Thursday, August 28, 2008

Guest Blogger...Mother Inferior, Dena Dyer!

I think this what Dena talks about here applies no matter your age!

The Swimsuit Blues
by Dena Dyer

Here's a little end-of-summer reflection to (hopefully!) brighten your afternoon:

The other day, our workplace had a cookout/swim party. Because my kids love to swim and my spouse was helping at the grill, I was the designated swim-parent.

Oh, joy.

So I had to get into my suit for the first time in a year. It was not a pretty sight. Since I’m nearly forty, my suit is a “smart” suit, which means it’s made of forgiving fabric and is black with vertical—not horizontal—stripes, for obvious reasons.

Unfortunately, the help stops there. My arms and thighs, God bless ‘em, are fully exposed. And can you say “whiteout”? I needed to apologize to my fellow swimmers for burning their retinas with my paleness. Oh well, at least the pool changing area had no mirror.

You know, on four out of five days, I feel pretty good about myself. After all, I’ve lost over fifty pounds since having my second child (yes, I ate for two—or was it five?—during pregnancy). I could tone up, but who has time when they’re juggling home, family, and work? I’m lucky if I can squeeze in a walk twice a week.

But speaking of squeezing, as I stuffed my post-pubescent body into the Spandex sausage-casing, I rethought my fitness regime. By the time I got one leg through its hole, I was vowing to do one hundred leg lifts a day. After hoisting my other leg up and through, I decided to perform several hundred sit-ups before breakfast. And after sucking in, pulling the swimsuit over my belly, and sticking my arms through, I decided that was workout enough.

Swimsuit season always makes me reconsider my “absolutely not, never, no way” stance on plastic surgery. After all, who couldn’t use a little nip and tuck here and there?

And I’m not alone. The numbers of women who’ve gone under the knife has increased to such an extent that a prominent Miami plastic surgeon has written a children’s book explaining why Mommy is getting a nose job and breast implants (really!).

It’s called My Beautiful Mommy and is written for readers ages 4-7. The book describes a mom explaining how she’ll appear after surgery. The daughter asks, “Why are you going to look different?” and the mother replies, “Not just different, my dear—prettier!”


But maybe the author is onto something. Why not create a whole series of books to help kids understand their mommies:
• My Cellulite-Free Mommy, for kids whose moms have had liposuction. (“Not just firm, my dear—less pockmarked!”)
• My Stylish Mommy, for children whose moms regularly spend way too much on accessories. (“It’s from your college fund, darling—can you say, ‘Prada’?”)
• My Tabloid Mommy, for those with moms on the front page of Star magazine (“I’m just wearing this towel over my face until we get in the car, sweetums.”)

Actually, when I stop beating myself up long enough to consider the costs, not to mention the risks, of plastic surgery, I come to my senses. The only reason I’d consider it is because our culture places such a high value on outer appearances, and I tend to get swept up in all the midriff-baring mania.

The things I read and watch--whether they’re lies on the front of a tabloid magazine or the truth from God’s word---determine the state of my heart. So when I immerse myself in His truth, I remember that God adores me, whether or not my arms are toned. He delights in me more than I can fathom, even though I will never have “abs of steel.” He loves every single part of me, from the stretch marks on my thighs to the tiny dark hairs sprouting on my chin.

And you know what else? My hubby and two sons don’t care what my measurements are, or how perfect I look. They love me simply because I’m me. In fact, they constantly tell me how nice I look. The other day, I woke up with some serious bed-hair. As I sat at my computer in a torn t-shirt and faded sweat pants, my sweet, thoughtful and obviously vision-impaired four year-old said, “Mommy, you’re pretty in your day clothes, your pajamas, or even on a date.” :)

And that, my dear readers, is worth ten Prada bags, fourteen tummy tucks, and at least a thousand sit-ups.
copyright 2008, Dena Dyer

Want more info? Visit my website: Mother Inferior

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Spread the Bread!

"Do you know a TEEN writer or artist?

The global nonprofit organization, Spread the Bread, ( is launching a new teen eZine called Planet Bread. They're looking for teen writers and artists with submissions that share real-life messages/stories of HOPE, INSPIRATION or GRATITUDE, using their world as their lens.

Contributors can decide how theyd like to communicate their submission: feature article, opinion piece, poem, cartoon, photograph, blog, video or something else?

The eZine will be launching the last week in October.

For more information,e-mail: and put "eZine launch" in the subject line.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Teens build houses!

My two oldest just got home fom Mexico! They traveled there after leaving the Czech Republic and one of the things they did was build a house for a family. The program is called Homes of Hope.

Leslie building house in Mexico.

Cory building a house in Mexico.

In this photo Leslie is helping to lift a wall.

Special gifts from the team.

The house builders with the family they built the house for!

shingle girl

Cory hauling trusses

Brother and sister teamwork

Leslie nailing up drywall

Cory painting

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"My Favorite Memory" contest

Earlier this month I announced the "My Favorite Memory" contest and asked you to send in your favorite childhood memories to be entered to win 1 of 10 copies of my new book Sweet September!

Over the next few weeks I'll be posting those entries on It's Real Life. What a treat it has been to read the stories!

Here is the first one entry...

My favorite childhood memory is really a collection of memories. My mother's brother played bass in a country/western band in the 1970s, so many of our weekends were spent in bars and supper clubs listening to them play.

I was an only child, and my parents took me with them far more than leaving me home with a babysitter. I always felt incredibly grown-up to sit with them at a table. If I happened to see someone I knew from school, I felt even more excited. Because of Uncle Leon, all the guys in the band knew me on sight, and that gave me a little bit of cachet. I knew nearly every song in every set by heart, but my favorite was Mac Davis' Oh Lord It's Hard to Be Humble, and I requested it nearly every weekend. When I would walk up to the stage, you could nearly see the guys sigh in consternation. I loved dancing with my parents to the fast songs like Peppermint Twist. One of my favorite freeze-framed mental images of my dad is him in a pearl-button snap Western style shirt shaking it to Amie. I loved watching my parents dance because the love between them was palpable. Even better was when Dad would scoop me up in his arms, and we'd all dance together. By the end of the evening, I had overdosed on Shirley Temple cocktails and would fall asleep in the backseat to the sound of my parents quiet conversation. To me that was family and love and fun all rolled up in one.

It's not too late...Submit your own favorite childhood memory here and be entered to win 1 of 10 copies of Sweet September!

Contest ends August 31st. The winner's will be announced September 5th!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008