Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Camping Trip

We went on our first camping trip this weekend despite the threat of high winds, rain, hail, and even tornadoes - none of which we experienced. We had a great time and didn't experience any problems with putting up the tent or starting the fire. In fact, it was so much fun that we plan to do it again, and maybe for 2 nights next time!

Our campsite was right on the lake. We also had our choice of many wooded campsites that we might try out next time. I got a little sunburnt - didn't even think about bringing sunscreen.

Dinner consisted of brats, corn on the cob, and chips. Very delish. We, of course, had s'mores and marshmallows for dessert. Breakfast was very healthy - cake donuts. I think we will take the camp stove next time for some pancakes and eggs.

The people one campsite over caught huge fish. So, Richard and I tried to catch some too. No such luck. Fish would be jumping right next to our line, but they had no interest.

No matter how primitive our surroundings, we still made sure we brushed. It was a great trip to relax and get away.

Other weekend events:

We saw Bo Pelini at Scheels on Friday night. He walked right by us!

Two dumpsters got loose at our apartment complex during a very high wind storm. They hit 6 cars, including the cars directly next to ours, and completely smashed the side of a pick-up in our parking lot. Crazy.

Lunch with the Clabaugh Family on Monday and dinner with friends on Monday night.

Friday, May 23, 2008

An exciting Friday

First of all, I must inform my readers on how Jake did at State so far. His first event was the 3200 (2-mile). All of my information comes second hand, but I hear it was a fantastic race. Jake led the way and then took off with 700 meters remaining. He was far ahead and the finish was in sight. He was unaware of a competitor who had caught up by running a 62 second lap and was closing in on Jake. Jake crossed the finish line at 9:35:62 - fourteen-hundreths of a second (or about 2 feet) behind the other competitor. Second place at the State Track Meet is just awesome and not to mention that time. Way to go, Jakey! This sis is pretty proud.

Second, I must inform my readers on a surprise trip that Richard planned for us this weekend. We are going CAMPING! You know, I almost brought home a huge tote of Dad's camping supplies that are now mine, but thought that we probably wouldn't be going for a while. So, this is a great treat. It is supposed to rain, but oh well. I still think we will have a blast because it is our first trip together. I am getting so excited just sitting here thinking about it.

Third, an ortho update. I got a new rubber band that attaches to my top right incisor to my lower right pre-molar. This is no wimpy rubber band either...it's thick and I get to wear it 24/7. Let's just say I will be staying away from the close-up pics. But the best part is still to come. At night time, I have a total of 3 rubber bands stretching to different locations throughout my mouth. It's pretty attractive and I have no difficulting opening my mouth whatsoever :). I can feel and see results, though, so it is worth it. Honestly, I cannot believe it has almost been a whole year since I have had them on. Tim, my other bro, wore his for 5 years and now has a great smile.

Fourth, here is Rod's thought for this week:
The walk with God in our journey through this earth takes some interesting turns before we get to eternity. All of these turns and twists are full of joy and excitement when we realize the Lord uses these for His glory and an exhibition of His grace in our lives. In light of God’s unfailing promises, enjoy all that He has for you.
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil 1:6

Hmm, if that doesn't change you attitude today, I don't know what else will.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Jake graduated from Shawnee Mission South High School on May 20, 2008 (I graduated on May 20, 2002). The graduation ceremony was long - it was a huge class, but the entire trip was great. It was mostly a time to see family and just hang out. A narrative would be pretty boring, so here are some pictures with some of the highlights from my trip.

At Jake's graduation party, I hung out with my cousins. Most of my cousins are at least 12 years younger than me, so it was a lot of fun. Claire (3 or 4) made my day when she said, "I really like your husband, Richard," and he wasn't even with me, so she remembered him from Christmas. Pictured is my youngest cousin, Madison (24 years younger). I stole her for most of the party because this was only the 2nd time I had seen her. I think she is absolutely adorable in that giant bow!

Of course, one of the highlights was playing with Holly. My dad has trained her really well so we went for a run together, took her to get a haircut, and played with her ball. I was impressed with how well she behaved until the last night. My dad went to pick up Jake from his project graduation party and Holly barked for 10 minutes straight! Let's just say I wasn't quite as friendly with her at 12:30 in the morning!

Mom set up a "shrine" to Jake for all to see at the party. I am not sure if you can see how many medals are on that bulletin board, but there were a lot. They are all from track and cross-country. By the way, he is competing at the State Track Meet this Friday and Saturday in the 2-mile, 1-mile, and 4 x 800. GO JAKE!

Pop-pop and Gram (Taylor Grandparents) came from Texas and our Great Aunt Sarah and Uncle Wick came from West Virginia. We spent some time out at the campground and I even had my first taste of fried SPAM (verdict - not bad at all). I hadn't seen them since my wedding (2 years ago), so it was one of the highlights from my trip. We used to live so close to them in New York, so I miss seeing them now that we live so far away. Pop-pop can fix anything and he is going to help dad add on to the deck. At the graduation, it was a little breezy. I snapped a picture of Pop-pop that is awesome.

And what would a graduation be without a family picture beside a tree? Seems to be a tradition in our family. We are all leaning in this picture and we must be on a hill because mom is not that short. Oh well, it's the Taylor family.

All in all, it was a great trip filled with laughter and fun. Speaking of laughter, I have to show what my Gram bought for my dad. Below is a moose key-chain. Looks pretty unsuspecting, huh?

But, here is what happens when you squeeze his sides...

Haha. It still makes me laugh.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hello from Kansas City

I have been in KC since Saturday and will go back home tomorrow. The event - Jake's high school graduation. I have been spending lots of time catching up with family and going from one event to the next. For some reason, I cannot sleep past 6:45am, so I have been keeping up with my running. It is gorgeous here. The first time I took Holly (the family dog). I didn't think she enjoyed it much, so the second time I left her. I guess she was upset about that and barked so long that Dad put the shock collar on - oops. Anyway, tonight is the actual graduation ceremony, and then Jake is off to the State Track Meet to complete in the 1600, 3200, and 4 x 800 relay.

I could type for a long time about the trip, but I will just say I am having a great time, but am also excited to be home with Richard. I have some pictures that I will have to post when I get back.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Overwhelmed Heart

I get together with some great girls on Thursday mornings (6:30am, wanna come?). We drink coffee, eat scones, and talk about a Psalm that we read and studied over the past week. I don't listen well and studied this one instead of the actual one we chose. Read these verses:

Psalm 61:1-4
Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

For You have been a shelter for me,
A strong tower from the enemy.
I will abide in Your tabernacle forever;
I will trust in the shelter of Your wings.

I love two phrases in this sentence. "From the end of the eath" and "When my heart is overwhelmed." Don't you get to that place when you feel like you are at your witts end? Where you are overwhelmed with it all? It is usually at that point I remember to cry to the Lord. To give it all over. To trust in His shelter. To rest in the Lord. And, what a great burden is taken off our mind. Peace then overwhelms me, knowing the sovreign, Almighty God is taking care of me. Next time, before we get to that overwhelming state, let's cry to the Lord and give it to Him. Continue reading Psalm 61 and on to 62 & 63. They show David's resolve to rest in the Lord through all that he doesn't understand. To stand firm in his salvation.

Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bob's Blurb

When we went to the OKU Banquet a few weeks back, the pianist was playing a familiar tune. I told Richard I was surprised she was playing, "He Looked Beyond my Fault and Saw my Need" at this banquet (since it was not a Christian organization). Turns out that tune is actually "Danny Boy" - I had no clue. I thought this story was interesting and hope you enjoy it.

Throughout the '60s and '70s, Dottie Rambo, her husband Buck, and their daughter Reba, made up The Singing Rambo’s, one of the most successful southern gospel trios of all time. As the group's main songwriter, Dottie was prolific. Today, hardly any modern hymnal fails to include one or more of her 2,500 songs, including “Sheltered In the Arms of God" and the 1982 Gospel Music Association Song of the Year, "We Shall Behold Him." Her best-known song, by far, is the inspirational song "He Looked Beyond My Fault and Saw My Need."

In 1970, Dottie began writing a song about the grace of God, but was unable to finish it. When her older brother was hospitalized with cancer and told that he had only weeks to live, Dottie sat by his bedside and ministered to him, praying that he would come to know the Lord. Dottie read the Bible to him and prayed with him as much as she possibly could. One day, after singing at a concert, she returned to ask: "Have you given your life to Jesus since I've been gone?" Eddie, 37, just stared at her with sad eyes. "After the wicked life I've lived, the Lord won't raise a person like me," he muttered, and then reminded her of his time in jail and his addiction to drugs and alcohol.

"The Lord left the 99 to bring a lost sheep like you back to the fold," Dottie told him. She continued to pray for his salvation. Then she went home and finished "He Looked Beyond My Fault." For years Jimmie Davis, the southern gospel singer and former Louisiana governor, had asked her to write a song to the tune of "Danny Boy." With this song, she finally discovered the inspiration. Later that day, she returned to the hospital to sing the song to Eddie.

One Sunday, after she finished singing in an Ohio church, Dottie found her brother so weak that he could barely talk."Yesterday I gave my heart to the Lord and he forgave me," he whispered in Dottie's ear. "When I get to heaven, I'll wait for you at the Pearly Gates so we can enjoy heaven together." Before he died, Eddie asked his sister to sing "He Looked Beyond My Fault" at his funeral. The experience left Dottie even more determined "to share with the many hurting and wounded people in this world the wonderful message of God's great and unconditional love."

Dottie was fatally injured in a bus accident in southwest Missouri early last Sunday morning. The bus was on the way to a Mother's Day performance in North Richland Hills, Texas, and was traveling through high winds when it ran off the road and hit an embankment approximately two miles east of Mount Vernon on Interstate 44. What a wonderful consolation it is to know that Dottie is now face to face with her Savior, undoubtedly realizing that everything she wrote about Him is truer than she ever would have dared to imagine.

Amazing Grace shall always be my song of praise
For it was grace that brought me liberty
I do not know just why He came to love me so
He looked beyond my fault and saw my need

I shall forever lift mine eyes to Calvary,
To view the cross, where Jesus died for me
How marvelous, His grace that caught my falling soul
He Looked beyond my fault and saw my need.

Blonde Moments

My life has been characterized by "blonde moments" that prove to be frustrating and repetitive. It seems like I can go through stages when I have them more frequently than others, but they are always there. If you are not sure what I mean by "blonde moments" I have decided to give you a few examples.

There was a period of time during high school that, one time each week (at least), I would either lock my keys in the car, or leave the lights on so that it would not start after school.

Once, I not only locked my keys in the car but also the spare keys in the trunk. $40 later, I had both sets of keys back.

My debit card always seems to be an area of frustration. Twice, including today, I have been forced to dig through the smelly garbage to retrieve the debit card that I accidently threw away. One day, I spent all morning searching for my debit card & freaking out, to then find it underneath my chair at work.

Ruth has been a witness to me leaving my purse and my coat at several restaurants and businesses.

Just yesterday, I went to Target and, after checking out, could not find my keys. I asked customer service if they had found them and then searched each section of the store that I had visited to find them. After all that, I found them in my purse!

Most people fall down stairs and trip over objects in their path. I fall up the stairs and trip over the bare floor.

Once, I was grocery shopping and it was raining. About 3 hours later, Richard receives a call from Hy-Vee. Apparently, I left my purse in the cart in the rain and an employee found it when bringing in the carts.

Those are a few examples that pop in my head. To combat some of these, I have Richard carry important documents (like boarding passes when we are flying) so that we can avoid the inevitable. Those of you who know me well and can think of more, post them in the comments. Honestly, if my head wasn't attached, I probably would have lost that as well.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I don't know about you, but the day goes a lot faster when I am listening to music and I notice that the type of music I am listening to can affect my overall demeanor and mood for the day. I am sure some sort of study has been done on that, and if not, there should be.

So Martha told me about http://www.pandora.com/ and after trying it out this morning, I have become a fan. At work, I usually listen to my itunes, but I get bored of the same thing everyday. If you are looking for something new, try this out and let me know what you think. Go to pandora radio and type in the name of an artist or song that is the type of music you want to listen. Then, they will play music from that artist and also generate other songs that are similar to that genre. And get this - if you don't like the song that is being played, you can pick "I don't like it" and they won't play it ever again. Pretty cool, huh? You could even type in "David Phelps" and hear his music if you never have.

Random information: Pandora's box is from Greek Mythology. It is the box carried by Pandora that contained all the evils of mankind -greed, vanity, slander, lies, envy, pining, and hope. It is interesting that they thought of hope as evil, when it is what we rely on each day. Pandora opened her box and let out all those evils, but closed it before hope could escape. What does this have to do with Pandora Radio? Nothing - I have no parallels or great analogies. It just reminded me of Greek Mythology and that story.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Life is good

The past 5 days have been great. Richard and I flew to Chicago on Wednesday to visit our good friends Ryan and Martha and their twins, Ethan and Garrett. The trip started off with a miscommunication on the arrival of our plane and left Martha and the twins waiting for 3 hours! Oops... Fortunately, that did not set the tone for the entire trip. Instead of typing every exact detail of the trip, I am going to give you some highlights:
  • We met Ethan and Garrett - cutest boys ever - and got to live a few days in the life of Martha - mother of twins, wife of a busy dentist, awesome friend to many, and always making people laugh.

  • Richard got to spend a whole day with Ryan at the office. They got to talk about dentistry to their hearts desire.

  • Martha and I went shopping with the giant stroller. You'd be amazed how many people talk about you as you pass, but do not even offer to help you open doors.

  • Playing with Tackle. Tackle was an Alaskan husky they were taking care of. Beautiful, giant dog who didn't want to get his picture taken.

  • Silver Beach Pizza - really awesome pizza. We almost finished off 2 large pizzas, but we had to same room for some really awesome ice cream for dessert.

  • Lake Michigan and the town of St. Joseph. It was so great to see so many beautiful trees! They were everywhere and it reminded me of New York so much. And then there was lake Michigan, which was gorgeous. St. Joseph had a touristy-feel and I thought it was a great town and a great place to visit. We didn't get into the water because it would have been freezing, but we took a walk on the beach and on the pier. They even had a lighthouse!

  • Meeting the Smith family (the dentist Ryan works with). We went to dinner with them at a local place called Clemintine's and also went to a surprise 50th birthday party for him. They are great.

  • Playing cards at the chocolate store. Saturday afternoon we spent a few hours just playing cards and talking. It was one of the best parts of the trip.

  • Hanging in the airport. Our flight was delayed to Chicago AND back to Omaha.

  • And, I got an awesome new haircut from Martha. It feels great and is so easy to do in the morning.
So, I realized a few things during this trip. First of all, I love that we are in our mid-twenties. Second, I love our friends and I want to visit them as much as possible. Third, being a mom is a ton of work and I have a whole new appreciation for them. Martha makes it looks so simple and is an awesome. I hope I can be like her someday. Fourth, I can't wait to meet Ryan and Martha in the Honolulu airport in 61 days!

And now, here is a departing picture of those adorable twins, whom I already miss, in their new jeans. SO CUTE!

Monday, May 5, 2008

A Marathon Weekend

This was a marathon weekend, figuratively and literally! Friday night we got together with our flock to play games. Richard beat me at Dutch Blitz so it was a great night!
Saturday started bright an early with Bible study, then I got together with my old roommate for lunch, and then a bridal shower for a friend. That equalled lots of eating, but also fun. Richard and I played cards and ate more spaghetti that evening.
Sunday was the actual Lincoln marathon. We got up at 5:30 so that we could get to UNL at 6:15ish. My comment when we arrived was, "It amazes me that this many people would get up this early on this cold of a morning to run this far." Obviously, I was not one of the runners. Here is a picture of us, cold.

Richard lined up while Rick and I took off on our bikes to watch him throughout the race. Richard debuted his short-shorts for this race. I first saw him at the 1-mile mark. Then, I rode up to Sheridan and Van Dorn to cheer him on. I am sad to say that I pooped-out there and had to sit a while and warm my hands and wait for my stomach to relax. So, I next saw him at 20th and Van Dorn. Then, I stopped 3 more times before heading to the finish line. He did awesome and it was a lot of fun to watch him race. I also saw other friends out there running. Here are some action shots, mostly taken by Rick and one from the website. I have a hard time with the hand-eye coordination while also attempting to cheer him on. I am not even going to bother bringing a camera next time.

He's waving at me!

Richard did awesome. When he got to mile 10, however, he started getting really fatigued. He mentioned that he saw a big tub of jelly beans at one point on the course and thought if he would have taken some, it would have given him a little bit more energy. The final time was 1:29:49 for 13.1 miles. He place 13th out of 193 in his age group and 82 out of 4217 overall. THAT IS AMAZING!
I hope he continues running for fun and in street races. They are a lot of fun, even as a spectator. You would not believe the number of people lining the streets cheering everyone on. Side Note: Did you know they have these boards with globs of vaseline at the aid stations? Runners can grap a glop as they run by and slap it on if they are chaffing!

Here is a picture at the end of the race. I think the expression on his face describes exactly how he was feeling!
Afterwards, we took naps and relaxed. We went for slushies and a walk at Pioneers Park and then a Marathon Party. It was a marathon of a weekend!

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Kramer Award

This is Richard and Dr. Kramer. Last night we went to an Omicron Kappa Upsilon banquet (OKU) and Richard was presented with the Kramer Award of Excellence. Each OKU chapter can select one 3rd year dental student to receive this award based on scholarship, integrity, character, and the potiential for advancement in the field of dentistry. For those of you wondering what OKU is, it is an fraternity for dental alumni. You cannot be inducted until after you have completed dental school. Inductees are selected by current members.

The banquet was at the Champions Club. For those of you that haven't been there, they have great food and it is a nice atmosphere. They also had a great pianist playing during our meal. It was fun to meet some of the faculty members that I have heard stories about, as well as to see people that I had already met. It was a fun evening. We don't get all dressed up very often, so it was a nice change. Here are a couple more pics:

Richard with his parents
This one is so my mom and Ruth can see the dress (click on the picture and it gets bigger, mom). If you know anything about me and dress shopping, you will understand that it is always disasterous until the very last minute! Therefore, they didn't get to see what I ended up with.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

30 Statements

Assuming that some of you may want to know more about me, here are 30 things off the top of my head that you may not know.
1. Reading is one of my favorite pastimes.

2. Little gifts are more special than elaborate ones.

3. I want to have a vegetable garden someday.

4. I am just like my mom and my dad.

5. Worms scare me.

6. I never wanted to live in the midwest.

7. I get frustrated when I have to repeat myself or when others repeat themselves to me.

8. I prefer lakes and mountains to oceans and plains.

9. I love big dogs-the bigger the better. Small, yippie things scare me.

10. Serious conversations make me uncomfortable and usually result in tears.

11. I love to learn and go to school.

12. Big trees are my favorite plants.

13. Camping trips are a great way to get away for a weekend.

14. I have a love/hate relationship with shopping.

15. I do not have a tendency to worry. It is a waste of time and accomplishes nothing.

16. People that talk alot but don't do anything frustrate me.

17. Money is to be spent. I have no need to be rich when I am old.

18. Science is my favorite subject.

19. I communicate my thoughts best in writing them first, then speaking them.

20. I need alone time, but I love parties.

21. I love being involved in my church and believe it is essential to grow in my relationship with the Lord.

22. My brothers and I are becoming friends. I love them.

23. I need a schedule to be productive.

24. I like to plan fun events, parties, and games. I like to see others having fun.

25. My time with Richard is special - laughing, talking, being crazy, watching a movie, just hanging out.

26. I'm independent, but I need Richard, friends, and family.

27. "Girl-time" is a must, as is "Boy-Time".

28. I prefer jeans and flip-flops to dresses and heels.

29. I forgive and forget quickly. Holding grudges hurts yourself and those around you.

30. I enjoy remembering the past and dreaming about the future. I have trouble living in the present.