October 14, 2016


Today is it.  Today it has officially been one year since I left my home of 11 years, left the state I was born and raised in, and moved to West Michigan.  And I have to say, I haven't looked back!  It has been such a year of adventure.

A year ago I was...
*Using my GPS to get EVERYWHERE.
*Using each weekend to explore a different part of my new city.
*Walking into my new church home for my first official Sunday service.
*Doing most things alone.
*Wondering was the year would hold.
*Missing my best friend like crazy.
*So excited to experience all things West Michigan.

A Year Later I...
*Don't use the GPS nearly as much.
*Still love exploring new areas of GR and the surrounding areas.
*Have been on more dates than the rest of my years combined. (O_o)
*Have made great friends, said farewell to a couple moving back to Illinois, and welcomed home others.
*Have two cats even though I always swore I'd only have one. (no explanations there)
*Have learned more about contentment and how it is can never truly be found in where you live, who you are with, the friends you have, or the money you earn.  It is found in the little things God shows me everyday.
*Am more in love with West Michigan than I ever could have imagined.

This Year I Hope to...
*Visit the UP and northern Michigan.
*Find financial security with a permanent job.
*Adopt a dog.  (yes, I want more animals and I'm ok with that)
*Camp more.
*Get back into shape now that I'm adjusted and more at home.

This blog post is dedicated to all the people in my life who made this new season possible, encouraged me and supported me.  I've been told numerous times by the people I've met here that what I did was so courageous or so brave, and I know I could not have taken the leap without the PEOPLE surrounding me.  So thank you.  And here's to another great year filled with more new adventures.

October 3, 2016


This weekend was a special weekend where the Reeves clan welcomed a new member to the family.  A year ago my dad (a Chicago native of 55 years) reluctantly moved down to Dallas, TX for a job. Not long after, he met Juju and his life was turned upside down in the best way.  This past weekend they were married on a houseboat on a small lake in Frisco, TX.  (Who knew boating would be a thing in Texas?!) The ceremony was short and sweet, the weather was perfect, and lots of happy tears were shed.  The ceremony was followed by a small reception and a lively after party back at the house.

My parents no longer being married has never been an easy thing for me. Even ten years later. Whether it was the first time I met my mom's kind and generous partner in crime, Phil almost eight years ago or finding out my Dad was going to be remarried to the sweet and vivacious Juju.  It's never been 100% easy from a daughter's perspective.  But after this weekend and getting to see first hand the life that the two of them have started to build together and how happy they are, my perspective shifted in a even more positive way.  My sister put it perfectly while we were sitting around Dad's fire pit her, me, and my soon to be brother-in-law.  She said "I just want everyone I love to be happy".  And there was so much simplicity and truth to that statement.  Because, that's exactly what I want too.

Change can be hard, but I think I am heading into a season of acceptance so many years in the making.  I'm ready to switch from feelings of "what if" and "used to be" to feelings of growth and joy that out of a hard circumstance, each person in my family was able to find good things.  My family might have felt broken for a while, but now I can start to see it as growing instead of divided.  I've gained a stepmother in Juju, I will soon have Josh as a brother in law, and Phil is practically my stepdad in my eyes.  There is growth and joy and promise for more good things in the coming years.

Ok, enough mush.  Here are a few photos from my first trip to Texas.

 Thankful to say I stayed very calm on all of my flights.

 Friday Night Bonfire (aka, war against the fire ants)

 Saturday morning Texas sunrise.

Boating is a thing in Dallas.  Who knew?!  (#ourlakeisbetter) ;)

 Me and the sister.  We actually look a little alike with sunglasses on.  (jk, we look nothing alike)

 Me, Al, and Daddio

Josh and Al get hitched July 15, 2017.

A perfect shot that pretty much sums up the day. :D

 That cake was damn good!

 A perfect shot of the lake shore from the sky!

A huge smile on my face watching the sunshine peak through the clouds onto my beloved west Michigan.

Oh, hey Grand River!

I promised a friend I'd bring back sunshine after a week of rain in GR.  I kept my promise!

October 1, 2016

...Hello October...

I love October.:

Welcome to the most beautiful month of the year!  It's so cliche, but fall is here and I'm so happy.

Things to look forward to:
*Grand Rapids on fire!  Not really, but the trees are spectacularly orange, yellow, and red.
*Volunteering at the Humane Society.  All things furry and I cannot wait.
*Spending time in Dallas with family
*Hoodies, boots, and scarves
*Fall tastes and smells
*Apple and pumpkin picking

Goals to Reach:
*Take advantage of cooler but not cold weather with more jogs at the park.
*Read a non-fiction book
*Make a budget and stick to it

Things to work on:
*Decrease meat intake and increase plant food intake
*Making smarter financial decisions
*Less sugar

September 13, 2016

Why Fall is my Favorite

Cool breezes and the end of summer humidity
Bonfires and scent of them on your clothes
Changing leaves on trees and hiking through forests of them
Cozy blankets and open windows
Boots, scarves, and smartwool socks
Hoodies and bluejeans
Flannel shirts and all things plaid
Camping trips
Apple orchards
Hot cider
Pumpkin fields
Pumpkin carving
Roasted pumpkin seeds
Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves
Halloween costumes and memories of childhood
Time with family and reminders to be thankful

What are your favorite things about the changing seasons?  I don't know about you, but they make me thankful to live in the Midwest!

September 1, 2016

...Hello September...

The end of summer is upon us!  August didn't quite turn out the way I wanted it to, but thankful that every day and every month is a fresh start.

Things to look forward to:
*Possibly a camping trip to the UP with Ineke.  (after original plans for this trip fell through, looking forward to possibly spending some time with one of my best friends)
*Camping trips in general.
*Cooler weather and less humidity!
*Spending some time with family at the end of September.

Goals to reach:
*Actually get to CKO three times a week.  ( I know I said this last month, but life, busyness, and excuses definitely got the best of me)
*Finish a book.
*Write letters to at least 3 people.

Things to work on:
*Be less lazy about cooking.
*Look for positivity daily, even when it's hard.
*Be more gentle with myself.
*Eat more whole foods.

August 12, 2016

Awkward Awesome Friday

*Forgetting to get a lunch order for the CFO.  (more horrifying than awkward.) Thank the Great Lion of Judah our higher ups are kind and mellow people.
*Sneezing blue post Color Run
*The blue spot on my hair line that would NOT go away no matter how hard I scrubbed.
*My upstairs neighbors raining nails (yes, like construction nails) onto my deck while they were building "something" on their deck.  I'm not talking two or three.  I think I counted 20+.
*Chad leClos's attempts to "intimidate" the greatest swimmer to ever walk the earth during the prelims for the 200 Fly.

*A weekend with dear Jamie
*Color Runs.  They are always epic.
*Tonight I will be driving down to Chicago for some much needed mom time and a day of wedding dress shopping (insert lots of happy tears I'm sure) with my sister, whom I haven't seen in over a year and a half!  Can NOT wait to hug them both.
*Finding out that GR has a water polo club.  That might have to happen.
*Michael Phelp's comeback.  Can we just take a sec to acknowledge the greatest swimmer ever!?  Not only did he wipe the floor with his "intimidator" and crush the competition at the age of 31, but he's also shown that you can come back from a dark place.  He's overcome depression, addiction, and shown that we never have to be defined by our mistakes.

August 8, 2016

The Happiest 5K on the Planet

This weekend was an epic couple of days.  My friend Jamie drove up from Bloomington to visit me and run her first 5K!  We had a blast making a color filled mess downtown, relaxing at the beach, body surfing some fresh water waves, enjoying the most amazing tacos I've ever eaten, and worshiping God together at Frontline on Sunday.  Definitely a weekend for the books.

August 2, 2016

...Hello August...

Can't believe August is already here and the summer is starting to wind down.  This season has been such a whirlwind!  I wanted to start a new blog series that happens at the start of each month documenting goals, ideas, and exciting things for the month.

Things to look forward to:
*National Night Out tonight at FZ!
*Color Run and a weekend with ms. Jamie D. this coming Friday!
*Next weekend's trip to Chicago!  Get to see my momma and my sister (whom I haven't seen in over a year and a half!) and do some wedding dress shopping!!!
*Under the Roof at Church.  An event giving a hand up to those in need in the community around Frontline.

Goals to reach:
*Get to CKO at least three times a week
*Finish Whole30 strong!
*Visit a dog beach with the Wilkinsons.
*Incorporate more veggies into my meals.

Things to be proud of:
*Having an overall more positive look on things.
*Finding the strength to take charge of my health once again.
*Increased courage in the world of dating.

July 29, 2016

Awesome Awkward Friday

(so true, and Whole30 makes it that more real)

-I'm living in MICHIGAN.  Yes, almost 10 months later, I'm still stoked about it.
-One of my dearest friends and her husband are officially staying in Michigan after three years in Alaska.  I'm beyond thrilled they are here to stay!
-Cornhole tournaments at work.
-The incredibly dirty FZ worker who came into the office on Tuesday.  Literally looked like he'd rolled around in the dirt.  I was very impressed not only by how hard he must be working but by the smudge of soot left on the desk when he left.

-Being staggered just so during kickboxing that you are face to face with another person while doing squats and forced to try and not make eye contact.
-Online dating.  Never stops being awkward.
-The sheer VOLUME of "wrong numbers" I get everyday at FZ.  And the amount of times people don't hear me say "Feyen Zylstra, this is Haley, how may I help you?" and then proceed to make their request that is clearly not for us.  When I finally tell them that there is no person by that name that works for us, or no we are not scheduled to have a bed and nightstand delivered to us be cause we are a BUSINESS... they finally hear me.  Oy.
-Every time I see anything about the election or hear anything about the election... all I can think of is King Theoden from Lord of the Rings prior to Helms Deep...
"How did it come to this?"

July 27, 2016

Sometimes Things Move Backwards

Friends it has been far too long.

Those of you who read this blog could've been or might not have been wondering where the heck I've been.  Honestly, I'm simply one of those people who doesn't force themselves to do things they just don't want to do.  And for the last six months, I just haven't felt like writing.  Could have been for a number of reasons... adjusting to my new city, lack of inspiration, weight gain and feeling like a fraud, or just plain laziness.  Really, it's probably a mixture of all of the above.  But now I'm here to answer any questions that might be floating around out there.

How is Michigan?
Most of you who read this know me, and know that I LOVE my new city.  There have been plenty of "oh my word, I can't believe I get to live here" moments.  There is so much to do and see and it's fantastic.  It's been an adjustment, and not always an easy one.  Making new friends, learning more about myself, and starting a new job have all contributed to an overall sense of busyness.

What's new?
The biggest change in the last month has been a new job.  I'm now working as a receptionist for a large electrical engineering company.   I've been there a little over a month and it's been really great so far.  I like my co-workers, the office environment is beautiful, and I'm staying busy!  I've also taken up boxing, which isn't super new but it's new since I last wrote.  That's been a great experience. Swimming and running have taken a backseat, because again I'm just not someone who forces myself to do things they don't want to do.  I haven't quit, just on hiatus for now.

How's the weight loss going?
It's not.  The combination of losing momentum last summer in preparation to move and then getting here and adjusting.... I fell into a rut.  A bad one.  Old habits resurfaced, motivation went missing, and too many opportunities to cheat presented themselves.  I haven't gotten on a scale in months because I haven't been able to face those numbers.  But I know just from the way I feel and the way my clothes (don't) fit that it's NOT good.

So, now what?
I have a plan in place.  Whole30 started Monday as a means to reset, kill the sugar/carb cravings, and generally get back to feeling better.  Now that the craziest week at work thus far is over, boxing 3-4 times a week will pick back up again.  I'm going to plan on keeping myself accountable by journaling, getting back into blogging, and TALKING about things with people who understand and know me.  I won't be getting on a scale because I honestly believe that's not where my worth lies and that's not where happiness lies.  This time around it's not about numbers, because numbers drive me crazy and have also become a bit of a trigger for binges and bad choices.

I'm confident about where I'm headed.  I am happy, I love where I live, and I've been able start putting a lot of the past behind me.  I'm not going to obsess over the mistakes that have been made or be cruel to myself for allowing the weight to creep back on and I'm not going to dwell on the sense that I feel like a fraud because it all.  Sh*t happens and it's about how you handle it.  So I'm handling it.