Saturday, May 31, 2014

Celebrating Leone

Tuesday, May 20th my aunt Leone passed away. This was my dad's younger sister, she was 64 years old and left quite the legacy during her time here on earth. She was diagnosed with MS 16 years ago and for the last 10 years has been confined to a wheelchair, so although sad for us she is dancing through the streets of heaven as I write this. On Thursday of that week we traveled to Alexandria, MN for her visitation and funeral. The visitation included a time to share memories of Leone and it was so awesome to see how this woman had impacted so many peoples lives. Through her entire journey with MS she never complained, she was such a trooper through her suffering. Along with being a strong woman she also will be remembered as one of kindest people, always remembering everyone's birthday and truly took time for everyone she cared about. My aunt also raised two amazing boys, who have become great men and are using the skills she taught them to raise some great families of their own.

Here are some photos of Leone in her younger days.

Me and Leone the year I was born
Sara with Leone 1982

My dad and Leone in 1978
Earle and Leone 1978

My dad's entire family

One of my favorite childhood memories is Labor Day weekend with my dad's family. This particular trip was probably when I was 14 and it looks like it might be the Bug Bee Hive in Paynesville, MN.


A random mix of my grandparents, my parents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Traxlers Family

Since the funeral and visitation was in Alexandria, we stayed in a hotel there. My aunt Leone has nine grandchildren and six of them belong to my cousin Tony. They were also staying at the hotel, so we all took turns holding the babies and keeping track of the older ones:).

Sam and Silas




At the funeral we were able to take a big group photo. It is amazing to see how big our family has grown since the Labor Day photo above. We are still missing quite a few people, but this is the biggest representation I have seen in a long time.

Big Traxler Family

And here are Leone's boys with their families.

Leone's Funeral

My dad and his siblings
Traxler Sibilings

The older of Leone's grandchildren
Jacob, Titus and Issac

Two of Mike's kids
Jacob and Moriah

Our Family
Earle's Family

Tim's Family
Tim's Family

Rosie's Family
Rosie's Family

Pete's Family
Pete's Family

Jean's Family
Jean's Family

Friday, May 16, 2014

Entry Way Update

Our house is a split level and has virtually no entry way. Because of this our number one requirement for our next home is a big entry way and mudroom. Our entry area is 4 feet wide by 7 feet long and surrounded by two doors and the split staircase. The door to the garage has hooks on it to hang our coats, but our shoes have ended up in the opposite corner under an old end table since the day we moved in. I was getting sick of looking at all those shoes, so I looked around Pinterest for some shoe storage options. I found this shoe cabinet at Ikea. We debated about getting the white one, but apparently the white one is made of plastic while the black one is wood, very strange.

I spent a few hours one afternoon putting it together and then Patrick installed it. Of course that ended up being more of an ordeal than we expected. Before we could attach it to the wall we had to buy anchor screws, so off to Lowe's we went. It was also a little taller than we wanted it to be so Patrick trimmed the legs a little with a skill saw. Once the legs were trimmed, we attached it to the wall with four anchor screws so that thing isn't going anywhere. Since we installed it we have been using it for over a month and we both really like it. We no longer have to trip on excess shoes or move shoes to open the front door, a big upgrade from our previous situation. We will see how winter boots fit in the cabinet, but hopefully we can fit them in sideways once they are dry.

Hemnes Shoe Storage

We also finally hung up this print that I bought for Patrick for Valentine's Day and our 10 year dating anniversary.

Hemnes Shoe Storage

The top drawer is an extra benefit. Before we just put our keys on the table, but now we have a drawer to store them out of sight. Everything was rolling around in there so I stopped at the container store and purchased some plastic drawer organizers. These have worked really well to keep things organized and prevented having to dig around for our keys every morning.

Hemnes Shoe Storage

The drawers themselves fit a good amount of shoes. In the photos below we both have seven pairs in each drawer and I think we both normally have at least one more pair in there. These are for sure the only shoes we wear regularly so this has been working perfect for us.

Hemnes Shoe Storage

Hemnes Shoe Storage

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

28 Day Paleo Challenge - Part Two

We completed our 28 Day Paleo Challenge. I wouldn't say we were completely successful at eating Paleo 90% of the time, but we did remember why we starting this way in the first place and that alone should keep us motivated to stay on track. Plus the weather is getting nicer and that will make it easier to eat healthier. As you can see we have been utilizing our grill quite a bit with these meals. Here are a few of the other things we ate during the rest of the challenge. A couple of our favorites like Sweet Potato Hash and Chicken Fajita Salad were also on the menu the last two weeks.

Chicken Coconut Curry with Cauliflower Rice

Chicken Coconut Curry with Califlower Rice

Pork Chops with our version of this Asian Coleslaw

Pork Chops with Asian Coleslaw

Scrambled Eggs with Salsa and Avocado

Scrambled Eggs

Sweet Potato Nachos

Sweet Potato Nachos

Steak with Jalepeno Poppers

Steak & Jalepeno Poppers

Steak & Jalepeno Poppers

Grilled Chicken with Jalepeno Poppers

Grilled Chicken and Jalepeno Poppers

Grilled Chicken Salad

Grilled Chicken Salad

And here is just part of how much produce that we buy every week. The rest of our produce is in the fridge and almost always includes strawberries, carrots, a cucumber, spinach, red cabbage and sweet mini peppers.

Fruit and Veggies