Monday, October 10, 2011

Thankful Heart

Just a quick note for the blessings I have in my life. 
I ventured through storm and UT construction Friday night to be with my family this past weekend.  Saturday October 8, 2011 on her Birthday.. miss Kyra, my niece, was baptized a memeber of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  She asked me to speak about baptism and I was glad for the opportunity to remind myself of those covenenats I made when I was a little girl and what a blessing its been in my life to be a member of Christ's church.  As we prepared for lunch afterwards we had a fun announcement too- the current baby of Michelle & Chris' family was wearing a "Big Sister" shirt!!! They will be welcoming baby #5 in May !!!  
Family time this weekend was really needed... I still get a little homesick when I haven't been home for a long while and it was getting to the point where I needed a good dose of my siblings and parents! I love playing phase 10 with my siblings! We all want to win so there is good competition and then we all have a hard time hiding our disappointment when our hand doesn't go well... It was just funny to watch how the emotional roller coaster of the game played out.  Time with them really lightened my burdens. Sunday I went to the home ward and they were having Fast and Testimony Meeting.  I really appreciated hearing from so many of the individuals who shaped me while in my youth.  I learned of some members who have passed on and to hear the testimonies of their loves really struck me, I strive to someday have a relationship like that.  I had a good discussion with my dad too and received some council so I can make choices for my future... gulp! I am a lucky girl to have my Dad! We understand things in a similar way and I love talking to him about things because he just gets me and can explain things so I can make sense of them. I really appreciate how he shows me what kind of person to be. I love his testimony and his faithfulness- He really is my hero!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Becoming She-Ra

As promised, this is the recap of my last six months training for a Figure Competition. The last four days I have almost felt lost.. the pressure from training is off my shoulders but trying to figure out how to continue progressing and not lose what I have worked so hard for is a little daunting. 

I guess I should start at the begining, "Before" pictures are quite depressing to take.. But I am glad I had them so I could see the progress I made along the way!   

The next little table shows the composition change of my body during this process.

                 Start of Program              Current Week                Total Loss/Gain

Weight          151.6 lbs.                         133.4 lbs.                        -18.2 lbs.

Body Fat       32.5%                             16.3%                              -16.2%
Fat Mass       49.27                             21.74                                -27.53 lbs.

Lean Mass    102.33                            111.66                               +9.33 lbs.

How gross to think I had almost 50lbs of fat on my body! Glad to only have 20lbs now... still would like less but that can be my next goal!

This journey definately required a lot from me. The dedication to following my eating plan to the T and making time for my workouts made my social life a little more dull than it normally is :S  I never liked fish so I really never ate it before now too. But the last month leading up to competition day I was eating fish and asparagus 5 times a day... so I am glad that I learned to  like it  at least not gag everytime I ate it :)

Some of the highlights from the week of competition prep include:
  • Only having to work 3 days that week Monday- Labor day and Friday-dehydration makes one crazy!
  • Wrapping myself in saran wrap to sweat while I sleep
  • Having to shave every single hair from my body to be spray tanned!
  • Being spray tanned!!! oh gosh!
  • Dehydrating....
  • Sitting in a sauna the last day just to sweat the rest of the water out of me.
  • Sleeping with my legs in the air the night before to drain all the fluid out of my legs!
  • Having to pee through a dixie cup to not splash my spray tan! LOL that was dang funny!
  • Going to Wal*Mart to get make up to match my new skin tone! (I hope I get on the website of ppl @ Wal-mart)
  • Eating a breakfast of real buttermilk pancakes the morning of  :)
  • Driving there
  • Having Aub there with me for all the funniness and making me beautiful for stage! LOVE YOU AUB
The directions to the Venue were way wrong from mapquest so we got lost... asked some little farm couple for some help and found our way. Check-in was very anti climactic! They gave me a name card and my # and sent me to pick a mat.  They had a little hard blue mat for each of the competitors! I was super intimidated by the other girls and felt like I didn't quite look like I should be there!  We hung out for a long time waiting for pre-judging to begin and then it seemed like we were rushing to be ready for my turn on stage! So much adrenaline and all I could do was breathe and think "all the work is done, now all you can do is get up there and show them what you've done"  Once I stepped on stage and hit my first pose, all my nerves vanished. I walked confidently and hit the poses I have been practicing for weeks and just let it be what it was! Walking off the stage I felt so good, just because I had done it! I had no idea what the judges had decided but I was so happy I could say I really did it!

For the night show we budgeted our time much better to be ready for stage.  I had no worries since the judging was basically already done and the night show is just to strut and then place. I felt very calm and able to enjoy the experience. I had several friends come to support me and that really meant a lot!  I had talked to more of the competitors throughout the day and found out that this was their first show also... so that was nice to know that more of us were at the same level! Getting on stage that night I was so glad I had made the choice to do a show, the day made all the struggles in the last six months worth it!

Alright, now a little photo drop. Mind you the quality of pictures from my ipod are not the best but its what I have right now.

Just to appreciate the tan and how white my teeth look :)

Front Pose


Relaxed pose

Pumping for Stage
Top 3 !!!

Sandy Aquarium

My sister Michelle and her cute family came to play in Utah for a few days and take the kids to see some fun things while they were here, I took a day off and spend it with them at the Aquarium! it was so fun to see them and check out some of the venues that Utah has to offer.


some fish :)
These are just a few shots, trust me this place has a lot more than these two specimen!!

Some Summer Fun...

We went to the Nephi Demolition Derby a few weeks ago! It was crazy stormy when we got there and tried to run through a sand storm to get up to the gates! So don't judge that our faces are caked with dirt and our hair is rained on and matted :)

Glamor shot... ha after running through the sand storm and rain!

Those of us who braved the storm: Keith, Aub, Kelsey, Me

The cars caught on fire!!!!

photo booth shot
We only look tan because of the dirt on our faces :)

We are in HAWAII :)

I know, I know... Let's not talk about how terribly behind I am in posting about our adventure to Hawaii :)
  My cousin and her husband are in the Army and have been stationed in HI -we feel really bad for them-  Needless to say; their current location and our need for a vacation provided the perfect scenario for all of us to get together!   

Oh how I love the culture of the islands, We were greeted in the air port with fresh flower leis and on Sunday the Relief Society Sister's welcomed us with more.

Analee and I may or may not have taken a billion pictures of ourselves in the car as we drove around the island for days.. this is just one of many :)   Our first excursion day (Monday) we started at Pearl Harbor, I am not much of a history buff but it is very fascinating to me the things that have taken place and shaped the country that we now live in.
Anchor from the U.S.S Arizona
Flag flying over the Memorial
We're kinda cute
This is because it was Valentine's Day and I was trying to be artsy.
 That wave washed the word away right after I snapped this picture so I was happy to have captured it.
Tueday's events included the Dole Plantation, where I became a pineapple.....
....and found me a local to love!  
"It's a DOLE life"
Then of course, another beach and some boogie boarding! Sadly, while we were out playing in the water the life guards called everyone to come to shore because an agressive acting shark was in the area....I am not as brave as Bethany Hammilton and I'd like to keep my arms.... and legs for that matter!
Wednesday: We hiked Diamond Head it was a tough climb but so beautiful! It overlooks Waikiki and you can see out over the ocean for miles!

The evening we spent at Hanauma Bay Oh my, how I love the beach!  They have you watch a snorkling instruction video just to enter to bay and then you are free to explore as much as you'd like!  
The water here is just gorgeous!

By recommendation, we ate dinner at DUKE'S that night. Of course being in Hawaii I had to try their Ono Fish.. the picture is a little dark but you can still get the idea.

Thursday:  Morning hike to Manoa Falls, the TV show LOST filmed a little in this location, so that was cool. The trail was beautiful and very tropical rain forrest feeling! There were warning signs about wild hogs and the locals warned us about being bitten by any of the bugs because some diseased bugs had escaped from the research center that was in the area :S haha luckily we survived the hike without any major injury.   

The Falls

And , you guessed it another day ended at the BEACH. 
Friday: We made our way around the Laie Temple grounds. I wish we would have had more time to actually go and do a session, I guess I will just have to do so next time I am there :)

Then a quick stop by the famous Hukilau Cafe!

and the rest of the day at the PCC!

We learned how to make fish from banana leaves, watched the canoe parade, attended a luau, watched 'HA breath of life'  and got tattoos :)

As we flew into the Boise airport, this is the scene that greeted us...
(if you can't tell its snow and stormy winter weather)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly time goes by. The first half of 2011 has been superb! This will just be a quick update for now but I will give more details later [Hopefully :)]

I moved to a new home that I love, with roommates that I LOVE <3 Love Stacy, Megan, Krista, & Chelsae

I do not live with my favorite cousin AUB any more and thats been rough but we still make time to see each other.

I took a little vacay to HAWAII in February. Had a blast. I will do a post just for that later.. I promise!

The decision to re-do the ward boundaries in our area also went into effect and we found ourselves in the same place but with a whole new ward! Its been fun, made new friends, and I am enjoying the change.

I am still really enjoying my position within Novell as the Asst. Manager of their Fitness Center. Spring brought many changes for Novell and its taken us a few months to work through the bugs. I am starting to feel like I have a handle on everything...just in time too because my Boss will be having her first baby (a cute little boy) in October and taking maternity leave until February which puts me in the hot seat for a few months. I am a little nervous but excited for the new challenges that the responsibility may bring.

In April, a girl that I went to massage therapy school with contacted me about a position open in their spa and wondered if I would be interested in applying. Ironically I had been thinking for the last month that I wanted to get back into a spa and progressing with my massage knowledge. They basically hired me on the spot and I jumped right in. Its been mostly wonderful there, I love the people that I work with and its such a beautiful facility! Come visit me if you are in the area!

The Spa is Primrose Retreat in Spanish Fork

The link is our website, you can find all our services there. Or you can just pop in to say 'Hi" and try one of the MOST delicious cupcakes you will ever taste in your entire life!

Okay final update for my life at this point!

Being in the health field I have always had a strong desire to learn as much as I can about the body, and be healthy! A previous co-worker and I went to dinner several months ago to catch up and she introduced me to a new wrelm within the fitness world. FIGURE COMPETITIONS I always dreamed of having a lean, toned body but despite all my workouts and eating what I thought was healthy I wasn't seeing much change. So I went with her to one of her meetings with her training coach (mostly just out of curiousity, and because I want to learn how to do couseling myself and thought 'maybe I can learn something from him')

However, from that day I have embarked on a journey that is changing me! I have been training the last 4 months for a figure competition of my own!!! Its been tough and exciting all along, I feel like I am becoming a better person and I am pushing myself to a level I have never been at before! The lows are a struggle but the highs are amazing and the encouragement I am receiving from everyone around me touches my heart.

I promise I will post more about this adventure later, but I just wanted to let you know what I have been up to if you were at all interested.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Winter Adventures

Alright, I am still learning how to do this whole blog thing... I realize that its been almost a year, however, A. I hardly spend enough time trying to figure it out. 2. I often forget that I have a blog that I want to post on and C. I only remember that I want to blog after several weeks/months then the daunting task of catch up is very overwhelming.....
But I am going to do my best to bring my blog up to date this morning!

I discovered what my calling in life should have been!!!
I know, I really dropped the ball on that one, having never gone ice skating until
I was 24 years old!! But I was quite please with the progress I made
in one evening. I went with my cousin Aub and our fr
iend Erika and some of Erika's friends. I felt like I should be cautious, seeings how I am not a spring chicken anymore and falling on ice is hardly one of my favorite activities.
But after a few go-rou
nds I started to gain confidence!
Watching the little kids spin and speed past I wanted to try it too.... and I was actually starting to get the hang of it and began learning some fun tricks.

After an hour or so (without falling) we were getting ready to wrap up for the night and decided to take a few more spins around the rink. So in my newly acquired "pride mobile" I was gaining speed and came around to pass Aub and E, they clapped and cheered for me
adding to the pride filling my head! Then turning
the next bend the thought crossed my mind,
"I could be and Ice Skating Prodigy!" (yes, that was my exa
ct thought!)

The very next second...........

Needless to say I tumbled (Karma) and luckily the only real injury I obtained was to my EGO with a raspberry on my cheek and chin.... My brain was rattled and I tried to pop up acting like I was fine. Aub and E came to my rescue and we all laughed before they took my arms and made me skate around the rink one more time before we left.
Now the best (or most humiliating) part of the story. Exiting the rink a little girl fell and looked up at me so I smiled at her hoping she would understand its okay to fall sometimes :) and I didn't realize it at the time but her eyes had gotten big -like she recognized me- and she quickly jumped up and ran to her friend. We went to change out of our skates and I still wasn't quite thinking clearly, and continued to laugh making it difficult to untie my skates. Looking up from my skates to wipe my laughing tears away, I notice the little girl who fell and her friend peeking around the corner at me. I got a little self conscious but tried to ignore it because they ran off after that. Still laughing and having a hard time with my skates, I sat with a growing headache and a brain that wasn't very sharp trying to compose myself, when for the second time I noticed the little girls, who had enlisted more friends, peering at me from around the corner!
It was at that moment in frenzied laughter that I burst into tears, My emotional state wasn't very strong at the moment and the humiliation I now felt because a bunch of little girls were mocking me took its toll on my deflated sense of self :(
Although I experience the extremes in self confidence that night, I did enjoy Ice Skating and I do believe that I would like to go again some day!
To prove to myself that my sweet skills were not a fluke!

Thanksgiving: Aub and I were a little nervous that we were going to spend the Holiday alone, together, in our apartment! The weather decided to bring a storm that closed all the roads in Idaho! First thing to be GRATEFUL for; that the roads opened up again the day we wanted to go home! We were able to have dinner at Gma and pa's with all of the cousins who had come home. Second thing to be grateful for: FAMILY. Third thing, THE GOSPEL: I am grateful for who I am and what I have because of the knowledge I have of my Father in Heaven and His Son. Fourth thing. THANKFUL FOR LISTS... Its a tradition in the home of my adopted family and I love it! Everyone can write anything and everything they are thankful for and the list can become quite long! Last thing for this segment: FRIENDS. I have many wonderful people in my life and appreciate the examples of my friends! I know I am a better person because of the friends I have in my life (Long time and newly acquired)

New addition to the Balls Family: My sister Michelle and her husband Chris recently welcomed into their home and sweet little angel; Azaria Kennedy!

She is precious and I wish I lived closer so I could hold her more while she is still little!
On her blessing day we had our entire family there (minus Analee's husband Josh)
It was so fun to see everyone, and feel the love of our family as a whole!
I count my blessings everyday to have the family I have!
Siblings Picture!

Phewf.. This was a long one! I hope to not take forever to post again!