The Life of Bon: November 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Why some things are

This week in blog land, a popular male blogger admitted to the blogging community and to the world that he is gay.  I have following Dan of Single Dad Laughing for awhile, mostly because it's kind of impossible not to.  Anytime he writes a brilliant post it's all over my facebook wall.  Yes, Dan I hear you laughing- laughing all the way to the bank, in fact.  You may have seen his "I'm Christian, unless your gay" post as well as his "16 ways I blew my marriage."  They run rampant on these interwebs of ours.

I was really surprised to hear that Dan is gay because he has been married twice (to women) and has stated repeatedly on his blog that he is straight.  He has always stood up for gays, but made sure to label himself a straight alliance.

Growing up in a culture that is so conservative, it has taken me awhile to figure out where I stand in the gay issue.  I was born and raised in the Mormon church- a church I still actively participate in and love with all my heart.  Mormons believe in marriage in the traditional sense- one man one woman.


Sometimes with the whole gay issue I wanna just put my head on the table, bang it repeatedly until someone takes notice and scream out, "Who even cares?!?  Why does it matter if someone is gay or straight?  What difference does it make in my personal life?  Why is it my business if Jack chooses to marry a man or a woman?  And why are we wasting so much energy and thought and passion on something that is totally innocuous when you look at the big picture?  With all the damages, the evils, the suffering in the world, we are choosing to focus so much of our energy on this issue?  THIS one?!?  How about prostitution or poverty or world hunger or pornography or child abuse or nuclear warfare or alcoholism?!?  These are the real dangers our country is facing.  The real harm!"

One of my very very favorite gospel teaching is the concept of agency.  Because God loves us so much he lets us make our own choices.  He didn't have to give us agency, but He did.  I am so thankful to God for letting me make my choices- for letting me decide to become a teacher, for letting me say "Yes!" to Hubs' marriage proposal, for letting me pursue my love of writing.  How could I, as someone who values her agency so much, tell someone else that can't have agency because they would choose differently than I do?

Sometimes I wonder about the man upstairs.  He certainly has an interesting way of doing things.  There are a lot of questions I have for Him when I see Him (Why can't I carry a tune?  Why did you let me fail my 9th grade biology class?  Why couldn't I have been born 6 inches taller?) but I think my first question will be why He commanded his children to marry someone of the opposite sex but then only gave that desire to some.  It doesn't seem too fair that some people are automatically attracted to the opposite sex and some are not.

But then I just tell myself to stop worrying so much about it and just leave it up to God.  He knows what He's doing. This was never about me, it's not supposed to me about me.  So I'll just leave it in God's hand and trust that He has it all figured out.  Because He does.

One of my favorite quotes the last time I posted about this issue was from my college roommate and bestie, Sally.  She stated:

The New Testament is rife with stories that try to explain that God doesn't judge us all the same. The story about the talents - he gives some 10, some 5, and some 1...the story about the workers in the field that are called at different hours of the day...

I think the most important thing that we need to do is just show love and kindness. God does not ask us to be judgmental or cruel. He asks us to love one another. If we all had Christ-like love, I believe that God would bless us with the knowledge of why some things are.

Couldn't have said it better myself, Sal Sal.  I totally agree with Sally that if we were all more loving and accepting, God would give us more knowledge about why some things are.  

I guess I find it interesting that we sort of pick and choose the commandments we want to obey.  A couple of popular commandments, for example...  #1: God told man to marry woman.  #2:  He also told man to show charity, kindness, compassion.  To not judge, to love openly.  To be patient and forgiving and to do as to others as he would have them do unto him.  

Somewhere in our quest for keeping #1 and making sure that every other person in the country is in keeping with #1, did we forget about #2 completely?  Is there some kind of totem pole of commandments?  Some that are more important to keep than others?  Is #2 on the bottom of the pole, only to be followed if all the others are kept?  It's funny the emphasis we seem to be putting on #1, when #2 was the crux of all the Savior's teachings.  Not #1.

I often think about what kind of a world my children will grow up.  In many ways, I think it will be much worse than this world.  But in some ways, I hope it can be better.  I hope for a world of more acceptance.  More love.  More patience.  More understanding.  More compassion.

No matter who you are.
And no matter who you are attracted to.

If you like or agree with this post I would love for you to link it to your facebook or twitter. 
Ya'll are the best.  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

You oughta know

1.  I did my first "You oughta know" post a couple of months ago, back when the days were still long and my students were still bringing their pencils to class.  I liked it.  It was fun.  And strangely enough, it released a lot of crazy thoughts that are constantly flying around in my head and finally allowed them to rest on paper.

2.  Oughta is still not a word.  I think that's dumb.  

3.  Hubs is gone tonight (and will be pretty much every night until New Years.  Hello, rehearsals!) so I didn't have to worry about impressing anyone with dinner.  I am eating mini carrots, frozen pepperoni and an Eggo waffle.  Try not to clap too loud, okay?

4.  I am seriously starting to worry about my students.  My juniors just finished reading "The Crucible".  As part of their test they were to write an essay answering the question, "What commentary is Miller making about the role of women in the 1600s."  Easy enough, right?

The following is a thesis statement from one of my students:

"Along with women being stay at home mothers who cook and clean, women also minipulate you, and make shit up."

Word for word.  I kid you not.  And mom, I'm sorry about the S word. I just couldn't edit it out.  

And his conclusion.  Oh my goodness, his conclusion.
"So women?  they are very good at being a stay at home mom, cooking and cleaning.  They are also careless minipulating and lie for their benefit even if hurts others.  I think women now and then should be stay at home moms and cook and clean."

Now I've gotten a lot of weird things in essays before.  I have laughed and laughed at the things my students say.  I have posts and posts and posts dedicated to the hilarity that comes out of their mouths.  But this one takes the cake.  Well done, my friend.

5.  Getting a gym membership was the worst idea I ever had.  I feel guilty all the time.  Instead of just coming home and relaxing, I have to torture myself because I'm not going to the gym.  THEN when I do go to the gym I feel good for about 20 minutes the dread for the next day's workout begins.  It's a lose lose situation I tell you.  LOSE LOSE!

6.  I'm still trying to figure out Hubs.  He is so great at taking out the trash.  He always does it without me even having to ask, WOWZERS!  But he never replaces the liner.  Does he not know where the liners are?  Does he not know the garbage needs a liner?  Does he have a secret fear of the danger of plastic bags!?!?  Don't fear you guys, Private Bon is on the case.  I'll crack this one.

7.  I am convinced that the best thing that ever happened to fast food is sweet potato fries.  Thank you, Arctic Circle.

8.  Christmas music is awesome.  Seriously, we all know it is.  It makes me happy and festive and gets me feeling downright cheery.  But what is with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer?  Do we really have to listen to that as a legitimate Christmas song?  Can't we all just realize that it was some dumb joke by a bored song writer and stop playing it forever?  PLEASE?!?

9.  A student wrote in his journal today that he was excited to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a physical therapist/ professional golfer.  Am I the only one who thinks that slash is slightly out of place?  Since when did physical therapy get paired up with professional golf?  And how in the world could you ever manage them both?!?

10.  I realized the only two pictures I have on here so far are of food.  And that is depressing.

11.  So freaking proud of Hubs and his friends in his comedy club.  They had probably the funniest show I have ever seen them put on on Monday night.  Highlights included Hubs acting like a woman going into labor.  Strangely satisfying.  Hubs is all the way on the right.  I know what you're thinking.  Hubbidy freaking hubba!

12.  I ran two red lights today.  How many red lights did YOU run?

13.  My laptop totally crashed.  It got attacked by a virus disguised as an anti virus program.  Wow, those viruses are tricky!  I asked the tech guy at my school to take a look at it.  He didn't act too excited as he told me he charges $50 an hour to fix computers in his spare time.  I told him not to worry, we could trade services and I would help him write thesis statements.  He didn't seem too stoked about that. RUDE.  Listen guy, my skills are just as valuable as yours!

14.  Somehow I have rebelled against every anti animal fiber in my being and fallen helplessly in love with my mom's toy poodle, Buddy.  I have always prided myself in hating dogs, and yet I let this little dude follow me around everywhere.  I even taught him some tricks.  Ah, what is the world coming to?!?  Everything I once knew is lost.

15.  If you are visiting from Jenni's or Taylor's blog, WELCOME!  So happy you stopped in.  Please leave a comment, get cozy, and stick around.  I won't mind a bit.  Buddy might.  But I won't.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Greatest, Grandest, Hippest Read-A-Thon On Earth


I hereby declare today Teacher Appreciation day.  I'm a teacher and I appreciate things!  I also like to be appreciated, dang it!  So here, here!  Teacher appreciation day it is!

In honor of teacher appreciation day, I wore heels and red lipstick to school.  Wow!  Aren't I a rebel? Then I took really crappily taken photos of myself trying to use the tv monitor as a stand.  THEN I realized why I will never ever ever be a fashion blogger.  Like ever.

THEN the principal decided to pop a squat in my classroom. I have a conversation with this man about once a year. I like to consider myself a low maintenance high output faculty member, so I try not to bother him. He's got 100 teachers to look after (there are literally 100 teachers at my HS!) and 1000 whining parents. So I just try to keep quiet and hope that the quiet wheel gets the recognition? Or something like that?  Anyway, you can imagine my surprise when he popped his head in my classroom.  Guess he wanted me to know he appreciates me?  Either that or he heard I was selling pot in my classroom and had to come down to check it out for himself.

In honor of teacher appreciation day I treated myself to an ice cold diet coke.  It tasted like manna from the heavens going down my throat.  Oh, wait.  I do that every day.

Also in honor of teacher appreciation day, I let my students wear their pajamas to school and lay on the floor and read all class period.  Wait.  This was actually last week, but does it really matter how/when/why/where this all took place?

FINE.  You people sure are pushy, you know.  I will tell you how this whole reading pajama fiasco came to be.  Although from here on out I will refer to it as the Greatest, Grandest, Hippest Read-A-Thon On Earth.  You have been warned.

A few weeks ago in class we were discussing good old Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye and how he drops out of school even though he is brilliant.  This led us to a discussion of things that kill our natural love of learning: too much homework, pressures, classroom enviornment, boredom, etc. 

A girl chimed in, "Whatever happened to read a thons?!  I liked learning in elementary school because we did fun things.  Reading wasn't at a desk and it wasn't hard and stressful... we got to read under our desks and eat food and wear our pjs."

Bing.  Lightbulb.

I pondered the idea for about a week, silently mulling over the possibilities.  Could I really let my students do nothing all period but read?  Would this really fly? 

I decided What the Hey and I gave it a go.  "Wear your pjs tomorrow folks, we're having the Greatest, Grandest, Hippest Read-A-Thon On Earth!"  They rolled their eyes at me and gave me looks that said they were too cool for my lame, old school slang.  But they showed up the next day with pillows and snacks, sleepers and books, sodas and blankets.

Game on.

The Greatest, Grandest, Hippest Read-A-Thon On Earth worked like a freaking charm.


There's a teacher somewhere in the mix of those ruffians.  Can you find her?

Also, so you can all feel sorry for me, the above picture is exactly HALF of my fourth period class.  There are 20 kids in the picture, 40 kids in the class.  CURSE YE, UTAH CLASS SIZES!

P.S.  I am trying out different photo editing programs.  Can you guess what picture was edited?  I suppose you could say I ain't no good at it... but it's a work in process, people.  Anybody want to do a guest post on my blog about how to edit photos?  The Bon Bon needs some help.  And yes, I just referred to myself as The Bon Bon.  Time for bed.

P.P.S.   The answers from the post on Monday:  The top four things that couples fight about in order are: 1.  Money 2.  Family (Kids and in-laws) 3.  Sex  and 4. Responsibilities/ chores around the house.  Y'all are too smart.

Monday, November 26, 2012

"The other kids won't be quiet"

First day back to school after Thanksgiving break and I can look you straight in the eye and tell you with confidence that I was none too happy to be there.  I have a weird relationship with my job where I absolutely hate it when I"m not there, and when I'm there I actually quite enjoy it.  Make sense?  Let me try to explain.

Sunday night the dread started to set in.  The "I-have-to-set-my-alarm-clock-for-the-crack-of-dawn-and-go-to-work-and-deal-with-horny-teenagers-all-day-tomorrow" dread.  Once class started I was good to go and loving life and all of a sudden it was 4:26 and I was driving home and I had another successful day of teaching under my belt.  Make sense yet?

Whatever.  It didn't need to make sense.  What you need to know is that I like my job no matter how much I complain about waking up early (curse the superintendent who declared teacher's hours start at 7 am!) and overall I am completely entertained by the little rascals.  Take this for instance.  I received the following note in my mail box.  It was signed anonymously.

I couldn't help but get a good laugh out of this.  "Even though the other kids won't be quiet"?!??!  What the crap, kid, you dissing on my classroom management skills?

Now, I'd love to stay and entertain you more with the antics of 17 year olds, but I have to go to Hubs comedy show and I still have a dinner to burn.  Oh wait, I already did that.  What I'm trying to spit out is time of the essence.  In honor of my post last week about babies, I have a good friend of mine, Rachel, here to share her beautiful birthing story.  (Whaddya think?  Is she trying to convince me?)  I was actually roommates with Rachel's brother's wife in college.  So chew on that!  Chew.  On.  That.

Oh, hello there Life of Bon readers! I'm super excited to be guest posting over here today!
I'm Rachel, and I blog over at Her Threaded Needle. Sometimes I blog about crafty things I make, and other times I blog pictures of my cute kid, or write posts on motherhood (and baby #2 on the way!). Because I can post whatever the heck I want to over there, it's my blog! Other important information you need to know: I really like cheeseburgers. Pop on over and say hi! Stay awhile. Because maybe we're kindred spirits, after all!

I asked my mother once if she loved all her babies the same.  She has this thing she does, you know, where she says "you're my favorite" to each of us.  But I wanted to know if she loved her first baby the best, just a tiny bit more than the rest.  She said she loved us all, and of course she does.  I don't know, you see, how you love other babies, because I only have one tiny man.  But I think first babies are special, and not just because I am one.

First babies are special because their birth is the birth of a mother.

It's funny; the changes that happen to a mama when she is born.  A baby, a precious, tiny, new baby, and a mama.  One grown inside the other, two hearts beating in separate bodies now, but inseparably linked.

After I birthed my son, I laid him on my now-empty stomach, and looked at his perfect face.  And in those moments, a mama tiger grew, and filled the empty spaces inside me, and there.  A mama was born.

The tiger grew to protect my son with a fierceness I never before possessed.  I avoided conflict, and I always accepted authority figures- the doctors, the teachers, my parents.  The mama tiger was there to give me the strength to fight for my son, to research and pray, to listen and teach and guide as only I could.

My own mama told me it's a mother's job to be an advocate for her child; to go to bat for them while they're still so small.  To know when to stand between them and the world, and when to let the child venture forth on his own.  It's a difficult balancing act, I think, to know when to tame that mama tiger, and when to release her from her cage.

My Luke was born tongue tied, and the lactation consultant at the hospital told me to make sure to have his pediatrician look at it.  I did; he glanced at it and said it was fine.  My mama tiger was still very new, still growing and weak.  And what did I know about nursing and tongue tied babies?

By the time he was a few weeks old, he wasn't able to nurse any longer- it hurt his poor mouth.  So I pumped, and pumped and slowly he stopped being able to eat from the bottle too.  My poor baby would cry and scream from hunger; his tongue too tired to suck more than an ounce at a time.  I squirted milk from the bottle down his throat to help him.  It didn't help; he choked.

I consulted the doctor again.  It's fine, he said.
It's not fine, I said.  He is starving.
He's gaining weight.
He's starving.

Did you know it costs $300 for a doctor to take a pair of scissors and snip a baby's frenum?  That is more than it cost us to have our baby in the first place.  Our typically excellent insurance wouldn't cover it.  $300 is a lot, my husband said.  And the doctor says he doesn't need it.  We can do it if he needs it, but are you sure it isn't something else?

I was sure.  That mama tiger, she knows.  So back we went, for a second opinion.

His tongue is 90% tied down, this doctor said.  If you ever want him to be able to nurse, we need to snip it.
The first doctor said, well, if you're sure, we can do it.
So we did it.  The best $300 I ever spent.

10 minutes later, we were home.  We settled into my favorite green chair by the window, and we nursed for the first time in weeks.  The mama tiger purred triumphantly in my chest as I beamed over my little one, finally able to eat and fill his stomach. 

I slipped into motherhood easily with confidence born from this mama tiger.  There have been other battles since this, and there will be more to come.  I imagine this mama tiger will grow as my body grows more babies to love and protect.

because when a baby is born, so is a mother.
and I think, just maybe, they'll all be my favorites too.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Marriage: The good, the bad, and the fighting.

I would always like to know a lot more about people's lives than they are willing to let on.

Some might say I'm a busy body.
I say I have a genuine interest in people.

I'm especially interested in marriage.  And other people's marriages.  And how everybody in this great, big world make their marriages work.  Marriage is one of those things that I almost feel like people won't talk about very in depth.  Oh, don't get me wrong, people will talk about marriage, but it's always in these broad sweeping overstatements like "It just wasn't working out,"  or "We definitely have issues we don't see eye to eye on,"  or "Our marriage doesn't come easy, but we make it work."  In terms of specifics, what does any of that even mean?  And why don't people who have been married for years and years give more specific advice to us newbies in the field?

One thing I wonder about a lot is how other couples deal with disagreements.  In other words, fighting.  Do Hubs and I argue more than the average couple?  Less?  We definitely go through patches where it seems like we argue about anything and everything, and then there are patches where we live peacefully week after week after week, floating in a state of seemingly endless bliss.  Do all couples follow a pattern like this or is it just us?

Right now I am making a conscious effort to "bicker" less with Hubs.  You know, to stop picking fights with the boy.  Growing up, my siblings used to tell me that I just liked to argue, it didn't matter what the issue was, I would fight it to the death.  Of course I didn't believe them, they were all morons in my book, but as I have grown and married I have wondered if this is true.  How many times does it even matter what I am arguing and how many times am I arguing for the sake of arguing?  Or for the sake of being right?

I was recently at a bridal shower where we played "Family Feud" bridal style.  One of the questions was "What are some of the biggest things married couples fight about?"  and then the top four answers were listed.  Can you guess what they are?  (Answers revealed tomorrow!)

What do YOU and your significant other fight most about?  Do tell.  Do tell.

P.S.  I'm opening up anonymous comments on this, just for the sake of truthful commenting.  Post anonymously if you want or post as yourself, whatever floats your boat, people!

P.P.S.  I have one large spot and two medium spots left for sponsorship in December.  Email me at if you are interested.  (Sponsor info here)

P.P.P.S.  Happy Monday back from Thanksgiving.  Blah.  Double blah.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

All in the name of RISK!

Well guys.

I couldn't find my camera on Thanksgiving day.  Which means that I didn't get any pictures of the embarrassing abundance of food- of the potatoes and gravy, the rolls, the turkey, the cranberries, the stuffing, the jello, the salad, and the pie all whipped up effortlessly by my mother in law.  And all without sweating a drop!  We all know that the cardinal sin of blogging is to write about something without taking a picture of it, and so I suppose I am a blogging sinner for not having any pictures.  Forgive me?

Thursday and Friday were relaxing days with family where I thought not at all about blogging and even less about teaching and instead went in endless happy cycles of eat, sleep, movie, eat, sleep, movie.  We threw in a 1000 piece puzzle, a round of poker (Hubs cleaned us all out!), a bit of ping pong, and a jazz game and the weekend was complete.

Yes, the only pictures I snapped with my crappy camera phone were of a puzzle and a poker box.

Too complete in fact.  When Hubs had to come home today for rehearsal, my sister in law, Kylee, bribed us to come back up to Kaysville for the remainder of Saturday and Sunday.  "If you come back up, I'll even play Risk with you."

Kylee hates Risk.  She says she hates it for no in particular reason, but we all know it's because I win all the time.  Also, I have a snotty attitude whenever I play.

I stopped dead in my tracks.  "You want me to drive back up to Kaysville an hour and a half tomorrow night and drive back down an hour and a half on Sunday so that you'll play Risk with me?"

"Yes...."  She said slowly.

"I'll think about it,"  I answered.  You can't agree too quickly or else people will think you're some kind of Risk playing freak, and you can't let your sister in law of all people think that about you.  But I knew in my head that as soon as that offer was on the table, I'd be taking it, and taking it greedily.

We left Kaysville this morning, headed down to Provo for Hubs' rehearsal.  We packed our bags.  We said goodbye.  We left nothing in the house.  But I had a feeling.  A feeling that we'd be back in a mere matter of hours for some serious Risk.  

Hubs' rehearsal was supposed to go until 6.  When he texted me and said, "The rehearsal will end at 5" he unknowingly sealed the deal.  The boy would be playing Risk whether he wanted to or not.

I texted him back, real nonchanlantly, I mean people, we gotta remember what I said about not acting like a Risk playing freak, "I have to admit, now that you will be done earlier it is kinda tempting to go back up for Risk... thoughts?"

Hubs texted back, "I'm down."

And that is the story of how I drove three hours for one Risk game.  If I am first out tonight, so help me, I will kill every last family member.

Just kidding, Kylee.

There you have it, folks.  How to morph a Thanksgiving post that was intended to be about what you're grateful for, how many blessings you have, and how rich and abundant life is into a rant from a raving Risk lunatic.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Oh, baby, baby!

I've got babies on the brain.

I blame it on Jenni for this post.

I also blame it on a close family member of mine, Mary.  We were talking about a married mutual friend, and I asked Mary if the friend and her husband were planning on having kids any time soon.  Mary said something that struck me, "Nah... I don't think they'll have kids for another few years at least.  He would have a kid right now... but you know her.  She's always been kind of selfish."

I didn't say anything and the conversation continued on, eventually taking a different route entirely, but I was left with that phrase, "She's always been kind of selfish."  Did Mary also consider me selfish for not having kids?  Is anybody who isn't selflessly willing to sacrifice everything in her life for kids considered to be the exact opposite- selfish?

If I'm being totally honest with myself, I don't know when I want to have kids.  It is a thought that absolutely terrifies me.  For years I thought that as I aged, as I got married, as I matured in life, that this would be a natural step for me.  Something I eventually yearned for.  But I don't yearn for kids at all.  Instead the "someday" chant continues to ring in my head.  I yearn to yearn for kids, yes, but yearning in and of itself?  No.  I'm aware I ain't getting any younger, but still, I find excuses to put it off.

Sometimes I read blogs from women who want so badly to conceive and can't.  I know they are probably frustrated with God that He won't give them the babies they so badly want, but in the same strand I am frustrated with Him for not giving me the desire for babies that I so badly want.  Why can't I want to nurture and tend and cuddle and spoil and kiss?  Why do I have to want to work and run and wake up early and write and socialize?

A year ago, my cousi, who then had a newborn said to me, "Sometimes when my husband comes home from work I have to ask him 'What was the weather like today?' because I never got out of the house." 

That sentence scared the crap out of me.

And I suppose that is what it all boils down to.  Fear.  I don't yearn to have children because I am afraid.  Terribly afraid.

Things that scare me, just to name a few:

- I won't have a creative outlet
- My kids will drive me crazy
- I won't have any friends or socializing
- I'll stay in the house all day
- I'll have to give up my personal identity
- I'll resent my children
- I'll be bored
- I won't have opportunities for learning
- I'll be too strict of a mom
- I'll be too loose of a mom
- I'll ruin my kids' lives
- I'll try to live vicariously through my kids because I'm so bored.
- My relationship with Hubs will become stagnant
- My relationship with Hubs will become boring
- Hubs will only pay attention to the kids
- There won't be time for me and Hubs- only time for the kids
- I'll have to learn to cook a lot more dishes than I know now
. I'll never be able to escape from my kids.
- There won't be any alone time for just me.
- I'll stop reading books.
- The kids will suck up all my money.
- No more cute clothes.
- Body goes down the toilet.
- We'll never be able to enjoy vacations again.
- No traveling the world.

What say ye?  A pretty selfish list?  I admit, looking at all those reasons like this certainly doesn't make me look like no Mother Theresa.  What it does do, is make anybody who does decide to have kids look like a total saint.  Knowing that she will have to essentially sacrifice her entire life, how in the world does one woman ever decide to purposely become pregnant?  Do women really get pregnant knowing the lifelong consequences?

Heck, maybe they do.  Maybe the rest of the world is just less selfish than me.

A penny for your thoughts.

For more about my wrestling with the idea of babies go here.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monkeys. Cocoa. Girls. You get the idea.

Rumor has it I've got a handful of new folks reading around here.  And by rumor, I mean my stat page.  But you know, it's all the same.  Welcome and aloha and bienvenidos!  Every time I get a spurt of new readers I feel like I have to impress the pants off my guests.

Tap dance!
Hand stand!
I can touch my nose with my tongue!

Impressed yet?  Thought so.

The past week has been absolutely terrifying for me on account of every time I go out to my car I forget the fact that there is a huge stuffed monkey in the back seat.  You see, Hubs won this monkey at an amusement park a few months ago.  Last week, I decided to take it up to school in case any sixteen year olds needed a cuddle buddy during our read a thon.  (More on that later, but, BOY was it a party!)  I'm too lazy to take him out of the back seat, and so consequentially I have been having mini panic attacks every time I go out to my car and think there's a hairy man in the back seat.

Another point of interest.  THIS.

I'm going crazy with the flavored hot chocolates.  I can't help myself.  Every time I go to the store I pick up another.  CAN'T.  STOP. BUYING. HOT. COCOA.

Also, I feel like a pervert every time I say the word cocoa because growing up that was always the word my family used for a man's private parts.  Don't ask, people.  Don't ask.  Or do.  Maybe I'll write a post on it some time.

Oh, do you know what's awesome?  When it's Monday night and tomorrow is Friday.  Let your minds wrestle with that for a minute, will you?!?  That's what happens when you only have two days of school due to Thanksgiving break.  I wonder if I could convince Jordan School District that a two day work week and a five day weekend is actually a much more effective way of running  high school.  Wuddya think?!?

Alright, enough of these shenanigans!  It's time to get to bigger and better things in this post and those bigger and better things include four chicas that I am quite fond of.  Except for they're not exactly bigger.  They're all skinny minis.  Just better.  Send them some Thanksgiving love today- hey they already spoiled you by giving you free crapola in the giveaway... it's the least you could do!


I am Chelsea, a 20-something blogger and blog designer who is a proud Vancouverite living in Auckland, New Zealand. My favorite things in life are ketchup chips, my cute Kiwi boyfriend, cats, Hello Kitty, cats, kayaking, cats and coffee. And cats. But I'm not crazy ;) I'd love for you to pop over for a cuppa joe on my blog, not that my blog serves coffee or anything, so bring one with you. And come say hi! 


Hi! I'm Kate from Begin Anyway. I'm a first year high school librarian in a small East Tennessee town. Among other things, I write about getting arrested,  some of the perks of teaching, and far too many awkward moments thanks to students. I love drinking more coffee than I should and laughing at inappropriate times. I think we should be friends.


Hey everyone, I'm Paige and I blog at Eloping Stethoscope. I used to be "The Eloping Stethoscope" but like facebook, I dropped the the because that's what the cool kids do. On my blog, you'll find a bunch of nursing school stories and some adventures with my shiny new husband, Cody, so stop by and join the fun!


Hi! I'm Jen from over at Filling Up My Cup! I write to you guys the way I talk to my friends...on any given day I may cover cooking,fashion, motherhood, celebrities I'm BFFs with and everything in between. Basically, whatever is currently floating my boat! You never know what that may be but I almost always find the humor in it. I'd love for you to join me on this quest to fill up my cup!

And last but not least, we've got ourselves a giveaway winner to announce!  Congratulations Kelsey, you've just won yourself a crap load of free stuff!

And now, may you enjoy your holiday Tuesday, visit lots of new blogs today, and please, discuss with me why in the world my family found such a bizarre use for the word "cocoa"!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Today marks three years since my dad's death.

It is all at once dumbfounding and alarming how that much time has passed.  Wasn't it just yesterday he was video recording my sister and I laughing at the burger joint, just yesterday I was handing him nail clippers in his podiatry office, just yesterday I received long, detailed letters from him while I was serving a mission?

But it wasn't just yesterday.  In fact, by this point, it was thousands of yesterdays.

I always find it tricky to know what to say about my dad on this blog.  To know how to share that bit of my life with readers without it turning into a pity party or a sob fest.  To be vulnerable without making others uncomfortable.  I suppose I may say things that are too personal, but more than any other event, my dad's death has affected, shifted, alternated my life.  And so I suppose every year I will write this post that marks the numbers of years that have passed since he left us.  Because I love him and miss him and because so much about the way that I am is because of my dad.

In days that are especially difficult, when the pangs of missing are extra sharp, I think about what it would be like to see my dad again in this earth.  I'm not greedy- I wouldn't ask to have him back permanently.  But how about once a year?  How about a two hour lunch with my dad- a time to catch up, to feel how much he loves me, and to be daddy's little girl again?  What would I say to my dad if I could talk to him again, if I were to catch him up on everything about my life?

Dad- did you know I got married?  Of course you do.  I felt you there that day.  Did you know I'm a teacher?  Of course you do- I know how proud you are of how hard I work.  Did you know that I am writing regularly- and that hundreds of people read what I write?  I think you would be really proud of this.  Did you know that we all miss you so much even though sometimes we just don't talk about it because it's easier not to?  Did you know that last night mom and all your kids that could got together and Phil made your pizza recipe and we talked about the good old days and mom told us about when you two were dating?  Did you know that mom is so strong?  That she carries on and serves other and never feels sorry for herself.  I feel sorry for myself sometimes, but then I look to mom's example and remember that we have been so blessed.  Did you know that Mary is a missionary in Argentina and that all of your kids went on missions?  You left that legacy to us.  You always had that passion for sharing your beliefs, and did you know you passed it on to all of us?  Did you know that you have so many grandkids, and even two more on the way?  Did you know that a Mormon ran for president?  Did you know that we all carry a part of you, that all of your kids do things that they learned from you?  Did you know that we love you and miss you?

And yet, I suppose I could never really feel justified in asking for this.  I don't need a lunch date with my dad, because I already see him regularly.  My dad lives in the shadows of my life.  I see him, I feel him, I hear him oftentimes when I least expect it.  The times when I feel him closest to me are the times when I am doing the things he loved to do.  One morning in the summer I was staying at our cabin and woke up early to make french toast.  I was the only one awake and the sun was just beginning to shine its brilliant rays on us.  I stood there, in that kitchen my dad loved so much, where he laid the tile with his bear hands, feeling the early morning sunshine that he couldn't get enough of, and I felt him there with me, lurking in the shadows.

The other night I was watching a television program and the dog, Buddy, was sitting on my lap.  I needed to get a glass of water so I patted the couch next to me and said, "Hop off pop..."  telling the dog to hop off of me.  I was immediately taken aback.  Where had this phrase come from?  I hadn't heard it in years.  Memories surfaced of me as a little girl, sitting on my dad's lap to read the comics with him.  And when we were all done, and it was time for me to get off my dad's lap, he would always command me to "Hop off pop."  And here I was, years later with that phrase resurfacing to the forefront of my memory.  I couldn't help but smile and feel my dad close to me.

A couple of weeks ago, the heavens unleashed on us, and 8 inches of snow mercilessly dumped down.  I came home from school that Friday and noticed the driveway, covered in inches and inches of seemingly harmless snowflakes.  I thought, "Heck!  I can shovel this up for my mom, no problemo!"  I put some gloves on, whipped out the old, trusty shovel, and set to work. 

About three minutes in I was completely exhausted.  "Wow!  Shoveling inches and inches of snow is hard work!" I thought.  "How have I lived to be 26 years old and never know how bad this sucks?"  Instantly, I thought of my dad and the countless times I had seen him shoveling driveways, porches, patios, and walkways.  I remembered a huge snowstorm where my siblings and I rushed out to the back yard to make snowforts, snow angels, and snowball after snowball after snowball.  My dad shoveled while we played.  We made a snowman and he shoveled.  He engaged in a furious snowball fight.  He shoveled.  Long after we were exhausted and frozen and inside warming up ourselves with hot chocolate, my dad shoveled on.

How many thankless hours had he spent shoveling snow?  Or doing some other work to give me such comforts in life?  Weeding gardens or planting potatoes or clipping toenails or chopping firewood?  How many things had he sacrificed in his life to give his kids and wife the lives we now know?  How much money did he spend on us, how many tuition checks did he write, how many cars did he endlessly repair on account of his eight kids?  It was almost a revelation to me, that Friday afternoon, as I shoveled that driveway- my dad must have done so much to make my life comfortable that I will never be aware of.  That I will never be able to thank him for.  He gave everything for us.  It is difficult to explain how something as everyday as shoveling snow can become so sublime and even spiritual, but I felt my dad's presence there with my so strongly that afternoon, felt him in the shadows, shoveling with me, thanking me for helping my mom, and telling me he loved me.

And so, even though I yearn for that lunch date with my dad, long to have him here again making pizza for us, daydream about a conversation we might have, I will continue to thank God for putting my dad right where he is.  In the memories, in the family get togethers, and even in the snow.

In the shadows of my life.

For more posts on my dad and dealing with death go here, here, and here.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

So You Wanna Be a Blogger PART 2

Alright, chicas.  I promised it.  You're getting it.  A continuation of last week's So You Think You Wanna Be a Blogger.  AKA Blog tips part 2.  And, yah since you are wondering, it would be much much easier to just say blog tips, but that would be so boring, wouldn't it?

P.S.  If you didn't check out Part 1 of this hooplah, you're going to want to.  And isn't that weird that I put a P.S. at the beginning of my writing instead of the end?  Well, I'll be!

1.  Looking good.  This is a huge one for newbies.  The blog has got to look professional.  Like I have mentioned before, I started blogging consistently last fall.  My friends and family were all supportive and one day my best friend was chilling at my house watching the Kardashians with me.  I brought up my blog and told her how excited I was about getting people to read it and she replied very nonchalantly.  "Yah, I like it.  It's funny.  You should make it not look so ghetto though."  "What?"  Naturally I was offended.  "You know.  Like some blogs look nice.  And professional.  Yours should look like that."  Touche, Amy.  Touche, Amy.  Do a little research on google and learn the basics of web design.  Or, if that makes you think about vomitting, pay someone to do it.  Lots of girls will do it for $10 or $20 and make it look a millions times better than it currently is.  Among the HUGE blog no-nos/ AKA things that will give you away immediately for a newbie

- Polka Dots
- Dark backgrounds with neon writing
-Colored backgrounds.  Always better to go with the white background and add color in your header or font.  I've rarely rarely seen a legit looking blog that didn't have a white background.
-  Playlists.  Oh, stop the playlists!  Don't make us listen to your music.  Nothing is worse than having my own music on and then visiting a blog and having their music blast on top of mine while I scramble frantically to find the stop button.  Half the time I just exit out of the blog entirely and that's the truth

Take this blog design for example.  It might be cute once, but who is going to want to visit this site every day?  No one.

2.  PICTURES.  I feel like it takes most bloggers a little while to figure this one out.  A couple of things about pictures that I notice all the successful bloggers do:

-Make pictures as big as possible.  None of this small or medium crap.  Hit the x large button every time.
- Don't post every picture you have take on your blog.  Especially if they are very similar.  Choose the very best pictures.  People gotta stay interested.
-Some people even edit their photos.  Blogger veterans, what are your thoughts on this (or blogger newbies... anybody can answer!).  I have rarely taken the time to edit my pictures.  I would like to if I had more time, but it's all I can do to get the words on the page most nights.  Besides that, I want the focus of my blog to be my writing, not my pictures.  While people might enjoy the pictures, that will never what brings me joy from blogging.  That being said, it is definitely on my to do list to find a good photo editing program and be a bit more serious with the pictures I take.  I would love to hear thoughts on this one...

3.  BE CONSISTENT.  Now, some people might disagree with me, but when it comes to blogging, I say that quantity over  quality.  That doesn't mean I think you should be writing garbage, but some nights you just don't have a stroke of brilliance.  But you can still write something entertaining to your readers.  When I started blogging I set the goal to blog 5 times a week and I have stuck to that religiously.  People need to know that when they check your blog in the morning there will be something new.  If there isn't, they will check less often.  Less traffic.  Less followers.  You get my drift.  There have been lots of times when I've thought, "But I have nothing to say!" and then I sit down at my computer, and what do you know?   My fingers go buck crazy with their talking.  Get in the habit of writing consistently.

4.  HAVE SOMETHING THAT KEEPS PEOPLE COMING BACK.  Every blogger fills a niche.  You've gotta have something that makes you stick out a little bit.  Something that sets you apart from the (literally) millions of other bloggers.   I think a blog should have energy to it, almost likea vibe.  I think a blog should have personality and reflect the person that is writing it.  Be comfortable with yourself when you're writing and write stuff that other people want to read.  When writing a post, think to yourself "Would I be intersted in this if it weren't about me?"  If not, you got yourself a bad sign missy.

5.  PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT BLOGGERS ARE WRITING AROUND YOU. To be a blogger you have to read blogs.  I'm sorry, but that's just the way it is.  You have to know what's out there, you have to know what other people are reading, writing, saying.  I've had several posts that have been triggered by reading a post on someone else's blog.  Just today Jenni wrote about the relation between babies and marriage and a post was born in my head.  Next week I can't wait to write my thoughts about this. 

6.  PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT'S GOING ON THE WORLD.  Taylor from The Daily Tay is one of the best at this... her "Best Week Ever" feature is all about news and gossip from the week.  She is totally up to date with current events and celebrity gossip so she writes these hilarious, timely posts about it.  There is so much going on around us that can trigger post ideas... BE INFORMED.

7.  MAKE YOURSELF UNCOMFORTABLE EVERY ONCE IN AWHILE.  I talk about this at length in my "Risky Writing" Post, but you gotta go outside your comfort zone every once in a while.  Mix things up.  Make it interesting.  Dan from Single Dad Laughing says he tries every couple weeks to write something that he knows is going to shake things up a bit.  Another one who writes some pretty edgy stuff is Raven from Don't Quote the Raven.  What I love, though, is that she makes no apologies for it.  She disses on Obama, claims that cardigans are frumpy, and makes fun of almost everything that the typical blogger wears.  Yet her traffic is off the charts.  She gets ot of her comfort zone.

8.  GIVEAWAYS, LINK UPS, BUTTONS, ETC, ETC, ETC.  If you are seriously trying to grow your blog, you should consider it a business.  Businesses advertise.  So should your blog.  I have already told you I think you should start sponsoring as soon as possible, but there are other forms of advertisement... button swapping, link ups and giveaways are some of the best.  You can enter giveaways or host giveaways.  Lots of blogs that have sponsors do a monthly giveaway where anyone can give something away.  It's all one giant blogger circus game, but learn how to play it and you'll see your traffic climbing.  (All within reason, though.  You can't let this stuff overtake quality writing.  I've unfollowed lots of blogs that were nothing but giveaway after link up after sponsored post.)

TURN OFF YOUR DAMN CAPTCHA.  If you don't know what I'm talking about read this post and then get to work.  You want to encourage commenting on your blog and captchas discourage it.  Plus they  make everyone who comments on your blog want to tear your hair out.  If I know a blog requires a captcha to comment I just don't comment.  Simple as that.

10.  BE VULNERABLE.  There is a fine line from turning your blog into a sob fest to showing  bit of weakness, but it is one I think merits playing with.  I like to hear about people's struggles.  Because I struggle too.  And when I hear that the blogger who seems to have every single thing in her life put together struggles with anxiety/ feels inadequate/ sometimes argues with her husband/ can't get pregnant/ sometimes wants to kill her kids/ burns dinner/ lost a loved one/ has regrets... it makes me like that blogger more.  Every once in a while you have to be willing to expose your vulnerable side to your readers.  My mom used to tell me when I would mess up at my piano recitals, "She made a mistake and we loved her all the more."  People want to read about real people with real problems so it's okay to open up on your blog.  Let your readers see the real you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

You know something is seriously wrong when you buy a gym pass and other matters of utmost importance

I did the weirdest thing just barely.

I bought a gym pass.

It went like this.  I saw a commercial on TV for Planet Fitness.  It said it was ten bucks a month no contract.  Lately I've been feeling antsy... like the snow and the biting weather and the dark dark nights are going to leave me feeling like some kind of caged animal.

So I stared at the commerical and I said to myself, "Yes."

Then I hopped right on the internet and bought that pass.  Talk about an effective commercial!

I've never in my life had a gym pass.  We'll see how it goes.  If you don't hear from me tomorrow by this time know that I am most likely trapped under 80 pound barbells.  You know where to find me.  Planet Fitness.  Orem Utah.  Call for help.

Also.  I look like this when I do even very mild physical activity.  Can't imagine how my face will transform at a real gym.


You people are brilliant.  Talk about the best How-To contributions on this post EVER.  I was dying!  I could not believe how funny and creative everybody is who commented.  Then I thought, "Of course they're funny and creative!  They're reading my blog aren't they?!?"  I kid, I kid.  Kind of.



How to be a stalker.
Get in car. 
Start driving.
Take notice of the life-size blue unicorn lawn ornament.
Grab photo-taking device.
Drive by 3 times, slowly, while trying to snap a photo.
Realize there were kids playing in the next yard.
Drive away quickly.


How to help your child with math homework:
1. Sit at the table
2. Read the first problem.
3. Send them to their Dad.


How to make sure you go totally insane by Thanksgiving:
-Agree to host Thanksgiving for your entire family
-Decline offers for people to help you cook because you're a such a control freak
-complain about how much cooking you have to do
-read a text from your brother requesting that you not try to "cook outside of the box" this year
-reply to your brother telling him what he can do with his beloved sweet potatoes
-invite your in-laws at the last minute
-agree to go pick up your in-laws in the event that it snows on Thanksgiving
-remember that there's an 85% chance of it snowing on Thanksgiving where you live and your in-laws live 60 miles away
-Tell your mom she can stay with you and doesn't need to get a hotel
-remember you no longer have a guest room cause it is filled with toys and your kids' stinky pet turtle
-remember that spending
more than 3 hours with your mother and mother-in-law at the same time makes you completely insane

I'm seriously loving up hardcore on everybody who commented.  Y'all are geniuses.  You complete me.  Going too far?

Speaking of completing me, today you all are going to meet one awesome blogger. I would like to think that when I become a mama in the some day far distant very long ways away future I will be a mother like Megan.  She's got adorable perfect skinned babies and Megan herself is a tall dark and beautiful model.  So yah.  I guess that's what I want from motherhood.  For me and my babies to be beautiful.  I always have had my priorities straight.

But seriously... Megan is one of my daily reads.  She brings blogging down to earth, where it should be.  I've never met her but she's the type of person you know you could meet for lunch one rainy afternoon and four hours later realize you forgot to pick up your kids from soccer practice.  


Hello friends of Bon, I'm Megan from AbsoluteMommy.  I love to blog about my life, my kids, some DIY, and Pinterest.  I'm really excited to be here at Bon's place today.  She sure surprised me when she sponsored my blog last month.  I'm so glad she did, I just love her little space on the Internet.  I will admit though, I'm super nervous.  Bon is an English teacher, and I feel like this is my first assignment.  So wish me luck, as I'm trying to get an "A".  Also let me add that I can be very sarcastic.  Just a warning.  (Bon here... so far you're at a B+)
I've been getting in the spirit that is Thanksgiving.  It's about that time, so I was thinking about all the reasons I'm thankful for blogging.  All the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I had a few, heartfelt reasons, but I didn't want to bore you with some sappy post.  Instead, I'm going to try and make you laugh...
Here are my reasons for being thankful for blogging:
I would have never known that this was a thing:

Not only the headband, but the self portrait thing as well.
Here are a few of the dorky attempts.
And my dirty bathroom that is a constant in my selfies.
I made the headband as part of the challenge, too.
So thank you blogging for dorky self pictures, weirdly placed headbands,
and DIY fabric flowers I now put on everything.
Including my daughters.
How else would I know what to wear or what others are wearing?

Yes, I blog, and yes, I do these posts.
My hubbs thinks they are ridiculous.
I told him he just doesn't understand.
Thank you blogging world for understanding that
Wednesdays are made for a Fashion post.

I would never know that Starbucks is serving Pumpkin Spice Lattes.
Or that they are serving them in a red cup.
You know exactly what I'm talking about.
Thank you bloggers for alerting me to the magic of the season.
I would have never discovered Instagram.
favorite Instagram of the moment.
Which I love almost as much as my iPhone.
How else would I take my WIW photos, or pictures of my kids eating at Panera Bread.
Thank you Instagram, you make my everyday life look like art,
and my unwashed hair look terrific.
 (Bon here- you see what I'm talking about?  They all look like models!)
I would have never known the genius that is Passion Fruit Ads or Rafflecopter.
Oh, you're not a blogger?
Sorry, but this is like when sliced bread was invented.
Thank you PF Ads and Rafflecopter for changing my blogging life.
I can now spend the time I would on sponsors and giveways over at Pinterest.
I would have never known the difference between"mint" and "teal".
In regards to skinny jeans.
Because there is a difference.
Thanks to some serious fashion bloggers I know what too look for.
Also thank you for clearing up "oxblood" and "maroon".
(Bon here... I feel left out... can we talk about this oxblood/maroon thing?!?)
I would have never known how to do anything.

Fabric flower poof?  Check.
T-shirt Infinity Scar?  Check.
Cake mix cookies?  Check.
The list goes on and one.
While I should thank Pinterest, why should Miz Pin get all the credit.
I would have never been able to make these things if it weren't for
the awesome blogs that provide the tutorials.
I would have never "linked" up.
Hi, I'm Megan, and I'm addicted to Link ups.
I have yet to meet one I don't like.
I've done a vlog.
I love lists.
I have even posted a craft or two.
If you give a blogger a link party...
Which I'm so thankful you do, it's how I've met some amazing bloggers.
All sarcasm aside, I'm thankful for the blogging world. Little did I know when I started my blog almost two years ago that there was an entire community of friendship to be had. I found amazing blogs sharing ideas on parenting, faith, community, photography, and life. I'm sure if you are reading this today you have an idea.  I'm thankful for this blogging community who likes to laugh with me, share with me and pray with me.  Want to give some bloggy thanks??
You can start by helping me thank Bon for letting me hang out today!
Have a happy holiday and enjoy your Pumpkin Spice Lattes.

Alright girls, go to!  Go give Megan some love Life of Bon style.