Where I come from,
A week didn’t pass without the lights going out.
We’d run out into the yard.
Bike rides and “running catching” were so much more fun in the dark.
Shadow puppets, candlelit board games.
Sometimes if were lucky, fireflies would join the party.
At bedtime, the absence of the a/c left us lying in hot air.
We be flipping pillows every minute, chasing cool linens.
Dunking towelettes in ice water and wearing them on our faces.
You know that moment when your heart explodes because your kid eagerly gives you her gift, her work of heart — your portrait, in scribbles and stick limbs? That moment is the inspiration behind my manifesto for handmade giving, shared in my latest guest post on ethicalDeal.com.
Handmade gifts trump mall-finds any day. But as romantic as it sounds, the idea of making gifts scares away busy moms. You might be turned off by the thought of complicated projects and a time-consuming process.
Amy Poehler. Tina Fey. And Bee Cooler.
Q: What do these three women have in common? (I’ll save you a Google search and tell you, it’s not celebrity status. Bee, one of my dearest friends, is not famous…although she ain’t no commoner either.)
A: All three ladies are smokin’ hot…goofballs!
Silly is their specialty. On the left are the female icons with their pumped up kicks in the Golden Globes promo. On the right, my friend’s graduation photo, which obviously stands out among my yearbook’s gallery of stiff necks and awkward, closed-mouth smiles.
They say you find true love when you’re not looking. I have friends who met their loves in an amusement park, in kindergarten, and in an ashram. Fate at its finest.
But self-love isn’t written in the stars. It requires you to search with open eyes and a willing heart.
I’ve been hunting around for quite some time now and I think it’s time I share my most unexpected findings. So, today I open my treasure chest. Have a look!
Where Is Your Love Hiding?
1. In your hair – you will fall in love hard when you wear a flower in your hair. Maybe some baby’s breath in your braid. Or a begonia by your bun. Eventually, you’ll graduate to the flower crown – a true statement of self-adoration.
I recall going through life with so much to say but holding it all in. And when I spoke, I would habitually say what I thought people wanted to hear, always choosing to bite my tongue to avoid stepping on toes.
Funny enough, I remember getting my toes trampled on and being the one to apologize. I was hit by a speeding car…at a pedestrian crossing… in a school zone…and I apologized.
I’m telling you, my vocal chords did their own thing.
Things finally turned around when my daughter was born. As her role model and spokesperson, I thought I’d help her find her voice. Instead, she helped me discover mine.
Knowing that your beloved sister is having an unassisted home birth in Costa Rica really tests your ability to let go and let be.
Little did I know, I didn’t have anything to worry about.
Angels surrounded her. Each one arriving right on time.
The kindest couple welcomed her into their home.
They made her tea. They fed her Costa Rican mangoes. They never left her side.
Mama-to-be danced to the beat of African drums and the sounds of a sitar.
The music perfectly matching the rhythm of the contractions.
Three darling children offered their “om’s” and drummed along.
Friends across the globe lit a candle. Said a prayer. Breathed for her.
Family tuned in live, through the internet. Costa Rica to Canada to China.
When was the last time you felt like you were really living it up, achieving your dreams, stepping up to the challenge? Taking care of Junior doesn’t have to mean that you’re days of fun are over. But I get it. Kids require energy–a lot of it.
And moms are lacking sleep, feeling wiped out and exhausted. When you’re feeling like that, the most you can do is get through your daily routine. Don’t expect to “carpe diem” when you’re wearing your crankypants with your eyes half-open.
Solution? Cold showers.
Let me tell you about the experience that opened my eyes to the power of the cold shower.
I live on Canada’s west coast, where the winters are mild, but the ocean is freezing. Only the crazies can be found taking a dip in the pacific ocean at winter time. Well, call me crazy. On January 1, 2013, I dove in. I participated in the Polar Bear Swim along with thousands of others.
This is a big deal for a girl who never sets more than a toe into water that isn’t steaming.
The first challenge of the new year brought out a new handmade quilt, new planner, and new hair-dos! View the rest of the entries here.
You go on mission for a flat stomach…because you blame your failed relationship on your spare tire.
You want to make more money…to keep up with the Joneses.
You decide to run your first marathon…and then get badly injured because you pushed past your limits just to get an impressive time.
You strive to be an active volunteer in your community…but you end up neglecting your own family.
You force yourself to drink green juice every morning…since all the cool moms are doing it.
I'm Nat Nanton, founder of Tutu Mama. Becoming a mother has made me commit to living my greatest life. If you can relate to that, you're in the right place.
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