Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New Blog

Disneyland Updates for Last Week

The fries wagon is gone for GOOD???!?!?! :(

...but a new (and long whispered about) ARIEL RIDE! is about to get under way!

The Orange Stinger will be a Silly Symphonies swing ride, the Maliboomer is gone...

...and a sneak peek at the already decorated Disneyland Christmas Tree!!!

- Read more here -

Oh and wanna see a cool idea for your house? I'm totally doing this next year.

One last thing, if you want to see some renderings of what the DCA makeover will be like, go


That is all.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thought I'd Better Blog Before It Had Been A Month

annnnnnnnd with a Tag. You can thank ELIZA for that.

That being said (and I'll blog again later, just not this second, try tonight, or later this afternoon, ok thanks)


1. Where did you meet your husband? Online. Yep, said it, own it, proud of it.

2. How long did you date before you married?
Crap, well that's another story, but we knew eachother for 3 years, and I desperately needed him but couldn't have him for a zillion reasons and finally, one day, the legal system worked and I was free. So "real" dating, 5 months. How's that for an answer? By the way, I love this font! Eliza, where did you get it?

3. How long have you been married?
3 years last September

4. What does he do that surprises you?
Well it's more of a feeling that he induces that suprises me. I wake up every day to him smiling at me, and I feel butterflies when he calls me and when it's 30 minutes before he gets home from work every single day, I start to count the minutes. So he surprises me by proving to me what love is, and what marriage is supposed to be.

5. What is his favorite feature?
I like his hands. They are always warm and soft. (ditto Liza)

6. What is his favorite quality?
I love his sense of humor and that he is a hard worker and he is dedicated. To me, to our family, to the church. (um scary Liza, same as you AGAIN)

7. Does he have a nickname for you?

8. What is his favorite food?
He is a lover of all food, just ask him, he has no favorite. (um Mike and Curtis are different people right? Jeez Liza, we're jinxin on all of these)

9. What is his favorite sport?
Curling (click!)

10. When & where was your first kiss?
In the parking lot of the Redlands Mall. I was standing on a cement parking block so I could reach him and he gave me 100 tiny little baby kisses. I know, sick but just so "him". He's a sweet-thang.

11. What is your favorite thing to do as a couple?
We like to dvr our shows and watch them when the kids are in bed sitting in bed, or pick a themed country and rent 3-4 films from that country. Example, we loooooooooooove asian films, those crazy Japanese people know how to make a horror film, and the French do the best romance, and don't even get me started on Korean action. Crazy.

12. Do you have any children?
2 girls and 3 boys

13. Does he have any hidden talents?
He can fall asleep in 2 minutes, snore like a grizzly, and he does the best robot in the world.

14. How old is he?
31, just turned. (hellz yeah, I robbed the cradle. Go ME!)

15. Who said I love you first?
I can not remember. Stupid!

16. What is his favorite music?
He loooooooves Fiona Apple, the Fiery Furnaces, Radiohead and Autechre (his most favorite, click to get an example) (I dare you to sit through all 3:55 of that song. Seriously, I dare ya. Then you can understand what I listen to when we go anywhere in his car since this cd is STUCK IN HIS CD PLAYER FOR THE LAST 4 YEARS)

17. What do you admire most about him?
His quiet ability to take over when I get crazy, and his gentleness, and his patience with me, and his absolute ability to make me feel loved every single night before I go to sleep.

18. What is his favorite color?
I have no idea. He is an artist, and is an artist for a living, so it changes daily.

19. Will he read this?
If I tell him too.

20. Who do you tag?
, Karisa, Sarah D. (and anyone who would like to.... TAG! YOU'RE IT TOO!)

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Mike is doing extremely well! He reads all of your well wishes, and checks in for comments to lift his spirits. The planning is going well, and I'm feeling quite helpless being here, but there have been things to keep me busy that have to do with the funeral. Mike's sister is taking this the hardest, and I totally understand, I can't even think about losing my dad. Seriously, not even THINK about it. Anyway, the kids and I are making the trip on Friday, and we won't be back until Weds or Thurs. Thanks for your support, lovely comments and friendships, it means a lot to us, and even those friends of mine out there who have shown your love to Mike even if you haven't met him, I want you to know you're appreciated more than anything. We are blessed.

And now, to lighten things up, I wanted to remind you that tomorrow is the great day I've celebrated this day since it began 6 years ago, and have watched it grow to massive proportions!

Prepare yourself, use the translator and remember to TALK LIKE A PIRATE! As one great man once said "Arrrrgh, the blood of it!" - Eric Nelson circa 1980.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I got this from The Simple Woman. I thought I'd share since I'm heading in this direction in my life...

For Today...

Outside my Window...a 100 foot blue spruce that reminds me of the smell of my summers spent visiting my grandparents here in Salt Lake

I am thinking..."Have I forgotten anything I can sell?"

From the learning rooms...Jonah doing an autobiography of a dime. Don't ask.

I am thankful for...the lady from the neighborhood who stopped by today to introduce herself and bring me fresh tomatoes from her garden.

From the kitchen...grilled cheese sandwiches with swiss cheese and extra thick bakery sourdough, dipped in homemade tomato bisque. {recipe here}

I am wearing...blue pajama pants and a black tshirt

I am reading..."Duma Key"

I am hoping...for peace and quiet and a restful sleep for my sister-in-law

I am creating...a recipe in my mind that will use the huge amounts of wild spearmint growing in my backyard

I am hearing...Harper asking me to read him a story

Around the house...a bit of tidying, atleast 2 loads of laundry, dishes are done, kids are winding down

One of my favorite things...is the night time, when I can relax with Mike.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...Sell some things, fill my car with children and gas, bury my Father-in-law...

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...rocky road ice cream, fresh strawberries from the sidewalk stand down the street, whipped cream the lazy way (from a can!) and homemade pound cake. Enjoy something like this every once in a while, that's an order.

And He Lost His Dad Tonight.

At 7:30 pm, Mike's sister called to tell us that their mom came home from work and found his dad. He had passed away unexpectedly, at some point during the day. He was only 56, actually, Tuesday (tomorrow) is his birthday. Anyway, Mike didn't speak for about 2 hours after the call. I layed down next to him, and took this picture.

I love his hands.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

SWF, Lives With 6 Roomates, Cute, Loves Walks On The Beach, Is Old Enough To Go To Church Dances

Happy Birthday sweet Mackenzie

I Decided To Watch This And Not Cry...

...so perfectly determined to hold it together, I pushed play. Now, just watch this, and report back:

...aaaaaaaaaaaaand I'm a loser. Stupid lions.

(oh and incidentally, Sony Pictures is currently in negotations to buy the rights to the dudes' 1972 book "A Lion Called Christian." I saw this on The Today Show, so it's real. Isn't it so rad?)

Also if you want to see what I saw on the Today Show, go HERE and if you want to see the original piece and the entire "reunion" go HERE. (only 6 minutes long, but still amazing)

This weekend we didn't end up going to Park City, but we did go downtown to the theater that shows independent films ( we love that darn place! woot! ) and saw an english subtitled french film called Ne le dis a personne (Tell No One) . It was pheeeeeeeenomenal. I wish all movies in the US were like it, what happened to the film industry here? Seriously though. Anyway, our anniversary isn't til Wednesday, so we just hung out here with a sick baby and celebrated Mackenzie's bday! I'll do her Birthday Post later!

the end.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Mike and I are going to Park City tomorrow night for our anniversary!  Well, it's a free stay at a resort...we just need to listen to the 90 minute "tour", which I call the "Pressure Cooker".  All I do at the end of those presentations is stand up, pull my empty jeans pockets inside out and say "Sorry Mister, I ain't got no dollaz, all I gots is toothpicks n'lint"

...this usually works.

Ok so anyway, our anniversary isn't until next Wednesday, but we've had so many birthdays and stuff lately, we just decided to do it this weekend.  


also, Kathryn and Rachel and I adore THIS BLOG.  It will make you laugh til you cry.  I hope you have time to read all of the posts, and don't worry they only go back to June. 


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First Day Back To Work

Today I started working at a law firm. I hate leaving Harper (who saw me dressed to leave this morning and tried to take off my shoes so I wouldn't leave) but I know we need for me to work right now. We need to get ahead here for a while.

Also, I'm hoping this will help to remedy the Bad Reputation I seem to have with the Oblads up here. (interesting news to me...WHO KNEW?!?)

Monday, September 1, 2008

September First

Last night an expected storm rolled across the valley, and since we live high up on the East Bench, we were privy to it's every move. The lightning and thunder started first, all the kids who normally habitate the basement, tore upstairs to inform us of The LIGHTNING! and The THUNDER!!! as if we'd somehow missed it in our bedroom full of echo-ey wood floors and single paned windows.

It rained all night, and it's hailing as I type this. I love this kind of weather. It's so fitting for the mood I've been in lately. Not broody or depressed, but moreso introspective. I've been doing a personal overhaul, one I have kept private except for a couple of squeaks to my sister or cousins, although Mike is fully, and probably painfully, aware. He's sat up nights til 3 am when we both have to be up in the morning by 6, listening to me, laughing when I laugh at myself, crying when I cry at myself. There have been nights that I can't sleep until he will come over to the bed from the computer he's working at and rub my back as he tells me stories about anything. "Just talk..." That's what I say to him. And he does...about anything, everything, nothing. It works, and I can sleep again.

I'm not particularly beautiful, I'm not exceptionally talented on the violin like my sister, I'm no world traveling dancer like my other sister, I'm no lawyer like my brother, I'm not an eternally patient mother like my sister in law, I don't own a beautiful home like my sibs and cousins, I'm not the cleanest person in the world, I'm not a scriptorian like my mother, I don't complete every goal I set like my father, but here are a few things I am:

  • I'm a hopeless romantic, often thinking during the day about the second the lights are out and Mike and I can snuggle in our bed watching tv
  • I do enjoy a good laugh
  • I talk to myself often, sometimes cracking myself up
  • I invent recipes nearly every night, and then forget to write them down
  • I ignore my neighbors at the store, for some strange heartless reason
  • I rarely answer the phone during the day
  • I drive my kids to school and sports sometimes with no shoes on
  • I make my kids go into the store for me for this very reason
  • I do breathing excercises, meditate and eat ice instead of taking medication for anxiety and depression
  • My favorite bedtime treat is a huge cup of ice and my 2 favorite down pillows
  • I sometimes panic when I lose a little bit of weight because I don't have the money to buy new "skinny" clothes
  • I am so good at putting on a good face/sounding peppy on the phone to others, that it's frustrating quite often because I don't know how to tell people how I really feel
  • Mike and I talk about moving to another country/to the South/East Coast all the time
  • I was always willing to be in front of a crowd/outgoing as a child and a teenager, but now I have to force myself to go to places where there will be lots of people.
  • I love the smell of coffee
  • I sometimes love the smell of cigarettes
  • I wish I could bottle the smell of Mike's skin
  • My bedroom is our "family room". In the last 3 years, our kids have found comfort in being able to always come in our room, and it's stuck. We don't really use our family rooms, we all just gather in our bedroom.
  • I love that.
  • Until it's midnight and they won't leave.
  • I have a horrible double chin, no matter how thin I get.
  • I prefer cloudy days over sunny ones
  • I get chills when I walk into a bookstore or a cool antique shop
  • I have a fear of sleeping outside that only has surfaced over the last 3-4 years
  • I get anxious if I am awake so late that I see the sun rising
  • I adore dew on flowers
  • I like white twinkly christmas lights up somewhere in my house, at any time of year, most often in my bedroom (when we moved in here, there were already some here! that were for my Grandmother when she was still living here. She's extraordinarily old, and still very alert, so they put up some lights for her to admire. My cousin Kjersten said to take them down with an "ew!" face...but I love them secretly and would have put some up anyway if they hadn't been here)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Stranger Speaks From The Dust

My favorite etsy shop of late. (click)

My favorite new album (click)

Also, I'm counting down the days til September 19th, which is a holiday we've celebrated for the last 6 years in this family, and I have one request for you all...on the day, use THIS TOOL to "cockneyize" (or any of them for that matter) your blog, or any text, or any site for that matter, it's for fun. Feel free to try it out right now, and be prepared to giggle. This gift I give to you...enjoy.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Am Addicted To The Olympics

...but what else is new?

Ok so instead of showing clips of my favorite moments from the 2008 Beijing Oly's, I am going to show a clip of my favorite Chinese Backstreet Boys. You know how I loves my asian boys mhmm:

oh and if you're in the mood for something spectacular, here, watch "STREBLO"...because lunging really is sensational.

incidentally, I must mention:


i need a nap.

oh and i'm totally not ignoring you all, i'm just slammed with (insert any number of things that keep one psycho-busy at any given time, and then multiply that by 292893b3)

k bye

Saturday, July 12, 2008

On The Road Again

Our ox has been in the mire. Mike faithfully reported to work on Monday in Salt Lake City and my girls went to girls camp all week, so my help from them was zero. I also have a 2 year old boy full of spunk, but the incredibly gracious help from my mother in law who took Harper from Weds-Thurs morning really took some weight off, and Amber Horspool who cleaned my stove and took Harper today for me. Packing a 3300 sq foot house with 7 people's stuff in it is no easy task, but I'm almost done. I haven't slept, I haven't really eaten, but it's amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it.

We won't be posting for a while, I don't know when we'll have internet. I'd write in the morning, but I still need to get the truck loaded and find a place to put our van for a few weeks/month, and then Harper and I will be on the road for a 13 hour, non-stop, fast paced 55 mile per hour drive to Salt Lake City. I'm also so greatful to Kj and Kev for opening their home to Mike while he's up there waiting for me. Thanks guys! It means so much, you have no idea.

See ya soon °Ü°

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Most Glamourous Wedding Album Of All Time

ions Bubba and Pam! (yes, I intentionally left a space in the word Congratulations. Watch til the end to see why)

Also...getting married next to the parking lot of a Waffle House is almost as glamourous and classy as getting married next to a Home Depot...almost.

Please do enjoy the music by 98 Degrees, and make sure you have a kleenex handy for the tears that are sure to flow.

Update! The video was pulled down...too much glamour for the world.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

And On A Serious Note:

I miss my boys. The weather is warm, the breeze is still cool. I am so used to the sound of them playing in the backyard, but it's so quiet right now. They've only been gone for 4 days, but still, I count them as days that I don't get to giggle with Jonah in the morning about how crazy Harper's bed head is...or days that I don't get to snuggle with Casey while we watch Ghost Hunters re-runs. Still, I'm greatful that they're with me. I'm just greatful for my kids. Something happened lately that has caused me to really think about them, and I've come to the realization that I have really cool kids. They're good kids. They really are.

Tiff asked me tonight if Mike and I would help her financially if she gets into a bind when she moves out, or gets married or whatever. "Of course we would" I responded. She half smiled and said "even if it's lots of times? Even if I was too scared to ask you?" I nodded yes again. "I know you would" she whispered, and continued on unloading the dishwasher. I love that she has a sense of security when she thinks about us. I love that she knows that we're here for her.

There are a million things I call my "favorite" but there are 6 things I call my "treasures". They all live in my home with me. My 5 plus my sweet husband. I love that they feel comfortable in our home, and that their friends feel welcome here. We may not have the tidiest house, but we certainly have a happy one.

On Sunday, we watched a video that our bishop brought to show for our 5th Sunday combined lesson. He showed 3 ten minute talks by a couple of the general authorities and one by the prophet, and my favorite one shown was a discussion that went through the Family Proclamation line by line by Boyd K. Packer (click and you can read/watch/listen to the 10 minute talk I'm speaking about) Mike sat by my side as we listened, and when a topic we'd been discussing lately was brought up, he'd squeeze my hand, just to make sure I knew he was also listening.

We've spent a lot of time at the temple lately. There are questions we need answers to, prayers to be said, quiet thinking and pondering to be done... We are learning lessons. We are being humbled. We're learning to accept help, how to be generous with the meager things we do have. We've certainly learned the value of good friends and supportive family members, especially those family members who are not members of our faith. How lucky we are to have friends and family who listen to the promptings of the spirit, who call us to just ask if we need anything. (especially on days like TODAY when we're praying for a miracle) How lucky we are to have this:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Susan Nelson -----> Bono...ROCK!

MyHeritage: Celebrity Morph - Black and white photographs - Vintage photos

Alli -----> The Ever Annoying Celine Dion

MyHeritage: Celebrity Morph - Genealogy sites - Roots

Shauna O. -----> Meryl Streep

MyHeritage: Family tree - Genealogy - Celebrity

John Oblad -----> Tony Blair

MyHeritage: Celebrity Morph - Family reunion - Descendants

Kenzie -----> Raven Symone

MyHeritage: Celebrity Morph - Family photographs - Roots

Harper ------> Namie Amuro, Queen of Japanese Pop!

MyHeritage: Celebrity Morph - Geneology - Roots

Harper -------> Condoleezza Rice

MyHeritage: Celebrity Morph - Free genealogy - Yad Vashem research

Mike -----> Apolo Anton Ono

MyHeritage: Celebrity Morph - Geneology - Free family tree

Friday, June 27, 2008

For Rent?

As you know, we've been going through some crazy times, and Mike starts work in SLC on the 7th of July. I'm just quickly posting to see if anyone knows of any homes for rent in the Salt Lake area? If you've got family there, ask around. If you live there, ask at church or whatever. We need at least 3 bedrooms. If you want more details of how much we want to spend etc., or if you have a home you know of, email me at alli [dot] easley [at] gmail [dot] com.

Also, any of you readers live in or around Oldsmar Florida? Oh and someone comes to my blog every day by searching on Yahoo "Kristen and Shane Bloomfield"...is this you? Do I know ya? Just wondering! Stop in and comment, say hello.

Thanks y'all.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day Festivus

Yesterday was Father's Day and we woke up and went downstairs to make Mike breakfast. The boys had made really cute handprint projects and cards for him, and the girls got him some slippers and some handkerchiefs (so he can put them in his pocket to have whenever he sees an old woman weeping) and Harper got him a book about animal daddies who love their animal babies. So cute!

Anyway, we made him bacon, eggs and pancakes with fresh strawberries from the farm down the road from us, whipped cream and big chunks of Ghirardelli brownies that I'd made the night before! So good! Afterward we went to church.

Yesterday was the last sunday we'll have with our calling, the CTR 8's. It was so cute, we went into primary and they had us come up to have us all sing our favorite song as a goodbye, and Mike picked Popcorn Popping. Jonah and Casey and everyone were doing the actions and you could tell Mike was so sad, but the cutest thing ever happened on our way back to our seats with our class at the back of the room. As we walked down the aisle, some of the younger kids who we're friends with were giving us high fives or quick hugs when out of nowhere, about 10 little girls and boys in primary, some we never had in our classes, mobbed Mike and just hugged his legs so tightly. I about broke down right there. Kids just flock to him, it's like he attracts babies and children wherever we go. It was so awesome, I wish I'd have had a camera. I looked back and there he was surrounded by kids of all ages who were hugging him with their eyes closed, or looking up at him smiling and he just patted all of them on the head or back and kept saying "aw thanks guys!". He felt really loved and appreciated that day. We had a really quiet day, and we were missing my dad. We always miss my dad on Father's Day. We love that guy! Hopefully we'll get up there soon to see him.

I'm so greatful for my husband. He's truly the best thing to ever happen to me. He's such a great example, and he makes sure he spends time with each of the kids separately so they feel loved by him as an individual. He's my favorite boy. Oh and he's taking me to Disneyland today...just the 2 of us. (with Mac and Aimee too!) Lucky me!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Little Luncheon

Today we had a little luncheon to say goodbye to our good friend Aimee W.

Her husband is a doctor, and he just got a great job in Sacramento so...they're off to forget about the little people here in Yucaipa while they lounge around in their big new house while their servants dote on their every whim...

and yes I'm jealous...I want some servants!

Anyway, we had a really nice time with just a few of the girls. It was at Amber's house, and I made chicken salad with grapes, and coleslaw, and we had pie and ice cream and fruit and good conversation. I also convinced Amber to buy some grenadine and we had the cutest little shirley temples! Also, Amber made little beaded friendship bracelets, and we used them as napkin rings, and we tied a little saying onto them with ribbon...just because...

The picture above is K, proving to me that she went on a date with Kevin Costner(click!) since she's so so hot now....And yes, I'm jealous....

All in all, it was a really nice time, and I think we should do it again every week...just because we want to! I'm so greatful for good friends!

(as usual, click any picture to see it larger)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Yay. Packing.

So we're packing. Yep, we're getting an early start, I hate last minute moves. Gross. It is so nice though to have help with a move from my husband, he's the best. I got so accustomed to moving and packing all by myself...this one will be nice!

Mike and I went to the grocery store tonight to do that "last minute/before the sabbath" shopping, and as usual, we saw half of our ward there. I said my hellos and goodbyes, chatted a bit with my friends and after purchasing what we'll take on our picnic tomorrow, we headed out to our car. I need to say, tonight, the air was so cool and harmoniously humid. Not so sticky that you find yourself tugging at your shirt, begging it not to stick to your body, but just right. Mike reached over as I pushed the cart and put his hand instinctively on my back as we crossed the parking lot, since he's always so gently protective of me. It couldn't have been more strangely peaceful, that half empty parking lot, I swear. I have yet to feel such peace in my life, and this leads me to really understand that principal we're raised to believe; the one that says that when you're heading down the right path...you feel it. You feel peace. I feel peace, but for how long? I dunno. Life has a way of throwing logs in front of you on your pathway through the redwoods. Either way, the night was gorgeous, and I lingered a bit longer as I put my cart carefully away in the cart return bin.

Earlier today though, I shot a graduation party for the Kunde family of Redlands. They had a big swimming party, followed by casino night in their back yard. They hired dealers, a bartender (with an open bar), caterers, tons of food and a dj. So many of this young girl's family and friends came out to support her. It was truly a happy occasion, and I'm lucky to have been invited to capture it in pictures. Here's a picture of one of the guys there rollin' the dice at the Craps table. I'll post the rest later.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

8 Things

8 Things I'm Passionate About
  • my family
  • teaching my kids (about the gospel, racial equality, loving our neighbors, being honest, taking care of and being responsible for themselves and their actions, working hard and having integrity)
  • my husband and our relationship
  • maintaining relationships with my siblings and their spouses/others, parents and basically all family
  • photography, and constantly studying and growing in that field (there is so much to learn, I work really hard at it daily)
  • the gospel, learning every single day about something new in the scriptures. It's so fascinating. I hide this from people, I have no idea why.
  • writing. I write daily. I have for years. It's cathartic for me. Less expensive than therapy.
  • MUSIC! I probably have music on for at least 12 hours a day. It's like oxygen for me
8 Books I've Read and Enjoyed(lately)
  • Cell by Stephen King
  • To Kill A Mockingbird (hence the name of our youngest...Harper!)
  • The Book of Mormon, seriously though, some of those stories are crazy!
  • Choke by Chuck Palahniuk (basically everything by Chuck P.)
  • Standing For Something by Gordon B. Hinckley
  • Lisey's Story by Stephen King
  • Everything's Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer (or anything by him, he's phenomenal and moving and honestly I suggest everyone reads him)
  • Life Of Pi by Yann Martel
8 Things/Words I say often
  • ni-night!
  • K, love you
  • SHUT UP! (said like "you're kidding me!")
  • Awwww
  • Do your jobs!
  • Is your homework done?
  • K, call me later
  • Dude, I swear...
8 Things I want to do before I die
  • Visit all the Disney parks with my family
  • Lose this weight for good
  • Fix my teeth
  • Serve a mission with my sweet husband
  • Live by the beach (as in, within walking distance, and I'm talking about living in a house or condo, not as a homeless woman)
  • Run a marathon
  • Teach seminary for a year
  • Witness all of my kids have happy marriages
  • (nine, sorry!) Get sealed to Michael!
8 Things I learned or remembered this year
  • The Lord knows what I need, and he'll provide it if I ask for it
  • Teaching my kids to be hard workers through example is crucial to them learning it
  • Personal sacrifice can be excruciating, but overall...worth it
  • Faith is an "action"
  • Giving to those who need it comes through listening to the spirit. Almost everyone who really needs help...doesn't ask for it.
  • The Lord blesses those who give freely, and who sacrifice to do so.
  • Family is the most important thing you can honestly ever have.
  • Forgiveness means never holding the past against someone ever again

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Supa Fly Turns 29!!!

Twenty nine years ago, my mother was unpacking our things with my sister who is a year younger than I, into an apartment in Las Vegas. During this time, and on this exact day, a baby was born unto her, and he was, to put it kindly, gigantic.

Taylor Oblad was born to our family in the hottest summer I can remember and do you know why I said that? Because I used to run around in the streets with bare feet because I didn't realize that Las Vegas was a huge frying pan, waiting to sizzle my delicate California girl feet skin right off.

As he grew, so did his sense of humor. Even when he was starting to walk, he'd make our family laugh. I remember him biting the head off of some huge bug he found in the crack of the sliding glass door in our family room, and I believe he enjoyed it. He was the cutest baby you'd ever see wearing lederhosen. (please, if you are a family member with this picture, please email it to me so I may add it to this post)

Taylor was born with one eye drooping lower than the other one. I remember when he went to kindergarten, and how protective I felt seeing his cute little face going into class. It broke my heart and I still feel that ache when I think about it. I was afraid someone would tease him, and I knew that I'd have to kill them for it. When he had surgery, and had to wear a little flesh colored patch over his good eye, so his bad eye could get strong, I swear my mind and heart was occupied about 99% of my awake time just worrying that someone would tease him. He stole my heart when he was born, and he's never let it go. As far as siblings go, and the affection they can feel for eachother, mine was and still is as strong and protective as it can get. I loved that boy, and I still do.

When he was in High School and wanted to run for President, we knelt on the floor in the long tile hallway in our Gowan house, and made posters. Posters so good, they should have won awards. I just know that we tried really hard to entice the black folk into voting for him...and guess what...they did. His brutal honesty and ability to get along with anyone and everyone won everyone over. This continues today.

Tay used to sneak any food he could get his grimy little mitts on. He'd eat an entire bag of Doritos (behind furniture to "hide" no less) when he was like 3! He'd eat Jello straight out of the package...as in...dry. If mom set her diet Coke down, she'd better understand he'd drink it til there was a drop at the bottom, and then deny ever touching it. I thought that was hilarious! There were times that he and Eric would get in trouble, but I remember making them dress up like a bride and groom. Tay was the groom, and Eric was the bride. He wore my baptism dress, and they were both only like 5 and 6. I remember Susan coming in and freaking out, yelling that "you're going to make them gay Allison!" Um, Susan, I don't think that's how it works, but it was funny none the less.

Tay's always been a good dancer, and he's mastered the jazz square. Just ask him, he'll show it to ya. Oh and athletics? Not a problem. This kid is a born athlete. See?

Anyway, Tay married Mandy, who we love, and soon after, he had 2 little boys who are a perfect mix of the two of them. He's just graduated from Law School, and that protective feeling, the one that I used to feel, and have always felt, well, when I saw him walking onto that stage to get his diploma...I saw his slight nervousness as they were about to call his name and I have to admit, I tensed up. I just wanted it to be perfect for him. I'm so proud of him. I'm so proud of YOU Tay.

Tay's the best brother, dad, uncle and friend anyone could have. Everyone loves him, especially me. You're one of my favorite people in the whole world...and I love ya. Happy Birthday!!!

(the picture above is from Taylor's 28th Birthday party last year...how time flies)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Grape Is Favorite

I invented something last night that turned out to be one of our family's most favorite things in the whole world. I have been making rice crispie treats every night not only because of their deliciousness but also because of the lack of energy and effort it takes to create them. So anyway, we made our delicious double batch last night with extra butter and extra marshmallows (so sue me, I'm Paula Dean in training) and at the last minute, I dumped in 3 boxes of grape/strawberry Nerds.

Oh heavenly days.

So because my sister made a list of her "Not my favorites" I decided that I'd count out a few favorite things for you today:

  • rice crispie treats with nerds in them
  • Classic Coke right from the fountain at McDonalds (incidentally, why do we continue to say "classic" even though there hasn't been "new" Coke for a thousand years?)
  • Sonic Ice
  • snuggling in my awesome bed with cool sheets with Mike every night talking (or more often laughing) about our days
  • the ice that's made in Fontana, California that you can buy in the 7 lb. bag from 7-11 here. It's all separated and different sized pieces and it is "cloudy" which assures a softer freeze...it's the air in the water when they freeze it! I'm such an ice pro...once again, one of those many talents I have that will do absolutely nothing for our bank account. (but certainly, it will get me into heaven, right?)
  • Harper holding my cheeks and pulling me to him so he can kiss me. I'm telling you, it's tender.
  • Jonah's love of looking at real estate with me. We do it like 4 times per week, pouring over the MLS online, or Craigslist. We talk about value, location etc. We're scary alike.
  • Kenzie's bangs
  • Tiffany's dancing (think Elaine)
  • Casey's little love letters he writes me all the day
  • excedrin
  • The Avenues in SLC
  • Of Montreal
  • David Archuleta
  • walks after the sun goes down with my family
  • being anywhere with Mike
  • Disneyland, and everything about it
  • digging my feet and toes down into the cool sand just below the surface
  • watching my kids laugh and play together
  • coke slurpees
  • Mu, my favorite restaurant in Redlands or anywhere, for serious
  • Farm, my second favorite restaurant in Redlands or anywhere! It's fresh, it utilizes local produce and meats, it's organic and the atmosphere is phenomenal. We love it! (spendy, but worth an anniversary dinner or special occasion)
  • downtown Redlands
  • the peace and quiet of the celestial room
  • art deco jewelery
  • victorian homes
  • the smell of california
  • the sound of slots at the casinos in Vegas (makes me homesick, even though I don't gamble)
  • Rock Band
  • Guitar Hero!!!
  • technology
  • the internet
  • LDS.org (I often go there just to "search" for something I'm feeling, and read talks and articles to help me through my day. I love modern day scripture)
  • Mike
  • getting my nails did
  • getting my hurr did
  • cousins
  • aunts and uncles!
  • family in general
  • my Yucaipa friends
  • my Utah friends
  • my Vegas friends
  • all of my other friends
  • Hershey's chocolate
  • going to the movies
  • the rain
  • taking a huge swig of cold water when i'm hot and exhausted from being outside
  • IKEA
  • MY CAMERA!!!
  • photoshop CS2!!!
  • Kevin Kubota (photoshop GOD, I'd be nothing without him)

I could go on and on but I won't. I should save some for everyone else to list. Feel free.

Monday, June 2, 2008

I'm Just Greatful I Don't Have To Push A Handcart Full Of Crap

For Memorial Day, Mike and the kids and I went on a little trip. We started it out by heading to my parents house in Vegas for Friday night, and then on Saturday the plan was to go to Zion for a few days but Mother Nature had other ideas. It was one of those thunderstorm/floody weekends, and even down here in So Cal, we had two tornadoes touch down about 8 miles from our house! Seriously though, we now have earthquakes, mudslides, floods, extreme heat, fires and now tornadoes. And we stay here because...?

Anyway, Saturday morning we drove up to Liza and Curtis' house and the kids just partied it up with their cousins the whole night. Sunday was spent at Susan's house for Eric's 31st birthday, and I had to see that sweet baby Taylor! I took some pics that night, but then came back the next morning when Rock Band wasn't blaring in the background to take the rest. Those are the pictures I linked to below.

So the plan was to go back to my mom and dad's for Tuesday to swim and hang out, but by the time we left Liza's that morning, it was about 11. All was going as planned, when Mike got a call from a job he'd randomly applied to in SLC a month or so ago. They asked him when he'd be in Utah next, and he informed them that it was their lucky day! So...after just packing up our car and saying our goodbyes, we turned around (we were only about a mile from Liza's house) and went back to change into fun clothes while Mike ironed his work/interview/church clothes. Eliza and Isaac and Miles came with us, and we all headed out to Salt Lake. We ended up at Rumbi Island Grill for lunch and then while I took Mike to his interview, me and my kids, and Liza and her boys went to Restoration Hardware to drool, and then after we were broken hearted from not being able to buy everything there, we strolled over to Pottery Barn for some more drooling and mourning. The kids spent a good 30 minutes playing in Pottery Barn Kids and after purchasing $12 bucks worth of salt water taffy (my favorite thing in the whole world, for serious) we got the call from Mike that his interview was over. Anyway, he said it went really well, and he usually gets so nervous during interviews, he'll blow it by saying something crazy...but he said that since he's still got a job here, there was no pressure. Anyway, we went back to Liza's for a bit and then finally got on the road for home at about 4 pm. We pulled into our driveway here in California about 2 am, and boy...we were dead tired. The kids were good, but our kids are really good in the car, all 5 of them! I'm sure the DVD player helps, but you know. Whatever.

Anyway...today, that job called here. The one in Salt Lake. And uh...they offered it to him. As in, he got a job in Utah! What?!? Ok so yeah, we're going on a walk tonight when he gets home to talk about it, and he told them tentatively "yes" but that he'd have to discuss it with his wife and kids tonight, and that after he prayed about it, he'd give them a call tomorrow. And the guy said "ok! Cool!" Only in Utah do they allow you 24 hours to "pray about it"...

So that's our update. Now you may understand why we've not been blogging for the last month or so!!! (I don't want to leave california!) The Lord opens doors where he wants us to go. My deal is, I have a firm testimony, but I have always had a hard time just stepping out, and having faith. When I finally divorced Joe, it was a leap of faith, an answer to prayers and counsel with my bishop that made me realize that I COULD do it. We moved here to get a fresh start, and it was the best thing we could have ever done for our family. This move to Cali was our family's way of stepping out of a situation, taking a breather, strengthening our family bond, and now that we're strong, we're ready for the next step. Faith is a scary thing, but I think I'm getting the hang of it ;)

Monday, May 19, 2008

I Would Totally Eat This

Marinis, a candy shop in Santa Cruz, CA sells it.

I know I know...at first glance, you gag a bit, but then think about it...you'd eat chocolate pancakes or muffins and then take a bite of bacon, am I right?

...that's what I thought.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

sorry I haven't posted in a while, I think I'm taking a break for a little while. We'll see. Anyway I'll update when I have things to say.

Oh and click HERE to see pics from Disneyland 2 weeks ago.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Galinda...With A "Guh"

Guess what. I have the bombest friends and family evah. Let me tell you why. Last Tuesday, two of my girlfriends here in Yucaipa, Aimee and Kristen picked me and my girls up and we were told we were doing something for my birthday...annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd guess where we went:

That's RIGHT, mah babies!!! We went to L.A. to Pantages Theater to see WICKED!!! I almost threw up all over myself. Anyway, first we got there and met with Eliza, Ashley, Mandy and Shauna Rae, and then we all 9 girls walked down to eat at this cute little sandwich shop tucked in an alleyway right off of Hollywood Blvd. People, it was so fun! Anyway, at around 7:30 we walked back to the theater in the coolest breeze I'd felt all week. As soon as we got to our seats, I just about died. If you haven't been to Pantages, you're missing out. Outside is the typical Hollywood/LA stone walls, but inside is the most ornate woodwork you've ever seen. Anyway, the set was amazing as was to be expected, the music was incredible, the seats were fantastic and Megan Hilty who played Glinda that night was so stinkin funny I was dying. Aimee said she and Kristen were crying just from hearing me laugh at Galinda/Glinda! I need to tell you, I love me some Kristen Chenowith (who is on the soundtrack/the original broadway player) but Megan also was on broadway, and now she plays here in LA. She is so freakin hilarious. Her comedic timing was so "on"...I wish she was my ringtone.

Ok so here's my favorite scene with her that somebody recorded (OoOoO! No cameras allowed!) and I'm glad they did. Observe and enjoy:

and here are Megan Hilty's best moments!!!

Oh and thanks so much to Amber for watching Harper so I could go! I am so blessed with so many good friends. Love you guys!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


First of all, thank you ALL for your birthday wishes in the comments below! I love you all!!! And now for your regularly scheduled post. Do enjoy.

Thirty four came and went with little change in scenery, a lot of change in lifestyle, and a large change in personal accomplishment. Yesterday, I turned the big (fat) 35, and just as I'd gotten used to the fact, my dad called and ruined my life.

"Hey Alli! Happy birthday!" he chimed.

"Thanks dad! I appreciate it!" was my greatful reply.

"So, only 5 years til you're 40..." he said, unaware of the stroke he caused me to have.

That's right folks, 35 isn't just half way through your thirties, it's actually "only 5 years til 40" and that my friends, is bullcrap. I'd like a ticket off of this helltrain to Geriatricland, thank you very much.

Anyway, my friends Aimee and Emily brought me over pies and cakes and let me tell you, if there was EVER a time in my life when I needed them, it was yesterday. Aimee "heard" that I love pie so she brought me over a strawberry one with whipped cream and a Claim Jumper black berry pie that made me absolutely giddy! Then, when Emily walked in with a big fat homemade cake, I about died! I thanked the girls and as soon as they left, I cut big pieces of the strawberry pie and the cake and went to my room to shovel it into my sobbing face while I watched my dang Big Brother DVR'd episode. I will admit it...I am thirty five...but nobody ever said I was always charming.

Ok so I exaggerate a bit, it was actually a really nice day, Mike got me an MP3 player to replace the one he stole from me borrows for work every day. He even put some music on it for me. Oh and it's pink! and everyone knows how much I adore pink! lately. Honestly, I think that I tried to hide those tiny girl urges for so long, the ones that adored princesses and sparkles and diamonds, that everytime anyone asked me what my favorite color was, I'd say that it was blue, or green, or blue-green, blue with green in it, but here it is people, in my 35 year old glory...I love pink! Love it. Obsessed with it. I wish pink were my ringtone, guys. Seriously though...

Anyway, my family comes in 3 days!!! and I'm so excited about it! I can't keep my excitement under control as I type this and my arms are shaking with excitement it's just that exciting you guys, can you feel the excitement?!?!?

love you bye.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

what a crazy past 2 weeks.

all the meetings are over, all the taxes are done, all of the court papers are in. can I get a whutwhut?

Also, guess who's going to be 35 in 27 hours. Dats right. Sick.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Two words to sum up tonights American Idol...


the ayund.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Gorgeous Utah Shoots

I worked most of today getting photos edited, some from old jobs from friends (AIMEE W! and CARRIE!) and then worked on new ones (ELIZA AND KJ! and CHRISTY!)

Here are a few. Click HERE to see photos every day as I edit them. Oh and click each pic to see it larger...(and then again if you really wanna see it big)

Ugh, Monday.

For about 10 years, I'd wake up almost every morning with a headache. My mind would turn immediately to some bill I'd have to pay, some issue I'd have to solve with family, or most often, some chore list I'd find on the kitchen counter. Just staying up at night would be like a little vacation. I could read or listen to "my" music, or talk on the phone to girlfriends or sisters, I could craft...all in peace. Nighttime was my time, and I would sometimes stay up til three or four in the morning. My afternoons would be spent in a panic about if the kitchen was clean enough, or if the dinner I had cooking was going to get me a "pass" to go hang out with Tori, and often, I'd find myself smiling at my tiny kids...wondering if I wanted to live one more day. Those sweet babies are the only thing that kept me going sometimes.

Well, this morning, I woke up and looked around my messy living room, shoes everywhere from kids in a hurry to get out the door to school and smiled because...I don't have to panic anymore. I don't have to worry about what kind of trouble I'd get in. As a matter of fact, if I happen to not get those shoes put away today, my husband would most likely come in and gently nudge the kids to do it when he gets home from work tonight.

Right now is an unexpectedly difficult time for me. I explained it a little on the phone with my sister Mandy, and she not only listens to me, but she calls and asks me for updates. This is probably the nicest thing she could do for me, and she is a miracle, an answer to prayers sometimes. She must be in tune with the spirit to know exactly when I need her to call me, because every time she calls, it's the perfect time. She's amazing.

I also have my brother who makes me laugh, and who loves me even though I'm an idiot sometimes, and then Eliza and Ash, who never judge me. They're so generous and loving, and honestly, I feel blessed every day to have them both. Eliza had us up to her house a week ago, and she graciously dealt with all SEVEN of the Easleys, and I know what a feat that is, I do it every day and just look at my gray hair.

The reason for this post, blabbery as it may be, is because right now, we're being tested and tried. We're at a point in our lives where everything is up in the air. We have decisions to make, and although the law says one thing, I'm scared to proceed because the consequences for the person this will affect are severe. I'm really struggling with this issue, and a few more, and when I woke up this morning, I came downstairs to download a specific conference talk and happened to check on the TC Rogers blog. Last night, he passed away. His family is old family friends of our family, as they are many many of yours as well. His story is sad, but happy at the same time. I was reading the latest update from his dad, Cliff, and happened upon this "TC Stories" blog...and read and read and read til my side hurt from laughing, and my eyes were sore from crying.

The human experience is exactly that. A human experience. I'm greatful to have every minute. I am so thankful to have happiness, and pain, and sorrow, and stress, and all those feelings that come with being human, aren't you?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Oh Sweet 5th Child Of Mine...

Isn't he sweet???

Don't let those innocent looks fool ya, my friends. Today Harper did a few things...a few very bad things...as two is approaching swiftly. Here is a short list, in no particular order of my favorites:

  • drew on the walls of the house we're staying in with silver sharpie. Precious.
  • broke 2 of my new Crate&Barrel glasses (ones I love so much I could make out with them)
  • unrolled 2 entire rolls of toilet paper all over the stairs. Apparently throwing rolls down the stairs is raw-some. It is not.
  • When the check out girl at Target broke his heart and his spirit by "taking" his new toy dinosaur from him to scan it briefly, and then promptly return it to him, he kindly "gave" it back to her by chucking it at her head with violence. This made me so proud.
  • refused to have a nap while simultaneously hanging in mid sleep/mid scream in the car for 20 minutes. This also made me proud.
But then, we got back to safety and turned the new Little Mermaid sprinkler on for him (yes, he picked it out) and he became a sweet thing again. He even came in and kissed me all over my arms and cheeks whilst blabbering about the "wah-rerr! wah-rerr!" and the "bye-errr! bye-errr!" (water, spider) because apparently he almost died when a butterfly flew past him in his frolicking, since it was trying to kill him. Either way, I logged onto my flickr to start working, and what popped up?

Yep that's it. He and daddy, a year and a half ago being all cute and sleepy together...so then I forgave him. Aren't babies the bomb?

Oh and Jonah has a new blog. Go see him HERE

Thursday, April 10, 2008

And Now, For The Real Post

Sweet Jonah -

When I was pregnant with you, your dad went on a 4-wheeler trip and left me home, and while he was gone, I started to have contractions. I remember thinking that no matter what happened, you'd be ok because during my entire pregnancy, you would "play" with me...literally. I would push against your tiny little foot (or whatever part it was) and you'd push right back. Every. Single. Time. I knew then you were going to be playful, and that you'd be my little playmate.

Every day when you come home from school, all of you kids come in first thing and tell me about your day. I need you to know that I look forward to this every single afternoon, and when that clock starts to show that you'll be home soon, I start to get excited.

Girls have always been crazy about you, and I remember a time when you were just this teensy little thing, glasses over your beautiful blue eyes, and a little girl in our ward came up to me in Primary and told me that you two were engaged. Why don't we hold off til you get home from your mission on that one, eh?

Your sense of humor comes from my side of the family. Everytime you're around your Uncle Taylor, it's like watching Big T and his mini me (you), and let me tell you, it's a hoot. There's not a frowny face in the joint when you're around, and your special talent for making people laugh is a true gift from Heavenly Father. Remember to always look for the humor in things, take things lightly that seem to burden you, and if you learn anything from me, it's to smile through the hard times. Ignore all of the bad things people may say about you, and remember that Heavenly Father and that Mike and I...we know who you really are. Nana and Grandpa, and all of your aunts and uncles, cousins and siblings...we all see who you are, and you are SPECTACULAR!

Yes yes, you may argue with your sisters and brothers sometimes, but just know this, there's not another person they'd rather hang out with than you. Casey really looks up to you, and the girls know that you're so protective of them, and that instills a special sense of safety in them. Harper think's you're the coolest thing to walk the earth, and between Mike and I, you've got a fan base to rival most movie stars. Honestly, you're such an important part of our family...you need to know that. Just look at how many phone calls you got on your birthday!!!

Your athletic ability is amazing. You can pick up a ball and just start to play. At any sport! This is especially exciting for Harper, who is exactly like you in that aspect. Your love of science, math and sports makes it so you and Mike never have a quiet moment, and your love for good music ties us all together. Your taste in so many things, the way you absolutely ABSORB things when we take you to museums, or to art galleries, or to baseball games...this is contagious, and the whole family learns from you.

There's a quiet gentleness to you Jonah, and sometimes the sensitive part of you can be overwhelming. You've really matured into a young man over the last year. We know that you've struggled with one thing in particular, and let me tell you this; we heard from many people that your personal struggles with this issue might make you angry, bitter, not want to go to church...that your faith might fade a bit because of this person who you used to look up to, but you know what? You went the opposite way. I can't say I'm surprised, but you totally stepped up. You became closer to all of the people who DO take care of you, you understood that you can't change anyone else, and you loved the ones who love you for real, because of the example they show you. You know how to spot a good person/example...and that shows me that you listen to the spirit.

In primary, Mike and I sit during Primary in the chairs in front of your class as we sit with ours, and we hear you sing. Everyone hears you sing! Your voice carries, and your perfect pitch is so awesome, I just get so excited everytime you open that sweet little mouth of yours. (even if you and Conner and Miguel like to kick our chairs... ;) ... hehehe)

Continue to learn, continue to study, continue to value our family, and your life will be successful. Take time to carefully and prayerfully make decisions in your life, don't ever jump into things...let the spirit guide you. Listen to us, we really truly want what's best for you. We work our bums off every day and night not because we don't want to be around you, but because we want to provide you with everything you'll need to become a good husband, father, brother and son...

Just like you did in the picture above...Jonah...always choose the RIGHT.

We love you sweet boy...happy 11th birthday...


Mom and Dayee