I'm sick.  Yeah, it's really attractive.  I got to sit in a quiet room tonight while taking a mid-term, painfully hunched over a tiny desk for a long time with a burning fever.  The only sounds to be heard were people nervously shifting in their seats and... me.  Blowing my nose.  Coughing into my elbow.  Blowing my nose.  Crinkling my Kleenex pocket pack open to get another tissue.  Blowing my nose.

I'm sure my classmates really appreciated it.  Not only is it attractive and super-hygenic, it's also a really soothing noise for test-taking.   I bet they all just thought, "Gee, I wish I had what she has.  That would really make this week better."

Don't worry, ladies.  I probably spread my germs to you today.  You can thank me later. 


Baked Salmon

Kyle is always begging me to make fish more often.  I have an extremely limited range of the kinds of fish I will eat, but salmon is one I can usually tolerate.  Last night, however, I found a salmon recipe that turned out as good as any salmon I've had anywhere.  I give you... Baked Salmon.


  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 (6 ounce) fillets salmon
  1. In a medium glass bowl, prepare marinade by mixing garlic, light olive oil, basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and parsley.
  2. Place fillets in aluminum foil, cover with marinade, and seal. Marinate in the refrigerator about one hour.   
  3. Place sealed salmon in the glass dish, and bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes, until easily flaked with a fork. 

I served with a simple salad and bowtie pasta seasoned with a little olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and parsley.  I doubled the recipe so we would have leftovers.  Leftovers are clutch for us right now.  There are just so many nights I don't feel like cooking after I get out of class.  I think Kyle was really happy with this little meal!


Happy birthday, Celeste.

My friend, Celeste, celebrated a big birthday this weekend.  I won't say which one.  To celebrate, a bunch of our friends went to eat at Celeste's favorite The Fountain on Locust.  The food there is delicious, and the ambiance is great.

The lighting is tricky for pictures, and many of mine came out a little blurry.  Here's the best of what I got (and that's still not so great):

This is Celeste and her darling husband, Matt, and sweet Baby C. Sadly, all the pics of them were a bit blurry. I love this family.


This is Kim and her date, Juliette. Their husbands couldn't make it so they split a dinner and shared dessert. It was precious.


This is Noah. He's one of our pastors. I am SO thankful for him.


This is Noah's family - his mother-in-law, his Baby A, and his gorgeous wife, Heather. Aren't they pretty girls? Baby A is turning 1 in just a few days!


These are our friends Jacob and Amy. We have a small group Bible study at their house every week. We will forever be indebted to Jacob, who helped us move into our new apartment when he didn't even know us. They are expecting a baby girl in just a few weeks!


You probably know these mangy people.


We are so grateful for all the new friends God has put in our lives, and I can't wait to go deeper in our relationships with them.  In Carbondale I learned that deep relationships take time and cultivation, but I am glad for the way things are going with our church friends.

Now I'm still praying I can make some better friends in my program.  Many others have formed small circles of friends, or came in already knowing at least one other person.  I often feel alone, like and outsider.   Maybe everyone feels that way in a new city at a new school...



This was homecoming weekend for SLU.  To celebrate, the law school had family day and Kyle's parents came up to celebrate.


We got up early and went to the Soulard Farmer's Market before the festivities began.  The pumpkins and gourds were arriving and there were some of the biggest, cheapest mums I've ever seen.  Six dollars for a HUGE pot!


We went to the law school events, which included a stellar lunch, hearing from three impressive professors, and participating in a mock class. I learned a lot about what Kyle does every day in just a couple hours and it was really fun.

We had a great dinner out at Cunetto House of Pasta. It was SO packed. We were glad we went early. After dinner we went for gelato at our favorite, Gelateria del Leone. This morning we had breakfast at Soulard Coffee Garden before saying goodbye to Mama and Papa Bass.

Our new tradition with our house guests is that they must take a picture with Sir Henry and sign our guest book.  Mama and Papa Bass got to be the first!


What a fun weekend we had. How did it go by so quickly?


Seven Things

Here's a few random things on my mind.
  1. It's supposed to be 92 in St. Louis tomorrow. I really, really hope this is the last day of summer weather.
  2. I hate making mistakes.  I particularly hate making very public mistakes. Very big public mistakes that make me seem flaky and incompetent.  I'm trying to use it as a moment to be humble and hope that I receive mercy.
  3. I feel a little bit achy every day.  Not because I'm working out so hard (insert chuckles here), but because I ache for something, for someone.  Hopefully soon I'll have the guts to write an update on being fertilely-challenged
  4. Watson is STILL not house-trained.  We are exhausted and unsure what we need to do differently.  He was making progress, or so it seemed.  He has fewer accidents in the house than when we first brought him home, but that's because we know his schedule and the warning signs, not because he's letting us know that he needs to go out.  It's very trying.  So is the chewing (read=destruction of all things) behavior, but that's a whole other story.
  5. School is definitely getting in the way of my TV-watching this week.  All of my favorite shows are starting back up this week and between my evening classes and our lack of cable, it has been a challenge to say the least.  Ah, such is the life of two professional students, I suppose.
  6. God has been teaching me about pride this week.  About how much pride fills my heart and motivates so many of my decisions.  It's a big, big challenge for me.  I hope that he will give me humility and continue to teach me through his word and through our church.  I read this today, adding the emphasis to what I thought I really needed to hear: "Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. " (James 3:13-14 ESV)
  7. I'm increasingly uncomfortable with having my picture taken.  The more I'm behind the camera, the more I want to stay behind the camera.  That being said, Kyle and I really need some good pictures with each other.  This is the only recent pic we've taken, and it's not very good. 
IMG_6064 copy 

That's all, folks.


A Life Full of Whimsy

Kyle and I have always tried to fill our home with things that are beautiful and fun.  Some things are new and stylish.  Some things are old and worn.  Some things are downright comical.  Our idea is that your home should not only make you smile, but have a good chuckle once in a while.

Today we made a trip down to Dutch Town to an area known as the Antique District.  Amidst the many over-priced and beautiful things, in the back corner of a cool little shop, we found something that made us laugh very hard and say, "Awesome! We have to get that."

Meet Sir Henry.


Maybe you're not into whimsy.  Maybe you think grad school has made us lose our minds.  Maybe you, like us, think that Henry is awesome.


No matter what people think, we're more than happy to have a knight in the family!


Used to...

I used to love being a hostess.  I loved entertaining people and cooking for people and trying to pretend I was a younger, hipper, poorer Martha Stewart.  It hit me today that I don't currently feel capable of doing this thing that I once loved so much.

I long to entertain and show hospitality.  I long for a clean house.  I long for the time to cook a meal.  I'm desperate for a chance to do some crafty things.  Currently, every room in my house is a complete disaster and neither Kyle nor I has the time or motivation to do anything about it.  Grad school hit hard this week in tandem with the start of my clinical assignment. 

I think it's only going to get crazier from here. I hope maybe we'll get into some sort of routine and all the daily things like taking care of the house, feeding ourselves, and taking care of the animals will find balance with all our school responsibilities.  I fear we won't be able to do that for two more years. 

My new friend, Whitney, has a great blog.  She's always updating on all the awesome things she finds and re-creates.  It makes me long for days gone by.  It reminds me of all the projects I have on the backburner.  All the pictures and paintings in my mind.  All the empty canvases.  All the half-completed sewing and knitting projects.  All the pieces of furniture that need a fresh coat of paint.  All the paint sitting in the closet waiting to be applied to said furniture.  All the bookmarked DIY projects.  All the empty picture frames just waiting to be filled, and all the pictures just waiting to be printed.  All the city thrift stores waiting to be perused. 

I really hope I get some time to catch up.  A day here and there to work on unfinished projects.  A consistently clean house.  A dog that doesn't require constant supervision.  A husband that isn't always holed up in the office studying for his own demanding program. 

I'm not feeling optimistic that all or any of these things will happen.  Sigh. 

I suppose that this is just where we are in life and we really should be grateful for the opportunity and the trials.  Easier said than done.

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1


Super Nerds

Kyle and I have long fooled ourselves into thinking that we're really not that nerdy.  Sure, we like Star Trek.  Sure, we like Lord of the Rings.  Sure, we think Firefly was one of the most underrated shows ever.  But, we're not that nerdy, right?

A couple weeks ago we went to a book signing that solidified our super nerd status forever, though.  We've been to book signings before, but not like this one.  This time we went to a signing for a fantasy fiction writer, Brandon Sanderson.

Brandon Sanderson and BKB

I am currently reading his Mistborn series, and Kyle has read just about all of his books, with the exception of his young adult series.  I'm usually more into the Jane Austen-like works of fiction, but I find myself really enjoying this series.  (Kyle attributes this change to Twilight.  He says that series opened me up to more fantastical writing.) 

Sanderson has become more well-known recently in large part because he was tasked with completing the writing for the late Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series.  Jordan tragically passed away before the finale of his twenty-odd-years-in-the-making series was complete.

The signing was really fun and surprisingly packed.  I couldn't believe how many other super nerds were in the St. Louis area for this.  The line of people wrapped all the way around this massive Barnes and Noble.


We told ourselves we were the coolest people there to make ourselves feel better.  Either way, it was cool for Kyle to get to meet one of his favorite living authors.  I'm sure my mom will have a good laugh at our expense when she finds out we went to a fantasy writer's book signing.

Brandon Sanderson and BKB

Come on, Mom.  It couldn't be any worse than the time we went to the midnight Return of the King premiere in costume, right?  After all, there were no wigs, elf ears, or chain-mail body suits involved this time!

Super Nerds

Keepin' it real,


Baked Potato Soup

Last year I started experimenting with different recipes for baked potato soup.  I was inspired by my Aunt Jennifer, who makes an awesome BPS.  I played around and finally nailed down a great blend of flavor and consistency.

Since I don't believe in secret recipes, here's what I did-

Baked potato soup

3 bacon strips, diced
1 small onion, chopped
3 *cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups chicken broth
3 large potatoes, baked, peeled, and cubed
1 cup half-and-half

*I used to think one clove of garlic was equal to one bulb of garlic.  For new cooks: A bulb of garlic has many little cloves that break apart naturally as you peel them.  Basically, until very recently I would use about 10 times more garlic than needed.

Begin by baking potatoes.  While in the oven, cook bacon (I usually just use the microwave kind), chop onion, and mince garlic.  Saute the onion and garlic in bacon grease or butter/margarine until soft.  Add in chopped bacon, flour, salt, basil and pepper; mix well. Gradually add chicken broth. 

Bring to boil.  Boil and stir for two minutes and then reduce heat.  Add half-and-half.

Once the potatoes are done, peel and dice them and add to the mixture.  Heat thouroughly, but do not boil.  

Serve with a spoonful of shredded cheddar cheese and a piece of warm bread.  

I know it seems like there are a lot of steps, but it's really very simple.  Pair it with a cool autumn evening and enjoy!


Kent and Hope Bass!

How do I even begin to fill you in on the exciting weekend we had in Virginia?! Kent, Kyle's middle brother, who I very much consider my brother, got married to Hope over the Labor Day weekend.  We left early on Friday morning to make the 15-ish hour drive to VA.  It was long, beautiful, and fun.  We love road trips and there was a lot of pretty mountain scenery.

Saturday morning, Hope's grandmother hosted a lovely bridal luncheon at a local country club.  All the ladies of the families as well as the bridesmaids were there.

That afternoon I stowed away with Loni (Kyle's youngest brother's girlfriend) to Haymarket, VA where Cousin Steph recently moved.  It was so cool that we were so close and that I was able to go see her!

The wedding rehearsal was Saturday night and the rehearsal dinner was lovely and intimate at Historic Jordan Springs.  Love was in the air and the excitement was palpable.

Sunday went by so quickly that it's hard to even reflect on it now.  The wedding and reception were lovely and everyone had a great time.

Two really wonderful things occurred to me over the weekend.  The first is that I am so happy Kyle, Kent, and Keith get along so well.  It is so rare to have in-laws who actually like each other.  It is even more rare to have in-laws who you like.  I am blessed with a great second family and I couldn't love Kent and Keith more if they were blood relatives.

The second wonderful thing that occurred to me is that I love their ladies!  So, not only do I have two great brothers, but now I have one great sister, and another I hope will be my sister in the near future.  Also, I don't think I need to restate how thankful I am for Kyle's parents, but I will.  I love them and think they are wonderful!  We always have so much fun together.  When I think ahead to family holidays and gatherings, I am so happy that I get to spend time with them.  From what I hear others say about their in-laws, I would say I am one lucky duck!

I am already missing them a lot and I wish they lived closer.

Some of you came here to see pictures from the weekend, not to hear me drone on about how much I love Kyle's family.  I don't want to disappoint, so here's what I've got!

I hope you all had an equally wonderful holiday weekend.  Congratulations Kent and Hope Bass!