Adoring Annie...the Birthday Girl

Pronunciation: \ə-ˈdȯr\
1 : to worship or honor

2 : to regard with loving admiration and devotion

3 : to be very fond of

4: the way one little sister by the name of Sarah feels about her big sister, Annie.


I'm pretty sure that I was born adoring Annie.

My entire life, I've followed, tagged along, copied, and done everything in my power to be like her.

And she's turning the big 3-0.



Definitely due time for a birthday post in her honor.

(and a day early...I might add)


Might I just say, I'm pretty sure that the Big Man Upstairs knew just exactly who I'd be in this life of mine and that I could. not. survive. without my two amazing sisters.

Thank goodness for birthdays, and the chance it gives me to recognize them.

Today is Annie's turn.


When I was little, I don't think I did anything worth remembering without Annie right next to me. We're separated by 4 years, but that wasn't cause for much separation.
As our oldest sister, Kate, was often too cool and consumed by Wham! REM, Christian Slater, and things that "oldest" siblings do...we were often involved in all sorts of shenanigans in our attempt to be cool, too.
Living proof we tried to be cool like Kate...the year of the round brushed bob!
1. 2 . all 3 of us.
Nailed it.
Annie and I walked to school together, played school after school together, and made crusty faces together at Annie's friend Mandy who always had to be in charge when she played school with us.
1st Day of School 1989
We played what all little kids play...you know- bar, bank, Olympic rollerblading, and landlord.
Halloween 1987
When Annie got her first training bra and was embarrassed at school, I wrote her a note that said, "sorry about your bur."
Disneyland, 1990
We rode bikes, played Mario 3, made up half-time dances for Jazz games, and made classic infomercials for great products like Poo-Be-Gone.
Us probably attacking Kate with touching & affection, just like we do now. She loves it....
We'd wear shirts on our head like we had long hair, play McDonald's drive -thru (while bumping some sweet tunes), and run from the neighbors humping dog, Rambo after going to their house to "jump."
Quite sure here that my shirt is made of the same material as Annie's shorts.
And...how did Kate escape a face/hair shot here?
We always had each other's back... like the time she was babysitting my friend Stacey and I was over playing and had a bit of an "accident." She blamed it on their dog Star.
Even though Star never had accidents.
And we giggled. Oh man, did we giggle.
I think it's fair to say we got a few, "settle downs" from our parents.
Although, I'm certain Annie and I "played" until she was a sophomore in High School, she eventually grew up. But our relationship never changed.
She still let me tag along.
She still made me feel like I belonged with her group of friends.
We still occupied the entire upstairs of my parent's house together.
And she still took time for me.
A little sister's dream.
I remember her taking me on a date when she was in High School.
She took me to see Dante's Peak and we snuck in treats.
I think for like 9 years, I claimed Dante's Peak was my favorite movie.
(job well done, Pierce Brosnan).
When I was 12, I went to Academy for Girls at BYU.
I didn't want to go because the Jazz were in the playoffs.
And I was totally obsessed with Karl Malone, afterall.
Annie initiated my ditching out the last day, and picked me up to go to the playoff game.
My hero.
When Annie went to school in Hawaii, I made her a tape of lines from movies we always watched together.
I watched those movies night after night while she was gone.
Do you think it's fair to say I adored her?
The coolest thing about Annie is that she entirely endulges me and my slight obsession of her by always being there when I'm bored, lonely, hyper, sad, anxious, worried, happy, excited, etc.
She 100% reciprocates...and makes me feel cool.
Like the summers when Hayley and I would go on the Ride (a week of horseback riding/camping with my grandpa and his friends & kids) and Annie was so old and cool in our eyes.
Rather than act like we were two annoying little 11 year olds (like we were), she showed us the ropes, took care of us, and taught us how to do things the Joe's Valley way.
Joes Valley 1995
Then, there was the time when I was going to SUU and I didn't answer my phone for like 2 hours.
Yeah. She left 89 messages on my phone.
She laughed at herself in like 87 of them.
Or, the time when I was also going to SUU and she drove all the way down just to surprise me on my doorstep when I was having a rough week.
Graduation, University of Utah 2005
remember that day, sis? ewww.
Then, there's the numerous times she's left me an Oreo frosty in my freezer or watched Jack for me, or fed me dinner when I was husbandless for the night.
Jack and Annie, October 2009
She always listens.
Always cares.
Always knows what to say and when.
(for heavens sakes, it really is just like talking to myself!)
Always makes me laugh.
Always loves me for me.
And always let me be...her shadow.
Oh sister. I know turning thirty's causing you stress.
But, I've been a part of your life for nearly 7/8 of it, and you've managed to make a complete and total fan out of me.
You're a remarkable mother, a great sister, daughter, wife, aunt, and friend. You have a certain charm about you that just makes people love you.
Not a bad person to shadow, I'd say.
Forget age.
You have and always will be....adored.
By me.
Your little sister.
Happy Birthday Modon!
I love you.
Oh, and remember this?
30's got nothing on you!


The George: Day 3

Our last day of our little getaway was spent with just the 3 of us.
We did a couple of hikes up Snow Canyon.
It was so warm, and we had fun just bumming around as a little family.
We also discovered that I am a really skilled hiker. mmmmm
We had all sorts of a good time climbing around the rocks and caves.
Jack was in heaven.
I'm pretty sure that Jack's face in this picture may be the funniest thing I've ever seen.
I'm also pretty sure Jack could've played around this little cave for the entire day.
And yet another picture of Jack entirely sacked out.
As you can tell, he had a really hard time sleeping.
On our way home, we were able to stop at one of my best friend, Lou's, house in St. George.
Not only was I ecstatic to see her and her new house,
but our little boys definitely needed to become acquainted now that they're a little older.
These little mugs couldn't have been cuter.
We stayed just long enough for me to cry from laughing so hard...
and then we were on our way home.
The drive was a piece of cake, with Jack sleeping 3/4 of it.
This trip was a much needed break from the day to day, and so nice to have Brett all to ourselves for 3 whole days!
If you need somewhere to go....head down south!
It's not very far, and it's the PERFECT time of year.
I'm ready to turn right around and do it all over again.


The George: Day 2

Day 2 of our little getaway was spent at Zions.
It is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.
Don't believe me?
Told you so.
We spent the entire day in the park.
We went on several hikes that were absolutely gorgeous.
(almost as gorgeous as my post winter tan...in shorts)
The day's starting to take it's toll....
Yep. Toll taken.
After a full day in the park, we met up with Michelle and her family as they got into town and went to dinner at Brick Oven.
Our poor poor waitress. 8 adults and 10 children later, we definitely left a mark!
It was another great day!
I'm 100% motivated to spend more time in Zions.


The George: Day 1

We headed down to St. George this weekend to meet up with a couple of Brett's sisters as they were on route to Disneyland.
My #1 goal of the trip was to take lots of pictures.
277 later, I think I accomplished that goal.
All while having an absolute blast.
It was such a great weekend with Brett & Jack.
I'm sure you'll die of shock to hear this...but Jack was... in a word... a dream.
Good sleeping. Good traveling. Good sport all around.
Since breaking down 277 photos is a bit overwhelming, I'll split up the trip over the span of a few posts.
Day #1:
Travel Day & Snow Canyon Sand Dunes
We found Jack like this approximately 10 minutes into the drive.
We took a brief look around my old stomping grounds at the SUU campus.
We ate our lunch here on the grass and let Jack get his crawl on.
This creepy (tickle tickle face) picture of me is for my old roomies...just inside that building lives our good friend Sharwan!
We got into St. George in the late afternoon.
Let me take this chance to sincerely thank my awesome cousin Jessie and her husband for letting us stay in their amazing house down there.
It was so nice to be able to avoid a hotel, and to have a place for Jack to crawl freely (without contracting a disease), and to sleep soundly.
You guys are the best!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
After we got into St. George, we met up with the Jones' for a dinner picnic and endless fun at some sand dunes up Snow Canyon.
It was an absolutely beautiful evening.
Great company in a gorgeous setting made it just perfect.
In case you were wondering, Craig and I are trying to be twins
Jack couldn't have had more fun rummaging through the sand.
Brett was thoroughly entertained as well.
It really was a perfect start to the weekend!
click collage to see it in all it's glory


Friday Night Fail

Last night, in a last ditch effort to make something of a Friday night, I had the brilliant idea to go out and get some ice cream. Considering our child goes to bed before the sun sets, it is rare to go anywhere past 7:00. However, Jack took a late nap, had just been bathed and pj’d, and we had about a half hour before he needed to enter into dreamland.


Being the cheapskate I am, I dug through my wallet for some washed up gift cards some students had given me. Red Mango & Maggie Moo’s…those were our choices.


Since Brett insists that making the effort to go get ice cream was not worth a “healthy treat,” we decided on Maggie Moos, although I don’t think we have ever in our lives been there. It’s about 2 minutes from our house, so that added to its appeal.

In and out, lickety split.

That was the deal.


I jumped into the driver’s seat, so that I didn’t have to be the one to load Jack in his carseat for the 99th time of the day. Brett stayed back with Jack and we were off.


As we pulled into the parking lot, I was feeling so free and easy, that I decided there was no need to bring in the diaper bag. No need for my wallet since we had a gift card. No need for anything. Just me, jack, and a towering cup of ice cream….tra la la! Brett gets out with Jack, sockless, too small pajama Jack, while I threw caution to the wind, tossed my keys on the passenger seat, responsibly pushed the lock button and closed my door.

Zippidie doo da…we were on our way….Then, I realized what I had done.

FAIL #1.


I tried desperately to pin it on Brett, “Did you lock the car?!?” No matter that it’s not physically possible to lock the car from the back seat. There had to have been more to this mistake. It was so blatantly stupid.


It took one glance in the window to see my keys…taunting me from inside.

I’ve locked my keys in my car probably over 20 times. (Honestly)

Why don’t I have a spare? (I don’t want to talk about it)

We walk into Maggie Moos to get our poor blanketless, sockless child in from the cold, and always-sensible Brett says, “I’ll run home. Then I’ll drive back and get you.”

That’s when rational Sarah says, “You can’t run. Who do you think you are?”

Fail #2.

Then there may have been an exchange of words about how mean I am.

Sorry 'bout that one, Brett.


Putting the running home idea to rest, we decide to call my mom to come get us.

Sarah: “Give me your phone”

Brett: “I left it home, use yours.”

Sarah: Ok…oh wait, it’s in the car…I’ll go get it …DOH!


So there we are sockless, blanketless, bagless, carless, and now phoneless.


Brett asked the gangly teenager behind the counter for their phone and lucky for us, Jackie trusted that when her caller ID said Maggie Moo’s it must've meant EMERGENCY.


Suddenly my worry changed from the keys to the fact that my child had bare feet. My mom is practically the face of undershirts and socks. She was going to kill me.


Brett decided to make this whole circus worth it and got us some ice cream. The good news is he forgot to use the gift card.

Fail #3.


As soon as my mom’s little mug peeked in, we were saved.

The first words out of her mouth? “Where are Jack’s socks?”

She wasn't the slightest bit surprised by my locked out shinanigans.

I took the element of surprise out of these mistakes long ago.


We got in my mom's car...she immediately blasted the heater, because Jack was hypothermic from the whole sock thing, afterall.


Because Jack's carseat was in my locked car, we had to pull a Britney and buckle Jack in with me.

Fail #4.

hero of the night..

When we got home, I got Brett the number for our roadside service that my oh so wise insurance agent felt would be a must to include in our policy.

(I told you I’ve done this lots of times).

After Brett dialed the number, he instantly held the phone to my ear. I’ll keep my blog G rated, but it was definitely one friendly roadside company or..I don’t know…a sex hotline.

We checked the number.

A 4 instead of a 9.

Fail #5.

The rest of the night, Brett got racy texts sent to his phone from the number.


In the end, we go the car unlocked. No real harm done.


Except it’s just another bullet point in a long list of things in my absent-minded resume.


I’ve contributed quite a lot to that resume this week.

Lost camera at aquarium, CHECK!

Lost debit card? CHECK!

Keys locked in car? CHECK!


Sarah learns to make a collage...

Did you know I am an art teacher?
Well, I am.
And by the looks of my collage below... a really good one.
I know.
I know.
Be impressed.
(except it may or may not have taken me 2 hours to figure out how to make it)
Here is a bit of what Jack
(have I mentioned him before?)
has been up to this week.
(please take a moment to admire his Easter duds)
Visit to the Aquarium & Park
Turning 10 Months Old
...& strolling around shirtless to celebrate!
(you know, the basics)


Mama, this one's for you.

..Happy Birthday
My One and Only
She's like 43 (or something) today.
If you know me, then you know my mom.
And you know that I am one lucky sap.
You see, I might die without my mom.
(see here, I've said this before)
Writing a post about her is like writing her a "Thank You" note.
Impossible to cover it all.
u But, here's a start.
A list of all things Jackie.
If you want the funniest texting sequence of your life...text my mom.
Bar none the. funniest. texter. ever.
My mom can rock it with the best of them.
Bet if you've ever driven with her, it hasn't been a quiet ride.
I can't even get started on her love for Tom Petty.
(hence the song tribute on the blog today)
No matter the occasion, or even if there is no real occasion, I'd like to clone whatever my mom is wearing and replace my rags for it.
Consider it a daily prayer to look like her when I'm her age.
Or now.
She has the most wicked sense of humor.
The fact that she uses the word "Tits" as an adjective to describe things that are awesome pretty much says it all.
How many text replies do I get a week from her with that simple 4 letter word?
I just counted.
Growing up, she had a cut out picture of John Black from Days of Our Lives hanging in the spice cupboard.
We still talk pretty much daily about the happenings on the show like the people are part of our family.
My mom is the eternal optimist.
Always looks on the bright side.
Never dwells on the negative.
She deserves the Grandma of the Year Award.
Can't even explain all that she does for her grandkids.
Just trust me.
You'd be more than impressed.
She has an obsession with white t-shirts.
She might own like 298,493 of them.
I could be wearing a brand new one and hers would still look more perfectly crisp and white.
She is the epitome of class and style.
Not only the way she presents herself, but in the way she keeps her house, and the way she throws a party.
Always put together, perfectly.
Sisters, has she ever worn anything with a wrinkle?
Didn't think so.
It really is a gift.
Growing up, she was always friends with our friends.
She made our house the house everyone wanted to hang out at.
She wrote Brett every week on his mission for heaven's sake.
She is the most selfless person I know.
Add thoughtful to that, too.
Oh, and generous.
Quite the combo.
Now that I have Jack, I find myself trying to be the mom she was to me.
Everything down to the way I rock him and pat his back.
Rub. Rub. Pat. Pat.
I want to sound like her when I sing to him.
Rock-a-bye- don't- you-cry.
I'm sure when he can sit in the front seat with me, I'll always reach my hand over to block him when I come to a quick stop.
She still does that to me, even now.
(this picture is too classic not to post again)
When we go to Disneyland, I'll be the one to hold the tickets, chapstick, and bandaids.
Anything he needs. I'll have it.
Just like she always did.
Just like she always does.
.. No one on this planet could replace her.
She's my mom.
And she's perfect.
I can only hope Jack feels about me the way I feel about her.
Complete adoration.
I love you, mom.
(even in 1988 in a sweet neon blue and black one piece ski suit!)
I couldn't ask for a better mom or friend.
Happy Birthday!
Jack says it better...