Day in the Life // Haley in Atlanta
This month we interviewed a dear friend for our Day in the Life Feature. We all lived in South Africa and Hawaii as neighbors and now Haley and her husband Clint live in Atlanta, Georgia.
Haley is one of the most creative people I have ever met and her creativity shines through the two successful businesses that she runs with her husband, Clint. She and her husband draw people in wherever they go with their warm, inviting, hilarious personalities and are fiercely loyal to those that they care about.
This feature is meant to highlight and celebrate mothers all over the world by getting a snapshot into their daily life. Thanks for reading along.
What is one thing you love about living in Atlanta?
Being close to family. My husband Clint and I were consistently traveling for 7 years prior to landing in Georgia and our visits home were only an annual event. Now we live just a few miles down the road from his folks and we get to see them almost every day! I can honestly say they’re some of our closest friends and have been the greatest help as we’ve grown our family and launched our business.
And we actually live in the suburbs about 30 minutes north of Atlanta. But the cultural diversity, the arts community, and the history of the civil rights movement are a few other things I really love and appreciate about this city.
What is one challenge you didn’t anticipate about moving after becoming a mother?
I’d been on the move since I was 18 and we continued that lifestyle about 4 years into marriage. We’d be in a new city, a new country, a new living situation every 3-6 months and I loved it.
But since having children, I’ve had this greater longing to be “rooted”. I desire and value the stability and consistency that comes with remaining in one place for my children (especially during these formative years), but I still feel the itch to pick up and go more often than not. I never anticipated this confliction before we started having kids. I can see our family on the move in the years to come, but for now I’m learning to be content and embrace where we are in this moment.
You’re an incredibly talented artist. How do you create space to practice that art now?
I’m still in the process of learning how to navigate life with an infant and toddler, so making space to “create” currently looks much more sporadic and improvised than I’d ideally like. I try to take advantage of nap time (when that happens), but I’ve really had to let go of my expectations and desire to have the “perfect space” (i.e. quiet, clean, serene) because that just isn’t my life right now.
Lately, I’ve been trying to include my daughter when I’m working on my projects. It’s immediately messy and slightly chaotic, but I want to make space and cultivate opportunities for her to create as well!
So when I’m working on my Etsy orders, I typically have our infant strapped to my body and a moderately pre-occupied toddler painting scraps of wood next to me (or destroying another room somewhere..). With Mustard Seed Tiny Homes, I’ve been able to branch into photography and interior design to capture and create the homes we build for our clients. So I’ll load up the babies and head to our warehouse to take photos, stage our houses, cut wood, etc. - again, with our infant strapped to my body and our toddler roaming the warehouse with Clint close behind.
What is it like to juggle motherhood and entrepreneurship?
It’s empowering, challenging, complicated, fun.. The biggest thing I’ve realized in all of this is that it doesn’t matter how “successful” our business becomes if my relationships with the most important people in my life - my husband and children - are suffering at its expense. So I’m learning a lot about what balance and grace look like in this season. I’ve had to let go of a lot of responsibilities that I was able to manage without the babies. There’s been a lot of trial and error and I’m learning what I’m realistically able to take on without compromising the time and attention I give my family.
Clint and I have always spent our free time creating things and pursuing new business endeavors (from Etsy to brewing & selling kombucha to building tiny houses) and we’ve included our babies in it all. It’s a family affair and I love knowing that our children are growing up seeing us take risks and use our passions and gifts to not only make a living, but to inspire and bring joy to others.
And in all of our endeavors, my greatest hope is that our children will know that they’re more valued and worthy of our love than anything we ever do.
Where are some of your favorite places to bring your kids in Atlanta?
When I actually manage to leave the house (I’ve been averaging every other day lately) my first go-to is our folks’ place. They have a huge backyard and our toddler loves to run around there. The park down the street is another fav and our local library has a “story time” hour I attempt to take them to once a week.
But my favorite place, hands-down, would have to be tiny house festivals. We’ve done about half a dozen this last year and it’s such a fun and unique thing to do as a family. We set up one of our homes for display next to other tiny house owners/builders and people come from all over the country just to walk through them. It’s definitely exhausting when you’re out there all weekend with babies in tow, but we literally meet thousands of people with such interesting, remarkable lives. It’s an incredibly cool thing to expose our kids to.
What’s a local dish that you love to eat?
I love eating at this Italian restaurant Clint used to work at downtown called Baraonda. He’s still known and loved there by, like, every single employee.. so when I can actually get him out of the kitchen and at the table with me, we’ll always get the kalamari, a flatbread pizza, and any pasta dish on the menu. Everything is incredible.
But in reality, we make it there about once every 4-5 months, so I frequent the Chic-Fil-A across the street. I’m counting that as local. It’s an Atlanta institution, baby.
What do you do to rest and recharge?
Next to sitting alone in my car in the Starbucks parking lot? Or wandering aimlessly around Target by myself?...
I try to take 5-10 minutes daily - preferably in the morning before everyone is awake, if I’m lucky - to sit down, really quiet myself, and open my Bible. It’s been vital for me to have these moments throughout the chaos of each day. I re-emerge as a kinder, more gracious, and peaceful person.
And I love to exercise. Running in particular. I’m able to think more clearly, my mood is lifted, and I feel more energized when I’m done. Mama needs those endorphins.