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!

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