Tuesday

Post-It Moments of the day...

Hey lovelies!  I got this amazing idea from a fellow blogger and I always enjoy reading her post-it notes.  So I thought I would borrow the idea and create some post-it messages of my own!
















What are some of your 'post-it moments' of today?

Monday

Today's Favorites...


1. MCALISTER'S IS NOW OPENED IN LEE'S SUMMIT!



2. I got out of class 30 minutes early


3. the sun was out ALL day


4. I did NOT come home to a flooded basement

5. Scott planted our tulips- can't WAIT for them to bloom


This has been a GREAT day!


PS: Have you all every been to McAlister's?  Ok... if the answer is no, you must drop what you're doing and find the nearest one and go!  They have the best sweet tea (besides my momma's homemade) AND they have great soups, salads, sandwiches, and cookies! If the answer is yes, what is your favorite thing at McAlister's?!

Friday

Yes, it's THAT time of year...

ahhhh..... everything in me smiles with the fresh air that Spring brings!

I had to update my blog look because my blog was screaming for some spring lovin!!

I have gotten to begin one of my favorite things in the world... spring joggin... I'm not sure why I limit this to spring... I think I typically get burnt out... and then it gives me something to look forward to the next time spring comes. Hmm... I should probably work on changing that.

Top 10 Favorite things about spring...

1. Flowers



2. Walking/Jogging (especially walking around the Plaza)



3. The sun shines later



4. Tennis (don't worry... I'm not that good)



5. Flip-Flops - by this time of year.. my feet are SCREAMING to be slipped into the most comfortable shoes on earth



6. Starbucks-vanilla-bean-frappuccino-double-blended-please (totally defeats #2---worth every sip!)



7. Patio seating at restaurants and such

8. Cook outs- my good friend Joe is the king of grilling!

9. Skirts- you'd think I'd hate wearing skirts b/c I had to wear them every day in high school... but really it made me LOVE them even more! I actually REALLY disliked wearing skirts before transferring to a private school.

10. Frisbee- I know this is totally part of my college days... but I absolutely LOVE playing frisbee!




What are you top 10 favorite things about Spring?  If you post about this... be sure to comment on my blog with a link to your post!



PS: I'm trying out a new look to the blog... let me know what you think of it.. I took a picture of the most beautiful wild flower I've ever seen! I had to take like 10 pictures of it b/c it took my breath away! So thats why it is now my header picture! and the pic for #1 is from the same place as the other flower!

Tuesday

Real Ray Wednesday on Tuesday

Good evening lovelies!

Well... this week I have learned way more than I have ever needed to know about sump pumps, carpet, carpet pads, water damage, sump pump floats, water pumps, shop vacs, rug doctors...

Let me just start by saying that Scott and I are so VERY blessed to of had his brother in town this week!  His brother came over last night while I was in class, to see our new house!  Well as Scott was showing him the basement he made a HUGE discovery.  Our sump pump was apparently not pumping water out because it was now in puddles all over the carpet in the basement.  The water was about an inch and 1/2 deep in the bathroom and storage room.

**Praise the Lord we did not have many belongings down there... just odds and ins that we have not put away.... but precious belongings at that... books with our notes in the margins... yearbooks from growing up... but no damage to those things!

We hardly visit our basement except for the occasional hunt for a specific game or movie... so the Lord was with us for sure yesterday.

Well here is the story... Scott messed around with the pump to see what was wrong and he noticed a fuse was blown... so after a trip down the street to Home Depot (by far my favorite store to have close by) he was able to get the fuse replaced and the pump started to work!! A huge sigh of relieve fell over the T's family!  We spent the rest of the night using the good ol' Rug Doctor to suck up all the water we could possibly get and as quickly as possible.  We slept very well last night after such an exhausting evening.

We both knew we would need to tend to this issue all day yesterday and made arrangements with our employers to have the day off... good thing.  We woke up at 6am in order to get the trash set out in time to be picked up... Scott decided to check on the mayhem of the previous evening, to find that the pump had failed during the night and our basement was back to being full of water... another inch to inch and 1/2 deep.

Good news is... the sump pump was fixed this morning! yay! We were trying so hard to get the water out before the repair guy came and as we were sucking water up, the same amount was coming out.  Once that pump started working... it was a good day!  We spent the rest of the day rug doctoring the heck out of that place!

However... after another trip to Home Depot... we find out that our carpet pad is absolutely destroyed... and our carpet might not be salvageable either.  While this is unfortunate... we have some exciting decisions to make! What do we do with the flooring?  We are considering staining the concrete in the basement and keeping that as the flooring rather than putting carpet back down.  Another thought is to put ceramic tile down... the concrete would be easier and cheaper.  Also... I have been doing some great research, thanks to my buddies at Google, about concrete floors and they are really neat!  They have some awesome ideas for them!

All in all... not the best couple of days... we will be ripping up carpet all day tomorrow most likely... we'll see.  We were told that mold can start to grow in a mater of 3 days! So we have to act pretty fast!

I just keep thinking... 'When would we have noticed this if Scott's brother hadn't come over to see the house?' YIKES! Scary thought!  The Lord was totally looking out for us!

Anything new and exciting with you all this week?

Friday

Trip Down Memory Lane - Episode 2


The much awaited second episode....



We have a WINNER!!! Way to go, Stacey!  You're right! This picture is taken at the beginning of what would later be referred to as 'The Night of the Persistent Panties'!! I know.... strange... I know.. but we were REALLY REALLY hyper college students!


I. LOVE. THIS. PICTURE. This is by far my favorite memory from that night... we were so hyper and trying to get our game faces on for the 'scrapbook pic' (yes- I'm a scrapbook nerd).  We could NOT stop laughing... every time we would get a serious face down... we would bust out laughing before I got the picture taken! This picture is no 'pretendlikeyourlaughingforthecamera' pose... its ALL na-tur-al. I love these girls.


Here are our game faces.  We were getting in to character to pull off the most amazing night of 'war on the guys' possible! We had some close guy friends that we decided to tag all of their cars.. and no they did not all live in our city.  But, we DID accomplish 'Mission Car Tag'. 



During college I had the awesome opportunities to travel around Missouri (mostly- some in other states around MO) to lead a group of girls during their Disciple Now weekends (DNow).  This was seriously one of the best ministries I have ever gotten to be a part of.  I LOVED every second of it!  This picture is taken of a group here in my home town (not at my church) which I got to lead a group of Jr/Sr high school students.  This whole weekend was about spiritual disciplines.. and I learned a LOT from these girls.  To explain the picture... my partner and I (a fellow SBU student, Monica) decided to blind fold all of the girls (and ourselves) while we listened and sang worship songs together.  It was probably one of my favorite memories from any DNow weekend.


Now.. THIS group of lovely ladies are from my home church!  I was able to come home one weekend to help lead a group of high school girls during their DNow weekend!  We had so much fun building new relationships and strengthening old ones!  I love these girls.


This is me sad.  Why? Well let me just tell you...My family has always had a tradition of going camping for a week (sometimes longer) in Holy Ghost, New Mexico-sounds like a holy place, right? not sure how it got its name... but it is my favorite place away from home.  When I say 'tradition' I mean that through and through... my dad was taken to this very camp site every year growing up, and likewise, his dad was taken there every year growing up... before it ever was an actual camp ground.  Well.. on with the story... this log I am pointing sadly to is the log that my cousin, Hannah, and I would go play on EVERY. YEAR. when we went camping.  We actually carved our names in that log... sever years in a row, to be sure it would stay :)  This log was the perfect height that we could sit on it and barely touch our toes in the freezing cold creek water below... or we could hug the log with our legs and play games all day long.  The last time I went, I was so excited to take a picture on the log... and it was broken.  A part of my heart broke when I saw that. :(   But one of the main reasons I am in love with this place is because.. when you have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the 'bathroom' (which there really wasn't one... just a hole in the ground with a toilet thingy) when you walk out of your tent and notice how bright it was... you look up and see that the entire ski is more white with stars than black from the night.  It is at that very moment that I am thankful for that week of 1-2 showers (down the mountain for $5 each) and no running water or cushy, warm bed.  There really is no place on earth quite like it.


Watch out y'all.  That's all I have to say.  ;)  I have a pretty good shot for a 'city girl' with country roots.  Family gatherings at my grandmother and granddad's often to leads to target practice in the field. 
(My family is from Texas. enough said.)


NEW YEARS EVE.  I love this picture because it was the last new years eve that either of us would have without our hubbies and we didn't even know it! 


Words.... such a lack of words... I have interesting friends... with interesting ideas.  let's leave it at that.


This was so much fun... the girls in my suite (in college) put together a scavenger hunt for my birthday!  I was totally spoiled... I LOVE surprises.  They took me to this amazingly tiny mini golf course that had these huge animals (here I am seen kissing for my prince charming- who had not come into the prince side of the picture yet).  We also went to Bass Pro and Fazoli's in Springfield, MO. 
(reminder: we were poor college students)


These are the two ladies that planned the amazing scavenger hunt above.  The 3 of us were very involved with our dorm... during Homecoming we had different events that we competed with the other dorms.  Me and Jenny (the other one with a hat) made up our own line dance and taught it to our spirit squad for homecoming week and we SO. WON!! We were so proud of ourselves... and the song 'These Boots Are Made For Walkin' reminds me of how much fun we had making that dance up!!


This is the birth of little Blakers! This was possibly one of the craziest 48 hours ever! I was so excited because Whitney asked me to take her to the hospital the night she had planned with the doctors... and I couldn't sleep all night... I still have the coloring book I completed while anxiously watching the heart monitor for contractions! SO. CRAZY! Once the 'party' (if you can call labor a party) got started... we had some crazy fun in the waiting room!  With those 4 guys behind me... there is always bound to be fun.  (side note:  the guy in the middle of the huddle became my hubby) :)


Ok... I get teased about how much I brag about my brother... but seriously... when you have the best brother in the entire world... and he won't tell people... any good sister has to step up and tell the world for him!  That is me.  I love my brother. He is amazing.


On the right is my best friend, April who you heard a lot about in this post.  The other beautiful girl on my left is my amazing cousin, Hannah.  I have not posted about her yet... mostly b/c there would be tears involved for sure... so I have been putting that off.  But it's coming.  We used to attend the Osceola Rodeo every year on Memorial Day weekend!  This is by far one of the funnest things to do!  


PLAZA LIGHTS. Need I say more? If you have never made a trip to the Kansas City Plaza on Thanksgiving Day for the lighting ceremony... you MUST add that to your 'To Do Before I Die List'.  We are the 'City of Fountains' which are amazing... but there is nothing quite like watching all those beautiful Christmas lights come on! 


Ok... I kind of like leaving the cliff hangers... I like to think I'm reeling you in for the next episode. Oh, and there will be several more... I didn't realize how many pictures I have that remind me of good memories!

So I'd love your thoughts on what this picture might be showing... or something you'd like to guess about this picture!

Also.. I'd love to learn more about my readers and where they come from... I'd love to see some 'Trip Down Memory Lane' episodes on your blogs!  If you do post one, please leave me a comment with a link to your post so I can learn more about you!

PS: let me know what you think about the new blog design... any suggestions? I'm still pretty new to this gig!

Have a wonderful night my lovelies!


Thursday

March-Madness...

I know I may be the only girl in this blog world that LOVES college basketball.  BUT....

This month is by far one of my favorite times of year!  My bracket is still looking pretty promising, however there have been some pretty big upsets!  I love the excitement... the adrinoline rush I get just from watching!

There is nothing like getting to be in Mizzou Arena watching the Tigers play in all their glory.

k... I know they aren't as good this year... but my love for them runs deep! Through the thick and thin.


Now that we got that out of the way...

I am watching Kansas play right now and I never thought I would catch myself almost cheering them on... don't worry my fellow Mizzou fans... only to keep my bracket going ;) I've got to pull for the Big 12!


Ok... lovelies... I am working on my 2nd episode of 'Trip Down Memory Lane'... so keep an eye out for that!

Wednesday

Leadership....

Hey lovelies!

This week I am going to share something real about myself that is also a compliment to myself.  I have a hard time accepting or even thinking of compliments of myself.

Raylene Nicole has skills in leadership.

I have had the privilege of being a part of the 'Welcome Week' event in college for 3 years.  My first year I was simply a group leader, which was amazing because I got to meet all the incoming students and build relationships that way!  The second year I was interviewed and selected to be a part of the 'Steering Committee' as the Social Events Chair.  The Steering Committee was a group of 6 students that start in January planning the next Welcome Week event the next August.   The third year, my Senior year, I was interviewed by the Student Activities Director and chosen as the Director of Welcome Week.  It was probably one of my favorite things.  If I could be the Director of Welcome Week each year as a career... I'd TOTALLY do it!

I also had the opportunity to start a ladies Bible study at my university called 'Bless-ed'.  We had speakers from on and off campus and had small groups.  I really enjoyed this adventure as well.. the Lord really taught me a lot about what it means to be a leader.  I had a committee that met once a week to pray over the study for the week and the ladies that attend as well as our speakers.  Our last year, we had a Bless-ed Conference with some amazing speakers!  The Lord totally blessed us with amazing help as well.  We had beautiful shirts designed by a good friend they even ended up being free!  We had some great help with the meals... my mom and my best friend's mom helped out SO MUCH!  It was so much fun!


I really miss college sometimes.. it was so much easier to be a leader.  Or at least that is the excuse I give myself for not getting to be in a leadership role right now, out side of being a sponsor for our youth group (which is amazing as well!).   With school and work it would not be very conducive to be in a leadership role... such is life.

Share your favorite thing about yourself with me... IT IS OK TO BE SWEET TO YOURSELF!

Monday

Trip Down Memory Lane...

I have been going through pictures trying to sort them out... well in the process I was inspired to share a post all about some of my favorite memories!  This could be a VERY long post.... but I might break it into a series of posts as well.. we'll see how this goes.

These are some of my favorite times....

HIGH SCHOOL:
    

Since we were Seniors in high school, we decided to go on a road trip together... BY. OURSELVES. It was so much fun! Don't get too excited... we took this road trip down to Joplin, MO for our high school's State Tournament.  We had so much fun!! **Cute little side note... the guy in the back right and the girl that he is pretending to kiss... you'd think they were together.. in this picture they were not yet together... but now they are happily married! :)  You all know may know her blog 'Whatever is Lovely' - she's amazing.


These were the girls! We went shopping... and took the oh so classic sunglasses pic!

COLLEGE:


These are the girls in my Suite!  I love these girls! We had some amazing times together.  This is a picture at our hall PJ pizza party at a local pizza shop in downtown Bolivar.


THIS is the best dance party I've ever been to.... pretty sure we were all sweating so bad and our abs hurt so bad from laughing SO. HARD. 



Our hall got together and decorated Easter eggs! So simple... but SO MUCH FUN! Then I gave my best friend mine b/c I don't like hard boiled eggs... so everyone wins



One of my favorite things to do in college was to go home with girls from my hall!  We went to Arkansas for this trip... it was amazing... we jet skied out on the lake.. and we went mattress shopping or something.. I'm not sure why were in the mattress store to be honest.


This was probably one of the best nights ever! Stacey came down to visit me at SBU and the three of us decided to go to the town square and re-enact 'The Notebook' scene.... you all know which one I'm talking about... look below for a more detailed pic...


This is April and I... Stacey is taking the picture in this one... and we of course rotated who was watching the lights turn... and who was taking the pic



My best friend, April went with my family to Colorado for our annual ski trip!  We stayed on Copper Mountain.. which is our favorite!  This is a pic of the gesture we would make often when getting excited about the trip... we might be dorks.


This was after a VERY tough day of skiing... we were wedging our way down that mountain in the most beautiful fashion.  hehe.



If you can't tell by the picture... we are getting ready for a night filled with HYPER-NESS, and mischievousness!!  


Well... I am going to leave you here for today... with a cliff hanger! :)  Stay tuned for the next episode of 'Trip Down Memory Lane'

I'd love your guesses as to what we are about to do in this last picture!



Friday

Mom...

I absolutely love my mom.

Does anyone else not get how moms can always do everything... can always get dinner cookin, laundry folded, house cleaned, kids played with, and work full time... all in 1 day? It amazes me now... it is hard enough working full time, and taking classes, and trying to keep the house decent... and sometimes get dinner cookin....

and yet... mom always got things done with little to no complaining.  She is a master potato peeler... she's scary with that thing in hand.

She amazes me. I don't tell her that enough.

Tell me about your mom.

Wednesday

Realization of reality around me...

Hmmm.... this one is tough...

Every Thursday night Scott and I attend our young-adult Biblestudy at our church... this last week I was really struck by the reality around me....

I have several ladies that I work with that I fail everyday to share the Word of God with... not even just in my lack of conversation about the Lord... but in my attitude... in the way I live life around them...

The ladies at work know that I am a Christian... and they seem to respect that... but I have to admit... they should see Him more through the way I live... the way I speak about our customers... the way I speak about co-workers... and that is not always the case... probably most of the time it is not the case...

This fact really hurts.  Hurts the core of who I am.  or at least the core of who I WANT to be.

This seems to get harder every week. But I truly believe the Lord is working in my core through Real Ray Wednesdays.


I'd love suggestions from my readers... ways you have overcome some of these obstacles... any thoughts?

Tuesday

Girls Night!

So, while I love being married SO much... I do miss the girls nights!

Scott was out of town this weekend so I got to have a girls night on Saturday night!  I was intending to have 3 other girls.. but things come up.. no worries.. but Jen and I had a blast regardless!

We first struggled to find a restaurant that 'the guys' don't particularly care for that we LOVE! WE have a few of these places... however... after aimlessly driving through Lee's Summit... we finally land at IHOP! Ok... sounds weird... but breakfast was really calling out to us!

We were planning to take pictures of the evening to blog with.. however... my battery was dead and her camera was left at home on accident :( I know, Internet... I wanted you to see pictures too...

Well, while at IHOP... we had the worlds BEST waitress! Her name was Kristin and she was awesome! She had this huge mound of whipped cream on top of my pancakes... and she even brought more out when that was gone... yes, internet... she DID know it was a girls night.... so she totally knew what it was all about!

We took several 'mental pictures' (hope everyone has seen The Office- The Wedding Day episode) and yes... I had the air camera in full motion... and each picture was the perfect pic! :) Imagine that!

We then stopped by Blockbuster and gathered some chick flick entertainment for the night... then watched 'New In Town'... SO CUTE! I totally over estimated how late we'd stay up... I forget that I'm not in college anymore... all nighters are looooong gone.

That was the highlight of my weekend... what about yours?

Saturday

My typical day...



First of all... I must say... I LOVE KELLY'S KORNER!

This week's 'Show us your life' topic is 'What does a typical day look like'..

5:35am - Scott's alarm goes off (I'm in and out of sleep-land until he is kisses me goodbye around 6:00am) It typically takes me a little while to go back to sleep... something about not having Scott there right next to me... doesn't seem natural... even after 2 years of him having to wake up and leave before me

6:45am - Wake up and watch CMT videos (sing and dance) as I get ready

7:30am - Leave for work... just about 5 miles away from home.. which is wonderful.. but sometimes I wish I had more radio/CD time in my car :)

7:45am - arrive at work and soak in every moment I have to get work done before the doors open at 9am

7:45am-5:15pm - I am helping customers open accounts (IRAs/CDs/Safe Deposit Boxes/Personal accts/ Business accts/etc), close accounts, answer the phones, notarize, try really hard not to take any rude comments to heart... however I am horrible at taking them personally! - ya caught me!

5:15pm - Get off work

Depending on the day the rest of the evenings vary... as I mentioned...

Mondays after work I head to class which starts at 6:00pm ends at 8:45pm

Tuesdays I head home and usually hang out with some friends

Wednesdays I head to church at 6:30pm (Scott and I are youth sponsors for our church)

Thursdays I head home then head to church at 7:00pm for our young adult Biblestudy

Fridays and Saturdays vary depending on the week... however this week:

Friday went to the grocery store and got ingredients to make homemade guacamole to take to a dinner party we were invited to.

Saturday- I sadly had to get up at 6:45am and get ready for work... then worked from 7:45am - noon (banking hours)... then I stopped by my parent's and saw some family (ones I don't get to see often enough) I celebrated a friend getting a job!! yay!! and I have been trying to take one of my midterm exams online and there have been some issues- no one in our class has been able to take the test... so I'm not waiting for that to come back up!  Tonight I will be having a few girlfriends over to stay the night! (Scott went up to his grandparent's house for his grandpa's 80th birthday celebration and will be back tomorrow) - I wish I could have gone :(



Depending on the night... we land in bed between 10:30-11:30pm most nights

My days are busy... and there are times I wish they would slow down... but I am so blessed! The Lord has totally provided the time for me to take class/work full time/and get involved at my church... not to mention getting to spend time with my hubby!  What more could I ask for? God is good!


If you stop by from Kelly's Korner.. please let me know! I'd love to hear from ya!

Thursday

Getting to know...

K... my friend, Jen, had a great post about getting to know her readers.  She asked for her readers to copy and paste these questions and answer them on their blog and leave a link on her post so she can go read and learn more about her readers.  
I want to take part of the fun! I love the idea of getting to know my readers! So... here are my answers...

1. Do you have any nicknames?
My nicknames are pretty basic for a difficult name... Ray or Ray-Ray are my main nicknames.  My husband LOVES to create nicknames for people... and for some odd reason.. they actually stick.. so WayWene was the one he created for me well before we ever started dating... and it is still alive. :)

2. If you could choose one of your personality traits to pass onto your children, what would it be?
Wow... this one means I have to brag on myself... I really have trouble doing that... But if I must... I would say... my Outgoing-ness.

3. If you could have any celebrity for a father and mother, who would you pick?
This is tough too... I'm not sure I have ever once thought about this question, b/c I love the ones I have!  But I'd say... for my father:Tom Hanks  mother: Julie Andrews/Meg Ryan

4. Name your 3 favorite blogs.
Confessions of Jenny (I know... she's my friend... but still.. I LOVE reading her blog!)

5. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I had several dreams.  I LOVED playing school... and I was always the teacher... so that was always a dream.  I also wanted to be an astronaut when I was growing up.  Who knew a banker would be the new 'astronaut' :)



Copy and paste these questions into a post or if you would rather, just simply answer them as a comment.  But if you post about them... please come back and leave me a link to your post so I can learn about you! 
1. Do you have any nicknames? Explain. :)
2. If you could choose one of your personality traits to pass onto your children, what would it be?
3. If you could have any celebrity for a father and mother, who would you pick?
4. Name your 3 favorite blogs.
5. What did you want to be when you were growing up
?

Wednesday

No good at stress...

I suck at being stressed.

I am not the kind of student that forgets assignments... and I had one of those horrible gut wrenching moments where I totally forgot something was due.  When this kind of thing happens... my mind... my body is telling me something.  I AM STRESSED.  I had my first paper due in my Advanced Research class on Monday (the one I totally forgot) luckily our professor said we could turn it in via hard copy or email.  So as soon as I got home from class Monday night, I whipped that thing out.  I also have a big project due Friday by 5pm, a midterm on Saturday, and a midterm on Monday.  Internet, sorry for boring you with the details of my life.... I want you to feel my pain a little bit.  :)

I have noticed the last week that I am much less considerate, I am even rude to the people I love because of the stress.  I would not say that I have a 'temper'.... but I get kind of 'moody' and let my stress/feelings of overwhelm-ness on those closest to me.  Especially my hubby... sadly he gets the brunt of it all.

I plan to make this up to him in some fashion... I'm still thinking on this one.  I'm so lucky to have him.  He's so understanding. He just takes it.... he knows I'm stressed out... and He encourages me. I love him.