Posts Tagged ‘updates’

The 2016 Shattuck Game of LIFE

By now, most of the readers of this family blog have seen our annual Christmas card. And if you haven’t, you likely know the stories behind the “game pieces.” The idea for the design was inspired by Wesley’s increased interest and play-ability of board games. His favorites are Candy Land and Shoots & Ladders. He has yet to actually play LIFE, but I found it fitting for this year’s card to share a few updates within the last year.

So here’s what happened this year:

Steven becomes Chief Engagement Officer at Bloomerang. He also speaks at 28 conferences and events.
In January, Steven took over management of sales and leads in addition to his marketing team. He’s a natural leader and has done a fantastic job in this guidance role. He’s requested at many NPO and donor/development conferences, and he’s quite the presenter on donor retention and engagement. If it’s possible, he’ll pick one or two locations and buy a plane ticket for me to join along, and we’ll make a long weekend out of it. He’s pretty great!

The Shattucks become friends with several neighbor families.
The best thing about living in this “new” neighborhood is the amount of young families. We purposefully played in the front yard during the warm months to meet and scout out families with kids about Wes’ age. It worked! I can’t tell you how much I love and appreciate having friends and built-in entertainment just a few doors away.

Leah paints the family room trim white. SKIP A TURN while she recovers.
Whew, that project took forever. It does look so good, though. I still need to touch up the ceiling where I got a little paint happy… Since THAT project, we’ve painted the guest room (December), installed glass block windows in the basement (October), and plan to install new interior doors upstairs (January?).

Wesley fractures his collar bone. GO BACK 2 SPACES.
If nothing else, breaking his right clavicle the week before starting at a new school was a great way to meet more families! (Are you sensing a theme? I’m craving fellowship and community like whoa.)

Jake and Lucy become fans of Pokemon Go because of longer evening walks.
The mobile app game fad sorta faded, but we saw a lot more of the neighborhood and surrounding parks while it lasted. Wesley still thinks it’s great that he’s in on the “joke” and can’t say walk aloud for fear of too-excited dogs. He now calls it a W-A-L-K in normal conversation.

O Canada! The Shattucks visit Ontario.
What a great trip. Easily one of the best yet.

Steven initiates Launch Cause, a co-working space for not-for-profits. LAUNCH AHEAD 1 SPACE.
If you know nothing about Launch Cause, stop what you’re doing and check it out. I’m super proud of what he started back in February.

Steven teaches Wes how to play tennis and ride a bike without training wheels.
Summer 2016 was all kinds of fun. I feel like Wes is at an exciting age. Not that baby and toddler years weren’t exciting in some capacity, but we’re doing so much together. It’s fun to pretend together, explore together and learn together. Wes enjoys tennis enough that he’s requested to play outside in 30-degree temps with Steven. This prompted a search for indoor tennis lessons, which start next weekend!

Leah leads her communications team at Alzheimer’s Association to reach record media goals.
We kicked some major rear end. Over the years I’ve become better at acknowledging and taking credit for achievements, and while yes, it was a team effort to reach, I recognize that it was by my guidance and direction that we reached 120% of our media impression goal. I’m proud of what we’ve done and the bond between my coworkers.

The house gets a new coat of exterior paint. GO BACK 2 SPACES for Leah’s indecisive color selection.
Overall, I like what we ended up with. I’m still not settled on the color of the shutters, and eventually we’ll replace them entirely. Since the exterior paint job, we’ve replaced the garage doors, and they help clean up the look even more.

Wesley starts Prep-Kindergarten. SKIP A TURN while he grows 3 inches taller.
While he’s not the tallest kid in his class, he’s certainly not far behind. THREE INCHES in one year! I’ve had several trips down memory lane because Wes is attending the school that my sister and I did. My third grade teacher is the principal, and my fourth grade teacher is the assistant principal. The school nurse is still there, as well as a handful of elementary, middle and even high school teachers! Several fellow alumni have sent their children to the school, and it’s been fun to reconnect with former classmates from various graduating years.

Steven and Leah spend their 9th anniversary in New Orleans.
The trip surrounded a speaking engagement in Baton Rouge. We were nervous to go because it was just weeks after the shooting of Alton Sterling and days after massive flooding. But it was safe to travel, and we had the best time. I love that we’re able to be together and see unique places – just the two of us.

Finding a new church home is taxing. GO BACK TO START
You should see the excel document we started – a pros and cons list of sorts. I guess we were a little picky in what we wanted for our family, but after visiting multiple churches in 9 months, we determined that it might be us tasked to start the changes we desire in a church home. We were ready to settle where we could serve, and we’ve been attending a church regularly for a handful of months now. I decided to join their Christmas choir, which was another way to meet and connect with people, and it was a terrific idea. It felt so good and fulfilling to serve by song with others.

The Shattucks sponsor a 5-year-old child from India. GO FORWARD 1 SPACE
Last month we received our first letter and sent a lengthy response with photos of our family. Wesley frequently asks questions about Jastin and life in India, and it’s opened up honest conversations about faith, materialism and community service. It’s fascinating to watch him understand his role in our family and in society. We hope to be able to support additional families in other ways in 2017.

Steven, Leah and Wes wish you a merry Christmas and a happy 2017! GO CELEBRATE
Thanks for being a part of our lives. We’re the better for it.

Posted: December 31st, 2016
Categories: Leah
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The Truffula Tree

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to participate in an art therapy class designed for the employees of Joy’s House. We recently started an art therapy program with a licensed therapist, inviting caregivers and their loved ones to explore communication through art projects. In an effort to better understand the process and be able to answer questions about the program, our therapist offered a session for small groups of Joy’s House staff members.

The first task was to use whatever medium we wanted to create a representation of ourselves. I grabbed a few pipecleaners because, gosh, I hadn’t played with those in forever. Also grabbing some sheets of torn green and yellow paper, I started creating what ended up looking like a tree. It was wobbley and unstable, so I added a few more pipecleaners to the base of the tree, though I couldn’t find exactly the right matching color. In the end, my finished product resembled a Truffula Tree. You know, the kind found in The Lorax by Dr. Seuss.

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My leaves ended up having two different colors – and after I sat back and looked at it, it seemed fitting. My tree was going through a seasonal change.

That morning, I had had a second interview with the Alzheimer’s Association and was pretty confident I would be offered a position the following week. Sounds great and wonderful, right? Sure, it was – it IS, but with all “seasons,” you do need to shed a layer in order to grow. In my case, shedding my skin – my comfort zone within my job at Joy’s House – would be tough.

It’s so much easier to leave a job that you’re not happy with. A job that you dread, or a boss that drives you crazy. Or maybe it’s just a blah environment. At Joy’s House, I don’t have any of those things. It’s a fitting name, really, because the definition of “joy” isn’t necessarily happiness-all-the-time-oh-life-is-grand. Joy is associated with contentedness and gladness. The people are joyful people. The families served, the volunteered involved and the dedicated staff – these people are my “peeps.” My family.

You know what, though? The reason these people are so great is because of the mission. Everyone is a team player and wants the best for the future and the community. When I reflect back to my Truffula Tree, I consider my own mission-driven personality to be my career “foundation,” with my roots running deep. Perhaps the branches of my tree are the ways in which I can serve, wherever life takes me.

On August 12, I will be “branching out” and will be the new Communications Director at the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Indiana. I am excited about the possibilities before me and thrilled to share my talents with such a strong and mission-driven organization. Their foundation is the same foundation I have rooted in – to equip caregivers with the best tools available in order to care for their loved ones. And, to educate the public on dementia and other diagnoses. The unfortunate truth is that my generation is not aware or prepared to take care of our future populations as they continue to age.

The people I’ve met – my new coworkers – are embracing, dedicated and all-around great. I really feel like I’ll fit in well. It’s taken me a minute to adjust and think of myself outside of Joy’s House, but I know my relationships there won’t ever change. Everyone in the know of my career shift has been nothing but supportive and exited for me. So naturally, I’m getting excited, too!

I’m learning to embrace change. It’s not my favorite part of life, but it can be exciting. Suddenly I’m reminded of one of Wesley’s favorite songs from a potty training DVD:

It’s different, and it’s wonderful
Change is good
Look at you grow!

(Look At You Grow, Potty Time, Two Little Hands Productions)

Posted: August 1st, 2013
Categories: Leah
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Comments: 1 Comment.

Hi, I’m the mother of a 2-year-old

553411_10101310920726358_640745322_nI have been a blogging slacker. I blame it all on the fact that Wes is now two. Not that he’s super busy or a maniac or keeps us up all night, but – I am enjoying him as a little person. Watching him learn new words and begin to understand his world is fascinating.

“Ready? Go!”

“Hi Mama, Daddy.”

“Lucy, potty!”

“ABCDEFG. H. Poo, ick, J.”

We had his two-year-old check up last week. At nearly 30 lbs and 60th percentile for height, he has/had just about 30 words and 60 unidentified phrases/indecipherable mumbling in his vocabulary. Actually, this current week he has been mimicking almost everything we say to him. I think he’s mastered 30-60 words overnight. His ridiculous hair is probably also 30-60″ long, on that note.

So, during my blogging absence, I was featured in the Indianapolis Star regarding my milestone celebration. It was also on usatoday.com, if you can believe it. (Click here for article.)

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Steven became VP of Marketing at Bloomerang, and has been a killer asset to the team there.

Mom and Dad’s new-to-them pontoon boat was finally launched into the water. After the dam broke during the Flood of 2008, their lake has been waterless every summer until now. We have enjoyed being on the water in the “but” (Wes’ word for boat).

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And July has been a month of celebrating. We hosted a birthday party for family and neighbor friends in the park (by the way, great idea. You don’t have to clean your own house!) and went swimming.

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A week later, we spent the morning at the Indianapolis Zoo. The Indianapolis Symphonic Orchestra played a concert in the park one evening. Wes loved listening to the live music and picked up on when each movement ended (he cheered and clapped loudly).

And on his actual birthday, we met his bestie Beatrice and mom Julia at Saxony Lake in Fishers. It was great fun.

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Birthday dinner was breakfast with lots of fruit and sausage, his favorites. Uncle Tyson joined us.

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I just love the above photos. He really seemed to understand that the day was to celebrate him, and he had this amazing look of sincere delight. Precious.

And the next night we ventured over to the Indianapolis Speedrome for the first time. Cars. Loud noises. Vrrrrroooom. It was pretty much a little boy’s heaven.

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He looks so serious in these photos. Soon after, he was cheering and waving his arms like the flag holders.

There’s actually way too many good photos to post from the last few months. Wes is always mumbling something funny or getting off balance or attempting something new. He’s like a walking photo opportunity.

I just love our little guy. He has provided so much happiness in our household, and it’s made me love Steven in a completely new way. He’s a fantastic dad. He makes a great trampoline and rough-and-tumble partner for little limbs. He’ll read a million books to Wes in one sitting and produce a thousand toddler giggles with his silly antics. I’m smitten with our family.

Forgive me while I enjoy a few more summer weeks of possible blogging hiatus with this crazy toddler kid.

Posted: July 28th, 2013
Categories: Leah
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Autumn News

Joy’s House 13th Annual Gala

(Early) fall is the busiest time of year for our family. October, specifically. Here’s a run down of what’s up with the Shattucks.

Leah – Planning my fourth annual Gala for Joy’s House was a huge success! We raised $120,000 and had 320 people in attendance. Crazy awesome. I also completed my first ever 5K. Perhaps it was too easy walking the 3 miles, but it was really fun. It’s going to be an annual tradition as a fundraiser for Joy’s House, so we’ll see if I actually push myself to train and run/jog it next year! As if I didn’t have enough going on, I’m now a consultant for Usborne Books. I will have a separate post about this later,  but in the meantime, come find me at createalibrary.com or host your own show for free books!

Steven – The Historic Irvington Halloween Festival was a smash. Steven made several media appearances, coordinated all marketing aspects and set a huge record of 23,000 people in attendance the day of the street fair. Since he’s been a part of the Festival in 2009, he’s seen a 230% attendance increase. I’m pretty proud of him. And I’m still dumbfounded.

Wes – He’s making leaps and bounds of improvements through First Steps. His balance gets better every day, and he’s actually “standing” for up to 3 seconds at a time! He loves to “walk” between two people by himself – which consists of one or two steps and then a giant lunge into one of said persons. His words are increasing, and he’s demonstrating more signs. He’s definitely looking more like a toddler these days… and acting like one, too. Small fits and tantrums are happening on a nearly daily basis. I’m sure it’s because of the frustration that 1) he can’t make x y or z work or 2) he can’t communicate his needs. Wes is a good kid – does well at daycare, loves books and enjoys adult attention.

Here he is “yelling” at the dogs. Just mimicking what I do every day.

Jake & Lucy – FLEAS. Yuck. Thankfully, I think we’d rid of them. Disgusting.

More news – Our newest nephew was born! Little Josiah is the sweetest guy in town. I’m pretty smitten, as are his big siblings Elli and Jeremiah.

 

Posted: November 4th, 2012
Categories: Leah
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Mid-Year Updates

Leah – Been working full time since Janaury as Outreach Manager at Joy’s House. She is still singing on the praise team at church, though not as often as before, which has allowed for nice, non-rushed Sunday mornings with a baby. She still enjoys painting as a hobby, though the Year 4 Collage Painting is still unfinished since last August, so she better get on that before too long.

Steven – Has been working for Slingshot SEO since February as Community Manager. He’s since been knighted as employee of the month (got to wear a cape, too!) was on a panel for a social media conference and asked to join a council of employees. Steven has done really well and I’m proud of his achievements over these few months. He’s also gearing up to be the VBS “mascot” at church again this year – now as Rocketman.

Wes – At 10 months old & some change, he’s eating finger foods really well – especially bread, bananas and crackers. He can drink from his sippy cup and hold a bottle by himself. He’s scooting backwards and turning in circles on his stomach! Sometimes he gets stuck under the couch or between furniture legs. He’s sporting 5 adorable teeth and working on 3 more. He’s 24 lbs and fits into 9-18 month clothes. He loves to talk and laugh to himself, especially at bed and nap time in his crib. Jake and Lucy, the dogs, are his best friends. He’s so serious and studious (see video below), even though he’s a pleasant, happy baby. He can spend nearly an hour looking at, feeling and discovering the properties of a rug. Splashing in a tub is an educational time, trying to figure out how the water gets in the air. And yet he loves to clap, dance and sing along to familiar songs. He has one long, slightly curly lock of hair behind his right ear. (You can view his 10 Month photos here.)

Jake – The Italian Greyhound is 6 years old. He’s getting gray and white all over his head and back. He’s the dominate dog in the house at 12 lbs, but he’d prefer to be king of the family. He prances around the back yard and has trained Lucy to wait until he’s finished eating before she can get a bite to eat.

Lucy – Our beloved, sweet natured stray girl is 2 years old. She likely has developed some of her bad habits from Jake (begging for food, stealing said food off your plate, walking all over the couch and burying within a blanket). She keeps her eye on Wes all the time. If he cries or falls, she instantly finds me – either literally or with her eyes – to make sure he’s been attended to.

House – The neighbors to the south of us sold their house within a week of listing it. We’ll miss them. It’s stirred up the curiousity of moving ourselves to another house within my crazy brain. At some point, Steven and I may purchase my parent’s house, but the timing isn’t right. Given the extent of our busy year, we’ll see if this is a possibility in the future.

Vacation – Labor Day can’t come soon enough! We’re headed to Hilton Head for a week in September. Can’t wait to bike all over the island and lounge in the sand with Wes. I know he’ll love feeling, touching and examining the sand between his toes.

Family – I’m thrilled to announce that we’ll have another niece or nephew this October! My sister is pregnant with her third baby, healthy and thriving, yet stubborn enough to hide his or her gender from the ultrasound tech. I’m excited because Wes will have the chance to be around a little baby cousin, and I love that all of his cousins on both sides will be able to grow up together. I love being so close in age with all of my first cousins, and getting together with them is always a great time. Thankful that Wes has this opportunity as well.

This video captures Wes on a daily basis. He spends minutes at a time discovering the world with his hands. Who knew a register could emit such interesting music?

Posted: June 2nd, 2012
Categories: Leah
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