A short story told with a lot of words.

I could tell you my experience in under 140 characters (thanks, Twitter!) but that really is no fun at all. So instead, I will present you with a cautionary tale of woe and pizza.

This week I have stayed with a family in my home ward’s children as the parents go on a wild, whirlwind adventure across the seven seas (not really, but this is for dramatic effect, ok?) it’s really been quite nice. I feel bad because I’ve had to ditch them at home for a few hours every day while I’ve been at work, but they’re both old enough to largely take care of themselves. I’m mostly just the chauffeur. ;^) consequently, this has led to a bit of an inferiority complex for me. Being the “adult” in the house and also being the shortest has been, well, something of a challenge for me. In addition to never being home during the day and having the eldest be so independent (she has made dinner all by herself each night, so I’ve largely just been sitting at the counter watching and secretly hoping she doesn’t think I’m a big boob for just sitting there. It’s just that dinner has been a really simple affair each day and I would just be in the way (not that I’m not willing to help, I just don’t want to step on her toes when she is already so capable)).

All of this is beside the point, however. We’re here to talk about pizza. I just needed to provide a little backstory to this cautionary tale.

Last night we got pizza. A meal that didn’t need to be prepared by our hands, so we were all able to just relax and enjoy the atmosphere that comes with being in a tiny restaurant surrounded by the smell of greasy, delicious food. I sat back and quietly reveled in the majesty of Fat Boy’s Pizza. It’s been right next to my house for years, and I’ve never ventured inside, so this was a transformatory experience for me. (Btw, is transformatory a word? It seems like it should be). Soon, the pizza arrived and we eagerly scrambled for a slice. It smelled delightful, and the steam rising steadily from the cheesy surface assured me of its freshness.

Now, perhaps it’s because I hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast. Perhaps in my eager, hungry haste I forgot all decorum. Perhaps I assumed the steamy plume ascending lazily into the air was a special effect, and not an indicator that this pizza had just come from a FREAKIN’ OVEN. Whatever the reason was, I soon learned the consequences that come from prematurely noshing on a hot piece of pizza.

We all partook of the pizza at what seems like the exact same time. Our reactions however were vastly different. As the steaming pizza entered my waiting mouth, it seems the pizza gods threw back their heads and laughed at my naïveté. What happened next seems like something out of a horror movie. It was the stuff of cheese-covered nightmares.

The pizza was actually fresher than I thought. That means as soon as my teeth closed around that bite and sealed my fate, the sheer temperature of the pizza instantly burned the roof of my mouth so badly it formed a huge blister almost on contact. What could perhaps be looked at as a scientifically fascinating exhibition of the human body’s fantastic abilities, was nothing short of pure, unadulterated torture for me. My mind instantly began to race.

THIS PIZZA IS TOO HOT. ABORT, ABORT!

NO! HAELEY, YOU HAVE TO BE THE ADULT HERE. ADULTS DO NOT THROW PIZZA OUT OF THEIR MOUTH WHILE SCREAMING AND SIMULTANEOUSLY PRAYING FOR A SPEEDY DEATH TO END THIS HELLFIRE.

BUT IT BUUUUURNS

BE THE ADULT, HAELEY. BE THE ADULT.

OH MY GOSH JUST SPIT IT OUT. WE’RE ON FIRE. STOP DROP AND ROLL NOW OR WE ARE GOING TO DIE, I KNOW IT.

I CAN’T SPIT IT OUT, DON’T YOU SEE? ADULTS ARE ALWAYS MATURE AND THEY NEVER RUN OUT OF RESTAURANTS BECAUSE THEY IRREPARABLY DAMAGED THEIR MOUTHPARTS.

HECK WITH BEING AN ADULT. ADULTS ALSO PROBABLY NEVER PUT RIDICULOUSLY HOT ITEMS IN THEIR MOUTHS. YOU’VE ALREADY BLOWN IT. JUST ACCEPT YOUR DEFEAT GRACIOUSLY AND RETREAT, FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, RETREAT!

All of this transpired as I perspired and tried desperately not to fall to the ground screaming while smoke poured from my mouth. Instead, I smiled nervously even as tears threatened to fall from my pained eyes. I kept my mouth politely closed even as the battle raged inside. At last I was able to swallow, and squeak out a feeble “well, THAT was hot! I really burned my mouth!” To my relief, I found I was not the only one suffering. The eldest girl also accidentally tormented her taste buds as well, and as we struggled for breath I snuck a look at the little boy. He had suffered some casualties, but was happily chugging along on his pizza, seemingly unaware that it was actually 5000 degrees Fahrenheit. This child is superhuman, I think.

After we finished our meal, I staggered outside with the kids in tow. Trying to sound lighthearted, I suggested we get some Popsicles; a plan I decided would help them and me in turn, although I decided upon ice cream for myself.

We also rented Man Of Steel, and as soon as we got home I started shoveling ice cream in my mouth in a desperate attempt to cool the flames that still burned on. It helped to some extent, and we sat down to watch the movie.

Halfway through the film I noticed an odd sensation. Was this possible? Was I just dying and this was my body’s way of breaking the news? Whatever it was, I felt something fall from the roof of my mouth. I discreetly removed it and, upon closer inspection I discovered the horrifying truth: the skin was falling OFF THE ROOF OF MY MOUTH. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN.

Throughout the rest of the movie, small strips continued to shed, like a carnivorous rain. I didn’t think it was possible to burn yourself that badly, but at least I handled it like an adult, I rationed. After the movie, I helped the girl stuff envelopes , and it was then that I learned I was not alone in my struggle. She, too, had scalded herself to the point of blistering, and she, too, had tried not to freak out over the inhumane temperature of the pizza. In that moment, we bonded like two girls who have been hopelessly wronged by one of the most seemingly innocent of foods.

In that moment I learned that it’s okay if you’re not exactly “adult”. Sometimes it’s okay to freak out over pizza and cry a little. And it’s also okay to never want to eat pizza again.

You have been warned.

~Haeley

More.

This summer so far has been crazy. I finally got a job and didn’t tell you guys about it, because I’m a jerk. But I will tell you about it now: I got a job as a respite worker! What that is for those of you who don’t know is watching people (in this case children) who have developmental disabilities. Basically, I babysit all day, which is probably one of the best things that has happened to me this summer. Even though I had to give up my nanny job (which I loved), I have more hours here. Finally having something to do all day instead if waste time on Pinterest is a welcome change. This job is exactly cut out for me, because I’m with kids all day and I don’t have to be involved with fast food! Win win. Having a job like this isn’t all sunshine and roses, however. Just because I work with kids does not mean I have it easy. I’ve had some really hard days. Days that seemed like they would never end. Days where I was cried on, drooled on, hit in the head, and yelled at. Sometimes I wake up and just want to go back to sleep because I can’t bear the idea of working right then. But you know what?

The more time I spend with these kids, the more lessons I learn.

The more times I have to help a child wash up after making a huge mess with their lunch,

the more I have to swallow my pride and be just a little more patient,

the more times I have to pull a little kid off the couch after repeatedly telling them to get-off-how-many-times-have-I-told-you-this;

the messier my hair gets from two little boys who just LOVE to ruffle it up,

the more times I have to calm a tantrum, or discipline for unruly behavior,

The more times I wake up earlier than I’d like to get to work on time,

The more I fall into bed, completely exhausted from running around with kids all day,

The more I fall in love with these crazy, hyper, wonderful kids,

The more I realize that this is what I want to do with my life. Yes, I’ve spent more time with children than with people my own age, and yes, I haven’t had a real conversation with anyone in a long time. But I think this whole experience had gotten me just a little more ready to be a mom someday. I’m starting to appreciate my mother so much more from this. Yes, I realize that this job is quite a bit different from being an actual mom (I’m not planning on having 13 kids at once, after all), but there are still lots of lessons I’ve learned through this. This is what I love to do. I love being with kids! I love playing with them. I love dealing with messy hair, because it was funny to watch those boys have so much fun with it (and let’s face it- I don’t have a lot of hair to mess up in the first place!). It may be hectic, but it’s my job, and I love it. And I know that even though I’m gonna have hard days as a mom, I can make it through!

Life is awesome.

~Haeley

Why I Frickin’ Love the Single’s Ward.

Originally, this picture was going to have a purpose in my post. 
Now I just have it because it makes me laugh so hard. 
It’s a representation of me in the single’s ward, can’t you tell? I can just pick and choose whoever I want! (never mind that I can’t actually date James McAvoy, nor can I marry the Bollywood actor my hand is reaching for.)

Originally, this post was going to be about Growing Up and being in the strange limbo stage where I’m just barely out of high school and yet I’m now considered to be “on the market”.
Not that I’m planning on getting married soon, but a girl can dream, right?

Originally, this post was going to be a lot of things- the perfect blend of serious and funny. But I just couldn’t focus long enough to finish it! And so it has sat in my draft folder for two weeks, silently reminding me that I need to get my crap together and just WRITE.
In the end, what got me writing this post was the fact that I discovered I recently acquired a new follower (hi, Haley!), and how the heck am I supposed to acquire more followers and become a famous blogger if I NEVER POST?! So without further ado, I present:

Reasons why I frickin’ love my single’s ward.
  • Well, for starters, my bishop is AWESOME. He cracks me up, and has made sure I’ve felt welcomed into the ward- which is huge. I hate being ignored, so having someone make sure he remembers my name and some basic facts about me is huge. Thanks, bro. (or is it bish? No, that sounds bad. We’ll stick with bro.)
  • Relief society. In one of my previous posts, I wrote about how excited I was to begin relief society, and honestly, this ward has a wonderful program. Maybe it’s because we’re all more or less in the same stage of life, none of us have to run out of the room quietly because our baby suddenly decided to unleash a tidal wave of spit-up, or maybe it’s because we’re all really young. Either way, I just feel like I’m in Young Women’s 2.0, which is a preetty good way to begin relief society.
  • I have the mornings to myself. My ward starts at 1:00, and my family’s ward begins at 8:30, so I get to have the house to myself for a few hours each Sunday, which is nice. I have time to just enjoy the quiet house, and can prepare for the meeting without having to yell at someone because they’re taking too long in the bathroom and I need my toothbrush, or whatever else. I’ve also found myself singing hymns around the house while I get ready/veg in my pj’s because I don’t want to get dressed yet, and I like that. I don’t really like doing that in front of everyone, so having my own private concert is nice. ;^)
  • Since we are all so young, I feel like there is wayyy less judgement from my peers. I think we all have a silent, mutual understanding that these years are weird, and wonderful, and experimental, and we respect that. I feel like nobody is competing to show off how perfect their life is, or how cute their dress is, or how adorable their children are. We just… Are who we are. We wear what we want (within reason), we say what we want, and we don’t worry what anybody else thinks. We’re NOT perfect, and we’re not trying to convince people we are. I’ve never seen so many different hair colors in church before- purple, pink, and blue, namely- and you know what? It doesn’t matter. They are who they are and if pink hair expresses that, more power to them. I just think that in a family ward, the people who look different than your average, cookie-cutter churchgoing person are silently looked down upon, and separated into a category known as Those Mormons. You know, the ones who just don’t really fit the mold? But here, it doesn’t matter. We take you as you are, because we’re all young, and still learning. And you know what? Being different is AWESOME. I like not feeling like I haves droves of people to impress with my righteousness. I like knowing that I, along with my peers, am still learning how to get closer to my Savior. I’m not perfect. Neither are they. But together, we’re all connected in our beliefs. And looks don’t matter, after all. It’s what’s inside that counts. (can I get some props for totally sounding like a fortune cookie right there?)
  • I LOVE the activities! They’re so fun, and I love getting to know these people. 
  • Okay, fine. Yes, it’s nice to have so many good-looking boys in my ward. Yes, it’s wonderful and refreshing to have nothing but dateable young men in my ward. Yes, heavens yes, it is nice to have young men in the ward who know how to fit their suits…. Also, I didn’t know this before, but really awesome socks are a huge turn on. Does your ensemble have lackluster socks? Sorry, sweetie. Not happening. Give me the socks that straddle the line between whimsical and practical. (a weird attraction to have, no?)
I guess what I’m trying to say here is… The single’s ward is wonderful! It’s not a scary cult that forces you to marry. It is a gathering place where young adults come to get closer to their Savior. I’m so glad I decided to make the change. I have not regretted it once.
Man, I’m going to miss this ward when I go to college.
~Haeley

Salted honey ice cream, aka my conversion story.

I’m pretty sure I am the last person to jump on the salt EVERYTHING! bandwagon.

You know what I mean, guys. Let’s see… Salted caramel, salted chocolate, salted Oreos, salted brownies, salted frosting… I’m pretty sure they’re going to eventually come out with salted sea salt or something soon. (um… That alliteration was amazing.)
Anyway. My point is, I never really understood what the big deal was. I mean, salt is EVERYWHERE. Our obesity epidemic is a testament to that. So what made salted sweets so special? (again. I am on FIRE with these alliterations) I just didn’t understand. I mean, I love salt as much as the next red-blooded American, but why the fuss?

Enter Pinterest.

A few days ago I was innocently scrolling the infinite pages of Pinterest when what to my wondering eyes did behold…. But salted. Honey. Ice. Cream. This caught my eye in a big way: first off, ice cream. Secondly, honey. Two of the things I love! And since it didn’t look like difficult, I decided to follow the link.

My life has changed since that fateful day.

I know now that I was wrong. I was wrong to assume that everyone was crazy for loving salted sweets. It’s a beautiful cacophony of flavor, and I have been transformed by this experience. Salted honey ice cream is a wonder of engineering. It will change your life forever. It’s so delicious and creamy, you won’t mind the fact that you are going to make yourself hopelessly fat, because after all, the phrase is “fat AND HAPPY”, amirite? And even though you try, you will get it all over your lips, but that’s okay! Because guess what? You get to lick it off. And what’s more, is it leaves your lips all buttery-ish, and it feels just fine.

The only drawback is that you can’t eat too much at one time because a) you WILL feel sick, and b) you don’t want to run out of this too quickly.

But seriously. Make this.

~Haeley