The Life of Bon: May 2013

Thursday, May 30, 2013

It's the Cranky Time of Year

Dear Blog,

I am so tired.  You know those seventeen year olds.  They wear me to the ground.  They are coming in night and day, all during class and all throughout my prep period wanting to know if they can still hand this paper in/ retake that one test/ check my grade.  Oh and do you think you could bump up my grade?  I'm only .37 away from the next highest grade you know!

And of course, then there's the parents who are emailing up the ying yang, "My son handed his paper in!" (No he didn't.) "My daughter wasn't late to class!" (Yes she was.) and "My kid deserves an A!" (If coming late every day to class and never handing in work qualifies as an A, then yes. Yes, he does deserve an A.)  It's about the time of year when I start to crack.  Lash out at students.  Send nasty emails to fellow teachers telling them to stop letting their students out of classes so they can come bother me.  Lock myself in my room and ignore the students who are knocking on the door.  (I mean, hey!  It's MY prep period, not their prep period, isn't it?!?)

Sigh.  It's just the cranky time of year.  Also exciting because school's almost out and summer is breathing down my neck but cranky because, wow those teenagers are relentless.

In other news, I wrote this really sweet goodbye letter to my students and got good and choked up while reading it to them today.  I'm going to miss those tike in spite of the fact that they are totally going to drive me to drink.  More on that when I have more energy/less frustration/ more time to put into blogging.  I'm sorry, blog, if you feel like I have semi neglected you this month.  It has been one of the craziest months of my life and it has been all I could do to sit down and write a couple of sentences.  Thanks for sticking with me.

This is my wall of writing resolutions.  After I turn back papers and give the students notes about what I noticed were problem areas with their writing, I make them tell me what they will fix next time.  Then I slap those resolutions on the wall.  You gotta love Jesus' sticky resolution- keeping it basic for that guy.

In other news, I've got the fab Gia here to show you her illustrations and other pure awesomeness.  This isn't Gia's first time around the block, or first time on Life of Bon, for that matter.  The girl knows what's she doing and one of these days I am going to make her draw a picture of me teaching my class and hang it on my wall and think of Gia everytime I see it.  Or something equally strange.


Hi Bonnie's readers! I'm here once again to bombard you with my blog and shop links. 

I'm doing this guest post while REALLY trying hard to listen to the lecture. I really do hate finance with a burning passion, I knew I should have listened to my friends and became an escort instead (sigh)

Aside from being a full time student, I also have a design shop that provides custom illustrations to businesses and bloggers like you. Aka I'll draw your face so you can plaster it on your blog and look at it all day!

Anyway, the illustration below is a portrait of my bff Martin. I know, it's cute right? (the drawing, not the person) Guess what? You can get one as well even though we don't really know each other.

And in case you're wondering, here's an illustration of myself too:
Now, join my giveaway so you'll have a chance to have one as well. If you never won anything before though, you might need this 15% off coupon code instead: LIFEOFBON  (you can redeem it here!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And in case you can't get enough of my illustrations, you can read more about it here or see more samples here.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Silver Linings Playbook: May Book Discussion

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth.  What a miracle it is that out of these small, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you.  Books help us to understand who we are and how we are to behave.  They show us what community and friendships mean; they show us how to live and die.  

- Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

Welcome to May's book club discussion featuring.... Silver Linings Playbook!  If you haven't written your review yet and are stuck about what to say, here are some questions to get your brain cranking.  You can use the questions or you can not the questions- it's up to you.  I mean, I ain't no English teacher!

  • What did you think of Pat, the main character?  Did you see him as realistic?  Is he a strong enough character to carry the story?
  •  Did you feel satisfied with Pat and Tiffany's relationship?  Did you want more out of it?
  • Why the heck did Matthew Quick talk so much about Eagles football?  I mean- what's the point of that?!?
  • How did you feel about the end... conclusive enough for you?
  • Favorite scenes?
  • Anything that bothered you or you found distracting about the book?

  • Bon's Review
    If I'm being completely honest with you I suppose I must admit that I haven't loved loved any of our book selections for the year.  February's Gone Girl, while page turning, left me totally unsatisfied, the unrealistic language in March's The Fault in our Stars bothered me too much to totally dig in, and this month's Silver Linings Playbook just felt a little flat to me.  The only Bon's Book Club selection that I've totally loved was last month's The Great Gatsby, but I already knew that was one of my favorite books ever.  I'm convinced that the more I read, the less I like reading.  Now isn't that jacked up?  I guess the more terrific literature I read, the less impressed I am with mediocre literature?  Or something.  (In other news, I've been reading fantastic books outside of the book club- I've recently read and loved Bird by Bird and The Paris Wife.)

    MOVING ON...

    I thought Silver Linings Playbook was just mediocre.  To start with, the main character, Pat totally drove me nuts.  I get that he had suffered a traumatic breakdown and everything, but the author portrayed him not as depressed and confused, but more like a little child or severely handicapped.  I couldn't really grasp on to the love relationship between him and Tiffany because I felt like I was reading about a little kid the whole time.  I have heard that the movie doesn't make him appear quite so little kiddish, so maybe I need to watch that.  A couple of years ago I read this book narrated by a little boy with autism, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.  The narrating in Silver Linings reminded me exactly of that book.  I wanted to read about an adult who's had some hard times, not an autistic kid.

    The other thing that was tough for me was that I wanted much more from Tiffany in the book.  I felt like she was a total side story, and then at the end of the book the author was like, "No!  Actually!  I want this relationship to be the main focus of the story!" whereas before it was always just kind of off in the background.  The book gives the impression that Matthew Quick had no idea what he wanted Pat and Tiffany's relationship to be or become... so it just felt like it was drifting/ wandering the whole time.  And then at the end they just lay down in a field of snow and you better believed I wanted a little more action than that!

    Lastly, (this is my last complaint, I promise. Then I'll get to the stuff I did like) throughout the entirety of the book Matthew Quick hooked the audience by making it seem like some horrific, tragic event had happened in both Pat and Tiffany's life and that was why they were so jacked up.  So I waited and waited the whole book for the big reveal- what is it?!?  What most awful thing has jacked up these people's lives so terribly much?!?!  And then after all that waiting it felt so anti climatic- Pat caught his wife cheating, Tiffany was a sexaholic.  Not that those aren't serious and devastating issues, but it just felt very... cheap?... to me.  Very... not creative.  Very... "let's see here... what bad thing can I make happen to this guy? Oh!  I know!  His wife cheated on him!"  I guess I felt after waiting the whole book, the tragic event would be a bit more dramatic/ original/ creative.

    Interestingly enough, I loved the father-son relationship.  The dad was one of my favorite characters in the book because I felt like he was a pretty realistic portrayal of so many of the dads out there- wanting to show love, wanting to help his son, but at the same time extremely frustrated and annoyed with a son that doesn't quite meet expectations.  I also loved how they all bonded over Eagles football.  There were times when I thought Quick overdid the football, but for the most part I loved it as a symbol of the relationship for these men.  They can all devote their lives to Eagles football, but can't as easily show their devotion to each other.  I felt like Eagles football for these man had to be the physical thing that they use to show each other that they really do care.  For example, the dad could only bond with Pat when they were watching football.  I guess it kind of makes me sappy and teary thinking about how men have to have sports and video games and stuff like that, but all they really want is to bond with each other.

    Favorite scenes from the book:  I LOVED the "montage" of Tiffany and Pat getting ready to perform their dance- I thought it was such a brilliant way for Pat to write about their experience.  I liked the idea of taking a movie scene and making it into a book scene instead of vice versa.  I also totally loved the first time Tiffany and Pat go out and Pat is so nervous about the bill being too expensive that he just orders raisin bran and then tips the waitress $34.  Maybe because I was a waitress for three years, who knows, I just thought that this was about the sweetest scene ever.

    Alright, now link up your reviews!  If you've got a short comment just stick it in the comment section- if you did a review on your own blog make sure to give us a link below for where you did your review.  I'm excited to read all about it!  I hope those of you who loved the book can convert me!

    Oh- and if you saw the movie but haven't read the book you can comment too!  We don't discriminate around here!

    June's book club will be held on Thursday, June 27, and we will be discussing Seriously, I'm Kidding by Ellen Degeneres. 

    See you there, suckers!

    Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    Shoes shoes and more shoes. What's a girl to do?!?

    I have a serious shoe addiction.  I remember my first year teaching a kid told me that he and his friends placed bets on which day I would wear a shoe twice.  I can't help it!  Who doesn't love shoes?

    Luckily for a young gal like me, desperately obsessed with shoes and finding no way, there is a way to feed this constant addiction.  It's called Shoedazzle.  Basically you take this sassy little quiz and the Shoedazzle experts/robots are able to totally dive into your psyche, discover all your deepest fears, and completely nail what type of shoe you like to wear.

    Here are some that they picked out for my "showroom."  I basically have found a pair of shoes for every occasion this summer.  How, convenient, right?!?  (Shhh.... don't tell Greg.)  I love Shoedazzle too, because even if I know I can't afford shoes this month, (BONNIE REPEAT AFTER ME:  You cannot afford shoes this month.  You cannot afford shoes this month.  You cannot afford shoes this month) it is so fun to go and "window shop".  My show room is fabulous and I pretty much day dream about what it would like to buy every pair of shoes I want.


    Of course I couldn't resist completely... the beaded sandals for Hawaii are on their way as we speak.  They were only $23 and besides, who can say no to 25% off the first order?!?

    Interested in doing your own quiz?  Right here, baby. 

    *This article is sponsored by Shoedazzle.  All opinions in this post belong to me. Unfortunately, all shoes do not.*

    Also, this is the most fun I've had doing a sponsored post IN MY LIFE.  Bring on the shoes, baby!

    Monday, May 27, 2013

    Can I get a bachelorette?!?

    You all know what time of year it is, right ladies?


    I mean, don't get me wrong, I love me some Bachelor.  It's about the only darn thing that gets me through January and February.  But something about The Bachelorette just trumps all other reality TV shows.  What woman doesn't want to fantasize about 25 guys fighting over her?  It's like Twilight on crack.  I am a little nervous, however, because Desiree looks like just Greg's ex girlfriend.  I don't know that I'll be able to love her.

    Also, on a totally separate note, I took a quiz from Shoedazzle to see what shoes fit the best with my personality...  They prescribed me a shoe called "Bonnie" (fitting, right?!?) which happened to be a five inch heel covered in denim.  Hmmmmm.   They got the name right.  Just not the style.  In their defense, there were tons of shoes I'm convinced I can't live without, just not the "Bonnie."

    Alright, it's Bachelorette time.  I ain't got no more time to waste.  But before we all sign off her for the rest of the night, I want to make sure you are good and introduced to this month's sponsors.  The girls are gorgeous and fabulous and not to mention they are giving away a bunch of goodies. (Giveaway ends tomorrow so get on it!)  I hope you get to meet some great new bloggers- it never fails to amaze me the talent and goodness that is out in blog land.


    My name is Jordyn and I'm a 21 year old college student/nanny/Starbucks addict living in the rainy (but wonderful) city of Seattle.  I'm sort of a shopaholic and a sucker for my bratty (baby) dog Boo, cute shoes and ice cream (all day every day).  I like to document my tiara collection, delusions of royalty and other sorts of magic and enchantment I find in everyday life.  Au Revoir!   xxoo, Jordyn


    After graduating from college in California, I moved back to the east coast to start my life. Some said it was crazy. Some said I was leaving the best state and that I’d regret it. I never once have. Back East Blonde is what happened after that. I try to keep at real (real goofy, that is) and maybe make you laugh.


    (Belle blogs anonymously so this is her anonymous picture!)

    Bonjour, y'all! I've been reading Bonnie's blog for over a year now, and I figured maybe I should introduce myself (call me Belle!) to some fellow fangirls, uhhh, readers. I'm not like "those other bloggers" (which means I'm just like y'all, because all bloggers say that). I blog about feminism, books, France, my boyfriend, and more... but primarily, I write about not having sex. As Bonnie once glowingly endorsed, uhhh, commented, "I find your thoughts on pre-marital virginity unusual, but at the same time extremely fascinating."


    I'm Aubrey, and I blog over at dreaming about someday. I spend my days working as a child development specialist. Although I love love love my job I'm constantly dreaming of being a stay at home something. When I'm not working I keep myself way too busy. When I have time, I love craft projects of any kind.


    I am
     a museum and culture loving, sometimes recipe cooking, fly by the seat of my pants DIYer, always rocking out and just living life kind of blog.
      Come join in on the sometimes crazy and usually unorganized but always fun times!


    A girl in her twenties who adores living in the 801, Pinterest, reality TV, Crafting, and Sour Patch Watermelon. She blogs about whatever she feels like on any given day. She's always up for a fun adventure and on a good day, she's also a full time college student. 


    I'm Katie and I am a Pittsburgh girl on a journey to lose 100+ pounds. I'm sharing the highs, lows, and everything in between as I follow weight watchers and work to get fit! I'm an attorney by day and novice blogger by night and I'm hoping to provide motivation and accountability to anyone else on a weight loss journey, whether you have 5 pounds or 150+ pounds to lose! 


    Hi, I'm Fabianna, and I run the Etsy shop H.Finn Jewelry! I'm a former PR girl turned attorney and part-time jewelry maker.  H.Finn carries dainty handmade jewelry that naturally sparkles - everything from druzy agate necklaces dipped in gold and dainty stacking rings to necklaces made of coral and shell. I love to make sparkly, pretty things and I hope you'll love wearing them!

    Sunday, May 26, 2013

    Something I have never done on this blog before. AKA a recipe. AKA the easiest peach cobbler in the planet.

    I know for a fact that there is not one person out there who has come to this blog looking for a recipe.  And yet, this is what you get!  A recipe!  Because you never know what you're gonna get around here!  I was mixing this dessert up this afternoon and I thought, "This recipe is so easy I wish I could share it with everyone I know."  And that is what I shall do! 



    - Yellow cake mix
    - Can of peaches
    - Stick of butter.
    - 9X9 baking pan
    -Oven, preheated to 350 degrees

    Dump peaches.  I like to cut them into smaller pieces once they're in the pan but you can keep them whole if that's what you're in to.

    Pour the cake mix on top of the peaches.  Don't stir, just even it out.

    Slice the butter on top of the cake batter until the whole thing is covered.

    Cook at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

    Serve with ice cream and eat up!

    I know it ain't much, but who wants a super complicated dessert recipe anyway?  I love it because I almost always have a cake mix and canned fruit in the house.  This is the peach version which is my favorite, but you can do it with any canned fruit- blueberries, cherries, pineapples, etc.  You can put nuts on top too if that's what you're in to.  Or mix up the cake flavor and do chocolate instead.  The possibilities are endless!  The point is now you have the easiest recipe in the world for when you forget you were supposed to bring dessert to the party!

    Saturday, May 25, 2013

    A Saturday journey of sorts

    This post is coming to you quite late for a Saturday.  Usually I try to knock this thing out early Saturday morning so you have lots to read all weekend long.

    Except for this morning I slept in until 10:30.  (Oh weekends!)

    Then I insisted on finishing Silver Linings Playbook.  (Book discussion is on Thursday- don't forget.)  The book reads fast, and I really wanted to be done with it today.  I am still trying to figure out my opinion on it...  I can't wait to see what you all think of it.

    Then, about 2:00 I was really going to sit down and get this post done and done and done.  I came upstairs to start my writing and was dismayed to find feathers all over the kitchen.  Real bird feathers.  I looked out the window to see Buddy (the toy poodle) chewing on a toy, surrounded by oodles and oodles of feathers.

    Something was definitely amiss so I went outside to do a closer examination.  I didn't have to get too close to Buddy, the little rascal, to discover that it was not a chew toy he was playing with- it was a live bird.

    A semi live bird, anyway.

    At the point the poor thing was still blinking and it's body was moving (more like shaking uncontrollably.)  I was home alone, and naturally started to panic.  What do I do with this poor thing?!?  Do I try to save it?  Do I ignore it?

    I sent a long frenzied text to Greg, filled with angst and compassion and all things a girl might feel when encountering an innocent dying bird.  Greg replied with two words,

    "Kill it."

    "With what?!?" I demanded.  It's not exactly like a be-be gun (how do you spell that?  I just realized I have never in my life seen be-be written out!) collection hidden in the hall closet.

    "A shovel."

    Well, I ain't not sissy, but I guess I'm a sissy because there was no way in you-know-what I was going to whack the bird with a shovel.  I noticed an unsuspecting  neighbor out in his front yard looking like he needed a bird killing task, so I recruited him to do the job for me.  He came over gladly with a shovel and gave the bird two of the biggest whacks known to mankind without even blinking an eye.  He scooped up the blood and guts from the lawn, turned to me, and said nonchalantly, "You might want to hose that down."

    THAT is why I am just now writing this post at 4:26 pm on Saturday afternoon.  I have been on quite the Saturday journey, my friends.  Now I think I'll go wash my hands.

    For your weekend reading:
    +Have you entered this huge group giveaway yet?
    +If you haven't heard, every plan I have made with my life has now been changed.  And I feel good about it.
    +With our big change of plans this means Greg and I can start working on our own little family.  I don't quite want a baby yet, but I would take a ten year old any day.
    + I've been thinking a lot about how to decorate a new home for me and Greg.  Let's just say I don't have the best track record (Lime green and burnt orange, anyone?)
    + Have you been participating in Jenni's blog every day in May challenge?  This is the type of thing that I kick myself over and think '"Why couldn't I have thought of that?!?" Jenni, you're a genius!

    Thursday, May 23, 2013

    I think I'll stay

    It all started a week ago Monday.

    We were in the car on the way to take Greg's mom out for dinner for a post Mother’s day treat.  We had both been feeling the strain and pressure of the past few weeks since finding out that I would need to get EL certified to teach in California.  I had been studying my brains out that afternoon and was feeling so overwhelmed with the ridiculous and specific things I was required to know about California Education Laws.

    And so we drove on, frustrated and quiet, each silently mulling over our stresses and anxieties.

    Greg interrupted my thoughts.

    “What if I told you I didn’t want to do theatre anymore and wanted wanted to become something like a therapist instead?”

    “I would support you,”  I replied automatically, not even considering if the question were hypothetical.  Of course it was.   “Would you ever want to do that?” I prodded when Greg was silent.

    “I don’t know… Maybe.  One day down the road.  I think it would be cool to help people straighten out their lives.”

    “It’d certainly be different…” I remarked nonchalantly.

    And that was it.  The end of the conversation.

    Greg brought it up at dinner again.  With his parents.  Just that the idea had been floating around in his head.  I lodged it away in a nether alcove of my brain to think about later.

    But then again on the way home, Greg brought up the same issue.  “Bonnie.  I’m serious.  I don’t think I can do California.  Just seeing how stressed you are and how difficult everything is… do we really want to blow all of our savings and just move out with neither of us with jobs?"

    I shrugged.  It certainly hadn’t sounded preferable, but I was willing.  I am willing to do many stupid things.

    “Besides… I don’t think I could do that lifestyle even if I were successful.  And I don't even know that I would be happy in that field.  I don’t want the instability and the late nights.  I want to be able to be home with you and raise a family.  Admit it, Bonnie, the majority of the tension, stress and fighting in our marriage comes from my career choice.”

    “That's not true...”  I trailed.

    “It is too!  You know it is- stress about money, about savings, about when to move, about priorities, our future family…” 

    I didn’t say much more, mostly just listened and tried to sort it all out.  It was so much, so fast.  When you have been planning for two years on a big move, it takes more than a couple of minutes and a few mile markers for you to be right fine and dandy with something completely different.  Greg asked me to understand and begged me to tell him what I was thinking and feeling about everything, but I just couldn't.  My little mind needed to sort it all out first.  Time to process.

    When we got home I thought about studying for the CTEL.  But then bagged it.  The motivation, the push, the pressure, it had all evaporated just like that.  I lay down to try to sort out my feelings and woke up three hours later to a splitting head ache.  Three ibuprofens and a swig of diet coke did the trick and I sat staring into the fireplace, hoping everything would somehow sort itself out.

    And then, I don’t know why, but I just started to cry.  I felt so completely lost and confused and who even knows what’s the right thing to your life?  What if we were on the brink of making a giant mistake that would somehow totally alter our destiny and happiness and future everything beautiful?  Would I always regret not moving to California with Greg?  Would we never have our big adventure- were we to be just some of the many scared dream chasers, never moving out of state, never striking out on our own?

    At the same time, I felt an undeniable sense of relief and peace.  No more California teaching hoops.  No more stressing about $1500 apartment rentals.  No more wondering when we can ever start a family because when will Greg make enough through acting to support us?  It felt as if all of those troubles that were always flying around so wildly in my head had suddenly found a place to rest.

    To tell you the truth, I suppose I don’t know why I was crying.  Because girls cry and because life is confusing and once you lay some plans and you think you’ve got it figured out, you realize you know nothing and everything changes on a dime. 

    The next morning I woke up strangely calm.  The day was busy and productive and happy, and the more I thought about staying in Utah the more I felt fine with it.  Greg felt the same.

    We sat on it all Tuesday and all Wednesday and by Thursday I had decided to ask my boss for my job back.

    I marched on in to the principal's office, much like the day I told him, with all the brazen confidence in the world, that I was quitting.  Only this time there was less brazen.  And less confidence.

    "Er... there's been a change of plans.  We're looking at staying in Utah.  My husband is going into a different job field.... could I stay?"

    My boss had the same look of pain in his eyes that he did when I told him I was quitting, but this time it was mixed with pity.  "Bonnie..." he started.  "You know we filled your position..."

    Of course I already knew that, but I suppose in my head I was hoping my principal could invent a position out of thin air for me, or call the new hire back and say, "So sorry!  She changed our mind!  The teacher wants to stay!"  Logically I understood.  Emotionally I was beat up.

    "If we have any more English teachers leaving,  we'll hire you back on in a heartbeat.  I would love to have you stay.  I would fight for you, I would, but my hands are tied.  You should start looking for other jobs...and if I can do anything to help you get hired on anywhere, you just let me know."

    And so Thursday  the job search began in Utah.  Only this time it was much easier.  Because I know people and I know the schools and I know the system.  Thursday afternoon I talked to my friend who emailed her principal who said she had heard from another principal that there was an opening at a nearby high school.  I hadn't even done a screening interview for that school district but I figured, "Ah, to heck with it" and showed up at the end of the day on Friday with a skirt and a resume.

    "I'd like to talk to the principal," I demanded.  I was jobless and completely vulnerable and that sort of situation calls for a false sense of pride and arrogance.  Or something.

    The principal wasn't there, but I was directed to a vice principal who was out patrolling the halls, surrounded by teenagers anxious for their weekend to start and teachers full of complaint.  I couldn't get a word in edgewise as a teacher yapped his ear off. so I stood there real awkwardlike, next to the man, for probably six or seven minutes before he realized I was waiting to talk to him.

    I knew the timing wasn't ideal and I knew the place was completely chaotic, but I chucked my resume at him and blurted out, "I heard you have an English opening!  I was going to move to California and now I'm not, but I resigned from Copper Hills and they filled my position so I want to work here now!"  The man was taken aback, no doubt, but also intrigued.  He promised he would talk to the principal, but he thought the position had most likely been filled.  They had been interviewing all week.

    Imagine my surprise on Monday afternoon when I got a call from the principal.  "Can you come for an interview?" he asked.
    "Sure... when?"

    Which was how on Tuesday after school I found myself sitting in the conference room at the high school interviewing for a job I didn't know existed and wouldn't fathom interviewing for a week ago.  What a difference seven days makes!

    My strategy with interviews is to go with the truth.  The truth is this: I really like my job and I really like those hoodlum teenagers.  Everything else is just details.

    It seemed to work.  The very next morning, in the middle of second period, an email popped up, offering me the position.

    I was remarkably happy.  But I didn't jump or scream or giggle.

    Instead, I leaned back and read the words twice ,and as I did so I felt an enormous weight lifted off of me.  It was almost as if the burden of the last months- the endless applications, the cbest and ctel tests, the emails to people who don't reply, the phone calls to answerless numbers, the voicemails to responseless machines- the scrimping, the saving, the apartment hunting, the endless stress- it was as if every last part of that melted away as I read those words.  I closed my eyes and uttered a silent prayer and allowed myself for just one moment to bask in that feeling of complete peace.

    I know that not everyone believes in God, and that's fine.  But I don't think anyone can deny that there is some kind of deep inner peace that we all desire in our lives.  Sometimes we are filled with it. Sometimes we have not an ounce.  In that moment, reading those words and sitting back in my chair while my students worked on their prompt, I was filled forehead to toenail with that inner peace.  And simple as that, that was how I knew without a doubt that we were making the right decision.

    Strangely enough, out of everyone that will inevitably hear of our change of plans, I have been most afraid of the reaction of my blog readers.  Isn't that funny?  I worried and stressed about how to write it, about what to say.  How to explain myself.  It was almost as if I felt that I had let you down in some way by not moving to California- like you wanted to read about my move and now I'm not moving and- she's a fraud!  A total fraud!  But I finally came to the conclusion that moving states with no jobs when you don't feel right at all about it just to please people who read what you write online is totally ludicrous.

    Greg will have to go back to school and get a second undergrad degree- this time in behavioral science with an emphasis on family relations.  I'm proud of the guy no matter what he does.  His program should be finished in a year and a half and then we'll do grad school and it will be four to five more years of school for the old chap.  But we can start to plan a little.  Map out our future just a tad  Maybe put down some money on a house and have some nights together and maybe, just maybe start thinking about little future redheaded children.

    It isn't what we planned on, and it isn't what we thought we wanted, but it is what's right for us.

    Wednesday, May 22, 2013

    Random Thoughts Part 2

    Greg says I only have 25 minutes to write this post because we are going to dinner to celebrate something exciting (I can't tell you yet.) and we are going to see Star Trek because Greg saw The Great Gatsby with me on Monday so it's my turn to see his movie with him and this is called compromise and sacrifice and how to make a marriage work.  See both movies- end of discussion about resolving marital conflicts.  I was going to do a "what we did in class this week" post and I even took tons of pictures of my classroom and then left my camera just sitting on my desk at school because I'm real smart like that.  This post is turning into a random thoughts post where I just write whatever thing I am thinking in that exact moment.  It ain't no quality writing, but it's a great way to get thoughts out/ cure writer's block.  I hope we don't go get hamburgers tonight for dinner.  What is with me that I don't like hamburgers?  Am I unAmerican or something?  Last time we went to Five Guys and I am telling you that place is way overpriced and overrated.  My hamburger had no flavor.  And I don't even like hamburgers with flavor.  I used to like fast food a lot more than I do now but now it just kind of grosses me out.  I wore Mary's pretty dress to school today and I even took a picture in my classroom to put with my what we did in class this week post... Fail.  I forgot my makeup at home today so I didn't wear makeup all day long which is kind of fine because makeup is a hassle anyway.  I think it is awesome when you have enough confidence to not wear makeup but I also think it is important to wear makeup most days and try to look nice.  You know.  For the seventeen year olds and all.  I am reading Silver Linings Playbook and I really enjoy it except for the narrator, Pat, almost acts mentally retarded.  I think the writer makes him appear a little too dumb.  I'm excited for Memorial Day.  It's about freaking time. And then it's just one week and two days and I hate that we go all the way until June this year.  Just be done already school!  Part of me feels like getting a job this summer and the other part feels like doing absolutely nothing.  I wonder what part will win?  I am getting my eyelashes done tomorrow and I am so excited because new eyelashes make me feel so purty and isn't it a weird world with people gluing on eyelashes for other people and people like me stoked out of their minds to do it?  I want to go shopping.  I think I am a serious shopping addict.  I always want to go shopping.  If I had my way I would get a new shirt/ outfit every week but then who would pay for it?  Answer me that... who would pay for it?!?  Greg keeps looking over at me like he's nervous.  He probably thinks I'm going to write this post all night and make him late for dinner.  And maybe I am!  What do you think of that, Greg?!?  Bachelorette starts on Monday!  Holler!  I'm excited except for that I don't love Des.  Mostly  because she looks exactly like Greg's ex girlfriend and who would love that?  No one.  That's who.  I keep biting my nails.  It's a freaking addiction.  Here I am, a total grown woman at 26 years old and still  biting her nails like a fiend.  Could it be that I will bite my nails for the entirety of my life?  Yes!  I think it is quite possible.  Okay time to go to dinner now.  Greg is shooting me some serious "If we are late to dinner so help me..." looks.  Also I will be very upset if the Miami Heat win the NBA championship again.  It feels so cheap.  My stomache aches.

    P.S.  Email me at if you want to sponsor in June.  There are a few spots left.

    P.P.S  You should probably enter this massive giveaway from yesterday.

    Tuesday, May 21, 2013

    Panic + Prizes = Best Post Ever

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    When I woke up this morning I rolled over drunkenly and thought, "Wow. It sure is bright this morning...."

    Instant panic.  Why was it so bright?

    I looked at my phone.



    My contract time at Copper Hills starts at the unearthly hour of 7:00 am.  First period starts at 7:40.  I live 45 minutes from the school.  On a normal day I am awake at 5:55 and out the door by 6:20.

    You can imagine the sheer and utter panic shrieking through my body.  I had two missed calls from the teacher in the room next to me.  I called her right away...
    "Steve has your students!  He has a prep so they are just chilling in his room right now." She informed me.
    A slight relief.
    I told her the reading assignment to give Steve to give to the students.  "Uh... tell Steve I'll be there in an hour..."  I tacked on at the end.  No big deal.  Just make other teachers teach your classes because you can't get your butt out of bed.

    When I got to school (I missed all of first period!) Steve was relaxed and chill and just calm as can be, which helped me to calm down a bit.  "I'm glad I could grab them and have them do their work in here..." he said, "I didn't want the principal to find out.  Last year I was late and the principal himself called.  It was awful."

    I was so immensely grateful to him for his kindness.  It reminded me of when I was a little kid and how my siblings and I would always have each other's back against the parentals.  No matter how much we hated each other we would always cover for one another, making sure we were protected from our parents.  We banded together against the authorities.  And here I am... 15 years later, still banding together with my teacher buddies against the authorities.  Funny how some things in life never change.  I guess it's just nice knowing someone will give you the benefit of the doubt, cover for you, and not judge you for your mistakes.

    What I learned today:  There is nothing that will make you feel more out of control in your life/ more stressed/ more like a total and utter failure than sleeping two hours past your alarm.

    I have been sufficiently humbled.


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    Monday, May 20, 2013

    Flow Flow Flow

    Iguazu Falls, Argentina.  Circa 2010.  And what does circa mean anyway....?

    I've been trying hard to recognize and enjoy my moments of flow.  I love this chart here that describes flow as "a state in which it feels like time stand still... you're so focused on what you're doing that you become one with your task.  Nothing is distracting or competing for your focus."

    I think of it as a moment when you are so totally involved in what you are doing that it's impossible to think of anything else.  You are completely wrapped up in that moment and are able to be 100% present.  You look around and all you want is that exact moment right there.

    The funny thing about flow is that if you are trying to have it, you have a lot more of it.  Say what?!?  The more I focus on enjoying the moments that came to me and bask in it, the more I realize how many of those moments I have.

    MY FLOW:

    - Stepping outside during my lunch break one beautiful day last week.  I took my lunch, my diet coke, and my book.  I sat on the lawn next to my classroom for thirty minutes and just let that sun come down on me while I read my book uninterrupted.  I wanted nothing else in life.

    -Driving home from a Blogger Roundtable last week.  I felt so lucky to know such incredible women and to have blogging as a way to cultivate lasting relationships.  There are so many fabulous people out there to meet. (Aubrey recapped it here.)  I drove home with the windows down and the music blasting and the night was so perfect.  Almost a Perks of Being a Wallflower "We were infinite" moment.  Almost.

    - Playing Ticket to Ride with my mom and Greg last night- just the three of us.  It's my mom's favorite game so if we have a few minutes on Sunday night I like to play it with her.  We chatted for a long time before we even set the board up and I felt so totally blessed to be next to people I care so much about.  It was one of those subtle moments of peace and tranquility and all things wonderful in this life.

    - I took 112 students to see The Great Gatsby today.  Greg came along for the ride.  My favorite scene in the book is when Nick arranges a meeting between Daisy and Gatsby and Gatsby is a freaking ball of nerves waiting for Daisy to come over.  The scene in the book is hilarious, and I was delighted the movie followed the text so closely.  When Gatsby runs around the house and knocks on the door my students filled the theater with their laughter, and we all reveled in the moment together because we understood the colossal importance of that moment. (Because boy, did we study that book!)  I sat there, surrounded by my favorite students and thought how incredibly blessed I have been to teach those tikes the past three years.

    - Friday night I treated myself to a pedicure and had the nicest girl who did my toes up all nice and pretty.  I sat back, let her massage those feet, and focused on nothing else but that exact moment.  (Secret:  If you constantly tell your pedi girl what a great masseuse she is she will massage you much longer and much better than normal.)

    When were your moments of flow this week?  Don't have any?  Make a conscious effort to "flow" and I can bet you will be surprised with how often flow comes to you..  Do you think you can have five flow moments a week?  Write them down when they come to you, and I guarantee you will be shocked at the sheer magnitude of your flow.

    I am done being mini buddha now.

    Over and out.

    Sunday, May 19, 2013

    Blogging frustrations and other life turmoils

    Blouse: c/o Chicnova// Leggings: c/o Chicnova// Shoes: Target

    I am totally loving these leggings from Chicnova.  I pretty much live in leggings whenever possible, so the fact that these are stylish and hip and can be worn out has got me totally won over. (Although note to self: wear a longer blouse with these leggings!  My thighs ain't what they used to be!)  The blouse is perfect when I want to feel a little bit dressed up, but not over the top.  And because chicnova is totally awesome and my readers are totally awesome, they are giving one of you a $30 gift certificate to the store.  Enter at the bottom of the post if you know what's good for you.

    Also, while we're on the topic can I talk about how much I DON'T like taking pictures of myself on the deck in the backyard?  I suppose it's time to invest in a tripod?  And then will I feel more or less stupid taking pictures of myself by myself?  I will once again ask the age old question... how do fashion bloggers do it?!?

    Today I am feeling a bit frustrated with blogging if you want to know the truth. Elisabeth was "attending" Alt for Everyone this weekend, but couldn't make it to one class Friday afternoon.  (And when I say "make it" we all understand that this is a live online class where class participants watch from the comforts of their own couch, right?  Just to make sure we're all clear).  I said I'd go to a class she couldn't attend, since she was offering the free ticket, which is how I found myself buried in my down comforter staring at my computer at 5 pm on Friday afternoon.  The class was a  Q&A on using social media to promote your blog.

    I know those classes are supposed to inspire you and  make you excited to take your blog to the next level and all that jazz.  Which is why it was kind of weird that the class mostly just made me want to quit blogging all together.  The ladies basically said that you can't make it in blogging unless you have a totally new and original idea to bring to the table.  If it's been done before, no one is going to want to listen.  They stressed the crap out of pinterest which overwhelmed me because pinterest overwhelms me.  They told us how careful we need to be about our boards and the image we are putting out.  Given that my pinterest boards are titled things like "Blogging crapola" and "Sometimes a woman is forced to clean" I'm pretty sure I know nothing about putting out the right image.

    Furthermore, they said we should be pinning every single post that we do and that pinterest should be one of our top referral sites if not the number one referral site.  I never get traffic from pinterest.  Ever. I don't craft, I don't cook, I don't dress cute.  Does pinterest serve any other functions?  They also said that there are "professional pinners" out there, and if we can't dedicate the time to pinterest that we need to then we should hire somebody to do it for us.

    Well I certainly ain't gonna hire nobody to pin for me.

    And how would I pin every post even if I wanted to?  Let's see... I suppose this post would go on the "People getting frustrated" board and my Saturday post would go on the "hanging out with friends" board?  

    What frustrated me the most, though, had nothing to do with pinterest or even social media.  One of the girls teaching the class said that a key mistake many bloggers make is writing too much on their blogs.  She claims we lose our audience if we write too much and the best blog posts are succinct in writing.  This set me over the edge.  Isn't this totally contradictory to the basics of blogging?  In its first days and months and years, wasn't blogging about writing?  Blogging was originally a medium to tell story.  The primary purpose of my blog is to tell my story and to me that is the beauty of blogging.  Storytelling.  To hear someone else's story, to connect on a human level, to have a story resonate inside of you.  The selling clothes and the blogging classes and the sponsorship crap... that's all secondary, right? Right?!?  (Please, tell me I'm right!)  Isn't the most basic purpose of blogging to tell our life stories?  And I suppose if I'm mistaken in this, I don't want to be much a part of blogging...

    This is in no way an "I'm quitting" declaration.  Just a frustration.  Blogging has evolved so much, and I know that I must expect it to continue to do so.  But I  hope that in this blogging era it is still possible for a gal to have "blogging success" the old fashioned way... by telling some darn good stories.  No professional pinners necessary.

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    and giving you free stuff in the next?  
    Not even I understand myself, people.

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