Easter with the Kramers!

Today was one for the books! The Kramer clan was all under one roof for the first time in over a year! The last get together we all made it was Gannon and Georgia’s 1st Birthday! It was so so good to see everyone. We were missing Jason (Kelli’s husband) today, he’s gotta save his days to be home with the twins when they come!

My favorite thing to do when we are all together is TAKE PICTURES of everyone! And I sure did that! Here’s the whole gang! From Left to Right: my SIL Lora is holding Lilly (1), my brother Buck is holding Lucy (3), Scott (5) is sitting next to my brother Buck – they are one unit. I’m right behind my brother Buck in the hat. Kelli (sister) is holding her daughter Georgia (2), she’s pregnant with twins, Craig (my husband) is behind her, my mom is holding my cranky son Gannon (2), Carver is sitting next to my mom, Karl (my brother) is behind them, Kayla (sister) is in the overalls next to my BIL Spencer who is holding my nephew Jasper (1)!

It’s hard to get a good group picture but this is pretty darn close! Her is my mom with the Grandkids – 7 under 5! Soon to be 9 under 5! I so wish my Dad was here to see all of this – he sure did love being a Grandpa. He would always make Easter Bunny cake every year! It was tradition and about the only time I’d ever see my dad bake!

Buck and Lora really outdid themselves! There was probably hundreds of Easter eggs throughout their yard! It was so fun! By the end, Gannon learned he could just stomp on the egg and get the candy out and leave the eggs! HA!

Kelli’s belly sure is growing! The countdown is on! We are all so excited for these twins to come soon!

One of my favorite things in the world is being an Auntie – my sweet niece Lucy had a special place in my heart – I always braid her hair when I see her – it was so fun. she brought me book after book after book and we read and sang. Lucy LOVES to sing – LOUD and PROUD and a little tone deaf – we all got a good laugh 🙂 I’ll cherish that memory with her for sure. Carver accidentally hit her with a bat – he was getting too into T-Ball. Lucy cried for a bit but once she dried her tears she walked right up to Carver and pointed at him and said “We can still be friends, but DON’T YOU HIT ME WITH THAT BAT AGAIN!” YASS GURLLLL!!!! 🙂

Then we celebrated Miss Lilly’s first birthday! Everything was Bunny themed – “Some Bunny was Turning 1!” Lora is so good at decorations and coordinating everything. Lilly didn’t get very into the smash cake – when we had Lucy’s brithday she went CRAZY with the cake – it was everywhere!

Overall, I had SUCH a good day today! We got home, did some yard work, played outside but mostly – dang – I’m SORE from my bike crash on Saturday. My arm is just killing me. I’m icing it as I type this blog post. Craig has taken over the parenting duties for the rest of the evening because I literally can’t bend my elbow. My left thigh is covered in bruises. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, check out this post: Saturday

And I also want to start recommending some of my favorite Amazon finds when I can!

This is my GO TO birthday present for any one or two year old kiddo! I just bought one for Gannon and one For Georgia! The wheels on the bus is just about constantly playing in our house right now! If you have a birthday party coming up, I’ve bought several of these! Not only that, but Leap Frog is a trustworthy brand! HERE IS THE LINK! https://amzn.to/3rQtL7s

If you ever purchase any amazon products from MY link, I do get commission. If you buy, let’s just say, $150 worth of other stuff while you’re on Amazon by following my link, I also get commission on those things you purchase. It’s a way to support my blog and it is a way to score some great quality products. I just want to be honest with you guys. I would have raved about these products even if I didn’t make any money off of it.

That’s all I have for today! Thanks for reading!

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Saturday

Before we jump into this blog post, I wanted to let you know I have three new shirts up on the Etsy shop! Check them out here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/kalissageorgia

It’s April so the days I have with Craig are dwindling down. The team at the farm decided they would have one last hurrah this weekend and then hit it hard this week getting in the field. 

I’m typing this late Saturday night, everyone else is sleeping. I’ll get to that later.

We had a babysitter for most of the day today, she took them to the Easter egg hunt at the park and it looks like they had a ton of fun. Honestly, we’ve never celebrated Easter this way – not even when I was little. I never believed in the Easter bunny or did many egg hunts. We dyed eggs, went to every church service, and mom and dad got us outdoor toys, dad made an Easter bunny cake, and we had dinner together as a family – usually on Palm Sunday. But this year, Carver informed me that the Easter bunny was coming so we went with it. Today was the first of two Easter egg hunts for the boys this weekend. Tomorrow (today) we are headed to my brother Bucks – the first time all my siblings will be at the same house in over a year. We are so excited. 

Anyway, Craig and I had our first mountain biking outing of the season. Let me start by saying that my new bike has a TON of power – it needs some getting used to. I wiped out in the woods three times – nothing serious – a few bruises.

The trails were SO BUSY! So many people were out hiking and biking. If you’ve been to Decorah, you know that there’s a TON of stuff to do between the downtown and the hiking and biking trails, the shopping, the breweries and restaurants. It’s a GREAT weekend getaway if you’re close! 

We ended up out to eat – had to try the cheese curds of course – everywhere we go! T-Bocks is one of our favorite restaurants in Decorah. It was delish! We made a plan for our afternoon adventure and headed out.

About 2 seconds after getting on my bike – riding downhill on the back alley, I *think* I pulled the front brake when I was adjusting my drop post (bike seat) and the next thing I know I’m on the ground – I hit HARD. It was a total freak accident and it took a while to figure out what might have happened. Honestly I had JUST got on my bike and then I was on the ground. Because it was so steep I already had a bit of speed. 

Downhill on cement, I went head over handlebars – I tore a hole in my sweatshirt and STILL scraped my arm this bad. This is the arm that protected my nose from hitting the ground so you can imagine how hard I was hitting my nose/face on my arm. I’m very lucky my arm was there or I’m certain I would have been in the ER – my face would have hit the cement. I’m also really glad I had my helmet on – I almost didn’t wear it because we were just in the downtown. 

It knocked the wind right out of me – there was a vehicle behind us in the alley that saw the whole thing – I looked up to a van full of young men staring at me trying to catch my breath. It was so embarrassing. 

So our plans were cut short. I found it in me to ride back to our vehicle across town and we loaded up. On the way home we stopped at one more brewery, met up with some friends we know, and we made it home!

I was going to head to a wedding reception and Craig was going to stay home with the boys. I showered and was doing my hair when out of NO WHERE I had the worst headache I’ve had in my life – I needed to lay down immediately. 4 hours later I woke up, my nose is pretty swollen, my face is just swollen in general – I think from the fall. I think the headache could have been a result of my tumble I took. I’m super bummed, I was looking forward to seeing a few friends at the reception 🙁 

Lessons learned from today: so much protective gear – I’m going to need elbow pads for biking. This is the second time I’ve messed up this elbow. Always wear a helmet – even if you’re just in town. Also, I’m not getting any younger. I can’t just take a tumble like that and get on with my life so REST. Also, don’t tell my mom any of this 😉 

That’s the Friedman Fam update – an exciting day followed by a not so exciting night. I imagine I’ll be pretty sore tomorrow but we had a ton of fun on the trails! 

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A GREAT Week So FAR!

On a more positive note, while I’ve been feeling crappy (read more on that here: Follow Up from Yesterday: Not Feeling Well… and here I’ve not been well…) I’ve had a few really great days I wanted to share with you all!

First of all, I got to spend the day with my mom and sister last Saturday and we had a great time. I got to see my sweet sweet nephew Jasper WITHOUT my boys – a rare occurrence so we really got to bond 🙂 Isn’t he just the cutest? I let him play with my phone in the restaurant so I was for sure the coolest Auntie 🙂

Mom did a blog post recap on our day on her blog – you can find that here: https://www.joscountryjunction.com/saturday-meet-up/

Craigy knew I wasn’t feeling well – I decided to take a bath to see if that would help. He came in the bathroom and sat on the floor next to the bathtub. It was really sweet <3

The boys have been moving and grooving – it finally hit 70 degrees in Iowa the other day and we got a big pile of gravel to resurface our driveway! The boys played and played for hours outside – they just had a blast. Then Carver was in bed and reading his weekly library book with Craig – he knows SO MANY sight words – I’m so proud of how he is doing! His conferences last week went really well and Carver is exceeding the three year old preschool curriculum which makes us so proud.

Even if I’m feeling crappy, I’ve got a HUGE reason to smile – after 18+ months MY BRACES ARE FINALLY OFF!! It’s a whole lot of drama but long story short, I ended up working last night and mom volunteered to rearrange her entire schedule to make sure she could drive me the two hours north east to Wisconsin (also a long story as to why we have to drive so dang far) so I could keep my appointment to get my braces off! On the way there, I called to see if *maybe* there was any cancellations with a dermatologist I could see while we were in town and YES there was!

I’m committed to staying totally open about my struggle with acne – I’ve been through just about every treatment there is and the past month, along with various other symptoms, my acne is out of control. I happened to get into a cancelled dermatology appointment today while I was in Lacrosse and I’m so excited to try a new regimen over the next few months to try and tackle this hormonally triggered acne. I’m hoping to avoid meds which would be the next step after the topical treatments. It’s such a bummer. If you’re struggling too, you aren’t alone – acne sucks man. I’ve been through accutane, multiple birth control pills, every cream, antibiotics, nothing works for very long. I want to document my progress!

Just a little background, I was treated with Accutane for a little over a year with almost complete healing when I was 19 years old – the acne was primarily on my forehead and very classic teenage acne – until I started having babies. Then all hell broke loose and while certain treatments work for a few months, nothing EVER sticks.

Okay, this blog post is getting LONG but I promise, I just have a few more things to tell you, it’s been a good week since I’ve had a true recap! LOOK AT THIS – we have a very important part of our family that I haven’t shared with you all yet but we have a mother – daughter team, very near and dear to our hearts and the reason it is possible for Craig and I to work the hours we do. They live across town and they will literally drop everything to help out our family – that includes my mom as well. We so appreciate them as “babysitters” but that is just not enough credit for all they do for our family. More often than not, after a night of babysitting my laundry room looks like this – all folded, counters wiped down, and most of all, they boys are so well cared for. So I know Kelli reads the blog, I’ll never have enough words to say THANK YOU so I thought a shout out would help 🙂

AND FINALLY….I wanted to share my newest edition to the Etsy shop: A Journal for Nurses – I created this concept and design all on my own! I’m really excited to share it with the world!

Nursing was a rough career even before COVID-19 hit. With the wave of COVID came a wave of nurses who began speaking out about the importance of mental health and self care or frontline workers.

This journal was created for healthcare workers to debrief and reflect at the end of their shift.

Whether you’re a new nurse, in a new role, or as green as grass, this journal provides a way to learn from mistakes, celebrate the victories, and reflect on how far you’ve come.

You can shop the journal HERE: https://www.etsy.com/listing/976164238/first-aid-journal-for-the-every-day?ref=shop_home_active_1 along with a few other Etsy listings!

If you’ve stuck with me this far – wow – thank you – and you probably need some rest. I just had so much to tell you and I actually left out like five other things I was going to share but there’s just no time! So thanks for reading and we will see you soon <3

Check out my latest posts:

Hey! Have you heard the news? I launched my ETSY shop and I’m so excited to share with you!

Here is the link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/kalissageorgia?ref=search_shop_redirect

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Follow Up from Yesterday: Not Feeling Well…

Well, first of all THANK YOU to everyone who has reached out to me since I had blogged about not feeling well lately, that post informs this one so go check it out: I’ve not been well…

So many people reached out with ideas and suggestions and some people who were feeling the same as me. There were also a few more symptoms once I got thinking about it a little harder – BLOATING being a big one I left out and loss of appetite -nothing tastes good or sounds good anymore. Like today I made a big breakfast and only had a few bites.

Some people suggested COVID symptoms kind of dragging on and on – possibly however this is how I used to feel ALL the time – I’ve felt this way for most of my adult life EXCEPT for the past 6 months. These symptoms are not new to me but now I know what life is like without them and I’m determined to get rid of them again!

Some people suggested my blood sugar may get low when I’m fasting – I’ve done several 24 hour fasts without ever having a blood sugar issue and honestly I haven’t been fasting much lately. When I do fast, I feel so GOOD not bad. Fasting actually relieves the symptoms in some ways.

Some people suggested OSA or obstructive sleep apnea – I actually have this. I was diagnosed when I was 19 and I do have a sleep machine that my mom keeps nagging me to give another shot. I just really don’t sleep well when I wear it unless I take medication to help me sleep and I hate doing that. Also, I know my symptoms are much WORSE when I’m heavier and I’m the lightest I’ve been in a long time so I don’t think that is the issue but worth a shot.

Some people have suggested a gut yeast overgrowth after antibiotics – THIS is something I’m looking into. There’s a ton of research on how bad antibiotics can really be for you and the relationship with the gut, and something called the microbiome and the gut brain axis. I’m on supplements to support my microbiome already but this is something I’m looking into especially since my symptoms worsened since I was on Augmentin for a sinus infection.

Some people suggested I’m under too much stress – I feel the best I’ve felt mental health wise, work life balance wise, anxiety wise, than I have in a very long time. Other than some winter blues, I’m feeling great and I feel like my stress is well managed.

My blood work came back today – we checked thyroid, CBC, folate, B12, ferritin, vitamin D – ALL TOTALLY NORMAL. So that isn’t the issue.

I have a few thoughts now that I’m thinking back – I really was working to cut sugar out the past 6 months so I hardly had any chocolate – but in March I’ve been making chocolate cashew clusters with some sugar free chocolate I found and they’ve been so good! Maybe I am not tolerating chocolate?

Which got me thinking a little harder and I decided after some research that my symptoms align with a food sensitivity or intolerance. I think I’m going to try an elimination diet starting, well, today to see if that improves any of my symptoms and then slowly introduce foods back in to see how I feel.

Lots of fruits and veggies and meats coming my way! I just put in a Walmart pickup order so I can stock up. It’s all temporary, honestly I hardly have an appetite anyway but hopefully this next month will be very telling.

Any tips, tricks, or recipes on elimination diets are GREATLY appreciated! I’ll keep you all posted, thank you for your kind words, comments, and suggestions.

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Check out my latest posts:

Hey! Have you heard the news? I launched my ETSY shop and I’m so excited to share with you!

Here is the link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/kalissageorgia?ref=search_shop_redirect

I’ve not been well…

Man, I tell you what, it has been a rough week.

Normally I don’t ask for medical advice from anyone but my doctor but this is getting ridiculous. I don’t know if I’m necessarily asking for advice or what I’m getting at but I feel the need to share.

I’ve had an amazing 6 months. I’ve felt the best I’ve ever felt. I had the most energy, I was the happiest, I rarely needed naps (unless I took one before working overnights), I had the energy to exercise, I was very regular (in terms of bowels, probably TMI), and I was great. Obviously I felt great because I lost over 25 lbs since September. That was all the result of feeling the best I’ve felt in my life.

The past month, ever since Wisconsin Dells and when I was treated for a sinus infection in early March, it has been ROUGH to say the least. I’m waking up with headaches every day, I’m so fatigued I can hardly get out of bed in the morning, I’m so irritable, I’m so constipated, I’ve got such brain fog, my acne is out of control, my hair is falling out in handfuls.

I’m back to the life I was living last Summer when I went to the doctor for these same exact symptoms. Honestly, these are all symptoms I’ve dealt with for years, sometimes worse than others. But when I felt SO GOOD the past 6 months, I realize that waking up with a headache every day is NOT normal.

In fact, back in nursing school, my symptoms were so bad I was falling asleep every day in class no matter how much coffee I had. My instructor pulled me aside, she thought I was working night shift when I had what I now call “sleep attacks” where you literally just cannot stay awake or keep your eyes open no matter how hard you try. I have maybe had 2 sleep attacks in the past 6 months but now almost DAILY for the past month.

I messaged my doctor and I’m headed in to get some repeat thyroid testing this week but I’m just really frustrated and totally drained. I’m sick of taking Tylenol and Ibuprofen around the clock anticipating a headache coming on.

So I’ve been a little absent from the blog lately, partly because I’ve felt like crap, partly because I don’t have the energy and partly because that inspiration, my spark is just gone again.

I’d love to hear if you’ve experienced this at all in your life. I’ve tried to be really reflective on my diet and my food choices and see if there is or was a change in my supplements or in my diet but because I never fully cut anything out of my diet in those six months, I don’t think it is related.

Anyway, that’s where I’m at friends. Feeling dull and foggy over here, as dreary as this March misty weather. Thanks for reading.

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Hey! Have you heard the news? I launched my ETSY shop and I’m so excited to share with you!

Here is the link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/kalissageorgia?ref=search_shop_redirect

I’M STILL HERE!

How is it Friday already? I had a crazy work stretch this past week and things are finally winding down!

I don’t have much to say for tonight other than HEY! I’m still here and I’ve been crazy busy.

I’m so excited to share with you that my ETSY SHOP IS LIVE and you are free to shop! I’ve got three designs up now with more coming by next week! I’m so excited for this venture and if you don’t see something that tickles your fancy today, there are more items and products in the works!

HERE IS THE LINK TO MY ETSY SHOP: https://www.etsy.com/shop/kalissageorgia?ref=search_shop_redirect


I’ve been super active on my Facebook and Instagram if you want to catch up there – I did a live video going into detail about the products and the story behind the designs. You can find that here:

https://fb.watch/4ul-Jg3PXl/

I’ve had several orders and I’m already out of medium shirts in my Take a Hike shirt! It’s so fun. Thank you for supporting me through this – even if you don’t order this time around!

I got to hang out with my mom and sister today – check out Kelli’s twin bump!

if she hasn’t had the wins by the end of April, they will take her for a c-section so the countdown is ON! 34 days or less! We are so so excited!

That is all I have for tonight! I’m going to hit they hay for now! Thanks for reading!

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