Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Civic Duty

Guess what?  T got called in for jury duty.  Guess what?  He actually got put on the jury.  And get this:  the court doesn't even buy the jurors lunch!  Maybe that's normal.  I don't know.  I've never had jury duty.  T hasn't either.

I'm super excited for T to be on a jury.  You might find this odd, but I really want to serve on a jury.  Not because I want to hold someone's fate in my hands but because I love doing my civic duty.  I love seeing how the greatest government in the world works (yes, I know our system is not perfect, but it's better than any other system).  Plus, I really want to know how a real trial is.  Obviously it's not like Legally Blonde (at the 1:50 mark "Vote for Elle!") or Runaway Jury or even Law and Order (I despise that show and all its spinoffs.  How is it possible that on some channel at every hour of the day there is an episode of L&O on?!).
T has told me some things about the process, but we both can't wait until it's over so he can tell me everything.

I checked out "John Adams" by  David McCullough from the library and T has been reading it at the courthouse.  I think he might read the whole thing over the course of the trial! I really like talking with T about the book (and the trial).  I'm excited to read the book, too.  I heart American history. 

We'll be doing more of our civic duty this weekend by watching awesome fireworks for the 4th of July.  I'm pretty sure that's in the Constitution as a requirement for citizenship.

Anyone have fireworks plans?  Or jury plans?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Love Generation

A while ago T worked on a music video.  The video isn't out yet, but the song is.  The song (and band) is called "Love Generation."  Support T and give it a listen here.  It's really pop-y and really catchy.  Spread the "Love Generation" love to your friends and family.  The song (and snips of the music video) is also used in a Swedish LG cell phone ad here.

13! - or a year and a month

Oh, what?  You thought just because we hit a year we are done with the wedding photos?  Not even close, my friend.  Not even close.

Our family portraits were done, so now it was just the two us (and the awesome ETF, of course).

To me, these looks like they could be in front of the D.C. temple.

I love all the green.

I love these purple flowers.  Does anybody know what they are called?

Until next month...

Books 43 - 51

No, I have not given up on reading.  I'm just slacking a bit on the writing about the reading...

43.  "These is My Words" by Nancy E. Turner  384 pages
       I almost didn't want to read this book because I was afraid it would have horrible grammar throughout.
       And that would have been tragic because this is an epic sweeping love story reminiscent of "Gone With 
       the Wind."  So I haven't exactly read or seen "Gone With the Wind"... I still know it's an epic sweeping
       love story.  I hope when I finally read it, it is as good as "These is My Words."  The book is a diary of
       Sarah Prine who lives in the Arizona Territories (so sometimes you have to do math to figure out how old
       she is).  Sarah is an extremely likable character.  This book made me want to cheer, it made me want to
       laugh and it made me want to cry.  So I definitely liked it.  Oh, and the grammar is not an issue at all.

44.  "Legacy" by Kate Brian 243 pages

45.  "The Eyre Affair" by Jasper Fforde 374 pages
       I didn't really like this book.  It was okay, but not something I would read again.  To me, the time travel
       stuff is never explained enough.  It felt similar to watching a 10 am to 11 am episode from the TV show
       "24" without having seen the previous episodes:  You can kind of figure out what is mostly going on, but
       you are lost and confused for good portions of it, too.  The book was very "meh" to me.  The book "Jane
       Eyre" plays a pretty big role in "The Eyre Affair."  But I don't like "Jane Eyre" so I didn't really care if that
       book / character was ruined forever.  I realize that the last sentence doesn't really make sense unless you
       have read "The Eyre Affair"  but there it is anyway.

46.  "How Do I Love Thee?"  by Nancy Moser  325 pages
       This is a fictional account based on lots of actual research and facts about the romance between Elizabeth
       Barret and Robert Browning.  The actual love story is pretty good (the fact that it really happened makes
       it even better), but I found Elizabeth's internal narrative quite boring and weak and it actually made me
       dislike her even though she is the heroine.  Not a book I would recommend. 

47.  "Along for the Ride" by Sarah Dessen  383 pages
       I liked this book. I thought Auden (the main character) and her dad and step-mom were particularly
       believable.  I liked that Dessen didn't hit me over the head or preach with the "starting over" and "can
       people really change?" themes.  The plot is slightly predictable, but it was still enjoyable.

48.  "Appointment with Death" by Agatha Christie  244 pages
       I really liked "And Then There Were None" by Agatha Christie but I really didn't like this book.  The
       murder mystery is told three times over in the book.  The character tells us what happened in their view. 
       Then the character tells the detective what happened in their view.  Then the detective tells everyone else
       what happened in the first person's view.  This happens for every character.  The plot wasn't weak but
       the retelling of the story three times for each person drove me NUTS.  It dragged.  Not a winner.

49.  "This Lullaby" by Sarah Dessen 345 pages
       I like the other Sarah Dessen book I read but this one...  I did not like a single character.  Not one.  Add
       gratuitous swearing and a weak plot and there is nothing to like about this book.

50.  "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" by John Boyne 216 pages
       This story is through the eyes of Bruno, a nine year old German boy raised in Berlin during World War
       II.  Even though it is narrated by a child, this story is definitely not meant for children.  Bruno's father is an
       important man to "The Fury."  Bruno's father is promoted and moves the family to "Out With" where he is
       in charge.  Bruno can see the people in all the "striped pajamas" and wonders what they do in the fenced
       in city.  Bruno eventually becomes friends with one of the boys in the "striped pajamas" but still remains
       oblivious to what is happening.  I liked this book.  When reading it, keep in mind that "The Boy in the
       Striped Pajamas" is not a novel - it is a fable (it says so on the cover).  Because it is a fable Bruno's
       innocence about what is happening is greatly exaggerated.  This can be frustrating if you start reading this
       book thinking it is a novel.  Because it is a fable all the characters are very static and one dimensional.
       Again, this could be very irritating if you were expecting a novel.  It's very well written and tells a very
       broad tale.  It will make you wonder about many things; including yourself.

51.  "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown 509 pages
       Dan Brown novels are always entertaining.  There were a few plot twists that I didn't expect, but
       basically it is a Washington D.C. version of "The DaVinci Code" or "Angels and Demons."  I don't think
       that's a bad thing because I liked those books.  Nothing new from Dan Brown, but it's still good.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Summer lovin': Happened so fast! (aka the longest blog post ever)

We saw T's family a lot this trip, too.  Wednesday we went to H's graduation and ate wings and asphalt pie at the house afterward.

Thursday afternoon we met up with this talented guy for T's family pictures.  I haven't seen the photos yet, but I'm sure they are fabulous.  I'm surprised / glad that noone fell into the pond - though it probably would have felt nice.  It was SO hot.  The babies (everyone under the age of 10) all did really well.

Friday night we had a lovely visit with T's relatives in R-land.  Love that family.  True story:  I knew I liked T's Uncle R before I was sure how I felt about T.  When T moved back east the summer we started dating, one of the reasons I was sad (One of the reasons.  Not the only reason.  Or the biggest reason.) was because I wouldn't get to see this awesome family any more. 

When we arrived at T's parents' house Saturday afternoon baby E was screaming.  Not just crying, but crying and screaming.  He continued to scream for 15 minutes.  As it turns out he screamed himself and his father to sleep.  Quite a talent.  I wanted to take a better picture with a flash, but decided not to risk waking up a baby who is good at screaming.  My momma didn't raise no fool.

 We played with the twins for a bit.  They are beyond adorable.  Seriously.  The cutest things ever.  They are just so calm and chubby and happy and cute with the most beautiful eyes.  Even T couldn't get enough. They kinda / mostly have the sitting up thing down.  But it is pretty funny when you see them slowly falling over.  Tiiiimber.  T was too late to catch this timber. 

They are making eyes at T.  Back off girls!  He's mine!

SO cute.  I still have the hardest time telling them apart.  One of the saddest things about our trip is that we only got to play with these cute girls for about 10 minutes.
We gathered up some people and headed to R-land.  Side note:  On Thursday T and I went to Wal-Mart to pick up some things we forgot (razors - both of us) and I saw water balloons.  I told T that we should have a water balloon fight with the R-land family.  So on Saturday afternoon we did!

Filling up the balloons took forever.  A lot of us had sore fingers from all the tying.  N.J. made us separate the balloons by color.  We had around 450 balloons.  We put the balloons in several strategically placed buckets.

Everyone before the mayhem.  We played every man for himself.

Uncle R said he wasn't going to play.  Then he came out with a super-soaker!

Cousin K took all of these photos from the safety of the porch.

J tried to get Uncle R with a cooler full of water.  It was a big fail.  Uncle R easily avoided the attack.  Though in J's defense it is hard to maneuver a cooler full of water.

Uncle R fakes running away from J since the first time it was so easy.

But Cousin D caught Uncle R by surprise from behind.  Just after this picture J got him from the front.  Win!

The guys look pretty pleased with themselves.

We tried to pick up all the balloon remnants, but they are biodegradable so I don't feel too bad about not getting all the pieces.

I got a welt.  Those balloons would only pop on the ground - not on people.  Cousin D threw a balloon so close that it went through my hair but didn't actually get me.  It was pretty much a near death experience.  The water fight really did happen so fast. But it was SO worth it.

Then we went inside for some Leatherby's ice cream.  Yum...

Baby K wears other people's shoes just like me!  I love that even though baby T is wearing shorts, his legs are not exposed.

A bag of chips got knocked onto the floor.  So T and NJ ate them off the floor.  You stay classy, R-land.

Cousin K (who took the pictures) invited us over to her husband's family's pool for even more fun.  The water was super warm.  So warm that being in it made my face feel like it had an incredible sun burn.  But we had a ridiculously good time.  Thanks Cousin K (and her husband C)!

The twins' first time swimming (B on the left, H on the right).  They loved it!  They were so calm and happy - even when they got splashed!  Plus they have adorable swim suits.

At first Baby A was being a party pooper.  But then she woke up and got to swimming for the first time, too.

 Everyone was going off the diving board.  It was difficult to get pictures of the adults because they just get up and go.  But little kids stand on the edge forever so I have time to grab the camera before they jump.

Baby E is always hungry.  He's so hungry he's eating a rocket and a dive stick and his own life jacket.  Someone get this boy some real food!

We had to leave a bit early so we could go see T's friend and his wife.  They are expecting twins!  There must be something in the Utah water...

Then we came back to T's parents' house and did some laundry.  We left to drive back to SoCal on Sunday morning. So basically we had the best short trip ever.  I think every trip will probably be too short.  I think for it not to be short we would have to stay for a month. 

*Some things I forgot to write about from my family's big dinner:

We were playing in the back yard and Baby M said, "Where's your baby?" to me.  I said, "I don't have one."  She said, "Okay" and kept playing.

My mom was giving the grandbabies popsicles. Baby boy L was playing outside and saw that others had popsicles.  In a voice that sounded like he would die if he didn't get one he said, "I need a popsicle!"