Colors of the Rainbow

The school year has ended and my relationship with behavior charts is O-V-E-R! It was a good year for my kindergartner and we’re ready for 1st grade.

See my post with Atlanta Area Moms blog where I explore “Colors of the Rainbow,” and my behavior chart blues.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain…

Sun Taylor

Simon says “Family”

Summer is coming and there will be plenty of family gatherings around the grill, at the pool, or in the park. This week was a lesson in what is most important when it comes to family – love.  No matter what happens, they’re still family.

This post is from this past holiday season. I enjoyed it because with all our quirkiness, we always come right back together… because Simon says so :o)

Smooches!

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Alex, I’ll take family for $500!

The holidays are around the corner which equals family time. Whether for Thanksgiving or Christmas, let the planning begin . . . with a glass of wine.

This year for Thanksgiving we are diverting from our usual plans and heading to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Georgia. We’re looking forward to a beautiful cabin, wooded scenery, and devouring a festive meal.

Considering that my family is primarily women, you quickly learn to adapt to the personalities:

The matriarchs (the aunts/moms) who pretty much rule the land and the kitchen for that matter. We love them and they love their family. But please don’t cross them . . . or else.

The cousins who pretty much do their thing and keep in contact with one another albeit Facebook or text messaging. When we do call one another, it’s usually to gossip like any other family. Tee hee :o)

The men who keep to themselves and interject when they see the women making absolutely no sense. It happens from time-to-time. Well maybe all the time. LOL.

Last, there are the youngest three munchkins who happen to be my kids. They provide comic relief ALL THE TIME; amusing at most gatherings. Yep, that’s my kid dancing to The Dramatics or Michael Jackson and off beat.

So back to the cabin trip for 13. Easy-peasy right? That’s 13 different personalities. BREATHE.  This week, the Gods challenged us but it worked out. Quickly came the teachings, lessons, and a dose of patience:

  1. Every family member has an opinion – don’t take it personal. It wouldn’t be “fun” if everyone was the same, right? Sure.
  2. All budgets are not made equal. Attempt to find a happy money medium and make it work. Count the pennies wisely.
  3. This is not the time to suddenly announce “I’m vegan.” Get in where you fit in. Have a nice salad with that dinner roll.
  4. Someone will complain about something that everyone else agrees upon. No worries, just nip it in the bud and move on.
  5. Acknowledge that you’re family . . . like the same blood line. You’ll have to speak to each other (or maybe not if you choose) so keep your cool. It’s not that serious.
  6. Have answers to all the odd questions beforehand and be prepared to explain yourself a couple of times. Patience luv!
  7. Think before you speak. And then think again. Then give your Alex Trebek answer “What is Crazy Family 2016.”
  8. Take a moment to step back if you get flustered. Then come back to it. Your head will be much clearer. And ask for help when you need it.
  9. Make sure there’s plenty of wine.
  10. Make sure there’s plenty of wine.

But in all honesty, be thankful for family and what they bring to the Thanksgiving or Christmas table. Without them, I’m not sure where I’d be. #MyVillage

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

Sun Taylor

 

Do what you can’t

“Change jobs…nah, you can’t do that right now. You have to think about your family.”

“Buy a house? Bad idea…you can’t do that with everything else you have going on.”

 “Move out of state…no good, you can’t do that. It will ruin things and with what money?”

We have heard it all too often- YOU CAN’T. Bah humbug. Or perhaps you have talked yourself out of something because you internalized the word “can’t.” Hey, tell that dude to get out of your head because you can.

Lately, my youngest son tends to tell me “I can’t mommy” to the point where it’s driving me crazy. Before even making an attempt, he has given up…um no. My normal response- after somewhat yelling – has been “But did you try?”

The face then changes and the attempt is made to give it a whirl. Giving up without trying is not allowed – even with raising our kids. From putting on pajamas and socks to reading and writing, we…try, try, try.

Think about the times you decided to give up without even trying because you thought you couldn’t or someone told you, you can’t. What was your next move? Were you OK with not doing it? Probably not.

When someone says, “you can’t” here’s an alternate perspective- and I guess an acronym- that I made up and attempting to abide by (on these big goals of mine) when others don’t believe it can happen:

C– First, Collecting thoughts to make what “can’t” . . .  actually happen puts me in a good frame of mind. Take a moment, put everything to pen and paper – or on your computer- and roll with it.

A– Finding the Answers by researching and knowing the ins-and-outs so the plan is successful. Honestly, this helps me stay on top of my game and shows others just how wrong they were in the first place #flipshair

N -Procrastination is not an option; get moving Now. If you’re going to make it happen, then make it happen. No play, play because you’re serious… right? I thought so :o) #getgoingalready

T– We tend to think it’s not our time or we’re told the time isn’t right. Timeliness is determined by you when it comes to what you want to do. . . and we should always make time for what we want to do.

People will continue to tell you all the things that you can’t do and that’s OK. But guess what? Nine times out of ten, I think they’re probably saying it out of their own fear, failure, and doubt in you. Keep pushing for what you want.

Do what you can’t.

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

Sun Taylor

 

 

 

 

Imagine that

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” ~Nelson Mandela

Are you living the life you imagined?  Maybe, maybe not. Imagining the life and living that life are two separate things. We all have dreams and aspirations as to what we would LIKE… and then there’s reality.

My current reality – I’m home with two of my kids, working on getting more clients, attempting to help my husband with our barber shop, and running the household on practically coffee fumes. Period.

My imaginative life – A kick butt PR consultant, working at home with good paying clients which afford me the opportunity to travel every once in a while (nationally and internationally), and do what I want financially; I’d also like to still be with my family whenever: like making those mid-day school performances and having lunch with my husband on a Wednesday, on my own time. I am not asking for much, right? LOL

This is where imagination has to take over reality if I want to fulfill what I believe God intended for me. But how do you do it? One day at a time. In order to really get this done, here are some of my thoughts on getting to the imaginative:

  1. Baby Steps
    We have all heard it, but do we do it? I see my daughter taking baby steps every day and she just keeps going. We have to continue to put one foot in front of other if we’re going to live what we imagined.
  2. Get Back Up
    Yes, “we fall down, but we get up (in my Donnie McClurkin voice). If it’s in your imagination, no one said it was going to be easy. Get your “arse” back up please. No excuses. Everyone has fallen, but the one’s that get back up. . . they live the life.
  3. The Squad
    I can’t stress this enough. My squad is supreme. When I feel like I’m off course, I have to call them. But not just the cheerleaders, the one’s that also tell me my “ish” stinks and I need to get it together. . . now.
  4. Ummm…No
    I recently talked about “no” and have learned a lot about this while being home. “No” it just might not happen today, or “no” I have to pass on that. The “no” gets me to what is really important; like focusing on the “yes” and moving closer to what I imagine for myself. 
  5. Being Honest
    As the saying goes, “honesty is the best policy.” Are you honest with yourself and what you’re truly capable of? I battle this constantly with self doubt. We are capable of so much more, but we stop at what’s easy. If it’s easy, it’s not imaginative.

Doing what is required is basic. But doing what’s required and then some, is when the life we imagined comes to fruition. Don’t settle for what you think you can do; go for what you think you can’t.

Imagine that.

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

Sun Taylor

 

 

A “moment”

Need a moment, grab a Twix. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

We all go through trying times, situations, and “interesting” people that call for a breather. From our spouses and kids to family and friends,  sometimes a #%& moment is required.

Most of my moments come with my kiddos – that’s two toddlers and one kindergartner – but I have learned to adapt… and red wine helps (wink).

So what do you do when you need a moment? Walk away, smile, or throw something – lol. Well, I had a lot of moments this week  with all types of ish calling for a Twix.

because-i-said-soOne of your toddlers keeps asking “why?”
This called for a moment of breathing in and out and I’m still dealing with it. I had to remember he’s only 3 years old and learning everything, thus the “why” all the time. If you are a stay at home mom, please take moments as much as you need. I usually retreat to my room BY myself and do nothing for as long as I can.

frackle-nackle

A client reaches out; “frackle-nackle-bull”
After working on a proposal for an entire day, you realize you have to walk away from the project. It was somewhat shady from the start and I should have realized…damnnn Gina! I had to refocus and get back on top of my game. This was when my moment called for a jumbo Twix. Nom, nom, nom.

what-you-talkin-bout-willis-quote-1When you’re told you’re selfish . . . hmm
This about sent me over the top. But I didn’t respond with words. I calmed my boiling skin and had the look of  Arnold. Sometimes you have to keep it moving; if people don’t literally walk in your shoes, they will never understand you. This moment called for a”drank.” Cheers, two times. Buh Bye!

laundry

“Overloaded” with laundry and everything else
Laundry piling up makes me “feel some type a way.” This weekend, I just did it all as opposed to waiting on the laundry fairy. This was a defining moment: clean laundry brought the clarity I needed and took the overloaded feeling away.

At the end of the day, we all need moments to be with ourselves and/or by ourselves. Take all the moments you need throughout the day to get through the day. Sun Taylor’s orders :o)

And as I put my shades back on and ride into the sunset, please know that my alone time a.k.a moment is sometimes for your safety.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain…

Sun Taylor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Um No…but Merry Christmas!

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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.

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

Giving up to gain more

Sacrifice: something given up or lost <the sacrifices made by parents> – this is one definition Merriam Webster provided – how fitting for today.

You have kids and your world immediately gets smaller and there’s bigger – why you say? Because of  S-A-C-R-I-F-I-C-E.

One of the best things about being a parent is watching your kids grow knowing you helped mold them. From the way they talk and think to how they see the world – this is a reflection of your very own footprint. Nothing is more special.

And the numerous sacrifices we make in hopes of them having better lives. But what happens when the sacrifice is not what you want and you have to check yourself- quick? This was me earlier in the week.

First, let me start by saying I would go to the moon and back for my kids- and I’m certain I have. The fact that most days I’m sleep deprived is a sacrifice in itself. Picking this one up and that one, doing this project and that homework assignment, this activity and that party, etc., etc. – and then being sane for myself. Did I mention red wine is my favorite? THIS IS WHY.

But back to this week – we decided (me begrudgingly at first) that we’re going to keep our youngest son home for now, who will then start Pre-K in the fall. Welcome to Taylor Preschool and Daycare.

So the woman who has gone from working and being about her career will now be home with two kids? Clutch the pearls…WHAT? Yes, that means right after Christmas, I’ll have a 10 month old and a 3 going on 4 year-old at Casa de Taylor. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

At first, I went through several emotions in a matter of 24 hours. From “no, I am not prepared to have TWO home,” to ” I have things I want to do,” and “why, why, why??” And then the guilty mom kicked in because I felt bad for feeling this way. I quickly had to check myself  because guess what? Parenting is sacrifice – over and over again – it’s not about you.

Women and men do it everyday and I had to come to grips and realize the importance of being home. I thought about all the women and men who would love to be home with their children (including my mom who wanted to be home with me) or women who are unable to have children. I was being blessed. This was about the significance of being the best parent I can be in this moment and on this next journey.

So back to sacrifice: something given up or lost . If I have to give up whatever to gain more with my kids, it’s worth it.

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

Sun Taylor

A change in flight

You plan your trip, pack your bags, and head to the airport. You are so excited to get to Rome and can’t wait to see all the sites. They call your flight and you board the plane. As you get comfortable in your seat, the captain announces right before you take off:

“There’s been a change in plans. We are heading to Rome, GEORGIA. Enjoy your flight.” First you blink then you sink. What is happening here???

This is the best way I can describe having premature babies. You make plans for one destination and end up at another. Rome, Italy was not where we were going.

It’s National Prematurity Awareness Month and this is my story of a “change in flight.”

The prognosis was not good. The doctors told us all the complications and the possible demise of our first baby while in the womb. But we took the risk, or shall I say God told us we would take the risk, because he had other plans.

Our first son, “Mr. President” had some pretty daunting stats:

  • Born 10 weeks early because the placenta failed and he wasn’t growing
  • Weight: 1 lb 13 oz with a hole in his heart (later fixed)
  • In the NICU for 93 days with all types of things going on
  • Came home on 12 medications, a pulse ox machine, oxygen tank, and feeding tube
  • Had every doctor you could name with “gist” at the end – cardioloGIST, endocrinoloGIST, gastroloGIST . . . you get the point
  • Two surgeries by the age of one – heart and hernia

Mr. President met a lot of people by the age of one and will talk to anyone now. I’m sure it had something to do with his introduction to the world.

Then there was the second born son, “Secret Service” whose stats weren’t as serious but nonetheless, it wasn’t easy for him either.

  • Born 6 weeks early due to preeclampsia
  • Weight: 4lbs 3 oz
  • In the NICU for 34 days; meds, pokes, and prods
  • Developed hydrocephalus that led to surgery after he turned one.

Secret Service is a tough cookie which I know in my heart started early. Homie don’t play that. . . and his mamma is tough too (wink!).

But there were plenty of tears and sleepless nights. All I can say is where would we all be without family and prayer? And the doctors and nurses at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta –they were phenomenal.

We were also surrounded by friends who could offer encouragement. But in some instances, people didn’t know what to say, or in my mind, said the wrong thing. Thus, I became cautious about who I told.

Now I am open and it’s my intent to help someone who may be going through this or went through it in the past. You will make it and you will stand tall.

There were so many lesson; but the most important was to keep the faith no matter what. I always thought about the beauty of the end destination. It wasn’t easy but I knew I was going to make it there and that our kids would be fine.

The Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, or the Vatican City are all splendid I imagine. But I am so thankful for that change in flight. We made it to Rome, Georgia and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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

Sun Taylor

 

 

 

 

Dig in and give back

To whom much is given, much is required – Luke 12:48

It’s a beautiful Saturday morning and my little man and I head to Belmont Elementary School to volunteer with the Arby’s Foundation for Make a Difference Day – who knew! The plan is to help stuff lunches for school children and then head back home. Well, when we showed up, this was not the case.

I do believe I read the email wrong . . . record scratches. I should have brought my yard gloves and left the first born at home – so here we go.

There were plans to paint a courtyard, clear a trail, plant a garden, and other “do good” projects. This may be too much. Perhaps we should go home? Nope.

I immediately thought – this is an opportunity to sow seeds and teach the little one the importance of giving back. So we literally dug in to give back.

Borrowed yard gloves. Check. Rake. Check. Kid at my side. Double check. And then we proceeded to clear the trail – a 5-year-old and 39-year-old along with a host of other people making a difference.

Now, as I mentioned in previous posts (see Boy Lessons), the first born is a helper at heart. He will rake, pull, and push, if you let him. He doesn’t realize that he’s a little kid. But this is a quality that I love about him-always willing to help.

At a very young age we learn from our “village.” From the way we talk, think, and carry ourselves to how we learn about the world, our impact in it, and giving back. I actually remember at a young age, my mom always helping, even when she couldn’t, and she still does to this day.

This is what sowing seeds and giving back is all about. Even when you can’t, still make an attempt to do good. And this is what I want to teach my kids.

We were tired at the end of the day but thankful for the opportunity. A huge thank you to my sister from another mister @creativityflows19 who invited us to this awesome day.

EVERYONE knew my son by the end of the day because he literally went around and just about helped every person he saw. And I’d like for him to stay that way :o)

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

Sun Taylor

Boy Lessons

As a kid, I always wanted two kids- a boy and a girl. But apparently God had other plans.

I’m sure you’ve seen or heard enough about parenting boys -like their awkward bodily functions and the other “fun” stuff. But they also teach some really cool lessons, especially to their moms, and I learned one this week.

As I prepared for my first mother/son dance, I was super excited. Hair done – check. Nails painted-check. Suit and tie -check. We are ready to hit the dance floor.

But in the midst of this “first dance mode” and doing everything,  my kindergartner taught me about accepting help (even when it may not be necessary). For my three-year-old, we’ll just say #workinprogress, but he’s not far behind his brother :o).

“No, I got it,” and “Mommy will do it”(all for that matter) was the response before this post. Then I took a step back, caught my words, and realized what they were doing and what I needed to learn. Accept help even in the simplest form.

I’ve always been independent and took pride it getting the job done without the help of others. However, sometimes this can hinder our progress when we don’t receive the help openly or acknowledge that we even need it.

Our kids constantly see us multitasking. Surely they think we’re crazy so they step in like any other person would. And for boys, it’s even more important they learn the importance of helping and being gentlemen. This is what makes a good husband, father, and friend.

So as we prepare to leave for our mother/son dance, I am looking forward to taking it all in. I remain thankful that I truly have a child that helps when he sees it right in front of him. I am sure as we hit the door, he will more than likely get my keys, open the door, and walk me into the dance… and that’s what it’s all about.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain…

Sun Taylor