trick or... holy cow daddy dressed up this year.

in our religion, we observe the Sabbath on Sundays, so Saturday night we celebrated Halloween.
the girls were still young enough this year that we did a "family" halloween. which basically means, we stopped by 4 grandparent, great-grandparents houses to get absolutely inundated with sweets. i have the migraine today to prove it.

anyways, the most impressive part of this year, was that daddy wanted to dress up. this was a monumental occasion so i tried to rise to it. next year, we'll have it down better.

first stop? great grandpa and grandma leavitt's.
Marion, Indiana Jones, Skunk, Alice in Wonderland, The White Rabbit
next stop up, grandma and grandpa curtis (we missed you grandpa)
yeah, my camera was blurry the entire night.
i bet you didn't know indiana jone's real job is fixing skunk slippers. well, it is.
See the skunk getting into the goods? that stink was into everything last night.
i always knew marion and indie would end up together.
i love my little stinkers. all of them.
phoebe loved the candy, and the girls loved watching the tv. i think they might be deprived.
with grandma and grandpa leavitt
we loved having uncle taylor around that night. another blurry picture. phoebe stared at him a good 2 minutes.
hope you all had a great halloween too!



note to self- if you really like flying by the seat of your pants, don't marry someone who has to have an engine and rutters.

we are here for halloween. which i'm a little confused about. it's a small town, so no one trick or treats door to door. any reason behind this????

every ward in our church used to have trunk or treats, which were fun for the kiddos. and then the "community" puts on a "free" trunk or treat where everyone and their dog comes dressed up as freddy krueger and some version of skanky "witch", "candy corn", "strawberry shortcake", "playboy bunny". you name it.  not so much a fan, even though this year the paper said it's "geared towards elementary school children". riiigghhhht.

so basically we drive 30 miles round trip trick or treating at all the relatives houses. the end. pretty lame? i think so.

am i in a bad mood today? most definitely.

but hey, on the cheerful side, this halloween is going to be 100% better than last year. because phoebe and i had the swine flu, and that suckethed from a deep bucket of crappeth.

*ps* all of a sudden i can't remember when to use then, or than. what the? yes, i am an english major. but i must emphasize it was in LITERATURE and not GRAMMAR. still not a good excuse. i don't even capitalize or punctuate anymore. lame.


using the seat of my pants to fly

an opportunity presented itself this weekend, so i'm taking it. 
wish us luck. i'll fill you in when we get back.


a little crazy rambling

i recently watched this video that i found on cardigan empire. and i agree with what the clinical dietician said, we all know that photos in media magazines, websites, tv shows and movies are all photoshopped, but do we let it sink in? do we really know that that is a false reality?  do we even know what reality looks like?

it's interesting because i was thinking about this at my zumba class last week. here i am, standing in front of dozens of women, and we are all bouncing up and down and shaking our what nots. what i loved is that when i looked in their faces, they all looked beautiful. truly happy, and truly beautiful. did it matter how old you were or what size you were or how many wrinkles or love handles you had? not in the least.

but i can guarantee that when the same women watch tv, movies or read the media magazines, or are around a very thin woman, they don't feel as beautiful as they truly are. it is never, ever enough. obviously, it seems like there is a solution to this, limit the media influences in your life if you have a problem with them. ok, solved.

but what scares me is the photoshopping being done on just your normal blog or facebook photos.  children's hair is lightened, and eyes brightened and colors softened to make everyone and everything look better, more perfect, more acceptable.  and the question is, how much is ok? how much is too much? what will the children think when they look at these photos as adults? will they know what things really looked like? the true reality? will they let it sink in that these are all "edited" to look nice. how will they know how to be happy with an un-edited life? what's going to happen when they give birth and their babies head is cone-shaped, face puffy, and cottage cheese in every crevice? because that's what all of mine have looked like. honestly.

i'm just wondering what the true culprit is- the media? photoshop? or the fact that we believe what the media and photoshop are selling? that 40 is the new 20 and pregnancy only adds 2lbs during pregnancy and melts off at birth. that our skin is flawless at all times and the grass was always green.and it's ok to "touch up" all of your photos to look better. what will it be like in 11 years, and everyone owns photoshop and every single family photo is edited? maybe none of this really matters at all. i am crazy after all.

maybe it's just me, but i know for a fact that i will NOT look like demi moore when i'm in my fifties, that i will not fit back into my jeans 2 weeks after having a baby and that most days there are brown spots on the grass.  that's the true reality. i don't have perky boobs or firm buttocks or skinny arms or bagless eyes or a perfect home. but we wish we did don't we?  maybe that's the problem? the fact that we wish things are so different instead of being content with reality. i'm not saying we should all plop on the couch and eat ding dongs all day and give up any and all forms of exercise and maintenance all together. as my dad would say, "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater". no, healthy habits are good and essential. but excessive vanity and altered perceptions of reality are bad. you get my drift? probably not, this is a pretty crazy post.

i know that i'll swith photos to black and white, and crop them to focus on one thing. but i really try to leave alone 99% our daily photos. but my annual family photo and wedding photos? yeah, all of those are edited. guilty as charged.

so i guess what i'm saying is: where is the line?
when is it ok to just let people see the real you?
when do you edit?
when do you abstain?
have you even ever thought about it?
and if so, what do you think?
or does none of this matter and you think i'm making a mountain out of a mole hill?

*ps* i wrote this post over a month ago and just had the guts to post it.


a little funny. a little scary.

lucy's teacher has been encouraging her to write. once lucy heard that any spelling she did was "perfect" she went to town. she now has a "journal" in her backpack for bus rides, and then draws and describes all kinds of funny little pictures and stories. until this one, i guess i just don't like the fact that our daily happenings are getting written down by another leavitt lady. what are we going to do? i hate competition.

"Phoebe is funny because i am making her laugh by spitting."
"Lucy, what are you doing?"-me

*ps* this really did happen and is an accurate description of my reaction. **phoebe is in a high chair.
*and yes, lucy was spitting eggs.


seen and heard

"mmm, i love rackamoleees!" -abby (we had raviolis for dinner)

"i have a really smart idea" abby to lucy while failing to find pickles outside. "what's that?" lucy asks. "let's look harder!"

"mom, can we walk our errands today?" -abby

"guess what?"-abby "what?"-me "i heard zumba is BAD for you!" -abby

"but i'm allergic to nursery!" -abby (she hasn't been wanting to go to church recently, again)

"mom! my teacher said if you can count to 9, you can count to 100. AND, I CAN COUNT TO 9!" -lucy

"heeeeeeee kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk" -phoebe ("here kitty kitty kitty kitty)

and just this morning, "ABBY! STOP BEING SO BOSSSSY!" - lucy


i think this means we are cool. WAY COOL.

so remember when i talked about ty and his esquire magazine photo shoot? well, we really didn't expect much. we thought, maybe they might put one photo in of his truck. but, considering our luck, probably not. last night during FHE we heard someone on the porch, and in walks Grandma Adams with this. THE BIG BLACK BOOK. we were a little nervous, how many pictures? how big? what? what? what?

i want to show how many and how awesome the pictures are, but my printer will NOT TURN ON. so i can't scan them, i honestly don't know if i can or not (you know copywriting laws and all). but they are SO GOOD. i mean, the coolest pictures of this truck. awesomeness. the story line has the chick in the truck pick up a really hot hitchiking model in the middle of Valley of Fire State Park, meandering around taking pictures in different suits and then checking in at the retro Overton Motel. so cool.

*forget the scanner. i just ghetto pictured them into iphoto:

now, i've always been in love this vehicle,  also known as The Ghost, The Legend, The Silver Bullet, etc. etc. etc.  It's been in his family for 3 generations, and a lot of male Leavitts have driven it.  it had a little rough and tumble while Ty was on his mission, and was picked to pieces and scrapped. Ty picked up the leftovers when we moved to Provo and put it back together with pieces of other trucks. it's not even close to being done. no paint job, no special stuff, it still needs lots of love. but i guess a really crusty truck was exactly what photographer Tim Simmons was looking for.

ty and i love that you can see the dents on the cab from its accident, and the tacky rigged sheet metal stereo covers from high school. and maybe it's not just the fact that it's a cool old truck that i love it, but maybe because a lot of our dating hours were spent in it. you know, talking about philosophy and all. he he he.  but The Ghost is immortalized forever. and it's not like all the Leavitt men needed the world's recognition to tell them what they already knew, that it is a sweet truck, but it kinda helps a little. well, at least ty is excited about it.

i'm trying to get the printer working asap so you guys can see, but you should pick up a copy of the BBB at Barnes and Noble or Borders. to support our 15 minutes of fame and all.



lucy's birthday! she wanted a cupcake cake (drats) jack o' lantern. it should have just been a pumpkin, because the jack o' lantern is SCARY. SCARY. SCARY.
the costume kids. 
ari-the 5th grader lucy-tinkerbell maddie-lady bug kaleb-ninja abby-cinderella
pretty excited to have everyone singing
blowing out the candles
 the girls' cupcakes. they are such lightweights. lucy ate almost half. 
abby licked off 70% frosting, and took a mouse bite of cake. hilarious.
it rained all night last night. 
which was fitting, because it rained all day, and all week on lucy's first day of birth.
i can't believe it's been six years. but i can, she has grown up so much these past few years. smart, kind, sharing, and sassy to boot.

we love you lucy!


sisters, sisters

we did it. we had our tri-annual sisters weekend. it had actually been four years since our last one up at our parents home in Fremont, Utah. sisters weekend means all 3 sisters, and NO KIDS.  we just got back at midnight last night. i'm posting this so soon because i missed lucy's birthday. yes, just another bid for worst mother of the year. tonight's her party and i'm trying to make it a good one. you know, to make up for being such a crappy mom.

i was so excited to run into lindsey loo from provo! in barstow! in the carl's jr parking lot! of all places. it was awesome. then when we finally made it to danna's house in sunny california! (except it was overcast the entire time)
after an hour (or more) of driving in traffic we made it to our destination. 
marina del rey and venice beach.
unfortunately our hotel was directly across the street from my favorite store (well, we have a love hate relationship). it isn't often for me as a mom of 3 kiddos to try clothes on and have them 1. fit and 2. look good. everything i tried on did that. it was such a rare occasion that i had to buy a new outfit. ahhh!
our first night we ate at a FABULOUS indian restaurant. FABULOUS.  the next day our concierge told us about this restaurant. holy time warp! i'm sure it was happening in the 70's, but not now. sarah said the clue was "great entertainment". yeah, people just don't say that anymore.
so instead of enjoying our food, we took pictures. danna had me try out red lipstick. i still don't know how i feel about it. i'm a low maintenance make-up girl, so reapplying totally turned me off. plus i look like i got into my mom's makeup for dress ups.
danna, me, sarah
the best part of the location was the marina and watching a little sailing class come into harbor. adorable! i kept wondering how much sailing lessons costs. i'm guessing a little a lot.

here's me in my new skinny jeans. yes, i did it. i bought skinny jeans! 
and ty hates them.
more overcast skies
we may, or may not, have gone to the movies two nights in a row
we definitely did try pinkberry for the first time. and, ok, it is good.

we went to the beach for a few hours, where i realized i had left my camera at the restaurant. this is my face after finding it, unstollen and all.
the best part of the trip? seeing danna's boys. we only saw dj for a little bit, but we got to spend a few hours with tyler and spencer at the park and their home. it was the best time i've ever had with spence. ever. 
tyler and spencer both have low-functioning autism.
me and spence eating in and out.

tyler enjoying his drink alone. danna got way beter pictures of this trip then i did. hint hint danna.

it was a really great trip filled with hundreds of new inside jokes for us to chuckle about. the best ones? i'm thinking sarah's co-ed laundry basket suitcase and debating on just how hot shia labeouf is. decision? HOTT. yes, two T's.

the break was MUCH needed. but after the first 4 hours of freedom from the kids i had no idea what to do with myself. i drove my sisters crazy walking around in circles and trying to micro-manage everything. it's hard having a 24 hr, 365 days a year job for 6 years and then trying to take a vacation from it. almost impossible to turn my brain off. i guess i should be worried if it was EASY for me to leave my kids and not worry abou them. right? right.


i guess we're morning people

monday through friday, between the hours of  7-8am, we are bouncing around getting ready for school. but this morning, it started at 6:20am. "how long till school?" lucy blurts. "when does the bus come?" "i'm going to go get dressed". "i'm going to brush my teeth."  "i'm going to feed the cats". she disappears. she reappears, "now i'm going to go water the flowers". disappears again.

i looked at my niece sydney and said, "yeah, she's a morning person". we both just laughed.

and yesterday we all had our hair done AND were dressed for when the bus came. 
what a perfect time to take pictures no?







biped bound

 with no encouragement whatsoever,
it took phoebe 12 months and two weeks to pull up onto two feet.
now walking's around the corner. darn it.


marital bliss?

i once heard that the more you talk about how great your marriage and love life are, the greater chance there is that it is struggling. which is why i probably don't talk about "us" very much.

one of my college professors told our class one day that you aren't always "in love" every day with your spouse. what the? talk about making an entire classroom full of mormon girls pass out from shock. how could he burst that bubble? but the point was: marry your friend. someone you really, really like and admire. because on the days you don't love them, it helps to still like them. did that make sense? probably not. 

i'd say we are just like every other couple, but i don't know what every other couple is like. i do know at our wedding i must have had a funny look on my face when almost every 3rd person said, "just wait, after your honeymoon, you'll wake up and not even know the person lying next to you."  first of all, is that advice? or a misery loves company kind of thing? secondly, every morning after our honeymoon i would barely open my eyes and squint at ty, worrying that the prophetic advice was true. but nothing was different. i don't know if it's because we dated for 5 years before we wed, or because i'm much more of a realist then a romantic. but we both knew exactly what the other person was like, and guess what? things never changed, and we didn't expect them too either. maybe that's the trick?

now, we're a far cry from being a "great" couple, and can't pass out marital advice like candy. 7 1/2 years is nothing.  we argue about the same things we did since day one of marriage: money, family, time. i drive him crazy with my excessive talking and over-critical assesment of anything i've ever done, cooked, given away or accomplished.  and he continues to be a man, which means he could care less about what i wear, what someone said, what my/his feelings are, or what color scheme we should do in the living room.

on our healhty marriage? hahahaha. we are happy, but i don't know if healthy is the word?  i mainly attribute a lot to my mom's advice. my mom always taught me to never say anything you don't mean in an argument. no threats, no shouts, no put downs. because you can't take them back.  i'm sure i remember saying in my head,  "if you spend one more minute on that truck i'm leaving you!". but i don't say it out loud.  nope nope nope.  i try to steer away from nagging (well, as well as any woman can) and using intimacy as a weapon to get him to do things or stop doing things that i want or don't want him to do. so far it's been succesful. intimacy is a completely neutral aspect of our marriage. wink wink.

but we've been lucky. the good times have enormously outnumbered the hard. we have 3 great kids. we still enjoy spending alone time together. we still take care of each other. every year we are happier then the former, which makes me excited for our 50th wedding anniversary. and just when i feel things are good, he'll say something that makes me think, "really? you said that knowing it would throw me into a fit of fury?".  he's learned in our marriage to answer questions about if my butt looks fat? is the house too messy? are the kids horrible? with a NO, NO and NO. he's pretty smart that one.

i know he still loves me because this morning he got phoebe out of bed in the morning and shut my door so i could sleep in till 8. 8 AM!  what a stud.

so yes, we are happy. and no, it's not easy. marriage is a lot of work in my opinion, so i'm glad i married my best friend.

holy crap, we'll probably get divorced now that i've written this.


my first q & a

i'm sitting here laughing that people actually want to know things about me-mostly because i'm suprised I HAVEN'T ALREADY WRITTEN ABOUT IT.  so here's me, pretending to be dooce with a gajillion followers with nothing better to do but wonder what cleaning product she uses in her bathroom.

the first question i was asked was about my running. i probably don't write about my running anymore because, well, it's not happening.  i still love running, i still want to run every day, i still want to run a marathon, and THIS ragnar someday (any takers?). but not now.

why not, you ask?

during my last pregnancy i had to abruptly cut out running to avoid more complications.  i had previously run/jogged/shuffled through my two other pregnancies. the "no running" bomb literally wiped me out emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually. i know, weird right?  i went straight to dairy queen and ordered 5 peanut buster parfaits to make everything better.

seriously though, when i consistently run i am addicted to it. i love getting out there all by myself every day. ty loves it also- not because i'm out of the house (ok, maybe that) but because i am such a happier person, wife, mother, friend the entire day.

since we've moved here i've run 4 times. TOTAL. i blame it on the heat, the fact that ty leaves for work at an unsightly morning hour, blah blah blah blah. but then i starting thinking that even after i ran my 5k in may, i had no motivation to run anymore. and i couldn't get why?  but then i realized, i would rather pursue other forms of exercise right now, then to avoid losing the privilige of running again once i'm into it. it still really bothers me when i see pregnant women running. like, a lot. this article in runner's world  had me in tears.  i know this problem of mine is completely insignificant, but it obviously still irritates me to no end that i have such a visible weakness. there, i said it.

translation? i don't want to get seriously into running again till i'm done having kids. or at least until i can handle taking a 9 month break every so often.  and no, this not an announcement.

next q & a coming soon.


here's a thought

i'm completely out of blogging mojo these days.

so i had an idea: see that button on the left of the screen with the little voice box that says "me"? well, you can click on it and ask an anonymous question. for the next week i'll be randomly answering questions or blogging topics that you have any interest in whatsoever.

but i barely have time to look at anyone else's blog, so i'll be suprised if anyone actually does this. suprised, but relieved also. i'm tired of writing tons of posts and just saving them as "drafts".

and the picture of the day? i was so stoked to fit into one of my favorite day dresses that i had to immortalize it. yes, it's that BIG of a deal to me. phoebe did one heck of a number on my bod. what don't believe me? well then show me the stretch marks on your calves too. yes, you heard me.
STRETCH MARKS ON MY CALVES.  oh ty's gonna love to read this post.
*and is it just me, or do i not have a face profile like a witch when i'm not smiling? yikes.


status check

#1. i love living here. i feel like i'm starting to fit in like a well worn glove. and if you know how gloves get worn in, then you know that it takes a lot beating to get things soft and comfortable. no, ty doesn't beat me, but this weather does. and it's working. i know that just when i'm about to throw my hands up and say, "that's it! i give up! i'm moving to antarctica!" the weather will cool to a crisp 60 degrees for 5 months and i'll kiss my thermometer reader in the car every day.

#2. zumba is taking over my life. first of all, i hate the word 'zumba'. really, truly. but i love the exercise. i love being there with all those women. i totally feed off of their energy and i love it. i come home completely exhausted, sweaty, and happy. my arms and glutes and abs are sore. i love feeling sore. the girls as of today, hate zumba. they hate the music, when i start dancing, when i play it in the car. i now have resorted to practicing zumba from 6-7am until they awake, and late at night.

#3. i have terrible doubts about my mothering capabilities. does this happen to every mom? the older the get the more i realize i have absolutely no clue as to what i am doing. ever hear the phrase, 'on a wing and a prayer'? yup, that's me. after all the parenting books i have read and have yet to read, the great spiritual inspiration, talks, advice, experience, i still feel like my nose is barely skimming the surface. i look at other moms and just laugh. i have 3 children, my oldest just started her first extracurricular activity and i'm swamped. i feel like a chauffeur, and this is just the beginning. i know those mom's with more kids and more years and more experience chuckle when i say i'm busy. just as i chuckle when i hear a new mom complain about a busy "schedule". pshaw! but truth be told, it is all relative. i truly felt this busy and stressed when lucy was just a wee babe and abby was a bun in my oven.

#4. abby misses her house in provo. last week we went to costco and her eyes lit up at just the sight of the parking lot. "oh mom! just like at our old house!" she gasped. her eyes were starry the entire shopping trip. we did our regular route just to please her, bread, produce, paper products, dairy, cooking and canned goods, snacks, check out. she really enjoys costco, and i agree. costco is the only store i really miss. if there is a store in Heaven, i'm quite certain it's a costco franchise.

#5. we are overwhelmed with house renovation projects and phoebe at the same time. she is crawling all over so the need to finish things went from, "sometime" to "immediately". call us crazy, but we don't really want her eating a finishing nail or asbestos paint anytime soon. so, solution? my niece sydney moved in for the next few weeks. holla! i've always thought people with nannys were filthy rich, so i'm going to pretend like i'm filthy rich with a nanny. now i just need to move to park avenue. the girls are in heaven and we are actually getting things DONE around here : )
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