Friday, November 22, 2013



             There are so many things about you that I love. I really am not sure where to begin. From the moment I was born 22 years ago you have loved me unconditionally. You have been a prayer warrior, a best friend, a dad, a backyard baseball coach, a listener, a great example, and one of my hero’s.

You are a strong Christian man, you are such a leader, and an amazing example of what a Godly husband and father looks like. I hope and pray that the Lord gives me someone just like you one day to marry.

     You love mom so beautifully. I know I bug you and say that you fight a lot, but deep down I know that you love her unconditionally. You are a leader and you provide just as the Lord has called you to as a husband. 

     You are such an amazing dad. You love Jordyn, Seth and me through the thick and thin, and it is so apparent. I love that even though we may disappoint you, your love for us remains the same, and you just continue to be a great dad.

     I love you for praying with me and tucking me in every night before bed until I reached high school basically. I will forever have our prayer memorized. “Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for this beautiful day you have given us, God bless Mommy, Daddy, Jordyn, Seth & Shelby, help Shelby to be a good girl and wake up tomorrow feeling rested and refreshed and ready to serve You!” You know the routine.

         You are so humble dad; it is an amazing and genuine quality. So many people love this about you, but especially us kids, I think we strive to be more humble because of you.

   You are so smart. I mean lets be real for a minute, you are a DOCTOR. It doesn’t get much smarter.

   I love that when I, or anyone else is struggling, you have a solution, you always want to make me feel better, and are willing to give advice and awesome pep talks. 

       I love that I’m your only “Brown Eyed Girl.” This song is forever engraved in my head as one of my first memories of us, and I forgive you for lying to me all those years saying that you wrote it for me.

     I love that you love to serve; you are always willing to lend a hand to others, even if it means that you need to sacrifice.

   You are so compassionate. You have one of the biggest hearts ever, the Lord has really blessed you in this area dad, and it shows in a big way. Thank you for caring so much about others, it is a beautiful example. 

   You instilled in me a love, and yes, I mean LOVE for James Taylor, one of the most amazing musicians in the history of the world. I think James is the reason I love music so much, and the reason I love to sing and write. I often wish that somewhere down bloodlines we would be secretly related to him. Whether it’s us dancing to “Copperline” or listening to “Carolina in my mind” on the way to Sunset beach, his music is timeless, and you introduced me to it.

   I love that you love the things I say that may not be so correct. For instance, the hole in one described as a “chick” or embarrassing you by telling my kindergarten teacher about the glasses getting cleaned with the underwear. You just shake it off, act like it’s all good, and go on to tell the stories 100’s of time, while being proud of me for being funny. 

   I am so thankful that the Lord called you to CVCA, and you have stayed there all these years. Dad, honestly, CVCA is my other family. That school which was built upon Godly standards, and the people inside, helped shape me from the moment I was born and everyone there was praying for me. I do not know what life would be like if I hadn’t had the opportunity to go there. The people there have so elegantly represented what a Christian community looks like, and I had the incredible opportunity to literally grow up there. Thank you for serving the Lord at CVCA. 

   I am so thankful for the way you raised Jordyn and Seth. They are my best friends; my heroes and I look up to them like I do no one else. All of this you already know. Jordyn has taught me to stand up for myself, that I am beautiful no matter what, and when life pushes you down, you have to pick yourself back up, or find people to help you up, and keep moving. Seth has taught me that I should always follow my dreams, fight for what I believe in, and that I should always be myself, and that good Christian guys who treat girls like princesses do exist, and that I should never settle for anything less. These are all qualities that I am sure you and mom, long ago instilled in the two of them, and now I am being impacted. Sissy and Roo turned out pretty good I would say, and so thank you for raising them the way you did. 

      I love that you read your Bible everyday, and pray as you walk each morning. Dad, there are a lot of “Christian” people in this world, but that does not mean that they live out what they say they believe, but you do just that. If you tell someone you will be praying for them, you do. I love that many days I walk into the music room to find your Bible open and many notes out along with it, it is such an encouragement to know you are staying rooted in the Word!

   I love that you never hold back any emotion. You cry when you pray, or speak about something that touches your heart. You yell when you are angry. You get that little wrinkle in your forehead when you are really upset, and that is when I know I made a big mistake. You cry when you are happy, and when news is good. You rejoice with others when great things happen, so much to the point where it almost seems not genuine, because you are so happy. I love that you have never been ashamed of these emotions. Grandpa Taylor is the same way, and I believe this is one quality that you definitely got from him, and I love it!

    I love how honest you are. I can always count on you to tell it like it is dad, whether it’s a question about what I’m wearing, or what I should do in a friend situation, or how something I bake tastes. You are honest if the answer is going to be something I like, or something I don’t like. You are honest with everyone this way, people at work, family members, and many more, and it is a pure genuine quality that I believe a lot of people love about you.

    I love that you are funny, and that you think you are funny when you aren’t. I love that you belly laugh at things, and I love that you laugh at yourself. I love that look you give me when I say something I think is funny, and turns out I shouldn’t have said it, and then you laugh anyways. You are full of humor dad, its great.

    You are so strong! You have had so much strength over the past 22 years dad, our family has had to face unimaginable trials and you have held us all together every step of the way. I don’t know how hard it must be as a father to see so much turmoil in our lives, and I know it is never easy on you when I am sick, or dealing with medical issues, but you still keep strength and faith! Thank you for being such a rock during all struggles, some years were so hard on all of us, but because you were so strong, it helped me to stay strong!

    I love that you aren’t really a “mr fix it” when it comes to being handy around the house, and building things. But you are a “mr fix it” when it comes to being handy with ideas, helping people, and building a school that serves the Lord! So like that coffee mug I got you says “My dad can fix anything"

    I love you very much, I think you are special and I am very proud of you!

 I love you to the moon and back!

Blessed by a Heavenly Daddy,

Shelby Elyse

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

first glance feeling on new york time

my sister always tells me "you don't belong in ohio." i think i am starting to believe her.
i'm not sure where i belong yet though. but i think in a city. and i think not in ohio. the day will come when i leave this land of snow and ice. i'm just not sure when.

in september ... [ i know i'm behind ] ... i had the amazing opportunity to go to nyc! i had never been there before and when the opportunity came up. i ran with it. well technically flew. WITH NINA! did i mention i got to go with my lifelong sista-franndd!? WELL I DID! and let me just say. LOVE is an understatement. i can't think of a stronger word right now. but if i could. it would be that.  [ brooklyn, brooklyn, TAKE ME IN! ]

so anyways. the point of the trip was to go to a pediatric cancer fundraiser for Alex's Lemonade Stand. the stand was run by one of my favorite companies called 46NYC & oh my goodness was that day wonderful. but i think i need to back up. i think i need to tell the whole story. of the whole trip. hey i'm a taylor the words "short version" aren't in our vocabulary. unless you are talking about our height.

so lets flashback a few days.

friday morning me and nina woke up way before the sun. like before 5am. stopped at dunkin for some coffee and off we went to the cleveland airport to begin this adventure. the flight and cab ride went smoothly. soon enough we were walking around new york with our beautiful friend alex. reminder i have NEVER been there. i loved every second. halfway through the day we went back to alex's apartment to relax because we literally couldn't keep our eyes open any longer. so then we got on the subway and ended up in times square. when we walked up the stairs and i saw it for the first time i felt like i was in a movie. it's better than i imagined. i can't even tell you how excited i was. i've dreamed of that my whole life.
hello world

dreaming of being in one of these ones day

i looked like a tourist and didn't even care

you guys don't understand. i grew up doing theatre. just seeing the signs. oh my goodness.

the most expensive m&m's in all the land

dear future husband: a ring in a blue box please

hello chocolate

the chair ... maybe one day one will turn for me. #dreambig 
so we also walked around NBC studio's and i saw a chair from "the voice" and i mean i looked for adam levine. but i couldn't find him. that was a little disappointing. 
 that night for dinner we went to the shake shake. and stopped by the plaza hotel on the way. because i mean when i was little i was obsessed with eloise and always wanted to live there. and then. well you guys. lets just say i was ASLEEP before 9:30pm. ON A FRIDAY NIGHT. IN NEW YORK CITY. for those of you who know and love me, you are shocked. i was too.
my ninabee

the plaza hotel
shake shack

saturday morning we woke up and went to brunch with my friend margaret! she goes to fashion school there! it was such a blessing to see her and catch up. i went to school with margaret from 1st grade to senior year of highschool and she has been there through thick and thin. i love margaret because she is one of those people that you can not see for like a year and as soon as you are together again it's like you never were apart. those are the best friendships.

she is so beautiful

did i mention she's in fashion school!?

next we had to have an outfit change because it got all chilly. LUCKILY my super fabulous older sister packed me tons of fashion forward clothes and options for layering. next we went to china town, little italy, and ended up at a super cute cupcake shop & our friend jon came to hangout! we stayed in there for hours! like i mean no joke. HOURS. 3 to be exact. having all kinds of life talk. it was great. and i mean i might have cried that day in the cupcake shop. but if you know me you aren't suprised at all. never fear. there was so much laughing as well. i will never forget that afternoon.

they spelled my other last name wrong

thankful for these beauties
 next we went and roamed streets. ended up in a nail salon and a pet shop. life was good.

love this kid

best day with jonny c


we went to dinner and then went home. i ended up falling asleep early again. but it was good because the next day held magical things and an experience i will NEVER forget. kinda need a backstory...also if you are still reading...i will love you forever and ever...but i warned you.

so i've watched "the bachelor" and "the bachelorette" ever since i can remember. season after season i would watch. and develop a crush on these boys that were much older, and i mean also strangers. but it always happened. then one day. on DeAnna's season of the bachelor, this bright eyed handsome person appeared. and his name was Graham Bunn. i thought he was so cute.

flash forward to him being on the bachelor pad a few years later, and i got to see this beautiful human being again. and you guys. i know i sound crazy. but it wasn't just his face. or his abs. ( SORRY DAD I HAD TO SAY IT! ) but his heart. he had so much compassion for people. you could tell me meant what he said, and he wasn't full of crap. during his season i just kept thinking "he's a really incredible human being." THEN! i find out he has this freaking amazing company that helps other causes! it's called 46NYC and they help foundations for things like alex's lemonade stand for pediatric cancer, chris 4 life: a foundation for colon cancer, the breast cancer research foundation, the international justice mission, st. jude children's research hospital [ which you all know holds such a special place in my heart because of Ian. ] sunflower children foundation, adopt a classroom, children's heart project, global genes project, and wine to water. basically the  company takes simple things like t-shirts, hats and bracelets and uses them to raise money for other foundations! HOW COOL IS THAT!? i'm actually not sure if cool is a great enough word. POWERFUL, INSPIRING, AMAZING...those might begin to cover it.

[ i'm secretly hoping that one day they will have a t-shirt for the pediatric brain tumor foundation, or my foundation that i hope to start. ]

also...they have a thing called the tee for ryan. and it was to help raise money for the adoption and care for a little boy with noonan syndrome! the same genetic disorder i have! I MEAN IF THIS ISNT BLOWING YOUR MIND I DON'T KNOW WHAT WILL! like what company in this earth sells t-shirts to support noonan syndrome! i'm telling you guys! IT WAS DESTINY FOR ME TO FIND THIS COMPANY! i am so excited about it!

okay SO now it is monday morning. we sleep in, get all ready & walked around brooklyn a little bit. i love it there.

THEN we got on the subway, to go to central park! but guess where i am going!?
and a bunch of other really amazing humans at the Alex's Lemonade Stand for Pediatric Cancer! i was so nervous you guys. like i couldn't even deal. because. WHAT IN THE WORLD DO YOU SAY TO SOMEONE WHO HAS INSPIRED YOU SO MUCH AND YET YOU HAVE NEVER MET THEM?! ya i didn't know either. so finally i walked up to michelle money who by the way is so beautiful inside and out. and she called graham over! & HE RECOGNIZED ME! because we are friends on twitter. and i mean he knew i loved him. so he gives me the biggest hug and we took pictures and it was so great! i kept holding back tears the whole day! because you guys THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO! i want to be incredible! i want to start a foundation and help kids!!! and you know. it was just so humbling to be there as a survivor! 

graham bunn. one incredible man.

the stand

lindzi - so kind!

i mean. this moment. oh my goodness.

ohhh william. 

bob guiney is like in his 40's you guys. what in the world.
also meet chris b. he was nice!

craig r ... you are a gem.

michelle money. oh my goodness. such a blessing. 

the lemonade was actually delicious.

inspired by this amazing woman
 also. i got to share my whole testimoney with michelle. it was really a God moment. i knew it was the right time. i know HE was glorified. i got to share that even though i have a brain tumor, God has been so faithful to me and my family, and has truly has His hand over me. i got to share that i find my strength, hope, and worth in HIM. i didn't expect to tell anyone, because the day wasn't about me. but the opportunity arose. i knew it was a moment to share. she told me that if i ever need anything, or help with starting my foundation that she would be more than willing and just to get in contact.

we spent the rest of the afternoon walking around central park. and then went to sara beth's for brunch. and no lies you guys. i think i saw dustin hoffman on a bike. he winked at me and said "beep beep" maybe he has a twin. i dont know. lets just say it was him.

well...sadly like most amazing things...the trip had to end. we went back to alex's apartment, packed our bags and got in the cab for the journey back to ohio. oh and also. we ended up with a cancelled flight, a 2 hour cab ride to an airport in new jersey in a semi shady car, and somehow got through security and 3 terminals down on a tram and still made the flight. I DONT EVEN KNOW. every good story has a few crazy spots. hahah icing on the cake.

as HE always is. God was so faithful. He orchestrated the perfect trip. I was so blessed. I can't wait for next year!

Blessed by a Heavenly Daddy,

Shelby Elyse

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

mama t

my mom retired a few weeks ago after 35 years of teaching. i spoke at her party. wanted to share it. i love her so. and i am so proud to be her daughter! 

my mama is one incredible lady

she is strong spunky and sassy

she loves the Lord

and loves my daddy

she's a chef cleaning lady and cheerleader

i wanna be more like her

as you know. Mom is a teacher.

But also, in my opinion, mom should be a registered nurse. She knows more about medicine than some of my doctors. I’m thankful for that.

mom has taught me so many things over the years. 22 to be exact. Because she’s been my mom for 22 years.

1.     girls can do anything boys can do
2.    stand up for yourself
3.    She taught me how to read
4.    find strength in the Lord, and remember that family ALWAYS comes first.
5.    Don’t let anyone put down your dreams
6.    She taught me how to cook
7.    She taught me how to do math. (with much love because, you guys. I don’t know a 6 from a 9.)
8.    Shelby. No one is normal. Why would you want to be normal? Just be you.
9.    when carol calls. You always answer.
10. The kitchen is for dancing.
11.  Think before you speak (I’m still trying to master this one.)
12.  Dad may not be able to fix a toilet or the dishwasher but he can fix a broken heart so forgive him.
13.  Every girl needs shoes. Lots of shoes.
14. Jewelry isn’t an option, but a must
15. I don’t have to like her, I just have to love her
16. The inevitable “your grounded because I love you.” And then her saying “one day when you have kids you will understand” and I’m like “girl please!”
17.  It is appropriate to burst into song anywhere. Anytime. Anyday.
18.  Sometimes I need to not be so sassy
19.  she taught me how to knit
20.  that when everyone else leaves, she will always be there for me.
21.  How to spell. And yet. She still can’t (hahah sorry mom)
22. How to be an amazing mom. (someday)

Mom is one of the strongest people i have ever met. she has been through a lot and still continues to be courageous and find strength in the Lord. she has been a rock for us kids & an amazing wife to my dad.

While mom taught for 35 years.  She also had about one hundred other full time jobs. she's been the track and cross country mom. the soccer mom. the dance mom. the theatre mom. the basketball mom. and everything in between. she has supported us in whatever we do. and she's also embarassed us a lot but who cares. she dances when my friends come over and tells bad jokes. and sings really off key. but its all part of mom. and i love her for that.

mom is the one that when i say someone has hurt me, her first response is "i'll kill them." or she comes up with some awesome plan to get them back. its just her protective side coming out but i find it to be absolutely hilarious. cause dad's always like "lorrie! ... now shelby you just need to be nice to them." typical la roge.

mom got a "fix-it"s side from my grandpa & "crafty" side from my grandma but the two of those together that woman is crazy. like i have said. she is superwoman. mom should have a sparkly cape.

well...thats a little bit about my mama.

mom, thank you for being so awesome. and crazy. i love you dude! ( yea i call her that ... she doesn't seem to hate it. its endearment. )

blessed by a heavenly daddy

shelby elyse 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

there is so much more to me

hi people!

so i am redesigning the blog. new name. new topics. new look. new everything.

design is still in progress...but i thought i'd give you a heads up! so HEADS UP!

the old name "the beauty in the battle" just was that. old. the blog had become something that was solely related to health. how is my health. how is my brain tumor. how have my doctor appointments been. how is my blood. and quite frankly. i'm just so sick of it. and i'm sure you are too. because i'm sick of being THAT girl. who is just that. sick. but there is so much more to me.

so i decided that the new blog would be so much more. i want it to radiate my passions. cooking. music. family. friends. my faith. AND the occasional health post. because that is a part of who i am. we can't sit and pretend i don't have a brain tumor. or a genetic disorder. or whatever. the list goes on. you know this. i mean it's reality. but there is so much more to me.

i have no idea where this is going to go. best case scenario i end up writing a book with jen hatmaker. worst case scenario. only my mom and a few other people keep reading this. either way. i will write. i love writing. so much. but i realize that i need to start writing about more than just my health journey. i felt as though the blog was turning into "poor me" which was never ever my intent. because i'm sassy, spunky, short, and sometimes sick. but there is so much more to me.

well. stay tuned. or join in. whoever you are. where ever you are. i'm shelby elyse and i'm ready to roll.

p.s. if you are a new reader. i have a fetish with punctuation. i use periods instead of commas. i always have. my proof readers of my term papers in high school hated me for this. but you have to deal.

i love you guys

BLESSED by a heavenly Daddy,

Shelby Elyse