Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Blake and I are heading to St. Louis to visit family and eat our weights in prime rib (I don't like turkey + the joy of having a competition BBQ father...). We are excited for the much needed few days away, just spent chilling out with family and (hopefully!) doing a tiny, tiny bit of shopping. I haven't even made a small dent in my Christmas list this year... I've gotten one gift so far! Of course, we don't plan on partaking in any of the Black Friday festivities this year, but have resigned to pajamas and online shopping. Because we all know I am fantastic at online shopping. (I went to buy a gift for Blake this morning online and saw that Forever 21 had a little sale going on. I couldn't pass up the faux leather skirt and leggings. But oh, how I tried!)
I'm just happy to be here, healthy and married, finally!
(I know it seems silly to be thankful for being married... but after being engaged for nearly two Thanksgivings, I'm thankful that this is finally a Thanksgiving that I'm NOT just engaged! Yay marriage!)
And thank you for reading! <3
ps, these are some of the photos Claire took of us during our short trip to Arkansas a few weeks ago. She makes us look REAL good! I mean, if that first photo gives you any indication of how photogenic we are.... ;)
Monday, November 25, 2013
I feel like my weekend went nonstop, but it really didn't. Blake and I looked at rings (!!!), since we are looking to upgrade slash retire my engagement ring. I love my ring(s) to death, but my engagement ring is going on 70+ years old, and I am scared to death of ruining it. So, my Christmas gift this year is a brand new ring, one that I can wear without fear of snapping in half because the band is too worn. I'm excited! I think more so because I can keep my great-grandmother's ring in safe keeping for my own daughter someday. I'm hoping to re-shank it someday so that the band isn't so thin. I LOVE jewelry, but then again ... what girl doesn't?!
^^ Blake and I saw the new Hunger Games! This has almost nothing to do with seeing Catching Fire, but it's the only HG-related photo I've got. Yes. I have a Hunger Games tattoo. And yes. I sort of kind of regret it. Not because I'm tired of it, or because it was a spur of the moment decision, but because now I'm realizing I used precious, precious tattoo space for a Hunger Games quote. I'm just wishing I would've put it somewhere else instead...
^^I've been dabbling in Project Life, as you know. These are just two examples of what I've done so far. I originally started out doing a small album and finally decided to go with a full size one. I'm very pleased with this decision. :)
^^ I received THE most beautiful dress in the mail a few days ago from the sweetest lady! I want to wear it every day for the rest of forever! It's got just the right amount of 'holiday' feel to it, without being outright holiday colors. I'm in love! AND it has an open back, as Meghan said, perfect for date nights. ;)
^^ Had a date night with my mom and cousin Saturday night (wearing my new dress, of course!). We ate at a teeny tiny Chinese restaurant in my hometown (Marshfield fine dining!), and saw the high school's production of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown. It was so cute! In high school, I was always involved in the theater department (but because of my insane stage fright, I was a behind the scenes helper, mostly- helping with costumes and painting sets. Our set for Annie in 2009 won a national set design contest!). Seeing these kids that I didn't even recognize (most of them were in junior high when I graduated), mixed with the fact that I've been out of high school for 4 years, and I'm married, it was all just so weird. I certainly don't miss high school, but I do miss the feeling when we were doing a show; it was the biggest, most important thing to us at the time. We had nothing else to worry about than cutting the show's run time and moving scene changes more smoothly. Ah, simpler times. ;)
^^aaaaand lip stick for days!
I'm watching the kiddos because my boss was delayed in Vegas and won't be home until later today, so we had a good old slumber party and watched Up with popcorn and "surprises" (uh, basically just m&m's and reese's pieces). These are the times when I'm all like, "YES, I can do motherhood!" and then I wake up a million times in the middle of the night because I hear every little noise in the house. I'm getting a taste of what it's like to be a full time caregiver of children and it pulls me back down to earth and slaps me with the reality that no matter how many baby things I pin, how many babies I hold and gush over- I'm simply not ready for babies. And that's a-okay, because HECK. I'm still only 22. My momma had me shortly after her 20th birthday and she's pushing me to wait, wait, wait. I think I'll take her advice!
Have a wonderful Monday!
Saturday, November 23, 2013
this is me. at Margaritaville. it was the best day.
I've seen these things on facebook constantly for the past few days, and it got me thinking about what my friends/family/etc. may or may not know about me! I'm an open book, so really, there's very little that folks don't know, but I've tried to come up with a few things about myself that I don't normally share. Here goes....
1. I was a big time reader up until late high school. Not that it's any big secret or anything, but I just don't read like I used to, and I really hate that I don't. I have two absolute favorite books and they both happen to be YA novels (of course...). My favorite-favorite is The Giver by Lois Lowry, which I first read in 4th grade - it's just stuck with me ever since. I re-read it in my children lit class in college and it was just as good as I remember it being! My other favorite is A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. It's a good mix of what I usually read (historical fiction) and what I usually never touch (supernatural). AND I usually hate movie adaptations, but part of me always hoped this would be a movie someday.
2. As some know, I have terrible anxiety problems. I've had them for as long as I can remember, but one instance where it was particularly bad was when I was 10. My family was spending the week at Disney World, and on my tenth birthday, we went to Hollywood Studios. As soon as we stepped into the park, I freaked: all of the sights, sounds, smells...the huge crowds, the scary looking roller coasters... I couldn't handle it all at once. I got dizzy and felt like I was going to throw up, and ended up spending the rest of my birthday in the hotel (and according to my family, I actually spent the better part of that week in the room). Thankfully, my image of Disney in my head was not tainted and I can now enjoy it like a normal person. :)
3. I was recently diagnosed with dyshidrotic eczema. It's on the palms of my hands, and it is mainly caused by stressed and environment changes. It started developing as red, itchy bumps on my hands two weeks after the wedding. I was put on a strong steroid (something that freaks me out!), and it cleared up, but then began peeling like a sunburn. I've laid off of the steroid for now, and am trying out an all natural method (the lotion smells SO BAD. It has goats milk in it...). So far, it's helping!
4. I have a permanent retainer on the back of my two front teeth. I had braces for 3 years (and those three years were the glorious junior high days when I had bendable glasses, braces and permed hair. Yeah..), and after I had them taken off, I never wore my actual retainer, so they put a little wire behind the two front teeth. It's been there for 7 years so far, and most days I don't notice it, but today I sure did. And it felt weird.
5. The biggest thing that gives me the heebie jeebies are objects in clusters. Like, aerial views of people walking around? GROSS. Ants? NASTY. Or the worst, a crap ton of spiders in a web? NOPE. Really, though, anything that swarms (ugh, ugh) in a large cluster makes me gag. I took an earth science class in high school and had to switch at semester because of a video we watched that simply featured tall grass swaying in the wind.... I cried so hard I had to leave the room. Uh... yeah. Weirdest phobia of all time, I'm sure.
6. In grade school, I spent every Monday night with my grandma. We had a solid routine of eating at Subway, watching a Lifetime movie, then going to bed. Those were the days. She likes to say that I've "abandoned" her since I moved 20 minutes away...
7. When I got my first tattoo, my mom was super upset with me and told me not to come home. The first time my parents saw it they freaked out and thought it was SO HUGE (it's the stitched heart on my wrist and as of right now, it's my smallest tattoo). As I've gotten more tattoos, they've gotten larger in size, and every time my parents see a new one they say, "oh, that's not as big as I thought it was. Lookin' good!" They've adjusted well, I'd say.
8. One time, Colby and I sat in a coffee shop and made lists of all the guys we'd ever kissed. We had just read a book about best friends sharing a kiss list, so we were feeling rather inspired. We're odd folks.
9. I survive on coca cola. Really! It's the most unhealthy habit ever. But what's worse than my habit is how I came upon drinking it: I used to drink Sprite religiously, until sophomore year when I was reading Twilight. I was sitting in my grandma's classroom reading, when I got to the chapter where Edward and Bella have dinner and he orders her a coke. I thought, "hm... I've never had that before." So I dug $1.25 out of my grandma's purse and bought myself a coke. I've been drinking it ever since. THANKS, STEPHANIE MEYER.
10. Cassie (the one in LA) and I spent nearly every Tuesday of our senior year at the Palace Theater, here in Springfield, for their Timewarp Tuesdays. We ate at Subway (I guess I have a thing for Subway??), saw a movie for $1, and got coffee afterwards. I miss those days more than anything, I'm pretty sure. (My favorite was when we went to see Law Abiding Citizen one night and during the movie, it ended up snowing and the ground iced over. We attempted driving home, but as soon as we slid into a curb, we called my parents to come get us. Such adults! ;)
That was sorta fun! You should do this, too! I'm nosy and I like to read about other people and their "secrets" :)
Friday, November 22, 2013
Lately, I've been itching to put my bed on the floor. It kinda sounds gross. But at the same time, it sounds like a refreshing decor twist that I so desperately need (decorating bedrooms are the. hardest.). I've been scouring Pinterest (uh, what did we do before we had it?) for adult-friendly spins on the style. I mean, there is a definite fine line between pulling off a look that says "an adult lives here." And then there's the other side of the line that says, "I'm a really poor college student." So... I'm looking and looking. And crossing my fingers that I can pull this off.
Here's a few ideas that I've come up with so far! Thoughts?
The fourth photo fits our situation the most; our room has weird walls that stick out and are really annoying. They aren't all that noticeable, but it's enough to make bed placement feel really restricting. So, our bed will probably stay against the window, just like in the photo above.
I keep getting the occasional push of creativity and positive energy, and I'm like, "YES. I can totally pull off the look that I see on Pinterest!" And then I try doing a small corner of my living room, in a style that I recently pinned on Pinterest, and it turns out like something you'd see on a Pinterest Fail website. Oh well. Maybe someday my home decor side of my brain will click on and I'll be a total pro. Until then, I'll employ the usefulness known as Colby Kern and he'll do the decorating for me.
PS. The blog Old Brand New is quickly becoming a favorite. The photography mixed with all of the home tours. My heart is swooning. Is that a thing? Probably not, and I probably just sound like a weirdo. Anyway.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Blake and I got to spend the weekend in Little Rock, AR, watching our nephew, Lincoln, while his parents went to a concert. We just so happen to have a bunch of friends in Arkansas... :)
While watching Lincoln, we met up with a few of them to have dinner at Big Orange (best. fries. ever.), and I got my first bitter dose of motherhood. YEESH. Lincoln, who is one of the happiest babies I've ever encountered, was SO fussy all night! He was only happy if we were walking around - he didn't want to sit down, even if I was holding him! Blake and I kept having to take turns walking around with him so the other could eat... and I was like, "NOPE. Baby Fever is GONE." And then I watched him sleep in the car on the way back to the hotel and was like, "well, this isn't so bad after all...." and Blake thinks I'm crazy. So there's that.
^^this outfit didn't last long; it ended up being 80* in Arkansas...
^^isn't Claire's house the most precious thing?!
^^aren't we so photogenic?!
And! Funny thing happened: we checked into our hotel (Doubletree! Ooh!), and I checked in under my maiden name (Tyson). We were given a room on the Hilton Honors floor (which, uh, we are not Hilton Honors members...). I text my dad and tell him about it, and he's like, "Oh yeah, they treat me like gold at the Hilton in Arkansas...they think I'm part of Tyson Foods, I'm pretty sure..." So, maybe I should go to Arkansas more often. Except for the part where I'm no longer a Tyson. Maybe I should look into hyphenating my name?! ;)
(I tried so hard, but I couldn't resist.)
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
I've been thinking a lot about the subject of forgiveness. So many times we are told to forgive and forget, and more often than not, we hold grudges for months, years evens. It seems so much easier to hold the grudge, so much easier to sling mud at the offender and become the worst version of yourself without even realizing it.
I've seen this a lot lately, and it's saddening. I've done it myself; I've held some of the worst grudges. I've held grudges against people who didn't even deserve it. I hate that side of me. The side that is so angry that not even a single apologetic word can right the wrongs.
The thing with this is, though, Jesus didn't hold grudges. There were a lot of obstacles in His path and yet He never complained, He never scorned those who were against Him. And I think we could all take a lesson out of His book. (Ha...ha...)
I struggle with this daily. Something goes wrong and I immediately look for someone to blame.
In high school, I dated an ex-boyfriend of one of my friends, which is like, ultimate girl code no no, and you know what? She forgave me. Because she has the most genuine Christ-like love. I wish people were more prone to do this; to forgive each other. To forgive those closest to them for doing them wrong. To forgive those that they hardly even know when things don't go your way and you're looking to place blame. And let's be honest, I wish folks would be more willing to forgive the government because holy crow, those guys don't seem to know what they are doing right now. ...But really.
Jesus forgave me for dating my best friend's ex. He forgave me for my indiscretions and for all those times I was in places and situations I really shouldn't have been in. He forgave me for those years when I shunned Him, when I let darkness and sadness overcome my life.
That's the great thing about Jesus. He's always there, helping us through the rough times in life.
He's there for us when that angry side comes out and all we want to do is say bad words and mean things about another person. He's there when we don't want to forgive those that hurt us more than we imagined they could. It's hard to forgive. It's actually really freaking awful when you don't want to let go of the hurt. But at some point, we have to realize that the hurt only hinders us.
Forgiveness starts with ourselves. It starts with saying, "hey, I've made mistakes. And if God can forgive you, I can, too."
It seems so simple, doesn't it?
I'm working on this daily. Praying for peace in certain situations, hoping for a calm heart so I can deal with those who make me mad (and for real - those who are seriously crazy sometimes are really hard to forgive). I like to think that if we are to grow in our relationship with Christ, to know Christ-like love, there is no separation from forgiving others. They go hand in hand. To love and be loved, we must first forgive as Christ forgave us.
So, who's up for the challenge of learning to forgive more, and to be genuine in our forgiveness? To extend Christ-like love in all circumstances, the good and the bad?
I'm in. I hope you are, too.
Sometimes I get stuck in a rut. Creatively, emotionally, and the worst: food-wise. You know what I'm talking about! When you go out to eat and you eat at the same restaurants, order the same thing, every single time. Blake and I are trying to get out and try new places more often (although, as easy as it sounds... it's actually pretty hard to break the habit of going to the usual spots!). First on our list was London Calling, which is a food truck, essentially. When passing by it all those times we were driving around, I would always see the huge red double decker bus, but never realized that that's where you eat! Both levels are open and have little booths and a barstools to sit at. It's seriously the cutest thing! I ordered the bangers and mash (mashed potatoes and sausage!) and it was delish. Going back soon and I'm determined to try everything (the pot pie sounds amazing!).
Another new place we tried out actually just opened yesterday! It's a brand new 24-hour donut shop that's just a short walk from our apartment (dangerous!). They had SO many different flavors of donuts, so we ordered a half dozen (plus a maple & bacon long john!), to try here and there for the next few days. So far, I've tried the maple & bacon and red velvet. I'm really looking forward to the apple cider old fashioned donut! Mmmmhmmm!
Of both places.
I'm excited to keep going back and supporting these local businesses! It's always fun to discover a new favorite, so it's even better when you discover two new favorites!
Have you tried anything new to you lately? I'm always on the hunt for a new restaurant or new food to try (I'm a fat kid at heart and so is my husband!). Jess keeps talking about lavender everything at Elle's...so I'm thinking I'll need to go over there soon... it's been a while since my last visit!
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Life has been crazy lately! Maybe it's the changing of the weather; it's quickly turning way too cold for my personal taste, but today offered a nice break from the freezing weather... it was 70 degrees for the most part! Ah, if weather could always stay a cool 70? I'd be in heaven. I don't appreciate having to get up an extra half hour early just to scrape the frost off of my car...
Anyway - here's some snapshots that may or may not have appeared on Instagram lately. Enjoy!
I bought a few too many things at the craft fair, but one thing I'm really proud of is this print! It was made locally by a man in my church (a previous high school youth pastor at High Street!), and his Etsy is filled to the brim with amazing prints with lyrics from worship songs and verses from the Bible. All of the proceeds go towards helping his family move to Amsterdam to do mission work! I was more than happy to buy this print! PLUS! Come Thou Fount is the song I walked down the aisle to at the wedding, so it seemed rather fitting to buy this print. :)
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
I used to laugh at this oh so wonderful term of endearment until that's exactly what I became. Sure, I nanny 3 days a week (which equals to roughly 42 hours a week... Those 14 hour days add up!), but the majority of my week is spent at home.
Now, after a month (!! Where did the time go?!), I've settled into a somewhat routine. My internal clock wakes up at 5:30, so my day is started pretty early. And while Blake probably thinks I sit on my butt all day, I really don't! I'm actually really excited about being home this much because I'm starting to get a handle on this cooking thing. Okay, okay.. so the only real cooking I've done so far is via my crockpot (thanks, Emma... we LOVE it!), but gosh darn, slow cooker meals are GOOD.
^^ we are still on the hunt for perfect curtains. It's a never ending search... sigh.
So while being a part-time stay at home wife isn't the most fulfilling job on the planet, I'm getting the hang of it. I like being able to cook dinner for Blake. I like organizing my (extremely small) closet when I run out of things to do. And let's be honest - I love being able to get on Pinterest all day long. Ha!
But really, it's like being a stay at home mom, without the kids. And that's pretty awesome.
Other things I like right now:
* I'm catching up on Once Upon a Time. I don't have many shows that I watch on the reg, but Once Upon a Time is one that I'm absolutely hooked on! I'm in the middle of the second season and they are introducing a Dr. Frankenstein backstory... it's so neat! I can't wait to catch up to the current season so I can see the Little Mermaid storyline! Eeeek!
*Speaking of shows I watch; OMG AMERICAN HORROR STORY. Okay. So first season was fantastic - like, mind blowing fantastic. Then the second season was a total bummer for the most part. And now? AHS Coven is incredible. They have Patti LuPone! You can never go wrong with the goddess! (Side note: that video makes me cry every time. Side note number two: Seth Rudetsky is the goddess jr. Oh, the Broadway side of Haley never leaves....)
*Praise Jesus for Hobby Lobby's 50% Christmas decor sale. I bought the little "Merry Christmas" sign and the pink tree because, duh, 50% off. (And the Let It Snow sign is from Target's $1 section. Holla for good deals!)
*this post by Diana, of Our City Lights. What a strong, strong woman. My heart aches for their loss. I almost hesitate to even call it a loss, because it is so much more than that. A piece of them is gone, and yet she shows so much faith through it all. I admire her strength and courage to keep moving forward.
*I've started doing Project Life! I'm not great at it, yet, and I'm terrible at sending photos to be printed... but I'm slowly getting the hang of it. I bought two full kits (one of which, Elsie & Emma designed and it is way cuter in person!), and a couple of the small themed kits (the holiday one steals my heart!). I also printed some Instagram photos from Printstagram. It was so worth it! The photos are so cute and most fit perfectly in the pages. Plus they were delivered in two days... this Project Life stuff is going to be a breeze!
*Oh! AND! I just found out that mine and Blake's wedding will be featured in the January issue of 417 Magazine. How exciting! <3
Until next time!
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
The final installment! Our reception went by even faster than our ceremony, it seems. We got out of there pretty fast, though. We nixed dancing in favor to head home a little early. With a wake up call at 4:30 am, and a flight to Orlando leaving at 7 am, we were dog tired and ready to sleep by the end of the day! Without further ado...
^^I want these chandeliers in my apartment. Is that too much to ask for?!
^^ Let me tell you, Hannah was the LIFE of the party. Girlfriend has no idea what Stranger Danger means.
^^ Our desserts were all homemade by our incredible family (and a few friends!) And boy... were those pies yummy.
^^ these Mickey/Minnie placemats were a total surprise! I still don't know who was behind this, but it was a cute little surprise to see at the reception!
^^ Why is dancing in front of a million people so awkward?! I seriously felt like we were back at a high school social or something. We picked "Real Love" by Beach House to dance to... it was perfect!
^^ I love this picture! We danced to "No One's Gonna Love You" by Band of Horses. If you listen to the lyrics, it's definitely not a great song to use at weddings... but uh, whatevs. Band of Horses is kiiiiind of me and my daddy's thing. So far, we've seen BOH three times together, and I'm so looking forward to more shows in the future. So, this is our song. The first time we saw BOH live, they started the show with an acoustic version of No One's Gonna Love You, so it seemed fitting to dance to the acoustic version, rather than the studio recording. Okay, story time is over. Onward!
^^ Like I said: Hannah was the life of the party. She LOVED twirling in her dress!
After leaving the wedding, we went through McDonalds for a coke and pumpkin pies... classy! The people in the drive through looked at us funny since I was in the passengers seat with this huge white dress shoved into a little car. But, this is just one of those silly memories that I'll always have!
Thank you for taking a little peek at our special day! I'm so excited to finally have these photos in my hands - I seriously look at them every day! As always - thank you, Elise, for being so fabulous. It was a rainy, dreary day, and you never let me get down about it. I'm so thankful for you and Ethan!
xo Haley Tucker