the BEST parents around

I love my parents a lot
but right now I love them more than usual.
Yesterday they surprised us with an
amazing graduation gift....

a 12-day European Cruise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yep, a ridiculously awesome way to see so many of the
cities that Mike and I had planned on.
We'll be leaving out of Barelona, Spain and stopping in

Marseilles, France
Savona, Italy
Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
Naples, Italy
Messina, Sicily, Italy
Venice, Italy (2 days)
Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Now, we don't have to worry about:
getting travel passes ($800)
12 days worth of hotels/hostiles ($700)
12 days worth of meals ($300)
carrying 3 weeks of travel items on our backs (priceless)

Yeah, I know.. it's pretty incredible.
Can you imagine how excited I am right now?
I couldn't sleep last night. I got in bed with my laptop
and was up until 3 am looking at excursions that
make the best of our time in each city.

Only 108 days 'til we jet out of here. We're soooo excited!!!!
Thanks Dad and Mama Fausett!



.... today's been a long day.
it all started yesterday (actually) when i went to the gym and ran/jogged 4.5 miles.
let me make this perfectly clear: i don't really run anymore.
i haven't since high school.
4.5 miles was close to death for me, but i did it.

then today, i worked for almost 9 hours--standing the entire time at the front desk.
my knees felt like they were about to buckle beneath me like
an 80 year old woman.
my back and my sides are sore.

WOW. i'm outta shape! the first step is realizing it though... right?
next step, do something about it.
i bought a week's worth of slim-fast on tuesday.

has anyone actually done the slim-fast diet before?
i gotta be honest... i'm not going in with much confidence in this one.

cheers to another crash diet!

i'll leave you with this: a picture of hubs and i in the swamps of louisiana


Help a lady out!

How many of you married people got 3 or 4 crock pots
from your wedding?! Mike and I got at least 3
and I remember, a year and a half ago, insisting that
we keep the nicest one because I was going to used it a lot.

Uhhh.... about that.

Last week, I broke out the crock pot for the FIRST time ever.
I had no clue what I was going to cook but decided with my
new work and school schedule that the idea of something
cooking for several hours would be really convenient.
So I used this recipe for BBQ pulled pork sandwiches.

Yummm! My first slow cooker recipe was a totally success!
Sound the alarms! Well, actually... alarms usually sound themselves
when I'm in the kitchen... but they didn't this time. I did something right!
I'm thinking crock pots are Alyssa-proof.

With my new found confidence from my single, successful experience,
now I'm calling on all my friends for help. I know there are so
many crock pot recipes out there and I want your favorites, ladies!
(especially easy ones)


Hip Hip... HOORAY!

As most of you know, I will be graduating with my bachelors degree
in speech pathology in May.

I've been looking for a job in the speech field for the past year...
just a little something to get my feet wet.

Well, this past Thursday I had an interview with the Speech Coordinator
for the Salt Lake School District and the speech pathologist,
Rebecca Barlow,
that is in need of a part-time speech assistant.

The interview was uncanny to say the least. I was nervous
like never before.
I usually show a lot of self confidence and professionalism... not this time.
I was making ridiculous jokes and talking TOO much.
I've NEVER been nervous during an interview but I've also never wanted a job so much.

Well, long story short, I GOT THE POSITION.
I'm now the new speech assistant at Riley Elementary! couldn't be happier...

(This is where I'll be- 2 days a week- learning everything I can about
what makes a good speech pathologist.)

For those of you wondering if I'm still at the Marriott, the answer yes.
I feel like I'll never be able to quit there. I love the people I work with too much.

So now I work 2 days at the Marriott, 2 days at Riley,
2 classes I go to on campus and 2 online.
Yet, Mike still thinks I'll need a hobby. The boy is crazy.

From Rags to Royalty Riches

The night was young, and after failed attempts at trying to date Provo, I (Mike) found a flier for a concert at the Muse and thought it would be a great break from the culture. (You would only understand if you have lived there...) So I grabbed a friend and drove down there and bought our tickets. There was this 16 year old kid that opened up the set and it was his first time performing - ever.

After Alyssa and I got married we went back down to visit her sister and turned up at the Muse - where that same kid was head-lining and had his own band.

Well, today (almost 2 years later) I logged onto and saw him right there on the homepage. Turns out he signed with Columbia records and is kind of a big deal. I think its pretty cool that I saw him at his start and that he's been able to pursue his dreams.

Alyssa and I have gone to a lot of concerts, but I hope to see him on JimmyKimmelLive one day... with me in the crowd... kind of like this (about 1:45 in you'll see why):


Happy Birthday Alyssa!

Dear Lyss,

I have already told you Happy Birthday today, but the sentiment doesn't seem to be enough to truly celebrate your awesome birthday - so I wrote you a little letter... here... on blogger... for the whole world to see (luckily our audience isn't that big, so I think I can bare it.) This is the third birthday that I've shared with you and each one has been completely blissful. In celebration of you, I'm listing many of the things I love about you, even the stuff that makes me a little bit nuts because it makes you... you.

You are the most honest, trustworthy person I know. Although your honesty can sting sometimes (like when you tell me that I need to change what I am wearing - even though I think it is cool), I know that it comes from the best intentions and consideration of others. You are thoughtful and keep me kn line. I know that I can always trust you with anything and that you won't try to manipulate me with information later. (Although you could probably have a lot on me for black mail if you ever needed to...)

You are kind and generous. Thinking of what kind of candies to have for guests is just a grain of your personality of making people feel comfortable. I love to watch you in a crowd of people or with a group of kids - just talking and hanging out. I know you will be a great mother one day. Your eyes sparkle when you're sharing stories or being entertained by others, and you even laugh at my jokes that aren't funny (which is quite rare).

I love your outlook on life. I love your optimism in our future and all of the countries we will conquer throughout our lives. I hope I can get you to all of the places you want to visit, take all of the pictures that you want to capture, see all of the sites that are well kept secrets, and eat in the best dineries that have German chocolate cake.

While it might make me crazy sometimes, I love your childlike wonder at things: the way you can enjoy simple things like eating ice cream everyday, playing bubble-breaker to keep you entertained, and nudging me to do something outside (Weather permitting, of course).

We have a lot of things in common. We find many of the same things important and value the same things. But we're also very different. I like that you cry watching "The Biggest Loseer" and hide behind your fingers during scary movies. I love the way you sigh in your sleep or suggest that a back massage would do the world wonders. I like that I don't always know what you are thinking or going to say... and then sometimes I know exactly what you are thinking or going to say.

You constantly surprise me. And in many different ways, I never know what my days with you will bring. I love learning little things about you and watching you discover something new. You aren't afraid to try new things and you always put your whole heart into the things that matter to you. You live without regrets.

I love that you let me share your food and eat off your plate. I love that you push me to to new horizons - to be involved but to let me be. I'm astonished by your faith in me - the way you push me to be my best self. Bust most of all, I love you because of all the things you are: Silly, fantastic, fun, complex, moody, amazing, loving, wonderfully real, and passionate.

Once again, Happy Birthday babe. You are everything to me.



Alice in TVLand

Some people go running when they are bored. Some people bake cookies when they get bored. This is what I (Mike) do when I get bored and watch too much TV:

As you can see, "Mad Men" and "The Apprentice" were on my mind. Now I need to get a real hobby - like thermal dynamic engineering or open heart surgery. I could really use hobbies like those.


2010 in review

So I logged on and saw about 10 different friends doing 2010 reviews and thought that it would be fun to look back on. So here it is, the Nelson's 2010 in review:

A nice, cold trip to Philly in January.
Created this blog!
A quick trip to Phoenix.
Saw the Hoover Dam for the first time.
Our first major purchase, a new car.
Said goodbye to Grandpa Farnsworth.
Our friends Liz & Cal got married.
Mike finally quit Usana.
Mike got a new job in marketing with Fringe Media.
Moved out of our cinder block palace and into the Bountiful basement apt.
Couples trip to Los Angeles with the Wightmans.
Celebrated our 1st anniversary.
Alyssa's high school best friend got married in Vegas.
Saw Blue Man Group.
Went camping with our old student ward.
Had a "fancy party".
Mama Fausett sold our old beamer for us.
Ben Folds, She&Him, Modest Mouse, The New Pornographers,
Ben Lee, FUN, Boys II Men and Allred concerts.
Many drives around Bountiful/North Salt Lake to gawk at ginormous homes.
A couple REAL soccer games with the Leishmans.
Mike won a crappy car at a work party (it didn't even move).
Started both our senior years at the University of Utah!
Went to Lake Powell for a whole week (& got in a jet ski accident).
Alyssa took the GRE & applied to graduate programs.
Hiked to a Buddhist shrine.
Celebrated Christmas in Louisiana.
... and here we have the last picture taken in 2010:
(Mike kept talking about how he HAD to shoot a big gun while being in the Dirty Dirty south.
We made his dream a reality.)

2011 is going to bring a lot of change and exciting things. Bring on a new year!