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.

Family books

Earlier this week, we were surprised to learn that five eagerly awaited boxes from France arrived and were waiting for pick up at the post office. My husband dashed out the door to pick up the boxes and was back home surprisingly fast.

Knowing the boxes were filled with old family books, we carefully opened them, one by one, 

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making sure each book was removed gently.

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We took time to admire the textures, patterns,

Jean_H_de_Buren_Family_Books_5664vibrant colors,

jean_H_de_Buren_Family_Books_5673to read the inscriptions,

Jean_H_de_Buren_Family_Books_5747and to explore their pages.

Jean_H_de_Buren_Family_Books_5645All of the books were written in French, and the girls were curious to know more about the contents of each book. Thankfully, my husband reads and speaks French, so he was able to elaborate.

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After the books were all unpacked and the girls went off to play, I remained close by with my camera. In the quiet, I watched my husband explore the books,

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often smiling as he read more of the inscriptions. I imagined him establishing a deeper connection to some of his relatives from generations past.

Jean_H_de_Buren_Family_Books_5758We are so fortunate to have such rich family history to pass down through our family.

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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.

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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.

The sketchbook

Similarly to how I keep my camera with me to take photos of what inspires me, our daughter has started carrying around her sketchbook and draws when she is inspired to do so.

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Excitement this morning

Excitement was in the air this morning at our house. The girls sat in front of my computer, listening to the radio, patiently waiting for an announcement at 7:15. Finally, the wait was over; my husband’s name was announced as today’s special guest and his voice came through the speaker. The girls’ faces lit up; they were listening to their dad being interviewed about his book on World Radio Switzerland.

This was a great way to start our morning!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!”