What Fourth of July Means to Me

fourth of july

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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2018: Third Quarter Goals

2018 Third Quarter Goals

Goooood morning and Happy Monday!

I can’t believe that we are already half way through 2018! This year is going by so quickly and now that summer is here I would really like time to slow down a bit ūüôā

You may be wondering why I do quarter goals instead of monthly or annual goals if you haven’t read my first and second goal posts. I really like to give myself extra time to complete goals so monthly goals are out of the question. However, a year is too much time to concentrate on my goals so splitting them into four parts makes them more manageable!

The second quarter of 2018 proved to be a very trying time for me. I learned a lot but I¬†am happy to leave the events in the past. I’m ready to have a fresh start in third quarter!

  1. Finish unpacking. Yes, we moved in March and yes, we still have a few boxes to unpack. I’d love to go into fourth quarter with an unpacked house with fully built furniture. Moving is hard and I feel like we will never run out of things to do but we are loving being homeowners!
  2. Teach Oscar some basic commands. Oscar can already sit pretty well and is on his way to being fully potty trained. I would love to focus on his leash walking skills, stay, shake, and getting him to fully recognize his name.
  3. Create some work-life balance. Ugh, this is so hard for me but I really need to learn to put myself first! I have been so stressed at work and it’s not good for me or my co-workers. I have been trying to leave on time, take lunches, and get up from my desk instead of being locked up all day.
  4. Finish up all of our remaining wedding items. This includes picking up our wedding video from the videographer, writing vender reviews, finishing our wedding album, writing some wedding related blog posts, and thanking the many people who helped make our day special again.
  5. Go on a date with Brett. I can’t remember the last time Brett and I truly went on a date just the two of us.¬†I would love to see a movie, go to dinner, or grab ice cream and just chat. We have both been so busy and I honestly miss him! Some nights we have to stay up late talking because we haven’t been able to spend any time together and we have a lot to catch up on.
  6. Start planning our next adventure. I miss traveling and I am longing to get out of the country for a bit. Our honeymoon in London was SO fun and I constantly think about it. Brett and I have so much fun traveling together and right now he works for an airline so we fly stand-by for free. We need to take advantage of these benefits and get away!

These are just a few of the things that I am hoping to accomplish over the next couple of months! I know 2018 will be over before we know it so it’s time to really kick my booty into gear!

Thanks for reading!

Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley

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Migraine Update: Discharged From PT

physical therapy, migraine awareness month, chronic migraine headaches, treatme

Hey, friends!

I took a sick day today for a migraine and slept on and off all morning and afternoon. If you read my Migraine Story you know that my Neurologist recommended physical therapy and weaned me off of the preventative medicine that I’ve been on for years.

Well, my headaches have been terrible since weaning off of my medicine. I have had to take ibuprofen four times per day in order to dull the pain enough to go to work. My long-term goal is to not need to take any pain medication unless I have a migraine because it’s extremely bad for my body.

So I’ve had this migraine for about four days now and haven’t taken any medication in 30 ish hours. The reason I’m not taking anything for my migraine is because I know that I’m having rebound headaches which are caused by overusing medication. I need to get to the root problem which means stopping any rebound headaches.

Today was also a scheduled physical therapy day for me which I did not want to cancel. I went to PT expecting to do the stretches I have been practicing and maybe learning some new ones. My physical therapist is awesome but she knew that our appointments were not helping me reach my goal of being pain-free.

I didn’t expect to be discharged today. I didn’t expect to cry over being discharged. I didn’t expect to feel a wave of hopelessness when she told me that she didn’t think she could help.

I did feel like she heard me and believed me. I felt like she wanted to help me find an answer. She empowered me to not take “no” for an answer from my neurologist and doctors.

She will be sending a note over to my neurologist with her treatment recommendations which include a pain clinic or headache institute in either Ann Arbor or Chicago. I am doing my research and will talk to my family and doctors about the next steps. I’m sad that another door has been closed but I am hopeful that another will open very soon. My physical therapist reminded me that on the outside I look healthy but I need to remind people that I’m still suffering.

I did take away one important thing from physical therapy that I wanted to share with everyone. I know that I am extremly lucky to not have a brain tumor or a terminal disaese. But just because I can’t be “diganosed” doesn’t mean that I’m not still fighting for my life. Every day I am fighting for a quality of life that doesn’t involve constant pain, sleepless nights, and bottles of medication. I am fighting for a life where Brett and I can start a family which is currenly not an option. I am fighting to travel and spend a day at the lake with my family like a normal twenty-something.

I’m not asking for a miracle. I’m just asking to feel okay again.

June is migraine awarness month. Hopefully me sharing my story can help others who are suffering the same fate that I am. I’m not alone in this and I won’t stop fighting for myself and everyone else who is impacted.

I’ve ordered some books and will be spending the next few weeks researching my next steps. Let me know if you like these updates and want to stay informed on my treatment options!

Thanks so much for reading!

 
Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley

 
Photo by Imani Clovis on Unsplash

Meet Oscar – The Story of Our Rescue Dog

Dog Rescue, Adopt Don't Shop, Our Rescue Dog Story
Hey friends!

The most exciting thing happened a couple of weeks ago. If you follow me on Instagram you would have already seen but….

Brett and I finally adopted our first dog together! We have been considering taking this step for a while and we finally¬†pulled the trigger. His name is Oscar and he is a 5ish month old Dachshund puppy. He may be a Dachshund mix but we aren’t completely¬†sure at this point in time.

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It seems like Oscar has had a bit of a rough life. We¬†found him at an Animal Shelter¬†about 30 minutes from our house. My sister and I went to meet him one day after work. Brett didn’t want to go¬†because he thought¬†that he might get too attached.

One of the first things I noticed about Oscar was how tiny he seemed in the small meeting room that the Shelter used. His ribs were very noticeable and the lady we were talking to said that he was malnourished and under weight. I couldn’t believe how sweet and cuddly he was even though he was just meeting us.

It was love at first sight. I knew in my heart that I wanted to adopt this little puppy and make sure that he had the best life ever! Brett and I knew that we wanted a rescue dog, we wanted to save a life. If you’ve read my post about my parent’s dog, Megan, then you would already know just how important rescue animals are to me. We changed Megan’s life and she certainly changed ours too!

Osc

 

We visited Oscar on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon the Shelter called to tell us that they had reviewed our application and were allowing us to adopt Oscar! I was at work at the time so after I hung up I went running over to my co-workers and shouted the good news! I was, and still am, so excited!

On Friday May 25th Oscar was neutered. That afternoon, Brett, Dani, and I picked him up from the Shelter. I couldn’t wait to bring him home and give him all the love that he deserves. During the car ride home Oscar rested his head on my shoulder and gave us all so many kisses. I could tell that he was happy to be going home with us.

So far Oscar has been the sweetest puppy and is the perfect addition to our little family. He is doing really well with his potty training and loves sleeping in his crate. The night we brought him home we set up his crate with a bed, blanket, and his soft toys. He went right in at bedtime and fell asleep!

OScarLucy
I was most worried about how Oscar would behave around our cat Lucy. So far, so good though! Lucy mostly ignores him and Oscar tends to chase her from time to time. But mostly they will both snuggle up with me on the couch at night. Lucy has adjusted to him fine and I know that with time they may even become friends.

Our little family has grown to four members and we couldn’t be happier! Stay tuned for more puppy adventures!

Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley

 

Let’s Chat About Instagram!

Instagram, Blogging, Social Media Blogging
Hey, friends!

I’ve been thinking a lot about Instagram lately and I wanted to get your opinion on it.

I see SO many bloggers connecting with other bloggers on Instagram and I really want to join in on the fun. I have an account but I use it for my personal life and have friends and family follow me. I feel awkward promoting my blog on my personal Instagram. I go to post something and think “no one cares about your blog” and delete it. 90% of my Instagram posts never even make it to the public.

So, what¬†I want¬†to know is what is your opinion on having an Instagram account just dedicated to your blog? I’ve been blogging for almost five years and still don’t feel super comfortable promoting myself to people I know outside of blogging so I think I need to create a separate account.

Would it be okay to create a new Instagram?

Let me know what you think! I would love to discuss!

 

Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley

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My Migraine Story

 

Chronic Migraines, Chronic Headaches, My Migraine Story, Migraine Treatments

Hey, hey.

It’s me, back with one of the most personal posts I have ever shared on the internet.

It’s no secret that I have been living with daily headaches and chronic migraines. I have often¬†shared my struggles with balancing life and work with the constant pain. I still don’t have any answers and I may never receive them but I thought I’d share my story because I know that I am not the only one struggling.

I can remember having headaches as a pre-teen but they never lasted that long. My junior year in high school was when my headaches started to become a routine problem but I was able to take an ibprofen and be fine to go about my day.

My mom, sister, and I got into a car accident that same year. My head went through the passenger side window and I still can’t remember the accident. I have a brief memory of waking up in the ambulance but I mostly just remember waking up at the hospital.

After the car accident, I continued to have headaches but they started to get a little stronger. I also started to get migraines that made me sick to my stomach. Senior year was when they became an almost constant problem. My eyesight started getting blurry and it was painful to wake up in the morning. My brain felt like it was pressing up against my skull at all times.

College was when I started to see a neurologist. My headaches had become constant and I was getting migraines a couple of times per month. I was living in the noisy dorms and trying to balance 5 classes, a part-time job, and a minimal social life. It was not how I imagined college to be. For the first time, I was prescribed something for the pain. We discovered early on that I have a bad reaction to most of the commonly used medicines for headache pain. My stomach could not seem to handle it.

I went to London and hoped for the best. My headaches followed me and I spent more time then I want to admit in bed with the blankets covering my eyes. I had to say no to experiences with my friends and missed many of our lunch time adventures. I vowed to make a change when I got home. I didn’t want to keep missing out on things due to my headaches.

Not much changed when I got home and I can’t exactly pinpoint the moment where my headaches started to rule over me. I needed to take ibprofen three times a day in order to function. My head hurt the worst in the morning when I first woke up and at night when I was trying to sleep. The pain would wake me up from a deep sleep. I started to become dependent on ibprofen because it was the only thing that made me feel normal, if only for a few hours.

Now I understand that my constant intake of ibprofen actually began to cause rebound headaches. My body became dependent on it and it made my headaches even worse. I actually felt like I couldn’t function without it. But what was I to do? I was a full time student and almost full time employee at a job where I couldn’t just call off work if I didn’t feel well. It was a never ending cycle.

I graduated in April 2016 and began looking for a full time job in my field. I spent a lot of time in bed in between working and applying for jobs. I was exhausted and didn’t take care of myself. I stopped taking the preventative medicine that my doctor had given to me because it wasn’t working and I felt hopeless.

Fast forward to me accepting my current position and being thrown into a field that I I knew very little about. I thought that college had prepared me for a corporate job but I was very wrong and very out of my element. I was depressed and sick. I started seeing my neurologist again and we discussed the lifestyle changes that I would need to make in order to start feeling better.

It’s been a year and a half and very little progress has been made. I have a headache every single day and am almost constantly nauseous. I struggled a lot in the beginning of my career because the pain made me feel really self conscious and I didn’t want my new co-workers to know my problems. But now they know and understand that sometimes I need to sit in my corner quietly and just work. I try to miss as few days as possible at work but my boss is very understanding if I need to take a break.

So, that’s where I am at. Many years and no answers. I should mention that my mom and grandma both have these headaches so the doctors know that it is genetic. I am also consulting a neurologist when taking medications. It is very important to speak to a medical professional when taking any sort of medication.

I am trying to stay hopeful that my neurologist will find something to help me. At my last visit we discussed trying physical and massage therapy.  I start physical therapy this week and am super hopeful that it will help! And now you know that if I ever go a long time without blogging it is most likely due to having a bad headache week.

Let me know if you have any recommendations! I might write a post on all my tips and tricks for dealing with headaches or migraines.

Thanks so much for reading!

Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley

 

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The Importance of Practicing Self-Care

The Importance of Practicing Self-Care
Hello, my friends!

I have spent the past few weekends learning how to practice self-care. I have never given myself enough time to truly focus on making myself happy. I am always in a rush and when I do have any down time I like to spend it reading or relaxing on the couch. Relaxing is important but I never felt better afterward.

In one of my last posts I talked about my weight gain. What I didn’t really mention were all of the negative things that I brought upon myself because of the weight gain. I hated the way that I looked and the way my clothes fit.¬†I thought punishing myself by squeezing into my old clothes would motivate me to lose weight. Instead I just felt terrible all of the time. My confidence, especially at work, was at an all time low.

A couple of weekends ago I finally had had enough. My mom, sister, and I drove to the outlet mall and I bought all new work pants and jeans. I had no idea how much of an impact those purchases would have on my self esteem. It felt good to not look like I was squished into my pants. I wouldn’t say I felt confident but I did feel better.

The next weekend¬†I decided to spend an hour getting my haircut and eyebrows waxed. It felt so good. I have such thick hair and it grows at such a fast pace. I usually only get my haircut every six months but it was making me unhappy so I decided to change it. You still won’t catch me styling it in any way but at least I can brush it!

Spending a little time on self care is SO important and I am just now realizing that. I have never ever made the time to put myself first. I deserve to be happy and shouldn’t punish myself for the fact that I’ve gained weight.

Do you have any tips for practicing self-care? I’d love to hear them!

 

Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley

 

Photo by Tim Goedhart on Unsplash