Wednesday, August 31

guess what?

We're overwhelmed yet happy to say the Shafer 3 will become 4 next March.

Tuesday, August 30

sometimes you blog about bugs

Whilst playing outside with Addy a few weeks ago, I captured photographic evidence of the gigantor bugs that are living just outside our door.

At first all I could hear a buzzing, and eventually I figured out it was coming from the cable box near our back porch. There was an enormous wasp (called an Eastern Cicada Killer, according to the world wide web) carrying a dead cicada about three times its size. It was trying to get through a hole that made me think the guy didn't do his math when he picked his nest.

You have to admire him for his persistence, though. He tried getting in there again and again and again and AGAIN. It's like he was thinking "Maybe it will fit THIS TIME. Or maybe THIS TIME. Or THIS TIME." I went for the camera, came back and took these pictures, and then watched him keep trying until we went back inside the house. It's like he couldn't let it go, and I just couldn't look away.

The funny part? There's already a dead cicada on the ground. Clearly he'd gone through this routine before, but he thought the second time would be different.

Chin up, Eastern Cicada Killer. But it's time to find a new dream.

Sunday, August 28

richmond restaurant bucket list

Alright, folks, we only have 8 months or so left in Richmond (what the WHAT?). I want to hit up some of the best restaurants here before it's too late. Some of the favorites we've tried and loved are Kuba Kuba, Strawberry Street Cafe, Pho City, Millie's Diner, La Cabana, and Thai Diner.

What else do you recommend?

Friday, August 26

i dress myself

Addy has taken a keen interest in clothing lately. She suddenly has an opinion about which shoes she wears, she tries to dress/undress herself, and she thinks she's pretty hilarious when she plays dress up. Seriously, she'll look at herself in the mirror and laugh and laugh.

Ewok? Or just a goat bath towel
Rocking my v-neck shirt
PJs + superman cape + hoodie... what's not to love?

My t-shirt + tutu

The half diaper... semi-productive
Such a funny kid.

Wednesday, August 24

jersey shore, no snooki

Last week Addy and I went up to visit with my sisters while Doug went on another one of his rotations. The only pictures I took were a few from the day we went to the shore. It was a perfect beach day.

Thanks for taking me in, Cyd and Jenn!

quakepocalypse 2011

Yesterday afternoon we had a 5.9 earthquake. The epicenter was only 30 miles or so from here, so we felt it no problem. I was sitting at our desk when the rumbling started. It was shaking the whole house, so at first I thought it was just a truck passing by. But when it kept going, I realized, "Holy crap! We're having an earthquake!"

Addy was asleep, so I ran upstairs and ripped her door open. She was completely out, so I hesitated because the fear of an earthquake was up against my fear of ruining her nap. Illogical and unsafe? Perhaps. There was nothing over her crib and I could tell it wasn't super strong, so I just stood in the doorway watching her and the clock. I actually started thinking of my friend Anna, who went through the Japan earthquakes earlier this year. All I could think was "ANNA, YOU ARE MADE OF STEEL."

When it finally stopped (2 hours later, it seemed?), Doug called me right away. Of course I sounded hysterical telling him we were fine and making sure he was too. He said he was standing in the waiting room of the clinic when it started. He had just met his patient and they were about to head back, so they all just stopped and stared at each other. As a Washingtonian, he's been through his fair share of earthquakes. So he started inching towards the waiting room desk, getting ready to dive under it if he needed to. Luckily no diving was required. We're glad he called me when he did, because our phones stopped working right after. Thank goodness for Facebook and email.

I think what freaked me out more than anything was that this is RICHMOND. VIRGINIA. We do hurricanes and tornadoes, thanks. Our buildings are old, they're not built for earthquakes, and people here are not equipped for this. I'd actually heard there was a big fault line here before, but nobody ever talks about it. I'd been through one earthquake before while I lived in California, but it was more wavey and didn't freak me out as much.

So after our tornado scare, our earthquake scare, and our hurricane warning for this weekend, suffice it to say Doug and I went to the store last night and beefed up our emergency preparedness stuff. There were a lot of crazies there too, but I considered it good company.

Sunday, August 21

so i guess we have to grow up and get a job?

Part of our trip to the wild west this summer was to solidify where the heck we want to move after Doug graduates. We have family all over the country, but we're both feeling good about moving westward. Dentistry is interesting because you usually can move to an area you like, work hard to make things work, and then you live in the same place the rest of your career. However, the big question is where to live. (WHERE?!)

It's been a heated discussion for us ever since we got engaged. We vowed to put it off until it was time to make that decision. Well, 5 years later... it's time to make that friggin decision.

So while we were in Washington and Colorado, we checked out some areas trying to look at them with different eyes... could we live here? Would Doug be able to do well here as a dentist? Would our children turn out okay if they lived here, or would they end up in prison? You know, standard questions.

Fortunately, I think we learned a lot on these trips. However, I think what we learned has only shown us how hard this is going to be on us. We feel tons of pressure, we both want the other to be happy yet we want to be happy ourselves, and we want to still like each other after this whole process is over.

So we're considering just hiring one of you to find him a job and us somewhere to live, and then you can present it all to us the day after his graduation.

And if we hate it? We'll just be mad at you, instead of each other. Let me know if you're interested.

Monday, August 15


So I can smell again. It is an absolute miracle, and I'm so SO grateful.

At first I was weeping because I could smell Addy's shampoo again, I could taste again, yada yada yada. It was so exciting. But do you know what stinks now? 75% of my life stinks to me now. It smells so strong. Our house, our kitchen, my clothes. You name it, I probably hate the smell of it.

As my dad said to me last night, I'd complain if I were hung with a new rope.

Since some of you asked... why can I now smell? I truly don't know. I believe it's either some of these or a combination of all of them:
- The dry weather in Colorado finally clearing up my sinuses
- My top allergens taking a rest here in Virginia
- Straight Mucinex for over a week (but now I only take it once every few days, if that)
- Dropping some other medicines that may have been affecting my sense of smell
- A heck of a lot of prayer
- Priesthood blessings from both Doug and my dad

The first time I noticed it was about halfway through our trip in Colorado. I got up early one morning to take care of Addy, and with her sitting on my lap I realized I could smell her shampoo for the first time in months. I may have started crying my eyes out. Since then I've been able to smell more often than not, and it's seriously life-changing. Although everything reeks to me, I have to say I'll never take smell for granted again.

Thursday, August 11

home is whenever i'm with you

Every good family reunion deserves a photo slideshow, so Doug and I took it upon ourselves to make one for each of our families celebrating the best of 2010. I loved the one I saw our friend Brittany had, so I stole the same song and everything. Yeah, I did it.

Oh, and we ran out of time so the Dunlops and the Shafers have nearly identical layouts. Tacky, but what's done is done.

Wednesday, August 10

vacation part 3: denver

The last leg of our trip was in Denver, Colorado. My sister Jessica lives there, so the whole family gathered at her house, christening their new house with 28 people. So crazy, but so fun!

Cue the highlights:


Cousin time

Sweating it out at the trampoline center

Grandma and the little girls (she made their matching outfits)

More Just Dance

The brothers-in-law went out to an all-you-can-eat sushi place. Apparently they ate so much they almost died (yet it would have been a happy death).

The grown-ups spent a night out in downtown Denver (dining at a Brazilian grill? divine)

The local park had a sweet waterpark

Playing outside (slip n slide, adults on tiny dirt bikes, and more catching snakes)

Tuesday, August 9

vacation part 2: bend, or

The second week we drove down to beautiful Bend, Oregon and met up with the rest of the Shafer clan. Here are the highlights:

We stayed at the Eagle Crest Resort. We enjoyed their pools, tennis courts, raquetball courts, bikes, and wildlife (this deer kept coming up to our back porch and begging for... lettuce?).

One of the biggest highlights was meeting our sweet baby niece, Pepper. She's Ben and Whitney's first girl, and it's so fun to have a girl cousin for Addy to smother with love. Pepper is a teensy, easy-going baby, and we couldn't get enough of her!

We loved having all the cousins together

We played a lot of Just Dance on the Wii

We played at the Deschutes River

We toured a cute little chocolate factory in Bend (with delicious free samples)

We saw (and loved) HP

We checked out the gorgeous Metolius River

We saw acres and acres of burned trees on our drive. Crazy.

It was such a beautiful place (minus the fire-ravaged areas). We had a great time!

Monday, August 8

vacation part 1: washington

We used every second of Doug's 3-week vacation to visit our families.

We first headed to Warshington. We hadn't spent quality time with Doug's parents since last summer, so there was a lot of catching up to do!

Finding snakes, something I'll never understand
Striking a pose with grandpa (she started it... what a cute weirdo)
Eating cookies (a definite perk of grandma's house vs. our house)
Enjoying the life of luxury
Mowing the lawn
...and finding pickled caterpillars