Emma’s upgrade.

Me: EMMA! Stop! Give me the razor. Never shave side-to-side! You’ll cut yourself. Here, watch again. Start at ankle and go up. Don’t press too hard.

Emma: Oh. Ok. Ok. Got it.

Emma shaves her legs now.

She asked me a few weeks ago if I could teach her how to shave her legs. She said her leg hair bothers her when she wears pants.

I gave the go-ahead.

Scott got voted off womanhood island. “No, absolutely not. She’s too young,” can paddle itself back to the roars in the man jungle.

I told Emma she must keep it a secret from her 6-year-old going on 17-year-old younger sister. I assumed she wouldn’t say anything to Scott because what girl tells her dad about such things like shaving her legs, bras, and periods?


Emma: Daddy! LOOK!

My head jerked up from my phone. I spun around on the couch then scrabbled to get the camera turned on. What the.

Scott: WHAT THE.

Emma: What? Mommy said it was ok! Feel them!

Scott: Did you shave your legs?

I made eye contact with Scott. I shook my head no. I mouthed “don’t yell.”

Scott: Well, your mommy is grounded.

Her openness shocked me. And then again, it didn’t.

Scott and Emma hunt together. Emma, with her silky smooth legs, shot a 9-point buck last night.


Some may see a man and his child holding up a dead animal and think it’s cruel. They may feel sorry for the deer because it had no chance against man – or woman – and their weapons.

It’s not that.

This is Emma’s second time shooting a buck. I would call last night’s buck an upgrade from two years ago.


Emma has shot two deer in her life.

But the two pictures don’t show the countless hours sitting in a hunting blind with her dad. Or the summers she’s spent riding in a 4-wheeler, checking trail cameras. She’s tagged alongside Scott since she was five. She loves mud. She doesn’t like ticks but she’ll pick them off on her own without screaming. She got sprayed by a skunk a month ago. She went to school laughing about her scent because she got sprayed by a skunk. 

Nature doesn’t scare her.

I don’t know what Emma and Scott talk about for hours in the hunting blind but she always comes home happy. I get to see Scott’s interviews with her on camera. Sometimes she doing homework. Sometimes she sits and watches a spider make a web in the blind window. The temperatures can be anywhere from sweltering to bone-chilling.

And much like her father, she never complains.


Scott cannot be more proud of Emma – even if womanhood island is slowly making its way to the roars of the man jungle. She shot a buck most outdoorsmen never get a chance at.

I am proud of her too. She’s happy. Daddy’s girl is turning into one hell of a girlfriend one day. But she’s comfortable enough to ask us anything. I don’t know if a deer had anything to do with that but it sure feels like it did.


The lunch box.

I’m sorry to bother you. I don’t normally post this much in a week.

It’s Kate. This is all Kate.

I can’t even make this stuff up if I tried. 

I’ll be quick –

Scott was in Boston last night. And his dad, Jeff, was in Toronto. I was at home with the girls. It was just another day repeating the 6:30 pm chaos including reading a string of group texts.

Jeff: Toronto Blue Jays and Yankees. Row 6.


Scott: Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox. Fenway Park. Suite.


Well, they’re working’ REAL hard.

I opened Kate’s furry, leopard-print backpack to check for homework.

What the…..

I blinked. I brought the paper closer to my face.

Is this a joke?

I slowly turned to look at Kate. Emma was doing her homework at the kitchen table. Kate was tapping her pencil, waiting to work on hers.

Oh my God.

I held my breath. My body started to tremble as I stifled a laugh. I turned my back to the girls and took a picture of the paper.

Me: Kate’s backpack. 2nd base. Maybe 3rd. Depends what she did with it.


Scott: WTF!!!!!

Me: I KNOW!!!! I’m too scared to ask what these are. Hold on I’ll ask. Trying so hard not to laugh.

Kate: Mommy! Where’s my homework!

Me: Right here. Oh, hey….so tell me about your lunch box drawing. Did you do this in school today?

Kate: Yep. I did that.

Me: It’s so cute! What are you eating in your lunch box?

Kate: You don’t have to tell what you have in your lunch box.

I giggled a high-pitched giggle, walked backwards out of the room and started texting.


Scott: I’m going to counseling now.

Jeff: Oh kitty.


Scott: Hot dog?


Hot dog. Cupcake. Lipstick. Water bottle. Gummy bears. The Starship Enterprise. Candles. Bacon strip.

I heard it all.

The only person that knows what’s in Kate’s lunch box is Kate.

“You don’t have to tell what’s in your lunch box.”

Thank you for your time. You guys keep laughing it up when I pull out a mini statue of David from her backpack two days from now.


Oh Emma, Oh Kate.

Kate: Mom! No texting and driving!

Me: I’m at a stop light.

Kate: Still counts.

Me: Who told you that?

Kate: Your mom.


Me: How was your lunch at school today, girls?

Emma: Good.

Kate: Good. Hey, Emma. What time do you eat lunch?

Emma: Like the time we wake up when there’s no school.


Me: What color do you want me to paint your room? Do you still want red?

Kate: Let me think about it…..

Me: What about like red stripes or polka dots?

Kate: What about a giant tiger over my bed.


I was helping Kate with her homework.

Me: Ok, last question. If you have 5 buttons, what is the most amount of buttons you can give away?

Kate: Well, let me think.

Me: This is the easiest question on your homework tonight.

Kate: But I want to keep a button for myself.


Scott and I were in bed one morning and the girls came in.

Scott: Will one of you make us coffee?

Me: Yes, go start a pot.

Emma: We don’t know how to make coffee.

Kate: We’re kids! And you’re just lazy adults.


I was singing to “You can’t always get what you want” by the Rolling Stones in the car.

Me: “I saw her today at the reception….a glass of wine in her hand…”

Emma: Wine in her hand?

Kate: Sounds like a song about Nana. She always has a glass of wine in her hand.


Me: You hear this girls. You can’t always get what you want. But if you try real hard, you’ll get what you need. Life lesson by Mick Jagger.

Kate: Yeah, well sometimes you don’t get what you want either. Like, sometimes I don’t let Stella outside and make you have to do it.


Kate: What is daddy’s costume this year?

Me: It’s a secret. I can’t tell you because you will tell your little friends and they’ll tell their parents.

Kate: Give me a hint.

Me: He’s a costume with me.

Kate: What’s a costume with me.


We went out to eat after Emma’s late soccer game. We walked out of the restaurant.

Emma: Burrrrrr. It got cold! I’m so cold. Hey, now I know what it’s like to be mom all the time.


I promised the girls I would take them out for ice cream after school one day. We went through a drive-thru. The line was long and moving slow.

Me: We made a bad choice.

Kate: A HORRIBLE CHOICE. Just start honking, mom.


The girls were at the gym’s child care. They didn’t know I was in the room. They were coloring and talking to a teacher.

Teacher: Wow! You girls are awesome at drawing!

Emma: We have a lot of good drawers in our family. Our funny Papa, our aunt Jenna, and my mom.

Kate: Ha! Our mom just texts.


Me: Oh, good. Daddy landed ok in Boston, girls.

Kate: Well, knock on wood and slap me in the face.


Kate: …….


Emma: How old were you when you got married?

Me: Hmmmm. 22?

Emma: Whoa! That’s like close to a teenager!



Scott and I decided to watch a movie in our living room one night. We have large windows, looking out to our backyard patio.

Scott: Girls, go play outside with your friends. This is an adult movie.

The girls left. An hour into the movie, I see Kate sitting on patio furniture with a friend.

Me: Scott, pause the movie. Kate!

Kate walked in.

Me: What are you and K doing?

Kate: Just watching your movie. And laughing at all the kissing.


Kate: Let’s see who is tanner.

Me: Ok.

(we held up our arms together)

Me: ME! You are your daddy’s white girl.

Kate: Oh yeah! Well, let’s compare my arm to your boob.


Emma: Kate, pretend I’m drinking a Summer Shandy.

Kate: (spits into a spit cup) Ok.


We grilled brats and burgers for dinner one night.

Kate: Mmmmmm….this burger is so good, I wanna slap my momma’s booty!

Me: What?

Kate: (slaps my butt) Slap that booty!

Me: Who taught you that?

Kate: …….


I got to interview two KC Chiefs’ players for Simply KC magazine. I went to Arrowhead to interview Travis Kelce and Jeremy Maclin. I had to go straight to the girls’ school to pick them up after the interview. I was dressed up more than normal.

Kate: What?

Me: What.

Kate: Why are you all pretty?


My parents are cleaning out their house. My dad brought over my wedding dress. I haven’t opened it since we got it back from the cleaners. I opened it and called the girls in.


Me: Girls, you want to see my wedding dress?

Emma: Oh my gosh, mom! This is so pretty! I want to try it on! You must have looked beautiful in this! Kate, isn’t it pretty?

Kate: Oh. Sight words! Your. Has. Been. To. A. And.


Me: Want to hear what’s for lunch tomorrow?

Kate: Sure. But I’m telling you I will always pick cold lunch.


Me: Smile!

Kate: Nothing makes me smile.



Special Edition: Oh Kids.

Me: Kids! Ok, I think Belle pooped in our neighbor’s yard here. Help me find the poop!

Kids: Find the poop! Find the poop!

Kid: Ms. Julie, would you like me to get down on my hands and knees? I would do that for you. I’m a really good smeller.


Emma and Kate were fighting in front of their friends. I pulled their friends over.

Me: Hey. Do you guys fight with your siblings too? As much as Emma and Kate?

Kid: Yeah, we do! Sometimes I tell my sister I’m going to kill her in her sleep.


Me: We’re eating sloppy joes tonight. What are you guys eating?

Kid: Tacos.

Me: Mmmmm. That sounds good too.

Kid: My grandma calls sloppy joes spanish food.


Me: Oh, you’re such a great artist! I love this!

Kid: I know.


Is your kid hilarious? Of course they are!

If you have any kid sayings that you would like to see here, please email me at: jbugbytes@gmail.com

Your child’s name will be kept anonymous.


The kiddie menu.

Name this movie –

“Boys have a penis. Girls have a vagina.”



Kindergarten Cop.

Laugh it up. It’s all one big joke until it’s your own daughter drawing penises on her kiddie menu.

Yes, she’ll have chicken tenders with a side of fries and oh hey! That little boy is singing with a fat penis hanging from his pants. KATE!


Mr. Kimble didn’t laugh at his kindergarten student in Kindergarten Cop. And Scott and I didn’t laugh at our first grader either.

Ok, fine. I laughed a little behind my hair falling around my face. But she added a belly button too.


Me: (gasp)

Scott: What?

Kate crossed out her picture. I picked up Kate’s drawing and held it up for Scott

Scott: What’s that?

Me: What do you think it is?

Scott: KATE.

Kate stared at the TV above her.

Scott: KATE.

Kate: What.

Scott: Look at me. LOOK. AT. ME. Did you draw a picture of a penis on that little boy?

Kate: No.


Kate: It’s a penis.

I looked at Emma, smiled, and dropped my head before she made me laugh.

Scott: And why did you draw that?

Kate: To be funny.

Scott: How would you feel if a boy drew a vagina on a little girl?

Kate: I don’t care.


I don’t hide my body from my girls. I don’t cover myself up when I’m getting dressed. But I don’t walk around the house fully nude either. Emma and Kate could care less about a locker room full of changing women at the gym. They don’t stare or ask questions. The adult female body is just that – an adult female body.

My job is easy. We’re the same sex.

When the girls were born, Scott placed a black box over his crotch and hasn’t moved it since.

It didn’t matter that our newborn baby girl couldn’t see more than a few inches away. It didn’t matter she would never understand or even remember what she was looking at other than maybe that’s another short leg. It didn’t matter. Scott produced two girls. And according to Scott, girls don’t need to look at penises.

Family showers? No. Never.

Family baths? Nope.

If our potty-training toddler needed to use a public restroom? Mens bathroom is off limits. Go find your mom.

There is a strict rule at our house – Emma and Kate are not allowed in the bathroom or closet if Scott is in there. There’s no discussion on the issue. You stay out or you’ll get in trouble. The girls see a welcome sign when I’m in there. They have a knack at knowing when I’m shaving my legs in the shower. Hey, mom? No one is dying but do you care if we have a snack?

I am guessing I would be covering myself more if I was the opposite sex parent. Maybe. At some point my son would say, “hey mom. Put some clothes on.” And I would.

Does a prude dad equal penis obsessed daughter? If by hiding behind a black box makes a child more curious – hey, wait a minute – how does Kate know what a penis looks like?

I really want to know from opposite sex parents – do you cover yourself up around your kids? Are you as extreme as Scott, in that you hide yourself from babies? Or are you open-minded, like me? Do you think if both parents are more relaxed about their body, the kids will be see body parts in a non-funny manner? Do you think that waiter laughed at Kate’s artwork after we left? I left it on the table with his tip. 

Cosmo Driving

Pup Pals.

Married. Female. Two kids and two dogs. Lives in a suburb of Kansas City. Writer for a Kansas City magazine.

Read into that all you want – that sums me up.

I probably sound boring. Or exciting. However that sounds, you have an image of me in your head but there’s no way of knowing who I am based off that description.

If a camera followed me around, you would find out more about me. I am quiet, sometimes even awkwardly quiet. I don’t like attention on me. You’ll notice I probably have my phone in my hands too much. I’m just reading. Thinking. Trying to find something to make me laugh. I write a lot. I am constantly wondering if I am good at that.

Zoom out and you’ll see my kids are school aged. Scott and I are in what some call the “honeymoon of parenting years.”

Our kids are independent enough to make their own small meals. But they are still young enough to catch the microwave on fire then hightail it down the street screaming, “THE HOUSE IS BURNING DOWN! WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!”

My kids are, for the most part, easy. Our life – it’s getting easier.

And when life gets easy, Scott and I immediately purchase a puppy.



Social media said so.

That’s Stella – female, black, labrador retriever, loves ice cubes.

But those cameras are still rolling. Meet Stella – clothing is her preferred chew toy. She is a simple dog. She is simple in that she doesn’t care for nice things. In fact, brand new hard wood floors is her favorite place to squat and pee. But Stella is a good running partner. She fits in well with an active family. She also loves to cuddle, despite her ever-growing body. Stella just needs time to grow up and she will be the perfect lab for our family.

Now, that is painting a real picture of a puppy. But with words not a camera.

My friends in New York City speak for the rescue dogs. Pup Pals mission is to increase the rate of foster and rescue dog adoptions. They do this by making a high-quality  video production, highlighting the dog’s personality. They rate the dog’s personality in categories such as housing, social skills and grooming.

Fosters and shelters have found that these individual dog videos produced by Pup Pals get dogs placed in forever homes faster. When one dog finds a forever home, that opens space for another dog to get adopted. Quick turn-arounds are a good thing.

Ladies and gentleman – Justin Liebergen and Samantha Northart, creators of Pup Pals.


Me: Justin. Samantha. Let me get this straight – your mission is get dogs rescued faster by making short videos of the dog, highlighting their personality instead of listing the traditional stats. Your videos includes positive and negatives aspects of the dog so the potential family is not surprised by their addition.

So you are basically the ESPN highlight reel for dogs. Have you considered sponsoring the Puppy Bowl?

Samantha: Anytime we can combine puppies and football, I’m on board. But it’s not the puppies who need our help the most. It’s the dogs living in foster and shelter homes.

Me: How did you come up with this idea?

Samantha: I’ve been working in foster and rescue for over a decade and felt there was a need to showcase some really great pups that were just getting looked over. I fell victim of taking home a pup who wasn’t right for me. But I didn’t want to bother the foster family and not give the pup a home. I realized there must be lots of people who probably don’t even reach out to adopt because they feel they might do the same. I felt there was a better way for people to see the true personalities of the dog than just a couple photos and generic bio.

Me: You guys are based in New York City. What other cities have you helped? And will you be coming to Kansas City? Dogs love Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ. They have strong noses. I just know these things.

Justin: You mean Joe’s KC BBQ? Yeah, I know we still call it Oklahoma Joe’s. It looks like we’ll be in Kansas City in October. So far, we’ve worked in NYC, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Los Angeles.

Me: So here’s my favorite part about Pup Pals – honesty in the ranking system. So the dog up for grabs doesn’t like cats. That’s cool. You make sure your viewers know that.

I know the rescues know the personalities of the dogs. But how much time do you spend with the dogs when you’re filming? Do you make your own assessment about the dog’s personality or do your rely on the rescues description?

Samantha: Thanks. It’s important to us that we are honest about the dogs. We want the fur-ever family to be a true fur-ever family. You don’t get that by pretending challenges don’t exist. It’s just finding the right fit.

Justin: Typically, we spend about an hour with each dog. We usually rely on the foster families and rescue workers who specifically work with that dog to help with information. And since dogs don’t lie, we’ll know pretty quickly if something they say isn’t up to snuff – or sniff – so far everyone we have worked with has been wonderful in helping us highlight these pups.

Me: Have you ever been bitten while filming?

Justin: By the dogs or the people?

Me: Have you been peed on?

Justin: Again, we’re talking about the dogs, right?

Me: Went home with chewed on camera equipment?

Justin: Actually, no to all. But I certainly bring a few sets of wipes for all the noses that hit the lens.

Me: Stop it. That’s adorable! Wipes! But seriously, you can tell me. We are in an honest space here. Our puppy, Stella, bites, pees and chews all the time. Would you like a puppy named, Stella?

Justin: Yes, please! My top dog, Cosmo, would love a Bonnie to his Clyde.

Me: AH! Halloween costumes! This is my whole world right now. I love Halloween. Ok, just kidding. I’ll take back Stella now. I need her for Halloween.

Justin: Hey, wait!

Me: Let’s talk cats. Will you be extending Pup Pals to cats too?

Justin: We would love for this to expand to cats as well as all sorts of pets. For right now, we are dog fans so we thought we would start in our wheelhouse.

Me: I think the biggest fear in adding a dog to a family is you don’t know what you’ll get.


Hold on a sec. The dishwasher? Really?


Ok. If everyone could pick a dog based on their personality, I think we would all be dog owners. Look! Stella wants to be Bonnie for Halloween too! Yay! Justin, go get Clyde.


Now, our other dog Belle – the Yorkie Poo, we did rescue.


My only requirement of Belle, when we got her 6 years ago, was she sleep through the night because I had a newborn (named Kate) on her way. And Belle did sleep through the night. She’s the perfect lap dog. She’s not yippy but she’s protective of her family. She ran up to a coyote about a month ago when it came into her yard. The coyote picked her up and ran. She would have died that night but Scott saved her.

Justin: That sounds like a great dog!

Me: She really is. And I think you both are the “Scott” in Belle’s story. And the coyote represents the needle. Sing it, Sarah McLachlan.

Samantha: We will talk about that, actually. There are a lot of stats and figures about rescues and shelters that are depressing. Instead, we are trying to be hopeful in our approach. We focus on dogs who are in safe situations – either a foster or a no-kill shelter/rescue. When you see a video, it will be about if that dog is perfect for you. Not just “do you need to get it safety.” Our job is to help the shelters by highlighting the over-looked dogs. Once a dog finds a home, it opens up space to save more dogs.

Me: I love that. The dogs think you’re heroes too. But they can’t talk.

Cosmo Driving

Me: Hey, you brought CLYDE!

Justin: It’s Cosmo.

PicMonkey Collage

Me: Catch ’em if you can!

Ok, so what we’re here for – money. My kids think it grows on trees. And dogs like to pee on that tree. Please explain to the readers what all these generous contributions go towards.

Justin: The donations go towards travel, shooting and post production. Each time we visit a new city, we also start to put together a local team. We work in multiple cities simultaneously. Our goal is to meet with rescues, film and highlight ten dogs per week. The long term goal is to have a team in every major metro, highlighting ten dogs a week in each city.

Samantha: We don’t ask for any money from the fosters and rescues because part of our goal is to increase their revenue. We do this by decreasing the amount of time and money each dog spends while in rescue.

Me: So for now, we are “relying on the kindness of strangers.”

This may sound terrible – but usually when I say that someone else agrees with me – but with a donation to Pup Pals, we get thank you gifts. I get to help a dog find a home AND I get a Starbucks gift card! It’s like you know how much I love a good pumpkin spice latte.

Samantha: Me too, girl! Which is why the “latte challenge” is so near and dear to my heart. We are hoping folks will take it with us. It’s the $65 Latte Perk level. That’s the cost of one latte per month for a year. So just think, “skip a latte, save a life.” But let’s be real, I’m still gonna get my latte.

Me: I want to thank both of you for chatting with me. It’s refreshing to watch good happen in the world. A dog is an eternal optimist. They shouldn’t be defined as just as male, neutered, hound/lab mix, loves Bonnie.

At a point, they aren’t a dog anymore. They’re just a family member that can’t talk.

Justin and Samantha: Thanks for having us!

If you would like more information on Pup Pals, please visit the Pup Pals page. RIGHT HERE. There’s a dog out there that needs your help. If anything, just watch some cute dogs all day.


On Suburb Ave.

They said we couldn’t have picked a better neighborhood to live in.

On top of that, they said we couldn’t have picked a better street.

“Oh, those are the “fun” neighbors,” they said.



On the 4th of July, they damn near set our not-yet-owned house on fire.

We did not receive an invite.

We’ve been in the new house for one month. We are still learning names, who lives where, which kid belongs to who, and which person drives which car. I am neighborly in that I like to wave as they drive past me throwing my body on top of my trash container lid.

Our new life on the cul-de-sac is everything we were searching for – a close knit group of people – funny people, our people. This is a place for our kids to roam free. Most people don’t use the word perfect because there is no such thing – but this new life we stepped into was close to, well, perfect.

Close but no cigar.

September hit and now I’m all flustered. I don’t know what my Halloween costume will be. 

In any given neighborhood, there’s always one Halloween house. You know the one. A house that takes Halloween as seriously as Christmas morning. It’s the house the kids run to for the best candy. Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins for all. It’s the house where the parents dress up because their inner child will never die. Not on a night like Halloween. Thunder. Fog. Heavy breathing. A full moon. No – stop, no full moon – the next full moon on Halloween won’t happen until 2020.

Do you know why I know Halloween won’t see a full moon until 2020?

Because I own the Halloween house. As predictable as the phases of the moon, I bring Halloween alive every year. I learned from the best – my father. The giant, hairy, head-to-toe gorilla walking his four children door-to-door every October 31st. Halloween is my day.

Until I met, oh, let’s just call them Chris and Katie.


Chris: Man, I’m a little concerned I haven’t thought of my Halloween costume yet. It’s already April. Usually I know this in January.

Me: What did you say?

Chris: Halloween. It’s me and Katie’s thing. You’ll see.

Me: Oh, yeah we’ll see. One year, Scott and I were William and Kate. Here, check this out.


Chris: Oh. Let’s see…what year should I pull out. Oh! One year we were the cast from Wizard of Oz.

Me: Aw, that’s cute.

Chris: I was Dorothy in drag.

Me: What.

Chris: Oh, here we go. Found it.


Me: Well, look at this. This may have been one of my all time best. Michael Jackson.


And Scott and the girls were my zombies. Thrillah…..Well, Kate actually backed out. Might have been too scary for her.



I was told Emma couldn’t wear her gash in her chest at school. I hate it when schools don’t let me have creative freedom.

Chris: Yeah, that’s pretty good. And then one year, let’s see was this last year? We were Rainbow Brite and her horse. My mom sews my costumes. You should see our basement. And my parents basement too.


Me: Oh.

Chris: You can’t tell from the picture but the horse actually blew steam from it’s mouth. I had a steam machine built into the head.

Me: What.

Chris: Yeah, it was pretty epic.

Me: Last year, Scott and I were Maverick and Ice Man. Volleyball scene Ice Man.


We arranged a fly-over as soon as school was let out. Went right over our house on Halloween.

Chris: WHAT?!

Me: I’m kidding. But I did try. Remember how cold Halloween was last year? Scott went around with exposed nipples. I was warm though. I special ordered my jacket from some guy in England because I wanted an exact replica Maverick jacket with all the correct patches. The details. It’s all about the details.

Chris: When Katie was pregnant, we were Juno.


Me: I’m thinking about being Tina Turner this year. Don’t mind me lunging all up and down the street.

Chris: Oh, my dad was Tina Turner one year. He’s almost 7 feet tall. His legs looked amazing. Do you need a wig? We might have one.

Me: ……..

Chris: ………

Me: I think I’m going to change my costume. Scott doesn’t like to dress up. He won’t be able to pull off Ike.

Chris: Yeah, he will bring your average down, for sure. There’s a Halloween costume contest this year. My house. On Halloween. Katie and I win every year.

Me: And then we moved in.


They said we couldn’t have picked a better neighborhood to live in. Instead of one Halloween house there are two. Who doesn’t love a good, healthy Halloween challenge with a blown up house.

I have narrowed down our couple’s costume to one. It’s not Tina and Ike.

The biggest challenge: keeping it a secret until Halloween.

Do you and your spouse dress up for Halloween? Do you have any suggestions for Scott and me? I am still up for changing. Especially if someone figures out who we are. Don’t be going through our Amazon trash. Do you attend Halloween costume parties? What is your all-time best Halloween costume?


Oh Emma, Oh Kate.

Oh Emma, Oh Kate features things my kids say. I jot the quotes in my phone so I don’t forget. If I think what they said are still funny, I will copy the quotes here.

We moved into the cul-de-sac and our house has turned into a turnstile of kids. My ears are always on. Welcome to my world, kids.


I was holding our puppy, Stella. She started to lick my shirt.

Kate: You tryin’ to lick some milk out of those boobies? Not gunna happen. Not gunna happen. No, it’s not. No, it’s not.


Scott: You girls need to start to be more active and not so lazy!

Kate: Well the dog poops upstairs.


Kate: Why do they make days so quick?


Kate: Why is Greenland named Greenland when it’s all snowy?

Emma: Maybe the scientist said, ‘hey come to Greenland and visit me! It’s beautiful and green!’ Then they came and he laughed because he tricked all of them.


We got out of the car and started to walk up the driveway after school.

Kate: Can I go over C’s house?

Me: Oh. Well, it looks like she’s on her way here. She’s leaving her driveway on her bike now. Oh wait, she turned around.

Kate: Ha! She forgot to ask her mom.

We watch C go in garage then come back out and start towards our house again.

C: Hey! Sorry! I forgot to ask my mom.


Scott and I were arguing over something in the car.

Kate: Stop fighting! You sound like a commercial.


The coyote decided to show up in our backyard again, looking for Belle to eat. Scott went outside to stalk it. I told the girls daddy would take care of the coyote and I told them to go to bed.

I woke up Kate the next day for school. She sits up, drowsy. Her head was bobbing and she couldn’t keep her eyes open.

Kate: Did he shoot it.

Me: What? Are you dreaming?

Kate: No. Daddy. Did daddy shoot the coyote.


The girls and I were watching the Royals play on TV.

Me: Oh, look! Eric Hosmer is up next. I interviewed him for the magazine, girls.

Kate: You little snot.


We had some neighborhood kids over.

Kate: Guess what?

Kid: What?

Kate: I can burp like my mom. Listen. (let’s out the world’s longest burp)


Scott: If Randy Houser were your husband would you ask him to sing to you every night?

Me: Hmmmm…I think I would assume he would sing anyway. I wouldn’t have to ask for a serenade.

Scott: I would ask Randy Houser if he were my husband. His voice is amazing.

Me: (Get out my phone to type this)

Scott: Stop it. I know what you’re doing.


Emma and I passed a building that caught on fire several months ago. The building is still standing but completely ruined.

Me: Em, look at that building. I can’t believe they haven’t torn it down yet. What a massive fire.

Emma: Yeah, someone in that building probably didn’t make good choices in their life.


The girls and their friends made a “restaurant” in our basement.

Emma: Look mom, we printed menus! It’s called Stella and Belle’s Cafe.

Me: Oh, that’s so cute!

Kid: Yeah, we printed a food menu AND we printed a beer menu for all the parents!

Me: What.

Emma: And we DO have Summer Shandy, mom. Don’t worry.


I was unpacking boxes and could overhear Kate talking to her friends.

Kate: Oh, hold on. Let me put my contacts in.

I peeked in her room. The kids were watching her open a contact case.

Me: What are you doing? You don’t wear contacts!

Kate: (touches the white of her eye) Oh. Much better. I can see!

Me: Give me that thing.

I looked in the contact case and see liquid inside.

Me: Is this contact solution?

Kate: Sometimes I put in Emma’s contacts.

Me: WHAT. You better not! How do you know how to do that?

Kate: I touch my eyes all the time.

Emma: Mom. She pretends she has contacts. It’s water.

Kate: (blinks and smiles)


Me: Kate, did you put away the clothes I put on your bed?

Kate: Lemme think.

Me: I hope you did because you said you did earlier.

Kate: Lemme think.

Me: I’m going to go check.

Kate: AH! I’ll do it tomorrow! I’ll do it tomorrow!


Emma: What should I be when I grow up?

Me: Hmmmm…good question. Let me think.

Kate: I think you should be an artist so I can get your famous paintings for free.


I was painting my nails. Kate walks in the room.

Kate: I thought I smelled nail polish!

I look up at her.

Kate: (Sticks her butt at me and farts. Walks out of the room)


Kate: Would you rather stand in front of boys naked or go to the bathroom in front of boys?

Me: I’m not answering that.

Kate: I would rather go to the bathroom because the boys can’t really see anything when you’re sitting down.


Scott: I told Kate she was nuttier than a squirrel’s turd and she damn near started crying.


It was the last day in the apartment. We had no silverware because it was packed. The girls had a container of ice cream outside.

Me: Oh, you guys getting a snack?

Kate: Yep!

Me: Wait, how are you eating it without spoons?

Emma and Kate: (hold up their hands)


Me: Ok, girls. Let’s go meet daddy at the soccer field. Head Coach Scott’s first soccer practice! Yay!

Kate: Good thing he’s good at yelling.


I took the girls shopping.

Emma: Whew! I’m tired! We sure are getting some shopping done today!

Kate: Uh oh. Let’s not tell daddy.


Kate: This popsicle is so good, I could eat this upside down.


Me: Look girls! There’s daddy’s old high school!

Kate: Where he pooped his pants on accident.

Emma: No, Kate. That was college.


I brought the girls home from school.

Emma: Can I play outside?

Me: No. You’re grounded, remember? Your dad said no playing after school.

Emma: Mo-om!

Me: No, Emma.

Emma: I won’t tell him if you won’t.


Kid: Is my sister here?

Me: Yep, she’s right here.

Sister walks up to the door.

Kid: Oh my gosh! I thought you left on your own, were kidnapped, and left for dead!


A kid fell and skinned her knee. She started crying.

Me: Oh no! Do you need a band-aid?

Kid: (stops crying) Yeah. Oh good, my mom won’t be mad because there’s real blood this time.


Kids: Can Emma and Kate come outside to play?

Me: Give us, like, 30 minutes. We’re eating dinner now.

Kids: (flip off their shoes) Oh, can we watch then?


I was watching my niece, Gabby.

Gabby: Who’s car is that?

Me: Uncle Scott.

Gabby: What about that one?

Me: That’s mine, silly.

Gabby: Oh. And where’s Kate’s?


Gabby: I wish Scott was here.

Me: You do? Why?

Gabby: So he can be our butler.


I was watching my other niece, Evelyn.

Me: You want to get dressed before your mom comes and picks you up?

Evelyn: I want braces.


Kate: Change the radio station.

Me: This is Taylor Swift! You love her.

Emma: It is?

Me: It’s one of her earlier songs. She was much younger.

Kate: Ha! Like 1?

Me: No, teenager maybe?

Kate: I just want Taylor Swift to sing a song called “Oh Emma, Oh Kate.”


Drake White.

Anyone that knows me got a laugh last Thursday night.

“Oh, just hanging out with this guy before his concert. #itfeelsgood @DrakeWhiteStomp #hcnkc”

It’s my selfie with Drake White before he opened for Jerrod Niemann at Kansas City’s Power and Light District. Scott and I accidentally-on-purpose ran into Drake before the concert. If you know us, accidentally-on-purpose makes complete sense.

The humor is that I held my beer in between my legs and waited for my correctly hash tagged picture to pop up on the big screen so I could take a picture of my picture.

But I wasn’t taking a picture of my picture for social media.

I was taking it to text my brother-in-law, Mark.

“Mark! We look good, dude. Kansas City loves you!”

Drake and me.




The next country music artist to go big-time looks exactly like my brother-in-law.

The first time Scott and I saw Drake White sing was in Nashville for the National Wild Turkey Federation convention. Drake walked into the Banded Nation’s booth. He brought one guitar and one microphone. That’s it. Drake fell into his own world of whistling and foot stomping for the small, gathering crowd.  His confidence, the lyrics – it radiated happy. The kind of happy that makes you want to sing and dance. Where’s my beer?

Drake made eye contact with me during one of his happy songs in Nashville.

My mouth dropped open.

Me: Scott.

Scott: Shhhh.

Me: No, Scott.

Scott: What?

Me: Doesn’t he look like Mark?

Scott blinked hard.

Me: It’s like, the more you look at him, the more he morphs into Mark.

Scott: I’m so confused.

Me: Is this like a cousin or something?

Scott and I squinted at Drake. Drake made eye contact with me again.

Me: Scott, I dunno, should I wave?

Scott: Wave?

Me: The real Mark would know he’s caught.

Scott: Don’t wave. Well..it’s uncanny.

Me: Right?! I’m going to wave. I just want to walk up to him because I feel like I know him.

Scott took pictures of Drake and started texting his family.

Me: Ask your mom if she had twins and had to give one up.

Scott: What?

Me: How does this guy look like Mark so much?

Scott: I don’t know but this guy sounds amazing.

Me: You think the real Mark can sing like him? Video this. Maybe it is Mark. Maybe he never told us about his side job. I can see him being sneaky like that.

Scott: Shhhh.

Me: I can’t.

Scott: I’m going to ask this guy to perform for our company at a trade show.

Scott never stopped listening to Drake White. Drake has two songs on iTunes right now. But you can also listen to more songs by streaming his YouTube music from your phone to your car’s speakers. This is what Scott does. He knows all the words to every song.

I just sit here and compare pictures of Drake and Mark.











Uncle Mark.






I could do this all day. But I won’t bore you.

I will post Drake White’s single for you because he’s the next big country star. If you want a selfie with Drake, you better double check – you might just be asking Mark.


Have you ever met two people that look exactly alike? Do you know anyone that looks so much like a celebrity, they could be mistaken for them? I can’t wait for Drake to get huge and giggle in the corner when fans ask Mark for autographs. 


Why men go bald.

Why do men lose their hair?

Some will say the wife and kids did it. Some say male baldness comes from the mother’s side of the family. Or maybe testosterone plays a role in hair loss.

I don’t know the real answer to this age-long question. But I do know that Scott’s maternal grandfather went to the pearly gates with a full head of hair. Testosterone. Well, Scott’s testosterone is enough to balance out a household of estrogen. And as far as the wife and kids making him go bald – well, that’s just ridiculous.


Come on.

Damnit, Scott. I won this one. You needed a doctor. I consulted our favorite go-to nurse.



I love Benton. She’s the kind of nurse that tells it like it is.

But. It’s too late.

Scott and Belle won an entry to the owner/pet look-a-like contest sponsored by Cesar’s dog food.



Scott was building a fence on the farm he leases with our friend, Brett. Here, Brett will show you exactly what Scott was doing when he got his head injury.

We’re past the maximum wait time of 24 hours. Scott is bald. He will always be bald in the little spot the fence post gashed him in the head.

Going bald, that’s fine. The real medical concern is keeping the wound from infection. We did our best. Our friend, Casey, brought his first aid kit in from his truck. It smelled like 1912.

FullSizeRender-4I’m kidding. It’s not from 1912.

But it is from World War 2. 1942 to be exact. I googled it while Casey shaved Scott’s head and smeared a faded yellow iodine swab on his head. The first aid kit Casey busted into is also worth about $100 on Etsy.

“I found it in a shed on the farm.”

Scott will probably never grow hair there again. A simple visit to a doctor was replaced by an iodine swab meant for an injured soldier 73 years ago. I’m going to go ahead and assume that 90-year-old veteran most likely doesn’t have hair on his head either.

And there you have it. Big tools, big boys and a refusal to see a doctor. That’s how a man goes bald.

Do you know any man – or woman – that refuses to see a doctor after an injury? Do you know anyone that refuses to see a doctor at all? How good are your nagging skills? Scott is lucky the gash hasn’t gotten infected. The first aid kit is still going strong, even if it is 73 years later.


Wile E. Coyote.

Somewhere in Africa, a lion named Cecil fell dead and the Internet exploded.

Somewhere in Kansas, Scott and I were sneaking trophy deer and fish mounts into our new house because the Internet shamed the sport of hunting.

Ok, the shame fell more towards poaching. I hope. As it should be.

But still, we’re trying to make friends in this neighborhood and a lion’s death 8,835 miles away didn’t help.

Our trophy mounts are on the walls so the animals can watch us drink beer out of our frosty mugs. Jalapeño venison stick?

To be honest, we’re not concerned about a lion showing up in our backyard because this is America. 

And in America, more specifically at the Burton household – Wile. E. Coyote will be toast. His head will be raised up next. He will have the prime spot to watch the clinks of the whole neighborhood with their frosty mugs.


Belle, our yorkie poo, was attacked by a coyote on Saturday night.


Scott was outside on our patio. He was laying down on the patio couch, watching TV. From the angle the coyote came in, Scott was hidden. The dogs barked. Scott popped up in time to see a coyote pick up Belle and take off in a field.

Scott’s hunter instincts kicked in and he took off on foot. He headed at a full sprint towards the coyote. Belle was dangling in its mouth. The desperate screams that came from Scott scared the coyote enough to drop Belle in the field.

“Julie. Julie.”

“Yeah? I’m in here, trying to help the girls with the shower.”

“Belle was attacked by a coyote.”

Scott appeared with Belle in his arms. I couldn’t comprehend what he said. All I saw was a blood drenched shirt, Belle, and the horror in Scott’s eyes.

My stomach dropped. Bailey. I coudn’t handle telling Emma and Kate about another family member’s death. And a violent one, at that.

The ER vet called her one of the luckiest dogs he’s ever seen.

Surviving a coyote attack is rare. The coyote didn’t press down hard enough to puncture her lungs. She is severely injured but her organs are intact. Scott’s hunter instinct saved her. There’s no doubt in my mind Bailey was right there, flying over Scott’s shoulder.

Belle is healing. She’s slowly getting back to her normal self. She’s well enough to stop her pain meds. She’s still on antibiotics. Her rabies is up-to-date. Her regular vet said she is healing beautifully.


She will survive. The rest of her family developed the hunters instinct overnight. The neighborhood is on watch. We have family members we need to protect.

I have contacted the city and discovered there is a coyote problem. The city sounded grateful Belle survived and we have ER vet documentation of the attack. Most people cannot come up with documentation simply because the animal does not survive. There may be a chance of the city setting up traps. We’ll do everything we can to push it. And if a coyote ever comes onto our property, well, you know. Cheers.

In this story, the hunter always wins.

Explode away, Internet.

Do you have a coyote attack story? I have heard at least three a day since Belle’s attack. Are you concerned about your dogs or cats when they go outside? What would you do if your pet was attacked by a coyote in front of you?