Sunday, December 28, 2008

Holly Jolly Christmas

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth

We had a beautiful morning! Full of smiles, excitement, and love!

Santa left a few bites for Miss K. She made a request and it was granted!

Santa left a few notes for us - he's very thoughtful you know

A wondrous morning indeed!

The reindeer sure made a mess!

Landon was so into his presents this year! He unwrapped them all and even helped Grandma K and Papa Gary with theirs

Kisses! Kisses! Kisses!

Miss K's new baby girl!

This was a great Christmas filled with love and family. I tried my best to focus on making this a special day for Kennedy and Landon. Although it was hard at times without Jared, I had to be strong for our children.

Christmas morning, I was awakened to the sounds of giggling and laughter and one super excited little girl and boy. We checked out the cookies and milk that Santa enjoyed and the carrots that Rudolph himself had eaten (they even left a few footprints at our front door). As the house awoke, we opened up presents and watched an amazing video that my dad found on You Tube (a must see!) Christmas dinner was spent at my grandparents house where we enjoyed my grandmothers famous lasagna YUMO! We are blessed with an amazing family that is built around love - thanks for a beautiful Christmas!

Daddy will be home once again and we have such an amazing thing to look forward to. I want to thank all of my family and friends for the encouraging words and constantly trying to make this an easy transition - you guys are my ROCK!

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Although we are apart in miles, your love is here in my heart
I'm in awe of your love I'm in awe of your strength
This time will pass and we will together be as one
You are the one for me in so many ways 
I thank the Lord for bringing you into my life
We have something true

Merry Christmas Sweetie
love you  

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Day 'O Fun

Our St. Louis trip came to a close yesterday. We had a wonderful time visiting with the family and we managed to squeeze in a day at the St. Louis City Museum. This unique (and I mean unique!) experience was so much fun for the kids and me. Once the International Shoe Company, this 600,000 square foot converted factory now has a wide range of exhibits. From an eclectic children's playground to a surrealistic pavilion, this architectural rich museum WOWED us. We played for a few hours and even walked away with some hand crafted ornaments designed by Miss Kennedy herself!

Thanks Granny and Granpy for a great 10 days!
Off to Chicago we go....

This was the entrance! In the summer, this area is open to explore.

Off we go!

Miss K was a little apprehensive at first

The childrens playground was made out of recycled materials

I loved this room...simple, open, and fresh!

Miss K's creations

Kennedy solo on her very own train ride

Landon thought this place was a huge jungle gym

Good Day!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Goody Goody Gumdrops..

Our trip to St. Louis has been fun-filled! We drove in last week and joined Auntie Evonne in Kansas City for her graduation. After a great weekend, we headed back to St. Louis where Granny Smith had some fun adventures planned. She found a gingerbread house before we arrived and decided it would be a special project for Kennedy and her to undertake. Well lets just say Kennedy LOVED this first time experience. It takes a lot of patience, a lot of love, and a BIG sweet tooth (Kennedy has that one down). Thanks for a great time Granny!

Our gingerbread house started here...

We added a little love...

and couldn't forget the goody goody gum drops...

and we ended up with the SWEETEST gingerbread house in St. Louis!

That's all folks!

(Thank you Nana for our wonderful surprise we received today - the dress is beautiful!)

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Only Thing Missing...

The only thing missing is you...

We've had an amazing 2 weeks in Ohio. Great company, Great food, and Great memories. Kennedy and Landon have enjoyed the mill and all of its secret spaces. My sister Meaghan has been a tremendous help and its been wonderful spending precious time with her - thanks sis for making this transition so much easier. My mom - well what can I say??? You always have a way about you that makes a day seem brighter. Thank you for the way you love my Kennedy and Landon so well - your a beautiful Nana! We had a chance to see Auntie Nicole at her home in Cincinnati - thanks for a wonderful dinner and great company we can't wait to see you on Christmas. The Navy has had an interesting way of revealing some truths in my life. One of them I've come to understand is the true value and importance of our family - you are my rock and I'm so grateful to have you in my life!

As each day passes without Jared, I'm amazed at how God has given me strength. It's not a strength that is understandable right now but it has lifted me up when I need it the most. Kennedy dreamt of Jared a few nights back and she rolled over and said, "Mommy, daddy's going to be gone for a while isn't he?". In that moment, I realized the true innocence of her childhood. She does not know how long and how many days will pass until daddy is home but I hope she knows she can wrap herself in my arms and feel secure. 
We love you daddy!

St. Louis here we come!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


You may ask, "What is this that I see?" Well put yourself in the mind of a 3 year old and let your imagination run wild. Traveling is a great thing for young minds - let this picture be proof! Kennedy was in her world o' fun and she picked all of my moms jade plant droppings from the floor. She proceeded to put Becky (in case you don't know Becky, she is Miss K's favorite baby doll) in Landon's highchair and broke all the jade leaves into tiny tiny pieces. She added a little dried leaf garnish and feed her Becky a "grape" dinner. YUMO!

A little laughter goes a long way when we need it the most - thanks for brighting my day Kennedy!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Goodbye my love...Goodbye my friend

Today was the day.
Today was the day I said goodbye.
 It came on a rainy fall Ohio day.
With unspoken words of sadness, each lasting moment I held close to my heart.

My heart breaks for Kennedy and Landon as they miss the joy that their daddy brings to them day to day. We'll miss the sound of his whistle saying hello after a long day. We'll miss the way he fills our days with love and laughter. Most of all, we'll miss having the person that makes this family complete.

Jared - you've captured my soul in an indescribable way. You've been that person that lifts me up when the world seems so empty. Thank you for who you are to me and our two precious children. I pray that this time passes and that you always know that your loved and cherished in this family. LOVE YOU!  

Sunday, November 16, 2008


and most of all

Church today was awe inspiring! Christmas is here and the hustle and bustle is about to begin. We are so fortunate and blessed as Americans to celebrate this amazing time of year. However, there are so many who spend this time in need, despair, and without hope. Instead on focusing on the material THINGS (because that's really what they are) what if we came together to give people clean water, hope, and love. Christmas IS about giving and it's IN the giving that we receive!

The story of Christ's birth is a story of promise, hope, and a revolutionary love.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Apple and Cake


This past weekend I celebrated my 28th birthday with the people that I truly treasure in life  - Jared, Kennedy, and Landon. My most thoughtful husband surprised me last week with a new Macbook Pro Laptop! It's quite amazing to say the least. A whole world different than a PC but completely up my alley - it's simple, clean, modern, and fun (in other words I love it love it love it!!) In addition to my new fun toy, Kennedy had a beautiful surprise waiting for me after I got my birthday pedicure. As I was gone, Jared had Kennedy create a beautiful painting for me named "Cake". It was such a sweet and thoughtful gift that I'll truly treasure forever. I have it hanging where I can see it every day - it brings a huge smile to my face. 
Jared - Thank you for making my weekend so special. You are an amazing friend and husband who continues to cherish me in countless ways! I love you!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Off to Neverland!

"When a new baby laughs for the first time a new fairy is born, and as there are always new babies there are always new fairies" ~ Peter Pan
My Peter Pan ready to fly!
There's no Peter Pan without his sidekick Tinkerbell!
Pumpkin fun!


3 of a kind

Kennedy was the official candy distributor - she loved her BIG responsibility!

I got a little love from Peter Pan....

and daddy got some too!


Monday, October 27, 2008

These Shoes Were Made For Walking....

Well come to find out, it's quite the task trying to capture a video of our little Landon walking! He loves grabbing the camera which does not make for a clear video. Here he is walking at pumpkin patch #2 (we went to another one on Sunday to find a "daddy pumpkin"). He loves his new freedom and truly enjoys watching mommy chase him everywhere! My face lights up every time I see this video!

Yet Another Kennedy Classic!

OK, so those of you that know Kennedy this picture may not come as a surprise! I asked her to get ready to go and this is what she came up with - I LOVE IT! What can I say, she has a very eclectic taste!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Bumpy Pumpkin Days

This past Wednesday, Jared left for Key West for additional flight training. He'll be back on Monday (fingers crossed) and life will be "normal" again but only for a short time. As I'm writing this, I feel such a sense of sadness - my emotions are really getting the best of me tonight. I probably could go on and on but it's probably better I don't take you down my emotional roller coaster. When my little Kennedy asks, I sometimes ask myself why God has put us here. I guess that question is not for me to figure out right now. I do know one thing for sure. The feeling I have when Jared gets back from these deployments and detachments is an emotion I can't put into words! My appreciation for what he brings to our family is immeasurable. He is my love and my best friend - life just isn't the same without him. With ALL that being said, Kennedy, Landon, and I made it over to the pumpkin patch today. It was Jared's absence that stirred up all these feelings today. As I stood strong in front of the kids, I couldn't help but feel alone on a Saturday that all I wanted was my hubby. Despite my feelings today, I truly enjoyed watching Kennedy and Landon in their element. They love the freedom of running and being carefree - it's their joy that gets me through these bumpy days!
She thought this was the coolest pumpkin ever, "Take a picture mommy...take a picture!"

I managed to scout out a few "stand-by" photographers willing to take some family pics
Kennedy found the beauty in this "not so perfect" pumpkin!

Landon enjoyed finding his way through the pumpkins and keeping mommy on her toes!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Just in case you don't know this WELL KNOWN fact, Jared loves Chipotle! According to a recent survey taken by Jared S. Raftery, he has visited over 50 Chipotle's in 12 states! Well if this isn't proof enough, today is where this friendly relationship between man and burrito has turned into a pure obsession (kinda kidding but not really). here's the story. A few months back, we learned that Chipotle was coming into Jax. Jared was beyond excited. He had been waiting 5 long years for a Chipotle to be located within a 60 mile radius of us. Trips to Houston, San Antonio, Orlando, and Gainsville have always been on our monthly agenda (in case you don't know, Houston is 4 hours from Corpus Christi!!!). Jared has been sporadically checking on the construction progress of our Jacksonville Chipolte and making sure things where right on track. About a week ago, I was on a local website for kids and I saw an advertisement for Chipotle's pre-opening party with free burritos. When Jared learned of this so called "day in history", he started planning out our whole day. Here's how it went.....wake up, drive Kennedy to playschool at 8:30, drop her off, drive to Chipotle, wait in line for 2 hours, have Sam and Landon join me at 11:00. Scary right?? There we were, 5 minutes away from having our first Jax Chipotle burrito chatting with the other Chipotlians. Jared was in his glory and I loved every minute of it!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Conner's Amazing Acres

Pumpkin time is here and we (our maybe I should say I) have been really looking forward to visiting Conner's Amazing Acres. This family farm is filled with fall festivities galore. From hayrides to pie eating contests, this place has it all. Our 45 minute drive north took us to a place that felt far from Jax - which was actually a welcomed change. Kennedy was pumped because this was the day we were going to "pumpkin time" as she calls it. Landon was along for the ride and Jared was happy just to make us girls happy - love you sweetie! We had a great day enjoying the fresh air and hanging with the fam!

Kennedy picking out her baby pumpkin

Hanging in the hay - Boys are a diffrent breed but I love it!

On our hayride, Kennedy had a chance to feed the cows. She thought it was so amusing when the cows "got her" (meaning they licked her)!

We went on a "moo-moo" train ride - bumps included!