Sunday, May 1, 2016


I was born November 7th. To me, there is no better month to be born in. I love that not many people I know are born in November. It seems to be a very boring, odd month to be born in, but I love it! I love the fall and all it brings: leaves, chill, sweaters, boots, Thanksgiving! However, according to this chart I found I am susceptible to asthma and suicidal behavior. Oh, and another article said there are more serial killers born in the month of November than any other. I seem okay so far...

I was born in Mesa, AZ. I was the 9th child and 4th daughter born to Lavier and Sandra Taylor. I was born at Mesa Lutheran Hospital. It was a Sunday. My mom recalls having a lot of back pressure and telling my dad that she should probably stay home to rest. She kept a few of the kids with her while my dad took the rest to church. When he got back, the pressure was worse, so they went in to get checked out. She was dilated to a 7, active labor for sure. Her water had not yet broken because I was floating so high and would not drop. The doctor "pricked" her water, making me drop into the birth canal. I was born in two pushes. As my mom told me this story, it reminded me of most of my labors!

The home I was born into is a very special one. I was raised by parents who loved the Lord and who had decided long before to serve and love Him unconditionally. My father was not a rich man, but they always had enough. In the summer of 1967 they built their first home at 2423 N Brimhall in Mesa, AZ. It was a three bedroom, 1 bath home, and was only 1,050 sq ft. They would have had 4 small children at the time, but eventually would have 9 children in this home! I can't even imagine!! I was born in this home. My mom said they added onto the home in 1972 when they were having baby number 6. They added a large bedroom for the 4 oldest boys to share and a large family room. That increased the size of the home another 1,000 sq feet. I'm sure it felt huge after that!

With a larger family and expecting #9, my parents decided to build again. They built right next door! This home my mom called her "dream home."

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

My Name

I have decided to do the 52 questions in 52 weeks challenge on the Family Search blog. The first question asks me to tell my name and why I was given that name. I called my mom because I remember her telling me, but I wanted to make sure I got it right.

My mom told me that she originally liked the name LaRee. She was not a fan of the long e sound though. My parents had also chosen Anzinette for a middle name. My great, great grandmother was Cecelia Anzinette Keyes. So, my name should have been LaRee Anzinette. 

It must have never felt right because one day my mom sat down to read The Ensign, a LDS magazine. She told me that in one of the stories a lady was named Larae (I'm guessing LaRae because that is the typical spelling). She really liked it and changed it to that. When she told me this story the first time, she said she went back to see how to spell it and could not find the name anywhere. This time she also said she could not ever find the name again. Inspired? Maybe...

I never did mind growing up with a rather unique name. It does get old when I'm grumpy and I have to repeat it, and they still say, "Lorraine?" But, I realize part of that is me. I am usually quieter than normal when first meeting someone. If I'm not likely to see them ever again, I go with the flow and answer to "Lorraine" the whole time.

As uncommon as my name is, I have met people with my name. The first time I ever heard my name was on the TV talk show, Donahue. He was announcing his next visitor and he said, "Larae Taylor." I looked at the TV and saw that the other Larae Taylor in the world was a black man from the south! I remember laughing so hard because I thought how ironic that the other Larae (he spelled his name L-a-r-a-y) Taylor was the complete opposite of me! There have been others, mostly older ladies. My mom told me after she named me, a couple other friends named their babies Larae (or LaRae, or Laray). When we moved to our house in West Jordan, I met a Larae! And, she spells it just like mine! That was neat. I even asked her if she had ever been featured in the Ensign. She hadn't. She played the organ every Sunday at church. I would get butterflies when they would announce the organist as Larae Thomas because I was not used to hearing my name! I never did get used to that. Dustin also has a cousin named LaRae. I think that is neat. My name has never seemed strange to him.

A name means a lot. I have never taken lightly the responsibility of giving my children their names. It has to fit who they are. It will be with them their entire life. I chose more traditional names for my kids because I did always have to spell my name, repeat my name, correct my name. I didn't want them to have to do the same. I did, however, give them less common traditional names because I want their names to be not so ordinary, like mine. And, I hope that when others hear the name Larae, they smile. I'm working hard to never tarnish that name. It's a special name.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Easter 2016

I love holidays! I love that they are usually accompanied with time off work for me and time off school for my kids. This year for spring break we relaxed. There was no vacation getaway, no planned adventure. Dustin and I did have to work, but we were able to sneak one day off with the kids and we spent it at home, enjoying our kids (actually -1, Ryan was in New York). I like it like that. 
All the commercialism really bugs me sometimes. This Easter I was really bugged! I'm not sure why. It's not like something sparked it. Well, I guess that's not true. A few days before Easter Sunday, one of my 4 year-old students came up to me all excited. "Teacher, guess what? My mom is going to pick me up after work and take me to see the Easter Bunny!" I smiled. His enthusiasm was contagious. He continued, "And, I get to tell the Easter bunny what I want for Easter!" Those words were like a brick to me! When did Easter become like Christmas? I was all sorts of confused, but hid it with my burst of fake elation. I didn't want to crush his little spirit. I spent the rest of the day wondering if my own children understand why we even celebrate Easter.

However, I am grateful for that little experience. It gave me an opportunity to reflect on why I enjoy Easter. It made me try harder to remember why I was celebrating this certain holiday. Because of a 4 year-old, my efforts turned to my own children, and my Primary children. I wanted them to think differently, to really focus on Jesus Christ. I feel like I tried harder this year. That always feels gratifying.

Other highlights of the weekend were: several egg hunts, Easter dinner in the Salt Lake valley with family, and a cousin sleepover. Nothing grand, but memorable for us!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Provo Temple (and why I'm lame)

On March 3rd Dustin and I took the day off of work, checked the kids out of school, and headed to Provo. We were going to spend the morning at an open house for the Provo City Center Temple. We were all awake by 5 because we had to be to Provo by 8:00 am. Provo is a good hour and 20 minute drive. Then, you have to add for commuters and construction. Utah County is terrible!! We did manage to make it there by 7:45. Yay for actually being on time! It's a rarity for us.

I love temples! And, I think I found a new favorite in Provo. In December, my nephew was married in the Payson, UT Temple. I declared that one my favorite. Everything about it was to my taste. Ivory floral prints were everywhere! I just love those! A few pics:

It's dreamy to me! So, when I saw Provo City Center on the outside, I fell in love with it!

Especially when you keep in mind that when they decide to make the Provo Tabernacle a temple, it looked like this:

The 'beauty for ashes' story that comes with this temple speaks to my heart! To imagine taking this fire-destroyed building, raise the remaining shell on stilts and it become this:

They replicated wallpaper, banisters, staircases, stained glass windows, all of it! Then, they added what they needed for it to be a temple. It was the most beautiful building I have ever seen with a story to match!

Because we were up so early, Britten, our non-morning child, was not in a happy mood. He did brighten up a bit walking through the temple. When we walked through the celestial room, he looked at Dustin and smiled the biggest smile. He said, "Dad, I'm not grumpy anymore!" It was the sweetest thing to witness. And, I'm with him! How can yo be grumpy when you're looking at such beauty!

The end of the tour brings you back underground and up a flight of stairs. It lead to  pavilion. inside was a statue of Christ. Definitely the perfect way to end a tour!

Today, March 20, 2016, they dedicated that temple. This is where I am lame! We totally forgot to go get our tickets for the dedication last week! We were not able to take part in the dedication. We spent our Sunday at home because all church congregations in the Salt Lake area were broadcasting the dedication and it took place of our Sunday Sacrament meetings. We did our own version of Sunday school. that was nice to have our kids teach us. But, I'm still sad we were so scattered brained, I know it would have been a neat experience. Life stinks sometimes though. I'll do better next time!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Christmas Vacation in January

For Christmas this year, we planned a Disneyland trip with our 5 oldest children.

Santa brought them coal. Not because they were naughty, but because it was their very first clue to the scavenger hunt we planned to let them know they were going to Disneyland. Coal = furnace.

The surprise ended in our coat closet.

Britten was so excited! We never told he he wasn't coming. But we didn't let him know when we went either. One day he'll see the pictures and wonder where he is in them. We'll break the news then. We did bring him back some cute Toy Story figurines that he plays with daily. It' almost the same, right?

Our first day in California we spent at Laguna Beach. It's right off the Pacific Coast Highway. The weather was 78 and breezy. It was a perfect day! We never really got in the water because we were searching tide pools for live creatures. We found fish, crab, and birds. It was so neat to just watch them. Our own little adventure that was cheap, but relaxing and intriguing at the same time.

Days 2, 3, and 4 we spent at Disneyland and California Adventure. We really enjoyed Wednesday and Thursday. The parks were really not busy at all. We waited in line no more than half an hour and that was long and not every ride. once Friday came, our wait times tripled! Way more people that we liked. But, we stilled had fun. It was different now that our kids were older. They weren't interested in taking pictures. It was a battle every time. The characters didn't interest them much. It was fun, just different.

Carsland was our favorite place. It was the newest addition to California Adventure. Our second would be Splash Mountain, or Screamin'. It would depend on who you asked.

$ of the 5 kids made their own lightsaber. Grace chose a sweatshirt.

Our niece, Acacia, was so sweet to come along with us! She serves in the Navy and because she came along, we were able to get a killer deal on our ticket prices! Thanks, Acacia!! Alice in Wonderland is her favorite Disney movie. 

Mary Poppins is mine.

Beauty and the Beat is Grace's.

This picture makes me miss Britten!

Acacia and Dustin photobombed a tour group. They got caught! A few minutes later, the group was walking through our picture. It was pretty funny!

We discovered Downtown Disney this time. It was a fun place to shop.

This is Splash Mountain. This is my favorite picture! We spent the whole day trying to talk Kate into doing a bigger ride. she conceded to Splash Mountain. She was absolutely terrified! This picture captured that moment perfectly!

So many memories made! I'm glad we were able to do it before Ryan leaves for his mission in a few months.  We will be starting that process soon. It makes me feel super old, scared, and gives me a whole bunch of anxiety!! I'm not really this old, am I?