Happy Birthday, Sister

Happy Birthday, Sister 🌻

Since you were born, you have proven your desire for independence. Truly living out the phrase, “Don’t be like the rest of them, darling.”

And today as you turn another year older, I pray that flaming desire for independence has not fizzled out. You are the master of your story. You are the maker of your dreams. You know the truest you.

Deuteronomy 31:6 MSG:

“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; He won’t leave you.”

So today, on your birthday, I pray you are loved in the many ways that you deserve. I pray that you are happy + healthy + safe. I pray that this is a day for you to truly rejoice and be glad you’re here on Earth. Because sister, that’s what we’re doing today, too.

💜

Making Noise

A lot of noise was made from my last post about domestic abuse. And I am so grateful that it was. Thank you to all who shared your own stories, showed your love, or just read the truth.

It leaves me speechless to realize that topics like this are taboo. Because I truly believe that continuing to talk about the signs, dangers, and reality of domestic abuse is what will bring justice. While keeping in mind that it sometimes takes two to tango – as sad of a reality as that is.

So I ask you, as a sister/daughter/friend who struggles alongside others with the results of domestic abuse, keep talking about it. Keep asking questions. Keep listening and looking for signs. Keep sharing.

Once again, My sister is in a domestically abusive relationship. And here are the signs to keep in mind if someone you know is secretly a victim, too.

  • Prevents or discourages you from going to work or school or seeing family members or friends.
  • Threatens to kill themselves.
  • Having a partner who constantly puts you down or calls you names.
  • Destroys your property.
  • Pressures you to use drugs or alcohol.

Thanks for reading.

💜

Domestic Abuse is Real

Every family, at some point, battles a dark cloud. I thought my family had battled & overcome that dark cloud about six years ago after the car accident in Bennington – I was wrong.

In March 2017, my sister decided she would explore the world as an “adult,” away from her family. In non sugar-coated words, she ran away. No note. No known location. No point of contact. For more than 24 hours, we did not know where she went, just who she went with.

My sister is in a domestically abusive relationship.

My family has been battling the darkest cloud for 10 months now. After countless texts & phone calls reaching out, offers to help in any way, and continued validation of her worth, I’ve come to realize she just doesn’t want to be helped right now.

My sister is in a domestically abusive relationship. And chances are, someone you know (a co-worker, distant relative, close friend) is in one, too. So since we can’t help her yet, I’m making an effort to help others like her.

This is what abuse looks like…

  • Prevents or discourages you from going to work or school or seeing family members or friends.
  • Threatens to kill themselves.
  • Having a partner who constantly puts you down or calls you names.
  • Destroys your property.
  • Pressures you to use drugs or alcohol.
  • Gaslighting: a form of emotional abuse that causes the victim to question their own feelings, instincts & sanity, which gives the abuser all the power.

This is how you can help…

  • Be patient. Abrupt movement of any kind can trigger the victim to remain quiet or close themselves off.
  • Be confidential. If the victim reaches out & is not in immediate danger, don’t make a big deal about it. You never know how you can hurt the situation if that contact is noticed by the abuser.
  • Offer information, not advice.
  • Tell the family. If only we knew what others knew before it happened.

If you see something, hear something, or sense something, please don’t stay quiet.

If you think someone is in a domestically abusive relationship, please click the links below, educate yourself & learn how to show support.

What is gaslighting?
Recognize the patterns & seek help.

Who to call…

  • The Bridge (local) 24 hour crisis line: 1-888-721-4340
  • The National Domestic Violence hotline: 1−800−799−7233

Domestic abuse is real. And it can happen to the smartest, prettiest, funniest people. Please, don’t stay quiet.

Information above was adapted from the following websites:
http://www.thehotline.org
http://www.domesticshelters.org
http://www.mayoclinic.org

Adoption Day

Today our hearts grow four times in size. Kathy, Carlos, Jose + Lucy have been a part of the Goertz family for a while, but today we make the official promise to love them forever as our own. Today is adoption day.

For those of you who don't know, Jesus, Kathy, Carlos, Jose + Lucy came into our lives through the foster care system. I want to share the full story, but for now I'll just say what we've been saying for years – it is hard to share shampoo + parents.

Fast forward to today. Kathy, Carlos, Jose + Lucy are legally a part of our loud, chaotic, unconditional loving family. Their talents, humor, hugs + resilience are what makes our family complete.

In a courtroom full of caseworkers, attorneys and others who have helped to get us to this point, my parents promised to love + care for Kathy, Carlos, Jose + Lucy as their own – like they have been for what feels like a lifetime. Hearing a promise like that solidifies the fact I've known for 24 years… My parents are the most amazing people.

So here's to adoption + family + unconditional love.

💛

Foundation Photo Shoot

Before we sold our first home, we asked a good friend to take a series of photos for us that best describes our life currently. If you missed the first session, you can view it here

Below is the second session in our series of three + we are absolutely thrilled with what she captured. Building a home is stressful but so fun as you can see. 💛

Photos courtesy of Maria Smal Photography

Home Update

We’re on day 94 (but who’s counting!) of living with family while we build our forever home + time is just flying by. Our building process is moving along – next stop, framing!

Lately I’ve been obsessed with everything on Wayfair. It’s just so much fun to pick out lighting and window dressings + to dream about the endless decorating possibilities. So I’ve had to limit myself to ordering one thing a month (you’re welcome, Matty).

We’re going for a modern-farmhouse look, so everything with barn wood, neutral color and simplicity just gives me goosebumps – and gives Matt’s wallet a heart attack.

When we were in the planning process, I loved looking at other people’s homes for inspiration. So below I’ve put a couple of the things we’ve picked out this far.

KITCHEN CABINETS + COUNTERTOPS
kitchen

FLOORING
flooring

LIGHTING
Moyet+3-Light+Kitchen+Island+Pendant

HOUSE COLOR
white black house
or
gray house

Stay tuned, because the next post will feature our session with Maria Smal Photography. But for now, here’s a little sneak-peek. 💛

 

Photo credit: Maria Smal Photography

 

You’ll Want to Read This Now

Yesterday I saw an Instagram post of a quote that said,

“Set some goals. Stay quiet about them. Smash the sh*t out of them. Clap for your {dang} self.”

And I have to say, I completely disagree with this. Why wouldn’t you want to share your goals with people? Getting them out into the world pushes you harder to achieve them and surpass your expectations. Sharing your dreams and goals allows you to be vulnerable + sometimes that’s the best thing to be. Which is what I’m about to do with you…

I’m hosting a pop-up fitness studio this summer!

Thanks to Dana at Ruby Blue Dance Studio in Bennington, I’m pursuing my passion: to help others become the best versions of themselves.

So here’s the scoop:

For four weeks starting June 14, I’ll be teaching three classes a week at Ruby Blue in Bennington.

SCHEDULE

Wednesday’s @ 7pm | BarreMix (a mix of Barre technique + Pilate moves)

Thursday’s @ 8pm | HIIT (a High Intensity Interval Training station workout)

Saturday’s @ 8am | Sweat + Tone (moves to bust your booty + activate those abs + make you SWEAT)

PRICING

Drop-in Class | $10

Unlimited Classes | $100

I want to share my love of movement, feeling empowered, and sense of community with YOU.

So if you’re in the Bennington area this summer (or want to make the short drive from Omaha) + are up for the challenge, join me. 

Simply email me at tayler.wickham@gmail.com, message me on Facebook, reach out on here. However you want to do it, just do it. 

Take time for YOU this summer with me.

Here’s to talking about our goals + smashing the sh*t out of them. 💪🏻

xo . t

“Push Pause”

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A wise man once told me that “sometimes you just need to push pause and head to Mexico.” So that’s what we did. And in case you’re wondering, that ‘wise man’ was my husband.

You may have noticed I’ve been a little MIA on here lately. I promise there is a good excuse for that (there always is, isn’t there?!) but that’s another story at another time.

For now, here are a few stories from our time in Puerto Vallarta this past weekend. We stayed at this beautiful resort, had a room that overlooked the ocean and enjoyed exchanging our cell phone use for sunburns + bottomless mojitos.

♥ You’d be surprised how “at home” you can feel in Mexico when almost every couple you talk to is from the Midwest. Seriously, no exaggeration.

♥ On our last full day, my macho hubby stubbed his toe on a rock in the ocean, which prevented us from going into the water for the remainder of our time. Yes – I pretended like it was no problemo. No – he doesn’t know I was secretly upset (until now).

♥ We definitely realized how much of an “old married couple” we are. The resort had parties every night + we honestly intended on going to them all. But by 9pm we called it a night + fell asleep to cable movies with Spanish subtitles.

We made a goal to “travel more” within the next couple of years. So if you have suggestions on where our next stop should be, let us know!

It’s good to be back. Thanks for reading ♥

xo . t

 

Lifestyle Shoot

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I just love this little gallery wall we created.

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This photo makes me laugh! As you can see…there’s nothing in those cups! #posers

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I believe in giving credit where credit is due. Before we sold our home, I wanted to do a short lifestyle shoot to help remember the spaces that created wonderful memories for us. We absolutely love the work of Maria Smal Photography + can’t wait to work with her again!

Lessons Learned

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As first-time home owners turned first-time sellers, there were so many lessons learned about preparing our home to sell & the whole selling process in general. Putting your home on the market, allowing strangers to walk through and judge everything you’ve worked hard on + waiting for the “perfect offer” is not for the faint of heart. Then you have to squeeze in packing, checking off last-minute First Home Bucket List items + trying not to be a complete grinch to your S/O (which I totally was – sorry Matty). So I’ve compiled a list of things to remember for next time we sell – which will hopefully be never because hello, dream house in progress (include all the heart eyes here)!

  1. Don’t take anything personally. People aren’t going to like your cleaning capabilities, your backyard, your asking price, the fact that you have big dogs… oh well. Be proud of the home you’ve created.
  2. There is no such thing as a “perfect offer.” And even if you think there is, they end up asking for your washer/dryer, homemade dog house + to replace ONE SHINGLE on the roof.
  3. Having early morning showings during the week + making it to work on-time is nearly impossible. Yes, we have dogs. No, we don’t have kids. It’s still hard.
  4. Don’t buy cheap packing tape to save money. You’ll end up using 3x the amount + have to buy more.
  5. Everyone + their brother takes things to Goodwill on Sundays when it’s rainy. Dare to be different just to skip lines.
  6. Order a change of address with USPS before you move out, not three days after. Oops.
  7. Spending your last night eating chinese food on the floor of your empty home may sound romantic, but it’s not. You’ll end up getting 654813 flakes of dirt + dog hair mixed into your food.
  8. Love on your S/O. They’re not the enemy – people who say “thanks, but no thanks” to your home are. Okay – I’m exaggerating, but you get what I’m saying.
  9. Working with a realtor is 100% easier than For Sale by Owner. Less headaches, less stress, more people to turn to for questions.

We loved working with Ryan and Laura Schwarz to sell our home.
If you’re looking for a realtor in the Bennington area, we highly recommend them!

Thanks for reading.
xo . t