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.


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