Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Goodbye Goober

Last night around 10pm we lost our baby Goose, he was taken way too soon! He was away from Andy only for a minute running around out in Mendon at our friends house which is just right off the highway. Andy heard a truck make a screeching noise and his heart sank, because he knew it was his dog. He was about 15 seconds away from him, but didn't hear him make any sound or even struggle trying to get up. When he got over to where he was on the road he was already dead. Our baby, gone forever!  He was only two and half years old, but he was 98 lbs of pure muscle, love and goofiness! He was seriously the BEST Chesapeake Bay Retriever, let alone dog around!!! He was naughty always chewing up anything and everything; he especially loved my shoes, glasses, and bras. But he was my buddy, Andy's best buddy and the best slobbery cuddle buddy around! We got him by chance last winter and never looked back. He came to us just as chubby as could be, mostly because he was fed a diet of cheese and mink food. But Andy really worked with him day in and day out and he quickly shed those pounds and developed into the best hunting/companion dog around! He was Andy's dog for duck hunting so his name was very fitting and actually fit him to a tee! When he would shed his under coat Andy would always help it along, pulling out any loose hair, we had so much of it floating around and collecting in our house; we called it our 'Goose Feathers'. I guess the only thing that makes me happy is that he went instantly, there was no drawn out death or pain suffered. The pain that we go through now is what's the hardest. We're both devastated, we love our animals and treat them like our children. We have such compassion for animals in general that losing one is like losing a member of our family, we're not complete without them here. The void now felt is huge and lingering. Andy had just set up a large dog kennel which Goose actually LOVED getting into each day. Now that sits empty next to his empty bowls, a new huge bag of dog food and his blanket that he slept on. It's true what they say about dogs being "Man's Best Friend." Andy's best friend Chuck met us both out at the marsh to bury him, since that is where they take their hunting dogs each duck and goose season. That's what those dogs lived for. Goose was just coming into his own as an amazing bird dog. It's such a shame, a waste even of his talent and what kind of a hunter he had the potential of becoming. After they dug the hole I put his favorite dummy in with him, he was so cute carrying it everywhere, chewing on it when he could get away with it, never wanting to let it get too far away from him. Andy kept his collar to put around his mirrors then we said our goodbyes and gave him back to Mother Earth. We're going to miss big old dog to death! He was such a good boy, so loving and carefree, so goofy; which is why I called him Goober! You never got Goose kisses without getting slobbered big time. He could be such a brat sometimes if you pushed him to do something he didn't want to he'd usually bark and then jump up and try to bite your under arms, not viciously just to let you know or rather show you that he was stubborn, he thought he was the boss and he wanted to do what Goose wanted to do! I truly think that the way we treat animals speaks volumes about the kind of people we are in life. Dogs are just the best creatures, they love you unconditionally, they never waiver, they'll always be there for you. Pleasing you and getting praise is the biggest and best compliment/reward they could ever want. Goose truly made our family complete and whole again, after loosing both Kya & Rock last year, he stepped it up and filled the void in our hearts and minds and became another member of our family. He's gone but he's definitely not forgotten. I hope he knows how much joy he brought to our lives, and that we're better people and pet owners for knowing him.

Here some pictures last winter I got of Andy & Goose really starting to work & train on retrieving....

And here's some pictures with Goose in his element...
More than anything in this world he LOVED his dummy, water and of course his papa! 
My boys...such good buddies and so darn cute!

We love you Goose, my Goober boy! We miss you like crazy! And we'll never forget you!
All our love mom & dad aka the Rice-Balls!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Real Men Where Tights

So I came across this picture of my dad while at BYU. I don't know the whole premis behind the picture, except it had something to do with film school and  how ballet is actually one of the best exercises athletes can do to stay limber, agile and light on their feet. My dad and friend got all 'dolled' up to help portray this and get the 'Real Men' theme across....I think they actually did a mighty fine job of it! What do you think!?! I know first you have to get past the idea that my dad looks better in tights, a leotard and a tutu than you do, then you can appreciate how incredibly awesome this picture really is! Man my dad has such a baby face here it's crazy! Look out 1978?!?

Saturday, June 30, 2012

For Better or Worse

Being that today is Andy's & my 5 year anniversary I thought I'd take a look back at my grandparents. The first picture is of my mom's parents; Gage & Barbara Behunin, the second is of my dad's parents Vaughn & Mary Ball. It's great to see such shinning examples of love and devotion. You can really tell that they were in love. And it's fun to look the legacy they all created. I realize now that no marriage is perfect, we all go through ups and downs, emotional roller coasters, triumphs and tribulations, heartache and joy, bumps and bruises, and so much more. But as long as you have someone beside you, always cheering you along, helping hold you when you aren't strong enough, laughing & crying with you, making it bearable, enjoyable and absolutely memorable, or someone just to keep you in line then you'll be okay in this life. Sure things don't always work out the way you plan or had originally wanted them to, but that doesn't mean that the time spent together was a waste or a failure. The way I look at it is; husband and wife and best friends for life. Andy will always hold a special place in my heart. We've been together for the past 10 years (WOW) and we've been married for the last 5. We've had good times, bad times and every time in between. Being with my partner has helped shape and mold me into the person I am today. So I take everything in and I'm grateful that I had the privilege of having him in my life; as I'm sure my grandparents and parents would say the same thing. I know that I've heard on several occasions that each of my forebears went through rough patches themselves. My grandma Behunin told me that she and grandpa were ready to throw in the towel right around their 25th wedding anniversary, but my mom along with her brothers and sisters went all out, planning this huge black tie dinner and celebration with food and dancing for all of their friends, coworkers and church affiliates; so grandma & grandpa they felt bad or obligated to go to it and by then they decided to stay together; that it was worth it no matter how hard it was right then, they were going to stick it out and preserver! I'm thankful that I was able to meet Andy and to ultimately marry my best friend. And I'm grateful for such amazing examples of love, devotion, honor, sacrifice, and longevity. Even though they're separated now by life and death I know that their love knew no bounds and it will transcend all boundaries. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Goodbye KMFH

Andy's and my BEST friend from Logan Utah is moving away. It's bitter sweet because he's moving on to this next chapter of his life; traveling up to Montana to clean up his land he bought from his father and then heading on down to Texas where he'll spend the next 5 years working on the sailboat his dad left him, getting it ready to sail around the world. Sadly Keith lost his dad suddenly last year to a heart attack and since then he's changed his life plans to finish out what his dad had started. Keith is definitely more of a nomadic person. He comes and goes, traveling light, taking only what he absolutely needs, working as he goes, making friends along the way, just being content in never being in one place very long. We were very blessed to have had him here and to ourselves for as long as we did. Not only did Logan luck out on having the most amazing, talented artist & tattoo artist around, but we had a genuinely good person and friend on our side, always ready to take a bullet, never a bore to hang out with, someone who loved us no matter what. He'll be greatly missed, our lives won't be the same without him here. But we're excited for this new phase of his life. I know Andy & I are both sad though to be losing our best friend, it's not something that we take light-heartedly. I know that we'll always stay close and remain friends, no matter what, distance won't define us and our friendship knows no bounds. Sure do love you Keith Haines. "Small Town White Boy" for sure, that definitely sums you up! Be strong and remember who you are and never forget us!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Flash Back-First Date

Marriage is hard, but it really can be the most rewarding thing one can attempt in life. It's full of suprises, ups and downs, emotional heartache, empowerment, adventure, bonding, nuturing, love, laughter and friendship. I like the sayings that embody how I feel about marriage like, "Don't spend your life with some you can live with, spend your life with someone you can't live without," or " "We may not have it all together, but together we have it all," even " Love is the most powerful of all we have been given," and "I'll love you until the day after forever." There's so many good ones, when I see some I like I'll write it down to make my wood block curioes at a later date. Anyways I was just reminiscing about Andy's & my actual first date. We had been best friends for a while and after we crossed that line and took the next step in our relationship, we decided since we had the common ground of both loving animals that what better way to start our dating life than to head to the Hogle Zoo in SLC. It was such a fun day! The perfect setting and surroundings for us! We took a couple photos and I cherish these to this day! This truly marks the beginning of the Rice-Balls!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Happy 29th Birthday My B

Today is my sister Brittany's 29th birthday! We've always been close, she was my little 'baby doll' growing up. We've shared so many special memories and we've always been close. I'm thankful for my sisters and being able to share my life with them. B's always been the funny one in our family and she definitely keeps us close, always calling, checking in even if just for a moment. She's always been there for me through thick and thin, my stupidity and greatness, any accomplishment I've gotten B has been there to cheer me on. She's fiesty but has the most tender heart. I can't imagine my life without her in it! I told Ralph that when he married her, he needed to treat her like the 'Queen-B' she was. Sure love you B hope you have a wonderful birthday! Wish we lived closer so we could really go out to celebrate! 

I was such a good caretaker, she was my baby doll!

Look at B's black ringlets, her hair grew out blond but the tips were still black
so people thought my parents had died their babies hair!!!

This picture was taken during the middle of winter, mom couldn't find out turtle neck shirts
so we went shirtless, and you can see our little boobies-how cute!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Like Mother Like Daughter

It's funny Juji aka Toad has always thought she wasn't a cute or pretty baby. And for years we've always told her she was beautiful. But she sadly didn't believe us and thought we were just pulling her leg, because lets face it not every baby is a cute baby. There definitely is some that are a little more homely than others. Now don't shoot me because I said, because you know you've seen a baby and thought that before, maybe not outloud but the thought did simmer in your mind....Anyways after mama came up to be with Juji and Kate she kept remarking not only how beautiful Kate was but how much she looked like her mommy (Jordan). Juji didn't believe her so mom went home and found the proof, emailing everyone in the family as well. So enjoy the flash back of Jordan Brooke Ball, before she grew up to marry Nick Olsen and before Kate Olsen was ever a glimmer in her eye....

Wasn't she such a beautiful baby! I just love her to death!

This was Juji in our baby doll stroller, she fit perfectly and we use it for her birth announcement pictures. The rabbit pictured above was my pet rabbit 'Cindy Loppy-Eared' I loved that rabbit to death!

I don't know if if you can read this or make out all of the the comments, but my parents always did a fun 'film' type birth announcement, since daddy has always loved film and movies. I've never seen anyone go above and beyond like my parents did with these type of announcements but that's just how we rolled! I love it!