Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Recipe For Stank

Place 8-10 chicken nuggets shaped like dinosaurs on 1 thin glass plate. Put in microwave. Mis-read the back of the box. Cook said 10 nuggets for TEN EFFING MINUTES. Start a small fire, break the plate, create stank that fills the house for 24 hours.

By - Casey, age 10

P.S. My house stinks.

Friday, September 25, 2009

M.P.E.'s My M.V.P

Tomorrow is Mike's 32nd birthday and because we won't be getting online tomorrow, I thought I'd tell you today a little bit about him, maybe some things you don't already know.

First, if any of you have ever had us stay the night, or if you've stayed the night with us, or if you've stayed the night in our neighborhood or even in a neighboring town, you've probably noticed that he snores. Like a dang grizzly. I can sleep through it but ONLY if I fall asleep first, and that's a big "but". (Not like MY big butt, that's a whole other story)

He was the pickiest eater in the world when I met him. You may not believe me, a guy as big and cuddly as he was, but trust me. Maybe "picky" isn't the word I should use. How about, um...limited. He ate pancakes, and hamburgers, but no pickles, no mustard, no lettuce, no tomato. He didn't eat green or yellow or orange or red peppers because he thought they were HOT (which actually makes perfect sense to me now that I think of it. If you weren't used to eating them and you were approached with something called a "pepper", woudn't you make the same assumption?) and he never ate his eggs any way else but scrambled. Basically, if it wasn't meat + potatoes, he didn't eat it except for sometimes spaghetti, and sometimes scrambled eggs. Oh wait! Nevermind, he ate subs too. He liked subs, but only ones with meat and cheese. Sometimes he'd just make a sandwich with meat on bread and some cheese. Dry. Really. Now he not only eats everything we try (vietnamese, sushi, middle eastern food, mayonaisse, eggs over easy) but he actually cooks and invents things. Things the kids love. The other night he made homemade burritos with leftover pork roast and spices and rootbeer extract and sugarfree cherry koolaid (for real, and no it wasn't gross surprisingly) and taco seasoning and and and. Um, I don't remember what else he put in there, but it was good.

He sits in silence while he works with his headphones on, always. He can be home for 2 hours and the kids don't know he's here because he can come up to the office and start working on his side-jobs and we don't even hear a peep because he even types quietly. He's a funny guy. Oh and he hates to have his picture taken. See here:

He played football all of his life, even through college, but now he doesn't turn on a game unless one of us wants to watch. He keeps up on them, and since one of us always has a game on this time of the year, he watches them but I'll never come home and find him watching by himself. Can I tell you how awesome that is? I never have to fight Eli Manning for some love and attention from Mike. Ever. (oh and he's the one on the top left in the football picture below) Oh and speaking of the picture, we just went to a wedding for the shorter guy in the middle, and every one of the guys in the picture were there, as well as many many other friends Mike's had over the years. That's one more thing about Mike. When he makes you his friend, he means it, and he means it for life.

He kisses me every morning when he leaves for work. He seeks me out and kisses me every day when he gets home. If he's running to the store on Saturday, he kisses me goodbye. If he's going to a meeting for an hour, he kisses me when he leaves. He can't know how awesome this is for me. I'm used to it now, but when we first started this, I had not ever experienced this, so every time he was kissing me goodbye, I thought he was driving off into the sunset for good. I mean, at that point, who could blame him? He married a lady with 4 kids!

Speaking of those 4 kids, they adore this man. On Saturday mornings, the first thing I wake up to is one of them screaming "MIIIIIIIIIIIIIICHAELLLLLLLLLLL!!! Come see this!!!" It's always some YouTube video of some crazy new video game, or some cat who likes to swim, or a baby who blows bubbles with their nose or something gross that they know he'd appreciate. When it's dinner time, they know to look to him when someone will ask "who's saying the prayer?" When Tiff comes home from dates, she comes to him first to tell him about what she did. When Kenzie gets asked out (again and again) by boys at the park, she comes home and says "Guess what boy asked me on a date?" *insert much eyebrow raising* When Jonah has a new flock of girls chasing him, he will come in and tell Mike about what a playa he is. (Mike thinks this is awesome and hilarious every time) When Casey needs help with anything, he comes to Mike first. Sometimes I'll get Casey's homework folder on Friday and it will have been signed for all of the previous days by none other than the one and only Michael Easley. That's love for you, people.

Harper thinks the world revolves around the man. 'Nuff said. (look at the lips on those boys down there! Absurd.)

Heck, I think the world revolves around the man. Well, I think the world revolves around us. Actually, I'm just glad to be IN the world with him. He showed me that really, you can be married and never raise your voice. That really, you can be married and treat each other nicely. That really, you can have really amazing and intelligent conversations when you're married. That really, you can share yourself with someone and not expect anything back. I think he's pretty darn neat, and I really believe that one day eons ago, God said "I'm going to make someone who fits perfectly 100% with this other person and when they find each other, they will know what Life really is about". Thank goodness I found him. No, thank the Lord.

(photo above by one of our favorite friends together, the amazing Brooks Ayola)

(oh and for Mike's birthday, I'm giving him a baby, but it's on back-order til March. (thanks Christina for the "back-order" idea part. You crack me up girl))

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

{ real }

So after the post yesterday, I decided that yes, I'm going to be real. Not that I wasn't before, heavens no. I'm not that great at faking the sweet and happy when I write. When I meet another kids mom at school, or if I meet someone in the store that I've only seen in the halls at church, well then heck yes, I can fake sweet. It's hard not to. I can't just be like "Hey! Oh yes I remember you. Guess what, I have had 2 constipated kids at home all week and boy oh boy the gas floating around, you'd think a sewer main had busted right there in my darn family room!"

Anyway, I have lots of issues, who doesn't, but there's one that just kills me. It makes my stomach hurt, it causes me to shake, it makes my body do weird things, and I hope that most of you don't deal with it but in this economy, I know you do. It's money. I'm short $500 bucks this week. I'll have it next week, but what I have to pay is due TODAY. I didn't sleep well last night, Mike didn't get to sleep til 4 am. For the last few years, we've been fine. It's just this time of year. School started, school lunches started again, I had to pay a crazy co-pay for my medical insurance and omg. Wait. Did you know that for Mike to insure me and me alone on his work insurance costs us $510 per month? Um. This is with a healthy wife. And Harper's insurance is $101 out of pocket. Oh and school clothes, shoes, and supplies for teenagers cost us almost $1000 last month. That's where the money I have to pay today went. To school stuff. Ok, so how's that for honesty and "real"? We made the decision in April to have me not work. There were lots of reasons, and the biggest 2 were these:

  • The kids were all failing school. Even Casey. I wasn't home with them during the day when they got home from school, and I typically got off work at 6:30, and so did Mike, and by that time they'd been home 3 hours alone, and no homework was being done. I'd get home, we'd do dinner and it would be almost 8 by that time. Then it was the fight over showers since only 1 worked at the house (there were actually 4 bathrooms, but plumbing issues made for that fun time) and after that, it would be bedtime. The kids were ALL getting D's and F's. The stress from that probably contributed to the next reason below.

  • My health was insane. I was receiving blood transfusions and iron infusions in the chemo lab at Huntsman Cancer Hospital on a weekly basis. My body in January decided that it was going to bleed out. Literally. I was on triple birth control pills, getting the depo shot, taking zillions of medications all to try to get me to try to stop bleeding. Finally when the doctors told me that working 10 hours per day was probably contributing to the issue, I stopped working. They weren't sure how I did it before that anyway since I had 30% of my blood left, and I was still "working"? Anyway, needless to say, I stopped working to heal.

  • Fun right? I am so not saying my problems are harder than yours. For real. I'm saying LOOK! Here is one of mine! I know in this economy we need to be grateful. I so am. I have healthy kids (knock on wood) and the swine flu is gone, and we're expecting a baby (yes, even still while on triple doses of birth control pills and the depo shot. Explain that one to the judge) and those things make me so happy. Mike is amazing, he takes care of us and makes us all feel loved and we adore him right the heck back. I have family who is awesome, a sister who lets me come over to her house and park on her couch while I just decompress/sit there in silence once or twice a week. I. Am. Blessed. But I'm broke today! Hip hip hooray!!!

    Here's a picture of a kitten that looks like my childhood cat named Digger:

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009

    Lisa Leonard Designs Jewelry GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

    Lisa Leonard Designs Jewelry GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

    Hey, this stuff is awesome. I want the ring and the kids name thing and and and...um everything.

    { Ok, Here's The Situation (insert Fresh Prince lyrics here) }

    So when I first started my first blog, "Blogger" was in beta, and nobody even knew what it was. I tried to explain it to my dad who thought it was a "chat room" and he said "stop. stop. don't even talk about it. we don't really approve of this chat room stuff you're doing or blog or whatever". Anyway. I was blogging when blogging was apparently taboo. I originally started blogging to help me journal about my 2 year journey through separation and divorce. Blogging was my place to say what I felt, even if I slipped a cuss word in there (I have a love/hate relationship with the "S" word) and it was a place of solace for me. Blogging was my best friend from 2003 until about 2006. I met many of my good friends that I have now around the country, and one of my VERY best friends and her family through online/blogging means.

    The reason for this explanation? I miss blogging the REAL stuff. I miss the time when blogging wasn't a bunch of CAPITAL LETTERS thrown in with "..." and some UpPeRcAsE aNd LoWeRcAsE garbage. I'm not judging anyone, but simply stating a preference, or a pet peeve of mine if you will. You know when you find a restaurant and you love it and then EVERYONE goes there and suddenly it's too packed to enjoy, and the food starts to become mediocre and you start to find yourself hating the place for no apparent reason? That's about how I feel. I remember when my family (the Oblads and the Nelsons) used to go to St. George every 4th of July. Nobody else we knew did it, and we loved it! Pretty soon other families were joining us and it was still fun, but after a few years, other families were claiming it as their tradition, and when they'd see us there, in St. George, they'd be like "Oh, you come here too? We started this tradition a few years ago". Uh yes, we come here too. We've been coming here for 17 years. Thanks. I also remember when the Oblads and Nelsons went to Disneyland for Halloween because Nevada had the day off from school. One more thing we did waaaaaaaay back in 1979. By the mid 80's, everyone did it and we'd get the whole "oh, your family is copying our family. We've been coming here on Halloween for like 3 years". For real, Eliza and I would hear that garbage. We wanted to be like "So yeah, we know you've been coming here for 3 years, our family invited your family to come way back then". So to end this lovely rant (really, I'm saying all of this as I'm laughing, there's seriously no bitterness to it! I think it's hilarious how much it angered us back then. Now we're just like "yes! tons of people we know are here! I miss our Vegas friends and we get to see them at Disneyland!") all I'm saying is, blogging became that place where everyone was (which was super awesome) but it got diluted and competitive and fake, and I felt like I had to apologize for a "down post" or one where I wasn't all sunshine and bunnies. Basically, I felt like I couldn't be myself in my own journal.

    That is the entire point of blogging folks, from the beginning. It wasn't created as a place for people to brag about how cute this is or how awesome they are or how much their cookies are better than other peoples cookies are, blogger's original platform was that they were building an "Online Journal" for people who needed it. I don't care if it's used differently, but the original purpose is now frowned upon. I just wanted to journal, and that's what I used to do. Not everything is sunshiny in your life, and not everything is rotten either. That's how journals work. I bet for all of you people who kept real journals as kids could open up to pages and see lots of times where your journal was the only place you got to tell how you really felt. Blogging isn't that anymore for me. It hasn't been ever since it became like one of those rooms where all the girls get together to compare how cute they are. So basically, my dad 7 years ago totally predicted the future. Blogging is like a chat room now.

    So here's my dilemma. I am expecting my last baby. We are so thrilled you have no idea. They told us in January that there was no chance I'd carry another one and we weren't even trying and by the literal grace of God, we are getting that baby that we had just figured we'd see in another life. Anyway, I want to blog about the good, the bad, the ugly, and if I wanna say "damn it", well by jove, I'm gonna say it!

    I'm wondering how you all feel. Do you feel like you can't be yourself on your blog? Be honest. Can you really say what you're feeling, or do you find that you just don't blog on those days/topics you think aren't all happy and cute? Give me some feedback on it, and if the general consensus is that I'm off my rocker and that I should just blog/journal about the wonderous things that come out of being a mother and a wife, then by golly, I'll just do that.

    What I meant to say was:

    Hey, I wish I could blog about myself and my real day even if it's bad! Most of my days are good, but I'd love to be able to blog about bad days too! That is all!!! Oh and once again, I am not talking about ANYONE I KNOW. So, yeah. Chee-uhl. :)

    (whew! my goodness! My entire point was lost somewhere in that babbling above. I should take some classes on editing my posts into ones like the above blue part. Much less difficult to misunderstand. I hate words.)

    Thanks guys.

    UPDATE: I am in no way hating on anyone I know personally. Actually, I'm not hating at all. I hate those uppercase/lowercase things and that's all I hate. :) What I'm saying is that I don't care how you use your blog, talk about whatever you want! That's my point! If you wanna talk about your dog, by all means, for real, if that's "you"? Talk about your dog! For real! I'm just saying that I find that I have to "edit" what I say on my "journal". Does that seem right? I'm not judging other people's topics and posts, that's exactly what I'm saying. I don't want to be judged on my "journal". K, so now that that's clarified (I hope?)

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009

    so yeah. After blogging for 7.5 years, I'm just burnt out. I see everyone else is too! Ugh. I'll start again. I promise. Right after I punch my teeth out from this toothache I have! Grrrrrrrrrrr.

    Thursday, July 16, 2009

    So I'm Going To Blog Again For A While

    and not tell anyone, because I had to take a 6 month break. Whew.

    So much has changed...SO MUCH. I'm a full time photographer again, which is the biggest most awesome thing ever. I am so busy I am turning people away who can't wait til October. Oh and I'm shooting 2 weddings in 2 states within 6 days of eachother in August. Oh and we're moving to Saratoga Springs! Also, Mike and I have both been walking/running every night and it feels so good.

    ♥ love ♥ love ♥ love ♥

    Tuesday, January 27, 2009

    {scene and heard}

    Me: Hello?
    Her: Hey, what's up?
    Me: Nothin, working from home, watching episodes of the old 90120 on mute.
    Her: Which one is it?
    Me: I have no idea, it's weird cuz David, Steve, Kelly and Donna are in the desert or something, but they're really young and...
    Her: (totally cutting me off) PALM SPRINGS! David cancels his Magic Mountain trip! It's the one in Palm Springs.
    Me: Um...let me check. Yep. Palm Springs. You're freakin sick. I'll bet a thousand dollars you're standing up punching your hand into the air...
    Her: Er...I gotta go.
    Me: Yeah, let me know when you get to 2009.


    You guys, it's cold. 12" of snow and a power outage later...yep, still cold. Oh and did you know that the power repeatedly going off and on all night causes your computer to delete everthing including the operating system? Goodness.

    Sunday, January 25, 2009

    Good Things Utah, Easley Edition

    If you're not from Utah, you won't get the reference. (Good Things Utah is a show on tv in the mornings here, which features a bunch of really thin, heavily make-up'd, jewelery adorned, boob jobbed women talking in thick Utah accents about things that are good. Kind of like Martha Stewart...Utah style)

    Anyway, Mike and I are always on the lookout for things that we enjoy, things that go overlooked, things that don't make it onto the shelves of Vons or that get tons of traffic, things that are locally grown/made or imported. Mike used to drink coffee, his mom made it every morning, it was just part of life, and I will totally admit that coffee is one of my favorite flavors. While we both love it, we also have taken that "oath", and that means no coffee. A couple of years ago, while trying to find an alternative for him, I discovered Drinking Chocolates, and fell in love. While difficult to find, we still began to try different brands, most often buying them online. So the other night, while we were shopping in Sugarhouse, we found the most amazing thing... People. Honestly. Heaven in a cup. We make it with milk, but in a pinch, it can be made with water. We've even used soy milk, and it STILL tastes amazing. If you like dark chocolates, try the higher numbered additions, but we fell in love with (click!) Allegro's Organic Peruvian 68. Not too sweet, it smells just as good as it tastes, and while it is bold in it's real chocolate flavor, it's still subtle. IT's not thick, or dark, it's really light. Kind of weird because when you order hot chocolate from Starbucks or wherever, it's always thick and really syrupy sweet. This is light and nothing like that.

    Anyway, we use about 2 Tbsp. for each 1 cup of hot milk, but if you want it stronger, you can use 1/2 the milk and it's almost like a chocolate espresso. You can order it online, but since it's now at Whole Foods, we can get it everytime we shop now! It retails for about $12 per box, but it lasts a loooong time. It kicks "Stephens" right square in the butt.

    Another thing that I love is sugar cookies. I'm probably the most picky person when it comes to the right "recipe" and I think my sisters/cousins are the same way. I rarely find a store bought version that I like at all, as a matter of fact. Anyway, while shopping the other night, Harper grabbed a box of something he called "Princess Cookies"

    and tossed them into the cart. It was 10:00 at night and I was just too dang tired to argue, so I purchased the pink, purple and white sugared hearts. We got home and unloaded our grocery bags and I popped one of these tiny cookies into my mouth and stopped in my tracks. Guys, we had to hide the box. Not because they were terrible, but because they were heartbreaking. I died. So. Effing. Good. K, so not only are they thick, but they are iced and then sprinkled with HUGE sugar granules. And the fact that they are pink and purple and white!, just makes me happy. Oh and they're organic/all natural. Sooooooooooo, I justify eating 5 of them because I pretend they're good for me. Go see all the yummy stuff they sell at the (click for the online store) online store (Gianna's!!!) or you can probably go into your Whole Foods and see if they carry them there. I bet they do! Oh and they're called Sweet Hearts. (how apropos, right?)

    Now...I'm going to make myself a cup of chocolate and eat the last cookie before my people wake up and start the craziness of a typical "Sunday Morning".

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009

    Stolen from Kristen B!!!

    1. What time did you get up this morning? 6:00
    2. Have you brushed your hair yet today? um yes, it's night time
    3. What is the name of the last song you listened to? Mykonos
    4. Do you like to text? oh my heavens, constantly
    5. Facebook or My Space? facebook, please.  Myspace is trash.
    6. Where is your favorite place to go? Disneyland.  Duh.
    7. Do you have a passport? NO!
    8. Are you in love? heck yes I am
    9. Have you ever had a broken heart? I think so.
    10. When was the last time you "laughed your head off"? today.  Three words.  Wall. Of. Cats. (see these facebook photos for explanation)
    11. When was the last time you cried? This morning
    12. What is the best gift you have ever gotten? my husband.
    13. What was the best day of your life? 6 way tie, the days that each of my kids and Mike came into my life.
    14. What was the worst day of your life? When my dad had his heart attack.
    15. Pepsi or Coke? Coke baby.
    16. Are you wearing socks? Never
    17. Did you like high school? Nyet.
    18. Where is the last place you went out to eat? The Dodo
    19. What is your biggest accomplishment in the past year? hmm...I'm still working on it but, I'd have to say battling health issues.
    20. What is one random fact about you? I wish I had sextuplets that look like Harper, so basically, I wish I could adopt the Gosselin babies.

    K, I tag Eliza, Kj, Kim, Karisa and Rachel

    Saturday, January 10, 2009

    {fancy hunnawear}

    Look who's a big boy...

    He got Buzz Lightyear underwear and some Cars, Incredibles etc. ones at the store, and he wanted to put them on today, and so far so good (it's 3 pm) Potty training is kind of a commitment, one I am reluctant to make, but diapers cost forty thousand dollars a day, so...he's 2.5 years old, and it's time.

    By the way, he calls them "Harper's hunnaweah".  He's only 35" tall, so these underwear are about the size of a big apple.  TEENY!  They won't even fit on Mike's head.  When he's 18, he's going to love that I showed his naked self to the internet.  

    Friday, January 9, 2009

    {the definition of sick and tired}

    Sick and tired: (sik n tīrd) adj. -

    1. when all of your kids are projectile vomiting
    2. when the mother who usually works and takes care of sick children is also vomiting
    3. when the mother who is vomiting also has a procedure done at the "girl" doctor to finally nip this 3 month problem in the butt (pardon the pun)

    Good news!  It snowed again last night!  can you sense my sarcasm? It is beautiful outside, but we're freezing.  Are humans supposed to live where it snows?  In my world, everyone will live in San Diego.  

    Also, I need new running shoes, anyone have any suggestions for someone with flat/wide feet? (other than "stop talking about your gross feet")

    Monday, January 5, 2009

    {hey there}

    If you're still reading/checking, we're back.  We didn't really go private, we just turned our blog off for a few months.  Sometimes you just need a break from blogging, and Mike and I have been blogging since 2003.  It was about time.

    Anyway, we're here, semi healthy and exhausted, but we're here.

    Here's a video I put together of my most memorable moments of the last year or so that are related to family.  Music:  Fleet Foxes - White Winter Hymnal and The Shins - Sleeping Lessons: