Snow Day!

Tomorrow is a snow day.  SLU cancelled classes for the first time in 10 years, and there isn't even any snow or ice on the ground yet!  We have a lot of work to keep us busy around here. I suspect there will be much reading and writing happening, and hopefully some Netflix-watching, too!


I'm making a turkey breast in the crockpot for tomorrow and we are pretty well-stocked on groceries.  If we needed anything, I'd say it would be potatoes and bananas, but we'll survive without them, I suppose.  We have other fruits, vegetables, meat, bread, milk, eggs, and all the other basics! I'm pumped.

Poor Watson is not so pumped.  He has been cooped up too much lately and not getting walks every day like he's used to getting.  He is very antsy which makes him even more poorly behaved.

I love a good snow day, especially when I get to stay in and snuggle with my man.  My man, however, would probably take a few days of school over more snow and ice.  He unabashedly hates winter and loves the heat.  I unabashedly hate any weather over 82 degrees, so there!  Anyway, you won't likely find him acting like this tomorrow.

Via Kate Spade


Anger and Forgiveness (repost)

I can't explain why, but while we were with our church tonight, I started thinking about this old blog post from 2009.  I had this strange thought to repost it.  Perhaps I just needed to re-read it (even though I don't think I've been struggling with any anger or forgiveness lately), or perhaps someone else out there does.


Each of us carries around more anger and frustration in our lives than we even know.  When I start thinking about all the things that upset me, I get overwhelmed.  Let's face it, we all have our reasons for feeling justified in our anger.  Lately I've been trying to remember that everyone I see is carrying a burden of pain, hurt, and regret that is unique to their own life and experience.  Our personal ghosts may come in many forms, but we all have them.

This has been a theme in my life recently.  I see anger in myself and in the lives of many others around me.  We're angry at God for the way he's made us.  We're angry with our life circumstances and we're tired of dealing with it.  We're angry with our brothers and sisters for mistreating us, for ignoring our hurts.

Perhaps someone truly has wronged you.  Perhaps your circumstances truly aren't what the world would call "ideal."  Maybe you truly are justified in your anger... or are you?

We must turn to Jesus in answer of this question.  He was scorned by man, by us, more than we can probably imagine.  Betrayed, beaten, abandoned by those who claimed to love him.  He knew we would do it.  He even warned us we would do it.  Yet... he still shed his blood on our behalf. He still called us "Brothers." God made a covenant with us, that we would be his sons.  We would act against it again and again, many times without even realizing it, but God would keep it despite our unfaithfulness.

It wasn't because we deserved it.  It wasn't even because of our repentance or our commitment to preach the Gospel, or keep his word.  He chose to set his affections on us because of who he is, not because we were really great people.

Maybe you've also entered into a covenant with a spouse, or a church.  At one time, they claimed to love you, and they may be the ones who have hurt you most.

We must choose to forgive others because of who he is.  They may never ask for it.  They may always feel that they were perfectly right in their actions or hurtful words.  But if we are generous with anything we've been given by God, it must be forgiveness.  Pray diligently for their repentance, and strive to be reconciled with them, but do not let forgiveness depend on their actions.  You cannot control that and it will only cause your heart to be burdened longer.  Do not deny the peace of Christ by harboring anger in your heart.
"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive." Colossians 3:12-13

Keep the cross before you.  Know that Christ's work was finished, that your sins were forgiven, that you received grace and mercy, that your ability to forgive rested on the shoulders of the man hanging on the tree.  It remains there, still.

Christian, the Holy Spirit has equipped you with the ability to forgive.  You cannot do it by your own strength.  You must have faith that God can change your heart.  Even if your anger is pointed directly at him, you must trust that he will replace it with joy.
"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!"
Psalm 30:11-12


Long days

In high school I used to wake up around 6:30am, shower, do my hair and makeup, and often would have to be at school by 7:30 for jazz band practice or some other club meeting.  I would then go to class until 3pm, followed by either some kind of sports practice or going to work.  Then I would rush home (or to Subway), grab a bite to eat, and go back to the school for play practice where I would stay until 9 or 10pm.  After that I would go home, do homework, go to bed, and then get up and do it all over again. 

I never thought a thing about it.  I never felt fatigued or overworked.  I loved all my extra-curricular activities and I didn't dread school.  I didn't complain about going to work or practicing sports.  I just did it, mostly with joy.

Somewhere between then and now, something has changed.  I don't know if it's laziness, old age, or a change in responsibilities, but now I feel so tired and emotionally drained at the end of every day.  I get up later, get home earlier, and have way fewer extra things happening outside of school.  Why do I feel so much more tired?   Why do I feel so much more pressure and get so depressed about my life?

Perhaps then I didn't know any better.  By that, I mean, perhaps I was so busy and put my nose to the grindstone so much that I didn't have time to feel tired or defeated.  Sure, I still had bad days back then, lots of them... but looking back I can't ever remember feeling the way I do now at the end of the day.  I can't remember crying over all the stress or shutting down and doing nothing because I was just too overwhelmed.  

Maybe it's because I bear more scars now than I did back then.  Life happens, and inevitably you go through hard things.  I went through hard things then, too, with friends, family, and boyfriends, but now I feel as though things are so much heavier.  This is sad because the truth is that my burden is light because of Jesus.  I know that he is my redeemer and that I move forward in life because he made me his own.  I know this, and still I feel so weary. 

Maybe it's because I'm an adult and married and have to be responsible for so many things at home that I didn't before.  Maybe it's because school now includes more than just classes, but giving therapy to people who have a real need and will be impacted forever by how I help (or don't help) them.  Maybe it's just because I'm a graduate student and I won't feel this way so much when I'm finally out in the working world.  Maybe it's because I've lost sight of who I am in the sight of God and I don't live in a way that reflects my joy in knowing him.

I wish I had an answer for why things seem so much more difficult now.  Don't get me wrong; I still do fun things, and have friendships, and am madly in love with my hubs, but I'm praying that I can fight fatigue, laziness and anxiety, and press on with peace, joy, and confidence that God has called me to this specific place for a reason.  I want so badly to find joy in it because of that.  

I'd really like to know, am I the only one that feels this way?  Surely not.  Kyle and I talked about it and I know he's in the same boat as I am.  We both feel far more worn-down than people only in their mid-20s ought to be.  When you look back on younger days, do you wonder what happened, or are you still the same person you always were?  


A dose of sunshine

It was a particularly gloomy day here in St. Louis.  The sky was dark grey and continually spit ice and snow.  Thankfully my friend, Toni, provided just the dose of sunshine I needed today.  Ah, to live in California...

(Photo courtesy Toni Weber)

I'm ready to join her and move out there.  Who's with me?  For now I guess I'll have to find other sources of sunshine, like reading her blog and looking at pictures of other warm and sunny places.  Stay sunny, my friends.


Week 2

Two weeks down with Weight Watchers.  I'm actually surprised I lost weight this week since I did nothing but lay in bed and cough.  In fact, that's exactly what I'm still doing.  Can't. Stop. Coughing.

Anyway, it was a pleasant surprise to step on the scale and see another 5 pounds gone.  I still tried to stay within my point limit every day, which was no problem since I had very little appetite.  I drank a lot of water.  I haven't exercised at all, and I don't know when I'll be able to again.  This isn't exactly how I though week 2 would go, but it's still okay.

I'm just hoping that as I get better and stronger, I won't throw the diet and exercise out the window, as has been my post-sick pattern in the past.  If I can make it back on track, I think I'll be good until my next big obstacle... my birthday.

Another 5 lbs gone!  Woohoo!


So ill.

I'm not talking about Southern Illinois.  I mean, like, ohsoillyouprayGodwilltakeyouhome ill.  It has been a very unpretty week here in the Bass household.  As always, my hubs is the trooper of all troopers.  Boy, does he love me well!  I cannot tell you how good he is.

I had sincerely hoped to make his first week back at school a good one, but instead he spent his nights studying alone, taking care of the dog alone, and being my good, good nurse and comforter.  Sick as I was, one good thing always comes out of me being sick, I am reminded of just how marvelous God is to give me such a husband.  I've said it before.  I'll say it again.  He's the BEST!  I know a lot of people think that about their husbands, but I just cannot believe there could be one so great as Kyle.

He is so caring, thoughtful, tender, and strong.  He carries me through everything, and that's no simple task.  He loves me with the extraordinary, unconditional, unending love of his savior and mine, with the love of Jesus.

Thank you, Lord, for such a man!


Week 1

I'm doing Weight Watchers.  Yeah, it's time for me to get in shape again and I've failed on my own more times than I can count.  My mom and I are doing it together and we are both super pumped!  I'm hesitant to write about it because it's such a vulnerable spot for me and has been for much of my life.  I guess my thought was that if I don't write about it, people won't know that I need to lose weight, that I'm out of shape and unhealthy.  Well, I realized that someone could just take one look at me and know that, so why not write about what I'm going through?  Hopefully it will motivate someone else.

Here's a picture of us the week before beginning looking nice and chubby.


For the first week, the leaders at WW gave us a little assignment to write down ten things we've learned.  I didn't think I would be able to come up with ten because I thought I already knew it all.  I've been telling myself that I know how to eat healthy and exercise, but I just need accountability.  Well,  I was wrong!  So here are just a few of the things I've learned in week 1.
  1. Portions.  When I cook at home, I tend to cook pretty simple, relatively healthy meals.  They usually consist of some kind of meat, some kind of starchy side like a potato, rice, or pasta, and a vegetable.  Starting WW hasn't drastically changed the way I cook, but it has made me realize that the portions I've been giving myself are WAY too big.  For example, I've always made spaghetti with lean ground beef and whole grain pasta, but the serving I gave myself was probably four times too big, and I often returned for seconds.  This week I made it the same way, but scooped out a 1/4 C of pasta with a 1/2 cup of meat sauce.  I didn't make garlic bread, but salad and fruit instead.
  2. Blinders off.   Wednesday night we used our Applebee's gift card.  This seemed like a good choice since I knew they had WW options on their menu.  I was disappointed to find that they only had a few items with the WW label, but after looking at the nutrition facts and calculating the points I discovered I could eat a small steak and half a baked potato for less than some of the WW items.  After I decided what to order, I looked up the points for other menu items that I used to order and I was shocked.  My favorite chicken tenders were worth almost a full day's points!  This was hard to take, but I was glad to know the truth.   It definitely motivated me to learn about what I eat before I put it in my mouth.
  3. Balance.  Friday night we joined friends from our church at Mojo Tapas by our house.  Kyle and I had walked by it many times on our way to The Gelateria, and always wanted to try it.  We really liked the atmosphere and the tapas were so good!  I had a very low-point day leading up to our night out and I did my daily shred with Jillian, so I didn't feel so bad ordering just what I wanted.  We split crab empanadas and calamari.  I skipped the table bread, which was difficult, but Kyle said it wasn't that good anyway.  The next morning, to my great surprise, I had still lost weight!
  4. Small goals.  I have a fair amount of weight I want/need to lose, so when I try to think about that big number, I get a bit overwhelmed with grief and remorse that I've let myself get this far out of shape.  However, if I think in terms of 5 pounds, or even 5%, I feel much more able to accomplish my goal.
  5. Motivations.  I have to be honest with myself about my motivations.  I have many.  They range from wanting to honor God with how I take care of my body, wanting to be healthier, wanting to increase our chances of fertility, wanting to just feel better, all the way down to wanting to look better in clothes, and to not be the "fat Bass wife" (if you knew how beautiful my sisters-in-law are, you'd understand).  Now, I know that items 1, 2, and 3 really ought to drive me more than anything, but all I have to do is take a walk around the mall and look at the clothes I want to wear, and all of the sudden I am back on track.  It's silly.  It's frivolous.  It's really superficial, but it's the truth.  
I'm going to install a little tracker of some sort on the side of my blog so you all can stay in the loop about where I am in the process.  I'm hoping to reach my goal by the end of June.  I'll try to remember to update it weekly, but once I start back to school next week, I'm not making any promises.  Thanks for any encouragement or prayers you might have on my behalf.  If you just want to snoop, that's cool too.  I would!


    Holiday Rundown

    I'd originally titled this post "Christmas: The Breakdown," but decided that carried the risk of it sounding like I had a bad Christmas, and that is FAR from the truth.

    We spent Christmas Eve at my mom's house where we had a huge dinner and played games.  It was a night that I would call... eventful.  I'll just leave it at that!

    Christmas day my mom's family has the tradition of volunteering at the Salvation Army and bringing dinner to the residents there.

    Grandpa, Kyle, and Noah setting up the salad table


    Noah loving on Granny in the kitchen


    We helped with that then grabbed Watson and took him to my dad's house.  After hanging out there for a couple hours we went to my cousin Dustin's house where my dad's family was gathered.  We not only celebrated Christmas, but my great-grandma Jennie's 94th birthday.


    My dad and me


    Dad and Great Grandma


    Our plans to travel to Pennsylvania to visit Kent and Hope fell through.  This was very sad, but a very agreeable alternative awaited us in Chicagoland.  We spent New Year's with the whole of Kyle's mom's side of the family and celebrated Christmas, New Year's, and Aunt Stacy and Uncle Toby's going away to Italy where they will be stationed for the next three years.  It was a grand old time except that Watson was bad, Mama Bass was very sick, and Kent and Hope were absent.

    Kyle and his phone


    Cousin Scott napping with Sassy


    Having Christmas with Nancy in the hallway outside her room because she didn't want to expose us to her germs


    Aunt Denise and Uncle Mark


    Cousin Max accidentally gave Aunt Laura a fat lip.

    Toby, Moury, Mark T., and Mark B.

    Aunt Denise's pretty house





    Hope you had a fantastic holiday season and that the new year is treating you well so far!