Wednesday, November 26

an attitude of gratitude

With so much I can (and do) complain about each day, I wish every week I could feel like I do this week: full of gratitude.

We're not ridiculously rich, popular, or good looking, but sometimes a girl just feels hooked up, know what I mean?

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.

Tuesday, November 25

eating at your desk...

...makes you feel like the noisiest eater the world has ever known. My coworkers might as well be sitting next to a horse.*

*But would a horse write such nice copy for email campaigns? I doubt it!


I am in love with this hairspray. It rocks my world. I've told Doug again and again about the depth of my devotion to this hair product, but I just don't think he gets it. Perhaps he feels threatened.

I once saw a woman attempt to go through airport security with one of those gigantor Tresemmé bottles, and you better believe the TSA guys snagged it. I'm not sure what universe this woman was from that made her think it could pass as a 3-ounce liquid bottle, but when you take into account how awesome it is, can you really blame her for trying?

Monday, November 24

decor disasters

In an attempt to be cool and trendy, I decided to do a simple-yet-hip painting for our downstairs bathroom. Our hand towels are a light blue, so I was sure to carefully match the colors so it didn't look weird. Sitting at the kitchen table, it looked like I had matched the blues like a dream. I was really proud of myself.

However, when I finished the canvas and brought it into the bathroom, it turns out the lighting in the bathroom the blues horrific together. Just awful. I was so annoyed I let the painting sit on the floor for about a week. Finally I just hung it in a hallway near the bathroom as a symbol of how close I got to perfection.

Soon after I was on a cleaning rampage and I decided I would wash our bathroom rugs. I threw our dark brown rug from downstairs in with our very light tan rug from upstairs (typing this out it all seems so obvious...), and what did I end up with? A dark brown rug for downstairs and a nasty PINK rug for upstairs. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Teamed up with our pink tile, that bathroom now reminds me of Grandma Shirley's house. Awesome.

Sometimes I don't think I'm qualified to be a housewife. Or maybe I just need to stop decorating bathrooms.

Friday, November 21


I'm going to see "Twilight" tonight. I bought the ticket on Monday. I'm excited.

And I'm not ashamed to admit it.

*Update: I was thoroughly entertained! It wasn't exactly the same as the book, but it's a movie and not a book so I was okay with it. And I felt 15 again watching it. I'm also not ashamed to admit THAT.

Thursday, November 20

reach out

To fit in at Capital One, it's essential that you use the phrase "reach out" at least once in every meeting.

Reach out [rēch out]
As in “I’m going to reach out to Tom and his group so they know of this change. Then I’ll reach out and hug them.” An abstract and confusing way to let other people know you’re going to contact someone else. It implies a type of human contact that seems weird, weird, weird in the workplace.

Really, it's essential.

Tuesday, November 18

two years

I'm sure glad I signed up for this.

Happy Anniversary, Babe.

Monday, November 17

the default pose

In honor of our wedding anniversary tomorrow, I'd like to pay tribute to what Doug and I like to call "The Default Pose." Side by side, Jackie's hand on Doug's chest or abdomen. Our formula for success. 

When it comes to taking pictures, apparently it's all we can think to do.
You can dress it up...
...or keep it casual.
It works for Jackie's graduation...

...the first day of Doug's graduation...
...and the second.
You can take it on vacation...

...whether you're visiting Sea World...
...or simply hiking.

Try it sassy...
...or in an awkward moment.
Use it when you're thoughtfully diverting your eyes...
...or when one of you is a rodeo clown.

The diversity of this pose will astound you.

So, on Anniversary Eve, here's to 2 years of a good thing!


I'm so sorry to see Sylmar, California all over the news because of wildfires there. Sylmar was my first area on my mission.


Thursday, November 13

that's funny, I thought you were studying...

Doug's in dental school. Dental school requires carving tiny teeth out of wax. Carving tiny teeth out of wax can get a bit dull. So when such times come around, Doug apparently does this:

My favorite? Du-nu-nu-nu-nu-nu-nu... BAT TOOTH!
(If our camera weren't so detail-handicapped, you'd be able to see the carefully carved face. Hilare.)

I was under the impression he was studying when he went to school. Weird.

Wednesday, November 12

tag time

Brittany photo-tagged me! And since this was a fun, easy tag, I was happy to comply.

So here's the fourth picture in the fourth folder of our computer's photo collection:

This is Doug on his first day of his new job at the physical therapy office. I already blogged about this, and I was careful to note that his smile was 100% forced by his pushy wife. Poor, poor Doug.

Let the tagging continue! I invite my sisters and sister-in-laws to participate (that means YOU, Stace, Jess, Cyd, Jenn, Kadi, and Whit).

survey says...

Thanks to all that participated in my public restroom survey! The overwhelming response from you, my beloved friends and family, lets me know that I'm not the only hyperanalytical, OCD one out there. Thank you.

So what were the super-scientific results? I've sifted through the data and this list shows the stalls ranked by popularity (1 being the most preferred):
1. Stall 1
2. Stall 4
3. Stall 6
4. Stall 5
5. Stalls 2 & 3 (a tie)
6. The sink

So after careful analysis, here's my conclusion: Most of my coworkers are either using the first stalls or the last stalls. Or they're using the middle stalls. Or the sink.

Really, that's all I can conclude. So if I really want the peace of mind of having my own bathroom, I'll either need to (a) stop overthinking this issue and just use the restroom like a normal person or (b) start driving home every time I need the security of my own bathroom.


Tuesday, November 11

brothers don't shake hands...

... brothers gotta hug.

We loved having Ben (Doug's bro) here last weekend. Here are the highlights:
- Doug and Ben played racquetball, a Doug and Ben tradition.
- Our ward had a pinewood derby for the adult men, and the car Ben and Doug made together got fourth place. Not bad!

- Ben ran 10 miles. Doug and I slept in.
- We visited Belle Isle for the first time. It's an island in the middle of the James River. You walk across a suspension bridge that's hanging below a stretch of the highway that crosses the river. On the island there are paths for hiking and biking, but we liked the huge rocks in the river the best.

- We hit up Maymont park, this sweet park in the city that has animals and gardens and all kinds of cool stuff.

- We saw a movie at the lovable Byrd Theatre. The movie, "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor," was less lovable.
- We drove up to DC and dined with Janaya and Burton.

Brothers = the Best

(We found "DS love BS" on Belle Island, and we knew it was fate.)

Monday, November 10

what I think about when work is slow

When I walk into a public restroom, I like to use the bathroom stall that gets the least amount of traffic. I quickly assess the situation and try to pick the stall that I think most people wouldn't normally pick. I find a lot of peace and satisfaction out of using such a stall.

Lately, though, I've really been doubting my technique. Pictured below is the layout of the bathroom at work:
Normally I go for Stall 6. I rationalize that it's at the end of a row so most people don't want to walk that far to use it. But now I'm second guessing myself. Should I pick Stall 3 instead because most people are right-handed so they're more likely to go for the stalls on the right? Or is Stall 3 a straight shot from the door so it's too popular to be safe? Or do I pick Stall 1 or Stall 4 because most people are picking the privacy of the far-away last stalls? Or does everyone think like me, so no matter which one I choose there are a bunch of people picking it for the same reasons?!?! I just can't decide!

So here's my soul-searching question: if you were to walk into this bathroom and all six stalls were open, which one would you most likely use?

(I have no assignments at work today, so what else am I going to think about?)

Friday, November 7

living a lie

So I lied to my husband this week. A lot. In fact, I lied so much that I couldn't keep track of past lies in order to continue future lies. It was exhausting!

Why all the deception? I blame Ben. (But it's a good blame. Trust me.)

Doug's brother Ben (who lives in California) had business to do in D.C. on Thursday, so he cooked up the story that he was going to be able to come down to Richmond for a night but then he'd have to leave Friday. Ben then fed said cooked story to Doug, who became terribly excited he'd get to see his Californian brother for at least a night.

While Doug was living on the high of a potential short brother visit (a short visit, not a short brother), Ben and I set up a top secret plan. The plan was for Ben to stay with us Thursday night, act like he was leaving Friday, and then surprise Doug by staying the whole weekend. It was an easy task, except for the fact that Ben and I are self-proclaimed bad liars. In fact, I'd say I'm a REALLY bad liar. But we were willing to give it a shot, and it led to me telling Doug lie after lie. After lie.

The best part? Doug didn't have a clue. Nothing tipped him off! So when Ben psyched him out Friday morning, Doug was totally shocked that two not-very-good-liars could pull this off (Ben and I were pretty proud of ourselves too).

Suffice it to say Doug was way happy. We'll post pics of our fabulous brother visit (fabulous brother AND fabulous visit) soon. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 5

president-elect obama

Alright, pal. You won by a landslide, so you better live up to all this hype. Let's see some change, and please make it good.

Tuesday, November 4

the bad hair day that keeps on keepin' on

I've said it before and I'll say it again: if you show up to work without doing your hair, they're going to take a picture of you.

I present to the court Exhibit A:

I may not work there anymore, but DANG that picture just keeps coming back.

PS- On a related note, my hair dryer CAUGHT ON FIRE this morning as I was using it. I saw something bright in the corner of my eye as I was drying my hair, but I didn't think anything of it. Luckily my brain triggered the alarm shortly after that DUH! That was an orange FLAME. Suffice it to say I have my hair in an ugly ponytail. Another bad hair day to spice up my life.

election day

Done and done.

The polls here in VA opened at 6 am, and because I was paranoid about missing work I got there at 6:15 am. The line was wrapped around the high school where I went to vote and the parking lot was full. Dang. The line actually moved super fast until you got inside the gym. They split you up by last name, and I realized that the S-Z line was the most popular there. It took me 30 minutes longer than those snooty A-G people (I really missed my maiden name today...).

But it was cool to see so many people come out to vote, and I loved seeing all flavors of people. All of us are really are so blessed to be able to participate in our elections. I felt proud to be an American today.

And what did Doug do? He stayed in bed because he had voted via absentee ballot. Show off.

Saturday, November 1

haaaappy halloweeeeen

We Shafers love us some Halloween. After last weekend's ward par-tay, this week we were ready to do a bit of this...
...with these folks...

...and ended up with these!

Halloween night we also got our first trick-or-treaters ever as Team Shafer. Do you want to squeeze that piece of candy and that Oompa Loompa or what?!?!

We didn't have a ton of kids come by, but enough to get rid of all the candy (which we both secretly hate, but we have to pretend like it's a relief). Last night we also endured the movie "Halloween" for the first time. It was TiVo-ed, TV-friendly, cheesy, and had some terrible acting, but it still freaked me out.
Now THAT is a good Halloween.