Browsing Category: motherhood

Christmas Announcement

Today is the last day of school! Yaay!
It’s been a whirlwind of a week–coming home from Vegas without any lesson plans for the week completed, getting caught with the flu, having my husband catch the flu…ya, it’s been tough.
But, my parents came over to take care of us. They brought soup and medicine and tissues and cranberry juice. They cleaned our kitchen and family room.
So, our house is all homey and inviting and Christmas-y again!
I love this tree. It’s a hand-me-down from some college friends and came pre-lighted. It’s completely mismatched, but that’s what makes it special. Half the ornaments are mine. Every year, my Grandma would give each of the grandkids an ornament. And, this year, I was invited to be part of the Morrell Ornament Gift Exchange. The whole idea is to hand-make ornaments. So, I received 2 dozen adorable homemade ornaments. I love it. They are each so special and pretty and mean so much to me. I’d rather prefer this kind of tree, than one that is overdecorated and uniform.
And, to those who waited (and those who’ve already seen on Facebook and Instagram), yes I am pregnant. I am 11 weeks now and the due date is July 11th.
Look at my baby! It was so exciting to see it during the ultrasound. I could see the whole baby move with its heartbeat. I was/am so happy. And, I’m kind of ecstatic to join the ranks of blogging moms!
Now, I was asked a few times how in the world was I able to get an ultrasound at only barely 10 weeks? Well, my OB has a miniature ultrasound machine that he carries with him. He wanted to get dates and sizes, but he couldn’t find the baby on his machine. So, he sent me with a referral to a larger facility to get a real ultrasound. My instructions were to drink 32 ounces of water an hour before the ultrasound. Drinking was the easy part, keeping it in was hard–I have a small bladder. I was about to die by the time we actually had the ultrasound. But, the nurse, even with the full machine, still had a hard time finding the baby. That is because I have a retroverted uterus…my uterus is posterior facing. 
But, the baby is there. And that is what matters. And I’m going to be a Mom and Justin is going to be Dad! So excited!

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Type of Mother I Want to Be

A blogging friend of mine, Kate from Raising the Rogers, invited me to be part of a link up today. The topic is What Kind of Mother Are You? Well, I’m not a mother yet, and Kate knows this, so she asked me to answer what type of mother I hope to be.

I’ve thought about this for numerous weeks. What type of mother do I want to be? How much do I want to be like my mother? What do I want to teach my children? What is most important to me? Then I realized something big about my own personality. My life revolves around Industry. 
Now, I don’t mean being a workaholic and making as much money as possible–that’s not what I want to instill in my children. No.
I’m thinking of Benjamin Franklin’s virtue of Industry (he has 12 others, sort of like his own Happiness Project, which I think I’ll talk about in a different post). 
“Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.” -Benjamin Franklin  energetic, devoted activity at any work or task; diligence
I am talking about Franklin’s holistic view of industry. That is what I want to teach my children–to not necessarily always be doing something, but be engaged in working toward something. And, I want to teach it to the in 4 different areas (listed least important to most important).

(This is not the only thing I want to focus on as a mother, but it is what came to my mind today.)

When I first got my driver’s license at age 16, my mom handed me the keys to the car and told me to go out and search for a job. I did and I have been working ever since. My dad has always had at least one job. He taught me the determination of “pounding the pavement”  until I got the best job I could. I want to continue these teachings to my children. Because of my parent’s philosophy of working hard, I felt I could be independent, and I was. I graduated college without any debt, went on a study abroad to Great Britain, maintained a 3.8 GPA and juggled 3 jobs. All my siblings right now have a job, including my 13 year old sister who babysits. If my children can understand the importance of working and being able to rely on yourself and depend on yourself, making you independent, they will grow up that much more mature.

I want my children to grow up with the peaceful feeling of a nice, clean, organized home. Their home should be their safe spot, their refuge. I have started a series on called “A House of Order” to help relay my ideas and knowledge of organization. But, I wouldn’t have this knowledge if my parents hadn’t taught it to me. Before kids get jobs, they need to already know how to do hard work. I learned to clean and help with chores at an early age. Of course, they were age appropriate. I didn’t start scrubbing bathrooms until I was almost in middle school. But, I learned why it is important to keep a clean house and I want to help my children understand they can be more relaxed and less stressed if their rooms are clean and the dishes are done. Then, I won’t have to worry about how they will do on their own. As a freshman in college, I had numerous roommates ask me how to do dishes or a load of laundry or how to scrub the toilet! I want my kids to know and prepared.

As a teacher who will eventually be a mom, I want my children to know that their parents only expect them to do the best they can. If that is straight A’s, wonderful. If it is C-s and D+s and they gave it the best effort they could exert, , than what more can we ask of them? I was a straight A student in grade school, but I remember in 9th grade with my first AP course, I got a D on one of my report cards (in history, no less!). I was so scared of what my parents would think and say and thus, how they would punish me. But, when my mom saw, she said, “It is ok, hon. Everyone is bound to have a bad term.” She knew how much effort I had put into the class and she wasn’t disappointed. She felt bad because how I felt, but that was all. I want to teach my children I won’t be disappointed in them if they try their best.

More than that, though, I want them to always be trying to improve themselves. As a Mormon, our family and home will be centered on Christ. We will go to church every Sunday. We will have family prayer and family scripture reading every day. I will teach them the lessons, virtues, and standards of our church and how to be a tolerant, loving Christian. But, I want them to take it into their own account as well. I want to teach my children the importance of independent daily prayers and scripture reading. I want them to know how much I love my Heavenly Father and Savior and how much I depend on them. I want them to follow that example and get to know their Heavenly Father and Savior as well as I am getting to know them.
Industry also includes hobbies and talents. And I don’t mean videogames. Yes my husband and I are gamers and yes, we will probably play videogames with our kids, but that is not being industrious. I want them to find a self-improving hobby and grow their talents. Whether it be arts and crafts, music, sports, writing, or some other talent, I want them to find their niche and I want them to shine. I want them to be diligent and determined. I want them to always be improving some aspect in their life.

I want to instill the concept that Charity is the true love of Christ. To be truly Christian, we must love and serve our brothers and sisters and neighbors. I want to somewhere, have these scriptures showing in our home:

1 Corinthians 13:4  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.
Moroni 7:46-47 (found in the Book of Mormon) Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
I want to teach my children the importance of loving everyone and being tolerant of others. I did not grow up in Utah, being a military brat, and I met and became friends with people from all walks of life. They all have their failings, but so do I. They all have wonderful characteristics that I could only hope for. That is what I want my children to see–the good in everyone. I want my children to be willing to reach out a helping hand to someone who is hurt or in need. I want my children to be willing to make friends who can’t very easily. I want my children to be loving.
In trying to teach the concept of Industry in these 4 areas, in trying to get my children to be “always employed in something useful”, to be actively engaged, to be diligent in their doings, I feel that my children will grow up happy and successful.
After looking back at this, and looking back at Benjamin Franklin’s 11 Virtues (Temperance, Order, Resolution, Frugality, Moderation, Industry, Cleanliness, Tranquility, Silence, Sincerity, Chastity, Humility), my definition of Industry becomes a blanket term for all of these virtues. Maybe, to make it easy on myself, I’ll just read them Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography in which he goes into detail of trying to achieve all these virtues and tell them to be like him. (I’m only half kidding, but I do think I want to read this to them and have them be aware of it, as well as the concept of a Happiness Project throughout their lives).


Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

I Love You, Mom

Today is Mother’s Day, a very important day in the year, and one that is typically looked over. But, I feel (in the past couple years) Mother’s Day is more about being thankful for your mother rather than showering her with chocolates and roses. Don’t get me wrong, that is important, too, but I just have memories of my mom asking us for peace, quiet, love with no fighting, and a clean house for Mother’s Day. 
I want to honor my mother, as well as my mother-in-law today with something very special. Justin and I have both decided to write letters to our moms expressing our love and appreciation of them. But, to make it more apparent and special, I thought I’d use it as the first post on our new, redesigned blog for the world to see just how awesome our mothers are! (Also, in honor of mothers, and the new design of the blog, I will be doing my first-ever giveaway at the bottom of the post.)
This is actually the second draft to your letter. I spent about an hour working over the right, strong, emotive words to use. Then, technology being technology, it was lost in the blink of an eye. I will admit, I cried. I really want this day to be special for you.
Mom, I hope you know how much I truly love you and admire you. You are my hero. You’ve always been there for me. You’ve always been proud of me. Everything I’ve done in life was for that extent–to make you proud (although I did enjoy about 95% of what I did and did it for me as well). This idea really started to become obvious in 9th grade. Remember I had joined that advanced placement program for my core classes and AP European History was kicking my butt. The first term progress report I brought home had an ugly D+ on it. I was so scared to show it to you since I had always been an A-B student. You looked at it, smiled, and said, “It’s ok that you didn’t get the grade you wanted. I’m not mad, sad, or disappointed. Grades aren’t everything. Let’s just make sure to ask the teacher what we can do for help.” That was it. You were still proud of me.
I have watched you my entire life. Seen how you cleaned and kept the house, how you cooked and made sure Dad and the kids always had lunches to take with them. I did hate Saturday chores, and there were plenty of times I believed I did a good-enough job and you made me redo it. But, when I came to college, and seeing all the other girls gasp and wonder that they had to windex windows and dust off their desk and vacuum their floors, and they had absolutely no idea how to do so, I was in awe. How could their mothers not teach them? How could they have absolutely no idea how to do the even simplest chore? And these were girls who talked about getting married freshman year to a dreamy RM and being the perfect housewife. I scoffed. They couldn’t cook, clean, or do laundry. I knew how to do all that because you taught me. You’d be more than willing to put done what you had going to pull out a recipe for me to experiment with cooking. And, there’d be countless times you’d spend hours double-checking my grammar for me even though I was a big grown-up college girl. You spent hours trying to make my wedding truly perfect, and guess what, it was better than perfect.
You’ve prepared me well for life. You’ve stayed strong in the church. I loved watching you interact with the primary kids and the young women. How you’ve always supported Dad in all his callings, marathons, silly geo-caching obsessions, and his job, and now his “retirement” and second job. The way you treat him, and the way that you give advice to me and my siblings, how you’d do anything for us, like make curtains and pillows for my apartment, be willing to pay the train fare for me to come visit, is very appreciated. I can learn from your example. Your whole life, you’ve always been more than willing to put others first and serve. I love this about you. You truly care about those around you–your family and friends. 
 I know you’ve had a past couple of years with family, health, relations, moving, retiring, money, helping to plan my wedding, emotions, etc. But, I love that we can do things together, like read books such as The Help, Shanghai Girls, and now The Happiness Project. I love being your confidant, being able to have grown-up conversations with you. I feel that as I’ve matured, and taken the different steps into adulthood, our relationship and grown and deepened. I am so thankful to know that you’ve always been there for me and have always been proud of me. I’m excited to know that will continue as I age. 
I love you, Mom, and that will never change.

Hey Mom,
A rather unconventional Happy Mother’s Day wish from me, I know.  I honestly don’t even know where to begin with how grateful I am for you.  So many things that I do or am aware of now I can attribute to you.  You always wanted life to challenge me, and it really didn’t matter how I found the challenge, as long as it got me thinking.  It wasn’t until I was on my own for a while before I realized how much of a hand you had in my life.  It wasn’t just because you weren’t there to tell me what to do, or to make my lunch for school or anything like that.  What really impressed me was how many things I did on my own, and when I was questioned why I did them, my response was “My Mom told me to do it this way”.  And honestly, that was all I needed. 

Growing up, Dad made certain I was respecting you and treating you the best.  Hopefully, I did a good enough job, after all, I know how lazy I get sometimes… I remember the fiasco my last year of volleyball, and I was ashamed at how some of my teammates treated their mothers.  You deserve to be treated with not only the utmost respect, but also treated with the best of care. I spent a good portion of high school worried about your health.  I needed you then, and I still need you now.

I’ve never really been good with words, and our family never has been very sappy either, but know how much I appreciate you.  I love you so much,

Mother’s Day Giveaway
As a Mother’s Day gift from me to you (or a special mother in your life), I am doing my first-ever giveaway. One lucky winner will receive a Liz Claiborne brown leather satchel.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.