The Life of Bon: August 2013

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mornings, couches, and other weekend complications

The worst thing about getting up at 6:30 five days a week is that now I can't sleep in on Saturdays.  The other worst thing (there are two worst things?!?) is that I used to be able to wake up at 6:00 am M-F and then sleep in until noon on Saturdays and Sundays and now I can't which is a total major drag.  Come on, body!  Shape up!  We ain't fogies yet, do the sleep in until noon thing!

That's why I'm up at 9:00 am on Saturday.  Really, truly lame.  Also, our apartment is hot and I refuse to turn on A/C while we sleep so that doesn't help anything.  Also there are always construction workers hammering away outside our window at 7:00 am.  We're happy here in our new cozy place, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that there aren't many things about living in my mama's basement that I don't miss already.

Now that we've got our own space and because it's such a cute little apartment, I really want to spruce up our home furnishings.  Like, we own a lot of junk.  Because I'm cheap.  And I don't like to spend money on stuff for a home especially when we move every year/ possible still will be moving out of state.  So I hold off on buying nice stuff for my home but I've been holding off for 2 1/2 years and can't hold off much longer!

Part of the trick of decorating our new space is that we have a lot of black.  I wonder back to 24 year old Bonnie and would like to ask her what she was thinking when she bought black for all her main furniture.  Black couches, black TV stand, black TV.  It's like our apartment shrunk in half just by moving in all these stark, black pieces.  Can't quite bare myself to change couches (see Key Debacle) but I would like to lighten it up a bit.  Here's what I have in mind:

Now the next question is where does one go about buying a white ottoman?!?  I've got my work cut out for me this weekend, that's for sure!

+ On Thursday my blog received the most traffic it's ever received in a single day thanks to all of your sharing this post.  I can not thank you enough- I was humbled and extremely grateful to see so many of you sharing it.  It gives me hope that although Hollywood may tell us otherwise, this world is filled with good, quality people.
+ This post on stupid newspaper headlines makes me laugh. Every. Single. Time.
+ I am falling back in love with the mornings.  The first month of school I love waking up and driving to work.  Then it gets dark and bitterly cold.
+ I'm considering doing Jenni's Blogtember challenge... are any of you doing it?
+ Have you watched this preview yet?  It's one movie I can't wait for!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thank a Teacher day

My job is sometimes hard and rarely convenient and always unpredictable. 

Here's an example of unpredictable.  The second day of school I wrote about a boy who had made a mean comment about how I could "learn a thing or two" from his previous English teacher.  "How rude!" I thought.  I try to have thick skin, but the truth is my skin is paper thin so I moped around over the comment for a few good hours and even wrote about it on this blog because I just couldn't shake it.

That was last week.  This is this week.

This week the kid has latched himself right to me.  It's the darndest thing.  Before the bell rings as students are trickling in he asks me what my plans are for the weekend and why I chose to go into teaching and did I know he's going to a Black Sabbath concert on Thursday?  He comments on my shoes and he raises his hand in class to answer all my questions and it don't take no dummy to see that he wants me to like him.  I don't know why last week he felt that he needed to offend me when this week it is obvious that he is seeking my respect.  Today he told me about a friend of his who recently died in a car crash, and I shared with him about Shelbey and we bonded over the heartbreak of lives lost too soon.

I guess this kid just reminded me of how much I love my job.  It is definitely rough at times, but at the end of the day I get so much joy and satisfaction out of it that I can't imagine doing any other job.

Last week I heard about a documentary that is airing on Sep. 6 on CBS about education in America.  It poses: What Does it Take to Be a Great Teacher Today?  which I'm excited to see how it will be answered because there are a lot of really good teachers out there and there are a lot of really bad teachers out there.  I am really excited to watch it- I think education is a profession that is under thanked, under paid and over criticized.  The documentary addresses the problem of what's going to happen to the teaching profession in the next ten years when an estimated 65% of America's teachers retire.

I would encourage any of you who have ever thought about going in to the teaching, been curious about the field, or had experience with a great teacher to watch this.  You can also visit this site for ideas on how to keep education innovative and engaging in your community.

Lastly, if you or your child has had a fantastic teacher, PLEASE share it in the comments below.  Nothing would make my weekend like reading inspiring stories of the teachers you won't ever forget...  I guess it gives me hope that my students will value the work I put into teaching them in the same way.  And hopefully it will give some of you who are still on the fence about the teaching field a little boost!

Also, you know if you have any questions about teaching you can always email me up:

*This is a sponsored post by Participant Media.  All passionate opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

5 lies the media is telling America's teenagers

I didn't want to talk about the Miley debacle here.  I wanted to keep this space on the internet clean and pure and innocent.  But I just can't keep my mouth shut about it any longer.

On Sunday night this happened.

She's come a long ways...

I am disgusted with Miley Cyrus, yes, but it's not just her. It's Robin Thicke and the whole production team behind it and the media and everyone who gave the green light for the show.  I don't know exactly why I feel so up in arms about this- maybe it's because I teach teenagers.  I see and interact with the poor pubescent adolescents on a daily level. I know how intelligent and funny and bright they are. I also know how malleable and self conscious and stupid they are.  They are at such a vulnerable time in their lives, and they're trying so desperately to figure out who they are.  And then, in the middle of all this inner turmoil and confusion- they see something like this.  After Sunday night I felt like grabbing those kids in my class, giving them a good shake and screaming, "Don't believe it!  Don't you believe those lies! Not for a second!"

Undoubtedly, the students would struggle to free themselves from my grasp and shout back, "What are you talking about?  What lies?  It was just a dance, you crazy woman!"

But it wasn't.  It was lies.  Lies that the media and Hollywood and Robin and Miley themselves are stuffing down the throats of our teenagers.

LIE #1:  POPULARITY TRUMPS EVERYTHING.  I think we can all agree that the only reason someone would act like this in front of millions and millions of viewers is shock factor, right? I read today that Miley "couldn't be happier" about her performance.  What she wanted was to get people talking about her.  And she did.  It didn't matter what she did, as long as it made her name the buzz of every office and home in America, she was satisfied with it.  The message this teaches teenagers is you don't have to be well known for something positive.  Look at Miley.  She's the most talked about person in the nation right now.  In this social media age where number of twitter and instagram followers is everything to a teenager, the media is teaching them that being popular is more important than everything else.  More important that kindness, more important than intelligence, more important than a sense of humor, more important than giving and receiving love.  The only thing that matters is if people know who you are.

LIE #2:  MARRIAGE AND FAMILY NEED NOT BE RESPECTED.  Robin Thicke is married.  His wife apparently knew of the whole dance routine and stamped her approval on it.  Where is the respect for the relationship and commitment to each other?  The respect for her child who will inevitably one day see everything his dad participated in.  I understand that it's "show biz", but there has to be a line somewhere, right?  Bumping and grinding and licking necks isn't the line for a married man?  When a married man participates in something like this, the media is telling America's teens that marriage is a joke, that marriage doesn't mean anything, that you can be married and still do anything you want to.  Oh, you have a kid too?  No problem- you go ahead and do whatever you want!

LIE #3: IF ONE PERSON (OR LOTS OF PEOPLE) TELL YOU IT IS OKAY, IT IS.  One of the thing that amazes me the most is that this was not some random, spontaneous idea by one girl.  This was a show.  It was put on by a production team.  There were hundreds of people who played a part in it.  Countless people who said, "Oh, yah. I like that. Do it. It'll be great."  Just because someone else has given you the go ahead, doesn't mean it's okay.  I can't help but think about this cheesy poster one of my high school teachers had hanging in his room: "What is popular is not always right, and what is right is not always popular."  The media acts like this kind of thing is the norm- that everyone does it, and what else can you expect from the media?  I don't want to hear the excuse that it's just tv and it's just what they do.  No matter how many people agree to it, it doesn't make it right.

LIE #4:  IF TWO PEOPLE DO SOMETHING INAPPROPRIATE, IT IS THE GIRL'S FAULT.  Women have long been held accountable for men's misdeeds.  A girl gets pregnant?  She shouldn't have let him do that to her.  A boy takes advantage of a woman?  She shouldn't have dressed provocatively.  This is one of the thing that drives me the most crazy about our society- men know exactly what they are doing, just like women do.  I read an article stating that Robin Thicke's mom said she was appalled by Miley's behavior, but in the same breath excused her son from any fault.  "Him? Loved it. I love that suit, the black and white suit," Loring said, praising her son's outfit. "I don't understand what Miley Cyrus is trying to do. I just don't understand."  Miley has taken far more of the criticism than Robin Thicke has, and maybe deservedly, but they were the two performers and they should both be held accountable for it.  I was shocked to hear my students place 100% of the blame on Miley, some stating that they thought Robin Thicke had no idea what was going on.  Oh, trust me, he knew exactly what was happening.  By only blaming Miley we are teaching our teenage boys that errors of this kind are not their fault and that if a woman is offering up her goods to him then he has no choice to receive it because the poor little thing has no control and brain of his own.  Therefore, not only are we hurting women by giving them the full blame for the misconduct, we are making excuses for our men while simultaneously treating them like idiots with no self control.

LIE #5:  YOU AND YOUR BODY ARE ONLY VALUABLE TO THE EXTENT THAT THEY CAN TURN MEN ON.  There's a lot that could be said for the degradation and objectifying of women on tv and Hollywood in general- it is something that hasn't changed much.  On Sunday night though, more than ever, I felt like tv was sending the message that women are valuable only if they represent sex.  If you do not show exactly how your body can turn men on, then it has no purpose or worth in this world.  Of all the messages that were sent to teens through the performance, I think this one is the most damaging.  Teenage girls believe this, and so do teenage boys.  They buy in to it.  They think that unless they can be super ultra sexy and represent sex through their bodies, a boy will never like them.  In order to have a boyfriend they believe they must essentially "sell" their body.  Convince the boys through lots of cleavage and short shorts that they are worth dating because they represent sex so well.  And then the boys become accustomed to this.  They think they are entitled to have a girlfriend who dresses and acts like this when what they don't realize is that one who doesn't act like this will have far more confidence, intelligence and love to give. 

*If you enjoyed this article, please share on your social media platform.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hump day shmump day

Happy Hump day folks!  Ah, the curse of the Wednesday.  Your last weekend was so long ago you can barely remember it and your next weekend is still days away.  How does anybody in this world live through a Wednesday?

I'm on survival mode around these parts.  Wednesdays require serious motivation to get me moving.  Especially late, as the last few weeks for me have been:

a.  busy
b.  stressful
c.  trying
d.  all of the above.

Correct answer is... d!  All of the above! 

That's why this week Greg and I decided to mix it up mid week.  We usually wait for Friday or Saturday night to really party it up but this week we made popcorn and Italian sodas and popped in a movie.  It was time to break in the new apartment!  I wanted to do Italian sodas for a couple of reasons- for one, I saw this fabulous Italian cream soda recipe that looked easy enough for even me to manage and secondly I've been dying to try Arrowhead's new line of sparkling water.

Yep, good old trusty Arrowhead has just released their line of sparkling water.  Sparkling bottled water? The greatest part is it's much more affordable than most sparkling water (only $.89 for a liter).  That makes Italian cream sodas which go for $4 or $5 at a restaurant just a buck or so!

Check out Jen's blog for the super easy scoop on how to do this.

The great news about making these Italian sodas is that I discovered how much I liked the plain sparkling water.   My body is on constant overheat (Greg says sleeping next to me is like sleeping next to a bag of coals.  What can I say, I'm a hot woman!) so I drink fluids all day long.  Especially because now that I'm back at the teaching gig I am on my feet and speaking for hours a day.  That throat gets dry!  I try to limit myself to one diet coke a day and plain old water gets seriously boring so that's why I'm converting to sparkling flavored water.

Bonnie for the win!

Now I can't wait to try the flavors- orange, lime, raspberry lime, black cherry and lemon.  Also, they have a very audience focused facebook page where people share how they get through their Wednesdays.  They stories are hilarious!  Rock on, Arrowhead!

*This is a sponsored post by Arrowhead.  All opinions are my own


Monday, August 26, 2013

The great TV debate!

9:57 and I'm starting my blog post.  Three minutes earlier than last night so... score?

Life is insane.  I need to figure out some kind of balance to the work and moving and madness that is currently my world.  My body begs me to play even though it's so tired.  Today after work I met Greg at Wal-Mart to look at TVs. (New TV! Holler!)   I wanted the $350 TV, Greg wanted the $450 TV and neither of us were willing to bend.  TV gridlock.  So we ran around to several stores and then still ended up home TVless, not to mention grumpy.  Moving sure does bring out the worst in me!  I might have been willing to fork over the $450 for Greg's choice of TV, but I will have to pay around $200 for a copy of my brother's truck key, so... yah.  No $450 TV.

Once we were home with no TV I set to finish moving in and making our apartment look like a home.  Only I was bored with moving.  Unpacking my clothes seemed totally not stimulating and I hate all of our furniture and I want nice things but can't afford them and why doesn't my apartment look like pinterest?  My cousin, Marianne, texted me to see if I was down for a little tennis.  I knew I should have stayed to do work, but tennis was calling so I grabbed my racket and was out the door.  Sometimes you just gotta let a girl play.

I really love Marianne.  She's a good egg.  She hits a tennis ball like a madman, but she's a good egg.  We played but mostly we kept losing track of the score because we were so busy chatting and it made me realize again how grateful I am for the relationships in my life.  I keep getting reminded of that over and over again.  So thanks Marianne!

Today I'm excited to introduce Katie to you.  To start with she's got about the coolest name ever- Katie Scarlett.  Doesn't that just sound like a heroine of a novel?  If I ever write that book I have been wanting to write I'm definitely naming my protagonist Katie Scarlett.  Katie is also cool because she has totally rocking hair.  More importantly, (or less importantly?) Katie is a terrific writer and tells a beautiful story.  Her guest post was a complete joy to read and her blog offers more of the same.  I especially enjoyed her post on tips to get out of a toxic relationship.  Homegirl knows her stuff.  Take it away, Katie!

First things first, introductions.
Hello all, my name is Katie Scarlett, I'm a nearly 20 year old from Ontario, Canada.

I've recently left the busy city of Hamilton (laughably small in comparison to Toronto), and returned home to my small town of less than 17,000 people. 
The past two years have been a struggle for me, due to figuring out what I'm passionate about and would like to pursue in life. I've been studying at a top university away from home and quickly grew very overwhelmed and underprepared for this new life. It was all very strange for me, because I'm a very independent person who is fine with being away from home (hell, I wanted to escape like every other teenager in my small boring town!). I realized after changing up my life a bit this year that sometimes it's hard to have perspective when you're too close, you can't see the good that's in plain sight. 
Spending the past weekend trying to get settled into life back home has been difficult, I'm back in the basement of my parents home with my two brothers. There are moments where I feel as though my mother is trying to "mother me" too much, which I've been able to be free of because of our distance so that will be a struggle. However, through it all I've come to realize that even though at first coming back here sounded like the worst thing possible for me, it may very well be helpful.

I'm from a town where the busiest road is a two lane road alternating from 50-60 kilometers an hour. The busiest shopping centre is the drugstore, giant tiger and grocery store filled plaza and several kitschy shops in the surrounding area. We rise between 5am-8am and the town is cast into a slumber by 8pm (at the very latest). Afternoons are spent winding through old country roads with my camera and taking pictures, singing loud to the radio and feeling very free and in my element. However, being home fills me with anxiety and I feel as though I walk on eggshells.
Sometimes you think stepping into your past will trap you there, especially as a teen you believe that you'll end up there for life not accomplishing anything you've aspired to be. However, I think this time to concentrate of re-evaluating my life and expanding my portfolio for my photography career will really help me. 
In the past two years I've really lost my old self, although my teenage self was struggling quite a bit she was also very inviting, welcoming and outgoing. In the past two years I've become very withdrawn (unless forced into relationships at work) and uncomfortable in my own skin emotionally. Not because I'm ashamed of myself, or wanting to hide- but because I don't know WHO I AM, and how can you be confident in something/someone you don't even know?

Life throws us all curveballs and sometimes it leaves you feeling overwhelmed and hung out to dry. But, as much as moving forward to a new adventure is therapeutic and proactive for finding yourself, returning to your roots and remembering the good of your past could be beneficial toward your growth in the end as well.

If you're at all interested in seeing how this journey continues throughout the year, please feel free to follow my blog at and on bloglovin! 

Katie's Links:

Sunday, August 25, 2013

How keys ruined my life and other tales of a horrible weekend

Hit me up if you are interested in sponsoring!
I will not be accepting sponsors for the month of October so get your spot now!
Email me at if you are interested...

Ten o'clock on the dot and I'm just starting my blog post.  Geez, oh my.

We're moved in.  Ish.  The weekend has been an absolutely, no good, very bad weekend.  But that doesn't matter because we've got ourselves a perfect cozy apartment with all the granite countertop a girl could ask for, and the rest will take care of the rest.  Right?

I try hard not to be a whiner, but the truth is sometimes I think whining feels good in a way that nothing else does. So humor me, will you?  Allow me to write out the details of our absolutely no good very bad weekend and you can see for yourself if my whining is justified.

Let's begin! 

1.  I left work right at 3:00 on Friday.  On my way home I listened to a voicemail from the mother of the girl who hit my car.  I didn't say much about it on my blog, just know that on Wednesday a 16 year old girl backed right into my car.  I honked up a storm and she kept right on backing up.  Left a dent the size of Nebraska.  The girl's mom left a message asking if she could have my license plate number and a picture of the dent for a police file.  Last thing I could think of.

2.  When I got home Greg was a bit stressed out.  He has been trying hard to find a line of work that will satisfy his passion for theatre and his desire to provide for a future family.  He told me he might need to take some extra classes at UVU if he wants to be certified to teach theatre in high schools. If he decides to take these classes he will need to start Monday.  As in today.  I wasn't quite ready for the curveball.
"Do you want to be certified to teach high school?"  I asked. 
"I want a job."  He replied. 
"Yes, but do you want that one?" 
"I don't know."
"I can't think about this right now." 
"You could show a little support."
"I really can't right now.  I can't even let it have a place in my brain."  It's not that I was trying to leave the boy to fend for himself.  It's just that my mind thinks in terms of here and now and the here and now was that there were 20 boxes in the front room and load after load of junk that needed to be packed, loaded, unloaded, unpacked.  This thought would have to wait.

3.  After that stressful conversation and coming to no conclusion, Greg went with me to Wal-Mart to sell an old phone.  We had put an ad on KSL, Utah's equivalent of Craigslist, and were waiting for the dude to show up with the cash.  He said he would meet us.  He didn't show.  I called his number, and he didn't answer.  So I called again.  And again.  I called five times.  Nothing.  Finally after waiting for 20 minutes and knowing we couldn't waste one more second of precious packing time, we left.  The guy never called again.  Will someone please crack this riddle for me?  Who in the world says they will meet you somewhere to buy your phone and then never shows up?  Sick, sick people.

5.  After lots more packing, we headed over to my brother's place to grab his truck.  He would be out of town for the weekend, but was very willing to let us use his truck.  We picked it up, took it back to our place, and loaded up couches.  I asked Greg for the key to unlock the cab to load boxes.  My nephews were around helping us load up because they're studs like that.  We packed the rest of the night, which involved for me a quick trip to my BFF's place to drop off a garage sale load and a stop at the grocery store.

7.  Greg had a rehearsal for an upcoming comedy show from 10-12 Saturday morning.  I wasn't happy about him having rehearsal the day that we were trying to move, but I was insisting that we hit up a family reunion at 3, so I suppose it was a trade.  A rehearsal for a reunion.  Everyone's happy except for that no one is happy because now we have three hours to move all of our stuff from Provo to Lehi- a 20 minute drive.

8.  Greg got home right about noon and his mom and friend showed up right about that same time.  We loaded all the vehicles and were set to go.  Greg was going to drive up my brother's truck and then we would trade it later in the day for his car.  He got in.  He had the wrong key.  He went in to look for the right key.  Couldn't find it.  I started looking.  Key was nowhere to be found.  Soon we were all immersed in an all out key search frenzy.  After about half an hour I swallowed my pride and texted my brother to see if we could use the spare for now.  He texted back that he has no spare.

10.  More looking.  More looking.  More looking.  We searched all over the truck, in Greg's car, in my car, upstairs, downstairs, in every box that was sitting out, everywhere imaginable.  All five of us looked for close to an hour.  No key.  Finally, we felt bad about our crew that was wasting their time searching for a key instead of just unloading crap and going home, so we took everything up except the truck.  We had too much to do and we needed the help too desperately to not use our help while we had them.

11.  Arrived at the new apartment- I ran in to sign a lease.  Sign. Sign. Sign.  "Do you have a money order?" asked the lady.  "Of course I don't have a money order.  I have a check."  "You need a money order before I can give you the key."  This is where I hit my extreme panic mode.  I had four people with loads waiting to help us move in.  I had already made them wait an hour while I looked for a stupid key.  Now I had to run around town transferring money into my account and getting a money order?  In an act of complete humiliation and degradation I begged that lady with everything in me to just let us unlock the apartment and start hauling stuff in while I got the money order.  "I promise I'm not going to hoodwink you," I said, "I just can't have all those people waiting in the sun to unload stuff."  Somehow, she relented.  Miracle of miracles.

12.  While Greg and crew unloaded, I sent out to search for a place to do a money order.  As soon as I was in the car by myself I lost my cool completely and cried hot tears of panic.  Do you guys have those tears?  They're not sad, and they're not angry, they're just panic.  It's a very advanced state of panic, I do believe, that will get you to the panic tears.  I thought I would have to transfer money from my savings to my checking and I had no idea where my nearest bank branch and knew the chances of them being open at 2:00 on a Saturday were very slim.  Then, I remembered I had just gotten paid the day before and wouldn't need to transfer the money, could just get a money order.  Miracle #2.

13.  Returned to the office with my money order 15 minutes later.  Lady asked if I had set up the Qwestar account like I was supposed to.  I said no.  Then she asked if I had arranged the renter's insurance like I was supposed to.  I said no.  She chastised me and told me to do it Monday no matter what.  I felt like a total idiot.

14.  While I was running around doing all this, Greg, both moms, and Greg's friend were moving everything up to our apartment.  My brother and his wife came to help out and then helped us unload.  The unloading was frantic and frenzied- mostly dumping boxes looking for a key.  No key.

15.  We took a break to hit up the family reunion.  I held an adorable baby and for 20 minutes forgot about the chaos that my life was.  I tried to pet a dog and it bit me and then I hated my life again.  (Marianne, seriously, what is Kobe's deal?!?)

16.  I called the dealership to see how hard it is to get a new key.  We would have to tow the truck to them and then they could make a key.  "When do you close?" I asked. "Five," he replied.  It was 4:50.

17.  Back to the house to do a massive key search.  We searched the gigantic outside garbage can.  Piece by piece.  Literally touched every piece of garbage in that disgusting thing.  We went over to my friend's house and looked all around her place in case the key had fallen out then.  No key.  We turned the house upside down, looked in absolute ludicrous places like washers and freezers and under the deck and in the sandbox and everywhere our imagination could take us.  No key.

18.  At 7:00 I officially resigned myself to ever finding the key.  It would never be recovered and I was closing that chapter.   I was extremely frustrated with the whole debacle as I do believe it was totally my fault.  I had taken the key from Greg to load the cab of the truck.  As far as I can remember, I put the key in my pocket, but my pockets were not deep at all.  It could have fallen out anywhere.  This is one of the things that frustrates me the most about myself- how absent minded I can be and how I can set something down without having any memory of it.  This is not the first time I have about lost my mind over a set of keys.

19.  We got back to our new apartment at 8:00 and began the real unpacking.  About 1:00 am I could not move one more muscle and passed out.

20.  Church at 8:30 am today which is a complete and utter shock to me.  I have never ever ever been to a Mormon ward that starts earlier than 9:00.  Mormons are notorious for being late- how somebody had the audacity to set church at 8:30 in our new neighborhood is beyond me.  Church was the highlight of the whole weekend- a few hours of peace and calm and assurance that everything will turn out okay.  These are the weeks that I think I should just bag church and do the more practical stuff that is weighing so heavy upon me, but a couple of hours worshipping God put everything back into perspective for me.

21.  Greg asked his friend, Jake, if we could borrow his truck a second time.  It was clear now that we would not be finding the key to my brother's truck, but still needed to move the couches.  So, we went back down to Provo to trade trucks.  Only guess what had happened?  Jake had locked his keys in his truck, something he said he was never ever done in his life.  Am I contagious?

22.  Nice policeman came and opened up Jake's truck.  Hallelujah!

23.  Took the truck back to get the couches.  My brother was there and kinder than you can imagine a person being when his little sister has borrowed his truck and lost his key and now the truck is stuck in the driveway.  I was seriously amazed at how sweet he was about the whole thing, telling me that "these things happen."  Yes, these things do happen, but why do they seem to happen so often with me?

24.  We moved the couches, my mom fed us a dinner that was heaven sent, and we headed back up to our apartment to unload the couches.

25.  By the time we were back up to Lehi we were completely exhausted and it was after 6:00.  I was determined, though, to go to Shelbey's viewing as I knew I wouldn't be able to make the funeral on Monday.  I debated and debated about going- telling myself that no one would expect me at the viewing and that I certainly didn't need to feel obligated to go.  But then I thought about all the people that came to my dad's viewing, and how much it meant to my family to have them there.  I thought about my dad's friend who made the enormous effort to fly in from Hong Kong for the funeral and how that and the efforts of many others moved us to tears.  I felt a deep and almost tangible heartbreak, but somehow seeing those who had come to share in the grief alleviated mine a bit.  Like they were doing the grieving for me.  Or at least not making me do it alone.  People came out of the woodworks for my dad's funeral.  People we never knew he knew.  People's whose lives he had touched.  It was an incredible source of strength and power and joy to feel all the love that people had for my dad.  Remembering all of this, I knew I had to make it to Shelbey's viewing no matter what, if nothing else to give back to the people who made efforts to get to my dad's viewing.

26.  We now had Jake's truck in our possession which needed to be returned and I was short on time to get to Shelbey's viewing before it was over.  Greg said he would take Jake's truck back to Provo without me so I could make the 30 minute drive out to West Jordan for the viewing.  I said thank you, you are wonderful I love you.

27.  I left the house at 6:40, donning a skirt and even putting some makeup on for the first time in 48 hours. 

28.  Ten minutes away from the viewing Greg called me.  He had dropped off the truck but was now locked out of the apartment and I had a key.  We snapped at each other and tried to find someone to blame for why the door was locked and why Greg didn't know I was leaving and why Greg didn't have his key on him.  I told him I was still going to the viewing and he would just have to wait for me.

29.  When I got to the viewing the line spiraled and looped all the way around the church.  I knew the wait would be at least an hour, if not two.  Somehow this is where it all the walls came tumbling down.  I couldn't keep Greg waiting for an hour and a half, sitting in his car outside our apartment.  Did I even have the energy to wait an hour in this line?  I certainly wouldn't be able to drive 30 minutes back to the apartment to give the key to Greg and 30 minutes back out to West Jordan and THEN wait for an hour.  So I folded. Laid my cards down on the table and folded.   I snuck around the church the other way to where the casket was and said my goodbye to Shelbey.  She didn't look a thing like the Shelbey I remember and maybe that made it easier for me.  I wanted so badly to say something to her parents, but knew it was disrespectful to the people who had waited hours in line, so I mentally sent them my love and left.

30.  On the way home I lost it.  The stress, the exhaustion, and the emotional weight of the weekend was too heavy.  I just cried and cried.  They weren't tears of panic this time, but tears of frustration and exhaustion and sorrow at the unfairness in the world.  Unfair that Shelbey is gone at 19 and that her parents have to bury her instead of her grandchildren.  Greg called and apologized for being snappy earlier on the phone, I likewise apologized, and then mostly there were indiscernible sobs.  I felt like such a failure for not being there for Shelbey's parents and wondered why the universe wasn't making this easier on me.  I had made a big effort to do something good in the world, shouldn't there be some kind of "your husband doesn't get locked out of the apartment when you are trying to do good" rule?

31.  I came home and tried to get my mind off of everything by making sense of a campaign I am doing for my blog.  Blogging is so great, but sometimes the commercial side of it wears me out. I am so fortunate to have the opportunities I do with blogging, but try hard not to over commit myself or stretch myself too thin.  Lately I have felt like I am doing both.  After studying the campaign a little more, I felt better about accepting it, and better about writing a post on it later in the week.  (Hint:  It's for sparkling water.  So, kind of like champagne for fit people.  Or Mormons.)

32.  And that, my friends, is how I ended up here at 10:00 on a Sunday night. (Now 10:57.)  School will come early in the morning but the weekend has been so stressful and exhausting that teaching 100s of teenagers sounds amazing right now.  I am so grateful for my job and for those little big tikes.

33.  I lay down with Greg for a minute on the bed and asked him, "I know this weekend has been straight up hell, but what was your happiest moment in it all?"  I love to ask Greg his "happy moments" and to think of my "happy moments."  They are certainly there- whether I choose to recognize it or not.  "Eating French fries with you and Jake after we got everything moved into the apartment yesterday." Greg replied.  "Really?"  I said, shocked.  It was such an ordinary moment.  "Yah, that was perfect for me," he answered.  Pretty simple, but still.  Happy.

My happy moments:

- When my brother sent me a text saying we would get everything figured out with the key and not to worry about it.  Feeling his love and support even though I totally messed up.
- Watching Greg hold a baby at the family reunion.
- Seeing my niece, Josie, wearing the cutest swimsuit ever made at the reunion.  Why are toddlers' little bellies so stinking cute?
- My mom telling me that she had gone through all the garbage looking through the key.  I was absolute floored and humbled by the extent of her willingness to help.
- When a neighbor offered to help Greg carry the couch up the stairs so I didn't have to help him.
- Church and feeling safe and loved and like I belong.
- Seeing Shelbey's lifeless body and feeling so much pain at her death, but also in the knowledge I have that her family will see her again.

That's a wrap!  Sorry for the horrifically long post.  Matches my weekend, I suppose.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Moving onward

We've got boxes coming out of our ears over here.  Moving is always a humbling experience.  Like you think you have nothing and everyone else in the world is better off to you and then you can't fit all your stuff into ten boxes or even twenty boxes.  Every time I move I vow to simplify, get rid of junk, live with just the basics.  Never works.

It is also humbling because of the people who are willing to help.  Everyone knows moving is about the worst task ever, so when someone is willing to help move someone that is not even himself, it restores my hope in humanity.  Last night Greg asked his friend, Daily, if he could maybe help us lug some boxes around noon and offered to buy him dinner in exchange.  He replied, "I don't need an incentive to help you.  I'll see you at noon."  And then added on that he could maybe get his uncle's truck for us without us even asking.  My brother gave us a similar offer and when I offered dinner replied the same- no dinner necessary.  My mom and mother in law are armed and ready to help us move and my brother and his wife and waiting at our new apartment to help us get moved in.  It is overwhelming.  I guess it just reminds me that for every person who is mean or cruel or selfish, there is someone who is kind and thoughtful and giving.  At least I like to think that's the way it works.

On to the boxes!


+ Reminded of the big things this week- takes me back to when my uncle joined my dad in heaven.
+ This post makes me put everything in perspective and realize how great this life is.
+ Why I will never make it as a fashion blogger.
Growing up, I thought I hated fall.  I've learned the error of my ways. 
+ Have you seen Tay Tay's new blog design yet?  She nailed it!

Friday, August 23, 2013

A heart that hurts

There's a lot of little things.

We're moving this weekend.

A girl backed right into my car despite the fact that I was honking like crazy, and now I have to replace my fender.

School is stressing me out big time as I try to align my lessons to a brand new core.  Always something brand new we gotta do in education.

People keep trying to scam me on the phone that I'm trying to sell online.  Crooks and liars, all of them.

I have no idea hot to teach AP; every day I finish the class it's a small miracle.

Students at my new school haven't gotten used to me yet.  I'm not best buds with the faculty.

Those are the little things.  But somehow I give them a big place in my life.  They are inconveniences is all, certainly nothing to distract from the joy and beauty of life.

I was reminded of all of this yesterday when my brother sent me a message notifying me of the tragic death of a favorite student of mine.  She died when she fell 120 feet in a rappelling accident.  I had heard the story on the radio a few days ago, but hadn't heard the name.  Knowing it was someone I had taught and loved was shocking and heartbreaking.  She was smart and funny- full of energy and life.  I have hanging on my bulletin a note she wrote me when I got engaged, congratulating me and telling me that if I weren't her teacher, "we would totally be BFFs."  (Here's the news story if you want to see the details.)

My heart hurts.  That's the only way I can think of to accurately describe it.  Just a terrible ache in my heart for her family and her future and those poor poor people who watched the accident happen.  I feel like when you've lost someone close to you, you are more sensitive to the heartache of those around you.  I can't hear news like this and shake it off.  The day comes to a screeching halt.  The noise fades out, the stresses are unimportant, everything I had to do that day suddenly moot.  I can't help but sit down at my desk and cry silent tears for a beautiful life that was suddenly cut short.

In a strange way I feel like when stuff like this happens I mourn my dad's death anew.  I mourn for my dad and the wedding he didn't see and my children he won't meet. And then when I'm done mourning him again, I mourn the mother who died in childbirth and left behind a husband and six kids.  I mourn the two brothers that drown at the same time.  It's almost a universal mourning-  a mourning for everyone who has ever lost and ever wanted so desperately to turn back time.

Last night I kept staring at Greg.  We were on a wild goose chase of sorts, trying to do a million and one errands before we move this weekend.  As we drove around and around I kept just looking at him and thanking God for the love and the time that we have together.  What an absolute gift this life is.

Keeping Shelbey and her family in my prayers today.


Diabetes and chocolate: Separating the Facts from the Myths

With over 350 million people worldwide suffering from diabetes, one of the most frequently asked questions among sufferers of the condition is whether they must give up chocolate outright.

As health scaremongering is prominent in the media, the idea that there is an underlying connection between obesity and diabetes has frightened many into believing that diabetics cannot eat any sugary products at all. The notion that diabetics cannot eat sweets or chocolate is perhaps one of the most unhelpful myths for those diagnosed with the condition. Whilst lifestyle factors certainly play a part in the development of Type 2 diabetes, there are many other facts that must be taken into account before underscoring this causation.

A common concern for those recently diagnosed with diabetes is that they will have to give up desserts, sugars and sweets altogether. Another in a long line of myths connected to the condition, whilst it is true that chocolate causes blood sugar levels to rise, with portion control and careful management of your food intake, there is no reason to cut it out of your diet altogether. With diabetes no food is completely off-limits as the key is moderation. Since diabetic dieting is based around tracking the amount of carbohydrate you eat daily, it is important to plan a diet that allows for the enjoyment of sugary treats. Dependent on your activity levels there should be room for simple sugars like chocolate in your meal plan.

Chocolate has gained a negative reputation in the media because its highly calorific content has been linked to weight gain and cardiovascular problems.
Whilst it is far from ideal for diabetics or non-diabetics to be consuming huge amounts of chocolate, some kinds of chocolate do contain a number of beneficial nutrients – particularly flavoids – which if consumed in small quantities can actually help to protect your heart.

One of the most ridiculous myths about diabetics and chocolate is that diabetic chocolate is preferable in a diabetic meal plan. In fact, not only are ‘special’ diabetic foods more expensive, they rarely make much difference compared to the effect of regular chocolate on your blood glucose levels. As a result, it is much better for diabetics to treat themselves to a little of the real thing now and again.

In fact, if you choose the kind of chocolate you include in your diet carefully, it can actually improve your health. Whilst milk chocolate includes harmful refined white sugars (the kind found in white bread, pasta and potatoes), and white chocolate is significantly higher in saturated fat, dark chocolate is far better from a health perspective.

Dark chocolate with a higher cocoa content is high in polyphenols (antioxidants) and scientific tests have shown that just 45g of dark chocolate a day actually increases the presence of the HDLs (high density lipoprotein) in the body - the proteins which help to prevent heart disease. Similarly, dark chocolate restricts the uptake of glucose into cells – the process that causes blood sugar to rise. Therefore, raw dark chocolate helps to stabilise blood sugars. Look for dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa.

Jessica Rawlings from JDRF supporting research into a type 1 diabetes cure.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Throwback Thursday: High School. (Also known as, I'm having a hard time at my new school)

Welcome to another round of Throwback Thursdays, folks! For those of you who are joining us for the first time, here's the rundown.


Here's how it works:

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

Guess what, guys?  Today is the last day of my Throwback Thursday.  I know it was supposed to go until next week, but freak, people, I do what I want!  I feel too restricted by the prompt and I find myself not looking forward to my Thursday posts which is definitely a bad sign.  In addition to that, this Thursday and next Thursday's prompt were basically the same, so I'm just combining them and ending the whole shabam.  It was fun while it lasted, no doubt, but I want my Thursdays back!

Since the topic today is memories of a high school class or teacher I first want to share my memory from today.  In other words, I want to talk about the here and now for a second so humor me, will you?

My peeps at Copper Hills.  Trying so hard not to miss them.  It's not working.

Today was a rough day for me.  I feel myself really struggling to feel at home at the school, with the students, and with the faculty at my new school.  I don't have the confidence I did at Copper Hills, and I know that part of that is just adjusting to the school, and giving it time, but it is frustrating to me.

The students aren't helping any.  They have no respect for me.  I can feel them staring at me asking "Who are you to try to teach me about English?"  No one knows my name, no one has had me before, I'm just some nobody whose class they got thrown in.

I asked students to tell me a bit about their past experiences in English and one student wrote about his teacher last year, describing in detail what a fun and amazing teacher he was. Then, he added in a note to me-  "You could learn a thing or two from him."  Ouch.  I thought about telling him that he could learn a thing or two from Copper Hill students about respect and common courtesy.

It's just I miss my little Copper Hills tikes so bad.  I can't help but think of how they all whined and cried and begged me to stay when I told them I was switching schools.  I can't help but think of who would have been in my classes had I stayed- smart kids, funny kids, kids I love.  Not kids who come in and think I'm a joke and tell me to take some lessons from the other English teachers and then try to transfer out of my class first chance they get.

Sigh.  It'll get better.  It just needs time.  In the meantime, watching hours of Kardashians to distract you from real life never hurt anyone, right?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Two days in: Still alive

Welcome to my classroom!

Or something.

This is me yesterday:  First day of school, you fools!

I don't do so well with the serious fashion pictures so I usually just end up making myself look like an idiot.

"Oh, stop it with the jokes, hoodlums!  You're too funny!"

This was supposed to be sexy teacher look.  It got lost somewhere along the way.

And my personal favorite- thinker woman.  My, how smart I seem!  And also so very angry.

Shirt: Chicnova (Similar here)// Undertee: Downeast// 
Skirt: Chicnova (similar here)// Shoes: H&M (similar here)
If you haven't checked out Chicnova yet, you seriously need to.  They have SO many great things- the pieces are completely unique and they have about every style of anything you could ever imagine.  I'm hooked line and sinker!

Here's the skinny on the first two days.  Yesterday was wild.  First period was my prep and then I had three senior classes in a row and they were bounce bouncing off the walls.  The classes got progressively worse as the day went on and by the time I was at my last class they weren't shutting up for nobody.  I don't like to pull out mean teacher Bonnie on the first day so I tried to just be cool with it all, but I wasn't cool, folks.  One kid I already had to move and make him sit by me because he just wouldn't quit it.  

And then there were the cell phones.  Oh, the cell phones!  Every year it is worse.  Those kids are attached to them like nothing I've ever seen.  They will literally stare at their phone for the entire 85 minutes of my class if I let them. I had to shut that down quick, but I know next time I see those kids I know they'll have their phones out again, tweeting texting candy crushing away.  The madness!

Today was better.  To start with, I had a first period class and the best thing about having a class first thing in the morning is they are oh so quiet.  Everyone's still tired at 7:50 am, you know?  None of that 1:30 pm crazy crap I get later in the day.  Which reinforces my theory that all high school classes should be taught before lunch.  But anyway, my first period class was a terrific group of juniors.  Oh juniors!  Nothing has a hold of my heart quite like juniors.  They are the perfect age and I love teaching American lit and they are independent and smart without being cocky and too cool to care anymore.  Give me a room full of juniors and I'll teach them for daaaaaaaaaays.

Next was a prep and then after lunch I had my AP class which I have been sweating bullets about.  Bullets, I tell you!  Eight 17 year olds have got me scared out of my mind.  They were sweet as can be and smart and seemed so eager to please and maybe my calling in life is to teach AP?  One more class of rowdy seniors ended my day, but not nearly as rowdy as my groups from yesterday so after two days and having seen all of my students I hereby declare I have met the beast and the beast shall be tamed!

Even with the stress and the chaos and the 100 degree days, it wasn't hard for the old classroom feel to come right back to me and for me to remember exactly exactly why I love teaching so much.  I had students introduce themselves and I got some real gems.  The stuff you throw your head back and just laugh to until you have good and laughed.

From the skinniest, lankiest boy in the class:  "My name is Ben and you can remember my  name because I am so bootylicious."

From a very monotone boy: "My name is Allan and people think I'm a jerk."

From a boy wearing a sloth T shirt:  "I'm Jared and I am absolutely passionate about sloths.  I love them and everything about them."

From the class clown, perhaps: "I'm Sam and I'm an alcoholic."  That one got a roar of laughter from his classmates.  Doesn't get much to get those seventeen year olds going.

I stamp my approval on my classes and heartily declare it shall be another awesome school year!

Monday, August 19, 2013

You can never have too much stuff!

The first of 180 school days is over, I'm exhausted, and Greg has promised to go to the water park with me this afternoon so this post will be quick.  You see, I'm pretty dead set on hitting up the water park because I have this theory that if I continue to do summer time activities after school (water park, tennis, camp fires, sleeping out on the tramp) then summer won't be over, regardless of how I spend my hours from 7-3:00.

I know you all want to know how the first day because you're sweet and thoughtful like that.  I'll give you the full run down for tomorrow, but for right now I will tell you:

1.  It is hot.  Starting school in 100 degree weather with a school of over 2,000 students doesn't make for cool classrooms, that's for sure.  The A/C is running full blast and the rooms are still hot hot hot.  In a way we all kind of united in our hotness.  Now there's something for you to chew on.

2.  My review of my students thus far is this:  they're kind of naughty.  I know naughty is a word you use for three year olds, but it's the best word I can think of to describe them.  They're not delinquents or total rebels or anything like that.  Just kind of naughty.  I couldn't believe the yappers they all had on them, especially for the first day.  Usually kids are quiet and uncomfortable and don't know anyone yet on the first day.  I usually don't have to lay down the law until about October when they start to test me.  I have a feeling this year I will be laying that law much, much sooner.

Oh- before I forget to mention, Amber Willmon was the winner of the $1,000 back to school giveaway.  Of course, I am stoked out of my mind for her.  Who wouldn't love winning $1,000?!?

And what the hey, since that giveaway is over, let's get another one going for you gals, shall we?  My fabulous sponsors this month are giving away tons of amazing prizes.  I hope you win!  Enter at the bottom of the post!

$20 Amazon gift card

$15 Paypal Cash

2 months of ad space
$20 Value

$15 Sephora Gift Card

A pair of handmade swarvoski crystal earrings
Blog// Twitter

Copy of the book "Eleanor and Park" by Rainbow Rowell
Blog// Twitter


$15 Etsy gift card to My Sweet Nomsa
Blog// Facebook


$20 Target Gift Card
Blog// Instagram


$15 Forever 21 Gift Card
Twitter// Bloglovin


$10 Yankee Candle Gift Card
Yankee Candle spiced pumpkin car vent sticks
Blog// Twitter

a Rafflecopter giveaway