Who and What

My name is Hailey and my grandfather is a farmer. I'm the 7th generation to live on the family farm, and my babies (when the time comes) are going to be the 8th. My husband and I are even renovating a trailer on my grandparent's farm so we can move back to the family farm sooner. This blog encompasses the things that are important to me. These things are:

~Special Education
~ADHD, including my own battle with it over the years. It's now my superpower.
~Farm Life
~Equal rights for women.
~Goal setting
~Fitness and health
~Financial Stability
~Personal Happiness

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Birthday Morgan Horse: 24 of the Best Memories With Libby

Today is my 24th birthday, but it also marks another important day in my life. It is the 10 year anniversary of me owning a Morgan Horse. Libby came to me on free lease when I was twelve, from my trainer, Jody Toms. After two years of getting to know each other, my parents took some money they had set aside for me in a savings account, along with their own contribution and purchased her for me. She is truly a horse in a million, and although she has been retired for a few years now, my memories of her are still some of the most precious I hold. Here are twenty four of my favorite moments with Libby over the last 10 years.

  1. The first trail ride I ever took on her. I couldn't help but fall in love with her personality almost instantly. 
  2. The first big show we ever did in Perry, Georgia. We got disqualified in every single class. Hey, sometimes you have to fall before you can fly. 
  3. The hundred times I fell asleep in her stall at horse shows.
  4. Feeding her cake every year at my birthday.
  5. Learning dressage with her, and finding we were pretty good at it.
  6. Being one of the first Western Dressage teams to show at Southern States Morgan Horse Show.
  7. Getting our trailer stolen on the way to OKC for AMHA nationals and clipping her in the middle of the main strip with borrowed clippers, and her never batting an eyelash.
  8. Winning Reserve Champion in Junior Trail the same year, despite it all.
  9. Dressing her as a carousel horse and me as Mary Poppins for the costume class at the Virginia State Horse Show and winning.
  10. Getting Trail added as a division at the Southern States Morgan Horse Show. 
  11. Riding her for every single test for my AMHA Justin Morgan Horsemastership, demonstrating what it truly means to be versatile. 
  12. Pretending we could jump or barrel race so that we could compete for the all around title. 
  13. Getting to meet her former oner, Denny, who I now have a penal relationship with.
  14. Swimming with her in the creek one exceptionally hot summer day.
  15. Teaching numerous trail demos to other young riders. 
  16. The one flawless (or as close as we've come) trail class at Virginia State Horse Show.
  17. The year at Virginia State Horse Show where we were the only team in three classes to successfully complete the back through.
  18. Riding sidesaddle for the first time. 
  19. The time I fell off during a speed event and she realized it halfway to the finish line and turned around to come back for me. Someone caught her and she tried very hard to take them out. 
  20. The times she wouldn't talk to me because I came home from college smelling like another horse. 
  21. Having a Hands on a Morgan Horse event for the campers at Camp C.H.I.L.D..
  22. Bareback riding with total security. 
  23. Riding her in the flag presentation in Oklahoma City at AMHA nationals. 
  24. Riding her down the aisle at my wedding. 

She is a horse in a million, and I am so glad to have had her for the last 10 years.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Snack Struggle: 27 foods I need to start keeping on hand for smarter snacking

I haven't done the best job recently of taking care of myself, and that was definitely a contributing factor  in my contracting bronchitis, my waistline staying the same, and my continuing stress levels. I can make a million excuses, but I'm in the process of trying to take those out of my vocabulary. One of the things I've decided to work on is improving my snacking habits. Here is a list of 27 snacks I intend to start keeping on hand over the next few weeks. Additionally, I'm trying to eliminate most processed food from my diet, so this list goes along those lines.

  1. Greek yogurt with stir in flavor. I'm not the biggest yogurt fan, but this particular kind is pretty tasty. 
  2. String cheese. 
  3. Hard boiled eggs. I like these because they're cheap, filling and can be sliced onto toast or mixed with other things.
  4. Stovetop popcorn to be popped in olive oil. This can be seasoned about 500 different ways depending on your mood. 
  5. Mandarin oranges. These things are a great quick snack with a boost of vitamin C. 
  6. Apples, which can be eaten alone or dressed up with yogurt or peanut butter. 
  7. Oatmeal, which is low calorie and quick, plus it's warm for on cold days. 
  8. Smoked salmon. I love how low calorie it is, and it tastes great with crackers. Only downside to this one is the price tag. 
  9. Superfood energy bites. I make these myself, and they are REALLY good. Search Pinterest for a recipe that tastes good to you. 
  10. Blueberries. Low calorie and packed with antioxidants. 
  11. Sliced turkey. Good alone or eaten with other stuff. 
  12. Dark chocolate, in small doses. 
  13. Raw almonds. 
  14. Cottage cheese. I actually really like this stuff. 
  15. Jerky, but without sugar or soy sauce. In small quantities, this can help a snack attack. You can also make your own. 
  16. Homemade trail mix. Just be careful to keep it low sugar. 
  17. Skim milk. I wish I was big on water, but I'm not. I'm still going to try, but this is a good substitute. 
  18. Cheese cubes of hard cheese. These tend to be lower in fat and very flavorful. 
  19. Pumpkin seeds. These super foods are great for salty cravings. 
  20. Almond butter. This stuff is awesome, but a little pricey. 
  21. Steamed cocktail shrimp. These are low calorie, taste good cold, and can be dipped in lemon juice or greek yogurt. 
  22. Pomegranate seeds. I love these in yogurt, oatmeal, or by themselves. 
  23. Carrot sticks. I am not a fan of raw veggies, but these I can tolerate once in a while. 
  24. Pistachios. Again, I wish they weren't so expensive, but this snack has the added bonus of helping you monitor what you are eating. 
  25. Hummus. I really like the garlic kind. 
  26. Olives. Not exactly the best thing for you, but they are a low calorie option for a salty craving. 
  27. Luna bars. Not exactly my favorite choice, due to price and my not tending to like things that come in wrappers, but they're good on the go. 
What are your go toe for healthy snacks? How do you balance busy life with healthy eating? 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

52 Lists Project Week 9: Places I Want to Go

Photo from cntraveler.com. 

I will be the first to admit it, I'm a homebody. But I do like to travel once in a while, and there are actually more than a few trips I'd like to take in the course of my lifetime. Some are far more exciting than others, however all of them are important to me. Here are 52 places I would like to go:
  1. Ireland, preferably with some of that time spent on horseback. 
  2. Disney World, without kids. No having to stand in line for character signings, eating great food, taking in shows and riding rides without having to worry about the height limits. 
  3. Disney World with kids. Letting my children see the magic of their favorite movies come to life, encouraging my kids to try new things, and riding Dumbo the Flying Elephant 100 times, just because they want to. 
  4. Hawaii, to enjoy sun and surf.
  5. A wine tour of California. 
  6. A cross country road trip tour of the United States.
  7. Greece, so many lovely places and so much culture and history.
  8. Rome, to see the ruins and eat fabulous food.
  9. Venice, to experience a city surrounded by water. 
  10. England, to see Stonehenge, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, among other things. 
  11. Alaska in the summertime. 
  12. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Really this one is pretty much self explanatory. 
  13. Paris, to eat fabulous food. 
  14. Washington DC, I've been before, but never for more than a day, and I'd like to really take it in more. 
  15. Las Vegas, to see every Cirque show I can. 
  16. Montana, preferably a dude ranch. 
  17. One of the treehouse hotels. There are several in the US and they are AMAZING!
  18. China, preferably a rural area to experience the natural beauty. 
  19. Egypt, to learn more about the history and culture. 
  20. Australia. Kangaroos, beautiful beaches, sign me up. 
  21. New Zealand. If you saw Lord of the Rings, you know how stunningly beautiful it is. 
  22. Yosemite National Park.  
  23. Sweeden, where my bonus sister, Signe lives. 
  24. Hollywood, to see the walk of fame. 
  25. New York City. I've never been and I would love to spend a week there going to see Broadway shows. 
  26. Germany, to experience the history of World War II from the other side of the world, and to see if I could trace my family's origins. 
  27. A wine tour of Italy.
  28. India, to see the Taj Mahal and experience life from another perspective.
  29. South Africa, to see the wildlife and the history. 
  30. Skiing in the Colorado Rockies. 
  31. Savannah Georgia. I love old Southern towns with lots of history. 
  32. Kentucky, to watch the Kentucky Derby and tour Thoroughbred county.
  33. The summer Olympics. 
  34. An overnight train trip. 
  35. New Orleans, though not during Mardi Gras. 
  36. Maine, for a lobster dinner with my pen pal. 
  37. Oklahoma once again for the AMHA Nationals. All my friends are there now and I wish I could participate. 
  38. Oregon, which has uniquely beautiful land. 
  39. Amish country, to get a better idea of their lifestyle and beliefs. 
  40. The Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. 
  41. Arizona, to re-experience the Grand Canyon and do some new sight seeing as well. 
  42. Dry Torugas National Park in Florida. Beautiful, remote and with an abundance of wildlife. 
  43. Niagra Falls. Hello beautiful stuff.
  44. Devil's Tower in Wyoming. 
  45. The pony swim at Chincoteague.
  46. San Francisco.
  47. Sea World. I've never been, but I've always wanted to. 
  48. Boston Massachusetts, for history and food.  
  49. A food truck festival. Not exactly a place, but it sound fun. 
  50. Peru, to see the ruins.
  51. Anywhere I could see the northern lights. 
  52. The Bahamas or a similarly tropical and beachy place. 
What's on your list? 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

My Birthday Wish List, Just in Case You Were Wondering

Not sure what's in this box, but I dig the wrapping.

I turn twenty four at the end of this month, and while I'm not one of those people who likes to go all out with it, I enjoy a reason to celebrate as much as the next person. I always feel a little awkward about the whole gift thing though. It's not that I dislike gifts, it's always nice to be thought of, but the concept of "you caused your mother immense pain and breathed oxygen for the first time, have a present," is just a little strange to me. But since people seem to ask, "what would you like?" here is the answer to that question. You will probably find it humorous, honest and on the whole unhelpful. 

  1. I'd like to live in a world where I can teach students what they need to know for life and meet them at the level they're at, without having to worry about them passing the SOL test.
  2. More books for my classroom and lessons to go with them. I have one little girl I'm going to be able to do a sort of mini book club with to help her improve her word attack strategies, but I don't have a fabulous selection…yet. 
  3. More time to spend with friends, family and loved ones. I think everyone can agree on this one. 
  4. A teleportation device so I can instantly be with far away friends and family. 
  5. Marcy Cook math tiles for my classroom. They're a great way to teach problem solving skills, teamwork and of course, math. 
  6. A well organized craft room. I've been trying for months, but it just doesn't quite seem to be happening. 
  7. A clean house. Not a challenging thing really, there just aren't enough hours in the day. 
  8. A Fitbit, to help me stay in shape and be more useful to those around me. 
  9. Dinner with family and friends. 
  10. Time to build my side business and make it into something wonderful. 
  11. To have the clover earrings from Brad's grandmother repaired. They weren't officially broken, but need some light touch ups to keep them in good shape and I miss wearing them. Alas, time…
  12. To develop better skills for getting all my lessons in order each week. 
  13. Really good food and cake!
  14. Peace for the families of Hannah Graham, Morgan Harrington, and the many other families who have faced the mysterious loss of a loved one. 
  15. The ability to be warm all winter long. 
  16. A massage. 5 minutes, 5 hours, really I'm not picky. 
  17. The assurance that I am not going to completely screw up my life. Most of the time I'm pretty self confident, but hearing it from someone else once in a while wouldn't hurt. 
  18. A day to trail ride.
  19. Anything with bacon is completely acceptable. 
  20. Books with advice on how to be a better teacher.
  21. Sparkly scrapbooking paper for my classroom. I wish I could post the picture I have on my phone right now. In it, one of my 4th graders who is just beginning to grasp the concept of word is beaming, because she filled up an entire sheet with words she knows, and that took a lot of hard work for her. 
  22. My fridge to be stocked with healthy and tasty food. 
  23. AMHA Life Membership, so I can remain a part of the Morgan community. 
  24. Plants, so that the farm can continue to be a farm. 
  25. A pocket watch tattoo, in honor of my late grandfather. Not sure he'd approve, but it's something I've wanted for a while. 
  26. The finances to commit 24 random acts of kindness. Yes, I know kindness doesn't have to cost money, and I am SURE I can do 24 things without spending a dime, but in my dream world I have the money to pay off someone's car loan, buy coffee for an entire Starbucks, or leave someone a ridiculously generous tip. 
  27. Better fencing to keep the farm looking good and the animals safe.
Needless to say, I do not expect any of these things for my birthday, but it's fun to dream what you would ask for if you could truly ask for anything.