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, 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, 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, Parenting, Reflecting

Kids Should Be Kids

Today, I realized I am a grown up. It’s not because I have a mortgage or a few stray gray hairs poking out. It’s not because my knees pop when I get out of bed or because I use clichés that people under 20 do not understand. I realized I was a grownup when I told my kids a story about “when I was a kid” and they both rolled their eyes, just like I did when I was younger. When I was a kid, I couldn’t stand it when those “wise” adults u sed to preach to me about what kids should do. Kids should be kids – how much more vague does that get?

Blog, Parenting, Reflecting

WiFi Anyone? Nature Girl in Training

So many times, I hear people talk about the “wonders” of the Great Outdoors and the magical sounds of nature. They rave about the healing effects of fresh air, the natural aroma of campfires and the sweet, soothing sounds of crickets chirping at night. While I appreciate the beautiful lands, trees and waters that we are blessed to have, I’ve never been a nature-type girl. The thought of sleeping on the wet ground, fighting off nature’s creatures and cooking (yes cooking … ugh) over a campfire, makes me itchy and hungry. With that said, it doesn’t mean I haven’t tried. I’ve tried and I’ve failed miserably. Read the rest at

Blog, Parenting, Reflecting, Writing

Inspiring Summer Reading Program

When I was younger, I loved to read – everything from each book in the Sweet Valley High series to magazines and newspapers. This love of reading inspired my love of writing. I would read books and articles and try to mimic the style, the action and the flow that engaged me for hours on end. Over the years, time has not been kind to my love of reading. Between preparing for my classes, running kids to soccer games and dance lessons and maintaining somewhat of a clean house, the hours turned to minutes (and often these minutes consisted of keeping up with my RSS feeds on my mobile phone). My children, though, have found the time to read and they read hours on end, especially when the cable is out or their Nintendo DS games need to be charged. [More...] Since my schedule allows me to spend the summers at home (for the most part), I’ve always wanted to launch a summer reading program with them. My initial idea was to make it a game or a contest, with prizes for thousand and million word readers. But, ultimately, I’ve been hesitant because I don’t want reading to become a chore, like homework … This summer, though, they launched it for me. In fact, my daughter was most inspired on the last day of her parish school religion class last week. Our parish priest challenged each child to read a gospel from the Bible before the fall semester. She pushed aside her Babysitter’s Club books and the Twilight series and cracked open the big book. Each day, I have been inspired watching my daughter pick up her Bible and read a few passages, eager to accomplish this goal. I was touched that she was taking her faith seriously and inspired that she was seeking information to guide her on a daily basis. As we were sitting outside today, soaking up some sun – my daughter with her Bible and hand and me on my MacBook – I leaned over and asked her which gospel she chose to read. She smiled, giggled a little, and said, “Mark. Father Joe told me it was the shortest.” I may have jumped the gun with my awe of her dedication, but I’m still quite inspired by her clever thinking. Happy Summer Reading! - Shannon Philpott Blog Entry: May 28, 2010 © Shannon Philpott, 2010. 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

Raising Confident, ‘Hot’ Kids

Confidence is a double-edged sword. If you have too much, you’re labeled as a conceited jerk. If you lack enough, it can kill your drive to succeed and motivation to accomplish great things. A lack of confidence promotes giant walls impossible to scale and negativity that convinces us that the world is against us – why try, right?

Blog, Parenting, Reflecting

Ghost of Easter’s Past

As a kid, I loved the excitement and anticipation of Easter. This mystical big-eared creature forced me to hunt through every part of the house to find my basket filled with stuffed toys, candy and eggs. Sometimes I would find it in my room, other times the bathroom, and once in the stove.

Blog, Parenting, Reflecting

Mommy’s Time Out

Deep down, I know that I’m a good mom. I know that my kids love me. And, I know that we all have mutual respect for each other. But, I don’t always see the effects of my parenting in the midst of our hectic schedules and daily routines. Sometimes, I need to take myself out of the “mommy” role to truly be a better parent. My job takes me to several professional development conferences every year. At these conventions and workshops, I learn how to effectively improve my teaching, my media advising and my skills as a reporter. Ironically, these conventions also teach me how to be a better parent. Read the rest at

Blog, Parenting, Reflecting

Diary of a Wimpy Mom

A few evenings ago I took my 9 and 11-year old to see a screening of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” The movie was quite entertaining with more than a fair share of references to boogers, moldy cheese and bathroom bombs. What made me laugh the most, though, was the chaotic household of this “wimpy” kid. He and his older brother defined sibling rivalry. They physically fought, verbally tortured each other and pranked one another constantly. At one point, one brother even peed on the other in retaliation. Read the rest at