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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Baby Showers, Birthdays & Blessings

The Kennedy/Chase crew – Kels, Chris & Alexa Hope, Charlie & Karen, and John & Kelly Chase.

I’m ridiculously slow in getting my Thanksgiving blog posted. My apologies . . . as the title illustrates – A LOT happened during our week in CA. Before I share much more, I do want to say this. We can’t choose the family we’re born into. That’s just the way it is and I’m SO grateful God blessed me with the family He did. I have to admit – I’ve got an amazing family (at least I think they’re pretty great)! However, I can honestly say I’ve been equally blessed by my family-in-love. I couldn’t have hand-picked a more incredible crew who loves Jesus and walks with Him (and they tolerate me beautifully). What a blessing!! I thank them quite often for not being “weird.” Hmmmm . . . I wonder if they can say the same thing about me?

Anyway, here’s a glimpse of our time in CA. And yes, we honored Chris’ sister, Kelly, and Baby Chase (due Feb. 7th) with a baby shower. We celebrated (drumroll please) my 33rd birthday (Nov. 21st), and we slowed down (a bit) to give thanks with our extended family. Here’s a recap from our week in the Golden State.

It’s Charlie & Karen’s tradition to greet their children (and now grandchildren) as they descend from the escalator at the Sacramento airport. Here’s the official reunion. Thanks to Skype and lots of pics – Alexa doesn’t miss a beat. She definitely knows her Ama & Opa.


The spread (although you can’t see much of the food). Seriously, the food was awesome. The diaper cake wasn’t so tasty but will hopefully be super absorbent.

A sampling of the cards women could take with prayer requests for John, Kelly & Baby Chase. A brilliant idea I hope to incorporate in the next shower I help to host.

Every baby needs a sock monkey. Although I was terrified of them when I was little.

One of my fave gifts. Yep, this cute lil’ hat fits Baby Chase like a charm.

John rockin’ the Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag. Work it, Daddy J, work it!

The “Mommy of the Hour” (Kelly) surrounded by family – Auntie Janet, Grandma Graf, Karen (her mom) and the Kennedy gals. What a special opportunity to honor an incredibly special sister-in-law. No doubt, John & Kelly will make tremendous parents!

I thought if I flew to another state for my birthday, no one would notice. But the Kennedys celebrate birthdays in style – even when you’re of a mature age (like 33). Hooray for a delicious chocolate bundt cake (thank you Kelly) and blowing out all my candles the first time. We’ll see if my wish comes true.

Charlie & Karen “sponsored” a birthday lunch for me and my honey. They watched Alexa so we could indulge in lots of yumminess (and even some adult conversation). We’re so spoiled. Thank you!!

At the dinner table, we were each given a paper leaf on which to write things for which we were thankful this year. Here were mine . . .

1. Promises from God’s Word.
2. A Heavenly Father who knows what He’s doing & can be trusted in that.
3. A lil’ girl named Alexa Hope and her very special Daddy/hubby.
4. Family & friends who have been ever-present in my life this year.
5. Our entire family’s health.
6. The comfort & security of the place we call “home.”
7. Goldfish (the edible kind) and La Baguette’s Fudge Caramel Cake (it’s amazing)!!
8. The ease of sending/receiving text messages. Never thought I’d say that.

Here’s the crew gathering around to thank the Lord for His bounty and undeserved goodness. Uncle Tom, Auntie Janet, Charlie, Karen, John, Kelly, Grandma Graf & Chris.

Alexa honking GG’s nose (short for Great Grandma or Grandma Graf). Although, Alexa has decided she also likes to call her “Gram-me-ma.” I LOVE it!!

I adore this pic. It’s like Alexa and Gram-me-ma are old souls catching up on the latest dish. Such a sweet pic.

Our attempt at a family pic with a tripod and timer . . . not bad.

John & Chris could seriously be brothers. John’s sportin’ his ‘11 model of the Eddie Bauer grey pullover while Chris wears last year’s model. Chris, you’re soooo 2010!

ALEXA MOMENTS I plan to include more CA pics in Alexa’s 21-mos-old update. There were just too many for this post. I know you are getting weary at this point. So, I’ll just share a few.

Daddy with Alexa and Auntie Kelly on a walk at the McConnell Foundation.

They’ll be more on this, but Alexa was introduced to her Daddy’s rocking horse (Charlie made it for Chris). Let’s just say Alexa’s a big fan of her rocking horse – a BIG fan. One day, she said (with all the conviction in the world), “Daddy . . . I like it.” Indeed, she does.

She insists on wearing shoes when she rides her rocking horse. Much to her Mommy’s chagrin, she’s wearing shoes with her pajamas.

Gotta love it!

Enjoying a slide down a very cool (literally) concrete slide.

Alexa LOVED going to see the chickens in Ama & Opa’s backyard – every day! She enjoyed bringing in the eggs too. She called it “the park.” Sorry, sweet girl, we only have a storage shed, plastic swimming pool and play yard at our house.

Convincing Alexa to eat was, let’s say, an adventure during our time in CA. Here Ama is trying the kitchen floor in lieu of the booster seat. They both look like they were thoroughly enjoying mealtime.

We had a blessed time in CA and we are so, so thankful for ALL of God’s abundant blessings in our lives. We can look back at this year and give thanks in all things because . . . “He is good. His love endures forever.” Psalm 136:1

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