December 20, 2011

The Graduate!

I am oh so proud to announce that Mike Traxel is a college graduate! AND he has accepted a full time position with Colorbiotics here in Ames as a QC Chemist (one step higher than the entry level position we thought he'd be doing)!!!

December 6, 2011

2011 Highlights

Okay, I don't have my calendar from before August, so I'm hoping I haven't forgotten anything major. Click on any of the pictures to see them larger. Merry Christmas!!

January: Were 3 weeks engaged and began taking Marriage 101 at Cornerstone.
February: Continued Marriage 101, and set our wedding date for August 13th
March: Began counselling with Don at Timberline, Grunder's spent spring break at Honey Creek
April: Engagement pictures with Britney Hudson (that's already weird to say), Mike's 21st birthday.
May: Finals at ISU, Kylee and Garrett's wedding, Stood with Ryan and Britney as they became The Wilsons :)
My favorite picture from R&B's wedding 

June: Melissa's birthday and graduation, Jenny and Tyler's wedding (which I got to unofficially second shoot) in RI, my bridal shower at CBC, Jenny and Tyler's Iowa reception, Grunder Campout and Cedar Point in Ohio

(my favorite of my pictures from J&T's wedding)
July: 4th of July in Mount Vernon, building a fort, Emilie and Matt's wedding, Alisha and Garrett's engagement, Grunder "Mad-hatter" shower, Mike started working for Colorbiotics in Ames.
Yeah, we're that cool.
August: Moved Mike into our apartment, WE GOT MARRIED!!!, mini-honeymoon in Cedar Rapids, moved in to the apartment together, I turned 21 and we began classes at ISU

September:  Adventureland with the small group and Mr. Tometich's company. Began having "Gilmore" dinners with Melissa and working in the older 2's nursery at Cornerstone, Celebrated Jon's 27th birthday at Ledges State Park, and went to Mount Vernon for a very rainy Lincoln Highway Arts Fest

October: Celebrated Britney's 20th birthday with a "surprise" party at the Hudson's. Pumpkin patch with Jenny and Tyler, trip to Minnesota to visit Grandma Hilarion

November: Trivia night at JEFC, began the membership process at Cornerstone by taking Intro to Cornerstone, started meeting every Sunday with our awesome small group, watched ISU beat Oklahoma State 37-31!!!, saw Wicked with the Grunders, celebrated Thanksgiving with the DeWaards, survived Black Friday (despite Best Buy only having 3 registers open) then celebrated with the Grunders.
Our small group at our wedding
The rushing of the field after the ISU win over #2 OSU

December: Amanda turned 16 last week! Aah... I'm old. :-P Decorated for Christmas, and now it's Dead week, which is anything but dead with 4 assignments, 2 quizzes and a term paper due. Sunday we are signed up to compete in the intermural 500 card tournament to kick off finals week. On Friday the 16th, Mike graduates and then we go straight into a busy Christmas break- DeWaard's on Saturday (as well as Amy and Matt's wedding, CONGRATS), Mike's family on Sunday. Mike (most likely) starts his new full time position that Monday and we'll be in Mount Vernon/Pleasant Valley over Christmas weekend.

November 27, 2011

Beginning to look like Christmas!

Now that it is officially after Thanksgiving, Christmas has begun at the Traxel residence! As soon as we got home last night we set up the tree and we decorated it today after church. We had a super successful day/night of Black Friday shopping too, so all of our Christmas presents are wrapped and under the tree. Thanks so much to Grandma and Papa Halupnik for the tree!

We also started our first Christmas tradition, which I based off this post. Every year at Christmas time we'll write down our favorite memories from the year, curl them and twist them into a clear glass ornament. Now I just need to run grab some little tags to label them for each year. Here's 2011:

Isn't he a good looking guy?

October 21, 2011

Pumpkin Patch!

On Sunday, Mike's sister Jenny and her husband Tyler came up and we went to the pumpkin patch!!

Mike found some pumpkins he was really excited about :)
Afterwards, we went back to our apartment and carved them. I had never used the designs that come with the tool kits before and I have to say, they do turn out pretty cool!

Jenny's zombie hand

Mike's headless horseman

My graveyard bat

The final products. Jenny and Tyler took Tyler's pumpkin home to carve later. 

This is a project I've wanted to do with mini pumpkins. They're sitting on our "entertainment center" now. And it's super simple: I just printed the letters, cut them out to use as stencils, Sharpied the letters on and  now they're waiting to be finished with some varnish. Hopefully that will make them last longer, but we'll see. 

September 29, 2011

Mini Peach Pies

Last night we got to have my sister Melissa and our friend Megan over for dinner. I made mom's tetrazinni, which I'm pretty sure I have posted the recipe for before, and these mini-peach pies from Cook Au Vin
Here's the mini-pie recipe:
Take 8 cups of ripe peaches and chop them into small chunks with the skins on. I used 4 Colorado peaches.
Stir in 1 1/3 cups sugar, 6T flour, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon and let rest for 20-30 minutes so that the juice can be released and begin to form a syrup. It goes from looking like this:
to this:
Once the juices have come out, place a strainer over a large pot and place the mixture in the strainer. The syrup will fall into the pan. This may take awhile if the syrup is already pretty thick.
Once the liquid has strained through, bring the liquid to a boil over medium heat (be careful it can caramelize on the bottom of the pan). Reduce the heat and let it cook another 10 minutes or so until it thickens. Stir the peaches back in and remove the mixture from heat. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 3 tablespoons of butter and let cool to room temp. 

While the filling was cooking, I cut out my mini-crusts. I used a boxed crust from the grocery store and used a pitcher from our wedding to cut out the circles. I then tucked them into the muffin tin used to cook the pies.

At this point I refrigerated both components and went to class. When I got home, I filled the crusts with the filling and placed small strips of crust over the tops of the pies.
Bake the mini-pies at 425 for about 15 minutes. Our oven cooks hot so it only took 12 minutes for ours to be done, so be sure to check them often. I made 12 pies and still have about half of the filling left - I just didn't get enough crusts! I think we'll probably use it as ice cream topping.... drool. :)

August 27, 2011

Wedding Pictures {Preview}

Here's the first set of preview pictures I received from our photographer, Silje Lynne. She was pretty wonderful :)

This is my favorite so far - I LOVE the reflection of the tree in Mike's ring!

Lip color and no eye make-up makes me look so different than usual! 
(I was mid-getting ready here)


Saturday the 20th we went to the Farmer's Market and got sweet corn (YUM!) and then came home and Mike made me brunch - WAFFLES! On our super-fancy-wedding-waffle maker :)

Doesn't he just look studly in my apron?? 
(Thanks to Melissa for the awesome apron!)