October According to my iPhone

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It’s November! October is my favorite month so I am kind of bummed that it’s over but I had a great month and I’m excited to share this month’s round of iPhone pictures.

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October started out badly with the passing of my good friend, Alex. He was only 25 and I had known him since kindergarten. Alex was also my freshman year roommate’s ex-boyfriend so we spent a great deal of our college careers together. He was so funny and had always been a great friend. I’ll really miss him. He was hit by a car on his way to work which once again proves that life is way too short. Brett and I always raise a glass and toast to our loved ones when they pass. It’s something that I learned from my mom and have continued doing.

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Oscar the burrower looking too cute for words.

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Brett and I babysat our nieces, Ava and Elizabeth, while their parents had a nice night out. It’s so cute to see Brett interact with them! A couple of months ago he was too scared to hold them but now he’s first to react when they cry and is always ready to rock them back to sleep. He’s the best uncle!

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We got Oscar a Detroit Lions jersey. He had such an exciting day watching the game with the guys that he fell asleep with his jersey on!

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My work had their annual Fall Festival and I had the opportunity to co-sponsor it. It was a lot of work but so much fun!

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I spent many days at the lake with my grandparents. The lake is my favorite!

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I celebrated 3 years at work! My company sent me a beautiful Orchid and a gift card.

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My dad stopped by the night before my birthday with donuts and cider from our local apple orchard. It was the best way to start my birthday weekend!

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Brett got me my favorite cake from Coldstone. It’s called Peanut Butter Playground. Yummmm

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We spent the Sunday of my birthday weekend at the lake with my family. My grandpa and I have the same birth date so we always celebrate together! So much fun!

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We had a snowy Halloween night in Michigan but at least Bruno and Oscar looked cute! My nieces came over along with their parents, my parents, Brett’s mom, and Brett’s uncle. We had a good night despite the cold weather!

How was your October?

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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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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