Christine is one of my favorite people. She writes at The Aums, and just like me, she has four very small people under her care. Unlike me, though, she manages to say “Aummm” and get through her days without losing her cool. Oh, and she homeschools, too, in a TV-free house. Yeah, you read that right. I think I need to take lessons from her, seriously.

Check out some of Christine’s YouTube videos….she’s hilarious. She is also a personality behind iVoice on iVillage, and she can make any experience, like teaching her daughter to ride a bike, funny, heartfelt, and relatable. Know what else is relatable? Her post on potty talk…really, you should hear our dinner conversations these days. And as you are about to read, she is multi-talented.

Thanks so much for being here, Christine!

When I was nineteen, I started taking Polynesian Dance classes at the local Parks and Rec and instantly fell in love. The moment I learned my first hula was the start of a lifelong passion…you know, what would later become known as the all-important “ME time.”

My class was a couple blocks away so I’d walk there in flip-flops, a tank top and sarong, as young and carefree* as could be. I practiced the discipline so much that my kumu (hula teacher) invited me to join her advanced halau (hula school) at a nearby studio where we danced to live music and drums and learned songs from New Zealand, Tahiti and Hawaii. I was truly in my element! Soon after, my professional dance career began and I was performing on weekends.

Incidentally, I met my husband at a luau where I was performing.

As the youngest in the class, I was intimidated by the skilled moves of the more experienced dancers, but mostly I was in awe. These women were, to me, the epitome of beauty and grace. They were older…the kind of older that you can’t imagine when you’re nineteen years old, so probably in their mid-thirties like I am now (good grief). They were mothers and they had curves in all the right places, all the places I didn’t. And when they danced they bared those curves, swaying to the strum of a ukelele or shaking to a Tahitian beat. They bared the same bodies that I saw in the dressing room, only what I saw in the dressing room was not what I saw on the dance floor. It’s like the passion of performing an ancient dance erased anything that was dimply, stretched, rolled, or sagging. All I saw was BEAUTY.

I’d watch them at practice and think to myself, “I can’t wait to become a mom and earn me some hips… and then some.” At nineteen, I expected motherhood to bring me the body of my hula dancing dreams.

Fast forward seventeen years and I’m here…I’m a mom! I have four children, each less than two years apart from each other, only instead of sarongs I want to wear sweats and perform in muumuus. I find myself dreaming about grass skirts with built in Spanx and Miracle coconut bras. I often think, “I got my hips, but where did my waist go?” “Can I buy just one chicken cutlet to even out the coconuts?” “Oh, so that’s what happens to a belly-button piercing after four pregnancies (shudder!)”

At nineteen, I equated motherhood with curves in a healthy way and while they say you get wiser with age, I think I was pretty wise back then and could stand to channel that young, carefree* girl again.

*Anytime I use the word carefree, you can substitute the word bloat-free.

Follow Christine on her blog, The Aums, on Twitter, and on Facebook (where she’d like to have 213 fans by 2013….help a girl out!).