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!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Erin said...

Happy Birthday Laura. You're one of the best friends I could ever hope for or want!

Yah Yah said...

Okay that was hilarious especially the spray butter incident (not to be confused with the "sting cheese incident" which is a band)

Thanks for the post oh beloved lewis sister. I have such great "content" to work with in my family that I couldn't ask for better parents, siblings, and neices and nephews. You all stand by me no matter what I get myself into and I have been given so many chances [2nd, 3rd, 4th] that I haven't deserved. I haven't been the easiest child/sister/aunt but I thank you for never giving up on me.

Have I mentioned that I was invited to participate in JAck MArtindale's facebook????

Yah Yah said...

I meant to say thanks to my SISTERS

Mom said...


I am sorry I am in NY and not there to celebrate with you, but have left you in good hands with Dad and Carrie Sue.

Oh wait, celebrating with you ends up showing up at work when you are working 24-7 on taxes, with a treat and flowers.

I LOVE you very very much!!! You are an absolutely wonderful, amazing, thoughtful, kind, loving, considerate, generous daughter.

Dave said...

I owe most of my wardrobe to Laura. Apparently other people in the family are tougher to buy for than me who has been caught wearing a pillow case with three holes cut in it for a shirt, which supposedly makes it more fun to shop for me. Laura is one of the most generous people I know, not just with her gifts, but with her personal investment in people. Like Carrie said she shows so much interest in those around her.
It is hard not to feel loved when you are around Laura.

PS Carrie do you purposely put that picture of Rand sitting on the edge of the bed in every blog post possible?

Rand said...

Happy Birthday Yah-Yah! M will be very disapointed there isn't a big party planned. He was quite dismayed as we discussed last night. He had some very specific ideas on the present we should get for you. We'll see how you like it. We finished the two-week celebration of his b-day last night by breaking the Pinata. I'm sorry you weren't there to scramble for the candy with everyone, even little S. We sure appreciate everything you do for us--you're weekly babysitting visits have been wonderful. T clearly likes them as he dissed his friends to go out with you one night--of course, he might have been angling for a gift--only his Aunt S enjoys something new as much as he does. Happy birthday little sis! We love you!

Rand said...

BTW, I have noticed that Carrie very much enjoys that picture of me with the bad neck. Pinched nerve, box of kleenex and 16+ hours a day in the car made for a memorable first trip to Hawaii. Amazing I went back! Who knew the short-short era would look so bad 20+ years later.

Chris said...

As the frequent beneficiary of Laura's baking I don't find it too hard to believe that she was an innovator at Mrs. Fields. She is hands down the best and most creative baker ever and a lot of fun to work with.

Hope you have a great B-Day, even if you are stuck in the office for most of it!

Amy said...

Happy Birthday, Laura! I loved #2 and #15 -- the most! It is so true, the first time we met at a Washington Park Ward potluck I ended up telling you the most intimate details of my horrific past relationship. I don't know if that says more about you or me . . . But I have to say that most of all I love your "dinner" parties. I remember the first time I read Harry Potter, I dreamt of going to a feast at Hogwarts and then I went to one of Laura's parties. They win hands down. They are indescribable and I am salivating right now, just thinking about them. Happy Birthday to YOU!!!

Kristin Kaplan said...

Laura is a sister to me. She is an amazing person. She is loving, friendly, always interested in everyone and their lives. Laura is such a caring person. She goes out of her way to be there for everyone in her life. Laura is an inspiration to all. She touches everyone's heart who gets to be with her. I love you Laura. You are my sister. Happy Birthday to you.

Travis said...

Konichiwah and happy birthday Yah Yah! The Stratford NYC clan owes pretty much everything to you. Vi ses snart,


p.s., I love the photo of Gordon with the trucker hat. So nice!

Smiths said...

Happy Birthday Laura! Of course anyone who meets you has to love you! Hope you had a wonderful day!

sara said...

i have a couple more comments.

1. that first picture of her looks a LOT like tan-man. does anyone else think so?

2. i forgot to mention the capacity laura's mouth has to hold gum in it. one time we were making the drive between utah and colorado (i could do a whole post on those drives... the time we ran out of gas, and so on) and had fallen asleep. laura was tired too, and kept adding pieces of gum every time she felt tired. when i woke up she looked over and me and slurred, "guess how many pieces of gum i have in my mouth right now?" i think it was 12. CRAZY. she was totally drooling all over the place. ha!

3. carrie's love for that picture of us all on the bed in hawaii has nothing to do with you, rand. she puts it on every post because it's one of the few times she and i are in matching outfits. we all know carrie's dream is to be my twin.

Missy said...

I completely agree with Carrie's comment that Laura is very easy to talk to and makes you feel as if what you are saying is very important. I have fond memories of spending hours one rainy afternoon in Brooklyn talking with Laura in the hallway of Sara's building while the kids ran wild. She is a great sister and sister-in-law to two of my favorite people in the world. Happy Birthday.

Adam said...

Happy Birthday Laura! You really are one of my fav. people...i mean come on, who else could I talk about all my shows with?! And swap yummy desserts? Hope you had a great day!
love whitley
(Adam says happy birthday too.)

em said...

Happy Birthday sweet cousin! I am so lucky to have you paving the way for me! No one mentioned how great you are at including EVERYONE! Anytime there's an event or anything going on you do a great job of making sure everyone gets invited and that everyone's included...
I still remember you and S letting me be angels with you in the Christmas Contada. I felt so cool!

Hope you've had a wonderful day! I love you!

Natalee said...

I had a good chuckle over the chocolate potato and I can just picture Gordon telling Carrie to eat it anyway. Too funny.
Happy Birthday Laura! I love you and miss you to death. I can say I have been the receiver of endless service from Laura. I remember being in college and receiving gift packages from Laura filled with the bugle,pretzel, etc mix, cookies, and other baked goods. That was just the begining. I will never forget the "anonymous" packages I would get with new pajamas for Hudson and shirts for myself. And it is so true that all I do is talk about myself when I'm with Laura because she is so genuinely interested in the details of others lives. She is a true friend. You're the best!

di said...

happy birthday! i remember sampling one of those yummy cookies years ago. i don't know if you know or not, but you were one of my sister cheryl's biggest role models in high school. thanks!
we love you!

Barb Roper said...

Happy Birthday "little L". You are an awesome person and I'm glad to know you! I especially enjoyed all the Lewis pictures. Funny, funny.

Andrea Jensen said...

I loved reading all the stories. I haven't seen you Laura in 2-3 years and I miss you ! I can picture all these stories in detail. Happy Birthday!

Amanda Pope said...

So mine is a little late, but I suppose a fellow accountant would understand while all of a sudden on March 18th I would finally have time to be a reasonable family member! Happy Birthday! Laura, I had such a great time visiting with you on our trip out to Chicago. You nearly killed me on our hike up the mountain, but we had a great time. Really, one to remember. Also, offering Mike a gym pass was also inspired. Maybe I will even post again once April 15th comes! Happy Birthday!