Saturday, November 26, 2011


A couple of days ago there was a big fat box with my name on it--inside was a pair of super cute, super comfy, super warm boots. My sister Steph had surprised me. I can't begin to express how much those boots mean to me. Not because they are fabulous boots-- but because Steph had sacrificed some of her hard earned money(and believe me she deserves every penny she earns with the job she has) to buy me something that I could not even come close to affording. These days an extra 10$ is a big deal--so these boots are a huge deal to me.
My other sister Cassie is currently going to school full time and working-- which those who have been in that situation know how tight money can be. She is saving her money right now so that she can fly out and visit us sometime at the beginning of the year. She knows how homesick I've been-- so of course I can hardly wait.
I've been incredibly blessed with amazing sisters. Both very giving, kind and thoughtful. We were raised by a woman who taught us to be just that through her example. I am so grateful for our relationships.We have such a good time together. In fact Samantha said to me once "Mom, when you get with Steph and Cassie you guys like you're 12 or something" which funny thing--- she is pretty accurate! I love the woman in my life (sisters in law included) I am so incredibly fortunate-- so extremely blessed.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


These past 2 weeks have been a difficult time for the Taylor family. In just one short week we've had our 18mo old niece diagnosed with Leukemia and our brand new nephew end up in the ICU with severe problems with his lungs.
Living away from family is always hard- but it especially is when things like this happen. You want to help-- you want to do so much- but the miles apart make that impossible. Thankfully there is one thing that we can do-- and that is pray. I am SO grateful for the knowledge of prayer. I am so grateful to know that when I pray, there is a loving Heavenly Father listening. I know that our prayers are answered-- and answered accordingly to the will of the Lord. I am grateful that our prayers offered on behalf of our family members are felt by them hundreds of miles away.
Thankfully things are looking up. It's still a long road for both families-- but things are going in the right direction. Sadie's prognosis is a good one. She has been diagnosed with a highly curable form of Leukemia. She has been responding well to her treatments. The doctors are hoping/expecting that if her little body responds to the 28 day cycle of chemo and other treatments- the cancer will be gone. 

Zach is slowly being weened from the medications he is on as well as the amount of oxygen he is on. He recently had his chest tube removed and he is on a less intense ventilator- which is good news. They are hoping that if he continues to do well-- tomorrow his mom will be able to hold him again-- which she hasn't since the morning after he was born (over a week ago). And then hopefully he will remain stable enough to be moved to the CT scanner-- so that they can get a better look at his left lung to see what is causing the problem.

Mike has some pretty incredible sisters(and families)- wonderful mothers with amazing faith. They are an inspiration to me and I am so grateful for their examples. 
So- yes- we haven't been able to physically help- but we have been able to pray for them-- and that is just as important and perhaps even more effective. I know prayer is strong and it is real.  

Sunday, November 6, 2011


 Well, I did it. I ran in an actual race. A 10k-- 6.2 miles. I made a goal and stuck to it-- thanks in large part to my wonderful running partner and friend Syleisa. When I first set this goal-- I really wanted to gain a love of running. Sadly, that love never came. Sure it's an awesome workout-- but I just got bored. Oh well--I did it. I won't be doing a longer race any time soon---if ever.
Our race took place in a small little town about 25 min. away in Illinois. 
Race day didn't go exactly as I hoped it would. I really wanted to improve my pace, but I didn't, I pretty much stayed the same-- if not coming in a little slower. 2 days before, I got pretty sick-- not ideal for running 6.2 miles. Plus the morning of the run it was 40 degrees and foggy-- so the cold air wasn't the best for my lungs. But what can you do? 
(It's been a hard past few days--- Missing my dad a bit more than usual. Running in the fog brought up a memory.  I was maybe 8 or 9 at the time. It was in the winter and the fog was super thick that night. My dad typically took the bus to and from work. He was really late getting home---due to the fog. I remember watching for him and waiting. At one point I ran out to the street to see if I could see him-- as I waited- all the sudden I could see a man walking down the street--as he got closer I could tell that it was my dad- in his trench coat-- wearing his Elmer fudd shoes (these boot thingys that covered his dress shoes to protect them from the snow) and I remember running to him-- so happy to see him. Makes me think our next reunion and how much sweeter that one will be.)
 I was SO happy to see my sweet family cheering me on-- by that point it was SO what I needed. Syleisa rocked it at the race-- totally reaching her goal-- she was kind enough to come back and meet me and run with me to the end. Love her.
Me, Syleisa and Ali 
(Ali is another awesome friend from the ward--her husband is in Mike's program.)She didn't train with us but she came with us on race day.
Mike was so sweet to pack up the kids and bring them to see me finish. I'm so blessed.


 This year we went Trick-or-Treating with our friends- the Thortons and Nelsons. The kids had a blast--
Our beautiful butterfly (minus her mask)
 Our "scary" but nice (he made that very clear) Frankenstein

Our very happy Pirate--
He was really into getting the goods and had a little system down until his friend Sione gave up his ride in his "Car Vroom-Vroom" So he happily rode the rest of the night- no concern for the candy he was missing out on. He would yell "Go Mom!" if I stopped at any point. He also liked to wear his bandana over his eyes and would only take it off if I stopped--he would then yell "GO!"

Collin, Kalea and Samantha

Looking over the goods.... and eating a few in the process

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"When someone you love...

.....becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure."
Last year my mom made a "Getting to know Grandpa Stevens" book for each family. I scanned in a page (which didn't work too great). SO glad that my mom did this. Samantha still comes up and wants to read it together. I wonder if there will ever be a day when I don't cry when I read it. 
 I really dislike today. But what can ya do-- it comes every year regardless. This time of year just has such painful memories associated with it. It's been 16 years - I wonder if it will be any different as more time goes by.? 
My sweet sister in law, Bree came up with an idea for their family that I just might steal. Instead of focusing on the day of my dad's death, they are going to celebrate him on his birthday. This year she made a cake and then Jonathan shared some memories with his girls. love it.going to copy it.