The Life of Bon: January 2013

Thursday, January 31, 2013

My date with a girl

Lately I've been into this thing where I hang out in real life with people I've met through blogging.  It's totally weird and at the same time totally awesome.  The first couple blogger meet ups were beyond weird.  I kept thinking somebody was going to call me out on not being a real blogger.  I still think that sometimes.

Now that I'm comfortable with going to big blogger parties I figured it was time to take it up a notch.

Last night I went on my first official blogger date.  With Elisabeth.  And trust me, it was smoking hot.

Okay, this is how it really went.  I sent out a tweet that said, "Hey!  Provo Bloggers!  My blogger crush CJane is speaking at the library tonight.  Who wants to go with me?!?"  Only Elisabeth said she wanted to.  But she would need a ride.  Elisabeth played me for a fool, but I gotta admit her techniques are good!

So I picked her up, she was hanging out on the side of the road like a true hoodlum.  She darted in my car because we were later (naturally) because I had lost my keys (naturally) and also I had gotten a bit lost (naturally.)  I drove like a total bat out of hell just to impress Elisabeth and show her how cool I am!  And it worked!

This is us after CJane spoke.  Elisabeth is on the right because even though we were on a date I really wanted to stand next to CJane because I have a big fat crush on her.  The other girl, Carla, is a blogging genius who knows everything to know about blogging without getting too involved herself.  Say what?  Pretty sure she could teach me a thing or two!  I will tell you more about meeting my blogging idol, CJane and how wonderful it was, but I don't want to make Elisabeth jealous quite yet.  We were on a date, afterall.

I liked Elisabeth so much that I decided all the people that read my blog should get to meet her.  You know when you like your date so much you want to take him home to meet mom?  It was like that!  Only you're my mom.  (Chew on that for a minute!)  Elisabeth writes beautifully about her marriage and I'd love to know how in the world she gets her husband to cooperate for all the lovely pictures they take.  Seriously.  Her pictures are gorgeous.  Except for the ones she put on the post below.  What's the deal, Elisabeth?!?  EXPLAIN YOURSELF

Hi guys! I'm Elisabeth from Bella and usually I look much happier than I appear in the picture above (unless I'm hungry, then its pretty accurate). I'm about to graduate with a degree in political science but please don't ask me what I'm going to do with it - I have no idea yet. Today I'm sharing 3 ways to get divorced (you can view all 10 of the ways here). Being married for 1.5 years obviously makes me the expert on divorce (my neighbors did think we were getting divorced once, but that's a story you'd have to read here). Anyway, interested in having a failed relationship? Here you go. 

1. When you're angry, don't ever think about the reasons you fell in love with him in the first place. Just don't do it. Focus only on what they did wrong, and then try and remember every other thing they've done wrong ever.

2. Don't ever make eye-contact or stop what you're doing when he's talking - listening to him isn't important. Also, make sure whenever he is telling you something incredibly exciting or important, be texting on your cell or better yet, take a phone call.

3. Don't take the time to find and develop common interests. Make sure you keep everything you enjoy just for you and don't include him in any of it. Also, don't ever let him talk you into doing something that he loves. Avoid his hobbies like the plague.

And there you have it. The fool proof path to divorce.
For the other seven ways (in case those three aren't enough) to complete the process, you can view the full post here. Also, Ben and I spend 99% of our time really happy, usually laughing, and frequently kissing. That part of life is documented over here - come by and say hi - or check out the time people thought we were getting divorced. 

Disclosure: There are many other causes and reasons for divorce that are serious and real. This post is not meant to belittle real trials and struggles that people have. 

I love you Elisabeth and let's go on a date again real soon.  Now go say hi to her and tell her I sent her so she'll agree to continue dating me.  Also, did this whole thing just get entirely too weird?

Don't care!

It's the weekend!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


I'm starting to feel very left out on Instagram. VERY.  Everywhere I turn everyone's posting hottie boombalottie pictures of themselves and saying five totally fascinating things about themselves that no one knows.  In spite of myself, I totally love this.  It is the type of thing that I love to make fun of and scoff at, but secretly I get excited every time I see someone's five facts pop up Instagram. (Instagram plug: thelifeofbon.  Join the party!) Ohhh!!!  What's this you're saying?  I never knew you only took baths!  How crazy that you honestly feel the back of your closet for Narnia!  Oh my gosh you fold your toilet paper in perfect squares before using?!?  THIS IS WILD!

I am beyond myself with excitement and these stupid Instagram posts.  But guess what?  Nobody has tagged me!  Every day I wait for a tag and think of all the cool things I would say if someone who just include me in this huge online Instagram circle of love and random facts but no one will.

So screw Instagram.

I'm taking to my blog instead!  I'm a posting my five facts on this blog with a cute little picture and you can't stop me!


1.  When I was in seventh grade my older brother knocked my front tooth out when he was trying to do a wrestling move on me.  It hung by a string until we went to the dentist and he popped it back into place.  It is now lower than my other front tooth.

2.  Sometimes when I get in the weirdest mood I pretend I'm a baby and say goo gaa to Hubs.  This basically means that I can do nothing but lay around and have someone feed me.  It works like a charm.

3.  I lived in Hawaii for four months and while I was there I bought a car for $500.  It was literally every dollar I had. I didn't register it and didn't insure it and planned to drive it around the island illegally.  Three days later it broke down completely in Honolulu and I was SOL. I cried and cried and cried but never told my parents.  Until now.  Hi mom!

4.  Growing up me and my little sister LOVED playing Monopoly.  I would make her feel guilty if she ever won.  I'd also hide $500 bills under the board so when she thought I was out of money I would stealthily pull one out!

5.   My first kiss wasn't until I was 18 years old and I basically got rape kissed outside the BYU Marriott center under a tree.  I didn't know what I was doing and he kept kissing me and I just kept opening my eyes, looking around, thinking, "Really?!?!  This is IT?  THIS is kissing?!?"  Luckily, it got better.

Alright, now I tag.... everyone who reads this blog!  Put a sexy picture up of yourself on your blog, tag your five facts and link them at the bottom.  Can't wait to read these!

And I figured out how to use the link too (hopefully!) so today you can really link your post.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

To Meet a Hubs: Part II

I was going to write a Bachelor recap for today.


I wasn't feeling it.  Didn't feel like writing about catty women who live without having to lift a pretty little manicured finger in a mansion together, lying by the pool with luxuries untold, all the food they can imagine and then turn around and call it "torture."  Don't know why.  I just wasn't into that today.

So instead I will finish Greg's and my love story.  The love story that I started to write on Sunday night with a passion and frenzy rarely seen this side of the Mississippi.  The story came fast and furious and it was all I could do to stop myself when I did.  I was inspired by the snow I guess.

Now, two days later, it's still snowing.  So we shall continue on with the story..  (If you haven't read part one yet, you're going to want to.)

I left you with Hubs uttering on my doorstep after our very first date "Bonnie.  I'm really interested in you.  And I hope this goes somewhere.  I want to take you out again."

I was shocked at his openness.  Gone were the games.  The facade.  The curtains to hide behind.  He was so refreshingly open and totally vulnerable.  And I couldn't get enough of it.

So I asked him what he was doing the next day.  Hey, who has got time to waste?

He came over the next night for my roommate's birthday party.  He brought his entourage again, naturally, but this time, when they wanted to go home at 11, he didn't shuffle out the door with them.  He made up excuses to stick around.  Acted like he was talking to perfect strangers at the party.  And he flirted with me.

Long after the last guest had left, Greg and I sat on the back balcony, with glowing white Christmas lights and birthday cake remnants as our setting.  We were in old white lawn chairs and the crickets chirped and the stars glowed.  We talked and giggled and  flirted and brushed arms oh so slightly long into the night.  Midnight, 1 am, 2 am, the hours passed too quickly.  I remember trying to talk and talk as fast as I could so we would never run out of things to say and he would never go home.  At the time I was a Sunday School teacher.  Greg confessed to me, "I try to pay attention to your lessons, but I get so nervous that you're going to call on me and all I'll be able to yell back is "you're pretty!""  What?  Can a guy just tell a girl she's pretty like that?  I thought there was a rule against such open, raw compliments?  His total sincerity had again knocked me completely off my feet.

The week continued in that way.  There was still the other guy I was semi dating.  On Thursday I had gone swimming with Other Guy and afterward we had bought a pizza and sat on my front lawn and ate it.  Greg walked out of his apartment, all dressed up for a shift at Olive Garden and saw me across the parking lot chowing down.  Totally oblivious to the situation, he yelled out, "We still on for tonight, Bonnie?"  I yelled back, "Yah!  For sure!"  I didn't care at all what Other Guy thought and that was how I knew that Other Guy was already a thing of the past.

We watched a movie that night.  Greg, (by the way, I just can't call Greg "Hubs" in these entries.  This was long before he was Hubs and it seems insincere to call him so.  He was just Greg at the time and so shall he be for this story) still unsure if I really liked him, (how many hints can a woman give!?!) was slow to make a move.  It was a scary movie, for crying out loud, and the boy still didn't grab my hand, didn't put his arm around me!  We sat like stone statues.  I was used to another type of boy, one who took with asking, one who didn't wait for third and fourth dates to kiss, and one who never told me I was pretty.  Thus, Greg's behavior confused me.  Did he not like me?

Finally, after the movie was over, Greg started to tickle my arm a little bit.  And then he held my hand.  And at twenty four years old, that innocent hand hold filled my stomach with wild butterflies.

But he still didn't kiss me.  He left sweetly and slowly, hoping he could see me the next night, and lingered in his eye contact.  And still no kiss.

I was disappointed.

The next night there was a plethora of people in and out of the house.  I love people and our apartment pretty much had an open door policy.  It was always a party.  I have never wanted so much for the people to go away.  One oblivious girl sat on our couch for over an hour and wouldn't shut her yapper.  It was past midnight, and I could tell that Greg was feeling rather helpless.  My womanly intuition told me that if I could get this crazy chick out of my apartment I would have a kiss that night.  "Oh, Greg?  Didn't we need to return the movie tonight?"   Greg caught the bait immediately.  "Yah, we better take it right now!"

We pretended to leave, long enough for the girl to scat, then locked the door and retreated back to the couch.

Where we talked.

And talked.

And talked.

I inched my face closer and closer to Greg's.  I engaged in the longest eye contact humanly possible.  He had to know I wanted it!  I did everything short of plant that smooch on him myself.

I remember at one point looking at the clock and thinking that it was close to 3 am and suddenly I was so incredibly tired. "Freak Greg!"  I thought, "If you're not going to kiss me then just go home already!"

As if he read my mind, he moved his head closer to mine, closer and closer until we finally locked lips.  It was deep and passionate and somehow at the same time soft and innocent.  

Greg pulled away and looked into my eyes for several moments.  "That's the first time I've ever kissed an older woman!"  He said excitedly.  (I'm a whopping two years older than Greg!)

Heavens knows I'll never let him live that one down.

I wanted more.  But he said he best be going home.

It was my last first kiss.  I saw Greg almost every day after that.  I have never had a relationship that escalated so quickly.  Every other boy on the side quickly faded into oblivion.  All plans could be easily rearranged to include Greg in them.  I had knee surgery and he came and sat on my couch and did nothing with me for hours on end.  He even gave me a card that implied some kind of sponge bath and then inside the card he hand wrote, "I hope we can reach this level some day."  Yes.  The games were definitely gone.  This boy was hiding nothing.

I was to become a career woman, starting my first official teaching job in Salt Lake in three weeks.  Because of this I was moving in twenty days- a 45 minute drive from Provo.  I figured the whole cute summer romance would blow over.  I honestly didn't think I would see Greg again after I moved.

Greg told me blatantly that he had three weeks to steal my heart.  I scoffed inside- he was cute and funny, but this wasn't going to last.  In turn, he confessed he had had a crush on me for months, had watched me teaching Sunday School, had loved my wild pink streak, and was constantly working up the nerve to talk to me.  He had joked with his roommates and they teased him and he jokingly practiced approaching me in front of the mirror.  He was whooped from the get go.

We went camping, we went to state fairs, we stayed up far too late night after night after night, watching summer slowly melt away.  We ate pizza in the park, we played hours of volleyball, we went on late summer walks.

The weekend before I moved, I asked Greg if he would like to come home to Price with me.  My mom was selling her home and needed some help packing.  I believe something deep inside of me knew that Greg would be a big part of my life and this would be the only chance he'd ever have to see the home I grew up in.

On the way to Price I read a personality book to Greg.  We drove through the twisty, winding canyon and I asked him, "When you are given a task at work do you a) get to work right away on it?  b) see if you can find a friend to help you?  c) procrastinate until the last possible minute...  His hand was on my knee, my hand on his knee and I looked up at him as he turned the corner and thought, "Oh my gosh, I love him."

I felt as if the wind was knocked out of me.  I was so shocked at my own thoughts, so scared, so embarrassed.  Did Greg know that I had just thought that?  It had only been three weeks, you can't just go thinking those things this early on!  I did my best to push that thought as far back as possible in the recesses of my mind.  That thought could never be allowed to come out again.

I was scared.  But also so excited.

My mom liked Greg immediately.  We bantered and joked and she said, "Wow, Bonnie!  I'm impressed!  He can keep up with you!"

That weekend he packed countless boxes and then mowed the entire front and back lawn.  He was good as gold.  Countless neighbors and old friends asked us when we were getting married.  Because that's how people in Price are.  I was absolutely mortified.

The only time Greg ever went to my home in Price.

Upon our return from Price, I dropped Greg off at his apartment in Provo, and then continued on up to Salt Lake on my own, with a heavy heart and a few tear drops making their way slowly down my cheeks.

The courtship continued.  Greg came up once during the week to see me and I would go down Friday and we'd spend the weekend together.  When you are that crazy about each other, twice a week is torture.  We had hour long phone conversations and were constantly counting down the days until we saw each other again.

Greg told me he loved me one quiet night in September.  I was too scared to say it back yet.  I had felt it so strongly, but was terrified at how fast the relationship was progressing.  I was more excited than words can say, but waited a week until I told it back to him.  We haven't stopped saying it.

Greg subtly began mentioning marriage.  Mormon courtships are expediated courtships.  We could sugar coat it all we want, but I ain't no dummy.  The reason our dating process is so fast is because Mormons wait for sex.  There's none of this five long courtships and 2 year engagements.  The whole process is much quicker, because, heck, a girl can't wait forever.

The earliest I could do a wedding would be summer.  Any earlier than that terrified me. The thought of a summer wedding excited and thrilled me.  Greg said okay.  He would wait until June but it was October and June was so very far away.

One stormy November night I thought to myself, "I'm so crazy in love with Greg.  But I'm not going to marry him for another seven months.  Am I nuts?"  So I marched myself over to Greg's house and said one word to him:  "March?"

He couldn't have been happier.  We didn't tell a soul, but waited patiently while Greg had the ring made.  There is something special and unique about a secret that two people share just with each other.  As if we were hiding it from the world- it was ours and ours only.  I imagine it is similar to when a couple knows they are expecting a baby, but hasn't told anyone else yet.  A secret for those two only- to share through smiles across a room and hand squeezes and knowing glances only.

Greg proposed the week before Christmas and we were married March 12, 2011.  The proposal was beautiful.  The engagement was hell.

I have often thought about how everything aligned so perfectly for Greg and me that late summer.  What if I hadn't been sitting on my  balcony that Sunday afternoon?  Would Greg have ever talked to me?  What if I had never lived in those apartment complexes?  Who would I be sharing a bed with now?

More than this, though, I wonder at how I was so ready for Greg at that point in my life.  My dad had died unexpectedly eight months before I met Greg.  With his death he left a gaping hole in my heart.  I grieved and I cried in private and in public I laughed and I joked, but I was hurting so much at that point in my life.  I tried desperately to fill the hole with something- with anything.  I dated and kissed more boys during that time than any other point in my life.  I dated boys who weren't nice enough to me, boys who weren't even close to compatible with me, boys who never called back before 10 pm.  I picked up extra shifts at Sizzler, read like a fiend, tried to keep my apartment endlessly filled with people, trying so despearately to fill a hole. 

When Greg came along he didn't fill the hole.  But he made the hole not hurt anymore.  The place in my heart for my dad will always be there and nothing can fill it or take its place, but suddenly that pain didn't define me anymore.  I could move past it.  Greg brought back the richness of life, the joy of the small moments, and the simple pleasure of enjoying a warm summer night.  He showed me again the purpose that my life has and made me wildly excited for the future.  My best friend who lived with me when my dad died,  lived with me when I dated and fell in love with Greg and knows me so well told me once that she didn't think I would have married Greg if my dad had been still alive.  That I wouldn't have "needed" Greg.  That I would have been too busy running around and searching for fun that I never would have seen the solid gold that was right in front of me.

Last night Greg came home late from his play.  He crawled into bed and woke me up by rubbing his icicle feet against the warmth of my sleeping legs.  
"Bonnie?" he said.  
"I was just thinking about how I talked to you on that balcony and got your number and I was pretty smooth when we started dating, wasn't I?"

He had read part one of the love story, that much was clear.

"Isn't it crazy how it all worked out?"
I turned over and looked at him, the same deep brown eyes that I had looked into while desperately waiting for that kiss.
"Yah.  We're pretty lucky we have each other."
"Who would think that day on the balcony that we'd be here in bed two years later with me warming my feet up on your legs?"

Yes.  Who would have thought?

2 1/2 years later.

I hesitated at times to tell the story of how Greg and I met, to brag too much, to make the relationship seem too perfect.  I am aware of people who have lost love, who have never had love, who yearn to have it.  I do not write this story to make others' pain more acute  but to share a story that is so beautiful to me.  Above all, I write it to share of the healing power of love, of its power, of its enormous strength.  And to remind myself.

All relationships have ups and downs.  It is often helpful to me to remember all these details of when Greg and I were first dating.  I remember them and fall in love with Greg all over again and suddenly  I don't care that he leaves every cupboard open in the kitchen.  I encourage you to write your own love story if you have one- to preserve every detail for your children, for your own enjoyment and invigoration, and to remember how good God is.

And if you write it- link it up already!  Valentines is around the corner and I am in the mood to read loooooooooots of love stories!   

Figured out the linky tool... so add your link below!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Well look who's doing interviews now!

I  have figured out the coolest way to do a guest post.  I'm totally stoked about having Amanda over here today.  We sent questions to each other and both answered them.  This girl totally inspires me on the daily and I love how she writes without fear about her faith in God and allows Him to be a part of her blog.  Plus, she is a blogging guru.  This girl can answer any question in the book.  (I found this post about the difference in wordpress and blogger to be SO informative and helpful.)  After you're done reading this post, hop on over to her blog to see how I answered the same questions.

Oh hi there, have we met before?

In case we haven't met, here's the short version of who I am: I'm a country-living, ice tea drinking, good book reading, farming, ranching, Jesus-loving, curly-headed wife of a seminary professor.  He's a teacher, I'm a writer. He's a thinker, I'm a graphic designer. You can get to know me a little better here.

One of the things that I love about blogging is meeting like-minded women. But I also love having the opportunity to engage women who are a bit different than me.

For me, Bonnie falls somewhere in between. You see, Bonnie and I have similar world views. We both place a high value on marriage. We both place a high value on our religious beliefs. We both are non-mommy bloggers. We both bite our nails.

But we're quite different, too. Bonnie likes high heels and had the gumption to color her hair pink.  I hate high heels and would never consider coloring my hair anything other than the bottled blonde I currently sport. Bonnie writes with wit and sarcasm, offering you guys a peek at the humorous side of life. I write with a more serious tone, offering my readers a peek at the inspiring side of life. And while her religion (Mormonism) is often identified as a denomination of Christianity (my religion), our theological beliefs are different too.

Today Bonnie and I are embracing our differences. We're both here to answer ten questions. We want you to get to know us both a little better!

Bonnie's Questions: 
1.  What inspired you to first start blogging?
I first started blogging when my husband was in seminary. I am not a telephone talker (as in I could go all week without talking to anyone on the phone and I would think nothing of it) so I started blogging as a way to keep our family up-to-date with what was going on in our life.

2.  What is your guilty pleasure?
Dr. Pepper Icees. They're a little easier to resist during the winter, but I tend to crave them like crazy during the summer.

3.  How did you meet your husband?
I was working in the admission office at a local junior college. At that time Mr. E. was pursuing his master's at the seminary down the road. He went to church with my boss, and, being new in town, he headed over to the junior college to say hi to a friendly face. It just so happened that I was working that day...and I guess you might say that the rest is history.

4.  Favorite candy?

5.  What are your new years resolutions?
I guess I really only made one resolution this year: to create + stick with a cleaning schedule. My housekeeping skills are far from noteworthy (or very noteworthy, depending on how you look at it) and I want 2013 to be the year that changes. 

My questions:
1. What's your number one tip for a successful marriage?
The Professor and I are both very, very intentional to be aware of how the other one is feeling. I'm a feeler, he's a thinker. But that doesn't mean that he does not feel things. He just analyzes his feelings a bit more than I do. We both work hard to be aware of how the other feels. But we both also know that most of the time we have the ability to be in control of our feelings, so we try really hard not to let our feelings reign supreme.

My parents taught me that love is a choice. And the Professor and I make the choice to love each other every day. Even when we're acting unlovable. 

2. Where is your favorite place to vacation?
The Outer Banks of North Carolina. The Professor and I spent some time there last summer and I'm itching to go back!

3. What is your biggest blogging challenge?
My biggest challenge is finding the balance between networking and community building. I view networking as merely a tool for community building, but sometimes it sort of takes over and the actual community building falls along the wayside. 

4. Favorite movie from the 90's?
The Matrix (1999) is definitely one of my favorites. I also love Toy Story (1999) and Groundhog Day (1993). 

5. What do you love the most about your religion?
I am a Christian. A follower of Jesus Christ. What I love the most about following Jesus is that God's grace is so much greater than the judgement of man. While others may judge me for my words, my actions, my lifestyle choices, the grace that Jesus offers covers all of that, and more. 

If you happen to find your self at A Royal Daughter, please take time to say hi, okay? You'll also find me (a little too frequently) on Twitter and Facebook. And sometimes I share mindless pictures of my animals (which includes cows!) + whatever I'm eating that day on Instagram. Have a great Tuesday, y'all!
Thanks Bonnie!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

To Meet a Hubs: A Love Story

It's time we get gooey and sappy around here and I tell you all about how I met and fell in love with Greg.  I am going to tell you this not because we are celebrating our anniversary or engagement and not because it's Valentines day, but because it is January and snowing buckets outside and cold and miserable and what better way to forget about a cold, dreary day then to remember how you once fell in love with your lover?  (Wow, run on sentence queen over here!)

CAUTION:  This one's a doozey!  Read when you've got a minute because wow, I can ramble on about Hubs!

The first time I laid eyes on Greg was a lazy summer Sunday afternoon.  I lived in Branbury apartments in Provo.  My apartment location was ideal for a people watcher like me.  It had a beautiful little balcony that looked out on the parking lot.  My roommates and I spent many a day spying on the doings of our neighbors.  We had lawn chairs and wicker tables and we practically spent every waking moment of the summer watching the world come and go.

I was sitting out on the balcony one Sunday with my good friend and neighbor, Brooke.  We watched people on skateboards.  Saw a girl storm out of a car.  Observed an awkward couple try to play catch.  Then we saw three boys walking across the parking lot, all dressed up in white dress shirts and ties.  They were going to do their "home teaching"- a program in the Mormon church where everybody visits someone else once a month to make sure that all is good in their hood.

Before I say anything else I should mention that at that point in my life I had a giant pink streak in the front of my hair.  You see, that summer was a summer of absolute freedom to me.  I was in an awesome in between stage- I had graduated from college and secured a teaching job for the fall.  But for those three months I was no longer a student, not yet a working, society contributing adult.  I was an in betweener, and to celebrate it only seemed fitting that I did something totally wild and reckless like dye my hair pink.  (Post written during that time is here.)

These pictures were taken literally days before I met Greg. 

I knew one of the boys walking across the parking lot, but the other two were strangers to me.  One of the strangers, a good looking ginger, shouted out to me.  "Bonnie!  It looks like the pink in your hair is getting darker!"

The pink in my hair was indeed "getting darker."  I had redyed it just the day before. (Fast fact about bright pink hair dye- you have to redye it every two weeks to keep the color vibrant.)  I was shocked, however, that the redhead even knew I had redyed my hair since I had never spoken to him before.  I laughed awkwardly and said, "Ha!  Yah!  You're pretty smart..."

The boys went into a neighbor's apartment to fulfill their home teaching assignment.  I whipped around to Brooke.  "Who is that?"  "Uh... I think his name is Greg.  He just moved in.  I think he lives with Zac."  

I was intrigued.

To say the least.

When the boys came back out of their apartment, I was armed and ready.  Greg had started flirting with me with the smooth little pink hair line, and by golly was I going to finish the flirtation.  

"Hey!  Where you guys going?!?"  I yelled as the walked out of the apartment.

Greg was quick to catch on to my flirtations.  "Uh... we're just headed back to our apartment right now... but we're making hot dogs if you want to come over."

Shoot.  I already had plans with a guy I was semi interested in (We all know now he quickly fell by the wayside.)  But I couldn't let Greg think that his invitation had fallen on deaf ears.  I was interested and needed to let him know that.

"Well I can't right now but you can come over later to make me a hot dog..."  I paused.  "... with your shirt off!"

I never really know for sure why I added that last part, why the first thing I ever said to my future husband was a request to come over and cook shirtless for me.  I suppose that always a performer for my friends, I was emboldened by Brooke's presence, and empowered by Greg's obvious interest in me.  Enough to say something totally stupid.  

Greg just kind of looked back at me.  He was confused and intimidated.  "Uh.... yah... maybe..." and he and his friends laughed and wandered back to their apartment.

Brooke and I shrieked and giggled.  Oh, wasn't it so fun to be young and crazy and to say wild things to single boys strolling across the apartment lot?  I had most definitely scared off that redhead that thought he might like me, but hey, what can you say for a girl who has hot pink in her hair?

I came home that night to a note taped to my apartment door.  It read:

Dearest Bon Bon,

I came over with my shirt off to make you a hot dog, but alas, you were not home.  Nevertheless, I think you are one great gal.


So I hadn't scared him off. 

A couple of days later Greg and his friends "stopped by" my apartment to invite me to "play games or something."  I had all my girlfriends over so I told him we'd have to raincheck and he stood there with his four friends behind him,and said "Yah.  Ok.  Some other time."  To this day I think it is so cute how Greg brought his entourage... made his friends come with him to talk to a girl he had a big crush on.

Greg's entourage.  

About a week later we were looking for extra card players around my place.  I looked up Greg's phone number in the ward directory. (Awesome thing about being Mormon- you get a list of all the phone numbers of the people who attend the same meetings as you.)  He didn't answer.  So I left a message.  "Hey Greg!  It's Bonnie!  We're playing "Bang!" over at my place.  It's not as dirty as it sounds- but it's probably just as fun!"   (Bang! is one of my favorite card games ever.  It's a western mystery where you all have secret identities and try to kill each other.)

Greg called back a few minutes later.  My message had been just the bait he needed.

And thus he came over to play cards.  I remember how he conveniently figured out ways to switch the seats so he could sit by me and how he brushed the side of my leg with his finger, ever so softly.  Ever so timidly.  I was pretty sure he was flirting with me, but maybe he was just touching me accidentally?  He was just subtle enough that I questioned it all.  I was the "Sheriff" in the game and he was my "deputy."  I ordered him around (practice for the future) and we teamed up to win the game.  All the while I had butterflies in my stomach as he inched his chair closer over to mine.

After everyone had gone home I got a text from Greg.  It read, "So.  What number does a deputy have to call to get a date with the sheriff?  It's all so confusing..."  (I had originally called him on my roommate's phone because mine was out of battery but then had later texted him from my phone.  Yes, it was confusing and if you have it all figured out in your head you are a genius.)

I told him that this was indeed my number.

I was in the middle of the social security office, waiting to get a new card for the one I had lost when Greg called.  

"Hellooooo....."  I swooned.
"Hey Bonnie... It's Greg..."
"Hi Greg...."  I really drag out my words when I'm nervous.
"I've got three options for you.  Option #1:  I take you out to dinner at 7.  But if we go out to dinner it has to be to Cafe Rio or pizza pie cafe.  Option #2:  I take you out for ice cream at 9.  Sub zero because I know that's your favorite.  Or, option #3 is that you don't want to go out with me.  I really hope you don't choose option number three."

I giggled and flirted right there in front of all the other people waiting for their social security card.  Flirting with boys is such fun!  "Oh, wow!  You have it all planned out!  Uh... I like option #2..."

And thus the stage was set for our first date.  I couldn't pick Option #1 because Bachelor was on at 7 and even back then, I had Bachelor priorities!

Greg picked me up right on time, my married friend who was over, Crazy A interrogated him and Crazy A's husband lied and said he was my brother and if Greg did anything to me he would kill him.  You know, normal first date stuff.

We talked all night long, never running out of things to say.  I thought he was cute and funny, and honestly, a little weird.  Quirky.  Eccentric.  I was drawn to that like a moth to a flame.  He had something that other boys I dated didn't have, but I couldn't quite put a finger on it.  I am weird enough myself and in those very first hours of dating I believe that that was what first connected- his weirdness to my weirdness.  He told me all about his family and how he wants to be an actor even though that's totally crazy, and how he thought I was pretty.  

When he dropped me off he looked at me and said, "Bonnie.  I'm really interested in you.  And I hope this goes somewhere.  I want to take you out again."

I was shocked at how open he was.  You can't just tell a girl that on the first date!  You have to act cool!  You have to send a text after the date and then wait three days to call again!  There's a facade we must hide under, don't you know?!?  He was so different from other boys I had dated.  So honest and sincere... his guard was totally down and I felt like he was holding absolutely nothing back from me.  He was so transparent and after years of dating being a muddled mess of games and lies I found his honesty so totally refreshing.

So I said,  "Are you free tomorrow?"

Our first ever picture together, taken the night after our first date.

(This is a two part story.  Part two can be found here) 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I need a vacation, people!

If you are interested in sponsoring Life of Bon in February this is your last chance!  Speak now or forever hold your peaaaaaaccccccccceeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Have you gotten your copy of Gone Girl yet for our February book club?  I just ordered mine off Amazon and can hardly wait to get reading!

Hubs and I are off to find a warm restaurant with boiling hot soup so we can forget this whole month of January ever happened.  I mean seriously.  This morning Utah had freezing rain.  The roads were awful, and I was 40 minutes late for work.  FREEZING RAIN.  Who has ever heard of that?  I'm dreaming of June.

While we're eating I'm going to pin Hubs down on some vacations that I've been dying to plan.  We must must must plan an anniversary trip for March and I'm dying for a big traveling adventure come summertime.  My dream is Russia, as that is where Hubs served his mission, but I'll accept a less expensive location if that doesn't work out.  Tahiti ain't that expensive, is it?  There are two reasons I'm so freaking antsy.  Reason #1:  January.  Hello.  Reason #2:  My blogging buddy, Casey.  This girls traipses around all over the globe like it's nothing. She has one of the best travel blogs I've ever read.  It isn't the type that makes you sick and jealous- it inspires you to get your butt in gear and get on a plane already.  I adore her and she has such fantastic travel advice.  I'm hoping she'll let me and Hubs crash on her couch in Germany this summer.  What do you say, Casey?

Now read up.  Seriously one of my faves.  I can't speak highly enough of this girl and her traveling ways.


Hello there, friends of Bonnie...and therefore friends of mine! I’m Casey, the brains behind the blog We Took the Road Less Traveled. I’m just your average Southern girl turned expat, living abroad in beautiful Germany. Completely normal, right? It's not exactly where I thought I'd be spending 3 years of my adult life, but we definitely aren't complaining! My handsome Air Force hubby and I made the move 4,000 miles away from our families in North Carolina in the summer of 2010 and have been traveling fools ever since! We love life here in Deutschland and have had the opportunity to travel to some pretty amazing places. Just last year we visited 9 different countries! My wallet is currently in the corner crying, but it's worth it, I swear. So, how in the world do we manage to keep our sanity while traveling around the world? Good question. Lots of wine! You think I’m kidding? I’m not. Ok, so the wine and a few important tips we like to keep in mind while we’re far from home keep us grounded. Lucky for you, I’m going to reveal a few of them here today! If only I could share the wine too, huh? ;)

{Atop the Zugspitze in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany-May 2012}

1// Be flexible. You may have planned and planned a particular trip down to the very restaurant you’re going to dine in every evening, but just as in everyday life, Murphy will strike! Murphy’s Law, that is. He’s always waiting around the corner to ruffle your feathers and turn a would-be fantastic getaway into a total suck-fest. So, learn to go with the flow. Roll with the punches. Fly on the wings of an eagle. One cliché too many? Moving on...

{Feeling overwhelmed and damp in the hills of Cinque Terre, Italy-May 2012}

{An impromptu visit to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany-May 2012}
        2// Have realistic expectations. You’re not going to be able to do and see EVERYTHING you want to while traveling. Believe me, we’ve tried. My motto used to be, “If your feet aren’t bleeding by the end of the day, you’re not doing it right!” And then I got a reality check. And lots of Band-Aids. Come into each travel opportunity with a few “must-see” spots on your list and let the rest be “bonus sights.” If you see them, cool. If not, ehhh, maybe next time. Don’t wear yourself out to the point that you don’t enjoy your surroundings. You’re on vacation for gosh sakes! 

{Views from a walking tour of Prague, Czech Republic- May 2012} 

       3// Talk to the locals! We’ve found some of Europe’s best-kept secrets that no travel book will show you just from getting chummy with the wait staff or striking up a convo with a street performer (but please, dear Lord, give them a dollar or you’ll get a mouthful of not so friendly travel advice). They live there, why wouldn’t they know the best pub or picnic spot in town? Travel books are nice, but don’t let them dictate your entire trip. Go off the beaten path a bit and see what fun awaits you. Some of our most memorable experiences abroad have come from taking the “road less traveled.” HA! See what I did there? I know, stop it.

         {We found a Belgian beer mecca via a tip from a nice stranger. Hubs was in heaven!
-Bruges, Belgium-November 2012}

{View of the Rhine River from a hidden funicular ride to the top of a hill in Boppard, Germany-August 2012}

       4// Bring an umbrella. No matter where you go, it rains. London, it rained. Italy, it rained. Germany, it RAINS. If we waited for a day when the weather was perfect to get out and see our host country (or any country in Europe in the winter time), we’d never see anything. It’s the rainiest continent we’ve ever lived on. But, that doesn’t stop us. And don’t let weather stop you! Invest in a sturdy umbrella and raincoat (or two) and make sure they’re in your carry on. You can thank me later.

 {Admiring Big Ben, just before the bottom fell out-London, England-August 2012}

     5// Don’t let culture shock bog you down. Stepping off the plane into a foreign country can be one of the scariest things in the world (I cried in the middle of an airport in Uruguay one time, it happens). It could also be the most exciting. Do your research beforehand. Coming to a new country with a little knowledge of the culture and language can go farther than you’d expect. The locals appreciate when you make an effort to talk to them in their native tongue, however hard or embarrassing it may be. They also love to practice their English on you! Germans are notorious for never letting me speak German. It’s probably better that way anyways. Be open-minded and willing to try new things, no matter how wacky or un-American they may seem. We view the world through the eyes of our own culture and are often put off by the way other counties live, eat, dress, and what they believe. Because of this, we tend to shy away from certain experiences and often don’t get the most out of our trips abroad. While traveling, I challenge you to take time to appreciate your differences. Submerge yourself in them. I believe being a traveler can contribute to a person becoming well-balanced. Worldly. It can also make you appreciate what you have back home. After all, there is no place like it!

{Burano,Italy-Italian Blate-October 2012}

{View from atop the Arc De Triomphe-Paris, France-August 2012}

So, there you have it, folks. Everything you need to know about traveling abroad, whether you wanted to know it or not. You can blame Bonnie for letting me ramble. She's sweet like that. ;) Hope you'll come visit me over at my little slice of the interwebs…there’s a lot more travel nonsense going on over there! Auf Wiedersehen, Freunde! {Goodbye, friends!}