Part Deux: Umm No…but Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

As we all prepare for Christmas in 10 days, I wanted to post an oldie-but-goodie from this time last year with some added commentary :o) There is a lot to be thankful for and it’s not just what’s under the tree. Remember that and say  “uh no” to the shenanigans.

Enjoy!

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Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas! It’s the season of getting cranked up for that special day attending this party and that one and buying gifts galore. Sure.

Well, this year there are a couple of things I decided NOT do. It’s really more so to keep my cool and not stress over the minutia.  I’ve learned so many lessons along the way when it comes to celebrating Christmas – and most important, honoring the birth of Jesus.

However, commercialism has geared us away from what should be the true focus “of the most wonderful time of the year.” Like family, good friends, and being thankful you made it to another Christmas because a lot of people didn’t.

With that being said, here is my top five list of  “um no ” not this Christmas – with three days left to spare:

  1. Going overboard with baby’s first Christmas. – I love my new little one and she’s my only girl. But . . . there is no need to go crazy on gifts and more gifts. Do you remember your very first Christmas? Exactly. However, I will get several pictures – and honestly it’s going to be about loving on her that morning.
    And the same goes for this year as we celebrate her second Christmas. Easy-peasy.
  2. Buying toys and more toys for the boys – As you all know, I also have two boys who have taken over practically every room in this house with toys. And then the big toys- why? I don’t need to see the toy before I walk into the room. Their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins have this covered anyway. I’ll move out the old to replace the new – Goodwill here I come.
    Little to no toys again!
  3. Christmas cards going to Terry, Sherry, and Kerry – I can recall sending Christmas cards to all my wedding guests post our nuptials years back. Just kidding. My point: instead of sending and signing all those cards (Where is my hubby?), New Year’s cards will go out to the nearest and dearest. For the others, smile, you know I luv you.
    This may or may not happen; maybe a text message to close friends but see #4.
  4. Mass text messages to a gazillion people on Christmas Day – I was guilty of this in my former life, ain’t gonna lie. It gets messy because most reply ALL. Well “message rates apply.” Like when my aunt Bea responds seven times because she doesn’t know how to use her phone. I have a couple of those in my life #lmbo.
    Don’t. Please and thank you. 
  5. Eating everything in sight because it’s the holidays – Really? This means I’ll have to be carried away from the table. And all my hard work for the last couple of months goes down the toilet – literally. LOL. I will eat but within reason. Being healthy is a lifestyle and takes commitment; I’ve learned this the hard way.
    No-way-Jose. 

This is one of the best times of the year as people come together to help each another. If you took away the gifts and all the other nonessential buzz of Christmas, would it still be Christmas? “Um yessss!” Merry Christmas.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain. . .

Sun Taylor

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But give thanks

I’m back and this one is short and sweet!

So what do you do when you feel like throwing in the towel? Sometimes, it just seems easier to say “forget it” and move on. I have done it plenty of times but always come right back to that same towel #smh.

After thinking about what may have seemed impossible, I move on it. A dear friend recently told me a quote her pastor said: “God blesses moving people.” And I’ll add devoted people too.

With that being said:

  1. Don’t give up on launching your business. Just do it.
  2. Don’t give up on your family because they come first.
  3. Don’t give up on losing weight. It’s a process and eventually it will happen.
  4. Don’t give up on that project at work. You will be rewarded.
  5. Don’t give up on your finances. Do the best you can and keep at it.
  6. Don’t give up on your life even though the diagnosis may be grim. Go live.
  7. Don’t give up on your marriage. You said “for better or worse.”
  8. Don’t give up on love. It happens when it’s supposed to happen.
  9. Don’t give up on what you really want – big or small.
  10. And finally, don’t ever give up on yourself; but give thanks for where you are in this moment and where you plan to go.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain…

Sun Taylor

 

Strapped in for 40…part two

Forty came and went. And before she arrived, I wrote out 40 things I’d like to accomplish this year before the next birthday in August.

Here is the post I wrote back in June and where I stand on some of the items. I’ll keep you posted.

Enjoy!

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Wooosah.

In about two months, I turn the big 4-0. How did that happen? I feel like I was just 25 and now I’ve been married for almost 11 years with three kids. And . . . this California girl is living in Atlanta.

So what does 40 mean? Do you cry? Eat? Or have a mid-life crisis? Well, I plan to eat and see whatever else falls into my lap. One of my friends @momsdestiny suggested I complete 40 things to commemorate the year; sure and I’ll send her the bill later.

But it did get me thinking. What would you do if you could complete 40 things of your choice in a year? Here is my long list and maybe –just maybe–I’ll make it through ALL of them. Hopefully my husband is taking notes #teehee

  1. Visit Italy with the hubby
  2. Horseback riding on a beautiful beach
  3. Visit Barbados and never come back (just kidding!)
  4. Take a trip with my kids to Hershey Park
  5. Get a massage on the beach
  6. Go to the opera (found someone I can attend with next Spring!)
  7. Visit the Grand Canyon
  8. Take my mom to New York (I still can’t believe she’s never been)
  9. Test drive a Porsche
  10. Buy a designer purse – Fendi, Birkin, Louis, Gucci- you know one of those
  11. Swim with dolphins
  12. Drive across country
  13. Wine tour in Napa Valley
  14. Take a magic pill to lose weight in two days (the struggle is real)
  15. Ride on a motorcycle with my husband- sun shades and Daisy Dukes #yep
  16. Actually play on a golf course
  17. Take an Alaskan cruise
  18. Decorate my little girl’s room – for real this time (took the first steps to do this last week)
  19. Run the Peachtree Roadrace
  20. Learn some Spanish
  21. Make a homemade apple pie (done!)
  22. Roast a big ass turkey (this will be for Thanksgiving)
  23. Take my kids to Disney World
  24. Paddle boat around the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.
  25. Go up in the Washington Monument
  26. Visit the 9/11 Memorial
  27. Visit the National Museum of African American Culture and History ( I got tickets for December)
  28. Visit the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
  29. Take a water aerobics class
  30. Get a FitBit
  31. Join a book club (done!)
  32. Complete my business website (done!)
  33. Volunteer when I can ( I have volunteered in September, October, and working on November)
  34. Open another barber shop with my husband
  35. Go camping or shall I say “glamping.”
  36. Take a girls trip
  37. Invest in property
  38. Participate in a bible study at church (done!)
  39. Turn 41
  40. Have fun even on the rainy days

Forty, here I come baby #adjustscrown

Because the sun always comes out after the rain. . .

Sun Taylor

Redefined

A couple of weeks ago I took pilates. And just like the first time I took yoga, I thought “this shouldn’t be too hard.” WRONG.

My dear friend Leneé is a pilates instructor – a really good instructor- and offered to do a session in her home along with an assessment of health and fitness goals. I was game and super excited — and of course brought champagne.

But then the reformer entered. If you know anything about a pilates reformer, my face was all types of twisted after the session. REALLY? This machine is the business. Basically, it’s a bed-like frame with a flat platform on it, called the carriage, which rolls back and forth on wheels within the frame. Hun?

When we started, I immediately knew this “ish” was going to be hard. “This way,” “that way,”  “now go,” “come on, you got it.” Whaaaa….I was tired after five minutes. However, I got through it and plan to make my way back for another session.

Leneé started Beauty Fitness Redefined in 2016 with one mission in mind: therapeutic strengthening and stretching of the mind and body. This fitness company serves clients in the metro Atlanta area by teaching Barre, Cycling, Pilates, and Corporate Stretch™ Classes.

She has always loved movement as a dance major at UNC Charlotte and former captain for the Carolina Panthers Cheerleader Squad. So what led her to this moment? In August of 2000, after experiencing paralysis on the left side of her body, she received a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

“Regaining strength and mobility was not only a physical challenge, but also a mental one.” Leneé regained mobility and strength in “record timing” according to her doctors and hasn’t looked back since.

She continues to make strides in teaching movement and holistic wellness as clients will eventually have sessions available via a mobile app.

“This will be a great opportunity to serve our clients outside of metro Atlanta or those who are unable to travel for an in-person session.”

And finally as we finished our session, we popped that chilled bottle of champagne – you know the typical thing you do after exercising – and proceeded to catch up.

The most important thing I learned from her: truly define your health and fitness goals and be proud of the steps you make to become better.  At that moment when she received the diagnosis of MS, she redefined herself.

Meet Leneé Beauty Fitness Redefined. 

Because the sun always comes out after the rain. . .

Sun Taylor

Catch Leneé here:

 

Off

When you feel off, you are.

Last week, I had a conversation with someone dear to my heart and felt like something was wrong and couldn’t figure it out.

We talked again and realized we both were thinking the same. Thankfully, we figured it out. A loved one had passed: I didn’t know and she thought I did. Talk about being off the mark.

When you feel different or off, do you act on it or let it ride? I let this one ride for a week knowing something wasn’t right. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Trust your instincts and feelings.

We all have that sixth sense. Think about all the moments you trusted your gut and didn’t go, decided to call for whatever reason, or took another route–and it was for the better.

According to care2.com, there are five gut instincts you should always trust as it relates to feeling “some type of way:”

  1. Something feels wrong in my body
    This goes without saying. Your body will tell you when something is wrong. Check it out.
  2. I’m in danger
    The feeling you get in that first 10 seconds about a person or situation is the truth. You know what you have to do – remove yourself.
  3. I want to help
    Most times we think of our instincts as a way to avoid something bad. But there is also good with our gut feelings. If you feel compelled from within, help.
  4. I know how to do this
    Too many times we think we can’t, when we know we can. Don’t overthink it. You got this #me
  5. This is it
    When you know, that you know, that you know, there is no conflict and it comes easy – love, a job, whatever.

The next time you feel off: question it, figure it out, and trust those instincts.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain…

Sun Taylor

Taylor’d to the T

It’s done.

This has been a long time coming. We finally launched our website for Taylor’d Events & Media, a business I started in 2008 –  before I had ANY kids. . . and now I have three, go figure :o)

In any event, I learned three important things in creating this site:

  1. Quality feedback – thank you to everyone who reviewed it over and over again. This is always a good idea. ALWAYS.
  2. Take your time and do it the way you see it – your vision, not anyone else. It’s your name on the line–and for me, literally.
  3. Pay a professional for HTML and web design elements from the beginning if you want it to look professional and customized.

Everything is a work in progress as I check off #32 on my 40 for 40 list (two down; only 38 more to go) and I’m happy to say the site has been Taylor’d to the T!

Never give up.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain. . .

Sun Taylor

 

Put your hands up

It was bath time last week. Who knew bathing my 6 year-old-son would provide much more perspective on the words “put your hands up.”

As he soaked in his suds, I asked him to put his hands up–and then I stopped.  Fear seeped in. The thought of him being told this reminded me of what it really meant considering current and past events.

The action of putting your hands up has much more meaning than just the words. And when it hit me, I thought about “the conversation” we’d have with both of our boys when the time called for it. All these thoughts as I gazed at the suds.

What age would it be appropriate to really explain this? And why do we have to have this conversation as black parents with our black boys? And girls? Do other races have the same conversation, deeply, like we’ll have to?

“Put your hands up ” means different things, at different times, to different people. Some of us have been clear on this for a lonnnngggg time. But now, it just so happens it’s been caught on tape. Ponder that.

This all went through my head as he looked at me with innocence and rose his hands. I imagine the same innocence the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray and all the mothers saw in their own son’s eyes when they bathed them. Innocence.

There are a lot of different points of view that have us in disarray and divided as country. Whether you have decided to kneel with Colin Kaepernick or join in another movement, “put your hands up,” remains the same but will also take on another meaning for me from this point on.

Put your hands up as a call for action; put your hands up to lift someone else in need; and finally put your hands up as you seek and pray for the answer.

While we’ll still have the conversation with our boys (and girl), I’m encouraged the same words will continue to ignite us to do something.

Put your hands up for positive change . . . because the sun always comes out after the rain.

Sun Taylor

Follow my lead

Hubby: Hey, I’m getting ready to call my parents
Me:  Everything OK?
Hubby: Yes . . . (pause)
Me: Look of concern
Hubby: Just follow my lead
Me: Immediate side eye

Follow my lead? Not this natural born leader #uhhsure. While the conversation went well with my in-laws (I think; smile mom!) I was a little anxious because who’s interested in being a follower? Squinched face.

If you’re human – then you add husband/wife and mother/father—you’re constantly leading in some shape, form, or fashion. Leading what’s for dinner, leading homework, leading at work to get that promotion, leading your family and friends down a better path, and finally leading yourself up to bed at the end of an exhausting day. Always leading.

When was the last time you actually followed someone? And why did you decide it was OK? You know you’ve been told otherwise.

From the time we enter the world to landing that first job and beyond, we’re supposed to L-E-A-D. “Be a leader”, “make sure you show leadership,” or “lead like a champ” have been ingrained into our hearts and heads forever.

But what if I don’t feel like leading? Can I sit down and follow? Yes, but with good reason and trust.  And it doesn’t mean your leadership card gets snatched away.

When you trust a person enough to follow, you’re setting aside your own beliefs and motives by allowing them to take over as pilot as you co-pilot. It’s perfectly fine in personal relationships, i.e. marriage, and professional relationships.

Yes, I gave side eye when I was told “follow my lead,” but knew my husband wasn’t going to lead me astray. I trust him.

And finally, as my mother-in-law has told me “following based on trust, love, and example is the only way to go.” I’ll leave that right there.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain . . .

Sun Taylor

“I’m proud of you”

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless –Mother Teresa.

When was the last time you told someone you were proud of them? Was it for something small or big they accomplished or a goal they were working on day in and day out? In any event, did you tell them?

Over the past two years I have encountered some challenges but continue to remain thankful for each situation. From work and home life to family and friendships – the lessons have been worth it. But more importantly, I’m thankful for my motivators and inspirers who keep me going with kind words. And this week, I got a dose which was right on time.

“I’m proud of you.” It’s amazing how these four words stopped me right in my tracks. While I’ve been told this before from friends to colleagues, I think what grabbed me: it was from someone close who noticed. Certainly there have been others who have said the same words – you know who you are and I appreciate you — but it got me thinking about why it was so important.

When someone says, they’re proud of you it means they’ve been paying attention to you through the ups and downs, been right there watching you remain committed to what you want to accomplish. And it means a lot.

I sat there and re-read the email about three or four times and then responded with how much it meant to me. It was what I needed and I held onto the words.

We all know how important it is to compliment one another – especially women. But when someone actually notices it carries a lot of weight. At that moment I felt reinvigorated, courageous, ambitious, and knew I could count on myself to keep moving forward.

The next time you see something worth the mention, tell the person “I’m proud of you!” We all could use a pat on the back.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain . . .

Sun Taylor

P.S. And for the record, I’m proud of you reading this post. I am certain you have done something to hug yourself for :o)

Happy Labor FREE Day

Well . . . the summer will unofficially end in three days; back to school and back to the basics. But in celebration of Labor Day, I’ve decided to have a Labor FREE Day come Monday:

  • I will not jump out the bed early
  • I will not be cooking
  • I will not be cleaning
  • I will not be folding laundry
  • I will not yell at a kid to stop whatever – just walk away
  • I will not run around the house doing projects that I forgot about during the week

That’s all–carry on.

Happy Labor FREE Day!

Because the sun always comes out after the rain. . .

SunTaylor