I’m moving.

I’m moving.
Boom. Got you to read.
Good. it’s good for you to read. I don’t care if others look at you and roll their eyes because you’re “on your phone.” Screw them. You’re reading. It’s good for your soul.
I’m moving.
I’m moving in the land of the Internet – the space on your phone, if you will. I’m moving my blog. I’m changing the name and the design. I’m getting new photos taken. I’m even changing the domain name. Don’t worry – I will move my old posts because you don’t throw out the furniture when you move. Ok, the good furniture.
Until then, I’ll still be writing. You already know where to find me – Facebook, memes on Instagram, Twitter, Simply KC magazine, and wherever my name falls on the by-lines of the Internet.
I’ve been writing on my blog since 2009. It’s going to feel weird not posting anything for a little bit but moving is necessary at this point in my writing career. I grew out of the house I built.
Thank you for reading my words. You’re going to love the new place. I promise.
((I’ll link the new site here when it’s ready.))


Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”

One more Christmas post.

There are many things in life we don’t get to choose.

How tall we are.

Our eye color.

Your ugly ass feet.

Who your parents are. Who your aunts and uncles are. Your grandparents. Your cousins. Your second cousins. Your siblings. And the people they chose to marry.

Certain traditions, such as the tradition of spending the holidays with the family. Whether you chose to honor that tradition, well, that is your choice.

I chose to spend the holidays with my family because my family is funny as hell and this is why I am the way I am.

Overheard at the family Christmas Eve party:


You just showed up for a blog post. — No, I just love Christmas, dick.


Did she just say she loves dick?


What’s that picture you guys are passing around? — Me, making out with your mom. You want to see?


Does Grandma give you a chub?


Grandma told me she didn’t sleep with Grandpa before marriage. She let him get really far but she never let him go all the way.  — Oh. Well, I did.


Do you need me to rub it? Your knee, not your weenie. 


She’s got wet lips. — Like, on her face?


Did she just tell all of us to shift or shit?


There’s a hair in my food! — At least it’s not a short and curly.


Can I try your drink? — Sure, hon. — Mmm, it’s good! — Your auntie’s going DOWN!


I said I needed HELP! Are you getting hard?


Seriously, quit rubbing your ass on me. You’re my aunt.


KIDS! She’s drunk! She’s grabbing me!


Tell him to take a shit in the basement bathroom. It’s quiet and it’s a place where he can really spread his legs out. Top notch.


He’s kinda picky with beer. He only likes Bud Light. — But he’s 5.


Who is Saint Nicholas, anyway? — It’s me! My name is Nick! — BULLSHIT. You ain’t no saint.


SANTA’S HERE, KIDS! — Some jackass kid just asked why Santa walked through the front door instead of sliding down the chimney.


Santa only named off eight reindeer in his poem. — That’s because this poem was written in the 1800s. Rudolph didn’t show up until the 1960s. — Do you read every night? You seem like you read a lot. — Are you hitting on my wife? That’s incest.


You’re going to be Santa in like 30 years. — No. No, I’m not going to get chubby.


Just put the beer cap by the spindles on the stairs. They won’t see it until next year.


I don’t know anyone on that side of the room. Should I know them?


That box is tight! — STOP TALKING LIKE THAT. — What? It is!


Watch this. Go say his girlfriend’s name out loud and watch his crotch slowly move up.


Where are the lesbians tonight? — They’re at mass praying for all of us and Saint Tits.


Where’s your mom? — She’s at home, sick. — She’s lying to you. She’s hungover because she went to the Chiefs game.


No, YOU get your tubes tied! I ain’t gettin’ snipped. — Ask my aunt how that worked out for her. My uncles sperm made the jump over and she still got pregnant and almost died. True story. — Hell yeah, my fuckers can fly!


He beats up his brother and calls him a motherfucker. — Oh my gosh! Doesn’t he get in trouble at school? — Shit, he’s only 5. He’s not in school yet.


Hey, let’s send your dad a selfie of us. Do you think it will show up on his flip phone? Hey, we’re good lookin’! — THAT’S INCEST.


I better see my name in lights on your blog after this night. — But you’re an in-law.


I called 911 because my son locked himself in the house. I had to tell the operator he has Downs so they’d realize he’s not a normal 3-year-old. — How did the emergency responders gets in? — Well, they opened up the backdoor because apparently I left that door unlocked. Then the door opened where I was standing. They were holding my son and giving him high-fives.


You should come down to the houseboat this summer! Here’s some pics of us last year. Here we are passed out in a circle on the top deck. — You look like a dead cult.


Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”




Oh Emma, Oh Kate.

Oh Emma, Oh Kate is a series of funny things my kids say. Emma is 11 and Kate is 8. 


Kate: Can I take a mistletoe to school?


I brought the girls over my parents house.

Emma: What are you eating?

My mom: We got some food from Freddy’s.

Kate: Oh. We ate nothing.


Kate: Why don’t you wear heels?

Me: Because they make me taller than daddy and he doesn’t like that.

Kate: Tell him ‘too bad’ and be taller.


Kate: (petting our dog, Belle) Oh Belle Belle! You look dead laying here. Yes, you do! You look dead, Belle Belle!


I picked up Kate from school.



On Thanksgiving.

Me: What are you girls thankful for?

Emma: What do you mean?

Kate: Food. And poop so it doesn’t just sit there.


Kate: Emma’s being mean to me!

Me: You’re tattling. I don’t want to hear it.

Kate: Well, so then I scratched her but that was because she was being mean.

Me: Did you just try to tattle before Emma got to me?



Kate: (browsing what she wanted for Christmas) Just free shipping? That’s not a good deal at all.


Me: Kate, tell Emma to come downstairs.


Me: Emma Beaten? You mean Burton?

Kate: I mean beaten because she beats me up.


Me: Give me your Christmas lists, please!

Kate: Here.

Emma: (looking at Kate’s list) Mom, she wrote Tar jay.


Kate: “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage. That’s not all. Baby’s drinking all the alcohol.”

Me: Where did you learn that?



I watched the Bruno Mars special concert on TV with Kate.

Kate: Is this live?

Me: Hm, I’m not sure.

Kate: It says “live” on the bottom of the screen.


Watching Bruno Mars.

Kate: He’s like double jointed.

Me: How do you know?

Kate jumped up off the couch. She started thrusting her hips forward.

Kate: He can move his hips like this. I can’t do it right.


I came home from a calligraphy class with Emma.

Me: See what we did? Isn’t it cool?

Kate: I want to do a calligraphy class too!

Me: You’re still a little bit young. How about a gingerbread making class? Just you and me.

Kate: Fine. But not YOU. Nana. Me and Nana.


Kate: Where are we going to get a tree?

Me: Just Home Depot. I think they have some nice real ones.

Kate: No! I want to go to a tree farm!

Me: It’s too late for that. We can either get a tree from a tree farm tomorrow in 12 degree weather or just get a real one real quick at Home Depot.

Emma: Home Depot. Let’s just get this over with.


Kate: How do you spell mean?

Me: M-E-A-N.

Kate: No, the other mean.

Me: Huh? Use it in a sentence.

Kate: My sister is mean to me.


Kate: Why do you eat cottage cheese from the container?

Me: Because I’m the only one in this family that eats cottage cheese.

I closed the lid and placed the container back in the refrigerator.

Kate grabbed the container, opened it, grabbed a spoon, and stared at me while eating the cottage cheese.


Me: What are you looking for, Stella? Your soul?

Kate laughed.

Me: Did you laugh at my joke?

Kate: What’s a soul?

Me: Mmmm. Kinda like who you are without your body.

Kate: Oh. That’s not funny.


Kate played with my phone. I checked my texts later that night.

Text message from my sister, Jenna: I love this art kit I got Emma. I kinda want to open it and play with it before I give it to her.

My (Kate’s) text message back: Do it.


Me: Look at my hair! Isn’t it cute? I got a braid up-do at this boutique today. It was free! You like it, Kate?

Kate: Yeah.

Me: Scott. Look. Cute, right?

Scott: Gorgeous.

Me: Emma, look! An up-do.

Emma: Please stop. We get it.


Me: Scott, I hope I have enough drinks for the progressive party tomorrow. Do you think my whiskey punch is enough? Plus, the wine.

Kate: You’re fine. Girls only drink wine anyway.


I walked across the kitchen, Kate jumped out from hiding behind me. My pants go down to my ankles.



I sneezed.

Kate: You looked like a whale when you sneezed.


Emma: Would you rather – keep living your life or restart your life?



Kate: Let’s see, daddy wrote “cool t-shirts” on his Christmas list. I wonder which cool he wants.


Kate: Some boy told me he hates my shirt because he hates K-State and loves KU.

Me: What’d you say?

Kate: I said football is better than basketball.


Me: So wait, you guys get out of school on Wednesday?

Emma: Yep. Half day.

Me: (sighs)

Emma: Why are you upset?

Kate: Because she hates us.


Kate: I’m bored.

Me: Oh! Ok, you can brush your teeth. You can brush your hair. You can put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher….

Kate: I’ll go outside.


Special edition: Oh Kids. 

Lane, 7: Would you rather have a belly button that doubles as an electric outlet or swap faces with anyone in the planet? I think I’d rather my belly button. That’s be super handy.


Mom: Well, Leighton has a cavity. Leighton is bummed.

Josie, 8: Leighton, don’t worry. I’ll still play with you because cavities aren’t contagious. By the way, thanks for reminding me to brush my teeth extra good tonight.


Lane, 7: Mom! Jesus was born with a six-pack!


If you have kids quotes – email me at jbugbytes@gmail.com or tag me on Facebook. 🙂

Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”

The next door neighbors.

I don’t like writing stories that involve alcohol.

Drunk stories, if you will. Stories about being under the influence.

Sure, they’re funny and they show a part of our personalities that most people will never see. But the land of the Internet is not just you, Scott, and me. It’s employers, it’s potential clients, it’s our parents, possibly our future adult children. It’s our doctors making a mental note to check the “drinks alcohol” box on our charts. It’s people we’ve never met watching Scott and me roll by their house in a red golf cart at 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning.

This wasn’t a normal Saturday morning joy ride through the hood. It’s not summer. No one in their right mind would be driving a golf cart in the bitter, blowing 27-degree wind.

We didn’t have coats. My shoes were in my lap. Scott’s fly was down. My makeup smeared under my eyes matched my rat’s nest hair. You could smell our breath coming a block away. Our eyes looked like penny slots because the sun was burning our eyes and our souls. We don’t even own a golf cart.

It was the golf cart ride of shame.


As soon as we turned down our street, two things came into focus: The SOLD FAST! realtor sign was gone. And moving trucks were in our neighbor’s drive way. Our new next door neighbors closed on their new house. 

First impressions are everything when you meet new neighbors. Here we come – Mr. and Mrs. Burton in a golf cart bouncing into the driveway followed by moaning because Scott took the turn too fast.

You’re probably asking – Julie, you’re 36 years old. You’re a mother. Get ahold of yourself. What in the world happened the night before? Excellent question. I’ll tell you what happened. We traveled back into a time warp – also known as the neighborhood progressive dinner. Scott, me, and 70 of our fellow neighbors thought we were in college again. We traveled from house party to house party. We were 21-year-olds with no kids.

House 1 – The Gordon Household: White mojitos, a veggie tray, chips, friendly hellos, and introductions.

House 2 – The Burton Household: Burton’s saltwater whiskey, Moscow mules, wine, hot ham and cheese sandwiches, and chatter about who lives on which street and how many kids we each have.

House 3 – The Ricks Household: Apple cider punch laced with Fireball. Maybe. I don’t really remember what house 3 had. I don’t remember what food either. I do remember telling a neighbor she looks like the hot chick from Joe Dirt. Not white trash hot just hot hot. My last known google search on my phone was “hot chick from Joe Dirt.”

House 4 – The Willauer Household: Rumple and Fireball shots. That’s it. No food. No water. Just Rumple and Fireball. Mint or cinnamon – pick your poison.

House 5 – The Johnson Household: If you made it to the Johnson’s house you were the true winners. Chocolate martinis and a dessert bar. Champagne for being fabulous.

Something snapped in Scott. The basement bar morphed into a club. The DJ played Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” and Scott decided it was time to give our neighbors their Christmas present for making it to the Johnson’s house. He went down as the Christmas progressive dinner legend. Scott Burton is Magic Mike.



In our true 21-year-old fashion – Scott and I shacked at the Johnson’s house that night. We slept in their guest bedroom. I got up to pee in the middle of the night, forgot I wasn’t at home, and ran into a window. I could barely open my eyes the next morning because I woke up with a 36-year-old hangover.


We found a way home. The golf cart.

We briefly met the new neighbors last night. They’re our age, they’re huge OU fans, and they have two kids. We invited them to our neighborhood New Years Eve party and they accepted. They suggested we could even do a progressive dinner and I damn near threw up in my mouth.

Our new neighbors still don’t have a clue about the blog they’re living next to. For all they know, we’re the quiet couple next door with a golf cart because I don’t like writing stories that involve alcohol.


Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”

For the adventurer.


I don’t know how you got here but here you are. You stumbled upon my blog.

My name is Julie. My family nickname is Bug, if you’re curious where the “Bug” came from in “Bug Bytes.” And “bytes,” well – it’s a decision I regret. I don’t know what a byte is but it has something to do with computers.

Bug on the computer.

I’m married to Scott. There’s a lot I could say about Scott but for now, all you need to know is he’s my husband.

I have a daughter, Emma. She is 11 years old and in 6th grade. It’s called middle school now, not jr. high. Just so you know.

I have another daughter, Kate. She’s 8 years old and in 3rd grade. She’s a good kid other than she refuses to “fake smile” for pictures.

There they are. My family. We live in the Kansas City area. No, we don’t live on a farm. This is at Home Depot. We have Home Depots in Kansas.


There’s nothing special about us or this blog. It’s just a place for me to write about my life as it happens.

I write for a Kansas City magazine – Simply KC magazine.  I am a contributing author to the New York Times Bestselling “I Just Want to Pee Alone” series, a parenting anthology titled, “But Did You Die? Setting the Parenting Bar Low” by a Bunch of Know-It-Alls. and you can find my words sprinkled around the Internet.


I am a humor writer.

There you go. Sometimes you need a re-cap on who I am and what you’re reading. I am a writer, wife, mother.


You would think I have a handle on parenting after 12 years of being a parent – but no, I don’t. The rules keep changing. You know – the rules:

“Jarred baby food is bad. It’s best to make your own baby food.” – Whoops.

“Keep your children on a consistent bed time.” – But how will they catch the lightening bugs at 10 p.m. in the summer?

“Don’t read your kids’ notes they pass to friends in class. Respect their privacy.” – But that’s the highlight of my day – opening a backpack stuffed full of post-it notes. ‘Can I borrow some duck tape?’ – ‘Well aren’t you fancy.’ I just want to make sure my kids are funny in the written form.

“Limit screen time.” – Limit screen time. I agree with that. Adults should limit their screen time too – ah hem, Kardashians. It’s not good for your eyes or your butt.

I don’t limit my kids screen time.

Computers, iPads, iPhones – or Androids! Sorry! Shoutout to the Androids – texting, social media. We’re raising kids in a digital era. I want my kids to be proficient in technology. They need to know how to open a website. They need to be able to speak the digital language if they’re going to be successful as adults. They need to know how to be safe on the Internet too. I’m not saying I give them full access.

I am also an ambassador for National Geographic Kids. I let you know what’s going on inside those big National Geographic Kids offices in Washington, D.C.

National Geographic Kids partnered with Pley.com. Pleyboxes are a monthly subscription box for kids. Each Pleybox takes kids on an adventure to a different part of the world. The amazon, the arctic, the virunga. The virunga is the home of gorillas – didn’t know that, did ya? That’s National Geographic Kids. 

This is the Great Barrier Reef Pleybox. I believe this is month two in the series.


And this is what you get inside: A National Geographic Kids Great Barrier Reef t-shirt, a National Geographic Kids book, a sticker sheet, a cloth bracelet, two small figurine animals from the Great Barrier Reef, an activity booklet, a certificate of achievement, and access to a online digital games that features the Great Barrier Reef – because kids in this generation still need to learn from a computer. National Geographic Kids knows this. We all know this.


These two figurines are pretty small, hence the 5-11 age group recommendation.


National Geographic Kids books are magical unicorn books that get kids to read. And even I still learn something new from them – hello, virunga gorilla land.


You like that trick, don’t ya. That’s the power of the digital age. Watch, I’ll do it again – the activity booklet.


If you’re looking for a Christmas present that keeps on giving to the kids – check out Pley.com. There are also pleyboxes focused towards younger kids, without the small toys and chapter books. You can choose just one box or six boxes or subscribe all year.

Here are some deals I’m passing along, if you order before December 19th. All orders placed before Dec. 19 at 12 p.m. EST are guaranteed to be delivered for Christmas.

  • Get your 1st Disney Princess Pleybox for $10 (+shipping), when signing up for a subscription (CODE: DP10)
  • Get your 1st National Geographic Kids Pleybox for $10 (+shipping) when signing up for a subscription (CODE: NG10) — This is ours.
  • Get your 1st Hot Wheels Pleybox for $10 (+shipping) when signing up for a subscription (CODE: HOT10)

One more thing! Oh my gosh, how can I forget?

You remember my daughter, Kate? The one that is a good kid but doesn’t “fake smile” for pictures?

This is Kate after exploring the contents of the Pleybox, playing the Great Barrier Reef computer games, and wearing her new National Geographic Kids t-shirt.

She smiled for a picture.


And there’s your review from the most brutally honest kid, behind-the-scenes at National Geographic Kids.

Link: Pley.com

Link: National Geographic Kids

Link: The Virunga


Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”


Day 30.

Day 30.

I know it’s the 1st. December 1st. It’s not even November anymore. I missed the last day of November writing month. Out of all the days, I missed Day 30.

Let’s go back in time, shall we? It’s November 30th.

1487 – Germany. A law is states beer should be brewed from only three ingredients: water, malt and hops. Albert IV, Duke of Bavaria, got shitfaced on this cold night. He threw a case of Summer Shandy out of his window, grabbed a pretzel, and declared, “that beer tasted like shit.”

1753 – United States. Benjamin Franklin received the Godfrey Copley medal for his “curious experiments” and “observations on electricity.” His thank you speech went a lil’ sumpin’ like this, “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby. Uh huh. Yeah. It’s all about the Benjamins, baby. Now, what y’all wanna do? Wanna be ballers, shot-callers, brawlers. Who be dipping’ in the Benz with spoilers. It’s all about the Benjamins baby. “

1782 – Britain. Britain signs agreement recognizing U.S. independence. The United States blasts fireworks, holds up the middle finger to the east while drinking Summer Shandys. “‘Merica!” can be heard across the pond.

1835 – United States. Author Samuel Langhorne Clemens is born in Missouri. Also known as Mark Twain. “You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain’t no matter. That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth.” I think we’re related.

1838 – Mexico. Mexico declares war on France; the “Pastry War” begins. A bunch of Mexicans ransacked a bakery near Mexico City, owned by French-born pastry chef, Remontel. France told Mexico, “uh, we’re Lady Marmalade and you’re Les Incompétents.” Mexico was like, “Screw your marmalade – we have tacos. BRING IT, BITCHACHOS.” And that’s how the Cake Wars started on the Food Network.

1864 – United States. Battle of Franklin, Tennessee. The dumbasses in the United States are fighting with each other in what is called the Civil War. The Battle of Franklin is one of the worst battles for the Confederate States army. There were approximately 7,700 American casualties killed by Americans.

1900 – Paris. Irish playwright and novelist Oscar Wilde dies. Original meme writer. “Be yourself. Everybody else is already taken.” 

1907 – United States. Pike Place dedicated in Seattle. No one cared until 64 years later when the first Starbucks opened and now we’re all sitting here with shaky hands.

1924 – London. First photo fax transmitted across the Atlantic by radio. The photo fax was sent from London to New York City. Ass cheeks. The first fax was ass cheeks on a fax machine. Those Brits are cheeky smart arses.

1929 – United States. Radio and TV personality Richard Wagstaff Clark born in New York. Also known as Dick Clark. Ball drop.

1954 – United States. First meteorite known to strike a person. Ann Hodges of Sylacauga, Alabama decided to take a nap on her couch. She woke up to a softball-size hunk of black rock busting through her ceiling, bouncing off her radio, and slamming into her thigh. She was left with a pineapple-shaped bruise from outer space. She survived, thus sealing her fate of never winning the lottery.

1993 – United States. “Schindler’s List”, an American historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, and Ralph Fiennes, premieres in Washington, D.C. We still hate Hitler and the Nazis. We wonder what happened to the days of the Germans making beer laws.

2004 – United States. Longtime “Jeopardy!” champion Ken Jennings of Salt Lake City, Utah finally loses, leaving him with $3,196,300. He is television’s all-time biggest game show winner. The losing answer – “Most of this firm’s 70,000 seasonal white-collar employees work only four months a year.” WHAT IS KANSAS CITY’S H&R BLOCK, ALEX. BOOM! Julie Burton comin’ in hot! You’re done, Kenny.

2017 – United States. Julie Burton forgets to post on the 30th day of NaBloPoMo/Nano Poblano. She had a child with a fever. She was hostess of ladies night in her neighborhood that evening but before that she had to pick up dry cleaning and run by the store. She stopped by her neighbor’s house to chit chat for an hour. She probably posted a couple funny things on Facebook and Instagram. She picked up her second child from school and the second child was pissed that first child got to stay home all day. Her husband is out of town but hey, at least she didn’t get hit by a meteorite.


Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”


I stood with Henry.

I sat up straight and smiled at the dermatologist walking in the room. She smiled back, sat down, and explained my diagnosis.

“Julie, you have a hair loss condition called Telogen Effluvium. Your body went into shock immediately after the loss of your nephew and almost losing your sister. Three months ago, those two events were enough to shut your body down momentarily. Your fingernails stopped growing too. Your body seems to have corrected the shock. I see where your fingernails grew again. Your hair will do the same but because hair grows in a cycle, it will take about a year or maybe longer for your hair to grow back. It’s a rare condition but a temporary one. I’m so sorry for the loss of your nephew.”

The divots in my fingernails are almost grown out now. My hair loss slowed down and I have new hairs sprouting around my scalp. I don’t cry when I wring my hair in the shower anymore. Yet, I still avoid brushing it or pulling it back in a ponytail because it is much thinner than it used to be.

I stood six feet from my nephew today.

I knew Henry wouldn’t hear my voice. He wouldn’t feel my feet above him. Or smell the lotion I put on this morning. I stood anyway. I stood six feet from my nephew for the first time since I held his sweet face 200 days ago.


Just Henry and me, under a giant tree.

He slept and my chest felt heavy.

I looked around. I was surrounded by babies. Quiet, sleeping babies. I saw a bundle of yellow flowers against the fence, next to the giant tree with branches over my head. I walked over. I didn’t see any headstones. The flowers must have blown with the leaves and stopped at the fence. I picked up the flowers and placed them on Henry’s headstone.


I whispered the only words in my head.

“There you go, Henry. Aunt Jules will hook you up.”

I got in my car. I didn’t cry. I couldn’t. I didn’t want to wake the sleeping babies.

I started my car and drove towards the entrance. I got lost. I drove past Henry and his yellow flowers three times – and one time in reverse – before I figured out how to get out. And when I finally made the right turn out of the cemetery, the heaviness on my chest lifted. It shocked me. The weight on my chest was real.

My shoulders lifted too. I didn’t know my shoulders had bricks on them. The air filled my lungs. I didn’t know my lungs needed the air. My body lifted up.

My hair tingled.

I stood with Henry.


Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”




36 things I learned in 36 years.

I’m 36 years old and one day. I am another year older, wiser, but still not any more mature.

36 things I learned in 36 years – in no particular order:

Make your serving size. Leftovers aren’t good. They just aren’t. There may be a few recipes or meals that hold an exception but I can’t think of anything worth mentioning. Eat the serving size in front of you. Seconds are better than leftovers.

Eat and exercise like you have heart disease and diabetes. Because you will if you don’t exercise. This one is not fun. I know. But it’s necessary and maybe, just maybe, it will become fun.


People will think what they want to think. Let them.

If you’re bored, sleep. I think I heard on the radio that sleeping a lot has health benefits. I don’t really know the science behind it but it made me fist pump in the car because I’m good at naps.

Tell your partner “thank you” a lot. Whether they do an errand on their own or if you ask, always say thank you. I caught on to this from watching Scott’s cousins and their wives live with me for a week. I don’t think I say thank you enough. Thank you, Scott. And Scott’s cousins and wives.

Drink the whiskey. I mean, it was a good time. And if you want to know, one of Scott’s deer antlers took the picture on a timer at 4 a.m. because they lost their hooves in a hunting accident. Those cousins’ wives, I tell you.


Use google. The smartest people I know google the answers to their questions before saying them out loud. Deer (plural) do, in fact, have hooves.

Drink the vodka. By this point, you’re probably thinking I’m an alcoholic. I am not. I couldn’t write every day if I was. We were “Russian” into a dry wedding. And I don’t know what to say, except it’s Christmas Thanksgiving and we’re all in misery, Clark.


If someone shows up in a similar dress as you – let it go. Emily and I did not coordinate dress colors. No one believed us. But like I said before – let people think what they want to think.

Hug goodbye. Scott taught me this. I’m learning. It’s awkward. I like high-fives better.

Don’t be so hard on your body when you’re young. Your joints, your back, your muscles, your skin especially – they remember and they will fail you when you’re 36. Exactly that age – 36. Shit starts falling apart. This advice is probably useless to anyone reading this because too late.

Moisturize your face every night. I got a manicure a couple weekends ago and the lady doing my nails asked if I was married. I laughed because I knew where this was going. She asked if I had kids. She asked how old my kids are. She dropped her mouth and my hand when I said 11 and 8. And I was I like, hell yes. I moisturize. And honestly – I wish more men would moisturize. You wouldn’t look so damn old next to your wedding pictures.

You can cuss a little. Bitch, motherfucker, Goddammit – it’s ok. No one gives a shit.

Everyone has a story.

Read the book. You know. The book. Whatever Netflix show you’re binging on – there was a writer behind the words said out loud. I bet the words are much better in your head than out of someone’s mouth.

See your dentist every six months. I like nice teeth and I love getting my teeth professionally cleaned. I get cavities too. I’m not perfect. But the older you get, the more you will thank me for this piece of advice.

Have children when you’re in your 20s. Babies and toddlers will suck your soul. Get it over with while you’re still fertile.

Have children when you’re in your 30s. Babies and toddlers will suck your soul. Enjoy your own youth before you take over someone else’s. I don’t know the real answer this – other than babies and toddlers will suck your soul at any age.

Karma is real.

Go outside. Do something. Go on a walk. Go to a park. Explore your city. Your day will be much better.

You need to be brave to grow old. I heard my dad tell my Grandma that.

Ask for a friend. Sometimes all you have to do is ask for a friend and you’ll find one. My favorite extroverts always ask if I want to hang out. My favorite introverts never do and then I never do because I, too, am introverted. So ask. Ask if you need a friend.

A gravesite can be strangely comforting.

Give writers credit. If someone moved you, made you laugh, made you say me too – and you chose to share those words on social media, do not pass them off as your own words. That’s called plagiarism. Give the credit to the writer. Memes – I’m talking about memes, people. It’s hard making someone laugh in under twenty words. Go ahead. Try it. Hopefully no one steals it.

While I have you here – give photographers respect. Ask what their copyright policy is on those Christmas photos before you share them.

Talk to your daughters about periods, boobs, and shaving her legs. No, don’t sit down and have a heart-to-heart. That’s weird, Full House. Get out of here. It’s easier if you’re light-hearted about it. Wear a sports bra under that shirt, you don’t want your nips showing. I smile, she laughs.

Talk to your boys about wieners. I don’t have any advice on how to do this nor do I want to know but you should do it.

Dogs are a part of the family. I’m just sitting here, looking at these bitches on my white couch and I’m thinking, “I love those little shitheads.” 

Boiled peanuts are delicious. Have you tried them? You should. They’re only sold in the south and in my Kansas City crockpot.

Christmas music is not the devil. It’s lovely and it makes me feel warm. I’m busting out my ice skates and hot cocoa this weekend.

It’s OK to want to sleep in twin beds instead of a king if you’re married. I said sleep. I would love to sleep in my own bed instead of waking up to dragon fire breath’s dead arm on my throat. Scott thinks this is a terrible idea and he did not love the Flintstones as a kid.

People are not who they seem online. I want to say this is about FakeBook over there but no. This is about me and it’s something that bothers me a lot but I’ve realized there are others like this too. I don’t know how many people have told this to me – “you’re funny when you write because it’s not who you are in person.” I mean, I think that’s a compliment.

Know your worth. I’m not writing for free anymore. Becoming an author this year changed that for me because I’m not who I am in person.

Don’t say “please stop growing” to babies and kids. Because sometimes babies and kids do stop. And that’s all I’m going to say about that. Let them grow.

Don’t call people “bruh.” My kids say that and that’s just a ridiculous term to call someone. Oh God. My 36 is showing.

Always tell your mom “happy labor day” on your birthday. It’s her day too.


Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”


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I fell asleep writing a blog post yesterday.

Yesterday was my birthday. 36 years old.

It was a tame one, as I would expect any 36th birthday to be. I didn’t even get a cake or ice cream. But I did get to introvert. My houseguests left. The wedding party left. The Russians left. The leftovers went down my drain. The beer, wine, and liquor is put away. My house is quiet and it’s the four of us again.

Thanksgiving, a rehearsal dinner, and a wedding – done. I’m exhausted.

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”



And that’s how I met the mother of the bride.

Today is the day when two become one. Today, there will be a marriage between a man and a woman. It’s a blending of two families. The groom’s family hails from middle America. The bride’s family is Russian. The groom’s family wakes up to fireball shots on Thanksgiving/wedding weekend. The bride’s family are non-drinkers.

The groom is Scott’s cousin. I will be sitting on the groom’s side today.

The mother of the bride will be sitting on the bride’s side. She will be sitting as far as she can from me. Cousin Julie.

The rehearsal dinner was going well until the mother of the bride walked up to me with a cup.

Me: Hi! Are you the mother of the bride? I’m Julie. This is my neighborhood clubhouse. It’s so nice to meet you!

Mother of the bride: Hello. I need some vot-ka.

Me: Vodka?

Mother of the bride: Yes, Vot-ka.

Me: Welcome to the party!

There’s the Russian I’m judging you to be.

Mother of the bride: Mm. Yes.

I walked to the back of the bar. I pointed to the mother of the bride’s back and mouthed, “she wants vodka!” to Scott’s cousins’ wives.

I fist pumped.

Me: Well, we have wine here. And I made a champagne bar here. There’s beer outside.

Mother of the bride: No, no, no. Vot-ka!

Me: Oh! I was told no hard liquor but I can get you some vodka.

Mother of the bride: VOT-KA.

Me: You want the good stuff? I have some Tito’s back at my house. Do you wanna go back and grab some? Do you have a Russian vodka you really like?

The mother of the bride pointed to the sink.

Mother of the bride: VOT. KA.

I stared at her.

My mother-in-law, Kathy, walked up.

Me: I think she wants a vodka.

Mother of the bride: VOTKA.

Kathy: Water.

Me: Oh shit.

Kathy: Do you want some water?

Mother of the bride: Yes! VOTKA!

Kathy: Here is the water and meet my daughter-in-law, Julie.


Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”