Don’t make me unfollow you!

So you ask – “WHY SHANNON??  Why did you do this?  I’ve literally unfollowed all of those BB Coaches, Rodan & Fields, Plexus, etc on Facebook…and now…that’s going to have to include you!”

Well peeps – in September 2017 – I was on the struggle bus.  I LOVED going to CrossFit in the mornings, but with a 4-month-old and other priorities, wasting 40 minutes of my morning driving to and from was not the best option anymore.  I was giving myself excuses to eat like an idiot and not workout.  I just didn’t feel good about myself.  I mean – c’mon!  I was going to be that mom the bounced right back! HA!  

Then I see Gayle was over here…about to have another babe…quittin’ her job…rockin’ her workouts…and posting a ton of shit about it.  Finally, I reached out and said “OK – tell me about this Beachbody stuff!”  So she told me all about it!!!  And I totally ghosted her!!  Even after she followed up a few times.  “OK,” I finally told myself, “I need something, so let’s do this.”  

I was hesitant because I thought this “accountability group” she spoke of was on Facebook.  I pretty much hate Facebook notifications.  Facebook is NOT my preferred method of contact or accountability.  I just didn’t see how this was going to do anything for me.  But I learned that the challenge was NOT through Facebook – but rather – another app.
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Because I’m a questioner – I don’t necessarily NEED accountability.  But I loved the messages that Gayle was getting across.  

PUT YOURSELF FIRST.  THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF IS THE BEST VERSION FOR YOUR FAMILY.  BE A BETTER PERSON.  DON’T QUIT!  TRUST THE PROCESS!!  IF YOU WORK AT IT – YOU WILL REACH YOUR GOALS.  SOMETIMES THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO IS SHOW UP!

These are all things I NEEDED to hear at that time in my life… and let’s be honest…do you ever NOT need to hear them over and over and over again? (and over and over and over)

And meal prep?  Come onnnnnnn.  You expect me to plan a whole week’s worth of meals?  I can barely think about tomorrow.  Plus, all of these fancy-ass recipes have shit in them that I’m going to go to the grocery store and ask about and get a ‘deer in the headlights’ look from the employees.  Tempeh?  What the eff is that?  But whatever…I did it.  My mom helped me the first go around.  And guess what?  Just like anything else – it gets easier and easier.  And now – I frickin’ love it.  I don’t do anything fancy – but it’s nice to not have to use up any willpower thinking about what the hell I’m going to eat.  And I literally eat a chicken salad every day for lunch.  And will continue to do so until I get sick of it.  But I just really like that!Meal Prep


You want me to spend how much on a frickin’ protein shake?  Gayle – I’m NOT out of debt yet!  No way in HELL I’m going to continue to spend 130 bucks on that.  But whatever – I’ll try it because the challenge pack comes with all of that shit – containers, year’s access to workouts, the book & shake.  Yah Yah – that’s a good deal.  Seriously – the best protein shake I’ve ever tasted – mixed with water!!  Yes…WATER.  While I was breastfeeding, I was a hungry monster!  It actually filled me up and kept me full for hours.  And say whaaaa? I can magically turn it into brownie batter?  Hellz yea.  I also LOVE the vanilla flavor and my cravings are much less often with it!
Samson wants Shakeo

I HATE working out at home.  I’d so much rather go to the gym where there are no distractions and I don’t have to stop mid-workout to a crying baby.  But whatever – I’ll try it.  Even if that means I do have to stop mid-workout and go back to it.  Which really didn’t happen as often as I’d envisioned.  My false belief of “I don’t want to disturb my husband.” turned into “Whatever…he can deal with 30 minutes of me doing this.”  Which turned into me convincing him to do it with me this month – something I thought WOULD NEVER HAPPEN.  Turns out it’s a helluva lot easier to convince myself to press play than to convince myself to wake up, start my car, get dressed, think about if that tank top is too tight to wear to the gym, get in my cold-ass car and drive to the gym and then wonder what the hell I’m going to do when I get there.  I press play and Autumn tells me what to do.  And when I’m done, I take a half-assed shower and go about my day.
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So this is my story, friends.   Unfollow me if you wish – know that the posts are coming.  Reach out to me if you’re intrigued.  I’m not going to sell you any shit you don’t want, but if you want to drink the kool-aid (or Shakeology, I guess), I’m here and I’m ready to rock!

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Insanity & Change

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. How many years now have I been insane?
– WHY NOT???
– I JUST WANT TO SEE IF I CAN…
-CLARITY COMES FROM ENGAGEMENT, NOT THOUGHT.
– IN ORDER TO KICK ASS YOU MUST FIRST LIFT UP YOUR FOOT.

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

How many years now have I been insane?  For years now, I’ve felt in my heart that it is time to move on.  I’ve given myself false beliefs of why I cannot.  We are not out of debt, so I need to keep the job that I have.  I’m never going to find anything I like this much that pays this well in the area, so I’ll just play it safe and stay here.  Plus – I do like what I do – most of the time.  My gut…The Universe…God…whatever…has been telling me this isn’t my spot for years…. But it’s also not bad…. So why change?

In 13 days, I turn 30.  I’m not where I thought I’d be at 30 years old.  I had a vision of what I wanted when I was 20.  I wanted a good job, that I was the bomb at, with opportunity to move into management and basically just make a lot of money.  As my twenties progressed, my vision changed again and again.  That vision turned into another vision and another and another. Then I questioned my visions, because I question fricken everything.  What do I want??  

What I know.  What I know is that I truly have learned to love the simple life.  I love taking walks with my family and my dog and not having to pick up Abby’s poop.  I love never having to waste time figuring out where to park when I want to go somewhere.  I love the simplicity and the calmness and the kumbaya of it all.  I appreciate businesses being closed on Sundays…even though that means planning in advance if I want to do a weekend project.  But…if I don’t…there’s usually a friend who has what I need.
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What I know is that I want to be around people.  The energy I derive from simply seeing other humans in person is kind of perplexing to me.  When I drop off and pick up my son at daycare.  When I work at the country club, when I go to the bank, when I go to CrossFit, when I sit at the kettle and drink coffee.  I love talking to people, watching people, being in the presence of people.  It makes me smile.  It makes me happy.

What I know is that I LOVE a good-hearted, deep, meaningful conversation.  This is how this earth connects.  This is how we grow as people, connect as people, find meaning.  I’m down for deep conversations with people I barely know or with people I know super-well.  I especially love them with ‘my people’.  I love hearing others’ stories and I love being able to relate to them.  These conversations are best had over coffee and wine.
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WHY NOT???

I JUST WANT TO SEE IF I CAN…

These are mentalities I’m making a priority this year.  You are a Badass has been sitting on my bookshelf since August.  I finally picked it up at the beginning of this month.  Some books can be life-changing.  A few years ago I read “The Total Money Makeover” and “It Starts With Food”.  These books changed how I view money and food and I’ve changed for the so-much-better as a result.

CLARITY COMES FROM ENGAGEMENT, NOT THOUGHT.  -Marie Forleo

This is another quote that’s been hanging out on my vision board for a year.  I need to stop just THINKING about what I’m going to do to change and start doing.  WHY NOT?  So what if I fail?  At least I’ll have ENGAGED rather than just THOUGHT about engaging.  

As a ‘questioner’, I question myself constantly.  My motives, my thoughts, my everything.  “Is this really what you want, Shannon? Or is that someone else’s dream?”  “Can you really do that, Shannon?  Are you sure?  Just because someone else can do it really well, might not mean that you can.”  “Do you really want to spend your time on that?”  I get caught up in the questions, then fall back into the INSANITY of doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for change.

Well, this is the year – my friends.  I’m going to stop being insane.  Yes – I might be all over the place, but whatever, I guess.  I’m going to try some things and I’m going to do some things.

IN ORDER TO KICK ASS YOU MUST FIRST LIFT UP YOUR FOOT.  – Jen Sincero.

With that being said – my first adventure is to share with you – is that I am now a Beachbody Coach.  

FLY POST

 

Strength

It’s been almost exactly a year since I opened up about our struggle with fertility.  When I sat down to write about it, I was overlooking the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks.  This morning, I am at Table Rock Lake with my family…including my 7 week old miracle.  It’s loud…because we’re loud…so we’ll see how much writing I actually get done.

We’re on the deck.  The top deck.  There are multiple decks.  This is a fancy house!  Mom is sitting next to me.  Uncle John and Latecia flew from Arizona to be here.  They are sitting at the table playing dominoes with Nick, Reece, Peyton and Petyon’s friend, Mea.  Drew is downstairs napping with Samson.  Darren is downstairs throwing a silent fit about his stuffed animal being ‘broken.’  Turns out Will asked, “Have you ever seen a reindeer fly?”  Darren replied, “No!”  And Will threw it off the deck.  I’m not sure where Will is right now.  Katie and Leah went to the Beer Cave with Becky and Ryan.  Cody will be here this afternoon.  I think that’s everyone.

I am so thankful for these times.  And for the fact that we can all hang out for an extended weekend without going crazy!  My favorite is waking up in the morning.  Sitting around drinking coffee and having quiet conversation that eventually gets louder as more and more people wake up.  We make a few pots of coffee….enough to go around a couple of times.  We snack on some breakfast.  Ryan makes bacon.  Eventually, the coffee drinking turns into beer drinking  around 10 or 10:30am.  John, AKA Mr. Michelada, whips up a few of those for everyone.  

Yesterday morning it was raining, forcing everyone to just stay and hang out for a bit before heading out on the boat.  Some napped, some played pitch, some just hung out.  The rain was awesome.  In the afternoon, a group headed out on the boat and the house got quieter.  Samson and I have gotten some serious snuggle time in and I just loved every minute of it.  Though, I think all of the commotions of the day wore him out!  He went to bed around 7:30 and was pretty fussy when he woke up to eat at night.  This morning, he is better!  He snuggled with Yaya and ate his mid-morning snack outside.  He’s loving being outside and snuggling with whoever will snuggle with him!

A conversation from last night stuck out to me.  I love love love the meaningful conversations that Katie and I always seem to have.  The topic was ‘STRENGTH’.  She and I pondered why some people just have the ability to hold things in.  Or at least that what it looks like to us from the outside.  We’re not those kinds of people.  And I think we’re starting to be ok with that.

I’ve pondered this a lot.  What is STRENGTH?  What is it to be strong?  I’ve decided that STRENGTH seems to have different meanings for different people.  My strength is not holding it in.  My strength is letting it out.  Being vulnerable so that others can relate.  So that I can connect with others.  It’s what I love doing.

I usually don’t end like this – but if you’re reading this and care to comment, I would love to know what your STRENGTH is.  We are all strong in different ways and at different times.  It’s what keeps us all going.

Purpose?

For whatever reason – I always like to start with where I am.  I feel like when I read through it later, it takes me back to what I was doing at that time.

7:08am Kitchen Island.  Ate my eggs; now drinking coffee.

    This morning was purposeful and happy.  I drug myself out of bed after pondering going back to sleep or not.  I decided it would be a happier day if I just got up, so I did.  I liked the workout today and it felt good.  It was measurable, and I like that.  Everyone rushes out of the gym in the morning – off to start their day.  I typically stay and stretch and it was nice to talk to KC for a little bit too.  Human interaction! YAY!  I headed home, hopped in for a quick shower and started breakfast.  While eating my eggs & avocado, I read more of my bible study book Walking with Purpose.  Why didn’t I think of this yesterday?  When I felt like my life was so purpose-less!?!  Probably because I was an emotional disaster and it wouldn’t have sunk in yesterday anyways.  God purposely brought this to me this morning.
    I read the sub-title; OBSTACLE #3: I DON’T KNOW IF HE REALLY UNDERSTANDS HOW HARD MY LIFE IS.  I thought Yea. Yea. I know He understands how hard my life is.  To think He doesn’t is just a little ridiculous.  As I read the next 8 paragraphs, I marked and starred and underlined practically all of it.  He certainly understood what was going on yesterday…which is why He brought me this today and intentionally not yesterday.
    The section started with a short story of Mother Teresa and how although she did such great work in lives of others, there were times where she experienced times of loneliness, doubt, and abandonment.  How in the world could this be considering all the great things she did?  The truth is – even though most of us aren’t out doing what Mother Teresa did, we all experience doubt – wondering if what we’re doing has any purpose at all.  Being all alone for a solid 12 hours yesterday, I was thinking this all day!  How could I possibly be impacting the lives of others and why do I care so much?  I was an emotional wreck by the time my husband got home.  God bless that wonderful man!!
    “Satan sees your weariness as a perfect opportunity to discourage you and tempt you to give up.  He wants you to give in to despair. One of his most effective tactics is to whisper in your ear, “is that all you are doing?  What value does that have in the big scheme of things?”… He will try to convince you that because you aren’t doing more, God isn’t pleased with you.  But nothing could be further from the truth.”
    This makes me wonder a little bit.  So – were those thoughts yesterday really mine?  Or were they really not mine?  Am I going crazy and making a big deal out of nothing?  Or is this a push for me to keep trying to find something that fulfills me more?
    “You need to accept yourself as God sees you – as his beloved daughter.  Your dignity does not come from what you accomplish or from what you do.”  
    As an achiever, I think this is hard for me.  It’s hard for me to find where my identity comes from.  During my first few years out of college, I pulled so much satisfaction out of being great at my job.  Though I’m still good at it, after more than 6 years of doing the same thing, that satisfaction has rapidly decreased.  Though I am good at motivating myself to keep doing it well, where do I find purpose?  How can I stop feeling ‘stuck’?  How can I grow? Where do I go from here?
    “What God calls you to do, he does not expect you to do on your own strength.”  
    Great!! Becuase most of the time I have no idea what He’s calling me to do!
    “He will give you the strength and the endurance that you need for every task, for every day.”
    Also Great!  Because sometimes I have no idea what I’m doing with myself!

Just A Day in the Life

It’s Sunday morning. 8:39 am and it’s chilly.  Warm for October though. 50 degrees.  I’m bundled up in my sweats, slippers, scarf, hat and two blankets because I wanted to be outside.  Woke up at 7 since I feel asleep on the couch at 9.  Ahhh I feel so refreshed from a good long sleep!  I don’t even feel bad about falling asleep at 9 on a Saturday night.  #adulting 

Yesterday was a long day!  Friday night we went to Kelsey & Tim’s Halloween party.  I was a ninja.  I’m not sure what Drew was.  I’m never really sure what Drew is for Halloween.  It was good to get out and see everyone!  We got home around 1:45 or so.  Then I was up early to go walk in a Halloween Fun Run at the hospital.  Mary Jane had invited me to walk with her!  I’m so glad she did! We had such a great morning!  She’d told me previously that she was not dressing up.  When I arrived, she was in full-on witch attire.  Good thing I brought some back-up mouse ears!  I stuck those on my head and we took off!! And just because of that, I got 2nd place in the adult costume contest and a $20 subway gift card! Woohoo!  Afterwards, we hopped in Mary Jane’s convertible Mini Cooper, put the top down and headed to the garage sales!  My treasures included a couple of baby books, a baby carrier and two plastic plates.  The baby carrier is my very first purchase for the baby!  

I headed home.  It was so nice to have a good day at home!  I did laundry, packed up some clothes that don’t fit and got rid of some.  Vacuumed, mopped and just piddled.  At 2, I went to Jill’s so she could look through some jewelry I didn’t need, then we went to the agape shop. No treasures there for me.  I was looking for a frame or a board that I could make into a chalkboard.  Those cute little pregnancy chalkboards that people take their picture by each week.  No luck.  But then – I got home and looked in a closet and there it was.  The perfect size board!  I took it out to my little work bench and painted it up!  Oddly, it was 80 degrees yesterday, so it took no time at all to dry!

At a quarter to 4, I started to get ready for the trunk or treat.  Though I didn’t have a trunk, I did dress up a little and go to the park to help if needed and take pictures!  I’d planned to be a ninja again, but thought I would die from the heat if I dressed myself up in black from head to toe.  I stuck the mouse ears back on, hollered at Abby, and off we went! 14,000 steps already today!

The trunk-or-treat was great!  We had cars all the way around the park and lots of kids!!  I’m quite surprised how well these have gone over the last two years!  It makes me happy.

Back at home.  Finished painting my chalkboard.  Cooked a shitty frozen pizza and rented Maleficent.  What a wonderful Saturday!

A Bean in a Sac

Friday 10/21/16

I am 8 weeks and 2 days pregnant today.  The baby is approximately the size of a 2×2 Lego and finally has a little hand!

Luckily I haven’t been sick at all and have had almost no symptoms whatsoever.  Except one night.  The night I was supposed to chaperone the homecoming dance with Drew.  I actually really love doing this!!  Watching the high school kids dance and have fun makes my mind reminisce about my high school days.  I watch students and match them up to who that was at my high school dances.  I stuck it out and lasted the whole football game.  I was so happy that Lisa helped me go get the pizzas for the dance.  But once the game was over and the pizzas were delivered safely, I bailed.  After Drew jumped my car that is.  I accidentally left the keys in it after getting the pizza out.  I had horrible cramps throughout the whole game.  I came home, laid down, and they were gone.

It was September 21st the day we found out we were pregnant.  Our 4 year anniversary was on the 29th.  We went all out for our anniversary!  Made a spaghetti dinner at home and watched New Girl on the couch.  All the while, we pondered and looked up different baby boy names.  It was the best anniversary to date!

That weekend, I was so excited to be sitting on the deck reading books about pregnancy rather than how to make babies.  I soaked it in just like the sun that day, and thanked God over and over.

Our first baby appointment was on Wednesday, October 12th.  I was a little nervous going in.  They don’t tell you what’s going to happen during this appointment or any of them really.  I feel like there should be a layout saying what they do at each one so you can be prepared.  First I had a sonogram. How a sonographer determines what is in there is crazy to me!!  She looked at several things, but it all looked very similar to me.  I asked some questions throughout and she really wasn’t all that friendly.  But then,  we saw the baby for the first time.  So cool!  Even cooler – we could see the heart beat!  She sent us home with a disc of pictures and a little 2 second video where you could actually see the heart beating.  I watched it ovcaptureer and over.  I sent it to my mom and my mother in law.  I always have found it so strange when people show off their sonogram pictures…. Or maybe I’m the weird one because I don’t know how to react.  I mean, it’s not like you say “It’s so cute!”  It looks like a little bean in a sac.  I wasn’t going to be a person that shows off her sonogram pictures.  And there I was…showing it to anyone who asked how my appointment went or how I was doing!  I guess it’s not that weird!!

The next Wednesday, we took some fall pictures.  This was something I was wanting to do with Drew this fall anyways, but was thrilled to be able to do some special ones!  I can’t wait to get them back!

I have been soaking up all of the pregnancy and baby conversations, instances, situations.  Overwhelmingly grateful for each and every one.

A Turning Point

When you are in the dark valley, separate yourself, and know that that is not who you are.  

This is a paraphrase of something Fred said during our 20 minutes of meditation.  This is something meditation has taught me and that I have to continue to remember.  Your feelings are not who you are.  Though sometimes, that is the very source of my anxiety.  You see…my true self, my normal Shannon is happy, healthy, fun loving, optimistic and energetic.  I go through times in my life when I don’t feel this way and I do not feel like my normal self.  I feel it and sometimes I recognize it.  Sometimes it’s harder to recognize.  I feel anxious. Sad.  Worried.  This is the side that I am so hesitant to show anyone.  I feel that those around me expect me to be the normal Shannon all of the time and as much as I want to be, sometimes I’m not.  I am also not the type that can hold that in and only show who I want to show.  I wear my emotions on my sleeve – or rather on my face – and truly feel like they are not something to be afraid of.  I don’t want to be pretending to have my shit together when I don’t.  Then I bottle it all up inside and explode.  My exploding comes in the form of crying and I sometimes don’t even know what I am crying about.

My mind takes me back to October of 2015.  Interviews of for District Manager and Assistant Sales Manager.  I am still slightly haunted by these interviews, but also know now that they were a big turning point for me and I really have learned so much from them.  As I write this, I’m pulling at my heart to not feel ashamed.  The company was restructuring and with that came multiple openings.  Positions I am well qualified for and something I’ve wanted ever since starting my professional career.  This is what I want, right?  My husband agreed that if I did want to apply, and if I did get it, we’d figure it out.  I applied toward the end of the week and the interview was set for the following week.  That Monday, as I took Abby for a walk down the center of the dirt roads just blocks from my home, I cried.  Bawled actually.  Pleaded.  I asked the Lord to help me get my shit together!  Can  you say that to God? I did.  I walked and thought about the reasons why we were here in Cawker City and the reasons why I wanted this job.  I contemplated cancelling the interview.  Was I ready for this?  Is it right?  Right now?  I convinced myself to go through with it because this was what I always wanted! 

It was awful.  I was unprepared, NOT CONFIDENT, timid.  These are not qualities you want in a leader.  What happened to the confident Shannon that kicks ass at her job and inspires others to kick ass?  Where is SHE right now?  I should’ve listened to my body.  God was giving me all the signs that it was just not the right time.  Instead I brushed them off as nerves and worrying too much about the future if I did actually get the job.  Luckily, He’s revealed the other purposes he had in me not getting that job and for that I am thankful.  I then applied for the Assistant Manager position.  This interview was better, but I could feel my anxious heart was still not in it 100% and so could those asking the questions.  I am thankful for their intuition.  I know they were rooting for me and only want the best for me.  

I am so thankful for the conversation I had post-2nd interview.  Someone who said to me “I’ve been where you are! I know how you feel!  This is something we need to get under control and I want to help you do that!  So how the heck do we go about it?” 

During this time I felt so out of control.  Is this just who I am?  Am I someone who cannot control her emotions at all?  Am I just an emotional person?  Am I just a cryer?  I was so humiliated and sometimes I still pass by these people and wonder if they think the same.  I refused to accept that.  I did not believe it.  I will figure it out.  

Which takes me back to the beginning.  

When you are in the dark valley, separate yourself, and know that that is not who you are.

I am not a cryer.  I am someone who cries sometimes when I’m not in tune enough to figure out my emotions.

I am not a sad, unmotivated person.  I am someone who is allowed to feel sad and unmotivated at times and recognize that it too, will change.

As I write this, I am grateful.  So very grateful for this sucky little journey that the Lord put me through and pray that my sucky little journey makes someone else out there feel less alone.