Reflecting on 25 Years

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For as long as I can remember I have been looking forward to my 26th birthday. My 26th birthday is also my golden birthday so I thought that meant something amazing. As a kid I imagined that 26 would be the best age, I’d have my whole life figured out by then.

I turn 26 on Saturday and I know that I don’t have my whole life figured out but that’s okay. I’ve spent the past week reflecting on my 25 years on this planet. All the good, the bad, and the incredibly ugly moments that have made up every second of my existence. I thought I’d share the thoughts that have been floating through my mind as I prepare for this special milestone in my life.

  •  I’ve spent all but 20 months of my life with a built in best friend. Being a big sister wasn’t always my favorite thing but I’m so glad to have my sister!
  • My grandparents have always been a huge part of my life. All three of them have supported, comforted, and cheered me on and I’m grateful to have them.
  • My mom is the best person in the world. I can count on her for anything and even at *almost* 26 years old I still need my mom!
  • My dad and I haven’t always gotten along but I know he had good intentions. Having two daughters wasn’t his dream but he always supported us and provided for us. I’m glad I’m no longer a sassy teenager and we can get along!
  • Brett has been a major part of my life for the last 8 years. He’s been my shoulder to cry on, my pillar of strength, and my friend. Like I said in my wedding vows, Brett came into my life when I really needed a friend. He was brought to me at the perfect time and I’m always grateful to have him as my other half.
  • Lucy and Oscar are my furbabies and they make me so happy. Lucy was a gift from my parents after I went through a really rough patch in high school. She’s the perfect therapy animal and is always there for me when I’m upset. Oscar is the goofiest dog and really completes our little family (for now!).
  • Middle School and High School were some of the hardest years of my life. I couldn’t wait to graduate and forget all of the horrors that I experienced. It’s been 7 years since I graduated and I realize that all of those terrible moments made me who I am today. I’m stronger because of the tough moments.
  • College wasn’t what I expected. I worked hard in class and at my job and didn’t really have the time to socialize. I’m glad I went to business school but wish that maybe I had tried to make a few more friends. I struggled a lot during these years.
  • Studying abroad in London was the highlight of my college career. I made friendships that have lasted despite the distance between us. London became my second home and for a homebody like me, that says a lot.
  • Unfortunately, migraines and headaches have been a huge part of my life. I’m still struggling but I’ll keep fighting for as long as it takes!
  • We had a foreign exchange student live with us during my sophomore year in high school. She was a family friend from Denmark and I was so excited to finally have an older “sister”. She is beautiful and loving but I was a brat. I learned so much about other cultures during this time and am proud to call her my sister to this day. She even came to our wedding and played an important part in our day!
  • People say that your wedding day is the happiest day of your life. That wasn’t true for me because I knew that there would be many “happiest” days for us as a couple. Our wedding day was one of many happy days but it felt amazing to be surrounded by people who loved us so much and wanted to celebrate our life together.
  • Buying our house was special. Everything fell into place and we found the most amazing home to start our life together in. We walked in and I knew that I knew that this house was meant for us. I have never felt so settled in my life! I’m happy to be here and add our happy memories to this incredible home.
  • I’ve had two best friends since the third grade. We may not talk everyday or see each other often but I know that I can always count on them.
  • I went through a really tough breakup in high school that set the rest of my life in motion. I would be so different if I hadn’t gone through this breakup exactly the way it happened. It’s hard to acknowledge that this was a pivotal life moment for me.
  • After graduating college I jumped into the job search like it was my second job. I struggled for those couple of months after college before I found a job. I stumbled into my current job because I knew that the company was amazing. It wasn’t my dream job but I knew I’d be happy. Three years later and I’m so grateful that I took the leap of faith!
  • In school I struggled with anxiety and depression which I don’t often talk about. I learned a lot about myself during these times and continue to learn as I grow older. In high school I also struggled with body image and an eating disorder. All of these things have shaped me into who I am today. I’m sad for past Hayley but glad that these hurdles were added to my journey to make me a stronger and more empathetic person.
  • Band was a huge part of my life! I played the flute from 5th to 12th grade. I took private lessons, made symphonic band as a freshman, was a total marching bank geek, and made SO many band friends along the way. I think I would have been lost in high school without band. I even considered being a music performance major in college!
  • My parents always provided a warm home, food, clothes, and toys without making us spoiled brats. I learned the value of a dollar at an early age and have always been financially savvy which has proven to be helpful in my current career in finance.
  • In 2011 I traveled to Europe for the first time with my high school band. This trip opened my eyes up to a whole new world of possibilities. From that moment on I was always planning my next trip. I want to see the world and am grateful that I had this opportunity to inspire me to chase my dreams.
  • My parents have fought for me. They have helped me chase every dream, they have supported me, and they have loved me when I was pretty unlovable. I know that I’m lucky to have them.
  • I’ve been all over the world, I’ve left my heart in so many places. Yet the feeling of coming home is always my favorite.
  • Here’s to the hundreds of notebooks that I filled with stories, songs, poems, and random thoughts throughout the years. I recently went through these notebooks that dated all the way back to preschool. I’ve always been a writer and I’m glad I found blogging to fulfill my passion.
  • Speaking of blogging, in the next couple of weeks I will be celebrating SIX years of Life of Hayley! I never imagined that my passion for writing would take me here. To a platform where I can share my most precious thoughts and feelings and be understood and acccepted. Thank you for sharing my journey with me!

All of these little moments, these struggles, these “happiest” days have made me who I am today. These friends, family, and loved ones have shaped and inspired me. I’ve been hardened by the struggles to know my worth and to fight for what I believe in. I’ve learned to love myself even when I think that no one else does.

The past 25 years have been challenging, exciting, emotional, and adventurous. What will the next 25 or 50 years bring? I have no idea! But that’s part of the adventure!

If you have gotten this far, thank you so much for reading! I am a sentimental introvert!

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Migraine Update: Steroids & Trying Aimovig?

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I had an appointment with my neurologist in September and was surprised with how helpful he was. Is it bad that I’m still so surprised to receive good medical advice? After having a terrible neurologist for years I’m so happy to have found a good one!

We started our appointment by talking about my migraines and how we haven’t been able to find anything to break the cycle. I was on day 8 of a migraine when I saw him and I’ve had constant head pain since December 2017. Late last year he had me do a round of steroids to try to break the cycle and I had mild success. We decided to try another round of steroids to see if they would help.

I had a couple of good days on the steroids where I didn’t need to take anything for the pain. I still had a headache but it was more mild than normal. Unfortunately, as I weaned off of the steroids my headaches came back full force and I ended up with another migraine week. I’ve had to take a couple sick days or leave early in the past few weeks because the pain has been unbearable.

My neurologist also upped the dosage of my preventive medication that I’ve been on for 9 months or so. I’m really hoping this helps!

We ended my appointment with talking about Amiovig which is an injectable migraine medication that was released in 2018. I’ve done a ton of research on Amiovig and am unsure if I’m willing to try it. I could experience some serious side effects and I’m deathly afraid of needles so I’m not sure how I’d handle giving myself a monthly injection. I’m still weighing the pros and cons but am excited that he’s willing to try something new! Have you tried Amiovig?

I’m feeling pretty hopeful after this last appointment. I just have to keep advocating for myself and fighting for a pain-free existence.

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Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash

Fall 2019 Bucket List

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Happy Fall Ya’ll!

Fall makes me love Michigan even more than I usually do. Michigan was made for fall and I like to take advantage of all the fun fall activities. Here a few of the things I’m hoping to do this fall season!

  1. Carve pumpkins
  2. Go to a Detroit Lions game
  3. Buy new fall staples for my wardrobe
  4. Decorate for Halloween
  5. Bake apple crisp
  6. Pass out Halloween candy
  7. Enjoy Fall Fest at work
  8. Drink hot apple cider
  9. Watch Hocus Pocus and Halloweentown
  10. Cozy up with a good book
  11. Eat fresh apple and pumpkin donuts
  12. Buy mums for our front porch
  13. Go on a weekend trip
  14. Take Oscar for a scenic fall walk
  15. Host a bonfire with our friends

What’s on your fall bucket list?

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Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

2019: Fourth Quarter Goals

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I can’t believe that I’m already writing my last set of goals for 2019. This year has been crazy!

I can’t write this post without mentioning that one of my friends passed away last week. He was my classmate all through school and my freshman roommate’s boyfriend. Many of my college memories involve this sweet, funny boy who was always down to watch a movie, grab late night, or just hang out. He was hit by a car and passed away after being in ICU for two weeks. He was young and still had so much to offer to the world. Just a little reminder to not take anything or anyone for granted.

Now onto fourth quarter!

  1. Treat myself for my golden birthday. I love birthdays and this one will be super special because it’s my golden birthday. I’ve been wanting a new laptop for the past couple of years and I think I might just treat myself to one as a birthday present!
  2. Try not to over-indulge during the holiday season. I still have a weird relationship with food and sometimes I want to eat anything and everything in front of me. Holidays are hard because the food is plentiful and it’s easy to go crazy. I want to enjoy what I’m eating but not eat everything in sight. It’s all about balance!
  3. Buy new pajamas. This may sound crazy but every year I pick an item of clothing to stock up on during the after Thanksgiving and before Christmas deals. This year I want to get all new pajamas that I love and feel comfortable in. I’m so excited!
  4. Fight my migraines once and for all. These past few weeks of migraines have been terrible. I’ve been so sick and miserable and have wanted to give up so many times. I had a great appointment with my Neurologist and he offered some new ideas that I have been thinking about for the last week. Every day is a fight and every day I have the choice of how I want to deal with the pain. This quarter I’m going to try some new things and will not give in to the pain.
  5. Schedule some days off! I have ended up with 4.5 days of vacation time leftover. I’d love to go visit my sister in New Hampshire and take a day off for Brett’s birthday. December is crazy at work but I’d love to have some time off on Christmas Eve to spend with my family.
  6. Be more productive during the week. I’m crazy busy on the weekends with cleaning, laundry, and errands. I’d love to get more done during the week so that I don’t have to spend all my time cleaning and doing necessary things. I have plenty of time after work to get some of my chores done to make my weekend easier and more relaxing.

Do you have any goals for the last quarter? How are you doing on your News Years Resolutions?

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Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

September According to my iPhone

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September was a good month! I was able to spend a lot of time with my family and I got a ton done at my house and my parent’s house. All in all, it was a really productive month!

We started September in Cleveland for the Cleveland Air and Water Show. You can read all about our adventure at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame here.

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I celebrated 7 years of blogging in September! Life of Hayley has only been around for 6 years (in November!!!) but I had another blog before this one.  We had to write a blog in 2012 for my college English class. It mostly consisted of debate notes and current events relating to the 2012 election but it still sparked my love of blogging!

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I started decorating our house for fall! Let me know if you want to see the rest of the decor! The buffet table and hutch have changed a lot since I took these pictures.

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Oscar, Bruno, and Megan had many doggy playdates! Oscar is the one on the arm of the couch smiling. Bruno always looks confused!

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We had many cookouts with my parents. My dad even brought out the pig roaster to make ribs for us and the neighbors one weekend.

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I took a trip to Saugatuck, MI with my work team for team building at the sand dunes! SO much fun!

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My dad found this dresser on the side of the road and re-painted it for our upstairs guest room. I’m in the process of decorating and making it look super cute! I ended up buying IKEA Hemnes lookalike knobs from Amazon for this dresser and the rest of our furniture.

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I got my first FabFitFun box! I wasn’t super impressed but I’m waiting to see how I feel about the next box. I only bought the seasonal membership so I can try a couple before committing to the annual.

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Lots and lots of baby cuddles from my nieces. ❤

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Oscar crawled under a towel while I was folding laundry and fell asleep. He’s the cutest little baby!

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My migraines have been really bad which is why I’ve been a bit MIA. I just don’t feel good and I don’t know if/when I’ll feel better. I had a good visit with my Neurologist and I go back again in a couple of weeks to discuss my options.

How was your September?

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2019: Third Quarter Goals Recap

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Happy Monday, friends!

Third quarter flew by so quickly! I think September was the quickest month of the year for me. I blinked and it was almost October! Here’s a quick recap of my third quarter goals to see how I did.

  1. Enjoy summer! Summer goes by so quickly and I was determined to enjoy every minute of it. I really stepped back from air shows this summer and was able to spend more time with my family and friends. I’m giving myself an A+ on this one!
  2. Continue my health and fitness journey. I’m actually really proud of myself for sticking to this goal! I have lost 15 pounds this summer and I’m determined to keep going. This goal is not about the number on the scale for me because I know that’s a terrible mindset for me personally. My goal is to feel better in my body and be the very best that I can be.
  3. Create a blogging schedule/calendar. Q3 was a great quarter for blogging! I created a blogging schedule (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) and mostly stuck with it! I messed up two weeks out of the quarter but I feel really good about how far I’ve come. I’m still flexible about my schedule if I want to write something different than I originally planned though.
  4. Spend as much time with my sister as possible. Dani and I had a great couple of months together this summer. It’s always so nice to have her home with us! I miss her so much now that she’s living in New Hampshire but I’m incredibly proud of her! I’m looking forward to visiting her and for many sister adventures to come!
  5. Create a work space at home. I got a little side tracked from this goal. My desk is in our basement family room right now and I really want to paint it and move it to our 2nd floor bedroom. I decided to re-do the basement storage room first so that I can completely clean and organize the basement, move/paint my desk, and have a super tidy house. I’ll continue to work on this in Q4!
  6. Read 3 books and write book reviews. I straight up failed at writing book reviews but I did read 3 books so I’ll give myself a 50%. I read some pretty good books and do have a review coming soon for The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren. I was busy this quarter and wasn’t inspired to write book reviews. Oh well!

How was third quarter for you? Will you be setting any goals for the last 3 months of 2019?

You can read my quarter goals here: Q1, Q2, Q3

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Image via Unsplash

Daily Conversations for a Healthy Marriage

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Marriage is hard. Ask any couple who have been married for longer than a couple of months and they will tell you that’s it’s not sunshine and rainbows all the time. Your spouse is supposed be there for all of the highs and lows of your life so it’s not always pretty.

I’ve been married for a little over two years now but have been with my husband for eight years. We have had many great moments but have also had many struggles. There have been a few times where I’ve wanted to give up and walk away but at the end of the day Brett is my best friend and my person. He might upset me from time to time but there’s still no one else I’d rather do life with.

We had our first major fight a couple of weeks ago where I didn’t even want him to sleep in our room. One of my friends gave us the advice when we got married to never go to bed angry and I’ve stuck with that until this fight. I was so upset over something that was actually silly. I didn’t sleep that night even though I did end up letting Brett sleep in our bed. I woke up the next day and was really grumpy over my lack of sleep.

After that night I knew that something had to change. Brett and I don’t spend a ton of time together because he’s always busy with work or hanging out with his friends. We don’t have scheduled date nights and mostly communicate through text or when we talk before bed.

Throughout the day Brett tells me all about his day. I know what happened at work, what’s going on with his family, and what’s happening in his friend group. I tend to only share the big or interesting things so he doesn’t get to hear about a lot of my normal day to day activities.

Communication in a marriage is so important but ours was seriously lacking. I thought back to summer camp where we played the “roses and thorns” or “highs and lows” game. All we did at camp was go around the room and say the greatest moment (rose/high) and the worst moment (thorn/low) of our day. I thought this game would be perfect to play everyday with Brett.

For the past couple of weeks I’ve asked Brett every night before bed what his high and low for the day was. He usually answers that his low was going to work and his high was hanging out with friends, watching a weather documentary, etc. At first he never asked me the questions back but I’d answer anyway. Now it’s a habit and I look forward to what he has to say because his answers have evolved and have become more thoughtful. It’s a simple conversation that only lasts a couple of minutes but it really makes a difference in our marriage.

Communication is one of the keys for any successful marriage or relationship. Over the years communicating with Brett has become harder so I’m grateful that we have this new way to share things about our day.

Do you have any tips for communicating with your significant other?

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