Category: Carley (Page 1 of 10)

Two Years Gone

Two years ago today the news crawled across the bottom of my screen. I immediately called our youngest daughter Carley and listened to her voice mail message for about two seconds before she texted me: “I know. I’m in class.”

His stripes adorn my laptop. His poster I bought from the Mesquite Sound Warehouse when I was 16 hangs in my garage. And his music lives deep inside my soul.

Eddie Van Halen. Tough day.

Birthday Bear

When you eat cheesecake for breakfast, I’m not sure how you improve on your day from there. That sets a pretty high bar, man. Nowhere to go but downhill. But that feels very typical for our youngest daughter, Carley, who turns 23 today. How else would she celebrate than with cheesecake and Starbucks?

Carley and Collin are watching college football on a rainy day inside their 18th floor apartment in downtown Nashville. And I’m missing our little bear. We didn’t have enough time to prepare for their wedding and subsequent move to Tennessee – it happened too fast. I still feel like Carley is away at school or on a trip with friends and she’ll be back with us here in Midland in a few weeks.

But then I’m jolted back into reality when I talk to Carley and Collin on speakerphone. They’re married. They both love their jobs. They both love exploring their new surroundings in a really fun big city.  They’re doing great. And we’re so proud and happy for them both.

I love you, Carley. I know you’re having a fabulous birthday weekend. And we can’t wait to see you soon in your new digs.

Love,
Dad

Hitched

I’m not sure how we did it but, with just eleven days notice, we managed to get Carley and Collin married in a beautiful ceremony Wednesday night in Rockwall. The wedding chapel was perfect, the restaurant was incredibly accommodating, the food was terrific, and the cheesecakes were over-the-top marvelous. The families from both sides all made it in time to witness and participate in Collin and Carley tying the knot. And now we’ve got two daughters married and living outside the Republic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ceremony was surprisingly emotional – they’re both crybabies. And funny – Carley dropped Collin’s ring and it bounced and rolled all over the hardwood floor as I was making my opening remarks. The families made promises to the bride and groom before Carley and Collin made their solemn vows to each other.  And the newly married couple walked out of the chapel to Aerosmith’s “Under My Skin.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carley and Collin, you two do love each other. That’s very clear. You both put the other first. You protect each other and care for each other. You both have a strong sense of purpose together and you’re focused.

Carley, you make Collin’s life more organized. And cleaner. And everyone who knows him thanks you. You encourage him and support him in the exact times and places he needs it most. You build him up and give him strength. You make him better.

Collin, you call Carley out when she’s being dramatic. And that’s a full-time job. You take care of her and serve her selflessly. You are carefully sensitive to her and to her circumstances. You’ve learned how to compromise with Carley and you’ve figured out how to resolve issues with her – by buying her ice cream at night. Almost every night. You make her better.

You’re both very passionate, active, and driven. Together, you’re going to be an unstoppable force.

 

 

 

 

 

May the love of God guide your marriage relationship and all your relationships. May the blessings of heaven crown your marriage with increasing joy and peace. And may your hearts and your lives be forever united by the grace and love of our Lord.

Love,

Dad

Fast Tracking with Carley & Collin

When you send your daughters to Oklahoma Christian University, you run the risk of at least one of them falling in love with an OU fan and maybe even – gasp! – marrying him. You don’t expect this OU fan to be from the greater Dallas area or, in the case of Valerie’s husband, David, from Phoenix. But here he is, Collin Kennedy, from Lewisville, stealing our youngest daughter’s heart, winning her hand in marriage, and rooting for the Sooners at the same time!

It’s official now, as of last night, when Collin proposed to Carley at sunset on the rocky shores of Lake Lewisville. She said “yes” immediately, and we couldn’t be more pleased.

Carley and Collin met right at a year ago at a wedding in which Collin was serving as the best man and Carley was serving the food. He hit on her, she stalked him – classic – and now they’re getting married this Wednesday night in Rockwall. Yes. This Wednesday night. When they told us their plans last weekend, Carley read my face and pre-empted whatever I was going to say with, “Hey, we’re giving you ten days more notice than you and mom gave your parents.” She’s right.

See, Collin has been promoted and transferred by CBS Sports to Nashville, Tennessee and he and Carley are determined that he will not make that move alone. And we’re good with it. Very good.

Collin is a terrific young man, a disciple of our Lord, raised by godly parents, and committed to Christ and to Carley. He loves her. And she really loves him. He has an outstanding work ethic, career goals and a plan, and a wonderful personality. He’s a sarcastic smart aleck in the most fun sense of those terms and he doesn’t back down from a late-night card game or a competitive round of miniature golf. He’s polite to a fault, carefully sensitive to the people and circumstances around him, and he loves Whitney. And Siggy. And he brings Oreos when he visits.

He also really loves Carley. I see it. It’s obvious. They are very well-suited for each other and make a wonderful couple.

All of Collin’s family and ours live a whole lot closer to Dallas than to Midland. So we have located a little wedding chapel in Rockwall for the ceremony this coming Wednesday. A pretty small, intimate affair, with only about two dozen of our closest family, and then a big Mexican food dinner at Manny’s (we’re not sure how good the Tex-Mex is going to be in Nashville, so we’re sending them off with a bang).

Carley and Collin are giving themselves to each other and giving their relationship to the Lord. And we are so proud of both of them. We are grateful to God for taking care of both Collin and Carley, for protecting them and providing for them, and for guiding them to find each other. And we are beside ourselves with anticipation over what the Lord is going to do in them and through them together to his glory.

Congratulations, Little Bear! We love you so much and we’re so happy for you. Welcome to the family, Collin. We love you, too, and are so excited to share our lives together. God bless you both. And God bless you as one.

Love,
Dad

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.

Peace,

Allan

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.

Dad

« Older posts