My husband is a vampire.

Technically, he’s a sportswriter; however, when you factor in west coast games and deadlines, he’s basically nocturnal. So, yes, he’s a vampire, sans sparkles.

I’m an internet creeper.

Only partially true. I’m a social media strategist by trade, with typical* office hours. My company’s HQ is in Wisconsin and we have clients across the country. As it turns out, I just planned my sixth work trip in a four month period. That’s not so bad, right? It’s only sixish weeks.

So, to recap, you have a nocturnal, traveling sportswriter and a traveling social media strategist with an office job. It’s week 14 in the world of college football, so the sportswriter has only three maybe four trips left on the calendar for the year, I have a trip to snowy Wisconsin, Thanksgiving, my birthday (!) and Christmas.

I can see the light at the end of this crazy 2014 tunnel. This crazy, crazy, blessed 2014 tunnel.

I’m certain the humans who talk about the first year of marriage do not consider moving halfway across the country (four times in three years between the two of us), selling your house, starting a new job, two jobs requiring travel, family changes (graduations, funerals, divorces).

It would have been a lot simpler if we could have focused on normal things. For example, If I could learn not to shrink clothes in the dryer, if T could focus on putting dishes in the dishwasher – not just in the sink – and if I could somehow make my shoes travel from the back door to the closet.

But, then we would have missed out on the hidden gems. Like the pizza party in my grandma’s garage where we found a box of my late father‘s belongings we didn’t know existed. Or, falling even more in love with our first home because we knew we couldn’t stay. Or, following my dad in the U-haul through the South.

Simple isn’t reality. Marriage isn’t a Nicholas Sparks’ novel. Adventures are not for the faint of heart.

We** see you, California. I see you Mickey, bowl of roses and gorgeous sunsets.

Ex oh,

B.

*if typical means I work too much. In my opinion, when you dream about work and stay late by choice, you’re in the right place.
**We. It’s that marriage talk


A college student recently posed questions about the journey to my current position for a class project, and until she asked it never occurred to me how random – yet planned – this journey has been.

Isn’t it too early to ask me about how I got here? I’m not really anywhere, yet. I have, however, found a position I really, really love in an industry fueling my passion in agriculture and food. Hashtag blessed.

I just took the Drake approach, triple pound.

Huh?  A translation:

AUSTIN – Brooke Haney started from the bottom much like Canadian rapper, Aubrey Drake Graham.

###

If you want to be a community manager, a few tips:

1) Build your own brand. 

Hiring managers want to know you’re interesting and capable enough to build a community from a brand lacking name recognition.

That’s what I want to know, at least. If I, for example, tasked you with building a voice and community around a drywall company, I’ll expect you can make it happen.I always want to know you’re hard working, deeply creative and the perfect combination of abstract-random and OCD.

Living that Chickasaw Country life.

Living that Chickasaw Country life.

2) Seek clients, not agencies.

Use search engines to your advantage and find brands you want spend your nights and weekends with – because you will, in fact, work nights, weekends and holidays.

Disclaimer: Eventually you’ll want to find the Cinderella of all companies to return your glass slipper, but when you’re first starting wouldn’t you want to see the genius behind the Roaming Gnome or Taco Bell’s tweets.

Oh, drywall, you fancy.

Oh, drywall, you fancy.

3) Be a sponge.

During the past 12 months, I’ve worked with teams pertaining the following topics: tourism, craft beer, drywall, college football, commerce, sustainable gardening, animal nutrition, animal care, food, soybeans, probiotics, animal genetics, vector control, crop science and advocacy.You never know when you may need life experience to help you in your day job.

4. Familiarize yourself with all communications mediums.

There’s a story about a professor who filled a jar full of rocks, then sand, then water. Go ahead, google it.

Rocks: PR, magazines, commercials, billboards, books…
Sand: websites, banner ads…
Water: social media…

Ensure your résumé (or LinkedIn profile) doesn’t categorize you before you’re ready to be categorized. For me, I followed opportunities in search of creative solutions, which is probably why I did well in that math functions course in college (also known as fun with numbers).

If you’re the type of human who considers “what if” or “why not” or is determined to figure it out. Well, you’re basically my favorite type of human.

If you’re interested in digital and social media, I’m here for you. If I can’t ask your questions, I can find someone who can.

Ex oh.
B.


My little sister and her perpetual plus one (a fancy way of saying BFFL) came to Austin this weekend. They drove. The one thing I was unprepared for when living in North Carolina was that simply getting in my gas-guzzling SUV and driving home was off the table. I’m over the moon that’s its back on the table.

On the flip side, this option is no longer on the table for the mister. This is what happens these days when the norm is meeting someone who grew up hundreds of miles away from your hometown. (Can I get a subtle head nod for airline miles?)

With two college kids and a sportswriter working from home, our weekend was full of food: breakfast fit for queens, tacos fit for a local and pizza fit for a middle school sleepover. Having two college kids and a sports writing husband working from home made me feel like the house mom.
I_LOve_You_SO_Much

We did stumble down to South Congress for quality exploring. I’ve been saving this particular adventure for a weekend when I’d have someone to serve as my Robin.


PlaisPigeon

Zigging and zagging through the crowd was worth it when we rounded the corner to a table full of dinosaurs.

10690160_10102283252800052_4425664361914567348_n

Hello, Alan Grant, welcome to the family.

South Congress is nothing but magical. Oddities in every window, food trucks filling the air with their favorite treats, brisk air, vendors lining the street and smiling people. To be fair, the humans were most likely smiling because the weather is perfect – and it’s November.

Just a day in the life, you know.

eh oh.
B.

—–

Links for you:
Get your own Alan Grant from the Plaid Pigeon.
I feel head-over-heels in love with the Gypsy Wagon.
I caved and purchased a pair of Kendra Scott studs.
We got crazy and watched Maleficent and ordered Flying Pizza. It was delicious.

SOuthCongress


Taylor Swift removed her entire music repertoire from Spotify this week in a move earning street credibility from some and baffling others. Did Spotify, subscription digital music service streamed by more than 40 million active users, anticipate buzz around the loss of a notable artist and what can we, as humans (not brands), learn from their tactful and timely response?

Deemed significant by USA Today, ABC News, Time, Rolling Stone, et al., Swift’s stance on low-royalty streaming services and piracy has made global headlines. Let’s take a leap and compare this to life, shall we.

When we face one of life’s many hurdles, what can or should we do?

1. REACT QUICKLY

Spotify’s team quickly posted a diplomatic – yet earnest – plea for Swift’s return. In life, we know when we’re going to ruffle the feathers family members or friends. Small wedding invite list, anyone? No need to put off the inevitable.

Learn from me. Months can pass before “I’ll reach out to so-and-so” actually happens.

2. KNOW YOUR BRAND

The adrenaline of impromptu issues can often lead to spinning on your heels and negating your brand essence. Brand? Agency lingo, folks. Keep your core values close and adhere to the voice and tone your advocates recognize.

Huh? Be you.

Spotify’s line, “PS – Taylor, we were both young when we first saw you, but now there’s more than 40 million of us who want you to stay, stay, stay. It’s a love story, baby, just say, Yes.” made my heart swoon with pure communications pride.

Looking at it from a business perspective, this line may not suitable for a Fortune 200 company deeply rooted in a conservative tone and voice, but it’s the Red Ryder of Christmas gifts for this particular scenario.

T. Swizzle. Tulsa. 2008. (I just found this on Facebook, win.)

T. Swizzle. Tulsa. 2008. (I just found this on Facebook, win.)

3. BE TRANSPARENT

I can be the first to admit this tactic is transforming into an overused buzzword; however, as a consumer, this is my sun-ripened blackberry jam.

“We believe fans should be able to listen to music wherever and whenever they want, and that artists have an absolute right to be paid for their work and protected from piracy. That’s why we pay nearly 70% of our revenue back to the music community.”

Could the percentage be higher? Maybe. Is the percentage delivered directly to the artist? Absolutely not. Labels receive their fair share. What we do know is there are a lot of variables in every situation.

What can we learn? If you’re doing the right thing, you have nothing to hide. Woman up, and tell your story. When you’re wrong. Say so.

Of note: I downloaded Swift’s ‘Clean’ from iTunes for research purposes. It’s not horrible.


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.