Wednesday, March 18, 2009


So, I just remembered: 1 year, 10 days, and about 6 hours ago or so Tiff and I got married. That amounts to three-hundred-seventy-five-and-one-quarter days of wedded bliss. Can you believe it? I hardly can, I know that about eight-hundred days ago I figured I'd probably live my life as a lonely, half-shaven, hermit with a Winchester and a rocking chair on his porch and suspenders to keep my pants up. My how things have changed! In the last year (somewhat out of order) we've gotten married, climbed Angel's Landing, celebrated my graduation and took a job with
Caterpillar, went to Alaska, smelled the breath of a hump-back whale, canoed to a glacier, eaten a spruce tip, saw a glacier cave in like you see on the Discovery Channel, only in person, drank a quail egg, lived in Springville, made peach cobbler, played with bull-mastiff puppies, moved to Illinois, slept at a rest stop, have seen more bald eagles in real life than I ever thought possible, bought a giant bean bag for furniture, had a futon but got rid of it when we realized that having only a futon and a giant bean-bag for furniture made us hippies, sat on our patio and watched the fireflies, got attacked by red-winged blackbirds, gone biking in the woods, went to St. Louis,
saw the Mississippi from the top of the Gateway Arch, drove through the flood plane and realized just how bad it was last spring, got lost in the country roads and corn-fields and felt like a mouse in a giant green maze, Tiff learned to make delicious lemon merengue pie on a whim

and taught me to cook, I introduced her to the Demo-Derby and Mud-Drag Racing (and realized it was good we went after we'd been married), went to Japan, snorkeled, drank fresh coconut, zip-lined through the jungle, realized how much family really means, ate the best beef ever, patted a water buffalo, learned to say thank you very politely in Japanese ("Domo aregato gozimas-ta"), wore a kimono, swam in the East China Sea, got threatened by a wild moray eel
while snorkeling, ate an eel later that night for revenge, Tiff blew chunks for the first time since eighth grade, I caught those chunks in my half-empty Nalgene bottle to avoid a scene on an unusually quiet bus-ride through Tokyo, touched a wild frog, lived through an ice storm, have awoken at night to the severe weather siren feeling lucky to have someone to hold on to, learned to make and live on a budget, trying to learn how to make a good picture (a good self portrait is
still tough, but what do you think of the rose?), gone on scooter rides, plugged up a vacuum, dismantled a vacuum, bought a new vacuum, figured out how insurance actually works, fed the coyotes outside of Nauvoo with the deer that committed suicide by our bumper, re-upholstered a couch, made hash browns that could easily be mistaken for roadkill, came out victorious in a
battle with mold, realized that just because windows are "energy efficient" doesn't mean that ice won't form inside your room, put together a puzzle of Tigger so mind-numbingly difficult that could only be accomplished because it was too cold outside to do anything else (seriously, the
only puzzle more difficult would be one that was entirely one shade of blue and a circle), I grew a beard, Tiff's growing a baby, roasted marshmallows on the patio over the hibachi, still haven't
killed our cactus (maybe we'll be able to handle this baby thing yet!), got a library card, made peach pancakes, learned that shopping at Wal-Mart is a
lot more bearable if you don't do it on Saturday afternoon, made our own taco-seasoning, saw a real live cardinal, built an end-table in the kitchen with a hand saw and a drill, and the list goes on.
It's been an awesome year, we truly are blessed and I think we can consider it seized. The next one should be even more fun 'cause there's gonna be three of us. Now I just gotta scrounge up two rocking chairs to make sure that first dream can still come to pass... I love you Feet!!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy (Belated) Bithday!

February 11th, 1983 marked a glorious day in history. It was the day Braden Reed Balls was born! (This post is quite late, I know, but better late than never, right?) We were able to celebrate by going to another baby doctor appointment where we found out everything is growing normally. I surprised Braden by making cookies that he could bring to work. For dinner we followed the Balls' family tradition of having "birthday breakfast" (we would have actually had it for breakfast but I had to have the glucose test that day and Braden didn't want to eat by himself). We had eggs, sausage, and hash browns; the hash browns didn't turn out right though, so we just had eggs and sausage.

The birthday boy with his food and with some presents (VERY excited about Smash Brothers for Wii). I love you Braden and am so glad I got to celebrate your birthday with you (as your wife!) this year!!

Here are the latest ultrasound pictures. You can see her face in the first one and one of her kickers in the other.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Why didn't the opossum cross the road?

Because he got ran over.

That's Tiff's favorite new joke.  We'll spare you the sordid details and images, but one of the quirks of living in a city that is intertwined with they woods is the roadkill - it's everywhere.  It seems to go with the seasons as well.  During the summer and fall, it was all deer, during winter there was an inordinate number of raccoons, and now as spring is beginning to bud, the opossums are taking there turn.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


You ever wonder how the sport of competitive weightlifting ever got started? I put money on two guys that walked up to a rock and said "I bet you can't lift that..." and now we have this guy. I wonder where he finds his t-shirts. They must be custom. And I bet they're expensive.