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The soccer mom.

24 Mar

Me: Hi, my name is Julie. I’m Emma’s mom.

Soccer mom: Oh! Emma? In the green?

Me: Yeah, that’s her running with the ball there.

Soccer mom: Oh, are you the new ones? Oh, ok. Yeah, I saw you guys at the last game this weekend! Nice to finally meet you!

Me: Well, I’m glad you didn’t say you remembered us from the first game. Emma was the one that cried because we lost! We’re high drama. And which one is yours?

Soccer mom: Right there. Goalie.

Me: Aw, cute. Yeah, we’re new. We’re in the process of moving over to this side of town. The kids started school here today. I wanted to help Emma make friends so we put her in soccer. I’m so glad I did that. She has a few girls in her class.

Soccer mom: Yeah, this team is great. We played soccer here last fall. Sweet girls. And who is this little one?

Kate: ……

Me: Her name is Kate. She’s in kindergarten. She will be playing soccer too. They haven’t started yet.

Soccer mom: My little boy is in 1st grade, running over there. He just started too.

Scott sat down next to us. We watched the girls practice soccer drills.

Kate: Can I sit on your lap?

Me: Yeah but be careful. I did a leg workout yesterday. I’m sore.

Kate jumped on my legs.

Me: Ahhhhh! MY LEGS!

Kate: Sorry! (laughs)

Me: Watch Emma.

Kate looked up at my face.


Me: Shhh!

Kate put her finger up my nose. I smacked it down and shot fire out of my eyes.


Me: Don’t know. Shhhh.


Me: Probably. Everyone has nose hair.


Me: No. Why do you talk so loud? Watch.

I smiled and rolled my eyes at soccer mom.


I rubbed my nose.

Me: Look up. Oh! Nose hairs too! Now stop it. You’re embarrassing me.


Me: Get off my lap. NOW. Slow! Go slow. AHHHHH! DAMNIT! OW! MY LEGS!!!

I rubbed my nose again. The soccer mom slowly turned her back to us.


Scott: What. What happened?


Scott: What’d she say?


Has your child embarrassed you in front of someone you just met? Does your child say things to embarrass you on purpose? Are you an introvert raising an extroverted child? I need nose clippers before game day. What is nose hair for anyway?


Home Sweet Home.

9 Mar

There are 7 billion people on earth.

There are 319 million people living in the United States.

And there are 2 million people living in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

God, fate, karma, hell I don’t know – maybe even this blog itself has a mind of its own and made the world shrivel up to the size of a pea and next thing you know I’m living across the street from the brother of a guy I used to date.

We bought a house this weekend.

I say that sentence like it was a quick, drive-by decision. It was not.

Oh, I drove by. I drove by the house and cul-de-sac in question for months – night time, day time, weekends, middle of the week, 3 am. Stalking. Watching. Counting fire pits. Begging our realtor to stalk and send pictures while I was out of town. Drooling at the chicken parmesan one of the families made for the visiting in-laws.

I’m kidding, Scott. I have no idea if someone made chicken parmesan for the in-laws.

But I did chase down a woman walking her dog. I asked her opinion on the house and cul-de-sac in question.

Who lives on that street? How many kids? Perfect. Oh, really? The “fun” cul-de-sac? But define fun. People really wish they lived in that cul-de-sac? YOU wish you lived on that cul-de-sac? A Sporting KC player, huh. And tell me about that beer sign hanging from the deck of that one house, what’s that story? They lost a fantasy football bet with the cul-de-sac! Excellent! And how many K-Staters live on the cul-de-sac? Ok. Sold.

They say you can’t choose your neighbors. I sure tried. Without ever meeting them, I found my people. Scott found his dream home. Our kids found freedom to kick a soccer ball around with a professional soccer player. The weight was lifted. We found our happy.

We signed the papers. We are the new owners of the house on the cul-de-sac.

We admired the house we would soon be hauling our prized taxidermy into. I noticed the neighbors sitting outside. Of course my people would be outside, it was the first warm night of the year.

Me: Hi, my name is Julie! This is Emma and Kate. We just bought that house.

Man: Awww! NOOO! That was our party house!

Me: Ha! Party house, huh? …. Oh my God. Is your name Andy?

Man: Yeah.

Me: Oh my God, I dated your brother. I met you when you were in high school.  You probably don’t remember me. And actually, I met you too but you were Andy’s girlfriend at the time.

Andy: WHAT?!


Man: I don’t know what’s going on but things just got really interesting on our street.

Me: Do you remember Scott Burton?

Andy: YES!

Me: I married him after your brother introduced us! Oh, he’s walking up the street now!

Man: WHOA!


Scott: WHATTT! ANDY! What’s goin’ on, man?

Me: My stalking skills failed.

The group of men surrounded Scott. I chatted with the women. The kids jumped all over my kids. We said our goodbyes and told them we would be back soon. We took the kids out to eat in our new part of town.

Scott: What are you doing?

Me: Asking Lacey to be my Facebook friend.

Scott: Don’t be creepy.

Me: Well, you got Andy’s phone number. Am I being creepy?

Scott: Yes.

Me: Oh. Friend request accepted! Yay!

Scott: Are you serious? That fast?

Me: Yeah, she’s my person now.

Out of 7 billion people on earth, I found my people.

They have no idea the blog just arrived at their doorstep.

Do you ever get the “It’s a Small World” song stuck in your head? Do you have a story that proves how small the world really is? Do you like a social neighborhood? Or do you like privacy? How are your stalking skills? Lacey is probably reading this. Hi Lacey!



Dirty Nurse.

3 Mar

A nurse is a woman of science. A writer is a woman of the arts. A nurse lives life with order and facts. A writer is a storyteller. A nurse knows how to keep your body alive. A writer will make you feel alive.

The nurse and the writer are both frowned upon at suburbia’s grocery store. But it wasn’t a nurse and a writer. It was two friends forgetting the world existed during what was overheard as a one-sided phone call.

It was the nurse’s fault.

Dude. I’m pulling up to the grocery store now. Some car almost backed into another car. It wasn’t me but I need to get out the way. No, you’re good. I can still talk.

Why does my mind go blank when I walk into the grocery store? I think I might have brain cancer.

No, I’m not sick. My mind just sometimes isn’t all there.

Ha! I do sound like I’m 80. Hey, at least I have a nurse on-call to help me grocery shop.

No. Ha! What? I didn’t hear that story. Yes. Please tell me about your first time giving a catheter. Hmmm…do I need green onion?

So you actually volunteered to put a catheter in?

Well, I could have told you your nurse friends would ask someone else to put in a catheter of a woman that was 400 pounds.

NO WAY! You had two nurse friends hold the leg fat? 3 of you?

I wonder if Scott wants chicken tonight.

INSIDE THE LIPS?! How many holes are there?

Well you have the asshole, sure. I could find that. Anyone could point that one out. How do you not find the hole in 400 pounds?

Ha! 105 pounds of you elbow deep in 400 pounds of pee hole.

Women’s vagina lips sound complicated.

I need to stop talking out loud. Why do you tell me your nurse stories at the grocery store?

I don’t know, maybe catheterizing a male would be easier for your first time.

Oh, I’d bet they scream like tiny babies. It’s amazing how much more women can tolerate pain up a little pee hole. I’ve only had two, one with each pregnancy. Didn’t even feel it.

Ha! Wait, what did I just say? I think I just got a dirty look.

Can I put you on speaker? I need to have the people of the grocery store listen to your filthy mouth too. I’m not the only one.

Like a piece of rubber? You would think prostate patients would be used to the prodding.

Inflamed penis?! How fat did it get? Is it like a piece of cooked spaghetti? That would be impossible to shove up. Did you lay it on a splint? HA! Oh! I just remembered I saw a recipe for creamy spaghetti on Pinterest. What else did that recipe have? Hold on, I’m putting you on speaker while I check this recipe.

Speaker: “You know body parts just don’t bother me. You’ve seen one hole, you seen them all. Let me tell you, men don’t like talking about shoving things up their penis hole.”

Ok, you’re off. Scott would FREAK OUT if you came at him with a catheter. He’d kick you with his boot.

Oh, he’d insist on boots if you’re around.

I can’t believe you haven’t gotten kicked in the face more. I could never do your job. No way. All of this is making me light-headed thinking of it. Maybe it’s my brain cancer. Would you talk about my leg fat to your other friends?

Ha! Hot mama. OH SHIT. Backing up out of the line. Beep. Beep. I’m like a truck. Excuse me, sorry. Can I just squeeze out of here? I forgot jalapeños. Sorry.

Oh, I look so rude on my phone.

I think I can think clearer with you on the phone.

Yeah, I’m kinda shocked most people can take the pain of something shoved up their pee hole. You would think that would hurt much more than it really does.

Excuse me, where are the jalapeños? Oh, over there? Thanks.

What are we even talking about? I just asked some kid where the jalapeños were. Ew, the jalapeños are shriveled.

Meh. I’ll still use ’em. A little shrivel never tasted bad.

Dude, you and your nurse stories. You’re really the only friend I can trust to send a picture of my cottage cheese tongue.

She’s a nurse. I’m talking to a nurse.


Yeah, that went away. Didn’t even hurt. You think it was thrush? Probably from the flu and no oxygen in the mountains.

Uh, credit. Plastic. Thank you.

Wait, don’t hang up! Don’t let me walk out of here by myself. I’ll have to look people in the eye.

Uh, rest of the day…hm, have to start a few articles for the magazine. I should probably write something on my blog. It’s been awhile.

I don’t know yet. I’ll figure out something. What time is it? Am I going to be late picking up my kids?

Ok, I’m in the car. Thanks for the chat. Ok, bye.


Do you talk on the phone in public? What is the craziest conversation you’re overhead? Do you have nurse friends with stories that make you squirm? They know how to save your life, you know. Or make you pee when your body can’t.


I don’t believe in cold vacations.

13 Jan

Call me ignorant. Call me uneducated. Call me hard-headed. Call me what is that crazy-ass woman screaming about and who is Scott?

In four weeks, my crazy will be showing on top of a mountain.

Scott is taking me skiing in Keystone, Colorado. He will push me down a mountain and expect me to lean forward like I’m on some sort of suicide mission.

Scott’s current annoyance level with me is at a “fine, screw it. I’ll hire private lessons for you on the first day. I’m not dealing with this.”

Whatever level that is.

We took the family to Dick’s Sporting Goods to get snow skiing gear.

Kate: I know how to spell dicks! D-I-C-K-S! Dicks.

Emma: Kate, you’re just copying the Dicks sign.

It was Scott’s last laugh. I don’t know, the words just came spewing out of my mouth and now Scott isn’t talking to me:


Scott, I’ve never seen a mountain. I went to Denver once but it was cloudy.

I told you. I don’t believe in cold vacations. All of my beliefs are traced back to my parents. Don’t blame me on how I was raised.

My mom is Mexican.

I was raised normal, Scott.

What happens if I don’t want to get off the ski lift? Can I ride back down?

What happens if I don’t want to go down once I’m pushed off the lift?

Can I ride on someone’s back and close my eyes?

Can you pull me on a sled and close my eyes?

All I’m saying is I’d much rather be three quarters naked on a boat.

Yeah, well fighting a 200 pound fish is a workout too.

How many layers? How is this even considered a vacation?

I swear, if you take off with your friends and leave me on top of a mountain by myself, I will click off those skis and walk sideways down the mountain. I will find you and strangle you.

Given the choice of looking crazy or rolling down a mountain in a ball of snow, I’ll take crazy.

Oh, I’m only shopping for Burton apparel.

Yes, I plan on telling people that my last name is Burton so yes, people will know.

How is that embarrassing?

Hell no, I won’t try snowboarding. I’d rather walk.

What are the ski stick thingies for? Is it a brake?

Why would I need zippers on my pockets? Oh, so you take your phone with you when you ski? Would it be possible to hold a phone out in front of you while you’re skiing? Or is that too much balancing?

I went skiing once in 5th grade on a hill in Kansas or maybe Missouri. It’s called Snow Creek. My friend’s parents took me with their family. All I remember is cold and where’s my mommy.

Is Keystone like the cheap-y economy style skiing resort? You know, like the beer?

How am I acting like a child? Wait, worse than a child? Oh, because I’m arguing about scenarios that haven’t even happened. That makes complete sense.

Avalanches are a real thing.

Frost bite is a real thing.

Mountain lions are a real thing.

Me getting my tongue stuck on the bar of a lift is a real thing.

Uh, can totally see you sneaking off the side of the mountain to go shoot a mountain lion.

I’m not dumb. I’m just realistic.

Well, maybe I can hang with you and your friends on the double black diamond. You don’t know. Maybe I’ll be a natural.

Don’t tell me I’m not allowed on the double black diamond, Scott. You’re not my father.

Then send a helicopter.

Yes, I’ve seen pictures of people having fun skiing. And I feel sorry for them. They look cold.

How is preferring warm weather being judgy?

So it’s going to be the exact same temperature as here? Great.

No, I didn’t bring a coat. I don’t need it running in and out of a store.

So you just go up and down a mountain, like, all day? How about just once then we go see the town?

Yes, I still want to go.

Why would you cancel it?

I promise, Scott. I won’t be the crazy wife.


Have you ever been snow skiing? Do you prefer skiing over a warm vacation? Has your spouse quit talking to you because of your hard-headedness? Am I the only person to never see a mountain? Any advice is welcome! I’ll listen to you, just not Scott.


Uptown funk you up.

5 Jan

No – Julie funk you up, APPLE.

I live a hard life.


All I want is Bruno Mars on my iPhone’s song list.


 And to dance like him. I have that same hat somewhere.

I am unable to download songs to my iPhone. Even worse, my songs are disappearing. My beautiful, finely tuned playlists are disappearing.

I can’t live a life like that.

I have been charged for Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars oh I don’t know, 20 times.

Are you sure you want to purchase this? You already purchased this item.


I know those Apple techs browse pictures. I would. Especially after watching a mom and her two daughters walk in the Apple store with fedoras on. Apple doesn’t have a policy against flinging arms while watching Uptown Funk on an iPad’s YouTube app.

Go ahead – browse, Apple techs. But I won’t leave until I get Bruno Mars.



It was for ALS awareness. We’re saving lives.



Our neighbors love me.

Our neighbors love me.


I only have one at my house.

I only have one at my house.


And it's not this one.

And it’s not this one.


I love bonerfish.

I love bonerfish.


Yep. This song has disappeared too, APPLE.

Billie Jean is deleted too, Apple.


From Africa to America - where KSU beat OU.

From Africa to America – where KSU trumps OU.


My friends are unphased by my "cleaning up a murder" request. I'll murder for Bruno Mars.

Un-phased by my “cleaning up a murder” request. I’ll murder for Bruno Mars.


Murder and EAT.

I will murder and eat you to the skeleton. OR APPLE CORE.





Bruno Mars has hairy legs.

Bruno Mars has hairy legs and clearly – not lazy.


I talk to cats.

I’m crazy and I talk to cats. FIX IT, APPLE.


I don't know where she gets her rage from.

I don’t know where she gets her rage from. Probably her mother.



We left it all on the iPads, Apple.

We left this picture all on the iPads, Apple Store. Thanks for browsing.



Have you heard the song Uptown Funk? Do you like it? You’re a liar if you don’t. It’s like a new Michael Jackson has graced us with his presence. 


It was from Africa.

29 Dec
  • Crown Royal Apple whiskey.
  • Absolut Vodka and Bloody Mary mix.
  • A Starbucks giftcard.
  • An Olive Garden giftcard with toilet seat covers in a mug.
  • A hard hat that holds two beers.
  • A Zulu Mcedo – in english: a penis tip cover. 

It was from Africa.

The White Elephants were good to Scott and me this 2014 Christmas season. I’m going to call that last one our African Elephant.

A Zulu Mcedo: Woven with grass and banana leaves, worn by Zulumen as protection under traditional skin clothing.

A Zulu Mcedo: Woven with grass and banana leaves, worn by Zulumen as protection under traditional skin clothing.

It’s a penis tip cover to prevent chaffing in African wear.

Sometimes the small packages are not gift cards. Sometimes the small packages are made for small packages. If you touch the small package and your friends fall over in hysterics while trying to sputter out, “it was from Africa…” 

Drop it. Tell them you forgot the rules. Do not pick small packages from Africa.

I mean, Scott is white. But he’s not that white. This thing fits on my finger tip.


I swear on the Holy Bible that is my finger tip.

I could end this blog post right here. It would be known as the blog post that proves our friends’ check-on bags from South Africa trumps any Amazon white elephant purchase. No ebola here! Just a penis tip cover. Nothing for kids to see.

Oh, the kids saw. Scott left this thing on the kitchen table for the kids’ viewing pleasure as they crunched on their Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Emma: Mommy, what’s this?

I spilled coffee on my shirt.

Me: Nothing. Your dad’s gift from last night.

Damnit, Scott.

Emma: What is it?

Me: I don’t even really know.

Emma: Maybe it’s a hat.


It was from Africa.

Kate: Let me see it.

Why isn’t my life filmed.

Me: Let me have it. I think it was a joke.

Kate: I think it goes on my nose.


It was from Africa.

Me: Hey, let’s not do that. Pretty sure all our neighbor friends had their hands all over that thing last night. Maybe their tongues. I don’t know what really went on.

Kate: It kinda stinks.

Me: I’ll take it. Thank you. It was from Africa. Sit here and eat. I’m going to take this back to daddy.


Me: SCOTT. You left this thing out! The kids are playing with it!

Scott: What did they say about the picture?

Me: Huh? Nothing. It’s just another naked female body to them. They see me naked all the time. It’s the penis tip cover! Scott, get it out of here!

Scott: Really? They didn’t say anything about the picture?

Me: No. They glanced at the picture. It’s really not any different than how you and I dress around the house. They want to know what this PENIS TIP COVER IS!! Should we throw it away?

Scott: No way! It’s my new poker chip piece. I’ll hide it.


The dog plays with it.

The dog plays with it.

It's a tea cup.

The girls have tea parties with it.

It's an African Elephant.

It’s an African Elephant.

It was from Africa.

Did you go to any White Elephant gift exchanges? What did you get? Did you get anything from Africa? Do you think the Zulu Mcedo will expand in water? It’s made out of banana leaves. Maybe we’re doing something wrong.


The Norton Honor Hunt.

8 Dec

I am home from the Disabled Veterans Honor Hunt in Norton, Kansas.

20 disabled veterans were taken on a guided deer hunt in Norton, Kansas. The residents of Norton, population 3,000, raised enough money to cover the expenses needed for the hunters. Most of the veterans are not regular deer hunters due to their injuries or disabilities. Each veteran was provided with a personal guide to help stalk and go after deer. Volunteer meat processors were on stand-by to bag up the meat.

19 deer were shot.

Our friends rallied together to help the event. The Norton Honor Hunt was filmed by Killin’ It Outdoors. The veterans were interviewed and then followed around by camera crews. Andy Griggs flew in from Nashville to perform at the Honor Hunt Banquet. I came in town to interview the veterans because I knew every hero has a good story to tell.

They wouldn’t tell them to me.

Not those stories anyway.

I wanted to hear a war story. From any war, I didn’t care – from Vietnam to the current war on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. I wanted to hear about someone sacrificing their legs in the name of the United States. I wanted to hear about a man becoming a paraplegic because he saved a civilian’s child from a burning building. I wanted a hero’s tale. I wanted a scene from Hollywood. Good always trumps evil.

I was blind.

They didn’t have stories of valor.

They had horror stories.

Horror stories they would not dare tell a mom with two kids in tow. They only knew sickening stories. The kind of sickening one feels for that split second when you slam on your car brakes because the car in front of you is at a dead stop on the highway. The slow motion gives you time to pray for your kids in the backseat to live. That kind of horror.

My friend, Will, fought in Iraq right after college. He was first in his convoy. His job was to lead the route for his fellow soldiers – his family, his kids, his loved ones – following behind.

His family didn’t live.

You could say Will was lucky. But to him, he would be reminded his friends were not. Will flew back home a year later. He arrived in Dallas and walked into an airport full of people he didn’t know. There were cheerleaders with signs and people applauding. Hugs and kisses and babies filled the terminal. He felt welcome but didn’t feel understood.

“You tell yourself you are fighting for America, fighting for freedom but it doesn’t feel that way. I feel appreciated at home but it’s not…it doesn’t really matter. It’s a horror story…watching your family disappear before your eyes. Julie, as your friend, that’s all I can tell you.”

Will isn’t the same person I knew in college. But I wouldn’t be able to tell you that from my point of view. He has always been Will. He was always the first one to buy me a whiskey in Aggieville when we attended K-State. That didn’t change.

Will bought me a whiskey as soon as I walked into the Honor Hunt Banquet.

The veteran with no legs offered a hand to help carry my kids’ drinks because he noticed my hands were full. He used his other hand to push his wheelchair.

The female veteran teared up when I told her we brought our dog’s ashes to be spread in the field she used to pheasant hunt in.

A Vietnam veteran wiped away tears before my 8-year-old daughter walked up to ask if she could shake his hand.

I am the one that showed up blind.



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