Friday, January 31, 2014


This is an oddly large photo of my face...

Reading A random book I picked up in Barnes and Noble last Sunday called Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey. It has the Rachel Held Evans stamp of approval (she wrote the foreword), and I loved Evans' book (A Year of Biblical Womanhood), so I thought I'd give this one a try. So far, loving it. My reading goal this year was to read 5 books, and I was hoping to make those 5 mostly fiction since I tend to lean toward nonfiction, but I couldn't pass this one up. The next one I read will definitely be fiction! (I downloaded both The Fault in Our Stars and Gone Girl, so I just need to decide which to read!)

Watching nothing at the moment, but as soon as Aubrey (one of the other nannies!) finishes her test for one of her classes, we are turning on the American Horror Story: Coven finale! I've been itching to watch it, but haven't had the time. I even looked at a full recap (oops!) so I know what happens. But still!

Anticipating a weekend long Scrapbook Retreat with my mom. I swear, I'm turning into my mom! A few weeks ago I did a 12 hour crop with her and her friends, and now we are all going on a weekend trip JUST to scrapbook! It's a group of around 15 ladies, and they do "Secret Sister" and get gifts for each other throughout the weekend. Yesterday, I started picking up gifts for my Secret Sister, and I'm getting so excited! Such a dork. I am such a dork. 

Listening to a couple of new things, but mostly the new Warpaint album. It is pure GOLD. I love every bit of it. I love all girl bands. Hashtag girl power, y'all! Also working on my February playlist. It's got lots of lovey songs. And of course, a few not so lovey songs. Because breakups make the best song writing material, right T. Swift?!

Eating well, this is embarrassing. I had 40 minutes to spare this morning on my way to work, so I stopped by a couple places to grab some breakfast. I went to Panera and couldn't decide between a danish or a bacon/spinach souffle.... So I got both. And then I went to Mama Jeans (my newest guilty pleasure!) and got some fresh juice. Every time I've gone, I've always gotten the Bloody Mary juice (tomato, celery, parsley, lemon, kale, sea salt & cayenne), but this time I tried the Make Mama Proud (apple, lime, kale, cilantro, cucumber, celery). It's good, but I definitely prefer Bloody Mary.

Working on Project Life! I mean, when am I not, right? But I'm trying to get ahead of myself and work on future pages. Which is hard to do when you don't have photos. But I think working ahead and knowing what kinds of pictures I will need will help out... I don't know. I may just be digging myself a hole and will never actually put photos in it. Who knows.

Wishing for the weekend! But hey! It's Friday, so the weekend is basically here. Here's a Flashback Friday photo just for fun:
Prom! Senior Year! This was before all the crazy tattoos, weird haircuts, and boy, were we skinny! ;)

Also! Update on Breigh: I mentioned this on Instagram a few days ago, but wanted to talk about it a little more here. Breigh was in the hospital all last week for flu/kidney disease stuff, and while she was there she had a seizure. Over Thanksgiving, she received full driving privileges back since she had been seizure free for 6 months. So, after being completely, totally seizure free for nearly  9 months, it was kind of a shock that she had a seizure out of nowhere. They released her (the day before her birthday!), all was well, etc. etc. Then, Sunday night she was admitted again because she started having more seizures, and this time they were longer and more intense. I'm not sure how many seizures she had in all, but it was a LOT. Anyway, late Tuesday night she was released from the hospital, and not only from the hospital, but straight from the Neuro ICU. I talked to Breigh and she says the doctors know that the seizures are not any form of epilepsy, but are most likely stress induced and just start happening when her body is exhausted. They are slowly weaning her off of seizure meds and she's at home recovering. Seriously, this is an answered prayer. She's not out of the woods yet, as I talked to her yesterday and right now she's just living in fear that a seizure will happen at any moment. We are going to get together soon for a girls night. No stress, no drama, just us, some ice cream and Hart of Dixie. Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers! It's meant the world, not only to Breigh, but to me. You are all the sweetest! <3

Happy Weekend!
xo Haley

Monday, January 27, 2014

Music Monday?

I don't do these sorts of things. Like, ever.
But this? This is an occasion I'll make an exception for. :)

Lana Del Rey is one of my favorites, if not my ~*all time favorite (no joke). Her voice, her overall look... The woman is amazing.
I didn't watch the Grammy's last night, but as soon as I made my daily stop on Facebook this morning, I kept seeing that the new trailer for Maleficent was released and it featured a very well known Disney princess song - sung by my favorite pop princess. I about died.
I had no idea she was contributing music to the film, so this was like heaven on earth for the 1.5 minutes that the trailer lasted.
Apparently there are a lot of people who aren't fans of it (something to do with a lyric change? Plus overall disdain for Lana's music style), but holy crap. It's so good. I think that the original Disney version is perfect the way that it is. It's got a very dreamy-happy feel to it, and that works for the animated nature of the movie. But Lana's version is dark and matches the tone of Maleficent so well. It's the perfect match!

Anyway, have a listen, take a look at the trailer, oogle over the perfection that is Lana Del Rey.
I'll just be sitting here listening to it on repeat.... :)

Happy Monday!

*** it's available via Google Play for free download now through February 3. If you are an Apple user, all you have to do is set up a "Google Wallet" and you're free to download. After that, you are free to download it to your computer and add to your iTunes library. :)

Sunday, January 26, 2014


01 / / With our combined work schedules, Blake and I see each other a lot less these days. This week was especially insane, since we both worked a little extra - we didn't have dinner together once this week! So we decided to sleep in and go get a big breakfast this morning. Best decision. I love the time we have to just sit and talk. We don't do a lot of that these days and we so, so should.

02 / / My BFF Cassie is attending the Grammy's tonight! She was asked by her agency to be a seat filler, so when the celebrities get up to accept awards/go pee/etc, she will sit in their seat until they get back. She just sent me the picture of her all done up for tonight... she looks GORGE. My baby girl is all grown up!

03 / / Christmas stuff is officially gone. I (slowly) started putting it all away earlier last week and Blake finally made me do the rest this afternoon. Sigh. I'll miss you, Christmas tree.

04 / / Our poor kitty has had it rough these past few weeks! A few weeks ago, we found out that she's a he. And then he had a bladder infection. And after recovering from that, I think he's got another! I'm feeling like a really bad cat mama right now. :/ On the bright side: he really enjoyed cuddling and watching Dawson's Creek the other night! ;)

Tonight's one of those nights that I wish I had television (like, regular channels instead of just our Apple TV). Not only is the Bachelor Sean & Catherine wedding on (!!! I love weddings), but the Grammy's (in which Cassie will be attending, as mentioned) will be on tonight as well! I'm feeling like I'm missing out on a lot! Luckily, I *believe* both will be on our Apple TV to watch tomorrow night.
ANYWAY. I'm going back to cleaning and rearranging furniture. Sunday's are great days, I'm figuring out. 

<3 Haley

Friday, January 24, 2014

girl things.

So, makeup is one of my favorite things. Just the other day, I was in Ulta (HEAVEN ON EARTH) and the lady at the Benefit counter and I were going on and on about how much we love experimenting with different brands.
Mind you, I'm no expert, and very rarely do I actually experiment with makeup techniques. I'm all for trying new brands, new kinds of makeup, but when it comes to what works technique-wise: if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it.
SO. I thought I'd share the contents of my makeup bag(s) and write a little about each product. Like I said: I am not the authority on makeup and I am not even close to being an expert. Half the time I don't look like I'm wearing any at all. So there's that.

First off, I have taken horrible care of my skin since day one. I rarely take off my makeup at night, much less wash my face more than once a day when I'm in the shower. So, when my skin started freaking out I decided I needed to take some action and figure it all out. I am a simple gal when it comes to skincare. I have used Cetaphil for the past few years, without much problem other than the occasional PMS breakout. More recently (like two days ago), I switched over to Benefit's skincare line and so far, I'm LOVING it. I initially purchased the Intro Kit, which consists of Foamingly Clean Facial Wash, Refined Finish Facial Polish (used 2-3 times a week, like a face mask), Moisture Prep Toning Lotion, Triple Performing Facial Emulsion (this is SPF 15, I haven't used this yet), It's Potent Eye Cream, and Total Moisture Facial Cream. The full size versions of everything are much more expensive than what I'd rather pay, but I have a feeling it'll be way worth it.

1. Prime Time Brightening Formula by Bare Minerals. This was a fairly recent purchase, I've only been using it for about 2 months, but I LOVE it. It's much like BM's original Prime Time formula, but it's got a sheerness to it, and it's not a gel-ish as the original.
2. The POREfessional by Benefit. I started using this when I started getting tired of using Bare Minerals. It claims to minimize the appearance of pores, and while I didn't notice a huge difference, my mom said that she could tell a huge difference in the overall look of my makeup. The Porefessional, when used with the Porefessional Agent Zero Shine powder is AMAZING. Plus, the texture of it is so soft!
3. Prime Time Foundation Primer by Bare Minerals. I don't use this one as much anymore, but I keep it around 'just in case'. This one was my old stand by until I was introduced to the Brightening Formula. However, if you don't like the Brightening formula, this is an amazing primer.
4. Clean Slate Poreless 12-hour Perfecting Primer by Tarte. This one I'm iffy on, and I'm glad I received as a free sample. As a "poreless" primer, I most definitely prefer Porefessional; this one doesn't even compare. But I keep it around anyway, another 'just in case' primer.

1. Amazonian Clay 12-hour Full Coverage Foundation by Tarte. Okay, I have to brag on this foundation for a sec. HOLY CRAP, it's good. I have been a faithful user of Bare Minerals for going on 3 years now. This past Thanksgiving, my aunt and I went to a beauty store and she ended up buying this foundation. We all tried it on the next day and, well, I ended up ordering some that night. I have used it every day since then and can't see myself switching to anything else anytime soon. They aren't lying about the full coverage part! It's incredible. I can't recommend this enough. (Also? So worth the price. So worth it.)
2. HD Photogenic Concealer (in green) by NYX. I have only recently started using this, and only use it when I have a lot of redness going on. This works wonders covering red spots, breakouts, etc. I've tried other tinted concealers, and this one is by far the best that I've tried. Plus, it's cheap. Can't beat that!
3. Amazonian Clay 12-hour Waterproof Concealer by Tarte. This concealer (so pricey..ugh) is what I use on the days that I'm not using the NYX concealer. I have a feeling that once I run out of this, I won't buy it again. That's not to say that I don't like it; it actually works very well with the Amazonian clay foundation. It's just got a strange, almost sticky texture that I'm not a fan of.
4. The Buffer Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation Brush by Tarte. This brush. This brush. I never imagine using a brush like this with a cream foundation, but oh my stars. When putting on my makeup, I usually put a few swipes of foundation on my skin, then I use this brush to blend it in all over my face. It helps spread out the foundation without having to use a ton of it. This brush is what makes the foundation worth the price!

Face, part two.
1. Color Wheel Mosaic Face Powder by NYC. I originally bought this purely for the highlighter element to it. I was really looking for a bronzer, but I ended up going with this anyway. So far, I'm liking it. It adds a tiny bit of color, and it's extremely subtle, which I love.
2. FIT me blush (in medium mauve) by Maybelline. I am SUCH a sucker for cheap makeup. As much as I love experimenting with higher end makeup, there's nothing like finding a cheap option that works just as well. That said, I'm not that picky when it comes to blush, but this is by far my favorite out of the many I've tried down the beauty aisles of Target. Medium Mauve is also my favorite shade I've tried - it's extremely pink, if that's what you're into. :)
3. Stick Blush (in 06 Orchid) by NYX. I totally bought this for $1 at Urban Outfitters on a total whim. It is now a staple in my makeup bag. Absolutely, hands down a must have for everyone. I forced my aunt to try it and she loves it, too! I swipe it on, blend it with my fingers, then use my powder blush on top. These two colors (Orchid and the FIT Medium Mauve) compliment each other so well, and gives the perfect pink tint.

1. Perfect Point Plus eyeliner by Covergirl. This is just what I'm currently using, and what I used to use religiously in high school (and whoa baby, did I use it. Can anyone say way too heavy black eyeliner?!). I've been on a kick of pencil liner, but I ran out and wanted to try something different. I don't have many complaints when it comes to eyeliner, but this one does tend to get really smudgey (is that a word?) throughout the day.
2. Prime Time Brightening Eyelid Primer by Bare Minerals. I LOVE this stuff. It's great as a primer, but I generally use it by itself on work days when I just need something quick to brighten my eyes (getting up at 5:30 is rough, man). I bought this in a Bare Minerals eye makeup kit that was like $30. This stuff alone retails for $18, and I'm not so sure that I would pay full price for that. Sigh. Expensive makeup, why you gotta do me like this?!
3. They're Real! Mascara by Benefit. I swear by this stuff. I've used all different kinds of drugstore mascaras, but this stuff? So good. I've seen a lot of mixed reviews about this mascara, but it's got the Haley Stamp of Approval (for whatever that's worth..). A lot of times I'll use a different mascara (like L'Oreal's Voluminous Original) first, then use They're Real on top. It's a piece of cake and my eyelashes are a dream. Only the occasional mishap will leave me with spider lashes, but hey. Seventeen Magazine told me that was trendy again.
4. Lights, Camera, Flashes mascara by Tarte. I got the sample size in my stocking this year for Christmas! It's alright. I had such high hopes for it (since I love Tarte), but it fell kind of flat for me. It's another one of those 'just in case' items that I keep around.

And last, but certainly not least.. my secret weapon.
Hands down the best lip balm of my life. And by far the most important thing in my makeup bag! I got this as a birthday gift from my cousin(in law) Morgan, and I use it all the time. Mostly, I use it first thing in the morning when I'm getting ready for the day. I put it on right after washing my face, and by the time I'm ready for lipstick (if I'm wearing any that day), my lips are soft and no longer peeling, perfect for applying lipstick.
I have a lot of trouble with my lips. Last summer, for a solid two months, I had a bad case of Winter Lips. They were constantly chapped and peeling, often spreading to the skin around my lips. It was gross, painful and just all around awful. It took all of my will power to not chew on my lips all day and make them even worse. But then Morgan walked in like an angel and gave me this lip balm and changed my life. Two days after using it regularly, my lips were no longer peeling. And they haven't peeled since! It's seriously the most incredible. It has other uses for dry skin, not just for lips. So yeah, best product of my life.

This has been long enough.
I want to hear about what's in YOUR makeup bag. Please share! Blog about it, leave me a comment, Instagram it, whatever. I want to see! (I'm nosy and I love makeup, so do it!)
Thanks for peeking at my girly indulgences! <3


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

My Disney (Project Life) Album

My Disney album is finally complete! Well, for the most part. I still have a bit of journaling to do, and a few more photos need to be put in their places, but other than that, it's ready to be put on our coffee table to be shown off! ;) I'd like to say that my mom and I worked on this together, but she did all the work! I simply provided the photos and Disney memorabilia! 
Other than the Disney-themed papers and my (iPhone) photos, we used things we acquired during our trip. I kept EVERYTHING. Our airline boarding passes, ticket stubs, fast passes that we didn't use, menus, brochures, receipts.... seriously, everything. It was so fun deciding where to put all the little things inside the book! 
I didn't choose to share the entire book today, just some of my favorite pages. Hope you enjoy! 

I'm so happy with how this turned out! My mom has been scrapbooking for as long as I can remember, so naturally she's gotten better with time. It's so funny looking back on her old albums which were so generic, and now she's the master of "junking it up," as she likes to say. ;) 
Seriously, though. I hope that I acquire a fraction of her crafty talent in the coming years! I better get to practicing. Thanks for taking a look at my honeymoon album! <3
Products used: 
"Say Cheese" by Simple Stories papers and ephemera 
4x4 Instagram prints from Printstagram
SN@P by Simple Stories 6x8 album & sheet protectors
Rhonna Designs app to put text on iPhone photos

Sunday, January 19, 2014


01 / / What an awful photo to represent this week. I'll be honest, I absolutely did not even think to take photos this week. Like at all! So here we are, a photo I took last night to text to Blake.

02 / / About the photo: As you (probably) know, I have been doing Project Life for the past few months. I'm just now getting the hang of things. I was doing pretty well with the weekly page layouts, but I simply failed to make time to do it all that often. SO now that it's a new year, I'm starting over and I'm only going to put together pages for the bigger life events. (And you know, some small ones, too, whenever the mood strikes to do PL. But I'm not going to create any insane rules to follow for this hobby.) Yesterday, I did an all day crop with my mom. ALL DAY! 12 hours of scrapbooking! I ended up finishing a *huge* total of 3.5 layouts. This is one of them. Since it's the beginning of the year, I made a '2014' title page and a layout covering my goals for the year. I also made a layout about my cat. I mean, how could I not?! I am going to share these layouts soon, I'm pretty excited!

03 / / I've been rewatching American Horror Story (season 1, not any of that junk that they called Asylum. UGH). I have LOVED season 3 so much, and am sad to see it end next week! I'm also getting so excited for season 4 - rumors are flying around that it will have a circus theme, but from what I've read, it takes place in the 1950s and Jessica Lange is working on her German accent... so I'm not so sure the circus thing is happening. But I would love to see that in a future season!

04 / / Blake and I have been discussing our next Disney trip. I know, I know! Another trip. But we've been itching to go at Christmas time, and we thought this would be the perfect anniversary/Christmas gift to each other. We've been crunching the numbers for the past week, and are starting our Disney savings jar! (We need to put it right next to the Haley-needs-a-new-car-fund, too. ;)

Hope you have a good week! Things are looking pretty slow around here this week, not too terribly eventful. But those are the kind of weeks I live for! <3 See you soon!


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A million and a half thank you's

Here is a photo of me holding some juice. Because it's not a real blog post if there's not at least one picture, right? 

I don't even know what to say.
I'm absolutely astounded by the support I've received from all of you that read my post yesterday. I received the most genuine and encouraging comments, texts, emails... Oh, the emails. I'm so glad I decided to add my email address at the bottom of the post. Countless women took that opportunity to message me and so many of them poured their hearts out to me. They trusted ME with their stories of love and heartbreak, and of encouragement. I am in awe. I'm truly not worthy of this blessing. Your support means the world. Honestly.
It was an insane day, on Monday. As soon as I posted, I immediately began receiving messages and texts and comments on Facebook. Many people shared the blog post, and in the past 30-some odd hours, my blog has seen nearly 3,000 views. I can't even. (To some, this is not a lot... but compared to the 5,000 that I received in the entire month of December, it's kiiiiind of incredible.)

I'm just grateful that so many chose to tell me their stories, to offer encouragement. And thank you for simply agreeing that this message of purity needs to be revisited, shaken up a little bit, and spun a different way. That in itself reminds me (and reignites!) my passion for sexual purity integrity. I have such a love for the young women who commit themselves to Christ, heck - I have a love for the human race, in general. But my passion, my purpose is to inspire and encourage these young women in church today! I am continuously grateful for the platform that God has provided to me; the experiences, the sadness, the joy - all of it has been worth it if I can help one girl through her trials.

As I mentioned in my post, I've been working on rooting through my bookmarks and compiling a list of my favorite resources on this topic. I thought I'd share here a few of my favorites. Please read through some of them! They are so worth it.

-Unanimous Roar: a lot of these articles are a tad old (I mean, not ancient, but from early 2013), but man, they are good. I was going to link to just one, but couldn't pick. So here are two that I particularly enjoyed. (One & Two)
-Set Apart Girl: This isn't always directly related to the message of sexual purity, but I find this organization inspiring. This website is an online publication for young women, with bi-monthly magazines available online for free. I've read through a few lately, and I'm loving it! And I'm an old married woman! ;)
-Lauren Nicole Love: An oldie but a goody, I turn to Lauren's blog whenever I need advice on this sort of topic. Girl has been through it all, and has come out of it with so much wisdom! This one is one of my all time favorites, but digging through her archives is always a treat.
- This is a funny take on the general lesson Christianity teaches our youth. And it is exactly the message I was hearing over and over. I hope this lesson soon fades out and is replaced with a radical lesson in what we CAN do, instead of what we CAN'T do. What we need is a lesson of our undeniable worth no matter what we've done, where we've been, what we've gone through. The Church has a lot of work to do on this topic, if you ask me! ;)
- THIS, a million times over. I can't recommend this article enough.
- The Good Women Project: This is an all around great resource for any woman, any age. It is now defunct, I believe, but it was run by Lauren (of Lauren Nicole Love), and was an incredible resource for me early in college. I was actually a mentor for them at one time! I loved this project with my whole heart. Definitely check out the archives!

Again, thank you for your kindness and your support. I will never be able to thank you enough for this blessing.

xo Haley

Monday, January 13, 2014

What they don't tell you.

Update: I just want to clarify something really quick! There is some confusion as to who "they" are, that I speak of in this post. "They" does not reflect anyone in particular, but mainly the general Christian outlook and teachings on sex and purity. This does not reflect the teachings of my parents or those of my church that I grew up in. Just wanted to clarify! Thank you SO much for the overwhelmingly positive response to this. I honestly was not expecting this at all! 

I attended church regularly growing up. In fact, I actually attend more now than I did in junior high and high school. But even so, I was pretty active in my high school youth group. I led Bible studies on Sunday nights, I hosted little girls groups in my home every now and then, and always made myself available when the younger girls needed someone to go to.
One memory I have of doing this was leading a Bible study on sexual purity when I was a 17.
I had no sexual experience, who did I think I was leading this study?
But that's the passion I had for sexual purity. I wanted everyone to know about this gift! (A gift that I had literally no idea about.)

Sexual purity is something I hold dear to my heart; it is something I rally for and I root for those who make the promise to themselves to stay abstinent.
But when I was in high school? What I was taught? That sort of sexual purity message is not what I want young women today to be taught. Why? Because that message failed me. It failed me miserably.

I was taught that sex is great, but it's for married couples. Okay, cool. I agree with that.
I was taught that if you wait, and you abstain from any and all sexual activity, God will be so pleased with you, He will bless your marriage immensely and He will bless your sex life - it'll be fireworks and magic. Even more so, I was always told that your wedding night will be the BEST. And was it? No. (More on this in a minute.)

In the end, has this message been correct?
Eh, maybe. The first part, yeah. I agree - waiting to have sex has saved me a lot of heartache in my youth. There were so many times where temptation arose and I had to back out of a relationship completely just to keep that promise to myself.
But the other stuff? That is where I have been failed.
During my dating days, I clung to that message. I held onto it for dear life, as if my purity was the only the only thing I was good for. Now that I'm married, and have been married for four months, I can sorrowfully say that no, my marriage and sex life has not been blessed.
And our wedding night? We didn't have sex. And you know what? I felt guilty about it. I felt ashamed. I felt as if I was already failing miserably as a Christian wife. This is my duty! Or so I had been told throughout my dating days. This is what we had been building up to, this is what we had been waiting for! This is supposed to be a blessing, not something that I cry over on my wedding night because I am so stressed out over my "wifely duty."
We have struggled so hard. We have gone months without sex, and we are newlyweds, for crying out loud! We should not be having this problem!
But this is our struggle. And my fear is that there are a lot of young couples struggling with this because they were taught the same, and not enough people are talking about this issue.
I walked into my marriage with a skewed vision of what sex would be like for us. For all I knew, some magical switch would turn on and I would be this perfect, sexy wife for my husband - because that was what a lot of Christian, married women were telling me. I figured that since I was married, and since sex was finally "allowed," I could somehow easily tap into the sexy side of me, or that I could easily forget all of the times when I was told sex is just a ploy to degrade women. But no, it's been so much harder than that. I mean, I imagined it would be difficult for us at first, but I didn't imagine that this struggle would follow us into nearly 6 months of marital bliss.

I was taught the fantastic lesson of modesty, but not because I'm a beautiful creation of God, but because my body is a stumbling block for men. I was not taught that modesty does not exactly apply in the bedroom, but I was taught that men view me as a sexual object and I need to dress modestly as to distract them from that, to keep them pure. It was my job to keep them pure. Is this the message I want my daughter to hear someday? No. I want my daughter to be modest, yes. I want her to dress tastefully, and keep the goods covered, yes. But do I want her to grow up being ashamed of her body? Of her sexual nature? HECK NO. Because this is part of what has failed me.

When it comes to sex, I am ashamed. Plain and simple.
I was not taught how to nurture the sexual being that I am, whilst living a Christlike life. It was as if the two cannot coexist peacefully, and that is so incredibly untrue!

So what can undo the damage that has already been done?
Well, nothing, really. And it saddens me to say that. But what I can do is teach my daughter, teach the young women who come to me for advice, I can teach them what I have learned from all of this. I can teach them that Jesus's grace covers all; our mistakes are covered; our desires, even the sexual ones!, are not sinful, our bodies are our own and not to be objectified by men - we shouldn't allow them to be.
I'm going to teach my daughter that sex is amazing, sex is something to treasure and it is an act that truly does glorify God (as weird and awkward as that sounds). It is a physical act that can bring you and your spouse closer, emotionally, physically and spiritually. It's an incredible gift. I will not teach her to be ashamed, I will not tell her that if she has desires that she is wrong and needs to pray for her sins. I will not tell her that she is not beautiful and that her body is a harmful sin-inducing vessel. But I will tell her that it was exquisitely crafted by our Savior, that it is meant for her husband's eyes, it is meant for procreation, and most of all - it is meant to bring her just as much pleasure as it brings her husband! We should not deny our sexual nature! God created us this way! It is us, fallible humans, who have distorted the beauty that Christ bestowed on us. We have made sex an ugly, sinful act. Christ did not do this, we did.
But I digress.
Simply put, I will not teach my daughter what I have been taught.


When I look at this issue in an honest way, I have no issue admitting that this is due, in part, to getting married at a young age. I don't think a lot of young couples realize the struggles that marriage will entail. My parents warned me over and over about how hard marriage is, and I took it as a grain of salt (I do recall the words, "but Blake and I are in love!" happening often). But in all honesty, as a newly married, young couple, we are here to tell you, honestly and openly - that marriage is hard. And there are a lot of contributing factors to this. And for us, sex is that struggle. But, the silver lining to this, is that things do get better, easier. Our problems are not yet solved - far from it - but we aren't struggling as much anymore. I'm so grateful for that, and looking forward to the day when I can say, yes, God has blessed my marriage because Blake and I honored God and waited until marriage.

Thank you for reading, if you made it this far. 
This is a message that I hold so close to me, as you can probably tell. I struggled for a long time whether or not I should share this, seeing as this is such a personal matter and one that I'm not even sure SHOULD be shared considering how private and intimate sex is between a husband and wife. BUT, with that said, I do believe that there is power in words that are often unspoken. And I truly, truly hope that whoever reads this will be blessed by these words and be encouraged by them. 
I'm in the process of gathering resources and links to articles that touch on this subject much more eloquently than I ever could. 
But, I am grateful that you have lent a listening ear today and humored me in my attempt to spread a message that so desperately needs to be spread. This is why I urge parents to be cautious of what they teach their daughters. Pray, pray, pray before you start telling her about abstinence and modesty. They are both fragile subjects,  that can either free us or cause incredible damage. 
I am sad that it has caused more harm than good, in my case, but I have been so blessed by a wonderfully patient husband, and for that I am so grateful. Thank you, Blake, for always loving me and caring for me the way Christ cares for His Bride.
As always, I'm always available to talk, answer questions, or just listen in general - never hesitate to email me! You can find me at ehaleytyson (at) gmail (dot) com. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014


01 / / Morgan (my cousin-in-law!) and I have matching coats, so obvi, we're the coolest when we walk down the street in our matching coats. ;)

02 / / I've been really looking into taking a Barre Method class here in Springfield. As far as I know, there's only one place in town that offers classes and it's like $15 per class, but it wouldn't hurt to just try it, right? If only I could find a partner to go with! (Hint, hint, nudge, nudge, local friends....)

03 / / So far, my reading quest of 2014 is not going so hot, but we're only two weeks in. So it's alright. Right?

04 / / I tried giving up coca-cola. I made it two days! New record! ;) I actually was trying hard to not drink it, and was doing alright, until a massive headache hit me yesterday. I even took a midday nap, and I NEVER take naps! I'll try again soon, because dang this stuff is not good for the body!


How has it been a week since my last post? Sometimes life just slips right through your fingers, doesn't it? We had a busy week over here, with my boss being on vacation, so I was with the kids every day this past week! It was hectic, but fun, especially with all the extra snow days and time off of their school and gymnastics schedules! 
Anyway, things are back to normal around here, and I'm looking forward a much, much more chill week. This week I'll be posting the blog that I mentioned last week that is extremely personal to me. After talking it over with Blake, I no longer feel like it's a burden on me anymore, and I just want to get it out there in the open. Blogging is very therapeutic sometimes! So! Have a wonderful week! The weather here is supposed to be consistently in the 40s/50s, so I can't do much complaining! :) 

xo Haley

Sunday, January 5, 2014


01 / / I'm sitting on a blog post that I have been contemplating posting for a few weeks now. It is something extremely close to me, as well as personal. I know that in the end I will post it, but I guess I'm just waiting for the correct manner and timing in which to do so. I joke all the time with Blake that I should save all this stuff for the book I'm going to write someday. ;)

02 / / I made eggless cookie dough this afternoon. And yum. Sometimes you just crave cookie dough, you know? That was today for me. So I sent Blake out in the inches and inches of snow to the grocery store so I could make my cookie dough. It was worth it.

03 / / Blake and I have watched a million movies lately, it seems! Among a few of our favorites were The Way Way Back (Steve Carrell is a major d-bag in this one), I Give It a Year (sappy chick flicks, you know), Mommie Dearest (always a favorite!), and of course, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (Super good, compared to the fourth installment in the series. Yuuuuuck).


You know how all those blog moms posted a photo of their children every week? Well. I don't have children, but I sure do have a home and a cat that I can post a weekly photo of, right? I think I'm going to do that this year. Sorry in advance. ;)

Stay warm tonight and tomorrow! It's going to be unbelievably cold here in Springfield tomorrow. Schools are closing due to the low temps (not to mention all the snow we've received in the past 24 hours). Stay in if you can! I'll just be here, enjoying my cookie dough. <3

Friday, January 3, 2014


Watching: Doc McStuffins. I'm on kid-duty today, and so ever since finishing breakfast, it's been a constant rotation of Doc McStuffins, Octonauts and Sofia the First. I love these kids, but I'm ready for real television again. ;) 

Listening to: One of the top played songs on my Spotify right now is probably The Bad in Each Other by Feist. I would binge listen to this song for a while last year, got sick of it, and now I'm starting the cycle all over again. Also, I won't lie, I listen to Miley's Bangerz a lot. Like, a lot. "Do My Thang" has become a must-listen for Blake and me every time we're in the car. We're the biggest dorks of all time, I'm sure. 

Thinking about: The busy week ahead! Amanda (the other nanny!) and I are on 24-hour kid watch all week long next week. It's fun, but exhausting. The little things make it so worth it, though. For instance, Chloe is cuddled up in the chair with me and softly said, "I can smell that you ate an orange...." They say the silliest things sometimes, and you can't help but giggle when they do. Even when they are annoying the crap out of you, and when you tell them 'no' for the millionth time, they always do something so funny and cute and you can't help but laugh with them. Sigh, I love kiddos. 

Trying to figure out: how to make our bedroom feel more like home. As of now, there's nothing on the walls - no photos, no art, nothing. That has to change! We found an Ikea bedframe we plan on purchasing, which will completely change the feel of the room, but for being a $100 bed, it would cost over $400 total to ship it to Missouri. SO, in that case -  Blake and I are making plans for a day trip to Dallas, TX soon to make a little old Ikea visit. Both Kansas City and St. Louis have Ikea stores in the works, so I'll be super grateful when they're open! However, the KC store is not due to open until this fall! (sad face!)
 -- also, I need to shower and I should've done it when Blake was here to watch the kids! Is this what motherhood is like?! 

Looking forward to: seeing the newest installment in the Paranormal Activity series tonight. I know, I know... I'm one of those people. The franchise started off really strong, the third one was absolutely incredible (in my humble opinion, that is), and the fourth fell completely flat. I've been waiting for this one for ages it seems, and since it's being billed as a "spin off" I'm hoping that it will give the series a new life. I'm not one to go into movies (any movie, not just scary ones!) not knowing what happens, so I've been stalking IMDB message boards for spoilers. I've found out a good bit of info about the movie, and it seems interesting so far... with a little tiny wtf thrown in the end. I'm anxious, to say the least! 

Reading: a million and a half free samples of books on my Nook. I downloaded a few of your suggestions (thank you for those!), and I'm starting in on the samples. So far, I've bought The Fault in Our Stars and Gone Girl, so we'll see if those get read this year. There's one in particular that I'm dying to read (it's a J-Law movie coming out soon!), but I just cannot get into the sample. So I'll keep you updated on this reading project! 

Making me happy: lots of things. But at the moment, I'm quite thankful for Reese's Christmas Trees to snack on, hot coffee to sip on, and listening to little ones giggle in the other room. Today is a slow day, and for that... I'm quite content at the moment. (But wish me luck and send lots of prayers my way come 3 pm - I have to fix gymnastics hair on 3 little girls for team photos this afternoon. I practiced with the help of my boss a few days ago, but that's so different from doing it all on my own!) 


Last week, Blake and I were able to sneak away for an hour or so to have lunch in Branson! We had been at his grandparent's lake house out on Table Rock Lake, so it wasn't a huge inconvenience to make our way into Branson before heading home. I'm so glad we did! It was such a gloomy day, but we went to the cutest little 50's themed diner, where the Beach Boys were on constant rotation on the jukebox - a perfect fix for a cloudy day. 
 ALSO! Our wedding had a little feature in the January issue of our local magazine, 417. You can view the article here, on the 417 Bride website. It's only mildly embarrassing that most of Springfield now knows that Blake and I first 'met' on MySpace. Oh the memories of my 17th year....

Hope you are having a great Friday, and I hope you have an even better weekend! We had a little bit of snow come in yesterday, and are expecting more this weekend. I'm NOT a snow fan at all, so I'm personally not looking forward to it. But hey, at least it's pretty to look at!

xo Haley

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


It's January 1st! I feel like this past week, between Christmas and today, has gone by in a flash. A lot has happened, a lot has been accomplished, and a million little memories have accumulated in those few days. It's exciting to think about how much can happen in such a short time frame, and it's so cool to look back on an entire year and see how much can be packed into 365 days.
In the spirit of resolutions and goal making, since this is the season of transformation and generally trying to 'be better', I started thinking of what I would like to make out of 2014. What do I want to do with my year? What would I like to look back on a year from now and have accomplished, and be proud of?

I want to be more intentional with my friendships, for starters. I have started to realize how much I truly treasure my friendships (be it online or in real life), but I rarely make legitimate amounts of time for them. I want to spend more time working on these relationships, because they are so important to me!

Another thing I am wanting to do is cook more often. To be specific, I want to use my crockpot. Ha! What a silly goal, I know. But I'm no cook, and when I do get around to using our crockpot, I am always amazed at just how easy it is to make delicious meals! I made a pot roast in the crockpot last month and I'VE NEVER EATEN SOMETHING SO TASTY EVER. I'm exaggerating a little, but seriously, it was so good and I am going to make more use out of that little contraption this year.

And lastly, I want to read more. Junior high and high school were the glory days of my reading lists. I would read book after book, and could spend entire days reading (once in high school, I spent the entire first day of winter break reading a book that I had intended reading over the whole break - so I was little bummed when I finished it in that first day!). I have yet to read another book the way I used to read them in high school (with the exception of the 50 Shades series, but that's another can of worms, y'all. We won't talk about that one). So, my goal is to read five books. That's all. I don't want to overextend myself with a huge reading list when I have spent the better part of the last four years only reading magazines. I'm going to scour Barnes & Noble and Amazon for five good books today and tomorrow (I judge by covers... terrible habit to have), and truly commit to those five this year. And if I read more than that, great! I'll have started a new, great habit and I'll be super proud of myself. SO! Do you have any must-read recommendations? I'd love to hear them!

And as a small project, I'm making a playlist for each month. This is something I do quite regularly, but rarely do I keep the playlists after the month is over. So this year, I'd like to start keeping the playlists instead of deleting them. It's kinda fun to look back over a year of music and see what each month held within 10-15 songs. (Ps, you should join me because I love seeing what other people listen to!)

01. by Haley Tyson on Grooveshark
(and if you have Spotify, here is a link to the playlist to subscribe to there!)