Lincoln Blogs

An Update
January 23, 2010, 2:00 am
Filed under: Life

It has been about seven months since my last post. I don’t know if anyone still reads this, but I’ll take the time to write anyway. The last several months have probably been the most eventful time of my life. It has been a roller coaster ride, filled with many peaks and valleys.

My last post contained pictures from last summer’s trip to Colorado. That seems like so long ago. Upon returning from Colorado, I spent a few days back at home before leaving again, for Scott Lake Lodge in Canada. It was my second time to travel north of the border with my grandfather and two cousins, Tyler and James, and it was an incredible experience. The memories from that trip will last a lifetime.

During that summer, there was constant excitement, but fear, about something much more wonderful. My mom was pregnant with a baby girl. It was fantastic news, and family and friends were elated. But at the baby’s 18-week ultrasound, we received a troubling report. The baby, who we found out to be a girl in that ultrasound, had a congenital diaphragmatic hernia. I won’t explain it fully, but it is basically a hole in the diaphragm that allows the organs of the abdomen to migrate up into the chest, hindering the development of the lungs and heart. We knew right away that it was extremely serious. The doctor told us that the survival rate was only about 50 percent. We also knew that God was sovereign, and that “all things come not by chance, but by his Fatherly hand.”

The baby was on all of our minds, and we awaited her birth hopefully. School started in late August, as did football. I played for the Oklahoma Patriots for the first time. I had a great time being on the team–I played quarterback and cornerback–and plan to play again next season.

In late September, my family moved to Dallas in anticipation of the baby’s birth. My parents had decided that Children’s Medical Center would be able to provide her with the best care possible. I stayed in Oklahoma, moving in with my best friend Hunter’s family, so I could continue attending class. Although I greatly missed my family, I enjoyed staying with them, hanging out with Hunter, going to OU football games and Thunder basketball games (I had my dad’s car),  studying together, etc.

Then, on October 8, tragedy struck. I had just come home from football practice and showered when I received a call from my dad. I could immediately tell by his tone that he had bad news, and I feared the worst about the baby. Instead, he delivered a shocking blow by saying that my cousin, Tyler, had died in a shooting accident. I couldn’t believe it. I had known Tyler literally my entire life. He had been with us in Canada just the past summer. I cannot describe how hard it hit me, it was my first experience with death. I felt sick for my Aunt Christy, Tyler’s dad Robby, his brother James, his sister Mary, my grandparents. Tyler was the nicest guy you could ever meet, and everybody who knew him loved him. First Baptist Church of Bartlesville was filled for his funeral, which was held just a few days later. Tyler was a strong Christian, and the fact that we will see him again, and that God is sovereign, comforted us. Still, in the months that followed, and now, I thought about and missed him often, and I look forward to the day that I will see him again.

The whirlwind continued a week after Tyler’s death, as the baby was born in Dallas on October 15. Anne Marie. Her journey was chronicled on my parents blog, which I encourage you to read, as I can’t describe the events that followed any better than they did. Her lungs were seriously underdeveloped, and she was placed on a ventilator immediately. My mom wrote about her status five days after her birth. On the 21st, I caught a 6:30 flight to Dallas to see Anne Marie for the first time. Even though she was hooked up to a lot of medical equipment, I could see how beautiful she was. I stood and watched her, touched her hand, stroked her curly brown hair. It was a difficult time, but God was ever present. The roller coaster continued. On October 21, Anne Marie opened her eyes for the first time. The surgery to repair her hernia was scheduled for October 29. I traveled to Dallas again for the surgery, which went extremely well. Although the doctors repaired the hernia, the lungs were still very weak. Anne Marie remained on a ventilator and ECMO, which after a while could cause complications. So, the doctors decided to try to wean her off both treatments. At this point, her lungs were still not performing their job, and the doctors were not optimistic. After several trial runs of taking her off ECMO for a little while, the time came to take her off for good. The potential complications outweighed the benefits. Frankly, nobody gave her much of a chance, but we still trusted in God, and for good reason. Her condition did not dramatically improve or worsen over the next few days, and she had another surgery to complete the abdominal repair. However, she was still extremely sick, remaining “stably unstable.” She was fighting for her life. Eventually, there came a point where the ventilator could not support her. Her lungs were too weak. She died in our mother’s arms on November 21.

In six weeks, I had lost a cousin and a sister. I didn’t know why, and I still don’t, but I know that God is in control, and that Tyler and Anne Marie are in heaven together. Those facts, along with the overwhelming support of friends, were my only source of comfort. In the weeks that followed, I thought a lot about Tyler, and about Anne Marie. As much as I was hurting, I knew that others must be in even more pain. I ask you to pray for Tyler’s mom, my Aunt Christy, for Robby, for James and Mary, for my grandparents, my other cousins, and all of Tyler’s friends. Pray for my mom and my dad, my brother and sisters, my other grandparents, who stayed with my family in Dallas the entire time they were there and were an incredible help.

As I look back at the last several months, I am amazed. Although it was most definitely the saddest chapter of my life, I am thankful for many things. I am thankful for the time I spent and the memories I made with Tyler. I am thankful for the life of Anne Marie, and for the inspiration she and my parents were to so many people. I am thankful for great friends, who have made it that much easier for me. I am thankful for an amazing family, with whom I have grown closer to in the midst of adversity. And I am thankful for Christ’s perfect life and sacrificial death, thanks to which we will not perish, but have eternal life.

Colorado Photos
June 21, 2009, 8:15 pm
Filed under: Life, Photos

Click here.

Photos From the Naval Academy and Washington, D.C.
April 19, 2009, 6:39 pm
Filed under: History, Life, Photos

I recently went on a trip with a friend on a trip to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. These are a few snapshots from the trip. The entire album can be found here, here, here, and here.

Canada Pictures
August 20, 2008, 6:19 pm
Filed under: Life, Photos

I went on a fishing trip to Scott Lake Lodge in Saskatchewan, Canada last week with my grandfather and two cousins. We had an awesome time and caught a ton of big fish. Click here for the pictures.

Some Scenic Colorado Shots
August 2, 2008, 9:24 pm
Filed under: Life, Photos

I took these photos in Crested Butte, Colorado this week. Click on each photo to enlarge it.

Me Being Proud of Jack Henry
May 14, 2008, 8:21 pm
Filed under: Life

I told you about his ground-rule double the other night. Well, last night he turned an unassisted triple play. Playing left-center field for the Royals in the bottom of the final inning, he caught a fly ball, ran to the infield and tagged a runner heading to second base, then stepped on second, retiring the runner who had run to third. Ballgame.

In a previous inning, he had also made all three outs for the Royals, though in different plays.

Spring Break Fishing
March 23, 2008, 8:05 pm
Filed under: Life, Photos

During spring break, I spent some time fishing in Bartlesville. On Thursday evening, my grandfather and I bass fished. The wind was blowing extremely hard, so we were confined to the shore, but we were determined to fish. We started slow, not catching anything for the first fifteen minutes. Then, we headed to a deep corner on the pond. After a single cast, I hooked a large fish that weighed about 4 pounds. This continued for most of the evening, until we had caught 13 bass over 4 pounds, and 4 more in the 2-4 pound range.

On Friday evening, we took my little brother Jack Henry with us, and went to another lake to fish for crappie. We were successful again, catching 10 nice fish. They now have a nice home in my freezer.

Click here to see all of the pictures from the fishing trip.

Jeff Capel was Two…
February 20, 2008, 3:16 pm
Filed under: Life, OU

…last time Baylor beat OU in basketball.

They put up a good fight, but failed again last night. The game was unbelievable though. I went with my dad, brother, and great-uncle. Regulation was filled with highlights, most of them from Blake Griffin (who went to our church as a kid). He had several SportsCenter worthy dunks, including one in which he caught an alley-oop off the glass and slammed it. In overtime, the Sooners came back from being down six pints in the final minute to win 92-91. It was OU’s 28th consecutive win against the Bears. The play of the game was Tony Crocker’s four-point play with 7.3 seconds left that proved to be the game-winning shot. Coach Jeff Capel said it was the loudest he had ever heard it at the Lloyd Noble Center.

The lead changes late in the game made it great. The Sooners lead by 10 at halftime, but were down late in regulation. They game back to take the lead, then Baylor scored at the buzzer to send it to overtime. They proceeded to take a 6 point lead. Then Crocker’s four-point play put the Sooner ahead for good.

OU has since beaten Baylor in overtime many more times in our driveway, thanks to Jack Henry.

2007 Year in Review
January 1, 2008, 5:57 pm
Filed under: Life

Jan. 1 – I went with my dad to the game of the century, OU vs. Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl. At the time, the loss was heartbreaking, but I am glad to have been at such an amazing football game.
April 16-20 – I took a week-long government course, TeenPact, at the state capitol. I lost in the elections, but learned a lot anyway.

May 25-27 – My friend David and I went fishing at the bayou of Louisiana. The catching wasn’t great, but the fishing and eating was.

August 11, 12 – I attended the PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Tulsa with my dad and my grandfather., where I got a priceless souvenir, from the trashcan.

August 23 – My family and I spent a day in Dallas at the Gaylord Texan Hotel.

August 29 – I got my braces off.

September 1, 2007 – I attended my 50th consecutive OU home football game, a 79-10 win over North Texas.

September 28-30 – My parents, my grandfather, and I traveled to Boulder, Colorado for the (tragic) OU-Colorado game. Again, it was fun even though we lost.

October 28 – I turned 15.

December 25 – Christmas in Bartlesville with grandparents.

In between these dates has been much school, sports, and playing with my brother Jack Henry. Happy New Year.

First Post…
December 26, 2007, 2:35 pm
Filed under: Life

…with this.

December 11, 2007, 4:34 pm
Filed under: Life, Photos

Icicles on our roof


October 7, 2007, 6:14 pm
Filed under: Life, OU

28-21 and a lot of fun.

Colorado Road Trip
September 30, 2007, 9:08 pm
Filed under: Life, OU, Photos

Went to the OU-Colorado game in Boulder yesterday with my parents and my grandfather. OU got upset 27-24, but I’m going to keep this post as positive as possible.The trip was awesome. We stayed in the team hotel, and on Friday night many Sooners were walking around the lobby. We got photos with many of them.

Me and WR Juaquin Iglesias

Several players and coaches and me in the elevator

6-8 352 pound OL Phil Loadholt with my mom and me

QB Sam Bradford and me

Our seats were right behind the Sooner bench, where we took some more pictures.

Bradford warming up on the sideline

Overall, the trip was great. After the game, we went back the hotel to recover, then drove through the scenic mountains to Estes Park. I got some good shots of the mountains like this one:

OU can still beat struggling Texas next week and go on to win the Big XII, which would automatically put us in a BCS Bowl. Last season’s National Champion, Florida, was a one-loss team. It is unlikely that OU will make it, but in college football, you never know.

Hangin’ Half-A-Hundred
September 1, 2007, 5:05 pm
Filed under: Life, OU

Before ball games, former OU head coach Barry Switzer would say, “Let’s hang half-a-hundred on ‘em.” (They usually did.) This evening, I’ll be the one hangin’ half-a-hundred. Games, that is. That’s right; tonight’s game against North Texas will be my 50th consecutive home OU football game, which is the entire Bob Stoops era. OU’s home record in the Stoops era is 47-2. I’ve seen some memorable games at Owen Field.

My first game of the streak (I’ve been to more before Stoops, but not all in row) was September 11, 1999, when I was six years old. The opponent was Indiana State, and I remember wondering why their nickname was a tree. Stoops’ first game was a 49-0 victory, and the fans were pleased, especially after several losing seasons in previous years. OU finished that season with a respectable 7-5 record, and made their first bowl game in a number of years. It was the beginning of a great era.

Moving on to October 28, 2000, game number 10. That day’s opponent was Nebraska. It was my birthday, and we were playing the number one team in the nation. My cousin and grandfather were there, and I was as exited as I’ve ever been. We had beaten Texas 63-14 (I was there) earlier that month, as well as second-ranked Kansas State at their place. The hype leading up to this game was incredible. Kickoff was at 2 p.m., so we arrived in Norman at about 11:30 or noon. I remember pulling into our parking spot in Norman, when I suddenly remembered, “Hey it’s my birthday.” That gives you an idea of how excited I was about the game. A kid on his eighth birthday, and he doesn’t even remember till noon! The stadium was as loud as I’ve ever heard it, even to this day after thousands of seats have been added. We fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter, and then dominated them for the next three. Final score: OU 31, Nebraska 14. The goalposts went down with Nebraska, as OU rose to the top of the national rankings. They also landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated, which I have framed in my room. It was a great day. OU won the national championship that year, with a 13-2 win over Florida State.

I could go on and on about the games I have been to, like wins over Alabama, Oklahoma State, and many others. I’ve seen 77-0 blowouts and double-overtime nail-biters. I’ve sweated through triple digit temperatures, and practically waded in the streets on the way back to the car. I am always hoarse after the games, and sometimes for a few days after. My grandfather has been with me to almost every game, and my dad has been to every game except two with me. I know I am blessed, and am grateful for the opportunity to go to all of these games, which I know very few people have.

I know I’ll have fun tonight when I hang half-a-hundred.

Big B/Big D
August 25, 2007, 4:51 pm
Filed under: Life, Photos

This past week has been jammed with excitement. We were in Bartlesville from Saturday to Wednesday, then in Dallas Thursday and today, Friday. Bartlesville was a fun trip to go on before school started, and Dallas was a total surprise; I found out we were going Wednesday night. We stayed for a night in this hotel. Here are some pics from this past week.

Above is my brother Jack Henry running on the hay bales at my grandparents’ ranch.

Here is Jack Henry shooting hoops at the gym on the ranch.

This is my sisters and me in the pool at the hotel.

Nothing better than all-you-can-eat buffets. My breakfast is an example.

This picture of my siblings and me was taken in a huge atrium in the hotel. You can see the rooms and a resturaunt in the background.