October 18, 2012

Update on the Happy Hale House

Good Thursday to you!

Here is a little update on the Happy Hale House:

We are doing just splendid!  We recently booked tickets to Colorado for Thanksgiving.  We are super stoked!!  It will be Caffrey's first flight ever and I have been consuming everything I can get my hands on about flying with a 7 month old (he will be 7 1/2 months when we fly - crazy!!).  If you have any helpful information please, please, please do share.  I would be forever grateful.

Matt has been working faithfully (I am unbelievably thankful for his hard work that allows me to be at home with C).  He is also in his 5th week of a 6 week class.  We are both looking forward to a little break from school after this class is completed.  It will be a bit of a breathing time for us, planning for the future, that sort of thing.

Caffrey is crawling like a boy on a mission.  And I love it!  It has certainly changed my daily routine and I am learning to take advantage of nap times.  (Sigh.  Thank you Lord for nap times.)  We have also started trying out foods.  He L-O-V-E-S his organic brown rice cereal.  Sits there waiting with his mouth open like a little baby bird.  He has not yet fallen in love with anything else.  We have tried butternut squash, avocado and bananas.  He accepts it into his mouth and then very gentlemanly-like, leans over in his seat with his mouth open and waits until the unsatisfactory food falls out. And I work really hard not to laugh.  We will just keep plugging away until he realizes how amazing it all is.  And yes, I am believing that day will come.
We (well, Matt) had to lower Caffrey's crib yesterday since our sweet boy has now learned how to pull himself up to a standing position!  Certainly didn't want to have any falling-out-of-the-crib experiences.  It was bittersweet.  So much fun to see him growing and learning but a little bit sad at the same time.  

My current on-going project is to de-clutter our house.  Ever since I have been home I have realized how much STUFF we have.  And how it makes upkeep of our happy little home that much more difficult.  So I am, slowly, working my way through each room cleaning, going through, throwing away, giving away and organizing our things.  It is slow.  I am one of those people who, as I am going through things, begins to reminisce and relive the stories that go along with the things.  And that will certainly slow you down.

I hope you are all having a beautiful week.  Enjoy these delicious fall days.

Have a happy day!


September 11, 2012

Just Wanted to Share

I hope you are all having such a beautiful day!

I just wanted to share a few pictures (practicing!!) from a post Happy Hale evening stroll.  Also, I am interviewing the first couple for the first Love Story tonight!  I know you will just love them like I do.


September 9, 2012

Back from a Little Break

I took a little break but now I'm back.  Smiles!!

I am sitting here hoping my sweet boy will take a much needed nap...we shall see!

I have been wanting to ask you if any of you have ever made your own baby food.  I would like to do so, though I have to admit I am a little intimidated.  It seems like such a daunting task.  Any suggestions?  Any lessons learned that you would like to share?

Also, those of you in Murfreesboro, have you noticed the butterflies?  I feel like I am seeing more butterflies than normal.  It truly makes me smile.  And it reminded me of the AMAZING journey that butterflies take!  Have you seen it?

Here is a video from NOVA.  It is absolutely beautiful.  

 The Incredible Journey of the Butterfly

It doesn't sound like Caffrey is planning on a nap.  Perhaps an early bedtime.

I hope you all are having a splendid weekend and I'll see you back here tomorrow!


August 31, 2012


I came across a beautiful adoption story today and have spent the last 10 minutes reading and crying.

Absolutely beautiful.

Matt and I have talked about adopting someday and it is very much in our hearts.  Reading this story simply affirmed that desire in me.  Children are so special, such a blessing from the Lord...

As I was reading this adoption story the Lord gave me a special gift.  I was looking at the pictures of when the family first met their new daughter.  There were tears and smiles and rejoicing; it was absolutely breathtaking.  And as I looked at those pictures I felt the Lord say to me, "That's how I feel about you and that's how I feel when my children choose me."  The Lord is so in love with us and the moment we choose Him, he adopts us into his family and we become children of God.  And there are tears and smiles and rejoicing and such unimaginable love.

Adoption is so precious.  To be separated and alone and feeling unwanted and rejected and then for someone to come along and say, "You are wanted, you are loved," is beyond compare.  And the Lord is extending that hand and heart of adoption to each one of us.  It leaves me speechless.

I know someday, maybe soon maybe not so soon, Matt and I will have the privilege and joy of adopting a little boy or a little girl (or maybe one of each...).  I know our lives will never be the same.  And I am so excited for that day come.

Know today that you are loved by the very One who made you.

You are wanted.  You are loved.  You are not rejected.


P.S. Do you have an adoption story?  I would love to hear about it!

August 29, 2012


I am super excited to share this great website I found with you called, Digital Photography School.  It offers loads of helpful photography information.  You can sign up to receive their weekly newsletter and/or join for free to receive even more perks.  I have already started looking through their tips for beginners and I am looking forward to trying some of them out.

Take a look sometime.



I came across this fun little thing called "Fancy."  Have you heard of it?  The name alone makes me want to take a look.

It's a website (or an app) where you can "discover amazing stuff, collect the things you love, (and) unlock crazy deals."  And you can earn cash for yourself by inviting others to check it out!

I've already come across a number of fun items for Matt, Caffrey and myself.

Check out these yummy Angry Bird Mint Macarons.

Or this nifty Wooden iPhone Case.

Or this wonderful VW Camper Van Tent.  How much fun would this be?!

Or this Miimo Robotic Lawn Mower.

There are all sorts of wonderful things to be found!

Membership is free and you can continually find great deals.  I thought it might be a great place to start our Christmas lists...

Hope you enjoy!

You can find it here.


August 28, 2012

Housewifery: Sometimes My House Wins

As I sit here writing there are dishes in the sink, laundry that needs to be started, laundry that needs to be folded, floors that need to be swept, rooms that need to be vacuumed, bathrooms that need to be cleaned.

Sometimes, I feel like my house is winning.

Do you ever feel that way?  Like your house has mastered you rather than the other way around?

I used to get really overwhelmed with the to-do list that comes with being a stay-at-home wife and mom.  I felt like if there were dirty dishes in the sink or if the bed wasn't made I wasn't doing my job.  But I have come to the conclusion that my house doesn't have to be meticulous because it is a home; we live in it.  And I realized that playing with Caffrey or Skypeing with my Dad or having coffee with a friend can take precedence over dirty dishes.  But I also believe that I need to spend my time wisely and that caring for the things I have been blessed with is very much a part of my responsibility.  So every day I work to find the balance.  And I am happy to say that I feel like I am beginning to grasp what I like to call "Housewifery."

It's definitely not easy and sometimes my house wins but that is when I remind myself that tomorrow is a new day, with no mistakes in it (Anne of Green Gables anyone?).

I know I still have much to learn so I am open to your ideas.  How do you approach housewifery?  Any tricks you would like to share?

I hope you're all having a happy day.

I'm off to do some laundry while Caffrey sleeps.


August 27, 2012

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday to you!

I hope you all had a superb weekend.

I came across this fantastic video and thought it was such a wonderful way to start the week.  Certainly inspirational!  Makes me want to return to creativity.

Be encouraged towards creativity here

Hope you enjoy!


August 23, 2012

The Phantom Tollbooth

I decided to add a book of fiction to my current reading list.  There is nothing quite like jumping into a fun little story, meeting quirky characters and visiting some place new.

I first read The Phantom Tollbooth when I was young and think it's just fantastic.  It's a story that will certainly inspire creativity!  With characters such as Tock the watchdog, the Whether Man, and princesses Rhyme and Reason, and places like Dictionopolis and the Market Place (where there are, "juicy, tempting words for sale") how could it not?

I encourage you to pick it up.  You can find it here if you like.

Happy reading!


The Phantom Tollbooth
by Norton Juster
Illustrations by Jules Feiffer

A Different Point of View

I thought quite a lot about where I wanted to start my return to creativity - there are so many things I want to attempt!  I knew I needed to pick one major project though, for I have a tendency to jump from one thing to another simply out of excitement.  (Any of you struggle with moving from one thing to the next without finishing the first thing?)  I thought photography would be a great place to start.  I want to have lovely pictures of Caffrey and life and family and friends and so I thought it would be helpful to become a decent photographer.  So I've pulled out our camera, pushed aside my feelings of intimidation and set out to see the world from a different point of view.

And I immediately learned a very important lesson.  I think, to be even a decent photographer, you need to understand how the camera works.  Oh, I know how to turn the camera on and I know I need to remember to take the lens cap off, but understanding all the different features that the camera offers and the best times to use those features would make a world of difference in the quality and artistry of my pictures.

So understanding my camera is where my attention is currently focused.  I don't expect that my ability will increase dramatically over night but I am enjoying the process of improving.  And I think that is an important piece of A Return to Creativity.  I mean, if you aren't enjoying it will it really spark creativity?  Hmmm...something to ponder.

This camera will be close by from here on out.  Don't be surprised if I ask to take your picture if we happen to run into one another in the near future.

I'll be sure to share pictures as I go.  Hopefully you'll see improvement over time.

Hope you all have a happy day!


P.S.  I would love to hear about anything you are doing to return to creativity.  Feel free to share!

August 22, 2012


I don't know why transitions seem so difficult sometimes.  Maybe because it's change and people in general tend to balk at change, I'm not sure.  We had a transition here in the Happy Hale House last night and for some reason this transition was one I found extremely challenging.

Last night, Caffrey moved from our room into his own.  There were many times before last night that we intended to move him to his own room but I continually found reasons to postpone the inevitable.  I know every mother finds herself struggling with different aspects of her child's growing up and I found that this one was one of mine.  I'm sure there will be other points of transition that I struggle with concerning Caffrey, and I know I'm not alone in this but that did not bring comfort last night.

As we were nearing bedtime I found myself in our living room, in the rocking chair, cuddling my sweet boy as we read our bedtime Bible story, as is our normal routine.  I finished the story, set the Bible aside and just held Caffrey.  And I prayed.  I knew that my worry was wrong and unnecessary and so I asked the Lord for peace.  Even as I prayed, anxiety would rise up and my heart would race but I continued to pass it on to the Lord.  We stayed like that for a while and when it was time to lay Caffrey down in his own room I was able to do so in confidence.  Confident that I could trust God.  Confident that He can care for Caffrey better than I can and confident that He would help Matt and I hear Caffrey if he needed us.  And the night went really well.  I woke up this morning so thankful in my heart that I can trust the Lord.

I know more transitions will come and I'm sure there will be many that I find difficult but I am thankful that the Lord is teaching me to trust Him with Caffrey's life now.  It brings peace that I don't think could come from any other source.

I am curious moms: what did you find difficult in this first year?  One thing in particular?  Many things?  How did you work through them?

Speaking of Caffrey, here he is 5 months and all.  
(Photography has been my first Return to Creativity project and do I have a long way to go...
More on that later.)

Happy day to you!


August 21, 2012

A Mouse in the House Continued...

Well, we found the second mouse last night.

And here it is.  Again, maybe a little cute but still not welcome in our home.

I am still walking around the house a little paranoid today just waiting for another mouse to run out of it's hiding place.  Hopefully this will be resolved without anymore sightings (by me at least).

August 20, 2012

A Mouse in the House...

A mouse in the house does not make for a happy house.

Tonight, Matt was a hero and I, well, I discovered a few things.

1. I am not a good mouse catcher.
2. I am not a very good mouse-catcher-assistant.
3. My husband is amazing.
4. We will be calling someone tomorrow to come make sure all of the mice are gone.
5. Make sure you clean behind your refrigerator every once in a while...

At approximately 9:00 pm my evening became very exciting.  I encountered a mouse (gasp!) in the bathroom.  And yes I gasped but at least I did not scream.  He bobbed I weaved.  He weaved I bobbed.  He ran away.  I ran away.  I made an attempt to be brave and ran to the kitchen to get tupperware to catch it but as I stood at the doorway of the bathroom I knew I couldn't do it.  So I called Matt and asked him to come home (he was at church).  We searched for that mouse but to no avail and I knew I wouldn't sleep a wink tonight.

Then, Matt heard a sound behind the refrigerator.  Matt moved it, no mouse.  We started to clean a little (you can not pull a refrigerator away from a wall and ignore the mess behind it) when Matt said he got it!!  The mouse had been hiding in a corner of the kitchen the entire time!!  So as Matt went to set the captive free (far, far away from the Happy Hale House) I continued to clean around the refrigerator.  And then I encountered another mouse.  There were more gasps, more bobbing and weaving and another phone call to Matt.  "Please come back!"  And we still can't find the mouse.  Somewhere...in my house...is a mouse.  I saw it.  And I don't know where it is.  Lord please help me.

Below is a picture of the first mouse Matt caught.

Little mouse, you might be a little cute but my home is not your home.  Please inform your family members, friends, acquaintances, and any strange mice you come across in your life.  The Happy Hale House is not a happy place for mice.  Thank you.

Happy night to you all.  I hope your homes are mice free.


A Return to Creativity

I just saw this and had to share!!
Love the creativity.  :)

Would this make you want to take the stairs?

The Dreaded Stairs

A Return to Creativity

I've realized a desire to become more creative.  I remember being so creative when I was little: dreaming up stories, designing clothes, writing songs and poems, playing pretend, even creating board games (I made one for school on Italy that was fabulous!!!  Wish I knew what happened to it...).  I was always thinking and creating and I loved who I was doing those things!

I've recently found myself exiting a season of creative moments but not consistent creativity.  I was in a place where I was developing other aspects of myself: leadership, organization, task-management, delegation areas of which I am SUPER GLAD to have grown and matured in.  And I did have moments of creativity.  I don't want to negate those opportunities because they were amazing.  But I wasn't really focused on furthering my creativeness and I have found that I desparately want to do that.

I want to return to that place where I get SO excited about trying new things, learning new things, slowing down and recognizing beauty and creativity around me.  I want to tap into a part of me that I know is there and see what happens.  I want to return to creativity.

And so begins a series.  A series that will note my attempts at newness and thinking out of the box and trying things I've never tried.  It will also be a series that records other people's creativity.  Things taking place around me that inspire and encourage, that make me dream and imagine again.  A series that will hopefully inspire others to return to creativity.

So here is to A Return to Creativity.  I hope you'll join me!



Sidewalk Chalk
No limits, no specific requirements, freedom to be as detailed or as broad as you like.
The possibilities are endless...

August 17, 2012

The Beginning - A Very Good Place to Start

Just as everything has a beginning, this blog has a beginning.

And so here I am, beginning.

I won't start at the VERY beginning but I will start with the establishment of the Happy Hale House.

The Happy Hale House became reality on Friday, May 22, 2009.  My wedding day.  The day I married my best friend (sappy I know, but true.)  And it grows and transforms daily.  We have two lovely dogs, Pigeon and Roo, who were added to the family February of 2010.  They were the part-time equivalent to a full time child (or so we thought...).   The Happy Hale House joyfully welcomed our first son Caffrey, March of this year and it has been amazing and challenging and joyful and tearful and wonderful.

I have transitioned from working full time to being a stay at home wife and mother and while it has had its difficult moments filled with heartbreak and tears, 99.9% has been a joy.

My heart overflows and I am so thankful for this role I find myself in.

This blog is simply to keep up with the happenings within The Happy Hale House.  A place for me to create and think and remember and share.

This is the beginning.