It’s My Birthday !!

The month of May has always been my favorite. You embrace the warm sun because for most of us everything has been in hibernation and it’s not too hot yet. The flowers, trees, weeds and bugs begin their rebirth and the constant sneezing reminds you of the life that is growing. May is the signal for the beginning of summer and the end of a school year.

It’s my favorite month because it’s also my birthday month.

I am 26-years old today and six days ago I graduated from The University of North Texas with my Bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a focus in Public Relations. I’m the master at strategic communications. It was the perfect way to kick off the weekend before my birthday. I had too much fun if that’s even possible.

My mother flew out from Florida, whom I haven’t seen in over two years. I forgot how much I missed seeing her. We spent mornings sitting outside sipping coffee and talking about family, the future and everything else in between. I forgot how nice it was to have a face-to-face conversation, instead of only hearing a voice on the other end of the phone.

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My in-laws flew out from California as well to see me graduate. The two of them have treated me like a daughter of their own since the moment I met them years ago. I’m lucky. The weekend was already a hit and how could it get any better?

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If walking across the stage was my high for the night I would’ve been satisfied. It doesn’t get any better hearing your name called as a recipient of a degree. I didn’t trip as I walked across the stage to received my diploma, but with so many eyes watching I was bound to do something Shannon like. I lost my graduation cap midway across the stage after I tried to give a hug to a professor. Oops.

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When the ceremony ended and I found my family, my husband had a bigger surprise in store and everyone was in on it.

YES, WE WERE ALL GOING TO THE DAVE MATTHEW’S CONCERT IN DALLAS. No matter what state I’ve lived in Matt and I have always made it to the Dave concert every year. I hadn’t been to a concert with my mom for several years and it was the first Dave experience for in the in-laws. Family booze and good music, that’s all you need in life.

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I am 26-years-old today and six days ago I graduated from college. The first three years of my higher education journey began in Jacksonville, Florida. I was working full-time as a waitress paying my way through junior college, slowly. In those days I thought I would be a elementary school teacher. I wanted to me somebody’s Miss. Honey.

Yesterday I got the best present I could’ve ever received. I was offered a job doing media relations. The best part? I will be PAID to do it, the biggest fear every graduate has — will I ever be paid to do anything? Life for me and my little family has changed so much in the past five years. It’s insane to think about where I’ll be in another five.

The month of May has been a month of growth and learning. I grew a year older today but I’ve jumped mentally and emotionally in age as well. I kept my mantra “why not me” singing in the back of my head and its pushed me into being a better professional. A year ago I wouldn’t of wanted to do half of the social interactions, business meetings or networking opportunities the University presented. The attitude change and confidence boost I gave myself made a worlds difference.

I’m ready to dive into the deep end of adulthood and play with the big kids in careers. This next chapter in life may be the scariest one yet, but no matter how scared shitless I may or may not be I’m ready.

Hello world, I’m ready to kick some professional ass.

Coming Home

Vacation is officially over, I was back on the road again and how depressing it was. I didn’t want to leave, man oh man I didn’t want to leave, but as the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end, one way or another.

Hotel Livin'
Hotel Livin’
Hanging out in our big bed not wanting to leave
Hanging out in our big bed not wanting to leave
She's a person, I swear
She’s a person, I swear

So we packed up our belongings, sadly crammed them into the car, fed the puppies and let them wander around one last time in the patch of grass behind the hotel. We got our complementary breakfast one last time, omelets from the omelet man, and headed off to tackle the 11 hour drive we had ahead of us.

I took a few last gasps of Colorado mountain air and snapped a few desperate photos of the mountains, merely to symbolize our last morning with the mountains on our side.

A very sad morning indeed, not just because the trip was over, but because I would no longer be able to wake up next to my husband and share a cup coffee with breakfast including him. Since the day we met our schedules have been opposite, so the few times in our relationship where we can start and finish the day together are important.

I’m not sure why I thought this drive was only 9 hours, maybe because that’s how long it took to get to Florida from Virginia, but this trip was definitely almost 11 hours, my poor puppies and numb rump.

The first 5 hours of the trip were easy, we passed the time with two favorite car games, one being The Animal game – my personal favorite and the other, The Alphabet game – Matt’s personal favorite.

The Animal Game is easy, and can be played in line at theme parks or 11 hour car drives. You start with ‘A’ and name as many animals starting with the letter ‘A’ and you continue throughout the alphabet all the way to ‘Z.’ When somebody is out of animals (usually if only two people are playing) the other person has to name one more animal with that letter to win the letter, the loser has to start off the next letter. If you have more people in the group, the harder it is and instead of having to win the round the loser is out, until a winner is left.

The Alphabet Game is eerily best played with two people. One person starts at the beginning of the Alphabet and the other at the end. Using each letter to find a word, outside of the car beginning with their letter, whoever gets to the other end first wins, and as beginners luck has it, I won.

We finally hit Texas a bit after our games ended, and I was surprised to find myself excited to see this flat dry and dead hunk of lump state. A little more than 5 hours to go until home, hallelujah.

Hello, Texas ...
Hello, Texas …
They're so cute sometimes :] but obviously, over the trip
They’re so cute sometimes :] but obviously, over the trip

As we got closer, about 10 minutes from the house, we encountered the insufferable road blockage due to construction,. This lead us on a detour in the opposite direction we were trying to head towards and cut us through the little town of Krum, adding an extra 15 minutes to our arrival, woof.

Coming home is always a nice breathe of fresh air, especially when the house is already clean. Home safe and sound and already planning our next adventure. Until next time, stay weird Texas.