My Modern Ketubah

I am in an inter-faith marriage.

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And we still look at each like that. Every single day. Every single moment. All the time. yeah………..well anyways, we still make each other laugh and that’s good.

I was brought up non-denominational Christian and my husband was brought up Jewish.

We’ve been together for 14 years and we’ve worked out the most of the kinks. It’s still interesting and makes you question everything but let’s not talk about all that.

I just want to share with you some art I recently had commissioned. A Ketubah if you will.

A Ketubah(see I need to go Google it to see how to spell it) is a contract you sign when you get married and you are Jewish.

Holy cow I was spelling it right, here is the definition:

ketubah (Hebrew: כְּתוּבָּה ; “written thing”; pl. ketubot) is a special type of Jewish prenuptial agreement. It is considered an integral part of a traditional Jewish marriage, and outlines the rights and responsibilities of the groom, in relation to the bride. Nevertheless, there is no agreement in modern times as to the monetary worth of the ketubah, and its enforceability even in Jewish courts is in question even in theory; in practice it is never enforced.[1]

I had seen probably only two other Ketubah’s in my childhood and I found them very mysterious. Somewhat due to not being able to read Hebrew and also just thinking it was quite bold for a couple to decree their love for each other and put it on their wall.

Kind of forward. Was I of Puritan descent or what?!

Anyways, I’ve always kind of wanted one. A friend had a very cool one made up with her husband. She converted to Judasim, I have not.

I was at a friend’s house a few months back and I kept gaping at some art she had in her front hallways. It was of her three children and it was made from paper being cut out.

This is when I learned about the English artist Sarah Dennis.

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Sarah Dennis is a freelance illustrator and artist living in Bristol. Growing up in the heart of Sussex, she spent much of her childhood life drawing and experimenting with art. Sarah took her first steps into becoming an aspiring artist by completing a foundation course in art and design at Brighton City College. Sarah has always been influenced by storytelling, drawing inspiration from her Grandfather’s collection of old books and Japanese artwork. She has always possessed a strong desire to create a world of her own, fueled buy nature, animation and personal experience.

I contacted Sarah and told her I wanted to make a modern day Ketubah. I told her my vision and she was excited to collaborate.

I sent her photos of my kids and the text I wanted in our Ketubah.

She went about creating and emailing me back and forth making sure I got exactly what I wanted.

And I did.

So here it is, my modern day, inter-faith Ketubah.

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This is not a paid post.

I just admire her work and I wanted to share in case it’s of any interest to any other inter-faith couples out there.

Follow Up With Chicago Performer Kathleen Buckley

Kathleen Buckley is an Illinois mom who recently performed in our Chicago show. You can read more about her in our pre-show interview here. But to hear about how she felt about doing the show and what her latest project are, read on.

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What was it like participating in Expressing Motherhood?

What surprised you about being in the show?

This was my first time on stage, my first time being back stage in a theater, and my first time sharing one of my stories in a public setting so I was pretty nervous about the whole thing. Lindsay and Jessica were so organized and professional that they made it super easy to participate and do so successfully. All the other cast members, many of whom had performed before, were so supportive and welcoming. And everyone was SO MUCH FUN! I got to meet an amazing, intersting and diverse group of women. I didn’t expect to meet people that I’d want to really know. They made every moment off stage memorable. Expressing Motherhood was like a mix of Girl Scout Camp and Bourbon Street – and those have been two of my favorite places to visit!
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Had you ever performed before?

No, unless you include standing up in front of stuffy business types nervously pitching product ideas.

What projects do you have on the immediate horizon?

I have three ongoing projects:

  • Publishing an anthology of stories for and about women who became moms after the age of forty. My two partners on the project, like me,  had their first babies after forty, and we know first hand how being an older mom poses it’s own unique set of joys and challenges. The call for entries can be found here.

 My portfolio! I hope to get my MFA in Graphic Design so I can eventually leave the corporate world for the academic one. It’s what I always thought I’d do and now it’s time to do it.

 

  • Converting my rarely used formal dining room into a real studio so that when we do want to dine formally (like twice a year) I don’t have to temporarily shut down projects, cap off paint tubes, file away scribbles. I can just leave everything out while we eat on folding tables in the living room.

In regards to your piece, what kind of questions were you asked by people? How did your friends respond?

I was surprised how many women (and men!) commented in the lobby after the show that they’d had a similar experience to mine. Many people asked me if my story was true – including some friends. A few women genuinely thanked me for having shared my good fortune with women who couldn’t do what I could. I didn’t expect that. It was really cool to make those connections.

Purposefully Pulling Back

This week I returned from Chicago and just saturated myself in my kids.

I gave my nanny the week off.

Finally, my two oldest are in school and I had some alone time with my 2 year-old.

I ignored my iPhone.

I didn’t text people back right away.

I felt more relaxed then I have in a long time.

Expressing Motherhood was created to fulfill a desire to be creative. To connect myself to part of my happiest me.

I realize I’m in a unique position in that I don’t have to provide an extra income for my family and as long as we make our money back we are all good. My heart can sing and be full.

But it’s been interesting.

Purposefully holding myself back from doing too many things with the show. Expanding it, making a book, etc. yada, yada, yada.

I didn’t even pursue social media in the beginning. I was anti-iPhone. We were anti only pursuing top writers, bloggers an actors. We just wanted the mom who wanted out, if only for a few nights.

I’ve always been a bit alternative and as both my parents comment, I’ve always made things a bit harder for myself.

But I like the way the show has played out.

Never selling out, anything other then our seats that is has felt good.

I have to remind myself this sometimes, when I grow a bit angry at myself for not doing a bit more. But then I hold my youngest and wonder when she become so lanky.

I have heard many people over the years ask Jessica and myself, why aren’t you doing this and that and that? And we answer, we know, we know we could. But we have chosen to do this show at our speed.

And as my husband has told me and reminds me kindly from time to time, I’m incredibly lucky to be so fulfilled with something so pure.

So, tonight, I will try to be once again kind to myself and remind myself it’s OK to charge ahead at my own, somewhat alternative speed.

I think it’s important too for all creative moms to realize it’s OK to walk away from our projects for awhile.

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Or let them unfold how and when we want, if we are in that position.

 

 

 

A Great Review

Here is an email that a former performer sent to me, the email was sent to her. A great review!
Just wanted to write to tell you that we went to see Expressing Motherhood in Chicago this past weekend and it was incredible! Absolutely beyond amazing, inspiring, raw, heartfelt and moving. I only wish it was here longer, I would have gone back with Tommy! I am so glad my friends and I had the chance to share in such a special experience so thank you for turning us on to it!

 

Expressing Motherhood’s New Project With Rooftop Media

Expressing Motherhood will be teaming up with a great company out of San Francisco called Rooftop Media.

Look or rather listen for Expressing Motherhood pieces on air soon!

Meaning you’ll be able to listen to our previous performers pieces, perhaps on your morning commute or up at night while breastfeeding.

First it will just be our comedic but we are hoping to expand to all of the pieces soon.

Thank you for your support!

My Chicago Experience

Here is my post on the Chicago wrap up.

I chose “Pumpin Blood” by NONONO as the song we all bow to because I’ve been spinning to it so much and my heart has been at the forefront of my mind this year. On January 1st my heart started racing and I drove the the ER and ended up having a scarier situation then I thought. Very standard SVT it turns out but scary as hell. I’ve been working hard to unravel whatever it is that has wound me so tight the last few years.

My little attacks have calmed way down due to exercise, water, saying no, praying, reading, yoga, drinking with friends, not drinking at times, calling my therapist, more dinner with friends who make me laugh until I cry, prescribed drugs, whatever you name it, a lot. The one thing I’ve been trying so hard to do is to not let the anger consume me and not let my fear swallow me up.

Right before the show I started to become so scared to leave my kids.

But as I flew home and looked over the Rockys as we bounced a little I asked myself, how can I teach my children to be as fearless as they can possibly be? How can I teach them that?

I know I struggle, battle and sludge my way through eyeball high fear but at least I did it, I got on the plane (a fear of mine) and was deeply rewarded by the experience I had in Chicago.

Just as I typed that my friend, my catalyst really for Chicago just texted me saying she was proud of me. I’m so thankful that I have a friend who would say that. And I’m so happy this friend is pregnant! Took her 6 years of trying and as soon as I found out bam, Chicago was in the works. 

Couldn’t have asked for a better week.

Thank you to all who participated. Here are the lyrics to “Pumpin Blood.”

 

Hey heart, on the road again, moving on, forward

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See the stars, won’t break the bones

They’re in the car, on the highway

It’s so magical, feeling, that no one’s got a hold

Your heart can list the all, happiness you know

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This is your heart, it’s alive
It’s pumping blood
It’s your heart, it’s alive
It’s pumping blood
And the whole wide world is whistling

 

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Hey heart, on the road again, driving stand, forward
See the stars, won’t take his course
Got the band and …
It’s the best of world’s feeling, like nothing can go wrong
Hear the sirens, the world, you catching on

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This is your heart, it’s alive
It’s pumping blood
It’s your heart, it’s alive
It’s pumping blood
And the whole wide world is whistling

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Styled by Bethany Winters!

Hey heart, won’t you run again
On the highway, on the highway
Hey heart, won’t you run again
On the highway, on the highway

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Bobby’s Bike Hike, best tour experience ever.

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This is your heart, it’s alive
It’s pumping blood
It’s your heart, it’s alive
It’s pumping blood

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Follow Up With Chicago Performer Amy Rowe

As part of a follow up series with our Chicago cast here is a Q&A with recent Ohio performer and mom Amy Rowe. Amy discussed how though she was told she’d fall in love instantly with her newborn it, in reality, took longer then an instant.

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Amy is second from the left in the red!

 What was it like participating in Expressing Motherhood? What surprised you about being in the show?

I am always amazed at the adrenaline rush that comes from being in front of an audience. Hearing their laughter is so affirming and encouraging.

 Had you ever performed before?

I was a member of the New York cast back in 2009. Other than that, I have been in a few church plays, performed a couple of solos (again, at church), and was a lily pad in a preschool play many moons ago.

What projects do you have on the immediate horizon?

As soon as I unbury myself from the projects I put on hold while in Chicago, I’m planning to work on the lyrics for a new song for Stacie and Shannon to perform. My working title? I’m glad you ask! It’s “Fuck you! No, I’m not pregnant.” It will be dedicated to the Lyft driver named Grace who so uncool-like noticed my gut and congratulated me on my mom-to-be status. (Bitch!)

Then, I hope to polish up a couple of pieces to submit to the Oh, Baby: True Stories About Tiny Humans  anthology you guys told us about.

Oh, and I also want to have a viewing party for the DVD when it comes out. Lots of my friends were bummed to not have been able to attend the show. It’s a good excuse to enjoy some wine with my fellow moms, right?

Thanks again for the great opportunity, ladies! Hope to see you at another show sometime soon!!!
Amy

There’s Still Time To See Expressing Motherhood In Chicago!

Cast lined up ready for their bow!
Cast lined up ready for their bow!

 

We opened last night in Chicago at Stage 773 to a very happy audience! As a matter of fact…a standing O greeted these ladies as the curtains opened.

A performer’s husband told us that he would have enjoyed this show regardless if his wife was in it or not. He was glad he came and he loved it.

 

 

We’re headed into night two and you have not missed your chance to see this show at an amazing theatre in Chicago. Tickets are available HERE… Get a sitter..grab some girlfriends and head out for the night.

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You will not be disappointed. Expressing Motherhood loves Chicago!

 

Chicago: Opening Night is Tomorrow

Expressing Motherhood’s  Chicago opening night, is tomorrow!

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September 19th.

Stage 773 opens at 7PM, come early and grab a bar stool at this very cool and welcoming theatre space. Our house will open at 7:30PM. We are open seating. Tickets are $30 online and $35 at the door.

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Very funny Jamye from Ottawa, Illinois.

We have moms from Illinois, South Dakota, California, Boston and Ohio sharing their stories on stage.

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We have been having such a phenomenal time here in Chicago that this has been muttered more then once, “Is it legal to have this much fun?”

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We look forward to seeing you at the show tomorrow!

Greetings From Chicago

Yesterday Jessica and myself flew into Chicago on an early flight from LAX. So too did Kim Allen-Niesen, Stacie Burrows and Shannon Noel.

Jessica and I went and checked out the eclectic great theatre we will be performing.

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Then we walked around in the cool, crisp Fall Chicago weather.




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Then what do moms with no kids in sight do, we went out for drinks and an early dinner.

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Followed by some more conversation and another drink back at the hotel where finally we all went to bed at 8PM, Los Angeles time, some of our performers even brought white noise machines..despite the lack of children. True addicts.

We had a great first day and our looking forward to our first rehearsal today.