Thursday, March 27

Quickie.

Spring is here! I found this outside my parents' house early yesterday and had to do a little happy dance in the driveway. Yet another winter passes without one day of skiing. :(

Tuesday our friends Mark, Jamie and Charlie came over for meatball sandwiches and games. I think Taylor and I have forgotten what it's like to hang out with friends... honestly! I'm used to hanging out with 10-year-olds all day. I sat there thinking "When was the last time we hung out with friends?!" It was a blast, and little Charlie was so well-behaved! I sat there watching Jamie & Charlie thinking "Someday..."

My camera was acting up, and this is the only shot that turned out with some kind of focus (and of course his cute & tiny mom has half a face in the picture - sorry Jamie!)

Jamie made a delicious apple cobbler,
which Taylor and Mark monitored while the girls played with Charlie.

"Ticket to Ride"

Wednesday we officially locked in a place to live in Henderson! We are lucky lucky lucky, is all I have to say. We were second in line for the place we loved, and so we came home and googled the development, hoping for another opening. There were two, but both exceeded our budget. The next morning our realtor called - one of the places reduced the rent $200/month, to within our price range. We acted immediately, and now it's ours! The only problem is we'll end up having to pay for most of April, even though we won't move in until May 3rd-ish. Boo.

School teaching is good, but crazy - my classes are filled with the brainiacs and maniacs (ah, wasn't that clever? Right of the top of my head!). I also have one blind student, two with severe learning disabilities, four from abusive homes, and one with spinal bifida. These kids are amazing, and add so much joy to my teaching, even though I have to be on my toes all the time.

Now that there's basically a month left of teaching I'm really starting to enjoy it. I'll miss the hugs after class is over, the 10-year-old boys asking for dating advice (seriously), the one kid with Turrets in dancing form (full-on booty shaking this morning at 7:15), and the beautiful music that comes out of their instruments (okay that one was a joke). With all the stress it's brought, it really has been a blast. I'll miss them - they are my favorite people.

If you're a string player, don't look at the bowhands!

Taylor's graduation is coming quickly, and I'm busy making and sending announcements - if you want one, send me your address in the comment thing or something. The end is near!

Monday, March 24

Home Stretch

Even after knowing for a couple of weeks Taylor and I are still like, "Whoa, we're really moving to Nevada. We're leaving Utah. Psych!" (The "psych" was for those of you who know Taylor).

We survived Easter weekend in St. George/Henderson with the Oldroyd fam, sans Liz who was enjoying the U spring break exploring California in its entirety. Spent nights watching March Madness and mornings watching senior citizens on the 13th fairway (the latter is more entertaining than it sounds). Woke up Saturday morning to find this on the window. Ouch!Saturday was spent rotating realtors and touring more condos, townhouses, and houses than I care to share. Boy, there's some slim pickings in Henderson. Henderson is gorgeous (very un-Vegas) and there's so many places to live, but because of the housing crisis so many people have foreclosed and are renting homes. Why buy when you know you can't sell? The demand for rented property is HIGH, and so are the prices (yikes). I think the worst job in the world would be a realtor - they have to try and sell everything (yikes again). Here's some fun lines we got from them:

"My, isn't that purple tile just so adorable?!"

"Wouldn't you like this place just to be able to say you live on Fantasia Lane?"

"It's next to a busy park where lots of people party, so you'll never be bored at night!"

"Oh, just light a candle and you won't smell a thing!"

"This is just like the place you originally wanted except it's not brand new - it's 20 years old, it's 30 minutes away from work instead of 5, there's no yard, the carpets are stained, and the appliances are from 1989."
(We had that fridge... when I was 5. And okay, she didn't say all of that.)

"Don't you just love these lavender columns?! What a fun backyard to entertain in."

"You won't need to worry about art - your walls are artsy enough, and add personality!"
(The wall had a large 6'x10' niche painted with the images of cumulus clouds)

"I think it's kind of handy to not have a door on the master bathroom, except you can pretty much see everything that's happening in the shower."

Exhausting, but I promise we did find a place we're pining for. It's perfect, but we might have to beg.
Enjoyed our Honeybaked Ham dinner with my family Saturday night, witnessed the feeding of the 5,000 in Sacrament Meeting, and drove to Salt Lake for the Turner Easter dinner and fun with Lorenzo. Taylor's mom puts Martha Stewart to shame - the table, decorations, and food were straight out of a magazine. Once home we dumped our Easter spoils on the table. Yes, I've got a few hundred miles to run off all the m&ms, Cadbury eggs, and Robin eggs. Yesterday I was carrying some dishes into the Turners' kitchen and totally smacked my hip into the doorway. Wider load than I thought.

Overall a wonderful weekend. A few tanks of gas, and too much Easter candy to munch on with my family, but a nice break from school and work (except for the 10 hours of studying Taylor got in during the drives). It was wonderful to have time in the car to sit and think about the importance of Easter and how much our Savior did for us. I am so grateful for His life and example, and for the wonderful gift He has given us - the chance to be resurrected and live forever with those we love. I love reading the accounts of Mary at the tomb, Thomas, Cleopas, and all the wonderful events that followed Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. We are so blessed to know what we know.

Friday, March 21

Happy: Spring, Easter, Housing Hunt...

Spring is here!
Everyone have a wonderful Easter weekend!
We're headed to St. George with the fam today, Henderson tomorrow.
Wish us luck!
70 degrees...How about this place? ;)

Sunday, March 16

Weekend of Fatness

Do you ever have those weekends where you feel like you've spent half of your time eating, and eating not-so-healthy foods? Do you ever lie down to go to sleep at night and have your stomach screaming at you "WHY?!?!?!" That was this weekend.
First, behold the wonderment of Pi Day - March 14 (get it?!). After searching through the mecca of amazing recipes (epicurious.com) I found one for Banoffee pie - one of my favorite desserts. It's Scottish, so not many people have had it here in the states. Basically it's gooey toffee, fresh bananas (get it... "Ban-offee"?!), and I added some crumbled Macadamia nuts coated in toffee and chocolate. My favorite part had to be the 1 1/2 cups of fresh whipped cream on top - pretty much my downfall. Here's the recipe.

Second, Saturated Fat Saturday (note "saturated" and "saturday" begin in similar fashion) brought the baking of 100 sugar cookies for my students. Why do I bring treats to class?!?! Almost every day I hear "Mrs. Turner did you bring us treats?" or "Mrs. Turner I brought my instrument - do I get a sucker?" I think I am part of the problem of this younger generation increasing in waist size.

Third, Savory Sunday (yes, getting cheesier as we go). We decided to use our leftover puff pastry from forever ago, and pretty much Taylor is the next Iron Chef. Inside that buttery, flaky, croissant-like pastry is the world's most tasty omelet - cheese, egg, ham, herbs... I don't know why he went into law! Later that day I realized I would be short on cookies for Monday and made a batch of gingersnaps. Not smart. As I laid in bed I swore off white sugar for the coming week.

Behold Manic Monday (cue the music). Due to a stressful day of teaching, over 200 miles of driving, and less than a 5-minute break for lunch, I ended up eating about a dozen gingersnaps for lunch. Willpower... none.

Yes, I need counseling. In other news not related to food...

After planning out our week on Sunday we found that this coming weekend is the only (yes, only) weekend we have to go to Henderson and find housing before we move around May 1st. Taylor has so much homework, and is studying/writing/editing like 16 hours a day in order to be able to go to Nevada this weekend. Hooray for Easter weekend!

Teaching is a blast, but it's sad (and, in some ways relieving) that it'll all be over in almost a month. I'm amazed at how many different songs these method books can conjure up with only D, E, and F-sharp. It's enough to drive you mad when you can't get the masterpiece that is "Cuckoo" song out of your head (sing F-sharp and D over and over again, with sporadic rests). I'm trying to figure out how to put together an entertaining concert when all some kids can play is 5 different versions of Mary Had a Little Lamb (no exaggeration - Jazz, inversion, regular, harmony, minor). Any ideas? :) Taylor suggested making the kids who can't play the harder songs do interpretive dance in the background. I think I'd get sued for that, but it could be cool... with sparkly costumes?

Anyway we're happy and so excited for the adventures ahead of us. Life is so busy and full of trips to the gas station, but we feel so blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives.

Friday, March 14

Misa del Santo Crisma

Last night I had an awesome gig at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, playing for parts of the Chrism Mass held last night (Note: I have no idea what a Chrism Mass is). It was really cool because it was held in English and Spanish, due to the growing number of Hispanic Catholics in the Salt Lake Valley. The cathedral is beautiful (the photo is what was right above me as we played), and it was fun to accompany the children of the Madeleine Choir School (angelic voices!) and see the services performed.

There were so many interesting blessings and symbolic acts performed. I still don't know what the smoke/incense means, but I do know that I'm allergic to it. After two hours of sitting right behind the priests and bishop the smoke and scent was strong and my throat was stinging with every breath. I don't think I've ever played a gig that involved Vaughan-Williams, 17th Century Mass music from Mexico, and 21st Century Mass music. It was kind of cool, and once again a blast to play my viola for other people.

As different as the Mass was from what we LDS folk are used to, it was touching to see them recommit themselves to following Jesus Christ and living as He did. It made me so happy to see that other faiths have the same respect and love for Christ that we do. I think we all have more similarities than we think.

In other news, we found out our cousins Ryan and Jamie are moving to Henderson this summer to start medical school! Hooray - we'll have friends and family there!

Tuesday, March 11

The "M" word.

The bench where we first said the "M" word ("marriage").

In the spirit of blog cheesiness, this post is based on some "M" words.

m - m - m - m - m - m - m - m - m - m - m

Moving. Us. To Henderson, Nevada. Yes, you heard right! Taylor officially accepted the job this morning, and starts in less than two months! Yikes! Taylor will be working at a law firm in Green Valley. We are so excited to live the high life that is Henderson, and get to know some great people there. After months and months of phone calls, interviews, tears (by Tally - I still can't get Taylor to cry), applications, you name it... we basically had a random offer fall into our lap, and it was a really good offer. As per Taylor's suggestion, on Sunday we ventured to the same park bench where we realized we both wanted to marry each other, and decided to yet another important future discussion there too. I felt like we had made up our minds to go to Nevada, but Taylor suggested we think about it one more day... he's a lot more patient than I am! This truly has been my greatest trial of patience EVER.

May. When Taylor starts work, right after graduation. So basically we're moving in less than 2 months! Does anybody know someone in Henderson with a home for rent - fully furnished, with a grand piano?! Oh, and under $1000/month? :) I just might have to cut my school teaching short, or live with my parents for 3 weeks while Taylor parties in Vegas.

Mormons. Yes, we'll be surrounded by them, and there's a Temple nearby!

Mom & Dad. Two weeks ago my parents decided to randomly drive down to St. George and look for a vacation home, and ended up buying one almost on the spot. Could it be more perfect? The next two weekends my family is going to be down there furnishing it, so we are able to tag along and do some day trips to Henderson. Looking for an apartment/condo/van down by the river is not fun.

Music. Yes, I will have to drop all of my students which will really make me cry (well, most of them). But fortunately Henderson is like music education mecca, and I should be able to build up another private viola studio and play some gigs with my viola! I'm already checking out audition info for orchestras around town.

Money. Hooray! A salary! I can't wait to have a budget category that isn't rent, gas, or groceries. Most of my meager "miscellaneous" category ends up going toward ink cartridges or cookies for my students. I forgot what it's like to shop without a gift card! An elementary school teacher salary doesn't exactly give you the high life. Which leads to...

Mega Shopping. Don't worry, I already checked and Henderson has an Anthropologie, Pottery Barn, REI, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and there's an H&M in Vegas (oooh and a J.Crew outlet). Most of those stores don't fit in the Turner budget, but I can at least visit them and window shop. No IKEA, Container Store, or Crate and Barrel. :(

I promise I'm really not this shallow. :)

Milder climate. Enough said. Winters might be a little depressing. We've already figured out how far the closest ski resort is.

Magnificent... yeah, now I'm stretching for additional M words. Anyway, time use this one post to be corny-spiritual:

This has been a huge trial for us, in learning how faith works. We have had a lot of rejections, for reasons we still cannot figure out. But ultimately we have learned that if you really, really do all that you can to show the Lord your faith in His ability to open up a way, the Lord will answer. We absolutely did not even think about Nevada as an option, and yet it fell into our laps. The Lord really is in control, and answers prayers. He's aware of everyone's needs and as long as we do our best He will take care of the rest. Here's one of my favorite quotes from President Ezra Taft Benson:

"I work as hard as I can, and I try my best to be obedient so that the Lord knows I am mindful of Him. Then I have the faith that He will make up the difference between what I am able to do, and what I am not able to do. And He does."

Congratulations!
You made it to the end of the death-long post!
One last thing... today is the 2nd anniversary of our first date.
Our thanks to Drew and Liz for taking a picture!
Best date ever!

Monday, March 10

Viva...


Decision.

Made.

Here we come, Henderson NV!

Friday, March 7

News, News, News

1. I just took Taylor to the airport. He got another offer from a firm in Henderson, NV. He went to the interview held at BYU on Tuesday just for the heck of it, and they contacted him the next day with an offer! They flew him down to Vegas today to wine and dine him, so we'll see what happens. It's a pretty enticing offer but the job starts in May, and Tally is required to work until the end of the school year in Salt Lake. Yep, less than 2 months. Panic.

2. We're finishing applications to study tax or international law/business LLM programs (Masters of Law) back east. The problem is we don't find out if we've been accepted until June. It's only a year program, so it could be cool... and expensive. We have until Monday to make a decision on these offers. Yes, three days. If you're looking for a stress-free environment, look no further than our condo! If only we weren't so indecisive. Taylor and I actually take turns making decisions - I was born on an even day, so if it's an even day it's my turn, and Taylor was born on an odd day, so there you go. Let's see... Monday is an even day. Shoot.

3. Tally is back in the music scene - I got to record with Kurt Bestor on Wednesday which was such a blast. We spent most of the time speculating why Craig Jessop resigned from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Ah, Utah culture. I've been going through viola withdrawal lately... I'm so used to the college days when I literally had my viola on my shoulder 6-8 hours a day. Now it's like 1-2, so when I get a chance to really play with actual professionals it is exhilarating! It was awesome to skip my two worst schools and get paid for eating cookies and playing whole notes (insert evil laugh).

4. Teaching is awesome. I'm really learning how to deal with "inquisitive minds." Next week I'll have to start counting how many questions I answer a day - I guarantee it's in the thousands. I'm learning how to give really really really detailed instructions to prevent the inevitable 30 questions that usually follow. Basically I talk and elaborate until I see the hands gradually go down.

5. I have successfully taught my elementary kids that the viola really is the chosen instrument and that the violin is of the devil (see picture). Why is the viola bigger than the violin? It isn't - the violinists' heads are bigger.

6. My private studio students are so great. I'm sure they laugh at me once they're gone because I'll get way too excited and hyper over a crescendo or spicatto bowing. If we end up taking the job in Nevada, I really think I will cry in every viola lesson - I feel like I have 16 children! They are all so darling and work so hard (well, most of them!). I love teaching at my parents' house too... endless supply of chocolate and episodes of "The Office" during breaks.

7. I am learning Russian for our big trip this summer. I can say "I have a pretty new computer", "In my opinion", "Do you have a car?", "I love my dog", and "Whose TV is that?" Essential phrases.

Anyway, we'll keep you posted on what we decide... if we decide. Have a great weekend, and leave your input on what you think we should do!

Saturday, March 1

A Busy Weekend!


Yes this weekend we had THREE (count 'em... three) weddings up in Salt Lake. Probably the highlight was the wedding of David & Lorri this morning in the Jordan River Temple. It was freezing and windy, but beautiful. Elder Oaks performed the ceremony, and as we were waiting for the bride and groom out came Elder Scott who married Taylor and me! Pretty good for a Saturday morning, huh? Lunch was at the beautiful Grand America, and I probably looked like I was trying to show up the photographer by sneaking in some shots. It was so fun to share memories about David and Lorri - oh man, I cried when Taylor's friend Mark got up to speak... I think we all lost it!

The best part about these weddings is seeing Taylor and his closest friends (called "The 39ers") reunited (David is one of the 39ers). These six guys were roommates for countless years at BYU, and almost all (but one) of them are married. Three of them are now east coasters, and it was so fun to see them, even if their wives couldn't make it (flights are $$$$). I'm posting some pictures for those beautiful women! There are no better people than these 6 guys - it was so amazing to see a slideshow of these boys growing up together and thinking of all the amazing things they've accomplished.
The 39ers
(David, Mark, Andrew, John, Tyler, Taylor)

One of the other weddings tonight was held at the same venue where Taylor and I had our reception, so it was awesome to return to the Utah Museum of Fine Arts and sort of relive that night. Good times... except they ran out of desserts, which was a tragedy for some guests.

Got our official job offer today in the mail... and for some reason it's just not sitting right with us. We have 10 days to think it over! We're mega-researching LLM programs at NYU and Georgetown. Who knows what we'll do! :) Life is a crazy, unpredictable ride but being married to Taylor makes me not want to be anywhere else.