Friday, June 29, 2012

Challenge Days 4 and 5

Today is Day 5 of Jenna's Commenting Challenge, but I had no time to get on here yesterday, so I'll combine with Day 4 as well. =) It's the last day of the challenge but so glad I did it! I found some really good blogs to follow!

Yesterday was a pretty crazy day. Actually Wednesday night onward has been pretty crazy. Josh's grandma was planning on coming up to stay with us for the weekend Thursday night. (His grandma lives in the city about 45 minutes away from our teeny tiny town so she doesn't make it up often. We just lost Joshs' grandpa in March, her husband, and she's still been adjusting to life without him, as we all have.) So we were already planning to ask to get Brayden Thursday night instead of Friday like we usually do so they could spend the day together on Friday. I got home Wednesday (house is a mess because I've been boycotting cleaning since Josh doesn't seem to understand the concept and that I constantly pick up after him) and he gets home about 6 and tells me his grandma called him an hour ago and she's on her way up. So of course, now I have to go into crazy cleaning mode. (Interesting how we have these portable things called cell phones that he could have instantly called me after speaking with his grandma to give me a little heads up, but like I mentioned with the cleaning boycott, he is somehow blind to the filth.)

5 minutes later she pulls into my driveway and all efforts have failed. Also, because we didn't know she was coming, we didn't ask to get Brayden. So she called and asked and they said ok and then it was back in the car for the 30 minute drive to pick him up. Then a quick stop at the grocery store so they would have something to eat the next two days while Josh and I are at work. (I try to plan out our meals and typically only have enough for dinner for the week and grocery shop on the weekend so our cupboards were getting bare.) Josh's nephew (3) was so excited to see Brayden and his great grandma he wanted to spend the night, which was fine. So I now had 3 extra people that up until just a few hours prior, I wasn't expecting. But family is always welcome and I was happy we could all be together, just a little unplanned!

So we finally get to bed Wednesday night and I have to get up on Thursday and go to work for 8 hours and then go to an evening meeting because one of the hospital systems here just bought our University hospital where I work. (I work at the University, not the hospital, but in the School of Nursing so the hospital is an important part of our department.) The meeting was supposed to get done at 7:30 and of course didn't until 8:00 and then I had about an hour drive home. Get home and Brayden was at Josh's mom's house (less than a mile down the road) but of course no one remembered to give him his medicine. (He had strep so he's on antibiotics for 10 days) So I had to run the medicine down only to realize at 9:30 that we wouldn't have enough out of this bottle for the morning dose. So then I had to get in touch with his other grandma who had the other half of the medicine to get her to drop that off so he had it in the morning. It was a non stop day! Moral of the story...I work better being able to PLAN for things!

To address the challenge questions though! Day 4: Hobbies! I feel like I used to have way more of these than I do now. I love to dance and in college we went out dancing all the time, but now, not so much. I also love to crochet. My grandma taught me when I was young so it's something I always do to keep her close to me. I do not care for cooking or baking, but want to learn to like it, if that's possible. I like crafting as well!

Day 5: Vacation! I love the ocean and beaches so pretty much anywhere that includes that! I really would love to go somewhere tropical. We went on a big trip to Florida with Josh's entire family (aunts, uncles, and cousins) and it was so much fun. I would go back. Here is a picture of the whole gang at the beach! We also went to Disney as well. We had a 5 car convoy to get us all down there. (We live in Nebraksa to give you an idea of how that went! I did do a blog about it though so you can read more about the trip here!)

Since I worked a 12 hour day yesterday, I'm hoping to sneak out of work a little early today and get an early start to the weekend. I hope you all have a great weekend as well and stay cool! We have crazy hot temps here right now!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Challenge Day 3

Still on track with the Jenna's commenting challenge! Today is about social media so it might be a short post. =)

The social media I use the most is Facebook. Like I mentioned before, all of my family (and friends) lives at least 3 and a half hours away so I pretty much post my life there to keep them updated and am constantly on it to keep updated with their lives as well. Josh tells me I'm obssessed with it, but we live a mile away from his parents and all his family lives in the same town, so I don't think he understands  know he doesn't understand what it's like to only see them a few times a year. I also am in charge of my work's facebook as well, so I'm on it almost every day all day.

Facebook came out when I was in college (back when it was meant for college students) but I was on Myspace and liked that a lot better at the time. What I really liked about it was the ability to decorate and make my page my own. I used to have software where I made my own pictures and icons and electronic scrapbook pages. I LOVED doing that stuff! My computer crashed with the software and I never got it again. I need to start that back up again. I also need to learn how to do that stuff on here! Now, I never use Myspace. (Side note: I do love making my own invitations and flyers and things. At work everyone asks me to make bridal or baby shower invitations or flyers for classes and things. I like to be creative and am always happy to do it!) With that being said, a site I visit a lot is I have an album there to edit photos and such and view other images people post.

LOVE pinterest! You can find me here or the tab at the top of the page. Like I said, we just bought a new house that we completely redid so I have been going crazy with home decor ideas as well as things to do with Brayden and other "products I love". Such an awesome site!

I tried twitter once, but never really could figure that site out, so while I have an account, I never use it. Sites I do visit often would be This is a really neat type of social networking site for knitters and crocheters, if that may be you! It is a place where you can link to patterns and then people can link their finished projects to those patterns. So if I found a pattern for a scarf that I like, I can see what other people's scarves looked like that they made with the same pattern. Also, they can post advice or problems they came across while working on it. Very helpful.

I basically wake up in the morning with JUST enough time to get ready so sitting down to watch the news never happens, but I love watching it. So I typically visit my local news station as well as the Today Show. LOVE the Today Show. I love the crazy stories that you never imagine you will read about. There are a lot of crazy people in this world! On the other hand, I hate politics, so the news gets annoying during this time of year. I know, bad American. But until we get down to the actual election, I hate hearing all the bashing and trash talk of the candidates and what lies they tell and secret lives they live. So I pick and choose my news I guess.

I feel like I spend SO much more time on the internet than this! I guess these are my main sites though. From there the internet takes me anywhere. I am excited because now I have a lot more blogs to read!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Blogging challenged

Since I have been a little blogging challenged for the first year of my blog, when I saw my friend Jenna was doing a blogging challenge, I decided this may be just what I need! She linked with another Jenna for the challenge so I have decided to do the same! I am a day behind so I am going to combine days one and two here!

Day 1: Tell us about you!

My name is Shannon. I am 26 years old and live in a very small town of 200 people in northwest Iowa about 45 minutes from Omaha, Nebraska. I currently work in Omaha, so I am not completely sheltered from the world in my little town. I was born and raised in a small Iowa town as well, and it is a lifestyle I have come to appreciate after living in Omaha for 7 years. I met my boyfriend of 3 years in Omaha, and we decided to move to his home town, where we just bought our house, to get out of the city and closer to his family, since mine lives 3 hours away. He has a little boy named Brayden who we get the pleasure of staying with us every weekend. He is 6 years old and so incredibly smart and grown up! Being a "step-mom" may be one of the hardest things I've ever done, but he makes it so worth it. I love him with all my heart. Here is our little family!

I also can't forget Carleigh! She is our 3 year old cat. She can be a little stinker sometimes, but she can also be the source of a lot of entertainment.

Day 1: Tell us about your blog!

I started this blog when I was just turning 25. For some reason, 25 was really hard for me. I call it my pre-life crisis. I thought that blogging would be a good way for me to document the things happening in my life and a good reflection back on what I have accomplished. I pretty much failed at blogging for the first year as I just turned 26. However, I really want to get back into it and have just started up again. That is one of the reasons I chose to do this challenge because I hope that it will get me interested and involved again. This blog is primarily about my life, random thoughts I have, and I hope it will be a place where I can share the crafts and crocheting projects I do. I love pinterest and have been trying a lot of things on there and would love to share them here as well. We also just bought a new house which we completely gutted and re-did. It is still a work in progress, but I am going to show our progress as well. I guess I am a DIY kind of gal. Thanks for stopping by! I hope to get to know lots of people through here!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Fitting in getting fit

Obviously this is what every person in the world struggles with: weight and working out. It's so hard!

  • Wake up in the morning already way too early
  • Get ready for work
  • Go to work
  • Sit on your butt in a chair in front of a computer for 8 hours, (which is really 9 hours because you sit while you stuff your face with food over lunch too)
  • Come home and cook, eat some more, clean up, and then it's time for bed already (or maybe catching up on the DVR).
Basically, getting up before work is NOT an option and by the time I'm off work, all I want to do is go to bed. So the girls at work and I decided to start walking over our lunch break, which has been great! Not a ton of exercise, but it's better than nothing.

I have been doing really good at maintaining my weight ever since I got pretty sick about 3 years ago and lost a ton of weight due to not being able to keep any food in my stomach. (I know they say that's not healthy to do, and it's obviously not, but it sure worked for weight loss!) I was worried after I got my gallbladder out that since I was finally healthy for what felt like the first time in a very long time, that would all change, but have been proud of what I have been able to maintain. Now maintaining isn't good me.

So we discovered that the gym at work offers group fitness classes and some of them are over the lunch hour! We have determined this is the ONLY way we are going to get workouts in due to the above mentioned reasons (which may not be very good reasons, but they are our reasons nonetheless). So we eat lunch at our desks and then walk over to the gym for the 50 minute sessions of pilates or yoga. I have done pilates before but this was the first time for yoga. I must say, I really like it! They are pretty similar, but pilates has more movements with it's poses and yoga seems to be more about stretching and they are both about core building, which I need!

Next month we are going to add in more cardio days to get a good variety in our workouts but I'm actually starting to get excited about it, which isn't something I've been used to since high school probably. Here is what I found helps:

1. Buddy system! There is no way I would continue to keep this up if I didn't have people here to work out with that hold me accountable.
2. Time of day. I'm not a morning person and my evenings are too precious to me after working all day. I am lucky to get an hour for lunch which leaves enough time for a decent 50 minute workout. Granted, I may have to go through the afternoon sweaty, but I always bring things to fix my hair and make up and I know I can't smell THAT bad! :-)
3. Self esteem. Getting started kind of stinks, (and sometimes even day-to-day, my motivation is lacking) but once you get that feeling of accomplishment after your workout, it definitely makes me feel better about myself and wanting to keep going.
4. Afternoon snack. I usually try really hard to not snack in the afternoon. I eat a 110 calorie bagel with peanut butter when I get here and then my lunch. The thing about working out over lunch is I eat lunch before I go and by the time we're done, I'm starving again! Why this is a good thing is that I always WANT to snack in the afternoon, but now I'm actually hungry because I burned calories! So I have been bringing fruit and healthy snacks and feel better about snacking now that my body is actually asking for food and it's not me just wanting to put food in my mouth.

I don't know if I've actually lost weight. I stopped stepping on the scale a while ago. I should probably start again. But I do feel better about myself. My other motivation, other than the obvious, is the fact that someday soon there will be a wedding and I don't want to have to worry about it then. The other motivation is that our first yoga instructor was pregnant and she was one of those pregnant people that was nothing but belly. I want to be HER when I'm pregnant! :-) So I want to maintain it this time for real and I finally reached a point where I think I'll be able too. We have a good system that is working for us now and I'm super excited.

I will try to keep my progress updated here as well and maybe put up some of my favorite poses and stretches. That is one thing about yoga, I am constantly stretching which feels so good and I think releases a lot of built up tension which is probably why I feel so good afterward. I know there is a science behind it all, but this is the science of Shannon! :-)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Unruly Crafters

My grandma Manfull taught me to crochet when I was somewhere around 4th or 5th grade. She was always crocheting or knitting something growing up and I have a lot of things from her that she made. After she passed away, that was a skill I never wanted to forget because that is one of the things I can say I learned from her. So I have been trying to make random things just to keep up with the skill. Here are a few things I have made and have pictures of.

A rug for the living room

A winter hat

A tree skirt for mom

Recently a friend passed this along to me about a great cause called CLICK for Babies. They are collecting crocheted or knitted baby hats made with purple yarn to raise awareness to prevent infant abuse. The baby hats will be distributed in hospitals to new born babies as an initiative to help educate caregivers about normal infant crying, how to cope with crying and the dangers of reacting to crying in frustration by shaking or harming an infant. I will have to post pictures of the finished hats when I get them done!

By now you are probably wondering how "Unruly Crafters" relates to any of this. I'm getting there! There is this awesome site called which is a place for people to post patterns and finished projects of things they've knitted and crocheted. So if you are looking for a pattern, you can view pictures of what other people made with that same pattern and advice they have about completing the project. It really is a handy site! And where I plan on going to find patterns to make the above mentioned baby hats!

Every Olympic year they have an event called the Ravelympics. I've never participated, but my friend is this year. Basically it's a little "contest" where people see how many things they can knit or crochet while they are watching the olympics. No money is exchanged or formal awards given, other than people are named winners. The owner of the site received a letter from the General Counsel of the US Olympic Commitee asking them to change the name of their event because it was derived from the word "Olympics" and they aren't an official sponsor and not allowed to use that word. Ok....I see where they are coming from.

By the way, view the letter HERE. You have to see it.

So did you notice the part that caused the outrage? Asking to change the name of the event isn't a big deal in itself, but they went on to completely bash crocheters and knitters and it has caused quite the outrage. Here is the excerpt:

The athletes of Team USA have usually spent the better part of their entire lives training for the opportunity to compete at the Olympic Games and represent their country in a sport that means everything to them.  For many, the Olympics represent the pinnacle of their sporting career.  Over more than a century, the Olympic Games have brought athletes around the world together to compete at the Olympic Games and represent their country in a sport that means everything to them.
We believe using the name "Ravelympics" for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games.  In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country's finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work.
I think they went a little too far. Personally, not to stereotype, when I think of people who knit and crochet, I think of my grandma! Little old ladies sitting at home with the TV on, watching the Olympics and knitting a sweater. I realize there are plenty of not old ladies who do as well, but that was the point of this event: to support the Olympics and have a fun friendly NON-PROFIT competition for those who wanted too on a free membership site. They are trying to portray people who sit at home and crochet/knit little baby hats to bring awareness to infant abuse as forming this huge event to disrepect Olympic athletes. I think it's all a little far fetched. All they had to do was ask them to change the name, which I can understand, but I also don't find to be a big deal either. Just my opinion though! I found it to be sad since there is so much excitement when it comes to the Olympic games and athletes.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chapter 26

So I started this blog almost exactly a year ago when I was turning 25 and having a minor pre-life crisis as I like to call it. =) Now, I just turned 26 last week and I am happy to report it went MUCH better than 25. I was dreading it, but once it got here, not a big deal at all. 25 was a decent year. It had it's ups and downs which is to be expected. We took a great vacation to Florida, Josh and I both got a new jobs, Brayden finished kindergarden, and we bought a house! Unfortunately Josh's grandpa was diagnosed with cancer and lost his battle all this year, which was incredibly hard on the entire family.

I know "Chapter 25" wasn't all that exciting here with my entire 9 posts, but I'm going to try to get better. I'm pretty sure I said that last post too. I have been revisiting my interest of pinterest (haha! I just reread that and didn't even notice how clever I am!) and have got a lot of cute ideas from there I think I could post about. I recently just did this to my bathroom. I didn't think of taking progressive pics for here at the time, but my cat keeps trying to lay in the baskets and making the towel bars fall off the wall, so I may get another opportunity to put them back up yet again!

I also found some cute things for the 4th of July that I'd like to try, but it is really unfortunate the holiday is on Wednesday because that means I would have to come home Tuesday night from work and cook, which I don't forsee happening. But who knows. I might give it a try! There are some cake balls (which I've never made before) and wouldn't mind attempting.

Cake truffles

So my goal for "Chapter 26" is to keep up-to-date on here (so Jenna doesn't yell at me). I really do enjoy blogging, but with all that ended up happening this year, things got crazy! I had a new job, Christmas, and bought a new house all within a month. I'm looking forward to another great year ahead that I can capture here and share with you all! =)