Our 2017 Christmas Card
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Achterhoffs!
This past year was full of transitions, changes, and adventures for both Trey and myself. We didn't get around to doing a Christmas card and letter, but wanted a way to share with our friends and family our joys from 2017 and what we are doing now. That being said, here's our virtual Christmas/New Year card!
In January, one of my best friends, Abbie, and myself, started joking about going big for our last Spring Break and traveling all the way to Europe. It started to become more of a real possibility, and two months later I boarded a plane for Amsterdam with 3 of my best friends. We spent 10 days traveling around Amsterdam and London. We ate a crazy amount of cheese and chocolates, walked a lot of miles, biked, rode on boats through canals, met locals, got lost, and had the most amazing time. It's a trip that deserves it's own blog post, but it was a once in a lifetime week.
Trey took his turn after track was done in May. Him and four of his best friends took a weeklong road trip through Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, both in Utah. They spent the week hiking, camping, and throwing rocks off the edge of cliffs.
Graduating from Iowa State University
In May, we both finished up our degrees at Iowa State University. Trey graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and accepted a full-time job at Boston Scientific. He also finished up his athletic track career. He started his college running career in the 400 hurdles and ended it throwing javelin. For his last meet the entire Achterhoff squad was able to travel to Lawrence, Kansas, to cheer him on to a 5th place finish at the Big 12 Championships.
I graduated with degrees in Psychology and Spanish. But I decided to jump full-time into my photography business. Leaving Ames was tough. We had to say goodbye to some amazing best friends, and I moved out of my beloved old college home, "Kirby's."
July 1st Weekend
This was the weekend we looked forward to the most. After 6 years of dating, we finally became husband and wife. We celebrated the entire weekend with our best friends and families. The picture below, from our rehearsal dinner, is our entire bridal party.
We got married in an apple orchard in South Dakota. The weather was absolutely beautiful. It felt amazing to be surrounded by love and support from so many people that have impacted our lives and our families lives. Jesus gave us so much to be joyful for that entire weekend, and we will forever cherish it.
Our wedding photos were taken by the amazing Valerie Denise Photos.
This was the best week. I don't know if it will ever be beat. We knew we would love Hawaii but it blew our expectations out of the water. Kauai was the most incredible place. Our rented jeep wrangler took us all around the island. We did the most incredible hikes, ate the best shaved ice we'd ever had, chased water falls, watched Moana and ate Nutella, saw the island via both a helicopter and a catamaran, and, of course, enjoyed time on the beach. The day we got home we started saving our pennies to be able to go back.
My Nana and Papa Parker gifted us a photo session, and it was one of our favorite parts of the week. We had so much fun with Mallory Francks Photography.
In August, we moved up to the Twin Cities in Minnesota. In the spring, we bought a condo in St Paul. Right when we moved in we began doing some renovations. Luckily, Trey and his dad, Ryan, are good with those types of things so we were able to do all of the work ourselves. Ryan and Marcia spent many weekends in the Marriott down the street while they graciously helped us paint and put together our home.
We are loving life in the Twin Cities. While, yes, it's very cold (I let Trey know often how I feel about that), we've loved getting to explore new places, restaurants, and breweries. It's also been fun for us to be closer to the North Shore, and we can't wait for this summer to make camping trips up there.
Trey started his job at Boston Scientific in August. He works in research and development on pacemakers. His coworkers are awesome, and he loves the work that he gets to do day to day. I've been very busy photographing weddings. It's been a transition learning to work from home, but I've been so thankful for business growth and finding a new client base in Minneapolis.
One of the main reasons we moved to the Twin Cities was to join our Ames church in planting a new church in Minneapolis, Salt City Church. Both of us are leaders in the college ministry, Salt Company. We lead small groups of U of M and area college students. It's been amazing watching the ways Jesus is working at the University of Minnesota and in the cities.
A sweet joy in September was welcoming our new nephew, Henry. Trey's sister, Brooke, and her husband, Devin, had Henry in September, and we got to meet him for the first time early December.
Jesus's steadiness and faithfulness were so evident throughout our year. The last 12 months had many moments of stress and tears. But they also hold some of the best moments of our lives.
All glory be to Christ.
Kenzie & Trey Achterhoff