November 25, 2015

SO WHAT! Wednesday

This week I'm saying SO WHAT if...

  • I couldn't tell you the last time I changed my sheets.  Like, how often do people do that anyway?
  • I can't decide what I'm more excited for tomorrow, the yummy Thanksgiving food, seeing family or hearing my interview on Breakthru radio!
  • I have our Christmas cards addressed and stamped, ready to pop in the mail Friday!
  • I've been doing Bethenny Frankel's yoga DVDs and LOVE them.  I know it's not Beachbody and I don't care.  Right now I'm in a funk, I need yoga, and I love it.
  • I'm really proud of myself, I bought all the kids Christmas gifts and stuck to the four gift rule!
  • I am going to indulge on Thanksgiving food tomorrow.  I see lots of posts talking about the crazy amount of calories in Thanksgiving foods and guess what?  I don't care! It's one day, I'm going to enjoy it!
  • I got the Christmas decorations out this past weekend.  I figure the week of Thanksgiving is good, still respecting the turkey, and now we can just sit and enjoy them come Friday.
  • Every year we say, "this Christmas is going to be the best one yet" because Christmas with kids is awesome, yet every year is better and better.
  • I just got home from Home Depot and feel pretty B.A. because I didn't need any help! But I did forget one thing soo...
  • I need a new yoga mat {badly} but I can't find the perfect one, help?!
  • I feel like we got a new house because Jimmy FINALLY hung the barn door in our kitchen {more to come}.
What are you saying SO WHAT! to today?

November 19, 2015

Balance and Contentment

I've thought about this post for a long time.  I've written it a couple different ways, completely scratched them all and kept just the title 'balance' as a draft for months now because I knew I wanted to write about it but I just didn't know how.

I want to talk about balance and contentment.

I've been thinking a lot about what's important to me recently- doing some soul searching. What I want my kids to see. What I want my kids to remember.  Where my energy should be spent.  How I could make better use of my time.  Who I am reaching.  And how I want to be known/remembered.  The truth is, I haven't been living a very balanced life.  I've been spending way too much time focusing on things that really don't matter, in the grand scheme of things, and things that really don't add value to my life.

For example:

Diet and exercise are a huge part of my life.  I feel better when I eat well and get in some sort of physical activity.  But it was getting to an almost obsessive point where I was MAD if I couldn't exercise.  I was annoyed when the scale would fluctuate.  I had to get in AT LEAST 6 days of exercise every week or I felt like a failure.  If I got on the scale and it was up even .2 lbs I would make sure to stick to a strict 1200 calories that day. And then guess what I realized?  I had hit my goal weight and then some.  I was officially at the lowest weight I had ever seen and I could still find a flaw on my body.  My stomach still looked like a deflated balloon. I still wanted to lose two more pounds, 2!!!

That was this time last year.  Now I am more flexible with my diet.  I eat pizza even if that means I go over my calories that day.  I workout but if my kids want me to play with them, I break out a board game and lay on the floor with them.  Recently I've been lucky to get in about 3-4 days of exercise each week and you know what? I feel great about it! I'm still active, my clothes still fit the same, and you know what?  I haven't even been on the scale!  I've learned how to balance that part of my life.

Same goes with blogging.  I used to be diligent about posting AT LEAST 5 days a week.  Monday through Friday I had to have a post live on my blog daily.  Then it got to be too much.  I started oversharing because I had no real content.  Now I blog when I feel good about it, when I have something I want to say.  If that means I post once a week or once a month, so be it.  I also pick my sponsored posts the same way.  If it fits into my purpose, I'll choose it, if it doesn't I pass.  My goal is to always provide more real content than sponsored posts and that will never change.

I've scoured Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest and blogger for hours.  Spent so much time interested in other people's lives that I've missed out on my own.  I've been jealous of people I've never even met and probably never will.  I've spent money that we didn't have because I had to take advantage of a sale that came through my inbox.

I've recently been unsubscribing from all retail emails that grace my inbox in hopes of avoiding the want and focusing on our needs.  I've slowly been unfollowing online boutiques on my social media accounts for this reason too.  I'm really trying to focus on what we have, how fortunate we are and being grateful for those things rather than wanting more. I'm learning how to be content in this stage of life.

I don't want to be known for posting a minimum of 3-5 times a day on Instagram.  I don't want my kids to think I'd rather workout than play with them.  I don't want to miss out on amazing things like funnel cakes because it doesn't fit into my calorie allowance.  I don't want to be envious of people or go broke trying to keep up with The Jones's.

I want to be happy with what I have.  I want to live a full and balanced life and I don't want to miss a minute of it.  If that means I am not the most successful Beachbody coach, so be it.  If that means my blog following never grows beyond the number of readers I have today, that's fine.  If I never have a Pinterest-worthy house or six-pack abs, THAT'S OK!

I am giving myself permission to enjoy what I do have, the person I am, and the life I am currently living.

November 18, 2015

SO WHAT! Wednesday

This week I'm saying SO WHAT if...

  • I'm on a cleaning frenzy.  I've washed my walls, wiped all the baseboards, and cleaned the bathrooms, steam mopped the floors- on top of the normal stuff {dusting, vacuuming, dishes, laundry}.  If I didn't know any better I'd say I was nesting. Don't worry, that's not it ;-).
  • I'm a little bit nervous about sticking to our four gifts per kid plan- not gonna lie.  
  • I've closed down my Beachbody FB page.  I am trying to simplify my life and that was just adding way more stress than it was worth.
  • I let my kids make a mess sometimes if it buys me 5 seconds of peace.
  • We're skipping our family gift exchange/name draw to adopt a family instead.  I'm really excited about it.
  • I was on a wild goose chase for some coordinating Christmas PJs for the kids.  I don't know why it was so hard but I finally found this set from Target and I'm in love.  I love old fashion stuff like this. 
  • As much as I know I'll regret saying this in a few weeks, I'm excited for Elf on the Shelf to start again.
  • I'm kind of, sort of thinking about growing my hair out {even though I swore I would keep my short hair FOREVER}.
  • I am unsubscribing from all retail emails that come through.  I'm trying to focus on need vs want and those "sales" just make me want to shop {for things I don't need} so they have to go.
  • I hate that Kendall likes Spongebob Squarepants.  Hate it.
  • I am so excited to learn how to crochet!  I have never been crafty or had a real hobby so when a lady from my bible study group offered to teach us how to make an infinity scarf I nearly jumped for joy!  #oldladystatus
  • I can't wait for next weeks Sister Wives Tell All.  Is Mary going to leave the family?!

What are you saying SO WHAT to this week?

November 16, 2015


In a little over a month I will be having surgery. Three days before Christmas, to be exact.

I have mentioned several times how I don't hear and, in fact, am practically deaf in my right ear.  It's been this way since I was about fourteen.  I had something called cholesteatoma which is an abnormal skin growth in the middle ear behind the eardrum.  It basically ate away at my eardrum, hence the hearing loss.  I had three surgeries to repair the damage but the hearing loss was not able to be restored.  

That left me with my left ear being my "good ear".  I've always been able to hear normally in my left ear despite the fact that there is a small hole in my left eardrum.  The hole has been there for SEVERAL years but has never posed a problem so we've monitored it, I've had hearing tests annually for as long as I can remember and it's always been fine.

I've always had to wear ear plugs when I'm in the water, which includes the shower.  I have cute, custom-made/fit, hot pink ones and I don't even think twice about wearing them anymore.  In fact I often forget about them and when I go swimming I just pop them in very casually and to newer friends this is always a topic of conversation.  About two years ago we went swimming and I forgot to take my ear plugs.  Normally when I don't have them I just don't go under water and it's totally fine. But this day I decided to go down a tunnel slide, without my ear plugs, and ever since that day my left ear has become a problem.  

Over the past two-ish years I've seen my ENT more than twice a year for multiple ear infections.  This past summer it got really bad and I started losing hearing in my left ear, my good ear.  I took my ear drops, which normally work miracles, but this time they aren't working anymore.  My good ear has now become my bad ear which isn't saying a whole lot for my hearing. 

I basically don't hear currently.  Sure I hear sounds, I can hear people talking but unless I am looking directly at someone so that I can read their lips I really don't know what people are saying.  I have to have the TV and radio up to obnoxious levels.  Often times it comes across that I am just ignoring people but it's simply because I am not hearing them.  

This week I was visiting a cute new shop in town and I was talking to the owner about how adorable it was and how I'd be back for Christmas gifts and she was sweet as pie and telling me lots of stuff but I honestly have no idea what she told me. Kendall had a friend over this week and we were driving and her friend was talking to me but I had no idea.  Sweet Kendall said, "oh, my mom's ear is plugged, she can't hear you".  Bless her.  

So, it's time.  I've put off the surgery long enough.  I won't be able to lift anything aka James for four weeks so that's played a big part in the timing of things.  But with my hearing being almost completely gone I can't put it off anymore.  

The surgery is "routine".  It'll take about an hour.  They'll cut behind my left ear, pull it forward, patch the hole with skin from behind my ear and sew me back up.  It's outpatient and my doctor even said I'd be good to "party" later that night.  Which is good, you know, because I'm such a party girl.

At first the thought of doing it three days before Christmas seemed crazy.  It seemed like a total downer to a normally happy time of year.  But now that I've had time to process it it's actually a perfect time to be having it.  Not only have we met our deductibles this year {crazy} but we will be surrounded by family who will be able to help.  Jimmy will be off work for a few days thanks to the holidays so that will be helpful.  

I'll have a few follow up appointments but otherwise I should be good as new.  My hearing will be restored, the ear infections should stop, and hopefully this will be the end of my ear problems.  I'm sure I'll still have my biannual trips to the ENT but honestly, at this point, I'd kind of be sad/lost if I didn't.  Plus I really like my ENT so I really don't mind going.  

As routine as this type of thing is, it doesn't mean complications can't happen.  I know I'm in good hands.  I trust my doctor completely.  He's won awards for what he does.  He has developed new technology in this department.  He's great, I'll be great.  But, if you're the praying type, would you say a little prayer for me?  

As of right now I'm excited for the surgery.  I can't wait to hear again.  I know Jimmy can't wait either.  It'll be good.  It'll all be good.  

November 13, 2015

Everyday I...

  • Wake up before my kids.  I need to have coffee in peace even if it only lasts 14 minutes.  I need that time where no one wants anything {including my husband}.  It's a glorious time of day and probably my favorite part of my day.  Some days it sucks to roll out of bed that early but, damn, it's worth it.  
  • Talk to my mom on the phone.  Some people might find it annoying but we've been doing it for years and it just feels weird not to.   Sometimes we have nothing to talk about and sometimes we have a list of things we want to tell each other, either way it happens. 
  • Get in some type of exercise.  I literally feel "blah" if I don't do something.  I may take one rest day a week but even then I feel guilty.  My current workout of choice is T25 Gamma hybrid.  I love it!
  • Check all social media before my feet even hit the floor.  It's pathetic, I know, but it's how I chose to wake up.  
  • I promise to be better than the day before.  To be more intentional.  Less stressed.  More involved.  Worry less.  Smile more.  Yell less.  You know, be the best me that I can.  Doesn't always happen but I always try. 
  • Sleep on my stomach.  I know it's awful and I'm going to have wrinkles but I try to sleep on my back and it doesn't work.  I can sometimes sleep on my side but by side I mean practically my stomach.
  • Have an internal debate over whether I really need a shower or not. I don't know why showering is such a nuisance to me but it just takes so much time from start to finish.  If I am not actually gross but my hair is I'll just wash it in the kitchen sink. I really wish I was one of those girls who could pull of the every other day hair washing but I just can't.
  • Tweeze my eyebrows.  I have never had my eyebrows waxed, can you believe it?  I kinda like tweezing them myself, I'm weird.
  • Struggle to drink enough water. I know it's good for you in numerous ways.  I know you're supposed to drink close to a gallon a day but I'm lucky to get down 8oz.  I suck at water.
  • Change no less than 5 {FIVE} poop diapers.  I've thought about switching James to an all cheese diet to help this but I know that's not a very good idea.  But seriously!  FIVE poop diapers A DAY!
  • Dread bath time.  All the water all over the place.  I also say the words, "please keep the water IN the tub" daily.  I think it's time to start bathing the kids separately anyway.
  • Pray.  Some days I find myself praying multiple times and randomly throughout the day and other days it's just at bedtime with the kids but it always happens.  I wasn't raised to pray and it feels really good now especially because our kids are picking up on it.
  • Log in My Fitness Pal.  I don't always finish my day out, if I know I'm going to be within my calorie range, but I always start with good intentions.  Follow me @shannondew.

November 12, 2015

Potty Talk

This post is part of a compensated campaign with Acorn Influence and Sam's Club but all my opinions are my own.

Let's talk about potty training for a second, shall we?

How the heck do you potty train a boy?

I know James is in no way, shape, or form ready.  He's completely clueless.  When I ask him, "James, did you poop?"  when he clearly has, he says, "nope!".  He poops five times a day {5!!!} so most of the time the answer should be "yes!!!".  He just learned all his body parts and how to count to 15 so I think we still have a while to go on the potty training.  And, honestly, I'm OK with that.

Potty training Kendall was a breeze.  We stayed home for three days during the training period.  I had two potty seats {one stayed in the living room, one in the playroom} available so that when the urge came we could act on it!  We also have three bathrooms so there was really no reason to have all the extra potty seats but, whatever, I wanted  her to have a potty available right!now! I stocked up on princess panties because she said if she had them she would use the potty.  Ok, whatever works.  We praised, rewarded, and celebrated every time she went {which she loved}.  But that was really all it took, three hardcore days at home and she was pretty much potty trained.

Of course going out in public those first few times are nerve-wracking and a constant, "do you have to go potty?!" on repeat.  I remember the first time we went out was at a restaurant and I took her straight to the potty.  I showed her how it looks different from the ones at home and made it an exciting thing.  I can vividly remember the first week after being potty trained we were driving on the freeway when she said, "mommy I hafta go pee".  She was in a Pull-Up but I didn't want to derail all the progress we had made so I pulled off on the first exit we came to and ran, as fast as I could, into Fazoli's to use their bathroom.  She had held it and waited till we got there and it was so awesome, I was so proud of her!

Now James is going to be a different story, I just know it.  I hear boys are harder anyway and I don't doubt that for one second.  I feel like I need to go to Sam's Club and stock up on Charmin Ultra Soft {now with 1000 more sheets, the perfect accessory}, baby wipes, Pull-Ups, Bounty paper towels {which handles big clean-ups and is 2X more absorbent so the roll, and your Sam’s Club pack, can last longer} and wine {for me, of course}.  It's going to be messy, I'm not excited about it.  Did I mention James poops no less than five {5!!!} times a day?  Yeah, I'll be happy when I don't have to change that every day.

So boy moms, help me out here!  I need your advice.  Do you teach them to sit or stand at first?  I'm thinking sitting sounds easier {and way less messy} but what do I know?  If you teach them to stand how do you avoid a giant mess everywhere?  What "tools" do I need {besides the ones listed above}? What type of undies to boys wear?  I personally think the boxer briefs look adorable!  Please share!

But first, Sam's Club and Charmin want to offer up $50 to Sam's Club to stock up on all your potty training accessories!  Enter below, good luck!

$50 Sam's Club Gift Card Giveaway for Charmin

November 11, 2015

SO WHAT! Wednesday

This week I'm saying SO WHAT if...

  • I geeked out a lot a little when Break Thru Radio emailed me earlier this week wanting to interview me for their podcast, Biology of the Blog.  WHAT?! ME?!
  • I missed Minted's $25 off sale because I just couldn't commit to a card design.  Maybe I should just send three different Christmas cards this year.
  • I'm obsessed with the show Kingdom.  Not just for the eye candy either, hello Frank Grillo, it has a great story too.
  • I always have at least two flavors of coffee creamer at any given time, I like to have options.
  • I've already bought a dress to wear for our annual friends Christmas dinner which is over a month away.  
  • I look forward to going grocery shopping.  But only if it's kid-free because otherwise it's the most dreadful experience of my life {dramatic much?}.
  • I drive a big ole truck. Yep, sure do.  
  • I kind of miss Kendall's really long hair.  When I see pictures I'm like, "noooooo why did we cut it!?" but then I brush it every morning and I quickly am reminded.
  • I was more excited than the kids watching Inside Out. Best kid movie, EVER!
  • I love listening to Dr. Laura.  I think she's a bit much sometimes, like when she hangs up on people, but generally speaking I agree with what she has to say.
  • I'm starting to think about potty training James.  More to come...
What are you saying SO WHAT to this week?