Are you a Renaissance Mom?

by admin on June 13, 2009 · 0 comments

By now you are probably wondering, what is a Renaissance Mom? It’s actually a question that took me a while to answer for myself.

If you have ever been asked the question, “what do you do?” and you’ve been compelled to answer, “I’m a mom, but that’s not ALL I am” – this site might just resonate with you.

Renaissance Moms are women who embrace the incredible world of family and motherhood, yet want to stay engaged in exploring the sides of them that create happiness and fulfillment outside of motherhood.

I hope to reveal diverse, real-world mothers that are inspiring, and talk about the things that inspire us.

My Inspiration

As a former English major and lover of art history, I was intrigued by the Renaissance period – by the productivity, innovation and creativity that came out of this time. A sort of cross-pollinization of disciplines occurred sparking new ways of thinking that drew from classical approaches. Artists, scientists, philosophers, and other cool people basically started mingling and got better and more brilliant ideas in the process. So now we have masterworks by folks like Rafael, DaVinci and Michelangelo as a legacy.

As mothers, we must also be masters of productivity, innovation and creativity.  Creatively finding time, energy and passion to balance our role as mom, sometimes career and everything else we are about – now that is THE challenge. Creatively finding solutions to the roadblocks that rear their head as we try to maintain this balance; that’s when real life innovation comes in.

But take some strength in this. Mothers are the ultimate creators. We are built to create, to nurture, to innovate. We’ve got a leg up on the Renaissance Masters in that we intuitively strive for connection so that we can do all that we need to do, and so that we can learn and absorb new things better and faster.

Through this site, I hope to provide women and moms with the chance for their own awakening. Sort of a revival in finding the truth of what makes you happy and fulfilled. May you find connection, confidence, and mostly some new ways of looking at things that might be enlightening – for you or for someone else. 

The idea of success is what we create.  I think we have such an opportunity today to show new models of success for women – to show the mavericks of motherhood, the mamas of innovation, the women that have found unique and authentic ways to marry their passions and their priorities of children and family.

Whether you are an advocate or an artist, an educator or an entrepreneur, a scientist or a stay-at-home mom – Renaissance Moms share a commonality…

First, we are women. Second, we are mothers. We have a stake in the greatest invention of all – humanity. So, I hope to share a little of my own humanity with you; and hope you are someday compelled do to the same.

So, moveover Michelangelo – what will be OUR legacy as Renaissance Moms? I’m dying to find out…

Maria Carter

Maria Carter, Founder, Renaissance Moms

Maria Carter

Photo Courtesy of Michele Anderson of Pinkletoes Photography



by admin on June 9, 2009 · 3 comments

As this school year closed, a very good friend of mine Aline Hanle, founder of a inspiring method of life purpose coaching called the Catalyst Method, lent her talents to our children’s Montessori school. She initatied a concept called the “WishSparks Project” to show the children how we might light up the simplicity of manifesting a reality out of a simple thought. The simple thought would be anything that might make a child anywhere in the world, happier. It did not require money or fundraising – simply the power of truly good intentions.

These are my little ones – they will be 2 and 4 years old this fall.

As I shared the day with my children and realized how quickly they are growing before my eyes, I asked myself what are MY wishes for THEM in this magical time of innocence? If I had not much money, but only my purest intentions for them, what would they be?

These words are for my children. May they read them in a few years when they can actually read, and remember the things they loved and I wished for them.

My babies,

I wish you rainbows
And lollipops of every hue;
I wish you miles of family walks too.

I wish you bubbles to greet you at your door;
And rays of sunshine to keep you warm.

I wish you puzzles with every piece;
And that you still find wonder in the tiniest treat.

May you always have a bed or ball on which to bounce;
And an old laundry basket to hop in and be pushed about.

That you always find the perfect hill down which to run;
And a still lake to pitch rocks on.

I wish you big boxes in which to hide;
An imagination to fill them with treasures inside.

Let there be birds and soaring planes to watch overhead;
Your favorite song on the radio that makes you bop your head.

I wish you a full belly, and a strong, gentle heart;
And that sticks and stones and words not tear you apart.

I wish you laughs from tickled toes;
And blushing smiles that only innocence can know.

I wish you nights of the most restful sleep;
And days that fulfill your innermost dreams.

But most of all, may you always know,
The memory of my hugs and kisses deep within your soul.

With all my love,


P.S. – A huge thanks to Michele Anderson of Pinkletoes Photography in Austin, TX for capturing these amazing images that I will always treasure. And to Aline, for her continuous inspiration.


The Carter Threshold of Change Theory

by admin on February 26, 2009 · 0 comments

I’ve been having a lot of change in my life lately – well at least ideas of change, and I realized something. There is a threshold the body and mind can take.

This has led me to dub this post the Carter Threshold of Change Theory.

The universe and individuals are fueled by change and by evolution. If we remain stagnant, we cease to evolve and develop, we die literally and figuratively. If we evolve unnaturally or too rapidly, weird stuff happens – there is a threshold, a balance for enabling change.

In my quest for inner fulfillment, I have sought answers and many have been thrust upon me recently. However, I’m finding that today I reached my limit. Just like when you sample a new dessert and take that first bite, and are intrigued, then pleased, then mildly euphoric, then proceed to polish off every last bit of that dessert only to find an hour later you feel sick to your stomach. Well, that’s been my week. I feel like I’ve taken too much in too fast and now my body and mind are starting to reject it.

If you’re one of those superhuman people that have it all together, this post may not apply. But for the rest of us, it got me thinking that it might serve us well to be “grazers” when it comes to change. Just as for most people it works best to eat many small meals throughout the day to experience the optimal health benefits of food, so too might we take this approach with changing our life.

Biting off the whole enchilada might make you puke. Sampling change in smaller bites might ultimately be more in harmony with your system – and more fulfilling in the long run. So have fun with it, and “bon appetit!” (Enjoy the process – enjoy the meal!)


Feeling Yellow

by admin on February 25, 2009 · 0 comments

Call me crazy, but I swear I am getting some signs from above. BIG, yellow signs. I’ve been wearing yellow, bought a big yellow purse (something I would NEVER do), and even got my morning vanilla latte served in a honkin’ yellow coffee mug this morning. I have Lance Armstrong on the brain, and lo and behold his whole Livestrong corporation is the poster child for Yellow.

As coincidence may have it (probably no coincidence at all), I met a fascinating mom from my son James’ preschool this week who does some metaphysical work. We met for coffee and had a really cool talk and she told me the concept of chakras and all that jazz.

After I left, I figured what the heck, I wonder, “Is there a yellow chakra and what does it mean?”

So, I e-mailed her and she replied, “It is interesting that you mentioned that because as I was leaving you, I had the feeling I need to tell you about your third chakra.”

In a nutshell, here is what my trusty Google research dug up:

From About.Com:
The Solar Plexus Chakra is associated with the color yellow. This is the area which defines our “self-esteem”. The personality that develops during puberty is housed in this chakra….otherwise known as the “EGO”. Anyone experiencing dysfunction of the third chakra is having difficulty obtaining or maintaining his/her own “personal power”. This intuitive chakra is where we get our “gut instincts” that signal us to do or not to do something. Strong self-esteem is a required for developing intuitive skills.

Prior to this, my new friend told me without knowing about my yellow mood “you need to create from the soul, not the ego – whatever it is you are trying to work on, it’s coming from the wrong place.”

After thinking about this and getting over my heebie-jeebies, I felt like a little bell went off. So, call me crazy or maybe really the universe is trying to send me a message. Whatever it is, you will see me writing more, doubting myself less, and not caring so much what people think. At 35, am I finally getting some soul?


My love affair with Austin

by admin on February 22, 2009 · 0 comments

Woke up in love with Austin. It is a city of rolling hills, and smart people. Bluebonnets dot the roadsides as colorfully as the panhandlers do. It’s a place where Texas traditions meet urban youth. Where sophistication is pared down, and where the packaging isn’t perfect – but the magic inside is gloriously flawed perfection.

Austin is me. Educated, ethnic, complex, young-at-heart – full of contradiction. Beautiful when it doesn’t try too hard. It doesn’t have the glamour of New York, the pedigree of Boston or the glitz of LA – yet stands toe to toe all the same. It is cloaked in laid back unpretensiousness, and when it tries to be more than it is, we know it. Austin does not try to impress, and yet it manages to do so all the same.

Austin is mystical to me. The top of Mount Bonnell at sunrise and driving over the Mansfield Dam bridge at sunset are glimpses of the sweet, serene freedom of this town. Where tattoos and cowboy hats comingle, where Mexican food and fine dining in blue jeans aren’t at odds. Where moms with bobs and capris buy groceries next to slacker cool, goat-eed writers and musicians. Austin draws the artists, the seekers, the optimists, the mavericks, the good, the bad and the ugly – and that’s exactly as it should be.

Austin is home. In more ways than one.


Mama’s Little Longhorn

April 23, 2008

Baby Milestone they forgot to put in the baby books…First “Hook Em Horns.”5 1/2 months – does a Longhorn mama proud.

Some other pics I couldn’t resist of our sweetie.

Hanging out during our photo session in Elgin. See link
for other images from our day with Miss Michele.

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A Day in the Life of James Carter

April 23, 2008

Darn, daddy’s in Asia again, gotta take out the trash…
get the paper for mom…man, why doesn’t Avery get chores??!!
Yippee, when the folks are away, the mice will play. Forget naptime, let’s go offroading.
Espresso, nah…I think we’ll make the special of the day juice boxes,trust me I don’t need the caffeine!

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Ringing in Spring!

March 27, 2008

It’s been a busy Spring – where has March gone? Well, here are a few pics to remember it by. From James’ First Soccer Game, visits from the grandparents, enjoying that Austin weather outside with the kids, and a great Easter bash – it’s been a great way to ring in the Spring!

Here’s our [...]

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Spring Break 2008

March 14, 2008

I’ve been inspired by a wonderful photographer and all around sweet gal, Michele at Pinkletoes Photography, to start a family blog. Rosa, Francie and I attended her “Cupcake Academy” photography workshop last weekend and had a blast. Michele took our maternity pics and the beautiful shots of Avery that were on her birth announcement. Check [...]

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