Happy Birthday Laura!!!
Just when Laura thought the Birthday attention was winding down...here are 18 things you may not know about Laura:
1. Our first nephew couldn't pronounce her name correctly - it came out "yah yah." The name has stuck and now everyone calls her "yah yah."
2. She is hands downs the best audience you will ever find for a personal story. She will give all sorts of fantastic reactions and can say "WhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT?" in a wonderfully dramatic way (that can be heard all the way from Texas).
3. Laura is a performer. She is an amazing singer, harmonizer, dancer, and piano player. And, she can do many of those things simultaneously. You really should ask her to sing "Don't cry for me Argentina" sometime. She has the type of voice that makes you want to lay back and close your eyes so you can focus on the crystal clear quality of it.
3.5 (Sara's addition): When Laura was in high school, she used to call boys she liked and SERENADE them over the phone. Her favorite selections were, "I'll Be Your Candle on the Water" and "Think of Laura."
4. Laura is a cho-co-holic. OK - you probably know this about Laura. If you know her at all, you know chocolate is one of her deepest loves. Not only does she love to eat chocolate...she loves to work with chocolate. She can invent the most delightful desserts and is always baking and taking treats to people. What I would love more than anything is to give her a trip to Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory for her birthday.
5. Laura invented, that's right, INVENTED the over sized chocolate chip cookie. She was working at Mrs. Fields in high school and suggested they make over sized cookies for special occasion gifts (of course she had been making them for years as gifts - in the shape of a dog, Easter egg, football stadium, etc.) They passed on the idea...and a few months after she left, Mrs. Fields mysteriously started selling over sized chocolate chip cookies. THIEVES!
5.5. (Sara's addition): Laura, S has requested one of these giant cookies for her b-day. You have to make it look like a Pokeball. Good luck.
6. Laura does NOT like being cold, and often is. She lives in a world of fleece to help insulate her against the cold. She even has fleece bed sheets - which she slips into, while wearing fleece pants and a fleece jacket. I know what you are thinking. Doesn't the fleece stick to itself and trap her so she can't move at night? This is not a problem. Laura is famous for not moving one muscle while asleep. She has always been the sibling of choice when bed sharing was forced.
7. Laura is extremely generous. She consistently breaks the "only buy for 1 sibling" rule at Christmas time and buys for everyone. I always feel sheepish when my nephews open the $10 book I got them after they have opened the puffy North Face jacket from Laura. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Be careful when you compliment her on a piece of her wardrobe. She is likely to take it off and give it to you. She is always on the look out for those who have needs (friends, ward members, etc.) and going out of her way to meet those needs. She spends a large portion of her time and money serving others, often anonymously.
8. Yah Yah is a wonderful and dedicated Aunt. She goes out of her way to spoil and spend time with her nieces and nephews. Those who live close are assured regular dates with Aunt Yah Yah either for dinner, movie, ice cream, or shopping. Those who live far are assured regular care packages in the mail from Aunt Yah Yah. The care packages come stocked with enough toys, kits, and treats to keep a kid entertained for weeks! I can't wait for my little baby to meet and love its Aunt Yah Yah.
9. Laura really, really, really hates the rain. Maybe it has something to do with spending 2 years on a bike, in Sweden, on a mission, in a constant downpour of rain. I will never forget when we picked her up in Sweden and were on a long drive in the van. When it started to rain she pressed her face against the window and started to cry.
10. Speaking of her mission, I should mention that Laura is quite active. In high school she was one of the fastest cross country runners in the state. She still loves to go for a nice long jog. I think the average mission companion lost 20 pounds when serving with her.
10.5. (Sara's addition): One time I ran the Bolder Boulder with Laura. I almost died. It felt like I was a dog chasing a fire truck for 6.2 miles. I can't believe I hung with her ALMOST the whole time (she lost me at the end.) She can literally run FOREVER.
11. Laura thinks parking signs (and other traffic signs) come with a footnote that say "Does not apply to Laura." She has had her car towed & ticketed countless times and always seems so shocked! When asked "Were you parked illegally" she replies "Yes...BUT..."
12. She is an extremely hard worker. She often bills more hours than anyone in her office. While my parents were taking the rest of us aside and telling us to "work harder, get better grades, live up to your potential!" they were taking Laura aside and saying "Laura don't work so hard, take a break, don't be so hard on yourself!"
13. Laura introduced Sara and her husband Travis - and then encouraged her to date him (even after he exhibited some stalker-ish behaviors).
14. Laura is an accountant by day and once ran a mini-bakery by night. She started a business and sold all sorts of delightful chocolate treats to local stores. The business was going great, but finally she had to give it up b/c tax season was just too time consuming.
15. Laura cares about and is interested in you! She demonstrates her interest by asking all sorts of thoughtful questions about your life. You have to really pin her down in order to get her to talk about herself. One minute you think you've got her telling you about her weekend...and the next thing you know, you are sharing a painful childhood memory.
16. (Sara's addition): She's an avid reader. She has finished every book ever started, even if it was really, really lame. She can also read while doing absolutely anything: walking, stairmastering, cooking, hiking, cleaning, and driving (which may explain some of the bumps and nicks on her car's exterior).
17. (Sara's addition): Laura thinks spray butter can be put on ANYTHING. And conversely, anything can be put in empty spray butter bottles. Carrie once had a nasty surprise when she sprayed hot chocolate on her baked potato. And then Gordon suggested she eat it anyway.
18. Laura loves gumballs, especially really massive gumballs. Two memories come to mind - the time she passed out gumballs to all the nieces and nephews while they were in the hot tub. 50% of the that gum ended up cemented to the hot tub floor. Another time she passed out gumballs as the primary chorister to all the kids - but told them they had to wait until after church to eat the gum. The kids walked out of church that day with blue/purple/pink hands.
Laura is a wonderful person. She has a very kind heart - and cares deeply about those she comes in contact with. Laura I love you so much - my life would not be the same without you!!!