Tuesday, October 28, 2014

the terrific 2!

Judson Ray Taylor, you are 2 years old!
the amount of life that you have packed into 2 years is quite impressive.
from the time i get you out of bed in the morning to the minute i lay you back down again, you are living a big, loud, energetic, joyful, fun, excited, adventurous, busy, inquisitive, daring life!

your dad and i were so excited to celebrate you on your birthday (Saturday, the 25th)!
you are something to celebrate, that is for sure!
on your birthday, you woke up to this.
your love for tractors and farm animals has remained present since before your 1st birthday
these balloons brought you so much joy
and, of course, you have your John Deere "cow cup"

we had your 2 year check-up at the doctor when you were 22 months old
you were 32 pounds and 37 inches tall
off of the charts for both. 
Dr. Bimle said that you were approximately the size of a 3.5 or 4 year old

even though you are highly energetic and busy, you are well-behaved, teachable and obedient (for the most part)
but, you do like to let your opinion be known
even when it comes to your clothes
this Elmo shirt. you'd wear it everyday if i would let you
same for the John Deere anything
you are very helpful with putting your clothes on
and you can take off your own shoes, socks and shorts

you and Woodrow are quite a pair
and do lots of wandering around outside together
you say, "mon Doo-droh" and wave your arm if he isn't already following you

you love to "help" your dad
and this is awesome, especially when applied to washing the dishes
you love to help him "ix" (fix) things. 
and you take your little stool with you everywhere, since you like to do things for yourself

you also like to act like your Pa

they take you on the 4-wheeler, Gator, tractor or lawn mower often and it's probably you favorite thing in the entire world.
your options for motorized vehicles is kinda ridiculous.

you rarely sit still to watch any kind of show
which, is good.
but when you do, i just kind of stare at you in disbelief
also, i know those pull-ups (in the background) are girl pull-ups 
you have been showing interest in using the potty for a few months, so we take you often and you do great! even telling us when you need to go some.
 i'm just not quite ready to commit. probably selfish, but we'll get there.
i ordered some pull-ups and when they arrived, i realized that i had selected "girl" instead of "boy"
you were THRILLED to see Dora, so we're just going with it.
even though you've never actually watched a Dora episode in it's entirety, she motivates you to use the potty.

you definitely have a sense of humor
and have figured out ways to make us laugh
you are happy the majority of the time, which makes being around you so much fun!
everything is exciting to you. if you see something new or that you like, you make a big "O" with your mouth and gasp loudly with your eyebrows raised. this happens frequently throughout the day and is hilarious every single time. to me. 

you had your first sleep-over for 2 nights, by yourself, at your cousins
and would've stayed for a week if i would let you
you adore your cousins and want to be with them every single second.

you wear hats often, and mostly at your request
and can tell me if you want to wear it frontwards or backwards

you can't start sentences with an "s" or an "f", but will place and extra "s" at the end of the word.
(for example. sheep: "eeps". shoes: "oosh" sock: "ocks")
you talk all of the time.
 i mean, every single second, there are words coming out of your mouth.
you are a great communicator, and for that, i am so grateful!
i tell people that if they don't know what you're saying, add an "s" or "f" to the beginning and it will usually make sense.
if that doesn't work, we just give it a little bit and eventually figure it out.
you attempt to say everything. even "hippopotamus", which is my favorite.

you are very observant and remember EVERYTHING
if i tell you we will do something after your nap, you wake up asking about it.
if we go somewhere once, just one time, you will point it out when we pass it while driving by the next time. and tell me what it is called, even if i only told you one time. it always impresses me. 

even though you are talkative and energetic, you can get very still and very quiet if something really interests you
like, the barn being built
you stand like this, holding onto the water hose and just stare at the "work guys", as you call them.
(also, i spy a granddaddy long-leg spider)

you are turning into such a boy.
you walk into class at church and Mothers Day Out by yourself
you hold hands instead of being held often

you are a very sweet big brother
and love to have Townes next to you
you are so ready for him to play with you!
he is fascinated by you and watches everything that you do

you have the very best bed head
it's a perfect, i mean perfect, mohawk

your dad and I adore being your parents
you have the best little spirit and we are so excited to watch it shine even more as you grow
you are a joy to be around and very entertaining to watch
you surprise us constantly by how quickly you learn 
and we are learning the balance of training, instructing, leading, disciplining and spoiling (yep). 
there is a lot of all of those things in our day.

you are a gift to us and for that, we are ever so grateful
we know that God made us your parents for a reason and we are trying our best to raise you to be kind, strong and love the Lord with all of your heart.
this is my prayer over you, every single night.
and that we can help shape your excited, strong and adventurous spirit to glorify Him and to love others.

Happy 2nd birthday buddy Ray!
you are a light

Thursday, October 23, 2014

from La to LA

little Townsey has conquered his first flight(s)!
and did so with flying colors!
 except for the landings- those were rough, but otherwise he was a champ, easy keeper and a complete joy to be around.
We jetted out Sunday morning to LA.
not big L, little a...Louisiana
big L, big A...the city of Angels.
we made the trip to see our Sadie do her thang on Dancing with the Stars!
She is doing so well and making all of us so proud (like always).

We landed in the afternoon and went to the hotel where my parents would be staying.
what a terrible view, huh?

Townes took a little nap, then we took a stroll around the beautiful property
we had about an hour to hang out before everyone joined us for dinner at the hotels delicious italian restaurant.
Jonathan (in the top left photo) is my 3rd brother. 
people always say we look alike (i kid, i kid).
he was Josh's best friend growing up and lived with us during their high school years and my middle school years.
since we fought so often, he easily gained brother status in my book.

He and his wife, Jenn (who i truly enjoy being with), and their children live in Santa Monica.
We miss them so much!
they joined us for dinner and it was just perfect.
 Lillian and James Everett are smart, funny, cute as can be and incredibly happy kids. 
I wish we could be with them more, our time together was way too short.

Townes and I stayed at the apartment with Sadie, Chrys, Johnny and Korie an i'm so glad that we were able to!
I have missed them while they have been in LA, so it was wonderful to stay up late talking and getting caught up on their lives.

Monday morning, Townes woke Sadie up and we just lounged until she had to leave for the studio.
Korie and I walked to the Coffee Bean and oh man, i am so glad that we did.
that white mocha.
We both meant to take a photo of our little outing, but we were too caught up in our conversation and forgot.
Ha! too caught up being together to document it with a selfie. ain't that crazy?!

we cleaned up and went to the Grove, which is close to their apartment
those men in the top right photo are troopers
pushing strollers and carrying purses.
good men, right there.

LA is famous for their year-round beautiful weather (and other things)
and it did not disappoint on our trip
i wanted to stay outside the entire time. the temperate is perfect, the air is clear and the skies are blue
and the fall decor was spot on

Tdubs was rather fond of the weather, as well
or perhaps it was all of the attention

we took lunch to Sadie, oh wait, no we didn't.
actually, we went to a specific restaurant to get her a sandwich that she likes.
when we showed up to her little trailer at the studio and started to unload all of our meals, we realized that no one ordered hers. whoops.
so much for star treatment.
luckily, she's a trooper and shared with my dad.

there were a few hours to kill until we needed to be back at the studio for the show, so we stopped back by the Grove for some shopping/walking/touristing

then, traffic was really bad so we were in a super hurry (i.e. no time to fix my hairs how i'd like to when i'm possibly going to be on national television. but nobody really cares, so i don't either. but, i really do. anyways......) to get ready for the show.
but, we made it in time to give Sadie the pep-talk that, i'm sure, helped her get a 10 from the judges.
you're welcome.

my aunt Chrys kept Townes in the viewing trailer/room so that i could watch the live show and i am so thankful that she did! 
Thanks Chrys!
it was such fun to watch this incredible production take place.
really, it's fascinating to watch the show come to life.
there could be more clothing on the dancers, but other than that, it was awesome!

and, of course Sadie was the star of the show!
wasn't she beautiful? i mean, stunning! i love watching her dance, she is talented and with no training...crazy, huh?

the best part was getting to see just how well she is taken care of out there.
we adore her, i adore her, everyone that knows her adores her
but it was encouraging to see people that we don't know take such good care of her.
that girl. she shines bright like a diamond. 

we ended the night with some burgers that left me smelling like truffles
not a bad thing.
then i was done. 
it was a fast and furious trip
and so good
so so good
i'd do it again tomorrow
well, actually next week. Townes and I need a few more days to recover
he was such a good little travel buddy 
i'm pretty sure he didn't mind the travel, since it meant that he slept on me the majority of the time.
i didn't mind either.

once again, we were allowed to have an awesome experience because of the kindness of our family.
Korie and Sadie are so generous to involve us in everything that they do.
i'm truly grateful to them for allowing us to join in on the fun!
my cousins are pretty great and i am beyond blessed to have them as friends.
being with them is one of my favorite things to do, regardless of the situation or location.

in La or LA, i'm always proud to say, "i'm with Sadie"

Friday, October 17, 2014

fun fall farm

well, it's not fall until you go to the pumpkin patch, right?
i'm still not sure that it's fall, since it's 85 degrees outside.
but, compared to the previous weeks it's cool, but still not fall.

still, we made the trek to a pumpkin patch farm and had a grand ole time, but never actually made it to the pumpkins.
and sweated through it. that's a Louisiana autumn for ya.

mom and i took Judson, Townes, Luke and Beau to Curry Farms and it was awesome.
the boys had a grand ole time
Judson ran everywhere
which was fine, since i could keep an eye on him from basically anywhere

Townes' enthusiasm kept us going

love these boys!
Luke and Beau have got the smiles down
we're still working on JR

Beau! our fearless big cousin leader

they wore themselves out
a snack of cheetos and fruit punch! 
five-star parenting decisions

then the sno-cone truck arrived!

i can't tell you what Judson is doing here. no idea.

this was JR's first experience with a sno-cone.
and he doesn't like sweets. i can't explain this one, but i'll take it.

of course, i offered him a taste of the sno-cone. he said "no danks"
i finally talked him into trying it. again...5-star parenting...coercing my child into liking sugar.
he took one bite, his face lit up and he said, "again!"
and then he took over.

thumbs up.
or something like that.

if you find yourself in the Start, Louisiana area, i suggest that you stop off at Curry Farms
it will not disappoint
once the weather cools off a bit more, i think we'll be making another trip

there was so much to do, we left a few things to try next time
the pumpkin patch, hay ride, tricycle rides, bouncy-thing, rope swing in the hay barn and a family portrait (if i can talk GT into going) and because i'm ambitious
here's to cooler temps and fun excursions