Hudson Eighteen Months

Hudson, this past month you have been talking and climbing and climbing and talking. You have done a million things, but these two activities are highest on your list. You have scaled just about every conceivable surface in our home, including the wall AC unit to get up to and stand on our window ledge. You have jumped off the kitchen table and not learned your lesson. You fall off the back of the couch regularly. You keep me constantly on guard and break all the rules.

You eat crayons.
You chew on your bed rail, still!
You refuse sleep, adamantly pointing out of the bedroom the second we walk anywhere near it.
You scream and persevere in the fight against sleep.
If you get the slightest impression I might be cooking, you dump your plate basket and grab one to furiously bang on the counter until I feed you.
When I turn my back, you start the dishwasher, turn off the AC unit, or stash the TV remote in a super secret hiding place.
This morning you sent your first email, fortunately just to dad.
If there are buttons, you will find them and push them.

You have also been talking quite a bit more, but not necessarily more words. You say: HOT, hhhhhhot (with a raspy/throaty emphasis on the H), Up, and Hi, hi, hi (that one rarely comes alone).

Thankfully you now sign "more" and "all done" when it is appropriate. For a few weeks, our communication was touch and go, but we have developed a nice rhythm with hopes of your vocabulary growing. Behr thinks you say even more words that your Dad and I simply don't hear or can't seem to translate into common english.

You have also resumed snuggling. When I pick you up, you either touch my face with your hands or rest your head on my shoulder. Thank you for reminded me that I am in fact your momma and you do still need me. Your independent streak often leaves me doubting.

Incase you or anyone else is wondering, Hudson, you are the primary reason for my blog being neglected. Reread this post if you have any outstanding questions.

October Goals with Grace

The irony of this goals link up is that it has taught me way more about goals I am not setting, extending grace to myself and those around me, and where my weaknesses lurk than it has about achieving big lofty goals. When Hayley called this Goals with Grace, she wasn't kidding.

September Goals:
  • Spend my time while Behr is at school at the house & pick my activities wisely -- I definitely worked better at this, but thanks to things popping up, September wasn't as productive as I had hoped. 
  • Continue my early morning routine -- this totally fell apart, but I hope October will be another fresh start.
  • Family reading or exercise time during the 3-5 o'clock hours -- this is a positive work in progress. Still open to tips if anyone has any. 
October Goals:

  • I've been working on a writing project, at Influence I sat down with a mentor and we set hard deadlines. I am excited about the accountability and know it is a key component in me being able to reach me goals.
  • Trim back the excess. We have excess in our lives that adds a component of anxiety to my day. Excess clutter, excess commitments, excess decisions. I am not entirely sure what this looks like, so it's a tricky goal to write. Most days I feel a few steps behind, I think because this excess is dragging my time. I have a tendency towards clutter, highly organized clutter, but I am slowly learning unnecessary clutter. October will be spend streamlining, cutting some of the negative excess from our lives.
  • Write every day. I decided not to do the 31 day writing challenge because I want to focus on my project from Spring. But that doesn't mean I can't still be encouraged. I want to write every day just for the sake of writing, honing the craft and improving my skill.
  • Start my mornings in worship. I fell out of rhythm with a crazy September. October is about resetting my mornings I include prayer, reading my bible, and some exercise.
  • Better breakfast. With a bit of planning, the boys and I are all happier about breakfast. Cold cereal and cinnamon toast have been our go to for a few weeks. I am ready to reincorporate baked oatmeal and other hearty breakfast options. What are your favorite healthy/winter breakfast meals?

I am linking up with The Tiny Twig
for Goals with Grace

2014 #InfluenceConf: Showing Up & Shedding Fear

Processing something like the amazing weekend that just happened is beyond me. I came home rejuvenated and emotionally exhausted in the best way.

While I am not sure I can do a recap justice, I can process what went on this weekend.

People Showed Up

Not just at registration (of course you showed up then) but before. People showed up with arms open to give hugs for the first time ever in person. People showed up to help. They stuffed swag bags, filled balloons, cut and tied tassels, potted succulents. Oh the succulents! A huge THANK YOU! to everyone who showed up to help, and stayed up late on Saturday helping even more.

People showed up ready to listen and they taught me how to listen better. One of my goals for this conference was meaningful conversations. I think it was my best year yet.

Jesus Showed Up

Speakers showed up and poured out their hearts. They pointed us to Jesus at every turn -- not to their own blogs or books or success, but how walking with Christ has radically changed them. Here are some of the words that are still bouncing around my head.

-- When you wake up in the morning you are already loved. -- Char, Mocha Club

-- Striving is crap. You are already accepted in Christ -- Hayley, The Tiny Twig

-- We need to preach the Gospel to ourselves often enough to remember it. -- Hayley, The Tiny Twig

-- Our God is a God of exchanges. -- Brooke Boon, Holy Yoga, reminded to me by Rach Kincaid

-- My identity does not hinge on anything I've done or haven't done." -- Jamie Ivey

-- Our idea of enough comes from looking around. The "enough" is a lie. These are fictitious voices. People are too into themselves to be judging you. Get over it. -- Jessica Honeggar, Noonday

-- God doesn't want a better life from you, he wants a better life FOR you. -- Jess Connolly

-- We fall into the lie, if we just get it right we will be free -- Ellen, Sweetwater

Fear was Shed

I overcame some serious fear. I dealt with issues that had been cropping up. Lara Casey, Jamie Ivie, Ellen Parker -- power house women got real, they got quiet, and they spoke truth. I cried a lot. I prayed more. And I overcame a few fears and insecurities in just a few short days. The chance to stand up to them rocked me in the best way. (emotionally exhausted)

Hugs were Shared

When emotions get raw, when fears are exposed, there are tears. At least for me. I cried so much I could no longer wear my contacts. The crying was cathartic, but oh the hugs! I hugged every one you see above and so many more. I am so thankful for the hugs. And this is coming from a serious non-hugger. But it was good.

I am over calling this a blogger conference.

You do not need to blog to come to the Influence Conference. It is about loving women, encouraging women, and helping them share the Gospel through their every day influence. Read the recaps by other conference attendees below.

A New Bio

Every year our family photos are taken at the beach by the incredibly talented Pam & Jensen Bell.

It seems our bios change as life evolves. One would think it would be the same, but then we move, have more kids, start drinking coffee, quit drinking coffee, consider starting on coffee again (its been that sort of year...). As relationships ripen, knowledge grows, and interests change, so naturally do our biographies. But what about those autobiographies we read? What would their lives look like at snapshot intervals? Mild mannered, extremely spirited, a quiet listener, can over the course of a lifetime someone hold all of these traits, given different stages and circumstances?

This is the thought process over the summer as I have slowly worked on a new bio. I am not sure I can ever call it finished, but for now lets just say published, it seems both permanent while being not yet final, there are always revised editions, no?

My imperfect bio:

I'm Shannon, married to best friend Mark. Together we are navigating the crazy world of parenting two boys. We call ourselves accidental urbanites, never having imagined we would be raising our family in the heart of a city. Our sons, Behr and Hudson love to be loud and on the go, just like most of Washington, DC. They fit right in. 

I have a list of ever evolving passions, most recently creating a healthier home, eating local, reducing the use of chemicals, and fostering positive conversations. I aim to wake up first, do some yoga and read my bible. This is a goal, not yet a committed practice. This past year I quit coffee, started and ebook (coming soon!), learned to bake and began painting again. I never quite know how to foster my creative outlets, but I love to help others foster theirs.

This little blog began after a big move away from friends and family.  It started as a place to journal, keep up to date with friends afar, and store my inspirations (before pinterest!).  Today, this blog is all that and more, becoming an incredible community of friends across the world. I blog about the bits of life that inspire me and I hope inspire you as well.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you'll say hello and stay a while!

Also, I really hope to get a chance to chat with those of you who are going to The Influence Conference. I am very excited to hear Ellen speak and wouldn't ever consider leaving the house without multiple pens in various colors. I process by writing things down. At the moment, these are my favorite.

If you are going to Influence this year, will you link up with us?

Disclaimer: compensated affiliate links may be used in this post.


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