The Life of Bon

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

East Coast Vacation Part 2

First things first, there will not be a Bachelorette recap this week.  For the first time since Ben F.'s season, I won't be seeing the whole thing out.  I was so excited for Jojo, but have since decided she is a total idiot and has horrible judgment.  I question all of her choices and watching this season has just turned really painful.  After her horrible choice at the beginning of last night's episode I decided to peace out on her for good.  Good news is I've got Bachelor in Paradise to look forward to August 2.  Never a dull moment in reality tv!

Today you get to see the second batch of pictures from our East coast trip.  Yippee!  I know you've been on the edge of your seat because don't we all just live to see other people's vacation photos?  YES WE DO!

Here was our schedule of what we did:

Thursday, July 7  Mystic, Connecticut
Friday- Sunday Lake George, New York
Monday Niantic, Connecticut
Tuesday Newport, Rhode Island
Wednesday Supposed to be home, but instead spent the night in Detroit.
Thursday, July 14 Home again, home again jiggity jig

In Part 1 I covered Thursday- Sunday and Part 2 will cover Sunday night- Wednesday.  My oh my, aren't I organized?!?

Sunday night on our way home from Lake George the scenery was so breathtaking that we absolutely had to stop to take some pictures.  Greg is serious when he says he would move to the northeast in a heart beat.  It is sooooo beautiful and there is so much to do that is close by.  I told him, yes, but have you visited Connecticut in FEBRUARY because that is the real test of your spirit, boy.






Monday Nick and Vanessa both had to work, so Greg and I took June and the three of us enjoyed the day in Niantic, Connecticut-- a cute touristy beach down.  The weather was perfect- I lay out for almost an hour and read my book while Greg and June hunted pokemon at the nearby park.  Greg caught all his necessary Pokemon, June tried out like 16 slides, and I got to read to my heart's content. (ROOM by Emma Donoghue.  IRL book club is tomorrow night at 7:30 at my house and the online discussion will be Thursday.  If you want in on the IRL action, we would LOVE to have you.  Email me at thelifeofbon@gmail.com).  Twas a perfect day for everyone!

Oh--- except for that we forgot June's swimsuit.  Parent fail!  Luckily we did not forgot the sunblock, we so lathered her up and she went topless just like the crazy rebel she is.









Tuesday we headed to Newport, Rhode Island to see mansions and cliff walks and beaches and lobsters.  Well, that was the plan.  Tuesday was the last day of a long string of 1-3 hour drives and we were all pretty beat.  I would like to say that we all behaved our best, but this was the day where we all pretty much lost our shiz.  Vanessa was so awesome to take us, but I think the heat and the lots of traveling left us zapped of energy.  (And probably not the best company for Nessa).  We managed to get some old Vanderbilt mansion touring in but June was a little hellion and ran all of the place.  (They wouldn't allow strollers in.  GRRRRR.)  She saw the ropes that blocked off the furniture and took that as a, "Please, young child!  Crawl under these ropes and jump on this antique bed!  We welcome you!"  So yah... the mansions had the potential to be incredibly interesting, but were mostly just incredibly frustrating.  Next time, Newport mansions.

We were all too wiped out for the cliff walk, (Well, Vanessa was up for it, but the rest of us were a freaking hot mess) so instead we hit a beach and let the kids play in the water.  Perfect solution.

Last stop was ice cream because duh and then a smooth ride home.


The original "spa-like bathroom"

Trying to wrestle June and the headset and the camera without a stroller.  
Does this look fun to you?  IT WASN'T,




Allie was sad because her swimsuit got left at home.  Being a kid is rough stuff.

Wednesday was the end of our vacation.  Our airplane in Connecticut got delayed an hour and a half... once we were already on the plane.  Nothing like wrestling with your 23.5 month old lap child while the plane doesn't move.  And a mean flight attendant kept telling me June couldn't be in the aisle because "something might hit her."  Uh, honey, we're not even moving and there is literally nowhere for her to move at all so please just let her twirl in circles in the aisle for 30 seconds.  I do not understand rules just to be rules,, and I always have a hard time with the people who make it their personal mission to enforce those rules.  The other flight attendants couldn't have cared less, but that one, oh geez, it was her mission to make sure June stayed sitting in my lap at all times!  I was tired and emotional so I started crying when she scolded me.  Because that is what adults do!  (Also, my little sexist rant here, but have you noticed that when a child is doing something "wrong" the mother always takes the blame?  Greg was sitting right next to me the whole time, but the flight attendant only yelled at me and totally ignored Greg.  HEY!  THAT CHILD IS HALF HIS! PLEASE YELL AT HIM TOO!  EQUALITY IN SCOLDING!)

FINALLY the plane took off, but by the time we reached Detroit we had missed our connecting flight to Salt Lake.  I was a stressed out, tearful mess, but luckily Greg was calm as a summer's morning.  (Probably because he avoided scolding on the airplane!) We got booked on the first flight out the next morning, got a hotel comp, and what do you know- we got to spend an extra night of vacation in Detroit!  All of our dreams came true!

In short, our trip was AWESOME with a few minor hiccups along the way.  I don't want to paint our vacation or our lives as perfect.  Instagram can kind of trick us that way.  There was definitely stress and melt downs and a few things that didn't go according to plan.  June is at a really hard age to travel with and Greg and I agreed that she needs to be a little more of a functional human before we take her on a long flight again.  (Or at least have her own seat!)  It ended up costing more than we thought it would, (as is always the case) and I stressed every time the credit card got swiped (as is always the case.)  BUT in the end it was totally worth it for us to spend time with our friends, to see the beautiful northeast, and to create memories with our little family.  Family vacations for the win!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Bachelorette Talk: And then there were 4

I have big plans of getting back to consistent posting around here, but it just ain't happening.  After a busy week vacationing on the east coast and then coming home to 70+ backed up orders, a jewelry show that weekend, and TWO birthdays (Greg and June's back to back birthdays on the 15th and 16th might be the death of me), I thought this would be the week things finally slowed down enough to get our bearings.  But Sunday I woke up with a horrible sore throat and June and I have pretty much been snot buddies since then.  Headaches and coughing and, you know, normal stuff for 100 degree weather.  Speaking of, WHEN WILL THIS HEAT WAVE END?!?!  I am dying for some summer rain storms and we ain't gettin none.

This morning I woke up feeling better than I have in a long time.  Energy!  It's back!  I went nuts on my house for a few hours (I'm reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and I'm not trying to be dramatic, but I swear, it really is life changing.  I'll post more on this later, but it's got me excited to do major work on my house.  And by major work I mean throw out all the crap I never use) and now, with June down for a long nap, I can finally check in to this blog.  Thanks all for bearing with the less than consistent posting.  I would like to think next week things will finally slow down enough for me to be able to post here.  I want to get back up to my 3 times a week schedule.  Will I ever go back to 5 times a week?  I kind of doubt it, honestly, it was too much and had me almost completely burnt out.  BUT I think this blog has a long future ahead of it for 3 times a week posting and that is worth celebrating!

NOW... let's talk about The Bachelorette shall we?



TBH, I've had a hard time writing about this season because this is the least interested I've been in a season for YEARS.  I really thought I liked Jojo when the season started (Greg and I literally cheered when we heard she was going to be the next bachelorette because we are so hardcore reality tv nerds) but watching her has been really disappointing to me.  I feel like she has just gone for every athletic, popular high school boy.  I mean, let's just look at these four men left.  They are CLONES of each other!


Wow, Jojo, you really got yourself a diverse group of men there.  Even their hair cuts and gray t shirts are all the same!

I guess I just feel like Jojo was really closed off going in to who she would fall in love with.  I think it's pretty obvious that she was digging Jordan strong on the first night and I think it's pretty obvious he's going to win.  I don't really feel like she has given other guys much of a shot.  Especially the guys who aren't her "type."  I get that James Taylor stuck around for awhile, but I really never felt like he had an honest shot with her.  Derek, James, Wells--- anyone she kind of connected with who wasn't a very specific type--- got the boot.  I kind of wonder why she even did the Bachelorette- surely she should have been able to find these types of guys pretty easily on her own?  Oh, I know why she did it- the six figure salary, the wardrobe budget, the free vacation, the fame.  Suddenly it all makes sense.

Of the four remaining guys, I like Luke the best and I think he is the best fit for her.  The question, of course, is will he go home next week as Jojo revealed that he is the one she'll be sending home?  Producers left us with a big cliffhanger and we will find out at the beginning of next week if he stays.

WILL LUKE GO HOME NEXT WEEK?

My answer--- no.

Explanation:

1.  Bachelor producers never show the contestant saying before the rose ceremony who will be going home.  They love the shock value of the rose ceremony, so they'd never ruin that shock by already spoiling who is going home.  Unless, of course, they want us to THINK that person is going home and then SHOCK us with who will really be going home.

2.  The reason Jojo was going to send him home, I think, is because he hadn't said I love you yet.  I don't think she's wanting to boot him because she doesn't like him enough, but because she's afraid he doesn't like her enough.  All the other men have said "I love you" so I think Jojo feels safer with them.  It is frustrating to me that Jojo is judging the quality of all of her relationships by their speed.  She admitted that she really likes Robby because he told her so early on that he loved her, not necessarily because she connects with him the most.  I think she badly needs the validation of "I love you" and felt like she had to boot Luke because he still hadn't given it to her.  She is judging all of her relationships on why they are right this second instead of the potential and the future that she could see with them.  Rookie mistake, Jojo!

3.  I'm guessing a producer put a bug in Luke's ear that he needed to drop the L bomb or he's going home, hence the last minute "Can I talk to you, Jojo?" as the rose ceremony was starting.  Once he said I love you to Jojo, I think he secured himself a spot in the top two.

4.  IF Jojo was still going to send Luke home, I think she would have sent him home the minute he said he was falling in love with her, much like she did with Alex.  I don't see her as the type to listen to the love confession, go back with Luke and all the other men, and THEN painfully send Luke home in a rose ceremony in front of everyone.  If she still wanted him to go, that was the perfect opportunity to politely and privately send him home and have a little time alone with him to say goodbye.  I hope I'm right on this!

So... for all those reasons, I think Luke stays!  My guess on who is going home is Chase, as they have been kind of behind the whole time.

Sheesh, Robby, easy on the death glare, eh?

Other thoughts on hometowns---
  • I surprisingly really enjoyed Chase's hometown, and I liked that we were able to understand him a little more.  I still think he's a pretty boring dude, but seeing his family and learning his history gave him a little more depth than anything I've seen of him so far.
  • Jojo is super worried about Robby and the ex girlfriend.  She should trust her gut on this.  I also think she should be a tad weary about how fast Robby said "I love you", considering he ended a four year relationship just a few months ago.  I don't mind Robby, but I don't think he is in a healthy, ready-for- a- huge- committed- relationship state yet.
  • Jordan's home town- HUGE EYE ROLL.  Exactly what I thought it would be- touring the high school and reliving the glory days!  I just don't trust the dude, I would never spend a lot of time with him, I am horrified that she is probably going to choose him.  Just not a sincere guy to me.  I think Jojo can feel that too- she keeps questioning him.  Again, trust your gut, Jojo.  There's a reason you feel a little uneasy about him!
  • My favorite hometown of the four was Luke's.  I liked the effort he put in to getting everybody together to meet her and then the set up he did with the heart and the flowers and all that.  I do think he is the most genuine guy and probably the best fit for Jojo, but unless there's some kind of huge epiphany for Jojo, I don't see her getting Jordan out of her system.  Good news is that Luke will likely be our next Bachelor.  
 Alrighty, folks, I can't wait to hear your thoughts on all this.  Do you think I'm right in a Jordan-as-winner and Luke-as-next-Bachelor prediction?  And are you all having as hard of a time with this season as I am?  I'm definitely ready for Bachelor in Paradise!!!


Thursday, July 14, 2016

East Coast Vacation Part 1

Our summer vacation is winding down (we head for the airport in an hour) and I thought I should take advantage of a little down time to post some pictures.

We've spent the past week vacationing on the East Coast.  It's really important to me to take family vacations each summer.  Growing up, I always remember when we went for summer vacation and I hold tight to those memories made with my family.  We were 8 kids so we rarely rarely flew anywhere- instead we spent a week in Colorado or California or Lake Tahoe.  I loved those times and want to make sure that I develop that same tradition with my own little family.  It takes a lot of planning and saving throughout the year, and no vacation has ever gone perfectly.  (Traveling can bring out the worst in people sometimes) but to me it is worth it.

I stressed over where to go for our family vacation this year.  We could never quite seem to settle on the right place or the right timing.  A big vacation out of the country or to Hawaii was out of the picture this year because of our budget. We thought about doing a national park, but couldn't quite find the right fit. My friend, Vanessa, who lives in Connecticut has been telling me forever to come out and visit so finally I texted her, "your offer still good for us to come hang out back East?"  She said "YES!" and the tickets were booked!

A lot of people thought it was weird when I told them we were going to Connecticut.  "CONNECTICUT!  What's awesome in Connecticut?!"  And I admit that I myself had some doubts... I set my expectations real low and figured we would just see how the trip turned out.

And it turned out awesome!  It surpassed even my highest hopes of a vacation.  We got a little bit of everything in- history, lakes, beaches, mansion touring, and clam chowder to boot.  We packed in about as much as you could in a week and now we are very worn out and very happy.  Everything you should be after a vacation.

We had pretty loose plans when we got to Connecticut, but the week unfolded itself and this is what our agenda ended up looking like:

Thursday, July 7  Mystic, Connecticut
Friday- Sunday Lake George, New York
Monday Niantic, Connecticut
Tuesday Newport, Rhode Island
Wednesday Supposed to be home, but instead spent the night in Detroit.
Thursday, July 14 Home again, home again jiggity jig

I'll give you the Mystic + Lake George rundown today and the Niantic + Newport rundown in the next post.  And the airport drama-- well, that's a whole nother post!

MYSTIC, CONNECTICUT
Vanessa lives in Canton, Connecticut which basically means that everything we wanted to do was close but far.  Everything was within a three hour drive, nothing was closer than an hour.  So we did a lot of driving.  Which I actually really loved because the views, the trees, the tiny little homes and cemeteries were unbeatable.

Our first day we headed to Mystic, where Mystic Pizza with Julia Roberts was filmed.  We ate sea food by the sea (me: clam chowder  Greg: fish and chips) did a tour of a little pilgrim village, checked out the whaling boats (the whaling history was absolutely fascinating to me- what a profession!), got pizza from the famous Mystic pizza (the actual pizza was a huge let down!) and Greg even got his fortune told by a Mystic Psychic.  She told him he has an amazing wife.  I said you don't need no psychic to tell you that.

Waiting for our food.  These our Vanessa's kids, Sadie and Allie.  June adores them and the three played (mostly!) so well together.  I swear, June looks like she could be their sister.


Exploring pilgrim life.

Vanessa and her two girls.  My friends are pretty and kind.




Friday- Sunday
Lake George, New York

Lake George was the part of the trip that I was most excited for.  Vanessa always talks about their weekend trips to the lake, and her parents were kind enough to let us use their boat.  It was a 2.5 hour drive from Vanessa's house to the lake and it was the prettiest, most serene drive.  June even played in the back with stickers and makeup without fussing at all!  (June is OBSESSED with my makeup.  When I really need her to play quietly, I let her have a hey day with it.  It usually means a ruined lipstick and a lot of makeup to clean off her face and arms, but it is WORTH IT.)

Lake George is absolutely stunning.  The pictures do not do it justice.  The only bummer is that it literally rained the entire time we were there- Friday evening through Sunday afternoon.  We did manage to get out on the boat and try our best to boat around the storm, but it was rainy and windy and I know it made it more stressful for Nick and Vanessa, who were responsible for the boat.  BUT, we still had a great time.  The men fished, the kids swam, and Greg and I even got to try wake surfing.  It was awesome!  We all kind of wished the weather were warmer, but Utah has been so scorching hot this summer, that the cooler temps and rain were actually kind of a welcome change for me.

We stayed both Friday and Saturday night in hotels in the town of Lake George.  Our original plan was to sleep on the boat, but with the pouring rain and a rascally toddler, that plan got nixxed quickly.  We found a hotel after midnight on Friday night and collapsed into bed.





We've been friends for 11 years now.  HOW WAS IT 11 YEARS AGO WHEN WE WERE IN COLLEGE?


Definitely my favorite part of the trip.




June pretty much fell asleep anywhere she could on this trip.  No structured naps was tough on her, but I'm really proud of how well she handled it.



 This is Nick, Vanessa's husband and the most outdoors-y man there is.  I also knew him eleven years ago, when Vanessa had the hots for him.  I guess she still does!  Nick is always kind and cheerful and ready for an adventure is probably one of my favorite people in the world.






Lake George beach.


Thank you for sharing in the fun of the first half of our vacation.  Pictures are awesome, but they don't tell the whole story... like the stressful night trying to find the hotel, or the screaming toddler in the backseat, or how stressed we were about the wind and rain damaging the boat.  There were lots of highs on the trip, but it definitely didn't all go perfectly.  It never does, and I think I've finally accepted that there will always be things that don't go according to plan on vacation and just roll with it.

BEFORE YOU GO:
+ I have felt disheartened at the lack of engagement on this campaign that I'm involved in.  Why do you think it is?  Maybe social media is just not the best place to raise awareness on stuff like this?

+ After our vacation, I'm officially done with these for June!  Now, if only she would be done too!

+ Any down time, I spent reading this book for Blog book club this month.  It is such a page turner.  It helped for many of the hours of airport delays!

+ I read this article about making friends after 30 and thought it was really interesting.  Having strong friendships has always been a high priority for me.





Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Birthday for South Sudan


The past 18 months I have had a couple of opportunities to work with CARE.org, an amazing organization that helps with important worldwide issues including fighting poverty and empowering women and girls.  I accepted this "campaign" about South Sudan, and I am honored to do that- to campaign for these children and this country to receive the help they need.  I know that our lives are filled to the brim with lots of good things- with work and kids and family and holidays.  But I think it's really important that we try to be aware of the suffering of others- no matter how far removed from us it may seem.  There are easy ways to help and to give for those who are able.

South Sudan turns 5 in just a few days- on July 9.  It is the world's youngest country and was founded in a moment of hope for the future.  In 2013 armed conflict broke out, and the hope was quickly dashed.

A 5-year-old today in South Sudan was born into a peaceful county, but likely has memory of only war.  Since the war breakout three years ago, 2.3 million South Sudanese have had to flee their homes.  Today 5.1 million people in South Sudan (nearly half the country) are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.

Chianyal

Nyahok 

Zeieya

Above are pictures of beautiful South Sudanese 5-year-old girls.  One girl plays a game where she "pretends" to have toys.  (I read a staggering statistic the other day that the U.S. has 3% of the world's children, but buys 40% of the world's toys.) Another lived in a forest to escape fighting.  These girls live in huts and camps with little food, no water, and not much to hope for.

I KNOW THAT READING ABOUT THIS KIND OF STUFF IS HARD.  I know it's easier to shut off the computer than to read about the plight of these children.  But ignoring it doesn't make the situation go away.  CARE is an amazing organization that is doing so much to help these people and I really really encourage you to get familiar with their website and find easy ways that you can help too.   I promise you will be motivated and inspired after seeing their website.  This is a real company that is doing lots of real good out there.


For a brief overview of the situation in South Sudan, this video explains it so well.



This post is sponsored by CARE but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
I'm grateful for the opportunities I have through blogging to work with companies and brands.  I'm always excited when I can get you pumped about diapers or lipstick, but my campaigns for CARE are the ones that I am most proud of and that I feel like are really making a difference in this world.  Thanks so much for supporting me and supporting this amazing humanitarian effort.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

My Next 30 Years

Last week I turned 30.

30!

It feels like a really big deal to me.  A new decade.  My entire 20s, gone forever.

Every year I read The Great Gatsby with my juniors.  Nick, the narrator, realizes after a particularly horrific day, that it is his thirtieth birthday.  He's very optimistic about the future:

Thirty – the promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning brief-case of enthusiasm, thinning hair.

Luckily, I am not as depressed about entering my thirties as Nick seemed to be.  In fact, I am pretty ready for 30.  A lot of friends have said to me, "Isn't it the worst, turning 30?  So old!  No longer young and carefree."  I beg to differ!  I'm ready to be done with my twenties!

My twenties, probably like most people's twenties, were quite the ride  Lots of ups and downs.  Turbulent.  Maybe even tumultuous.  They were fun, but they were also heartbreaking.  It was new and exciting, but also unpredictable and inconsistent.  In my twenties I...

- Studied a semester in Hawaii
- Served an 18 month LDS mission in Argentina
- Lost my dad
- Dated and undated many, many losers
- Graduated from college
- Started my first real teaching job
- Met my future husband
- Married my husband
- Bought my first home
- Became a mom

That's a lot of big life changing events for one decade.  Too many.  I look at it and I feel tired.  Which is not to mention the many moves, the many places traveled to, the cars totaled...

The summer I turned 20

I look back at who I was at 20 and who I am at 30 and, gosh, I'm grateful for who I am at 30.  There was so much good and so much joy in that decade, but there was also unbelievable heartache and sorrow.  More than I thought I could endure at times.  I suspect if I met 20 year old Bonnie I would think she was annoying and immature and self absorbed. (But fun! 20 year old Bonnie had the fun on lock down!)  At 20, I had hardly any life experience;  I hadn't been though any thing difficult yet.  But during my twenties I sweat (sweated?) through the jungles of Argentina far from anyone I knew, I said goodbye to my dad too soon, I faced trials and struggles in my family and marriage.   I consider myself a strong person because of these experiences. I'm proud of what I've come through and what I've learned this past decade, but I wouldn't want to experience it again!  I remember a boyfriend at 20 asking me what the hardest thing I had ever been through was, and I felt so dumb because I couldn't even think of anything, "Uh... taking the ACT?"   I should have said, "give me a decade.  I'll have an answer for you then."

With all that being said, I am looking forward to my 30s!  I feel like the best is in front of me.  In my 30s I'm excited to:

- become a better teacher, find new ways to make information interesting to students, reach out to students to know how much they matter.
- have more babies!
- pay off our home (fingers crossed!  This is a big goal for us.)
- listen to good music
- have lots of good sex
- get a minivan!  (?!?!)
- grow spiritually
- understand who I am
- forgive and be forgiven often
- read so, so many good books
- travel and see the world
- teach my kids how to be kind and honest people
- grow closer with my siblings and build strong adult relationships with them
- be vulnerable
- write about things that are important and interesting to me
- be more aware of others' hurts and struggles and do more to help
- hang out with my mom
- stop worrying about what people think of me
- buy less "stuff"
- have a personal relationship with my father in heaven
- eat good food
- take long, hot baths


Looking at that list makes me ready to jump into my 30s with no looking back.  I'll leave you with a quote from Thomas Mann, a much better than The Great Gatsby one,

"At thirty a man steps out of the darkness and wasteland of preparation into active life. It is the time to show oneself, the time of fulfillment." 

30th birthday!

Thank you to all of you who have read this blog and who send love and support to my little family.  I saw a blog reader this week (actually on my birthday!) in a restaurant and she was so nice and sweet and I felt honored that someone like that would read this blog.  You know me a lot better than I know you, and sometimes I think that's unfair.  I wish we could all go to lunch or all sit around at a book club and you could tell me about your kids and your jobs and your hopes for your 30s! (or 40s or 50s or 60s...)


A COUPLE OF THINGS AT PARTING...

- I cannot keep these on June!  Any suggestions?  We're getting desperate over here...

- If you share my goal to be more aware of the suffering of others and do more to help, here's a good starting place.  This is my third time working with CARE and they are an amazing organization.  Please check out this important cause in a war torn country.