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.

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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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