Slideshow Image 0 Slideshow Image 1 Slideshow Image 2 Slideshow Image 3 Slideshow Image 4 Slideshow Image 5 Slideshow Image 6 Slideshow Image 7 Slideshow Image 8 Slideshow Image 9 Slideshow Image 10 Slideshow Image 11 Slideshow Image 12 Slideshow Image 13 Slideshow Image 14

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Glimpses of God’s Beauty

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.” Psalm 19:1-2
I felt I had too many pics to share in the Colorado blog. So, I wanted to devote one post entirely to the beauty of God’s creation. I find so much joy in admiring God’s handiwork, and for some reason, I really enjoyed snapping images of it this year.

Sunset on the San Juan Mountains – just down Grandma Rachel’s road. A favorite walk to take in the evening just to get a glimpse of the color & magnificence.

The reflection of the sky and trees in the waters at Fish Creek Reservoir.

Another view of Fish Creek Reservoir. It was a perfect day.

Due to the wet spring and summer, the Indian Paintbrush was thriving.

Call me crazy, but this plant/weed was so interesting to me.

I’ve never seen a solid white Columbine either – this was a first for me.

Growing up in the Oklahoma Panhandle, I’m a sucker for clouds. This was on a hike.

This pic was taken at an entirely different location than the former. This is just before a sunset looking out from Grandma’s home. I wish you could see how radiant the white cloud really was. It made you squint looking directly at it.

A view of the San Juan Mtns from a hike. Nothing else to say but “WOW.”

This tree wasn’t so fortunate but it made for an interesting picture.

The gorgeous, ever-changing scenery at Grandma’s. A storm is coming – yippee!!

And . . . here it is. You can’t even see the Ridge from the downpour.

The peonies at Grandma’s were unbelievable. Next to tulips, they are my favorite flower. I just loved admiring them.

We were able to enjoy the peonies inside as well. Who needs a florist?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Just Chillin’ in Colorado

A week ago yesterday, our family returned from a rest-filled retreat at Grandma Rachel’s  in southwest Colorado. It was the perfect escape from the Oklahoma heat and a wonderful excuse for Alexa to visit her Great Gram K and Ama & Opa (Chris’ parents). We arrived to quite a bit of excitement as Grandma Rachel’s appendix had ruptured two days prior to our visit. Our first stop from the airport was the hospital to see Grandma. She was doing well and was all the buzz in the hospital as the doc’s oldest appendectomy at 91 years young (plus all the friends who paid her a visit). She was quite a popular patient. Rachel’s amazing (which is why she can live alone on the side of a mountain over half of the year). After four days in the hospital she was released to come home. A week after the surgery you would have never known it had happened. We were all amazed by her tremendous recovery and we thank the Lord for His hand on her life and her healing. 

Here’s a brief intro to the special people and the special place we love to visit.

Alexa Hope with her Great Gram K or as she called her “K.” 

It may not be Camelot, but here are four generations of Kennedys: Opa (Charlie), Grandma Rachel, Alexa Hope and Daddy (Chris).

Alexa loves her Ama & Opa.

This is a glimpse of Grandma’s place. And yes, this is my idea of “roughing it.” I love to play outside but I equally love the idea of a shower, a bed, and a room with a view . . . an amazing view! This is the wilderness experience I have grown to love.

One of the many flower beds you can view overlooking Grandma’s deck.

Cimarron Ridge (in background). The view we enjoy from Grandma’s place.

This post has lots of pics (and just imagine I actually weeded out the best ones) so I’ve broken it down into two parts: Alexa in Action and Mommy & Daddy on the Loose. I’ll post an addendum tomorrow with Glimpses of God’s Beauty. Enjoy!

So what does a little 16-mos-old whipper snapper do at Grandma’s you ask?

Enjoying a wilderness walk with Dada.

Smelling Gram K’s peonies and watching a butterfly or as Alexa called it – a “byee.”

Taking a break from her stair climbing expeditions. We all had quads & lungs of steel from trekking the two flights of stairs with her many times a day. She loves ‘em.

Enjoying a morning snack with Ama.

Seeking solace from the mosquitos with Opa (she’s just like Mommy about bugs).

Throwing rocks (or “woks” if you’re Alexa) on an evening walk.

Watching a hail storm roll through the Ridge. Alexa loved the thunder.

Enjoying a delicious breakfast on the deck with the family.What a glorious morning!!

Reading a story with Opa.

Waiting to pop one of Opa’s “bubos.” She loved chasing the bubbles.

Getting tickled by Dada.

And, finally getting the bug spray washed off at night.


I think for Chris and me, one of the biggest reasons we love CO is so we can go hiking together. We were able to enjoy three hikes and we managed to survive despite the wild mosquitos and flies trying to eat us up. We even revisited “Engagement Meadow.” The place Chris proposed to me six years ago on September 10th. Here’s a comparison of the engagement pic and today. I think Chris got younger and I aged.

Engagement 061
The actual engagement on September 10, 2005.

Revisiting “Engagement Meadow” almost six years later.

Hiking up to Cowpuncher Lake.

Resting on a rock at Hampton Lake. Yes, that’s a mosquito on Chris’ face – they were ravenous this year!

Peek-a-boo . . . I see Chris!

The view from Fish Creek Reservoir! The wildflowers were unbelievable.

Evidence of a glorious hike. Chris actually pulled a caterpillar out of his hiking boots.

More pics coming your way tomorrow.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Aaaahhhhhh . . . .

Some of you may be reading this post and saying “hmmmm.” But, if you have lived in or visited the state of Oklahoma any time this summer, you will totally understand the reason I’d post a blog about our new AC unit. Isn’t she a thing of beauty – two-and-a-half tons of literal coolness.

The record breaking heat in our state has become a way of life. You wake up expecting it to reach the mid-nineties by 10am and it’s guaranteed to be in the triple digits by noon. It just gets hotter from there. Poor Alexa has been sequestered indoors the majority of the day since early June. Well, when I returned from Dallas with Alexa in early July, I discovered our AC unit had given up the ghost. No wonder – it was tired. Of course, it was one of the warmest weekends yet with a heat index of 111 degrees and Chris was still in Washington D.C. Fortunately, our sweet friends, Cory and Martisha Green rescued us with a borrowed window unit until we could get the AC unit fixed. Our lil’ house reached temps of 90 degrees that weekend but with the help of the window unit and three fans blowing, we survived and Alexa still managed to sleep like a champ.
To make a long story short, when the repairman came out to fix the unit the following week, he told us it had severe damage from the hail storm in June and he expected the unit to continue breaking down until it was replaced. He was able to fix the compressor temporarily but we truly didn’t feel relief until Arthur’s Air Conditioning & Heating came to replace our rickety old unit with this beautiful, smooth-running piece of equipment. That was yesterday. And since then, we feel cool again. I can actually feel the air hitting my head from the vents in the ceiling – a first in the five years we’ve lived here. And, the AC unit actually shuts off!! It’s a thing of beauty and we are so grateful for air conditioning and the men who provided it for us.

Here’s a pic of our old unit. Yep – it definitely got a beating from the hail storm. It seems they make them a bit higher quality these days.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Blessings by Laura Story

This song echoes the wonderings and questions in my heart as of recently. It’s been nine weeks since we faced the reality of our baby’s loss. You’d think after two miscarriages – I’d be a pro at this, but in some ways, it’s harder this time . . . especially as time moves forward and the reality sinks in that December 8th is just another date on the calendar . . . not a due date filled with anticipation. Perhaps loss IS the Lord’s mercy in disguise . . . I’m not so sure at the moment. But, I do hope this temporary trial will produce a perseverance and maturity in my life that will reflect the Father (James 1:2-4). I know I’m not there yet – just a transparent work in progress.
Blessings by Laura Story
We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering.

All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things.

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

And all the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

And what if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can’t satisfy?

And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Alexa’s 1st Haircut and Boo Boo

IMG_1631Sweet Alexa showing off her shorn locks – Thursday, July 7 (15 mos, 3 wks, 3 days)

I’m sorry for such a delay in posts. We just returned from a week in Colorado visiting Chris’ grandmother and parents (look for more on that trip in the next blog). It’s been an action-packed month. I just looked at the calendar and realized we will only be home 13 days in July. We spent the 4th of July weekend with my extended family and cousins in Dallas. Alexa and I stayed with my parents in Dallas another week while Chris flew to Washington D.C. for business. We were home five days and then flew to Colorado for a week. Now that we’re back and gearing up for one more trip (to Disney World with my family), it’s time to catch you up to speed.

While in Dallas, Alexa experienced her 1st haircut and boo-boo all in the same day. I was very concerned about the haircut because the previous day she had had a major meltdown putting her foot in the foot measuring device at Stride Rite. I mean, she totally lost it. I thought to myself, “Oh my . . . this haircut experience could be one for the record books.” So, my mom, dad and I prayed Alexa would do well as we traveled to Cool Cuts 4 Kids in Southlake (praying is a common occurrence in my car when Alexa experiences anything new or potentially frightening to her). The best advice the gal at Cool Cuts gave us prior to the visit – bring Alexa’s favorite DVD. Done. That was simple – Praise Baby was coming with us to Cool Cuts. And that, my friends, is the rest of the story.

Alexa was not too excited about sitting in the fun little cars they had available for children but once she was on my lap with her paci in and the Praise Baby DVD rolling – it was all over. Alexa went into a pseudo trance and received the cutest little haircut and style a 15-mos-old gal could ask for (and Mommy too). We’re so thankful for Alexa’s sweet stylist Stacia and for a wonderful 1st haircut for Alexa Hope.
A “before” of Alexa’s tousled, mullet-esque locks.

Look at how nervous Mommy looks . . . and we were worried about Alexa – ha! Look at her zoning out to her DVD.

I just loved her face in this one. Apparently, she wanted highlights not just a trim.

I wanted you to see the cool car Alexa could’ve sat in (yellow car to the right). I guess Mommy’s lap is the happening place these days. Mommy’s totally fine with that.

Stacia putting the final touches on Alexa’s ‘do. So precious, however, I can’t get her to sit still long enough to accomplish this look quite yet.

One happy Alexa, one relieved Mommy, and one sweet stylist.

Unfortunately, Alexa fell while we were Skyping Daddy to show him the new haircut. It was her first fall where there was blood, a knot and bruising (a boo-boo just above her eye). I’m so thankful God gave her those full eyebrows for a reason. The boo-boo has healed beautifully.

“Mik,” as Alexa says, will make it all better. Hooray for vitamin D.

Beyond a haircut and a boo-boo, Mommy was horrible capturing pics of our family time in Dallas. Here are the few I managed to snap. I hope to add a few more swimming pics from my sis’ camera sometime soon. Alexa loves the water.

A sweet pic of Alexa with her Pop and Mimi.

Alexa lounging with Pop to watch (guess what) Praise Baby.

Alexa singing along to the hymn, “Oh How I Love Jesus.”

Snuggle time with Mimi.

Probably the most exciting aspect of my time in Dallas (aside from Alexa’s 1st haircut) was getting back in the saddle again with my Dad. This was the 1st time for me to ride a significant distance since July 2009 when I was pregnant with Alexa and the doc said no more cycling. It felt amazing to spin again, to have my quads burn and my neck ache from the cycling position. I can’t wait to start riding again with Chris. Babysitter anyone!? I don’t think I’m ready to plop Alexa in a bike trailer for a 30 mile ride just yet.