Saturday, December 31, 2011


Oh my GOODNESS. Just LOOK what we got to do yesterday!

There are very few things left that I ask of life. This was probably one of the best 3 days of my life, including my wedding day and the day I gave birth to a precious baby (who did not get to pet the tigers).
Big tiger. Actually only 19 months old! She liked the belly scratch.
This adorable baby tiger was the same age as my little baby, and about the same size. They both have orange hair, and they are both so cuddly and adorable!!!!!!!! Can I take it home?? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah I love it.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Thailand!
We are enjoying the warm weather festivities.
Peace to you all.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Yesterday we entered the cold outdoors and took a walk to the nearest coffee shop (the nearest being a little over a mile each way - American cities, oh my!). Our little precious was all wrapped up and adorable. Joel thought she looked like an abandoned baby that someone had forgotten in the park. There was much discussion of the scene of Hook where baby Robin Williams/Peter Pan rolled down the hill in his pram. We would like to reassure you that if our baby rolled down a hill, we would go look for her.Joel just mentioned he thought maybe Tinkerbell stole Peter before his mother got a chance to look for him.

The things we will never know about Hook.

On that note... the baby is 8 weeks today! We leave for Thailand on Saturday! Please read this in commemoration of our first flight with an infant.

The fabulous hat is handknit from my friend and old college roommate, Jessica, who in addition to being a mad knitter, is a genius plasma physicist at Princeton. Wow, I can't believe I even know people like that!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

six weeks

My little baby has had quite an adventurous November! A long drive to eastern Washington to meet Grandparents Shaver, and all 3 Great-Grandparents over there too. Not to mention lots of other Newport friends.We spent the week of Thanksgiving with my side in Puyallup, as a penance for going to Thailand over Christmas. It was peaceful and relaxing and Grandma and Grandpa got lots of time with baby. And I got lots of breaks from changing diapers and burping!
The baby (my mom wonders why we named her, because I just call her baby, or precious, or sweet girl, etc.) is really changing. She is awake so much more, smiling lots, looking around, and holding her neck and shoulders up so well. She has even slept 5 hours straight during the night on a few occasions! On Monday she weighed 12 pounds 2 ounces! Go breast milk!

Sleeping with Grandpa - who is enjoying themselves more?

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Oh my goodness.

Way back in spring of this year, I cast on for this beautiful little project in a natural wool tweed. Before we knew Marie was Marie, and actually, before we knew the baby was a she. I love this little vest, and knew from knitting it once before that I wanted my babe to be wrapped in it.
But oh my, how can it fit her so perfectly already? Seeing her in it is so precious, and I can't resist even more cuddles of that warm little belly and baby-scented neck. But it fitting her means she will grow. Bigger and older and wiser.I must keep reminding her to take her time growing.
Do you think she will listen?

Monday, October 31, 2011

11 days

11 days. That went fast. It is quite a spectacular change, going from the two of us to the three of us. I have spent the last 11 days doing all of the things you would expect, except probably with more sleep than you expect. Marie is very accommodating and only cries when she's hungry, happy to sleep or chill out when not hungry. I've also been reflecting on the birth often. The depth of that experience.. I think I will be reflecting on it for quite some time.

Happy Halloween from Marie! I think this might be the best shot of her red hair so far...Happy in Daddy's hands.With Grandma and Grandpa - Grandpa Ehli is so enamored with her!
The uncles getting baby saavy.

A fitting portrayal of Marie's first 10 days.

A visit back to the midwives today found Marie is now 9 lbs 3 oz, meaning she's gained 3 oz, meaning we must be doing something right! Yay for first time parenthood.

I have quickly learned the unbelievable gift of meals delivered from friends. And I subsequently apologize for not realizing the depth of this gesture until I am the recipient. Here's to contributing to this for other people in the future!

Friday, October 21, 2011

It's a baby!

Dear Friends and Family,

After nine months of careful planning, Heather decided to have a baby last night. After a very quick, intense labor, Marie Iona Mehitabel Shaver was born at 9:30 pm, October 20, in a birthing tub at the Center for Birth in Seattle. She was very alert and healthy, weighed nine pounds, and measured 21 1/2 inches long. Her eyes were open and she was smiling as she slid into the water of the tub! We are very grateful that Heather's mom, Randi and our good friend Ruth were able to attend the birth. We are also grateful that no medication or intervention of any kind were required. It was an amazing experience! We're so excited (and a little scared!) to start this new chapter of our lives. Thanks for all your prayers and support!


Heather, Joel, and Marie

Monday, September 19, 2011

first things first

Joel's first day of school!

Joel started his new job today - Adjunct English Instructor at Green River Community College. Our home is full of thankfulness and peace right now, with the timing of his job being so perfect (and so last minute! A rushed syllabus was created, a commute quickly established, and a chair at home with the cat is now empty during the day).

The transition of the seasons, with the blustery comfort of autumn just setting in, is really reflected in our life right now. Joel's new job, the baby coming soon, me settling in to the wonderful idea of a long (by American standards) maternity leave... many changes, but all such comforting and peaceful changes.
Joel found today that he likes, enjoys, appreciates his teaching position. He is fulfilled and satisfied in his role, which is such a surprising thing for the both of us after years of uncertain times in academia. None of you in the academic world will see his job as particularly spectacular, but it is exactly what we have been hoping for and needing. An entrance, an opportunity, a chance for Joel to do what he has felt has been his passion - teaching introductory level courses. And a step towards us being able to transition from relying on my salary to relying on his. That is something, however old fashioned it may seem, that we've both craved for some time.

This is a celebration, friends! Have a dram of scotch in honor of Joel today!(Other photos are from our annual trip hiking at Mt. Rainier. Oh, out of town friends, we must take you there.)

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Why you haven't heard from us

We have been taking advantage of summer!
*Aweing at North Cascades Highway
*Loving Washington State, our home
*Making strawberry wine to be ready about the same time the baby will be :-)
*Eating more and more and more vegetables from our CSA
*Camping. Lots.
*Beaching it

Have we mentioned we will never again complain about the weather here?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Our Contribution to Society

I believe that all of the appropriate family members, family friends, church family, etc. have now been personally notified of this event and that it is now safe/appropriate to document it on the blog and facebook. Here is the e-mail Heather sent out a couple of weeks ago:

Hello dear friends,

Joel and I are delighted to tell you we're pregnant!

We're 13 weeks along, and the baby is due October 21st. Everything looks great so far, no problems at all. When we saw the baby on the ultrasound at 7 weeks, it looked very much like a seahorse. Despite how adorable seahorses are, we're rooting for the end product to be a baby.

Incidentally, we found out we were pregnant the same day we found out Joel passed his PhD (One labor ending, another beginning...).

We are beyond grateful for the love and support you all have given us in our lives and marriage so far. We welcome you to celebrate with us as our lives change once again!

Heather & Joel Shaver

Monday, March 21, 2011

The dissertation

If you have already heard about this on Facebook or by e-mail, I apologize. I promise this is the last time I will bring it up, ever.

I am writing this post to inform the rest of you that my dissertation, Metaphors of Travel in the Language of Hymns, has been accepted, and I am at long last qualified to receive a PhD in English Language from the University of Glasgow.

If you'd like to read my dissertation, it is available to download as a free pdf file from the University library:

Thanks, everyone, for your support and friendship!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Burns Night

Haggis stuffed chicken, wrapped in bacon, with 'neeps and tatties. It strangely felt more like true comfort food to me than anything has in quite a while.
We obliged our guests to participate in a read through of the classic Burns poems with Americanized shortbread (who doesn't need a shortbread chicken?!) and of course some good British tea.

P.S. Ginger is a fan of haggis.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


This is my garlic! I planted it in October and since the winter, I've been entering and leaving the house from the upstairs front door and haven't been in the backyard much, thus forgetting about the garlic, and neglecting the worm bin. Thank goodness both of those are pretty forgiving during the wintertime. Today I succumbed to the overflowing compost bin on the kitchen counter and finally brought it to the worms to work on. While out back, I ventured to the far back corner of the garden, only to be pleasantly surprised that this whole garlic-planting adventure works! Before planting, this area looked like wilderness, really overgrown like most of the backyard, and I had put a lot of work into making it plantable. When I went back today, there were only a few weeds which I pulled! I guess this mulch idea works too. :-)

We planted Susanville and Chesnock Red, and I'm fairly sure the garlic on the right, which is growing much better, is the Susanville. Should have written it down I guess.
In other events, this is Ginger purring away in Joel's arms.

Friday, January 21, 2011

One reason I miss living in Glasgow's West End

I took a 2.5 mile walk today. In Glasgow, 2.5 miles encompassed my universe - the University, our house, several main roads, where we bought our food... In (moderately urban) Shoreline, 2.5 miles covers part of our neighborhood.


Shoreline (same scale). Central Seattle isn't even in the picture!
(Images from Google Maps)

Sunday, January 02, 2011