Approximately 731 day ago…

…this happened.

Gotcha Day, March 2012

And this sweet baby girl changed our lives forever.


I’ve said it before, and I will say it again…adoption is not for the faint hearted.  From the outside looking in, it looks so happy and rewarding and it is.  More than you can even wrap your mind around.  But sometimes getting there is hard.  Painful. EXHAUSTING.  And terrifying.

It was all those things for us.  But asked if I’d do it again…the answer is a resounding ABSOLUTELY! 

So, on this day that we celebrate having you placed into my arms for the first time, I watch this video and weep all over again for the blessing that is you, Kylie Liann Yingbei Taylor.




Let’s Go Team!

Kylie changes at such a fast pace that I feel like sometimes my blog is all about her.  As Jenna hits the dreaded teen years, I am more conscious about what I post about her since she could easily be embarrassed about something I put out here.  So if you see less of Jenna, it’s not because there’s nothing going on, it’s because she might not want it posted for the world to see.

For the past 2 years, September has brought cheerleading for Jenna.  It’s something she enjoys doing even though I’m not sure she’s continue on through the rest of middle and high school.  There are a lot of good girls on the squad and it’s been fun watching them cheer.


I will admit, some days it’s hot as heck out there and with a toddler, it’s not a lot of fun, but I enjoy chatting with the other moms of both football players and cheerleaders.


Kylie typically is happy for about the first 1/2 hour and then she’s tired and ready to go.


I’m proud of my big girl!


This is my favorite photo!!




Another First-Kylie Goes to School

Still trying to play catch-up and this is one I don’t want to ever forget!  It was such a big milestone for our little girlie!

We had always known that we wanted to put Kylie in some type of preschool or Mother’s Day out at some point.  I know this can be a controversial topic in some circles, but we are big proponents of this for a myriad of reasons.  It is NOT for everyone or every child, but Jenna benefitted greatly from daycare/preschool and we felt that when the time was right, Kylie would too.

The problem is that in our little town, there’s not a ton of choices.  There was on very popular Mother’s Day Out program which is admittedly very well known and very good.  But y’all.  People CAMP OUT to get their kids in there.  You know, CAMP OUT like on Black Friday eve.  And after much consideration, I just decided it wasn’t for me.  I don’t do Black Friday for a reason and I figured I’d find something else less stressful than sleeping on a gym floor with a bunch of strangers (although there is something to be said for the special bonding that takes place when you do that).

So anyway, shortly after the Black Friday midnight madness enrollment there, I was talking to a friend from church who said her daughter and son went to a fabulous program at a large-ish local church in the area and they have enrollment ONLINE.  What a novel idea!!  So, I literally put Kylie on their waiting list in February from my iPhone.  That’s how easy it was.

And I got a call in the summer that she was IN if we were still interested.  Why yes we are.  Monday and Wednesday 9-2 and there were only 5 other children in class with her.  Monday and Wednesday was PERFECT because she was already doing speech therapy on Tuesday/Thursday.  We went for tours, orientation etc. and were very impressed with the curriculum.  But, we were also very concerned at how she would handle being left because we’d had her in daycare on Fridays just to get her some socialization (she loves being with other kids) and give Steve a break and she’d started really crying when he would leave her.  So we had some valid concerns about this MDO.  But we talked it up as “big girl school” and then the day finally arrived…September 4, right after Labor Day…I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves…


New shoes?  Check.  New lunch box?  Check.  New thermos?  Check.  Tiara? Um, OF COURSE.


Oh.  My.  Heart.  Carrying her own lunchbox and pink monkey…


Getting’ ready to go in!  She walked right in, went to the kitchen area and told Steve “BYE!”…I almost cried with relief!  She has the best, sweetest teacher ever and she is learning so much!  The curriculum is truly a two day curriculum so it’s not 5 days crammed into 2 or adjusted to a 2 day program.  It’s written for 2 days a week and it’s so good. 

Y’all, one evening, just a month after she started, I was getting her ready for bed.  And, as always, she was talking up a storm.  For you non-cleft readers, when I say “talking”, I mean, she was jabbering a mile a minute but I could understand none of it.  She was fiddling around her room when I could make out “Eee, Eye, Eee, Eye, Oh” and I said, “OLD MCDONALD!!!” and she started singing it!  And I could UNDERSTAND HER!  It was the first time that she’d said something out of context that I could understand.  That right there is priceless to me. 

She loves singing the songs she learns there.  She can do Old McDonald with a variety of animals that she thinks up herself, Jesus loves me, Itsy Bitsy Spider, the Alphabet song and a host of others.  We are so proud of what she has learned.  She certainly has come a long way!



County Fair (2013)

Every year we have gone on vacation and then come back to the little county fair in our area.  We had already lived in this county for several years when the fair started coming and it’s grown (at least in attendance) every year.  We usually wait until the last night and go in the early evening then have “dinner” there which usually consists of corn dogs, funnel cakes and deep fried sweets of some kind topped off with a huge sweet tea. 

This year Kylie was old enough to understand and enjoy the animal part of the fair, so that’s where we started.


This little farming area was great fun for little ones.  Plus, it was hot as the blazes outside and this afforded us a tiny respite from the heat.


This cracks me up.  What’s funnier than a little Asian girl milking a cow? 


After you made it all the way through you could get a treat and of course, Kylie chose chocolate milk.  You can tell how hot it is just by looking at her.  God bless Jenna and her friend Grey…they helped her all through this place so I was free to take photos.


And just like her sister, Kylie wasn’t afraid to pet the animals at all.  We sometimes had to remind her to use gentle hands, but otherwise she was great.  It was so hot, but a good time none the less.

Jenna took her friend Grey but they ended up not riding too many rides.  The line get longer every year and it’s just so expensive to buy ride passes.  But we do enjoy the food, people watching and just being out there in general.  It’s a good way to kick off the fall season and it has become tradition for our family.