The Flowery Dress with Pockets

I remember buying this dress.  I bought it with you (Drew) in mind.  

IMG_1157The night before I left to study abroad in Prague in 2009, I slept on the couch in the living room of my apartment.  My apartment next to your apartment.  You sent me a text that said something along the lines of “When you get back, can I take you on a real date?”.  My heart jumped.  It always seemed to a little around you.

Over the next few months, we talked a little.  Through Facebook messages and through Skype a little.  I wish I still had those messages!  The time difference was always kind of funny.  I remember one weekend morning about 8:00 my time, you were just coming home from the bars and decided to call me.  I was awake and you didn’t expect me to answer and said “oh…I was going to leave you a message!”  I told you I could hang up if you wanted!!  So instead we talked for a bit about who knows what.

Back to the dress.  At some point, you asked me to go to a wedding with you over the summer.  I was so excited and wanted to get the perfect dress to be your date.  This is the one I chose.  From Zara.  It had pockets for my lipgloss.



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!

The Early Christmas Surprise

Our original plan:  To make your gender a Christmas surprise.  I had it all planned out!  We would keep it a surprise to Drew and I both, then open this little box on Christmas that would have a little pink or a little blue pacifier in it!  Our appointment was on a Monday and our awesome nurse removed one of the two pacifiers from the box and sent Carmen a snapchat telling her what you are so she could get some little cards ordered for us to send out by the end of the week!  I Christmas wrapped the box up as soon as she brought it back to us!  Your dad hated this plan from the beginning.  I am ornery.  And truthfully, just thought it was funny to watch your dad squirm with impatience.

    What really happened:  Tuesday morning I woke up and had dreamt about this little box ALL NIGHT.  In THREE different dreams!!  Two of them were about the little box with the ONE pacifier in it.  In another dream, we had the sonogram pictures, but you weren’t a baby!  You were some sort of tiny reindeer or something!  We used them as clues to try and figure out your gender, but we never did!  This little box and CD of ultrasound pictures sat under the Christmas tree all day.  I was half tempted to go to LHS over my Lunch so Drew and I could just open the box!  Carmen said don’t do it!  I was laughing at myself never thinking it would be this hard to wait just 6 days.  Maybe what got to me was the fact that other people knew and we didn’t know, plus all we had to do was open the box!  After making Drew promise not to tell ANYONE – not even a “don’t tell Shannon I told you” to Greg – we opened the little box Tuesday night!  (Carmen don’t be mad! :)).  Drew opened it and I had the best time watching him open it and seeing his reaction!  

The next week we sent out our Holiday scratch cards!  It was so much fun seeing calls, texts and snapchats come in from all of our friends and family who had received them!!!


4-5-inches3-5-ouncesStarting at 10 weeks, I decided to start writing to my little bun in the oven!  I thought it would be kind of a neat way to capture some of our life during the pregnancy and make a cute little scrapbook!  I wasn’t sure I’d share this with everyone, but it’s really all I’ve been writing lately.  Therefore – here’s a little update on baby Duskie!

16 Weeks 12/14/17

Good Morning Baby!!

I think I felt you wake up this morning with me!  There’s these little weird feelings kind of in the middle of my lower stomach.  Not really aches or pains, just weird feelings that are different from cramps or gas.  I’m guessing it’s you! 

Today my Ovia app tells me that you are the size of an action figure or dill pickle.  I know those things are fun and all, but you know…there’s several sizes of action figures or dill pickles so I’m really not sure how big you are based on that comparison.  The Google tells me you’re about 4.5 inches long and about 3.5 ounces.  The Google also says avocado.  Based on the measurements, just a regular avocado…not a jumbo one!

I’m wearing my favorite pregnant outfit today.  Hand me down tights from Yaya that have a small hole in them and one of your dads long sleeve shirts! Nowadays, when I actually put my jeans on, they are held together with a rubber band that I luckily found laying around the house.

Dad and I have been tossing around names if we find out you’re a boy!  I’ve had my mind set on one for months, even before you were conceived…but dad doesn’t seem to think he likes it…yet.  There are a few other potentials.  Our main criteria seems to be:

  • it must be a name that’s not abbreviated to something stupid sounding 
  • it must sound good when we’re cheering for you playing basketball later in life
  • it must be something that sounds cool 

For now…we’re just going to call you SamBob.  I can’t WAIT to find out if you’re a tiny little boy or girl!  It’s going to be the most exciting Christmas ever this year!!

Love Mom!

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.