Monday, January 6, 2014

So Much To Blog About; So Little Time!

First off… Hi!  Happy New Year!  I’ve missed you!

I don’t do New Years Resolutions, but as I am kicking off 2014, I do want to vow to make more time for blogging.  I miss it!  The more time goes by without blogging, the more pressure I put on myself to come out with some spectacular post, but it shouldn’t be that way, right?  I blog for me; to record my life, to share pictures and info to my family and friends, and to have a way to look back on our life.  So much has happened that I haven’t documented and that stresses me out too!  I am very hard on myself and put a lot of unnecessary pressure on me.  Oh well, no one is perfect, right?

So let’s see, what have we been up to??

In early December, Taylor celebrated Christmas by having her best friends over for a Christmas party.  They made a huge mess; I mean, decorated sugar cookies and exchanged Christmas gifts. Since we all keep multiplying – we decided that all the kids would pick a name to buy for and do a gift exchange instead of buying for everyone.  I made Pioneer Womans PERFECT Pot Roast (YUM!) for dinner and had a fun pre-Christmas celebration!


cookie decorating! 

Getting 7 kids to sit in a row and smile is a tough task, but I think we did pretty well!


Managing the time-share schedule and the holidays was tricky.  We ended up having a very UN-Traditional Christmas this year.  It was very hard of me not having Taylor with me the days leading up to Christmas due to our schedule, so we had to improvise.  Marc, Haden, and I went to Taylor’s Dad’s house for Christmas Eve dinner.  1524862_10151824335764117_1406479009_n

I know that may seem weird to a lot of you, but trust me, a happy functional/dysfunctional family is SO much better for her than the opposite.  I am happy that we provide that for her.  You know the saying, ‘When life gives you lemons?’  Well, I tried my best to make lemonade!  We get along well and I am so grateful for Josh’s girlfriend, Erika.  She’s great to my Tay Tay and loves her like her own – can’t argue with that!  Taylor is just a very loved girl who has a very large extended family who cares for her.  I am really just trying to trust God on this one and do what’s best for Tay.  Given the situation we were dealt, maintaining a good relationship and co-parenting is the best possible option.

Anyway, back to our UNtraditional Christmas… Christmas morning was tough for me, as Taylor was not with me, but I tired to stay positive about it and know that our fun trip was about to begin the next day!

The day after Christmas we flew to Austin, TX to be with all my family!  We had been looking forward to that for MONTHS!  Taylor had been counting down the days until Texas with a paper chain we made together:


This was Taylor’s first plane trip since she’s turned two, so that meant her OWN seat on the plane!  This is big time, folks!!  She was pumped to fly on a plane again and requested a “pink” one.  We flew Southwest, so we actually lucked out with a purple-ish color plane :)  She was happy with that!

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The evening we got there was our ‘Christmas Eve’ where all the kids each opened 1 gift – their Christmas PJs! 

1528484_10201846249332595_1703122497_nPer our tradition, we lined them all up tallest to shortest – they were such good sports about it!  It is such a joy for me to see my Tay Tay with all her cousins!  They had an absolute blast together!  The next morning, was our Christmas morning.  We made a huge mess of the living room while 9 kids and 7 adults ripped open their gifts.

When we returned home from Texas, Taylor finally got her biggie Santa gift!  I had it set up in the middle of the living room for her to find the next morning!  She was speechless!  Santa did good, but now what to do about this obnoxious toy in my living room??!


Though it was not a traditional Christmas, we made the best of it and made wonderful memories!  That’s what matters!


  1. My parents divorced when I was little. They worked very hard to keep our lives stable, our holidays fun and never spoke poorly about each other. To this day, I'm 42, my parents are wonderful friends and we still have all our holidays together.
    I'm so thankful for how my parents handled a difficult situation and I'm forever thankful. Lauren, you should be proud of yourself. Taylor will always remember how mommy and daddy treated each other!!!

  2. I agree with Susan. My parents divorced when I was in high school and we have had nontraditional holidays ever since. I can confirm that if you and Josh embrace it and make it "normal" it will become your tradition. That's what she will remember and what she will cherish.

  3. I give you major credit Lauren, you are doing an amazing thing for Taylor by keeping the peace. After all you've been thru, I can't imagine... you are a strong momma!

  4. Your love for your daughter is more important than any past or present feelings toward others. I applaud you!

  5. So glad to hear that Josh has a nice girlfriend!! Is that their newborn in her arms? So cute!! And looks like you have a new man too?! Remember life goes on and as long as you allow Josh to be happy with his new woman, you will be able to move on and be happy yourself! Tayler is getting so big and looking more like her daddy!! Congrats on you moving on and getting a new man!