Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mis Amigos

                              My friends and me. This post will be fun :)

Hola! So I've been thinking a lot recently about how blessed I am to have the greatest friends....EVER! So, for those of you who like books with lots of pictures, you're gonna like this post because it's mostly pictures (p.s., in case you haven't noticed, I try to post lots of pictures for those of you who are like me, who have a short attention span. p.s. again, I bet those of who whom this applies to didn't even read this did you?! You probably skipped to the pictures first! Cheaters.) So let me introduce you to mis amigos:

          This is Madie. I've known her since Kindergarten. She's one of the most amazing people ever! She's always a good friend, no matter how busy she is. She is so smart, confident, funny, and on top of her game.

         This is Andrea. I've known her since 5th grade. We used to dance together and went to middle and high school together. Andrea is so easy to get along with. She's good at everything, but would never admit it. She travels like crazy! As you can see. She's just great.

         Here we have Rob and Matt (although generally when they're spoken of, it's "Matt and Rob"), AKA The Prina's. I've known Rob since middle school and Matt since high school. They are seriously some of the funnest guys out there. Ladies, let me hook you up! :) They're such good friends and know how to have fun and make you laugh.

       Duh duh duh duh (in song form)!!! This is Mark. I've known him since high school....I'll say that because he doesn't remember having Utah Studies with me in 8th grade. But that's an awkward year for everyone, so we'll just say high school :). Mark is one of the wittiest people out there. He's such a good listener and gives good advice. Mark is the best.

        And here we have Macy. She's my next door neighbor/roommate. Don't worry, it makes sense. If you know Macy, you'll know she's pretty much my twin. Well, obviously not my twin in the looks category, because she clearly isn't half-Mexican. But her kids could be if she married my brother! Except he's 14.....ANYWAY (excuse my A.D.D., ya'll were warned in my first post). Macy is one of the greatest blessings in my life! I met her just this year in my ward, although we've been working for the same company for a while but different locations. Macy knows how to have some serious fun. She laughs at my dumb jokes and I laugh at hers. We both assist each other in emergency cheeseburger runs at night. She's always there for me. She's seriously such a great girl.

         This, my friends, is Holly. I met her this year as well. She is one of my amazing roommates! Holly is one of the sharpest tools in the shed. Except she's not a tool....but you know what I mean. Holly is very confident and good at expressing her thoughts. She's an artist. I'm guessing there are already a few guys reading this wanting her number. Take a number. Just kidding, but really. Haha. She's currently in Paris right now, but she'll be back! She's so much fun and a joy to be around.

         Alrighty. Lauren time. This is Lauren. One of my roommates. Lauren is the funniest person you'll ever meet. If you don't believe me, spend ten minutes at my house. If you want to hear some intense gangsta/spanglish/abbreviated talk, come communicate with Lauren. Most of our apartment's quote board is from Lauren. Lauren will spend three hours helping you study for your New Testament test, all while using an East-coast accent to make it more interesting. She's currently in London, but she'll be back, boys!

        Mary, Mary, Mary, Ohhhh!!! (to the tune of "Baby" by the Biebs). Mary was my roommate all last year. At first I was sure she wanted to kill me because I NEVER heard my alarm in the morning, so Mary would endure a never-ending repetition of the line, "I just need somebody to LOOOOVE!"...Yes, Justin Bieber. If you think I'm lame, go watch the kid's movie. You'll be converted. Anyway, Mary is the sweetest girl ever. She's going to serve a mission in Roseville, CA this August! She may be quiet, but definitely adds to the conversation when she has something to say. I love Mary!

         Harper!!!! This is Harper. And first, I'd like to point out that I did indeed crop out the famous Jimmer out of that photo. We ran into him at a haunted forest this year, before all the CRAZY Jimmerness happened. Anyway, Harper, obviously is very handsome and a very good friend. He is always there when you need him. He's always on the ball and has something to say right back, so you gotta be on your toes. He's one of my very favorite people!

        Danny!!!!!!! This is Danny. Danny is probably my apartment (+Macy)'s best guy friend/frequent visitor. Danny doesn't care what you look like when you're sad and crying and have mascara all over your face. He'll tell you you're still pretty. Danny will also be in attendance of most late night food runs, because he's always up for fun things! Danny is one of the sharpest guys I know. Ladies, let me introduce you :). But really, Danny is one top-notch guy.

         Now, I'm sure right when I post this I'm going to remember, like, 700 friends I should've also posted. These people have just recently been such blessings in my life. I'm so grateful Heavenly Father loves me so much that He let me have friends like mine. They're such great people, and I learn from them every day. They make me want to be better, and they always put a smile on my face. These are my friends, or 'mis amigos'. They're the best. And that's all.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

"I pity the fool"...

My dad with Nicole (left) and me (right)
       This post is inspired by a note that I recently found from my dad. He wrote it way back in 2003, so I've read it before, but I had put it away somewhere and didn't find it again until recently. My dad was the sweetest and most thoughtful and caring man on Earth. He loved (and I know STILL loves) his family more than anything. One thing that he was very, very, particular about was his daughters (there are four of us). As I've mentioned before, I've never been bitter about the early passing of my dad, but there are always things that are sad to think about sometimes. One of them is the fact that he isn't here to watch me date or get married.
      My dad raised me well, especially when it came to showing me how girls should be treated by boys. He'd always talk about how he'd never let me go on a date because I was his little girl. I've mentioned before that my dad passed away a week after I turned sixteen, which means (because I am LDS) he never saw me go on a date. He's never been here to see me off to prom, "interview" my dates, or be there for me when one breaks my heart. Don't get me wrong, this post is definitely not to make anyone feel sorry for me, I'm just explaining an aspect of my dad's death that I didn't initially realize that I would have to deal with.
      Even though my dad is not on Earth, I still live by what he taught me as far as what I should expect from boys whether it be just a friend, a date, a boyfriend, or someone I may marry. I remember my older sister Nicole got picked up for a date once and, of course, my dad watched out the window to make sure the guy opened her door for her. The guy didn't open it. Big mistake. My dad took it upon himself to make sure his little girl was taken care of. He walked outside and opened the door for her.
      I did get one experience with my dad as far as dating goes: the day of my 16th birthday. It was a Sunday. My dad was in the garage looking for something when a boy whom I had a crush on brought me flowers for my birthday. All I remember was my mom smiling after the boy left and she said to me, "Well, we better go show your dad." I just shook my head because I knew he'd make a big deal out of it. My dad ALWAYS tried to convince me that every boy I ever came in contact with was in love with me (he was nice enough to tell me that even when I was in the WAY awkward stage..haha. But really, we're talking suuuuper awkward). My mom I and walked in the garage and she said, "Eric, your daughter has something to show you." I reluctantly walked into the garage with a smirk on my face and the pretty Gerber daisies the boy gave me. My dad stared blankly at me, dropped his tools he was holding, and started shaking his head and muttering things to himself angrily while gritting his teeth. If you know my dad, you can probably picture this perfectly. Of course, he was happy for me in reality, but he always made a huge deal of things when it came to boys.
       Sometimes I forget that even though my dad isn't here, I still have a dad...A very protective, loving, and strong one, too. In his note he talked about how much he loves me and told me to never forget how much I mean to him.. At the end of every note he ever gave me (my dad would always just write little nice random notes) he'd always beg me to NEVER forget how much he loves me. Sometimes I feel like it's a tender mercy from the Lord that my dad wrote the ends of his notes that way because he's not here to tell me that now, but reading those notes over and over now makes me feel like he is here telling me he loves me. Of course, he mentioned boys in the note and told me, "I honestly pity the fool who EVER hurts my little girl in ANY way." I know that sounds so simple and kind of silly, but it makes me happy to be reminded that I still have him on my side. Right now in my life I definitely appreciate having a dad like mine.
        I think everyone finds confidence in knowing their dad is there to be there for them, protect them, and offer guidance. I have gained such a strong testimony of the Plan of Salvation because of my dad. It's funny because even though he's not technically here...I know that he's still DEFINITELY here. I see things almost every day in my life that remind me of him. I'll have dreams of him. Many decisions I make are because of him. He is one of the big reasons for why I want to be married in the temple; I know how important it is to be sealed to those whom you love. I'm so happy that I am my daddy's little girl. He is one of the reasons I am who I am. He is the reason I know things will be okay when my heart is broken. He is the reason I try my best in life, because I cannot wait until I get to see him again :). He's always watching me, and everything in my life. So for those of you boys who think you're off the hook, think again! Haha :). This is my blog post inspired by my dad, who "pities the fool". And that's all. :)

                              My dad with Nicole on one of his hunting trips :)

   My dad, Nicole, and her friends at her b-day party. He made a HUGE deal of birthdays.

 My dad and me June 2007

                       My 16th birthday :) July 15, 2007. Right after the garage incident. :)

Monday, May 16, 2011


This is part of the waiting area at a restaurant we went to. So cute!
The title of this post was inspired by this. I'm in Austin, TX right now visiting my older sister Nicole and her husband Glen. My little sister Andrea came with me to visit them too. Anyway, while I've been here I've become obsessed with the new TV show "The Voice". I LOVE it. Now that the judges have all their teams picked, they are having pairs within their teams compete against each other while singing a duet. I LOVE this version of "Perfect" by Niki Dawson and Vicci Martinez, who are on Ce Lo's team. I love this version because the two girls sing with so much conviction and feeling.

This week has been so much fun. It was perfect timing to come out here when I did. I really needed a break from life. Andrea and I flew in on Wednesday afternoon. We spent most the day lounging around while Nicole was at work and Glen was studying for his last final of the semester for law school. On Thursday Nicole was again off to work and Glen was studying again....Andrea and I woke up to a GIANT storm. I've heard of these southern storms, but never experienced one. Because of the weather we stayed inside all day and I started a project I'd bought stuff for the night before. Here's what I made:

On Friday Andrea and I laid out by the pool and got some sun. That night we went to some old antique shops and went to dinner at a delicious place called Homeslice Pizza. SO good. We spent Saturday shopping all day (loved!!!), went to a wedding reception, and then went to dinner, surrounded by live country music, cowboy boots, and beer. Haha :) It was great. I really love it here! It's been fun to see new things and be with my family. Nicole and I did NOT get along growing up...but as we've grown older we've gotten along much better and I really look up to her. She's been in my shoes before as far as where I'm at in life right now, so it's nice to have someone who can relate to me. She's also recently mastered many domestic skills, which has given us a LOT more to have in common because I've always been really girly and have always loved baking, sewing, clothes, etc. If you would like to see fun pictures of these fun adventures, go look here :).

If you haven't gone to look at that song link that I posted at the top yet, go do it :). I hope you love it as much as I do. I love the message of the song, too. There are many, many times when I feel totally inadequate, so it's nice to have a reminder that I'm not (as cheesy as it may sound that I listen to songs to feel motivated and inspired, it's sometimes true). Recent events have sometimes tempted me with thoughts of self-doubt, given me insecurities, and have sometimes made me feel like I have too many imperfections to even be on a road towards perfection. However, I know that that's not true. I, as well as all of you, are just filled with perfect potential. I know this because we are creations of our Heavenly Father, which is perfect in and of itself. So I see us all as perfect creations with the potential to become perfect human beings. This is my hopeful inspirational thought for this post. And that's all.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Proud to be an American...

         I know that I just barely put up a post. And by just barely I don't mean it in how sometimes I'll say, "Ya, she just barely left an hour ago!". It was probably a minute ago. However, this post felt important to me, and it is very close to my heart.
         This year marks the ten-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the USA. I was ten years old.I was a fifth-grader getting ready to go to school when my mom was eating her breakfast and became devastated by the falling buildings being shown on The Today Show, which was on at our house every morning. The most prominent memory I have of that day is chaos. Chaos is the word. I remember just being confused about why everyone everywhere was SO panicked, especially all the way over here in Utah on the west coast. I didn't understand the 'attack' part of the attacks. I didn't understand who would do that or why that would happen. At first I thought it was just an accident. I learned throughout that day of the unity of our country, and of the sacrifice that was and would be made for our country by the U.S. military.
          This blog post is just a small message to share my gratitude for those who serve for our country. My Grandpa Nielsen was in the U.S. Army. My Grandpa Galan is an ex-U.S. Marine and served in Vietnam. My uncles Perry and Paul Galan are on active duty in the U.S. Army. Paul is currently deployed for a year in Afghanistan...for the second time in three years. They all have a wife and kids. My cousin Leslie's husband, Don Barrand, is an ex-Marine and was also deployed for some time during his service. A guy whom I dated, and one of my best friends, Kade Pedersen, is on active duty as a U.S. Marine.
          I have grown up hearing about, watching, and experiencing things that have to do with the military and the things that the troops do for our country. However, after recently dating someone, long distantly, who is on active duty, I have an even greater appreciation and a very small understanding of what those in the military really do for our country. So this blog post is to thank the people whom I know, as well as all those whom I don't know, and all of their loved ones, for what they do. It's amazing, and I'm so grateful for them all. I don't know how they do it, but I'm glad they do what they do. I'm very, very be an American. And that's all.

My Uncle Paul, Grandpa Galan, and Uncle Perry

My cousin-in-law Don..far right. :)

PFC Pedersen, USMC

Thank you all! :)

***I do not currently have a photo of my Grandpa Nielsen from when he was in service, but when I find one, I'll post it!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Little sunshines...

                Hello! So. This week I've been working hard to get lots done on my to-do list (which I'm not going to go into great depth about because I'm kind of anti-blog-about-everything-you-do,-eat,-and-say-every-day). During the time that I've spent by myself running all over creation, I've had a lot of time to think and observe; I've noticed a lot of "little sunshines" in my week and in my life. First, I will explain what "little sunshines" are. The summer before my senior year in high school I attended a multicultural college prep camp thing at BYU called SOAR (if you want to learn more about this, click here :) This camp is similar to EFY in that you have a counselor who leads your group. One night my counselor Stephanie shared a thought with us about looking for the "little sunshines" in our lives...AKA things you're grateful for, things that make you laugh, things that just make you smile, etc. She gave the examples of when your favorite song comes on the radio and makes you happy, when a stranger says hi, or just anything you notice that brightens your day. She gave us a little notebook to write these things down in. This idea has helped me in my life, especially when I might not have a lot going on in life and when I might get caught up in looking for huge, easy-to-spot blessings and tender mercies from the Lord. This idea has helped me to acknowledge the Lord's hand in ALL things in my life, and it reminds me that He places every little thing that brings a smile to His daughter Kelsey's face in her life because He wants me to be happy. I thought I'd share a few of these things that made me happy this week....or, my "little sunshines".

*FRIENDS. I LOVE my friends. I've been trying to get used to all of my original roommates leaving last weekend (Lauren and Holly went to Europe for a Study Abroad with BYU, and Mary went home to NM to get ready for her mission!). So, this week one of my little sunshines was one of my best friends...MACY! Although she's not technically my roommate, she may as well be. She lives right next door but basically lives at my house (and sleeps there :) We always do fun things, but this week I've been especially grateful since I'm pretty much alone at my apartment otherwise. This week Macy, our friend Bri, and I went to Zupa's for dinner then went shopping for my sister Andrea's birthday. Macy also slept over at my house multiple times in a row to keep me company :). On Saturday night we were both totally ready to go to bed when we realized we had nothing to take to our ward's "Break the Fast" event the next day, so we decided to go to the grocery store, in sweats and me with wet hair, and all. We also ran into my mom and Lydia 1am. haha :). I'm very grateful for all these fun times with my friends..and this week, I'm especially grateful for my little sunshine Macy!

(from top to bottom row...) Holly, Bri, Mary, Lauren, Me, Macy

*Temples! On Tuesday, April 26, my youngest sister Andrea turned 12. Her birthday wish was to go and do baptisms with the whole family. Lydia was out of town, so my brother Chris, my mom, Andrea, and I went to the Provo temple to do baptisms. This is the first time I've been able to go to the temple with these siblings. An extra "little sunshine" was the fact that while we waited to go in, the song "Families can be together forever", which is the song that was played outside the font area when my family and I did baptisms in the Nauvoo temple two days after my dad passed away, was playing. Chris and Andrea weren't old enough to go in four years ago when we did baptisms in Nauvoo, so they didn't know that that song had played when we had gone after my dad had died. I decided to share this story with them and it was a very neat experience. It reminded me that Heavenly Father speaks to us through many different mediums and that nothing is ever "just a coincidence :) .

Provo, Utah temple

*Last night I saw the movie I am number Four with my good friend and old roommate Alli. It was so fun to catch up with her and just have fun.

SO GOOD. go see it. PLUS...he's very nice to look at :)

*Spending time with my mom. My mom lives a different life than many other wives her age because of my dad being gone, which means I have a little bit of a different relationship with her than the relationship most girls my age have with their mothers. Her whole life is about her kids, so I've been working on doing things to make her happy. Last night we went to Cafe Rio for dinner and just talked. I decided I'm going to try to better appreciate Jane Austin books and movies...because that would make my mom happy :).

Pride & Prejudice :)

           I feel like my elementary school 5-paragraph essay training has instilled in me a need to have an ending paragraph of any sort of writing that starts with "in conclusion"...So, here it is: In conclusion, life is good. There are so many "little sunshines", which can just be the smallest things that make us happy or smile or help us to enjoy life that we don't really acknowledge as things to be grateful for. I will challenge anyone reading this to try to look for even the smallest of "sunshines" in your life, because life is full of happy little bursts of sunshine that make life beautiful.