The Life of Bon: August 2017

Friday, August 11, 2017



I am stealing this idea from Danica.  My blogging has been sporadic (at best) the last year, and as I gear up for another school year and the ensuing chaos I feel like some structure in blogging would be helpful.  My goal is twice a week.  Some slightly more “structured” posts may help me.  Or they may sink me.  Who knows anymore?  Blogging is like babies.  An explosion of unpredictable chaos.

GBOMB stands for Good, Bad, On my Brain.  So it’s a July review, if you will.

***Disclaimer!  I wrote this 10 days ago.  And then never finished writing it.  And then figured I should hurry and just post it before August is gone!  So here you are, an unfinished GBOMB***

-        -On July 2, we gave Hugh his official baby blessing in our church.  It is mostly an opportunity to give blessings and love to a new baby.  It was two days before 4th of July so I made sure we were all dressed to fit the bill and it ended up being such an incredibly special and beautiful day.  Sometimes I get worried on big days like that that my huge expectations and the pressure of a big day may get in the way of just enjoying the day itself (Greg and I have an awesome history of epic fights on birthdays, holidays, and other huge high pressure days.)  But it wasn’t any of those things- just a beautiful day surrounded by family and people we love.  Hugh was blessed with some beautiful things, the one that sticks out in my mind the most is to be a happy and content person and to look out for people around him who need friends.  What a sweet thing to bless a baby with.

      Even though I am blogging much less frequently than in the past, I am still considered for a few sponsored campaigns- like this one I did this month.  It is a cause dear to my heart (as a kid I literally scoured the neighborhood collecting these from everyone I knew.)  I am so grateful for education and grateful for blogging and grateful for ways to help our schools.

-      The fourth of July this year may have been my favorite Fourth in Larsen history.  We played it lowkey- went to a little church breakfast and then came home and all took naps.  We hit the pool in the afternoon with our neighbors and friends, got J. Dawgs for dinner and ate on the lawn, and then met up with all of our neighborhood to watch fireworks from the nearby park.  It was such a perfect holiday, close to our friends and neighbors and I felt a great sense of community.

-       July is birthday month around here!  We celebrated Greg’s birthday on the 15th and June’s birthday on the 16th.  And while my birthday is *technically* in June, it is on the 30th so it feels like June.  Three birthdays in 17 days is nutso!  For Greg’s birthday my mom watched June and Greg and I got to do a little overnight Greg with some friends.  It was a dream.  We are trying to make more effort to do things just the two of us or to do things with only one child.  Being with just Hugh always makes me somehow love him more.  Like maybe it’s not Hugh that’s a hard baby, just that it’s hard to have a baby and a toddler?  Because when June is gone I just cannot get enough of Hugh.

-       For June’s birthday I threw her a long awaited “Purple Party”.  I asked her every theme in the book and that was the one she insisted on.  PURPLE PARTY.  Homegirl is going to love what she’s going to love.  Buying all the gear, making the invitations, and the overall party planning was tons of fun.  We had so many friends and family members who came to celebrate with us and it was so fun to see everyone and to all come together to give love to a crazy little three year old.  June was in absolute heaven.  When she was saying her prayers she included in a loud and proud “thank you for my purple party!”  Made it all worth it.    

-       I spent four days in an AP literature conference.  It was a total dream.  My teacher was phenomenal and I felt my teaching soul nourished in a way that was very necessary after my hardest year of teaching yet.  I have wondered if I have it in me to keep on teaching and this week was what I needed to charge my batteries and rejuvenate my soul.  I left excited and with tools that I can use immediately in my classroom.  Teaching AP Literature is such a gift to me.  Aside from raising my family, it is the most rewarding thing I have done in my adult life.

-       Speaking of AP Literature, I got my test scores back in early July.  85% of my students passed the AP literature test and 6 hardworking kiddos got 5s... the highest score. I feel so grateful for this news. This was my hardest year of teaching yet and I felt busy, stressed, and out of control so much of the time. I worried so much that the kids wouldn't be able to bounce back from my 6 week maternity leave mid year. I felt inadequate and like I was doing the kids a disservice for much of the year. These results tell me two things: 1) women can have children, families, take time off of work and still make valuable contributions in a work place. It doesnt have to be all or nothing. When I wanted to teach part time my boss told me that the AP program would suffer because of it and that AP classes should really be taught by a full time teacher. I insisted I could do it. Today I am reassured that family + work goals can coexist! 2) my students this year were incredibly hard working and resilient. They didn't stop while I was gone for 6 weeks and never complained about the time I had to be away. They were grateful and extremely kind kids/almost-adults and I consider myself very lucky for the privilege to know them. There were a few students who took the test and did not pass- of them I am just as proud as the students who got 5s. These kids stayed in an AP class all year, wrote essay after essay and continued to attempt tasks that were beyond their comfort and ability level for an entire year and THEN saw through a 3 hour AP test still unsure of whether they had what it takes to pass. They didn't let the fear of failure stop them. This to me shows incredible determination and tenacity. These students have what it takes to be successful in life just as much as the students who passed. So proud of ALL my students and I am beyond honored and grateful to have had the chance to teach them this year.
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-        Hayward left the Jazz.  I hate that I care.  But when you are a big sports fan and pour a lot of your time into supporting and building a team, things like this do have an effect.  Utah is a small market team and it can be frustrating to spend years deceloping key players like Gordon Hayward and then as soon as they are good have them leave to a bigger, better team (Boston Celtics).  It’s frustrating.  Kind of feels like when you work hard to get a guy to like you and as soon as things start going well the popular, cute girl comes in and swoops him away with no effort at all. 

-       June’s purple party wore me out.  The day of the party I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off and afterward I was basically like, “that was the worst thing ever and I am never doing that again.”  And the thing is I felt like I kept it pretty simple.  And it was still total madness.  How do you guys do your kids’ birthday parties?  I am venturing into this wild unknown territory of kids’ birthdays and I am frightened.

-       The month has felt so full and busy which I LOVE, but I haven’t had the time to read and relax that I usually crave in the summer.  I read Americanah, More than Happy: The Joy of Amish Parenting, Spark Joy and I am currently reading Sense and Sensibility.  I still really want to get to Heart of Darkness and Handmaid’s Tale

-       Our quiet and very enjoyable Fourth of July at home got me thinking about what I want my family traditions to be.  I think when we first got married and started our family we kind of just piggy backed onto whatever family traditions either of our families were doing.  I really like the idea, though, of being more purposeful of developing and creating our own family traditions.  I love our extended families, but I also love our little family unit and want to make sure that we are strong and connected all on our own.

     Doing this campaign has me thinking about ways to help people be more involved in education.  I feel like it's a lot of complaining about bad teachers, bad schools, etc, but not alot of action.  People are hesistant to get involved.

-       About a week ago Paul Swenson, a thirty year old man in a neighboring town, mysteriously vanished.  I’ve been absolutely obsessed trying to figure out what happened.  Lots of mysterious things surrounding the situation including a very suspicious “gofundme” account set up by his best friend, Cody--- a boy I kissed in college.  Oh, college Bonnie.  You were so dumb.

-       Every year I like to switch up my texts for AP Literature.  I’ve taught Lord of the Flies and have loved it but am needing a change this year.  I’m thinking The Things They Carried instead.