......revelations of one woman's reality of life, love, and all things hopeful...

Monday, January 2, 2012

...on 2,012 things 'to do' in 2012...

We bought our first home a few months ago. I love our sweet 1962 Ranch. When I drive though our neatly manicured neighborhood, I feel like I'm living in "Leave It to Beaver". The homes are modestly well-to-do, inhabited by many from the Greatest Generation who built their homes proudly...sturdy and made to last!

Yes, I love our sweet 1962 Ranch.

It needs some cosmetic work, but that's the beauty of it. I'm learning the value of a little creativity, elbow grease, and the helpful employees at Lowe's...all to make our house a home.

I made a fix-it-up 'TO DO' list for the kitchen soon after we moved into the house. There seemed so much to be done for this house to become a home that I hardly knew where to start. Making that list helped me to prioritize. Proudly, I have finished 4 out of 7 tasks on the kitchen list. The final three will need to wait for warmer weather or for us to save a little money:)

Much like our sweet 1962 ranch, my life needs some work, a little "tweeking" you might say. Some things are rather cosmetic in nature, but others, not so much:) I'm a little overwhelmed with where to start with said tweeking, so a "TO DO" list is in order.

"TO DO List Disclaimer":
The following TO DO List is NOT a New Years Resolution and should not be assumed as such. It is merely a list to help me determine the most important and most-achievable of the 2,012 tasks I would like to accomplish within the next 6 to 12 months:) I choose to purposely exclude diet, exercise, and spiritual disciplines from the TO DO list as these things are true lifestyle changes...not tasks to be checked off a list. Perhaps future blog posts about these lifestyle modifications are in order for the future.

2012 TO DO List....

here we go...

in no particular order...

1. Track every dime we spend for 2 months so we can see where in the world our money is going. (Started this yesterday).

2. Plant some trees in our front yard. This is a little more complicated than it sounds since I know very little about trees. This will require some research on my and TT's part:)

3. Initiate landscaping for the house. I think this might require a few seasons to get it like we want it...but maybe not:)

4. Plant a flowerbed of Zinnias and Dahlias.

5. Potty Train my baby. Holy Cow.

6. Replace our kitchen floor covering.

7. Sell my property in Rainsville, Alabama. This is a 3.9 acre lot in a nice subdivision. In the cul de sac. Partially wooded. Beautiful property! It's paid for, but I would love the have the equity. It doesn't look like we will be moving back to Alabama anytime soon:0

8. Become debt-free except for our mortgage. We are close. Yipeeeee!

9. Learn to sew scrub tops for work.

10. Grow my hair back out and get back to a healthy blonde:) Sorry, Quetta:)

So that's it. The other 2, 002 things to do in my life will just have to wait until next year.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

on the last ten months:)

The time was around noon, September 1, 2010.

I got a call on my cell phone at work.

This might be IT.

I had only known about this baby for about 6 weeks, and now it seemed he was on his way.

Thumpty-thump-thumpty-thump-thumpty-thump! It seemed I could literally hear my heart beating inside my head.

Oh the excitement. I couldn't stop smiling. I wanted to grab my purse and keys and SCRAM from my workplace as quickly as I knew how.

I stopped myself.

Get a'hold of yourself. This could all blow up. Dial it down a notch or two.

So I didn't leave work. I finished the day.

Fastforward to 10 p.m.

She's at the hospital.

Oh my goodness. Are they admitting her? She doesn't know for sure yet.

I get my bags all packed. Just in case....

Of course, I've had the bag packed for a couple of weeks now. You know, the one with the few teeny-tiny clothes, diapers, and bottles we had allowed ourselves to purchase. You know....just in case everything worked out the way he hoped it would.

I tell TT to go ahead and go to bed. He needed to sleep in case he had to make a long road trip in the middle of the night.

My phone rings again. This is it. They're keeping her. Oh my goodness!

I got the kitchen cleaned up.

I gathered up all the trash.

I emptied all the perishables from the refrigerator.

I can't sleep!

2 A.M.

Wake up, TT. You're about to be a Daddy.

One last status update on Facebook...."Road trip!"

3 A.M.

We're filling the tank and headed south.

6 A.M.

I get a text with a pic. Oh my goodness. This is real!

The phone rings. I answer. I hear the most precious set of lungs....whaling like a little newborn lamb!


Somewhere around noon, September 2, 201o, I laid my eyes upon the most beautiful thing I had ever seen...my Mark Tallen.

Life changed!

That was ten months ago. Everyday has been just as sweet.

Some moments have been flooded with exhaustion, but somehow, rest always came.

Some moments were for a time for learning to make the best guess....errrr....decision.... I could, then moving on.

Some moments have been for stretching....stretching my patience, stretching my faith, stretching my love. Yes, I stretched, but never to the point of breaking.

I've learned about the love of a child and the love of a parent. I've learned the unconditional love of a spouse. I've known the love of God in a whole new, indescribable way.

In ten months, I've learned that it really doesn't matter if my hair always looks good. I try, but somedays....well...

In ten months, I've learned that 'work drama' is so petty. People....let's just get the job done right so I can get home!

In ten months, I've learned my husband truly is the man I had hoped I was marrying on my wedding day. What a great Daddy! So committed to family and willing to do whatever it takes!

In ten months, I've learned what it is for someone to be Prolife, and I thank God for her daily. I pray for her that she finds Peace in her life.

In ten months, I've dreamed more about someone else's future than I have about my own. I see big, big, big things to come!



Thank you, Lord Jesus!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

on little purple & pink rosettes...

I don't know if it's completely normal, and I don't know if it's even slightly healthy.


Whenever I'm sick, I miss my Mom.

I've got strep throat. I've not had a good case of strep in more than twenty years, but it's just like I remember it...throat on fire, headache, earache, and backache. Aching legs, aching shoulders. I think even my teeth ache. Nothing tastes good...not that swallowing is even a possibility.

I also remember my mom giving me medicine like clockwork, waking me up at all hours to make sure we didn't miss a dose. You could count on it.

You could count on her.

Sometimes she would even sleep with me. I loved that when I was little.

She's not here.

I wouldn't bring her back from someplace that's far better than any place I could ever imagine, but I neither will I lie...I wish she was here and had never left.

Tonight, I went to my closet to find something warm to put on since the chills are still coming and going.

There it was.

Hanging in the back of my closet was the robe Mom gave me for Christmas one year. It's the prettiest pink with tiny pink and purple rosettes on the sleeves and collar. I don't wear it a lot because it's normally too thick and heavy for my comfort, but I've just never been able to part with it.

I put on the robe, and it was almost like she was here.

I'm glad I never parted with it.

I think I'm feeling better now.

Goodnight, friends.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

on the final decree

My hands trembled just a little bit. I knew what was in it...the thick envelope that the mail carrier left in our mailbox today. The return address was from the attorney's office that helped us with the adoption. It was the "on-paper, read-it-with-my-own-eyes" final decree of adoption.


My hands trembled, not with fear or anxiety, but with sheer joy and wonder.

I can still hardly believe it all.

Do all women sit and stare at their babies the way I do mine?

Are all babies this beautiful?

Do all mommies fall this hard in love?

I can't imagine loving him anymore if I had given birth to him myself.

In fact, I would not love him more had I given birth to him myself. I do love him as if I had given birth to him. That's the very essence of adoption.

The judge told us that our baby now has the full legal standing as a child who was born into our family. He told us that we, the parents, have all the responsibilities, just as if we had given birth to this infant. It's all legal now, according to the documents that caused my hands to tremble.


Somehow, I know it's more that just a legal matter.

It's most importantly Spiritual.

Adoption is a spiritual matter.

"For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not made you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." Romans 8:14-16

Although I'm confident that this passage is so much deeper than my mind can conceive, it has resounded in my heart for the last 9 months. When Christ gloriously gave me his Spirit to live within me when He saved my soul, the made the final decree of adoption. I have the full spiritual standing as a child of God. He, the most perfect parent, has the full responsibility of the good Father....Responsibilities that He fully, perfectly, willingly, and gladly fulfills...no matter what:)

I don't know why God chose to answer our prayer for a baby. I don't know why He chose to do it on the timetable that he did.

I don't know why some families wait years for an infant, while we only waited....well, we didn't wait. God just seemingly dropped this little angel into our arms.

I don't know why.

I'm just thankful.

And just in case you're wondering...

MT is now 9 1/2 months old. He had a check-up today, weighing in at almost 27lbs. He is 29 inches tall. He crawls and cruises. He has 2 little teethies on the bottom. He sometimes says 'Mama' and 'Dada' and 'Baba' (bottle). He loves to eat (everything but beach sand, that is). He rarely meets a stranger. He dances anytime he hears music. He loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Special Agent Oso, and The Little Einsteins. He takes 2 allergy medications. He usually sleeps through the night, but wakes up usually once during the night needing his passy.

I could go on and on and on...

...but I won't...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

about some new 'favorite things'

I have some new "favorite things".

It's mostly girly stuff.


Keep reading...

First, some awesome hair product. I apologize to my professional salon-owner friends, but I buy it at WalMart. It's called got 2 b kinkier. It's a curling mousse. And it works. GREAT! I have never been able to do the "scrunch" hairdo...it always makes my hair resemble straw....until now. I wash my hair at night, put it on my wet , and go to bed. I wake up with curly hair. No kidding, girls! I get so many compliments on my new hair!

Next...drumroll please....the Pasta Boat! As Seen on TV! It works! Love it! Cook perfect pasta in the microwave everytime! Dishwasher safe...top rack only! The problem is that my sweet TT and I have started doing the low-carb thing, so pasta is essentially out of our lives. However...you can also use it to steam vegetables which works great too! I bought mine at Walgreens for 9.99.

Finally, my favorite nail polish. It's called Sinful Colors. It goes on so good, and stays on! I think it stays on better than the polish used in professional salon manicures I have recieved. It comes in every color you can imagine...matte, frosty, shimmery, glittery...all of it! The really, really great news is that it's CHEAP! $1.99 per bottle at WalGreens, and sometimes it's on sale for $.99! Can't beat that deal!

This is not a paid advertisement for these products....but that would be nice:)
The end:)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"get over it," He said...

Arriving early, being the nerd that I am, I sat on the front row.

Being the introvert that I am, I sat in the last seat on the left, squished against the wall.

I couldn't wait to see who the lucky gal was who would sit next to me (humble, I know:). I mean, I'm nice and approachable. I'm still sort-of a "visitor" here. Who would be my new friend? I'm starving for some female friendship. What better place to meet a new friend than a women's Bible study? I've lived in this new state for more than a year now, and apart from some great coworkers, I've not made a single solid girlfriend. This was going to be the night. I just knew it.

The ladies filed in over the next 20 minutes. There must have been twenty or more. All smiling and conversing with each other. I made small talk, very small, with a couple of ladies, but that's the long and short of it.

And who was the lucky gal sitting next to me?

Ummmm....she must have been home sick, because the chair remained empty. EMPTY! Not a soul sat by me. Now, there were two other ladies on the other side of my empty-chair neighbor, but next to me, empty.

"Get over it," you say?

That's what He said. Sort of. The Lord, that is.

As I sat through the video portion of the introductory lesson, I clearly felt God say to me, "...-

WAIT- before you stop reading this- No, I did not hear God in an audible voice, and No, I'm not a prophet who hears from God and reports it to the world. I just felt Him convict me in my Spirit, and I have no doubt what He was telling me.

Now that we have that clarified, continue reading...

As I sat through the video portion of the introductory lesson, I clearly felt God say to me, "You don't need girlfriends, you need ME."


"You need ME to help you be the best wife you can be."

"You need ME to help you be the best mother you can be."

"I have big, big plans for your son, but he is going to face special challenges. You need ME to help you help him. Not girlfriends."

"Pray to Me."

"Listen to Me."

"Study My Word."

"Obey Me."

"Love Me."

"Let Me love you," He said.

Little did I know that I would be praying for my baby boy in only a few hours. At 2 a.m. the next morning, he was vomiting with his first ever virus. Scary, 5 month old vomiting. Hard.

Yes, I talked to HIM...not a girlfriend at 2 a.m.

The virus stayed at our house for a while, and I wasn't able to go to the next week's meeting. I've been working the workbook at my own pace. Now, I'm not at all being prideful, but knowing that there's always something to be learned from a particular scripture, no matter how many times you read it, I have to admit that the points being made in this particular study have already been driven home to me in my past experiences.

Does that make sense???

Not that I know it all, but more like I've learned these lessons the hard way, and I'm past it already.

This week, I've had good, good phone conversations with two girlfriends from back home.

Starvation now satisfied.

God is so good. He provides just what I need when I need it.

It's just like me to go out chasing the objects of my desires, doing things the difficult, exhausting ways. If only I will remember to seek Him. Study Him. Obey Him.

He'll provide those girlfriends when He knows I need them.

He'll help me be the best wife and mother I can be.

He said he would.

Now you know what's been on my mind today...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

about a pen name...

Sometimes I think about creating a blog using a pen name. Perhaps I could be numbered among the likes of Lewis Carroll (a.k.a. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland ), Ann Landers (a.k.a Ester Pauline Friedman, advice columnist), or Dr. Seuss (a.k.a. Theodor Seuss Geisel).

Sometimes I really think I need pen name.

There are thoughts in my mind that are practically oozing from my pores, but my discerning spirit tells me that those things may be too much for "Read My Thoughts". Not to be politically correct, but I'm afraid some of my writing would be offensive---especially if I am unable to convey my thoughts in the spirit with which I intend. I'm not angry or bitter toward a single soul on the planet, but telling the truth sometimes involves exposing the not-so-favorable qualities not only of myself but of others also.

Oh, oh, oh! The thoughts about the "first year" of marriage! HaHa! Now, I love, love, love being married, and I love, love, love, love, love my TT. Lord knows I do! But do I have some stories? You Betcha, I do!!! Most of these tales would have me as the butt of the joke and each blood-draining moment of embarrassment. Perhaps I would tell of all the ways God has blessed me with my perfect match...even when we have conflict...but somehow this is all still so new and just too personal to share with those closest to us. Perhaps someday I will have a blog called "Memoirs of the 30-something and 40-something, both never-married, educated-beyond-their-common-sense, HoneyMooners".

And then there's motherhood. I never knew love like this existed. How I want to tell the world all the details that fell into place for this precious child to be in my arms. It's chilling, actually, but I know the time has not yet come to reveal these things.

Not here.

Not for everyone.

Not yet, but someday.

And yet, I feel as I might burst to tell all these things.

Maybe I will create a pen name.

But what, oh what, would it be? That's a whole 'nother post.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Friday, December 31, 2010

a 'when harry met sally' new year's eve...sort of:)

I have exactly 1 hour 15 minutes to finish this "New Year's Eve" post.

Yes, I took a break from the wild party to come peck a few words out on the laptop.

Yes, I'm living every girl's dream...

... a dramatic New Year's Eve party wearing a fancy little black dress...

...you know, like the party in When Harry Met Sally....

...with champagne, party hats, and party horns...

...with streamers and confetti falling from the sky...

...the big band playing "Auld Lang Syne" as you fall into the arms of the man of your dreams...

...kissing passionately as the clock strikes midnight.

Well, I sort of am:)

We almost had party horns and hats. I saw some today at WalMart, but I decided they weren't really worth worming and squirming my way through the crowd of 14-year-old partiers huddled around the selection at the store.

And about the confetti...

Well, confetti equals clutter, and clutter gives me anxiety. Let's not do the confetti thing for the sake of my sweet TT....when I have anxiety, I tend to take it out on his most patient and precious soul.

And speaking of TT....

He has a terrible, terrible toothache. He has been to the dentist and has to go back on Monday. For now he has to take antibiotics and put ice on his face to help the inflammation.

Soooo...a passionate kiss is probably out this year.

But I am spending New Year's Eve with the man I love.

And the baby I love.

No drama.

Peace and Quiet.

And I wouldn't have it




Now, finally, for the 'real when-harry-met-sally new year's eve'....

Just a snippet of the Taylor Party, and those who watch til the end gets a special surprise!


FB friends click HERE to view videos:)

Monday, December 27, 2010

rerun: on keeping it real:)

I initially started my blog when I was the house mom at The Way Home, a faith-based maternity home for teen moms. In the beginning, I blogged because it was a free hobby. My salary at TWH was sufficient, yet minimal, so the whole blog-thingy was an excellent hobby...free..:)

Eventually I found writing to be an excellent outlet for expression of the thoughts, feelings, ideas that I didn't necessarily have an ever-open ear to tell. The great part was that no one was forced to listen to the quirky stories or mundane details that were my life...anyone who read, read because he wanted to.

The greatest part of blogging....it was my stage for keeping it real. I mean real. There are just some things I can't necessarily verbalize, but I can write. Sometimes it's sad and sappy, sometimes informative, and sometimes plain-ole-embarrassing. Through my blog, I've learned to just be who I am. I love keeping it real.

THIS RERUN is just that...one of the posts where I kept it real, girls. I am who I am, and perhaps this is TMI. Fun stuff from the days at The Way Home...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

rerun: pondering my mother

I can hardly believe this is the 5th Christmas without my Mom.

I've had more mountain-top and deep-valley experiences in the last year than I can number, and this holiday season has completely followed suit. Oh how I wish my Mom was here now. Especially now...to know my sweet husband, to play with my sweet new son, to answer my questions, to tell me how to overcome some obstacles that are causing me to stumble these days.

So the next in my series of "Read My Thoughts....the ReRuns": Pondering My Mother.

I really like that post. I hope you do too.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

rerun: the mouse wrestler:)

It's difficult to believe I've been blogging for almost 3 years!!!

I've decided to post of some of my favorite posts, a series of reruns, if you don't mind:) I will begin with one of the most popular posts ever to surface on Read My Thoughts. If you are a "regular" around here, you've likely read/watched this post many times. If you are a newbie... well, you've just got to see THIS (click here to check it out "The Mouse Wrestler")

Hope you enjoy!!!!

eat your heart out, Martha...DAY 2:)

Just because I told you I would...here's a pic of the blue and white snowman that I told you I was planning in my previous post. You can all breath a sigh of relief...I know you were just sitting on pins and needles waiting for me to post. HA!

I hope you've all had a fantastic Sunday.

I have.

Friday, December 10, 2010

eat your heart out, martha:)

I've always wanted to know how people make those beautiful Christmas cookies. You know...like Martha Stewart's cookies. Cookies that are edible artwork. Cookies that are just too stinkin' pretty to eat.

Well, enough is enough. It's time for me to stop envying and do something about it. I searched the world wide web and finally found THIS WEBSITE. It looks simple enough, so I thought:)

I went to WalMart, spent a small fortune, and purchased everything I needed.

This is meringue powder. Well, laaa-teee-daaaah! It's new to me, but actually a neat product. It replaces egg whites in the icing. I'd hate to give my family food poisioning!
On a little side note about the meringue powder...CONSUMER BEWARE!!! Although the label clearly indicates this container contains only 4oz, I didn't really notice that until I opened the really tall (as in "this-is-a-lot-of-stuff-for-five-bucks") container....
...and got a load of this...

...The really tall container is about half full. Just so you know....


I baked my little sugar cookie Christmas trees and snowmen.

Poor little naked Snowman!!!
Then the fun began! I mixed the meringue powder and water in my pretty white mixing bowl. Then I add the powdered sugar and little at a time. Which took FOREVER. Added a little corn syrup. Added a few drops of Almond extract. The beat the fire out of it until stiff peaks formed. I wasn't sure about the stiff peaks, but I hope this was right...

Oh...I almost forgot! In addition to using my pretty mixing bowl (a wedding shower gift that I thoroughly love!), I also used these beautiful measuring spoons given to me by my good friend Alice...
Don't you just love'em???

TT (on baby duty) sampled the icing. He licked the beater clean and said "it's alright". HA! Little MT was already out like a light. Aren't his little pajamas cute???

About 2 hours later, I had me some Christmas cookies all over the kitchen!!! The icing was still wet, but cookies were decorated- the most important part! I don't know how long it takes for the icing to dry, but I'm pleased with them so far. I'm hoping they dry!
Here's a few of the cookies...
Tomorrow, I'm going to get serious about this and try some....
....drum roll people.....
Blue and White Snowmen!!!!
Whoop! Whoop!
I know you will be checking my blog on the hour every hour to see the pics!!!
Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

our elf on a shelf...

I've been hearing all about "Elf On a Shelf". I soooo look forward to a few years down the road when we can do this with MT.

I happened to think....we already have our Elf. Elves (plural), actually.

I remember when I was in about the 5th grade, the year my Mom and her friend Peggy made the cutest little Christmas elves. I have four that my Mother made. This year I have them sitting under our tree like little watch guards over gifts. I love these little elves.

How cool will it be when MT is 3 or 4 years old to use elves that were sewn by my mom some 30 years ago!!!

I miss my Mom.

Especially now.

But she's here...
in all the things she left behind...
and immaterial.

I believe she knows all the good things happening here.
I don't even know how to finish this post.
I'm just glad.
So glad.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

on my christmas baby....

My sweet baby boy discovered his hands today. I know...I know....all babies do this, and it's all sweet. Surely you know how it is. Isn't it somehow different, sweeter, more awesome when the baby belongs to you?

MT held his little fists together and raised them up to his eyes only inches away. He wiggled his chubby little fingers then made fists again before his widening eyes. Down to his mouth went his hands....then up to his sparkling brown eyes...then back to his mouth. It was just beautiful, I tell ya!

Oh how I want to brand this sight into my memory! I want to hide these precious moments in my heart, for I know he's growing so fast and soon he will be using his hands for important things. Will he use them to pass a football someday? Will he play the piano? Will he be a great artist?

Will his hands someday be in chains?

For serving our country...?

For serving our Lord...?

This Christmas season has brought the mother of Christ, Mary, to mind.

I can relate to her a little bit...having a new baby. I don't know if she knew for sure what all was in store for her Son. Without a doubt, I'm positive she was in awe of his sweet little toes. Surely she kissed his little nose and "spanked" his cute little bottom.

She must have wondered what life had in store for Him. The angel had clearly told her, "you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end (Luke 1:31-33)." She must have wondered just how the details of His life would unfold.

Yes, I can relate to Mary this year....especially when she sang from her full and overflowing joyful heart...

My soul magnifies the Lord,

And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior

For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;


For He who is mighty has done great things for me,

And holy is His name....Luke 1:46-49

Yes, truly He has done great things for me!

I wonder what life has in store for my sweet baby boy. I know God has big, big plan for his life, and I can't wait to see how it all unfolds.

For now...I'm going to tickle his little feet. I'm going to kiss his little nose and "spank-spank" his cute little bottom as my soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior...
God is so good, isn't He?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

say whaaat?...scientists these days!


You know something profound or distinctly strange is about to follow whenever I begin a post with 'okay'.

Okay. THIS is weird. I mean I'm glad scientists have developed this new use for MRIs and all, and I'm sure there are many, many socially redeeming results waiting to be revealed. It's just that the image is a little weird to me.

That poor baby looks like Achmed the Dead Terrorist!

If you've never watched Achmed, check him out on Youtube. Funny stuff. Not kid-friendly, but funny stuff! Jeff Dunham is a talented ventriloquist!

oh so sad for my BamaSlammer...

Today I was scrolling through the newsfeed on facebook when I saw the saddest post I've ever encountered. My friend Shay wrote, "rest in peace, daddy. a very sad day for us."

My heart broke. Not because I was so close to Jim, but because I know what Shay will be facing in the coming days. Grief is hard. Grief during the holidays can seem unbearable.

I remember a particularly moving post that Shay, a.k.a. BamaSlammer, once wrote about her dad. BamaSlammer, a hard-working single mom of a toddler, hasn't done much blogging lately, but her posts are still out there. Check out THIS ONE.

I'm humbly reminded of those who may be having a Blue Christmas....praying for all of them.

Praying for you, BamaSlammer....

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I can do anything Sandra can do...BETTER:)

OK...I'm just gonna say it.

I had to search my heart deep and wide.

Do I have what it takes to face the challenges that will surely come?

Do we, TT and I, have what it takes?

Is it fair to the child? I mean, really? What will it be to be an African-American boy being raised by two old white nerds? TT and I aren't getting any younger, you know.

I searched my heart, and found a resounding YES!!!!

Yes we do, through Christ who strengthens us, that is. But I have to admit, on a much more spiritual note (ehem), my buddy-ole-buddy-ole-pal Gequetta gave me the vote of confidence that settled it all. I distinctly remember the steamy July evening, sitting in my lawn chair along the side of Hwy 27 watching the Somerset Cruise-In (a whole nother post for a whole nother day!), texting back and forth with Gequetta, bouncing my thoughts off of my friend regarding the whole race-thing. Finally she said...you can do anything Sandra Bullock can do.

You are so right, Quetta I thought! And that was that!

A funny thing happened today. Waiting in a most lengthy line at Wal-Mart, I realized my baby had been the subject of some ladies' attention when a Wal-Mart worker came up to me, joyfully declaring...

"We finally figured out who that baby looks like!"

"Who?" I couldn't wait to hear this....

"Sandra Bullock's baby, Louis!"


"Well, I will just go home and GOOGLE him for myself to see what he looks like!"

I did GOOGLE lil Louis....

You can decide for yourself...

MTT...Meet Louis...

I might can see it a little bit:)

Oh, and by the way....

About the whole race-thing...

I don't care if my baby grows up to be blue and red polka dotted! Yes, his race is different than mine, a fact that may create some challenges, but it's not better or worse. TT and I are not at all concerned with his race, but we are concerned with his character. We will do the best we can to teach our baby right from wrong, encourage him to appreciate his heritage, pray for the Lord's wisdom and help, and hope we handle the challenging times in a way that helps MT to grow up to be a man with impeccable character.

Isn't that what parents do...regardless of race.

Yeah, that's right!

Thanks, Quetta!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pray for Rain in Israel

I heard just a snippet on the radio today about a drought in Israel. I thought I heard it said that tomorrow is a day of prayer and fasting in Israel as called by Jewish rabbis. Home I came to research if this is fact.

Did you know that Israel is in its seventh year of drought? It seems that many Jewish Rabbis are proclaiming that the drought is a result of the many sins of the people (click HERE for example).

I was unable to determine if tomorrow is specifically set aside as a day of prayer and fasting for rain in Israel, but I know the people there are praying for rain. Some even traveled 1000 feet into the air in a balloon to pray (CHECK it OUT). I'm not sure if going up in a hot air balloon gets them closer to God, but I admire their faith and creativity!

I don't know why this radio news story touched me so much or why I can't get it out of my head. It just did. Perhaps this is God moving me....asking you....to pray for rain for Israel.

The news story got me thinking about THIS STORY. Cool, right? You gotta read it for yourself!

The news story also brought to mind a cool, cool song. Now, Southern Gospel is not my favorite genre, and the singers in this video would probably cringe at their 1990 hair and wardrobe, but the message and harmony is pristine nonetheless! Give it a listen!

FB friends click HERE to view the video.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Time to Exhale....


That's the number of posts I published on Read My Thoughts this year. Fifteen. Actually, my sweet TT wrote one of the posts, so I guess the true number is fourteen.

I used to write all. the. time.

Oh, believe you me, I've had plen-tee to write about. The problem was, some of it was so mushy sweet, I was afraid you, my dear reader, might just not be able to take it! Not that I don't have faith in you, but I do believe that sometimes it's just TMI...

It's been a fantastic 2010.

My first month in Kentucky brought more snow than I had experienced in the first thirty-something years of my life. The snow was just beautiful. Snow...not ice...just snow (Alabama friends and family understand my point here!)

February....the month of BLING! Yes, I got engaged. TT and I had been dating almost six months when, on my birthday, we wandered into a jewelry store, I squealed over some bling-bling, and he slapped his checkbook down on the counter. Holy Cow!

March, April, May.....a blur of beautiful bridal showers, trips to Lexington, and late night Internet shopping in preparation for...

June 12...quite possibly the happiest day of my life....my wedding day.

That's a whole nother post...


After our honeymoon in Hilton Head, South Carolina, TT and I returned to Kentucky and began our life as newly weds. I hardly had all of our wedding gifts put away when....

July 20....The Lord dropped the opportunity of a lifetime on my doorstep when we learned there was a little baby boy scheduled to arrive September 15th...he needed a family.

Wow. What a gift.
We were so excited, yet I was afraid to get toooo excited. These things sometimes fall through....

Sept 2, 2010....MTT breathed his first breath around 5:30 a.m. Approximately 6 hours later, I laid eyes on him. A nurse slapped an I.D. bracelet on my right wrist while I held him with my left arm. He was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

I've been his mommy ever since.

We struggled with legal red tape for 11 weeks....baby and I staying in Alabama while TT was working in Kentucky during the week and commuting to Alabama each weekend.

Finally, on Tuesday of Thanksgiving week, the "powers that be" gave us permission to take the baby out of the state. Thank you, Lord!

So here I am...taking time to exhale.

Both my Sweetheart Baby and little Miracle Baby and sound asleep.

I'm just enjoying the quiet, soaking up the site of our first Christmas tree...not only as newlyweds, but as a little family. Some of the ornaments are TT's old ornaments, some are mine, some were my Mom's, and a couple are new "Baby's First Christmas" ornaments.

I remember a time when I thought all of this was impossible for me.

Was I ever so wrong.

Now, that's hope.
God is so, so good.
TT, MTT, and me on Thanksgiving, 2010, at the home of TT's Aunt Kay in Otisco, IN.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Guest Writer: TT

On several occasions, I have had special guest writers to post their thoughts here on my blog. I'm excited to have my sweet TT record his thoughts. I think this post is just great:) And in case you've ever wondered how we met...

As my upcoming wedding day quickly approaches, I have to reflect back to a summer day last August. I was 39 years old and it was about two weeks before my 40th birthday. I had just made a new Facebook friend named Theia Chaffin and she had just sent me a message on FB hoping that my CT scan of my abdomen would go well that day. I sent her a reply thanking her for her good wishes.

That seemingly innocent exchange would lead to a series of messages and a first date on the eve of my 40th Birthday. I had just finished two long days of student advising and was coming home to Muscle Shoals, Alabama to celebrate this milestone birthday with my family.
However, this time I was stopping in Scottsboro, AL. to have lunch with a sweet princess at a Mexican restaurant called Buena Vista.

She wore a summery black dress and had lots of blonde hair and a beautiful smile. The dinner and conversation were great as we talked about our lives, our jobs and everything else we could think of. Thirty minutes led to an hour, then two hours and three. The staff at the restaurant seemed oblivious to what was going on around them, but I felt it. As is turns out, she did too.

Two days later we met for our second date in Huntsville, AL. After a quick dinner, we went to Big Spring Park where Theia proceeded to step in a pile of duck poop. She got it all over her pair of “yellow box” flip flops. I had no idea what a pair of “yellow box” were before that night. Now I can recognize them anytime/anywhere I see a pair.
This started a series of dates that fall in which we’d get together on an every-two-week basis. Sometimes I was coming home to Alabama and sometimes we’d meet in Lenoir City, TN just to go eat and hang out for the day. Regardless of what we did, I was having the best time ever. Theia Ann was everything a man (at least this man) could ever want in a woman. Beautiful, smart, sweet and could even put up sheet rock if called upon to do it. Over this time we met each other’s families and that went well too.

At the end of December her work at “The Way Home” came to an end and she moved up to KY to take a job at a nursing home doing speech therapy and to be closer to me. Wow. I’d never had a woman actually want to move 5 hours away from home to be closer to me. I have to admit I was a little nervous about it at first. But I soon got used to having not only a weekly date with my sweetie, but two and three dates a week with her.

One month later on February 5th, I took Theia out to Tumbleweeds restaurant for dinner at the Somerset Mall. After dinner, we strolled through the mall and stopped by Roger’s Jewelers to look at some engagement rings. After looking at a few rings that didn’t get her very excited, the clerks brought out “The Hannah.” Upon seeing this ring I heard an odd squeal that was high pitched, but not loud. You know the kind that is normally only heard by a dog. My girlfriend Theia was about to become my fiancĂ©

After a quick stroll around the mall, we went back in to the jewelry store and I surprised Theia by saying to the clerk “what’s your best price on this ring?” After a little back and forth, I had my checkbook out and was soon to be engaged to the best woman in the whole wide America.

The time since then has been filled with tea lights, glitter, dresses, tuxes, photos, showers and moving stuff from London to Somerset. Now with just a few days to go until the big day all I can say to my Bride-elect is “I hate deviled eggs, but I love cheese dip” and “I don’t want to milk a goat.”

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Random Update:)

I thought when I moved to Kentucky that I would have lots of blog material.


Well, not exactly wrong....it's just that I've just not had any major emotional epiphanies since I moved, and whenever I start to write a new post, it just seems sooooo boring! On the flip-side, as my relationship with sweet TT progressed to engagement (and now less than 2 months til marriage), I've had some very special revelations that I'm just not ready to reveal here! Perhaps you, dear reader, are thanking me for keeping those thoughts to myself:)

This "blog for today," to quote my good friend BamaSlammer who I miss soooo much, will be merely a random update on my new life in Kentucky...an only slightly-organized blogging stream of consciousness of a woman making a conscious effort to resist the urge to become a BRIDEZILLA:)

First of all...yes, work is going good. It's been an adjustment to get back into the long-term-care-setting swing of things. It's still as dysfunctional as it was the first 9 years of my career. Not much changed during my 2 years away:) My caseload has been plentiful (which is good). For the first time in my career I am working side-by-side with another speech pathologist. I have usually been the only one in the facility, so this is a pleasant change for me. Kissten, the other SLP, is a very sweet girl, and I have learned a lot of things from her! I work with some really intelligent and sweet therapists...they have been quite welcoming. I'm having a more difficult time establishing good working relationships with the nursing floor staff for some reason....It'll get better...The floors in the facility are sooooo hard, and as a result, I'm having a terrible time with pain in my heel. UGH.

The Wedding. I've become and expert at internet shopping. I've had a lot of help from some girls back home. My dress isn't here yet...but it should be in early May. June 12, 2010 cannot get here fast enough! The reception should be yummy. The ceremony will be beautiful! I'm so happy. We're going home to Tuscumbia the first weekend in May for a Tool & Gadget Party hosted by TT's cousin Anita and a Bridal Shower from his home church, Mt. Moriah Baptist. I have a wonderful family, and now I am honored with the blessing of marrying into another fantastic family. I will be going home to DeKalb County the 3rd weekend in May for my GIRLFRIEND PARTY, hair-practice, and bridal pictures. Both TT and I will go to DeKalb County (and maybe to Tuscumbia too) the 4th weekend in May. It's about to get soooo busy!

I've discovered a few new favorite-things....sort-of like Oprah's list of favorite things, except I don't really care for Oprah and that my favorite things can usually be found at WalMart or Kroger.

#1: CoffeeMate Creamer in "Coconut Cream" flavor...my step-mother Kathy turned me on to this one. It's DEEE-Lish! I can only find it at WalMart.

#2. Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers. Yum. Not your typical microwave meals. 6 Weight-Watcher points if you are counting. I've been counting since TT has been counting:)

#3. Jet-Dry for my dishwasher. My duplex has a high-fah-lootin dispenser for Jet-Dry. Wow...it really makes a difference in how clean the dishes are!

#4. The BP station on Main Street in Stanford, KY where I work. They pump your gas and their prices aren't higher than the next fellow's. That's what I'm talking about!!!

I told you it was gonna be random this time....

Until next time!

The Non-Bridezilla:)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

stealing buttercups

I'm sorry. I just could not control myself.

It happened today when I got home from work as I made the daily walk to the end of Beasley Lane to retrieve my mail.

I saw it.

It was the most beautiful patch of buttercups I've ever seen. Right in the middle of a green pasture full of rolling hills. Right next to a dilapidated house with a rusty tin roof.

I stood there at my mailbox and took in the view of those vibrant flowers, and I just had to get a little closer. There wasn't a fence to keep me out, sooooo....what the hay, right? I tromped through the green pasture until I stood there in the midst of the flowers. There were 2 varieties of daffodils in at least 4 original rows with many other random, wandering clusters scattered about.
They were gorgeous.


That's when I lost it. I just started picking buttercups as fast as I could. I felt like I needed them in a vase on my kitchen table now, and the urgency was almost more than I could stand.

I know...
technically I was stealing buttercups. I'm sorry. Sue me.

When I had collected as many buttercups my hands could hold, I was was stopped dead in my tracks by the up-close-and-personal-look at the old house that neighbored the beautiful flowerbed. I see the old house every day when I go to the mailbox, but I've never observed it quite like this.

Who once lived in the house and planted the four rows of buttercups? What was her story? Did she peer out from the bedroom window in the early mornings and admire the flower beds? Perhaps she, too, picked them in early spring to brighten her home. As I stared at the old house, I realized that she had planted those buttercup bulbs years ago and, whether knowingly or not, she planted something that had lasted for generations to enjoy. The bulbs not only lasted, but flourished and multiplied.

By the looks of the old house, it's been there on that land for generations and left empty and unattended for years and years. The live flowers, however, have by far outlasted the materials of the house.

I want to be that woman. Now more than ever as I prepare to begin a new life as a wife (and hopefully someday as a mother), I want to plant seeds that will last for generations. Perhaps there will be some literal flowerbeds planted, but I hope more importantly there will be lives affected positively, people who know real love, and more than even this...

Stealing buttercups, at least for today, was a good thing.

I must look for life's buttercups more often.
And now, to quote my friend BamaSlammer, this is my blog for today.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Today begins my quest for my perfect wedding gown. I'm so excited!

Terry's parents came to KY for a visit this weekend, and I am thrilled that Mrs. Shelia Taylor is going shopping with me. We are going to Danville first and then possibly into Lexington.

How fun!!!