Saturday, May 25, 2013

Lots to Celebrate!

We've had so much to celebrate since we moved to Minneapolis: my 23rd Birthday in February, our ONE YEAR Anniversary and Easter in March....And, you better believe I celebrated when it finally started to look like Spring around here! We had two days at the end of April where I thought it might, then it snowed again. Oh, Minnesota. But, the past two weeks have been blissful!

Here's a brief re-cap of all of those fun celebrations, and Part Two of my blog "catch-up:"


It was my golden birthday this year.Chad planned a lovely evening for us. We went to dinner at Bar La Grassa, my new favorite restaurant in Minneapolis. The flavors of their food is simply incredible! Honestly, if that was all we did for my birthday, I would have been satisfied. The food and atmosphere were perfect.

The fun didn't stop there though. After dinner, we went to the Mall of America for some mini-golfing. It was a lot of fun and we had our own little competition.

Last but not least, Chad spoiled me with a new Chi hair straightener, the new Maroon 5 and Fun CDs, and a new pair of shoes. I'm a lucky girl!


It seemed pretty surreal to celebrate our one year anniversary. It went by so quickly and I definitely didn't imagine we would be living in Minneapolis. Life is an adventure, but it's so great when you take that adventure hand in hand with your best friend.

We started our celebration a few weeks early by going to the musical Spamalot. It was only in town for a few days and we loved it! It was hilarious.

On our actual anniversary we went to Murray's steakhouse and shared their famous silver butter knife steak for two. It's a 28 ounce strip sirloin that they carve tableside. I think my jaw dropped when they brought out the massive block of meat and began serving me my "portion." It was absolutely delicious though! I had so much fun getting dressed up and enjoying the famous Murray's experience with my sweetheart.

We also had a good laugh about a few things that happened on our wedding day. Here's a few of the laughable moments:

1. As we sat holding hands in the celestial room, excitedly waiting for our turn to be sealed, the temple worker telling us how some couples have made it all the way to the celestial room before deciding they couldn't go through with the sealing and "it's not too late yet." I think she thought she was funny.

2. Our temple sealer calling us "Chandace," then quickly correcting himself as the Hyland clan had a little laugh because that's what they called us after we were engaged.

3. Me looking at my mother in-law when the sealer referred to me as "Sister Hyland." One year later and I'm still quite sure that "Sister Hyland" is my mother in-law.

4. Chad's friends keeping him hydrated throughout the day with a Camelback full of Mountain Dew.

5. My sister, Natalie, running through the tables at our reception, grabbing Chad's brother Cody's plate, setting it on the table, and pulling him to the dance floor. He still had his breadsticks in his shirt pocket.

6. Chad's very *creative* friends re-arranging our reception sign because I wouldn't let them decorate our get-away car.


Easter was our first big holiday away from family. We would have loved to have been with our families, but we are so grateful for such good friends here that invited us to their Easter Dinner. It was absolutely delicious! I even channeled my Aunt Julianne and made some homemade croissant rolls.

We gave each other Easter baskets. My Easter basket contained the new Les Mis DVD and some yummy candy, most importantly being my favorite Easter candy, Cadbury Mini Eggs. I filled Chad's Easter basket with candy and a pass for us to go do some glass blowing. I'm so anxious to get that scheduled and go do it!


We celebrated on the two days that it got above 70 degrees, along with the rest of Minnesota, by going to the lake and enjoying the sun--some of us more than others. As you can see below, people were out on the "beach," in their swimwear, laying out on their beach towels...with the ice still on the lake. I repeat my prior sentiment, "Oh, Minnesota." It snowed again after this.

I'm so glad it really is Spring now. I may admit to having teared up at the sight of blossoms. We've been able to go on bike rides and to the Farmers Market. I'm in heaven. These pictures are from our bike ride to the Mississippi.

We're now excited to celebrate our Memorial Day Weekend in Duluth! 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Busy, Busy, but Good

Better late than never, right? I finally decided I better sit down and blog about what we've been up to during our first three and a half months in Minneapolis (Part One).

We're keeping busy, busy here with work and church stuff. It's great though that we were both able to jump right into our new responsibilities! It's made these first few months fly by and the adjustment has been great.


Chad started working at Target a week after we moved here. He began his clearance pricing training in Women's Apparel (his mentor's category), then a few weeks later he was given responsibility for Healthcare clearance pricing. In week 6 of working for Target, due to some staffing changes and how well he was performing, he was given additional responsibilities. He is now responsible for the clearance pricing of what is categorized as "Household, Personal, Baby" and "Snacks, Beverages, Pet Food, and Candy," in addition to continuing his responsibility over "Healthcare."

As you can imagine, he's being kept really busy with that level of responsibility and has had a few late nights in the office. He's really enjoying it though! In fact, he's added about 30 minutes of shopping time to our Target runs because we HAVE to go check out the clearance items. I'm not complaining though; we've found some great deals!

I've happily continued working for Certiport. My job responsibilities have begun to shift because we've had some people leave, new people hired, and new positions made available. I'm now responsible for the North America marketing campaigns for the Adobe Certified Associate, Autodesk Certified User, and QuickBooks Certified User programs, as well as our corporate social media accounts. I'm also continuing my responsibility over the marketing for our partner program, until we hire someone for that position. Yes, they are keeping me really busy.

Fortunately, the big focus of my time right now is on something I absolutely love! I am prepping for our biggest event(s) of the year--the Global Partner Summit, the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship, and the Adobe Certified Associate World Championship. This year we are having them in Washington, D.C., July 31-August 3.

This picture is me and the other student ambassadors at last year's event. I can't wait for this year's event!


We both had callings and spoke in sacrament meeting one week after our records had officially been moved! They don't mess around in this ward. They put you to work, and we're glad they did.

Chad was initially called to teach Elders Quorum. Then, just as the Elders Quorum President had forewarned us might happen, the Bishopric "stole" him rather quickly and called him to teach the youth Sunday School class. He's perfect for that calling and the youth love him!

I was called to be the 2nd Counselor in the Young Women's and Girls Camp Director. Let's just say that when the bishopric extended my calling, I put my hands above my head and exclaimed, "YES!" Bet they've never gotten a response like that before. They found out rather quickly how much I loved Young Women's and Girls Camp, and how excited I was/am to work with the Young Women in our ward! I really love them so much.

Things are going great here and we're grateful for the opportunities we are having at work and at church!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Our New Home

As promised, here's my first post about our lives in Minneapolis. It's about time too since it just dawned on me that we've lived here for 7 weeks now! That's crazy to me, but I'm sure what will be even crazier is when we've lived here longer than we lived together in Utah. I just did the math and that will be November of this year. Crazy!

Well, if I'm starting at the beginning, our move itself went really well. We loaded our moving truck in Orem with the help of family and some members of the Elders Quorum. We were so grateful for their help! Then, the next morning, Chad and his dad were on their way.

They had a great trek across the Midwest...and enjoyed the "lovely" scenery.

Shout out to the best father-in-law, Mark, for making that drive with Chad. We all know you were a far more enjoyable driving companion then I would have been :)

I enjoyed my 2 hour flight after dealing with the carpet cleaners, apartment inspection, and all the last minute arrangements (much better than a 2 day drive, if I say so myself). I was also lucky enough that both of my parents were able to take me to the airport. Such a blessing.

I met up with my mother-in-law, Suzanne, at the Minneapolis airport. She had taken a different flight due to scheduling, but it worked out perfectly. I'm so grateful that she too was able to help us with this move. It was comforting to have her there with me. I was surprisingly emotionally stable and I'm sure that is in part due to her being there. Plus, her designer eye came in handy when we ran to the store to buy some things for our Target, of course!

We were very fortunate that Chad and his dad didn't run into any crazy Midwest storms. In fact, they made it into Minneapolis on Friday night and the initial plan was for them to get in Saturday morning. That made for some pretty interesting negotiations with our apartment manager, but she finally agreed to let us move in early.

The four of us quickly got to work on getting us moved in and set up, especially because we knew that later in the weekend the temperature was supposed to drop to negative 25. Eeek! A lovely "Welcome to your new home" kind of feeling.

Feeling a bit exhausted at this point.

Forget putting it away. We were just happy to have it all inside.

This is how we felt about going outside. Oh, Minnesota.

It went well though and we got everything off the moving truck, up 9 stories, and into our apartment in record time -- a little over an hour.

So, I thought you'd all enjoy some pictures of our new place. We love it!


Stay tuned for some more posts about work, church, and other fun Minnesota adventures.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

My Mom

If you don't know my mom, you're missing out. Trust me. She's definitely one of the greatest people I know. In fact, I'm sure everyone who knows her loves her. One reason why everyone loves her is because she is always happy. My favorite part about her happy nature is that you can hear her laugh from miles away, and then you want to laugh and be happy to.

The last few months I've been a little bit stressed with everything going on in my life --moving to a new state (away from family and friends), adjusting to working remotely, new church calling, etc. Sometimes (and thankfully not often, because I have an amazing, supportive husband) it feels like I'm trying to juggle a million things and occasionally something slips and goes crashing to the floor. Thankfully, it's usually something less important, like forgetting about chicken thawing on the counter and having to throw it away because it's been out too long (True story!). It's times like this when I'm even more amazed with my mom.

My mom juggles motherhood, work, church responsibilities, community involvement, and a bajillion other things every day. And she does it all so gracefully and with a smile on her face. Yes, I'm sure that occasionally she "leaves the chicken out" too, but I'm utterly amazed at everything SHE DOES. Most importantly though I'm amazed at WHO SHE IS. She is the most Christ-like person I know. I love her so much!

Mom: If you read this, thank you for everything! I love you! And, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

P.S. I promise to do some posts about our life in Minneapolis...soon.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Matrix

It's amazing how emotionally attached you can be to a car. That's what I learned tonight. We posted Chad's car on KSL this morning and sold it tonight. We are extremely grateful for the quick sell, because it's one more thing off the to do list for before we move. I am having bitter sweet feelings though. That's the car that always made me SO giddy to see, sometimes mistakenly when it wasn't the right red matrix (oops!). When I saw that red matrix it meant Chad Hyland was picking me up or coming to see me. Good thing I get to keep the boy who makes me giddy FOR-EV-ER, even though the good 'ole matrix is gone!

Has anyone else felt these bitter-sweet feelings when selling a car?

Friday, January 4, 2013

One Year at Certiport!

I cannot believe that I have been with Certiport for one whole year now! It feels like it was just yesterday I started work here. I remember being so overwhelmed with the terminology (you wouldn't believe how many acronyms are used around here!) and trying so hard to learn everything I could about the company and industry. I wanted to become a valuable contributor as quickly as possible.

I've learned and accomplished a lot throughout the year. Here are a few highlights:

1. I managed registration and oversaw the European students at our annual Global Partner Summit and Worldwide Competition on Microsoft Office. This year it was held at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Pictured below are all of us who oversaw students. We were happy to have such good translators from UNLV and BYU!

2. I started a bi-weekly webinar series for all Certiport Authorized Partners who are located in 148 countries.

3. I oversaw the development and execution of marketing campaigns such as the IC³ "Achieve a New Standard" and Autodesk "Dare to Create" campaigns. Check out the cool branding of the email headers!

4. I developed marketing kits for all of our Certiport Authorized Partners. In addition to what can be seen in this picture, they were also sent posters, window decals, and other fun marketing materials.

5. I attended tradeshows in Austin, Texas and San Diego, California that were very successful and brought in some great leads. They were also great learning experiences for me to interact with the customers.

I am extremely grateful to be able to continue learning in 2013 and doing the job I love in Minneapolis!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas & Crusin'

We had a GREAT, although unique Christmas. I thought for sure we'd spend our first "married" Christmas decorating our own little tree and putting up lights on our apartment balcony. Instead, I was satisfied with just hanging stockings before we left on a cruise!

It was the craziest/coolest thing to go from snorkeling in Grand Cayman to skiing at Brighton within a matter of days. What an experience! We are so lucky.

Here's a brief recap of our Christmas adventures:

We boarded our cruise ship, The Navigator of the Seas, the week before Christmas in New Orleans. It was pretty windy in New Orleans, as can be seen in the picture.

For 7 days we ate LOTS of yummy food, played Hand and Foot and Acquire, and enjoyed the extremely calm seas and warm weather. I took advantage of the unlimited soft-serve ice cream.

We saw a lot of evening shows--my favorite of which was the "Love and Marriage" game show. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

We had a stop in Jamaica where we snorkeled and climbed Dunn's River Falls. The falls were beautiful and so fun to climb!

We had a stop in Grand Cayman (my favorite) where we snorkeled and played with the sting rays at Sting Ray City. We even got to snorkel near a dolphin that was playing with the propeller on our boat.

Our final stop was in Cozumel. We went shopping and enjoyed some great Mexican Food.

With sad faces we returned to New Orleans. We were able to walk around the city though and look at some cool local art, explore at the aquarium, and experience New Orleans food.

We flew home on the 23rd. That evening we celebrated Cody's birthday and went caroling with all of the Hyland's.

The 24th was spent in Alpine. Chad needed to experience an "Alpine Christmas Eve." We went to the church program, then out to dinner. The snowstorm ruined the rest of the tradition though because no one wanted to put out luminaries in the storm (not that I blame them) and it wasn't safe to go see the "Alpine Griswald's" home all lit up. Bummer! Good thing we have many Christmas Eve's ahead of us...

Christmas Day we were up early to do presents with my family, then we drove to Salt Lake to go skiing with Chad's family at Brighton (Their family Christmas morning tradition--I loved it!). We were back and forth between Salt Lake and Alpine for the rest of the day and we consumed a lot of yummy food.

It was a great Christmas full of memories that I'll cherish forever! It wasn't the traditional first "married" Christmas that I thought we'd have, but I wouldn't change it for anything.

Now on to a great 2013! We wish all of you, our friends and family, the very best in this new year! And, thank you for reading our blog!