Monday, December 31, 2012

12 favorite things from 2012

It is really the end of the year…the last couple days of the last month of 2012. Whew! What a journey of unraveling and putting bits back together…a convergence of new life lessons and milestones…and growing older in all the right ways. Its been a great year…and I thought to finish it out right I’d share some of my favorite things and moments and treasures with you.

1. Becoming an Auntie to my nephew Emerson and watching him grow up through text message pictures and videos and a couple visits.

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2. Getting hired at Horizon Credit Union. Read the story of how it all came together here, thoughts on my first day here, and my week of training here.

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3. My 12 favorite songs of 2012: “Figure 8” by Ellie Goulding, “King and Lionheart” by Of Monsters and Men, the entire “Red” album by Taylor Swift, “Home” by Phillip Phillips, “Call Me Maybe” cover by Ben Howard, “This Is the New Year” by Ian Axel, “Hanging On” by Britt Nicole, “Somebody That I Used to Know” cover by Walk Off The Earth, “Its Time” by Imagine Dragons, “As It Seems” by Lily Kershaw, “Poison & Wine” by The Civil Wars, “Be Mine” by Robyn, “Xyz” by Jack and White.

4. Rebranding my blog to shadylaneblog.com and the month-long blog party all about celebrating the everyday. I had some amazing guest bloggers share their thoughts on the topic. And from then on this blog focused on cherishing the little things and remembering that even though “every day might not be good, but there is something good in every day.”

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5. All of my Hair Diaries and experiments this year.

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6. Riding the elephant at the fair! Total highlight of the year and my life!

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7. Celebrating our 5th Wedding Anniversary and sharing our love story together on my blog. It was so much fun to write together and share with all of you. I am so grateful for Chris and the love he’s brought into my life. Our relationship flourished this year and I hope it continues to grow even more. 

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8. Instagram for Android!!! I loved seeing the world through those little filtered squares this year and I hope to keep taking and sharing pictures with this platform. It’s a fun way to celebrate the little everyday things.

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9. Visits with family. I was a bad blogger and didn’t really take many pictures of this, but this year we had quite a few visits with our families. My papa and his new wife came to stay with us, we went to Whidbey Island and saw Chris’ grandparents and were there for their 65th wedding anniversary. My Canadian family came and spent a couple nights with us and we spent a lot of time singing and playing music together. My mum stayed with us a few times and so did my sister Megan and her husband. It was something I really enjoyed about 2012 and it made me really happy that we have a guest room in our home to share.

10. Starting our journey of learning Russian! We joined the Russian group in our congregation in May of this year and slowly but surely we’re learning the language. It is an exciting time in the history of Jehovah’s people to be involved in a foreign language group. We can’t wait to see where it will lead and what other doors it might open to us.

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11. Learning and growing with my blog designing. I got to meet some really amazing ladies and design for some friends this year. I am hoping to continue to grow my skills and my business with blog design.

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12. Getting answers about my health. I got sick at the end of 2011 and throughout 2012 I went through lots of ups and downs trying to figure out what it was and then how to get it under control. I was diagnosed with IBS and was able to see a specialist and got the tools I need to continue forward in as much control of it as possible. Getting sick and going through this process has taught me a lot…I’ve learned humility and to rely on Chris even more. It brought us closer together. I am glad to be on the road to health again, and hopefully feeling even more like my self again soon.

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It has been quite a year…and I am so excited to welcome in 2013 and see what it brings us.

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What were the best parts of your 2012?

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Words about love

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Saturdays with my husband are my new favorite thing. I am so grateful for this love in my life.

What quotes about love are your favorite?
Do you collect quotes? I have for many years. Smile
 

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Friday, December 07, 2012

Friday’s Letters

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Dear Chris: This morning on the phone you told me that you missed me, even though we’d only been apart a couple hours…it made me feel so loved. Dear Mom: I’m so sorry that your dear friend Hazel passed away. I will miss hearing stories about your visits with her. She was such a kind-hearted woman. Dear Weather: Thank you for pretending that its March instead of December. Its been so nice lately, and I’m glad there is no snow sticking yet. This is my kind of winter! Dear Chelsey: Thank you for asking me to be your duet partner for your karaoke competition. I loved singing with you and had so  much fun. (YouTube video of our duet here). Dear Neighborhood Kids: Why do you have to line up for the school bus in front of my house? I don’t have any kids for a reason, and I don’t appreciate your screaming and carrying on every morning. Seriously? Line up somewhere else! Dear Instagram: This song is the funniest thing I saw online this week, and I think I laughed harder because I’m guilty of taking so many of those pictures!! Dear Saturday Morning: You are my favorite thing lately…getting to spend you with my husband, having breakfast together and then going out in service. Not working Saturdays is so amazing. Dear Marta: I am so glad you asked me to come along to assist on your glamour shoot last week. I had fun doing hair and make-up and making everyone laugh and feel relaxed. I think we make a good team. Dear Rum and Coke: Get in my belly!! Have a great weekend friends!!

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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

My day off

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Today is my day off…and the first day off I’ve had with nothing planned. No doctor’s appointments or places to go. No need to get up early and get out of my pajamas even! Or do my hair, for that matter. Winking smile 

Life has been so good lately. This is what’s going on around here…

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I’ve been wearing my newest glasses from firmoo.com, drinking coffee from my pink zebra print mug, spending all my free time in blogger template and learning code to get my new designs up, adding more words to my Russian vocabulary and feeling humbled by how hard it is, feeling grateful for my regimen of milk of magnesia and Metamucil to keep my IBS relatively under control, wearing new nail polish colors and my favorite scarves again, looking forward to watching Chris learn how to use his new airbrush kit, and treating ourselves to wings from Pizza Hut.

There is lots of joy in these busy days. I am glad for this space of mine to share.

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What’s up with you lately?
Are you learning new things or making time to relax?
What is bringing you joy?

Saturday, December 01, 2012

The last month of 2012

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Hello December… hello short days and frozen fog and perhaps some snow. I am so amazed that is is already the last month of 2012. It is a time of reflection and gratitude and remembrance. Hello singing duets and credit union mergers, visits from family and trying new recipes. I’m ready for time to slow down a little…to sleep more and be more productive with my days. I’m ready for enjoying my weekends off, reading more library books and watching Chris learn to use his airbrush kit. Hello finishing up some fun blog designs and diving into my design business. I think this month will be full of job, contentment and falling more in love with my husband. Welcome December…you’ve arrived much too fast, but I’m glad you’re here.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

New hair in November

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As the season changed I felt the itch to change my hair again too. I had kept it blonde since April, which if you know me (or have read this blog for any length of time) you know that’s a long time for me to have the same hairstyle! Chris really likes it short, so I knew I would get a bit of a trim and keep the shape pretty much the same. But I did decide it was time for a darker color.

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So my cousin (and hairstylist frequently mentioned in these posts) Hannah and I picked out a really rich brown color and planned to balayage on the highlights. That is where the highlights are painted onto the hair, instead of done with foils. The end result is really natural and not streaky at all. I love how it came out.

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I’m loving fall with my dark hair. And thankfully, the snow melted away rather quickly and the weather has been mostly warm all this month. A lovely November, if I do say so myself. I have been busy with the transition from lots of free time at my old job to no time to be online aside from working on my blog design projects. So my blog has been a little quiet lately. But things are going so good. I am thoroughly enjoying my new job and I know when I look back at this time in my life I will smile. It might not be as well documented, but it is good.

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How has your November been?
Do you like to change your hair with the seasons?
What is a new trend or technique you’d like to try?

Monday, November 12, 2012

The day the snow came…

It started to fall in the early evening yesterday…whispers of the cold faintly seen in the glow of the street lamp. And in the passing of a mere 2 hours the world around me changed seasons once again.

In the dark still of the night the world glimmers in its reflection. A perfect blanket of white before the next day’s activities mar its surface. It is beautiful then. I sat still for a moment last night, staring out my kitchen window into the delicate softness that used to hold magic for me…and I smiled.

This morning the rooms in my home seemed different…quieter in a way, although the only thing that’s changed is the season outside its walls. I am glad for today, a banking day off and a chance to just sit in the quiet. A chance to reflect back on this last year as it begins to draw to a close and be thankful for the next part of my journey…so aptly portrayed by the beginning of another season.

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The snow is not my favorite thing, especially come tomorrow when I must face it from behind the steering wheel, but today I am grateful for it. Today I can see and enjoy its beauty.

Today I am celebrating change.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Worth Sharing…

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Here are some things lately that I’ve loved and that have stuck with me. I don’t have as much time to spend online lately so I try to make my time worthwhile and find uplifting and encouraging things to read. I hope you find them so too.

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>>>> A few of my recent favorite inspiring and beautiful images from the people I follow on Instagram. 1//2//3//4

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>>>> I loved all 8 tips Jenny included in her Decorating on a Budget post. The “paint last” one was surprising, but makes a lot of sense.

>>>> 15 ways to stay married for 15 years…Some I agree with, some I don’t, but an interesting read nonetheless. There are a lot of great comments on the post too.

>>>> Pictures printed as blueprint or engineering copies. Elsie @ A Beautiful Mess shared some of the ones she got made from family pictures and then over at Design Editor they shared these great camera prints and even have a free download of the camera images. Great idea for cheap large prints and I totally want to try it soon.

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>>>> Creating business cards for my blog is on my to-do list and I love how Savannah’s from Maiedae turned out. Great colors and design.

>>>> I’ve been craving a change of hairstyle lately and have been pinning caramel colored highlights. There is a brand new Hair Diaries post in the works! (hint*hint)

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>>>> The best color study post I’ve seen in a very  long time.

>>>> Finding Ella. A post from my favorite blog to just read. Her writing moves me.

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What are you {loving} this week?
Do you have a favorite blog that you love to read?
What is inspiring you lately?

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Week 11

I am working on getting back to my routine and schedule…blog posts included. And so I’m back to sharing my 52weeks project from 2010. I did a whole year of self-portraits and poems and I’m currently re-sharing with a fresh “two-years-later” perspective. Interested in seeing this from the beginning? Click HERE. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the photos, the poetry or even just what they make you feel. Please feel free to share. line2

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I will remember today
years from now; someday
when the mists of the unknown
become the clear skies of tomorrow.
I am stronger than yesterday
more alive in some way
to break down to nothing but
salt-water stains
and start over again...
to renew the spirit within.

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I think I am finally really living the “tomorrow” that I wrote about here. I have cleared away the mists of the unknown and taken control through gratitude, celebration and answered prayers. I used to live in tears and still cherish the cleansing power of them, but I am smiling so much more now. I almost can’t contain my joy. In 2011 I chose to “begin” on this journey, not quite sure where my life was leading, but through 2012 and the days leading up to right now I have found my “flourish”…I have found my true spirit within. I am appreciative of all I’ve been through, but I am not looking back anymore. Not wishing things could be how they used to be again because I am thriving in my current. I am so glad to have this space online where I can watch the journey unfold. Thank you, readers for being a part of it.

Monday, November 05, 2012

A week to remember

I am back to work today after an amazing week of training in Spokane. It was great to be in the city again for a bit and I am so excited to be a part of the team at Horizon Credit Union. I had fun getting back into the swing of dressing up a bit and wearing professional clothes again, so I wanted to share my outfits from the week.

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I wore my new favorite blazer on Monday… I just love how it fits. And then I found some cute purple pants at Target, so I wore those on Thursday. Everything I wore was from Maurices, Target and Burlington Coat Factory. Those are my favorite stores. And if you look closely you might notice the other new thing that I got on Tuesday night: a new phone! I was due for an upgrade so I went ahead and got the Samsung Galaxy S III. I have a hard time with letting go of things (even when they barely work anymore…) so it took some convincing and a really good deal for me to make the switch. But I am so happy with my new phone!

I also took the opportunity of my time in the city to meet up with some of my friends that live there. And go to my favorite (and new favorite) restaurants. My nights were full of great food and encouraging conversations and my days were full of learning.

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I know that this last week will be on that I remember for a long time. I felt like I was coming home and starting anew all at the same time. I love the financial industry and the values and member service based philosophy of this credit union. I think its going to be a very good fit for me and my personality.

The group that I was in training with was awesome. We had a lot of fun together and left with so many inside jokes and many important lessons: like remembering to check the expiration date on your cans of pop. Winking smile I felt like a valuable member of the team at Horizon from day one and my skills and knowledge of the industry were utilized at training. I was able to help explain federal regulations and reporting, bring money handling and customer service experience to the table and it made me feel so good. I learned a lot from the instructors and made some new friends. “Yeah Buddy!”

It was such a terrific week!

And now I’m back home with Chris (thank goodness!) and in my branch again working with members. I am grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait to watch life and my new career flourish.

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What’s your favorite thing to wear when you dress up?
Do you have dreams of making a change in your life?
What’s holding you back from moving onward and upward?
I’d love to hear about your experiences with changes…

Friday, November 02, 2012

*Coffee Date* Friday

My week of training in Spokane is coming to a close…its been a great week! I hope your week was good too. Let me know what’s up with you in the comments. What would you share if we were having coffee? Come join us and meet some new friends over at Rags to Stitches blog. I love watching everyone’s vlogs. Did you vlog this week? Share a link so I can come visit you too.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Living and Celebrating

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Hello November… hello daylight savings time and crisp leaves covering the ground. Hello shorter days and and new schedules. I am ready to welcome in the changes that November will bring. Ready for blogging when I’m inspired and setting new goals and expectations. Ready for reading and learning and designing. This month will be full of figuring out my new phone and applying all the skills I gained at training. There will be less eating out and more money saved; less wasting time and more cuddles; less stress and more time with friends. I just know November is going to be a month to remember in one of the best years I’ve ever had. There is always something to celebrate when you stop and look through grateful eyes. Hello November.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday’s Letters

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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 

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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.

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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.