Sunday, August 23, 2009

We're In ~ hip, hip....

HOORAY! Well, we are in our new house ~ finally. I officially got all of the remainder of our things from Abby and Jonathan's today. It was bittersweet really. My little one has grown to really love them both and of course Dakota too. It was nice getting to have social time with friends too. So much has changed since we had Kennedy. One of the main things that changes is scheduling and unfortunately just getting to "hang out" with people like we used to is harder and harder to do when there is a schedule to keep (especially when it comes to sleep). Moms - ya hear me?!? Anyhow - it has been a welcome change and blessing but it was nice getting so much time to visit in the evenings while we were there. We will miss that.

We started staying in the new house on Wednesday night and haven't left really. We have gotten a lot done but there is still so much to do. We thought we would just come in and slather on some paint but it has swiftly turned into so much more. Trim, outlets and outlet cover replacement, fixture and vent spray painting, ceiling painting, door painting and oh my word have I mentioned all the painting yet? Sheesh! I know it will look wonderful when it is all said and done, but boy am I ready to banish the paint and all the paraphernalia that goes with it! Thank goodness (yet again) for my Mother In Law because she has been staying here since Sunday and hasn't stop working since the second she put her things up - SERIOUSLY! It's humbling and gracious and oh my word I just can't even put my finger on it. It's just plain wonderful and we are thankful beyond description.

On Friday night some of our friends came over to help us paint and that was a HUGE help. It got us so much farther than we anticipated. Friends - thank you so very much. I didn't get pictures of everyone but I did get some pictures which I will include below. I am also going to attach a before and after picture of my new pantry which was a coat closet in it's past life. Hello - coat closet vs. pantry? Pantry wins! Tim really wanted to take on this project and I honestly didn't want him to. I could just see Tooltime re-runs in my head and knew it would totally be like that. I am glad to say I was wrong because the pantry turned out fantastic. Thanks to Billie and Derek for some donated materials it is sturdy too!

Not much else is going on in my world besides painting. I will tell you this - I just found out my old dear dog is very ill. I will post more later but please pray for him (Hampton) and me that I will know when it's time to say goodbye. He has been the best dog. I just can't even describe the bond between us. We will do a procedure tomorrow to make him much more comfortable but what he has can't be helped so we are nearing the end and I just need strength to handle it.

I finally registered for my marathon and have an exciting announcement to make in regards to that. You will have to come back to hear more about that!

Hampton has been staying at the clinic during the move - he is now home with me and will stay that way until we bring all our "children" home for good. Here he is observing our paint techniques.

Here is Mom - working hard as usual.

Abby and Courtney - hard at work painting our family room.

Kennedy and her new bff - Jonathan aka Jahsthen (or at least that is how I hear it and can spell it for ya!) carbing up pre-painting party.

*Not pictured are Billie and Derek who were also there helping out. Billie fixed some of my roman shades that otherwise would have been useless and Derek helped Tim finish up our pantry. Without further ado - behold the before and afters!

So....the after picture isn't so great but I was just thankful Tim took the picture for me so I could post it for you. It really does look good.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Few of her favorite things.....

Since we have been staying with Abby and Jonathan Kennedy has developed a few favorite past times I thought I would share with you all.

First of all, meet her new furry favorite friend aka Dakota or "Kota" for short. Now, Dakota sometimes has some ahem, how shall I say: naughty behavior? However - he has been an absolute doll with our daughter - letting her chase him, scream at the top of her lungs out of sheer excitement to see him and even touch his treasured precious camel toy. Amazing - they have become fast friends for sure!

How could anyone resist that face?

She likes for him to "kiss toes"

She likes to get in his crate and yell to whomever is listening: "shut de door"

She likes to walk him and yell loud enough for the neighbors to hear "Kota - go pee pee, Kota - go poo-poo" No worries y'all - she leans in for a closer look when he finds the perfect spot to take care of business. I suppose she wants to ensure he is following direction. Hilarious!

On to her other favorite past times at the hotel de Burns - (ones that don't involve Dakota that is).

Watching the.......

....larger than life TV. What can be better than Little Mermaid in HD?

She is fascinated with the "fishee" screen saver. As soon as she sees the computer she says "I watch de fishees".

Her Daddy built a fort on their sofa and it was quite the big hit as well. She kept trying to get Dakota to "come in".
Anyhow - it's been fun being here and obviously Dakota and Kennedy are enjoying every minute of it. I think they might have withdrawals when we move out. We have our final walk through in our new house today and we officially close tomorrow at 1:00. Plans are to clean this weekend and paint next week. We hope to move in on the 22nd. Something tells me Kennedy might not want to go.....

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Back in the saddle again...

I haven't posted in a while about what I am currently training for: so here goes!

When Chelsea and I were training for The Derby Half Marathon, I bought a movie from our local run shop to help get us "pumped up" before the big day. There is a certain level of pre-race anxiety and nervousness that some athletes experience prior to the events they have trained for. Despite the number of races I have completed, I am not immune to that nervousness. Since I knew that Chelsea was a little nervous too, I thought watching something empowering and motivating would be just the thing to shake those nerves. I had heard a lot of hype about the movie Spirit of the Marathon and I had been really anxious to see it myself. This movie isn't exactly the type of movie you can find at your local blockbuster which is why I got it at Johns Run Walk Shop.

The movie is really neat - it documents 6 (I think) different individuals training journeys for The Chicago Marathon. Chicago is a very popular race because there is a great deal of crowd support and the course is nice and flat which is good when you are talking about running 26.2 miles. This race fills up super fast every year because of it's popularity. Anyhow - I have always wanted to do Chicago so it was really cool getting to experience it without actually being there. The runners in this documentary are of several different ages and are very diverse in their level of running "skills." It is just a really cool movie. It reinforces the reality that ANYONE can be a runner at any age and at any athletic level. It's inspiring. It's feel good. I cried. I laughed. I loved it. AND - it was just the thing we needed to get us ready for the race. It even made me want to attempt a full marathon again - something I said I would never do again - EVER. That's what I get for saying because (you guessed it) I'm gonna do it!

My sister Catina and I are going to run this journey together. We will start with The Salem Lake 30 K Trail Run in September. Catina ran this race last year and almost placed in her age group so I have informed her that we most likely will not stay together but that we can start together. When I was in town for Thanksgiving last year I ran part of this course with her and really enjoyed it. It is a really pretty area (click here for a pic) so I am totally looking forward to this run.

Next up will be the full marathon that we have potentially selected. I say potentially because Catina isn't sure about the date, but for now - we are planning on The Louisville Marathon. I stumbled upon a blog about this race the other day and it really got me looking forward to it because everyone seems to love it!

Lastly, I am considering doing a race with Janine. We need a running reunion - ha! She has decided to take on the challenge of running her first half marathon. This is a huge milestone for a girl who couldn't run 2 miles consecutively when I met her in college! Go girl - I am so proud of you! I would LOVE to do this race and just overall experience another training journey with her but until Catina and I have solidified which full we plan to do, I can't commit. Hopefully if I decide for sure to do that half with her it won't be full.

So...that's it in nut shell. I have already begun my training - 8 mile long runs the past two weekends. Tomorrow @ 6 my trusty running steed (Courtney) will meet me for my first 10 miler in a LONG TIME. Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Back, back, back it up...

Okay, so like I said last night - I had skipped a posting and forgotten to tell you about the week prior to our actual move. Not that anyone cares about my every move, BUT, family reads this thing and I get to post super cute pics of my kiddo. So - onward! When we returned home from Melissa's wedding on Sunday it dawned on me that Tim was leaving all that next week and the week after we were moving. There was SO much left to do. Honestly - this whole transition is enough to stress even someone as even tempered as my husband out so I was just trying not to lose grip on reality. It is by the sheer grace of God that I haven't gone off the deep end - seriously!

Whenever sweet Nana (who happened to have stayed with our critters during the wedding weekend) realized that Tim was going out of town that whole week she offered to stay and help. Why would anyone in their right mind offer to do such a thing? I know - that's what I wondered. She is a saint though - that is all I can say. Her gift is giving and serving and boy does she do it well. Thank God she stayed because we never would have been able to pull it off without her. Sara Beth kept Kennedy as usual that week on Monday, Wed and Fri and Mom worked ALL DAY to help us clean house, pack and move boxes. Love her heart. I can't really express how much we appreciate all she did. There just aren't words to describe one's kindness sometimes. I can only say this: I hope that Tim and I are always there for Kennedy like she is always there for us. I really do.

When Tim arrived back home after a week of being away there was still a lot left to do. Mom and I had discussed ways that would make the remainder of the work easier and what would be best for Kennedy. In the midst of the stress of moving we had a bit of a childcare snafoo if you will. So...we decided Mom would take Kennedy back to WV for the week and Tim and I would have our evenings to solely pack and get ready to move out of our home on Friday that week. Sunday afternoon after lunch at Zaxby's - Mom left for WV with my baby. Honestly - I sat in my car and cried - not just a sniffle cry - an all out out of breath kind of cry. I knew she was going to come back but it was still hard. So much of our schedule revolves around her needs now that it was just weird thinking of a whole week together without our baby.

In the long run - it was just what we needed. Tim and I got to have a date night without paying a sitter which has become virtually unheard of for us and we were able to get lots accomplished during the evenings to prepare for our move. We did the bulk of the moving that Friday and by this past Sunday we were totally out for good.

Mom had so much fun with Kennedy as you can read about on her blog. They went swimming, played with the neighbors girls, they went and visited Tim's grandparents, they went to the local children's museum and on the list went. Mom says she only asked about us once which was good and hard to hear but either way I know she had so much fun with Nana and Pawpaw. She has asked about them several times since she got home - wonder if that means they are more fun? ha! I was so happy to see her on Sunday words can't describe. It is nice to know that she will do well at Nana and Pawpaws when we need their help.

Playing with Sophie and Lyla

Apparently she loved the Barbie Jeep

Great Grandma and Great Grandpa

The seahorse tank at the Children's Museum - very cool!

Overall, I am fairly certain this grin sums up how she felt about her time at Nana and Pawpaws.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The move

Two fantastically incredible things are occurring right this very minute. #1: I am still awake and it's after 9:00 PM (never mind the fact that it's most likely due to my consumption of a medium diet coke at 7 PM). #2. I am blogging for the second day in a row (Once again - because I have daily internet access. I won't make you repeat it aloud with me this time).

On with the reason I have daily internet access. One would infer that it would be due to acquiring cable internet access or having more flexible income - that one would be wrong.

Most of you know our house has been on the market and most of you who know that also know it sold. So...we bought a house in Lexington and last week we moved out of the home we have lived in for about 3 years. So much has happened in that house - we were engaged when we purchased it, we brought our first child home from the hospital to that house, we have changed jobs while in that house, we have made some incredible friends in our neighbors and well - it has some really warm fuzzy memories. When we packed our last box on Sunday it was bittersweet. I am glad we are embarking on a new, more financially sound future (ie: downsizing) but it is sad to leave those memories and the close proximity of some good friends. It was really real to me when we drove out of the driveway talking about the new house and Kennedy said "bye bye house". Truthfully I think Kennedy is ready for this move because she knows the "new house" comes with a new and barely used backyard play set. Smart girl!

We had to be out of our house on August 3rd but are not able to move into our new house until around August 15th. So...obviously that has presented a strange set of circumstances. Luckily we are blessed enough to have friends like Jonathan and Abby who have opened up their home for us to live until our new house is fit to move into and Bill and Jean McCaw who are willing to let us store our things in their basement and keep our pets at the veterinary clinic where I work and that they own. Even as I type it, it just humbles me that people will open their hearts and homes to help someone who needs it. I feel like it is really important to Tim and I to always have an open door policy in regards to our home and it's jut really nice that we have been welcomed by friends into their "open door".

We moved into Abby and Jonathans effective on Friday of last week. Let me tell you what - welcoming us + toddler is no easy feat. We come with a lot of baggage and I mean LITERAL baggage. I can't even believe how much crap it is going to take to sustain us for 1-3 weeks. Craziness! Aside from chasing Dakota around with items he has deemed his own it has been really great. Kennedy loves Dakota and wants to take him "potty" and for walks. She is taking a real liking to Jonathan too. I wish I could phonetically type out how she says his name but I can't really put a spelling on it. I can tell you this - it's PRECIOUS! Tonight before I laid her down to sleep she was talking about seeing Abby and Jonathan "omorrow". Ha!

All of the preceding paragraphs were my long winded answer on how I have daily internet access. It's solely because they have daily internet access. I am thankful - I have missed it.

I realize (late realization most likely due to the fact that it's almost midnight) that I skipped a posting that should have come before this one - Kennedy's week @ Nana's. Hey - since I have (you guessed it) - daily internet access maybe I can post on that tomorrow. Until then....

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Let me start way back

I have decided since there are so many things to post about I am going to start at the beginning of those things - my sisters wedding and bring my one or maybe two readers up to speed on the Taylor life happenings.

Because I have daily Internet access - oooh I love the way that rolls off my tongue - lets say it together in unison now "I have daily Internet access". So sweet! I will get to the how and why I have daily Internet access soon enough in one of my upcoming series of postings.

So..Melissa's wedding weekend (July 17-19). We left Lexington on a Wednesday afternoon with Chelsea following behind us to come and keep my little girl during the weekend festivities. That trip is a long one and Kennedy did as well as can be expected. We arrived late Wednesday night and got all situated for the evening....or so we thought. Kennedy did not sleep - it was awful. She was up so often that I began to lose grip on reality during the evening. When I woke up on Thursday morning for a run with Melissa I felt in a complete daze. I had no clue what was wrong but she just didn't sleep. When we got back from our run and were getting ready for our pedi and mani appointments Kennedy was saying "band-aid" and gripping her ear. was all beginning to make sense - the non-sleeping and the morning fussiness. Great! Right in the middle of the weekend rush - away from home - my child had seemingly developed an ear infection. Perfect! Tim and Chelsea took Kennedy to a Minut Clinic which is a little clinic inside of CVS's. They were in and out and had an antibiotic in hand and Kennedy was on the mend. All of this was going on while I was getting a mani and pedi - the utter IRONY! The
spa where we had our appointments was amazing and they did such a good job that I just took my polish off yesterday: what! That's awesome!

After our spa day it was rehearsal dinner time. The rehearsal was at a neat little pizza place which sounds super casual but it was really cool - a neat ambiance if you will. The floral arrangements Steve's parents had made were insanely beautiful and they had them done at the Farmers Market. Can you believe that?! All she did was take them the vases and they did the rest and for cheap too. I mean - I thought that was crazy insane. That's what big city living will give you access to people. I spent the night with Melissa in her hotel suite downtown which was in one word - ridonculous (937 sq feet people!). I wish I had taken pictures but I didn't - words can't really describe it. All I know is it must be how high rollers live on a daily basis - absurd.
So Pretty

My sisters, my grandparents, and I

The Farmers Market - Really!?!?!

Once I got up on Friday morning Kennedy and Tim arrived at the hotel for play time with cousins and I headed out to run home and get my wedding prep items together to be the best Matron of Honor possible to my big sister. It looked like I was moving or something - ha! Next up: hair appointments. My hair guy was a trip and a half but he did a good job. After hair - makeup @ the Bobbi Brown counter. They did a pretty good job I thought and then it was off to the church.

See what I mean? I could have been taking a small trip.

My funny hair dude.

After our Bobbi Brown makeover!

Just to add a quick funny story. It's kind of not really a secret that my Mom is brutally honest with us about...well - ANYTHING really. We were all sitting in the little get ready room sipping on some prosecco and my Mom looks at my hair and says "it looks way better than it did at your wedding". Ha! You gotta laugh or else you might cry. I told my Mom - "man, I hope I am more tactful with my own daughter one day". Else she will end up like me and change five times before meeting friends for a casual lunch like I do. Argh! That's a Mom for ya! What are you gonna do? So anyhow - apparently my hair looked pretty good.

The wedding ceremony was beautiful and the little girls in their matching dresses were too precious for words. I can't wait to see the pictures the photographer snapped. The weather that day was amazing and the church was breathtakingly beautiful.

Kennedy and Chelsea (aka the best babysitter a girl could ask for).

In the Limo - ready for the reception

The reception was at the Charlotte City Club and again - words can't really do the place justice because it's simply more gorgeous than I can explain. The reception was a straight party - we danced our high heels off - literally. Melissa and Steve had a blast and so did everyone else. I was totally wracked with nervousness about my toast but in the end it went really well. They both loved it - there was laughter and there were tears - a perfect blend of emotions in my opinion. I was kind of numb during the actual toast- totally focused on the task at hand. If the number of wedding guests who complimented me is any indication of how it went - it went pretty well which is good since my big sister deserves only the best. After the wedding a lot of the younger guests went over to Champions which was the restaurant/bar on the bottom floor of their hotel and we just visited some more. Tim and I got a cab around 2 AM back to Melissa's house and called it a night. The wedding was a big success.

Saturday morning I said "goodbye" to Chelsea and I could cry just typing about it. Gosh - where do I even begin to explain how much we will miss her. She has been an indescribable blessing to our family and we will never forget the impact she has had on all our lives. She is in Pennsylvania now and started an incredible journey yesterday at a Crisis Pregnancy Center in her hometown. They are so fortunate to have her and I know God has huge things in store for her there. I am thankful that my Mother in law lives half way between here and there because Chelsea is family now and frequent visit will hopefully continue to occur forever in our future.

The first picture taken of my sweet pea and her Chelsea together. Wow - memories.

Steve's parents had a lovely get together at their lake house on Saturday afternoon and it was nice to get to visit a little more with family and friends. The little girls got to swim and go on a boat ride and us big kids got a pristine lake view off a stunning balcony on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Kennedy's first time in a life vest - all ready for her first boat ride!

The back deck view from the Wall's home - imagine waking to that every morning!

Kevin, Catina and the girls stayed with us at Melissa's house after the lunch on Saturday and we all departed Charlotte on Sunday to head back home. It's always hard to leave my sisters no matter the occasion or time between our next visit but time together is so precious I wouldn't' trade it for the world. Enough for today....more tomorrow (hopefully).

Uncle Kevin and the girls