Sunday, June 24, 2007


Since this is my official first posting as a woman in her thirties, I hope you all are braced for a mature, organized, well-thought-out post. Yah right! I think I will have to opt for a list of things I have going on in my mind, that I have thought, "I should blog about that," as this will probably be my last post before heading off to girls' camp tomorrow morning at 6am. Now that I am old and everything, that seems too early, but nonetheless I am excited! And speaking of exciting. Talk about your good weekend, oh yeah, that's what I am going to do, in list form, right. Organized. Right?

1. This is me and my baby brother circa 1991. (Gotta love my mom's purple sweats and my KO Knudson Pep Club T-shirt I am sportin'). I stayed home from school on this particular day with a killer headache and ended up babysitting Michael while Mom finished her bus runs in the afternoon. Why am I showing you this? Because that little cutie pie is now grown up enough to be headed to the West Virginia, Charleston mission for our church. Yup, he opened his call last night with lots of friends and family surrounding him. I took pics, but they are still on the camera, and I have been thinking about how crazy fast time flies, so I thought this would be a good picture. He'll be all on his own for two years and I am so proud of him for striving to become THE best man he can be. Lucky for me time DOES fly and he'll be home before I know it cuz I am gonna miss the stinker!

2. I still need to finish the stake skit that I have been bragging about. Ever get ahead of yourself and say how great something is gonna be, cuz in your brain it's FABULOUS, and then you realize you've just put a lot of pressure on yourself cuz now people have expectations? Yeah, that's me about right now with the stake skit. It's all Broadway show tunes, so hopefully it will really go over well.

3. Had a real good spiritual moment in sacrament meeting today, which is a small miracle in and of itself considering the foul mood Brock was in. The speakers were talking about conversion and the impact of Joseph Smith on the world, or, more specifically, on each of us. I thought for a minute about how, yeah, it's been a major force in my life since so much has encircled and enveloped the church. Then, the closing song was called "Praise to the Man," which I have always enjoyed and which I have always found very powerful. But today, reading the lyrics, I got really overwhelmed by the words and the spirit surrounding them. ESPECIALLY because they were written by William Phelps, who lived and worked and served with Joseph Smith. So I am singing these words and thinking about how heartfelt they are, written by a man who wasn't writing a song for a bunch of people who'd never know Joseph Smith. Instead, William Phelps was writing this song about his friend, his leader, and our prophet. Anyway, it was really confirmed in my heart that the impact has been permanent on my life.

4. Our missionaries challenged us to share this with friends and family who have questions about what we believe. I am much more of a passive aggressive missionary, but check it out if you have any questions. In light of Mike's mission call and all, I have really found it interesting.

5. I have a billion things to do, and yet I am feeling crafty enough to procrastinate my ongoing list and decorate some clipboards for some of the stake gals at camp. We'll see how that works out.

6. Still don't have my computer printer or new scanner set up. Seriously, I am gonna buck up and do it since it's crunch time and I can't make many more excuses . . . except maybe a clipboard craft project. See, I told you, it's a thing I do.

7. Mackenzie played a violin duet with her teacher today in sacrament. I am SO impressed with her musical talent. She has such an ear! Cami Austin, her teacher has been such a great influence on Mackenzie and we will miss her and her family when they leave next month. Since Tyler and I will be gone all next month, Kenzie practiced for only five days! and she had it all memorized and everything. She didn't mess up at all. I am so proud of her! Thanks, too, to my mom who missed CJ's mission farewell so she could hear Kenzie, that meant a lot to her (and me.)

8. AND, Finally, The big 3-0 Report! As my good friends Terry and Matt wrote in their birthday card to me, "Thirty is flirty . . . dirty . . . sturdy . . . " etc. So far it has proven all that, and I just want to give a real quick thanks to EVERYONE who sent birthday wishes and happy thoughts. Really, I just wanted it to be a day that I would have good memories of and June 22, 2007 is nothin' but a lot of warm fuzzies goin' on. THANK YOU to everyone who came to my party and to those who didn't make it, know you were missed and I pretended you were sad not to have been there (so fake some serious regret when I see you next; JUST KIDDING!) There are a lot of pictures of my birfday that I took, and my super-uber-talented friend Chris took some shots, too, at the party [Seriously, check out her link to her photography website, she's hot stuff], so when camp is over, I'll make a video or something to get them all online. But before I go on about the party, let me "back that train up" (again, from Terry) to this photo:

This is me and my parents 30 years ago. Haven't I gotten better looking? I don't say that to be vain, but it couldn't have gotten much worse. I looked like a bird (trust me it's not just this picture, there are MANY others that are the same or worse). Really, an ugly baby. My parents (don't they look hot in this picture?) never admitted until I was MUCH older that I wasn't a good-looking baby. I like to think they were blinded by their love, but I gotta think they prayed I would grow into a better looking person. Anyhow, when I woke up Friday morning, I checked my blogs (as I do every morning routinely) and found that my sister had put some serious time into a montage/video thingy of the two of us. You can check it out here when you have a few to fifteen minutes to spare. It totally made my birthday morning special and emotional. It added to my friend Jenn's shout out on her blog from the night before, which was TOO sweet of Jenn, ESPECIALLY the picture of my face all taped up with scotch tape from when we were in college. She's far too generous, too, saying I was trying to stay awake while studying. Jenn, I think I was trying NOT to study by doing stupid things to occupy myself and distract you guys! Love ya, girl! Anyway, after I watched the video and got the kiddos breakfast, my mom stopped by with tulips (my fave) and we watched the video again. Less crying this time, more analyzation of my hiked-high pants and HUGE glasses. Tyler came home early and I went and got my nails done for camp. Then, we had our weekly(-ish) brothers/sisters lunch at Zabbas, YUM. Tyler kept the kids AND my sister's boys at home (wrap that present with a bow) and my cousin, Jerolyn, met us with a couple of her daughters, my neices Brooklyn and Zoee were there, and since it was Mom's day off, she came. It was the first time in a LONG time all five of us kids have made the lunch, and even though it wasn't FOR my birthday, it was SO great to have it fall on that day. Part of the warm fuzzies. A couple pics for your viewing enjoyment:

My Garrard Sisters
Stacy and Erin

All of Us
Standing: Erin, Stacy, Zoee (hidden), and Mom
Sitting: Nate, Dave, Me, Mike, Jerolyn, Maggie, and Ellie
Again, good lunch, good company, good times. I love eating places where you run into people you know, too, so it was a bonus to see the Neels and Robin and her son. In my mind they showed up to make my day even better. When we got home Tyler left to set up for the par-tay and Erin and I watched her video again. I got the girls ready for the party, cleaned up a bit, and we headed to the shindig. I don't know what more I can say about how great my husband is, but he is freakin' THE BEST MAN EVER! It meant so much that he put so much effort into the night just to end up at home, that night, with an old lady! He played party planner, invite-maker, roadie, band manager of "The Janers," drummer, host, and SO MUCH MORE. Here's some pics:
Caylee and Mackenzie were the opening act (since, as Tyler explained, all big bands need opening acts), and they did SO WELL! I am hoping I can download the video one of these days so y'all who weren't there can hear them. They've been practicing with Tyler for a couple weeks, and, while Kenzie worked hard on the lyrics, Caylee practiced her performance moves. It was so stinkin' cute. They did really well. They sang some Hannah Montana and Dixie Chicks. Can you get a better set list?

So many great friends came to the party, old ones, new ones, from church and from work. Here's the Hulls. Stephanie and I serve in Young Women together and she had a baby, like, two weeks ago. I KNOW! Doesn't she look great. The Hulls are (supposedly) moving to Utah (they have to sell their house, so if you're lookin' . . .), but I'd keep up here for as long as I could (. . .call THEM if you want to buy their house, but then don't tell me you're aiding thier move. The thought make me sad. Sniff.)

Matt and Terry. They're newlyweds and marriage is treating them well. Thanks for asking :) Really, they said they had a good time. I think something was frightening Terry in this picture. There's others where they looked like they were having more fun.

Cousin Jerolyn and Friend Daniel
Two of the funniest people in my life!

Me and the Luceros. Tyler and I have made friends with them since Tyler and Ray work together at Silver State. I am so glad they (and the Halls and Thompsons) were able to make it too! They are part of the reason Tyler likes his job as much as he does.

L-R: Dominique and Samantha (students I used to teach), Dave and Mike (my brothers)
Thanks for slumming it with the old lady, kids! Not really their style of party, but they were troopers and credit to Dom and Sam for THE most disturbing birthday card I received this year.

Me, Lexi (my SIL who is due ANY minute)
You know she loves me since she came to an outdoor Las Vegas (106 degrees!) party even though she is going to have her baby girl ANY day. It's gonna happen while I am at camp and I am having to restrain my hopes that somehow she'll last until next Saturday when I get home. Love ya! And, too, to all the family who came and hung out. I love that you'll still put up with me and my antics (like birthday parties, etc.) Too, my cousins who came from across town. I love all my family!

A candid of the Irvines (in the background), Annilee, and of our Stewart friends (technically not related, I don't think, except through their frienship with us), Sherry (talking to Annilee) and her husband Derrick (in Orange), Duff and Leslie. Fun stuff. Derrick and Sherry's house was the hub of the activity, so special thanks to them and their cul-de-sac-itality. They let us use their street, garage, bathroom, power, coolers, pretty much anything we needed. They're awesome, and so are the Ballards who share the cul-de-sac and the Irvines, who's lot the band played in front of. Anyhow, they're all awesome and I love old friends and new friends meeting each other or reconnecting. Vegas really is a small world.

Finally, a good picture of the lead singer of Standard Deviation (Tyler's band) with his groupie wife, Ann. The Taylors are great friends and neighbors to us. We're thankful for all the band's help and their work. It took them all afternoon to move all the equipment and they all took time off from work, not to mention the practicing they have been doing. It was fun and the Bon Jovi number was awesome. You guys all sounded fabulous. Rock Stars!
So, pretty much 30 has started off pretty well. I have joked that this is the Year of the Sarah, but with such a great kick-off, Mike's call, girls' camp, Paris, etc. it's gonna rock. Thanks again for all the cards, gifts, emails, posts, etc. for my birthday. You made the decade transition SO much easier!


Jerolyn said...

Yes`I been a waitin' on some partay photos! Great post and great party. You don't look a day over 25. Welcome to the world of big girl panties!!! Sorry Erin I know you hate that word~love ya's

Jen Rose said...

Happy Birthday! It looks like you guys had so much fun. CRAZY - Sherry Stewart is my cousin. And I grew up with Duff Stewart. Our parents own a cabin together. Vegas IS really a small world.

chris jenkins said...

wow - you're good! i haven't even had time to pack yet. you are way ambitious!

thanks for the shout-out - you are too kind - i will get the pictures to you asap as soon as I get a day to get back to normal after camp.

i am off to sleep for like a couple hours. see ya manana.

Beth said...

It's Friday night and you're coming home tomorrow and I'm glad. I miss you. It's probably just KNOWING you're out of town, but knowing you're going to be gone for so long again in just a week has me missing you already. Come for Red Pepper Stew on Sunday. :)

annilee said...

Luv the post! I missed you, when are we doin lunch!!!