Halloween and the Indianapolis Marathon:

Marathon training began this past summer in July. Faith and I mapped out our weekly mileage for the months leading up to November 4th. We were able to meet each weekend or whichever day we could manage to do our long runs together. This honestly helped so much knowing that I’d have her there to talk with and run with during those long hours of running.

For my birthday Faith signed us up for the Covered Bridge half marathon. We both needed to get in 13 miles that day as part of our training plan so it worked out perfectly.

Once Halloween time rolled around we decided that for our last “long” run we would do an easy 8 Miles by signing up for the Terrible 10k. Of course it was a festive race so we opted to dress as Mario and Luigi. We actually won First place in the costume contest too. After the 6 mile race we ran an additional 2 Miles to make it an even 8 Miles.

We took Graham to trick or treat with the heroes of our town one night. All the firemen, police, and first responders were out passing candy to the kids.

For Graham’s first Halloween we dressed him up as the Boss Baby. He was adorable. We all bundled up and walked around to a few houses to commemorate the night. It didn’t matter much to Graham since we don’t give him sugar but it was a great family night. Once the baby was down for the night N and I curled up with some Stranger Things 2 and dark chocolate for me and Halloween candy for him.

Finally race day rolled around. That Friday we packed up the car and drove to meet Faith and Bud at our hotel in Indy. We met up with faith and were off to the race expo to check in and snag some pictures.

We decided to get Cheesecake Factory for dinner that evening because it’s our favorite. I had the miso salmon with brown rice which was just perfectly light enough for a pre race dinner. We had a good nights sleep in our comfy hotel beds, even G slept great. I met up with Faith in the lobby early race day morning and we were off!

The guys (and baby) met us at the starting line to cheer for us. Seeing my guys there cheering for me made my mommy heart burst!

Nathan was able to plan out and meet me at about 6 different mile markers along the race. Knowing I would see him gave me something to push for and look forward to.

Crossing that finish line, faith and I grabbed hands and finished together. It was such a relief to be done running 4 hours and 48 minutes later.

I set this goal for myself a long time ago. Once I gave birth I realized I can do hard things but not on my own strength, only by God’s grace am I strong. I have the best husband who supported me through the whole training process and cheered me on the whole way.

Once I’d sat and rehydrated a bit my mind went to the next order of business…pizza! Of course we went to Giordano’s.

Thanks for stopping by,

Lauren ❤️

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Summer 2017

This summer has been the best summer yet! Experiencing so many different firsts with our little one has brought so much joy.

After returning from Montana this summer I began Trim Healthy Mama and have lost twelve pounds so far. I began marathon training and getting back into shape. Our summer was spent in our pool, with lots of family time, and tons of zoo visits. We went to the Indianapolis zoo, Cleveland zoo, Toledo zoo, Chicago zoo, and Cleveland zoo again. We went to the Lagrange county fair and the Elkhart fair. Graham loves seeing the big horses most.

We went to Maumee Bay State Park with my family and decided to make a little vacation out of it. I had so many fond memories there as a child growing up and wanted to share those with Nathan and Graham, well baby G had other ideas. He refused to sleep most of the night which led to us driving him around Maumee at 5 am hoping he would just sleep. We were so exhausted the next day that we decided to pack up and head home that evening. I was sad to leave but we knew it was best for all of us. We still go to play at the beach, the pools, and the indoor walleyball courts before our trip was cut short.

All of the many pictures below represent a little taste of our adventurous summer 2017 from picking blueberries, visiting the beach, to cousin day, Chicago, and taking Graham to 10 different states so far!

Montana Visit

Our trip out West this July was just gorgeous! Lindsay and Ben finally got to meet Graham for the first time and show us around the beautiful state of Montana. We spent time swimming, running, hiking, eating at new restaurants, exploring Yellowstone National Park, and enjoying togetherness. Graham got to fly on his first airplane and it was a huge learning experience for us as parents as he screamed his head off the whole time. Overall, it was a jam packed vacation and so neat to finally experience lindsay and Ben’s new home.

Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and Marathons:

June 3rd Faith and I ran the Sunburst half marathon together! Nathan, Graham, and I drove up to their house the evening before to have dinner and spend the night at their house. Faith and I got up bright and early for our 6:30 start time. Fueled by my trusty race breakfast of whole grain toast and PB, we drove to South Bend, IN where the race would start.

Faith was a doll and stuck with me through the entire race even though she could have easily left me in her dust. I kept my pace around a ten minute mile and was content with that pace for where I’m at in life. Running is still a big passion of mine, but it has definitely taken a backseat to being a mommy. It’s amazing how motherhood changes your perspective on things you used to think were so important and makes life so much more rewarding than anything else used to. 

got to see my two men at the finish line! I’m so thankful for such a supportive husband.

We were starving for lunch and a cheeseburger and milkshake sounded delightful after running for 13.1 miles. It hit the spot!

Sweet little Graham is growing so much. We are so smitten and in awe of our boy. We’ve been enjoying outdoor time lately. Nathan has been biking with me during some long runs. We’ve even opened up our pool and are gearing up for a fun summer in the pool!On Mother’s Day we got to dedicate Graham back to the Lord. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my first Mother’s Day. This day last year we found out I was pregnant after a long hard year. Our friends and family came to support and witness the baby dedication too.

After church, Nathan made us reservations for a Mother’s Day brunch at the Lerner Theatre. We loved the brunch! The food was excellent and they had everything from prime rib and salmon to mimosas and an omelette station.The Friday before Mother’s Day my boys surprised Me at school. They were waiting at the entrance of the school with this sweet little balloon tied to Graham’s wrist. Some of the staff and students got to meet Graham. Then we headed off for pretzels, shopping, and dinner in Shipshewana.


I made these for my students and had pizza parties with my reading groups to end the year. I’m really loving being an interventionist!

Both families came together for a Memorial Day cookout at my inlaw’s house. The food was amazing and we took some festive pics while we waited for the food to be ready.

 

Summer 2017 is shaping up to be a blast. Our 5th year anniversary is Friday and we’re off to Chicago! 

Catch ya later!

Lauren ❤

Runs, Eats, & Everything In between: 

I’m checking in this evening with a few life updates and highlights from lately!

Running

On the running front, I ran a color run 5k called Kill Cancer With Color hosted by one of our youth students Marisa. I’ve been getting in long runs with faith every weekend since we are training for a half marathon June 3rd. I’ve been hopping on my treadmill early in the morning during the week and running with Nathan and faith on weekends. It feels great to be back in my running groove.

Life with a three month old is never dull. Graham has been teething so he’s been in pain which means extra snuggles are in order.

We’ve been putting the jogging stroller to good use and have done some great family hikes at Pine Knob park. Graham loves being outdoors just like his mom and dad!

Nathan and I snuck away for a much needed date night last weekend where we got dinner at Broadway Grill which was delicious and followed that up with a trip to Culver’s for some frozen custard.

Eats

Smoothies have been back in full swing after my morning runs. Nathan has been on a cheesecake making kick and has already tried his hand at an Oreo, Godiva, and peanut butter cheesecakes. Every Friday after school has become pretzel day where we stop and get his and her pretzels from Jo Jo’s.

Easter

Easter was so much fun! Having a little one during holidays makes them so much More exciting. Graham just loves being read to and grandma Gigi reads to him every time she comes. My family drove in for Easter where they attended church with us and we had both sides of family over for Easter lunch.

baby’s first Easter.

Graham and his friend a Colt!

Faith and Bud came for Easter too!

Graham got a fun summer themed Easter basket filled with a new bathing suit, sunglasses, beach hat, and more.

Out Easter lunch table is all set and ready to go!

Well, I’ve got an early morning run scheduled and a baby that needs put to bed. Catch ya later!

Lauren ❤

Pistons Game & Going Back to Work:

This weekend was jam packed with travel and fun. I got Nathan tickets to go see the Pistons vs. Cavs game in Detroit on Thursday evening. The tickets were a gift from Graham that I gave to Nathan in the hospital after the baby was born. I wanted to thank Nathan for being the most amazing husband and labor coach through all my pregnancy sickness and the ups and downs that he walked through with me. It was the least I could do.

We went to a delicious Italian restaurant for dinner before the game on Thursday night. We started with calamari Divinci, it was delicious. 

Being the seafood loving girl that I am, I couldn’t resist the pasta de mer filled with succulent shrimp and muscles. Nathan opted for chicken Alfredo, which was extra creamy and delicious as well.Our seats were on the floor so we had a great view of the game. Nathan was cheering on the Pistons and I was rooting for the Cavs.The Palace was a packed arena, and the Pistons made Michigan proud by beating the National champions 106 to 101.That night we arrived to my in-law’s house around 1 am where our little man was and we planned to spend the night there then head out to Ohio in the morning for a visit with my family.We hit the road Friday morning around 9:30 and arrived in Vermilion around 12:30. My mom had a delicious spread of food ready for us and we all sat around catching up and playing with baby. That evening we ordered pizza, ate mom’s homemade chocolate pudding, played ticket to ride,and watched the movie Signs before calling it a night.

Saturday we hung out until dinner time then headed back for Indiana. We had a wonderful time with our family  in Ohio, even though I’m pretty sure they just wanted to see Graham 😉Sunday after church, we carried on our lunch with Faith and Bud tradition and headed for a quick bite at Subway. We could sit around talking for hours with them, I love that they go to our church now!

Faith and I laced up our running shoes and bundled up for a chilly run. We did a quick 3 miles around the block and caught up on life, it was just what I needed to kick off the week right.

Once our company left, I left the boys at home and went to grab some much needed groceries for the week. After a dinner of rotisserie chicken and sautéed zucchini squash, I curled up on the couch with my sweet boy. He has some sniffles which has me worried so I will be making him a doctor appointment this week. 

Well, I go back to work tomorrow. These 8 weeks have just flown by and have been the most rewarding and exhausting of my whole life. I am so filled with joy and thankfulness for our little boy. It will be a tough transition but I am excited to get into a solid routine. That’s all for today!

Lauren ❤

The Day I Became a Mother

This story I am about to tell is the greatest love story of my life (next to falling in love with your daddy).

Here it begins…

I woke up on Thursday, January 19th 2017 at 5 am to some mild cramping and discomfort. I had gone to bed the night before feeling odd and not like myself which I kept mentioning to your daddy, but we both chalked it up to pregnancy fatigue. The weeks leading up to this day were filled with lots of false labor pains so I tried not to get my hopes up that this was the real deal. I got out of bed and got some water and some Wheat Thins to munch on in bed. Around 6 am your dad woke up to my snacking and asked if I was okay. I told him I was having some sharp pains but I was sure they probably weren’t labor pains. He suggested that we start timing the pains to see if there was a pattern. He had a contraction app downloaded on his phone for this exact occasion. After about 30 minutes of timing we realized that they were coming in waves every five minutes and that I was definitely in labor! 

The pain started to intensify so we got to work getting everything around for when we would leave for the hospital. The plan was to labor as long as I possibly could in the comfort of our home before heading to the hospital, so I got undressed and got in the shower knowing that the hot water would help dull the ache of each contraction. Your sweet father brought me a chair to sit in in the shower because my legs were shaking so badly and standing was becoming too painful. I had big plans to do my hair and makeup for the hospital but as the contractions began to escalate those plans quickly dissipated. I gave instructions to your father from the shower as he rushed around the house getting everything we would need to have with us for your big arrival. It seemed like time slowed down as I sat in the shower and waited for your daddy to tell me everything was ready and we could go to the hospital. I focused on getting through each bout of nauseating pain that seemed to be coming even closer together with less of a reprieve in between. Finally it was time to get dressed and in the car. Your dad helped me get dressed as I labored through the contractions that were causing me to have to stop and rest every few minutes. Finally, I had my oatmeal in hand and we were loaded up in the car and headed 5 minutes up the road you the hospital. I tried my best to eat the oatmeal dad made me and get something in my stomach as I knew I was in for a long ride.

We arrived around 8:30 am, parked the car and I hobbled into the hospital. The woman at the front desk was asking me questions and I could hardly talk through the sharp contractions that were radiating through my body. Your dad continued to answer questions for me as a nurse came up behind me with a wheel chair and carted me off to the labor and delivery wing. I was so greatful to be able to sit down and focus on my breathing as we arrived to the delivery room where you would be brought into this world. I got changed into the too big hospital gown that they gave me ( I actually put it on backwards at first) and climbed into the hospital bed where they hooked my belly up to monitors that monitored your precious, steady heartbeat and my contractions. Your dad came into the room from getting us checked in and boy I was so glad to see his face. Finally, a nurse came to check how dilated I was and told me I was at 4 cm and that they would call our midwife. I was so relieved to hear that things were progressing with the labor and knew we would be meeting you soon!

As time passed the contractions only worsened and had me gripping the bed rail for dear life. The pain caused me to throw up and shake so badly. Your dad rubbed my back and legs as I tried to breathe deeply through the pain that was now coming quickly with little rest time in between. The nurses asked if I wanted any medicine to take the edge off my pain and after a few questions about the medicine I agreed, YES! The medicine hit my system quickly but did very little to take away the pain, instead it made me so tired I could barely hold my eyes open. The nurses told me that Rebekah, our midwife was almost there, which was good to hear because that meant things were progressing and I needed to know I wasn’t going to be stuck in that state forever. 

Once our wonderful midwife arrived, she immediately checked my progress and told me that I was getting closer and suggested I try getting out of bed and labor in some different positions. The thought of standing up or moving sounded like torture, but I knew it would help speed things along so I decided to try laboring in the shower for a bit. Your daddy helped me make it to the shower as I clutched his arm and leaned on him for support. I undressed and sat on the shower bench closed my eyes and tried to relax as streams of hot water hit my body. I was so deep in concentration that I was actually tired and felt like sleeping as I labored in the shower. Your dad took the shower head and sprayed warm water all over my belly, back and forth as I closed my eyes and tried to relax into each contraction like my birthing coach taught me. 

After a while I was ready for a change of position. Your daddy dried me off and helped me get back into my hospital gown. I decided to try laboring on the birthing ball. I sat on the ball next to the bed and leaned back into your dad’s chest. He massaged my lower back and tummy as the pain became excruciating and contractions were now right on top of eachother. I refused to let the pain get ahead of me and gripped the hospital bed for dear life as I focused on trying not to scream out in pain. I moved onto the hospital bed and asked my midwife to check my progress because I knew I was in the transition stage of labor because that’s when they say the pain becomes unbearable and most women feel like giving up. After she checked my dilation, I was at 8 cm and my water still hadn’t broken. Rebekah offered to break my water and cautioned me that doing so could slow my labor down. I was desperate for something to happen and decided to give it a try. I got another dose of Nubane which caused me to freak out on the inside because it didn’t seem to make a difference in my pain levels and I was in the most pain yet. 

Once the the midwife and nurse came in to break my water I was so greatful, I knew I needed a distraction because I felt like I was dying. After a few minutes of poking and prodding I felt a rush of fluid and my water had broken. I saw a look of concern on my midwife’s face and she told us that there was a chance that you would be born not breathing. She told us that the fluid was not clear and you might have meconium (waste) in your lungs. We were concerned but I knew that worrying would be a waste of energy and I neede all I could get. 

The next hour or so was spent laboring on my back in the hospital bed with your daddy praying over me and speaking truth and encouragement to me. I was so deep in concentration that time and space ceased to exist, it was just me and you and the the rise and fall of contractions standing between us. I knew that each one was getting me closer to meeting you, so I battled onward. 

In the meantime, our midwife had gathered a team of doctors and nurses who were bustling in and out of the room preparing for your arrival. Through tears I asked to be checked as I knew it was almost time to start pushing. Once I was checked, I was told that I was fully dialated and I immediately asked if I could start pushing. I was told that I would feel when it was time to start pushing so wait for that feeling. After a bit longer, I didn’t want to wait anymore so I announced that I was going to start pushing. I was told all the different positions I could try and finally settled on leaning over the back of the hospital bed. Once in position I tried pushing while everyone gathered around me and coached me. My midwife said to push harder, I thought I was pushing hard until I suddenly got the urge to push and it took over my whole body. Every muscle in my body was clenched and I was pushing so hard. With each contraction that came, I pushed. I was exhausted, cramping, and dripping sweat; I didn’t know how much longer I could keep this up, I felt so weak. 

Next, I was told to move down on my side in the bed and continue pushing. My midwife told me that just a few more good pushes would get you here, and that was all I needed to hear. I began pushing with everything I had left, I felt pressure, I felt pain, and I barely noticed all the medical team that had now entered the room and were waiting your arrival as well. My trembling legs were being held up by your dad and a nurse, I looked into your daddy’s eyes, we were so excited to meet you in a few seconds!  Finally with one good push and stabbing pain, I felt you slide out and you were born, at 1:17 PM. 

Like the midwife predicted, you were born not breathing and before I could see you, your daddy cut your cord and you were whisked away by doctors. Before they could take you I reached out and touched your wet little body. You were in the back of the hospital room surrounded by doctors all working quickly to get your lungs cleared out and help you start breathing on your own. I was still laying on the bed, Your dad holding my hand, by my side like he had been all 8 hours. He kissed my forehead and I knew you were going to be okay. I said to myself “I refuse to fear”. I knew that God had you in the palm of his hand. While we waited for you, I passed the placenta and got stitched up. All the while I kept looking up to your father’s face for reassurance that you were okay. He never wavered and smiled down at me with his warm eyes, letting me know you were okay. Finally the most beautiful sound reached my ears, it was you. You were crying which meant you were breathing on your own! The doctors brought you to me and put you on my chest. In that moment I knew that being your mommy was my greatest task yet and that as long as I lived I would love you.

That is your birth story Graham Nathan Rasbaugh, born 7lbs. 2oz. 19.5 inches long. 

We love you to the moon and back ❤ 

Your mommy

NYE & Freezer Meals:

For New Years Eve we made plans with Faith and Bud to get all dolled up and snag a late dinner at the delicious Soho Japanese Bistro. We all ordered some delicious apps and sushi rolls that did not disappoint. We have so much fun with these two!After dinner we headed back to Faith and Bud’s to ring in the new year. faith out did herself with a delicious spread of snacks for us to enjoy while playing games.We played a bunch of different games like 5 second rule and the Disney song game. Before we knew it, it was nearing midnight and the ball was getting ready to drop.

We took a few last pictures of 2016 and wrote out some of our New Years goals. I can’t believe it but I actually signed up for a FULL marathon! 

Faith and I will be running the Indy Marathon this coming November. I’ve always wanted to run a full and there’s no time like the present. I figure it will be a good goal to get me back in tip top shape after baby comes.

This week Faith came over to help me check off the last few things on my pre baby to-do list. I’m so thankful that these last few months of chaos have paid off and baby is almost here. We are moved in and I’m feeling much more settled in our new home with things hung on walls and organized. Finances are in order and all those pesky to-do’s are done!

Faith and I set out to make freezer meals for when the baby comes. Nathan is doing the Ketogenic diet so I wanted to find meals that he will be able to eat as well.

 On the menu:

-4 lasagnas with zucchini instead of pasta 

-5 zesty chicken crockpot meals with califlour rice

-2 chicken stir fries also with califlour rice

– 3 bacon wrapped chicken with asparagus meals

We went to Meyer with our shopping list and got all the ingredients we would need for these 14 meals. Here is my haul.

About 2 hours later, we were done with all the meal prep! I was seriously so surprised how easy and smooth the whole thing went. We will definitely be getting together to make freezer meals more often. We did the math and figured out that for the 14 meals we made each meal cost about $5.30 total. This will be a great way to save money in the future. 

Today, we are hanging shelves in the baby’s room and then we are all ready for his grand entrance! Have a great day!

Lauren ❤

Christmas 2016:

This Christmas was spent at our house in Indiana. It was the first Christmas we haven’t spent traveling since we’ve been married! I wanted to stay local just in case baby boy decided to make an early appearance. 

My family drove up from Ohio on Christmas Eve. Nathan preached for the Christmas Eve service at our church that afternoon and it was wonderful. We had special music, baptism, communion, and ended with a candlelight singing of Silent Night. 

Christmas morning we were all up and at ’em around 8:30. I brewed some coffee and got started baking an egg casserole for breakfast. Once we had all eaten, we migrated to the living room to open gifts. Nathan got lots of hunting gear for his upcoming elk hunting trip so he was extra excited. It was so great sitting around and watching everyone receive their gifts, even the ones from Linds and Ben in Montana and Aunt carol and John in Arizona. My heart was very full ❤

Even brandy got in in the action. She got an extra big Christmas bone that she devoured in no time!

For my Christmas gift, Nathan got my the very thing that i’ve been asking for since I got pregnant….a treadmill! He did his research and got a great one. He also surprised me with the new Fit Bit Charge2! I can’t wait to use my new treadmill and watch more once the baby comes and I can get back to my fitness routine, I miss running! 

Dad brought all the fixings for a prime rib dinner on Christmas Eve. Growing up we often had a prime rib dinner for Christmas and I remember the delicious aroma that would fill the house, it is a favorite dinner of ours. My favorite part of the meal is the Yorkshire Pudding that we make as a side using the fat drippings from the prime rib.After opening gifts at our house on Christmas morning Nathan and I headed out to both his grandma’s Christmas celebrations and then finally both families rendezvoused in Michigan at my In-law’s house for yet another Christmas get together. I didn’t take many pictures of our big family Christmas but it was spent playing lots of games, eating delicious home cooking, opening more gifts, and we all even ended up spending the night. It was a lovely relaxing Christmas. ❤

Lauren ❤

My Winter Wonderland Maternity Shoot

These photos were taken by my best friend Faith. It was a cold and snowy Sunday afternoon, but luckily I have the most amazing people in my life who will stand in a field of Christmas trees, without coats, to take maternity pictures. I really wanted to remember these precious last days of pregnancy and life before baby. ❤