Thursday, September 27, 2012

The next step in my journey

This last week has been a bit of a whirlwind…and the end result is something amazing! I’m sorry I’ve been absent here a few days, but I am so excited to back and to share my inspiring news with you all.


I was asked to apply for an open teller position at our local credit union. Chris and I bank there, and they sent an application home with him last week when he deposited his check. They said, “Please have Shaina fill this out and bring it back with a resume.” That was Tuesday. I went back the next morning, met with the manager, gave her my application and resume’ and we talked for awhile about the position and the company. Later that day I got a call from the Moses Lake branch asking to schedule a formal interview, which took place on Thursday morning. Then Friday morning I got a call from HR out of Spokane and had a phone interview too. I was told they would do background checks and everything else and get back to me and let me know either way. I was feeling really good about how my interviews went.

We went to Whidbey Island for the weekend to visit with Chris’ grandparents (I’ve got lots of pictures to share soon from our trip!) and the whole time we were away I was praying that this would work out. It felt like this job would be the answer to a lot of questions and prayers regarding my schedule and our upcoming Russian Language Class. There was no way I would be able to take it with my current work schedule; I wasn’t going to get every Saturday off.

I got the call yesterday afternoon and was offered the job. And because of my experience in the field they’re starting me at one step above a teller with more per hour pay rate. So I’ll get my Saturdays that I need, but not be feeling the less hours financially. It is an amazing blessing!

It is an answered prayer.

I gave my two-week’s notice yesterday and my last day at my current job will be October 10th. I see God’s direction in every part of this…the Russian class starts October 13th.

So this is a time of big celebration!! And lots of happy tears.

My mum has always likened life to a staircase. Sometimes there are a bunch of little steps leading to a big open landing…this feels like the landing I’ve been climbing towards for awhile. I am so grateful and excited for this new chapter and challenge.

So celebrate with me! Think of me while you drink your coffee tomorrow or when you say your specific prayers. I am amazed anew by how Jehovah God cares for me. Thanks for letting me share my exciting news.

I am so happy!


Friday, September 21, 2012

*Coffee Date*

Brought to you by!

If we were having coffee together today I would probably be wearing one of my new pairs of glasses. And I would want to tell you all about them and the cool online company I got them from! I had heard about this online glasses shop from a couple different bloggers and was very excited to give them a try and share with all of you. I had such a hard time picking out which ones I wanted that I took advantage of their “first pair free” deal got 2 pairs! More details on that later for you all to give them a try too. Winking smile

Here are my 2 pairs and the Instagrams I took the days they came in the mail. I really can’t pick which ones I like the best.



Wanna get your own pair for just the cost of shipping? Its super easy. The only hard part will be picking which pair you want! They have sunglasses too.

  1. Head over to and browse the frame selection. You can even upload a picture of yourself and do a virtual try-on.
  2. Once you have your pair picked out click on the “New customer? Get your first pair free now.” under the picture.
  3. Share using one of the options available(Twitter, Facebook, or email).
  4. Wait for your email with your code and further instructions. You’ll only pay for shipping and any extras you want added, like anti-glare for example. I paid $9.90!! Seriously.

I got mine a week after I ordered and they came with a hard case, a soft case and a cleaning cloth. They are terrific quality are exactly my prescription. I have loved being able to pick which glasses to wear each day like I would pick out a shirt. I know I’ll be adding to my collection with the help of


What is your corrective lenses story?
Have you purchased glasses from yet?
Do you tell everyone when you find a product you love?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thursday! Yay!

I’m so glad it’s Thursday again. I haven’t done one of these posts in a little while so I have some fun things saved up to share.
>>>> Here are my favorite Instagrams in the last couple days. 1//2//3//4

>>>> Loved this post by Viv McMaster called “Behind the Photo” where she shares tips and tricks she uses in her self-portraits and the original shot that this picture is from. I love her approach to photography and life.


>>>> I really appreciated this post from about living a balanced life and juggling successfully the things you are and the things you desire to be.  It’s a 3 part series called “Your roles and best you’s.” I’m looking forward to the next two parts.

>>>> I saw this script art from Kal Barteski and audibly gasped at how real this phrase is for me right now. I have a hard time with change, but truly, nothing can get better without change. Another added concept to my One Little Word for the year: flourish. I keep learning and keep growing and find my word within my life in even unexpected ways.

>>>> I love that a couple of my favorite creatives have joined the stamp world and their designs are so terrific. I bought one of Elise’stoday is…” stamps when she did her first pop up shop, and I really love the additional designs she has right now. And Tina of has some stamps in her paper goods shop. I love the “we were here” one.


>>>> I have this song by Jayme Dee on repeat lately. I loved this behind the scenes video she posted a couple months ago.

>>>> I have also been listening to Becky CJ’s EP on soundcloud along with watching all her videos on youtube. She’s got a killer voice.


What are you {loving} lately?
What song do you have on repeat?
Post a link to a cool thing you found online!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Week Eight


once upon her skin
now they lay upon mine
a delicate string of pearls
connect us through time

a deliberate consciousness
to savor our connection
her blood runs through my veins
i can see her in my reflection

an elusive creature
a woman i barely knew
was taken before memories
was taken too soon

one day we will meet again
grandmother and granddaughter
the foundation of our lives secure
never will it totter


This poem is about my mother’s mother, a grandmother I never got the chance to know… and the pearls I am wearing in the picture belonged to her. My mum shared a little more about her with me recently, and it turns out that I come by my lack of skills in the kitchen honestly! It made me feel so much better about myself knowing that she wasn’t the best cook either. Good thing I have Chris! This poem also means more for me now that I have lost my other grandmother too…my dad’s mum. In November it will be a year since she passed away. I think about her a lot, and how much of her I never got to know either. I miss her. But the Bible hope of resurrection that I wrote about in this poem holds even more meaning for me now, in both of their cases. I know that one day soon I will see them both again and get a chance to really know them. That hope sustains me through the sad days.

Have you lost someone you love?
Do you have mementos that remind you of them?

line2Wondering about this post? I am sharing my 52weeks project from 2010 each week on my blog and analyzing the image and the poem with fresh eyes two years later. For an explanation of the project and to start at the beginning click HERE.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Me Myself and I

Time for another installment of Me, Myself and I questions. Let me know if you did a post this month too. I’d love to come read your answers!

1. When you’re feeling down what do you do to pick yourself up?
When I’m feeling down talking to my husband or my mum always helps me. I find talking out my feeling to be an important part of how I process things. Talking and a cup of my favorite coffee treat…that usually does the trick. Sometimes I just need to sleep too.

2. If you had to live in a different time period which would you prefer?
I think I would pick the time period when Jesus was alive on earth. It would have been amazing to meet him and learn from him and witness his miracles. I appreciate how he viewed and treated women…he told a woman first that he was the Messiah and he appeared to women after he was resurrected and had them tell the apostles. He was interested in teaching women as much as men and reflects perfectly how God feels about women too.

3. What is the most creative costume you’ve ever worn?
I was invited to a costume party once when I was 17 and made the coolest costume for it. It was a gypsy outfit and made a skirt with tassels and had big gold hoop earrings and a corset that I added purple and gold ribbon to. The party ended up not working out and I never wore my costume, but it was fun to make. I also loved my costume for the musical Razia’s Shadow that Chris and I performed in. I used one of my bridesmaid dresses and had a couple different masks that I wore. And we had a lot of fun with hair and makeup in that play.

4. Five weird things about you we wouldn’t know without being told?
1) I always tap the top of my pop cans before I open them. 2) I have a compulsion to spit from high places. 3) I would rather eat a bread basket then order dessert. 4) I love driving standard but it took me a really long time to learn how. Now both are cars are standard transmission. 5) I love to watch football, but I always end up sleeping through the 3rd quarter.

5. What would you tell your sixteen year old self?
I would tell her that she is beautiful and that there is a man out there waiting to meet her who will love her for who she is and will make her feel beautiful. I would tell her that she hold much power in being able to forgive and love. I would tell her that her dreams are valuable and to always hold on to the artist inside of her.


Now its your turn! Answer the questions in a blog post and join the link-up. I’d love to come read your answers and thoughts and learn more about you too.SHE

Monday, September 17, 2012

My blog through the years

I have been blogging since 2005, and this space has seen many changes, with content, theme and visually too. I recently saw Kelly Rae Robert’s post that linked to this really cool site that archives what websites have looked like through the years and she shared the changes of her blog. So I clicked the link and enjoyed seeing the transition of my space too. I thought it would be fun to share the different blog headers and colors scheme’s I’ve had through the years. I think there is real insight in looking back and seeing growth and evolution and changes.

I started blogging in December of 2005 and I worked at a scrapbook store at the time. My blog was so cliché with a black background and white writing and no content in my sidebars except for my profile thing. But I did figure out I could create and upload my own header. So I literally scanned in a piece of my favorite scrapbook paper at the time and created a header in Word and then did a screen shot that I cropped to size and uploaded that as my header. And this little header is the humble beginnings of my love of blog design.

Header from 2005-2008

My blog used to be called Serendipity and I was blogging at, which is a crazy-long web address to type in and give to people, but it was mine. The concept expanded and grew to include making these “fortunate accidental discoveries” in life and art. I started sharing a lot more of my scrapbooking projects on my blog because that was the blogging world I was part of at the time.

And then I discovered, which sadly is not around anymore. It was a digital scrapbook site where you could create pages with digital elements to save and use. It was on there that I created my next header and when I really started designing blogs for other people. I did those designs in exchange for scrapbooking supplies, and went a whole 2 years (back when we first moved to the area and Chris was unemployed) scrapbooking without purchasing any supplies aside from adhesive. I was excited to have a way of ‘funding’ my hobby while on a very limited budget, and then it grew into more than that…I started to love blog designing.

Header from 2008-2010

In 2010 I took a class from KA and Wilna over at Little Light Studios called Bling Out Your Blog. It was with the guidance from that course and the tricks I learned from them that I developed the next look my blog had. I got Photoshop Elements in 2010 and used that to finalize and complete my look. PSE is what I still use for all my photo editing and design work. I was able to use some fun fonts on my blog and incorporated my dandelion throughout.

Header from 2010 to April 2012

And then this year I felt like my goals and intentions for this blog had moved beyond Serendipity… so I completely redesigned and rebranded this space and made it more about celebrating the everyday and inspiring others to do the same. I went with the name Shadylane, which has been my nickname since I was little. It just felt right when I made the decision…its personal and me. I stuck with my a favorite color scheme, the yellow, grey and purple, and added a hint of honeysuckle pink. I also turned my handwriting into a font and I love that extra personal touch in my space. And that’s the look you currently see here on my blog.

Current header designed in April 2012.

So there you have it…the transition of this space through the years. Quite a journey. And one that I’m grateful for. This blog is really such a huge part of my life during these years. And I love to be able to look back on what I’ve been through, what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown. I hope that part of blogging never changes.

Thanks to all of you who have read my words and encouraged me through comments and emails and tweets all these years. I’m glad to have you as a part of this journey. Its really a special section of the online world that I’ve become a part of and its been a blessing to make friends and make connections and be an inspiration to others. Thank you for being here!


What do you appreciate most about blogging?
Have you changed your blog design through the years?
Are you a recent reader of my blog, or do you remember past designs?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Week In Review


star SUNDAY: Chris and I filled out and turned in our applications for the Russian Language Class at the meeting. We should be getting more information soon! After the meeting we came home and took a nap for pretty much the whole afternoon. It’s a little bit of a Sunday tradition for us…catching up on sleep we missed during the week. Then we got up and made dinner. We decided to try making the amazing dipping sauce with the garlic and olives and capers that we’d had Saturday with my mum. Chris made crispy chicken sandwiches with it and they were simply delicious. We made another big batch of the sauce to keep in the fridge and have tried it on different things all week. Yum! I think we’ll do a recipe post soon and share the chicken sandwich.

star MONDAY: With my Monday/Tuesday boss away teaching a class, when I called her in the morning to see what tasks she had for me she was stressing about coming up with something for me to do. So I said: “I’ll work around the house and then go. Don’t let this cause you stress. That’s the opposite of what I’m supposed to do for you.” So I spent the morning working and then went out in service for the afternoon. It was such a treat. I got to go on a study with a girl who is about my age. It was encouraging to see her progress and learn more about Jehovah and developing a relationship with him. It was a lovely afternoon.

star TUESDAY: Lots of scanning and organizing papers and receipts at work today. And trying to navigate the search function on the Mac. Slowly but surely I’m figuring things out. Then Chris and I went over the comments we prepared for the meeting and I read a full scripture out loud for the first time. I was so nervous, but the others in the group said I did good. 

star WEDNESDAY: The day of the audit had finally arrived, and I heard next to nothing from my boss in Ellensburg at the main office. I was anxious all day and worrying over files and everything. But I did my best to leave work at work once the day was over and we headed to Moses Lake with some friends and got Chinese food for dinner. My fortune cookie (pictured below) was made just for me. A nice reminder in the middle of so much stress as to what’s really important in my life in the stream of things.

star THURSDAY: At about 2 in the afternoon I got a phone call from my boss in Ellensburg saying that the auditors would not be coming to our office at all! I was beyond thrilled with this news. A huge sigh of relief and a bunch of my stress just melted away… We went out for dinner with April (the other lady that works in my office) and her husband to celebrate. We went to the Sundial Bistro in Soap Lake again. Its becoming our favorite local eatery.

star FRIDAY: After writing about my experience at the balloon festival last week I was surprised by some of the comments I got. It turns out that those who put on the fireworks display found my post and forwarded it to the coordinators of the festival who called our real estate agent (who gave us the tickets) to reach out to me and make sure I was okay. I was a little blown away that little ol’ me would be of any concern to people, but I received kind and encouraging comments and suggestions for what to do next year to keep my anxiety level down. It was a surprising and interesting day in that regard. My sister Megan and her husband Siyani came to stay with us for the weekend and arrived late Friday night. It was so nice to visit with them and Megan brought a ton of baked goods with her to share. 3 different types of pie, pecan tarts, pumpkin roll cake and then made a mock-cheesecake too. She’s such a good baker. What a treat!

star SATURDAY: Megan came to work with me Saturday morning and we spent a couple hours working on a blog for her. Her husband, Siyani and her are moving to Australia soon and she wanted a blog to be able to keep family here updated. We had fun picking pictures to use and colors and fonts. It was really neat for me to work with a design client that was sitting right next to me. Can’t wait to get it finished up and share. I hope she posts a lot while they’re away…it’s a great way to stay connected. We had planned on having a little pizza party at our house Saturday night, but no one was able to come, so the 4 of us spent the rest of the day and into the evening together. Megan and Chris made incredible homemade pizzas and we watched The Lion King (and yes, we sang along with all the songs). At about 10 my cousin Hannah and her husband and son showed up too after a long day in Seattle. I’m really glad they decided to come. We all stayed up till about 3am visiting. I love nights like that!


Favorite parts of this week: getting word that the auditors would not be coming to my office, watching the season premier of Parenthood (love that show!), spending some quality time with my sister and cousin, and working on a blog for Megan.


What is a moment you remember where all your stress melted away?
What is your favorite type of baked goods?
Did you have a memorable week? What’s a highlight?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday’s Letters


Dear Auditors: Thank you for deciding to stay at our main location instead of coming to my office too. I know others might be upset and think that all the work was done for nothing, but I’ve never heaved a bigger sigh of relief then when I got the news. I celebrated and slept good last night. Dear Fall TV Shows: So excited that you’re back! (at least those on HULU). And thank you Parenthood’s first episode for making me cry big ugly tears. Dear glasses: I am in love with my first pair and am eagerly awaiting my second pair. I’ve got pictures and a post planned to share soon to tell you all about them. First pair free guys…how cool is that? Dear Sister Megan: I’m so glad you guys are coming to visit this weekend. I’m really looking forward to some sister time. And your baking. Always look forward to your baking! Dear Gas Prices: you are ridiculous. I almost have no words, except that I hate you. Dear trip to Whidbey Island: I am really looking forward to you and some time for relaxation. Hopefully I’ll survive the drive okay and be able to enjoy the weekend. Dear Husband: thank you for putting up with me these last few weeks while I’ve been under so much stress. Hopefully everything will get back to normal soon. You’re so kind, and I really couldn’t function without you. Love you to life.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Words Inspiring Life

These quotes really touched my heart recently and I wanted to share.




Have you found any quotes that are inspiring to you?
What song lyrics are you really loving lately?


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Week 7


to learn
and love
and laugh...
is to live.
-- still
I tread lightly over
sensitive subjects
and imagine in "what ifs"
it is not to be daring.
it is not to be brave.
it is to be.


The beginning line of this poem came from a song that I was singing in the performance of Razia’s Shadow that Chris and I were doing in 2010. Of all the songs and words from that musical those ones stuck with me, and still touch my heart. That is what life is all about: to learn and love and laugh. I wanted the portrait that accompanied this poem to have a bit of mystery to it…to have a slight ‘other-world’ feel to match the other world I was a part of at the theater. I wanted to reveal a bit of who I was becoming during that time, through acting on stage and rediscovering the artist within me. There will always be those who question or don’t understand the decisions you make in your life or the paths that you choose, and that’s where the part about treading lightly over sensitive subjects comes from. I have always had a hard time with trying to meet everyone else’s expectations. But when I took this picture I was figuring out what my expectations for my life were. Who I wanted to be. The path that I chose lead me to where I am today, and I wouldn’t trade the lessons learned for anything. I have learned. I have loved. And I have laughed.

line2Wondering about this post? I am sharing my 52weeks project from 2010 each week on my blog and analyzing the image and the poem with fresh eyes two years later. For an explanation of the project and to start at the beginning click HERE.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September Hair Diaries


As I mentioned in my post yesterday, my hair has been pretty much the same since April, which has to be a record for me! But Chris really likes it short and blonde, and he’s been vocal about it when previously he hadn’t really said anything one way or another about my different hair styles. So it will probably stay like this for a little while longer. I feel beautiful because he thinks so.


So I went to see Hannah at her salon and we added some lowlights, touched up my roots, and freshened up my cut. I really love how it feels, and its been so much fun to try different styles with. I think I’ll have to do a Hair Diaries post with all the ways I like to wear it at this length.

It will be a great cut to transition from summer to fall. I can’t wait to start wearing my scarfs again with it! I’m excited to welcome and celebrate autumn.


Are you adventurous with your hair?
What’s your favorite chapter from your Hair Diaries?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Avenue Hair Studio

My cousin Hannah is a regular presence on my blog in all of my “Hair Diaries” posts. She’s been responsible for pretty much all of my adventures in hair colors and cuts. We’ve done my hair in all sorts of locations…a tiny kitchen, a bathroom where we permanently stained the tub, Hannah’s school salon, her new apartment, one salon where she worked, my house…sometimes with a cape, many times with just a towel. Always an adventure! And I’m so excited for Hannah and her newest adventure and space: Avenue Hair Studio on the Ave in Wenatchee, WA.

Hannah has generously opened her salon for me to share with all of you today. We had fun taking pictures and doing my hair one afternoon last week. Welcome to Avenue Hair Studio!


Her and her business partner created a fun modern space with a perfect shade of tiffany blue on the walls and accents of zebra print. It’s a fun, warm and welcoming space.


My current hairstyle really needs regular touch-ups and I’ve loved coming to see Hannah here. We people watch out the big windows and catch up on each other’s lives. This time we added some lowlights to my color and then she freshened up my cut. I love how it turned out. I have another before and after post coming soon. Smile


If you live in the area you should so give Hannah a call and have her work her magic on your hair too. She’s got skills and she’s so creative. I love collaborating with her and coming up with new ideas to try on my hair. Chris really likes how it is now, so the short and blonde might stay a little while longer, though. Its been like this since April, which I think is a record for the last 6 years!

Thanks so much Hannah for sharing your salon with us. And for rocking out on my hair. And for being my cousin. You’re pretty awesome.



Are you loyal to a stylist?
Do you have any fun ‘at home’ hair stories?
What’s your favorite thing you’ve tried with your hair?