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Showing posts from August, 2013

Miller Angels Volleyball

Yesterday was a crazy day that consisted of all of the usual between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. and then we had a volleyball game, golf practice, middle school open house and high school open house.  Needless to say, Braner Party of 7 got home at 8:30 worn out!

But, in the midst of the chaos was Maggie's first volleyball game and she was awesome!!!  I am so proud of her!  First, I was watching her warm up and I got warm fuzzies of pride because I just love her so much!  She is so sweet and such a good friend and so confident in such an unassuming way and so beautiful.  She's a doll and I couldn't be happier to call her my girl!  Then the game started and I was blown away by how good she is!  She has a killer serve and some great court awareness (for someone who has only been playing 2 weeks).  Wow!  Go Maggie!!!

Dead Battery

We all know that when we see this on our iPhones it means you aren't getting your phone to do anything for a while. . .even if it is plugged it.  No music, no phone calls, nothing!

Why don't I have a screen that says that for me?!?!  This is what I feel like right now:
My batteries are dead, but I don't have a great graphic on my forehead to tell that to people and I don't have any way to just be DONE (bad grammar, but it gets my point across better) for a while.  On my phone, it doesn't matter how badly I need it to work or how many deadlines I have or how many calls I have to make. . . it is just DONE for a while and there is nothing I can do about it!

So often I feel like I just have to keep going.  I don't have a fail-safe way of getting recharged without just feeling lazy.  Take a nap.  Simple.  No!  I have guilt!  Why?  I don't know.  I feel like just crawling in bed to take a nap is lazy or bad use of my time or something, but really that is all I w…


So, I think I heard God speak to me today (not audibly, but deep in my soul).  I feel like He is leading me to talk to women about courage.  What?  Me?  The most insecure person in the world speaking on courage?  Maybe He was just telling me to GET SOME (courage).  It was so strange and yet so clear.  I feel like we, women, lack courage today. . . mostly in terms of our self-image and our view of the way we feel others viewing us. . . .

I was walking around Kivu with a few ladies from a church who are going to be doing a retreat with us in September.  I was showing them all of our events that take courage such as our amazing zipline and our high ropes course and stuff and as I walked by the river, I felt him urging me to be brave (have courage) and talk to women. . . .

Yes, stand up in front of women (who would surely be judging me--I tell myself) and talk to them on the one topic I would be struggling the most with at that moment.  Seriously, God?!??!  Not only is my self-image the …

First Day Of School

Today the kids started school.  Hays started High School (how is that even possible?), Maggie is a 7th grader, Tiki and Dax are in 3rd grade and my baby, Gabby, is in 1st grade.

They all head to their classes very brave and independent (okay, maybe not Dax) and here I am, without my kids, for the next several hours.  To their teachers, they are mostly just names on a roll sheet (and their reputations that precede them).  But to me, they are everything.  Here is what I would say to the teachers if I could:

Hello, Durango High School.  This is my heart and soul, Hays.  You'll call him Andrew on the first day and he may or may not answer.  Hopefully you'll figure out that he goes by Hays before the week is over.  He is brilliant.  He is driven and he knows what he wants.  He will be a great student if you keep him interested, but if you bore him or make him feel like his ideas don't matter, he will tune you out and be very average.  He is teaching himself Arabic.  Did you kn…

My Parents

Last weekend was a great time with family!  I've talked about that on several posts, but I haven't really highlighted my parents.  They are wonderful!  After working tirelessly all summer, they graciously open their house and their arms to their children and grandchildren and make us have the most fun week we could imagine!  They are exhausted and yet they cook and play and do whatever it takes to have fun!  We do all of the kids' camp laundry, we track dirt in the house, we spread toys all over the living room. . . we make a disaster wherever we all go (eleven grandkids worth of mess).  But, we also got to spend four days with them playing at K-Kaua'i and in the Party Barn and at Silver Dollar City. . .  laughing and making memories we won't forget. Then, as per our annual tradition, my Dad drove out to Colorado with us and we spent the day at Durango Mountain Resort.  My kids look forward to that time and so do I.  Thanks Mom and Dad for making us have the best …

To Hays. Love Mom.

To Hays on the weekend before you start High School:
Dear Hays,

Oh my goodness.  I cannot believe that my first love at first sight is old enough to be starting High School.  You just finished Driver's Ed and you've been working out with the High School Golf team for a few weeks, so I realize that you're growing up, but your first day of High School is a big deal!

When you were born, my very first favorite memories were these:  when you were one day old (we were still in the hospital), I took a shower and I came out of my little bathroom to see Daddy holding you.  He was sitting in a chair by my bed and you were up on his shoulder and you were both sleeping.  That was my first best memory with you.  Then later that night the three of us were snuggled in my little hospital bed and we were lying there side by side watching a baseball game on TV.  That was the first time I remember thinking, "this is my family."  That was my second happiest memory with you.  And sin…

Time With My Gran'ma

Time with my Gran'ma last weekend was good, hard, happy, sad, devastating, sweet, memorable, sad, sad, sad and sad.  We arrived late Thursday night and I tucked Tiki in and then I went and crawled into bed with my Gran'ma.  It was sweet time.  She was mostly asleep but as I wrapped my arms around her, she pat my arm and smiled.  That was sweet time.  I was happy and content and tears ran down my face.  I love her.  The next few visits weren't all that great.  Much of the time she wasn't fully in 2013.  She always knew who I was, but often she would ask me if I had "found a boy" and stuff like that.  It wasn't bad, it was just sad in a different way.

One day she told my dad that she was a little frustrated that I hadn't been by to see her yet (we were staying at her house) and that made me so sad because I knew she was looking forward to seeing me and the kids.  So, that night my dad came to her house with me.  She was already in bed, so I crawled in…

Fun With The Family

We had all 11 cousins together for the first time in four years!  It was so much fun!!!  I loved how much fun they had together!  Missy and Cooper's kids are so sweet and so quick to share their love and Courtney and Tom's kids are so hysterical and fun to be around.  Everyone got along so well and we all laughed a lot!!!
We took family pictures with the 11 cousins and then with GoGo and Pops and then a picture of the 11 cousins with Gran'ma.  The kids did an amazing job smiling and the entire photo shoot only took like ten minutes because everyone did so well!  It was impressive and I am so thankful that we had these pictures taken!!!
 Brady and Jen flew in for a couple of days and we headed immediately to Silver Dollar City to try out the new roller coaster.  What a rush!  It was unbelievable!  Wow!!!

K1 Parents' Day

Picking up Maggie and Gabby at K1 was so fun and so good!  I hadn't seen Maggie in two months and I was so ready to see both girls!  They looked so happy and so exhausted!  Pick up was so much fun seeing my kids and watching the boys finally see the girls again. . . it was also fun seeing how close the cousins got while they were at camp (that was by far the highlight!!!).  And, as always, it was great seeing old friends who I went to camp with as they were picking up their kids!!!  K1 was a hit for my girls and I am so thankful that they get to go every summer!