Roommates and the Art of Love Bursting

Teaching is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s also the most wonderful thing I’ve ever done. There are some days I come skipping out of school because my day has been so wonderful and I feel like I’ve truly found my calling in life. There are other days when I come skipping out of school because–Hallelujah the day is done and I am OUT of there.

Today was one of the latter days. (haha–latter days.) I was trying to get my 8th graders working on their 5 paragraph essays with a peer review worksheet and the computers weren’t working and kids weren’t following directions and some were just wandering around aimlessly even though they had specific directions about what they were supposed to be doing. I’m just coming off a cold on top of all that, so needless to say, I was NOT in the mood.

As I was sitting at my desk during my prep period, contemplating the best spot to use as a head-banging post, I pulled my phone out of my drawer to see if anyone would miss me if I jumped out of the second floor window.

And lo and behold, I had a text from my wonderful roommate Maddie.

I thought back to last night when Maddie asked me if she could use me for a project. Ever the helper, I willingly agreed. She said she didn’t need me for anything right then, but she’d let me know tomorrow what her project was.

Fast forward to lunch time with thoughts of self-maiming. I pulled out my phone to find three texts from my Maddie.

I adore how passionate you are about becoming a teacher. You are going to change lives through your love of learning!

Needless to say, this caused a great Love Burst to swell through my bosom. I was so touched at her kind words, and at such a fortuitous moment, too. I read the next one:

Hot dang girl, those sexy curls of yours bring the boys to the yard You are beautiful! I may have to censor this for my assignment, but, eh, I’ll just do what I want. I’ll just add that your witty humor never fails to make me giggle. hehe.

It was then that I remembered that her project was to give specific notes of praise to people throughout the day. How lucky that she chose me on this day of 8th grade horrors and fantasies of duct tape.

She had one more lovey dovey text for me that morning, and as my prep period ended, I squared my shoulders and knew that I could face those nasty preteens and their inability to follow the simplest of directions. More than that, I was grateful to have someone like Maddie, who every day impresses me with her kindness and generosity, especially when I need it most. Way to pull through for me again, Maddie Bo-Baddie 🙂

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Quick Update

Just because I’m sure you were all on the edge of your seats….

I got the Prince Charming job! You’re looking at the new English tutor for BYU’s high school independent study courses!

That is all.

Waiting for Prince Charming

Next week, I will have my official last day of work at BYU International Admissions. I’ve had that job since I was a wee freshman lass, trying to make her way through her first year of college. A lot has happened since then, especially in the office. Halfway through, a whole new staff came in, and I met some of my very best friends. While I’m going to miss my desk in the ASB so much I can’t even think about it without getting a little depressed, where one door closes, another one opens.

Or, another two. Or three. Or four.

I hesitate to describe any of these new opportunities in detail since technically none of them are for sure, but let me just tell you–change can definitely be a good thing. Sometimes it can even be too much of a good thing and cause you more problems than you had in the first place.

For example:

I interviewed on Monday with a cute restaurant on campus. It’s new, it’s fun, and they serve pazookies. (If you know me well enough, you know that a pazookie is enough for me to do just about anything. Include work at this place.) I thought the interview went well, and I was excited to hear back from them.

Then, this morning, I interviewed at another place on campus. I went in not knowing a lot about it, but I came out knowing I NEEDED this job. Like a fish needs water. Like a bird needs air. Like my mother needs frysauce. It involved high school students, teaching English, and basically being awesome. I thought that interview went well, too, but I won’t hear back til next week.

Which is a problem, because Cute Restaurant people called and offered me a job. I asked them for a day to think about it, but at that point, I wasn’t even sure what to think. So I did the only logical thing–I went home to take a nap.

(I’ve been sick, ok? Give me a break.)

As I was drifting off to sleep, though, I realized that I’ve been in a situation like this before. But with boys.

There’s this guy right in front of you. He’s cute, he’s fun, and hey–he’ll get the job done for now. I mean, it’s not a big deal, right? Life is all about having different experiences, and maybe this will be a fun fling before moving on to the next thing.

But what if the next thing is wonderful? What if it’s what you’ve been waiting for, but didn’t even realize was out there? What if the next guy you talk to is Prince Charming and fits everything on your list plus all the traits you didn’t even know you wanted? He’s the one that you can imagine actually having a future with. What do you do then?

So even though something fun and cute may be right in front of you, maybe it’s ok to wait for your dreams. Because dreams are worth it.

And so are pazookies.

Good-for-Nothing, Dirty-Rotten, Pants-Stealing Great-Great-Grandfather

Remember in the book-slash-movie Holes where Stanley Yelnats IV’s family blames all of their problems on a curse brought on them by Stanley’s good-for-nothing, dirty-rotten, pig-stealing great-great-grandfather? I feel like I can relate, although I tend to think that my good-for-nothing, dirty-rotten, pants-stealing great-great grandfather is actually kind of awesome. 

In a talk from 1989 by President Eyring, he recounts the following story:

One ingenious boy acted on the discontent he felt when he was denied a new pair of pants from the Orderville factory because his were not worn out yet. He secretly gathered the docked lambs’ tails from the spring crop. He sheared the wool from them and stored it in sacks. Then, when he was sent with a load of wool to sell in Nephi, he took his sacks along and exchanged them for a pair of store pants. He created a sensation when he wore the new-style pants to the next dance.
The president of the order asked him what he had done. The boy gave an honest answer. So they called him into a meeting and told him to bring the pants. They commended him for his initiative, pointed out that the pants really belonged to the order, and took them. But they told him this: the pants would be taken apart, used as a pattern, and henceforth Orderville pants would have the new store-bought style. And he would get the first pair.
That did not quite end the pants rebellion. Orders for new pants soon swamped the tailoring department. When the orders were denied because pants weren’t yet worn out, boys began slipping into the shed where the grinding wheel was housed. Soon, pants began to wear out quickly. The elders gave in, sent a load of wool out to trade for cloth, and the new-style pants were produced for everyone.
Yes, that “ingenious boy” was my who-knows-how-many-greats grandfather. But what many people, including my American Literature professor who brought it up in class today, fail to realize, is that poor John Henry Carling was a lanky teenager who simply could not find a pair of pants that fit him. What was a young man to do–walk around with his ankles showing all day? I actually admire him for being so daring, and although he may have been reprimanded in front of the entire church a hundred years after The Great Pants Rebellion, I’m pretty darn proud to have a good-for-nothing, dirty-rotten, pants-stealing great-great-grandfather.

There and Back Again

I like to write hyperbolically.

I like taking insignificant events in my life, such as trips to Frozen Yogurt or Ritz Bitz, and turning it into an epic adventure, portraying my own personal odyssey through mountains and valleys to discover a pile of gold in the form of cheese in between tiny crackers. Throw in some high-falutin’ mumbo jumob and we’re in business.

I have a few theories why I continue to portray my life in such an exaggerated light:

  1. I am a chronic liar. I find great joy in saying blatantly untrue things and trying to pass them off as fact. Like that Psych episode. Where the fries quatro quesos dos fritos is a real thing. And believe me–it’s a real thing. A delicious real thing. 
  2. I have an overactive imagination and/or am crazy. Where most people see as a molehill, I see a mountain. Where they see windmills, I see a giant. Where they see a vending machine, a see a shrine to my favorite snack.
  3. My life is incredibly boring and I have to find some way to spice it up.
  4. My life is incredibly incredible and I’m simply trying to find a way for others to get as excited about it as I am.

Porch Swing

From the first day we moved into our house on Cullumber Street, my mother insisted she simply would not be happy until we had a porch swing. Our new house was perfect for a porch swing–a large  covered concrete slab in front of newly-shuttered windows, right behind the hibiscus bush. And so when my dad put one in a month later, the porch swing became not only a permanent fixture of our home, but it took a permanent place in our lives.

It became the backdrop to informal family pictures on Easter, Christmas, Mother’s Day, and the first day of school. It became yet one more solid surface I could plant myself on to read for a few hours. It became the hub for late-night talks with friends, a place for secrets to be shared and kept. It was our front-row seat to nature as we watched monsoons blow down the street during late summer months, or how we gazed in awe the night of the perpetual lightning storm. Or each spring as our favorite hummingbird built their annual nest in up high between the roof and the chainlinks of the swing. So much happened on that swing, it became an extension of our home and family.

I still remember the day my mom called me in a hysterical frenzy. At first, I imagined the worst. Was my dad ok? My sisters? Had a neighbor finally gotten so tired of my dumb yappy dog they decided to shut him up forever? (Although, let’s be honest–I really wouldn’t blame them. It’s not like I haven’t even had the thought cross my mind.) No, but a couple of pre-adolescent giggling girls had broken the porch swing. I was relieved that nothing truly tragic had happened, but only for a moment. That swing meant so much to my family and that little family of baby birds. What would become of us now?

Luckily, the swing was an easy fix, and it was up and swinging (pun intended) in no time at all–still able to serve as a significant setting for our family to grow up. (Proof of growth below.)

Easter 2009

Christmas 2009

Graduation

Haley Graduation 2012

No comment.

Christmas Sunday 2012
Christmas Day 2012
Yes, those socks are for reals.

Day of Rest

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God…

For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

The Sabbath is something I feel like we take relatively seriously in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I mean, I’m not sure how many other churches go to church for 3 hours every Sunday, not including additional meetings like Ward Council appointments with the bishop and ward prayer and home teaching or the ward and stake choir practices I always seem to be guilted into. But no matter what, there is one Sunday activity that I try to participate in every week.

Sunday naps.

Every Sunday from noon to 3, I can be found in my bed, dozing blissfully. This time may vary depending on home teachers or what meeting I have, but no one, and I repeat, NO ONE will take my Sunday naps away from me. I’ve even been known to turn away a home teacher a time or two, because you really want to know if there’s anything you can do for me?

Let me have my dang Sunday nap.