Thursday, December 19, 2013

12 things that make me terribly happy.

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1. Smelling old perfume that brings back great memories
2. Long baths before bed
3. Not having to set an alarm
4. Birthday cake
5. Seat heaters in cars
6. Unexpectedly good hair days
7. Photo Booths
8. Rainy Days
9. The smell of the air when you first arrive at the beach
10. Christmas cards
11. Putting my music on shuffle and having the perfect song come on
12. My Hunter boots

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

the tall conversation.

When I meet someone new, I always expect some version of the following:

"Wow, you're really tall."

Yes, it's true. I am quite blessed in the height department, which usually happens when you have the genetic makeup of two tall families.

No, I don't know exactly how tall I am. I always estimate somewhere in the 6-foot range, which always seems to shock people. Why that is so shocking, I will never know.

And don't even get me started on how many times a day I get asked if I'm a basketball player.

All of the above can be related in a post by my friend Jill, who wrote "22 Reasons Being Tall Is Wonderful". I love her writing and I'm pretty sure you'll love it too.

Especially if you're tall.

Also, what are your thoughts on dating a guy that's shorter than you? Asking for a friend.

Or maybe not.

Friday, December 6, 2013

the best times with my best guy

Don't we all wish this post was dedicated to some super sexy boy toy of mine? Surprise surprise... it's not! 

Instead it's dedicated to my sweet little Sawyer, who has been my best buddy and a huge source of happiness in these past few crazy months. Excuse me while I dump some adorable pictures right here.

We went with Grandpa to an event with the basketball team and this little baller had the time of his life! He played with all the basketball players, whom he now calls "my friends". Oh, and he has since memorized all their names and numbers and it is THE most adorable thing on the planet. This aunt couldn't be happier!

Also, he gorged himself on popcorn and m&ms. Then we went and got Luv-Its. What's aunt life for if you can't spoil them?!

 We had a little picnic in the backyard on a beautiful fall day. We popped some popcorn, laid out a beach towel and just laughed and laughed and laughed. I love how these pictures show his giggly little personality!

Buster Posey for Halloween. Be still my heart!

And of course, at the Rebel game. Whenever the fight song comes on, he will drop everything and cheer his little heart out! Just like a true Leavitt. It is quite possibly my favorite thing in the world.

(yet another) best friend's wedding

Oh, Courtney. Where do I even begin with this one? She has been such a blessing in my life, and even that is a huge understatement. She is the single most loving, caring, and genuine person I know, and I am SO incredibly lucky to call her my friend. She is one of the funniest people I know and is always up for an adventure. She is a fantastic travel buddy, which I love! Okay okay, I'll stop gushing.

Courtney married her love Eric on September 14th and pulled together the most fabulous wedding in record time! She was probably the most beautiful bride I've ever seen... she was literally radiating happiness the whole day. I wore heels and towered over the world, which, if you know me, is my ultimate sign of love. I got to be reunited with my best Little J, which topped off a great weekend. The reception was a party that only a Wattles could pull off and I got to dance the night away with my best girls!
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THANK YOU to the new Mr. and Mrs. Thornton for including me in your celebration... I love you little love birds!

LA for the day

Two days after we got home from the beach, we turned right around and made our way to LA for the Taylor Swift concert with our favorite cousins and aunt! Yes, it's true that I already saw her this past spring in Atlanta, but the tickets to LA had been purchased before the ATL trip was planned. So it was Red Tour round 2 for me!! Me and my sisters, my mom, my aunt Janae and cousins Tiff and Sarah road tripped it that morning and arrived at LA Live a couple of hours before the concert. We had a delicious dinner and took a few quick pictures to commemorate our trip to Staples Center. The concert was amazing, duh. This time her surprise guests were Sara Bareilles to sing "Brave" (which I adore) and Cher Loyd to sing "Want U Back" which I also adore. It's no secret that I'm obsessed with T Swift and her perfection so I soaked up every second! Our seats were fantastic and she was like 10 feet away from us and I swear me and Tay are soulmates. I only wish we could have stayed longer because I love LA! It was a long day, but totally worth it! I love these ladies.

GBP 2013

Let's rewind to August and live vicariously through these pictures from our annual beach trip, shall we? I promise you it will turn your cold weather blues right around!

Gram's Beach Party has been a Leavitt family tradition for many years now, and it's probably the week I look most forward to every year! You can see the posts from previous years here, here, here and here. The best part about this year was that we returned to North Coast Village after a 3 year absence and it was divine! That is our place. No more switching, unless it's to the south of France or something.

Highlights of this year:

Having the cutest little guy there to experience everything for the first time

The annual La Jolla picnic, with this year's addition of Sprinkles cupcakes. A most delightful addition if I do say so myself.

Rubys on the pier, delicious mexican food, weinerschnitzel on the beach, and everything else that attributed to my sub-par beach body. Also I had what was up there as one of the best meals of my life at Jake's in Del Mar. It's literally right on the beach and everything was SO delicious!

Having Kori and Stefan join us halfway through the week was the best treat! Poor Stefan has to put up with us but we love having them as a part of our family!

Playing Head's Up and Lucky Unders every night

The beach is just the best. There's really no other way to put it. A week of relaxation, family bonding and indulgence was so good for my soul, especially right before this hell of a semester started. I'm so grateful for this family tradition!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

hide & seek.


Oh, hey there.

It's been awhile. I'm not sure if you noticed, but I've been MIA for the past couple months. I could make up an excuse and say that I've just been soooo busy... which I have. But this absence was more than that. You see, I've been hiding.

Let me start off by saying that September was quite possibly the hardest month of my life. I dove into the semester head-first in the hopes that I would soon be done with school and able to move on with my life. A meeting with my advisor dashed those hopes when I found out that a few transfer credits didn't end up satisfying some needs and I will have to re-take some classes that I thought were way in the past. This will set me back to graduating in 2015 instead of in the near future. And I was crushed.

I felt completely defeated, disheartened and depressed. I felt like I was a huge disappointment. I felt like I wasn't really worth much at all.

Sometimes blogs become a way to show off to the world how great our life is- our how great it seems. We put up the pictures that make us look skinny and shiny and like we have it all together. But we all struggle... at least I think we all do. So when I was going through this crisis of self-worth, I just didn't have the energy to keep up with everything. I couldn't sit here and write about my life when I really wasn't feeling like myself at all.

But here's the silver lining: It's now November, and I feel like a completely different person. A completely better person. You know when they say that trials are great and you'll come out better and you're just like... sure. Whatever. Guess what? They're telling the truth! I've changed more in the past 2 months than I had in the previous 25 years.

Let me tell you what I've learned.
1. Your success doesn't determine your self-worth. You can fail a million times but you're still a child of Heavenly Father and that's literally all that matters. Everything else is just a bonus.
2. Prayer is so, so, SO, so huge. If you put your whole heart into it, it will work. I pinky promise.
3. If you compare yourself to others, you will ALWAYS feel bad about yourself. Always.
4. There's a reason they tell you to read your scriptures daily. When I do it, especially in the mornings, I notice that my day goes smoother and I feel significantly less stressed.
5. You deserve to be happy. Just because things aren't going your way doesn't mean that you can't enjoy the ride.
6. There is so much to look forward to! There will be hard times but I'd like to think that the good times will outweigh those. There's a lot of life left to live.

I still feel a lot of stress and anxiety and fear of the future, but I also feel hope, and I choose to let that outshine everything else. I'm sorry this has turned into one of those sappy posts, but it feels good to share. I'm sure nobody ever thought I was perfect (I would worry about your mental health if you did) but it's refreshing to let you know about my shortcomings. It's refreshing to not hide anymore. And I'll continue to blog and share the pictures that hopefully make me look skinny and shiny, but I'm also gonna share the things that make me human too. I hope you're okay with that.

If you're still around, thank you for reading. I promise to get back to happier posts in the very near future :)))

P.S. The quote at the top comes from this talk. I can't get enough of it.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

living while we're young

Sorry I've been a stranger. It's been a weird, stressful, exhausting, anxiety-filled month.

But that's a story for another time. 

First things first: The One Direction concert. I know you've all been DYING to hear about it. Well, there isn't much to tell except the following:
1. Harry Styles is only 19 years old and I have a terrible crush on him and I'm disgusted with myself.
2. These boys don't dance at all but they're so adorable that they can just wander around the stage while they sing and it works. Although I do miss the NSYNC-era choreography. 
3. The screaming of 15,000 teenage girls WILL effect your already-subpar hearing.
4. The best part of these concerts are all the sweet dads with their daughters
5. I was singing at the top of my lungs like I was 15 again. 

And, for the completely unnecessary photos:

Hi, secret underage boyfriend in the middle.

Hi, 5 cute boys and super cute London set behind you.

Hi, floating boys. So nice to get a closer look.

Hi, Liam looking right at my camera. I really stand out in a crowd!

Hi, Simon Cowell.

Hi, boys standing directly in front of us. We has awesome seats!

Hi, backsides.

And then we were all screamed out and celebrated with $50 frozen yogurt. Mandalay Bay scammers!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

summer breeze

The title of this post is an homage to the life-changer that was The OC. Did you hear it's the 10th anniversary of the premiere? That makes me feel old.

Also, Seth + Summer 4evs.

Although I could do a whole series of posts on why the OC will always have my heart, this is not that. This is just your average catch-up post! Are you disappointed? TOO BAD.

Remember when I went to Donny and Marie with my two besties? You guys. It was TOO fab! Donny couldn't make it because he had a very unfortunate injury to his gluteus maximus (HAHAHA sorry I'm super mature) so we were treated to older brother Merrill instead! He was glorious! And Marie... where can I ever start? Pop, country, OPERA... you name it, she can do it! But seriously. Marie slayed it. I'm now a believer.

We celebrated my Dad's birthday at El Segundo and it was delish. If there's good salsa, I'm pretty much there. Plus they had a rockin DJ who played everything from JT to MJ to the great 70s hits my parents can't get past... it was the perfect blend of worlds. I love my family! Especially this wittlest guy in his golf shirt.

I feel like this whole blog is an awkward arrangement of pointless stories peppered with a few random celebrity encounters. Guess what... nothing's changed! It's time for yet another random celebrity encounter!

This time: Zayn from One Direction. It was truly serendipitous. In case you don't know what he looks like, here he is in all his broody teenage glory!

I took Hannah and her friend Suzie to pick out a birthday present for my dad at Nike. The whole way there they were joking about how 1D was in town and how crazy it would it be if they were at the mall? Yeah right. Next thing you know we're in the golf section and Suzie says, "Hey, that guy looks like Zayn" and we all laugh. But then they look closer and... could it be?... It IS Zayn! The Gods of Teenage Hearthrobs were with us! They were so nervous so I told them I would ask for a picture. So I go over to him (keep in mind it's just him and a bodyguard, no one else even there) and ask politely if he would mind if we took a picture and...

the bodyguard said no. Not even Zayn, the bodyguard. Not even no, but "he just wants some peace and quiet". Ughhhh you guys. The sensible half of me understands that he probably can't go anywhere without being bothered and that sucks, but the protective older sister in me says DON'T GO TO A CROWDED MALL IN LAS VEGAS FOR PEACE AND QUIET YOU FOOL. That same protective older sister side also says that it would take literally 10 seconds to take a quick picture with two girls who are gigantic fans of you and whose father just paid a significant amount of money for tickets to your concert.


So we took stalker pics instead!

Oh, Zayn. If you had been nicer, I might have offered you my 40% discount. Suck on that!

This little was bursting with emotions after the encounter. Really, the girls didn't care that they didn't get a picture. They just couldn't believe they got to see a 1D member in the flesh! Tears may have been shed. Happy tears.

Stay tuned for a concert post.

The last highlight I have is that I got the literal cutest red polka dot Paige jeans from Nordstrom Rack.
Original Price: $189.
Clearance Price: $19.99 ya'll!!
That's right, a whopping 89% off!!! Praise the Rack Lord!

and that may or may not have been the highlight of my summer.

Monday, July 22, 2013

showering bebe maddux

My sweet little best Brittany is having a baby BOY! We are all so thrilled for her and her husband Trevor. Naturally, we had to celebrate! I am SO not a party planner, but me and Becca teamed up with the fabulous Baxter girls and I must say, the shower was preeeeetty fab. Perfect for our mama-to-be! Should I show off through pictures? Probs. Shout out to my favorite Little J for being the photog.

So many wonderful people helped out and brought yum salads and dips. Also, see that little diaper cake in the middle? Yeah, I made that. I can brag because it's a very rare occasion that I get my craft on.

On another note, 'diaper cake' is like the worst term ever. All the points to whoever comes up with a better name. 

What does Alyssa do for desserts? Whip up a little gourmet somethin somethin? Yeah, NO. Bundtinis from Nothing Bundt Cakes for the win!

Look at that sweet mama! Can't even tell she's prego and she's due in like 6 weeks! I strive to look like prego Brittan when I'm not even prego, that's how amazing she looks.

This may be my fav pic because Grandma is so photo bombing us and I can't get enough!

Ashton and Britt, AKA the two hottest mamas-to-be that ever lived. Their boys are gonna be FIIIINE.

Who gave baby M his first pair of J's? I'll bet you can guess. Always gotta bring the heat, even for the unborn.

I had the best time.

You guys, my heart could just burst when I'm with my best girls! These four have been my rock for so many years. We haven't all been together since Brittany's wedding 3 1/2 years ago and I think I had a permanent smile all night long. Words can't even describe my genuine love for these people. I miss them everyday!