Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thanksgiving In Chile

We realize that we are about a month behind on posting our Thanksgiving adventures in Chile, but if we posted it any sooner, we would break the tradition chain. =)

Ali and I were lucky enough to get the entire week of Thanksgiving off to go down to see her parents in Chile. They moved down to Concepcion, Chile the week after we got married to serve as the mission president of the south mission. It took 12 hours to fly from Los Angeles to Santiago, then only 1 hour to fly from Santiago to Concepcion. Between the excitement of seeing Ali parents, going to a new country and the endless free entertainment on the back of the seats in front of us, we didn't sleep a wink all the way down (we even tried wearing the free eye covers the airlines gave to us. But either our heads are way too big or the eye covers were way too small, because when we took them off after 30 minutes of our sleepless efforts, we had eye cover marks imprinted on our face. Attractive, I know).

Anyway, we finally did make it down to Chile and we had such a great time. Below are some pictures of our adventures.

It seems like every city/town in Chile has a market to buy fresh fruit, grain and meat (fresh might be generous, the meat looked a little less than fresh and a little less like meat). We snapped a photo in front of the fruit section.
Concepcion takes pride in its University, which has a beautiful mural in the art building, the picture below was my favorite section of the mural (and the only section that did not include bare chested women). Not really sure why the tree has daggers in it, but it looks cool. Jolene, I am a novice when it comes to art, maybe you can help me figure out the meaning.
One of the most amazing things about Chile are the people and their genuine nature. They were incredibly nice and happy, even in their humble circumstances. We left the country with a love for the people beyond what we would have imagined. The picture below is an old Chilean man that was selling some kind of root on the street corner.

We spent the first couple of days catching up on sleep and watching Joe and Jolene in action as mission president, which was so much fun! It definitely brought back some great memories of my mission. Yea, I am the Californian wearing the sandals. Oops.

After enjoying the mission activities in Concepcion, we piled in the car and headed further south. Our destination was Pucon, a beautiful resort town with a large lake and even larger volcano (or so they say. It was overcast the entire time we were there, so we didn't even see the volcano.) I don't know what it is with me, weather and sight seeing places, but every sight seeing place I have been in the last 2 years has been obscured with rain clouds! What's up with that! Sorry Ali. =) Below are two pictures, what we saw, and what we should have seen (the latter picture taken by Joe and Jolene months earlier).

We did make the best of the bad weather and spent an entire afternoon at a hot springs. Although the water falling on us in the pictures below was the furthest away from hot, there were 17 hot pools to choose from to warm us up.

Just a picture of Joe and I hanging out in front of a restaurant we ate at looking over a lake and the boat Marlene.

On our way back from Pucon, we stopped at a gorgeous waterfall, before returning back to Concepcion.
We had such a wonderful time in Chile seeing the country and being with Ali's parents. Can't wait to go back next year for Christmas!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Quick Work Story

I don't usually write about work on here, but I couldn't help but write a quick blog to say we won Pepsi. The advertising agency I work for is sometimes more demanding than others, but for the past 5 months we have been going nonstop so this pitch came at the end of a tired time. Blood (papercuts mainly), sweat (lots of it) and tears (luckily only a few), went into the pitch, not to mention lots of late nights. I went with the pitch team for the final presentation and it's the first trip I've been on as the only representative from New Business. I got to travel with the people in the company that I admire the most. It was incredible. Absolutely everything went wrong, but what I was so, so happy about was everything was fixed by the time the clients showed up, the meeting went flawlessly and we WON. Such a great feeling.Rob Schwartz, Carisa Bianchi, Lee Clow, me, Joe Shands

October Fun

Brian actually agreed to do the Mud Run with me this year! The Mud Run is a 6 mile race on a marine base where you run, crawl and swim through mud. It’s my 3rd mud run but it was by far the most fun. Ashley Burnett came down from San Fran to run it with us and we also had Katie Rockwood and Jeff Dickson on our team. I’m pretty sure we came in close to dead last.Other October fun… We went to a Neil Diamond concert, which was way more fun than I thought it’d be. Who knew??? Thank you Kim & Byron for opening my eyes to the wonder that is Neil. And I gotta say – he was moving and shaking it an impressive amount for being 67.

Speaking of looking good for their age… we went to a pumpkin patch out in the middle of nowhere with Laura & Andrew Skanchy and saw Cindy Crawford with her husband and 2 kids and DANG she looked good. I’d love to say it was just the guys that couldn’t take their eyes off her but Laura and I definitely got an eyeful as well (in between bites of kettle corn). AND word to the wise – the corn maze at Moorpark… NOT EASY. I know what you’re thinking… it’s for kids – how hard can it be??? HARD. We split up from the Skanchy’s to race to the finish and after about a half an hour we gave up and went out through the entrance. Pathetic, I know. Even Cindy & the kids made it.

BRIAN BECOMES OLDER & WISER. Or maybe just older… Brian hit the big 3-0 and I think it’s fantastic. We took the excuse to go hit up Palm Springs for the weekend with some friends. (Looks like his long stay in NYC did have its advantages… thank you Hyatt Hotel Points!) We played 4+ hours of golf, and by we, I mean they – I just drove the cart which actually ended up being more fun, Brian only fell out of the cart once, Laura was a champion for only have golfed twice and Andrew stole everyone’s money. We also went hot tubbing, pooling, lounging and played some tennis… as Tom Hung put it, we were one bingo game away from being 60 year olds. We had a GREAT time.Tom's gift to Brian... a canvas painting of himself. The only people who will be surprised by this, are the people who have never met Tom. HALLOWEEN
This year we had a seriously Halloween dilemma. What do you do for Halloween when you’re married and don’t have kids???? The annual Petersen’s Halloween house party had been cancelled which had been our easy out. That left us with the singles ward party. Call it pride but we refused to let that be our only option. So we got together with the Skanchys and decided to go to West Hollywood for what could possibly be the biggest Halloween Party in the nation. They block off 1.5 miles of the main street and cram Halloweeners (no pun intended) onto what becomes a massive parade of costumes. We went as Juno & Paulie Bleeker. You can imagine my mother’s excitement that I went as a pregnant teenager. She had serious doubts that anyone had any idea who I was supposed to be, but I have to say we had serious celebrity status as we walked up and down Santa Monica Blvd. I have to say, my mother was won over as well once we got this photo to her. Who wouldn't love those short, especially golden shorts?? Derek, Krista, Andrew, Laura, Ali, Brian
Papa Smurf & Smurfette, "the depression," Juno & Paulie Bleeker

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm a Babcock!!!

I'm a Babcock!!! How awesome. And I have to say, alphabetically, (among other things I’m sure) Babcocks have their advantages. BAB is a much better location than SWE.

Other great things that have happened to me/us since I became a Babcock…

JUNE = HONEYMOON in Kauai, Hawaii and I swear Kauai is Hawaiian for relaxation. We spent time on all 4 coasts, saw the Napali Coast via catamaran, went snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, “beaching” & “pooling” and ate our weight in Tiger’s Blood shaved ice.

As you can see, it was more relaxing for some than others.

JULY = HOUSE. You get back from the hon
eymoon and you’re so relaxed and so glad all that wedding work is done. And then you realize you have all the post wedding stuff to deal with. Getting me fully moved in, setting up the new place, dealing with registries, and writing thank yous. So for better or worse – we spent most of July on our house. (We call it a house but don’t be confused – we definitely live in an apartment.) Not sure if you can even tell what it looks like from these photos but we’re happy with it.

AUGUST = FAMILY. Oh I love family. We were lucky enough to get to the spend time with some of both of our families.
We started off the month with a much anticipated trip to San Antonio to surprise Brian’s nieces and nephew. Do kids get any cuter than this??? If you said yes, you're a liar and you know it. We had so much fun with the whole family.
After we got back, Eric and Kate (my little brother and sister) came out from BYU to visit for a couple days. LUCKY FOR THEM, they came out on the day of my work summer party so we played arcade games on the Santa Monica Pier, rode the rides and won some prizes. Some of us were winners and some of us were losers. In case you're confused, Kate was NOT the winner. And I'm pretty sure she stole that dinky stuffed animal for the picture so she wouldn't have to stand there with nothing in hand. She also managed to get sticky cotton candy all over Eric's stuffed dog... jealous much???

SEPTEMBER = NEW YORK. Probably one of the most unfun things that’s happened since we got married is Brian left for a whole month for a work assignment in NYC. Somehow, he doesn't seem too sad in that picture. Don't be fooled, he missed me like crazy. While he was gone, my work got insanely busy and I was working until the wee hours of the morning most nights which is pretty much the definition of not fun. Not that it was all bad… I did meet Brian in Utah one weekend while he was doing a recruiting trip and we got to go to a BYU game. The weekend after that, I met him in NYC for some serious sightseeing, and we got to visit Dave & Anika Carlson & their new baby Charlie, which was Awesome with a capital A. We miss them!!! Here I am at Mary Poppins - doing the dew to avoid doing the drool after my red eye. Brian and Dave!! Together again. So cute. And a kiss for baby Charlie. The cute & mysterious blonde is Anika.

OCTOBER = too much fun. So much fun in fact that it'll have to wait for another post... Coming soon.