Family strength.

Smiley thoughts: Ashley has been in Korea and Sadie is in Alaska. Megan, Rochelle and I are in Cedar Rapids, and Danny, Annie, Danisha, and Bob are in Ames. Carly is in Waterville, Kaley is in Cedar Falls, and Allie is in Kentucky. Patrick just got back from New York and Brian and Maddie are graduating, about to move to colleges in Cedar Falls and Kentucky. We’re experiencing different cultures and living in different places but the connection is still there.

Technology has become important in having that tie and it’s growing stronger and stronger as I get older. There are 29 grandchildren and 13 of us have gone our own directions with each others full support, love, and advice.

With that in mind, Grandma can smile because she knows she has done her job.


Collecting yourself:

Numb. In high school I would get that bad news; that sinking news and my stomach would just drop. That’s how my body reacted to things when something was about to change or has changed. No matter if it was something unexpected with my family or something I’d been thinking about and had fears about in my then relationship. My stomach would just go lopsided. But NOW- and I think it really started and changed somewhere during my sophomore year of college- I just become still. My stomach doesn’t get those nervy feelings- that feeling isn’t there- I just become silent. I really have to take in the head-on hit of what’s going on. And this isn’t how I really deal with, say, a project I’m doing for work or class- I may think about it for a few seconds and lay out plans of action, but these types of things- I just need time.

Because it’s something I cannot quite wrap my head around. I don’t know how it’s going to affect me and which part of me is going to change; which part of my life is going to change- how it’s going to change. It’s when you feel a hump that you know you have to get over and eventually will somehow, it’s just going to take time and progress.

I think and maybe know that it’s going to make the best of me in the long run; make me a better person in the end. I just remind myself that this is just another chapter change of my life. It’s not just me, my 27 cousins and awesome aunts and uncles who don’t always get along, and my mom, dad, brother, and sister– it’s now a whole different level and it’s going to be a personal growth.

Sorting out your thoughts takes a long time. Taking in the moment and the reality of the situation and deciding how it’s going to affect you is important. I’ve learned that this is the best way for me to deal with things; to let my head clear and not really think about what my plan of action is. I have to collect my thoughts and pray— pray that the situation is going to naturally take care of itself.

And it will.


The first one in my title—Music. I absolutely love it. I love how it can turn your whole day around. You blare it in your room and just clean like a mad woman. (that’s what I do when I blare my music and don’t have or am putting off the homework I should do.) I love the inspirational feeling it gives you- the feeling that you belong to something and you’re connecting to something. It’s not just the lyrics, it’s the fact that you can sing however badly and loud you want and dance however much or little you want and just be free in the moment. The lyrics do and always will have that lasting touch, too.

But– there comes a time when I say, “Tay, you don’t even have to press the play button on your Pandora..” Because I listen to what’s going on.. total silence. Right now I can hear the beating of my fingers onto the keyboard, but that is all. Not a siren, (now ones going to start, now that I said that), not a voice, not a door- nothing. And it’s a time to just take in the day you just had and look forward to waking up in your nice warm bed the next morning to a new day, putting your feet on the ground, and refreshing- all over again.

The silence, though. There’s something about the fact that you can control how much noise you hear. It’s like  you’re able to control exactly what is going through your head and you are controlling how you’re life is going to go. You have full control of how you take on that silence and take full advantage of it. I’m sure I will appreciate it even MORE when I’m a mom of 4 or so kids 🙂

I just love that you can escape from absolutely everything for awhile and just sit there to take in everything and collect your thoughts. My favorite (one of the 30) Pandora station isn’t playing, I’m not tempted to go to Netflix and start another episode of Parenthood, everybody is quietly and probably asleep in their rooms, and I can just marvel at how so many things have changed over the past just two months. That’s what silence can do for you.

You can look at something that you’ve been stressing about for that month and just breathe and know that really, everything is going to be okay. Because you have that moment and that clarity of what you’re going to do next.

I think this is the time where you count your blessings- because there are so many things you are blessed with in life. Whether its the fact that your car started that morning or you got out of class a half hour early and you can actually get the thing in you thought about the day before but didn’t have time. Little blessings—they all lead to something, and sometimes an even bigger blessing.

Clinical in the next town over when you’re not so impressed about it at first, but realize in the hospital with your father that that’s the reason you’ve been placed only 20 minutes away- to be with him the month he’s confined to a hospital room and long hallways.

Just to realize and say to your sister “Now I know why my clinical was there…” or, “This is why brother didn’t advance to sectionals wrestling.” You have the that tiny little moment of silence where you realize something so enlightening and then you have these moments of silence where you can just sit in your bed, pound away on your keyboard, and not have a single ounce of want or need to play music or a TV show. Because that’s the type of noise you’ve been listening to all day.

Whirlwind—-the youngin’ whirlwind.

After high school:

A whole lot of things change. You’re not limited to just that town or just that little brick building anymore. Your mindset is exactly what it’s supposed to be in high school- your boyfriend or girlfriend and how seeing them after every period is the normal, your locker com and becoming a pro at it, opening it within 5 seconds, the people that kick your knee in whenever you’re AT your locker and knowing exactly who it is each time because its the same time of each day. High school is home for a lot of people. It teaches you a good school work ethic, but you find out once you graduate from those doors and you’re free- it’s a little more scary than you thought.

Those three months between high school and college may be the months you want to celebrate because, well hell, it’s Summer. That’s how every senior who is about to move away from the familiar face of home and their friends feels. But, something that is incredibly hard to do at that age, and something I wished I would’ve done a better job of is preparing myself.

Yes- it’s college. It’s what you’re supposed to do after high school. “What are your plans?” That’s the prime question your senior year. But in my view- and maybe it was just how I looked at it and how I perceived it, college is so incredibly serious- and it’s something that a lot of 3 months-ago-high schoolers rush into, and they don’t even know it. No- you do not have to know your major going into school. That may even be better than having your heart set on something and going for it. It all depends on the person… But when choosing that school, you have to see all of it- by all of it I mean- you have to look at absolutely everything it has to offer you. You can’t just choose a school for a new environment, new atmosphere, or a new change. You have to be able to look at like “this is my education- who do I want to be??”

And the coolest thing about it is- that can change. As my cousin told me, college is where you mature. That is why you go to college; so you can mature and find out who you’re supposed to be and who you are- what your core is. And I tell you what- that is exactly right. I looked back on it last semester as a whirlwind of “THIS WAS TOO MUCH”, and “I WASN’T READY FOR THIS.” But— when are you going to be ready?? Those three months between your high school and a completely different city with completely different people is nowhere close to being enough time to adjust, but ya gotta start somewhere, don’t ya?

That song ‘I love college’- it’s true. But it’s not the drinking and the sex and everything else that song portrays- you love college because it gives you the book of all of the different opportunities you have, and you just choose them. That’s easy- you choose what you have loved and have had passion for, and you choose what seems interesting, and you go with it. THAT is why college is so amazing. Each year- and I mean it, each year- you change. You see things differently, you mature. You look back on freshman year and think “how in the hell did I do that?” SO MUCH has happened over those last two years and you don’t even remember how you got through it- the classes, the stress, the sadness from being away from home- the transitions. That’s what it comes down to- the transitions.

The cool thing about it is though, that people can look at you and see exactly who you’re going to become and how far you’re going to go. They sense the potential and they just look at you with a glimmer in the eye that says, this girl, she’s got somethin’. That’s what keeps you going… no matter what life throws at you in college, it’s there for a purpose. You learn more about yourself than you could at any other time in your life. These years are the ones that you get to embrace and cherish, because they are the ones that are really molding you. You’re young- you’re free- you’re open to anything and absorbing everything. That’s what college is about- right there. Not the fact or mere thought that you’re changing- because that’s how you get from year one to year two. And then, wadya know, you’re halfway done with the typical college degree.

That’s what I’ve learned from college. Not just that degree, but everything around it; the little things. Those little things are just as important. Those three months between high school and college are little, but they are important too. Because the worlds waiting for you, and now you have three months to figure out how you want to dive in 🙂

Oh, Iowa. #2 Journalism Post.

I can’t help but laugh and love it—

The people who complain about our weather and the climate Iowa has. You live in Iowa- what do you expect?! I told mom today, “the weather has been very fitting to me- mood swings galore.” And it is so true… Just goes to say that ya really have to get used to your plans changing darn quick because of the weather. The past two years; this year the most, it has not failed to surprise me. We had 60 degree weather in December.. well, it was around there. Then the next day there’s snow everywhere. So, when people complain, I just laugh at them- you are in Iowa.

I wonder if Wisconsin has been this up and down with their weather too? They can’t say they had storms one day and a snow storm the next… I mean, I know I get delight out of the smallest, stupidest things, but seriously, weather is one of them and this year has definitely been a grade A+. I love falling asleep to rain and waking up to thunder one morning, and waking up to a possible snow day the next. Like I said, I’m a woman, so I’m used to a little mood swing. Is that sexist?? 😉

Also, goes to show how quickly things can change. And it may be kinda ridiculous, but Iowa weather has showed me that. Appreciate the sun and 50 degree weather, because the next day there is probably gonna be ice everywhere. 🙂

No matter where I go, I will always miss good old Iowa.

Here’s to thought after thought after thought, solved one at a time. #1 Journalism Post.

Taylor Grangaard


Introduction to Journalism, BlogPost #1.


Even though there are millions of things floating around in my head, and I just wanna solve all of them at one time, I always seem to just live in the moment and figure out, “well, how do I solve this one?” For example, this weekend. No school, most people work, (which is something I need to pick up on as a probably part-time job, with set hours every weekend), but my weekends always seem to be the whole, “what’s it gonna be this weekend?”, which is something I’m still getting used to, and heck, I’m a Junior in college. Mom isn’t exactly happy about my not having the part time job every weekend, but it’s taken some time to adapt to college life and not live at home anymore. I love, love, love the independence, which is the weird part, but at the same time, I feel almost too independent. Like, there’s so many options and places I can go. That’s when I ask myself, “well wadya wanna get done this weekend, tay?”

Of course, I answer, “I’d like to figure out what I wanna do for the rest of my life- where I wanna be.” I foresee so many things, but don’t really know how to sort it all out. Which pretty much goes back to the whole living in the moment and taking my problems and thoughts out one at a time. Again, that drives my mom, dad, and sister crazy, but their getting used to it. You go to college to figure out what you wanna do for the rest of your life- you just dive into what you like and what you’re passionate about, and go from there. But as time goes on, your passions change. Not completely like a change of heart, but they change in little ways, which makes for big thoughts and big questions as to if you’re doing the right thing. They call that second guessing, right? I’m never been very good at second guessing, especially when it comes to such a big decision. What I’m finding out is that if you’re second guessing something, you should either change what you’re doing entirely, or just change small tid-bits, and it can still make you, you.

So, what I’m getting to right now, is that I’m in the process of figuring out how I can take all of those small tid-bits and piece them into exactly what I am and what I’m gonna be doing after my college career. That’s what college is all about, really and as I said before, I’m really realizing this, and it’s become extremely clear because I’ve experienced it personally, in my Junior year. There’s a time for everything, though, which could easily be another topic for me to ramble on about at another time.