I have blogged two days in a row... now I am feeling all this pressure. There are still about ten of you who are reading and that kinda stresses me out. Just be warned. I really don't have a ton of exciting things to write about. Read at your own risk. Yadda, yadda, yadda.
So, I do have something I want to record for all posterity. The crush I have on one of my sisters-in-law, Stacy. I really love her. A lot. The past couple months have sealed the deal and I would like to dedicate this post to her.
For those of you don't know my brother, Nate, he's #3 of the 5 Garrard kids. Instead of the stereotypical forgotten middle child, Nathan was a rock star. He was the firstborn son and as my "oldest" male counterpart, he and I have similar take control personalities (although, I do recognize he is nowhere near as bossy and particular as me.) To illustrate how important Nate is to our family, allow me to share a story. One night, in the midst of Nate serving his two year mission for the church, my mom had a dream that all her kids died. It was one of those wake up sobbing stories. Ya know, devastating and stuff. Later in the morning after she had composed herself, Mom called me to tell me about her dream, and she ended the retelling with (and this is a direct quote), "the whole thing was so sad, but I was most sad that Nathan died." Well then. There ya go. Kinda rearranged the pecking order right thar. But really, I get it. Nate's a good guy. He was never a little brother that I "couldn't stand" or anything. Sure, he was quirky and marched to the beat of his own drummer (and to his own hair stylist), but I've always been grateful to have the siblings I've had, Nate included. [I seriously can't remember having a fight with Nate growing up . . . perhaps some of the other family can remember more than me...]
Anyway, fast forward (or rewind) or whatever and Nate found himself with a kid and a wife [yes, in that order] and that whole thing isn't that important. BUT what is important is that when he got a wife, we (the Garrard clan) gained the one and only Stacy Layton. We've all agreed, we really scored in that deal.
Stacy is funny. There's no question she is afraid to ask . . . to anyone. She is honest and transparent and REAL. I can always count on Stacy keepin' it real and saying things that nobody has the nerve to say. . .out loud. She is a good mom and an excellent wife to her "huzz," my brother. AND there's the small wondrous factor that she has provided me with a niece and two nephews who are cute and so friggin smart and fun and funny. Once she bet Tyler $100 we'd have a 6th kid. She hasn't given up the hope even though we've both literally been sterilized... and she doesn't pass up the opportunity to let us know how it could work out to her benefit. She has said some classic (not-even-appropriate-for-the-blog) things since I've known her and she'll laugh at herself as much as she'll laugh at someone else. It. Is. REFRESHING.
So, a couple months ago when my brother, Nate, had this brain aneurysm mess [recap: Nate had a brain aneurysm and then a craniotomy and then a gnarly infection and then a long recovery] and my love for Stacy increased a badillion fold. The whole thing has been awfully tough and mostly I've just watched the whole thing go down. In all my empathetic emotions for my brother, nothing has surpassed the emotions I have felt for Stacy. For a while, there was no way to know what Nate's prognosis would be and the agony of that uncertainty would have pushed me into a loony bin. Stac was ah-maz-ing. She talked with people, kept a positive perspective, balanced raising 3 kids with an incapacitated husband, blogged, faced groups of people with never ending questions DAY AFTER DAY AFTER DAY. And the whole time she loved my brother more and more. And I loved her more-r and more-r. I was just super grateful for Stacy being Stacy.
In my life, I was blessed with one sister and then I inherited another sister when I married Tyler. Since Lexi was always around and part of my life she felt like a little sister automatically. Being married and my brothers marrying has also provided me with 5 more "sisters" and I am so blessed to have these women in my life. I could seriously write a whole post about Erin, Lexi, Amy, Mindie, Stacy, Emily, or Melinda, but tonight I want Stacy to know she holds a big fat place in my heart. She can pretty much not do much wrong in my book. Her farts even smell good ;)
Thanks for all you do and for loving our family. I know sometimes you love us just because we're lovable, sometimes it's for Nate, and sometimes it's because you have to and in any way it comes, I appreciate you accepting us. We joke that your impression of the Garrards was us up on some pedestal when, in reality, it is you who is far above us. Thanks for being such a good mom to your kids and letting them be friends with my kids. Thanks for loving my kids and my husband and for being interested in them (including *interviewing* Tyler so you could get to know him better.) You forged a hard road being the first daughter-in-law and I'm so grateful for the friendship I share with you and for the ones you have with Erin and Emily, too. It really is nice having a sisterhood. Another thing I love about you is your testimony and example of faith. In such a good, loving, un-forceful way you set a wonderful example to our family and those around you of what is right and true. We are blessed to have you and I love your guts!
Love ya always and forever,