Thursday, November 20, 2014

"If Mama ain't happy..."

then Mama needs to work on her attitude.

can we please just get rid of this saying?
the whole premise of this phrase is that someone besides "mama" is responsible for her happiness.
if that's the case, then mama ain't never gonna be happy for longer than a minute.

i do believe that the tone of a household is set by moms.
we can make or break the mood for the day and have an incredibly strong influence on our children's and our husbands attitude and demeanor.
in that sense, yes, no one is happy if mama ain't happy.

the problem is the circumstances in which this phrase is thrown around.
i typically hear it in situations in which the wife/mama is trying to get something: a new purse, a compliment, her dinner preference, her way.
by throwing this (not so) cute saying out there, the woman often wins and gets her way/meal/jewelry/whatever.
then she is happy.
until she wants her way again.
then she isn't happy until she gets it and the whole family's happiness is riding on this flighty, selfish, emotion-driven mother.
and that sounds exhausting
and unstable
and zero fun. 
zero fun sir.

in the place of this phrase, can we just decide for ourselves to be happy and not rely on a situation to choose it for us.
i know, this is not an original thought or a breakthrough into understanding women (ha! if only), but i think it deserves some thought.
after all, women continue to say it-day in and day out-and expect it to work.
and it does
and we're all tired of trying to make "mama" happy.
or get happy, if we're that mama.

and i'm not even talking about finding true joy.
there's a profound difference in joy and happiness.
that's for another post and conversation.

all i'm saying here is to encourage you-or plead with you- to stop saying
and do something about it, mama.

(pointing finger right back at myself)

that's all. have a lovely evening.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

4 months

You are 4 months old!
and you have come alive!
you have started interacting with us so much more.
you are "talking" all of the time and laugh when something really gets you.
you are incredibly ticklish, so i tickle you alot. 
sorry. but your little laugh is irresistible. 

you have quite a fan club
the president is me, of course.
i'm pretty obsessed with you.
healthy or not, that's how it is.

the vice president chair is shared by your brother...
and your dad
we all love to make you smile and snuggle you

you are very strong 
you like to sit up in your little seat and see the world
you have a sneaky little grin 
that basically melts me

you experienced your first Halloween
we did nothing on the actual day, so it wasn't any different than our normal friday
but, we did attend our church Trunk-or-Treat
you went as a football, because i'm real original like that
but, you slept most of the time
 held by your mother who attended the festival as Garth, one half of the Wayne's World duo.
you will thank me later for embarrassing you at an early age

moving on.

you are average size for height and weight (according to the doctor)
but above average for sweetness (according to me)

your brother gets so excited each time he sees you when you have been separated for any length of time: after naps, in the morning or after his school.
you share his enthusiasm and express it by staring him down.

you still eat roughly every 3 hours during the day
you take 3-4 naps, depending on how often you are woken up early by your darling brother
you can grab things and bring them to your mouth
you are becoming more active and interested in things around you
you put your whole fist in your mouth all of the time
you sleep 11-12 hours a night, but often sleep the last few hours with me (i can't resist)
you've had a little stuffy nose for a week, but you're still so sweet and happy
you can roll stomach to back and can aaaaaalllllmost go back to stomach
you love your parents messy room. (not really, i just said that to make myself feel better)

you are wanting to move! 
you like to pull yourself forward if i lean you back against something

we adore you, little Townes-rooskie!
you are showing us your sweet, sensitive, snuggly personality more and more 
i use the adjective "sweet"often when talking about you, but it describes you best.
i love to watch you wake up to the world
you are a delightful part of our family and we are so thankful that you are ours.
love you, little Rooskie!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

my people on the web: round 2

here we are, with our 2nd installation of "My People on the Web".
if you missed the first one, click here

i am surrounded by people that make things happen. seriously, they're everywhere.
as i previously mentioned, this challenges me to step up my game on the daily
complacency is not a familiar word around these parts
people are moving and shaking 
and i'm grateful to witness it and sometimes, to be a part of it

you can imagine how i feel when i stay in my pj's all day. 
hey, at least i'm raising kids! right?

without further adieu, here are people that i know and that i like and the things they are doing on the world wide web.

"I have noticed in my young life that only about 1 out of 10 of the things i do actually works out how i thought it would. That just means i have got to do more stuff and do it better. Hopefully this blog will be the 1 out of 10. If it is not then that means somethings else will so this is a win-win situation..."
-Young and Beardless
if you know me at all, you know how much i love this kid. ok, he's not really a kid anymore.
he's 19 and engaged. engaged! what?!? and i am thrilled for him.
Mary Kate is an awesome lady and i just love to be around her.
 and JL is one of my very very favorite people. i do not worry about him and his decisions. 
he is solid. 
so, take a gander at his blog. 
it's an excellent read and is great evidence of his character, maturity, quirkiness and insight.

here's another excerpt, it is from his post about a trip to Canada:

"1.) Sometimes you faced with things that you just have to make a blind decision on in order to experience great things, like the great things love does. When considering whether or not to take someone’s offer to experience what we did, don't look at who else is going to be there or little unnecessary details like that. Consider the person who invited you, and whether or not if saying yes in that situation is the most loving thing possible to that person.
2.) Love does great things. ALWAYS make your decisions by determining if it is the most loving thing possible. 1 Corinthians 13 is a good list of guidelines for what the most loving thing usually looks like if you need help with that.
3.) The trip allowed me to watch my dad learn. The Bearded Men never stop learning. As far as i can tell, my dad could go the rest of his life not knowing anything new, but he doesn't. He is constantly studying and learning new skills and gaining more knowledge. That is a mark of a great man. Hopefully i will still be learning when i am no longer Young and Beardless."

Heart to Home ministry is my mom's passion and ministry
i've talked about it before, but it is a HUGE blessing in my life
it is growing rapidly and she has started it in churches all over the country
if you're interested in getting it kicked off in your church, let me know!

the first conference will take place February 6-7 here in Monroe and it will be amazing, i know it!
more info to come

also, she wrote a book.
a book! 
and it will be released at the conference
we are all so proud!

3. GT and I just jumped on the Friday Night Lights train.
and we can not stop.
our dinner conversations involve Tyra, Saracen and Tami.
addicted is the right word, i think.

so, i was pumped when my friend, Jen, launched Sweet Tees and i saw this shirt
thank you.
other cute shirts available!

4. our good friends just ended their run for Congress
Zach and Jil are the real deal and i am proud to call them friends and i am proud to vote for Zach Dasher!
Jil wrote a beautiful post on her blog about the campaign and their loss in the polls.
We love the Dashers and know they will continue to lead those around them, in and out of the political realm.
our country is in dire need of leaders who seek to honor God and hold up the values we were founded on. a huge thanks to Zach for acknowledging this need and doing something about it.
Go Team Dasher!

have a great weekend eve day!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

the terrific 2!

Judson Ray Taylor, you are 2 years old!
the amount of life that you have packed into 2 years is quite impressive.
from the time i get you out of bed in the morning to the minute i lay you back down again, you are living a big, loud, energetic, joyful, fun, excited, adventurous, busy, inquisitive, daring life!

your dad and i were so excited to celebrate you on your birthday (Saturday, the 25th)!
you are something to celebrate, that is for sure!
on your birthday, you woke up to this.
your love for tractors and farm animals has remained present since before your 1st birthday
these balloons brought you so much joy
and, of course, you have your John Deere "cow cup"

we had your 2 year check-up at the doctor when you were 22 months old
you were 32 pounds and 37 inches tall
off of the charts for both. 
Dr. Bimle said that you were approximately the size of a 3.5 or 4 year old

even though you are highly energetic and busy, you are well-behaved, teachable and obedient (for the most part)
but, you do like to let your opinion be known
even when it comes to your clothes
this Elmo shirt. you'd wear it everyday if i would let you
same for the John Deere anything
you are very helpful with putting your clothes on
and you can take off your own shoes, socks and shorts

you and Woodrow are quite a pair
and do lots of wandering around outside together
you say, "mon Doo-droh" and wave your arm if he isn't already following you

you love to "help" your dad
and this is awesome, especially when applied to washing the dishes
you love to help him "ix" (fix) things. 
and you take your little stool with you everywhere, since you like to do things for yourself

you also like to act like your Pa

they take you on the 4-wheeler, Gator, tractor or lawn mower often and it's probably you favorite thing in the entire world.
your options for motorized vehicles is kinda ridiculous.

you rarely sit still to watch any kind of show
which, is good.
but when you do, i just kind of stare at you in disbelief
also, i know those pull-ups (in the background) are girl pull-ups 
you have been showing interest in using the potty for a few months, so we take you often and you do great! even telling us when you need to go some.
 i'm just not quite ready to commit. probably selfish, but we'll get there.
i ordered some pull-ups and when they arrived, i realized that i had selected "girl" instead of "boy"
you were THRILLED to see Dora, so we're just going with it.
even though you've never actually watched a Dora episode in it's entirety, she motivates you to use the potty.

you definitely have a sense of humor
and have figured out ways to make us laugh
you are happy the majority of the time, which makes being around you so much fun!
everything is exciting to you. if you see something new or that you like, you make a big "O" with your mouth and gasp loudly with your eyebrows raised. this happens frequently throughout the day and is hilarious every single time. to me. 

you had your first sleep-over for 2 nights, by yourself, at your cousins
and would've stayed for a week if i would let you
you adore your cousins and want to be with them every single second.

you wear hats often, and mostly at your request
and can tell me if you want to wear it frontwards or backwards

you can't start sentences with an "s" or an "f", but will place and extra "s" at the end of the word.
(for example. sheep: "eeps". shoes: "oosh" sock: "ocks")
you talk all of the time.
 i mean, every single second, there are words coming out of your mouth.
you are a great communicator, and for that, i am so grateful!
i tell people that if they don't know what you're saying, add an "s" or "f" to the beginning and it will usually make sense.
if that doesn't work, we just give it a little bit and eventually figure it out.
you attempt to say everything. even "hippopotamus", which is my favorite.

you are very observant and remember EVERYTHING
if i tell you we will do something after your nap, you wake up asking about it.
if we go somewhere once, just one time, you will point it out when we pass it while driving by the next time. and tell me what it is called, even if i only told you one time. it always impresses me. 

even though you are talkative and energetic, you can get very still and very quiet if something really interests you
like, the barn being built
you stand like this, holding onto the water hose and just stare at the "work guys", as you call them.
(also, i spy a granddaddy long-leg spider)

you are turning into such a boy.
you walk into class at church and Mothers Day Out by yourself
you hold hands instead of being held often

you are a very sweet big brother
and love to have Townes next to you
you are so ready for him to play with you!
he is fascinated by you and watches everything that you do

you have the very best bed head
it's a perfect, i mean perfect, mohawk

your dad and I adore being your parents
you have the best little spirit and we are so excited to watch it shine even more as you grow
you are a joy to be around and very entertaining to watch
you surprise us constantly by how quickly you learn 
and we are learning the balance of training, instructing, leading, disciplining and spoiling (yep). 
there is a lot of all of those things in our day.

you are a gift to us and for that, we are ever so grateful
we know that God made us your parents for a reason and we are trying our best to raise you to be kind, strong and love the Lord with all of your heart.
this is my prayer over you, every single night.
and that we can help shape your excited, strong and adventurous spirit to glorify Him and to love others.

Happy 2nd birthday buddy Ray!
you are a light

Thursday, October 23, 2014

from La to LA

little Townsey has conquered his first flight(s)!
and did so with flying colors!
 except for the landings- those were rough, but otherwise he was a champ, easy keeper and a complete joy to be around.
We jetted out Sunday morning to LA.
not big L, little a...Louisiana
big L, big A...the city of Angels.
we made the trip to see our Sadie do her thang on Dancing with the Stars!
She is doing so well and making all of us so proud (like always).

We landed in the afternoon and went to the hotel where my parents would be staying.
what a terrible view, huh?

Townes took a little nap, then we took a stroll around the beautiful property
we had about an hour to hang out before everyone joined us for dinner at the hotels delicious italian restaurant.
Jonathan (in the top left photo) is my 3rd brother. 
people always say we look alike (i kid, i kid).
he was Josh's best friend growing up and lived with us during their high school years and my middle school years.
since we fought so often, he easily gained brother status in my book.

He and his wife, Jenn (who i truly enjoy being with), and their children live in Santa Monica.
We miss them so much!
they joined us for dinner and it was just perfect.
 Lillian and James Everett are smart, funny, cute as can be and incredibly happy kids. 
I wish we could be with them more, our time together was way too short.

Townes and I stayed at the apartment with Sadie, Chrys, Johnny and Korie an i'm so glad that we were able to!
I have missed them while they have been in LA, so it was wonderful to stay up late talking and getting caught up on their lives.

Monday morning, Townes woke Sadie up and we just lounged until she had to leave for the studio.
Korie and I walked to the Coffee Bean and oh man, i am so glad that we did.
that white mocha.
We both meant to take a photo of our little outing, but we were too caught up in our conversation and forgot.
Ha! too caught up being together to document it with a selfie. ain't that crazy?!

we cleaned up and went to the Grove, which is close to their apartment
those men in the top right photo are troopers
pushing strollers and carrying purses.
good men, right there.

LA is famous for their year-round beautiful weather (and other things)
and it did not disappoint on our trip
i wanted to stay outside the entire time. the temperate is perfect, the air is clear and the skies are blue
and the fall decor was spot on

Tdubs was rather fond of the weather, as well
or perhaps it was all of the attention

we took lunch to Sadie, oh wait, no we didn't.
actually, we went to a specific restaurant to get her a sandwich that she likes.
when we showed up to her little trailer at the studio and started to unload all of our meals, we realized that no one ordered hers. whoops.
so much for star treatment.
luckily, she's a trooper and shared with my dad.

there were a few hours to kill until we needed to be back at the studio for the show, so we stopped back by the Grove for some shopping/walking/touristing

then, traffic was really bad so we were in a super hurry (i.e. no time to fix my hairs how i'd like to when i'm possibly going to be on national television. but nobody really cares, so i don't either. but, i really do. anyways......) to get ready for the show.
but, we made it in time to give Sadie the pep-talk that, i'm sure, helped her get a 10 from the judges.
you're welcome.

my aunt Chrys kept Townes in the viewing trailer/room so that i could watch the live show and i am so thankful that she did! 
Thanks Chrys!
it was such fun to watch this incredible production take place.
really, it's fascinating to watch the show come to life.
there could be more clothing on the dancers, but other than that, it was awesome!

and, of course Sadie was the star of the show!
wasn't she beautiful? i mean, stunning! i love watching her dance, she is talented and with no training...crazy, huh?

the best part was getting to see just how well she is taken care of out there.
we adore her, i adore her, everyone that knows her adores her
but it was encouraging to see people that we don't know take such good care of her.
that girl. she shines bright like a diamond. 

we ended the night with some burgers that left me smelling like truffles
not a bad thing.
then i was done. 
it was a fast and furious trip
and so good
so so good
i'd do it again tomorrow
well, actually next week. Townes and I need a few more days to recover
he was such a good little travel buddy 
i'm pretty sure he didn't mind the travel, since it meant that he slept on me the majority of the time.
i didn't mind either.

once again, we were allowed to have an awesome experience because of the kindness of our family.
Korie and Sadie are so generous to involve us in everything that they do.
i'm truly grateful to them for allowing us to join in on the fun!
my cousins are pretty great and i am beyond blessed to have them as friends.
being with them is one of my favorite things to do, regardless of the situation or location.

in La or LA, i'm always proud to say, "i'm with Sadie"