Thursday, February 26


I can't think of anything more annoying than getting shushed by someone. Partially because I know I can be a loud talker, I get really embarrassed so my instinct is to say, "Oh yeah?!" really loud and to follow that up with silence and a mean face.

Confession: I shush Doug all the time, claiming he is a loud talker. I shall now refrain from doing so.

Confession, part 2: Okay, okay... I'll TRY to refrain from doing so. I can't make any big promises, okay?

Wednesday, February 25

i'm a believer

I've never been a huge fan of the George Foreman grill because I think it makes your meat suuuper dry. However, tonight we got a little crazy. We started with frozen chicken breasts (frozen, folks!), and cooked them almost entirely through in less than 10 minutes.

We then chopped them up and tossed them in a frying pan with chopped vegetables. We added a little teriyaki sauce and in just a few minutes, we had stir fry. We served it with rice and it rocked our WORLDS. From frozen chicken to complete dinner in 15 minutes?!

Now I'm a believer.

Monday, February 23

another addition to our nieces/nephews team!

Eliza Kathryn was born today at 5:30 a.m. 7 pounds, 11 ounces, 21 3/4 inches long. She has dark hair and possibly blue eyes. Congrats to Cydney, Phil, and the 2 big brothers!

Ultrasound drama made it unclear if she was a she or a he, so it made for some good suspense. She's also part 3 in the 4-part saga that is the year of the Dunlop nieces. We plan to meet her this weekend and we couldn't be happier!

Friday, February 20

cute, doug

A few weeks ago Doug and I found ourselves wrapped up in a war. I really don't even know how it got started, but after folding laundry one day a stray dryer sheet somehow ended up in my shoe. Huh. I found it when I sat down at work and realized my shoe just wasn't fitting right. Lo and behold, Doug had shoved it in there who knows how many days before. Retaliations then caused the discovery of dryer sheets in Doug's sneakers, the pocket of my jeans, Doug's scripture case, my black heels, and so on.

Things had been quiet for a few days, so I wondered if perhaps we'd moved on. But as I was getting ready for work today, I found this:

Nice. And this time it was 2 dryer sheets. So, Douglas, the battle wages on. And wouldn't you love to know where you can find 3 dryer sheets right now... SUCKER!

Tuesday, February 17

Dear Corporate America,

I sold my soul to you right out of college, but I've since decided I want it back. I hope that's not a problem.

J. Shafer

Monday, February 16


Miss you, little buddy.

Our nephew Jake was born with a birth defect called Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH). He was only 6 months old when he passed away on February 16, 2007, but we think about his sweet smile, his goofy personality, and his fight for survival often. We also marvel at how much we learned from him in such a short time, and we're thankful to have him in our family. We know we'll see him again. His parents and sister also set an amazing example of faith for us, but days like today are tough... we hope you'll think of them today.

We'll be wearing turquoise on March 31 to raise CDH awareness and to remember Jake. You can learn more here.

Sunday, February 15

we had a ball

We give the Winter Ball 2 enthusiastic thumbs up! The museum was pretty sweet, and the company divine.

Thanks to VCU for the casino, the dancing, and the sweet 80s cover band. Oh, and the complimentary VCU wine glass.

Saturday, February 14

day of st. valentine

Sometimes you get dumped on Valentine's Day (Jackie, 2003).

Sometimes you don't want to say "I love you" yet on Valentine's Day and it makes things weird (Doug, 2006).

Sometimes you sleep in and eat french toast and help someone move and clean the house and feel surprised that this is your type of Valentine's Day celebration just because you're together (Jackie & Doug, 2009).

Whatever you do, wherever you go, we hope you have a Happy Valentine's Day.


Wednesday, February 11

i have no explanation

I had to call our IT services today, and the lady helping me needed to look me up by last name. I kept telling her “Shafer” and then spelling it, but she couldn’t find me. She even kept confirming the spelling, and every time I’d say yes. After seriously 3 or 4 minutes of this, she confirmed the spelling with me one more time. As I automatically started to say “That’s correct,” my brain triggered an alarm.

It was then that I realized the whole time I had been spelling it “S-c-h-f-e-r.” No a, and suddenly with a c.

What the…?!?

Monday, February 9

going to the ball

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but we're going to a ball on Friday.

Funny, no?

VCU is hosting their annual Winter Ball on February 13. It’s going to be held in Richmond’s science museum, and we consider it a great opportunity to shake our groove thangs, eat hors d’oeuvre, and score some prizes (preferably free tuition, but I bet we'll get a nice VCU wine glass instead).

However, finding an outfit has become surprisingly stressful. I refuse to wear a prom dress and most people don't anyway, but how do you pick an outfit that’s worthy of a ball? A dance, sure. But a ball?!

Where’s my dang fairy godmother when I need her…

Friday, February 6

running fools

Well, we haven’t given up on this crazy 10k idea yet. Our very very loose training schedule consists of running at least 3 times a week. We started the year as non-runners, so we wanted to be able to run 2 miles by the end of January, 4 by the end of February, and 6 by the end of March.

I’m happy to report that we met our January goal. Thanks to the chilliness that is Richmond in January, we’ve been running on treadmills mostly. We did run outside last Saturday, and those 2 outdoor miles—to put it lightly—SUCKED. But I experienced that weird, twisted runner’s high afterwards and kinda liked the whole experience. I’ve even found myself looking forward to running on some days. Yeah, it’s NUTS.

Our iPod has become my soulmate as I run, and I’m discovering which songs to use at different treadmill speeds: “Survivor” for 5.3 MPH, “Let’s Get it Started” for 5.7 MPH, etc… I can put together a spreadsheet for you if you’d like.

So it turns out there is something good about (a) exercise and (b) achieving personal goals. I’m by no means a running fool yet, but with the continued encouragement of Doug, Destiny’s Child, and Gerry the guy that runs our complex’s gym, I just may be converted soon.

Wednesday, February 4

grocery shopping for 2

Doug and I compromise on a lot of things, but grocery items aren’t one of them. We oft come home from the store with things like this:

Jackie’s bread (multigrain)
Doug’s bread (white)
Doug’s cereal (a/k/a pure sugar)
Jackie’s cereal (a/k/a boring)
Mayo (for him)
Miracle whip (for me)
Dill pickles (for him)
Sweet pickles (for me)

We do compromise on the milk (I like Skim and he likes 2% so we buy 1%), but we both know in an ideal world we’d just buy two milks each week. And we really do refer to it as “Jackie’s bread” and “Doug’s bread.” It keeps the segregation alive.

Some may say this is evidence we’re preserving our personalities in our happy, healthy marriage, but I suspect it’s simply evidence Doug refuses to like delicious things. Either way, that's a lot of bread and cereal.

Monday, February 2

how to laugh your face off

1. Paste the following link before any other website address: (for example,
2. Laugh.
3. Prank someone.

Go on, give it a try.