spread your wings - be free.

unknown // image 

when we were children, we were free. we had no cares, we had no limitations. our bikes traveled down unexplored, beaten paths. our feet would dance to the music no one else cared to hear. we colored outside the lines. we flew above the water. but as we grew, freedom morphed into a shell of the world's definition. we did not wander. we did not dance and laugh without worry. worldview was no longer a word, but life. even though, a shell would break, and we were no longer bound. we spread our wings for the world to see. we flew once more. we were free. we heard the whisper- be free. be free.

time is short, no? I've found I'm running out of it, see, not making what's most important in life a priority. for this I leave you darlings, making time to spread my wings and be free, hoping you always do the same. thank you to the ladies of AOU and you dearies for allowing me to post here and share my heart. you are all truly lovely. 


The Great Road Trip

I love road trips. Watching the miles fly by, while listening to music and knitting or reading a book.  Sometimes we do riddles or watch movies. Sometimes we do nothing at all. But we always enjoy it. I love stopping places and seeing new things, occasionally leaving a love letter for a stranger.

Do you like road trips?



keep your head up, my love.

keep your head up.
you're not a mistake. that i can promise.

{pea ess: my apologies for yesterday. life happens.}


like the shore and the sea

shore and the sea
in my arms // jon foreman


those kids you're related to.

They're called siblings. You hold a special bond with them. You can talk about memories and moments you experienced together. Those wonderful times, and those not so wonderful times. Even if when you're all grown, you'll always share those mutual memories. I have three siblings- one brother and two sisters. My older sister and I are 9 years apart, my brother 7 years, and my little sister 8 years apart. Sometimes I wish I had a sibling really close in age to me, but being spread apart is wonderful too. I love these people so much.
Jamie - my older sister
When she was still living at home, we didn't always get along. We shared a room and I always wanted the lights on, and she wanted them off and she threatened to put ice cubes down my back if I didn't wake up one morning. But, she also took me out to the movies, put a Reese's peanut butter cup under my pillow and a whole lot of other nice things. Now she's married, has two little girls and another baby on the way. She's amazing and the best older sister ever. We like to go shopping together and drink lots of coffee. She's really funny, awesome and an all around amazing person. I'm so blessed to have her as my sister.

Tim - my older brother
When I was little and fell into a pool, he saved my life. He was really protective and good with me. When he became a teenager, we didn't get along. He "accidently" poured maple syrup over my head. Now we get along really well. He's such a good older brother. I was there to laugh at him, eat milkshakes and watch movies with him after he got his wisdom teeth out last year. When he went to Ireland for five months a few years ago, I couldn't wait for him to come home. On a recent road trip he told my little sister and I "scary/corny" stories, taught me how to count to ten in French. And since I have my drivers permit, he's gone driving with me a couple times. He's pretty cool.

Haley - my little sister
I prayed and prayed and prayed for a little sister when I was little. And God answered my prayers with Haley. When my dad, Jamie and Tim went to get food when we were at the hospital, I didn't want to go. I stayed, holding my new baby sister. I've seen her grow up into a sweet, caring, amazing eight year old. We don't always get along, but for the most part we do. She likes when I read my novels to her. We both Irish dance and she loves singing and acting. Sometimes I have to tell her to sing in the other room. She's awesome.
And me?

 Well, I'm a "home's cooler" kid who you can find doing history research just for the fun of it. Okay I admit it, I'm slightly nerdy, but only slightly. I love Jesus and this life he's given me. I write...a lot. I hope to be a published author. I take hundreds and hundreds of pictures on a weekly basis. I Irish dance. I like traveling, old fashioned things, reading, music, a good movie, coffee, tea, chocolate, simplicity, spending time with friends and family, running outside barefoot, smiling, cleaning my room (I know, I'm strange) and lots of other things.




mountain vacation

For almost as long as I can remember, we've gone to Colorado in the summertime. Our vacations consist of hiking mountains, climbing boulders, riding bikes and enjoying the cool air. Last year we didn't get this chance, so we're packing up the van and leaving tomorrow morning. I'll get to relive the fond memory of watching mile after mile of Kansas prairie passing, as I sit and take it all in, probably watching a movie or knitting a sweater. And once we get there, we'll step out of the car and smell that sweet Colorado air, and breathe it in like we're never going to breathe again. Oh, and see that little cutie up there with the crazy hair and giggly smile? She'll be turning a teenager while we're in the mountains. And my dad will be turning... one year older. ;)

What's your favorite vacation?



the sound of the storm

claps of thunder.

flashes of lightning.

drumming of rain.

splashes of puddles.

grey of clouds.

whispers of wind.

>> a july storm is brewing. <<

xo, Hayley


you can touch your feet to the treetops

you can touch your feet to the treetops.
today, while babysitting these two little angels called gracie and will, we decided to break from the pool and cool off in the shade of the park next door. we packed up our snacks and towels and toys and bid adieu to the lifeguards (some of whom are my oldest friends), and re-setup shop in the gazebo next to the swingset. but something felt different.

i remember playing at the park as a child. fifteen minutes felt like an hour, an hour felt like fifteen minutes, and i never wanted to go home. there was a swingset of six, and my favorite was the second on your right, my left, and just beyond it was a large maple tree. i remember my friends daring me to swing higher. you can touch your feet to the treetops! push, push! and i took the dare. the sometimes green, sometimes auburn leaves tickles my toes as they brushed against each other, and the wind blew against my face, undoing my hair.

but this time, it was gone.

in fact, two or three trees were gone, i realized. the shade wasn't shady anymore, but instead, the sun shone imposingly from up above us, causing will's cheeks to grow hot. and i understood (as i have so many times before) that the saying is true: you never know what you have until it's gone.

so i swung in the sunlight and sang baby will to sleep, and watched gracie as she disappeared in and out of the house, and i replayed all the memories that i made eight-to-ten years ago when everyone said that you can touch your feet to the treetops. just push a little harder.


you are my sunshine

we have this one lonely little sunflower in our front yard. every morning it greets me with it's sunshiny yellow, making waking up in the morning worth it.
hello, little happy-day-maker, where have you been for so long?



this is my newest camera. one that I'm not even sure works. it was a $1.75 at the thrift store, and as soon as I saw it I knew it was mine. maybe one day I'll buy some film and try it out. when I got home that day, I sat on my bed figuring out all the awesome stuff about it - where the film goes, how to change the flash, how to push the shutter. things have changed so much since then. if a photo doesn't turn out, you can simply delete and try again. though digital allows me to do so many things, sometimes I wish we all had film cameras. the concentration that goes in getting that shot - you only have a few, the anticipation in waiting for the film to be made, and the thrill of looking at the aftermath. though that way is longer, more tedious, and, I know, at times much of a nuisance. but something about old fashioned and cameras makes me wish I could experience it.




-my recent obsession with images and typography. same fonts, I know. I've got a ways to go with mixing up font, words, and photography, but still... I love this.


Be Kind.

Be kind today.
Even if it means being second in line, cleaning the kitchen for your Mom, or just giving your sister that last cookie.
It will be worth it.



dreaming of the sea

right now i'm dreaming of a place thousands of miles away. a place covered in sand and salty water, seashells and seaweed. fourteen more days and i'll be there, relaxing on the sandy shores with my family.
but until those fourteen days are gone and past, i'll have to stay content revisiting memories from yesteryear and scrolling through the hundreds of pictures taken on the east coast. 
and let me tell you right now, that that is much easier said than done.


photographing butterflies or mentally freaking out

reading in the sun
dash cooling off in the grass
I think you'd be saying you're not an actual human being if you said you never lose inspiration. Or maybe that's just me? See, I'm in kind of a rut. It happens every now and then. Some days I lack inspiration entirely, and others I have so much that I can't seem to get anything out. Somehow though, I always pull out of the enormous hole that I'm in. But waiting for that to happen is a challenge in itself. It seems all the things I do - blog, write, photograph, create things - are put on hold until I can regain focus. No matter how hard I try, I can't seem to get anything worth keeping out of what I do. Every photograph gets trashed, every piece of writing gets deleted. Nothing that I produce makes sense. It's not coherent. I can't finish anything. It doesn't meet my standards. Even this post took much effort to piece together. 
Maybe you keep a list of things to do when you're stuck. Me? I usually wait and let it all come back to me. Sometimes I find inspiration again by taking walks outside or writing my feelings or photographing butterflies or mentally freaking out.
But inspiration is usually the one who finds me.



a poem.


The sun shines bright, just like her eyes,
The water often ripples, and her laughter does the same.
A beautiful face, a singing spirit,
Pure in heart is her name.

Innocence is square in her face,
Freckles show her love of the sun.
Never one for purposed trouble,
All that's needed is silly fun.

Like a baby bird, just learning to fly,
Still so much to learn,
A little nudge, a little push,
Respect and independence to earn.

But she does not fear, she does not lull,
She's always ready for change.
With never-ending peace and joy,
She's grace beyond her age.



This Is What Summer Is For.

Despite the heat that makes 98 degrees feel like a freezer, yesterday my mom took my sister and me on an outing. We went to the European Market and filled our basket with chocolates, cookie wafers, and Mascarpone cheese. Then we checked out with our groupon coupon, so it was just like shopping for free. Next, we stopped by the fabric store, an antique loft, and finally we splurged on some Starbucks drinks. The three of us sat atop bar stools overlooking the passersby and sipped our drinks contentedly. A mocha frappuccino for Libby, a latte for mamma, and a passion tea lemonade for me. Ahh, this is the life. This  is what summer is for.

What is your summer for?



this is what photography is.

sun-dappled fingertips.
let's go see some fireworks.
you flip the lens-cap off of your camera and stuff it in your pocket. as you flick the switch of the power button upwards, you run a few paces to keep up with your family that's walking on the bridge just to your right. you set your camera on continuous shooting, and snap snap snap. 

this is what photography is: as you click the shutter, it's like you're tapping into the time and space continuum with the world turning and clock ticking and scientific discoveries being made and teenagers having their first kiss for the twenty-ninth time and saying, let me have this moment. i want to remember this for a little while. maybe just for today, maybe until tomorrow, maybe for the rest of my life. but let me write this down in the big book of memories in my head with a sharp stone. because this? this is special.

and it is.


a day spent together

to celebrate this beautiful Fourth of July, our family went fishing at the most wonderful place in the world.
and unlike last time, we actually caught some fish. five, to be exact.
i love days like this spent with family. nothing could ever be better.