Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Balance, Alignment, Follow Through

In my marketing class, my teacher was talking about three of the most important things for everything in life (and as usual, lessons in life can be applied to business). The lessons are:

  • Balance
  • Alignment
  • Follow Through
Balance - In sports, you need balance to hit a ball or run in a straight line. In life, you need it so you don't get burned out. You need to find that balance between family, religion, business, recreation, and everything else in your life.

Alignment - In sports, alignment helps you drive a golf ball straight or swing a baseball bat. In life, alignment is important so you put your priorities in order.

Follow Through - Follow through. Swing through the pitch. Keep running through a tackle. Finish your golf swing. If you start a project, finish it. If you make a decision, stick to it. There was a picture on pinterest that said "If you're tired of starting over, STOP GIVING UP."

And then he showed a video, which is about baseball. And families. And a father playing ball with his daughter. And oh my gosh I was on the brink of tears because I want this. But the time isn't yet. But I still can't wait. I'm just really excited for the future, when I get to play ball with my kids. And then hope they remember the things I taught them when it really matters. More than baseball. You know. The really important stuff.

Hope you enjoyed it. :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pioneer Day Parade 2012

I'm not gonna lie. That was a little disappointing.

Or maybe I just didn't do it right. Which is a real possibility. Let me explain.

When Isa and I went to work on Monday morning, at 7:45am (AM!), there were already people camping out and staking out their spots for the parade the next day (today). People don't even come out to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade that early.

And then last night, when Isa and I got home from work and school, we went for a walk up and down 2nd East to see all the people. It was packed full of families with air mattresses and tents. It was something they must get excited for all year. Our favorite was a family that brought a projector and was showing a movie against a building wall to entertain their kids (and parade neighbors). I called my cousin that lives up the street from us and he assured me that nothing (crime-wise) ever happens and it's a good time had by all. Crazy.

So needless to say, we were super excited and Isa was really upset that she didn't get the day off. So I went down there for the parade, and I'm not gonna lie, it did not live up to the hype. I was expecting huge balloons and a jet fly over and clowns and stuff. Why else would people be sleeping out for more than 24 hours for a parade?

Although there were some creative floats, the parade as a whole is like little league compared to New York parades (or even Carnival parades from the Caribbean). But you know what the absolute worst part of the parade was? They didn't throw out candy! Nothing! What kind of parade doesn't throw out candy? Boo.

Here's how the parade went, for the most part: Cops on motorcycles. Float. Band. Beauty queen from some random city in Utah. Float from some random Mormon Stake. Some more cops on motorcycles. Band. Madagascar 3 float (I started to think they sponsored the parade or something). Get ready for a pic explosion:

Madagascar Float #1

Mormon Royalty

Cops on bikes. People loved it when they revved their engines!

A train. For you, Dad. :)

Beauty Queens #1

Old Firemen. For you, Chris.

Jasmine and Aladdin

BYU's float. This is the best angle so it doesn't look like a.. Well something else.

Beauty queens #2

Charly. Why don't you just tear my heart out and stomp on it already? Huh?


Lego People!!

Look at their hands!

Beauty queens #3

Tall People!

Beauty queen #4


Jesus and his posse.

My favorite part of the parade.

I love chinese dragons!

Get the ball! Eat the ball!!

Throwing the dynamite in the cave.

Fire in the hole!

Twin temples

Sometimes I think my bag is heavy. This dude picks up people.

Madagascar float #2

Family. Isn't it about... time?

Not one piece of candy.

But I spent the rest of the day reading a book for History and writing a 6-page book report on it. So maybe there were parties and festivities the rest of the day that I didn't get to and maybe those are what makes Pioneer Day as amazing as everyone makes it out to be. But if the parade was any indication of later festivities, I didn't think I'd be missing anything. Maybe there would have been candy there.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pioneer Day Concert

For those of you who are not from Utah, Pioneer Day is an actual holiday. As in, I get the day off from work on Tuesday. Woohoo!

Pioneer Day (I had to just look this up) commemorates the day (July 24, 1847) that Brigham Young and the first group of mormon pioneers came into the Salt Lake valley.

I've never been in Utah for it, but I've heard it's kind of a big deal. And tonight was just the start of it. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir put on a concert with Katherine Jenkins, who you may know from Dancing with the Stars. The concert was held in the huge and awesome conference center across from Temple Square. Muchas gracias to our friends Cat and Doug for hooking us up with sweet tickets. You're the best! Check out the pic I took from our seats.

It was a great show, and if you want to hang out here for the next 90 minutes, you can watch it in its entirety, thanks to MormonMessages' YouTube channel:

We enjoyed it. And if you had all that time tonight, I hope you did too.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rate Our Weekend Trips from SLC

Isa and I have compiled a list of 15 possible weekend trips that we could take from our current home-base in Salt Lake City. There will probably be many more that we haven't thought of, so if you know of a weekend adventure that you think we would love and it's not on the list below, please leave it in the comments. That would be much appreciated.

Because we don't have the time to do every trip, we need help deciding which ones are the best and which ones are not worth doing. That's where you come in. We would love it if you could help us by rating the 15 trips below in order of awesomeness: 1 being amazing and an absolute must-do, and 15 for something we could skip and not think twice about it.

If you haven't done something on the list, go by your gut feeling on coolness. You know us, what do you think we'd want to do the most? And if you get bored, just rate your top 10, or top 5, or whatever. Any ratings at all will help. The survey will fill in the rest for you. So, here goes. Thanks so much!

[2013 Update: Survey is down since we're not in Utah anymore.]

You're the bestest! Thanks for the ratings. :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Isa is Crafty

Before Isa started working, she had quite a bit of time on her hands. Almost as soon as we arrived here in Utah, I started working, and then the next week I started school, too. So I've been busy for a while, but she had three or four weeks of job hunting and free time until she started at TDAmeritrade. Normal people would have watched tv or wasted hours away on facebook or pinterest. Not Isa. She was crafty.

Her first endeavor was to reupholster a chair. She had seen it on pinterest and she knew someone who had done it, so she thought, 'Why not?' We picked up a green armchair at a furniture consignment shop a few blocks down the street from us (literally picked it up, I carried it home on my head). She ripped off all the fabric and turned it into this work of art:

Seriously, how cool is that? She reupholstered a chair! And I love it and I have claimed it as my throne. She can have the couch.

Next, she moved on to our walls. We're not sure if we're allowed to paint, and as you can tell from the background of the chair pictures above, the walls are an ugly taupe color, and Isa is very colorful, so something had to change. So not being sure if we can paint or not - and not wanting to pay for all that paint anyway - Isa found another fun idea on pinterest. So we went to Home Depot, Walmart, Lowes, and a few other places and started collecting paint chips and she's in the process of taping them on the wall, like this:

It's not done yet, we've made several trips and we have LOTS more paint chips. That colorful collection is going to spread clear across the wall. :)

And last, but certainly not least, we bought two $15 nightstands at Ikea. You know, this one:

And she turned it into this:

She painted the whole thing blue, then drew the pattern and painted the design on top by hand.

Yeah, she's pretty darn cool. And way talented.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

I Rocked My Midterms

For those of you who don't know me, I've never been one to study. Or care much about school. I've been fortunate enough to be able to go to classes and absorb enough information to get at least a B on tests. But apparently that's changed. I can't bring myself to be lackadaisical enough to not do the work necessary to get an A. Maybe it's because Isa got straight A's, and although she said it's ok if I don't (I made sure she knew that I'm not as diligent of a student as she was), I guess it's not ok to me.

So because the BYU's Salt Lake Center's testing center is closed on Saturday (and if you're reading this, BYU-SLC, that needs to change. For those of us who work 8-5 and have a full-time class load, there is no other time to take a test), Isa and I had to drive down to Provo so I could take my two midterms on campus. I've never taken two tests in a row. I feel like even in finals week, they're spread out or I had a few hours between them or something. But nope, I took the first one, walked out and around, studied for 30 minutes, and then took the second one.

And I rocked them both. 97 in Marketing and 94 in History. Booyah.

That's really all. I just wanted to brag and I felt like this was a decent forum for that. :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Brisa is on Pinterest

Hello Bloggers.

You've heard of Pinterest, right?

Well, if you haven't, here's a quick crash course (if you have, skip to the next paragraph). Pinterest is the newest kid on the social media block. Basically, you create a profile and you think of topics you like. Each topic is a separate board. Let's say, travel. As I browse the internet, if I ever see a picture of a place I want to go to, I click a "Pin It" button in my favorites bar, and it pins that picture onto my board. So you Pin things that Interest you. Get it? Graphic designers, wedding planners, chefs, and all crafty people love it because they can browse other crafty people's boards and re-pin their ideas, so we can do them in the future.

Isa has lots of boards. Some are for crafty ideas, some are for recipes, some are for our dream home. You should go follow her. She's really interesting. She's been on Pinterest for a while. I just started because I felt left out. So if you are interested in traveling to cool places, go follow me, because that's pretty much all I'm going to post. Ever. Come to think of it, my pinterest is probably better suited for my alter-ego perfectlittleplanet than for "me" me. But whatever. It's already created. There's no going back now. :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Isa Got a Job

I told you I'd tell you more about Isa's new job once it had started. Today is that day. :)

Isa started her new job this morning at TDAmeritrade. She would be writing this post herself, but she's super busy right now. TDAmeritrade is a financial investment firm, something Isa knows nothing about. However, they are hosting an investment conference in Vegas in a few months and they need to design and put together a booklet for it, something TDAmeritrade knows nothing about. That's where Isa comes in. She's using her InDesign layout skills to put together and design their 200-some-odd page book, which will be given out to hundreds of attendees (maybe it's thousands, I don't know).

Either way, Isa is learning (and re-learning) lots of things that will help her excel in the future, and I'm so proud of her. She really is amazing. It was a long time (a month) not knowing what she'd be doing, and not hearing back from employers after positive interviews, but now that she's found a great job, we're really surprised at how quickly it happened.

Props to Isa for being so awesome.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Talking in Church

I do love talking in church. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I hear so many other people have a fear of public speaking, that I deliberately try to be the opposite. Love is the opposite of fear, I suppose, so maybe that's why I love getting up in front of large crowds.

Our chapel is interesting. Our ward is, too. Our ward is made up of "Newlyweds and Nearly-Deads," or at least that's what I've heard it referred to as. The ward does not have a primary or young men/young women program. It does have a nursery, to which Isa and I have been called - more on that later. So if you have kids, they can only be less than three years old. Once they grow up too much, you get kicked out of the ward and put in another one - one with a primary and other youth programs. So what you end up with, if you remove any young families, are newlyweds with no (or very small) children, and old people whose children have already grown up and moved out.

Weird, huh?

The chapel and ward have been around forever. Like, since Mormons came to Salt Lake City. We're in the 13th ward. As in, the 13th ward, ever. The building looks more like a fortress than a chapel, but I love that the podium/pulpit is off to the side, not in the center like normal. The side pulpit is very reminiscent of huge cathedrals. I've always wanted to preach from one of those, so this was, in a small way, pretty cool for me. :)

Isa talked about family home evening and how we all need to be doing it. I talked about making the most out of our free time - doing things that are worthwhile and productive instead of playing on facebook or whatever.

Overall, they were well-received talks and I think both of us did a fine job. :) Yay!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Salt Lake City Fireworks

Happy 4th of July, everyone!

Isa and I debated what we should do for Independence Day. We had heard about fireworks in Sandy and Sugarhouse and all over the valley, and now that we have a car we could have gone anywhere. But we decided it might be fun to not limit ourselves to just one show, but go somewhere where we could watch all of them. We thought it would be a unique opportunity for us to hike up a mountain and watch the various fireworks from one vantage point. We decided to hike up to Ensign Peak.

Ultimately, it was really cool to see fireworks for miles in all directions, but they were mostly too small to really think they were that cool. It was more like the whole valley was sparkling with different colored explosions every few seconds. Which is a cool sight to behold, but it's just different than being right under the show like we were in Edmonton or New York.

But we got some cool pictures of the city and the valley anyway.

And here's one of Isa and I on top of the hill:

And yes, we could see our house from there. :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

We Bought a Car!!

When we came to Salt Lake City, we decided that we would not buy a car. We live a block from Trax, which takes me directly to Sandy (where I work). It’s about an hour commute when you include walking time and taking the bus from the station in Sandy, but it is much less expensive than paying for gas and insurance, and it gives me time to work on homework or write these blogs. :) We assumed that all the graphic design jobs for Isa would be downtown, like they are in New York. Nobody would ever set up a “cool” job like graphic design out in one of the outer boroughs. That just doesn’t make sense. So we figured it would be the same here and that she’d be able to take Trax as well.

Not the case.

All of the design jobs Isa could find were somewhere down in the valley. Not a single one here in the city. So she found a job that she starts Monday (I’ll blog about that after she starts it) and it’s down in Draper, which is farther than Trax currently goes.

So we had to buy a car.

We went through my friend Jason (mission companion, college roommate, Cambodia travel buddy, etc. Yeah, we go way back) who is now the General Sales Manager at Larry H. Miller Provo. We told him we wanted something small with great gas mileage. Those were pretty much our only criteria, and he delivered:

2008 Chevy Aveo 5

It’s a 2008 Chevy Aveo 5. We love it. It’s fun to drive and it fits our needs perfectly. We really felt guilty about buying a car (because we want to be environmentally friendly and keep our carbon footprint to a minimum, especially because we do enough damage by traveling all the time) but now that we have it, we don’t feel as bad as we thought we would. Actually, we’re really happy we did it. Yes, it was a necessity, but it really is nice to have that freedom.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Brave Movie Review

My wife and I went with some friends to see Pixar’s Brave last night.

Not to knock the movie, because there are lots of reasons to see it and ultimately we recommend that you do, but the best part of the whole thing was the animated short that preceded the actual movie. What can I say? I still have the attention span of a six-year old. And any animation that can adequately tell a complete story without a single word of dialog is fantastic in my book. It’s called La Luna and it tells a heart-warming story about a young boy on his first day on a very unique job that is being passed down from grandfather to father to him. You have to use your imagination (as Pixar is so good at doing) to follow what’s happening, but it’s fun and it’s interesting and extremely cute. So yeah. Go see that.

And go see Brave too. But be warned, as my neighbor pointed out to us, “You need to be brave to see Brave.” It’s scary. Like more than Ursula in Little Mermaid Scary. It’s legitimately scary. There’s a recurring theme of bears throughout the movie, and as one accustomed to hanging out withand around bears, I’m not too scared of them as a whole, but the way they depict one of the bears and a few of the scenes are so intense that it’s actually pretty dang scary.

My wife thought, and I agree, that it’s more scary and intense than it is funny and cute (which is what we were going for – since that’s what we expect from Pixar).  But yeah, Merida is a great heroine. She’s as fun and rebellious as you would expect from an adolescent princess. Her shortsightedness (never trust anybody willing to grant you wishes!! I hope all of you readers know this by now. If not, here are some more examples: Arial in Little Mermaid. The Mad Hatter and the King in Once Upon a Time. Jafar in Aladdin) and stubborn pride messes everything up, and then she needs to fix it all before it becomes permanent.

The story is a little crazy – as much as I don’t need my cartoons to be realistic by any means, this one is out there. I love the wisps though. And I really wish they were in real life too. I would definitely blindly follow those into a dark forest.

The little brothers are great: predictably mischievous in all the right ways. The mom is just like your mom. So you’ll like her. And the dad is as loud and boisterous as you would hope a big jolly one-legged warrior would be.

Overall, it’s good. Worth seeing but probably not buying.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hiking the U (Almost)

Isa and I were missing Broadway and we really wanted to go see a show, so we found a high school in West Jordan (that’s the “other side of the tracks” for those of you not from around here) that was putting on Seussical the Musical. We had never seen it, and it was only $10. So we drove down (we rented a car for the weekend) to see it.

They actually did a pretty good job. We found out that although it was held at the high school, it was put on by a community theater. So it wasn’t just high school kids. The Cat in the Hat was fun – very talented and charismatic (although I would have loved to see this on Broadway, because I think he would have been really great). Our favorite character was actually Myrtle McGirdle. She was such an expressive and fun actress. We smiled every time she came on the stage. We also liked Horton.

It finished and we drove back to Salt Lake City around 10pm. Since we had a car and it was still so nice out (about 90 degrees still, with a breeze and no humidity) we decided to drive up to the U. (Here in Utah, many of the cities put a giant letter up on the mountain that you can see for miles around. Like this:

BYU has a Y. The U (University of Utah, here in Salt Lake) has a U. There’s a B for Bountiful, a G for Pleasant Grove, and all sorts of other letters depending on where you go.

Isa and I hiked the Y when we drove through here two years ago, and it was hot and miserable and long and really just not a very good experience. But I had heard that hiking the U was much easier (for the pansies that go to the U, that makes sense). So we decided to try it. And easier it was.

You can drive pretty much right up to it. Then you take a sidewalk straight across to a road, walk for about 30 seconds, and you’re right below it. Then you need to hike up the mountain for about 100 feet. Not bad, huh?

Well we didn’t make it. The dirt on the trail was so dry and loose that our sandals couldn’t get a grip. We got about three fourths of the way there (so I was about 20 feet away from the bottom of it) and we decided to turn back. Turning around was probably the hardest part of that hike.

So if you want to hike the U, make sure you have about 5 minutes and some good sneakers.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A New Era

Well, well, well. It's been a while and things have changed a bit since we last updated you, blog. I'm sorry for our neglect, but to be fair, we've been busy. And if it makes you feel any better, we really haven’t updated facebook or foursquare either. And poor twitter has absolutely no idea what’s happening. As far as twitter is concerned, we're still relaxing with the Mayor in NYC.

So here we go.

We no longer live in New York City. (gasp!) I know. It hurts. And we miss it. As much as we try not to admit that we miss it every day, and we’re doing much better at not mentioning how much we miss it every day, the fact of the matter is that we do. There’s just no place like the City.

We’ve moved to downtown Salt Lake City. We live across from City Creek, which is a beautiful shopping center.

Instagrammed pic from inside City Creek.
We live about a two blocks from the temple, and one block from Trax. I take Trax to work every morning (we’re planning on not buying a car – that’s right Utah, it actually is possible to live here without a car).

I work for Del Sol. I’m the new Sales Training Manager. I love it. I’m overhauling everything and making it much easier to access and use the tremendous amount of sales training content we have available, with the intent on helping our stores learn and implement the skills they need to succeed in our slower economy.

I also go to school full time. Yeah, it’s kind of a busy time for me. I have one year of insanity before I never have to go to school again. Ever. I enjoy my classes so far. I’m currently taking classes in history, writing, and marketing. One of the requirements in my writing course is to maintain a blog. So here you go. Entry #1.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Explore Central Park Run (with Photos!)

I've always wanted to explore Central Park. All of it. In one day. So I did.

So I went with Isa to work on Saturday (she's currently working at Columbus Circle for Zagat) and I thought it was a perfect opportunity (nice weather, time to kill, etc) to run. For those of you who have never been to Central Park, it starts at 59th Street and goes up to 110th Street, which is 2.5 miles. I thought if I zigzagged a little bit, I could turn it into a 4 or 5 mile run.

So I started running, and then I kept going. And when I got home and mapped it out, it turned out that I ran 8.25 miles! So enjoy my (not so) little exploration of Central Park on a nice Spring Saturday.

The mile markers are circled, the photos are numbered.
So without further ado, here is my Central Park run pic explosion (I whittled it down to just 15 out of the 51 I took). They're numbered so if you want to know where I took a particular shot, you can find it on the map above. You can find 41 of the 51 shots (I don't really like 10 of my pictures) on the Facebook album I'll create tomorrow.

Gapstow Bridge on the Pond, with the Plaza in the background. One of my favorite places in the Park.

Classic Central Park. Kid playing on Balto, horse-drawn carriage over an archway.

Some of the trees are starting to look pretty. :)

Isa and I tried to get an apartment in those towers.
Come to find out Madonna and Bono live in the building.

The boats are out already!

Isa and my favorite arch in the Rambles.

The obelisk behind the MET.

I think this is my favorite pic of the day.

If you weren't sure how big Central Park was, this should help.

Cool bridge by the Bridal Path.

Click this picture to enlarge it and look at her painting. It's amazing!

Hands down the prettiest place in the Park: the Conservatory Gardens.

Ahh, love is in the air. All over the park, the ducks are all paired off.

Pretty plaza by the Discovery Center.
Yeah, so 8.25 miles later, I got back on the B train and headed home. And I'm proud to say that my legs don't hurt at all. They needed a little stretching yesterday and today, but overall I think I fared pretty well.

Next up: Half Marathon.


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