Saying Goodbye

Over the past few months, we have known that our dear friends would soon be moving out of state. Simultaneously feeling excited for them on their new adventure and feeling the great loss their absence will create in our lives, I have found the need to document as much of our time together as possible.

What I will share below, are photos of the girls’ last morning together while working on a film project.

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They began with a dance scene,

K-behind-the-scenes-b-1442-BWand took a moment to make sure that they got the shot before heading outside.

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There was a lot of planning,

K-Behind-the-scenes-b-1512-BWfilming, laughing,

K-Behind-the-Scenes-b-1522-BWand viewing their progress.

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I enjoyed watching the director’s vision take shape

Kelsey-Behind-the-scenes-b-1462-BWas she used her own ideas blended together with those of her friends.

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K-behind-the-scenes-b-1649-BWWhat delighted me most was simply watching the girls being together

K-Behind-the-Scenes-b-1675-BWand creating a fun, expressive way to say their goodbyes.

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Although you are moving far away, we will always be with you in your hearts. We wish you the best of luck on your new adventure and look forward to sharing more stories, continuing our friendship, and to creating more memories (and to seeing the completed movie!).

The chandelier

For months, a momentous event has been underway in our family: my in-laws are moving out of the home they built and have lived in for more than 40 years.

As you can imagine, my focus has been on capturing and documenting as much of the move as possible through photos. I will share more in future blog posts; for now, I would like to share this moment from the move.

Upon discovering that the dining room was empty, our daughter said, “Mom, I’ve always wanted to touch the chandelier! Is it OK?” I nodded, focused my camera on her as she slowly reached up to touch the chandelier, and captured her excitement.

An empty house can be a wonderful place of discovery and adventure, especially from a child’s perspective.

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The Eagle Card

At our elementary school, the students earn Eagle Cards for academic achievement, good behavior, and for going above and beyond. The kids collect these cards throughout the school year and are acknowledged for their hard work.

In the image below, our youngest (at the time in kindergarten) received her first Eagle Card; she had been waiting patiently all day to share the news with her big sister and finally it was her turn!

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Although many, many Eagle Cards have been earned since this photo, this first achievement is the most special one. I feel fortunate that I chose to capture this moment in time.

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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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!”