Friday, December 26, 2008

The Week Between Christmas and New Years

Christmas is over. I get so excited for the Christmas to get here. I love the lights. I love the tree. I love the decorations. In fact, I'd love to have my Christmas decorations up all year. I think my house looks boring when I take them down! I love the music. I love the focus on Jesus. And I'm so sad when it ends. of my favorite weeks of the whole year is the week between Christmas and New Year's. The busyness of Christmas is gone. The decorations and lights are still up (I never rush to take them down). The kids are still out of school. There is lots of football on TV. I don't have to work. It is a week that I can truly slow down, reflect on the past and make some new plans for the future, and not have any pressing deadlines. I love it.

This year I'm going to the beach for this week. For the first time, me and my crew (Jeff and the kids), my sister and her crew (hubby and kids), and my mom and step father, are going to the beach. My sister rented a beachfront house for us all. We've never done this before and I'm so excited. I go to the beach in the summer, but not much in the winter. It will be chilly, but I just love the beach no matter the weather. I'd rather be at the beach than anywhere else. We go with Jeff's family every year, but we haven't been with mine. And this year is the most special. My mom has lung cancer and we don't know what the future holds. The doctors say it's not good. But we are clinging to hope and to each day we have. That's why this trip is so special.

I began packing tonight. I packed only comfy clothes, a few magazines, 4 novels, and 1 biography. Nice.

The only thing I HAVE to do while I'm a choice. And one I'm very excited about. I am beginning the Chronological Bible on January 1st. I have never read the Bible chronologically. I'm so excited to do this. I'll begin it at the beach.

So, here I go. I'm off to Cherry Grove, SC to spend a wonderful week with my family.

Happy New Year! I'll talk to in 2009:)


Saturday, December 20, 2008

We saw the real Santa Claus!!!!

Seriously we did. Usually when it's time to visit Santa, we go to the mall. Over the years, our visits have greatly varied. There was the one who was grumpy. The one who looked like a hobo. the one who hurried us to just take a picture and leave. The one who promised everyone iPods, a trampoline, and go carts...all in the same year. (of course that didn't happen) We've had a few good ones too, but the one we saw this year was the real thing.
An all time first, we visited Santa at The Bass Pro Shop at Concord Mills. Call us rednecks :) we don't mind. It was so fun. If you've never gone to BPS (Bass Pro Shop), it's quite an experience in itself. Everything you ever needed for deer huntin', boatin', fishin','s all there. We are NOT the outdoorsy type at all, but after visiting, I kinda want to be!
In all honesty, we were expecting a redneck Santa. This Santa met and even surpassed our expectations of any Santa ever. He was jolly. His beard was real. He was kind. He was funny. There was no rush, each family got all the time they needed with Santa. He talked to the boys about treating their sister kindly. And best of all...are you ready for this? He asked the kids if they knew whose birthday we were celebrating on Christmas. I have never known a Santa to talk about Jesus! Here's some pictures to help tell the story:
The Taylor kids arrive at Bass Pro Shop: Outdoor World.

Before seeing Santa, Hayden gives target shooting a try.

Here are the kids with Santa Claus. Blake, Santa, Hayley Grace, Hayden, and Dylan.

Santa and Hayley Grace bonded. He told her brothers they better take care of her. The he said, "Do you know whose birthday we are celebrating on Christmas?" She said, "Yes, Jesus." And Santa replied, "That's right. Don't forget it's not all about the presents. It's Jesus' birthday and that's why we have Christmas. Do you know where Jesus was born?" And HG said, "A stable." (I think he was expecting "Bethlehem" to be the answer) He chuckled and said, "That's right!"

In all my years seeing Santa, I have never had one talk about Jesus. We just loved him.

As if all this wasn't enough, we also got a FREE picture!!! That's right, free. Didn't cost a dime. Plus we got to take as many as we wanted. The first picture in this post is the free one they gave us.

Merry Christmas! I hope as you are busy these last few days before, you are able to take the time and remember what this holiday is all about, just like Santa did. I pray you and your families and friends have a wonderful week. Share lots of love and happiness!

Love and Blessings,


Friday, December 12, 2008

I Am Brunette

I was in need of a change. Something new. Something to get excited about.As you know I haven't been blogging much. Life has thrown it's curve balls and blogging has taken a back seat. The teen blog I started in August is more or less nonexistent. I keep going back and forth between this blog and my other one, . I'm contemplating merging the 2. I don't know how that will work, but I'm praying about it. I guess I've bitten off more than I can chew.

My mom and I went wig shopping on Monday. Have I told you how beautiful she is? Her strength and dignity amazes me. She found a wig she likes and she indeed does look beautiful. She had her 2nd chemo treatment today. And tomorrow me and the kids are going with the salon. She's getting her head buzzed/shaved. Her hair has been falling in clumps for 2 weeks. That has been so hard to watch. Everytime I see her pull out her hair, it just kills me. I am reminded that God knows every hair on our head...even the ones that fall out. And that reminds me that God is watching over my mom. He knows her every day and is with her.

My natural tendancy is to be blue and dwell on what I cannot change. I have to really fight and be intentional on believing God and trusting Him to take care of things. I read scriptures and promises from the Lord and I believe them. But I still "feel" sad and forgotten.It's been 4 months since I got my hair cut. Now what that means is that it's also been 4 months since my roots have been done! Seriously, my hair looked like 2 totally different colors. So I decided to go for a change. This was a major change for me. I've been blonde for 7 years. My husband thought I'd look good blonde, so that's what I did. Well, I was feeling the need for a change. I got approval all around, except from my husband....My co workers thought my hair would be great brown, my friends thought I should do what makes me happy. My husband would not express his opinion. He just said, "I want you to be happy."

Well, I went. And I made a big change. I am now a brunette. Not blonde. And I've already learned that blondes do NOT have more fun! But I like it. A lot. Thank you for your prayers. I love you and think you are so beautiful!



***See the post above this one? I wrote it yesterday and posted it on my other blog. But I wanted to post it here too, because it was mostly about my mom.

Today, the kids and I went to visit my mom. We went with her to a salon where she got her head shaved. (deep breath)

It really hit me hard watching her have all of her hair cut off. That is such a visual. A visual I will have in my mind forever. At first she had tears. But they were brief. I think she's being strong for me. And I was being strong for my kids. I could've cried easily.

I told my mom today, "thank goodness you have such a pretty face!" And she does. I was so taken aback at how pretty she was with very little hair. I'm so proud of her.

Beauty really is held within. Too often I focus on my weight or some other outward appearance. But if your heart is bitter and ugly then there is no way for beauty to shine through. But if what is within is beautiful, then there is no outward appearance that can prevent it from shining through. My mother's beauty shines bright.

Have a wonderful weekend.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What Can I Bring?

Today we had our office Christmas party. Each year, we gather together and take a little time away from work just to laugh, relax, eat, and exchange gifts. We have a $10 limit, and it's one of those parties where you can steal someone else's gift depending on when it's your turn. I never know what to get for these things. I want to get something unique and special, but I'm not very creative and $10 isn't much. Well, this year I had a great idea. In fact, I think it was a divine idea.

I went to Hallmark and bought a Willowtree Angel. The Angel of Prayer ornament. This was within my $10 limit. But I wasn't satified with it. As I was wrapping it, I asked God, what else can I bring. And He said, "prayer". So, that's what I brought.

I gave the Willowtree Angel of Prayer. And I enclosed a card. The card said:

"To My Friend,

I hope you like the Angel of Prayer I'm giving you. But that's not all. I promise that I will pray for you by name today and each day in 2009. Your good and bad days, you can be rest assured that someone is in your corner and praying for you by name."

Samantha got my gift first. But then Holly stole it. Can you believe Holly stole prayer from Samantha???? Ha! I'm so glad she did! but I gave all that to God. I knew that whoever God intended would end up with my gift. And it was Holly. I've always wanted to get to know Holly better and now I have the perfect opportunity for just that.

I will pray for Samantha every day. I've decided that. And I also have the awesome priviledge to pray for Holly too.

I could've paid for the greatest gift of all. No money, however, could've bought prayer.

So, if you really want to know "What Can I Bring?" You can bring prayer. It was the best gift of the day. What more could anyone ask for?



Thursday, December 4, 2008

An Amazingly Beautiful Girl

If I get through this post without bawling, it will be an all out miracle. I feel sad and blessed all at the same time. Grief stricken and rejoicing all at the same time. Happy for my sweet friends in Atlanta and devasted for my sweet friends in Atlanta all at the same time. Allow me to explain.

I went to college (Appalachian State University) with Robin and Chris. They were sweethearts then and are still sweethearts now. This week, they said goodbye to their oldest daughter, Alexa. She was only 11 years old.

Alexa was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer when she was only 1. For most of her life she has faced more struggle and trial than most people face in 80 years of life. Here is what her obituary read:

Alexa Grace Rohrbach, age 11, died Friday, November 28, 2008. She was a beloved daughter, proud big sister, beautiful granddaughter, dear niece, loving cousin and great friend. The world lost a brave little girl who touched many hearts. Here spirit was unmatchable and her precious smile contagious. She accepted all challenges that life threw at her and did so with unbelievable strength and heroic grace. God used her here on earth to touch the lives of people everywhere. She did so much in her short lived life. Her face constantly contained a smile with the most beautiful bright eyes, long gorgeous lashes and adorable sweet cheeks.

She battled cancer at the age of one, then had to live with all the complications from treatment including pulmonary fibrosis, scoliosis, halo traction, spinal fusion surgery, and most recently a tracheotomy and was placed on a ventilator. For years doctors, nurses and other medical staff commented that they had never seen a better patient than Alexa. She has been the face of hope for many. With faith in Jesus, fierce determination, a positive attitude and smile that would light up a room, sweet kind-hearted Alexa had fought the good fight for 10 years. Alexa still had fight in her, but her precious little body did not.

Alexa was the daughter of Chris and Robin Rohrbach and sister of Jenna from Acworth, GA. She was also the granddaughter of Alice and the late John Rohrbach and Robert and Jean Thoem, all from Marietta, GA.

Her funeral was Wednesday. It was the most amazing worship and celebration. This child was so joyful and left such a legacy. She loved Jesus and He is the reason for the joy posessed while here on this earth. Her 7 yr old sister wrote a song about her and sang it at the funeral. Both of her parents spoke at her funeral. Her life was celebrated. The service ended with the song, "I'm Trading My Sorrow". Just amazing.
So Alexa Grace, you my sweet sister in Christ, up in Heaven, inspired me more than you will ever know. I want to be like you when I grow up! Your challenge to "find something to be thankful for everyday and never give up" will be something I strive to do daily for the rest of my life. And to my friend, Robin. If you ever read this, just know, I love you so much and I can't wait to spend more time with you in the coming year. You are so beautiful. Just like your amazingly beautiful girls.
Love to All,

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Good Day, Bad Day....

Happy Thanksgiving! It was a good day for the most part. The food was amazing. There was no stress. We all agreed early on to "go with the flow". And we did.

Building up to this day, I've been a little emotional. I just kept thinking about my mom and her cancer and how the future is just so sketchy and unknown. I wrote a while back about not being able to cry. Well, that's not a problem any more. I broke down for the first time on Monday, and I broke down again today.

My mom called this morning. She wasn't feeling good at all. She stayed home instead of coming over for Thanksgiving. That's when it hit me. If my mom feels so bad that she's missing Thanksgiving....she must really feel bad. Already I had been sad just thinking that this might be her last Thanksgiving...but then that she wasn't coming and I might not get the last Thanksgiving...well, that broke me. As he always is, Jeff was right there for me. He loved me and got teary eyed with me and asked what he could do. Then I called my friend Donna. OMGsh....she dropped everything to listen. We ended our call in prayer when she prayed for my mom and for me.

Even though my mom not being able to be here was a major bummer, I must say, the day was still one I am thankful for. We had 16 people here in our home. Jeff's family was here. My sister and her family were here. My husband and kids were here. My dad was here. And he said the most amazing prayer before dinner. We had great food and too much of it! The kids had so much fun. Little Granny, who is 90 years old, won the Farmer's Golf Competition. Hayley Grace set up an "art station" and we all made cards for my mom. We watched Home Alone...which is a tradition here on Thanksgiving. A good day indeed.

So, on the one hand, I have so much to be thankful for. But on the other, the day was missing a very important and valuable mother. I'm left still wanting more. She has felt miserable all week, yet she still cooked the dressing, and the macaroni & cheese, and the gravy. And it was sooooooooo good. Really good. What an incredible mother and grandmother. She knows how much we absolutely love her cooking and she made her Thanksgiving specialties. I really missed her today. I'm hoping to go visit her tomorrow. I guess this will continue to be tough. Not something I want to go through. Certainly not something my mom wants to go through. But something God will carry us through.

Blessings to you on this Thanksgiving. I hope you had a wonderful day. And have a great weekend too! ****It's rivalry weekend ya know.....My Gamecocks better kick some Tiger boohiney!!!!!



Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!

Thanksgiving. What is the holiday all about anyway? Indians? Pilgrims? The Mayflower? Corn?

Well, I guess originally, Thanksgiving was all about giving thanks for freedom and learning about the land and how to provide. What do I do with it now in 2008? I'll tell you. Because I think I know this year better than ever before.

I have been thankful for my family and friends. I've been thankful for my home, clothes, transportation, and work. This year, more than ever, I'm thankful for life. I'm thankful for the lives of my family. I'm thankful for the lives of my friends.

Wherever you are, I pray you enjoy those you are with. God bless you.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hey There...

I tried to come up with a more appealing title. "Hey There" was all I could come up with. Maybe because I'm so out of practice blogging......but dang, time has just flown by and I've been busy and my mind has been preoccupied, but I really have missed writing and reading in this bloggy world. It's one of those things where each day, I intend to blog and get caught up on others' blogs, but then all of a sudden it's 9:00 pm and time for beddy bye. It's hard to know where I should begin.

My mom is doing ok. Not much has changed. She has lung cancer. Stage 4. That stinks.

But, her spirits have been good. She began chemo this week. God love her, she is amazing.

I'm really excited about this upcoming week. My sister and her family are coming here for Thanksgiving, my dad will be here, my husband's family will be here, and my mom and her husband will be here too. It's the first time that my mom and dad will be present at a holiday gathering together in over 27 years. Wow. I'm so thankful for that. They are at a place where they get along and can look back with love and understanding.

Last Friday, I spoke at a Christmas event for First Baptist Church, Matthews, NC. I was SO NERVOUS!!! The reason I was nervous was because of who was there. 2 of the women on the Proverbs 31 Speaker Team were there. That made me nervous, although it shouldn't have. It was Wendy Pope and Tracie Miles....both so sweet....but I was still nervous to speak in front of them because they are both such great speakers. Also, my mom was there to hear me for the very first time. She has never heard me speak before. I just wanted to make her proud. But I also wanted her to feel like she was greatly responsible for me delivering the message being presented. Because she was. Also in the audience were 3 women I went to high school with. I wasn't expecting that! It's so much easier talking to strangers than friends! But, God was with me and what could go wrong? Nothing. It was a beautiful night.

Well, it's late and I need to go to bed. Good night. I pray that you are filled with peace, love, joy, and blessings.

Much Love,

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I Tried to Cry Today

I have been needing a good cry for a while now. But the tears have not come. Why? Why not? I don't know.

My sister called me today. She let out a cry of regret. She confessed to me that she has not been a good daughter to our mother. And she is hurting today because of it. (now I don't agree with her...and neither does our mother, but she is recounting her past and feeling bad about it....I do know what that feels like.)

You see, my mom has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer. It has been a major wake up call to my family. We knew life was precious and a gift, but that has been magnified times 1000! Now it's my mom they are talking about. I'm not ready for this.

Usually, I'm the crier in the family. I easily cry. Not Tricia, my sister. She's the strong one. The tough girl who can take it. With the latest trial in our lives though, our roles are reversed. She's crying like crazy and I haven't been able to cry at all....and that bothers me. I feel like crying. I don't know if I'm ignoring my feelings or just trying to stand strong. Just when I feel like I could let it all go, I don't. I think I'm partially numb and also partially scared and mad and sad and just in disbelief. Not my mother. No, please. I need her too much.

I have never been through anything like this in my life. And I don't like it one bit. Please pray for my mom. She's such an amazing mom.



Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I support the President

I am not going to tell you who I voted for. I don't think it matters at this point. But I believe, with all my heart, if you want to be beautiful in America, you need to support our leader. It doesn't mean you voted for him. It doesn't mean you agree with everything he does. But it does mean that you pray for him and continue to pray for him. Lift him up to God and trust God with His provision for our country.

So, Barack Obama, you have my prayers. I will be praying for you and your family and your leadership over our country. God chose you long ago. And I trust God.

Be Blessed,


Monday, November 3, 2008

Wonderful Weekend!

Why do wonderful weekends have to end?

I don't work on Fridays anymore, so my weekends seem a little longer...or at least I have a little more time at home. This week/weekend was one of those special ones.

Tuesday, my mom came to visit for the afternoon. We had such a great time. She's still waiting to start her chemo and we just value each moment with her so much.

Wednesday, I drove to Greenville to pick up my dad. He visited with us until Sunday and it was great to have him here. The first night he was here, we carved our pumpkin. Here are me and my sweet kids.

Thursday, Hayden's football team, the South Charlotte Shockers, FINALLY won their first game. They are no longer 0-5, but 1-5. And do you know why???? Because I brought the Cowbell...yes that's right. It had nothing to do with outplaying the other team. It was the first time I brought the Cowbell. I was loud, vocal, and obnoxious. And we won. Yeah!

Friday I was off work. My dad and I spent the day together shopping. And Friday night we went Trick or Treating with the kids. We had such a great time. We went to Jeff's parents' neighborhood. After trick or treating, we watched the Appalachian/Wofford football game. Yes, we dominated! 70-24, we won. Good times.

Saturday, the winning streak continued. It is very rare that all my teams win, but this weekend they did. Florida beat Georgia (big time!) and South Carolina beat Tennessee! And we went to a fun party hosted by our good friends Kenny and Denise. The kids got to dress up and it was so fun! Here are Hayley Grace and Sydney...or actually 2 enchanted witches!

Sunday, we woke up an hour late (loved that with the time change) and went to church. Then we took my dad back to Greenville, SC. While there, we visited my Aunt June and Uncle Doug. It was a great ending to a great week.

When weeks like this end, I feel quite bittersweet. It's bitter because it had to end and it was good. It's sweet, because there were terrific memories made and I wish I could freeze time and hold on to them.

Honestly, since my mom was diagnosed with cancer, I just have come to realize how precious time and life it. I mean, I always thought it. But now I just want to hold on to it. I want to appreciate and grasp what a gift life is. I never doubted the gift of life from God, but now that we are facing the possibility of death, it has become more precious to me. It should have been that way all along.

My article in the P31 Woman has gotten great response so far. Not so much for my writing ability, but just for sharing a struggle that so many deal with...anxiety and depression. I have received a lot of confirmation that voicing my struggles with it was a good thing. Thank you God! I was so nervous about it!

Well, I need to run. We are watching home movies tonight. I'm so thankful for a great week and weekend. And my family. And my friends.

Pray for the election tomorrow. It's a big one, but I'm not worried because I know God Who is in control.



Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Freedom to Heal

I've been writing devotions for years now. They've been published online and in the book, God's Purpose for Every Woman. I love to write for pleasure, like in a journal, blog, email, or Facebook. And now, for the first time, I have my writing in a magazine....The P31 Woman. My picture is on the cover and there's a picture of my family inside.

The November issue is out and I chose to write about a tough subject. The title of the ariticle is "Freedom to Heal". It is about my journey from emotional turmoil to peace. I am so excited about this article. First of all, I hope it will in some way help others who struggle with anxiety and depression. I also hope it will help those who struggle with guilt from being on medication. And maybe most importantly, I'm excited about this article because it is my story. I had perfected the mask I wore hiding a very frustrated and insecure woman. Now it's off and I'm ok with who I am. And not afraid to admit that "yes, I have anxiety issues, I have been depressed, and I needed help." If you'd like to read about it, check out the November issue of the P31 Woman. (Proverbs 31, 704-849-2270) Or if you have a comment to share about the article or your own story, I would love to hear from you either here on my blog or by emailing me at

I want to thank 3 people who contributed in a great way to this article. Amy Brooke (who also has an article in this issue), Joy Brown, and Samantha Reed. You all know what you did, but also just your sweet friendship and faith in me was a big boost. Thank you so much.

Above all, I give all thanks and credit to God. He has given purpose to my pain and provided healing to my soul. He gave me the confidence to write about my insecurities and I pray He will use it all for His glory and purpose.

I have to admit, I was so nervous about writing this article. It's not easy to admit that you have suffered with emotional or mental issues. But I'm glad I did it.

If you get the chance to read it, let me know what you think.



Sunday, October 26, 2008

Who Knew? Not me!

Before last summer, it had been 15-17 years since I had read a novel. Now I was reading. And I read a lot. But they were books that educated me, taught me, directed me, encouraged me, or equipped me. I've read mostly Bible study books and topical help me books. I love to read and I love to read about God growing in my faith. I quit reading fiction/novels because I felt like they were trashing up my mind. At least the ones I used to read were. I knew there were Christian novels, but I assumed they would be boring. I hate writing that, but I'm being honest. I'm so estatic and excited that I was WRONG!!!!!

In August I read my first Christian novel. It was Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I couldn't put it down. It was filled with love, romance, and it had an edge. It took me away just like novels and soap operas used to do. My love for "reading for pleasure" was renewed.

The next book I picked up was Redemption by Karen Kingsbury. I was drawn in again. This time I was blessed by the surprise that this was the first in a series of books about the Baxter family. I've read 5 more books by KK since, all about the same family, who I have fallen in love with.

What has most surprised me is that while I picked up these fiction books to escape from real life, they have become encouraging, inspiring, counseling, and like a role model family to me. This fictional family has become a great example to me of dealing with life and all of its problems. They have become a great example of God's forgiveness, cleansing, redemption, and love. I am hooked!

Have you noticed that I haven't blogged on any of my blogs lately???? I have been busy. And I have had a lot going on. But I've also been reading!

Who knew? Not me! But I'm glad I do now! And I'm going to keep reading.

I just started Forgiven now and I need to go now because I'm very anxious to find out if Ashley and Landon will have a baby and know if Dayne will find Katy and his family in Bloomington when he's there filming his movie.

:) Hugs, Smiles, and Happy Reading,


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Dealing With Real Life

My, life has thrown a few curve balls lately, but doesn't it always???? Yes it does.

I honestly don't know how people survive without a faith in God. I really don't. Because if God isn't real, then we are just doomed and there is nothing to live for. But I know God is real and there is everything to live for!

Life is very tough at times. Kids struggling. Finances. Time to do all that is needed. Mom has cancer. Yes, life is tough. But, I've learned to deal with it. That doesn't mean that I don't struggle, cry, or dislike what comes my way. But it means that I take care of myself and have learned how to deal with hard times. At least for now.

Things I do to deal:

1. Pray. I hate when people say that "all we can do is pray". "All we can do is pray" is A LOT!!!! It's our honor and privilege to pray. Prayer brings peace and comfort to any situation.

2. Read. Find comfort first in the Scriptures. But also take time for enjoyment and relaxation. I have read a few novels lately that have not only taken me away but also ministrered to me because they were stories of value. I love reading.

3. Spend time with family and friends. And do not take for granted sweet times together.

4. Watch football. I love football and it takes my mind off my problems.

5. Count my blessings.

6. Seek counseling when needed. Don't let that be a sign of weakness, but strength.

7. Watch movies. Fun and enjoyable ones.

8. Come up with a plan. Don't ignore life or it's problems. Be proactive. Come up with a plan. Involve someone else in your plan so you aren't alone.

9. Ask God for help and guidance.

10. Keep on keepin' on. Don't stop or shut down. Keep talking. Keep going to church. Keep believing. Sing.

Yes, that's how I survive. Life is a gift. Our life has purpose. Each life has a purpose. We live, laugh, cry, and carry on.

How do you deal with real life?

I'd love to hear.

Take care.


Thursday, October 2, 2008


Thanks for the prayers and sweet notes. For an update on my mom, click

I love you and I'm so thankful for you!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Hello Darlin'...."

"It's been a long time."

Does anyone recognize that line? "Hello Darlin, it's been a long time" is from an old country tune by Conway Twitty. I don't really know why I chose this moment to share that, but it has "been a long time" since I've blogged. Since September 13th.

I have logged on to many times. But when I would get to the screen to make a new post, my mind would just go blank. Dry. I have been crazy busy. Pushed to the max lately. And truly in the whole scheme of things, when I looked at my priorities, blogging was not at the top. My family has needed me. I traveled to Florida to speak at a women's retreat. My mom is in the hospital. The Proverbs 31 office has been very busy. Football games. Dance lessons. Conferences with teachers. My husband had a double root canal with a third to be done next week. A friend needed me. Much to do. I bet your life is not much different.

There has been so much that I've wanted to write about. But it just hasn't happened. I know many believe that if they don't blog every day, people will forget about them. That may be true. But I've had to trust God that He will provide and fill in the gaps. He is meant to be remembered, not me.

I will be posting soon about my Florida retreat. I had the amazing opportunity to spend a weekend at the Palm Island Resort near Venice, FL on the Gulf Coast. I went to share and minister to these beautiful ladies, but God is so good. These amazing ladies also shared and ministered to me. I can't wait to post my pictures from this awesome retreat. I'll post very soon, I promise!

On a closing note, could I ask you to please pray for my mom? She is in the hospital. The doctors are not sure what is wrong. There is fluid outside of her lungs and one of her lungs is deflated. She's had many tests and has more to follow. She's scared. Please just pray for her. She's only 63 yrs old. Thank you so much. Her name is Becky.

Blessings sweet friends. And thank you so much for those of you who have written to check on me. That means the world to me. You are a treasure in my life.

Much Love,


Saturday, September 13, 2008

What the Heck???

Oh my, why is everyone freaking out over gas???!!! It is over $5 a gallon around here. And I drive an SUV. No kidding, this is crazy.

It already costs me over $100 to fill up my car.

Samantha (my friend and coworker) and I went to the gas station on Friday morning to try to fill up before the rush. We went to Costos first. The lines were out of the parking lot! We could not believe it. We did not have 2 hours to wait, so we went to another gas station. I'm so glad we filled up on Friday when we did. We paid $3.69 per gallon. Now around Charlotte it's anywhere from $4.00-$5.29. Crazy. Honestly, I may start riding my bike to work. And I mean that.

Short post. Gotta go. Hope everyone is having a great weekend.



Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rice and Beans Night

Oh, yea. It's that time of the month again. No, not that time of the month, but time to write letters to our sponsored Comassion child, Maria.

This monthly ritual has turned into quite an ordeal. In a good way though. It involves serving, eating, sacrificing, friendship, family, love, and prayer.

It was our turn to host R and B Night. In case you don't know what I'm talking about, I'll explain.
My family sponsors a child through Compassion International. Her name is Maria and I've written about her before. I met her last year and she is just a precious sweet child. She is beautiful. Donna and Sydney also sponsor a child through Compassion. Her name is Nataly. Both of these girls live in Ecuador. Each month we get together to celebrate these precious children.
Our meal is rice and beans. The truth is, Maria and Nataly's families quite possibly can't even afford rice and beans. They are very poor. We eat rice and beans. Some of us like it and some of us don't. If anyone elects not to eat the rice and beans, they get nothing. Their hunger reminds them of the hunger that is felt by those less fortunate.
We write letters to our girls. We draw pictures. Make crafts. Send family photos. Since my family is so big, we attach a picture of the person who is writing the letter. Maria gets 6 letters from us. Donna and Sydney do the same. We serve together. We sacrifice our time, money, and tastebuds (I hesistate to even call it a sacrifice), we pray for our girls and their families. And we enjoy each other as we do it. Take a look:

Here are Sydney, Hayley Grace, and Dylan at the table working on their Christmas trees for Maria and Nataly.

Quite the workers. Our kitchen table was transformed to a writing and crafts table.

Hayley Grace...this is the picture we attached to her letter.

Dylan ... this is the picture we attached to his letter.

Blake and Princess ... this is the picture we attached to Blake's letter. Princess did not write a letter.

Pictured here are the Christmas tree that Hayley Grace and Dylan made, the picture/poster Blake made, and the letter Blake wrote.

Here are my letter, Hayley Grace's letter, and Dylan's letter.

"Ha! Caught you! You really do like rice and beans!" This is after the night was supposedly over. Sydney and Hayley Grace wolfing down the r and b when they thought no one was looking!

What fun! And what a good feeling it is to know that we are making a difference in the life of a child!

Blessings to all,


If you are interested in sponsoring a child through Compassion, click the link to the left.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Blast From the Past

I apologize for the blurriness in this photo, but this is an old picture. It is me (on the left) and my wonderful and sweet and loyal friend Donna (on the right). I just had to post it!
This picture was taken in 1984. We were so young. Just look! And as for the Santa in the middle, that's Thomas. I haven't talked to him in over 20 years. Wonder what Santa is up to?
As for the elf, that's Donna. I've mentioned her here before. She was the Homecoming Queen of East Mecklenburg High School that year. I wasn't even on court. Oh well. But I was a Lettergirl. That would be the school dance team, kind of. We wore letters that spelled out our high school name and danced at football and basketball games. However, we ran out of letters, so I had the mascot on my uniform. See the eagle?
Donna's daughter Sydney, and my daughter, Hayley Grace, are good friends. They play together and they also serve together. Their friendship is so sweet. And I can honestly say that Donna is a friend that loves me NMW. No Matter What. I met her on the bus in the 5th grade. We were in the same 6th grade class. We went to elementary, jr. high, high school, and college together. She was in my wedding. Then we lost touch a for a while. But we've reconnected and ... well .. look out! We are double trouble! And so are our daughters.
Just tonight, Donna and Sydney were at our house for "Rice and Beans" night. I'll post pictures from that later.
Wow, I look at the picture above and it brings back so many great memories. High School seems like just yesterday. I can smell the school. Hear the bell, the teachers, the football game atmosphere. I can remember certain things as if they just happened. Yet, here I am. 41 years old. Married almost 19 years. (more years than I was old in this photo!!!!) 4 kids. Working full time. My oldest child has his learner's permit. My youngest, Hayley Grace, is boy crazy! (for the Jonas Brothers) But I'm thankful that one thing that remains from this picture is my friendship with Donna. :) In fact it's stronger now than it was then.
A blast from the past. A blast indeed.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Fun Friday :) I'm the mom of ...

A South Charlotte Shocker Football Player!!!!! That's right, Hayden made the team! Yeah!!!! I'm a football mom!

How emotional though. The parents were waiting outside the gym. The boys seemed to never come out. It was 30 minutes past the pick up time. Finally a few boys trickled out ... looking very sad. I hate that part. Then another came out, lip quivering, searching the group of parents for his. He found his mom and fell apart in her arms. I about lost it. I hate that there have to be cuts. I understand it. I've been cut before. And I know it's a part of life, but it still breaks my heart.

Finally, out comes Hayden. Looking rather sad, but with a smirk on his face. He was trying to look sad, but he couldn't hold that for long. He grinned from ear to ear, quietly walked up to his dad and I and said, "I made the team." Oh how I longed to hear those words, "I made the team." (there's an upcoming devotion in that for sure!)

So a Fun Friday it is around the Taylor household. Now I have one more thing to add to my schedule: Thursday afternoon football games! And I couldn't be happier!

Have a great weekend y'all!


Thursday, September 4, 2008

How Can You

NOT LIKE FOOTBALL??? I'm sorry people, but I just don't get it. I love football!

My sweet friend, Lysa TerKeurst, wrote on her blog,, the other day:

The football season is now upon us. Yeah. I say that with the same enthusiasm that I might muster up to express my joy over cleaning my base boards with a toothbrush. Yeah.While my family hoops and hollers and cheers with all things pigskin, I express my excitement by plucking my eyebrows.

The same enthusiasm that she musters up to express joy over cleaning her baseboards with a toothbrush? What? Lysa, what's up, you need to hang out with me. Football rocks!

I especially like college football. The atheletes aren't yet spoiled by millions of dollars. There is a band and a fight song. I love fight songs. And loyal fans ban together like family. It's just good fun.

Last Saturday, we started watching games at 11:00 am. We stopped at 11:00 pm. All day. Barbeque, friends, family, cheering, booing, high fives, and in your faces. I was just as happy when my favorite teams won as I was when my least favorite team (Clemson Tigers) lost:) Is that very nice? Who cares, it's football. Even as I write this, I'm watching my Gamecocks (South Carolina) play Vanderbilt. Go Gamecocks! I was raised a Gamecock. My parents had season tickets and I could say, "Go Gee Cocks, Boo Kitties" before I could even say, "MaMa and DaDa". I did not go to college there however. I went to Appalachian State. By the way, they have won the National Championship in football in their division 3 years in a row. They also beat Michigan last year. Do you even care about this? I'm telling you, I just love football!

My 13 yr old son, Hayden, is trying out for his middle school football team. He's the only athelete in our family. He already plays for a Pop Warner league. I am praying he makes his school team. He has football in his blood like I do. He is so passionate about it. He trained all summer, on his own. His dad set up a 40 yd dash area and Hayden practiced in the hot summer sun every day. He also worked on push ups, planks, and back flips (not really football related, but it takes lots of talent to do a back flip!). He worked on this by his own motivation. He'll find out Friday or Monday if he makes the school team. Ooh I hope he does. Once when he was watching a game and his favorite team (Florida Gators) lost to Auburn (they usually lose to Auburn), he threw the remote control across the room. It totally fell apart into lots of pieces. Like I said, he's passionate about football. (He did get punished for his inappropriate behavior.)

I love football so much, it even affects my speaking schedule. Barb Spencer, our speaker coordinator at Proverbs, has learned. She's also an avid football fan. And a sad one. Her Hokies (Virginia Tech) lost last weekend (sorry Barb), anyway, she books my speaking engagements. When I get a request in the fall, she knows I have to check the Gamecock and Gator schedules first. There are certain weekends I just can't be away. I can't believe I just admitted that! (with that said, if God was telling me to go somewhere and speak, I would....I may argue with Him if there was a good game on that day, but I would go. I'm not totally crazed...I don't think I am at least.)

So, back to Lysa. She ended her football post with this comment:

Are you a football fan? Do you have some little tidbit of football knowledge that you'd like to share? Is there any hope that I could be more entertained by people smacking into each other than by my own eyebrows?

Yes I am a football fan. And Lysa, I do have some knowledge I'd like to share. Pick a team and follow them. Wear their colors. Wave their flags. Learn their fightsong. Watch ESPN and read the Sports section to see where your team ranks. And come over to my house on Saturdays to watch some good ole southern football! I'll feed you and I'm pretty sure that you will be more entertained than plucking your eyebrows! You can even bring your family! You can even bring your tweezers if you like! And if you are really bored, well, I'll let you clean my baseboards with a toothbrush :)

So, what do you think of football? And just FYI my Canadian and English and other worldwide friends, we ain't talkin' soccer or futbol here. This is full contact, tight pants, and helmets. You play mostly with your hands, not your feet. So, why do they call it football? Well I don't know that and I really don't care either.

Well, I gottta go. It's 7-3 and I can't just sit here any longer.

I hope you are happy, healthy, and having a great day wherever you are and whenever you read this. And may your team win! Unless they are playing mine!

Go Team,


****Update: :( I'm sad. The Gamecocks lost. To Vanderbilt for goodness sakes! 24-17. One thing about being a Gamecock fan, you learn to hope. And believe. That one day we'll really be good!!!! :) Still smiling! There are more games on Saturday!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Grass Ain't Always Greener...

I received an email today. The person wrote, "I read your blogs and look at your pictures and just wish I had your life. Your family is so happy. Your husband loves you and communicates with you. Your kids seem so sweet, happy, and behaved. No wonder you can be so positive. It must be nice..."

At first this email kind of hurt my feelings. And it kind of made me mad. Then I realized that it came from someone who is unhappy and when she looks at my life from an outsider's point of view, it appears real good. I try to share the good and the bad, being open and honest, but without sharing too much. My life is so far from goody goody and perfect. My family is awesome, but oh how we work at it. And it's not been easy. We've pain and heartache just like everyone else. And sure my husband loves me. We've had a year of marriage counseling to help preserve that love. Again, it hasn't been easy. Ooh, and those sweet, happy, and behaved kids...:) , you keep telling yourself that. Ha! Boy do we have you fooled! Seriously, they are good kids, but they have their moments believe me. Heck, one of them even had to go the principal's office for cursing in Korean! That's all I'll say about that!

I share all of this to say, be careful not to think that just because something appears near perfect that it is. We have our share of problems, I for sure do, but I just don't write about them everyday. They aren't the focus of my life. As I looked over the past few posts, it does look like we are just always having a blast over here! I wrote about the fun and exciting things. I neglected to write about the ring around my toilet that needs to be cleaned, the mound of laundry waiting to be done, the disagreement my husband and I had last week, the new medication one of my kids started that is keeping him awake at night, my dog peeing on the carpet, the clutter on my kitchen counters, my dad whose health is not good, my aching back, the black roots growing out of my head, my car breaking down on Tuesday, popping the big zit on the nose of a person in my family who I will not name, 2 friends who called me crying this week, or the yelling and screaming I did when my kids would not do as told 25 times the other day! (although if you've read much of my stuff, I do write about that too!) With that said, I wouldn't trade places with anyone in the world, because I am where God wants me to be.

Lysa TerKeurst wrote in one of her books, "The grass is not greener on the other side, it's greener where you water it." I admit, it often looks a lot greener somewhere else, but the truth is, you just can't tell. Not unless you are living it.

This past year I spent a lot of time "watering my side of the grass". And I'm thankful it's greener today than previously. But it won't stay that way unless I continue to water it. The best water I've found, prayer and faith and a relationship with Jesus. Don't spend time wishing you could be like someone else. Be who God made you to be and water your space well.

Before I go, I have to mention, I am so glad it's Thursday. College football starts tonight and this football fanatic couldn't be happier! So, off I go to prepare a feast of munchies for the family and prepare to watch our South Carolina Gamecocks whoop a little Wolfpack boohiney!



Tuesday, August 26, 2008

We survived the 1st day of school!

Well, it was the day the kids were dreading...back to school! Here is a glimpse at how our morning went:

At 5:30 am, I went to wake up Blake. Notice the empty bed. He was already up. (such a respsonsible kid!)

So, I went to fix his breakfast. Well, lookie here, he already did that too. (My husband is horrified that I actually posted a picture of our toaster...he says it's embarrassing!) Look closely and you can see Blake has already put his bagel inside.

Oh no! I just remembered that Dylan lost a tooth last night. There it is on the table. I need to tell the tooth fairy before he wakes up!

Good, I found her. "Tooth fairy, please put money under Dylan's pillow before he wakes up for school!"

Whew! Still asleep! The toothfairy made it just in time:)

Time for Blake to leave. He has to be in his seat by 7:15 am! It's his 1st day of high school! This cannot be right! I was just changin this boy's diapers yesterday it seems! "Bye B-Man. Princess and I will miss you today. Let's take a picture before you go. Smile!"

Ok, now to get the other 3 up, fed, and ready for the first day of school. 1st stop: Dylan's room.
Wow, he sure wakes up happy. Must be because the tooth fairy came last night:) "Get up Dylan, it's the 1st day of school!"

Now on to Hayley Grace's room.
Where the heck is she?

Oh, there you are! The little sneek went into Mommy and Daddy's room in the middle of the night! "Hayley Grace, wake up sweet heart....and smile because I'm taking your picture! Ha!"

Now that those 2 are up, I need to go check on Hayden. What's this? "Hayden, it's not summer anymore. Quit playing those video games and get ready for school boy!"

"You all must hug your mom before you leave and have your picture taken. I'm so proud of all of you!" (notice the lovely guitar player on Dylan's shirt....remember Slash? I have Guitar Hero to thank for this!

Now it's Hayden's turn. "Smile Hayden!" (oh, I forgot...he's 13 and too cool to smile)

"Oh, my don't forget your lunch boxes kids!"

"Bye sweet Hayley Grace. I love you." (you can so tell she's the youngest of 3 boys....she carries a pink Capt. Jack Sparrow back pack!)

And there they go with their Dad. Off to the 1st day of school! This year there is 1 in high school, 1 in middle school, and 2 in elementary school. (Can you tell that Dad is still in his PJ's?)

There you have it. A morning in the life of the Taylor's. And it's only 8:00 am!



Saturday, August 23, 2008

Fun Friday:)

I barely made it to the computer to post anything at all this week, much less my Fun Friday post. But today was really so much fun, I had to write about it. So even though it's Saturday, I'm calling it Fun Friday. :) Don't ask, just go with it...

Today was a day for the girls! Hayley Grace and her friend Sydney had appointments at "Libby Lu" for fashion makeovers. I don't think you can get more girlie girl than this:

Here are the fashionistas just before their big makeover in front of "Libby Lu".
(Hayley Grace, Sydney)

So many hairstyles to choose from...

Wow! They can get their nails painted and smile in the mirror at the same time!

The girls decide on the "rockin" hairstyle. Libby Lu Fashion Expert, Natalie, works on Hayley Grace.

"This is a lot of fun." says Blake, Hayley Grace's oldest brother.

Awww! Doesn't she look beautiful!!!!

All famous rockstars have cute puppies they carry around in purses. Right? Let's get one!

Strike a pose for the paparazzi! Smile!

Pictured here: Sydney and Brownie, Hayley Grace and Libby.

And now it's time to go home...but not before we make wishes and throw pennies in the fountain. "I wish for another fashion makeover."

Here I am with the "bookends"...Blake is the oldest child and Hayley Grace is the youngest. Oh yea, and the newest member of our family, Libby.

One more thing before I sign off. I am starting a new teen blog. If you have a teenage daughter or know a teen girl, please check it out and pass it on. The first post will be Monday, August 25th. The site is: It will be a teen version of my already existing "I Am Beautiful" blog (



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

We saw the American Idols:)

Sunday afternoon, my family and I headed to uptown Charlotte hoping for a glimpse of the American Idol contestants. Well, we got more than a glimpse. Check it out.

We heard the idols would arrive between 12-2. We waited. And waited. They finally showed up about 3:00:)

Blake and me

Sweet Hayley Grace

Me and my gorgeous hubby:)

Here he is: The American Idol himself, David Cook. "Hey David Cook, I voted for you! I LOVED your version of 'Hello'!" (said me...)

Here is #2, David Archiletta signing autographs for Dylan and Hayley Grace. "He's so cute Mommy!" (said Hayley Grace ... not Dylan)

Brooke White signing the poster that Blake made.

Kristy Lee Cook signing Blake's poster.

And here comes everyone's favorite "dreadhead", Jason! (at least that's what the girls beside us were calling him!) He was sweet as he could be.

Super nice guy, Chikezie, takes time to pose for a photo with the kids. "Mommy, Chikezie's sweat got on me!" (another good Hayley Grace quote!)

Carly, and her tatoo, took some time to sign the kids' stuff.

One of my favorite idols, Michael Johns, poses with us here.

Close up of David Archiletta.

Signing Dylan's hat.

David Cook signing Blake's poster.

David Cook talking to us. Yes, the American Idol actually talked to us:) And shook our hands. "I'm never washing my hand again." (Guess Who ...NO NOT ME!... Hayley Grace:)

I don't think the kids will EVER forget this! They were so excited and just couldn't believe that they were meeting these people who they had watched on TV all season.

After meeting them, we went home. Later that evening, Blake, Jeff and I returned for the concert. It was a birthday present for Blake. What a show! Great talent, lots of excitement, and good clean fun! There were people from age 3 to 93 there! All the performers were good, but Michael Johns, Carly, and David Cook were GREAT! And yes, David Cook did open with "Hello"...his version of the Lionel Richie 80's was so gooooood! I tried not to embarrass my 15 yr old son too much with my singing and yelling...but I just couldn't help it! I was almost as giddy as the screaming tweens around us, but I tried to contain myself...for my son and husband's sake of course!
In case you are interested, here's a clip from the finale of the Charlotte show:

Fun fun fun! I'll be back to post soon about the rest of my weekend. The concert was only icing on the cake. The entire weekend was absolutely wonderful and I can't wait to share the rest of it too!

Much Love,