Highlights of 2016

KYLE AND OLIVIA'S TOP HIGHLIGHTS OF THE YEAR 

Being silly/depicting another "historic" event of 2016 per Mike's  (mikeliufreelance.com) request 

Being silly/depicting another "historic" event of 2016 per Mike's  (mikeliufreelance.com) request 

Another year has flown by! We have passed two years of marriage and three years in Syracuse, and Olivia's time in med school is rapidly coming to an end (thankfully!). In a year full of adventures and excitement, here are a few of our favorite memories.

Kyle goes to California

Although I went to California for the first time in 2015, I did not get a chance to visit either San Francisco or Los Angeles. Thanks to a couple of work trips, I was able to spend a weekend in both SF and LA this year and get a true California experience. I had a great time hanging out with friends (thanks Brian and Alina!), eating great food, and acting like a Midwestern tourist on the West Coast.

Olivia finishes rotations and finishes all of her medical school tests!

Third year of medical school was truly an adventure! Even when I didn't like the rotation I was on, I reminded myself: When else will I be able to experience all of these fields? What a privilege it is to join different teams just for 5 weeks and have the opportunity to be integrated in! After finishing all of my rotations and shelf exams, it was time to take Step 2 CK and CS, which were not as bad as Step 1 :) and now I'm all done with tests until residency! 

Traversing Michigan together

For summer vacation this year we spent a week in various parts of Michigan with Kyle's family. We started in Grand Rapids but soon went up to the family cottage in Ludington to relax on Lake Michigan. We then traveled up north for Olivia's first experience in the Upper Peninsula, while also making a day trip over to Mackinac Island. We had a fun time chilling on the beach, eating some classic Mackinac Island fudge, roughing it in Kyle's grandparents' UP cabin, and hanging out with family.

Kyle's quick stop in Seattle

After making the aforementioned trips to SF and LA, I also wound up in Washington state on a short work assignment. Thanks to some flexible arrangements, I was able to spend a few days with my family out in Anacortes, who I had not visited in over a decade. It was great to catch up with my aunt and uncle and all of my cousins and their kids, as well as another cousin in Seattle on the other side of the family, which made flying all the way across the country more than worth it!

Olivia's summer medical missions trip

Going to Jalapa, Nicaragua with Global Health Outreach (CMDA) with a team based in Atlanta was an incredible experience! We did our best to serve the peoples' medical needs, as well as spiritual needs and It was extra special that my mom went as a physician on the trip too! For a better description of the trip and my thoughts on the whole experience, see this blog post

We love history (kind of)

When Olivia was required to take a board exam in Philadelphia, we decided to make a mid-Atlantic trip out of it. We made a brief tour of Philly, seeing the Liberty Bell and some college friends, before heading down to Virginia and DC. There we did our rounds of the museums and monuments, as well as the zoo and Old Town Alexandria. Of course we were able to see many friends there as well and enjoy a healthy amount of asian food!

Kyle finds where he belongs

A couple of trips to Michigan for work were great for seeing family, but they also allowed for some fun sporting events. I was able to catch a Tigers game in the summer with some friends and also a Pistons game later in the fall when I was working near Detroit. However, the highlight has to be my first time back in Michigan Stadium in a few years and spending some time hanging out in Ann Arbor before and after the game.

Olivia hits the interview trail

At one point this fall, I was doing more traveling than Kyle! Pretty much a line from "Hey There Delilah" sums it up: "...A thousand miles seems pretty far but the've got planes, trains, cars - I'd walk to you if I had no other way" - all of those methods of transportation were used, including a sketchy greyhound bus ride, and we even ended up un-intentionally driving to Ann Arbor, MI when my flight got cancelled twice. In total I visited Chicago(land), Grand Rapids, Madison, Ann Arbor, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, and Atlanta! See blog post here for more details. 

Ending the year with family

Kyle's parents generously drove out to Syracuse to spend Thanksgiving with us, and we enjoyed the holiday together with Kyle attempting to cook his first turkey (mostly by himself at least). When the weather forced us to drive to Olivia's interview at Michigan, we got to see his parents again! A few days later we flew down to Georgia to spend Christmas with Olivia's family, and topped it off with a drive down to Florida to see her grandparents as well.

2016 has been a very full year in so many ways and we are thankful and grateful for God's provision, leading, and promises. We look forward to 2017, and we hope you'll read about our adventures here on the blog :) 

- K&O