Monday, December 31, 2007


farewell 2007...

It is new year's eve...what are you all doing? Chay and I will welcome in the new year with paintbrushes in our hands. We are painting or repainting our kitchen...I love the new color- seriously it is worth it to pay a couple more dollars for a good paint- for pointers Lowe's paints actually match their sample swatches...

so any new resolutions? I love starting points like Mondays, first days of the month, new semesters, birthdays, first day of Spring etc...they are motivators for me to start a new goal or a new something. So of course the new year is quite welcoming to start some changes in my life...I always need to change and I always fail miserably at setting and accomplishing goals. It is one of my biggest weaknesses- to be honest I am surprised I finished college as horrible as that may sound- although I am very grateful I did. I get very hyped up about some idea and then I somehow get sidetracked or discouraged. I have a hard time staying motivated for long periods of time. I have astounding ideas that amaze me but they fizzle out real quick. So how do you goal masterminds do it?

The only principle that keeps me hopeful is I know Heavenly Father helps us accomplish righteous desires...and I know from experience He somehow creates paths for us even when we seem to be losing motivation and effort.

I so long to be does not come natural for me. I would love to find a perfect system to managing money, managing chores, managing meals and still be normal and not overwhelmed.

I want to read the scriptures more. I need their guidance so badly.

I want to find time to exercise. Chay bought me burn yoga for Christmas- Joette and I did it for about 10 minutes and couldn't stop laughing- The instructor looked like Jackie Chan so when we were in the "downward facing dog" position we started to quote Shanghai Noon and well then it was all over- so rule #1- no yoga with Joette.
Emily however surprised me with 3 exciting videos- Belly Dancing, Salsa Dancing, and Tai Chi which I am very excited about.

I want to be a better secretary for our ward Primary.

I want to follow Elder Eyring's example and write down each night how I have witnessed the Lord's hand in my life.

I want to learn how to prioritize- learn what is good, better, and best

These are just a few...they make me nervous though- sometimes thinking about what I need to do and accomplish makes me want to eat a plate of brownies instead.

well anyways happy new year...

Sunday, December 30, 2007


So I went home for the holidays...well for Christmas anyway and you know it was really wonderful. It was probably the best visit home I have had in a long time. Nothing spectacular happened only that it was Christmas and that always helps I'm sure- but we didn't go anywhere exotic, do anything extra extraordinary, or accomplish any great thing- but you know what? I think I have changed a little-

So I heard once the phrase "families are the refiners fire" I had to think about it for awhile and then it made perfect sense. I always wondered why it is easier to be nicer to friends than to family sometimes and how your family member's faults dreadfully stick out more than other's. Living with someone or growing up with someone always seems to invite interesting feelings both good and bad.

I believe the relationship we have with ourselves, spouses, family and loved ones is the biggest determining factor if we are growing in a Christ-like way. Sunday faces and typical grocery store conversations don't usually reveal the real us if you know what I mean...but so confession I guess- I have a streak in me of over sensitivity, vanity/pride, control, cruelness, and out of control temper...and it seems to sneak out of me every now and then when I am with family...oh you know how certain personalities push your buttons or maybe you're having a bad day and sadly your family is the victim of some raging and belittling- well anyways I have prayed to change...

I want to get along with my Dad. I know in my heart he is a wonderful person and he loves my mom so dearly. We clash terribly and tend to argue often. God is changing me- because the natural man in me could never do it- changing- leaving the old for new- a new way of being and thinking-

My dad seriously did not bother me at all when I was home this time. In fact I wanted to be with him most of the time. It was wonderful spending time with him. Yes there were a few stirs but it all quickly diminished. I was very content and just felt peace...things just didn't bother me like they used to. I am learning to let just let go...the power of forgiveness is real and it is not our power but His.

Ok well one more big thing about Christmas vacation I wanted to write about is my Mom...but I am not prepared to write about it...still pretty emotional and seriously I don't know what to I will write about it later

Highlights of Christmas 2007

Foux da fa fa
The Notebook
Pride and Prejudice "I love you. Most ardently."
late night talks with Joette
My dad with Julia
12 days of Christmas
rolls rising in the sauna
the infamous cheese ball- sorry but the recipe is a family secret
snow- lot's of snow
celebration of life party for Mom
Kenzie's b-day

spelt cinnamon rolls-sounds like an oxymoron-I believe they were put in the sauna too
mom- everything dear and sweet about her
Mckenzie's birthday dress from beautiful
Ashlee's million pictures
speed scrabble
reverent books from Calie
Because of Her-thank you Joette

visit to Jaynee's
Heather's family photo skills-
chocolate mint truffles from scratch-
remote control helicopter for Chay...I almost regret buying it now
toro viejo-more horchata please

Joette's piano playing...
Christmas story
crepes Christmas morning
Gift to the Savior stocking
hugging mom
walmart with dad at midnight
humus with potstickers- we were really hungry weren't we?

many more I'm sure- but these seem to stick out best in my memory

Friday, December 28, 2007


Here is a scanned picture from Kiddie Kandids- we framed it for my mom for Christmas...thanks Tami for the great deal!

ok so on the 9th day of Christmas Chay arrived in Spokane...4 hour flight delay brought him crawling into bed at 3 am...

10th day of Christmas we celebrated Kenzie's birthday- she has been saying cake for a month now...she finally got to be the one to blow out the candles and open presents. Mckenzie is quite the colorful girl- with all emotions raging it seems. She is very happy yet can be such a pill sometimes. Her laugh is so hearty and loud- very contagious- before I know it I am giggling right along with her- She loves to play, sing, dance, read stories, and tease- she is full of life. She isn't drawn to any 1 thing- she doesn't have a favorite anything- besides my arms...yes you read it right- she likes to touch my arms when she falls asleep- She loves gadgets and electronics. She has taken apart every flashlight in the house. For Christmas I bought her a classic wooden workbench with screws, nails, screwdrivers, bolts- she loves it! I bought her pretty panties for her birthday- here in a couple weeks we are going to potty learn- oh my oh my- scary

11th day of Christmas- We acted out the Christmas story with costumes that were too was actually pretty funny- Mckenzie was Mary and Julia was baby Jesus- Chay- Joseph me- angel- Dad was a Shepard and Joette a lamb...baaaa baaaa....Mary didn't want to keep her clothes we eventually gave up and just read and sang- it brought the spirit nevertheless and that is all that matters

12th day was Christmas- and oh what beautiful everywhere- everyone talking over everyone- paper flying and if I hear one more conversation about snow gloves from Costco I am going to go crazy...we had fun. That night we played speed scrabble and Mom with the radiated brain beat me every time. Missionaries came over for dinner-

I have a whole lot more thoughts, funnies, insights, feelings about Christmas this year but I will write about that later-

12 days of Christmas- someone was doing the 12 days to my mom when we were up in Washington. The last day I answered the door as soon as they knocked...I wanted to give them the scare of their life. I chased after them but stopped when they got to our field. I saw shadows of two people running- snow crunching as they ran- I screamed out how thankful we were for them and to have a Merry Christmas. It really is the most wonderful time of the year.

Friday, December 21, 2007


on the seventh day of christmas I watched a chick flick...yes I did- first one in 4 years- I started to giggle when we put in "The Notebook" knowing Chay wouldn't last 5 minutes of the movie. It was great...I loved the cheesy sort of unrealistic love story and made me remember how fun dating was and how carefree things used to be- It made me miss Chay. So Chay if you read this...before you get to Spokane- watch out- your wife is kiss you...and- it is great to be married. I think Chay will watch more chick flicks now...........

On the eighth day of Christmas I didn't do much at all- just kind of kicked it at home then went to visit Jaynee at her new house. I love Jaynee...I have come to the conclusion that Spokane people are just so cool- a lot cooler than anywhere else I have lived- Jaynee compares to no other. I could spend forever with her and never get sick of her...she is so funny, so sincere, so perfect- I love being with her. I just want to go camping again and just laugh- Jaynee is great therapy. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

6th day

On the 6th day of Christmas I found this special gift to share:

Logan is 12 years old and listens to KSBJ on Sky Angel. He called in to the radio station and shared his wisdom to all. He lives on a ranch in a very small town in Nebraska. I listen to this sweet little boy and I am just amazed at the faith of our children...powerful spirits. This gave me hope after my mom's bad news. Heavenly Father really takes care of his children. Merry Christmas.


On the fourth day of Christmas my mom threw a big party- she called it her celebrating life party. It was amazing. The oldest, greatest friends came- I spent the evening smiling and laughing- my cheeks hurt from smiling so much. There was a ton of food and a ton of love in our home that night. Many shared their talents- cello, guitar, singing, piano- it was just so surreal- a perfect holiday scene. She painted the picture above. She made several copies of the painting and handed them out to all who came. It was the perfect gift to give those who love my mom so dearly. What better way to remember my mom than to have a picture she painted. Many people wrote down their love and memories of my mom. She cried and cried- her heart was so full of every emotion-she looked beautiful- she wore a brand new dress that sparkled...

On the fifth day of Christmas my mom found out she has 15 cancer lesions in her brain...growth in both arms and in her hips. The radiologist isn't sure how effective it will be to keep radiating when the cancer keeps returning. My mom looks tired and weak...but her spirit is huge, healthy, alive- I am sad, so very sad to see my mom struggling to hold on to life. I feel a little numb to it all and angry I suppose. Today was a day full of prayer...I just need extra comfort from Heavenly Father and help processing this is all mumbo jumbo right now...just floating around without any effort on my part to fully understand it all- denial I'm sure.
But Christmas will be warm and perfect...we will not get discouraged and we will enjoy being together...I love Christmas morning. I can't wait!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

third day

on the third day of Christmas I about went nuts...

I traveled with my girls and I think I went a little quirky after such a horrific experience. The flight was delayed 2 hours...right during nap time. Julia screamed and pooped twice, Kenzie cried, kicked, threw hands were full- total chaos.

Angie the christmas angel came over to me and asked if she could buy Kenzie some water. She sat with me and entertained Kenzie, held Julia and rubbed her feet. She saved me awesome seats on the plane- she was Godsend.

She told me later on that the spirit told her to help me out. She didn't want to because she thought I was going to think she was weird...I then thanked her for listening to the spirit because I had prayed for some kind of strength to get through the day- Angie was my answer to prayer...

So coming home after a long day and seeing kenzie's eyes light up from our beautifully decorated house was nice and relaxing.

Now it is time for bed. Boa Noite

Saturday, December 15, 2007


On the second day of Christmas I decided to give the gift of trying new things-
velvet red cake with cream cheese frosting- not perfect but so fun and delicious

and I did Kenzie's hair- I've always wanted to do this to her hair...sorry the picture is so off centered- she kept moving.

Friday, December 14, 2007

first day

On the first day of Christmas I, myself gave to me:

I danced this morning before the girls woke up- it was a true gift to self because well those who know me...I love to dance- we aren't talking country, clogging, square kind of stuff- more like MTV mixer clubin- you don't want to be messin

There is just something about music with a beat that just gets me so excited...Jaynee? Emily? Sheri? Joette? Are you hearing what I'm saying?

I have fond memories of college days when we would turn on the black light and dance in our white bras- the shades were drawn of course...oh the good ol days

So this morning I danced downstairs- Lately my two favorite dance songs are Daft Punk around the world and The Crystal Method- Keep hope alive- If you want some good workout songs download them-

Yes I feel silly the first couple minutes. I think- here I am with 2 kids, wearing Chay's basketball shorts and a bra stuffed with nursing pads- but you know it's ok- I just giggle and have fun and the rest of the day is so much better- so for some quick

not exactly Christmas music....

The Crystal Method...

Daft Punk - Around...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

breath of heaven

this is one of my favorite Christmas songs....I only imagine what Mary must have felt....enjoy

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today is emily's birthday...

Many of my readers don't know emily like I do. Oh if you only could spend an afternoon with her- you'd be hooked too.

I call her my best friend- for many reasons- and the reasons seem to change over the years.

At first I loved being with her because she brought out a crazy fun side of me. Then with time I realized how loyal and caring she is. Then I discovered I could be 100% myself around her and it was ok. Then I finally realized she was a gift from Heavenly Father- a friend someone always dreams of having- Emily is an amazing listener, she is incredibly funny, always thinks of others besides herself, has great taste...and...we think alike. She is very gifted in many ways. She takes amazing pictures. She is very open minded and is overly entertaining to talk to...especially on the phone when our husbands are gone all day- it is just like old times. She is an excellent phone friend...if you need someone to call if you are feeling lonely here is her phone number....509....that would be so funny if I really posted her number...

So happy birthday Emily Ann Nordstrom Taylor. Rock on 2000- to many road trips, hay bails, cops, bathroom stalls, Chief Joseph, #314, Brock, and well much much more...

thanks for mowing my lawn Emily...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

food is love

So I made cinnamon rolls for my friends and neighbors...I'm trying to keep that Christmas spirit thing going each day- so far so good.

oh and carmel corn- which is so dang good- Kenzie helped me in the kitchen this morning- we got a little crazy with the flour.

I don't like to bake really- I like to eat what other people bake- but so this is an accomplishment for me- I don't have a mixer so I kneaded 2 batches of cinnamon rolls by hand- talk about therapeutic! Yet I don't think I will make them again until next year.- Merry Christmas

this picture is so funny because she looks so distraught and worrisome- I kept telling her to smile and not to look like a homeless child- she just wanted the camera and I wouldn't let her have it-

Sunday, December 09, 2007

so I spent the morning reading old blog entries...I didn't mean to and I am sure there were other things more important to do but it was so worth it-

...and can I just say that I am so glad that I am all over the place and that I write about everything good and bad in my life. It has been good to read about my small yet seemingly huge trials and to see with hindsight how things get better- they always do and Heavenly Father is here- always here.

Life is really good. I feel so blessed to have a family. I complain sure- but nothing compares to those small moments when I am holding Julia, Chay right next to me with Kenzie giggling on his lap- sometimes I just have to breathe deep and take it all in slowly- it is truly remarkable- all so remarkable.

Friday, December 07, 2007

let it snow

today it snowed all day...oh the feeling snow gives...- everything seems to be quiet and you just want to snuggle with anybody and everybody. The lights on the tree, the snow falling, soft Christmas music- it just creates this indescribable feeling that is so hard to explain- wonderful but almost achy- I call these feelings and moments little reminders of heaven, almost a homesickness for our real home- it just makes your blood pump and feel peace at the same I making sense to anyone? Christmas is just exciting- such an amazing time.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Kenzie loves to sing-

this is like video week or something- maybe I am just too lazy to write much- plus these are so fun to watch- helps make the grandkids not feel so far away from Grandma!

Have patience with this one- at the end she sings "Jesus wants me for a sunbeam" well you know what I mean...close anyway.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

playmate far I have found the following in julia's mouth: nerd's candy, a pecan, 5 popcorn kernals- and the other day I walked in on kenzie shoving her sippy cup full of apple juice down julia's mouth- julia didn't seem to mind the taste! kenzie just can't seem to get enough of ju ju- Yesterday kenzie had julia by the feet and was dragging her across the floor- the funny thing is- is that julia doesn't seem to mind most of the time...she kind of likes her sister's "extra" attention.

kenzie will look for julia the minute she wakes up. She gets very upset when I put julia down for a nap and it is war trying to keep kenzie out of our bedroom while she sleeps. well anyway- here is a video so you can kind of understand their interesting relationship they have with each other.

Monday, December 03, 2007

merry Christmas

The tree is up and there is snow outside.

Does it feel like Christmas? Well sort of I suppose- I think it's a girl thing mostly- We get all giddy about decorations, music, traditions, wrapping paper, baking-
In the car I always turn the station to Christmas music and when it's Chay's turn to drive he always changes it back to his station- I know there are a thousand versions of the Christmas Song- some more cheesy than others but it's just the season to listen to corny memorable music for one month or so out of the instead of being all giddy like I want to be I miss home mostly- I miss being with Joette, Calie and Mom...powerful women in my life who make the season come alive as they strive to create meaningful memories for their family.

Thank you Joette for playing the piano so beautifully...I just want to lay on our couch and hear you play all of David Lanz's Christmas music right now...

Thank you mom for teaching us to serve at Christmas. My earliest memories of Christmas time are placing packages of surprises on doorsteps, knocking, then running and hiding in the bushes.

My greatest memories are putting up decade old decorations with my Mom and Joette- and listening to Mannheim Steamroller's silent night with the family...with the lights all off besides the tree- I can never listen to that song without crying if Keith is in the room. He sent it to us when he was on his mission and I was only 10 at the time- so the song is linked to the intense missing of him I felt when I was so young. I love Keith so much. My big brother. Then there is his wife Calie- who always brings back the real meaning of Christmas with her heart held gifts she gives each year. Oh calie- you are so on track-

Bryon...oh Bryon- always handy- always the one who will help. He puts up the lights on the house every year. He made my mom and dad the biggest star. Whenever I see a Christmas star all lit up on someone's house I think of Bryon. He is always out in the snow, out in the garage- I can talk to him about anything.

My mom thinks this is her last Christmas. Oh great- don't want to think about that right now- What will I do without my mom? I talk to her everyday.

This time of the year we think of Christ- our personal Savior- this I am thankful for- for I know that through Him we discover who we are and where we fit in the grand plan of salvation. Turning to Him allows me to change, grow, repent, love more deeply and truly, forgive freely- preparing me to go home and stand before my Heavenly Father- pure and clean. I can't fully grasp the atonement but I know it was for me- and I have faith that somehow Christ will lift me above my trials- He will heal me from my brokenness and glorify my togetherness. It is through Him I can be made whole. He is the deliverer of peace.

Merry Christmas


don't mind that her pants are falling off...but it just adds to mckenzie's carefree spirit- she is very easily entertained to say the least.