Monday, December 30, 2013

2 0 1 3 / / 2 0 1 4

 2013, you've been mighty good to us, but my oh my, are we so happy to see you go. I'm excited for what 2014 holds for us! So, here I am bidding my goodbye to a super good year. 
 February was the month of hot pink hair that faded into the most perfect candy colored pastel pink. Oh, how I miss that.
 In addition to two trips to Arkansas to visit friends, Claire visited three times! Once with Abby for a fun girls weekend, and then the other trips were wedding related. I'm so glad that I got to see her so often this year. <3
I did not one, but TWO 5k's this year! I did the Color Run with my mom, mom-in-law and my boss and then did Color Me Rad a few weeks later. I had a blast, but I am NOT a runner and I don't see that changing any time soon! 
Breigh and I went to KC for a night to see Taylor Swift in August! I would hardly consider myself a Taylor Swift fan but geez, she is amazing live. Maybe it had something to do with how much she talks in between (and even during!) songs. She talked a lot about girl feelings. We have that in common.
In August, we signed the lease on our first apartment together. Since then, it's become much more of a home. I'm so happy with where are, and I can see us here for a few more years. And then after that we'll need a bigger place, because babies.
August also marked two years of working for one of the best families I have had the pleasure of knowing. These kids are growing up so fast and it kills me! I mean, Chloe was just shy of turning three when I started working and now, girlfriend is five and starting kindergarten next fall! I'm so in love with these kiddos and it's going to seriously suck when it's time to go. 
And of course, I married the man of my dreams this year. It's been an incredible three months so far. Also, we've been married three months! After 17 terribly slow months of planning, how did these past 3 go by so quickly?!
 We went to Disney this year! I am so grateful for that trip - I am always planning the next trip, though! We are Disney freaks.
I am so, so thankful for all that 2013 has been. It was an insanely easy year, and for that I have been blessed beyond measure. And for all the blessings that I have had this year, I am most grateful for the well being of Breigh. As you may recall, she had her first brain surgery last December and had her second surgery in May. Almost immediately after coming home from her second surgery she started having seizures and had a lengthy hospital stay to get all of that under control. After that, she couldn't drive for a long period of time (nearly 6 months) due to the seizures, and to her, it was as if her independence had been stripped from her. Well, Breigh has now been seizure free for six months and is officially back behind the wheel. ;) I'm so grateful for her life and her friendship. And I'm SO thankful for all of your thoughts and prayers you have spared for her. I can't think of anyone more deserving of all of that love. (Love you forever Breighann!)

See ya later 2013!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

tis the season!

Merry Christmas! 
(and Happy New Year, of course)
Love, the Tuckers. <3

*we got our first holiday card from Tiny Prints,
and the quality is incredible!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Faith, ducks and other such things.

(this is my favorite photo of the Duck Dynasty guys. Willie and Jase on the left!) *via*

Honestly, there's not a lot I can say about this topic that hasn't already been said. At this point, it is almost a waste of time to type this out and publish it; what needs to be said has already been said, and whatever else can be said, I couldn't possible put into eloquent enough words to get my opinion across. But I'm going to try anyway.
If you'd rather not read through all of this (it is incredibly lengthy, I hate to admit), here are some beyond fantastic links to read:
- "The Duck Thing: Is There Another Way?" (my favorite read so far!)
- "What You Believe About Homosexuality Doesn't Matter"
- "How to Respond to the Duck Dynasty Controversy"
- "Dear Kids: What You Need to Know About Duck Dynasty, Justine Sacco, and Christmas"

I actually had to remove myself from this whole situation for a few days. I tweeted a smidge about it, I made a tiny facebook status (and it was more about the Christian response rather than the actual situation), and I wrote pretty much an entire blog post in my notes section of my phone in an effort to not blog about this.
I was texting with Breigh on Thursday night discussing all of it; we're on the same page, the comments are insanely inappropriate for a Christian man to be saying (I'll get to that later), and there's so much we want to say, but should we? Should we add to the over saturated Christian response? Our response is much different than the overwhelming majority on Facebook lately. We do not stand with Phil. (I wouldn't even go as far to say that I stand with A&E either, but that's another can of worms.)
The Bible says that peacemakers inherit the kingdom of Heaven. By voicing my opinion on someone else's opinion, am I a peacemaker? Should my thoughts be heard?
My decision on this was a resounding "yes." My opinion SHOULD be heard. It may be an unpopular religious opinion, sure. But it is my opinion, I am entitled to it, and I'm going to make it known. The reason? Because all of the Christians I am seeing in these past few days are not acting very Christlike in their responses.

First of all, the controversy surround Phil Robertson's interview with GQ has hit pretty close to home for me. I'm ashamed, ashamed, ashamed of my past regarding religion and homosexuality. I touched on it a little bit (here), but in short, I went through a deeply unnecessary holier than thou phase and pushed my (gay) best friend away because of his sin. I told him it was wrong. But truly, it was because I didn't understand. I'm a heterosexual female, how can I even begin to understand the life of a homosexual man in a small town in Missouri? How can I understand the hardships, the ridicule, the emasculation of men the public shoves in their faces with sweeping generalizations.
And I realize - this is probably the same way Phil sees things. He's a 70 year old straight male from backwoods Louisiana, how else did we expect him to respond?
The backlash of his comments were not unfounded or even surprising. You don't say the things he said and, for lack of better phrasing, get away with it. Especially when you say these things to a magazine who, I'm willing to bet, has a very large homosexual readership (you cannot tell me someone didn't at least brief him on that tiny little fact beforehand!).
And then there was a huge outcry when A&E made a (smart) business decision to remove him (not the entire show!) from their programming. To them, it's black and white - it's a business decision, and they are running a business. They can hire and fire at will, and at their own discretion. But dear Lord, the number of Facebook fan pages that cropped up in support of Phil (I STAND WITH PHIL!!1!!!!1) and the insane amount of images being shared about Phil's freed of speech being infringed upon - it was all just so unnecessary.
My former youth pastor (and the pastor at our wedding) tweeted the following:

"It's fine if you 'stand with Phil' ... so do I. But are YOU this vocal when it comes to standing with Jesus?"

I couldn't agree more. Someone sticks up for their faith, there is a backlash, Christians run to support them (we've seen this many times over, most prominently with Chick-Fil-A, and now Duck Dynasty). But what I'm finding from all of this is sickening when you discover that these Christians are rarely this vocal when it comes to the life of Jesus. 
I think, sometimes, we mistake supporting public figures who speak of biblical things as standing up for the word of God and for the life of Jesus. This isn't the case, at all. If we are standing up for Christ, we need to do it on a daily basis. Not just when the latest public figure who speaks words you've found in the Bible says something that outrages all sides of the general public. 
So Phil says homos just aren't logical (hey, it's biblical, right?!). A&E suspends him for his comments (a fair justification, I might add), and Christians get PISSED. 
Jesus comes into the world, a mere baby, lives an incredible life (sin free, amongst the lowest of the low in society), died for YOUR sins (and even for those homos you speak so highly of!), and yet He gets two holidays where we recognize His life and work and then go back to our own lives. And even then, those two days a year are over run by Santa and the Easter Bunny. 
Where is the overwhelming gratitude for Christ's life? Where is the outrage that a man died for our sins, and yet we continue to sin every day?! Why are we not THIS vocal when we read our daily bible study... when we hear God speaking to us during our moments of silence, when we stop and think about what our salvation truly means? 
Why, instead, are we sitting here, arguing back and forth whether or not our salvation is given to us freely by a man so selfless to die, or if other have to earn their salvation because they live another way than us? 

Jesus said that our beliefs would set us apart from the world. That we would be hated, persecuted for our faith. Do I think that when He said this that He meant suspension from a multi million dollar television contract constituted as persecution? No. No way ever. Saying this is persecution of religious faith is greatly, greatly minimizing those who are ACTUALLY being persecuted. There are missionaries in other countries, people who have faith in places where it is illegal to proclaim the name of God. They are being kidnapped, hurt, and murdered for their faith in Christ. Yet, some Christians in the safe comfort of America, where we have complete religious freedom, have the audacity to call suspension from a television show "religious persecution." 
I don't understand. My heart breaks for those who have lost loved ones to actual persecution, and have to endure the ignorance that people spew daily. My heart breaks continually, knowing this reaction that A&E's decision has brought about is not how a Christ follower should behave. The back and forth "gay people are bigger sinners than me!" and "they shouldn't be allowed the same freedoms as me!" is not an example of Christlike love. And now, I am beginning to understand why so many ridicule the Christian faith. 

I can understand why people are upset.
A whole group of people are rightfully offended by a man's choice of words. Right, his choice of words. Not his beliefs, nor his religious zeal. No. His blatant choice of disgusting words. When you have the gall to use words such as "the blacks" and describing a "woman's vagina" to be much more pleasing "than a man's anus," YEAH, you're gonna get some negative feedback. How could you not? 
I'm angry. As a person who simply loves human life - I am angry with his choice of words. As a Christian - I am angry with his choice of words. (Also, saying, "come on dude, it's just not logical" to a gay man is offensive any way you slice it.)

So my question is, where is the uproar for Jesus? Why don't we tweet about His life and His words the way we tweet about how we need to OMGboycottA&E. Why don't we share scripture and words of genuine encouragement the way we share images of a creepy bearded dude with the words "I stand with Phil" attached? 
Do you stand with Jesus the way you stand with Phil? 
Or do you simply pick and choose what you stand for when the general Christian audience decides that a multimillion dollar company has been wronged? 

If you made it this far, thank you. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


The winter sads have hit me pretty hard this past weekend. And really, for no reason at all. At least not to my knowledge. It's been a mix of feeling really out of place, as I tend to feel quite often, and a very odd feeling of inadequacy. I'm not sure what brought this on, but all of a sudden I felt like I wasn't doing anything right. That I was a disappointment. That I couldn't please anyone, especially since I wasn't happy with myself.
I feel like I'm constantly trying to prove my worth to someone... anyone, even to myself.
That I'm a capable person - that I can be independent, a good friend, an even better wife. Lately, I'm feeling as if I'm a failure in all of those categories.f
I think a lot of this stems from a lack of love that I feel for myself at times. It feels weird to say that out loud (or type it, for that matter), it sounds awful but it's true. I'm sure a lot of people can relate, but I go through periods of self doubt and lately it has really been getting to me. I've had an awful, sorry for myself, woe is me attitude lately and the guilt I feel over feeling those emotions are making the entire situation even worse.
I try so hard to not let this feeling of insecurity and unhappiness show. But sometimes I get so tired of fighting it off. I just want to throw my arms up and say, "I give up. I'll just be sad all the time." But that's not the way it works, I guess.
I'm trying to find peace in God to overcome whatever has a hold on my emotions right now. To let go of it, and let God take care of everything. I give out this advice so often to those who are hurting, and yet I'm the worst when it comes to taking my own advice. I hate letting go of control - I need that control over my life. And yet, that's not what faith is about.
All of this has been a great lesson of my faith and how I can strengthen it. I'm always looking to learn more about how I can better the relationship I have with Christ; always yearning to have a more personal relationship with Jesus. And this season is taking a toll on my spirits. But I'm working on it.
Some days, you just need to vent about it and then cry it all out, you know?

Anyway, enough of the sad stuff.
Here's some photos from this past weekend.

01. A date night at our favorite local spot to celebrate three full years of calling him mine. We drank hot chocolate, ate crepes, and I wore red lipstick. For the record, I wore a dress and he wore a Nightmare Before Christmas t-shirt. If that doesn't tell you anything about our relationship....
02&03. I tried out my very first Lush bath bomb this weekend. The first one I tried (and the one that is pictured) was the Fox in the Flowers - it smelled wonderful and looked beautiful, but I hated cleaning the flowers out of the bathtub afterwards. The second I tried was the butterball. SO much better. My skin was so soft after!
04. This post is sponsored by inappropriate guilty pleasure magazines, bubble baths, ibuprofen and my lack of fertilized eggs. (tmi, I know, I know, but seriously)
05. Sunday night we made a stop at Hurts Donut before heading home so that we could have donuts for breakfast. It was the best decision we could have ever made.
06. We saw Frozen yesterday afternoon. Another great decision. I can imagine that I will be singing all of the songs for the next few months. I mean, Disney can do no wrong. And now I want to go to Disney World. UGH. LIFE.

**I posted a little about this on Instagram earlier, and I'm thankful for the response that it received. I'm extremely grateful for all of the kind hearts that I have met through social media. I can't think of better friends than you gals who are a constant source of encouragement. <3

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

snow day.

We are on day six (!!) of snow days. Of course, Blake has been working, as usually, so it's only me that has been getting snow days, but we've been making the most out of the time we have at home together during this winter weather! We've had a lot of movie marathons (including, but not limited to, Home Alone, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Spring Breakers...) (Also, don't watch Spring Breakers), we had a big breakfast for dinner, ate lots of popcorn, and cleaned the house. Before Blake left for work the other day, he left a list of chores for me to do. WHAT. I'm not a child! But, luckily, this list included decorating the tree in the kitchen (the photo above!), unloading and wrapping a bunch of gifts we'd bought while in St. Louis, and unloading the dishwasher. Easy enough. ;) 
^^ our home! it's so cute in the snow. 
And with our big white Christmas tree in the window... 
sometimes I have to pinch myself, I'm so happy this is my home.
We've had a good couple of days. I'm excited to get back to work, though. I miss my kiddos! I left very quickly on Thursday in order to stop by the grocery store before the snow started, and I didn't really get to say goodbye to my babies!

The snow has finally stopped (for the time being, at least. I think we're supposed to get a little more on Friday?!), and I'm so thankful for that break and for the sunshine that's popped out this morning. I think snow is pretty just as much as the next person, but dear Lord, force me to drive in it and I'll choke! So, here's hoping that I never have to drive in this again! It's official: I'm moving to Florida and I'm working at Disney World for the rest of forever. ;) Or as I told Blake, we can move to New York, and that's just fine even in their harsh winters because as long as I don't have to drive in it, I'm good!

Have a happy Tuesday! I hope you're staying warm and cozy!
xo Haley

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Baby, It's Cold Outside + PL Update

HOLY FUDGE. Right now it's a chilly 23 degrees out, with a real feel temp of 11, and sheets and sheets of ice raining from the sky. This is awful and I hate winter.
I drove to work this morning, with the only symptom of winter weather being the frigid cold, but a few hours into my day, I'm getting a call from my boss that as soon as she gets home, I need to leave so I don't get stuck out at their house (of course, I've yet to move a good portion of my things from their nanny apartment, so I could probably get snowed in for a week and survive pretty well, ha!).
Anyway. First thing that pops into my head, is YES, I'M GOING HOME EARLY! Second, Shoot, I have to drive home in this crap. So what do I do? I call my doting husband to come pick me up.*

Now, I'm snuggled into the couch with lots of blankets, a big mug of hot chocolate, and all the lifetime movies Netflix and Hulu have to offer. The 4-6" of ice that they're calling for? Well. I'm not so scared of it, now that I'm in the warm comfort of my home (thank you Jesus that I have a home, of course). It's actually quite lovely to watch when I know that I don't have to be out in that junk.

I thought I'd share a little Project Life stuff I've been working on. Forgive me, because they are all iPhone photos poorly edited due to crappy dining room light, but whatevs.
I'm working on more PL today, since I had more photos printed (and I bought a new kit! That I did not need!). I'm excited that Project Life will probably be the majority of my next 5 days.
The following pages come from my mini album. It was originally intended for my first year of marriage album, but it proved to be too small and restricting, so I'm now using it for wedding photos. I haven't gone through the album and journaled or even filled in most of the pages, honestly. So it's not even close to being done! Here's a peek:

So that's what I've got so far! I'm pretty excited about it, even though it's definitely a beginner's album. 
A few products used:
SN@P by Simple Stories 6x8 binder + page protectors 
Project Life 5th & Frolic Edition Core Kit
PL Sunshine Edition Core Kit
PL Midnight Edition Core Kit
+ a few other random bits and pieces I found at our local scrapbook store. 
(We R Memory Keepers is a favorite of mine!)

I hope you are able to stay in and stay warm this weekend! I can bet you anything I will spend the next few days permanently stationed on the couch. My only wish is that our fireplace wasn't just for looks... 
xo Haley 

*I attribute this fear of driving in winter weather to my father. He very rarely let me drive in snow/ice, nor was I ever taught *how* to drive in it, which is a-okay with me, I'd prefer to just stay in and avoid it all! Blake thought all this would end when we got married, but jokes on him! My dad even texted me early this morning with the following message, "I hope you are staying in and off the roads today." And usually, when the weather is like this, he adds on, "if you need a ride anywhere, let me know, I'll come get you." -- but today is a sick day for pops, and he's out of commission (DARN.)