Saturday, August 9, 2014

Road trip essentials

As our road trip to Florida with my family is less than two weeks away, what better time to make a packing list!

When packing you cannot forget the essentials for the road! My essentials:

One. Snacks.
I don't know what it is about roadtrips but I find it necessary to have plenty of munchies! Just when you think you've packed enough snacks, pack a few'll thank me later.

Two. Blanket.
A road trip cannot be complete without a power nap in which calls for a blanket...and pillow!

Three. Tunes.
I'm sure many will agree that a road trip is not a road trip without a mixed tape. It's essential to have throwback tunes, Britney Spears or Backstreet boys anyone? You may want to consider headphones as well, who knows when you'll have a grumpy passenger that makes you turn your stereo down.

Four. Camera.
I find it highly important to capture your roadtrip adventure. You know, sneak a shot of the backseat passengers all passed out leaning on one don't wanna miss that one for the scrapbook!

Five. Travel Apps.
Why? Because you may just need to know where the closest Starbucks is in order to refuel your energy, or you may need to know where the closest rest stop is to release yourself.

Now you're all set for your next road trip! What's your must haves when on the road?

xoxo Haley

Friday, August 8, 2014

A first

With less than five hours of sleep under my belt I probably shouldn't be blogging right now but I've been away for too longg as is I really need to work on my scheduled editorial calendar. Yesterday we recieved the news that Kyle's grandfather may not have much longer to live, estimated in days. As soon as Kyle got off work we drove 45 minutes to be with him. We ended up staying in Dover overnight at his parents house only to return to Clarksville at 5:00AM. I'm emotionally and physically drained to say the least.

This is a first for me. I have dealt with death in my family more times than I would like to count. I haven't, however, had the hand dealt of a death in my spouses family. When I recieved the call from Kyle yesterday I completely fell apart on the inside, and after hanging up the phone on the outside as well. The pain in Kyles voice broke me. As his wife I wanted to immediately fix everything and this was something I couldn't. I wanted to cradle him like a child and let him know everything would be okay, but I couldn't. This wasn't something I could fix or just slap a bandaid on. I felt completely helpless.

This wasn't the only first for me. When two of my three grandfathers passed away neither had mourning spouses, they were both divorced. When my grandmother passed away she also didn't have a spouse. When my great grandmother passed away her husband had already passed long before I was born. Kyle's grandfather, however, did have a mourning spouse. I had never experienced death from this view, seeing her rub his hand as he laid in the hospital bed, seeing the life completely drained from her, knowing she hasn't slept and probably hasn't eaten, it was completely heart breaking.

Again, these weren't the only firsts. Kyle has a huge family, to which some people may think its average but to me it's gigantic. When my grandfather was in hospice he had a couple of friends drop by, my uncle came, but other than that my dad, mom, sister, and I were the main visitors. The difference? Kyle's grandfather had six out of seven grand kids, the seventh on his way, and many more family members there to support and love him. It was so refreshing to hear all sorts of stories about a man I didn't get to love and know long enough.

Grand daddy Clay will be missed by so many people. He's one of the greatest men I've met and I wish I could have known him longer than just three short years. You know you can speak highly of someone when their grandson is walking through the store and is stopped by a stranger and told a story of how Clay gave her medication for her baby when she couldn't afford it and never asked for a dime (he owned a pharmacy), along with many more stories of his generosity. I can't tell you the amount of stories of how he has the patience of a saint...even when his grandchild knocks over a whole can of gas in the garage and yet he doesn't say a word, he just cleans it up.

I'm thankful that this past Christmas at their house I sat in the seat beside him. As I helped him open his presents and read his cards I got to bond with him, a moment that on any other day I may have taken for granted.

I ask that you pray for his family through this time. Though he has not passed yet, his family is already dealing with the emotions of the events leading up to it. I also ask that you pray for when he does pass, that it will be peaceful and that he won't have to experience any pain and that his family will have peace and know that he is in a much better place than we are and that they can rejoice in that.

xoxo Haley

Friday, August 1, 2014

Friday fancy

Hooray for Friday! Here in tennessee it's tax free weekend on school supplies, clothing, etcetera. As much as I love a deal I don't think my nerves can handle the crowds today. So instead I will tell you what I'm currently fancying about!

I am fancying that one day I will own a MacBook. I have an iphone and iPad and, to me, it makes sense to own an apple computer so everything can connect across the board. But it's pricey so for now I'll day dream cause I am more focused on renovating parts of my house.

I am fancying about owning this bad boy as well. A Canon Rebel T5i. It's not high on the list of being professional grade but for a family and blogging camera it covers all my wants and needs. With a price tag of $600-$700 I guess it will also have to be placed on the back burner. Sigh. Who am I kidding? I've totally been whining to Kyle about it.

Surprisingly that's the only two things on my high-priced wants list. I try to keep the list small so I can check things off faster *wink*

What are you fancying about?
xoxo Haley

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Our Story Part 3: Engaged

If you haven't read the previous posts on how we met or when we dated you can find those here:
We Met
We Dated

September 9, 2012 Kyle and I were headed to the first Tennessee Titans home game of the season vs the New England Patriots. It started out as a normal day and this game, unlike most, we made good time on the road so we could tailgate. As we neared the exit to the stadium we ran into the game day traffic. I could tell Kyle was starting to getting antsy as there was no ease or gracefulness to his gas and break peddle. Several times I thought we were going to rear end the car in front of us or be rear ended. Naturally I start nagging due to the anxiety attack that was about to take over me head on.

Finally we got to the game. Before we got out Kyle asked, "can we have a serious conversation?" With this I knew I was about to be lectured on "don't drink too much", "behave yourself", etc.

Me, "no because I know what you're going to say"
Kyle, "oh do you now?"
Me (in a mimicking voice) "don't drink too much...behave..."
Kyle, "well that's not exactly it but yeah that too..."
Me, "okay proceed..."
Kyle, "you know this was this same place we had our first date so I thought this would be the best place to ask you, will you marry me?"

Out of no where I look down and see him holding this shiny diamond ring, all I could think was "when did he get this out of his pocket?"

Of course I said yes and in the midst of the "oh my gosh", "how long have you been planning this", "are you sure" etc. I finally stopped in my ohh's and aww's and looked at him and asked,

"Wait...did you ask for my dads permission?"
Kyle, "of course!"

I then proceeded with the ooh's and aww's. I called my mom and told her and she was overwhelmed with happiness. She told me she knew he was going to ask because Kyle had come over to her house and with his face white as a ghost asked if he could speak to my dad alone.

I called and told my sister and after we got off the phone I realized oh my gosh, it's her birthday and I didn't even wish her to have a happy one...she still jokes with me about that.

Later in the stadium we told all of our friends that sit in our section and everyone was so happy for us. One of my friends and I headed out to the concessions and while standing there none other than the real Hayden Penettierre walked past us. My friend yelled out "Hayden!" And she turned around and walked over to us. I practically word vomited "I just got engaged today!!!" and with that she grabbed my hand and told me I had a killer rock and ohh'd and awed over it and then she went on her way.

Then I had to plan the wedding...

xoxo Haley

Monday, July 28, 2014

Fruit Salad

Finding a good summertime side item that Kyle will actually eat is hard to come by. He's not big into vegetables unless it's sweet potatoes so dinner time come summertime is normally a one-pot-meal. My grandmother use to always make this amazing fruit salad and, to be completely honest, I totally forgot all about it. For Kyle's birthday party, yep the big 3-0, my mom decided to bring the fruit salad dish which only reunited me with my love for fruit salad. With my new found intolerances it's going to be quite some time before I can have it again, and when it's time I won't be able to use the regular "fruit cocktail" due to my severe peach intolerance. So meanwhile, before I have to go on a 9 week clean out, I decided I would try to enjoy the fruity goodness in all it's glory. Saturday we went to T's house, Kyle's best friend, and his girlfriend made dinner and I guessed it... fruit salad. It was actually the first time I had ever made it and once I did I realized it was just too easy and too yummy not to share, with my mom's permission of course! Without further adieu:

Unfortunately my lighting source was not willing to work with me for this picture.


8oz Cool Whip (thawed)

1oz box of  sugar free vanilla jello pudding

15oz can of fruit cocktail* (in light syrup); drained

10.5oz can of mandarin oranges; drained

8oz can of pineapple tidbits** don't drain, you need the juice!


Mix together pudding, mandarin oranges, fruit cocktail, and pineapple. If you want to put an embellishment on top be sure to place 4-5 mandarin orange slices to the side. Once fruit and pudding is stirred up fold in your cool whip and mix. Once it's good and mixed together smooth out the surface and place your mandarin oranges on top.

*the grocery was out of just regular ol' fruit cocktail so I used extra cherry mixed fruit instead-basically the same thing with...extra cherries

**the grocery was actually out of the tidbits at the time that I made this so I just substituted it with crushed.

As always, let me know if you try it out and what you think!

this post was a part of Mama Kat's Writer Workshop

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sleepless in the south

I've recently got into this horrible routine at night. I go to bed but instead of going to sleep I get on Pinterest. If I try to go straight to sleep I lie there pondering about a thousand plus one things. Just random things, never of any significance. So I peruse Pinterest until my brain unwinds and my eye lids get heavy. Sometimes my eyes get so heavy they threaten to close with the view of one more pin. So at this point I put my phone on charge and try to drift off to sleep.

My eyes are now wide open. My brain screams out, "suprise! You thought you could sleep but here's a list of everything you need to do tomorrow and well...for the rest of the year".

So I lie there. Tossing and turning. Sleep deprivation knocking at my door. Before you know it my 4:30AM alarm starts screaming out in the silence of the early morning. When did I fall asleep? Why do I feel drunk? What was in that list to do today?

11:00 AM rolls around and I need a nap. My day is all screwed up now. My sleep is all over the map. The other day I was watching the afternoon news and before you know it Kyle is shaking me awake at 4:00pm. What the crap just happened? Am I narcoleptic now?

After much thought into why this is going on my only answer, in which I can't even guarantee is correct, is stress. I need to de-stress myself...and maybe drink a gallon of whiskey. Wait perhaps that's a bad idea, a hangover isn't going to do me any good.

How do you de-stress yourself? Any remedies for an amazing night of sleep?

xoxo Haley

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Taking a chance

Mama’s Losin’ It

5.) Talk about a time you took a chance.

I don't know if I can honestly say I'm a "risk taker" and that I like to take chances on a day to day basis. I would like to describe myself as fearless yet I'm an over thinker and I don't think the two can belong parallel.

Right before Kyle and I got married I had this nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach but I couldn't pin point what it was. As time went on it started to hint at my job. I had gone to college for two years when taking on one of my dads barbecue restaurants fell in my lap. I embraced this opportunity and more often than not I loved my job. As overwhelming as it could sometimes be I found happiness in what I was doing, helping carrying out my dads dream. After several months of that nagging feeling digging deeper in the pit of my stomach I realized just that, it's my dads dream not mine.

I mentioned the idea of changing careers to Kyle in which he responded by telling me that he would support me in whatever decision I made. I just couldn't bring myself to do it though. Leaving the barbecue world didn't just mean I wouldn't be smelling like pork everyday it meant I would be giving up the opportunity to one day own it. The thought of losing that opportunity weighed heavy on me. It could mean a huge sacrifice for my future children, owning a restaurant would have been a nice monetary cushion for them in which I could provide more.

As weeks went by I slowly started realizing that maybe I wasn't so happy with my job. It was the same routines everyday, other than caterings I literally did the same thing Being in charge of a whole crew started to feel like being a babysitter to a bunch of rowdy toddlers, not to say I didn't absolutely love my crew because seriously they were the best of the best, but it started to just become repetitive. The customers started getting on my nerves, believe it or not this didn't happen frequently for me, and somedays I would swear that if one more person complained about our bottled water being $1 I would absolutely lose my cool.

I still couldn't take the chance on throwing my future away.

I started feeling guilty because everyday I would come home in a bad mood which, to say the least, was not fair to Kyle.

Finally after all the signs God threw my way the chance finally came to leave the barbecue world, kind of, behind me. Our lease was coming up and my dad started talking about renewing it. Mind you that my particular store on my side of town was not in the best location which at times was very unfortunate. I had already made my mind up that I was going to be making a career change but I couldn't find the words to tell my dad. I literally would start to sweat bullets even thinking about the conversation.

Finally one morning he brought up renewing the lease and I completely word vomited. I knew this was my chance to tell him and if not now then it would be never. So I told him if he renewed I would no longer be there to run it. He looked at me completely confused and asked why and then that's when I explained it to him. Previously when I imagined this conversation I visualized darts being thrown at me, instead he told me he completely supported my decision and that he understood I had to do what was best for my family. I may have had to pick my jaw up off the floor, just saying.

Needless to say my dad ended up closing that location. After a vigorous job search in the banking world Kyle and I decided it would be best for me to be a SAHW and focus on myself and maintaining our home. I now work two days a week, two hours a day just to help out my dad by pulling the meat and marinating it. Though it's not my top choice waking up at 4:30 AM for two hours of work I'm happy with where I am at and wouldn't take back the decision if I could.

I took a chance and if there was ever a chance worth taking, this was it.

xoxo Haley