chand_allen chand_allen

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Chandler Allen  Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. || Mainly pictures of my kid. You were warned.

Two whole months of smitten. #shepherdlaws

Part 2 of 2//
I remember going with my mom and my aunt to the foster home to meet Payton for the first time. He was two, I think, which means I must have been nine or ten. He was the cutest little boy. I remember even then feeling honored to be one of the first to meet him and welcome him into our family. Over the years, watching him grow up, he had a loving and sweet spirit about him. I didn't know him as well in the last couple of years but each time I would see him over the holidays he always, always had a big hug for me.
I am heartbroken that he's gone. Heartbroken that his life has ended so young, heartbroken that our family has to process the loss of another cousin when Jaten's death still feels so fresh. But I do not grieve without hope. I'm reminded, again, that this world is not my home, and reminded again to long for our Savior's return.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 "But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.  For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words."

Part 1 of 2//
When I need to process something that I'm struggling to comprehend, I write. The connection of brain to words to speech often gets mixed up and confused along the way, but when I put pen to paper (or more likely, fingers to keyboard), I am far better able to release my thoughts into the world in a way that makes sense.
I am growing far more familiar with death than I ever could have imagined I would be at this stage in life.
I grew up in a family of 15 cousins, including me and my brothers. We were the oldest of the bunch, so with the exception of just a couple of them, I remember when each of them was born or adopted. It's odd to realize that I'm old enough now to have watched so many different people (most of whom themselves are now adults or almost), grow up when I have distinct memories of holding them as babies. We grew up together, spending Christmases and Thanksgivings and summers and holidays in between out at our grandparents' house. Being the oldest girl, I stepped into the role of babysitter/pretend mother/bossy-older-cousin in most of our gatherings. I've always loved kids and babies, and I think it's 100% because I had so many younger cousins.
Of course, things change as you get older. The days of growing up become nostalgic memories, and what once were hours on end in a treehouse became hours of long distance in between us. There was a time in my life where we each knew our cousins as well as we knew our siblings, or at least it felt that way. But now many of us are adults, starting our own families, living in different places across the country, only all of us together at the major events like weddings, or sadly in our case, funerals.

It's the best day of the year!!! 🇺🇸

I'm still waiting for @marykbeadles to tell me that this is all a really elaborate prank and she doesn't actually live in College Station crazy that I get to consistently do life with this friend again but I couldn't be more thrilled. Our Sonic runs look a little different than they did in high school since we're texting our husbands instead of crying over boys but not much else has changed when it comes to how grateful I am for this friendship!

He really is a pretty good sleeper when he's in his crib, but he sleeps the hardest when I'm holding him. I try not to let it happen all the time but sometimes when I look at this squishy face, I cannot resist. 😍

We met our nephew/Shepherd and Willow's new cousin today! Shep and Brennan are just 11 days apart. Can't wait to see the adventures these two buddies will have together! #shepherdlaws

Shepherd and Shiloh had their first date today. As you can see they were both terribly enthused. Too soon to plan an arranged marriage? Never. Love them both sooo much. #shepherdlaws

And happy Father's Day to the most fun "G-Dad" my kids could ever ask for, who will have tea parties and wear dress up clothes and get down on the floor to be Willow's horsey without a second thought. I love you Dad, and I'm so thankful for the way you love my kids.

In the immortal words of Salt-N-Pepa, "Whatta man, whatta man, whatta man, whatta mighty good man." You're a better dad than I could have ever dreamed, @josh__allen. We love you.

Saturday mood ✌🏻

One whole month of sweet, snuggly, spit-up filled, sleep deprived, head-over-heels love. #shepherdlaws

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