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Joey Alligier

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December 5, 2013

Dear Santa,

December 5, 2013 | By | One Comment

The taste of the chicken flavor is becoming mundane and you just watched the series finale of Prison Break.
This is the most wonderful time of the year for college students who consistently indulge in Ramen Noodles and their roommate’s Netflix.
It’s December. Which means:

School is out soon
Christmas is around the corner
Socks with Rudolph on them are socially acceptable

As the jolly man in the, simply put, soft-large-red-onesie is fast-approaching, instead of paying attention in class, I daydream of the things on my WANT list. This year that includes:

TOMS

Elephants inside...

A phone case

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Adidas watch

Cool and classy

Camera tripod

I need straighter pictures

Slim style khakis

Nothin' better, oh oh oh

Body wash

So fresh and so clean

Laundry soap

Cheap and Lasting

As you can see these things are not on the typical person’s list, unless you’re about 35. I mean when I was younger, getting socks would have ticked me off, now it would be like manna from heaven. Seriously, I think the washer eats them,and usually just one out of the pair

A strange phenomenon happens as one transitions from the teenage years to young adulthood. We start to desire actually pretty useful and everyday materials…. Sure the PS4 would be cool, but I NEED BODY WASH.

I know that finals are around the corner and I should probably study instead of sending screenshots of hoped for gifts to my mother. Yet, even in the adolescent search for these gifts I am finding a sense of maturity.

This time of year is one to appreciate the little things, the simple happenings, and the beauty of life. The little things like stocking-stuffers symbolize my mom’s corny sense of humor which I obviously inherited and emphasizes how important my family is. The simple happenings such as the pictures I get to take with the accessories I hope for or the whiff of Dove for men when I raise my arms in excitement of the season. And the beauty of life is found in the “Reason for the Season.” The greatest gift was the not-so-silent-yet-beautifully-kinda-gross night when Jesus was born in an animal trough amidst a barn type structure.

Overall, I could get nothing on my “Grown-up Christmas List” and still be satisfied and content. While I wouldn’t be upset if an Ipad Mini was underneath the cheesy-Santa-Claus/Rudolph wrapping-paper, I will feel the same if beneath the cheesiness is a 12 pack of calf-high socks.

Enjoy the season for what it brings, just don’t forget to appreciate the little things, the simple happenings, the beauty of life, and the body wash.

Keep on and keep God,
Joey

P.S.- I don’t know who Ryan is…..

Haley Raydo

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November 23, 2013

It’s the Holiday Season… So Let’s Be Thankful!

November 23, 2013 | By | 2 Comments

Hello friends!

It’s another great day to write a blog and share with you my thoughts!  The past few weeks I have been thinking a lot about thankfulness.  It makes sense considering we are approaching Thanksgiving (which by the way is my favorite holiday!).

I was listening to a sermon at my church a few weeks ago about this idea of thankfulness.  It’s funny how often we use words on a regular basis, but never really dive down deep and figure out what they really mean.  My pastor talked about the difference between gratitude and thankfulness, thankfulness being something more than just a feeling.  “Gratitude is like wrapping a present, but never giving it.”

This has been a new revelation for me these past weeks.  Thankfulness is gratitude expressed. How often do I feel gratitude for what people do for me, but never show it?  I would say a lot, and the difference between the two is significant.

My pastor challenged us to write three things down we were thankful for each day of the week, and to share them with one another.  I thought it was such a great challenge that I thought some of you guys would consider trying it!  The importance of writing it down and sharing it is important because it takes it a step further than just thinking about it in your head.  It requires action.  If you find yourself writing a person’s name down, share it with them!  If you find yourself writing about food and shelter, volunteer and bless those who don’t have those accommodations!  The easy part is thinking of them and feeling gratitude, but let’s take it a step further and be thankful!

These are the three things I wrote for today!

1.  New Experiences! My MNU family!

I have been so thankful for this new stage of my life.  Meeting new friends, learning new things in new ways, and being apart of a new community!

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2.  My Brother and Sister!

They are such a support for me, and I love them very much! Plus they are just really cute ;)

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3.  The Month of November

November is my favorite month of the year! We have a 9-1 Chiefs team, we have a Jayhawk team that beat Duke last week, we have the Missions Conference at my church (my aunt and uncle are missionaries and I get to see them!), we have pretty fall trees at the beginning of the month, we have Christmas music at the end of the month, and we have Thanksgiving!! What else could be better?

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That’s my blog for the week!  Accept the challenge I give if you are so brave… Oh and if you are looking for a church in the area, check out Cross Points Church in Shawnee!

Thanks for stopping by!

Haley

Follow me on tweeter and insta @haleyraydoo and @mnublogs

Haley Raydo

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November 16, 2013

Social Media: What Is It Really?

November 16, 2013 | By | No Comments

I was sitting in my Sociology class a couple days ago when MNU’s beloved professor, Bo Cassell, brought up an interesting point.  Why do we have social media? What is the point of it in today’s society? Why is it so valued? How has it affected our culture today? We discussed our theories. But what stuck out in my mind was Professor Cassell’s statement, “Now days, we do things in life so we can post about it.” MIND BLOWN.

This got me thinking, what would our lives be without social media?  Think about it.  We go to a party, and we tweet at least a couple times about how awesome the party is.  We get together for coffee with friends and we have to instagram a picture with our friends and our Starbucks beverage.  We are approaching Thanksgiving, so we must post a status on Facebook about all the things we are thankful for.  The status’ I tend to see look like:

I am soooooo thankful for the most amazing family in the world, the greatest bff’s a girl could ask for, and the hands-down best boyfriend ever xoxoxo love you baby. #soblessed #myboyfriendisbetterthanyours #ilovehashtags

(okay that was a bit extreme ;) but side note, have you ever seen those hashtags? My boyfriend is better than yours? Because let’s be real, is he really? Who are you even talking to? Who is he better than? Everyone? Ah, oh well, love is blind so they say :))

Anyways… none of these things are bad! It is great to express thankfulness and gratitude (stay tuned for my next blog).  But look at the theme here, if we get down to the sociological factors, we all do this to put on a persona that our life is perfect and that others should want to be us.

Professor Cassell mentioned in class that in recent years, marathons have never been more popular. Why? Because everyone wants to post about it! If someone goes skydiving, bungee jumping, or something else extreme I guarantee they will post about it on social media.  Now I’m not going to lie, if I went skydiving I would definitely be posting about it like there’s no tomorrow. But you get the point.  Take this week at MNU for example, if you didn’t know (which if you don’t know and you attend this school, you probably are not active on social media) this is TWIRP week.  You can read some other blog posts if you want more information, but basically it is a girl ask a guy event.  But think about how many posts were made just about TWIRP!  Oh and let me guarantee you that on Sunday/Monday there will be some ice-skating pictures up from our MNU ASG event.

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Now I am not saying that any of this is bad, because I am guilty of it as well! And I am not even suggesting that this should change.  But be aware of these persona’s people try to create; there are some serious dangers.  We assume our sister is happy because she just instagramed a picture of herself smiling, we assume that our cousin is all good with life because she just changed her relationship status to “in a relationship”, we assume that our friend is having the time of his life  because he tweets about all these parties he is getting invited to.  The problem is we assume, and miss out on the personal communication.  So I am challenging you, not to change what and why you post on social media, I am only challenging you to see your friends beyond it.  It is easy to appear to be doing great, we do that on purpose daily. But get behind the surface of a persona on social media and you find a real person that may need a friend.

So that’s my blog for the week! It got a bit deep at the end, but I hope you take the challenge! I plan to!  Oh and by the way—if you are looking for a good class at MNU I recommend Sociology with Professor Cassell! It is great! (P.S. Don’t stop posting your TWIRP pictures! I only used it as an illustration! I love seeing them!)

Thanks for stopping by!

Haley

Follow me on insta and tweeter @haleyraydoo and @mnublogs

Mario Flores

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November 7, 2013

I Have Hope

November 7, 2013 | By | No Comments

On Monday I looked up one of my favorite songs on YouTube and found this video for it: Watching it helped inspire me to write what I shared in the video.

On Sunday Living Hope Church of the Nazarene we are starting a new series called Focused Living:

This is my pastor John Marra. He also teaches Pastoral Care and Counseling here which I am told by every single person I know that has taken it, that it is one of the best if not best class they've ever had!! I look forward to taking it next fall!!

This is my pastor John Marra. He also teaches Pastoral Care and Counseling here which I am told by every single person I know that has taken it, that it is one of the best if not best class they’ve ever had!! I look forward to taking it next fall!!

Now check out this video of Apollo Robbins, talk about skill and misdirection! Pastor used in as an illustration to show that where our focus is, matters!

Also this past week I got to go back to YouthFront Camp West and manage the paddleboats and canoes! That was fun to be back in that blessed place!!

Well lookE there at the there sunset! B.E.A utiful if you ask me!

Well lookE there at the there sunset! B.E.A utiful if you ask me!

Though this was taken after class, I thought I'd show this first. This is Professor Flemming. Randy Cloud has said before that when they need to send MNU representatives for our religion department, they send Flemming because he's the smartest of all of them! I've gotten to pick his brain and he's evidently a man after God's own heart. Thanks Brother Dean for being who you are and living into the man of God that He is calling you to be!!

Though this was taken after class, I thought I’d show this first. This is Professor Flemming. Randy Cloud has said before that when they need to send MNU representatives for our Religion Department, they send Flemming because he’s the smartest of all of them! I’ve gotten to pick his brain and he’s without a doubt a man after God’s own heart. Often when he reads Scripture his eyes light up with excitement and joy. And when he recites Scripture, we get a more “alive” version of the Book that we all desire to base our lives around–because of the One of whom its about!! Thanks Brother Dean for being who you are and living into the man of God that He is calling you to be!!

So Dr. Flemming was my New Testament Literature Professor and now this semester he's my Biblical Interpretation professor--which I gotta say this class has been tremendously helpful in my understanding of Scripture and helped me gain an attitude that is  more careful and humble in seeking to interpret it as His message for us!  Also, the candle to his right is something that he does every class period, because fire was often associated with the Holy Spirit in the Bible and Professor Flemming is always reminding himself and us that he is relying on Him to lead the class!! #likeaboss.

So Dr. Flemming was my New Testament Literature Professor and now this semester he’s my Biblical Interpretation professor–which I gotta say this class has been tremendously helpful in my understanding of Scripture and helped me gain an attitude that is more careful and humble in seeking to interpret it as His message for us!
Also, the candle to his right is something that he does every class period, because fire was often associated with the Holy Spirit in the Bible and Professor Flemming is always reminding himself and us that he is relying on Him to lead the class!! #likeaboss.

Here's the book that Dr. Flemming just recently had published! It will be used for his Biblical Theology class! Woot Woot. He signed my copy and after I get back from Xmas break having read it, we will get to discuss it!

 

Just a little bit of what is written on the back of the book!

Just a little bit of what is written on the back of the book!

And here's Dr. Randy Cloud being silly again wearing my friend Dominic's rastafari hat:P

And here’s Dr. Randy Cloud being silly again wearing my friend Dominic’s rastafari hat:P

 

 

 

 

Haley Raydo

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November 2, 2013

Follow Me Around: Dorm Room, Basketball Game, Weird Squirrels

November 2, 2013 | By | No Comments

Hello friends!

So if you want to know what a (semi) normal day looks like for a freshman at MNU…. Here you go! Meet my friends, walk around campus with me, and get to know what campus life is like! I had a lot of fun filming my day.  The only thing I missed was the Masquerade that night for Halloween.

If you make it to the end… Major props to you!

Thanks for stopping by!

Haley

Follow me on tweeter and insta @haleyraydoo and @mnublogs

 

Joey Alligier

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October 30, 2013

Passion in Pictures

October 30, 2013 | By | No Comments

Pictures capture a moment in time. A spot in history that can never be truly replicated. Snapping the obnoxious laughter from a more-corny-than-actually-humorous joke or catching the relief of a runner crossing the finish line is a fulfilling feeling. But it’s not fulfilling simply because the picture isn’t blurry. It’s fulfilling because there’s a story behind the picture. This story can impact the way you live because it molds the way you view life, people, and individual moments. Maybe it’s obvious and maybe it’s up to interpretation. For example, the corny joke is from a blooming friendship that is an answered prayer and the relieved runner has been training for months after forgetting what running meant.

There are numerous different things in life that can present opportunity for you to pour yourself into. For me, photography is one.

Here’s some of my “work”
(LOL, work? I was just being creepy, well like, kind of, never mind…)
Basketball

Such a Time Cam Mario Madsion Deal Kylee Dylan Dr. Spittal Pumpkin RunLook at life through a different pair of glasses; who knows, maybe it will be a perfect fit. Don’t be afraid to try new things. They can become the things that mean the most to you. It doesn’t matter how good you are at it! The passion is yours, do with it what you will and make it matter.

Keep on and keep God,
Joey

Haley Raydo

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October 18, 2013

Top 10 Best Things About College So Far…

October 18, 2013 | By | No Comments

Hello friends!

So it has only been a couple of months since I first moved in on campus and started school. Currently MNU students are on fall break, so I had the chance to meet with some old friends.  A lot of them ask about my favorite parts about being in college, which gave me the idea of writing about them in this blog!  (Some of these are unique to MNU and others are just about the college life in general)

Here they are, my top ten favorites!

1. Late night Walmart runs! 

IMG_1952Walmart runs usually are a last minute decision, and they almost always happen near curfew.  My friend Rachel here is stocking up for the week.

2. Eating in Class

IMG_1944The answer is yes, yes you can eat in class in college!  This picture is of my breakfast (a devoured blueberry muffin) that I didn’t quite have time for that morning.  No worries!  Finish it in class!

3. Ice cream machine in Campus Center

IMG_1947I am aware that the last few have been all about food, but what can I say! I’m a college student.  This one I’m sure is most students’ favorite.

4. NAPS

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In college you get many opportunities. They are especially needed on the late night-early morning combination days.  (Monday, Wednesday, Friday are my days)

5. Movie nights with your best friends nearly every night!

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This has become a daily event in the dorms.  Which may not be the best idea on the night before 8 am classes….. but you know! :)

6. All of the many ASG events!

IMG_1935Thrift Store Prom, White Light Event, Car Bash, Smoovie night, and many many more!  There is an event it seems nearly every week.  This was at the hoedown last week.

7.  Going to a small school…. But not too small :)

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There are many perks to this in my opinion.  People you’ve met once remember your name and care about you, yet you can still meet more new people all the time! Another perk is making the website fairly easily.  Look at me, I was so ready for that picture. ;)

8. Choosing classes your interested in! 

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Now of course you have your common core classes you have to take, but you still have options with those.  You can choose your schedule, your classes, and overall you just feel very independent!  And something I love that is unique to MNU is having professors of those classes that care.  You aren’t just a number at MNU, but you matter!

9. Spiritual Life

IMG_1973Chapels at MNU are amazing! You have so many different options throughout the week to experience the Lord.  This chapel is from student-led chapel in Bell on Thursday.

IMG_1906MNU gives you opportunities to join small groups as well!  This is my girls small group!

10.  MEETING SOME LIFE-LONG FRIENDS :)

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IMG_1886These people are some of the greatest I have ever met!  I am missing a few, but I truly love all of them!

Anyways that’s my blog for the week…

Thanks for stopping by!

Haley

Follow on tweeter and insta: @haleyraydoo and @mnublogs

Joey Alligier

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October 14, 2013

Friendz Fuh Dayz

October 14, 2013 | By | One Comment

Eleanor Roosevelt, in all of her sorta-creepy-I-married-my-fifth-cousin, wisdom tells us,

“Many people will walk in and out of your life, But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart”

While I would respect this opinion and agree that it could hold some weight in a normal person’s view, I would contend that true friends don’t just leave footprints.

True friends come in and jack stuff up.

They decide to rearrange the completely thought out organization of your life. They even like to steal your popcorn maker your mom got you for your birthday or prank you with literal dog poop. See, you don’t always realize the impact these type of friends leave because you’re too busy laughing and having no idea what  is actually happening. You realize the impact when you look back and see how their life has collided with yours and now that’s just the norm. 

I would like to dedicate this blog to one of my great-not-always-mentioned-and-makes-a-big-deal-when-she-isn’t-in-my-blog-obnoxious friends

Annie Huff 

Annie and I met last year at the White Light event. Josh, my roommate, knew her and her roommate Lauren (Josh and Lauren are dating now, totes dorbs). My name tag said, “Yosef”. The beast I am, I pulled it off, at least for about 20 minutes. I am ridiculed to this day about how our friendship is based on lies. I think that’s why Annie and I got on each other’s nerves on and off for a large part of our freshman year. Yet, something changed when we found out we were going to be on the MNU Serve Team together this summer.

This is where Annie and I’s friendship took off. We put aside our differences and Annie even started a count-up of our legitimate friendship. We even reserved the back two seats of the van for all of our shenanigans. Needless to say, it got REAL crazy.

We had endless inside jokes, numerous random photo ops, spurts of energy that annoyed everyone in the van, great deep theological talks, and even some pranks.

IMG_8637 IMG_1118This is just a sample of how we get. I like to classify Annie as THAT friend that brings out the weird in people. It’s literally a phenomena that even the scientific method can’t come close to comprehending it.
Through all of the crazy, off-the-wall ventures of this summer Annie’s and I friendship no longer needed a count-up. I think we became actually friends.

In all reality, Annie is one of the most inspirational to me. She is someone who has a heart for missions and is always seeking God in that. Her insight is typically a breath of fresh air to my typical narrowed-man thinking. She is who she is and she isn’t ashamed of it. I can honestly say she has impacted my life in such a positive manner;  whether keeping me in check or putting things in perspective.

Now, you may be wondering how this reflects MidAmerica; understandable. See, friendships like Annie and I’s are not hard to come by at place like this. You can see the transformation the Lord has done in both of our lives which has allowed our friendship to flourish. To be honest, we have both matured. Which is weird because we are pretty immature. Anyway, this one example just reflects the Lord’s power and is an example of how he uses people to direct your life.

Shortly put, THIS IS MNU

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Keep on and keep God,
Joey

 

Joey Alligier

By

October 6, 2013

Run Pumkpin Run!!

October 6, 2013 | By | One Comment

Hearing the roar and cheer of over 2,000 people accompanied by the footsteps of yours and those around. Out of nowhere the corner is rounded to match the noise with bodies and visible encouragement, the unspoken knowledge as well as feeling is that this is the moment. This moment defines the past 22 minutes. The strides get bigger and the breath gets heavier. The mind and body start to focus and run off of pure adrenaline. The focus on that finish line and the one guy left ahead. Pushing harder and harder even when the energy reserves seem to be depleted. The line is crossed and there is partial relief and some aspects of “What if?”.

This past weekend was the 15th annual Jared Coones 5K Pumpkin Run/Walk. This was my 2nd time participating under the 2 year head sponsor team of MNU. This being my 3rd 5K I am obviously a pro…..okay definitely far from! However, this is the one I came the most prepared for. Throughout the week, the forecast seemed to predict my despising of the cold and dropped in temperature day after day. My utility belt the day of the race contained a jacket, long johns, beanie, ear muffs, another hoodie, nasal spray, cough medicine, another shirt, and gloves. Needless to say my body and mind feared “44 and cloudy”, yet I was prepared.

Besides the fact I was more prepared, this race was also different because of my blog about the same event last year. At the annual MNU community fair this year, Jared’s dad and Jayne’s husband, Tom approached me and expressed the gratefulness for what I had wrote. This seems so simple, yet it was powerful. Powerful because it proved that this blog outreach for MNU goes beyond our gorgeous campus, but into the lives of many. Also, it proved the sincerity of this man. He has been through so much and is still so selfless enough to give gratitude to a young man who wrote a blog.

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 I can imagine that I wasn’t the only one who has asked, “What if?” when it comes to a race and this race specifically. Tom Coones has got to be one of my inspirations that definitely continues to tug on my heart strings. This event has gone from simply hundreds of attendants to a record number of 3, 583 race participants. It may be ignorant of me to infer, but I have to think that Tom has faced the breakdown in his own mind of battling with powerful questions similar to, “What if?”. Obviously he has been encouraged and answered those questions with a hopeful heart. A huge heart at that.

Tom’s life was not defined by a moment just as the fact I didn’t catch that darn guy in the blue shirt did not define my success. Success is not win and lose, seems contradictory right?, it is defined by what you say it is. I ran a personal best and finished 7th in my age bracket. Plus, I was met with nothing but love from my MNU family and maybe a hand-fed cupcake from Nate Howard. It was a successful day, except at Baker University….

 The gain and success in this event has not been based on the loss of lives, but found in the living on of those same lives through more than 3,583 people who challenge themselves and fight to find a cure and stand behind a great man who is Tom Coones.

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Keep on and keep God,
Joey

 

Haley Raydo

By

October 4, 2013

My Journey…

October 4, 2013 | By | No Comments

 

Hey friends! So this is my first blog post and I am pretty excited! It has been a bit of journey this last year to say the least, but these last five weeks as a freshman have been so worth it!

So my journey starts (at least for the sake of this story) at a private Christian school in Shawnee, Kansas.  It was my first day of school (literally I was in preschool).  I don’t remember much, but that was the last time I went to a new school.

So you can imagine my excitement, fears, and anxiousness as I was in the process of choosing a college.  I honestly had put off looking at schools altogether until around December of my senior year (which if you are in high school do not follow my example…YIKES!)  I was blessed enough, however, to know what I wanted to study and do with my life.  Around sophomore year of high school I decided I wanted to be some kind of counselor.  I didn’t receive a sign, hear a crash of thunder, and the skies definitely did not open but I believed this was where God had given me my talents and passions.

Because of this decision, I felt like I needed to attend some kind of Christian university.  I knew very little about different Christian colleges, especially MidAmerica.  The only thing I knew about it was that it was some college really close to my house that all my Nazarene friends always talked about.

By March of my senior year, I had not even been on a college visit.  As I am sure you can imagine I had a little freak-out.  I remember thinking that MidAmerica wasn’t too far; I could just go one morning and visit.  I had no intention of attending in the fall, but I didn’t have anything to lose.   But after the tour and discussing the MNU experience with people in admissions, I really felt that there was something special about this campus, and I wanted to be apart of it.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy.  Money and other obstacles seemed to get in my way.  By graduation I had no idea where I was going to end up in the fall.  But God is and was faithful to provide and allow me this opportunity!  I was extremely nervous to come in August, but I have met so many amazing people and have created so many memories already!

Here are just a few of them I have had so far:

 

 

My beautiful hall girls all dressed up for White Light Event!

Part of our freshman seminar group... you know just workin out ;) or maybe more like we found the gym on a scavenger hunt!

Part of our freshman seminar group… you know just workin out ;) or maybe more like we found the gym on a scavenger hunt!

Thrift Store Prom!

Thrift Store Prom!

And this is what I come home to in the dorms :)

And this is what I come home to in the dorms :)

 

Thanks for stopping by—

Haley

Follow me on twitter/instagram @haleyraydoo and follow MNU blogs @mnublogs