Wednesday

Thanks...

Well- the hubs is 'being a student' and using the laptop so here I am... texting a post to you... {ignore all mis-auto-corrected words below}

Today it seems fitting to share some things I'm thankful for right now:

-GSM students
-thoughtful friends and family
-prayer - not only the concept of it being a way for me I communicate with The Lord... But the way it strengthens friendships... The way it is used to show love... Needless to say... I'm feeling so loved lately and so thankful it stems from prayer
-peace... The kind that can only come from God... Feeling it today... For this moment and so thankful for it
-rainbow chip cake AND icing
-Scott... He is so extremely good for me. He has such an amazing amount of peace and assurance- it is so refreshing and for that I am so thankful
-my cats... #sorrynotsorry how do pets seriously know when you need their cuddles and affection most?!
-education... Scott is getting smarter everyday and while he is already one of the smartest people I know... I am thankful for this ed-u-mication he is working hard to get
-the Lord's timing... I know it seems so silly... No really likes this right?! Bc it means we usually have to wait longer than we wanted or not long enough! Well- today I'm so insanely thankful for His perfect timing.

What are you thankful for today?!

Monday

a great find...


Hey internet, my name is I'm sorry it has been so long!!  We had some internet issues... but I think we're good to go... you can expect to read a sassy moment about those few blog-less days...

So today, I thought I'd share with you a craft project that I completed a while ago.  So You know how I graduated, right?  Well one of my gifts was this adorable 9 cube shelf for our living room.  While my husband does look mighty handsome with his tools in hand... this isn't about him or his cuteness #sorrynotsorry


So where was I?  Ok... ok... sorry distracted by the hubs.  So anyway the 9 cube thing really has nothing to do with this craft project... but it did take place on the same day... so I guess that is the connection?  I don't know... I've just been away from ya for so long that I have so much to say and it is all coming out at the exact same time in my head!

Anyway... I was pa-rousing through TJ Maxx with Jen when I came across this picture frame that I fell in love with.  {here is where we start the craft story...}  Then I look at the 'clearance' sticker and read $7.99 which seems a little pricy for a frame this size #callmecheap

The fortunate part is that the glass had a huge crack across the entire width.  Immediately my mind starts racing... 'I'm SURE they'll just give this to me'... and 'It can only be worth $.50 now, right?!'

Well, internet - I was wrong.  They did give me a discount for the broken glass, so $4.00 to my name, I walk out a happy camper.

So I get home and get Scott started on gluing building our new shelf and then put my creative hat on.  Wait.... you don't have a creative hat?!?! What?!

So I have a genius idea... I have these adorable blank cards from target and they would fit perfectly.


It took some time to decide which would look best because they are both so stinkin' cute.  So the pink, white and navy combo won.  So I taped the card to the center of the envelope so there was a navy border around my card.



Then I simply taped the back of the envelope to the backing of the frame.  It isn't perfect.... but that makes it perfect to me!

What have you been crafting lately?


Christmas card idea...


Internet... brace yourself!  I found an excellent idea on pinterest!  

I have kept the christmas cards I get from the previous few years for a while now.  I just store them away in my christmas decoration tote. (Yes, Jen... that is 1 tote) :)  

Well instead of my cards from the past 2-3 years staying tucked away in my tote.  I found this idea on pinterest and fell in love!

Simply punch a hole in the corner and feed them through a binder ring.  I had some in my scrapbook stuff from a previous project so this cost me literally $0.00.  Now, that is my kind of project!


So needless to say... these have been a hit as a part of my coffee table centerpiece.  

What have you found and completed successfully from pinterest this week?  

I told you I'd find something I liked!

Wednesday

time for a real-ray-insta-update!

Wow...  I didn't realize how long it had been since my last insta-update.  Time is seriously flying... 

If I were a fabric.... here I am.  Stoked for the home project that this is for!  


Oh my word, one of my favorite nights over the holidays... we had so much fun this night.  aaaaaannnndddd.... I'm not sure who decorated the cookies... probably the twins.  yeah... lets go with that.


Over the Christmas 'break' I had a chance to catch up on my scrapbooking...I can't tell you how much it warms my soul!  I love looking through letters, cards, ticket stubs, pictures, fortunes from the past several months... brought back so many memories!  I hope to post more about smashbooking soon... so stay tuned!


Christmas Eve candle light service at my church is by far one of my favorite traditions EVER. {insert the hubs rolling his eye as I take the picture below}


My view as I work, one day while the hubs was on break from school and work.  #blessed


Dear friends, family, really anyone who knew -  
How could you not tell me how amazing men's razors are for a smooth shave?!  It took Scott getting a sample in the mail {that I snatched because I was out of razors and he uses an electric} to discover this truth.  
Disappointed in you,
Ray


Me: 'I didn't make it to Christmas in the Park this year!'
Jen: 'It isn't too late... it doesn't close until New Years'
Yes... we aren't ashamed... we went to Christmas in the park the after Christmas came and went.  We didn't have to wait a single minute in a line... it was beautiful!  We will do THAT again!



Jen and I went to Planet Sub... and that is where the hyper began... and it didn't stop.  It got even better {as it always does} when we got to target... and Jen said, 'Oh... mascara.. I must need some more!' as digging through her purse for her debit card... lol  



Me... through the years... awkward and all #sorrynotsorry My mom and I were looking through old pictures to pull for a slide show for my brother's wedding and came across some real winners ;)



Peanut butter toast is on the list of favorite breakfast meals... don't worry Lindsay... below fruity pebbles! 



Got the perfectly timed... perfectly worded... perfect card in the mail last week.  #blessed


So we are dealing with a tar smell at work b/c of some roofing work going on.  So I {being the engineer's wife, I am}... pulled out my stash of dryer sheets and let the Vornado freshen our air.  Sadly... the tar smell won the battle this time.  

*Note:  Yes, it is completely normal to have a ziplock full of dryer sheets in my desk drawer {next to my emergency kit}... I use them to de-static-ify my hair and clothing.  

*Note #2:  Internet, if you want to see me realllllly upset, distraught, annoyed, unreasonable... just get my hair super staticy... #can'thandle  Something about the static electricity makes me a little crazy irritable 



Got my new purse in the mail the other day... of course packaged so stinkin' adorably... You should check out her store... there are so many beautiful things!  


Thanks Pinterest for coming through for me again!  This link actually had a video that showed me exactly how to tie my scarf in the 'woven' style!  love it!


Cold saturday mornings with waking up early = the need for the BFF's smile and some starbucks columbia instant coffee! #yum


A whole blog post could be written about this day... it was full of so much truth, tough conversations, laughter, joy, sassiness, mexican food, coffee, chai, glasses shopping, giggling, flirt lessons, curly hair styling methods... oh the list could go on.  It can all be summed up with a few words... love. these. girls. 


So thankful for this opportunity that forces me to look back and think through these beautiful little moments sprinkled through the last few weeks.  

Wednesday

Community defined...


Community is not defined by age, it is not considered a factor, nor a requirement

Knows no judgement, only a kind of love our world can't understand... and can't stand - to be quite honest

Loyalty is found in it's core

Tough love- with the utmost grace on both sides

Respect even when members disagree

Laughter - looooooots of laughter

Brother/sisterhood

Walk through any and all stages of life together

Truth is shared = accountability

Genuine with one another {especially when it is hard}

No question is left unanswered because of fear of judgement or inadequacy

Everyone plays a major role - and a very different role from anyone else -- which means they are not all alike!

A place of rest

Honesty- share life experiences with one another

Same central focus- Christ

Encouraging

It is a huge investment of time .. And at first--- energy

It is natural

Tough conversations are natural when necessary

Burdens are carried with one another

It is a risk - vulnerability oftentimes is.  worth. every. ounce. of. risk.

_________

What would you add to this definition of community?  What does it look like for you?

Monday

2012 where have you gone?

It is so sad that my parents and grandparents are right... time does go by faster and faster the older I get. Which means I need to be more diligent to enjoy each moment, savoring the laugher, enjoying smiles, thanking the Lord for blessings and great opportunities and successes, learning from mistakes.

So here we are - starting a new year.  I've never actually done this whole 'year in review' thing but I am excited to look back over the past year and reflect on how good the Lord has been to us.

- Scott started school towards a degree in engineering and has completed 2 semesters and a summer session.  He is such a smarty pants... seriously it sickens me how much he loves all things math and physics.  I couldn't be prouder of him!

-I moved from being a contract worker for a year at my organization to a full time professional in June

-My brother got engaged this year and is getting married early in 2013 and I couldn't be more excited for him and Melissa!  I can't wait to stand up next to her showing my full support of this marriage!

-I finished my MBA courses in August and graduated in December {just call me Master Ray... come on, just for a few weeks?!}

-Organized 2 years worth of piles; and cleaned our front room 

-Now that I have more time on my hands I am cooking AND cleaning blogging more

-Our close friend Ben got engaged and is getting married early in 2013 - Scott will be a groomsmen {pretty darn handsome one at that}

-Scott and I went to San Diego with Jonathan, Jeremy, Meredith, Kat, and Julia where Scott and I were both in Troy and Danielle's wedding.  We only got to sight see for part of a day and it was wonderful but we want to go back... with a little more time at our disposal.  The wedding was beautiful!

-Scott and I are blessed to continue serving as leaders for our youth group and loving every second of that ministry and the relationships we are privileged to build.  We are learning that we are cooler than we thought we were... while learning that the life experiences we had at their age... are STILL the typical things teenagers are going through now... which makes me feel young :)

-I discovered twitter {@RayheartScott} and instagram {@RayleneNicole} this year - both of which are wonderful additions to my life.  Scott would beg to differ with the increased number of pictures I take these days... but I enjoy documenting even the small things.  I'm sure he'll thank me some day... right?

-Reflected on love and marriage 

-I discovered smash booking... it is a much simpler type of scrapbook of anything and everything you want to keep and be able to look back on easily!

-I have learned and am continuing to learn a lot about community.

-Launch has never been so sweet or necessary - the Lord is using this ministry to impact the core of who I am.

-I gained and/or strengthened some amazing friendships that I know will last a lifetime; and the Lord took a few away - {constant struggle for me to accept anyone having anything but favorable feelings towards me - He is using it still to grow and stretch me}

-Several of our friends have had babies this year which has given me glimpses of the baby itch... it comes and goes

-I took a painting class with Sharon and Laina... and we rocked it so hard!  I hope to do THAT again!! #naturalartist

-Scott and I traveled to Arkansas with Jonathan where I found a scarf that I can't stop thinking about and enjoyed some great time with friends!

-Had a birthday; Scott did too --- we are {whisper} 27

-Scott got to attend a conference with several men from our church in Louisville, KY this year and he so enjoyed his time with those men and learning from so many wise pastors who spoke

-I have had some beautiful discussions about church and love this year.

-2sdayGirlz happened. #enoughsaid

-Cut 57 8 inches off my hair

-Re-discovered my love for flea markets {especially the rural ones!}

-I am starting to coordinate the weddings at my church and so excited for the opportunity to serve in this way.... I love all things wedding and planning... so it is the perfect combo!

-It is January 5, 2013 and I am still rockin' the Christmas decor... #sorryaboutit

As I reflect on 2012 I can't help but see the Lord at work.  I can't wait for another year full of His hand at work in our lives.

what about you... what are some of your favorite moments from 2012?

Wednesday

More on my hair...

I know you're thinking, where is the 2012 in review post?! Well, Internet, it is coming... Tomorrow or the next day.

But today is Wednesday and I decided not to hide 'real ray' traditions behind a year in review post. Instead lets start talking about my hair.

We all know this is my favorite feature... Well I can tell you that I am having huge cutter's remorse about my new do.  I mean its cute... But I came across this picture from college and that's when it really started to sit in...



Disclaimer: no- I do not usually have blown up poster-sized pictures of myself at home.. Work? Maybe- never at home. I was super involved at my university and was asked to take part in a campus photo shoot- they then selected pictures to be hung around campus and/or used on pamphlets they mailed out. This picture was hanging in the student union for a semester or two then they gave it to me.

Disclaimer 2:  no- this is not actually a picture hanging on my refrigerator door.  It is rolled up so I had to temporarily hang it in order to share with you.

Whew- glad we cleared that up.

After seeing this picture I also went through my engagement pictures and came across a couple of my favorites:




While looking at these pictures I realized that part of why these are some of my favorites is because I love my hair in them.  I don't think I really realized how much I love having long hair.  

So... while I do enjoy my much easier do... I'm missing my signature long locks today... in a bad way.

I hope the next time I get the itch to cut my hair shorter - I will look back on this post and remind myself that I need to embrace my long locks now.... because in {what will seem like} a few short years it will become creepy to have long hair.  I don't want to be that creepy old cat lady with super long stringy hair.

I DO want to be a girl that is confident.  Internet, it might be shallow... but my hair helps my confidence.. I'm realizing that it always has.  Isn't that one of the many reasons God gave us 'favorite features' about ourselves?

_______________________________________ 

Dear short hair,

You are in some ways like a large piece of my favorite dessert.  You seemed like the best only option at the time but later creep inside me with remorse.  I was disillusioned by your mystery.  I was drawn in by your adventure.  I dove too quickly.... I should have 'slept on it'.  This is why most of my decisions are well-planned in advanced.  I've enjoyed you some - I won't say all of our time together was bad.  I just wish it didn't take quite so long to get rid of you.  So consider yourself officially hitting that 'over-staying-your-welcome' threshold.  

See you in my 40's!

Not ready for mom-hair,
Raylene

________________________________________

Dear long hair,

You are where I belong.  I know you were trying to tell me about the current place I'm in... you warned me with all of the signs.  You planted the seeds of doubt in my mind that BBQ filled night in October.  The adventure took over - in an instant my mind couldn't be changed.  It. was. happening.  ... It. happened.  I would be lying if I wasn't a little relieved by the weight literally lifted off my shoulders.  I needed a change - and in that moment - the only option was to get rid of you.  You see, I couldn't change by reaching my goal weight in that moment.  I could however, change you.

Don't you worry - it won't happen again.  At least until you reach that creepy stage after I have kids and I reach an age where long hair becomes less and less attractive and more and more like I'm trying to stay 20 forever.  Then I'll re-visit embrace the short hair.  But until then... I'm ready to take you back.  Please don't take long to visit again.  I promise to take better care of you... straighten you... curl you... let you go naturally crazy curly.

Please hurry up and grow grow grow!

Not one for adventure,
Raylene



Anything weighing on you today?  Whether it be as silly as a haircut or not.... feel free to share.