Category Archives: life


July 28, 2017

Well, we’ve officially joined the “crazy club.” 1. Crazy to have three kids 2. Crazy: as in chaos crazy. Nevertheless, with all the craziness going on, I could definitely add a third crazy 3. Crazy in love! Not to quote Beyonce or anything, but this third kid suuuurely has my heart. Maybe it’s being the baby of the family, there sure is something ultra sweet about Faye that has completely filled up my heart.

Enough gushing. Really. Okay what you really want to know… How IS IT with three?

Someone asks me this almost every day with the same look on their face expecting me to say how hard it is and how tired I am and how much work it is, everything you’d expect if you had three kids, and all most of those things are true, but they’re missing one key thing about all of the 3 kid business – that BABIES SLEEP. Praise the Lord! This is the only way I’m surviving right now!

Faye has been such a good sleeper! She made it 7 straight hours at night for two nights in a row this week! WHOOP! Otherwise, she’s usually around 6. Then she just wakes up to eat quick, chug-a-lug, then right back to bed for another 3-4. So again, THANK GOD for sleepy babies! Plus during the day, she hangs out and has Ivy in her face every second for an hour, then back to sleep. Hallelujah. During her naps is where we get things done!

This has given me enough energy to make it through the day to keep up with these rascals. I’m NOT good at staying home, I get antsy, the kids get antsy, we just have to either get outside, or go somewhere. Faye’s mellow personality has allowed us to keep doing the things we love to do – pool or park day all day errry day! Or the zoo to run these kids wild from animal to animal. Basically anything to maximize our time away from the house and get these kids to use up their energy.

Oh. And popsicles. YAAAAAS. They’ve saved me keeping Ivy and Leo entertained! I need 15 minutes to nurse… POPSICLES. I need 15 minutes to shower… POPSICLES. I need 10 minutes to change because I got breastmilk or spit up everywhere… POPSICLES. I need 30 minutes to cook dinner… TWO POPSICLES. Haha, okay maybe not that extreme! But popsicles have saved me this summer! (I could also replace ‘popsicles’ with ‘ipad’ to be honest! Judge the way you want!)

Mostly, three kids has been about a new routine.

New routines, like, I might just have to throw a kid in their bed without a book because I’m trying to get three kids to bed at the same time. I might just have to clean that mess up later because I have to go nurse. I might just have to get fast food on the way home because it’s easier. I might just have to neglect a kid a little because another kid is screaming. All the things that give you SERIOUS Mom guilt. Your attention is divided amongst another child and it’s tough on everyone. It’s really hard to put Faye down because I just want to hooooooold her and snuggle my baaaaaby, but I try to use her naps to the fullest and take that time to be present with Ivy and Leo. Then her hour awake time before she falls aleep again is when Ivy and I get to play with her, because Leo has NO interest whatsoever #boys

Thankfully kids are resilient and change as we change, after those first few temper tantrums, of course, but eventually they get it.

So, how is it with three? Two to three is definitely harder. I swear, Leo’s had more meltdowns this last month than his whole life. Everything takes so much longer, especially with nursing before we go anywhere. Ivy is curious and asks a million questions in my space and Faye’s all day. Routines get all messed up as we start new ones. I have serious Mom guilt on and off all day as one of the kids is always getting neglected. BUT we’re getting the hang of it. And choosing to be positive and trying to be easy going really does generate a good mood amongst everybody! We’re just going with the flow here and trying to survive.

My goal with three is just to embrace all of it. The minute I realized we need new routines and everything won’t be perfect, was the minute I knew I would be okay, WE would be okay. Nothing is right, nothing is perfect, it’s basically a shit show, but I’m going to embrace the shit (pun intended… baby poop diapers, MY GOD) and try be as stress-free as possible and just love on these little kids and enjoy this chaos as much as I can! Our last little baby, gotta hold her as much as possible! And frankly, it doesn’t last forever! These kids grow up too fast!


A Trip to the Stensland Farm

May 31, 2017

Today we took a trip to the Stensland Farm and the kids had a blast! The farm just opened up an ice cream shop in Sioux Falls, which is BEYOND delicious, so we have been anxious to go see the whole process and take a tour of the farm. Stensland Family Farms was established in 1915, and is a family owned and operated, multi-generational farm located near Larchwood, Iowa. They have almost 200+ cows and they also farm 1500 acres of organic cropland. All of the forage the cows eat, comes from the non-GMO crops they grow! Read more about the farm here and see more on their facebook page here.

Today was so nice to take my mind off of things with this baby coming! I’ve just been keeping busy keeping these kids busy… just waiting for baby! So this was a perfect opportunity to get outside and walk around hoping to induce some labor! :) Due on Sunday, June 4th! EEEK!

Leo could be a total farm boy after seeing him out there today! He loved to see all the cows, tractors, and there were tons rocks to throw around to keep him busy. He had so much fun! The kids got to pet and feed the baby cows a bottle of milk, so cute!

The tour also took us to see the cows getting milked, all by machines, which was crazy! The cows just go in there on their own when they want to be milked (I hear ya on relieving that pressure!!). The machine puts a collar on the cow and it begins sending information straight to the farm’s computer.  The collar identifies each cow and relays weight, temperature, activity, and rumination. So high tech! Then it cleans the utters and uses lasers to find the utters to milk them! So neat! Each cow produces about 9 gallons of milk each time! Wow!

Then we got to also see the cheese making factory. Cheese production wasn’t taking place at the time, but neat to watch the video, and I LOVE CHEESE! The curds are amazing!

Lastly, they brought us through to see where all the mama cows hang out. They lay on water beds and are very well taken care of with a self-grooming station in there too! The kids loved to try to feed them and get close!

At the end we got to go have samples of their milk, cheese curds, and ice cream! Their chocolate milk was amazing! And I don’t even like chocolate OR milk really!! Leo had three cups, haha. It was the perfect way to end the tour.

I think Leo would have preferred if I would have left him there! :) He LOVED it! Thank you for the great day Stensland!

Here’s a video to see more of the farm



Hello January 2017!

January 1, 2017

Happy NEW YEAR!!!! 2017! Whew! That went by fast! Literally feel like I was just chanting my graduation year “0-2! 0-2! 0-0-0-0-00000-2!” at my high school’s basketball games! Wow. Ok anyways, back to the New Year!

2016 was a really great year with so many spectacular memories, so I hope we just keep that cruising right into this year! We have so much to look forward to already in January, it’s sure to be a sensational year! (PS – I heard that word sensational on Good Morning America this morning and I realized I never use that word, so it’s been in my head to use it! Tell me that happens to you sometimes too… right??) Here’s my top things to do in January. Can’t wait for all of them!!

| New Calendar and Planner |
If you know me at all, you’ll know I’m a stationery FREAK. OBSESSED. I love cards, notepads, planners, calendars, all of it. I get reaaaally excited each month just to turn over the page on the calendar (#itsthelittlethings), so breaking out a WHOLE NEW CALENDAR is ultra fun for me! I love Rifle Paper Company everything, their florals are absolutely beautiful and cheerful. I get their appointment calendar because I love how large it is to fill  It looks so very pretty on the wall also.

For a planner, I love the 1Canoe2 planners. They’re a little more funky/pretty and I love how this one goes week by week with very large spaces any no lines to fill in daily details. I’ve had it for a couple months now and am LOVING it. So easy and fun to use.

| Barre3 All In | 
Starting January 9th, Barre3 is starting a 4 week program called Barre3 All In to supercharge your body and mind. It sounds SO AWESOME. You follow the Barre3 All In digital handbook that includes a plan to workout 5 times a week, a guided meal plan with foods that look sensation (there’s that word again), and access to wellness experts as well as the online community. There are tons of videos online so if you’re can’t make it into the studio 5 times, you can complete the workouts in your very own home. I love goals and following programs, so this is right up my alley! I’m excited to get stronger, healthier, and feel more energized at the beginning of the New Year! Read more about my Barre3 love here.

| Gender Reveal!|
I REALLY love to know the gender. I think it’s a fun midway surprise and I’m way too much of a planner to wait until the end! I just really like to know what’s growing inside of me :) And I struggle enough thinking of one gender’s name, let alone TWO! So nice to eliminate one hurdle in my life. We find out on January 10th! I am so excited to see the lil baby and to know that (hopefully) everything is growing right and well and baby is healthy and A-OK. With Ivy, we found out right in the ultrasound room, with Leo, we brought a card home and opened it with just John and I and then family (see here), and this time, I think John and I will make a date out of it and open it on a nice dinner date that night and celebrate our healthy baby girl our boy.

| San Diego|
Last year, John and I took our yearly trip to the Bahamas, which was SOOO INCREDIBLE. The sand was unbelieveable and ahhh, I’m reminiscing and falling into dreamland again. So, this year, we were trying to think of something to do again, but with being pregnant and the Zika threat, I was a little scared to go anywhere out of the country. We decided on San Diego and I couldn’t be more excited!! We are bringing the kids with us since we wanted to make it a longer trip so we plan on having a ton of fun and hopefully some relaxation in there as well.

We chose the Omni La Costa and it looks so fabulous and family friendly. An entire family swimming area with slides and a sandy edge, plus the Kids Club so John and I can get a few hours to ourselves in the adults only edge pool or on a date at one of the fine restaurants. It looks so perfect for a family, I’m really anxious to spend a week there at the end of January!

And you can’t go to SoCal without seeing Disneyland! I realized we are only an hour away from there, so you better believe I convinced John that we WILL be going there for a day :) Ivy won’t even know what to do with herself! And I’m ready to soak in all of the Disney Magic!

Add in Sea World and the San Diego Zoo each a day, then the rest just hang out and relax by the pool, means it should hit all of our vacation needs :) So excited for this trip

| Colorado |
Call us crazy, but we are heading straight from San Diego to Colorado! Temperature whiplash! John’s uncle lives in Ridgway, Colorado and has invited the Koch family out for a few days to stay and vacation. I am so excited to go to the Ouray Hot Springs and see Telluride again, I love mountain villages! I unfortunately won’t be skiing due to baby belly, but I still love to ride the gondola and see the ski mountain while gazing at the majestic mountains!

Whew! That makes for a busy January! Really ringing in the New Year right! Lots going on already! Wouldn’t have it any other way to make winter go by AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. Hate the cold!

I hope you have a fabulous New Years! Cheers once again! 2017 here we are!

Staying Fit with Barre3 – 5 Things I’ve Learned

December 29, 2016

As the New Year is approaching and 2017 is looming in my head of everything that is to be for the new year (eh eh… new baby…), the one thing that uplifts me is my health and staying fit. Hello New Year’s Resolution!!! With another baby due in June, I’m ready to push my body to the limits once again and see how working out through a pregnancy can help my mental, emotional, and physical state to prepare my body for all stages of pregnancy, labor, and then shedding the pounds afterwards.

I started working out at Barre3 Sioux Falls back in September and have really enjoyed it! Barre3’s approach is to “exercise, nourish, and connect,” (the 3 pillars to Barre3) which is a perfect mixture to balance my physical and mental being. Like I said, the one thing that uplifts me for my future is my health and staying fit, and Barre3 is the perfect match to help me accomplish this!

5 Things I’ve Learned from Barre3 Classes

This was my #1 in search of a fitness center! I have the kids all day, so it’s always been hard for me to find time to workout. I knew I had to find something where I could bring the kids with me in a safe, clean, fun, and friendly environment if I actually wanted to get in a workout. Barre3 has a small but super fun kids area right in their brightly natural lit lobby. They have so many fun toys and Ivy and Leo always RACE in there to claim their favorites. The staff has fabulous caretakers and my kids have always been excited about going. I love it also because it’s SUPER CLEAN and my kids really get one-on-one attention! I feel like Barre3’s childcare is such a hidden gem! I love it! I couldn’t be going to Barre3 without it!

I have been a runner for my whole life, so a gym isn’t really my thang. I have just always ran outside, loving the fresh air and peace and quiet. But, my night runs after the kids go to bed were getting hard, I’d skip them often, so it wasn’t really getting me anywhere. I had to accept that I needed help to watch the kids during the day so I could work out… hence joining a gym. So be open to trying something different! You might be a gym person after all.
I never thought a gym could be so much fun! I love seeing the staff each day and being welcomed into a happy place. Barre3 is all about nourishing the body and making connections in order to lead a balanced and happier life. By focusing on whole-body health, they empower you to feel your best from the inside out. Everyone is SOOO friendly there and the trainers are very knowledgeable. You walk into the fitness center and feel like you’re working out with all of your best girlfriends! I love feeling welcomed and part of a community.

Barre3 is unlike any workout I’ve ever had in so many ways! I’m feeling so much more toned and differently fit than I ever have with running. I am not much of a yoga person, I like more movement and cardio and feeling the burn, so with Barre3 combining yoga and pilates, it’s a perfect combo to burn the body but center my mind as well. I feel physically challenged differently every class and with the trainers encouraging me and uplifting me and me pushing myself, it works straight to the mind and body.

You’re guaranteed to hear, “shaking means changing,” at least once during class, and believe me, YOU WILL SHAKE. Barre3 is all about high reps and low weight so when you’re going, “down an inch, up an inch, (repeat, repeat), now hold at your low,” you WILL SHAKE. It’s so challenging! But I’m a freak and love to FEEL a change so this burn is what I’m all about. Really makes me realize I’m stronger than I think when I can beat those shakes! Embrace the shakes and that’s when you’ll see change! Ouch! But a good ouch! Hello Carrie Underwood legs! :)

I’m so thankful for finding a gym that has been so fun for me and my kids. I really need that hour a day to rejuvenate myself and feel better physically and mentally. I love knowing that my kids are in good hands just steps away while I’m taking care of myself. I can’t emphasize enough how fabulous it’s been for me! I couldn’t be going to Barre3 if they didn’t have childcare, so I am extremely thankful for them offering that to help us Moms!

With 2017 just days away, I hope you’re thinking about your New Year’s Resolution! Or if you’re just wanting to try something new or wanna feel the burn, come check out Barre3! I know you will love it as much as I do! They also have a TON of online video workouts to use if you’re stuck at home too! Easy peasy!

They are staring a Barre3 All In 4-week online and in-studio program on January 9th, it’s sure to be a positive way to start the new year!  Here’s a little more about it –

For 4 weeks, you’ll get:

  • • five barre3 workouts a week
  • • A guided meal plan with food you will LOVE
  • • Access to wellness experts & B3’s online community

One month is all it takes to:

  • • Get stronger, healthier and more energized
  • • Feel balanced and centered in your mind

Hope to see you next time I’m in class! Try out the 3 classes for $30! And start checking off your goals for the New Year – No more being a couch potato! ;)

Images from The Sampson House

Our Family and Home

November 30, 2016

Sioux Falls people and businesses have been so good to us! Between John getting all sorts of home renovation exposure in the media (most recent news article here) with his business John Koch Construction, and then also my blog, we have both received so many generous opportunities to work with local businesses! We are so appreciative and thankful whenever someone reaches out to work with us.

In October, our family was selected as the family feature for our neighborhood magazine, Southside Living, and this was so nice! Such an honor. Our home has been featured several times, but never really our family! So it was a nice new change! I love that John gets interviews to help expose his business. It was fun to do a family photo shoot at our very own home and to get to include Ivy and Leo in the interview.

Get to know our family here!

screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-1-05-32-pm screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-1-05-00-pm screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-1-05-18-pm

Then! In November, our home was featured in the Etc. for Her magazine. Back to back months! I LOVE our house, and it’s always so much fun to talk about it and see it in pictures. NOT so much fun hiding all the toys in every cabinet and closet, but I love having a spic and span home for like 20 minutes for photos! I always love talking about how we made this house our home and the updates we did to it. I thought the article by Mary Michaels was written really well! And the photos by Julie Prairie Photography were magnificent!

© Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016

mural commissioned by Shaine Schroeder
© Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016 © Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016

ivy’s pink room – see more pictures and sources here and here© Julie Prairie Photography 2016

leo’s hipster nursery – see more pictures and sources here

© Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016

buffalo print commissioned by Shaine Schroeder

See the November issue, our article (p. 26), and more pictures here!

The magazine is still on stands around Sioux Falls, but not for long when the December issue arrives!

Thank you again Southside Living, Etc for Her, and Julie Prairie Photography for including us in your magazine! So honored. Thank you!