Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hurrah for Utah-Only Holidays!

(To be fair and accurate, I remember the wards in Wisconsin having festive activities for this holiday too, though I guess no one had work off or anything...)

We had Pioneer Day a couple weeks ago!  It was great fun to have a long weekend.  My work doesn't recognize Pioneer Day as a paid holiday of course (or even as a holiday at all), but I do get one "Personal Holiday" each year, and it seemed like the very day to use it, especially since The Wife had work off.  We had a lot of festivities with family and friends, so I will now outline them in bulleted fashion!

•  On Friday night we were lucky enough to have great seats in the Conference Center to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square perform their Pioneer Day commemoration concert, with special guests Brian Stokes Mitchell (who I never get enough of) and Linda Eder (who I have been waiting to appear with the Choir for years).  It was stirring and thrilling and inspiring and all of those things!  I look forward to Linda joining them as their Christmas concert guest in the next year or two.  Then we stopped at the new Culver's in Midvale on the way home for some frozen custard and deep-fried cheese curds.  Ooohhhh, I have missed Culver's.

•  Then on Saturday morning we had a great 5K right here in Provo.  We have run the Provo Pioneer Day Classic once before, two years ago, but this time we were actually *ahem* registered (though it was a bummer because we barely missed the deadline for cheaper registration fees), and we planned to meet up with a bunch of kin there.  Julie and I arrived at the very last moment and had a good run.  The course is pretty tough with a few good uphill slopes, but we did all right.  I was this close to placing (less than 20 seconds behind third place in my age group, as well as top 10 overall), but I still feel good about finishing at 21:04 (about 6:48/mile).  Who could complain?  Besides, I don't think I could have pushed myself any harder in that last half mile.  Oy.  Melody followed right behind me and tried really hard to pass me up.  I never thought I would be considered a fast runner.  Several of our group placed in their age group, and were fortunate enough to end up with bonus t-shirts and fabulous prizes.
I mean, seriously, don't I look like a champion?  Oh, and I hope the powers that be don't mind that I borrowed this image without actually buying it.  I figure I left the URL in the graphic, so I'm advertising for them, and the picture quality is sufficient for blog needs.

Not pictured is Amber.  She might have taken off early, along with baby-sitter Katy, but maybe she opted out of the photo since she ran bandit.

Jonny was away when they called his name to collect his medal, so I picked it up for him.  Don't tell, I'm not really Jonny Rej-ho-lec!

•  We hurried home so we could conduct a business transaction at our place.  Some of you may know we've been looking into getting new furniture for quite some time.  We have liked having Mom's old couches, but we always thought it would be nice to be furniture that's just ours and that we pick out and buy together as soon as the time and situation was right.  We've also been looking into moving into a bigger place, perhaps slightly more outside of Student Town, but then we realized that we don't really have a very good reason to move yet, so we should just stick it out for now and save the extra cash.  Then we thought a good way to feel like we moved without really moving is to rearrange our apartment's setup and finally get that new living room set (which would be better to buy now than when we're taking a hike in rent anyway).  So I advertised on Facebook and almost immediately had a taker in one of my friends from the MTC.  We met him at our apartment after the race, vacuumed the couches out, said our goodbyes and then sent them off in the U-Haul truck to live with their new family.
They are comfy, and I have many fond memories of Sunday afternoon naps on them!  Also notable memories were when Cami used to wake me up by running and jumping through the air to land upon me.

Bye, couch!

Bye, love seat!  You served us well for just about two years.

Later in the day we stopped at RC Willey to make our purchase, and bought a set on sale that we had seen a couple weeks earlier and liked (they evidently met all of Julie's couch requirements), though we knew that they would take a day or two to come down from Salt Lake City, and thus began our weekend of sitting on the floor to watch TV.

•  For the rest of that day we relaxed, watching TV and having a picnic on the floor, shopping at IKEA and buying a few other new additions to our living situation, and seeing Captain America with some friends later in the evening, which seemed a fittingly patriotic movie for the time of year.  We also had delicious frozen treats after the movie at Sub-Zero, which we liked very much.  We'll probably go back so Julie can get that peach cobbler concoction again...  As for me, I wouldn't turn down the chocolate peanut butter option.

•  On Sunday I led the choir in a very festive performance of "They, the Builders of the Nation."  Those who have spoken with me on the subject of this ward choir (or who has any kind of experience leading probably any ward choir) will know that it's been quite a struggle to get devoted choir members at rehearsal, especially in a student area in the summertime.  So, imagine my surpreeze when record numbers walked up to the stand and joined in the musical number!  It was quite remarkable, and it really sounded like even more singers than we had.  It was interesting to hear the ward choir sing the same piece that opened Friday night's concert in Salt Lake City...  We didn't have 200 singers of a world-famous choir or a full orchestra or a 21,000-seat venue, but I tell you, I had the same feeling listening to my stalwart little group of singers as I had on Friday night.  That Mack knows how to arrange a hymn.

•  On Monday our couches came into town, and we made ready for them by cleaning the carpets (with our weeks-old vacuum and even a rented Rug Doctor) and basically deep-cleaning the entire place.  We even rearranged our bedroom furniture, so the light from the window is finally out of our eyes when we sleep.
Can you believe this all came out of our carpet?  And that's after vacuuming twice!  Nasty!!!

But then it looked like this.  It made me feel like I shouldn't walk on it.  Ever again.
Then, despite all my most valiant efforts at securing use of a truck owned by any nearby friend, we ended up hauling both pieces the three-and-a-half blocks from RC Willey to our apartment.  (This is very reminiscent of a time when Cami and I carried a love seat from the same RC Willey to her and Jake's apartment).  On the one hand, it's a good thing that we live so close, but on the other hand, they were still really heavy, and seriously, NO ONE around Provo had a truck we can use??  It almost put our poor helpful next-door neighbor in the ER for overexertion and underhydration.  But the couches are here and they are new and they are ours!  We love them and wanted to just sit and snuggle on them for a long, long time.

New couches!
Some assembly required.  I like when the need arises to break out the ol' tool set.  It makes me feel manly.  Which manliness you can clearly see in my expression.
We rearranged things a little too.  Don't they change the whole look and feel of the place?  Too bad the pillows they came with are sort of hideous and scratchy.  They may or may not be replaced soon.  The rug was a recent IKEA acquisition.
Interestingly, we stopped by our old apartment recently and found that at least the outside has had a major facelift, including completely new paint from top to bottom.  It almost looks liveable!  There are even window AC units, which was a thing unheard of back when we lived there.  It's still tiny, and I'm sure the nasty bugs will be there forever, but they probably raised the price when they painted the outside anyway.

•  The rest of the holiday was spent running many errands (getting fitted for new suits I bought on MAJOR sale a couple of months ago which finally arrived, and checking out the going-out-of-business sales at a favorite Borders) and then having a delicious dinner with Mom and Dad.

We didn't want to go back to work the next day, but at least it would mean there was a short work week.  It seemed like there should have been something more to our activities, maybe something I was forgetting, but now that I type it all out, it seems like we had quite a busy weekend after all.  Hurrah for Utah-only holidays!  Thanks, pioneers!  I feel like there's a little bit of hero worship in the Church, but they did some pretty impressive things.  I should know, because I went on a youth trek when I was like 14.  My cousin had a tick, and it seemed so gross to me.  (My pioneer ancestors would probably smack me for being so flippant about all of this, but oh well.)

Say, I guess I never blogged about my poor sick computer and her triumphant return...  That will have to wait.  *reminds self*


  1. Looks like you guys totally had a great Pioneer Day! The new couches look so posh and comfortable! (Good riddance to those old couches! They were pretty comfortable, but so dated.) Nothing like a couple new couches to restore your faith in an old apartment.

    Good job on your runnings! Everyone is looking so great! We are going to hopefully train for a 5k in the fall. We'll see if that happens...

    Also, I can't believe Linda sang with the Motab! That seems like a dream come true for you!

  2. Yeah man, I tried to catch you. No dice. But thanks for being my rabbit, otherwise I may not have placed first! Good times. I need to remember to spell my name phonetically on my registration forms. Oh brother.

    Your place looks great with the new couches. Fun fun fun fun.

  3. I love those couches. Remember how excited we were to get home from work on Tuesday so we could sit on them?

    My verification word is "perspo" which 1) sounds like something Sunny would shriek and 2) seems very appropriate for a post that talks about running. You perspo so much when you run!

  4. lol'ing that my/your photo has my/ watermark. Perhaps you didn't see the footer of the website. :) (PS...if any race photos were taken by me or Jack, we're allowed to give them (watermark free!) to family... just remind me.)

  5. HA, no, I didn't notice that. But I gave abundant credit and am hardly using it for anything notable or published, but if you want to send me the full resolution photo, by all means go right ahead! I wouldn't want to be accused of caps lock stealing or anything.

  6. I just read this again and it is funny, especially the line about the ticks. O, horrors! I should tell you my tick stories sometime...

  7. And I just read the comments again and LLOLed at your verification word and the thought of Sunny shrieking it.