A Birthday Post...

Tomorrow, my brother-in-law Steven will be turning 30. Crazy, considering that when I met him he was younger than I am now. We are all getting old around here! Tonight at home, everyone got to help celebrate and honor Steven, with pictures and cards and gifts and cake. I'm pretty bummed about not being there (especially because of the cake.) So, since I am not able to join in the revelry down in Georgia, I thought I'd dedicate a post to Steven, who happens to be one of my favorite people in the world and also one of my heroes. (Warning... gushing may ensue.)

I first met Steven when I was thirteen. He came to the Bible college where my parents worked, and within a few weeks, I was convinced that he should marry my sister. (The fact that she had a massive crush on him probably had something to do with that little epiphany.) Anyway, Amanda's obsession interest, combined with the fact that he was the best basketball player I had ever seen (far more important to me than any other quality at the time), made him perfect brother-in-law material as far as I was concerned. Well, within a few months he actually had the nerve to date OTHER girls (can you imagine? obviously the Lord had not yet divulged to him my plan). Of course, I hated all of those girls and just knew that one day he would get a clue decide to date Amanda, who was clearly the right choice. 

After a few months of waaaiting, he finally asked out my sister and then they dated and got married and had beautiful children who are now the reason I call them at all. Oops... did I skip a few details? Oh, I meant to say, they did get married, and Steven became more than my brother-in-law; he was my youth pastor. Of course, there were a few perks to this setup (what, you think I won Berean Teen of the Month for 13 months straight by actually earning points?? hahaha... not really.) There were also a couple of cons (being humiliated in front of your boyfriend at 17... something I've never recovered from. =) 

Overall, I have to say that God could not have picked a better person to complete our family as Amanda's husband. Let me share just a few reasons why I think Steven is pretty awesome:

-He was nice to an extremely awkward, stuck-in-the-middle-of-an-ugly-stage junior high version of me, playing basketball with me and making me feel semi-cool (something guys my own age were somehow not very good at... imagine that!)  

A family trip to Disneyland... 2004? I'm not sure why we were pointing to the Producer's Building. Must have been an inside joke at the time. =)

- He is probably the most consistent person I know. I've seen him upset, but I have honestly never seen him lose his cool or really even be unkind. I have known this guy for almost 10 years and he is as real as they come. He is genuinely kind and funny and godly, ALL the time. Sometimes it's annoying... like, come on Steven. Just be mean one time! (Can you tell we are a very loving family?) He is always calm amid the drama (rare at Baines gatherings, but still... ha!) His attitude, walk with God, all of it has been so consistent since I've known him.

-He is ridiculously charming when he wants to be and can get everything from discounts to refills or whatever with his, "If I were best friend, what kind of deal could you give me?" routine. Then the poor little lady at the counter just starts giggling and he walks away with a large order of fries or something. It's quite entertaining, actually.

- He has been privy to the depths of crazy in our family for many years now and still loves us all. 

- He takes care of my seester and my babies (I mean their babies, oops.) Really though, he works SO hard to provide for his family and is such a good daddy and husband. 

- He was (and is) such an awesome youth pastor. It was always completely evident, from the lessons in Sunday school to "Teen Excite Night" to youth activities, that he loved us teens and wanted to equip with the tools we needed to live for God... even when he was ripping our faces off. =)

- He is one of the funniest people EVER... the best at skits, games, and just acting like an idiot in front children. ha!

- He'll kill me for this... but he can do the moonwalk and the robot like you wouldn't believe. Unfortunately, I do not have photographic evidence to prove this. Just take my word for it! =)

- He has always, always been there for me... for counsel, for advice, for a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, someone to laugh at my jokes, someone to make me think about my walk with God, and just being the first "big brother" God finally decided to give me. (Then came Jake, and I love him too! =)

Making me laugh and look like a moron...

Youth activity... 2007

Still looking up to him... even all grown up. =)

If you know Steven, you know how awesome he is. God definitely knew what he was doing when He gave such a wonderful gift to our family. Happy 30th, Bruther! Love you!



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