Tag Archives: new year’s

My 2016 Mission Statement

Throughout the years, I have tried New Year’s resolutions, New Year’s goals, monthly goals, and even word of the year. But, none have really worked for me. For the first half the year, yes, but as the year began to end, these fell by the wayside. I know that this year is full of unknowns, and trials to be had. So, I want to prepare myself with a mission statement in how to receive and view life next year.

My 2016 Mission Statement: Be Intentional, Have Contentment, and Bloom Where You are Planted


Be Intentional

I want to spend my time intentionally. I want to give full attention to Rhys, I want to have purpose in my blog posts, I want to improve my relationship with Christ and with Justin. Too often I allow myself stare out into space, or just surf the channels or the web. That isn’t improving myself nor helping others. I want to be intentional about what I say, how I react, and what I think. I want to make my time worthwhile and have purpose.


Have Contentment

In a few weeks, we will be moving into my parents’ basement. We don’t know when we’ll be back in an apartment or townhouse, and we are no where near buying a house. I don’t have the budget to be better at blogging than some of my friends who spend money on light boxes, photoshopping apps, and new clothing. I allow the little green monster take over sometimes when I see friends with nice homes that they own, more than one car, going on vacations all the time. I want to be content with what I have and focus more on the little things. God gave me this life for a reason, and I should be grateful for His plan for me and count my blessings more often.


Bloom Where You Are Planted

I love this phrase. We need to bloom and flourish whatever our life situation currently may be. Again, because of all the unknowns, I really want to try my best to live life to the fullest whatever and wherever we may be next year. I have so many goals and ideas and challenges for myself for 2016, and I want to achieve them and not give up.


Blog Goals

But, I do have some blog goals in mind for next year:
1) I want to get all my social media platforms to at least 500 followers each.
2) I want to start offering different variations and levels of virtual assisting,
3) I want to successfully run a blogger exchange, as well as a link up.
4) I want to transfer to WordPress.
5) I want to redesign my blog–on my own.
6) I want to improve my blog photography and image creation skills.
What are your goals, words, or mission statements for this year?

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.

2015 in Review

I still cannot believe that this year is already over. It has seriously been one of the absolute fastest years I have ever experienced. It has also been one of the most stressful and anxious years as I came to learn more about myself. So, here is 2015 in review.

2015 In Review...all that happened, important posts, and recipes


January 2015 came with a sense of renewal for me. I was excited to move ahead and get myself where I wanted to be. I decided to do monthly goals this year with an overarching word. I started to really get into my blog and think about where I wanted to take it. I decided that I was going to go against the grain, and not be an expert in anything or find a niche. I decided to “un-brand” my blog. And, going with that sense of renewal, I decided to start defending my Mormon religion online by proclaiming that Mormons are Christians.




My goal for February 2015 was to focus more on my religion. I tried to participate more in Church, started a scripture journal and began over with the Old Testament. I shared my favorite scripture and what Mormons believe. We celebrated my birthday and Valentine’s Day by going to Tucanos as usual–I love Tucanos! I also began to get chronic bronchitis that would plague me for a few months! Rhys even got very sick, and we basically spent a week sleeping on the couch and his swing, waking up multiple times during the night. His sleeping through the night was thrown out the window.




I really had a cooking bug in March and came up with quite a few recipes. I also started trying to use my DSLR to practice my food photography. My students started really trying my patience, as well as Rhys, who was developing quite quickly. I tried to focus more on the little things that I absolutely loved about being a parent. Justin talked about his daily life and why he loves March. We discovered Rhys’s royal Celtic heritage while doing genealogy. And, that chronic bronchitis was kicking my butt!




The beginning of the month was General Conference, Easter, and Spring Break. We were able to spend it with both my family and Justin’s. This was a busy month–at school, we were trying to do state standardized testing, SAGE, as well as other projects. During this stressful time, I was definitely thankful for my favorite students. I had a lot of grading to do and wasn’t as consistent in content-based blogging this month. Again, that chronic bronchitis kicked my trash.




May was a very wet month–it rained almost every single day! It didn’t help my mood in addition to the chronic bronchitis, a toddler who was refusing to eat because he had discovered his agency, and my students who decided they were done trying in school this year. We made the decision to help me focus on my mental health and my job as a mother that I would not return to teaching the next year. I thought a lot about sleep training. I thought about children and behavior and what I like in them.  Rhys began walking! We celebrated Memorial Day weekend by taking my dad out for traditional Japanese ramen (it was his birthday and he had served an LDS mission in Japan). We also took advantage of the weekend of no rain by going to park every day. Oh, and the rain and wind caused a tree from the city park to fall on and total our old car, leaving us with only one car. Thankfully, the city gave us more than the car was worth and we were able to pay off a lot of medical bills.




During my last week teaching, I thought a lot about what I would miss and wouldn’t miss about teaching. I began my transition into being a stay-at-home-mother, and it was a whole heck of a lot harder than I thought it would be. I didn’t realize how much I had missed and appreciated those 5 hours of not taking care of a baby, even if I was dealing with preteens. My anxiety began to reach a breaking point. For my mother’s birthday, I decided to honor her with 15 lessons she taught me, as I have been more and more grateful for her as I am now a new mother. During Father’s Day weekend, Rhys and I went up to Idaho with my parents to visit with my dad’s side of the family. Once again, I defended my religion when I heard the SCOTUS decision on legalizing gay marriage.




Rhys turned one years old, so I shared the tips, tricks, and hacks I learned from my year of motherhood. Justin also had a birthday, and again, we celebrated true to form by going to Tucanos. Rhys’s favorite part was the Brazilian lemonade. I went to my doctor and got an inhaler for my chronic bronchitis and was diagnosed officially with mild asthma, as well as mild PPD and anxiety stress disorder and was given prescriptions for all three. Both Justin and my laptops broke, so I went on a month long hiatus of blogging. We went to Bear Lake with Justin’s family, and honestly, it was great therapy for me. We three had the times of our lives.




August was full of enjoying being a mother without the distractions of electronics, since we still hadn’t replaced our laptops. I also did a whole ton of reading. I started to get jealous  nostalgic of my teacher friends who were decorating their classrooms and preparing their curriculum. We bought a bike trailer so we could buckle in Rhys and I could bike all over, since we only had one car. We celebrated our 3rd anniversary by leaving Rhys with my parents and spending the weekend to ourselves at home. We also got our first set of family pictures, ever.




I began tutoring a student in SAT prep, making pretty good money. I also started looking for other types of working at home situations. I joined Swagbucks, and have hardly done anything with it, and signed up with Elance, searching for some jobs. I opened up about my trial of faith I had during the summer, and was grateful for the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Rhys and I created a routine for day to day. Blogging-wise, I began to be a little consistent, trying to find my style in pinnable images. I also noticed all my blogger friends going to Snapchat, but I held firm in my determination to not use SnapChat.




October was a very warm month for Utah. It was still in the 80s and 90’s most days. Rhys and I went on a lot of bike rides, to the park often, and spent a lot of lunches with my parents (who both work about 15 minutes from our house).  Justin and I got gym memberships for Vasa and I tag-teamed with Sharlee to talk about 6 Ways to Love Your Body. Rhys started loving “helping” me with chores so I shared some tips on how to have toddlers help with chores. I went to a Blogging Sleepover and felt completely renewed and content with my blog. Rhys dressed up as Luigi for Justin’s work trick-or-treating, and a doctor for our church’s trunk-or-treating. We spent Halloween with Justin’s brother’s family because our nephew was getting baptized, and we wanted Rhys to trick-or-treat with his cousins.




I started working as a virtual assistant for an online health and body coach, helping her create monthly newsletters, as well as transferring her Instagram posts to be blog posts, and creating pinnable images. I also decided to work on NaNoWriMo since I wasn’t working. But, I sucked at it! My blog turned 6 years old. I wrestled with my thoughts and feelings on the LDS Church’s new policy concerning children of homosexual families. Brad Wilcox’s book, Continuous Conversion became my all time favorite religious book. We said goodbye to my 18 year old brother for 2 years as he left to go on a 2 year proselytizing LDS mission.We spent Thanksgiving Break with my family, eating and eating and eating and eating. Rhys also played in the snow for the first time in his life, and he loved it!




We were greated with cold weather, finally, and snow–a lot of snow. Rhys helped me to create this year’s DIY ornament. I also helped to launch the new LDS women’s devotional and scripture study website, She Teaches Fearlessly. I talk about our mission here. My back and neck have been bugging me a lot and have been very painful recently. After receiving bad new about a potential new job opportunity for Justin, we made the big decision that we will not renew our renting contract for our townhome, and to move into my parent’s basement in mid-January until we feel confident about our finances again. Rhys had his first flight when we traveled to Georgia to spend Christmas with Justin’s parents. It was wonderful!



I am looking forward to next year and the adventures we will have!

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.

Top Posts of 2015

Blogging this year has been so much fun for me.  I’ve gotten a lot of engagement on a lot of my posts. I have learned a lot of things this year. And, I have loved quite a few of my posts. So, I’ve decided to make a few lists of the top posts of 2015. *There may be some overlap*

Top Posts of 2015 for The Morrell Tale

Top 10 Posts for 2015
1) Lessons from Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame ** This is actually a post from 2013! It’s amazing that it’s still getting a ton of views!
2) Lessons from Disney’s Tarzan **Ditto!
3) 6 Ways to Un-brand Your Blog
4) Missing going back to school and giveaway
5) Why I Won’t Use Snapchat
6) My Trial of Faith
7) Lessons from Disney’s Lion King
8) Monthly goals for 2015
9) What do Mormons Believe?
10) eShakti dress review

Top Posts for Each Month
January — 6 Ways to Un-brand Your Blog
February — What Do Mormons Believe?
March — Rhys is the Long-lost King of the Celts
April — Get Fit Thursdays // Meal Planning
May — Why I’m Not Teaching Next Year
June — How We Wore It // Casual Wear
July — Baby Tips, ricks, and Hacks
August — Missing back to school and Giveaway
September — My Trial of Faith
October — Lessons from Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame
November — Reminiscing and Favorite Things Giveaway
December — The Future of this Blog

My Favorites (in no particular order)
What Do Mormons Believe?
6 Ways to Un-brand Your Blog
Why the World Needs More Bingley’s and Why I Married One
8 Ways to Encourage Your Kids
Love, Marriage, and Religion
My Trial of Faith
Why I Won’t Use SnapChat
6 Ways to Love Your Body
5 Tips for Having Toddlers Do Chores

My Favorite Recipes (in no particular order)
Semi-Southern Chicken and Dumplings
Orange Rosemary Chicken
Cilantro-Lime Fish Tacos
Brazilian Style Fish Stew

What was your favorite post from The Morrell Tale this year? Also, leave a link to your favorite post that you wrote this year for me to read!

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 Golden Vlog: January Edition

I am so happy to be doing another Golden Vlog edition. I love this series and I love getting to know the girls who link up on a closer level by seeing and hearing them!

Here are this month’s questions:

1. Now that 2015 is officially here, what were your biggest moments/achievements of 2014?
2. How did you ring in the new year? Did you watch the ball drop or sleep right through it?
3. Did you make resolutions or pick a word of the year? Care to share?
4. How do you stay organized and on top of those goals/resolutions – a favorite planner or app? Do you stick to a strict schedule?
5. What things/moments are you looking forward to in 2015 – vacations, graduation, weddings, conferences?
6. What do you think your life will look like on January 1st, 2016?
7. In honor of Faith’s birthday, do you celebrate your birthdays with a big celebrate or go for something more low key?
8. What is your favorite birthday memory – a surprise party or a Disney themed party when you were little stand out?

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.


What is it about New Year’s that captures us? We all make resolutions–don’t deny it. Whether or not we keep these resolutions is difference. But, even if we fail in our resolution in February, come December 31st, we make a new set of resolutions. Why?

What is it about Mondays that (for the most part) give us energy and motivation? What is it about Sundays that inspire us? What is it about Fridays that excite us and give us energy? What is it about spring that gives us hope?

It is the symbolism of renewal. It is the promise of a new beginning, a second chance.

Darin Cozzens, a Mormon, wrote, “What kind of wisdom and intelligence would be required to set in motion a system whereby regeneration and renewal happen as splendidly and dependably as the sunrise? I cannot fathom such perfect foresight. Almost everywhere we look in nature, there is some provision for renewal. Surely the cycles and sequences of nature were ordained by God; the natural world is a study in the absolute necessity of constant renewal. As marvelous as this power of renewal is in the world around us, it is even more compelling when we realize that it extends to us as well—individual human beings, sons and daughters of the same God who set the seasons in motion. He has endowed us with a promise and capacity for both physical and, more important, spiritual renewal.” Click here for his talk on Easter and spiritual renewal.

We have the power to renew our resolutions, our motivation, even our faith and dedication to Heavenly Father. That is why I never give up.  He helps us. He has faith and believes in us. “We are in need of constant renewal.” That is so true. And, we are capable of it.

So, for those who didn’t make year long resolutions, create a word of the year, list monthly (or smaller) goals, it isn’t too late. Don’t give up before you begin. We can renew our wants and our hopes, our dreams and plans. Next Monday is a good starting point. But, you don’t even have to wait for a Monday. You can start tomorrow. You can start today! And if you mess up, fail, forget, guess what? You can renew again.

For those who struggle with your relationship with Heavenly Father, or keeping the promises you made, or feel you don’t live up to the standards of a good person or even just a good Christian, it isn’t too late. After all, that’s what the Atonement is for. That is what repentance is for. You can always renew and try again. Christ doesn’t expect us to be perfect, he just wants us to try our best. Remember: “Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” (2 Cor: 14-16)

So, I will keep that in mind this year. One of my motivations this year to accomplish all of my priorities and goals will be to remember renewal. If I fail, I can try again.

What do you think of the word “renewal”?

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.