Carrie-Anne and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary yesterday. And in a lot of ways it was a typically busy Sunday. In the card I gave her yesterday morning while she was still in bed I wrote, “Happy Anniversary. I love you. Looking forward to the funeral.”
Stan’s memorial service was just one of the ministry duties that we shared together yesterday. In fact, our first “alone” time of the day didn’t come until about 7:00 last night, after we had dropped the girls off with the Byrnes and headed to Grapevine.
Part of what keeps me falling deeper in love with her day after day is watching her with other people. I love the way she interacts with young children. I love the way she still lights up when she talks about her bi-lingual students at the Marble Falls pre-K. I love her patience and kindness she shows to our daughters when she’s helping with homework or they’re helping with cooking dinner. I love the way she’s embraced this whole preacher’s wife thing, opening up in ways I’ve never seen before. I love the way she’s right by my side praying with sick people at the hospital, visiting a grieving family before a funeral, or just shaking hands with our brothers and sisters after an assembly. She’s so friendly and funny and warm and considerate. I’m proud of her. And I love her.
But I really like being alone with her. Like most couples our age we do spend a lot of time talking about our kids and our jobs. But we also like to talk about our past together. Carrie-Anne has a fabulous memory and a wonderful way of recalling the funniest little details of our life together. And we laugh. And we sigh. And we both marvel at how God has worked in our lives to bring us together, to keep us together, and to work through us for his Kingdom.
Carrie-Anne is the most forgiving, most compassionate, most loyal person I know. And I know. I’m the grateful recepient of a whole lot of that forgiveness and love and loyalty. I’m blessed with much more than I could ever deserve in my amazing wife.
Thank you, baby.
I do. And I always will.
Thanksgiving at Aunt Pam’s in Fort Worth. Carrie-Anne’s not asleep in this photo. She just always closes her eyes when a shutter goes off. From right to left on the couch that’s C-A, her mom, Aunt Pam, and the Whitster. The other photo is Valerie with Pam’s new little runt of a dog, Allie.
Snow and sleet most of the afternoon. Who knew? Carley (in her tank top!) and Valerie spent a couple of hours outside with the wintry mix. Whitney wasn’t about to be pulled away from the Cowboys blowout win by anything. It could have been raining Oreos and she wouldn’t have left the TV.
Friday was spent putting up the Christmas tree, decorating the house for the holidays, and installing the lights on the house. Sometimes we even decorate the kids. Goofy.
Valerie’s my adventurous daughter who never lets me get on the roof for anything without coming along.
One of our holiday traditions is that we put up the tree the day after Thanksgiving, eat a family dinner together, and then watch “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Popcorn and Dr Pepper and eggnog. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. “A man is no failure who has friends.” “To George Bailey, the richest man in town.” My favorite part of that movie is when George comes home after spending all day looking for the lost $8,000. Mary asks him how his day was and he says, “Another red letter day for the Bailey family!” And then he just totally goes off on his whole family. He yells at his daughter playing the piano. He yells at his son who wants to know how to spell something. He insults Mrs. Welch, Zu-Zu’s teacher, over the phone. But my favorite line is when he and Mary are alone in the kitchen and he looks at her and says, “You call this a happy family? Why’d we have to have all these kids?” The ‘red letter day’ quote gets thrown around at our house a lot. But that line about ‘all these kids’ is my favorite.