my sweet cousin brynn, who has been battling cancer for over three years passed away on saturday.

{my aunt has kept a blog of brynn's fight with cancer www.teambrynn.blogspot.com}

in august my aunt told me the doctors said they would lose her to this disease, and about 5 weeks ago she had to stop treatments. i can't really describe how I've been feeling the past couple months, it's hard to live 'normally' when you know someone you love so much is fighting each day for their life. things needed to be done, so i did them, but i just wanted to be with my family, i've spent most days at home hugging and kissing trey and claire. not a minute has gone by that i wasn't thinking about brynn, christy, kevin, sadie, kade and reese, and praying for them to feel comfort and peace. christy would text me updates of how things were going, i'd cry and pray, and then trey, and claire and i would send brynn a funny picture to try and make her smile. i have felt so unbearably sad, and have cried so hard and so long because i will miss brynn, and then i think of christy and kevin and sadie and kade and reese, and it feels like my heart is breaking. i look at my little children and even imagining watching them endure as brynn has is too much. my aunt and uncle are such examples to me, they served brynn so selflessly and supported her in everyway she needed.

the past couple weeks my mind has been flooded with memories of brynn.
I remember holding her when she was a tiny baby and kissing her little lips. when she was a toddler we'd tickle her and pretend her belly was dough and we'd make cinnamon buns with it. she used to sing sheryl crow's song, "soak up the sun" in church when we were singing a hymn. she has always been so sweet, and so kind. even when she was very little she was so in tune with her surroundings and aware of others feelings. she loved sitting and getting her hair brushed and played with, and would sit and let me do braids in her hair, and then she'd lay on my lap while i rubbed her back. i think of so many christmas eve nights with her and my sisters and cousins all sleeping in the bed in grandma's back room. i lived with christy and kevin for the summer in 2007, and even though i had my own room and bed, i spent most nights sharing brynn's single bed. i'm not the bravest person, and christy and I would talk until late and I'd be scared to go into the basement so i'd snuggle in with brynn. once that summer i was going for a run, brynn wanted to ride her bike by me, I told her I was going down heritage road which has a hill and asked if she was sure she could make it, she said yes, so we started going, the way there was fine but when we got back to the hill and had to go up this time, she said her legs were too sore, so I went behind and pushed the seat of her bike, i was grunting and groaning and brynn was cheering me on, we were laughing so hard! brynn loved asking me about who I was going on dates with, she would giggle at all the 'romantic stuff', a few times i brought a date or boyfriend to meet the family and a couple minutes after arriving we'd find brynn sitting on his lap chatting away. she thought it was so funny when she first met Brock to call him 'Brock Obama'! trey and claire love brynn, I think all little children do. i have many little gifts that christy said brynn just had to get for trey or claire. she was always thinking of others. i remember how she looked on her baptism day, and i remember helping her get ready in the temple, how soft and reverent she was, and then watching her be sealed to her family. she looked so beautiful in her white dress, that is how I picture her now.

i was pregnant with trey and we were living in Calgary, when brynn had the first biopsy on her foot, i met them at the hospital and spent the day there while brynn had her surgery and recovered, then went back to barnwell for the week with them, christy called me at my parents a few days later when they received the results, my mom and grandma were out of town, and I was so grateful I could be there, kevin's sister was also there, we just all sat and cried and tried to answers brynn's questions. it seems not that long ago, but then looking at how big trey is how, I can't believe how much time has passed, every prayer trey has ever said he has blessed brynn.

'team brynn' has been a phrase i and countless others have seen and heard a lot the past few years. it truly amazes me at the lives she has impacted, thousands, I'm sure, many who had never met her. 'team brynn' meant supporting her and praying for her as she faced so many challenges and endured a lot of suffering. we were able to visit brynn on her birthday, truly a gift to us because I know she was tired and not really up to visitors. i looked at this sweet girl, praying to not cry in front of her. she wanted to hug trey and claire and asked me about the baby. she looked tired and sick but her sweet and tender voice sounded just the same. hugging her goodbye, i knew this would most likely be the last time I saw her in this life. as we drove away i sat crying and thinking about those words 'team brynn' and what they have come to mean to me. being a part of 'team brynn' means to never, ever give up. to face every challenge with a smile, a real smile. to love those around you and show it by the things you say and do. 'team brynn' means patience and meekness, and enduring. it means a life full of gratitude. it means showing gentleness and kindness to everyone, and being able to laugh at yourself. 'team brynn' is strength shown by faith and wisdom, and courage in the face of adversity. i think of brynn and all that she exemplified, that really is what 'team brynn' means. i will never stop being a part of her team, and trying to be more like her; she was a perfect Christ like example.

this quote from elder Nelson has been running through my mind, and knowing brynn, has brought me a lot of comfort, "it is true. we live to die, and we die to live again. from an eternal perspective, the only death that is truly premature is the death of one who is not prepared to meet God."
brynn truly was an angel on earth, and now in heaven.


right now

we got home last night from a weekend trip to alberta. it was a fast, but very special trip. we put the children to bed and unpacked our bags. i went in to kiss trey one more time before i went to bed, his little superhero guys were all lined up on a pillow "sleeping" and his blankie was bundled under his perfect little chin. i know it won't be like this forever and it makes my heart hurt. he won't be playing with trains, and trucks forever. he won't spend an hour splashing in the tub, or ask me to kiss his owies better.

our baby boy turned three last week, and when i showed brock the pictures from his little friend party he started crying, neither of us can believe how grown up and happy and sweet this little boy is. i can't believe how big he and claire are getting- i feel like they were both just tiny babies! time seems to be going by so fast, too fast!

right now trey and claire are busy and curious, which keeps me on my toes. claire wants to be held while i am cooking or doing laundry, trey wants me to build towers with him all day, or play puppies and let him lick my face all over. as soon as i turn the water on to shower they are standing there wanting to come in. they both want to be carried inside from the van, and need the same snack and drink at the exact same time. finding 10 minutes to just sit during the day is rare and most days by the time 8pm rolls around my feet and body are ready to collapse. i know what i do all day is demanding, hard work. i also know it is an extremely important work. a couple weeks ago i was feeling defeated. there were so many things i wanted to be doing that i could not find time to do. the next morning i was kneeling (trying) to pray, trey and claire were on my back, climbing over me and sitting on my head. i thought there's no point in trying to do this right now, i laid my head down on my bed and the most comforting feeling came over me. i knew Heavenly Father was aware of what was going on in that very moment. that He knew the things my heart desired. as i went through the day i realized making dinner and wiping the floor could be just as spiritual of an experience as reading my scriptures if i focused on the love i felt in serving my family. thier physical care is important to Heavenly Father, and serving them is serving Him. i know if i do my best He will magnify me to be able to do what i need to. that He sees my efforts in what i am striving to accomplish and whether i think it is or not, to Him it is enough. i feel strengthened in the things i AM doing, and know i don't have to feel guilty about the things i'm not. i have to remind myself there is a time and season for all things. and right now i am blessed to be caring for these perfect little beings.