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January 24, 2015

{It's the New Year. Where have I been?}

Hello everyone…

I keep getting questions from friends, family and subscribers/followers why my blog updates have been halted.

Since, deciding to stay home full time with Millie, my priorities have completely shifted…to her.

I also just needed a break. The past 9 months has been quite possibly the most challenging period of my life. But, it has been OH SO WONDERFUL and eye opening at the same time.

Instead of putting up scattered content on on my blog that I wasn't even sure my readers enjoyed skimming, I wanted to take some time and figure out the ambience of my little internet place going forward. Before there was Millie, this was a place where I shared my thoughts about faith, passions in fashion and beauty, life lessons learned, fitness (which let's be real…that never happened as a serious topic), recipes and unsolicited internet therapy. 

When I learned we were expecting, I thought it would be fun to update weekly on my progress so we could look back at the rapid changes and exciting things happening as this little gift grew in my tummy. Then, with her unexpected pre-term arrival, it became a place where we could update family and friends on her progress as she grew bigger and stronger in the NICU. It was just too hard to get back to everyone with our main focus being on her health and development. 

So, now that I have had a couple months off…what's my plan going forward? What am I doing with my life these days? Where do I see my focus shifting in the next year?

Firstly, this blog will be undergoing a complete renovation. There are so many things I would like to do with this space, however, my template just will not allow it. I don't know if this will take a month or 6 months but I want it to be somewhere that I can cover every topic my heart desires. I will try to still post unless I am halted by construction.

What am I doing with my life these days? 
Three months ago, I signed on to be an Independent Stylist with Stella and Dot. Everyone does it for different reasons so here are mine:

1. I wanted something that could bring in a little extra money for our family due to the fact that I was staying home to watch Millie. See number 4.
2. I wanted to do something that involved fashion and creativity. I have a bachelors degree in Textile and Apparel Management/Fashion Merchandising and a Business Minor and I really wanted to use those skills even in the smallest way possible.
3. I love Stella and Dot jewelry. Seriously, I am not just saying that. It is beautiful.
4. Since Millie was born, the amount of medical bills that were accrued are ASTRONOMICAL. We spent the past 9 months fighting with the insurance company over a $50,000 bill (that's just one of them) that they refused to pay. Here is the story. 
I was set to deliver full-term at Liberty Hospital where we made sure all of the providers were covered under our insurance. When my water broke at 28 weeks, we went to Liberty to seek medical attention and were immediately transferred by ambulance to St. Luke's Medical Center on the Plaza. We had no choice. Liberty did not have a NICU that could care for a baby born that early. 
Well, come to find out, none of the doctors or neonatologists were providers covered under our insurance plan. But, we had NO CHOICE. I had no where else to deliver. The fact that we even had to fight this and be rejected not once, but twice, was ridiculous and just shows how screwed up our country's medical insurance companies are. 
But praise be to God, we just found out last week that we won! This bill as been completely wiped away! What a relief. 
Now, onto the other bills! This is why Stella and Dot has been great. It brings in just that extra income that we can put towards things like this.
5. Since we have no extra spending money for a fashionista like me to go shopping for new clothes and shoes, it has been nice to take what I already have and get creative with the FREE jewelry I earn through Stella and Dot. I have always said, you can make the simplest outfit and dress it up with accessories and you will look like A MILLION BUCKS. 

Which brings me to my next point:

6. If you want to do something where YOU decide the time you put into a job, signing up for Stella and Dot is perfect for you. Everyone has their different reasons for joining. If you are interested in any way, I would love to hear your reasons and talk you through any pros and cons you may have in starting your own creative business. Seriously, I would love to have YOU on my team. It is so fun. And positive. Always positive.

7. In addition to Stella and Dot, I have spent the past 2 months studying to get my Missouri and Kansas real estate license. Again, this is something I can do that is flexible and allows me to do my number one job…and that is be Millie's mommy. I will be licensed by Spring and will be ready to put "sold" signs in yards all over the Greater Kansas City area. HA!

I've been busy as you can see. You can also see that I'm a dreamer, I'm a doer, and I'm a thinker. I see possibilities everywhere.

Where do I see my focus shifting in the next year?

Well, first and foremost, I want to be a great mommy and teach Millie things that she will use her entire life. Things like confidence, independence, healthfulness, appreciation and assertiveness. I want her to be outgoing, intelligent, thankful and Godly. This is my primary focus.

Secondly, I want to be successful in my two business ventures. I find I am the happiest when I am productive, successful and creative. I love people and interaction and truthfully, there hasn't been much of that the past 9 months and that's my fault. But, my focus was elsewhere and that's okay. I would love your support and encouragement as I prove to everyone that I can make something of myself in my career all while being a mom and a wife.

My blog going forward?
I have a few ideas for my blog but I want to hear from you what you would enjoy seeing and reading.  Please leave a comment and tell me what inspires you and what brings you joy when following a blog. Is it fashion inspiration? Is it beauty advice? Is it home decor ideas? Is it family life? Is it my silly little homemade You Tube videos set to music? Is it faith? Is it covering life topics that we all struggle with internally but we never address because we are too embarrassed or shy? 

As always, thank you so much for subscribing and following my blog. I have met so many incredible people from all over the world who inspire me and offer support you just never expect to get without begging for it. So, thank you again for being a Taylor supporter. 

Happy New Year!

October 27, 2014

Autumn in Loose Park

We had a wonderful weekend and made a visit to Loose Park on Sunday. If you have never been there in the Autumn, add it to your to-do list. It is breathtakingly beautiful and serene. The weather was perfect…warm with a nice breeze that rolled through the trees.

This is the one where Millie discovers a leaf and rolls over.

Music credit:
Bloom by Rhodes

October 24, 2014

{Blue October featuring Charlie Hustle and Ampersand}

We are so excited the Royals are in the World Series!!! 

I'm sitting here watching Game 3 and thought I would share some of my favorite Kansas City Royal's gear from some of our local companies. Charlie Hustle and Ampersand Design Studios have really "hit it out of the park" with these unique tee's. Seriously, they are both so lightweight, soft and feel like they've been washed a million times. 

Hurry and get yours before they run out! 

Oh, and GO ROYALS!!!!!

October 15, 2014

{The Cure for Colic}

It's been quite a while since I have last posted.  As usual, my life keeps evolving to include new challenges, resolutions and revelelations.  As you may know, Millie has been suffering with colic for four months.  In its most severe state, it left her exhausted from crying, unable to have regular bowel movements (sometimes, for days at a time), unable to finish her feedings, suffering from constant spit ups and occasional projectile vomiting and, overall, entirely miserable.  Caring for Millie during this period left Tyler and myself sleepless, feeling helpless to comfort her and, sometimes, wondering whether our parenting was up to par. 

We had tried everything - pediatrician visits, chiropractic care, prescription medicine, drastic changes to my diet, and prescription formula. Nothing brought lasting relief for her.  My friend, Kasey, who knew of our dilemma and ongoing struggles begged me to visit her in Wichita, Kansas and offered to pay for a well-known colic specialist there.  For the longest time my skepticism kept me from accepting her offer.  It wasn't until a recent Saturday morning when Millie had been screaming for three solid hours that I decided to take a giant leap of faith and explore our last option.

I packed the car with everything Millie and I would need for several days and headed out with an anxious, but prayerful, heart.  I had been advised when I made the appointment that Millie would be receiving treatment twice a day for several days or weeks, depending upon her response to the sessions.  In addition to covering the costs involved with this treatment plan, Kasey, and her husband, Nate, took us both into their home and gave us immeasurable support for the duration of our stay.  For all of this, I am extremely grateful.  But let me share the real spirit of thankfulness and gratitude for our experience there.

Dr. Dennis Scharenberg has practiced chiropractic care for 40 years.  He has also earned post-graduate work in acupuncture, sports medicine, scoliosis, and other natural healing sciences.  Following lengthy and in-depth research on colic, he discovered a method of treating infants with this condition that prevents leakage from the ileocecal valve that connects the large intestine to the small intestine.  The treatment, which is painless, involves strengthening this valve in 45 minute sessions, twice a day, until the child has reached 100% improvement based upon the parents' feedback.
Dr. Scharenberg's theory implies that most babies do not have milk protein allergies, but rather are suffering from colic.  He has treated babies from all over the United States, as well as abroad, and is devoted to bringing an awareness of this cure to parents, and other medical professionals.  If you or someone you know has a baby suffering with colic, I highly recommend Dr. Scharenberg and his excellent staff. By visiting his website you can learn more about his colic treatment and make an appointment.

Now, for an update on Millie's response to treatment.  My husband and I have found a new joy in our daughter as she smiles and snuggles her way into our hearts.  The baby who screamed consistently, winced in pain and was unable to be soothed is now calm, happy and making leaps and bounds developmentally in her new healthy state.   My husband and I are rested, less stressed and able to face the demands of work, family and other obligations in a more peaceful frame of mind.  On top of that, Millie is now able to drink all of my frozen breast milk that I once thought I would have to throw away! I am currently pumping as much as I can to get my supply back up and am hoping I can nurse again soon to satisfy her needs. She now has multiple bowel movements daily as opposed to the one every 3 days induced by suppositories.  She never cries…only fusses when tired or hungry, like a normal baby should.  Additionally, Millie sleeps all night long - 9-12 hours!

Millie's therapist visited this morning and was blown away by her physical and developmental advances. Millie is 6 months old (3 months adjusted) and is demonstrating growth patterns consistent with a 5 1/2 month old baby. Millie is only supposed to be 3 months old and is rolling over both ways (back to stomach and stomach to back), grasping objects and pulling them to her mouth, almost sitting up on her own and tracking people and objects that she sees.

We are so proud of her. What a Miracle Millie!