Hello! My name is Shannon Taylor. I'm a long-time writer and editor from Minnesota surprised to find myself on an island in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, three younger children (the oldest is attending college in Chicago), and two dogs.

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Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
+ Robert Fulghum

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Winter Fun

Archive for 'Adoption'

Pilgrimage to Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe

It’s March 2004. We’re in Tomorrowland, seated at a table just outside Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe. Over the weekend we attended a cousin’s wedding in nearby Cocoa Beach and now we’re spending a few days at Disney World before heading home to the frozen tundra. Andrew is 5, Lexie is 3, William is 1. We’re enjoying […]


Lily’s Birthday / What I Wish They Knew

Today is Lily’s eighth birthday. I asked her what she’d like to do for her actual birthday (she had her party last Friday) and she said, “Go to the beach.” So this afternoon we swimsuited up and headed for our town’s little beach on the St. Croix River.
As I sat at the water’s edge watching […]


A Father’s Day Story / When Tim Became Lily’s Dad

The adoption agency warned us that babies who spend their first months in an orphanage sometimes have difficulty attaching to their new parents. So Tim and I arrived in China hoping for the best when we met our new daughter, but prepared for the worst.


Taking Chances / Design Mom Asks

{ Lily in our hotel room in Nanchang }
The other day I clicked on Design Mom for my daily fix and there I was! Gabrielle has a new feature called “Design Mom Asks.” She selects four or five bloggers and asks them to answer a question like “What’s the most wonderful gift you’ve ever received?” The […]


Dealing with Mud-Mind

Years ago, a friend who works in the health realization branch of psychology shared a concept that seriously changed how I look at life.
It’s called “mud-mind” and here’s how it works. Think of a time recently when you felt great. Maybe you were happily immersed in work, or out for a run, or surrounded by […]


Living Under the (Parental) Influence

{ You can climb a tree in a dress, but it’s probably harder. }
Lily has always preferred to wear dresses. I’ve been quite proud of this. As someone whose go-to outfit is a pair of jeans and a Favorite T from the Gap, I’ve happily basked in her reflected glory. When other mothers tell me […]


Getting Back Your Awesome (or How Not to Lose it in the First Place)

Before you read any further, please go check out this post: Waking Up Awesome. It’ll only take a minute. I’ll wait right here.
Welcome back. What did you think? Are you loving the little girl in the photo? Do you remember ever feeling like that yourself?
Can we try something here? Dig through your old photos and […]


Forever Families Reunion 2011

We’ve just returned from a wonderful weekend spent with our “Forever Families.” These people are dear to our hearts because we shared the adventure of traveling to China together in 2005 to bring our daughters home. Plus, they’re some of the best people we know. We’ve been getting together every year since to share stories, […]


A Quilt for Lily

A friend of mine who is a new mother asked me to share some family traditions. What a great idea! I decided to go back to our very first tradition: baby quilts. I’m writing about Lily’s quilt because I think it would be special for any baby, whether he or she’s adopted or not. So […]


Gong Hay Fat Choy!

Happy New Year! Welcome to the Chinese Year of the Rabbit.
Just before we adopted Lily our social worker pointed out that we would now be a Chinese-American family. I hadn’t thought of it that way before, but of course she was absolutely right. Among the many wonderful blessings this brings is the fact that we get […]

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