Yesterday was my 25th birthday. I was my parent’s  first-born child and they had no clue what to do with me. (Heck isn’t first-time parenting a crap shoot?) A quarter of a century later and I am convinced they still have no clue what to do with me! There is something to be said about being the first-born. We are the guinea pigs for everything in parenting: potty training, starting school and learning how to drive. I give my parents a lot of credit for everything they have done and gone through with me for the last 25 years.

I woke up yesterday not only feeling proud of myself but my parents for the fact they have put up with me for 25 long years! Life is hard but being able to wake up and say that I’ve made it to 25 is a blessing.  Every day up to this point has been. I thought I would be slightly depressed about getting older but honestly it’s the best birthday I have had in a while. I have accomplished a lot in the last 25 years.

My grandmother once told me that when she turned 30 she realized she was at her peak in life and that things were just going to keep getting better and better each year. I want to inherit this philosophy. Things keep getting better with each birthday and each milestone. Turning 25 may only mean I can rent a car but personally it’s also the age I will be getting married at. My life will change for the better. And though I will be gaining a husband-a handsome one at that-I am still Shannon. Still the petite, nerdy, talkative and fun-loving girl I’ve always been just a year older!

photo (7)

My first Halloween with my mom. I was a bunny. :)



My month and year started out in Philadelphia. Judd and I flew up there for vacation and to visit his family who took us to a New Years Eve Greek Festival. The Greeks know how to throw a party! We spent the evening (or should I say wee morning hours) dancing and celebrating. It was a great way to start the new year. Unfortunately, all vacations come to an end and we flew back to Florida just in time for my final semester of college to start.

This semester brought an Advertising Campaigns class and an awesome internship as a copywriter at The Dalton Agency. I started my internship a few days after returning to Jacksonville. My first day went really well-I got right to work on writing some copy for a few of our clients. I was nervous about my first day but felt welcomed and happy to be working with such a creative group of people. I have already written an extensive amount of copy and even had a radio script chosen by a client. Pretty nifty as an intern! The semester started off fairly easy. I have 2 classes on campus and 2 independent study with my advertising design/campaigns professor. I will be working on 3 mini campaigns through the course of the semester to put into a final book/portfolio for jobs in the future. My first campaign is for Papermate Pens-something not many students would want to advertise for but I am having a good time coming up with themes and ad designs.

January happens to be my birthday month and this year I turned 23. I dreaded it and resented even doing anything for my birthday but Judd made sure it was an unforgettable birthday. He booked a room at a bed and breakfast in St. Augustine-a trend we seem to follow for our birthdays since his in November-and my parents met us the next day for shopping and lunch. It was such a good weekend! St. Augustine at night is beautiful so we took to St. George street one night and enjoyed the sights. I am very close with my family so being able to have them there was the highlight of my birthday. (Besides Matthew not being there, he had to work.) My parents also celebrated their 27th Wedding Anniversary this month and seem more in love now then they ever were which is really encouraging to see. I hope one day I can celebrate such an achievement of love.

A few minor bumps in the road this month one included all the car trouble I’ve had which was pretty expensive. One day on the way to my internship, my car started smoking. My first thought was holy cow my car is on fire and I need to pull over but the smoke wasn’t black so I wasn’t too worried. I parked in the garage and called Judd and my father. My dad had no idea what was going on and Judd suggested I call the fire department. Great! So I placed my first emergency call and got a hold of the fire department and gave them the run down and my whereabouts. Five minutes later I hear sirens. My car is still smoking but not as bad as before and I’m shaking thinking I am going to be late for work-not even worried about my crappy car at that point. A generous fire fighter came up to the 5th floor of the garage where I was and asked a few questions. We popped my hood and he said it could be the radiator overheating. It was leaking fluid pretty badly. He said people call al the time for such things so in that respect I didn’t feel to retarded but I still felt special having the fire department come out. We left my car in the garage to have Judd meet me after work and drive it home. I managed to get into the Dalton offices with 5 minutes to spare! After work, Judd met me and drove my car home. It had overheated so we determined to have it towed to the Ford dealership for repair. One thermostat housing and matching component later my car is fixed. Then it wouldn’t start in the dealership parking lot. GREAT! My battery went bad. So one thermostat housing, component, AND battery later and my car is slightly fixed. She still has some issues we are working on but she is almost 10 years old. I may be up for a new car in the next year.


January went well overall but I am banking on February being ten times better. Plus I am one month closer to my graduation which is exciting! Below is a picture of the month, from NYE how fitting!

After all the dancing and Retsina!

Twenty-Three’s a Charm

This weekend I surpassed another birthday-my 23rd. I’ve been dreading it for the last few months even though it’s not at all old. But I’ve accomplished a lot in the last 23 years.

  • I have traveled across the country.
  • My hobby of photography grew to a passion.
  • I made some terrific friends.
  • I earned two associates degrees: one in photography and one in general education which were both honors. I will also be graduating with my Bachelor’s this spring.
  • Fell in love with the man of my dreams. (Cheesy but true.)
  • All the while doing these things, I rocked some awesome heels!

My birthday was wonderful. Judd took me to Saint Augustine and we stayed at a bed and breakfast. My parents met us the next day for shopping and lunch. Even though my brother couldn’t make it, I still really enjoyed my birthday. I love my parents and my Judd. They really made this year special!

Mom, Me, and Judd

Dad, me, and Judd.

Judd and I at the fort.

Pirate Jail!