Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday's Thought

I didn't realize I liked blackberries, but I enjoyed sampling them while we picked them. Now, time to make a cobbler.

[There are more blackberry-pickin' pictures in my album on Facebook.]

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Worth Repeating Wednesday

He thought everybody needed a little bit of spoiling, particularly when they were no bigger than a groundhog. ... You get to be the mother by changing her and giving her a bath and walking her around in the middle of the night and loving her and making her feel like everything's all right. That's how you get to be the mother. That's what being the mother is.

--From "Blessings" by Anna Quindlen

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Coming soon: BABY BOY

Several people have asked me how our meeting with the adoption agency in Texas went. Short answer: Great. We like the ladies we've met there and we like how they seem to handle adoptions.

But I need to back up ...

A couple weeks before we went to Texas, we met with our local attorney, just to update him about our hopes to adopt using the agency we were going to visit. The following Monday (which would have been five days before we left for Texas, for those of you keep track ...) our attorney told us about a woman in Calloway County (that's where we live ...) who was looking for adoptive parents for her baby that is due this winter.

Um, OK ...

So we thought about it for a couple of days and decided to tell our attorney we wanted to learn more about her. He suggested we just talk to her. So we did. First, I talked to her on that Wednesday, then we met with her that Friday (meaning the day before we left for Texas ...). We really liked her attitude toward adoption and were interested in learning more about the birth father.

Meanwhile, we had an orientation scheduled with the agency in Fort Worth on the last day of our vacation. We decided to go ahead with that meeting because we weren't quite at the point to commit whole-heartedly to the local couple. We still needed to talk to the birth father.

So, yes, the meeting was good, but we were also interested in the local adoption opportunity. Greg finally connected with the birth father yesterday, and we've decided to proceed with this ... meaning ...


Yes, I'm excited.

A few things worth noting:

This time frame is similar to Cate's adoption story, which is summed up like this: We talked to the birth mom, then had a few weeks for people to sort things out, then started going to appointments with the birth mom, then Cate was born 15 weeks later. Similarly, we talked with this birth mom, needed the couple weeks before moving forward and should have a baby in four months. More specifically, we're meeting with the birth mom and our attorney on Monday to talk about some details of the process and then we hope to go to a doctor's appointment with her before we leave for New Zealand on Aug. 14.

This is definitely my preference for an adoption process. Private, independent adoptions like usually financially and logistically simpler and more relational, as far as getting to know the birth mom. Being led a birth mom like this was my hope, but I am realistic enough to know that this isn't the norm. Once again God has shown me his faithfulness to hear the desires of our hearts.

Friday, July 24, 2009

New Zealand bound ... almost!

I had Cate try these boots on this afternoon to make sure they fit before we go to New Zealand in a few weeks. And she's been walking around the house in them since. I guess she's ready to go see Aunt Cassie and Uncle Zac!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


My father-in-law sent me this picture from our Texas trip. See, I told you we had fun!

Pandora Radio

Pandora and I have become fast friends the last couple of months. (YouTube and I have been friends for awhile now.)

For those of unfamiliar with Pandora Radio, she provides music for free courtesy customized radio stations online. I make stations based on artists I like (like, let's say, Matt Nathanson ...). Then Pandora plays a song by Matt Nathanson, then follows with something like Matt Nathanson (take for instance, Snow Patrol ...). I can tell Pandora if I don't like a song, or if I love a song. Then my smart new friend will continue customizing the station based on my preference. She'll even tell me about artists and their albums, and go as far as to recommend other people I might like.

Like the song above by Joshua Radin. I mean, I might not have otherwise ever had heard it. If it weren't for my new friend Pandora.

I've learned some other songs, thanks to Pandora ...

And I have many other friends, thanks to Pandora quickly learning what I like. Luckily, you can be her friend too. And, you know, I'm looking forward to Aug. 5, when I can upgrade to an iPhone ... that means Pandora can go everywhere with me!

Thursday's Thought

Cate enjoyed jammin' with Jennifer a couple weeks ago. I'm thankful there are people in Cate's life who can teach her about music. Even though I appreciate music and conjure up all sorts of memories by just hearing a song, I am not very musical myself.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Worth Repeating Wednesday

If you could see the person God intended you to become, you would rise up and never be the same again. --Kolette Hall, an inspiring designer, on her blog

Monday, July 20, 2009

Don't mess with Texas ...

It didn't take me long to realize Texans like their state. Stars are popular decorations. The Texas flag flies where other states may be more likely to hang the U.S. stars and stripes. And, yes, two hotels -- one in New Braunfels and another in Fort Worth -- offered Texas-shaped waffles for breakfast.

That's all of us posing on the back deck of the house we stayed in for four nights.

We (meaning our family of three plus, Greg's parents, two brothers, two sisters-in-law, two nieces and one nephew) started our trip in New Braunfels, which is between San Antonio and Austin and is the home to Peggy's cousin and aunt.

It was fun hearing about Peggy's family. That's her cousin, Don, and his mom, Celeste.


We took a couple trips into San Antonio. First for Sea World ...

Did you know flamingos are pink because they eat shrimp? Seriously.

Yes, it was hot. Like 102 degrees. (But I learned I'd take Texas' 102 for Kentucky's 95 and humid.) The heat required sunglasses and much water. And it was tiring.

Then it was on to the Alamo and Riverwalk ...

The sisters-in-law went shopping (with our mother-in-law) at these local shops. Our favorite was ScentChips.

We got a small taste of Austin, starting with Rudy's BBQ, then continuing with visiting with Greg's cousin Alyssa and her husband, Stephen.

That's Alyssa (left) with Greg's youngest brother, John, and his wife, Christine. John and Christine were our vehicle buddies!

More to come on our visit with the adoption agency in Fort Worth.

There are many, many more pictures in an album I created on Facebook. Even you non-Facebookers can view them. Just click here.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thursday's Thought

This is my vacation reading pile for our trip to Texas next week.
How far in do you think I'll make it?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Worth Repeating Wednesday

Our hunger for the immediate clouds our perspective and often crowds out our ability to be thankful. ... God doesn't measure us by the list of our accomplishments, but by our faithfulness to the work he's given us. ... God reminds us daily that his most beautiful charms are the ones that take time to develop. There is no quick way to become someone's friend or build a lasting marriage. ... God's work unfold slowly, and good things are worth waiting for. But in our lives of instant gratification, the only thing we're slow about is learning God's ways. ... God's enduring work doesn't happen on the high peaks of passion but in the flatlands of perseverance.

--From "Butterfly in Brazil" by Glenn Packiam

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A really happy July 4th ...

[Just for the record, this is post 1,801. Seems like a fun number to point out.]

The Annual Taylor Fourth of July Gathering was moved to Kentucky Lake this year, thanks to Greg's aunt and uncle having a lake house and two jet skis. A pontoon boat also was rented for our enjoyment. Taylor family functions are always fun, but this one definitely tops my list.

And I even woke up with sore arms from tubing. Greg drove the jet ski that pulled the tube. Being thrown about the water while working to hold on to the tube was definitely the lake highlight of the day for me. Strange, I know.

Cate loved the pontoon boat and swimming in the lake ...

Greg was especially proud that his daughter liked to fish. And this was real fishing, not pretend fishing on our back porch that doesn't overlook a lake.
Cate caught that fish, by the way. As you can see, Daddy is proud.

And then we ended the day at Greg's parents' house in Tennessee, where the good fireworks aren't illegal. The following picture should be explained: While everyone else noticed a colorful fiery display coming closer than it should to the deck on which the women were sitting, I looked up and took a picture ...

There are many more pictures in a Facebook album. Go look here.

Creative Memories

Quite some time ago, my sister-in-law Christine showed me a Creative Memories album she's scrapped. I really liked the format of the PicFolio album and was waiting for a project to come along. I decided Greg's cousin's wedding was a good project. Basically, there's different slots for pictures, so I scrapped some and filled others with pictures. Here's a sample of Zak and Alysha's wedding present, which I gave them at the Annual Taylor July 4th Gathering ...

[I had more pictures, but for whatever reason Blogger had a mind of its own and was turning a couple of the horizontal ones vertically, so this is what you've got for now ...]

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy July 4th!

{Cassie, this post is dedicated to you and Zac. Mom almost asked me what I thought you all were doing for Fourth of July, but she caught herself mid-sentence and remembered this is indeed an American holiday, just as the Queen's Birthday is a Kiwi celebration!}

So, with that, we're thankful for our freedom here in the United States and the veterans who helped preserve it through the years.

Oh, and, Cate really liked that pig at the festival last night. In fact, she told another girl it was her pig.

July is also a good fishing month, apparently ...

Yes, even on the back porch. No, we haven't moved to the lake. Greg was sorting through some fishing stuff, deciding what to take with us to Kentucky Lake today and then to Texas (where we're staying some of the time on another lake) in a week. Cate was loving the rods. I bet she'd even touch the worms if it were the real thing.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Worth Repeating Wednesday

Have you ever noticed how you become more like your friends the more you spend time with them? ... Or maybe you've noticed it more with your kids -- they are more sassy or argumentative after spending time with a certain friend. The influence can be positive or negative, but the truth is, we become like those we hang with. The same is true with God.
--Jill Savage in "Real Moms, Real Jesus"