Taking a peek

I took a quick peek over her shoulder to see what was so funny. I delight in seeing what our girls like to photograph.

Jean_H_de_Buren_photo_fun_3374

Not ready to go home

Here she stood, after her gymnastics class ended, not ready for the excitement to end, and clearly not ready to go home. Jean_H_de_Buren_gymnastics_6255She and I stayed for another hour to watch the team practice, both of us admiring the talent and grace of the gymnasts. As we watched, we talked, shared, laughed, and dreamed together.

These moments of connection are precious; I realized that I was not ready to go home either.

Believe, Dream, Inspire

For those of you who follow my blog, you know that our oldest daughter loves playing football. Her artwork reflects this love, too.

Here is her entry into the PTA Reflections Arts Recognition Program Contest; this year’s theme is: Believe, Dream, Inspire.

Jean_H_de_Buren_football_artwork_4058

She chose to draw a portrait of herself in the future, following her dream of playing football, believing in her herself, and inspiring other girls and boys to play sports, stay strong, and to follow their dreams as well.

This morning, she was thrilled to learn that her drawing won first place at the school level in her category and grade level and will advance on to the school district level in the competition.

I continue to be inspired by her courage to follow and share her dreams; I am proud of her inner strength and belief in herself. In sharing what she loves, I believe that she is opening doors for those around her and helping others believe in themselves and follow their dreams as well.

Best Day Ever!

Yesterday was an incredible day for our daughter. Pro Football Day finally arrived; she had been counting down the days all week and was beyond excited to get out and push herself in the quarterback challenge, to run and compete in professional drills, and to PLAY FOOTBALL all day. I dropped her off at the field and had no doubt that she would have a great day.

When I arrived at pick-up, it was evident that she played hard.

Jean_H_de_Buren_football_3452-BW

Elated, she walked toward me and wasted no time in showing me all of her times on her player profile card. Her confidence was overflowing; she was energized and proud of herself and her accomplishments; she seemed changed by her positive experiences from the day.

Jean_H_de_Buren_football_3455-BWI asked her if Coach gave her the football that she was carrying. A broad smile crossed her face as she let me know that she–and a friend from school (Congratulations, Michael!)–were both awarded the MVP award for the day because of a combination of their positive attitudes and scores from the day.

Jean_H_de_Buren_football_3498-BW

Once home, after a moment or two of rest and a snack, she and I headed to the backyard to play catch with her MVP award.

Jean_H_de_Buren_football_3512-BW

Watching our daughter work hard and find both success and joy in something she is passionate about is such a gift!

At the end of the day, our daughter summed up the whole day nicely when she announced, “Today was the best day ever!”

Eight

Happy eighth birthday to our sweet little one!

May you always follow your heart, keep dancing and dreaming, stay strong, continue to be thoughtful and kind, challenge yourself, and remain inquisitive!

Jean_H_de_Buren_Eight_1948