Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Thoughts from the Water...

"All of life's problems bleed away
When I get grounded in the water."

- Raymond A. Foss

I love relaxing at night in my spa! It's a great way to clear my head, ponder, and search the night sky!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, April 26, 2010

I Had A Good weekend!

It started Saturday morning! I woke up early to go workout with my buddy McCain! Mac's been helping me do a workout program and I think it has been working!

After the gym, I went to Old Town Temecula to search for a birthday present for Mom! It was her birthday and I wanted to get her something extra special! It has been a few years since I've been to the antique stores there, but I haven't lost my touch! Lol! I found this awesome set of Green Depression Wear.

After walking through the stores for hours, lol. I went home and discovered that our plans had changed! Originally we were going to go to P.F. Changs to celebrate Mom's Birthday, but she was sick and didn't feel good enough to go anywhere. So Dad, Andrea, and I decided to make the drive to our favorite pizza: Mama Petrillos!

It's worth the hour drive! We kind of feel like were part of the Petrillo family- well "family" in the mafia sense! Lol.

We all just hung out at home for a quiet evening of Pizza and Ice Cream Cake! Well, quiet until we sang Happy Birthday- if you've ever heard us sing that, you know it's anything but quiet!

By the way- this isn't a Von's cake!

Then Sunday, the family (minus Mom) traveled to Covina to hear my cousin Megan speak at her farewell. She is leaving to serve a mission in the Chicago North Mission. She did an amazing job and gave a beautiful talk about Service!

We went back to her house for some food and relaxation. It was very nice!

And I got a new Camera Ap: lol!

Anyways, the weekend is fleeting- and Monday comes at you with full force! Thank goodness that next weekend is only 4 days away! Lol!

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I'm so glad when Shelly comes Home!

Once Upon a time there was a girl named Shelly....

...who needed a place to live before she left for her mission.  So Dad and Mom decided she should move into our house! It was such a great decision because Andrea, Me, Josh, and Nick got an older sister! :)

Well that was a long time ago, and Shelly has been on her mission and returned, married a really cool guy named Chris, moved to Utah, bought a house, and most recently had a beautiful baby girl named Bailey!

Tonight, Shelly brought Bailey over to our house for the first time! She is so freakin cute! I love her to pieces already!

Thank you Shelly and Chris for my new little niece! :) I love you guys!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My Friends at The Forest Lab!

So yesterday I went out to dinner with my cousins and was stoked to see that they were wearing TFL shirts.  My Uncle, who has recently become a photographer, decided that he needed to stage a little photo shoot right there in from of the Olive Garden while we waited to be seated.  It was a little embarrassing, but the picture turned out pretty cool I think! LOL! He has this challenge that he will take 1 picture everyday for an entire year and he has some really cool ones.  You can check them all out at his website:

But the truth of the matter is that I am so excited for my friends: Garrett, Troy, and Josh!  They have been working really hard and lately things seem to be paying off.  The Forest Lab is really picking up!

You can read all about it in this cool article my mom wrote:

I might be a little biased, because I love these three guys, but I think their stuff is tight! And since the Kobe shirt came out, things have been selling like hot cakes! They're soon to come out with a bunch more designs, and believe me, I've had the sneak peek and they are genius! Keep checking their website so that you don't miss out because they have sales and deals all the time:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

My day in LA!

Today my cousin Megan Murphy went through the Temple for the first time and I'm so glad I got to be with her!

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, April 12, 2010

Another Attack!

Again!? Really!? After failing to kill me on the 3rd attempt, you'd think the guy would give up! Lol!

Yeah, well news flash mr. Killer- I ain't going anywhere! Lol!

If you're confused, check out my earlier blog: I work with a serial killer!

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My Cup Runneth Over- Well at least my iPhone's does!

I think that knowledge is a treasure! I love learning new things! So you can only imagine how excited I was when I discovered that I could download podcasts and lectures from iTunes U on my iPhone! I'm telling you this thing really IS a seer stone! LOL!

I discovered it as I was watching General Conference.  I went on iTunes to see if I could download one of the talks I really enjoyed and discovered a whole world of lectures I could download all for free!

I immediately started searching for lectures on my two favorite topics: History and Religion! I'm a Nerd...I know! And then started downloading as many as I could!

Service isn't the greatest at the Doghouse and so my queue filled up pretty quickly! Before I knew it, I had over 800 things lined up to download! LOL! To be honest I still have like 48 things in it waiting to download, but yesterday I ran into a little problem! I discovered that my phone's memory was full! It gets worse, I have the 32GB memory iPhone- which honestly doesn't mean anything to mean because I'm a history major not a computer major, but I've been told that's really big! LOL!

I know, you're probably thinking I'm crazy and will never in a million years be able to listen to all of those, but you forget that I drive a LOT! I'm in the car at least 2 hours everyday going back and forth from work, probably more, so I decided that I'm going to make those drives productive and start learning new things!

The Scriptures say:

Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.

The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth. Light and truth forsake that evil one… And, verily I say unto you, that it is my will that you should hasten… to obtain a knowledge of history, and of countries, and of kingdoms, of laws of God and man, and all this for the salvation of Zion. Amen.

So on my way home from work last night, and on my way to work this morning I've been listening to Ari Goldwag's  "Daily Kabbalah Lessons" and I'm loving them! VERY INTERESTING! I think you'd be interested- especially if you're LDS- in hearing some of these Jewish teachings!

But yeah, I'm loving this new aspect of my wonderful iPhone! Now I just need to put some of them on my computer to free up some memory! LOL!

Monday, April 5, 2010

"The foolish man built his house upon the sand"

The foolish man built his house upon the sand,

The foolish man built his house upon the sand,

The foolish man built his house upon the sand,

And the rains came tumbling down.

The rains came down, and the floods came up

The rains came down, and the floods came up,

The rains came down, and the floods came up,

And the house on the sand washed away.

So this weekend was General Conference, and if you aren't familiar with our family tradition, we usually try to go to the Doghouse to watch it. Whether it's April or October, the Doghouse is always beautiful around Conference time. Most of the time we invite a bunch of friends to come up and watch conference with us, because then we play and have fun in between sessions, but this time Conference happened to fall on Easter weekend and most people were spending the weekend with their families.
I loved Conference! Half of the time it felt like the speaker had written his talk just for me, as if he or she were directly addressing me, and no one else. I especially love priesthood session, because we get to watch it at the Yermo chapel, which is about the size of maybe two classrooms in a normal church building. It is very quaint and always has a special spirit about it!

This Conference, our family tried something new! It's all my Grandpa's fault really! A few months ago he purchased this little Polaris Razor (like a dune-buggy) and has been bugging my dad to get one ever since. So I guess Dad finally caved, because he bought one and picked it up Friday evening. We used to go out exploring the beautiful desert landscape on quads when Andrea and I were younger, but it's been several years since we have done it as a family. Riding through the sand dunes in the desert, makes me feel as if I'm on another planet, or a whole different dimension. It is beautiful and strange all at the same time.

Anyways, we took a little trip down to the river bed, where the sand had overtaken several houses and it made me think of the primary song. Maybe it was just because I was listening to General Conference, but it seemed like the perfect illustration of what happens when you don't have a strong foundation.

It was way cool to explore and I can't wait to go out again before it starts getting too hot!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I Have a Ribbon!

I know, I know- you're probably all thinking, "yeah right, it's April Fool's Day!" But I promise it's just bad timing on my part! LOL! I'm usually really into April Fool's but for some reason this year I'm not!

So the other day I was kind of pressured into signing up for a 12 sessions with a personal trainer at my gym.  I initially wanted to do it, but I decided that I'm not ready for that just right now.  I just enjoy going whenever I want without having the stress of trying to schedule appointments in my busy week.  But nonetheless, I signed up.  I told Donna (the trainer) about a condition I've had since childhood called Systemic Mastocytosis (It's a mouthful- I know).  Basically I wanted her to be aware that while I'm not forbidden to working out my stomach muscles, I can't over-do it, otherwise I might go into anaphylaxis shock, which isn't super fun! LOL!

Well the day came for our first appointment and I was supposed to meet her at 6:00pm.  It is next to impossible for me to leave work and get home by 6:00pm but I was trying! Of course, I was late like 20 minutes, traffic was bad, I was stressed, and I realized even more that I just wanted my money back because I really didn't want to do this! So I walk in and explain myself and ask for the money back.  Well she is very accomodating and keeps asking me please not to stress over this, it was completely fine, and that I should just relax and she would take care of everything.  There was even a sense of urgency in her voice.

So the next day she comes up to me as I'm walking on the treadmill and says that she had looked up my condition online and had been doing a little research on it.  She said that stress was a major trigger and that I should really be careful driving back and forth so far to and from work.  She chatted some more about it and offered her services as a nutritionist because she really thinks I could use some help with it.  Well I went into the locker room when I was done and googled "Systemic Mastocytosis." No wonder she gave me my money back and even seemed to be over concerned.  Reading the websites makes it sound as if I'll drop dead any second! LOL! Poor lady thought I might die right there in her office! LOL!

I was stoked to see that there is a whole lot more information on the disease (although I don't like to call it that- it makes me sound sickly! LOL!).  When I was a child they had no clue what was going on! I even have an awareness ribbon! Which I'm way stoked about! LOL! I might wear it every day now! (I know- they one for everything)!

But now you're probably wondering what the heck is SYSTEMIC MASTOCYTOSIS?

Well I've included a link to a great website that will explain it pretty thouroughly. But warning: it does kind of make it sound like I'll die any second- don't worry about me- I haven't died yet- it's not gonna happen from my condition- I promise!

Basically, my body produces too many MAST CELLS.

Mast Cells are part of the immune system.  They release chemicals like histamine- which has a lot of functions but the most common ones are like symptons of allergic reactions. 
This little video shows what happens when a Mast cell comes in contact with an allergen:

Pretty Explosive huh!? Well Mast cells are located in all connective tissue and Bone Marrow, Intestines, skin, lots of places.  Basically my Mast Cells can be triggered to respond like the one you just saw by a plethora of triggers: from heat, cold, stress, spicy food, exercise, sudden blow to the stomach, medications, and just about anything.  It can even vary from day to day.  The reason they can be triggered so easily is because they don't die when their supposed to and become unstable.  Because they don't die when they are supposed to is also another reason my body has too many! LOL!

A Mast Cell can either leak its contents slowly, or rapidly, like the exploding one above. In both cases the silly little guys seem to give me trouble.  They can cause lots symptoms, including but not limited to:

Abdominal pain
Blood pressure changes & shock
Bone pain (mild to severe/debilitating)
Chest pain
Cognitive difficulties/brain fog
Degenerative disc disease
Gastroesophageal reflux
Hematological abnormalities
Hives & other rashes
Inflammation of the esophagus
Intestinal cramping and bloating
Itching, with and without rashes
Irritable bowel
Liver, spleen and other organ involvement
Migraine headaches
Muscle pain Nausea
Peripheral neuropathy and paresthesias
Rapid heart rate

Sounds like fun right! LOL! It's one of the reasons my stomach occasionally gets in a rather loud growling mood.  It's really quite embarrassing because it always seems to happen at the quietest times. LOL! It also explains why I'm extra protective of my stomach, why I can be really sick one day and better the next, why occassionally I get migraine headaches and why I am just a little extra cautious about some of my activities!

But I was really quite suprised when I found this offical website: The Mastocytosis Society

In my entire life I've never met anyone else with Systemic Mastocytosis. I have met 1 person with a Mast Cell disease, but only a skin one.

As I explored the site a little bit I stumbled upon a blog of guy titled: living with Mastocytosis or something like that! LOL! The guy is 40 something years old and has had Systemic Mastocytosis for the past 13 years and he writes about his struggles and fears and stuff! In one post he even talks about how he was worried he might go into anaphylaxis shock (oh- no...with sarcasim) I guess I don't understand what the big deal is! That may sound insensative, but I've had Systemic Mastocytosis since birth and throughout my life I've gone into anaphylaxis shock probably 11 or 12 times! I mean it's definately not a fun experience or anything, but it's not something that's at the forefront of my mind ALL the time! It all seems a little silly to me! But hey- I have a ribbon now and that's what counts! LOL!

And I guess it's a little cool to know that there are others out there like me- even if they do sound a little exaggerated! LOL!

In case you don't know what anaphylaxis shock is...watch this video...

...mine doesn't swell up my air passage and cause me to stop breathing though! It does cause my head to feel like it's about to explode- probably swelling- and then have extreme hypotension (low blood pressure) and pass out.

And here's a little more scientific picture of a Mast Cell and it's role in the Immune System- It's way too complicated for me though! But I thought, maybe you're a science person and would like it!