Thursday, July 17, 2014


i turn 23 tomorrow.

i'm not sure how i feel about this yet. i think 23 is a real smack in the face that i'm growing up. i mean 21 was pretty exciting and then taylor swift wrote a song about being 22 so i felt really cool for a year. and now's just 23. nothing neat about it. i mean luckily lebron came back to cleveland and so that makes it pretty neat. but i feel like i'm not ready for this year. i don't know why.

i feel like i blinked and i am here.

somedays i feel like just yesterday my family and friends were throwing me birthday parties at the beach. those days are some of my best memories. cake. balloons. cheesecake brownies. presents and people galore. for a long time i thought we went to the beach because of my birthday. hey i mean it was totally not my fault. all my parents did my whole life was talk about how special i was. and what is more special than 30 people you love from ohio having a birthday party for you at your favorite place in the world?!
see...totally not my fault. i had a majority of my birthdays at the beach. there were ones that weren't spent there but it was rare.

somedays i feel like just yesterday my friends were at my house and we were doing things like going to dover lake water park and having dance parties in my living room to celebrate. i miss those days.

don't get me wrong. i am excited for my future. but john mayer put it best.

as many of you know my entrance into this world was nothing short of dramatic. i mean what else would you expect from me? i was born around 30 weeks with a condition known as hydrops. the doctors told my parents that i wasn't going to live through the night and that they needed to name me so i wouldn't die without a name. they gave me a 10% chance of survival that hot day in july. but God had another plan for my life. and i am so thankful He did. "they" were very wrong. everytime they gave my parents bad new about my healing process He would step in and things would turn around again. just the other day i asked mama about the day i was born. as she recalled the story she told me that despite every statistic they were given she knew that the Lord was going to heal me. she said she never had a doubt.

it has been quite the journey since that day. but the Lord has remained faithful and i am thankful for his protection over my life. sometimes i am shocked i made it to 23. i know that sounds kind of morbid. but trust me people. there have been days where i had such a bad migraine or that i was so sick that i thought i wasn't going to make it. mama and daddy tell me they knew i was gunna defy all the odds all along. i am thankful for that.

so lets travel through the past 23 years in the form of pictures...i couldn't find every single birthday but i think i got around 20. i'm not exactly sure.

disclaimer...the first picture you will see is from the day i was isn't pretty...but i think it was important to include it...because God was working even on that day when my life seemed like it was only going to last for a moment on this earth.

july 18th 1991.
named shelby elyse meaning "little rock" 

july 18th 1992

july 18th 1993

july 18th 1994

july 18th 1995

july 18th 1996

july 18th 1997
please note that i wore the same dress 2 years in a row.
this should have been the first clue that i had a growing problem!

july 18th 1998

july 18th 1999

july 18th 2000

july 18th 2001

july 18th 2002

2003 and 2004 are the missing years. i mean i wasn't missing. i just can't find pictures.

july 18th 2005
the summer after the brain surgery
thank you Jesus for this day

july 18th 2006

july 18th 2007

july 18th 2008

july 18th 2009

july 18th 2010

july 18th 2011

july 18th 2012

july 18th 2013
i am excited for the years to come.

i am hopeful for a future. 

i am thankful that the Lord has let me live such a beautiful life

i am praying i can continue to glorify Him 

thank you to everyone who has prayed for me from day 1. 

i love you guys.

BLESSED by a heavenly Daddy,

Shelby Elyse Taylor