A Week to Myself…

And Just like that it’s the last day of Spring break here in San Antonio. I have to admit I am ready to get back into my daily routine but this past week off felt so luxorious! I was abe to get some items checked off my spring cleaning to-do list as well as some much needed R&R time. I ran to my heart’s content, went to see the new Cinderella movie, played some mini-golf, did some shopping, cooking, DIY projects, and even had time to read an incredible book on my ipad!



*Lots of running with my buddy in the sunshine & foam rolling!



*mini-golfing with our awesome youth group!

I even painted our front door!



Here is a before and after shot for ya! It was a plain old tanish beige color and I chose to re-do it a pretty burgundy red. I am happy with how it all turned out!



Here is a better view of the freshly painted front door! Now I just need a pretty spring wreath and plants to place on either sides and we will be good to go. ;)

Yesterday morning Nathan and I decided to go hiking at some favorite nearby trails. First we had a housewarming brunch to attend where we stopped by for a bit, made an appearance, dropped off a gift and went on our way to hit the trails!



The weather was sunny and in the 70’s, I even got a little bit of sun. We covered about 3 miles then headed off to get some lunch! Our appetites lead us to La Cantera, a beautiful and ritzy outdoor shopping center. The restaurant selection at La Cantera is huge but we had our hearts set on dining at Cheesecake Factory. The miso salmon is unreal and if you’ve never tried it, you’re missing out! ;) 



It was such a lovely day to eat alfresco. Our meals accompanied by the sun streaming down, the beautiful scenery, and great converstaion was just the perfect Saturday afternoon. (The peanut butter cheesecake wasn’t bad either) ;)

I hope everyone has a wonderful Monday! I’m looking forward to seeing my little First graders tomorrow! :)

Lauren <3

Our Marble Falls Getaway 

Ah, Spring Break, It’s so good to see you again. I’ve forgotten what leisurely mornings sipping warm cups of coffee and staying in my PJs felt like. ;) 

Nathan and I had the opportunity to sneak away to the darling little town of Marble Falls for a stay. We planned to spend all of yesterday hiking at Pedernales Falls, but the rain sent us packing earlier than planned. We still had a blast spending time together despite the rain! Here is a recap from our quick little trip!



Before we hit the road, I had a run planned in the books that I knew I couldn’t miss despite the impending storm clouds and rain. Even though I returned rather soaked, it was a colorful run and I am thankful. After running, I packed the rest of our bags, tidied up around the house for the dog sitter, and hopped in the shower. When Nathan returned home, we hit the road!



No road trip is coplete without some snacks! Swedish fish for me and a candy bar and Arnold Palmer for him. Upon arriving in Marble Falls, we got all checked in and inquired about restaurants in the area. The woman at the front desk told us abour her favorite sushi/Thai restaurant and we were sold. (The TX shaped waffle is from the breakfast buffet, only in texas people). We also packed board games to play incase the rain kept up.



We ended up at Ginger and Spice for dinner. The woman at the front desk was not kidding, the food was incredible! We split an order of chicken Pad Thai and I ordered the spicy salmon roll while Nathan ordered the sumo roll. We left feeling full and decided to do some exploring down by the water.



Despite the misty rain, it wasn’t too cold and the water was beautiful.



We both had very stressful weeks of work and this getaway came at the perfect time for us to reconnect and recharge from the past few weeks. It was so nice to forget about everything back in San Antonio and focus on eachother.



The next morning, we had breakfast at the hotel (where the TX waffles took place) Then headed out in search of coffee a.k.a. Starbucks! ;) We drove around the town with our warm cups of coffee and did some more sightseeing, discussed all of the rain and decided that hiking that day was most likely not going to happen, which was okay, but we decided were going to take a day trip here soon to hike the falls! However, knew we couldn’t leave without eating at the infamous Blue Bonnet Cafe.



Which led us to this little rustic diner known for its delicious breakfasts served all day and huge homemade pies. The restaurant was packed by lunchtime but we managed to snag a booth in the back. That giant piece of Texas toast was homemade and so buttery and delicious I could have eaten his whole piece myself! We left feeling full but couldn’t resist ordering a slice of their famous pie to go. We opted for the peanutbutter pie and man was it creamy! if you’re ever in Marble Falls I recommend the Blue Bonnet Cafe, it had great service and delicious food.

Well, I’m going to start on some house hold projects around here, run, then head out to a youth event we have planned for this aafternoon! Have a blessed day!

Lauren <3

Glazed Donut Bacon Cheeseburgers & Getting Enough Protein

It’s a cold and dreary Sunday here in S.A. but a great weekend none the less! I logged some rainy miles with the pup yesterday afternoon, spent some time working on household projects, and we booked a little getaway for next weekend! 

We have one more week until Spring Break and my to-do list is forever long. I plan to get the majority of my spring cleaning done that week and we’re talking deeeeep clean. Is it wierd that I’m so excited to clean, organize, and paint? probably. ;)

Since we last talked, Winter Camp has passed which was a great and surprisingly warm weekend! We had 87 campers and smooth sailing (other than the fact that Nathan and I left our sleeping bags in the trunk of our car at the church) .



*Scenes from Winter camp 2015.

Nathan and I also went to the San Antonio Rodeo for the first time ever since living here. It was quite the crowd of cowboys and cowgirls. 



*Nathan couldn’t resist the glazed donut bacon cheeseburger!



We had a great time walking around the stock show looking at all the neat animals and checking out the delicious fried fair foods before the rodeo began. I used to go to the rodeo every year with my highschool friends and this one brought back great memories. :)

Last week for date night, we went to one of our favorite sushi spots, Wasabi.



Having a date night once a week really helps us keep the focus on eachother and what really matters in this busy life. I know most people hate Mondays but I always look forward to them, knowing I’ve got a date with my man each week helps.

In an effort to get more protein into my diet, I’ve been requesting more grilled steaks lately. I have been trying to track my macronutrients (carbs, fats, and protein) via myfitnesspal and have realized that I don’t eat nearly enough protein each day.



 I am not a huge fan of red meat typically, so I’ve been stocking the fridge with chicken, turkey, black beans, and fish. It is still a battle to get enough protein so I am tossing around the idea of looking into different protein powders to mix into my smoothies or as a post-workout drink. I’ll keep you posted!

Here are some scenes from runs lately.



You just cannot beat the gorgeous weather we are having this winter (other than this weekend). I am still trying to convince my family to move out of their snowglobe and down South to the warmth. ;)

Well, Im going to get suited up for a cold rainy run with the dog. I’m glad one of us is so excited about it ;) After church, I plan to work on a fun entryway project and make some chicken tortilla soup! 

Have a great Sunday!

Lauren <3

Valentines Day Fun

As I get ready to head off for a fun weekend of Winter Camp with our youth I am struck with the realization that time is simply flying by at warp speed. I feel like I was just writing last year’s Winter Camp recap and here I am getting ready to zip up our suitcases for another camp. Wow!
Monday night Nathan and I celebrated an early Valentines as soon as he picked me up from work.

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He created a fun little scavenger hunt all over that took me to dinner and ended with our favorite cheesecake slices at Cheesecake Factory. YUMMM!

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Today was a chaotic valentines celebration in the elementary grades;)

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I felt the love from my little ones and have more than my fair share of Chocolate. My plan is to take most of it to camp with me this weekend and I know those high school girls will have no trouble helping it all disappear. Out of sight, out of mind.
I’m planing to use this weekend as a sort of detox from lots of things. Camp food is a no go for me so I usually resort to the salad bar and fruit or granola bars that I pack myself. We spend majority of the camp running around being super active and I plan to run Saturday and Sunday morning like I normally would.
Well, I’m off to get the last few to-do’s checked off of my list before the madness of check-in starts. I’m already looking forward to a day off on Monday to rest and recuperate.
Have a great Valentines weekend!
<3 Lauren

Spurs Games & Roses

As I get ready to go for a chilly run this morning I figured I would pop in with a much needed blog post. I’m going to be honest here, lately my running motivation has been more like this…

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Running in the mornings outside before school has been pretty cold so I think i’m going to finally cave in and start looking at dreadmills treadmills. ;)

Friday night Nathan and I went downtown to attend our very first Spurs game!

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We went to Cheddars for dinner before the game and it was pretty good.

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Someone was pretty excited to see the Spurs vs. Lakers game and I am happy to report that the Spurs kicked butt.
These past few weeks of work have been very challenging and my sweet husband has been going out of his way to brighten my days. ;)

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Roses, cheesecake, and dinner dates a.k.a. not having to cook dinner!
I will leave you with this great quote that has been a big challenge for me in my life right now.

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truth.
I’m off to go running then head to church. I’ve got some youth girls coming over after church for a girls day.
Lauren <3

Staying Fit in 2015

Hello 2015!
So far today Nathan and I have spent the majority of the new year in our PJs curled up on the couch, watching movies, and spending time together and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. His family made the trip down to Texas for the holidays and they left us after breakfast this morning.
We rang in the new year last night with loads of board games and yummy eats. Around midnight we popped open some Welches grape juice and ran outside to the deck to watch all the fireworks being set off all over the city.

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Heading into the New Year I am feeling strong. I made it my goal to not gain any extra weight this holiday season, because it has always been a time when I notice myself start to slip. I am happy to report that I stuck with my running regiment and kept active all throughout. There were totally a few days where it took way more self discipline to get out the door, but I stuck with it and never skipped a planned run. (Oh, and these new Mizunos helped lots too ;) )

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On the eating front, I am a FIRM believer that abs are made in the kitchen and weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise. You can’t out run a poor diet, trust me I’ve tried ;) Don’t get me wrong I had my fair share of Lindt truffles and gooey brownies, but I had less than I would have in years past. I never felt deprived by allowing myself a few bites of some of my favorite dishes. It’s all about moderation!

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Jumping back to Christmas, it was a great day and actually our first Christmas spent in our new house (we were in Ohio last year). I cooked Christmas dinner and my mother-in-law made a delicious brunch for us that morning.

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I planned to do a giant 12 foot tree in our living room this year because we’ve got super high ceilings but didn’t ever get a chance. Next year though!;) It’s so fun decorating for Christmas!

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We took Nathan’s family downtown to the River Walk for dinner and to see the beautiful lights illuminating the whole river.

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We had a blast with Nathan’s family and we took them to all our favorite spots to eat and places to see in S.A.

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From Mini golfing to Big Lou’s 42 inch pizza I’d say it was a successful trip!
I am in the midst of meal planning and getting ready to get back to the grind Monday and mentally prepare myself to teach a class full of kiddos again…

I am excited for this new year and some activities I plan to do more of this year are *day trips to new places we haven’t yet visited in TX*Get in the Word more*Hiking*Lots more running*take more dates with my man* Read more books*Try new recipes*travel*face more fears*Take more pictures*Write more letters*Go on a missions trip*Paint*Slow down more*
I’m off to make some hot cocoa and curl up with my guy!
Have a great evening!
Lauren<3

Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon Recap

I have so much catching up to do!
Lets start off with the fact that surprise, I ran a half marathon last Sunday!
I got offered a spot in the race super last minute and had 5 days to train?! I though about turning down the opportunity but the adventurous side of me leaped at the chance to run this legendary race that winds throughout downtown SA. Nathan and I headed to the race expo where we picked up my bib and a few other race day essentials.

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I started off race day morning at 4:00 a.m. with a banana, toast with PB, and coffee. I got dressed and mapped out my course down town. This is a huge race so I had to hop a shuttle to the starting line. Luckily everything went off without a hitch and my wave started around 8:15 a.m. I planned to slow down and take this race slow and enjoy it! I finished in 2:15 and kept my pace around a 10 minute mile. For not training, and deciding to run this race a few days before hand I was happy with my time. ;) I felt great at the end of this race and was glad I didn’t push myself too hard and get injured.

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This past week was a whirlwind and this next will be the same! We’re hosting a holiday party at our house Friday then family is coming into town to stay for the holidays! I am so excited and have begun tackling my cleaning lists and polishing off Christmas lists too. ;)

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I got some new curtains yesterday and bribed Nathan to hang them with a fresh batch of cookies. ;) at first I didn’t care for them but now I am 100% sure that I like them and they’re here to stay!
Well, I’m off for tonight!
Lauren <3

Back in Texas & A Mouthwatering Oatmeal Bake

Hello and happy Saturday!

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Nathan and I are safely home after a full day of travel yesterday. We woke up this morning to an empty fridge and NO COFFEE, Which meant an emergency grocery trip was in order. Luckily I had already created a grocery list for the week. I have some new Pinterest inspired meals ready to whip up this week for dinners. I was getting in a meal planning rut and finally found some fun new healthy recipes to try that are husband approved as well ;)
For breakfast after grocery shopping I tried out a new baked oatmeal recipe and it was delicious!

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I followed this recipe except opted for honey instead of maple syrup and only used 1/2 cup. I also used 4 eggs instead of one because I wanted to up the protein factor because I plan to eat this for breakfast this week. Instead of using bananas and raspberries, I chose fresh strawberries and they made this dish amazing!
Some other meals I plan to create this week are avocado salmon pasta (using spaghetti squash),Crockpot pineapple chicken, Baked citrus salmon with brown rice, and orange chicken wings. Hopefully they turn out well!

Our time spent in Michigan was beautiful and went by way too fast. I didn’t take too many pictures but got some good ones on a family walk we took when both families were together for Thanksgiving. It was a chilly Thanksgiving but I did conquer some miles in Michigan before consuming lots of delicious homecooking. ;)

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We played so many great family games which is always a highlight for me. We ate delicious meals. Most of all we just enjoy catching up with family and great friends. My heart is so full and I feel very refreshed and ready to tackle these next three weeks until Christmas break when Nathan’s family is coming to stay. In the mean time I’ve got a lot to do around the house to get it in tip top shape for all the holiday visitors. Nathan also surprised me with new couches for our formal living room downstairs which I am so, so excited about. (pics. to come).
Well, I’m off to watch this Ohio state vs. Michigan game and hope that my Buckeyes beat Nathan’s Wolverines. Wish me luck!
Lauren <3

Thanksgiving and Christmas All in One!

Happy Tuesday!
I’m blogging today from my in-law’s home in Michigan. Their house is so relaxing and serene. It’s placed at the top of a hill overlooking miles and miles of woods and corn fields. We took a quick jaunt down the dirt road to grandma and grandpa house for brunch and ate a bunch of grandma’s yummy pancakes.
Nathan and I arrived in Michigan yesterday afternoon after spending a few short days with my side of the family in Ohio. We arrived in Ohio after barely making our connecting flight in Chicago. We had a longer than expected wait in San Antonio due to a delayed flight. So we went and ate diner in the airport followed by Starbucks.

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Once arriving in Ohio we caught up on sleep and then it was a whirl wind from there.

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I ran some snowy miles with my favorite running partner, dad. I ran with mom, and I ran solo. Every time the views were spectacular, especially knowing some delicious warm coffee was awaiting me at the house.

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We decided to have our own little family Thanksgiving/Christmas celebration together since we will not be seeing each other for he actual holiday. We cooked up a mean feast and my sister Annie decorated the table and everyones place setting had a fun TG themed trivia game along with a space to share what you’re thankful for.

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My dad also made plans for all of us to see the new Hunger Games movie and then a delicious hibachi dinner at Nagoya. We followed that up by a stop to Tofts Dairy where they make the best ice cream and Nathan and I couldn’t resist walking out of there without purchasing three different flavors to try. ;)
It was a truly great time spent with family and I cannot wait for my side of the family to come to Michigan Thursday so both families can celebrate the holiday together! I am so blessed and thankful that our families love each other so much and mesh so well.

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Home for the Holidays

Happy Sunday and a Happy Birthday shout out to my darling best friend Faith!

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Nathan and I are heading up North for Thanksgiving and I can hardly contain my excitement! I have been scurrying around all weekend getting Christmas gifts (we are doing an early Christmas exchange with my side of the family because we will not see them for Christmas) doing laundry, finding yummy TG recipes to make, and getting our house in order ( I hate leaving a messy house to come back to).

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(Christmas shopping with my trusty Starbucks coffee in hand, the best way)
I have really been cleaning up my diet this week and saving up my calories for all the delicious eats I will most defiantly be consuming next week, in moderation of course. ;)
It’s been a dreary couple of days here but I have stuck to my running game and even logged some miles yesterday in the rain with the pup. The neighbors officially think I’m nuts. ;)

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(Last weekend to this weekend)

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Brandy enjoyed our cold rainy run much more than I did!
Earlier this week, Faith sent me this book I have been wanting to read for a while now ever since her visit this July when she mentioned it to me. I was close to ordering it on my iPad and then it arrived at my doorstep. Thanks Faith!

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It really puts a Godly perspective on weight loss and living a healthy life. I’m almost finished reading it and I highly recommend it!
Speaking of Christmas gifts, I have been eyeing these lovely running pants and the bold colors and designs!

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(Hint, hint Nathan ;) )
Well, today I’ve got some last minute shopping to do before our flight leaves Thursday! Oh and some DIY projects in the works along with painting/touching up some of our base boards.
Have a great Sunday!
Lauren <3