Saturday, August 30, 2008

Toe Cheese

When we were in Utah, Angelo and I we were hanging out with my nieces and nephew and we had an hour to kill before our reunion dinner. We found a Bed, Bath & Beyond and decided it would be fun to have a little competition. We split up and had 15 minutes to go and find the strangest item the store sells. For anyone who has been to Bed, Bath & Beyond you know there are plenty of choices. We each returned with our own treasures. The winning item turned out to be some house slippers that you were suppose to use to clean your floors. They came complete with a warning that a person should take great care when using the slippers and that the company can't be held responsible for any injuries you might incur. Angelo's choice was also a great one. It was an item called the "Ped Egg." This little egg shaped contraption is suppose to get rid of callouses and dead skin. Essentially, it is a cheese grater for your feet. What was especially disturbing about this product were the detailed pictures on the back of the packaging. The picture showing the flakes of skin being emptied into a waste basket was really great. It turns out this product has it's own website which has a very informative video on it. You should definitely check it out. There is a shot of someone emptying the product and it is waaaay grosser than the picture on the back of the packaging. So after we played our little game in the store we were joking about who actually buys this stuff. It took us only 3 days to answer this question.

When we got back from our trip Angelo was telling his mom about all the stuff we'd done. He told her about our little outing to Bed, Bath & Beyond and about the Ped Egg. Guess who owns one??? You'll never guess...I'll have to tell you...wait for mother-in-law! She told him that she had bought one for his father but after one use my father-in-law had deemed it too dangerous for his feet. Apparently it is too easy to grate past the callouses and go on the healthy, useful skin. Bloody Ped Egg! (Can I please enter my "Duh!" here.) My mother-in-law is a very practical woman though and it turns out that was not the end of the Ped Egg. She told Angelo that after she cleaned it up she found that it was the best kitchen zester she had ever had! (Insert dry heave here.)

Friday, August 15, 2008


Happy Birthday Dad! My dad is the coolest guy in the world. He is funny and kind hearted and just wonderful! My dad is a retired fire captain for San Diego and always came home from work smelling like diesel fuel. My dad's bandaid of choice is duct tape. Maybe that's where I get my aversion to the ER. You bleed, you just tape it up. He has always been very enterprising. You want a house, you build it yourself. Your car breaks down, you fix it in the driveway. Going to amusement parks as kids was always kinda funny. My dad always seemed to be about 10 paces ahead of us, much more excited to get on a ride than us - the KIDS. He would keep looking back at us trying to get us to hurry up. My mom would get so irritated and tell him to slow down and wait for us but that never worked. My dad loves telling stories. Some of his best ones are when he starts laughing before he finishes it. He'll laugh so hard he starts to cough and he's trying to get out the rest of the story but you don't even care how it ends because it's hilarious just watching him crack himself up. This picture totally sums up my dad. (Karyn, I stole this from your myspace.) My dad loves his dog and is always waiting with a camera. We love you Dad - you are the best! (Dad, I did not choose this picture because it has my chair in it, that's just an added bonus.)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Utah News

It has been a while since I lived in Utah but it didn't take long till the old Utah vernacular came rushing back to my mind. In the four years I lived there to go to college I have to admit I did fall victim to some of the Utah slang. I was a big fan of both "flip" and "fetch" and I'm sure I occasionally fell victim to the dreaded "oh my heck." So I almost laughed my head off when we were watching KSL News and the sportscaster (a sophisticated, middle aged man) reported that "all heck broke loose" during a NASCAR race crash. After the footage of the wreck was shown, the camera cut back to the female anchor who simply shouted, "Yowzah!" I couldn't decide if that was fun and casual or weird and unprofessional. It caught me off guard but oh my heck it was flippin' hilarious.

Family Reunion

We just got back from our annual Ballard family reunion (my mom's side) in Park City, Utah. Here's a picture of Tommy, Whitney, Karyn, Dad, Me, and Mom... We always have a great time and it's nice to see lots of extended family. Here are some highlights:

I got to see one of my favorite people - my old roommate Brittany! She and Tyler took us to Cafe Rio which was a first for us. I am so glad we got to see each other!We had fun going on the alpine slide! Here's our trip up the lift: (Can you figure out which one isn't blood related?)Here's the annual scarfing of the molten chocolate cake at Chili's with Michelle, Sherise, and Whit. The record is 1 minute 32 seconds...My sister Karyn came this year! It was fun to see her and it was fun staying up till 4am talking about random stuff. Here she is on the alpine slide... Posing in Park City. The sign reads,"When the Hunter Becomes Hunted." (We agreed we'd all been reading too much Twilight.) We also got to play the game Rock Band with the family which was totally fun. I suck at drums but I did okay on guitar. We saw The Dark Knight on a giant IMAX screen and got to swim a lot. It was a great trip!

Bloody Luau

I'm really late in posting this blog but it's kinda funny so here you go. Last month our church had a luau party with fire dancers and everything. We have had to do some fundraising for a trip our youth were taking so we had set up a dessert auction and also a photo booth at the luau. Angelo had done this at work before where you take pictures of people in front of a green screen and then have them choose a background for their pictures. It turns out really cute. Angelo had borrowed the green screen from work and we went down early to set up. The screen sits on to a metal frame that you can move up and down. Unfortunately, once the party started we had a mishap and the frame came falling down. Angelo caught it as it came down but in the process the metal part of the frame sliced his finger wide open. He didn't really notice until he felt the wetness running down his arm and examined the area to see what had happened. He had a deep cut on one of his knuckles and he was dripping blood all over the floor. So he rushed to the bathroom to try and get it to stop bleeding and I was left trying to clean the blood up off the floor. I have spoken of my aversion to blood before and I can tell you that I still feel the same way. A little is ok but once there are actually drips I'm in trouble. My ears started ringing and my vision was getting a little tunneled. My favorite part was when I was leaning over cleaning up the blood all over the floor with some napkins, barely holding it together, and some idiot who was standing there waiting in the food line laughing, asked me, "Is that Angelo's blood?" What I wanted to say was, "Yes, you moron, my husband is bleeding all over the place and I get to clean it up, hope you enjoy your food!" But I just nodded and went back to smearing the blood around. Once I figured I couldn't do that anymore I went to find Angelo. I basically floated to the bathroom, ears still ringing, and found him with his hand over a blood speckled sink. I had to lean against the wall once I saw that. Then Angelo goes, "Look, it's really deep, I think it hit the bone." I looked away and shouted, "Are you crazy! I can't look at that! Dude, I'm barely hanging on here. What do you want to do?" He wrapped in in paper towels and went to our car's first aid kit to get some gauze. I couldn't believe I was left to clean up more blood! So I quickly wiped the sink down and headed back toward the party. I had to sit down before my body forced me to LAY down. One of the girls in our ward who is a nurse said Angelo better go to urgent care to get it stitched up. I tried to get out of going to the place where there would likely be even more blood but eventually conceded. So we left the picture taking to Ann (thanks Ann - you're a lifesaver!) and we went to get him fixed up. Of course we couldn't leave until we got our luau picture taken! (Ann had told me I looked pretty green by this time so here...) That's pretty much what we looked like when we arrived at urgent care - Hawaiian shirts and all. It didn't take long for us to get admitted and soon we were in our own little curtained room. They cleaned the wound and decided the best thing was to glue it shut. It was pretty weird. Here's what it looked like glued together.

The best part of urgent care are the conversations you get to eavesdrop on. The guy right next to us, sharing our curtain, had some kind of golf injury. (I know, who gets hurt playing golf?) He thought he had hurt his ribs or something while he'd been playing. The male nurse had gone in to discuss the x-rays they had taken. Here's how that conversation went:

Nurse; "Nothing is broken, you must have just pulled some of the muscles in your back."
Golfer: "Ok."
Nurse: "What we suggest you do is get some Icy Hot Balm. It comes in a blue jar. Get that stuff and rub in on your rib cage a few times a day. Just be careful not to touch your testicles after that because that stuff burns!" (Obviously speaking as a voice of experience!)
Golfer: "Uh, ok."Angelo and I had immediately broken into a fit of silent laughter when we heard that. (You know where you are laughing hysterically but are keeping quiet so no one knows you were listening?) That almost made the whole trip worthwhile. The trip cost us $75 but can you really put a price tag on good advice?


So I have to gloat for a moment. My pants no longer fit! ( I mean that in a good way.) I mentioned a while back that I was going to start working out and be healthier and I have been a very good girl. I started working out pretty consistently in March and was feeling better but not really losing any weight. On May 1st I signed up on which is a FREE health website which is so cool. It helps you manage your fitness minutes and also has a nutrition tracker where you input food you eat and then it tell you how many calories you are eating. It helps you balance what you need to eat versus how long you need to workout to reached your desired goals. It's super easy to use! It has lots of other tools as well like message boards and articles too. Once I started tracking my food calories and fitness minutes I started losing weight immediately. I have now lost 20 pounds! (That works out to be over 10% of my previous body weight - doesn't that sound cool?) An article last month reported a recent study which showed that if you record your food intake your chances of losing weight doubles!

I had no idea how many calories I was eating in a day. I had to be pushing 3,000 calories per day easily. Now I've learned how to judge portions and I basically eat what I want just not as much. People have no idea what they are putting in their bodies. New York City just enacted a law which makes food establishments print the calories with the prices of their food. Check out this article. People's reactions to the postings are hilarious.

So I am adjusting to my new lifestyle change. That what it's called, it's not a diet, it's a "lifestyle change". Whatever it's called I'm liking it.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


That's when the screaming started and I found myself, Angelo, and Nikki (my 15 year old niece who was staying with us) standing in a line at Barnes and Nobles on Saturday morning. That would be 12:01 AM. You may ask, 'What were you doing at a bookstore at midnight with a ton of screaming tweens?" And I will proudly say, "Getting Breaking Dawn the last book in the Twilight saga, duh!" Ok, so I actually wish we could blame that on the 15 year old with us but we can't, she hasn't read any of the books yet. It was Angelo and I. Even though we had pre-ordered on Amazon we decided we wanted to go and get the book on opening night. (Angelo is as bad as I am.) So we braved the crowds and stood at the end of the twisting line that circled the entire perimeter of the store. Hundreds of people waited and at 12:01 AM the screaming began. I was doubting whether I wanted to stand in line forever to get the book, I was getting tired and was slightly embarrassed. Angelo convinced me to stay and then around the corner came one of my young women and her mom. (Most of our YW are hooked.) All I could do is laugh. So we stood in line and waited with them and watched as all the teenagers hollered as they got their copy of the book. We were at the end of the line pretty much and had a while to wait. That's when a toothless women walked by and stated that Walmart had the book on sale now and that it was cheaper. So we ventured over to Walmart and got our copy. Woohoo! So I had not planned on starting the book that night but the tweeners excitement was infectious and as soon as I got home I settled into my comfy chair and began. I didn't go to bed until 5AM! Then I took a 4 hour nap and started again. The book is good! I think one of my 13 year old young women described it best when I asked her what she thought on Sunday. The book is split up into 3 sections and she goes, "I read the first part and I was like, 'Oh my gosh!' and then I went on to the second part and I was like, 'OH MY GOSH!!' and then by the third part I was like, 'OH...MY...GOSHHHHHH!!!!" Yeah, she's right, I concur. Angelo got his Amazon copy on Monday and he concurs too. That's right we own TWO copies of Breaking Dawn and we're proud of it!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Angry Baby

You know how most little kids are really cute and sweet and they will come up to you and say hi or wave? Yeah, that's really nice. Well, we have this one little toddler at our church that is more like this...
Angelo and I have named her The Angry Baby. Our first encounter was when we happened to sit next to Angry Baby and her parents in church. Most kids will approach you and wave or smile. Well not Angry Baby. She came over, looked at us, scowled and then shrieked. (Seriously, like the above picture, in the middle of our church meeting. Have you seen Galaxy Quest? It's just like the sweet little martians that turn out to be monsters.) We tried to give Angry Baby the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she missed nap time, maybe she's teething. Nope, the more we see of Angry Baby the more we're convinced she is just that - angry. Her parents look pretty nice but every time we see them they are chase Angry Baby or trying to coax her back from running around the room wreaking havoc. Last week Angry Baby was sitting behind us in church and we heard her yell and then there was a crash. Angelo and I just leaned into each other and whispered, "Angry Baby."