The Life of Bon

Monday, December 05, 2016

For the man who checks up on my car

This is Gary.

Gary is my father in law.  I first met him in September of 2010.  Greg took me up an hour away from our college town- Kaysville-  to meet his parents.  It was time, he said.

Meeting Gary made me both really happy and really sad.  He was energetic and lively and absolutely hilarious.  He was so much fun to be around.  But my own father had passed away only ten months earlier- seeing someone else's dad be a dad to them wasn't easy for me.  It would have been easier to just pretend that none of us had dads, and that I wasn't missing anything.

I remember the way Gary asked me questions about my life, the way he drove like a maniac to the restaurant, and the way he told inappropriate jokes. The night wasn't even over before I felt like he was already being a dad to me.  Checking up on me.  Asking the kind of questions that dads ask their daughters.

Some of the first of these questions were about my car.  Did the tires have enough air?  When was the last time the oil was changed?  Would I need to renew the registration soon?

I remember how I kind of froze at this.  When your dad is gone, there isn't anybody else who asks these seemingly trivial questions.  Nobody else had cared one lick about my car in the past ten months.  This is dad territory.  Gary was filling in.

I stayed the night that night at Greg's parents' house.  When I woke up Gary had taken my car, filled up the gas, changed the oil, and vacuumed it out for me.  I cried at his kind deed.

This was only the first of many ways that Gary has filled in that dad role for me.  He is so good at taking care of me.  Somewhere along the line I realized that no matter how "adult" you are, and no matter if you are parents yourself, you never stop needing and wanting a parent to take care of you.

Every Christmas and birthday I struggle with ideas of how to appropriately show in gift form how much I appreciate Gary.  When I saw this Armor All Car Care Gift Pack, it had Gary's name written all over it.  Nobody cares for and appreciates cars the way Gary does.  You have not seen a car that is well maintained until you have seen his vehicle.  If anyone would appreciate a car care package, it is Gary.

This Armor All Car Care Gift Pack is perfect for any man who appreciates and cares for his car.  In fact, when Greg was helping me take pictures of the car package this afternoon he asked,

"We're giving this away?  Why?"

"Because it's for your dad.  It's perfect for him.  Your dad always helps us with our cars so it's a great way for us to show that appreciation to him."

"Yah.  You're right.  He's going to love this."  And a slight pause before he continued,  "But shouldn't we have one too?"

Yes, Greg, I'll go buy us one too.

Just a couple of things you should know about this Armor All Car Care Gift Pack before you buy:

1. There are six cleaning products- tire shine, window cleaner, everything you can imagine to keep your car looking at its best year round.

2. All items come in a resuable bucket. We are all about effective storage at my house, so a bucket like this is great for future storage needs.

3. In the bucket you will also find a microfiber towel and sponge- easy on the surface of your car.

4. The package contains a Pro Secrets Booklet that has a coupon value of up to $13 off of Armor All Products. MORE MONEY BACK!

You can find this car care gift pack at your local Wal-mart.  It is a seasonal gift for Christmas, so make sure you pick it up before the holidays are over.  It is the easiest item to find ever- they were stacked right smack in the middle of Automotive Center aisles.  You can't miss them!  And at $20 they are totally affordable.  And you can take advantage of the $3 off digital coupon offer for the Armor All Car Care Gift Pack from Walmart while supplies last.  Every care car item your car lover will need at an extremely affordable price.


This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group®  
& Armor All but all my opinions are my own.
#pmedia #ArmorAllGiftPack

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

BEARD ME STRENGTH (A guest post by Greg)

This post is sponsored by Lovely Beards 
but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.


Do I have a treat for you today!  For months Greg has been asking me to get him beard oil.  I told him I haven't the slightest idea where one buys beard oil and he would have to figure that one out on his own.  Well, Greg isn't exactly the world's best shopper so we both pretty much dropped it at that.  I had thought maybe I'd look for some for him for Christmas, but again, was overwhelmed with where/how someone goes about finding the best beard oil.  It's not exactly like deodorant, you know. This is a novelty man's grooming product!  You gotta make sure you get one you love!

Naturally I was stoked out of my mind when I was approached to do a post for Lovely Beards.  It was a dream come true!  A way to try out some beard oil and give Greg a sweet little pre- Christmas surprise.  I didn't tell Greg I was doing the campaign until the oil and balm arrived in the mail, and boy, was that man stoked!  So stoked, in fact, that he insisted on writing this post for me.  "It's my product!" he claimed  "I'm the one that actually uses it and likes it so I should write the post about how great it is!"  Hey, when someone volunteers to do your work for you, you just agree, people.

So here it is, without further ado, a guest post by my dearest husband.


I didn’t become a man when I turned eighteen years old. I didn’t become a man when I put my brother’s pet chameleon out of its misery (Story for another day). I didn’t become a man when I first kissed a girl or took a spin on a Honda Shadow.

Oh no.

I became a man when I grew a beard.

Zeus, Moses, Willie Nelson… What do these three all have in common? (Besides brushes with godhood...)


It’s the key to their power and the key to our own.

Every aspect of my life improves while I have a beard and I mean every aspect… (Insert innuendo of your choice here)

You want respect? Then grow a beard.

But you can’t just grow a beard… Does a farmer just grow corn? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He nurtures that corn. Waters it, massages it, and reads it bedtime stories. It’s the same routine with beard treatment.

Every time I see a man with a real beard, and I mean a REAL beard, I ask ‘How does your beard look so good?’

This may seem too direct or slightly emasculating… on the contrary- It’s empowering. Nothing is better to a man than being complimented on his beard. It’s basically saying, ‘Hey guy, you are stronger than me.’

In ancient times society was ruled by those with the longest beards. Think I’m wrong? READ A BOOK.

Back to the men with the best beards…

The answer is always- ‘I oil bro.’ or ‘wax bro.’ or sometimes just, ‘bro’. Because I should already know the answer.

I’ve been trying to find the right oil/wax for many manly moons and when Bonnie had a chance to receive some through her blog, you’re damn right I hopped on board.

Lovely Beards Beard Oil and Wax makes my beard purr. (And that’s a good thing).

It smells better, looks better, and feels better to the touch.

You want to empower your husband? Want him to get that big promotion? Want to spice things up in the bedroom?

Have him not only grow a beard… but have him nurture it!

You will both thank me.


A Real Man.

Hi!  Bonnie here. Greg really does love this oil and balm. I got him the Mandarin Cedarwood oil and the Nectarine Mint balm. They smell AMAZING. Which is necessary because I feel like beards can kind of start to smell weird once they grow very long. The Mandarin Cedarwood definitely smells a little more manly, while the Nectarine Mint is more of a soft, mint smell. June, being the true champ that she is, spilled out all of Greg's oil on Sunday (and he was seriously so sad) so you better believe I have already ordered him more for Christmas. I ordered the oil in gingerbread this time around, because when you've got a ginger like Greg, you've got to appreciate him, you know?

And because this company is AWESOME, they are offering 10% off your order AND free shipping to Life of Bon readers. Woot woot! (Use code BEARDS10 at checkout!) It really is the perfect gift for your bearded man. I like it because it's fun, but it's also totally practical too. Win win!

P.S. For a good explanation of the wonders of the oil, I suggest checking out this page. Click on oils and then read the description at the bottom of the page- explains perfectly why the oil is so essential for beard growing men.

Monday, November 21, 2016

My Dad (Seven Years)

This picture was taken on a family vacation the summer after my sophomore year of high school.  
I remember that my hair had just been permed and I thought it looked real fly.

This weekend marked seven years since my dad passed away.  I laid my pregnant belly in the tub on Friday night and read all the posts I have written on this anniversary. (Two years, three years, four years, five years, six years.)  Then I read the post I wrote about grief and the post I wrote about potatoes and the post I wrote about finding out I was pregnant with June on that same anniversary.  I cried.  I felt peace.  I missed my dad.

Now, seven years later, there are certain things that stick with me about that day.  Is it a day you try hard to remember all the details of?  I don't know.  But I do.

I remember how my sister and her husband picked me up from the school where I was doing my student teaching.  They took me to my apartment so I could pack some stuff to take home for the next week or so.  I remember standing in the middle of that little bedroom of my Branbury apartment, trying to think about something so everyday and routine as what physical items I would need for the next week.  My dad had just died.  Are my jeans clean?  My dad had just died.  Did I pack a toothbrush?  My dad had just died.  How many pairs of socks would I need?

I remember how I left a note for my roommates.  My childhood home was about an hour and a half away from where I was going to college.  My roommates were my best friends, but I couldn't tell them, couldn't talk to them.  So I wrote a note on the white board in the front room.  "I went home for the weekend.  Bonnie."  It was a Thursday morning.  I had student teaching and classes and work that weekend.  We had plans with friends on Saturday.  I knew they would wonder.

I remember how I went a run for that evening, in the bitter Carbon County wind.  How the bite and sting of the oncoming winter felt good as I ran.  A song I had learned to love while in Argentina "Noviembre sin ti" came on my ipod.  November without you.  It was November.  I was without my dad.  I cried.

I remember that the Jazz were playing.  They lost.  I couldn't make myself care.

There are a lot of things about the day that I don't remember.  I don't remember how my car got from the school where I was student teaching back to my apartment.  I don't remember who drove me down to Price. I don't remember if I took a shower or combed my hair all day.  I don't remember eating lunch or dinner.  I don't remember what any of us did to fill the long hours of that day.

Seven years after loss, the hole is still there.  The missing morphs and the grief shifts, but there is no end.  I miss him the most now on my extreme days.  During the best of times and the worst of times.  I miss him during those happiest moments- times he should be there to share it with me.  I missed him when I graduated from college, when June was born, when I was married, when I got my first teaching job.  The absence of a father in moments like that is fierce.

I miss him on the worst days.  The days I feel scared and frustrated and alone.  The days I want to cry and go to lunch and complain to someone who loves me.  The days where I experience heartache.  The days I want to give up.  Those are the days I notice so strongly that he is not here anymore.

Sometimes I wonder now, these seven years later, what is the best way to stay close to my dad?  How does anyone continue to build a relationship, or at least honor that relationship, after seven years of absence?  And what's that to say for ten years later?  15?  25?  How does anyone keep that person close to them, keep their memory close to the surface, keep them alive?  How do I help my children have a relationship with him?  How do I help him become more than just a picture to them?

For me, I keep my dad alive by doing the things that he likes to do.  I find myself being drawn to many of his hobbies and desires, not because of my own innate interest, but because my dad was interested in it.  This fall was so warm in Utah.  We had day after day of 60 and 70 degree weather.  I heard on the news that our first freeze wasn't until November 17- the last time it waited that long to freeze was on November 16, 1921.  November 17 set the record for latest freeze of all time.  My dad loved weird information like this.  Statistics and records about dates, temperatures, times.   It fascinated him.  So I guess I kind of take up this occupation for him now.  Wow, we're having a record breaking fall!  How many days in a row of 60 degree weather?  How much rainfall?  What time did the sunrise this morning?  How many minutes a day of sunlight are we losing?

This year the Chicago Cubs won the world series, the first time since 1908.  I like the Cubs because my dad liked the Cubs.  My mom grew up in Chicago, my dad went to podiatry school there, and quite frankly, my dad just likes underdogs.  He never roots for the team that is slotted to win. He watched so many Cubs games in his den.  When I wore my Cubs hat this fall and watched those world series games, I felt like my dad was watching them with me.  Telling me the stats.  How historic would this win be?  The night the Cubs won I felt like I could hear my dad cheering from the heavens.  And what a way to win!  Back from being down 1-3.  Delay because of rain.  Extra innings!  Wow, way to seal it, Cubs, you dirty dogs!

I mentioned on my Instagram, but every fall my dad would read the Book of Mormon cover to cover.  He'd start in September or October, pace himself for about 6 pages a day, and finish on New Year's.  He said he felt like it was the perfect way to celebrate the Christmas and New Year season- to spend so much time focusing on words of Christ.  So I do that too, now.  It's a struggle to try to fit that much thoughtful reading in- especially during the madness of December- but I feel my dad there with me, helping me concentrate, helping me understand, filling my soul with peace and joy and family.

I hope I can teach my children to like the same things my dad likes, and by doing so his legacy can continue in my family.  I hope they enjoy gardening and big breakfasts.  I hope we can somehow keep visiting the cabin he built and toiled over and poured his heart and soul into.  (Cabin posts here here and here.)  I hope they enjoy looking at stars and they enjoy the satisfaction from a day of hard's work.  I hope I can teach my children the importance of gathering people, of clinging to faith, of making family and God the priority always.  That is the legacy he left for me.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

On Waiting for Baby's Gender

I am 29 weeks pregnant!  That means if everything goes according to plan in 11 weeks I will a) have a new baby! and b) know the gender of my baby!  I'm not quite sure which one I'm most excited for...

I have had a lot of people ask about the decision to wait to find out our baby's gender.  Well, not so much "asked" per se, as given very strange looks.  So I figured I set the record straight.  Or something.

It first occurred to me probably a year ago or so that it would be really exciting to wait to find out a baby's gender.  I didn't have a whole lot of reasoning, mostly that I feel like we wait for so little in our modern world, and I think there can be something very sweet about many periods of waiting.  The anticipation, the excitement, the preparations.  For the rest of my life I will know the gender of my child, so why not wait a few more months and add to the suspense and excitement?   I also figured that it would be a sweet "reward" at the end of delivery to get to know the gender of the baby.  I'm kind of sucker for huge "reveals" and what not--- I just love the surprise and the suspense. 

Of course, I knew the hardest thing would be convincing Greg.  He is a man who does not like to wait!  When he wants something he wants it now.  (Like when he decided he wanted to marry me in October and literally wanted to get married at Christmas.  Oh, sweet, Greg.)  When we had June we found out her gender at 16 weeks and it was all we could do to wait that long, honestly.  I thought at 14 weeks Greg would be busting down the doors of Fetal Fotos to get a peek at the babe.

So, I started trying to sell Greg on my idea long before I ever conceived.  I mentioned it all nonchalant like.  I figured if I laid it out there enough times he would just subconsciously realize that he also wanted to wait for baby.  And maybe it did kind of work that way?  I'm not real sure.  I just know he didn't put up much of a fight.  I know not knowing the gender is kind of killing him, but it was much harder in the beginning, to be honest.  That first trimester is when it feels the most tempting- I could know in a month!  I could know in two weeks!  I could know TOMORROW!  I think, though, once you get past the "I could know right now" and switch your mindset, it becomes much much easier.  I find out the gender when the baby is born.  End of story.  Stop thinking about it.  And then your brain kind of does.  (Believe it or not, there are a million other things to think about besides my baby's gender!  Thanks, election!)

There have been a few really pleasant things that have surprised us too about waiting.  Here are some perks I would have never thought of:

People kind of get off your back.  I feel like it is human nature to rush everybody on to the next stage of life.  Where are you going to go to college?  Are you dating anyone?  Have you thought about marriage?  When's the wedding?  When are you going to have kids?  When are you due?  What's the gender?  Have you decorated the nursery?  What are names you're thinking about?  When are you going to have your next baby?  ETC ETC ETC ETC.  I feel, like, though, waiting for the gender kind of thwarts people in their questions.  They see the belly, ask about the gender and then when I say that we are waiting to find out they stop asking about the next thing and the next thing and the next thing.  It's almost like it slows down the whole pregnancy in a "sit back and enjoy this period of anticipation and growth" NOT in a "this pregnancy will never end" way.  I've really enjoyed just getting to daydream about the baby, wonder what he/she will be like, enjoy feeling the movement in my tummy.  Leaves more to imagine, I guess, and I've really enjoyed that.  It feels slow and peaceful and that is what I have needed this fall and this pregnancy to be.
  • No crazy "I'm a princess, mom and dad listen to me!" onesies!  Can we all just agree that some baby clothing is really obnoxious?  When June was born we received an explosion of pink.  People were so generous and we felt so grateful for all the ways people wanted to celebrate the new baby with us.  That didn't change the fact that our new baby was dressed head to toe in pink, purple, butterflies, sparkles, you know the drill.  And baby clothes for boys can be just as obnoxious- dinosaurs, footballs, I AM BOY, HEAR ME ROAR all over the place.  When you don't know what gender you are having, the clothes and blankets tend to remain a lot more neutral- whites, grays, beiges.  I LOVE these colors and have loved being able to shop for this new one without feeling all that pressure of gender specific clothes.  I guess I just feel like overall the clothing you buy and receive is a lot more "chill" than if you knew the gender.

  • Gender neutral nursery!  Similar to the idea above, I am really looking forward to a gender neutral themed nursery.  June's nursery is pretty much gender neutral- there are pink highlights that could easily be swapped out for blue.  BUT I love June's room so much and to me it will always be June's room, so I'm going to transition that to a big girl room (and by that I mean take her crib away and give it to the baby) and just put the nursery in our spare room.  (That means we won't have a room for visitors anymore so if you come visit us, just know you're sleeping in our unfinished basement!)  I also really like the idea of a gender themed neutral because it takes away the temptation for me to project on to my child what I want him or her to be.  Make the room a camping room or a baseball themed room for a boy when who knows if that's what the boy will be like at all?  Or a princess room for a girl who would much rather play in the dirt.  I know that they're only babies, but I guess for me it takes away the preconceived gender expectations and just lets me love my child for who he or she is.

These are the three gender neutral themed nurserys I am debating between.  Which one do you like the most?
  • Takes the emphasis away from gender and on to baby.  The more I think about it, the stranger I think it is, actually, that we care SO much about what gender our children are.  And I think it's weird that the first question we all ask a pregnant person is what the gender the babe is going to be.  As if that is the very most important thing about a person.  And I guess I don't think that's the most important thing at all.  I want my child to be kind, smart, sensitive, thoughtful and a hard worker.  I hope my child laughs at my jokes.  Whether or not the child is a boy or a girl really doesn't matter at all.  Waiting to find out the gender has brought that emphasis back on just the miracle of being able to have a baby.  This one is hard for me pinpoint my feelings exactly, but it just feels like it takes away the focus from something that doesn't really matter that much to what is most important.  No matter what this child is going to be loved and is going to be a huge blessing in our lives.  This baby came at a time when we were not expecting him or her at all, and already the pregnancy has brought so much sweetness and joy in my life.  That's what I want to think about and focus on when I feel his or her little jabs and kicks in my tummy.

People always say to me, "I could never wait, I have to get everything prepared!"  I totally get that some people want to have EVERYTHING ready when baby comes, but there is so much you can do after.  It's not a big deal at all to buy a few gender neutral items ahead of time and then when baby comes buy the rest of the clothing necessities.  I still think you can feel very "prepared" without knowing the gender of the baby

I read somewhere that only 5.% of couples actually wait until the delivery day to find out their baby's gender, so we'll see if we can make it!  (Greg keeps trying to convince me that we should have the ultrasound tech put it on a piece of paper and then open it for Christmas...)  I'm feeling very excited, and overall just love this period to focus on the little life that is squiggling around inside of me.  Have any of you waited to find our your baby's gender?  And how was it?!?  Tell me everything!!!

Side note:  I can't help but start Christmas shopping already!  I don't know why, but I feel so excited to get things for my family.  I've got a great idea for my mom but I can't share it because I know she reads this blog.  For Greg I've got this coming in the mail that he's wanted for a long time, and for June I have this hiding in the closet... it's all I can do to not break it out right now!

Friday, November 04, 2016

Some thoughts on teaching

I used to call these posts "What We Did in Class this Week"  I feel like it should be "What we did in class this year" this time around.  So much to say about school and I haven't said one thing this whole year.  Well here goes!


Maternity dresses on repeat!  This one is from Old Navy, cardigan is from J. Crew (two years ago?), shoes are from Gap (also probably two years ago, but in general I LOVE Gap's flat selection).  I hope you're not sick of the high school pregnant bathroom selfie yet- we got 13 more weeks of these bad boys! (All high school pregnant bathroom selfies can be found in all their glory on my instagram account @thelifeofbon)


I am teaching four classes every other day.  I teach two AP Literature classes in the morning, scarf down my lunch in thirty minutes, and then teach two Honors 11 English in the afternoon.  Each class is 85 minutes long.  School starts at 7:55 and it gets out at 2:25.  I only teach every other day because our high school is on a block schedule and that means I can teach these four classes and then on the other days, I just don't come in!  Instead I stay home, take June to the park, work on our small business, make dinner.  It's awesome and a total dream.  I wish every woman who wanted to could have a schedule like this.  I hope I live in a day where employers everywhere value their female employees enough to provide part time work, onsite day care, and maternity leave for all women.  For me it is the difference maker in being able to continue to work professionally without being overcome with mom guilt.

Because I teach four classes straight, the days I work end up feeling quite chaotic.  A full time teaching schedule is to teach 6 periods and have 2 periods of prep time- teach 3 and prep 1 each day.  The four in a row means I go without the prep period, and it can leave me feeling way burnt out and stretched pretty thin.  After last year I promised promised promised myself I wouldn't do it again, but because of the way the numbers shook out at our school it was either that or cram 60 AP Lit students into one period so.... four classes a day it is!

To be honest, I feel like I am at a bit of a crossroads with teaching- trying to figure out exactly the role I want it to have in my future.  We feel so grateful for our business venture and it has been able to replace Greg's full time teaching income.  If I quit teaching part time and spent that time marketing and working on our business, I feel confident that I could replace my teaching income as well.  I have so many small business ideas, but I just don't have the energy or time to do them because I am devoting so much time to teaching.

BUT I devote the time to teaching because I honestly love LOVE teaching.  I really enjoy working on our small business too, but I wouldn't say that making earrings quite carries the satisfaction or fulfillment that teaching does.  When I'm teaching I really do feel like I'm making a difference, contributing to the world, making a positive impact on teenagers.  I love getting to share my passion for literature and writing.  I love kids.  Analyzing Shakespeare and acting out battle scenes from Lord of the Flies and showing students how to effectively write arguments- it is everything I ever wanted from a job.  I honestly feel so lucky to have had the 7 years of teaching that I have had.  Making necklaces is rewarding and fulfilling in a different way- it's rewarding to help provide for a family, to work with Greg, to make and pass entrepreneurial goals.  It's fun to be our own bosses.  But I don't exactly feel like I am contributing to the overall good of society by making and selling jewelry.  And if I'm really being frank with you, I don't even necessarily feel like it takes unique talent or ability.  With a little training anybody could easily do what Greg and I do in our shop. Whereas I feel like teaching needs me specifically- who I am and my unique talents and skills- on the front lines.   If I quit making jewelry, somebody else would make it instead and the world would continue on in pretty much the same fashion.  If I quit teaching there isn't someone waiting in the wings with that same passion to take my place.

But on especially busy weeks I feel the pull toward leaving teaching.  I could be done with this and have so much extra time for my family, my home, my blog, my business.  I would feel so much more balanced!  On days like yesterday, when we have pointless meetings and are introduced to new ways to evaluate teachers and new programs that we all know will last max two years, I feel like I have one foot out the door.  The very bottom line is that I absolutely absolutely love teaching.  I love the kids, I love the content, and I love everything that is happening in my little second floor classroom.  I don't love all of the core.  English has shifted over the past five years away from creative writing and literature to technical writing, nonfiction reading, rhetoric.  This stuff doesn't speak to me on the same level that the good old fashioned reading books and writing stories does.

I don't like the constant push to collaborate,  I don't like the incessant meetings just to have meetings or the tests just to give tests.  Somewhere I feel like we've maybe lost sight of the bottom line of education- what are we trying to accomplish here?  It ends up feeling like a rat race followed by a horse and pony show followed by one big hoop jump.  Instead of giving me extra time to create engaging lessons and grade my AP papers, I spend two early mornings a week with other teachers, analyzing and collecting data to send to the district, creating more and more "formal assessments".  Whether or not the district actually looks at this data is a mystery to us all.  The assessments we end up changing or throwing out every two years and then we start all over again.  I survive these meetings with the help of fellow like minded teachers- who grumble about the many hoop jumps, who sometimes sluff the meetings altogether, but then go to their classrooms and kick butt teaching with passion and love.  Most days I just try my hardest to ignore legislators and curriculum specialists and lock myself in my room so I can teach my kids The Kite Runner.

Which reminds me... I need to tell you what I'm actually teaching these days!  But that will be a post for another day.  I did just finish Kite Runner with my AP kids and it was a profoundly moving experience for me, and I think for them too.  Reading the book is powerful, teaching it was insane.  At the end of the day I am so grateful for these little tikes and how eager they are to learn.  Sharing literature with them really is a dream for me.  Hopefully I can figure out a way to keep that dream going.

As always, thank you for reading!  You guys are the bomb.  And sorry for the low frequency of posts- again, I'm hoping come winter I can really get my hibernate on and get back to more consistent posting around here.

And I'll leave you a picture of my adorable students getting their brainstorm on.  Follow me on snapchat (@thelifeofbon) for the fun behind the scenes stuff that happens at school.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Someone let me nest!

Hello blog!  I feel like it's been forever since I checked in here and I miss you.

Here's the thing.  Fall in Utah this year has been absolutely amazing.  We have had days in the seventies for weeks and weeks.  Every few weeks there will be a day or two of cooler weather and I think, "that's it!  The cold weather is here now.  So long fall!"  And then the next day it's gorgeous again for another ten straight days.  We have taken full advantage of the nice weather (or shall I say FALL advantage?!?) and have been able to do so many fun outdoor activities as a family.  This summer I was so sick with my pregnancy that I feel like my summer just kind of wasted away.  There were so many days this summer where I didn't have the energy to do a darn thing and instead stayed in bed the whole day.  Second trimester made a big comeback and so we made up for our lost summer with a very full fall.

All that being said I think I'm ready for winter?  I mean, have I ever said those words?  The nesting bug is hitting me hard and it's like, "UTAH!  TURN FREEZING COLD ALREADY SO I CAN HIBERNATE IN MY HOUSE ALREADY AND NOT FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT!  I am dying to organize my pantry (nesting!) and scrub my toilets (nesting!) and get the nursery ready (nesting times infinity!) but every day is so freaking gorgeous that instead we head to the park or the pumpkin patch or on a little road trip over the weekend.  It has been absolutely amazing and everything that you need from a fall so someone please tell me why I'm craving a freezing cold day where I don't have to leave my house once?  It's a weird world.

Our busy fall means I have not done any of the more introspective/ low key activities that I normally enjoy doing- less reading, less blogging, less bingeing on Teen Mom.  I feel okay about less Teen Mom- reading and blogging I miss.

Also as soon as it turns cold I am locking June and myself in the bathroom for three days until she emerges potty trained.  I refuse to be dealing with her potty training while trying to get an 8 pound babe to learn how to latch.  That just sounds like hell on Earth.

My goal this week is to write MWF.  So hopefully Wednesday you should get a "real" post from me.  Whatever that means these days.  While I have not been writing much these past few weeks, there are some people who have been, so I will leave you with some of my favorite things I have read on the internet the past few weeks...

+ I have been using these bad boys at school the past three weeks and it has changed everything for me.  Lunch just got 100 times better.
+ Still confused who you are voting for?  I loved this Guide for Republicans Deciding How to Vote.  One of the few informative and respectful political articles I have read this year.  If you know you can't vote for Trump but Hilary's healthcare plan has you really uncomfortable (ME!) then you may find it helpful.
+ My friend, Stephanie, who has been doing the 8 minute memoir with me (I am hoping to pick this back up once winter comes)  wrote this little piece about being eight.  I love it so much.
+ This "Am I Pregnant" video that my friend Sally shared had me laughing out loud at 11:00 in bed.  I showed it to Greg and laughed harder the second time around.  Make sure the sound is on!
+ The link between clutter and depression.  My friend, Sierra, shared this and the whole time I read it I thought Yes, yes, yes!  Please cold weather come, so I can get back to decluttering every single thing in my house!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Costume prep- are you people ready for Halloween or WHAT?

Are you guys so excited for Halloween? I freaking love this holiday... planning and preparing Halloween costumes for my family is kind of my favorite thing ever. I knew the year that Greg and I were dating and I dressed up like a tooth fairy and he agreed to dress up like a little boy that we were on the verge of something amazing... the verge of years of successful costuming. Most years we have gone as a couple but some years we've gone solo. Mainly because Greg just likes to look as scary as possible. And while we all know how fun that can be, I get tired of having my face smeared in black and white makeup. 

I will admit that adding June to the family costume mix has been a little difficult.  Last year we were able to successfully complete our get up of "mythical creatures" with Greg as a wizard, me as a fairy, and June as a unicorn.  Basically it all centered around the idea that we found an adorable little unicorn costume for June.  This year I'm pretty sure she's going as a lady bug... partly because we call her bug and partly because I found an amazing costume at D.I. for dirt cheap.  Score!

This year I have had my costume in mind for several months. It doesn't exactly have a counterpart that Greg could do extremely well so I told him it's up to him if you wants to join in on my costume or not.  I hope he agrees to be the counterpart, but if not my costume is still pretty rad, and I feel like I really have to take advantage of this year to do it. 

When it comes to Halloween costume shopping I always start my shopping at D,I.  D.I. is the best place for deals and for every random thing that you may need for your kick butt costume.  For those of you who I'm not familiar, D.I. stands for Deseret Industries and it is the LDS church's sponsored thrift store.  Basically the place where everybody in Utah goes to sell their stuff they don't want anymore. 

And it is an absolute gold mine. 

D.I. hires people who are especially in need of jobs and experience and allows them to have on-the-job training while at the same time giving kow prices for amazing secondhand items. I'm also always so surprised by how organized D.I. is. Especially in comparison to other thrift stores... it is very easy to find what you're looking for. Clothes are organized according to size and style, housewares and plates are clean and on shelves, and even the table cloths are neatly hanging in the back. It is seriously a thrifter's dream. That is why D.I. is always my first stop for Halloween.

Once I know what my costume is going to be I usually have quite a bit of work ahead of me to find all the pieces. I don't want to tell you quite what my costume is for this year yet, but I will give you the items that I was searching for and if you're real smart you can maybe figure it out!
  • Blue dress with white polka dots
  • Pearl earrings and bracelet 
  • White, strappy high heels 
  • Some kind of 1940's white hat or hair tie 
  • White apron 
  • tight curlers
Have it figured out yet?  I'll give you one last huge clue... the red hair is crucial!

After roaming the aisles of D.I. (I live close to the American Fork D.I. in Utah and I personally think it is one of the best- HUGE and with a great selection.)  I was able to cross the dress and the heels off my list.  I couldn't find an apron like the one I was looking for, but I did find a tablecloth that can be easily sewn into an apron.  Done and done!

As you can see, I actually found two dresses that will work really well for the costume I have in mind... the one on the left is more the fabric that I want, but the one on the right is more of the style I want.  So I'll have to play with them both a bit to kind of get the perfect dress.  And, of course, I have to account for my sixth month pregnant belly which doesn't exactly make anything easy!

The great thing about shopping at D.I. is that if you do find many items that may work for you, it ain't no big deal to buy both of them.  At $4 a pop, it was no skin off my teeth to get both of these dresses to make sure that I have the dress that I want exactly right.

I still need to find some fake pearls and some kind of hat or hair bow, but I still have time.  D.I. constantly has stuff coming in and out so when I am on the prowl for something I often check it weekly.

And, while I was shopping for my costume, I couldn't help pick up a few Halloween decorations.  I love Halloween decorations, but hate forking over inflated prices because it's October.  (I also hate buying in November and storing for a year before I can even use them.)  I was shocked by how many cute little Halloween decorations D.I. had at such low prices.

Scarecrow and candle holder were a combined $3.

Fall leaves to hang along our "Welcome" sign in our kitchen- $1

Trick or Treat sign- $2
Pumpkin- $.50 

Thank you to D.I for sponsoring this post.  I didn't feel much like it was a sponsored post, given that I was doing something that I 100% would have been doing anyway.  Halloween costume shopping at D.I. is pretty much tradition around here.  I'm excited to show you pictures come Halloween of how the costume has come together.  

Sunday, October 16, 2016

When you're pregnant it can be hard to find clothes and other nonsense

Today I'm so excited to be doing a preggers fashion show with some of my favorite pregnant bloggers.  What a great excuse to talk about clothes!  And pregnancy!

Here's the big disclaimer.   I know pretty much nothing about maternity clothes.  This is pregnancy #2 and I feel like I am still majorly struggling in the what to wear department.  Also I am pregnant in a totally different season as last go around, so what I did learn last time has pretty much been useless this time.  Last pregnancy I was super pregnant May- July so I didn't buy one pair of pants or leggings and basically lived in sundresses, maxi skirts, and my maternity swimsuit.  It's just a taaaaad different this time around.

This pregnancy my clothes have also started to feel wildly uncomfortable way earlier than last pregnancy.  I'm 25 weeks now and I can't even think about wearing something if it's not either maternity or two sizes two big.  The other night I tried to put on one of my normal v neck tshirts and it was like a basketball was trying to rip bust right through that fabric.  It ain't pretty!

There are a few things I know, but like I said, a lot of things I still don't know about dressing a pregnant body.  So I'll share those both with you and you can share what you know with me and hopefully by the end of this we are all the wiser for it!

#21weeks.  Maternity shirt from Old Navy.


1.  Buy MATERNITY clothes dang it!  I don't know how some women do it without buying maternity clothes.  I also do not know why.  I think some women take a certain pride in not buying maternity clothes, and that is absolutely mind boggling to me.  I'll sometimes see a picture on social media of a pregnant acquaintance or friend and she'll say something something like "this isn't even maternity and I'm 32 weeks!" and all I can think is "you poor, sad, soul.  How uncomfortable you must be."  Here's the deal with not buying maternity clothes- you are saving a hundred or two hundred dollars, maybe, but you are SO UNCOMFORTABLE for 4 or 5 months as a result.

Your body during pregnancy is a majorly different shape than any other time in your life.  You can't just buy a size or two up because then it is also big in the shoulders and the thighs and arms. And you never want to wear a shirt that is two sizes too big when you're not pregnant so it's not like you get use out of it postpartum anyway.  I just haaaate wearing clothes that are 1 or 2 sizes too big.  They are uncomfortable!  They fall off of me!  They are hot!  I feel like I am drowning in fabric and walking around wearing a tent!  Your clothes should fit!!!

I know some women disagree with me and they try to go their whole dang pregnancy fitting into their husbands gross tshirts and their jeans from their aunt who is two sizes bigger.  Just give it up.  I know you hate it.  Once I finally sold out to the maternity clothing world I have not looked back once.  It sucks having to fork over the money, but for me it is so worth it to have clothes that 1) you feel comfortable in 2) that fit your weird shape body correctly and 3) make you feel pretty.

This skirt is NOT maternity.  It took me one look at this picture of non-maternity clothes on my very maternity body to realize that maternity clothes are crucial.  #20weeks

2.  Maternity dresses are the best thing that happened to pregnant women everywhere.  Last pregnancy I wore a lot of dresses as I was teaching every day up until 34 weeks.  This time I'll be teaching right on up to 40 weeks (oh Hallelujah) so comfortable maternity dresses are pretty much mandatory for me.  Which is great because I happen to think they are the most 1) comfortable thing to wear and 2) flattering thing to wear.

Last pregnancy I bought my favorite black maternity dress from Old Navy that I wore at least once or twice a week.  This year on labor day I bought three more maternity dresses from Old Navy again for killer deals (all 50% off) and I wish I would have bought more, honestly.  I also have one from Target that I love.  I've been really pleased with Old Navy's maternity section- affordable but still cute and form flattering.  My favorite dresses are here here here and here.

My favorite maternity dress last go around.  I have worn it alot this pregnancy too.  This picture is in Germany when I am 35 weeks pregnant and I am the same size as I am now at 25 weeks pregnant.  FUN! 

20 weeks.  Dress from Old Navy.

I prefer the dresses that have the ruching on the side to the more free flowing dresses- once I am sporting maternity clothes I like it to be clear that I am pregnant and not just covering up extra pounds of ice cream.  I have one free flowing maternity dress that I got from Target and every time I wear it I just feel like I look super fat. (Trick- if I put a belt on right above my belly I feel like it makes it look a little better because it accentuates the bump instead of just looking like a huge tent dress).

^^^ This is the form fitting with ruching dress that I LOVE from Target.  Contrast it with the picture below- the more free flowing dress maternity dress also from Target.  I feel like the first one is so much more flattering to pregnancy shape than the second one.

Huge tent dress, no one likes you.  Go home.

3.  White maternity tee + any cardigan + leggings = pregnancy happy place.  I feel like the perfect winter pregnant outfit is a white tee with leggings and then some kind of cardigan or button up shirt to go over that.  It's nice because you don't have to buy a whole bunch of new maternity sweaters, you just buy the white maternity tshirt and make a million different outfits out of it. (For white pregnancy tee I gotta say Old Navy for the win on this one again.  I bought three white maternity tees this pregnancy for $8 each.)  This whole idea is new to me this pregnancy, but I feel like I can use a lot of what I already have in my closet with this system.  Pregnant fashion for the winter is actually a little more challenging than in the summer I think.  Who wudda thunk?  I think I thought it would be easier because I could just throw on a big sweater and call it good but my belly is already stretching out my favorite sweaters so I've stopped wearing those.  That's where the cardigans and button up shirts are so important- you can keep wearing them all the way up to 40 weeks without stretching them at all.

White tee with cardigan look.  But that tee isn't maternity and so as of last week I am not wearing it anymore.  Also the jeans I am wearing are NOT maternity and are being held on with an elastic rubber band.  It was very uncomfortable. You can read all about my jean misery below.

White tee from Old Navy.  It's da bomb.

24 weeks.  White tee from Old Navy.
I'm wearing maternity leggings from Old Navy too, a pair that is semi working for me.


1.  JEANS.  This has been the biggest struggle for me.  Where do you guys buy your pregnancy jeans?  And do they look normal on anyone?  I bought one pair that I HATE.  It is full panel and it fits fine on the belly but is weirdly loose on the waist/ butt.  It gives me soccer mom butt and is always falling down because of how it doesn't fit right on waist and hips.  If I try to just fold the full panel down around my hips then it is even more uncomfortable and gives me plumber's crack.

I have tried on so many pairs of maternity jeans and they were all worse than the pair I eventually bought and described to you above.  So that lets you know I'm in a sorry state.  Please send help. Where did you find a cute and comfortable pair of maternity jeans that fit you.  DO THEY EXIST?

2.  LEGGINGS.  Basically having the same problem as the jeans but on a lesser scale.  I decided I don't love full panel but I am having a really hard time finding pairs that aren't full panel.  (Do they have a name for those?  Half panel?)  I don't like pants fabric going all the way up to my boobs.  That just don't feel right to me.  I have one pair of leggings that I got from Old Navy that I really like but, well, I can't wear that every day!

3.  GARMENTS.  Probably don't want to talk details on the blog, but if you are Mormon and have figured out a good way to do garments when you're pregnant, EMAIL ME. (  I am in a bad state right now.  I am so uncomfortable night and day.  I have tried the maternity garments and found that they leave much to be desired.

Maternity shirt from Old Navy.

No part of this post is sponsored by any clothing brand but it should have been.  Specifically it should have been sponsored by Old Navy because that is where all my maternity clothes are from.  That is really the only place, though, that I've been able to find cute and confortable styles and affordable prices.  Maybe some of my friends will have other suggestions for you.  The following ladies did the same post I did today on pregnancy fashion so check em out!

Tayler from The Morrell Tale
Danica from Danikan Skywalker
Amy from Amy Elise Allen
Bonnie from The Life of Bon
Emma from Ever Emma

P.S.  I've got a few days left of this campaign.  Thank you so much to all who have clicked and commented.  I love talking about ways to simplify!