Monday, April 30, 2012

Mindful Monday: Keep Me In Your Heart

Tonight is my last Chi Omega chapter. It's weird to think that [almost] every monday for the past four years I've put on business casual, my pin and attended chapter dinner and meetings. Tonight my senior letter from my parents will be read, along with a slideshow and I'll have to stand up to say my final words to my 250 sisters. Although I spent half of the date dash on Friday crying over the fact that it was one of the last time we'd all be together, dancing to our chapter's song, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," I truly want to convey more than tears.

College is when you find out who you are. You leave the bubble of "home" and are given new freedoms.

I took chances, made choices and most of all, learned that when people love you for you, that is what's most important.

My Chi Omega sisters are a true testament to this. They embrace my music obsessions, crazy dance moves and desire to always want to do what's right [even if it's the smallest thing]. Each day, they inspire me with their volunteer work, activism and innovation. If I've learned one thing in my four years it's that surrounding yourselves by those who love, support and inspire you, is imperative. For when they do those things, they will also challenge you to be a better YOU.

So as I struggle to write my senior goodbye, I will focus on two of my favorite things...

So this Monday- and hopefully forevermore, I will remember that even though goodbyes are difficult, it just takes finding a special place in your heart for someone to keep the love and memories alive.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

His Grace Is Good

This morning I wrote this on my wrist as a reminder of His grace. It may not be classy to write on yourself, but sometimes you're desperate for remembrance...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mindful Monday: Four Years of Blessings

People always told me that college would fly by, but it didn't really sink in, until now. Today is my last full week of my undergraduate education - where did the last four years go? Of course finishing college is bittersweet, but I'm truly going to try to celebrate the fun times and memories. 

Yesterday I had the opportunity to take senior photos from three of my sorority sisters. These women have helped me grow into my skin and become who I am. I wanted to share some of my favorite photos with you, and show you one that I took of my roommate a few weeks back! By the way, there were SO many fantastic images... I sort of had to choose these at random, from the 100 that I loved! 

Meet Eleanor- one of my best friends :)

Here's Kelly - Such a California beauty!

Last but not least - Chelsey! She's my "cousin" in Chi Omega!

And here's my lovely roommate, Karissa! I'm obsessed with the flowers in front of our sorority house!

Aren't these ladies beautiful? 

Who knows, maybe I'll start doing photography on the side?! I don't have fancy editing software, but I can make do with iPhoto for now! 

So what's mindful about this post? For the next 19 days - yes I have a countdown on my iPhone - I'm going to reflect and celebrate the beautiful blessings of my college career. Starting tonight, with all of my Chi Omega seniors. 


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Graduation Means...

Yesterday I had a realization. Graduation is less than a month away, which means a few things are about to change. I'm not just talking about the fact that I won't get see my friends all the time - I'll blog about that later - but also I won't be able to get away with a few of my favorite things...

For example, I probably shouldn't leave my house with my hair wet so it can air dry. For those of you who don't know, I hate blowdrying my hair. I feel like it's so much extra damage imposed upon my ends when they'd dry straight anyway.

By the way, I tried getting away with the wet-hari look yesterday at work and was completely embarrassed. Let's just say I'd forgotten we had a staff appreciation breakfast with the college deans and administrative professionals. This was my motivation for this post.

Secondly, I guess I won't be able to wear spandex on any given day. I LOVE spandex so much. I wear them to school, class, the gym...EVERYWHERE at least 3 times a week. Next year I'll be working Monday-Friday during the day, and going to grad classes in the evenings. Something tells me people won't appreciate my love for my favorite shorts as much as I do!

I'm sure there are many more of these things I won't be able to get away with, but these are the two that seem most upsetting, ha!:) I better get them out of my system before I'm faced with the real world in May!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Mindful Monday: Start Your Day

The weekend went by with the blink of an eye, they always seem to, especially when I have to drive back and forth from Tucson to Phoenix. But I really do love blogging on Mondays because it's this post that sets the tone for my week. So here goes nothing...

As I was getting ready this morning I realized something while listening to "Brighter than the Sun" by Colbie Caillat. As soon as I hear the first few beats, I am instantly filled with joy. I don't know if it's the song itself, or the reminder of a video made for the Fiesta Bowl coronation event, but regardless, it puts me in the BEST mood.

So what will I mindful of this week?!

I now understand that I have the potential to start my day in whatever manner I want to. Unless I am instantly woken up by something unfortunate, I can choose how my morning will begin from the second I open my eyes. For me, when my day starts off calm and collected, I am pretty likely to hold onto that feeling for some time during the day. SO WHY NOT START MY DAYS LIKE THIS EVERYDAY?!

I'm about to download "Brighter than the Sun" so I have the potential do so. I may as well financially support the artist who unknowingly causes me so much happiness, right? :)

What song makes you happy, no matter the circumstance? I'd love to add it to the "Joy" playlist that I'm about to create.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Fun Friday!

FRIDAY IS FINALLY HERE! Although I shouldn't say "finally" because this week seemed to fly by... as are all the days leading up to graduation.

Even though today is going to be busy, I'm promising myself that I'll get to have some fun this evening. I don't get to attend Country Thunder this year, so my roommate and I are going to go dancing at a new country bar that just opened a few months ago near campus. Nothing says "Fun Friday" like line dancing and cowboy boots.

Here are the boots I'll be sporting - the turquoise on the right - they are my favorite!

This photo is from freshman year during Spring Fling which was themed country! So glad I made this purchase.

What do you have planned for "Fun Friday?"


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Productive Morning

Hi beautiful blog friends!
It's Thursday, which means the weekend is so close! I'm very excited because I'm going to a wedding in Phoenix on Saturday and get to see some of my closest friends. I have a lot to do this morning before I head to my 10 a.m. class, but I've already been to the gym and am currently sipping on some delicious black coffee.

Although I complain that "I hate the gym," because it doesn't satisfy me as much as running, I must admit my workout today may have changed my mind. I guess I'd forgotten how lucky I am to have a wonderful gym, with fabulous machines, just right up the street from my apartment.

This is a quick post today, as I still have a small to-do list to accomplish...

-Finish my final presentation for RELI 307
-Paint my nails (OPI Mod About You)
-Shower & get ready
-Send a few emails
-Pack a lunch
-Read a devotional


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Workout Update

Happy Hump Day! I can't believe it's already Wednesday, let alone April 11. That means just 31 days until my graduation. Holy smokes - I have so much that I want to do before then... I better get going!

I wanted to update you all on my workout schedule, or lack thereof. After about six months of knee pain, I've finally decided to rest my running habits. This is quite unfortunate because I already registered for a half marathon UP [not down] Mt. Lemmon that is only three weeks away.

I'm not a quitter, but I think this is the best decision for my body. The problem is that I haven't had time to make it into the doctor. I've done phone consultations with a physician at home and he said there's absolutely no way I should compete in the race, let alone run for a few months. I guess the fact that I have surging pain my right knee when I walk, sit or even lay in my bed - especially when I run - means something truly is wrong.

I think I should change the phrase, "No pain, no gain" to "with pain, no gain..." I've heard time and time again that knee injuries are crazy to deal with. I honestly am willing to forfeit this race if it means I'll be able to run later in life. While this is a frustrating decision, I know I must put my health first.

On that note, I'm trying to find varying exercises that will still allow me to feel healthy and active. Today I'm going to try a Pilates DVD that my roommate has and also I'm looking into a Jillian Michael's video workout - any thoughts?

Despite the let down this knee pain has caused, I'm really trying to remain positive. Maybe this is God's way of telling me that I can't push myself ALL THE TIME [Lord knows I try]. Hopefully I'll fall in love with some sort of different workout so I can feel motivated to stay fit.

And please, if you have any suggestions for workout videos or classes, send them my way. At this point I'll try almost anything. Especially because I keep seeing so many motivational Pins to encourage working out... Like this one, which is so true!

Have a beautiful Wednesday! XO

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Small Things, Great Love.

Good morning and Happy Tuesday! I know yesterday's post was a bit dark and vulnerable, but it was just what I needed to get back on track. I must admit, after addressing the issue of negativity with Mike, yesterday I was able to step out of situations and look for a positive perspective.

With that being said, I wanted to share a sweet saying with you about how even the littlest actions can be purposeful and filled with meaning.

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mindful Monday: Letter to Self

April 9, 2012

Dear tired, uninspired, negative and jaded Shannon,

Today is a new day. Although you’ve spent the last few years being busier than one can imagine, it’s time to turn life around. Break out the Bible more, journal until your fingers are tired and smile so much that your cheeks hurt. Find the spirit that used to captivate those around you. Tough times will end and happiness will take over. Don’t let the negativity of others keep you down. Inspire your peers and allow yourself to see the unconditional love that others show you. Remember your two favorite phrases and allow them to guide you throughout each day. “Live with passion” and “kalos kai agathos – the singular balance of the good and beautiful.”

Remember the talk you had with Mike on Easter night. It took amazing courage and understanding for him to confront you – yet it was so necessary. He reminded you that people love your ability to see the best in others, at all times. This was the reason, he said, that made him fall in love with you three years ago. Find that gift and cling to it. For when you give others the benefit of the doubt, the same will be given back to you.

“Be not nobody,” and strive to be remembered for the positive elements that are within your body, mind and soul. Let your light shine for others to see. Let go and let God.

With love, grace and gratitude,


Friday, April 6, 2012

First Lasts

You can probably guess what this post will relate to - graduation. It's hard to believe that we're already six days into April and that May [graduation] is right around the corner.

This week I experienced two of "first lasts," when I attended Greek Awards and Chi Omega's Diamonds and Pearls Formal. These two events mark and define a big part of my collegiate experience. While both are varying in activity, I love to see the different achievements throughout the Greek community and of course I LOVE to dance!

I am excited to announce that my first little sister was named 2011 Greek Woman of the Year. This not only makes me of her, but gives us another special bond, as I was given that title for the 2010 year. She is working to make meaningful and beneficial changes in our community and no one else deserves this more. Congratulations, little!

Also, Chi Omega won a ton of awards including: Excellence in Diversity Awareness, Programming/Intercommunity Relations, Olympian Health & Wellness, Spring 2011 Highest Active GPA, Fall 2011 Highest NM/Chapter GPA, Chapter of Excellence & Dean Robert Svob Award! Dang it feels good to be a Zeta Beta Chi Omega!

Even after a series of unfortunate events yesterday [I may have been a bit dramatic when things didn't seem to be in my favor], I had a great time at formal. I love to dance and dress up so it was a successful night. Here are a few photos.

As I reflect on my first lasts, I need to realize that the little things that anger me are tiny in the scheme of things- thanks to Mike and one of my roommates for helping me figure this out. Even though I was a grouchy lady for a few hours yesterday, the supportive people in my life easily helped me to turn things around and relax. A BIG THANK YOU to them!

Also, my friend just shared this quote on Facebook and I had to include it in this post...

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow."

If you celebrate Easter, I hope you enjoy time with your family and friends, while you remember the sacrifice and miracle of Christ.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Mindful Monday: Living in the Moment

When I was first finding my independent faith in Christ I remember battling with phrase, "Live in the moment." I was reading in the Bible that we are not to live for what's on the Earth, but for what is to come in Heaven. And as I've grown older, I've found this to be even more troublesome, at times.

I graduate from college on May 12. A little over a month from now I won't live half a mile from my closest friends and I won't be a 3-minite car ride from campus. While I'm excited to complete the undergraduate chapter of my life, I'm struggling to find peace in the fact that I can and should live each moment to the fullest.

While I'm going to remain responsible and a good student for the next five weeks, I am going to live a little bit more. Maybe I'll stay out later, or get extra sleep, but what I want most is to find the beauty in every moment. Even when the moments are bittersweet.


Ps- Thank you all for the positive thoughts and prayers on Friday. The decision was difficult to make. While it's hard to see the benefits now, I know that in the end I would have a lifetime of regret up my sleeve had I not taken action to help a friend.