Friday, May 31, 2013

Jodi Arias & Jesus.

A lot happens on Facebook. You see lots of pictures of people's grandkids, you see the end of relationships, and if your newsfeed is anything like mine, you see a lot (and I mean a lot) of political commentary.

Of course, the most popular thing to have an opinion about right now is the Jodi Arias trial. I don't see a lot of comments about this from the people I am friends with, but when I click on shared photos or a sponsored status pops up, of course I read the comments (who doesn't, right?!).
One linked article (via MSN) was regarding the fact that Arias may be able to take a deal that would bypass a new trial/jury in favor of life in prison without any chance of parole. It then asked the question: Is this a just outcome?

Some said yes, some just want Arias out of the news, and then I saw a ton of responses that shocked me.
In big, bold all-capped letters, the answer to MSN's question was this:


This just... I don't know. Doesn't sit well with me? Rubs me the wrong way? I don't know, I'm struggling to find the words that describe how I feel about those two words.

I think what I found most shocking was the fact that it wasn't an isolated comment - there were many, many just like it. Some quietly called for the death penalty, while others loudly exclaimed that she deserved a public death. Some suggested lethal injection, others suggested a very public execution by firing squad.

There is something about this that absolutely disgusts me. Sure, you can give out the reasoning "an eye for an eye," or "you take a life, you pay for it with your own," which is always the answer I get from people when they learn that I am not a fan of the death penalty in any circumstance (that's another blog post for another day, though).

Nowadays, trials are made into complete circuses and are media frenzies. Days, sometimes weeks, are spent covering every little aspect of a trial. Public opinion comes from the amount of attention the media puts on murder cases, and this is exactly why we have comments like all-caps-crucify-her.

But with all of the comments saying that the government should all-caps-crucify-her, I am reminded of the death of Jesus.

If Jesus were alive now, and his trial were in today's society? He'd be Jodi Arias. He'd be Casey Anthony. He'd be an absolute media sensation. His trial would be televised, with every media outlet doing complete coverage 24/7. He'd be a person who is innocent until proven guilty, but the public just KNOWS that person is guilty. A person the public just KNOWS deserves death in the most public, slow, painful way.

That's exactly the way Jesus died for us, too. He died in a public place, in front of hundreds. His death took hours to be complete.
And this death? It was exactly what the public wanted.
Imagine if that took place today. Would those people who are crying out for Arias to get the death penalty feel satisfied with themselves when it was over and done with? Would they feel accomplished? Or would they feel that they were victims of peer pressure (their peers being the media influence).
Just as those who want the death penalty for Jodi Arias & feel that she deserves it, those who called for the crucifixion of Jesus felt that they were right, that Jesus deserved death for His 'crimes.'

I'll admit, I haven't kept up with the trial, just watching bits and pieces, but I do know the details. Do I think she's guilty? Yes. Do I think she deserves death? No, I don't. And I know that's an unpopular opinion to have.

But at some point, Christians have to stand up and stop making these judgements and commenting on Facebook statuses saying that Jodi Arias "needs to fry." I read once that Christians are fundamentally "pro-life." That is, until the baby is born, for most. We need to be pro-life from conception until death. We need to protect all human life, not just the unborn.

Jesus died so we could have life, and Jodi Arias took a man's life - I'm in no way saying that Jodi Arias is God and free of guilt and sin. That's definitely not what I'm saying.
I guess the point I'm trying to make is that I am sad for what the vast majority of Christianity has become. Christians are all over Facebook making unjust comments and calling for the death of a fellow human being. When should we, as Christians, ever want another person to die? When should we, as Christians, and as humans, take joy in the death of a person? I find this sickening.

I don't know why I feel so passionately about this, but for some strange reason... I really, really care about this topic. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013


(It's been a while since I've done one of these, so I thought it would be fun!)

Drinking: Blood Orange San Pellegrino. My weakness.

Listening to: The "Porcupine Puffer" episode of Octonauts. Octonauts is all the rage in this household right now. We love any and all Disney Jr. shows over here, but that is the only show they'll watch right now. At least it's educational?

Thinking about: Getting all of the addresses together in one, organized document for our wedding invites. I've started on it, but I keep putting it away because it stresses me out. I am the worst at this wedding stuff.

Talking to: Blake (texting, duh). He got his tax refund today and I am trying to convince him to put it towards a good new pair of Hunter rain boots for me... ;)

Obsessing over: Okay, this sounds awful. But Netflix added new episodes of Bridezillas online. And... every night before bed, I watch 2 episodes. I just really love that show. I can't help it.

Wishing for: more coffee, more sleep, and more free time. But it looks like the only thing happening for me anytime soon is the coffee.

(Breigh is doing okay! Well, as okay as she can be after having brain surgery and multiple seizures. She's at the hospital still, and will be for the next few days, just to keep a watch on her and make sure the seizures are under control. The seizures really came out of nowhere, since they definitely didn't happen last time she had surgery (in December). I got to visit her yesterday, and she is such a trooper. Oh, and the ChickFilA cow came to visit her, too!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I'm just not sure what to call this post.

Don't pay attention to my second toe. I know it's longer than my big toe. I KNOW. Also, Blake's swim trunks are Spider Man. I'm working on that one. 

This weekend was a great one. We spent a weekend away with his family at their lake house, and let me tell you - it was a much needed break! The past month has been nonstop crazy. I rarely complain about my busy schedule (although I'm sure Blake would beg to differ), but this month has just been nuts. Between working, Breigh's surgery, Cassie moving to Los Angeles... I feel like I'm running around like a chicken with its head chopped off. For real.

Today was such an easy day, work-wise - we had a few meltdowns from a 4 year old, but everything else was peachy. Breigh started having seizures this afternoon (I've heard she had 3 today), so tonight has been a bummer. Sometimes, when you hear about stuff like this happening to such a young person, you just get bummed out, you know? And it's so much more heartbreaking when it's happening to the person you've called your best friend for 19 years. It's hard. I'm trying not to let it get me down, because if she can stay positive throughout all of this, I can, too. It's just hard.

On a happier note - big things are being planned right now with the wedding. I finally had the fire lit under my big butt to get things moving. So I have a list made for things I need to search for at the thrifts, and supplies I need for the never ending list of DIY projects. Nailing out playlists, choosing jewelry, choosing a dress for the dinner portion of the wedding (!!! it's like shopping for a wedding dress all over again), choosing a wedding cake and toppers (we have a topper picked and holy fudge it's perfect!). I feel like I've been waiting months and months for this sort of wedding inspiration to hit me, and it finally has! I don't know if it's the fact that it's officially summertime and I know that summer always goes by in a flash, or if it's the fact that I have so much free time on my hands that I don't even know what to do with myself.

I'm hoping to get an update on Breigh soon. And I'll be sure to update here when I get that report.
I'm also hoping to share some of the wedding DIY progress (as soon as it starts happening...).

Summer is here, and it's time to get cracking on this wedding thing!
4 more months as of today! I can do this... 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The one where my best friend leaves for the city of angels.

 This pretty girl leaves bright and early Friday morning for the great big city of Los Angeles.
Ever since I met Cassie (nearly 8 years ago!), it's been absolutely no secret that she could not wait to get out of our small town and be a big actress. And, you guys, she has talent out the wazoo. She is incredible. She's already graduated college at 20 years old, and on her way to making her dreams come true. I remember when she got the call that she'd got a part in her first commercial! It was like Christmas day, we were all so giddy and excited for her!
I really couldn't be more proud of her. Here are a few photos of us from the past couple of years - and believe me, I left out the more embarrassing photos from freshman year. ;)

If it wasn't obvious enough... the whole "Charlie's Angels" pose is sort of our thing. :)

All through high school, we had so many traditions that were just between the two of us. We saw 3 out of the 5 Twilight movies at midnight, each time we made t-shirts for the occasion, and my dad always joined in on the fun (for the record, my dad saw all of them at midnight with me. All five!!). We had "Heath Ledger Remembrance Day" every summer, and that's no joke. Every summer since his death, we rented 3 movies of his that we'd never seen, ordered pizza, and shut ourselves in my room for a whole day. That led us to our favorite Heath movie, Candy. Hello, amazing movie. We took advantage of Timewarp Tuesdays at our favorite $1 theater (that is definitely not $1 anymore, side eye). We saw so many movies together during our senior year and it's by far one of my favorite memories with Cassie.

A few days ago, her parents hosted a fun graduation/going away party for Cass, and it was SO much fun to get together, all of us girls, for one last time. While eating lunch, she told me she was definitely coming home for Christmas, and it was like getting an early birthday present! I was almost *positive* she wouldn't be back for a while! I mean, Christmas is still ~7 months away, but still! Eeee! It's still up in the air if she'll be able to come to my wedding or not, but we're crossing fingers and toes that she'll be able to (she is a bridesmaid after all, even if she is just there in spirit!).
me, Breigh, Cassie & Alyssa
Excuse the grainy, dark quality of the photo - but it's the only one I've got from the party on Sunday, and it's the most current photo I have of all of us together. I treasure this more than you guys will ever know! Tomorrow night is my last night to get together with Cassie & Alyssa and I am SO looking forward to it. I had coffee with Cassie today, but it was just not enough! I don't know how on earth I will handle having to really say goodbye tomorrow.

I'm so proud of you Cassabee, you sure are something special.

*ps, Breigh has her second surgery on her brain tomorrow morning. It's an extensive surgery to remove a tumor sitting on her left optic nerve. If you can spare a prayer, it would be so appreciated. Thank you so, so much!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

This week.

The week seemed to move at a glacial pace and felt extremely rushed at the same time. These weeks keep going by faster and faster, and I just kind of want to yell, "hey, life! Slow down a little bit!" Life just really doesn't seem to listen to me! I was chatting with my mom this morning about wedding things, and we realized that we are coming up on the 3 month mark in just a couple of weeks! We are STILL working on guest lists, which means we kind of sort of missed our mark on sending Save the Dates, so... oops. I am starting the never ending process of thrifting and antiquing every free moment that I have. I found my wedding band(s) that I want (I'm retiring my engagement ring after the wedding. It's just too old to wear every day!). Blake decided he'd rather get a tattoo "ring," so we're gonna work on designs soon. It's all becoming very real - and I know I say that a lot, but the more I realize that summer is here, and it'll be over in a snap, I start to freak out a little! 
This week was a good one, although, as I said - slow and rushed at the same time. Here's a few bits from this past week: 
1. Lately, I haven't been too happy with my nails. I know that's a silly thing to get bent out of shape about, but I really take pride in the fact that I don't bite my nails anymore (I bit them until I graduated high school!), so when they are all different lengths/shapes I hate it! Currently, my nails are silver with gold glitter. I did that in honor of The Great Gatsby. ;)
2. Earlier in the week I made Blake stuffed french toast and bacon for dinner. I've been trying to cook more at home, and especially trying new recipes at least once a week for Blake. I could care less if I cooked, but come October, I'm going to have another person to feed, so I might as well start trying to find recipes we both like, right?!
3. This. Candy. Exists. Basically, it tastes like a less chocolatey version of cookie dough bites, but they are pretty yummy! Blake and I were originally going to see The Great Gatsby Friday night at the Marquee Suites (reclining leather seats! they serve you dinner and drinks during the movie!), but when we got there (like, 45 minutes before the movie) it was sold out! Of course, it was opening night for a really hyped up movie, so we should've known, but it was still disappointing! We hopped on over to the "normal" movie theater next door, grabbed sodas and candy and saw The Great Gatsby at 10pm - too late for that movie, is all I have to say about that!*

This week is full, full, full. Lots going on in the next few weeks, I'm so ready for a break! I have so much wedding stuff to work on, I'm gonna need a break real soon!
I hope your day is just fabulous!
OH YEAH. It's Mother's Day!
Happy mom's day to my momma (who is just the greatest! We couldn't spend it together since I'm working, and she's at Silver Dollar City working my dad's BBQ stand, which is HOLY AWESOME).
Today during church, our pastor's wife said a special prayer for the moms, the future moms, and those who have lost children. Her specific words pertaining to future moms were, "those women who are still praying for their unborn babies." Is it weird that I felt like she was talking to me when she said that? Um... we'll just leave it at that. Happy Mother's Day to all the mommas, grandmas, future moms, and fur-baby moms!

*really, though. The Great Gatsby was just brilliant. Visually pleasing is how I like to describe it. :)

Monday, May 6, 2013


1. Cute letters I bought from Funtiques a while back, sitting in one of the only sunshine-y spots in the apartment.
2. A messy corner, but my favorite corner. PS, I took a leap of faith, and spent the money on this swimsuit from Modcloth - best money I've ever spent. It seriously fits like a glove, and makes me feel great, which, it's been a while since I've felt decent in a swimsuit. This summer is going to rock so hard because now I have a cute swimsuit! #onepieceloveforlife
3. Blake and I babysat Katie's cute kids over the weekend. Our night included pizza, magic tricks by Hope, hide and seek because Poesy never wanted to stop, and a super heated game of Guess Who.

Not pictured: A quick date to Target and Barnes & Noble, watching The Nightmare Before Christmas and What To Expect When You're Expecting in one sitting, and using chopsticks without looking like a total loser.

This weekend went by in a blur. Fridays are pretty full for me, and Saturdays are just never long enough. Last night was spent in a bath tub (raging headache from h-e-double-hockey-sticks that wouldn't go away!) with frozen pizza and blood orange San Pellegrino, also: guacamole. Girl hormones make you want weird things sometimes.

Hopefully this week goes by super fast... I'm looking forward to one thing: The Great Gatsby.
Can I get an amen?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Life : Beautiful.

This morning, I kind of sort of... skipped out on church. I don't do this all that often (especially comparing to the fact that I go to church more so now than when I lived at home!). But last night, I decided that today, I would try to sleep in, maybe read a little bit, and overall, just enjoy some morning time at home, since I really don't get to these days.

I promptly woke up at 7:15 am, with zero chance of going back to sleep. So I made myself a bit of coffee, ate some chocolate chip muffins and read a bit of my newest issue of Life : Beautiful (I think they'll have a blog coming soon! A million yays!). And of course, in this issue, there is an article called "101 Reasons to go to Church." Way to tell me something, Jesus! ;)
If you are ever looking for a good Christian woman magazine, this one is the greatest. Like I was telling my mom, it's like Martha Stewart or Real Simple for the Christian gal.

All of my life, I've been told (mostly by the 'older' generation) to never listen to the teachings of Joyce Meyer. Some of this may be because she's a woman and she travels and preaches to thousands. Because of this, I have always been skeptical of reading anything she's written. My gosh, have I been missing out.
In this newest issue of Life Beautiful, there's a small piece written by Meyer, taken from her series Overcoming Fear with Faith.

Basically, this article was written for me.

She starts with Mark 11:22 "Have faith in God constantly."
You know, I've read this verse over and over in the past couple of years, and for some strange reason, it pretty much slapped me in the face this morning.

Have faith in God constantly. Constantly.

She says that faith in Christ is like any muscle in your body - in order to grow a stronger faith, you have to exercise it. In the same vein, she mentions that love must grow for faith to grow. "Your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing" 2 Thessalonians 1:3. How amazing it is that our faith in Christ can grow when we love each other?

Have you ever experienced this? The more you love other people, the more willing you become to let Christ step into your life and take control? This weekend, my church hosted the annual One Sole Purpose 5/10k. All the donations/entry fees go towards buying a new pair of shoes for a child in the community. When I see things like this, and our PowerPacks fund - that is when I see the most love in our church, when I see the most community.

Lately in my community there has been some sort of uproar about a local pastor speaking out against the homosexual community (but, if you ask me, he shouldn't have been asked to speak at the task force meeting at all. But that's just me). You know, I feel like as Christians, we are supposed to feel a certain way about these hot topics.
But when I read the Joyce Meyer article this morning, all I could hear in my head was, "Haley, you are called to love. You are called to give your all. You are called to serve people." And not a word of it I heard was, "tell these people that they are wrong, tell these people they need to repent now."
I've talked about this in the past, but I've been told that I am misleading others and being mislead. I am so sorry for those people that feel that way - I feel like they are missing out an a truly eye opening relationship with a God that loves them just they way they are - flaws and mistakes and sins and all.

Today, I am using my faith. Today, I am loving others the way Christ has always loved me.
What are you doing to grow your faith?