It is no secret to my followers/friends that Travis & I take Cocktail Hour VERY seriously! We consider it sacred, really! 😂🤣
With the cold weather and ongoing restrictions it was perfect timing to discover Spirit Hub! Spirit Hub is an online retailer that specializes in unique craft spirits from across the country…Giving small businesses from all over the chance to have their spirits enjoyed right here in Nebraska! 🥃
Travis & I were lucky enough to check out their Top 20 of 2020 collection. We tried out some new craft cocktail recipes (which I will be sharing in stories), played some darts & brought the bar atmosphere home to our basement! Maybe the best part of 2020?? 👀😉
I’m so excited to be partnering with Spirit Hub for a chance to win the Ultimate Home Bar collection! Click here to enter! Double check to be sure you reside in one of the states they currently offer delivery to!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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…..today….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…
I went to the gym almost every day in the months before I turned 30, partly because I have been on a mission to get fit and slightly because I enjoyed bitterly typing in the numbers 2-9 when the elliptical would ask my age. I made a big deal of 30, unfortunately, the majority of my friends said “hello” & “goodbye” to 30 many….many years ago. 😉 So, while they were excited to celebrate me, the sympathy was in short supply.
Now…I’m only 2 months and 20 days into this 30-year-old adventure and I have to say, I like it…actually, I adore it. In my opinion, adoration, is one of the highest compliments you can pay to a person, a song, a dream, a hobby…and a life. It’s not just fondness, compatibility or even a strong love – it is all of those things combined. Adoration means that if one of those facets (liking, loving, wanting) fades…there is always another one to take it’s place. Adoration is consistent and all consuming. So, when I say I already adore my 30’s….well, that’s quite the statement.
I guess I can’t give an age….or a number, all of the credit. It just seems like my last decade has taught me quite a bit…some of it gut wrenching, some of it inspiring but most of it just necessary. And so I’ve found myself at a place in which so many things have fallen into place while so many other things haven’t….I figured, in an attempt to make everything make sense I would put together my initial thoughts on this whole “turning 30 thing”.
People’s opinions matter so much less. I’m not a size 4, I like to drink and have fun but I like being in bed by 10pm sharp, I absolutely adore my husband and I will brag about it every chance I get, I take wayyy too many selfies and I spend half of my time with my hair in a bun on top of my head (drives my husband nuts and not in the good way) but….whatever. This is who I am, this is what I look like, these are the things I like to do and this is the way I act. At some point in the last year when word trickled down to me that so and so said this or that person said that….I shrug, sometimes they’re wrong, a lot of times they’re right. I finally know who I am for better and for worse and it’s okay to be all of those things (good & bad).
I’ve learned the art of saying “no”. I am certainly not an expert, but compared to several years ago I have learned to tell someone “no, I’m not up for that”. And it’s okay to cancel plans that I dread and it’s okay to not feel good and curl up in a blanket and take care of myself. I used to run myself ragged to make everyone around me happy…now, I assess who in my life deserves the effort, I make that effort as often as possible and as for the rest…well, I’ll be there…or I won’t. No apologies here.
I’m brave and strong as shit. There was a time in my life when my illnesses would plague me and the world would seem like too much and I would settle down onto the floor in tears and decide that I must be one of the “weak” ones. And then one day, I risked absolutely everything to follow my heart and I endured every single heartbreak that followed only to find sheer bliss on the other end. Since then I’ve gone into health procedures and surgeries with a steadiness and determination some would envy and I’ve endured ailments (some that have lasted months) with strength and grace. The breakdowns that happened in between all of that bravery and determination weren’t/aren’t weakness, that was just me being human.
People will let you down, some of them will be the very last person you expect that behavior from (I would know, I’ve been that person). It’s life. You can waste your time being shocked, upset, heartbroken and uneasy or you can except that people are people and everyone does what they need to do to protect themselves. While I will only truly rely on and trust a handful of people in my life (you guys know who are are) I will always expect the best from people….but when their best isn’t available I will offer them the grace and the forgiveness I haven’t always been offered. Humanity is imperfect, we were designed that way. I’m not encouraging anyone to expect the letdown, the worst….just, when it happens, remind yourself that you’ve let people down too.
Finally, it’s all on you. I have the most loving family – immediate, extended and those amazing people I acquired by marriage – and my husband is…just the most incredible human being and his son…my stepson….he hugs and kisses me every time he leaves the room. But, even with all of that, my happiness depends entirely on me. I could have all of the love in the world pouring into my heart and if I’m not taking care of myself than it won’t matter…it won’t penetrate….and what’s worse, the love I try to give back won’t stick. It will be forced, empty….floating around the room without landing on anyone that I actually care about.
To put it simply….reaching this point in my life has been an incredible journey and a gift that many don’t get. And I guess it makes me encouraged and excited about what each year will bring as far as wisdom and happiness. All I can say is, when I was a little girl and I imagined my life at 30 (which seemed very, very far away)…this life has completely exceeded all expectations and I’m grateful for that.
Here’s to 30! And here’s to hoping for another healthy & happy 30 years!
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.
When I look back on my beauty regime “fails” I always find myself focusing on my nails.
I’m so aware that rhymed. I can’t even help it.
But seriously…my nails only received special attention on very special occassions…prom, someone’s wedding or….when my mom offered to pay for my manicures.
As I have delved into the world of blogging and subsequently giving people beauty advice, I became brutally aware of all of my own beauty shortcomings.
Most importantly, my nails.
Unfortunately, my talent for brushing on the perfect eye shadow did NOT translate to slathering polish on my poorly cared for, cuticle consumed finger nails. And, so I took the usual Hayley approach…I dumped a bunch of money into the project. Spending $65-$75 every few weeks on a detailed shellac manicure that became less of a luxury and more of a chore.
And then one day I stumbled across Jamberry. I will admit that my previous experience with nail wraps was less than desirable – the application was time consuming and quite frequently ended with losing several of the wraps in my hair during a shampoo.
But, when a friend named Amy – who happens to be an independent Jamberry consultant insisted that I try the product to review, I couldn’t help but bite. Now, I’m hooked!
When the wraps arrived I was pleased to find that they were just as adorable in person as they appeared to be on the website. The only hard part is deciding which wraps to get, luckily, they are affordable enough you can choose several without breaking the bank
She insisted that I not only try out the wraps but also the mini dryer as well! Just to test out the effectiveness of the dryer I tried BOTH a blow dryer (which others had recommended if you did not have a mini dryer) and the mini dryer Jamberry sells. The mini dryer made all of the difference!! It made the entire process so much easier!
The official video gives you all of the application tips & tricks that you need!
The application is easy, quick and effective. These things don’t go anywhere until you want them too! And there are so many options and designs (and new ones keep on coming!!) that you can never get bored of your look.
The adorable pattern is MORE THAN getting me through the last half of this winter! And I can’t wait to pick out some more!