For those of you who don't know me, I love my niece more than life itself! I know all aunts probably say that, but we have always had a special bond. She's precious beyond words, and we've always been very close.
I was blessed to live with my sister through her pregnancy with Brenna and for the first full year of Brenna's life. I was there for every "first"....first bath, first smile, first step! Even after moving out of their house, I saw her nearly daily. I remember worrying sometimes about being out of town for a day or two in a row because it would mean I wouldn't see her!
After losing Kinley, she was even more of a blessing to me. She brought smiles on many sad days! She kept me occupied and busy and said some of the sweetest things I've ever heard out of the mouth of a child. She was deeply affected by Kinley's death, and still talks about Kinley often. Some days, I've been amazed by her understanding and her acceptance of Kinley's death, and some days I've been crushed by her confusion and deep hurt over the loss. She's probably grieved more "normally" and in more of a healthy way than any of us. She hurts deeply and then moves on quickly. (She blessed us all by sharing a dream she had of Kinley, click here to read that story.)
When we found out we were moving, I was crushed to be leaving both of my babies behind, Kinley buried at the gravesite chosen because of it's close proximity to our home, and Brenna! Since we've moved, Brenna has most definitely been the hardest to be away from (sorry family, but I know you already knew it was true!) I am so excited to be home now helping out and anxiously awaiting the arrival of Brenna's baby sister, and it means a lot of extra time with my girl too! On Saturday, we had a "special" day and spent some quality time together!!
We had a blast going to Cayden's first birthday party and spending some time at the pumpkin patch. To top off the day, she climbed up on my lap yesterday evening and said "I love you so much Etty! We had such a GREAT day together!" She melts my heart!!! So, here are some photos of our fun.....tell me she isn't too cute for her own good??