Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday’s Letters


Dear Chris: I am so proud of you and was blown away by how well you did this week on your very first Russian Bible reading. So excited to be learning with you and working on this together. Dear Credit Union: I feel at home within your walls and I am so happy that this job worked out. I have training today and all of next week in Spokane and I think its going to be great to really immerse myself in the Credit Union world and develop the skills I’ll need to be great at my job. Dear Mom: I’m sorry that my new work schedule has kept us from visiting everyday. I hope we can visit soon. I miss you. Dear Car: let’s pretend that I had the time to get your oil changed before my trip, k? Dear Friends: I need some new music to listen to while on my little road trip to training. Suggestions?? Dear New Co-Workers: Thanks for making me feel welcome and like a valuable part of the team. Dear April (my old co-worker): I miss visiting and working with you, but I promise to keep in touch. You and your family are very special to us. Dear Photoshoot: I am squeezing you in this Sunday afternoon and I really need you to go well. Hopefully the during the drive I’ll be able to focus and be inspired and have some great ideas come to me. Dear Phone: I think that its time we part ways…its been a great 2 years, but this whole not working thing is really putting a cramp in my style, and my internet connectivity. Dear Perfect-Pair-of-Pants: Where are you? Can you do your best to find me this week? I really need something to wear to work. K, thanks, bye. Dear Husband: thank you so much for all you’ve done this month, and this week especially with keeping the house clean and cooking and making me laugh when I’m stressed. Your support has meant so much through this transition period and while I’ve been making the adjustments and still keeping my prior commitments. You are the best partner and I so appreciate you and all you do. Love you to life. Dear Blog Readers: Thanks for sticking around while things have been a little sparse here. Once I get used to my new schedule things will get back to normal. I hope you all have a great weekend! Leave me a comment and tell me how you’ve been. Smile 


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Baby on the way

My karaoke-singing, theater-performing, crazy hair color-loving friend Nani is expecting her first child. It’s a boy and I am so excited! This will be my first close-by friend to have a baby that I’ll get to visit and see often. So looking forward to holding this little guy when he arrives.

In the meantime, I got to take pictures of him safe and sound inside this cute little baby belly. I was so glad that Nani and Jordan took me up on my offer to take maternity pictures for them. It’s been too long since I was  behind a camera, so I really enjoyed our afternoon together and am excited to share my favorites from our shoot.


Congrats my friends! That little guy has the nicest parents. Smile I can’t wait to celebrate his arrival. He’ll be here before we know it.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Life Lately

In my favorite little squares…

Instagram pictures are one of my favorite ways of sharing the little moments of everyday life. Its part of how I celebrate. Here are some of the goings-on in my everyday lately.


1) Enjoying the trees and the foliage of Whidbey Island. 2) Echinacea is one of my favorite plants to photograph. 3) Out for dinner and drinks with friends to celebrate my new job! 4) Living with the smoke from the surrounding forest fires and a freak wind storm. 5) Sushi for lunch on my second day of my new job. 6) Spending my lunch breaks with my dear friend Marta while at the Moses Lake branch for my first couple days of work. A total highlight of this last week.

I just love instagram! It helps me to slow down, capture, remember…celebrate!


What’s your favorite instagram image recently?
What helps you to celebrate?
What does your “life lately” look like?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Me, Myself and I

Yay! It’s the 3rd Tuesday of the month which means to things: 1) its time for this month’s fun “all-about-me” style link-up and 2) I don’t have to think too hard for a blog post today. Phew! Thanks ladies for another great round of questions. Visit here for more information about the link-up and how to participate.

1) What is your favorite season? Explain.
I love autumn…like viscerally love autumn. Its when I feel the most like me. I always have felt that. Something about the turning leaves and the colors and the crisp air and the scarfs just makes me feel at home. Someone once told me “October looks good on you” and it kinda stuck with me. This month is my favorite.


2) Talk about a moment that changed your life.
3 weeks ago when I got the call and was offered my new job at the credit union. Everything came together better then I could have ever hoped for, and I know that this will be a pivotal moment from which all future amazing things stem from. I can’t wait for the rest of this journey. I can’t wait to look back and see just what was changed by this moment.

3) If you could be a Crayola crayon, what color would you be and why?
I would choose the color purple. It’s currently my favorite color to use and to wear. I love my purple walls in my office and the purple on my blog. It’s what I find myself drawn to lately.

4) Describe yourself and a superhero: superpower, name, sidekick, etc?
If I had a superpower I would want to be able to make everyone see just how beautiful they really are. In my opinion, far too many people don’t see their own beauty and value. I would want to change that. And have super-sonic hearing…but that’s probably just because I’m deaf in one ear. Winking smile 

5) If I had all the money in the world, but could only shop at 3 stores, where would I want to shop?
I’m going to say Walmart, Burlington Coat Factory and IKEA. Food, clothing and shelter. All bases covered!

Now its your turn! Create a post answering the questions and join the link-up! It’s a fun monthly one that’s been interesting to be a part of. I’ve learned lots about my favorite bloggers and found people that had answers like mine. Its like that C.S. Lewis quote: “Friendship is born at the moment when one person says to another: “You too? I thought I was the only one!


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hanging on blogs with Canadians

Its like riding in cars with boys, but better…

This month I am sitting in E-Ho’s sidebar over at Hope-Squared and got to take over her blog for a day this week. I answered some of her questions about my approach to blog design and together we’ve got a pretty terrific giveaway in the works. I’ve got a blog header design and a download of my handwriting font and Emily is offering a space for you in her sidebar next month. Pretty sure she’s going to make us all ‘blog famous’. Winking smile


Here is your chance to enter the giveaway! Head on over and get to know Emily a bit better and take a peek at my answers to her interview questions. And follow the steps below for even more chances to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I can't wait to meet the winner of the giveaway and get to know them better as I work with them to make their blog pretty and make it feel like “home.” And even if you don’t win, check my blog design page for more information about what packages I offer and shoot me an email if you’d like to work together.


What is your favorite feature of blog designs?
What thing do you look for first when you discover a new blog?
How do you feel about fonts?

Friday, October 12, 2012

My first day


On Thursday (10/11/12!) I started my new job at Horizon Credit Union. And they even had my name tag ready for me already. Little things like that make me really happy. Smile If you want to catch up on the story of how I got the job and why I made the change come read this post HERE.

My first day with them went so good. I got to meet everyone at one of the branches that I’ll sometimes work in. Today I’m going to the branch inside of the Safeway store and then next week I go to Ephrata branch, where I’ll mostly be working.

All of the people at the branch were so friendly, kind and welcoming. I just know I’m going to love being a part of this team and fit well with the Credit Union’s values.


What’s the best first day you ever had?
Do you enjoy what you do for work?
Have you ever worked in the banking world?

Monday, October 08, 2012

October: Currently


grateful for the countdown of days before I start my new job.
loving working on a brand new MacBook Pro. Its not mine to keep, but still fun to work on.
listening to the HULU shows I am behind on watching as background noise while I work.
drinking water, water and more water…but thinking about getting a coffee.
wearing a sweater for the first time this season.
feeling eager to begin.
eating leftover pasta from yesterday.
waiting for Chris to get off work and come give me a hug.
working hard at training the new girl as best I can before I leave.
thinking about all the doors this new job opens to me.
happy that my sister Megan came for one last visit this weekend before she leaves for Australia.
excited about new design inquiries and customers added to my queue.
enjoying my second to last quiet afternoon alone in the office.
needing to finish editing the maternity pictures I took on Saturday.  I think I got some really cute ones and I can’t wait to share.
accepting that things work out for the best when you leave them in God’s hands.
wanting to remember to savor the ending.
remembering that ‘every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end."

What are you doing currently?
Share a thought in the comments below.
Remember that every day is worth celebrating!

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Our Island Getaway…

But not the kind you’re thinking of. Winking smile 

A couple weeks ago we went out to Whidbey Island off the coast of Washington State to spend a couple days with Chris’ grandparents and his parents (who are stranded over there because of the bad forest fires and the smoke hovering over eastern Washington). It’s a nice easy drive through some of the prettiest parts of the state. And my favorite place to stop and take pictures is at Deception Pass bridge that links the mainland to Whidbey Island.


We got to go to my favorite Chinese food place and have the honey walnut prawns that I’ve been thinking about since we had them last time, which was 4 years ago! They’re pretty amazing. And memorable, apparently. We also got to eat at Anthony’s, which is a seafood restaurant serving it fresh from the ocean that you sit beside. Funny thing though, the best thing we ate there was the onion rings. Not that the seafood wasn’t good. Their clam chowder rivals the east coast chowder I had last summer. Chris’ grandparents always feed us good when we go to see them.

We also were able to meet up with some of our friends that live on the island. A couple that used to live here and a friend of mine that I made at girls camp in 2011. We went out for frozen yogurt with Alan and Tonya and had coffee with Ariel and her new husband, Richard. I’m glad that we were able to see them too. It made for a very full and fun trip.

It really was a lovely weekend.


When was the last time you got away?
Where is your favorite place to go to visit?
What type of food do you like to try while you’re on a trip?

Friday, October 05, 2012

*Coffee Date* Vlog

All about my last few days at Instant Cash…

I am fully embracing this season of change and so excited for what’s to come and celebrating the little moments along the way. Feeling more like my old self again is the greatest feeling. And maybe its not the old Shaina I’ve found, maybe it’s the Shaina I’m supposed to be…. the Shaina I am becoming.

Linking up with Alissa from Rags to Stitches again this week for coffee date. Did you do a vlog or post this week? Make sure to add your link so I can come hang out with you today for coffee too. I love to get to know you all better.


What changes in your life are you celebrating and embracing?
Do you think clothes can have a big impact on how you feel?
Do you have an item of clothing you’ve been searching for?

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Summer’s Last Adventure

We put “Go to a Drive-In Movie” at the very top of our Summer Manifesto this year. It was something we really wanted to do together this year. I guess I should have done some more research ahead of time though, because there are now only 3 drive-in theaters left in the state of Washington. The one I thought we could go to nearby has been closed a couple years now.

But fortunately once we did the research we discovered on on Whidbey Island called the Blue Fox. We had a trip out to the island to visit Chris’ grandparents planned for the end of September, so it worked out perfectly! I’m so glad we got to check this one off our list!


They were playing Madagascar 3, which was super cute. The Afro Circus song has been my ringtone for awhile, so it was fun to watch the movie it came from. That’s one catchy little song. Always puts a smile on my face!

I tweeted that we were on Whidbey Island and fellow Washington State blogger Katlyn of The Dreamy Meadow tweeted back and she made plans to come to the drive-in too. She brought her adorable little boy Bentley and we got to meet. She’s the first other blogger that I’ve ever met in person, and she was so cool! I hope that I’ll be able to go to the Washington State blogger meet-up and hang out with her again.


So then we figured out the right radio frequency so we could hear and settled in to watch the movie. The picture got clearer as the sky darkened. Its super hard to take pictures of movies, but I tried. Smile with tongue out


And then this happened:


Yup, you guessed correctly: the film caught fire!! At first I thought it was part of the movie, but then it just kept burning and the picture melted away. Crazy! We just waited and they eventually turned off the projector. Chris headed back to check and see what they were planning to do and they told him they would start the movie up again a couple frames later. It was about a 20 minute wait to get it started again, but I’m glad we got to see the rest of the movie.

And come away with a great story!!


What was your favorite adventure this summer?
Did you do all the things you hoped to do?
How are you chronicling your summer?

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Week 9


one girl
one day
this scarf...
she feels a friendship
wrapped around her
from a far-away place
and there are no words to describe her thankfulness.
from this place of expanse
there comes a soft voice...
a whisper of belief,
someone telling her
there is power in her thoughts.
she will be brave,
she will seek peace,
and she will smile.


This poem and picture are dedicated to my dear online friend Dani. She made the scarf for me and I absolutely love it and wanted to do something a little different to say thanks to her. She is the soft voice that whispers from the “place of expanse”…the internet. It is amazing to me that even though we are so far apart physically, with the help of the internet, she has become one of my dearest friends. She encourages me to be brave. And two years later she still has the same effect on me. She trusts me as an artist and let me design her blog for her, which was a joy to do. She is someone that I can talk to and bounce anything off of and she will always be there to listen. We talked on the phone for the first time recently, and her voice was just as I imagined it would be…kind and soulful. I am glad to have Dani as a friend. And thankful for the reminders of her friendship that surround me: my scarf, my blue glass heart, her portrait above my computer, the page she made for me hanging on my wall, and all the emails we’ve shared through the years.

Do you have friends you’ve made online that you cherish?
How do you say thank you to your friends?
What’s the best way you’ve found to stay close?


Wondering 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.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Saying Hello to my favorite month


Hello October. I’m so glad you’re here. I’ve been waiting all year for you and your (hopefully soon) crisp cool mornings and turning leaves. This is going to be a big, important month. I will be closing a chapter of my life almost 4 1/2 years long as I begin my new job. Hello new professional clothes and wearing heels that make me feel more like my old self again. This month begins our Saturdays completely full of the Russian language and leaning into the learning process. October brings with it getting internet installed at home, blog design classes, the last visit with my sister before she moves to Australia, buying new tires, taking family pictures and maternity pictures, days of training at the Credit Union and possibly the switch from iced to hot coffee. There will be much to celebrate…October looks good on me.