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Thank God I Failed Geometry: Part Two

August 15, 2020

The first part of our love story seemed like a teenage fairytale, two kids completely in love with blinders on. We broke up because we needed to grow, not because we fell out of love or someone did something worthy of a Taylor Swift breakup song. In my opinion, those are the hardest breakups to move on from, the ones where your heart is still completely in it but your head tells you its not right. More on that in part one.

I’ve been putting off writing this part for a few reasons. One, because it’s messy, Will and I aren’t even sure of the timeline exactly. Two, because it’s ugly, mistakes were made and the fact that we are insanely human gets painfully exposed. However, I am going to do my best to disclose the realness. We were apart, so there are two sides to this story, here’s mine.

The breakup happened in January of my senior year in high school and the next few months are a total blur. I went to school, went to soccer practice, came home and listened to the CDs Will burned over and over, wrote a text to Will, deleted it, cried myself to sleep, then did it all again the next day. We didn’t talk for months, only some really intense Myspace stalking to see if he’d fallen for some sorority chick. We weren’t together because of how we viewed Jesus, and disagreed on the details we deemed crucial for having a relationship with Him. This sent me into a tailspin really figuring out if it was worth losing our relationship over. I dove head first into my youth group and asked every question I could to anyone who would listen. I devoured scripture and sought refuge in immersing myself with other Christians who brought me closer to God.  I was devout and headstrong that I’d made the right choice to stand my ground. I was “consumed with Christ” and began to feel him soften my heart and lean into the fact that I did not actually know everything there was to know about everything. Hiding my broken heart behind the bible was easy, letting the bible fix my broken heart was on a whole other level.

In March, I started dating a boy I’d met on a mission trip the previous summer. It ended pretty quickly in late April, leaving me dateless to prom. He still wanted to go with me but ya girl was feeling extremely “I don’t need no man” and decided to go stag to prove that point. The night before prom I get a text at 10PM from Bobby and Nathan, you met them in part one, telling me to come outside to hang out. I did, and well well well, who was there? Will. My heart fell out of my butt as walked over to their car, trying to look as calm as humanly possible. We all chatted like it was a completely normal thing, even though Will and I hadn’t talked in months and I still wanted to marry him, but it was cool. I was cool. We all talked for hours before I went inside to go to bed. I mean, you can’t have bags under your eyes for prom, right?? While falling asleep, I get a text from Will. “Hey, if you need a date, I’ll rent a tux and go with you.” Remembering it, it sounds like the ending scene of a John Hughes movie where the girl gets her dream prom date. However, the stubborn Shannon back then really felt like she had to go alone and prove that she really was “I am woman, hear me roar”. I went to prom alone and it was the right thing to do. I needed to know I could do it. It wasn’t until we were married that my mom told me Will texted her that night asking how I looked and if I was ok. The perfect man.

The rest of the summer, we didn’t speak again and only saw each other once in a random movie theater parking lot sighting. My heart ached for him but my stubbornness was stronger. My plan was to still go to Tech and pretend like I wouldn’t be looking for Will around every corner. Fall semester started it didn’t take long for both of us to cave and text each other. We gave into wanting to see each other, but completely ignored the huge issues we clearly still hadn’t figured out. We silently agreed not to talk about them, both of us knowing full well that they didn’t go away. The whole Fall semester was spent pretending to date and every other weekend having the “we can’t do this anymore” conversation, only to be back at it again before the next weekend. A bunch of our A&M friends came up for the Tech/A&M game and we all stayed at Will’s apartment. My friends kept asking what the heck was going on with us and I didn’t know what to tell them. I didn’t even know what the heck was going on, all I knew was that life without him in any capacity was not something I wanted.

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In late October, Will went to his first Raider Awakening Retreat. This was a retreat through the Catholic Student Association, and he had the most amazing time. It opened his eyes to a lot of things about our relationship and his relationship with God. He came back so on fire, and I was terrified. I should have been so elated for him, happy that he felt the Lord tug on his heart so strongly. However, I was full of fear that he’d had a revelation that we weren’t meant to be together. He wanted to meet me at Starbucks to talk about his retreat, I didn’t eat all day and I resented him for picking a Starbucks. We first made things official in a Starbucks, why would he pick one to obviously end things with me. My hands shook and my stomach churned the whole time he spoke. He told me all that he’d experienced and how his heart had changed that weekend. I listened as he spoke gently about how strong his faith had gotten and how sure he was about everything he believed in. He then asked me, if I’d wanted to go with him on the next one. Now, this should have made my heart soar. Hearing the man of my dreams express his love for the Lord and then him inviting me to grow with him?! Ideal, right? But I freaked out. My young, stubborn, kinda selfish self took that invitation as him trying to convert me (which he wasn’t). I said some unkind things and made my exit. I texted him later that night to apologize, but we decided that there was no way this could work. We were done. Or so I thought.

We didn’t talk for all of November 2011 and most of December. I don’t remember who contacted who first but the week before school let out for Christmas Break, we attended Carol of Lights together. This Texas Tech tradition is sacred and meant to be shared with the people you love. I wanted to go with Will. We had a great time freezing our butts off and went to dinner afterward. At dinner, I knew. We were both tired of it. Tired of the back and forth, the heart break, the crushed hopes, the yo-yo of it all. We were tired. We also didn’t want to get our families involved again after al this time. Going home for break meant a lot of time with our families and we didn’t want to put them through any of it if we didn’t know where we stood. We decided that we wouldn’t call or text each other no matter how much we wanted to. It wasn’t healthy, it was never going to work, and we couldn’t force it any more. We needed to move on and find other people to spend our lives with. It broke me, but I knew we had to.

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When school started again, I looked for any and every distraction I could find to help me move on, Will immersed himself in the Catholic Student Association. Will and his friends had been my community for my first few months at Tech and I found myself desperate for somewhere to belong. I had “rushed” a Christian Sorority in the Fall and didn’t get in. I truly thought those were going to be my people, but that didn’t end up being the case. Then, I’d heard through a friend of Will’s that Chi Omega was doing Spring Rush for the first time (they never did it again at my time at Tech)! I felt God tug on my heart “those are your people” he said. And the girl who swore up and down she would NEVER go greek became a part of an organization that changed her life. I also found The Wesley Foundation and cannonballed into every activity or small group they offered. It was home and I felt like I had a future beyond Will.

I met an incredible boy at The Wesley Foundation and we dated from the end of February-August of 2012. It was a relationship full of challenges and growth. I’ll forever be thankful for that. But we realized we weren’t each other’s forever person and I started my sophomore year with another heartbreak.

The whole year was a blur. I learned so much, found some passions, made some TERRIBLE decisions, dated some wrong people, made the best friends, went to therapy, and learned to stick up for myself. Most importantly, I came to realize that I was going to marry Will or no one at all. As dramatic as that sounds, it was true.

My sophomore year at Tech came to an end in May 2013. My best friends and I found a house and got the chance to move our stuff in before I left to go to Houston for the summer! Watching a movie with my roommate (shoutout Katy) two days before I was set to leave, I see Will’s name pop up on my phone. I couldn’t breathe. He was graduating in 3 days, why in the heckin bob would he be texting me?! I knew he was leaving; he got a great job and was (from what I could tell from FaceBook stalking) dating a super cute Catholic girl. SO. WHY. WAS. HE. TEXTING. ME?!? It took me an hour to open the message because I just couldn’t handle it. Confusion flooded my brain as I opened it. Are you ready?! It said:

“Hey I have two of your movies, do you want them?” LOL. I had no idea what to say, it took me another 45 minutes to respond. Through a series of messages I agreed to pick them up in the morning. Driving to his apartment, I could feel my pulse in my entire body thinking about seeing him again, even if it was just for a second. I pull up to his building, he walks to my car, I roll down my window, he hands me the movies and says “Wanna go to lunch or something?”. Y’all, when I say I almost threw up, I almost blew chunks. On the outside, I appeared to be cool and said yes.

We ate lunch and talked for hours, catching up on the last year and a half and talking about ways we’ve grown. (I learned later that he’d broken up with his girlfriend the day before this lunch.) I invited him back to my house (yikes, Shan) and we danced in my empty dining room to a song we danced to when I was 16 years old. Aaaaaaand I fell in love all over again. We spent the whole rest of the day together and I was really freaking out because what the farking fark did this all mean?! HE WAS LEAVING. I get a text at 11PM from Will inviting me over to play games with his roommates and friends. I was supposed to leave the next day to drive back to Houston, but I went anyway. We stayed up until 5am talking about all the things we were too afraid to talk about a year and a half ago. We talked about where we were willing to compromise and we got on the same page pretty damn quickly. I couldn’t believe what was happening and I was unsure of what this all meant, but I HAD to get some sleep or I was going to crash my car. We decided to regroup, keep this on the down-low, and talk more when he was back in Houston before starting his job.

The next week, we met at my house and had a really intense, logical talk. We both agreed that if we were going to do this again, we were in it for the long haul. We couldn’t keep putting our friends, family, and ourselves through this rollercoaster if it wasn’t going to be a forever thing. He confessed to feeling the same way I did for so long. It was “us” or  nothing. We went down the list of things that had kept us apart for all this time and made sure those weren’t still issues. I softened and realized that I didn’t have to be so stubborn, we really could make this work. He had areas he came to see he could bend on, too. That night, we chose to make it re-official. My heart was full.

From there, the story moves pretty quickly. We got back together in June of 2013 and Will moved to Midland in later that month. The new school year started and he spent almost every weekend with me in Lubbock. The ring shopping happened in November 2013 and on December 30, 2013, the man of my dreams got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. We planned the whole wedding in 10 days and then had to wait a year and a half to get married! On June 6th, 2015 I married the most incredible human I know. We built a life I adore, and he’s given me two babies I can’t believe are ours.

I met the love of my life at 16. I was an insanely tough road to get where we are today, but I’m so grateful for each and every bump that got us here

 

 

 

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25 Weeks With Daphne Grace

June 23, 2019

How far along? 25 Weeks
Baby is the size of a:  LARGE Cucumber, Prairie Dog, Little League Baseball Glove

Total weight gain:  +5 lbs. total

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Stretch marks? No new ones

Baby Development: This week, Daphne Grace is growing some HAIR! Her hair is thickening and most likely has color (hopefully red). Her nostrils are opening up this week as she practices breathing in the amniotic fluid to mature her lungs. Her sense of balance is finishing up and she will, hopefully, be rotating herself into the birthing position. She is almost 2 lbs. and is about 14 inches long!

Movement:  This week was a little trying for me in the movement department. I don’t know if I was just really distracted or if she has become more chill but I feel like she moved less this week. To be honest, it freaked me out majorly. I did about 10 “Kick counts” this week and she passed every time. It might be all in my head.

Food cravings: Nothing specific but salty foods tasted especially yummy to me

Miss Anything?  I really really miss shopping for normal people clothes. I feel like I’m throwing a pity party for myself but I haven’t bought non-maternity clothes in almost 2 years and it makes me sad; especially in the summer when the clothes are so cute.

Symptoms: My energy levels have been very up and down. I’ll go from insanely productive to completely exhausted in seconds. My sciatic nerve has been sensitive after a day or working but its nothing the good ole pregnancy pillow can’t fix! Daphne Grace is also still tap dancing on my bladder, so peeing every 10 minutes helps me get my steps in.

Wedding rings on or off? Still on

Mood? Emotional again. I look at Winnie or Will and just cry from gratitude!

Winifred Update: Winnie J is a full on EXPLORER. She is obsessed with our DVDs at home, especially the shiny Marvel movies. She will have a full on conversation with you, very loudly. She is eating us out of house and home, too! She has become quite the daddy’s girl, and looks at her daddy like he hung the moon. I am so in love with their relationship. She visited the splash pad for the first time and loved it! She is officially 10 months and I can’t believe how fast time is flying.

Looking forward to:  PACKING. I have made all my lists and I’m so ready to finally pack for the beach.

 

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24 Weeks With Daphne Grace

June 23, 2019

How far along? 24 weeks
Baby is the size of a:  Eggplant, GI Joe, and Atlantic Puffin

Total weight gain:  3lbs total

Stretch marks? The previous ones from WJ are making their appearance again

Baby Development: Daphne Grace’s lungs are now producing the substance that will help them inflate when she is born. She is a foot long! She is already developing her taste buds and will be able to start to taste what I eat through the amniotic fluid.

Movement:  Nighttime is DG’s favorite time of day. As soon as I lay down to relax, she is ready to PARTY!
Food cravings: Nothing

Miss Anything?  I miss being able to fall asleep at my own will.

Symptoms: I got hit with a stomach bug or something, y’all. Monday morning I was supposed to take my glucose test. On the home after dropping WJ at daycare, I started to feel so nauseous. I tried to fight through it and drink that nasty glucose drink for my test. Whelp, about 5 sips in, I violently vomit everything. The nausea continued all week long, the vomiting continued until Tuesday morning. Just waiting for it to go away because I have no interest in this 2nd trimester nausea business.
Wedding rings on or off? Still on

Mood?  Exhausted and so nauseous.

Positive Moments This Week: This week I’m immensely grateful for WJ’s daycare. They are patient, companionate women and I’m so thankful that they love Winnie so well. I had to rely on them a lot this week with my sickness and I honestly don’t know what I would do without them.

Winifred Update: Y’all, my kid is FUN! She’s come into her laugh and thinks that everything is so funny! She had her 9-month appointment this week and handled it like a champ. Her pediatrician says that she is right where she needs to be. Winnie grew from the 14th percentile to the 30th percentile in weight, so we are super excited about that! Winnie is also LOVING swim lessons! She was born to be in the water.

Looking forward to:  A week without nausea, haha. I’m hoping this clears up and I can enjoy my baby again.

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23 Weeks With Daphne Grace

June 23, 2019

How far along? 23 weeks
Baby is the size of a:  Barbie Doll, Chinchilla

Total weight gain:  2lbs

Stretch marks? None! Thank you, Jergens

Baby Development: Daphne Grace is a growing bean! Her lungs are developing in overtime this week, which makes mama happy! She is getting fatter by the day and I can’t wait to squeeze her chubby cheeks. Her skin is still transparent and her veins and arteries are developing as well. She is currently a little over a foot ling and weighs about a pound! Her inner eye components are also completely developed.

Movement:  This little jumping bug is constantly moving big time! We’ve started to feel her move on the outside, which is super exciting for Will.
Food cravings:

Miss Anything? Being able to bend over comfortably

Symptoms:  Getting super tired lately

Belly Button in or out?  WAY OUT THERE
Wedding rings on or off? Still on

Mood?  Exhausted and Emotional. Everything makes me cry and I nap when Winnie naps.

Positive moments this week: Will and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary and got to sneak away for a nice lunch together!

Winifred Update: Winnie J has made some awesome developments this week!    She has mastered the “N” and the “M” sound, which makes me hopeful that “mama” is going to be coming out of her sweet little mouth! Right now, everything is “Dada”, so I’m ready for my name! I’m pretty sure knows “NaNa” is her sitter because when we drive up to her house, she goes “Nana Nana Nana!”. It’s insanely adorable. She is also having more “conversational” language, looking at me when I talk to her and looking people in the eye when she talks as well.

Looking forward to:  SWIM LESSONS! Winnie J has started swim lessons and its my new favorite thing.

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22 Weeks With Daphne Grace

June 23, 2019

How far along? 22 weeks
Baby is the size of a:  Water Bottle, Guinea Pig, Ear of Corn

Total weight gain:  None! I suspect that will change soon enough, though.

Stretch marks? Nope! Itchy belly is back, baby!

Baby Development: She is still working on that inner ear! In the womb, Daphne Grace is sleeping 12-14 hours a day. She is already practicing her fine motor skills by touching anything she can find in there. In our last ultra sound, she was using her umbilical chord as a toy! This week, her pancreas is beginning to create her own hormones.

Movement:  She is moving like CRAZY! Occasionally, she will flip over and make me almost puke, but I love knowing she’s ok in there. Her feet are on my bladder still, so that’s super fun.
Food cravings: I can’t get enough water!

Miss Anything?  I miss shopping for clothes that weren’t maternity. Expandable clothing can only take you so far.

Symptoms: I am having the longest, most vivid dreams! They go all night long and even continue after I get up and go back to sleep. The tips of my fingers and toes tingle on occasion, which is weird. I have to be careful lifting things or doing too much because my lower back aches like crazy. Hoping to walk some more with Winnie to help stretch that out.

Belly Button in or out?  In outer space
Wedding rings on or off? Still on

Mood?  Productive. I’ve been a machine when it comes to cleaning the house or getting my “stay at home mom” on!

Positive Moments This Week: Having my parents here was an absolute blast. They were so helpful in the transition from my classroom and Winifred could not adore them more. Will got me a desk of my own for the house and we now have the cutest little office setup!

Winifred Update: Winifred is making leaps and bounds in the development department! This week, she had scrambled eggs for the first time and is really mastering her chewing skills. I’ve been hesitant to let her practice because, quite frankly, I’m tired of cleaning up vomit 3 times a day. She is now eating solid chunky food with minimal gagging, so I’m counting it as a win! Winnie can now go from sitting to crawling and back on her own. She also pulled up on her own this week! We found her like this (see below) in her crib, and promptly lowered the crib. Her current favorite thing is BOOKS! She loves to help turn the pages and interact with the illustrations. Boy, does that make my teacher heart happy! She has been an awesome independent player. She can play by herself for a good 30 minutes without asking for much attention. Mornings are her favorite time of day!

Looking forward to:  Our first full week of summer vacation! I’ve got some fun outings planned for Winnie J and I can’t wait to watch her grow! Winifred is also entering her 7th mental leap, so I’m excited to see what kind of crazy that brings us.

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If My Anxiety Won

May 5, 2019

Looking back, I think I’ve struggled with anxiety my whole life. It evolved or manifested itself in different ways, but it was always there.  In elementary school, I just thought I was “over-thinking” or being “too uptight” about what people thought of me. In Jr. High and High School I thought I was way too focused on food and counting calories. In my junior/senior year of college, I realized what true anxiety was and it began to take it’s toll. I was planning a wedding, student teaching full time, taking 12 hours, on the Executive Board of my sorority, leading a trip to Haiti, trying to find a job, and struggling big time with my eating habits. I was barely sleeping, becoming manic at night, I could barely eat anything, and was incredibly irritable with anyone around me.

Over the first year of our marriage, my anxiety became a road block for Will and I. Being in a new town, starting a new job, and losing a baby brought the anxiety to new levels. I was distant, tired, and extremely insecure. Will lovingly pointed out my behaviors, noticing when I would push him away. He gently asked what I needed and let me pour out my soul to him. I began to feel more comfortable talking about the anxiousness and the overwhelming feelings I was experiencing. Through the next year, I took control of my anxiety by taking back the power it had over me. I started to recognize my triggers and build up my mental stamina to cope. Some days are better than others and I still struggle to this day with crippling anxiety, but I realized I couldn’t let it win. There was so much I had to lose if my anxiety won.

If my anxiety won, I wouldn’t leave the house, afraid what other people would think of me.

If my anxiety won, I would lay awake at night replaying conversations, worried I sounded like an idiot.

If my anxiety won, I would stay at school until 10PM making sure every single child had their individual plan to master absolutely everything.

If my anxiety won, I would never let Will drive anywhere out of fear that he would get in an accident.

If my anxiety won, I wouldn’t let Winifred explore on her own in case she gets hurt.

If my anxiety won, I would eat only celery, because “a moment on the lips, forever on the hips”.

If my anxiety won, I wouldn’t have fingernails or nail beds. They would be destroyed by the coping mechanism of picking and biting.

If my anxiety won, I would never post pictures of myself because I didn’t lose the baby weight.

If my anxiety won, I would never sleep. I would be glued to Winnie’s side to make sure she was still breathing.

If my anxiety won, I would never stop cleaning in case someone randomly stopped by for a visit.

If my anxiety won, I would be calling my OB or Pediatrician for every little thing because it could be a BIG thing.

If my anxiety won, I would never eat with anyone else because the sound of them chewing would bring out the fiery beast.

If my anxiety won, I would go crazy trying to spend equal amounts of time with the ones I love so they won’t resent me.

If my anxiety won, I would be a shell of a person.

I could go on and on, but the truth is it wouldn’t do me any good. If I go too far down the rabbit hole, it becomes a super dark place. There is way too much joy in my world to go down the dark rabbit hole. God has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams and I’ll be darned if the enemy is going to steal my joy! I’m so grateful for Will and my doctors for hearing me, supporting me, and encouraging me to do what is best for my mental health.

We are stronger together. When I kept my struggles a secret, I got swallowed whole. When I shed light on the darkness,  the shadows ran away. If anxiety is something you struggle with, you are not alone. It is real and you are heard. Talk to someone, do things that make you feel stronger, don’t give up. You are loved.

I work through this daily. I don’t know if it’s something I’ll ever fully be in control of and I’m ok with that. The small victories will be HUGE victories.