Friday, March 22, 2013

My Best Decision

I wake up a little surprised every day to realize how in love I am.  I am so grateful that he chose me.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The LeanTo


I LOVE our little Lean-to.

When Taylor and I were engaged, only one quality was important as we considered our first home - price. Unfortunately, most of the homes in our price range happened to be apartments in which I would never remove my shoes.

One miraculous day, Taylor found an EXTREMELY affordable little apartment.  He signed the contract, before I even saw the apartment.  My parents call it the lean-to, and they are thrilled that we have such a humble first home.

It was a little tricky to get adjusted to our tiny little space.  There are no counters or room for a table, no closets or dressers.  An entire wall is filled by a terrible marbled mirror from the '70s.  Our little bathroom fills the length of a narrow wall, and no room for two people at the same time.  The little tiny bedroom could really only host a single bed.  Half the living room is occupied by a large furnace from 1969 that smells like gas and shakes uncontrollably.  It is cozy.

But we jumped into the project!  Taylor deepcleaned the entire place....I think he washed the carpets 6 times.  He fixed the doors and windows, and hung up lots of organizational knick knacks.  We raided his parents house for furniture, and stole his little brother's little bed.  We found wonderful bookshelves to cover the mirror, and a little tiny loveseat off KSL.  We scrimped and saved and borrowed and stole.....


 And now we love our little home.  We will be so sad to leave.

Monday, March 18, 2013


I want to be sure to record the experiences of the past few weeks, because I have to hope that the lessons from them will serve us forever.  

However, it is also challenging to write down what we have been experiencing - because it is an emotional and anxious and crazy and kind of scary time, and putting it to words reminds me of my terrible inability to make decisions.

But even as I write this, I kind of smile - I would never trade the opportunity we have had to make decisions, which makes our lives emotional and crazy and kind of scary.  God has blessed us so much with wonderful opportunities, and with the sometimes difficult agency that accompanies those opportunities.  I am grateful that He is invested enough in us enough to stretch us.

So Taylor and I are trying to know which step to take next, after this semester ends.  We have applied to Medical School, but don't know if and when we will be accepted.  I am in the first year of graduate school - so his schooling very much affects mine.  I was offered my dream internship - and a day after, Taylor was offered his dream a different country.  And somehow, all of our choices have time frames that exclude the others. So now we are trying to think of money, mcat, masters, medical school, potential motherhood, return to mission, 'mazing internships....lots of things to consider.  We keep trying to measure our options, but the options aren't really empirical   How do you measure experience against security, responsibility against risk?

I have been going nuts.   I like to plan, and know where I am going.  I spoke to the professor I TA for last week, and he offered very sage advice.  He suggested that this is the purpose - and the value - of mortality.  Mortality means uncertainty, but it also means agency and faith and individuality.

Poor Taylor, must be going nuts living with me - I am a basket case.

We tried to drown our sorrows in El Gallo Giro....but not even a mole burrito could make us forget that we are tiptoeing into adulthood, and we have to make real decisions!

The highlight of all of this - Taylor and I are able to experience it together.  I feel closer to him, now that are lives are becoming even more intertwined.  There is an interdependence to marriage that I didn't anticipate, and that is incredible.  I feel grateful, happy....and still anxious. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

So Grateful

I am so grateful for the man I married.  I am grateful I can have him forever, and we can grow together.

When I was on my mission, I was worried about my future, and about marrying the right man.  I didn't understand faith very well.  At the beginning of my mission, when I was having a particularly hard time focusing my heart, I begged for help from my Heavenly Father.  I promised Him that I would give all my heart to missionary work, if he would please protect my future.  

I gave everything I had in Chile.  Initially, I probably worked hard because I needed blessings, and it was the only way I knew how to deserve them.  Later, though, I really grew to love my Heavenly Father, and to have a sincere desire to serve Him.  I learned that there was nothing I could do - no amount of hard work - that would make me eligible for the blessings He had already given me.  I would always be a debtor.

Whether I deserved it or not, however, my Heavenly Father truly did protect my future - in ways that I never would have known to want myself.  He has provided perfectly.  

I am so grateful for a good husband, and a happy little life.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Li'l Ballers

I wish I could say that I consume all of Taylor's time...but I can't.   He is a busy little bee, and loves to do everything and serve everyone.

One activity that he loves is coaching a Junior Jazz team each week.  He has 10 little basketballers who like to scramble around and throw up shots.  They are the cutest little things...though not quite as cute as that Taylor Orton.


A happy game that ends with doughnuts.

I hope our children inherit Taylor's athletic genes.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Most Romantic Place

Nearly every sight in NYC triggers some kind of movie memory.  Lots of my favorite shows and flicks have been staged in the City that Never Sleeps.  I was hoping beyond hope that I would meet Neal Caffrey (from White Collar, my favorite show and time-waster) in New York.  I was not disappointed.

Taylor and I wanted to see the Empire State Building, more for its cinematic infamy than anything.  There have been lots of special moments at the top of the Most Romantic Place on Earth, such as Sleepless in Seattle, King Kong, An Affair to Remember, and Percy Jackson.  On our last day in the City, the clouds finally broke, and we took advantage to go to the building and see the famous view.

The most meaningful part of the Empire State Building was the history behind it.  The Building was constructed during the Great Depression, and it was built in record time because of the abundance of willing workers.  They erected more than a flight a week, working furiously and happy to have a job.  The pictures of the working men struck me.  I can't imagine my Taylor being so anxious for a job - it hurts my heart.  I am grateful for good, hard working men.

The view did not dissappoint!  It was lovely, and it was incredible to see a panoramic view of the "Concrete Jungle."


I had my own little sweet moment with the man I love so much.


I saw Neal Caffrey

New York Exposure

Taylor took me to New York City!  I had never been, and we had a perfect trip.  We met up with the Ithaca Ortons, who I just can't get enough of, and stayed with Lyndon and Christine Plothow.  I loved getting to know Lyndon and Christine - they were perfect tour guides  and I am so happy to have married into such an incredible family.

We did all of the important things...starting with the Shake Shack.

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It is bright in the City that Never Sleeps!  There were so many sights and smells and sounds to take in.  My favorite part, though, was being an Urban Aunt.  I loved playing with little Claire and smiley Cozette and personable Drew.

Lyndon and Christine let us stay in their cute little Manhattan flat, in Uptown right by the Columbia law school.  We actually liked sleeping on a single air mattress.  Our hosts were perfect.  Our stay was a little drizzly and cold, but we had lots of things to see!

We very much enjoyed seeing the 9/11 memorials.  It is crazy to realize that this little part of the American experience happened 12 years ago already.  I remember sitting in 7th grade History, watching the news coverage of the Trade Center attacks. I appreciated the memorial – the two large footprints with a kind of waterfall, with all the names of the victims engraved in the stone.  Even more meaningful to me, however, may have been the memorial across the street, at the St. Paul’s Chapel.  This church hosted victims, volunteers, and rescue workers.  It was very raw feeling – it was a grassroots kind of memorial.  It showed the scratched pews where fireman slept in their uniforms, and George Washington’s memorial which was converted into a podiatrist’s stand.  I am grateful for my American Heritage.



The Plothows introduced us to Patsy’s Pizza, which was a little bit of Heaven.  We sat down, dried off, and enjoyed good Uptown Pizza. 

Sara and I braved the Subway, and made our way to Canal Street. It was so fun to look at all the cheap goods…which somehow were still too expensive for our wallets.  It was a dirty, shotty, eyesore of NYC….and I loved it. 

Lyndon and Christine gave us a great tour of the city, and the kids were troopers.  In the pretty light, we saw the Empire State Building, a little bit of 5th Avenue, and the NYC Public Library.


I am so grateful that I married into such a good family.  I love these Sainsbury descendants!

A highlight of our trip was seeing the beautiful Manhattan temple, a little haven built into the bustle of New York City.  Sacrament meeting was wonderful, and I ran into old friends.

Another highlight was tasting the AMAZING Throwdown waffles from the "Waffles and Dinges" foodcart.  Apparently, the waffle we ate beat out Bobby Flay's (of the food network) cooking.  It was we bought several.

Throughout our trip, we enjoyed several visit to foodcarts througout the city....couldn't get enough.



Wewere just tourists!  We loved the Met, 5th Avenue, Columbus Circle, Central Park.  We visited  Tiffany's (loved it), Plaza Hotel, Trump Tower, Broadway, and -of course - Lindtdorf Chocolates.




Taylor was a good little subway navigator.  He got us around without a problem.  We had several fun stories on the Subway.  At one point, I very gracefully fell into the lap of a BIG  man  - we were cozy.  Taylor loved chatting with strangers.  A large black woman got on the Subway, wearing a three foot hairpiece that looked like a caketopper.  My friendly husband complimented her on it, and then carried on a conversation with her about hairpieces.  

We heard so many different languages, and saw insights to so many different cultures.  One time, we heard a man speaking with a lovely accent.  My very friendly husband again said "I like your accent.  Where are you from?"  Turns out that this man is named Colin Broderick from Ireland, who is a pretty famous author and playwrite.


I was a little tired of my trusty coat by the end of the trip.  Nonetheless, we loved our little jaunt around NYC - can't wait to go back!!!