Thanks to everyone for visiting The Daily Balance! Known as the ‘go-to’ among friends and family for advice (specifically on fashion, food and fitness), I’ve finally decided to take my skills to the web! As a new mama to the cutest boy in the world, wife to the hottest daddy around, communications professional, wedding singer, professional model/actress, fitness enthusiast and food lover, I’m always looking for new ideas to find balance and simplicity — amidst the chaos! I hope this blog serves as a tool for others as they seek balance in their lives, as well. I’m so excited to have an outlet to share my passions and hopefully help a few people along the way. I’m open to feedback of any kind, and am looking forward to getting to know all of you. You’ll quickly learn that each day has a specific, focused ‘themed-entry,’ but I’ll include a personal update and some food highlights, as well. Thank you so much for visiting and I hope you continue to experience life alongside of me!
I graduated from a small, private liberal arts college in Ohio, with a bachelor’s in Communications in 2006. I married (see our story below) my high school sweetheart (for senior year, anyway!) and had a fairy tale wedding that July. Knowing that my career would always include communications (public relations, advertising, writing, theory, etc.), I started my Master’s Degree at a private university in the Cleveland, Ohio-area in the fall of 2006. Simultaneously, I worked full-time at a full-service public relations and advertising agency. I received my Master’s degree in January 2009.
I currently work as an Account Director at a leading advertising and public relations agency and am proud to say that I go work every day (for the most part) excited to work.
My Love Story
I’ve always been involved in singing (actually received a scholarship from my college and originally went there as a voice major — I dropped it the first day!) and acting, so it’s no surprise that I was involved in my high school’s show choir. It was February 2001, my sophomore year, at my high school’s show choir festival — an event that invites most area-schools to participate and perform their competition routines.
As a tradition, the school that hosted the festival also held a dance afterwards for all of the participating schools. I always HATED these dances. Let’s just say that the ‘show-choir crowd’ wasn’t my typical group of friends. I had my own clique at school (go ahead, judge), separate from show choir. It wasn’t that I didn’t like any of them (some were some of my great friends!), I just hung out with a different crowd at school and on the weekends.
Needless to say, I wasn’t pleased that I was forced to stay at this particular dance. I remember standing against the brick wall counting down the minutes and checking my pager (remember how cool we thought those were?!) every chance I got.
It wasn’t long before a mysterious boy approached. He confidently strutted up to me, looked me right in the eye and said with a smile, “I just wanted to let you know I’m going to marry you someday.” I can’t even remember if he told me his name. It’s Jason, by the way.
This is NOT the part that he takes my hand and takes me off into the sunset — PUUUHHLLLEAAAAZZE! I was 15! I awkwardly laughed, said “thanks” and found somewhere else to stand. But this boy was determined, and right before the dance ended he came up and asked me for my AIM screen name — remember, that was THE way to communicate back then! I hesitated, but then quickly scrawled my alter-ego on a crumpled piece of paper.
We became fast friends. I actually really liked him! I even went to a show he was performing in at his high-school (a neighboring suburb). I remember being SO nervous to talk to him after the show — I swear, I spent like 2 hours trying to decide what to wear! Anyway, he soon asked if I would be his ‘girlfriend.’
I turned him down ;(
Come on, people! The story isn’t THAT perfect, and I’m glad because I like our version better. I actually had also been talking to a guy who went to my school, and I decided to date him instead. I was a sophomore in high school– why would I date someone 20 minutes away when I could date someone who lived down the street?! Well, as you could have probably guessed, the relationship didn’t last. He was what you would call a ‘bad’ decision, verbally and physically abusive — but I finally got the nerve to end it (much later than I would have liked…but, I digress)
After that, I was finally FREE! The last thing I wanted was another boyfriend. So I dated lots of people and made some more stupid decisions. All I cared about was having fun. I had always wanted to be ‘in love,’ but I felt like it wasn’t in the cards for me. I couldn’t even decide about who I would go out with that Friday, let alone see myself in a serious relationship.
It was winter break of my senior year — Jason tells me he’s in town on college break (he was a year ahead of me in school).
“Do I want to meet up?” he asks. “Sure,” I reply, why not?!
We decide to meet at the clock in the center of my favorite mall (so cliche, i know!).
I see him coming towards me -My mind starts RACING — were his eyes always this blue?!– HE IS GORGEOUS! -
“relax, Shannon, relax — BE COOL” I mutter to myself.
After about 15 minutes of trying to decide what to do (still a problem of ours!), we conclude that coffee would be a good idea. I’m sure I was trying to impress him — all college kids drink coffee, right? that’s a safe choice!! (note: Jason HATES coffee).
Anyway, we took our seats (and turtle treats!– a yummy caramel/chocolate coffee treat at Caribou) and lost track of time. We were there for hours. Talking for hours…about nothing…about everything… We finally made it back to my house. He met my parents and we decided to make cookies.
—TIME OUT— I know, I know…this really sounds perfect, doesn’t it? Well, it was. But let me just say that things like this NEVER happened to me. EVER. I mean, not even enough where I could fool myself into believing it. I won’t lie; guys have always thought I was pretty. I have never had any trouble with the amount of guys who were interested. I have some crazy stories of being courted, flirted with, etc. But no guy EVER made everything seem so effortless. So right. So “butterflies-in-your-stomach-holy-sh*t-look-at-those-blue-eyes!” perfect. No, that didn’t happen to me. I was the girl who could never find the guy who stopped worshipping me long enough to make me laugh. I was the girl who was lucky to be put a pedestal, but not lucky enough to make a ‘real’ connection with anyone. I know it sounds whiny– but it was very lonely. –TIME IN—
We finished our cookies and went downstairs to the basement to watch a movie. Now, here is a part where the story gets fuzzy. He insists we were watching “Dude, Where’s my Car?”, but I always think it was “Road Trip.” Obviously, I was focusing on things other than the movie. Those blue eyes? Kind of distracting… They’re piercing, I tell you!
I squirmed the first hour. Why isn’t he kissing me, why isn’t he kissing me? I thought. kiss me. kiss me. kiss me. kiss me. It became my little mantra, because of course if I thought it, it MUST come true! And then, FINALLY he leaned in (you know, the lean in I’m talking about) and kissed me.
Perfection. Done. Game over. I was in love. From then on, I knew he’d be my everything.
We were married 3 1/2 years later and have been married for 5 years (as of September 2011).
Anyone who knows us understands everything that is: Shannon and Jason, or “fish and beatle” (our nicknames). While we’re MADLY (is any other way really worth it?!) in love, we’ll be the first to admit that it can sometimes take some work. Let’s just say, we’re BOTH not the easiest people to argue with. But we’re working on it. The way we see it, we want to experience everything this crazy life has to offer alongside our best friend, confidant, lover and partner-in-crime. We count our blessings every day to have found each other at such a young age and look forward to spending our entire lives together.
*I live in Cleveland, Ohio (born and raised! – GO BROWNS), with the love of my life, Jason, a.k.a. Beatle, Bug, or “the Mister,” and my little man, Sawyer, or “Bean.”
*I’m a professional model/actress. I actually started as a child and never stopped! I’ve appeared in national commercials and ad campaigns, as well as a few films. Highlights: Commercials — Sea World, McDonalds, STAND – anti-tobacco, Subway, Ohio Lottery; Modeling jobs: American Greetings, Dillard’s, Nordstrom, JoAnne Fabrics, Micheal Kors, Banana Republic, Max Studio, BCBG, John Deere T-shirts, etc. Fun fact: I was the girl on the Spinpop box!
*I sing professionally at wedding services. I also cantor mass at my church.
*I earned my black belt in karate.
*I was born on Halloween!
*I sang in two classical concert tours in Europe. The first to England, Scotland and Whales. The second to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and Liechtenstein.
*I love: snapple iced tea, my man, my little man, my family, PUMPKIN, holidays, learning, books, being a mom, ’dork stuff,’ football, pizza, pilates, making out, dancing like a crazy person, frosting, being hopelessly romantic and crazy in love, laughter, fall, whole foods, funny people who don’t try to be, coffee shops, olive oil, people watching, singing my heart out, good conversation, breakfast in bed, outlet malls, picnics, bread, marc jacobs, peanut butter and banana combos, seafood, believing “everything happens for a reason,” communications, eyeliner, sprinkles, cowboy boots, sleeping in the rain, shoes, dessert, burberry, 1000 thread count sheets, antiques, tetris and qbert, the browns, cashmere, candle light, buttered popcorn jelly bellys, musicals, the first snow of the winter, family gatherings, sitting by the fire, christmas carols, activities, restaurants, dressing up