Saturday, December 11, 2010

a story -

there once was a girl who wanted to live a healthy lifestyle.

so, on October 11, 2010, she began her weight loss journey. she knew it was going to be a long process, but she was determined. she began eating better and exercising more.

sometimes, it was a bit overwhelming. but, with the love and support of her amazing husband and family and friends, she continued. yes, sometimes she gave in to her temptations. she didn't have it all figured out. she still struggled, but at least she was trying.

sometimes it was very hard. the girl kept going, though. one day at a time. one decision at a time. and she celebrated the little victories.

after awhile, she started to notice a few things. her clothes were fitting a bit looser. the number on the scale was getting smaller. even her face was beginning to change.

one month after this journey began, she went to the doctor. the nurse called her back and asked her to step on the scale. the girl prayed it would say what she had hoped it would say. she waited for the number to flash onto the screen.

the number that came on the screen told the girl she had lost 13 pounds in 1 month! she couldn't help but smile. all her hard work was paying off. she was actually doing it.

her husband was so proud of her, that he promised that after she lost another 10 pounds, she would get a new winter coat. hello, motivation.

month two was a bit harder. she got sick one weekend, which prevented her from working out. also, the excitement of starting this journey was waning. the newness of it all, the excitement of starting a new journey was fading fast. and then there was this little thing we all like to call, Thanksgiving. but she did her best to make good decisions. she lost some more weight, gained some back, and maintained the weight she was at. she was feeling a bit discouraged, but was determine to keep losing.

on december 11, 2010, exactly two months after she started her weight loss journey, she stepped on the scale again. to her excitement, she saw she had lost a total of 22 pounds since she had started. she was so excited. the second digit of the number on the scale hadn't been that small in a long time. in fact, she couldn't remember the last time it had been that small. since she had started, she had seen 4 different numbers in that second spot of that 3-digit number, and this was the lowest one yet.

ok, yes, this girl is me. when i started, i had set a goal to lose 30 pounds by my friend, Paige's, wedding - that's about 10 pounds a month. i have less than a month to lose 8 pounds in order to reach my goal. and i am 1.5 pounds away from getting my coat.

setting these small goals has been very helpful. i have a goal every month: 10 pounds. i have a 3 month goal: 30 pounds by the wedding and looking good in my bridesmaid dress. :D and i have smaller goals, with rewards: 10 pounds = a new coat. after the wedding, my next goal will be my brother's wedding in may, as well as setting smaller goals with rewards along the way. setting these goals for myself keeps me motivated and the rewards give me something to work towards. losing weight and getting healthy are definitely rewards in and of themselves. but since i have a lot of weight to lose, it can feel overwhelming and like it's going to take me forever to get my "reward." so the little rewards along the way (that don't involve food) are very helpful.

so, that is my story so far. there is still much more to be written.
i still have struggles.
i still have a long ways to go to get to my goal weight - but i am about 1/5 of the way there - that's HUGE (no pun intended. ha)!
i still have fears.
i still don't have this all figured out - i am still learning, growing, researching, trying new things, and trying to figure out what a healthy lifestyle means and looks like for me and my family.

thanks for reading my story and celebrating with me.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

well...hello, there.

hello all -
a lot has changed since i last blogged and i thought i would update those that are interested.
*warning - this is quite a long post, but i wanted to share all that has been happening in our lives. so please bare with me.

in July, Chris was let go from his position as worship/assistant pastor at a church we were at for 8 weeks. long story short - the church told him he didn't do anything wrong, that it was their fault, and that he couldn't have done anything better, but for some reason (that we still don't really know) they didn't feel that it was a good fit. we were stunned, shocked, confused, angry, saddened - and so many other feelings all combined. we knew God was in control, but we felt so lost and confused. we were very hurt, and still are stinging from the pain, but we are trusting that God will bring beauty from this situation and will be glorified.

in August, i got a job at Starbucks. during my first shift, i got a call from the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) and they offered me a job. i quit Starbucks the next day and started at DCS on August 23rd.
this job is a huge blessing to us financially and it will give me great experience. with that said, i am still very anxious about the job. for a long time (after accepting the position) i didn't feel a peace about it. i continually prayed that God would give me a peace about the job. one day, as i was praying, i realized that God had given me a peace about the job. i knew that DCS is where i am supposed to be right now. the feeling that i thought was a lack of peace was really an anxiousness about the work i would be doing. i will see and experience many difficult situations, there is an overwhelming amount of paperwork, and the hours sometimes fluctuate with the needs of the families i will be working with. also, i felt like it was a big commitment that i wasn't sure i was ready to make. i hadn't really pictured myself in a very structured, full time, working for the state kind of job. i planned on being a pastor's wife who worked in the community to help pay the bills and gain experience in my field. well, i am definitely gaining experience - it just looks a lot different than what i had in mind. but this is not my life, my plans - it is God's. things are getting better at work - i am feeling less anxious about the work, but i am having to daily put my will and plans aside and let God be in control. (this is very hard for my controlling/type A personality).

chris got a job last week at Starbucks (the one that i worked at for four hours). :D since he worked at Starbucks before, he got caught up quickly and was making drinks his first day back. everyone there LOVES him. they are always saying how great and fast he is. and the girls he works with love the fact that he cleans up after himself. ha. many of the shift supervisors called the manager on his first and second days to tell the manager that they loved him. they kept asking the manager, "where did you find this guy?" and "can we keep him?" haha. even though Starbucks is not where Chris wants to be forever, he is happy to be doing something he is good at and making some extra money for us.

three weeks after Chris was let go from the church, we met some new friends, John and Danielle Freed. John and Danielle are planting a church in Noblesville (about 25 minutes from our house). John facebooked Chris on a Wednesday, and they met for the first time and had coffee on Thursday morning. Thursday night, C and I were at their house for a BBQ. and that Sunday, we went to their church, Waterline. that Sunday was the church's second time meeting, so we got in at the ground floor. we fell in love with John and Danielle (and their son Dean), and with Waterline. when C lost his job, we prayed that God would give us a church where we felt safe and could heal, with friends that would understand our situation and love on us. it's been 9 weeks today since we started going to Waterline. we have jumped in and started serving - which is something we didn't think we would be able to do so quickly after being hurt so badly by a church. and we are loving it. we have no idea why God brought us to Indy. we don't know why we were let go from a church so soon after C started. we don't know why we are still here. but we are seeking God and trying our best to follow him through it all.

i don't want to sugar coat it, though. it is still really hard. we often still feel lonely and frustrated that we aren't "on staff" at a church, living the life we had planned. we struggle with the fact that we are so far away from family (except for Shay and Haley at IWU). we often feel that although we do have some close friends, we don't have very many friends nearby.

the lease on our house is not up until May. so - here we are, in McCordsville, IN. it's not a bad place - it's just out of the way - like 20 minutes from EVERYTHING (except Walmart). we feel kind of stuck. not sure what God has planned for us in the future, and really not entirely sure what he wants from us now. so as for right now - we are working at the jobs he has provided for us, we are enjoying building relationships with our new (and old) friends. we love serving at Waterline. and we are praying and seeking God's will for us come May 2011.

i don't mean to sound down or give you the impression we are moping around all the time - we are not. i just wanted to give you all an honest update of ours lives. i enjoy writing, and i feel that writing and this blog are a way for me to get my feelings out and share with friends and family what is going on with the Sniders.

as a side note - Ace is getting big. some days he is more mellow, but most days he is still very puppy. we are having trouble getting him to obey - so we are trying to work on that. i let him out in the front yard yesterday without a leash and he took off running. i chased him, but that faster i ran, the faster he would run. i finally caught him about a block away from our house. so yes - obedience is something we are working on. ha.

well, this post is quite long. if you read all the way through, i am impressed and grateful. :D
please pray for us as we continue on this crazy journey. we know God has a plan for us. we are just learning that our plans are not always His plans, and that we simply need to trust him.

love you all -
~The Sniders.

Thursday, July 22, 2010



meet Ace -

he is a pit bull mix. we think he has lab and boxer in him, but we aren't totally sure. he is 5 months old, a biter, pees a lot, very cute, and we LOVE him!

how we got him:
my birthday was on saturday, and chris surprised me with him. chris went to the pound on thursday and he adopted Ace. he had to be neutered, so we add to wait all weekend. finally on tuesday, we were able to go pick him up from the pet hospital.

the first day was a little rough. he peed at least 4-5 times IN the house. by the afternoon we got him on a very strict schedule of going outside every 1/2 hour. this helped a lot. it's the second day and he has only peed 2 in the house - and it was on hard surfaces. PROGRESS!

he likes to bite. we think it is just to play and get our attention. he doesn't seem like he's doing it to be mean, but it still hurts. so we are trying to nip that little issue in the bud.

he seems like a fast learner, but he is still very puppy and is still getting used to us (and vise versa).

we have wanted a puppy for a very long time, and we are so excited to finally have him as a part of our family.

the experience:
adopting a dog is nothing like adopting a child, but there was still this anticipation of another being joining our family. the weekend seemed to drag on FOREVER. we worked on the yard on saturday to get it ready for an inspection (we ended up not needing to be inspected because we are outside of the county), but it felt like we were preparing the house for him. we went shopping (multiple trips) to get a collar, leash, food/water bowls, toys, treats, food, bed, etc. we couldn't wait for this little guy to come home. by monday - we were ready for him to be here.

tuesday we went to get him and it was very exciting! we had a bit of a drive and he sat in my lap in the front seat for about half of it. he just wanted to be with us. :D

it took him awhile to get used to us and to the new place. he is still adjusting, but things are getting better. the first night we had him chris said how crazy it is that he hasn't done anything (except pee on our carpet) and we love him. we just do. we love him because he's him and because he's ours.

like i said - getting a dog is not the same as having or adopting a child, but i think the same principle applies - we love him - and he didn't do a thing to deserve that love. also reminds me of God's love for me - i don't deserve it, but he loves me because i am his. end of story.

so needless to say, this pup is teaching us a lot. he is teaching us love and patience. he is exposing us to what it will be like to have kids. he is so cute and lovable and all you want to do is roll around on the floor with him. it's only been 2 days, but it has been quite an experience.

love -
Lauren, Chris, and Ace

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


this is just a quick post to ask you all for prayer.

i found out from Starbucks yesterday that it doesn't look like they have any job openings. so i am back to looking for a job. i have some applications in around town, but nobody has called yet.

also, chris is still trying to figure out his whole job and how everything works. it's stressful trying to figure things out as you are doing them.

so please pray for us as we continue this new journey and as we seek what the Lord has in store for us.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010


some big things have happened since i blogged last:

1. chris and i graduated from IWU!
2. chris got the assistant/worship pastor at Harvest Church ( in McCordsville, IN (just outside of Indianapolis)
3. we moved into our new home (we are renting), and we love it! (some pics are on FB)
4. we went to CA for two weeks to visit family and friends before chris started his job
5. June 1 - chris started at Harvest

i am still looking for a job - your prayers would be greatly appreciated for that!

we are loving our new church and the people there. we have already made some great friends, and we are excited to see what God has in store for us in the coming years.

in other news: i think i am going to start a blog just for my photography - i know i have said this before, but i really mean it this time....i think. :D i want this blog to be more a place to share about our lives in general (including pics), but i want the other one to be devoted to photography...we shall see.

things are great, but all of this change has been hard. being away from family has probably been the most difficult. also, me not having a job has been hard. change is good, but i have been feeling very up and down lately. sometimes i feel great and am excited. other times, i feel low and lonely. i don't mean to bring anybody down - i just want to be honest, and ask that you all keep us in your prayers. i hope that my honesty will help you all know better how to pray for us.

seriously, though, things are good. we are just anxious to see what God is going to do.

thanks for your prayers.
love you all.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Break 2010!

a couple of weeks ago was our spring break. we went to New Jersey with out friends, Sam and Sean. we went to Sam's parent's house. it was beautiful, and we had such a great time.

on monday, they took us around Sparta, NJ (where her parent's live). we saw the town, took some pictures, and had lots of fun.

all of us! (ephraim|photography)

love him.

sam and sean (ephraim|photography)


there was a lot of snow (those are benches) (e|p)

on tuesday, we relaxed a lot and stayed in our pj's most of the day. in the afternoon, we went sledding...sort of. the guys made a path in their backyard between some trees. so sean slid down. then sam slid down. then i slid down - right into a tree. that was the end of the sledding. i hit my leg so hard, i thought i broke it. i didn't, but i got a big cut, a swollen leg, and a nasty bruise.

on wednesday, i wrapped my leg up good and we headed into New York City. we went and saw Mary Poppins on Broadway - AMAZING! we did some site-seeing, then went to dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. it was such an awesome experience.

the city view from central park at dusk (e|p)

c and i in front of rockefeller center

chris with 3 FDNY guys (we took this for his dad
who is a fire captain) (e|p)

in times square

chris - at the mother-ship :D (e|p)

thursday, we did some homework and relaxed a lot. sam's mom teaches a jazzercize class, so sam and i went to that while the boys stayed home and cooked dinner. it was DELICIOUS!

friday, we headed back to NYC to see everything we didn't get to see on wednesday. we went to the "top of the rock" (the top of the rockefellar center). we went down to wall street, saw ground zero, and went into a little church right next to ground zero.

lady liberty. (ephraim|photography)

the view from "the top of the rock" (e|p)


"wall st." obviously. (e|p)

empire state building (ephraim|photography)

saturday, sam, sean, chris, and i made the long (and sad) drive back to marion. we had so much fun, though. it was truly a relaxing week (even though we did a lot, too).

hope you enjoyed seeing our adventures.


Sunday, February 14, 2010


happy valentine's day, blog world.

Chris and I both worked last night, so after church we came up to Ft. Wayne (we are currently still there, sitting in Panera Bread doing homework). we went to a yummy italian restaurant that we have been to at least 3 of the 4 v-days that we have been in Indiana. (we can't remember for sure what we did sophomore year. ha). we did some shopping (browsing, really). then we came to panera to get some homework done.

life has been alright. busy. busy. busy. 75 days until graduation! so excited about that! we are busy with school, work, and ministry. a couple of the female youth leaders and i are starting a bible study with some high school girls. we are super excited about that, but that is one more commitment. also, FUSION (IWU youth conference) is picking up pace. pretty much after spring break life will be even crazier! fun, but crazy!

confession: i haven't kept up with my picture everyday of 2010 plan. i was just getting tired of taking virtually the same picture, and i didn't have the time to really put forth the effort to create a good picture. i haven't stopped all together. i am still trying to take pictures consistently, learn more about photography, look at things with a photographer's eye, and practice when i can. plus, it's only february...there will be plenty more pictures taken this year! :D

Chris and i are on the job hunt for after graduation. we have talked to a couple of churches, but nothing is official. please be praying with and for us as we figure out what God wants for us and where he wants us to be. we want to be obedient, but that is SOOO easier said than done. we really appreciate your prayers!

that is all for now.


p.s. sorry, no pics this time...will try to post some in my next post

Thursday, January 21, 2010

the beginning of the end

hello blog readers...
i thought it was time to blog again. :D

the last semester of college has begun - and WOW - we really jumped into this semester. chris and i are already starting to feel super busy.

one thing i am very excited about this semester is that i am on the staff for FUSION. FUSION is IWU's conference for high school students. they come to campus, here bands, play games, listen to a speaker, go to seminars, etc. kind of like a mini youth convention. I am in charge of bands and security - and i am super excited because SWITCHFOOT is coming! so life will get crazy as FUSION approaches, but it will be exciting!

also, i know a guy who is a photographer who decided his new year's resolution was to take a picture everyday of 2010. i really liked this idea, so i started to do this, too. i'm not gonna lie - i have missed a couple of days, but it is giving me great practice and is helping me to see things from a photographer's eye.

i started a flickr account, but i haven't had the chance to really develop it - but it is coming. until are some of the pictures i have taken so far this year.