my new life.

It's safe to say that Charlotte IS my life now.
Just a couple months ago, I was working a full time job, going on dinner dates with Mikey, eating whatever I wanted and sleeping as much as a severely pregnant woman can. Life was good...
Now, life is great!... but I'm not doing a single thing I just mentioned. Baby Charlotte makes things a little difficult in that regard. These past 40 days have been full of so much emotion. I've learned to sleep in 1-3 hour increments, consider cereal to be dinner often, try to get out of the house every other day (for my own sanity) and do laundry every single day or we will run out of burp cloths. Above all, I have more love than I can put into words. I'm on a love high
Since her birth on November 1st, there have been so many baby "milestones" (if you can call them that?) that we've already experienced with C. At the top of the list? Her smiles. In the morning, she smiles like it's going out of style. 
It makes my heart melt. 
I'll try getting around to posting her birth story later this week, but for now... here are some pictures so you can fall a little in love too.

 Day one.

C's first outing. Headed to the pediatrician at 4 days old. 

 One week old. I know... could she have any more shades of pink?

Girl is throwin' gang signs. 

About a week ago,  Charlotte had soaked through her 4th outfit of the day. 
It was decided... Naked does less damage.


1 and 70%

... that's where I'm at right now, according to my doctor.
At 38 weeks, I was hoping to be a little further along but at least that's some progress. Quite honestly, as great as it would be to go into labor tomorrow (because that means we'd be holding our little girl early), I can't imagine having her right now. My mom gets into town on the 30th and there's something about having her around that will comfort me... and Mike too. He needs her to be there. :)

Preparing for Charlotte's arrival has been so fun! We've had AMAZING baby showers (thrown by friends, coworkers and family) that have really helped things come together.  Mike painted a vintage 1950's dresser and put together her pack 'n play and crib. I've organized all her clothes, ordered a ridiculous number of diapers online and thoroughly deep cleaned our apartment.

My due date is Election Day. If I were smart, I would've registered for early voting... but I'm not. So on November 6th, regardless of baby status I'm hauling my bum to the local junior high and voting. I'm planning to get lots of looks as I stand in line and I'll try my hardest to ignore them. Those looks are the reason I stopped going to our local gym. Everyone who passed by me would give a sympathetic smile that said, "Good for you, coming here" or "Very impressive". I knew they were thinking Stay home from the gym because you're nearly the size of a whale . So I do now.

Here are some random pictures over the past few weeks.
If you have ANY pictures of me while pregnant or of a baby shower... please send them to me. I've been really bad about documenting this pregnancy.

 sisters at the Pat Benetar and Journey concert. Almost 7 months along.

 Kels and Vanessa threw me a fantastic family shower.

 Hannah and Candace came to my friend shower.... so fun!

 Mike and I on our "babymoon" to Vegas. Sat front row at Cirque's Mystere.

Baby clothes in the closet. I love opening up the closet and just staring at these clothes!

 With Mike's birthday in two days and still a few small things to get done, I know these next two weeks will fly by. And then, life really changes. The unknown is exciting, thrilling and scary. Eeek!


Humbling myself.

My morning began by throwing up. Seven times. Yes, seven times I hung my head over the toilet, thought it was over and then my body rejected more. I came out of the bathroom wanting nothing more than to burst into tears. My struggle with a severe case of pregnancy induced carpal tunnel, daily back pain, past worries of medical problems and my nausea returning had culminated into despair. I was completely selfish thinking I can't handle much more of this. I'm so sick of feeling this way. I was consumed in how awful my body felt and wanted to simply breakdown on my living room floor. For a few minutes, I stood silently bracing myself with the couch. I let all my negative feelings run wild.

I realize how pathetic this sounds but I feel like need to share moments like these on the blog so I can always remember.

Somehow, something just clicked and the thought came: I have things easy. Yes, this pregnancy has been harder than I expected but not nearly as hard other women have it. I can do this, despite what my mind is telling me. My body was meant to handle all of this sickness and weakness... and more. Oh, I have so much more ahead of me. If I buck up now, it'll be an easier 3 months to go.

I have a couple of friends in particular who are going through harder trials right now than my pregnancy. Our problems are not remotely the same. My pain and discomfort will likely be gone in about 12 weeks.... I have it so easy. I have a doctor that I trust and a wonderful husband by my side.... I have it so easy.

This week I had the opportunity of working as a clinician at a summer stuttering workshop. These kids varied in maturity, age and severity but they all shared the common desire to be heard and be seen as no different than those who don't stutter. "I want to finish my sentences without other people finishing them for me." -- "I want other kids to look at me and not just see a stutterer." -- "I want people to treat me like I'm normal when we talk." These comments got to the core of me because, although I have never struggled socially, I've always felt so connected with those who have.
It's interesting how easily I can talk myself right up to a ledge with how hard things are for me and how quick God is to remind me that my life is a great one, an easy one by comparison.
I am so grateful for these humbling experiences.


oh baby baby.

Wow. Too much to post since the last time I wrote... so I'll break it up. Basically for my own sanity. I'll post about the Texas trip/family visiting/Colorado family reunion later this week but for now.. it's all things baby!!
First and most importantly - IT'S A GIRL!!! We hosted a little gender reveal party and found out the gender by cutting into a cake. Fully expecting to see layers of blue under all that frosting, we couldn't have been more shocked (&excited) to see pink! We are sooooo excited to be having a little girl. Life could not be better, knowing that in less than 4 months we will be a family of three with a little girl to love on and snuggle with.

I had to post this because-even though that's a SUPER unattractive face I have going on- these were our first reactions.

 It's so nice to say "she" instead of "it" or "the baby". She makes it more real now. 
She tends to be mild during the day but go crazy with kicks and punches the minute I lay down at night. She still has me throwing up once a week. She's being shy around her daddy and won't let him feel her kick. He's pretty bummed about it. She makes me go pee a minimum of 10 times a day. Sometimes three times within the same hour. Kind of ridiculous if you ask me. She is already allowing for benefits in public, like today when I was in line for the restroom at City Creek. All the women insisted that I cut to the front of the line. Lovely! She really hates my singing voice (evidenced by several jabs during each hymn I sang on Sunday). Her movements tickle me if I'm the right position where I'm almost leaning forward over my tummy. She loves for me to drink numerous Chick-fil-a milkshakes. So I do.
The only thing I would qualify as a big 'ol pregnancy bummer is that I have developed pregnancy induced carpal tunnel. It's awful. Like a numbness in my hands all day and pain/lack of feeling from my elbow to my fingertips all night kind of awful. The doctor says I have a pretty severe case of carpal tunnel but it should go away completely within 2 to 3 weeks after delivery. Wonderful! The next 18 weeks are sure to be a party.

24 weeks down. 16 more to go. Bring it on!


My Morning Ramblings

It's barely 10am and I already have so much on my mind. Without thinking, I found myself closing my office door, sitting down and pulling up blogger. Clearly I need to get some thoughts out before I am anymore productive today.

This morning started with a 7:45am trip to the hospital for a blood draw. I hate blood and I hate needles. I know that most people outgrow that fear by adulthood but I'm still hanging on to it so hospital visits like this terrify me. Somehow this time was different. I was nervous but confident. My eyes didn't fill with tears. The phlebotomist taking my blood said that I have great veins and for some reason that eased the pain.The minute I left the hospital, I called my mom for a victory cheer.

Speaking of hospitals, my dad is in one right now. Sparing the details, I will say that I've never wanted to be home so badly. The doctors have some answers but not all of them ... and the waiting and wondering is so unsettling. Since my parents don't want me to fly out there, Mike and I did what we could to let my dad know we're thinking of him constantly. That thing is Edible Arrangements and he loves it! He's probably eating a chocolate dipped strawberry as we speak!

(Thats how we let people know we love them in the Fausett family, through food.)

 I'd like to give this post a positive spin right now, but I can't yet. I have to tell you one more negative thing... It made my blood boil. When stopped at a light this morning, I looked over to see a young, obviously pregnant woman smoking a cigarette. I debated rolling down my window and giving her a piece of my mind but then I quickly envisioned how that conversation would go.... Not well. So I sat in silence and stared at her. How can you smoke with a little baby growing inside of you? HOW? I don't get it. I had to ask my doctor on three separate occasions if she was sure I could drink one can of Dr. Pepper every 2 or 3 days. She laughed every single time. That's the most I've ever subjected my baby to and yet, I still feel a tinge of guilt. How can this woman on the sidewalk justify her habit? I'm afaid I'll be thinking about it all day.

Now, let's talk happy stuff, like babies!
--My friend, Bekah, had her baby Atticus at 4:04 this morning! You bet I'm itching to get off work and go see him. I LOVE newborns and I love the Wightmans so seeing him tonight will be fantastic. 
--I think I may have felt the baby move. Just twice. I can't be positive yet.
--We set a date for THE ultrasound. June 22nd. TWO. WEEKS. Who's ready to find out?!
--Mike is back today from his week long business trip to Chicago. I'm anticipating a baby belly comment because I'm pretty sure my tummy has grown twice the size overnight this week. I should probably take a picture.

Happy Friday, my friends!


Here's the latest.

We just got back last night from a quick weekend trip to....
Rexburg, Idaho.
You're thinking, Alyssa, that's super lame but guess what? It was just what we wanted after a hectic week. We had a Marriott discount and didn't want to travel more than 4 hours. That left three choices: Logan, UT, Vernal, UT or Rexburg, ID. Considering our goal was to "get out of Utah more often", Rexburg won.

We forgot our camera. Mike's phone takes great pictures but died within the first 3 hours of the trip and mine is ghetto... so we are pictureless. We ate at Maddox on our way up to Idaho, got delicious snow cones, found ourselves lost in Idaho due to my overconfidence and need for no directions, spent some time in the Rexburg temple, visited some friends and family, loved the hotel's king size bed with plush bedding, saw my first college apartment and such.

The only picture we have from the weekend. Taken about 5 minutes before the phone died. 
Snow cones have been my first pregnancy "demand".

We've resolved to leave SLC/Bountiful for the weekend as many times as possible over the next few months, before baby comes in late Fall. I'm less worried right now about getting this ready for this baby and more concerned with getting in lots of quality time, just the two of us. We'll get more time together come Thursday; we're headed to Texas for a long weekend.

I'm really looking forward to June. No travel plans but we will be celebrating our third anniversary and finding out if we're having a boy or a girl! Ah! Crazy, right? Next month we will know! I'm thinking of throwing a gender reveal party and finding out with my family and friends... thoughts?

Today is my first day wearing maternity pants. Not the kind with a big stretchy panel around the waist but a cute pair of skinny black pants. I love them. They feel like yoga pants and I will wear them every single day of the work week until they no longer fit. Just a minute ago- at 16 weeks- I got my first "that baby's starting to show"  type of comment. Actually, that's exactly what she said. "That baby is starting to show!" I have now entered the fat-or-pregnant? stage. I'm sure all the attorneys who haven't caught word that I'm expecting think that I need to dial down on all the snacks in the kitchen. I can't wait until I have a super obvious baby bump and people don't have to wonder anymore. At this rate... that should be in another 2 weeks or so. Seriously.


It's really happening!

The time has come to finally blog it. WE'RE HAVING A BABY!!!!

          We found out in March (crazy story actually.. I'll save it for another post) and Mike wanted to shout it out to the world... but I told him we needed to wait a little bit. Waiting is the worst. Then again, I have another 6 months of waiting on this little one so I better get used to it! Honestly, I knew I'd be writing a post like this someday, it's just so surreal to actually be typing these words now. I'm 3 months along and beginning the second trimester. We feel so lucky to be parents and begin adding to our little family.

          Let me cover the basics here: My due date is November 6th. I'm pretty excited about this due date because I'll have a newborn to snuggle during the holidays, I'll have a long Christmas wish list for Baby this year, and by the time summer 2013 rolls around, I'll have a 7 month old who can actually enjoy being outside! I'm choosing to focus on the positives, rather than the fact that Baby will be born at the beginning of RSV season and that we'll spend the entire winter inside. About a month after deciding that I wanted to be pregnant sometime this year, I got pregnant. This is in no way meant to be a statement of bragging. It happened faster than we ever could've guessed and at first I was in shock, but now I've come to realize that the Lord's timing is much better than my timing. I've been really sick, especially in the morning. I mean really, really sick.(i.e.: I bow to the porcelain god every time I wake up/open the fridge door/walk into a public restroom/take a shower). The only thing I crave is fruit. Namely oranges and pineapple. I am yet to have Mike make a midnight run to the grocery store for produce... but he knows his time is coming. We heard the heartbeat at 9 weeks and I was told it was a little faster than what is normal. Then I heard the heartbeat again today and it's perfectly normal. Even my doctor couldn't stop smiling and nodding and saying "perfect. it's perfect." Mike is so giddy and wants to talk to the baby every.single.night. It's weird for me, but I'm trying to lighten up. I have NO clue what's in store for me.... I don't know anything about diapers, strollers, maternity clothes, sleep schedules, breastfeeding, etc. You guys, I'm a little scared. All tips/opinions welcome. I cry over EVERYTHING. I cried when I couldn't find my favorite pajamas pants. I cried watching The Voice, Restaurant: Impossible and Dateline. It's really pathetic. My current bedtime is anywhere from 8:30 to 10pm. I just can't stay up late for the life of me.

Things are changin' people! I'm having a baby and I'm going to be a mom soon... a MOM. This is just crazy.


Easter weekend.

Last weekend was such a perfect weekend.
I recapped everything we did with my mom just yesterday and she said,
"You two have such a fun life". It's true, we do.
For now, it's just the two of us with minimal responsibilities and it's pretty nice.

Friday night we went to Red Robin with the Leishmans.
I don't know what's wrong with me but I obsess over Red Robin's steak fries and campfire sauce.
They are all you can eat and addictive. Here's the catch: you can't get them on their own.
So I ordered the cheapest thing the fries come with, a chicken sandwich.
I ignored the sandwich and stuffed myself with fries and sauce. Totally unhealthy but no regrets.

Saturday we met up with my sister and her boyfriend for lunch.
Do you love garlic burgers? Do you love bar food? (No, that's not a weird question... I love bar food.)
Go to Busy Bee Bar on State Street and 21st south. Their burgers are delicious
and I'd been raving about them since Kelsey was too young to go.
She's been 21 for several months but we finally made a lunch date.
Again, they did not disappoint.

After lunch, Mike and I ran some errands and then picked up the Kirks for a Real game.
I'll be honest though... The guys watched the game but Jade and I didn't.
I hadn't seen her for 7 weeks (who's counting?) while they were basically living in Hawaii
so we had lots to catch up on.
I normally LOVE watching the games so missing both the goals scored
was not a proud moment for me.

Easter Sunday was fantastic!
Church could not have been better. We listened to two amazing speakers and then President Eyring decided to fill the last 10 minutes of the meeting. I found myself crying 5 or 6 times at church on Sunday. That's just not right! Actually, who am I kidding? It's pretty right on. I've always been emotional. But the messages delivered on Easter Sunday are especially touching. The holiday has a way of reminding me of the obvious.
I have a Savior who loves me enough to suffer for my sins. He died that I might turned to live with my Father in Heaven and all those I love. I know there was no other way and for that -- I'm completely indebted to Him.
After church, we went to my grandparent's house for an Easter egg hunt and dinner.

It's great to have weekends where we can do whatever we'd like and enjoy each other's company.
We live for the weekends because we know it won't be like this forever.
I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!


t-minus ten.

TEN minutes until I shut everything down and bust out of this joint.
Today feels like it has been the longest day to end the long week of my life.
Not sure why. Nothing tramatic, pressing or stressful has happened this week.
... it just crawled.

I made a discovery about myself today.
I'm pretty obsessive over checking our online bank account about, oh... fifteen times a day.
Anyone else have this problem? Checking it once a day is good. It's healthy... but fifteen?!
I've got to get a hold of myself.
I don't know why I feel the need to log into, like the second (or thirteenth)
time won't reflect the same balance. I think that, subconciously, I'm hoping that the next time
I log in I'm going to see an unpected $500 dollars deposited for no reason at all.
I don't know... I must be expecting some change in what I see, to be checking it so neurotically.
It's a good thing I sit in front of a computer for 9+ hours a day, huh?

Anyway, I'm excited for this weekend. A grilling sesh with some good friends, cheering on a
family friend in the national wagon race tomorrow, annual green dinner with the Nelsons,
a goodbye party for the Stephens and a relaxing Sunday. All is how it should be.

Happy Friday, everyone!



To say I'm grateful for the abundance of great women around me would be an understatement.
I am beyond grateful. The past couple weeks I have taken a good, hard look at my life; namely people I have let into it. I cannot believe my "luck" in the women I have come to associate with throughout my life, especially recently.

           Thanks to two good friends- Jade and Kylee -who both individually blogged about their daily experiences with gratitude, I have decided to take on the challenge. For the month of March I will focus daily on a specific thing that God has blessed my life with and to thank Him for it. With every passing day I have had no trouble coming up with a different blessing to express gratitiude for. What I thought of this morning has struck a chord and I feel the need to share it. I am so grateful for the many wonderful women I am lucky to call friends/family. I may not have the pleasure of seeing most of them on a regular basis. I may never have expressed my admiration and thankfulness to them aloud. I may have known them since childhood, met them in Gamma, at church, in class at the U or on a plane. (Okay, maybe not a plane.)

          Thanks to those of you who have commented here at one time or another, I know that nearly every wonderful woman that comes to mind reads my blog. Those women who have influenced me are smart, considerate, educated, funny, opinionated, talkative, driven and giving. I think the qualities that you all embody says something about the woman that I want to be. I surround myself, as I think most people do, with those already possess qualities that I want to develop. I don't mean to leave anyone out of the following comments but these are the quick examples that come to mind: No one makes me laugh and enjoy life quite like Breauna or Candace. Amy, Sammy and Christine are women I look up to as beautiful, bright mothers(or soon-to-be) who are unwavering in what is right. I stalk Jade and Kylee's blogs on the daily because they are such beautiful writers and deep-thinkers. Bekah and Liz are ambitiuous and opinionated women. Hannah listens to me, really listens. Casey, Amanda and Sarah (individually) are pure entertainment for me with some much witt and personality, those ladies. Missy and Kelsey are probably my soulmates. When I'm with Meagan, Meli, Ashley, Chelsey or Kimberly it's like no time has passed and we could talk forever.

           I am so grateful for you ladies, the ones I publicly recognized attributes of and those whom I have yet to. I feel like I barely touched the surface here. Each one of you makes me better and how can I not somehow acknowledge that? If you're interested, I would encourage you to take this gratitude challenge!  It has helped me to envy less, compare less and feel so overwhelmingly loved by our Lord and Savior. I needed this and I'm just disappointed that I didn't do it earlier.


Our Eats.

This post is devoted to our favorite SLC hole-in-the-wall. Tasty Thai.

I mean, just look at how happy Mike is right here! It has nothing to do with sitting across from the love of his life -after a long work day- and being able to stare into her dark green eyes for endless hours.

No, it's because we just ordered our usual (except, they still don't recognize us
so we can't just say "We'll have our usual.") which is the Pad-Kee-Mow and Gang-Dang.
and daaaang, it is good!
If you love spicy food, sweet curries, sticky rice and veggies... THIS IS THE PLACE.
Seriously, it's some of the best thai food we've ever had...and we've tried thai food in nearly a dozen cities.
This  most recent trip ended with dessert (we never get dessert there!)
and now we will always end our meals with dessert.  Always.
This is the fresh coconut ice cream with peanut topping.
I die.
This stuff is the best. I give it 6 out of 5 stars! Yes, six! It was that good.

Tasty Thai is located in the Liberty Park area, probably one of our favorite parts of SLC.
It's right by Park Cafe (great breakfast joint with beautiful wall art by a new friend of ours),
paddle boating, Cummings Chocolates and Emily Jayne consignment.
Okay, so we wouldn't buy a home in the area because it can be a little sketch.
(note: "sketch" areas in Salt Lake City are not like "sketch" places in, say, the Bronx.
Basically, there are a lot of chain link fences and unkempt yards.)
Five or six blocks east in the Harvard/Yale/13th East area wouldn't be too shabby though.
I've gotta say, from the moment I moved to SLC I told myself I wouldn't be here very long.
But with every year, I love it here more and more. This city offers so much.
We're not considering putting down roots soon. But when we do, this city is on the list now.
Funny how time changes everything, huh?

Picture taken from Tasty Thai parking lot.


Goodbye October. Yes, October.

We got rid of the pumpkin. Finally.
If you came over to our place any time in the past 5 months, you'll know what I'm talking about.

At the beginning of October, my grandma and grandpa hosted a halloween/fall party.
The guys decorated pumpkins. Mike got a little creative and ended up with Jesus on his pumpkin.
We referred to it as the "Jesus pumpkin" from there on out.
(Blasphemous? I hope not. Then again, that would be in true Mike fashion.)
The pumpkin sat on our porch from October thru February.
Disgusting. I know. But that's how little we open our side door.

Finally, after a little nagging on my part(hello! I wasn't going to do it.),
Mike rid us of the pumpkin. Yes, it was nasty and Mike was screaming in agony the whole time.
I tried to take a good picture but he was running to the trash can. Fast.

I coaxed him to stop for 5 seconds so I could snap this.
You're probably not even looking at the pumpkin. Sexy morning hair, huh?

Glad that's gone. I'm thinking of making a wreath to adorn our porch.
But it will have to fit both spring and summer... because we know it'll be there for at least 5 months.



Lawyers are funny people. Okay, maybe my beef is just with one in particular.

He gives me weird looks when he walks by and I'm talking with another staffer about something insignificant, like my apprehension in trying lipstick. I mean I've always been a chapstick girl. I've used it since I was young.. when I played in the sun until my lips burned like fire and nothing but a layer of chapstick every hour could cure it. You could say I'm addicted to chapstick. Most women put a little color on their lips for big occasions, like their prom and wedding day. I didn't though. I want to start wearing lipstick because I look at other friends who have taken the leap. They all look phenomenal but I know they have picked just the right shade. How do I know what shade to get? What brand to get?

Listen Mr. Lawyer (that's what we'll call him for the purpose of this rant), I realize my conversations seem full of things you deem insignificant.  I know that your life is filled with only ambitious and elevated (or pompous and pretentious?) thoughts. Allow me to indulge in meaningless girl talk from time to time, without being judged.

Seeing as the judgmental looks happen at least monthly, I would've ended my rant here, had I posted this one day earlier. But not 20 minutes ago, the aforementioned lawyer totally "geeked out" with another attorney over none other than... Harry Potter! Oh man. I died inside. I laughed. I need to hear him explain how upset he was by the ending, how he thought the series and movie should have ended, his excitement in hearing that J.K. Rowling is creating another book with more of an adult focus. He was totally geeking out, people! And that made me feel vindicated.

Today served as a reminder that everyone needs to have pointless, trivial communication once in a while.
But especially women.


keywords to our blog

Do you every look under your "stats" section of Blogger to see what google searches lead strangers to your blog? It's sometimes the most odd keywords that land random people here, in our blogworld.

directions to brothel pompeii pavement
Now, this one makes sense. They probably found this post of our time in Italy this past summer.

celebs with mustaches
sexy mustaches
hot men with mustaches
Mike is pretty proud that his post has driven in tons of random people who are interested in the same important things as him... namely mustaches. sexy, hot men, celebs... all these keywords that led to my husband. It's going straight to his head, y'all.

royalty riches
I could only guess that our humble little lives don't fit into what this searcher had in mind BUT they probably were led to this blog post... which is a dream home of ours, in a dream neighborhood.

carnival concession menu
Not a clue.

jordie's suits
Now this is kind of creepy. Mike's has a cousin named Jordie. As far as I know, Jordie doesn't wear suits. She's a girl. A beautiful girl.

alyssa kelsey
Me+sister. This one is logical.

germany chritsmas dusseldorf  (aww... someone can't spell Christmas)
I bet they found this post. Wow. Just looking past at that post made me jealous of myself. I want to get back to Germany stat. We loved it there, in Rothenberg ob der Tauber. I was giddy for 2 days straight.

girls night out
I like my GNOs as much as the next girl.

a reason to celebrate
Glad their search led them here. I feel like I'm always looking for a reason to celebrate something.

alyssa mike ward las vegas
I hope you find who you're looking for... I really doubt it was us.

Post your keywords! I'd be interested to read them.
Happy Friday people. I hope you have fantastic plans for the weekend. What with all the laundry, cleaning and grocery shopping I have planned... it's going to be a riot!


We'll call this a "filler" post.

January was a good month for me. I posted a ton on this here blog and I was really proud of myself
for documenting life... but then February hit. I haven't done a thing.
I haven't taken pictures and what's a post without a picture? Exactly.
In the meantime, I give you this "filler" post.
I apologize in advance for the ridiculous number of videos on this post.
Yesterday I spent a lot (possibly too much?) time watching music videos of Whitney Houston's on Youtube. I was never a big fan of hers... but it's sad she is gone. What a brilliant voice.

This has to be my favorite one. Maybe because of her hair. Maybe because it screams the 80's. Maybe because I remember singing along to "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" when I was a few years old.

This kind of childhood reminiscing lead to a whirlwind of music from my younger years.
Mikey and I showed each other the first music videos we ever saw and the first songs we remember
 hearing on the radio. I won't go crazy with all the videos (mostly because I know you won't watch them)
so here are just two of my favorites.

Don't Take the Girl by Tim McGraw- Did you cry? Tell me you cried.

Lullaby (Goodnight My Angel) by Billy Joel- This song is dear to me. My dad often sang me to sleep with this song.

Both are sappy songs. Mike is right... I must like to cry.
Also, has anyone else heard about the Color Run? It's a 5K extravaganza of color (like the Festival of Colors in Spanish Fork but with running/walking) that takes place in cities all over the United States. You run into a different color cloud at each kilometer mark. They somehow skipped Salt Lake City and have one in every other surrounding city. I could be talked into going up to Boise for the weekend in August to do it. Anyone, anyone?


'bout time.

Just yesterday I did something BIG.

I bought ourselves airline tickets to TEXAS in May!
So maybe we did our taxes on Sunday and maybe we came into a tiny bit of money
and maybe I spent it before we even got it! But that's okay, right?

Mike has never gone to Texas with me and I am so. stinkin'. happy.
The purpose of this trip will be three-fold.
1. Most importantly- See my best friend from Texas, Ashley, and her hubby Jonathan
and their new baby girl due in March. I love it when besties have babies!

 Baby will only be 2 months old when Auntie Lyssa comes to see her. I'm so excited!!

2. Head over to Kingwood(Houston) to show Mike my old stomping grounds: my high school,
my carwash (yep, I worked at a carwash in Texas... don't worry. It was a cool thing.),
my old house, my favorite places to eat, etc.
3. Check out the business school at University of Texas and possibly
convince Mike to put it higher on his list of applications for next year.

I'm glad that we're finally taking this little ol' trip... Aren't tax refunds great?
Mikey lost his cell phone a couple weeks ago. Not sure where or how but it's gone.
He went 8 days without one & then decided life could not progress any further without a phone in his hand.
On Saturday we dropped everything. Found a good deal for a used HTC EVO online. Met up in a slightly sketchy situation. Learned that Mikey has NO bargaining skills whatsoever ( zilch.).
I demonstrated my wicked awesome bargaining skills and got the phone for cheap.

My hubby now has a new toy to obsessed over. Hence, he spent Saturday night glued to that phone while I watched episodes of Dance Moms and Toddlers&Tiaras. I know what you're thinking.
This couple is lamesauce.
But ya know what? It was kind of nice to relax in front of the tv and just veg out with a pizza on a Saturday night. We try to keep busy enough and be socialites on the side, that one weekend night with nothing to do ending up being just want we didn't know we wanted. Funny how it can be refreshing to do nothing at all.


The little (good) things.

Today's highlights -so far- include:

-After a 45 minute call with the California State Bar I was finally able to check three things off today's to-do list. Do you start every day with a list of things you need to get done and a list of things you want to get done? I try to and there is no better feeling than crossing things off the list! Okay... maybe a couple things are better. But really, I love it.

-Mike and I are now proud owners of the beautiful 2006 Nissan Altima that I've been driving around the past 18 months! When we moved to Bountiful and soon realized my 17 year old BMW couldn't make it up the mountain, my Dad (and financial guru extraordinaire) suggested us getting a different car and paying on a car loan for at least 18 months to build "hard credit". This way it will be much easier when Mike and I want to be approved for a home loan (MUCH further down the road). Yay!

-Mackenzie, the Wells Fargo teller that I see every 2 weeks at the drive thru, knows my name! I'm not sure why I find this to be so exciting... but I do. She said "Hi Alyssa!" as soon as I pulled up. I'd say we're at the friendship level already. And no, that's not rushing things. (The last time I became friends with my bank teller was back in 2006 and that resulted in being set up on the longest, worst blind date of my life. So I'm a bit hesitant but I feel good about this.)

-I feel like I cheated the Chick-fil-a system when my total was $3.40! Thank you to a dear coworker who has introduced me to the ways of the Chick-fil-a kids meal! 4 piece chicken nuggets with polynesian sauce, substitute the fries for a fruit cup (because it's free for the "kiddos") and then you can change out the toy for a cup of their delicious vanilla ice cream and a small Diet Dr. Pepper! All for $3.40! I can't stop using exclamation marks!! No more spending $7 at Chick-fil-a for a good meal... it's all kids meals from here!

-I wrote on my blog! If you can't tell already, I'm trying to put forth a good effort to update my blog a few times a week. I just know that 20 years from now (since I'm horrible at keeping a journal) I'll want to look back at these things. No matter how silly they are.

With all of these positive moments, I'm chalking up today as a good day.


A Shining Example

For the past couple weeks I've been thinking, off and on, about my recent interactions with
President Eyring. I'm lucky to share a ward with him.
I'm sure he doesn't know my name but my favorite thing is that he pretends he does.
"Hey there!" "There she is!" "Good to see you." He acts like we're friends and I love it.
Little does he know that as a young member growing up in Louisiana and Texas, I adored
him more than most youth. When you grow up as a member outside of Utah,
general authorities are almost like celebrities, not your regular people.
We only see them on tv, never in the car next to you or shopping at the same grocery store.
He was the one general authority I sincerely connected with. Every time he spoke.
President Eyring speaks consistently with such compassion and emotion, I find myself relating
to this 80 year old man more and more.
When Mike and I moved to Bountiful, we moved into President Eyring's home ward, and yes,
he attends nearly every Sunday. I've been able to enjoy hearing his personal testimonies
on more than one occasion,
his pure joy when a member of his family speaks in sacrament meeting
 and quick greetings in the hallways at church.
The first Sunday in December church was cut short so that the ward could secure the area, as much as possible, for an expected windstorm. As I walked pass President Eyring, he looked at me with a huge smile and said, "Isn't this so exciting?", to which I responded with the first thing that came to mind.
 "Yes! Especially when you aren't very prepared for the primary lesson you were going to teach."
I look over at Mike to get a "you know what I'm talking about" look but he is just staring at me with a shocked look on his face. I could tell exactly what he was thinking. Uh.. Did you just tell a general authority- a member of the First Presidency no less- that you didn't prepare your lesson? That you aren't magnifying your calling? For a split second I regretted telling Henry B. the truth. I totally wasn't prepared and I was estactic that I was left off the hook for this one Sunday. To my surprise, President Eyring told me about several experiences in grade school when he hadn't done his homework and he prayed that his teacher wouldn't pick it up. He said there were many times when he was "let off the hook" and said that the Lord hears our prayers. Even the seemingly insignificant ones.

He will probably never know how he influences me and that's okay by me.
I simply feel lucky enough to know him.



           Today has consisted of helping an attorney with some intellectual property work for a famous author (of whom I've read several works, so this is exciting, people!). It has been a slow process that has left me with a decent amount of downtime in between projects. In that downtime I've managed to open up 13 different tabs on my internet browser. I don't want to close out of any of them just yet, for different reasons. There is something in each one that inspires me, I find interesting, I'm researching, or fits into my daily online check ups. Here's a little glimpse into what my cramped computer screen includes:

* I'm logged on here pretty much all day. Don't ask me why though. The only emails I get are from J.Crew, every 2 hours. Oh, and I really don't like their new format. Anyone else with bitter feelings?
*I've been reading this survery about Mormons in America on and off all day. I'm only about half way through but so far it's very interesting. Whether you're involved in politics or not, I think it's a good read.
*This discount travel website usually has some smokin' deals on vacation packages. We booked our honeymoon destination through this site and we're hoping to book one "big trip" this year... so I'm always browsing.
*Looking at ground turkey recipes. I want to cook with turkey more since reading that it's much better for you than ground beef.
*Everyday I enter the HGTV Dream Home Giveaway 2012. I debated not telling a soul about it to better my chances of winning but now I'm thinking it isn't really a well kept secret, so enter! (Look through the amazing pictures of the home too... it's in Midway.) You're welcome.
*I'm always pinning something I like and want to keep tabs on.
*I check our bank account with Wells Fargo online nearly every day. It's a smart thing to do but I swear it bugs Mike sometimes because I see the charges and then ask Mike things like, "So how was your lunch at Carl's Jr. today? I saw that you spent $8. What'd you get that cost $8?" He just rolls his eyes.
*I love this beautiful little lady's blog/story. Inspiring and smart weight loss, a love of food and health, some delicious recipes and glamour adventures.
* Looking at a couple Anthropologie blouses (Dappled Sea Blouse and Iced Foliage top)... and deciding that I will wait until they go on sale.
*I'm embarrassed but it's true, I have perezhilton open to get my salacious celeb gossip. I know it's dumb but sometimes I do dumb things.

Hope you have a great weekend!!


Viva Las Vegas

Last weekend was what Mike termed my "fantastic birthday weekend".
He surprised me with airline tickets the night before we left
and I couldn't have been more happy about it.
50 minutes by plane versus 6 hours on the road? I'll take flying.

This trip really was Mike's gift to me. He hates Las Vegas. Okay, hate is a little extreme.
He has never cared for it as much as I have. Until this trip.

We had so much fun together. We walked the entire strip 4 times over.
I can't get enough of all the uh-mahzing (said like Penny from Happy Endings) things you can
see (for free!) by just walking around.
 The Bellagio and Wynn had the most beautiful, detailed decor.
Our pictures don't do it justice so you'll have to use a little imagination.

 The glass sculpture on the right was particularly impressive to me. It's a piece by Dale Chuhily,
an incredible American glass sculptor. I've been a long time fan of his work.
The horse is just cool. I have no idea who made it.

The Bellagio gardens weren't finished being set up for Chinese New Year but that didn't stop us from sneaking in and taking pictures of what was already on display. As expected, this hotel blew me away.
Look at this article and the photo gallery to see how the Bellagio is celebrating the Year of the Dragon!

We splurged and saw Le Reve.
Breathtaking! Inspiring! Unforgettable.
Mike and I turned to look at each other every two minutes with faces that maintained
a certain level of shock throughout the show. We will be saving our pennies to be at the next show that Steve Wynn and the creators of Cirque du Soleil team up to do. We were so impressed!

Sights on the strip.

I would hardly call us gamblers. We much prefer to look over the shoulder of others and watch them
lose their own money (I'm sure it makes them feel uncomfortable but who cares?), rather than risk
our own BUT one day I was feeling pretty lucky so asked a cute, old security guard named Jose
at Caesar's Palace to show us the ropes! I told him we were first timers who needed a little direction.
Jose showed us the Wheel of Fortune machine that he won $200,000 on. He bought his first house a few years ago with that money. (Shhh... he told me that was a secret between him and I but I know you don't tell anyone.)
Mike and I gambled with $15 each. Look who won $43 and only $3 into his game?
That's my cute hubby.
While everyone else was either losing thousands or making thousands,
we were happy with our humble winnings.
On Sunday night, after Le Reve, we hung out on the patio at the Wynn. Mike had a great time
"learning how to use our new camera" aka taking stalker photos of me.
This was our view from the patio.

The next day we left the perfect 60 degrees and Utah greeted us with- once again- freezing temperatures.
I'm sitting here at work, wishing I was back in Las Vegas.
Such a fun birthday trip! I'm grateful to experience many memorable travels, just the two of us.


How to Look Like a Cover Girl

Okay, so maybe working in the beauty industry isn't manly... but finding gems that make fun of the industry like this little video below make it all worth while. Take a look to see how there's no such thing as being "born with it," as Maybeline suggests.

Fotoshop by Adobé from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.



2011 in Review.

It's 2012. 2012.That's just plain crazy.
And if the Mayans are right- and they usually are- this is our last year people! Apparently the end of the world is in 11 months. Who needs food storage now, right?

In spite of our imminent doom, I suppose it's still appropriate to recap the past year.

:: Many job changes (Mike: marketing manager. Alyssa: speech assistant,
intern in sales/catering, legal assistant at a Cottonwood Heights law firm)
:: We both graduated with our Bachelors degrees from the University of Utah!
:: Getaways and long weekends in Park City, Midway, Idaho Falls and San Francisco
:: Traveling abroad! Spain, Italy, Germany and France!
:: Subsequently, our first cruise together.. a 14 day Mediterranean cruise. (I loved. Mike didn't.)
:: Said goodbye to Dallin for two whole years. Talked to him on Christmas Day. 
He's loving life in Argentina.
:: Mike's first business trip. Aww, he's growin' up!
:: Saw an active volcano erupt LIVE.
:: Kelsey and I flew up to PA. Went to Niagara Falls and Toronto too.
:: Made some exciting plans for 2012.

Last picture taken in 2011.
Mike teaching our niece, Rhea, a thing or two on our piano.

I usually don't make New Year's Resolutions but after a chat with our friends Jade & Cody we have a fabulous goal for this coming year. Visit every LDS temple in Utah within 2012. We're really excited about going to so many new temples and finding things to do in the cities that we visit.
Here's to 2012!


A Merry Christmas Indeed.

It was Nelson Family Christmas this year. It was also the first time in 24 years that I've ever been away from my own family during the holidays. I knew the time when eventually come. I mean, I have been married for a couple years now... so I braced myself for the most emotional time and you know what?
I made it through. Just fine.

Mike and I decked the halls and made treats for family and friends.

Enjoyed the Zoo Lights at Hogle Zoo!  
(I made a few breakthroughs that night... I can't possibly be the only one who expected all the animals to be out... yes, even in 15 degree weather. And reindeer? They do exist!) 

Christmas Eve dinner with all the Nelson clan. Adam (brother in law) had the novel idea of having everyone at one big table... so a table fit for 32. Impressive, right?

Other holiday events included: visiting the lights on temple square on a couple occasions,  a beautiful Christmas message in our ward by President Eyring, new pajamas on Christmas Eve, a Park City getaway with the Browns, a whimsical night at the Salt Lake Country Club and purchasing a new camera (Canon Rebel T3i!!!). The camera presents quite the learning curve for us but... we look forward to the challenge!

Christmas was good to us this year. We're thankful for this special season where we can enjoy time together- focusing on our Savior and those most important to us.

Up next... our 2011 in review. I know. I know. You can hardly wait, right?

I left my $ in San Francisco.

Tony Bennett says "I left my heart in San Francisco"
... and I did. I just left a lot of $$$ there too.

We started out our road trip to San Fran with the traditional Dr. Pepper.

Now let me preface this post by saying that if you haven't taken a really long road trip with just you and your hunny before... you need to do it, STAT. There's nothing like endless hours in a car together. Mike and I have taken a handful of trips together but usually with others. This time around it was just me and my babe.
It was grand.

The road trip started after work on a Thursday. I picked him up at 5:30pm with a car fully loaded with carrots, Snack Pack puddings, Gatorade, string cheese, our favorite tunes and a full tank of gas. We made it all the way to Reno, Nevada and- thanks to the time zone change- we got in just before midnight. The next morning we took the beautiful 4 hours drive to Muir Woods (Redwoods and Sequoias just outside San Fran).

Muir Woods is beautiful. Breathtaking. Peaceful. Almost Spiritual.
There's something about the place that makes all the people speak in a whisper, if not at all.
The smell is unlike any other. Fresh.

After Muir Woods was Sausalito. We didn't spend much time there.
Just long enough to stroll along the bay, visit a dozen specialty shops and grab a margherita pizza.

Then we were off to San Francisco!
After we crossed over the bridge, found ourselves lost in Golden Gate Park (with no GPS because Mike's phone made an untimely parting), drove though Japantown (in circles half a dozen times) then we finally found a place to park the car that wasn't outrageously expensive. Only mildly scandalous $60 a night. We sucked up the cost and forked it over and then checked into our little hotel on the Wharf.

The next two days were full of food, shopping and tourist attractions.
Alcatraz, Pier 39, the famous sea lions, the Aquarium, Lombard Street, Ghiradhelli Square (complete with hot fudge sundae), Chinatown, the Exploratorium and mastering the bus/trolley system.

 The Bay Area proved to be the perfect long weekend getaway.
Although, my travel bug is coming on again (I'm sorry...  It's genetic. I just can't stop!)
so let us know of any fun travel plans we can join in on! Pleeeeeease.