coming from a thankful soul

Thanksgiving is past, I know.
But I can have thankful Thursday, or thankful-through-the-month-of-December if I so please.

So today I am thankful for home.
I'm grateful for the potential I feel in me to be something great when I'm there.
I'm grateful for the people there who believe in me.
I'm grateful for the skies and mountains and clouds and sunsets.
I'm grateful for the comfortable silence,
the kind where the love is still tangible and doubts do not exist.
The holding of hands two two little ones, or a grandpa.
I'm grateful that, though I go away, people here stay the same.
I'm grateful for the pace of life...
the kind that when the dinosaur computer is so slow at the appliance store you chat with the lady at the desk. You joke about the fact that people not from here don't always understand- the stores are closed on Sundays, the people call each other by name, there's a man on a horse that sometimes hangs out in town. The lady at the bank went to high school with your dad and you went to school with her son. You get one-on-one attention where ever you go, because mostly, you're one of the only customers.
This place where life is a little slower.
And you know the boy who made your steamer at the coffee shop.
And you play with all the babies.
You pick up your sister from a party and immediately receive a baby in your arms
and hugs all around. Two-armed, real, bear hugs.
You can be yourself and not worry about if you're too fat or how your hair looks or what you wear.
People there know me for who I am, and who I've become over the last 21 years.
They know me back to front. I've proved myself through my life, not my first impression.

When I went to school, I made friends just fine.
But when I had hard days I didn't want people to see my faults.
I didn't want to try so hard to explain the way I was feeling and the reasons I hurt,
with the chance they still wouldn't understand.

So today I'm grateful for family. and home. and people who understand.



Love Always,
and very very blessed,

Taylor Ann


a pat on the back to me- I am alive

My word it's been some time.
Last night I heard my phone buzz and looked over to see a text that read
"Update your blog already woman!!! Also how is everything!?!?!"
I suppose I forgot that some people read what I write.
And in all honesty, I have missed the therapeutic nature of writing my thoughts.
For, a surprise to us all I'm sure.... I have quite a few of them.
To those of you who come to visit me here, I feel like I owe a slight explanation.
I have been crazy.
Not just school, not just service, not just friends.
This semester has been different than any other on record.
I've dated more than ever before in my life,
I've forged new and different friendships.
I'm not serving in a leadership position on campus.
I have a boy and I like him.
And all of it is changing and growing all the time.
I guess so much has gone on that I'm not quite sure where or how to start.

I guess I'll start somewhere-
Late last summer when I was home, I had a friend that came and wanted to do a photo shoot.
You have to understand, I am consistently behind the lens.
That being said, I was more than slightly uncomfortable.
But Chloe is a gem. She made me comfortable and at home in this place I love.
And when she sent me the pictures a few weeks later, I was pleasantly surprised.
I loved the way she brought out the good things about me [extreme talent]
More than that, I loved that I was at home and she caught my happiness.
This is me, and this is where I'm from.
And it's merely a piece of the happiness I feel when I'm here.


Here's to being home.
And family.
An an enormous gratitude post coming your way,
and a whole lot of time with kiddos coming my way.

Love Always,
Taylor Ann


Summer Series: efy

So I was in Hawaii,
which was an adventure in and of itself,
when I received an e-mail from efy.
efy=especially for youth=church summer camp=favorite part of my adolescence.

I had applied earlier in the summer, but as life would have it...
It didn't work out.

The email told me they had openings for a few sessions the following week, and I shot back an "I'm free"
Three days later, an overnight flight home, church, and an all-nighter to get ready.
I was at efy.
Everyone had been a counselor before.
I was the complete and total newbie, and had no idea what I was doing.
I was placed with the largest group of girls.
My boss transferred her niece to my group,
so I felt like all eyes were on me...
the rookie.
I was a hot mess,
sick from my all-nighter,
but trusting that the Lord had my back.
Oh, and faking it until I made it.

That week was a God-sent little blessing.
I needed it.

I needed to refocus, and get my mind out of the mess it was in.
The only way I've learned to do that is to take the focus off the little circle that is me.
Not a moment of the whole experience was about me, and it was exactly what I needed.




So I lost myself in the sounds of my kiddos calls for Mama TayTay,
and loved every minute of doing so.

Love Always,
A mama of 24 little ducklings,
Mama TayTay


Summer Series: the summer I had a fling with motorcycles

I don't know how it happened...
but this summer I had a real thing for motorcycles, apparently.
It started spring semester when my roommate was dating a boy.
Him and his roommate owned motorcycles.
I was single.
So we formed a motorcyle gang, the four of us.
Then so happened that they left for summer,
and another friend needed a girl to ride on the back. 

Oh wait, I could probably help you out with that one... you know?

And yet another friend came in town from Boston and I got the text,
"how about a motorcycle ride up the canyon, lunch, and the best ice cream you'll ever have?"
I said no. 
whaaaaaattttt. jokes. 
How could I possibly refuse that.
 [thus all the pictures. i LOVE the drive to Park City]

Then I went home, and I was sure my adventures were over. 
But fate would have it otherwise, 
I was about to have my best one yet.
I got asked if by a friend if I wanted to take an adventure...
but wasn't allowed to ask questions. 
Take it or leave it. 
And hallelujah I took it.
 Not only was it one of the best adventures I had all summer...
but completed my motorcycle adventures for a while.





you know, I'm not really sure I would want my husband to have a motorcycle 
if we're being really honest here...
but I sure don't mind someone else's future husband giving me a ride. 
The combination of slight danger and wind in your face....
Doesn't get much better than that.

I had a thing with more motorcycles than boys this summer. 
Go figure.


Summer Series: Belle

I spent some time with my Gina when I was home.
Those adventures are always much needed, and always last longer than planned.
Regardless of when we meet up, I keep my entire afternoon open.
This time we just needed a Frosty.
Those of you who are from Coarsegold, you know what I mean.
We just needed to sit on the wooden tables under the misters,
and enjoy a frosty at Robert's.
Where old black and white movies play on repeat,
and the walls are covered in glamour shots of Marilyn, Audrey, and Lucy.
Where a hand carved wooden bear sits atop the shelf,
and the different coffees are named after the regular customers.
Where anybody not from Coarsegold gets their picture posted on the wall.
And even if the waitress doesn't know your name, she knows what family you come from.
Oh, and Robert actually cooks the food. Every day.
So yeah, we needed to go to Robert's Frosty.
How else on earth do you describe that feeling?

Gina and I, being 5 years old like we are, needed matching lockets of our favorite princesses.
I guess I hadn't ever given much thought to which was my favorite before.
But it is Belle, without a doubt.
She is strong, and knows what is right.
Not only does she know what's right, but she does what is right...
even when it doesn't make sense to everyone else.
She can hold her own, and stand alone.
She sees beyond outer appearances, and genuinely loves her friends and family.
She fights for what she believes, and knows what that is.
And on top of it all, she dances in a beautiful gown and tames a beast.
She allows herself to be vulnerable, when she could have stayed safe.
She is Beauty.

Just a thought.
Taylor Ann

Summer Series: Barefoot and Bronze

These pictures don't include me, but they describe my trip to Hawaii pretty accurately.
I was just blessed to be a part of these babies' world this summer.
There is something different about being on vacation with little ones.
Everything is new and exciting to them.
Everything is magical.






Our days were filled with lots of sun, even more sand, family and food.
It was just what I needed- being with those kiddos for a week.
Kids see you for you, plain and simple.
And they love you, no questions asked.
There are no complications to those friendships,
you always know where you are at- good or bad.
Kids.. well, they need you. your love, your attention, your help.
They require more from you, but are so worth the time.
I needed to be out of Provo, and they were the perfect remedy.

Taylor Ann


Summer Series: Bub

When I was home my mom sat reading the sisters blog as per usual
when I walked up she didn't look up, but stated...
"You never blog anymore".
And it's true, I know.
Sometimes, you're just not really sure what to write or how to write.

But I have to start over somewhere.
So I'll start with the little brother.
He is quite the subject in my life these days, living 5 blocks away from each other and all...
I came home at the end of the summer just barely in time for his  18th Birthday shindig.
It was. A. Blast.

He is so great.
One night after a long drive home (and equally long talk about life),
I sneezed.
You have to understand... my sneeze is high-pitched to say the least.
It sounds fake, and fairly silly.
Sort of what you may think a five year old disney princess sneeze may sound like.
And there's this little sigh at the end.
Every time.

Zane kind of chuckled and said....
"Your husband must adore your sneeze.
Really though, he has to think it's the cutest thing in the world.
He just needs to realize how special you are"

And those are moments where I remember why I need to marry a boy like my brother.
He is genuine, kind, fun, and makes me feel like a million bucks.

So happy Birthday bub, and here's to a fun semester together.
You are my favorite boy.

On another note,  this summer was one of the mos unexpected summers I've ever experienced.
There was some traveling, a little heartache, a lot of family, and a few surprises.
I posted once or twice, but here's to filling in the gaps.
I think a summer series of blog posts is in order.  Let's count this as an official start :)

Glad to be back,
Taylor Ann


On tadpole fishing and kiddos

After that lovely plane flight extravaganza on Saturday night,
I finally made it to Hawaii.
There is a video that shows the greeting I received, and someday I'll show it to you.
It will be worth your two minutes, I promise.
As my aunt and I watched it, we just smiled and she said, "pure happiness".
It's true. I could not be more happy to be here.
I hang out all day with the oldest princess (age 6),
the little prince (age 3),
and my twin and comrade (age 4).

My first night here, the adults went out to dinner and left the kids. 
By adults, I mean the married people. 
Until I reach that point I'm pretty sure I'm kind of like half an adult.
but regardless, I watched the kids.
Honestly, it wasn't even that I watched them...
I played with them. 
There were no tears, no fights, no drama.
I'm all about the no drama.
So the adults left and we played in high volume squeals and giggles for 15 minutes, 
then we, naturally, needed to go catch tadpoles from the pond. 
6 kiddos+me+outdoors+perfect Hawaiian weather+pajamas=bliss
I sat there and thought over and over of how lucky I am to be here.
To have a family to love, who loves me back.
Extended and immediate.

...and if you don't love kids like I do, try.
You can learn a lot from them.
And if you love them, normally they love you back.
No questions asked. 

Taylor Ann


On what could have been a long, long night.

Have you ever missed a flight?
It feels horrible.
I had never missed a flight, and always secretly prided myself in the fact that I would never.
I pay more attention to detail than that.
I never kid myself into thinking I can make it through security in a half hour...
I make sure I'm close to the gate long before boarding time...
So I was safe from that panicked feeling of missing a flight.... right?

I woke up just as the flight attendant was announcing connecting flights.
The one to Kahului, Maui was just a few gates over... 69A.
So I got off the plane and scrolled down the screen until I saw Kahului.
There it was, 69A, and the time was changed to 7pm.
Oh good, I thought, just an extra twenty minutes wait. No big thing.
I proceeded to get something to eat.

At 6:40 I hopped in line, but when I got to the front something was wrong.
It wasn't my flight. My flight was different from the connecting flight they announced.
And 6:39 was my original takeoff time, so my plane had just left me behind.
No no no no no no.
Thats all you can think when something like that happens.
As if somehow that's going to make it less real.
The next flight wasn't until 9:30 the next morning. 
I called my mom. I called my aunt. I called my dad, brother, and little sister.
I called everyone I could think of that lives in the greater LA area.
I even posted on my Facebook in case there was anyone I missed.
Nobody answered, and nobody responded. 
So I sat there for a solid hour or more, nobody knowing where I was,
and me not knowing if I would be spending the night alone in a cold airport.
Then I thought of a friend who was going to graduate school in LA, and I was pretty sure term had started a few weeks ago.
So I called. Brilliant. Best decision ever.
She picked me up from the airport and I tagged along with her for the night.
At the end of the night we got caught up talking about life until wee hours of the morning,
and slept like rocks for 3 hours or so.
3 hours in a bed with blankets beats all night on chairs alone any day.

I thought about it a little as we talked, and as I prayed in gratitude that night.
I am so grateful for that experience.
I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to spend some time with someone
who I wouldn't have otherwise had the chance to.
After all, she was just an employee in the office where I volunteered...
it would have been an easy friendship to pass by.
So next time you think it's not worth it to make friends with people in your classes,
or put your headphones in instead of have a conversation with that receptionist...
think again.
Life happens all too quickly, and sometimes you might need a friend.
Let's be real, too often we are in need of a friend.
If you're like me,
you may need a miracle to keep you from spending a miserable night on the floor.
I'm not saying I'm perfect at these things,
but I'm grateful I did it ok at least once.
It made for a splendid night and an even more splendid friendship.


So if you were overly curious about the details of my last plane flight adventure,
there you have it.

Love you forever,
Taylor Ann


A claw-foot tub.

Ok, my parents moved into a new house recently and it's awesome.
I call it Mama's dream.. she literally planned every detail of every room.
One of my current favorites is my bathroom.
claw-foot tub,
gold and silver scroll-y detailing,
black and white checkered floors.
claw-foot tub.

claw-foot tub. oh did I already say that?


A little sugar scrub, hot water, and twenty five minutes of silence never hurt anyone.
Just saying.

And anything, anything Sabon.... I'm in love.


In the heart of a good book, sometimes you feel...

"Now and then, I lie awake thinking I might like to have someone courting me. But it would have to be someone who is a square shooter and who has a train load of courage. And it would have to be someone who doesn't have to talk down to folks to feel good, or to tell a person they are worthless if they just made a mistake. And he'd have to be not too thin. Why, I remember hugging Ernest was like wrapping your arms around a fence post, and I love Ernest, but I want a man who can hold me down in a wind. Maybe he'd have to be pretty stubborn. I don't have any use for a man that isn't stubborn. Likely a stubborn fellow will stay with you through thick and thin and a spineless one will take off, or let his heart wander."

-Sarah Prine
These Is My Words

i think she had it about right.


A good ole Cenote adventure.

Our family has always loved Mexico.
There's a certain charm about it, and something in the air.
The hot, humid, sultry air.

There has always been an itch for Mexico that we couldn't shake.
I can't speak for us all, but for me it's the language,
the colorful buildings and intricate tiles,
the connection to culture,
the excitement of the unexplored,
the food. fajitas, tacos, guacamole, fruit.
the history, the townsquares, the cathedrals.
the little people with brown eyes.

After Chichen Itza, which I suppose will have to be a post in and of itself,
we went to a Cenote [pronounced see-no-tay] and walked the streets of the nearest town.
Rewind. cenote. we walked in and were just blown away at how beautiful it was.
[oh and also the lack of restrictions which would have been EVERYWHERE had this been the US]
Most of the people that came on the bus with us were just standing around the edges,
but that didn't pacify us Veaters near enough- Zane jumped in almost immediately.
Brooke, Dad, and I followed.
Jess stayed on the edge with mom and husband as a good pregger should.
Zane proceeded to jump off the ledge halfway up, and we cheered shamelessly.
Then came time for us all to jump, though we weren't sure where from.
The highest spot ended up to be our destined point of departure.

Cenote: Natural sink hole.aka best.swimming pool.ever
Daddy was probably being snarky, or challenging me to something.
Possibly one of my favorites of the trip. Loved this town square.
My family is irreverent.... and hilarious.

We ended up making quite a scene, the four of us- shouting across the way to the others and such.
Brooke had people cheering and taking pictures. What a stud of a 13 year-old, right?
We then proceeded to have  a nice lunch in town and eat at a charming little restaurant.
My family was goofy and slightly irreverent- all in good humor and Veater fashion.
[And yes, my hair looked like that for the entirety of the trip in case you were wondering.]

Yay for Mexico.

Taylor Ann


Hello Cancun

Spring term is over.
Which means finals are over.
Which means business law is OVER.
Which means I went home to Coarsegold for a week.
Which means I got to spend time with the preggers before she leaves for Boston.
Which all has made me very happy.
All of which was wonderful.

Now I'm in Mexico.
And it's even better.

I literally have nothing to do except whatever it is I feel.
Yesterday after a run and good solid workout at a lovely hole-in-the-wall Mexican gym,
I joined my mom and my sister on the beach.
I had a book in my hand [because how could you sit in a chair for hours and do nothing?] and got through only 7 pages.
Then I had the thought- I have the option to literally do nothing right now.
I don't know how long it's been since that has been an option. 

So I did.
I watched the kids play in crystal clear water and enjoyed the breeze.
Then I turned over on my belly and laid there in silence until I fell asleep.

The only bad thing that could happen here is a sunburn.
And let's be real- considering the circumstances, that's not all that bad.


Missing you from Mexico...
But probably not.

Taylor Ann

[you want to follow these picturas erryday? feel free to insta-stalk me: smalltowntaylor]


I belong to dreams and stories in my mind

[disclaimer: I have dropped off the face of the earth, I know it. It started with frequent adventures at 1 in the morning, then finals, now home... where I eat tacos and ice cream and lay out with my family instead of blog. judge me, but it's secretly so fun. not secretly if i share it on the internet like this, but whatever. and I started this post about a month ago, and just finished. how people EVER write books is beyond me- i can't finish a dang blog post]

This post is dedicated to Brooke. 
Homegirl is this feisty ball of wonderful,
and that is really a pretty solid overall description.

I remember when I left for college, my mom asked,
"what am I gonna do without you?"
you would think oh... so sweet! but ehhhh mostly it was kind of like a cry for help
The question had nothing to do with my relationship with my mom, we made it just fine when I left.
[or better.. did any of you get closer to your mom when you left for college? I think maybe it's universal...]
It was about my relationship with Brooke.
You see, with lots of personality and sense of humor comes a little...feisty.
I somehow was just the right amount of ridiculous
to get littleone out of those funks that came with the fiesty.
And thus we bonded- me and all my ridiculousness, and Brooke and her sass.

When I was about to leave for college, [and by about... I mean months and months in advance]
and babygirl realized I would not live at home anymore, she moved in.
And by moved in, she slept in my bed every single night for probably 8 months.
When I was out for the night, she would leave notes on my pillow...
and often try to spoon me upon my arrival home.
When I was in for the night,
she would never complain about the lights being on when I needed to be up,
she just cuddled up and went to bed there anyways.

So that's about us. Pretty simply put- we love each other. She's dang cool.
When I came home a few times back, both Jess and I were shocked.
Brooke, who is our baby, was no longer a baby.
She had rounded some kind of invisible corner from little girl to young woman.
Ahhhhghghh. what?!
Little did I know there was more where that came from.
I got asked if she was my little sister the other day
[what?! I have 8 years on her! now I know how it feels, jess...]
aka she is lookin' old these days.
Which I guess kind of makes sense, because she graduated from 8th grade a few weeks back!
Which is the point of this post..... which I haven't gotten to until now.

So, without further ado, I will let you look at pictures...
which will subsequently prove my point about her looking so old.

[lookin like a babe these days, right?]

To my baby girl,
high school is wonderful.
It's a time in life when you honestly can do anything and everything...
and all at the same time.
As with most things in life, it will be what you make it.
And you will get out of it what you put in.
Be kind and be genuine....people will love you as they always have.
If girls pretend like they don't, just be a little sad for them.
For they have sorely missed out on having a friend like you.
But mostly, know there is a big sister in Utah who loves you more than most.
Thanks for being my friend, and loving me unconditionally, sweet girl.
You're gonna be great.