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Saturday, September 24, 2011

A “Wild” Baby Shower

IMG_2533Lindsay with her Mom at her baby shower.

Two weeks ago, I had the privilege of helping host a baby shower for Lindsay Collins. A sweet gal I would have never known well had it not been for a common bond we shared . . . we both lost our first babies. A little over a year ago, Lindsay experienced what all mommies dread – an ultrasound with no heartbeat. She lost her little one just shy of her 1st trimester and her dreams were dashed in an instant . . . her heart devastated. Needless to say, we bonded quickly after that because we could just sit together and cry. Nothing needed to be said. We were just there for each other. It’s a lonely place and that’s all there is to it.

In the wake of her loss, I had the opportunity to share encouragement through what the Lord had taught me through that season of loss and what helped me begin to hope again in the Lord’s plans for my life (baby or no baby). I don’t know how much it helped but I do know we formed a friendship in which we could be totally transparent – good, bad, or ugly. Friendships like this are rare and precious. Long story, short – Lindsay is pregnant and expecting her “second” child (a baby boy) this October. Praise the Lord!! What a joy to shed tears of sorrow and then tears of joy with a dear friend. It’s been comforting to see her belly and anticipation grow in what her heart has longed for for a while. Ironically, Lindsay has been able to comfort me as we faced our second loss in May. God never wastes our hurts if we let Him use us. I’m thankful for Lindsay and God’s provision for her life.

A close-up of the invitations I made for Lindsay’s shower.

I enjoyed mixing and matching animal prints with safari stickers. Double click if you’d like to see a close-up.

I had some leftover cardstock, so I made some thank you’s for her as well.

I consider this THE pregnant woman’s savory snack – pickles and deli meat with a cream cheese mixture. They were delicious! I need to get the recipe.

Adorable little safari animals topped yummy cupcakes. Of course, I based my cupcake selection not on the animal but rather the amount of icing on top.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Happy 32nd Birthday!!

Happy birthday to my amazing hubby!! I’m so thankful I’ve been able to share six years with you. Wow – has it been that many!? Thank you for continually being an example of Christ to my life. You are humble, generous, hard-working, positive, self-sacrificing, helpful, silly and you speak truth to my heart when I need to hear it most (with gentleness and love, of course). As Grandpa Walter would say, you’re a keeper! I hope you know the depth of my love and respect for you. I hope you have a wonderful day being reminded of the amazing man you are to me and so many others. Let’s celebrate with ice cream pie tonight!

An addendum . . .
Here are some pics from our mini-celebration last night after we got home from church and put Alexa to bed.

Showing off Alexa’s artwork for the birthday boy. She also sang, “Happy, Happy” to him. It was her version of “Happy Birthday To You.”

Chris said holding up the artwork felt like a mug shot so we had to try it out.

It fits! Modeling his newest Crazy Shirts addition from his parents – a Cali staple. 

It may not look pretty but Chris is excited about his ice cream pie. His personal fave.

Monday, September 19, 2011


We wanted to introduce you to our sweet adopted students from our church’s adopt-a-student program. We had the privilege of meeting them yesterday, and we look forward to getting to know them better in the days, weeks, and months to come. Caitlin (left) is a junior elementary ed major at OU while Stephanie (right) is a senior biochemistry major. They are both precious, and Alexa has already given her sign of approval (she let them hold her). We’re thankful for the opportunity to pour into these students’ lives while they seek to grow in their walks with Jesus.

And, Alexa wanted to send a little BOOMER SOONER your way as well. Mommy’s nerves can’t take many more games like this weekend. Alexa loves to say “OU” or “Go OU” – probably because Daddy and I both wear OU shirts quite often. She definitely knows those letters of the alphabet. When I put this shirt on her this weekend, she immediately said “OU” without any prompting from me . . . Hmmmmm, I guess the school song is true, “sooner born and sooner bred.”

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hooray for one-and-a-half!!

Alexa playing with pop beads before her 1st day of BSF (Bible Study Fellowship).

Yesterday, we celebrated one-a-half-years of joy with Alexa Hope. She had a clean bill of health at the doc’s and has grown a bit from her last visit just three months ago. She’s now a “hefty” 21 lbs 8 oz (35%) and 32 1/2” long (74%). That means she gained two pounds and two inches. Hooray for our lil’ A & thank you, Lord, for your provision.

As I share so often, Alexa continues to amaze me by how much she is learning. She IS a sponge. Her vocabulary continues to grow – so much now that I can’t keep track of her new words very well and she’ll repeat anything you say. But don’t expect to hear much from her. She is pretty shy unless she knows you really well. I love that we can communicate with each other though. And it’s always a delight to watch her personality continue to blossom – even when that personality exerts a bit of will.

Playing peek-a-boo behind the glass in Daddy’s new office at OU.

Striking a pose with Mommy’s sunglasses after bath time. Sorry about the flash. 

Alexa agreed to stop spinning the chair so Mommy could take a picture.

After not wanting much to do with her pink Mickey ears at Disney World. Alexa decided they were pretty cool when she saw herself in the mirror.

It’s been an exciting month with a mix of downtime and playtime. We rested a bit after Disney World and having visitors at our place. Then, we spent five days in Dallas with Mimi & Pop (After our Subaru decided to give up the ghost. It’s fixed now). We started going to a weekly playgroup with kiddos her age and now she’ll attend BSF with Mommy every Wednesday as well (Mommy’s really excited about this). We sang our Bible verse this evening, “Your Word, O Lord, is eternal.” Psalm 119:89.
One of Mommy’s best friends from CO visited and we had the privilege of meeting up with her and her three children as well as two other high school friends and their kiddos for a playdate. And, Alexa spent an entire day with her Aunt Hol, Uncle Mark, Ry-Ry and Layton so Mommy & Daddy could go to an out-of-town wedding. I asked my sis if she ever asked for us, and my sis said “no” (with a little smile of satisfaction). Alexa loves her cousins and we’re so thankful they love her too!!

- I believe she currently has eight teeth (three molars are popping out).
- Alexa loves pointing out the anatomy of the body. Her favorite body part at the moment is the "elbow.”
- She can jump now with both feet off the ground . . . momentarily. It’s hilarious. Her vertical is as impressive as Mommy’s!
- She asks to hear “boom boom” as soon as we get in the car. It’s a Michael W. Smith song I listen to with a pretty impressive drum introduction (it’s not called “boom boom” either). Our girl likes it loud and with a beat. She must get that from Mommy.
- She loves to play in the “dut” (dirt") and do “puzahs” (puzzles).
- She calls herself “Lexa” and will say “shuus me” when unexpected noises come out of her body. Of course, Mommy has to ask her to say this.
- She’s like to say “dokie dokie” for “okie dokie” and she’ll say “kay” (short for okay) if you ask her a question and the answer is yes. For example, Mommy:  “Would you like a cracker.” Alexa: “Kay.”
- She would probably stay in her crib all day. She is happy as a lark and quiet as a mouse until I finally go in and check on her. We’re so thankful for her sleeping habits.

Here are a few more pics to sum up the last month.

I call this pic evidence of a great nap. Can you see the handprints on her forehead?

Alexa loves wearing these cute Robeez mice shoes from Ama. She’s quite a shoe fashionista. We just about missed these precious shoes before she outgrew them. Mommy has to create a better system for organizing her clothes! But it’s hard when my girl is so little. Her actual age and clothing/shoe size rarely coincide.

Call me weird, but I just love this pic of lil’ A. The wind, the motion in her dress . . . sort of reminds me of a Hummel figurine.

Playing at a park in Dallas. Look at the little girl waiting on lil’ A to climb through.

Alexa finally commits to crawling through the tunnel.

Peeking through a tire swing to see Pop & Alexa. Notice the placement of her finger.

Intrigued by Mimi’s earrings. Alexa enjoys jewelry – she’s just like her Nonie (late great-grandmother). Our motto – if it’s brilliant, flawless & cuts glass – we’ll like it!


Leigh Ann King, Alexa, Caleb King & Debra Simonini enjoying some chalk art.

Debra Simonini holding her happy niece, Karis Mills.

Alexa giving it a go on a rocking horse. She’s digging Mommy’s panhandle roots.

There were actually eight kiddos and four mommies. What a blessed day!

Such a sweet pic of Leigh Ann King with her son, Caleb.

Working an alphabet puzzle with Layton at the soccer field.

Chillin’ with Rylen’s soccer teammates.

Hey Mommy, could I hang out with my cousins more often!?

Cuddling with Uncle Mark at Rylen’s volleyball game.

I desperately wanted a pic of the two of us together, but settled for Alexa’s impression of a frog catching flies. Gotta love it!

One-and-a-half years of laughter, joy & adventure with a little girl we love deeply . . .
We’re humbled. We’re grateful. We’re blessed.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Life’s perfect moments are NOW

Swinging with Pop on a tire swing in a Dallas park.

One of my best friends recently sent me a card (I know, hard to believe some people still mail cards. But if you know me at all, I’m a STRONG supporter for the written word). Handwritten notes and cards are priceless . . . period. I won’t be saving anything on Facebook or Twitter, but I do have boxes of meaningful handwritten notes I’ve received throughout my life. Anyway, I’ll step off my soapbox and continue. As I was saying, a very dear friend of mine sent me a card and it had this message on the front – "Life’s perfect moments are now.” This card will be one of those “keepers” I will stash away as a reminder of that simple truth.
After another miscarriage, a new AC unit that the insurance won’t cover, a new hot water heater, costly repairs to both of our cars, and a drought, heat-ridden summer that has zapped the life out of our landscaping, it’s easy to scoff at such a sentiment about life’s perfect moments being now. However, once I’m in the presence of my sweet lil’ Alexa – the saying couldn’t be more true. Our little girl is almost one-and-a-half and this age is my favorite (so far). She is a sponge for everything. She is in a constant state of chatter, exploration, learning and activity. Her little personality is bubbling over with enthusiasm, humor, drama, joy and delight in everything she does – be it playing in the “dut” (dirt) or clapping her hands after we say “Amen.” She’s just a ham. It’s a tremendous privilege watching her grow and develop into the little lady God created her to be. I’ve tried to capture just a few of the priceless memories we’ve made over the last couple of weeks. Yes . . . life’s perfect moments are now. Thank you, Lord, for the present and thank you for the privilege of sharing it with the ones I love.

Alexa has fallen in love with a book titled, “Good Night Gorilla.” It’s a brilliant little picture book by Peggy Rathmann, and I think it’s a must for any child. Alexa reads it before naptime, before night time, and we take it in the car for any commute. There’s a scene in which the zookeeper’s wife realizes several animals from the zoo are sleeping in her room. As anyone could surmise, she is absolutely shocked and the illustration in the book reveals as much. I always make the face when I read it to her and Alexa loves to mimic the same face she sees in the book. Yep – a priceless moment every time we read it.

Here she is reading “Good Night Gorilla” to us on a drive to Dallas.

Here’s the shocked face of the zookeeper’s wife in the book.

And here’s Alexa impression of the zookeeper’s face. What a surprise!

And here’s that surprised face again! She was grinning a bit too.

Getting a good tickle from Mimi. Alexa’s got a very contagious giggle these days.

Mimi and “mini mimi” Alexa.

Alexa loves playing with her Pop. CHEESE!

It’s not the new act for Cirque du Soleil. It’s Alexa reaching as far as she can to feel the fountain without Chris dropping her. If we let her, Alexa would stop and play in every fountain she saw.

Did I mention Alexa LOVES chairs of any kind. They are “highs” to her because she calls every chair a “high” in reference to her high chair. Here she is cracking herself up in a large wingback in Mimi’s office.

Did I mention she loves chairs? Oh yes . . . I guess I did.

She also enjoys rocking in her own little rocking chair – especially to read.

Chillin’ in yes, you guessed it, another chair.

And if you missed the post about the recent fascination with her fleece jacket, she hasn’t given up the habit. She’s still a fan of fleece and link necklaces.

So many more “perfect moments” I’d love to share but I’ll save them for another post. Enjoy your “perfect moments” today!