Category Archives: Life Update

Happy New Year!

Glad to see we have successfully made another rotation around the sun! Yeah, so as you can tell I haven’t done a very good job of keeping up my end of the bargain and getting into a regular updating routine. With three small children, a full-time job, being a wife and an avid gym goer I just haven’t found the time. No worries, one day things will slow down and I’ll long for to have these day back.

Not too much new to report since my last post.  I’ve backed off on the essential oil thing for a bit. I still use them extensively at home, but stopped trying to build an empire and quit my day job. Even though I’m still not really digging on the new town or job for that matter. Like I’ve eluded too I’m not really much of a creature of change and the whole move across the state has been a challenge for me. Here’s a fun fact to help you put this into perspective. We have lived here for just over two years and I have zero friends. I have a few work acquaintances that I talk to at work and go to the gym with, but that’s the extent of my adult interaction. It’s mostly my fault I’ve become a bit of a home body.

It’s the dead of winter and the wind chill is something like 20 degrees below zero tonight. I’m over it! As you may have figured out from reading my blog, I enjoy exploring outdoors. Well when it’s this cold there is no exploring that cannot wait. Maybe this will be the push I need to get back on here and knock out some long over due posts that have been eating away at my insides.

I was going to make a calendar to sell this fall and managed to talk myself out of following through that project. I also managed to not sell stock photos in 2016. I really am on a roll. I got off the adrenaline high after I graduated in Dec 2015. Was super ambitious with all these goals and things I wanted to do. Then our third child came super early and has been a complete game changer. I wouldn’t trade him for the world, but things are busy to say the least. I don’t have too much free time these day and what little time I do find I invest in working out at the gym.

I decided I wasn’t happy with my body and it was time to do something other than complain about it. There is gym at work that I can work out at for free so I started going on my lunch break back in September. I go on average three to four times a week and LOVE it! I’ve always considered myself a runner, but just wasn’t seeing the results I wanted. So I went down to the gym talked to one of the trainers and got hooked up on a 16 week lifting plan to make some changes. I hit my goal weight like three weeks before anticipated and haven’t looked back. Rather than back off I started working out twice a day and have really made a lifestyle change.

Tonight I will not make any idel promises to get on here more and update. I will tell you that my 2017 new year’s resolution has been to be less critical of others. I need to take the same advice I give my 7 year old and if I don’t have anything nice to say to just not say anything at all. We’ve all either been told this line or have utter it at one time or another, but it’s time to start walking the walk. I want to lead by example and have nothing but dignity and respect for others. I want to stop focusing on the negative and focus on the positives.

I’ll stop here and post as time permits or the desire to talk to others just comes flowing out. Based on my lack of posts I doubt there are any followers left outside the spam trolls, but at least I have an outlet that allows me to let everything out and for that I thank you!

I wish you all the best in 2017. I wish you happiness, success and peace. All my love….

-Simply Amy

4 month hiatus….

Well….hello strangers! Boy have I missed you guys. I hope the feeling is mutual, but I’m not so sure….

So, life has come at me crazy fast the past few months and I just needed to take a break and focus. I’m swinging back around as I have been seriously considering the release of a 2017 calendar and have decided to pull the trigger. I’m not really sure if this first year there will be a “theme” per se…actually I’m pretty sure the only theme is going to be I am the photographer and they will be of nature and barns haha! I’m need to get moving as I would like to have said calendars in hand by November 1. With this being said if any of you have designed and printed a calendar I would be interested in picking your brain.

I operate on Apple products and have a few different platforms that I could utilize to create a calendar. However, I think that I should first find a printer and see what format they would prefer prior to starting. Actually before I do that there is still one rather large detail I need to decide on and that is the actual photo selection.

I have started pulling together some of my favorite photos and working on editing them. There is also the process of locating some of the photos. As it turns out I’m not as organized as I use to be, guess that’s to be expected when you have three small children. In reading a few different articles and blogs it looks like I’m going to be visiting the marketing department at work and seeing if I can find some sort of content editor or marketing employee that would be interested in giving me honest, constructive feedback on what I need to do to ensure this project is a success.

I don’t know why but I have kept this blog a secret from most everyone. My husband is aware of it as are a few close friends that I have shared the link with. I’m not entirely sure if any of them frequent the site as we don’t really talk about it. This year my goal was to get the word out there now that I’ve grown the site some, but the thought terrifies me. I think I’m going to continue working under a pseudo name…..just feels better. I’m not sure if this is something I will ever get over?! Anyway, this fact makes it difficult to approach anyone at work for help. I’ve been here about a year and half now, but no one really knows too much about me and I prefer it that way. I guess if they only help with the calendar they would not necessarily need to know about my secret life as a blogger.

There is also a friend that has graciously offered to assist me in beefing up the site and make it “prettier” and more user friendly. I think it would be safe to start there and continue to build the site. I feel as though I could work on this for years and never really be fully satisfied or ready to announce to the world it’s here. So for now my secret is safe with the three of you that are reading this and for that I thank you. Ha! I bet you never thought you would stumble upon a blogger that wishes you not to share their site….I am truly one of a kind my friend.

I guess this is just more of a random thoughts by Amy, but an update nonetheless. I’m making my way back, I’ve given up on regular posts for the time being because let’s face it I just cannot commit to the project as much as I want to. Be sure to check back later this fall and order a 2017 wall calendar if you so desire.

Signing off….

Amy

Calendar?

So as with most anything I want to do….I tend to mull it over for a bit before making the next step. On my mind presently is to put together a 2017 wall calendar and start selling it around Oct/Nov of 2016. However, before I put in the time and money I wanted to know if there is even a desire for such a product. Like really there are way better photographers than myself out there and consumers already have a plethora of calendar options. If you could please take a quick minute or two to leave me some feedback it would be greatly appreciated.

Baby #3 and the NICU

Happy New Year!!!

My apologies for my hiatus. I graduated with my MBA as project on December 19th and closed a huge chapter in my life. It felt fantastic! Then the following week on Friday, December 25th. For those of you keeping track, yes this was indeed Christmas Day. My family and I unexpectedly and quickly welcomed our third child into our family.

It was a crazy series of events, but everything has worked out for the best. Christmas Eve my husband and I were working on some last minute gifts. Ah, who am I kidding we had procrastinated to the last minute as usual and stayed up late putting the finishing touches on a memorable Christmas for our girls. After sitting on the floor for a few hours I started experiencing Braxton hicks contractions. Brushing them off I drank lots of water and attempted to go to bed.

That entire night I was unable to get comfortable and my lower back hurt. (Looking back I should have known better.) Anyway, I was up and down the entire night and just miserable. Christmas morning our girls were up at 5 am to open presents. I was there for the gift opening, but I was in pain and had a hard time focusing.

After gifts were open I sat in the recliner where I timed the contractions and found them to be 5 minutes apart for 1 hour. This was interesting, normally Braxton hicks don’t time out like that. I mean come on this is my third child. I went to take a bath and drink some more water.

While in the bath tub I saw part of my mucus plug. I texted my husband to come in and I needed to talk to him. He came in and encouraged me to call the women’s health nurse. I felt bad, I mean come on it’s Christmas. Reluctantly, I called in. The nurse had the same feeling I did. I was 5 weeks from my due date and I probably just over did things with the holidays. She asked me to take it easy and to drink more water.

At this point I wasn’t really sure how much more water I could hold, but I agreed. The nurse ended the call with, “if you find the contractions are stronger or closer together please don’t hesitate to call back or come in. If you come in please call on your way.” For those of you unaware we live 45 minutes from the hospital.

Anyway, I didn’t want to “ruin” Christmas so I tried to hang out with my family, but I just couldn’t do it. I told my husband I was going to go lay down. It was while laying down the contractions increased in strength and I found myself unable to walk/talk. Deciding I didn’t want to have this baby at home we needed to go.

I was 99.8% sure they would give me some fluids and chalk my labor pains up to Braxton hicks…….this couldn’t be further from the truth.

I managed to get out of bed and start packing a hospital bag. Being so early I had not had time to do so. As I packed I asked my husband to please get the girls dressed as “it was time.” I’ll never forget he was standing in the kitchen with the girls sitting on the stools at the island. He turned and gave me a look, almost as if to say “Really Amy, we are going to do this today?”

I continued on. I packed my bag, got dressed, let the dog out and started loading the girls into the car. I think about half-way to the hospital when my contractions were now 3 minutes apart that my husband realized yes it was indeed time.

As we approached our exit on the highway and were about 10 minutes away from the hospital I had this incredible urge to push. I vocalized this to my husband who instructed me that only three more contractions and we would be there. He also added to keep my legs together and relax. (Easy for him to say.) He seemed so calm and collected. I felt as though my world was unraveling. I was trying to lay my head back and be quiet so as not to scare the girls. (I didn’t know/realize until later that they had feel asleep and were oblivious to the circumstances.)

Upon arrival to the Emergency Room I was taken to labor and delivery. The nurses told us they needed to monitor the baby and ensure his safety. I laid on that hospital bed with this incredible urge to push for 15-20 minutes, but it felt like days. Once, everyone was ready and in place the doctor broke my water. I then pushed for a mere three minutes and just like that it was over and done with.

The first question out of my mouth was “Is he okay?” Followed up with, “Does he have all his parts?” Everything seemed so surreal, we were not expecting a baby so soon and there was no indication in all my doctor visits that he could come early. A week or two prior I had another vaginal ultrasound and was cleared for a VBAC. (At the beginning of my pregnancy at week 18 they found I had placenta previa which later changed to low lying placenta and then corrected itself.) Other than that I felt great.

To keep my long story from becoming longer and to prevent you (the reader) from boredom I will cut out some stuff.

The whisked baby off the NICU. My head was swirling and looking back I think I was in shock. My husband, two daughters and myself were taken to my own room in labor and delivery. I felt great. Labor had gone so quickly I didn’t feel much different….just no longer pregnant and without child.

The next 9 days are a complete blur. My girls were not allowed into the NICU because of peak cold and flu season and being under the age of 12. My oldest who would be 6 in four days protested about how she hated “this company” and was angry. The little one, didn’t really know what to think.

My husband and I took turns staying in the NICU. One of us remained at the hospital each night with baby, while the other went home to attend to the girls. This was the most difficult time for us all.  It seemed the adult “on the inside” with the baby, and doctors felt the best. This person had access to instant answers, could see baby and knew what was going on first-hand. The adult left with the other children was more of an emotional mess.

During the middle of our stay baby decided that he no longer wanted to eat. He was given an ng tube and his food was forced into his belly. My heart was breaking and I blamed myself. There had to be something that I either did or did not do which resulted in our situation. Approaching the nurses with this, they assured me that I did nothing wrong. I still don’t know, but with him doing better I can accept it.

Today baby #3 is three weeks old. We just got back from a well child visit and he weighs 6 lbs 15 oz. – for the first time since birth he has surpassed his birth weight of 6 lbs 8 oz. If I had carried him to term I fear he would have been a 10 lb baby! He is doing great and is well on his way to being normal. Well as normal as he can be for joining our family, lol.

It was while sitting in the NICU on New Year’s Eve alone. Well, with my new man. Reflecting on 2015 that I realized just how blessed our family is and how things could be so much worse. (While surrounded by sad families and really sick children, I realized our situation can be fixed and while circumstances are not ideal they are temporary.)

In closing our 2015 was pretty much amazing! We moved to a new town, started new jobs, sold and purchased a home, got pregnant, I completed my master’s degree and we welcomed baby #3 to our family. I hope 2016 is as good to us.

Thanks for reading,

Simply Amy

Random Thoughts with Amy…

So, I feel so alive lately. I’m 28 days from the completion of my degree, I am embarking on a new journey (DoTerra), my family and I are settled nicely in our new house before the holidays…with it being Thanksgiving in a few days I can’t help to stop and reflect on how good life is.

I also can’t help, but laugh at myself. As I’ve been sitting on my work lunch break, jamming out to Avenged Sevenfold and blogging about the health benefits of essential oils. I think it helps take my mind off the impending finals and papers I should be writing. Hahah, because when I’m not doing this I’m working on decorating the house or posting items to my Ebay store. Anything to prevent me from doing what needs to be done. Anyway, I feel that I’m such a conundrum. Do most hippies listen to death metal? Oh wait I’m progressive, hahah.

I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic the past couple days. (Tomorrow is my birthday, shhh, don’t tell.) I’m also a bit relieved, I have this uncanny ability to remember how old I am. So when my husband asked I ran the numbers quick and realized I am only turning 33! Therefore, I will be 33 for the second year, as I spent the past 365 days thinking and telling people I was 33. Hahaha, another moment to relish and realize life is good. It really is the little things isn’t it?!

The nostalgia comes in because my mom passed away four years ago (cervical cancer). As I age it bothers me more and more that my children were robbed of the pleasure of knowing such a great person. She is very much the reason for the way I am today. The reason I wash out used ziplock baggies to reuse, to wink at my children with both eyes, am unable to sit still for more than a few minutes and love my children unconditionally. She left this earth way too early and some days I feel slighted. It doesn’t really help to dwell on this or focus on the negative. It’s just hard not to think about her, especially around the holidays and…

I’m also 70-ish days from welcoming our third child and first baby boy. I’m experiencing so many emotions around this child. I’m excited, scared, anxious, tired, terrified and thankful all at once. I don’t believe I have shared with you our experience with baby number two, but at three days old she was hours from death. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but they ruled her near death experience as being due to hypothermia caused by non environmental causes. One of the scariest times of my life, as my husband and I sat next to her incubator in the hospital, not knowing what the future held for her. Most days I hug her a little tighter and thank God for miracles.

I think the anxiety is that my husband and I will be out numbered. As he puts it, we are no longer playing man to man defense, but moving to zone. I’m anxious because I’m not sure what to do with a boy….I know this is silly, a baby is a baby right? I don’t know….the girls weren’t circumcised, I don’t have to worry about getting pee to the eye in the middle of the night. (I have a tendency to overthink things.) And finally birth and delivery are daunting right now. Number two was also the emergency 6 minute c-section that I feared.

This time around I’ve been on restrictions for both placenta previa and more recently a low laying placenta. The change in diagnosis is due to the placenta moving, just not as fast as it should be. Therefore, number three will probably be welcomed to the world via c-section. I just struggle with knowing what birth plan is right. I know everything will work out for the best and in no time we will be holding our sweet little baby.

Thanks for being here for me and allowing me to get all this out. Being new to this town I still haven’t made many friends, alright I’ve made one and she took a new job to advance and better her career and I don’t get to see her anymore. I have a few back in Oshkosh that I’ve really been working to keep in touch with, but I find I’m not much of a phone talker. Never really been. If it wasn’t for this blog I’d probably being seeing some sort of therapist, ha!

Anyway, have a fantastic Friday, and an amazing weekend. Hug you loved ones and be sure to verbally communicate how much you love them and it’s okay to let them see and know how much they mean to you.

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Small Brown Bugs Update

Good Evening,

I was just looking over the small brown bugs post as there was a comment this evening. When I thought, hey wait I should give an update. So we’ve been in our new house two months now and I’m extremely happy to report the bugs did not come with us!

Everything that came from “the cabin” was thoroughly inspected, washed and/or shaken out before coming into the house. It was a slow and tedious task, but essential. We did not want these bugs in our new home.

So far zero bugs have been seen. I’m pretty sure if they were here we would be seeing them, especially after witnessing the volumes of them at the cabin. We live out in the country and after the soy beans were cut I had the opportunity to experience my first round of Asian beetles. So I don’t know if any of you have had the pleasure, but all I can say is wow, I had no idea.

Shortly after the fields near us were cut and it was still fairly warm out the beetles would swarm our house. I was standing in the kitchen, looking out the window and it was literally as if it were “raining” beetles. It was a beautiful October weekend, but impossible to remain outside. For those of you unaware Asian beetles bite, they smell funny when you smash them and oh yeah, they are annoying. I am pleasantly surprised that for the large amount of beetles that we have on the outside of our home, only a handful have made their way into the house.

The ones that have managed to get in, I think did so by being “carried” in. I think they were more stow aways than anything. When you went outside they would almost swarm you and land on you and as you came back inside it was inevitable that there would be a few on your person that you would miss. I can defiantly handle the Asian beetles over the weevils, or whatever they were. As the Asian beetles are not multiplying and certainly not hurting us in anyway.

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Move

Well, it is with great enthusiasm and excitement I am writing to announce we are all moved and almost settled. The type A personality in my drove me to have the interior of the house unpacked and put away in one week. Apparently, this is unheard of and I am in a league of crazy all of my own. I chalk this up to being without our personal possessions for seven months and the need to be settled so that I can focus time and energy on the last few weeks of school.

Speaking of school, I am 73 days from the end of the semester and more importantly graduation, but who’s counting ;). After being in class for one month I think I have finally found a rhythm and will be successful in the completion of my program. There are still days where is seems unreal that I am going to finish my program and have a master’s degree.

After the completion of my program I can focus my time and energy on decorating our home and adding personal touches. Then in a few short weeks there after my family and I will welcome our third child. We are beyond excited at the addition of a boy to our family and have started making preparations for his arrival.

I miss blogging and sharing my adventures and experiences with you. However, after the past ten months I have endured really what is another 9 weeks? I know you all are waiting for my return with great anticipation.

All my love,

Amy

Small brown bugs all over the house!!

So as I’ve mentioned we are renting. We happen to be renting a log home, again in Wisconsin. This particular log home is the worst craftsmanship I have seen. The logs on the inside of the home were not mortared together and therefore in the winter we felt freezing cold air blow through, in the spring I watch rain pour in and now in the fall the bugs crawl right on through.

Awhile back we noticed these little brown bugs, we treated them as ants. We thought we had a abundance of fruit flies in our kitchen, and treated those as well. I found a couple in the flour and assumed it was an isolated incident. That was up until this week…..we have hundreds if not thousands of these small brown bugs. It wasn’t until two showed up to work with me today and I further inspected them that I realized we have a huge problem!!

These small brown bugs, are tricky to smash and are in everything! I contacted the exterminator that assisted us in extricating the bats we had in the attic a few weeks ago (ah yes, there is another story, but I’ll save that for another time) and explained to him what we had. He seemed to think by my description that we have grain beetles….from as far as I can tell from the internet these are similar if not the same as weevils?! I’m not a bug expert and am not going to pretend I am. I am an angry mama bear and it’s not pretty.

Anyway, the exterminator advised that we should dispose of any and all open grain items. (Pastas, bread, crackers, snacks, flour, sugar, you get the idea). Then we were to do a deep cleaning and we should be able to fix our problem before we move. I’m skeptical that this will work. So I think I took things one step further.

I went on my lunch break and purchased a plethora of sealing food storage containers. Upon picking up my daughter’s from school I ran out to Home Depot and purchased a bag of Diatomaceous Earth….it’s suppose to be an organic insecticide, from everything I read online. However, upon getting home and further reading the bag I’m no longer quite so sure, but I put it out anyway.

You see, what I haven’t shared with you is the fact that in two weeks we will be leaving our quaint little cabin and moving into our new home. I do NOT want to take along any extra small brown friends. I have never in my life had bugs in my home and I’m taking a bit of personal offense to it. Like I know I haven’t been cleaning as much as if this were our permanent home, but that’s mainly because I spend two full hours a day in the car commuting two and from work a day. It sucks, I get home in time to fix dinner, give baths and clean the kitchen. Being pregnant and not feeling well for the past 17 weeks or so definitely is not helping out my situation at all.

I still haven’t entirely figured out where I am going to get the time and/or energy to complete my final 6 graduate credits that start in like five days?! Again another story.

So anyway, we order a pizza tonight. Eat a quick dinner and I join my husband in the house cleaning expedition. He’s convinced they are just bugs and not in our food. I am simply doing what the expert told me to do. As I remove all the food from the cupboards I find a slew of alive bugs…Up until this point the majority of the bugs found were dead. I run out of ziplock baggies early in the project and ask my husband to go and get more. He says no because again he doesn’t believe they are in the food. The more food items I pull out of the cupboards the greater the number of flying bugs there are in the kitchen. As I continue on my cleaning journey he decides maybe I’m right and runs to town to get more ziplock and some bug spray.

It’s 9:30 pm and I’m just sitting down to write this. All our food has either been thrown out, is in a sealing container or a ziplock and there are bugs flying all over the place. I really hope that things settle down in the next couple of days and we slowly see the number of bugs decrease. I just wish we would have realized earlier in the summer what these bugs really were. I guess you live and learn.

The lesson I learned this summer is that I will never again store any food item in the cupboard that is not in an air tight container. I will over inspect any “bug” that I should come across in my home again and immediate work to eradicate it and all it’s friends.

If any of you know more about these bugs, home remedies to get rid of them or just have any advice in general about them please feel free to share. As I stated I’m not an expert and I could use any and all advice I can get.

Now hopefully I can get some sleep….

My how time flies…

I was looking back, and basically admiring all the hard work I have put into this blog the past few months and I realized….I’ve been working on this 5 months already! It truly is great to see that I have a small group of followers. I need to buckle down and get through my final semester of graduate school, but then come January 2016 this is going to be my focus. I want to share all my fun ideas, projects, hikes, recipes and products with you. Ideally, I want to get into a routine and post around the same time of day each week. That way when you have time to log in I can ensure there is something new for you to read.

Thank you for your continued patience in me and my limited time. I assure you, the wait will be well worth it 🙂

Chasing the Storm

So two weekends ago now I made a impromptu trip to Oshkosh. Again for those of you not aware we are two hours away. For some of these trips I choose to get up around 3 am and do the trip alone and get back before everyone’s awake. So this particular weekend I choose to do just that. I got up and headed into Tomah to fill up the truck, when my husband called. This is unusual as he generally goes right back to bed after I leave. Anyway, he advises me there is a severe thunderstorm heading east and that I’d better fill up and hit the road. So I did just that.

Needless to say the storm followed me the entire trip and was the result of the most amazing sunrise and increadible photos! The only regret I have is that I did not take my Canon camera. As I hit Omro about 15 minutes outside of Oshkosh the overwhelming urge to pull over and take photos was too strong so I actually had to turn around to get some of these as the moment was just too perfect to pass up. To be honest, I have never seen such spectacular clouds….apparently,  I need to get up earlier and watch storms roll in more often.

Just outside of Oshkosh, while taking the rainbow photos….was moments before the storm hit. It wasn’t until after the roof of the truck started making this crazy noise, similar to going through the dryer in the carwash, did I realize the severity of the impending storm and the need to get to our home to seek shelter. I am happy to report I whethered the storm just fine and enjoyed the beautiful drive!