Thursday, January 31, 2008

Team Balow

You haven't seen a photo of Dave and me for a while, so here you go. Since the beginning of the year, we've made a commitment to making some "lifestyle changes" -- meaning not a diet. We've made a really good effort at eating healthier and exercising. I think you can already see a difference in our faces even though it's only been four weeks. Go Team Balow!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Happy 60th Wedding Anniversary...

This past Friday, January 25, my grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary!! I think that's such a remarkable achievement, and I'm very proud to be their granddaughter. So many marriages don't last, and even those that do, it's pretty special to both be living 60 years later. I can only pray that Dave and I are happily married 58 1/2 years from now and celebrating our anniversary together.

I looked it up -- the 60th anniversary is the "Diamond" anniversary. I should have warned my grandpa...
P.S. I meant to post something earlier, but I was trying to find this photo of them from their wedding day.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Mr. Snout

I forgot to post this one earlier. We call Cooper Mr. Snout, because he's got a big nose!

New pics of the boys...

I've taken quite a few pics of the dogs over the past couple of weeks, but haven't been good at getting them uploaded on to the computer and posted to the blog. Here's a few. You'll see that Cooper keeps growing like a weed. I think he's going to be bigger than Otis when he's full-grown. Otis likes having a little brother. Sometimes I catch them kissing each other or sleeping together in one of the kennels. Although, like any pair of siblings, they sometimes fight over the toys. I took them to the dog park yesterday. Cooper is getting more socialized with dogs, so that's great! I really think the dog park is doggy heaven. Otis loves that place sooooo much. I love watching them race down the path together, and then they race back to me when they think they've gone too far. It's so cute! Anyway, enjoy the photos.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Baby, it's cold outside...

The current temp in Shak-town.... -21.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

1 down, 100 to go

Today I completed my first task on my 101 in 1,001 list. I finished reading The Choice. This book is special, because I received 3 copies for Christmas. I guess that's the problem with online "wish lists" -- when your family doesn't know how to reserve items. :) Hopefully, they'll learn and do better next year.

The book was pretty good, but it was your typical Nicholas Sparks novel -- nothing too out of the ordinary for him. A story about true love and the choices the couple makes to be with each other. The book was set in Beaufort, N.C. Yes, I noted that the characters were going parasailing in February! (Maybe that's why I've been craving a warm-weather vacation.) Anyway, if you want to know more about the book, you'll have to borrow it from me. I'm not one for writing reviews and giving away the entire story.

Let me know if you want to borrow it.

Keep Dreaming...

I'm starting to feel better. Thanks for the get well wishes. Well, all of this ear infection garbage, cold weather and short winter days have me dreaming of my carribean cruise...

Maybe Dave and I will splurge on one if Bush's economic stimulus package passes, or if I get a bonus this year, or if we get tax money back. Right....I'll just keep dreaming.

Well, until I create my own video of the Balow's carribean cruise, this will have to do...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Comedy of Errors...

So my original plan for this weekend was to stay warm inside my house and not even go outside my house, mostly due to the fact that it was going to be below zero all weekend long. Yes, even the high temp was supposed to remain below zero.

However, it was my weekend to usher at church, so I had to go there this morning. Then, me and my mom and my sister Rachel were going to breakfast. And since, I've had this constant ear ache all weekend, I figured I go to urgent care, since the pain was so bad I couldn't sleep the past two nights and Ibprofen and Tylenol wasn't doing a thing to help.

Apparently, my garage thought I should stay home too. I hit the button on the garage door open and in slow motion (literally), the garage door starts going up. After it gets about a foot up off the ground, bam and the garage falls back to the ground, while the motor is still buzzing away.

Great! I was already five minutes late leaving for church, the weekend I'm supposed to usher, the garage door breaks, my car is still inside the garage, Dave's already at work so he can't lift the door, I'm stuck at home and my ear hurts. I was very near tears with pain and frustration.

Anyway, it all worked out. My mom was just leaving her house and picked me up for church. We went to breakfast after church as planned, and my mom went with me to urgent care. (It's always nice when your mom helps take care of you when you need it!)

To quote the doctor, I have a "rip-roaring bad infection." I didn't even know adults get ear infections, but apparently they do, cuz I do.

The good news is that I'm back at home, out of the cold, with a bottle of amoxicillin that never looked so good. I think it's time for a nap!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Dave's in...

Dave's officially registered for the 2008 Grandma's Full-Marathon!!

Only 155 days until race day!

Woo woo

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

101 in 1,001

This list took me a lot longer to develop than I originally thought! It's a to-do list: 101 things to do in 1,001 days.

A couple months back I created a shorter list of things to do before I die, but I saw this on another blog and thought it was a great idea. It gives me a chance to really set goals to get some of those things on my "do before I die" list done, and get them done in the next 1,001 days.

BTW, let's give today the start day. Nov. 13, 2010 will be when my time is up to get this all done.

I should mention that there are items on this list I may do more than once. Also, there are items that can't really be measured and checked off. But they're still items that I can look back and decide if I made a solid effort towards achieving them. The items are in no particular order, all though I did organize them by groups.

Here it is...

1. Lose twenty pounds
2. Take a photography class
3. Set Do my personal best time at Grandma's Half-Marathon in 2008 -- Completed 6/21/2008
4. Blog every day for a month -- Completed 2/29/2008
5. Learn photoshop
6. Take a pottery class
7. Vote for Barack Obama for President -- Completed 11/4/2008
8. Be a better Sister
9. Be a better Wife
10. Be a better Friend
11. Be a better Aunt
12. Be a better Niece
13. Be a better Granddaughter
14. Join a Bible Study Group -- Completed 12/4/2008
15. Finish reading Suite Francaise
16. Finish reading The Choice -- Completed 1/22/2008
17. Read The Kite Runner
18. Read Memoirs of a Geisha
19. Read Love in the Time of Cholera
20. Read Eat, Pray, Love -- Completed 4/23/2008
21. Read A Thousand Splendid Suns -- Completed 6/26/2009
22. Break my Caribou habit -- Completed November 2008
23. Teach a Sunday School class at church
24. Bring my lunch to work with me every day for a month -- Started January 11, 2010
25. Save six months worth of income for an emergency savings account
26. Exercise five days a week for three months and make it a habit
27. Make a habit of using re-usable shopping bags
28. Make a habit of taking a multi-vitamin --Summer 2009
29. Learn to count calories and actually do it!
30. Grow as a Christian
31. Make a scrapbook of our trip to Thailand
32. Get more comfortable at meeting new people
33. Don't judge people
34. Try 1 new recipe every week for a month -- Completed 2/21/2009
35. Stop drinking pop
36. Stop biting nails
36.1. Help a stranger

37. Get Pregnant -- Completed 7/21/2009, 2/23/2010
38. Have a baby
39. Draw photo of Dave's family for Dave
40. Complete ancestor scrapbook
41. Complete wedding scrapbook
42. Plan Dave's college graduation party
43. Watch Dave cross the finish line at Grandma's Full-Marathon -- Completed 6/21/2008, 6/20/2009
44. Watch Otis and Dave compete in an agility competition
45. Visit my grandparents in NJ -- Completed 2/18/2008
46. Visit Stevie in LA -- Completed 9/21/2009
47. Visit Dave's family in NC -- Completed 12/24/2008
48. Coordinate a family volunteer event at Feed My Starving Children -- Completed 1/3/2009
49. Start an annual Asian cooking day with Becky and family
50. Finish housebreaking Cooper Joe -- Completed Spring 2008
51. Teach Emily and Amanda how to ice skate
52. Make a baby scrapbook (must complete 37 & 38 first)
53. Have a family photo session done by Katie -- Completed 8/5/2008, 12/30/2008, 10/28/2009
54. Make a baby blanket (knit, crochet or quilt, etc.) -- This requires that I learn how to knit, crochet or quilt blankets
54.1. Go to a Marriage Encounter retreat

Work/School55. Get a new job -- Completed 7/29/2008
 56. Complete the research project for my Masters of Business Communication
57. Develop an online portfolio of work samples

58. Decorate the nursery -- Completed 08/2/2010
59. Renovate the master bath
60. Get a new desk in the loft -- Completed 8/30/2008
61. Get new blinds for the loft -- Completed 9/1/2008
62. Buy an 1080p LCD HD TV -- Completed 1/27/08
63. Replace all of our light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights
64. Install an electronic thermostat
65. Get a new painting for above our couch in the living room -- Completed 2/1/2009 (Not really new, but we swapped and moved our paintings all around.
66. Re-finish my grandma's dresser -- Completed 7/31/2009
67. Buy a dishwasher -- Completed 4/9/2008
67.1 Get new couch for the loft (with a hide-a-bed) -- Completed 9/11/2008

68. Go to a MN Wild game -- Completed 3/2/2008
69. Get to expert in Guitar Hero
70. See the Pompeii an exhibit at the MN Science Museum
71. Eat at the Oceanaire Seafood Room
72. Eat at Manny's Steak House
73. Catch my first fish -- Completed 9/13/2008
74. Learn to water ski -- Completed 8/10/2008
75. Ride a horse
76. Visit an art museum
77. Go to the MN Twins home opener at the new stadium (or a game in the opening series) -- Completed 4/13/2010
78. Swim with dolphins
79. Go para sailing
80. Take a dance class w/ Dave
81. Throw a wedding or baby shower for someone, preferably a friend or family member, but not anyone in particular -- Completed 10/25/2008
82. Have a summer pool party and BBQ -- Completed 8/3/2008
83. Learn to golf

84. Go on a Caribbean cruise
85. Kayak in the Apostle Islands
86. Take my nieces on a vacation
87. Take a family canoe trip in the BWCA (with Cooper & Otis, of course!)
88. Visit Las Vegas
89. Visit a friend that lives out of state -- Completed 7/15/200890. Spend a night at The Plaza Hotel in NYC
91. See a play on Broadway
92. Take a vacation with my sisters
93. Plan the 2nd Annual Chicago girls weekend w/ Erin, Rachel and Melissa
94. Visit Lake Itasca -- the headwaters of the Mississippi River
95. Go to Grandview Lodge to watch the Mraz Broz. with Krissy
96. Go on a ski trip with Krissy, Rachel and Rachel
97. Go on a service project trip (i.e. Katrina)
98. Spend a weekend night at a bed & breakfast -- Completed 3/8/200999. Visit Paris, France
100. Visit the Grand Canyon
101. Do the Lake Superior sailing trip with my dad
101.1 Visit Mount Rushmore
101.2 Visit Banff National Park in Canada

Thursday, January 10, 2008

We Need You!

Actually, Dave needs you and your support on the morning of June 21, 2008 in Duluth, Minn. He has decided to run Grandma's Marathon. Yes, the full marathon! With a lot of hard work, training and fans cheering him on, he will do it! Of course, he can do the hard work and training himself, but he needs our friends and family to cheer him on and encourage him to keep going all the way to Canal Park. Bring yourself. Bring signs. Bring your camera. Bring cow bells and clappers. Bring kazoos. And definitely bring your voice. Let our support and enthusiasm help Dave run all 26.2 miles and achieve this goal of his!!

And if your wondering, yes, I will be running too. For the third year in a row, I will run the half-marathon. So if you go to watch Dave, you can watch me too. It's like a two for one special.

We're really motivated to great at Grandma's this year. We're already working out to get in shape and lose some weight before the actually training begins. We'd really appreciate your support and your consideration for coming up to Duluth and watch the race!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Our next trip...

Dave and I bought tickets for our next vacation!! We're going to New Jersey to visit my grandparents in February. I'm excited because it's been one and a half years since I've seen them. Wow! I can't believe it's been that long. This time Dave's coming with me. (Last trip to visit my grandparents, I went solo.) We'll be there for about four days, which gives us a day to go to New York City. Maybe we'll see a show on Broadway, or maybe we'll get a chance to see my cousin Ginny and her fiance, or maybe we'll go to the Statue of Liberty. We'll have to figure out what we want to do there. Anyone have any good ideas??

Monday, January 7, 2008

Cooper and friends...

Cooper has started doing something that concerns me. Over the last couple of weeks, he's started peeing in the house when people come over. He's scared of strangers. He did this both times he met my nieces. He did this when Erin and Matt came over. He also did it at the vet today.

I need people to visit the house, so Cooper gets used to people coming over...Krissy and Stevie both came to visit over the weekend. After growling a little, he warmed up to both of them...and he didn't pee either time. But I don't want him to growl at people either!! It's kind of funny right now, because he's a puppy -- but I don't want a grown dog to growl at people, and I don't want him to be scared of people either.

So if you're around Shakopee, feel free to stop by our house for a visit. Cooper needs the practice! Let me know if you have any other suggestions.

Being the good blogger I am, I took some pics of Cooper with our guests. Enjoy!

Katie's big announcement

My sister-in-law emailed me today, saying she had a "big announcement." I love big announcements and this one thrilled me. Her photography website,, went live!

I'm really happy that she is taking her passion and turning it into a career...and she's a really talented photographer. I really love the photos she gets of babies. If you have a moment, please check out her website. An added bonus -- there are lots of great photos of my nephews and the rest of the family in North Carolina.

And if you know anyone in the Wilmington, N.C. area, please recommend her services! And if you are in the Minneapolis area, please fly her up to take photos of your family or special occasion. She can stay at my house! :)

Friday, January 4, 2008

Dave's comment on the phone...

"I am the happiest I've ever been -- right now, this second..."

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Ski Bums

We went cross country skiing again today. And I remembered to bring the camera. Skiing was much better today -- colder, actually...but we started getting the hang of it and enjoyed the fresh air and hanging out with each other.

Happy New Year!

I love the feeling of a new year. It's nice to have made it through a tough year, knowing I made it and that I'm still standing and still happy.

There's something about the feeling of being able to make a fresh start with things -- like with all those new year's resolutions. I'm a big fan of making lists and checking the items off as I complete them (I get that from my Dad) the new year is a great time to start a new list.

Actually, I ran across a blog that had a post "101 in 1,001" -- 101 things to do in 1,001 days. I loved the idea. It's sort of similar to having a list of things that you want to do before you die, but since there is a solid end date, the list has a little more purpose (if I started now, it'd be about Sept. 2010). I tried making the list, but really only came up with 30 or so items. 101 things to do is a lot! And the funny part about it, most of the items revolved around having a baby -- I figure that's definitely something to do within in the next 2 1/2 years. But If I finish the list, I'll definitely post it.

My two main resolutions for this is are to lose weight and to find a new job. We'll see how those go. Dave and I are going to Gold's Gym today. He's already a member, but I'm going to join too. It's so much easier to work out, when you have a gym to go to. Also, we about 80 percent sure we're going to run Grandma's half-marathon again! We're going to start now by losing some weight and doing cardio, so that we do really good this year -- although isn't that our intention every time. We also rented cross-country skis yesterday and today. Man, is that a good workout -- especially when you have no idea what you're doing. We've both had done it only once before when we were kids. Despite the hard work, it was really fun to enjoy the snow, and to feel hot and be sweaty when it's only 6 degrees outside. Haha.