Blog, Parenting, Sample Work

Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do

Published March 2018: The Messenger Dreams Don't Work Unless You Do I’ve always been a dreamer, but a meticulous one. Although on the outside (and in my home of seven), you may not always see that I’m organized, but I believe that dreaming and planning go hand in hand. Recently, I came across the phrase: “Dreams… Continue reading Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do

Blog, Reflecting

The Little Things: Aging Gracefully

I’ve never wanted to admit that I’m aging. In fact, as I get closer to 40, I find myself acting more like a teenager, wearing scarves, boots and purple jeggings, dancing to Flo Rida in my underwear and sucking down trendy Starbucks drinks much to my childrens’ dismay. However, one thing I’ve learned during this year of transition and quite possibly, a mid-life crisis, is that as I age, it’s the little things that matter the most.

Blog, Parenting, Reflecting

New Beginnings Disguised as Chaos

As a working single mom, I’ve never been one to wallow in the challenges of the balancing act. I’ve accepted the fact that I live in my car 6 out of 7 days a week transporting my kiddos to and from dance, football and soccer practices. I’ve accepted the fact that no matter how hard I try, we will run out of milk before I buy a new gallon and it’s likely that we will be late to at least three events each week. I’ve also accepted the fact that I am going to mess up … a lot. This summer, especially, has been a summer of chaos and mess ups. The kids and I were dealt a challenging blow with the end of long-term relationships, delays with selling and buying a new home, and the task of rebuilding some of the bonds we had lost in the shuffle of just plain busyness. These challenges were a blessing in disguise. While sleeping on mattresses on the floor, we’ve had a chance to cuddle as a trio to watch movies. While selling old furniture and long-forgotten toys, we’ve been given a chance to wash away some of the old pain in search of new beginnings. While packing up our memories, we’ve talked at length about the new memories we are about to make. I’ve learned so much about my children this summer than I have in a long time – without these challenges and a complete release of baggage wearing us down, this would not have been possible. At the end of the day, as tired as I am physically and emotionally, I’ve realized that I have the best job in the world as a mom. Not only do I get to have these wonderful people to myself, I also get to see their smiling faces each and every morning. I get to congratulate them when they master a triple or conquer a tackle. I get to talk with them about their day while driving through Starbucks and kiss them good night, no matter how many times they tell me they are getting too old for that. I get the opportunity to ‘be’ something to them, like no one else. In a few days, I get to provide them with a new beginning that will change their lives forever. And, I can’t wait to make it a reality. - Shannon Philpott Blog Entry: July 18, 2012

Blog, Reflecting

Nice to Meet Me

My name is Shannon and I like to run, sing, and dance around by myself. I truly like cutting the grass with the sun shining on my shoulders. I like to listen to music – any music – that makes me want to dance and I like to people watch and daydream. It’s nice to meet me. I’ve always known ‘things’ about myself – I’m a mom, a partner, a teacher, an adviser, a friend, a colleague, a sister, a daughter and a neighbor – but I've always felt a little lost consumed by all of these roles. I wasn’t sure who I truly was and what I liked. Read the rest at

Blog, Reflecting

Trust Me … I have a Plan

If you asked my family whether or not they viewed me as a planner, I can guarantee that the answer would be no, maybe even Hell No. This stems partially because I never seem prepared. I’m that mom in the carpool line digging through my purse fishing for quarters to pass out lunch money to my kids. I’m the driver scrolling through my GPS searching for directions on the way to my destination. And even worse, I’m one of those last minute appointment makers and birthday gift buyers (typically on the way to the party). The reality is, though, that I am a mental planner. My ADD-ish brain is constantly in planning mode. I’m brainstorming ideas for activities to entertain my kids, I’m sorting out an outline for my next freelance story and I’m planning out the beginnings of course activities that come together at the last minute. I’m planning newspaper pubdates, ad rates and AP quizzes more often than I care to admit. My brain is a planner – neatly writing out my life’s plan on its internal sketch pad. My actions may not always reflect the creative intentions my brain has planned, though. Unfortunately for me, the exterior does not always model the interior. But trust me, I have a plan. Share Shannon Philpott Blog Entry: March 18, 2011 © Shannon Philpott, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Shannon Philpott and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blog, Parenting, Reflecting, Teaching

Silly Little Pumpkin Pie Deliciousness

I’ve never been crazy about pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread or even pumpkin-flavored ice cream treats, but I do have a fascination with the word “pumpkin.” Ever since my daughter was born, she has been my pumpkin. And when my son came along, he became my pumpkin pie. Twelve years later and I still call them my pumpkins. I text them with embarrassing lovey-dovey notes such as ‘How is my peppy slice of pumpkin pie deliciousness’ and ‘Mommy loves her pumpkin doodle.’ [More...] They act like they absolutely hate my terms of endearment, but when I see a smirk on their faces as they read it, there is no denying that they love the pumpkin-filled attention. The terms of endearment are not solely stemmed from the satisfaction of embarrassing two pre-teens – it is more about showing them that life can be silly, fun and a little more brassy and bright at times. We all need these random acts of silliness when life is too serious, whether it is at home, at work, in the newsroom or in the classroom. When deadlines and production gets the best of my newspaper staff, it always breaks the ice when someone says something off the wall and random (and that happens frequently). It helps to break out in song or dub a nickname, such as chick-a-dee or “the kavahn” to a random student. When students get extremely stressed about grades and assignments, I don’t mind being the one to break the ice and say something ridiculous and potentially embarrassing in front of a class of 25, just as it breaks up the momentum for my children when I tell them that they are the most fluffy, flaky and perfectly golden slice of pumpkin pie around. I’m not sure what ‘terms of endearment’ most have for me, but if it makes me giggle when life gets to serious, bring it on. - Shannon Philpott Blog Entry: March 6, 2011 © Shannon Philpott, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Shannon Philpott and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blog, Reflecting

A Touch of Cream Cheese and Grandma J

It’s no secret that I rarely cook, bake or even get near that thing called an oven that is standard in most kitchens. It’s not that I don’t know how (contrary to what many believe); it’s just that I choose not to. Read the rest at

Blog, Reflecting

My Christmas Shoes

When I was little, Christmas was my favorite time of year. It was the anticipation of spending time with my family, the excitement over gift giving and the nervousness of holiday plays and church programs. For me, the main events always lived up to the anticipation. But, I’m not so little anymore. Read the rest at

Blog, Reflecting

See You on the Other Side, Grandma J.

To many, my grandma was June, the longtime checker at ShopLand. We knew this as kids because someone recognized her everywhere we went. To others, she was Aunt June, Junie, Mrs. Jordan, mom and Nana J. She was Grandma J to most of us. Beyond what she was called, she was the one who opened up her home and her heart to our friends, to extended family and anyone else who knew she had candy bars in that bottom drawer of the fridge. Read the rest at