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" 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 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 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 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'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
  • (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., 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 ;)