I love the chance to reflect on my children each year on their birthday. A time to think about their strengths, their struggles (and mine), and about what they add to my life.

Since Brynley was born so close to Christmas, her birthday sometimes gives me even more cause to reflect–to wonder at the Christ child and the meaning of that birth.

But this post is about Brynley–my sweet, energetic, stubborn, and adorable 2-year-old. This past year has brought so much change to our family with four moves, but Brynley had handled it really well. She loves her sister so much, and as long as they’re together she’s happy. In so many of the photos I’ve taken of her this year, she’s looking sideways to see what Saige is doing. She just wants to be like “Dage.”

She loves water, dirt, the beach, Tiny Baby, playing with Saige, and kitty cats.

She also has a stubborn side. For instance, she had a handful of words she’d say, but no matter how much we encouraged her, she refused to say much. I wasn’t too worried because I knew she could make the sounds and she was constantly chattering, so we just waited. Then one day she said, “Iwan zhoos, Mama.” (I want juice, Mama.) I looked down at her, and almost couldn’t help laughing because she was just holding out on us until SHE wanted to talk.

She didn’t really start talking much for a couple of months after that, but about the time we moved to Idaho, she decided it was time. New words every day; sentences all the time. Now she talks up a storm every day, and many of the things she says crack me up–not to mention her cute tiny voice. Her big personality is so vibrant and full. The other night I was helping her with the family prayer, and she had to sneak in to bless us with “cake and cookies.”

And a description of Brynley this year wouldn’t be complete without her daredevil climbing, her fearlessness, her determination, and her energy. We spent some good time at the parks in California, and she’s never met a slide she didn’t like–no matter how high or fast they are. And she’s determined to go wherever Saige goes, which sometimes scares me. Good thing Saige isn’t naturally a daredevil!

After watching her run and climb and for a while, my Uncle Steven (who has 5 kids) quietly commented, “We never had one like her…” It made me laugh. She’s definitely one of a kind, and I couldn’t love her more!