Monday, December 30, 2013

Ring It In

The New Year is not far away, and everyone is rushing to make New Years Eve plans or make their resolutions. Ciara on the other hand is not doing either. I already have plans set in stone. Resolutions? What is the point. The overall goal of them is to become a better person, which we should strive to do everyday anyways. I am just going to continue making everyday an opportunity for growth. 
I really like how Facebook has that option that shows you your year in review, basically the statuses and pictures that got you the most likes and such. When I saw my year in review I was amazed by all the awesome things I accomplished and experienced. It made me think, dang 2013 really was a great year. My Aunt Tammy passing away was the only exception. As big as that was for me, 2013 was still awesome. Come on, I graduated high school this year and started my so called "adult" life. It is crazy to think all that has happened in just 12 months! 
What do I hope to get out of 2014? I hope that my friendships continue to flourish and that the thirst will always be there. I hope to make new friends. I hope to make the Shimmer Sparkle Shine Project continue to grow and spread its message. I hope to get those butterflies in my stomach. 
What do you want to get out of 2014? You can only get what you put in. 
Keep it Thirsty 
With Love,
Ciara Ann 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Tis the Season with Mariah Carey

There is no better way to describe my feelings about the Christmas Season than with Mariah Carey's Christmas song. In case you live in a rock and haven't heard the song, here you go!

All I want for Christmas is my family. It was hard not being home for the holiday season. One of my favorite things is taking Sunday naps on the couch in the living room with Christmas music playing, the family tree lit, and with my mom cooking in the kitchen. I didn't get to experience that, but I made it home just in time for Christmas! I already knew I loved being with my family but being at school made me appreciate them so much more! 
On Christmas Eve I always spend the first half with my Uncle Jason (my dad's side). Sometimes my other family from that side is there, and for the past few years my dad's other brother, Uncle Steve, was there. I also got to see my cousin. It is always great to spend time with them because, us Neills, have a type of humor that only other Neills can appreciate. I eventually came home to enjoy the Christmas Eve gathering at my home. Tradition has been made that the Nemnich side of the family comes over for our festive celebration. My house is on the smaller end of the scale, therefore on Christmas Eve my house is FILLED. Despite the two cousins, who are on missions, not being there I still had a great time. I really enjoy seeing my niece. She is just too cute and my mommy sense start to tingle. 
Christmas morning starts off with just my household (mom, Doug, Uncle Byron, and I). We do stockings and open the gifts we exchange between one another. We don't even get out of our PJs, so we all look pretty ratchet every year. After all that we normally relax, help mom with some last minute food prep before the family comes over. We always have the Solis family with us, along with my step siblings, and of course my niece! I have personally made it my responsibility to be her personal paparazzi. 
With all this fun, there was still one person on my mind, who couldn't join us. While opening my household Christmas gifts I opened up this ornament from my mom. It holds so much meaning to me.  My Aunt Tammy was filled with just as much holiday spirit as my mom and I. She was always wearing Christmas colors this time of year, accompanied with some Christmas brooch. Anyways, back to the ornament. Every year since I was born my Aunt Tammy gave me a Precious Moments Ornament for one of my Christmas gifts. Her big thing was that it had to have the year on it. Last year she said this Christmas (2013) would be the last year I got my Precious Moments ornament since I was an adult now. Needless to say, her giving it to me wasn't going to happen this year. I was delighted and struck with a mixture of grief and remembrance of my Aunt when I got my "last" ornament from my Mom. We found it very ironic that this year the ornament with the year on it was an angel. I don't think her passing will get any easier anytime soon, but one day I can enjoy an eternity of Christmases with her. 
Don't take your family for granted, and the time you have with them. The love of Christ lives within our family. 
Happy Holidays!
With Love,
Ciara Ann

Monday, December 23, 2013

One Down

I have finished my first semester of college. I think I learned a lot about myself and other stuff in general. I thought I would share these things with you!

  • I do best when I am super busy. I had a really open schedule and that gives me more time to procrastinate, so next semester I have a way busier schedule. I was trained to function on no down time... thanks IB!
  • I am more domestic than I thought. It takes a lot of planning, which takes practice. I am getting there though.
  • I thrive off of social activity. If I don't have plans than I get sad. In order to make plans I really need to get out of my comfort zone.
  • I seem to be more productive at night time, which I think is the case because everyone else is in bed and I pretty much have the whole apartment to myself. I think even with my social tendencies, I appreciate quiet moments way more than I thought. 
  • I work best with clean environments. At home I had my mom to always keep things clean. At college I had to do that for myself. Luckily I had SUPER clean roommates, but if it wasn't for their efforts and the little stuff I did I don't think I would have felt nearly as comfortable in my own home. 
It is no secret that I struggled a lot at first. I was so lonely, and I would wish every second that I was home. I don't know why but my surprise trip home in October did wonders. If it wouldn't have been for my Uncle paying and planning that whole trip, I don't know if I would have been able to experience the joy of BYUI afterwards. I made some awesome friends, and did some fun things with them! I dated more. I was just happier in general. I started talking to my friends from home less. This may seem like a bad thing, but it really isn't. It meant that I was more busy living in the moment and not holding on to the past.
I am glad to be home for Christmas though! Next semester shall be great. I will have my cousin with me, even in the same apartment complex! I have a nice class load, and I even took a fun class! Fashion Design and Merchandising. 
Enjoy your Christmas Season!
With Love,

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Catching Up

This seems to happen to me every holiday season when it comes to blogging. It is the time of year I want to blog the most, but it is also when I am most busy because of holiday gatherings and finals.
Here is a general update:
Life is good right now. I am content. I hate that the semester is almost over and I am just now at this point, but its okay. I think it is possibly a good sign that I haven't been blogging as much because it shows that I am actually out there, creating memories instead of living in a state of nostalgia. I have friends, and the blessing is that these include both new and old friend. You know what else also makes Rexburg seem more homey? The Shimmer Sparkle Shine Project has a workshop scheduled on my birthday. That is just pretty great in itself. Thanksgiving happened, and it gave me a chance to come home for one full week. I saw all three of my best friends, and that feeling of comfort you get with them is nothing in compassion to anything in this world. It was needed.
With Thanksgiving in the past, it was time to swing full force into the Christmas season. Mother nature is also fully aware of this because she wasted no time bringing snow to Rexburg. Apparently once it starts for the winter, the snow is just a constant. That is perfectly okay with me! I love looking out my window and seeing snow flakes gracefully landing on the sidewalk. I LOVE IT! Another thing I love about the holidays? Sparkles! Wearing sparkly jewelry and clothing is most acceptable around the holidays and winter season. Needless to say that is a just a bonus.
Of course, who could forget the holiday decorations! I am lucky to have roommates who enjoy Christmas too! Between all of our efforts we have a pretty awesome apartment. We have a tree! I brought stockings! We are leaving goodies for each other in them throughout the season! We also have cups that have enough Hersey kisses for us to have one every day till Christmas. Not going to lie, it is hard not to eat the whole cup! I am also continuing my tradition with Shae, with our advent swap! It is nice that I can carry these traditions with me!
Just remember to keep a spirit of giving in your heart, through all the rustle and bustle. Keep the thirst strong my friends!
With Love,
Ciara Ann