life as I know it....

Hey there!

Life is a bit crazy busy right now but wanted to document some quick takes of what is up:

1. Tomorrow is our ladies event at Church... all of you are invited to join us for the evening!  We will be talking about Community: Serving the Church and Building Relationships!

Please see the details below:

Friday March 1, 2013 from 6:30pm-10:30pm cost for members is $5.00 or $2.00 for guests!

If you have any questions- feel free to email me directly or leave a comment and I'll be sure to get back with you as soon as possible.

2. Tonight we are decorating for the event tomorrow - stoked to spend some more time with these ladies

3. My brother gets married in a little over a week.  THIS IS CRAZYTOWN!  I am getting so excited I can't even stand it!  Can't wait until I officially have a sista-from-another-mista-in-law! {can you tell I'm excited?!}

4. I'm speaking a little at the ladies event tomorrow.  Whats funny is that as I've been preparing what I'm going to say - I wrote it all out 'blog style' as I call it. Something about writing as if it were a blog post makes things fall into the right places.  Anyway... as I've been writing it out there have been several moments where I wanted so badly to say "Dear internet..." or leave a hashtag after a comment.  So needless to say... public speaking isn't my thing... as you've read about here before.  Well the Lord is stretching me... and I'm excited for the opportunity.  So I hope I don't reference you or hashtag the heck right out of the room :)

5. We've had probably over 2 feet of snow over the last week or so!  I'm in love.  However.. I was super excited to be back in civilization today... my hair was excited to be given some attention as well

6. Jamie's birthday is on Saturday and I can't wait to celebrate with her!!!

7. Tomorrow is March, people?!  Can you believe it?!

8. I just think my hubby is so adorable when he studies... he is studying right now.  His cuteness is killing me!

9. Hmmm.. I'm so close to 10 I really need to get there....

10.  Ahhh... Tomorrow is Friday!

What is going on in your world this week?


Insta FRIDAY style...

I don't remember the last time I actually did an Insta-Friday Update ON Friday! But here it goes... following the 'rules' and all :)

life rearranged

We had a 'pizza-off'.  Ok... so I actually just made that up.  But we made homemade pizza over at Jonathan's for one of our Tuesday dinners.

It was January and 72 degrees... I had to turn the AC on in the civic.  #onlyinKC

At Launch we are doing a study through Hebrews and it is rocking my world.  One of our amazing leaders, Kandy said 'Wise people don't just happen'... and let's just say it is trying to sink in.

I know you read all about my anniversary... but it happened and I got to have my absolute favorite cookie {iced sugar cookie from Blue Chip Cookie}

On my anniversary I got to coordinate a wedding at my church and this couple is absolutely adorable!  I so enjoyed helping them with the ceremony preparations. #SWBCwedding

I started liking soup.  Crazy I know... but it happened on super bowl Sunday.  This chicken noodle soup from Costco is one of the best ever!  Not to mention the chicken and pasta soup at cascones... YUM!

I joined snapchat because these girls told me to.  I love love love it.  These girls are stinkin' adorable.  

Started a new book.  Trying to find a book for 2sday Girlz study this summer!

Went to Jen's to do some yoga and found her decorating... love watching her and learning from her.  She is seriously domestic queen... and guys...she is single.  I know I don't get it either.  This girl was born to win best wife/mom/home-decorator/cook of the year award EVER. YEAR.

So I'm sure you heard... but after 4 days of battling a fever that wouldn't leave me... I found out it was bronchitis.  Yuck... but so glad that is over.

While I was still battling the fever I thought I'd brave the 2 hour road trip to the MU game.  It was totally worth it.  But then I had to walk 2 miles in the super windy cold air to get to our car.  Insert fever spiking again that night.  :(  BUT WE WON!! They needed me there, right?  

Just one of my favorite moments.  My favorite thing about long road trips... he drives and I hand cuddle.  hehe

While I was sick I posted on twitter and facebook that I needed a sugar cookie and BADLY.  Well Jamie and her beautiful little girl, Jadyn, decided I really needed some homemade chocolate chip cookies.  They were exactly right... that is just what I needed!

The youth ladies and Laina made me feel so loved, even though I was too sick to attend youth that day.  

I'm in love with this garland that Laina gave me. IN. LOVE.

Target trips with Jen are ALWAYS an eventful thing.  Not only did she get hit on and her number asked for... she found the boots worn when we landed on the moon!  

Dinner at the Franzes... love these nights.  This one was full of Mall Madness, fajitas, cookies, and Say Yes to the Dress.  

Spent some time this past week blogging and making vanilla chai at home.  YUM.

Jen... I'm telling you this girl has a gift.  She decorated my dessert and I loved it too much not to share.

What have you all been up to lately?!  


snow day...

Dear Internet,

I heart snow.  Something about the biter cold air and the automatic peaceful atmosphere when there is snow on the ground... just makes my soul smile.  The way you can hear the snow hitting the ground because of the quiet.  Something about laying on the mattress of snow and looking up into the falling snow... Something about the way it forces life to slow down. The smell that snow brings.. oh it is all so so good.

I am also blessed to work for an organization that puts safety first!  AND give the tools necessary to work from home.  I am very thankful for this opportunity with weather like today!

Scott's work and school were closed... we had some quality time today.  He studied while I worked... and the kitties got as many cuddles as possible.  So after I got off work for the day we bundled up and decided to shovel the forever long driveway.

About 35 seconds into our time of shoveling... we were both done.  and starting to sweat!  So after I partially un-bundled I needed a hair tie... well I had snowy boots so I couldn't walk through the entire house to get one.  So I started a new trend.  Wow knew chip clips had so many uses?  Worked like a charm!

Of course we rewarded ourselves with some snow angel time... so. much. fun!

So when we were looking at houses to buy.... having a long driveway was on the list.... rethinking that one being on the list today. :)  

We may have decided that we'd do 1 3/4 of the drive way so we can both get out... but we didn't have to do every square inch of it... and it may or may not have been the side I was shoveling that was the 3/4.  But hey... I get some sort of wife award for helping shovel, right?!

Excited for the fun in the snow!  uhhhh... internet,  I didn't feel like makeup today. #sorrynotsorry

He is so cute it hurts me!

Oh... so I kind of like soup now... so I'm very thankful for Costco!  I am so thankful we had some of this yummygoodness in the fridge just waiting for a day like today.

Here are those cuddles I was talking about... Molly was in this exact position on Scott's belly probably 3/4 of the ENTIRE day! So. Adorable.

My view as of 8am this morning... the snow is now above that bottom vertical fence post thingy.  LOVE IT!

Guess what?! I hear tomorrow is another snow day!  YAY!

How did you spend your snow day?!


Kind of scared...

Internet, there is something I've been keeping from you.  The past month or so has been filled with some nerves, some anxiety and some just plain scary moments.

Insert Vinnie.

So about a little over a year ago I had some seasonal allergies, which is pretty rare for me.  My eyes were itchy and puffy.  Well after the allergies left... I noticed my left eyelid was still a bit puffy.  I didn't think anything of it at first.  After another week or two I decided that maybe I was allergic to a new product I was using.  So I started switching out my eyeliner, mascara, eye shadow, eye makeup remover... tried it ALL.... and my eyelid remained puffy.

AT LEAST it isn't noticeable... is the thought that regularly enters my mind.

So after a year my friends and hubby finally convinced me to get a physical {not because of the puffy eye... but because I didn't remember the last time I had one because I. HATE. NEEDLES.}.  So I went to the doctor and told him about my puffy eyelid.  He felt around and decided to run a couple of extra tests to check my thyroid just to be certain everything is working properly there.  I get the blood work back and I am as healthy as can be!  YAY! I was so glad to get that news! But there were still no answers for who Vinnie is or why he was setting up camp in my eyelid {yes... I name random things in my life #sorrynotsorry}.

Probably 6 weeks later (January) I went for my annual eye exam and I decided to mention Vinnie.  He was fairly concerned and wanted me to get a CT scan to be sure.

Well if you know me at all... I'm not one that invites... actually I completely avoid needles at all costs.  So I decide to get another opinion since my general doctor wasn't too concerned about it and was just going to keep an eye on it.... so I had a couple of differing opinions.  So insert Dr. White.  He has been a family friend for several years because we've gone to church together for probably 10 years.  It just so happens that Dr. White specializes in the exact type of issue I was having with Vinnie.  So I went for a visit on a Monday where he confirmed that I did in fact need to get a CT scan {grrr to needles} to determine how we needed to move forward.

So that Friday I had the scan and set up a followup with Dr. White for the following Wednesday.  You'd think I'd be a nervous wreck... but the Lord truly blessed me with a fair amount of peace.... I'm not going to sit here and feed you lies that I never had my moments of doubt and anxiety.  BUT the Lord was so good to me.  I have such an amazing support system around me... and I felt that support and love even stronger that week and 1/2 of uncertainty and concern.

I am still praising the Lord that the results came back that the mass in my eyelid IS NOT cancerous.  Vinnie is a pesky cyst about the size of my eyeball taking residence in my eye socket. {chills down my spine}  What Vinnie doesn't realize is that an eye socket is only made for 1 item the size of an eyeball.

So... Vinnie is being evicted.  Surgery is scheduled for mid-March, Dr. White wants to get him out of there-- but it isn't an emergency type of situation.  I'm so thankful that I'll get to attend my brother's wedding BEFORE Vinnie is removed... so pictures will exclude a massive swollen black and blue eye :)

I know what you all are thinking.... Raylene, do you at least get to look like a pirate for a couple of weeks?  Well the answer is NO.  I asked the moment we set the date.... but no - the surgery is not on my actual eye so no pirate-talk-practicing taking place here.

So remember that amazing support system I mentioned earlier?  One of my dear friends, Jamie emailed me at some point during all of the waiting and reminded me of some of the ways God has been so good to me through all of this and through the timing of it all.... so I wanted to list some so when I look back at this I can have them documented:

From Jamie:

1. I forgot you were meeting with the doc Yesterday, but you were on my mind all day so I said a lot of sentence prayers. Then I just read your post about God's timing and I was thinking isn't it cool that He had me praying for you even though I didn't remember. I love that. 

2. I was thinking about how long you've had that bump on your eye and how awesome it is that God provided a full time job with benefits prior to you really discovering what it is. Awesome again.

3. I thought about how cool it is that you went to the doctor before the eye doctor so while it was nerve wrecking waiting to see how big this "growth" is you had the assurance that at least all your blood work was right. 

4. I was excited that it's not so serious that you get to wait until after Ashley's wedding. 

So thankful for my community.  Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support as I prepare for the surgery and recovery.  I'm so thankful for the Lord's timing for everything mentioned above... as well as the fact that my super busy season at work doesn't start until early May and I should be all healed up and ready to go for the busy season.

I am truly thankful for the Lord {period}.  I don't know how people go through times of uncertainty without having Him and His peace and promises to lean on.  I am thanking the Lord for my salvation today.  I love how a life situation like this continues to point me to the cross and the continued grace that is shed on me daily.

Praise the Lord.


Pumpkin pie

I heart pumpkin pie.

I have had this post brewing since Christmas... but now that all I can think about is how much I want some pumpkin pie... I thought it'd be a great time to share the secret recipe.

You will need:

1 can (15oz) Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 can (12oz) Evaporated Milk
1 unbaked pie crust (9-inch)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 425.  First mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves in a small bowl.  Then beat eggs in large bowl.

Stir in pumpkin and sugar/spice mixture.  Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

Roll out the already made pie crust and pinch the edges to make a pretty design like so... 

Pour in the mixture and CAREFULLY move to the oven.  This is seriously the most stressful part of the entire operation because the filling is SOOOOOOOOOOOO close to spilling over from the get go and is so jiggly to begin with

For the first 15 minutes you will bake at 425 then decrease the temperature to 350 and bake for another 45-50 minutes depending on your oven.  I believe I usually end up doing 50 minutes.


Oh... and I guess you can find this exact recipe on the side of the can of Libby's pumpkin.... but I'll never admit to it in person ;)

What is your favorite holiday treat you're already starting to miss?


sassy sickness....

This weekend...

As you've probably already gathered from the last few posts... Scott and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary this weekend!  

Since I had a wedding at our church to coordinate that afternoon - we did an anniversary lunch!  

Here we are headed out for our day of love!

Here is Scott... looooooving him some OK Joe's BBQ ribs! Yum... I of course get what every human being must try once in their life time... THE Z-Man Sandwich! 

Afterwards we went to Blue Chip Cookie... one of my favorite places for sweets EVER!  We used to have one in town, but now the closest one is conveniently near OK Joe's!

Look at that glorious goodness... my favorite kind of cookie - soft iced sugar cookies!  Yum-o  

And they even decorated a whole tray of them JUST for our anniversary... I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that valentines day is around the corner {let me enjoy the moment}

Then we did what any married couple would do on their anniversary... 

Went to the car wash!  It was a beautiful day... what can we say?

The next day was Superbowl Sunday... which means it was Chili Bowl Sunday as well!  This is a very long standing tradition in our youth group {started back when I was in youth- insert cringe} - a mean flag football tournament!

Insert Laina and her mustache?  Not sure... but apparently she agreed to walk out of the bathroom and into the fellowship hall {full of youth} with the mustache on! lol  

The Chili Bowl is one of those events we let our GSM alumni come back and enjoy the festivities... so I was so glad to have Laina back for the event! 

Before we the students hit the mud we have chili, soup, and rotel for lunch.  I tried this amazing soup and actually liked it!  I LOVED IT! It is kind of revolutionary... I feel like I'm joining the grownups now!

Taylor did a great job as the announcer... He could make a career of it!  He kept me entertained the entire time he was announcing.

Some of the GSM girls - getting ready to get their flag-on

Laina and I were supervising the scoreboard... they told us we had to keep track of the score... so we decided that with that kind of power... comes the power to add 'bonus' points as we see fit.  Needless to say... we had a good time :)


Not sure... there are no words.. so I'll just let you gaze

Chili Bowl in action

GSM Chili Bowl participants!!  

After the Chili Bowl is over we always head back to the church for some pizza and to watch the super bowl together!

We always have a devotion during the 1/2 time show


Also.. the sermon on Sunday morning was about anxiety... and man was it powerful!  I can't wait to have some time to listen to it again... it was very very very good!  Check it out here!

Those are the highlights of my weekend... how was yours?!