Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sparkly Water

**UPDATE: Books arrived this morning. If you are one of the 15 winners, I will contact you today.**

On a family trip to Lake Chelan, years ago, my little brother sat in the backseat. From his carseat he chanted a little song: "Spawk-a-wee water, Spawk-a-wee water." Our car had just made the turn off the freeway toward Lake Chelan, and the lake was in view. He was noting the hot sunshine reflecting off the blue lake, and how it twinkled. His song was so content, so happy; our family knew at that moment that our Summer vacation had begun.

Tiny moments like that, just one little 2-year-old quote, stick with me. They stick with my family, too. In fact, if I were to go to my parents house right now, and my 19-year-old brother were in the living room, I would simply look at him and sing "Sparkly water, sparkly water" and he would smile and know EXACTLY what I was talking about.

Its with that in mind that I introduce you to a new find: My Quotable Kid. Its a new book just coming out, and I am in love with it because of its simplicity.

Its more like a journal of sorts, but in this day and age, I've found it to be exactly what I need. (Its small enough to tote around in your purse.) Each time Olivia coins a phrase that I want to treasure, I grab whatever pen (or crayon) I can find and jot it down. Its like taking a photograph, only with words. I will treasure this book someday when she is grown and I miss my toddler.

The book is available for purchase at Amazon: click here. AND I called the publisher at Chronicle Books (I LOVE CHRONICLE BOOKS!!!) and they are shipping 15 copies in my direction so I can give them away!

So if you want in, leave a quote about your child, or perhaps from your own childhood, in the comments section. Be sure to include a way I can get a hold of you, like an email address, so I can mail you your copy of the book if you win! I'll do the drawing in about a week (once the books arrive from the publisher) and then choose winners at random.

I'm excited to give these away. In a world of email, facebook, blogs, and twitter, I'm just thankful to put a pen to paper sometimes and make a memory. One Sparkly Water story at a time.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


We all knew this day was coming, didn't we?

Behold the official transcript from last nights conversation.


Olivia: "Mama, what doing?"
Me: "Taking my contacts out, Olivia."
Olivia: "Why?"
Me: "Because I want to put my glasses on."
Olivia: "Why?"
Me: "Because they're more comfortable."
Olivia: "Why?"
Me: "Because I don't have anything on my eye anymore."
Olivia: "Oh."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Um, yeah.

In case you haven't seen it yet, I'd like to inform you of two facts about the current issue of Womens World Magazine, on stands now.

1. Oprah is on the cover
2. She is giving a big thumbs-up!

Thanks to my friend Angie for filling me in on this very important fact!

Still waiting to find out what picture of mine they choose... I wont know until you know - we all see it together on April 27th. But I'm feeling better knowing the past TWO covers have featured the thumbs-up and perhaps they won't want to run too many in a row. Yes?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Daddy Do

Amazing how a little perspective makes an old routine new again.

See, I make it a point to get as much time as I can in with Olivia when I get done with work. Its a short window of time from when I get home to when she goes to bed. I do my best to squeeze in a little dinner or playtime before we start the bedtime routine... but sometimes I'm flat-out tired, so I skip a few pages in the book I'm reading her, and I cut a few lullabies short, if you catch my drift. I'd hurry her along, because once she went to bed, I could finally relax.

Well, about a week and a half ago, when I came down with that nasty cold, Joel had to become "Mr. Mom" around here. He was doing ALL the cooking and cleaning and taking care of Olivia. We jokingly dubbed him the "Primary Caregiver" as he bounced between sick ol' me and energetic little Olivia.

Once I got well, and was ready to take back some of my evening responsibilities, a strange thing happened.


From a two-year-old who liked her new routine.

Olivia was enjoying her daddy time... she liked having daddy do dinner, daddy do bath, daddy do books, daddy get jammies, and "daddy put in crib."

I was trying to put her to bed last week, which is my favorite time, because we sing songs and cuddle. Instead, I got stiff-armed, with a "no no mama, daddy do."

At first, it was cute. Joel and I laughed, and he strutted up the stairs with his daughter in tow, a little too proud of himself.

A few nights later, I stopped laughing and started to feel sad! I kept waiting for the night where I was requested by Olivia, and it never happened! All I heard was "daddy do." And although I was glad they were getting this sweet, quality time together, I couldn't help by think: "Hey guys... I want in this club!"

So last night, as bedtime was approaching, I started in on our routine. Normally Joel gives Olivia a bath, but he seemed busy with projects, so I started in. I thought he'd come up and help, but time passed and before I knew it, I'd bathed her and dried her hair, and we'd picked out pajamas and a few books. When we went downstairs, Joel was no where to be found, but I could hear some things in the garage. So I started reading...and then I thought to myself.... he's doing this on purpose! I smiled. I knew he was making himself scarce so that I could have my Dee Dee time again.

Sure enough, 8:00 came around, and because daddy was nowhere to be seen, Olivia accepted me as Primary Caregiver. I know I don't do songs the same way he does, but she seemed not to mind. With her sweet-smelling head resting on my shoulder, we walked upstairs. And I found myself breathing her in with a new found thankfulness, just because of something so simple as a small shift in routine. I had taken for granted putting my baby to bed. But not last night.

When I tip-toed out her door, I went down to the garage. Joel looked up from his project and grinned.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Can you give me a thumbs-up?

Oh, the glitz and the glamour. Are you ready for it!?!?

**To be honest, I would have written about this a week ago, but I got a horrible cold (thanks to the airplane? or Tom?) and it knocked me out for the majority of last week. So sorry for the delay.**

So heres how it went:

The night before I was nervous, just about flying and arriving and everything so I tried to go to bed early, but pretty much tossed and turned. My phone went off at 3:45 am and I had new respect for what Scott & Sam do every morning. They wake up in the middle of the night in order to provide you with morning entertainment! God bless them. Send them an email. Let them know that you appreciate the fact that their alarm goes off every day in the middle of the night... and they don't hit snooze. WOW. I could never do a morning show.

4 am: Off to the airport. Pouring down rain. Gas tank on empty. Why did I not prepare for this? Do I have my license? How long is the security line going to be? Am I going to be in the middle seat?

5 am: Arrive at Sea-Tac. Park. Security. Wait in line.

5:30 am: Board flight. Middle Seat.

Normally I'm a pretty good flyer, but for some reason (early, empty stomach, nervous) I felt just awful as I sat down. The jet took off and I was thinking I was going to be one of those passengers that needs to use the little bag in the front pocket. I silently prayed with my eyes shut that Jesus would help me. Just then, the man to my right offered to get me a blanket because I looked cold. We struck up a conversation and it turns out he was a pastor on his way to a big conference in Los Angeles. We talked for the majority of the flight about ministry, his family, and God. He asked me what I was going to California for and he laughed out loud when I told him Womens World. He told me he and his wife would be on the lookout for my cover debut.

8:45 am: LAX. I've secretly always wanted to have one of those guys waiting for me with a little sign that says "Taylor,S." meaning my car is waiting. This was the first time I've ever gotten one of those! Score. When I got in the car, there were three bottled waters waiting for me. Its like the driver read my mind.

Its like God kept answering my teeny, tiny prayers. "Jesus, I don't feel good." Then here, have someone kind to talk to on the flight. "Jesus, I'm thirsty." Then here, have three free bottled waters.

I was still really nervous at this point, so I was texting my husband and my mom back and forth, asking them to pray for me. I was also still very nauseous from the flight, and praying tremendously that God would help me through the day.

10:00 am: Arrive at studio. I was so thankful that I was greeted by smiling faces. There was about 7 people there. The main camera guy, a few assistants, a hair guy, a make-up guy, and a stylist lady. They were all so friendly.

The best part? My friend from high school, Angela, moved to California a few years ago. I miss her so much, and rarely get to see her. Isn't it just great that she just happened to live 15 minutes from the studio and she just happened to have that Monday off work and all the crew just happened to say it was totally fine that she come to join me??? It was SO nice to have a familiar face there! Seeing her totally put me at ease.

They dressed me up in a few different lime green tops, and a pair of dark wash Citizens (WHICH I GOT TO KEEP), plus jewelry. Oh, and Spanx. Do you know Spanx? LOVE them. They suck you in and make you look a size smaller - getting rid of any lumps and bumps. I got to keep those, too. That was probably my favorite part. I went home and Joel was like "how was it?" and I burst out "I got to keep the Spanx."

My hair was done up like Miss Texas, and I had a load of make-up on. I didn't really recognize my reflection... so who knows what the cover is going to actually look like. Some interesting rendition of someone who sort of resembles me, I'm guessing. I had fun talking with the hair guy and the make-up guy, though. They asked me how I lost the weight and I said: "I stopped eating Tator Tots everyday and started drinking fresh juice." They thought that was about the most honest, funny thing they'd ever heard and started affectionately calling me "Tator-Tot girl."

The kicker: During the actual photoshoot, which was basically in front of a plain blue background, they asked for some very specific things:

1. Big eyes!
2. Big smile! Can I see a space between your teeth? Give me a big laugh!
3. Can I get a thumbs up?



I am not going to be that girl who has a big thumbs up on the cover. (If you are reading this today, and you go to the grocery store, notice the current copy of Womens World because there is a lady on there with a lime green shirt and a THUMBS UP).

I sooooo didn't want to give them a thumbs up, because I knew that even if they took 400 pictures, in the end, they'd end up using the one where I put my thumb up, like a nerd. But then I thought - you know what? I'm already here, in California. I'm already dressed in a lime green top. I'm already done up like Miss Texas (no offence, Texas cousins. I love you. But you must admit... your hair IS big.) Since I'm already allllll these things, what more is a little thumbs up?

In any event, the magazine comes out on April 27th, I believe. Go tell your grandma. (Wait, no, she probably already has a subscription.) It was fun to do, but I do NOT recommend flying into and out of LAX in the same day. Too much travel for me - I was flat out exhausted, and 99.9% sure its the reason I got sick. I sponsored my flight home by Dramamene. Best decision I ever made.

I was so thankful to be home that evening, just in time to tuck Olivia into bed. I still had all my Texas makeup on and my Texas hair, and I think she was a little startled! I was like "Dee Dee, it's Mama, I promise!" Ironically, when I got home, I was too tired to juice. So I just washed off all that makeup, put some sweatpants on and crawled into bed. And THAT, friends, is the real glamorous life.