Need a little Christmas?

You're demanding pictures from our San Francisco trip, you say?

I don't know why it's so darn difficult for me to transfer pictures from my camera to my computer and then onto my blog. Too many steps for me I guess. So... to tie you over until I find the courge, the strength, the inner drive and desire to make pictures appear on this blog, I give to you
The Mechanics of Christmas video.

Have any of you gone down to Temple Square to see the lights yet? More importantly, have you seen the Christmas display across the street at Desert Book?
My brother in law (Adam) works for Desert Book and is in charge of the window displays. He is the mastermind and part of the muscles behind this amazing spectacle.  If you haven't seen it in person... you must! This video shows parts of the project from beginning to end.
Check it out!

Feelin' a little Christmas spirit now, are you?



Isn't it one of the best things in life to have a sister?
(If you are reading this and you don't have one, this post might be a little uncomfortable for you...)

10 years ago I probably wouldn't have said this. Actually, I'm pretty sure I would've taken a stand on the contrary. We just weren't that close. At the time, I was most likely locking Kelsey out of my room, pinching her for stealing my clothes and excluding her from hanging out with me and my friends. (Ugh.. little sisters can be SO uncool.) Over the past decade we've both changed a lot... and though we are
very different in many ways... we are very much the same.

This past weekend Kelsey came up for some quality time. Mike was busy with a couple commitments
but joined in on the fun when he could. We:

- saw the movie Footloose. We are definitely our father's daughters. We sang along to so
many of the songs from the original movie.
- found a couple Goosebumps episodes on tv. Complete nostalgia!
- ate at Bountiful's best- Hoho's Gourmet Chinese. (Don't judge based on other Hoho's in the greater SLC area, this one is top notch! Best hot & sour soup of my life. and yes, I've tried a LOT of hot & sour soups.)
- made delicious smoothies after. Followed by breaking my blender.
 (So now I'm in the market, let me know if you have an awesome one.)
- offered help to a teenage kid when his car was stuck in the snow right outside our house. He turned us down, so we then turned off the lights and camped out by the windows... watching people spin out and get stuck coming up the mountain. Sounds more cruel than it was.
- sang the theme song to every 90's tv show we could remember. Step by Step, Full House,
Fresh Prince, The Nanny, Friends, Mad About You, Boy Meets World, Sister Sister...
and then we had to stop because Mike was at his breaking point.
- got hot chocolate at 7-Eleven. mmm.
- watched the LSU vs. BAMA game. Experienced highs and lows and then highs again when we won.

Laughed every time they showed this guy and his concerned girlfriend in Overtime.

- spent our giftcards at Apothica. Love that store.
- had a wonderful day at church. Very uplifting and emotional. It's nice to cry with your sister.
- watched 3 hours of Desperate Housewives to catch up.
- braided each other's hair. Isn't that the biggest benefit of having a sister?
I seriously lucked out the in the siblings department. My 2 younger brothers couldn't be sweeter and my sister is my very best friend. Having her in Utah with me makes living away from home as much easier.


"pinning" it up.

Guess what guys??
I'm a pinning machine!

That's right. I just joined Pinterest. I'm not sure why it took this long...
I guess I was hoping Pinterest was a fad that would just fade away.
But it didn't... and now, in just one day, I'm hooked.

I'll be honest though, I have no idea what I'm doing.
All I know is that I'm stalking random people left and right and "pinning" everything I love!

If you haven't joined yet... do it NOW. and I'll follow you. Enticing, huh?
If you're one step ahead of me (which most of you are)...
holler at me so I can follow you.

One can never have too many social media accounts. Am I right?


crying kiddos.

Yesterday was a sad day at the law firm.

It was time for everyone's annual flu shots and this day is dreaded by all.
Not because the attorneys or staff are afraid of the needle but because
we have 30 attorneys here. THIRTY and nearly all of them have little ones.
So here I was at the front of the firm, witnessing the spouses (mostly mothers) step off the elevators
with their kids in tow. Many had 3 or 4 kids, each one so excited to come see Daddy at work.

They had no idea why they were really here. It was heart-breaking.

Some came in skipping or hopping. Some were yelling,"Where's Daddy?" The moms gave me a little smile. They knew that I knew that their kids didn't know yet.

It was like the bible says... leading lambs to the slaughter.
I heard screams and sobbing once they were out of sight.

Part of me felt guilty. I'm not sure why... it's not like I could've
stopped them from their looming misfortune.
It was nothing that some Famous Amos cookies and a juice box couldn't fix, though.

I'm starting to really like it here. Some days are hard but most days are pretty breezy.
I'm learning a ridiculous amount about the legal system, documents, procdures, etc.
They give me more food here than I could've ever dreamt.
If I were to never eat a bite outside of this office I probably would not lose a single pound.
One of the senior partners doesn't care much for me and I'll be honest... It bothers me often.
I just have to remind myself that 29 out of 30 isn't bad.


To get through the day-to-day drudge, don't we all need things to look forward to?
I was thinking this morning of a few things that this month will bring me. In just...

-1 day: A new haircut. I'm thinking of something like this or this,
but with swoopier (I recognize, that's probably not a word) bangs. Thoughts?

-4 days: Footloose is in theaters! Whether you think I'm lame or not, I'll admit
that I'm actually anticipating this movie.
Footloose is one of my favorite 80's movies... This remake cannot let me down.

-5 days: A beautiful bestie of mine, Candace, will have her wedding dinner here.
I'm so excited for her and Matt!

-14 days: Mike takes the GMAT and a weight is lifted off our shoulders. I can play with my husband again!

-17 days: Road trip to San Francisco!


perfectly timed for Fall.

A friend posted this video on Facebook...
and I'm so glad she did!
It's perfectly timed... just for Fall.
I love love love to wear scarves and now I have 25 ways to do it.

Wasn't the video awesome?
That girl is adorable and so are all her long scarves.

Doesn't this make you so excited for the next several months?!
Now I need to pull out my scarves and study!


Germany Part 2

Now let's finish up Germany, shall we?

Next stop was Munich.
We had absolutely no idea what to expect from Munich. We just thought, it's one of Germany's largest cities with lots of people.. It'll entertain us.
And it did!

We were lucky enough to stay at a Marriott right in the center of the city.
It was more active and lively than any place we visited.

We dropped off our hiking bags & headed out.
Munich is full of people enjoying summer.
There were people playing bocce ball in a large park.
There were couples dancing in an open gazebo as locals played music just for fun. No tips taken.
There was a open air badmiton tournament.
Just around the corner was a band playing on stage surrounded by carnival concession stands.

It was a blast to walk around a hang out with European strangers.  

After just one day/night in Munich, we headed to our favorite city, Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
If (or should I say when?) you go to Germany, you must must MUST stop for a day or two
 in this super charming town.

First things first, we checked into another adorable and humble B & B, Kreuzerhof Hotel Garni.
When we arrived, I skimmed the board for our name and couldn't find Nelson.
Then I remembered that I made everything under my maiden name because of my passport.
Sadly, I didn't see Fausett on there because I don't look for that name anymore.
Found us!

This place was simple and charming.
There were a couple packages of gummie sheep on our pillows that said Guten Nacht (good night) on them. The little touches made it so fun!  That's our cute little B & B below.

The first thing we did in Rothenberg was walk the wall around the city.
Much of the wall is several hundred years old. Other parts had to be restored from when we bombed
 the city in WWII. We learned that over 300 houses had been destroyed in the war.
About 60% of the town is original and the other 40% was rebuilt in the same style.
When you walk on the wall you can see everything; "Christmastown", restaurants,
neighborhoods and the main clocktowers.

This is the most photographed house in Germany. And for good reason! It's adorable.
(How many times have I used the word 'adorable' so far? Well, I ain't stoppin'!)

After eating a delicious Italian meal (don't you dare judge us!), we decided to do the Night Watchman Tour.
It was fun to go throughout the town with this guy below telling us SO many stories about Rothenberg.
I'm pretty sure he was American. Too many American pop culture references and an awfully fake accent.

Did you hear me say "Christmastown" earlier? Oh yes.
There is an area of Rothenberg where Kathe Wohlfahrt keeps a Christmas village all year round.
I was in holiday heaven.

One thing we saw before leaving was a Crime and Torture Museum.
 It was so interesting to see what punishments there were for
lying to the preacher and stealing corn from a neighbor back in the day.
I spent like 5 hours there. Yeah... I guess that's kinda creepy, huh?

The next day was our last day in Germany.
We left Rothenberg ob der Tauber for Dusseldorf. It was one of the longest train rides of my life.
We finally got into Dusseldorf and we were starving. We walked around for what felt like an hour
trying to find a restaurant with an English menu posted outside.
For the first time in our entire European experience- on our very last day in Germany-
we couldn't find an English menu.
We didn't dare eat somewhere with a German-only menu because we didn't care for the food.
In what seemed a perfect coincidence, we turned the corner and found a Korean restaurant.
A Korean restaurant in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Mike and I looked at each other. Nothing had to be said. Thanks to Mike's Korean we could eat something!

So there you have it.
We absolutely LOVED Germany!
Not so much the food but definitely the country.


Germany Part I

Remember that one time Mike and I went to Europe? Yeah. I do too.
...& remember that one time we went to Germany & then posted awesome pictures of it on our blog?

Oh crap. That never happened. I swear I meant to post them right after pictures of Spain and Italy. Life is tough when you have a laptop circa 2004. I get impatient.
Despite how captivating the other countries were, our favorite part of Europe 2011 was GERMANY.
I know. I know. That's strange... but true.

We decided to see Germany the cheapest way we could for 5 days. This meant flying into the
smallest airport in the middle of nowhere, traveling from the airport to the nearest train station by
bus and then it was all trains from there!

After several hours on trains,we made it to our first stop: Fussen.  
It didn't take more than a couple bites of rarely cooked bratwurst
and warm potato salad for us to realize that these Nelsons don't love German food.
We checked into Suzanne's, our adorable B&B, and then spent the evening walking around the beautiful city.
The next day we went to see the castles!
If you have an extra 20 minutes in your day and you're really bored... read those links.
The history is fascinating! (The Disney castle was inspired by the Neuschwanstein.)

Incredibly gorgeous views... everywhere.

It would be our luck that it started raining the second we get out of the castle and
have a 30 minute walk downhill. 

We were sad to leave Fussen but we were on to the next city. This picture was taken approximately 5 minutes before the most depressing thing happened.

I left it at the train station in Fussen and didn't realize it until we were 45 minutes out.
Tears were pouring down my face. I couldn't believe I had been so careless. All the pictures we had taken in Europe over the past 2 weeks were gone and I couldn't have been more frustrated with myself. Mike somehow convinced me to get off at the next stop, catch a train going back to Fussen and at least check
to see if it was sitting there.
AND IT WAS! (Obviously... I'm sure everyone figured that out already.)
For some reason our camera was still sitting back at the train station.
I immediately prayed & thanked Heavenly Father because, hello!
He is the reason I left Europe with pictures.

Wow. I'm lucky to be married to such a positive person.
He didn't worry once. He trusted the honesty of those Germans.

I must have trust issues though. I thought there was no way humanly possible for my camera to sit at a
train station for nearly 2 hours, untouched, unharmed, un-stolen.

Okay, I swear I won't leave the next few posts witha sad/negative vibe. I've been doing that too much lately.


that irks me.

Just 2 minutes ago I spoke with someone who does not understand
a specific word in the English language: literally.
This has got to be my all-time BIGGEST pet peeve.
People using the word "literally" in the wrong context.

Some examples for you:

"It literally blew my mind."
Did it really? Your mind looks completely intact to me, minus the fact that you have no clue
what literally means.

"I was literally shocked when he said that."
Did he get you with a lightning bolt? or a taser?

“The world is literally her oyster.”
(A quote from Sarah Palin's spokeswoman)


This is abuse.
Abuse of a grammatical nature and I'm sick of it! Sick of it, people!


my new job.

Things I've learned/observed from my 2 weeks in a law firm:

1. People are always walking at an uncomfortably fast pace. They don't nessacarily have somewhere to be either.
2. There are secretaries, legal assistants and paralegals. They all need help with their workload. Yay?
3. Most attorneys don't have a special title like "Doctor" or "Professor". Some deserve the title of "Diva" .
4. People go out to eat lunch. Every single day. That can't be healthy.
5. Company parties are awesome. Three words: spare no expense.
6. This is not Marriott. I am not supposed to build friendships with clients. I am to be professional and short. I learned this the hard way when I responded to someone with, "Yeah, absolutely!" instead of "Yes."
Senior partner = not diggin' Alyssa because Alyssa = friendly. Apparently, that needs to change.
7. Billing bites. 3,000 Bills sent out monthly. All done by yours truly.
8. Runners and receptionists are business best friends. My runners are already looking out for me.
9. There are no mistakes allowed. Not even teeny tiny "oopsies".
10. There are more high heels around this place than a drag party.
11. This place is a real life Suits  (ya know, the USA television series. What? You don't watch it? You need to. Oh, you need to.) with all the beautiful people, intelligence and power.

So there's a lot of stress involved with this job. LOTS.

Like I've told some people though... I just need to grow some thick skin
and it'll be more than worth it!


best sport ever. FOOTBALL.


BYU football practice was delayed nearly two hours today after a player reported finding an unknown white powdery substance on the practice field. The head coach immediately suspended practice while police were called to investigate .

After a complete analysis experts determined that the white substance unknown to players was the GOAL LINE.
...Practice resumed after a special agent decided the team was unlikely to encounter the substance again.

A little harsh? Maybe.
A friend posted that on Facebook today and I laughed. Thought I'd pass it on.
Cougar friends, it's okay. You can laugh too.

I'm pretty bummed that Mikey and I couldn't get cheap student or MUSS tickets for this season.
Instead, I will be watching the game tonight from the comfort of my own couch (in jammies).
Go Utah!!!


the ending of an era.

This is so surreal.
I'm standing at the front desk of the University Park Marriott this morning, for the last time. Three years. THREE years have been spent here. I've grown and learned so much. I've made long lasting friendships and connections.

I will miss laughing uncontrollably with my coworkers.
I will miss seeing interactions between the many military workers staying here and the guests that graciously thank them for their service.
I will miss being star struck when meeting famous people (like Karl Malone, Joss Stone, Al Green, Hellogoodbye, Fleet Foxes, Kyle Whittingham and all the trainers/coaches, Willie Nelson, Ed Catmull, Erin Andrews, etc. ect.)
I will miss free lunches everyday.
I will miss my travel benefits (sorry friends!)
I will miss getting free concert and event tickets.
I will miss the many personalities of the Utah football team.
I will miss getting yelled at by tempermental guests for a variety of reasons that are not my fault. Oh wait, no I won't.

There are a plethora of reasons I had a hard time deciding to leave this wonderful hotel. If I had the time and patience I could list another 20 right now. BUT I have to be honest, I'm ready to move on. I accepted a position at a large law firm in Cottonwood Heights. I'll be the receptionist there and once I feel comfortable, they will be adding some legal assisting responsibilities. I'm really excited! I know it sounds funny to be excited being someone's secretary, essentially, but this law firm just feels right. When I interviewed with a few of the senior partners and attorneys I could not have felt more accepted and comfortable. I know this new job will bring on many opportunities.

Tomorrow, I am leaving Mike to work hard (his choice) and I'm going home with my sister for 6 days! Well, it's not really "home" to me, but rather, the new place my parents moved to. Pittsburgh, PA. I can't wait to see their new digs and the beautiful area. We're traveling up to Toronto Canada and Niagara Falls for a few days... This couldn't be better timed!

I have so much to look forward to these next couple weeks.
Wish me luck on some new adventures!


little bambinos

EXCUUUUUUUUSE ME! What is in the water people?! 4, that's FOUR, of my friends have announced that they are pregnant in the past 6 days. I remember when it was marriage season and loads of my friends had weddings around the same time. It's hard to believe that we've already moved on to baby season.

I'm going to be honest. All these announcements are making it very hard for me to wait much longer. I love love love babies and little kids. I wish someone would've told me that the goal was January-March 2012... I want my first bambino to grow up with some friends, hello!
I'm thrilled for all my friends that are expecting little ones.
It makes me wonder... when should it be my turn? Eeeeek.

Sorry. I had to include this picture. It cracks me up!

stepping back

Last night I attended the beautiful wedding dinner of Mike's cousin, Nate.
Our table of 8 was full...
Mike, myself, Eric (Mike's brother), Matt (Mike's brother) & his wife Brooke & son Blake and Adam (Mike's brother) & his wife Tara.

EVERY.SINGLE.PERSON named above is "a talker".

Being among so many of his/our siblings at the same time, I realized something. I've always been the outgoing, talkative person to take the reins in any social situation.

But when I'm around the Nelson fam, it isn't so.
I like to take the backseat and just listen.
I know that I'm not a different person around them but rather taking a break and letting them be my entertainment. Make sense?

It's funny. I never dreamt I'd marry into a family more extroverted and social than my own... but I did and I love it.


wrecking my reality(tv)

Just the other day, Mike completely ruined a surprise for me. Now, let me preface this by saying that I already KNOW it's ridiculous. I know I shouldn't even waste my time watching this... and ... I'm ashamed to admit it, but...

No, wait. I'm not going to try justifying this... I'll just say it.

I love watching The Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor Pad.

It's absolutely my tv "guilty pressure" (aside from Desperate Housewives). Well, Bachelor Pad starts next month and Mike already told me who makes it to the bottom two. I won't tell you how he knows, because that might ruin it for the 1 or 2 people who read this blog and actually watch that trashy show.

SO to make up from smashing one surprise, he gave me another.
Nothing that would knock your socks off, but he brought me home flowers
and a Costa Vida pork salad. Two of my favorite things.

It's the little things, right?
So I forgave him.

an update.. finally!

I'm not going to lie to you. I have no idea why I haven't posted in over a month. I've been busy but not THAT busy... So let's pretend there wasn't a long pause in this blog, shall we?


We'll get to Germany sometime in the near future but for now..
here's the photo-recap of our past few weeks.

Chalk Art Festival at the Gateway Mall.

Wakeboarding at Bear Lake

2nd Anniversary dinner at The Roof.. YUM!

At the play, Civil War, to see my friend/coworker perform.

Babysitting ADORABLE Harper.

Visiting Grandpa's grave site over 4th of July weekend.

Fireworks at Eaglewood Golf Course

PS. I never told you, but while cruising the Mediterranean Sea we had a
once-in-a-lifetime experience. We saw the eruption of a live volcano... from the
edge of our cruise ship. About 500 yards away. Absolutely insane.

Words can't describe it, but maybe the video will.

Okay, so that is NOT the video we took but it looks similar to what we saw.
In fact, we were so mesmerized that we
didn't think to take a video... We just took this one picture.

Yeah, our camera totally bites. Maybe someday we'll upgrade so we can
actually capture memories like this one.