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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Sparrow

So, the really short synopsis is that a group of Jesuit priests and several other intellectuals take an asteroid to Rhakat, a newly discovered planet where they interact with the alien species that lives there. Before you file this in you're "do not read ever" category, let me start with my grade which is an A+. I have always believed very strongly that I didn't like science fiction so I began this book rather reluctantly. The truth is, I don't remember the last time I have read so fast and furiously, but never wanted a book to end. I found myself regularly trying to figure our how I could squeeze in a few minutes of reading time, and then continued thinking about the book when I wasn't reading. The science part of the book was fine, but what surprised me was the depth of the character development and the relationship between those characters. Through those characters the author presented numerous philosophical and theological questions - I like a book that makes me think while it is entertaining me. I don't want to say much more, I knew nothing about the book when I started. I will, though, leave you with a quote from an interview with the author, just as a tease.

Q: What's the moral of this story?
A: Maybe it's "Even if you do the best you can, you still get screwed." We seem to believe that if we act in accordance with our understanding of God's will, we ought to be rewarded. But in doing so we're making a deal that God didn't sign onto. Emilio has kept his end of a bargain that he made with God, and he feels betrayed. He believes he has been seduced and raped by God, that he's been used against his will for God's own purpose. And I guess that's partly what I'm doing with this book. I wanted to look at that aspect of theology. In our world, if people believe at all, they believe that God is love, God is hearts and flowers, and that God will send you theological candy all the time. But if you read Torah, you realize that God has a lot to answer for. God is a complex personality. I wanted to explore that complexity and that moral ambiguity. God gives us rules but those are rules for us, not for God."
Read the book. Enjoy it. Let me know what you thought.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ryan & Lindsay - the Reception

The reception was in Lindsay's back yard in Idaho Falls. The yard was pretty enough that for a minute you could forget how hot it was. Ryan and Lindsay, you looked beautiful but I don't know how you survived in those hot clothes.

So maybe Tim and I took up a lot of camera time. It's barely been a month since we got married. Being at a wedding just brought back the love and magic.

As we drove away from the reception, this is what we saw. A perfect ending to a fabulous day.

Ryan & Lindsay- the Wedding

Tim's brother Ryan married Lindsay on July 18th. Thanks for inviting us to be a part of your day. It was beautiful.
More shots of the cousins. The girls, and the boys.

Matkin Family Reunion

We had a chance to go to Tim's family reunion where I got to meet a big part of Tim's family. His mother comes from a family of 6 girls and was born and raised in Canada. Three of the sisters live in Utah, the other three and Grandma and Grandpa live in Canada. We missed having his grandparents at our wedding so it was great to spend time with them so soon after.

Taylor and his Great Grandpa Matkin

Tim's dad celebrated his 70th birthday on 7-11, the day of the reunion. Shauna and Katie helped him celebrate with a balloon and free slurpee.

It was fun to watch the cousins, from both sides of the border, have so much fun together.

Brycen was worn out from all of the fun.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


My parents got new waverunners so we volunteered to help break them in. The water was a little choppy but it just made the ride more fun.

Tim was a good sport to hang onto all of these women.

This was before my dad dumped my mom in the water. Oops.
Too bad we don't have an "after" shot.
By the way, can you find Miles in this photo?
Baby Gavin doesn't care if it is at home or on a boat, he is just happy to be cuddled.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Soundtrack to Hell

Yesterday the "computer experts" were at my office working on the server. I am not sure what they were planning to do or the intended results. I do know that thanks to the experts, we ended up not being able to access our common drive, and all of the programs we use were either crashed or locked. None of this makes for a very effective day. However, being the patient person that I am, I could handle all of that without any real irritation. But then the beeping started. I don't like to cast blame or point fingers, but it was coming from the server room and didn't start until the experts started working in there. It was so loud that even with the door to the server room, and the door to my office shut, I could still hear the incessant beeping. It went on for almost two hours. Seriously, I know I sound like a drama queen here, but there are very few things more irritating to me than a timer, buzzer, beeping, etc. that goes off incessantly. If Hell were to be individualized to make it as uncomfortable as possible for each occupant, my room would have buzzers and beepers of all pitches and intervals with no "off" button. Just the thought of it has scared me to repentance.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Honeymoon

If you ever end up with some spare change, and time on your hands, I highly suggest you make your way to Maui. Tim and I considered staying close for a honeymoon, you know, cheap and convenient. Then we thought again and decided that was crazy talk, that we should go somewhere romantic, exciting and beautiful. Maui certainly delivered. There is endless coastline and each beach had it's own unique features. We spent a fair amount of time beach hopping but definitely found a favorite in Big Beach. I perfected the art of lying on the beach, sleeping and reading. Tim discovered a love for snorkeling and spent most of time in the water. We ate a lot of shave ice, Local Boyz definitely had the best. We met a lot of "friends", everyone loved to hear that we were on our honeymoon. We got lots of congratulations and a few freebies. At the end of the vacation I almost had to push Tim onto the plane to get him to go home.

This was the first beach we went to. It was about 10 minutes drive from our hotel. We stopped at a deli, got some sandwiches, and set up camp.

One of our "friends" told us how great the waves were at Big Beach, so we packed up our stuff, and moved locations for the rest of the afternoon. The waves were huge, after a few minutes in the pounding surf, Tim decided to let the waves have the victory.

We were constantly looking for someone to take a photo of us.
Honeymoon pics are not as exciting with just one person.

We took the recommendation of the taco shop owner and went to Cafe Ole for Dinner.
The waiter was strange, the fish was fabulous.

We decided to spend a day on the Kaanapali shore, about an hour north of where we were staying. In these pictures the beach is beautiful, right? It was amazing until the wind started. I woke up and had a coating of sand all over my face and body. I haven't ever been to the Sahara, but I imagine that might be how it feels to survive a sandstorm. We let the wind have the victory and we went shopping in Lahaina.

While I was being sandblasted, Tim went snorkeling out by the point. He saw lots of fish and hung out with several turtles.

While in Lahaina, we did go to one historical place, the Old Lahaina Courthouse.
The bathrooms were nice.

In the middle of Lahaina there is a Banyan tree that spreads over an entire park.
We loved it, can you tell?

I loved these little stools. I want a set for the backyard that I don't have.

Molokini and the Catamaran.
There is a crater off the coast which really spectacular snorkeling. There are plenty of choices of boats to take you there. Since we were on our honeymoon, we decided to upgrade, and went on this catamaran. The boat was beautiful, the scenery was even better. In addition to snorkeling at Molokini, we stopped at a second spot where we swam with turtles. We then spent an hour or two cruising up and down the shore. They served breakfast, lunch and all the Diet Coke you could drink. If I would have had a toothbrush, I would have never left.

This shot is for Julie.

A local sent us to this resort for the "best coconut shrimp on the island". They were expensive, and there were only 3, but the were delicious!

The Road to Hana
The Road to Hana is long, and windy, and has lots of hikes to waterfalls. We prepared by stocking up on banana bread and cane juice.

One of the first waterfalls, pretty, but not the best.

It was on the Road to Hanna that Tim really perfected the self portrait.

Seriously, Tim's skills are amazing.

The "friend" that took this shot worked hard to get us posed just right.

After a lot of white sand, this black sand beach was really fascinating. The sand was very coarse and had a lot of larger grains. I could bore you with how it came to be, but basically it is a newer beach that was formed by lava flow.

I think Tim may have learned this pose from Hailey.

These were a few of the Seven Divine Pools.
They were beautiful but somehow didn't feel quite so divine with all of the unwashed masses.
We couldn't get everyone to move for a better shot - c'mon people.
If you are a guide book nerd (which I may be), you don't miss out on great sites like the grave of Charles Lindberg.
On vacation I usually like to stay away from chain restaurants and get more of the local flavor. However, we weren't sure that we would find a better justification to splurge than the honeymoon so we went for it. Tim said that it was probably the best meal that he has ever had - I would agree, amazing.
Just to show that I have a sense of humor, I decided to post one of the many shots that Tim took while I was sleeping. No questions of whether or not I was relaxed.
This was our last hour or so on the beach. Clearly the sadness didn't affect the posing.

Me and my man. I love you baby, thanks for a fabulous honeymoon!