Monday, November 12, 2012

Obi-Wan Kenobi XXXI

Once upon a time, I got mono.  I don't know if you have ever had mono, but I do NOT wish it upon anybody.  It really screws with your body as far as sleep, energy, weight, and everything else you can imagine it screwing with.   Lucky me, I got it in August, and was getting married in October.  YAY

Good news!  I survived the wedding and everybody else survived me.

It had been a few months, and I was technically on my way to recovery, but it was still near impossible for me to function if I didn't get like 10+ hours of sleep at night.  Being in school, this made getting to class one of the hardest tasks of my day.  On top of all the sleep I couldn't avoid, I was gaining a lot of weight.  With mono you aren't allowed to exercise because it might cause your spleen to rupture, and when you finally are allowed to exercise, you can't over-do it in fear of causing the mono to flare up again.  I was all depressed about gaining weight and not being able to exercise or wake up, so that in turn caused me to gain more weight (pretty sure I am an emotional eater...confirmed by this whole situation).  In short, I was depressed and tired and tired of gaining weight.

Along came Obi.

Our first family pic.  The night we picked him up :)

We didn't get Obi with the idea of him helping me heal, but boy did he help the process.  Scotty has to wake up and go to Air Force stuff in the early mornings, so when Obi was a puppy and potty training, guess who was the only one home to wake up and take him out?  Yup, it was me.  As hard as it was, it was the best thing that could have happened to me.  I had somebody else to wake up for and take care of and if I didn't do it, I would be cleaning up the mess he left me later.

First time @ the park.  mmmm Pinecones!
I was finally getting my sleep schedule back on track.  I hadn't been able to wake up before 8 a.m. (usually 10) in months.  Now I was regularly up around 6 and I can't tell you how grateful I was to start feeling normal again.

Obi holds a special place in my heart because of the emotional and physical support he gave me--without even knowing he did it.

Just enjoying the dog park!

Because he was such a LOVING dog and LOVED to meet new people, we decided to put Obi into training to become a service dog.  Intermountain Healthcare has a program called Intermountain Therapy Dogs and we wanted to get Scotty and Obi involved.  To prepare, we registered Obi with the national service dog registry and Scotty took him places with his service vest.  Obi did so well everywhere he went, that we knew without a doubt that he would do fantastic as a therapy dog.

We couldn't enter the program until Obi was 1 year old, however, and around that time Scotty had major surgery.  The nurse told us Obi could come visit Scotty in the hospital since he had a service vest.  Scotty literally cried with joy when the nurse gave us the O.K. to bring him in.

Jump ahead to more recent events:
We took Obi to get his booster shots at the end of September.  He was a bit "laggy" after he got them last time, so we figured the same would happen this time.

Well, he was laggy, but it lasted A LOT longer than it should have.  Like, DAYS.  We thought he was having a bad reaction, so we took him to the vet & the doc gave us some dog ibuprofen.  We took him to the vet after the pills were gone because he did good on the pills, but without them he didn't feel any better; this time they said he had too much bacterial overgrown in is stomach and they put him on antibiotic to kill the bad bacteria, and pro-biotics to make good bacteria.  A week went by and he didn't get any better, so we went back.  At this point he had lost about 10 pounds because he was not eating hardly anything.  They ran a whole bunch of tests on him: blood-work, the whole nine yards.  They couldn't figure out what was wrong.  All the tests were coming back good.  FINALLY (I don't know why it took so long to do this) they took an x-ray.  The vet told us she thought his diaphragm had ruptured and it was pushing all his organs against each other and out and that is what made it hard for him to eat.  She said we were lucky he was still alive and sent us immediately to an emergency vet in SLC for surgery.

The emergency vet did their own x-ray, because they had a better digital machine--they weren't convinced it was his diaphragm.  They came back and said it wasn't his diaphragm and they were calling their specialist in from Park City to do a cat scan.  After the cat scan we were told that Obi has lung cancer.  It had spread to both lungs and is extremely baffling, because he is only 1.5 years old.  The best explanation we have is that he was born with it.  For his age, it had to be something genetic.  We could spend lots of money to try and keep him alive, but with all the money in the world and a lot of suffering, his best prognosis was still only 6 months.

They told us we could take him home, but we needed to not wait very long to take care of the situation.  If we were to wait, he could go into respiratory arrest and suffocate.

Ellie could tell something was wrong. She would try and make him feel better all the time.

We took Obi to see Scotty's parents that night and everybody else came over the next morning to say goodbye.  Our appointment was set for 4:30 the afternoon of October 23, 2012.  He was really tired, and I think he was relieved that he finally got to lay down and sleep without feeling yucky or having trouble breathing. 

Our last family photo with Obi.  10/23/2012

Obi will never know the joy he brought into our lives or how much he helped me overcome the obstacles I was facing in my life.  He was the best dog I have ever known and will be missed every day.  I am glad he feels better now and can't wait to see him again. 

Snuggled up in the van camping & waiting for the rain to stop.
 The place that cremated his body gave us the following poem with his remains:

There is a bridge between heaven and earth. 
It is called the rainbow bridge because of its many colors, and our side of the bridge is a land of meadows hills and valleys if lush green grass to run, fresh clean ponds to swim and the most perfect of mountains to explore.
When a beloved pet dies, it goes to this beautiful place. 
There is always the best of food, clean water and the most perfect weather. 
The old and frail are young again, those that were maimed are made whole. 
They are all the best of friends and play all the day long with each other.
There is only one thing missing, their special person who loved them on earth. 
So they run and play happy as can be until the day comes when yours suddenly stops playing and looks up. 
Their nose twitches, their ears perk up, their eyes are staring, and suddenly runs from the group.
You have been seen, and you run to meet your special friend, you take him into into your arms and embrace. 
If you though your friend was happy to see you come home from a long day of work, imagine the greeting you will receive here. 
Your face is kissed again and again, tails are wagging buts are shaking with delight, and you look once more into the eyes of your beloved most loyal and trusted friend.
You then stand cross the rainbow bridge together, never to be separated again.

To end this post on a lighter note, I want to share some of the happy memories we had with Obi over this lat year.  He is such a goofball.

We threw Obi a birthday party when he turned 1.  Yes, I know it is a bit silly, but it was loads of fun!  Check out the star wars cupcakes!

Delicious cupcakes!  (Not for the dogs)

Birthday Buds!

Everybody in the car :)  We had many fun car trips!

Wrestling @ the park

Hiking in PG

Hi-5!  This pic has been used a lot by The Greenies Brand on facebook!

First outing with dad.  Fishing!

Obi finally figured out the sunroof :)

Look how well he posed for this pic!  SO pretty.

These two were a pretty legit pair.  Don't mess.

I found him like this when I came home from school one day.  What a spaz.

Shifty eyes.  10 points if you know what I think of when I see a shifty eyed dog!

One of my favorite things: He would get this BIG goofy smile on his face if you could scratch him right.

The Force will be with you.  Always.

Friday, July 13, 2012


EVERYBODY should go vote on facebook right now here:

Facebook Link

Go to the Vocal Performance category and vote for ROCKY RODEE!

He definitely has the best performance and deserves to win!!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Song of the Week!

This was kind of the song of the week 2 weeks ago, but it is happening now. So deal with it :) 

If you saw this roaming around the social atmosphere, than you know how awesome it is. The song is catchy and fun, and the video broke a world record! The costume changes are fun and I'm surprised at how much I still like the song when it pops up on my playlist :) 


Eytan and The Embassy - Everything Changes

Monday, June 25, 2012

Song of the Week is Returning!

I am officially re-instating my beloved song of the week posts.

This week the song is: "Some Nights" by Fun.

**Disclaimer: This video is about war & soldiers.  It is graphic at times and this is the un-edited version.

I first heard it on the radio on my way home from work.  It has an awesome beat and interesting lyrics.  If you are sensitive, get the edited version; although unless you are really listening, you won't hear the "bad" word.  The band Fun is kind of "hippie-like" and really open with their feelings/actions.  You may recall their big hit "We are Young" (the song all about smoking pot).  Really "fun" (haha pun.) song, but probably not the best influence for young listeners if they can decipher what it means. 

It took me a while to find it on itunes, but I was excited when I did.  It is one of those songs that you just want to sing along with.

It kind of has that a capella-type/instrumental sound to it.  Not like a lot of stuff you hear these days with popular music.

I just watched the video and it strikes somewhat of a nerve because Scotty is working on becoming an Officer in the Air Force, and my bro in law is in the Army National Guard, and I have a lot of  military history in the family.  With the 4th of July approaching, however, I feel it is important to remember the things that have happened (like the civil war as semi-portrayed in the video) and how we can learn from them for the future.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Camera Giveaway!

I would love a chance to win this camera is giving away, so here's my blog post about it!!!

Monday, June 18, 2012


I really love to cook.

Not enough to study it in depth at school or anything---I'm not really into that whole cooking at a restaurant scene.  Especially if this guy (or others like him) are involved in the process:

too stressful methinks
Along with my love of cooking comes a love of cookbooks (an addiction I inherited from my mother).  I love finding good cookbooks and even more, I love finding good recipes in them.

I'm all about the recipes that aren't too complicated, but present amazing results.  There is nothing more fun/awesome than people ogling over something you made that literally required very little effort :)

In lieu of all this cooking talk, I'm going to share with you a blog/cookbook reference that might change your life:

Our Best Bites | Tips, Tricks, and Tastes from Two Real-Life Kitchens

I stalked the book these two wrote on Amazon for months and when I saw it at Costco one day for cheaper than Amazon I couldn't resist.  Probably my favorite aspect about this book, is that the two ladies who wrote it STRONGLY encourage you to use REAL ingredients (like use butter when the recipe calls for butter).  It makes all the difference and it feels SO good at the end of the recipe to know you really made everything from scratch and/or the best way you could make it.  Scotty and I are on a journey of better for you/whole/clean foods and I don't really even have to think about this book having any problem recipes in it.


I can't say that I've made everything in it yet, but everything I have tried thus far has not disappointed!

Here are some of the recipes I have tried (that are fortunately, also shared on the blog) and have absolutely LOVED:

Strawberry Sauce
Nothing fancy here, but delicious!  Perfect if you have some strawberries around and want something yummy for ice cream, waffles, or whatever you want strawberries on!  

Buttermilk Caramel Syrup
 Ok seriously.  Who would ever buy syrup again after tasting this?  I am 100% sold and 100% hooked.  Easy to make and DELICIOUS.  The book also has an apple cider syrup that also turned out great, but I would save that for chilly Fall/Winter mornings.

Spinach Mandarin Poppy Seed Salad
I am LITERALLY eating this right now.  Yum.  With the following salad dressing:

Poppy Seed Salad Dressing
My husband even likes this stuff, and he's the kind of guy who NEVER strays from ranch.  AMAZING, no?  It is also super easy.  I've tried making salad dressing before and this gives me hope that I can make more kinds in the future.

Brazilian Lemonade
Have you ever eaten at Tucanos?  You should go right now if you haven't.  Seriously.  Make sure you try the pineapple and order the Brazilian lemonade--you might die it is so yummy!  I've always wanted to know how to make it and this recipe comes pretty darn close.  I think this recipe is a bit sweeter than the restaurants', but it does the trick.  Don't drink too much or you WILL get a tummy-ache!

Mini Cheesecake Tarts
I made these for my bro-in-law's farewell party and they were the "secret" treat everybody kept sneaking around to find.  Easiest cheesecake of my life to make and one of the yummiest.  Top with some whipped cream and fresh fruit (or strawberry sauce) and you are good to go!

Here's my fav whipped cream recipe if you are interested (courtesy of the Lion House Entertaining cookbook...if you want another one to pick up...hehe)
1 Cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 Cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Whip the cream until it starts to stiffen.  Add sugar and vanilla.  Continue whipping until stiff peaks are formed.  Done & Yumminess is born. 
NOTE: The original recipe has you use gelatin so it will stay stiff longer, but I have found that in most cases I don't need to worry about that. If you are worried about it staying "whipped" than go for it, but I find it's often too much of a hassle.

Last, but not least I am going to share with you the Lasagna recipe that I will be serving for book club.  It takes a LONG time to make, but it's not really complicated and the delicious smells kind of make it all worth it while you are cooking.

Peter's Pasta & Lasagna Sauce
I almost nixed the lasagna and made some pasta when I was making the pasta sauce.  This sauce is the part that smells SO GOOD.  

Peter's Lasagna
This was my first attempt ever at making lasagna and I do have to say that I am very proud of the results.  My mom calls it "creamier" than she is used to, but she still liked it.  It is supposed to be crazy authentic.  I hope it is, because you will feel super accomplished after making this.  ***If you are planning on doubling the recipe, make sure you have a BIG saucepan to cook the sauce in.  I had to outsource to a couple pans to get everything to cook and not explode/spill everywhere.  I'll let you know what the book club ladies think of it at the end of the week :)

I felt this was appropriate.... :)


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Toilet Bowl Syndrome...

This is a term coined by my mother; and in case you have no idea what I am talking about, here is the TMI explanation: toilet bowl syndrome occurs when you have been working out and are TOO sore to sit on the toilet or get up from it.  You really have no choice but to continue with what you need to do, so you just experience EXCRUCIATING pain!  All you swimmers know exactly what I'm talking about.

I have not been this sore since my BYU swimming days!

can you find me? (hint: I'm next to a very blond person)

I have a bittersweet relationship with my body's soreness right now.
Last week I wanted to cry every time I sneezed bc my abs hurt so bad!

and guess who is responsible for all this???

My brother-in-law and my sister-in-law (no, not me!  I could NEVER have done this to myself lol)

Christian and Marci opened up a new gym in Saratoga Springs and I have now gone 3 times.  1: intro class that didn't feel so bad until the next day when I woke up being able to feel EVERY SINGLE MUSCLE IN MY TORSO. 2: OnRamp 1 where I did more squats than I ever want to think about ever again. 3: OnRamp 2 where I thought we wouldn't be doing any more squats, but guess what? we did.

I have 2 more classes to go this week and so far I have technically survived :)

As much as it hurts, I LOVE it.  I am getting more of a workout in 10-20 minutes than I was giving myself in an hour on my own!  Also, all the other people who are there dying with you are super nice and super supportive.  You can be competitive if you want, but it is mostly you pushing yourself as much as you think you need to.

CrossFit reminds me A LOT of dry land workouts from the swim team days.  For this reason, I can NOT wait for Scotty to be recovered from his surgery.  I know he is going to fall in love with CrossFit and it will be a great way for him to get in shape for AFROTC this next year.

Speaking of Scotty's recovery, guess what? Scotty had jaw surgery!

Scotty developed an underbite as his jaw grew, so we had been trying to fix it with braces, but they just weren't cutting it; so two weeks ago (May 7) the doc cut his upper jaw, moved it forward 7mm and put some metal plates in there to hold it all together.  Crazy, right?!  He spent 1.5 days/1night in the hospital and is on a liquid diet for 6 weeks (4 more to go!).  He can't lift more than 10 lbs right now and isn't allowed to go running or do anything too physical.

Here are some photos of the journey so far:

Pre-surgery.  Playing with the temperature-control for his hospital gown.
Did you know they had those??!  super cool.
post-surgery.  Probably wondering what the crap he got himself into at this point

Obi got to come visit! The nurses were so nice about it
and Scotty couldn't have been happier to see him!

Russell!  Thanks dad :)

heading home!!! Check out the awesome balloon from Britt!
It's still floating in our living room right now!