Friday, January 30

baby oliver

Meet Oliver! He joined the fam on Sunday night. 7 pounds, 9 ounces, 20 inches. High fives to Ben, Whitney, and the boys. We're way excited!

I joked that whoever guessed his weight right got to keep him, and it turns out I was dead on! That has to be by far the easiest way to get a baby. Ben and Whit, we’ll fly out there shortly to pick him up. Please get him sleeping through the night before we arrive. Thanks.

Thursday, January 29

just for you, doug

The Smitten Mitten: the best early Valentine's gift ever.

I think the quality of the website will astound you.

Wednesday, January 28

books on tape

I already like Raisinets, NPR, and Matlock. So just when I thought I couldn’t feel more like a 75-year-old woman, I discover that I also totally dig books on tape (uh, CD)(okay, audio books).

When we moved cross-country last summer, I had my first exposure to the wonder of audio books. Harry Potter really got us through some hard spells. And then my love for audio books was rekindled on our drive up to NJ last Thanksgiving, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

My commute to work is only 10 to 15 minutes, but I’ve noticed that listening to books has really made me look forward to my drive. Our library has an excellent selection too. This month alone I’ve listened to “A Christmas Carol,” “The Five People You Meet in Heaven,” and the second book in the “Ender’s Game” series, all in 10- to 15-minute intervals. Oh baby.

But for the record, now that I listen to so many books, I listen to less NPR. So as far as my old lady-ness goes, I think it’s fair to call it a draw.

Sunday, January 25

disco sports

Last week I was reminded of the virtue of small, locally owned stores.

Last fall Doug realized his old cleats were dead, so we went in search of new ones. The one and only big sports equipment store around here is Dick's Sporting Goods (it's okay to laugh at the name), so we obviously went there first. It was here that Doug fell madly in love with these:

Crazy, I know. But he tried out several others in our price range, and they just didn't compare. They didn't have his size, so we decided that we'd try again in a few weeks. When we did, we found out they not only did they not still have his size, but the kid working there did not know anything about anything (note: this is probably not true, but it's sure how it felt).

We tried back again in a few weeks. Nothing. And, they still knew nothing.

We checked online, and they were really hard to find. That's when we figured out that these cleats were being discontinued. Lame.

At a loss of where else to go, we went back to Dick's after the holidays. We tried to find new cleats he liked, but he wasn't impressed with anything else. Dick's offered to check with other Dick's stores in the area for his size. They apparently found his size, so they promised to have them sent over in 2 to 3 days. Well after many phone calls and visits, they finally told him they had lost his order and no other stores had his size. Thanks, Dick's.

So we decided to just pick a different pair of cleats and buy them online. He still wasn't certain what size he was, so a quick visit to our local mall helped us figure that out. Note: the kid that worked there also didn't know anything about cleats. Or soccer. Or football. Or anything but basketball.

This is where the miracle comes in: as we were leaving the mall, we passed a small store called Disco Sports. It sounded like a sports bar, but they claimed to have sports equipment so we decided to check 'er out. And BOY are we glad we did.

At dear sweet Disco Sports we found the original dream pair of cleats available in multiple sizes. The kid that helped us is a soccer and football player, so he actually had excellent feedback on the different types of cleats. He also knew how to make eye contact with people. The price was really good, and I even discovered they have a whole dance section in case I ever suddenly take up ballet one day. We were THRILLED.

In our financial state, it's really easy to turn to the big stores to try and get a deal. Wal-Mart, Target, Dick's (it's okay, laugh), and such. But what a great reminder that if you want service, quality, and people that know their stuff, you can't rely on the 17-year-old working at a big store to give you what you want. He just doesn't get paid enough, and he'd rather be playing basketball anyway.

Thursday, January 22

my dream basement

I had another glimpse of my dream basement last night. And I don’t mean some fantasy basement I hope to own one day. It’s some unfinished basement that's becoming a popular setting for my dreams! It’s a weird mix between my family’s basements in Georgia and Pennsylvania, with a few key features from my parent’s current house in Alabama.

Last night I dreamt I was in my parent’s backyard watching co-workers from Provo Craft hopping on mushrooms à la Mario Kart (we’ve been playing a lot since Christmas, okay??). And then I ran from the backyard into the dream basement with my arm linked to the arm of this old man from church who I have yet to see smile, and there we visited with my dad who was in his work clothes measuring stuff.

What the heck??

Tuesday, January 20

what have I done?!

So it was New Year's Eve. Our mail that we had held while we were out of town arrived in one large lump sum. As we sifted through the bills, Christmas cards, and junk mail, I noticed a bright yellow flier for a 10k in Richmond. Apparently the race goes along some of Richmond's most beautiful streets, bands play along the route, the race raises money for cancer research, and runners often wear hilarious costumes (Chewbacca and Elvis in running shorts?? that's funny!).

As I read it I thought, "Man, this looks kind of fun. This would be really tough for me, but heck, it's almost a new year--I can do this! Freak, I bet I could even get Doug to do this. And come on, it's NEW YEAR'S EVE!!!"

And in our non-alcohol-induced-New-Year's-Eve intoxication, we agreed to do it together and to push each other the whole way.

So when I woke up New Year's Day and--I kid you not--immediately thought to myself, "Oh crap, I do NOT want to run a 10k," it was already too late. Doug was committed, and he was not going to let me talk myself out of it. GREAT.

For those of you that think a 10k (that's 6.2 miles, folks) is baby stuff, I applaud you. And I would love to know how I could trick you into running for me.

But for those of you out there that think running is an awful, twisted form of torture, please know that I am open to your ridicule, your scoffs, and your eye rollings. Because I think we're crazy too.

FYI... We started running a few weeks ago, and we're not dead yet. In fact, it feels kind of good. But we haven't gone even close to 6.2 miles yet, so there's still room to panic. 11 more weeks, to be exact (the race is March 28).

a visitor from the west

This weekend Melanie, a friend/mission companion/fellow lover of Mario Kart, came to visit us. Melanie is from Utah, but she's considering moving eastward so she came to check out Richmond. We drove all around town, toured Monticello (Jefferson's estate in Charlottesville), introduced her to Five Guys, argued over the Wii, played on Belle Isle, and had a delightful time overall.

She came just in time for not only the coldest week Virginia's seen all winter, but also in time for Doug and I to get some nasty colds. So mad props to Melanie for putting up with us!

Thanks again for coming, Anie. Ya'll come back now, ya hear?

Wednesday, January 14

what's done is done

She didn't mess it up, she wasn't a jerk, and I suppose she's more dependable than a stick of deodorant (but it's hard to say).

I'll take it!

i hearby entrust my hair to a complete stranger

I think everyone understands the difficulty of picking a new hair stylist. I'd rank it up there with finding a new pair of jeans, choosing a new OB/Gyn, and selecting a new deodorant (seriously, help me find a new deodorant—my Dove brand is fired). In Utah I went to a guy that gave fabulous haircuts but was kind of a jerk. I was willing to tolerate the jerkiness for two years simply because I didn’t want to find another stylist.

Since moving to Virginia I’ve only had one haircut (yes mom, I’m overdue), and that was up in New Jersey. So it is with great anxiety I go to get my hair cut tonight by a girl named Tiffany. I don't know anyone that's gone to her specifically, but her salon comes highly recommended.

I’ve got my fingers crossed. All I want is someone that’s not going to mess up my hair, that’s not too much of a jerk, and that’s more dependable than Dove deodorant. Wish me luck.

Monday, January 12

80,000 pounds of poultry

This morning as I got onto the west-bound highway to head to work, I saw some people ahead of me tapping their brake lights. I could see a SUV sitting on the left side of the road with its hazard lights on, but it didn't seem to be damaged or in trouble. I rolled my eyes and thought to myself how annoying it is that people brake and slow down traffic for every little thing on the side of the road.

Half a second later, though, I realized that lying in the grass median 100 feet away from this SUV was a crushed semi truck on its side. It looked like dinosaur bones looming over my side of the highway. It was so startling to me that I did an audible gasp and put my hand over my mouth (you know, like in the movies… except this was a real reaction). I probably even braked a bit like everybody else. Traffic going east-bound was backed up for a mile or so, and it looked like a huge mess. I immediately thought of the truck driver and I wondered if he was okay.

I kept thinking about the driver, so I looked it up when I got to work. Little did I know the driver walked away from the accident, and he even left behind something pretty hilarious:

80,000 pounds of frozen chicken all over I-64.

It's no wonder that SUV had pulled over. He was probably trying to get a great deal on some discount poultry.

Sunday, January 11


The holidays hooked us up with Seasons 1 and 2 of "Psych." We watched at least one episode a day after getting them, but unfortunately we finished the last one yesterday. What are we supposed to do now?! Talk to each other? Read BOOKS?

Watch "Psych" on the USA network or for free on Go! Watch it!

Thursday, January 8

i don't want to talk about it

In an attempt to be super organized and less cranky in the morning, Doug and I made our lunches for Wednesday the night before. However, when I opened the fridge Wednesday morning after Doug had already left for school, I saw his sad little lunch still sitting there. Last night we even joked about him already having a lunch all set for today. Yet when I opened the fridge this morning, what did I see? His lunch from Tuesday night, still patiently waiting to be remembered.

I emailed him about it, and his only response was this: "I don't want to talk about it."

Me neither.

I guess there's always tomorrow...

Wednesday, January 7

nieces and nephews rock

Today this little girl turns 1:

I'm hoping Molly likes birthdays more than she likes snow clothes.

I'm not one for posting every time a niece or nephew ages--we have 17 nieces and nephews between us, and I just aint that organized. But that picture makes me laugh every time I look at it. EVERY time. And I felt today was an appropriate time to say nieces and nephews rock. Thanks for all the funny faces, the hilarious stories, and the loving. And thanks for letting your parents change your diapers.

Happy Birthday, Miss Molly. We sure do love you and your cheeks.

Here's to 17 and 4 more on the way!

Monday, January 5

two thousand niner

After-Christmas sales shopping
+ gift card dinner at Applebee's
+ ComedySportz improv show
+ Bourne Ultimatum at home
+ this dorky picture =
one HECK of a New Year's Eve

Bring it on, 2009. We're excited.

Sunday, January 4

a makeover story

Doug decided to grow his hair out. It lasted 4 months. The week of Christmas he decided it was time to go short again, but not before he experimented a bit.


He's back! Hallelujah!

a white christmas

The running theme of our Christmas celebrations this year was snow. The PNW (Doug's favorite way to refer to the Pacific Northwest... I'm going to start using it as much as possible) received a crazy amount of snow this holiday season, which made traveling a beast but everything else pretty fun.

Doug headed to the PNW on December 15, but I chose to work a few days more and fly in December 17. We met up at my sister Stacey's house in Oregon, where we rocked the snow world, exchanged some gifts, played a sweet game, hot tubbed in the snow (very cool!) and celebrated half of my birthday.

We then headed up to Washington to the Shafer casa for the rest of the break to enjoy sledding, snow forting (?), baking, movie watching, un-talent showing, bowling, Wii-ing, game playing, and more. It really made for a fab Christmas!
This was a 2-day operation. Long live snow forts made for grown-ups.
The sled run started from the deck. It was serious.

Christmas Eve dinner. Delightful.

These kids got SO excited with the Christmas festivities. Joel was nearly lost inside his stocking.
Carter is either amazed or horrified by his bowling efforts.

Thursday, January 1

slow mo baby laugh

Please watch this immediately. Thank you.