What I Didn’t Expect with Buying a House

What I Didn’t Expect with Buying a House

My husband and I have been working toward buying our first home for quite some time now, and let me tell you, it has not been an easy journey. From credit qualifications to saving money, we have struggled through every moment.

Now, as we settle into our little abode in the sleepy old mill town of Kannapolis, North Carolina — yes, the birthplace of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt — I am thankful for a sense of relief and to be on the other side of this hurdle.

Two years ago, I didn’t think we would ever be homeowners, but here we are.

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My Life Would Be Different If My Mom Would Have Lived

My Life Would Be Different If My Mom Would Have Lived

I try really, really hard not to think about the “what ifs” in my life, but here lately I can’t ignore the daunting question of “What would my life be like if my mom had survived her cancer battle?”

That’s a tough one, right? And heavy … that’s some heavy sh*t to live with.

It’s impossible to know what exactly would be different about my life, but I know for a fact it would be different if she were still here.

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What To Do When Your Best Friend Has A Baby (& How Not To Be Annoying)

What To Do When Your Best Friend Has A Baby (& How Not To Be Annoying)

{Photo credit: Alisha Rudd Photography}

A Collaboration between Dammit, Hali and The Big Blonde Brain

My friend over at The Big Blonde Brain (a lifestyle blog by Casey Sellers) just gave birth to her first baby, and in the months leading up to her due date, she and I got very close.

We spoke on the phone nearly every day and Casey felt comfortable enough to share some pretty graphic details of her pregnancy with me. So much so that I began joking I know Casey’s body better than my own.

That’s what best friends are for, though, right? She kept telling me, “I’m not going to let you go into this blind.” Which, I really do appreciate.

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Today, I Sat In My Office and Cried

Today, I Sat In My Office and Cried

{Photo credit: Alisha Rudd Photography}

As you read this, please take away these two things:

1.
Be kind to every person you meet. Everyone is fighting a battle no one else knows about.

2.
Please, please, please never ask a couple when they’re going to have a baby. That is one of the most personal and intimate questions you can ask, and you probably have no clue whether or not they’re dealing with infertility or other issues preventing them from getting pregnant. If someone offers up that information freely to you, so be it. But, please, never pry.


It is no secret that Justin and I have wanted children for quite some time now. I even wrote about it in 2015 after returning from Disney World.

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My Advice to You: Take the Trip

My Advice to You: Take the Trip

As my husband and I prepare to travel to California for our big vacation of the year, I can’t help but feel anxious about the cost of the trip at this exact time in our life.

I truly can’t help it. I am naturally a worrier, and traveling across the country while we are also in the process of buying our first home has my “worry-wart” instincts working overtime. This is despite the fact that we have been budgeting for this trip since late last year.

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Why You Should Do A First Look With Your Dad on Your Wedding Day

Why You Should Do A First Look With Your Dad on Your Wedding Day

I’m sure you’ve heard about couples who do a “first look.” You know, when the bride and groom choose to go against tradition and see each other before their wedding ceremony. Typically, it’s a private moment carved out in the hustle and bustle of the day for the groom to see his bride for the first time and have the wedding photographer capture his reaction.

My husband and I decided not to do a first look because I wanted him to see me in my dress for the first time walking down the aisle. I also had a little surprise planned for him  — I walked down the aisle to his favorite song.

However, I did do a first look with my dad, and it turned out to be one of the most memorable and precious moments of my wedding day.

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As a Motherless Daughter, How I Honored My Mom on My Wedding Day

As a Motherless Daughter, How I Honored My Mom on My Wedding Day

Eight years.

That is how long my mom has been gone. I was 19 — still a child — when she died in the early morning hours of July 27, 2009.

And when I say that her death was the defining moment of my young life, I mean it. There is not a day that passes that I don’t ask myself, “Would she be proud of me?”

That is a heavy, heavy weight to live under.

I have devoted many words on this blog to talking about losing my mom at a young age. Losing your mother before your life really begins changes you in ways that you don’t fully understand until you’re older and your life is more established.

For me, I realized that even though at 19 I felt grownup, 19 was, in fact, too young.

19 years was not enough time with my mom, and I learned what all motherless daughters come to know — the memories of times past aren’t what is most painful. What breaks your heart over and over is living through all the moments your mom won’t be there for — birthdays, college graduations, your wedding, the birth of your first child, etc.

That is why planning my wedding as a motherless daughter was awful at times. Your wedding and all of its chaotic planning and madness is just something your mom should be there for.

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My Asheville Bridal Portrait Session and The Special Meaning Behind These Photos

My Asheville Bridal Portrait Session and The Special Meaning Behind These Photos

Now that our wedding has come and gone, I can finally share some of the images from my mountaintop bridal portrait session in my hometown of Asheville, NC.

As I mentioned in my 20-day wedding update, I wanted these images to capture exactly who I am — Disney nerd, motherless daughter, mountain girl.

I asked a friend from college who is an Asheville-based photographer to help me achieve my vision, and she did an incredible job — even though the request was kind of last minute.

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July 27, 2009

July 27, 2009

In life, we all have defining days that make us or break us, or do both. Days that are marked as a distinct line that divides the before and the after.

For me, that day was July 27, 2009, when, in the early morning hours, my mom lost her battle to cervical cancer. There in that hospital room, with her closest family and friends surrounding her, she took her final breath and was finally free of the pain that consumed her for more than a year.

I was 19, had just finished my first year of undergrad at UNC Asheville, and had no idea how her death would impact the course of my life. But the moment my mom took her last breath, my world was forever changed.

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Wedding Planning Update: Busy Weekend Ahead

When People Ask How's Wedding Planning Going

It is Friday afternoon and I am currently tucked away in my office, eating lukewarm pizza leftover from last night’s dinner, and trying to make sure I have my to-do list in order before heading into the weekend.

It is going to be a busy one, packed full with wedding planning chores that HAVE to get done because we are running out of weekends before the wedding.

As of now, we have eight Saturdays left, and four of those already have events planned. So, technically, we only have four free Saturdays left (yay, I can do math!) to finish DIY projects, buy decorations, order whatever needs to be ordered, and make sure everything is organized and ready to go.

OK, bring on the panic attacks.

But really, I have no idea what the “F” I am doing most days. How are you supposed to plan a wedding, work full-time, continue to grow your relationship with your partner, watch Netflix, walk the dogs, eat, drink enough water, and still find time to maintain an acceptable level of personal hygiene?

Is it even possible?

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