Andy Pandy Murry will have a big birthday tomorrow. 50 – he is coming for you. Wow!!
Some of you friends and family who are reading this have already reached this milestone and survived. Way to go! For our younger friends, I can imagine that this number seems so far away. Half a century! Five decades. Six hundred months. 18,250 days. Wow.
Enough about numbers, let’s talk about Andy- the birthday man. My husband and I have now shared more birthdays together than not, so I wanted to reminisce a little. Please enjoy the pictures along the way. See how many photos you can find with Andy holding a puppy, a baby, or a cake!!
I met Andy in the fall of my freshman year of college; he was a senior. The following March, we were serving together on a mission team providing hurricane relief in South Carolina. Andy’s birthday was that week of Spring Break, and he turned 22. We all celebrated with a homemade cake that some of his friends had made. He and I were just new friends at that time, but I thought he was pretty cute.
Somewhere between the 22nd and 25th birthdays, I threw Andy his first surprise party that included friends from college, his family, and the youth from his home church because he was serving as a part-time student pastor back in those days. With the help of his three roommates, about 40 of us hid in his dark apartment and almost scared the pee-pee out of him when he unlocked the door by shouting our birthday surprise. Bless it. I think he wanted to cry, but he held it together and had fun. It is a shocking moment when that many people yell at you.
When Andy was student teaching, I created a 25 REASONS WHY I LOVE ANDY book and arrived on his apartment doorstep with hot muffins and pastries on the morning of his 25th birthday. His roommates loved me.
Fast forward to Andy’s first full-time church position in Mississippi. He was turning 30, and I arranged for a celebration on Wednesday night at church with the youth and their parents. I ordered a cake with black icing, and we joked about him being ‘over the hill’. Jingle bells- don’t ever order black icing. Everyone who ate a piece maintained a bluish-black tint to their lips, gums, tongue, and teeth for about an hour after ingesting it. Yuck.
Let’s jump another 10 years in the future to when Andrew turned 40 years of age. We were in Alabama, and I recruited the youth and their parents to gather 40 different birthday cards for him. That plan succeeded, and some clever parents made a large 4-0 on the floor in the middle of the room with the cards. I ordered two HUGE cakes from Costco- vanilla and chocolate, of course – and those fed a whole lot of people that night. We pushed cake. I also asked some of the dearest people in his life to write him a letter. I hoped and prayed for 40, but I received more. Andy’s’ love language is Words of Affirmation, so this hit his sweet spot. Those letters are in a bound album, and they are very precious to him, especially when he looks back to see how many people have moved on to their eternal home since that time.
Well, this year finds us in a new state, and Andy is serving in a new church. We are pumped! I thought I would ask family, old friends, and new friends to help me celebrate him.
To kick off the fun, I thought I would share 50 things I know about Andy. You may know more, so feel free to contribute. Here we go…
- Andy loves movies. One of his favorite things to do is to see a movie in a theater (luxury seating is best), with popcorn (mix in Reese’s pieces) and a Dr. Pepper.
- Andy’s first car was a Volkswagen Beetle.
- Andrew has been to Venezuela, Guatemala, the Philippines, Iraq, China, UAE, and Armenia. You will have to ask him about those trips sometime.
- Andy took 4 years of Latin in high school and wore a toga.
- Drew accidentally said he was ‘pregnant’ instead of ‘embarrassed’ in Spanish to a group of people while in Venezuela.
- Andy is the fifth of six children and doesn’t have a baby book-(for you younger friends, parents used to keep a record of milestones and mementos during a child’s first year of life in an album). I think his momma was tired. I guess people mark milestones now with cute photos every month on FB and Insta?
- Andy Pandy loves some mac and cheese and green beans. He really loves home cooked veggies.
- Andy is a great pancake maker- I love when he adds pecans and chocolate chips.
- Mr. Murry met a distant cousin for the first time while at seminary in Ft. Worth. They figured it out by the unusual spelling of their last names, which is also my last name.
- A.D.M. is an Eagle Scout, so I have no fear of being stranded somewhere with him. He could start a fire, gather some food, and figure out which direction to walk. Bring on the zombie apocalypse- he is always prepared.
- Ang – has many nicknames: most call him Andy, his brothers and a few friends call him Drew, Ken Thomas started calling him Ang in seminary (my mom loves this-Barney Fife and Andy Griffith), I use Honey and Andy Pandy. You can call him Al.
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is his favorite flavor of ice cream.
- His favorite Bible verse is John 10:10.
- Andy does not like onions. At all.
- He loves some ‘shrooms- raw, cooked, sautéed, and stuffed.
- Andrew is unable to whistle.
- Drew once ran into a car and flipped over his bike while turning watching a girl walking down the street in his ‘hood.
- Mr. Murry has traveled to Mexico and Jamaica for leisure.
- Ang ran cross-country in high school, and going for a run is still his favorite form of exercise.
- Andy’s maternal grandparents had a functioning farm in MS.
- He served as state president for the Baptist Student Union in TN in the ‘90s.
- Andy used to sing solos in church when I met him. What happened?
- He did not become a regular coffee drinker until we moved to Kansas and he experienced their cold winters. Brrr!!!
- A favorite treat drink from Starbucks that we share is a White Chocolate Mocha with a shot of Toffee Nut. Try it. Tastes like a Heath bar.
- Andy has finger toes. They are long, and I often step on them because I fill the space I am in. Bull in a china shop, and Andy’s toes have suffered.
- Spiders are not his friend. He will kill most everything else, but I am the Spider Warrior Princess. Andy has enjoyed the Spider Man movies, though.
- Andrew values good manners and conscientiousness. He notices if those qualities are absent.
- Andy loves some Max Murry, and they play fetch almost every day.
- His handwriting is neat and boxy, similar to architectural lettering.
- He has beautiful blue eyes.
- Andy has celebrity/actor anomia. He can tell you what movie or TV show someone starred in, what they look like, what they did, what other films they were in, but he cannot recall their names. Test him. Try it. Party tricks.
- Drew worked for Oshman’s Sporting Goods and for Fed Ex during college. He also worked for MedLab, and his role was to transport medical specimens. He once called me to ask what “sputum” was.
- Andy Pandy loved the sun when he was younger and often burned before he tanned. As an adult, he has had multiple skin cancers removed. The dermatologist is his friend.
- Andy once spent 24 hours on a fishing raft in the Pacific when he was serving as a summer missionary in the Philippines. No sunscreen. Blistery sunburn. See #33.
- Blue is his favorite color.
- Andy is an introverted leader. He is humble, often lets other people talk first, doesn’t feel like he needs to always say something (especially if it has already been said), lets other people take or share the credit, and takes time to process before answering.
- After he met me he became a lover of desserts and condiments. Andy is now a certified dipper- fry sauce, honey mustard, Ranch, etc.
- He does enjoy the old hymn, “In the Garden”. Andy walks with me, Andy talks with me.
- Andy also likes Andes mints.
- He is a fan of the Ole Miss Rebels and still has a soft spot for University of Memphis Tigers Basketball team.
- Growing up, Andy liked the Atlanta Braves, but he began cheering for the Royals after our few years in Kansas. They both have blue uniforms.
- Andy is a news junkie. He loves to keep up with current events and know how to dress according to the weather forecast.
- He likes music in the background when he is working- praise songs and ’80s tunes are preferred. No ’80s praise songs, though. 🙂
- Ang likes some John Wayne. He will get sidetracked if a western is on TV.
- Andy and my dad share a love of James Bond films and have often stayed up way too late when movie marathons are on over the holidays.
- My man is pretty handy. He has learned to use YouTube to figure out how to make minor repairs to appliances and such around the house.
- Andy is very empathetic and tender-hearted. He will cry at sad parts in TV shows and films. If an animal is injured or died, tears will fall. If a yellow dog dies, he is done.
- Andy loved his parents, but he was a momma’s boy. He valued her deep faith, her love of the Word, and her faithful prayers for her children and her grandchildren. He misses her every day.
- Darrell, and my other brother, Darrell. That is his middle name. Just one Darrell.
- ‘Awesome’ is his preferred adjective. Who didn’t know that?
To know him is to love him. Hopefully, you know him a little better now than you did. Please share your Andy stories or tell me something I don’t know!
I invite you to send him a birthday greeting, message, or give him a call. He’s a pretty good fella, and I’ll keep him. My prayer for him is that the rest of his days are the best of his days!
Y’all come see us!