Webster defines the word "overweight" as "weight over and above what is required or allowed or excessive or burdensome weight ". Well, this is my confession.

I am overweight.

I know there are readers that are more overweight than me. But since this is MY blog, this post is about me and me only.

I'm not going to tell you exactly how much I weigh, but I will tell you that I could lose 50 lbs and easily be within my "ideal" weight range. I have dieted off and on for some time and never lost much more than 10 lbs or so.

I gained quite a few pounds during the in-vitro to have Jenna and then subsequent tries for a sibling. The past few years, I have used the excuse "no point in losing weight if I'm just going to get pregnant and gain it all back" to avoid actually committing to losing. However, it's painfully clear that it's ridiculous to use THAT excuse anymore!

But I realize that if I don't take control of this problem now, then it is not going to get better and will begin to affect more than just my physical appearance. Already, I'm to the point of having to shop in specialty stores to buy jeans and I won't even tell you what a fiasco buying undergarments has become. I experience more reflux than I used to and this year I didn't ask for clothing store gift certificates for Christmas because trying on clothes is depressing enough to make me leave the stores in tears.

I know that most of you probably think I'm exaggerating and some of you just may not have ever stopped to pay attention. However, what I say is true and I need to lose weight.

Come first of the year I will join Weight Watchers again and try to lose some weight. It will not be easy and I have absolutely no will power whatsoever so that will be interesting in and of itself. But I have to do this. For my health, for my family relationships, for ME.

Right now, I don't like me. I don't like the wife I've become. I don't like the mother I've become. I don't like the PERSON I've become. There's so much change that needs to happen with me but I have to start somewhere. I have personal goals spiritually, mentally, physicially and financially. Personally, I believe if I start with changing/improving spiritually, the others will come in time.

Why am I telling you this? Because I need as much support as I can get. If you are a pray-er, then pray. If you aren't, then support me however you can...just positive thoughts will help. I'm going to need as much as I can get. Feel free to hold me accountable. Feel free to ask me how it's going. Remember, I have no willpower, so the support is welcome and needed.

Thanks for taking this journey with me.


Merry Christmas!

I know this post would be so much better if I had some pictures to go along with it, but I'm worn out (as most parents are!) and just don't feel like uploading any.

This morning started early...about 7:45 which is not as early as it could have been. I woke up at my usual work time around 5:00 and went back to sleep until about 7am. At that time, I woke up and the thought crossed my mind to get on up, get my contacts in and my teeth brushed, but I didn't. And then just 45 minutes later, Jenna comes busting into the room.

I remember a time not too long ago where it didn't matter what was opened, she would tear through the gifts not stopping to see what they even were and the fun was over in just minutes. Now, she is slower, looks at things, poses for the camera and even lets Steve and I open one here and there. This year, she was old enough to notice that Santa used the same wrapping paper that Mom and Dad did. She also can read enough to know that some of the gifts I was saying Santa brought had from Mom and Dad on the label. She also noticed that Santa gave her and her daddy several of the same things in their stockings, but she knows that Mom and Dad fill each others' stockings because Santa only fills the children's. I guess the easy Santa days are over. Now comes the part of wrapping things with different paper for Santa and being careful with my handwriting. And I know several people whose kids started figuring things out about 7 or 8, so it won't be much longer. I never realized how short this time was.

Anyway, Jenna had a nice Christmas. I got her every DVD on horses I could find and bought her a Barbie jumping horse whose legs move like it's jumping and it whinnies and neighs. It was by far her favorite gift. I got several things for my scrapbooking room including a nice high back chair. It will make scrapbooking much easier on my back. Steve got a couple nice shirts, pair of jeans and a silver ring.

Our evening was spent with Steve's family who I truly enjoy being with. We did a gift card exchange which everyone thought was fun. Steve and I got a $25 gift certificate for Outback from his mom and dad which with what we got from our other family gathering is $50 total. I got a Red Lobster gift certificate in the exchange which makes us having $50 for that too. Steve ended up with Saltgrass for $25, so that will get us a decent meal there. Jenna got $25 from Grandmother and Pacockey. I also got gift certificates from Target and TJ Maxx from Chase. We'll be eatin' free for a while! I kind of wish I'd gotten a few more Target cards because there are several things I didn't get from my list that I'd still like to have.

Tonight after Steve's family, Micah, Chase and Gage came to the house and did their exchange. I think they were all pleased. Chase got a bunch of shirts and a couple gift cards from us and he really seemed pleased. I like that because it means I am still somewhat "in touch" with what the "young uns" like to wear!

Now, I'm about to put my girl to bed and get in bed myself. I'm off work tomorrow and plan to get all these Christmas decorations put away. I'm back to work for a few hours on Thursday and Friday and for whatever reason, I just can't stand for Christmas decorations to remain very long after Christmas is over. However, turning off the lights on the tree downstairs tonight for the last time was depressing. But I guess I'll blink and we'll be celebrating again next year.

To all my readers...Merry Christmas. Let us remember the real Reason for the season.


Merry Christmas Eve...

There is so much I need to blog on...I'll start with tonight and go back in time.

Jenna is in bed already waiting on Santa and his reindeer to arrive. Tonight, we had our friends the Millsaps over. My family no longer gathers on Christmas eve and I miss all the appetizer goodies that we had. So, I fixed a spread enough for an army. The six of us aren't an army, but we did our best to put a dent in the food. Rachel brought some goodies of her own to share and between the two of us, we have full tummies! The girls exchanged gifts and hade a great time as usual...
And though it wasn't my blood relatives over tonight, it was family. Family that I'm so glad to have.

The next best thing to family is my church. We went to Christmas Eve service tonight and it was just awesome! At the end, all 3000+ of us lit candles and as pastor Mike closed the service, one by one, all the candles went in the air. The picture doesn't do it justice, but the picture in my mind's eye is beautiful!
OK, so Saturday night, our church hosted the Michael W. Smith Chrismtas concert. It was OUR choir and OUR orchestra backing him up. And it was awesome! Our pastor always tells us that we are the coolest church around. And after this concert, I can say it is definitely true. Check out my friend Leigh Ann's blog. She is in the choir and her entry is way better than anything I could write. But be assured...it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and it was awesome! Melinda Doolittle and the Katinas were there as well.

After the concert, we decided to tag along to my sister and brother in laws house for a little early Christmas surprise. For some history, Debbie, my SIL has loved playing the piano for...well, ever since I knew her and long before as I understand. But she's not actually had a piano in her home. Every Christmas, we'd enjoy her playing over at my other sister in laws house at Christmas. Because she was in the choir backing up MWS, she was gone all day Saturday and that's when her hubby had her new piano delivered. It was very cool to witness her excitement upon discovering the treasure in her own home.
Friday night was the night my family decided to get together for Chrismtas. While the whole family wasn't able to attend, most of them did and it was enjoyable. We did a gift card exchange and that worked out well. Steve and I ended up with Outback and Red Lobster which we really enjoy! The kids got several nice things and thus starts the Christmas influx of gifts.
Back even a little further to Thursday which was Jenna's Christmas party at school. I had missed the Harvest Party so this was the first time I got to go and help out. It was fun and they had made so many cute things. Take a look at the reindeer and wreath they made!
And lastly before I got to bed so Santa can come...here's a picture of another sunrise here in the "hill". One of these days I'm going to wreck my van trying to take a picture of these beautiful creations.
Well, I'm getting tired and it's taken me nearly 45 mintues to write this up, so hopefully Jenna is sleeping soundly by now. I'm going to take care of a few last minute activities and then I'm off to bed myself. Somehow I think it's going to be an early morning and a long day!

Merry Christmas Even to you all!


Time to celebrate...

Several things to be happy about today:

Visit my friend Rachel's blog. I'm certain she'll have this exciting news posted very soon....

Her little girl, Hannah, has always been terrified of Santa. In fact, she liked him so little that Frosty the Snowman brought her Christmas gifts each year. Without telling you the whole story, Hannah sat in Santa's lap this afternoon (after hours of standing in line) and there are pictures to prove it. I am so proud of her! The sad thing is that it just goes to show, our babies are growing up. Go Hannah!!

That was a wonderful way for Rachel to celebrate her birthday today! So a big happy birthday goes out to Rachel on her special day!

Also, this afternoon at work, I got an email stating that due to having a good year, our offices were also going to be closed on December 31! YEAH BABY! I am stoked! And it doesn't even count against our vacation time. It's just fabulouse! Couldn't have asked for a better Christmas gift. OK, I would have liked a huge $10,000 Christmas bonus, but this is pretty good!

Shortly after that email came a message from our SVP stating we could begin our holidays any time we were ready. It only took me about 10 minutes to finish what I was doing and cut out! It's been a great day all around. We are about to leave to do my family Christmas. It won't be complete because not all the family will be there, but I'll take what I can get.

Will post pics later.



Second Post of the Day

It's 10:44am and this is my second post of the day.

After a long evening of shopping last night, I decided all I wanted to do today is sleep late, wrap a few gifts for Christmas, relax and read a magazine or book.

Well, apparently, I've forgotten how to relax. And sleep late. I got up at 7:45 and felt like I'd slept 2 days. Of course, during the week my alarm goes off at 5am and on a good night, I get 7 hours of sleep, so technically, getting 8 1/2 today was sleeping late for me.

I just finished writing 1/2 a page of "Things to do" today. And I'm sitting here feeling like a slug for not already having some of them done. What is wrong with me? Oh yeah, I'm a mother...it's what we do. :)

OK, I'm off to start my list!

Warning: Political Rant

So, I must post a short rant.

Yesterday morning, I was watching TV/news while getting ready for work. And a story came up that I'd heard previously, but chose to ignore because it fires me up. For whatever reason, I decided to listen more closely. It was about a local county school district lawsuit brought against it by a Jewish mother regarding "religious activities" in the school. You can read more about it here. Anyway, the crux of the issue is that she is upset because the school "promoted" such things as "See You At the Pole" and praying parents on it's website.

Now, don't misunderstand, I get their complaint (not that I understand or agree with it), but that wasn't my problem. My problem was the comment from one of the opposing parties that basically said the big issue was that there were teachers from the school participating (and by way of participating, promoting). YEAH. SO WHAT???!?! So now, are they saying that as a teacher, you cannot freely choose to participate in a prayer program in your workplace? Does this bother anyone else? Of course the ACLU is going to say that, but what if the judge rules in favor of the lawsuit? Does anyone realize what that means? It is just one step closer to government telling us what we can and can't do. Now, you can't pray in the place in which you work because it might offend someone. It's a very scary thing to me. It's like telling people they can't smoke in parks. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled that they've banned it from restaraunts here and next summer, my workplace is becoming totally smoke-free meaning you can't smoke anywhere on the property (and no, there's no "designated" spot). But when the government tells you that you can't smoke OUTSIDE in the air...I don't want to smell it or have my kids smell it either, but that's just stepping over the line a little isn't it? I don't know, but all I'm saying is I get an uneasy feeling about it. If you are going to spin your wheels on something like that, then state smokers can't be within XXX amount of feet of a children's play area.

I don't ever get on a political soapbox about anything. Mostly because I'm ignorant when it comes to politics and don't know enough to argue about it. But the story yesterday about the lawsuit on prayer....well, it literally brought tears to my eyes. If my child were in public school and there was a Jewish celebration advertised, I wouldn't be offended...I would ignore it as it doesn't apply to me. And if I found out that several teachers attended, I'd think, "Hmmm, I didn't realize they were Jewish" but I wouldn't bring a lawsuit. What is the world coming to?

The story has a humorous side too...“Today it came out that the Doe family, the mother came in and taught the children about Hanukah in the classroom,” said Fox. HA! So it's OK for her to come into my child's classroom and teach them about HER religion when my child doesn't have a choice but to sit and listen, but it's NOT OK for a teacher to voluntarily go pray with a group (both on school campus)? What's wrong with this picture?

But by far, the most humorous part of the story was this, "After giving attorneys instructions to file paperwork with him by January 7, Judge Robert Echols wished the court a “Merry Christmas.” After a few snickers and giggles, he realized some in the courtroom might be offended by that and wished them a Happy Holidays."

And God laughed.


There is a name...

...to the rash that Jenna has. I finally broke down and took her to the doctor this afternoon because this morning the rash was still pretty pronounced and I just wanted to be sure that it wasn't anything serious.

The doctor took a very close look, called in another doctor for a second opinion, looked at the dermatology book and diagnosed Pityriasis Rosea and is apparently nothing to worry about. It is a skin rash, not caused by allergy, but by a virus. Our favorite doctor prescribed her something to help with the itching and told me to give it a week. It can actually last 2-6 weeks or longer. Hopefully it won't take that long because it is annoying I'm sure. Thank goodness that's all it was.

So, while I was waiting on the time to come to leave and take Jenna to the doctor, I get a call from Steve saying he was going to the ER with chest pains. He didn't think it was anything serious, but it was hurting bad enough that we thought we had better not take a chance. Luckily, everything they did at the ER came back OK. They still want him to go do a more extensive stress test, so we have to get through that. But thank the good Lord, things were fine.

I'm still fighting a mean sinus infection/cold. I can't seem to kick this mess. I'm on day 4 of a 5-day antibiotic and still got some serious congestion in my head.

I'll keep you all posted on the health of the Taylors!


"Hot Cross Buns" like never before!

I'm sure you are all wondering about my title...well, today, Jenna stood up in front of an audience and played "Hot Cross Buns" on her violin! I was so proud of her! She'd been taking lessons since August from our church's worshipping arts area. For those that may not have ever played, violin is pretty difficult. I didn't think she'd learn enough in these few short weeks to be able to participate in a recital, but she did. I even gave her the choice on going or not and she wanted to. I heard her practice several times and to be honest, I was a little worried. I prayed right before she went on stage and she played perfectly. After it was over, I resisted the urge to stand and shout, "That's MY girl!!!!" When she rejoined us in the audience, she was smiling from ear to ear. I could tell she was proud of herself too. I am sad to say that as good as she did, she has retired her violin (we only rented it) and does not intend to play any instrument for a while. She's got her heart set on horseback riding lessons.

This is Jenna and her violin teacher Ms. Morgan...she is extremely talented and unbelievably patient.

Something else going on here in the house...yesterday afternoon, Jenna developed a rash on her torso. There are little red welps all over her belly, chest and back. I didn't really know what to do last night so I put some calomine on them and once she quit scratching them, they went down. This morning they looked better so I figured it was just some fluke. This afternoon, when she woke up from her nap, they were all red, blotchy and welped up again, so I ran her down to the Minute Clinic. Unfortunately, the nurse practioner didn't have a clue as to what they were either. She said it wasn't chicken pox, scabies, poison ivy or measles. Most likely, it's hives or other allergic reaction, but I have wracked my brain to figure out what it might be. We are pretty predictable though, so nothing has changed that I can put my finger on. While at the clinic, I bought some Aveeno oatmeal bath and some hydrocortisone. We used both tonight and it appears that between the two, it's easing the itching and therefore, the bumps are receding a little.

Other health news, I'm sick...AGAIN. I started feeling "not right" on Thursday afternoon and Thursday night I was miserable sneezing, stuffy, sinus pressure making my head feel like it was going to explode. Friday morning I didn't feel AS bad, but I started some antibiotics just in case. Last night Rachel came over to scrapbook and I didn't feel nearly as bad as I did the night before. Today was rough. I didn't sleep well last night and so it was tought to get going this morning. I took a nap after the recital and made Jenna do the same because she hadn't gotten in bed till nearly 11pm and then up at 7am too. After my powernap, I felt better and feel pretty good when I'm up and moving around, but then on the flip side, I don't feel like being up and moving around. I've got no fever, and really would be fine if not for the sinus pressure. I'm going to have to go in and see the doc I think to get on some allergy medicine. What is it with this family and allergies?!?!?

I guess that's about it. I finally put up a little Christmas tree in our bonus room. We never get to enjoy the main one downstairs and it's too fru-fru for my sentimental ornaments. So, Jenna and I put up a little 4 1/2 ft pre lit tree in the bonus room and it just feels so Christmas-ey!

I guess that's about all the news from the Taylor household now. Tomorrow my goal is to get some Christmas presents wrapped. We'll see how that goes... :)


It's beginning to look alot like Christmas...

Sorry it's been a while since I've posted. I can't seem to find the time although I think of things I want to blog about all the time!

The day after Thanksgiving we got the Christmas tree up. We haven't decorated as much this year because it doesn't seem that we can find the time. We have limited Jenna's extra curricular activities to two at a time, but I think we need to cut that back to one. Our church is adding a 3rd worship service on Sunday night and what that means is they are going to move children's choir up to 4pm and since we don't get home from morning activities until 1:30 (if we eat out for lunch), so there's some decision making about to go on here. I wonder when I'm going to be able to get all the Christmas presents wrapped.

Yesterday, we had the Taylor Family picture done. The last one was when Steve was married the first time. Chase wasn't even 2 yet! Since Steve and I had been married 11 1/2 years, I thought it was high time for a more updated picture! Not to mention, there are several children that weren't in the picture...Anyway, I was again reminded how much I enjoy being around the family. I just LOVE my sisters in law and can't wait until Christmas! Here's just a sample of the pics...
Last night, Jenna did her choir program at church. I think I teared up through most of the entire thing. When we were on our way to school/work this morning, I asked her to teach me one of the songs they sang. It's not long and it's got a pretty catchy tune. When she started teaching me the words, I began to really hear them and thought I'd share...
"Our God is a great big God
Our God is a great big God
Our God is a great big God and He holds us in His hands.
He's taller than a skyscraper, deeper than a submarine.
He's wider than the universe and beyond my wildest dreams.
And He's known me and He's loved me...since before the world began.
How wonderful to be a part of God's amazing plan."
What really struck me was the part about God knowing me and not only KNOWING, but knowing me and loving me despite myself. And He loved me before He even created the world. Think about that...HE LOVED US BEFORE HE EVEN CREATED THE WORLD. I mean, if that doesn't bring tears to your eyes...and then yes, how very wonderful to be a part of God's most amazing plan. Just think, of all the billions of people in the world, each one of us are part of a huge plan that God has for us. Awesome.
Anyway, I couldn't finish the song because I kept getting choked up. Jenna finally asked me if I was crying. I tried to explain to her how cool it was about God loving and knowing us. Not sure she understood, but it was an interesting conversation.
Not much else to speak of. Check out my friend, Rachel's blog. She blogged about several things (like the Steven Curtis Chapman concert) that I haven't touched on because I'm busy and then by the time I have time to sit down and blog, I've forgotten 1/2 of what I was going to talk about!
That's about it. I'm going to try and keep everyone updated as the holidays approach, but you all cut me some slack...after all...it' s the holidays!