The Most Wonderful Time of the Year:

 Christmas break was a whirlwind of excitement so I have lots to squeeze into this blog post. 

Nathan and I have been getting into disc golf lately and there are many different courses to play in our area. It’s a great way to get in some extra exercise and spend time outdoors! We played a new course with two of our friends one gorgeous  Sunday afternoon.

  

   

The week leading up to Christmas was spent running, packing, and cleaning the house. Smoothies are the best fuel to drink on the go when you have a list full of items to accomplish! This one is a banana mango smoothie made with Greek yogurt and chia seeds. 
   

I am so thankful for sunny, tank top running the week before Christmas, man I love the South!

One of our Christmas Eve traditions that has become a favorite of ours is to make a pot roast and mashed potatoes for dinner. I buy the best looking roast and make the pioneer woman mashed potatoes and some other veggies to go on the side. We have sparkling grape juice and cheers to Christmas!

    

Christmas Eve morning has become the day that we open gifts together since we are normally in the air traveling on Christmas Day. We started the morning off right with some Jamacian Me Crazy coffee, Manheim Steemroller music, maple bacon, eggs, and some GF waffles for me!
  

The aftermath of gift opening, Brandy got to open hers too! 

  

We always read the story of Jesus birth in Luke or Mark to remember the reason that we celebrate and to reflect on that wonderful day so many years ago when God took on flesh and was born in a lowly barn with animals. I’m always so in awe of such a humble birth that entered the Savior into this weary world. Thank you Jesus ❀

 
   

our church put on a live nativity scene and last minute they needed a Joseph and ended up talking my Nathan into doing it. πŸ˜‰

  

On Christmas morning we were up at 3:30 am to catch an early flight to Cleveland. We had almost everything packed, cleaned, and loaded up the night before which made our departure that morning very smooth.

Merry Christmas from our connecting gate in Chicago!

     Once we arrived to my parent’s house we were greeted with so many hugs and smiles! Nathan and my sister Kelly are pictured below they are such great buddies!

  

We even got to open our stockings that were waiting for us!

 

  

   

Reunited with 2 of my 3 sisters!
  

Dad makes the best omelettes, and talked Nathan into a brisket omelette before the Rasbaugh family arrived and we had our big Christmas dinner.

  

Once the whole family was there and gifts had all been exchanged we gathered around for a delicious Christmas meal of Braciole and gnocchi pasta!

   

Finally the day after Christmas Lindsay’s flight from Oklahoma landed and the whole family was officially reunited.  We really wanted to stretch our legs so we bundled up to brave the cold temperatures for a run around the block.

 

I also got in the solo run which was nice too I love running my old stomping grounds.

  One of the evenings we went out to the infamous Nagoya Japanese Steakhouse  to celebrate some December Birthdays.
  

 The food was spot on as usual, but being gluten free there were a few of my favorites that I had to pass up. I ended up ordering the miso sea bass without the miso because it contained gluten so it was basically just boiled fish on leaves. πŸ˜‰ 

My darling sister Annie who is home on a break from college. It was so good to spend time with her!
 

One of the lazy mornings when we were all lounging around playing various board games, I decided it was time for all of us to break into one of our tasty stocking stuffers. Since we’re were little girls my parents have always put dried icecream into our stockings and it’s become quite a delicious tradition that we all look forward to. Nathan and Annie are showing off their dried ice cream sandwiches.

  
  

It feels so good to have family around during the holidays!

  

I love this man!
    

Eventually, we packed up our bags and got ready to spend the second half of break at the Rasbaugh residence in Michigan.
  

The family was super excited to take us out to The Flipping Cow for Amanda’s birthday. My sweet friend Faith made the drive to spend some time and have dinner with us as well! ❀

  

We had to get a sibling picture on the wobbly dock! I really love this one and I might just put in a frame.

He’s my favorite!   

 

New Year’s eve was spent playing board games laughing and enjoying one another’s company. My family made the drive from Ohio up to Michigan to spend New Year’s all together as a family and ring in 2016 the right way.

  

We took Nathan’s parents to the Mexican restaurant for their wedding anniversary. There aren’t many restaurants in the small farm town that he grew up in but we managed to find one. We all had a great time and the food was surprisingly tasty coming from this spoiled Tex-Mex lovin’ girl.
  

I had their homemade chicken tortilla soup because I wanted something lighter for my stomach since I wasn’t feeling so great that day.

  

On a ridiculous note, Amanda and I tried out some couples yoga poses for kicks and giggles one evening. We looked up different couples yoga poses online and trying to re-create them. We had such a fun time and ended up laughing until our stomaches hurt. It was quite the workout and had us both sweating in no time. We made the discovery of that we are both horrible at yoga. Those poses are much harder than they look I give all those yogis credit. 

Eventually our time ran out and we had to head to the airport to catch a flight back to good old Texas. While at the airport, we decided to get some dinner in Chicago and wash it down with some Ben & Jerry’s milkshakes, the best way to cap off a wonderful Christmas vacation! We arrived home late and hit the ground running the next morning with school,work ,the upcoming winter camp prep, and parent teacher conferences all in one! 

Right now I’m simmering a pot of hearty chicken and rice soup on the stovetop for a late dinner. I’m going to go dish up two big bowls and we are going to curl up with a movie to end the night.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

yours truly,

Lauren ❀

   

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One thought on “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year:

  1. Love reading your posts every time you write!! Looks like a wonderful Christmas vacation πŸ™‚ I love all your traditions and that both of your families share the holiday together! What a blessing πŸ™‚

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