Posts tagged Damon
That makes me brave.

TODAY WAS A GOOD DAY — I bought the finishing touches for our surprise-gender babe’s nursery. I spent way too many minutes in the Target office supplies aisle. I ate Hideaway Pizza with my mom and aunt, who flew in from Indiana. I squeezed in a phone call with one of my besties. I laughed until I cried because of a baby sign language video a friend list slid in my DMs.

And Damon Cody Taylor kept my inbox full of treasures like this photo. Just look at them. Those are my people! That girl is going to be wild, and funny, and - Lord help me - be as quick witted as Dorthy Zbornak. And that man is going to keep me rollin’ my eyes until I’m 97.

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Oh, and I had a PET scan and met my medical oncologist. I learned my schedule for chemo. And learned I have at least six more appointments this week.

Here’s the deal. I’m not brave because I’m a superhero. I’m brave because so many tremendous women have walked this path before me. I’m brave because I am part of a tribe of the most amazing humans. I’m brave because with every message, text, email, smoke signal, snail mail, et al you guys are filling me up with courage.

I’m brave because in a not so great season a few years ago I prayed a big prayer, “if you want me to stay, I’ll stay. I will do everything in my power to continue fighting for this relationship. But, if you say this isn’t my story anymore, that I don’t have to do *this* every day knowing I’ll never be a mom or be part of a healthy relationship, I will not pause. I will not waver. I will trust You completely. And I will leave.” And He answered. And I left. Because He has me.

Boy howdy, hasn’t this week shown that He has me?

That makes me brave.

Wildlife Baby

So many things had to align perfectly so that in this season, we’ve got this guy.

The guy who can make me laugh so hard my c-section stitches might pop. Who said, “just cry,” when I hadn’t even been able to say the words “dr frame called. it’s cancer.” Who says “move over” and climbs in the hospital shower to remove my c-section bandages. True story. I’ll for sure blog about that.

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How insane is it that after he made his tour through Nevada, Minnesota, Montana, and Nebraska building his career and living the wildlife dream ... and I made my tour through North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, with stints in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Arizona ... we unknowingly moved back to Oklahoma only weeks apart. Wild. Just wild.

Day one of #kbyecancer means I’m spending 24 hours away from Elsie James, who sacrificed her cushy womb space and joined the world early so I could spend this week getting a PET scan, meeting my medical oncologist, a mammogram, et al.

Today, day one - and her day seven, he’s got her. And me.

And she, friends, is already on the job as the cutest little refuge intern.

Dear future tiny human
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A very good friend (to be honest, I could use pages and pages alone to share how incredible of a human she is) reminded me that I wrote the following words a while back, and it’s wild they’ve never been more true.
Pray without ceasing, friends. He hears them - every single one.

Dear future tiny human,

Today I’m thinking about you. I’m walking through the hardest day of my life - to date - because I want to be your mom. I want to watch your first steps and hear your big, boisterous giggle. I want to wipe your tears and kiss your scrapes. I love you - the idea of you - so much that sometimes it literally feels like the oxygen has left the room.

I want the chance to love you. To love your dad. To grow old with him and laugh at his stupid jokes. Because he’ll make us laugh every single day. And he’d rather grow children than a perfectly manicured lawn. And he’ll show up to the important things. Like pizza Fridays and school plays.

He’ll probably be stubborn, which is who you’re going to get it from. But, he’ll be kind. And fiercely loyal.

He’s going to be good to us, kid. And we’re going to be good to him. He’s going to be easy to love because he’s right for us. We’re his people. And he’s ours.

I had no way of knowing that note would be for my sweet Elsie, or that man would be Damon. But He knew. He always knew.

Our Hallmark Story: We Eloped
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Everyone knew before we admitted it to ourselves, which is the baseline for any solid Hallmark movie. Most assume we were high school sweethearts, because “of course you were.” But, no, we weren’t. We were, however, partners-in-crime, “yes” friends. The few times my then-strict parents let me out of their crosshairs, I was either packing down the gravel on a back road, or tip-toeing too close to a Thursday-night bonfire with this guy not too far out of my eyesight.

Fall of ‘08 I shot him down, hard. Not now, I said.

Winter of ‘11 during our Christmas break ritual of driving county line to county line, he shot me down. And, man, did it sting. Not now, he said.

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We had a lot of life to live. Through Nevada, Minnesota, Montana, and Nebraska he went. North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee with ample time in Wisconsin, Arizona and Massachusetts, for me.

When I moved home - unknowingly weeks after he did the same - I told him I was launching a business and going to travel the world. He said, of course you are. My biggest cheerleader, he is.

And while I was learning the ropes as a business owner (Friday nights reading IRS.gov, meetings with accountants, et al.) and traveling the world (I miss you already, France) I knew I could count on him in that solid friend capacity. “Hey, you lived in a camper in Montana, right? Thoughts on if I buy an airstream and travel west …. “ (I’m still going to do that…. just you wait.)

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And, then, out of nowhere last spring, he asked when I’d be home from a west coast run with a production team. And I caught the first - and only - redeye of my life. I knew, you know? I knew I was willing to finally take a chance and show up to a pasture bonfire (I’m serious. @ me, Hallmark writers) for the human who is always down for an adventure - rural or urban.

As I walked to the fire on that balmy spring night, I heard, “Brooke Clay, it’s about time you showed up.”

“I don’t think he meant literally.”

“He didn’t.”

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While I can fill a notebook full of all the “things” he does that I love like spitting Post’s new lyrics days after they drop, waiting patiently until I catch my breath while talking way-too-fast during an exciting story, or the fist bumps he hands out when I land a new client, the non-surprised shrug he made when I smashed the first clay pigeon I ever tried to knock down, or the one million versions of gluten-free pizza crust he’s tried to make... What I love most is he’s exactly the same friend who sat by me on the bus to church camp.

The guy who shrugged, turned around, and walked to his truck when I college girl declared he’d be taking me and my friend to a seedy establishment (shout out to Erika Curry).

And the guy who walked into the Shoe Bank freshman year after we had the biggest fight to-date in our friendship to apologize in person.

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After 7.2M casual proposals, this past winter he got down on one knee, while I was in a grubby old sweatshirt, ball cap, and yoga pants, and presented me with the most delicious ring pop.

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I laughed.

Hard.

And ate the ring pop.

Amen.


PHOTOGRAPHER
STACY PEARCE CREATIVE


VENUE
Lone Mountain Ranch
Big Sky, Montana