Brownie Updates

Brownie Updates
this is the life

Saturday, December 31, 2016


To say I hate funerals is a huge understatement. I think I developed the dislike years ago when I was very young and a family friends little twin son, maybe two years old, was run over by a car. It was the first time I had ever known someone to die. And it was hard. I was very young, 7 or 8, and I still remember how sad it all was. So I have never really liked them. Leading up to my dads funeral I just felt a sense of dread. I didn't want to do a funeral, especially for someone I loved so much, mainly because they are so sad. I knew we would have one though. And the weird thing is I knew I wanted to speak at the funeral. I knew it would be so hard for me. But I really thought no one in the world loved my dad as much as me and so I would definitely need to be one of the speakers. It turns out my brothers loved him too, probably just as much as me, and they all spoke as well.

 I guess what I want this most to say is that it felt like a celebration for my dad. We laughed and cried, but I think we laughed more, which is what he would have wanted. I think he would have been very happy with how is funeral turned out, especially since he did not really like funerals himself. His only complaints would have been that too many people cried and that everything was all about him. He would have loved the jokes and laughing. He would have loved his grandchildren singing. He would have loved all his kids speaking. He would have loved Mikila and Amanda playing a musical number. It really was such a great service.

We decorated the entry way in the church with a few of his things.
 Some things that I want to point out about my dad. He loved to play games. Even the last year when he was so sick he would almost always still play games with us. He would wake up in the mornings and ask my aunt Virginia, who was helping care for him so my mom could work, what game she wanted to lose at first. He asked everyday and they usually always played at least one game before he had to go to an appointment.

He always wore cheap velcro shoes. I bought him really nice shoes a couple of times for Christmas years ago and he would never wear them. He loved his velcro shoes. Anytime I see velcro shoes I think of my dad.

He wore a hat a lot. He loved to be busy doing things. Usually that meant being outside. I loved how he looked in his work hat and he wore that hat a lot.

He loved his family. We really don't have any pictures of my dad with anyone but family after he got married. He loved spending time with his family, immediate and extended, and it was always enough for him. He never needed anyone else.

He loved his tractor. He loved trains. He loved legos and/or any toy that you could build.

My brother Daniel designed the program and it turned out so nice.

Dan also put together a really nice picture slide show of my dad throughout the years.

His funeral turned out amazing. I loved that day. It was such a blessing to celebrate him and all the good he accomplished in his life. I just can't quite put into words how great of an experience it was for me personally. I learned a lot about my dad, from my brothers stories and from things people shared with us on this day. It is a day I will treasure forever. I wish I could sit and tell more stories about my dad and laugh and cry, it really was great.

His family on the funeral day.

 The funeral really was nice. So many people came and we felt so much support as his family. It was such a blessing. People from Oroville have been so kind to our family the past year and especially the past couple of weeks. I realized there is no one else I would rather have supporting me than the people form Oroville. What a blessing it is to have them all in our lives. Thank you to all who came out to support my dad. We sure loved him and I will forever miss his laugh and his teasing.

My Dad

I really feel like I hit the lottery in so many ways with my family. We are NOT perfect, not even close. But with my dad passing away I have felt so blessed for having such a great, imperfect, man in my life. To say 2016 has been hard would be an understatement. I walked a very lonely and sad road in 2016. A road many before me have walked and one that most people will walk at some point in their life experience, having a very sick family member. I cried so many tears. I have been exhausted. I put on a happy face even though I felt like my heart was physically aching. Most of 2016 I felt a deep emptiness in my chest that I just can't describe. I really had to ponder my religious beliefs. Do I really believe that if my dad dies I will see him again? Do I believe that our relationship really will carry on into the eternities? It wasn't until I talked to my mom on Wednesday December 14th, when they pretty much knew my dad had very little time left on earth, that I finally felt peace. I was overwhelmed with the amount of peace I felt. I knew I was loved. I knew I had been blessed to have him as my father. I knew I would see him again. My heart is still heavy and I am still sad, a little everyday. But I finally have felt peace.
I was blessed to talk to my dad on Tuesday December 13th. I happened to call home and he answered the phone.We had a very typical conversation. He picked up the home phone and said, "Yeah, what do you want daughter." Just like he always did. I asked him how he felt. He responded that he felt pretty crappy. I asked why. He explained that he had been having the chills and the shakes. He seemed tired and then said I had better talk to mom. I then said ok, I love you dad. And he replied. I love you too babe. Two things that I will miss so much about my dad is how he always answered the phone when I called. It was always the exact same way, he always pretended that he wasn't excited that I called. I will also miss how he always called me babe.

I am so grateful our last interaction was a typical conversation for us. Him not feeling well really didn't set off any alarms at the time because he has been so uncomfortable for so long.

Later that night my mom and aunt Virginia ended up taking him to the ER. He was admitted around 1am on Wednesday morning. He had cellulitis and a possible viral infection. They got him some antibiotics and kept him overnight. I did not sleep that night. I moved from my bed to the couch over and over. I think I was being prepared for what was coming, although I don't remember feeling alarmed. He had a rough night and while I was teaching first period I got a text that he had been moved to ICU, then a short time later a text that they were considering putting him back on  life support. WHAT??? I work with some of the best people. They stepped in and covered so I could call my mom and see what was going on. At this point Aaron was also with my mom and they met with the doctors and it was apparent that his time was very short. When I talked to them I could hear my dad in the background in so much pain. That was truly awful to hear. I think at that point I really just didn't want my dad to have to feel pain anymore. He has had so much pain this last year. Watching someone you love be in pain is absolutely miserable.  My class was covered for about thirty minutes and so I sat in the corner of the track and let myself mourn my dad. And it was at this time that I really started to feel peace. Wednesday my dads mom, siblings and California children gathered in Oroville. His Utah children gathered here. And we waited.

The next morning it was apparent his condition had worsened and the decision was made to take him off life support. We did not know how quickly he would pass away, but it ended up being really fast. I barely had time to leave work before I got a text saying his heart had stopped. I am so grateful he was surrounded by people who loved him as he took his last breaths on earth. I wish I could have been there but I was given an amazing gift of being able to spend so much time with him this past year. It is crazy how much love I have felt for my dad the past two weeks. I really really love him and I am so grateful he is my dad.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

My Dads Obituary

Daniel Earl Brown, age 67, passed away on December 15, 2016 at Oroville Hospital surrounded by loved ones, after a thirteen month fight for his life following open-heart surgery.

He was born on July 10, 1949, in Quincy, California, to William Thomas and Donna Mae Brown. Dan graduated in 1968 from Las Plumas High School where he participated in football and baseball. After high school he served in the Marines from 1972 to 1976.

Dan married Lila May Webb on April 28, 1979. Together they have seven children: one daughter and six sons. Dan loved to spend time with his immediate family as well as his siblings and parents that live in California.

Dan enjoyed being busy. You could always find him working in his garden, working on a project in the barn, or supporting his children in their various extracurricular activities. He really enjoyed coaching youth sports. By the time his children were grown, he had coached 18 soccer seasons and quite a few baseball/softball seasons.

All who knew Dan knows he loved to tease and had a great laugh. In his later years he loved to play all different kinds of games: hand and foot, push, coloretto, settlers of catan, and qwirkle. He especially loved spending time with his grandchildren while building legos and playing with his train.

Dan was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He loved all the people that he attended church with and had opportunities to serve many of the people he knew there. Dan especially loved to volunteer his children to serve as well.

Our family would like to express our sincere gratitude to all who have prayed and helped this past year while Dan has been sick.

He is survived by his seven children: LaNell Brown, Daniel Brown, Samuel (Amanda) Brown, Benjamin (Katie) Brown, Aaron (Jacklyn) Brown, Anthony Brown, and Caleb Brown; 5 grandchildren; his mother; Donna Mae Brown; siblings: Janice (Louis) Meier, Peter Brown, and Virginia Markhart. He was preceded in death by his father, William Thomas Brown.

Funeral Services will be held Thursday, December 22, 2016, at 11a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 2390 Monte Vista Ave., Oroville, CA.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Moab with the Hancocks

Earlier in the month Erica mentioned to me that they might go hiking after Thanksgiving. I am pretty sure I invited myself but they were so nice to let me come along. It was an awesome way to spend two days after Thanksgiving. I couldn't leave town when they did so I didn't get to ride in the motor home, which was a total bummer, but  I still got to sleep in it:)

I met them at Dead Horse Point early on Saturday morning. I invited Cierra to come with me because I didn't want to do the long drive alone and I haven't spent time with her in a long time. It was so fun and I am so glad her parents let her come. This was my first time at Dead Horse Point and it was pretty cool!
Somehow I don't have any picture with Erica, which is totally LAME!!!

Then we headed to Canyonlands National Park and did some short hikes there. We started with the famous Mesa Arch.
 And did Whale Rock, this was a new one for me.
We did a couple other short hikes as well but I didn't take any pictures. It was a fun day hiking and Than and Erica's kids were hiking champs. I was super impressed.

Saturday we headed out to Corona Arch.
 I love this hike, mainly because it is dog friendly. It was pretty crowded this Saturday so that was a bummer. I have to document this picture of Pacen because the only other time I have hiked with him was right after Camry was born. He was two years old and I carried him on my back and Erica carried Camry. He screamed the entire hike to Silver Lake. It was hilarious.....kind of. He is so old now and he is a champion hiker so this hiking excursion was much easier on the ears!
After this hike the Hancocks headed back to Provo and Cierra and I headed to Arches National Park because she needed to hike delicate Arch. I didn't even take a picture at Delicate Arch because I had done the hike a couple weeks ago and the sun was in the wrong place for a good picture. We had a good time though.

Then we hiked to the Delicate Arch overlook. Definitely not as good as hiking to the Arch but it is a much shorter hike and you can still see the arch in the distance.
 On our way out of the Park we stopped at an overlook and had to take some jumping selfies. Obviously it was the right choice!!!
It took a little practice to get it just right.
 Cierra was definitely better at these.
It was a great way to end our trip
 And sometimes the camera catches you landing and you look super dorky!

The Hancocks were so generous to let us join them and I loved getting some one on one time with Cierra. Thanksgiving break was so nice. It was super hard to jump back into real life yesterday.


Basketball started on the first Monday in November. It is a busy time of year. It has been great to be back coaching. I spend a ton of time preparing and a lot more time at the school but so far it has been great. I am really tired, like really really tired, and really really busy but it has been good.

Sometimes on Saturdays I am just lazy because I can be. One Saturday I finished a book I borrowed from Erica Hancock, A Million Miles, In A Thousand Years. It is a really good book. It has allowed me to reflect on how I really want o live my life.
I wish I had some pictures of Aaron and Jacklyn when they were in town for Thanksgiving. We got to hang out with them a little bit on Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon. They brought my mom with them so it was fun to see everyone. Tuesday we went to Nancy's to make dinner and visit but I didn't take any pictures. Wednesday I had early morning basketball practice and then we went to lunch before Aaron and Jacklyn left to spend time with her family. Always great to have some family time.

Wednesday evening I got my house all cleaned and decorated for Christmas. I wanted to get it done so I could leave town for the weekend.
 I just love having my house decorated at Christmas.
 It makes me so happy.
 Thanksgiving Moki and I hiked the Y. It was quite chilly but it was nice to get a little hike in before I ate all day.
 Some of the Thanksgiving crew got the flannel memo. I just love flannel shirts. Best invention ever.
 We were so lucky to have my mom in town.
 My mom has been a caretaker for my dad the past year and she has had no breaks. My dads sister Virginia took over for a couple of days so my mom could come to Utah. What a blessing!!!! Both these women amaze me with the sacrifices they have made and continue to make for my dad. It was so great to see my mom. Obviously we missed my Dad like crazy. Holidays are so hard when someone is sick. I really tried not to dwell on that because it makes me so sad. Life used to seem so much simpler, but this is reality now and it is hard but that is ok too. My Aunt Loralie hosted us all for Thanksgiving and it was a great afternoon.

Lastly I wanted to post a picture with the completed deck. Aaron did an amazing job. It looks so good!!!

A few more pictures

I took a lot of pictures when I was in Moab with Anthony. I decided I needed one more post to document a few of them, so they get printed with my blog book!
 Corona Arch!

 Delicate Arch. We lucked out and had some great cloud cover for the afternoon.

  Landscape Arch in Devil Gardens.
This is the North or South window, can't remember which one:)
 Watching the Sunset from the Balance Rock parking lot.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Moab with Anthony

Anthony and I went to Moab at the beginning of November. I was supposed to run a half marathon. Because I started lifting weights I have not been running like I should, so I bailed on the half, did a 5k with Moki and tons of hiking with Anthony. It was fun to hang out with him so much.
So excited to be getting out of Provo. It was the weekend before basketball tryouts so I knew I needed a break.
We started the morning off by hiking Corona Arch. It's a dog friendly trail, which is so nice. I ran with Moki before and then we did this three mile hike and she was content to just hang out and rest the rest of the day. That was nice because we headed to Arches National Park after and dogs aren't allowed on the trails there.
Delicate arch is a beauty. Another relatively easy three mile hike!
Then we drove to Devils Garden and hiked to a few arches on that trail.

 Anthony was in a great mood considering the fact that we were doing lots of hiking.
The wether was overcast and quite lovely. After devils garden we hit up the windows section in Arches national park. I did a couple short hikes by myself so I could get some more miles.

Such a beautiful park!!!

We went to Balance rock for pictures at sunset to finish off the day.

 It was a short but busy weekend. So glad Anthony was willing to join me!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Birthdays and Halloween

Two of my favorite people have birthdays in October: Olivia and Andrew. Olivia turned seven and Andrew turned four. I was in California on Andrews actual birthday but Sam sent me this AMAZING picture. I am in love with it. 
I really struggled with what to get Olivia for her birthday this year. I had in my mind what I wanted to get her but I couldn't find it in my price range. In the end I got her a hoodie that she loved and the Simon says game I used to love as a kid.
We celebrated Andrews birthday after fall break. The same night we also went to Amanda's orchestra concert. It was Halloween themed and the little kids wore costumes.
There was a real cute darth Vader.

On Fridays me and the boys PE teacher wear crazy socks. Leading up to Halloween I wore these gems.
Jana and I did our traditional hand out candy at her house while Ben trick or treats. I love that tradition. I am also trying to learn a new dance every year to teach my class in Halloween. Since I was a ghostbusters this year that was the song we danced to!
I bought a massive pumpkin to carve for Halloween. Andrew helped me carve it. He fell in love with it so he ended up taking it home. It was a cute pumpkin.
We loved our pumpkin!!!! You can see the excitement in his face.


Amber and I decided we needed a weekend away. We debated for awhile on where to go. In the end Moab was a great option for us. I could bring...