Friday, February 15, 2019


On January 7th, just a few months after her 81st birthday, my nana passed away in Vancouver, Washington with my Papa by her side. Born in West Virgina on October 16, 1937, Opal Sue was a spit fire. She was a shy girl. Kind and fun. She met Papa at school. I believe it was love at first sight, for him. They married young and had my dad and, later, my Aunt Yvonne.

She loved babies more than anyone I have ever met and I'm surprised she didn't have more children. Her health was always a concern. She was tough as nails but she was frail. She spent a large part of my youth trying to figure out why she was so tired and why her back hurt. When it was just me and Andrea (before my youngest sister, Karli, and brother, Bryce, were born) we spent many weekends with Nana. She took us to VBS a few summers. We would jazzercise and take long walks, work in her garden and bake healthy cookies. She was extremely health conscious. She was basically vegan by the time she and Papa retired to the tiny town of Ocean Park, WA in the late nineties. 

My sister said something so profound. She said that Nana had the ability to make everyone feel like her favorite. That's what I see in that first photo.

She loved us all so well. 

Her funeral was a beautiful, humble affair. We went out to the church she and Papa attended and the service was beautiful and sweet, straight to the point. My favorite part was the video of beautiful West Virginia. Although they never lived there again after my dad was a baby, they went back often and loved it so much. They are West Virginia, deep in their bones. That love for the woods and mountains runs deep in our family. 

During her funeral, I couldn't speak. I choked on my tears and didnt know what to say that hadn't already been said. We miss her. We just really, really miss her. 

Until we meet again, Opal Sue. Love you, Nana. 

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Sinner's Prayer

I was in college when I realized that "The Prayer" wasn't in the Bible. I remember feeling deceived. Offended, even. It seemed wrong that so much of my idea of Christianity was wrapped up in whether or not someone had prayed The Sinner's Prayer.

I havent heard anyone pray the prayer for a very, very long time. I thought that, maybe, it wasn't something we did anymore. Until I joined Daniel at some of the huge Christian music festivals and was surprised to hear many evangelist preachers leading thousands of people in one of the most important prayers one might ever pray in their life. Often it was awkward. Other times, it felt cheap and contrived. Sometimes, it felt powerful.

We pray the prayer to commemorate an action of our hearts. To make an occasion of it. Like taking traditional wedding vows, The Sinner's Prayer is a hymn or a mantra that has been spoken over and over again.

I started reading a children's Bible with my boys every night this week. To my surprise, both boys have loved it. I mean, it really is a wild an exciting story. We've made it through Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses, Joshua and now David. And tonight after a few questions, Liam said, with the most genuine sincerity that he loves God and wants to go to heaven.

What? Okay. 

We haven't even gotten to that part yet, dude. We're just reading about humanity failing over and over and God doing some powerful and really weird stuff. But somehow, he gets it. 

My passionate, loving boy. Tonight you gave your heart to the one true God. 

Welcome to the Kingdom, son.

and, okay, I guess "The Prayer" kind of is in the Bible...

Romans 10:9-10 

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

And then this song was on when I came downstairs after he fell asleep. 

Who am I that the highest King
Would welcome me?
I was lost but He brought me in
Oh His love for me
Oh His love for me
Who the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed
I’m a child of God
Yes I am
Free at last, He has ransomed me
His grace runs deep
While I was a slave to sin
Jesus died for me
Yes He died for me
Who the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed
I’m a child of God
Yes I am
In my Father’s house
There’s a place for me
I’m a child of God
Yes I am
I am chosen
Not forsaken
I am who You say I am
You are for me
Not against me
I am who You say I am

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Recap

We did it.

Over 7,000 Miles.
20 Days.
16 States.
3 Dudes.
1 Mama.
1 Dog.

We saw Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky! (and Tennessee!)

We saw parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, uncles, aunts, great uncles and aunts.

We stayed in 3 state parks and saw the Grand Canyon.

We ate a ton of burgers.

We slept in tents and the van, on guest beds and air mattresses.

We didn't see or do everything we wanted to but we got pretty dang close. We miss our house and our chickens and our beds. The rest of the summer will be pretty quiet but hopefully the memories and fun will sustain us. Just 7 weeks until Liam starts 1st Grade and Ronan starts FOUR days of preschool. (How are they SO BIG?!)

Have a great summer, yall!

BBQ at Miss Linda and Grandpa Bryan's

New Mexico-Arizona Border.

Congratulations, Eric and Lori! Malibu, CA.

Golden Gate Bridge

Pacific Coast Highway

Portland, Oregon

My paternal great grandparents : GV and Sue

Dad (a.k.a. "Grandpa Bryan")

My nana and my sisters

Mariner's Game with Dave Niehaus
Go M's!

Jackson and Quinn

Pool Day with Uncle Casey and AA

Frozen Yogurt in Tigard, OR

Bailey, Mack and Merrick  (at Rob + Sara's) 

Kissing my boy in Portland, OR

Baghdad Theater in Portland, OR to see Solo

Our friend and host, Danielle

Washington Park Zoo. PDX.
Granna at the Zoo

Alex and Ben

Dear Friends and neighbors, Doug and Kim - at Matriarch in Tacoma, WA.

Great Grandpa John, Bryce and Karli with the boys

Somewhere in Utah

The Fam

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