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6 Things I’ll Miss About Utah

Six things to miss about Utah: mountains, temple square, family, provo/BYU, mormon culture, and

Today, Rhys and I are flying from Utah to our new home in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Justin has already made the trip there, driving our moving truck this weekend. We are super excited for this new adventure; however, Justin and I are also sad. We’ve lived in Utah since 2008. We’ve grown up in Utah–college, marriage, full-time jobs, house-hunting, parenthood, lay-offs…

It’s no wonder this move will be hard for us, even if it is a step in the right direction and allowing us to move onto bigger and better things.

However, there are six things I will definitely be missing about Utah while I’m in Texas.

[ctt title=”6 Things You\’ll fall in love with Utah! #beUTAHful @themorrelltale” tweet=”6 Things You’ll fall in love with Utah! #beUTAHful @themorrelltale” coverup=”d7qE2″]

Six things to miss about Utah: mountains, temple square, family, provo/BYU, mormon culture, and food trucks/start up culture

Mountains and Trails

The beautiful Wasatch Front mountains to the East, dominating the landscape have definitely made an impression on me. Watching the sun rise over them, and fall past the Oquirrh Mountains, is one of the most gorgeous views ever. And, along with the mountains comes plenty of hiking trails, encompassed by trees, with little streams running through them. They were my own personal little havens.

Via https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjmsKam9vvNAhXF6CYKHT3SCwUQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wanderlustimages.com%2Fgallery%2FStock%2Fecosystemlandscape%2FRMY-SugarhousePano%2BHiRes.JPG.php&bvm=bv.127178174,d.eWE&psig=AFQjCNGs8xbbVgB2_OOPZaf65gUMxxW5mg&ust=1468893789508682
Via www.wanderlustimages.com

Temple Square

Mormon or not, Temple Square in Salt Lake City is a must-see. It is one of Utah’s biggest tourist attractions. Besides the Salt Lake Temple, there is so much Mormon and Utah history and historical buildings in Temple Square. And, there are two malls nearby: Gateway and City Creek Center. During Christmas is the best time (and the busiest, by far) to visit Temple Square–the snow, the lights, the music, concerts, nativities, and just the overall atmosphere of the Christmas season. I will definitely miss going to Temple Square.

Via https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwicg8Ob-PvNAhXEOiYKHdqjCyQQjB0IBg&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mygrandcanyonpark.com%2Ftemple-square%2F&bvm=bv.127178174,d.eWE&psig=AFQjCNEZJjQ_tcopR8DAgiy9FUvVQ6CWbw&ust=1468894361486896
Via www.mygrandcanyonpark.com

Family and Friends

My extended family all lives in Utah and Idaho. Justin’s brother lives in mid-Utah, and his sister lives in mid-Idaho. We have been living with my parents for the past six months. We have so many close friends from college. Justin’s college roommate and his wife were our next door neighbors right before we moved into my family’s basement. We will definitely miss the proximity to so many loved ones. We will miss being able to visit them over weekends and have the local support from them.


Food Truck and Startup Culture

Utah is known for its startup culture. We have some very good business schools in Utah, so there are many young entrepreneurs trying to start businesses. Food trucks, pop-up shops, eclectic restaurants and boutiques, etsy shops, graphic designers, bloggers, bands and artists, the list could go on and on. Justin and I loved supporting these new businesses and going to their events. I am desperately hoping there are some pretty good food trucks in the DFW area!

Via provomayor.com
Via provomayor.com

Mormon Culture

I am Mormon. Utah is known to be Mormon-filled. It was settled by Mormons! Only about 50% of Utah’s population today is Mormon, but that is still a lot of Mormons. I loved having so many neighbors who had the same beliefs as me and lived the same way I did. It was such a great support system. There were so many holistic shows, stores, companies, all with Mormon standards. It definitely was a “bubble.” I’ll definitely be glad to raise my children outside of Utah, as Justin and I were, so that they can become strong in our religion and have many different experiences, but it still would be nice to have such a big support system as Utah was.


Provo and BYU

Brigham Young University in Provo is where Justin and I went to school, met, and got married. We lived in Provo for about 6 years! I loved running around the town, always taking a new route. Y Mountain was fun to hike with friends. Going to BYU’s sporting events was the highlight of Justin’s years there. BYU was the center of Provo–school, activities, sports, events, festivals…everything happened on campus. When we moved north of Provo, we always made a point to go back and visit. We’d eat at our favorite restaurants on Center Street, walk around campus and reminisce, and have some BYU Creamery ice cream before we left.

Via www.stateuniversity.com

They say that distance makes the heart grow fonder. I definitely hope that’s true, because I already want to return to Utah to visit!

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Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Why I’ll Miss Provo

As you may have found out, we finally found a place to move to! Today we will be moving to a 2 bedroom, beautiful townhome in Sandy. Justin will still be a student for another month and a half, so it’ll be a little bit of a commute for him (about 35 minutes), but it drops my commute to my Charter School from 50 minutes to 25 minutes! It’s also in a busy county, so it’ll probably be closer to wherever Justin ends up working. And, I’m so glad to be moving out of a college town and into a real town! I’ve lived in Provo since 2008 and have been out of college for two years, so it’s about time.

But, even though I’m so exciting to be leaving Provo and the college scene, I’ll still miss it. 6 years is a fourth of my life! Provo is a nice town and we’ve had plenty of adventures here. So, in no particular order, here are some major reasons we’ll miss Provo.

Note: Almost none of these pictures are mine. Being under strict orders not to go on “adventures” and not previously not owning a good camera, I couldn’t take my own pictures.I got almost all of the pictures off Google Images.

#1 BYU

Yes, we’ll be glad we’re done with college, but BYU is the main reason we came to Utah! We both only wanted to go to BYU–neither of us applied to any other college. Going to a college that is run by your religion and has your standards (and happens to be close to family) was very nice. The classes were super fun and interesting, and definitely a challenge. All the different activities on campus: movies, bowling, science museums, art museums, etc

#2 LaVell Edwards Stadium & the Marriott Center

I worked concessions for BYU’s sporting events while in college. Justin likes actually going to the football and basketball games. He’s always had an all sports pass and I thoroughly enjoyed my opportunity at being able to have one last year. Although the games are all broadcast on BYUTV and some on ESPN, we’ll miss actually attending the sporting events in person.

#3 Y Mountain

This mountain has a big “Y” on it that looks over BYU and Provo. It is the iconic hiking trail. It’s an unspoken rule that you have to hike it at least once a year and at least one of those hikes has to be in the middle of the night. It’s a pretty steep hike, so I haven’t hiked it since being pregnant, and will be sad that I won’t have the opportunity to do so this year. But, it’s always been fun to hike with friends. And the view, overlooking city and Utah Lake is breathtaking.

#4 Center Street

Provo is an old town, founded in 1849. Center Street was the main part of town and has been since then. It has that old, rustic town center feel to it. But, it also has a lot of new startups and holes-in-the-wall. It’s so fun to walk up and down, seeing the different little shops and new restaurants. Ill definitely miss it.

#5 University Mall, Provo Towne Center, and the Riverwoods

These were the malls in Provo (even though University Mall was technically in Orem, it’s still Provo). Justin and I spent so much time at these malls, and I would frequent them in the summer, Black Friday, and the day after Christmas. Of course, each city is going to have their own malls, but there were specific places I enjoyed about each of these. University Mall had Papaya and Wet Seal, my two favorite places to buy clearance clothes. Provo Towne Center is where I saw the last Harry Potter movie at the midnight releasing, and it has this tempura dessert shop–delicious! The Riverwoods is a beautiful, outdoor mall and was always fun to explore.

#6 Food Truck Roundup

Provo is definitely the place to be with food trucks and startups. So, my Welsh professor and his sons, who own a building they lease to start-up companies decided to work with the different food trucks in the area so that they gather every Thursday to sell their food. Justin and I have gone once a month and love the food every time we go. As far as we know, there isn’t anything like this in Salt Lake County.

#7 Provo River Trail and Provo Canyon

The Provo Canyon has a lot of National Parks in it. We have explored it many times and I have hiked the infamous Bridal Veil Falls…by hike, I mean I climbed up the falls. Provo River runs through the canyon, then winds all through Orem and Provo. Trails follow it and I loved biking these during the summer evenings and sitting next to the river–it reminded me of Virginia.

#8 Married Student LDS Congregations and the Provo Temples

We will be moving from a married student congregation to a normal congregation. But, what is nice about married student congregations is everyone is in the same situation as you–young, just married, still in school, poor, and just starting families and jobs. We have also made very good friends in this congregation and will be sad to leave them.
Also, we lived 5 minutes away from the Provo Temple, as well as 5 minutes away from the currently-being-constructed Provo Town Center Temple. It has been a blessing to be so close to such holy places.

#9 7 Peaks Water Park

This was such a fun water park! Wave pool, lazy river, and intense water slides! The previous two summers, Justin and I spent a lot of time at these water parks. We were able to bike there, we lived so close! We had season passes which also allowed us to get into some BYU and University of Utah sporting events, as well as Real Salt Lake soccer games, as well as other discounts at other fun places throughout Utah. So, it’ll be sad to leave it and find another water park to take its place.
#10 Farmer’s Markets

Provo hosts a huge Farmer’s Market every Saturday. BYU Concessions even hosted their own every Thursday in the fall. I loved going to these, sampling free food, buying huge and delicious produce and homemade bakery products, and buying cute crafts. I will have to search for another Farmer’s Market as big and diverse as Provo’s.
We’re not moving too far away from Provo, but it’ll be about half an hour away and besides Justin finishing school, there really isn’t any other reason to go back down. We are graduating from college life and entering adult life. So, Provo, thank you for all the memories. We will never forget you!

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

(Mis)Adventures of Labor Day Weekend

First of all, wowzie am I stressed–6 lesson plans per day to prepare, 2+ paper per student to grade every day, last weekend full of adventures, this weekend taken up my Comicon, family moving into town this week, laundry, shopping…too, too much to handle! 
So, I apologize if I get a little behind on the blogging community. I still haven’t read some posts from Tuesday! Yikes!
But, I want to share with you Justin and my (mis)adventures from Labor Day weekend! Justin’s sister and her family live in Virginia, BYU was going to play UVA, and his parents and other sister were driving up from Georgia. Perfect opportunity for a vacation!
I took Friday off so we could fly to Virginia (a sub taught for me). We got up super early that morning to get to the Salt Lake City airport. We check in and board our early morning flight. 
Boarding the plane, we saw this cute little guy:
I discover there is, in fact, no free wi-fi like they used to offer on few Delta flights. So, lesson planning went down the hole. But, I was able to grade a bit. So, a pretty boring flight (I didn’t even think to bring a book because I thought I’d be so busy lesson planning). I also got a huge headache. Let’s just say the flights continued in that pattern: bored and headache getting worse.
We landed in Virginia around dinner, got a rental car, got dinner, and headed down to my old hometown, Stafford! I was so excited to be back in the Maryland, D.C., Virginia area again! But, the headache was turning into one of the top 3 worse headaches I ever had. We quickly toured Stafford: my two homes, my highschool. Then, headed to Charlottesville to Justin’s sister and quickly went to bed after.
My headache is gone! Miracle of miracles! Because this day was the day I ran my first race ever! Now, I am a runner. I like to run. I consider it fun and yes, it helps me maintain my weight. Well, with school starting, I’ve been stressing on that and haven’t been working out. And I was to run a 4 miler….in humidity (which I’ve never run it–I didn’t run in high school) and with hills. Jill (Justin’s sister), is a racer. Her daughter is starting to follow in her footsteps. So I was a little nervous. It also didn’t help that I had a terribly upset stomach that morning! But, I ran it. I loved it! The first two miles was pretty, but the hill at mile 3 was the hardest for me. I am very disappointed in myself by admitting that I walked about 100 yards up that hill to the next drink station. Poured that on me, turned around, and finished the last descent and ascent to the finish line. With no training and new conditions, I am proud to say I finished 4 miles in 38 minutes! Woot-woot! I immediately called my dad who is a marathon runner to tell him. And then I realized I was shaking all over and could barely walk!
We all got cleaned up, grabbed some Chick-fil-a and rested. Then, Justin, his parents, and I donned our BYU gear, Jill’s family donned their UVA gear and we headed to my very first tailgate. It was with Jill and her husband’s friends, so Justin and I had no idea who anyone was, but we ate food and Justin talked football, and we were happy.
I was very excited to go to my very first football game ever! During college, I worked for Concessions, so I was always at the games, but never watched because I had to work. At the beginning of the game, the stadium was about 3/4 UVA fans, and 1/4 BYU fans. Mormons and BYU students from Utah came, as well as Mormons from all over the East. 
Then, at the end of the 1st Quarter, it was announced that everyone would have to leave the stadium due to severe thunder storms in the area. One the one hand, I was excited because I have missed Virginian thunderstorms. Yes, Utah has them, but they aren’t nearly as beautiful or amazing or powerful at Virginia’s. So, we left (went down into the underpasses of the stadium) to wait out the rain. And boy did it rain. No one’s wi-fi really worked, texting and calling was even difficult. Many left to seek shelter in their dorms or cars. There was supposed to be another storm on its way, but it went another direction. There was also an issued tornado warning. Pretty intense weather!
Finally, after about 2 and a half hours, we were able to sit back down and the 2nd Quarter resumed. Weirdly, Justin and I bumped into a friend of ours from our apartment complex as singles! We sat with him during the 2nd Quarter until it started to rain again. So we moved to other seats in the stadium that had shelter because a lot of people had left. After the rain, after half-time, only 2/3 were UVA fans now rather than 3/4ths. They could go home and watch, but BYU fans traveled and we were going to stick it out (if you look in the picture right above, you can see we are in a sea of blue!).
Yes, BYU lost. Yes, many people (including Justin) were upset about it. Yes, we were razzed. But, I don’t really care for football politics and stats. I just had fun!
First of all, I trip the fire alarms throughout the house while showering. It was lukewarm with no visible steam and the fire alarms tripped! Crazy! Jill and her husband hate them.
We went to 1 hour of church, then back home because Jill and Corbin were hosting a BBQ for their friends who had traveled to see the game. The food was delicious! I ate so much chicken! Thanks Corbin for making me gain like 5 pounds on Sunday!
We pack up and leave. I wanted to get some Dunkin Donuts for breakfast because it is soooooooooo much better than Krispy Kreme. But, the two closest locations, according to our GPS, took us to not Dunking Donuts. The first was a residential neighborhood house. The other was a random business. So we went to Panera, instead. I actually had a gift card from 2008 when I drove a couple friends to school every day. But, I haven’t been able to use it because I moved to the West. Well, guess what. I left it at home in Provo! Bah!
About 15 miles later, I saw a Dunkin Donuts, so I made Justin turn into it. We had already eaten, but I didn’t care. I wanted a Dunkin Donuts crueler before I left Virginia. I ate it and was in ecstasy.
The flight home was pretty uneventful. The drive home was pretty uneventful. We stopped at Winco to buy some groceries and by the time we left, there was a pretty heavy thunder storm. We were about 10 miles from home and had to drive in a torrential downpour, our windshield wipers going as fast as they can, about a centimeter of running water on the streets, in the dark. It was kind of scary. Not going to lie.
But we finally got home, no worse for ware, unpacked and went to bed. 
Only to discover the next day I lost my wallet at Winco. It took until Wednesday to get it back.
So, sorry for the long post, but there is our interesting and fun (mis)adventure in Virginia!
Headed to Comicon tonight and tomorrow! Super excited! Have a great weekend and wish me luck in grading and lesson planning!

I Don't Go to the Gym Blog Hop

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.


This weekend, I graduated. Well, not technically. Technically, I need to finish my teaching internship first.
But, I’m done with Brigham Young University! 
I graduated with a major in History Teaching and a minor in English Teaching. I have learned a second language at BYU–Welsh. I have traveled abroad to the United Kingdom. I married my best friend from my apartment complex. I worked long-lasting jobs on campus: Concessions, History Teaching Assistant, Social Studies Writing Lab Tutor. I received an internship to teach Utah Studies and U.S. History. I’ve been very lucky in my years here at BYU.
My graduation took place in the Marriott Center because I’m part of the largest college with the largest major (Psychology). It took forever to get through all the names. Yet, it went a lot faster than my high school graduation…and we weren’t in maroon robes outside in the middle of June in Virginia with 90* heat and 100% humidity! That was a relief!

Afterwards, we took a few pictures outside. Now, I hate pictures, and it was crowded, and I was hungry. So, we didn’t take many, thank goodness.

After we were done with pictures, we headed over to Wild Ginger, one of Justin and my favorite restaurants. Justin, dad, Uncle Doug, and I all got all-you-can-eat sushi. The rest of the family got Chinese food. 
Bobby, Madison, Doug
Justin and I like our sushi.
Mom and Dad and especially Paige are enjoying their food. 
At the end of lunch, we all shared our fortunes. Dad’s was the weirdest one:

Doug had to jet off to work, and Justin had to go home to change for work as well. So, I took my family to see my classroom. I was also in a sentimental mood and wanted to take some graduation pictures in the room where I am completing my internship that will allow me to follow my dream of being a teacher.
I have a George Washington poster in my room (from the previous intern). So, he is congratulating me on my history degree!
Even though I haven’t had to take any on-campus classes, or any finals in the Testing Center for a year, it is still a relief to know that I am done with college. I am a graduate. I am an adult.

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Senior Bash, AKA: Best Date Ever!

Last night, BYU hosted a free party for everyone who was graduating in two weeks, which includes me (although my teaching internship doesn’t end until Memorial Day).

I was very excited to go. This past week has been a tough one for the husband and I. Stretching our patience with our jobs and classes, even discovering more about each other. We needed a break and some good fun.

I went to school yesterday, with my hair up and feeling gross. I wanted a shower, but I needed laundry, desperately. Half of 6th period was gone due to track, and we still had a lot of disrespect and misbehavior from that class (because all the good kids were at track).  I had a few stay after school to finish a project. Then, I rushed home, grabbed Justin, quarters, laundry, and fudge, and headed to the Wash Hut. We quickly did some laundry, and at home I did the quickest shower/get ready I’d ever done. And we were off.

First thing we did was grab some free food: pizza, hamburgers, chips, and icecream! Yeah! We found a few of our friends who were also graduating and sat with them. We kept finding other friends and had to balance our soda and icecream as we walked and talked.

We also found a tortoise! In the Wilk! ………..But for some reason, the video we took of it, just isn’t processing correctly. =( Sorry, guys!

There was also candy…but a tarantula guarded it. I’ve always wanted to show my bravery in holding a tarantula, but I’ve always been afraid of it and I dislike spiders. I gathered up my courage and held it in my hand!

I learned something new about Justin: he hates spiders. He freaked out as I touched him, after I held the spider. I also touched a snake that was in that red bag.

Next thing we did was win some candy in a wind a machine. We had to grab the paper with the red dot.

We went downstairs to put our name on the long waiting list for free bowling, then headed back upstairs to play some Rummikub while we waited. We used to play this game all the time while we were engaged because my apartment had it. While we played, Karaoke was going on in the background. There were some good singers, but mostly bad, flat singers. Our game was fun and we ended the game at the perfect time to head back down to bowl. They were behind about 20 minutes, so we headed over to the couches by the pool tables to wait. We saw some more friends from our church congregation, and talked with them. The wives were all teachers, like me, so our conversation centered around the end of the school year and looking for new teaching jobs. They started playing couples pool, and we headed off to bowl.
Now, while waiting in line for the wind machines, we met a couple behind us. They saw us in line at the bowling alley and invited us to bowl with them. Their name was two ahead of ours, so we acquiesced. It was really fun getting to know a new couple, and I must say, I am very proud of myself. Typically, I am horrendous at meeting new people and become very shy and reserved. But, I was enjoying myself so much that I became a social flower. We had some wonderful laughs! The game was very close: everyone within 10 points! 
Justin has a great form!

After our game, we said goodbye to our new friends. (When we could no longer see them, we realized that we should have gotten their number, or at least their last name so we could find them on facebook!)

We went to the Wall, next. The Wall is new on BYU campus. It is kind of like a Mormon lounge. There is a bar to order drinks (sodas, Italian sodas, Minute Maid fruit slushes, and milkshakes). Mormon “drinks”. There are also a few menu items, such as pizza, sandwiches, salads, fries, etc. There are chalk walls to decorate. Local bands play on Friday night, hoping to hit it big. Couches, bar tables, big flat screen TVs on the wall. There are also two tables with touchscreen games you can play. The screen also shows on the wall so others can watch. We immediately grabbed one of those after getting our drinks at the bar.

I got a strawberry-raspberry Minute Maid slush.

Justin got a strawberry/blackberry/vanilla Italian soda.

We went home after we finished our fries and drinks and finished Season 7 of How I Met Your Mother.

I think it was a really good date night. Definitely Top 3 since we’ve been dating. It was also very needed for the both of us. Now, I really want to go to the Wall again!

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.