When Life Throws You a Curveball, Make Lemonade.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Merry Christmas/Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  I hope you all are enjoying this holiday season with warm fires, a big mug of hot cocoa, and your family and friends around you.   I took last year off from the annual Taylor letter, so I apologize if this one becomes a mini novel.  The Taylors have been through a huge season of change for the past couple of years. 

Reagan graduated from college in May 2010, and has flown the coop.  She has been living in Anderson, Indiana for the past year or so, but is at home preparing right now to spend 2012 traveling the world with World Race, a mission organization that journeys to 11 different countries in 11 months.  We just can’t manage to keep that girl in one place!  She has mixed emotions about her new adventure.  In her words, “I don't like sleeping on the floor. Or peeing in a hole. Or being dirty. At all. I take about an hour-and-a-half to get ready in the morning. I'm at Starbucks like 18 times a week. And, you know what? I like it. I like being comfortable.”  She is giving up everything she is and knows to let God use her to do His work.  We know God has incredible things in store for our baby girl, and she is exactly where she needs to be.  You can follow her throughout her travels and her experiences on her blog:  http://reagantaylor.theworldrace.org/

Brooke began nursing school at UCO this fall and is up to her eyeballs studying, practicing nursing skills, studying, and more studying.  She and Brock, her boyfriend of two years, have to “see” each other by video chat, since Brock has an equally demanding study load.  She told me that she, Brock and their books have a very open relationship. After completing a few clinicals, Brooke does have a few good stories to share, as in the day she and her fellow classmates were attempting to insert a tube through the nose of a practice mannequin.  Instead of going into the stomach as it was intended, they were shocked to see the end of the tube coming out of the mannequin’s eye!  She and mom hope never to see this on a live human being.  When Brooke and Mom begin talking diseases, IVs, catheters and drug calculations, Dad’s eyes glaze over, and he retreats into the next room to the couch and the tv (“Bor-ring!” he exclaims, in his best Homer Simpson voice).  He has no idea of the fun he’s missing!

Garrison is in his senior year of high school.  It physically pains his mother to say those words.  He is enduring the not-so-fun parts of his senior year (senior portraiting, graduation planning, invitation ordering, class attending) to get to the fun parts (senior tripping, gift getting, and NO MORE HIGH SCHOOL!!!).  Between working at Jersey Mike’s and spending every--and do I mean every--spare second with his girlfriend, Chloe, we don’t see a whole lot of him around the house anymore.  We wouldn’t be sure he still lived at home these days except that we still run across his clothes in the hamper.  He has followed in his Dad’s footsteps, becoming quite techno-savvy (or computer geeky, depending on how you look at it).  He works on his computer and his cell phone, trying to make them both faster and better, but often rendering his cell phone useless (or “bricked” in geek-speak).  He has traded in his cell phone so often that they know him personally at the AT&T store. 

Maddie joined the ranks of the high school world this year, and loves it!  Well, I guess what she loves is being able to leave campus for lunch, getting out of school early on Fridays, and being exempt from exams at the end of the semester. She is VERY impatiently awaiting the moment when she can get behind the wheel and stop depending on others and their free schedules to drive her to her many social engagements.  She frequently gets frustrated by being stuck at home while her siblings are out, and informed me recently that when she gets a car, she plans to just live in it.  I told her to do what she needed to do, but to please come by the house on Sundays to enjoy our weekly roast dinner after church.  I can’t even believe I’m discussing my baby getting her drivers license, but she’s growing up so fast.  She fills much of her free time with texting her friends, photographing her many pets (including her “science project” mouse), and playing video games. (update:  The science project mouse has since bitten the dust and was fed to the snake.  This didn't hurt mom's feelings one little bit.)

Not wanting to be outdone by all the changes in our kids’ lives, Greg and I also set out for new adventures.  Greg resigned from his position with a D.C.-based telecommunications litigation firm in order to focus more of his time and energy on his other business, VYL Media.  Greg’s primary focus, however, has been on his golf game.  In two years, he has lowered his average round from 100 to the low 80s; he even had a few rounds in the 70s this year.  He is still interested in road cycling, and plans to complete his first century ride (i.e., 100-mile event) in 2012.

Last October, after a 16-year sabbatical, I went back to work full-time as an RN!  Saying that I was scared to death to go back into nursing after such a long break was the understatement of the century; but with each passing day, I feel a little less overwhelmed and a little more confident.  I am, for the first time in my career, working three 12-hour shifts a week in ICU and absolutely love it!  I have progressed from thinking, “every day my care for this patient will probably be their last,” to, “maybe I really can do this!”  The family has had a time adjusting to mom working again, but has slipped into a new routine.  The kids have done a great job at becoming our house slaves pitching in to help around the house.  Garrison even asked me, “Mom, do you think you’ll keep working, even if we don’t need the money?”  I answered, “Yes, I’ll probably work some, though probably not full-time.  Why?”  His reply, “We really don’t need you at home anymore. We can pretty much take care of ourselves.”  Ouch.  So glad to see all the years I invested into the lives of my children have paid off abundantly.  I’m sure glad I don’t depend on my kids for my self-worth!

This season will be extra-special to us, as we prepare to send Reagan off into the world to serve.  We know Reagan is where she needs to be, and are both proud of her and a little selfishly sad that we won’t be able to see her for the next 11 months.  It just reminds us that through the growth and changes of the year ahead, we need to treasure the time that God gives us together.  I pray that God will be very close to you all this season, and help you enjoy spending time with the ones you love.  May He bless you and your family, and bring peace and joy in celebrating the birth of His Son, Our Savior.  Merry Christmas!

The Taylors

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