Category: Whitney (Page 1 of 10)

How ‘Bout Them Conleys!

Our great friends Stan and Kelly Conley treated Whitney and me to their amazing seats at last night’s Monday Night Football game in Arlington. It was the home opener for the Cowboys against the hated Eagles and the first Cowboys game we’ve attended in ten years. Needless to say, Whitney was beside herself. She wore out her rally towel and both arms before kickoff. She exulted with every Cowboys score, gloried in every Philly penalty, and nearly fainted with delight when Dallas went over the 40-point mark in the fourth quarter.

I hate it when the Cowboys look good. It would be very easy for me this morning to write about how Jalen Hurts is a disaster and this Eagles squad might be the worst team in the league. But, Dallas did play a great ballgame last night. You play the schedule as it comes in the NFL and the Cowboys, for once, committed to the run against Philly’s two-deep safety zone all night. Dallas dominated time of possession, kept the penalties to a bare minimum, and basically allowed the Eagles to beat themselves. Which they did. And while I did not love the whipping it turned out to be, I did thoroughly enjoy the experience sitting next to our oldest daughter.

 

 

 

 

 

Whitney’s about as hard core as it gets among Cowboys fans and she had an absolute blast last night. Stan and Kelly’s seats are on the 40-yard line, a perfect ten rows up behind the Cowboys bench. And Whitney was just overjoyed to be able to watch Dak and Zeke and Cooper and her favorite players, up close, in person, on the sidelines. She kept waving that towel madly throughout the game, whacking me in the side of the head after every good play and during every third down. She stood for nearly the entire game, exchanged wild high-fives with everybody sitting within a ten foot radius, and went through two massive nine-dollar Diet Dr Peppers. She loves the Cowboys and she absolutely despises the Eagles, so it was a perfect night for the Whitster.

My favorite moments came at the half. The Pro Football Hall of Fame presented Cliff Harris, Drew Pearson, and Jimmy Johnson with their HOF rings during halftime in a ceremony that featured every living Cowboys Hall of Famer in person together on the field. Staubach and Lilly, Rayfield Wright and Tony Dorsett, Mel Renfro and Randy White, Aikman, Emmitt, and Michael Irvin – they were all there on the field to welcome Captain Crash, Drew, and the Jimster. It was chilling. Goosebumps. The three newest inductees each gave short speeches, brief synopses of what they’ve been saying for a year now. Harris recalled his humble origins as an undrafted free agent out of Ouachita Baptist and thanked Gil Brandt for hunting him down, Drew (sadly, I think) raged into the microphone again about how his Hall of Fame induction validates his career and himself as a human being, and Jimmy thanked Jerry (boo), his players (yay), and all the Cowboys fans (crescendo of applause), for the great honor of coaching the Cowboys. And then, of course, he punctuated the end of his time with one more “How ’bout them Cowboys!” to which the stadium nearly collapsed with thunderous ecstasy.

 

 

 

 

I didn’t realize then that the game was already over. But it was. After Trevon Diggs’ pick-six to begin the third quarter, it was only a matter of how much. As the second half wore on, the guys on the row in front of us got drunker, the over-the-top couple from Corpus Christi next to me got rowdier, the Eagles wilted, the crowd overall became more aggressive, the Cowboys dominated, and Whitney’s grin grew bigger and wider.

Thank you to Stan and Kelly for their great generosity and a wonderful night together in Arlington. Thank you to Dale and Rita Brown for the gracious gift of their transportation and their pleasant company to and from the game. And thanks to the powers that be for opening the roof of the Death Star.

Experiencing the game with Whitney, enjoying her joy, I allowed myself a little smile here and there at this perfectly-scripted night for the Cowboys. It’s nights like this, when the fans leaving the stadium are all talking Super Bowl, that make the inevitable loss to the Panthers this Sunday so delicious.

Peace,

Allan

Sisters, Showers, and Sandy Cheeks

The loving and generous folks here at GCR yesterday threw a “shower” for Whitney as she prepares to move into her own wing of our new house. It was borderline obscene – the amount of furniture, appliances, towels, dishes, and gift cards she received. Wow. Overwhelming. It took all of Carrie-Anne’s car and the entire bed of my truck to get everything home. Just another example of the way we are being loved and blessed by our new church family. The way GCR is taking care of Whitney is an answer to our prayers and a gracious gift from our God.

Both of Whitney’s sisters came out of Oklahoma exile for the event, driving down from Tulsa and Edmond and arriving late Friday afternoon. We made up Whitney’s bed with Valerie and Carley inside, under the sheets and blankets and pillows, so that when Whitney got home from work and went to her room, they popped out as a big surprise. (We would have it on video, except, I was the one in charge of that part.) It was the first time we’d seen these two since the first week of July so, needless to say, we thoroughly enjoyed all the catching up, all the food (Blue Sky, Carrie-Anne’s fried chicken), the laughs, the stories, and worshiping together for the first time at GCR.

We also did the one-hour drive down to the sand dunes in Monahans on Saturday and tried our best to climb up and slide down the biggest hills, with varying levels of success and frustration. The attendant at the check-in station was exaggerating when she said purchasing and rubbing a two-dollar lump of wax on the bottom of our sleds would give us the “Griswold Effect.” It didn’t. The “Loose Sand” signs along the roads in the state part, I think, refer to your vehicle’s floor mats. Forever. And the inside of one’s shorts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, a truly wonderful weekend. Carrie-Anne and I both feel so grateful to God for our fabulous daughters, for the love we share together in our family, and for the community of faith he’s moved us to in Midland.

Peace,

Allan

Going to Work (Whitney Edition)

Whitney made her Midland debut today at Market Street and, of course, she absolutely killed it! She wasn’t in training too long today before they realized she knew everything there is to know about customer service, produce codes, and running the till at United grocery stores. She’s checking out the customers’ groceries here just like she did for more than eight years in Amarillo and, because we’re living in Midland, she’s making a little more money. Fat stacks, Whit!!

United / Market Street has been such a great company to work for and a tremendous blessing for our oldest daughter. Her longtime manager in Amarillo knows the Market Street manager here and the transfer has been smoooooooth. Whitney will be working her usual 25 hours or so per week and it won’t be too long before she’s a rock star in this town. She’ll have her own customers, the friends she makes, these people who approach her at restaurants and in the mall to tell her ‘hi.’ It’s awesome.

Congrats on the new job, sweetie. I admire everything about the way you perform your job, the way you bless the people you encounter, and the way you reflect our God’s glory in your workplace.

I promise I’ll stop telling people that you’ll give them free ice cream if they’ll go through your line.

I love you.

Dad

Whit to the Pit!

Our oldest daughter Whitney Leigh-Anne is 28-years-old today!

Yeah. I can’t believe it, either.

Happy Birthday, you fabulous young lady! Everybody you know loves you to death, but nobody more than your admiring dad. I hope you have a wonderful day today. Except for losing tonight at Backgammon.

I love you,
Dad

Hope in What’s Up

“We have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints — the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the Gospel that has come to you.” ~Colossians 1:4-6

It’s interesting that Paul tells the Christians in Colosse that hope is the source of their faith and love. Their hope doesn’t come from their faith — it’s the opposite. Their faith is grounded in their hope. That means hope, at least in this setting, is not about their mood or their attitude. It’s about the thing that is hoped for. It’s the thing that is stored up in heaven. This future glory with Christ, these eternal promises of God we know are coming true.

Not hope in the things of this world. Not hope in our careers or family, not hope in degrees or scholarships, not hope in elections or supreme courts, not hope in science or technology — hope in what God is holding for us in heaven. That kind of certainty is what gives birth to a faith in Christ Jesus, a faith that our God has acted decisively in his Son as our Savior. It generates a deep love for all the saints, a love that’s increasingly for others instead of self. This kind of biblical hope is a strong knowing, a confident conviction that impacts our every thought and deed.

Christian hope is not blind optimism with no foundation to it. It’s not, “I hope the Cowboys win the Super Bowl.” That’s just baseless positivism. Like when George Lloyd addressed the House of Commons on Armistice Day in 1918: “I hope we may say that on this fateful morning came an end to all wars.” That’s just wishful thinking. It just means, “I hope so.” It’s not really based on anything concrete.

That’s what led Alexander Pope to write: “Blessed is the one who expects nothing for he shall never be disappointed.” In other words, don’t get your hopes up and you’ll never be let down.

For Christians, our hopes are always way up! We expect everything!

We expect that our God is at work in this world through Jesus Christ and that he is reconciling all people and all things together in himself. We expect that God is right now fixing everything that’s broken and making right everything that’s gone wrong. Our hope is secure because God himself has sealed it by placing his Holy Spirit inside us.

“All over the world, this Gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth.” ~ Colossians 1:6

That Christian faith and that mutual love and that common hope is changing our lives and changing the world and connecting us together forever.

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Whitney and I took a quick road trip to Austin over the weekend to see our nephew, Isaac, play cornerback for the Brentwood Christian High School Bears. We also paid our respects at the Stevie Ray Vaughan statue at Auditorium Shores, ate some famous Austin barbecue at Oakwood BBQ, cruised the shops on South Congress, climbed Mount Bonnell for the amazing views of the Colorado River, and enjoyed a pre-game meal at the Chuy’s on Lamar. Isaac dominated and the Bears beat some Catholic school 24-0.

 

 

 

 

 

That’s a good weekend.

Go Cards.

Allan

A Quarter Century of the Whitster

Our oldest daughter turns 25 today.

Whit-Pit’s beautiful eyes are just as blue today as they were when she FINALLY decided to be born late, late, late that Wednesday night in Austin. Her enthusiasm for all things related to any sports team in Texas is just as rabid as it was when she was three-years-old and would cuddle up with me on the couch in our first house in Marble Falls to share a bowl of popcorn and cheer on the Rangers and Mavs and Longhorns and Stars. Her love for others is just as infectious, her spirit just as sweet, her joy just as contagious as it’s been her entire life.

When we shared a birthday breakfast at Calico County this morning, we talked about the Rangers’ starting rotation and Dennis Smith, Jr being in the All-Star dunking contest. We re-capped the Stars’ win last night over St. Louis and calculated the ‘Horns’ chances this afternoon against Zero-U in Norman. But we also¬†discussed things¬†you talk about with 25-year-olds: her car, her job, what we’re doing with our/her health insurance, why the breakfast “special” at Calico County comes with a drink but the breakfast “traditional” doesn’t.

So many things about Whitney are exactly as they’ve always been. Her personality, her voice, her speech patterns, her physical features, her unbridled exuberance for others — all of that is exactly the same. Watching a video from when Whitney was eight-years-old is like watching her today. Talking to her on the phone, listening to her voice, it’s easy to imagine you’re talking to a seven-year-old Whitney. She’s different, but it’s subtle. She’s older and more responsible, but it’s nuanced. Her loves are deeper, her concern for others is expressed more outwardly, her tastes are more broad.

And as long as she lives, nobody will ever have a hard time loving Whitney.

Happy Birthday, Whitney. You are a tremendous blessing from our Lord to every person who’s graced by God to know you.

I love you.

Dad

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