Kylie is 2!!

There will most certainly be more posts coming about this exciting event, but for today, I just want to take a moment to wish my sweet, darling girl a happy ‘first’ second birthday! This is her first birthday with us, although we know she was celebrated last year too when she turned one.

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We will be having a celebration of our own soon, but today I’m thanking God that from this…

Kylie 2

…came this…

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It’s been an amazing 10 months!

We love you sweet baby girl!!  You added something to our lives we never even knew was missing.  I will stand forever in awe that God trusted me with your life. 


Created for Care…Coming Soon!

If you are an adoptive mom or waiting mom, then you have likely heard about a little something called Created For Care retreat (C4C).  It’s a weekend retreat especially for adoptive moms.

I’m not sure when these started, but the first year I heard about it was 2011.  We were still in the pretty early stages of our adoption and I, honestly, wasn’t interested since we didn’t have Kylie home then.  In fact, we didn’t even know who she was!

Then last year, I was literally in China at the time of the retreat. 

This year though…I’m GOING.  In March.  With 3 women that I can’t wait to see and hug their necks and just hang out with.

So since they just finished up the January retreat, I am wondering if any of YOU are going in March?  If so, leave a comment and let’s try to meet!


Show Us Your Life-Adoption!

Kelly's Korner is one of the blogs I have been reading for some time now. Frequently she does "Show Us Your Life" Fridays. There have been SUYL Fridays for every room in the house, even a single friends SUYL! I never link up because I never have time to take pictures of the rooms in my house and I'm pretty sure no one would be impressed with my lack of decorating skills.
Anyway, I digress. Kelly's SUYL Friday was about Adoption Stories! So if you linked to me from there, WELCOME!
Even though our girl is home and about to celebrate her 2nd birthday, we are still on this journey.  I'd love for you to click on our Gotcha Day video (see right sidebar!) or just browse my blog.  I'd be happy to answer any questions about our agency (Lifeline!) or our cleft lip/palate special need!  And if you want to read all about how we came to decide to take this journey, click here

This blog follows the last turbulent years of my life (several family losses including my dad, mother in law and two brothers, job loss from my husband etc.). But in the end, God has blessed us abundantly more than I could ask and yes, even imagine.

Welcome to our story. 



I had a friend at work ask me recently, “What is thing that surprised you most about Kylie’s personality now that she’s been home 9 months?”

It was a very intriguing questions and not one I had thought about.  But now that he asked it, it’s been on my mind and I think the answer I gave him then is just being confirmed over and over.

I think I was most surprised at how happy Kylie is.  Since last Wednesday, Kylie has just been kind of out of sorts.  Wednesday night she was clingy, quiet and rather lethargic acting and we thought she was running a low grade fever. 

sick kylie

Because she slept through the night without incident, I thought we’d dodged the bullet when I got up for work the next morning.  But she woke up earlier than normal and was running 102 fever.  We thought it was teething, but with the higher fever, we thought strep (had her hands in her mouth and was holding saliva in like she did right after her cleft surgery) but that test came back negative.

She was super moody and would break down at the slightest thing and much of the time we had no idea what the problem was.  She was whiny and clingy and you could do NOTHING to please her.  She wasn’t eating well and quite honestly, mealtime was a battle.  She didn’t want what you put in front of her and she’d let you know that by shaking her head no, but when you took it away, she’d scream and cry big ole tears.  It doesn’t help that she’s speech delayed and so really can’t tell us what hurts or what is bothering her.

Anyway, the fever was gone by Friday but the other things were still hanging around and she just wasn’t my happy girl.  It was then I realized how happy and animated she is normally and how different it was not having her like that.

It’s not that I thought she would be UNHAPPY.  It was just all those times I would sit and daydream about her, I just never imagined her being as happy as she is. 

The last day or two has been more normal (PRAISE GOD!) and I find myself hugging her a little tighter and thanking God that my girl is back.  I look at her smiling and how her smile reaches her eyes (like Jenna’s) and I think how much I love those eyes.  That was one of the comments we heard over and over about this picture:

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Oh how I love those sweet, almond shaped eyes!

The good news is, my girl IS back and she’s giggly and animated as ever…

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And I’m so glad.


Past Due Visit (and post)

Many of you remember my “WBFF”, Katelyn who packed up and moved to Colorado right about this time last year.  If you need a recap of my breaking heart, you can read about that here.

Well, some big things have happened to Katelyn since she moved…first of all, she got engaged!!!  She is currently planning a wedding which you can follow over on her blog.  Also, her fiancĂ© has gotten the fabulous professional opportunity in Seattle and so they are once again, moving even FURTHER AWAY FROM ME.

OK, but this post isn’t all about me.  Back in…ahem…November, Katelyn came back to Nashville for a visit.  Lots of it was wedding prep, but somehow she managed to meet up with me for lunch.  Steve, Jenna and Kylie were able to come and meet us (because for some reason, Jenna was out of school that day) and so Katelyn got to meet Kylie for the first time!

And where did we meet for lunch?  None other than the delicious and ever favorite (for both of us) Jet’s pizza! 

Hi from Colorado Nashville Visit 3

Kylie and Jenna had fun playing in the restaurant.

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It was a short visit for us, but it was so worth it.  Next time I see that smiling face, it will be at her wedding!


Early Morning Fun

This is the sweetest video I have taken in a while.  Kylie love to watch herself on video and especially she likes to watch herself laughing.  It’s one of her favorite things.  And this is one of her all time favorites.  Oh how I love my girls! (listen for Kylie’s hiccups due to laughing!  So hilarious!)


Hula Hoop!

Boy talk about behind behind.  I just realized I hadn’t blogged about the talent show Jenna participated in back in…ahem…OCTOBER.
Jenna participated in the 4th grade talent show last year which very much impressed me.  Any kid that can get up in front of their peers and their peers’ parents and do anything is pretty brave in my book!
Jenna definitely wanted to participate but struggled with what to do.  She kept wanting to do a drum solo, but logistically that wasn’t going to work (not to mention she’s not played a drum in her life).  I told her to find something she was already good at and so once she thought for a minute, it was an easy choice.
Of this many kids participating…
Jenna was the only hula hooper.  Smile  She picked this song and then choreographed her own moves.
She was a little nervous, but in the end, did really great!  It was a pretty lengthy show, but Kylie did well and I was super impressed by not only my girl but all these talented kids. 
Jenna hula hoopin’



OK, so hopefully this post will wrap up the Christmas posts and get me back on track. 

Christmas Eve, Rachel M. and I hosted, what has morphed from our families’ Christmas Eve celebration into a Christmas Eve open house of sorts.  I love love love to bake between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I bake up a storm and Rachel typically contributes the savory finger foods (and some sweets too).  We invite anyone who doesn’t have anything to do on Christmas Eve.  We always think not many people will come, but it ends up being 6 or 7 families and just the right number.

Of course, we work around the awesome Christmas Eve service at the church.IMG_3788 

I’ll tell ya, the service is one I look forward to every year.  It’s not long and it’s all family, so I wasn’t sure how Kylie would do.  But as expected (since we went to the 2:00 service), she fell asleep and slept right through the best part…


It’s an awesome quiet time right before the mass chaos of Christmas.


Christmas Eve, we let Jenna open up one gift and traditionally, it’s always pajamas…usually Christmas themed.  This year, there was a little twist and it was a big hit!

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Footies!  And to top off the excitement of the day, right before we left for service, Jenna comes in with this…

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Good thing the tooth fairy and Santa know each other!  Smile

Christmas morning, Jenna managed to sleep until about 7:30 or 7:45.  I woke up before her, of course, and got presentable.  When everyone was up, we traipsed downstairs.


This little scooter thing was Jenna’s gift to Kylie.  She saw it somewhere (on tv, online?) and paid for it herself.  It is like a 360 ride on toy and so it’s very easy to maneuver and Kylie LOVES it.


I love this but still haven’t found time to put photos in it.  In time though…in time.

Jenna took money and bought both of us stuff and she is getting really good at picking out thoughtful gifts.  For instance, because Steve volunteers at the gun range, she picked him out a Wii paintball game.  But the biggest “Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle” gift this year was for Jenna.

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So Jenna reads the riddle (there were numbers underneath but for privacy, I cropped them out) and she’s trying to figure out what it means when the box starts vibrating.


Now before I catch heck about giving my 11 1/2 year old a cell phone, an iPhone no less, let me explain…this is my old iPhone 4 (part of our early Christmas to each other was that Steve and I upgraded to 5s) and because of our shared minutes plan, it only cost me $10 more to put Jenna on the plan AND I am under no contract and dropped our $30/month mifi, so still saved $20.  Anyway, we wanted to see how responsible she would be while we have little to lose and lots of control.  In this day of instant contact, I like being able to reach Jenna when she’s at a friend’s house or across the street/outside playing.  Anyway, it has been a good thing for us (the best way to get her to listen is threaten to take away the phone!) and the phone did come with a list of rules that she had to agree to before accepting the phone.


Anddddd…that’s her reading them.  Smile  But all in all, she’s been good with it and I loved her excitement.

Later in the afternoon, we went for the Taylor family Christmas and how wonderful it was!

Taylor Christmas 2

My niece Alex and her family weren’t able to make it in town but this is the rest of the crew.  I love these folks.

After that, we went home and exchanged with the big kids which I always enjoyable.


This is Steve with his gift from Chase.  I can assure you, he didn’t smile like this for ANY gift I got him  Humph.

We bought Gage a Wii which was his big surprise.  He didn’t really get too excited over it here, but Micah says they play it all the time so I know he is glad to have it.


It was a good Christmas.  Not too chaotic…I wished the weather had been colder.  I’m a fan of white Christmases, but that definitely wasn’t in the cards this year.  Maybe next…

And that concludes the Taylor Family Christmas of 2012.  Thanks for hanging in there with me!


Passport To Purity

If you have a daughter who is about to be a tween or already a tween, I highly recommend this program for “the talk”.

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It is meant to be done as a weekend trip with just you and your girl.  Jenna and I are embarking on this adventure in a few weeks.  We’ll be traveling to Chattanooga (and I get to see my dear friend Julie while there!) and spending a weekend together dealing with just the issues surrounding this area. 

My friend Rachel VG turned me on to this and I owe her BIG TIME.  I have spent several hours preparing ahead of time and I’m still not ready yet.  I’ll warn you…it takes some time to prepare, but not too much.  I just preferred to listen to the sessions (on CD) prior to hopping in the car and heading out.  And let me tell you…it covers EVERYTHING.  And it’s deep stuff.  And embarrassing stuff.  And intense stuff.

And NECESSARY stuff.

As Christian parents, we need to deal with all that goes along with “the talk” or someone else will do it for us. 

So, if you think about it…pray for us over the next few weeks as I prepare the sessions, prepare myself and pray that Jenna is prepared.  I hope this will open up the lines of communication now so she’s free to talk to me later when it REALLY matters.


Our Weekend Visitor

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The weekend before Christmas, we had a sweet little visitor at our house! 


That’s my grandson Gage!  It’s been a very long time since he’s hung out with us, but we sure did enjoy him.

Friday night, crazy as it was, Steve was bowling so I loaded up my two kids, Gage and Jenna’s neighbor friend, Grey and we went to have dinner at the local Mexican restaurant.

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Truth be told, I think Gage had a little crush on Grey.  Smile  We managed dinner without incident and on our way home we noticed another living nativity off to the side of the road in the yard of our local children’s consignment.  We’d seen it going by and I promised I’d stop if it was still out and it was, so we did!

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We had a good time and I was so glad to get to spend some quality time with the little guy.



Catching up...

Y'all bear with me.  I slacked up on my blogging during the holidays so I'm playing catch up. 

We had a lot of little fun activities coming into the Christmas holiday....at church, we have a Living Nativity.  This year, it was different...Kylie was too young to go out and see it, but I took her over there anyway before class started.  But I started teaching a 3 year old class (which I L.O.V.E. BTW) and I had the great pleasure of walking them over.

They all watched and listened so intently.  I was SO proud of them!  And some of the were even brave enough to pet the animals...
And lucky for us, no one melted down, which with 3 year olds, you just never know.  A few weekends before this, we decided to attend our little city's annual Christmas parade.  This year though, our church decided to be part.  Steve and several folks from the church put many hours into our float and then many members walked and handed out our church Christmas CDs.  I hi-jacked this photo from a friend (thanks L!)

I planned to watch the parade from the sidelines. However, there was so confusion with Jenna about that because she thought she was walking in it so by the time I got her dropped off the road was closed and I had no choice but to go.  And I had Kylie.  And no stroller.  So here's what we did...

OK, seriously, she only rode like this for a few minutes...but boy oh boy did she love it!  She kept waving and saying "hi!" "hi!" to everyone.  It was a great time and I kept hearing the folks watching saying "Wow" and "Whoa" when we passed by.  Just one of 1,593,293 reasons I love my church.
We also attended the big Christmas concert at what we affectionately refer to as the "Mother Ship" which is our home base church.  It's a rather large church and I love it, but I would not trade my regional campus for all the money in the world. 
Having said that, the concert was a wee bit crowded.  But wowzers...you haven't been to a Christmas concert until you've been to one at the Big House.

Steve played percussion, so the girls and I managed to find a whole row in the balcony.  With us, sat my friend Jill's husband with their two children and our friends the Yanceys with their 3 kids.  At the end with their newborn son were the Coates.  What that meant was our row had 8 children.  It was like a mini-daycare!  I couldn't get a ton of good pics, but check this sweet one out of Moses...

Our smaller choir had a special part too and let me tell you...they are small, but they are MIGHTY.  I would venture a guess that we took a grand majority of the best singers from the main campus.  They ROCKED. IT.  I mean...there just aren't words.  And then our awesome pastor, Jay, got up and said a few words.  It was a great night.  Kylie did so well...she loved the lights and the music.  She must have an ear for music because she's always loved it...

All in all, we had a great holiday season.  And bear with me as there is still more to come...