Updated weekly. Usually on Tuesdays. Unless some small person eats my blog post.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring Break

...It's a break from everything.

I pretend we don't have to worry about money

or school

or responsibilities.

We're just homeowners trying to make the yard look nice

and parents just playing with their kids

and two people amazingly in love with all the time in the world to give each other.

I wish Spring Break

lasted a month or two.

But it's just a week.

Which is probably for the best--

so that we remember to be grateful

for the time to just be us.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Performance Life

That's what my blog should've been titled this weekend. I didn't do much that was child- or home-related, but I did get up in front of a lot of people. Between the 3 times I was front and center and the once I was in a small group, I think I was seen by somewhere around 1,000 unique individuals. Ish.

My local church women's group (Relief Society) held a retreat down in Branson (AKA America's Live Entertainment Capitol) this Friday and Saturday. Branson is home to dozens of live performance theaters--family-friendly entertainment that's usually run by, well, families (Osmonds, anyone?). The Dutton family owns a theater on "The Strip" and generously allowed our fearless leaders (who deserve awards for their mad planning skills) to use said theater, plus sound, lighting, tech guy, and stage props, for the speakers and performers this weekend.

I sang three times.

Two of those times were solos.

Lights, makeup, real mics, and me--front and center.

I was a nervous wreck.

I loved it.

I loved the feel of the stage. I loved the nervous jitters moments before walking into the spotlight. I loved the feel of the microphone in my hand. I loved the sound of my voice over high-quality speakers. I loved hearing that I "looked so poised!" I loved being recognized as I went to workshops later. I ADORED the attention and compliments. I was particularly fond of being mistaken for being a professional performer by a professional performer.

I have a serious problem with being attention-seeking. Can you tell?

It's fascinating to me, in a detached sort of way, to observe myself when I perform. I turn into something else. Into a presence rather than a person. I love that feeling, and I know it.

It's hard to let go of.

This was my first opportunity of this kind on this scale. It stirs in me the desire to pursue performance--a desire I've put down many times. And why do I put it down? Because I know myself. I know I have the potential to become so obsessed with a certain thing, I lose everything else about myself. I worry that by allowing myself to become really dedicated to anything--be it music, writing, teaching, my husband, my kids, myself, the Gospel--I'll become obsessive. For me, it's like Marianne Williamson said: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest feat is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us."

It's about balance. If I give myself to one thing at the cost of others...well, that's no good!

But by not giving myself passionately to these things, I feel I'm losing something. I want to give myself to all of these good things with equal passion; however, I find that any time I attempt to become more passionate about one, the others fall behind.

There's got to be an answer somewhere. Heavenly Father created these desires and lights within me for a purpose, and He wouldn't create me so I could fail.

But He would create me so I had to make a choice.

Years ago, I chose family life. A home. Children. Homemaking.

Do decisions have to be re-made? Are we given opportunities to modify as we grow? Or are we simply tested again, to make sure we really meant it the first time?

The balance. There has to be one--somewhere. I've just got to keep going until I find it.

Daylight Savings

This is me last week, pre-daylight savings: Good morning, world! I'm so ready for a new day to get on with all the STUFF I want to do!

This is me post-daylight savings: Zzzzzzzzz... *Snort* Huh? Wha? Oooohh...zzzzzzZZZzzzzz...

Everyone keeps talking about how hard the time change is on the kids.

Honestly, I'm more worried about me.

The kids will sleep if they're tired. For as long as they want. They'll be awake when they're not tired anymore. For as long as they can handle. And sometimes they'll be awake when they're tired. For as long as they want. And what can I do about it?


Okay, not entirely true. I can put them in bed. I can ignore their cries (Christi's favorite this days is neither "Mama!" nor "Daddy!" but "pottyyyyyyy!!"--works every time). I can...

Ugh. No, I can't. Because then I feel like a bad Mama, punishing her children for a time change they can't control. So until our natural rhythm of sleep catches up with them--which it will, I keep telling myself, if I just stick with our normal routine--I'm stuck in the nasty twilight-zone of weird sleep patterns that daylight savings causes twice a year.

I may have to move to Arizona.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Brag and Blog Friday!

I had to get on top of things early today, as I won't be around for most of the afternoon. DB and I have a lunch date, then I'm headed down to Branson with my mom for a women's retreat (which would be a lot more relaxing if I weren't performing, I might add).

Anyway, on to business.

I have a couple of great brags this week! First off, we were notified this week that Dear Boy made the Dean's List last semester. I'm so proud of his ability to do well in school with three (oops, I mean two) little girls running around distracting him.

Secondly, my youngest brother (AKA Doc Boy), who is a senior in high school, is performing in the play Once Upon a Mattress this week. I haven't been able to see it yet, but I've heard nothing but rave reviews. Besides, he really put himself out there to get on stage. Oh, and learn how to put makeup on. I've never been so proud.

Who can you brag on this week?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Four Weeks

It's been four weeks since I had my oh-so-lovely overnight stay in the cardiac unit at St. John's hospital. Just like my four years of marriage, it seems like both a really short and a really long time--four weeks! Wow! Amazing! Sheesh!

Is anything really different?

25 years old. In a cardiac unit. Ridiculous.

But it scared me.


The final diagnosis actually had very little to do with my heart. The doctor very seriously informed that I was slightly dehydrated (should I have confessed I was deliberately drinking less because the nurses wanted to measure my pee and I didn't want to deal with that? Probably) and physically exhausted. My heart's function seemed slightly compromised for someone my age, but was otherwise unaffected. His conclusion: I need to sleep more.


Most of the mothers of small children I've mentioned this to laughed outright. Honestly, I almost did laugh. I know I at least smirked. He seemed a little miffed that I wasn't taking him seriously.

But I was.

(And, I should mention, so was Dear Boy, who has been treating me not unlike Ladybug in his enforcement of my bedtime since then. However, as he balanced this by offering to buy me anything I wanted to for Valentine's Day, I'm okay with that.)

My body does this occasionally, I should note. I tend to overdo in the stress department (trust me, I wasn't overdoing it physically), and my body finds a way to throw on the brakes whether I like it or not. Once it was serious stomach issues; once it was migraines. This time it was faking a heart attack.

This time it got my attention.

I, Carolynn the Dyer REFUSE to go back on that cardiac ward if there is any way I can prevent it. Stress kicks my butt, and I'm tired of it. I'm going to kick ITs butt for a change.

I will exercise. I will eat right. Heck, I'll even sleep. I will take care of this beautiful body--it's the only one I've got, for heaven's sake. Isn't it worth an hour of sweat a day and buying some more fresh produce?

I laid in the bed at the hospital and watched the inside of my eyelids for most of the dark-time of my one night stay. It's hard to sleep when you have eight leads taped to your body (I still have marks from that) and your roommate keeps moaning out how poorly she feels (and I sincerely hope she feels better). I kept thinking, What if this really had been a heart attack? What if I have a weak heart, like my grandparents on both sides? Will my children have to come visit me in the hospital before they're teenagers? Will I leave my husband behind young to marry someone else (not a good sharer over here)? Will my heart limit my activities forever? Am I really willing to let stress run my life?


No, because I won't let it.

I won't let my kids have a couch potato for a mother.

I also won't let them turn me into a basket case.

I will improve my heart's function.

I will live my life while it's happening, not by regretting its passing.

I will love my body enough to take care of it--all of it--the way it deserves to be cared for.

I will remember those cardiac monitor machines every time I want to skip out of my workout, and then I will do my workout and smash those machines to pieces.

I will be healthy.

I will be low-stress.

I started four weeks ago.

And I'm happier already.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Brag and Blog Friday!

And the calvary's here--late, as usual.

Okay, I'm not the calvary, but I am ready for Brag and Blog! I love being able to talk about how cool my life is once a week. Awesome.

This week's brag is on my mom, who has recently decided to lose some weight (though if you ask me, she looks fabulous!) and has done a GREAT job eating well and working out all this week. She inspires me to take care of myself, which is really helpful since that chocolate cake in the kitchen inspires me in the opposite direction.

Way to go, My Mom!

Who can you brag on this week?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

He looked harmless enough...!

Dear Boy and I were blessed to celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary yesterday. It was perfect. Literally. In every way. I couldn't have asked for DB to more thoughtful, romantic, sweet, and basically... himself.

This morning I'm asking myself, as I often do, how the heck did someone as spastic as me get so lucky? What did I ever do to earn such a fabulous guy?

Answer: Nothing.

In fact, the first time I met DB (briefly and in passing), I immediately rejected him as "not my type," which is basically the gentle way of saying, "ForGET it."

He was the exact opposite of what I'd dreamed of. I always loved blonds; his hair is almost black. I wanted a tall guy; he's barely 5'8". I drooled over outgoing, show-offy, brilliantly social types; DB prefers a night at home reading a book. I preferred guys with the gift of gab (as if we needed two in this house, ha ha); DB takes his time over every single thing he says, and often chooses to say nothing at all.

But all of those things I thought I didn't want are exactly why we ended up together. And not because I had some brilliant flash of insight and realized I'd been wrong the whole time.

No, no--it was because I had written him off as harmless.

I figured that he was so not what I wanted, I didn't have to think about it. So I didn't. I didn't think about it when he started calling every day at lunch looking for his sister, even though I told him several times I was the only one home at lunch. I didn't look at him suspiciously when he offered to buy me lunch since mine looked particularly unappetizing. I didn't squirm with worry that he liked me when he hung out for hours talking to me while waiting for his sister to come back.

Then one day, all at once, as we were sitting on the couch watching a movie (at DB's insistence and with me being as thoughtless as usual), I realized that it would be so awesome if he chose that moment to put his arm around me. For a moment, I was blown away by the thought. We were just friends, right? But then again, look at the evidence. Maybe he thought I was hot. Maybe he even had a smidgen of liking for me. Was it possible?

I spent the next half hour in an agony of anxiety about what to do about this. Should I lean back and let him? Did he want to? Maybe I should just hunch over, make him really put himself out there if he wanted to. Wait, no. I was probably totally misreading him. Maybe I needed to run to the bathroom and then come back and sit further away from him. Or closer. Or maybe not. Or I could lean back. Hold it, didn't I already reject that one? Shoot. Now what?

Fortunately, DB is not so complex. All my nervous fidgeting told him I wasn't averse to the idea, so he put his arm around me.

I snuggled in.

And that was it.

I was more than halfway in love with him already and didn't even know it. He had listened, talked, hung out, and basically courted me for several weeks without me even noticing. It didn't take much after that for me to be so totally head over heels in love with him that his simple "As you wish" (yes, he really did say that--does say that--to me) was enough to put me floating several feet off the ground for the rest of the day.

All because, well, he looked harmless enough.

So, here's to the sneak attack. And to my darling hubby, without whom I would've long since gone insane. We've been through losses, pregnancies, infants, moving, school, money trouble, remodeling, depression, car trips, potty training, and a million other everyday miracles together. I know we're in for several million more. And don't worry about me not thinking twice about you before; I'll think about you forever now.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.Creative Commons License
This work by Carolynn Dyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.