Announcements, Changes and Updates

Hello dear readers,

You may have noticed that there has been a bit of a lag in posts as of late. I had intended to write up a quick post about the transitions our family is in the midst of, but even that proved beyond my capacity. Now that we are settling into our new “normal” I found myself with an afternoon of USA Women’s soccer, a steaming cup of tea and absolutely no children about, the perfect time to sit back and reflect on what has happened the past few weeks (and then I got way too in the weeds with this story and decided not to edit anything for a few more weeks, so now the Olympics are over, my tea is long cold, but I’ve finally gotten around to finishing what I started).

I may have mentioned, though perhaps not since I am trying to be both honest and open, yet still mindful of the potential dangers the internet offers to those who share too much information, that we are moving!

For the past year or so we have been hoping and praying for our next assignment in the Air Force. There are some many things to consider – location, career progression for Ben, proximity to family, opportunities for the kids, etc. Taking all things into consideration and with lots of prayer we decided to ask for an assignment to pilot training in Texas. Our prayers were answered when Ben returned from his last deployment in April when he was told that yes, we would be moving at the end of the summer to Laughlin AFB in Del Rio, TX, which is about 2-3 hours west of San Antonio. Ben will be teaching brand new Air Force 2nd Lieutenants (the first rank for officers) on their first aircraft, the T-6 Texan II.

We asked for some extra time off between the assignments, so in early August we packed up our trailer and started a long trek to Illinois. We drove for 5 days with our minivan loaded with rooftop carrier, bikes, and 3 kids, plus our Durango hauling the trailer and the dog. We are so blessed to have wonderful families who are generous with their vacation time. My dad and one of my brothers flew out to California and helped us drive back to Chicago. We were able to spend 3 weeks with my parents and are presently in the middle of 3 weeks with Ben’s family in Ohio. What a blessing for our family, especially our kids. They have never been to the Midwest in the summertime!

This will be a bit of a unique move because it is actually 2 moves in 1. Before Ben can go teach new pilots how to fly the T-6, he has to re-learn it himself as well as receive training on how to be an instructor and trainer. We will be in San Antonio until early March when we will move again to Laughlin AFB in Del Rio, TX. We will only be 2.5-3 hours from some of Ben’s family in San Antonio which is incredible and we are so excited to be close to them.

On the topic of incredible, God’s timing couldn’t be more perfect. Even though we are moving twice in less than 9 months, we are also happy to share that we are expecting our 4th “gift from God” as John says. Yes, we are pregnant! But God is so good. Remember that big drive to Illinois – probably not the greatest, most fun idea to do when you’re pregnant. But God timed it just right – I was through with morning sickness completely, didn’t get carsick once, and was still only 15 weeks and wasn’t feeling overly large or awkward. Plus, and maybe even better, we are due at the end of January so we will have the baby while still solidly in San Antonio, surrounded by family and well before we will be moving. It truly is a miracle. I’m craving McDonald’s cheeseburgers and asiago bagels (oh I just got super hungry!) and no, we aren’t finding out who this little miracle is until they are born. The kids are having lots of fun trying to decided if they think “Peanut” is a boy or a girl.

So that’s pretty much where we are right now. Lots of transition, lots of new places, lots of please oh please just take a nap (but not too long of one so you go to sleep tonight in another new place).

We appreciate your prayers as we continue with this move. I hope that you all are having a good wind-down to your summer months and are ready to dive into the school year. Next on my list of things to do are a few book reviews I’ve been sitting on and work on putting together a better “teacher’s binder” for our homeschool year. We won’t be starting until we are settled in San Antonio so I’ve got some time yet.

Here are some pictures from our travels so far =)

Some OH pictures. We celebrated Rosie’s 4th birthday, got to play with Uncle Peter’s new dog, try out stilts and go to a neighbor’s pool. Copyright Kate Taliaferro 2016
Enjoying some train time in OH. Copyright Kate Taliaferro 2016
Snuggles in Nana and Papa’s bed in IL. Copyright Kate Taliaferro 2016
Some IL pictures. Going fishing, helping Grandma J water, planting, boat rides with Clare’s Godmother Auntie Rita and carousel at the zoo. Copyright Kate Taliaferro 2016


I hope everyone enjoyed the Advent Reflections. In case you missed any, you can always check them out under the “Advent Reflections 2015” tab or the Archive. I enjoyed writing them. I hope they inspired you to have a peaceful and thoughtful Advent.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a more traditional post. Recently, I’ve started subscribing to a styling service. It seems rather silly, to have a complete stranger “style” you – I’ve never been “styled” before and am still uncomfortable with the term. Don’t know why, just am. Anyway, in one of the shipments I received a new purse. I didn’t need a new purse, but it was such a good color and I was drawn to it. It was something I

The new purse

would have seen in a store, went, wow, what a great purse, but never would have actually picked it for myself. (One of the reasons I’m doing this is to push myself outside of just jeans and simple t-shirts. Nothing crazy, just a bit more put together).

I’m so glad I made that decision. My current purse has become the diaper bag plus purse. There are goldfish and crumbs in every corner, it is full of clothes and diapers, toys and books, my wallet is in there somewhere and I can never find my sunglasses except, ironically, on cloudy days. When we load up with waters and snacks, I’m pretty sure it weighs as much as my 15 month old daughter. It’s just a lot.

I’m fine with that. It’s my choice not to keep my purse and diaper bag in two separate spaces. It’s easier to load up one bag rather than two. But, when I’m on my own (which isn’t often but does happen), it’s a rather ridiculous scene. I have two choices – unload all the diaper bag items, since I won’t need them when I’m at the commissary by myself or on a date with my husband. Or, I can carry them unnecessarily with me, being weighed down by my diaper bag child instead of my actual children.

Enter the new purse. I never thought of option three until it arrived and I needed to come up with a reasonable excuse to be OK the expense. Right now it is sitting empty on its hook. That’s right, completely empty, there isn’t a single thing in it. It is waiting for my next solo trip out of the house, even if it’s just to choir practice. When Sunday rolls around, I will get this beautifully empty purse down and put in it my wallet, some chapstick, and car keys. That’s it. Well, if it’s sunny then sunglasses too but the likelihood of that is slim, even in California right now.

Separate spaces. It’s a novel idea, at least for me. I’m not trying to divide my roles in life, mother – wife – woman. But it is nice to have some breathing room between them sometimes. Yes, I am always a mother even if my children aren’t present around me. But I don’t need to carry all of my “mother” stuff to every place I go. Sometimes it’s nice to focus more on the wife/woman side of things, like when I’m on a date with my husband. Now, when we go out, I can get my wallet out without asking him to hold a can of puffs or a couple board books.

I think that this separation is important, especially in marriages. Ben has deployed now a number of times and when he is gone we skype as often as we can. We have learned the hard way that if we only talk to each other when the kids are around, our marriage suffers. We aren’t able to communicate in a deep enough way when we are being interrupted by stories of the day’s activities, imaginings and sweet but distracting musings of a 3 and 4 year old. We need time to ourselves. It is a healthy thing and one that marriage counselors and experts all agree on (as far as I am aware).

I’m grateful for this purse. It’s helping me identify my desire for and the importance of me-time, marriage-time and family-time. I had no idea when I embarked on a “styling” adventure I’d find this wealth of grace at the bottom of a purse.

Just Around the Riverbend

I hope you all, whoever you all are =) , haven’t felt too neglected the past week or so. I had some family visiting and decided to take a little break to spend good quality time that I don’t often get with them. But, they are home now and we are re-finding our routines. It was a lovely visit and we all were sorry it was over. I know that my family will miss us as much as we will miss them, though there are probably a few things they are happy to be leaving behind them as they board their plane to head home.

One thing that they are likely happy to leave behind are all the movie soundtracks we listen to. All, day, long. Really, we have music playing pretty consistently during the day, periodically breaking out into song and dance to go with it. John has a sensitive side and is very drawn to visuals, so he loves movies and TV. However, he becomes overly committed emotionally to pretty much every character he encounters, good or bad. One way we are helping ease him into stories and plots is through the music. We can play a soundtrack and talk about who the characters are, what is happening, who is a “good guy” and who is a “bad guy.” We are also doing some music appreciation by letting the soundtracks play when it is only instrumental music so John and Rosie can try to figure out if it’s a happy song, a sad song, an angry song, etc.

Our current obsession just switched from Tarzan to Pocahontas, in case disney-pocahontasyou didn’t catch the reference in the title. I haven’t been able to get this song out of my head! Due to the fact that it’s on repeat, I’ve had a lot of time to think about it. Just before the song officially starts, Pocahontas’ father, Powhatan, has a few lines of song/dialogue. They are:

As the river cuts his path
Though the river’s proud and strong
He will choose the smoothest course
That’s why rivers live so long

They’re steady …
As the steady beating drum

Then the song starts:

What I love most about rivers is:
You can’t step in the same river twice
The water’s always changing, always flowing
But people, I guess, can’t live like that
We all must pay a price
To be safe, we lose our chance of ever knowing
What’s around the riverbend
Waiting just around the riverbend

(lyrics from

And so on. I was thinking about their two different perspectives on rivers. Chief Powhatan sees them as steady, constant and unchanging. Yet his daughter has a completely different take on it. I found myself thinking about how these two views of the river can be applied to life. In some ways, our lives are steady and constant. We have routine and ritual. We wake up, we live our day, we go to sleep, we do it all over again. But our lives are always constantly changing and evolving. I am seeing it every day as Clare grows. Just 10 days ago she was starting to cruise around on furniture, holding on with two hands and taking tentative steps. Today, literally 10 minutes ago as I type this, she was walking along a wall, got to the end, looked at me across the room, let go and took about 5 solo steps before falling. Incredible! What a change.

Sometimes change is hard. In life, there are always unknowns and uncertainty. We all have our own riverbends. We can’t quite see around them. As we get closer, we might get a bit of a glimpse, but we won’t see the full picture until we round that corner. Maybe there will be a calm stream. Perhaps a swift current or even some rapids. It’s difficult to anticipate what is unknown.

It is easy to be paralyzed by this unknowing. There is a lot of risk turning that corner. It may feel like the unknown is too big to risk the safety of our current spot on the river. This has been a challenge for me for a long time. I like to plan and as I’ve shared before, I am an excellent worrier. But God has been working on me, giving me lots of opportunities in this Air Force life to let go of the worry and the long-term plan in favor of His plan, both for me and for my family.

As I’ve let go, I think I’m starting to understand something about the riverbends in life. If I believe that God’s love and grace has been with me up until now, then I should logically believe that His love and grace is waiting for me around that riverbend. If His love and grace are waiting for me, then what’s around the riverbend isn’t necessarily unknown. Yes, I don’t know the exact situations or circumstances that I will be facing, but I do know where God will be, and isn’t that the most important thing? There is a great prayer that expresses this. It is part of a much longer prayer by St. Patrick.


Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,

(For full prayer, click here)

I just love the concrete imagery. Now, as I wonder about what will happen next for our family, especially if and when we will be moving to a new duty station, I can slow myself down and think of this prayer. I can even add to it.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ even beyond my sight.