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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Alexa's Baby Showers

To say that Alexa Hope is loved is an understatement as evidenced by the pictorial documentary of the three showers held in her honor this month (I've also included a very special tea party held in her honor in California when we visited Chris' family at Thanksgiving). Alexa could very well be the most blessed baby in utero ever!! For those of you who contributed to the bounty of blessings we received on her behalf - we want to send a HUGE thank you your way!! Words cannot truly express our gratitude for your generosity, your presence in our lives, and most of all, your prayers and encouragement on this journey of trusting & waiting. Each shower was a very special blessing that made us (especially mommy) feel incredibly loved. Thank you for taking the time to celebrate with us!! I wish I had time to attach a picture of every sweet gift Alexa received but it's incentive for you to visit us so you can check them out yourselves.

"Special K's Tea Party" hosted by Carolyn Hardy (the cute gal on the far left) in November. Great Grandma Lois Graf is sitting to Carolyn's back right.

My table setting including the "You Are Special Today" plate - a family tradition - and a paraphrased prayer from Psalm 139 the women read and prayed over me.

The amazing hostesses at Alexa's church shower. Left to right: Esta (a dear international friend studying at OU), Natalie Crabtree, Kelly Westerman, Nicole McCormick, Joanna Buley, me, Jenny Rempel, Ginger Tinney, Misty Dolphin & Pat Yokley.


The beautiful centerpiece - I don't have a picture to do justice to the amount of food at this shower. However, it was a feast fit for a king (or at least a very pregnant mommy) including baked brie, scones, cinnamon rolls, cake balls, fresh fruit, monkey bread, sausage balls, quiche, breakfast casserole . . . shall I go on? Because there was more!

The proud aunts - Aunt Holly (Kelsey's sis) and Aunt Kelly (Chris' sis). This is Holly's first time to be an aunt, and Kelly traveled all the way from Washington D.C. to celebrate with us.

Oh yes, "Baby 411" - a book I'm sure I'll be referencing OFTEN in the days to come. Do they offer one on Labor & Delivery?

The sweet hostesses at Alexa's "Friends & Family" shower. Left to right - Becky Lippoldt, Shannon Ho, Shanna Rumburg, me, Martisha Green & Holly Moore.

The spread. And no . . . that is not the centerpiece. The black & white gift is actually the cake - AMAZING!! It tasted amazing too - thanks Becky.

A handmade banner that we'll proudly display at the hospital as well - thanks Martisha.

A family affair . . . Chris's mom, a.k.a. "Ama" (pronounced like mama without the "m") / Chris' mom, Aunt Holly, Kelsey's mom, a.k.a. "Mimi", me and Aunt Kelly.

The hostesses (also Chris' coworkers) at Alexa's OU Shower. LeeAnn Victery, proud papa, Chris, me, Pam Hicks, Kirstin Krug & Annaly Beck. Quite a salty group, don't you think!? If I were a National Merit Scholar - I'd definitely choose OU!!

The beautiful set up in the conference room. Again - no detail is left undone . . . even a baby buggy!

Perhaps the verse on this baby blanket best sums up our heart concerning Alexa Hope, "For this child I have prayed." 1 Samuel 1:27. Thank you Lord for the blessed & undeserved gift of our little sweet pea.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ice Storm - 2010

I thought I would finally add the promised pics of the ice storm that swept through Oklahoma in early February. It wasn't as bad as the meteorologists predicted - no power outages for the Kennedys (for which we were thankful). However, Chris did get a day and a half off of work (for which we were thankful). Looking at these makes me cold all over again. These were all taken from our back porch. Sorry for the delay - we've been "Alexa Projecting."

Icicles you wouldn't want to get caught under!


The icy overhang - notice the equally icy fence.

I tried to capture the layers of ice.


Some of these icicles were up to 5' long.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My AMAZING Husband . . .

Okay, so this is my first blog entry . . . EVER! Although I'm reading a "how to" recipe Chris made for me, I'm actually doing this by myself (aren't you impressed)!? I sort of feel pressure to write something profound but I'm 33 weeks pregnant - the only thing profound these days is my appetite and belly profile.

I do, however, feel like a few things must be said before I go on to share about the everyday ins and outs of the Kennedys (something I definitely plan to do). I wanted to take a moment to share a few thoughts on my precious husband - so please indulge me.

I may be a bit overly sentimental as Chris is traveling for work right now and anytime he isn't around I miss him so much. It's such a blessing to know that after almost four years - you get so used to someone being around, you just don't feel right if they aren't. Indeed, our love and respect has only grown stronger for each other as time passes. We thank God for His hand on our marriage and uniting us as only He could. 

Anyway, back to my amazing husband. In the morning when I pray, I look at a perpetual calendar I made for Chris a few birthdays ago. It's a compilation of many different sources. Every day I pray about a character quality in his life and today's was "Servant Leader." I was to pray that "My husband will grow in leadership skills in our relationship - protecting and providing for me. That he will lead me wisely and love me sacrificially so that God will be glorified in our marriage." The corresponding verse was Ephesians 5:25, "Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her." 

For whatever reason, the Lord deeply struck my heart concerning today's character quality - because that is EXACTLY what I see in my husband. Chris is a servant leader each and every day of my life. As you can see, he creates blogs (something I could never do), paints black furniture (something I could never do), and puts up with a "nesting" mommy's each and every whim (something I sure wouldn't want to do). And the most amazing thing about it - he never complains. I know you are never supposed to say never - but it's really the truth. He is ridiculously patient with me and my Type A personality - something God knew I had to have in a spouse. 

If you know Chris at all, you know he would do anything he could to help you and do it with a positive attitude - be it answering a computer question, finding you the best deal online, cleaning the dishes, listening, or even running to Walmart (okay, this one's a stretch, but he'd do it). He leads our family with a true servant's heart . . . he does it with integrity, intelligence, humility, hard work, and lots of humor. And, I'm SO proud to call him my husband. I will be equally proud to watch him take on the title of "daddy" because I know he will be the most amazing daddy a little girl could have!! 

As we read our daily Psalm to Alexa last night - the passage ended, "O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you" (Psalm 84:12). That is my prayer for you, Chris. That the Lord richly bless you because you put your trust in the Heavenly Father. Your idea of success is being a righteous man who walks in the fear of God. Thank you for loving me so well and serving me as Christ did the church. Thank you for ALL the things you do to make our family so special because I know I don't tell you enough how much I appreciate you.

I am blessed beyond measure, and I unconditionally RESPECT you with all of my heart!!