Monday, November 5, 2007

You Know That Comfy Chair? Find It Again.

Holy moly. I know you've heard some serious and emotion filled blog entries around here, and for the last week or so, I haven't blogged precisely for that reason. I know most of yours are light and fun and cute like Tori's and Eliza's and Kjersten's and Ashley's and Lydia's and on and on and on, and I hate that when I sit down to blog, some of the most complex and serious, or long winded and hysterical things spill out faster than I can type. My rad husband finally pointed out that...this is Alli. That's who I am. I'm complex, and serious, and long winded etc. and having been a blogger for nearly 5 years now, I should get used to the fact that I'm this way.
So anyway...yesterday our fast and testimony meeting was one of those that just could not have been choreographed any better. We had one of our sweet elderly ladies get up and talk about her 93rd birthday this week. She's originally from a tiny town just outside London, and listening to her read a Target receipt sounds cool, let alone hearing her share her deep testimony. She was so grateful for everything she has, and all she could do was praise everyone in her life for the tiny things they do for her.

Then we had a young man get up who just turned his papers in for his mission. His was sweet and short, and all the girls in the congregation swooned, including mine. After he got up and the obligatory 234 little ones bore the exact same testimony (which I find charming and brave), a few of our older gentlemen and a couple of women got up.
The reason I'm listing who got up is because, the running theme for the afternoon was that every one of them touched on two points.

  1. Trials and the hardships that follow
  2. Being Greatful
One lady got up who has the same kind of tumor on her arm as I do. She talked about how she was scared when they found out it needed to be biopsied and how she didn't get out of bed for a few weeks. She has children, and a husband who were worried about her, and they didn't know what to do for her. She finally told her husband that she was fine if they had to cut off her arm, but what if they had to cut off both of her arms? Her husband took her aside and told her that either way, she was loved. This helped her to get out of bed eventually, and return to her life.
Another lady spoke about how through her pregnancy, she's had hardships that have caused her to feel like she's been forgotten by the Lord. She's still dealing with that, but she was very greatful to her husband, and sisters and parents and her kids for making it possible for her to quit her job and deal with her depression.

So what does this have to do with me? Well, I'd first advise all of you who are prone to eye rolling and quick dismissal of emotions to skip to this site for the rest of this entry, because I'm writing this more for me and my health than any other reason. Anyway.

Last week at the temple, I found myself thinking about my situation. I went there to do some thinking, and inevitably ended up doing about 3 whole hours of it. There were specific topics I'd gone to ponder and to hopefully get answers to, and when my bishop walked out, from out of nowhere, I realized that I'd just been given answer #1 to my biggest question. "Who should I counsel with?"

Let me backtrack a bit, and it might explain why I was asking this question. About 4 years ago, I was separated...and secretly so. I didn't want my parents or anybody to know that for the last 2 years, my (ex)husband and I had been not only sleeping in different bedrooms, but on different floors of our house. I have this issue with hiding my spirituality from my family. Part of it is because I don't think they think I'm spiritual. Part of it stems from the fact that when I've received a prompting from the Lord, or when I'm receiving an answer to prayers in the past...the answer will often differ from what my advice is from friends or family. I inevitably and almost always choose what the family member or friend has offered me as advice, because there is this guilt that hangs over me from years ago when was 14 and I made my own decisions and they turned out to be bad ones. These events and choices I made when I was Tiffany's age still haunt me, and are still brought up in my life. When my sweet Tiffany had her issues with school a few months ago, I was hesitant to bring it up, and as a matter of fact, after Michael and I had conferred with our bishop and the administration of the school for about 2 weeks, we finally mentioned it to our family. And the words that I was afraid to hear, the ones that remind me that I'm still going to relive every mistake I made nearly 20 years ago, came out.

I've had the best bishops over the years, one particularly in Washington State who saw everything that was really happening, and he helped me work through a lot of those, and he got me to a point in my life where I could get brave enough, where I could love myself enough, where I could see that the LORD had forgotten what I'd done, and he'd forgiven me. This empowered me to slowly but surely get back on my feet and take the necessary steps to get out of a toxic marriage. Quietly and on my own, I did this. I got depressed through all of it, yes. I was struggling with it every second of the day. But, there's not one part of me that regrets it.
The point of this is that I went through that, took those steps because I received the answer from the Lord, and through prayer and faith and counsel from my bishop, I made a decision that was based on MY personal revelation. Through a lot of prayer, I receive revelation for myself and my family, and Michael does as well. I have a little IKEA pillow next to my bed with two big dents in it from my big fat knees that proves it.

In the temple last week, I was pondering all of these things. I thought about how my past still affects my relationships with family members, I thought about how my decisions since then seem poor by others and then it hit me like, pardon the cliché, a ton of bricks. I have been making my decisions based on who I will disappoint instead of making the ones the spirit whispers into my ear.

I can't tell Tiffany what to do with her life, nor can I understand where the Lord wants her. I can just love her, and let her know that because I have made mistakes in the past, I know what she feels. I know without her saying a word, that the guilt she feels for making a few poor choices far outweighs the pain it caused me. I understand that the Lord speaks to her even when I don't think he does, and when she comes downstairs after being in her room, there's no way for me to know if she's been in there feeling bad for herself, or if she's been on her knees asking for forgiveness. I can just love her and til the day she dies, and if the Lord forgives her, then I must as well.

We learn through trial and error, and if anyone has learned over the years about trials and errors, it's me. The message that I came away from the temple last week is that I am good. I was at the temple for heavens sake! I have 5 kids who want to spend every second with me, I have a 15 year old daughter who responded amazingly to my drowning of love and forgiveness, and I have a husband who loves me and is my best friend. This doesn't happen by accident.

Believe it or not, the Lord speaks to me. He always has. On those dark nights in the desert 20 years ago, He spoke to me. When I was strong enough to ask for forgiveness when I was 20 years old...He forgave me. All these years since then, 14 to be exact, He has spoken to me and loved me and forgotten. Lots of things were whispered into my heart last week, and one that will always stick with me is that He has forgotten.

Who I am right now, is not who I was then. If anything, I am who I am now because of where I've been. Instead of seeing me as the one who rebelled, see me as one who has climbed Mt. Everest. See me as the one who has run a marathon, just to turn around and run back to the starting line again. See me as whatever you want, but don't see me anymore as who I was then. I haven't been her for almost 20 years. My life has been colorful, and exciting, and painful, and experiential...surreal and spiritual and tearful and sweet. You can't know what it's been like, but just stop right now, don't look at one dot on the timeline of my life...look at where I am now. I don't look at the teenage years as one part, then my marriage and divorce from Joe as another part, I look at it as a huge process of learning how to make decisions for myself based not on what others have told me to do, but on what the Lord wants me to do.

Divorcing Joe was NOT what everyone wanted me to do but it was what the Lord wanted for me and the kids...and when I made that choice, I did it gritting my teeth knowing that I would disappoint everyone who was giving me advice...but I did it anyway. That was the best decision I have ever made, and from that moment on, I can't look back. I see my entire process from age 14 to age 32 as one huge lesson in following the spirit. My bishop, Michael and I are the only ones who can receive revelation for our family. So if we're making a decision that seems on the outside as wrong to others, I hope you understand that just because we're very private about our spiritual lives, that doesn't mean we don't have one. We have testimonies, and we are prayerful and we scour our scriptures, and we re-read the talks from conference, we confer with the Lord through our bishop, and we attend the temple.

Our kids are blessed with extended families on my side and on Michael's. We spent the day with Mike's sister and parents on Saturday, and those kids will someday realize how lucky they are to have everyone that they have. We had so much fun with Eliza and Curtis and the kids, and when we went to Susan and Pauls, it lightened our burden to be accepted and loved as equally as the rest of the people there. We're so very blessed.

Ok now breathe. If you've come this far, we're almost done. Now a few updates, and light ones at that.

I've been spending about 20 hours per day getting this business up and running. I took what was a little more than a hobby and in the last 3 months, have turned it into a full grown career. Those of you who have been brave enough to call me every day know this, and to the ones who have spent hours with me helping me out...thank you. You guys never comment (get blogger accounts dangit!) but I know you're there because you mock my entries...jerks. Anyway, my calendar is filling up like crazy, and every weekend from now til Christmas is almost full, not to mention the holidays and during the week. I love what I'm doing. When I got layed off at my last job, I felt like it was over. I was done for. I was so scared, but faith people...faith pulled me through. I was told by some to get a night job, and when I'd go talk to my bishop and mention it he'd shake his head no slowly as if to say "No no no!" like if I were a 2 year old. He has been so instrumental in all of this. So...hard work, time and faith have payed off, and because I listened to the bishop, my husband and most importantly, the Lord, I made the right choices and stayed here to work at night to get this rolling. In 2 weeks, the girls from the ward have sold individual portrait sessions and I'll be taking them with all the proceeds going to the girls for girls camp, and I'm also doing a special project with our primary, which I can't mention details...some of you are parents of my primary kids and I don't want to give the secret away ;) It seems like when I donate my time and talents to the church, I am blessed 10 fold almost immediately. Easy trade off, I'd say!

Anyway, we're still pushing forward, and Mike is working for another month at his job. The kids are doing so well, the boys love school and friends, and they're competing to see who can get all A's and E's on their report card. Casey think's he'll win like he did last year, but Jonah is trying to keep his E's up, since he gets S's sometimes for chatting with the girls in class... such a flirt. Kenzie has turned into such a reader. The Twilight Series changed her life, as Ashley would say. She's doing really well, and her social life in our neighborhood is so rich, and I have the housefull of teenagers to prove it. Tiffany has been working really hard on her Young Women's medallion (sung like Son's Of Provo/Everclean) and that reminds me, I need to get off of here and go help her get a project done for Y.W. in Excellence next week!

I'm singing in a regional choir for Christmas and taking pictures by the thousands. Mike is hoping his temple date is around Christmas...they keep pushing it back because our Temple Class teacher moved and they started late. Anyway, he's enjoying doing baptisms for the dead, and he and his home teaching companion are having a Thanksgiving Dinner for their families on the 12th, which should be fun. I'm having it here at our house, so AMBER!!! Call me if you have a kids table!!! If you can bring it, I'd love you forever...well I love you anyway but you know what I'm saying.

K, well heres a of what soothes my soul lately...big fat german pancakes with fresh squeezed lemon juice, real butter and powdered sugar with a side of bacon, shredded potato and onion hash...and there ain't nothin' Weight Watchersy about it! HA! ;)


46 comments:

EmDab said...

So even though I haven't met you face-to-face, and this is maybe awkward to be the first to comment on this fatty, personal post, I really look up to you. I really appreciate your openness and your ability to find peace and joy and tender mercies in spite of (or maybe because of) your crazy life. Consider yourself cyber-hugged with admiration and maybe a little bit of fangirl mixed in there.

Mandy said...

my first thought is "i wanna give you a hug!"
yesterday i wanted to drive down and see you guys. i even told taylor before church i wish you lived a little closer. we miss you guys.
you better make some room in that schedule to do our family pics missy! let me know what will work for you!
oh and one more thing...i wanna go to disneyland!

ashleyO said...

Well, it sounds like you know what's best for yourself and your family. :D and i want some hash and some dancey pictures...

Lyd said...

First, why the crap do you have Christmas crap up!? That's not allowed for another 3 weeks!! Second, I still need to read your new post.

The End.

lydibug

Lyd said...

Wow. Allz I have to say is that you are amazing. I don't know if I would ever be able to handle that kind of crap! I can't even handle school. Keep goin' strong!

shark like a fox said...

in the words of your husband:

"dang girl you is all growed up"

Carla said...

Alli, I so hear you. The power of the Atonement heals every part of our lives that we will allow it to. Temples blessings are real and remarkable in our lives and the lives of our family. Everything we do and experience makes us who we are. I am gratefull for all the rotten times, whether self inflicted or otherwise, because I could not possibly appreciate the wonderful life I have today with out them. You are amazing, woman! Thanks for sharing...love ya lots!

-KJ said...

You have knee depressions in your pillow, and I have butt depressions in my couch! Geez!
I think you know that you are loved, but sometimes it needs to be said anyway. I LOVE YOU!
Come to my house and make me some breakfast, K? Good.

Alli Fantastico said...

Em - That was really sweet of you. I'm glad you're part of this blogger world with us, and if you look around, there are lots of old friends on here who are just like sisters, and you're totally one of us girls. Thanks for your friendship, you rockin' little thing!

Mandy - I swear to you I was saying the same thing to Mike. We were going to come down on Sunday, but weren't sure if Harper had a fever or not. Call me, let's do something. Oh and um, can we just schedule a time for pics? Sunday after church is totally booked but! If you wanted to come on Saturday, I'm open. Just call me!

Ash - ;) You rock. How did I get such good sisters, seriously? You and Eliza and Mandy...could I ask for more? Nope.

Lydibug - first of all if you read my caption up there...it is NEVER too early to celebrate Christmas! Heck, I'd start celebrating in June if I didn't get craysah looks! Second, I love you and want you to hurry down to Disneyland. We have passes, so anytime you wanna fly to Ontario (totally cheap), I'll pick you up and we'll go and you stay here and we'll have Mandy meet us there. I mean it. Call me.

Sharky-Kris - Yes, my husband would say that since he's so "street". Also, you should give yourself some credit, look at where you are right now girl. Um, husband, baby, new house? Yeah, think about 4-5 years ago where you were. Exxxxxxactly. You rock.

Carla - if anyone knows what I'm talking about it's you. I'm so glad to have reconnected to you!!!!!! It makes my heart happy! I love ya too, girl.

Kj, if I had new leather couches, I'd have butt prints too. Actually, my computer chair has a pretty hefty butt print! Dang that Photoshop. So anyway, is your furniture there? I'm thinking I'll come up and live in your basement and the tradeoff will be breakfast cookin'...for you and me...the kids get cereal ;). Love you too!

Lyd said...

I read that caption after I wrote that and before I wrote the second comment! hehe It's true though. I think that I will be changin mine soon. Well, the music part anyway. :)

shauna said...

Nice blog, nice to hear that you are experiencing such wonderful experiences with the Lord. That is ALL I have ever wanted for you. Taking responsibility for your life is a big step and I know that you can do it. Good luck with your decisions and the changes you are making in your life...

It's all yours!!! It never has been mine. You and Mike are totally responsible for your choices just the same as Dad and I have been, and you will never get another word of unsolicited advice from me. THAT'S A PROMISE...

Love you.

-KJ said...

Except...Ha ha! Just kidding! Had to say it! *runs and hides*

shauna said...

No exceptions this time you little SNOT!!!!

Eliza said...

KJ at least your aunt didn't call you a little Sh*t. ;)

Taylor said...

KJ called her mom a B**ch on our Church History Tour...at a McDonalds.

shauna said...

Your memories amaze me. I guess that is how it will be when we meet the Savior...our kids will step and tell all of our sins both remembered and forgotten...

Lyd said...

hahaha And this is why I love my family.

I swear that I say that at least once a week on someones blog.

The End.

Eliza said...

just the funny stuff mom (which all of it is like the time you threw the hot dog at dad or when dad scared us to death about the aliens that were coming for the little children, or the mud man, or the purple bishop or when dad would call us blockheads (wasn't that a game?), no worries. They are all amazing and fabulous memories!

I deserved being called that by auntie sue - habing yo cah heet by ah bus is nothing joke about.

Alli Fantastico said...

All I remember in life is when Mom fell down with drinks in her hands and we were scared she was hurt but Eric Nelson was laughing himself into fits. That's all I remember. Total.

shark like a fox said...

speaking of new houses when are you moving in with me?

Alli Fantastico said...

February? Are you kicking your tenants out?

ashleyO said...

I remember when mom threw that hot dog. There was mustard on those curtains for a long time. tee hee...and i STILL have never heard the purple bishop story...Double U. Tee. Eff!

Amber Horspool said...

YES! I have a little kid table. It seats 6. It's tiny, for kids my size and smaller. I'll bring it! I'm excited for Monday!!! We're still on for pics at 2:00? I'm thinking the same place you're taking the Bloomfield's. Tell me what you think.

Amber Horspool said...

By the way, wow! you know alot of bloggers! I've never passed 7 comments on any post! You go girl!

-KJ said...

OK, jerk face auntie Shauna. I really was kidding, but I knew you would still get mad and that is why I ran and hid.
BTW, doesn't everyone have a memory of Shauna falling?
I think you are right though about our kids bringing up all to the Savior. I am beginning to experience that now. Paybacks a @#$%!
How about when my mom fell down the stairs and she had her nails painted red, and she left red streaks all the way down the wall. Did we laugh while she suffered in pain? You betcha!
Also, thanks Tay for bringing that one up. My mom and I were laughing about that the other day. Thankfully we are in a place where we can do that. I was definately a SNOT in those days! Sheesh!

shark like a fox said...

yay! we can write a million books together and support our husbands! they can just quit their jobs and take care of the kids!

Think you can run with my Crew? said...

ummmm... I lub you, and I am happy for you, my brave little toaster. Oh BTW you sooo owe me lunch now that we will not get lung poisoning from the fires ,cause I have kept track and you have canceled on me a bazillion times.. K

The Parrish Family said...

Okay,leave it to ya'll! I totally felt the spirit and then I read the comments....hello potty mouths ;)

Alli- I called you the other day but it went to Mike's voicemail? Did you get a new number? Email or call me! We need to catch up! :) I love ya girl!

shauna said...

You bratty kids make me laugh every day. KJ...you crack me up!!! I guess we did have a pretty good life, even if there were some scary and sad times too. That's what families are all about...Remember the Sunday dinners and you guys doing heaven knows what in the piano room like restaurant, or making up dances to 80's bands, or playing dress Eric up like the bride in Alli's baptism dress....I miss those times (some days) Ha Ha

-KJ said...

Me toooooo! I loved those Sunday dinners, especially in the summer because then we could have sleep overs! Poor Liza. "Mom, Liza wants to know..."

Eliza said...

You were the worst KJ. I can't believe that I never said anything when you would do that. Mom, Liza wants to know if we can have a popsicle.... I wonder if they knew what was going on?

ashleyO said...

ew i hate when kids would ask things like that Mom,____ wants to know...BLAH! Oh and about my mom falling, talk to Jackson and Riley! Even THEY have a story about my mom slipping on the ice when we went to Training Table....LOL!

Lyd said...

What I think of when I think of sleeping over at the Oblad's:

-All my money I owned
-Mousersizers
-Farting and burping
-Putting sugar in my cereal
-Running down the window hall
-Sim City
-Jumping on beds
-Clowns from Outer Space
-Watching people drive around during Christmas time
-Painting outside
-Watching tv (Saved by the Bell)
-Pickles and ice cream
-Tuna and mustard (sour burp)
-Anything and everything in the piano room
-All in all, always a good time!

shauna said...

Yes, I knew who wanted the popsicles...

...Really, we need to sit down sometime with a computer and write all of this stuff for future generations... who will say Mouserwhat? Did my greatgrandmother Shauna have a disease? Why was she always falling?...Why would my great uncle Taylor ride bicycles in the winter in his underwear?? and myriads of other anecdotes...

shauna said...

Also, I forgot to say on day One of this blog..."That is the biggest blog I have ever seen...."(said with the LISP!)

-KJ said...

We just need to use that packet my mom and Nola put together for our Nelson family reunion a few years ago. That had several great memory provoking questions. I never finished it, but I kept it so I would do it. I started the first question, and it led to so many other memories that I had to make side notes so I would remember to write those down. How fun would that be to read everyones. They would be a work in progress our entire lives.

Eliza said...

k...get that packet and lets start. We also need to get Grandma C. to talk in a tape recorder about stuff. So when is the next family reunion that I can come to...I hate that I'm missing Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Alli Fantastico said...

I'll write it all out if it is desired.

liufamily said...

I feel like an intruder,but thanks for shareing that. I think that you are brave and amazeing.

The Parrish Family said...

I just luff you guys!

Lyd said...

What packet are you talking about?!

Alli Fantastico said...

Stace! You're a cousin too, so you're never intruding.

ashleyO said...

that stace! she's so hot right now....of course she can come talk! um here's my Nelson house sleep over memory number one:

kitty kat pee smell...the end...i'll make my list tonight after my show when i have time to! perhaps i'll blog it!

boredom said...

Always Always Always Frosted Mini Wheats ans Coco Puffs.

Alli Fantastico said...

Seriously, always Coco Puffs...luckeeeeee!!!

ashleyO said...

yes to the Coco Puffs and Dixie cups for the Sparkletts cooler! oh and hot pockets in the freezer!