Swipe up.

Swipe right.

You’re good-looking.

Swipe left. 

You’re not good-looking.

The terms swipe right and swipe left are terms from the dating app, Tinder.

I am married. I have two daughters, two dogs, a cat, a beautiful home, and my iPhone stores my credit card number for me.

I swipe up. 

I swipe up on Instagram stories. I swipe up all the time. I swipe up when Scott’s asleep next to me. I swipe up in front of his face as he’s talking to me. School car line? Swipe up. Grocery store line? Swipe up! Sitting in the parking lot of the gym? Fling! 

If you’re wondering, “Julie, what the hell are you talking about.”

I’ll tell you what I’m talking about. THE FASHION BLOGGERS ARE RUINING MY LIFE. Ok, my life isn’t ruined. I have a lovely life. But now I’m buying their life and damn, I am rocking this casually draped jacket over my shoulders on this humid 85-degree day.

Cody’s probably going to kill me for posting this but it’s really highlighting my susceptible tendencies, not hers.

FullSizeRender 3

FullSizeRender.jpg

FullSizeRender 2.jpg

I swipe up.

I can’t stop watching fashion bloggers’ Instagram accounts. It’s like a fashion magazine come to life. I get excited when I see their perfect faces pop up in my feed because it’s like turning a new page. The babies never cry. The toddlers never have meltdowns. The husbands are silent props. The inside of their houses are white. White, you guys. Who has white interior? Fashion bloggers living in a fantasy world. It’s a world where I’m an outsider, looking in. My face is pressed against the window and staring.

Do I want a perfect life? Yes, who wouldn’t. I swipe up for sweaters. Pants. Shoes. Rugs. New restaurants I need to try out. Makeup. Even fresh flowers sitting in my kitchen sink for no reason. Did you know certain nail polish colors trend? They do and I have them.

And do you know what else happens when I swipe up?

I’ll tell you what happens – Scott finds out.

Scott: Hey! What’s this charge? Did you buy something for $89?

Me: What? Oh. What did I buy? It might be the joggers I accidentally bought. Such a good deal for under $50.

Scott: Wait, what did you buy?

Me: $89. I don’t really remember. That might be a rug runner too.

Scott: Ok, well I was just making sure our credit card wasn’t stolen.

Me: Scott, I’m buying Becky’s life. I need help, I think.

Scott: What? Who’s Becky?

Me: Me. I’m Becky. My whole outfit – Becky. Our house decor – Becky. She’s like my own stylist or something. Here, look. She’s a fashion blogger. Her blog’s name is Cella Jane but her real name is Becky. And actually, she lives in Kansas City. Look, she has these swipe ups on her Instagram stories and this is how I shop now.

Scott: Tell Becky Swipe Up that she’s draining our bank account.

Me: I don’t know her personally. But…

Scott: What did you do?

Me: Nothing. I did nothing. It’s just…she works out at Fusion and I haven’t seen her yet. I just want to see her look like crap after a workout. No one escapes Fusion without looking like a drowned rat. I need to see the perfection fall a little bit.

Scott: You are out of control.

Me: Sometimes I see her chipped nail polish in her stories. It makes me feel normal.

Do I know, deep down, every fashion blogger rips ass under the sheets at night? Of course I do.

Being a social influencer is a job. It is a full-time job to appear magazine-perfect through special cameras and photo editing. Ripping ass and waving the sheets towards their husbands’ faces is the behind-the-scenes we’ll never see. Their babies cry. Their toddlers have meltdowns. All couples argue, even on date nights. No one is perfect. I know that.

Do I think Becky Swipe Up will read these words? I’d say the chances are high. Our town is big but not that big. I’m ok with being the woman that looks like a drowned rat and rips ass under the sheets. That’s who I am.

I am a humor writer, not a lifestyle blogger.

But it doesn’t stop me from swiping up. And the rug wasn’t an accident.

FullSizeRender.jpg

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

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

The letter B.

Me: I’m going to give you a letter and you tell me the first word that comes to mind. It needs to start with the letter.

Scott: Ok.

Me: The letter B.

Scott: Bitch.

Me: The first word you think of when I say the letter B is bitch?

Scott: Guess so.

Me: Give me another word – B.

Scott: Bubble.

Me: Bubble? Like gum?

Scott: I was thinking like a bunch of bubbles.

Me: Soap bubbles?

Scott: I guess.

Me: I wonder what a psychologist would say about your answers. Bitch and bubble.

I thought about the letter B today.

The first word that popped in my head was Burton – my last name. But I’ve written about Burton. We are not related to Burton Snowboards but I do buy Burton apparel because it’s fun to share a last name with a brand. It’s also fun to pretend I know how to snowboard.

The letter B. 

Boy. Never had one.

Balls. Never had those either. 

Book. Well, I am going to be in an anthology in May.

But Did You Die? That’s the name of the book. Also a B.

Barnes and Noble. You can BUY my BOOK at BARNES AND NOBLE. It’s called BUT DID YOU DIE? Co-authored BY Julie BURTON.

By-line. By Julie Burton. AH!

Baker’s dozen. I think I’m hungry.

Baby. Nope. Done.

Belly. The baker’s dozen gave me a belly but not a baby belly.

Birth. Witch hazel pads. Nope.

Bed. Scott’s snoring now.

Banging on my keys. How does he sleep through this.

Bromance. Well, that’s not right.

Beautiful. Scott is dreaming about his beautiful wife. There. Better.

Bubble baths. He’s such a romantic.

Bitch. Yes, I know what he said first.

Body. Scott has a killer body.

Bread. Scott doesn’t eat a baker’s dozen.

Baskin Robbins. Why do I do this to myself.

Baking. Stop it.

Bon appetite.

Brain. You guys, this is exactly how I think. 

Blanket. Good night, letter B. You’re in the books.

Becky.

Butt.

Baby Got Back. Oh, no. It’s stuck in my head.

Buns. My anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns, hun.

Baker’s dozen! It all works out in the end.

___________

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

B.jpg

 

Hello, November 30.

Well, I didn’t write a novel.

That’s ok. It wasn’t my intention. I wrote for 30 straight days. It’s something I’ve never done before.

I don’t know why I agreed to the challenge. 30 consecutive days of writing, or anything really, takes a lot of discipline. This discipline happens to fall in November. November is not a care-free month like sexy July over there. Thank you, Pilgrims.

I finished Nano Poblano. I finished the damn thing.

Whether it made me a better writer, I don’t know. I didn’t go into 30 days with a plan. I didn’t use pre-written posts in the draft folder. I wrote every post on that day, at that moment. I learned it’s possible to find a story every day. I can write when I don’t feel like writing.

I also learned there are people that will read anything I write. You guys showed up for 30 consecutive days to read, spy on my family, laugh, cry, drool at Brett, glare at me in fury, or just escape your life for a minute or two. You shared my blog. You commented. You let me know you were listening. I gained readers.

After 30 days, I realized this is why I write. You.

There’s nothing special about me other than I write about my family. I’m not paid to do this. It’s not easy writing to an audience that includes my parents, ex-boyfriends, old elementary school friends, my kids’ teachers, Avatars, haters, my friend that shaves her face with me, and people I don’t know.

The people I don’t know are the easiest to write to.

Writing to every one of you in the same voice is, well, brave. It’s brave. I rarely speak to my parents about my sex life but I definitely speak to the friend that shaves her face with me about my sex life. My family and close friends see me when I’m sad or angry. Opening my door for everyone to see that puts me in a vulnerable spot. A joke is only a good joke if it’s told right. Maybe that’s why I’m good at making fun of myself.

Writing to a room full of people is a balance. You’re all watching.

I’ve been blogging for almost eight years. In those eight years, I never posted three days in a row. 30 days in a row pushed my writing limits. This is the real me. This is what goes on inside my head.

Thank you for letting me share my family and parts of my life with you.

You are so very loved.

___________

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

nanopoblano1

P.S. You are loved.

We’re on day 11 of Nano Poblano if you’re keeping track.

Nano Poblano – 30 straight days of blog post writing.

There’s a Nano Poblano group on Facebook. It’s a place where we cheer each other on. We comment and give feedback on each other’s blogs. Every day there’s a thread for us to post our blog of the day. And every day one of the group’s administrators, Ra, Brad, or Bill, will say something that makes me smile. They are phenomenal writers but what they say is always simple.

Day 6. How’s everyone doing? You’re amazing.

Day 8. Post here! P.S. You are loved.

Day 9. I’m so very glad you use your voice.

We are bloggers. We’re writers. Some of us write profound pieces that make you think. Some write poetry. Some draw. Some are photographers. And some are just humor writers that use little words (raising my hand).

The group provides prompts if we get stuck. I got stuck.

I didn’t get stuck because I didn’t know what to say but because I’m just stuck. There was a comment left on one of my previous blog posts. Surprise! Their name is Anonymous.

I’m not sure if anonymous read my post the wrong way or if anonymous was on edge because the timing of the post was post-election. It was probably my fault for posting something political. I avoid the big 3: money, politics and religion. I should have known better. In my own way, I just wanted to tell people to stop for one minute and be nice. I tell my kids this almost every day.

I got stuck.

I sparked something in someone to leave a comment full of hate. I made someone mad. I haven’t had a hate comment in a long time. I wanted to delete it. I didn’t. I responded the best I could. I get occasional comments I roll my eyes at but this comment was hateful. If anything will get me to question my writing it’s hate. Scott told me to brush it off because not everyone will like me. Men are good at that, brushing something off. I’m not.

I browsed the prompts today. I found one – 10 things that make you awesome. Any other day, I would look at this and think, “no one cares, too egotistical.” Any other day, I would just not write anything until I felt confident. For 30 days, I’m reminded by people I’ve never met that I’m amazing, I’m loved, and they’re so very glad I use my voice.

And sometimes you need to give yourself an egotistical shot in the arm. Look at me, using big words now.

10 things that make me amazing:

  1.  I fish. I don’t care if it’s saltwater fishing or freshwater. I could be in a boat or standing in a river. It can be 100 degrees or 50 degrees, I don’t care. Sea sick? Nah, I only feel sick when I’m back on solid land.
  2. I’m a good driver. Wait, I said that wrong. I’m a terrible driver. I should probably be arrested for all the laws I break while driving. When I say “good,” I mean good in the I-always-wave-thank-you-for-letting-me-over. Or slamming-on-my-brakes-in the-middle-of-the-road-to-let-you-over good. Just take my driver’s license away when I turn 65. I’m awesome for giving you permission to take away my keys. My insurance guy is reading this probably.
  3. I love sports. I’ve never asked Scott this, but I’m pretty sure that’s a big reason he loves me. I will shrivel up and die if I don’t have a TV with sports channels. The only time you will see me watching TV is during a game. What amazes me is watching our two daughters grow into serious sports fans. If you turn on any game at all, they will always ask, “Who are we rooting for?’ And they’ll root for them.
  4. My answer is always K-State, KC Chiefs, KC Royals, or Sporting KC. I do not waiver. I could move to Australia and I will not cave to their Olympic team. No. And no halfsies either. I am forever a fan of Kansas City and Kansas State, no matter where I live. I will be a loyal fan until I die.
  5. My body still thinks it’s a teenager. Sleeping until noon. I’m talking about sleeping until noon. You know how some people are up at, like, 6 am and then they’ll wake up at 6 am even on the weekends because their body is so used to it? My body is still used to waking up at noon, assuming the kids don’t drag me out of bed. I still got it.
  6. Halloween is my favorite holiday. I like dressing up as different characters and trick-or-treating myself to my kids’ candy while they’re at school. It’s better than Christmas morning.
  7. I’m not embarrassed with bodily functions. When I was little, my grandma once told me that she would never fart, poop, or burp in front of my grandpa. Like, ever. I still think about this every time I try to have a conversation with Scott while the bathroom door is open or when I challenge Kate to a burping-sentence contest. I guess most people wouldn’t think this is awesome but could you imagine only pooping while your spouse was out of the house? You’re a lucky man, Scott.
  8. I hate shopping. I dread it. It’s not that I’m a huge saver or frugal. I just don’t like making decisions. I don’t even know who I am when I shop. Is this couch too brown? Do I look good in fuchsia? Do I shop in the women’s department or the junior’s? I’m so confused. I’m a big fan of someone telling me what to buy or wear.
  9. I’m funny. For every negative comment I receive on my blog, I will get 50 positives. They all say I’m funny. I think I’m dry-funny but in a “I’m just being honest” sort of way. I’m good at telling a story with a keyboard. Most of the phrases I write are things my dad says. I think he’s hilarious.
  10. I care. The fact that I’m bothered by one anonymous comment because I made them angry must mean I care about people. Even if I wrote something morally wrong, I would still be awake at night, regretting every word I wrote because of one comment. I feel terrible for anyone I hurt because I care.

 

P.S. You are loved.

___________

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

nanopoblano1

Something unfinished.

I do not know her personally.

Or maybe I do know her personally but in the same way many others know her personally. After reading a writer’s thoughts for a long period of time, it can feel personal. It’s more accurate to say we have never met face-to-face.

Her name is Ra.

She is an incredibly gifted writer, one of the greats I can’t compare myself to. No, really. If you spend a few minutes on her blog or read her book, she’ll easily pull you in. Her life story is a fascinating one but I’m only giving you a tiny part of it.

A few years ago, her husband tried to get her interested in Instagram by giving her a 30-day list of “somethings” to post. Something fragile, something shocking, something terrifying, something lucky, something obvious, something far, something near…

Tragedy struck.

Ra’s husband died. Ra is a young widow. She found her late husband’s 30-day list and is taking his challenge. She welcomed others to join too. I will post it all to my Instagram. If I can, I will write about each one too because I love a good writing challenge.

Writing is my Olympics.

Read the 30-day list here.

Day 1: Something unfinished.

I could make this one easy and tangible. I never finished the Game of Thrones books because the TV show is better. A year after moving, Scott’s home office is still unpacked with boxes scattered on the floor. And I still need to install a toilet paper roll in Emma and Kate’s bathroom. Once the butt-wiping days disappeared, I didn’t even give them a decent toilet roll set-up.

I’m not going to write about those things.

Continuing education is my “something unfinished.” This may sound odd to some because  I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kansas State. Class of 2004.

IMG_7322

I was 22 years old. A baby. A mere one year into walking out of a liquor store with a bottle of cheap whiskey. I mean, legally speaking.

Did I know what I wanted to do with my bachelor’s degree and cheap bottle of whiskey? No. I was 3 years deep in a state of panic over deciding a major. I wasn’t good at anything. I was a 3.2 average student with no desire but to just pass class. 

I couldn’t decide.

Education degree? No. Kids can sense apprehensiveness and they would destroy me immediately.

Medical degree? I’m squirming and trying to hold down chunks at the thought of it.

Chemistry degree? Kansas State University can thank me for not choosing a chemistry degree because I’d probably blow up one of their buildings and my lifeless body would be wheeled out live on CNN.

Business? My negotiation skills at a garage sale can be summed up by my “it’s all free” sign in my driveway.

Math degree? Yeah, I don’t speak Chinese.

Art degree? Wait, did you say I need a portfolio from high school? No one told me that.

Journalism? Fine, I’ll do it. I read the newspaper.

A journalism degree. A Bachelor of Arts degree: Mass communications with an emphasis in advertising. Technically.

Marriage, kids, various sales jobs filled the years since 2004. I was terrible at sales. I’m an ok mom and an even ok-er wife.

In 2013, 9 years after college, it clicked. I found my major. I found my drive, my obsession, my purpose as a human in this world – writing. People that are good at what they do have confidence. Writing doesn’t scare me. “I could have wrote that” is a common thought of mine. I’m jealous when my kids bring home book reports or anything that involves a lot of writing. I told you a writing challenge is my Olympics. I’m good and I strive for great.

My something unfinished is an English degree. My words are small. My vocabulary is weak. I’m still the 3.2 average student and I can only work with what I know. I know how to start and keep a dialogue in front of thousands of people, people I don’t know personally. Writing is a way to release my creativity, wit, and maybe a little humor.

People assume I’m silently correcting their grammar when they find out I write. That’s not true. The editors are. When my words are put on the stage, there’s always a person behind my name. It’s the editor. Editors make writers look good. They are masters of the language. I want that. I want to be a master.

I own English textbooks even when I don’t have a class to attend. I read books on writing by famous writers. I’m searching for better ways to string my words together. It sounds simple – stringing words together, letter by letter, but it’s difficult. It’s unfinished.

English is my something unfinished.

________

Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. I have 29 days to go. What’s your something unfinished? 

From, a nobody.

Someone took something from me without my permission. I worked hard on it. I owned it.

I feel violated. I feel small. I feel like running outside and screaming at the cruel and unfair world.

The evils of the internet took my words and passed them off as their own. It’s called plagiarism.

You see, I’m a nobody. I’m the face you see for one second in the stands at a baseball game on TV. I’m the person with the blinker on across the street at a light. I’m the back of the head in front of you at your kid’s school music show.

That’s me. Nobody. I live in the middle of the United States. I was raised here, actually. My job is to write magazine articles for a local Kansas City magazine. I love my job because I am proud of my hometown. I have a husband and two daughters. Sometimes I write about my family and my life on this blog.

I’m not the next big American author but I did land a small part in a book anthology coming out in May. I work hard to see my byline in print. I’m submit pieces to large publications to be seen by a larger audience. This is difficult for me because it takes a tremendous amount of confidence. Rejections are a requirement in this field. Everyone has their own opinion. Creativity cannot be proven.

I don’t have ads on this blog because the little money I would make is not worth your value to me as a reader. I like writing. I love it, really. I like figuring out which words to use when describing my nobody life.

I take what happens in my life and I write it so it’s simple and funny. It’s what I do. It’s also not easy.

For instance, Kate will not leave for school until I fix the seam in her sock. It needs to be placed on top of her foot before she puts a shoe on. Every day, she asks me to fix the bump. One morning I thought to myself, “I wonder how many people drop off their kids late to school because the kid refuses to leave with a bump in their sock. I should ask a teacher that.”

Boom. Make a meme. Post to Facebook.

sock

 

It was my first meme. It got shared 32,000 times on Facebook. Beginners luck. There are a lot of kids with bumps in their socks.

When Emma comes home from school, she usually has math homework. We need to sit down with Emma every night to help her. She excels in writing but math infuriates her. I was the same way in school. I argued with my parents and teachers that I would never work with numbers in my adult life and if I did, I would use a calculator. Now I find myself pulling my hair out at the dinner table, trying to remember how to do long division.

Boom. Make a meme. Post to Facebook.

IMG_2816

 

It got shared 17,500 times and reached over 2.5 million people.

I still can’t figure out how to say I’m walking out the pediatrician’s office with my kid dying of “just a virus.” The remedy is lots of fluids, rest, a bill and no antibiotic. It’s like losing the lottery.

I’ll let you know when I figure out how to word that in a funny, simple way. Try it. It’s hard.

I’m not trying to prove to you that everything I write is hilarious and shared with others. Rejection is always there and I’m a nobody, remember?

When a nobody finds success in writing and people want to share that writing with others, it’s uplifting. That is how a writer finds their way through the Internet clutter. I am not paid to write memes. Memes allow a nobody to become a somebody. Me, Julie Burton – the woman you stopped for in the Target parking lot, standing on the cart and riding back to her car – can make you laugh.

Then the private messages come in. Screenshots show up on my phone. Friends text me – didn’t you write this? 

The evils of the Internet show my exact words on another template with a popular blogger’s name under it. Or my words but my name is cut off at the bottom. It only takes one person to alter it. It’s found without credit, a larger publication sees it, and shares it.

And then I become a nobody again.

Most large publications and bloggers are quick to credit my name once I notify them I am the author. Most people know how to share with the correct source. The “share” button on Facebook or the “retweet” button on Twitter make it easy. And I love that. Share away. Friend me. Follow me. Play with my hair. Build my confidence.

If someone makes you laugh, makes you cry, or makes you think, the highest compliment you can give them is sharing their work. It’s an art. No one knows what we’re doing other than trying to make you feel something.

But when someone distorts the image or re-writes an image with their own name – that is plagiarizing. It’s stealing. It’s illegal.

I just have to find a way to break away to be a somebody without getting robbed.

___________

Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Be nice. Don’t steal.

50 happy things.

I don’t watch TV.

I don’t have a reason why. I would rather spend my time doing other things – like cruising the Internet. Blogs are my TV shows. My entertainment. The beauty of reading a blog post is that you can respond and, most of the time, the blogger will respond back to you. It’s interactive.

Meet Samara. I couldn’t tell you how I found her blog. I was flipping through the channels one day and I stopped. And well, I let you read about her. But to sum it up, I’m Kansas and boring. She’s New York and has better stories. I’m trying to think of two TV shows that can show our differences but I don’t watch TV.

But she definitely wins the Emmy.

Through Samara’s blog I found a string of bloggers writing 50 Happy Things: Bloggers Unite in Flood of Gratitude. 50 things that brought happiness in 2015 – but written in ten minutes.

Here’s Samara’s. 

And here’s mine. 50 things that made me happy in 2015 in ten minutes (I added pictures later, blogging is more time consuming than you think):

1  The Kansas City Royals. World Series Champs 2015. After years of watching a losing baseball team, I’m still shocked at reading this. Wait, what?

2  The Kansas City Chiefs. I love football more. And I love my city.

3  K-State’s head football coach, Bill Snyder. Considering his age, I’ll take every year I can get.

4  Scott Burton. My husband. This list is in no particular order.

5  Screenshots.

IMG_0648

6  Luke Bryan.

LB

This list is in no particular order.

7  Texting with gifs. 

IMG_0565.PNG

8  Nashville, Tennessee.

9  Tennessee whiskey.

10  A new house. It’s beautiful. You should see it sometime.

11  A new puppy.

FullSizeRender

12  “A new puppy” with clenched teeth, a new house, and air-quotations.

FullSizeRender-2

13  You know what, I lied. I do watch TV. A show called, Sherlock on Netflix. I watch it everywhere: in bed, in the kitchen, in the pantry, the closet. Benedict Cumberbatch follows me.

14  Google search: Benedict Cumberbatch.

15  A convenient ride of shame at the top of a mountain. The story here. 

IMG_2794

16  Yellowstone National Park.

17  Roadtrips. Well, at least the asshole cop that asked me to leave my car and sit in his gave me a good story to tell.

18  Fishing for yellowfin tuna in the Bahamas. (Translation: that’s good sushi, Kansans.)

IMG_5655

19  Being one of the guys. Farts. Burps. Cussing like a sailor. Peeing in a bucket. I do it all.

20  Watching the United States Coast Guard be on its A-game at midnight. A silent helicopter, a silent boat and BOOM! GIANT SPOTLIGHTS. “GIVE US YOUR PASSPORTS.” I would post a picture but I got my toe stepped on when I tried to hold up my phone.

21  Brett Cannon. Without Brett, I wouldn’t be able to tell my tales on the high seas. And avoiding arrest by the United States Coast Guard for attempting to take a selfie with a helicopter over my head in the middle of the ocean.

brett

22  Palm trees in November.

IMG_0836

23  Frequent flyer miles.

24  Admitting when life gets difficult. Coming up with 50 things is hard.

25  Admitting when you’re repeating the same story over and over. Like a drunk person. Or repeating a years worth of old blog posts in a list of 50 happy things.

26  Oh Emma.

FullSizeRender-2

27  Oh Kate. 

FullSizeRender-2

28  Oh Emma, Oh Kate.

FullSizeRender 

29  Cul-de-sac living. More Suburbia Ave. stories coming in 2016! My neighbors don’t know this yet. I’m waving.

30  Good music.

FullSizeRender-4

31  Born in the USA.

32  Now that I think about it, Scott should totally be Bruce Springsteen for Halloween.

33  Honesty.  “You have a spice in your tooth.” “Your fly is down.” “You look way better with long hair than short.” I need more people like this in my life.

34  A job I love.  I write for Simply KC magazine. I interview the people of Kansas City. I like telling their story to a large audience without having to actually stand in front of a large audience.

35  This blog.  I write about my life as it happens. But without an editor. Typos are all me.

36  You fine people reading this blog.  The ones I have never met in person.

37  The people reading this blog and shaking their head because they actually know me.  Stop it or I’ll write about you.

38  Moving.

39  Along.

40  Dead coyotes.

41  Epidurals. For Scott, not me.

42  Finally accepting my big hair. I used to hate it. Now I can rock a night out in Nashville like no one else.

43  Accepting that I’m only human.

44  Carbs.

45  The gym.

46  Sculpted shoulders. 

47  3.

48  2.

49  1.

50  Time’s up.

 

What made you happy in 2015? You don’t need to be a blogger to tell me. 

This is how I write.

I want to grab your attention with this sentence.

Then I start my post. As I write, I figure out what the point of the post is. It’s just rambling if there isn’t one. Sometimes I ramble.

I hit enter on my keyboard a lot.

Spaces in between sentences are easier to read. No one wants to read one long, boring paragraph. It’s hard for me to re-read. I assume it’s hard for you to read too because we’re all the same person. Long paragraphs are fine if they are written well – I’m not slamming other writers.

I don’t think I write that well. I’m just good at spacing.

See?

This is much easier to read.

And faster.

Weee! We’re flying along now!

And, uh, I write exactly how I think. Like, this is so totally the voice in my head right now.

I highlight in italics if I’m making a joke. Is this funny?

Me: And sometimes I write dialogue so I don’t have to keep using quotations marks.

Scott: And this makes you hit the enter button a lot too.

Me: Correct, Scott. It’s much easier to read like this. And stop reading over my shoulder. I can’t think with the pressure.

I hope you are still reading. If not, I least I got a page hit from you. You can’t take that back even if you think my writing sucks.

Thanks for the page hit.

I believe anyone can write like this. All I do is move words from my head to my fingertips. It’s not hard.

But it is hard. One click of the publish button is judgement. It makes me want to pull blankets over my face. It’s my Internet voice – it’s different than my in-person voice. Except the dialogue – that is exactly how Scott and I speak to each other. Scott gets to live with my Internet voice. And he seems to like me. Do you like me? Do you hate me? I shouldn’t care. I need a blanket.

I hope what I write does not bore you. I just sent this post off to my friend to read because I can’t tell if my writing is good anymore. She has no problem telling me I suck. Hi Christine! I’m rambling. I’ll stop.

The ending is the hardest to write. I try to tie it back to the first sentence.

Did I keep your attention?

This is my visual.
This is my visual.

___________

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

A Secret.

I have secrets. I am going to tell you one.

I debated skipping this week on Play-at-home Blogger Idol: tell a secret your readers don’t know about you. No word limit. Include pictures.

Everyone wants to hear a good secret. Secrets can be small white-lies to completely world shattering news. The moment someone says they have a secret, the listener cannot deny to let them continue on. Secrets aren’t always bad either; sometimes they are good. Maybe there’s a mom out there that knows she’s pregnant. That’s a good secret.

No, I’m not pregnant.

I had a hard time coming up with a secret to write about. I nagged Scott to think of something about me that my readers don’t know. Scott knows everything. He couldn’t come up with anything worthy of a simple blog post. I got desperate: I googled “secrets.” Yeah, I know.

Asking Scott and the Internet didn’t help. I am the only one that knows me.

So here’s my secret: I question whether I should make this blog private.

Maybe it’s not so much of a secret. It’s just something I have never admitted openly.

Blogging freaks me out. Every time I hit that publish button, my stats rise. My heart races. I stomach flips at the email dings on my phone notifying me of new comments. My body gets ready for an attack of negative comments. I know this stems from Emma got in trouble at school. I haven’t really gotten over the criticism from that post.

It’s rare if I get a negative comment now.

That scary blue button. Lame picture but I'm a rule follower, damnit.
There is that scary blue button. Lame picture but I’m a rule follower, damnit.

Do people judge me for using my kids’ real names? And pictures? Am I a terrible mom for publicly writing about my kids? My kids know I write about them. But how long will they let me? Are people just reading to be nosy? All of these questions could be asked to any parent who include their kids on any social media. Scott tells me I probably have stalkers. But I mean, really, a good stalker would know Scott is a master sniper from a tree stand. You’d be a fool to stalk us.

I’m amazed to read my blog from the beginning. The writing goes from horrible to decent to friends telling me,

“What?!! YAY!! I made a Julie blog!”

Complete strangers have approached me around town. Don’t worry – my town is apparently very small. They all tell me how much they love my blog. It encourages me to keep writing for them. Friends will tell me they drop everything when they see a new post go up. I love hearing from people that they love to read my words. You couldn’t give me a bigger compliment. I see my stats continue to rise. My subscribers, my Twitter followers, my Facebook followers all continue to go up. It’s exciting and scary at the same time.

But I get frustrated with the Julie blog. I don’t care how many readers I have – give me a few hours reading other blogs and I will put myself in my place. This blog is not that great, people. I compare myself with other very talented writers. I want to write like them. Be funny like them. Stalk them.

Writing is an art form. Artists go insane, right? I believe this is the point where I go insane with my masterpiece. I question every single word. I am constantly editing. I can’t stop writing at night. I can’t stop reading other blogs.

The Internet is scary. It can be discouraging to a writer. People get brave with typing insults. I don’t know one child that hasn’t been on the Internet in some form. But the Internet is not always bad. It’s a place where creativity can be taught – uh, Pinterest. You can meet someone from across the world just sitting at your desk. The Internet is a place to turn for laughs about a little family in Kansas.

Why are you even reading this??? Oh, sorry – there’s the insane coming out.

So there’s my secret, readers. Little did you know it is about you.

First Post Ever.

Well, I guess I am blogging.
I’ve been thinking about blogging for awhile but never got around to it. It show you my life.
As if I can’t get enough of posting my life on Facebook.
I have no idea what I’ll write about. We’ll let Emma and Kate decide that for now. Maybe I’ll try to add grown up things along the way.
For now – I give you Kate’s first picture of her smiling. She smiled for the first time today!