Our Little Family

This weekend was a dreamy one. It started off with a perfect at-home-date on Friday night complete with watching “When Harry Met Sally” all snuggled on the couch with lots of treats. The next day was just this simple family-focused kind of Saturday. We ran errands, cleaned the house, played with the girls, went to the splash pad, went to dinner with my parents, and even hung some frames along the stairs. Chad and I took an evening stroll after the girls went to sleep (don’t worry – we didn’t venture too far) and couldn’t get over how perfect the day was. I think it had something to do with the fact that it was a completely ordinary day. And yet, it was the EXACT kind of ordinary that we have been working so hard to get to. Our home, our girls, our lifestyle. We’re so completely happy all together. I just can’t get over it. Today (Sunday) the girls magically slept in, we went to church, I did some ministering work with my companion, and we made a fancy meal for Jen and Alissa. We still fit in some personal downtime, an evening walk, playing with the girls, and Come Follow Me.

Ordinary weekends are turning out to my favorites. We need to plan more of these in. I’m so happy as our little family of four in our little townhome.

Perfect Moment #2349845

I love those brief snippets of parenting perfection. The kind when you’re exhausted and just need a break, and then something completely adorable happens to make you forget about anything else. Cameron and Katherine’s wedding was a beautiful and utterly exhausting parenting day. In the middle of Cameron’s reception, Chad and I were playing with the girls in some grass next to all the tables. I looked up and saw Chad, looking handsome as all get out, coming around a hedge holding Nora’s little hand, guiding her along in front of him. My whole heart just melted. Not only is he incredibly kind to me day after day, he is incredibly kind to our girls. We three are the luckiest to call him ours. I still have NO idea how I found him, but thank goodness I did. 

Habits

Habits, habits, habits. This word keeps running through my mind. After reading Atomic Habits by James Clear, I’m attempting to make some big identity changes that will help me change my habits. Here are a few examples:

I am healthy therefore I floss daily, run at least one mile daily, start each day with a healthy breakfast, and am drinking less soda.

I am a learner, therefore I am writing 200 words a day, playing the piano every day, and listening to an audiobook or podcast daily.

I am an attentive mom, therefore, I am doing Nora’s hair every day, brushing the girls’ teeth not once, but twice every day, and have 15 minutes of pure-play each day.

I am spiritual, therefore, I pray vocally and read the Book of Mormon personally every day and study Come Follow Me with Chad each evening after the girls go to bed, but before we get too tired.

One main take away has been the concept of not breaking a streak. I’m keeping track of my streaks right now. The best is flossing for 14 days. I’m most impressed by my running a mile 12 days straight and my writing 200 words 10 days in a row. Go, team!

I Love You Today

Every night Chad and I tell each other what we love about the other for that day. Last night I told Chad I loved him for being patient with the girls on the plane, for going to In-n-Out with me and eating our feelings, for watching the girls so I could enjoy time with my family, for making the most of our morning together, for just being him. That’s typically how it goes. It’s a list of sorts.

Today I feel exceptionally loved by Chad and not for any stereotypical romantic movie reason like him getting me flowers or complimenting my hair. I love Chad today for helping me pursue my goals. I’ve been running a mile every single day for 16 days. On Sundays and migraine days I walk that mile. Today was a migraine day, but 9:30 pm rolled around and I still hadn’t walked a mile. I was about to give up on my streak, when Chad said, “Come on. I’ll go with you.” We locked the door and walked back and forth in front of our home. Never getting too far away that we couldn’t see our home where the girls were sleeping. We chatted about our days, our future trip to San Diego, our work, and our plans for the future. I love him for the conversation. I love him for being my buddy in all things. And I really love him for taking something important to me and making it important to him. That’s love to me.

Forever Families

Today was my older brother, Cameron’s wedding to his sweet love, Katherine Walsh. It was beautiful. Cam is the last to get married of my siblings. Now all 5 of us have been married in the temple. How incredible is that?

When we were in the Sealing Room after the ceremony, my immediate family hung back to hug and have a moment all looking into the eternity mirrors. It was a sweet, picturesque moment. It was dually made better and worse by Grandpa Russ saying, “I’ll be going next!” Such a funny, perfectly grandpa moment.

There was a moment during my Dad’s toast where he got all choked up thanking Katherine for loving his son. It was my favorite moment of the wedding. I realized how precious that fact is. Cameron is loved today. That’s all anyone ever wants. What a beautiful thing to celebrate.

In all reality, the wedding was a bit crazy with the girls. Between sobbing while we drove to and from all the various wedding venues and sobbing during every formal picture moment, Chad and I are exhausted. We’re SO happy for Cam, but SO done with weddings with twin 16-month-olds. It is 100% time to sleep. Peace out!

Happy 16 Months

I was really great at recording the girls’ new skills for that first year. Every month felt like a HUGE milestone. Now here we are 4 months into their second year already! With the move and the craziness of summer, it’s been a bit of a blur. So I thought I’d slow down during the girls’ afternoon nap and write a little.

Pregnancy is beginning to feel like a distant memory and the girls are looking like BIG kids. They are 100% toddlers now. Goodbye baby stage, hello toddling little girls. It’s been so fun watching them grow. I know that we all learn to talk and walk and eat on our own, but it’s stunning to watch every single stage rollout. I have been there for their first steps, their first experiences with chocolate, raspberries, and J-Dawgs. I was there the first time Ellie babbled “Giggle giggle giggle,” over and over again. I was there when Nora first attempted to climb the stairs and stunned us all at how good she was at it. I get to be there for it all.

Being a mom is a lot of things, but I never knew one of them is simply an ever-present set of eyes. I am more of a walking history of their childhood than they will ever be. It’s a privilege to watch them grow. I love to just sit back and watch them discover new things around the room. They are learning and moving and laughing and crying at an ALARMING rate. There’s so much to take in from their new eyes.

Ellie is currently trying to play peek-a-boo by covering her mouth with her hands. Nora is slowing learning to turn her cute, little walk into a run. We started having a time-outs for touching the stove dials, biting, and pulling hair. Who knows if it’s even working. Let’s hope. Blankets, books, and toys that make sounds are all their favorites. Nora is a little pickier in the food department and LOVES her milk. Ellie is ALL about ALL the food. There’s not much she doesn’t stuff into her mouth with excited anticipation.

I love these girls. I love when they bring me books and sit on my lap for me to read to them. I love when they see an open baby gate and hurry to freedom, giggling all along the way. I love that they giggle back and forth with each other like little besties. I’m the luckiest to be their mom.

NessNyChaCha

We spent the last 5 days in Tahoe. It was blissful. Our couple besties, Chad and Brittny, came with us. If you include driving, we had 5 full days of vacationing together. We spent hours at the beach, ate delicious food, played a million games, and laughed about who-knows-what and dinosaurs all day, every day. Here are a few of my favorite moments:

1. Walking the Tahoe Shore Trail

This trail was only finished last month and is expected to eventually wrap around the entire lake someday. The views were stunning. Chatting and walking along the lake together was the highlight of the trip. I love how unfiltered we all can be around each other.

2. Burnt Cedar Beach

We spent hours in this gorgeous place. From hysterical races in the pool to reading in the sun (but mostly the shade), it was SO relaxing. I haven’t felt this relaxed in months. I am so grateful Mark and Kathleen wanted to watch the girls for us. I wasn’t aware of how much I needed a true and complete break.

3. Games, Games, and More Games

Chad and Brittny our are dream game friends. Almost every single time we are together we are gathered around a table playing games. Over the span of 5 days, we played Yahtzee 5 times, Minigolf 1 time, Monopoly Deal 8 times, 5 Minute Marvel 2 times, Ya Blew It 7 times, Cover Your Assets 6 times, Life 1 time, and Spades 2 times. I think what we learned from all of this is that I am great at Life, Chad Taylor is an extremely lucky roller, Chad Hart covers his A$$ets, and Brittny is a true real estate mogul.

4. Deep Chats

Scattered throughout our trip, we had some really good conversations together. We discussed our beliefs, our families, and defining moments. On our way home yesterday, we picked one word to describe everyone.

Chad Hart: Bold

Brittny: Sparkly

Chad Taylor: Friend

Me: Thoughtful

I feel really lucky to have had the last 5 days with my husband and our friends in one of my favorite places on earth. The trip was rejuvenating and peaceful. It was nice to step outside of reality for a bit and feel grounded again. And now as it’s time to step back into reality, I feel significantly more capable. So here’s to adventures and resets.

NESSNYCHACHA NESSNYCHACHA NESSNYCHACHA

Family Forts

Today started out as a pretty crappy day. I woke up with a pounding migraine, the ones that leave me in bed all day. We didn’t make it to church like we hoped. We ended up having to cancel plans with family too. Even though Chad was a gem and brought me medicine and food and anything else I could possibly need, I was bummed.

Around 4:30 in the afternoon, I stumbled downstairs to grab a drink and found Chad and the girls inside a fort, which was really just our biggest blanket thrown over the kitchen table and tied just so, so it wouldn’t fall down. The girls were happily crawling in and out of the fort, giggling and laughing. Chad asked me to join them and threw me a pillow so I could lay down next to him. Once inside the little family fort, Ellie would leave, grab a little bit of snack she threw on the floor earlier, and then stop and tilt her head just so. At that angle she could just make out my face under the blanket. She would giggle so hard then rush inside to come closer. Nora was pretty content inside the fort, crawling closer, poking my face, then crawling away.

At one point, both the girls had journeyed out of the fort to eat more of their left over snack on the ground under their high chairs, and it was just Chad and me. We were laying there holding hands under the kitchen table listening to the girls babble. It was one of those extra sweet moments – the ones you never want to end. The kind that cause you stop and appreciate exactly what you have.

I told Chad right then we need more fort equipment like clothespins and rope and he began designing our next bigger and better fort. I think we have a new Sunday tradition starting up and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Home

I love our new home. It’s everything we wanted. It fits our little family and feels so homey. I thought it would be great. It’s 10 times more than that. I haven’t felt more at home maybe ever.

Everything is light, filled with my favorite people, my favorite books, and my favorite pictures. It’s exactly where I belong—where we belong.

Two years ago I was driving near our new town and I had the distinct thought that we would live here someday. It was an overwhelming feeling. I looked out my car window and was a little stunned and bewildered. Herriman of all places? Really?

I couldn’t see the future then, I wasn’t even pregnant yet, and after a few months, I forgot all about it. Just this week I was driving with my girls on that same road looking out over Herriman. The song, “I See the Light” from Tangled was on and that distinct memory came back as I listened to these words:

“Now I’m here suddenly I see
Standing here it’s all so clear
I’m where I’m meant to be.”

Now I know this moment sounds oh so cheesy, especially because a Disney song is featured, but it was POWERFUL for me. I sometimes doubt big decisions after I make them. A bit of fear takes root in the back of mind, but thankfully, those roots are already gone. I’m grateful for the guidance of the Spirit and the comfort He brings. This is where we’re meant to be right now. I can feel it.

So here’s to being settled, to LOVING our home, and building a little life for ourselves way out here in the boonies.

The Taylor European Adventure

I really should be working right now, but the girls are asleep and I just want look through pictures and reminisce about our trip. We went to Europe with the whole Taylor clan (except babies). We did Paris and London with everyone and then Chad and I went to Switzerland alone in the middle of the trip. It was 8 lovely days filled with delicious food, insane amounts of walking, bundling up in coats, beanies, and gloves, lots of quality bonding time, and way too many pictures. And 2 long travel days of course.

I LOVED it. Some of the best moments were amazing and grand, but more often though, they are the perfectly ordinary moments all along the way. Here are a few of my favorite moments of the trip:

Day 1: Paris

  • Laughing with everyone in the freezing wind and rain as we climbed 700 stairs up to the second story of the Eiffel Tower.
  • Holding hands with Chad as we walked across a bridge and saw the most magical sunset.

Day 2: Paris

  • Taking an hour to walk a half a mile to enjoy the sun and the beautiful things people were selling along the Seine. We found the yummiest Eiffel Tower gummies in the most out-of-place pirate candy store.
  • Finding the best crepes near Notre Dame and Chad “accidently” eating more than his fair share of Kate’s crepe.

Day 3: Versailles

  • Biking through the gorgeous gardens of Versailles and picnicking with the most delicious farmers’ market lunch.

Day 4: Mt. Pilatus

  • Riding a gondola to the top of Mt. Pilatus. When the gondola dipped a bit, a big tour group on the gondola with us screamed and then cheered in unison when we didn’t die.
  • Chad throwing a snowball at me. I don’t know why it was so much more fun in the Alps. Minutes later I slipped on the ice and an Italian man helped Chad pick me back up while we all doubled over laughing.

Day 5: Lucerne

  • Finding a giant chocolate store with a million truffles and a chocolate fountain wall inside!
  • Eating lunch overlooking Lake Lucerne on a cute red bench and just enjoying the beauty of this darling town.

Day 6: Zurich

  • Scootering around the waterfront with Chad by my side, avoiding cobblestone like the devil.

Day 7: London

  • Making another wish in the Buckingham Palace fountain. I’m a big fan of fountain wishes.
  • Walking through SoHo and admiring all the darling shops.
  • Standing in the security line outside of the British Museum in the pouring rain with four of us huddled under one umbrella. Kate kept saying, “There is SO much happening right now!” as we all stepped on each others toes laughing.

Day 8: London

  • Eating some amazing fish and chips in the Borough Market. I could go back every single day.
  • Riding a double decker bus listening to our guides hilarious commentary and looking out at my favorite city. It was perfect.

Hooray for family trips and some lovely time with just Chad. I’m so grateful we got to go thanks to my wonderful mom watching our girls for us. Until next time beautiful Europe!