Friday, July 26, 2013

A Newlywed Home

Last October, I moved in with the family I work for, since my lease was ending, and the nanny apartment was about to open up. I took that opportunity to live here, save some money (and holy cow, I've saved a ton by not having to drive to work every day!), and not have to get up at 5:30 in the morning on work days. 
Before moving into the nanny apartment, I lived in a loft apartment in downtown Springfield and LOVED it. I realize now that after living there, I've been completely spoiled with apartment living. It was seriously the greatest apartment a girl could ask for, and not to mention affordable (I am a poor college gal, after all). 

Last week, Blake and I looked a few apartments in the same downtown area, but were left less than impressed with some. We were told that there was an apartment on Historic Walnut Street opening up soon, and while we couldn't quite take a look at it yet, we could put a deposit on it. 
So what did we do? We put that deposit down, of course!

In the midst of explaining the situation to others, it sounded really, extremely dumb. 
Oh, yeah... we put a deposit down on an apartment we haven't seen yet! 
Totally smart, right?
WELL. This week, we were able to take a look at it, and holy wow, what a good idea it was to put that deposit on the space! I'm still dreaming about it!

While it definitely has the generic apartment touches to it (bland wall colors, bland carpet, all white appliances), it also has a fireplace (!!!) (a non working fireplace, but still - MANTLE TO DECORATE!), and every doorway has pocket doors. I don't know about you, but I've been obsessed with pocket doors for about 15 years now. Every house needs pocket doors, you guys!
The living room is HUGE, as well as the kitchen. And the only downside is that the only bathroom is in the bedroom. But you know what? I can deal. I just have to keep our bedroom real clean when guests come over. I can do it (I think). 

I'm just so excited. Now that we have an apartment, and Blake will be moving in soon, it's all becoming so real that, hey, we are getting married. And geez, I'm gonna be living with someone soon. And not just someone... I'm going to be living with my husband. Is that weird, or is that weird? 

So, excuse me while I go stalk Pinterest for mantle decoration ideas... 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

sixty seven

This morning I was thinking about how close the wedding is.
Of course, I think/talk about this every day... How could I not with this never ending to-do list looming over me? It's like a really huge dark rain cloud right above me and it NEVER goes away. So obviously, the countdown is like a countdown to death clock at the moment.

A little under a year ago, we were celebrating the marriage of some good friends of ours. It was a gorgeous day and so exciting for them (and exciting now, as they are only weeks away from their first anniversary!), but it was exciting for  us, too - the day of their wedding, we were at exactly 400 days away from our own wedding day. 400!

At 400 days away, I had basic ideas of what I wanted our day to look like. I had a venue in mind (and I was going to do whatever I had to to get it. Spoiler: I got the venue!). I knew I wanted to have dinner before the ceremony, and I knew that with that, it meant that Blake and I would see each other prior to me walking down the aisle. I knew our colors. I had an appointment booked to try on dresses the following month. I had everything in mind, but very little actually on the books and planned.

Now, we are at approximately 67 days out from the wedding.
And the number makes me want to throw up at the thought.

Not in an "omg, I shouldn't be doing this" kind of way, but more like "omg, I really am a big time procrastinator."

I have the big things done. I have a dress. I have a venue. I have food to serve.
It's the details I'm struggling with. I'm working on programs and favors. (holy, never ending!)
I am (finally!) getting invitations printed in the next few days. Over the weekend I am assembling and addressing invitations to be mailed out at the first of August. I have my hair and makeup trial soon, along with bridal portraits in mid-August (!!!). So much is happening, and it's really fun stuff, but it's just really confirming that this day is coming and it's coming super fast.

It's just crazy that we are only two months away from this day that we've been dreaming about for 15+ months.
It's crazy that almost a year ago, we were ecstatic that our day was only 400 days away.
Time goes by so fast... without you even really noticing it.

I'm lucky that I have so much support from family and friends to keep me going in the planning process, and that help keep me excited about it all (because I know for sure if I didn't have those key people, I'd be mega stressed over everything that I have to do in the next two months).

I've been compiling all the resources that have been a big help to me over these past few months during all of the wedding planning, and I'm looking forward to sharing that. Not that wedding planning is anything new and groundbreaking, but I would've killed for this kind of information when I started out planning!

Stay tuned to see how everything works out and if I manage to get through all of this with my sanity intact.

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Birthday Surprise

Yesterday, Blake and I left church early to "eat lunch with his parents." 
But upon walking into The Aviary, there sitting at the table were Claire and Ally! I could hardly believe it - I started crying! 
I really don't see Claire as often as I like, and I really didn't think I'd get to see her until next month (when I have my bachelorette party and bridal shower), so to see her sitting across from me at lunch was the best surprise ever. 
I am beyond grateful for not only Claire, but for her father and for Blake who planned it all and made it happen! 

In other news, I'm another year older. Nothing new around these parts! (with the exception of now sharing my birthday with the future King of England! I mean, seriously, that's kinda cool!)
Today, I'm at work all day, which at first I was like, "well... that's kind of a bummer..." but once I got to work, I realized there's really no where else I'd rather be. These kids are truly the greatest. As soon as I walked down to the kitchen, they started singing to me. It was the sweetest thing! I'm a really lucky girl. I'm hopeful for what the next year brings.
Also, I think I'll make a 22 before 23 to do list. I've never done one before, and since my 22nd year will be the first year of marriage, I think that'll make it pretty interesting. I'll keep you posted. :) 

xo Haley

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Vacation, part two.

Just a few snapshots from the last half of my trip to Florida. It's been a wonderful week! 
So basically, the two pictures above look like the same photo, but I promise it's not. ;)
The past few days have flown by, but that's always the case with vacations, am I right? For as long as I can remember (which doesn't say much, because my memory doesn't go too far back), my family has been coming to the Destin/Seacrest area every summer. I always enjoy my time here, but this time seemed so much more relaxed and way more fun. Maybe I really needed a vacation?
Yesterday, Blake and I spent some part of the afternoon in Seaside, FL, which is where the bulk of the film The Truman Show was filmed. In case you didn't know, The Truman Show is one of my favorite movies EVER. I don't know why, but I stinking live for this movie (for the record, I think my dad instilled this love in me. Same goes for the Hubble Telescope, as referenced in my July 4th post). I always venture over to "The Truman House," but I've never stopped to take pictures. So.... I had Blake get out of the car and creepily take photos of the house. I do believe that the family that owns the place were actually in the house because their car was parked out front. So I think we've officially earned creep status.
Also! We went to a fun record/book shop (where we snagged The Great Gatsby soundtrack on vinyl!), while we were checking out, the guy working asked where we were from. When we said we are from Springfield, MO, he was like, "no way! I'm from Joplin!" He told us that after the Joplin tornado two years ago, his family lost pretty much everything. So they made the decision to pack up what they had and move to the Seaside area. He said that they had vacationed there every summer, and it was an area that they really loved, so it made sense to move there. It was weird having such a "close" connection to someone that's 13 hours away from where I live!
Anyway - I hope your week was a great one. I am blessed to have such a tight knit family, that loves spending time together like we have this past week. I loved being away and having this time to relax... but I am SO happy to be heading home (as we speak!). Can't wait to sleep in my own bed!

Monday, July 8, 2013

vacation (so far)

Just popping in to say hey! I thought I'd share a few vacation photos (you know, vacation so far. We've only been here like 2 days!). Basically, all we've done is lay by the pool. We ventured out to the beach this morning, but I didn't stay too long! I have a nasty sunburn (already!) and was afraid to be out in the sun too much today. I came home and couldn't even put on my bra! (tmi?) My whole upper back is bright red - with the exception for the small strip of skin that is completely untanned due to my ponytail. Yup. Tan lines are the greatest! ;) 
 For the past 6+ years, my family has stayed in different houses within the Seacrest Beach community. This year we are in "Pool's Paradise" and it is by far the best we've stayed in! It's kind of funny, though, that no matter which house we end up in, we are running out of sleep space due to our growing family. Good problem to have though, I'd say!
 This is THE best swimsuit I've ever had. I was really apprehensive of dropping so much cash on a swimsuit. The thing is, I haven't felt too comfortable in swimsuits in the past few years (ahem, I gained a few pounds post-high school), but this one is completely flattering. I'd prefer to not have the size that I had to get, but as my mom said - as long as it doesn't make you *look* that size, it's all good!
 Last night, Blake and I had a "date night" on Pier Park in Panama City Beach. We browsed a few shops before eating dinner at Margaritaville. We chose to eat outside (the wait for inside seating was an hour and a half, heck no!), and the restaurant sits right on the Gulf of Mexico, so we had a nice, beachy, salty air drifting in. It was great! Also - how do you go Margaritaville and NOT order the cheeseburger in paradise? ;)
(I bought this silly looking hat last night after burning my scalp really bad on Sunday. Yeesh, brushing my hair was awful!) I took a morning stroll over to Raw & Juicy for a vegan/organic smoothie to take to the beach. It was so yummy! Before I leave, I'd like to try a green smoothie and their fresh juice!

Anywho - hope your week is a great one! I keep forgetting it's only Monday. Which means.... Bachelorette Monday! I was telling Blake that we had to watch it tonight and he complained, "but we're on vacation!!" The Bachelorette stops for no one, Blake. ;)

See you soon!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

Marshfield, MO, my hometown's claim to fame is 1) The Hubble Telescope. We can't actually lay claim on the actual telescope, BUT Edwin Hubble was born and raised here, so the telescope is ours, by association. Right? I mean, we even have a small replica of it on the courthouse grounds! and 2) Our Independence Day Parade is the longest running parade west of the Mississippi River. But when I did a little more research on this, a couple of other places claim this title as well. So.... who really knows. But I'm gonna go with marshfield being the owner of that title. ;) 

Anywho - here are a few snapshots of our 4th of July. We enjoyed a very full day of a 2 hour parade, loaded waffle fries after said parade, freshly squeezed lemonade, grilling in the backyard while the little ones went swimming, fireworks, and a lot of near scares because of the fireworks (I was completely positive for 2 seconds that Blake was going to singe all of my hair off). 

Happy 4th, y'all! Hope it was a good one. 
xo. Haley

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Michelle Obama called the White House a prison.

Or actually, she really didn't. 

Here's the problem I have with Facebook commenters: they don't. read. the. article. 
Yesterday, MSN linked an article in which Michelle Obama and Laura Bush were interviewed in Tanzania. One question was what it was like to be first lady. Michelle Obama answered quite candidly and honestly, which was surprising to me. Her answer: 

"while our husbands ... have to react and respond to crises on a minute-to-minute basis, we got to work on what we're passionate about. ... I have just found it a very freeing and liberating opportunity. ... [Laughing] There are prison-like elements, but it's a really nice prison. You can't complain. There are confining elements ... While people are sorting through our shoes and our hair ... whether we cut it or not" 

Okay. I'm sorry. I just don't see where she blatantly says the first lady is like living in a prison. Honestly? All I see is her finding a way to explain her situation. What is her situation, you may ask? You may say, her job seems pretty cushy/lots of perks/she was just in Africa and that trip cost $500 million (that was an actual comment on Facebook). Every little thing she does is scrutinized, from her fashion choices, her infamous bangs, to her words and actions, and her right to bear her insanely toned arms. This is an excellent example of this exact thing: she says one little comment about how there are confining elements to the life of being married to the President, and people automatically get upset and call treason. Really? 
And for real - Laura Bush, who was sitting right next to her during all of this, laughed and joined in, agreeing that, hey, guess what - being the First Lady is really isolating and confining! Why aren't people freaking out on her?! 

And Michelle Obama is by far not the first person to say such comments about the lifestyle of a political figure: 

Harry Truman called the White House a glamorous prison and the "great white jail." Did people freak out over that when he made those comments? Probably not. 
Bill Clinton once said, "I don't know if it's the finest public housing in America or the crown jewel of the prison system." 
And probably my favorite quote relating the life of the first family to a prison by Julie Nixon Eisenhower: "The isolation of the president in the White House is not so much self-imposed as it is imposed by others and by the nature of the office itself. The ushers, military aides, and key staff members all try to ensure that the president's energy is reserved for the big decisions; to spare him the petty details of life; to fulfill as quickly as possible his requests, large and small. His family is similarly isolated, and are oddly unaware of most of the rumors that sweep through Washington."

I just find it really odd that people try to argue with statements like these. Have these people ever lived in the White House? Have they ever been the President? Or heck, even a political figure at all? Sure, we have some preconceived notion of how a President and his family lives, and I'm sure some of it is true. But until we are in their shoes, I highly doubt we will ever know what is like to live under the microscope of the public and the media. Give me my simple life any day! 

Her job is being the First Lady. And while some people think, "the First Lady doesn't do anything," or "since when is being married a job?" (-that is a real comment from facebook, also - being married takes work, I'm pretty sure, so I'd be interested in finding out if that specific commenter has been married...) 
The First Lady does so much that we don't even hear about. And why? Because we only hear about her fashion choices, her haircut, or the weird comment she made about her so-called lifestyle. (I mean, really. I saw one person call her a tramp, one call her an a-hole idiot, and another call her the c-word. And you wanna know a fun fact? All three commenters? MEN.)

I don't know why I felt the need to write this. 
But sometimes, the things I see on Facebook really weigh on me. 
Thanks for listening. ;) 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


I don't know if you knew this, but it's Timewarp Tuesday.

I'm sure these things happen elsewhere, but at our local dollar theater, we have Timewarp Tuesdays where movies only cost $1. This is absolutely ridiculous because, number one, we still call it the "dollar show" and it costs $3.50 now. And Timewarp Tuesdays aren't even $1! I remember hearing on the radio one afternoon that Timewarp Tuesday prices were upped to $1.50. I called my best pal Cassie immediately to complain.

That has nothing to do with this post. Like, at all.

This is my version of the Throwback Thursday/Flashback Friday trend, except for the fact that it's Tuesday. So here we are, Timewarp Tuesday.
Here are some cutesy photos from vacation a few years ago. This was the summer Blake gave me a promise ring. It didn't fit, we never got it resized, I never wore it again after that. Also, Blake's pool & beach read was Twilight. So there's that.

We were (mostly) tattoo-less at this point in time, so a picture of us will look just a tiny bit different this year. ;) Also - as proven evident in the above photos, we are definitely more pool people than beach people. I almost feel guilty admitting that for some reason. Don't get me wrong, I definitely go to the beach a handful of times during the week, but at any given moment, I'm probably at the (amazing) pool that's a 2 minute walk from the house.

Things of note I look forwarding to sharing when I get back:
*The cute ice cream shop that is a nearly nightly stop for our family.
*Pizza by the Sea. My favorite. My FAVORITE.
*The donut truck. 'Nuf said.
*Seaside, FL. We stay in a little beach community that's about 5 miles away from Seaside, the town where The Truman Show was filmed. This is a must every single year for us! There's so much fun shopping (an amazing book and record store!), food trucks, live music every night, all of that fun stuff.

 This is the big event of my summer (next is Taylor Swift! FANGIRLING), and definitely marks the halfway point of summer. After vacation it's crunch time on wedding planning! As of today, we are only 88 days away. Commence freaking out.

Happy (Timewarp) Tuesday! I'll see you when I get back from Florida!