Weekly Wednesday Weigh In~Week 1

So I’ve decided to try something new! In hopes to help keep me accountable, be able to give you guys a weekly update on how I’m feeling and to maybe help and encourage others that are struggling with healthy living I thought I would start this post series!

If you are brand new to my blog, welcome! I am glad you are here! For those of you that might be new I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease in April after several years of odd health issues but more recently in the last 6-9 months just pretty much feeling like crap. I’ve always had high blood pressure but since August it has been CRAZY high, like this~

WOWZA!!! This was my "normal" for many weeks this spring!
WOWZA!!! This was my “normal” for many weeks this spring!

Along with my blood pressure issues I was so sore and stiff…this really worried me since I just turned 35 and feel like I have so many more adventures left in me! I also started gaining about a pound a day in December, was always tired and my skin started looking sickly. After countless types of blood pressure meds did nothing for me I knew if I didn’t try a different type of doctor I wouldn’t see another Christmas. A friend of mine suggested I see her more natural doctor and we decided that this appointment would be for the best.

I went in with a list of possible things wrong with me~anywhere from a food allergy to MS to cancer! I never once thought it could be Lyme and was shocked when I tested positive. Since that day in April I have been gluten and dairy free and I also take several detox supplements to help detox my body and rid it of the Lyme.

So now we are caught up to this week! Saturday I had my appointment and I had been having these odd pains on my upper left side. After he adjusted my back and neck I mentioned that I thought I had a rib out. He felt around and could feel nothing but once he got to this one area the pain spiked! I told him that was the place and he informed me that was my pancreas! Umm…so now what do I do? Once again wasn’t expecting that result but honestly I don’t know why. I grew up on sugar and very little exercise and for the last several years knew I was teetering on the pre-diabetic levels. So now I am also on very little to no sugar. I have pretty much cut all sugar out except for fresh fruit.

Remember me mentioning my blood pressure has always been high? Well, you won’t believe this but in 4 days of cutting back on sugar my blood pressure has dropped to this!!!


Needless to say I think I have figured out what caused my blood pressure to go crazy! No, I’m not a doctor so this is just what I’ve all learned, but goodness I can’t even tell you how much medicine I have pumped into my body all these years and how much money I have spent to figure out this mystery when here all along it appears to be sugar causing the problem. This also explains why it’s gone up and down by itself. A few times in my adult life I have cut it out for the most part and focused on a clean eating life style and my golly it drops and then I get comfy in that life style and start letting the treats pile on again and before I know it my blood pressure has sky rocketed again.

So this last week I have felt great and then like crap because I am getting all the sugar out of my system and with my blood pressure dropping so quickly I think that hasn’t helped either…not that I’m complaining though! I’m just so happy to have found what looks to be the main cause of my blood pressure issues!!!

So, other then getting rid of sugar I’ve also been able to wear my wedding ring for the 1st time in 9 months or so!!! I would swell horrible once I put it on and getting it on was even questionable each day! I am so happy that I am starting to see the inflammation leave my body!

Perfect Fit!
Perfect Fit!

So, these weekly updates I will just be sharing what I’ve done this past week, some tips that I’ve found to be helpful and maybe a recipe or two that not only is healthy but also tastes great! I will also be doing a vlog on our YouTube channel so if you want to check that out you can find us here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPluYKyC2cw

I’m not going to focus to much on the scale~God made us ALL beautiful no matter if we are a size 2, 12, or 22. My focus is going to be healthy living for a brighter future. I hope y’all will join me on this adventure I work at kicking Lyme’s behind and we all can work on a healthier tomorrow!

Much Love,



A Birthday Celebration

Howdy friends! Is it summer time in your town yet? While school has been out almost a week here, the weather hasn’t been very summery yet! I loved the weather this winter since we had NO snow days and while I’d be completely happy with a cooler summer, getting to see the sun more then every few days would be nice!

My dad came down almost 2 weeks ago for AJ’s baseball tournament and while he was here we celebrated his birthday! We haven’t been with him in many years on his birthday so I knew I needed to make him something he would like and I knew that cake was out of the picture since I hardly remember him eating cake while I was growing up. I decided on chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches. He loves cookies and ice cream so put them together and you have a major winner!

These cookies are simply amazing and so easy to whip together! You can make them into ice cream sandwich cookies or spread them in a bar pan for a cookie cake! The possibilities are endless with the different flavors of chips you can add!

Quick and easy cookie dough
Using a cookie scoop will help get perfect sized cookies!
Using a cookie scoop will help get perfect sized cookies!
Let them cool on the pan for 2-3 minutes!
Let them cool on the pan for 2-3 minutes!
Look at those beauties!
Look at those beauties!
Fill with your favorite ice cream and roll in sprinkles for an added special touch!
Fill with your favorite ice cream and roll in sprinkles for an added special touch!
Best Gluten Free flour we've found!
Best Gluten Free flour we’ve found!

Nu-Life all purpose gluten free flour is AMAZING!!! Everything we have made with it turns out perfect…except pizza crust! That’s one recipe we haven’t been able to master using gluten free flour. You can find this flour in a few select Costco stores or online from the Nu-Life website. (I am not an affiliate of Nu-Life or Costco, just really LOVE this flour!) We also double the amount of baking soda or baking powder when we use gluten free flour! Our items come out pretty perfect now!

After I assembled the ice cream cookie sandwiches I placed them in the freezer until it was party time! No need to thaw ahead of time~they are perfect straight from the freezer!

These are kid,
These are kid,
Husband and
Husband and
Dad approved!
Dad approved!

Happy Birthday, Dad! Hope you had a great day celebrating with us!

The Best Chocolate Chip Cooke Recipe

1 cup butter shortening

3/4 cup white AND brown sugar

2 eggs

2 1/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons if using gluten free flour

1-2 teaspoons almond flavoring…the more the better is my theory!

2 cups chocolate chips, we prefer the mini size ones. Another favorite is 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup peanut butter chips!

In mixing bowl mix shortening and both sugars together. Add in eggs beating well after each one. Slowly add in flour and baking soda mixing until all combined. Add in almond flavoring then chips of your choice!

For cookies bake at 375 for 8-9 minutes, for bar pan cookies bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

If you haven’t already, please subscribe so you don’t miss out on our newest adventures! We can also be found on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram!

Much Love,



90 Days

It’s SUMMER Time!!!! I love this time of year! My kids are home, I have a slight break with work and the days are longer! I am not a big routine person even tho I know I would be able to thrive easier with one but the summer is so much more calm and relaxed. This year my kids have 90 days before school starts back up in August! My plan is to make them memorable days and I’m hoping that summer of 2016 will be one of the best yet!

Last summer started off well with Elle’s 13th birthday trip with me and by the end of June I was starting to feel sick and it just kept on declining with sickness, death of a friend, financial stresses and some major depression issues from not fully dealing with my momma’s death 8 years earlier. So, needless to say I feel that my kids got a bummer of a summer in 2015 and while we aren’t going on a family vacation or spending a ton of money doing things this year I’m hoping this summer will be so much better!

I’ve been feeling pretty crummy the last 7-10 days and I refuse to let it get me down or put me on the couch for hours each day. I love adventures and honestly for me, I would become depressed, grouchy and a mess if I didn’t get up and moving each morning. I go back to the doctor tomorrow so I’m hoping for some relief after that appointment. However, I have learned that I have to take it a little easier then 2 or more years ago but we still have so many adventures we can go on that won’t completely wipe me out.

So for the next 90 days I’m wanting more adventures then couch time, more laughter then tears, more smiles then worried looks, more sunny days then rain, more fun memories then those not so fun times and more I Love You’s then fighting.

Will you join me? Will you take the pledge to find ways to create a memorable 2016 Summer with your family? You can create amazing memories for little to no money by finding joy in the everyday simples things in life.

I would love to have you join us this summer! I will be posting the fun ways we are making memories, the progress of me healing from Lyme and of course recipes because that’s me! I will even attempt to remember pictures when we are on our next adventure! But if you want to see some from today head over to our Facebook or Instagram page to see my crazy kids at one of our favorite parks! Who knows, maybe by the end of summer I will have figured out how to post a picture from my phone onto my blog!

Much Love,


Money Saving Tips for the Ball Park

Hey Friends~This time of year is busy for us and I’m sure your home is similar! We have plenty of end of school events, the weather is getting nicer which brings more yard work and we are at the ball park several times a week watching AJ play baseball. Sometimes being this busy overwhelms me but I’ve learned to prepare ahead of time and I’ve found a few things I can do to help save us money while we are hanging out at the ball park so many nights a week, and who doesn’t like saving money!

The first game of the weekend!
The first game of the weekend!

Tip #1~ Stock your car with extra blankets, a jacket or hoodie, hats and gloves. If you are like us the ball field is in another town and going home for these items isn’t an option. AJ’s first season taught us an important lesson in being prepared for any weather! I was shocked at how cold it can get and I made several Target runs for warmer gear for either him or us! I now keep extras in the van. You can use a Rubbermaid, a thirty-one type of bag or just have a pile in your trunk! Deodorant and sunscreen might also be something you want to keep in your car 🙂

Tip #2~ Bring your own snacks, meals and drinks! This saves us a FORTUNE!!! Being a family of 5 means even a cheap meal at McDonald’s is going to cost us close to $30. We pack up sandwiches, cut fruit and veggies, chips, cookies, and whatever snack food looks good for that day into our cooler and then grab a reusable water bottle that we can fill up in the bathrooms during the day. You’d be surprised how good a picnic lunch in the grass in between games can taste! It’s so nice not having to race someplace in the hour or so we have,  it takes us less then 20 minutes to prepare and pack the food in the morning and we can pocket the money we saved for a project we have planned or to put it towards our debt. Not only will your checkbook thank you, but the picnic food is most likely healthier then fast food so your waist will also be thanking you!

Picnic Time
Picnic Time

Tip #3~ If you truly don’t have time to pack a picnic or picnic’s aren’t your thing (hey, I’ve been there!) Head to Costco or Sam’s Club and you can eat for CHEAP at their snack area! We’ve done this several times and our family of 5 can not only eat a meal but not be hungry for under $15.

Most of the tournaments we attend on the weekends cost money at the gate~this is something that you truthfully can’t get around not paying for. The last 2 weeks would cost us $20 each day for all 5 of us to attend. If we have games Friday-Sunday there goes $60 just like that! We don’t make the girls go, while we encourage them to be supportive we have plenty of free games they can attend during the week. I also usually don’t go to the Friday evening games since I need to get groceries for the following week. This helps cut out some of that expense. We also don’t buy the tournament tee-shirts or anything else they might be selling. This is a huge thing for me since I like to shop! But being debt free is more important then having multiple tournament shirts in the closet that if we are honest will probably never be worn more then once or twice. For us, being prepared helps us save money which allows us to not only pay off our debt but allows our kids to be involved in sports.

Leave a comment below letting me know what your favorite picnic foods are and if you do anything else to save money at the ball parks!

Much Love,



The Struggle

Friends~Can I tell you how bad the food struggle has been the last few days? It’s been bad! Like, I just want to eat a freakin cheeseburger WITH the bun bad! I am a food person~love to make it, eat it and enjoy all the different flavors that explode in my mouth with each bite. This struggle didn’t start right away when I went gluten and dairy free 2 weeks ago, which in fact really surprised me. Then over the weekend it started to whisper to me and by yesterday I had resisted all I could but the daycare breakfast was the final straw and I broke.

The piece of breakfast cake that broke me.
The piece of breakfast cake that broke me.

Oh how wonderful it tasted and then I had another piece and then for lunch I ate bread…real bread and by that afternoon I was in a world of hurt! Not so much my stomach but my neck and shoulders were so sore and it felt like I had a stack of bricks once again sitting on them.

Why is it so hard to continue the path of healthy eating, I was feeling so much better and had dropped a few pounds and then BAM this happens and within a few hours I was miserable and the scale decided to tack on almost 3 pounds overnight! That alone shows why I can’t eat this stuff! My body reacts horribly to it and then turns into inflammation inside of me.

I need to find some quick, healthy food choices for during the day and then start recreating our family favorite recipes into ones that I can also enjoy. It’s not that I don’t know what I should be eating, we have plenty of those foods stocked up on each week, but the problem is when I go to prepare that food somehow my mind is thinking one thing and my hands reach and prepare something completely different! Take today for example, I was going to make a nice large salad and this is what my plate looked like instead~

Best tasting "salad" I've ever had!
Best tasting “salad” I’ve ever had!

Potato chip and all beef hot dog with no nitrates was my “salad” for today! I mean come on, Amy!!! What’s so hard with eating the stinkin salad? Or even chopping up some veggies would have been an improvement over the potato chips!

Okay, I am going to be done with beating myself up over my food choices these last 2 days but I really do need to make better choices! Not just so I can kick Lyme in the behind but also for my future health. I am planning on running another 1/2 marathon one day and I’m pretty sure those people not only practice running but they also eat well to obtain top notch health. I’m sure I’m not the only one that struggles with this so lets lift each other up and encourage one another when it comes to making healthier choices not only for today but for our future.

In case you guys are wondering I had another treatment on Saturday. It went well I guess. My hip was once again popped out of place and he had to increase 2 of my supplements and he then also started me on Vitamin D and Iron. Two things that my body is severely lacking and in much need of. I’m still feeling well and I haven’t seen any change in how I feel with the added supplements in my system. The last 2 days I haven’t had to drag myself out of bed in the mornings which is nice. He didn’t start me on the stimulator so I’m hoping in 2 weeks when I go back I will get to experience that! I asked about cutting other foods out of my diet and he said at this point he wasn’t going to have me cut anything else but after doing some of my own research…which I’m sure Dr’s just love to hear…I’ve found a book called ‘The Lyme Diet’ and it mentions cutting out so much more then just gluten and dairy. That book suggests sugar, caffeine and more that at the moment I can’t remember. I do really think another food or group of foods that I’ve been eating is contributing to my inflammation so I’m at the point of starting to think I need to eliminate more out of my system. Let’s hope that when I do that it goes over better then what I ended up doing yesterday!

I will keep you all updated on how my treatments are going! If you haven’t already please subscribe over on the right hand side so you don’t miss any of my blog posts!

Much Love,


Crazy Dreams

Do you ever have your Facebook memories pop up and make you stop to think about how different your life was back then? Sometimes I’m saddened by the memories and then other times they put a smile on my face. That’s what happened today when this picture popped up and I could see how far Adam and I have come~

Our almost new Toyota Sienna
Our almost new Toyota Sienna

Four years ago today we traded in our paid for 2004 Chrysler Town and Country for this 2011 Toyota Sienna. Our van was needing some work done to it and while we are blessed that Adam can do 99% of the work we still didn’t have the money that all the parts would have cost to make it reliable for our upcoming road trip to Florida in a little over 3 weeks. So instead of doing the responsible adult thing and postponing or changing our plans we went out and bought this beauty and took out a loan for $18,000. We had little to no money in savings and at the time I thought that things would get better once we took this fabulous vacation and could then focus on putting money each month into savings.

We had a fabulous time and it is still one of our favorite vacations but of course once we got back I didn’t focus on getting our money in order like I had planned. Fast forward 6 months and we both got serious with wanting to become 100% debt free. Has it been easy? Oh heck no!!! At times we’ve cried, yelled, all but given up and here we are 4 years later on a better track then we ever have been on before.

Part of what’s helped us get on a better track is lots of hard work, going without things that we all have wanted and selling items that we no longer need…including that van. 18 months ago we sold the van to CarMax and with the $1200 profit we were able to buy this van of my dreams!

Meet Odie~the Odyssey
Meet Odie~the Odyssey

This is our 2001 Honda Odyssey that has taught me a lot about life, budgeting and that happiness doesn’t come in a new car. If you would have told me 4 years ago that I would sell my Toyota and get a van 10 years older I would have laughed at you. If you would have told me 4 years ago that I would be completely in love with my old van I would have laughed even more at you and if you would have told me 4 years ago that we would have this completely crazy dream to be 100% debt free including our home by 2020 I really would have laughed at you and said not in a million years will that happen!

At times I think we are crazy or that we shouldn’t be working so hard on this dream when the kids are still young or this little voice will tell me that the kids will all be gone by the time we turn 41 so then we can focus on paying everything off. I then have to remind myself that while we are working hard for this dream and that the kids are still home we are teaching them that hard work pays off and we are hopefully setting them up for a different life pattern of debt free living then we had in our early years of marriage. In the summers when we aren’t flying all over or heading to the beach every year I remind myself that we are still creating amazing family memories on a budget and that our kids are not going without their NEEDS being met and that they are so blessed beyond their needs.

Who knows what Adam and I will do once the debt is all paid off and our kids have set sail from our home but whatever it is we will thrive because of what we have learned during these years of trials, joys, failures and successes.

I want to encourage you that you are never to old and it is never to late to reach for your dreams. I realize that not everyone has this crazy dream of living completely debt free but we do all have some sort of crazy dream inside of us that with hard work you all can reach!

What is your crazy dream? I would love for you to leave a comment below letting me know!

Much Love,


Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

I can’t believe that it’s been 9 years since we said good-bye! So much has changed in these last 9 years and yet it seems like it was just yesterday that we would call and talk on the phone for hours each day.

My mom and I when I was just 1 year old!
My mom and I when I was just 1 year old!

The kids are all doing well~you would be so proud of them and everything they have accomplished these last 9 years. I know that if you were here you would be cheering them on every chance you had, encouraging them and praying for them. It seems unreal that you have never seen Emma in her glasses or run a race, that you haven’t heard all about Elle’s love for horses just like you had or that you haven’t got to see AJ play any sport or listen to him read a book.

My momma washing my hair.
My momma washing my hair.

I wish you were here so you could see our home. I hated leaving our tiny trailer behind because it meant moving to a place that you had never stepped foot in and blessed with your smile and love. You would love our home and no doubt would pitch right in helping around with anything you knew needed organized or cleaned inside! I wish you could have helped me pick out paint colors and bed sets but having a few keepsakes of yours has made the hurt somewhat dissipate.

My moms dream was to see the ocean~we made her dream 50 weeks before she passed!
My moms dream was to see the ocean~we made her dream come true 50 weeks before she passed!

As for me mom, I’m doing okay. I’ve started to heal and have found my voice, who I am and God once again. If you were still here it would have been so easy to pick up the phone instead of turn to God, my story of your illness was able to touch and reach so many people last year in Chile, I am finally able to see God’s hand work for the good in me missing you. While a day doesn’t go by that I don’t think of you, my days have become a little bit easier and I’ve learned to open up with others about things that I stuffed inside once you were gone.

A dream trip with my mom!
A dream trip with my mom!

Please know that you are forever in our hearts and minds and you are deeply loved and one day we will see you again. While we wish you were here to celebrate this Mother’s Day with us we want to wish you a Happy 9 year Heavenversary and thank you for being a wonderful mom to me for 26 years!

Much Love,


In honor of my mom, Jeanette

February 23, 1954-May 7, 2007


9 Years

Today marks 9 years since I had a mother/daughter talk with my momma. 9 years ago this morning she woke up and knew that her end was near and asked my dad to call asking us to come. It’s a day that I don’t want etched in my memory but we don’t always get to pick those things in our story. May 4th, 2007 was a beautiful Friday here in Missouri and I was in charge of child care for a mom’s Bible study at the Christian school in our town and had just arrived when he had called. I remember being in tears when another mom walked through the nursery doors and how she stayed with me talking and praying with me for that hour…at the time she was pretty much a stranger and she gave up her time with her friends downstairs just to be with me. Her showing up and caring meant more to me then I ever would have thought on this morning.

After the Bible study ended it was a race around town to get mail stopped, my girls checked out of preschool and kindergarten for an unknown amount of time and to get everything we might possibly need packed. We had already picked out clothes for her service because we knew her time was limited…for that I was thankful so I didn’t have to think about shopping during that time. I loaded the Durango up and picked Adam up from work before making the 3 hour trip to my parents home.

That late afternoon and evening was spent just talking with her in her room while she laid in the hospital bed that had been delivered several weeks earlier. We talked about lots of different things and laughed over so many memories. She had found her laughter and started to joke around not to many weeks earlier…something Adam and I mentioned not really ever hearing in the past and oh how I wish I would have had the privilege of knowing that mom just a little longer. The more we talked I found out she always had been that way but had just kept it inside her for way to long. I found out that she was responsible for hanging one of the boys underpants on the flag pole on a church youth trip that she helped with when I was only 12 and then she went on and on about so many other memories.

I’m so glad we had those hours because when she woke up the next morning she was very confused and much weaker. I remember she kept asking my sister how in the world she can keep her house clean…which is funny that my mom was asking my sister for cleaning advice because my mom kept the house spotless except for her organized piles of papers and many sticky notes plastered everywhere! While I don’t remember everything or honestly even much of what we all talked about on this day 9 years ago, it will always be etched in my memory that this was the last day I was able to talk to my momma as her little girl.

Much Love,


Lyme Can Cause What?!?!

May is finally here! I love May~spring is here or not to far away and the kids are almost out of school! I love getting to play outside more and the sun stays out longer in the evenings. May also is Lyme Awareness Month so I wanted to share some information that I had no clue about until it became part of my story.

~Lyme is the fastest growing infectious disease in America. It has 10 times more cases then AIDS, SARS, West Nile and Swine Flu combined.

~Lyme disease is often misdiagnosed.

~Ticks are not the only bugs that carry Lyme. They are still the number one carrier but lice, fleas, mosquitos and other blood sucking bugs have been found to carry and transmit Lyme.

~Lyme can be transmitted from person to person. Lyme has been proven to pass through saliva, organ transplant, blood transfusion, placenta to unborn baby and sexually.

Lyme has so many different symptoms and affects each person differently. That’s why it is often diagnosed as something else. The list of symptoms includes: (* shows my symptoms)


Widespread joint and muscle pain*

Severe fatigue*


Unexplained fevers



Hair loss*

Swollen glands

Heart palpitations


Bowel problems

Interstitial cystits


Muscle spasms*

Nerve pain*




Abdominal pain




Double vision

Sensitivity to light and sound





Unexpected weight loss or gain*

That is a huge list and sadly many more symptoms could be added. During my healing process I want to take time to not only educate myself but also share with you what I am learning! I want to bring hope to those that might feel like they won’t ever feel better or to those that might be like me and have no clue that hurting so much at the age of 35 isn’t normal.

What can you do to protect yourself and your family? Wear long sleeves/pants if you go out for a hike, walk in the middle of the path, keep your grass cut short, use bug protection not only on you but also your pets, treat your lawn to help prevent these pesky little things (even if you live in town, they know no boarders and city life doesn’t scare them!) I like a more natural way of living and have chosen a natural doctor for treating my Lyme, no matter what path of treatment you prefer if you think you have Lyme Disease please find a doctor that is knowledgeable with Lyme and talk with them! Lyme left untreated can be deadly.

I walked into an appointment with my new Dr looking for help with my blood pressure and walked out with a diagnosis of Lyme disease~this was something not even on my mind of what could be going on inside of me. I have cried tears of joy, for finally after so many years, having a true diagnosis and I’ve even been excited to know that how I was feeling isn’t normal for my age.  While I still have a lot of unknowns I won’t let fear over those steal my joy during my treatment, choosing to have my mind and thoughts find the joy in every day is half the battle in living my life to fullest. Remember friends, no matter what your story is everyone can chose joy!

Much Love,



When I’m a Wimp

Today I have a to go to the dreaded dentist office~I absolutely HATE going and probably put it off to long which will now cost my family more money then I care to think about.

I’ve always dreaded going to the dentist, I don’t exactly remember what happened at the one I went to as a small child but I do remember my mom storming out of that place with me in tow and we never went back to that particular one. Honestly my fear could have more to do with that reaction then the actual situation that happened prior to her storming out. Which is a good mom reminder to keep my emotions in check around my own children in situations like that!

This morning I sat down and opened my Instagram and the first picture I saw was a Bible verse that was much needed for me today~just another gentle reminder that God loves me and cares enough about me to even help calm my nerves today! The verse is Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous! For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”


I’ve known that I am deeply loved by Him, that He does care about me (even about the small things) and that He is always with me. But having this reminder, which we all need from time to time, was exactly what I needed to kick my wimpy self to the curb, pull out my big girl panties and put them on for the day! With God sitting next to me in that dentist chair I will be alright and who knows, maybe my fear of going will be resolved after today!

Friends, if there is something you aren’t looking forward to please talk it over with God and invite Him to join you in facing your fears. He loves you, cares for you and is always with you wherever you go.

Much Love,