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

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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IMG_1112 He’s such a hopeless romantic, and I love it! <3
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