Monday, October 29

happy halloween

Edible? Yes
Terrifying? Of course!

Thursday, October 25

A tale of two Jacks

My nephew Jack (my namesake) and I have a lot in common.

The other day my sister Stacey could hear Jack calling her name, but she couldn't find him.

Stacey searched all over and finally found him like this:

Trapped under a laundry basket.

Apparently he had tried to pull his baby blanket out of a laundry basket that was stacked above him. When he pulled on the blanket the basket came right on top of him, trapping him.

Yet he didn't cry, because it was all for the love of the blanky:

And when he was freed,

the blanket was there to comfort him.

I too feel trapped under a laundry basket some days. I go to work, feel burnt out by 9:15 am, and send out a cry for help, often in the form of eating Jolly Ranchers from the snack table. Eventually I turn to my coworkers for help, but all they can offer is sympathy because they feel exactly the same. Yet I go on. And do you know why? Not for the love of a blanky, per se, but for something slightly different: the love of the clean desk*.

I know that if I work and work, I can eventually clean off my desk of all the "to do" stuff. And once that's all gone, I get to do an internal high five before it gets piled up again with a whole new load of crap I need to do. And that internal high five really gets me through the day.

*Other equally important answers would have been:
…for something bulkier: the love of a Doug Shafer
…for something I can't explain: the love of editing and writing
…for something I can't take with me when I die: the love of money (note: this is also the root of all evil)

But Jack and I really do have quite the connection. Gotta love that darling little boy.

(If you think I stole these pics from Stacey's blog today, you're right.)

Monday, October 22

pumpkin time

Don't be scared, but we carved some pretty freaky pumpkins last night with our friends Emily and Logan:

Doug, Em, and Logan used patterns, so their pumpkins turned out amazing (Doug=pirate ship, Emily=Skeleton Face, Logan=Spider). Mine on the other hand was free-style carved out of an adorable acorn squash my other friend Emily gave me. She gave it to us to cook, but a last minute decision led me to hack it up instead. (Sorry Emily! I'll probably end up replacing it because it smelled so good when the candle started cooking it. Curses...)

And for all you PA people out there, you might recognize this Emily as the former Emily Hansen of D-town. They moved into our ward earlier this year and I've been loving it ever since. You'll also notice Emily's become a lot more violent than she used to be:

Thursday, October 18

ben & whit

Sigh... this week the inevitable happened: Ben and Whitney moved. AND they took their kids with them! (the NERVE!)

It's safe to say both Doug and I are hating this. Don't get us wrong--we're way happy that Ben scored a great job and that he's done with his Master's. And we're way happy that they're happy they're headed to Cali and that they have new and exciting things ahead of them. But... we just wish that they could have moved the same day we did or something. We're going to miss them like crazy.

We're going to miss sitting with them at church. We're going to miss running over there for a minute and staying late into the night. We're going to miss hanging out playing nerts on their coffee table. We'll miss chasing the boys around and around their apartment. We'll miss looking for their car to see if they're home when I drive by, and sending a shout out or a honk when I see them out front. We'll miss their generosity and their continual willingness to help us out when we were in a bind. We'll miss watching Apple Trailers and music videos and YouTube together. We'll miss their laughs and their freaking good senses of humor.

Doug will miss playing raquetball with Ben and hanging out with him at lunch. I'll miss laughing with Ben and hearing his enthusiasm for his family, his Mac, and his life in general. I'll miss seeing Whit in RS and chatting with her in her apartment. I'll miss yoga class and dinners together. We'll miss seeing Whit running along the road (man, she's good at running), and we'll miss seeing Ben and Whit tease each other.

We'll miss Joel's little laugh and his huge smile. We'll miss hearing him call our names from across the chapel. We'll miss hearing him talk really seriously about important topics like cars and trains. We'll miss his games and his sideways look. We'll miss Kadin's sweet little voice and the way his face lights up when he gets excited. We'll miss hearing him say, "I wanna watch Incredibles" or our names (which coincidentally sound exactly alike when he says them). We'll miss cuddling with them and squeezing their cute little faces.

Sigh... I guess you catch our drift--they'll be missed. It's just so good to have family like them around...

i cut bangs. again.

Well, technically I didn't cut my bangs... Doug did!

I was in desperate need of a haircut and not in the mood to pay for pricey (but really good) stylist. So Doug gave it a shot. He was nervous, but he's so good at guy's hair that he was ready for a challenge. A challenge few men dare face.

He trimmed all of my hair, but avoided the scary intimidating layers. The bangs turned out shorter than we expected, but I really like them. Well done, Douglas, well done.

Friday, October 12

a good solid laugh

I needed a good laugh today, and Jenn saved the day. She recently got a wedding announcement for a friend of ours (congrats, Kristen!), so she scanned the invite and picture so we could see it. Our friend's husband-to-be has a bushy, bushy beard, causing this brief interaction:

Jackie: So what do you think it's like to kiss a man with that bushy of a beard??

Jenn: Like kissing Lehi.

Yes, Jenn, I did laugh my face off. Well done.

Saturday, October 6

drama rama

They did layoffs at my company this week. Yuck. We've all be sensing something was up for a few weeks, so it wasn't comforting when Wednesday was full of closed door meetings with the executives and the announcement that there'd be a mandatory employee meeting on Friday. I started looking for jobs and tracking down my resume that night.

Then on Thursday around 1 pm we were told we could all go home at 3 pm that day. The office was closing. No explanation. And all the executives were meeting with the firm that owns us. Awesome. Around 2:45 pm, however, some people started getting calls saying they needed to stay for a 3 pm meeting. My heart nearly exploded when my phone rang at 2:50. Luckily it was just Doug. The place cleared out pretty freaking fast (who'd want to stick around?), and as I drove out of the parking lot I passed a police car. I guess they didn't want things to get out of control.

We all had our estimates, but it turns out they let 25 people go in that meeting. They were from various departments, and one lady sat right next to me. Some were happy to go, others were disappointed, and others were just plain mad. Friday morning I couldn't help but wear black--the day just felt gross. At the employee meeting that morning we were introduced to the company's new strategy and we were allowed to vent if we wanted to. I feel relieved but so sad for those that got thrown a curve ball. It's just not easy working in corporate America.

So I hate to be Debbie Downer (wah, wah, wah), but this was a weird, gross couple of days. Ick.

Tuesday, October 2

sometimes you break a window and find a mouse in your apartment in the same day

Yesterday morning as Doug was getting into the shower he decided to crack open (no pun intended) the window because there's no fan in our bathroom. Apparently he doesn't know his own strength nor the power of the palms of his hands because he busted right through. The best part was hearing the glass break, hearing him yell out of frustration, and then walking in and seeing him standing there naked with the broken window.


And then last night I came home from tutoring, flipped on the light of the kitchen, and saw a mouse speed around the corner running for its life. Of course I screamed first, and then I started laughing. I mean, a mouse in our apartment?? That's funny! Doug was at work for another hour, so I did the logical thing and called my dad. Surely he could do something from Rhode Island. When he didn't answer, I called my landlord. I guess I just felt like I had to tell someone.

Meanwhile said mouse ran to hide behind our TV, but joke was on him--that's not much of a hiding place. But he quickly realized that and booked it accross the room (causing me to scream again) and hid in our bookcase. Next to our scriptures and my Honda manual. I didn't know what to do, so I just got on the computer right next to the bookcase and stared him down. I chatted with Jenn on Skype and we discussed my wimpiness and the funniness among other things. I kept my eye on him, and he wasn't moving. My dad finally called back, but--shockingly--his sympathy was minimal. He told me I was the size of a water tower to that mouse, so unless that mouse is a complete moron, he's not going to attack me. His logic was wasted on me, though, because I could HEAR the mouse in the bookshelf, most likely eating this way through 1 Nephi.

When Doug FINALLY got home I immediately told him the story, and he got right to work gathering tools: garden gloves, a paper sack, the broom, and a flashlight. I stood on the couch while he started shifting the books around on the shelf. The mouse came streaking out (they are surprisingly fast!) and I let out an uncontrollable scream and it ran right back where it came from. Doug was NOT pleased with my reaction. And then... it disappeared. We could not find it! Apparently he snuck past us and ran around the room or something when we least expected it. We spent the next 45 minutes looking for it in all the likely and even the unlikely places (note: he was not in the shower or the silverware drawer). That mouse is good.

We haven't seen him since, and I admit I'm a bit obsessed with where he might be. Despite the screaming, I'm slowly growing attached to him. I woke up at 2 a.m. and wondered if he was in our room at that very moment. Doug bought some traps today but I don't want to hurt him. I'm living this fantasy where I think he's the only mouse in our apartment and he's kinda cute and he's like a pet that lives in our bookshelf. Our neighbor downstairs told us they think they hear a mouse scurrying behind their kitchen cupboards. I feel a bit hurt that he would ditch us, so I'm assuming it's another mouse.

So breaking a window AND finding a mouse in our aparment in the same day?