This is what Haley looks like.
Oh heyyyyy! I don’t know why but I always greet people in weird, probably obnoxious ways...especially when I’m happy to see them! So yes - I’m happy you’re here!
I’m Haley B. but you can call me Haley, for short. I have played a lot of roles in my adult life and currently I’m in maybe the weirdest stage of adulthood yet. But let’s start with who I am and not what I do. Actually let's start with how sad it is that this is the best family picture I could find of us in the past year...and I am a photographer. Pretty sure Krew is trying to hide the fact that he's chewing something and I'm not sure what's going on with Kamdyn's ponytail but as you can guess...this is who we are!
I have been married to Zack for almost 20 years and I love him a lot. I actually really like him too...so that’s a plus! He is so good to me and I don’t deserve him. Marriage is funny, strange, hard and good. I also believe it’s one of God’s richest blessings and one of the most challenging relationships we get to be in. And I’m grateful to be in it with Zack Birkelbach! Yes, his name rhymes and I like it. We are complete opposites and as frustrating as that can be, it is also really good for us! If you’re familiar with DISC Personality test, I am an “ID” and he is an “SC” or “CS.” I never can remember. But either of those combos is opposite of me and that might just be why we work! On the Enneagram, I test as a 3 wing 2 (although sometimes I think I’m a 7?!) and he is a straight up 5 wing 6. If personality tests aren’t your thing, just believe me when I say opposites attract.
Anyway - we met at T Bar M, a Sports Camp in the Hill Country of Texas, one summer in college, when we were both coaches. He went to Texas A&M and I went to ETBU so we ended up dating long distance for the last 2 years of college and then got married right out of college! (Babies, I tell ya!) All that to say - we have had some easy years, some fun years and some tough years throughout our marriage but we have learned a lot, seen a lot, and are deeply committed to investing in our marriage to keep it as healthy as possible...even when it’s hard. We have also found that we are both passionate about inspiring others to do the same. (Pro Tip - besides date nights with friends and date nights alone, we highly encourage you to take trips or just get away with your spouse on a regular basis.) I’m sure you’ll hear me talk more about this but there’s a little intro to our marriage.
We are also parents to 3 kids that we love and adore but switch between describing them as “precious gifts” and “little turds.” I feel like it can be both/and. Kamdyn is our oldest daughter, and no longer the tallest. She is in 8th grade and I can’t even believe it. Kyler is our middle and is currently holding the tallest kid title but that could change at any given time. She’s in 7th grade and basically the opposite of Kamdyn from hair type to personality to the amount of sleep she requires. I’ll let your imagination run wild with what life is like in our house with two middle school girls. And then our youngest is Krew and he’s in 3rd grade. He is a boy. He is easy. And most of all he loves me and is nice to me. He knows a lot more than the girls ever knew in 3rd grade and stays up way later than we would have ever allowed for them. I’m sorry to the parents of his friends who are the oldest kid in their family. That’s all I’m gonna say about that.
All 3 of our kids are involved in sports and activities and I am basically an Uber driver for them. We love cheering them on and watching them develop, make friends, and have fun! We also secretly love when games or practices are cancelled and we get to have an unexpected night at home! We are doing our best to not screw up this parenting gig and try to teach them all the things while not taking themselves too seriously. Sarcasm is the name of the game in our family and we all learn a thing or two when it goes too far!
As I think back over the last 20-ish years, it’s fun to see the journey I’ve gotten to walk and the experiences that have led to where we are today. I worked at a healthcare company in Frisco for 5 years, starting as an Admin and ending in Client Relations. Once I had Kamdyn I decided to stay home with her and then picked up photography as a hobby, quickly turning that into a business. I love the creative outlet and actually really enjoy the business side of things as well. Being a professional photographer was the perfect “mom job” for about 10 years as our babies were growing up...I got to be with them, have a creative outlet when I wanted to and make some money along the way! It also allowed me to continuously be around people, meet new clients (who typically turned into friends) and some of my closest friends to this day are other photographers I’ve gotten to meet and share life with! Thank you, Marco Polo.
Somewhere during those 10 years, I remember an old friend saying to me “I think I finally figured you out. You are just all about relationships, aren’t you?!” I think in my mind I was like “well...yeah...I guess I am.” But nobody had ever said it like that to me. I was always told I had an “outgoing, fun” personality. I had never thought about that fact that not everyone likes to be around people and get to know people as much as I do! Fast forward to 2012, right after Krew was born. We moved into a new neighborhood in Frisco and started to go to a new church that a lot of our neighborhood friends were going to at the time. We started growing in our faith and building some great new relationships. A couple years in, I was asked to come on Staff at the church, part time, to fill a role in Connections. I wasn’t sure for a couple of reasons. First, I had never had a desire to be on Staff at a church or be in ministry as my job. And second, I realized I had never been asked to do something like this - I had always decided I was going to do something and gone after it in the past. This was new territory! As you probably guessed, I eventually said yes and started realizing that “people-ing” and “connecting” was actually a gift and I was able to do the things that light me up as a real job. And it was awesome! I eventually moved to a full time position, running our Connections Team and helping with Women’s Ministry. The five-ish years I was on Staff were such a blessing to me and my family and I was given so many opportunities to do things I love, develop skills I had always wanted to develop (like public speaking, leadership training, etc.) all while working with a variety of people and building relationships along the way. I could write a novel on all the things God taught me in those years!
And that brings us to present day Haley. 2019 was one for the books as far as schedules go with 3 kids, middle school girl emotions and having 2 full time working parents. It’s also the year I declared “I HATE MIDDLE SCHOOL.” But I digress. At the beginning of 2020 I realized my life was a bit out of balance and I was missing the mark on a lot of things at home. I made one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made and resigned from my job in February to really focus on my family...and then this little thing called COVID hit the world and I’m pretty sure God just laughed and laughed as He totally gave me time to really “focus” on that family I mentioned! So here I am again, in new territory. I quit my job without knowing what's next for me. I have been trying to be present with my family and do all the things that I have been saying I don’t have time for over the past few years. As many people can probably relate, I took up walking and being outside as a new hobby during the lovely shelter in place order, which is when I not only listened to books and podcasts non-stop, but may have developed a slight obsession with learning new things and taking in all kinds of information! I’m enjoying this new stage of life on so many levels and learning A LOT!
I am so excited to take on this new opportunity to connect with people and pursue my passion, in a way that I may never have done otherwise! Laura and I are hoping to provide some real inspiration, hope, encouragement and her favorite word, levity. I hope you have as much fun listening as we do talking...and just know we are so grateful to have you! Cheers! (This is where I normally insert the champagne glasses emoji because fun fact...I love me some bubbles!)