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Thanksgiving Look | #epicfail

Thanksgiving is just a week away friends and I can NOT begin to explain how happy I am to NOT be hosting this year. We celebrate every other year between my family & my husbands. Last year it was my turn to host (which I normally LOVE) – I am an ex-event planner so I love to entertain. Except, our thanksgiving took a turn for the worst before it even began. It’s not easy cooking for 40 family members and friends but after 10 years together my husband and I have hosting large parties down to a science. The day started off perfectly on schedule. The rentals delivered, centerpieces came out beyond perfect (I only have a single image to share.) I was just finishing setting the table, and my husband finishing the final prep for the side dishes when our day was about to take a left turn. Rhyker & T had decided to entertain themselves in front of the T.V. but must have become bored at some point and started to attempt to super man off the couch across the living room. into a pile of pillows. They where giggling and having a blast but you can guess how this ended. I heard the thud from the dining room, and then the cry but  before I could set down my flatware my husband had gotten to him. I had just walked into the living room when Chris pealed him off the floor, as he lifted Rhyker into his arms I could see the blood stream from his forehead.  Neither of us went into a panic, you see this isn’t his first time cracking his face open. (wish I was exaggerating)  I looked at the time, Just 20 minutes until everyone was due to arrive. I calmed Rhyker down and grabbed some ice and decided when my mother arrived we would take him to Urgent Care for some stitches. Chris offered to help keep the compress on his head and urged me to change out of my PJ’s so when she arrived we could leave right away.  I went upstairs and before I had the chance to change I heard my husband yelling Rhykers name.  My husband does not panic, so without thinking twice I grabbed the house phone to call 911- I was already dialing the number when I hit the stairs and saw my tiny toddlers limp body in my husbands arms. He had lost consciousness and Chris couldn’t wake him. Everything went into slow motion and even tho we live not even around the corner from the fire station it felt like an eternity for the medics to arrive. Just as they pulled up with sirens blazing all 40 family members seemed to appear out of thin air. It was quite the scene. Rhyker received his second ambulance ride  and a golden ticket to a 6 hour emergency room visit that ended in just 10 stitches. It was late in the evening when I finally made it home to discover not a single bit of thanksgiving dinner had been consumed. My entire family had waited just for us. The rest of the night was filled with so much love and laughter it felt like a very distant nightmare almost immediately, the turkey turned out dry, and the rolls that where made from scratch never made it in the oven but none of that even mattered. Just the people in my home, who starved themselves all day to make sure we didn’t miss breaking bread all together did. I only took a single photo the whole night- which you know breaks my heart deep down. We now have an epic thanksgiving fail story to share each year and my sons perfect beautiful face has a tiny scar that not many can see.

Are you ready for the holiday? This dress would be perfect look for the day and its ON SALE from 150 to just 89 dollars – and they still have it in almost every single size friends. Also I linked a very affordable dupe option that’s similar to these splurge over the knee boots. Let me know what you think !

This year I am happy to not be wearing my hostess hat and plan to make just a single side dish and let my mother in law do all the heavy lifting this year (Sorry have to nurse the baby, am I right?) Who are you celebrating with and what are you famous for making ??? I make some super great mash potatoes and a jello salad that’s not amazing but it’s sentimental to my childhood and we make it in honor of my my godfather who enjoyed it very very much. No one besides my brother in law actually likes it- but none the less I make it each year.

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32 Thoughts | Birthday Post

It’s my birthday weekend. I am pretty B I G on my birthday (who the hell isn’t?) B.C. (before children) I would start celebrating the anniversary of my birth on Nov. 1st. I bet my friends love the new boring Halleigh who just celebrates for the weekend (she’s way less annoying which is a bonus). Maybe when I am 80 I will just celebrate the day butttttt I highly doubt it. I have a running joke that on my 110th birthday I plan to sky dive. My Nino started a tradition of waking me up on my birthday to a cupcake for breakfast and my husband has carried that tradition on for the last 11 years- this is one of the bajillion reasons I love and adore him. This has also become a family tradition the kids L O V E ! I really am in a little bit of shock that I will be 32 years old – not because I feel old, but  because 10 years have come and gone crazy fast. I remember being 10 just wanting to be 13 SO bad and those 3 years where the LONGEST years of my entire life and don’t even get me started on the next three years waiting to turn 16. Yet the gap from 21 to 32… lighting quick !

Here are some thoughts on the matter:

  1. 32 is still super young. I mean… I still have friends, unmarried, without children living it up who have mastered online dating. So technically this means although I married youngish, have never swiped right and I have 3 kids – and have become certifiably boring – in an alternate universe I could totally not have my shit together living on the east coast, childless al la sex in the city type gal. Hence still young.
  2. I have never swiped right. So maybe I am not that young. I got married before online dating was really what it has become today. I was only 21 when I met my husband. I absolutely married my perfect partner and was so young when we got married but marriage is completely what you make of it. So that alternate east coast universe makes the Halleigh of this dimension’s arm pits sweat.
  3. With age comes wisdom. Like knowing you shouldn’t have more than 2 cocktails on a night out. Saying goodbye to toxic friendships. Drink plenty of water. Take your vitamins and enjoy being in bed by 9pm on a Saturday night.
  4. Take care of your skin. So on my 30th birthday I tried to get botox and the Dr. wouldnt do it- fast forward two years and I think it might be time friends. I should have started using some serious anti aging products 3 years ago (the kind that sting and make your skin peel) apparently because overnight my under eyes and forehead has really started to show some wear and tear ! Don’t wait till 25 to start using eye cream.
  5. Don’t waste your money on La Mer. I used the stuff for a decade and although it feels amazing, I don’t think it has kept me particularly youthful and my now mature self would like that small fortune back.
  6. Speaking of saving money… skip the boob job you think you need in your 20’s and put that money in a IRA account. I spent an ungodly amount of money on a boob job in my early 20’s only to remove them just last month. Although I loved them for a good year, ultimately I knew deep down it was a decision I would regret. So take it from me. Skip the boob job friends. I am happier than ever to have my ladies back to their old self.
  7. I now listen to my mother. She told me not to get the boob job. I should have listened. She’s told me lots of pearls of wisdom over the years that has fallen on deaf ears… but now when she speaks I have learned to listen. So call your mama. Listen to her when she has something to say.
  8. I have actually become her. More often than not when I open my mouth her words spill right out of me. My 12 year old self would be appalled and mortified this has actually come to fruition.
  9. Wear a bra to bed. Random thought but speaking of boob jobs and my mother this is actually been some really great beauty advice. She told my when I was 11 or 12 to sleep in a bra if I didn’t want saggy breasts. I have been GG G friends, gained and lost 120 pounds collectively in the last 5 years, removed 400 CC implants and get this… I DID NOT NEED A LIFT. I give my mother’s sage advice ALL THE CREDIT.
  10. Speaking of my body, it feels 32. I have had 3 children, it has preformed 3 tiny miracles and then 3 more when it bounced back BUT my back hurts, I wake up to stiff necks and I am not as limber as I used to be.
  11. My mind feels 40. Women mature faster than men. This never stops. My husband is 7 years older than me and I hands down am still more mature than he is.
  12. Brain fog. This might just be because I am a mom of 3 but I have a legit hard time remembering anything I don’t physically write down. This includes my age. I accidentally tell people I am still 30 all the time.
  13. I don’t feel the need to lie about my age. My brain fog takes care of this for me by default. However I did feel the need to lie when I was 30 and tell random mothers who mistook me for a nanny at preschool drop off that I was in fact 31.
  14. Material things still mater. In fact they have just gotten even more expensive. Instead of selfish purchases like designer shoes, clothes and cool cars that you dream of in your 20’s it’s now been replaced with home decor, pinterest worth remodels, and freaking expensive fiddle fig leaf potted trees.
  15. But the little things make me happy.  I never thought a coffee maker would bring me as much joy as it has. I really really really wanted a coffee ninja last year and I got it just after Christmas. I almost cried. Best purchase ever.
  16. Speaking of material things… this year we decided to pay off all our credit cards and live on a cash based budget. Best. Choice. Ever. We ditched our free points and now live completely debt free. Which brings me to…
  17. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. I spent most of my 20’s saving money just to buy designer bags or pay for car payments that where more than my rent. Now in my 30’s I live by this rule…it  applies to purchases,, drinking too much on a kidless weekend and just about e v e r y t h i n g.
  18. Embracing negative Nancy. I have learned to say No. This is kind of like point 16 but I say No a lot now. To clients, to friends, to family. I used to be a YES girl. YES to everything. Even if that meant me being stretched to the max between my family, my business, and my clients. No is my new BFF.
  19. I don’t miss my 20’sYes, I actually cried on my 25th birthday. I mourned it hard. I totally felt sorry for myself. Granted at the time we had been struggling to get pregnant, I was transitioning careers and was in general in a kinda bad place… my now 32 year old self giggles. Life hadn’t even started yet and e v e r y t h i n g was going to be just fine – I would never weigh 110 pounds again but I wouldn’t really even care.
  20. Being boring is the new black. My life is pretty drama free, toxic relationship free, and I don’t get my feelings hurt when I am not invited. FOMO is no longer a mental disorder. I actually rather stay in with my tiny humans, my husband and watch netflix. Sometimes we collectively sigh when we get invited places. We are that boring.
  21. I might be boring but I am still irresponsible, kind of. Just because I am boring, and I don’t drink much and I say NO a lot, arrive to everything early doesn’t mean I completely have my shit together. I don’t have a will and I am a mother of three for crying out loud. SO irresponsible…. I should also probably purchase some life insurance just to make up for being so irresponsible for the last 5 years.
  22. Old dogs can learn new tricks. I recently just learned how to french braid and dutch braid. My 12 year old self would be super proud of me. Also I taught myself a new editing software for video. Granted I still have a hard time operating my iPhone.
  23. Time management. This has become a big one. I have made a tiny human army and I am in charge so managing their time, and my own has become a huge task that I have mastered in my 30’s. We aren’t super scheduled but I make sure that their is enough of me to go around just for them and that when I am with them I am fully present.
  24. Self care is important. Making time for myself is super important. I try to take an hour each week to just do something for myself. Working out, getting my nails done, or just a bath with a book. Me time is important. I was afraid when I had Marrek, me time would be a thing of the past but thanks to time management… its still achievable.
  25. Highschool never ends. Hate to break it to you. Those mean girls from school become mothers. The cliques still exist. Drop off sometimes feels like the first day of freshman year all over again BUT you no longer really care- at least I don’t. The low key cool moms are out there you just have to find your tribe.
  26. It’s harder to make friends in your 30’s. Its true. Might be because we have become slightly boring. We say No more- but just in general people have their lives pretty set at season of life we are in. Parents of three. So its just harder to meet new people. Sometime I feel like I am speed dating at the park when I meet new moms.
  27. Quality over Quantity. The friends that bleed over from your 20’s into your 30’s are the real deal. The ones who don’t make it where never really your friend to being with. Those relationships are the real deal so remember to use those time management skills and make time to meet for playdates, coffee and dinners every blue moon.
  28. Mom guilt will kill you. It keeps you up at night. So learn quickly to let it go and just try to do better tomorrow. We all have our failures, just let it go and try harder tomorrow. DO NOT LET IT KEEP YOU UP. Sleep is the new hottest commodity.
  29. FOMO. Every so often I feel like I missed out on seeing the world. My passport has collected a little dust and isn’t as jammed packed with stamps as my childless counter parts  but I remind myself that by the time I am 40 I will have a 14, 12, 8 year old and most likely a 6 year old. Traveling will get easier and our trips abroad will circle back.
  30. Ugg did I just say 40? Just because I have embraced my early thirties with positivity doesn’t mean I will welcome 40 with ease and grace but today I am just focusing on being 32 and not letting the stress of how quickly times does bog me down.
  31. Besides, I still look 28. I get carded all the time even with the kids. I am going to hold onto to this for as long as I can. Those fine lines I see must be pretty darn hard for others to see.
  32. The art of being alone.  I am going to spend my birthday alone (well part of it.) I wouldn’t trade all the craziness motherhood has brought but its true what they say silence is golden So I am spending the morning at my favorite place, alone.. As I write this I am being climbed on and Tinsley is crying about Rhyker touching her pen. I shit you not. So if I am counting down the minutes till Sunday morning. Don’t blame me.
  33. Confidence. 30’s have brought something so hard for many to achieve. I now have the confidence to just be me. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me except for a 5 year old little girl and 3 year old little boy. I feel confident in my 30 year old, loose skin. I feel even more beautiful, than I ever did in my 20’s – because I am no longer chasing the impossible.

Well crap theres an extra thought. If you made it this far I applaud you. These thoughts are so random, I am not even sure if many of them pertain to my age or just my life experience in general.

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Holiday Session Style Guide | 2017

 

Time to start planning for family photos ! Did you throat just tighten up a little and your heart start racing ? Don’t worry… I am here to help. As a photographer I have seen it all ! The good, the bad and the regretful. Each year I would scratch my head and then one day I figured it ALL OUT. It took me years to be brave enough to guide my clients with tasteful color choices so those white shirts and jeans would never be seen again.  Thanks to pinterest styling holiday photos have become more stressful than prepping for you SAT’s. I am sharing my years of experience to guide you into taking the daunting task as taking on yet another roll, stylist and making it SUPER easy ! The easiest way to pick your color scheme is to choose one person to put into a pattern- it doesn’t matter who but just keep it to ONE person. Then pull all the colors from that pattern and dress the following family members in those colors. Don’t be afraid to play with colors and keep your location in mind. (I have made a super helpful color chart below… be a pal and save it as a pin!) Don’t focus on perfectly matching the colors… but instead play within the shade family. One time saving tip is to shop all the looks from ONE store… (Zara, Old Navy, J. Crew etc.) usually all the colors in a given season play well with one another and you don’t have to worry about the reds, greens blues whatever being totally different and one person sticking out like a sore thumb. Lastly accessorize ! Put you 12 year old in that bow tie while you still can and try to relax and have fun! Also if you want major brownie points with your photographer Mom take the morning and go have you makeup done… it’s a luxury but you’re worth it and you will love your photos all the more, girl scouts honor. This look above is from OLD NAVY and cost just over 175.00 for shoes, pants, dresses and accessories for the whole family… can you beat that? Can’t wait to see your holiday photos on my feed soon babes !

 

 

 

Here is our family last year playing by my ONE style rule ! Doesn’t hurt that their super duper cute !

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