The Life of Bon: March 2013

Sunday, March 31, 2013

A post about clothes

This weekend Hubs and I hit the town to do a little shopping.

Hubs is trying to not dress like a little boy anymore.

His words not mine.

So we hit City Creek in 70 degree weather to find him some new shirts, some nice slacks, and other important essentials that his wardrobe is most definitely missing.

The weather was beautiful!  We even ate our lunch outside!  The fountains were going!  Kids were running around shirtless.  (Okay, fine, they had their shirts on).  What a great day to go spring shopping!

Outside lunch at City Creek.  I look like a dinosaur.  Hubs looks like a chipmunk.

I promised myself not to buy anything.  Today was about Hubs' shopping needs, after all!

Three hours later, we were done shopping for old Hubs.  We had found just about everything that we needed.  The line was atrociously long at H&M so I thought, "Hey, while Hubs is waiting to buy this crap it can't hurt for me to just walk through the women's department, can it?  CAN IT?!?"  So I hopped upstairs and in three minutes flat managed to spend as much money as it had taken Hubs three hours to spend.  That my friends, is talent.  Or it's disgusting.  You take your pick.

Actually it was just one shirt.  Well, one shirt in three colors if you want to be technical about it.  Naturally, I convinced myself I needed every color.  It's just it's the perfect teacher shirt!  Comfortable while still being formal and incredibly cute.  Shirts like these are hard to come by!  Better snatch them all up when you got the chance!

But there's a coupla problems.
Problem #1:  The shirt was 30 bones.  Times that by three and I'm spending almost $100 bucks on a day I wasn't supposed to be shopping at all.  On only three shirts.  I'm a better shopper than that, I promise!
Problem #2: I had to throw one shirt in the wash after spilling butter on it at dinner. (Who doesn't spill butter all over their new shirt at dinner?)  When it came out it was a wrinkly mess.  One of those shirts!  The shirts that require you to iron it every time it's washed!  And since I have ironed approximately one time in my two years of marriage... buying three shirts that require constant ironing maintenance seems a little unrealistic for me.  Am I being incredibly lazy on this or smart?  Do you girlies iron your clothes?

So now the question is do I keep the shirts?  Or do I return the lovely little jewels?  And if so which one(s) do I return?  Here they are in all their glory!

I realize how incredibly awkward I look in these pictures.  I will never be a fashion blogger.

While we're on the topic of spring shopping- let's give some free shopping money away!  Why not?  Shabby Apple wants to give away 50 big ones so one of you can buy yourself a pretty little dress!  Or skirt!  Or swimsuit!  The options are truly endless!

I'm kind of madly in love with Shabby Apple.  The have the classiest and most chic clothing.  I would kill for this vintage swimsuit or this bright yellow dress perfect for teaching.  I don't know who they've got behind the scenes designing their clothes, but that woman needs to get paid more!

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Just leave one comment telling me all the ways that you entered the giveaway and each way that you entered will be counted as its own entry.  Trying to keep this simple here.  Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.

May the odds be ever in your favor.

And don't forget to tell me if I should take back those shirts!

Saturday, March 30, 2013


Spring is breathing life into me.  It's like my heart and soul are finally starting to thaw after a long, harsh winter.  And, boy!  Wasn't winter long?  And wasn't it harsh?  So harsh!  I never am a lover of winter, but winter of 2013 will be the winter that goes down in the books as the longest, coldest winter.

Just when I thought I couldn't take any more of the bitter winter, the sun peeked out.  The snow melted, and I was reminded that there is beauty in the world.  Someday I would like to be a good enough writer to explain how much I love spring, but for now this will have to suffice.  I believe spring is a gift from God.  A reward for having endured winter.  The fact that every single year winter is followed by spring is a testimony to me of the goodness of God.  A testament that no matter what the darkness and coldness in our lives, it's always followed by light and warmth and sunshine.  Sometimes our periods of winter seem especially long.  But spring always comes.

I hope you are enjoying the beginnings of spring weather.  Or if you are one of those gross people that live in a state of perpetual sunshine (Florida!) (Arizona!) (California!) I hope that you can reappreciate the sunshine this weekend.  And when you feel that warmth on your arms that you haven't felt so many months I hope you remember this- the cold can't last forever.

For your weekend reading:
+In honor of April Fool's coming up, there's this.  Let's just say I already have a few plans.
+I'm on spring break right now.  This is what I did last spring break.
+I wrote this post on what I love most about my job exactly a year ago.  Reading it today made me cry.
+If there is a post that will get me fired, it is definitely definitely this one.
+I have been absolutely overwhelmed by your kind and honest comments on this post. I have some of the sweetest readers in the world.  I hope you can feel my sincere love traveling across the vast internet waves.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Let Spring Break begin!

Alright, folks it's spring break around these parts which means I plan on doing a whole lot of nothing the next few days.  (Our spring break is totally wack.  Instead of having Monday through Friday off we have Thursday, Friday and then the next Monday and Tuesday. Like I said. WACK.)  I can't wait to start The Great Gatsby for April's book club, and I'm finishing The Watchmen for Banned Book club at my school so I'm hoping to do lots of reading over the break.  Other than that I'll be applying to buttloads of jobs, sleeping in, and working on this little bloggy blog. (Trying desperately to find some high traffic blogs to sponsor in April... have you guys sponsored anyone good lately?)  I can guarantee I will somehow get some Downton Abby and tennis time in as well.  Oh, poor me!

I didn't do any of that today, however, because I was at a wedding.  Two weddings in five days, YOWZERS.  Also, you may have seen this on Instragram, but it is too precious not to share.  This was me at the wedding on Saturday.  I guess marriage just makes me really stoked?

Also, I feel like I should tell you how proud I am of my little sis.  She came with me to the wedding today because Hubs had work then class then rehearsal.  While at the wedding Mary had TWO guys ask for her number and the girl's barely been home from the jungles of Argy a week!  That's how we Blackburn women do it.  Way to go Mar Mar!

I'm hitting the hay now because it is my spring break and yet somehow I am beyond exhausted at 10:30.  I'm having my good buddy, Deidre take over for me from here.  One Friday night Deidre wrote on her twitter that her husband was out of town for baseball.  Hubs was doing a play that night.  So I said, "Hey!  Let's go on a girl blogger date!"  And so we did.  We went and got dinner (we were both ten minutes late, of course!) and chatted for hours.  I'm kind of a big fan of the girl.  She is also my fabulous blog designer!  She'd probably hook you up with something special if you asked real nicely so make sure to pay her blog a visit!


Hey. It's me again. I'm back. Oh, you are new to The Life of Bon? Well. I was here a long time ago. And Bonnie let me come back. Which is surprising because I think she believes I am a nutjob. A literal psycho. But. That is okay. Now let me introduce myself. My name is Deidre. My husband is Adam. We are just a newlywed couple living life. And we blog at Love, The Skinnys. Last time I told you our top ten FAVORITE things to do, and this time I will tell you the top ten Skinny facts. Because lists are easier than writing actual posts. And away we go.

Top Ten Skinny Facts

1. Adam and I met and our connection was instant (apparently not the first time we met, but the second time...) But I wasn't used to boys being nice to me. So I was really mean to Adam and chased him away. And then somehow I won him back. And about 9 months later we were wed. But you can read all about our story here.

2. I have no filter. And that means there are always things that are borderline inappropriate and potentially awkward for everyone to read. And who doesn't love a good awkward moment? My life in general is pretty awkward, if you wonder what I mean by that, you can send Mr. an email asking him about the time I kicked him out of my house when we were dating... Oops.

3. The blog is a nice balance between a woman that can wear a crown and a woman that can make herself look like she just got in a bar fight.

(Wondering about the crown and sash? I used to do pageants. It was is a serious addiction. 
I aged out and got married so now I just volunteer for Miss Idaho and coach contestants all over.
I also appear to have an incredible talent of drawing mermaid tattoos.)

4. Adam and I both give great hugs. Mostly to each other. But we will give them to you too. What does that have to do with blogging? Really... nothing, but that's okay.

5. Sometimes I post things about fashion. Mostly because I like to think I dress well.

Ooops... Wrong photo. Let's try fashion again....

6. The Mrs. would wear animal print every single day if she could. But alas... she must be a grown up.

7. Skinny is a nickname. Not a body type. Well. For the Mr. it is...

8. I like to make music videos. Mr. hasn't quite embraced it like I have. That's okay. He will come around eventually.

9. Mr. Skinny is a baseball player. And because of that he is gone about 60% of the time from February-June.... and if he signs to play professionally it will be about 75% of the time from February-September. But that is the way we like it. Especially when I get to go watch. Because baseball players are attractive. See photo below if you don't believe me.

10. Last of all... I am hilarious. If you don't believe me ask my parents. Adam is potentially funnier more funny funnier than I.

At the end of the day we are just a couple of kids in love, living life on the edge, and causing a ruckus. You can follow along in our adventures here or you can just scan through our photos. We accept all people. Love you dearly.

xxoo, The Skinnys

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bon's Book Club: The Fault in our Stars


I kind of feel like this whole experience would be better if we are all eating.  Hurry! Go grab a bowl of ice cream and then meet me back here in three minutes!

Ah, isn't this so much better?  Why is it that food enhances every single human experience?  

The Characters:  
I really liked Hazel.  At first I thought she was a little bit pretentious and pretty ornery.  I don't generally like characters that hate the world.  But then Hazel lets readers in and you get to see a lot more of her vulnerabilities and why she's so grumpy.  Because she's dying, duh!  I was especially struck by the part of the book where she tries to break things off with Gus because she doesn't want to be like a "grenade" that hurts anything that is close to her.  I especially identified with her through the end, through her mourning process.  I liked Gus, too, although I thought him to be just a bit too good to be to true.  My sister said once that the formula for writing a successful teen fiction is to have a girl attract a guy who is way out of her league.  (Twilight, anyone?)  For some reason it works every time, and I felt like it was true for this book too.  Gus felt like a guy who would never really go for Hazel in real life.

One thing that bothered me a bit about Hazel and Gus is that I can't see any teenagers really talking the way they did.  Sometimes the way Gus talked, especially, was over the top to me.  It was too distracting.  For exapmple, at one point they are playing video games and Gus says, "Sadly the bridge is already under insurgent control due to questionable strategizing by my bereft cohort."  At the moment I kind of rolled my eyes and thought, "Give me a break, Green.  No one talks like that- especially not a seventeen year old."

Peter Van Houton:
I LOVED the side story about going to Amsterdam and meeting Van Houten.  I thought it was pure genius and something about Van Houten showing up to Gus' funeral really hit me hard.  When Hazel turned back and saw him there I had to catch my breath.  I did not see it coming at all.  I also loved that even when Hazel so furiously told him to leave that he snuck in her car and demanded to give his apology.  I guess what I loved about it is that it showed the goodness and strength in somebody as totally awful as Van Houten- that even the worst people have some good in them.

The Love Story:

I liked that Green took a long time to develop their relationship.  It felt more real to me that way.  One of the sweetest lines for me was when they are on the airplane going to Amsterdam and Hazel states, "I fell in love the way you fall asleep; slowly, and then all at once."  Is that not the most beautiful description you've heard of falling in love or what?

I appreciated that the love story went past the romance and flowers and kisses and to the stuff that is real love. The scene where Gus pukes all over himself and has to call Hazel to help him was where I really felt how strong their love is. It is also the part where I totally lost it and just succumbed to the nonstop crying.  Green paints such a fantastic picture of someone so totally degraded by his condition.  My favorite excerpt of writing from this part: 

"This was the truth- a pitiful boy who desperately wanted not to be pitiful, screaming and crying, poisoned by an infected G- tube that kept him alive, but not alive enough."  But it wasn't until Gus' miserable pleas of "I hate myself I hate myself I hate this I hate this I disgust myself I hate it I hate it I hate it just let me f***ing die" did the tears start rolling down my cheeks.  It made my heart ache for those who have to say goodbye slowly, both those who are leaving and those who are being left.

Oh- and I loved the "okay" "okay" "okay" form of flirting and communicating that Hazel and Gus had.  Such a cute little inside joke that Green added in that made the relationship feel that much more authentic.

The Grieving:
The part that I liked most about the book were the descriptions of Hazel after Gus' death.  I like that the book didn't end right with his death, as so many stories do.  I needed that book to give me at least a little of Hazel's grieving process, and it did.  I loved this description that Hazel gives of her grief and I identified so much with it:

"It was unbearable.  The whole thing.  Every second worse than the last.  I just kept thinking about calling him, wondering what would happen, if anyone would answer... The grief was slamming me again and again as I lay still and alone in my bed staring at the ceiling, the waves tossing me against the rocks then pulling me back out to sea so they could launch me again into the jagged face of the cliff, leaving me floating face up on the water, undrowned."

At the funeral Hazel experiences a lot of anger- anger for people who act like they miss Gus when they never spent time with him, anger for people who say that he is in a better place or this was supposed to happen, anger toward people who somehow make her feel that her relationship with Gus is threatened in any way.  I'm so glad Green put those in there because I felt it was such a real betrayal of very real emotions.  I feel like by adding all of this into the book, Green is able to allow us to connect even more with Hazel.  She becomes so real and I love that we get to see all of her flaws.

I still can't quite figure out what the title is supposed to mean.  Your thoughts?  I know it comes from the quote from Julius Cesear, "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves that we are underlings." I feel like the title has some epic meaning, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

A thought that has stuck with me after reading the book is Gus' explanation of why he doesn't play basketball anymore.  It's just trying to put the same thing in the same basket over and over again.  Along with that, his description of hurdlers- "Do you think they ever think, "Hey! I could do this a lot faster without these hurdles to jump over."  It makes you think about the uselessness around you, the things you do just to do, the futility of so much we do in life.

All in all, I absolutely loved the book and would recommend it to anyone.  The end was so moving to me and I connected with it in on a level that is rare for me.  I read the last 50 pages on an airplane, and I couldn't help but cry and cry at the last pages.  They were so powerful.  I was sitting in the middle seat- in between two big, scary men.  One of the guys- a huge white guy that looked like he would beat the crap out of anyone who messed with him- turned to me and said in the nicest, sweetest voice, "Are you at a sad part in the book?"

Yes.  Yes, sir. I am at a sad part in the book.

What did you all think?  What did you like and not like about the book?  Here are some questions you might want to answer in your comments (Wow, am I an English teacher, or what?!?) or you can just say whatever you want.  If you did your own separate post, please post the links in the comments.  Can't wait to talk more about this with you!

+ Do you see Hazel as a likeable narrator?  How about a realistic one?
+ Why did Green choose to add Peter Van Houten and the trip to Amsterdam to the story?  How did that affect or change the book?
+ Was the book too sad or tragic for you or did it somehow leave you feeling uplifted?  How?
+ There are some graphic scenes including Gus peeing his own bed and vomitting all over himself.  Why do you think Green chose to add these.  Are they appropriate?
+  What makes Gus and Hazel's love story unique?  Do you see them as real characters- why or why not?
+ Would you suggest this book to someone who has cancer or is close to someone with cancer?  Why or why not?
+ The book is classified as "young adult" fiction.  Do you think this is an accurate genre for the book, or do you consider it too deep for that age group?  On the back cover of the book it says that Green writes "for youth rather than to them".  What do you think that means?
+ What did you think of the end of the book?  Did it give you enough closure?
+ What did you think of Green's description of Hazel's grieving process immediately following Gus' death?  What touched you the most about those scenes?
+  What is the significance of the title of the novel?

April's book club discussion will be on The Great Gatsby on Thursday, April 25.  (Book club is always the last Thursday of the month.)

For the books we are reading for the rest of the year, go here. You can join in at any time.  I'd love to have you along for The Great Gatsby- it is my favorite book of all time.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


What makes you love a blog?  I'm talking read and read and delve into the archives, and then check every day for a new post even when you know for a fact there will be no post because she already posted once that day or she announced she will be gone all week.  That kind of love.

There are several different reasons I read blogs- to be entertained, to escape my present world, to look at stunning fashion, to get good deals and win free stuff.   I think though, what keeps me coming back to blogging and what keeps me coming back to the same blogs over and over and over is connection.  In some way or another I have to connect with the writer behind the blog.  I have to feel her realness, who she is, or else I eventually lose my desire to read.  One of my favorite blogs right now is E Tells Tales.  She's a fellow English teacher, and I'm mildly obsessed with her because I totally relate to her and connect to her and I feel that she is so honest in her writing.

She makes me want to be a more honest writer.  I try to be, I really do.  I try to make this a place on the internet that is real, that is raw, that shows vulnerabilities.  That's not easy, though.  It's easier to just cover up anything that makes me nervous and act like I've got life totally figured out.  "I dress like a rockstar!  I have a perfect job!  I take great vacations! My marriage is perfect!  I am always happy!"  That is the easy road in blogging, I suppose.  It is far more difficult to tell the truth.

So today I will venture into my truths.  They are not easy to write.  But they are truths that need to be told.

+ I have applied for my teaching credential in California and applied for a handful of specific jobs, but have heard nothing back.  What if I don't find a job?  Then what?  I've already quit my job- there is no turning back at this point.  Do I start waiting tables?  Am I a strong enough woman to support my husband in his career choice even if the road is rocky and involves a crappy apartment in L.A. and late nights at a crappy job and missing my family?

+ I want to get to a place where I can make a full time living from blogging and writing.  But then what happens to the teacher in me?  Does she die?  I love teaching, but it doesn't pay well enough and that is sad that I feel like I might have to love a career I adore because it doesn't reward me adequately for my time and effort.

+ And how do I have the audacity to think that I can make it as a full time writer, anyway?  That is terrifying and a wish so real and brave that just typing it out like this scares me to pieces.

+ When my little sister came home from her 18 month mission last week, I was so happy.  I had missed her terribly.  But I was sad too.  Sad because I said goodbye to my dad more than 3 years ago and why can't he be coming home on a plane, too? Why can't I wait for him at the terminal and hold a poster for him that says "Welcome home, dad!  We missed you!  Boy, did we miss you!"  And why is grief such a long process?  I'm pretty sure everyone else has moved on, why do I linger so... not wanting to completely let go of him?

+ Today a parent called me because her two sons in my class have a B+.  They have a B+ because in spite of their sheer brilliance, they never participate in discussions and so have been docked participation points.  She told me what I was doing was "morally wrong."  She said I was punishing them for being shy.  I said it was a type of informal assessment and I needed to see their ability to discuss and respond to literature orally.  She said what I was doing was simply "not right."  I tried hard to stand my ground, but then somehow backed right down because suddenly I was just so tired.  Parents, why can't you be on my side?

+ I get so frustrated with myself sometimes.  Like I'm just not progressing as a decent human being on this planet.  Mostly this happens when I get in arguments with Hubs.  WHAT?!? Bloggers get in fights with their husbands?!?  Impossible!  I am disgustingly stubborn, and Hubs ain't no doormat himself.  Somehow a question about one thing turns into an argument about something entirely different turns into a full blown battle over endless issues.  Sometimes I say awful things I don't mean and I wonder, does the rest of the world know how to hold their tongue?  I am working on thinking before I say things and I am working on taking deep breaths and asking God to help me to say what I want to say and not something that is hurtful and untrue.  I guess it just bothers me that there is this side of me that exists somewhere that all of a sudden emerges and spits out nasty things and then runs back for cover.  I think I am a kind, thoughtful, loving person.  Until I see that I am not.

+ There's some big stuff going on today with gay marriage.  My religion supports traditional marriages and I do too because that was the best choice for me, personally.  But who am I to take away someone else's freedom to choose their path to happiness, however different from mine it may be?  I believe in marriage between a man and a woman, but even more strongly I believe in the incredible gift God gave us to choose for ourselves, and so I say yes to gay marriage.

+ My sixth period class asks me every day if I'm really leaving to California next year, and can I stay just one more year?  I laugh it off and continue on with the lesson, but to tell you the truth, it kind of breaks my heart.  There is chemistry with classes and as the school year draws to a close my heart starts to hurt, realizing that soon this amazing chemistry that we have going on will end.  I am safe and comfortable at my school and I know in my deepest of hearts that I need to move on because I am supposed to learn and grow and there are experiences I am supposed to have that aren't at Copper Hills.  But change is hard, and if I think about it too long I start to cry, so I don't let myself think about that class full of juniors begging me to come back to teach them one more year of English.

+ Almost all my friends my age have babies.  I don't want babies because, quite frankly, I am selfish.  I like my time and I like my body and I like my money.  Then I feel guilty for not wanting a baby and for being so selfish and I wonder if God is ever going to give me that strong desire or if I am a different kind of woman who doesn't yearn to nurture and care for others.  And if so, wtf?  Why don't I have normal female genes?

P.S.  Who is your favorite "honest" blogger.  Please share with me.  I love a good honest blog find.
P.P.S. I was going to do a Shabby Apple giveaway today but then I wanted to post this instead.  And so it goes.
P.P.P.S.  Book club for The Fault in Our Stars is tomorrow. You can write your own review of the book and link it up or respond in the comment section.  I can't wait to hear your thoughts.  Here are some questions to get you thinking if you need a push.  You can address any or all of these questions, but don't have to address any if you don't want to.  How's that for freedom?

Spoiler.  Don't read these questions if you haven't finished the book.
+ Do you see Hazel as a likeable narrator?  How about a realistic one?
+ Why did Green choose to add Peter Van Houten and the trip to Amsterdam to the story?  How did that affect or change the book?
+ Was the book too sad or tragic for you or did it somehow leave you feeling uplifted?  How?
+ There are some graphic scenes including Gus peeing his own bed and vomitting all over himself.  Why do you think Green chose to add these.  Are they appropriate?
+  What makes Gus and Hazel's love story unique?  Do you see them as real characters- why or why not?
+ Would you suggest this book to someone who has cancer or is close to someone with cancer?  Why or why not?
+ The book is classified as "young adult" fiction.  Do you think this is an accurate genre for the book, or do you consider it too deep for that age group?  On the back cover of the book it says that Green writes "for youth rather than to them".  What do you think that means?
+ What did you think of the end of the book?  Did it give you enough closure?
+ What did you think of Green's description of Hazel's grieving process immediately following Gus' death?  What touched you the most about those scenes?
+  What is the significance of the title of the novel?

Monday, March 25, 2013



It happens four times a year.

The dreaded end of quarter.  (For newbies around here I teach high school English for a living.  It is altogether the best and worst decision of my life.  Figure that one out for me!)

Oh the angst of the end of the quarter! The woe! The drama! The tears! It is five days of pure madness as kids I haven't seen in months flock in to try to make up the mountains of work they have been neglecting.  I start the day real sweet and by 3:00 I'm about ready to bit off the head of any kid who dares mutter, "Uh... Teacher..."  Students if you are out there somewhere reading this, I'm sorry!  I really am sorry!  It's not the real me lashing out, I promise!

I think what I hate most about end of quarter is that it puts me in really difficult situations.  There are no easy calls in teaching.  A lot of times I make the ultimate call in whether a kid passes or not.  Oftentimes they are students who struggle, who have difficult home lives, who need the extra help.  Do you let them hand in an extra assignment?  Do you make exceptions for them that you don't make for regular students?  Do you let them ignore deadlines that you shove down the throats of the rest of your students?  Do you teach them that the world will always make an exception for them or do you force them to fail and learn the hard truth?

And so, I have created day Round 2 of "What would you do?"  I was burned on this by mean commenters the first time I did it, but alas, I am ready to venture into the world of anonymous and nasty comments once again to see what you folks all think.  Would you be a good teacher?  Would you be merciful?  Would you be just?  How do you know what is right?


I received an email from the school counselor today asking me if I could let a student hand in extra work and give her a couple of weeks past the end of quarter to get stuff in.  She has an awful home life, abusive father, absent mother, etc.  The problem is she literally has a four percent in my class.  She has been to class maybe 3 days out of the quarter.  When I said this to the counselor she replied that the student is on a 504 (special accommodations because of needs) and is allowed extra time.  Hmmmm.  Now what?

A.  Allow the student to make up any work from the quarter.  It isn't her fault life dealt her a crappy hand.
B.  Allow the student to do enough work to get her to passing, but only to passing.
C.  Allow the student to fail the class.  She didn't attend class, she didn't do work for class, she doesn't "pass" the class.

MY ANSWER:  C.  I emailed the counselor back that the girl would fail because she is already months behind on many deadlines from the quarter that are too late to make up no matter what your 504 says.  The truth is I feel dishonest "passing" a kid like this.  I get that she "needs" it, but me saying she passed the class when I know she didn't is no different than her lying and saying she did an assignment when she knows she didn't.  She didn't learn the material, didn't read the books, didn't "pass."

I had a student who said her main writing project for Tuesdays with Morrie never got put in the computer.  We scoured the room and the assignment was nowhere to be found.  The assignment is worth 150 points makes up roughly 15% of her grade.  She hand did the project as it was a creative, hands on assignment. I would estimate that the assignment takes anywhere between 4-8 hours to do in its entirety. She has always been a good student for me, and never lied.  Do I excuse the assignment, or do I make her do it again?  I am very methodical in my grading and never take work home with me, so it couldn't have left the classroom.  The girl has also accused other teachers of losing her work. That being said, a month ago I found another student's lost assignment from last year underneath a stack of my copies.  Teachers make mistakes, too.

A.  Give her the benefit of the doubt and give her the grade of what she normally averages on big assignments.  Act like you found it so that the mom and girl don't think you're a crappy teacher.
B.  Just excuse her from the assignment so the points from the project don't help her grade or hurt her grade.
C.  Make her redo the assignment.  No proof no points.

MY ANSWER:  C.  I felt awful about it, and believe me, if that stupid project shows up in June when I'm cleaning out my room I will sit down and cry tears of embarrassment.  But I have no evidence of the assignment ever having been turned in.  I just can't give points for something I never saw.  I guess I am scarred by my eighth grade best friend who constantly said she handed in work she didn't, took advantage of our weak sauce English teacher, and ended up with an A without doing a stitch of work.  Kids can be sneaky, you know.

Every end of quarter I cut off the work deadline a week before the quarter actually ends.  This allows me to get grades in on time, keep my sanity, and helps me stay organized.  Inevitably there are always a few students who try to hand work in the day after the cut off.  My cut off for this quarter was Thursday, March 21.  I was gone on Friday for Ashley's wedding.  When I came back this morning, the sub had left a student's project on my desk.  A 100 point essay that wasn't turned in on time was now completed and done extremely well.  I could tell the student took some time with this.  If I accept this assignment, the student will pass.  If I do not accept it, the student will fail.

A.  Give the student the points.  It was only one day, no one has to know about it, and the important thing is that she did the work.  Isn't that what the point of all this is anyway?  Besides, it wasn't an extra inconvenience to me as I hadn't even started grading that period's work yet.
B.  Give her half the points she would have originally earned on it.  If it's enough to pass, she passes, if not, too bad.
C.  Don't give her any points.  The deadline was written on the board, I reminded students a million times, and she had plenty of opportunities to get it in on time.

MY ANSWER:  A.....?!?  I am still undecided on this one, but am leaning toward A because the work is already completed and because she really is a bright, capable girl- just struggles to get work in on time.  But then if I do this for one student do I have to do it for all students?  And why can't students just remember their freaking deadlines already?

TOMORROW:  Shabby Apple giveaway.  Make sure to stop on by!

Also, my high school is #2 in the nation for having the most unique high school mascot!  I felt all warm and tingly watching this footage of my old alma mater and the hicks who still inhabit that time.  GO DINOS!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Announcement: I am taking up a new lover.

Guess what I'm holding right now?


Last time I posted on this blog I was in an anxious tizzy fit about getting these bad boys recovered.  They had vanished into thin air!  It started Thursday morning when they were nowhere to be found.  I had to take my mom's car to work.  I spent the evening and night turning the house upside down looking for them.  Finally about 10:30 I decided I must have locked them in the car and called the Orem City Police to come break in for me.

As I was waiting outside for the nice police man, my sister came bounding out of the house saying my mom had found the keys.  SAY WHAT?  Apparently she had blown a fuse, so she went into the storage closet to turn it back on.  While she was in there she noticed sitting on the floor, why but my keys of course!

Do you know what else is in the storage closet?
Do you know who was looking for costumes on Wednesday night?
Do you know where else Hubs was looking for costumes?
The trunk of my car.

Ah it all makes perfect sense, doesn't it?!?  I didn't lose my car keys at all, Hubs lost my car keys!  I immediately called him up- he was in a car in his way to California- to let him know it was all his fault.  Naturally he felt like a real moron.  As it should be!

It was a good thing I found my keys because it was off to Arizona for me on Friday.  Just as the snow started to come down real hard Friday afternoon I hopped a plane and landed one hour later in 80 degree weather.  It seems one of the cruel injustices in this world that you can be freezing and miserable when one state down the people are soaking up the sun and sipping pina coladas.  It's like when you have a crappy boyfriend and your roommate has the nicest, most thoughtful boyfriend ever.  I feel like winter is the abusive boyfriend who gives me cruel, merciless beatings.  I want nothing more than for him to leave for good, and yet somehow he sticks around, returning when I thought I had finally chased him away.  Going to Arizona this weekend was like meeting my perfect guy, but then realizing I am trapped in an abusive relationship with Winter and I will never have that perfect man to make me happy and give me warmth and sunshine and light.  I just have darkness and cold and a brutal hit in the face.

I'm over winter.  In case you couldn't tell.
I went to Arizona to celebrate the wedding of my mission buddy, Ashley. (Last time I posted about Ashley (and also the time I met her then-boyfriend-now-husband, Bully) was here.) It was a great excuse not only to run away from the snow, but to catch up with my old mission buddies- some of my favorite people in the whole world.  I stayed with my old college roommate, Sally, and spent the wedding festivities with Dallin and Janet.  I couldn't ask for a better group of women.

FRIDAY. 7:00 PM.
BACHELORETTE PARTY.  Coordinated by yours truly.  Lots of friends, lots of Mexican food, and lots of lingerie.  I gave her that spicy little diddy below.  Naturally.  I'm a pro at hooking people up with a little something sexy.  In the picture below is Janet Byrne.  She was my mission companion for 6 weeks in Argentina.  Most missionaries are young, but Janet up and decided to book it to Argentina when she was 50+ years old.  She left her kids and grandkids, her job, her home and went all by herself.  She is one of the most humble and loving people I have ever met, and such a great example of sacrifice.  I learned so much from her as a missionary, and she was one of my favorite companions. She is so kind and genuine and taught me a lot about the concept of agency and letting others choose.  She is one of the good ones, no doubt about it.

No pictures, but I played tennis with Sally while Janet went on a bagel run.  I kicked Sal's trash, but shhhhh don't tell her.

Pedicures before the wedding and I get made fun of by a punk Vietnamese dude.  When I asked him to take a picture for us he made fun of my camera saying it was "so big and heavy my arm hurts from holding it!  This looks like it from 1980s!  Don't you know it is 2013!  You need iPhone for your pictures."  I was not amused.  Sal was- couldn't stop laughing the whole time we were there.  Those darn Vietnamese- they think they know everything.

This old man came in and asked for a pedicure and manicure and I don't know why, but that's the type of thing that just makes my whole day.

The ceremony was beautiful and made you think of love and butterflies and all that gooey stuff.  I especially loved just sitting outside on the bench with two of my mission besties, Dallin and Janet and enjoying the beyond perfect weather.  Not too hot.  Not too cold.  Slight breeze.  Sunshine warming your legs.  It honestly count not have been more perfect weather.  I thought about my abusive boyfriend, Winter, back home, and hated Him so much.

We found a quaint outside cafe and had a bite because heavens knows we couldn't wait for dinner at 6:30.  The afternoon was quiet and serene.  We ate and chatted and felt the sunshine warming our backs.  Long after the food was gone and the bills were paid we gossiped, laughed, enjoyed.  It was one of those absolutely perfect hours, where you feel so completely present in that exact moment, that exact time.  There is nowhere to go, nothing to do but enjoy that precise moment in time.  And so we did.

Janet realized she had left her gift at home, so while she went to help set up tables (she's a better woman than I.  I refuse to help at weddings ever since Courtney got free slave labor out of me at her wedding!) I ran back to Sal's to get it.  I had 45 minute dead minutes so Sal and I put on our swimsuits and tried to catch what was left of the sinking sun.

Sally bought us matching sunglasses.  She's a doll.

Ashley's wedding dinner was in the backyard of a Mexican restaurant.  Makes no sense to me, but that's where it was and it worked.  Everybody got all the Mexican food they could dream of and there was visiting and dancing to Gangam Style and Mormon toasts with apple ciders and kids trying to kill each other with sparklers.  The night was so beautiful and I secretly hoped it would never end.  It was one of the best weddings I've ever been to- usually I am bored to tears at those suckers.  Not this night.  I was surrounded by great company and great food.  Not even the worst DJ known to mankind could ruin it for me. (Seriously, Ashley, where did you find that guy?  He was bad!) Dallin and I were somewhat accosted by some married dude who liked to say not very stuff about his wife who was not there to defend herself.  I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I just never think too highly of people who rag on their spouses in public to perfect strangers.  Somewhere in the back of my mind I thought he might be trying to flirt with us, but his pursuit was futile as we had already being deeply and totally seduced by Arizona.  One lover at a time.

 Trying to take a picture of the setting sun.  Obviously not working.

 Does this man look like he's in heaven, or what?!?

Well someone's got to start undressing the bride already!

 They told me to be serious for once. I did my best.

Sally greeted me and Janet at home with a pazookie.  It was beyond delicious and Sally and I accidentally ate it all before Janet even got a bite.  When she got up to get some, I was just finishing off the last bite.  "Oh my gosh, did you want some?" I questioned. "Now you die," was her reply.  We are passionate about food around these parts.



Drive to the airport.
Cry to be leaving new perfect boyfriend, Arizona and return to abusive boyfriend, Winter, at home.
Try to plot a way to run away from abusive boyfriend forever.
No plot comes to mind.
Fly home.

I seriously was so sad to see the weekend end.  It was absolutely beautiful and such a great time for me to catch up with old friends.  Someone asked me this week if it was a strain financially to buy a ticket to Arizona, to leave for the weekend, and if I felt it as a burden.  The answer is no.  Unquestionably no.  I live for weekends like this,  for endless sunny afternoons sitting at an outside cafe talking with girlfriends. If you can't escape every once in a while for a perfect weekend like this then what are we all waking up early, and working our butts off, and driving ourselves into the ground for anyway?

On the plane ride home I finished The Fault in Our Stars that we are reading for Bon's Book club this month.  Don't forget that the discussion is THIS THURSDAY.  You can down that book in two days no problem and I strongly encourage you to.  It is so beautiful.

Thanks Janet, Dallin, Ashley, and Sally.  I couldn't have asked for a more perfect weekend.

I'm home now, waiting for old Bubs to make it safely back from his weekend in California (He was competing in a sketch comedy show in L.A.) so I can shower kisses on him and squeeze that skinny little waist that I have missed so much and make him protect me from abusive boyfriend, Winter who is still here in Utah, but seems to be less angry than when I left on Friday.  

Life is good.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Hey folks!  It's March sponsor time!  I've got medium and small ads left for March and I tell you what- those bad boys are a bargain!  Email me at to reserve your spot.  Click here for sexy sponsor details.

Not the face of a mentally sane individual.

I drive myself absolutely insane sometimes.

Like I want to drive a hammer through my head and that would feel real great to me.

Worried yet?

I have these habits that just drive me bonkers and I can't stop doing them and it is so absolutely maddening I can't even describe it to you!

This morning I woke up at my usual time, 5:50 (OUCH!) got ready, was totally going to be on time from my carpool, grabbed the purse and fished around for my keys.

And fished.
And fished.
And fished.

The fishing soon turned to searching which inevitably morphed into sheer panicking.  I tried to remain calm.  "Keys, oh keys, where are you?  We're good.  We're calm.  I JUST NEED THE DAMN KEYS!"

After ten minutes of looking I texted my carpool buddy, "Go without me.  Keys AWOL.  GRRRR."

I flipped on every light in the house.  (Sorry Hubs but you don't get to sleep through this!) tossed couch cushions, opened every drawer in the bedroom, you know how the whole looking for keys and turning the house upside down drill goes.

Nothing.  Greg got out of bed and joined in on the 6:24 am fun and excitement.  I went outside to see if the car was unlocked (it wasn't) to see if I could see if my keys were locked in the car (I couldn't) and to see if somehow I left them in Greg's car (I hadn't.)  Mind you it was blowing up a nasty storm the likes of Katrina this morning in my neck of the woods.  What is the deal with March?!?  I know this happens every year, but I'm still shocked!  70 degrees one day and then bitter winds and snow the next?  NOT COOL MARCH!  Needless to say my outside searching in the pitch dark and frigid wind was no freaking bueno.

At this point it was 6:30 and if I didn't get my butt out the door the bell for first period was going to ring without me.  So I did something very humbling for a 26 year old adult and went upstairs, woke up my mom, and asked if I could borrow the keys to the Subaru- my little sister's car. (Ummm... you all know that Bubs and I are still holing up in my mom's basement, right?  It's been a dream and someday I will tell you all about how we thought we had plans for one thing but then God said no and gave us different plans and how it all worked out beautifully.) (Also I feel more comfortable referring to Greg as Bubs sometimes.  I feel like Hubs is outdated and overused and getting kind of corny.  And Bubs is what I call him in real life.  So... from here on out he might be Bubs.  Or Hubs.  Or Greg.  Or Ginger.  Whatevs)

Sheesh who keeps getting me off topic?

Back to topic and the topic is my keys were missing and I had to ask my mom to borrow the car.  She said yes and it was really no big deal driving the Subaru to school except for it's a gas guzzler and I couldn't get my favorite talk show people on the radio.

Now it is 7:41 pm and I am home and once again searched high and low for said keys.  Surprise, Surprise they are nowhere to be found!  How does that happen to a person?!?

Oh, I know how to find them!  Retrace steps!

+Came home from school yesterday afternoon WITH KEYS.  I know this for sure because my car is parked in front of the house.
+ Was talking to Akasha on the phone when I turned off the car.
+Still talking to Akasha, walked inside and threw away a cup from the car.
+Still talking to Akasha laid on the bed.
+Finished conversation with Akasha and started flirting with Bubs who was at the computer.
+Went with Bubs in his car to the bank.
+Went inside the bank with Bubs to combine bank accounts (yes, we've been married two years and are JUST getting to this)
+ Got back in Bubs car.
+ Drove home and cooked rice to go with crock pot meal for dinner.
+Ate dinner. Cleaned up. Blogged.  Showered.
+Laid in bed and watch Downton Abby with Bubs until I fell asleep.
+Woke up, brushed teeth, dressed.
+Grabbed purse-- NO KEYS IN PURSE.

I have already looked in all possible places that anything yesterday could have led me.  On the bed, in the bed, under the bed, in the trash with the cup I threw away, in Bubs car, heck I even called the bank and they said, "No ma'am we don't know where your keys are and maybe you should stop acting like a sixteen year old and learn to keep track of them."  More or less.

What drives me the most crazy is this is probably the fifth or sixth time this has happened to me this year.  I go to leave for school and can't find my keys anywhere and it's enough panic and madness to make a woman hang herself.  (Whoa there Juliet!  Ease up on the dramatics!)  But seriously.  It's annoying.  How does the rest of the world keep track of their keys?  I am asking this in earnestness.  How do you keep yourself from losing your keys every darned day because apparently I can't handle it!

Also because I have now shared something totally embarrassing about me, it is now your turn.  What do you do that drives yourself absolutely crazy?  Any annoying habits you can't break?!?

OH!  And if you read this post and it dawned on you where my keys are PLEASE TELL ME!  I WILL GIVE ANYTHING!!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Jeans and an Indian Chief

Sometimes the darndest things happen.

You see, I like never wear jeans to school.  Like never!  It is so once in a blue moon.  I like to dress up and be professional so I'm always donning the skirts and tights and even high heels, oh my!

But today I didn't feel like it.  I woke up utterly exhausted, and the day was cold and drizzly so I thought, "Screw it all.  I'm wearing jeans!"  It didn't help that I had just gotten an adorable new sweatshirt from Skip n Whistle and I thought, "By Golly!  Today is the day to wear that bad boy!"

So I put on my comfy jeans and my ultra soft sweatshirt and was off to teach the youth of America.  At school those teenagers really liked my sweatshirt!  They said it was hip! And unique! And spunky!  And I said Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, darlings!

Neon Native American just can't be beat.  You can find him here.

And then who should appear?  But an administrator!  To observe me!  An administrator who has observed me teaching before and do you know what my report looked like?

+great classroom management!
+excellent rapport with students.
+Responds well to questions.
- Wearing jeans, doesn't look professional.

For whatever odd reason the last time I was observed I was also wearing jeans!  I've probably worn jeans four times the whole year and two of those times I get observed?!? Oh, the agony!

As soon as the administrator left, I exploded to my students, "Guys!  I'm wearing jeans!  Last time I was wearing jeans too!  That's what I got marked off and usually I'm dressed so nice!"

You wanna know what those kids said?  "Oh Teacher we know you always look nice!"  "But your jeans are so cute!"  "But you had to wear jeans to show off the Indian chief sweater!"  "We'll fight for you if they try to fire you for wearing jeans!"  "You look better in jeans than most people do in a suit!"

And that's why I teach 17 year olds.  Whoever says they're not the sweetest things is straight up lying to you.

Speaking of teaching, my girl Katie teaches third grade and I tell you those kids have got a fashion model teaching them multiplication.  She's got the whole putting outfits together thing down.  She would definitely never be marked down for wearing jeans!  Also.  Do you ever wonder how elementary teachers do it?  I do.  ALL THE TIME.  The patience and love that job must require... I can't imagine.  I figure they've got to be freaking saints.  And Katie totally is.  Last time Katie posted on this blog she told us about her struggles with infertility and miscarrying a baby.  Today she is pregnant with a baby girl due in July.  I could not be more excited for her.  I adore this blogger and I know you will too!

Hi Life of Bon readers! My name is Katie and I blog at for Lauren and Lauren.  I'm really excited to be here, and am a huge fan of Bonnie's blog.  One of my favorite things about Bonnie is her honesty.  You know she is going to share what is on her mind, which is something that I try to do on my blog.

But my blog started with just slightly more shallow content, as I used it as mostly a way to share my outfits with my sister Lauren and sister in law Lauren (hence the name for Lauren and Lauren).

While I do love to share my ability to find cheap clothes and what kind of outfits I put together, I've also found great blessings in using my blog to share things in life I'm working on, lessons God is teaching me, and a lot about our struggle through infertility.  While scary at first, the support and blessings that have come from it have been far worth it.

And we are unbelievably excited and still in disbelief that we will be having a baby girl this July!

Which means I am doing my best to still find cheap, cute outfits that I can wear with this growing bump of mine.

I also love sharing about different projects I've made like these infinity scarves or heart sweater, stories as a third grade teacher and then occasionally making fun of my husband with either his constant annoying noises, or his lack of knowledge about anything fashion related.

And then of course sharing my love for sweets, clearance racks, and my complete obsession with Target. (But is there any woman who is not addicted to Target?)

And as cheesy as it sounds my favorite thing about blogging has been meeting people and making friends.  Something that I had no idea existed in the blogging world.

Thanks for having me Bonnie!  I'm always excited to meet new bloggers so come visit me!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Home! Let me go home!

It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed, is you.

She's home!  After 18 months trudging through jungles in the boonies of Argentina, my little sis is home safe and sound.  And ah, geez, are we excited!

The way up to the airport.  We are big into curlers in my family.  Beauty first, people.  If you are wondering what type of vehicle we are all riding in, the answer is a 15 passenger red van property of my sister.  Don't be jealous.  My sis would probably be mad at me for posting this picture of her, but I'm almost positive she doesn't read this blog anyway so we're safe!  Phew!

Aunts and cousin waiting.  Also, please notice the blue camera in the bottom left of the picture.  Elizabeth is not messing around with that zoom, is she?!?

Brothers and nephews.  It wasn't easy to get them to look at me for this picture.  Boys are such rebels.

Please ignore disgusting pillow in her hands.

Sister and brother.  Emery is not handling it well in the background.  That's babies for you.

Also, please notice Ben in the striped shirt.  Come on, people!  We are taking pictures around here!

This is Mary hugging 5 year old nephew, Ricky.  I am 99% sure that he has no idea who she is.  Little kids' memories are short, you know, but we forced the hug on him anyway because we are big into hugging around these parts.

You can't even tell we're sisters, can you?!?

I made these signs.  I'll be the first to admit, I am no Picasso.  Again, please notice Emery in the background.  Baby is ruining all my pictures!

This is what happens when there are four cameras and everyone is looking at a different one.
Also, please notice- Becky apparently got a text in the middle of the picture.  Debra put on her own shoes and her choice was boots even though it was 60 degrees out.  You can still love us all even if we're not photogenic, right?

Elizabeth is totally ready to perform an exorcism on Greg.

Well that's one way to eat a Cafe Rio pork salad.
Aren't 14 year olds endearing?

Whenever I try to take a bunch of legit photos like this I am reminded of a couple of things.  1.  I will never take beautiful, professional looking pictures and 2. It is so annoying trying to get people to pose for pictures.  One day of the picture taking madness and I'm done.

I couldn't help but think about how much has happened since Mary has been gone.  The world has totally changed!  I am practically a completely different woman!

In the last 18 months:

+ I started wearing bright red lipstick.
+ Instagram came into existence!
+ The Jazz got swept in the playoffs by the Spurs.  No one was surprised.
+ Hubs and I celebrated our first and second wedding anniversary
+ I started this blog.  Wowzers, I was a blogless Bon before!
+ Man eating other man's face off in Miami.  Should I even tell her about this?
+ Kate Middleton got pregnant!
+Kim Kardashian got married, divorced, and pregnant by another man.
+ I remained pregnantless!
+ Downton Abbey!
+ The Avengers!
+ Colored Skinny jeans became all the rage!
+ Buddy the poodle entered our lives.
+ I passed through a hurricane on a boat in the pacific and lived to tell the tale.
+ I stayed the exact same weight and height.
+ Hubs and I got the worst job ever painting apartments and almost killed each other over it.

I guess when I look at that list I realize that nothing that big has really happened.  The world goes on turning.  In some ways it's depressing to think that the world is always basically the same and in some ways it's strangely comforting.  Everything changes and yet nothing changes.

How's that for a deep thought?

So great to be surrounded by family today and feel that bond.  Days like today I feel my dad near, almost like he is with us in the room.  One of the big reasons I look forward to my family gathering- with all of my siblings close and my mom how could we not feel my dad smiling down on us?

Welcome back Mar Mar!  May you be as successful at adjusting back to normal life as you were at being a missionary!