The big, or not so big, 22

Well, here I am at the age of 22. I’ve never been this old before and it feels…old. Being 22 isn’t much different from being 21, but it is still something to be celebrated. I am accomplishing many goals I made for myself and I haven’t died yet! Just 21 years and 3 months ago I looked like this:

Sarah at 9 months old

Sarah at 9 months old

I think I was a pretty cute baby, but I think I might be slightly biased. Well in 22 years, a lot has happened. I grew up in a wonderful family with 2 wonderful brothers and an equally wonderful sister. Lots of wonderfuls, I know but I feel like that word best describes my family. ;) Anyway, I went to Kindergarten for a semester before I was home schooled for the remaining year and all the way up to the end of 2nd grade. I loved being home schooled, but I was excited to go back to public school, especially because we had gotten ahead in our coursework.   One of my assignments was to write in my journal, which I have consistently continued throughout my life. I love looking back at that old journal and seeing my life through the eyes of a 6 year old. I didn’t spell a lot of words right and my handwriting is awful but it is hilarious to see the things I thought were important enough to write in there. From there, we moved to DeSoto, Missouri where I spent 9 years. I went to Sunrise Elementary school, which was a pretty small school considering it was K-8th grade in the same building. I showed the school to Brett one day and he couldn’t suppress a tiny chuckle. Looking at it now, I am amazed at how small it really was. It was perfect for me though. I made wonderful friends I still contact every now and then today (thanks to Facebook), and I had some great experiences there. I learned how to play the flute, bells, and alto saxophone. I was involved in a school choir starting in 4th grade. I played volleyball and danced at the local dance studio. I made some great memories with friends.

From Sunrise, I went to North County High School in Bonne Terre, Missouri. It was even further south! There were 1000 kids total in the high school, which was the perfect size for me. In high school, I stopped playing my instruments and dancing and instead focused on choir and volleyball. I loved playing volleyball throughout high school. I played in the middle front, which was a great position for me because it allowed me to spike and block with minimal digging. I was a terrible back row passer. I also sang in the choir. By my Junior year I was in 2 choirs: concert choir and the NC Singers which was the sing and dance choir. I auditioned for and was accepted for all-district choir both my Junior and Senior years. The summer before my Senior year my family moved to Herculaneum, Missouri (a good middle point between St. Louis city and DeSoto). I commuted down to North County for my Senior year because it was my last year there and I had enough credits to graduate early, which I did. I finished in December 2005, but officially graduated in April 2006.

I got a job at Aeropostale starting in January 2006 and worked there until I went to BYU in August. I met the boy I was going to marry in June 2006 at an institute class through a friend and impatiently waited for every Thursday night so I could see him again. Finally, finally he asked me out on a date and it was glorious. We went to the St. Louis Art Museum. From there, I started my freshman year at Brigham Young University. It was the only college I ever wanted to go to. I didn’t have a back up plan in case I didn’t get in. I just knew I had to be there. Brett lived 2 blocks away from me, so I got to see him every day.

Freshman year was a busy year for me. I was Relief Society President of my ward, I was working at Aero and then at the Physics & Astronomy Department on campus (20 hrs/week), I had a full load of busy classes, I was involuntarily volunteering 10 hours a week (class assignment), and I declared my major as Psychology. By the end of that year, Brett and I decided we were going to get married. He proposed to me on June 2, 2007 and we were married on December 28, 2007. Married life has been better than I ever imagined it would be. I feel so blessed to have a wonderful and supportive husband.

We got married in the middle of my sophomore year at BYU, so I finished that up before we moved to San Jose, California. We loved living in San Jose. We made a lot of wonderful friends and we were part of an incredibly sweet and caring ward. We miss them all! Brett started his first job in the “real world” at PriceWaterhouseCoopers as a Consultant. He didn’t like that too much, but he stayed there for almost 2 years. In the meantime, I took some BYU classes online through their Independent Study program and got a job at Systat Software. I did some human resources work along with some accounting work. It was a great job for me and I loved working there, but I also felt like I needed to go back to school full-time and knock out a bunch of credits. Since I obtained California residency last September, I could pay in-state tuition. I only had some generals to finish and a few “filler” credits to get to the 120 I need to graduate from BYU so with a heavy heart, I quit Systat and enrolled in 2 community colleges close by. I took 18 classes in 7 months! I passed them all with high grades.

Brett finally decided he had had enough of working at PwC and accepted a job in Walnut Creek at Verizon Wireless. We made the decision to move at the end of June. Brett now helps app developers get their apps in the Verizon store and a whole lot of other technical things I don’t really comprehend. (Good job honey!) I finished up a few remaining classes and here I am. I’m finishing the last class of my bachelor’s degree in just a few weeks. I have 4 lessons, one essay and a final before I have officially completed all the requirements for my bachelor’s degree.

Like I said, a lot has happened in the last 22 years but I am grateful for them all. It has made me who I am today. I look forward to the next 22 years of my life and the next 22 after that. And hopefully another 22 after that!

Me today

Me today

A’s Game

Brett and I went to an A’s game last week. It was my first time going to a baseball game in California. I loved going to Cardinal baseball games in St. Louis so I was really excited to go to the A’s game. The Irwins came with us:

Cody, Madison, Sarah & Brett

Cody, Madison, Sarah, Brett and some dude who wanted to be part of our picture

Here is where we sat:

A's field

A's field

We had a great time eating hot dogs and watching the A’s win!

Brett & Sarah

Brett & Sarah

Utah-Labor Day Weekend 2010

This Labor Day Weekend, Brett and I braved the highways and drove all the way to Utah for my brother’s wedding. We spent the night in Sacramento at Grandma & Grandpa’s house to give us a head start, which made the “long” day of driving not seem long at all. Friday morning, my parents, Donny, Carmen, Kelly, Brett and I all went to Kneaders for breakfast. I love Kneaders. They have the best french toast I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a lot of french toast considering it is my favorite breakfast in the world. From there, we had some free time before the reception so Brett and I took Carmen to BYU. Both Brett and I went to BYU and had a wonderful experience there. It will forever hold a place in our hearts. We wanted to show Carmen the awesome wonders of BYU so we gave her a backstage tour. It was by chance that we saw Cosmo and rushed to get a picture with him.

Go Cougars!

Go Cougars!

We had such a great time walking through the familiar buildings, reminiscing on the “old days” and seeing some friends. Unfortunately, we didn’t get pictures with everyone, but when we ran in to this adorable cutie we had to stop for a picture:

Brett & Kelly

Brett & Kelly

From BYU we raced to the hotel to change and get ready for the reception which was held at the Bungalow. It was a beautiful reception location. We met the Bride’s family and took some pictures before the guests arrived. Here is one I snagged of the Bride and Groom:

David & Cassi

David & Cassi

The next morning we had some time to ourselves before we met up with the family at the Mount Timpanogos Temple so Brett, Carmen and I went to the Lehi Roller Mills which was literally just down the street from us. We heard they had excellent muffin mixes so we made sure to get some. I thought the mill itself looked cool:

Lehi Roller Mills

Lehi Roller Mills

From there, we went to the Mount Timpanogos Temple. The marriage ceremony was beautiful as always. David & Cassi looked so happy! I wish them the best in their new lives together. Here is a picture of them coming out of the temple as newlyweds:

The newlyweds!

The newlyweds!

And here are some oldlyweds:

Brett & Sarah

Brett & Sarah

After the wedding and the luncheon that followed, Brett, Carmen and I had some free time so we went to Animal Ark. Animal Ark is a pet store in Orem that Brett and I frequented almost every Friday night as a date night. It’s what you do when you are newlyweds and broke-you go to pet stores and Target on date nights just to look around. We loved it. Here we are remembering our newlywed days:

Brett & Sarah at Animal Ark

Brett & Sarah at Animal Ark

We met up with the family again after that. Seth took us to Lifetime Fitness, where he works as a Personal Fitness Trainer (I’m so proud of him!). It was awesome. The gym was huge and we got to play around on the rock climbing wall, racquetball court and volleyball court. We had so much fun! To reward ourselves for exercising we went to In’N'Out. It was my Dad’s first time there and he loved it.

Paper hat and all!

Paper hat and all!

We said our good-byes that night because the next day my parents and Carmen started their long drive back to St. Louis, MO. Brett and I got to stay one more day since our long drive back was only 12 hours compared to the 21+ hours my parents had ahead of them. We spent the day in Provo with Kelly, Ashley, Jake and their friends. We had a great time going to church at a singles ward with Kelly and having the first silent sacrament meeting in a long time. We are now used to kids screaming throughout the meetings so it was very fun to have silence for a change. Kelly made us a delicious dinner which promptly put us to sleep as soon as we were finished eating. After our nap, we went to Ashley’s apartment where we played games, watched “Lion King” and laughed a lot. Here are some pictures from that night:

Brett & Kelly

Brett & Kelly

Ashley, Brett, Sarah & Kelly

Ashley, Brett, Sarah & Kelly

the soon-to-be newlyweds: Jake & Ashley

the soon-to-be newlyweds: Jake & Ashley

We had a wonderful trip to Utah this Labor Day Weekend! It was great to spend time with family and friends.

Art Day in San Francisco

A little over a week ago, I was invited to San Francisco with some friends from church to look at art work at two different museums. I was so excited! In my Humanities class, I had recently learned about art from the Middle ages, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo and Romantic eras. I was excited to see art work from painters that I recently learned about and be able to label paintings with the appropriate era. The first museum we went to was the Legion of Honor. Here is what it looks like:

Legion of Honor

Legion of Honor

Here are my incredibly sweet friends who invited me on their adventure:

Lookin good, ladies!

Lookin good, ladies!

We had a great time wandering through all the galleries and seeing some pretty amazing art work. From there, we went to the de Young Museum that had a special Impressionist exhibit. They didn’t let us take pictures of the Impressionist paintings, but they were sure beautiful. I loved seeing how artists chose to paint their impressions of a scene, not what their eyes saw. They focused more on their moods and emotions which was evident by their art work. It was truly amazing. We also went to the top floor of the de Young where we had an awesome view of San Francisco:

San Francisco!

San Francisco!

Thanks Sarah and Morgan for the wonderfully enriching day! :)

Shakespeare in the Park

After our Puerto Rico trip, we had 2 free weekends before we were traveling again. One of those weekends, we went to see a Shakespeare play in the park. For free. My kind of entertainment! haha. We had so much fun. It was my first time seeing a Shakespeare play performed live and I really enjoyed it. We saw “Two Gentlemen of Verona.” Here is the stage:

The stage

The stage

and here we are:

Brett & Sarah at Shakespeare in the Park

Brett & Sarah at Shakespeare in the Park

If you want a synopsis of the play, you can read that here. It was really cold that night, so we were freezing, but we had so much fun! We would definitely do it again!