Sunday, 12 October 2008

Summer Lovin'

Yes, I realize it's not summer anymore. In fact, we had our first snow yesterday and it is still snowing! I'll try to take pictures of it later, but we all know my timeliness (or lack thereof) when it comes to blogging.

When I looked at my blog today I realize it has been forever since I've posted. I'll leave it to you to decide if this is because:

a) I'm ridiculously busy
b) I'm ridiculously lazy
c) I suffer from short-term memory loss like that guy on Memento but unlike him I lack the dedication and commitment to tattoo my responsibilities onto my body
d) all of the above
e) my mom just made some cookies - I'll be right back.

Mmmm...walnut chocolate chip. There are benefits to living at home that outweigh the stigma of living in mommy's basement.

Anyway, the title of this post is in reference of my sister's marriage on August 30th. It took place up at Red Butte Gardens and was absolutely beautiful. The ceremony was in one of their outdoor pavilions.






Stanley's best friend from college, Kirk, performed the ceremony. I think everyone was interested to see how that would turn out, because in the movies when a college buddy has any part of a wedding it ends up with him revealing horrible secrets about the groom. Fortunately, Kirk did not reveal any secrets and instead did a wonderful job. The ceremony was thoughtful, sincere, touching, and totally suited to the bride and groom. Most of us had tears in our eyes by the end, including me.



It was a fairly small wedding, and we all went to the Orangerie for a brunch. The food was goooood. I went back for several helpings. I didn't want to insult anyone.



Each guest had a quarter at his or her table setting so that at any point you could wander down to the pond and buy some fish food to feed the fish.



Here is the blushing bride. None of us realized she could scrub up so well.



Here's my brother Trevor and his partner, Donna. Don't they make a cute couple? Unfortunately they couldn't bring their two girls to the wedding but we're hoping they can all make it down for Christmas.



Here's Gracy behaving just as any wedding guest should.



And here's Libby enjoying the delicious wedding cake.



Stanley's family flew in from California, New Jersey, and I think several other states.

Mom and Eddie, the other newlyweds. Doesn't Steady Eddie look smooth in his wedding suit?

All in all, it was a wonderful day and a beautiful wedding. Erin and Stanley seem to be taking to married life like they were made for it. I know Erin was a little worried about sharing her house and her things with someone, but I think they're learning to rub along next to each other quite nicely.


Monday, 28 July 2008

Ridiculously Hot Weather Calls for Ridiculous Measures...

Well, I guess swimming isn't ridiculous. It's actually pretty normal and fun but I like my post titles to have a little drama to them. Anyway, on Saturday it was 100 degrees outside so mom, Eddie, and I decided to take the baby over to dad's for a swim.

It's a really nice pool and we had a lot of fun. There are always plenty of characters to be found at any pool and Saturday was no exception. There was a strange fellow who got into the pool slowly (almost fearfully) and took about half an hour to walk across the shallow end to the deep end. He stroked his long goatee the whole time. He swam one lap across the deep end and back and then made his torturous journey back across the shallow end and then got out of the pool and left.
You can see in the picture below the kid behind us on the steps. He was really nice and friendly and wanted to play with us and throw the ball. Mom and I were both a little worried since he was about 8 and seemed to be all alone so we asked who brought him to the pool. He pointed out his mom who was ASLEEP ON A BENCH and stayed that way the whole time we were there. I know I don't have children and I'm not a parenting expert - but isn't it pretty important to actually watch your kid when he's in a pool full of water with a bunch of strangers??
Anyway, I've also put a little video on here of me swinging baby in the pool. Before you think I'm torturing her, look closely at her face and see that she's smiling!! If you listen carefully you can also hear her giggling. She likes activities that involve her having fun but someone else doing all the work, so this suited her just fine.

video

Stacy's wardrobe provided by Barbara Balmer, Inc.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Quail of a Time (ha ha)

I finally got some half-way decent pictures of my favorite little birds - quails!! When I was little I went to Quail Hollow Elementary. Along the bottom of any school correspondence and t-shirts was a silhouette of a big quail followed by a bunch of little quail in a line. I always thought that was so funny until I realized that quail pretty much behave that way!
I think quail are my favorite birds for two reasons:
1) They are so cute. They are dorky and not very clever, but they have those little teardrop shaped feathers on the top of their heads that bob with each step they take. (Libby hates those with a passion and says they're annoying).
2) They are so family oriented. I don't know if there is a cuter sight than Daddy quail leading the way, Mommy quail bringing up the rear, with babies safely in between. They go everywhere as a family and we always see Daddy quail up on the fence scouting around before he leads the family anywhere. Towards the end of the summer you can't tell the babies from the adults because they are so big but mom and dad are still herding them around.

These pictures aren't the best but I had to take them through the glass door. I couldn't go out or they would have scattered, with feathers bobbing all over the place.



There are three babies. Can you find them all?
By the way, that green stuff is sand from Gracy's sandbox. It finds its way all over the yard, the house, etc.


They come into the backyard every day and have a nice family meal together. Usually they peck around under the bird feeder but today they decided to scavenge amongst the wreckage of Gracy's play area/Eddie's fence-building area.

I'll try to get better pictures next time but it's hard to sneak up on them! Oh, how I loves me some quails.

Monday, 23 June 2008

The Last of the International Playboys

I'm trying to keep the trend of song titles going for my blog entries, so let's see who can get this one. (John, if you don't recognise this title we're over.)

Anyway, the playboy in question is none other than Mr. Sparkles, who in his short life has travelled from Connecticut to Utah, from Utah to England, and then from England back to Utah. And to his credit he hasn't held a grudge. My friend Julie sent the cutest collar with the Union Jack on it and I really wanted to take a picture of Sparky wearing it. But, as you can see from the picture, when I approached him he was in such a comfortable position I couldn't bear to disturb him. After all, he only gets about 22 hours of sleep a day. So I put the collar next to him for the pictures. Look how annoyed he is in the second picture. That's because I used a flash in the first picture and almost blinded his one good eye.



This is a picture of Sparky relaxing on my bed next to a pair of my sweatpants. As you can see, his methods of lounging and relaxing are as varied and impressive as his travel history.



On a more lively note, we all chipped in and gave Steady Eddie a new barbecue for Father's Day. We have started a tradition of The Sunday Barbecue and regular dishes included grilled vegetable kebabs, grilled corn on the cob, hamburgers, etc. We have all been enjoying this immensely and and stuffing our faces like we've never barbecued before. See below for an example of stuffing faces:


I actually told everyone to take a big bite when I took the picture but this really isn't that different from how we really look when we're eating. You can't see her in this picture but Baby G is tucked away behind my mom so I took a close-up of the carnage. If you look closely you can see some corn stuck to her chest.


Also missing from these pictures are the dogs scavenging below looking for any missed scraps. Unfortunately for them we're all pigs and don't let any food slip through our fingers.

So that's the end of today's post. I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into my Summer of Eating and Relaxation.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

The Bitch is Back

I was listening to Elton John just this morning, so don't take that title too seriously. Or maybe it's completely accurate - you'd have to ask my mom...

Well, I've finally taken the time to put a few pictures on this sorry old blog of mine. Now that I'm back in good old Salt Shake it's taking me a while to re-acclimatize myself. For starters, I am ashamed to say that after all my moaning about the gray English weather, all my complaints that I had SAD each winter, I am really struggling to get used to all the sunshine! Who knew? I really loved it the first few days, felt like I was finally seeping warmth into my bones. Then after a few days I felt like I needed a break! And I think my UV resistance is way down, not to mention the fact that my pupils aren't used to dilating so much. But...when I saw this sunset from my mom's backyard the other night I realized that I had missed my beautiful mountains very much. (Barbara, I know my photography skills aren't up to much, but try to enjoy anyway.) And a little sunshine never hurt anyone. As long as you use SPF 700 each day.


The other thing I missed was my little niece! Not so little anymore... Mom and Eddie bought her this fabulous turtle sandbox and the other morning she had to get in it immediately! Still wearing her orange Halloween pajamas! Please note the dog treats that she artfully scattered around.

Here's the cutest picture of the day. That's a very self-aware look she's giving the camera, I think. She's well aware of the power of her cuteness and uses it without mercy. You may also want to take a look at the delicious and nutritious lunch her lovely Aunt Stacy prepared.

Apologies for the lack of Sparky pictures, I tried to take a few today but he was feeling a bit camera shy. It's hard when everyone wants to pay attention to you all the time - sometimes he just needs a break. I guarantee my next post will be Sparky saturated.

Friday, 21 March 2008

My Two Dads

I got an email from Erin a couple weeks ago asking if I had spoken to mom recently. I immediately panicked, thinking something was wrong. Turns out mom and Eddie eloped in Vegas!! They decided on the Thursday and did it on the Saturday. I asked mom for pictures but so far this is the only one she's sent. According to mom it was in a traditionally tacky Las Vegas venue complete with old lady pastor and Elvis statue witnessing the event. They both seem very happy and we're all very happy for them! To be honest, I think they've saved themselves a lot of hassle and I know it will always be something they'll remember! So my hopes of being maid of honor are gone, but now I have a new daddy and I know that a lot of emotions and feelings go along with that. I hope I can get through this without acting out too much. Congratulations mom and Eddie!



On a funny note, Erin and Libby were giving Gracy a bath and she was playing in all the bubbles and then looked up suddenly with a fully formed bubble beard. According to Erin, this picture is a re-creation and not as good as the original beard, but Gracy kept trying to make them laugh with new beards. I can't believe how big she's getting! I think no matter what generation or country you're in, everyone tries out the bubble beard and bubble Mohawk at least once.


Sunday, 2 March 2008

in all his glory...

The title of this blog is, after all, The Sparky Chronicles, so I thought I should include a few shots of Mr Sparkles doing what he does best.

While I've been adding these pictures Sparky's been sleeping in a patch of sunshine (one of his favorite past-times). However, he just woke up and decided to go for a snack. I've taken a picture of the clever little lad just as he's opened the door himself. He waits for no man.

Here is the little legend just getting ready to bathe himself. You can see how exhausted he is from being cute all the time.