Tuesday, December 30

exit row responsibility

Yesterday Doug and I flew home from a fun-filled Christmas in Oregon and Washington. On our last leg of the journey from Atlanta to Richmond we were seated in the emergency exit row.

As we first sat down in our seats, it occurred to me that the people around us might be sizing us up. I wondered if they were thinking to themselves, "If our plane goes down, we're turning to THEM to help us out?"

While the extra leg room is divine, I just don't think I'll pick to sit in the exit row again. The burden of responsibility is simply too much.

Wednesday, December 24

merry christmas, yo

This is how you'll find us Shafers this Christmas:

Whether your Christmas is white or not, we hope it's very merry.

Love you all!

Saturday, December 20


I often rate the quality of my age based on the quality of the number itself. For example, 24 is a great number because it's divisible by a ton of other numbers. I mean, just think of your times tables! 4x6, 3x8, 12x2, and so on. And what did I do the year I was 24?
- graduated from college
- started my first grown-up job
- got engaged
- got married

Now that's a good year.

I've been 27 since Thursday. At first I wasn't that excited about it, but I'm really starting to have good feelings. Sure it's got 3x9, but I think the real kicker is 3 cubed. You have to admit that's pretty awesome.

So stay tuned for a great 27, folks. It's going to be a good one.

Tuesday, December 16

a christmas miracle

Last August I purchased what Wal-Mart allegedly believed was a mum plant. It looked cute on our front porch for about 4.25 days, and then it became brown and shriveled. And ugly. I did all I could to revive it, but it wasn’t having any of it.

I decided to put the eyesore on our back porch until I could decide what to do (I have a hard time throwing things away, okay?!). Within a few weeks the plant actually started showing new green growth, so it renewed my hope. It kept growing taller and taller, but alas it was all green and no flowers. My sister warned me that mums only bloom once a year, so I eventually gave up on it.

But then... a few weeks ago after an especially wet weekend, I opened up the blinds to find this:

And do you what this is?

It’s a Christmas miracle.

(It's also a sign that Wal-Mart doesn't know how to properly label plants.)

Merry Christmas to all, and to all an unseasonably warm December!

Friday, December 12

i needed this today

Jessica sent this in a forward today, and it really hit the spot. Thanks, dude.

Happy Friday.

Now, if only we'd get some snow here...

Thursday, December 11

we're all swallowing 8 spiders a year

I am a big supporter of Snopes.com, a website devoted entirely to exposing the truth behind urban legends, email forwards, and other internet facts that get circulated so much that we begin to think they're true. If I ever get a forward that makes me say “NO WAY!” or “SHUT. UP.”, I head to Snopes to see if there really is no way or if it really should shut up.

It's enlightening--try it.

Now I don't know what makes me trust Snopes implicity, but I guarantee they do more research than I ever would on my own. And I respect someone that works harder than I do. And I recently started to respect them more after reading this story:


Oh the irony. A woman clearly writes that she’s making up the fact that we eat 8 spiders a year, and next thing you know I’m hearing it from a friend in college. She believed it and so did I. But Snopes? They didn't. They did their homework and now they're letting me sleep better at night.

So if in doubt, brothers and sisters, check out Snopes. It will save you from needless worry and spider eating. Trust me.

Tuesday, December 9

a friend to the animals

Doug performed a good deed the other day. He had just finished lunch with some folks on the fourth floor of the dental building, and was walking out of a classroom into a hallway. Suddenly a bird SWOOSHED (yes, swooshed!) past his head, and then got stuck at the end of the hall near a window. It kept ramming into the window trying to escape. Doug and friends tried to redirect it towards the stairwell and the doors, but to no avail.

So what did Doug Shafer, Bird Hero, do? He caught it in his lunch bag and released it outdoors. He said one of the best parts was a woman who got to watch him set down his lunch bag outside and then see a bird come flying out. Now that’s a fancy trick.

As a reward, this good citizen gets to take his last final this morning. He’ll then be free as a bird (get it??) until January. One semester down, only seven to go.

Sunday, December 7

hiya, bill!

Here's the scene: It's Friday night. We're at the event center at VCU. It's pretty darn packed. As part of VCU's 40th anniversary celebration, they brought in a special speaker to do a show/lecture. The tickets were free, but we might have paid to come anyway. And who was this payment-worthy speaker that we wanted to listen to on a Friday Night?



(Duh, his picture is totally right there, but hopefully some of you were still surprised.)

I'll be the first to admit I was star struck. My dad has been quoting Bill's stand-up stuff for my entire life plus a decade (the chicken heart that ate New York City is a personal favorite). We were also a big fan of "The Cosby Show" and I could even act out some of the episodes for you if you'd like. So when Bill walked onto the stage, we were stoked to even be breathing the same event center air!

Bill didn't disappoint. At first. He started off pretty strong with some pure-funny-Cosby things, emphasizing the point that people need to value themselves and set high expectations for themselves. Words to live by. But by the end we learned this:

1. Bill Cosby is 71 years old. He is a grandpa, and kinda rambles like an older granpda.
2. Bill Cosby can get VERY crude. And since he felt like most of the audience was students, he went for graphically crude.
3. Bill Cosby can start many stories and never finish them, thanks to a complicated string of tangents.
4. Bill Cosby can be really really crude.

He tainted our view of him a bit, I'll admit. So when he was still making us feel dirty and confused after an hour and a half, we decided to graciously tiptoe out before he could ruin our feelings for him entirely. And hey, the tickets were free.

So to VCU I say thanks for a free show, and to Bill I say thanks for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We'll try to not act awkward if we run into you again, but I can't make any promises.

Wednesday, December 3

giving the thanks, new jersey style

Last week we headed to NJ to spend Thanksgiving with Jenn, Cyd, and my mom (my dad couldn't make it last minute thanks to dumb ol' work--we missed you dad!).

We had a delightful time. We cooked, baked, Wii-ed it up, bowled, played lots o' Scattergories, and more. We had a fabulous time and felt annoyed that real life required us to come home.

Thank goodness for family!

To recreate Lex's cookie: Add 2 cherry halves to make red, beady eyes.
To recreate Chase's cookie: Add coconut. Add everything else. Cover it all in coconut.
Jenn and cute foster baby
The guys playing Wii. And apparently Mr. Potato Head.
Tyler shaking his groove thang
My overall score? 74. Shut up.

His ball was rolling so slowly he sat down to watch it go
This girl got a strike. Seriously!
Some sort of strike high 5. I like it.

Uncle Travis is a patient chap
Family pics late, late at night. Good idea, Jackie. Oh, and nice hair.

Sure do love these folks...

Monday, December 1


E-ZPass [ē'zē pās] The easiest (eziest?) way to fly through toll booths in a land riddled by toll roads. Pre pay and this little sensor lets you use the fast lanes, instead of using those slow-as-molasses cash lanes full of people that can't follow simple directions, such as having their cash ready.

How did I function before you came into my life? Seriously, how?!