Yes, it’s true. I’m famous.

Every year around this time, the stores start putting out their Halloween and Fall decor, and in the midst of all of that are those infamous ‘pumpkin carving kits’ that we’ve all come to love, right? Well, every year around this time, I am forced to see this product, and reminded that I could have been a world famous hand model for said pumpkin carving kit.

Wayyyyyyyy back in the day, the company that my mom works for created this product, and they asked me to help them out with some pictures for it. I was young, and got a free manicure out of the deal, so I said sure, why not?! I spent the day in this cool little studio, carving pumpkins, holding candy, and getting tended to like all the stars too. Juice boxes and all.

The product hit the stores, and I didn’t realize how cool it really was, til i was standing in line one day at Target, and this lady had one in her cart. I looked at her, kind of laughing, and said ‘That’s my hand, right there, the one carving the pumpkin!” She rolled her eyes, and pulled her child behind her. “No seriously, it is! Look at the freckle on the right hand, and look at my right hand!” Still, she wasn’t convinced, so I told her to look at the company name and location, and sure as shit, there it was. She thought it was SO cool, and proceeded to tell everybody in line behind her, that it was my hand and grabbed my right hand to prove it with the freckle.

This was it. This is what it felt like. The feeling I had been waiting for all my years of training in middle and high school theater class. I had made it. I was a star.

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Turns out, I would end up being a one hit wonder. They pulled the product off the shelves within the first year or two ((I don’t remember exactly, as I was going through an intense therapeutic routine to manage my denial)) That was it? That was all the time as a famous hand model that I was allowed? Psh. I’m not going to let a crashing career ruin my destiny. I will use Halloween as my platform to remind people that I am still here, that I still have hands, and that I stand strong for all other hand models whose career ended FAR too soon.

Oddly, enough some 15+ years later, I saw my infamous pictures on the shelves again while perusing the aisles the other day. Different company, because it seems they sold my images..but still. I’M BACK BABY! Have your people call my people, my calendar is filling up FAST.

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You’re welcome for this very entertaining, and 100% true story. Now you can tell your friends and family that you are friends with somebody famous.

 

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The infamous freckle to prove it, folks. 
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3 Years and counting…

At this exact moment, exactly 3 years ago I had been awake for approximately 4 hours already. I was SICK. Like worst cold of my life sick. I was walking around a hotel in Frankenmuth, Michigan with my mom, half crying, half unable to breath, half exhausted and EXTREMELY excited. Why? Because it was my wedding day. All my family and friends were there, my soon to be husband was somewhere in that same hotel, most likely sleeping in the whirlpool tub that was in his room and 9 months of planning was finally coming together. Was I nervous, not at all. Scared? Hell yea.

Marriage is serious. Marriage is fun. Marriage is REAL. It is not something that should be taken lightly, and I have learned that lesson, along with SO many other ones over the past 3 years. Marriage helps you grow up, and that’s exactly what I needed.

3 years ago, I could have never imagined what the next 3 years would hold. I mean, obviously…nobody can foresee what their future holds, unless you are a psychic or the Wizard of Oz.

My husband saved me, he helped me out of a hole that I had been in for several years, that I didn’t even realize I had dug myself into. It wasn’t an easy path either, because I’m stubborn. I pushed back…at everything. I pushed back at the responsibility that came with marriage, I pushed back at the changes that were happening, I pushed back at growing up. Looking back now, it’s funny to me, because the lessons I had learned, I am now passing down to others in my life, and it feels so good.

Our wedding day was absolutely perfect. I had planned everything down to the tiniest little things, and it was so cool to see it all come together. Matt and I wrote our own vows,  and I wanted to leave mine here as a reminder of how I was feeling that day:

Matt,

Just over a year ago, you and I decided to meet up at Ford Field for the first time in a very long time. Looking back, that was the best decision I’ve ever made, because the second we went our separate ways, I knew that I wanted to marry you. I couldn’t believe that it came to me that easily, but I did know that I wanted to see more of you, and that’s exactly what happened. From that moment on, I haven’t been able to take my eyes off you.

I remember asking my friends, and family if what was happening was real. I was smiling literally all day, had never laughed more in my life, and was enjoying every single minute with you. I wondered when it would get old, or when that phase would pass, but I am so happy to say that it still hasn’t.

You have changed not only my life, but who I am as a person. You’ve held my hand when I needed it, explained things when I didn’t understand and accepted into your life some of the most important people in mine.

You are the most loving man I’ve ever met, and I am honored to become your wife. Your sense of humor is what gets me by on a hard day. You are smart, responsible, and able to keep me grounded, which most people know, is not the easiest task.

I promise, as your wife, to love you (more than I love pickles, and my phone) every single day of my life, I promise to support you and your undying love for the Detroit Lions, I promise to laugh with you, cry with you, hold your hand when you need it and be the best wife and friend I can be.

From this point on, I can say that I have no idea where our lives will lead us, but I am okay with that, because as long as I am with you, I will go any direction we are pointed in. I look forward to a beautiful life with you, Schwartz, Franklin and lots and lots of kids.

I love you.”

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To those of you that are reading this…if you are in a place in your life where you think that things are never going to change or get better. Heres a little advice…stop worrying so much about how your life is going to play out and take part in whats happening right now. Do things that scare you, say yes more often, and don’t just follow the crowd. I stepped outside what I THOUGHT was good for me, and I started doing things that were unlike anything I had done before. That’s what led me to Matthew, and what has gotten me to where I am today.

To those of you that are engaged or in a serious relationship…ENJOY it! Be happy in the moment, and instead of worrying so much about making sure the world knows how happy you are, TELL YOUR PARTNER. Make them feel like they are the only one that matters, not that every body on your friends list trumps them. Don’t let wedding planning, or petty arguments bring you down. This is suppose to be a memorable time, and let it be that!

To the lucky ones, who have found their soulmate and have exchanged vows, and started down the same road I’m on. Congratulations and KEEP GOING! I hope you realize how amazing marriage truly is and remember that even though you may hit speed bumps, and there will be a lot of them, that you’ve got somebody to go through it WITH you. Take advantage of that!

Happy anniversary to my husband, my best friend, my person, and the one that I will always love more than pickles and my phone.

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes….

An epileptic cat, a rescue dog, and a new house with a flooded basement.

Wait, thats not how it goes? Well. It’s how it went for us, and you know what? I am 100% ok with that.

Recently, I’ve (along with a lot of you I’m sure) have been noticing a lottttt of pregnancy announcements on Facebook. Of course, every time I see one, I think to myself ‘awwww how exciting!!’ Then after a little while, and seeing like 42 more announcements, I started to think about how Matt and I are about to reach our 3rd wedding anniversary.

In most couples, you follow this path thats kinda just been carved out for us, right?

You fall in love. You get married. You have kids. You all live happily ever after.

It seems that we have taken the wrong path then, because we fell in love, we got married, but instead of kids ((which I’m sure a lot of you thought would happen right away given my ‘career’ as a child whisperer)) we adopted pets, traveled, had plenty of ups and downs, bought a house, and just kept living life together.

So today, I was sitting in our living room, deleting a LOT of pics from my phone and I came across this one of Piper that I had taken on the day that we got the keys to our house. I decided to take the same picture today, and when looking at the two, I realized that in just 9 months of living here, it seems we have created an entirely new life.

We have changed almost every room in this house from what it once was. Our old house looked NOTHING like this one. Most of the furniture is new, the decor is new, it’s a fresh start.

I decided to go around and take more comparison pictures to see how much things have changed, and reflect a bit on all that we’ve been through since moving in.

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Above is the basement before we bought the house, so what it looked like when the previous homeowners lived here. About 4 days after we had received the keys, we came to the house to look at some stuff before we actually moved in, and we walked into a very flooded basement. Leading to this:

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That is a SMALL look at what the basement looked like. Let’s just throw out there that we had NO intentions of doing anything to the basement for awhile because it was already finished. Well, the flood changed that, we had to pretty much gut the entire thing. Let me just tell you…nothing brings down the excitement of buying a new house better than having to destroy it a week later and go through some of the worst stress ever in life. Not kidding.

This is what the basement looks like today. This is the only spot in the house that looks something similar to our old house.  Ignore the blinds, we tried to make it look nice but Schwartz insists on destroying anything with a string. So we just let him go to town. Taking these pics makes me realize that we need to spend more time down there. I love that couch, and it just has that ‘original’ feel to it when we are down there. Kinda like being at the old house.

Now lets move on to my absolute favorite part of our entire house, and what was probably the most stressful, drawn out, and daunting process ((more than the basement)). The kitchen. This was the only thing we planned on updating when we bought the house, and it was only suppose to take a couple weeks. Well it took almost 2 months, and there are still things that we haven’t finished! Matt and I picked everything for this kitchen out together, and it was actually a lot of fun. He gave me the wheel, but I definitely wanted his opinions and thoughts on everything.

If you’re still reading, you’re probably wondering how I went from talking about the path of life, kids, and pets to showing you pics of our house….right? Probably, because I’m asking myself the same thing.

Here’s the thing, and this is literally the only thing I wanted this post to be about. My husband.

Matthew works his ASS off every single day, all day long, to allow us to have the life that we have. There is nothing more that I want in this world than to give Matt adorable little munchkins. However, on the flip side, I want to be able to live life with him, adventure together, and enjoy the time that we have together before we have little bearded redheads flying around this place. We may not be on the same path as everybody else, I like to say that we took the backroads, but we will get there. One day. For now, I look around at all that we have done in the 4 short years we have been together, and how much we have grown and I am so thankful for every single part of it.

Every. Single. One.

Just a couple thoughts…

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I saw this quote on Pinterest today, and it started an hour long thought process about one specific thing, and I decided I wanted to write on it, and try to expand hoping I can reach somebody who might be feeling the same way. Isn’t that a big goal in life? Trying to find people that can relate, or for people to say ‘I know exactly what you mean!’ when you tell them something?

Big things often have small beginnings. What’s the first thing that you think of when you read that? For me, it was our business. OUR business. Our BUSINESS. I’ve just had one of those weeks (yes I’m aware its only Tuesday night) where I am so excited about all that is going on. We’ve been busy! Which is good in this line of work eh? It’s such a great feeling knowing that all the hard work, and time that we’ve put into this little idea is starting to pan out.

Let’s recap a little bit. Nine 16 Designs is the name of our apparel business. It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. It was an idea that I rambled off to Matt one night while having drinks, and it wasn’t the first time I threw something out there like that. I was always saying that I wanted to run my own business, start a company, coordinate events, do SOMETHING that I had a passion for. But was that going to ever happen? Probs not. Because it takes money to start a business, it takes time, and a lot of work. Like a LOT.

When we first started, I had no idea what I was doing, like NO idea. I’ll admit, I got super frustrated like 2 hours into trying to get it all figured out, and almost quit. No joke. A for effort right? No.

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I had goals. I wanted this business to SKYROCKET. I wanted to take all that I learned as a Beachbody coach, and social media networking and let that build our business. I had expectations. As we all do when starting a new venture. Then reality set in, I realized I wasn’t Insta-famous, or going to be on the Ellen show anytime soon, so this was going to be a lot harder than I thought. I’m going to be honest. I’m still extremely discouraged when I see that we have under 500 ‘likes’ on our business Facebook page, or just over 400 followers on our Instagram. HOW AM I GOING TO REACH CUSTOMERS?! Oprah got famous without social media, so I can to!

Seriously though…this is what I’m trying to say. You can be a business owner, a makeup consultant, a health and fitness coach, a designer, a crafty type etc. and might have the same worries that I do…and thats the fear of not being successful in whatever it is that we are putting our heart and souls into. You just have to realize something….starting small is starting somewhere. Don’t make your business all about your business, make it about you…your life…your reality. Thats the type of stuff that is going to help you grow.

Ask yourself this: Did you sign up to sell this makeup just because you want to make money? Or start these at home workouts because it’s what everybody else is doing? Do you share pics of you enjoying wine and then tell people you’re getting paid to drink it because you heard you’re going to be a millionaire next year? Are those oils REALLY paying your bills?

Is what you’re doing making an impact?

I got to make this shirt today….and all I could think about while making it, was that I get to be a part of such a HUGE moment for this family. This is how they are telling their family that they are expecting another baby. How awesome is that?

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I’ve made shirts for ladies struggling with infertility, I’ve made mama to be shirts, birthday shirts for kiddos, bride to be shirts, and been able to talk to and get to know SO many people in the process. I put my heart and soul into this entire thing. From the minute I get the order, to the second I put the package in the mail. I’m doing it all, with my own hands. I LOVE THAT!

I know it’s going to take time for our little business to grow, but one day, I’ll be looking back on this and be amazed at how small our beginning was, but also how memorable as well.

Make sure you have a real PASSION for whatever it is you are doing. Don’t just do it for the money, or the perks. I PROMISE you that if you don’t truly love what you do, it will show. So if you are in the position that a large amount of people on social media are these days…if you are trying to promote something, sell something, share something etc., stop with ALL the sales tactics and just share with us why YOU love it and why YOU do it.

I’m sorry if none of this made sense. I’m just real proud of myself, and also super grateful for my amazingly patient and kind husband who has let me try any venture I come up with that has led me to this one.

Times, they are a changin!

Hi friends!

I’ve been spending a lot of my ‘middle of the night thinking time’ trying to come up with a good and interesting topic to write about…and I’ve struggled coming up with something, as you can tell by my absence in between posts. Then, last night, it hit me. I’ve got like a million things to write about, but something has switched in me lately, that has me wanting to keep a lot of my life private.

WHAT?! You don’t think I’m talking about the Shannon that is a Social Media Master and also has a third hand known as her iPhone, right?! Keeping things to herself?! Say it isn’t so!

Alas, ’tis true folks. ‘Tis true.

I’ve learned a lot over the last several months, and one of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned, other than the MAJOR one I went over in my last blog post, is this: Keep your life private! Simple as that! Obviously, I’m not saying that we should all build concrete walls around our yards, and never go out in public or speak to anybody…thats just weird. BUT! I am saying that if you sit back and really think about it, like LEGIT think about it….about 85.4% of your life DOESN’T need to be shared with every person in your life.

“Face your problems. Don’t Facebook them.”

Seriously. I have a lot of Facebook friends, like a lot. And I’ma be honest with you, I actually know and am friends with like 23% of them. I was a Beachbody coach for over 2 years, it was my job to network, and interact with people, and let me tell you something right quick. I am not mad about that at all! I LOVE connecting with new people. (Not the point of this story, so moving on) Being that I have a good amount of connections and friends on the ol’ FB, means that I see a LOT of posts.

Like, I honestly want to know what causes somebody in their 30’s, or older, to post something along the lines of this, as a status:

“I hate my husband, he is such a piece of shit. He’s been lying to me and doesn’t care about our children, or want to even be a part of their lives.”

Ok, s’cool…you’ve obviously got some anger up in that head of yours, but we don’t need to hear about it..and THEN like 13.2 hours later, I CERTAINLY don’t want to see a status of you and your jackass of a husband (or so you say) snuggling up at the cider mill with like 49 heart emojis. This makes you look really stupid. 

Here’s the thing…keep the personal shit to YOURSELF. Deal with it on your own. Don’t put that vibe out there to the world of social media, and then make us all feel bad for coming down on Tom, or whatever his name is. Negativity sucks people in…so just don’t be negative where others can see. **Disclaimer: I made that status up, and I don’t know who Tom is, besides my Uncle Tom, and he’s a pretty cool dude.**

Back to the point of this post. My life is not perfect, like NOWHERE near it. Do I post on social media all the time, sure do. Do I put out posts about how much I struggle with certain things, or about the arguments I have with my husband, my friends, my family etc.? Sure don’t.

The pics I take, are ones that I take because I want to share them with people…you all know you want to see the cinnamon rolls I baked, lets be honest. Are there things that I would absolutely love to post about, just to even get it off my chest? Shit yea there is! I’ve decided to stop word vomiting every single little thing on my mind at all times though, because I was doing that to anybody that was willing to listen. Whether it be people on social media, whichever friend I’m hanging out with, the dude who makes a coffee for me at Starbucks…I honestly didn’t care, I just let it out.

I might have huge secrets that nobody knows, I might not. I might be a millionaire, and decided not to tell anybody. I might cry myself to sleep every night, but keep it to myself. I might have super special moments with those I love. I might not.

Who knows?

Moral of the story is this: IMG_5302

It will save you a lot of stress, and heartbreak…I PROMISE you. Share the good, share the funny, share the cuteness, and SHARE THE FREAKING LOVE!  Just don’t share so much that you’ve got nothing left for yourself. But, I mean, I’m not your mom, I’m not gonna tell you what to do. I’m just sharing from experience. 

It’s actually nice to share less about my private life and personal experiences and more about just life. Try posting about or talking about stuff that will put smiles on peoples faces, and not make them roll their eyes and say something like ‘oh here she goes again….” What if you died tomorrow, and the last thing people remember you by is from posting some pointless drama causing post, or hearing you talk badly about somebody? That would suck, eh? Ok, that was morbid. I apologize. But seriously, you don’t wanna leave that with people.

That’s all I got! Now I’m curious if I’ve got you all wondering what my big private secret is?! I don’t have one. So calm down.

Honestly. These cinnamon rolls though…right? Totally social media worthy.

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You ready for this?

**Disclaimer: I was supposed to write this last night, but I fell asleep at like 8:45, so…I’m old**

This post is gonna be deep, compared to my other entries, where I try to keep things light and entertaining. There is a topic that has been weighing on me for a few weeks now, and I spend a lot of time thinking about it so I figured I would write about it to get it off my chest, and also to hopefully reach some of you that might be feeling the same way.

Yesterday, I posted this on my Instagram and my personal Facebook page:

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I don’t think I can find a better quote that describes how I’ve been feeling lately. So, lets review.

I’m 32 years old. I’m married to a wonderful man who would do anything for me and spoils me beyond belief (I truly don’t know what I did to deserve him, but I’m grateful that he came into my life). We are homeowners. We work hard for what we have. (Matt works harder, lets be honest) We spend most of our time at home, or doing low key things with each other, or by ourselves. We don’t have kids (yet) but I’ve wanted to be a mom my entire life, and nothing would make me happier than to be able to raise children with Matt.

Now. Lets rewind abouttttt…lets say, 5-6 years. I was in my 20’s, I had only been in one serious relationship that didn’t end well, ((last I heard he told somebody  “the world would be a better place without her.”)) Wow. Thanks for that. I had more friends than I could ask for, I always had something going on, I never had to worry about being lonely or bored on a Friday or Saturday night. I was going out 6/7 nights a week. Almost every picture I have from that time in my life, I’m either at a bar, drinking with friends, or at some kind of themed party.

 

Sounds fun, right? Eh. I was irresponsible, made a lot of DUMB decisions, and put my trust, time and energy into friendships and relationships that 100% did not deserve it. I learned quickly this lesson: I forgive WAY to damn easily, I apologize for things that I should NOT be apologizing for, and I was allowing people to walk all over me, pretty much every day of my life. Weird, because from the outside, everybody was my best friend, and I was always happy.

You’re probably wondering by now where this post is leading to, eh? Well. I’ve been taking a lot of time lately to reflect on the last almost 3 years of married life, and the several years before that. I’ve been thinking about all the friendships that I’ve lost, some that were 15+ years long, for reasons that I truly couldn’t even give you. I’ve spent WAY too much time trying to figure out where I went wrong. What was it that I did to make my friendships start falling apart? And what led me to get to this point in my life, where I spend my Saturday nights now reading in bed, or watching Netflix with Matt? Then I realized something….I don’t care, and I’m happy with how my life is.

I’ve made mistakes. I’ve judged. Talked shit. Been mean. Lied to people. Hurt people. And intentionally went out of my way to cause drama.

You know what else I did? I gave more of myself to these friendships, these people, their families, etc, than I did myself. I went out of my way to do little things that might just possibly make their day brighter. I always checked in just to say ‘hi’. I ALWAYS included people, always invited everybody to join me in anything I did. I said yes to any request they had, I shared things with some of these people that not even my family knows about.

All of that stuff went unnoticed, unrecognized and forgotten as soon as we hit a bump in the road, because then I’m just this bitch who said this, or the horrible friend who screwed me over, or the girl who lies to everybody.

Where have all my efforts to keep these friendships going gotten me? Nowhere. I’ve not spoken to these people for a year, 6 months, weeks, who knows…because it seems that these ‘lifelong friends’ have been dropping like flies. All because I was moving on with my life, or I made a small mistake (and believe me, I threw myself down begging for forgiveness, apologized in every way possible and offered SO many chances to just talk).

Taking time out of my day to try and fix these problems was a MISTAKE, let me just tell you. I was apologizing for something and I seriously don’t even know what it was half the time.

Moral of the story. If people don’t want you in their life they will be sure to let you know.

DO NOT waste your time going after them, or begging for forgiveness, and definitely don’t blame yourself, and let yourself get so down about it that you start to believe all the shit that is being said about you.

Do this though. Make your peace with them. Say what you need to say. Then MOVE ON.

Let them be the ones that feel bad or sad when there is no longer a chance to make up or apologize or talk. Let them be the ones who miss you. Let them be the ones who regret how they dealt with things.  ((Believe me, I’ve been in this position, and when that friend passed away unexpectedly, I was DEVASTATED beyond words, because we never truly patched up our friendship.))

Life is too damn short to worry about why people don’t like you, or to sit and try to figure out just exactly what it was that YOU did, or why people don’t seem to treat you the same anymore…what’s the point?

Find the people that will give you their time, their respect, and their love and hold on to them because those ones are the ones who will be there for good. And TRUST ME, those are the ones that you want around when you finally make the decision to grow up and start making real life choices.

 

Not a baby anymore…

You know that feeling you get when you send your kid off to school and they don’t want to hug or kiss you goodbye? And it kind of just pulls at your heart strings a little bit?

Yeah, me either, because we don’t have kids. BUT! I can imagine that it’s not a great feeling, and that when it happens, all you want to do is wallow is self pity, drink a bottle or two of wine, and cry for hours because your baby isn’t so much a baby anymore..right? I mean, that’s what I would do.

The reason I’m bringing this up, is because I feel like I’m experiencing something similar to this tonight, with my dog. Yes, my dog.

For those of you that know her, you probably know that she’s basically attached to me 24/7. She is literally my shadow, and I almost always freak out if she is not in the same room as me (mostly because I do NOT trust her, and Lord knows what she does when I’m not around to watch her every move.) Welllll….the past few days, little miss Piper has taken to doing her own thang, and doesn’t really want to be around me. Rude.

While I’m working in my office, she typically lays right under my desk, and only moves when something makes a loud sound, or the doorbell rings, or she sees a fly and just HAS to get it. But, today..today should be marked down as monumental, because she didn’t come in my office once, and I was home almost all day. NOT ONCE! :o(

I found her sleeping on the bed in the spare room (aka where all my clothes go once they are clean because I HATE hanging them up) and she wanted nothing to do with getting up, or coming to hang out with me. THEN! The time comes to go to bed, and literally its her favorite part of the day, and what does she do? I walk into our room, and she goes across the hall into what is apparently now HER ROOM. Wait, whattttt? This is not happening.

So, here I sit, all by my lonesome, while my husband watches tv downstairs, and my dog puts herself to sleep on her own, in her own bed. She’s probably covered herself up too, which just makes this even more heartbreaking.

Seems like just yesterday I was driving her home from Ohio, ears flopping in the wind….

They grow up so fast, don’t they?