Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Weather and My Relationship with My Closet

Yesterday it was 62 degrees, beautiful and sunny! Perfect for walking around downtown or around the lake. But here is the thing about South Carolina, you never know what the next day will hold for you as far as the weather is concerned! Here is our lovely weekend forecast:
Apparently on Saturday we are going to get some freaky icy trees?!

I love the surprise warm spring days in January, but you see this creates a few problems you may not be aware of:
a) It is quite difficult to get dressed in the mornings. I can leave my apartment in full coat, scarf, gloves and uggs but by the end of the day I will be stripped down to just a long sleeve shirt and reduced to stuffing my purse with said scarf and gloves, carrying my coat over my arm and sweating into my Uggs.

P.S. Is anyone else's closet the coldest place in your house? I have to keep my closet door closed at all times (see point (b) to understand why) so no heat gets in there and I am shivering while getting dressed and I ultimately dress warmer than necessary.

b) My closet is slowly becoming a disaster. When you are dealing with just one season of clothes it's easy to stay organized (and I love walking into my lovely-folded-everything hanging up nicely-closet). But when you have to break into the spring clothes bin a little early.... where do you put them? Do you keep them in the bin? On the floor? The answer is both in case you were wondering and here's why:

I am short/vertically challenged, so getting my clothes bin down from the top shelf of my closet is quite the ordeal. Because it would make too much sense for me to get a kitchen chair to stand on, I instead use my ballet "skills" to balance on my tippy-toes and slowly ease the bin off the shelf. It will inevitably fall (most likely on my head or my toes) and spill its contents about. It will then stay on the floor because getting it back onto the shelf is a whole 'nother issue.

My mom is reading this and probably rolling her eyes-but have no fear mom because it is officially reached the point of driving me crazy so I will be tackling the closet/jungle/war zone this weekend (if I can find time in between my pre-Lost finale-premiere-marathon recap!)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Plans

Aren't these cute? My boyfriend got them for me! It was pouring down rain, literally monsooning, the other day and it would have been awesome to have these. They are totally waterproof, warm and such pretty colors!

It's been a pretty stressful week already and it's only Tuesday- not a good sign! So getting this package in the mail cheered me up- it's the little things right? I mean who doesn't like new shoes?
So this week I am going to focus on just breathing, trusting. Trust that things are going to work out the way they are suppose to, the way God intended them to. I know that I have no reason to be worried about the future, or even tomorrow. And as long as I can remember that I am at peace.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart." Jeremiah 29:11-13.

This is one of my favorite verses and it's something good to remember whenever I worry about classes or graduating in 102 days, or whatever is going to happen the day after that.

To all the seniors and whoever else is worried or anxious about the future I hope this verse helps you too!

Peace,
Shannon

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How The Bachelor Relates to Real Life


So I wrote a previous post about the Bachelor after the first episode and picked out a few girls who I liked. Silly silly me, I should have known to wait to pick my favorites until I'd gotten to see their true (crazy) colors.

Probably the thing I like least about the Bachelor is the drama between the girls. But I have been able to draw some serious parallels between this show and some things I've noticed in my own life recently. So here is what happened last night: There is a particular girl in the house that no one seems to like. Apparently she is really mean- but all I saw was every other girl in the house talk about her behind her back, make jokes at her expense, and talk about her badly to Jake. This seems caddy and basically just really mean- plus why would you want your time with Jake to spent talking negatively about other girls? Is that the side of yourself that you would want him to see? So the "girl everyone hates" got a one-on-one date and she got the rose at the end of it. She came back to the house (much to everyone's displeasure) and told the girls all about her adventure date with Jake. All the girls rolled their eyes and basically didn't get why she thought they'd want to hear about her date. Excuse me?! hmm... really? This strikes me as a little hypocritical. I'm pretty sure most every girl who has had single dates or even just special one on one time with jake has wanted to share (brag about) it as well. Some of the girls confronted her to explain nicely to her that everyone hates her. AND to top it off she tried to apologize to the girls for not always being respectful and most of them didn't even acknowledge it let alone forgive her. NOT NICE!

As I said in my previous post, I have spent the past term preparing with my sorority sisters for recruitment, which began this weekend. We ROCK at formal recruitment because of how much time we all commit to it during the fall. Now for some reason the other sororities have decided to gang up on us a little. I am so proud of my sorority because we take the criticism and ignore the lies and continue to have amazing rounds and get amazing new sisters. We try focus on the positive aspects of our sorority and not on the negative aspects of other sororities. I see all this attention from the other sororities and panhellenic as a compliment. It tells me that we are doing something that they are not- we stand out and freshmen girls see that. My advice is: other sororities should try to find something to make them stand out too rather than trying to stop us from shining. (we have gotten only positive feedback from freshmen plus we are having a TON of fun and that is all that matters).

Back to the Bachelor. Even though I don't really see the mean, fake side that the rest of the girls see I do think she is a little young for Jake. And since some/all of my previous picks have either been voted off or have been so gossipy and rude this week, I am going to pick a new favorite! Tenley! I always liked her from the beginning but she was really sweet this week and she's had a rough time with love. Go Tenley! It pays to be nice!

"May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer.
-Psalm 19:14




Saturday, January 16, 2010

It's That Time of Year Again

You might be wondering: What time is that, Shannon? Why, it's sorority recruitment time of course! DUH!
Only sorority women can truly understand and appreciate how much time and energy and heart and effort goes into preparing for rush! Let me just tell you- it's A LOT! My university does delayed rush which means the freshmen have all fall term to get settled into the swing of college. This gives the freshmen and the sorority women time to get to know one another a little better. I love this system because there is less pressure to commit to something your very first week of college. You get to see what each sorority is about and make your own friends. It also means that your friends are not going to be limited to just your sorority sisters (although those women will definitely become your closest friends).

I rushed as a sophomore (note to all future freshmen who want to rush- grades grades grades!!!) but it could not have worked out better (I still got to live on the sorority hall even though I wasn't in the sorority and it was the most fun thing ever!). I love my sorority and my sisters! They are my closest friends. They will be my bridesmaids. They know me. They keep me accountable. They make me laugh. They are there when I cry.

It's pretty exciting/nerve-wracking/emotionally draining/exhausting being on "the other side." The side where I am working to get some sweet awesome new girls in my sorority. Pretty much all my brain space right now is focusing on rush songs and dances and big smiles and high energy. It's hard to think of anything else right now.

Today was the "first round." This is where all the freshmen who signed up to rush formally meet all the campus sororities. The day started at 8am and I can say that I was physically done (mentally I can't shut it down) with sorority stuff by around 7pm!!! Y'all, that is a LOOOONNNNNG day of talking, talking talking, talking!

So "second round" is tomorrow! I'm going to call it a night so I can recharge my batteries- tomorrow starts later in the day so I can sleep in, which is heavenly! I'll leave you with a picture of my "family" and I on my bid day 2 years ago- in case you were wondering I am the short one!

Monday, January 11, 2010

118

118. That is how many days I have until graduation! Today was my last first day of class. Since I have no plans to go to graduate school, this is it. This is the beginning of the end of college. I cannot believe how fast it has gone by. I know everyone says that... but seriously!? How is it possible that I am a last semester senior? How is it possible that I am about to graduate and join the "real world?" I can't believe how much has changed since freshmen year. Just 3 and half short years ago.
This is me on the day I moved in to my dorm.
(You can't tell but I was soooo nervous!)
This is my mom and I on that day standing in the rose garden on campus.


This is my roommate and I during Orientation Week.
She is still one of my best friends.
I have had some amazing memories at college but I know the good times wont end when I graduate!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Twenty-Ten

I am participating in the Show Us How You Live series over at Kelly's Korner. This week we are sharing our goals for the new year. Now let me tell you, 2010 is going to be a BIG year for me so here are a few of the ways I plan on making it better!

I want to cook more. I love to cook, especially for other people! However, it is so much easier to, you know, not. I spend so much money on take out and eating out. What I want to do is plan out meals in advance and buy necessary and "flexible groceries." Groceries that can be more than one meal so that I don't end up buying olive oil every time I go to the store. If anybody has tips on responsible grocery shopping or great meals whose ingredients overlap let me know! (By the way I got the Pioneer Woman's cookbook and a new adorable apron from Anthropologie-my boyfriend's not going to know what hit him).

I want to go to church regularly. And I want my boyfriend to come with me. This past term I had a pretty good job with one pretty big downside- I worked evenings and every Sunday morning. ugh. I recently quit that job because this term I have an internship with a and I'm overloading so I will have no time to work a second job. While I'll miss the paycheck I am so excited that my Sunday's will be free!

Along those lines I want to be proactive with my course work. This means not leaving everything for the evenings especially Sunday evenings. It would be so nice to actually have a day of rest. After a long morning of classes I never feel like jumping into my homework. I usually watch tv, take a nap, snack. This inevitably leads to late late nights in the Art building finishing projects that I've had all week to do.

As I said in my previous post I want to take ballet classes. I think two classes a week would really help me feel less like a vegetable.

I want to be a better friend. It's really easy for me to spend all my time with the bf and neglect the girls but since I am graduating it is extra important for me to cherish the time I have with them. Plus I love girls nights.

I want to be more spontaneous. It's senior year, spring term! Enough said.

Now in general I think my biggest goal for this new year is to land a job! Preferably one that I enjoy but I'm not going to be picky.

So there you go!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I Don't Run

I am still on winter break for the rest of the week which means I have nothing to do. This doesn't really inspire interesting blog posts so we'll see how this one goes. Pardon the randomness. Today I woke up at a decent hour, 10:30. This is still considered early by college student standards- my mom would definitely disagree. Anyways my mom and my sister did this work out video together... and I sat on the couch and watched...
Yep, I'm waiting until I get back to school to start being healthy- no exercise for me while I'm on vacation. That would be crazy!

I don't really like the gym. And I don't run.* Nope. Not for me. My school has a really nice PAC (physical activity center). It's newly renovated and has a lot of nice equipment and I have been there a grand total of 5 times in my almost 4 years at college! (and I may or may not be exaggerating)

*For some reason my boyfriend thinks that statement makes me sound a little nutty. "What do you mean you don't run?" My response: "What's the hurry?" My new blog friend Christine (big fan of running) probably agrees with my boyfriend. But let me tell you, I look more than a little nutty when I run. Think Phoebe from Friends.

Now I don't want you think that I just sit around and do nothing. My school has a lake and really great walking paths and I love taking long walks with my friends and my boyfriend. Here are the benefits of exercise outside of the gym: better conditions for chatting, you get to be outside, and I guess it still gets my heart rate up (there are hills, I walk fast).

I definitely could be more active though, and here's why:
"Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don't kill their husbands,they just don't."
Y'all know who said this right? Folks that logic is solid!

My plan is to start dancing again. I use to do ballet pretty seriously and I stopped when I went off to college but I miss it a lot! So, I think one of my sorority sisters and I are going to start taking a class together. Hopefully my body hasn't totally forgotten everything.

Until then I am quite content to sleep until noon, eat left over Christmas cookies, and watch lots of tv. Currently I am watching Say Yes to The Dress! Love it, love it, love it.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Quality Entertainment?

Last night. Two hour series premiere. The Bachelor! Who watched it?
This is Jake. He's a pilot, he wears sexy aviators, he has his own lovely house, blond hair and blue eyes. Can someone please tell me why this obvious catch needs a semi scripted, semi trashy but completely and totally addicting tv show to find a wife? He competed for Jillian's heart on the previous season of the Bachelorette which clearly didn't work out for him but he still has faith in the process. And why shouldn't he? It has such a great track record....

Jake is 31, most of these girls are 25, there is even someone on there who is 23 which is basically like my age and that weirds me out. All I can think about when I watch this show is what my parents would think if they saw me on here!!
(My dad by the way thinks this show represents the downfall of our society, this and Real Housewives of Orange County.)

Ok now, all jokes, sarcasm and criticism aside. I LOVE this show. Really! I don't really watch reality tv (or at least I try to be above it) but there is something about The Bachelor that brings me back season after season.

During the last Bachelorette my roommates, friends and I all gathered in one of the classrooms on campus with a big projector so we could watch the finale-they way it should be watched. I think that's what I like best about this show: it is so much fun to watch with your all your best girlfriends. (To enhance the viewing experience I suggest bringing lots of blankets and pillows, wearing really comfy pjs, and making sure you have plenty of candy and diet coke.)

So like The Sweet Sea I'm going to share my favorites for this season. I have two Ashley and Elizabeth but I'm sure things will change as the show goes on. Who do yall like?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Brighter Day

My mom-the number one fan of my new blog baby gave me a blog award! She evidently has alot of faith in me and my blogging potential. The award is the Happy 101 Blog and it's given to people whose blogs brighten your day!

Here are the unofficial rules of this award:
1) List 10 things that make you happy.
2) Tag 10 bloggers that brighten your day
3) If you are one of the 10 bloggers awarded, link back to my blog and continue brightening people's days!
Two pretty long posts in one day, I guess it's because I am feeling so encouraged- hope no one minds, they both have lists of ten too..

Ten things that make me happy!
1. My parents- I am so blessed to have such loving, supportive parents and I am so thankful that I was able to have a long winter break at home with them!

2. My sister-my best friend! She is at the same university as me and she is in the same sorority as me too! I love having her so close by. (I am on the left- yes my little sister is taller than me...)
3. My boyfriend. We've been together for over a year and he always brightens my day.
4. Rainy days when I can stay in my pajamas, watch movies, drink hot tea and snuggle all day. Is there anything better? Today happens to be one of those days but it's snowing instead of raining which works for me too!

5. Girls night! I love a good night out (or in) with my best friends!
6. Charleston. It is my favorite city in South Carolina, maybe even in the US. I love the old historic buildings, the AMAZING food, sitting on the swings on the piers, great shopping and walking, beautiful low country! My boyfriend and I spent Valentines day weekend there last year. He has a rugby game there this year and I can't wait to go!

7. The beach! Laying out, skim boarding, jumping waves, sunrises, sunsets, reading on the beach, shell seeking, pina coladas, I like the smell of sunscreen, it brings back memories of vacations and summers past.

8. Road trips with friends! I'm happy as a clam sitting in the middle seat in the back laughing with friends, listening to good music. Bonus points if the sun roof or windows are open. It doesn't really matter where you go, although a road trip to the beach or Charleston happens to be my favorite kind. Just don't let me drive.

9. Reading a really good book. The kind of book that you never want to finish because it's so good that you want it to go on and on.

10. Young Life! The best ministry ever! Non profit, non denominational Christian ministry for high schoolers. When I was in high school YL brought me closer to Christ and now I am a leader tying to share my faith with some amazing young people in SC. My YL team is also like my family. YL brings me so much joy and keeps me accountable.
Let me know if any of y'all find happiness in these things too! Since I am a new blogger I don't have ten blog friends yet but I wanted to say thank you to the seven following bloggers-you brighten my day, even if you don't know it! I know some of these bloggers are much to busy and important to do this but I wanted to show some love to the blogs that I have been reading and some of the very nice people who have shown me love on my first few days as a new blogger.

Recap

Since I wrote my first blog post January first, after the holidays were all over, I want to give a recap of what my wonderful break was like. This was my first Christmas at my house in New Jersey since my parents just moved there and it was only my third Christmas ever at my own home- we are usually the ones travelling to see all the relatives.

Here are the top ten highlights

1. Boyfriend and I drove from South Carolina to his dad’s house near Washington, DC. It’s about an eight-hour drive but it goes by pretty fast when you have good company and a good mix cd.

2. Spent two nights in DC and woke up to almost 2 feet of beautiful white snow!! (Seeing our capital covered in all that untouched snow was really something.

3. Managed to not be too delayed by the weather and took the train home to NJ.

4. Went to NYC! Saw all the really great decorations and window displays and the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular!


5. All the relatives from my mom’s side arrived at our house to celebrate the birth of Jesus! Wrapped gifts, exchanged gifts, opened gifts, enjoyed gifts. Enjoyed being with parents and sisters and aunts and uncles and memas and cousins. ATE WAY TOO MUCH! Washed and dried a lot of dishes. Ate some more, and then ate some cookies.

6. Got the Adobe Creative Suite4 Design Premium! My love affair with Photoshop grows everyday and now that it is on my own laptop I can do all kinds of fun things like make my own blog background-stay tuned.

7. Went to NYC again and met up with a few million of our closest friends for the New Years hullabaloo. (Visit my mom’s blog to read all about that crazy experience)

8. Went skiing with my dad.

9. Did not worry, stress, or really even think about school. RELAXED- caught up on some much needed sleep and watched a lot of tv.

10. Started a blog!

Sincerely, Shannon

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year, Happy New Blog!

Hello blog world, (really just hello Mom and Dad and Sister since you are the only ones who knows this blog even exists)! My name is Shannon and this is the first post of this new blog on the first day of this new-year.

I am so excited to start Sincerely Shannon! I have wanted to start a blog for quite some time, however it took me forever to come up with an original name that I actually liked- I almost didn't get this post up today because I was still being indecisive about my name.

I am not entirely new to the blog world- I have been one of those faceless, blog-less followers ever since my mom started her blog, From This Side of The Pond, way back in 2009. I have been entertained and inspired by many bloggers and hope to contribute in an equally positive way.

I am going to use this first blog post to introduce myself and share the intention of my blog: I am a senior in college in the beautiful state of South Carolina. I have one sister* who is my best friend and a sophomore at the same university as me-I love having her so close! My parents live in New Jersey however I wouldn’t really say I’m “from” NJ or SC. Answering the question “where are you from?” is very complicated and will need an entire post dedicated to it in the future. I am double major in Art and Communications and I am working at graduating and becoming a graphic designer.

For a little bit more of an intro, this is what my “about me” says:
“I am a…family and boyfriend loving, travelling, Young Life leading, guitar playing, journaling, overseas living, hippie dancing, graphic designing, photograph taking and tweaking, cooking, list making, deep thinking, Son seeking college senior at school in the south. I am getting ready to graduate and am excited for whatever happens next!!”

Since this is my last year of formal education (insert huge sigh of relief), a TON of new things are coming my way: graduation, job (we hope), apartment, responsibilities, and the great unknown! I don’t want to forget a minute of this exciting time so I’m going to record and share and use this blog to keep family, friends and future followers (again, I’m being hopeful) in the loop. Join me in the ups and downs that come with leaving the college bubble!