Giveaway, baby.

Five things you probably didn’t know about me, that I don’t advertise openly:

1. I love watching videos of dance crews. I do. I love it. Every once in a while I’ll go on a dance crew craze and spend a couple of hours you-tubing them. At the present moment I’m fascinated by Keone and Mari Madrid. Less dance “crew” and more dance “duo”. This couple choreograph stunning dances. I’m in awe. Here’s a great example of their hip-hop choreography. And here’s a great video of totally different style of choreography. In it you see them team up with a singer to create a live performance to one of her songs. If you want to skip the intro, jump to 7:30. For some reason, watching that dance always makes me teary-eyed. Watch it.

2. Once a week at least, usually as I’m driving somewhere, I think about a close friend, family member or myself passing away and just cry. Some how I let myself wander into a deep painful place. Imagining, in rich detail, life without someone. All the circumstances that follow. The long dark days and the things that would remind me of their presence. It usually takes me a few minute to snap out of it because it all feels so real. One time, I had to pull over, having to remind myself that I hadn’t actually lost Matt. He happened to call a moment later and I felt relief at the sound of his voice.

3. When my dog gets sick, which he has been quite a bit recently because of some food issues, I sit next to him and pet his back. I tell him it’s all okay and ask how he’s feeling. I’ll offer him fresh water and a few bits of bread. In fact, he’s learned now to come get me. He’ll actually find me wherever I am, nudge me with his nose and then walk out to our hallway, before he gets sick. Poor puppers. I’ll admit, Gideon has been the subject of my episodes from #2. Sigh. Did I just tell you that?

4. I play video games. Well, computer games. Really. Don’t make fun of me. My favorite are “point and click adventure” games. The best are the semi-creepy or murder mystery ones. Like where I get to play Sherlock Holmes and track down Moriarty. Ha! Here is a classic semi-creepy point and click game, that encompasses all I love about these things.

5. I “read” like a mad woman. Why the quotes? Well, cause I go to my library’s online catalog and order a mystery (75% of the time) in both book and audio-book. I listen to the audio book while I’m driving, cleaning, etc. Then before I go to bed, I grab the actual book, find my spot and read for a while. Is that cheating? I “read” at least 2 books a week this way. Right now I’m on “I” is for Innocent by Sue Grafton. Starting in the 80’s she wrote detective mysteries A thru Z. They are classic detective stories without all the blood and gore of some more modern thrillers.

Okay. That’s that. Now for the giveaway. Yesterday was my 200th post. I think that is cause to celebrate. If you win, you can choose any one pair of earrings from my shop. Here’s what is currently there:

There are even more pictures of each earring on Etsy, so check them out! Here’s how to enter: Leave a comment. Yup. That’s it. Say anything. I’d be most interested in hearing if you related to any of the things I wrote above, but that’s not a requirement. The Giveaway will be open until this Friday, October 26th at 5pm pst. Eeekk! Tell your friends!


43 thoughts on “Giveaway, baby.

  1. Haha. I loved reading all of that. It reminds me of when we were kids and we were (are) so goofy. As I read the first paragraph about the dancing crews it brought back memories of singing poetry in your old room. I’m sure we danced the night away as well! I’m really enjoying seeing all of the creative things that you’ve come up with. It’s inspiring! We should really meet up for coffee sometime. Maybe some poetry reading for old times sake! Keep it up, Haley! You’re fabulous!

    • Oh my gosh. Yes! And guess who still has those tapes? I DO! Ha! I’m going to go dig them out of the garage…and when I do, you want to come over for some wine and a good laugh??!!

      Thanks for the huge compliment Caedra! It means a lot to me! I get down on myself…
      “Oh wow…so you sew stuff, who cares.”
      It’s helpful to hear that it might be inspiring to somebody!


  2. I often think about people dying too. Sometimes it’s about my mom – wondering how I would actually feel, based upon our current lack of a relationship. And other times it’s about John – wondering what on earth I would do with a house payment and two kids and not being done with school (having no skills beyond teaching dance or customer service), and boy does that scare the crap out of me. So, you are not alone.

    • Yeah! I bet that is weird to think about. I remember when my Mom’s mom passed away…she felt totally numb about it. She had done so many hurtful things, that it was hard to reconcile her pain and lack of interest about the whole thing.

      Life. Is. Weird.
      Good thing God’s got a plan cause mine would probably fall apart.

  3. 200 posts?! WOW! How exciting. I have similar moments of thinking about losing people I love. Recently my mentor’s husband died, and in trying to imagine how she felt, I thought about what it would be like to be without Dan – yeah, there was lots of crying involved. You’re not alone!

    • That is so hard! Interesting how beautiful and painful commitment to another person can be, huh? Suddenly there is a lot more at stake. Imagine when you have kids! I’ll probably cry all the time.

    • :) What’s funny about that is that if you were rich, you’d probably be shopping somewhere besides my shop, hehee.

      P.S. Anxiously awaiting Calvin’s arrival!

  4. I just have to say how much I admire your packaging on your earrings (and the earrings themselves, of course). In my Etsy shop, we have some interesting earrings for sale also, but we haven’t gotten around to the cool packaging yet ;-)
    Although our house is really busy and chaotic (often), I also make time to read. I have a Kindle–my second–which I take everywhere I go, reading as often as I possibly can. We joke that in my family we have a “reading gene”–and I have definitely inherited it! I have a list of books I’d like to read, but yet I keep going back to read my old favorites because I know they’re good.

    • Thanks for compliment! I simply printed the logo on card stock and that was it! It took 15 minutes to make…

      Do you like your kindle? I’m so often running around my house, and since I don’t have kids, it’s easy just to listen to it. But maybe someday I’ll have to invest in one :)

      • I LOVE my Kindle! This is my 2nd (my husband took my 1st when I got a new one, which he consented to buy for me because he wanted mine–and he now has a Kindle Fire), and I have found a bunch of books that I wanted for free. We’ve signed up for the Amazon Prime so that we now have access to the Amazon “library”, plus there are a bunch of books that I’m reading that are relatively new. My husband loves the text-to-speech feature, so he listens to books on his commute. I occasionally get some fairy tales that I can read to the kids. My favorites are the Scandinavian fairy tales, and the Japanese fairy tales.

  5. What a genius way to read books! I’ve never thought of doing that! I just drag my book or kindle with me everywhere (depends on where the book is) and read whenever I get the chance! :)

    • I know! Haha…it’s actually addicting. If I have to drive the car without the CD player, I get all ticked. I want to “read” my book all the time! It’s fun too because you get a certain voice for characters in your head.

  6. Okay, so I totally knew I was not the only one who imagines what it would be like to lose someone you love, but it’s always really amazing to me to hear someone admit they do it, too. When I hear someone (like you) confess that they do this, especially reguarly, it tells me that people and relationships mean a great deal to that person. People and relationships mean a great deal to me, too, especially those people who have stuck close by through a bunch of the crap, even if they didn’t “get it.” Anyway, while I was reading your #2 post about this, it brought me back to my pregnancy with Evelyn (Dec. ’09 – Sept. ’10). I did have one incredibly horrible, sob-inspiring nightmare wake me from sleep (which is not unheard of during pregnancy, whether you do or do not normally have nightmares). But what struck me with that pregnancy, and the months that followed her birth, was how vivid my DAYMARES were. I had imagined on several occasions how aweful it would be to lose someone I loved long before I was pregnant–my dad with his many serious health issues looming (especially while I was away at Fox…); my sister after all the major emotional and physical abuse she had suffered in the past; my husband who is my constant support and companion; the list goes on. But during those months of pregnancy, my thoughts of loss escalated from thinking mostly of what I would FEEL following a loss to detailed imaginings of HOW I might lose someone I love, as well as how it would affect me afterward. Highly detailed, highly upsetting. I tried to keep my thoughts in check, and to give them up to God to allow some peace following such daytime nightmares. Unfortunately, they still got the better of me, and I had to pull over at least a half dozen times (while pregnant) and gain some control again before continuing. I felt ridiculous! And those half dozen times don’t even take into account all the times I cried but didn’t feel I needed to pull over…. Hahaha! (It’s not really funny, but you have to be able to laugh, right?) Like you, I was usually in the car when I thought about losing someone. I wonder why that’s such a common place to imagine such a horrid thing as losing someone? Probably because so many loved ones are lost while driving… Anyway, I’m pretty sure I’ve desensitized myself (to a point) enough over time that when I do finally lose one of those loved ones, I will probably be able to cope at least a little better, having already felt several times (if just for a few moments) as if I had really lost them.

    Aside from that, I just have to say that your jewelry and all the fun ideas and creative outlets I’ve seen on your pages/posts to date are amazing! I love watching creativity in action. *Hugs*

    • Oh my word Leonia! Your words are so great! Loss is such a weird thing. But yes, God is present through all of our processing. I can’t thank you enough for sharing so openly with me. You are a fantastic mom and wife…and friend!

  7. In response, and because I think your earrings are the coolest thing since chocolate covered raisins…

    1) Emily Sasson. Watch her (and her crew) She’s the coolest.

    2) I cry a lot!!! Let’s get together sometime.

    3) If Daisy (my cat) dies I’ll probably skip class. And I NEVER skip class. I’ll probably cry for days…

    4) I’ve never played these games you speak of, but girl…did you ever play Oregon Trail? Because that game, my friend, was all the rage.

    5) Grammy loves Sue Grafton!! I wish I could say I had read some of her books, but alas I have not. I do however love a good Jodi Picoult book. But my favorite book EVER is “When Crickets Cry” by Charles Martin.

    • Oh my gosh! I just spent a 1/2 hour googling her! Her dances are great! And yes…oh yes. I have played Oregon Trail for sure. Ha. I always died. Maybe that’s why I like playing games where you don’t actually die :)

      Oh great. i love the same author that your Grammy loved. Hahaa…but they really are SO great! Not disturbing, yet still creepy.

      Thanks SO much Kinda for for your comment. I LOVE hearing your thoughts and consider you a dear friend :)


  8. Haley, I do not watch dance shows, but I watch singing shows. I have quite a fascination with them, much like your fascination with dance shows. I always cry too. I’m just so amazed at their talent and I am proud of them! And I imagine what it would feel like to have that talent, be so confident, and have so many people think you are wonderful. What is it about the dance crews do you think, that you are so in awe over?

    I do the very same thing while I’m driving too. I cry all the time thinking about what it’s going to be like when Grandma and Grandpa go, or another family member or friend. It’s called anticipatory grief, and it’s very real. I didn’t know we had that in common! Makes our bond that much more special.

    I’m sorry to hear Gideon has been sick lately. That’s no fun! Poor guy! I don’t have a pet, but my best friend has 6 dogs, and I am their primary caregiver when she is out of town. I am there almost every day and have deep relationships with each of them. So much so, that one we call my husband, and another, we call my son. Dogs are so much like us in the need for connection and bonding and comfort. I love how you love and care for him.

    I have a secret love for Solitaire on the computer. I play probably 60 games a day or so. That’s hard to admit. I understand your love for games, though I have never played any like you have described. I think I might look into it! Ha!

    I love that you love to read. I love to read too, though I don’t do hardly enough of it. Being a student, that was the last thing on my mind- pleasure reading. Also, I got cable tv. I have found it more difficult to pick up a book, now that I have cable. Sad. Now that I’m not a student anymore, I am hoping to pick up a book real soon. I have a ton here to read!I don’t think your audio book listening and then reading the actual book is cheating! I think it’s very wise and a great way of multi-tasking! You inspire me! I love that you love mysteries. You remind me of our dear cousin Katie.

    Congratulations on your 200th post! That is so awesome! You inspire and touch so many people and I am so proud of you and love you so very much!

    I hope I win! I never seem to win anything, and I LOVE your earrings!!

    • Oh Penny. You are so great. Your thoughts and words mean so much to me. You are my #1 fan…for sure. Thanks for your support and love. Sigh. I love you.

  9. Love “reading” audio books myself, although I find that the narrator makes a Huge difference in how much I love it. For instance, I love nearly everyone who’s ever narrated a Dick Francis mystery: they’re Great for listening. I Love the guy who reads the Terry Pratchet Discworld books (fantasy genre.) But the lady who reads the Jasper Fforde “Tuesday Next” novels isn’t quite so good: there are a lot of places where her inflection, or lack thereof, catches my ear and distracts from the story. And there are also a few books where I just Can’t listen to the whole thing on tape because the story moves too slow. It may be just fine at a reading pace, but at a spoken pace it becomes excruciating. Connie Willis’ “The Doomsday Book” is the best example of this, but there have been several other less notable books that were perhaps of only average quality (I’m picky!) and really suffer from reading out loud, even with a good narrator. Anyway, I usually listen to an entire book on tape rather than expecting to finish on the printed page – unless it falls into the “too slow to listen” category. :) And now, with two toddlers, I don’t really get to listen to anything in the car except a little music. I miss it! Can’t wait ’til they’re old enough for the dramatic adaptations of Narnia! :)

    • Oh I am the EXACT same way. Books read by Barbara Rosenblat are the best! She got the perfect husky voice. I also notice certain voices irritate me. They don’t pause long enough or something else weird. Or, most usually, I find myself completing zoning out and not “hearing” the story.

      I’ll have to check out the ones you suggested!

      Thanks so much for commenting Annette!
      Take care,

  10. Haley! I can’t believe you have 200 posts. I am a relative new comer to your blog, but I gotta say, I love it. I especially like the recipes and decor ideas. It is so wonderful to see how wonderful a woman you have become. Part of me will always see the 9 year old I loved. You are an excellent writer and I love the way you share so openly.
    I want the earrings! cynthia

    • Oh Cynthia! Thanks SO much. It means so much to me that you are checking out the blog…and even more that you enjoy it, ha! I love your family. I still have such great memories of you and your home…I felt like one of the family. Thanks for making me feel so welcome and loved. And look, you’re continuing to do that!

      Hope all is well in the Gilliam-fam!


  11. Oh my goodness those are gorgeous! I especially love the ones 4th down. I loved reading about how you think about losing people. I’ve done that a few times and it feels good afterwards. I love you! :}

  12. 200 posts is such an amazing accomplishment! Love hearing about what you read, the things you make, and the meltdowns you have ;) All the earrings look great!

    • Megan…

      Thanks for commenting! And I love that your appreciate my melt-downs. Like you, they usually happen in private and I’m hard pressed to tell anyone about it. But it really does feel good to get it off my chest!


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