Happy Birthday, Whitney!

I’m way too young to have a 17-year-old.

Our oldest daughter, Whitney Leigh-Anne, turns 17 today. Actually, I’ve been kidding her all week that she really doesn’t turn 17 until 10:15 tonight. That’s what time she was born, after 17 hours of labor for Carrie-Anne, at South Austin Medical Center.

Whit loves her ‘HornsSince that long, long Wednesday in 1993, Whitney has brought such joy to our lives. She laughs at anything. She’s ultra-competitive at everything. She wins nine out of every ten games of Connect Four she plays against anybody. And she can go through a deck of cards in Solataire in about four minutes. She sings We Are the Champions, emphasizing the “no time for LOSERS!” phrase at the end of the chorus everytime she beats me at backgammon. She’s hilarious. She lives to play games. And she lives to watch games. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Super Bowl or a Western Louisiana and Idaho State basketball game, she watches every minute. And cares deeply about who wins and loses.

With Mavs Man    Blue Eyes    A long time ago in Abilene  

And she’s taught us so much over the past 17 years. How to love life. How to see the positive in every situation and everybody she meets. Whitney doesn’t see skin color or clothes or social status or money or cars or zip codes or hair styles. Everybody’s exactly the same in her eyes. When she was in sixth grade she was assigned to write a report about a black person she admired. She came home confused. I tried giving her some examples. I mentioned Dallas Mavericks guard Michael Finley, her favorite player at the time. She looked right at me and said, “He’s black???”

I love that about my Whitster.

The Big One    Hoops    New Specs

Through every surgery, every stretch on crutches and in wheelchairs, every doctor’s appointment, she remains amazingly upbeat and positive. Nothing fazes her. I think she likes the attention, yes. But people give her the attention because she’s so sweet.

At Rangers    At Cowboys    At Aerosmith 

I had lunch with her today at school. Took her some Chick-Fil-A. The eight-piece Number Five with a Dr Pepper. The girl sitting across from Whitney shook my hand, introduced herself, and said, “You’re so lucky to have a daughter like Whitney. We love her.” The one sitting next to her said almost the same thing. These girls are varsity basketball players, varsity volleyball players. And they ask Whitney to sit with them. One of them texted her a Happy Birthday message at 7:00 this morning. They like her. Whitney makes them laugh. And I think God’s working through her to show these girls what a Spirit-indwelled person looks like. Seven Years Old

Whitney blesses us beyond what I can even imagine to write here. I believe she’s a blessing to everybody who comes in contact with her. And I love her with everything I’ve got.

Happy Birthday, Whit.



  1. mom

    We love her almost as much as you do. Happy Birthday, sweetheart. love, Granny

  2. Jim Gardner

    Next year, you and Whit, me and Tori – let’s meet in the middle for a big B-day bash!

  3. Allan

    What in the world is there to possibly do in Mount Pleasant?!?

  4. jason reeves

    happy birthday whit!

  5. Jim Gardner

    I hear they have a good Sonic or Dairy Queen we could pick from! Check that, we’ll just delay until spring and do it at the Ballpark. How about that?

  6. Miranda Griffith

    Oh my goodness. I stumbled upon your blog (because my mom thought she had seen you post something on facebook on all of the prayer pages for Jenny Ross Bizaillion), and couldn’t find you, but I found this instead.

    Needless to say, I read this post and I thought you were joking about Whitney being 17. I cannot believe how old your girls are getting. I guess that means I’m getting old too! I looked through some of the pictures on here, and they are all so beautiful!!! Tell Carrie Ann I said hi and I hope you guys are doing great! Which it looks like you are. 🙂

    -Miranda Griffith (the babysitter when your girls were actually still babies!!) 🙂

  7. Allan

    Miranda! It is so cool to hear from you! Please email me. Believe it or not, C-A and I were just talking about you a couple of weeks ago. We ran into somebody who knows you. astanglin@legacychurchofchrist.org

  8. Brian Arnold

    Well, as usual, I’m “a day late and a dollar short”, but tell Whitney I hope she had a great birthday! I can’t believe she’s 17! She’s beautiful both inside and out. Miss you guys!

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