Tuesday, June 30, 2009

letting go

We went swimming today, and Cate let me let go ...

... and she really enjoyed making her way around the pool by herself.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bison + Ball

By now you all know I like to take road trips. Thankfully, my family does too. Saturday's destination was Nashville, where we ate at Ted's Montana Grill and then watched the Nashville Sounds (Triple-A affiliate of the Brewers) play baseball. Our friend Cate went and recommended the restaurant, which was excellent. (SIDE NOTE: I told friend Cate the day I met her in 2005 that I was going to name my daughter Cate with a C, if I ever had a daughter. Turns out I was telling the truth!)

Cate was all about that buffalo head mounted on the wall behind her.

Yes, it was hot ...


I was rather impressed with the fireworks show, not to mention the cool guitar-shaped scoreboard.

Yes, Greg is coaching Cate to make sure she tags third base. I guess it's never too early to start such training!

There are more photos, if you go here.

Friday, June 26, 2009

News Right Now

The finished product from The Courier-Journal High School Journalism Workshop that affirmed my decision to go to college for print journalism.



I learned Michael Jackson died yesterday as I scrolled through my friend's status updates on Facebook. Although, admittedly, my mind wondered if MJ was Michael Jackson or Michael Jordan, I realized something newsworthy had happened.

So I went to Google News, where, sure enough, Michael Jackson's death was the top news story of the moment. Yes, moment. The beauty of Google News is the constant updating of the headlines. Who needs a news cycle anymore?

Likewise, I learned Jodie Meeks was leaving Kentucky for the NBA Draft because many of my Facebook friends commented on the news in their Facebook status. And the Big Blue faithful helped again via Facebook when Coach Calipari made his decision to leave Memphis.

And remember that crazy ice storm? A Facebook friend shared his interpretation of the weather radar on Facebook. He warns of snow, and while I often remind him that I prefer summer sunshine, I appreciate the weather tips.

All of this got me thinking of how I learned of other newsworthy events ...

I worked at The Associated Press in Louisville on Sept. 11, 2001. We had three televisions, each turned to one of the major news networks, and access to the news wire. Updates were constant and guided us to do our jobs to cover the national event on a more local level for Kentucky.

As a college freshman, I listened to coverage of Princess Di's death on the radio as my roommate and I drove back to our native Oldham County. The memory is a little foggy, but I'm pretty sure we listened the entire four hours.

I remember watching O.J. Simpson flee in his white Bronco on TV. It was like made-for-TV drama and real news collided right there and I could peel my eyes from any of it.

Stored in large Tubberware tubs are piles and piles of newspapers that feature my bylines. I understand the adrenaline that comes with finishing a breaking news story by deadline, or just a little after deadline, so people can have something tangible in their hands as they learn what's happening in their community. I took seriously the responsibility of covering government meetings and court hearings, interviewing local leaders and featuring the details of a community when I worked at newspapers.

But my daughter -- who prompted my decision to leave work there for responsibilities here -- isn't going to get her news like that. She's going to grow up knowing Google is a brand name, but it can be a verb too. Her Facebook friends will help keep her informed.

And, really, I can't blame anyone's desire to know now.

Right now.

And again in five minutes.

Because if something happens that people care enough about, we won't have to wait until tomorrow's newspaper shows up outside our door or even for the evening news. Just fire up the lap top or look at the BlackBerry.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thursday's Thought

Cate is very much into coloring right now. She keeps crayons (or "colors," as she calls them) close to her whenever we're home. And it's often the first thing she does in the morning. Seems here in this exact moment that she must be thinking, "Hmmm ... Purple? Maybe blue? I already used green and red." But, seriously, I could think of worse hobbies for a 2-year-old girl.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Worth Repeating Wednesday

People are tenacious when it comes to the treasure of their imaginary independence. They hoard and hold their sickness with a firm grip. They find their identity and worth in their brokenness and guard it with every ounce of strength they have. No wonder grace has such little attraction.

--Papa in "The Shack" by William P. Young

Monday, June 22, 2009

It's hot outside.

Consider this your weather report just in case (a) you don't live in Kentucky or (b) haven't stepped outside any time in the past week. Even so, the hot, humid days haven't slowed my girl from playing outside ...

That's my girl, snacking on some jelly beans ...


Who needs just one bubble blower?

Today is Monday ...

I read this on another blog this morning and loved it. I know you can't fathom me loving a list that also documents the moment!

Outside my window ... the sun is shining.

I am thinking ... about my day.

I am thankful for
... my life. Right now. This season.

From the kitchen ... my grocery list is in the works.

I am wearing ... a tank top, shorts and flip flops.

I am creating ... pages about our life in my scrapbook. I'm into April.

I am going ... to be close the rest of this month.

I am reading ... nothing at this moment because I finished "Hold Tight" by Harlan Coben yesterday. I do, however, have a list of books to take with me to the library soon.

I am hoping ... to see more of our adoption story unfold soon.

I am hearing ... Dora the Explorer. Swim lessons may not have taught Cate to swim completely, but they did, strangely enough, teach her who Dora is.

Around the house ... Cate and her friend Emma are coloring and watching Dora. I'm typing and seeing the chores I need to do.

One of my favorite things ... is not quite 3-feet tall.

A few plans for the rest of the week ... Grocery and eye doctor today. Swimming with friends and their kids and dinner with girl friends (and maybe even a movie with another girl friend) tomorrow. Play date on Wednesday. Working at the office on Thursday afternoon. Friday is pretty clear right now, so maybe we'll end up in the pool again.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bubbles + dancing ...

... really, who needs anything more?

As you can see, Cate enjoyed herself at the Reinhardt wedding yesterday.

Happy Father's Day!

We did a little Father's Day celebrating early. I know that's really surprising: I believe I have confessed to you, dear blogger readers, how Greg and I are horrible about keeping gifts for each other secret.

First, Cate and I took Greg out to dinner on Friday because we had a whole evening with nothing to do ... Crazy, I know! Greg's shirt is from Speadshirt.com. It's the first time I've made anything there, and I expect to order more gifts from there! But, back to this shirt. I wanted to give him something related to things he and Cate do together.

The celebrating continued Saturday with a Mexican lunch with the in-laws. The kids are always happy to see their Granddaddy ...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Entertainment

It doesn't take much around here ...

While swimming yesterday afternoon, Cate decided to brush her hair with a plastic rake. Like Ariel does with a fork, I suppose. Maybe she's seen "The Little Mermaid" a few too many times lately.

Cate begged -- literally, truly -- to wear this hat earlier today when we were eating lunch at the Mexican restaurant in Hazel. This is a recurring theme. Especially when she hears the salsa music. It's like she knows wearing a hat like that will help her dance moves.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thursday's Thought

[For some reason Blogger turned my picture, but, hey, you get the idea ...]

I'm putting my hope in this, for the sake of my ankles as well as my daughter's legs.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Worth Repeating Wednesday

When the Scripture talks about church, it means community. The little fellowships of the heart that are outposts of the kingdom. A shared life. They worship together, eat together, pray for one another, go on quests together. They hang out together, in each other's homes. ... I love this description of the early church: "All the believers were on in heart." (Acts. 4:32). There is a camaraderie being expressed there ... . It means they all love the same thing, they all want the same thing, and they are bonded together to find it come hell or high water. And hell and high water will come, friends, and this will be the test of whether or not your band will make it: If you are one in heart. ... Going to church with hundreds of other people to sit and hear a sermon doesn't ask much of you. It certainly will never expose you. That's why most folks prefer it. Because community will. It will reveal where you have yet to become holy. It will bring you close and you will be seen and you will be known and therein lies the power and therein lies the danger. ... Seriously, now, how often have you seen this sort of intimate community work? It is rare. Because it is hard, and it is fiercely opposed. The Enemy hates this sort of thing; he knows how powerful it can be, for God and his kingdom. For our hearts. ... We have settled for safety in numbers -- a comfortable, anonymous distance. An Army that keeps meeting for briefings, but never breaks into platoons and goes to war. Living in community is like camping together. For a month. In the desert. Without tents. All your stuff is scattered out there for everyone to see. C'mon -- anybody can look captured for Christ an hour a week, from a distance, in the Sunday best. But your life is open to those you live in community with. ... A true community is something you will have to fight for. You'll have to fight to get one, and you'll have to fight to keep it afloat. ... Suddenly all those "one another's" in Scripture make sense. Love one another. Bear one another's burdens. Forgive one another. ... But be careful about what you are looking for from community. Community is no substitute for God. ... We first go to God, alone, so that we have something to bring back to the community. ... God is calling together little communities of the heart, to fight for one another and for the hearts of those who have not yet been set free. --John Eldredge in "Waking the Dead"

Monday, June 15, 2009

You Are My Sunshine


The "cheese" is my favorite part!

$574.50

That's how much I raised at my yard sale.

A couple family members and a few friends donated items for me to sale, hoping to help us raise some money for our adoption, so we had quite a selection of things. I'm sure you'd like to see some pictures, but, really, I never had time to take any.

We started setting up tables and hauling out the merchandise about 5:30 a.m. and the first customers showed up about 6:45 a.m., before I was finished setting out everything. Our biggest rush came between 7 and 8 a.m., but then business was steady the rest of the morning and into early afternoon.

Although I consider the yard sale a success, I'm going to donate most of the remaining items to our local thrift store rather than drag the leftovers out again next weekend, as my husband {who, for the record, went swimming Saturday with our cute daughter} suggested! I did hold onto some books to sell online and some toddler clothes to give away to friends or sell at future fall consignment sales.

We appreciate our friends + family who helped us with donations, gave of their time to help that day and shopped at our sale. Even though we don't know anything about the baby we hope to bring home sooner than later, we know he/she is already loved by our community here.

An inch or so to go ...

I'm a roller coaster girl. And looks like my daughter might be too.

She rode her first amusement park rides last week at the Calloway County Fair. OK, so they weren't roller coasters, but she didn't mind the heights or speeds or rotations. Technically, she was an inch or two shorter than the required 36 inches, but she enjoyed riding the ferris wheel with her daddy and sweet talked her way onto a helicopter ride that went off the ground and in circles. Most surprising, the guy working at the Scrambler (at least this is what it is called at Kings Island ...), let her ride on that with us. You know, a couple people sit together and it goes fast, rotating in different directions. The person on the outer side of the seat (in this case, Greg ...) gets smashed by the uncontrollable force of whoever else is sharing the space. Cate giggled the whole time and talked about how fun it was when it was over.

Soon she'll make that height requirement and we'll have to introduce her to more rides.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

chosen

I'm your beloved
Your creation
and you love me as I am
You have called me chosen
for your people
Unashamed to call me your own
I'm your beloved

From "Your Beloved" by MercyMe


[Written this morning in church,
after singing while holding Cate ...]

Since the day I saw her picture during an ultrasound in a Bloomington, Ind., doctor's office, I have not been ashamed to call her mine. I anticipated her arrival. I prepared to bring her home. I dedicated myself to caring for her every need while gradually teaching her new things that foster independence. I encouraged her to take her first steps and continue to help her discover the world around her.

Seeing her.

Being with her.

Talking to her.

Praising her.

Loving her.

Teaching her.

These are -- without a doubt -- the best moments in my life as a mother.

And, to think, this doesn't even compare to how intensely and completely God loves me. God is not ashamed. He calls me his own. He knew I would arrive. And he is preparing me an eternal place. He is committed to me.

And you.

I am chosen. You are chosen.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Worth Repeating Wednesday

Welcome to my new weekly project. I love quotes. I keep an ever-growing list of them, so I thought maybe you'd like them too. Each Wednesday, I'm going to post a quote of some kind. Let's start with this one, from a book I'm reading ...

I could tell her from personal experience that when people we love make choices, we don't always understand them. But we can go on loving them, just the same. It isn't a matter of comprehension. It's forgiveness. --Jodi Picoult in "Vanishing Acts"

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

at the theater

I took Cate to her first full-length movie in a theater. And she sat through the whole thing.

"Tale of Desperaux" was shown at Paducah's Cinemark Theater this morning. And, to top it off, admission was just $1. Of course, as you can see, we bought a snack. (There are different kids' movie each week with showings on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.)

She spent most of the movie sitting on the edge of the seat because that was the only way she could keep the chair flipped down. When she leaned back, her little legs went up with the chair. The few times she leaned back, I just held the chair down for her.

"Tale of Desperaux" was even a cute movie, so that was a bonus for momma.

Cate's House, officially ...

That sign was part of Cate's birthday present from my dad. He loves that she calls the play set her house.

Funky Flowers

Discovery! My camera has a setting to do that!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Road trip!

We took a road trip (in a bus, thanks to my in-laws) to Sikeston, Mo., yesterday with some of our friends. We ate at Lambert's -- home of the throwed rolls. For not too much money, you get a ton of food, including delicious rolls that are delivered via air. Yep, thrown across the restaurant.

While we were waiting for our table, the kids climbed on wooden trains like you see in the picture and Greg + his friend Mark shot basketballs into a bucket of water to win large souvenir mugs. I guess it's appropriate Greg was wearing a Kentucky basketball shirt ...

So after we stuffed ourselves, we shopped at the outlet mall. Well, really, it's like an outlet strip. Just one strip of stores, but it does include a Carter's children's clothing store, which sells those adorable outfits for 50, 60, sometimes 70 percent off. Then to make up for the women's time at the outlet, we took the guys to Boomland. It is like an over-sized convenience store that has many aisles of fireworks. (Complete with several "No Smoking" signs for customers who just don't get it ...) In addition to fuel and fireworks, you can buy random gifts, souvenirs, books, candy, hot sauce and ice cream.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Girls' Fun

We've had a fun week around here.

With Greg and his friend Mark at a Cardinals baseball on Thursday night, Jaclyn + I took the kids to Ricochet, which is the new indoor play place in Murray. They had a good time ...

_____

I should have known Cate would be all about having her nails painted. It's like a colored-on accessory. And you know how she is about accessories, and coloring. We had Girls' Night on Friday, in part for our friend Kayla's birthday.

Those went between her toes after her nails were painted. See, accessories, of any kind.
_____

There are more pictures of our early June fun in a new Facebook album.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

freshness of variety

I finally sat down to scrap. The thing about having a fun, busy last couple of months is that I have a rather large pile of pictures. So when I started looking through the photos, I decided I wanted to try something new. I've never scrapped 6-by-12 pages, and, you know, I really liked it. I also like having the variety of sizes in my album.

Thursday's Thought

Yes, it's an obsession. And I'm behind ...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ah, June. Welcome.

As much as I love May, I'm welcoming June with open arms. May was jam-packed with fun things ... I turned 30. Cate turned 2. I celebrated Mother's Day. I was surprised with a birthday party I didn't know was coming. We took a road trip to the St. Louis area. A friend who I don't see enough of came to visit. We went to Louisville. A college friend married a beautiful woman. We went to the Newport Aquarium. I helped with Greg's cousin's wedding. We went to that wedding. Another Taylor cousin is expecting, so we celebrated with her with a baby shower. And those are just the big things. I didn't even list the every day things ... I played outside and inside with Cate. I ran errands. I walked most days. Cate and I played with friends. I watched season finales of my favorite TV shows.

So, in honor of the fun that was way, here are a few more moments from the month that will always be my favorite.
_____

Congratulations, Alysha and Zak! We're really excited to have Alysha in the family.

I took lots of pictures for her, starting with the rehearsal on Friday night then moving on to the pre-ceremony preparations. Rather than posting all of them on here, you can see them here.
_____

That's Alyssa in the middle (above). She's expecting a baby girl in September. Those are her sisters next to her. We love when they visit Murray, and we get our Cousins Game Night in. Below is a picture of me with my two sisters-in-law.