The Life of Bon: June 2013

Sunday, June 30, 2013

It's my birthday, suckers!

Today I am 27.

The age feels good on me.  Like it fits.  You know when you try on a terrific new pair of jeans, and they fit just perfectly over your hips and button up so comfortably and look just totally stunning on every part of you?

That's what 27 feels like.

I liked 26.  I really did.  Probably the happiest year of my life.  It was fun and playful and involved making lots of big decisions about our future.  In a way, I suppose, 26 feels like the end of the play years.  27 feels like a time to buckle down and grow up- a time to think about retirement plans and buying a house and babies.  And it fits.

I feel so incredibly blessed on this birthday.  I don't say that to show you how great my life has been compared to all of your sub par lives, but because the truth is I think we are all so incredibly blessed.  I feel like there are blessings beyond measure, beyond counting, beyond what we will ever have the capacity to recognize.

So for my birthday I present to you, 27 things I am grateful for today.

1.  My husband and his playful attitude.  He makes me laugh every single day and I adore him.  I'd be so lost without him.

2.  My mom who has taught me about incredible strength, faith, and the power of serving others.  I learn from her every day.
3.  My dad who taught me to work hard, to recognize God in my life, and the simple joy of a cherry coke.
4.  My seven siblings who never stop teasing me but never stop looking out for me either.
5.  My body that lets me run and play and doesn't get tired.
6.  Writing and the power it gives me.  The ability to rest my thoughts, to understand the world through writing, to record my life.
7.  My niece, Josie, who has round, chubby cheeks and asks me to paint her toenails.

8.  The belief I have in a higher power and the strength and peace that that has given me in my hardest moments.
9.  Ghiradelli's milk chocolate.
10.  My mind that never rests, that wants to do everything at once, that has big crazy ideas like writing on a blog every day.
11.  This blog and the people who read it.  The people who leave thoughtful comments and send love, and even the lurkers who read but never say a peep.
12.  My students and their sassy attitudes and their crappy papers and their great big hearts.

13.  My voice that is so totally awful- that couldn't carry a tune if my life depended on it- but that will perfect to me when I belt a song alone in my car.
14.  Running water and clean water and hot water.
15.  My time in Argentina and the people I left there.  Their faith, their courage, and their constant teasing me over my American accent and my bright blonde hair.

16.  Books and books and more books.  To travel to another world, another time by turning pages.  To understand a culture, an idea, a lifestyle.  To read something that is so profound and beautiful and that you swear you have thought before, just never knew how to say it.
17.  In laws who love me like their own daughter and sister, who accept me into the family, who raised a fine red head for me to marry.

18.  People who stop and ask you if you're okay when you're pulled off to the side of the road.
19.  Friends that are as close as sisters- that will do anything for you, that you know you can count on no matter the situation, that practically share your heart.

20.  Handwritten notes.
21.  Cuddles and hugs and kisses and handholds and backscratches.
22.  Summer and long, hot days and campfires and vacations and chocolate that melts in the car.

23.  A country that lets me wear what I want, wake up when I want, work where I want, marry who I want, worship how I want.
24.  My mom's home cooking.
25. The ocean and the mountains and the trees and the sunsets and the beauty of the world we live in.

26.  Skinny jeans that make you feel like a million bucks.
27.  The people that surround me, that love me, that make this life worth living.  That put up with my crappy moods, my crazy schemes, my fits of anger.  For love and charity and peace and beauty and all those things that make life so great.

For my birthday, I would like nothing more than for you to leave a comment telling me what you are grateful for today.  Mounds of happy, grateful comments will make this day complete for me.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

The world's worst vacation pictures and a bucket list of sorts.

Greetings from Hawaii!

I ain't got no time except to tell you that on this trip we have taken truly a lot of bad pictures.  I keep taking pictures and more pictures and Greg says, "Woman!  What is up with all the freaking pictures?" and I say, "Once I get a good one I'll stop!"  And that is why I haven't stopped.  How do all the rest of you do it when you're on vay-cay?  I swear the blogging world all takes professional pictures of their vacations, and here I am looking cross eyed and confused.  Or... try this one...

I mean, it's a great shot of the top of Greg's head, right?  RIGHT?!?!  Look how beautiful his red hair is.  Not too red, but red enough... just a light touch of auburn...

Or, there's this one...

I have transformed myself into cousin It and Greg looks like he's try to peer through the camera's soul.

So yah.  We haven't exactly mastered the art of taking pictures on vacation.


Yet my friends.

I'm off to hit the beach and try to take some pictures.  Or maybe I"ll just lie there and take a nap.  It's a tough life.

In the meantime, I'm excited to introduce Katie to you today.  She seems like a girl who I would totally want to roll around with.  While her husband is deployed she has made a bucket list of everything to get done while he's gone.  Major props!  I'm pretty sure I'd sit in my pajamas and eat ice cream out of the carton.  I hope you enjoy Katie as much as I do- she really is a treat.  Hop on over to her blog and give her love- the girl's lonely without her man after all!


Hey The Life of Bon readers! I'm Katie and I blog over at Mr. & Mrs. Foster.

I just adore Bon's blog because she writes about whatever she feels, it reminds me of a diary on display and I believe that is similar to my blogging style!

Normally, I blog about all the adventures of my husband and I. Like that one time we...

Swam with manatees, an endangered species...

Or that other time when we went to Chile!

But unfortunately, my husband is in the military and currently deployed so adventures of "the Fosters" has turned into adventures of "the lone Foster." But hey, this is what I signed up for. I'm so thankful to have a husband who is passionate about what he does and is truly a hero. In order to ensure I don't waste this time apart sulking, I have created a Deployment Bucket List to keep me busy and productive!

The goals range from joining Crossfit to taking my puppies to the lake to maintaining a successful garden to redecorating my living room to growing my blog! And that last goal would be one of the reasons I'm here, thanks for having me, Bon! :)

I do hope you'll stop by Mr. & Mrs. Foster to say hello! I look forward to connecting with you :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Throwback Thursday Week 3: Throwback Birthday


Here's how it works:

1.  Every Thursday through August we'll be throwing it back here at  We want to see pictures of course, but we want the stories that go behind those pictures even more!  And because I'm a total control freak, I've even mapped out a nice little schedule for all of us.  I figure the prompts will make it easier to come up with something to write about every week.

TH  6/13  A memory of learning to drive, your first car or the early driving days.
TH  6/20  Elementary school crush
TH  6/27  Throwback birthday
TH  7/4   Throwback fourth of July
TH  7/11  First job
TH  7/18  Moving away from home
TH  7/25  Memory of one or both of your parents from childhood
TH  8/1   Favorite summer vacation
TH  8/8   Childhood friends
TH  8/15  First kiss
TH  8/22  Memory of a high school teacher or high school class
TH  8/29  Back to school memory

Admit it, those topics are totally bomb.

2.  Follow, slap that little button somewhere on your post, and link up your Throwback Thursday posts!  I'm so excited to read everybody's stories.

3.  Visit new blogs and make new blog friends.  No duh!


The reason why I decided I absolutely had to do a Throwback Birthday in here is because my birthday is this week.  No duh!  On Sunday I turn 27 and that is freaking awesome my friends!  26 was about the coolest age there was seriously one of the best years of my life.  Can't wait to see what 27 brings.  I feel like the years just keep on getting better, you know?

But that's not the point!  The point is to share a throwback birthday!

The throwback birthday that I just have to share is my 18th birthday.  I turned 18 the summer after I graduated from high school and I was determined to have the biggest birthday party ever.  So naturally I decided to throw it for myself.  I have slight control issues so I have always wanted to throw my own parties.  I know, I'm a freak.

Eighteen year old Bon.  I was quite into makeup.

Me and my best friend, Akasha, sat down and listed out every single person that we could think of who we had contact with.  This was before the days of facebook and social media but I had just gotten my very first cell phone.  So we went through all my contacts.  Then all her contacts.  Then we started listing friends of our contacts.  We did not care one whit about the quality of the people that were showing up to this party, it was all about quantity, people!

When we were done we had a list of about 70 people.  If 50 of these people came and they each brought a guest we'd have 100 people.  HOLLER!  So we sat down and one by one called each person to come to party.  Isn't that hilarious?  I can't even imagine someone sitting down and calling 70 people to invite them to a party.

The best part of the whole story is that I desperately wanted it to be a "hot tub" party.  We had a hot tub that we never ever used and I promised my parents I would clean it out and fill it up myself and take total responsibility for it.  They still said no.   I begged.  No.  I promised extra chores for a week.  No. I pleaded.  No.  I cried. No. No. No.

My dad was the one who was most adamant about it and I remember crying out in frustration, "But why not dad?!?  You're not even giving me a good reason!!!"

"BECAUSE IT MAKES BOYS HORNY!"  My dad yelled back.


Hearing the word "horny" out of your dad's mouth- yep, that'll definitely shut up an 18 year old girl.  Add that to the fact that my family is VERY conservative and never talks about anything even remotely having to do with sex- I was totally mortified.

I didn't push it anymore.  And it was officially a non hot tub party.

I only knew one of the boys in the picture, and even he I barely knew.  Like I said, it was all about quantity over quality. 

Now it's your turn!  Link up your birthday throwbacks!  You can do one birthday or several- whatever you want, baby.  Sky is the limit!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June Book Club: Seriously, I'm Kidding by Ellen Degeneres

Well folks, the year is already half way over and we have successfully read and analyzed many a book!   Okay... like four books.  But still!  Don't you feel so great!  Here's what our Bon Book's Club schedule is looking like.

February:  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
March:  The Fault in our Stars by John Green
April:  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
May:  Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
June:  Seriously... I'm Kidding by Ellen Degeneres
July:  The Help by Kathryn Stockett
August: Life of Pi by Yann Martel
September: Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
October:  Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
November: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
December:  We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver

Today we're going to be discussing "Seriously, I'm Kidding" by Ellen Degeneres.  We've got some great books coming up for the rest of the year, so make sure you keep on reading.  I absolutely cannot wait to re-read The Help.  It is one of my all time favorite books.

But I'm getting ahead of myself!  First we must discuss our June read!

I was kind of on the fence with this book.  I'm all about a fast read, but geez louise, this read was too fast!  It took me all of an hour to down and when I've spent $16 buckaroos on a book I like it to at least last me through a day at the pool.


+ Ellen is hilarious.  There were several parts where I laughed out loud.  Or I starred the page and wrote "genuis" next to it.  I decided while I was reading this that Ellen would make one heck of a blogger.  The book almost felt more like a blog, actually, with short random chapters that give you a little snapshot of her life but mostly stays pretty superficial.

+ I think my favorite part of the book was when Ellen was talking about making a pro and con list to help us make decisions and she made a pro con list of making a pro con list.  Absolutely brilliant.

+ Language is clean and content is appropriate.  There was never a part where I felt squeamish.  It's the type of book you would feel totally comfortable recommending to anyone in the world.

+Very original thoughts.  You know how sometimes you read a book or watch a movie and you've like, "Oh gosh I've seen this before, I've heard this before, she totally stole that from someone."  This wasn't like that at all.  It was like waves of new ideas and thoughts were coming at me full force.

+ In one chapter Ellen talks about how being considerate has totally gone out the window.  Made me think I should double my efforts to be on time.  Ellen doesn't like late people!

+Probably my favorite part of the whole book is when Ellen talks about age and how we should embrace our age and love getting older and feeling comfortable in our skin.  The excerpt below was my favorite section of the book:

When we were kids, all we wanted was to be older.  When we were seven and a half and someone said we were only seven, we were furious.  I don't know at what age people stop wanting to be older. People seem to enjoy their twenties and thirties.  It must be around forty, when you're "over the hill."  I don't even know what that means and why it's a bad thing.  When I go hiking and I get over the hill, that means I'm past the hard part and there's a snack in my future.  That's a good thing as far as I'm concerned.

People seem to be shy about their age through their fifties and sixties, but then once they hit seventy or eighty, they start telling people again because it's such a huge victory to have made it that far.  No one gets to one hundred and tells people they're only ninety-five.  So I don't know why anyone has to lie about those middle years.  We should celebrate every year that we made it through and every year that we're happier and healthier.  Because honestly, that;s the best case scenario.  And the bottom line is we are who we are- we look a certain way, we talk a certain way, we walk a certain way.  When we learn to accept that, other people learn to accept us.  So be who you really are.  Embrace who you are.  Literally.  Hug yourself.  Accept who you are.  Unless you're a serial killer.


- Sometimes it is hard to tell when Ellen is being serious and when she's kidding (hence, the title).  Sometimes she would tell a story that is kind of crazy and I couldn't tell at all if had really happened or if she was just saying it to prove a point.  For example, she is talking about how lazy our society has become and she tells a story about how one day she came home from work and wanted to pet her cat.  Instead of looking for him, she paged him on the intercom.  I couldn't tell if this had really happened or if she was just trying to show how ridiculous we all are.

- I wanted to know more details of her life.  I get that this was not the purpose of the book, but I kept wanting her to go deeper.  I especially wanted to know what it was like to be such a big public figure and come out.  She talked about her tv show being cancelled when she announced she was gay, but she gave no specifics and even there I couldn't tell if she was making a joke or being serious.

- There's no actual story line so it's easy to lose focus.  I kind of zoned and then would come back in but it's like I didn't really miss anything.  I think generally I enjoy a story where everything builds on something else and the story is actually building to a point.  Definitely none of that here.

- Sometimes she goes off on too many tangents.  And it's hard to follow.  There's this chapter called "Beach Chapter" and it felt just like some random blogger's rant.  I'm usually not impressed when I read something and thing, "I can and have written way better than that."  That being said, I only felt this way at times in the book, at other times I was extremely impressed.

So... what did you all think?  Write your comments below or leave the link to your blog if you wrote your own review.  And if you haven't read it yet, well it only take about 90 minutes, so you've still got time :)

July's book club discussion will be held on Wednesday, July 31 and we will be discussing "The Help."

Monday, June 24, 2013

Vacation misplans... ?

Well, folks.

I find myself in a very quiet cool hotel room smack dab in the middle of Hawaii.  I am not at the beach.  I am not hiking.  I am not snorkeling.  If you are thinking it's pretty weird for me to come all the way to Hawaii and then just chill in a hotel room, I will say to you: I agree.

Greg got sick is the thing.  It started when our flight was landing... just a little queasy and nauseous.  We waited a year for our baggage and then another four years for our rental car.  By the time we found the hotel, Greg was as white as a ghost and struggling hard to keep it down.  He literally jumped out of the car at a stoplight in front of the hotel and ran right into the bathroom.

That was about 5 pm.  He puked all through the night and barely slept a wink.  He kept saying, "I wish I were just at home!"  That's about the saddest thing in the world to go on a beautiful vacation and wish you were at home.

It is now close to 11 am.  He seems to be on the mend and has at least been sleeping a bit.  I don't care what the boys says, though, I'm taking him to the beach at noon, puking and all.

I mean, come on, this is vaycay!

In the mean time, I've got Debbie to entertain you.  She will tell you about all of the things that Greg and I should be doing right now on our vacation, but are not.  Also, Debbie is awesome because she has the same name as my mom and what's not to love about that?!?


Hey y'all! My name is Debbie and I can usually be found over at Tales of the Benedicts. I started blogging a little over a year ago to document the adventures and journeys that life took my husband and I on. It has been so much fun sharing my little life with this great big blogging world.

I hail from the south and I am not afraid to get out in the woods and get dirty. Some of my most favorite adventures are the hikes that my husband and I take. It is great to be out in the woods enjoying God's creation. So I thought I would share a little about one of my favorite adventures.....backpacking at a sweet little spot called Virgin Falls.

This was the first time that my husband and I had backpacked this trail. We had hiked it a couple of times before and thought it would be so much fun to backpack it. So we set out on our adventure looking forward to our little camping trip. About four miles into the hike we reached our campsite, and the best thing was that we were the only ones camping that night. So we had the whole site to ourselves. Score!

Our little backpacking adventure will be one that goes down in the history books as one of my favorite memories. It was great to see some really cool waterfalls, spend the night in the woods with my babe, eat breakfast at the top of a waterfall, and have lots of laughs and good conversations. I have included some pictures of our adventure for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

A room with a view!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

If you need me...

This week I'll be lying on the beach and doing my best to forget about schedules, emails, routines, and even my blog (gasp!).  I'm sure I'll be checking in a little... can't see to quite stay away.

I have a story of stories to tell you all about getting out here, but that will have to wait until we're back and until wounds have headed a little bit and I can write about it with a straight head.  Now I've got you intrigued, don't I?!?  Stay tuned next week... it will be worth it 

Until then I'll leave you with this.

I'll be kicking it here.

(All pictures are from my semester in Hawaii, Fall 2007.)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

For your weekend entertainment

I will be spending the weekend up here, at this giant cabin with lots of family.

The weirdest thing is that the older I get, the more I like my family.  I look forward to get togethers like this like I never did before.  I guess I kind of feel like a lot of crap fades in and out of your life, but family is always there.

It will be a special trip for us to the cabin, as it will likely be our last big get together.  My mom is getting ready to sell this bad boy.  We all have mixed feelings about it since my dad poured his heart and soul into building this.  All the family worked for four years to build this- doing the majority of work ourselves.  Heck, we even cut down the trees!  I kid, I kid  Maybe.

+ Last summer's weekend at the cabin was with all extended family- it was wild!
+ I'm having a hard time watching the Bachelorette without this beautiful guy on it.
+ I reread this post last night, and was again filled with peace knowing it is the right decision for us.
+ Absolutely loved reading through your elementary school crushes on Thursday.  Gosh, we were all such freaks!  (If you haven't linked up yet you can still add your post.  They are amazing!)
+ I'm totally coveting this dress that Brie wore.  She rocked it!

P.S.  Don't forget to enter yesterday's giveaway!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Let's give away some stuff, shall we?

Nothing loses my focus like putting together a group giveaway.  Have you ever put one up on your blog?  This is how it goes.  Close this window.  Open another window.  What link did she want?  Copy link.  Open rafflecopter.  Paste link.  Add picture.  Close window.  Wait what was the other link?  Look through email.  I probably lose my focus 100 times while putting one of these posts together which is how I ended up looking at pillowcases that stay cool while you sleep and movie reviews for Now You see Me.  

It's a complicated process, that's all I'm saying.  One that takes much longer than it should.  I have been toying with the idea of having all sponsors contribute to one giant prize- like a $200 gift card to J.Crew or something like that.  Would you be more apt to enter a giveaway like that or do you like the lots of little prizes?  Chime in folks!

Now... for the giveaway.

You know the drill- enter below and one winner takes all.  I hope you find some great blogs to follow.  This month's group of girls have really got their heads on straight and I have loved getting to know them better and connecting with them.  They have lots to offer- you know besides gift cards to Starbucks and all that.

$25 Amazon gift card
Large Ad Space

$20 Starbucks Gift Card

24 to 30
$15 Amazon Gift Card
$15 gift card to Sephora

Wine Sippy Cup
Large Ad Space

$15 Starbucks Gift Card

$10 Target Gift Card
$10 Credit to Posh Lane

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Throwback Thursday Week 2: Elementary School Crushes


Here's how it works:

1.  Every Thursday through August we'll be throwing it back here at  We want to see pictures of course, but we want the stories that go behind those pictures even more!  And because I'm a total control freak, I've even mapped out a nice little schedule for all of us.  I figure the prompts will make it easier to come up with something to write about every week.

TH  6/13  A memory of learning to drive, your first car or the early driving days.
TH  6/20  Elementary school crush
TH  6/27  Throwback birthday
TH  7/4   Throwback fourth of July
TH  7/11  First job
TH  7/18  Moving away from home
TH  7/25  Memory of one or both of your parents from childhood
TH  8/1   Favorite summer vacation
TH  8/8   Childhood friends
TH  8/15  First kiss
TH  8/22  Memory of a high school teacher or high school class
TH  8/29  Back to school memory

Admit it, those topics are totally bomb.

2.  Follow, slap that little button somewhere on your post, and link up your Throwback Thursday posts!  I'm so excited to read everybody's stories.

3.  Visit new blogs and make new blog friends.  No duh!

  Before we begin, let me tell you this.  I was the queen of crush.  I didn't kiss a boy until I was 18, and I didn't have a real boyfriend until college but oh my goodness sakes did I know how to crush!  I crushed like it was nobody's business.  I endlessly doodled names in notebooks, I figured out boys' home addresses, I knew every individual piece of their wardrobe.  Serious stalker stuff.  I never dared talk to them, but oh how I crushed.

Elementary crushes: Tommy Riche, Devin Keller
Junior High crush: Brandon Hansen
High school crushes: Keenan Atwood and Neal Maynes.

My most intense crush was probably Brandon Hansen, but that's because it was junior high and isn't everthing more intense in junior high?

Brandon Hansen- total seventh grade babe, right?!?

For years the room I grew up in had written in glow in the dark pen (so you could only see it in the dark.  So hip!) "I love Keenan and Neal!"  Yes, I was ridiculous.  Add to it that I was 16 at the time.  I grew up so very slowly, my friends.

My first "boyfriend" was in third grade.  His name was Tommy Riche and I was absolutely and utterly terrified of him.  Stoked as I was to have a boyfriend, I spent the majority of my time trying to figure out the best way to avoid him.  I mean, come on, nine year olds can't talk to their boyfriends!  That would be ridiculous!  I remember he used to write me these kind of creepy notes with pictures on them and say things like, "Our love will last for all time" with a heart with a snake wrapped around it and other similar third grade creepster stuff.

One day I was doing my business out on the playground, you know, the usual recess stuff- tetherballing it up, crossing the monkey bars, avoiding Tommy Riche.  Some kid came up and gave me a note from Tommy.  Inside was a picture of a wilting rose and a caption that read, "Our love is dying.  YOU WON'T TALK TO ME."  That was when I decided that relationships are way too much work and I couldn't handle the pressure.  I told the note deliverer to tell Tommy that it was over between us.  Oh, the drama!

Sixth grade.  I thought I was so hot.

After Tommy Riche came Devin Keller.  (Also I am a total fool and am using real names here but I almost feel like I have to to keep the stories authentic.  All you boys that were once victims of my crushes, I'm so sorry!) I started to like Devin in fourth grade and he liked me back.  There was all sorts of chasing and flirting and the like.  I remember he made a joke about "sharing his big red gum" with me and I thought it was the scandals and scandals.  Devin, you sly boy!

And of course, there was a super juicy break up!

June 2, 1996

Dear Journal,

Well, a lot has changed since I last wrote in my journal, but my feelings haven't.  I still think Devin is a major hunk, but sadly, I dumped him.  I know it sounds weird, but let me explain.  It was recess and I was walking and talking with my friends and Maika said sarcastically, "Bonnie's about ready to dump Devin."  But little did we know Brandie the big mouth was right behind us.  She went and told Devin.  So he came up to me and said, "Bonnie you don't have to tell me- Brandie did."  I knew what he meant and ever since that I've never had the guts to tell him the truth."

Quite the drama, huh?  (And P.S.  Aren't you impressed that I kept a journal at 9 years old?!)

Devin Keller, you hunk!

Now he's married with kids and I haven't seen him for probably ten years.  Devin, if you're out there somewhere, thank you for being one heck of a fourth grade crush!

I seriously am loving these Throwback Thursday posts.  They are becoming my favorite posts to write each week.  Make sure to link up yours below- I can't wait to read about all of your creepy weirdo crushes!