Love the Boy Who...

Love the boy who sees you, the one who when you say "I'm fine," hears the tone in your voice that says "I'm not." Love the boy who holds your hand and kisses your forehead and lifts you off your feet when you hug him. Love the boy who sings to you in the car as he cups your chin in his palm and love the boy who brushes your hair behind your ear when you tell him you need to talk to him about something. Love the boy who turns adorably red when he plays the guitar for you and who will twirl you around to an Eric Church song anytime, anywhere. Love the boy who can't be serious, but will try when it is important to you. Love the boy who goes back and forth with you quoting Spongebob and O' Brother, Where Art Thou? and who makes you laugh so hard you can't breathe. Love the boy who shares your taste in music and knows obscure Mumford and Sons songs and listens to the radio louder than you do, which you never thought was possible. Love the boy who asks you to stay without expectations, who rolls over in the middle of the night, still asleep, to pull you in close to him. Love the boy who drunk calls you at 1:30 a.m. and who promises to bring you food to the library when you're cramming for a big test. Love the boy who fulfills those promises. Love the boy who goes out of his way for you, who drives to your apartment to get your homework from you so you don't have to go to class in the morning, who picks you up after a trip, who takes you to get Ben & Jerry's at 8 o'clock on a Wednesday night. Love the boy who goes on and on about his family, making you feel as if you already know them before you've ever met them. Love the boy who quotes Kevin Hart stand up word for word, cracking up as he does, who makes you rather watch him than the video. Love the boy who dances with you at parties and calls you "sweetheart." Love the boy who makes you realize home is a person when he holds you in his arms and who makes you melt when he kisses you.

gossip girl blair waldorf chair chuck bass chuck and blair

But most of all, love the boy who loves you back, who realizes you are everything he's ever wanted, who would do anything for you. Love the boy who puts in the effort, who texts you back, who calls you and asks how your day has been, who shows a genuine interest in your life and interests. Love the boy who deserves to be loved, not because he is perfect, but because he tries so hard for you. Love the boy who loves Jesus and his mama, whose values align with yours, who provides you with comfort, and safety, and an abundance of joy. Love the boy who makes the bad days better, because Lord knows life is hard and we're going to walk through storms. Love the boy who will walk with you through them because he knows that a rainy day with you is better than a sunny day without you. Love the boy who gives you the feeling, yeah you know that feeling, because if there is anything I know, it is that life is too short to let love fall to the wayside.


What Finals Week is Really Like

When you go to a review session and no one has any clue what the professor is talking about:

After studying for 20 minutes:
college the office mindy kaling im smart dumb

Sitting in your exam like:
kim kardashian dumb clueless i have no idea what im doing college

Hour 12 in the library looks a lot like this:
coffee sex and the city carrie bradshaw satc guns

Emailing your professor asking for help like:
sorry adele im sorry music video hello

When you open your exam and see the first question:

Turning in an exam you know you killed:
beyonce flawless on fleek hair flip

Proper nutrition isn't even a choice:
pizza maya rudolph college

Coming home after taking 2 exams in one day:
falling bridesmaids couch melissa mccarthy

When someone asks you how your chemistry exam went:
football nfl houston texans jj watt not in my house

When you've hit your breaking point:
vodka done with finals party american horror story school

When your final grade is 1 point away from an A:

When it's finally over:
the incredibles finals week final exams dash incredible

Good luck y'all! Only a few days left. You can do it!


Let Go and Let God

From a very young age I have always been one to (let's see how to put this lightly...) not take it well when things don't go my way. If you ask my mom about games of Candy Land with 5 year old Tay, she will tell you stories of thrown gingerbread man pieces, scattered cards, and outright quitting. Kind of humorous now, but I know it wasn't funny at all then. Thanks to her and my dad, the habit of having meltdowns when my plan doesn't go through has (mostly) been broken.

I'm a planner. I try to reduce uncertainty down to almost nothing. I have a need to know what is going to happen and to control when it happens. I've never been one to go with the flow or to sit back, relax, and let things fall into place. Chalk it up to a fear of being late or forgetting something, but ultimately it's a desire to make things happen. I'm a firm believer that nothing works if you don't and I'll be darned if I'm going to work for something and then just sit back and see what happens. If I'm involved, I have to have a hand in the outcome. Planes can fly on autopilot, but they can't land themselves.

I don't think there's an area in my life that this applies to more than in relationships. People that come into your life are either a lesson or a blessing, and that is so very true for boys. Romantic relationships are hard and messy and complicated, especially in college. It's so exciting when you find someone that you get a long with really well and genuinely enjoy spending time with. You get that scary, butterfly, good feeling when you start to care about someone as more than just a small piece of your life. It's an addictive feeling, especially when they say they feel the same way. Then there comes a point where you have to decide: lesson or blessing? Pretty commonly, timing decides that for you, and man is timing the devil. So then you have to do exactly what I hate to do: let it go. Let the pieces fall where they may.

The truth is, God is preparing a man out there somewhere for you. He is preparing his heart, getting him ready for the biggest blessing of his life. God is getting you ready for the same thing. There is someone out there that was created just for you and that God has planned for you a future with. That man will be godly and honorable and trustworthy and kind. Maybe you've already met him, maybe he's The One that you think he is, maybe he hasn't walked into your life yet. Wherever he is, pray for him. Don't pray to be brought together because that will happen on God's time, not yours. Don't pray for God to give you a relationship with the boy that you like because if that's meant to be, it will be. Don't pray for what you want. Pray for God's plan to be enacted in your life. Pray for His guidance and wisdom to be set before you and to light your path.

If you are single, pray that your future husband is out there seeking God with his heart. Pray that he will continue to fight the good fight and that he will be blessed in his journey until you meet.

If you are in a relationship or are involved with a boy, pray that God will guide your heart with his plans and that you rely not on your own understanding. Pray that you are led by his wisdom, not your emotions. Pray the same for the lucky guy. Pray that your relationship honors Him and that the two of you honor each other. But don't forget to pray for your husband, too.

Let go of what you want out of a relationship, let go of trying way too hard for a boy who doesn't try for you, let go of trying to force something that has the wrong timing. Give God the reins and pray that your heart is open to Him. God's plan will result in an outcome that is infinitely better than one you could have come up with by yourself. Let Him guide your steps through love. He is perfect love and without Him, we wouldn't have a clue what love is. Let yourself learn from Him and let Him guide you to the one you are supposed to love.



I have so many things to be thankful for in my life and to write them all out would take a lifetime. God has blessed me with health, family, friends, the ability to attend a wonderful school, and the motivation to pursue my dreams.

This year I'm thankful for three things in particular. The first two are groups of people who basically hold our nation together - our farmers who feed us and our military who protects us. Both make incredible sacrifices for all of us and I am so appreciative for all they do for us.

Finally, I am especially thankful for my friends, both old and new, this semester. They have picked me up, made me laugh, and pushed me to be better. I don't know what I would have done without them!



Almost three months ago, I was on the receiving end of something completely unexpected and something that hurt a lot. Someone who I thought meant the world to me changed his mind and left me to pick up the pieces. I was angry and broken and I felt betrayed, like the last three years of my life meant nothing. But overall, I was afraid of being alone. I tried to make him stay to no avail. And that was the biggest blessing in disguise. I had spent a long time being defined by a relationship and I lost who I was. I was unhappy and everyone realized it but him. It wasn't healthy and I am at fault for not leaving. I was comfortable, so I stayed.

Being broken up with is the best thing to have happened to me in college. It forced me to grow and change. It pushed me into two years worth of growth that was just waiting to happen. It has been almost three months and I hardly recognize the person I was. So much has changed in my life since mid-August and it is absolutely terrifying and completely incredible. For once, I feel like I am happy with who I am becoming. I have made new friends; grown closer with people who I know will be around for the rest of my life; learned a lot about myself, who I want to be, and what I want to do; been more involved in organizations; and I have opened up some exciting new possibilities in my life.

Don't be afraid of change. Don't look at big, upsetting, or unfortunate events (like break ups) as the end of the world. You will survive, you will push on, you will change, you will grow. No, it's not the end. More often than not, it is a new beginning.


A Letter to My Sisters

There are some things that I have learned in my 20 years on this planet that I so wish I had known when I was your age. As your big sister, I am compelled to share those things with you. See, you have it easy. Just sit back and let Big Sis make the mistakes and then do what I didn't. I don't mind though. That's what I'm here for! I don't mind figuring it out the hard way to make it easier on you. So here ya go, Taylor's secrets to school, life, and everything in between that I want you to always remember.

1) You are beautiful. Never let the world tell you any different. You were made in the image of the One who created you and there is not a flaw in you. You will look in the mirror some days and feel like you hit every branch falling out of the ugly tree. I promise you didn't. You are gorgeous on the outside, but that isn't what makes you beautiful. Your beauty comes from within. It is your generous heart, your compassion, you humility that makes you beautiful. Those traits will only enhance the outward beauty you possess. You can put lipstick on a pig, but at the end of the day, it's still a pig. Have a heart for God and a deep love for your friends and family and you will always be gorgeous.

2) Disconnect from your phone. I can promise you that there are few times that what is going on online is better than what is going on in person. Take your eyes off your screen and observe that is going on around you. Talk to your friends, watch the sunset, pay attention in class, be present. Not everything has to be documented. I love Instagram and Snapchat as much as the next person, but stop being so obsessed with capturing every moment. Keep some memories in your mind, for yourself. I was lucky to not grow up in the world of social media. I see so many girls and boys your age looking for validation through "likes" and "favorites." Selfies are not real life. Post meaningful pictures - candids of you and your friends, the sunrise over the ocean - and do it infrequently. Relax on the selfies; I promise no one wants to see 3 pictures of your face on their Instagram feed. If you are looking for compliments, go read Proverbs 3:15.

3) Talk with respect to Mom and Dad. Yes, they drive you crazy. Yes, they nag you. Yes, they don't let you do things that you want to do. But there's a reason for this. We too often forget that they weren't born adults. They grew up like we did. They made the same mistakes we did. They only want what is best for you and what we see as annoying and unfair is only an act of love. They changed your diapers and bathed you and fed you and love you unconditionally. They love you even when you yell at them. They love you even when you do what they told you not to do. That doesn't give you an excuse, though, to do those things. Stop for a moment and think about why they might be telling you to do (or not do) something. Consider their feelings instead of immediately snapping back. You only get one Mom and Dad and we're pretty lucky to have the ones we do. Appreciate them.

4) No boy is worth it. Worth what? Anything. The tears, the bad grade, lying to your parents or friends, abandoning your values. If you feel like you have to do any of those to make him stay - let him go. I promise one will come along that will make you realize that all the others were stupid and not worth it. The world is full of boys so be picky. Never settle, never think to yourself "I don't like it when he does X, Y, and Z, but I don't have a reason to leave." You don't need a reason. People grow apart and a lot of the time, people just aren't meant to be. Never chase a boy. What is meant to happen will happen on God's time.

5) Find a good group of friends who will be there for you no matter what. This honestly may be the most difficult piece of advice to follow. Friends are tricky. You can be friends with someone for 5 years before realizing they are not truly your friend. When you find a good one, though, you'll know. Those are the friends that you will stay in touch with when you are married and have kids. Find friends who will stay in the library with you until midnight, who will bring you doughnuts when you are upset, who will constantly make you laugh, and most importantly, who will push you to grow and be better and trust in God. Those friends are worth more than their weight in gold and just as God will bless a relationship with a good Christian boy, God will bless a friendship with a person who challenges you and constantly supports you.

6) Always trust in God. This has obviously been a central theme in everything that I've written, but it is the most important thing I can stress to you. When you go to college, your relationship with God will be tested and it will either A) tear it down or B) make it stronger. Unfortunately, A happens for many people. For me, however, my relationship with God has grown so much since I've been in college. Being on your own for the first time pushes you to find something to cling to, something constant and secure, and God's love is just that. But even being at home, there are challenges you are going to face, things that you can't deal with on your own. No matter what, God is there for you. Pray constantly and about anything and everything. There is nothing that God won't answer. You'll either get a yes, a no, or a "Wait, I'm planning something better." Tune your heart to God. At first you may think it's hard to hear him, but sometimes he speaks in opportunities and choices you have to make. He is always there for you, even when the world has seemingly turned its back on you.

7) Find your own happiness. This one is incredibly important. You can't rely on other people for happiness. No friend and no boy can make you happy. That is something you have to do for yourself, otherwise the world will swallow you whole. Find the little things in life that bring you joy - painting, listening to music, going for a drive - that you can do by yourself. I struggled for a long time with being happy in my life. I thought I needed things to be happy - a boyfriend, good grades, the cutest clothes, friends. Even when I had those things, I didn't feel fulfilled. Happiness comes from within and starts with a strong relationship with God. Finding happiness is a journey. Sometimes it involves doing unpleasant things - cutting people out of your life, making big changes, taking a leap of faith. Don't let any of those things scare you. When you are happy with yourself, you can be happy with another person, with your friends, with your family. They will notice a difference in you. Happiness radiates from within.

Love, Taylor


10 Things That Happen When You're An Animal Science Major

1. Your friends think what you do is completely disgusting.
I can't tell you how many times I've posted a picture of what I've done in lab, only to hear, "OH MY GOD TAYLOR, that is sooooo gross!" from my friends. Some days it annoys me, but most days I laugh and tend to agree. What we do is kind of gross, but someone has to do it. So why not us, those students that have a passion for the care and study of those animals.

2. There are a pair of muddy (and poop-covered) boots by your front door.
No matter how hard you scrub, they don't come clean. They are caked in material that should never make it past that designated spot on your floor. They're an essential part of your wardrobe, however, and are probably loved more than your favorite wedges.

3. Your hand will inevitably wind up in... various places.
I have pulled piglets, given pregnancy checks, practiced artificial insemination, and sampled rumen fluid from a cannula in the side of a cow. There is no longer a place where I hesitate to put my arm, for better or for worse.

4. You forget that not everyone at your school does what you do.
One of my good friends was telling me a story the other day of a trip she took to the dining hall on campus. She had just come back from one of the university's farms and before getting in line for food, she said to a friend, "Oh, I better go wash my hands first. There's poop on them!" Needless to say, weird looks came from all angles! We forget that everyone's first thought isn't animal poop. Something so typical to us is shocking to everyone else.

5. You have conversations that seem crass and crude if someone didn't understand the context (which they frequently don't). 
When I was taking reproductive physiology last semester, anyone who walked by the table my friends and I were sitting at in the library any given night were probably in for quite the earful. Discussing clinical reasons behind infertility in a bull probably isn't typical public conversation material, but for us conversations like that occur everyday. Almost.

6. You perfect the "strip down at the washing machine and run to the shower in your bra and underwear."
When you come home from the farms, especially the swine unit, your clothes go right in the washer and you go right to the shower. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Don't even consider getting in bed without washing your hair first because it gets in your follicles. If you have to be somewhere before you can shower, those clothes get washed as soon as possible, as well.

7. You will be jealous of your non-science major friends. But not really.
Sleep becomes a luxury and studying organic chemistry gets old fast. The communications major life begins to look realllllly nice. Until you help deliver piglets. Then you realize all the stupid hard classes and all nighters are 100% worth it.

8. You find yourself apologizing to people for smelling like a dairy farm.
Or a swine farm... Or a goat farm... You get the idea. I once had to attend a presentation for the physics department after being at the beef unit. I brought a different pair of shoes, but wasn't able to change clothes. It ended up being very fancy with appetizers before and all that. And then there was me. Needless to say I got a few looks.

9. Everyone asks you if you're going to vet school.
And when they do, I just laugh. The pre-vet life just wasn't for me. So, PSA: not all animal science majors want to be vets! Some want to be nutritionists, professors, teachers, extension agents, and so much more!

10. You completely fall in love with your major.
Being an Animal Science major isn't just about the school... it's a lifestyle. You spend your days in classes and labs, only to go to various club meetings that night. Most likely you're passionate about agriculture and the future of our industry. It's a stressful life, but you wouldn't have it any other way because despite all the late nights spent in the library, your days are full of laughter, exciting new topics, and Instagramming adorable animals.


Ireland Day 2: Glaslough

It has been soooo long since I posted about our first day and soooooo long since I got back from Ireland. But better late than never, right! I left off when we got off the plane on Monday morning, May 11th in Dublin.

It took a little while to get through customs. The lady asked us how long we were staying and what we were doing there, stamped our passports, and then we were officially in Ireland! We waited outside customs for a few girls who were on different flights. While we were waiting, some of us grabbed a snack/breakfast from the little store. The cashier called me "love" and I think it was then and there that I fell for that country! An Adam Levine song was playing which struck me as funny. I guess I never thought about how dominant the American music industry is and how our artists are pretty much known worldwide.

When the other girls got off their plane, we trekked across the airport parking lot to our bus. It was a lovely day, bright and sunny and I got a little warm in the sweatshirt I was wearing. We got on the bus and driving on the left side of the road was really strange. The whole driving situation over there was pretty scary. You couldn't pay me to drive in Ireland. If you think Americans are bad drivers, you haven't seen Europeans. Everyone had a Ford which was pretty cool, too. We were heading to County Monaghan to the estate we were staying at for the first two nights... or so we thought!

We drove through a couple city blocks, residential-type areas. The houses were adorable, Notting Hill-esque apartments (a little less colorful, though!). We pulled up to a gate that I thought for a second the bus might not fit through. There was a large parking lot in front of a gorgeous, old building and there were people walking horses a little bit away from that. The sign on one building read "Army Equitation School!" The Irish Army has an equitation school, founded in 1926, with the goal to promote Ireland and the Irish horse through participation in International competitions. The soldiers that ride are all officers that have been through Cadet School. The horses are all Irish-bred and are most often named after places in Ireland. They are either bought, leased, or donated to the Equitation School. We got a tour from Lieutenant David Power and also spoke to another officer. They were easy on the eyes, and those accents probably just added to it!

An adorable little Irish duplex in a suburb of Dublin

One of the Irish Army Equitation School's horses
Lt. David Power and his show jumping horse. The picture doesn't do him justice (; The horses are stabled in the old infirmary barracks.

After our tour, we hit the highway to Glaslough! We stopped at a grocery store called Tesco and it was pretty cool. I bought a hair dryer and a pay-as-you-go cell phone straight out of 2005!

The drive there was beautiful and scenic and I tried so hard to stay awake to see everything. Jet lag, however, got the best of me. The exhaustion made me feel bus-sick and sleeping was just way too tempting. The few times I woke up, I snapped some pictures. I really wish I had gotten more, though.

We were running super late to Castle Leslie, so right when we pulled up, we jumped off the bus and ran to change into our riding clothes! We were assigned horses and they were already tacked up for us, so we mounted up and took a little riding evaluation. I was very self-conscious because I hadn't been on a horse in a long time before that, but it all came back pretty easily. I rode a little pony who was possibly part Haflinger, named Tigger, and boy was he named for a reason! Can you say 'bouncy?!' He was precious and once our evaluation was done, we headed out for a hack around the estate. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. A pair of riding pants and a light sweatshirt was so comfortable and it was sunny and just lovely. We rode through the woods, cantered up a hill, and then walked/trotted our way around their lake and down paths. Our guide pointed out Northern Ireland across a field. I didn't take my phone on the ride, unfortunately. I definitely could have and most certainly should have - the scenery was insanely gorgeous.

My riding group after our hack across the Irish countryside!
Tigger and I!

After riding we popped into the tea room and had scones with jam and cream and Irish tea. I honestly felt like a princess! We then drove up to our cottages that we were staying in. They were probably two blocks up the road from the entrance to the estate. We walked in and it was just incredible - they were so quaint and cozy! I don't have a picture of my room, but there is a picture of another girl's room. They were all different, but had very much the same feel. There was wifi, so I could text my mom that we had arrived at Castle Leslie. I got a shower/bath before dinner. We had a gorgeous claw foot tub but I couldn't quite figure out the best way to wash. There was no shower curtain so I effectively soaked the bathroom floor. I didn't particularly want to sit down in the tub (I'm so weird about that kind of thing) so an awkward shower it was. The tub was super deep and I almost slipped trying to get out of it. If I had the ability to Clorox it (germophobe problems) and some bubble bath it would have been amazing.

Y'all haven't lived until you've had these scones...
We headed to dinner shortly after. We walked to the estate through the little town of Glaslough and it was so cute. There was one pub in town (The Olde Bar), a pizza place, and a few really cute houses. Dinner was at the restaurant in the estate. They had a select menu for us. We had soup and this amazing bread followed by sandwiches of many different varieties and sherbert for dessert. Most of us ordered some type of drink and it was so fun passing them around and trying a bunch of different stuff! I got a Bulmers hard cider and that's pretty much what I drank the rest of the time I was there. It was delicious! I was kind of afraid to try the Guinness because dark beer and I usually don't get along, but I took a sip of someone else's and I was sold!

We headed back to the cottages shortly after and pretty much went right to bed. Jet lag is no joke, y'all!

That brings me to the end of Day 2 in Glaslough! I will definitely have a Day 3 post up before another 3 months passes, ha!

Ireland Day 1