Sunday, October 25, 2015

Faith, Reaching Out, Asking for Healing and Help

We each have our own ideal of faith. I have had an incredibly emotional week this past week as I had moments when I just wasn't sure how exactly I was going to keep it together. You see I am a bottler; I bottle the pain and emotion and do everything I can to not allow any of it escape. Life simply isn't wasy, it takes hard work to get through each day and sometimes in my world it is just one moment at a time but this last week was emotional on so many different levels and in so many different ways. 

Of course I have been partially open about the fact that my life in Oregon simply fell apart and that was the reason that I moved back to Utah. Ideally so I could put all of the little shattered pieces back together.  Every single day is a challenge to do this however there have been some brief and amazing lights in the dark. 

Last week I started a second job to help myself with the financial burdens that I have created by living on credit trying to make life happen for myself and my two children. I would do it all over again to have the cherished moments that I have had these past two years with my children all of which are absolutely priceless. My first day was Sunday, which for Chandler and I is "our" day. It is the day each week that Chandler and I get up and go to church; the one day that we walk into the doors of a movie theater and are part of a church family where regardless of the challenges we are facing for those few moments, okay 90 minutes we feel right with the world. Sadly, we couldn't go last week because of my new job. BUT..... the Catalyst Youth Group that Chandler is part of was having a get together that evening. Knowing how important it was to my boy, I hurried from work to pick him up and drop him off. 

Okay so I am totally rambling but wait for it... the moment is coming. While I was hanging out in the darkness of my life for several days apparently my attempt of hiding it from my son was an epic fail. After Chandler was done we had the most amazing talk on the way home. Chandler told me that when he arrived that he reached out to one of the pastors at our church and asked to be prayed for. Now if you know my son at all, communication is not his strong suit so this was a shining moment for me, a momentously huge shining moment. He shared with me some of the discussions and then told me that towards the end of the youth service that they asked if there was anyone that needed to be prayed for and my sweet son reached out again... TWICE in one night! As he is sharing this with me tears just rolled down my eyes as I was trying to drive us home. I told him how proud I am of him and his ability to reach out. My sixteen year old son showed me signs of strength that I only wished I had. I explained that often times when I need help the most I really have a difficult time reaching out and asking for help, when those moments of opportunity to have someone else pray for me I always really want to stand however can't force myself to get to my feet and go forward. I explained that I was proud of him because I felt that by asking for help I felt I was showing all of my weaknesses. Now I know and understand that this is not true. I know that needing to reach out is not a sign of weakness and that the ability to do so is a sign of strength. 

Today I was blessed to have the day off of work and have the opportunity to take my son to church. During worship today our church provided the opportunity to have those in need go forward to be prayed for. This is the exact situation that I was so proud of Chandler for standing up and going forward last week and in my heart I knew that it was my turn and that by staying seated as I have in the past I was missing the great opportunity of prayer. So today - I had a breakthrough moment - today I stood up and walked forward. There was a line and the song of prayer was coming to an end, part of me just wanted to run back to my seat and not be the last one standing asking for prayer... but then I thought of Chandler, of his strength and courage and knew that prayer was what I needed most today. I was blessed to have Pastor Mooney and his wife pray for me. It was difficult to tell them that I needed prayer for my health, that I would have the strength to work and provide. I also asked that they pray for our finances. While I am now working two jobs I still am struggling to provide a HOME for my son and I. As they prayed for me tears just ran down my face but the heaviness on my heart was lifted. Today, I am grateful that I had the strength to ask for prayer. 

Last week I applied to rent a townhouse for Chandler and I. It is important to me not to move him from school to school and to stay in the boundaries of American Fork High School. While doing this I have found that the rent in this area really stretches me right to my financial limits but I have to believe that my getting second job at Gordmans will soften this financial blow. After submitting the application on Monday I waited until Thursday to see if I was approved. When I called the property manager said that she hadn't had the opportunity to run credit but had been thinking of my son and I all week. She said that she couldn't give me a specific move in date but said that we could have the townhouse! While I am an optimist I also am a realist and will believe it when I sign a lease and receive the keys to move in. We had some additional help that had been offered with our deposit that fell through. Honestly, rent of $975 + the deposit of $975 is totally going to kill me financially but  I really believe that this had been God's way of answering our prayers. As challenging as it may be financially it will be worth it to be under one roof with my son. 

Chandler moved back to Utah the second week of June and has been staying with my parents since and I relocated to Utah July 27th.   Four and a half months is TOO long! I am so grateful for my parent's support in helping me take care of my amazing kiddo, I love the talks Chan and I have when I pick him up and drop him to school, and when I take him back at night... 

I continue to pray for my health and our finances as a family. Each day is a struggle but it is worth it! I just got off the phone with Alexys in Oregon and found out that I had $108 credit with Alaska Airlines that I didn't know I had!! See God is providing!!! In some of the most unexpected ways possible! My baby girl will be here is 53 days!!! As a family we will all be under one roof for her 18t birthday in 54 days! God is Good! He always provides. Everything happens for a reason and I have to remember God's got this! He knows my struggles and pain and He provides in the moments I need it most.

I end my oversharing blog post with this - Please pray for me this week. Please pray that everything with this rental will work out in the ways it needs to, that I will be able to turn on the utilities, find a way to move everything from the storage to the rental and all will work out well. Thanks in advance for your prayers. 

God Bless ~

Tasha Brooks

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Life

Had to post and share this. I found it today on my cousin Patti's Facebook and felt the need to share it. Now yes, I could have hit that wonderful "share" button but then I would have wanted to give my own two cents and decided what better place to do that than here!


Seriously - I am so over the drama, the ups and downs, highs and lows. It has been a rough year... maybe it's been a rough couple of years. The point is that I have been here before. I have hit rock bottom and built myself, my children and our lives back up from the ashes that they were. Sometimes I fall, get back up, walk into a wall and repeat.... but the point is that I always get back up!

Not spending my daughter's senior year of high school with her absolutely breaks my heart. I feel like I am missing out on all of the important milestones that are mine to share. Often I hear about what is going on in her life on Facebook rather than from her and it hurts, but it hurts because I feel like I am missing out on one of the most important years of her life. This is the year that she gets to struggle and excel, where she gets to dip her toes into being an adult and making decision on where she really wants to go to college, where she wants to work when she grows up, where and who she will be with for life after high school. I am blessed that when we moved to Oregon her and her boyfriend of 2 years connected and have been together sense. Which leads me to share these photos.
Just over a week ago they shared their two year anniversary and I have to say hands down that my daughter has the most amazing, kind and thoughtful man by her side. I can't count how many times we have had car troubles and Jordan and his dad are always there to rescue. The countless family adventures they have shared with Chandler and I and with Jordan's family too. The lunches he's taken her to school or the dinners he drops by the gym because her work, school, cheer schedule can be tight and hectic. The moments when she is sick and he does something cute to brighten her day. On their anniversary he gave her the princess ring she has been begging for, just because and he gave her a promise ring engraved with both of their names. I am grateful I was there to see the start of their cute relationship, long talks, fights and all as every single moment is a treasured moment to me that my daughter opened up and shared the stresses, ups and downs of her own life, that piece that I didn't have to be a part of but she chose to invite me in and share. As hard as this year is for me I am grateful for the relationship that she and I built over the past few years and the strength and encouragements that we shared. These moments to me are all priceless which is why I struggle and at times simply am hurt and feeling left out. Reality is she's grown up and moved on and made choices I hoped I was there for and she's done it without me. I am so incredibly proud of the young woman that she has become, I am so blessed.

So with that, I have to remember to enjoy the moments I am let in but also need to remember that I am also blessed to have totally different moments with my son. Lucky kid almost gets me all to himself. I say almost because we don't yet have our own place and well don't get to stay under the same roof at night but I am blessed to have the opportunity to go and pick him up every morning, to have absolutely random chats with him that sometimes just come out of the middle of no where. I am been working on teaching him to drive and on weekends we either go on hikes or cuddle and watch movies.
Seriously, how luck am I to have this amazing kid? This past week my health wasn't well and he was always there to pick me up and remind me that it's going to get better. He insisted on going with to my doctors and is REALLY GREAT at taking care of his mom. Now is his time to shine, now life is all about him; his wants, dreams and goals. I am so proud of how well he has adjusted to being back in Utah, a new high school, crazy living situations, and he always has a smile. Every single Sunday he's up and ready for church, he's as involved (as much as out schedule allows) in an amazing youth group and is so committed to helping others and following a path that he finds pleasing. Sunday's after church we chat on and on about our services and what we took from them, we share Bible verses and have some of the most meaningful conversations on our drives home, these moments too are priceless.  I really am the luckiest mom ever.

We've fallen down and some days I am not sure how we are going to get back up or what we are going to do or really where our future is but I know that everything happens for a reason and well maybe we had to fall to build up a new and different life designed for the two of us. Often I have to remind myself that I can only have the life of the attitude I chose... and honestly I have to chose to be positive, to surround myself with positive people and pray for a positive outcome.

Life is far to short to be unhappy, I simply pray for a life of positively, love, and laughter, sure I am going to have my moments, I'll have a rough day but what matter is what I do with it! This is my life and I want to live it the best way possible. :)

On that note, Chandler and I are excited to be looking for a new place. Come hell or high water or finances to be we've talked about it, prayed about it and we are determined that over the next 2-3 weeks if there is a will there is a way. We are going to be under one roof and a family everyday, we are going to of course find a place that accommodates Chandler's high school boundaries, move, get settled and work on our list of important things to accomplish to make us happy. What better way to live life? I'm not doing any of this life or adult stuff perfectly but last time I checked I must have and be doing something right cause I have some pretty awesome kids!

Night All

Tasha


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Scary Day

Yesterday was a scary day. 

I have had my own health problems, ups and downs and I would like to say that I think I know my body pretty well. When I am stressed I an feel my blood pressure rising, I feel the onset of the headaches. Just like I know I am allergic to foods and I know the second I take a bite the feelings and experiences I have with a food allergy. I guess I feel like I just know. My dad always says there are causes and effects. Well I've had lots of causes and now I am having to deal with the effects also knows as side effects. 

I have known for months that my blood pressure is high. Just like a knew a couple of years ago with the stress, lack of sleep, working multiple jobs and eating poorly was the reason for my weight gain. Well when you continuously make poor health decisions regardless of the reasons those are the causes and life as I know it know are the effects of it all. Back to the point at hand. I've known due to the extreme stress I've been under and lack of exercise that my blood pressure has been extremely out of whack. I've known that the increased stress due to a variety of circumstances has caused my anxiety to also increase which causes what???? Yep you guessed it... higher blood pressure. Monday night I was dealing and stressing more than usual and I started to get a headache which you guessed it turned into a migraine. Tuesday it was worse, like way worse. The lights in the office seemed to appear like a bunch of crazy moving spot lights, the room was spinning, and well I wasn't feeling hot. I knew that the stress of work and lack of sleep hadn't helped so I made the decision to go home early and attempt to take some Exederine Migraine and try to sleep away the stress and pray that the headache would go away. Of course it didn't; I kept waking up in a panic worrying about things that were simply out of my control.  Wednesday morning I woke up and got about half way to work and though huh I beat this thing. Then I realized I had thought way too soon. Arrived at work and it was back! Took more meds, sipped on a Coke and prayed that I made it till work was over. You see I knew that my stress was causing the blood pressure to rise which caused the anxiety and migraine to act up. The pain from the migraine of course increased the pressure in my body causing my blood pressure to continue to rise and well - I was a perfect case of an endless circle that could only end or be fixed with medication beyond the over the counter stuff. My migraine and the pressure in my head and chest actually scared me. Scared me enough to decide to take myself to the doctor. 

This is how I work with migraines.
Sunglasses and Coke!
The quick easy version is this... last couple of month life simply fell apart, I kept catching colds cause you know while you are all stressed out your immune system is totally your friend right?  September and I weren't friendly. Ran out of meds, cold, sinuses, flu, one after another. Turned down by Red Cross to take my O- blood because I was experiencing severe hypertension. I know. I needed to deal, I needed to  see a doctor. I knew a month ago that if I wanted to stick around I needed to go to the doctor. But there were these things like it took time, money and insurance to go and I simply didn't have access to well all of the above. Seriously, what do you do? You know what the right thing to do is but actually convincing yourself that you need to take care of you and your health isn't the easiest thing. So I chose to continue to go to work, Work = Money = Attempting to take care of finances that are Root of Stress.

So back to yesterday being a scary day - I got off work, head is still pounding, determined that yes today I will take my own advice and go to the doctor to get something to eliminate the migraine for the moment and request medication for my blood pressure which in turn would reduce the migraines in whole. Follow me? This makes sense right? On the way I remembered yep I am still a Mom. I have an amazing 16 year old boy sitting at my brother's waiting for a ride home to my Mom and Dad's place (yep - My life sucks just enough to not be able to financially actually live with my own kids at the moment) Anyhow, so I called and told him I was on my way, picked him up and told him I totally needed to go to the doctor for this headache, gave him the option to go home or go hang out with me at the doctor. You guessed it - my kid is so amazing he chose me!!! Which I am sure later he totally regretted doing.  

We went to the nearest InstaCare cause that is where my snazzy new health insurance allows me to go (Oh yeah, I got insurance 10/1 from work!!) and it was easier than trying to wait to get in to see a Primary Care Doctor that I don't have since I just moved back to Utah and got insurance. We sat and waited for a while until it was finally my turn. We walked back and I explained to the nurse that I have this horrible migraine that is probably not the most painful but the most uncomfortable that I have ever had. I told her where all of the pressure was, about the sensitivity to lights, the not so lovely crazy spotted disks that the light appeared to be which in turn made me nauseated, anxious and uncomfortable oh and that the room - was typically in a state of spinning. The only way I could explain it was - if you drank and got drunk there at times is a point where you are possibly about to blackout mode where the room is spinning the lights are flickering and you feel like you need to vomit or pass-out. Now here is my disclaimer, I can count on one hand how many times I have had alcoholic beverages in the last 3-4 years on my fingers....  I really don't drink but on an extremely rare stupid occasions cause I don't have time and money for that.  Oh yeah, the point! The nurse took my blood pressure and provided me with a one way ticket to the Emergency Room! I didn't get to pass go, I didn't get to go home. I was given the option to go in an ambulance (next door), be wheeled over in a wheelchair or for some reason I could move my car to the other parking lot if I agreed to go inside. Now the I don't have time for this but need my car me decided to take myself. Chandler and I walked out to my car and for a minute I thought Really!?!? Can't this wait till tomorrow? Maybe I'll hurry and run my kids home, or go get him dinner, after all I am a mom first. He said "NO" and demanded I simple back up, turn right and yes park 7 spaces down and walk in the dumb ER. 

We arrived, I told the clerk, three different nurses and some other dude what the scoop was. One nurse said that she was shocked that I was so in tune with my body and knew exactly what was going on and how to fix it but wouldn't take my own advice sooner. Then I explained the insurance card and she understood. Finally someone who understood the mania behind my madness!

This is the happy face when you have a hypertensive migraine.
I was taken back to a comfortable room, lights turned down and just handing out with my boy until the nurse came in and let me know that as I probably already was aware - I wasn't driving home. They asked who would take me home and I said my son of course! Then she asked for his license which is only an Oregon Learner Permit and said, No. So I did exactly what I didn't want to do. I called my Dad. Told him not to worry, I had a migraine and was hypertensive but asked if in a few hours if he could possibly go get my brother and come get me, my son and my car from the Emergency Room. Of course he wasn't thrilled that he was just finding out that I was in the ER but kindly agreed.
Mom of the year award goes to me! Since my kiddo hadn't had dinner I found $3.25 in my purse and sent him to the venting machine for dinner. My phone died before I got a picture of his beef jerky and peanut M&M's. Dinner of champions and well it was the best I could do under the circumstances. Next time - I'll order him pizza.
 Dad and Brandon came. I thanked them both. I encouraged Brandon to drive my car back home since I am staying in his basement temporarily and thanked my dad for carpooling him there and said that he and Chandler could be on their way. Brandon eventually was smart and went home to be with his wife and baby and sleep. Dad however didn't like the idea of me taking a cab home or walking and insisted on staying.  Eventually the doctor came in, talked for a few, sent me to get all sorts of imaging and tests done to see how much damage I had caused my liver, kidneys, and brain with the continued state of hypertension. They provided me with a couple of medications to help with the blood pressure and of course a lovely cocktail for my migraine and there I slept. Honestly at some point they came in and talked about tests, blah, blah, blah. Told me that my migraine was hypertension related and the continued hypertension was of course made worse by the pain from the migraine which in turn increases blood pressure. Well I had already told them all of that. So they provided me with medication to reduce the pain for the ongoing migraines that will continue to happen until I get the blood pressure under control; he also gave me some medication for the blood pressure and recommended I find a primary care doctor, follow up and try to stay out of the ER! 
Note to self: 149/93 is NOT Healthy
Just another reminder of what to avoid
Moral of the story. I knew exactly what was wrong with me. I knew what I needed to do to fix it. My only regret was not having already made an appointment for October 1st to get to a solution quicker. It's scary when you know that your health is at risk and then to know and see the signs of a big problem getting worse. The solution was already there, I knew what I needed to do but I simply put me on the side burner cause I had bigger fish to fry, other life "fires" to put out. 

So the good news - today I am okay! Tonight I received a call from my dad to check in, cause he worries. Of course he asked if I made my follow up appointment - um No. I had to go to work but I will. Life just takes over at times and when you are already generally overwhelmed and stressed adding something to the list of things I need to do but will generally put off is just too much. 

I do have to say that after the scare of yesterday, today I am simply more grateful. Grateful that today I got to wake up, that I have a job to go to and is a place that sadly relieves my personal stress. Sometimes it's hard. I am not one that likes to share the bad. I typically keep the bad and the ugly in this neat little box and put it aside. So here is me. Here is the ugly, messy, crazy but real side of me. This is the rambling unfiltered me which I prefer to keep safely in my head but this is also me taking a moment to acknowledge and accept me, they way I handle things and provide myself a way to get it out. Maybe a public feed isn't best but I have this AMAZING friend Beth Woolsey that has an amazing Blog www.bethwoolsey.com where I have the opportunity to ready and feel normal, I have this safe place where I can hide and wave in the dark and not let others in. But because of her, I think that today it is okay to be me and to share the scary day I had. So we will see. So Beth - I know you are out there but today's blog is for you. It's my way of being okay today waving at you. 

Tasha Brooks


PS - Beth one day I will find the correct ways to Blog, reference, etc. but this is my start. We'll see how it goes.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Changes

Changes....

Change is always challenging for anyone; everyone deals with it in different ways. I like to view change as a way to learn and grow from life experiences. This time though... change has been rough.

Sometimes you have to fall to be able to brush yourself off and get back up. I really feel like I just keep on falling and getting back up and doing the same old things over and over again. Do you know what that means? I am INSANE! LOL Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Yep, I am insane. Totally insane about my children!

It's been a rough couple of years but with the challenges I have had so much good over the past few years too. I was born and raised right here in Utah and really thought that I would never leave home. In 2011 I  challenged myself and my family to do exactly that. It was so rough being so far away from home but had I not gone I would have never met the amazing people that I did and I would have never had the experiences that I have had and they are all priceless. I had the opportunity to be a stay at home mom and attend all of my children's school functions. I had a chance to simply be a mom, to focus on myself and my health. The volunteering opportunities, soccer and football game and practices I was able to watch. All of the cheering, tumbling and trips to the doctor, ER and chiropractor started. My children really had the opportunities to think outside of the box and experience new people, new cultures, new friends. With all of the good and the amazing things we experiences we also had our challenges. We left our life in Arizona to come back home to Utah as I was going through a divorce and discovering a new way of life.

We had our very eight or nine months in Utah and decided to go off to Oregon for another chance.... another life.... more experiences. My children have always been my priority but I've always struggled to juggle my relationship and my children. When we moved to Oregon the decision I made was to always put my children before myself. My new goal in life was to not waste another precious minute of my children's childhood's on me and for this.... I am so grateful. I made my children my world, now this wasn't the best for my personal or social life but it didn't matter, my children were happy, they were chasing their dreams and goals, we were traveling everywhere together. I realized that I had spent so many years saying "I'm going to travel when my kids grow up" when I finally realized that I was missing out on so much waiting for my children to grow up! We seized the moments that we had. Cheer competitions became out world because that was my daughter's dream and my son simply wanted to support his sister and see his mom happy. Oregon became our home and cheer became our family. If only we could live in our dreams.

Oregon too came with it's own set of challenges for our family. Cheer, travel and life simply became expensive and unfortunately not all of my career dreams were coming true. I gave up an amazing job for an equally amazing opportunity which of course a few months later ended and our perfect little life became compromised. Honestly, I feel like a failure. I feel that I let my children down. But I simply wasn't able to financially support them as I once did and career options just weren't happening like I needed them to. After two years of my dad trying to talk us into moving back, finally I said great, how soon can you help me get back? Now don't think I didn't go down without a fight. I fell and got back up again, tried several temp jobs, applied to every job that I possibly could and sold everything of value to try to keep my family in Oregon, to keep my family together. It wasn't an easy fight and there were a whole hell of a lot of tears, heartache, difficult decisions and bumps in the road. But ultimately I knew that I had to do what was best for my children. No mother should have to go through the pain of having to make gut wrenching decisions on which child to choose, which life to choose, which child's dreams come true and who's get shattered. My families lives were simply turned upside-down.

I really truly have two of the most amazing, intelligent, gifted, loving children in the world. They both go out of their way to help others before taking care of themselves. (I totally don't know where they get that from!) Each of my children had totally different goals, hopes and dreams; both wanted to be in different states for different reasons all while my entire world figuratively and financially was falling apart. My youngest child felt it was really important to go back home, he wanted to be in Utah, he wanted to be surrounded by family, he wanted male role-models, he wanted to go to the only church he has ever had a connection with and attend youth groups with like minded kids. Whereas my daughter was starting her senior year, cheering, working, planning her future in Oregon. Here I was stuck in the middle of these two amazing kids and forced to make decisions and change.

Still today two months after moving back to Utah I'm struggling daily to pick myself up off of the ground. Calling, texting, snap chatting, my daughter as often as I can and simply trying to stay relevant in her busy schedule and life while driving in circles and being crowded on the weekends trying to spend time in my son's life. Often I find myself questioning how in the hell did I get here?

Some say change is good. Right now, all I can say is change hurts.