The Blog
Taylor Texas Road Trip, Part One…

Last month, Kevin and I took the boys to Texas for a fun, Taylor family road trip. Oh man, did the five of us did ever need a getaway. It had been a while since we took a true vacation, just our little unit, and really bonded in this way. Kevin and I hope to explore the country, and eventually the rest of the world, with our boys. We want to teach them about history, experience different cultures, sample different cuisines, make new friends— all while making some seriously awesome family memories.

The boys are at such a fun age right now… beyond diapers, strollers, naps (thank god!) and before hormones and eye rolling completely take over. They are old enough to somewhat appreciate the cost of travel and the planning that went into a trip like this. We really had the most wonderful time, and I am excited to share our trip with you in photos 🙂

We chose Texas as the destination this time because we wanted a warm location, plus Kevin and I used to live there after college and we wanted to show the boys where it all began for us. Once the state was chosen, the fun part began, planning our road trip.

 


First leg of the trip I got to sit with my buddy, Link. He was so pumped about heading out of town on this snowy, cold, Syracuse morning.


Sully all wet from a fountain near our hotel.

To fully appreciate these photos and the joy on the boy’s faces, you have to know that we were still dealing with the worst and longest, gray, winter months in recent history back home in Syracuse. So the fact that Dallas was sunny and 70 degrees when we arrived… well I think you can see just how wonderful that felt.

 


This was a really cool urban park we stumbled upon in the Mckinney neighborhood.


Back at the hotel. Seriously, a hotel pool is all they need to be content…and slightly inappropriate.

The next morning we went to the Dallas Farmer’s Market. It was one of our favorite spots, back in the year 2000 (literally.) Today, it was almost unrecognizable. Really cool, totally hipster. It used to be all farmers with their harvested goods.  Now it’s filled with funky food trucks and “vintage” tee shops (which i also love, btw). And yes, I snagged some rad souvenirs there 😉

 

It was a little rainy that first day, so Kevin and I took the opportunity to do some drive-bys through our old stomping grounds. Below is our favorite apartment, 4930 Worth Street.  It’s an old estate home that was divided into four apartments, and we loved living there. We tortured Nolan a little by asking him to take our pic in front of it. Everything we do all of a sudden is embarrassing to this kid.

 

One thing on the boys “must see” list?? Visiting the headquarters of their celebrity man-crushes, Dude Perfect. So in the rain, we dove north to Frisco. Of course the “Dudes” weren’t there (and never responded to the boys fan mail ;( ) but never the less, they were so happy to see one of their trucks parked out front. Seriously, Nolan was beside himself.

 

Dude Perfect!  You should seriously consider offering a tour of your “office”. Little dudes like mine would pay top dollar for that! Maybe next time boys.

 

We just adored this artsy neighborhood, Bishop Arts.  We went there to find We Are 1976, a really beautiful gift shop, but ended up walking around enjoying the scene and the sunshine.

 

Our last stop in Dallas (well, Arlington) was the Texas Rangers game.  It was such a gorgeous sunny, and slightly hot day for these northerners. We had such a great time. The boys all got new flat brimmed hats because I forgot the sunscreen. Whoopsie.

 

Ok, our next stop in the Taylor Texas Road Trip??  Well, you have to come back and see! Check back on The Blog in a few days.

Talk to y’all soon!

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Teacher appreciation week is almost here!

Raise your hand if you were ready to get back into a routine after spring break this year. I know most of the world had their “spring” break a long time ago, but here in central New York, we are just returning (and hoping that today is the day that spring weather actually arrives!)

This time, we celebrate our teachers! It’s teacher appreciation week from May 7th-11th, and I wanted to design a new gift to let them know how grateful we are. Teaching in NOT easy, and it truly takes a special person to be a great one. The patience that is required, the nurturing, the warmth and kindness, and the excitement to keep our children engaged. Oy vey, it’s gotta be completely exhausting. And I know for a fact, I could never do it.


A Teacher Takes a Hand print.  8×10. Comes in Warm Pink or Ocean Blue.

So this year, let’s make them feel really special. Each print ordered on my shop site, comes with a free thank you note to accompany your gift. My little appreciation gift to you all 🙂

Spread the love, friends!

Ps- I will fill you guys in on our wild Texas road trip, on the blog next week 😉 Yee haw!

A dream come true

I grew up in Syracuse, New York and this place is known for it’s loooong, gray winters. But there is one thing we have that always seems to get us through the roughest part of the year… basketball.

I am a serious Syracuse University basketball fan. Every March I become a little crazy about my Orange.  We love to have friends over to watch SU games, to yell at the television, eat junk food, and share in our loathing of Duke (and still Georgetown) 😉

This season was fully of adversity and we (don’t you love how fans insert the word “we” when talking about their favorite team?) were not expected do well, or to even make the NCAA tournament.  It was sort of an off year, a rebuilding year. Well much to the delight of my cold, slightly depressed little city… Syracuse made the NCAA tournament. And we made quite a run, again. Despite the hardships they faced, the team and coaches got us all the way to the Sweet Sixteen!!!

Every season I listen for a quote or phrase of some sort from the team, that sums up their season. I then design an inspirational print and share it with my fellow Orange nation. This year I kept hearing this phrase pop up regarding the Orange, “We do not quit.”  So, I went to work.

Once the season came to an end, I was invited to come to the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center for a tour and to have THE coach himself, Jim Boeheim, sign my print. I took the boys along with me and we got to see the ins and outs of all things SU basketball. We got sneak peeks into the coaches offices, the locker room, the weight room and conference rooms. All the kids took turns shooting baskets on the practice courts. It was a dream come true for these Orange fans. I hope it’s a memory the boys remember forever.


Signed! ATD is also donating a signed copy to the annual Boeheim Basket Ball auction. Proceeds benefit cancer research and programming for children in need within the CNY Community.


Nolan taking note of the great players to come from this amazing program; Carmelo Anthony, Sherman Douglas, Derrick Coleman, Gerry McNamara, Pearl Washington… to name a few.


Lincoln, scoping out the joint.


View from coach’s office.


This guy. Posing by Carmelo’s famous jersey 🙂


I spy ATD around the office!!!  Love this so much.

I owe a HUGE thank you to my friend Kelly Taylor (no relation) for putting this together. Kevin, Nolan, Lincoln, Sully and I were so honored. And thank you to Coach Boeheim for your generosity. You truly helped make memories for the five of us that we will never forget.

Go Cuse!!!!

Thanks for letting me brag, friends.

Do more things that make you uncomfortable.

“I don’t like to ski anymore.”  “I hate being cold.”  “I loathe the schlepping of all the gear.” These are just some of the things I have told myself for the last ten, no… twenty years. I think a lot of this was/is probably true, but by not forcing myself out of my homebody comfort zone, I was missing out on some seriously awesome family bonding time.

My three (well, four) boys all love to ski. But I was fine with letting this activity fall on daddy’s list. I handle lots of others things, and this one can be for the boys!

However, every time they would come back from a day of skiing; happily exhausted and wind burned, I would feel a little left out of the fun. My day of getting laundry done, errands and groceries was suddenly less satisfying.

So one Sunday morning, not so long ago, I forced myself to get out there. Lincoln and daddy left early to claim “first tracks”.  Meanwhile, I packed up the rest of us to surprise them at the mountain.

I was fully expecting to put on a happy face and enjoy it for the kids. But much to my surprise, I didn’t have to fake a thing!  I was truly having fun. Skiing. My ski legs came back, and not once did I check my phone for the time. #winning

We had so much fun in fact, that we planned a weekend getaway to Vermont to… wait for it… SKI! Below are the highlights of the weekend in photos.  But just five words can summarize this weekend of memories;

Family. Great friends. Awesome skiing.


Welcome to Okemo Mountain! A skiers paradise.

I found these two posers on the mountain.


Link is totally in his happy place 🙂


My (spring) skiing motto… Buy the ticket. Take the ride (or lift.)


From beginner to Olympic prospect? My humble boy. “Mom, i am a reeallly good skier.” 

See you on the slopes, friends. Well, in the spring anyway 😉

 

The best part of a homemade lunch…

Ever since they started preschool, I have packed my kids lunch with a note from home. It’s hard to send your little ones off to be in someone else’s care! I wanted to remind them that I was thinking of them, proud of them, and that I would be waiting with open arms when they got home. My kids really love this tradition.

I decided after going through several post-it notes, and random scraps of paper from the junk drawer, that I would design my own.  I created Lunch Notes with five different prompts to help me keep them fresh.

Several years later, I am still writing them little notes for their school lunches. If I forget, I get a gentle reminder 😉 My youngest will even write one to himself if need be.


The goofier the note is, the better!


This kid 🙂  Love him so.

Happy packing, friends! Order your Lunch Notes here!