December 31, 2011


I'm not normally one for New Year's resolutions, but this year I have a few.

1. Learn to sew. (I know some of the basics from jr. high home-ec, but I want to get more
advanced and be able to make some of the cute crafts I see. Plus, I feel like it's something I have to learn before we have kids.) One of my Christmas gifts should make it a bit easier. Check out this bad boy...
2. Become a runner. (I hate running! I find it boring and not normal. I don't plan on running any marathons, but I would like to be able to run a decent distance, comfortably, without wanting to shoot myself.) This little image I found pretty much sums it all up..

3. Clean our bedroom. (I actually do clean our bedroom, but I have a horrible habit of letting a small pile of clothes build up, usually on a chair, for about 3 or 4 days. After that, I put it all away. Why I can't put things away as I go, Lord only knows. I do know it drives Kyle crazy.)

These are my main resolutions, silly...I know, but this is it. Hopefully I can stick to them...

What are your resolutions for 2012?

December 26, 2011


I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, wherever you may have been and whoever you may have spent it with. Ours was fantastic...filled with eating, presents, eating, Pictionary, and more eating.

Here's our Christmas card from this year. Hopefully it explains where we've been this last year and a little of what's to come in 2012. Much to look forward to and still so much unknown.

December 16, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

I love Christmas! I truly love everything about it!

The weather, spending time with family, baking, the music, the decorations, waving hello to Santa at the mall (yes, I know I'm too old for that), eggnog, lighting candles at church, buying gifts for loved ones, the list could go on and on.

Well, nothing puts me in the mood for the holidays more than some good ol' Christmas songs. I try to wait until after Thanksgiving before I start listening, but most of the time I just can't help myself and start a little early. I'll always have a handful of favorites, but this year I found a new love...
This is Vintage Christmas by David Ian and it's amazing. It has a soft, jazzy feel like you're back in 1945 at a dinner show, but it's still got the classics. I've been playing it over and over as I wrap gifts by the warm fire. Give this album a try. I promise you won't be disappointed.

December 6, 2011


On this day, 2 years ago, I married my high school sweetheart, my best friend, the trouble-making boy from 7th grade math, my sidekick, and the man I want to spend forever with.
It's been a joyous 2 years and I can only imagine what the future holds.

December 3, 2011

Virtual Reunion

Thank goodness for Skype!

While on the island it allowed Kyle and me to not only chat with but see our family and friends and now, since we've been back, I use it to catch up with friends still in Dominica.

On Thursday, Emily and I had a 2 hour virtual reunion with Katie and Clare, 2 spouses down on the rock. It's always good for us to get filled in on island happenings and for us to give them some insight on what could possibly be next on their journey of med school. Great seeing you girls!

December 2, 2011


Today, Kyle took his final and will officially be done with this semester. Woo hoo! We can check one more thing off the list (half way to being an M.D.)

I haven't been here for much of the semester, but I've been able to visit for a total of 4 weeks and from what I've seen, this hasn't been the most exciting semester, but it's at least been a bit of a break from the intensity of the studying he had before. Sort of a calm before the storm since he'll be studying for STEP 1 of the USMLE over the next few months. (I'm stressed out just thinking about it and I'm not the one doing all the work)

I have to say that my mind was at ease, being miles away in AZ, knowing that he was hanging out with his roommate, Luke. A fellow Arizonan, Luke has been a great friend to Kyle and me and has been extremely tolerant of my frequent visits to Michigan, loads of luggage in tow.

Luke, thanks for putting up with me and for being an excellent roommate to Kyle. I couldn't have asked for a better guy. We'll miss you, but don't worry...we know where you live and Costa Vida is always calling our name :)

November 30, 2011


This morning we woke up to this!

Fresh, fluffy, beautiful snow.
Goodbye fall, hello winter...

November 29, 2011


Monday we had an "island girl reunion". It has been planned for a while now and I couldn't wait to see these girls again. We drove about an hour and a half south of Saginaw to Bloomfield Hills where Chelsea lives. Her husband started rotations there about 2 months ago and after seeing pictures of the adorable house and town in which they live, we just couldn't wait to check it out. Nothing makes me happier than a chatty, girls lunch and some shopping.

It was also great to finally meet these guys (Tuck and Finn). Of course baby Dara, Anna's little girl, was an adorable snow bunny and as smiley as can be.

Till next time ladies, whenever that may be.

November 28, 2011


I made my very first Thanksgiving dinner all on my own!

It was a lot of work, but I think it turned out great. We had very few leftovers (always a good sign). The turkey tasted moist and delicious. Aesthetically it wasn't as great...the skin tore while being turned (courtesy of Kyle) and it broke my heart to ruin my beautiful bird.

We also had mashed potatoes, apple and sausage stuffing, green bean casserole, Pillsbury croissant rolls (courtesy of Chef Luke), and pumpkin chocolate cheesecake pie (recipe here and highly recommended).

Kyle and Luke (as well as the 4 other students not pictured) gobbled it all up.

We finished of the weekend with a little bit of Black Friday shopping and watched the holiday classic Home Alone to get in the Christmas spirit.

November 18, 2011

Dresser DIY

One of the items on my list of things to do was refinishing a very special piece of furniture.

A dresser.

This dresser belonged to Kyle's father, Ron, who passed away when Kyle was 4. It was used by Ron when he was a young boy growing up in Minnesota and continued on with Kyle's parents as they made the move to Montana and then to Arizona.

After over 50 years of use, being covered in Ninja Turtle sticker, and I'm sure a few dents and dings from hockey sticks...well, it needed a bit of T.L.C.

What we started with (complete with a drawer in 5 pieces)

Sanded and Stripped

Working with my dad, carefully sanding and tightening every piece.


The final product!

I'm so thrilled with the outcome. We hope to use this in a nursery, one day.

It was a fun project for me to do with my dad and I couldn't have done it without his help. I learned a great deal about refinishing furniture. I'm already looking for my next project.

Can't Keep Up?

Been trying to figure out where in the world are the Hickman's?
Don't know when they're going to be here, there, or who knows where?
That's ok...neither can they!

I do know that I leave for Michigan to reunite with my love this Sunday. I'm certainly looking forward to being with him again. It's been a long and hard semester being apart, but I've enjoyed working with the munchkins every day. After Kyle takes his final on December 2nd, we'll make the drive to St. Louis on the 3rd where we'll be bunking with my Nana until some time in the spring. (Yes, I'm being vague. We don't know exact dates at this time.)

For now, I just want to thank my parents for letting their 25 year old, married daughter move back home for 3 months and for being so understanding when I took their cars to work every day. I truly have the best Mom and Dad. I love you both!

November 12, 2011

Uncle Kyle

Our little niece Page seems to have some issues with her Uncle Kyle...

As he says, "She doesn't like me".

I'm pretty sure she's just hungry and you don't have the goods (if you know what i mean).

November 11, 2011


This year I will be in Michigan for Thanksgiving. This means Kyle and I will be without our families for the first time and we're a little sad about that. Growing up kinda stinks!

I will be making a traditional turkey dinner, in his small Saginaw Apartment, for the two of us and some of the other students. I'm a little nervous to be cooking for all those people all by myself, but very excited at the same time.

To help prepare me, we did a little practice dinner last week with my mom, dad, and grandma. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, pumpkin cake, etc. We had it all! Hopefully my dinner turns out this delicious.

If you don't see any pictures on the blog in a few weeks...I BURNT THE BIRD!

November 7, 2011


Friday evening our beautiful niece Page was baptised and Kyle and I are lucky enough to be her Godparents. I think Kyle really likes that makes him feel like the head honcho in the mob. I'm leaning more towards the Fairy Godmother thing on my part. However Page sees us, Aunt and Uncle, Godmother and Godfather, or crazy family members, I hope we are role models for her and give her guidance. She's a beautiful gift from God and we are so lucky to have her in our lives.

October 30, 2011

Michigan: Game Day

My second weekend in Michigan, Kyle and I decided to take a little road trip of our own...

just the two of us.

First we rented a car. I couldn't help but laugh hysterically when I saw Kyle pull up in this thing. Not sure why, but I just think it's the goofiest looking car (no offense to anyone who sports this baby while driving around town).

We drove down to Ann Arbor and spent a day tootling around there, checking out the University of Michigan campus.

Sunday we went to Detroit to watch the 49er's/Lions game. This was my very first NFL game and I was excited that San Francisco was playing. Ever since Kyle was just a little guy he's been a die-hard 49er's fan. You could tell by his room, his clothes, and even his Christmas stocking. Not to mention, he can tell you every statistic about the team and its players. I was excited to share this moment with him at a 49er's game.

I was, however, a bit nervous considering we were extremely outnumbered by the Detroit fans, their stadium is very loud, and their fans can be brutal.

Everything turned out great. We won, we were only heckled by a few sore losers, and we made it out of Detroit alive! I would say the weekend was a success.

October 28, 2011

Michigan: Dinner Time

During my 2 week visit to Saginaw I had plans to not only cook for the guys while I was there, but make some meals to freeze that they could use over the next 4 weeks until I come back again.

I spent nearly 2 full days, shredding chicken, making green chili burros, pot pie, enchiladas, and pasta. I definitely sleep more peacefully knowing that frozen pizzas are no longer a staple in their weekly menu. I hope they're enjoying the home cooked meals each night I'm away.

October 27, 2011

Michigan: Ford Museum

When most people talk about the Ford Museum in Michigan, they are referring to the Henry Ford Museum just outside of Detroit. When it comes to Kyle, the only Ford Museum he wants to see is the one for President Gerald Ford. If you know Kyle, you are aware of his love of history, facts (both useful and useless), and just plain knowledge. In our travels he's always looked for presidential libraries and grave sights. It's sort of his thing.

While driving through Grand Rapids there was no way we were going to bypass the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum. So, here's Kyle outside of the museum chomping at the bit to go inside and explore the walls of information and artifacts.

On the grounds of the museum

Where President Ford and Betty Ford are buried

A view of Grand Rapids

October 26, 2011

Michigan: Reconnecting

Something I was really looking forward to when visiting Saginaw was catching up with island friends. Some of these girls I haven't seen for over a year. Some have added little members to their family and others are expecting.

We reminisced about our lives on the island, talked about what we love about living in the states, shared where we plan to go next, and thought about what the next year may hold.
When I return to Michigan in November I hope to visit with the ladies again and hopefully get to see a few more.

We have a unique bond that very few have. We just understand each other and I feel so fortunate to be able to spend time with them.

October 25, 2011

Michigan: Mud

I failed to mention one small detail about our road trip:

a mud run!

I have never heard or seen anything like this and I must say it doesn't seem appealing in any way and it might be the most redneck thing I've witnessed. Driving through deep puddles of mud, windows down, getting slapped in the face with glops of wet dirt, and getting stuck...I don't think so!

October 24, 2011

Michigan: Road Trip

Little known fact:

I have been to ALL 50 states.

My mom on the other hand had only been to 49 with Michigan being the state she was missing. That is until our recent trip to Saginaw. She tells Kyle she wanted to see him, but we all know her real incentive for going to Michigan, haha.

So, Congratulation Mom and welcome to the club!

The weekend she was there we decided to take a road trip and explore Michigan.

We, of course, saw plenty of beautiful fall leaves...

went walking through some parks in Bay City...

swung on the swings, like little kids, at the park...

had some local brews in Traverse City (as well as a few other places)...

felt the breeze off Lake Michigan while driving along the western coast...

and indulged in a little bit of Midwestern goodness, a Steak n' Shake burger and shake.

October 19, 2011

Michigan: Frankenmuth & Bronner's

About 20 minutes from Saginaw, where Kyle lives, is the tiny, picturesque, and slightly hokey, German town of Frankenmuth. In this town they love their cheese, sausages, beer, and schnitzel. It was a great place to meander through boutiques and of course check out more of that fall foliage I love so much.

Our visit to Frankenmuth wasn't complete until we stocked up on beer...all made in Michigan of course.

Set on the outskirts of Frankenmuth is the largest Christmas store in the world!

Who knew???

This place is so large it attracts tour buses from all over.

Welcome to Bronner's!

Need ornaments, tinsel, lights, or a $3000 hanging Santa?

This is the place for you!

Good thing I love Christmas and I come from a family who goes crazy on the lights and decorations. Otherwise, I might have thought this store was a bit much. Instead, I hummed to the Christmas music, scanned every ornament, and got butterflies just thinking about the holiday season quickly approaching.