Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Good tidings

Lots of love to you on this merry Christmas Day! 
Hopefully it's full of comfort and joy....also, food and naps. 
Thanks to awesome friends who made this card happen. Laura Stephens, dear pal and former roomie, designed it and knocked my socks off. Erin-I've mentioned her before- took this sweet photo of our family. Also, hats off to my dudes for smiling long enough for this to happen. 
3 cheers to helpful friends and cooperative husbands and kids!

Merry Christmas friends! 
May you find comfort in your relationship with those you love and joy in the birth Jesus Christ our Savior! 

Friday, December 13, 2013

family photos

our favorite photographer, Erin, came over to capture our family
exactly 1 year-to the day-after we took JRs newborn photos.
Judson Ray 8 days old
Judson Ray 1 year 8 days old

although I groaned and moaned, along with my brothers, when my mom made us take family pictures...i'm so glad that she made us.
and i will force the tradition on our family.
i do think it is important to capture everyday, candid and casual, non-staged photos of your family.
but i also LOVE having some "formal" photos of our family as well...making the effort to get everyone spiffied up and looking in the same (general) direction with a skilled photographer. 

and luckily, Erin is awesome and captured all of these images in 45 minutes!
which is amazing with a super busy 1 year old.
do you see his little right hand?
oh lands.

we are so happy to have these moments captured
especially this last one.

if you wish to have some family photos this good, contact Erin Stokes
or here

Monday, December 9, 2013

thanksgiving recap and a team Taylor update!

i'm slowly arising from my tryptophan coma (2 weeks later).
 at least that's the excuse i'm using as to why this thanksgiving post is rather tardy, as we are very quickly approaching the next holiday.

( from the wonderful 
 1. tryptophan coma: A fallacy that is perpetuated by people as an excuse for their lazy behavior following their diet-crushing Thanksgiving meal.)

...i got it.

we left early in the week for a Thanksgiving in Austin, in order to capitalize on time with family and friends in Texas along the way.
after stopping to stay in Huntsville (GTs parents house) for the night, we met up with some of our good friends and their littles in College Station.
We could only manage a lunch, but it was completely worth the stop and so needed!!!
Judson and and a potential future Mrs. J.R. Taylor.
the whole gang...Larry, Rachel and their sweet kiddos!

then, what's a roadtrip without a stop at the taxidermist?!?!
my kid loves, i mean LOVES, deer mounts. 
so, this was his kind of heaven
who knew?

moving on down the road.

we arrived at Kim and Matt's (GT's sister and her hubby) late Wednesday afternoon and didn't leave again until Friday.
it was lovely and well spent with the fam.

the majority of my time was in the kitchen- prepping, cooking, talking, eating, reheating, snacking, feeding JR, cleaning, washing, chatting and LOVING it.
since all of that included my sis-in-laws, mom-in-law, aunts and grandma (in-laws).
and i seriously enjoy every single bit of their company.
sure, there were guys in and out of the kitchen....

....but, not if we could help it. 
just kidding. calm down.
this turkey joined in to carve the -um- turkey

the joy of Thanksgiving comes with having no agenda.
at least it does for me.
sure, we hustle and bustle around the kitchen hoping everything is ready around the same time, making sure the tables are set and everyone has a seat. but, really, no one is on any kind of schedule.
(except for the few years that I had to work on Thanksgiving, but those were a different kind and they were good, too)

the good stuff comes from plopping down on the couch next to someone and just nestling in for a nap, chatting away as you both rest your eyes or peek at the football game. 

grabbing a chair on the deck and going over recent events

or being the only baby and getting a crazy amount of loving attention

and matching your uncle Ty
and finding out that he is going to be a dad!!!!!
Chelsea is having a baby!!! and we are thrilled! 
(don't let our faces fool you)

sweet little little is due next summer!
and what baby doesn't want to join this bunch?
preggers leading the crazy train
you're welcome, Chelsea.

this is a good bunch of people.
i'm so thankful i get to be part of the Taylor crew!

Chelsea and Ty will be the best parents!
i know this because they are incredibly wonderful people, the best siblings and friends, and loving aunt and uncle to JRay. 
cheers to good people bringing life into this world!
go Team Taylor!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

treat yo' self (and your marriage)

the man and I haven't been on a bonafide date in...i can't remember.
(sung to the tune of most parents of littles. same story)

we I really like to stay at the house in the evenings, 
GT travels quite a bit, I have school work, blah, blah, blah, excuses.
instead of squeezing in a few hours for dinner and a movie, we decided to get out of town.
best move ever.

we drove 2 lane, backroads the whole way there.
 held hands, listened to music and sports, sat in silence, talked about nonsense and some good sense.
and stopped to check out this place

we landed at a quiet resort a little bit out of Natchitoches tucked in the beautiful fall foliage.
i booked the "Romantic Getaway Package"
that's right.
pretty sure the strawberries on a doily were the only "up-grade" for romance.

we arrived around 4pm, looked at each other, realized no one else was at the hotel and there was zero things to do. it was cold and rainy outside. nothing within proximity to the hotel. 
so, we watched a movie, ate an early dinner and called it a night at 830.

typically, when we go out of town i pack our toothbrushes and the toothpaste.
as we prepared to leave the house for out little date, GT found his toothbrush (unpacked) and mine was already packed.
he said this was indication enough that we were in need of this trip.

this not-so little fella creepin on us

the next day continued on with the cold and rain....
a really beautiful place, i just wish the weather would've allowed us to sit outside for a spell.
or maybe we should've just toughened up 

after another movie and some delish breakfast, we hit the road to Natchitoches for some meat pies at Magee's
better by a country smile.

 "treat yo' self"
 we will.
and we did. thank you very much

although our little 24 hour jaunt was super low-key, it allowed us to have some downtime just visiting, focusing on one another and laughing at movies together.
that's some good, simple medicine right there.

indeed, i did pack BOTH of our toothbrushes for our thanksgiving trip!

Monday, December 2, 2013


1. our toilet has been getting clogged up. and not at times when you'd expect it to be stopped up (you get my drift?). so, for a month or so, we'd plunge away until it would get unclogged and carry on.
well it happened again the other night and we were like, "seriously, what is in that toilet?!?!". clogging for no apparent reason.
so, we ignored it. naturally.
GT plunged it this morning and lo! and behold!
the culprit surfaced.
a toothbrush.
an accurate portrayal of life with a toddler

2. school is almost over for the semester and i am feeling the end-of-semester anxiety (this term is used lightly...i am not a typically anxious person)
in one night i had 3 anxiety related dreams
dream scenario A: show up for a basketball game with mismatched uniform. green top, white bottoms and no sports bra
dream scenario B: show up for class and can't remember my locker combination, where my classes are or my homework
dream scenario C: GT and I are in a tiny galley kitchen and I have no idea how to prepare a meal. so, i attempted some type of beef and mayonnaise concoction. p.s. i hate mayonnaise.

needless to say, i am experiencing some feelings of unpreparedness in my life.
good patient.

3. i hope that the Elf on the Shelf fades by the time Judson reaches the age appropriate for that shin-dig.
bad parent? you make the call. or don't. don't judge me. or do.

4. thankfully, I have a dear helpmate.
he agreed to drag the tree out of the barn before we left for Thanksgiving in Texas.
oh giddy goodness!
he even gave in to my idea of stickin' the tree in a tin bucket.
he found a block of wood in the barn, drilled a tree sized-hole in it and Wah-La!
secured tree...or so it is for now. 
that guy!
Judson talked to it for a few minutes, nodding his head and pointing at the branches, i suppose telling it the house rules. He then squatted down and checked under the hood.

it might stick around until March.

Friday, November 29, 2013


thanksgiving has passed and i'm still thankful
heck, i might even be more thankful

i've been MIA from the blogworld for about a week-it's the end of the semester. 
for that, i'm thankful.
after december 11th, i'll be back in the swing of things.  ...until the next semester.

thankful doesn't seem like the right word.
grateful seems less frivolous, less superficial. (i don't know)
i'm grateful for more things than i have time to list.
my life on this earth is good. in fact, it's great. unnecessarily great. undeserved great. 
thanksgiving day was spent with GTs family and was excellent!
full of women in the kitchen, conversation on lips, and grub in bellies. 
a perfect day.
for which i feel overwhelmingly grateful.
why i was given so much, i have no idea.
but, i tell ya what. 
i'm gonna be thankful and spread it around.
the Lord has been good to me and my family.
in spite of these Taylor siblings.
i mean ESPECIALLY because of the Taylor siblings.
they're pretty great.
this turkey.
for him, i give thanks.
lots of thanks.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: I am Secont

typically, i add a lot in the way of words on my wordLESS wednesday posts.
today, i'm holding true to the title of this post and letting the video do all of the talking.

in case it hasn't hit your Facebook newsfeed yet, here it is.
good, good, good people
and an even greater God.

I am Second: the Robertsons

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

sweet girls and my son

last night was our first girls bible study
some of the girls in the youth group at church are coming to our house once a week for a devo and some girl time.
pretty great, huh?
i'm basing our bible study on this plan
which I love

so, my mom kept Judson down at her house for a while while i got the bible study started then brought him up to our house for bed.
when she brought him in our house, he saw those girls and went into full out bashful smile (tilted his head to the side and a sheepish grin!) and show off mode for these girls.
Y'all, it resembled a flirting smile, what!??!
he is one year old.
this is way to early. 
who am i kidding, i'm never going to be ready for him to look at any girl like that (besides me, obviously)!
perhaps i'm over reacting, but whatever.

this, of course, got me into overdrive thinking about raising my son.
what kind of man he will be
how he will treat girls and then women
how we will talk to his friends about girls
how he will talk to ME about girls

even at the age of 1, he knew a room full of girls elicited a different response than when the room is filled with his dad and his Pa and his uncles.
he knew it.
everything that we do influences his actions and reactions to situations.
it is not too early to start training him in how to react to and treat others.

perhaps i'm over thinking this small interaction.
but, i don't think so. insignificant encounters teach us lessons all of the time.

it taught me that i have got to start NOW in being intentional about raising my son.
raising him to be a good man
because what i teach him now, will become what he does then.
what i say now, will become what he says then.
how i choose to treat others now, will influence his interactions then.

that's what kind of mom i want to be. and NEED to be.
if i am not intentional in teaching him how to treat others, especially girls, someone else will be.
and heaven forbid, he disrespects a girl a someday!

i do know that he will sin.
he is human.
but, i will do my best, with the help of the Holy Spirit and Gods teaching, to teach my son how to love and respect others.

and i'm begging those of you who have influence over my son and future children to do the same.
i'll do it for you.

Monday, November 11, 2013

12 months

so, maybe you're 12.5 months now, but....1 year, wowza!
you are sweet, spunky, silly and so so so much fun!
little Judson Ray, I can't imagine life getting better than it is with you, because right is sweet!
you are officially no longer a baby
my emails that I get weekly usually say, "Your Baby This Week", but now they say "Your Toddler This Week". So, i guess it's official...ha!
you toddle around everywhere and are really looking so much like a little boy

you are into everything
you touch anything within your reach
and grab whatever you're not supposed to
very, very curious
and agile
and coordinated
and determined
this combination is not always desireable. 
we attempt to barricade anything that would lead to injury

you can walk just about anywhere
and you can stand up from sitting or squatting without any problem, at all
which is always exciting! 
also, you love that little toothbrush

you try to climb on anything and everything

you still love to "read" and are starting to do so more independently 

you love to sit in daddy's chair and always look so proud when he catches you
but sometimes, you just like to kick back

you are ALL boy and like to tackle
get dirty
drive anything that has wheels
(thanks to our family, you now have a parking lot full of ride-on toys)
and like to knock things over

you make everything more fun and do not lack in the personality department

the logistics:
you have 4 teeth and i think getting two more
you are in the 90th percentile for height and weight
your hands are HUGE! 
your doctor verified that they are really large, it's not just my imagination

you eat anything we eat....and lots of it
your favorites seem to be maple flavored oatmeal, grapes, eggs, fruit bars, butter beans, chicken salad, spaghetti, yogurt melts. well, actually.....anything! 
you refer to all food as "nan-ah"

you can and do point at what you want or who you want
you can walk anywhere
you really only get fussy when you're tired
so basically, it's not hard to figure out what you need or want

you sleep great (knock on wood) for naps and at night
it takes you a little bit to wake up, which i completely understand
sometimes i just rest my chin on your crib rail and talk to you while you look around and slowly wake up. i'm thankful that we're rarely in a rush to get anywhere. i understand that we have it pretty good and for that i'm overwhelmingly grateful and refuse to take it for granted. 
you, my dear Judson Ray, have got me
all of me
your dad, too.
we are honored that we get to parent you in this thing called life.
you and your spunky little self are going to make this a pretty fun and good (and most probably challenging) gig.

you're going to be a big dude if your feet and hands are any indication.
so, i better get my bluff in early before you're towering over me.

equally your personality's dose of crazy, is your hairs dose of crazy
what we are doing with it is beyond me.
cutting it last week, not this week
combing to the right today, combing get the idea
i guess we'll just see. after all, haircuts aren't hanging around our house these days.

happy 12 months little booger!
we love you so much more than i could've imagined.
and you're off!