Author Archives: Shelly Tennyson Taylor

About Shelly Tennyson Taylor

Who am I? I am a first time mom to an amazingly smart 6yr old. I am wife to my best friend of 24 years. I am 40ish going on 29.. ;) I am a writer... I finished my first novel in 2013 and I am currently seeking publication. I work for "the man" but he pays me well to work from home so I can't complain. My blog is simply about life and all aspects of it. I hope you will join me on this journey! https://oldmomsunite.wordpress.com/

The Mountain or the Molehill

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It is hard to believe in just a couple of days it will be 5 years since my momma went to be with my daddy in Heaven. Every year it’s hard and this year is no different. It has been a while since I wrote on here, but I thought this would be a good time to share something I had written a while back. I shared this as a devotion at my church recently. Maybe it can help someone else who might be going through the same thing.

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My mom and I in 2007

The Mountain or the Molehill

In the early weeks of January 2012, my preacher preached a sermon and encouraged us, in order to grow our faith and strength of character in God, we needed to ask Him for a mountain. In asking God for that mountain, we were acknowledging that God would walk the mountain with us or move it if we had enough faith.

I know the power of words and what a brilliant listener God is. I was afraid to ask for a mountain because I knew if I asked God for it, He would give it to me. So instead, I bowed my head that day, and I requested a molehill.

Just a few short weeks after that sermon, God answered the prayer. If what I received was only a molehill, I’m glad I didn’t ask for the mountain.

My mother was in remission, from stage-4 lung cancer with mets to the brain, for almost a year. We were planning a cruise. It was her dream vacation. On this particular morning, the day before we planned to leave, I walked out of the kitchen, where we just had breakfast together. Moments after I walked away, I heard a dreadfully loud crash. I rushed back into the kitchen to find my mother sitting on the floor with her leg and hip bent unnaturally. I knew when I saw it that my mom had broken her hip. The cruise was a trip she would never take.

Less than a month later, while she was recovering in the hospital, she began to talk crazy and say bizarre things. An MRI showed new spots on her brain. In February, they gave us the news. There was nothing more to do. They gave her six months.

I was devastated. I had lost my father in 2009, and now it was inevitable that my mother would join him soon. The brain mets combined with the hip fracture left her unable to walk, she was wheelchair and pretty much bed bound. Initially, she went to a nursing home, but it lasted merely a few weeks. I couldn’t stand the thought of my mother spending her final days in a strange place away from her family. My husband and I packed her up and brought her to our home. Hoping my two-year-old daughter, who my momma named Stormy, would bring her some joy in her final days.

It was hard. It was more than hard, I was working a full-time job from home and dividing my time between it, my husband, daughter, and mother. It was nearly impossible, without God it would have been impossible. But, I was now momma’s sole personal caretaker. I took her to the bathroom, bathed her, prepared for her and sometimes fed her meals. It was exhausting, but it was something I knew I willing to do, something I truly believe I was born to do. People would often ask me how I did it. My answer was always “Through the Grace of God.” Towards the end, mom weighed over 150 lbs. and lifting her was harder each time. Still, I mustered the strength through my God and did just that.

There were moments I would turn up momma’s TV and go outside on the porch and scream as loud as I could. I wasn’t screaming at God. I was screaming at this horrible Cancer that was taking my momma from me. There were times when I wondered how long I could do it. But, I knew what it would mean if I didn’t have to support her anymore. I knew that when I stopped having to do those things, then she was gone from me.

There was a moment at the beginning of the 7th month after they told us we had only six left that I could see she was declining fast. It was getting harder to lift her. Her strength was failing at an alarming rate. When I stood her up from the couch on this day, I held her close and hugged her. It was hard to hold her up. She was heavy, and I was tired. I had been her caretaker so much those last few months that I had forgotten to be her daughter. I hugged her close and told her how much I loved her. She held on as tight as she could. Her strength was gone by now. That day I sat at the breakfast table and fed her. She was too weak to lift a spoon of oatmeal. It would be the last time we talked because after this day she was too weak, even to talk.

I told her how much I loved her. I told her what a wonderful mother and friend she had been to me. All the things we hope we can tell someone we love before they die. She was by far the strongest person I have ever known. But, on that morning, I told her that it was okay for her not to be strong anymore. That is was OK. The last words besides “I love you” that my mother ever spoke to me were, “Now YOU will need to be strong.”

Less than a week later, my mom passed away surrounded by friends and family and totally at peace.

I often think back to that January morning when my preacher told us to ask for a mountain. Part of me wishes I would have asked for nothing at all. Part of me is glad I only asked for a molehill. And, yet the other part, deep in my soul, knows that even though I asked for the molehill God gave me the mountain because he knew that with Him I could cross to the other side.

 

I will leave you with this 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

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Turks and Caicos – Grand Turk

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For the first in my travel pieces, I decided to start with Grand Turk. Mainly because I thought it was an absolutely beautiful location and if you are docked there on a Carnival cruise ship, like we were, there is a lot of stuff at your fingertips for free, without an excursion.

We went in 2014 and it was the first time for us. Pulling up to this little island, we really didn’t know what to expect.  We were pretty shocked when our boat docked so close to the shoreline.

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Grand Turk, From The Carnival Sunshine

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View of Margaritaville in Grand Turk, from Carnival Sunshine

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Grand Turk

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Grand Turk

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Grand Turk, Margaritaville

It was a stop on our Carnival Cruise and through the cruise line we rented a Cabana at Margaritaville for the day.  We absolutely loved it, but they are limited and sell out fast. So, if you are booking a cruise make sure you get your cabana early, if that is something you are interested in doing. It is air conditioned inside and you get a key so you can lock up your belongings if you want to go explore the shops and island.

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Margaritaville Cabana – Grand Turk

But, even if we didn’t have the cabana there is so much free of charge, that it would have been fine with us. Just outside the Cabana doors is the Margaritaville pool. It is free! All you have to do is grab a chair and you are set for a couple hours or all day, however long you want. I will say this, early in the day is best because it does fill up quickly. We got off early and had a couple hours before it got very busy.

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Margaritaville – Grand Turk – Busy Time

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Margaritaville – Grand Turk – Early

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Margaritaville – Grand Turk – Early

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Margaritaville – Grand Turk – Early

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Margaritaville – Grand Turk

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Margaritaville – Grand Turk

Yes, that is our boat in the distance. See what I mean about us being so close to shore!

If the pool is not your thing and you are looking for something beachy. Well, have no fear because the beach chairs at Margaritaville are also free. (I have heard some say since we went in 2014 that you had to rent them now, but I am not sure if that is true or not.)

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Margaritaville – Grand Turk

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Margaritaville – Grand Turk

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Margaritaville – Grand Turk

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Margaritaville – Grand Turk

I will warn that the sand in the ocean here on this side is made up of lots of small shell fragments, it is not the softest sand, but my little one didn’t seem to mind that much!

There is lots of talk about Jack’s Shack, which is just a short walk down the beach. We didn’t make it out there this time but next time it is definitely something we will check out.

We did head out the other way on the island towards what is called “The Conch Shell Graveyard”

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Grand Turk, Headed towards The Conch Graveyard

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Grand Turk, Headed towards The Conch Graveyard

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Grand Turk, Headed towards The Conch Graveyard

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Grand Turk, Headed towards The Conch Graveyard

We didn’t make it very far with the 4 year old because it was pretty rocky. But, if you travel a little further there are tons of shells to choose from, but we did still manage to find a couple pretty nice conch’s. This is also one of the few places where Carnival will allow you to bring your shells back on the boat. (I would highly suggest that you bring large Zip Lock bags, just in case your conch still has some leftover critter inside – I’m told that can get pretty smelly.)

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Look at that drop off… No wonder we could pull so close to shore!

The only thing I regret is we didn’t walk inside one shop in Grand Turk. Not even inside Margaritaville. We were having so much fun that we didn’t even really think about it until it was time to get back on the boat.

I hope this has been a little entertaining and maybe a little helpful. Obviously, there are a lot of things do in Grand Turk, (click the link for the tourism page) but we had a great day just swimming. If your headed out that way, give Jimmy Buffet a high five for me.

 

 

Fun and the Giraffe Feeding!!

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In response to The Daily Post weekly Photo Challenge!

What is more fun than watching your child feed the Giraffes?
I will tell you what, NOTHING!

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Recently, I have helped a couple friends with booking their cruise and answering questions. One of them is about to be going on their honeymoon, plus they are first time cruisers. Both couples have asked why I wasn’t a travel agent, lol! I have so many tips and tricks and details I am sharing with them about their upcoming trip. While I can’t help out on all kinds of travel, I do know a little something about cruising… well, at least cruising on Carnival because as of yet that is the only line we have cruised on.

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But, it got me to thinking. I may not be a travel agent (actually no desire) but that doesn’t mean I can’t share my information, tips and advice to other travelers, cruisers, Disney vacationers. So I am working on creating a new tab on the blog for Travel.

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I intend to put tips and tricks for cruising, details and information on ports and excursions we have went on, Disney tips and tricks we have learned along the way.

I hope I can give some good advice and information on places where we have… been there done that…

If you have a particular question about cruising, ports, or Disney feel free to ask and if I don’t know the answer I will do my best to find out for you.

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But seriously! Look at that face! That is the face of a doll who thought feeding the giraffes was the most fun thing she had ever done!

 

It’s been one of those days…

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April and John are going through a seriously rough time. I can’t imagine the pain they are feeling right now. Please say a little or BIG prayer for them if you are inclined. As I told her earlier today I heard a little voice in my head that said “A purpose for Oliver” I know it is impossible for April and John to even begin to understand why this is happening to them and what the purpose is. But I know God will not give them more than they can endure. So in this terrible time, they struggle to understand. But God has his hands around them and waits for Oliver to return to him. But I do believe in all my heart he has a purpose. If only for a moment on this earth. And one day, when the pain has healed a little and they can begin to breath again, I pray they will understand and know little Oliver’s purpose. Please Pray for Healing!

Oliver's Journey

My maternal fetal doctor called today and told us that results from the second amniocentesis confirm that Oliver has Triploidy. With Triploidy, there is no chance for survival, and Oliver will die either within the womb, or shortly after birth. However, my doctor is concerned because I am developing preeclampsia. At times it is difficult for me to breathe because my pulse and blood pressure are high. I typically have LOW blood pressure – it was at or below 90/50 earlier in my pregnancy. I’ve also started getting pains in my left kidney – which can be another indicator of preeclampsia. Therefore, my doctor is scheduling me for an early induction later this week. That day will probably be one of the most difficult days or our lives, but we will get to see our sweet baby boy, and will cherish the short time we will get with him.

Today’s…

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Wanting Spring, this Winter

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If only I could live in perpetual season of spring; the perfect season.

A world filled with constant blooms, gentle warm winds and temperatures always in the 70’s.

But such is not life. There is winter right now, and while we don’t get much here in Georgia. We get more than I need or want. However, my daughter loves it, even when we simply get just a dusting of snow.

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Snowball Fight!

This year we got enough snow for her to make a snow angel. ♥ 😉

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Mommy, look at my snow angel

And even build a snowman.

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Do you wanna build a snowman?

This post is in response to the weekly photo challenge at The Daily Post, this week it is Seasons.

Life Imitates Art: A photo challenge

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Having a seat with Roosevelt at The Hall of Presidents, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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THE HALL OF PRESIDENTS

 

And in this case…. she IS the art!

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One of my favorites from our pumpkin patch a few years ago.

 

Each week – The Daily Post has a new photo challenge: This week is Life Imitates Art

Being a Good Mommy Isn’t Always Rainbows and Unicorns

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So, last Thursday night, baby girl came down with the stomach virus. Seeing someone vomit makes daddy vomit, actually hearing someone make the vomiting sound could make daddy vomit, so mommy to the rescue.

*** Aren’t you impressed by how many times I can say vomit in one paragraph!

Truthfully, I didn’t mind at all. I mean, I hate she was sick but since she was, I wanted to be close to her and let her know how much I loved her, rubbing her back while she did her business and holding her close in her bed while she tried to get some sleep between bouts back and forth to the bathroom.

By the next morning she was all better. Fast forward 48 hours and guess who has the virus now. Yep, it was mommy. It was an awful, painful, exhausting night. But, I would do it again. I don’t want to do it again, but I would if that meant I was making baby girl feel better.

My husband said to me yesterday, when I was feeling better. “Now I bet you wish you hadn’t slept up there with her the other night.” Nope, that is not what I wish. What I wish is that I could have bypassed the virus. I would have slept up there with her again if it happened. I would do if she had the flu, strep throat, any kind of contagious disease at all. Mommy will ALWAYS be there by her side.

That is the price we pay as mommies. I would step in front a bus for her, I would do anything in my power to make her feel better always and forever.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am sure if for some reason I wasn’t able to, my husband would have stepped up to the plate, reluctantly, but he would have stepped up to the plate to take care of baby girl. But with mommy around, he didn’t have to.

Sometimes being a mommy or a daddy isn’t rainbows and unicorns, sometimes it’s rubbing a back that hunched over a toilet. No matter what it is the best job in the world and it pays in smiles, hugs, and kisses from my little angel. That is the best currency there is!