends"...and yes, she knows this photo makes her look like she has gas.