Are you new to Simply Us blog?  Welcome!  I'm Emily and I'm so glad that you have decided to follow our crazy life.  Let me introduce myself...here are 31 random facts about me:

Cuteness overload...I mean, look at my hands in my pockets.
1.  I’ve moved 37 times (my mom says I left a few moves out), lived on 3 continents and do a deer in headlights face when I meet someone new and they ask “where are you from?”.
2.  I’m terrified, absolutely terrified, of needles, but somehow managed to pierce my belly button, get a tattoo and let my sister pierce my ears in the downstairs bathroom.
3.  I love the color purple so much that I wore purple crocs, a purple backpack and a purple jacket almost daily in college until I met a new person and they said “Oh yea, you’re that purple girl I see on campus”. #awkward
4.  I could eat pizza every day and never get sick of it.  Seriously.
5.  I loved growing up in a big city, walking everywhere and taking buses and blame that on why I hate to drive.
6.  My dream job would be to live out of a backpack, travel the world and blog about it.
7.  People tell me I know how to relax better than most.
8.  My husband and I met in an interview to work in the Magic Kingdom and both got the job.
9.  I call him “Ironman” because that was his walkout song when he was a baseball star and I was falling in love with him.

10.  When I lived overseas, I would crave Doritos and orange juice and make it a priority to have them both, together, ASAP when back in the USA.
11.  I have had so many vaccinations, I actually have 2 record books and the last time I went in for boosters, the doctor told me he’d never seen anything like it (hence the fear of needles).
12.  Ironman always teases that I go into stores with blinders on…I will walk right past friends and family and won’t even notice.
13.  I started taking ballet lessons before kindergarten and continued until I went to college.
14.  My favorite treat in Bolivia is to go out for anticuchos…aka cow heart.
15.  I was in a spelling bee in 3rd grade, heard the girl in front of me spell “recital" wrong and get disqualified, then came up to the stand and spelled it exactly like her and was surprised to also be disqualified.
16.  I have a Bucket List with 148 items on it and always looking to add more.
17.  I love minimalist living and am happiest when I have less items of higher quality.
18.  My dream would be to live in a tiny house or buy an RV and travel around the USA and Canada for a full year.
19.  On a study tour to the Holy Land, my life was changed forever and I remember that I just said “It’s really real!” over and over and over for 3 weeks.
20.  My mom caught on fire Christmas 2001 and I ran back and forth to the kitchen with a green tupper wear bowl of water, without knowing that water wouldn’t put out that type fire.

21.  I always thought yellow’s not my color, but Ironman convinced me to buy this cute shirt^^^ because he said he loved it on me.
22.  I would have lived on brown sugar pop tarts and never exercised if it weren’t for my inspirational hubby...now I actually eat spinach and know what antioxidants are.
23.  Sometimes when I’m talking with someone, a word will still almost come out in Spanish even though we are speaking English.
24.  I hate humidity and miss the mountain view from my bedroom window.
25.  I broke up with the word “never” because when I say that, it’s like I’m doomed to do whatever it was.
26.  I’m getting ready to get my 4th passport and didn’t realize that not everyone has one, until I went to college and met them.  Seriously.
27.  On that note, I didn’t realize that not everyone missed school frequently due to city riots and blockades…so, for the first few months of college in the USA, I kept thinking I wished someone would hurry up and protest so school would be canceled.
28.  I own an essential oils business with over 800 members and make more money than any of my previous jobs, without doing much more than using social media and word of mouth.
29.  I love rainy days and overcast skies.
30.  During high school, on family vacations, my mom and sisters and I would read a book a day and pass them around…so, a 2 week vacation would mean 14 books read.
31.  I got lazer hair removal in college and haven't needed to shave in a decade...perfect for this traveler!

So, now that I've shared all my random "secrets", you're turn!  Share a random fact about you below.



The day we bought our first home!

I can't believe that we have lived in this house for two years today.  And I'm pretty sure we are going through the five stages of grief...denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  Our days in this house have been an adventure, but have been hard.  We bought this place knowing that pretty much the entire house needed to be renovated, but really didn't understand how hard it was going to be to live in a house while it's constantly under construction for several years.  So, we have been working days, nights and weekends and everything in between for two years.  I help where I can, but most of the burden has been on Ironman and I can tell that he is exhausted and ready to be done.  We can't wait for a weekend that really feels like a weekend and not like we are procrastinating on a mountain load of never-ending work.

On a positive note, It's been really good to go back and look at all these old photos to remind myself that we have made progress.  Since we still have so much more work to do, it is easy to forget and feel like we're stuck in a rutt.  Take a look at the changes so far...on all the photos, you can see June 19th 2015 on top left, June 19th 2016 on the top right and today on the bottom!

HALL BATHROOM - We completely tore the entire bathroom out and started from scratch.  Because the room was so small at first (see how close the toilet is to the pink tub?), we took a closet from the guest room on the left to add space for the vanity and open up the entire bathroom.

2015 (top left) - 2016 (top right) - today (bottom)
HALF BATHROOM - This was our only working bathroom for about a year and it's so small, you can't sit on the toilet straight because your legs won't fit beside the vanity.  Every time we used this toilet, we would have to choose whether we wanted to sit sideways with our legs against the wall or wide open with our legs spread open and around the vanity...both were awful and uncomfortable.  So, we totally gutted it and it's going to become a half bath with a slop sink, since it's next to the laundry room.  Right now there's nothing in it but the old tile floors and new walls.
2015 (top left) - 2016 (top right) - today (bottom)
LAUNDRY ROOM - This room was a bedroom with the attached bathroom that is becoming the half bath.  We turned it into the laundry room (since the laundry had been in the garage) and closet space for two other bedrooms (the guest room and master bedroom).  So, now it's just a laundry room, half bath and a bunch of walls.  Also, the entrance to the kitchen has been closed up.
2015 (top left) - 2016 (top right) - today (bottom)
GUEST ROOM - This room was the one that lost the closet to the hall bathroom, so we just recently tore into the left wall to create a closet.  This closet is using some of the space from the laundry room above.  It's a mess right now because of all the tearing out, sheetrock and sanding, but will soon be done and painted!
2015 (top left) - 2016 (top right) - today (bottom)
OUR BEDROOM - This is the only room in the house that didn't need too much work.  We pulled up the carpets, tore down the wallpaper and painted.  It's the nicest room in the house for the least amount of work.
2015 (top left) - 2016 (top right) - today (bottom)
LIVING ROOM - We haven't done much in this room yet.  So far, we've replaced the light fixture, taken down the old window treatments and put up blinds and pulled up the carpet.  Between the living room, dining room and kitchen, we also tore out three walls to open everything up!
2015 (top left) - 2016 (top right) - today (bottom)
DINING ROOM - The first thing we did when we moved into this house was pull up that red carpet, only to find linoleum under it...ugh.  Ironman built the window seat and shelves that surround the windows, plus the amazing farmhouse table!
2015 (top left) - 2016 (top right) - today (bottom) 
KITCHEN - I pulled up carpet (yes that green carpet), to find foam.  Pulled that up to find linoleum.  Pulled that up to find tar paper type stuff glued to the floor.  Scraped and scraped and then gave up.  Just a few weeks ago, we finally got some professionals in to help us sand up the last bits.  We've moved some things around, built a pantry, installed some cabinets and it's really coming along.
2015 (top left) - 2016 (top right) - today (bottom) 
FOYER - Not much has changed here.  We opened up the entryway and have skimmed the walls, over the wallpaper.

2015 (top left) - 2016 (top right) - today (bottom)
SUNROOM (aka future master suite) - Since we lost a bedroom to a laundry room and more closet space, we decided to use the enormous sunroom for a master suite!  We will have a huge walk in closet, a double vanity, doorless two-head shower and a claw foot tub.  We want it to be our own little retreat.
2015 (top left) - 2016 (top right) - today (bottom)
FRONT PORCH - The only recent changes are the flag that Ironman put up during elections and the table that we bought so that we can enjoy eating meals on the porch together!
2015 (top left) - 2016 (top right) - today (bottom)
As you can see, there have been a lot of changes over the past two years.  Right now, we are focusing on finishing the right side of the house.  Once the bedrooms, bathrooms, closets, laundry room and foyer are finished, we will move on to the left side of the house.  Then, we will only have the living room, dining room and kitchen left to be finished!  It won't be near as much work as the right side was, so it makes me feel like we are getting closer to the finish line!

This morning...730 days into this monster project!

I would say "come back on June 19th, 2018 to see our progress", but we are actually trying to finish by the end of this year!  We will keep you updated for sure and hope to have a big party when it's all over to celebrate that we made it through alive.



Life can be very overwhelming at times!  I know in my case, I'll sign up for and agree to a million things and then all of a sudden hit a wall.  At that point, it's like I'm past the point of no return and have to make some changes fast.  Here are some of the things that I do when I'm in over my head:

1.  EVALUTE - First things first, evaluate your life and circumstances.  What is stressing you out and causing you to lose sleep?  Can it be avoided or is it something that you have to deal with?

2.  SAY NO - People will always suggest what you should do, but learn to say no to things you don't want to do or have time to do.  Spreading yourself too thin isn't going to benefit anyone.

3.  GET A HOBBY - By saying no to some things, you'll get to say yes to others!  Find something that you enjoy like painting, camping, going to the gym or cooking and spend some time each day doing what you love.

4.  RELAX - Everyday.  Get alone.  Unplug from electronics.  Sit on your porch, go on a walk, close your eyes or do whatever helps you feel calm and collected.

5.  SELF CARE - Make sure you take good care of yourself by eating well, exercising daily and sleeping enough hours.  If you can get away, you might even consider a vacation.

6.  GO SLOW - Although it's tempting to be busy and hurry through everything, make enough time to get everything done without feeling flustered.  This probably means you can't do as much, but that's ok...maybe you were doing too much anyway!

If you're not good at recognizing when you're reaching your limit, then make sure you have someone who will call you out and let you know when they notice the signs.  It's important to deal with being overwhelmed before you let it get to the point of complete burn out!