The Life of Bon: 2018

Tuesday, October 02, 2018


The first time I felt it was in July.  I was on vacation with my family in Southern California- my mom and her (really great) new husband and my seven siblings and their spouses and all the accompanying children and babies and dogs.  Not the dogs.  They stayed home.

We'd been split 6 or 7 weeks.  The world did not know.  My family carried the brunt of the knowledge and support. They surrounded me with love, with care, with every way they knew to convince me that I would make it out alive.

We were playing pickleball at night.  My massive mormon family taking over the courts and playing two, three games at a time.  Players switching in and out.  Winner stays.  Davy needs a partner.  Are we playing until 11 or 15?  Wow, that's a mean serve you got there, Trav.

I was on a team with my 14 year old niece, Lizzy.  Pickleball is not a hard game, but it is new and different and maybe we didn't quite feel secure yet with our abilities.  And we were playing my brother and my nephew- tall, athletic men.  But we held our own.

The game was so fun.  My mom was watching my kids.  I felt a complete release of responsibility, of burden, of care.  The pressures of saving a marriage, of working two jobs, of trying to manage everyone else's happiness but mine own were gone.  Weightless.  Free.

"Smash it Lizzy!"  An energy and enthusiasm burst out of me.
"Oh, girl, it's all good, I know how it is.  We're going to get them on the next one!"
"Yes, that's what I'm talking about!  We're killing it!"

Pieces of the old me.

A life, a personality, a person.  Inside of me.  That's been hidden.  Buried under pressure, cracking under the weight of being in charge of every.damn.thing.all.the.time.  Coming out again.

I felt it again a few weeks later.  With my book club friends at Bear Lake.  At the insistence of Sarah, we rented a trampoline for an hour.  I would have been fine to sit on the beach and stare into oblivion.  Sometimes taking charge of your fun is work, and I have no more energy for work.

But she insisted and pushed and so we paid the money and swam out to the trampoline and there we were- six grown women, in our 30s and 40s, jumping on a trampoline, dancing to Beyonce's Single Ladies on the blue tooth speaker, playing games where we tried to knock each other over, human bowling pins getting bruised and jostled and stamped on.  Jumping in and out of the water.  In and out.  Laughing and dancing and feeling so free free free.  Feeling so me me me.

That life, that personality, that person bursting out of me again.  The person I was before.  The spunk, the laughter, the silliness.  I was doing ridiculous, wild things.  Yelling absurdities.  Trying to get a laugh from my friends and succeeding.  Feeling the energy I felt when I was 23 and the world was only full of possibilities and joy and opportunity and laughter.

Pieces of the old me.

That feeling is coming and going regularly now.  The old me venturing out again. On Saturday when I was hitchhiking up the canyon with my friend because we left the key in the car and I felt no fear, no intimidation, just boldness and excitement sticking my thumb out and waiting for them to pull over.

When I went to a Weezer concert and a midget sized and totally high man started dancing on me and my friend and I laughed and went with it, circling him, shaking our arms all around him, singing "Oh, oo, ee, I look just like Buddy Holly..."

Last week when I sent my friend a series of ridiculous and good looking and probably inappropriate memes and pictures of Antoni from Queer Eye.  (Oh heavens, has a more good looking human ever existed?)

Today when I made dinner and was dancing and cooking and screaming the music to Hamilton, "I'm just like my country- young scrappy and hungry and I'M NOT THROWING AWAY MY SHOT!"

That old me.
She's still in there.

Monday, September 10, 2018


Sundays are the hardest days for me.

I feel it from deep inside.  A desire to hide.  To crawl into bed and never get out.  To cry and cry and cry.  To open up some valve inside of me- the valve that protects my pride, that tells me not to cry in front of people, that says, "Alright now... keep it together."  To just open up the floodgates and allow the outside to match the inside.

Instead I wear a full face of makeup, heels and an ironed dress.  Fresh dyed hair and shaved legs.  Maybe if the outside looks good enough I can almost trick the inside.  We got this!  We are bold!  Beautiful!  Confident!  This doesn't hurt a bit!

Sunday is a long, tiresome, lonesome day.  A day where I worship, where I plead for help from God, where I am surrounded by my church, my community and friends.  A day where I have a mandatory napping period (self imposed!); a day designated for rest, understanding, and healing.  Why is this day the one that sends me reeling, crumbling, begging for it to be over?

Perhaps I feel so strongly on this day the hope of what could have been.  The hope of a life together built around family, God, community, love, forgiveness, growth, healing.  A life of connection.  A life of belonging.


When I feel my lowest, help arrives. My friend who takes my baby in the hall during church so I can at least catch one nugget of truth from the speaker. Help arrives from my sister who calls me and asks me if I want to come over last minute for dinner.  Help arrives when I come home from that dinner to a slice of chocolate cake on the porch.  Help arrives when my friend comes over to borrow some nutmeg and she asks me how my day was and I burst into tears and she gives me a big hug and then goes down to the jewelry basement with me and helps me crank out 40 orders so I won't be behind tomorrow.

A life of connection.
A life of belonging.
Thank you, friends, for carrying me through this Sunday.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Hobby Lobby.

It happened today at Hobby Lobby.

Everything was innocent.  So regular Tuesday morning, so easy,  so not "Oh my gosh I'm getting a divorce and everything about my life is going to be different and I don't even know where I am anymore."

I went with my friend Sarah because I needed her minivan to buy a tv stand for $139.99.  At first I thought the price tag said $1399.99 and I thought "dang, I can't afford that but I love that tv stand."  And then I realized it was $139.  And I talked to Sarah and said "I need your van for Hobby Lobby right away before someone else buys this. " And she said ok.

It was Sarah and me and three of our combined five children.  Heavens bless school.

We yanked the price tag on the tv stand.  I picked out two standard drawer knobs.  None of this bright turquoise or moon shaped door knobs that Hobby Lobby has going on these days.  We strolled down the party section where Sarah was looking for tickets so that she could open up her very own "Mommy Store" for her children.  Oh, parenting.  The kids touched everything in sight.  There was lots of "No, you can't have that, put that back before it breaks, DON'T OPEN THAT PACKAGE."

We rounded the corner from the party aisle and all of a sudden there we were, smack in the middle of the world's largest Christmas selection.

The memories came rushing back, like a flood- urgent, steady, swift.  The day after Thanksgiving, him and me and our two babies at Hobby Lobby picking out all things Christmas.  We need new decorations!  Fresh decorations for a fresh start!  What kind of ornaments on our tree this year?  I'm kind of tired of the gold.  Ok.  Let's add some color.  Do we want decorative Christmas pillows?  Oh that would be so fun.  I kind of want to put new lights on the front of our house.   Oh my gosh we have to get one of these silver Christmas trees with the snow.  Let's do all new stockings this year.  Red for the girls and green for the boys so they all match.  Should we buy extra just in case we have another baby?  You devil you.  Maybe three extra stockings?  Oh stoppppppp.....

A marriage rocky, hard, and troubled-seemingly finding its smooth sailing.  At last.  We can do this, I thought.  We're out of the rough patch.  Gosh we're so tough, and we've been through so much, but our marriage is stronger than ever and we got this.  It felt so good to be coming out of that storm and to feel safe, secure, invincible.  Hope bursting out the doors of that Hobby Lobby Christmas section.

We loaded up the babies and the Christmas decorations and picked up a pizza and went home to eat the pizza and put the babies to bed and decorate the home to be Christmas.

But the storms came back, the rocky got rockier, the invincible, suddenly, so heartbreakingly vincible.  A clear realization that we would never need those extra stockings.

And I'm left in this Hobby Lobby, looking down a row of tacky Christmas ornaments wondering when these memories will stop assaulting me.  When the hope that we are strong enough to make this marriage work will finally give up and die already.  In my head the hope is dead.  Put to rest and sleeping peacefully six feet under.   But in my heart that hope is more tenacious.  Still yearns for life.  Frantically tries to jump out of my chest and begs for another chance.

Leaving my marriage is essentially the painful job of forcefully saying goodbye to that hope.  Of knowing that giving the hope life again and again and again will not ulimately give me the life I want or deserve.  I tried.  For seven years.  Oh how I tried.

Letting hope die.

Who would know that's the hardest part?

Wednesday, August 29, 2018


Sometimes I wonder.

How will I look back on this time in my life?

When I'm 64 what will I think of 32 year old me?

32 year old Bonnie, going through a divorce, trying to keep it all together, making french toast for two babies in the morning, taking pictures for a jewelry sale in the afternoon, taking kids to a birthday party in the evening, putting kids down to bed, going to Rich Crazy Asians with friends, staying up until 1 am making cookies and editing jewelry pictures, doing what it takes to provide for herself and her babies.  Sometimes feeling so overwhelmed with sorrow that she can't possibly go another day and sometimes feeling so overwhelmed with relief that this life is hers hers hers and she can make of it what she wants.

What will I think of this Bonnie?  My now Bonnie that won't be now Bonnie for long, that in the blink of an eye now Bonnie will be past Bonnie who was once going through a very hard time.

I'm not 64 yet.  So I don't know 64 year old Bonnie.  I hope she has a lot of money and is having good sex.  I hope she's not on any kind of lame diet.  But mostly I hope she's kind and compassionate and patient.  I think she is.  I think she's looking at me and this experience and saying "Wow, Bonnie.  You were so strong.  You were so brave.  You took such great care of those babies.  You were kind and you were beautiful and you were tough as hell."

I think 64 year old Bonnie is saying those things to me.
And I think 32 year old Bonnie is too.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018


Today was the first day of school at Jordan High.

And for the first time in my life I am not going back to school.

Not as a student in Price Utah, not as a college student at BYU, not as a high school teacher at Jordan High.

Eight years of teaching high school English.

Today is my first day of not being a high school English teacher.

I did not find a cute outfit to wear on my first day.  I did not write objectives on the board.  I did not assign the first chapter of Lord the the Flies for homework.  I did not pass out disclosures and try in vain to convince students that yes, I really will take their cell phones if they have them out during class.  I did not frantically study seating charts and try to memorize names, did not reward myself with a large diet coke from Sonic on my way home.

In another world I would have done all that.  A world I have lived in my whole life.  Now it's a new world, I guess.

In my new world I woke up to June asking me to watch show.  I was lying at the foot of the bed because it's the only place where I can get cool (directly under the ceiling fan) and now that I sleep in the king sized bed alone I guess it doesn't much matter if I'm at the top or at the foot, frontways or sideways, upside down or backwards.  The bed can be slept in however I please.

In my new world my mom came over in the morning to help me mop my floors, clean out the fridge, take care of kids, figure out why the garbage disposal isn't running.  This is at my request.  I finally worked up the courage to say mom can you come over every single week and help me keep everything together (physically and emotionally) and can you do this for the foreseeable future, possibly months until I feel strong again?  And she said yes of course, I'll be there.

In my new world I dropped my four year old off at preschool, put the one year old for down a nap, and then ventured to the basement to fulfill jewelry orders.  Orders for a business I have built myself from the ground up.  Work that I am so grateful for and that is flexible and makes a good wage to provide financially for me and my babies but that admittedly does not light up my soul the way that memorizing seating charts and passing out disclosures and assigning chapter one of Lord of the Flies does.

How did I get from where I was to where I am?

In my new world I met Greg at Maverick, switched car seats and babies, and drove off alone, back the way I came.  In my new world I went to the mall by myself to engage in retail therapy and left filling empty and assaulted by mall smells.  In my new world I drove to the temple and took a nap in the car and then went inside in search of rest from the chaos chaos chaos in my mind.

In my new world I drove thru In-N-Out, devoured a burger in the car, came home, trudged back down to my basement, worked on more orders, felt grateful, felt sad, felt relieved, felt heavy, felt alone, felt loved.

What a world.

Thursday, August 16, 2018


Yesterday I had to wake Hugh up from his nap.

I don't really let him ever sleep past 5 pm.  Then he never goes down for the night.  But waking up a baby from a long and delicious afternoon nap always feels like a kind of sin to me.

I made a bunch of noise in his room.  Opened drawers and turned off the fan. But he didn't stir.  His bottom lip stuck out, his arms huddled close to his chest.  He wanted to sleep.  Not this rude awakening.

So I got in the crib with him.  I've never done that before.  Gotten in the crib.  But it felt like I needed to be on his level to do this mean thing to him.  So I climbed in, cuddled next to him, and slowly started stroking his back.

He opened his eyes.  Then closed them.  Opened them again.  Rolled over.  Curled into me.  Couldn't believe I was making him wake up.

He looked so sad and tired.  So disappointed that this was truly what was happening and that he was going to have to accept it.  And I thought, boy me too.  I get you.  So I didn't say anything, and I didn't rush him and I just lay there and rubbed his back.  Made it as easy as I could for him to get up when he was ready. 

He yawned.  He stretched.  He rolled from one side, to the next, to the next.  Eyes closed again.  Eyes open again.  Learning to accept his reality.

We lay there together minute after minute in his crib.  I tried to practice with myself the same things I had been practicing with him.  Love.  Compassion.  Tenderness.  Patience. 

We'll figure out a way to get up. 

But it might take a while.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Crime and Punishment

I'm reading a difficult book.  It's written by a Russian.  Is that what makes it so difficult?

The names are hard to keep track of.  And hard to pronounce.  I like to pronounce the names in my head when I read a book.  Also there are Russian nicknames and slang and unfamiliar terminology.  I need to start taking notes.  Who is who?

There are lots of characters being introduced in the first chapters.  And lots of storylines that are jetting off on weird side streets.  STAY LINEAR. My mind screams.  It's not staying linear.

I am reading it because it's my best friend's favorite book. And because she's married to a Ukranian and because she speaks Russian and make delicious Russian food that she sometimes shares with me and because those things are important to her and so they are important to me.

I am listening to it on audible.  And when my mind can't focus enough to catch everything that is going on, I am reading the hard copy.  And of course there is always sparknotes for when I am truly feeling like a lost soul, drowning in the ocean of Russian Literautre.  I feel like I am 14 again.  Too dumb to follow this book.  But now I'm 32 and I have the gift of a few more years and a lot more experience and I've learned self-compassion.  I am not dumb.  I am resilient and strong.

It's important to me that I finish this book.  For my friend.  Finishing it shows my loyalty and love to her, as well as my willingness to invest in things that are important to her.

Once I made a promise with someone I loved that we would read each other's favorite books.  I read his book.  All 1000 pages.

My favorite book was (is) Catcher in the Rye.  212 pages.  He didn't read it.  That relationship did not last.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

My mom is getting remarried

My mom is getting remarried.

When I lost my dad, I lost him all at once.  It was so sudden.  I went to school and he was there.  I got a phone call.  He was not there anymore.  The loss felt so massive.  Impossible to work around.  Forceful.  Intrusive.  Inconceivable.

What I didn't know is that I would really lose him twice.  The first time I lost him all at once.  Quickly.  The second time I lost him in pieces.  Slowly.  Almost imperceptibly.   When I could no longer call his number and hear his voice on the voicemail.   When his car didn't smell like him anymore. When my mom moved from their (our) home. When his dog died. When we sold the cabin.  When I realized that I have no idea what happened to his favorite 1989 blue Scofield Triathlon shirt.

All these pieces of him that lingered after he left.
And then one by one those pieces left too.

I guess my mom's singleness always felt like that last piece of him.  And when the last piece goes it feels like I'm losing all of him again.  What will remain of him now?  Where do I look to find him?  Who will remember him?  He feels forgotten.  Not a person anymore, but only a memory.   With a widow he still felt present tense.  Remarrying makes him past tense.

I can't mourn forever.  But moving on makes the gap feel bigger. The chasm widens.  The space between when he was here and where I am now is getting too hard to cross.  Eight years.  He's never read this blog . Never met my husband.  Hasn't been in my home. Never held my children.

I am not ready to say goodbye,
still not ready for him to die.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

2017: An ode in pictures

I posted so little on this blog in 2017.  Instagram (@thelifeofbon) mostly serves as my mini blog now, but I do miss writing.  I am hoping to get back to more writing in 2018.  Right now I have too much going.  I have two kids and two jobs and two church callings and it's two much.  (Sorry couldn't resist the pun.)  A big goal for mine in 2018 is to figure out a way to simplify.  It will likely mean quitting one of my callings and one of my jobs.  I can no longer sustain teaching part time at the school and running a jewelry business.  Something's gotta give.  It's either that or give up one of the kids... 

I find myself in a place where I fill very full and I am grateful for that.  I get a lot of joy and satisfaction out of both of my jobs.  I get great joy out of my children, maintaining my home, working in my church callings, watching jazz games on the couch with Greg.  A contentment has settled into my life for which I am very grateful.  The only problem is I am *too* full.  Too many good things and that is what has made it so hard for me to quit any of them.  I recognize I can't be everything to everyone, and I recognize there is a season for everything.  Right now I wonder if I am trying too hard to cram every single good thing in my life where if I let some of those good things, the good things that remain could be even better.

Is anyone still following this?

Anyway, one of the "good things" I'm hoping to reclaim is more writing.  Which certainly doesn't mean "blogging".  I'm probably over "blogging" forever- the endless sponsored posts, the deadlines, the pushing for followers.  Maybe not, who knows, that season could re enter my life- but for now it feels good to reclaim this blog for me, for my kids, for my writing.

And now, some pictures.  Mostly of kids.  Kids who do not belong to you.  Somehow I think you are interested?  It's a weird world.