Happy 50th To Me! Posted by Hallie S. on Nov 20th 2021 A Roast & Toast To My First 50 Years Oh heyyyyyy my darlin peepers! It’s been awhile! Happy to be back typing my digits to the keyboard and sharing a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I hope that life is finding all of you happy and healthy and ready for the upcoming holiday season - I know this girl is ready! Today, November 21, 2021 marks my last day of 49. Facts. Come tomorrow morning I will officially be the big 5-0. Half a century. When I think back on being younger and people turned 50 - only one word came to mind. Old as dirt. Well as I dust off my jeans - here I am world! I often think about what people will say about me when it comes time to remember me, when my merry go round ride has ended. Have I made an impact? An impression? Will I be an eye roll or a gentle tear? Maybe a little of both? I decided to find out. I reached out to those that know me best - my brother, my Rob, my oldest child, my oldest friend and my newest oldest friend. I asked them to roast and toast me, that if they had to describe me to someone whom had never met me, what would you say? What would you want them to know? Give me ten thoughts each and send them to my Rob because I didn’t want to know who wrote what, I wanted to grant them some anonymity. And then I was going to share with all of you those thoughts. Because what better gift when you turn 50, right? I expected a few of them to bring a match and light me up a little. I mean, I asked for it right? One couldn’t strike that match, a few lit them and then blew them right out. And then you have my brother…he brought a blowtorch. So here we go, my peepin darlings. Saddle up, strap in and settle in for the real deal, all you will ever need to know about Hallie. Editor's note: I copied and pasted these exactly as they were written. FOOD & SPIRITS 1. Hallie's not hungry. Unless you're going to eat. And then she's hungry for whatever you ordered. Yes, guilty as charged. I rarely want to order my own food. However, I do seem to get my appetite back right around the time someone else’s food hits the table. Sharing is caring, right? 2. Empty fridge. Condiments, beer, vodka. In my defense to this one, if you saw the amount of food my boys go through at a rapid rate and incredible volume you would understand that I find comfort in an empty fridge when they go back to school. Especially when they are home and the fridge is full yet ‘there’s nothing to eat in this house’. I'm a minimalist, my precious peepers. Less is more. 3. Loves having Sunday dinner although she barely eats. I love the act of cooking - especially for people I love. For me personally, it is something I do to show MY love. I just am not a huge fan of the eating portion of it, especially a meal. I’m a grazer at heart. DOGS 4. Seven dogs is absolutely crazy. Who would do that??? It’s too much. Six? Six is good. No issues at all. Perfectly reasonable. Facts. There are times I think I may have slightly overcommitted with six but I wouldn’t trade any of them for anything in the world. Any. Thing. 5. She always thought she’d be single forever and raise a pack of dogs. Was half right. Per Wikipedia, a pack is “often consists of 5-10 (though in areas of high prey abundance can be up to 20)”. So six is HARDLY considered unreasonable - in fact, some might consider me underachieving from a ‘pack’ perspective. 6. Don’t ever show her a picture of a puppy, especially a bulldog or a lab, because she’ll probably end up putting a deposit down. If you think I’m wrong, she currently has 6 dogs and can’t wait for more. Under. Achieving. 7. Hallie is the only person I know that spends more on pet food than she does human food. I am without question probably Chewy's best customer. To the point where I am on a first name basis with the FedEx lady and she knows the names of all our dogs. 8. Dog Lover/Nibbled Shoes/Scratched Wood/Worn Rugs - Care giver. Loyal. Takes the worn in exchange for the love. Every pair of workout shoes I have has the backs chewed off. Forget owning a pair of Uggs as I leaerned that expensive lesson the hard way. My wood floors are scratched. I have holes in the office carpet and everything I have has the lovely gloss of dog hair. And those dogs run to greet me and bowl me over every day like it’s the first time they’ve seen me all day. The love wins hands down. 9. Gives her dogs any food scraps they want, but only gives them filtered water to drink. Wait what? You don't give your dogs filtered water?? What's even worse is that I will tell the kids to get their water from the tap...Put your judgy eyes back in your head please. FAMILY 10. She truly is a “momma bear”. Loves everyone but come after her cubs and stand by to stand by for a whupping. I know my children are far from perfect. FAR FAR FAR. And I am open to calling them out and do not mind them being called out. Come for them, though? I’ll unleash a beast unlike something you’ve ever seen. 11. She loves her family. Every mother does, but her love (especially for her children) is something to behold. Make the mistake of hurting one of them, and she is as fierce as anything I have ever seen. See #10. 12. Fixer/Doer/Mediator/Go Between/Sacrificer - Whatever you call her she is in it for the love, peace, and happiness of her family. There truly is nothing I wouldn’t do for my lifeboat of five. Although at times, lots of times, they make me want to punch myself in the face repeatedly, I do love them more than they know. And I would give it all up in a heartbeat for each of them. 13. Enjoys when her children are home almost as much as when they're gone. FACTS. 14. Tells the kids they can't have something, then gives it to them. (Clothing, money, etc.) Parenting Hack - I have a very systematic approach to this. If I think it’s an unreasonable request or I don’t think it’s necessary or I think they should take care of it themselves, I say no. And then after a long debate in which I’m told repeatedly I am wrong, I don’t know what I’m talking about, I don’t understand, etc. I still say no. And then promptly give them exactly what they asked for. Trust me. Works great. 15. Family of 5/Boat of 5/Her Kids - Manners This has always been a major deal for me. Shaking someone’s hand. Looking them in the eye. Calling them Mr. and Mrs. Thanking people. Being there for people. Keeping your word. Showing up. They are a representation not only of themselves but of their family as well. Be aware of that always. MOVIES 16. Fastest way to get her to fall asleep is to start watching a movie she picked out. Pretty much. In my defense, I do try really hard to stay awake and if it’s a movie about dogs or like, dogs, I never fall asleep. I cry but I’m not sleeping. 17. Always has to pick the movie or tv show, but often falls asleep before the end. So maybe someone else should have better taste in movies and I'd let them pick... 18. Hallie tells the best/worst horror stories. And similar to that, she is the worst to watch horror movies with. She will scream and hold onto Gus and be terrified the entire time. And then after she will plot and think of a way to scare you (usually scar you) after. Ask Jackson about the time she crawled around the upstairs and scratched along his door, or what she did to her kids after watching Paranormal Activity 3. You could especially ask her kids about “Crazy Mary.” Hahahahahahaha! GOOD TIMES!!!! DOCTOR HALLIE 19. Life lectures. Most of the time they’re helpful, but sometimes you can listen to her go on for 20 minutes about something seemingly unimportant. They can be helpful, don’t get me wrong. But Hallie Kay Schumaker can talk, and lecture, about anything. Listen, I spend the vast majority of my days with dogs. And they love listening to me talk for hours on end. In fact, they are MUCH better listeners than my children. 20. Sometimes I think she should use a glue stick instead of chap stick. No comment on that one. 21. If you need to talk, she is always available. 22. She is an amazing listener, when you ask her just to listen. You can come to her with anything, and if you ask for her to just let you speak, you always find that the weight you’re carrying is lifted after. So what I’m getting from all this is that as long as you want me to listen, it’s all fine and dandy. Just don’t talk, Hallie. Noted. 23. She gives the best advice. Rarely is it what you want to hear, however. But she always knows the right course of action, and while her advice may not always come across in the best way, it’s usually wise to take a step back and listen to what she’s saying. Why am I confused? We should talk about this… 24. Hallie hides behind sarcasm because telling you to go #$%& yourself is rude in most social situations. MOST social situations. Not all. 25. Hallie could explain it for you, but she left her English-to-Dummy Dictionary at home. You think I’m bad? Let me introduce you to my husband Rob….I became that way through osmosis. VODKA HALLIE 26. Vodka. It’s what’s for dinner. I got nothin. 27. Nothing says I love you all so much and thanks for coming like an Irish Goodbye. This is a fun category... 28. Has given someone the shirt off her back. (Even while sober) I'm a minimalist at my core. 29. She has the BEST drunk catch phrase. Whenever she gets a little too tipsy, and she wants to go to bed or leave the party, you’ll hear the famous words: “Autobots, let’s roll out” roll off her tongue. Not many people can claim to say something as cool as that. Ummmm yeah. Glad this one made the list. FRIENDS & 'FRIENDS' 30. Hey, I found her nose! It's in my business again. Blowtorch. 31. You're the reason she prefers animals to people. Nothing. Legit. Noth. Ing. 32. Hallie and neighbors. I am not sure Mr. Rogers could even make it in her neighborhood. Blow. Torch. 33. Generous/Shows Up For People - Big hearted. A Giver. Celebrates others. In my heart of hearts, I love seeing people be great. Love when they do something, achieve something, something happens that lights them up from the inside out. And if I have something that someone needs/wants more than me, it’s all yours. Just how I roll, cheeky peeps. Just how I roll. Except for my car. That is a NO. And speaking of cars…. DRIVING & CARS 34. She’s an excellent navigator when we go on trips. Is the first to spot upcoming break lights and tell everyone in the car about it. Complete with grasping for the “oh shoot handle” and sharp intake of breath in abject terror. 35. Queen of grabbing the “oh shoot” bars on a drive. Not the ideal backseat driver, she will make sure you are aware of a car braking a mile down the highway. Let me just say this one thing. There are four 'not excellent drivers' in our household. And I not one of them. 36. When she starts “her girl”, it still gives her a little tingle inside. Best gift ever. 37. Her First New Car. 2019 Dodge Challenger. My first new car ever. Early 50th birthday gift from my Rob. And the sound of that engine…it never gets old. PASSIONS 38. GH2/CMF/Workout of 100 Reps – Strong, Dedicated, Challenges, Shows up. Pushes Limits I love the gym. It’s one of my happy places if not THE happy place for me. I’m proud of the things I’ve accomplished and the growth I’ve had as an athlete. 39. Writer – Blog, Art. I published a poem when I was in fourth grade - along with l lots of other fourth graders however I was still one of them that was chosen. My favorite teacher in school was my high school English teacher. When you take the time to ‘write’ - whether It’s a letter, a blog, an article, a text - you have the power to have impact…positive and negative. And to know in my heart that every now and again, my words have made a difference, have lightened a load or brought a smile or even a tear or two - I’m proud of that. It’s gifting a part of me to others. QUIRKS 40. Loves to sleep when it’s “cool”, and by cool I mean Arctic Tundra, howling winds freezing %$# cold “cool”. IT’S CALLED MENOPAUSE, ROB! 41. She is filled to the brim with gratitude. Some might even call her #blessed. Don’t try to be negative around this sunny woman because she is quick to remind anyone how #grateful they should be about life. And she’s right. I'm sensing some sarcasm.... 42. I’ll Figure It Out/I’m Fine/All Good - Finds a way. Finds a solution. Gets it done. I. Don't. Need. No. Mans. 43. Plans surprise gifts or events for people, only to tell them about it 10 minutes after the planning is complete. Hahahahahahaha. True story. I love surprises. As long as it doesn’t have to be a surprise. For anyone involved. 44. Never misses a chance to give a candle. I live in a predominantly male household. With BARELY a pack of dogs. And candles are a wonderful way to mask the ‘musk’. You get a candle! You get a candle! EVERYONE gets a candle! 45. Is most relaxed when her mom comes to visit. You know why? Because I’m not the ‘mom’. Same as when I’m sick the only person I want is my mom. When she’s here it’s like I have that comfort of someone always in my corner, someone that will make sure things are taken care of. THE REAL REAL 46. Is one of the most loyal, hardworking, and caring friend a person could have. Like attracts like. <3 47. She is a woman of inspiration. Very few people on this earth can love and appreciate life the way she does. From the peace she finds in a sunny morning on the couch with some bad TV and her puppies cuddled around her, to spending hours making a meal for her family, to writing incredible stories and blogs about her life, she is a person to be in awe of. She has taken her life and done what few people can do, make the most of it every second of the day. Sure, there’s been a few slammed doors and a lot of tears, but every day she wakes up and chooses to be #grateful of what she has. Being around her makes you feel more at peace and happy with who you are. She has this incredible ability to make her home feel safe and welcoming, a place you can truly be yourself without worry of being made to feel less than. She embodies love and kindness, and I am #blessed to be a part of her life. Meet Lexi...my favorite daughter. <3 48. Hallie is an acquired taste. If you don't like Hallie, acquire some taste. This! 49. She is the most giving, thoughtful and loving person in the world. But there are limits to what she will endure and she stands her ground when pushed. Sitting here now...6:16 am on November 21, 2021. And it struck me. If I ever had to describe my children in one sentence - it would be this very statement. I guess I didn't do too bad as a momma... 50. Hallie truly IS a country music song. Just about every country song contains certain elements: alcohol, a pick up truck or a fast car, love, dogs and Mama. Check, check, check, check x 6, and check. My Next 50 Years So there you have it my sugar peeper darlins. Hallie in a nutshell. And although there were some things that stung a little (I did ask for it), I do think that there were some really great things too. Now what? What do I do with all of it? What is the message? Where is the lesson? I laughed and I cried when Rob sent the document to me. And I laughed and I cried as I wrote this. A lot of reflection. A lot of pride. A little bit of head shaking too. And I learned. And this lesson I am going to take with me into my next 50 years.... I Am Unapologetically Me You cannot fit a square peg into a round hole. And given that I am built like Spongebob Squarepants that should be a no brainer. I swear like I breathe, at times I have one too many and I am opinionated to put it mildly. I am not afraid to stand up for what I value and I’m not afraid to fiercely value what I stand up for. And I won’t apologize for that. And I get in people’s space and give tight hugs because I want others to feel my joy in seeing them. I’ll go to the mat with my children because keeping them safe and protected and ‘okay’ is my most important job. I’m the first to admit I don’t mind a little gossip - who doesn’t - however for the most part, I try not to get involved unless I think I can help or add some insight or I feel I have been wronged. Sorry not sorry. I am not everyone’s cup of tea - by a long shot. I do my best to be respectful of others and I’m not afraid to gently shut the door on a friendship, on an acquaintance and exit stage left. And if you come to me and ask me why, trust me when I tell you I won’t mince any words. Don’t bring a butter knife to a sword fight - I am articulate if nothing else. No apology necessary. By the same token, I’ve grown as a person and there are friendships that were wronged that have now been righted. And there is such peace and grace when the effort and the commitment to righting that wrong is genuine and sincere. Mea culpa, Youa culpa. And you know what - I’m okay with all of that. I would hope that if nothing else you know what you get with me…a little crazy mixed in with a lot of passion and a pinch of dog hair. Ronnie Milsap said it best - I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, my peep dawgs. There is no better gift in my opinion than knowing what I will leave behind when it’s my time to go. To Casey, Rob, Lexi, Heather and Tracy - I will cherish what you gave me for the rest of my life and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. To my friends, my inner circle, those that got me - know that I gotchu back. And that the workouts, the laughter, the camaraderie, the acceptance, the Sunday dinners - it matters more than you know. To my doggies…you. save. me. And your Mama loves you to the ends of the earth and back. And finally, to my Rob, Lexi, CJ and Jackson…you will forever be the best thing I’ve ever accomplished in my life, the four things that I am most proud of - individuals that put others first, that are making a difference in the lives of others, that forgive just as easily as they give. And I will forever love you most. Happy 50th birthday to me! And cheers to 50 more! Thank you all for allowing me to share a part of me with all you, sweet darlin peepers - it truly has been an honor. #grateful AUTOBOTS - ROLL OUT!