Next Verity Mom

This has been the longest, most intense interview process I’ve ever experienced.  I started this process mid-September and just found out yesterday that I will take the reigns as the next Verity Mom!  I’ve said from the beginning that this would be a dream come true, and I’m here to tell you, I’m either dreaming, or I’m about to live out a dream.  If I’m dreaming, please don’t wake me because I’m just too excited for it to end!

This whole process started out 2 months ago with 35 applicants, then narrowed down to 15, then the top 3, and just yesterday, it was announced I would take over for the next year to represent Seattle area moms and Verity Credit Union as the next Verity Mom.  During this entire process I learned a lot about myself, what I thought were my limits and going beyond, and also a whole lotta ’bout some amazing people in my life.

I also learned what an amazing organization Verity Credit Union is.  I came fresh off working for a large corporation for eight years submersed into a corporate mentality of sink or swim and forgot how awesome companies who genuinely care about their employees can be.  There are many amazing and motivating companies out there.  I am so glad to be back with one where the energy is felt from the minute you walk in the door, to each person you meet who works there, to the extraordinary vision it has giving Moms a voice and platform to represent other moms.  Go Moms!

I am lucky and fortunate enough to be that person.  What a privilege, honor, and great responsibility I have.  I look forward to this challenge and can’t wait to share it with all of you.  Thank you for joining me in this journey!  Good things are coming our way.

It’s the little things…

I try to appreciate something in each of my days that I am either grateful for, or just take a moment to appreciate something that brought me happiness or peace. It can be a 30-second moment, an hour activity, or an all day event. Raising kids is stressful and each day brings along new emotions. As moms we understand the multitude of emotions that come with each day. And depending on our cycles, there could be 15 emotions encapsulated in just one minute. Men, don’t try to understand this. Just accept it. And it’s also wise to just go along with it as if you find this normal. Because it is.

So when those moments come along in the day that are worth taking pause and recognizing it for the value it holds, whatever that may be, I make sure to take a moment to appreciate them. Most of the time it’s the little things that grab me. Last Sunday I had one of those moments. I can’t remember the last time I was up before my kids when I didn’t have to jump on the computer and start working. This past Sunday morning I was up, showered, and had some time to myself. It just doesn’t happen that often. I took pause and appreciated every single minute. It was better than therapy.

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Verity Top 15!

If you didn’t already know, I made it to the top 15 of the Verity Mom Contest.  Yay!  I finished my final blog post and video submission on Monday and submitted it yesterday to Verity Credit Union.  Can I get a hallelujah?  I put everything I had into that video — from the videoing itself down to the editing and music.  I think I could pretty much do a blockbuster movie now.  I’m thinking about collaborating with Steven Spielberg.  I haven’t gotten back to him so not sure yet.

Okay, maybe I’m not quite ready for blockbuster movies, but I do enjoy doing video editing.  It’s like a piece of art you can put your artistic spin on and mold into what you envisioned it to be.  I also learned a bit about compromise.  You don’t always get the exact footage you pictured, and you learn to adjust, and maybe cut out a few clips here and there.  I also learned that after 3 days of filming with 4 kids and a husband in 6 different locations while PMSing, isn’t always the most pleasant experience.  Mostly for them.  But we all survived and it’s done!

The next step is for the top 15 finalists to head down to Verity’s corporate headquarters in Seattle on Monday for a Mom Meet-Up.  We’ll spend two and a half hours meeting each other, eating lunch, and doing interactive activities so that Verity can get to know each of us.  They will choose their top 3 to go to the final round based on our final video, blog post, and the Mom Meet-Up.  If I make it to the top 3 I will count on all my friends, family, and anyone else to cast their vote for me.  I apologize now for the social media blast coming your way if I make the top 3.

So here’s my final video… Enjoy!

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Halloween Ceremony

It’s been a long week.  As I touch on in my video, I am a wife of a fire fighter.  Being a fire fighter’s wife is exhausting, sometimes scary, but most of all, an honor.  But let’s just touch on the exhausting part for a moment.  Yes, I’m proud of my husband.  Yes, he has an honorable profession.  Yes, he’s hot… oh wait, that’s not relevant here. But anyway, being a wife of a fire fighter has its challenges.  One of them is that he’s gone approximately a third of the year.  Yes that’s approximately 126 days a year, give or take (don’t quote me on that – I didn’t do the exact math).

There’s a perception among some that fire fighters have this plush schedule.  It isn’t so.  Without going into the whole politics of it all, fire fighters have a brutal schedule.  They are at the mercy of the public — at all hours of the day.  And that mercy carries over to their families, kids, and everyday existence of them all.  I’m not complaining, just stating facts. So that said, us significant others, are left to fend for themselves during those 126 days or so per year.

On this Wednesday Video Confessional, I thought I’d give a glimpse of the lighter time spent while the hubby is gone.  Us moms gotta entertain our kids (and ourselves!) somehow.  Let me set the stage — My BFF brought her 3 boys over for a sleepover on a Friday night in October.  Full-on Halloween season!  Full-on Halloween season for me actually starts the last week of September, so by mid-October, it’s on.  When you have a house-full of boys, you need to think outside of the box.  And if you’re my BFF, you just sorta fly by the seat of your pants and make it up as you go along.

Pretty funny what two exhausted moms, 6 kids (all boys), and an iPhone can capture on an October Friday night.  I have to give it to BFF for her impromptu Halloween Ceremony!  And please take note of the freaky, red eyes on all the kids.  Those were unintentional from the ceremonial candle in the middle of the circle.  But they added quite the spooky effect, if I say so myself!

Things I Learned At My 9-Year Old’s Birthday Party

How did it get to be Wednesday already?

We’ve had a busy week so far with football practice, celebrating Levi’s 9th birthday, and all the hustle and bustle of keeping up with life.  Life sure is fast and hard to keep up with!  This past weekend we had a birthday party for Levi and his friends from school at Absolute Air Park.  It’s a fun place with trampolines covering all their floors and even part of their walls.  Kids (and adults!) get to jump around, flip, play dodge ball, and jump into a huge pit of foam bricks.  It’s not as easy as it looks.  Or as easy as the kids make it look.  They bounce and flip as if the place was removed of all gravity.  I was all too aware of the gravity.

We booked a party room and 2 hours of play for Levi’s party.  I learned several things during this party so I thought I’d share them with you on this hump day for my Wednesday Video Confessional. Enjoy!

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Determination

Our 17-year old, Logan, is in his 4th year of cross country.  Cross country is the only sport he’s participated in throughout high school, which is absolutely fine by us.  We’ve always had the approach when it comes to our kids and activities that we just want them to participate in at least one during the year.  Our reasoning is primarily focused on keeping them out of trouble.  Being that they are my offspring, this is important.  Just trust me on that.  We also place importance on the social aspects of belonging to a group, whatever that group may be.  Yes we send our kids to school to learn, but it’s not just writing and grammar and math and textbooks.  School is just as important for teaching kids social norms, emotional ups and downs, and being a part of a group of people all gathering for a common reason.  What life lessons you get out of it will stay with you for a lifetime.  Good or bad.

Logan has developed some amazing friendships and hopefully a few lifelong bonds with his cross country teammates.  It’s provided him a social network that has gone beyond his cross country team.  It’s provided him valuable lessons and traits he will carry with him well into adulthood; self-discipline, determination, camaraderie, and going beyond what he thought his body was capable of.  Anyone who knows me knows that I consider running as a replacement to therapy.  Although some still think it should be in addition to.  So this being Logan’s last year of cross country, I am so happy and proud as a mom to see his growth, not only as a runner, but as a person.

Every year his school hosts a meet called The Twilight Invitational.  I honestly think this meet is one of the reasons why Logan loves cross country so much.  It’s actually an amazing event.  It takes place on a golf course, a 5K distance, ran on the golf course itself.  If you look across the greens on the day of the meet you see 60-plus schools’ tents from all around the state pitched with their school name and mascot stretched across the front, hundreds of runners all decked out in their school colors scattered about, and parents and supporters of all kinds wandering the landscape taking in this marvelous event for all to enjoy.  Some take it a little more seriously than others.

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If you haven’t been to a cross country meet before, it’s important to realize you only see your runner for a few moments at different times throughout the course.  You don’t sit in a bleacher as a spectator — you move around to catch a glimpse of your runner at pivotal points throughout the course.  Being a 4-year veteran of the Twilight Invitational, I know exactly where to go to plant my position to begin videoing when I expect to see Logan appear.  Considering my glimpse is usually through a video camera, I don’t absorb much of what is going on except for capturing Logan as he goes by.  I just concentrate on filming and screaming Logan’s name as he runs by and tell him how amazing he is by chanting, “Go Logan!  Woohoo!!”

This particular meet I did see Logan from about 500 to 600 yards away as I was scanning the distance for where he was, throw an object into the air to the sidelines as someone caught it as he was running by.  I briefly thought to myself, “What in the heck is he throwing?”  After another half mile or so I see Logan coming up the hill.  I am predictable as usual with my phone out videoing him as he runs by not paying attention to much else.  Go Logan!

It was not until after the race did I see Logan walking away from the finish line, clearly not happy with his time (although his time was beyond anything I could obtain even on my best day running), holding one shoe in his hand.  My initial thought was he took it off after the race for whatever reason he had — too hot, his foot hurt, a rock was in his shoe.  It was not until hours later did I find out that his shoe came untied during the first half-mile.  Instead of stopping to tie it, or worse, stopping the race completely, Logan decided to take the shoe off mid-stride, and carry it for another quarter a mile and throwing it to the first teammate he recognized on the sideline the first chance he got, and finished the rest of the race with only one shoe.

I looked through all my footage of the pivotal moments of Logan’s race that I had, and sure enough, he had one shoe on the entire time.  Knowing he kept going with only one shoe, knowing how determined he was to PR during this race, knowing how much he looked forward to this race each year, seeing all the things I hoped his connection with cross country would accomplish, they were all displayed during this 3.1 mile run; self-discipline, determination, camaraderie, and going beyond what he thought his body was capable of.

Please!
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Exhausted

I decided to start a new segment called Wednesday Video Confessionals where I will share a video confessional of sorts and a glimpse into the Taylor Household.  It may not always be polished, I will most likely not have make-up on, the kids will be loud, my teenager will probably seldom make an appearance, and I will most certainly look tired.  I know I said one of my new goals is to stop saying how exhausted I am all the time.  I swear I’m trying.  But you’ll see in this confessional, I do, in fact, look exhausted.  And I say it.  Okay I’ll start trying harder next week.

This video is from Sunday.  My husband had been working since 7:00 that morning (he works 24-hour shifts).   The Seahawks played earlier against the Texans, and watching that game may have taken a year off my life.  The weather was rainy, windy and cold, so the kids were inside all day.  They were tired due to being up late the night before, which is not typical.  I was also up later than usual.  By the time dinner came around, the kids were still in their jammies, they’d taken their shirts off by this point, they were punchy, silly, and would not stop laughing.  So instead of getting mad and threatening to take away everything that’s important to them, I decided to instead record them.  You will no longer wonder why I’m finding it challenging to stop saying that I’m exhausted.