May 05

Marvelous New Beginnings

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.


Anyone remember that song?

This weekend my family celebrated endings and beginnings.  My baby sister, Madison, graduated from college!  She’s the youngest, and the last to finish school.  Mom is celebrate not having that tuition bill – hahaha!

My cousin came along, and my other sister flew in from Portland to surprise Madi.  We loaded up the family and drove to Auburn, AL to celebrate the end of Madi’s college career.  Naturally, this started with a toast.  Or 20.


We dined in style at Auburn’s nicest restaurant, Acre.  I have been wanting to try it ever since sampling a collard wrapped sweet potato tamale the chef made at Atlanta’s Food & Wine Festival 2 years ago!  Seriously – here’s the post.

We ordered all the foods.  This is just a fraction of it!  The butter bean gnocchi was the coolest thing… but the dessert won the night.  We ordered the dessert board (bottom right below) with a sampling of everything… followed by seconds of the sweet potato bread pudding and the goat’s cheese-filled doughnut holes.  I get my love of food and wine honestly!

Acre in Auburn, AL


Let’s not talk about how we *almost* missed the graduation ceremony the next morning…

Once we safely made it to the ceremony, we toured the arena patiently waiting for Madi get her diploma.  Turns out the Tigers like to hate on my Yellow Jackets!

Auburn graduation 2014

Madi graduation



Back in Atlanta Saturday afternoon, I squeezed in a beautiful 5K run by the Chattahoochee River before heading to my mom’s for a grill out.  Those delicious eats must have done some good because it was my fastest in recent memory.  It could have also been the fear of what mom was going to say when she found out I went running instead of coming straight home for dinner as instructed.. ;)

The warm sunshine and home cooked food were the perfect way to celebrate a new chapter for everyone.  Change is in the air!  It’s an exciting time… the unknown can be a bit nerve-wracking, but life goes on and the future will be marvelous!

Chattahoochee River


I’m spending the day wrapping up things here so I can board the place to go visit Lucie in Switzerland tomorrow!!!

Do endings/new beginnings ever rattle you a little?

What did you do to celebrate your graduation?  I ate really good food.  Obv.



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  1. Debbie @ Live from La Quinta

    We had a party when I graduated. It took me a long time to get my schooling done so we had a lot to celebrate. Congrats to your sister!

  2. Melanie @ Nutritious Eats

    What a sweet family you have! And the food sounds amazing. And Switzerland, for real!? Have fabulous time!

  3. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf

    Congrats to your sister!! Sounds like you all had a fabulous celebration. That food looks amazing! Have a wonderful time in Switzerland!!

  4. Divya @ Eat. Teach. Blog.

    Congratulations to your sister!!

    I LOVED Switzerland when I visited!! I’m so jealous!

    1. Laura

      Thanks! It was absolutely amazing. :)

  5. Angela @ Happy Fit Mama

    Congrats to your sister! I love new beginnings – the potential is exhilarating! Have fun in Switzerland.

  6. Arman @ thebigmansworld

    Embrace it, buddy. Excited to hear about this change!!!

    Have a blast in a glass!

  7. Lucie@FitSwissChick

    Congrats to your sister!! You all look beautiful.
    New beginnings are good, but scary – which I think is the good thing about it. It’s a challenge and challenges mean growth. I’m so wise.
    Don’t forget your swimsuit for Canyoning!! Woohoo!

    1. lindsay

      damn it, i want to come!

      1. Laura

        Next time you HAVE to come!

  8. Jennifer F

    Congrats to your sister and oh wow — have fun in Switzerland!

  9. Carla

    Im so excited for you.
    and YES.
    the only way I get through it is by trying to focus on LOVING AND ENJOYING THE TRANSITION TIME!

  10. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast

    Congrats to your sister! What a great weekend of celebrating!

  11. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles

    Congrats to your sister! Going out for a fancy dinner is basically my favourite way to celebrate anything…although this year I’m considering Blend to be my grad celebration ;-)

    1. Laura

      Woo hoo! Can’t wait to celebrate with you!

  12. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie

    Butter bean gnocchi, sweet potato bread pudding and goat cheese filled donut holes?! Omg!! This sounds like my dream restaurant!!

    1. Laura

      It was incredible – and those were my 3 favorites!

  13. lindsay

    you leave tomorrow!?!! ahh that means i must come and sneak in your bag ASAP bro!

  14. Jody - Fit at 56

    I’d love to visit Switzerland – just watched the Amazing Race last night & they were there & the weeke before. Have a wonderful time!

    Sometimes I need changes cause it just has to be to be right & survive.. :)

    1. Laura

      I could see how Amazing Race would be fun there – so many mountains to explore!

  15. Megan (The Lyons' Share)

    Your family is so cute, and you look great! Congrats to your sister! Yes, yes, yes new beginnings and changes rattle me, but I believe the discomfort and anticipation means that the change is worth it! HAVE FUN!

  16. Wildly Morgan

    YES – I definitely get rattled by newness! We have a whole bunch of new people starting in my office today and I’m having a hard time focusing. Love the excitement of it all though :)

    1. Laura

      I get that – my ability to focus is always the first thing to go! :)

  17. Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate

    Ordering all the foods is the only way to go at restaurants. The goat cheese filled doughnut holes…I can’t even…I’m graduating (finally) in December and am freaking out a tiny bit.

    1. Laura

      You’ll be SO ready by then though! And think of the celebration meal! ;)

  18. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    If you can believe it, I have never been to any of my own “graduations” before!!! So I have no idea how to celebrate! LOL!

    1. Laura

      You’re not missing much – they are SO long and boring. The after party is where it’s at. :)

  19. Jess @ JessieBear

    Oh my word that dessert board. I need it. Also sounds like a lovely time overall!

    1. Laura

      It was a thing of beauty. ;)

  20. Megan @ The Skinny-Life

    Have a great trip! I’m so jealous.

  21. Shashi

    Congrats to your sis! I think I know what you mean – while new beginnings are exciting, they can also cause some stomach churning feelings!
    Safe travels to see Lucie – I am not very familiar with her blog- guess that needs to change!

  22. Sarah @ The Smart KItchen

    I hate change, but I love beginnings. It’s a strange paradox. I think that fear is good, even if it never seems like it at the time, you know?

    Have SO much fun abroad!!

    1. Laura

      Makes perfect sense though. What I really hate are endings. Well, most endings… some are quite welcome.

  23. Court Star @ StarSystemzFitness

    Have an amazing trip cannot wait to see all of the photos xo C

  24. Tara | Treble in the Kitchen

    Congrats on your sister’s graduation!!! :)

  25. Purelytwins

    congrats to your sister!!

  26. RavieNomNoms

    Semisonic! Loved that when I was in middle school. Am I dating myself there??

    Anyway, congrats to the baby sister how exciting!!

    I asked Patrick to let me know if there were any places in Switzerland that he really loved and he mostly goes for work, so not much time for sight seeing! I hope you have an amazing time!

    1. Laura

      Haha – if you are dated, then I am dated!

      Switzerland was amazing… so many things to see and do!!!

  27. Heather @ Better With Veggies

    I love new beginnings, but it’s always a little scary at the same time. A good kind of scary, with excitement and anticipation all rolled into the package. Have an amazing trip and post LOTS of pics!!

    1. Laura

      It was incredible!!! I’m now dedicating my life to figuring out how to live in Europe.

  28. Mary @ Fit and Fed

    Food, fun, family, sounds great! I’m looking forward to not one but two family celebrations in the near future, hope they are as fun as yours!

    1. Laura

      I bet they will be! It’s so special when we find the time to get everyone together!

  29. Jan @ Sprouts n Squats

    Looks like you had an awesome weekend! I am seriously drooling over all the food that was had. Also jealous of the warm weather you experienced we are coming into winter here and it is starting to get so cold!

    Enjoy Switzerland!!! Sure you will have a lot of fun :)

  30. Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

    Believe it or not, I actually love going for a run to clear my head when I have a major life change going on. I am going to go for one today, in fact!

    1. Laura

      This is shocking to me, coming from you. But totally get it – it can feel freeing.

  31. Allie

    Congrats to your little sis on graduating from college! That’s a big accomplishment! Have fun on your vacation, too!

  32. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets

    Now this sounds like a wonderful weekend. Good food, drinks, family…I’m working on that for this weekend. :)

  33. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli

    That dinner sounds amazing! And look at YOU wearing a dress! Congratulations to your sis…and your mom! ;) We went out to eat the night before my graduation…but it was nowhere NEAR as decadent (read: my dad was there so we ended up at a chain steak house.) Ugh! Haha!

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