Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Eve in Washington

I can safely say that Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the year. It's full of great food, great friends, great family and great traditions. (Last year) I couldn't wish for anything more than to spend Christmas with my Virginia family.
The kids- somewhat grown up.
The Moms
Santa showed up and led us in singing Christmas Eve in Washington

The Buhlers provided us with baby Jesus for this years nativity, we've all placed our bets on who will provide the baby next year.
Yes, the wise men "Tim Tebowed" during the Nativity
Merry Christmas from the Turners- I hope everyone's Christmas was full of love, laughter and a whole lot of celebrating like ours was. 
Now let the post-Christmas shopping begin! :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

the day i was asked to go to paris

I know I mentioned so passively that I was called to serve a mission in Paris, but here's more of the story.

The day my call was anticipated to come was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. A bittersweet occasion if you ask me. Most my friends had gone home for the break but my family happened to all be in town. My dad flew in that very morning and arrived right in time for the mail. 

I was alone in my apartment most of the morning trying to process what that day could mean. I checked the mail at least 3 times before my family got there to wait with me. Our mail usually gets to my apartment between 11:30 and 12. It came at like 1 that day. Of course. So I was a little peeved to say the least. I did not want to have to wait a whole other week. 

Then my people started to arrive, and I still had no call. Jason stopped the mail lady to ask if she had delivered to my complex yet- which she said she had. (liar). So then Tanner, Lisa and Brittany showed up and chased her down again to ask about it. Lisa... always on top of it! She walked them over to her mail stash and handed it over to them. (We won't talk about the illegal nature of that act). So Tanner waved the envelope in the air as they approached my apartment. 

We waited anxiously for Natalie to drive to Julie's house in Arizona so they could skype with me, for Marcie to get back from the gym, and for Grandma & Sallie to drive from Springville. We took some pictures and made some last minute guesses then I started to open the envelope. My hands were shaking and it was hard to open that dang envelope. But I opened it, got through the first line and then jumped ahead to see where I was going. Paris. 

Should we mention here how perfect that call is for me? I was in a french immersion program in elementary school, took french through middle school and highschool, took a few french classes in college and just returned from a study abroad where we went in Paris. I had a Top 3 List. That list included Paris, London and Temple Square. Who ever gets called to somewhere in their top 3? Oh yeah, no one. 

So then the rest of the day was spent telling people my news and sleeping. 
Emotion Overload.
I'm feeling pretty blessed and loved these days.

I should also mention this cute boy was there. He's just great.
And yes, the coordination may have been intentional. A little bit.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

it's the most stressful time of the year

It's that time of year again. 
I'm mentally preparing myself for no sleep, lots of diet coke, library dates, plenty of stress and many a study group. 

But let's be real. I'll probably take lots of power naps, enjoy every sip of diet coke, want nothing more then a library date, ignore the stress and socialize during study groups.

Finals is rough. But it's also kind of secretly enjoyable. It's the typical college student experience and it's hilarious. 
You can see the people that are so stressed in the library they may burst into tears at any moment and you can't help but shake your head and smirk at them.
There's that girl who sleeps on the library floor and wakes up to an alarm at 10am every morning.
Taco Bell is a frequent stop for dinner in the Cougareat- cheap, fast, bad for you.
Everyone is wearing sweatshirts, the girls have their hair in buns on top of their heads.
People deactivate their facebooks to avoid wasting anytime at. all.

Finals is intense, I understand. I'm basically describing myself in this post (except for the facebook thing, never) but I kinda love the finals vibe. It's hilarious and so "collegey". 
But I'll be glad when it's all over. 

This is my philosophy for finals this semester, thank you Loreli:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

something to be grateful for

In the spirit of Thanksgiving- gotta do the "grateful blog post". 
I am feeling incredibly blessed this year for all these fabulous things happening for me right now.

There are all these people around me who care about me and listen to my problems, scratch my back, and just are there for me when I need it most.

Also, I got a mission call. Where? Paris. No big deal. 
And all the people I love most were there to support me in opening it. 
(Shout out to my parents, Annie, Jason, Lisa, Marcie, Tanner, Grandma, Sallie, Julie, Natalie, Cameron and Nelsons- via skype)

I think I'm a little overwhelmed by blessings these days. What's a girl to do? 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


My blogging is slacking lately. Sorry Dad. But thought I should drop by to account for my happy life. 

Lately I've been the "smile as you fall asleep" kind of happy. Even though I hardly ever sleep or eat regular meals- I still find myself smiling as I'm walking across campus or driving in my car. 

Happy things are happening. My parents are sooooo close to being here. My mission call will be here before I can say "called to serve". I'm on the cusp of big things and I am just soaking it in as best as I can.

Now if I could just get my butt into gear and concentrate on school and do my laundry! Also, I should probably stop living off of chocolate covered cinnamon bears and diet coke.
Happy in Italy
"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think.  Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.  ~A.A. Milne

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

city life

Sometimes I just really miss living in a city. Provo is a charming little place but it just isn't a bustling, eccentric, exciting city.

I miss it most when I just want to stop on my way to work for a quick breakfast at the place right down the street (paul rhodes). Or I miss it when I take public transportation for special occasions rather than as a necessity. Or when I'm spending the evening on the Georgetown waterfront wishing that could be my nightly hang out. I hate driving everywhere rather than walking or having getting there be half the fun. I miss stopping by a market for that special treat you've been craving. Or just taking a trip to see a landmark just because it makes you feel at home for a little bit. I miss walking fast and not getting any grief for it. I miss sitting in that quiet place that the city keeps secret just to reflect for a minute.

It's safe to say I'm a city girl. I like getting lost in the crowd, maneuvering through the masses and feeling a part of something that is bigger than just me. Don't get me wrong, Provo is great and all but I'm just missing the city life.

A city according to Alec Baldwin: (yeah... alec baldwin)
has a symphony of diversity with a harmony that is entirely it's own,
where you can at once disappear, and be discovered,
where private isolation is part of the public trust

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

oh so loved

Well, since I've begun my announcing I have felt incredibly loved (see here) but I never could have anticipated getting even more love! What fabulous friends and family I have. 

There have been some:

shocked looks (I think my parents, Lisa and Marcie were the most shocked)
screams of delight
predictive statements ("I knew you would go!")
confused questions ("wait, really? I never would have thought")
loving e-mails
excited text messages
blog posts 1 2

I was extremely reluctant to share the news, for no particular reason, and even once I did, the reality set in and I was scared. But all the love is reassuring me of the feeling I had when I first made my decision. I'm doing the right thing, that's what I know for sure today.

Oh PS. my papers are officially in. As dad keeps saying, "let the waiting begin!"
the idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting- andy warhol

Sunday, October 30, 2011

happy news...

I've started to compose this post many times, and have been thinking about it for even longer. 
There's no beating around the bush though.
It is what it is.

I have some happy news to share!
This week I'm (hopefully) submitting my papers. 
Mission papers that is. 
Me too.
But here we go!

I have felt so anxious for the past month and have been so secretive!
My own parents were even out of the loop in the beginning.
But now they're about to burst because they want to spread the news. 
It's out! 
I, Sara Turner, am serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Who woulda thought?

I've known for a month or two but have been seriously shushed about it all.
While the news has started to spread, I thought I should make a formal blog announcement.
So there you go folks.
It's happening.
I'm thrilled, anxious, nervous, excited, calm, sure, optimistic and happy.

Friday, October 28, 2011

summer's over, falls here, celebrate the season

I've broken out my boots, sweaters are now required rather than optional, I wear socks to bed and I do a good shiver every time I get in the car.

It's fall.

I'm not sure I'm ready to store my flipflops and shorts away (just in case it warms up 50 degrees in one night).  But I'll accept that maybe it's time to embrace fall fashions of layers, leggings and scarves.

Wear a costume, pig out on candy, watch a scary movie (don't see paranormal activity 3 though. i'm terrorized still), carve a pumpkin and have a great Halloween :)

Ps: one of those cheesy blog announcements will be happening soon. get excited.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

An Afternoon in the Park

In the midst of a weekend full of scary movies, haunted corn mazes and all things terrifying... 
I had a play date with my cousin Cambree.

We decided to hang out at the park where we watched and fed ducks, practiced our leaps, sorted apples, slid down slides, swung on swings, and walked in empty fountains.

Our conversation included topics like learning to share at school, halloween costumes, dancing, fashion, sparkles and all things princesses. 
We finished off the afternoon by getting some McDonalds. A perfect afternoon full of giggles and hand holding.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

what i know for sure: fall edition

I know that nights at slab with friends is sometimes just what you need

I know Pumped up Kicks is my song lately

I know warm, sunny days that require sunglasses are the best days

I know decorating for halloween made our apartment oh so charming

I know late nights in the library don't have to be all business

I know that driving with the windows down belting Someone Like You is better than therapy

I know I have an unhealthy love for clothes and fashion blogs

I know a gift of chocolate covered cinnamon bears is the best gift

I know that a chipotle/nordstrom rack trip is the perfect saturday activity

I know while the decision to get guacamole at chipotle is a tough one- it's always worth it

I know that my desk has proven impossible to keep organized

I know I love finishing the Sudoku's in the Daily Universe 

I know I'm finally accepting the fall weather, boots and all

I know I'll probably never stop missing London, or perking up the second someone mentions it

I know I should by writing my talk for church tomorrow

I know getting a letter from Quincy where she says she wishes she had a third arm that was a vacuum is fantastic

I know scarves are my favorite accessory

I know I always miss Virginia this time of year

I know the answer to the call at 10:30pm asking if I want to go to Sammy's will always be yes

I know cuddling on the couch with my roommates is bliss

Thursday, September 29, 2011

defending my silver lining

Lately I think I have been subconsciously (...or not so subconsciously) been evaluating my friendships. There aren't any secret spreadsheets with scores or a hit list or anything. But due to the fact that I've needed a little extra support as of late, there has been some extra thought on my part into what true friendship really is to me.

Thankfully, everyone has passed with flying colors. I am so impressed with the people in my life and how much they are willing to do for me. There have been late night conversations, mutual confessions, complete lack of judgement, random texts to check in, tearful understandings, a look of comfort, grins because of a shared secret, proud moments, conversations over food, hugs that mean something a little more, fits of laughter and meaningful reunions.

I very strongly hold to the belief that good friends are really just an extension of your family. They're different from your biological family in the sense that more often then not they hear the crazy confessions you have, give you your daily affirmations, and participate in conversations you wouldn't dare have with your parents quite yet.
Annie's suggested "family" on facebook
I'm being a little sentimental but, it's just one of those times when you realize how special things really are in your life. So I'm using this forum to thank my friends from the bottom of my heart. For their love, their support and their understanding.

And to those not pictured, I still love you, it just implies we need to take more pictures.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Just Because

Yesterday was a good day just because.

Just because I finished all my homework on time.
Just because I felt good about my outfit.
Just because I got out of 2 of my classes early.
Just because I made worthwhile comments in class.
Just because I sat outside with Katherine eating lunch.
Just because the weather was beautiful (and has been all week).
Just because I got a brownie in class.
Just because Annie called to see if I wanted some cinnamon bears.
Just because I ran into Tanner on campus.
Just because I got all my groceries for $25 using a student discount.
Just because I got free dinner at a barbeque.
Just because I thought I discreetly played a prank but got caught.
Just because I met people I only saw pictures of in London.
Just because Grey's Anatomy started.
Just because I have great friends who will talk to me when I'm freaking out.

Yesterday was a good day just because. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

reunited and it feels so good

 This weekend we had a reunion of sorts. We were mostly celebrating Collin (Go Elder Dursteler!) but it was a great excuse to get together and reminisce. Because we don't do it enough. *insert eye roll here* It's pretty incredible how we snap right back into our London friendships. It'll happen again soon. The only downside to these reunions is that it makes me miss everyone and study abroad all over again!

I miss us. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

the good and the bad

Some habits I've picked up since being back at school:


  • Showering and really getting ready before an 8am class.
  • Stepping out of my comfort zone (i.e. going to events alone; collaborated with teachers; helped teach a class; commented more in classes-- yes. this is a big deal.)
  • Using excessive amounts of post-it notes to keep track of my life
  • Trying to plan out my life (meetings with academic advisors, signing up for clubs, researching options)
  • Forgetting to turn off the sink in the bathroom... not sure where that one came from.
  • Eating excessive amounts of chocolate covered cinnamon bears
  • Procrastinating homework to watch Friends marathons and keep up to date on blogs
I'm sure it all work out :)

On another note, I hope my mom and dad are okay without me:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

ten years ago today...

Every year on September 11th, everyone has a moment to remember what happened one morning ten years ago. I think it brings a little twinge of patriotism and a pause to think about where you were. 

Personally, I remember that day (as everyone does). Every detail of that day. I remember a kindergardener telling me what happened, and my mom explaining it later on our walk home from the bus stop. I remember my classmates getting pulled out of class, and my counselor telling me it was just a beautiful day for people to be with their kids so we wouldn't freak out. I remember sitting in front of the tv watching the same thing over and over again. I remember hearing about my friends parents who were working downtown or sitting on a plane somewhere. I remember the confusion. 

But more so than anything else, I remember what happened after that. There was a silence and an eerie calm, but then peoples flags were outside. Our neighborhood had small flags at every mailbox. There was a shared sense of patriotism that we all felt. 

The word patriotism evokes images of red, white and blue. I think of barbeques and fireworks. I think of the pledge of allegiance and flags. But I think on that day it meant so much more and has continued to have a deeper meaning since. 

It's a shared identity. A shared cause. A shared appreciation. And a shared emotion. 

It unites us. We are one nation under God. 

Since 9/11, patriotic songs make me tear up. Seeing flags lining the outside of a neighborhood makes me smile. Hearing stories of peoples lives and how it has affected them makes me appreciate so much the patriotism we share. 

People will always have varying opinions about politics and different ideals but I think that 9/11 truly brought out the values that we all share and that is what we need to remember. 

Here are, so far, some of my favorite 9/11 commemorations:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

back to school to prove to dad that i'm not a fool

School's officially started.
I have my permanent pen smear on my right hand.
My planner is overwhelmed with post-it notes.
I'm exhausted.
I'm already behind on reading.
I have an 8am class that will likely kill me.

But, all is well.
I have so far showered everyday. (and even brushed my hair!)
I love being back at BYU taking classes in my major.
I'm figuring out what to do with my life... slowly.
I forgot how lovely my friends are.
I've only worked on one homework assignment during class.
We bid adieu to our dear Quincy by dropping her off at the MTC.
My job is awesome- I get paid to learn, it's fantastic!
Katherine and I have already procrastinated together.
Julie's hacked my facebook.
Utah's kinda pretty, I admit it. Why I have a fascination with clouds, I haven't figured out yet.

Happy Fall Semester everybody! Let's hope I keep showering :)
Also, I think the real way to kick off a new school year is to watch Billy Madison.
More specifically to sing this song...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Where are you from?

At the beginning of the new semester there's one question that quickly follows asking for your name...
"Where are you from?"

It's a simple enough question but my answer to that question has been teased since I came to college 3+ years ago. (yes, it's been that long!) I always say:
"Northern Virginia, right outside of DC."
What's wrong with that? Well, apparently it's me having an attitude about where I'm from. I'm not the only one who does it, we all get that response those of us from NOVA. It's because we are not from just Virginia. We're from Northern Virginia. It's different. 

Some of the things that mean you're from Northern Virginia:
  • You take major highways to school (66, 28, 50, 95 etc)
  • You constantly complain about there being nothing to do, even though you're right next to DC
  • You have at least 2 friends who have no idea what their parents do because it's "top secret" government work
  • It takes 15 minutes (at least) to get everywhere, regardless of how far away it is
  • Local news is national news
  • Despite the fact that Virginia fought for the south in the Civil War, you are NOT a "southerner"
  • The cars in the student parking lot are worth 3x those in the teacher parking lot
  • There are at least 3 malls within 20 minutes of your house
  • When traveling, you can choose between 3 airports
  • An inch of snow means you miss 3 days of school
  • You're driving on the beltway at 2am and there's still traffic
  • 9:30 isn't just a time, it's a place
  • If you stay on the same road long enough, it'll have 3 different names
  • The beltway isn't just a road, it's a border
  • You've been to Williamsburg on at least one field trip in your life
  • You tell West Virginia jokes
  • Your remember the blizzard of '96
I'm proud of my status as a Northern Virginian. It may get some eyebrow raises and some follow up questions, but I love it. And I'm sure everyone can agree that they know someone from the area and it is indeed pretty awesome.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Trending: The Kardashians

I have a guilty pleasure. 
As of late, it has taken up a LOT of my time.
I've become partial to the letter K.
I have the urge to call people "doll".
It's dramatic.
Mostly stupid.
And it's on Sunday nights at 10. 

Yes, it's Keeping Up with the Kardashians
I have a problem.
Natalie and I sat as vegetables for like 5 hours catching up on the current season.
We also nearly ended a party to watch the latest episode.
I recently started following my favorite sister on Twitter. (love you Kourtney!)
And with help from Natalie, we have successfully analyzed the whole family.
Basically, Khloe does everything, Kim is a diva, Kourtney does whatever she wants. 

I'll get around to school eventually.
For now, watch this