Monday, December 31, 2012

UNC aka basketball HEAVEN


Let me preface this post with a small side note: I'm obsessed with the University of North Carolina. I'm sorry if I gush about it.

When we found out that UNLV was going to be playing North Carolina in Chapel Hill, the wheels started turning in my head on how I could convince my padre to take me. Christmas present maybe? I even requested the days off like 4 months in advance because I knew I HAD to be there. This is like a once in a lifetime thing, people. I'm sorry if you don't understand... it's weird, I know. But UNC is like the holy land of college basketball. Lucky for me, I got a free flight from being my dads companion and so I didn't even have to beg or ask santa! NORTH CAROLINA BABY!

It was a super quick trip. We flew into Raleigh late Friday night. We slept in Saturday morning, had breakfast at Waffle House, and then headed to the Dean Dome for the game!
Their campus is gorgeous. Trees and hills and brick buildings everywhere... why didn't I go to school here?


 We were lucky enough to have incredible seats again! It was a great game even though we lost. Their fans are so classy and friendly!


 Of course golden child got the invite from Kori and Stefan so we met up with them at the game. I really do love them.
 The coolest thing about UNC is their legacy. Like look at all those retired jerseys... insane! When Michael freaking Jordan is an alumnus, you know your school is amaze. And during all timeouts, they just showed videos of all their accomplishments and their crazy list of alumni in the NBA... it was so rad. Did I mention I'm obsessed?
After the game we went in search of some good Carolina barbeque. We randomly found this little hole in the wall- if you can't tell, it's called Hog Heaven! How perfect! Their pulled pork sandwich was to die for and we overdosed on hush puppies. It was the perfect way to end the day!

We flew back early sunday morning. It was a really long trip for such a short time, but I would do it again and again and again. Going to a game at UNC was a bucket list thing for me and it couldn't have been a better experience. 

Now I'm off to paint my life Carolina blue.

Portlandia

Since I still work at Nike (who ever thought I would still be there 2 years later... cray) I have access to the Employee Store in Portland, which is pretty much Nike heaven and everything is 50% off and there's no sales tax. It was a heavenly coincidence that the Rebels were playing a game in Portland in early December, so my dad put me on his southwest companion pass and we went to go do some christmas shopping and see our best boys! Of course the golden child got to come along because really, what doesn't Jessica get to do? I love going to random places and exploring. I had one short stint in Portland with Court (relive it here), but that was literally only 12 hours. This time we were there for 2 days, and it was SUPER fun and jam packed!

 First stop: Employee Store. Packed and heavenly and overwhelming. Nike Santa was oh so good to the Leavitt family this year! And I got to see one of my fav former coworkers that moved here. It was so cool and if you ever get the chance to go, you HAVE to do it!
Next was Voodoo Donuts aka the absolute hands-down most incredible donut of all time. And I really know my donuts, trust. Like I can't even describe the amazingness of these donuts, they are so light and fluffy and sugary and just everything a donut should be. It's no wonder everyone RAVES about this place! Please please please go there and bring me back 18 boxes when you return.

It obviously always rains in Portland but it was pouring the whole time we were there, so at this point my hair died. Don't feel bad for me tho because I didn't bring a jacket with a hood so it was totes my fault. Just don't judge my appearance, thanks xoxo

 Working for men's basketball will also get you fabulous seats at away games... one of the perks of the world's best job! We played awful but came out with a W, which is really all that matters.

We loved Portland!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

hair-volution

Time to check in with the blog since I'm awful at writing in my journal. Not that this post has anything to do with anything.
I really just want to express how sick I am of my hair. 
But first, lets go through a short history of my hair issues.

High school = my stubborn curls that I had somehow wrangled into looking somewhat presentable. All you people who say you wish you had curly hair: trust me, you don't want it. Such a pain.

Senior year it went through a huge growth spurt, which I loved. I miss my long hair so so so much. (Also can we have a moment of silence for how skinny I was? Why oh why do we take these things for granted?)

After my freshman year of college, something possessed me to chop it all off. Looking back, I think it was Satan himself. I liked it for like a month. You know how people say to live life with no regrets? I'm pretty sure that's impossible, because this cut is one of the many things I regret over the years! For the record, I think regret is healthy. Moving on...

It's been 5 years and my hair has only grown a little past my shoulders. So. Frustrating. I've been so afraid to do anything to it other than the tiniest little trim, because I'm still scarred. I did experiment with this reddish-golden blonde color last year, which I loved...
...but last week when I said I wanted to try it again, my family admitted they hated it. Like my dad literally said to never do it again hahaha. 

And somehow in the midst of all this, my curls have gone pretty and manageable to a mess of weird, voluminous kinks and a cloud of frizz. Who woulda thought I would miss that crazy mess I had in high school? Now I'm forced to straighten it everyday, which is such a time suck. Not to mention heat damage up the wazoo.

So what's a girl to do? I love being blonde and it's pretty much my identity. I don't want to go dark, but I'm so so so tired of going back to the salon and getting the same boring thing every time. HELP ME. 
I came across this picture of Blake Lively the other day (she's such a goddess) and I kind of love this strawberry blonde thing she had going on... but I'm now terrified that I'll look awful, thanks to my family's recent disclosure.

Should I take the leap? I hear strawberry blondes have more fun...

Monday, November 12, 2012

on being patient.

I don't consider myself to be a very patient person.
Usually when I want something, I WANT it. Like, right then, in that moment.
However, I always need things to look forward to. It helps me get through the days. Sometimes patience is a good thing, because it gives you those little butterflies of excitement when something big is happening.
So here's a list of things I'm looking forward to, some tiny things and some huge things.

-Rebel Basketball season (its here!)
-My sister coming home for thanksgiving
-Thanksgiving in general
-Watching one tree hill before bed tonight
-The new One Direction album (I'm 6 years old, you guys.)
-Celebrating my Sammy's birthday this weekend!
-Going to Portland in December
-Making more new friends in my ward (I'm trying REAL hard)
-Finishing the Book of Mormon
-Going to North Carolina in December to watch UNLV vs UNC!!!!!
-Christmas decorations and music
-Seeing this cute boy at school tomorrow
-Wearing my cute new clothes I got at the Gap friends and family sale this weekend (Thanks Ally!)
-Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
-Playing bingo with my friends again

That's a pretty good list. I have a lot to look forward to.
But mostly I'm really really REALLY looking forward to going here someday.
Heavenly Father's timing is so personal, isn't it? I've been thinking about that a lot lately. And trying to be patient.

Friday, October 26, 2012

insta-life 3.

In (semi)recent news:

Elder Yase sent us a package full of Olympic goodies! Some One Direction dolls snuck in there as well... wonder who those are for?

I did baptisms with my home ward and my precious little. I felt really old but it was great to be there with Boots! She is amazing.

Played some intense card games with these crazies. Mayonnaise, hot sauce shots, and southern accents included.

Went to bingo with my little best. I LOVE her. We never win.


Saw the Fierce Five gymnastics team at the Thomas & Mack! Super fun.



Took a weekend trip up to Provo with my mom to visit the Golden Child! We got massages, pedicures, saw 2 movies, and spoiled Jessi with a costco trip. And we went on a gorgeous hike/walk. Any "hike" with a paved road is my kinda hike!


Watched the ridiculously intense Giants/Reds game 5 via gamecast at work. I've never been more unproductive!


We matched. Accidently.


I got to go visit and snuggle with precious little Harper May Mackay! She is so sweet and SO cute. Plus she opened her eyes for me, so obviously I'm the favorite! It's so fun to see Becca as a mom. She is so great with baby Harper. What a lucky little girl to have Bec and Davis as her parents!

Went to Jac's wedding, had a Tangled moment with the lanterns, and reunited with my SUU roomies! I love them SO much. Jac is beautiful and I'm so happy for her and Luke!



I may or may not bribe this wittlest guy to come hang out with me in the mornings by giving him elmo on my ipad... he snuggles right up! But really, just look at that face. I'm obsessed with this child. If only I could get him to say my name!!!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

JT + young dreams.

I discovered Nsync at age 10 after they had a concert on Disney Channel.
That was all it took. I was obsessed.
And what young girl wasn't? There was something for everyone. And for me, that something was a platinum blonde, curly haired little cutie called Justin Timberlake. 
Ahhhhhh. 
Like really? How could you resist this face?
My very first concert was Nsync when I was 11. It was at the MGM Grand and we were pretty much at the very top but it didn't matter... best.night.ever. And my crush Kyle was there with my neighbor so it was like my dream! 
I've never given up on my love for sweet JT. His solo career was incredible, and really I'm kind of torn up about the fact that he's basically given up music to pursue acting full time. LAME, justin. You can totally do both. 

Anyways, a few years ago my sister Jessica went with my dad to Justin's golf tournament here in town. Long story short, my dad tricked Justin into coming over to take a picture with them by telling him he was friends with the bball coach at Memphis where he's from (total lie, yet very effective). AND I WAS INSANELY JEALOUS. Because I love him. And of course she's gloated about this for YEARS now.

So this year my dad was invited to play in the pro-am at the JT Shriners Invitational (and his team came in 2nd! How cool!) and he thought that maybe we could go try to catch Justin coming off the 18th hole. We headed down to the golf course and waited for a little bit for him to come. There was hardly anyone there and we waited right by the rope so we could at least catch a glimpse. 


He came off the 18th a walked right by us...

Dreamy. I was actually satisfied with this because i got to at least see him, and he was super nice. But it was a beautiful day so we decided to stick around and watch some golf for a little. I got to meet Josh Kelley, who was SO sweet. I once went to his concert with my high school crush- so I suppose this could be one of those full circle moments, no? I told him I loved his wife (Katherine Heigl) and he said he did too haha. A little bit later I totally saw her! Izzie from Greys aka my favorite tv character ever. She is SO gorgeous and tall! But we didn't talk to her because she was always with people. Exciting nonetheless.

Then we heard people start cheering and who magically appeared but the man himself!! He just came out and went along the line to everyone. He was SO nice and took his time to sign stuff and take pictures with whoever wanted. We had clubhouse passes so we actually just waited right next to him behind the rope where everyone was waiting. He's just as charming and funny as you would think... this lady in front of us gave him her jack in the box receipt to autograph and he totally called her out on it and wouldn't sign her crappy receipt haha. LOVE HIM.

And then he came to me! And I was so thrilled. I told him that our picture had to be really good because my sister took one with him a couple years ago and she always holds it over my head. He said "Let's do this" and pulled me right in close... SWOON. Have I mentioned I love him? Because I do. I LOVE JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE.
Side note- I just really wish I would've woken up and actually gotten ready that day, because this picture is going to be with me forever. Lesson learned!

10 year-old Alyssa totally would've died. 24 year-old Alyssa isn't much different.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

full circle moments

Last night I got together with my life long bff Ally.
She is wonderful. But I've said that a million times before!
It was so awesome for many reasons, some being:
a. Sometimes I feel really alone since I'm not very good at making friends, and she invited me over just when I was feeling this
b. She's hilarious and we just laugh and laugh and laugh
c. Her new little married house is SO fabulously decorated, I was in awe!
d. We played Yahtzee, such a classic
But the best thing ever about last night was that we watched her wedding video! I don't think anyone understands our true fascination with wedding videos. We used to watch her sister Jennie's probably once a week, not even exaggerating. We would search out people's wedding videos to borrow and watch. It was by far our #1 hobby, next to spying on boys in the Whiting's backyard and making tapes of us singing.
So watching Ally's own wedding video was so strange and beautiful! How did we go from watching wedding videos to starring in them (well, some of us)? It's crazy how life can come full circle in what feels like such a short time. I love these moments.

Monday, September 24, 2012

I love San Francisco, vol. 2

On to day 2! We woke up, got some bagels and caught a cab to Fisherman's Wharf for our tour (and some fresh mini donuts). My dad heard about this movie tour that shows you all the places where movies have been filmed in San Francisco while showing you the actual clip. We thought it sounded like a fun and different way to see the city, so we went for it! And guess what... it was AWESOME. I didn't really know most of the movies but it was a great way to see the entire city! We seriously covered the entire city in 3 hours. Let me show you.

At Fisherman's Wharf, we saw Alcatraz from afar and Jessica felt very riveted.



We stopped for pictures at City Hall, which is so gorgeous and looks like it belongs in Paris and not in the middle of the city!


The painted ladies! AKA Full House houses AKA my childhood. Alamo Square Park has these beauties plus a stunning view of the city. I loved it here... only need like 3-5 mil and one of these houses will be mine!






Inspiration Point. Right in the middle of a Golden Gate park and a fabulous view of the bay. I think it's safe to say we all left very inspired.




The GGB herself! Fun fact: my Grammy walked across the bridge the day it opened in 1937 when she was 12 years old, and she walked across it again on the 50th anniversary. This year is the bridge's 75th anniversary and we wish Gram was here to walk across with us!


We went to the roof of this fort at the base of the bridge and it was windy and cold and AMAZING! This moment was to die for. I love this place.

We tried to recreate our picture at the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia a few years ago here







anyone recognize this? It's the house from Mrs. Doubtfire

this beautiful wall of flowers was in front of some crazy nice house in Pacific Heights right across from the Mrs. Doubtfire house
We had lunch at this crazy place from Man vs. Food called Ike's Place. It was a long wait but soooo good... my only complaint is that they have no place to actually eat. But we walked to a park nearby and ate there since it was such a gorgeous day! Oh and this place is apparently in the gay neighborhood of San Fran, which we found out when we came across a group of about 30 men walking the streets literally. butt. naked. True story! Pretty awkward when you're with your dad but it was actually super funny.

Then we headed to the Giants game! Dixon chose seats on the second row in right field. It was awesome and a totally different experience than the night before! We were right behind Hunter Pence and Jessica fell in love with him.





 


They won the game and clinched their division! It was SO exciting and the coolest environment ever! All the players ran around the whole field giving high fives and celebrating and it was just the best moment. Something I'll never forget! Bring on the playoffs!








It was such a short but sweet, packed trip. I loved every minute of it! I came home so exhausted but I'm already ready to go back. Hopefully I'll see you soon, San Francisco!