December 29, 2011

Christmas break

Merry belated Christmas!!!

Hope everyone is having very happy holidays! What a great break it has been... although it seems to be flashing before my eyes. It has been busy yet relaxing and filled with family and friends. I just love the holidays! And I finally brought my camera out of hiding and took some pictures! It had been a while.

Even though we did this during finals week, the break and holiday season felt like it officially began with our annual SUU girls gift exchange. We met at Walmart, drew names, and had 15 minutes and a $7 limit to get that person a gift. We then wrapped them up in the plastic bags and took them back to Michelle's house where we ate a yummy dinner and exchanged our gifts. I truly love this tradition we started that first year down in Cedar City!

We walked into Michelle's and her cute husband had set the table for us complete with Christmas dishes and center pieces. Husband of the year award right there.

Rachel -----> Andrea

Andrea -----> Kirstyn

Kirstyn -----> Rachel

Sadie <-----> Michelle

The day I finished finals Danny arrived!! He was here for a whole week before heading to Texas to be with his family for Christmas. We made sure to do many festive things starting with seeing the lights at temple square with his brother's and sister-in-law. No matter how many times I see the lights they always blow my mind.

After the lights, Danny and I headed to an ugly sweater party where he got to see lots of his friends he hadn't seen since he moved away. And I always love a reason to see my fellow cruisers!

Sunday we went to church then ate a thanksgiving dinner at my house. Since we were with his family for thanksgiving my mom decided we would have a second one with my family. Best idea ever. Thanks mom :)

Making sugar cookies is one of my absolute favorite christmas traditions. Brianna and Rob came over and we put on our aprons and got to work. We used my mom's delicious recipe and Brianna made some amazing frosting. Basically the cookies were to die for. The Justin Bieber holiday station on pandora was playing in the background while we baked and frosted away. The night ended with a never ending game of uno... literally never ending. But it was so fun!

Next festive event: This is the Place. Each building had a different activity. We received a stocking with a chocolate coin, heard a reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas, saw an interesting puppet show, made ornaments, and did some pioneer dancing. Yes... pioneer dancing.

Dasher and Dancer made an appearance.

Santa had us on his naughty list... uh-oh!

Sitting on Santa's lap. Never too old for that.

Notice how Santa is pushing us together? haha

Even though he was here a whole week and that is the longest visit we have had since he has been gone, it went by way too fast. We had a great time though. On his last night here we did a little date with just the two of us. Dinner at Cafe Rio, a night of ice skating at Gallivan's, and exchanging Christmas gifts. I am so happy he came I sure do love when I get to see him! But boy do I miss him when he's gone.

The night before Christmas Eve was our annual Nielsen family Christmas party. This is another tradition I absolutely love. We ate more yummy food, watched an entertaining talent show, and the little ones performed the nativity scene. I also got to meet the two newest members of the fam! Pich, my cousins new wife from Cambodia, and baby Rownin who was born the beginning of December.

Christmas was lovely. I heard many, and even experienced, incredible Christmas miracles. It really is a magical time of year. Now it's time to gear up for 2012!

December 16, 2011

happy happy friday!

Today is SUCH a great day! Why you may ask? Well I will tell you...

I am officially done with finals!!!! No greater feeling of relief than that right there. How I actually did is beside the point, I'M DONE!!! Oh it feels so good to finally be able to say that. I've heard so many people already express their joys about being finished and I am so happy I am finally able to join them. On this, the very last day of finals week. Thank goodness it is officially Christmas break! Now I can dive into holiday activities with full force.

I went to the store today and the sweetheart of an employee commented that he liked the way I styled my hair. Um, thank you kind sir! He was super edgy with quite the fashion sense so it was very much appreciated. When someone points out something specific like that you know they really mean it. Nothing beats a genuine compliment, especially from a stranger.

Last, but definitely not least, Danny arrives in T minus 9 hours! And will be here for a week. A whole. entire. week. I can't wait!

December 12, 2011

Good Reminder

December 7, 2011


I don't even know why this was so funny but I just could not stop laughing!
The best part is he had already been working on that darn grape for a few minutes before I started filming him.
This little guy provides so much entertainment in our household.

December 1, 2011

December the first

December has arrived!!!

And it brought a biting wind along with it.
Literally biting.
Regardless, I couldn't be more in the holiday spirit!
So many must-do's this month...

-See the lights at temple square

-Make sugar cookies

-Put up and decorate the christmas tree

-Watch many christmas movies such as A Christmas Story, Scrooge, Elf, The Grinch, Home Alone, The Holiday, Christmas Vacation, and White Christmas. Just to name a few

-Listen to lots and lots of christmas music. J Biebs album in particular

-Christmas shop

-Wrap and deliver gifts

-Drink lots and lots of hot cocoa and apple cider

-Remember and celebrate the real meaning of Christmas

-Attend the annual Nielsen Family Christmas party

-See the Zoo lights

-Make a gingerbread house

-Eat candy canes

-Go ice skating

-Take a drive down Christmas Street

-See the Nutcracker (hopefully)

-Play in the snow

-Sit on Santa's lap and tell him what I want for Christmas

-Finish the semester!!!

Anything else I'm forgetting? I just love this time of year :)

November 28, 2011

breaks are the best

What a lovely Thanksgiving break it was! Even though I stayed right here, it felt like I was on vacation. Or I guess you could call it a stay-cation.

I was able to spend the whole break with Danny and his family and also my family. We ate AMAZING food, watched football, played lots of games, watched movies, and lounged... that is my idea of a break. Unfortunately, now it is back to the grind because I didn't do a single ounce of homework and now I have tons to do before the end of the semester. But Christmas break is only a few weeks away and that is going to be even better. No homework at all! YAY!!! That is always good news.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving break! And here is a little something for your viewing pleasure that I thought was a good reminder, especially for this time of year :)

November 23, 2011


"Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings."
-William Arthur Ward
This Thanksgiving I am grateful for...

My Savior
Being a student
Having a job
My home
My space heater
Delicious food
My bed
Bubble baths

and many, many more!

November 22, 2011

a few recent happenings...

Oh hey there blog! Haven't seen you in a while... thanks to the craziness that I like to call school. Luckily between classes and studying I have found time to do a few fun things.

A couple weeks ago (November 12 to be exact) it was one of my very best friends birthdays. We had the happiest 22 birthday celebration for Rach. It was complete with a birthday sleepover to ring in the big day full of treats, martinellies, and toasts for the birthday girl; birthday breakfast; mani-pedi's; football game; birthday dinner; and a fun night of friends and cake. I am so lucky to have a friend like Rachel. We have been friends for a long time and have been through a lot together, including being roomies down at SUU. I tell her anything and everything and she is one of the most thoughtful people I know. Let's not forget she is HILARIOUS and tons of fun as well. Basically she is the best and I love her so much!

Niel's football team has had an incredible season and made it to the state championship on friday! I wish I could say they came away as the 4A state champs, but unfortunately they came away in second. They played such a great game though and it was definitely a very close match. The team had a heck of a season and Niel was a big part of that. Leading the team in tackles and interceptions he has played great and I am so proud of him!!! Number 1 fan right here. They will take it next year, I just know it!

Straight after the game I headed down to Cedar City for a short weekend visit. Despite it being short, it was a great time as it always is visiting there. I got to be with my SUU roomies and visit old friends. Cedar is great and all, but it's the people that make me miss it so much.

And finally, Thanksgiving break has officially begun! Time to warm up the tummy for the delicious meal on Thursday. Such a wonderful holiday... family, great food, no school. How could it get any better than that? Oh yeah... Danny is coming!!! I can't wait to see him tomorrow :)

What a great time to count all my many blessings and acknowledge everything I am thankful for.

November 8, 2011

"laughing is living"

On Saturday I went to a comedy show at Kingsbury Hall. My friend who works there hooked me up AGAIN with free tickets (gosh I love her) and I took the fam. We enjoyed a night of laughs by none other than Anjelah Johnson. For those of you who aren't familiar, maybe you're familiar with Bon Qui Qui?
(It wouldn't let me post the video for some reason).

She put on a great show!
Nothing beats a good laugh.

November 5, 2011


sometimes I linger in my bed for a while after waking up

sometimes I dread the snow, other times I love it. Today I'm loving it!

sometimes my brother steals my car

sometimes I get my homework done before the weekend

sometimes I add chocolate chips to my pancakes

sometimes my phone decides to be crazy

sometimes my allergies get the best of me

sometimes I go back and look at old photo albums for a good laugh

sometimes I use water in my hot cocoa instead of milk

sometimes my friends get married (congrats bryan and colbie!)

sometimes I am mistaken for a high schooler... ouch

sometimes I rent movies from the library

sometimes I get a small salad with a large tortilla at costa vida

sometimes my own grandparents call me kIERsten

sometimes we get an extra hour of sleep. yay for daylight savings!

November 1, 2011


Now that the cold has come, it is time for me to reunite with my long lost friend...

The Heater

You are so good to me on these cold cold days.
Oh how I've missed you!!

Hope everyone had a happy halloween! And happy November!

October 30, 2011

costume #2

Last weekend I was a jellyfish, but this weekend I decided to go with something a little different for the Halloween fun....

A hick. At least that's what I was going for. I did get asked multiple times the one question you never want people to ask you on Halloween, "So, what are you?" I got rock star, groupie, and even Charlise Theron from Monster. (Thanks mom). Maybe it was because the mullet I tried to create just looked like a Gwen Stefani poof and the ACDC shirt with pink sunglasses aren't quite redneck-like. No matter what I ended up looking like, I had a great time in my chunky boots and stuffed belly as I squeezed my way through over crowded dance floors. Dressing up is way too much fun. I love Halloween!

October 27, 2011

yes they can dance

I went to the sytycd tour last night and it was UNBELIEVABLE!!!! I don't even know what else to say, it left me speechless. Either that or I could go on for days so I will just go with being speechless. I swear those dancers aren't human. With the way their bodies move... There's no way. Unfortunately my camera died midway through the show, but here is some of what I captured!

Ugh it was so good!
Already soooo excited for next season!!

October 24, 2011


In all the craziness that life is, I have discovered a few things that are therapeutic for me.

Bubble Baths
Remember how I am addicted to them? Nothing makes me feel more calm or winds me down quite like a bubble bath does. It's so relaxing and there is nothing better than crawling into my bed after having just been all nice and warm and soothed in the bath tub. They truly do wonders.

My parents would laugh hysterically if they saw this because this happens probably once in a blue moon. And today happened to be a blue moon. I had been doing homework like crazy the past few days and finally I just couldn't take it anymore. I needed a break so I went on a cleaning rampage in my room. This happens rarely so when it does I definitely know I have reached a limit. It felt so good to have a more organized and less cluttered room and I was able to get back to my school stuff and refocus.

Taking Ziggy for a walk
Fresh air really does the body good. I feel like I am cooped up indoors all day and sometimes I just need that little bit of time outside to get fresh oxygen flowing to my noggin. And why not take Ziggy with me? He loves walks too and gets all excited when I pull out the leash. He is a cutie and a half to say the least.

When I am dancing I don't have a single care in the world. Oh it is the best feeling. I miss it every day. Luckily I have my dance class to help me keep my sanity somewhat, but I miss how much a part of my life it used to be. Eat, sleep, school, dance. That's how it was for a long time. Now sometimes I'll just put on songs that I did dances to in the past and see how much I remember. It's so fun and brings back such great memories.

Doing something crafty
There is a family I tend for and the oldest daughter loves crafts and to color. It is usually always apart of my time with her. I have started to really love doing it with her and lately it seems like I am more excited to do it then she is. Even though they are just little simple things, like paper snow flakes or glitter masks, it still makes me feel like I am doing something creative, which is always a good feeling.

Being with children
Nannying and hanging out with kids all day is seriously the best job. It can definitely be hard sometimes thats for sure, but kids are so fun and make me forget about all my worries. They bring out the kid in me and make me want to do silly things without caring. Like read stories and form a rock band in a Thomas the Train tent, play hide n' seek, and rescue a princess from a burning building (all of these may or may not be from personal experience...)

It's nice to have those simple things that prevent me from losing my mind.

October 23, 2011

Halloween festivities

Haunted Forest. So scary, but soooo fun! I somehow always end up being the target, but I've been working on keeping my cool so maybe next year it wont be a problem. It was all worth it in the end when we had to slide down this huge slide. Best way to get out of a haunted forest if you ask me.

Thriller. I can't even express my love for this show. It is simply amazing and somehow seems to get better and better each year. Most of the dances remain the same, with the exception of a couple new ones, but it never gets old. Oh I just love it!

Halloween party. Yes we were jellyfish and yes we won the costume contest. I was pretty excited because pretty sure I have never won anything. It was a bit of a hassle walking through crowds with those things on and trying to dance, but it was all worth it in the end when we won the ipod.

Now I just need to carve my pumpkin and I am set! Gotta love Halloween.

October 17, 2011


I am sneaky.
Very very sneaky.
After weeks of an awaited surprise visit, I went to North Carolina at the end of fall break to see Danny and surprise him. The best part is I successfully did so without him ever having a clue! Told you I was sneaky. Keeping this a secret was much harder than expected, but luckily I didn't spill the beans.

A few weeks ago, Danny's mom called me telling me that her and her husband were flying over to go to his white coat ceremony and asked if I would like to come along. They didn't need to do much convincing because I was immediately on board. She was so sweet and said it was going to be their birthday present to him and so it needed to be a secret. Secret? From Danny? I knew it was going to be hard especially with how often we talk, but seeing the look on his face when he saw me was priceless. Too funny, so glad the surprise wasn't ruined. I can't thank his family enough for doing this.

It was such a great weekend and the ceremony was awesome.
So proud of him!

October 9, 2011

Girls Night

Park City + 10 girls = trouble

We had a lovely girls night on Friday up in PC. It was soooo much fun and had been too long since I had one of these. We spent the evening on main street where we ate dinner, walked around, and froze our tushes off. When we were all nice and frozen, we went back to our hotel and headed straight for the hot tubs. We sat in the hot tub until we were pruned like raisins sharing funny/scary/embarrassing stories as it snowed around us. Hot tubbing and snow is such a great combo. Then we went back up to our room and played some funny games, chatted, and giggled until the wee hours of the morning.

Saturday came and after checking out of the hotel we went to the outlets to do a little shopping. We had time for one store because next stop: the Utah game. With everyone's J. crew purchases in hand, we headed straight on over to rice eccles stadium for the game.

fun night + awesome girls = a great way to kick off fall break!