Last week my step-aunt unexpectedly passed away. I didn't know her very well, as she was a private person, but I have to admit everytime she was around I would watch her. Not in a bad way though. I was always aware of her presence. She had an aura about herself. She had leadership characteristics ingrained in her.
My Grandpa and Grandma Judi asked Ashley, Auriel, and me to sing during the funeral service. We sang a beautiful arrangement of "Consider the Lilies". They asked my mom to accompany us, and she did an incredible job. This song has a special place in my soul because it was one of the musical pieces performed at Mercydez'es funeral. It is a beautiful song about hope, love, and truth.
CONSIDER THE LILIES Consider the lilies of the field, How they grow, how they grow. Consider the birds in the sky, How they fly, how they fly.
He clothes the lilies of the field. He feeds the birds in the sky. and he will feed those who trust him, And guide them with his eye.
Consider the sheep of his fold; How they follow where He leads. Tho' the path may wind across the mountains, He knows, the meadows where they feed.
He clothes the lilies of the field. He feeds the birds in the sky. And He will feed those who love Him, Andguide them with his eye.
Consider the sweet tender children, Who must suffer on this earth. The pains of all of them He carried From the day of his birth.
He clothes the lillies of the field. He feeds the lambs of his fold. And He will heal those who trust him, And make their hearts as gold.
He clothes the lillies of the field! He feeds the lambs of his fold! And He will heal those who trust him, And make their hearts as gold.
There's obviously a lot of symbolism in this beautiful piece. The accompaniment is absolutely gorgeous as well.
I am so grateful to have the example of Shauna in my life. She lived for love and service. She knew who she was and wasn't ashamed of it...but she didn't flaunt it either. She...just was. I have appreciated that about her. Shauna has a sweet confidence about herself. I have always admired these qualities.
Shauna was a part of the "gay community", as some people put it. I don't mean that in an offensive way either. I say that with respect and love. I share this because this was a part of who she was. Like I said before, she lived for love and service. To those out there living the same lifestyle, let me say this. I have learned a lot. I have learned that people are people, regardless of their private lives. I have a respect for the human race...I learned this respect because of many things/experiences. Let me just say that Shauna is someone I respect. I don't claim to know her very well at all. But what I do know is that she is an outstanding individual. She has many accomplishments. She has many friends.
I still can't believe how incredible her funeral service was. The chapel was completely full and even the over-flow was full! The entire American Fork Police Department was in attendance, as was many of her friends, neighbors, loved ones, and I'm sure complete strangers who appreciate the service she did in their community.
The graveside ceremony was also beautiful. Because of her service with the police department, Taps was played, Amazing Grace was played with a bagpipe, an accounting of each of the American Fork Police Officers was called - with Shauna's name being the last called three times before relieving her from duty. There was also a police escort to the cemetary beforehand. It was incredible to see all her fellow officers in attendance, showing their love and admiration for one of their own. Shauna truly was service-oriented. It showed.
To my Grandpa and Grandma Judi, I love you. I love Shauna. I love that families are eternal. I love that there is a God. I love that there is a plan for all of us. I love that I know that Jesus Christ lived, died, and continues to live for us.
God bless you. God bless all those who knew, loved, and learned from Shauna.
I don't mean to brag, but I just can't help it! Travis is so wonderful. We had such a wonderful weekend get-away! We stayed at a resort in Park City (click on the blue words and it'll take you to the web page of the place we stayed at. You can see pictures and all sorts of good stuff!) for two nights. Our room had a kitchen/living room with a fire place, jacuzzi and shower in the bathroom, our own private hot tub on our balcony, and an ENORMOUS bed (Seriously. It was the biggest bed I've ever seen!). It was amazing. Travis completely spoiled me. I can tell because coming back to reality has been really hard...almost depressing.
Travis perfectly planned and executed everything. We were able to go do sealings in the Salt Lake Temple on Saturday, walk Park City's Main Street, enjoy a movie while soaking in the jacuzzi, drive up and park in the mountains and talk for a few hours, dance in the living room (Travis prepared a list of songs he wanted to dance to and brought his ipod up), sip martinelli while sitting in the hot tub late at night, sleep in, and so much more. And it was never rushed.
Like I said, perfectly planned and executed.
I had an incredible weekend with my amazing husband. Travis is so good. He is so thoughtful. He is so kind and gentle. I am so lucky.
Thank you, handsome, for an incredible anniversary weekend. I love you so much.
P.S. Get this! He even surprised me with tickets to "So You Think You Can Dance" when they perform out here in November!! Seriously, why am I so lucky??!
7 months ago my "sweeeeetie" finished her work here on earth. That was a hard time. It still is. I can't help but be so happy for her and the freedom she is experiening.
I have her birth announcement sitting on my desk at work. Next to it is a picture of another incredible child who has lead through example (and hasn't even realized it). How grateful I am for children. They have such innocence and purity.
I miss my baby. I miss her so much. I listen to videos Nic and Ash texted me often. I look at pictures regularly. I am so grateful Nic and Ashley shared her with me. Those pictures, videos, and especially the memories are priceless. I miss her adorable hands and precious little feet. She would always have her legs crossed...so feminine and lovely.
While my heart is still healing my soul is so happy.
With my Princess in mind, I also extend my love to my extended family. They are experiencing an unexpected passing of a loved one. It has been a shock and a painful reminder of how fragile life really is. A reminder of how important it is to be the best person you can be. Because the truth is, we don't know when our time will come...we only know it will.
The temporary seperation of loved ones is so difficult. Only through the hope, light, and knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is it possible to endure - and endure well. To become better not bitter. Life is hard. This world is cruel. I believe we will be judged based on our hearts, our souls, and what we do with our experiences. Be they hard or easy.
My entire heart and soul is with you (you know who you are). I love you.
I've decided I'm going to share simple stories about Travis to prove to you how lucky I am. There are so many reasons - hopefully I'll be able to keep count! ;)
Reason #1: Travis is comfortable with children. He's not afraid to play with them, tease them, and love them. He especially loves children with imaginations and innocence.
So, the other day Travis stopped by Alicia's to watch the kids while Alicia went to a school activity with Marin. After Alicia returned home and Travis left I received a text from Alicia and this is what it said:
"Grayson [her 5 year old boy] convinced Uncle Trav to go on a frog hunt by the park. He told him he saw lilly pads and heard crickets and is sure Timmy and Herman live in the swampy area by the park"
I'm sure you're all wondering who the heck Timmy and Herman are. So I'll give you some back ground. A few years ago Grandma Braun told Grayson a bedtime story about two frogs who are always together Big Timmy and Little Herman - I don't remember if they're brothers or just friends. Since hearing this story, which through the years has evolved into a long detailed novel, Grayson has been determined to find Timmy and Herman. There's a park near his home with a little swampy area (it's landscaped into the park and actually looks quite nice) and he has decided that's where they live.
Travis did take Grayson on a frog hunt. They didn't find Timmy and Herman but Grayson swears he saw the eye of one of the frogs. Cute huh? I thought it was. Generally speaking, most men wouldn't have gone on a frog hunt especially when knowing before hand that there are no frogs in the park. But Trav did. He was willing and completely played along. Ummm....if that's not adorable, I don't know what is!
I love October. It's the beginning of the holiday seasons. I love walking through the seasonal aisles at the grocery and crafting stores. The smell of cinnamon, the fall colors, the decorations. I love it! I also love the crisp autumn air. I am pulling out my sweaters but not packing the t-shirts away quite yet. Chilled morning air, warm afternoons, crisp evenings....welcome!
I also have another GREAT reason why I love October. It is the special month Trav and I chose to be married. This will be our 6th anniversary. While it sounds like we're still youngens - it feels so awesome and shocking that we've been married for 6 years already! We have been able to do a lot together. I am so excited that I have the rest of my life AND EVEN LONGER THEN THAT to be with him. It sounds cheesey but I have come to realize that Travis is my BEST friend. Travis is the BEST travel buddy. Travis is the BEST listener. Travis is the BEST husband...I honestly find myself staring off in space wondering why I have been so lucky!?!! WHY??!!
Travis and I don't have children yet (which has been a decision between the two of us and Heavenly Father) and we feel at peace with this. But we are excited and look forward to the day when we, together, will welcome children to our eternal family. That day will come, but today's not that day. And that's okay. Heavenly Father knows our hearts. He knows things we are dealing with and have been dealing with. HE KNOWS US. So, for all those wondering...we don't know when that day will come. But we feel it is closer then it ever has been before.
I know this is sort of random. No, I'm not pregnant. :) I'm just doing some self-reflecting and sharing my thoughts.
Life has been hard. Life has stretched us individually and as a couple. Life has been up and life has been down (and it's only been 6 years). But life has been good. I have my friends. I have my faith. I have my testimony. I have my family. Most importantly, I have my handsome husband for time and all eternity.