Brand New Taylor

One Year-Old Taylor

Two Year-Old Taylor

Three Year-Old Taylor

Four Year-Old Taylor

FIVE Year-Old Taylor

Yesterday, I shared in church my “joy” that Taylor was five and that she was blessed to be raised by such an awesome church family.  Everyone coming out of church shared how they couldn’t believe she was five.  ME, TOO!  I kept doing the math over and over.  How is she already five years-old?!

She is quite the awesome kid.  Her five years have shaped her into a funny, smart, sassy, beautiful girl with a stubborn streak and a bit of an attitude.  She knows what she wants and has very impressive arguing and reasoning skills to get it.  She loves life and is full of it.  She has a loud laugh.  She has a big heart.  She cried big tears when she thought Tinkerbell died in Return to Neverland.  When I told her that one of our church friend’s dad passed away, she immediately wanted to make her a card.

She loves her brother and thanks God for him in her prayers.  She says he’s her best friend.  He thinks she hung the moon and wants to do everything she does.

She is aggressive on the soccer field

which of course, makes her daddy really proud

She has her own sense of style.  I lost the role of picking out her clothes a LONG time ago

She insists on wearing her shin guards on the OUTSIDE of her socks

She is obsessed with The Wizard of Oz

Ariel is her favorite princess

She is a daredevil with an adventurous spirit.

She rode Tower of Terror and Splash Mountain  twice each and loved every minute.

She loves the Gamecocks and going to football games

She loves the Japanese restaurant

She is a beautiful soul; a beautiful girl

Day One

We’re a week later than most here in the south.  And it doesn’t feel huge because both of my kids know and love their new teachers already.  Taylor has had her teacher all summer, just in a different room, and is repeating the 4K curriculum because she has a late birthday and can’t go on to Kindergarden yet.  And Caleb’s teacher moved up from his Toddler Class with him (I think because she wanted to stay with the sweetest boy there is).  But even still, today is the first day of a new school year.  A new backpack and school supplies were procured.  Cute outfits were chosen.  They are going to new classrooms with new friends.  And they have on their game faces.

They are all set to start the next step in their journey to being whatever they want to be when they grow up.

So, yesterday she went to the aquarium with Grammy and Pops and saw the scuba divers in the tanks with the fish….then she went back to their house and watched The Little Mermaid during rest time….and now when she grows up she wants to be “a mermaid in the tanks at the aquarium”.

Caleb, however has more realistic, but less ambitious aspirations.  He said he wants to be six when he grows up.  Taylor thought this was hilarious (like she has room to talk) and gave him some more options like being a merman, or a fireman, or a policeman.   After her suggestions, he decided policeman also sounded good.  But I decided to write their first answers because that will be way funnier looking back, no?

He says he wants to be six, but really I think he just wants to be like his big sister

These kids…I just love them.


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I know.  And I know that everyone thinks that their kid is an artistic genius.  BUT, Taylor has really gotten crafty this summer.  I know she’s no VanGough, but she’s relly improved over the last few months, and I never ceased to be amazed at her creativity.


“Ariel and Flounder”

“Me and Adam…because I can’t wait to get married”

For this one, she cut out the fish and glued it onto the sea background.  It has color AND dimension.

In addition to paper, markers, and glue, she also works in playdough.  This one just cracks me up.

We set up a craft station for her in the office, so can go in there and close the door so Caleb can’t get it.  He’s still in the habit of eating crayons and stabbing things with scissors, so he can’t be left unsupervised with art supplies.  Taylor will go back into her craft area for an hour at a time and just create until her heart’s content.  I’m just in awe of how quickly she is growing up.

4 or 14

I think we may be done raising Taylor; she’s ready to raise herself now.  At least she would think so.  Sometimes it is all so clear that she is only four, but other times, I have to remind myself how young she is because she acts so gosh darn old most of the time.

She takes showers all by herself.

She refuses to let us go into the bathroom with her in public now.  This freaks me out in public places, but alas, I do want to encourage her independence.

She gets her own drinks and food out of the fridge and pantry.

She even eats responsibly.  The other night at dinner, she requested more peas and sweet potato fries (which are baked in a wee bit of olive oil, not fried or breaded).  And for dessert, she requests frozen yogurt (which is literally tubes of organic, fat free yogurt that is frozen) or popsicles (which is frozen orange juice).  This is what she chooses.  Occasionally, we have bags of frozen fruit, and that’s a treat!! It’s like little blueberry and raspberry popsicles.

She is the best big sister.  She and Caleb have really started playing together a lot lately, and she is remarkably patient with him and actually likes having him around.  At the playground yestereday, she totally looked out for him and let him follow her around the whole time so I didn’t have to climb the equipment with him as much.  She was just great.  So mature that one.

This change in their sibling relationship occurred after they spent five days separated at different grandparents’ houses while I took a trip and Russ was working crazy resident hours.  I guess absence really does make the heart grow fonder.  They are becoming good friends, and it warms my heart.

Here they are at our Dunkin Donut’s Tie-Dye Free Donut Friday yesterday morning.  Can you even?


I know that at this point in my life, I should probably feel like an adult – a real bonifide grow-up person.   But I just don’t.  Maybe it’s because my other half can get the student discount at the movies.  Or maybe it’s because I spend a lot of my life with people who are one and four.  Or maybe it’s because I spend a large part of my work life with teenagers.  (Last week, we were trying to come up with group names for our NEW! Evening Women’s Group at church as well as our NEW! Middle School Girls Bible Study.  I made a few suggestions at the women’s group – some not-so-serious like “ladies of the night” – but some others that I thought were great like “soul sisters”.  The women did not like any of my ideas, but the middle school girls LOVED “Soul Sisters”  which you can pronounce “Soul Sistas” if you’d like, so perhaps I do think more like a middle school girl than a grown-up woman).

I do feel more like a grown-up today, however, than I did a month ago.  In the past month or so, our tasks have included:

  • Refinancing our mortgage
  • Celebrating the FOURTH birthday of our firstborn
  • Taking our second born for his 15 month well visit
  • Making living wills
  • Making wills*
  • Meeting with two different lawyers and a mortgage broker
  • Making copies of aforementioned living (and post-death) wills as well as copies of the keys to our firesafe box to give to our executor and alternate executor.
  • Switching banks (from a mega evil bank to a local bank – which we hope is less evil)
  • Switching information on all automated payment accounts because of bank switch (FYI – this is a pain in the butt)
  • Switching cable/internet providers
  • Organizing our files
  • Buying a shredder
  • Interviewing for residency programs (ok, this is just Russ)
  • Making plans to start a DMin program next year (ok, this is just me)**

All of these words just sound boring and grown-up.  And the actual doing of the tasks that include these boring words is just a bit overwhelming.  Perhaps this is why the last few weeks has also included the use of a heating pad on multiple occasions because of back and neck pain.

*Whilst making our wills we had to calculate all of our assets (house, cars, bank accounts, investments) and liabilities (mortgage, car loan, student loans) and we have a negative net worth, so I guess we’re not so grown-up afterall…or maybe we are.  But not to fear, Russ reminded me again that if he dies, his student loans go away, so I’ll be ok.  If I die, Russ is screwed – for the next four years anyway…after that, he won’t really need me.

**That’s right folks, we’ll both be Drs.   Our poor children.  Also, this DMin (Doctor of Ministry) is REALLY exciting.  It’s a DMin program that will have a satellite HERE – so for a majority of my classwork, I don’t have to travel anywhere (if we stay HERE for residency anyway..and even if we don’t stay here, where we go will be close enough and my parents will still live here).  Also, it is a DMin program that will most likely include one course in SCOTLAND.  Also, it is a DMin program that will include only women, most of whom I already LOVE – CAN YOU TELL I’M A LITTLE EXCITED?!

Ok, so maybe being a grown-up isn’t all that bad.

tutie tot

Taylor in the 4s cracks me up.

In the car on the way to Target this afternoon:

T:  Mommy, I see the clouds.  Is it going to rain?

D:  I don’t think so, those are white clouds.  When the clouds are grey it will rain.

T:  Oh, when people cry their faces are red; when the clouds cry, they are grey, you know?*

D:  Huh…I guess you’re right.

In the car on the way home after a Target trip in which she had trouble following directions:

T:  Mommy, I’m sad of you because you hurt my feelings, you know?

D:  I’m sorry I hurt your feelings, but you weren’t listening at Target.

T:  When we get home, I’m not going to play with you.  I’m only going to play with Daddy.

D:  Ok

T:  Look the clouds; they are grey now…I think they are going to cry now because you hurt my feelings, you know?

*Today she started saying “you know” at the end of 93% of her sentences.


Taylor in the 4s is learning A LOT of really useful things:

She’s also learning to write:


I think these moves are all her own, no preschool needed:

Note Caleb at .20, holding up 5 fingers as the show sings about counting to 5 and tapping his leg on beat.   I cut the video off right when Taylor was pushing Caleb off the dance floor.

first day

Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was taking Taylor to daycare for the first time.  Leaving her sweet little 10 month-old self in the care of someone who wasn’t me or someone else related to her?  No?  Well, then it had to be just yesterday when I left my sweet 7 month-old baby boy in the infant room for the first time?  What?  No, again?

I didn’t think I would be one of those mothers who cried when their kid(s) went off for the first day of school…but alas, I am…and this was just the first day of 4 Year-0ld Preschool and the Toddler Room.  I think it was mostly because Taylor was so nervous about this new class.  She had gotten very comfortable in the 3s class and loved her teacher – she had grown a lot in that room – she had made friends – she had learned many things – she knew the rules – she knew the toys – she knew the routine.  And now all she knew was that everything would be new.   I could see it in her eyes.  And I could fell it in my heart (and my eyes).

Even though I cried with her a little, I knew she would be great.  She’s really smart.  She’s sweet as pie and quite funny.  She picked out one of her favorite pink outfits and suited up with her awesome princess backpack.  She put on her new shoes without holes in the toes and her beautiful smile.  She was ready.  I knew she was ready.

Caleb was oblivious – except for the fact that I tortured him by putting a very large backpack* on his very little back.  He doesn’t really care where he goes, as long as his big sister goes with him.

I love those kids, even if I hate how quickly they are growing up.  I am in no hurry for Caleb to grow into his backpack.

*The backpacks have their nap stuff in them – no books yet, thank goodness…maybe they’ll stay little just a little while longer.