Sad news

It is with a heavy heart that I write this post. Biopsy results were back today on Steve's mother (Mary). The results show it is definitely cancer...in several areas of her body. We know of liver, pancreas and lungs. It is very aggressive. She has chosen to not pursue any course of treatment. She is by far, the most Godly woman I know and she is certain of what awaits her after this life. While she is sad to leave us behind, she is content knowing that when she leaves this world, she will see her Savior and hear the words, "Well done my good and faithful servant".

The doctors have given her approximately 2 months to live.

I am more deeply grieved than I'm sure I seem on the outside. Having been through this exact scenario with my mother (except she had much treatment that made her must more ill than the cancer), I know some of what to expect. However, despite my outside appearance, my heart is breaking inside. Mary has become like a second mother to me (I've not been vague in expressing my love for the Taylor family). And I can only hope that when I grow older, I can leave behind 1/2 the legacy that she has.

Might I be so bold as to ask you to approach the Throne on behalf of the entire Taylor family over the next few days. We know that the Great Physician could perform a miracle, however, we also know that He is probably most anxious to have this precious saint with him too.

Thank you for your prayers.


The difference

OK, so I finally got my Christmas pictures uploaded from all 3 of my cameras. Yes, I said three. My small Olympus camera that I carry in my purse for those times when you would give anything to have a camera on you. Then my "nice" camera...my Fuji Finepix. The first digital camera I ever owned and it was pretty nice when I bought it several years ago. Then, there are the rest with my brand new, professional looking Canon Rebel. Here is the same (or similar) shot from all three. Can you tell which one is which?

The first is from the Fuji, the second from the Canon and the third from the Olympus.

I've pretty much told you everything about Christmas, so I think a slide show is probably the best way to SHOW you our Christmas.


Merry Christmas!

I know I'm such a slacker because I'm posting to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, but I don't have any pictures uploaded yet. Trust me, they are coming.

Santa Steve surprised me with a Canon Rebel xsi. I have been coveting this camera since I saw my friend Carrie's when we went to the beach in July. What a surprise! And I have used it all day. I love my man!

Steve got his GPS and loved it. He used it tonight too while we were traveling to and from his family Christmas.

Jenna got her second American Girl doll from Santa. It was a lesser hit than her first doll Kit, but she loves them both. Right now, there's so much to look at and play with, she's having a hard time deciding what to do next.

Micah, Chase and Gage liked all their gifts. I absolutely love buying for them. It's sometimes a challenge, but I feel like I usually do pretty well.

We went to the Taylor Family Christmas today at 2pm. It was a bit depressing because the matriarch (AKA "Grandmother") was missing as she is still in the hospital. But it was still fun. I can't put into words how much I love this family. At Thanksgiving, the women-folk decided not to exchange gifts this year (except for the children) because the economy had been so bad. I have to admit, I was kinda glad, but I was also pretty bummed. However, tonight, just being with them and watching the kids enjoy themselves was more than enough.

At the end, they handed Steve a bag with several envelopes. All together, the envelopes contained nearly $400...a combination from each family represented, to go toward his Diabetic Service Alert Dog. Now, try and convince me anyone is as blessed as me to be part of this family. I love them. I know several of them read my blog. And to you, I say I LOVE YOU. Each and every one. You have become my surrogate family. And the way you love Steve, makes me love you even more.

After leaving there, we all went to the hospital to see Grandmother. She was pretty sick still, but she was glad to see us. We didn't stay long. But it was good to get to see her, for sure. Hopefully 2009 will be better for all of us.

So...all that to say, this was a fabulous Christmas despite the sadness of ailing parents. As soon as I figure out how to load up the pictures from my new camera, I definitely will!


A few of my favorite (Christmas) things..

I saw this on a blog that I frequent...Confessions of a CF Husband. I thought this would be a good post to plagiarize myself on this Christmas Eve while I'm waiting for "Santa" :)

Christmas is my favorite holiday. As a kid, I loved the excitement and anticipation of Christmas morning. As an adult and parent, it's much of the same excitement and anticipation except for a different reason. I confess, I don't sleep well on Christmas Eve because I can't wait for Jenna to wake up and open her gifts! However, I try to make sure that Jenna understands the true Reason for the season. So, without further delay...

My favorite Christmas...

Movie: Modern Day-Love Actually (I've watched this about 3 times this season) Classic-It's a Wonderful Life (love watching this with Steve)

Sweet: Lately I'm favorite my Oreo truffles. I also love all the little finger foods we have.

Song: Hands down, O Holy Night

Tradition: All of them. My favorite tradition growing up was Christmas Eve at our house. Mom always had the whole family over. It was my favorite time spending time with my family. When Mom died, everyone kind of went their separate ways. I really missed it. Tonight, I took part in the second annual Christmas Eve tradition spending it with my surrogate family, the Millsaps. More to come on that fun! I also really, REALLY enjoy Christmas Day night with the Taylor family (I think I've mentioned how much I love that family!) I also love dearly the Christmas Eve service at church.

Gift Received: Anything truly unexpected (and expensive!) The year I was pregnant with Jenna, Steve gave me a diamond double heart necklace in front of all the Taylors and it was so sweet and memorable.

Gift Given: Well, probably the year we gave Micah her car. Her reaction still brings tears to my eyes. For Steve...I don't know...I usually go overboard on him and he's always surprised. That's the best thing though. For Jenna-the Butterscotch pony last year was a real hit.

Meal: I always loved having Christmas breakfast, but not sure that will happen tomorrow. :)

What about you? What are some of your favorite Christmas things?

Merry Christmas Eve...

Christmas with Nana & Poppop

Last Sunday afternoon, we went to have Christmas with my dad and stepmom (Bertie, or affectionately dubbed "Nana" by Jenna!) Daddy isn't well enough to go out anywhere and with the weather being so terribly cold, we can't take the chance of him catching something.

It was a great time. Nana fixed us a yummy lunch and of course, Jenna was chomping at the bit to open gifts. Nana had really outdone herself this year. Given that she's got more than a full time job taking care of Daddy (who needs almost 24/7 care), she went above and beyond.

Daddy was looking good and so I took the opportunity to get several shots of us together. I'm more conscious of doing this now. Bertie even said that with his breathing getting worse, literally by the day, this could very well be his last Christmas with us. It was a depressing thought, but I am so glad that we had this time together. It really made me appreciate it.

Jenna got 9 gifts from Nana and Poppop! And they were all numbered so she knew which ones to open first (I told you Nana outdid herself). The first was a little reindeer craft. The second was a pair of super cute and warm pajamas. But the third gift was the gift of all gifts. Most of you remember in this post, I told you that Jenna asked Santa for an American Girl doll for Christmas. Well, she got her first American Girl doll from Nana. Her name is "Kit". Jenna was smiling from ear to ear. Every gift after that was clothes that Nana made for Kit. Can you tell how excited she was?



We had such a busy weekend. On Friday, we went to eat at Donelson Park Cafe which is owned by some of our very close friends, Mike & Page Durham. If you haven't ever eaten there and are looking for some home cookin' to die for, check it out. If you google it, you can find out more. Anyway, they had a Christmas special that night with live music by some of our friends from the church I attended until I was well into my mid-20s. We got to see a bunch of friends we hadn't seen in a while and that was great! One of the singers (and one of my best friends from my younger years), Kelly, managed to bribe Jenna into taking the mic and singing Jingle Bell Rock. She did well, although she did miss some of the words there at the end. She definitely doesn't take after her mom or dad (as Kelly so graciously pointed out!)

Saturday morning, we met the Millsaps at ICE! It's the last year that the Grinch will be there and so we wanted to go again. Here are the girls all bundled up and ready for the bitter cold.

They have an ice slide that the girls enjoyed going down multiple times. Here's a video of them coming down.

It looked so much fun that I just couldn't pass it up. I watched some other adults do it and figured out if I leaned back on my behind and held my knees up to my chest I would fly. And fly I did. Luckily, Steve didn't know how to work the video, but here's a picture of me "landing" at the bottom.

Saturday night, the Millsaps came over and we had chili for Rachel's birthday (which was Sunday). It was a great time all around.

Christmas at School

This Wednesday and Thursday, Jenna's school had the Grandparent's Day Christmas program. These are the days that they celebrate Grandparents, but it's with the Christmas program, so parents and other family members are invited as well. Of course, my dad and Bertie weren't able to attend, but Steve's dad came and it was such a cute program. Here's Jenna on Thursday, the day that we went.

And here is just a little piece of a video of one of the songs that the 1st graders did.

They did such a great job. It was Pre-1st all the way through 4th grade and the principal said they sounded like angels. They did, but I know for a fact, they don't always ACT like angels!!! :)

On Friday, Jenna had her Christmas party at school. They did so many cute things like flower pot reindeer and reindeer food. Here's Jenna and her masterpiece. And then the other picture is Jenna and her best friend Annabelle.

And then finally, here are a few pieces of her Christmas artwork.

In case you can't read it, her letter to Santa says, "Dear Santa, I have been very, very good this year. I would like an American Girl doll and all I whant to konw (know) is whant is your secrett? How do you get all the gifts for the kids? Love Jenna Grace Taylor" The rest is a partial phone number and address. How cute is that?

Posts to come...

We've had a big week, so I promise there will be plenty of posts to come, but I have to find time to upload the photos and yes, even the videos, so hopefully we'll get some online tonight.

Some of the events you have to look forward to?

*Jenna's Christmas Program
*School Christmas Party
*ICE! with the Millsaps
*Transiberian Orchestra
*Christmas with Nana and Poppop (and Jenna's first American Girl doll!!!)

Trust me, you won't want to miss it. So, check back soon and hopefully I'll have some fun stuff for you to read!




We've officially had our first snow of the season. However, that might not be true depending on where in the state you were. Yesterday, I happened to carpool in with Rachel. God bless her. We left about 10 minutes till 5pm because we'd heard that they roads were getting bad even though near downtown Nashville, it was nothing more than drizzle. It took us forever to even get ON the interstate and as we drove South (yes, South, no less) the drizzle turned to sleet. The further we drove, the more intense the snow and traffic. Long story short, a 40 minute drive took us 2 hours and 40 minutes and I didn't even make it home! I went on to Rachel's house and then later, Steve came to pick me up (after the snow stopped).
This is what it looked like from mine and Rachel's perspective. Again I say, God bless her.
It was late so we didn't get to play in the snow last night. School was out today for most everyone. Jenna was going to work with Steve and I was going to pick her up this afternoon after a mandatory meeting I had to attend. I got up, got dressed and Jenna got up to look at the snow and watch TV. I started feeling a bit guilty about this being the first REAL snow and that she was not getting to play in it. So I went back to the closet, changed from my work clothes into my outside clothes and told Jenna to get dressed. I'm SO glad I did it and she was ecstatic! Here are a couple pictures of our snowy fun this morning (at 7am!)

Thursday night when I finally got home!

Early Friday morning...God outdid Himself!

Our standard pose in the snow.

A snow day wouldn't be complete w/o a snow angel!

Another view of God's handiwork.


Our Weekend Activites

This weekend was at the very least a productive one. The last few weekends I have done little except sit around and relax. Not that there is anything wrong with sitting around on the weekends...but there is something to be said for being productive. :)

Friday, I worked late. Not long, but long enough. When I got home, Steve had chili waiting on me. YUM. I sat around on the couch until about 9:30pm and then decided I wanted to start my weekend activites early.

To back up a little, we recently celebrated 3 years in our current home. As it is with most everyone, when we moved, we did some serious purging. Plus, we doubled our home space, so for the longest, I wondered if/how we would ever fill this house up (right, I hear all of you out there laughing who has been through this before). But anyway, I guess it's taken us about 3 years to not only fill up, but cross the threshold into clutter. Not alot of clutter like at the old house but enough nonetheless. And one of the things I swore to myself is that I would not let it get to that point here. So, an "intervention", if you will, was needed.

The worst offender was Jenna's room and closet. It is a small room and we knew this when we moved in. However, with the bonus room, we figured most of her stuff would land there. Of course, I was wrong. So, at 9:30 on Friday, I started in Jenna's room. After a certain period of time, Jenna went to the bedroom with Steve. I finally fell into bed at 1am, but the room was clean! Sunday I hit the scrapbook room (Jenna's side) and organized all her craft items. We went to TPAC to see Tuna Does Vegas on Saturday afternoon and after we returned, I organized and cleaned out the bonus room. So, I now live in a lot less cluttered home and I'm totally FREE!

On Saturday, we went to get our pictures made with Santa here in the Hill. $10 got us 2 poses one with all of us, one with just Jenna. It was a professional photographer who will email us the pictures and allow us to reproduce them any way we desire. As soon as I have those back, I'll share. However, I do have these to share now....

After that, we went to Target and Kohl's to get Jenna a new winter jacket and myself some gloves and a hat. Saturday night was the first annual Christmas parade in the Hill. We were so excited to be part of it! It was cold to be sure, but the wind wasn't blowing, so that made it pretty tolerable.

Here are a few of my favorite shots...

It was a lot of fun and was a great way to start off the holidays! We can't WAIT for Santa to arrive!!!!



I just wanted to post quickly. I know it's past midnight, but I got a wild hair to clean out Jenna's room tonight. Yes, I said clean OUT, not clean UP. The room is small and it just slowly got more and more cluttered. I was going to do it tomorrow, but we have some things to do and I was afraid I wouldn't get to it and I just literally couldn't stand it anymore. So, at 9:30pm, I started. I finished about 30 minutes ago, but I was so hot and keyed up that I couldn't just go to bed. So I sat down, read a little and now I am online to check my emails. Of course, I have checked my Facebook, my google reader and now blogging...I'll probably fall asleep before I remember to check my emails!

Anyway, the main reason that I'm posting is to let all of you know what's going on with the job situation. My company made the local newspaper (maybe the TV news too, I'm not sure) because Corporate Headquarters laid off about 200+ people this week. I've gotten several "You OK?" emails, so I thought I'd post here just to let everyone know that yes, I'm OK.

My department did experience several layoffs, but I was not one of those. The layoffs are of course, due to budget cutbacks and a couple of my close co-workers were affected. It's been a tough week emotionally for all of us. And when I say ALL, I mean, everyone in the corporate office. We all knew people that lost their jobs this week and some took it better than others. At any rate, I was able to keep my job, but the cuts will mean lots more work with fewer people, so we are in for a wild ride in 2009.

OK, I'm starting to wind down, so I better get to bed before I catch my second wind.