Wife to my high school sweetheart, boy mama to sweet baby boy Macrae, and two fur babies Shiloh and Milo, a full time high school history teacher, and overall enthusiast for life. Avid podcast listener, iced coffee drinker, and organized chaos manager. My passion is to encourage and inspire. To cultivate an intentional life, a life full of joy and an abundance of grace.
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Okay… so here we GO! I haven’t done a post like this before, primarily because I haven’t really thought there were this many things to say or to share.. but in honor of my birthday.. I thought Why not!?
So here we go. 27 things you may or may not have known about me!
And by the way… I am keeping it absolutely REAL. Cue all the emotions, vulnerabilities, and quirks.
Okay first things first, most of you do know that my number one priority/time-commitment each and every day is serving as a teacher. And yes, I said serving, because I truly believe that what I get to do each and every day with the best high-schoolers around is a privilege! And I absolutely love it.
I teach high school social studies and in my last six years of teaching I have taught everything from government, US History, all levels of world history and AP Human Geography. To me it’s not about the curriculum, but more importantly, about encouraging and shaping the lives of every single person that walks into my classroom each semester, for the year. Which is roughly 280-300 students.
Also. I always had it in me to be a teacher. When I was 10, I asked for an overhead projector for my birthday, and I then took all of my homework assignments and converted them to transparencies to teach my “pretend” class! Good times!
And when I am not spending my time teaching, grading, or lesson planning (or inspirational note-card writing (because that IS my thing!) then I am surrounded by the most encouraging, motivating, and hardest-working runners that I know. I have coached cross-country and track for five years. This past season, was my first spring not coaching track, mainly for my own mental & emotional health.. I just needed to prioritize a few things, but I missed it.. most definitely.
Regardless, cross country season is about kick into gear again, and I am so excited! Because as a girl who ran in high school (and for a few years in college) cross country (and just distance running in general) means family… and I sure do love the family I have with our team.
this one is OH so fun!! Basically J and I started dating in high school (which was like 11 years ago… HOW?!) I most definitely liked him more and he wasn’t necessarily interested. You can ask my high school gang and they would tell you just the same! Anyways… long story short.. after becoming super embarrassed for how strong I came on.. I immediately pulled away, thinking that this was it and that I needed to give up on all the dreams I had for my older, gorgeous with the summer tan, cross country friend. And surely, right around that time, a certain someone realized that he actually missed me being around (because I started to avoid him at that point) AND the rest is history.
Okay this one is just absolutely fun!! If I am completely real, I think it would be so amazing to simply become famous enough to land as a star on Dancing with the Stars. Because here is the deal. I CAN’T DANCE! At all. Like it’s pathetic. So I think I would love the opportunity to work with a professional in an intense environment to see if I could pull it off. Also, Dancing with the Stars is one of my absolute favorite shows to watch because of learning the personal stories of so many celebrities and watching their growth throughout the course of the competition. So, yeah I would love to do! @abc cast me please!!
You know those questions that you get for ice breakers -what is one secret talent that you wish you had, but obviously you don’t already. Hands down. I wish I could sing.. WELL! I still do, mainly by myself while in the car driving to and from all the things… and at home to my dog… I make up a song to him practically every day. But, to be able to have a voice that inspired people and moved people. That would be amazing.
This one is definitely way more personal. But basically, when I was in college… fate, faith, and the Lord introduced me to one of the sweetest, and most courageous humans I have ever had the privilege of knowing. My friend Laura and I brought Relay for Life to Kennesaw State where we worked endlessly raising money to fight against cancer, went on spontaneous beach trips, had impromptu dance parties… all before her cancer spread to a place that put her on hospice.. to where the hang outs became sleep-overs, where I would help assist in waking her up throughout the course of the night to give her all the meds.. and then finally our final good-bye.
And all of this is know well over 7 years ago, but man it still stings at my heart, and I would be lying if I told you that it didn’t impact my faith. Watching a loved one die is the most challenging. And if you have been through this yourself, especially with someone losing their battle with cancer, I would love it if you could reach out!
Okay… change of mood to probably my most darkest secret! HA! Seriously though… I have and will always be a gamer at heart. Yes, you heard that right. Roller Coaster Tycoon and Sims II were my jam. And to be honest, when summer and winter break roll around. You will most definitely find me spending some of my time building roller coasters and creating a virtual family that is broke and can never keep the vegetable garden alive on Sims.
I LOVE MUSICALS. I was in theater in high school – straight-play as they called it (because remember, I Can’t Sing!) But, one of my favorite memories of the whole thing… besides a weekend spent at Thespian conference (Which was the best… Theater Honors Society) BUT my other most favorite memory was when I served on the Crew, running lights, for Thoroughly Modern Millie. Which is just to prove my point. I love musicals. And when ever I see the latest one either at school or on the Fox.. I immediately download the soundtrack and play it on repeat… for days!!
Currently playing non-stop the soundtrack from Dear Evan Hansen. Which is absolutely amazing, by the way!
Another fun/weird fact. I dream A LOT at night when I sleep. And the dreams I have are always the most intense. I seriously should keep a journal on my bedside and write them all down as soon as I wake up, because they would make for the absolute best movies.. and I could become the world’s next greatest screen-writer. You never know.
But seriously… I am always flying (yes.. me, my body flying as if it were a bird) or fighting crime, or acting as a spy elsewhere in the world.. OR I become harry potter… all in my dreams… the craziest… speaking of…
I am the biggest Harry Potter Fan. Have read all the books at least a couple of times. Watched all the movies. Prefer the books because they are just THAT GOOD!! Went to the midnight book releases for all the books.. and my senior class during our senior week.. actually acted out Harry Potter. Probably the best day of high school ever! It was the best.
We organized a facebook group where we all signed up for different characters weeks in advance. We acted out different scenes throughout the course of the day. And finally before the final bell of dismissal rang.. our student body president, went over the intercom and announced to “all of Hogwarts” that the final battle would take place on the common grounds right then. To which we all ran out to pay our respects to THE Albus Dumbledore. Seriously, this day was the BEST!
Running is everything. It is my therapy. It is my release. It is where I learn the most about myself and challenge myself all along the way. I have been running since freshmen year of high school and would love to be able to run another marathon and quality for Boston. That would be such a dream come true. Maybe this December!!
For most people, I feel like their college experiences were the best, maybe its because they are filled with all the parties, for me.. I never was that kind of girl. Believe it or not, I pretty much followed all of the rules.. that is just the kind of person that I am. BUT… I loved high school… I had my teammates, my best friends, my family ALL there. The best coaches and teachers. For me, my high school experience created the vision I had for my future.. my future now as a high school teacher and cross country coach, married to her high school sweetheart! So I think very fondly of those days! And if I had a button to go back and relieve them, I most definitely would!
Speaking of high school. I have to share ONE OF MY most favorite memories ever. So basically, me and my girls (and when I say my girls, I refer to my xc girls) we were obsessed with High School Musical. Everything about it, we were obsessed. So the 3rd and final HSM movie came out during our senior year, so one of my bests, Carly and I we got permission from our cross country coach to run our workout earlier that morning, I believe we told him that we had an appointment after school, so we ran the work-out, got dressed in the locker rooms, she dressed up as Gabriella, I dressed up as Sharpay. We went to school like that, and then left school early, to go see the earliest showing that afternoon.
And we watched the whole thing (practically the only two people in the theater) and we were completely over-whelmed and cried. Because it was THAT good. And the whole series just meant that much to us. Also it doesn’t hurt to add that we both had the biggest crush on Zac Efron.
On a more personal note. I LOVE being an Aunt. I am Aunt “EE” to the sweetest nephew and niece and I seriously love them so much! They are the cutest, and funniest little ones I ever did see. And they seriously make life SO great!! Who the heck knows when we begin our own family.. but for now, my heart is completely content with these two littles and being the best Aunt EE I can be!
And onto a definite more serious level, I absolutely struggle with getting overwhelmed. I tend to put a lot on my plate (see #20) and I can often have so much on my mind/or to-do list/or unread notifications/texts on my phone, that I completely shut off. It’s not the best and I am learning. But it definitely happens and I am learning and focusing on taking deeper breaths. Because that is absolutely a necessity for all things, whether you get overwhelmed or not!
Travel. We love to travel. We value travel. Both J and I work A TON. Long hours, long weeks, so we value our time traveling because it is time that allows us to focus on us and spend that quality time together doing what we enjoy most, exploring new places throughout the US and around the world. So we absolutely make it a priority to take the trip and enjoy the experience. We share the same belief in that, we aren’t ever going to look back way later in life and say.. “Oh, dang we shouldn’t have taken that trip,” but you are way more likely to say.. “I wish we would have traveled more!”
So that the approach that we take. And we are so excited for future travels, and being able to share them with you all on here and on Instagram.
And one of the reasons we love to travel, and most of the places we travel to, revolve around our love for craft beer. We most definitely are craft beer snobs as you could say. (*Real quick disclaimer…. I mentioned earlier that I followed all of the rules.. and that I did, I truly did not have a drink until I turned 21, this being said.. if you are reading this an underage, please respect the laws and your own self.. AND for those who can drink… always, always drink in moderation, and never ever place yourself behind the wheel!)
Okay now that I threw that disclaimer out there – We love a good New England IPA. With all the hops and haze. The kind of glass that looks like an OJ when poured correctly! And we travel to find them. Which means we have developed quite the taste, and have to go to Boston or Portland, Maine at least once a year to stock up on our favorites! Look up the list of the top IPAs in the US airand we probably have had at least 8 of the top 10. We find such joy in trying and finding new discoveries. And this is a passion that we both share tremendously!
If you follow me at all, then you know without question, that I am obsessed with my dog. Shiloh is the best, sweetest and cutest pup ever. He is all about the cuddles, snuggles and kisses. Gosh I love him so much. Neither J, nor I had any dogs growing up, so these past two years with Shiloh have been a complete game-changer on our hearts and our own thoughts on one’s capacity and ability to love.
This is something I have struggled with my entire life. And very, VERY few people know about this! But, I constantly deal with feeling not-enough, struggling with loneliness, and the feeling of not having a community. It can be challenging, but I think it reflects more on me and my own insecurities more than anything else.
I seriously am always on the go. Always filling my schedule with the responsibilities. And I know that can be crazy, but this is just how I was made.. and for the season of my life that I am currently in. It works! I do better and function as my true self, the more that I am doing, if that makes sense!! I am not afraid thought to slow down and slam on the brakes as needed, and will do that when necessary to keep my physical, mental, and emotional health in check, so I keep those things in line… or at least try very hard to!
Hands down favorite food ever. I am obsessed. I could eat a pint of blueberries every single day. They are the best!
A few months ago, J and I planted a couple of blueberry bushes in our backyard.. and they are actually growing. I am SO excited for the blueberries we will have ripe and ready to eat in just a few months!
I most definitely can be shy and quiet. Speak in front of a crowd, an audience, a body of 500+ students.. NO Problem! That does not bother me. But put me in a room of people my age that I may or may not know that well, and I immediately resort to the sides of the room and feel extremely insecure. That’s just me, and something that not a lot of people know, but it is the truth!
I LOVE a good joke. I LOVE playing a good prank on people. It can bring me SO much joy! And I love the giddy excitement that comes with the success of a good prank!
Probably the most extensive prank I have ever pulled was back in college on our way home from our cross country meet. I convinced a guy on the team that he had left his phone back in South Georgia (a good 4 hours away) I had his phone the whole time on the bus ride back, answered it and disguised my voice as the manager of the gas station) and had this guy convinced that he was going to have to get in the car and drive the 4 hours to get his phone… we finally broke the news to him when the bus pulled into the parking lot back at school. And to be honest, I am not sure if he ever thought it was as funny as we did, but OH it was such a good prank.
Not many know this, but I played soccer for a good 12 years of my life. All the way from age 4 to my freshmen year of high school. I never played club or travel league as they now call it. But my girls and I on our rec team, we were really good! For the most part, we played together for the majority of those 12 years and became a family, that I still treasure to this day!
Also, a part of me also wonders if I would have made my high school team if I had tried out!
Real deal. When I was younger, I wanted to be an inspirational speaker. That was it. My dad finally said, Haley.. inspirational speakers don’t make the most money and you have to be really, really good to make it… not that you can’t be, but why don’t you consider teaching.. do you know just how many students you can impact that way…”
And sure enough two of my favorite experiences at the high school I teach at were when the senior class selected me to speak at their Senior Evening of Inspiration for two years in a row. That meant everything. And I poured my heart into both of those speeches and loved every minute of it.
my first job ever was a scooper at Bruster’s Ice Cream. And believe it or not, I never really liked ice cream before working there. But of course after spending several summers scooping up (and cleaning up) all the ice cream, I became obsessed.
I also have a hard time going to Bruster’s nowadays because I have a personal thing towards Bruster’s.. I notoriously over-scooped and gave the most generous portions for the four+years of working there. So, I definitely feel a little (iff) when I go and receive the smallest scoop. (AHH don’t take this the wrong way.. just trying to be honest!!)
one day, I would love to write a book. one day, I would love to create my own planner. And I am including this here as #27 as proof for that when the day comes and these dreams/goals/aspirations come to fruition, it was said before, however long ago!
I am a lover of words. And believe that I can use the words to help others, and that is such a big dream of my heart.
WELL FRIENDS. We did it. If you are still reading all the way through here, well can I just say THANK YOU! You are so kind and I greatly appreciate your support in all of this.
I loved this blog! I am a lot older than you, but yet – we have so much in common. I dream about flying, also dream of being a motivational speaker and hope to write a book. I even used to love running! I can’t run anymore but hiking and walking as taken its place. It was and will always be my therapy. A happy 27th birthday to you!