In 2007 some guy that I was infatuated with didn’t want me. I was certain that would be the worst heart break I ever experienced. Today, it took me a full 5 minutes to remember his name. The reason? That wasn’t actual heartbreak.

True heartbreak – that is watching your child suffer. It is being awake at 2:30am because all she wants to do is sleep on her side or, better yet, her stomach but she can’t roll over and all you can do is rub her head and let her know that mommy is right there with her.

My Lila June, 3-years-old, had hip dysplasia surgery almost 3 weeks ago. Her hip has been dislocated since birth and it had gone unnoticed by her pediatrician despite an immense amount of well-checks. That’s a rant for a different day.

Unfortunately, a surgery of this extent requires a “spica cast” for 12 weeks during recovery, with a re-cast at 6 weeks. During this time we get to hope and pray that the surgery “works” – that the hip surgically put in place decides to stay there. Her entire left leg is casted, it comes across her waist and half way down her right leg (there is an opening for diapering – also a rant for another day) and she has a bar between her legs for extra support. Every time I look at it and imagine myself in the same situation I want to scream.

Cherry on the top, Lila is Autistic. She has limited verbal skills and she struggles to understand communication – she was also the most active little girl I have ever seen. She never stopped moving and now she’s stuck in bed. It makes me physically ill to consider all of the times I was irritated with her constant movement, and now I would kill to chase after her in a busy grocery store.

The time in the hospital was traumatic. After a 5 hour surgery she lost so much blood she needed a transfusion. As much as I appreciate the fact that people donate and we had access to blood….there was something unsettling about watching someone else’s blood drip into her little body. She screamed for daddy the entire time we were there, the drugs did a number on her, we had to watch Frozen and Frozen II about 100 times ;). We watched other families and other kids go home as we settled in for another night. The smell there, the feeling as I shuffled to the vending area to refill our waters each night, the sound of the machines every time her heart rate dropped or her morphine drip was finished, the fucking masks…nightmare. The nurses and the doctors did everything they could but they simply said “she had a major surgery, deal with it” lol?

Home has been better, but not without its challenges. She has adjusted to life in bed but unfortunately that is where she wants to stay. She doesn’t like to be upright at the “spica table” or the bean bag chair or any of the things we bought in anticipation of this surgery….so, she just lays there.

I guess what I am trying to say, “heartbreak” is relative. It is amazing how something can feel so life altering until you experience what life altering actually feels like. God forbid I will be writing a post with a new “life altering” experience any time in the future.

For those with kids with a chronic illness, who spend half of their life in the hospital, I say prayers every night. You are living the true meaning of heartbreak and I will keep praying you get a happy ending.

Thanks for listening.

God, I woke up with a heavy heart. I’ve been up since 3am. Things have been heavy lately….in the world, in my life, in general.

I woke up with one thought: “why can’t I ever get any sleep?” LOL.

Let me be clear…I have a beautiful life – a husband who is successful, driven, an amazing dad, loves me on my very worst day and (cherry on the top) is very nice to look at ;). I have a step-son who, despite the fact I have to beg for passing grades and a clean room, still loves me and treats me well. And I have Lila June, and if you haven’t met Lila yet – well you don’t know – but she is incredible. The most beautiful soul. She’s going to change the world, I’m certain.

And my parents who, despite the fact that I am 34 years old, still show up for me in every single way possible. Plus, this is going to sound like bragging….but I love my in-laws, I know…its an “urban myth” but it’s the truth, they’re great!

So, what do I have to feel heavy about? What could possibly be wrong?

Life. It’s so complex, isn’t it? The entirety of it – the years that have been lived and the years you have yet to live – if you live with anxiety (& a sprinkle of depression) like me, then you know its a constant merry go round of happiness, contentment, regret and being certain something is definitely wrong that you don’t know about yet. Persistent dread.

This last year….wow. We’ve all been through it – the state of the world and all. The addition of fighting basically everyone to get Lila’s Autism diagnosis established. Processing that. Adjusting to a new life with an autistic toddler. Multiple health issues (don’t get me started). Figuring out how to raise a teenager….oy, and trying to be a good wife, a good mom and also p.s. trying to find a new career!

I guess the major thing on my mind today is…friends. Travis is my best friend – but sometimes, I get the feeling he could use a break. 🙂 And I wish I had that “tribe”, that group message full of friends to vent to when needed. And, honestly, it’s alarming how many friends I’ve lost in this life. I find myself constantly asking Travis, “what is wrong with me, it has to be me?” Eventually you have to start asking yourself, is it me?

What woke me up at 3am this morning was the realization that I haven’t done shit to lose a friend…aside from live life, stumble…make mistakes…cry a lot…find true love & stand up for what I believe in. It is unfortunate that the people I grew up with and the people I found in my adult life (aside from a few – you guys know who you are) couldn’t stick with me at my most imperfect moments because I know FOR CERTAIN I loved & supported them at their worst.

It haunts me, bugs me more than it should – makes me question who I am as a person despite the fact that deep down I recognize I’m inherently good.

I suppose all of this is my rant – maybe this space needs to become a journal of life and hopefully something I post will resonate with someone…somewhere. All I know is that I miss writing. And writing is my therapy.

To wrap it up, things are tough right now, they won’t be forever. Hopefully, this post pops up as a memory a year or two in the future while I’m surrounded by a group of friends who love me unconditionally. In the meantime, my husband and family do a pretty good job of picking up the slack.

xo, Hayley

I just woke up from the most vivid dream. Essentially, an abridged timeline of the last 10 years of my life; but it wasn’t happening to me….instead, I was watching it happen to me. Not only watching it, but feeling it all again. Now that is already a lot – but not the reason I’m awake at 3am in front of a blog I barely post to.

This dream, I wasn’t just feeling the emotions surrounding the events that have happened in the last 10 years, the good and the bad, I was feeling the emotions of all of the humans that played a role in that portion of my life. Obviously, those could never be they’re real emotions – but the dream left me shaken. I woke up short of breath, my chest tight. Honestly, that’s a lot to cover in 2.5 hours.

It was like that song, you know the one I’m talking about, it can take you back the exact moment you first heard it or the period of your life when you relentlessly played it over and over again. But in this case, it was a very long song…one that kept swinging from happy to sad, euphoric to miserable…you get the idea. Rollercoaster.

The thing is, I’ve carried a lot of heartache….I’ve caused a lot too. I’m very familiar with the things that have broken my heart, some of them still do. But the amount of heartache, that this dream convinced me I caused…it’s catastrophic and honestly, despite the beautiful life I’m living…it breaks my heart all over again.

This probably seems random. Uninteresting. The truth is, I used to write about this period of time…a lot. I was actually working on a novel based off of it but I abandoned it for various reasons a couple of years ago…but, maybe it’s time I dive back in? Stay tuned.


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A note on anxiety right now…

 It’s heavier, it’s scarier & it’s harder. To be honest, I was not sure that my anxiety could ever feel as deep and dark as it did postpartum but here I am again facing a deeper & darker version.

 I’m terrified for my little family…especially my baby girl. I’m worried about my brother, parents, grandparents, aunts & uncles – many who are immunosuppressed, elderly or have any number of underlying health issues. I’m fearful for my friends – those in small business, those who are pregnant or new moms, those who are suffering in any way because of this. 

Here is the thing about anxiety & I…I have always tried to outrun it. Exercise it away, eat it away, drink it away, plan it away, shop it away. I’ve spent the last week hardly able to sit down because when I stopped there it was, staring me in the face.

During my Peloton ride this morning with Emma Lovewell – she said -as we began a difficult push…resistance & speed combined for an all out effort- you’re going to feel uncomfortable and you are going to want to try to change that by quitting or stopping but what if you just sat in your discomfort for a little while?

So, this morning I sat with my favorite coloring book, a journal & some inspirational books and settled in with this enormous discomfort. At first, I just cried…a lot. And then I wrote down every single thing that I have been worrying about. And then as I stared at the list I circled the things I can control. 

Keeping Lila safe.

Checking in on my family and helping any way I can.

Supporting my friends’ small businesses, blogs & well being. 

Moving my body, drinking my water and eating the healthy stuff before I splurge on the junk. 😉

It’s pretty simple when I break it down like that. While my anxiety isn’t gone for this very moment its seems manageable. To everyone out there experiencing anxiety (new or ongoing) you have my thoughts and I am always hear to chat. 

We all do it. Just a handful of days until Mother’s Day and you have likely not picked out a gift(s) for the special lady/ladies in your life. Don’t have time to get out & shop? Don’t want to risk shipping delays by shopping online? I have you covered! Amazon Prime to the rescue.

I’ve put together a list of items the moms in your life are definitely going to love and all of them are available on Amazon for a quick & easy shopping experience. Check out these items below or head straight on over to Amazon to see the items listed there!

  1. Click and Grow Smart Garden 3 Indoor Gardening Kit.
  • Indoor garden all year long: Grow your favorite culinary herbs all year long without worrying about weather conditions.
  • Hassle free installation & maintenance: Just drop the plant cartridges right into the container, refill the water reservoir, plug the device in, and you are good to go
  • Great selection of pre-seeded plant capsules: Choose from over 40 fresh herbs and fruits to grow pesticide free.

2. Apple AirPods with Charging Case

Automatically on, automatically connected
Easy setup for all your Apple devices
Quick access to Siri by saying “Hey Siri”
Double-tap to play or skip forward
New Apple H1 headphone chip delivers faster wireless connection to your devices
Charges quickly in the case
Case can be charged using the Lightning connector

3. UGG Woman’s Miranda Robe

So cozy & so comfy!!

4. S’Well Stainless Steel Travel Mug

High-grade 18/8 stainless steel. BPA-free.
Triple-walled, technology creates a condensation-free exterior, so your Hands and bag stay Dry
A wide mouth and Thick rim make for easy drinking. Ice Fits effortlessly inside
Ergonomic grip allows for even more on-the-go ease

5. Jade Facial Roller

Look Great and Feel Great with Essential Beauty Gift: in fact, you are going to enjoy the way our jade feels against your skin.
Handmade Real Natural Jade:100% genuine stone with ultra-smooth surface texture. Smooth touch feeling that never hurt your skin. Long lasting, super easy to care.
Jade Roller: size approx 20x140x50mm, a facial skin massager tool will cool, tighten, relax. Can be used with your favorite face cream can help the cream to be absorbed more effectively

6. OMG My Mother Was Right Dish Towel

Let’s face it…she was.
This would be great with a bouquet of flowers!

7. Himalayan Salt Lamp & Oil Diffuser

Two of today’s most popular health trends combined into one!
So pretty & effective!

8. Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer

For the splurge! Your mom will LOVE this!

9. Backslash Fit Smart Yoga Mat

Finally the perfect yoga mat! The Backslash Yoga Mat is rolling, so you can stay chill as you pack up your mat. When your yoga session ends, just flip the mat over, click, and let it roll! To add to that, the mat is…
Smart – It comes with bonus yoga routines, powered by Women’s Health, that you can hear using your smart speaker.
Soft and comfy – at 5 mm thick, there’s plenty of cloud-like cushioning for your elbows, wrists and knees.
Silky and grippy – you’ll love how it feels. Plus, as you sweat, your grip improves, thanks to the built in technology of the smooth top layer. The bottom layer will grip the floor – no more slipping and sliding!
Designed to stay completely flat to the floor. No more curling edges!

10. WIFI Photo Frame

MOBILE AND WEB APP : The Nixplay Mobile & Web App lets you view and manage the photos on your frame wherever you are; Capture moments and display them instantly using the Mobile App, or email them directly to your electronic photo frame
CRYSTAL-CLEAR PHOTOS AND VIDEOS : 8-inch IPS Display, 1024 x 768 HD Screen Resolution; Automatically turns on/off when you’re in the room (sound sensor)
STORAGE FOR THOUSANDS OF MEMORIES : 10GB secure cloud storage for thousands of photos displayed on this digital photo frame; Use the free remote control or the App to shuffle images and choose photo transitions
CONNECT YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PHOTOS : Access all your favourite photos on Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, Flickr and Google Photos, or upload new ones to create dedicated playlists on the safe & secure Nixplay App. Turn it On/Off using Alexa
PRIVATE PHOTO AND VIDEO SHARING : Share memories instantly and allow friends and family to share photos to your Frame from anywhere in the world; This digital picture frame will bring a smile to loved ones

There are additional items on my Mother’s Day Gift Guide listed on Amazon! Go check it out for more ideas!

What are you getting your mom for her day? Comment below!

x, Hayley

Happy Friday! We made it, again!

I woke up feeling very pregnant and very hungover this morning. I know those two together don’t make sense…but for some reason my entire second trimester has felt like one long, horrible hangover! Pounding headaches, intermittent nausea, weakness & fatigue – so far, my vitals and baby’s vitals are good so doctor says stay hydrated & well rested…and well, deal with it. 🙂 If anyone has any suggestions…I am all ears!

After a work incident yesterday afternoon I was reminded of this funny little YouTube gem I came across years ago…and I thought I would share in case any of my followers might be having one of those days. I’ve included it below (please note: explicit language…turn down the volume if you’re at work or around your kids!)

Also, on the agenda this weekend (aside from lots & lots of chores around the house) is putting together my first “local love” post. I want to start posting these at least once a month – “local love” is basically a highlight of a local Omaha business that I absolutely love! This weekend’s is in my top 5 favorites (hint: it has to do with coffee!) So stay tuned for that post next week. And have an amazing weekend!!


Sometimes I write letters to my daughter…one I don’t have yet, but someday expect to bring to life. It feels like a diary, a lesson, a glimpse into the life I lived before & maybe during her existence. I hope one day, when she feels like she’s a million miles away from me, dealing with experiences and heartache that I can’t begin to understand I can hand her this journal…giving her a literal piece of my heart and we’ll find common ground.

This morning, while sitting in my favorite coffee shop, drinking my favorite latte and trying to focus on work I suddenly found myself a witness to a mother calmly trying to soothe her inconsolable daughter. Bits of the conversation provided enough information for me to understand that the daughter’s heart was broken and the mother was trying to pick up the pieces.

I put down my coffee and I wrote this letter.

Dear Daughter,

I imagine you often…as a baby, as a curly haired toddler, as a grade school spelling bee champ but mostly as a young woman. I imagine you’ll have your dad’s eye lashes, long and thick and irresistible. You’ll probably have his dimples too and his charming grin. I sure hope you have his metabolism!  But, I imagine you will have my eyes…blue and clear and nothing short of a precious gift that your grandparents contributed to. 

When I picture those big blue eyes, framed with your daddy’s lashes…I dread the day I see them filled with tears. 

I wish I could tell you that life is going to be nothing but good to you. I wish I could say that your good heart, your sweet smile and your fascination with everything will be enough to spur only goodness from those around you. I wish I could tell you that you’ll have nothing but wonderful friends, attentive and gentle lovers and co-workers and bosses who will be nothing but grateful for you. I wish I could say you won’t have to hurt. 

But, you will.

You’ll hurt hard.

I feel like you must be warned…you’re going to love someone that doesn’t deserve you. 

It doesn’t matter how smart you are, how independent and strong your dad and I raise you to be or how determined you are to only let “good” people in.

Friends are going to hurt you, co-workers, bosses, peers, family and sometimes even me. 

But the biggest hurt of all will be those you love intimately. That person you love with passion, exuberance and endurance. 

You’re going to love someone who turns cold and distant and is always pushing you away. You might love someone who’s eyes wander and can never settle on yours exclusively. Sometimes the less they love you…the more awful they treat you….the more you’ll want them. 

Sweetheart, sometimes love can feel a lot like a game…like a game that you must win. And with that mindset you’ll do some ridiculous things, tactics you never felt capable of. You’ll want to be ashamed of yourself.

Don’t be.

Someday you’re going to come home, to the house in which I raised you and you’re going to throw your arms around me and bury your face in my neck. You’re going to cry, maybe even sob, and you’ll probably leave mascara stains on a new silk blouse, but I won’t care. You’re going to wonder what you’re missing, what you’re doing wrong, why you can’t make this person see how lovely you are, how much you care, how great you could be together if they would only love you like you love them. 

I know it sounds awful. 

And it is. 

I have a good reason for writing this down, for reducing myself to tears at the very thought of your pain. 

It will be worth it.

You’re going to find someone who deserves you. It might take years, several relationships, even a marriage and consequential divorce.

But you’ll find them.

They are going to be incredible. Like you.

They’ll love you like sunshine, reaching every bit of you inside and out. They’re going to laugh at your jokes and revel in your stories no matter how small. They won’t mind that you hog the bed and they will sacrifice some of the blankets so they can watch you, lovingly, all wrapped up and cozy. They’re going to memorize your favorite foods and restaurants and drinks and clothing stores and all of the things you “can’t live without”. They’re going to tell you that you’re beautiful when you get dressed up for a night out, or when you’ve just woke up, or when you’re caught right in the middle of a horrible flu bug. They’ll fill up your humidifier when you’re stuffy, they’ll scrape off your car when it snows, they’ll hold your hand (and sometimes your entire body) in their lap while you watch a scary movie. They’ll only raise their voice when it is absolutely necessary and you will never sit staring at the phone wishing they would call. You’ll never feel small in their presence, you’ll never feel like an imposition. 

Your love story is going to be epic.

I can’t wait to watch you thrive in it. 

And all of those people who didn’t deserve your love…they’re going to make you appreciate the one who does. 

Love Is

Sometimes…when I’m feeling especially nostalgic (and maybe a tad bit masochistic) I will dive into my book shelf of personal journals, opening & reading the very first one my hands make contact with.

Usually it’s in the middle of the night, when sleep escapes me and I feel an absolute necessity to remember where I’ve been, who I’ve been and who others have been to me. I will sit in too little light, with too little blankets and bury myself in my words. Sometimes it’s wonderful, sometimes it is an emotional beating of the worst kind…most of the time it is both.

Tonight while I was reading a journal from my Freshman year of college…brutally reliving all of my heartbreak and awkwardness….I found myself paused at an almost desperate sentence scrawled at the bottom of an unfinished entry.

“I just want to be in love so I don’t have to hurt anymore.”  


I read the sentence twice before the giggles began bubbling up. I laughed and laughed….and laughed. Alone, in an empty living room. I was absolutely certain I had gone crazy, I mean, really there was nothing funny about this desperately sad, younger version of myself.

The naivety behind that 19-year-old’s belief that love solved everything…I found that entertaining and I guess, a little bit endearing. I was stuck between wanting to go back in time and let her know that she was wrong (as she was about MOST things at that age) and at the same time wishing I could soak myself in that same naivety.

Now, of course, I know…love is not the absence of pain. In fact, even at it’s best, it can be one of the most abundant source. It’s important and it’s fragile and it’s so utterly out of our control…

And yet, so many of us expect love to save us and when it doesn’t we think we must try again, with someone else, somewhere else, at some other time.

It won’t save you, not ever.

The truth is, love – the real kind – will break your heart into tiny pieces and then it will put your heart neatly back together just to do it again, it’s devastating and it’s hard and its worst and brilliant, abundant light at its best.

Sorry this is dark & heavy…but love is dark & heavy. It’s also light & courage & passion & comfort & warmth. It’s worth it. And if it sounds like I’m contradicting myself that’s because love is a contradiction, a battle, a storm…that knowledge – that’s what will save you.

Love is absolute certainty that you would want to die if they died…but also the certainty that you would get out of bed every single morning, and brush your hair and make your coffee and smile at least three times for the sake of their spirit watching over you.

I’m having an “off day”. You know the kind of day I’m talking about…nothing is particularly bad but nothing is really getting a smile out of me either. I mean, when Ozzy Man Reviews fails to make me laugh I know that I am definitely “off”, hormonal or just tired and….possibly…….carb deprived. 🙂 Regardless, today is “eh”.

The morning was uneventful, the tasks monotonous and ordinary and after only about an hour of work in what I usually find to be my ridiculously happy and inspiring office I decided I needed to get out of the house.

So, now, I’m sitting at Scooters, at an outdoor table…staring at the landscaping that makes up a shopping complex I jokingly refer to as my “second home” – here’s to you Village Pointe! And….I still don’t feel any better. My instinct was to grab my phone, prettily arrange my iced coffee, my cute journal and open laptop to formulate an encouraging and cheerful Instagram post but, I changed my mind and opened this blog.

At this point….most of the people that “tune” into this blog are wondering why they are still reading…..and if you are, I appreciate it – depressssssing! But I do have a point.

I guess it has a lot to do with what I wrote about last week – about the wisdom that has come in my thirtieth year. It’s okay to have an off day. It’s even okay to have a really, really bad one. We are all so consumed (at least I am) with making our weekends and even just our Tuesdays look like a perfect reality. Sometimes they are perfect, I don’t know about you, but I love opening up Facebook to find someone else having an absolutely wonderful day. But, how often do we log in just to say…..”wow, today has kind of sucked”? And those that do are not usually met with the sort of comments and “likes” that accompany a sunny, pretty, perky post.

So, this is me removing the filter, that pretty little filter I seem to add to every post and every picture almost robotically. Today isn’t my favorite….and for no real reason other than that sometimes life (no matter how good or bad) is exhausting. I am absolutely aware how lucky I am to have the life that I do….but, there is not a human being on this Earth that doesn’t sit down sometimes and think, eh….I don’t like this day. And this is me, telling you, for what it’s worth, it’s okay to remove your filter too.

And on that note, I want to say….and this is important so listen closely….it’s okay to know that someone, somewhere (or a lot of people, a lot of places) certainly have it ‘worse’ than you do at this very moment…but that doesn’t take away whatever weight you might be carrying this morning, this week, this month or even this year. Don’t ever let someone brush off your vulnerability as weakness or as unimportant as someone else’s pain, suffering or challenges. 

Now, no matter what kind of day you’re having….I’m going to leave you with what one of my favorite people always says to me…

“Be gentle with yourself.”



I’ve been terrified to write this. I’ve stared at the screen for several hours every week for many weeks willing the perfect words to escape my fingertips, willing the black letters on a white screen to come together in such a way that everyone would understand. “Ooohhh,” they’d say, “that poor girl, she has always meant well, even when she destroyed people.”

Today, I realized, there is nothing I could write, no rhetoric that would make sense to everyone….no such thing as a blog post that could comfort all of those I may have hurt.

And maybe the effort seems pointless, damaging even….but the truth is, living in the past is trying to destroy me. Living where all of the hurt we all caused each other has gone to die, where all of the bullets have settled amongst their wounds – that place bears no forgiveness from myself or anyone else.

“Learn to accept an apology you never got.” That’s the cliche, right? I can live with all of the apologies I never received, I find, though, that I struggle with the apologies I never distributed.

Right here, where I am in life, is absolutely imperfect. A large portion of the time is spent in absolute euphoria….but, a lot of the time it is sad, sometimes it is lonely, many times its confusing and in very small moments it is unbearable….but it is, without a doubt, absolutely where I am supposed to be.

I cannot put into words what it feels like when you find the place where you belong. I had never in my previous 27 years found it and it was not for lack of trying. Every decision I made, every place I landed – it was easy – but always wrong, I always felt at odds with my contentment.

I exist in a world I would have never created for myself and, somehow, it is everything I have ever wanted and needed. And yet, I am excruciatingly aware of all of the things and all of the people I have had to sacrifice for my own happiness, my own well being.

I won’t regret it. I haven’t yet and I never will. Even if this world is temporary it was worth every bit of anguish to be here for this precious amount of time.

I am deeply regretful that people had to suffer because it took me just a bit longer to find what I wanted, what I needed, what my own existence depended on. I was never one to leave destruction in my wake, but I was also never one to put my own needs before those around me.

I am sorry that it all happened at once. I am sorry that I couldn’t be everything I promised to all of the people in my life.

I hope this apology means forward progression, I hope it means I can leave it all behind, I hope that I means I can thrive. I guess most of all, I hope that all of those people who felt betrayed by my choices can wish me well.

I want the best for everyone I have ever loved and I can only hope they want the same for me.