I can’t remember when it was, exactly, but before most of America heard of Kliff Kingsbury I had a crush on him. I hold on to this much the same as I do to the reading of Pdub’s blog before it caught a mean case of ads.

I’m basically a hipster.

To be fair, he’s not really my type. Talk, dark and handsome is more my thing. It’s just sort of a novelty for conversation – and Kliff gifs slay me.

Travis brought this home from Lubbock.

I picked T up from the airport, we swooped downtown, we walked to a local pizza shop, we drank red wine and I giggled like a 12 year-old girl when he handed me an envelope from the Texas Tech athletic department.

Kliff_Kingsbury
Hope T doesn’t mind walking by this every day. It’s always good to have a back-up plan.

 


Remember when DIY projects were my love language? When I poured over garage sales and antique stores like it was my job?

I’m bringing it back.

Mostly because I have a garage again.

A place to use power tools, get dirty— make messes.

DIY_Chairs_Brooke_Haney
During the past few years, I’ve had quite the relationship with these chairs. After my fever broke this weekend, I thought we could take it the next level. To a committed relationship: orange chevron.

Seemed right.

It must have felt right, because it took forever. Not because it was difficult, but because I was a stubbon sick kid who just needed to recover these chairs.

DIYChairs
This room still has a long way to go before I’ll introduce it to my parents. Baby steps.

ex oh.

B.


It’s was a cold dark night, full moon shining bright.

It was a typical Texas evening. That guy I married scored tickets to David Gray at Austin City Limits, which is fantastic until you recall I have a difficult time pairing artists with their songs unless their songs fall somewhere in the Nicki Minaj/Red Dirt genres.

This venue is an all-time great, to be honest. Although new, it’s borrowed elements from some of the greatest venues in the country to make an extremely authentic, perfect experience.

Before the show, T (Sportswriter, Expert, Dreamboat, d) all of the above), spied a guy who looked a lot like Taylor Kitsch, known for his roles in Friday Night Lights, Lone Survivor, Battleship…

Tim Riggins, guys.

Of course, I knew he was doing that husband thing where he was trying to get me to buy into the experience. You see, I didn’t bring my A-game, I wasn’t really sure who David Gray was and I was ridiculously tired*. That guy I married knows me pretty well and this is exactly something he would do to get me to have a good time.

I meandered pretty close to this Austin local. Close enough to convince my husband I gave it an A effort. It was dark, too dark to see his face.

“I’m pretty sure it’s not him.”

Case closed.

The next morning, I woke up to the ultimate wife shaming.

haney_wife_shaming
I let myself down. Not because I didn’t recognize him, but because I was wrong.

The next day I kept myself busy with meetings only to be interrupted with wife shaming tweets.

Sigh.

I deserved it.

That night I met Travis and Max (what! Max got a RGU shout out!) to watch my Cowboys take on my back-up plan and his Red Raiders.

It was an awful game. Still tired**, I left at halftime so I could watch the second half from the comfort of my bed.

Got home.

Took off my pants.

Put my hair in a top knot.

Put my pants back on.

Returned to the Goodnight.

Met Tim Riggins.

Brooke_Haney_Tim_Riggins
His voice is the perfect combination of buttery and scratchy, just like you’d expect. We talked football. He looked past me to my husband, who knowingly shrugged.

We talked Austin.

Hockey.

I thought of Coach Taylor.

and Lyla Garrity.

Texas Forever.

———
*Could I be getting sick? No.
**Probably getting sick.
Totally got full-blown sick the next day. Worth it.


I’m living the life my future self covets.

My house is clean, [walk-in] closet is organized, I have lunch at random local hotspots and I work late. Like really work. Work so hard that when I look up and it’s nearly 8 o’clock – I’m often surprised.

I hang out with that guy I married – on the random. I mean really hang out with him. It’s common for him to send a text mid-day asking if I want to go to dinner and/or a movie. We talk about things, too. Weather. Politics. That hilarious Vine video I looped 15 times.

Every few weeks I pack a bag and head north to my company’s HQ where I work with talented folks who knock my socks off. I often imagine I’m in the honors college and they simply haven’t found out my GPA isn’t as impressive as they would prefer.

I also wear pink on Wednesdays.

Like most humans, I often think about what life will be like when/if we have children. Ones with our genetics or ones I nurture so hard they have my <sarcasm font> hilarious sense of humor. </sarcasm font>

So many people compare life before kids to life after kids. As someone still on this side of the kid thing, can’t we all agree that’s just a weird comparison? I have so much time right now. So much room for activities. Of course I would have less time (for myself) if I had a toddler. I have less time having a husband.

Dear mom version of myself:

Wash your hair. Also, start using GlamGlow again – it’s magic in a bottle.

You’re doing a good job. Probably. It’s okay if you don’t think you’re doing a good job. You are. Most likely. Also, if the house is a mess – that’s fine too.

You didn’t even start using coasters until you joined Team Haney, so that milk jug that’s been sitting on the counter for three days: no big deal.

Remember that time you spent the better part of a Saturday watching almost every episode of Greek? Yeah, you do. The house was so clean the carpet had those Grandma Compton-approved lines on it. You were so bored. Bored in a very accomplished, yet borderline pathetic way. 

Also. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, working from the office kinda gal or working-at-home-with-kids kind of superhero, I’m glad you have choices. Do you, man. Women are often insecure and put others’ choices below theirs. Don’t you ever think someone else chose poorly. They made the decision that was best for their family.

Don’t forget – you’re doing a good job.

ex oh,
The version of you you’ll think had it all together. You didn’t.

P.S. I hope you have a nanny. I’ve started lobbying for one now – just in case. It’s always good to have options.

 

Real talk. Within the past year I’ve become a champagne drinker. The sportwriter says this is just my way of edging toward motherhood. What does that even mean?

B.


Texas_Sunset_Brooke_HaneyOne of my many jobs during college was as a sales associate at a local shoe store. To this day I can calculate a 40 percent discount faster than Johnny Football can earn a spot in a sports gossip thread.

David, co-owner of the Shoe Bank, once said something that until recently didn’t quite make sense.

“Unless a sales associate can keep us in their top 5, it’s not going to work out for us or for them.”

We’re edging close to 10 years since he said that to me, so let’s just say he said something sort of like that.

Last week while crashing in my hotel room after an exciting – yet long – workday in Wisconsin, I noticed Katie and Crystal’s conversation about blogging on Twitter.

Insert light bulb moment.

In the past two years my priorities changed drastically.

Recap: Engaged, moved from Oklahoma to North Carolina, started a new job, planned a wedding, both siblings graduated from high school, my parents split (am I allowed to say this on the internet!?), Travis thought it would be cool to give me his last name, I saw whales, one of my favorites mic dropped planet earth, I got a new job and we moved to Texas.

Although we tend to focus on a lot more than five things in life, David made a really good point to a naïve freshman. We each have things that are more important during different seasons of life.

While I was focusing on making new friends, discovering a new state and trying to figure out this whole marriage thing, blogging just didn’t make the cut.

Crystal asked a really solid question: if blogging makes its way back to the top 5, what are the other four?

Faith
One aspect of life in Oklahoma City that kept me grounded was co-leading a life group. Man, I miss those guys. What started as a weekly gathering turned into a network of quality humans who loved exploring our city, sharing life experiences and being a support system. As we work to build roots in Austin, we’re searching for a new church home. (suggestions welcome)

Team Haney
Marriage is hard. I must have picked the right guy, because I don’t know of anyone else who would do this crazy marriage thing with me. It’s awesome, trying, fun, scary, exciting, comforting and every other descriptor you can imagine. Now that we’re both traveling for work, focusing on Team Haney is as important as ever.

What does that even mean? I don’t have a clue. I’ll let you know when I figure it out. Right now it means making sure we have food in the fridge, someone fed Molly and we get to hang out for a few minutes a week without technology interfering.

Using my degree
What happens when social and digital media collides with food and agriculture? The glass slipper of careers.

Friends
There is a group of people looking for an addition. I just have to find them.

Do you have a list? Show and tell begins.. now.
B.


This weekend, that guy I married worked from his office. He had all the basic necessities for a sportswriter: diet Dr. Pepper, two HD televisions, laptop, phone and a closed door.

His job sounds extremely fun, doesn’t it? As the CEO of the Haney House I can tell you exactly how hard that human works. (No, he doesn’t read this. He has no idea I say nice things.)

Why am I telling you this? Because I can. I sort of registered this url and can write about whatever I want to. For some reason, people read it.

Anyway, while that guy I married worked the weekend away I built a fort. Closed door, remember?

Yes, a fort. With blankets, pillows, random pieces of furniture. Because, why not?

Honestly, it’s because we moved to Texas (!) and I haven’t made any friends yet. If y’all know of anyone who is down for wine drinking and fort building in the five-one-two, let them know I’m their girl.

Wait, Texas? Yes, we moved to Texas. Travis is still doing the same thing, and I joined a “dog-friendly, client-focused, strategically sound, creatively driven, full-service agency that’s 100 percent laser focused on success across the food system.”

Rural_Gone_Urban_Haney_Austin
We’re living in a place where the people are nice, the sunsets are gorgeous and the food is delicious.

Winning. Team Haney is winning.

Honeymoon.

07.11.14 — Leave a comment


St_John_Rural_Gone_Urban
How many days can be claimed as one of the best of ever? Well, if each day is better than the previous day you could say this every day, right? Not that I would — or you would — but it’s possible.

For 10 days in a row — our ‘moon to be specific — it happened.

That guy I married whisked me away to the Virgin Islands for 10 days. Ten days filled with rum punches, suntans, mornings by the beach, afternoons on the water and evenings by the beach.

Sunset_Westin_StJohnThe St. John Westin became our home away from home. Our ocean-facing room was only steps from the shore. Each morning I welcomed the day with a new book (yes, one a day) and large cup of coffee.

For a girl who didn’t have a typical college spring break trip, this more than made up for it.

Haneys_Honeymoon
We ventured out with the Kekoa – twice. Twice we guzzled our rum punches faster than we should have and snorkeled to our hearts content.

In one day I learned to snorkel, spotted two octopuses, squealed in delight as two Humpback whales breached the azure waters, swam to the shore of Jost Van Dyke and watched the sunset while drinking yet another Pain Killer.

Living like the Jones’ was great until it wasn’t. The Westin was lovely, truly it was. It was undergoing a lot of renovations and closed up shop at about 7 p.m. every day.

Jost_Van_Dyke
So, we checked out of our ocean-facing room at the Westin, took the ferry to the BVIs and rented a cabin no bigger than a shoebox on Jost Van Dyke.

It was meant to be, you see. Upon checking we spotted both our alma maters’ flags. That’s a thing, of course

photo 4
We traveled 1,500 miles and what we found was the most authentic experience of my life. Soggy Dollar? Check. Foxy’s? Check

Where’s the magic? Corsairs. The owner is a treat, man. To be fair we got off on the wrong foot. That’s what happens when you have a couple of hangry Haneys.

The food was out of this world. Or was it? It could have been that Merle, Kris, Waylon, Buck and Willie were on loop. Who knew that all you needed to do to listen to really authentic country was to visit the BVIs.

Sunset_St_John
We claimed a picnic table to watch the sun bid the day adieu. Here’s when I inquired about the realness of the day. Could it be? Real?

Did that ‘moon happen?

It was like a unicorn that I captured and released back into the wild. For a while, the world was perfect.

B.

Venturing to St. John?
Sail with: Kekoa
Drink here: Woody’s Seafood Saloon
Eat here: Morgan’s Mango
Sleep here: Westin St. John
Play Rummy with a local here: Across the Street Bar


Of all the hats I wear, big sister is my favorite.

In this capacity, I’ve learned to manage, delegate, rule, annoy and defend – all buzz words that will be immediately added to my résumé.

A few weekends ago, my sister gradated from high school. Read as: I used my last vacation day of the year to take my heart back to Payne County, Oklahoma.

Tori's High School Graduation
Oklahoma: where everything moves a little slower (except the wind), the people are friendlier and my heart is fuller. I can travel the world, but my home will always be in Perkins. It’s where my family is, you know? It’s where I learned to drive on dirt roads, first kissed a boy and met my best friend.

Brooke_Haney_Dad

It’s where I learned to have high standards for the boys I brought home. How’s that? By bringing home ones who didn’t quite make the cut. Just ask my dad – he’ll tell you about ‘em.

Brooke_Haney_Travis_HS_Graduation

When I finally brought home the right one, it was all worth it. And, yes, that’s his best little brother impression.

Cheers to you, little sister. May you love college as much as I did and may you make the friends who stand by your side for all of life’s curveballs. You’re my favorite.

B.

 

 


I can escape into a book. Really escape.

My senses cease reacting, the world halts on its axis and my entire being is absorbed into the crisp paper neatly adorned with characters of freshly-printed ink. Honestly, it can be frightening for those around me.

Brooke? Absent.

From Charlotte to Atlanta the words of Emily Giffin’s The One and Only were transcribed onto my soul.

Emily Giffin The One and Only
I sound like such a fan girl. In addition to the Harry Potter series, Giffin’s books are the only others to avoid adoption. (Does re-reading books count toward the coveted personal-pan pizza in the BookIt! Program?) She writes, I read.

Rolling into Atlanta, I had barely looked up from the final pages when we were greeted by an evening my college-self applauded.

Listen, folks. I can karaoke with the best. I’ll cover Conway Twitty or Sammy Kershaw and wow you with my inability to hit a key, any key — on or off.

Live-band karaoke? You win, 10 High.

I proudly recorded Nick’s performance like a true soccer mom. Maternal instincts, y’all. Maternal instincts.

-30-

Of note: Emily didn’t pay me to endorse her book. Is that even a thing? No? Carry on.


Claudia Jean Isley

During the past few years, my Grandma Claudy has gone from Grandma to one of my best friends. It’s rare we go a few days without an email or phone call and her sound life advice is something I’ve leaned on heavily as I made life transitions. She knows the details of my life possibly more than anyone else and always asked the right questions – always. I’m decently sure she could give T a run for his paper as a journalist.

She’s also the most enthusiastic fan of Rural Gone Urban.

If you’re an avid creeper, you’ve seen her comments on posts. What you don’t see is that they’re always followed up with by an email and most often a phone call. “I just read it like I’m there. Write more adventures, Brookie.”

So for my biggest blogging fan, I write this post.

My grandma passed away this week. Through tears, I seek peace knowing that in the end, she won. No, she didn’t have a long, painful battle with an illness. She had a minor surgery that went terribly, terribly wrong. But, she won.

You see, right now she’s rejoicing in heaven with our Heavenly Father and her son, my earthly father.

She gave me my infamous “k. bye.,” my nose, my ridiculous laugh, my creativity and hopefully – my outlook on life. She was just so – nice. 

This morning I submitted her obituary to the local paper. It seems fitting it could have real-estate on Rural Gone Urban, too.

Claudia Jean Isley
September 25, 1944 – April 21, 2014
Franklin, Indiana

Claudia Jean Isley was a lover of westerns, Saturday girls’ lunch, the color purple and bragging endlessly about her talented and wonderful children and granddaughters.

She passed away on April 21, 2014, and it was fiercely too soon.

Claudia, 69, graduated from Franklin High School in 1962 and then earned her cosmetology license. Her chair became a haven for many; unintentionally but importantly, it made her an instrumental pillar of the community.

She recently retired after 25 years at the Indiana Masonic Home Beauty Shop.

Selfless to her core, Claudia often took cookies to local librarians and firefighters for protecting the Dewey Decimal System and civilians, respectively.

Her family brought great joy to her life. Whether she was exploring new beaches with Chris; sitting on the patio with JR and his wife, Tina; cheering for Sydney during swim meets or watching Gidget marathons with Brooke, her desire to make small moments big memories will leave a lasting impression on those who hold her dear to their hearts.

Claudia, deeply loved by so many, will be missed for her thoughtful nature, sweet giggle and quick-witted personality. Reasonable, honest and kind, her life advice was useful – and uniquely hers.

She is survived by two children, Carl Richard Isley Jr. (Tina) and Christina René Isley, and two grandchildren, Brooke Isley Clay Haney (Travis) and Sydney Isley.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Wreatha Liss; sister, Crystal States; and son, Charlton Ronald Isley.

Rev. Charles Stanley will preside over the memorial service on Friday, April 25, 2014 at 2 p.m at Flinn and Maguire Funeral Home, 2898 North Morton Street, (U.S. 31 North) in Franklin.

Friends may call on Thursday, April 24, 2014 from 4 – 8 p.m. at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks you donate to the Johnson County Public Library overdue book fund and to do for others before you consider yourself, laugh until it hurts, find joy in seemingly small moments and spend a Saturday morning watching westerns.

Today, I hope you can make a small difference in someone’s life. Do it for Grandma Claudy.

k. bye.