Thursday, April 30

"Life is what happens to you when you're making other plans."
- Marjorie Pay Hinckley


Four years ago I was in the "I'll just be like Sheri Dew" mindset which, honestly, freaked out my parents (slightly). It didn't, however, stop my mom from putting that exact quote into the family Christmas cards that went out that year. I figured I had been on 3 dates in 22 years, and was finally making peace with the fact that the Lord would save marriage for the next life, after all my awkward traits had been left behind on earth to burn along with my precious argyle sweaters and the teacher in 7th grade who gave me an A-. That was the plan.

And yet, here I sit, married. A miracle, for those of you who know me well and have seen how truly awkward I am. Thank heavens for Taylor. You'll never hear me whine, "This didn't go according to plan!"

I thrive on predicting things, but I'm starting to learn that I can't predict (or plan) every single detail of my life or Taylor's. Throughout my 25.8 years I have made a lot of plans, some more detailed than others. And you know what? Life has hardly ever gone according to plan... it goes a million times better than I could ever have planned!

In short, you can't plan every detail of your life. You do your best with where you are, who you are, and the gifts you've been given, exercise faith in the Lord's Plan, and somehow it all happens as it should (and it is almost always better than your plan).

And yes, I give myself this very pep talk multiple times DAILY.

1 Nephi 4:6

P.S. Taylor now has glasses and they're amazing. I'll post a picture as soon as I can sneak one without his hand in front of the lens.

Tuesday, April 28

Stepford Moment of Shame.

We showed up at the Stake President's house yesterday wearing matching outfits. Taylor picked me up after work, and when I got in the car we looked at each other and started laughing. The laughter quickly faded into awkward, creeped-out half-chuckles/groans.

We were both wearing brown houndstooth on bottom, a collared shirt, navy jacket, and leather shoes (yes, we're nerds).

At least he wasn't wearing pearls and high heels.

This happens a lot, actually. It's almost disturbing how often one of us will come home and find the other person wearing a similar outfit. Taylor assures me nobody notices, but sometimes (like yesterday) we're so similar I feel like I have to let people know that we don't sit at home coordinating our outfits.

And no, we didn't take a picture. I think we were both so freaked out, we changed as soon as possible.

Thursday, April 16

The gruelling life of an attorney.

Taylor and the partners at his law firm went to California this morning.

Last year was San Diego, Padres game, and the beach.

This year? Valencia, Dodgers, and Magic Mountain.

Just picture it: Six attorneys riding roller coasters together all day (five of them over the age of 35).

Sounds like a lawyer joke. I will send treats to the person who comes up with the best pun or lawyer joke related to this. Really.

Tuesday, April 14

Happy Easter to us!

They make you wait a lifetime for the Bar Exam results. Better yet, they don't tell you when they're posted. Taylor and I had talked about when we'd know if he passed the Utah Bar (taken in February). When we came home from Church this past Sunday, I thought I'd check the State Bar website to see if there was a notification of when the results would be posted.

The results were up.


The second his eyes saw the screen, it was ultimate panic. He was nervous. "Tal, what if I failed?" Obviously I had not thought this through. What if he failed? That would be the worst Easter surprise ever. I said a million and a half prayers in my heart and apologized a million and a half times while Taylor searched for the piece of paper with his number on it.

He found the piece of paper, held it up to the matching number on the screen. Both of us were dead silent, both hearts pounding.


The biggest expression of relief I have ever seen on his face.

He then turned to me and said, "PLEASE promise me that I will never ever have to take the Bar again."

I make no promises.

And FYI, we have no plans for moving back to Utah anytime soon (a lot of people have asked).

Sunday, April 12

Friday, April 10


Peeps are a very important part of the Easter season for me. Taylor doesn't appreciate them the way I do - I think he only appreciates their ability to blow up in the microwave.

I was on yesterday, and fell in love with Jacques Torres' take on the Peep. I had to give it a try - Peeps covered in dark chocolate? It was too tempting! I went through an entire box of Peeps trying to get the system down (melted chocolate = melted marshmallow = unidentifiable blob of colored sugar). A few of them turned out pretty well!

I don't think I'll charge $1.00 a Peep, though.

Wednesday, April 8

le sacre du printemps

Today I finished First Nights, a book by Dr. Thomas Forrest Kelly, the Morton B. Knafel Professor of Music at Harvard. I loved this book - it was like being in school again! It tells the story of the premieres of five of the most important pieces of music ever written - Monteverdi's Orfeo, Handel's Messiah, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, and Stravinsky's Rite of Spring (le Sacre du Printemps).

I was so excited to read about the scandalous premiere of the Rite of Spring, known to be one of the most difficult pieces of music ever written for a symphony orchestra. I first performed the Rite of Spring for our final concert at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, a 5-week orchestra camp in Tennessee. By some act of stupidity I was assigned to sit principal viola, meaning I was responsible for the section playing accurately and, to my terror, there were solos. Luckily I had an amazing coach: Charlie Pikler, the principal violist of the Chicago Symphony (and the reason I went to this camp).

Mr. Pikler had an amazing talent for jumping up on the table in my lessons and screaming "****, Tally! Play the ******* bowings!" I absolutely loved it! Other kids would leave their lessons traumatized, but for some reason I enjoyed the energy and pressure. At the end of the festival Mr. Pikler gave me a handful of his personal recordings along with a packet of photos of himself and his mentor Bronislaw Gimpel. What I really wanted was his bright orange hat with a spinning top and the words "VIOLA PRIDE."

To get us ready for the concert, Maestro Kiesler (who had an amazing talent for sweating profusely and screaming his head off during timpani rolls) showed us the video to give us an idea of what the original performance was like. The video is an attempt by the Joffrey Ballet to re-create the Rite of Spring as it would have been at its premiere (costumes, set, choreography).

It gave me nightmares.

Last week I found the same video on YouTube, and watched it again, this time with more background information on the piece and all its collaborators. It was fascinating! Of course it's still pretty morose, with the sacrificial version dancing herself to death, but the choreography in that section (Part 3 video) is amazing to watch.

Take a look, and tell me what you think.

FYI - the premiere of The Rite of Spring caused a riot about 3 minutes into the piece. Stravinsky walked out. Audience members threw all sorts of objects into the orchestra pit, and it got so loud that Nijinsky had to scream the counting from backstage so the dancers could stay with the music.

Monday, April 6

The Lost Tribes of NYC.

This is awesome - just be sure to listen all the way to 2:12.

The Lost Tribes of New York City from Carolyn London on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 2


We made borscht last night.

A lot of borscht.

I think we now have 2 gallons of borscht in our fridge.

Borscht is tasty (and healthy if you make it the way we did).

If you say you don't like borscht, I don't think you've ever tried borscht.

It brought back all the great memories of our Eastern Europe adventure.

Saying "Borscht" is an instant pick-me-up.

Borscht: cabbage, beets, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes & tomato paste, onions, water (or vegetable stock for some extra flavor). Top with some sour cream & dill (but we don't like dill). I bought a lamb shank at the farmers market to put in for some added protein, but opted out at the last minute. Any good recipes out there using a lamb shank?

If only we had квас to wash it down.