I agree that everyone here is very warm and welcoming...and you can really feel the community in here.
I'm with yelppuppy and mimi about being a minimalist/simplistic as I get overwhelmed (and intimidated) by all the loaded and gorgeous layouts. But as it's been said...start off small, put your own love and joy into it and the end result will be great. Creating something with your own style and personal touch for memories is what's important.
Also, SB.com has a great tutorials and lessons for newbies in their resources section.