Saturday, June 30, 2012

Grapevine Fires (IDAHO is BURNING) & Rising from the Ashes


These are pictures of the Charlotte Fire (as it is being called) or the Mink Creek/Gibson Jack Fire in Pocatello, Idaho aka where I live.
On Thursday, the day started out just fine and then went up in flames literally!
I was leaving work and stepped outside to see this fire! Right as I got outside the hospital doors I am facing these HUGE plumes and clouds of smoke darkening the sky. The flames raged wildly. I could see them from where I was standing. It looked like a volcano exploded or a war zone! I was in complete shock. Pocatello was burning. What was the most frightening thing was that my family live up Gibson Jack right where the fire was.
It was the worst fire I have ever witnessed in my life. I immediately pulled out my phone and called my mom. My stomach churned and twisted in knots with fear and anxiety when she answered, crying and freaking out. My heart sunk. My mother explained that the police were not letting people go up Mink Creek and Gibson Jack or anywhere near the fire. She said it was close to our house and that she and Bob (my stepdad) thought the house was going to burn down!
I raced to my grandma's house (where we had all decided to meet) listening to Death Cab for Cutie's "Grapevine Fires" and praying, praying, praying that our house would be saved, praying for a miracle in a situation completely out of control. My mom, Jordan (sister), Chrish (brother), my grandma, Madison (Jordan's friend), and my Aunt Michelle were all gathered together in the living room glued to the TV screen as the news reporters updated us on the fire.
I felt so bad for my mother who couldn't stop sobbing. She was worried because Bob went up to our house, climbed the hill, so that he could save our horses and let them free. He was taking a long time. We couldn't get a hold of him and it scared us because he has bad asthma. 
We were all incredibly relieved when Bob pulled up safe and sound in his truck. My mom ran to him and embraced him. He was upbeat, calm, and positive in the time of such a crises. I love that about him, always optimistic and hopeful. He let the horses go. They got away. He thought our home was going to turn to ashes and burn down. He took some stunning, terrifying videos of the raging inferno that was only yards away from our home.
Everyone who lived in or near the fire was evacuated. For a few hours, we sat, paced, talked, prayed, and waited ever so anxiously and nervously for the outcome. The question that hung heavier than the summer heat in the air was suffocating: will the house be burned to the ground, leaving my family homeless? Or would we be ever so blessed with a miracle, that our house would be spared?
All the while we were reminded of what truly matters, the most important thing is each other, the ones we love, family, people. Home isn't where your material possessions are stored. It isn't a place with polished hardwood floors or chandeliers hanging from vaulted ceilings or big theater rooms filled with every movie imaginable. Home is in the hearts of the ones we love. Home is family. Home is each other.
What a beautiful thing this life is, no matter the fire that burns all around us. If we just stick together, hold onto each other, and never take anyone or anything for granted, then I know we can make it through anything, through everything. Fire doesn't just destroy, it refines and purifies. It may hurt and burn at the onset, but the end result shines bright as the stars. Life is about thriving and triumphing after tragedy, together forever.
We kept getting mixed messages from friends of our family members that our house was burned one minute and the next that it was spared. It was nerve wracking. I felt so badly for everyone in this town. Prayers for rain were on my lips. I was just in total shock and awe that the unexpected always happens. We must always remember that people are what matters. Love matters. Everything else is replaceable, but family, love and friends are irreplaceable. Look at the people struggling with this exact same situation in Utah, Colorado, and other places in the United States. It only takes one spark to ignite a fire that can burn miles in minutes. This could happen to you. 

mY miracle
This is my family's house... a safe place in the midst of disaster and destruction. Some people may believe it is luck, but I know it as a miracle. Life is beautiful no matter the fire that burns around us. Home is in the hearts of the ones we love. Home is family. Our house was saved. I wish I could say the same for others. I heard nearly 60 homes were destroyed. I can't even begin to offer an explanation. I can say God is good. I know this was a miracle.
Just because you can't see or imagine a good reason why God might allow something to happen doesn't mean there can't be one. What matters now is coming together as a community and reaching out, helping, and sending prayers to those who were affected and victims of this fire and the fires all over the country. We all need one another and should never take this fact for granted, never forget it or take it lightly. Caring is sharing. Open your hearts lovelies and lets make this world a better place one person at a time.
I also send my thoughts and prayers with a heart overflowing with love and gratitude for all the brave firefighters who risk their lives and work relentlessly and fearlessly to put out these fires and triumph over disasters. 
Live by love
<3 Charley Brooke
This is what I believe to be true: You have to do everything you can, and if you stay positive, you have a shot at a silver lining and the moon and all the stars that light up the night sky.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

How To Fall Out of Love with Love

let's take a better look... 

 beyond a story book

 and learn our souls are all we own

 before we turn to stone

 lets go to sleep with clearer heads

 and hearts too big to fit our beds and maybe we won't feel so alone

before we turn to stone
charley brooke
amazing[ly] [clueless] girl [full of] wonder
yes, i had a photoshoot of sorts today... 
It's been far too long, lovelies.
Let's talk...
This is me.
I want to be all inspiration-y 24/7, 365, forever-and-ever-and-ever, to infinity & beyond, don't we all?
If life was all sunshines, movie moments, perfect days, find our true love the instant we wish for him on birthday candles, at 11:11, or when our hearts ache for that person, that unknown soul wandering somewhere-who-knows-where, would be paradise. But that isn't how life works as, and I for one can testify to this time and again, much as we all desire for it to be that way. We just have to keep going even when the going is tough and you want to stop going because who knows where the next miracle, the next movie moment, the next wish come true will come from... or when? They happen, you know? 
I, also for one, can tell you that I am constantly thinking that I am the exception... that I am exempt from the good stuff, that my happily ever after is non existent and instead I am forced to be alone always and forever, watching everyone else (all of my friends, family, associates, strangers, everyone else BUT ME) live these perfect, happy, sunshine-y lives finding love, finding adventure, finding themselves, finding family... and me, stuck in this limbo state of nothingness, defective me... girl who is a boy repellant (apparently) and not ever good enough (or even close) no matter how hard she tries.
Trust me lovelies, NO ONE judges me, criticizes me, more than myself. So for all those who do out there, I can assure you that I do enough damage for everyone. Why though? Why am I not good enough? Why am I light years away from finding love or true happiness when it seems like everyone around me doesn't even have to try, they just get it without any effort? Why do I make people run, leave, race away and never look or come back to me? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? And most of all, and this is the big one, WHY DO I WANT TO BE IN LOVE? 
I don't really know if there are answers to these questions. 
For any of you who have ever felt the way I feel, I know what you're going through but I also know you'll get through. You aren't the only one who is broken. It's only when we are broken that we can become built stronger, better than before. It's easy to feel like you're alone, destined for loneliness, despite the fact that there are 7+ billion people in this world. How commonplace it is to feel alone in crowded rooms. 
Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.
That being said, I believe that we are too hard on ourselves. We are too busy being worried about impression others and not making a fool of ourselves and miss out on the fun, the happiness. We shut ourselves out, build walls that can touch the stars around our hearts, and that's no way to live. No way to love. We all have something to give, and we should give until nothing is left, and even then keep giving, keep surviving, keep thriving, keep loving, keep laughing, keep working, keep inspiring, keep keeping on. 
You may feel like you're nothing new, but that isn't true. You are the only you there is. And I have to trust in my convictions and have faith that someone out there will appreciate and love every single part of me unconditionally, someone will do the same for you. First, to find someone you love, you've got to love yourself. Smile. Be kind to others. You create beauty with your attitude, your behavior, your actions. It's all up to you. Is what you are living for, worth dying for? Chances come briefly and out of nowhere and at times that may feel awkward or rushed, but take them! Because chances only come rarely and often not twice. Yes, they come with risks and are scary, but it's good to be afraid, it means you have something to lose... something worth losing. That's how we feel alive. 
I don't know about the rest of you lovelies, but I am not afraid of dying... I am not entirely fearless, I must admit... here's my biggest fear: the unlived life (not living life to the fullest). 
As the AMAZING, WONDERFUL, TALENTED, ARTIST, POET, EXTRAORDINAIRE Tyler Knott Gregson wrote, "It is only when we decide that 'ordinary' is an insult that we become the exquisite miracles we were born to be."
As for the title of this post: HOW TO FALL OUT OF LOVE WITH LOVE
I am not sure it's possible. 
I believe once you are in love with someone or something, truly in love, that it's impossible to fall out of love with it. 
After all, you should never give up on anything you can't go a day without thinking about. 
With Love,

Monday, June 4, 2012

Always & Forever-Happy 2nd Anniversary to Tybrey

Happy 2nd Anniversary
Mr. &. Mrs. Tyson & Aubrey Young
(aka my best friend/older sister & her lovely husband)
This is for them!
A few months before they were married, I wrote about them and their relationship in my journal, I said
"I just returned from hanging out with Aubrey and Tyson. I love them both so much. I strive to be as amazing of a girl as Brie is so my prayers will be answered with the most amazing husband aka a guy like Tyson. Just seeing them together makes me want to cry. I don't mean what I am going to say next in a creepy-I-wanna-steal-your-future-husband way, but I am jealous of Brie. I love looking at their wedding plans and it's so exciting. I'm more happy for them than I've ever been. I know they are meant to be. I can feel it so much I almost can't breathe when I'm around them. I've never come close to imagining, yet alone feeling, the true perfect love I see when they gaze into each others eyes."

A few weeks before they were married I wrote:
"Aubrey and Tyson are told us their love story from both perspectives tonight. It is cute and romantic. They truly are in love--undeniably & irrevocably--and it's a beautiful thing because it's so rare. Those two give me hope that love exists."

Later that night, I e-mail Tyson.
"Tyson, thanks for answering every question I ask you, haha even when I ask the most random ones. You are so smart beyond comprehension. Your testimony is inspiring. I am grateful for prayer. It's amazing how some of the things, and questions, I had been praying about were answered tonight during our discussion. I am so happy for you and Aubrey. You are perfect for the most amazing girl of a best friend, Brie. I know you will take the best care of her and treat her like a princess. I can't wait for the wedding."

This was Tyson's response.
"Thank you Charley. I am here anytime you need some inspiration. I love Aubrey beyond death and I know that what I learned in the Gospel will only make our love grow stronger. I know that you will find the right person for you in your life. Keep your chin up. Remember that you are a hard worker and it will all pay off in the future."

Brie and I had a sleepover soon after and gave me some advice of her own.
"Oh my little sister, you are amazing! I want you to always remember how special you are. I don't care what other people tell you, don't give in and settle for less than you deserve. 
Don't listen to others, you deserve a guy who can man up and admit that he wants a relationship. You deserve everything that you could ever want! Don't let yourself feel like you weren't good enough because if the Lord puts you with him (your future love) and you are meant to be with him, it will work. 
Just spend your time preparing to be ready for the man when he finally comes! BE PATIENT! I promise, it will be worth it. This one is finally the one you need to listen to me on! Ignore everyone else and wait for the best! I'm serious, it is worth it!
Listen to it darling."

The night before the wedding--Thursday June 3, 2010
McHale, Aubrey, and I are sitting in our hotel room having our last sleepover/girls night because tomorrow Aubrey and Tyson are getting married! Ahhhh! My best friend is getting married tomorrow! My dear Aubrey Ann Taylor is going to be Aubrey Ann Young. Tyson, Cid, Phil, and Tod are in a room near ours as are Brie's parents. We are in SLC.
We've had an amazingly fun time! It's gone by so fast. Brie, McHale, and I took McHale's car and drove up to Layton. On our way up, we talked, sang at the top of our lungs to music, accomplish a goal on Brie's list, and had the absolute best time. The goal on her list was #79 Sing The Entire 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall song. We did that. It was fun. You get way dizzy and almost feel drunk singing the whole thing haha. Who knew singing and counting could be so hard?
Then we had dinner at Olive Garden. It was delicious as always. We went to the mall and did some shopping. Tonight, we met up with the boys and got in one car and drove around the city and stopped at the Capitol Building. We ran around like kids, chasing each other and just genuinely loving life and our time together. It's beautiful. I want to go back someday.
Well now we need sleep! It's sooo late. By tomorrow, Aubrey will be married!

The next day they were married & become husband & wife <3
It was a lovely, stunning, perfect day--06/05/10
Established 2010
Always & Forever
I was Brie's maid of honor & it was an honor. 
She will be mine if (and that's a big IF) I ever get married.
They say thee cutest things to each other on Facebook (and in person) it just makes me smile.
Everyone deserves a love story like theirs and if you be patient and never settle, I believe you can find your love story.
So Happy Anniversary... two of the best years of your lives... and here's to infinity & beyond more to come, forever & always, for eternity... Forever YOUNG (as it is your last name :) )

The Salt Lake City Temple... the castle where Prince Tyson married Princess Aubrey...

This is a picture of a page in one of my journals from 2009. 
It was the first time I met Tyson & it was instantaneous, the fact that I knew he & Brie were meant to be.
Sam (my ex) is obviously out of the picture of my life now (but that's an entirely different story that doesn't matter).

Brie & CiCi dying Easter eggs a few months before the wedding.

Dancing in the middle of dying Easter eggs... so presh.

Their wedding line up
From left: Phil, some-boy-whose-name-I-don't-recall, Tod, Cid, Tyson [the handsome groom], Brie [the gorgeous bride], CiCi [me aka the maid of honor], Jenelle, & Ashley.

This is one of the most recent pictures I have of us.
Well Brie & me... from left it's Heidi, Brie, me, Brie's mom, & Brie's dad
Tyson isn't pictured because he was taking the picture.
Brie's 23rd B-Day.

Wedding day!!!
From Left: McHale [my sister], Tod, Cid, Phil, Tyson, Brie, & C [me]

A few months before the wedding, Tyson & I make Easter egg art!

Awh they got me a spider cake for my birthday this year!

Halloween with the bestest of friends.

Good times last forever.

Last sleepover with the best friend before she became a married woman.

CiCi & Brie. 
Best friends FOREVER.

The Youngs :)

We are sillies.

Well I have just one last thing to say to you two (and the rest of you lovelies)...
The following quotes are from One Tree Hill (which if you hadn't been able to tell by my last few posts, is like my new favorite show ever.

"Remember tonight, for it is the beginning of always. A promise, like a reward for persisting through life so long alone. A belief in each other and the possibility of love. A decision to ignore or simply rise above the pain of the past. A covenant, which at once binds two souls and yet severs prior ties. The celebration of the chance taken and the challenge that lies ahead. For two will always be stronger than one, like a team braced against the tempests of the world. And love will always be the guiding force in our lives. For tonight is a mere formality only an announcement to the world of feelings long held, promises made long ago in the sacred spaces of our hearts."
-I wish I could've read this at your reception & ring ceremony, but it rings just as true today as it did then, will tomorrow, and for the rest of your lives. This is got to be one of my favorite quotes of all time. It evokes so many emotions and paints a picture of a love story known only by few... yours included. 

"Shakespeare said, 'Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds. It is an ever fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken. Love alters not with time's brief hours and weeks,  but bears it out even to the edge of doom.' When life gets hard, when things change, true love remains the same."

To Tyson & Aubrey Young, and a love that will not alter...

Life in a Glass House

hold onto your
It is in such
limited suppl
around the world
these days.
Hold onto it
and be proud 
that you
are one of 
the ones
that does."
-Tyler Knott Gregson

"Hope can be found in the smallest and most unassuming places if you only remember to hang on tightest when you want to let go the very most."
-Tyler Knott Gregson

"Do not doubt my love
for when all else falls apart
it will still remain."
-Tyler Knott Gregson

"I promise to be all you are not, because you are all I have never been."

"You can't stop loving or wanting to love because when it's right, it's the best thing in the world. When you're in a relationship and it's good, even if nothing else in your life is right, you feel like your whole world is complete."

"The hardest thing about growing up is that you have to do what is right for you even if it means breaking someone's heart. Including your own."

"When you do something noble and beautiful and nobody noticed, do not be sad for the sun every morning is a beautiful spectacle and yet most of the audience still sleeps."
-John Lennon

"Even the simplest of words can change a person's life."

"Change is never easy. You fight to hold on, you fight to let go."
-The Wonder Years

"What becomes of words when they never find the eyes they were written for?"
-Tyler Knott Gregson

"There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief...and unspeakable love."
-Washington Irving

"The unexpected always happens."

"Sometimes the one thing you are looking for is the one thing you can't see."

"You are all that I never knew I needed."
-The Fray

"Someday you'll find the right person, and you'll learn to have a lot more confidence in yourself. That's what I think. So don't settle for anything less. In this world, there are things you can only do alone, and things you can only do with somebody else. It's important to combine the two in just the right amount."

"Sometimes I think we waste our words, and we waste our moments... and we don't take the time to say the things that are in our hearts when we have the chance."
-Clay Evans, One Tree Hill

"I don't forgive people because I am weak. I forgive them because I am strong enough to accept the fact that people make mistakes."

"The best kind of kiss is one you can build a dream on."

"What comes easy, won't always last. And what will last, won't always come easy. But, those are the things that are always worth it."

"I love you. You're in me. It's like you're a disease."
-Lexie Grey

"The truth is, you can turn any 'what if?' into 'what is' if you take chances and drop your fears."

"Stand up boy, I shine so bright when you're around."

"His breaths, my breaths. His body, my body. We are so close there is no difference."
-Beatrice "Tris" Prior, Insurgent

"We're all right, you know," he says, "You and me okay?"
My chest aches, and I nod.
"Nothing else is all right," His whisper tickles my cheek. "But we are."
-Tobias "Four" Eaton, Insurgent

"Sometimes people just want to be happy, even if it's not real."

"I read somewhere, once, that crying defies scientific explanation. Tears are only meant to lubricate the eyes. There is no real reason for tear glands to overproduce tears at the behest of emotion."

"People, I have discovered, are layers and layers of secrets. You believe you know them, that you understand them, but their motives are always hidden from you, buried in their own hearts. You will never know them, but sometimes you decide to trust them."

"I know I am not the only one that's broken."

"Awaking each day literally gives you a million reasons to smile."

"Don't ever let anyone make you doubt yourself. When the time is right you will prove them wrong."

"AFY: Anything For You"

"I am the broken,
the scarred, scattered & the lost;
but you love me still."

"My love, 
you are so busy
the weight of the world
that you have
completely forgotten
that the world
has always been
"It's only when we decide that 'ordinary' is an insult, that we become the exquisite miracles we were born to be."

"I love you, in ways you've never been loved, for reasons you've never been told, for longer than you think you deserved and with more than you will ever know existed."

"I will build a home
on the feeling of your skin
pressed tight against mine."

"There's a light in your eyes
and I'll always be hoping
that it shines on me."

"I think I'd miss you even if we'd never met."

"It doesn't happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time."