with a little love. {tweet tweet}

i'm going a little out of order.


I hadn't yet bragged on mr. so-tickled-to-be-done-with-the-written-part-of-the-general-exams.
2 days. 8 hours each. "four" essay questions, which required pages upon pages of answering to get it right. {he still has a take home portion during these next weeks, then he'll have a 3-hour oral exam to which he can be asked ANYTHING and everything by his selected committee, which represent experts in the areas of Neuro-anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Neuroscience Pharmacology... did I say ANYTHING? yeah. prayers definitely welcomed}
...then, he'll technically be two years in, so he'll have his 'masters', but will then cease from regular classwork and such, and focus on his research for his PhD dissertation. When he's not poking his rat pups - he's always at meetings, working on things to publish, he's teaching the med students' neuroanatomy lab, and he gives so many talks, it's ridiculous. He manages to stay so calm and collected through it all. But, that's our Aaron, right?

...oh yes, the bragging was not to be on his brainiac-skills (brainiac, get it? oh, shoot me.)...but on his culinary skills.
I love a man who can make a mean bourdeaulais sauce.
a picturesque romantic valentine's evening prepared by my main squeeze.
so adorable, I tell you. It was delicious, to say the least.

I don't know at what point you realize that sometimes you can just do 'special occasions' better yourself... it can be so fun, turn on some music, light some candles, pour a glass of wine, and just spend the evening making a big, elaborate fancy meal. {oh, for about a fourth of the price, mind you.} we did sneak out to grab some orange-cheesecake and drinks at the end of the night @ the late-night Flips. It's easy to get a table on valentine's day when it's 11:30 pm!
...a little romantic evening in was a perfect (for us) way to cozy-up and celebrate the 'holiday'.
{I will never be one of those people who scoffs at a 'hallmark holiday'. Don't tell me you don't love to eat chocolate and have someone tell you how much they love you?... I didn't think so. I think I just like any 'festivity'. I would throw a Flag Day party if people would come...}

ok, I could end the post here, but I'm feeling nostalgic.
when I went to sort these valentine's pictures on my hard drive, I found the //valentine folder with categories for every year. {yes, I'm that neurotic with my pictures. I feel like I have to be with over 10,000 files.}

So, we're gonna have a friday flashback, ok?

first one as the lil' newlyweds. got a little crazy.
turned into a whole weekend: a heart-shaped pizza pie, a wonderful night out at the Red Piano Lounge and an awesome stay at the restored hilton Skirvin, then a visit to Body Worlds: the universe within. What's more valentines-y than looking at actual hearts?

another year of celebrating cozy-style. an evening in making a yummy dinner together & then sitting by the fireplace eating chocolate fondue!

I got to be the chef this year {heart-shaped chocolate molten cakes and all...} I distinctly remember Aaron having a test the next morning, and only being able to break for 'food'. Well, food he got. all that chimichurri, we smelled like garlic for days. hmm, I need to find that recipe....

oh, this one was so funny.
We spent our day walking around the cameron park zoo (because that's the kind of time you have on a weekday when you're a college student.) Then that night, Aaron had the brilliant idea to order take-out from our favorite restaurant and go sneak down & have a picnic at the Historic baylor village. {yes, my bears, you know the one.) It's a little 'town' stuck in the 19th century with little homes, a general store, an inn, an old bank... just what you'd expect on a college campus, right? It was fun, and thrilling in a we-could-get-caught/hey-whats-that-rustling-in-the-bushes kind of way.

the inaugural year.
I remember driving to Dallas, going to dinner & seeing 21 grams(?) at the Angelika.
oh to see the little lovebirds back then.

here's to many, many more to come.
Je t'aime.


the Franklin experience.

1 weekend road trip to Texas +

these 2 monkeys {and a maltese} as lovely hosts for the weekend,
then throw in what carly & I do best...
corner bakery :: the shops at willow bend :: world market :: ikea :: stonebriar :: taco diner :: the shops at legacy :: rockband :: legacy books ::anthropologie :: the allen outlets

= some fine, quality friend-time.

I don't quite miss Texas like I miss Tennessee, but it's a pretty special place in my heart, I'll say.
oh good grief, I've become one of 'those' haven't I?

But worth mentioning, my craftiest friend started teaching me to crochet! {she decided that was the easiest starting point for someone as clueless as I am. ok, carly didn't say that.} Don't even think I'm going to put a picture of my wimpy little start of a scarf. It looks more like a trendy wrist cuff, as it stands so far. Hopefully I can make it past 'pot-holder'. Fellow blogger, megan, has turned me on to this awesome daily crafty dose of d-i-y and inspirational design - craft: the blog. Their ideas are so unique, young, fresh. It's ironic how 'hip' I feel doing something that years ago would have assumed was only for grandma's in a rocking chair. {Not you grandma, other people's grandmas, my grandma's hip too.}

So, needless to say...
if you give a 'Maudite'
we had a smashing good time.


something smells good.

I don't believe what I do to be really cooking...it's more like following directions.
It's not like I'm little-miss-adventurous coming up with my own creations over here.
In the spirit of cooking more for and with my husband, I've been searching out new ideas...and settled upon trying at least one new dish every week.
And, as it turns out, thought I might share the first week of successes...
{the picture is really confusing. but I promise it was delicious.}
New Mexico Chile-glazed Chicken on Hominy Polenta is a recipe that I found on Epicurious. The success, to me, lies not only in the fact that we heartily enjoyed the taste -- but, it's one of those recipes where you have nearly everything you need in the pantry already. It makes the shopping trip easier to just grab some dried chiles, hominy, and cilantro and you're all set.

cozy. chunky. warm. yummy.

No-Knead Bread. Ths recipe was a Christmas present. no, really. It was from my Dad. Others were confused that he'd be offering this up as something I would really want, until they saw my eyes light up at the first bite of this flaky, soft artisian bread. Some of you will already know that I could live on bread alone. I know I've told you that I wandered around St. Martin on our honeymoon (a French territory) with a new, freshly baked baguette sticking out of my bag every day. My family knows that I will go to a specific restaurant just because they have good bread and great croutons.

If I lived across the street from Central Market or something, I needn't not have to make my own. But, to get bread like this -- sometimes, you just have to do it yourself. And, this recipe is so cheap. and so easy. {I should tell you up front, that you'll need a dutch oven to bake it in, and it'll be much easier if you have a kitchen scale.} The timing can be kind of tricky, so that'll take some planning. You start one thing, then another 8 to 18 hrs later, and so on. But, I promise, if it was anything even remotely complicated, you wouldn't find me bragging about this awesome bread.

I'll pass the recipe along if you're a bread-ie like me, and it doesn't even have to be your birthday.

Homemade Lasanga.

[no picture for this one. and yes, aaron does give me a hard time about taking pictures of food. I claim I just want to practice my photography skills I've learned...]

Not sure why I typed Homemade. but, I guess I need to tell you that I think the Stouffer's stuff is disgusting and should go by another name. This one isn't 'new' really, but definitely noteworthy.
This was my favorite meal growing up, I always requested it when my mom asked what we wanted for dinner. I'm so thrilled to have finally gotten it down. and if you're like us, you enjoy the multiple leftovers it offers. I'd be more than happy to share. I don't think I'll fill up this page with step-by-step instructions...so, let's just trade, shall we?

...and just so you don't think I'm the one always wearing the apron. I have to brag on my little valentine, he's planning 'the menu' for our little evening tonight. Not only did he wake me up with breakfast (my favorite french toast, fruit, & bacon), he's preparing a gourmet fare of this and this and more that I've yet to taste...

I love this man...

{v-day card caption: your beard is so sexy}

I don't know about you guys, but we'd planned to eat out this year, but when calling around for reservations, we were met with 120$ "prix fixe" price tags. So, even better - we're having a leisurely dinner in, then stepping out for drinks and dessert at a cozy little bistro...

and I almost forgot...

Red-velvet Sandwich cookies.

mom, please scroll past this paragraph. she'll kill me for using a mix. But they were a big hit with my lil' sweetheart... let's see, I believe his exact words were "they make my insides smile..." You can find this super easy little valentine's recipe over here on bakerella's recipe blog.

I have to admit, I have alterior motives for starting this recipe discussion. Surely you have some fun ideas up your sleeves? a go-to dish? a family favorite?

This is much to advanced for my skills, but so adorable I just had to share:
Valentine's gift box -- yes, it's actually a cake! {program note: I'm pretty sure you all know this, but anything in blue like that is always a link. they typically won't be underlined...}
If I tried to make a valentine's cake, it would probably turn out more like
this. [& there are more cakewrecks to be seen, check out this blogger's hilarous inspiration. oh, and this one's probably my favorite.]

- and a happy valentine's day to you! -

"...you best believe, best believe I'm yours."


Wrap it up.

What we found:

[photo credit: dwelling spaces]
Sometimes my job takes me to the lovely city of Tulsa, as was the case this Friday. Tulsa, you see, doesn't have any genetic counselors just yet. So, someone from OU travels once a week to counsel families for newborn screening follow-up for Cystic Fibrosis/Sickle cell. {with the drive and all, it ends up being an all day affair.} So, when I was finished at the hospital, I decided to stick around Tulsa for a little before driving home that evening. Despite the airports being closed for bad weather last week, this week I somehow found myself enjoying a meal on the outdoor patio of a cute little cafe. But, as for the find...I stumbled into another "cool store" that I'd like to give press to on here: dwellingspaces is a funky little shop in Tulsa - great shopping for unique items for both home and self, including lots of cute oklahoma apparel and a fair share of local and handmade pieces. Check out this eccecltic shop Downtown on 119 South Detroit.

What we learned:
basic composition. depth of field. shooting in RAW. lighting. F-stops.
Shutter-speeds. software. ppi. rule-of-thirds. ISO. optical zoom. white balance.
Merlanda (my cousin-in-law) and I signed up for a photography workshop on Saturday afternoon at the City Arts Center. We both have fancy-pants SLR Canon EOS Rebel Xti's...and I know that I, the user, feel like I'm holding it back from reaching its full potential. We've been talking about doing this for over a year, and finally found one that was a perfect fit for us. I'd been so excited all week! It was definitely a valuable workshop, and I took away quite a bit from it. I've been thumbing through my instruction manual and 'class notes' practicing my new tricks, I already feel a little less like the rate-determining step. We've plans to get together and hone in our skills, and we learned that Oklahoma City's own Epperson photo offers how-to instructional classes based on your specific camera model... Look out.

Where we're going:
[photo credit: corey fuller]
Tomorrow the the Fuller's are hosting the first of a 3-week bible study series called "Dysfunctional // living in the absence of trust, commitment, accountability."
...conversation, discussion, -and as promised- breakfast food galore.

What makes me happy:
the 70 degree weather, hot dinner-and-movie date with the husband, then some couch time with a bottle of wine & catching up with the week's DVR.


We fit.

Probably one of my favorite Christmas gifts is this:

I could ski jump, hit soccer balls with my head, hula hoop, do a downward facing dog all day.

There's more to it than the games though--aerobics, strength training, yoga... I'm just beginning to 'unlock' all that it has to offer. The jogging in the park feature kind of weirds me out. Makes me feel really lazy to jog in front of my TV screen while looking at cartoon pictures of trees.
At work, we started a 'fitness' board to keep eachother motivated, and I "pledged" --you guessed it -- aerobics, strength training, yoga... that's not cheating, no?
I'm not sure how great the benefits are just yet, It definitely doesn't get me sweatin' like Denise Austin does, but it's sure an easy {and quite fun} way to bank some PE time. I think they have some other discs that step it up a notch.

The most hilarious feature, thought, is it's nagging. Really, lay-it-on-me guilt trips included in the price. It's all happy and positive with you "Oh, you're a real Pro! A calorie burner!" when you get started. But, then...you miss a day. {or many.}

"Where have you been?"

"Why haven't you worked out lately?" ...it actually gives you a list of excuses to choose from, and then has preloaded answers to explain why that's not good enough, mister.

"Well if it isn't Jae Lindsay...." I think heard it scoff at my 12 day lapse in exercise. It's a really passive aggressive machine.
"You need to keep coming back every day to reach your fitness goals, yada yada yada..."

It even reminded me that Candice's birthday was coming up next week. Had I thought about a gift? Had I thought about planning a surprise party?

The best one was when neither of us had been on for about a week, Aaron starts up and instead of him getting the 3rd degree, it asks
"Have you seen Jae Lindsay lately? I haven't seen her work out in a while."
::he answers::
"How is she looking? ...heavier? lighter? about the same?"
::he answers::
"Maybe you haven't been paying enough attention to Jae Lindsay lately?"
::is this thing trying to mess with my marriage?::
"You know, dogs learn better and are motivated when they get attention..."
::oh no you di'int...::
Hmm, maybe it's not so favorite after all.


hold on to your butts.

Aaron said he'd been waiting 65 million years for this...and he just couldn't wait 65 million more.
The night before we flew out to Denver, we grabbed dinner (& celebrated!) with Aaron's parents at the new Iguana Grill, grabbed some cupcakes next door, and then the two of us headed off for a little prehistoric science lesson.

From the moment I looked over and saw his mouth gaping open at the commercials they started running in okc, I knew we were headed to the cretaceous period. Aaron'll be glad when we have kids {or at least our little nephew}, so they can pull at my pant legs begging me to go to stuff like this. We weren't sure if we'd be the only adults to go on their own, but surprisingly, everyone we know that went was going without the guide of a little one. It just looked stinkin' cool I tell ya.
Walking with the Dinosaurs was the name of the show... not quite the acurate description, we just watched and listened, but it was a really neat event. even neater once we snuck down to the expensive seats.

They called them 'life-size', and they were very 'life-like' indeed. Enough to scare the little kids next to us. One little boy tugged on his dad's shirt, "they're real daddy, I know it!"
I can't imagine how long it took them to design their leathery skin, they're realistic flowy movements...even their eyes and nostrils were drippy.

The stegosaurus is our favorite. ...but I mean, how do they really know that when they were threatened their blood ran through their 'stegs' and turned them bright red for defense? How do you get that from paleontology?

There were eggs hatched, plants eaten, smaller dinos devoured, young protected, and great battles to be won...all woven into a story of both animal life and geology spanning millions of years. Pretty awesome - we just wished it was longer. But, hey, it was a school night. :)


until only faith remains...

So, I'm sitting at lunch just a few weeks ago, flipping through the paper -
and what to my wandering eyes should appear - Jewel {my absolute favorite singer/songwriter} was coming through town...
I've been trying to catch this lady for years and years.
Within seconds, I was on the phone leaving a message for my dear friend {and crazed fan such as I} Candice, who's recently relocated to Texas...a mere 3 hr drive away. Now the timing of her move holds a divine understanding...
excessive? no, that's just how much we love her.
We caught her Friday night show at Riverwind's theatre--a small venue with only 1500 seats. I had expectations pretty high, but it was even better than we'd imagined! I don't think I've ever enjoyed a concert so much.
Her voice was outstanding. You know how some concerts you go to - in reality, the singer doesn't sound anything like the digitally perfected sound you hear on the radio...? Not so with her, we were so captivated by her first song, and just how clear and beautiful she sang. Not only is she an incredibly talented musician, she's such a remarkable songwriter, poet, and entertainer. She shared lots of stories about her life with us and shed new light on the lyrics behind so many of the songs we've loved.
I've never been to a concert where I knew nearly every song. she sang so many of our favorites {and the obvious mainstream favorites} but, we wanted to hear even more. Candice and I both could have sat in those little seats for hours and hours if she would keep singing...
Some things just stick with you through the years, would you believe me if I told you she was the subject of my high school 'biography' term paper? Yes, I think now you would.
That would be a hoot to find. {I couldn't really get any good pictures myself, so I borrowed this shot from her concert the next night at another event in Oklahoma} The whole set was solo acoustic. One thing we didn't hear much of was that 2004 album. Not that anyone minded, we think it was just a rough patch, a bad haircut, an unfortunate class photo...that we just don't talk about. She's had two great albums since. She has a new lullaby album coming out this year...all self-written and produced out of her ranch in Texas. she gave us a preview...gorgeous.

Candice and I spent our time catching up and lounging in the hot tub {a baylor pasttime}. Our friend, Bryan, came to hang out, and the four of us grabbed some Thai food and checked out a new boutique down in the Plaza District. Bryan has started designing and making his own jewelry, so I suggested we check out Collected Thread - I had their flyer from the Girlie Show last fall. Their store just opened a few months ago to support and highlight local artists in Oklahoma city - everything is vintage or handmade {clothing, jewelry, housewares, prints...} and so incredibly unique.

{photo credit: collected thread}
The owners turned out to be friends of Aaron's from back in the day. There's a few other unique galleries and vintage shops popping up in this neighborhood. I'll definitely be back. If you're in the area, worth stopping in at 1705 NW 16th Street.

...off to prepare my little bookworm some study-slash-superbowl grub. {Aaron's month-long exam begins in just a few weeks!} As for me, I've got my latest crafty project spread out in the floor. Football and decoupaging don't usually mix. But who knows - with our new awesome TV, it might even keep my interest this year.