Monday, February 23

Obama didn't save us!

Apparently the owners of our place didn't get the memo that the whole "bail out" thing doesn't apply to irresponsible homeowners. Obama may have promised to cut the National deficit in half over the next 4 years, but alas, he didn't magically pay off the mortgage on our place in 4 days (like Realtor Lady seemed to be promising). One word describes the past weekend: PANIC.

Taylor did make it on the plane to Salt Lake City last night to take the Utah Bar this Tuesday and Wednesday. Yes, that would be tomorrow. Note: worrying about eviction is a great way to get focused before you take the Bar.

His last words as I dropped him off at the airport were, "Find us a place to live! Love you!"Through Divine intervention, we have a new place to live. Across the street, the same exact unit/floorplan as we have now. Yes, a 50 yard move. We can see our new place from our windows, and don't even have to pack. Moving will probably take 30 minutes.

Prayers are answered.

Thursday, February 19

our house

Tuesday I enjoyed the St. George Parade of Homes with my mom. I found my dream home in the middle of a lava field, and for only $3 million. My sister had gone through the house a few days before and warned me that it would be my favorite. It was actually an open house next door to a Parade of Homes home. Check out that pool! Oh, and don't worry, there's a guest house down below, with a waterfall coming out of the pool into the guest house courtyard. I also found this Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired home that was a dream. It was sold, sadly.
Speaking of housing...

We might not have a place to live when we return from our secret getaway March 1st (yes, that would be in about 2 weeks). About a week and a half ago we received 2 notices that the owners of our place have defaulted on their mortgage:

"On 3/02/2009 at 10:00 AM [such and such people] WILL SELL YOUR PROPERTY AT PUBLIC AUCTION TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER..."

Yes, we were terrified. We immediately notified our realtor, scanned the documents, and emailed them to her. She then emailed the document to the owners.

We didn't hear a thing. A few people walked through our place, and we heard a rumor that one of them placed an offer.

We didn't hear anything for another week.

So today I gave who I'll call "Realtor Lady" a call.

Tally: "Hi, Realtor Lady. We are worried about these default notices because we haven't heard anything. Our place is going up for auction March 2nd, and we haven't heard anything from you. Are we getting kicked out?"
Realtor Lady: "Uh, I don't know how foreclosures work. I don't really understand that. I mean, with Obama in office and all, this stuff really shouldn't be happening anymore. I mean, maybe a couple weeks and things will clear up." (that is a direct quote)
Tally: "Well, what about this impending auction date? It's almost a week away."
Realtor Lady: "Auction date? I don't remember an auction date. What auction?"
Tally: "Have you read the default notice mentioning a March 2nd auction of our place?
Realtor Lady: "I don't remember reading about an auction in the document."
Tally: "Um, it's in all caps, underlined, in the first paragraph on the front page of the document."
Realtor Lady: "Uh..."

With all the respect I could muster up, I asked if the owners were making their mortgage payments.
Realtor Lady: "No."
Tally: "Are the owners aware of the default notice?"

I came to find out later that the owners received the default notice via email, and didn't bother to open the attachment.

Tally: "Will you please contact us as soon as you hear anything?"
Realtor Lady: "I sure will, although it sounds like you know more than I or the owners know."

So yeah. Hopefully the short sale on this place goes through, because if it doesn't, we could be coming home to an empty apartment, or 24 hours to pack our stuff and find a new home.

And yes, Las Vegas is #1 in the country for foreclosures. That finally hit home (literally).

Saturday, February 14

Ode to Tally on Valentine's Day

Tally's at a movie with her mom (Shopaholic, I hope she doesn't get any ideas), so this gives me a chance to take over the blog and write a tribute entry to her (and avoid studying for the Utah Bar; a week should be plenty of time to get ready, right?)

I'll also use this window of opportunity to shake things up and post pictures of her (to make up for all the pictures she's taken of me).

Last time Tally posted one hundred things about herself, so I'll limit my list to 10 things (of the millions of things, of course) that I love about her:
  1. Creative. I'm glad I have Tally around to make up for my general apathy for aesthetics. She helps me see that form is important, and not just function. She applies her artistic touch to food, holiday decorations (evidenced by the picture of hearts), her calling, work, and many other areas of life.
  2. Energetic. Tally reminds me that I need to exhibit more zeal for life, especially when I get stuck in a mundane routine.
  3. Compassionate. Evidenced by thank-you and congratulatory cards, having people over for dinner, and going out of her way to meet new couples in the ward or stay in touch with old friends.
  4. Red. As we know, there must be opposition in all things. My blue blood has been passed down through generations. Blue is my favorite color. I think I have 10 blue shirts to every red shirt I own (and it's always been that way, even when red was our high school color). Tally introduced more red into my life (see her recent post), which is refreshing (though I still won't cheer a certain team that wears that color (see my only previous post)).
  5. Musical. I took piano from a young age and grew to hate it. Practicing was torture and I was afraid of performing. What terrified me most about playing music was that when I hit one wrong note, everything was ruined (and I could never play perfectly). No matter how hard I practiced, the wrong notes would always come, so I decided to do just enough to get by. I remain a very amateur musician and connoisseur of other people's work. Tally performs at a higher level than I'll ever reach. Though she probably hasn't played every single piece perfectly, she realizes that music isn't about her, it's a gift she can share with others. She's my favorite musician.
  6. Loves Learning. Her variety of interests amaze me. She's always telling me about the latest nutrition trends , facts from the news, tidbits from NPR shows, or quotes from books that she's reading.
  7. Low Key. In this area we are very alike. Small gifts are sufficient regardless of the occasion. A quiet night at home or a low-cost trip to enjoy nature remain high on our list of favorite things to do. Neither of us like the spotlight. We have very few demands.
  8. Family First. One of the great things about being married is joining a whole new family. I was happy to see that both of our families mirror each other in putting family first. Tally will do anything she can for family (including taking the burnt piece of food, see her previous post).
  9. Willing to Sacrifice. I've probably provided plenty of illustrations already.
  10. Soul. If someone asked me what kind of music I like, instead of naming off a category I would say I like music with soul (and not just "soul music" commonly equated with MoTown). A song with soul has some depth, emotion, thought, and meaning. The notes and lyrics are well-crafted and it moves you. In a similar way, Tally has soul. She's thoughtful, beautiful, and has amazing depth of character. She moves me to be better every day.
Happy Valentine's Day!

I love you Tal,

Tuesday, February 10

{ 100 }

This is the 100th post.

You get 100 Tally facts, since Taylor wouldn't comply. As a result of his lack of cooperation, the 200th post will be dedicated to him. :)


{001} I still can't get over the whole Taylor & Tally Turner thing. TTT. I love it.
{002} I had (and still have, to some degree) a really bad "guilt complex" - I took the burnt roll, the soggy cookie, the middle seat, sit on the floor... not wanting anyone else to "have to suffer." I now love burnt everything, soggy cookies, the middle seat, and prefer the floor to a couch or chair.
{003} I am extremely shy, and work really hard to cover it up.
{004} I practiced my handwriting on a daily basis when I was in grade school and junior high.
{005} I sleep in skirts half of the time.
I am part Cherokee (and yet I look like a spotted albino).
{007} Happiness is fresh peaches. and blueberries. and strawberries. and raspberries. and honey crisp apples. and tomatoes.
{008} When we were job hunting last year I spent several afternoons searching for a job for Taylor in London, hoping we could live there. I still check periodically.
{009} I had a tongue therapist for a year when I was in high school.
{010} I'll pick an old movie over a new movie any day.
{011} If money (and time) had no limits, I would go to culinary school, get my MBA, a masters in art history, PhDs in American history, philosophy, economics, pedagogy, and degrees in architecture, journalism, graphic design, and international affairs.
All I want to do is be a mom, making messes and homemade applesauce 24/7.
{013} I love gift cards, but stress over using them to the point that they don't get used for several months.
{014} When I was 12 and hiking Timpanogos with my family, I drank out of a water bottle that my 3-year-old brother had peed in (and no, I didn't know until after I had swallowed and asked my mom why the water "tasted like the cave").
{015} I am really good at making personal schedules and not sticking to them.
{016} I struggle 95% of the time with getting up in the morning to run, yet I swear I'm a morning person.
{017} My little sister and I regularly took photos of ourselves with all our Barbies and submitted them to Barbie Magazine.
{018} For some reason my Ken doll was always a playwright, theater director, or Broadway star... those types of Kens aren't typically into Barbies (or women for that matter).
{019} When we were little we played "cooking show" all the time. I still catch myself playing solo when I'm home alone and no one can hear me stumble over the word "chiffonade."
{020} I dream of living on the east coast, shopping for fresh produce in the Hamptons with Ina Garten, and eating fresh lobster.
{021} My #1 pet peeve is using 's to make something plural. Makes me growl every time.
{022} My #2 pet peeve is "your" when it should be "you're" or any spelling error I find in ads, signs, and anything published. Use your spell-check, people!
{023} Sense & Sensibility is quite possibly my favorite book of all time.
{024} When I was a sophomore in college I read John Kenneth Galbraith's The Affluent Society and almost switched my major to economics.
{025} My favorite class in college was also my hardest class: Aesthetics. Michael Hicks is genius.
{026} I am very, very forgetful. Keeping a journal is the only way I remember things.
{027} I could eat crepes with lemon curd and blueberries for every meal, every day.
{028} I look for my Christmas presents every year. I'm getting pretty sneaky.
{029} I look like my mom, but inside I'm exactly like my dad.
{030} I hated my freckles with a passion until I realized Doris Day had freckles.
{031} I love driving in a warm car.
{032} I am always freezing, and need at least 3 layers of covers to be comfortable.
{033} I have been obsessed with the BYU "Round Table" Scripture Discussions for several years - Someday I'll get through all of them.
{034} I still have the key to my professor's office at BYU.
{035} I would rather drive around the block and take the long way than sit for 5 minutes at a red light.
{036} I had School Phobia in 5th grade, where I literally got ill the second I walked into the school. Yes, there really is such a thing as School Phobia.
{037} I could eat a pint of homemade whipped cream in one sitting.
{038} I was co-Founder of the Perry Como fan club with my best friend Cate in high school.
{039} I screen-printed Perry Como t-shirts for us, and the day we wore them to school he died.
{040} I never met my Grandma Dorothy, but have felt really close to her my entire life. When I was 3-4 years old, I would cry to my mom about how much I missed her. I still do.
{041} My roommates in college claimed I was "emotionally sterile." Getting married took care of that.
{042} Love almond extract, and often go to the spice cabinet just to get a whiff.
{043} My closet is color-coded. When I was in high school it was also labeled.
{044} Slowly converting to organic foods, and will never go back.
{045} One of the first things I notice in a person is their hands. I think they say a lot about a person. Weathered hands are my favorite.
{046} I am proud to have my mom's hands.
{047} I hate being pampered, and would
be so uncomfortable getting a manicure, pedicure, or tan. I'd rather do the worker's toenails than have them do mine. I don't think I'll ever experience any of those things, and I am absolutely fine with that.
{048} I didn't wear or own make-up until my senior year of high school when my mom brought home a tube of mascara. She had to force me to wear makeup.
{049} I love the Temple. I am happiest when I am in the Temple.
{050} I am very guilty of laughing out loud when I read things.
{051} When I read Alma 34:26 for the first time at a young age, I took it literally and prayed in my closet that night. I'll never forget that prayer.
{052} My sister and I were polar opposites growing up, but we're now meeting in the middle, and becoming freakishly alike.
{053} I am always hungry, even when I'm full.
{054} When I turned 14 my mom gave me Audrey Hepburn's biography, and I cried through the whole book.
{055} Marrying Taylor turned me into a "cheapie" with my money, and I couldn't be happier.
{056} Someday I'll have an amazing rocking chair for telling stories and watching sunrises.
{057} Eating lunch with Taylor in the middle of a work day makes me happy.
There is a feeling I get when I play my viola that I have not found any other way.
{059} I have to do all the dishes before we sit down to eat or I can't enjoy the meal.
{060} I married the perfect man - way out of my league. I add to the list of his perfect qualities every day. I'm glad he sticks around.
{061} I got in a bad car accident my junior year of high school, and still have no memory of the accident, except for the sound of the firemen knocking on my car window.
{062} I love the feeling of sunshine on my skin.
{063} I was set on being a ballerina until in 7th grade I saw my
Ballet West idol Jane Wood smoking backstage at our Nutcracker rehearsal. I almost smacked her.
{064} I could spend hours and thousands of dollars in Williams-Sonoma, Whole Foods, Sur la Table, and Orson Gygi.
{065} I love going to home shows and critiquing with Mom and Liz. We're pretty good together.
{066} I take every precaution to not touch the bathroom floor when I get out of the shower (though I clean it twice a week). An old habit from college days.
{067} I have read all of the American Girl doll books at least a dozen times.
{068} I have a horrible weakness for celebrity gossip and fashion magazines, though I save money by getting my daily dose online.
{069} I love coats. Moving to Vegas has been hard on my fetish.
{070} I love washing dishes by hand.
{071} I was a faithful, devoted PC lover until I met Mr. Macintosh.
{072} I am a sucker for love songs.
{073} I love NPR.
{074} I need mountains to figure out which way North is.
{075} I love good books, and someday we will have a library in our house full of them with a comfy reading chair and a good lamp.
{076} I love the sound of a really good piano.
{077} When I was 12 I was Amaryllis in The Music Man - I thought I would become a librarian just like Marian.
{078} Exercise makes my day.
{079} I love old photos and artifacts belonging to ancestors. It makes them real to me.
Someday I will be a professional calligrapher - the old-school kind with an oblique pen and fancy nibs.
{081} I'm determined to learn Russian (give me 30-40 years).
{082} I read magazines starting at the back.
{083} My mom is my hero.
{084} One of my goals is to build strong calf muscles - they've been MIA for 25 years.
{085} I love soundtracks - Little Women, Rudy, and Emma are my current favorites.
{086} I give full commentary when I drive, even when driving solo.
{087} Crowds make me very anxious and nervous. I never return from Walmart or Costco in a peaceful state of mind.
{088} I hate wearing a swimsuit in public, and will come up with any excuse I can to miss a pool party.
{089} Turning down BYU for BYU-Idaho was one of the best decisions I've ever made.
{090} I love it when my family and friends call me Tal.
{091} I was not born with the gift of speech. I'm trying to work on that.
{092} I am constantly amazed at the talent, intelligence, generosity, and love of my in-laws. I feel so lucky to be in their family, and couldn't have hand-picked a better one.
{093} I was once left in Rennes, France by mistake, and spent the entire day with a woman who spoke no English.
{094} Fall is my favorite season: apple crisp, pumpkin pie, gorgeous leaves, and the excitement of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
{095} I am slightly addicted to design blogs - apartment therapy, design sponge, hatch, bltd. decor8, desire to inspire...
{096} When Taylor plays his guitar and sings, he often closes the door. I sneak up and listen outside the door without him knowing.
{097} I take a lot of pride in my work when I make something from scratch.
{098} I married the first boy I held hands with, kissed, and dated.
{099} I was the first girl he held hands with, kissed, and dated. I wouldn't have it any other way.
{100} I'm going to regret doing this 100 thing about 10 seconds after I click on "Publish Post."

Monday, February 9

Red Rocks

Taylor made the most amazing carrot cake last Sunday - his reward for making it through January without a single treat or dessert. Recipe here. Use the modifications (we substituted applesauce for oil, crushed pineapple for some sugar...). I told Taylor to pick any dessert he wanted, and of course he picks a healthy version of carrot cake. I would have picked fudge or flourless chocolate cake.

After a month off of sweets Taylor was feeling trim and healthy, and in excitement lifted his shirt, revealing a manly torso, and exclaimed, "Just like Rachael Ray's!" (Aren't you all sick of the gross ads with pictures of flabby stomachs and the words "Rachael Ray's Diet Secrets!") I don't know about you, but I would rather have Heidi Klum's secrets.

It's Valentine's week! A tribute to all the red things I am loving right now...

Red Wheat. This morning we went to the cannery in North Las Vegas, and canned a lot of it. Now I have 30 lbs of red wheat, and NO idea what to do with it. Walking into the big warehouse full of food made me so grateful for the Church.

I read in Runners World magazine that Kefir is really good for you - it has all these natural cultures in it. When I showed it to Taylor, he started laughing because Kefir is a Russian kind of yogurt (a little more liquid, and a little sour). It's too sour for Taylor's taste, but I eat it with bananas and granola, and it's delicious... and it's RUSSIAN!
The Stonyfield Farms YoKids Strawberry yogurts are SO good. They're a dollar cheaper at Trader Joe's, too. I like freezing them and making a healthy Otter Pop-like dessert. I'm obsessed with Stonyfield Farms anything - a little pricey, but soooo tasty.

I cut up old Trader Joe's bags to make our Valentines this year. I also used some of the 9,000 feet of this string my mother-in-law bought me in New York a year ago. I love this string, and use it for everything. It will last me forever.

I am finally finishing this book. It is amazing. I'll have to start it again after I finish, due to the fact that I can't even remember when it was that I started this book.

This is kicking my behind... but motivating me to the point that I might run a marathon this summer. That's probably why my mom gave it to us for Christmas. I'm thinking Deseret News... (?!)

This red quilt on our bed kept us warm on Temple Square the day we got married and had our pictures taken in 10 degree weather (with extreme-O wind chill). It wakes up our blah bedroom, though boys don't understand decorative quilts, pillows, anything of the like.

I'm finally making peace with the fact that I have red hair, in hopes that someday we can have redheaded children. Though I hated being a redhead, reading Nie Nie has made me want redheaded kids.
THIS IS POST 99... what should we do for our 100th post?

Monday, February 2

as cool as it sounds

This past Saturday was amazing. By some miracle I found out about Viola Fest, put on for all the viola students in the Clark County School District. It was so fun to be teaching again, helping with the vibrato class, and just being around young violists again.

I have found my niche in Vegas...

...and it only took 8 months.
There they are, 127 violists on stage, all middle & high school students. The final concert was awesome - each level performed a different viola ensemble piece (some better than others).

Right after the 6th grade/beginner group performed, a man made his way into the center of the crowd. He looked like he'd seen a lot of struggle in his life, and at first I thought it was some random homeless man coming in to listen. After the 2nd group performed, this man jumped to his feet, exclaiming "Bravo! Bravo!" The crowd kind of quieted down, all eyes on him, and he quickly turned around, looked at each of us and said, "My daughter is in that group! Didn't she play beautifully?" The crowd then erupted in applause. That made my day.

This afternoon I will teach my first private lesson here in Vegas. I can't wait. :)

Molly helped me figure out how to do the digital Polaroid thing, and I have been playing with it for the past half hour. After seeing her beautiful post on Stourhead, I had to figure out how to do it. Thanks a million, Molly!
Next Post: Taylor's recipe for carrot cake and the Rachael Ray stomach.

Sunday, February 1

Take Time to be Holy

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.

- William D. Longstaff, 1882.

Happy Sabbath, as we say in my family.