Category: Carley (Page 1 of 9)

It Was Bound to Happen

For ten years now, Carley and I have played Ping Pong together every single week – sometimes multiple times per week, but always at least once, and always at least two games every time we play. We got the table in the summer of 2011 when Carley was twelve and I imagine we’ve played probably 1,200 or 1,300 games of Ping Pong. And I’ve never lost.

I’ve never let Carley win, probably, because my dad never let me win. My dad and I duked it out under the aluminum patio cover on the back porch of our family home about as often as Carley and I play – it was constant. I don’t remember ever not having a Ping Pong table. It started out in the garage when I was too little to play and would only be set up when we had company. Couples from church, Uncle Gerald and Aunt Alice – after dinner we always wound up in the garage playing Ping Pong. But sometime in the mid ’70s, when I was about ten or so, we added another four feet to the concrete patio, had the cover installed, and got a new Ping Pong table to go with it. My dad and I played almost every day and he never let me win.

And then, one evening, during the summer between my sophomore and junior years in high school, under the glow of the yellow bug light on that back porch, I beat him. And it was a big deal. I don’t remember the score. But I remember celebrating very loudly. I remember yelling at the top of my lungs in great relief and tremendous joy. I remember running inside to tell my mom and my sisters. I remember feeling like I had really accomplished something really great. He did not let me win. He did not take it easy on me. I beat him one-on-one at his own game and it meant something. It was significant.

Carley’s never beaten me. She’s come close a half dozen times – I think we’ve gone to deuce once, maybe a couple of years ago. We play together as partners when my siblings and their families come to visit. But she’s never beaten me.

Until today.

It was bound to happen.

At about 1:20pm this afternoon, Carley had me down 15-10. Then she had me 19-16. Then she was up 20-18. I took the next two points on my serve to force the deuce. And then she got the next two points, on her serve, to take me down.

In victory, she did not disappoint. She was gone out of the room before I could even look up. “I am the champion!” she sang at the top of her lungs. “I am the champion, my friend!” It was more shouting than singing, through the kitchen, into the living room. “And I’ll keep on fighting, to the end!” Now it sounds like she’s coming back to the game room. “I am the champion! I am the champion!” I can hear her coming back down the hall. “No time for losers!” She synced up her song and her walk so that she re-entered the game room in time to point at me as she emphasized the word “losers.” Nice.

Carrie-Anne walked in. Well? She won? I was on my knees at my end of the table, still not quite believing what had just happened. Uh, yeah. She did. By this time, Carley was on the phone to Valerie, telling her middle sister about her victory. Whitney was beside herself with glee at my demise. The above picture was taken to commemorate the occasion.  And Carley left for work.

It was going to happen. Carley’s paid attention to improving her forehand over the past month and for the past couple of weeks she’s concentrated on her serve – both have improved significantly. I just wasn’t ready for it to happen today. But it has.

She’s a winner. And I’m a loser.



Double Deuce Bear

Carley Renae, The Bear, turns 22 today.

Fiercely independent. Driven. Brilliantly smart. A genius. Strikingly beautiful. Critical thinker. Hilariously sharp. Passionate. All in, all the time. Wonderfully talented. Amazingly gifted. Lover of Taco Bell and classic rock. Committed disciple of Jesus. Single-mindedly determined to live her life with excellence. Quoter of Seinfeld and Tom Petty. Jeep owner. Successful dog trainer. Potato chip connoisseur. Lion King memorizer. Salsa maker. Forty-five minute shower taker. Beloved child of God.






Happy Birthday, Little Bear. I trust that you are wowing your professors at OC, that you are helping others with their homework, and berating those who don’t carry their weight in group projects. I know you’re killing it in so many ways – your grades, your job, your friendships, your pursuit of our Lord. You bring your old man incredible joy. You are a source of tremendous pride for me and the object of my undying admiration. Just, please, stop calling me “Bro.”

I love you.


The Last First Day

It’s the first day of school for our youngest daughter, Carley, as she begins her Senior Year at Oklahoma Christian University. This is Carley outside her third floor on campus apartment holding her dog, Siggy. Or, I should say, barely holding her dog; this picture must have been taken one second before she dropped the poor animal. The first day of school pic always showed our girls with their new lunch boxes and back packs, surrounded by dozens of WalMart bags containing spiral notebooks, crayons, pens, and boxes of Kleenex. Now, it’s just Carley and her dog.

I was late singing “School Bells” to her this morning. Terribly late – I didn’t get to her until she was having dinner with her friends. After I told her this was her last first day of school, she reminded me that she’s going to earn her Master’s Degree and so will be starting another school year in 2022. Well, this is the last first day of school I’m paying for. I think.

We love you, Carley. Good luck with your studies and with Theta, with your new job at the golf course, and with all you’re wanting to accomplish. We hope you have a really terrific last year at OC.



Delta Doll

Carley was awarded the Delta Doll of the Year at the Delta Gamma Sigma banquet over the weekend. Delta is the Oklahoma Christian University men’s social service club of which I was a member for four years back in the late ’80s. But I’m not completely sure what it means to be the Delta Doll of the Year. I know it means designing their T-shirts and cheering them on during intermural events. I hope it hasn’t involved doing homework for those guys or bailing them out of jail. We had Delta Dolls back then – typically they belonged to our unofficial sister club, Theta Theta Theta. But I don’t remember the awarding of any certificates. Also, at what point will the term “Delta Dolls” be banished from use? If Nancy Inman were still around, that wouldn’t fly anymore.

Congratulations, Carley! Your dad and your Uncle Paul and Chris Adair are really proud!

First Day 2020

First day of school and we’re down to one kid now. Carley started her Junior year this morning at Oklahoma Christian University just the way you would expect her to: Theta T-shirt, Delta coffee mug, laptop, and coronavirus mask.

Short semester. Social distancing. Mandatory masks. But she’s making it work. We’re so proud of this brilliant psychology major and we’re wishing her a wonderful year.

We love you, Bear.


The Last Teenager

Carley, our baby, the Bear, turns 20 today.






When I called her at almost 10:00 this morning to sing Happy Birthday to her, we talked about her college professors, a couple of her courses, and the rush activities she’s attending this week as a sophomore at Oklahoma Christian University. We talked about the indisputable truth that we’re both so much older than we feel. We discussed our plans for Christmas which — good grief — might be the next time we see her. We talked about the hail damage to her Jeep. And I commented on the video I saw last night of her smacking a softball through the middle of the infield for a base hit in an intramural game against Theta.

It happens fast, man.

She’s 20.








She’s a wonderfully talented, beautifully gifted, hilariously funny, amazingly driven, Christ-pursuing, classic rock loving, super smart young lady who’s got a million different fantastic experiences in front of her. And she seems to be enjoying all of them. I thank God for Carley and what he’s doing in her and through her right now. And I’m beside myself with anticipation for what she’s going to be doing to his glory in the coming years. But today I’m just trying to catch my breath and let the realization that she’s 20-years-old sink in. She’s got a college roommate and a degree plan and a great job. And a Jeep.

And she’s 20.







Happy Birthday, Bear. I love you.


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