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

Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday pick-me-up

The Kennedys are soaking up the spring weekends. If you’ve lived in Oklahoma long, you know there is a very small window for beautiful weather (spring/fall), and we’re living “large” in that small window. We enjoyed another action-packed weekend including playtime at the park, a family jog & yard work, lots of reading and an outing with my sister’s family to the OKC Arts Festival & Thunder Alley. We also enjoyed listening to my sister’s choir at a concert on Sunday. A shout out to my niece, Rylen, who will compete in the state Bible drill competition next weekend. Whoop whoop!!

It’s pretty much guaranteed if we are outdoors, Alexa is a happy camper. Add to that equation, sprawling green grass with oodles of water and it goes from happy to elated. Mommy feels the same way (not so much about the water but the event). I have always looked forward to the OKC Arts Festival. It’s nestled in the heart of OKC at the newly renovated Myriad Botanical Gardens.The atmosphere is teeming with visual arts, performing arts & culinary arts. Add to the mix the OKC marathon and the first night of playoffs for the OKC Thunder and it’s just a big, big weekend for Oklahomans. You could sense the excitement bustling in the air. Although we didn’t get to see much art this year (sad face), we relished the moments watching Lil’ A soak up her inaugural trip with her cousins to the arts festival. If the chocolate-dipped cheesecake didn’t convince her, the water installments sure did.
IMG_1328 IMG_1348
Alexa was fascinated with a visual arts performer doing all sorts of tricks from back flips with twists to multiple spins and layouts in the air. She decided she wanted to give it a go. Her version looked more like a scene from “Stomp.”


After frolicking in “the wilderness,” as Mommy calls it, we headed over to Thunder Alley, the area outside Chesapeake Arena where fans gather before the basketball game, to get our “Thunder” on. Alexa chose to dance and play the “boom booms” (drums). Yes, the girl has her own drumsticks (i.e. chopsticks) at home. Like her Mama, Lil’ A loves to get down to a good beat. Too bad I don’t have a video of Alexa getting her groove on (Mommy was too busy getting hers on too). Go Thunder – who defeated the Dallas Mavs 99-98 thanks to Kevin Durant’s game winning shot.
IMG_1365 IMG_1356
Alexa and Daddy (bottom left) walking back to our “free” parking space with the new Devon Tower (Oklahoma’s tallest building) and Chesapeake Arena as their backdrop. Goodnight OKC!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

. . . then there were two

We are officially down to two pacifiers. This one had to be retired this evening as my fear about the possibility of Alexa biting off the end and choking on it during the night reached its climax. (Can you see the jagged rip all around the top where Alexa chews on it?) We had to tell her her paci was '”broken” and it’s no longer safe to have. We love her too much to let her have “broken” pacifiers. Now imagine very sad crying.
I knew we needed to wean Alexa after Christmas but I always had another “reason” to put it off – sickness, travel, doctor’s visits. Let me explain, Lil’ A loves her pacifiers. They are as much a toy as they are a comfort to her . . . it’s the equivalent of a “lovey,” her thumb, and a stuffed animal all in one. When Alexa sees the letter “P” she says “P’ is for “paci.” And, let’s face it, those pacifiers make every battle we face a little easier because her choices often result in a paci “blessing” or paci “consequence” – meaning she gets them in her crib or she doesn’t.
I have to admit, I was a bit sad seeing paci #3 tossed into the trash. It’s an indication (at least for me) that we must continually put our dependence on the Father. Even I want the easier way out. However, He is our ultimate comforter and I’ll need that reassurance on the days when all Alexa wants is her paci. In that moment, as we typically do, we’ll stop and pray and ask God for His strength, peace and comfort. And my heart’s cry in that moment will be that Alexa will begin to understand our God is bigger and better than her pacifiers. He will always be there to comfort her. His love will never fail. And, it will be a great reminder for Mommy too.
Perhaps, God in His grace is allowing the weaning process to be less painful for this first time Mommy and her little girl by “breaking” pacifiers one by one. He must’ve known we’d never do it cold turkey. We’ll keep you updated. One down two to go.
Potty training comes next, right!? Oh boy . . .

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Monday Pick-me-up



When my friend/employer asks me every Monday how my weekend was, I pause and say, “It was good. How was yours?” The pause is normally because I can’t even remember what we did (i.e. – it was probably routine & predictable). If Shannon asks me today, I can honestly say we had a wonderful weekend! It was full of fun little adventures with my sweetie. It was a great way to bounce into spring.

Seriously, what mom lets her child stand on the teeter totter?


Our first stop on Friday was the library. I’m embarrassed to say it’s almost been a year since we received our library cards and we’ve barely darkened the doors minus some “story time” visits. The library overwhelms me with kids and mommies I don’t know. I feel a bit lost in the sea of books, and lets face it, the toys look dirty which kind of grosses me out. However, Alexa is really into story books and I was tired of pulling from our collection at home. So, as my friend, Brooke, says, I put on “my big girl pants,” got over my insecurities, and we went.
God was so faithful. We arrived at the library during lunchtime so it was incredibly quiet. I actually ran into a good friend and we had an encouraging visit. I was able to ask two librarians a slew of questions without feeling stupid and Alexa had her run of the books and toys (even the toys didn’t seem too gross to me this time) . . . probably because I’m letting go (a bit) about my germ-a-fears. Plus, I know I have a canister of Wet Wipes in the car.

I couldn’t keep up with the books Alexa was pulling out. She was having a heyday! I apologized for the 20ish books we left on the table to re-shelve. We took home 12 books which I felt was plenty to keep track of for several days. Alexa has asked us to read most of these books over and over and over this weekend. The highlight for me is speaking in several accents as I “become” each character.

Can’t wait to go back . . .


Norman is called Oklahoma’s City of Festivals and I haven’t attended many of them. I’ve lived here nine years, what’s my excuse?! While Daddy worked at OU on Saturday, Alexa and I enjoyed the ‘89er Day Parade which celebrates the anniversary of the Great Land Run of 1889. Outside of Disney World parades, this was Alexa’s first local parade. With horses, drums and multitudes of candy, I can confidently say – it was a hit for Lil’ A.
Alexa’s not sure what to think of the police cars commencing the parade. Her face resembled “shock and awe.”

The Grand Marshals and Alexa’s first view of a gorgeous horse.

I enjoyed all of the magnificent cars. Check out this stylin’ turquoise Bel Air.

Alexa was a bit perplexed by all the strangers waving at her but once she got used to waving back (at total strangers), you couldn’t stop her.
Perhaps the waving, bling sunglasses and overall cuteness contributed to the hoards of candy she received. Her little backpack was full of empty calories.

“Bye Sooner Schooner!” Alexa loved seeing OU’s RUF/NEKS and the Sooner Schooner pass by. These are the folks who ride out onto the field when OU scores a touchdown. Of course, Boomer and Sooner, the ponies who pull the Schooner, really grabbed Alexa’s attention.

I can only imagine what this little girl is thinking at this moment.

Alexa was most excited about her sucker. We’re saving it as bribery (no, um, incentive) to obey. Is that wrong?

”Hey Mommy, this parade rocked. Let’s invite Daddy next time, kay?”


After the parade, we strolled down to see several of the cars up close and personal. I think Pierce Arrow hood ornaments are soooooo cool. Do you think it would look good on our “96 Camry?

We grew up with two El Caminos in the family. The first one looked like this except it was white and dark orange. Swweeeeeeet!!

I drove a blue and white El Camino Conquistador like this in high school. It was the perfect car for my two best friends. We could all sit together. Oh the memories!

My family also has a ‘65 antique white mustang like this and my Dad wants to sell it (sniff, sniff). It has been in my family since day one. Chris and I just need a three car garage to keep it. Unfortunately, ours is a hard top.

Another sweet hood ornie.

Alexa couldn’t wait for Daddy to get home from work. When I told her he was coming, she said, “So he can play with me!” She was looking forward to helping Daddy plant the flowers we purchased on Friday.

Prepping the soil for some Vinca action. Daddy has the green thumb when it comes to outdoor plants. I’m so thankful.

Cover these babies with mulch, water and lots of prayer against hail damage and we’re good to go. Daddy also planted moss roses and Pentas in the front flower bed. All of them were pink, or as Alexa says, “Rylen’s color.”

I wish I could’ve captured how dirty Daddy’s hands were. Just missed it.

Helping or hindering Daddy watering the flowers? You decide.

Alexa trying to turn her feet over to see how they were making wet footprints on the dry cement. She was very puzzled.

This girl is going to love swimming this year. The wet sidewalk fascinated her.


With Alexa’s recent bout with separation anxiety, going to church has been difficult. She tells me almost daily, “I not go to church, Mama.” However, yesterday she did really well. Although she still refused to go, she adapted quickly once we got there.

Those sad little eyes reveal Alexa’s reluctance to go to church in the fear we won’t come back. Now you can understand why it’s hard for Mommy at times.

My two sweeties – big and small. Thank you for a wonderful weekend!! As Alexa said during bathtime on Saturday, “It was a big day!” I agree wholeheartedly.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Perfect Evening!

Just a little evidence only the Lord can end a day like this. The sunset was breathtaking and gone in seconds. So thankful we got to witness His glory in the sky.

It’s ridiculously late – it’s actually tomorrow but I had to share our perfect evening with you. Thursdays can be long days. I meet with a college gal early in the morning. Alexa and I go to a playdate. I work during A’s nap and Daddy goes has grad school in the evening. In fact, Alexa rarely sees Daddy on “class” days. He leaves before she gets up and gets home after she goes to bed. All of that said – Thursdays can be long days.

The day started off with a playdate hiccup leaving Alexa in “major” meltdown mode. I thought, “Oh boy – it’s going to be a rough one.” Once she settled down and took a two hour nap, I promised her we’d have some serious fun this evening. So . . . we headed to one of our favorite places – OU!! The wind had disappeared. The temp was perfect and the campus was quiet. Alexa and I even got to see Daddy during his ten minute class break . . . how fun! In fact, when I was rocking Alexa and asked her what her favorite part of the day was she said, “Daddy!” Precious.

Here’s a rundown of our fun romping through campus . . .

A delish dinner in the Union courtyard. Yes – those are “high fiber” nuggets and fries. Okay, no, they aren’t but Lil’ A gulped down six without hesitation.

“Hi to my adoring public!”

Standing up and still scarfing the nuggets down.

Picking some amazing white flowers.

Um, I LOVE white flowers!!

Honey, can we do something like this for our front planter?

Grunt . . . Lil’ A getting up to splash around in one of the six fountains we visited on campus. The girl was soaked by the time we finished and the water was cold – brrrrrr.

Splash it up sister!!

In front of the reflecting pool at Owen Field (rather, The Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium). I did not encourage the pose.

A shot of the stadium with Alexa making an “O” for OU!! A skill we tried to teach her before she could crawl. Show that Sooner pride.

Another shot of the sunset. I can’t get enough moments like these.

As we were walking to our car, I looked back and noticed a storm front rolling in (squeal). And, it WAS a glorious thunderstorm! Yes . . . the perfect ending to a perfect evening. The only thing we were missing was Daddy!