Monday, January 30, 2012

Happy Belated New Year!

Looking ahead at things to come!

It has been on my 'to do list' since last December to become more regular about writing here. This blog has been such a constant part of my life, even when other things around me were very inconsistent. It has followed me through 4 homes, 3 countries (if I count Vietnam, which was the beginning of this blog for me), 2 U.S. cities and many many facets of my mothering and family life.

I don't want it to fade into the sunset.

But I've really worked hard to become a more disciplined person over the last few months. I'm working on eating more carefully and getting the right kind of exercise. I'm working on becoming a more 'fit' financial steward. I'm working on becoming a more consistent and effective follower of my faith. I've tried to contribute to my community through volunteering in our school, but to balance myself a bit and not volunteer too much. And I'm working to be a more thoughtful mother and a more effective partner in my marriage.

All of those things have taken lots of time...and lots of begin to implement. And its just a humble beginning. Just baby steps that, if nurtured with time and consistent care, can help me become more of what I believe I am inside.

So, now I'm ready to add back into my life this luxury of writing about thoughts and feelings. And I'm really excited that my own kids have asked when I'd blog about them again (because their future selves are my main audience here.)

So, This week I hope to show you:

some of our Holiday fun (seems like a LONG time ago, doesn't it?)
a recent 'family holiday' we really enjoyed
the photos from our last family photo shoot, with our great friend Logan Walker

Then I'd like to write about:

New Year's resolutions
How the kids are doing
Some mothering thoughts on TEENS (ugh!)

Followed By:

What I'm learning about our system: modifications!
My personal food pyramid
Some fun in the kitchen, what I like to cook now...

Here I go, full speed ahead!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

2011 For Brynley

Brynley has had, if I do say so myself, quite an incredible year. It isn't so much that she has a list of accomplishments I can rattle off to you; its who she is becoming that is truly impressive. As smart and confident as she looks in the above photo, these pictures can't begin to show you the sheer ability that radiates from this second child in our family.

Brynley spends a LOT of time in positions like the one above. She literally dances through her life. Not only does she spend 9 hours a week (plus time each day at school) dancing with companies and in classes, but she dances her way from the kitchen to her bedroom, and our sliding glass doors make pretty good mirrors for a dancer once the sun goes down. We find her staring at herself; her form, her artistic execution, often while we clean up from dinner, or as we wait for the sun to brighten the world outside in the mornings before school begins.

Bryn is growing up in many ways. She continues to work hard to be a great student, pulling straight A's so far in Jr. High. The reason Bryn is a good student is that Brynley is good at Learning. She knows how to listen. She reads directions. She follows through quickly with assignments and she asks questions to be sure she does thing right. She has been designated 'Student of the Month' by the faculty at the Jr. High. If we could only get her to apply her amazing abilities at the piano (or the guitar, which she dabbles in as well) we'd have a real musician on our hands. But in piano playing and Spanish language acquisition ( a challenge from mom and dad to all the kids in our household) Brynley has decided she would rather not apply herself, so she is able but not excelling in these few areas.

Brynley is a good friend. And she likes to be around her friends every chance she gets. She is fun and funny and she is kind to those around her, so her company is welcomed and even sought after. I - who spent most of Jr. High as a wall flower - continue to remind her that her smile, her word of encouragement and her complimentary words can brighten the life of many many girls...and she is beginning to take this to heart. But she feels best, most free and most happy, in the company of her compadres laughing, being silly and having good clean natured fun.

Brynley lives in sweats whenever she has the chance. Aside from a deep interest in the length and style of her hair, she is not preoccupied with her outward appearance (which makes her all the more beautiful). We love her unfussy nature and enjoy her beautiful smile and her casual comfortable style.

Brynley keeps us all on our toes. She has an acute ability to respond with sarcasm as well as a wonderful way to show compassion. She can joke and laugh and think seriously. One of her greatest accomplishments this year was earning her Young Women Personal Progress award. This requires many hours full of worthwhile projects as well as completing the Book of Mormon. Truly her reading of the Book of Mormon, which she concentrated on mostly this summer, brought a light and a lift to her life that was easily noticed by many. It seemed as if she was walking on air, and her ability to help at home and serve those around her showed us all what it is like to walk with the spirit of Christ in one's life. We love Brynley and are so glad she is walking with us as a Graham through this year and forever :)