Lifestyle Change Week 3....

Good afternoon lovelies!

How did last week go: 

I have completed (somewhat) the 2nd week of my 927 challenge!  I have successfully NOT had anything to drink besides water ALL WEEK LONG!  It was really hard... but I feel so much better- more energy every day!

I was a little disappointed in myself for not getting all 3 of my walk/jogs in this week... and if you live in Kansas City- you know why... we had rain several mornings this week.  There are only a few mornings a week I could even walk/jog and all but 1 were filled with rainy mornings.  Maybe I should have gone anyway- rain or shine.  But I'm not quite that hard core.  I really need to get involved at a gym.  That will be a commitment I work on over the next few weeks - as the weather gets colder and colder. 

I do LOVE fall though! I can't wait to make my first batch of chili!! Especially if the Chiefs are going to play like champs every week!! 

What to look forward to this week:

Completing my goals this week.  I'm also really excited for another week of only water.  I actually lost 3lbs this week which I am super stoked about!  I really think its b/c I'm only drinking water!

Possible set backs to completing this week's goals:

Again- not completing my walk/jogs because of weather issues.  I have things every evening during the week- which only allows for weekends and mornings to get to job done.  But I will try really hard to motivate myself to get it done regardless of when I have to go!

Best encouragement this week:

The emails I've received- thank you all so much for taking interest and sharing motivation with me! :)

This week's verse:

"To know wisdom and instruction, 
  To perceive the words of understanding,"Proverbs 1:2

New goals added this week:

1. Start getting at least 8 hours of sleep.--  (this will be a tough one)
2. Take 1 struggle and simply say NO to it for the rest of the challenge.
3. Start journaling feelings after each day is over. 'Was it hard?, Did you do anything you wish you hadn't?, What was the best part of your day? and What was your worst?'

Goals that I plan to carry over week to week:

1. Water ONLY (no pop/lemonade/tea/coffee/etc)
2. Walk/jog 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes
3. Keep food log each day
4. Pray daily about this challenge and for the strength to say no and make healthier choices

How have you been healthy this week? Share some of your favorite tips? 
I need all I can get! :)


Oh Dr. Pepper... how I miss thee....

"Maybe just sip wouldn't hurt anything"


"Who could I get to drink the rest of the can after just a sip? It would be a shame to waste a good Dr. Pepper"


"Who are you kidding Ray, if I open that can... I WILL be the one to finish that can"


Just wanted to include you in my internal conflict today...

Dear internet,

I did NOT give in... please be proud! 3 days and no Dr. Pepper or headache amazingly enough... which caffeine headache was always my excuse to give back into the wonderfulness that is Dr. Pepper.  Ohhhh no... God has some great stuff up His sleeves this week!  Keep it comin' Big Guy ;)



Lifestyle Change Week #2

Good evening lovelies! Lets dive right in...

How did last week go:

Went pretty well.  I was able to write out everything I ate each day.  I will admit- I wasn't always proud of the choices I made each day.  But I guess that is part of the process.  I also did walk/jog 3 times throughout the week!  I was really excited about that one.

What to look forward to this week:

Completing another set of goals!

Possible set backs to completing this week's goals:

Um.... I was on vacation last week which made completing those goals fairly easy.   This week I actually have to get up every morning to work- which means getting up earlier- yikes!

I would also say that the 'honeymoon' stage has already started to wear off... lets just face it.

Best encouragement this week:

Well- one of my readers and family members, Jess (Scott's cousin- but I'm totally glad to claim her), read my post last week and later that day she emailed me the '927 Challenge' which she found on another blog.  She was especially excited because the first week's challenge was essentially what I had set out to complete!  As I read through the challenge, I got more and more excited about it!  So- I am going to attempt to complete the 927 Challenge, which gets its name because it is 9 weeks long and there are 27 items to achieve during the 9 weeks.  Even cooler is that there is a Bible verse assigned to each week to meditate on!  If you are interested in doing this challenge with me and want a copy of the entire thing- just shoot me an email and I'd be glad to forward it on!

This week's verse:

Psalm 28:7
"The LORD is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,
And with my song I will praise Him."

New goals added this week:

1. Make a list of reasons I believe I struggle with weight (include what I do struggle with most)
2. Find an outfit that I can't fit in and take a picture of it on or near me.
3. Drink water throughout the day (basically I'm going to attempt to JUST SAY NO to pop, tea and any other drink that isn't water this week)
4. *Walk/jog at least 3 times this week (adding 10 minutes each time from last week- from 30-40 minutes)
5. *Pray daily for this challenge and for the strength to say no to laziness and bad decisions.
6. *Keep a food log of everything I eat each day along with all exercise done each day

*Items that have been carried over from previous weeks*

How are you staying healthy this week?

Week 1

Good morning lovelies!

Here it is... an attempt to lose weight.  I have wanted this for a very long time and have tried diet after diet only to find that after a month it is hardly a doable lifestyle change.

So here I am, internet, ready for a public attempt.  This will not be easy... I am going to post at least once a week with my current goals for the week along with any progress.   Now this is where you come in... I am going to need some hard core motivation and support from you!

Week 1 Goals:

1. Walk/Jog at least 3 times
2. utilize 'Lose It' application everyday- which helps count daily calories

How can you help?
I'd love suggestions for goals, motivation, encouragement, Biblical support and reminders...

OK... I'm going to work on completing goal #1 by going for a jog... well mostly walk with some jogging here and there- until I get back in the swing of jogging!

But before I go I wanted to update ya:
*I started my MBA program last week- yay!!
*Our church has a prospective pastor- you have no idea how exciting that is!  Even more exciting... I actually like what I've heard about him so far...
*I'm on vacation this entire week- a much needed break- and a perfect time to start my lifestyle change

OK... I'm off for a jog- I'd love to get updated on your lives!  Please let me know how you've been!


Post-It Worthy Moments....

Hello lovelies!  I know, I know... I have missed you too!! I am really trying to get back into the swing of the blog world... I have had SEVERAL post-it worthy moments since my last post... so I thought I'd share a few....

What are some of YOUR post-it worthy moments?!


Latest craft....

Hey lovelies!  

So here is a short update:

I have really been feeling like I need to invest more time soaking in the Lord's promises... I grew up in a Christian home, and know the usual stories... however... I don't always live life as if I deep deep down truly believe His promises.  I was challenged by Beth Moore at her 'So Long Insecurities' conference to make a spiral of notecards with several of His promises on them- with the hopes to truly allow the Lord to change my heart.  

The current video study that my ladies group is going through is put on by Beth Moore as well.  She poses a very sobering question... "Do you believe in your heart of hearts that God is a giver or a taker".  This was really revolutionizing for me.  She asked... "Have you ever thought, 'I'm not sure I want to do this whole 'God thing'; how much will he take from me in able to receive His glory out of me?".... I have never thought about that exact thought... but wow... I have believed that He is a taker rather than a giver- more than once.  Praise the Lord, He IS a GIVER- NOT A TAKER!  That will be a promise on one of my pretty cards.

OK... that was longer than I intended.... now for the craft:

It started with a stack of beautiful scrapbook paper (this was my favorite one!)

Now time to cut the paper into 'index card' size pieces- with the help of my lovely assistant, Jen!  I made a few of these creations a couple of weeks ago.. and tonight- girls night- we decided to make her one and I could always use more!

Adorable, right?! I decided that the square edges weren't doing anything for me... so I rounded the edges with one of my handy scrapbook tools! 
The next step is to place double sided tape on one and tape 2 pieces together- they are much stronger- and way cuter!

This was my first batch- with the cute ring for easy portability!

I ended up with enough to make 2- so here they are!!

OK... so you noticed I don't have any verses/promises on them yet.... I'm still trying to decide how I want to put those on there- I'm not gifted in the 'hand-writting' arena... so I'll be using the good ol' cute fonts and printer option... however- I'm thinking about crinkling the pages and making them look vintage before I put them on... but I'm still trying to come up with all options!  

So... basically what I'm trying to say is... be continued......

Hope you have a wonderful wednesday, lovelies! 


What I've been up to...

A few weeks ago Scott and I went to my favorite BBQ - Jack Stack! YUM!  My favorite location is at the plaza- hands. down.

Well... so pictures are not allowed of this amazing sandwich... or maybe as soon as the plate was put in front of me... I could not think about anything else but enjoying every last bite... not sure.  But there was a beautiful turkey sandwich on that plate...

They bring you out the original BBQ sauce as well as some of the hot sauce... both are wonderful

These are the MUST HAVE sides- Bakes BBQ beans and Cheesy Corn! yum!

Ok... on to other adventures... I recently visited my Alma Mater for my brother-in-law's college graduation... well after some begging- Scott and I got in town early enough that morning to get breakfast at my FAVORITE place downtown Bolivar, MO- if you ever travel through- you must stop by (between 11-2) and get some french toast and coffee (doesn't matter if you like coffee or not... you. must. have. some.)

So many study sessions behind those doors... ahhh.. college memories

Ok... on to my final adventure for this post... my front yard...

Ok... here is where my ANTI-green thumb starts showing itself... as these weird plant/treewannabe things were growing in the area around my tree- I was really concerned as to what they would look like once they were in full bloom- I really thought they were mini trees before they started growing those little bulbs.... I wanted Scott to yank them out... but boy am I glad I decided to wait until I could see what they really were first...

UHHH.... I. KNOW. RIGHT?!  THIS is what came from those once ugly treewannabe plant things... oh my word... absolutely breath taking- when I saw the first one bloom... I was floored!  Well needless to say... I'm obsessed with my beautiful Lilies that live under the tree in my front yard...

I can't wait until they have ALL bloomed!!!

God is so good.  These remind me of how beautiful I am to Him as one of His own... and yet how ugly with sin I was before He saved me... I love that He reminds me of this truth- with. a. flower.  wow.

And now I can't get enough of them... The color... just so amazing.

There are beautiful white lilies too!!! 

These things have made my day.... what makes your day?


To Do in 2010 update...

Dear internet,
I am sadly behind in completing my 'To Do in 2010' list.  As you recall from my last update... I have completed a few of my 2010 bucket list... I wish I could report that I have EVEN more to cross off than I did last time... but I cannot.  However, I do have a few to cross off:

#1- Mend an old friendship-  Yes, I feel like I have accomplished this!  It feels wonderful. 

#2- frame the amazing painting my brother got me in Florence, Italy- I finally found a home for this beautiful painting!  I got it stretched at good ol' Hobby Lobby a month or two ago.  It is beautifully displayed on my white shelves in my living room!

#5- Work out routinely- Ok... this is kind of true... I would like to at least acknowledge my progress! Scott and I have been playing tennis lately... lets just say... I. LOVE. TENNIS. I didn't have a very good year last season... and this year I'm starting off with a bang- which helps the desire to play more!  This has been a great work out!

#16- daily find something I'm thankful for and praise the Lord for it- The last week or so I have really been overwhelmed with these daily thankful things... and I wanted to share a few with you.. (in no particular order) :) 
   * Old friends- they are some of the BEST gifts a person can have
   * Husband- the list as to why could be endless here- so I'll just leave you with how bless I feel to have Scott as a part of my life- God totally knows what He is doing!
   * Youth-  The past 6 months or so Scott and I have been sponsors for our youth group and I feel SO blessed to live life with these youngsters!  I learn so much from them... to be honest- I was expecting to do more of the teaching than the learning
   * Family- they are ALWAYS there.  I often take this fact for granted. sadly. 
   * Lilies- K... I thought I had weird weed/plant/tree things growing in the area around my tree in the front yard- well good thing I didn't have Scott yank them out- they are LILIES! They are so stinkin' BEAUTIFUL!!!

Ok... well I will leave you with these- I am still working on most of the rest!  I'd love to hear some of your favorite things... or something you should be proud of for completing in 2010!! 


Post-it worthy moments...

I'd love to hear some of YOUR post-it worthy moments of this week!?!


So long insecurities....

Confession:  I have been avoiding you.  I know… horrible right?  Let me explain…. I have been putting off a very important issue that my heart has really been dealing with lately…. I knew my next post HAD to be a ‘Real Ray’ moment… and 15 days later… (I’m a little stubborn…) here I am.  Transparent.

I struggle with insecurity.  There it is… I said it. 

What do I mean by ‘insecurity’?  Beth Moore expresses it so well in her book, So Long Insecurities

“Insecurity refers to a profound sense of self-doubt—a deep feeling of uncertainty about our basic worth and our place in the world.  Insecurity is associated with chronic self-consciousness, along with a chronic lake of confidence in ourselves and anxiety about our relationships.  The insecure man or woman lives in constant fear of rejection and a deep uncertainty about whether his or her own feelings and desires are legitimate.”

Beth goes on to suggest that not ALL of this definition has to be true to you in order to be insecure… so if there is even one ounce of truth that touches your core… whether you want to admit it or not… you MUST set your insecurities aside (or place a paper bag over your head) and GO GET THIS BOOK.  This book has seriously challenged me to the core…. I have been putting this post off partly because by putting this ‘out there’ I am promising to attempt to change… which is kind of scary- worth it… but scary.

“ Most of us have what I’ll call a prominent false positive: one thing that we think would make us more secure in all things.”

When I read this… a few ‘false positives’ immediately came to mind…
1.     Ideal weight
2.     Perfect clothes
3.     Perfect hair
4.     Ideal beauty

I absolutely love my Thursday night group of (6-8) girls because we are all VERY different and yet we have developed such a strong bond with one another.  Some of us have the same false positives… some of us don’t… but regardless I am more challenged after the night is over than I would be just reading the book by myself. This is why I think it is SO important to live life with one another… to experience these new revelations – big or small- with one another… to challenge each other… to be kept accountable by one another.  I know that if I miss a Thursday night… that I am missed… I know that someone will be checking up with me… whether it’s to be sure everything is ok… or to be sure I wasn’t ‘skipping out’ to avoid some un-wanted accountability…. I’ve been guilty of that.  BUT.. I’m so blessed to have a group like this… there is real transparency within this group… which is so beautiful. 

Chapter 9 REALLY impacted me- to my core.  This chapter prepares you for a time of silence and solitude with the Lord.  I usually don’t tend to like it when authors ask their reader to ‘do’ things during the book… but I decided to ACTUALLY participate and it truly blessed me.  Beth provides a prayer that in fact touched me.  Over and over I kept thinking, ‘Lord..  You had her share this prayer JUST for me… didn’t You?’ 

Well… I could go on and on about all the amazing things from this book…. BUT I’d rather just give you a taste and entice you to grab a copy at your local Borders and read it yourselves.  If you do… I would LOVE to hear your thoughts as you go through the book.  If you’ve already read the book… I’d love to hear about the parts that touched you the most!

Have a wonderful week, lovelies!


Open the Gates...

Thinking of taking a trip to Kansas City?!  Want to try the best barbeque from the HOME of BBQ?! Well... let me share with you the top 3 barbeque joints in KC!

Top 3... in order:
1. Jack Stack BBQ
2. Gates BBQ
3. Oklahoma Joe's BBQ

Now... if you mention this order to Scott... he'd tell you I have it all wrong... his favorite is Gates!  Well tonight he was feeling the itching for some true KC BBQ... so we hopped in the car and went down to Gates!  It's a win-win for me... b/c it is right by one of my favorite features of Kansas City... THE PLAZA!

Don't worry... this isn't going to be a boring picture-less post... I had to bring Mr. Sony so that I could take you on our adventure! :)
So...In true "Show Me" fashion...

Tonight... we visit #2 Gates Barbeque!

A couple of things you should know beforehand:
1. the quote on this tray "Hi, may I help you?" That IS what they are yelling at you ... really it is.
2. They are not rude... they are just playing the part... Gates is KNOWN for this atmosphere... and knowing that before you visit makes the experience much better!
#3. You think you have the entire line to figure out what you want... not so much... they will continue to take orders way before you get to the counter... so be ready! - Don't be scared... really.

Wow.... I know... I'll wait as you get a towel for the drool...
K.. glad you're back :)

THIS is my favorite thing at Gates. Single Turkey... and an order of fries.  Now.. this picture is actually of Scott's plate which is a Regular Turkey- which is WAY bigger than what I can handle... and we have to share the fries... look at that plate full! YUM!  
They have AMAZING smoked turkey... words can't describe...
Scott is totally and completely in love with their fries... he would describe them as "the perfectly crunch outside, with the smoothest soft inside"

Scott's first bite... look at that face... pure glee.  (k... it may not really look like 'pure glee'... but trust me.. it's there) 

#5. You'll need to be sure and have several of these...

Empty plate... on to the fries dipped in his favorite barbeque sauce.

Scott's tummy is full... MISSION. ACCOMPLISHED. 

What is YOUR favorite BBQ?


Trip down memory lane #4....AND Show us your life!

Happy Friday, lovelies!!  If you have not seen episode 1, 2, or 3 you should check them out!!

I noticed that the topic this week on SHOW US YOUR LIFE is how you met your husband! This episode kind of goes along with that!..

Here was the cliff hanger from the last episode....

This is me and my best friend April.... We are so TOTALLY excited because.....

Scott asked the question every little girl dreams of hearing one day... I think it went something like...
Scott: "Raylene Nicole Powell, will you marry me?"  
Raylene: in shock "yyyeeESSSSSSS!!"

Scott gets TOTAL bragging rights... he had the most adorable engagement planned ever!!!
What? you want to hear the story? Ok... I guess I'll share :)

Scott and I have been friends since high school... we graduated together and became best friends during college.... we dated for a little over a year before getting engaged and go married around a year and 1/2 of being together... but it can happen... I DID marry my best friend!!! 

Scott truly knows me.. and if anyone knows me.. they know that I lOVE to plan things.  So...  here is the story...  Our friend Tim calls me and says, "We should plan a surprise birthday party for Scott before you go back to school." I of course think this is a GREAT idea.  So Tim instructs me to invite our close friends to Jack Stack (best BBQ in KC), and give him the # and he will take care of the reservations.  Well of course this was a great plan because Scott had been wanting to take me there all summer b/c I had never had it before- oddly enough.  So... I invite all our friends and I got Scott to take me there!  Well Scott had a great idea to go to the park by the Plaza (which was normal... we went there a few times that summer)... I thought that was a great plan- a way to be sure everyone got there before I brought him!  
So we are walking around the park and Scott leads me over towards a path... and right off the path was this table and it had flowers and the box I decoupaged him to put cards and such in... there were pictures of us all over this lace covered table... it was beautiful!  Well I didn't see any of this as we approached it because this random lady was laying on a beach towel 'sun bathing'... except she was in a complete pant suit.... so I was so confused by this... I was really distracted! This was to Scott's advantage though... I didn't see the table until we came right up to it!  He was like, "I knew about your plan all along."  Well.. this didn't register right away... so I said.. "WHO TOLD YOU?!?!" thinking someone had totally spilled the beans about the surprise party!  Well he then opened the box and inside was all my letters... and another little black box...he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!!! It was one of my favorite moments ever! I said yes... of course and we hugged and kissed!  The he said... 'come on our guys'! Tim was video taping and my best friend, April was taking pictures! It was amazing!! I am a huge scrapbooker.. and I always thought it'd be great to get that documented!!
So we get to Jack Stack and all of our close friends and our parents were there!  (which is why Tim did the reservations... to include our families) So... Scott let me plan our engagement party... all along thinking it was his birthday bash! :)  It was amazing!!

We were right next to Kauffman Garden... so we went and took engagement pictures in the garden! It was so funny b/c we actually matched that day... and no it was not planned that way!

I love these pictures... because they are actually candid... we weren't posing for any of them... but April got the best moments! She was a great photographer :)

THE ring!  This is another thing that earns Scott some bragging rights!  April and I went shopping for rings... and I gave her the task of sharing my favorites with Scott and he could get a variation of what I liked.  He is a sweet man... but he doesn't really have an interest or an eye in jewelry.  So I knew he'd need to know my taste! Well he got my DREAM ring.  That ring that you pick out and wish you could get but know it is not likely!  Well thats the one he picked!  From my favorite local jeweler... Tivol!  They have a store down at the plaza.. so beautiful!  He did a great job!

We're kind of weird. We are well aware of that fact. :)

Well... there is the engagement history!  

Hope you all have a great weekend! Tomorrow I get to attend a simulcast of Beth Moore's conference about her new book, So Long Insecurities!  I'm so excited!



Good afternoon lovelies!  Today has been a GOOD day!  I got to experience the overwhelmingness that is HomeGoods with Stacey.  It was hard to take everything in... I don't think I could go in that store without picking up an amazing find!  We started off the afternoon with a much needed lunch... Stacey introduced me to a new place downtown Mission, KS... it is amazing!  I should have taken a picture of it to share with you

These are some of my amazing finds this afternoon!  2 neat shelves, a gift box that I LOVE and some micro-fiber cloths! I also got this cute rug for my 1/2 bathroom on our main level!

I think it looks really good with the green walls... and it is a pretty small space... fits perfectly!

Now... I have also been working on some 'home decor' projects... here is my progress... I'd LOVE your thoughts!

Project #1.  This wall is in our living room (down a couple of steps from the open kitchen/dining area)  
I have finally decided what I think this wall needs...

Thanks to the wonderful prices at Target... I found these adorable shelf set

Here is the result!  I don't know if this is the final draft of what I will arrange on them.  But I would LOVE your thoughts here.  I need a good place for this beautiful painting... my brother got this for me while in Florence, Italy!  I. LOVE. IT. So I need a place to display it so everyone can see!

Project #2. I have been trying to decide if I need to do something different with my mantle.  I am on the search for some white framed mirrors to hang above the fireplace... or 1 giant mirror... who knows... it is really hard for me to decide on this stuff.  

***side note***  We painted the fireplace white- so please ignore the off-white tile b/c we have plans to change them, along with the fireplace front thing. 

Here is a close-up of the mantel... I would love any suggestions you may have.

Ok... I got these adorable vase filler wicker balls... any thoughts on how to use them?  I have a few empty vases I can try... but.. I was hoping to get some other ideas from my lovely readers! - No pressure.... :)

Hope you all have a great Saturday... I'm heading on a date with the hubby!