Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Kara!

Today is Kara's 35th birthday, and although I can't claim originality in this idea of sharing best wishes to her on this blog (see her Oct. 9 entry to me), I can claim it's appropriateness though, given our new and extended miles from most of our friends & family and how great of an idea she had. Plus, I'm not the most creative type, so...I'll borrow from her cleaverness. ;>)

First and foremost, for those who know Kara at all, we know of her deep and sincere heart for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This aspect of her life was one of the very first obvious things to me when I first met her some 15+ years ago. Unsurprisingly, it is also one of the many things I love most about her. Her heart and love for God is seen evidently through each of the fruits of the Spirit I see in her daily: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. I honestly couldn't pick any one of the nine over any of the others to be more describing of Kara.

The very next thing that comes to my mind about Kara is how great of a mother she is to our two great kids, Samuel and Sarah Grace. Although we are always trying to figure out this parenting thing, Kara has always amazed me with her never-ending devotion towards consistently seeking to not only provide them with the best home, education and opportunities, but even more so in providing them with the best mother she can be ("working" on herself, just as much, if not more, than she "works" on them). Samuel and Sarah Grace will probably never know how great of a mother she is...but I do, and I thank God daily for that. She has sacrificed so much for them and me - but counts it all a joy. She is the consummate mother - she loves them (and me) so much and so unconditionally.

Kara is also my best friend. My favorite times are when we are doing something together. We may not enjoy all of the same hobbies (knitting, reading and singing for her; soccer, chess and football for me), but she actively and regularly supports and encourages me in everything I set out to do - whether it's really trivial or not. And as you can only assume from a best friend, she is my absolute biggest encourager when I'm struggling with anything. Whether it's been the recent job uncertainties I've faced or another long losing streak in chess ;>). The other neat thing about being her best friend, is seeing what a great friend she is to others - which I know many of you can attest.

In addition to being such an amazing wife, mother and friend, she is also so talented in so many other areas. One of her passions is singing. Although she may not be the most talented/gifted singer (but she is good!), the combination of her talent along with her obvious heart for singing and passion to lead others in worship is unmistakable. She also enjoys sharing her passion with children by leading them in this at church as well.

In addition to all of these things about Kara I love, there are so many others as well. First of all, and obvious to most, is that she puts up with and loves me. That in itself deserves a lot of recognition. Secondly, is the way that she deals with her own struggles (Celiac for one). She's the last to complain about such hardships that she must deal with on a daily basis, and it's almost easy to forget she has her own problems (while she's helping us with our own). And finally, I must say, she's definitely one of the smartest people I've ever met. If it had been her desire, she easily could've been and done anything career-wise she would've liked to have done and been extremely successful. That being said, she did exactly just that - she is in fact the most amazing friend, wife and mother there could be.

We love you Kara!
Greg, Samuel & Sarah Grace


  1. Good Ol’ Kara

    Each December 30th we honor our Kara,
    To not mark the date would be quite an error.
    She’s a gal who’s a queen who don’t need no tiara,
    And she’s gorgeous as ever – needn’t a smidge of mascara!

    Being married to Greg, she’s quite the financiera*,
    Boldly willing to approach any new era.
    From her North Carolina “Tara” to Oregon “terra”,
    She embarked with her Gregory, Samuel and Sarah.

    ‘Though tough to leave family, friends and what e’er ya’,
    She mustered the will of a real Che Guevara!
    She quipped as she left home sweet home with no terror:
    “If you come to a fork in the road, take it,” ala Yogi Berra.

    Like I’ve said, she’s amazing (all the details I’ll spare ya’):
    Conceived both those babies without need of Provera!
    She schools them on Cenozoic, Paleozoic, and Mesozoic Eras,
    And, best of all, teaches the blessings of our Christian Era.

    You can look far and wide, starting in the Sahara,
    And, once you arrive at the French Riviera,
    Every Sarah and Clara, and even Antonio Bandera
    Can never compare to our good ol’ Kara!

    Happy 35th Birthday, Kara! We love you SO much!

    Kayla and Jason

    *I sort of made up this word. It exists in the Spanish language but with a different definition. I think it’s a great new word for the queenly wife of a financier! 

  2. Happy Day Kara!

    You always remind me of Prov 31. Even though that 1 time when............j/k!
    No seriously, you are a blessing to whomever your around. I am vouching for that! Greg covered it in his blog about you, and I would like to go on some more, but it only took me 1 and 1/2 hours to get this comment written and sent to you; I wrote ya a "dandy" and then couldn't log in, had to re-set and wait, change password and then start all over..........hmmm
    sure sound like a normal day in this life to me ..huh girl. Well..
    I hope you at least had a chuckle from this and if ya did it was all worth it for your Birthday.
    Thanks for the blessing you are on others around you! We miss ya alot, but are glad ya had the guts to move where God could do soo much more through you and your family!
    PS: Loved the Run DMC on Christmas Video!! "Mad Props for ya Skilz"

  3. P.S.

    One more dedication for Kara - The Mom Song:

  4. Happy Birthday Kara! May God continue to bless your family.

    I'll add to Greg's, "the things I most appreciate about Kara" list: I most appreciate Kara's passion. Don't dare get her started talking about a political/social/religious issue she cares about! What separates her from alot of people, however, is that she is also INFORMED and passionate. I appreciate that! On example: I remember the time our Sunday School class was going to discuss the Southern Baptist Resolution that essentially stated good Baptists would not put their kids in government schools. Kara was out of town and could not be there for the discussion. I was the teacher that morning. She called me from whereever she was on the road to let me know her perspective, and to ask that I share that with the class! Having said all that, its important to note that she is not pushy in her views or obnoxious. She shares them with grace.

    Mark and Kelly

  5. Happy Birthday

    Robin & Al

  6. God bless you and your family in your new year!


  7. I am long on staying ~ I am slow to leave ~ Especially when it comes to you my friend ~ You have taught me to slow down ~ And to prop up my feet ~ It's the fine art of being who I am ~ And I can't figure out ~ Why you want me around ~ I'm not the smartest person I have ever met ~ But somehow that doesn't matter ~ No it never really mattered to you at all ~ And at the risk of wearing out my welcome ~ At the risk of self-discovery ~ I'll take every moment ~ And every minute that you'll give me ~~ And I can think of a time when families lived all together ~ Four generations in one house ~ And the table was full of good food ~ And friends and neighbors ~ That's not how we like it now ~~ Cause if you sit at home you're a loser~ Couldn't you find anything better to do~ Well no I couldn't think of one thing ~ I would rather waste my time on than sitting here with you ~~ And at the risk of wearing out my welcome ~ At the risk of self-discovery ~ I'll take every moment ~ And every minute that you'll give me ~~ And I wish all the people I love most ~ Could gather in one place ~ And know each other and love each other well ~ And I wish we could all go camping ~ And lay beneath the stars ~ And have nothing to do and stories to tell ~ We'd sit around the campfire ~ And we'd make each other laugh remembering when ~ You're the first one I'm inviting ~ Always know that you're invited my friend ~~ And at the risk of wearing out my welcome ~ At the risk of self-discovery ~ I'll take every moment ~ And every minute that you'll give me ~ Every moment and every minute that you'll give me ~~ Every minute
    Lyrics by S.Groves; sentiment from my heart :)
    You are more wonderful than words can say- Happy Birthday, Dear One!
    I love you-

  8. Hey Kara, Happy Birthday!!
    You are always a shining example of Jesus to me. You are an encouragement in so many ways and always point me to Him. I hope that you and your family have a wonderful day together. We miss you so much in our homeshcool group.
    Love always in Christ,
    Michelle Rothmann

  9. Kara,
    When you awake this morning and stretch your arms, you get an idea of how much Jesus loves you and your family and everyone for that matter. Today is the day you grow a little wiser. You are still to young to get any gray hairs so don't worry. It is not good for you anyways.
    The Glanzer family - Shawn, Kelly, Rose,Jake and Anna wish you a Happy Birthday!!!!!! Enjoy the day!!!!
    P.S. Greg did a marvelous job of describing the many characteristics of you.

  10. Kara,

    Happy Birthday! All of your friends and church family at First Baptist Matthews miss you and your family a great deal! Jodie and I felt drawn to you and Greg from the early days of our ministry here. I'm thankful that Jodie has you as a faithful friend even from so many miles away. Know that you all are never far from our thoughts and prayers. Your passion for God is a beacon of light and direction for us all. Hope you have a great birthday!

    In His Grace,

    Greg and Jodie Dills

  11. Happy birthday, Kara! I hope you're having a blast. Since you're living in a new place you have to restart counting. Don't ask, I don't make the rules. So happy 1st birthday! I'm amazed by how far you've come for somebody your age. Love you, Auntie!


  12. Happy Birthday Kara!!!! I miss you so much, it was a bit hard to read all of this because it opens up that hole but it's all wonderfully true. We have known each other for gosh, 15 or so years now! And I am so grateful to call you friend. You have added so much to my life in more ways than I can express. I feel particularly grateful for your support in getting me started with guitar and knitting, two things I still love very much. I have always respected and valued your opinion and am so thankful that even with our differences we remain connected. Love to you on this birthday and throughout the year. I am SO happy you were born and came into my life and hope to be close in proximity again someday. Take wonderful care. Love, Anna

  13. Dear Kara,
    It doesn't seem like 35 years ago that I held a beautiful little baby girl in my arms with your Daddy looking on, and grinning from ear to ear. Without repeating the many praises heaped on you by Greg and others, we can only say "ditto, and well deserved". You have truly been a source of much joy in our lives, and we are so proud and blessed to have you for a daughter.
    We love you very much, miss you very much, and hope you have a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
    Love, Mom and Dad E.

  14. Dear Kara,
    Came back to add a P.S. to our comment. Your Dad said to be sure to include the fond memory we have of you going around singing "You Light up My Life", when you were only 4 or 5 years old. (That's the song Debbie Boone made famous). We must say that the title of that song sums up what you do for us. You definitely do "light up our lives". Love you soooo much!
    Love, Mom and Dad

  15. Happy Birthday Aunt Kara~
    A & B

  16. My Sweet Sunshine,

    I’m wishing you another year
    Of laughter, joy and fun,
    Surprises, love and happiness,
    And when your birthday’s done,

    I hope you feel deep in your heart,
    As your birthdays come and go,
    How very much you mean to me,
    More than you can know.

    You are in my heart for always. I love you, Kara! Huge Hugs from miles away!
    p.s. If I could, I'd like to request the song, "You are My Sunshine" to be added to the music selection below in honor of our precious Kara...(I'll share my nickname for her with you all she is such a light in all of our lives!)

  17. Hi Kara

    Sweet sis. Happy 35th Birthday. Couldn't of happened to a nicer person. I can't believe you are actually 35. I recall the day you were born. I was washing out socks
    in the sink right at the moment we got the call from the hospital. It's a girl! Man was I bummed you weren't a boy. (Cuz that meant we were going to have to share a room and we already had too many girls anyway.) But in my defense I was only 9 and lacking couth obviously. And of course you took over "baby of the family" status which I proudly held for nine years. Even as a teenager when I moved to Jacksonville and lived with Mom and Dad for awhile, we once again had to share a room. Do you remember drawing the line down the middle with tape separating both sides? You were about 10. Well you know how I love to kid you about all that stuff when we were young. Truth is I am so happy you are my sister. I am proud of you. You are an amazing mom. The proof is in the pudding because Samuel and Sarah Grace are awesome kids. (Greg might have something to do with it too.) I brag about you too sometimes to others. Like how you sang "Love Can Build a Bridge" (one of my favorite songs)at Karman's wedding. I enjoy our talks and you are a great listener. I do hope you guys make you way back east, but if not Andy wants to see the Portland Trailblazers when they play the Heat. And by the way both boys wish you a Happy Birthday.

    Happy Birthday Kara!!!
    Love you, miss you, want you.

  18. Happy Birthday Kara....the homeschoolers that don't do anything really miss you! I hope you have a great day and read Greg's blog a few times over....what a letter of love! May the Lord Bless you! Tamery

  19. Dear Mrs.Kara,
    I hope you have a wonderful birthday, I wish you were in North Carolina.

  20. Dear Mrs.Kara,
    I hope you have a wonderful birthday in Portland Oregon. I hope it is as good as in North Carolina.

  21. Happy Birthday, Kara!!!

    It's Kara's Birthday,
    so let's all celebrate
    The joys of her friendship
    which we contemplate.

    "Daughter-in-Law" just
    doesn't ring true.
    She's our "Daughter-in-Love"...
    we'll explain it to you.

    She's loved by our son,
    our grandchildren,too.
    Kara's heart's full of love -
    she's a gem through and

    So, here's to you, Kara,
    what more could we say,
    Than to extend Best Wishes

    We love you...Mommy, Daddy and Gran

  22. Kara

    Happy 35th to not only a very special sister, but a very special person as well. You are loved dearly and hope this is a fabulous day for you.

    Kim and Tim

  23. Happy birthday mommy. I hope you're having a good birthday. I love you mommy. How's your day? Your going to have lots and lots of love and fun on your birthday.

    Love Sarah Grace, your little princess.

  24. Happy birthday mommy. I know you'll have a fun birthday even though we just moved here.

    Love, Samuel - your buddy boy.

  25. Happy Birthday to you
    Happy Birthday to you
    Happy Birthday to yoooouuuu
    Happy Birthday to you !

    You'll have to add the music...Best wishes for a grand and glorious birthday.

    I love you bunches and appreciate the woman you are. Thanks for your friendship through the years; you are a blessing to me.


  26. I am very proud of the grown up my little sister has become. Yes, I guess at 35 it's official; you're grown up! As I read all the comments I find myself envious of all the people who have spent more time with Kara, the adult, than I have. At the same time I am grateful for the chance to see her through their eyes. Kara- have the happiest of birthdays. I love you very much.

  27. Kara - Not only do you share a Birthday with Tiger Woods, but, more importantly, with 2 cute, fluffy puppies: Gatsby and Bailey.... no wonder you're amazing! We miss you guys. Laura and Chris

  28. Happy birthday, Aunt Kara! I really hope you're enjoying yourselves in Oregon, and I hope we can make it out the west coast soon! Miss you and love you!


  29. Happy Birthday, Kara! Hope you have a wonderful day!
    ~Jeff & Mary

  30. Happy Birthday Kara. I hope you're having a good one. I'm glad that you are enjoying your new location. I miss you very much and I hope to see you again soon.

    All my love, Emma

  31. What more can I say after everything that's already been said...what a wonderful birthday present it must be to you to know you have positively impacted so many people's lives and that so many people love you! I'm so glad you came into our lives (and are still there...albeit via phone and internet lines) and I look forward to seeing you again soon!

    Love you,
    P.S. Nathan was bouncing around "Brilliant Sky Toys" earlier today on one of those ride-on jumping balls with a crazy birthday cake hat on singing "Happy birthday Ms. Kara" (the entire song) in honor of your special day. I wish I had a camera on my cell so I could have sent you a picture!

  32. Kara

    I hope you have an awesome day! The Lord has truely blessed me with your friendship and he for sure put us in each others paths for a reason when we both moved to Charlotte. Thanks for always being there for me and your friendship I will always treasure...

    Happy Birthday girl!!

    I love you


  33. Happy Birthday K-dawg!

    We wish we could be with you to celebrate! You are a wonderful sister to us and we love you. PARTAY!


  34. Kara,
    What fun it has been getting to know you. We are so privileged to have you as our neighbor. You have truly been a gift from God. Who else would put up with our crazy kids and our neurotic dog. :) Have a wonderful birthday dinner and evening.

    Happy Birthday
    The Martinez's

  35. Enjoy your Day Kara. We sure miss you guys but it looks as though all is well.

    God Bless

    Chris, Karla, Christopher & Ansley Green

  36. Kara,

    We are so blessed to call you 'friend' and 'sister'. Our lives are richer because we've known you! May God continue to pour out His blessings on your life and use you in ways you could never imagine! Hope your day has been full of tons of beautiful moments. Happy birthday, sweet Kara! We love you..
    Shelvin, Pam, Daniel and Anna


    I miss you and Greg a lot and hope your
    birthday was full of fun!

    Love in Christ,

  38. We wish you the happiest of birthdays, our dear friend Kara!

    Wendy, Jeremiah and Malaki

  39. Happy Belated B-day Kara!! I miss our talks when the children would be playing at our house outside. You have a great way of encouraging and listening. The message Greg said was so sweet and I know it is not just b/c it is your bithday that he said all of those things. Your love for others and for the Lord shines through at all times of the year. :)I wish you many blessings today and every day!

  40. Kara,

    I wanted a brother, but you were born. I want you to know... I am over that now...Happy Birthday

    Bruce & Family

  41. Happy Belated Birthday Kara from all of us!
    (We just got back from vacation and saw the email!)
    Hope you had a great day!
    We enjoyed looking at the pictures on your blog :)

    Miss you guys!
    Laurie, Matthew, Anna, and Maggie

  42. Happy belated b-day, Kara! I don't have any excuse other than I forgot! I wish Al and I could've gotten to know you more. You and Greg left an impact on our lives in such a short time...we selfishly hope you move back to the area! Happy birthday again!


  43. Happy Birthday Kara! I have been thinking of you soooo much this last week. May God bless you on this special day as you celebrate your Birthday. You are a special friend and I miss you very much!

    Love, Amy

  44. Happy Happy Happy belated Birthday! So sorry I missed it! You truly deserve the best. I hope you had a wonderful day and drank in the love that we all have for you! Even though I don't live close I am very thankful to have such an amazing friend in my life. God has blessed me with your friendship!

    One month late but still heartfelt :o)

    Lots of Love~ Sandy and the gang