March 30, 2012


Goodbye St. Louis,

Thank you for letting us be temporary residents for the last 4 months and for having one of the mildest winters in history! (These 2 Arizonans really appreciated it). Thank you for showing us what spring looks like, we sort of skip over that season in AZ. We've also enjoyed your down home, Mid-west people who have a welcoming, comforting feel about them...kind of like your part of their family. Your pies, meat n' potatoes, and good ol' fashion cooking have been a tasty treat as well.

We'll miss you St. Louis, but I'm sure we'll be back.

~Kyle and Heidi

Hello Arizona,

It sure is good to be back! We missed your dry, warm air and out stomachs are longing for your authentic Mexican food. We're excited to be back to the place we'll always call home. The familiarity of the cities, roads, restaurants, malls, and store will be great. You are also home to our family and friends and for that, we love you.

As it has been over the past 2 years, our stay will be brief, but we will always return.

~Kyle and Heidi

March 28, 2012

Gone Fishin'

I've always enjoyed fishing, ever since I was a little girl. Getting up super early to make sure your line is in the water as the sun rises isn't my favorite, but it's part of the whole thing so I usually grab a strong cup of coffee and hope to wake up on the drive.  

This week Kyle and I went fishing at my Papa's lake. It's set between corn fields and trees and is the most peaceful place. Truly beautiful! We had a great day out in the boat just casting and catching, over and over again. In all we caught 32 bass and 26 bluegill. I would say it was a successful day. Oh...and by the way...I caught more fish than Kyle. He doesn't really like to talk about it.

March 24, 2012

Road Trip!

About 4 weeks ago I received an invitation in the mail for a baby shower for Taylor in Atlanta, my girl from the island. I'm sure you've seen her in about 100 pictures on our blog. We spent many days together on the rock and our husbands, "the Kyles", happened to be great pals too. Anyway, this invitation made me sad and wishing I could go. Then I had a few thoughts...

1. The shower is the Sunday after Kyle's exam.
2. We were already talking about taking a road trip to Nashville.
3. Atlanta is only about 4 hours past Nashville.
4. Due to parent/teacher conferences, I had a few days off.

Verdict...We're heading to Atlanta to surprise Taylor!
We of course let her husband know and before you could blink your eyes, our plans were set and we had butterflies in our stomach.

After hours of driving I got to see this pretty lady (along with Charlie or "CGP" as Kyle calls her). The smiles on our faces doesn't even begin to explain the excitement and tears we had at the surprise.

Kyle was also pretty excited to see Kyle.

We had a cookout with Kyle, Taylor, Kreg, and Margo. So fun to have a reunion of island peeps.

Kyle's Granny, as well as his mom and Taylor's twin sisters Hannah and Hillary.
After hearing so much about them during our time on the island it was great to meet them.

We spent time reminiscing about the island, laughing, talking about the future, laughing, and then did more laughing. Our stomachs all ached from all the chuckling.
The overwhelming amount of southern-style cooking could have also had something to do with our stomach aches. Let me just was so worth it!

Kyle got to see a presidential grave site, always a highlight for him.
We celebrated spring.

And St. Patrick's Day with a "black and tan".
Our road trip was such a blast and a great way to celebrate Kyle taking Step 1. We finished off the trip with a stop at the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, TN. The tour is free and well worth it (if you're even in the area).

It was so great to see Kyle and Taylor, as well as some other friends from the island. Hopefully our next get together is sooner than later. We sure love hanging out with them!

March 15, 2012

The BIG Day

"Never regard study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn."   
Albert Einstein

Well, today is the BIG day that Kyle has been preparing for, studying for, and stressing over for the last several months. Today he takes his board exam and I don't know who's more nervous...Kyle or me. We want to thank all of you for the good luck wishes and prayers. They are all both encouraging and appreciated. We even received a good luck photo from the dogs.

March 11, 2012

Walk for Wishes

For the last 15+ years, Nana has volunteered with the Make-a-Wish Organization and has granted nearly 300 wishes! Each year they hold a fundraiser, Walk for Wishes, for the children of southern Illinois and we were lucky enough to be here to help her out with it.

It started out bright and early at a local mall where over 350 people gathered to walk and celebrate the kids who have been, or will be, granted a wish. It was great to see all the support!

Congressman Jerry Costello was there as the co-chair of the event...

the other co-chair was this little guy, King Nate! Isn't he just the cutest thing?
He is a former wish child who went to Disneyworld for his wish.

I think he did a pretty good job leading everyone in the walk. He certainly had spunk!

When the walk was over, everyone got some breakfast...

had their faces painted by BeBe the clown...

and had a balloon creation made just for them...

All in all, the walk was a success and Make-a-Wish was able to raise a lot of money.
That means more wishes for kids who could really use a little distraction from their battle.

March 6, 2012


In case you're in a bit of a food rut and need some new recipes to try, here are a few I've made, and enjoyed, recently.
Chicken Marsala is one of my favorite dishes. When I saw this Chicken Marsala Pasta recipe I knew I had to give it a whirl. It has all the goodness of the traditional dish, but with an added creaminess. (I doubled the liquids for more sauce and used half and half instead of cream)

Mexican food in a! This recipe for Chicken Enchilada Soup was very easy as well as tasty. Served with some slices of avocado and a few tortilla chips and you got yourself a great supper. A margarita could be a nice addition too :)

I recently made this Sweet Berry Bruschetta to take to a trivia night and as other people were gobbling it up I was wishing I had saved some for us at home. It is truly divine and I'm trying to find another reason to make it. It's not too sweet and very fresh tasting. I'm drooling just thinking about these puppies.

I've made this Pasta with Mascarpone, Chicken, and Spinach 3 times now! Even if I love a recipe a rarely go back to it. This is only because I still have so many others I want to try, but this one must be something special. I love the creamy lemon flavor of the sauce and the wilted spinach adds the perfect amount of bitterness to balance everything out. (I omitted the sun dried tomatoes, I thought it would take over the dish, and I also didn't bother with the breadcrumbs)

If you get your fill of Swedish meatballs by dining at Ikea, please try this recipe. It's so much better. The hint of dill is the perfect touch. I served them over egg noodle with peas on the side.

This is a great dip to bring to a party or get together, especially if there are lots of guys there. Just don't tell them it's called Skinny Buffalo Chicken Dip. I served mine with celery sticks and Ritz crackers. I also left out the blue cheese...ick!

I hope you get a chance to give some of these recipes a whirl. If you have any recipes for me to try, send them my way. I'm always open to a new dish!

March 3, 2012

Make It Count!

I don't know about you, but I'm always looking to what's next only to look back and regret not enjoying the ride to get there. It's something I'm sure we can all work on, you know, being content with where we are. It was even the topic of a Bible study I did in Dominica and yet I continue to talk about "one day". I suppose bouncing from here to there, not feeling settled, doesn't help, but I know many people who admire, even envy, our "nomad lifestyle".

It's now March, long after the time to make those New Year's resolutions, but I've decided to add one more to my list (which is going quite well I might add). I'm determined to make my days count instead of counting down the days. Making them count doesn't mean I need to accomplish 30 things each day, only that I should enjoy it, take it in, appreciate the small things, and cherish each moment.

What about you? Do you make your days count or are you guilty of counting like me?

March 2, 2012

What a Mom!

My mom went back to Arizona yesterday, regardless of my pleads for her to stay longer. We really enjoyed having her here and had so much fun during her stay. She helped me recover those retro chairs, sew one of my projects, hunt for antiques, and shop, shop, shop. We always love when she visits. She really is a great mom and Kyle thinks she's a pretty great mother-in-law too. He often refers to her as his "little buddy". I love their relationship!

We love you Mom, thanks for everything!

March 1, 2012

One BIG Step

Just 2 weeks from today, on March 15th, Kyle will sit down to take Step 1 of the USMLE.
(every medical student takes this test as the first part to becoming a licensed doctor and it will be the next milestone before starting rotations in the next couple of months)

I can't believe this day is nearly here! I feel like we've talked about it for years and our time here in St. Louis, where he has been studying for the last 3 months, has flown by. Kyle is very driven and pretty darn smart, in my opinion, so I have complete faith in his ability. I'm glad it's in his hands and not mine. I would surely need a brown paper bag to control the anxiety.

If you happen to remember, on March 15th, please say a quick prayer for my man as he sits down for the 8 hour exam. I know I'll be saying one many!