The Truth About Closure

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When I was 13 I read the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants book series. Tibby was my favorite character, I even named our cat after her. In the books Tibby wants to be a film director and carries her camera with her everywhere capturing everything she experiences. I was inspired so I asked for a video camera for my 14th birthday.

On my 14th birthday in October 2007 my parents bought me my own video camera. I took the camera pretty much everywhere with me for a year. My goal was to create a video about a year in my life. I filmed sleepovers with friends, after school activities, family events, and every holiday.

I forgot about this video camera until I cleaned out my parent’s basement earlier this year. I brought it home and stored it in our spare bedroom in a box until last week when I got the inspiration to start going through the boxes. I found the camera again and tried to turn it on but it needed a new battery. Amazon delivered the new battery the next day and my 12 year old video camera was back in action!

Going through the videos that I so carefully filmed was extremely hard. Life has changed drastically in the last 12 years and I’m no longer friends with any of the same people. I saw the girl I considered a sister give me a hug, I listened to 14 year old Hayley talk about love like she knew how it felt, I got to see baby videos of my two favorite kids.

At 14 I thought that I had it all figured out. I had the best group of friends who I thought would be with me throughout the rest of my life. I had my dorky little sister, my parents, and my amazing grandparents. I had a future career as a film director and I was going to marry my best friend’s older brother. Everything was going to be okay because I was surrounded with people who loved me more than anything.

I obviously never made the video about a year in my life. The summer before I turned 15 was when everything started to change. One of my best friends was a guy and I think we both always cared about each other a little differently than we cared about our other friends. We started dating that summer that I stopped filming and were together for the next 2ish years.

Seeing this boy that I used to care about in these videos hurt my heart a little bit. Not because I have any feelings left for him but because before watching I couldn’t ever remember being friends with him. Our breakup during our junior year was messy, mostly because I was immature and decided that there was no way we could ever be friends again. I cut him out of my life completely and lost most of my other friends along the way too.

Watching my life from my 14 year old self’s perspective was eye opening. Being brought back to a time before braces fixed my teeth, my acne was not quite under control, and I only wore band t-shirts and converse made me realize that I never quite got closure from this time in my life. This group of friends meant everything to me and I lost them.

I think that 14 year old Hayley would be really proud of me. I know that I’m proud of her.

Getting closure isn’t always about having a conversation or making amends. Sometimes it’s just knowing that it’s okay to leave the past in the past. It’s okay to be sad about what you’ve lost while still appreciating all that you have gained.

I’m thankful that I captured all of these little moments of my life. I wouldn’t have remembered the time my sister and I had a funeral for our goldfish, the way my dog Scooter snored, rocking baby Riley to sleep, or what we talked about at sleepovers.

I’m not quite sure yet what I will do with the 36 hours of videos that I have from 2007-2008 but I’m really glad that I have it.

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Photo by sarandy westfall on Unsplash

 

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Five on Friday #12

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Where has the time gone?! I can’t believe it’s already August! I’ve had a crazy couple of weeks and I’m ready for some R&R. Hopefully this weekend will provide lots of time to relax and unwind.

  1. We have picture day at work next week and I am in desperate need of a new outfit. The problem with weight loss is that I have no idea what size I am now so I don’t feel comfortable ordering clothes online. Our mall is pretty much empty so I think I’ll need to drive to our closest outlet mall this weekend for a little retail therapy.
  2. Brett and I have had a crazy couple of weeks! We went down to Florida for a week for Brett’s grandpa’s funeral and then last week Brett’s aunt stayed with us which meant lots of entertaining and family dinners. I’m exhausted!
  3. When I was in 8th grade I wanted to be a film director. I begged my parent’s to buy me a video camera for my 14th birthday and they did! I spent most of 2007-2008 filming every holiday, sleepover, and family event. I recently found the video camera and started watching my old “vlogs”. They are so sweet and I’m glad that I have them! I’m no longer friends with the people but I still loved seeing our happy times together! I feel like I need to do something with all of these videos now though. Let me know if you have any ideas!
  4. 2 years ago I was preparing for my wedding day! It feels like just yesterday and I can’t believe that I’ve been with Brett for almost 8 years now! We are planning a day date for our anniversary (August 19th) and I can’t wait to spend some time together.
  5. I’ve been in a bit of a blogging slump lately and haven’t had the motivation to write anything. I go through these slumps every once in awhile but this one feels especially bad. I hope to be back with regularly scheduled content soon!

How was your week? Do you have any plans with weekend?

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Photo by meriç tuna on Unsplash

July According to my iPhone

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July was another crazy busy month! I’m trying to enjoy every minute of summer but it’s going by way too quick. In July I got to celebrate the birth of my twin nieces, lots of birthdays, family time, and unfortunately, the death of Brett’s grandpa.

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My husband, Brett, works for an airline but he also works as a Media Director for a local airshow and balloon festival. The airshow takes place the week of the fourth so leading up to that I got to watch all of his news interviews on TV. He does such a great job!

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I don’t really care for airplanes but I do love seeing the hot air balloons! This picture was taken at one of the night balloon illumes. I especially love the American flag balloon!

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Next we celebrated the birth of my sister in law’s twins! Her and her husband had been trying for kids for at least 5 years before these little miracles were born. Ava and Elizabeth were born July 12th at 35 weeks. Their mom had been hospitalized since 31 weeks. Mom and babies are doing great! The girls got released from the NICU a few days ago and are home with their parents.

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Oscar got to come to work with me for the afternoon! He loved meeting my co-workers, getting lots of cuddles, and sitting on my lap while I worked. He’s such a good boy!

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Brett’s grandpa passed away on July 15th at 97 years old. Grandpa Ed was in the Army Air Force in WWII. We went down to Florida last week for his service and to clean out the house. He was buried with full military honors. Grandma Emma who passed away in 2017 was buried alongside him.

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We also had to say goodbye to Emma and Ed’s house in Florida. We spent four days cleaning everything out, organizing, and dividing all the belongings. I had a hard time leaving because I have so many great memories from our many trips to visit.

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These two were my favorite! Just look how sweet they were! I have so much love for both Ed and Emma and know that they loved me just as much. One of my favorite things about this trip was looking through the millions of pictures they had collected. Ed scrapbooked before scapbooking was cool! His scrapbook from WWII was one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

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Brett’s Aunt from Tennessee is visiting this week. They had a family reunion on Sunday so she’s been staying at our house since. It’s kind of fun having our first real house guest!

July had many highs and lows. It was hard to lose Grandpa Ed but we gained two new lives at nearly the same time. We had prayed for Ava and Elizabeth for years and I can’t wait to pass on the stories of their amazing great-grandparents to them.

How was your July?

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Saying Goodbye

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Saying goodbye is never easy, especially when you don’t know when goodbye is coming.

I’ve mentioned Brett’s grandparents many times in travel posts and quarterly goals. His grandma and grandpa moved to Florida 20ish years ago. Brett and I made a point to go down and visit them at least once a year and they became another set of grandparents for me to love.

Grandma Emma passed away on November 30th, 2017. She was a fierce woman who stood strong for everything she believed in. I loved her stories about all the places they traveled, her brutal honesty, and her love for her family. We’d sit on the couch in the Florida room for hours and just chat about anything and everything.

Emma made the best homemade chocolate frosting, french toast, and roast. Each visit she’d welcome us with a homemade cake and a hot dinner. We shared a love for travel, books, music, and the Bailey family. The first time I met her she dragged me to her closet and had me try of dozens of Mardi Gras beads. I really cherish the time we had together.

Grandpa Ed passed away on July 15th, 2019. This loss hit me really hard. He was a WWII veteran, Purple Heart recipient, and an amazing story teller. He was stubborn, strong, and had a great sense of humor. He looked so much like Brett. Ed passed away suddenly and at 97 years old it was still unexpected.

Ed is the reason why Brett loves airshows and aviation as much as he does. He’s also the reason why Brett has so much respect for our military and our country. He taught Brett to love history and introduced him to many of his favorite movies. Ed was a hero and I feel honored to have known him. My last words to him were “see you soon” and I know I’ll see him again one day.

We will be traveling down to Florida soon to celebrate Ed’s life with our family. He will be missed but Brett and I will make sure to pass on his legacy to our future children and grandchildren. The sacrifices he made for us will not be forgotten.

This week has been hard (and it’s only Tuesday!) but I feel good knowing that Emma and Ed have been reunited. I aspire to have 70+ years of marriage and to travel the world like they did.

See you later, Ed and Emma!

“After all, to the well organized mind, death is but the next greatest adventure.” – J.K Rowling

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Photo by Chandler Cruttenden on Unsplash

May According to my iPhone

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May was a super busy month for me! It wasn’t very memorable and slightly boring though. Mostly work, family time, dog walks, and time at the lake. Here’s a quick recap of what my life looked like in May.

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Let’s start with the world’s happiest dog, Oscar! We celebrated his first gotcha day in May. This means that one year ago we adopted Oscar from the animal shelter and brought his home to join our family. You can read his full adoption story here. It was really important to both Brett and I that we rescue a dog and give them a good life after a not so great start. I think we have succeeded so far!

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May was dreary and rainy for the most part but we still had some good times at the lake! I’m ready for summer!

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May was the last week of my work’s walking challenge. Brett, Oscar, and I walked pretty much every day around are neighborhood. My boys are so cute! ❤

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It was beautiful a beautiful spring in Michigan (when it wasn’t raining)! I love seeing everything come to life after a long winter.

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Oscar isn’t a fan of swimming but he loves sitting on the dock! We enjoyed our first real lake day on Memorial Day!

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My grandparent’s got a new boat this year and we took it on it’s maiden voyage on Memorial Day! Such a fun day with family!

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Here’s a quick look at our upstairs guest bedroom. I never fully decorated it when we moved in so I’m finally getting around to making it feel like a welcoming part of our home. Here’s a before and hopefully I’ll have an after soon! It’s a huge space because it’s a converted attic so it’s the length of our house. The old owners used it as their master bedroom.

Did you do anything fun in May? What are you looking forward to in June?

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What Fourth of July Means to Me

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Happy Fourth of July!

Today is one of Brett’s favorite days of the year and I always try to share his excitement! Our 4th always consists of spending the day at an Air Show and celebrating all of the men and women who fought or are currently fighting for our country!

I always think of both of Brett’s Grandpas on this day. His Grandpa Charlie died before we started dating but was an incredibly hardworking man. But his Grandpa Ed (Red) lives in Florida and I have got to know him well through the years.

When Brett’s Grandma passed away in December we spent a lot of time with his Grandpa. Ed pulled out his scrapbook that he created from his days in the Army and shared many stories about his experiences during World War II. It was heartbreaking to see how badly these memories still hurt him. He was injured and earned a Purple Heart which is a huge honor! I am proud to call him “Grandpa” and will make sure to pass along his stories to our future children.

It hurts me to watch him suffering from the loss of his wife and an injury that still he suffered during World War II. He lives alone now in his nineties while his whole family is in Michigan. The VA has done very little to help him while he risked his life for years for this country.

The Fourth of July means so much more than fireworks and barbeques. It’s a day to remember all of those people who represented our great country and fought for our freedom. All of the people who still suffer from the memories and heartbreak of war.

I am proud to live in the United States but I realize that it took a lot of suffering from others in order for us to enjoy this freedom. Today we should celebrate America and all of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Thanks for reading and Happy Fourth!

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Image via Unsplash

21st Birthday Week Activities!

It is officially the week of my 21st Birthday! As I have mentioned before, birthdays have always been special to me because I share it with my Grandpa and Riley. Birthdays give me a chance to celebrate everything that I have accomplished in the last year and give me something to look forward to.

This year, I started my birthday week off with a trip to Cedar Point with Brett. Brett is a huge roller coaster fan and yesterday (October 19th) was the last day that the ride Mantis would be running. Brett is weird and sentimental about roller coasters so I agreed to drive down with him to say goodbye to Mantis. It ended up being the perfect day because it was pretty warm and the park was slow so we were able to ride almost every coaster without waiting. We had a great day together!

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Some other activities that I am looking forward to this week are:

  • Getting my new driver’s license: My current license features my braces and awkward 16 year old face. I am super excited to get a new one that actually looks like how I look now.

    16 year old me buying my first car!

    16 year old me buying my first car!

  • Organizing my birthday party: I am looking forward to having an awesome 21st birthday with all of my friends. We are still figuring out all of the details but it’s going to be a fun night no matter what we do.
  • Outlet Shopping: On the 25th my mom, sister, and I are traveling to the outlet mall for some serious shopping time!
  • Birthday party at the lake: Celebrating my birthday at the lake with my Grandpa and the rest of my family is seriously the best part of my birthday every year. I love spending time with my family and the lake looks beautiful in the fall!
  • The Lake!

               The Lake!

  • Carving pumpkins: My dad bought me and Dani pumpkins to carve for Halloween. I just think that carved pumpkins are so cute and I always have a great time designing mine!

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Overall, this week is going to be filled with so many great memories. I am planning on cherishing the time that I get to spend with my Grandpa, family, and friends this week. Turning 21 is a huge milestone but to me it is about way more important things than finally being able to drink alcohol. Turning 21 means that I have spent the past 20 years growing, learning, and becoming a better person. I am grateful for all of the opportunities that I have had over the last 20 years and I am looking forward to all of the adventures that 21 will bring me.