Birthday Weekend: Horseshoe Bay, TX

For my 25th birthday Nathan asked me what I wanted and I told him an experience instead of a gift. I’m more of a “let’s make a memory” kinda girl than “ooh I’ve gotta have that thing”. It’s hard for me to remember gifts that I’ve gotten from past birthdays but so fun to reminisce on trips taken together. With that being said, Nathan arranged a nice little weekend getaway to Horseshoebay, TX for my birthday!  Upon arriving and checking in, we immediatley went to explore the beautiful resort groupds. They are know for their clay tennis courts and even have grass courts as well.
 Our room was very clean and furnished beautifully!

 This was the view from our sliding glass door balcony.

    They even had parrots out around the grounds. The pools were georgous and I couldn’t wait to take a dip. 
    After talking and deciding what to do before dinner we decided to rent a couple of bikes and ride down to the yacht club and check out the water. This bike ride was a big highlight for me. I love biking, and as a child on family vacations we would ALWAYS rent bikes and tool around exploring that way.
    We made it to the yacht club and this is the view that greeted us. It sure didn’t feel like we were in Texas looking out there upon Lake LBJ.
 Just relaxing in the sun :)

    We got back on our bikes and headed back to our room to get ready for a nice dinner at Lantana.
The menu at Lantana was small but had very unique options that piqued our interests. I had to order the LBJ spice dusted Drumette Lollipops and Nathan got the mesquite grilled chicken quesadillas. 

 The food was awesome but the main course stole the show. We decided to split the Buttermilk chicken fried Ribeye which was served with a fried egg on top, white pepper gravy and whipped potatoes. If was very filling and delicious!

 After dinner we decided to go to the mini golf course and play. It was so uniquly set up to mimic the actual golf course they have at the resort. We love playing mini golf together, it’s like the thing we always do on any type of vacation, it’s tradition!

 You can really see how beautiful the resort is in these pictures, and so well taken care of.

   Yes, he may have beat me and still given me a few “birthday do-overs”. ;)
While near Marble Falls we decided it was absolutley necessary to go to the Bule Bonnet Cafe for breakfast!


We stopped for coffee before hand and sat by the water to drink it before brunch.
    Once we made it to Blue Bonnet Cafe, the line was out the door and around the corner. People were lined up waiting just to get a table. This picture doesn’t do it justice. We waited because we knew how worth the wait that delicious food would be, and also because we wanted to really fule up for the hiking we had planned for the day ahead.
    Their homemade doughnuts are unreal and the best doughnut I have ever tasted, they just melt in your mouth.
    We both ordered omelettes and everything was so delicious and prepared us for a day of hiking.
    We paid our tab and headed out to Pedernales Falls to hike. This is a park we have been wanting to visit since moving here and Nathan made it happen for us.
 There were lots of people swimming in the stream at Pedernales falls so we decided to walk along the stream a bit and then something happened….the sun started to really beat down on us and became unrelenting. The water started to look so cool and refreshing that we decided to kick off our shoes and wade in the water.

Which led to swimming in the water for a few hours. It was so serene and relaxing. It was the best way to bring in a new year and new chapter of life. 

 We then decided to walk to the actual falls part of Pedernales falls. The sun was so hot that we were pretty much dried off completley by the time we got there.
God’s handiwork never ceases to amaze me. We serve such a creative and artistic God!   
    People aren’t allowed to get in the water by the falls of they can get fined. The water was very dried up but I can imagine how dangerous and scary those falls can get when it rains.
Overall, it was one of my favorite trips Nathan and I have been on. I love exploring and living life with this man, there’s never a dull moment and he makes me feel so loved and blessed to be his wife every day. 

Here’s to 25 <3

Swinging Into September

Happy Sunday! Nathan and I are taking advantage of this long weekend and celebrating my birthday early with a getaway to Horseshoe Bay Resort today after church! This morning began something like this… 

Last weekend we hosted 30 people for a leaders meeting/lunch after church and a Saturday night draft party for the pastors and church staff, so I was a busy bee cleaning and cooking non stop. 

For the big lunch, I kept it simple with different types of sliders, pigs in a blanket, taco soup, fruit salad, pasta salad, and regular salad. There were NO leftovers haha. (of course I ran alot before all of the cleaning/hostessing began, it keeps me sane) 

Monday night date night, Nathan whisked me away to a new to us sushi and Japanese steakhouse called Shogun. The sushi was very fresh, flavorful, and creatively plated. We tried four different rolls and had rave reviews all around.

  Friday after work Nathan and I got our typical weekly grocery haul then headed over to Papoulis for some greek food for dinner before the highschool football game that evening. 
I got lemoni grilled chicken with a salad and hummus while he opted for a lamb burger with feta spread and fries. We love Papoulis!

Friday we had a pep rally at school and my First graders were beyond excited to cheer for the football players! 

 Yesterday Nathan and I had NO plans at all, which got us thinking that we couldn’t remember the last Saturday where we had no plans, it was great! We lounged around, he grilled some delicious steaks for dinner, then we met up with a group of our friends for an evening of tennis.

Well, I’m off to get ready for church then a wonderful day with this guy… 

 He’s so handsome! ;)

Have a great week!

Lauren <3

7 Weeks of House Guests

Last week Nathan’s bestie from college visited us which marked our 7th week of house guests this summer! Not working in the summer really freed me up to be a little hostess all summer long, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Now being back to teaching long hours, and all the after work commitments my hostessing days are over until next summer. ;)

I had to give a presentation to all the parents in my class last Friday evening and was a bit nervous. Nathan snapped my picture on the way out the door to Meet The Teacher Night.

School has been going well and I have a class full of little angles! The first week of school was a smashing success and I am in love with my class this year.

*Ready for my first Monday back teaching First grade <3

 Needing a little time away, Nathan and I packed up the car and cooler and headed out to Canyon Lake with our small group friends last Saturday. I woke up before Nathan and leashed up my best bud and running buddy who ran early with me before many of the other inhabitants of the neighborhood were awake, it was serene and beautiful morning.

After running I cooked up a healthy breakfast of green smoothies, scrambled eggs, whole wheat bagles, and coffee. We ate and did our devotions together before packing up the cooler and hitting the lake with friends!

We rented a boat for the day and cruised around Canyon Lake. Texas lakes are so much different than the Great Lakes that I grew up with, but it will have to do for now. ;)

We had a great day grilling out, swimming, and of course eating s’mores at the end of the evening while the sun was sinking down below the tree tops.

Today, after work Nathan and I came home to a simmering crock pot full of Chicken Taco Soup that Nathan so graciously threw in the crock pot this morning when I ran out of time. It turned out deliciously and will totally be a new addition to our meal rotation! ( Here is the recipe)

Well, after publishing this post I am off to Youth Group with our wonderful teenagers. I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for the youth and leaders tonight.

I will leave you with this wonderful quote.

Have a wonderful week!

Lauren <3

Summer 2015 Memories

Well, today marked my first day of the school year and the ending of a glorious summer vacation. Last night Nathan and I had a romantic dinner at home where we whipped up some homemade pasta with alfredo sauce and reminisced about some of our favoite summer 2015 memories. We’ve had about 6 weeks of house guests and my heart is beyond full.  

A few weeks back I was graced with the wonderful visit of my best friend Faith! Later that week, my in-laws flew in   for a week to hear Nathan preach in the main service for his second time ( He killed it). We made a trip the the delicious Gristmill restaurant located in the quaint little town of Gruene.

 So thankful for some bestfriend time!

Faith and I ventured all over San Antonio during her stay. I love having a friend around who is also passionate about healthy living and was excited to wake up and run, bike, and do pilates in the mornings with me!  

A few weeks ago as I was wandering aimlessly around a thrift store that I coerced Nathan to go to with me in hopes of finding an inspiring piece of furniture to add to our home, I stumbled upon this chair and knew instantly that I wanted it in my living room, I had a vision! So, Faith and my sister Annie helped with painting and it was a successfull DIY flip. I love it in our living room right now. I ‘m all about the clean white look in our living room right now. 

  The finished product, LOVE!  

While Faith was in town visiting we had fun getting dressed up and trying out different restaurants  each night, it felt like college all over again, hitting the town with my bestie. 

We also did the whole touristy thing and ate and shopped at the River Walk . 

    Nathan joined us for Cheesecake Factory one evening as well <3
We went out on a limb and tried a new to us sushi place one afternoon after spending all morning at the zoo. However, it was far from what I think a sushi restaurant should be like in terms of quality of food, service, and atmosphere. Two thumbs down. 

 You can never go wrong at good old Fish City Grill, however. We split the Alaskan crab and it was darn tasty!

From the Khaiak adventures and  Anne of Green Gables movies, to our morning devotion time spent in prayer. I am truly blessed to have a friend like her!

Now, fast forward to last week and my whole family including aunt from Arizona came to stay for the week! I sure am blessed that God gave us a big house because everyone was able to have a comfortable place to sleep, all 9 of us! 

My youngest sister Annie was able to come down a week before the others and we got some one-on-one time with her before she leaves for college this fall. We of course played some mini golf. ;)

We also made a trip to Top Golf which is a cool new type of golfing that is becoming more and more popular in Texas. You aim the ball at the different colored nets placed on the course. You don’t have to be good at golf to have fun playing Top Golf. 

Finally, the family arrives and it is so good to catch up and see their wonderful faces!

 We ended up taking the whole crew to Top Golf as well because we had so much fun there we thought they would as well, and we were right they loved it. You can even order from their menues and eat while you play which we took advantage of. The food was great and the company was even better.

    My studly golfer <3
Mom was really pumped about golfing, and she did so well beating all of us girls!

 One of the evenings we did a big BBQ and the ladies prepped all the food and the men grilled. We made Kabobs and bratwursts, the tastes of sumer.

We were able to get a family pass to the local YMCA for the week where we swam,played tennis, and basketball. This helped balance out all of our yummmy eats ;)

 My beautiful Aunt <3

Overall, this summer was wonderful and I am excited to see what God has ahead for me this coming school year. Fall is my favorite season and there is so much to look forward to from cooler weather, to holidays, tiny new First graders, to football games. 

Have a wonderful week!

Lauren <3

Our 3 Year Anniversary Getaway: Galveston, TX

Long time, no blogging, I know. Today I want to recap our anniversary trip to beautiful Galveston, Texas. We made the 4 hour journey right after our church picnic on a Sunday. Knowing I was in for a long car ride I made sure to get a good run in before hand.  

Rocking my new Sauconys. These running shoes will always be a go to for me, they’re perfect for my foot.


No Texas road trip is complete without a Buccee’s pit stop. ;) 

Once we crossed the Galveston bridge I instantly felt like I was in Florida. There were Pelicans flying by our car, water ways on each side of us, fishing boats, palm trees, and brightly clored houses littering the shores. It did not feel like we were in Texas anymore! 

The entrance to our hotel was beautiful and I knew we made a great choice on where to stay. We were blown away by all the chandeliers, marble floors, and elegant details at The San Luis Resort and Spa. 

Once arriving to our room that overlooked the pool and beach we got changed and headed out to find some dinner.  

 *Our beautiful view of the coast and swiming pool. 

 Our appetites led us to The Steakhouse located in our resort. It’s claim to fame was the best steak in Texas, so we needed to find out. ;)  We were seated by the maitre D’ and I ordedred a delicious shirley temple to drink while we browsed the menus. We both decided on the filet mignon and sides of their house mashed potatoes and the french fries drizzled in truffle sauce. The food was phenomenal  and we even had a live jazz band playing while we dined.   

Afterwards we decided to explore the grounds a bit which led us to the beautifully lit pool.  

The next day, we work up early and decided to try a local breakfast place. I got the Huevos Rancheros and Nathan got the breakfast burrito.  

After eating we headed back to change into bathing suits for some pool and beach time. After soaking in the pool for a bit, we packed up and walked to the beach where we collected some shells for a project I was working on.  

We were still full from our big breakfasts so we decided to skip lunch and snack instead while walking the beach. Once we were ready to eat dinner we decided to try a local place with rave reviews called The Spot. The food there was fresh seafood/bar food and tasted delicious.  We got to eat our meals while overlooking the water it was a great experience.  

 We followed dinner up with icecream cones and some meandering around town into different shops.  
One thing about Nathan and I, is that we love to try out different put-put courses when we travel. We found a fun little course one evening and Nathan asked me to play and we had a blast!

*Nathan and the giant seashell.

We had such a wonderful time in Galveston and will be back next summer for sure! It was sad to leave but good to be back home after summer camp and various trips that had left our home uninhabited in for weeks. 

Nathan and I have tennis group tonight, we have been playing every Sunday evening with some friends and it’s a great workout too! I’ll check in soon.

Have a great week!

Lauren <3

There’s Nothing Like Family Time

I am back in toasty San Antonio getting caught up on my to-do’s here after two amazing weeks spent at my parent’s house in Ohio. Saying goodbye was so hard because I miss them so much and am really getting tired of seeing them only a few times a year, but I know The Lord wants us in Texas right now for the time being.  

Not only did I get so have tons of family time but I also got to catch up with some of my amazing girlfriends as well through hiking, beach time, dinner dates, and of course board games.

      I sure have missed the beach!  

 Cute cafés and beach time with my darling Faith who came to visit me. 

I also had the privilege to hear my dad share his testimony of finding The Lord with his softball group at church before their evening game commenced.

 I got to help with some if the cooking while I was visiting which resulted in tortilla soup and cheddar bay biscuits one evening. Yumm.  

I was able to run with mom and dad during my time in Ohio, and I will never take being able to run with my parents for granted. They are such strong and determined people, I hope to have just an ounce of their determination and drive in life.  

We went to the best sushi restaurant a.k.a. Nagoya Japanese Steak house two times during my visit and each time I was blown away by the quality of their food. We all split a few different sushi rolls, soups, and salads to start. I ordered the seared miso chilean sea bass for my entree with a side of steamed asparagus and fried rice and it was out of this world delicious.

Dad also took us girls out fishing on Lake Erie. We didn’t catch much but it was so relaxing and recharging sitting in the sun and listening to the sunds of waves and sea gulls. I also got to be there for mom’s birthday! She requested Mexican food for her birthday dinner and to see the Jurasic World movie. We heeded her birthday requests and purchased tickets to see the new Jurasic World that premiered that night. We had such a blast and were all looking forward to seeing the new movie, which ended up being really good! 

Only a few short months untl I get to see these wonderful peope again soon when they make the treck down to Texas in August!

Have a blessed day!

Lauren <3

A Change of Pace

Last week Nathan’s brother Joe flew in from the chilly North to visit us! 


We took him to all the usual restaurants and even tried a few new ones. We got caught in a down pour at the River Walk and had to buy umbrellas and book it all the way back to the car! 


This was snapped before the torrential downpour took place. ;) On the drive home from downtown we decided to stop by Sub Zero and try their famous liquid nitrogen frozen icecream treats! I’ve been dying to try this place out. 

Then on Friday after the last day of the school year I gave my awards speech, sent off my little students, and hopped a flight to Cleveland,OH to spend two lovely weeks on the shores of Lake Erie soaking in as much family time as possible.  


 Pre graduation pictures!


I got to attend my youngest sister Annie’s highschool graduation! Congrats Annie!


After Annie’s graduation she requested we stop for icecream at Mitchell’s and I’m so glad we did, their chocolate malts were a hit! 

 The other night for dinner dad whipped up the most amazing Miso salmon atop wasabi mashed potatoes and fresh asparagus from the nearby farmers market.

 If this item were on a menu at a restaurant I would order it all the time!  My dad is a wonderful cook. 

We’ve also been playing copious amounts of board games, and even took a few out to the boat with us the other evening since it was a bit too chilly and windy to take the boat out.

   Sunsets on Lake Erie will never cease to amaze and remind me of how much the One who created them loves me! 

Then Thursday the family and I loaded up and made the trip to Michigan to see my sister-in-law graduate highschool as well! It was such a treat to spend time with my in laws as well. :)


Well, I’m off for an easy run with mom and dad! The weather is so perfect for running here in Ohio that I just have to take advantage of it!

Lauren <3

Color Vibe 5k, Dating Your Husband, & Running Groups

Yesterday I had the privilege to run my first color run! Some of my youth group girls asked me to join their group so I of course said yes. I also managed to talk my good, new friend Nichole into running it with me. Nathan usually goes to suppport me whenever I run a race but him and a friend of ours decided it was a good morning to work on the landscaping in our front yard. I told him to please do that instead and the 5k was right by our house so I was able to run home afterwards. 

The nice clean before shot. 

 And the colorful after picture.  

As I was running the mile home from this race, I couldn’t help but laugh to myself as I got some strange looks from the neighbors due to my colorful appearance. When I made it to our driveway I was shocked to see how much our landscape had improved!  Here are some after pictures. (Bye, bye hideous cactus)


Here is what our landscape looked like before…It was asking for a facelift.  


On Friday, Nathan brought me some beautiful roses to my classroom in honor of Teacher Apreciation week.  


Which brings me to my next point. Dating your spouse. Nathan and I make it a point to have a date night once a week, usually on Mondays. Something is always going to come up, and busy schedules are always prevelent, but having a set time for a date whether it’s dinner and a movie or cooking together and going for a walk around the neighborhood makes it easier to say NO to other things that pop up. Making time for eachother has helped us keep the focus on eachother even in the midst of business.  

 Yummy date at Macaroni Grill. Their bruchetta is a MUST, it always steals the show for me. 

Currently, I’ve got a delicious sausage with sauce and pasta in the works for lunch after church. It’s a favorite recipie that my mom has always made.  Nathan and I have a tennis match with some friends of ours on the agenda for this afternoon. I’m going to get in a run in a few minutes before it gets too hot out there.  

In other news, my friend Nicole and I are starting up a running group in the area and this coming Saturday is our first run! We’re getting out there super early for a Saturday but it’s the only time that works for everyone.  I’m so excited to have found a friend who is a similar pace to me and lives close by! This is going to make all my summer running much more bearable. Having othe people to run and chat with really helps the time fly by.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there and my own amazing mother who I cannot wait to see at the end of the month! Love you mom!

Lauren <3

Ready or not, Here Comes Summer

Usually this time of year I find myself dreading getting into my summer wardrobe because it reminds me of the areas I need to have toned up for summer time. Not this year however, I am embracing the fact that I stuck to my workout game and clean eating. Those 5 am wakeup calls were tough knowing I had full teaching day ahead spent on my feet and usually other duties/obligations after school as well. Sticking to a meal plan and doing meal prep work on the weekends helped me plan ahead and keep my fridge stocked with health ready to go options throughout the busy weeks. Constiency is KEY my friends! 


Nathan and I spent some time hiking in the great outdoors tonight after dinner, and it felt great to breathe in some fresh air! Let’s rewind back to Nathan’s birthday surprise real quick…

I got him the hunting rifle that he’s been wanting since we first moved to Texas. A friend of ours who is a big time rancher helped me out with the surprise at his ranch house. Nathan had NO idea! We also had to go to his favorite Brazilian steak house Chama Gaucha’s in honor of his 25th birthday. 



Their Brazilian limeaide is my favorite, and all the endless meat is N’s favorite. ;) They also brought out this delicious and oh-so creamy cheesecake. 

Followed up by some disk golf, per the birthday boy’s request. 



  I think he had a good day.:) 

Other than bday celebrations we have been busy, busy around here. I have acutually not been cooking a whole lot so we have been eating out a bit more than I would like to. 



As the school year comes to a close I am turning my attention to all things summer and have realized that we are having a revolvong door of house guests all summer long! I am looking forward to each visitor but I need to get in gear and finish up some house hold projects before hand. I just bought some pretty blue paint for our downstairs powder room so I plan to begin painting tomorrow afternoon!  Nathan’s brother Joe is coming to visit in two weeks that will be my motivation to accomplish my to-do’s. ;)

On the running front, I’m beginning to feel that unrelenting Texas heat making its return for the summer, which will be pushing my runs earlier and earlier so me and my little furry running friend don’t get overheated.  



We had our annual staff vs. Student basketball game yesterday at school which was tons of fun! You can see my little first graders in the backgroud cheering for their teacher. ;)

I’ll leave you with this quote that has been a great reminder for me with some curcumstances in life at the moment.  


Have a blessed day!

Lauren <3

What Are You Proud Of?

It’s Sunday morning and there is a slight mist outside that promises of a refreshing run in the 70 degree temperatures. And after this post I plan to head out and run those refreshing miles with my trusty running companion.:)  


Life lately has been good. I am still working to find a balance between work, relationships, household duties, and outside obligations (aka no time to blog). I’ve been feeling like work and outside obligations are taking presidence and it has been difficult to find time to spend with friends and get items done around the house. I am looking forward to Summer break  (yay being a teacher!!) and lowering my list of work and church obligations. I even got this cute little palnner to help me out and let me just say the Summer is pretty much filled solid with fun trips and events!:) 


Nathan and I have been traveling all over Texas on weekends to Austin a few times and Houston for a Youth Conference.  


We stumbled upon out new favorite Italian restaurant ever! I would gladly make the drive to Austin to eat here anytime! 

 The food is amazingly fresh and flavorful! I have yet to order a dish here that was not absolutley delicious! 

Easter lunch after church services, took us to our annual favorite Easter spot, the Gristmill! Nathan got the BBQ ribs and I got my favorite Ahi Tuna topped with tomitillo sauce!



Also, We have been breaking out the grill more and more as the weather gets hotter which has resulted in some amazing grilled dinners! 


Pictured above we have some pineapple and marinaded chicken kabobs, bacon wrapped chicken, burgers, brats, and grilled corn on the cob! 


The tastes of Summer, Yummm!

Last night Nathan and I went to some local tennis courts and played a few hours of tennis. We used to play all the time in college so it was lots of fun to hit the ball around. We are playing again today with some friends of ours after church services! Nathan’s birthday is Tuesday, so we are doing a little tennis court bday celebration, per his request. Tomorrow, I took the day off with N becaue we are opting to celebrate his birthday tomorrow rather than Tuesday becuse we both have super long days on Tuesdays with meetings and such. I made reservations at his favorite brazillian Steak House and then I have a birthday surprise planned for later in the evening which he has no idea about which is shocking because I’m usually horrible about keeping secrets and let them slip accidentally all the time. 


Some beautiful Bluebonnets seen on my run. #Texasforever

I will sign out with this thought…

Yesterday I did a little clothing shopping after a church leaders meeting. As I was in the dressing room trying on clothing I had a thought that I haven’t had in a while… I was proud of my body. Instead of scowling at my relfection as I often do, I took it all in and realized that I was actually happy with where I am and the shape I am in right now. This time last year as I was getting into shorts and tank tops for the summer, I was very discouraged that I hadn’t kept up with working out and eating well like I should have been, I had gotten lazy, and it took most of the Summer to reverse that. However, I made myself a goal this school year. I decided I was not going to miss a workout and I was going to try to eat as clean as possible. I made it a point to keep “trigger foods” out of the house that I knew would be tempting to binge on and undo all my hard work. If a late night icecream craving hit me, I went to the freezer and instead of grabbing a gallon of icecream like the old me, I took out the frozen fruit, some vanilla, and milk. I put all of those items into my food processor or magic bullet and created my own guilt free icecream treat, and you know what? I never felt deprived or guilty for late night eating! Also, everytime my alarm goes off at 5:00 am instead of rolling over and ignoring it like I had so many times last school year, I made it not an option. I knew I would feel crummy throughout the day if I skipped my run, so instead of playing the mind game with myself in bed for the next half hour, I sucked it up, got up and didn’t even think about it. Also, shoutout to my amazing supportive husband who hates to run but would get out there with me at 5 am without complaining because he knows how much it matters!

I know that was a rather lengthy thought, but I want you to know there is hope and YOU CAN DO IT! I still have some progress to make, but I can honestly say that I am proud of me, and that’s a good feeling! :)

Lauren <3