Saturday, September 28, 2013


(I knew I said I was taking a break, but.. I couldn't resist. Making memories, y'all)

(look at those babies! This was a little over 2 months after we started dating. Awwww...) 

Seventeen months ago, on a little side street in downtown St. Charles, MO, Blake proposed to me! He got down on one knee, and all of that jazz, and I promised to be his wife. Ten months before that, he gave me a "promise ring" (which was the wrong size, and we never had it resized, so I wore it one time...). We had been dating for maybe 6 months at the time, and had known each other far longer than that, but we knew that we were "it" for each other, and I am so, so grateful. 
We met on MySpace, as cool as that is, and we hung out for the first time in my room, watch Cloverfield. We would text every so often for the next 2 years. The summer before college, I had a bad breakup, and Blake was there for me. College started - we'd have lunch together, we'd skip class together just to hang out, and we even went on a real date (to the Moxie, where we saw Micmacs, the cutest little French film). I told him I loved him before we even started dating "officially." 
Today, I become his wife. I get to marry my best friend.

Blake, I have loved you for 1,085 days. I have called you mine for 1,022 days. From the rocky beginnings to our relationship over 4 years ago, to the breakups and the fights, and the weird little quirks we try to change about each other, I have always loved you. Even when I met you at 17 years old, thinking you were the weirdest, skinniest boy I'd ever met; even when I didn't think our future would go further than those MySpace messages; even when I swore up and down I wouldn't date someone who weighed less than I did. ;) I still loved you. All through the years, when I didn't even know it. I have always loved you, Blake Tucker, and I always will.

** to all of those who have followed this, since the beginnings of the relationship, from our engagement, or from somewhere in the middle of all of that, thank you. I remember when Claire and I would write letters to each other, I wrote, "so... there's this boy, and I think I really like him." And now - here we are. It's our wedding day! It's been a looong time coming, and I'm so glad I've been lucky enough to share it with new and old followers! Love, love, love you guys! <3

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Feeling out of it.

I saw a quote on Pinterest that said, "I've got 99 problems and 86 of them are completely made up scenarios in my head that I'm stressing about for absolutely no logical reason." 
I'm really feeling that quote right about now. 
It's so weird, but I feel completely out of it, and have been for the past few days. Part of me feels like I'm living in this dream world: "Oh dear! I'm getting married this weekend! Who would've ever guessed!" The other part is all like, "HOLD UP NOW. I thought I had 17 months! Where did that time go!?" 
17 months has been a long freaking time. I would never, ever suggest a long engagement to anyone. Ever. In the end, it has been beneficial for me and Blake. Just as the beginnings of our relationship: if we had dated when we first met, we would've never lasted. And if we had gotten married, say, 6 months after getting engaged, that would've been one big disaster. 
Having 17 months to prepare for not only the wedding, but a marriage and a life together has been for the best, and I'm grateful we made the decision to wait longer than we originally wanted.
I'm incredibly excited for this weekend. I'm hoping for stress free, fun times to be had with my friends and family. Especially since the past few weeks have been nothing but constant stress, nonstop wedding projects, and almost daily calls and texts with things I need to do that just pile up on a to do list, which will probably never fully be finished by this weekend, if we are being completely honest. 

Since I was able to start checking the 30-day forecast, I have faithfully checked the weather for the 28th daily. Every day the weather changes ever so slightly, yet one thing remains constant - rain. Rain, rain, and more rain. Sometimes it'll say that outdoor conditions are "fair" then later in the day, the conditions change to "poor." And this morning, a small glimmer of hope came out of hiding with the outdoor conditions at night being "excellent." Then 30 minutes later, back to "fair." I will take "fair" conditions gladly. And as everyone I have talked to says, rain or not - I'll be married by the end of the weekend, and that's all that matters. True, but when you've spent 17 months planning the ~*perfect wedding, you expect it not to rain, right?! Right. ...Right. 

We picked up our marriage license yesterday. We went to the courthouse, got to raise our right hands and pledge something that I don't even know was about, now that I think about it, and were out within 10 minutes. Who knew it was so easy to get the legal aspect of marriage done? I mean, honestly, if I had been smart about this we would've gone to the courthouse long ago and we'd be done with this junk! 

My mom called yesterday asking if I had gotten some stuff done from my to do list. I burst into tears and couldn't stop crying - I don't even know what came over me. I'm just... stressed. I have no reason to be stressed, though. Every little detail is being finished, the menu is set (and food is ordered!), chairs for the ceremony are confirmed to be delivered bright and early Saturday morning, I meet with the venue owner tomorrow afternoon to tie up loose ends, and we have approximately a million pies ready to bake the day of the wedding. I don't know what I'm so nervous about. Maybe the fact that life is getting ready to change dramatically? I mean, maybe I'm just being dramatic. I probably am. But still! I'm getting married this weekend. There's absolutely nothing I can do to slow down time, and I can't force myself to sit down, relax, and enjoy this week. I'm trying my hardest, but I'm really tightly-wound right now. 
Someone pour me a stiff drink and tell me to chill the heck out. *

I'm such a downer, y'all! I promise I'm excited about the wedding, because I really am! I think I've just hit that wall where it's like, "holy ish this is happening in FOUR days." And I'm starting to freak out a little. But it's mostly a good freak out. And a week from today, I'll be at Magic Kingdom enjoying breakfast at Cinderella's Castle, so all is well; I just need to make it through this weekend! ;) 
....And I'm only kidding about the stiff drink, guys. 

See you on the other side of married life, y'all. Taking a break until after the honeymoon! 

xo The Future Mrs. Tucker

(ps, I said "y'all" twice in this post. Feel free to redneck-shame me, it's okay.) 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A bachelorette party fit for a Disney Princess.

Let me tell you - I have the greatest friends in the world. Last night, my friends threw me the most Haley-esque bachelorette party. There were cupcakes, a beautiful girly fort, and lots of giggling late into the night. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect evening! Sadly, we didn't get a single group shot! Colby even brought his "real" camera and a tripod to do the fancy self timer shots, but that didn't happen once! It was so funny, though, as soon as we walked into the apartment, they had the living room doors closed (my pocket doors that I love so much!), and kept saying we had to hurry because we were on a "timer." Turns out, they wanted to make sure that "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" from Cinderella was playing when I saw the fort; my friends just get me, you know? ;) 
 A good old before & after. Note to self: take makeup before going to bed. 
We had dinner at Nonna's (mine and Colby's favorite restaurant!), and stopped at the grocery store for snacks (Blake doesn't keep the kitchen stocked, apparently!), before we headed back to the apartment. We stayed up WAY too late talking and laughing too loud. :) 
I'm incredibly blessed to have such great friends. Colby and Breigh set everything up while Ashley and Morgan (Blake's cousins!) picked me up. We missed having Cassie and Claire there, and another friend from high school that doesn't live in Springfield anymore. I'm glad that we'll all be together at the wedding this weekend (!!!), with the exception of Cassie, who won't be home from LA until Christmas! I miss her so much and would give absolutely anything for her to be here for my wedding day. But she's doing great things in Los Angeles and I couldn't be more proud of that gal! (Love you, Cass!) Anywho - we had a great time. It was so perfectly fitting for my personality. The typical bachelorette festivities are so not my thing... I'm grateful for friends that understand that! 

So... I'm getting married this week! I'm freaking out, I'm beyond excited, I'm having bad dreams on an every night basis, and I couldn't be more ready. 17 months is far too long for an engagement! But, the end is in sight, and I'll be Mrs. Tucker by the end of this week. Thank you for following this (long) journey (that began on my old blog!). I appreciate every single thoughtful (and helpful!) comment. I am so, so grateful for this life I have been given - I'm truly blessed! <3

Friday, September 20, 2013

So, I dropped my phone.

Not only did I drop my phone.
But I dropped it in a toilet.

I'd rather stay away from specifics regarding the event (something to do with sitting there watching Taylor Swift videos?), but I will admit to immediately fishing it out (ugh, ugh, ugh). Because, I mean, what else do you do in that situation? Also of note, it's amazing how your reflexes become Spider-Man-esque when you drop your phone into water. That thing was out of there in like .02 seconds.
Apparently, even that little dip in the toilet was enough to fry it for good. Ah, the joys of fragile phones, am I right?

So, I did what all smart people do, I put it in rice. And, like any impatient person, I tried turning it back on a couple times before finally giving up. So, yeah, that probably made matters worse, but what can ya do?!

I called my pops, because I'm apparently incapable of doing anything without his help, and the first words out of my mouth were "DAD I DROPPED MY PHONE." Mind you, I was calling his cell from an odd number he wouldn't recognize, so he probably was like, "who the h is this crazy person calling me?!" Alas, being the great father he is, he immediately ordered me a new phone, we selected overnight shipping, and all was well.
I am the most anal person when it comes to expecting packages. You can bet I sign up for play-by-play email notifications to track my package, and this is no exception. WELL, you can imagine my absolute horror when I woke up to see that the status of my new phone was ON BACK ORDER.
My dad took an hour out of his day to go to the AT&T store to only be told that, yes, it really is on back order and it wouldn't ship until mid next week. This whole time, I'm just like, "YO GUYS. I am getting married in 8 days, AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FO THIS."
Yada, yada, yada, hours pass, and I check the status again. IT SHIPPED. I did a happy dance and now it *should* be here by tomorrow evening.

I stressed out more than I should have. I put a lot of pressure on my dad to just go to the store and buy me a new phone and let the one we order go to my mom, since she's been wanting a new phone. Well, dad does the best he can, but he just doesn't have time to do that kind of silly stuff when I already have a phone being shipped to my house.
But I have this thing going on called Wedding Brain. It makes me crazy, and it makes me act stupid. I totally get the Bridezilla phenomenon now: wedding brain just takes over and makes you say the stupidest things when you don't get your way! So when I dropped my phone in the toilet (my fault), what do I do? I call my dad and demand he fix it because I'm getting married and I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR THIS.
 Hello, my name is Haley the Bridezilla, nice to meet you.

But really, this was a blessing in disguise. (You just knew I was going to throw that one at you, right? Right?)
Seriously! My boss was the first to mention it - maybe this was God's way of saying, "Haley. You need to take a chill pill and just relax." I've been SO stressed lately, to the point of tears at any mention of the wedding, and really, at any mention of anything. I'm just really. stressed. out. So, with no phone to distract me - I had no phone calls coming in, no texts from my mom about the to-do list (although, that's probably just a fluke thing, since she has an iPhone and could totally iMessage me...). It was nice to not worry about that stuff for one day.

I've been without my phone for a full 24 hours now. By the time I get a new phone this evening, it'll be a full 48 hours. Right now, I'm doing okay (geez, I talk like I'm in rehab or something). It's just nuts how much we depend on those little gadgets! Numerous times during the day, I kept thinking, "I wish I could check Instagram," or "Hmm... I wish I could read my feed on BlogLovin." And at one point, my boss and I left for grocery shopping, and when I got back and checked iMessages on my MacBook (okay, so I admit - I wasn't completely disconnected, since I have texting capabilities on my laptop. But still!), I had like 5 messages from my dad and Blake asking me to call my dad asap. See, dad? I need a phone, don't I?!
The break has been nice (ask me tomorrow when it's been more than one day), and it's really made me take a good hard look at how much I actually use my phone. (And how much my phone interferes with my work day. Even at one point yesterday evening, one of my girls stopped and asked me to take her picture with my phone. I had to explain to her that I didn't have one, to which she replied, "but you always have your phone!" Um, reality check much?!)

So here's to not being so attached to something so silly. There's much better things going on in real life, than what's happening on my phone screen.

Also. We'll see how I feel about attachment to a piece of technology when I have a brand new phone. I'm just going to be honest with you, a new phone is going to be amazing. Because after taking a bathroom break to the tune of $106, you really enjoy that brand new phone. And take it no where near a bathroom.

PS. I have really missed using emojis. I can't wait for emojis.
PPS. I was in the process of making room on my phone to download the new update when it went for a little swim. So let's just not talk about the new changes, alright?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Life : Beautiful, vol. ii

I've mentioned the magazine Life: Beautiful before, but I thought I'd talk about it some more (because I know you want to hear about it!) This is, by far, my favorite magazine to pick up when I go to Barnes and Noble. I might as well subscribe to it! But I just love going into a bookstore and seeing if the newest issue is in stock yet (that is the best part about bookstores and magazines!). As I mentioned the last time I wrote about this magazine, it's like Real Simple magazine for Christian gals. It's probably the greatest thing ever!
Each issue is packed with Biblical insight, amazing articles about world missions, and monthly studies to do. Every issue also includes an article by Joyce Meyer (I know, I know, she's not everyone's cup of tea, but she's my homegirl!), Dave Ramsey and Biblical answers to marital problems and raising children. I mean, I may not be quite to the latter, but the more you know, right?!

 In addition to all of that, each issue comes with the most beautiful photos. This month's issue had yummy looking recipes and articles on hosting guests in your home, and what the Bible says about hosting people in your home and at parties. There was a fantastic article on the difference between the Old and New Testaments. To me, the difference has always been pretty clear cut: the Old Testament reflects the world that God created, and the rules His people had to abide by to be in His favor. The New Testament reflects the coming of Christ and how His bloodshed redeems our sin, no matter what rules we break. Anyway, it was a great article that provided a refreshing take on the two sections!

Seriously, though. Check this magazine out! I know they carry it at Barnes and Noble, and if you go online, you can order back issues! The only bummer about it is that there are only 4 issues a year. Sad face! But it's well worth it. One issue can last you a few months, for sure! Also! Be sure to keep a check on their website, as they are relaunching the site and a new blog next month!

Sigh. I just love this magazine. As if that wasn't evident enough. ;)


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Life is changing.

On Sunday, my home church threw a small shower for myself & Blake, as well as my brother and his wife (who married in June). After the shower, Blake and I went over to his apartment to put all of our pretty new things away. As we were setting everything up, Blake just stopped and hugged me. He just held me for a few moments while telling me how much he loved me; how, in a matter of days, I'll be his wife. It's just so real now. 
Breigh mentioned a few weeks ago that in the midst of planning all of our fake weddings throughout the years, a real one snuck up with us. I have no words, really. We've been engaged for 17 months now... and at times, it felt as if September would never come - as if the single digit countdown would never arrive. And yet, here we are! Thursday will mark 9 days! SINGLE DIGITS! Can you believe it? I think I'm just becoming overwhelmed with the idea that it is so close. After all, it's been 17 months since he popped the question! Anywho - here are some photos! 
1. Our pretty new bed! First of all, it's a full size bed. It was his mom's bed growing up, and Blake's bed growing up, as well. We'll upgrade in the future, but for the mean time... no personal space, woo! The quilt is absolutely gorgeous (it was a gift from my future cousins, aunt and sister in law from this Etsy shop), and I'm working so hard to make our bedroom a cozy, inviting environment. I can do living rooms and kitchens, no problem. But bedrooms just aren't my forte!
2. Okay. So we received THREE of the same Anthropologie tea towels! They are the cutest, and I treasure each one, as they are each from special people, but three is a lot to have of the same item. ;)
3. A living room in progress. And, uh, apparently something was not closed in our fireplace the other night and a BAT GOT IN. No joke! Blake came home, and a bat was flying around! Luckily, management took care of it, and hopefully no bat babies have been made in this apartment. GROSS, GROSS, GROSS.
4. The dishes? Those are from Target. I'm not joking, Target's Threshold line has had those dishes since forever and I've had my eye on them since, oh, forever. I prayed every time I passed that aisle at Target that they'd still carry that line when it was time for me to get married. Well, I guess all that praying in Target paid off, because now I have my very own set! So excited to invite friends over for dinner now!
5. I've been working on different signs to put around the venue and let me just say - THIS IS MUCH HARDER THAN IT SEEMS. I do realize, I did not have the best wood to work with, so it was really rough and bumpy. But geez, this "Mrs" sign (and another for "Mr," duh) took way longer than it should have! And apparently, the wood my mom gave me dates back to the early 1900s..? I'm not sure how valid that information is, but okay.

Have a happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 16, 2013


Reading // "Man Repeller: Seeking Love, Finding Overalls" by Leandra Medine (aka The Man Repeller). I just picked this up a few nights ago, and finally started reading it. The book is hilarious. Her blog is always hilarious. She's hilarious. The end.

Eating // nothing. But I will say I am dreaming of Andy's Frozen Custard riiiiight this minute. Blake and I received an Andy's gift card as a wedding gift. Um, GENIUS. I mean, who needs a gift card to some place like Target and Wal-Mart when you can buy them food, essentially?! ....I might start doing this as gifts. I am feeling rather inspired. #foodcoma

Thinking about // the wedding. When do I not, honestly. Over the past few days I have become increasingly stressed, and I might have reached my breaking point last night. I'm not quite sure yet. We still have 12 days to go, and the tears have only been spotty, not full on break downs yet, so you never know what'll happen in the next 12 days.... Knock on wood, this is the worst it gets.

Listening to // at the moment, "Fools" by The Dodos. Their album "Visiter" is one of my very favorite "fall" albums to listen to. I don't know what it is about it, but it just really feels like autumn. Because music can totally feel like a season. Totally.

Enjoying // The surprise of not knowing what my bachelorette party will entail. Usually, I hate surprises and I pry and pry until someone will give up details. But I am enjoying this whole not knowing what my bridesmaids are going to do thing! It's scary, but so fun! The party is this Saturday, so I'm hoping the week goes by quickly so we can party all night! (All night as in 10 pm bedtime. Right, ladies? RIGHT.) (P.s. I'm a grandma that gets into bed at 8 pm. I will not apologize for my odd sleeping habits!)

Watching // I'm getting really into Once Upon A Time right now. I honestly didn't think I'd like it, but it's sucked me in! My boss and the other two nannies are super into it. They're caught up on all the episodes and waiting for me to catch up so we can talk about it... but I'm barely half way through season one! I am excited to see what direction the show takes in the upcoming season(s), though. And I'm pretty darn excited about Once Upon a Time in Wonderland!
Also: Blake and I saw Insidious Chapter 2. Sometimes, I wish I was the type that blogged reviews and such. I'd love to break it down and analyze it here in this space, but alas - I'll spare you. Overall, I liked it. I closed my eyes a whole bunch, so I probably should give it another watch before I can fairly judge it. But the story, yes. Big A+ on that. The backstories, how everything connected? Genius move on the writers part. Crossing fingers for no more sequels and NO spin-off movies (which is what they set it up for.. ugh!).

Loving // Life. I know that sounds silly, but it's true. I have got some amazing folks in my life. I'd like to say that I don't complain about much, but let's be honest - I do. And with all of this wedding stress, that's only been amplified. I'm so grateful for the people who put up with my mood swings, my weird attitude, and my whining. Those are the real winners! If they can deal with me, they can conquer the world, I'm fairly positive.

This was a blog post without photos, so I'm pretty sure that means it's not a "real" post. I'll do better next time. <3


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Suicide Prevention

because what is a blog post without a photo, am I right, or am I right?

For years, this topic has been heavy on my heart. I have felt the burden to tell "my story," any chance I can, because there is power in telling your personal stories to those who feel they have no meaning.
I was once one of those who believed they have no meaning. Sometimes, if we're honest, I still am.

I shared a small bit of this topic a few months ago, but since today is World Suicide Prevention Day (and National Suicide Prevention Week, so I hear), I thought I would share a little bit more.

My story is less about suicide, and more about self mutilation and mental health.
I cut myself, and attempted to burn myself for years. I was careful to never leave permanent markings on myself, I only wanted to hurt myself, never do any "real" damage.
Simply put, I was sad. I felt hopeless. I was in the middle of the dreaded teenage years, and felt like high school would never end. I wanted out of my small town, I wanted a life of my own. I wanted to call the shots, and yet, at 15 years old - you simply can't make your own decisions.
I never wanted to kill myself. Sure, I had those moments, where I thought about what it would be like if I *wanted* to, what it would like if I did follow through. If that one time, I cut a little deeper. But I never did, and that is one thing I am most proud of myself for.

My friends knew of what I was doing. They didn't help a lot. Of course, I didn't ever want to talk to them about it, "they didn't understand." My friends all had seemingly happy home lives, they had good grades, they had everything! To me, they did.
It also didn't help that anytime my problem was brought up, it was greatly minimized. I wasn't leaving marks, I wasn't cutting myself deeply enough to inflict any "major" pain, so I guess to them, what I was doing wasn't really a problem? It was sort of passed off by some as a phase of life - I'd get over it soon enough.

I believe, in my heart, it was not a phase. It's almost as if it was a precursor to the real problem that would come during college.
Last January, I spent an entire day in urgent care. A few weeks prior to that visit, I had been experiencing chest pains. It started off as almost a feeling of my heart pounding constantly, like my heart couldn't rest at all. It soon became more painful, and I finally sought medical help when I couldn't take deep breaths, and when I did, it hurt too much to try breathing deeply again for the next hour.
A day spent with an urgent care doctor, IV's poked into my arm, EKG's and an ultrasound lead to a "quick" diagnosis of esophageal spasms, linked to acid reflux (which my mom had been diagnosed with recently, at the time). The diagnosis, on paper, made sense. Having an answer to my problem, a diagnosis to tell people, it was a relief. But I knew, deep down, that it was esophageal spasms were not my problem.
At this point, I didn't have a doctor that I normally visited, so I found one, made an appointment with her, and sat down to talk to her about what was going on. I told her about how they had diagnosed me with esophageal spasms, but it didn't feel like the right diagnosis. We went through my medical history, including my mental health. My mom told her about my childhood mental health issues (one of which included staying in the hotel room all day while at Disney World because all of the crowds made me nervous - what a story that is!). My doctor and I both agreed I have some major anxiety issues that I needed to work through.
I was put on an anxiety/anti-depressant medication. At first, I was ashamed. I didn't want to be on pills for depression. I had gone through so much in my life, I had a happy life, and people looked to me for advice on dealing with depression! How could I be okay with taking daily medication for a mental health problem? How would those people that look up to me in this exact area of life react?
It took me the longest time to get over this. To get over the thought of people looking down on me for treating a problem that I have.

I am here to tell you - whoever reads this, wherever you are in life, if you have an underlying health issue, be it physically or mentally, there are answers out there - and there is no reason to be ashamed of needing to seek medical help. There is no reason to be ashamed of needing medication to help with the way your brain is wired. 
If you are causing harm to yourself in any way, any way at all, you are not alone, even if you believe you are.

 Your problems are not small, and in the grand scheme of life, whatever is causing you sadness, these things pass. Trust me, it is easier said than done, and when I was starting to deal with all of this. I never thought my problems would go away. To tell the truth, it seems, even now, that they never go away. They simply "hide away" and come back, and catch you at a weak point. But you have to promise yourself that you will help yourself get better, no matter what the circumstances are.

I started cutting at 14 years old. I stopped at 17. And sometimes, even now, I want to start it all over again. But it is not worth it. My life is way too precious, is way too valuable a gift to throw it away over a temporary problem. I have found my hope in Christ, and I know a lot of people who have recovered from depression through Him, as well. I do know that religion isn't everyone's cup of tea, though. So whatever your method of recovery, find yourself a good support group of friends and family - people who will be there for you no matter what. People who won't judge you, minimize your problem, and make you feel lesser for having mental health problems. You are so much more than that. 

You can visit these websites for more information: 
International Association for Suicide Prevention
Suicide Prevention Lifeline
and, as always, I am always here to talk! If you ever want to talk about depression, anxiety, life in general, Kim Kardashian & Kanye West... email me! ehaleytyson(at)gmail(dot)com

Friday, September 6, 2013

Flashback Friday

Because, what better way to end the week than share really embarrassing photos of myself?
This is a real hairstyle that happened to me on a normal summer day. I'm just... not sure what to say.
I have a few notes to make about the photos above.
*I was really tan at one point in my life. And at another point, really, extremely pale. Like, paper white.
*The photo of the ridiculously curled hair was taken on my 16th birthday. I was just a young'n that didn't know how to fix my own hair... ;)
*The mirror selfie pic? That, my friends, is the version of Haley that Blake first met. He now prefers my hair either that length, or with ombre. Sigh.
*The photo of me & Breigh? Why, yes. Our teenage years were difficult for us. Why do you ask? (Was it the matching haircut? Did that tell you something??)

My, my. I should do this more often. It's quite fun!
If you have an embarrassing photos, I sure would love to see them... :)
xo Haley

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Feeling pretty ragey about the blog world right now

The above picture really demonstrates how I feel about reading this blog post.

I won't lie - I'm not all that familiar with the "Given Breath" blog, but after taking a quick peek around the site, I liked it a bit. "Mrs. Hall" seemed like a great, Christian mom. But her blog post "FYI (If you're a teenage girl," which is what sent me to her site to begin with, has been rolling my eyes. Big time.

There are a lot of points to argue with her post, but the one that I have taken most issue with was the small bit where she says,

"And now - big bummer - we have to block your posts. ...And so, in our house, there are no second chances. If you want to stay friendly with the Hall men, you'll have to keep your clothes on and your posts decent. If you try to post a sexy selfie, or an inappropriate YouTube video - even once - you'll be booted off our online island."

So here's how I'm feeling about this little part. 
(And, side note, I was only going to post my thoughts as a comment, but for some reason, she's turned off comments or something, and I can't post. Maybe because on a post about how girls need to help keep her sons minds pure, she posts photos of her sons at the beach without shirts on and flexing? A lot of people weren't happy with that. Anyways..  I need to get these thoughts out somehow!) 

So these girls that "mess up" and post a photo that they don't like on Instagram, or write a post on Facebook they don't agree with... they don't get a second chance your family? And yet, you are teaching your family about the principles of Christianity. 

Isn't one of the main messages of Christianity is that how you can mess up bad, and yet God will forgive you? God will give you that second chance, even when you don't deserve it. 
But you won't give the girl who posted a "sexy selfie" a second chance, even if she grows up and grows out of that phase of her life? You're saying that once she posts something you don't like, she's out of the picture for good, right? 
I'm just so confused. I mean, if this girl is good enough for the forgiveness of Christ, why isn't she good enough for your forgiveness? Pardon me if I'm getting the point of your message wrong, but your "forgiveness" is not more important than God's. 

And another issue I had with this post. The only thing I really got from this was that women need to do all. that. they. can to protect your son from impure thoughts. Another commenter made an extremely valid point:
It is SO lame to say that women aren't visually stimulated. I BEG TO DIFFER. I mean, we need to make Ryan Gosling illegal, am I right?! So while she's writing this valiant blog post about keeping her sons pure, she puts up photos of her sons shirtless and flexing. Sure, it's just a playful beach photo, everyone takes a photo like this! But she's a blogger. And we all know bloggers hoard photos. So somewhere on her computer, you know she has photos of her sons with shirts on. Why couldn't she have paired the blog post with more "tasteful" photos. Did she not think that a teenage girl would stumble on her blog and think, "woooo those boys are hot!" (That was so weird typing that..ew) Did she not consider the purity of the girls who will look at the post when she was putting up those photos? 

Of course, then she completely reposted the blog with another version that included photos of her children in actual clothing. So, whatevs. 

Okay, I'm done now. 
I have a lot of feelings. 

ETA: I ended up being able to leave a comment on her second blog post (the one where everyone is covered up) and it was very similar to this blog post. I wanted to share here, her response to me:

Hi Haley, I am so grateful for your question and your honest thoughts. I am happy to answer you.
You know, I wish I had taken more time to explain that part of my post, because – you’re right – it sounded holier-than-thou and grace-less.
I have made my mega share of mistakes of every size and variety, and I’ve been given much grace by God and his people, so I hope I can shed a little more light on why I said that.
Luke or Chase (my older boys) have never unfriended anyone over an overtly sexual post. They have blocked a few friend’s images/links from showing up on their feed, but the hope is that they might not shame her (by unfriending her) and still stay “real life” friends…without a string of repeat incidents that can harm both parties.
I do think this is a respectful, protective, and gracious solution for both young people?
Thank you for your thoughts, and for your grace, Haley.

Sunday, September 1, 2013


Oh, September.
This month, I start working more hours than I am "used" to. I start packing up boxes full of my things and moving them to a new home. This month, I will try and not singlehandedly make Starbucks run out of Pumpkin Spice Lattes and pumpkin muffins.
I will also try not to gain a million pounds from the 500 calorie drink, because holy wow, that's a lot of calories for a 16 ounce beverage.

This month, I get married! I become someone's wife. And not just someone, but I become Blake's wife.
I feel like I have been preparing for my new role for the longest time, and yet, I know that it doesn't matter how hard and how long I prepare for this, it will all pale in comparison to the real thing, of being his wife.
I'm so excited! I really, truly can hardly contain the excitement (and emotion) that I feel when I start to think about how close the wedding day is. (Really, though. I think I cry every time someone mentions the wedding. My girl emotions are out of whack, for real.)

So, here we are, September 2013.
I have been waiting for you for 491 days.
I'm so excited you're finally here!
And here is a playlist just because. (It is a Spotify playlist, I'm not sure if it's playable if you don't have a Spotify account.. let me know and I'll fix it!) Updated: here's a link to the grooveshark playlist! 
*image source