Sunday, December 27, 2015

Terrific Taylor :-)

There is a young man who gave me the best job I have ever had.  He made me a mom.  His sisters eventually came along and added to the job description which became fuller and more then I could even imagine.  But Taylor is the one who started it all.

Sometimes I feel sorry for him because he was the one I had to do a lot of figuring out the whole parenting thing with.  But then I realize that since each of my kids is so different I was (and still am) figuring out the whole parenting thing with each of them.

One of the highlights of my journey has been my families support of me.  I have worried that I'm an embarrassment to my children. Taylor has stomped all over that notion many times. He sounds very much like his dad when I'm down on myself.

This kiddo was full into high school when I went to OSU to get my Bachelor's degree so I could become a teacher.  My motivation for taking a ridiculous number of credits every term was so that I could not be in school when he was a senior.
January 10, 2010 - Taylor's Junior year and first formal dance.

When I look at this picture I have two reactions.  The first is Oh My God I look so FAT! Then I calm myself down and look at the fact that my awesome son is giving me a huge hug and loving on me.  And he was a 17 year old young man so it that makes it even better.  A lot of 17 year old young men would not be willing to hug on their momma or would be embarrassed by them.  So work on focusing on the big smiles and love in this picture, instead of my size.
November 25, 2010 - Last "Everyone is required to attend" family vacation to Disney World
This picture shows his silly side which I adore!  We wanted to have one last trip where all the kids were living at home and had to go with us.  Taylor got the biggest vote in where we should go and he and his sisters decided on Disney World.  Fun for the whole family at all age levels. :-)  We had a fantastic time.

I had been running for about six months and was losing some weight so I was feeling pretty good.  I was working a temporary job as a Language Arts teacher during this time.  When that job ended I had the opportunity to take over a class of students that where difficult (that's putting it lightly).  :-)  I had seen the behaviors of these kids during my other temporary job and I knew I could do it but I was concerned about the amount of energy it would take.  It was Taylor's Senior year and I didn't want to be so focused on a group of kids at work that Taylor didn't get the attention he should for all his Senior activities.  I sat him down and talked to him about it and wanted his input on making the decision.  I knew I could keep very busy substitute teaching so I wasn't worried about working.  I still remember Taylor giving me a big hug and telling me that he thought I should go for it because "those kids really need you Mom!"  Wow. It's pretty humbling to have a kid that has that much belief in me!

Taylor moved out of the house in the summer of 2013 which was weird.  Not having him and his sister Bri around was very strange at first.  I was excited for them both but I have to admit I missed them terribly.  Still do on occasion but I have gotten used to the new normal.  Luckily they both stop by often which makes my mom heart happy.
November 3, 2013 - Taylor stopped by Meighan's swim meet to cheer for her and to give me a birthday present.  :-)
December 25, 2013 - Christmas with my boy!
The last few years Taylor has had a job that was the night shift on the weekends.  Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights for 12 hours. This made it difficult to participate in family adventures or just adventures of his own.  But last year we managed to drag him along on a few activities.
January 1, 2015 - Hangover Run. Taylor did the Beer Mile as well.  So much laughing!!
June 26, 2015 - Top of Dimple Hill with my two favorite guys!
In July we took another big family vacation.  I was ridiculously excited because this time two of the kiddos were invited to come but didn't have to go.  They both wanted to go.  We went to Whistler, Canada to watch Joe do his second Ironman.  Road trip, visit to cousins house along the way, exploring new places and general hilarity were the order of the week.  Not to mention all of us getting to support and encourage Joe as he did another epic race.  Taylor and Bri got to spend some time getting to know Josh & Wendie which was fun for me.  They also got very inspired.  It's hard not to be around Ironman activities and not get inspired.  When it's your dad kicking ass I think it's even better.  It was so much fun having the kids along for the adventure.
July 24, 2015 - Doing some Ironman route recon with Dad 
July 26, 2015 - Seeing Dad off in the morning of Ironman Canada.
Taylor and I were talking about all that his dad has accomplished and how wicked awesome it was that he was doing the Ironman. I said something to the effect of how I could never do something that epic and Taylor looked at me and said, "That is so not true, you could totally do an Ironman!"  And he meant it.  It's hard to not start thinking about possibilities when you have someone who believes in you like that.  Not saying I'm going to do an Ironman anytime soon. But I certainly know that I would have the best support team ever if I did.  :-)
August 8, 2015 - Hanging out with my three favorites.
August 20, 2015 - Hiking adventures with Dad and the Gums
August 28, 2015 - Having new adventures.  First time to Mary's Peak for both of us!  
Taylor and I have had some great talks on our hikes.  It is interesting as a mom to hear what my son thinks of my journey and how it has gone.  I often focus on the difficulties and the struggles.  Taylor only seems to think I'm kicking ass.  He is proud of me and the fact that I haven't given up and that I am making progress, even if I am frustrated that it's slow.

Once I went back to work for the school year it got harder to do hikes with Taylor.  His work schedule and mine do not mesh well.  He did get a few adventures in with his dad which I loved because he really enjoys being active and weird, he likes hanging out with his parents!

In November Taylor made a scary, difficult decision to quit his job.  The work schedule was difficult and because he was tired all the time and was missing out on spending time with friends and family on the weekends he finally reached the point where the money wasn't worth the struggle.  I was proud of him for making the leap into the unknown.

We got a few adventures while he was in the transition between old job and new job.  It took him a whole four days to get the new job.  lol  It doesn't pay as well but he loves it, it hasn't better hours that are way more flexible and will accommodate his school schedule so that he can get his degree finished up.
November 25, 2015 - Pre-Thanksgiving Day hike.  Bald Hill with Mary's Peak in the background.
November 26, 2015 - Thanksgiving Day run! It was COLD!  
On Thursday December 17th we went to the opening night of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  I was pretty tickled that my kids WANTED to go see it with me and Joe.
December 17, 2015 - In line for Star Wars, got tickets ready! The whole family plus one awesome friend.  
December 17, 2015 - Festive Star Wars sweater.  It was perfect!
December 17, 2015 - SO MUCH FUN WITH MY FAMILY!
Our next adventure is the 2016 Hangover Run.  This year all three of the kids will be along for the fun.  I can't wait!

Taylor!  You have always had no doubt that I can do anything I set my mind to do.  It's a bit scary and overwhelming as a mom to have a child who has such faith in me.  I thought that as you got older that  once you saw the real struggle that goes on behind the determination that it would disappoint you.  Or that it was so slow would make you think I wasn't trying hard. Instead it seems to have made you more proud of me.  Who knew?  :-)

Some of the things I am thinking of tackling scare the crap out of me.  But if you are willing to quit a secure income job and make big changes even though they scare the crap out of you then I better step up and do the same.  Even if I fall flat on my face I know that you will be there cheering me on and making me laugh.

Thanks for being one of my biggest encourager's!  I am so grateful that we get to share adventures together.  Looking forward to many, many more!


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