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temporary hiatus

I’m in the process of switching studios so The Mama Mary Show will be on hiatus for a day or so. Check back soon to be re-directed to the new and improved site.

what’s in a year?

On this day, March 21st, the first day of Spring, Mama Mary is a year older.

In some ways I feel older. I have more gray hairs, more wrinkles and more creaking in the knees. But my spirit feels younger than ever before. Maybe ’cause I hang out with a toddler and a baby all day, every day, so some of their wonder and excitement for the world is rubbing off on me. Whatever the reason, I am happy, like These are Days happy, and that is the best birthday present I could ask for.

Jonathan Larson, the now deceased, critically acclaimed creator of the musical Rent, wrote:

525,600 minutes

525, 600 moments so dear

525, 600 minutes how do you measure, measure a year?

Love is his answer, as it is mine.

Here are my minutes, my moments so dear, and full of love: (the highlights, not all 525,600 of them)

Choking back tears as I sang my nightly medley of “Rockabye Bear” and “You Are My Sunshine” to Lily on the eve of Lexi’s birth, knowing it was our last moment “alone” together, and then waddling to my room to weep my swollen, sentimental, hormonal face off.


Laying in the hospital bed, waiting to dilate, watching SuperBad, and debating the various possible spellings for the name Lexi. (I originally wanted it to end in “y” but when we wrote it out it looked to much like Sexy so Steve quickly put the kabbash on that one).

Giving birth, after only 4 pushes, to my second, healthy, beautiful baby girl, Lexi Mae Godwin. Then watching Steve cut the cord and having BFF Amy place her on my chest, all blue and icky. (This moment was particularly special since I didn’t have it with Lily as she had some complications at birth and had been immediately taken away by a “special team”).


My mom thinking I named her Lexi after the Lexus she used to drive rather than her real namesake, my dad’s middle name, Alexander.

Realizing that even though I had claimed to be proficient at multi-tasking, I really had NO IDEA what it means until I had one kid on the boob and the other on my hip, all the while typing a blog post with one hand, folding laundry with the other, drinking chai tea through a straw, working the remote control with my feet and talking on speaker phone.

Becoming a writer (huh?), a blogger (what, what?) and a tech junkie with things like Facebook and Twitter (are you kidding me?).

Reconnecting with old friends from all the various phases of my life.

Reliving traumatic tween rejection when a jr. high crush (and I’m talking crazy crush, like Madonna’s I’m Crazy for You” crush) IGNORED my request for friendship on FaceBook.  Get over yourself Brain. And yes, I called him Brain. I was apparently so love struck by this fella that I developed momentary dyslexia and wrote “I heart Brain” all over my school binder).

Rocking out to my all-time favorite pop icon, Madonna, with my hubbie and BFFs Mern & Amy, whilst Mr. Barack Obama was being elected President of the US of A.


Baking cookies (and by baking I mean pulling apart the pre-made dough and ever-so-delicately placing it on the baking sheet) for Santa and watching Lily’s face when she saw the presents under the tree and the plate of cookies gone.

Receiving one of the most romantic, thoughtful and funky fresh Valentine’s Day gifts EVER!

And, through a combination of all the moments put together, gaining a deeper understanding of the following phrases:

Having kids changes your life…for the better.

A woman’s work is never done.

Yes We Can.


And I’d like to give a special shout out to MY MOM, this day should be HER day too. She still hasn’t figured out how to read my blog, maybe someday she will. Mom, I cannot thank you enough for loving me and caring for me so wholeheartedly over the years. From your one-of-a-kind grilled cheese sandwiches and artichokes to your tender hugs and back scratches, you have taken care of me with loving arms and the biggest heart I’ve ever known. I love you and thank you for all you do.


you go girl

Really not much time to post these days if I want to ever get my new site up and my manuscript complete. Oh, and be a decent mom and wife.  And get my fix of American Idol. But I just feel compelled to share this video of Lexi dancing to Public Enemy “Bring the Noise.” She’s got my head, neck jiration thing down.

And yes, I think playing Public Enemy is being a good mom.

Also, I would like to point out her fancy St. Patty’s Day dress. Her Grandma Vangie brought it back from Ireland. Which I doubted for a minute when we saw this little girl at Borders this morning wearing the same dress.


Turns out, this baby’s mom’s best friend sent it to her from Ireland. Small world!

I’ve ended with the Irish Blessing before, but as far as I’m concerned you can’t hear this blessing too many times.

An Irish Blessing:

May the Road Rise to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

And the rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

gettin’ giggy with it

Does anyone else get a little giggy a few weeks before their birthday? Well I do, always. Every year. A few weeks before my birthday I start to act a little bitchier than usual, a lot more introspective and whole helluva lot more judgmental of myself and pretty much everything around me.. like the way my hubbie chews his food. Well my special day is right around the corner and today it dawned on me…no wonder I’m a complete hot mess.

So on top of being a little stressed that my hubbie’s work got cut to part-time and beyond exhausted since Lexi is both teething and double ear infecting and therefore up all night, I’ve got the friggin birthday blues.  I’m not really blue, I just feel blue, does that make sense?  I really have nothing in my life right now to be blue about… this just happens to me every year and I’ve learned to accept it.  It will pass and I will greet the new number to be added to my existing 3_ with a Coke and a smile. Bring it on!

But in the meantime, I am completely short on brain power and am worthless when it comes to this blog. I have started at least 4 different blog posts and saved each one as a draft, because I just can’t muster the brain capacity to complete a decent post. Any minute brain power I have is going to my kids my book project and to composing emails to the IT genius who is helping my re-vamp my site (new snazzy Mama Mary site should be up next week – woo hoo – Thanks Hunter!). So for all of you faithful readers, stay with me…It just may be awhile  before I can “make it work,” Tim Gunn style and write anything worth a darn.

I’m off  to bed now, and for the love of everything good and holy, I pray for a decent night’s sleep tonight. Sleep changes everything…except my age.

a recess in memory

Today on our morning walk, the girls and I passed by the neighborhood grade school. Typically the playground is empty when we walk passed, however today we hit it just in time for recess.  Oh recess…what a jubilant word.  I said “Look at all the kids, Lily.  They are getting out for recess.  They get to play on the playground.”  I paused and waited for the inevitable “why?” but it never came.  I looked down at her; she was staring out over the vast black pavement scattered with tether ball poles and basketball nets, completely mesmerized.  The kids filed out of the school doors, some single file, some in twosies, twosies and then others in big groups of laughter, energy and wonder.  Boys were pushing, girls gigglings, loners walking with their heads down and leaders rallying their troops for a big game of kickball or foursquare.  I began to move on up the hill but Lily yelled, “Wait mommy, I want to look at the kids.”  So I stopped, turned the stroller so she could have a good view and for a few minutes we watched the school yard spectacle.   I too became mesmerized.  I stood frozen somewhere between flash backs and fast forwards.

Flash backs of my grade school days, as one of the few tall girls along with Diane, Leslie and Stephanie, who dominated the tetherball field but couldn’t do a pull up to save my life.  Recess for me was a toss up between anxiety and pure joyful fun, depending on what games were being played, which bullies were around (I’m stil afraid of Heather Grund) , and where I stood that day with the other friends in my circle.  Finicky, fickle, pre-pubescent girls can be BE-YOTCHES to each other. I’ll be the first to admit, I was a bossy, bratty, beyotch at times (Was?  Who am I kidding, that pretty much still sums me up).  But I also had my fair share of being the tortured tormentee who played marbles by herself or just sat on the fence, and went home that night thinking life could not possible get any worse. Irregardless, I have only the fondest memories of those lower school days…

  • Dancing the complete Thriller choreography after school with all my girls, while the cute boys played kickball and pretended not to watch.
  • Pickle – not the briney cucumber but the brutal game played with a tennis ball – with the boys.
  • Sneaking into the cafeteria to steal the kindergartner’s graham crack snacks, always accompanied by at least one cute boy, one of whom was named Graham, which was always a good laugh.
  • Sneaking to some back hillside to eat sour lemon grass and talk about french kissing (talk being the operative word – at least for me – maybe there were others that got busy back there?) We maybe even played truth or dare, but as far as I can remember there was more talking about getting frisky than actual friskiness.
  • Falling off the slide in first grade, peeing my pants and breaking my arm. Then getting all the cute boys to sign my cast, take my spelling tests and carry my books for me.
  • Rainy day recesses, inside the auditorium, eating popcorn and watching “Escape From Witch Mountain.” Hoping a cute boy would sit next to me.

Hhmmm, is there a recurring theme to my memories?

Fast Forward in time to a few years from now when my own girls will be either enjoying or eschewing recess.  What kind of girls will they be?  Active, quiet, bossy, shy?  Boy-crazy, nerdy?  I am a little fearful of my own comeuppance…I am also fearful of the rate in which kids grow up these days and how savvy they are becoming, both socially and technologically. My hope is that they are well-adjusted, kind kids that know how to treat other people and don’t fall apart if others don’t know how to treat them.  I’m pretty sure my foot in the face disciplinary action is helping achieve that end.

All of these memories are being compounded by the fact that I have been able to re-connect with a ton of my grade school pals through Facebook.  If any of you are reading this, please keep your comments to yourself about my “bossiness”, but please share with me your memories about recess and the playground.  Especially any of you cute boys…Sean(s)?

measure your life in love

The Tony Award winning musical Rent is more than just music, dancing, and a cool set. It is an inspirational story of love, friendship and redemption, of following dreams and dreaming of a better day. Whenever I see it, which is as often as possible and over ten times now, my heart beats up in my throat.  Tears flow from the first guitar strum of “One Song Glory” and don’t stop rollin’ until I am sitting in my car after the show.  The music, the lyrics, the characters and their struggles strike a cord in me that is profound and visceral.  And when I watch the actors on stage, feeling their joy spill out into the dark theatre, watching their souls soar as they sing, it fills a void in me.  It lifts me up.  It inspires me.  It makes me smile.

When I first saw it, over 11 years ago, I had been going through a proverbial Valley of Life.  I was mending a broken heart from the year prior (I roll my eyes now in retrospect — I wish I had just read “He’s Just Not That Into You” and been done with it!), I was overweight, drinking a lot, and wallowing in a sea of 2:00am carne asada burritos and beer goggles.  I was desperate for a change, for a light, for a kick in the pants.  Rent was all of those things, and more.

One night, way back in the summer of 1997, my dear friend and fellow thespian/theatre geek, Mike, invited me to a preview of the new hit, controversial musical Rent at the La Jolla Playouse.  I had heard of it from a friend who had seen it on Broadway, and I knew I just had to go.  We had 5th row seats.  We could see their sweat, tears and black nail polish.  I was mesmerized.  They had me at “Rent.”

The show rocked my world.  I was weeping (surprised?), laughing and bursting from the inside out.  I wanted to run up on the stage, hug the actors, ask them to be my best friends, do a little dance and feel the spotlight on my face.  I had not been on a stage for at least 4 years.  I did not realize how much I missed it until that night.

After the show that night I learned of the tragic story surrounding the death of the show’s creator, Jonathan Larson.  He had been a struggling actor, writer, director, waiting tables in New York and he finally landed it big time.  His little-musical-that-could,was headed for Broadway.  After the final dress rehearsal, on the eve of his dreams coming true, he died of an aortic aneurism.  He did not live to see opening day, or any of the gazillion accolades the show went on to achieve over the past 12 years.  Poetic injustice.  Irony to the nth degree. A reminder to enjoy every moment and follow your dreams.  Proof that there is “No Day But Today.”

I went home that night and wrote in my journal for 4 hours straight, scribbling feverishly through my tears.  But the tears were joyful tears, full of hope and new beginnings. Within a week I had seen the show three more times and was enrolled in acting classes.  I had lost a few pounds and found my self-respect.  I had, without realizing it, stopped thinking about the j-e-r-k who had dumped me.   The void I had been feeling was in fact not caused by him. I had been missing myself.  Ding, dong. It was an epiphany. It was powerful.  It was awesome. 

So when I say I love Rent, I mean I LOVE Rent.  I really think it changed the course of my life.  It inspired me to act on my dreams.  To get out of my head and into my life.  To measure my life in love, not loss.  Though I have put the acting thing on hold for the time being, I know I will get back to that part of my life, that dream, when the time is right.  At the moment I am happier than I have ever been playing the role of mommy with my girls as my audience (isn’t it usually the other way around?).

I am writing this post tonight because the Rent Live Broadway Filming DVD came out last week and guess who had a date night last night with her hubby, La Crema Chardonnay, and her dvd player?  (whoa Readers, whoa…this is a family blog).  All of my emotions from 11.5 years ago came flooding back.  It inspired me yet again, this time to keep pushing ahead on my book project. And it re-ignited my idea to turn the book into a play, utilizing the amazing stories I am compiling as the basis for the characters. That way, I can get back to the stage, where my heart beats like wild and my soul sees forever. Stay tuned for that chapter.


Tonight I am thankful for Jonathan Larson, his inspiration and his light.