Teri Taylor - Master Chocolate Chip Cookie Maker

 I just learned that my dear friend Teri Taylor was killed in a car accident yesterday.

To see the news article, click here  

As hard as it is to believe that I had 5 kids in 6 1/2 years, it's even harder to believe that so did someone else, and at the exact same time as me.  When we met and compared the ages of our kids, we were in shock.  All of our kids were born within a few months of each other, and we were both pregnant with our fifth--due just weeks apart.

So of course we joined forces.  We traded our kids one day a week.  I took them on Wednesdays, and she took them on Fridays.  Our kids each had a buddy to play with, and we joked how we got more done watching 10 kids then watching just our own 5 kiddos.

She is the reason why I make really good chocolate chip cookies.

To read the story of how she taught me how to bake cookies, click the title below.
"How I Learned to Make Chocolate Chip Cookies at the Age of 33." 

She is the reason why Sacrament Meeting was so adventurous.

To read the story of when our 10 children almost took over the meeting, click the title below.
"We Don't Play Hide and Seek at Church!" 

She is the reason why I attempted to can apricots, which resulted in me writing a story titled "$99 Apricots" that was published.

You can now get this book on Amazon for one penny!
But aside from all of our adventures in baking, worshiping, and canning, what I treasured most about our friendship was that she understood me in a way that no one else could.  We were in the trenches together doing our best.  This was before the days of the Internet that can provide resources and support to young moms.  Before we met, we felt alone raising so many little ones all at once.   We never doubted for a second that God put us in the same neighborhood just as we gave birth to our fifth and last child.  He knew that we would need each other to get through the next year.

And what a year it was.  Here's a summary of all the things I did the year I lived close to Teri.  I'd say about 80% of the list was either with her, because of her, or she watched my kids so I could do it.

    visited by 31 people out of state
26 from Mesa, Arizona (were we had recently moved from)
3 from New Mexico
1 from Oregon
2 from Tennessee
2 from Romania
·         made 7 trips outside of our own state
·         made 14 trips to the airport (no surprise with all those visitors)
·         hosted or attended 17 parties
·         took advantage of Utah’s recreational facilities
6 times up the canyon (we were the only hikers we met with 5 small kids)
6 times swimming
5 visits to Temple Square
4 musical performances
7 dance classes
12 soccer games
4 trips to parks (how sad, we went to the airport more times than to parks)
5 trips to the zoo
2 trips to the Utah Fun Dome
1 trip to Lagoon
1 parade (I'm not a big fan of parades, but I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say that in Utah)
1 Utah Jazz game
·         took advantage of Utah’s medical facilities
about 20 doctor appointments
2 stays at St. Mark’s hospital
1 stay at Primary Children’s Hospital
2 surgeries
1 trip to the emergency room (my son learned the hard way that you can’t nap inside of a dresser drawer)
·         entered two Halloween costume contests and won prizes worth around $700

Eventually I moved away with promises to stay in touch, and we did for a while.  Then she moved to Oklahoma, and our growing families took over our busy lives.

Fortunately we were able to reconnect a few years ago.  By this time our older children were serving missions and learning how to become adults.  My oldest was living in her town and she was kind enough to feed him Sunday dinners and look out for him in a way that I couldn't so far away.  She even fed him some of those famous chocolate chip cookies.  

This morning before I knew of Teri's accident, I bore my testimony at my church's congregation.  I talked about the death of my mother almost 2 years ago.  I said that the word "dead" doesn't really accurately describe what happens when we graduate from this life and move to the next life.  I said, "It's not like they are a lifeless blob waiting around for the resurrection.  They are active, busy, and helping us but from the other side."  

I have no doubt that is true for Teri.  I hope that at some point she and my mom have a chance to meet, even if it's just to laugh about how horrible I am at baking cookies and canning apricots!  

I will miss you, my dear, sweet friend.  Until we meet again!