80th Birthday Party and Homemade Pizza

Are you all ready for a great week?? Let’s be positive and say HECK YES! 🙂

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! Our weekend was fun, but very busy!

I woke up naturally at exactly 6:12 a.m. on Saturday and layered up for my long run.


I am so over this cold weather, and by cold weather, I mean like barely freezing. You know, I live in Texas, so I’m a huge baby when it comes to cold. So all of you Northerners are way tougher than me. I apologize for complaining about weather that I can still run in, when a lot of you can’t even run outside it’s so bad out there! But it was 27 degrees when I started my run, and only 32 when I finished, and to me those are some low temperatures!

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Despite the cold weather, the 15 miler felt great! This is a huge encouragement for the rest of my training!

When I finished my run, I came in and stretched while I talked to Ryan laying in bed. Then I showered and got ready for a wedding shower! One of my best friends from elementary school/junior high/high school is getting married in April, and her shower was Saturday. I am so happy for her, and I can’t wait for her big day!

Oh, and just a tip, if you run a long run and you want to wear your procompression socks or sleeves, just wear a dress with leggings and boots, and no one will ever know. 😉 This totally saved my legs Saturday!


The shower was in the town where my parents live, so Ryan and I drove to their house so my Mom and I could go to the shower together. While we were gone, Ryan, my dad, and my brother, Ben, went and played disc golf.

The shower was beautiful, and Amber was gorgeous! It was also nice to see some people from my hometown that I hadn’t seen in a while. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures here, but just take my word that everything was wonderful. 🙂

After the shower I hung out at my parents’ house with my Mom, and with Ryan and my Dad when they returned from disc golf . Ben and Kaleigh came over about 5 that night and we all left to go to my aunt and uncle’s house to celebrate my grandfather’s 80th birthday!


This is my wonderful Pappy. I guess some people call him Max, but that’s not his real name; it’s Pappy. He is one of the most amazing men I know, and is such an incredible role model and leader for our family!


My Mom with her two parents!

We all enjoyed a delicious dinner of lasagna and salad, and then homemade chocolate cake with ice cream for dessert. It was so nice being together with everyone and just talking and having fun.

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Ryan, Ben, Kaleigh, and I played Monopoly for a little bit that night with our two little cousins, Cooper and Cade.


When we left my aunt and uncle’s house we stopped by Mammy and Pappy’s house so the boys could help them fix on of their televisions. So us women had to get a picture together. 🙂

Ryan and I drove home right after this, where we immediately crashed and fell asleep in bed.

Saturday morning I had a great breakfast!


I sauteed tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, and mushrooms with some leftover quinoa and then cooked two over easy eggs. When it was all done cooking I topped it with 1/4 of an avocado and some salsa. Then obviously I needed a banana with some peanut butter. 🙂

We went to church that morning, came home and had leftovers for lunch, and then I went to Aldi to go grocery shopping. I came home and Ryan and I got to work making this homemade pizza dough. I had never made pizza dough like this, but Ryan had, so he was such a huge help and taught me some things!


Once we made part of the dough it needed to rise for a bit, so Ryan and I went to Wal Mart when it rose so I could finish getting a few groceries I couldn’t get at Aldi.

When we got back we finished making the dough, and I cooked and chopped some veggies for the week.

Here is the final crust.


This recipe is amazing for numerous reasons, but one of the reasons is it was enough to make two pizzas! Ryan and I love leftovers, especially homemade pizza leftovers, so this was perfect for us!

I sauteed onions, bell pepper, mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini, and squash to put on top of the pizza.


I am so happy that Ryan eats all of these beautiful, tasty vegetables now! I mean, look at all of those pretty colors, who wouldn’t want to eat that?

We topped our pizza with pizza sauce, the veggies (I also put broccoli on my half), mozzarella cheese, and some pineapple. Once we fixed the pizzas up, we baked them for 10 minutes, and they came out perfectly!

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This was seriously the most delicious crust Ryan and I have ever had. We absolutely loved it! You need to all try it. And don’t be intimidated by making your own pizza dough, it’s not as hard as it seems. It’s just intimidating, but you can do it, I promise. Plus, Angela gives great instructions and pictures to help you!

The rest of our Sunday was spent cleaning and getting ready for the week. Ryan and I have been talking, and we have decided that we think it would be best if I could do our grocery shopping on Thursdays after work. It’s just so exhausting to do all of the grocery shopping, food prep, and getting ready for the upcoming week on Sundays. Ryan and I love being able to relax on Sundays, but when we have to go grocery shopping, clean, and cook, we just can’t relax. We love being outside when the weather is pretty outside (which it was yesterday), and we want to be able to go outside and enjoy it, and not have to be stuck inside working all day. So hopefully I can start meal planning and grocery shopping at the end of the week from now on!

It was busy, but still a great weekend, so I will link up with Katie! Thanks for hosting girl! 🙂



1. Tell me some fun things from your weekend?

2. Have you ever made homemade pizza crust? What are some of your favorite toppings for pizza?

3. When do you do your grocery shopping?

4. Will you have a busy week this week?


Date Night, Errands, and Tennis

Mondays are usually hard because I mean, let’s be honest, who wants to go back to work after the weekend? Well, today is a good Monday because Ryan and I are both off of work! I am looking forward to a seven mile run, waffles for breakfast, seeing my friend Brittany for a bit, and maybe some disc golf with Ryan and my Dad! Oh, and maybe  we can finally put our Christmas tree up today… Oops! At least it’s not February yet, right? 😉

Even though my weekend is not over yet, I will go ahead and do a recap. Everything has been marvelous so far, so obviously I need to link up with Katie! 


Friday night was a perfect start to this weekend! We have a couple of Chili’s gift cards we got for Christmas, so we used part of one to buy dinner and bring home, and we got a red box movie. We ate in the living room while watching “Olympus Has Fallen”. Oh, and I was in my pajamas. Perfect date night!


Seriously, I know sometimes it is fun to go out and dress up, but Ryan and I love ordering food from a restaurant, bringing it home so we can eat and relax in our own home, all while watching a movie in our sweats or pajamas. If you have never done this, you should!


I had the mango chile tilapia from their lighter choice menu, and it came with broccoli and rice. This dinner was delicious, and didn’t leave me feeling stuffed, which was a major plus.

Saturday I got up about 6:45 to get ready for my long run, which was 13 miles.


I got to use my running belt that Ryan gave me for graduation for the first time, and I loved it! It didn’t bounce or bother me, and it was nice to have water when I needed it. I felt great during the run, which was a big encouragement since I have many more long runs to do that are much longer than 13 miles!

I refueled after my run with some healthy spinach blueberry pancakes.

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I ended up topping them with half of a banana, some peanut butter, and a little bit of pure maple syrup. I was using my own recipe for this, and I enjoyed it, but I need to work on tweaking a few things before I can share the recipe on here. If the green scares you, don’t worry, I promise you can’t taste the spinach! It’s a great way to get some veggies in at the beginning of the day!

For the rest of the day Ryan and I ran some errands. We got my oil changed in my car, went to the bank, and drove to the closest James Avery to pick up my charm bracelet. When we got home I started cooking dinner, and then we dug in! We had black bean veggie burgers, green beans, and sweet potato fries.

After dinner Ryan and I finished our Scrabble game that we started last weekend but never finished. Unfortunately I lost. 😦 But it was still fun, and I am determined to win next time!

Sunday Ryan and I went to church, then came home and had leftovers for lunch.


I had quinoa with barbecue tempeh on top, a salad, and green beans.

After lunch I went grocery shopping and then came home to change into some athletic clothes so Ryan and I could play tennis.


I have mentioned this before, but tennis is my favorite sport, and it is something Ryan and I both love playing together. The weather was so beautiful, we had to enjoy it by doing something outside! I love that it’s January and I was able to wear shorts outside and be comfortable. 🙂

Once we got home I started cooking dinner, and boy oh boy, it was a good dinner!


I made this butternut squash Mexi-Bake from Danica, and it is a new favorite! The husband and I both thoroughly enjoyed it!


I topped both of our bowls with 1/4 of an avocado, and Ryan put some tortilla chips in his. This meal is full of veggies and is meatless, but I think even the meat lovers will still love this recipe!

Afterwards we relaxed and watched Revenge.

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After our busy, non-stop weekend last week, it was nice to be home this whole weekend. 🙂


1. What did you do this weekend?

2. Have you ever ordered food and brought it home for a date night?

3. What is your favorite thing you ate this weekend?

4. Favorite way to exercise besides run or lift weights? Tennis or volleyball for me. 🙂

5. Are you off work today? If so, what are you doing?



Running, Family, Friends, and Food.

Hello friends! Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are ready for a great week! This is the week I get to start my first teaching job! I was supposed to start today, but there have been technical problems with certain things going through the state (it’s a very frustrating process), so I will be able to start Wednesday or Thursday this week. Luckily, my principal has been so understanding and nice through this whole process so that makes things easier.

Anyways, back to this weekend’s recap. I had such a wonderful weekend (obviously based on the title of this post); I would definitely say marvelous. 🙂 Thanks for hosting MIMM Katie!


This weekend started early Saturday morning with a race with my Dad and Aunt.


My Dad and I did the 10k and my Aunt Nancy did the 5k. Nancy was going to do the 10k with us, but she had a long run for her half marathon training the next day and didn’t want to do too much.


As always, this handsome guy got up early and stood in the cold to support me and cheer me on. 🙂


From left to right, this is my cousin Nikki, my Mom, me, and Ryan. Nikki was going to do this race with us, but some things happened and now she is running in a marathon at the end of this month! She was doing a 20 miler the next day so she didn’t want to run Saturday. Totally understandable! I was glad she still came and cheered us on. Also, somehow I never got a picture with just me and my Mom, but for my whole life she has always suffered through whatever weather conditions to support me, and she continues to do this for me and my dad now! She is the best!


I was so proud of my dad; he really pushed it and totally sprinted in the end! He finished in 59 minutes and 19 seconds, which is like six minutes faster than his last 10k! He is rocking it!


I can’t say enough on this blog of mine how proud I am of him, and just how much fun it is running in races with him!


I was really happy with my race too. My time was 50 minutes and 21 seconds, and my average pace was 8:03 a mile. Before the race started Ryan challenged me to run below 8 minute miles; I almost did it!

Oh, I forgot to even mention that I was so excited because this race was only $10! I wasn’t expecting much since the race was so inexpensive, but there were a ton of people there, and the best part was there were free bananas!!!



We stayed afterwards for the awards and my aunt and I both placed 2nd in our age division!


We were both excited! Oh and side note, what do you runners do with y’all’s medals from races? I am not sure where to keep all of mine. They are just kind of everywhere now…

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After the race my parents, Ryan, and I went back to our house so we could all change and then the women left the guys. My dad and Ryan went back to my parents’ house (Ryan had a friend he was meeting in the town where my parents live to play disc golf), and my Mom and I went out to go shopping! I had some boots I got for Christmas that I wanted to return for another pair, and I ended up getting these in the pictures above!

I really like them. I kind of wanted more of a pointier toe at first, but these were so comfortable (key for being on your feet all day as a teacher!), and I ended up really liking how they looked!

After we got these shoes we were hungry so we went to find a place at the mall to eat. We saw Luna De Noche, and since my Mom and I are both big Mexican food lovers, we were all for eating here!


We split a meal that came with one taco, one enchilada, rice, and beans, and then we also split a bowl of tortilla soup.

I had a spinach enchilada, half of the rice and beans, and then of course half of the soup.


It was all so good! And their chips and salsa was amazing!

After lunch we headed over to Anne Taylor Loft because I had a gift card to spend, and I really need some more teacher clothes. I had heard great things about this store, but had never shopped there myself. I am now a huge Loft lover! I highly recommend this store to anyone who wants cute, nice clothes. If you get the clothes full price, they are pretty expensive, but they have good sales, which makes it totally worth it! I didn’t buy anything full price, but instead went back to the clearance racks and I got a haul from that store! I ended up getting four dresses, three cardigans, and a nice t-shirt that I could easily dress up or go out casual with. I got all of this for $113, and my gift card was for $100, so I only spend $13! I was so excited! I still need a few more dress pants for teaching, but I will get those eventually. I know building up my teaching wardrobe will be a process.

After Loft, my Mom and I headed back to our house so I could shower and get ready for a party Ryan and I were going to that night with our friends. My mom was the sweetest and packed up most of our Christmas decorations for us while I got ready. The party I was going to was in the town where my parents live, and since Ryan was already there, I just rode back with my Mom and she dropped me off at my friends’ house on her way home. My mom and I didn’t get a picture of us together shopping Saturday because since we went out right after my race, both of us had some pretty crazy hair and neither of us really wanted a picture. 😉


Saturday night it was so nice to get together with some of our best friends from college! We hadn’t all hung out in such a long time, so this get together was perfect! The girls were me, Ruth, and Chelsea. (They came over to our house last month for our little Christmas party.)

It was a little harder to get a serious picture of the guys…

laughing guys

Finally all of the guys are smiling…except my husband…gotta love him. 🙂

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This was at Bryan and Ruth’s house, and they were wonderful hosts! There was a ton of food that we all enjoyed and we just all had fun together all night. We played a short, late night game of Taboo which was fun. I always love games though.

Ryan and I stayed the night with full intentions of getting up and going back home early to go to church. Well, it was after 2:00 a.m. when we went to bed so…that didn’t happen. We slept in and ended up leaving their house a little after 10 a.m. We got home, ate some lunch/breakfast, and relaxed.


I had two tofu fritattas (recipe from Peas and Thank you), one piece of cinnamon raisin Ezekial bread, left over roasted vegetables, blueberries, and a banana with peanut butter. Oh it was exactly what I waned for lunch/breakfast. 🙂

I went to a bridal shower for a girl in our Sunday School class that afternoon, and then went to get something to cook for dinner.

I ended up making homemade salsa with an easy recipe I got from Peas and Thank You.


We really enjoyed it, but I didn’t add jalapeño to it, and I think I will next time to give it a little more kick. We still really enjoyed it though!’

For dinner I made some lentil enchiladas (again from Peas and Thank You, can you tell I am loving this book?), which were another success!


The recipe called for red lentils, but the grocery store I went to didn’t have red so I had to get brown. I think the enchiladas would have been even better with red because the texture would have been different. We still enjoyed them though!

We had them with some bell peppers and homemade guacamole! I also smothered my enchiladas with homemade salsa and guac. You should do this too.


After dinner Ryan and I relaxed and face timed with his parents for a bit. Perfect ending to a wonderful weekend.

This weekend was very busy, but it was busy with fun, friends, and family, so we had a blast! Today I will finish planning our meals for this week, go grocery shopping, have lunch with Ryan at his work, get my fingerprints done for teaching, and workout. It will be a busy day so I better go have some breakfast and get today started! Make this week a great one!


1. What was marvelous about your weekend? 

2. Have you ever shopped at Loft? Where is your favorite place to get affordable, nice clothes?

3. Do you ever still see old friends from college or high school? 

Jogger Egg Nogger Race and Marvelous Family Time

We actually had a full weekend of activities, but I hardly got any pictures! I know, total blogger fail (I feel like I have to write this too often…). So I know people say if you didn’t get a picture, it didn’t happen. Well just trust me, everything I say actually happened. 🙂 I will add in the few pictures I have to keep you entertained. And surely Google images can help me some. 😉

Saturday morning began with the Jogger Egg Nogger 5k and 15k race with my Dad. The weather definitely wasn’t the best though; it was cold and raining the whole time we ran. I was a little nervous because of the weather, but the race still ended up being fantastic! Since the weather was so bad, my Dad and I never got a picture outside after or before our race, so the only picture I snapped of us was in the car after the race. (Just ignore how dark my eyes were. I’m not quite sure why I wore eye makeup when I knew I was going to be running in the rain. Not my smartest decision.)


Since Ryan is an awesome, supportive husband, he got up early and and supported us in the cold and rain. Best husband ever!

My dad and I were both pleased with our times. I finished the 15k in an hour and 18 minutes, with an average of 8 minutes and 24 seconds a mile. As soon as I finished my Dad, Ryan, and I went into the warm car to head home. My dad dropped us off at home, and we showered and had lunch before heading out to meet my brother and SIL at the movies. We saw Anchorman 2.



The movie was funny, (how could it not be with Will Ferrell as the main actor?), but I don’t think it was as good as the first one. I am still glad we saw it though because I had been wanting to see it ever since I heard they were coming out with a second one!

We had a blast getting to go with Ben and Kaleigh (bro and SIL) to the movies and getting to talk with them some. We all agreed we needed to make that happen more. I was so mad at myself when we left the movie theater because I realized we didn’t get a picture together! 😦 So this reused picture from Thanksgiving will have to do!


The rest of me and Ryan’s saturday night included eating delicious leftovers for dinner, watching the Mavericks play (this was more of Ryan), and reading (this was more of me), all while relaxing on the couch.


And obviously while we relaxed we wore warm, fuzzy socks. Okay, so maybe it was just me wearing the fuzzy socks.


Sunday morning we went to church and then headed to Cheesecake Factory to eat lunch with Ryan’s family. We spent the whole afternoon with Ryan’s parents, grandparents, aunt and uncle, and cousins. This time was truly so special. I don’t have any pictures I took from yesterday, but the pictures couldn’t have captured how special yesterday was anyway. Family is so incredible and something we should never take for granted.

This weekend was very marvelous because of the fun race my Dad and I got to run in, but it was mostly marvelous because of the wonderful family we got to spend time with on Saturday and Sunday. Because my family is so marvelous, I am going to link up again with Katie for some Marvelous in my Monday.


Take some time today today to tell your loved ones and family members how much they mean to you. If you can see any of them today, try to see them and treasure every moment.

I hope all of you are ready for Christmas! We are two days away! So crazy! Tonight Ryan and I will be celebrating our own Christmas together and exchanging gifts. We will also be enjoying some homemade pizza. I can’t wait! 🙂


1. What did you do this weekend?

2. Did you see Anchorman 2? Did you like it? Did you even like the first one?

3. What are you looking forward to the most this year about Christmas?

4. Tell me one reason (or more) why you love your family!

College Graduation Weekend

This past weekend was so special to me, and it will be one of those weekends I will always remember. It was seriously one of those weekends I never wanted to end because I was enjoying it so much! I graduated, and it meant so much to me to have all of the people I love so much there for me! This weekend was definitely marvelous, so I will be linking up with Katie!


This post will be a lot of pictures, which are honestly the best ind of posts. 🙂 If you missed my last post about what I learned in college, you can find it here. 


We started off the morning by having some breakfast at Cracker Barrel before heading to my graduation since it didn’t start until 1:30.


It was really cold when we were taking these pictures outside!

I was really happy that the graduation ceremony didn’t take long at all. It was only like an hour! The ceremony was very well organized and ran smoothly.


IMG_4812Now we are both alumni of the university where we met!


I could not have made it from kindergarten all the way through college without my wonderful parents. I know I say it a lot, but you really don’t understand how amazing my parents are.


I could not have been blessed with better in-laws. They made a long trip down here just to watch me graduate; they are too sweet!


Ryan’s parents, like us, met at this university when they were college students, at the same BSM where Ryan and I met! This school was obviously good to the four of us.


I have too much fun with these four. The best husband, big bro, and SIL a girl could ask for.


My sweet grandparents.


My other sweet grandparents. 🙂


Several generations of alumni. My grandfather, mom, Ryan, and I all attended and graduated from the same university! We are proud of our university!


Our good friend Tanner also graduated with me, and his wife, Chelsea and him became some of our best friends at college! They were one of the couples who came over for the first night of our 12 dates of Christmas. The guy on far left, Garrett, is another one of our best friends and was one of Ryan’s roommates his last year at school. He was so sweet and came to watch the graduation.


After my graduation my Mom had a party for me at their house, and my best friend since fifth grade, Shelby, and her mom, Shelly, stopped by to see me. It was so good to see them since I hadn’t seen them since this summer. Shelby got engaged in November, and I hadn’t seen her in person since, so it was so fun getting to talk to her in person.


Shelby gave me this super cute box, and when I opened the lid it had a ring pop in it and asked if I would be her bridesmaid. Obviously, I said yes!!! I was and am still so excited! (I totally should have taken a picture of the ring inside the box with the other note, but I didn’t think about it. My bad.)


The fact that I graduated during Christmas time made it so much better!

I also received some incredible gifts from the people I love. Everyone was way too generous, and I am so thankful for everything.


My parents gave me some Spode Christmas dishes so that I could start a collection. I have always wanted to have my own Spode collection because my mom, grandmother, and Ryan’s mom all have Spode. I thought it would be so fun to carry on the tradition! Plus, they are so festive this time of year, and I love that! My in-laws also gave me several pieces of Spode for graduation, including beautiful placemats, a serving dish, a platter, a candy bowl, and an oven mitt!


My parents also gave me this beautiful cross necklace, that I love! I had been wanting one like this for a while.

IMG_4840Ryan knows me well and gave me a long distance training belt for running and a BIC band for my hair! I had been wanting both of these things.


Ben and Kaleigh gave me such a cute gift bag full of things I will need in my own classroom. I thought this was such a fun, though out gift, and I love it! I will definitely be using all of the things in this bag.

IMG_4803Shelby and Shelly gave me a similar gift. They gave me this super cute Vera Bradley bag, since they said every teacher needs a cute bag (I totally agree), and it was filled with things I will need for my classroom. Of course I loved this gift too!

All of my grandparents were very generous as well with their gifts, and I am so thankful for everything everyone gift me. I am most thankful for everyone just giving up their time to celebrate the day with me. It was seriously so fun, and a very special day for me.

Sunday, Ryan and I went to one of my grandparents’ house and celebrated Christmas with them, my parents, and Ben, and Kaleigh. We had Mexican pile up for lunch and played Charades. We had a blast here too, but somehow I left without taking any pictures! It’s okay though, because I am pretty sure this post has a lot of pictures already. 🙂

So that was my marvelous weekend! Obviously, this weekend was one I will always remember. It was made so special because of the people I love most. I don’t know what I would do without them.


1. Tell me something fun about your weekend?

2. Have you gone to any Christmas celebrations yet?

3. Any fun plans for this week?

4. Any good recipes I should try this week? I am grocery shopping later today.