I miss you

It’s been one year since you took your last breath.

That hits me. Hard.

You were there, right by my side majority of my life and one morning, you weren’t.

You were only eighteen a senior in high school. You had your entire life ahead of you. You were going to be a husband. A father. An uncle to my children. It hurts knowing someday I’ll have to tell my children they have an uncle that’s no longer here.

I now have nothing but old memories and it hurts knowing I’ll never create a new one with you. Some of them are incredible like dad pulling us around on the the inner tube he attached to the jetski. You always trying to flirt with my friends. Even just laying on the couch watching tv together.

I had no idea how to process the news when I got it. I was driving home from mcdonalds when dad called me. “Brayden was in a wreck. They are flying him to UVA.” I ran into my house, thankfully to see that henry was home from college. We left immediately. You were alive, but unconscious when we got to the hospital. We weren’t allowed to see you because they needed to prep you for surgery. You were bleeding internally and your brain was swelling. Nothing felt real.

You were my protection. From bullies, from dumb boys. Who was going to protect me now? There was no way I could do life without my other half. I refused. I KNEW you would wake up. I kept telling myself you would be fine. YOU’RE BRAYDEN.

I remember the exact moment I was told you weren’t going to make it. It’s like my heart went numb. It’s like the world just stopped in that moment. I wanted to be strong for everyone. I went back with so many people to say goodbye to you over and over again. They let the whole family surround you. I remember there weren’t enough chairs, so majority of the family had to stand. for hours. my legs, my feet, my entire body hurt so bad. But nothing compared to the pain of watching them take you off of life support. Watching your heart rate drop. Everyone took turns holding your hand. Then it happened. 6:39 you were gone. We watched you take your last breath and your heart take its last beat. My baby brother was gone.

It hurts. Every day. How could God take away someone that would help any person that needed it? You were full of so much kindness, love, ambition, and strength.

I remember on the way to the funeral home to see you for the last time, I was a hysterical wreck on the inside, but completely silent on the outside. I wanted to see you alone. You looked so good. I hugged you and kissed your cheek. I just sat there, in that moment, with you. I didn’t want to leave you, but I also couldn’t stay. I was stuck between wanting to be in your presence, but also knowing it was just your body and your soul was long gone.

To see my family fall apart was horrifying. We are by far one of the strongest families you will ever meet, but once you were gone we all went numb. Nobody wanted to talk, nobody wanted to eat, we just wanted to sit in silence. But we couldn’t. We had to plan your funeral. Planning a funeral is by far one of the hardest things I have ever been part of. We wanted it to be authentically you and we accomplished that.

So many people have been impacted by your story. Around 700 people showed up at your funeral. By far the biggest funeral I had ever gone to. I also got to speak at your funeral. That was probably the scariest moment of my life, but I am SO glad I did it. I know you would be proud because I did it for you.

In the midst of the pain that no one could possibly understand, I’m comforted by the fact that God doesn’t always expect us to be put together, He understands when we fall apart and sometimes allows us to crumble so we can be made whole again. We can let Him fill the cracks of our broken heart, so His light can shine right through.

We have all come together for you. Your friends still come have dinner with us as often as they can. Cody, Danielle, Colton, and I are good, closer than we have ever been actually. They are my rocks we all miss you more than anything, but we are getting through it together.

Your dad (michael), your mom(stacy), your stepdad (aka my dad danny) and your stepmom (jennifer) very quickly became the strongest people I have ever met in my life. They miss you so so much, but they are getting through it. Everyday they wake up and show their strength. They do it for you.

You would love to see all the tattoos people have gotten for you. I swear almost the entire county has your name tattooed on them. You’re kind of a celebrity around here, it’s kinda crazy. I love it though. You deserve so much credit. You are so incredible. So strong. You are everything I hope to become.

I can’t wait to see you again. I would give anything to hug you again. Thank you for being my best friend, my protector, my secret keeper, and my rock.

I cry because you’re not here anymore, but I rejoice because you get to be with The Lord and are in a place where there is no mourning, no pain, and no tears. You’re in a place where nothing but joy exists.

I love you endlessly, Brayden.

See you soon.

Essential Oils Part 1

Picture creds Claire Dodge
Picture creds Claire Dodge
Why I Use Young Living?
  • Seed to Seal

Young Living oversees every step from planting all the way to distilling and selling. This gives me comfort that what I am receiving is pure and safe.

  • 100% Therapeutic Grade

Meaning these oils can be diffused, applied topically, and you can even ingest some of them. A lot of companies that are cheaper (lower quality) only have to be 5% essential oils for it to be labeled as the oil it claims to be (lavender, peppermint, etc.) and the other 95% can be synthetics and fillers.

How Fast Do They Work?

When applied topically they can be found in your brain within 22 seconds, found in your bloodstream within 2 minutes, and after 20 minutes the oil will be affecting every cell in your body!!!

How Can You Use Them?

Young Living Essential Oils can be used in 3 different ways!

Aromatically – You can diffuse them! Each starter kit comes with a diffuser

Topically – With most essential oils you will want to mix them with a carrier oil before applying them to your skin (coconut oil, jojoba oil, etc.). This just slows down the absorption, so if it is a little too strong you may not want to apply that directly to your skin.

Ingesting – You could put a few drops in your water, bake with them, or put them in a veggie capsule to consume. These oils are incredibly versatile.

How Do I Get Started?

I started out by getting the premium starter kit which comes with 12 essential oils, a diffuser, 2 samples of ningxia, thieves waterless hand purifier, and some books! I will leave my links below if you are interested in signing up or email me with any questions you may have!

Stay tuned for part 2 which will be a more in depth post about each oil in the premium starter kit!


♡ Hay

the game of comparison

For the past few weeks, I’ve struggled with trying to come up with what to blog about.  If I’m being real with you guys, a few days ago I found myself back at my high school surrounded by the same people I used to compare myself to. I was back in the same mindset that was slowly destroying me.

In high school, I strived to be like the girl that all the faculty loved, the girl that every parent hoped their child would grow up to be like. I wanted to be “that girl,” but I knew I would never live up to her. No matter what I did I was always going to be stuck with the same reputation, “the girl that was always looking for trouble,” and “the girl that lived in the principles office from ages 8 to 18.”

I know that I’m not that person anymore. Those labels did not line up with who I am as a person, but yet I found myself comparing who I am to the girl I wished I couldve been.

In high school, I dedicated SO much time and energy into trying to plan events for the school, prayer groups, Bible studies, anything you could imagine just to try to get the approval from the people that made me feel so inadequate.

This started to become a silent theme of subconsciousness that I dragged around with me everywhere unknowingly. I thought to myself, I will never be good enough because I am not her. I went from being proud of the person I have become and my accomplishments to feeling like an utter failure in a matter of just a few minutes.

I am not her. I will never be her. I will never live up to the expectations others set for me. I will never be the perfect girl I want to be.

What we have to remember is that we have control over what we decide to compare ourselves too. We do not need to perfect or curate ourselves in order to prove to the world that we have our lives together.

So therefore, love the crap out of your dog, wear the clothes that make you feel good and comfortable in, be around the people that make you happy and savor the few moments we actually get in this life. 

Do not try to be someone else in order to get approval from others.

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10

That’s it for today.  Hope this helped lighten up the pressure for some of you out there as it did for me.
Take care of yourselves! ♡

Long Distance

I remember the knots in my stomach the night before he left. I remember sitting in his driveway hugging him and crying with him. I remember all the prayers we prayed knowing how hard this will be. Going from seeing each other every day to being 2 hours from each other. Now, I know some of you may be thinking, 2 hours really isn’t that far away. But, in the 2 1/2 years, we have been together we have never been away from each other for more than a week. SO needless to say, this is a little difficult.

Ladies, I know how hard it is to say goodbye, but by the grace of God, we will get through this.

So, here are some tips I would like to share with the ladies currently experiencing long distance.

  1. It is not going to be easy, but it is so going to be worth it.
  2. Set date nights and facetime dates. I am such an over planner. Luckily it has come in handy when it comes to planning at least one weekend a month to dedicate to spending time with Henry. We also try to facetime each other at least once a week. Because it is just oh so nice to see his face.
  3. Pray Together. If Christ wasn’t the center of our relationship I don’t think we would have lasted through this experience. Praying together and separately has helped us grow so much closer. Pray for peace, safety for each other, and that God will be present in both of your lives. It helps.
  4. Make the best of this time. Henry and I are trying to use this time to find ourselves, get out of our comfort zones, and grow a stronger relationship with Christ. For us personally, we are also using this time to prepare for marriage. By preparing our hearts for each other, we are learning how to trust each other greatly and to have patience through this time.

This is only the beginning of Henry and I’s distance away from each other, but I can proudly say it has helped our relationship grow stronger than ever. I am praying for each of you that needed to read this.

I love you all to the moon and back!

Love, Hay


I wish I looked like her, I wish I wrote like her, I wish I (fill in the blank). I feel this way about my friends! Not some pretty strangers I see on Instagram. Friends I see every day, friends that encourage me and love me. I find myself resenting them the second I find something that they have that I don’t.

But luckily I have surrounded myself with people that are constantly reminding me of my inner beauty. Find friends that remind you to care more about your soul than your outer appearance. The friends that encourage you and help you grow. The friends that help you find your confidence in the Lord.

If today you were given the choice to either envy someone or encourage them. What would you choose? Seems like an obvious choice but we unknowingly seem to choose envy over encouragement. Make yourself more aware that this is an option, you can choose encouragement.

Be the person whose beauty rests in encouraging one another.

𝕃𝕠𝕧𝕖, ℍ𝕒𝕪