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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I love it when my family visits. It makes me feel all squishy and warm inside. Mushy, gooshy, ooshy happy. So happy that my brains have oozed out of my head and left me without a real blog post this week. For this I apologize, dear readers. But I do hope that you'll understand. And maybe go give your family an extra squeeze tonight to keep them close.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday Mantra

Remembering is half the battle.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


 You know how, when you were a kid, you'd hear things that wouldn't make much sense? Like when I ruined dinner and Ladybug asked me what happened; she became very concerned when I replied, "I killed it." 

Whoa. Time to hide the meat cleaver.

Then there are colloquialisms such as "you've lost your voice." Kid Sister, when she was about Ladybug's age, was terrified of this one. She caught a head cold and when a lot of the congestion settled in her throat, my mother explained that she was losing her voice. Kid Sister decided this meant her voice had wandered off and was never coming back.

Oh, look. Carolynn does have some art skillz. Hello, grade school horizon line.

She laid in her bed at night, calling again and again, "Hellooooo? Helllllooooo?!?" in her sad, hoarse little voice. 


I had a difficult time with one of these sayings in particular. I always pictured it like this: 

Mmmm! Nothing beats a fresh green salad.   

Put your money where your mouth is?! That sounds so unsanitary! 

I understood that the basic idea was that one was supposed to show that they weren't just blowing hot air when they claimed to believe in something, but I didn't really get it. 

And then I grew up (about, oh, two months ago) and the light finally went on. This had nothing to do with eating your greens, and everything to do with making some kind of real commitment of resources to the causes you claim to believe in. Basically, a call to avoid hypocrisy. 

I've always tried to teach my girls that how you love is more important than how you look. However, I did very little putting of money in my mouth to prove that. Actually, most of my spare change went straight into my clothes closet. 

Let's be clear: There is everything right with wanting to present yourself with your best face. And from there on in my beliefs in fashion, presentation, self-worth, and beauty become very complex; ergo, we'll leave it at that for now, or this post is going to get seriously sidetracked. The point is, I wanted to teach my children that behavior and belief are more important than, say, your haircut, but I wasn't doing anything to show them that. 

But now I've made a commitment to put my money where my mouth is. 

For the next few years, I'll be growing my hair from its usual pixie cut to at least 12 inches in length so I can donate it to Locks of Love. I've always treasured my short haircuts; they make me feel like I can own any situation. They're like portable awesome, renewable by a simple trip to the stylist. 

Today only, buy Awesome and get Supa Kool for half off!

I'm gonna have to learn to be awesome without it. 

I'm gonna have to learn to take care of long hair, so I still present myself the way I want to. 

I'm gonna have to actually spend money on shampoo. 

But gosh darn it, I'm gonna get it done. My time, my effort, my attitude toward myself -- all those resources, I'm putting on the line for something I believe in. For someone else, maybe this isn't a big deal. For me, I'm kicking out the hypocrite in my life. 

I'm putting my money where my mouth is.

If any of you would like to join me in a commitment to grow your hair for someone else in need (or any other goal for others), please post it below. If we get enough responses, I'd love to check in with everyone once a month. I'll create a post with pictures of my hair, and anyone who wants to share their progress can email me pictures to put up alongside mine. 

Go eat your greens.

I've been saving this post for awhile, because the time just never seemed right. Now, however, it does. Take time out today to put your money where your mouth is, wherever that mouth happens to be. And if your mouth (or your heart) happens to be in the general vicinity of Joplin, Missouri, feel free to click here for an article on ways you can help.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


This week has been a really interesting episode of Survivor: Motherhood around the Dyer household. In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, an insidious and evil germ-of-doom entered my unsuspecting body and started enacting its plot for hostile takeover. It started in my throat, then quickly spread both down and up. Our script this week went something like this:

Me: Uuurgh... throat hurts.

DB: Get some rest.

Me: Can't. Gotta do dishes and other stuff.

Me: *Gravelly voice* Uuuuurrghh... *cough cough* Throat hurts.

DB: Get some rest!

Me: Can't. Behind on the laundry. You've got a test. Go study.

DB: ... Fine.

Me: *Man voice* Urrgghhh... *cough sniffle* Throat huuurts...

DB: Get some rest!!

Me: You have to study. And work. And we have kids. And a house. Dishes. Laundry. Bathrooms...

DB: ... Okay, fine. At least take it easy.

Me: Of course. I promise. Just don't look at my fingers, 'cause they're definitely crossed.

Me: See previous days, all added together.

DB: Woman! Get back into bed!

Me: Can't. Dress rehearsal. Dad home from surgery. Gotta help.

DB: *Rolls eyes* Fine. Just make sure to invite me to your funeral.

Me: Zzzzzzz....

DB: .... I am so not waking her up for church.

Me: Zzzzzzz....zzzzz....zzzz....zzz-- *cough hack cough cough* Trying to talk, but no voice.

DB: I'm sorry, what was that honey? You want to stay in bed all day until you absolutely have to get up for your performance? Good plan.

Me: *Evil glare* .... .... .... Zzzzzzz....

Me: *Gravelly voice* Ok. I'm not falling over any more. Back to work.

DB: *Facepalm* You still sound like a man! Give yourself a break!

Me: No talking, man person! Go study for your final!

DB: You need to rest!

Me: Gymnastics! Cleaning! Dinner! Children! Laundry and laundry and laundry! Go study!

DB: I hired a cleaning service. Go rest.

Me: ... I was on a roll. Trying to be a martyr here.

DB: Go rest.

Me: Sure, okay. Right after gymnastcis. And keeping the kids out of the house while the cleaning ladies come. And making dinner. And finishing that one thing...

DB: *Sigh*

Me: *Cough cough -- hack hack* Urrrgh... All right, gang. I give up. Daddy is officially finished with finals, so I am going to --

DB: *Cough cough*

Ladybug: *Hack hack*

StrawBee: *Cough hack*

The Captain: *Sniffle*


...At least I'm finally excused from the laundry.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday Mantra

If I can sing with almost-bronchitis, I can do anything.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Yes, world. I am officially finished. 

Having babies, that is. 

Why, do you ask? Is it too many late nights and early mornings? Too many days gone un-showered? Too many nights washing peed bed linens? Too many dollars at the grocery store?

No, nope, nah, and nay. It's this: 

It's a hair. 

A dark, curly hair. 

A dark, curly chest hair. 

That I found on my chest. 

That's right. Apparently giving birth turns me into a man. 

I was prepared for a lot of bodily changes from bearing children, and on the whole I accept them gladly. 

Stretch marks?  Got 'em.

Saggy belly? Check.

Saggy breasts? Double check.

Circles under the eyes? You mean that isn't mascara? ...Oh, I guess I would've had to have put some on first. Right.

Hormonal imbalances? I'm sorry, I can't answer that question until I've had some chocolate -- dark, with strawberries  on the side.

Chest hair? Oh, su-- Wha huh wug???

I've noticed that with each birth, I've collected a few dark hairs in places that are generally considered the province of men. Hairs that were easily pluckable and, really, not all that strange (as you find once you get to know a girl well enough that she'll share these things. Why is it that we'll share all kind of weird details about pregnancy, labor, and delivery and not 'fess up to a few stray hairs?). These I have accepted. 

But chest hair? 

Uh, no. 

If DB decides he wants another baby, he'd better bring up the topic by presenting me with a carte blanche gift certificate for laser hair removal. 

Because at this rate, I'll be ushering in Planet of the Apes: Mom Edition before you know it.

That's right, work your sexy bad self.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Monday Mantra

You can't find time, so make time instead.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


My kid brother is out serving a two year mission for our church, and is having some difficulty adjusting to the fact that not everyone out there has a joyful heart. This is probably because he has a particularly soft, kind heart himself. However, I think one encounter is always one too many, and he's had several (dozen).

I worry about my girls meeting these people with less-than-joyful hearts. I admit (shamefacedly) that I harbor bitter memories of some encounters like the ones my brother is describing. Times when people just seem to ...  explode from the absolute lack of happiness within themselves. 

In seems that some people don't just have a case of a not-so-joyful heart; they actually have downright grumpy hearts. And since they have grumpy hearts, they feel this strange need to try and make sure everyone else has grumpy hearts too. It's kind of like when people listen to nasty music and feel the need to roll down the windows and pump up the volume. It's like they're all, "Oh, YEAH?!? You think I'm a MEAN person?! Well, I can make YOU feel bitter and cranky TOO!! So take THAT!!!" 

Cranky people use a lot of punctuation. Don't they know there's a shortage?

And, you know, if they (or any of you, dear readers) feel the need to dump some of those extra exclamation marks somewhere, I'm always on the lookout for more punctuation. I take 'em and clean all the cranky off of 'em and sell 'em on eBay.

It's okay to be carting around some extra punctuation sometimes, you know? No one's going to be calm and period-like all the time. I kind of expect that anyone might need a break from sheer awesomeness on occasion. But to be that way to perfect strangers? Or to children? Or someone who's going out of their way to solve your problems? Yup, I've seen grumpy-hearted people dump buckets of precious "!!!" on people's heads in each of those situations, along with many other endangered marks (@#$%**, for example).

And there's more at stake here than endangered punctuation, dear to my heart though that topic is. Endangered hearts worry me more. Grumpy hearts are more contagious than Ebola. I understand that when you're miserable, you don't want to be alone. However, infecting everyone else's hearts really only isolates you more as everyone around you turns into a pack of snarling, snapping wolves, determined to bite as many people as possible.

Try taking your cranky "!!!" to someone you trust.  A friend? A relative? God? A blank page?

Don't carry them around everywhere. They rot.

They stink.

They ruin you from the inside out.

Don't expect someone to walk up and yank your cankering wounds away from you. Share the burden and while it might not disappear, you'll find it easier to carry.

Don't let it destroy you.

I almost did, once. Long ago. I don't talk about it now -- I only mention it to give credibility to my urging.

Cranky hearts suck. Don't beat others over the head with them; just let them go.

And those of you who are naturally joyful hearted, like my brother, don't give up on the rest of us. You're a gift from God to someone struggling. You keep up a supply of happy, clean "!!!" for the rest of us.

We need you. We love you, and we love to hate you for being happier than us. But we learn to be better by watching you.

Happy "!!!" to you all.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Monday Mantra

Don't think. Just do. And do and do and do and do. Until the fear is gone.
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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.