Sunday, December 28

Grandma Lewis

Another post from Taylor this month...

Eight years ago today we celebrated Grandma Lewis's birthday with a surprise cake and singing at our wedding dinner.  We remember all she did for us and miss her so much, but our faith gives us hope for sweet reunions in the next life.  





Some thoughts about Grandma shared at her funeral last month:
 













Sunday, November 23

Giving Thanks

This is Taylor taking over the blog post for the month...

Turkey day hasn't happened yet, but in the Turner home we're already feeling full...of gratitude.  Watching a Ted Talk at a work conference led me to reflect on the power of gratitude and positive thinking.  Admittedly, this has sometimes been a weakness as I've allowed seemingly difficult circumstances to hamper my attitude and energy.  But looking back on all of the positive developments we've enjoyed (especially over the last year) and all the small and simple joys that come each day makes me thankful.  

One example.  While we were grateful for trees around our new home offering shade and fruit during the summer, we've learned that payment comes due in the fall.  But the burden of raking leaves can also be viewed as a blessing (in my industry we would call this exercise a "wellness activity.")  The best benefit is seeing Sam gleefully scatter the piles we carefully put together.  


Ray Bradbury captures a similar thought about lawn mowing in a chapter of Dandelion Wine (a favorite book my dad read to us growing up).  When Bill Forrester purchases a new type of grass that doesn't require cutting, Grandpa Spaulding quickly rejects the trend: 
"That's the trouble with your generation," said Grandpa... All the things in life that were put here to savor, you eliminate.  Save time, save work, you say."  He nudged the grass trays disrespectfully.  "Bill, when you're my age, you'll find out it's the little savors and little things that count more than big ones... Cutting grass and pulling weeds can be a way of life, son... There's a thing about the lawn mower I can't even tell you, but to me it's the most beautiful sound in the world, the freshest sound of the season, the sound of summer, and I'd miss it fearfully if it wasn't there, and I'd miss the smell of cut grass."    
Sam is our best example of finding fun in what we may otherwise view as mundane.  While most kids dress up as superheroes for Halloween, Sam played the dutiful role of the under-appreciated garbage man (with his green can hand-crafted by Tally):



We'll try to follow Sam's lead and look for wonder during our daily work, stopping to give thanks along the way.   

Happy Thanksgiving!

T + T + S

Saturday, August 30

2 years later...

I had to take one final picture of Sam with Radley the fox at TWO years old (to be fair, this was taken at two years + one month):




Here's Sam two years ago to the day (one month old):

My, how they grow! 

Friday, August 22

Sam Stats.

TWO.

Sam's final stats update. Mainly for consistency and my own record-keeping. I promise to make this blog a little more well-rounded!

WEIGHT + HEIGHT:  92nd Percentile on both (32 lbs.). We're (I'm) getting a workout hauling this boy around!

AVERAGE NIGHT'S SLEEP: Sleeps 8pm-7am, usually gets in a 2-hour nap after lunch.

FAVORITE THINGS:
- TOYS: Garbage cans, blocks, back hoes, bulldozers, tools.
- FOODS: Red pepper hummus, crackers, scrambled eggs, corn on the cob, cantaloupe, apples, popcorn, fruit snacks and CHOCOLATE MILK.
- THINGS TO DO: Riding the train at the zoo, story time at the library, playing with the sandbox trucks at Laird or Parley's Park, sweeping, helping in the yard, watching a "show" (blessed PBS Kids app!), pulling the red wagon around the neighborhood, and nursery!
- BOOKS: Goodnight Moon, Hop on Pop, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Runaway Bunny, Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs, Red Hat Green Hat. He can "read" most of them on his own.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Can count to ten, identify most of the letters in the alphabet, sing the ABC song, knows all the basic colors, climbed out of his crib...

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MORE ABOUT SAM:

How I love this boy. Every morning that sweet smile melts my heart. Every single time. I live for those sweet little hugs, the messy kisses (he always has to stick his tongue between his lips) and our little "conversations" during the day. We mostly talk about garbage cans and how Dad is at work, but I love finally knowing what's going on in his head.

It's crazy how once Sam really decided to speak, he just took off. We had little words here and there for a long time, but about a month ago he just started to go crazy. Some of my favorite things that he says are "Mama hold you?" when he wants to be held, "I yuh you!" and "Show!" which he whispers very excitedly, like it's a secret, when he wants to watch a show. Even in the past two weeks, I can't believe how many new words and phrases he has picked up - "I like your yellow shirt, G-ma!" was a recent favorite.

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He loves to pray, and will remind you to pray. Once Taylor returned from putting Sam down for a nap and said, "He wouldn't go down for quite a while, he just kept saying 'Pear!' over and over again." I explained that "pear" is "prayer." Sam has started to say his own little prayers - "Heavenly Father - (babble) - blue can, Grammie, G-ma, Jesus - Amen!"

Sam is a total boy through and through. He remembers the location of specific dumpsters and construction sites and lets out big happy gasps as we pass by: "Mama, stop! Blue dumpster!" Then there's the car models. Sam will spot nearly every Mini, Subaru Outback, Jeep Cherokee, BMW sedan, Honda CR-V and Toyota Corolla (regardless of year or color) while out driving and then says who drives that specific car in our friends/family. I'm realizing just how much of a sponge he is, taking everything in with his incredible mind.

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But more than anything, this boy is sweet to the core. He is so, so happy and pretty easygoing for a two-year-old. I feel like getting to two was the hard part - when they can't really articulate what they want. It seems as though when Sam turned two this whole new chapter opened up with so much more speech, interaction, laughter, and increased willingness to pitch in and help. We still get tantrums, but the fun and curiosity going on the rest of the time more than compensate for the screams, tears, and fists on the floor. Oh, the drama! It takes a lot of self control to not laugh every time.

There's so much more I could say about this super active and sweet little boy. Tonight as we picked out books before bed he looked so tall and long and old. Is he really the same baby I held in my arms two years ago? Human development and growth is a true miracle, and it is so much fun to witness it firsthand every day. The more he grows and learns, the more fun we seem to have as a family. It's crazy that as they learn and adapt the parents have to learn and adapt (and strategize, I might add) even more. We feel so blessed to have the opportunity to be Sam's parents. There isn't a better job out there.

We love you, Sammers! Thank you for bringing so much life and light into our family!

Sunday, August 10

Happy Day!

Sam turned TWO!


We celebrated with a small family gathering at my parents' home. The best thing about Sam's birthday is that it's a state holiday, which means Taylor will (hopefully) always have work off. We spent the day opening presents, swimming, and celebrating this happy boy.  

We were able to get Grammie and Grandpa T in South Carolina on FaceTime so that they could be part of Sam's party (Taylor was the cameraman). 

As we sang "Happy Birthday" to Sam I walked toward him with the cake and he looked at me with the sweetest smile, knowing that we were singing for him. I thought my heart was going to burst and started to tear up, it was such a sweet moment. How lucky we are to have this boy!


It was an unplanned garbage-themed birthday. Sam is obsessed with garbage cans, the garbage truck, and garbage sacks. For a while he didn't call my dad Grandpa, he called him "A-po," which is "garbage" in Sam language (because Sam was so used to taking out the garbage with grandpa).

After we had finished eating, Sam voluntarily got a garbage sack and went around to everyone, collecting their garbage. He was in heaven. 

Sam took home 4 different garbage trucks, but the highlight was when Uncle Jim and Grandma Lewis gave Sam his own miniature garbage cans. He didn't put them down the rest of the day (you can see he's holding the blue one while blowing out his candles). We couldn't get him to open any other gifts, he was so focused on playing with the garbage cans. When Sam woke up the next morning we heard him exclaim in his room, "Blue can! Green can!"


We felt so lucky to have been able to celebrate with our wonderful family this year. We couldn't raise this darling boy without their inspiring examples and continual support. We are very, very blessed.

Well, this is embarrassing.

Did you love all those Seattle posts?

Whoops.

I'm working on putting together a Seattle page for this blog where you can find a list with links to all of our favorite places to eat, hike, and play in the Northwest. Stay tuned for that.

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The past few months have been a whirlwind. Most of the time a very, very good whirlwind, filled with lots of exciting changes. Taylor started his new job, which he loves (!). We moved to Salt Lake on a Monday, found a house that Wednesday, and had our offer accepted Friday. We painted, re-wired, scrubbed to no end, and moved in 5 weeks later (why does the process drag on for so long?!). We bought a second car, and Tally and Sam got in a $$$ car accident three weeks later (worst day ever - it only had 1,000 miles on it - thank heavens for car insurance.). We had some good friends and their darling baby live with us for 5 weeks while they looked for a place to rent (thankfully they found one in our ward!). We all had birthdays. We had a 39er reunion. We said good-bye to Taylor's parents when they left for their three-year mission in South Carolina. My sister and her husband came to visit from Mississippi. And finally, Sam turned TWO!

And now I will unload the phone pictures. 

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Sam is always up for some child labor.

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How we miss Grammie. Those missionaries in South Carolina are lucky to have such a fun, spunky and creative mission mom!

One last hike with Grandpa T.
Needless to say, it's been a roller coaster the past few months, and I have to admit that of the three of us I have been the least stable through it all. Thank heavens for my two boys, being closer to family, and for living in such a beautiful part of the world. I take Sam to the park, we drive up the canyon, or sit on grandma's front porch and see those gorgeous mountains. They get me every time. I love that we don't need to drive more than 15 minutes to find a fantastic hike. It is so much fun to be back where we grew up, to reacquaint ourselves with the city and discover all the new things to do here!

Welcome to life in the suburbs!

Sam likes to add artistic touches to the house when he gets the opportunity.

Hiking in the wildflowers at Albion Basin.

Anyway, here's to being better at updating the blog! I love it so much when my friends update their blogs, I figured it was time to make a better effort on my end. Wish me luck.


Friday, May 9

Update

 
Yesterday I met a dear friend for a treat and looked to my right to see Sam sitting tall, devouring some chocolate mousse with a spoon. I sat there watching him, so grateful that he is mine. This sweet little dimpled boy, I still can't get over how much I love him. We have so many adventures ahead of us, and I am so thankful that I get to take him along with me.
 
We closed on our house and move in tomorrow! Sam and I wheeled-and-dealed (and squealed, rather, screamed, in Sam's case) and bought our first washer and dryer this morning, which means now we really have no more money in the bank. Taylor and I have spent nearly every night of the past week and a half priming, painting and cleaning. We're excited to see if all of our things survived the trip (and I'm excited to have more than two pairs of pants!).

How grateful we are to my parents who didn't even skip a beat and asked us to move in with them while we house hunted and got settled in Salt Lake. It has been great being back here and going through all my old treasures from growing upbefore my parents sell this home. Sam has loved all the time with his grandparents, and his toy count has nearly tripled. Aren't parents the best?

It has also been awesome to have so much time to spend with Taylor's parents before they leave for 3 years to live in South Carolina, where Taylor's father will be President of the Columbia South Carolina mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  We are so excited for them, and know they will do incredible things for the work there! Sam is loving being so close to them, and is finally warming up with (soon-to-be) Elder Lorenzo.

Monday, April 21

Greetings from the Great Salt Lake!

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We hope you had a wonderful Easter! We've now been in Salt Lake City for about a month. Taylor is enjoying his new job, Sam is getting spoiled by his grandmas, and I'm loving being in the sunshine and mountains again. It still feels like we're just visiting (all of our stuff is in storage until we move into our new house!), but we're excited to start our new life here.

Oh, and sorry for the lack of Seattle posts. March was just a crazy emotional roller coaster, and with all the packing and bucket-listing we did, I didn't have much time to sit at the computer. I'll have to post those in the future. 


Friday, March 7

Back where we started from.

So, we're moving to Salt Lake City!

Taylor was offered an attorney position at a company in Utah. Before we knew of this opportunity we had actually committed to living another 3-5 years in Seattle, but it looks like the Lord had other plans. We both love Utah and wanted to settle there eventually, so I guess this time is as good as any other! We're excited to be back close to family, near the mountains, and with so many great friends. Good things are in store.

We've now been in Seattle three and a half years, the longest we've lived anywhere in our marriage. How grateful I am that Taylor was able to work for such a wonderful company where he was able to work with and learn from so many great individuals. They have always been so kind and generous to us, and have been so sweet when I take Sam to visit the office. We also definitely would not have Sam if it wasn't for the company's incredible insurance plan that even stunned my doctors.

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I will always consider Seattle to be our first real home because this is where we started our family, where we met Sam. There are so many places in this city that have special meaning for me. It seems I've done a lot of introspection in a lot of beautiful places over the past three and a half years thanks to the beautiful Northwest. I will dearly miss this little yellow house where we have been taught, stretched, and blessed so very much. Okay now I'm crying (again), so I'll stop.

What a place.

Consequently, the next few weeks will be full of odes to Seattle (if I find the time to post them).
Stay tuned for the Turner Seattle Bucket List.

Friday, February 28

Hey there.

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It's been a while, because now Sam is 19 months! What a kid. He is crazy, but in the best possible way. He is "talking" up a storm, has some very interesting dance moves, and is such a happy soul. Every day is a new adventure for him (and for me). I don't like seeing him grow and become so independent, but I love that with that growth and independence comes more FUN!

Life is really, really good up here, but busy and overwhelming. At times it feels like it's completely out of our hands.  Okay, most of the time it feels that way but it always works out, right? We're realizing (again) that sometimes you all you can do is do your best and then have the faith that the Lord will make up the difference between what you're able to do and what you're not able to do. I think that's a Ezra Taft Benson quote? 

Cue the iPhone photo dump:
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This past month we had an overnight snowstorm (Sam's first snowman!) and a Russian feast of borscht and piroshkies (and Taylor's favorite Russian ketchup Chumak) to celebrate the opening ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics. Taylor and I had a rare date night and got to see Sting & Paul Simon in concert together (Taylor's Christmas present). Amazing!

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We also got to have our dear 39er friend Becca and her little boy T visit for a week while Tyler worked a 110+ hour week down in California. It was fun taking them around the city, showing them our favorite parks, and of course eating some of our favorite foods. My favorite day may have been our day trip up to Bellingham where we stopped at Whatcom Falls and drove home on Chuckanut Drive, along the coast. It was beautiful, and so great to have that time to catch up with Becca. What a wonderful friend and person she is! Why didn't we get a picture together, Becca?!

Showing people our city makes me fall in love with Seattle all over again, so I've decided to dedicate March to sharing some of our favorite things about Seattle. Our own little love note to Seattle, I guess. March is when the Spring magic comes to Seattle - the sun reemerges, the blossoms come out, and it's the most beautiful place to be. 

So, look forward to some Seattle posts coming your way!

Oh, and the quote from President Ezra Taft Benson:

"I work as hard as I can, and then 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 always does."

Sunday, January 26

18 M O N T H S

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Sam hit the 18 month mark on Friday. We celebrated with sundaes and cones at our favorite ice cream place and spent the weekend hiking in the sunshine. SUNSHINE. In January. In Seattle. This does not happen. Heavenly days, as my Grandpa McDonald would say.

We took him to nursery today, and he ran toward the toys and never looked back. Not once. That's just how he does things - full speed, all in. As we were driving home from church, I wanted so badly to be able to see inside his head, to know how it went for him and what he thought about everything.

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I've spent way too much time trying to put 18 months of Sam into words, and have determined I would either write way too much or way too little. The only thing I can really say is that I kiss those soft, dimpled cheeks a million times a day, I just still can't get over the fact that he's mine. Taylor and I live for his sweet little hugs, to hear him say our names. He is such a happy soul, and brings so much light and joy into our home. It's hard to get bogged down with things for long when you have this sweet face to look at every day.

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Of course we have our fair share of random tantrums and 99.9% of the time we have no idea what he's saying. Thanks to FaceTime and Skype, he says "iPad" more than "Mama," and he has figured out he doesn't have to eat everything we give him (what?!). He is a constant flow of happy energy. Sometimes nap-time and bedtime can't come soon enough, but then I find myself anxiously wanting him to wake up! Every age I think is my favorite age so far, but I think I really mean it this time. 18 months is pretty fun.

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Sammy, I love you so. 
You make me feel whole.  

Tuesday, January 14

P H O T O S H O O T

My darling cousin Heather Pickett (NICU nurse and newborn photographer extraordinaire) had the brilliant idea to take pictures of all the Oldroyd grandkids for my grandparents' Christmas gift. She has a photography studio in her home, and it was pretty entertaining trying to get all the little kids to look at the camera at the same time.

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Sam wasn't feeling the photo shoot with his .5 second attention span, but somehow Heather worked her usual magic and through Taylor and I trying to get Sam to sit or stand and throwing him all kinds of balls, she got some real keepers:

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I actually love the outtakes the best, because they are the pictures that show the real Sam. He's always moving, always exploring, and a constant flow of personality. I feel like a perfect pose wouldn't capture who he really is, and that's why I love these so much.

But then we got this perfect pose:

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This one had us rolling. This was not staged in any way - we threw him a random football to get him to stand still for a split second. But if you know anything about our families (RED vs. BLUE), it's pretty hilarious. I guess we know where his loyalty is!

Wednesday, January 8

C A R L S B A D

We spent the week after Christmas with all of Taylor's extended family on the Turner side - a sort of reunion in Southern California. Taylor's Grandpa T used to put a trip like this together every few years using his timeshares, and we had a blast seeing everyone again and lining all of our chairs up on the beach.

The weather was pretty nice, considering it was the end of December, but Sam was the only member of our family who dared get in the ocean. He loves the water! We were just happy to see the sun. :)

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When we found out the Turner trip was happening, Taylor immediately went to work organizing a Turner Trot, a race Grandpa T used to hold regularly in the Mount Olympus neighborhood. We even had shirts made, and Taylor's aunt and uncle brought the old Turner Trot banner they found after Grandpa T passed away. It was a great success (and Taylor won!).

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