The Life of Bon: September 2012

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Why I will never make it as a fashion blogger.

It's a hard thing to have to admit to yourself, but I've got to do it.
I am never going to be a fashion blogger.
Recently, out on the town with Hubs, he said to me, "You look cute tonight.  I like that outfit."  And I said, "By golly!  You're right!  This is a cute outfit!  We must take pictures of it so that I can post it on my blog and people will think I'm cute!"
So I threw the camera at Hubs and demanded he take a picture.  He took one, then looked at it, and said to me, "You're just posing really weird."
I looked at the picture, and I was, indeed, posing weird.
What, eyes closed, hands back and twisted in a freaky double jointed way doesn't make me your fashion idol?
And those are yellow tights.  NOT jaundiced legs as has been confused by some.
So I said, "Hubs!  Take one more!  I'll act normal I promise!"
He took it and then said as he handed over the camera, "I don't know, Bon.  Now it just looks like you're saluting our country."

And that's when I just stop trying and let someone else take over for me.  I've clearly still got a thing or two to figure out in this whole blogging world, so while I'm off educating myself, enjoy a little article about why Australians are weird.  Yes, that is what the following post is about and yes, you may thank me later for it because this girl is hilarious.  Next time I go to Australia I've got my tour guide/travel buddy/bff  all picked out!

Hello lovely Life of Bon readers, it's Samara from The Secret Life of Samara and I'm joining you from all the way over in cold, cold Australia. I'll type really loud so you can hear me from America. (I considered taking this joke out because it was so lame, but then decided against it. I will live to regret this decision, I just know it.)

I'm going to start off today's post with a slight confession- I get super excited when I guest post on blogs in America. Really excited. But not for reasons you may imagine. I get excited because it means I can post a status on Facebook telling all my friends that I have posted on a blog over in America and then they think I'm some hot shot blogger (even if the reality is that I write the majority of my posts in my pyjamas and get stupidly excited when my followers go up by just one). Australians really don't understand the blogging community at all. Gosh, it even took me an embarrassing amount of time to figure out what link up parties were and what GFC stood for, it was like a foreign language. I really can't understand why it hasn't taken off as much as it has in America. But to be honest, there are many things I don't understand about Australians. So many things that I made a list. Because I like lists and I like sharing my lists with goes.

Things I don't understand about Australians.

1. Where our accent came from.
We were settled by the British yet sound like we've been put in slow motion when we speak. Such a long draaaawl. Do we speak slower because the heat has sapped all of our energy? Or because we really are that relaxed?

2. Why we are so short
I wrote this blog post about the amount of comments my husband and I get whenever out in public about his height. You see, he is 6"8. It would seem like no one has ever seen anyone of that height in Australia as we end up having so many gawkers and people making comments all the time. After writing this post I had a whole heap of Americans say that people don't tend to notice height in America- is this really true??

3. Our obsession with big things (including my giant husband)
I have been to the Big Lobster, the Big Orange, the Big Rocking Horse and the Big Koala. All around Australia there are big every things- pineapples, bananas, sheep- you name it, we've got it. We love anything giant sized. I don't understand it really but some how find myself sucked into the trap of wanting to visit them. Next on my list is the Big Pineapple in Queensland.

4. Why we go overseas but then just end up in the Aussie Pub
Guilty as charged. Do Americans do this? Go overseas just to find yourself hanging out at Maccas? (do you call it Maccas? Or is it McDonalds?)

5. Why we shorten every word
My name is Samara but I constantly have people calling me Sam. I don't mind too much however sometimes I feel like I am being a kill joy by making someone say my whole name. We also shorten other things too- sandwich is a 'sanger', sausage is a 'snag' and Australians are "Aussies". I think this is just our laziness coming out!

Is there anything about Australians that baffle you?

 Come on over to my blog and see what life is like in the Land of Oz. Or to see pictures of my rabbit Nibbles. She's adorable and well worth the visit.


Hey, Bonnie here.  Samara, since you said we could ask questions, I'm going to ask one.  Why are all Australians so good looking?  Hugh Jackman and Heath Ledger and Chris Hemsworth?!?  All from the same blessed country?  How do you guys do it down there?!?  Hubba Hubba!

Now go say hi to Samara!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Questions for God

I once heard someone say that there is much more equality in human suffering than we realize.  That no one is spared.  That everyone is tried at some point, at some time, in some way.

I don't know if I agree.  I would like to agree.  Heavens knows I would like to believe that my suffering is neither greater nor less than the suffering of those around me.  That it all evens out in the end.

But I guess that I have a hard time believing this when I read my students' journals.  One prompt they were supposed to answer was, "What's the most difficult thing you've ever been through?"

Students poured their hearts out to me. 

One student openly told me of when he "came out", and the bullying that has ensued in his life ever since- the threats, the sneers, the jabs.

One student told me of her father who committed suicide.

One student wrote about being forced to live with his mom's abusive boyfriend for four years and wanting to leave so bad, but being trapped there because his mom was so broke she couldn't afford to move anywhere else.

One student wrote about her experience taking her parents to the hospital because of alcohol poisioning.

One student told me of a deformity she has had since birth, and how throughout her life other students have tormented and teased her, mercilessly calling her ugly.

One student confessed to me that she was raped by her cousin and is now pregnant, but too afraid to tell anyone.
Then, there are other entries.

One athlete said the hardest thing he ever went through was football practice every day at 8 am in the summer.

Another admitted that not having a girl crush him back was his biggest trial.

And one girl.  One girl told me her most difficult experience was when she went with her family on a cruise and couldn't have her cell phone for a week.

How can I read these entries and truly believe that there is equality in human suffering?  How can I look at my students and see the ones who struggle so much, who are faced with unspeakable trials, and hold them accountable on the same level as those who have had easy, cushy, comfortable lives.

I admit, that when my dad died I was mad.  Mad at people who have never suffered.  In an instant I was admitted to the club that no one wants to be in- the club of those who have lost loved ones.  I couldn't help but look around at the people in my life and wonder why it had to happen to me.  Why do I, who have honestly tried my hardest to honestly be a good person, have to suffer this enormous grief when there are so many awful people out there who live easy, griefless lives.

Even now, I grimace when I hear people say things like, "Yah, I'm lucky.  Nothing really bad has ever happened to me."  I wonder what they are trying to prove by saying this.    That God loves them more?  Or are they just being insensitve?  Insensitive because they have yet to acquire the sensitivity that comes with immense grief and heartache?

As I look at my students and know of their trials and their struggles, I can't help but pray that God has it all figured out.  That there really is equality in human suffering like the say, and that He hasn't just dealt some a bad hand, while stacking others with nothing but Aces.

All I know for certain is this.  I've got some questions for the Big Guy next time I see him.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Risky Writing: Not being afraid of your readers


Lately I've been thinking a little about writing and the act of writing and what we write about and writing what scares us even though we are scared.

You with me?

These thoughts have been spurred on by this post that my blog crush, Taylor wrote.  (By the way, if you don't follow her, you need to.  She is 100% not your average blogger and her posts are like a breath of fresh air in the blogging world).

Now, I could have warned Taylor not to even touch politics on her blog.  I could have shouted from the hilltops that writing about politics or religion is pretty much asking to get run over by a bus full of mean blog commenters, but I didn't.  I let old Taylor find out by herself.

And did she ever!  Bloggers were a commenting, people were a ranting, and chicks were full on pulling out their pistols over the whole Romney/Obama debacle.

(VOCABULARY:  Debacle:  A complete collapse or failure.  Also one of my favorite words.  Try to use it in your regular speech and watch your life change before your very eyes.)

I was proud of Taylor when I read this.  I liked her post, and I liked the conversation that she had sparked.  Good writing should always spark conversation.

Taylor, however, seemed a bit alarmed.  People were demanding Taylor's head, and I guess Taylor has never written a confession about parking handicapped so she didn't know how mean blog commenters can be.  To win her readers back over, Taylor dedicated today's post to her "softer" side- trying desperately to convince internet meanies that she's not the crazy, sarcastic b%&#* that she pretends to be.

First off, I think people who post mean comments on blog are just straight up not good people.  What's the point?  If I don't like a book I don't take the time to write the author and tell him his book sucks.  I just don't read anything else he has written.  So why do blog commenters see it as their personal duty to notify any blogger the second they read something they don't like?

Secondly, I wanted to somehow sit down with Taylor in a coffee shop and tell her that what she was doing was spot on.  Of course I couldn't because I live in Utah and Taylor lives in Chicago and I don't drink coffee, but that's a whole different discussion, isn't it?  But what I wish I could somehow relate to old Tay Tay (Taylor, can I call you Tay Tay?!?) was that it was good if people disagreed and people said mean things.  Heck, it was even good if she lost followers over it. 

My theory is this:  You have to be willing to lose followers in order to really produce original, thought provoking writing.  You can't be afraid of the internet trolls, the mean commenters, the people who are going to disagree with everything you say.  You just have to realize that those people aren't who you're writing for and let them go find a nice blog where weekend recaps and Oh, so Pinteresting posts abound.

I guess Dan said it best in his post "How to lose 25,000 followers". He states, "Bloggers have to be willing to lose followers if they ever want to grow," and then he goes on, talking about how you can't live in constant fear of whether or not people will unfollow you because they don't like your content.

In May I sponsored a blogger who politey asked me three times to rewrite my post. My posts were too "controversial", "polarizing", and "inappropriate" for her blog. I had links to a post on birth control, a post about my students' threats to Justin Beiber, and of course, my favorite post describing my sophomore who confused whores with horse.  The blogger stated that she didn't want her blog to be a place where these "kinds of things are hashed out." While I, of course, respected that blogger's wishes, I was also surprised and a bit saddened that she didn't want anything on her blog that could spark the least bit of controversy. Where was the fun? Where was the spark? Where was the risk?

In June I cried over a blog post. I had written a post admitting that I had parked in a handicapped stall to run in to the grocery store for five minutes.  I thought it would spark conversation, get some people to comment.   

Oh, I got that alright.  And a little bit more.  My readers tore into me.  They were merciless.  Wanted me dead.  The comments were fast and furious.  Some were posted anonymously, calling me a liar, classless, and rude.  One commenter even compared me to "bean paste." The post had only been up an hour, and already I couldn't take the heat.

I moseyed on in to the bedroom, where Hubs was dinking around on facebook, and with tears in my eyes I said to him, "You need to read the comments on the post I just put up. I think I went too far." We clicked on over to my blog and read through the comments together.

Hubs said nothing.

"I'm going to take it down," I said with a hint of panic in my voice. "People are crucifying me!"

Hubs kept reading in silence. Then he said, "I don't think you should take this down."

"Why not?" I was scared. And vulnerable. And was literally on the verge of tears. People hated what I had written.

"I think it's good. I mean, I don't think it's good that you parked handicapped. But I think this reaction is good. People who are going to stop reading your blog over this would stop reading within time anyway. You can't be afraid to post stuff like this. You can't be afraid of your readers."

And so, I kept it up. Not because I wanted to, but because I wanted to make Hubs proud and convince him that I was a strong girl even though heavens knows I'm not.

The next day I put on a brave face and lectured my readers via blog post: BE KIND, PEOPLE! IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY, DON'T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL.

And more people responded.

I had more hits to my blog in that two day period than any other time during the summer. I lost a few followers, but I gained many more.  And I had emails up the ying yang of people asking if they could sponsor me.

That wasn't the only time I was scared to post something I had written.

I was scared when I wrote about birth control laws in Utah.
I was scared when I wrote about farts. (Mostly scared of my mom, I admit.)
I was scared when I wrote about my religion. (Terrified is a better term.)
I was scared when I wrote about about gay marriage.
I was scared when I wrote about our culture's attitude toward breast feeding.

But guess what? ALL of these posts are in my top ten viewed posts of all time. They might have caused some readers to go, but they caused even more to come and stay.

Good writing does not succeed or fail based on its ability to please. Good writing suceeds or fails based on its ability to engage. And if I've got 66 people yelling at me for parking handicapped, well, by golly, I guess I engaged them.

Do you think bloggers should write about things that scare them or keep it to sweet and simple posts?  Do you take risks with your writing?  What are your favorite type of blog posts?

Imma gonna kill my sister

I'm mad at my little sister.

Yep, that girl.  She looks all sweet and innocent, but she's not.  Don't be fooled by her snazzy smile.

You see, Mary is preaching the good word in Argentina right now.  About a month ago she really got my mom's hopes up.  She emailed mom and said, "Hey!  I'm coming home in January.  But first you should come pick me up and see Argentina with me."

Then my mom really got MY hopes up and said, "Hey!  I'm going to go pick Mary up in Argentina in January.  You should come with.  I'll even help foot the bill.  You like Argentina, don't you?"  (DO I?!?!  Only a little bit as can be seen here and here and here.)

My next step was was to clear it with Hubs who said, "There's no way I can get school off to go with you, but if you want to go I support you 100%." (Best Hubs ever!)

Final step was the boss.  I marched right up to that principal's office and said, "Hey!  You!  If I'm going to teach this extra class for you all year then I'm going to need some time off in January to go explore the jungles of Argentina and visit all my friends down there and don't you dare tell me no!"  

And he said, "Yah, yah, we'll figure something out for you, ya freaking drama queen!"

And thus the stage was set for an awesome time in Argy come January.

Until yesterday.  

Mary emailed and said this, "I think I´m going to stay till March 5.  And that means that it might be better for me to book it home and start studying for the MCAT...I´ve got to take that sucker in the middle of May."

MARY!!!  What the freak are you doing?!?  Like the MCAT is more important than me getting to go to Argentina.  Come on, here!

Don't worry, though.  I haven't been too deterred.  My new plan is to find $5,000 in buried treasure so that Hubs and I can go to Argentina in the summer to visit all my mission friends. 

You think I'm joking?  I'm not.  

You see this below?  This is the real deal.

This was the email I received last week:

Hi Bonnie, I wanted to ask if I could convince you to share with your blog reading audience an upcoming event called the "$5,000 Great Provo- Orem Treasure Hunt".

This is a completely free Adventure that is perfect for Couples, Families or Groups (scouts, Singles Wards etc.).

It is exactly what it sounds like - an actual Treasure Hunt for $5,000 hidden somewhere in Provo-Orem. The first person to find it, gets to keep it.

Clues as to the secret hidden location of the Treasure will start on September 28th. They will be given out on Facebook, Twitter and on our website at

There will also be an iPhone and Android app available to download the clues - both a free version and a premium version for 1.99 that gives the clues out a day earlier.

In addition to the grand prize of $5,000, there will be mini-hunts for smaller "Treasures", including cases of Coca-Cola, sets of Pass of all Passes to Seven Peaks and gift certificates to local businesses including Pizza Pie Cafe and

The idea from this came from my own experience 15 years ago with my wife (girlfriend at the time). We took part in a treasure hunt put on by KOOL-FM in Ottawa, Canada. We would look for the treasure after work every night, and whenever we stopped the car, we wondered if this was the spot we would find the Treasure. Our hearts would beat faster and we would race to scrounge around the area. As we drove from one spot to the next, we would have long conversations dissecting the clues and sharing with each other what we would do with the money if we found it. This lead to us talking about dreams and ambitions. I told her secret wishes and hopes that I had never told anybody else. This is something we still remember and talk about to this day - it is a wonderful memory we share.

To sign up, all you have to do is any of the following:

Add Provo Treasure Hunt as a Friend on Facebook
Follow @ProvoTreasure on Facebook
Send an email

You can even get an early clue by following the instructions here.


I politely emailed this man back and said, "No way am I sharing this with the people who read my blog.  I want the treasure all to myself!  Why would I tell other people how to get it?!?"

Then I had a little change of heart and figured, "Hey, maybe if someone who reads my blog actually finds the treasure they'll split the profits with me since I am the one that gave them the idea."  Genius?  I think so!

So get to work, people!  Get your clue from Duncan, the mysterious man who is starting this treasure hunt, and get searching!  You find the $5,000, you give me half of it.  Do we have a deal or do we have a deal?!?

But seriously.  I'm going to be busy this week searching for clues!  You should too!

Monday, September 24, 2012

I am the decision maker round these parts!

From here on out I'm making my students' decisions for them.

It's just they're not very good at making their own decisions.  AKA- they always choose wrong. 

I have one senior who has yet to turn in an assignment in the four weeks that school has been in session.  He's a sweetheart to me and always says what I want to hear, but I know it's only that.  Telling the teacher lady what she wants to hear so she gets off his back for good.  The poor kid is so deficient in credits that he has given up completely on the idea of graduation.  Instead he occasionally shows up to class, sleeps through our Othello reading, and never turns in assignments.  Oh, you poor fool.  Let me make your decisions for you.  Do your homework.  Stay awake in class.  Come after school to get help.  Please.

Or how about this kid who told me to F off when I took his cell phone away last year?  He proved himself by coming in to apologize and we've had a positive relationship ever since.  I was even excited when I saw he was on my rolls again for this year- heck, I'm rooting for the kid!

Today I found out he got suspended for beating the crap out of another student of mine.

Oh, please.  Seventeen year olds.  Let me make your decisions from now on.  I promise, I'll make better ones that you are making.

Makes me wonder how difficult it is for parents to watch their own children make bad decisions.  Or, on a grander scale, how difficult it is for God to watch his children screw up time after time after time and not just step in and make their decisions for them.  Must be tough to be God.  It's a gig I don't think I'm quite up for.

The good news is, not everybody makes bad decisions.  Like Danielle.  She makes very good decisions.  Especially blogging decisions.  When I read this post she had sent over to me I thought, "Well dang!  I wish I had written that!"  I mean, this chick has gotten it all figured out.  Plus, she's a fantastic writer.  And you know what?  I appreciate good writers.  And I appreciate people who make good decisions.  Hence... I appreciate Danielle.  Take it away, sweet cakes!

Hello, lovely readers of Life of Bon! I’m Danielle from the Pure Joy Blog and am thrilled to be writing this post… if you are reading it, I love you already.  No, really, I do! 

I don’t have any really cool talents or crafts to show you all so I thought I’d share with  you a little about me.  Also, I’m going to share with you a little about my take on each one of these things: Faith, family, food and fitness.  Why? Cause I love these things and they all happen to start with the letter F.  Catchy, huh?

I’m Danielle, a college student and nanny.  I am going to school to be a Physical Therapist because I love to help people.  I just started my blogging adventure a couple months ago and so far I love it.  Bloggers are just so sweet and welcoming (like Bonnie here!).  I'll just have to get my their/they're/there straight to keep it that way.  Random facts about me: I love Pinterest.  I do not like animals (go ahead, hate me now).  I love tennis shoes.  I judge people by their tennis shoes (oops).  I love cooking and scrapbooking.  I love to read.  My goal height is 5'7"-- which I have not reached yet.  People keep telling me it's no longer possible for me to reach it, but I just can't believe that. 


My faith comes first.  Loving God isn’t just about going to church on Sunday, it is a life-changing experience.  My blog is an attempt to put into practice these two verses:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance (James 1:2-3).
Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Now I’m just warning you: I am not doing this because I am the type of person who is happy and bubbly all the time, because, sadly, I am not.  Which is why this blog is such a good thing for me.  It helps me get perspective and be joyful instead of being a pessimist. 


These crazy people are my family.  My family is pretty weird sometimes.  Our favorite family movie is Series of Unfortunate Events (if you have seen this movie, you will understand our humor, if not, you need to watch it).  We go to bed extremely late.  On Friday nights, we stay up even later and eat massive amounts of food.  We fight a lot.  But most of all, we love each other.  All I can say is that if you have a family, please don't take that for granted for you are enormously blessed.

"Being part of a family means you are part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life."  


I LOVE food.  I could go on and on about food, but I’ll spare you.  But I will share with you my very, very favorite recipe that I made this summer. You're welcome.  If you are wondering what the heck a Panzanella is, don't worry, I didn't know either.  Basically, it is bread salad.  It’s perfect for summer, so hurry up and make it! (-:

Pesto Panzanella
6 cups ¾-in rustic bread cubes
3 heirloom tomatoes, in 1-in chunks
3 thin slices from a large red onion, quartered
3 tbsp. snipped fresh basil
3 tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 tbsp. basil pesto
(to make your own:
½ tsp sea salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Toast bread cubes on a baking sheet for 5-10 minutes at 450oFor until toasty and firm. Let cool.

Place bread in a large bowl with tomatoes, onions and basil. Stir together remaining ingredients, drizzle over the salad, and toss to coat.

*Note: I cut this recipe in half.  Also, I substituted balsamic vinegar for white wine vinegar.


My journey to fitness has been kind of weird.  I will start off by saying, I was the least sporty girl ever.  I played two years of soccer when I was little and I think I cried practically every game.  I did ballet for years and when I quit, didn't know how to stay in shape.  I mean, I couldn't just start working out, could I?? Luckily, my best friend was a total fitness freak (and now a wonderful fitness instructor!) and from her example, I joined the gym.  I got into it, seriously into it, so that I was even doing gym classes like Pilates and Boot Camp.  But I didn't run.  In fact, running for five minutes in Boot Camp was enough to make me throw up.  So when said best friend asked if I wanted to do a 5K Mud Run with her, I thought she was crazy.  But you know what? I wanted to.  I started running with my mom and we ran every single day that summer.  At first, we could only make it a couple minutes without doubling over.   But we got better and better.  I did the Mud Run, which was a gloriously dirty run combined with obstacles IN THE MUD.  So. Much. Fun.  Two years later, I am still running.  I have done a 10K and am running another one at the end of the month.  The moral of this story? If I can run, you can do anything.  Cause I never, ever thought it would be possible. 

A moment of personal triumph for me.  Covered in mud (-:

So there you have it, me condensed to a blogpost.  Now come by and say hi at!  Can't wait to hear from you all!

JOYfully yours,


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hello Fall. You again.

First things first:

Get yer sponsor spots now!  Hurry while they last!  Get a move on it, I'm telling ya!

I've got just a few spots left for October sponsorship.  Check out your options and then send me an email at to confirm your spot.  I do believe you'll be downright pleased by how affordable spots are!

Moving onwards...

I've always hated fall.  When I was a little girl my dad would say that it was his favorite season and I would stare back at him in shock.  Crazy old guy.  Doesn't have a clue in the world.  How could his favorite season be fall?  It means winter is coming!  It means school!  It means summer is as far away from us as it possibly can be! 

It's just... let's do I describe my love for summer?  It has always been... Intense.  Passionate.  Overbeating.  Bordering on obsessive.

When other girls scribbled "I love Brad" in their notebooks, I scribbled "I love summer."  And it is due to this fierce loyalty to June, July, and August that I saw anything that followed it as an immediate threat to my happiness.  Something that was never to be encouraged or enjoyed, rather it was to be loathed and detested.

Summer was swimming and vacations and no school and sun tans and sleeping in and it was everything I loved.  Fall was an end to all of those things and the beginning of school and homework and early mornings and shorter days and cold weather.  Each year with the first changing leaves, I would grieve.  This marks the real end of the summer.  Even the trees know it now.

For three years in a row, I went as far as to skip out on fall completely.  In 2006, I fled to Hawaii for the fall and in both 2007 and 2008 I was in Argentina.  I didn't want to deal with the mourning process of losing summer again.  Instead, I ran away from fall to places of eternal summer and endless sunshine.

This year I realize an apology is in order. So, fall, here it is..... (you better enjoy it, you're only getting this once!)

I'm sorry. 

You see, I know now that I have long underestimated fall.  It is beautiful.  Suddenly I realize that gone are the 100 degree plus days, sitting in front of the fan trying to get cool, with an air conditioner that doesn't come close to doing the trick.  Gone are the sweltering cars.  Gone are the merciless sunburns. Instead the weather is in the low 80s, still warm and pleasant, and yet a far cry from the miserable levels of heat inflicted upon me in the summer.

Gone is the crazy panic of summer, the chaos, the urgency.  Fall has settled in as a much more simple, relaxed season.  Comfortable with itself.  Summer is insecure and has this constant need to please everyone, whereas fall makes no excuses and says simply "This is it. Enjoy it if you want."  If the seasons were entertainers, summer would be up there, center stage, juggling, dancing, singing, trying with all her might to get your undivided attention.  All the while, fall would be in the background just playing a pretty song on the piano, not really caring if you notice or not.

This September has been a sweet, dare I say, sublime, month.  I don't think there's been even an hour of bad weather, and the days continue to be long and inviting.  I can wear short sleeves or long sleeves, pants or a skirt, fall doesn't care.  He invites all of my clothes.  Fall is summer without its edge.  Without its harshness.  Without its demandingness. 

I've missed out on the beauty of 25 falls because I was too distracted grieving the passing of summer.  I'll always love summer and its craziness and spontaneity.  But now I love fall just as much.  And maybe more.  Say it's a change of heart.  Say it's a part of growing up.  But from here on out I'm a-welcoming fall with open arms.

(But to winter I say, my feelings haven't changed a bit, and I will always hate you.)

Hubs and me on our fall getaway to St. George

A fall evening drive to Wal-mart for groceries yielded this beauty.  Not bad, fall, not bad.

(Originally published September 21, 2011)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I Believe

I believe...

In being pretty.  In painted fingernails and long eyelashes and beautiful dresses.  I believe that every once in a while every woman should straight up feel like a million bucks.

I believe in laughing and laughing freely and even sometimes laughing when you don't feel much like laughing at all.

I believe in hard work and rewards.  I think good things come to those who wait, but I know that even better things come to those who don't waste time waiting and just get to work.

I believe in love.
I believe in marriage.
I believe in sacrifice, loyalty, trust, compromise, hard work, and letting go of pride.
I believe in saying sorry.

I believe that dreams can come true and that a dream is really nothing more than a big goal that requires so much work that it overwhelms most of us so much that it never becomes more than a dream.  I've always dreamed of being a writer, but the road seemed too long, the pathway too arduous.  I'll always be grateful for Hubs for encouraging me to chase my dreams, no matter how far fetched they first seemed.  It wasn't until I married Hubs that I dared to start blogging consistently.  I'm telling you now, it ain't no coincidence.

I believe in movie theatres and popcorn and an ice cold coca cola.

I believe in a God who is loving, forgiving, and understanding.  I believe in a God that does things we don't understand sometimes, but that doesn't do anything  that isn't absolutely necessary for us to become who He wants us to become.

I believe that my dad is still with me and is still a part of me.  I believe that he watches over me, protects me, laughs when I say something crazy to my students, and covers his eyes in horror when I run a red light.

I believe in the power of prayer.

I believe in the power of words.  Their power to heal, change, and inspire.  I believe in literature, and Shakespeare, and even the power of this little blogging world.

I believe in friends.  In being friends with your family, and friends with your roommates, and friends with your husbands.  I believe in my work friends and my college friends and my blog friends.  I believe in spending time with girls because those boys just straight up don't get it sometimes.

I believe that people like you based on how you make them feel.  The key to having a lot of friends is making people feel good about themselves.  You make people feel good about themselves, and you'll have a pack of friends following you around for life.

I believe in the power of serving others.  Of forgetting yourself and going to work.  I believe in my mom and her incredible example of strength and love and trust in God.  Of kindness and generosity and always having a warm, open heart.

I believe in honoring your parents.  I also believe in finding out what YOU believe, in gaining your own knowledge, and making your own choices.  I'll always be grateful to my parents for letting me do that.

I believe that if you're not playing a game with the intent to win a game, why are you playing it at all?

I believe in a diet coke to get you through the day.  If the first diet coke is cracked at 8 am, well by golly, I believe in that too.

I believe in quiet time... in finding time alone with God, time to think, time to be grateful, time to study, time to read, time to ponder.

I believe in loud time... in football games and dance parties and big, obnoxious groups of people having a good old time.

I believe that everyone should at one time visit a third world country.  That we should all make the effort to see the rest of the way the world lives and them come home and never complain about the color of our carpet again.

I believe in cooking on the grill and homemade ice cream and Sunday dinners with the family.

I believe in beautiful weather being a gift from God and in the quiet beauty of a Thursday evening home alone.

(This is a link up... I stole the idea from Erin.  Go link up.  And if you don't know Erin you need to.  She's a blogging mastermind.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Who wants a jug of hand sanitizer?!?

Listen.  I ain't no complainin' sissy pants little girl.  But right now Imma gonna complain.  You were warned.

Just who in the h-e-double-hockey-sticks is the PTA president at my school?  Today the office sent us a mysterious email, "The school has a  back to school gift for all  teachers.  Please come during your prep period and DON'T send an aide.  YOU need to come to pick the gift up."

Holy meatballs you're telling me that for once in my life my school is going to give me something?!?  Now, just to clarify, for those of you used to the El. Ed. gift giving mentality, it is not quite the same for high school teachers.  In short, we get a total shaft.  I've never had a gift from a student, not even at Christmas (Unless you count the diet coke my student tried to bribe me with to erase a tardy.)  When the faculty does get gifts, they're always super crappy gifts.   Last year during Teacher Appreciation week, my BFF who is an El. Ed teacher was getting Cafe Rio gift certificates, jewelry, and even a free massage.  What did I find waiting for me in my box?  A 25% off coupon to Dress Barn.

COME ON, PEOPLE!  Do I look like a woman who shops at Dress Barn to you?!?

Then, at the end of the year last year, all teachers were given a thank you gift- a brown paper sack with a tag that read, "Thanks for being such a "goodie" of a teacher."  Inside was a water bottle and a granola bar from Costco.  I don't know about you, but I don't exactly consider bland camping survival food to be "goodies."

I guess given the school's history, I should have known they would once again bestow on me the world's crappiest gift.  But I didn't know.  I pranced down excitedly to the office, stoked to pick up whatever little gift the school had in store for me.  Flowers?  Gift certificate?  Chocolates?!?


A huge jug of hand sanitizer.

I guess I am just that good of a teacher that I deserve my very own lifetime supply of hand sanitizer.  Get a close look at that tag they attached to it- it's quite clear that they were being serious about this whole debacle.

Moving onward...

I realized today that I am not the only one in this world getting gypped.  My readers are also getting royally worked over.  Everybody else's blog at least gives a piece of fashion advice here and there.  At least ONE cute outfit post.  All except my blog! I have not one fashion post (unless you count this one, but I hardly call that fashion) and instead my poor readers just have to hear me complain about how my school doesn't give me cool gifts.

Woe is me.
Woe is my readers.
Woe is everyone.

So, to help you guys feel less gypped about the whole fashion post thing, I have brought in a lady who knows her stuff.  I like Cami not only because she dresses well, but because she dresses well and on a budget that some of us can actually afford.  I might stare at The Daybook all day long and admire Sydney's fashion sense, but let's face it, I could dress that great too if I had her budget.  Cami is a down to earth fashion blogger- shows us how ALL of us can look great without breaking the bank.



I am excited to introduce myself to you today! I am Cami... the girl who does it CHEAP!! Yes, Cheap, not affordable or good value... plain old cheap! 

Sporting a classic black and white style today... I wore this to the office.  I think it's safe for summer, fall, etc.  Sometimes, you just need to remember the basics, right? 

Plus, polka dots... hello?  Need I say more?

Come check out my little corner of the cyber world... I think you might like it... or your money back!

Shirt: Express (old), Skirt: Ann Taylor (thrifted), Shoes: Target, Necklace: Old Navy (old)

Hope you guys are having a great week.  Thanks for checking out Oliviamoone!! See you there!!

Now go check her out already!  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Men with eyeliner: Yes Please!

Last night was the closing night of Hubs' most recent show, Cato.

I went to see it once.  Or twice.  Or something like that because I'm a good wifey, dang it!  Now, I consider myself pretty smart when it comes to reading and understanding literature, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I wasn't lost for most of the play.  I have poor listening skills, and that's the straight up truth.  If I could have read the script, I would have understood it perfectly, no freaking doubt.

Turns out it didn't much matter if I understood what was going on, because I just stared at Hubs and the glowing red hair of his all night anyway.  I don't want to be the one to say it, but I am doubting any of you will, so I'll go ahead.  

Hubs looks hot with eyeliner.  There.  That's out there.

Yes, the man keeled over in a blue toga is holding on to his intestines.  We ain't messing around with our classical theater around here.

During the last scene of the show, which was performed outdoors, we heard a shot.  Much to our surprise in the audience, a man burst through the set, followed by two policemen.  The guy bolted back stage with the hefty looking coppers at his heels.

It was weird.
It was confusing.
And it was definitely not part of the show.

Throughout all of the insanity, the actors tried to maintain their cool, going on with their lines like this kind of craziness happened on the daily.  Hubs missed his cue, and there were a few moments of awkward silence where everybody tried to compose themselves, but after that it was all business like usual.  Huzzah!

After the show, Hubs was upset and so naturally he unleashed a long ranting vent of complaint to me. (How's that for adjectives?!?)  It wasn't the first time the man had tried to "sabotage" a show- a year and a half ago this same theater student had gone on stage during one of Hubs' comedy shows and thrown a huge block into the audience.  He had about dang near killed us all with that crazy stunt.

Hubs was mad that this guy was allowed to be a theater major.  Mad that this guy was allowed on campus.  Mad that this guy was so inconsiderate to purposely try to ruin a show like that.

And then some words of wisdom were spoken from Sammy, a mentally disabled and sweeter-than-sugar cast member.

"Greg," he said slowly, "You can't be upset.  Don't be mad at him.  You have to forgive him."

And then, he added one more thing.
"You just need to pray for him!"

Amen, to that brother.

Makes me think how much better off I would be if every time I got upset with someone I said a prayer for them instead of complained about them.

There'd be a lot of praying at my high school, I can tell you that much.

Monday, September 17, 2012


I hereby present to you....


Didn't Deidre do an amazing job?  It is seriously just what I want.  So simple.  So clean.  So freaking legit!

Say goodbye to this bad boy.  We are officially parting ways forever.

Here's what happened.  I desperately needed a new blog design.  Desperate as in "I've had this same design for ten months and although I loved it at first I am now so sick of it that I could literally projectile vomit all over my computer screen every time I open my laptop" kind of desperate.  Yah.  It was bad.

So, I posted a frantic and desperate facebook message, "HELP PLEASE!  I need a blog designed cheap and fast!"  The fast part was important.  The cheap part even more important.

I got back a couple of offers of blog designers who were cheap.  I looked at a couple of sample blogs and was narrowing in on a decision.  Then Deidre told me she'd do it for free because she's just that gosh darn nice.

And hey.  Free is always better than cheap, am I right or am I right?  (Hubs once told me I'd walk away with a bag of used toilet paper if I thought it was free.  Hmmm....)

So I said, "Deidre!  You bet your sweet bippy that you've got yourself a deal!  In exchange for your free blog design I will... think you're real great!"  And yes, I admit someone got real screwed on this deal, but I'm not going to say who...

And so, Deidre did her amazing free work and by golly, you'd never know the blog design was free from the looking at it.  Deidre, my dear, you have out done yourself and I simply cannot thank you enough!

Does this lady deserve a round of applause or what?  Let's give her a round!

In other news, a student from last year saw me in the hallway for the first time this school year.  He yelled out to me as I scurried down the hall to retrieve my copies, "Teacher!  You went blonde?!? Huge mistake!  You were way hotter brunnette, just to let you know!"

Uh... thank you?  Kids these days!  Just where do they get their nerve?

P.S.  Do you notice those super professional looking social media buttons on the top right side bar?  Do those things look amazing or what?  Now you can follow me any way you want because it's that freaking easy!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A story about being awkward.

Good news guys.

I'm not socially awkward anymore.

I first feared I was growing socially awkward last spring.  After attending a blogger meet up, I came home, flung myself on the couch and bemoaned in an overdramatic voice to Hubs, "I don't even know how to talk to people anymore!"

The blogger meet up had been my first ever- hosted by Elisabeth and Brooke in March.  While I had been blogging consistently for months at this point, I still felt like a liar in the term "blogger."  Wouldn't these people know I was a scam?  Wouldn't they suspect that I wasn't a real "blogger" at all?    (And while we're on that subejct, I still feel uncomfortable in the term "blogger."  Does anybody else?  I feel like I'm just a blogger wannabe and surely everybody is bound to catch on that I ain't the real deal.  Why is this?!?)

I had no idea how to act at that blogger meet up.  I had read a few of the blogs of the girls there, but I had no idea what was appropriate to say to someone you had only stalked online.  Several girls I didn't know at all- would they be offended if I openly admitted that I hadn't read their blogs?  I also wondered who had read my blog.  What information did these women already know about me?  Could they all see straight through my soul?  I've always taken comfort in the fact that I can remain unknown at get togethers if I choose, I could remain quiet and anonymous.  But suddenly I couldn't.  There was no where to run to.  Nothing to hide behind.  I was exposed.  Raw.  Vulnerable.

I coped with this in the only way a normal, scared "blogger" can be expected to.  I ate a lot of cupcakes.  When that got old, I decided to try talking to some people.  I wasn't sure what to say to other bloggers so I awkwardly walked around the room saying, "Hi.  I'm Bonnie.  What's your blog?  Okay.  I'll read it," as I jotted down various websites on a dirty napkin.  After I had successfully obtained the address to her blog, I would then walk away from the girl unannounced, having no idea how to keep the conversation going.

After about 30 minutes of this I texted Hubs, "This is weird.  I'm coming home."
He texted back, "Why is it weird?  You should stay."

How rude!  Insisting that I stay at something that was obviously out of my comfort bubble?!?  THE NERVE OF THE BOY!

So I stayed.  I walked around the room, pretending to be busy, pretending to have an agenda.  I ate another cupcake.  I filled my water glass.  I acted very busy throwing a napkin away.

Then, I saw a girl standing at the doorway who looked every bit as uncomfortable as I was.  I approached her, and not having anything in mind of what to say to her I blurted out, "This is weird, huh?"  She laughed and admitted, "Yah!  I'm just trying to make it look like I'm not a loser."  I considered telling her she had failed, since I had approached her specifically because she looked miserable, but I thought better of it.  There we were, a couple of weirdies trying mightily to make it look like we were enjoying ourselves, but failing miserably.

Can you find me?  I'm on the right side of the room about three rows up.  I'm the only girl with her mouth wide open and her hands clasped to her face.  I clearly did not know how to handle the situation.

Fast forward to six months later.  Last week Elisabeth informed me that she was yet again planning a little blogger get together- this one a bit smaller and more intimate than the first.  My natural reaction was to not go to it.  To stay home and cuddle with Hubs and watch Criminal Minds.  But I know the importance of getting out of my comfort zone, and I want to have relationships with these blogger friends of mine, uncomfortable as it might feel at first.  My teaching friends help me cope with teaching issues, my married friends help me cope with marriage issues, so naturally I need to have blogging friends to help me cope with blogging issues.  (Have YOU ever tried explaining the blogging world to someone who doesn't blog?  Yah, they don't get it.  You gotta have blogging friends.)

So, I threw on some colored tights and a striped dress because surely that is what the blogging world would be expecting me to wear, and headed on over to this blogger meet up.

Only this time I wasn't awkward.

Correction:  I wasn't as awkward as I was the last time.

I managed to enjoy the night and especially enjoyed fun conversations with Brooke, London, and Deidre.  I didn't say anything idiotic and I didn't even have to send a rescue text to Hubs!  One blogger commented she thought my legs were very sickly until she realized I had tights on and I chimed in, "Yep!  That's me!  The girl with jaundice!"  The night progressed in that fashion- I cracked some jokes, I met new friends, and I even downed a $5 pina colada in record time.

That, my friends, is something worth celebrating.  And so, I DECLARE A TOAST!  A TOAST TO NOT BEING AWKWARD IN GROUPS ANYMORE!

Here, Here!

How do you act in groups of people that you have never met?  
Any secrets to make me feel less "awkward"?