Sunday, December 18, 2011

Shameless Self-Promotion

So I recently opened a website to sell some of my crafts. You can view it at . Being that it is Christmastime, and I need help advertising and spreading the word....I'm going to celebrate the grand opening with a FREE GIVEAWAY!

Here's how it will work. I will randomly choose one person to receive $50 worth of merchandise from my site. If you want one entry simply leave a comment below. Those of you who would like to receive 3 additional entries, simply make a post about my website and giveaway on facebook or on your own blog. Make sure to make another comment with a link to your post, otherwise I won't know you did it!

Keep in mind, I can make anything on my site in a different color, size, etc. Let me know if you need a custom order at tayloralockwood (at) gmail (dot) com.Last chance to enter will be December 23 at 11:59 PM.

Ready, set, go!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Rights vs. Complacency

Yes I know, its been six months since I've written anything and most of you would probably rather look at pictures of the baby and hear about our family, but instead I'm stepping on a soap box. The other day at work a conversation was brought up that got me thinking. I didn't quite think the topic was appropriate for the workplace, and I didn't want to start a fight, but I want the opportunity to express my opinion.

Apparently the BYU newspaper, "The Daily Universe," published a letter this past week that had something to do with not allowing same sex partnerships the opportunity to adopt. From what I've gathered, the writer of the letter was rather harsh and somewhat demeaning of those who suffer from same-gender attraction, and the letter has since been taken off of the newspaper's database. Now I have not read this letter, so I don't fully understand the circumstance behind the outrage it produced. However, a few individuals at my work expressed concern that people with opinions like this were spreading a bad name for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One of my co-workers even said that studies have shown that children don't need to be brought up by a mother and a father, but just need to be loved by whoever raises them. To people with this opinion, I say shame on you.

Some may think that denying same-sex partnerships the right to adopt children is discrimination. To those I would implore to think of the rights of the child. I believe that every child deserves the right to be raised in a loving home with both a father and a mother, not two fathers, not two mothers. I believe that the sanctity of marriage was created by God. As a famous quote puts it, "God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." I know there are instances where death, abuse, etc. require that children be raised by one parent. I do not condemn this practice, but see it as the exception, not the rule. I also think that if you were to ask those parents raising a child by themselves, they would tell you that it would be much easier if there was a spouse to assist in the child-rearing. In "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve state, "Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity."

Some may claim that this denies gays and lesbians the opportunity to be parents. This is not so, if they chose to be part of a heterosexual partnership then they could have children, they have just chosen otherwise. If anybody wants to point a finger and say it is someone's fault, then take it up with God because the only biological way to bring a human into the world is with one man and one woman. This causes others to say that God is unloving and uncaring to make someone deal with same-gender attraction. I know that God loves us, but He has placed us all here with things we must overcome and struggle with as we strive to return to Him.

The world tries to tell us that it is something you are born with and cannot change. In my home ward in Thousand Oaks, CA one of our close family friends is a psychologist and clinical psychiatrist. She did a fireside for our stake teaching the psychology of same gender attraction. She taught us that studies have shown that homosexuality is not a genetic trait, but rather a mental propensity. Studies have shown that it is similar to addiction, depression, alcoholism, etc. Some may born with more of a tendency to many of these things, but it is not something that can't be treated.

In the past year the TV show Glee has been pushing the boundaries of how our society thinks of homosexuality. In a recent episode the cast did a number to Lady Gaga's anthem, "Born This Way." Each cast member wore a shirt with a label on it of something they were "born with" and should embrace because they couldn't change it. To me, that is the saddest message they could have proclaimed. The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that through His atonement we can overcome all things, not some things, not everything except our hardest trial, but ALL things. I personally have struggled with my weight since I was very young. Some people would say, "Well, Taylor just stop eating the ding-dongs, get off your fat butt and lose some weight." To those, I would say I'm trying. I have an addiction to eating that I struggle with daily to overcome. Some days, I do fine. I eat my vegetables, I go for a jog and I feel good about myself. Other days, I just can't resist the urge to bake a batch of cookies, or eat a bag of potato chips. I do believe that I was born with a propensity towards over-eating and that I have developed an addiction to sugar. However, I do not in any way believe that this has to be the way I live for the rest of my life. I believe that through the help of my Savior and those around me, I can change and be happy.

Now, I do realize that this it not as extreme as homosexuality and I'm not saying that it is. However, with my being overweight I am at a higher risk for heart failure, diabetes, and many other general health problems. If the world and legislature were to treat obesity the way they treat homosexuality we would have to call a BMI of 32 as normal, a 300 lb person healthy, and a candy bar as good for you as a carrot. Passing laws that are contrary to God's laws don't change God's laws. We are taught in the Bible and Book of Mormon that God's laws are eternal and unchanging. He defined marriage as a man and a woman and proclaimed that once that was established then children could come to earth. Trying to go around that plan does not bring happiness, and will never lead to a better society.

I do believe that we should treat the topic of homosexuality with love and compassion, just as we would try to help an alcoholic quit destroying their body and the relationships they have with those around them. I express sympathy and support for anybody who is suffering from same gender attraction, but I think it is sad that they are being told that they can not change and must deal with this for the rest of their life. This is false, you can always change and our Savior will always be there for you to help you down that road. I hope all of us will try harder to change the things we must to keep ourselves in accordance with God's plan and commandments.

Friday, May 13, 2011

More Change

Life is silly sometimes. Just when you start looking forward to things slowing down and having some semblance of normal more changes come your way. Our newest change? Ryan was called to be the second counselor in a single's ward bishopric! We're mostly excited about this calling, because let's face it single's wards are awesome :) Especially when you're already married and don't have to worry about the dating drama....

My dad has always told us that his favorite callings are nursery leader, and single's ward bishopric member. He says they're basically the same job: you play games, bring treats, and separate the boys from the girls every once in awhile :) Some things we're looking forward to?
-Not having to plan FHE every week
-More babysitter opportunities for Skylar
-More Fun! (C'mon were in one of the Belmont know they'll go boating this summer)
-Earlier church

Some things we're not looking forward to? Mostly just leaving our ward. We LOVE our ward, and we're one of the older couples in the ward....we always feel a sense of unity and belonging when we're there and we're going to be sad when we come back in a year and everything is new.

I'm a little bit apprehensive about the new calling, because the wife of the bishopric member who was just released pulled me aside and told me that she has basically been lonely for a year. I understand that. When I was in a single's ward, I didn't do much to reach out to the wives of the bishopric because they were just at a different stage in life than I was. I'm hoping that Skylar helps me to make new friends, and that the Relief Society in my married ward doesn't forget about me!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Skylar Update

Well it has been awhile since I've posted anything about the most popular member of our family :) Have I mentioned how much I LOVE spending my days with this little man?

Sorry that it is least it is a cute face though!

Skylar has changed sooo much in the past few weeks. It has been so fun to see him develop his own little personality and begin to interact with and explore the world around him. He doesn't quite crawl yet, but he is definitely mobile and gets into everything! He can get up on all fours and rock back and forth, but he still prefers army crawling to wherever he needs to go. His favorite location? The diaper rack. He loves to lift himself up and pull down the diapers, wipes, and burp cloths and wave them over his head! I figure there are worse things he could be getting into :)

I sometimes wonder why we bother buying Skylar toys since so far his preference is for coupon mailers that we get in the mail, the trashcan, a plastic hanger, and mommy's shoes.
He loves to pull the trashcan over and climb inside of it. I don't normally let him do this since we throw diapers in there, but I still keep finding him inside of it. Silly child.

We didn't have a check-up since his six-month appointment, but at that appointment he hadn't gained any weight and had started to level out on the growth chart. This was a problem because he was already pretty low to begin with. We went in about two weeks ago and he had gained weight again, so we're not too worried about that anymore. He now weighs 17 lbs and 6 oz, and is just under the 25th percentile.

We also have a new little baby in the family! My sister Brittny gave birth to a little boy named Daniel Curtis Hansen. It has been soo fun to have a newborn around again, but it has also been eye-opening to me to realize just how far Skylar has come! Until about three weeks ago I had thought that I just had this cute tiny little snuggler, but now with Daniel around I'm starting to realize just how much Skylar has grown and learned in the past 8 months. We are so pleased with his progress.

September 1, 2010

April 2011

We just love this little boy, our Skylar Smiler, Sky-Sky, SkyRy, Crabby Patty, Wiggles and Giggles. We love watching him wave his plastic hanger around like a sword, roll the entire length of our apartment to get his basketball, and get super excited when he hears Daddy open the front door after coming home from work. He definitely keeps us on our toes, and keeps things exciting :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Well, even though sometimes it seemed like it would never come, I finally graduated! I think when I started at BYU I just figured that getting a bachelor's degree was something everyone did. My parents always talked about attending college like it was a given, not like we couldn't choose to do something else if that was what we wanted, but that it was just the next step after high school. After my five years of an undergrad, I understand more why people consider a college degree a big accomplishment! I'm kinda embarrassed that it took me five years to finish, but I think if you take into consideration that in that time I also had mono, got married, had a baby, had a C-section, and had to take care of a NICU premie, I think I'm still doing okay :)

Skylar was mesmerized by Mom's tassle and funny hat :)

My parents and my brothers came into town the week of my graduation, which thankfully was also their Spring Break. During that week we ended up packing in about every big life event you could imagine! My sister had her second son, Daniel, the Friday before and had his baby blessing on Easter Sunday. My brother Jayson also recently received a mission call to the Colorado, Denver South mission, so the Saturday after my graduation he received his endowments in the Jordan River temple. Needless to say, it was a week of Andersons! We loved having all our family here, but it has also been nice to get back to our regular schedule. Skylar loved being adored by everyone, but it definitely wreaked havoc on his sleeping patterns. Let's face it, why would you want to sleep when there are so many people who want to play with you?!

Couldn't have done it without all their love, encouragement, and support.

After such a hectic week, we're having a hard time getting back to normal life. I'm somewhat driving myself crazy not having assignments and projects to complete every day. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being finished with my undergrad, but I got used to the daily grind of school. It probably won't be long before I go back for my master's :) I do love being home with Skylar though and not having to drop him off at the babysitter's. We were so blessed this past semester that two of my friends were willing to watch Skylar T/H on campus during my classes, and that our neighbors took care of him on MWF. They have the cutest little girl who is two months older than Skylar, and they have become fast friends. I almost feel bad that Skylar hasn't gone to play with her for the past two weeks, I think he misses her.

Aren't they super adorable together?!

We'd definitely approve if they decided to date in the future :P That's life for us right now! We're just helping Dad finish up and get his degree. Ryan has been working full-time and going to school full-time since we were married, and I'm ready for him to be able to slow down a little bit. I'm looking for a job so he can focus on school, but either way just having one of us done is a bit of a stress-relief as it is!
Now we just have to get pictures of these two in a cap and gown!

Monday, March 21, 2011


That's right ladies and gentlemen....I quit my job! It was just too much to handle right now. So far everyone I've told that to has responded with, "I'm so proud of you!" Apparently I've been trying too hard recently....people will be impressed if I just give up :)

I'm currently in the process of submitting a 100 source bibliography for one of my graduate classes and 2 weeks ago I only had about 20 of them done. I still have three more days (yikes!) but thankfully I'm hovering around 80. Still a lot to do, but given the time frame I've had to do it, I'm rather impressed. Especially since I've been juggling a baby and 16 other credits in the meantime. Speaking of that baby....

Skylar had his 6-month checkup last week, so we get to update his height and weight!

6 Month Stats:

Weight: 16 lbs 10 oz (25th percentile)

Height: 25.5 inches (10th percentile)

Head: 45 cm (75th percentile)

His head is finally rounding out and following a growth curve! It is a relief to not be concerned about that anymore. We're just happy and healthy and working hard. 4 more weeks until graduation!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pardon the Absence.....

So I realize that it has been awhile since I've posted, and I can see in my stats that people keep coming and checking to see if I've written here is a quick update to at least explain my recent absence.

I am currently enrolled in my LAST semester of my undergrad. After five years, I am completely ready for April 21 to get here so I can finally have my 161 credit hours count for something :) I think it is absolutely disgusting that I have that many credits and nothing to show for it, but thankfully we're in the home stretch. I also find it funny that most people have a graduate degree AND undergrad by the time they accumulate 161 credits and I'm still holding out for my bachelor's. *sigh*

Unfortunately, since we had such a scary September I wasn't able to take any classes last semester. This means that basically I'm packing two semesters into one. So now I'm taking 18 credits, 4 of which are graduate credits. Yes, I'm pretty much insane, but I just want to be able to spend time with this man and little man!

Go Cougars!

I also recently took a job doing early morning custodial on campus. On top of everything else, our car ended up dying on us in the beginning of December so we had to buy a new (used) car. This meant that we had to plan a car payment into our budget, which we have never had to do. I hadn't realized how much I had taken for granted that we owned our last car. Add to that our large pile of medical bills, and the necessity of a second income came into play. We didn't want to go into debt, and we were very blessed that I was able to find this job. Ryan is able to watch Skylar while I work, watch being a very loose term since they sleep the whole time, since I work from 4:30-8 in the morning. Not my favorite, but I'm grateful that we were able to work things out.

Just to give you a taste of our days, this is my weekly schedule.

Monday: Work from 4:30-8. Class from 9-1.
Tuesday: Work from 4:30-8. Class from 9-11, 12-1, 4-5, and 6-7 (I HATE Tuesdays).
Wednesday: Work from 4:30-8. Class from 9-12.
Thursday: Work from 4-30-8. Class from 9-11, 12-1, and 4-5
Friday: Work from 4:30-8. Class from 9-12

Crazy, no? My theory is you can do anything for 3 1/2 months. I figure I can get a C in a class and it won't kill me, but I'm hoping not to have to test that theory out :) Ryan is also working full time and taking 12 credits, so we barely see each other. So for those of you that have complained that we have fallen off the face of the earth and you never hear from us, take some solace in knowing that we hardly see each other either!

Needless to say, you probably won't see many more posts from me for another 2 months or so. I'm sure most people that read this just want to hear about Skylar, so here are his four month stats (even though they are almost a month old at this point):

Height: 24 inches (20th percentile)

Weight: 13 lbs 15 oz (25th percentile)

Head circumference: 43.2 cm (75th percentile)

Yep, his height and weight are catching up to others his age, and his head is leaps and bounds above the rest! What is funny is that for his gestational age he is in the 115th percentile for head. Silly child. Hopefully it means he has a nice large brain :)

Our own baby Einstein :)

Well I have a sleeping child and as lame as it sounds, it is time for me to go to bed.....yes it is only 7:30, but I wake up at 3:30. You can do anything for 3 1/2 months right?! Humor me and nod your head yes. Oh well, here's to graduating! Hopefully next post you see has me in a cap and gown :)