Sunday, June 29, 2008

happy birthday elder matt!

matto turns the big 2-0 today. he is currently serving his mission in russia, and i did not get his package in the mail in time (as usual), but luckily he is able to view the blog:

it was pretty standard missionary fare: candy and ties. although, included as an added bonus was a tide-to-go pen. just in case he gets any borscht on his nice white shirt. so matto, something to look forward to in august!

Pazdravliayu s dniom razhdjenia!
поздравляю с днём рождения

elder young rocks!!

What's in a name?

As I child, I could never figure out why my classmates would want to go visit old people with names like Poppop and Nana. Don't get me wrong, I recall with fondness the holiday visits to Grandma and Grandpa Wheeler and Grandma and Grandpa Cook. But Paps? I think my taste runs towards nicknames that can't be confused with medical procedures.

We'd like to zero in on some good grandparental names before Summer starts talking. As it stands, Emily's parents seem to have found nicknames that stick. Behold:

Opa D: The D comes from Dennis

Mère-de-mère: A French take on the Scandinavian Mormor.

None of the names for my parents seem to be ready for prime time. Here's a short list for my mom:

  • Grandma Wheeler -- safe, but sterile
  • Momma Janna -- has potential, but Emily is pretty protective of all things "mama"
  • Granny Janny -- I'm a big fan of the rhyme, but potentially pejorative

And for my dad:

  • Grandpa Wheeler
  • Opa M -- doesn't have the same ring as Opa D
  • Grandpappy Mike -- not sure if its appropriate unless you are native to Kentucky

Given the stalemate, we welcome any suggestions.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

summer queen so fair

Give me the joys of summer,
Of SUMMER QUEEN so fair,
With wealth of lovely flowers
And fruits and sun-kissed air!

Talk not to me of winter
With ice and frost and snow,
Nor changing spring and autumn
When howling winds will blow.

No, I will take the joys
Of SUMMER every time,
So to this Queen of Seasons
I dedicate my rhyme.

Midsummer Joys

by Winifred Sackville Stoner, Jr.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


i knew even from her early days in the womb that summer was going to be a different kind of baby. she plays this life game by her own rules.

take, for example, the pacifier -- an infant and toddler staple in most homes. as a newborn, summer refused the pacifier, and it has only recently resurfaced as a toy. i'll put a pacifier in her mouth, she'll pop it out and begin to chew on all the sides but the one she's supposed to.

enter the nail clippers. summer loves to suck on her nail clippers.

go figure.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

this week in pictures

for round two of our family vacation, bryan, summer and i spent the past week with the rest of the wheelers in and around jackson hole. here are a few snapshots of our adventures:

summer enjoys the scenic views from atop mom's shoulders.

the tetons.

bryan and assorted crew members offroad in mike's fj.

mike kayaking on jenny lake in grand teton national park.

james & michele canoeing. or rather, michele
canoeing and james enjoying the ride.

cindy & peter canoeing.
please note: next time all will be kayaking -- canoeing is hard.

summer has a quick bite after an arduous hike in the tetons.

artist's point in yellowstone national park.
the nudist colony was a lie. but emily believed.

cindy, peter, bryan, james & mike atv.
janna, michele, emily & summer are at home enjoying lunch.

old faithful.

giant fingers, tiny fly. curses.

mike catches nothing but a beautiful view of the twilight moon.

au revoir!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

slip and slide

Those close to me know I have a latent thrill seeking tendency that I indulge from time to time (it may explain my overwhelming preference for mountain biking over road biking). Thus, I conjured up a visit to one of my most thrilling childhood memories: the alpine slide at Park City.*
The thrill level varied dramatically across my rag tag group of travel companions. Summer was generally unimpressed since children under 2 were not allowed on the lifts. Kenny (Summer's uncle) chose a speedy sled and had quite the ride down the slide. Emily navigated the track at a speed that avoided thrills altogether but otherwise allowed her to enjoy the scenery (as well as the impatient sighs of the two children who caught up to her).
I, on the other hand, chose a slow sled** and had a ride that wasn't anything like I remembered from 20 years ago. After spending some time observing other patrons, I noticed that most adults seemed to be having fun by riding down with their incredibly thrilled toddlers. I suspect we'll be back in a couple of years so I can simultaneously scare and delight the infant phenomenon.

* Full disclosure -- If memory serves me well, my early experiences with the alpine slide were in Jackson Hole rather than in Park City.

** Just for the record, I didn't intentionally pick a slow sled. We couldn't tell which ones were slow and fast so mine was chosen at random.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Where the buffalo play

Antelope Island: A 42 square mile landmass in the middle of the largest saltwater lake in the western hemisphere.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Summer and the previous 3 generations (mom, grandma, great-grandma) had never visited this gem in the middle of the Great Salt Lake. I can't blame them; I lived in Utah for 4 years and never went either. Ever hoping that Summer's life will be free from any deficiencies that plagued my own, we loaded the crew in the rental car and made our way to the island.

Like a lot of destinations in Utah, the scenery was somewhat otherworldly more photos.

Friday, June 13, 2008

owen's wedding part deux

as promised, we returned to the desert for the second half of the young-bautista wedding party. and party we did! in fact, i partied so hard, i sprained my knee (note to self: do not jump around in four-inch heels).

this wedding had it all: family, friends, romance, elegance, delicious food, a live band, and -- of course -- a beautiful bride. the ceremony itself was only missing one thing: baby summer. she had to be escorted indoors, 1000 feet away from the wedding, so her screams would be out of earshot. but after being fed and returned to her mother's arms, she warmed up quite a bit to the experience and even slept for a few hours while the band played and mom and dad got their grooves on.

congratulations to owen and anna!!

the bride and groom.

summer and mom reunite.


the bautista boys.

summer enjoys the wedding feast.

uncle kenny entertains her.

father of the bride.

the belle of the ball.

much to her father's chagrin, summer begins planning her own wedding.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Samples, please

Ever the curious observer, I decided to spend a day in an industry I know nothing about: pharmaceutical sales. Rather than give a coherent narrative, I'll just impose order on my stream of consciousness via the ordered list.

1. Who is that dashing rep? In the interest of full disclosure, I didn't pick a random rep off the street to follow around for a day. James is my brother.

2. A negative view on the industry - If you're looking for a scathing critique of big pharma sales reps, you won't find it here. The era of reps taking doctors on ski trips is long gone. Honestly, if your doctor's judgement is being clouded by a monthly cookie and 2 minute chat, perhaps you should find a different doctor.

3. The word sales is used loosely here - Pharma sales reps don't close deals. There is no hard sale. Performance is measured by prescriptions written long after the rep is gone.

4. Costco has a secret police - Fancying myself as an artist, I considered doing a photo essay on my day. Unfortunately, our visit to Costco put a damper on my budding artistic aspirations (we were buying treats for doctors offices). Shortly after I walked in the store with the camera dangling from my neck, a 40 year old man wearing no insignia bluntly asked if I was taking pictures inside the store. His tone let us know that it wasn't OK. Ironically, I bought my camera from Costco weeks earlier.

5. What actually happens during a sale? Typically, we started by restocking the sample closet at an office. When a doctor became free, James would "detail" him on a recent study about one the drugs James is responsible for.

6. Is James like a Santa Claus for drugs? Yes. It's difficult to see in the above picture, but James is carrying a very large bag replete with nice samples.

7. How was the lunch break? As evidenced above, it was longish and entertaining.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Sunday, June 08, 2008

summer gives to charity

The infant phenomenon had so much fun the last time she went to the zoo that we decided to repeat the experience at Salt Lake City's Hogle Zoo. This go around, we teamed up with Cuong (a former missionary companion of mine) and family to enhance our experience with local expertise.

Their companionship proved to be invaluable. The zoo was good but the bird show was fantastic. Summer was so impressed that she donated a dollar to one of the performers. The cheeky cockatoo snatched the bill and inserted it into the box for her.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

croquet anyone?

meet the players:
anna. the contender.

bryan. the first eliminated.

cal. the merciful.

owen. the merciless.

emily. the champion.

kenny. the vanquished.

'twas a lovely late afternoon frolic in the backyard.
we recommend croquet to all who have yet to enjoy this forgotten pasttime.