Thursday, February 14, 2008

Recent happenings, in photos

My classmates and I took advantage of the Society for Neuroscience meeting being in San Diego and headed off to the Zoo in Balboa park the day before everything sciency got started. My favorite part: riding the "Skyfari" ... it's like a ski-lift that takes you diagonally from the large cats to the macaques all the way across the zoo.

We also began what we hope to become an annual tradition of a bracketed checkers tournament during Thanksgiving at the Buffingtons'. Grandpa Fennel and Jesse were by far the most fierce competitors.

We thought about using this picture on our Christmas cards but then thought better of it. We love having such a fun grocery store in HEB which is just a mile away and carries all sorts of unique items ... like a Heineken pony keg!

Did you know that Phillips 66 was the first to make commercial aviation fuel and still hosts a majority of the market today?

One of our best friends, Alan, is not only one class away from being an aeronautical engineer, but he is also a pilot! Jesse arranged with Alan for him to take me up on my first private flight - it was so exciting, I can't wait to head up in the skies again!

We have one very happy little doggy.

So, things are very well here at 2106 and Jesse & I are actually celebrating our 4th anniversary from our very first date in 2004 today (2/14/08).


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

From 22 down to 18

GO HOGS! Copper's not at all surprised/bothered about the 3-3 record the Razorbacks have racked up so far this year (much different from the humans in this household) and still sports the cardinal & white each Saturday (as do we, though with a little less hope than before!).

In addition, Copper's "blue socks" as Jesse calls them are a result of losing his 6, yes 6, dew claws today. His back feet had 2 dew claws on each foot, which is odd but not too rare apparently. Very special we think. He's a mutant but we love him!

Jesse has headed down to the cape again to prepare for the upcoming shuttle launch - he was really made for this and it is exciting to watch him be stretched and rise to new challenges. I am so thankful for him, he's a great husband and friend.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Cutie in Oklahoma

We (the Kaufman family) lost a good friend last Thanksgiving, our cocker-spaniel Pepper who had been with us since I was a little girl. He was a wonderful dog.

After about a year without puppy obligations, my parents have taken on another precious project, "Oliver". He's SO cute, full of energy, and loves to chew more than any puppy I've ever known. Sure, they all chew, but this guy chews on everything, everyone, all the time. He's a busy guy.

Copper and I were lucky enough to have a week off from BCM and were able to run up to visit the folks in OK while Jesse worked, worked, and worked preparing for the next shuttle flight coming up at the end of the month. The dogs had a great time together and it was great to get to spend a significant amount of time with both of my parents.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Growing, leaping, and bounding!

Copper is growing to be more and more companion-like and affectionate everyday. We find it really cute that his favorite toys are a rubber double-helix and a bucky-ball - I guess he's really getting into studying for neuroscience with me! Great dog.

KSC Trip

In early August, we had a great time travelling down to Florida - I was able to visit Jesse over one weekend while he was on business for STS-118. Not only did we get to tour KSC, we also had the chance to kayak through the Florida mangroves and pet manitees. Very cool!

Monday, September 03, 2007


Big cities seem to afford certain opportunities that aren't so readily available in smaller towns. We are certainly thankful to be a part of such enterprises as NASA and BCM, but in addition to these, rolling around town in a 32-foot hummerzine isn't so bad either. Extravagant, sure, but border-line reasonable when split up among 18!

One of our best friends, Mark (whom Jesse lived with during his first 2 times here in Houston), just turned 30 a week ago this Saturday, so Laurie, my running partner and closest girl-friend here in Houston, organized an extravagant event to celebrate at his favorite spots all over the town.

Rocket scientists really know how to party! What a night.

Our life in Houston is really exciting and fulfilling - we are becoming part of a great church, we love our jobs (although they are demanding so much!), and are enjoying getting to know our new friends better and better ... yet, the start of football season just reminded me how much I miss Fayetteville.

As mentioned, Jesse & I are attending an awesome church in Friendswood where God is moving - that's super exciting. However, we greatly miss our wonderful church in Fayetteville, The Grove Church ... it is an amazing body of Christ that is steadfast at pursuing truth and living the mission to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth. Even though we are attempting to embody the mobilizing vision, really trying to live the call to go out to the unreached (specifically the scientific community here in Houston), it's so hard to be away from the people we love.

Speaking of game-day, I loved the energy on campus during football weekends. Those were precious times. Of course, I found a lot of joy in dawning Felix Jones's jersey once again on Saturday ... winter, spring, and summer is far too long of a stretch for not wearing a UA football jersey! It may be a bit controversial, but we're actually going to end up cheering for UT this weekend, as UA gets ready for Alabama the following weekend.

If there is one thing I miss the most, it is the random walks I used to squeeze into the hour or two between classes just in order to be with the Lord for a little while. I would walk from the university out onto Center, up around the square, across College and finally loop through the historic district off Dickson before returning. I have yet to find a perfect path in Houston, but I know it's here somewhere. I just need to look around the corner, I'm sure. Oh to be to be in Fayetteville, just for an hour or two!

All my love, to everyone who happens to breeze over these words.

- Shelly

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

New Cu pictures!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

My brain!

An interesting opportunity came my way this past Wednesday. Our group, the De Biasi group at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), does a lot of really cool research all focused around the neurobiology of addiction. The lab is divided into 2 distinct sorts of studies - molecular & behavioral. As a chemist, I love working on the molecular side of things! Others observe the behavior and neurobiology of mice while on addictive drugs. This research is all leading to future applications to humans - which is where we're headed now.

The Human Neuroimaging Laboratory (HNL) at BCM has a 3 Tesla magnet (wow!) they use to perform the most high-quality MRI imaging in research today. As you can see from the picture, I got to be a test-subject this week! It just really amazes me that man has been able to design such incredible technology! God is so good giving us just the right minds at just the right time. Fascinating.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Copper's here!