March 28, 2011

Families Are Fun

A couple weekends ago, we had the chance to go hear Neil's cousin Sara speak in church after she came home from her mission in New York, New York. We were hanging out after sacrament meeting, some glasses were passed around, and this was the end result. Families are so fun! :) (Thanks Joni for taking the pictures and providing the glasses)

March 26, 2011

Real Salt Lake vs. LA Galaxy

Our night began like this...

With a little of this...

Then this happened...

And then 4 goals for RSL happened...

And at halftime this happened...
Real Salt Lake Half Time Party from Neil Essig on Vimeo.

And this is how cold I was...

And our night ended like this...


March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day (and incidentally, Happy Birthday Crystal)! We hope you all have a great day! If you are curious about the history of this holiday, check it out below: (information found on

St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity's most widely known figures. But for all his celebrity, his life remains somewhat of a mystery. Many of the stories traditionally associated with St. Patrick, including the famous account of his banishing all the snakes from Ireland, are false, the products of hundreds of years of exaggerated storytelling.

Taken Prisoner By Irish Raiders

It is known that St. Patrick was born in Britain to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. He is believed to have died on March 17, around 460 A.D. Although his father was a Christian deacon, it has been suggested that he probably took on the role because of tax incentives and there is no evidence that Patrick came from a particularly religious family. At the age of sixteen, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family's estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. (There is some dispute over where this captivity took place. Although many believe he was taken to live in Mount Slemish in County Antrim, it is more likely that he was held in County Mayo near Killala.) During this time, he worked as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people. Lonely and afraid, he turned to his religion for solace, becoming a devout Christian. (It is also believed that Patrick first began to dream of converting the Irish people to Christianity during his captivity.)

Guided By Visions

After more than six years as a prisoner, Patrick escaped. According to his writing, a voice-which he believed to be God's-spoke to him in a dream, telling him it was time to leave Ireland.
To do so, Patrick walked nearly 200 miles from County Mayo, where it is believed he was held, to the Irish coast. After escaping to Britain, Patrick reported that he experienced a second revelation-an angel in a dream tells him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Soon after, Patrick began religious training, a course of study that lasted more than fifteen years. After his ordination as a priest, he was sent to Ireland with a dual mission-to minister to Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish. (Interestingly, this mission contradicts the widely held notion that Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland.)

Bonfires and Crosses

Familiar with the Irish language and culture, Patrick chose to incorporate traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs. For instance, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter since the Irish were used to honoring their gods with fire. He also superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that veneration of the symbol would seem more natural to the Irish. (Although there were a small number of Christians on the island when Patrick arrived, most Irish practiced a nature-based pagan religion. The Irish culture centered around a rich tradition of oral legend and myth. When this is considered, it is no surprise that the story of Patrick's life became exaggerated over the centuries-spinning exciting tales to remember history has always been a part of the Irish way of life.

March 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Tom!

Yesterday was Tom's 18th birthday. Yes, this kid is an official adult now! We celebrated by taking Tom to the Champions League Real Salt Lake game. We started the night off by meeting Dave, Carly, and Tom at Texas Roadhouse. After Tom rode the saddle, we headed off to Rinto Tinto Stadium. The game was so much fun- the energy was high and the team played great, winning 2-0. It was a fun night and we're so glad we went!


March 11, 2011

2010 Christmas Video

Video evidence that we did, in fact, celebrate Christmas this year!

2010 Christmas from Neil Essig on Vimeo.

It's a celebration! Video footage from the Essig Family Christmas!