carley8giftOur youngest daughter turns 17-years-old today. Carley Renae, our little bear, is regarded now as a legal adult by the statutes of the great state of Texas. Our baby. Gnarles. The tiniest of marsupials. Seventeen? Yeah.

I know that a lot of parents tell their children, “You’re always going to be our baby girl.” And, in a lot of ways, I do still see you, Carley, as our baby. I’m still a little surprised when you talk about going to a friend’s house or doing something at school and I don’t have to plan how you’re going to get there and back. My heart catches just a bit when you come home talking about sizing your Senior ring or sending SAT scores to your top five colleges. The way you talk so effortlessly about advanced mathematics and physics and psychology causes me to shake my head. Your ambitions, your plans, your relentless ways of pursuing what you want catch me off guard. All of those wonderful things remind me that you’re seventeen, not seven.

carleybearbirthday5Of course, you still drink a tall glass of ice cold chocolate milk every single night before you go to bed. You still like for your back to be scratched or your hands to be held. And you still giggle and oooh and ahhh over cute puppy dogs and furry kitty cats.

But, yes, you are an adult today, Carley.

You’ve overcome so much by being our youngest daughter. Most all of your clothes have been hand-me-downs. You’ve always had the last pick on rooms in a new house, seats at the table and in the car, and where we’re going out to eat. Your baby book is by far the smallest and thinnest of all the Stanglin girls’. (Sorry; do we even know where it is?) It’s tough being the youngest.

golf2015But, wow, you’re definitely not our baby anymore. Carley, you have turned into a beautiful, talented, compassionate, brilliant, hilarious, young lady. You reflect the character of our God who created you. And you make your mom and me so incredibly proud of what he is doing in you and through you to his eternal glory.

Happy Birthday, Bear. Thank you so much for blessing our lives and our family with so much joy and love. Thank you for giving us that, and so much more, to look forward to in the future.

I love you. And I’m very proud of everything you are and everything you’re going to be.



12odorThe Texas Rangers’ magic number for clinching the American League West Division title is down to twelve. I’m worried about our bullpen, Dyson doesn’t give anybody much confidence, and until last night each of our starters had struggled in their past couple of starts. The offense is certainly there. But pitching is what counts if a team has hopes of advancing in the postseason. They can win a five game division series with just Hamels and Darvish. But they’re going to need a third guy to step up if they’re going to get back to the World Series. And today I don’t know who that is.