Shiplap lover.

What makes something funny?

I don’t have an answer for you and I consider myself a humor writer. I can tell you humor is an art. There are different styles of humor – parody, satire, slapstick, irony, sarcasm, puns, spoofs, dark humor, the unexpected. Any stand-up comedian will tell you timing plays a role in humor. My parents will tell you humor is genetic.

But recognizing when you’re a dumbass and telling the world takes a certain skill. I once told Scott that people only think I’m funny because I’m good at making fun of myself.

It’s called the dumbass humor.

I was in the bathtub when I realized – holy shit, I might be the dumbest person I know. And I know a lot of dumbasses.


What is this empty tub you see?

That’s the after.

Before I get to my story, let’s talk about my house. If Scott got his way, our house would look similar to a mountain lodge. Towering windows, ceilings that can easily fit a 15-foot Christmas tree, wood beams, a statement shed chandelier. Animal fur rugs under your feet and big game animals staring at you as you drink your hot cocoa with a splash of whiskey.

I mean, I don’t have anything against mountain lodges. They’re beautiful. They have a charm about them that makes you go straight for the red wine, the stout beer, the whiskey, and the medium rare steak. It’s hearty, warm, and full bodied. It’s man versus the wild – even if the eyes of the wild are made from glass.

We live at an elevation of 1,040 feet above sea level. We live in Kansas. We do not have majestic views of mountains but one time Scott saw our next door neighbor topless, popping a zit on her face in the mirror. Stop. It wasn’t at this house. Scott closed our blinds at our old house one night and there she was, really digging in with her nails. And Scott isn’t a peeping tom if he called me to watch too. That’s as far as we get for views of majestic – fine – full but a little saggy mountains.

In order to make our house a normal looking Kansas home, I need to balance the man vs. wild on our walls. I try to soften our home with flowers and white knit blankets. I weave my love of script and words with Scott’s fur and glass eyes staring at us. I think I do a good job. I am always looking for ways to mix our own version of the outdoors into our home.

The first weekend of the month, thousands of people head to the historic West Bottoms of Kansas City. You will find stores filled with antiques, one-of-a-kind vintage finds, thrifty picks, other people’s junk, whatever. It’s an interior designer’s dream. I went down to the West Bottoms this past weekend with two girlfriends. We wandered into store after store, each talking about our homes and our personal styles.

I found a perfect piece.


Shiplap lover.

Me: Oh! This is cute. I have a whole fishing theme going on in our bathroom. Shiplap lover. Sounds sexy.

Cody: Oh, you should get it then.

Me: Yeah, I think I will. I’ll get it to decorate the shelf by our tub. It’s perfect.

Kathy: What’d you get?

Me: Isn’t this cute? I have a fishing theme in our master bath.

Kathy: Oh. Yeah. Get it.

It was perfect. There’s something about the master bathroom, especially the bathtub, that can be intimate without mushy. Shiplap lover is sexy. If there’s one thing Scott and I love with a passion, it’s fishing. You will see that love in our personal spaces.

Scott: What did you buy with Cody and Kathy?

Me: This. This. Isn’t this cute? Oh, and this too! For the tub.

Scott: What’s a shiplap?

Me: Oh, you know. Like lovers on a ship. It’s like us and fishing!

Scott: I’ve never heard of that.

Me: You’re not romantic. It’s a thing. It’s cute.

Scott: Oh.

Sunday night. I put my new decor pieces out. I filled the tub with epsom salts and oils. I applied a facial mask to my face. I poured a glass of wine, grabbed a book, and my phone. I sank into the tub and looked over at the words shiplap lover.

What is a shiplap anyway? I better make sure it’s not like the bottom deck with the rats or something gross.

Google search: shiplap

Um, what the hell is HGTV’s Fixer Upper? Who is Joanna Gaines and what the hell did I tell everyone I was buying?

Shiplap refers to a style of building material made of wood boards that overlap each other. No, not in the form of making a ship but in the form of wood pieces being nailed up on a wall like a barn. Go ahead – Pinterest search: shiplap. It’s bringing the look of a barn indoors. Some woman named Joanna Gaines from a show called Fixer Upper made it popular.

Shiplap has nothing to do with ships or fishing or getting drunk on the high seas with a lover. Nope. Any reference to fishing and shiplap makes zero sense to anyone that is not a dumbass. I don’t have one wall in my house that is shiplap. How can I be a shiplap lover if I don’t have shiplap? I love fishing and Scott not Joanna Gaines and Fixer Upper what the hell? Is that what I’m declaring now? My love for a television show that made shiplap popular?

Not only did my girlfriends probably think to themselves, what the hell was Julie talking about? But Scott called me out on it too. The employee at the store in the West Bottoms probably thought, this dumbass is buying a turquoise starfish with a shiplap sign. Every person I have ever fished with is sitting on their phone and laughing at my anchor, a turquoise starfish and shiplap lover. HGTV viewers, Joanna Gaines and interior designers everywhere are thinking, but those are rocks on her wall. Where’s the shiplap?

What makes something funny?

My dumbass.


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The letter S.

I have to hand it to the man.

I’ve been writing on this blog for eight years. The majority of those blog posts are starring Scott, my husband.

Scott doesn’t care what I write about on my blog. Or doesn’t know. Scott doesn’t read my blog because “I live the blog.” He’s right. He hears “blog posts” from me every day. But that doesn’t stop me from putting him in the center of some classic posts – The Jockstrap, Men Get Epidurals Too, and The Rack.

I think he’s the funnier one of the two of us. He’s the easier one to talk to and he has a quicker wit when put on the spot. You know how sappy newlyweds say, “he makes me a better person.” Well, I say Scott makes me a funnier person.

The letter S. 

Scott Duane Burton. Yes, that’s his middle name.

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Oh, wait. He won’t like that picture.

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That’s better.

I decided to interview Scott for this post. Much like our daughter, Kate, he needed a little bit of coaxing to open up.

Me: I’m going to interview you for my blog.

Scott: How long is this going to take?

Me: It’s mostly questions about hunting. Your hunting lifestyle and hobby.

Scott: Oh, ok then.

Told you.

Me: Let’s start with your name. Do you like the name Scott?

Scott: Sure.

Me: What about your middle name? Do you like Duane?

Scott: As a little kid, no, I didn’t. As I’ve gotten older, it is what it is.

Me: Adding to your boyhood – how did you imagine yourself as a man? What did your wife look like in your mind? How many kids did you think you’d have?

Scott: I never imagined myself as a man. And as far as a wife and kids, I never thought anyone would marry me.

Me: So you never had cute names for your future kids picked out?

Scott: Uh, no. I was a boy.

Me: Do you find it weird that I’m interviewing you right now?

Scott: (laughs) Yes.

Me: Are you aware I’m doing an A to Z Writing Challenge on my blog and every day I write about a new letter?

Scott: Not until the letter R.

Me: That was yesterday.

Scott: Yeah, you asked me to read it before you posted it. Then I figured out you must be writing a Sesame Street challenge or something.

Me: Who is your best friend?

Scott: Hunter.


Scott: Brett is my second best friend. Why are you staring at me?


Scott: Best friends aren’t wives! You’re my wife. Hunter and Brett aren’t my lovers.


Scott: I don’t like it when your pen starts scribbling. Hey wait, will you write Brett is my other best friend? Take out second best friend. Write other best friend. He’ll whine at me for that.

Me: I think everyone that knows you, knows you are an avid outdoorsman and hunter. I mean, look at your Instagram. We want to know – what is your dream hunt? It doesn’t matter how much it costs or vacation time or me bitching about you leaving. If you could go on a lifetime hunting trip – where and what would it be?

Scott: A limited entry tag during the rut for a bull elk. Doesn’t matter what state. Somewhere where there are only a limited amount of tags given out. I would also say I live one of my dream hunts right here in Kansas. A Kansas whitetail deer with a bow – you can’t get better than that.

Me: What do you wish more people knew about the sport of hunting?

Scott: There’s a sigma out there that hunters just go out to kill animals and maybe that’s true with some. In reality, that’s not why I hunt. I’m in it for the challenge. That’s why I only use my bow. The deer provides meat for the family. Ground beef just doesn’t taste as good as venison. Hunting is also a great way to get away and be in nature. You have a respect for the animals in nature. It brings you down to a primal level. I wish more kids would hunt. The sport needs an influx of people coming in. Look at the National Parks and public land – the government is selling this land off. The only people voicing for the rights of public land and National Parks are the hunters. The families that visit or hike on public grounds won’t advocate for their rights, maybe because they don’t know or it’s not their passion.

Me: What would you say to an adult wanting to take up hunting? Do you have any advice? You are obviously very good at your hobby.

Scott: Practice your weapon of choice. You need your shot to be lethal. The last thing you want is someone making a terrible shot and then there’s a 3-legged deer hobbling around a year later. People need to learn how to safely use their weapon and practice it. Also finding good land can be a challenge if you’re starting out. In Kansas, there’s not a lot of public ground. You’ll have to do what I did – literally go knocking door-to-door and asking permission to hunt on the landowner’s land.

Me: Is there an animal you refuse to hunt?

Scott: Africa big game hunts. I mean I would go if a free opportunity dropped in my lap but I don’t have an interest in Africa. You can’t bring the meat back. It might be cool to be able to help feed a village but in general, no, I don’t have an interest in African big game.

Me: Would you rather go sailfish fishing with me in Costa Rica or elk hunting with Hunter in Colorado?

Scott: Probably elk hunting.


Scott: I mean, elk hunting is a dream of mine.

Me: A vacation with me or Hunter and you choose HUNTER?

Scott: NO! No, wait! That wasn’t the question! You asked which animal I’d rather hunt! Sailfish vs. elk and it’s elk. Always elk, number one.


Scott: So is this interview for the letter S?

Me: Yes. S is for Scott. My best friend that goes fishing with me.

Scott: I’m sleeping on the couch, aren’t I?

Me: No, it’s fine.

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There’s no place like the Keys.

Well, that went quick.

It’s hard to write about our vacation in the Florida Keys. My abs are still sore from laughing. I don’t even know what we laughed about because we did absolutely nothing.

We soaked in the Florida sun. We fished. We drank rum all day and night at the tiki bar. We danced in Key West. We washed away our problems in salt water. We talked all night with friends from all around the country. The boys took turns smoking cigars. We listened to the Eagles. We chased our kids around in the warm, tropical rain. We never stopped eating.

We did absolutely nothing.

I loaded my pictures from the trip on my laptop.

What Facebook saw:

You're in the Keys, Emma!
You’re in the Keys, Emma!

What really happened:

Get in the picture, Kate.  "NO! No cameras." (I'm pretty sure there is a wardrobe malfuntion in this picture. Just bra. We're all good.)
Get in the picture, Kate.
“NO! No cameras.”
(Before someone calls me out: I’m pretty sure there is a wardrobe malfuntion in this picture. It’s just bra. I’m fine with it.)

What Facebook saw:

Casey, the cowboy turned Captain Jack Sparrow.
Captain Casey, after a day in the high seas.

The picture immediately following:

I don't even have a caption to this.
Casey, the drunk cowboy from Kansas.

What Facebook saw:

It's a dancin' kind of night in Key West.
It’s a dancin’ kind of night in Key West.

What really happened:

Yes, Scott has a busted knee. And no, that is not me.
Scott and Devon combined their dancing forces to show up the bar. Me? I got roofied and threw up on the way back to our Keys house. One of these years I’ll grow up and just say NO to Key West nights.

What Twitter saw:

Somewhere over the rainbow, there were 25 Mahi waiting for two Kansas girls.
Somewhere over the rainbow, there were 25 Mahi waiting for two Kansas girls.

What really happened:

There is no image because we had to hide our phones and cameras in a water tight storage compartment. There were 4-6 foot seas with an occasional 8 foot wave that day. This type of seas with a 34-foot boat is only for fishermen who truly enjoy the sport or for Kansans that will fish in any sea conditions.

Three people got sick – not me. One proclaimed it was their personal hell – not me. Two crazies rode the bow of the boat because they liked the thrill – not me. My feelings were somewhere in the middle. I would rather not fish in those conditions but I listened to orders from Captain Brett because I want a trophy mahi, damnit.

While trolling, I reeled in two mahis. I cut up bloody bait and threw chunks in the water. I held one of my fish in the water as a decoy while the school of mahis swam up – this was all while trying to hold on for dear life. On the way back, we went airborne a couple times when the 8 foot waves would crash in. We were constantly getting salt water dumped on us from all angles. We were the only boat out there fishing. Just call us Forest Gump fishin’ on the “Jen-nay”.

They are not trophies but we caught dinner, kids. Total fish count was about 65 for the week.
They are not trophies but we caught dinner, kids! Total fish count for the week was about 65 Mahi Mahi Dolphin. Our share made it back to our deep freeze in Kansas successfully.


And that is how we do absolutely nothing in the Keys.

As promised, our Keys group gets a shout out my blog. It was one of the best vaycays ever.

Jeff and Kathy, Bill and Kelly, Dave and Sherri, Rob and Janna, Dave and Patti, Kevin, Donalee and Bobby, Mark and Ashley (Hi Tres!), Brad and Lindsay, Beau and Lauren, Casey and Devon, Brett and Paige, Ted and Michelle, and of course Scott:

Thanks for reading about my Brazilian before I got there, you guys!

Seriously — thank you Bill and Kelly. Your house makes great memories for all of us.

Here fishy, fishy.

Duuun Dun.
Duuun Dun.
Duuuun Dun Dun.
Duuuun Dun. Dun.
Dun Dun Dun Dun Dun Dun BOM BOM
Dun. Dun. Dun. Dun. Dun. Dun. BOM! BOM!

I made it out of the Bermuda Triangle alive! Good thing because I can tell people dude, I saw Jaws.

Well, the hammerhead version of Jaws. The hammerhead wouldn’t take our bloody bait while fishing off the coast of Miami. It was too smart for us. Or just camera shy. Where’s Stephen Spielberg when you need him? I considered slicing my finger and letting blood drip over the boat. The Floridian mosquitos loved my blood, why wouldn’t the hammerhead?

Hammerhead – we would have let you go eventually. We just wanted a picture. You could have been on my blog, hammerhead!

I’ll tell you who did show up to make an appearance on my blog and in my kitchen –

Mahi Mahi.
Mahi Dolphin.

I cannot take credit. I reeled in a much smaller one. The one I am holding was caught by Paige Duke.

Brett from KillinIt Outdoors and Paige.
Brett from Killin It Outdoors and Paige. Paige does not have man hands in real life.

Brett and the Get Lit Fishing Team impressed us little ‘ole Kansans. How can you not have fun with a group like this – they are out of control and I love it (not filmed with us):

Thank you Captain Q, Kitt, Brett and Kelly!! Paige, Amanda and Matt — had a blast with y’all! Paige, did you hear my adorably cute accent I picked up from you?

We will be back in South Florida in 26 days. Get my reel ready!

We're gunna need a bigger boat.
“We’re gunna need a bigger boat.”

Memorial Day.

To the fallen heroes of this country,
To the heroes.
we salute you.
We salute you.

We taught our kids two things this weekend:

Memorial Day is to honor the men and women who died while serving this country.

And Memorial Day weekend is the official start of summer.

Hello summa summa.
Hello summa summa.

It doesn’t get any more American than kickin’ back at a cabin on the lake. We stayed with our friends, Casey and Devon. Devon and her totally awesome, freckled-faced family hosted.

Stop. Just stop. I can't handle the awesomeness of this family.
Stop. Just stop. I can’t even handle the awesomeness of this family and this picture.

We fished. Ok, I’m lying. It was the guys. The guys fished. There was no “we”.

We ate the fish. And that is a definite “we”.

We boated. Our friends, Shawn and Julie, joined us with their boat. The lake was pretty choppy. Did you hear our high-pitched screams, all of Kansas? 

We cracked open a few beers. Summer Shandy is where it’s at. Or Coors Light. Or wine coolers. Or Sneak Attacks. Or Vodka Iced Tea. You know, what have you. Hey get your hands off those! The squeeze-its are for the kids!

We ran around on sandy beaches. Sand goes in the weirdest places. I just don’t understand you beach people.

We swam in the lake. Ok, I’m lying again. The kids swam in the lake. Any female that was in the lake was trying to pee while making awkward faces.

We took naps on the beach. We forgot to reapply sunscreen while sleeping on our stomach and got burnt on our backside. We never want to see the sun again. And by “we”, I mean me. It was me.

Seriously. No more sun. Long sleeved shirt for me.
Seriously. No more sun. Long sleeved shirt for me. Oh hey, this is Gabby the dog.

We made s’mores around the campfire.

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And they were delicious.

We played Catchphrase: Adult edition around the campfire after the kids were in bed. The people sitting around the campfire in the cabin next to us suddenly went completely silent. I can’t imagine why – DICK! FELLATIO! SPREAD EAGLE! ANTEATER! What? You’ve never seen an uncircumcised penis?

We sang karaoke and ate birthday cake. And then we accidentally left the birthday cake in the fridge for the cleaning people to score a gold mine.

To Devon and her family – thank you for having us! You guys rock.

And to those we honor on Memorial Day –

Cheers! U-S-A!

The boy.

Guess what?
Guess what?

I have a new pair of footsies in the making!

My brother and sister-in-law are expecting their first child. And it’s a boy.

Well, snips and snails and puppy dog tails – Yee-haw! Aunt Jules just got the blessing to shop in the boy clothes section!

I have two daughters. My sisters gave me two nieces. The only thing I know is pink dryer lint. I’ve never been to “the other side” of the baby clothes section. I have caught glimpses of camo and monster truck prints from my land of pink tutus and hair bows. I could look but never touch.

But a nephew. I can fully submerge myself in everything boy. I’m going all out for this kid:

  • I’ll have a football ready for him the moment he is born. He will be in Texas and I will be in Kansas City but the football will be here, waiting for him. I’ll work on my spiral until then.
  • I’ll give his tired parents a break when they visit for the first time. I will rock him to sleep by singing into his little ear. Singing the sweet words of the K-State fight song unbeknownst to his UT grad father and FSU grad mother.
  • I’ll take him to Monster Truck races. We will have the best seats. I will work on my man roar.
  • I’ll flood my backyard with the hose to make mud puddles to stomp in.
  • I’ll take him to Disney World. We will walk past those Disney Princesses and scream down Splash Mountain, front row.
  • After I finish putting my girls’ hair up in ponytails, I will make him a mohawk out of Uncle Scott’s hair gel.
  • I’ll let him take Uncle Scott’s 4 wheeler out for a spin. Emma and Kate will teach him how to drive it.
  • I’ll give him girlfriend advice when he is a teenager. As an aunt, I am automatically cooler than his parents to talk to about girls. I will also be an expert at the teenage girl drama by that point.
  • I will pop Top Gun in the DVD player so he knows the classics. And then I’ll tell his uncle to leave the room because no one wants to hear someone repeating the whole damn script out loud.
  • We will go fishing together, as long as he hooks the worm because ew, Aunt Jules doesn’t do that.

I will be his one and only aunt. I will go all out for him. Not that I don’t go all out for my nieces.

I mean, Aunt Jules doesn't play favorites.
I mean, Aunt Jules doesn’t play favorites.

It will be a nice change to be able to shop for a boy. Scott and his brother will be able to enjoy both sexes of children when they are together. Maybe Scott will let Mark take a turn at fishing for hair from the clogged drain that even Draino couldn’t fix.

Hair fishing in the house of girls.

Little baby nephew, I cannot wait to see your sweet face. I will smoother you in kisses when I finally get to hold you – it’s my official duty as an aunt.

I'm already smothering your wittle sonogram face! I know. I'm getting weirder every time I become an aunt again.
I’m already smothering your little sonogram face!
I know. I’m getting weirder every time I become an aunt again. I can’t stop.

Keep working on growing those footsies. Kick your mom a bunch. Then when you bust out into the world, make sure you give my shirt a good kick too. Like a soccer playa.