9.14.2008

Happy Birthday Master Sara


35 years ago today a master was born.

While it is true that Sara and I are sisters, we have always been much, much more than that. Sara has always been the master...and I have always been her lowly apprentice. Thus, this year to honor Sara's birth I thought I would share 10 things she has taught me over the years:

1. What a normal relationship looks like

Sara was always a hot commodity with the men. Boys wanted to date her - and date her they did. I on the other hand was a bit of a late bloomer, and didn't begin dating until my college years. Thus, Sara spent many an hour coaching me in the ways of love. Lesson #1: if you want to date a guy he has to actually know you exist. So, complete avoidance apparently doesn't work - who knew?

I remember intently trying to explain that I COULD in fact talk to my boyfriend about our relationship problems...we just had to be alone, in a car, on a weekend, during the middle of the night. She tenderly tried to explain how completely INSANE that was. (after all, sometimes problems need to be addressed during the day!) I feel I married the right guy in large part due to her patient coaching.

2. How to avoid practicing the piano

A deep hatred for the piano is something Sara and I shared from an early age. Sara carefully instructed me in the art of cutting down the required piano practice time. With out her, I maybe never would have thought to sneak into the kitchen and change my mom's timer from 30 minutes to 15. Or, the easiest deception of all - jump on the piano just minutes before my mom walks out the door to run errands.

3. Wear Sunscreen

From the day Sara decided protection from the sun was a priority - she has not stepped foot out of the house without a hat or sunscreen. As a result her skin is completely void of wrinkles.


In fact this very summer she was at the grocery store stocking up on goods. The cashier asked "So, what are you doing this summer?" Sara was a bit confused by the question, but played along and said, "Well...um...I pretty much have been hanging out with my three kids." The cashier was shocked and appalled. Apparently she had assumed Sara was 16 and out from school on summer break.

4. Bacon makes everything better

This was cooking lesson number one. Culinary lesson number two was even more important: cooking bacon in butter makes it taste even more delicious. Sara has taught me much in the ways of cooking. 85% of my recipes came via Sara.

5. Good TV = Bad TV

Sara has taught me the art of loving good (otherwise known as bad) TV shows. She started me young on 90210, Melrose place, and My So Called Life. Over the years things progressed to the bachelor, Laguna Beach, and Sex in the City. Recently she has taught me to love and appreciate The Hills and Friday Night Lights. There is nothing more fun that watching a bad TV show with Sara. Speaking of which - Sara, did you catch the new 90210? Isn't it FABULOUS?

6. If you want to be skinny, stop eating.


Check out that hot bod. Have you ever seen a more defined leg? Sara has tried to teach me the art of being skinny. Apparently it is a 2 step process. 1. Exercise on a regular basis. In this lesson I have been a good and obedient apprentice. Lesson # 2: When you are full, stop eating. Honestly could it be more simple? Alas, I can not stop bringing food to my mouth. Sara has more self control than anyone I know. When her stomach reaches full not even a single pea, sitting all alone on her dinner plate will manage to sneak its way into her mouth. She is full, thus, the eating must stop. I know Sara has shared this helpful tip with me time and time again...maybe one day I'll give it a go.

7. North face in and of itself is not a "style"

Sara has attempted to teach me to dress with style. In this category I have also proved somewhat of a slow learner. Luckily Sara does not give up easily. In the face of my failure, Sara simply decided to buy clothes for me. I'm sure I put them together incorrectly, but having them in my wardrobe is a good start...

8. Freckles are beautiful


My whole life I've thought Sara was the most beautiful girl in the world - and I've always wanted to look just like her. So while most ladies on TV are light on freckles, I knew that if they were on Sara's face, they had to be beautiful. Thanks for teaching me to love my freckles Sara.

9. Snowboarding

If it wasn't for Sara, I never would have learned to snowboard since her husband Travis taught me how. Actually Travis taught Sara and I to snowboard on the same day, while they were just dating. I still remember Travis coming over to me with a nervous look on his face since Sara was in fact crying during the course of the lesson. It is nice that once and a while the apprentice can rise above the master. I'm pretty sure I could beat Sara down the mountain on a snowboard...while blind folded...giving her a 20 minute head start...with glue on the bottom of my board.
ha ha ha.

10. The definition of a mother


And last but not least, Sara has taught me the art of motherhood - primarily through example. I have never seen a mother more fun, more devoted, or more patient with her children. When you go to a playground with Sara it is only a matter of time before all the playground kids are following her around - desperate for her attention. She knows how to relate to children, how to make them feel loved and important. She is the most amazing mother in the entire world - and I hope she will mentor me as I take a crack at becoming a mother.

No matter the topic, or time of day - when I call Sara for advice she gives me her undivided attention. She is always ready and willing to tackle my current life problems. She is incredibly patient with me - always eager to help make my life easier and better. I love you so much Sara, and am glad you took upon yourself such a lowly apprentice.

So what have you learned from Sara?

24 comments:

Mom said...

Amen to EVERYTHING Carrie said about her beloved Master sister.

Yes Sara is very very fit-exercises faithfully everyday but Sunday. She stops eating after dinner and doesn't eat again until morning. (Something I wish I could do, but alas?)

On the piano and practicing, what an eye opener. Then "shock of shocks" this summer, Sara is actually teaching Scout how to play the piano. I loved it.

She is an absolutely AMAZING kind, loving, organized, fun fun mother. AT the playgroud the Pied Piper comes to mind because yes indeed, ALL the children flock to her. Every day is another fun adventure with their mother.

Everytime she comes to Colorado she is determined to weed out my clothes closet, and update me.

Her house is immaculate and very well organized which is amazing, because you should have seen her room growing up and especially during her teenage years. We actually moved her room into the basement, so I wouldn't have to walk by it every day and see the disarray. She knows how to clean and would clean and straighten her room every Sat. However by Sat. night, when she was trying on her clothes and leaving them ON THE FLOOR trying to decide what to wear, her room was a disaster again.

I can't think of any greater satisfaction or more heartwarming than to see your child as a wonderful parent, and serving others even when she has tons on her plate.

I LOVE you tons dear Sara and I HATE that you live so far away from the rest of us.

Mom said...

Sorry Sara it is just me again. I forgot to mention something you have heard your whole life, that truly the angels LOVE freckles, because all those beautiful freckles are indeed
"angel kisses."

Dave said...

Sara is also very well versed in Japanese law. If you ever have a legal question about using your camera phone in Japan talk to Sara. She will point you in the right direction.

Happy Birthday Sara. We love you.

Janice said...

Happy Birthday Sara. You taught me the beauty of the well placed one-liner.

Many of my memories of Sara come in the form of hilarious one-liners often said under her breath to me during early morning Seminary. (Shar, Shar) Also, I have this hilarious memory of her imitating some guy who came to our choir and sang for us, "Luck Be a Lady Tonight." She was cupping her hands and taking really big steps. HILARIOUS!

She also was a WAY better sight reader than me. I still suck at it. She also has the BEST hair on the planet. THE BEST!

eryka said...

Happy Birthday!!! I hope you have a great one.

You are always welcome to come stay with us in your old house. Good luck on the future home.

Lets play this week.

Madschill said...

I love so many things about Sara. I will share two. One is her ability to put people at ease, instantly. You feel as though she is your best friend and she has nothing more important to do than listen to you and your problems. I remember being at the park in Carroll Gardens one day with Sara pushing our kids on the swings. A few minutes later this dad joins us-a complete stranger mind you-and within minutes he and Sara were discussing different forms of birth control.

I also LOVE Sara's sense of humor. One of my funniest memories is Sara talking about taking the ward van (there wasn't one, but we all thought there should be one as none of us had cars) to DC on a temple trip. She said she would be happy to drop anyone off at the temple but she was going on to IKEA.

I'm so glad I'll always be related to you! xoxo

Hilma Bellessa said...

I'd have to say I'm about the luckiest mother-in-law in the world. Sara keeps me fashion forward and shares her darling children with me.

I have felt so privileged to be called to help when needed and love to be at her home and to see what a great mother and organizer she is.

I remember when I was visiting soon after Crosby was born when she took me to Target to give me some fashion advice. As I came out of the dressing room Scout and Calder were running in and out of the clothes racks and Crosby was crying to be fed. Only Sara would make that sacrifice for me and I ended up with a really cute skirt I've worn a lot.

I love hearing her and my girls discussing all the bad TV they watch. I know Amy has said there is a study that Harvard educated women particularly love "Buffie the Vampire" series. I'm glad they enjoy each other and have so much affection and fun.

She is a wonderful wife to Travis. She is patient and kind as they work through the various joys and traumas of life. I'm thankful they have such a happy home and love each other.

I also think..as Carrie has so well described, that she is very beautiful. She gets prettier and more youthful looking as the years go by.

I also wished they didn't live so far away but I love they way they keep in touch and communicate so well.

Happy birthday creative, kind, beautiful, patient, loving Sara.

Christina said...

Happy Birthday Sara! Carrie, your post inspired me not to eat that big bowl of ice cream before bed tonight. I wouldn't mind having legs like that. :)

Brooke said...

I miss Sara all the time.

When I had my son, I had a bit of an identity crisis.. I had just quit working full time and had no idea what I was supposed to do now that I was a mom. All my friends were single, or married with no kids. I was scared to death.

Sara reached out to me.. invited me to the park, over for dinner, for girl's nights out, and for roaring games of Settlers. She befriended me and I found this whole new life.. with such great friends.. these interesting, smart, lovely women who taught me how to be a better mother... a better person.. a better friend.

Sara, I am forever indebted! Now cut out the New York nonsense and move to California!
B

Natalee said...

Since Carrie was my other half in high school, you were my mentor as well. Everything Carrie would teach me about style, skater boys, beauty, and whatever else usually came from you or a magazine. Happy Birthday!

Jewel Stratford said...

Insightful and true comments, all. I would add that Sara has the best verbal skills of all time. Sara is a deep thinker and has contemplated the great ideas of Western Civilization and has formulated opinions which makes her a great conversationalist. She can always be relied upon to fill in the gaps for everyone during uncomfortable silences. She is well read and can converse on any subject with ease. Sara is outward looking and seeks opportunities to make everyone feel comfortable and included. She does everything with love and creativity and has a style as new as tomorrow. So glad I have been able to rub shoulders with you in this lifetime, Sara. I love you to little tiny pieces!
Leb' whol und machts gut!

Sally DeFord said...

Happy Birthday Sara. You are so wonderful. You are a great example to me. You are beautiful and stylish but also intelligent, funny and loving. You go above and beyond as a mom, too. I'm so glad you are in our family. I love you.

di said...

happy birthday sara! how fun to read through all of the comments! you are soooo loved and admired! i love reading your blog--it is fun to get a little pick me up. you are an amazing example of a mother and wife. good luck on the housing situation--you always seem to make the best of the situation that you are in.
Happy Birthday!
love,
diane

KK said...

Happy birthday my friend! Sara has taught me so many valuable lessons I can't enumerate. Top on my list is that your kids can, in fact, have a great time and hours of fun with only a plastic bin of tiny animals. Currently in my house we have all our toys- ALL OUR TOYS- in two 12x12 canvas boxes. That's it. To play, you dump them out. To clean up, you scoop everything back in. It's a miracle, and I owe it all to Sara's example. Love you! Keri

KK said...

Happy birthday my friend! Sara has taught me so many valuable lessons I can't enumerate. Top on my list is that your kids can, in fact, have a great time and hours of fun with only a plastic bin of tiny animals. Currently in my house we have all our toys- ALL OUR TOYS- in two 12x12 canvas boxes. That's it. To play, you dump them out. To clean up, you scoop everything back in. It's a miracle, and I owe it all to Sara's example. Love you! Keri

Mark said...

I hardly ever got asked out. Sara took a chance and asked out a nerd with coke bottle glasses. When I got the flu Freshman year, Sara brought me food and an Indigo Girls CD. (I still get emotional when I listen to the Ind. Girls) Sara is a great friend and is very loyal. She's also one of the smartest people I know. In addition to playing the piano she sings. Ask her to scat or sing Cindy Lauper.

Yah Yah said...

Wow, what an awesome and absolutely on point post Carrie. I just really can't add anything except the following that I have learned from Sara:

- frozen Rootbeer chipped away with a big knife is a wonderful study snack
- you can order too many items with bacon as the ingredient at a restaurant
- Carmellitos will be in the Celestial Kingdom
- "it is better to be safe than hungry"
- you can be satisfied with the same lunch everyday for 20 years [bagel/apple/hot cocoa]
- A hurricane could hit while Sara is reading something and she wouldn't notice.

I love you sis and agree that I have never seen a more "fun and dedicated mom" except Angelina Jolie.

Yah Yah said...

Wow, what an awesome and absolutely on point post Carrie. I just really can't add anything except the following that I have learned from Sara:

- frozen Rootbeer chipped away with a big knife is a wonderful study snack
- you can order too many items with bacon as the ingredient at a restaurant
- Carmellitos will be in the Celestial Kingdom
- "it is better to be safe than hungry"
- you can be satisfied with the same lunch everyday for 20 years [bagel/apple/hot cocoa]
- A hurricane could hit while Sara is reading something and she wouldn't notice.

I love you sis and agree that I have never seen a more "fun and dedicated mom" except Angelina Jolie.

Cara said...

Hsppy Birthday, Sara!
I must admit I think of you every September 14th and remember the best birthday parties EVER at the pool with popcorn party bags. Somehow my birthday 10 days later always seemed so dull! I particularly loved the time Sara talked me into writing DAX on my back with sunscreen, and the remaining skin turned bright red in a matter of an hour. I think my summer crush's name remained emblazened on my back for at least a year.

While I never get to see you, Sara, I will forever feel our childhood ties and think of the many laughs I'm sure I'm missing by not being near you. Life is just so much fun with Sara around.

Happy birthday!

Cara

Damaris said...

Hapy birthday Ms. sara. I likes getting to know you better in NY. You've inspired me to love my curls and to play with my kid at the parj instead of just sit and talk with the other mommies.
Have a great day.

Douglas Pollei said...

Happy NYC B-day. I hope all your dreams are coming true. And yes bacon does make everything better. I recently had bacon chocolate chip cookies at Google. Mucho good. Hope to see you guys soon.

em said...

So... Happy birthday to my favorite roommate ever. Let me add to the bad tv= good tv... BIG SALADS. Quite possibly this sweet girl saved my life. I love the mix of creativity and logic that she has and honestly think she walks an elegant line between the two.

I miss you! Hopefully Paul Mendelowitz (holy name hospital) will bring me out soon!

So hope you had a wonderful day in spite of the lameness of your future neighbors. Should we bring back toilet papering?

Donna Crane said...

I hope you had a great birthday, Sara! You truly are a cute, sweet wife and mother.
I hope you will soon be into your new home and all will be well.
I so enjoyed reading the other posts from friends and family!
Love, Aunt Donna

Design Mom said...

So much fun to read this great post and great comments and get to know Sara even better. Which makes me crave time with the Stratford can all the more.

Sara absolutely saved me this summer and I don't even know if I told her. She gave me a mix CD for my birthday. It was filled with a dozen or so awesome songs — none of which I recognized but a seleciton from The Killers.

But when I popped it in during the drive to Girls Camp (every seat in the car filled with 16 year olds) the girls went absolutely crazy with happiness. And all of sudden I had total street cred for the rest of camp.

Sara is the best.