Tuesday, October 29, 2013


I have the best brother-in-law in the world. He makes my sister oh-so happy, and for that, he makes the rest of us happy too.

Ten days after he married Claire, Carr stood before the judge and told him how much he admired my dad. He spoke with authority, never wavering in his conviction, about a man he barely knew but would defend with all his might. And as a navy chaplain whose heart and mind were created to both lead and serve, he has stepped into our family, often leading with words of compassion, wisdom and truth and serving with humility and patience.

Or in other words, he stepped into our freak show and has not looked back.

That is a rare man, indeed.

So, to honor this man who volunteered to join our family, we decided to celebrate his birthday in the only way we knew how: hurtling ourselves down a mountain.

My dad was home over the weekend so we took advantage of family togetherness and warm weather and headed up to Heritage Square to do a friendly race down the alpine slide.

Dad and I on the chair lift. Don't be fooled, I am really not that tan.

The course. It's intense.

We may look all nice and smiley but there was some serious smack-talk happening.



Mandy, Sam and Carr lined up and ready. They wouldn't let them go in tandem, something about mangled limbs and lawsuits, but they did try to catch up with each other.

(Between that picture and the next, 3 minutes of my life went by. It was exhilarating and only twice did I think I was going to fly off the side of the mountain and die.

I would call that a successful trip.)

At the end, I made in time to see Noah coming to a stop. He only rode on the fast track. Whatever. I was totally that brave when I was eight.

And here comes my dad, or as I like to call him, The Runaway Felon.

And here is the group shot. My dad is slightly hidden but that's okay, it was Carr's birthday and he can stand where he wants. A successful day in every way: no injuries and 3 minutes of awesome.

Happy, happy birthday, bro-in-law. I think we'll keep you.

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