Friday, May 28, 2010

sweet summertime

As I've made quite clear... it was a long stinking winter.
Spring proved to be a bit better, but I'm welcoming summer with open arms.
I love these long outside days, fun filled with water, gardens, suntans, sand boxes and late sunsets.
We inaugurated the season today with a trip to our local splash pad.

The kids loved it- both of them! Crazy to think that this time last year, Caters was a peanut who couldn't even crawl! Man, how things change. This year, she's the hard one. Corban was excellent while we were there. Cate was occupied initially by the water, but then turned her attention to the many diaper bags and shoes laying around... such a girl.
It was good, though.
I remember dreaming and longing for these sort of days just a few short months ago. It seemed like a glorious event that would never occur- but at long last, it's here. And we're all glad.

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

highest award given

It was an emotional day today. I thought I'd be okay, I thought I was mentally prepared for all that was in store- but simply walking into the Northridge Middle School gym ensued a bout of tears. I saw the band sitting there and regretted never making it to any of JD's band concerts. I cried watching the 8th graders file in, knowing he should be there standing alongside his peers.
I was afraid I was going to have to exit the building, walk out in front of the whole school, while the slide show was playing. The pictures from JD's last few days at school broke my heart all over again. I couldn't help but to think that it just isn't supposed to be this way. The wound felt fresh all over again.
Thankfully, the reason I was there was for the very last award. I had plenty of time to regain composure. The principal stepped forward and held up a string of origami cranes. Fresh tears fell. She talked of the closeness of the class, the way they truly were there for one another, how they had never dreamed they'd face losing a classmate to cancer- but they stepped up to the plate and loved on him and loved on eachother.
She spoke momentarily of the award.
It used to be the Character Counts award.
It was decided, however, that the name would be changed. She spoke of the way my brother loved everyone, made everyone feel welcome and comfortable. How he was known for his friendliness, how he embodied the character qualities.

The highest award given at Northridge Middle School is now named the JD Taylor Character Counts award.

I spoke briefly, offering my thanks to his classmate, offering my thanks for the numerous things they'd done for us, but even moreso for the way they loved on JD. Even when he was miserably in pain, unable to walk- all he wanted to do was go to school. I told them that it was because of them. While JD loved with his whole heart, he was given the same right back. That at school, he was never made to feel as an outcast or different, but instead he was encouraged, supported, loved on. I told them that I didn't believe it would've been that way everywhere, and that that showed what this class was made of. I told them that I hoped that as they entered highschool, that they would continue on in these things- that they would always be known for being a class that loves.
There were a lot of tears shed throughout the gymnasium. It was so evident how much these kids, parents, teachers loved JD, so evident that we're not alone in our heartbreak. I was so grateful for the many hugs and stories from his peers. I loved hearing that he was truly the nicest person one had ever met, that he always could make everyone laugh, how they still talked about him almost every day.
How I hope and pray that they always remember... that they always love.
My little brother had a way about him. He was quick to help, and quick to love. He was so comfortable in his own skin and just so darn lovable. I don't think anyone could argue any of those things. Of course, as his family, I'm bound to think these things- but for this award to be given- the highest award offered at the school- given with his name attached to it, speaks loudly of who he was and how he lived.
I couldn't be more proud to be his sister.

Thanks again, NMS students and staff, for truly honoring the memory of JD.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Corban talk

This week was a hard one. A lot of life circumstances plus a 78 hour work week for my husband and we're all exhausted and worn down. It seemed to all catch up with me tonight and I broke. We were in the truck and I was sobbing. Of course, the kids picked up on it, and Corban asked over and over, "Is Mommy crying? Is she sad?" multiple times. After Jordan quickly answering him and turning his attention back to me, Corban interjected again. "Daddy! Daddy!" Jordan turned his ears to Corban, who went on to say, "Is Mommy sad? You should pray for her, Daddy. Pray for Mommy."
So then I cried and cried... blown away by my baby boy.
We got home and Jordan took off a shirt and was walking through the kitchen.
"What are you doing, Daddy?" Corban asked.
"Just putting my shirt in the dirty clothes." he responded.
"Good job, big boy!" my son quickly responded.
I laughed.
Really hard.
These kids don't miss a beat, do they?
Earlier this week, I overheard him performing instead of napping. He'd been singing for quite some time and then I heard him say, "Alright guys, I'm just playing one more song for you tonight. That's all!" and then he went on to sing about growing big and stronger and jumping high to the sky and being Mr. Baseball player. When I went into his room a few minutes later, I was scolded as I picked up his vertically lined up pieces of train track... He told me I was ruining his piano.
I'm so thankful for that sweet, wild, energetic, imaginative little boy of ours. What a sweet, sweet gift he is. I'm so thankful for his sense of humor, his curiosity, his zeal for living, that deep belly laugh he generously gives. I can't believe we're pushing three years already...where does the time go?
Anyway, a few pictures- that well represent my Corbanator:

And in case you happen to catch that minor detail of mismatched shoes... oh, brother. You see, my children NEVER leave their shoes on in the car, so I just don't bother putting them on before we leave. I grabbed Corban's shoes to carry them to the van, and only one made it in the door- the other remained in the driveway. Of course this wasn't realized until we'd reach the park. Thankfully, we had a lone Croc stuck behind the seat underneath the stroller. He didn't mind a bit- he thought it was funny. That's my boy, for you. :)
And just for fun, a picture of Cate:
(Cate stories will be for another day. The kids just went to bed, and we're going to watch a movie.)
Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010



Texas was so much fun.
A wonderful, wonderful, last minute vacation.
I'm SO glad we went.
We got to spend time with all of my mom's side of the family- which happens nowhere near often enough.
We were spoiled rotten by my aunt and uncle and their wonderful southern hospitality.
We witnessed a beautiful wedding and are so excited for Chelsea and Stephen as they begin their life together.
We spent lots of time in the pool and hot tub, lots of time hanging out, lots of time simply enjoying family.
I've said it before, I'll say it again... we have been so blessed.

Hopefully, blogging will resume now that laundry is being caught up on, sleep has been caught up on, life is returning to normal.
Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

the many faces...

of Cate Taylor.
15.5 months old.
22 lbs 6 oz.
31 inches long.
50th percentile for everything.
walking, talking, loving baby girl.

Monday, May 3, 2010


8:25? Already? Where has my evening gone?
It must've slipped away with the storms that didn't come or the dishes that didn't get washed. Who knows?!
All I know is that this Mama is tired. And that I love my new curtains in my bedroom. And that I'm excited for our "stay-cation" we're taking later this week and part of next.
I wanted to write tonight. 
I used to write a lot.
My posts used to have content and stories. That was before October 2nd and before my Canon Rebel. A lot has changed since then.
But I want to write again. I want to write about things that aren't just heartbreak. Be enjoyable to read again.
My heart's getting there. Bear with me a little longer.
This time of year is hard. Well, at least this year, this time of year. You see- one year ago, JD was well. Not sick at all. Not even a little. And 7 months ago yesterday, he died. I hate the 2nd of the month. It's hard. It's hard every single month. Yesterday I kept remembering October 2nd and how we lived through it... how I watched my brother take his last breath and then I drank coffee and took a shower and drove to Crawfordsville.
Actually- you want to know the truth?
We left the hospital, walked out of the hospital, stumbled our way to our vehicles... and I had Jordan stop at Target on the way back to our house because I wanted black yoga pants to wear over the weekend. I knew we'd be with a bunch of people and I wanted to be comfortable but not just wear sweats. I had to have those yoga pants right then and there. It seemed completely logical and rational at the time. I numbly shuffled through the racks, trying to find the small talls, made my way to the register with tears in my eyes. I wanted to tell someone, anyone what we'd just endured... but I didn't dare speak the words. Speaking them, saying them aloud, would make them real. And outside of those hospital walls, I just couldn't do it. Why yoga pants? Right then? I think it was just something to feel normal, something that under normal circumstances I would've done. I was in survival mode with a punch of numbness.
I woke the next morning and drove to Rocky Ridge Golf Course, where the JD Taylor Benefit Golf Scramble was taking place...taking place on the Mayor declared "JD Taylor Day"... things set in place months before his passing. It was surreal. All these people, these faces...crying too, heartbroken too. We were so loved on. My brother was so loved.
Have I talked much about the funeral? The viewing? The police escorts and hundreds of faces in the freezing-rain at the cemetery?
I'll get there one day.
Not tonight.
So much for fun and entertaining.
We'll get there soon.
Writing is good.
Even when it's hard.
That's all I've got tonight.
Happier things tomorrow, perhaps?
Sweet dreams.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

photo session, sophie

 Sophie is a 1 1/2 year old little girl who is full of personality and curiosity. She was my first toddler photo session who is not my own toddler- and I had blast. It was definitely challenge and I know I need to work on posing, but that's why I'm doing things the way I am right now- simply to learn! I ran around like a crazy woman, sang the Elmo theme song, paused for some crackers, and walked away with some decent shots. I am more convinced every single day that I LOVE photography and everything about it.
Anyway, some pictures:
Hope your weekends were great!