Date your spouse.

This post is sponsored post by Fyllan and Rozzelle Court Restaurant in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri.

_____________

Date your spouse.

It’s marriage advice. You’ll hear it at weddings. You might even hear it repeated at a baby shower. It’s advice for empty nesters or retirees too, although that’s a guess. I haven’t reached that point in life.

The fact that it is a piece of advice will tell you it’s hard. Dating your spouse is hard.

Babies are good at putting out a rockstar couple’s fire. Really good, like rolling in on a firetruck with a water hose. But I’m not here to tell you that. You know. You also know it’s not always the kids. It’s stress too – the adult kind of stress that no one sees coming. A job loss. A breast cancer diagnosis. Losing a baby. Caring for aging parents. Life will throw something at you.

Even the day-to-day repetition can turn a marriage from for better into for worse. This isn’t a sad post. It’s a real one.

Date your spouse.

What kind of date? Well, that’s up to you.

I’ll tell you one of my favorite dates – feed me and take my dirty dishes away. 

For better is red lipstick. It’s watching Scott knot a tie even though he changed his mind later and went with a cowboy shirt instead. It’s curling my big hair. Scott trims his beard. He won’t shave it all because he knows I love his beard. For better is when Scott kisses my hand in the car on the way to our dinner date. I’m driving, of course, because I wear the pants in the relationship. That was a terrible joke, Scott. I’m sorry. For better is a dress and high heels. The heels that are just high enough to put me face-to-face with Scott. I love being his equal. He opens the restaurant doors for me and lets me walk in first.

For worse is putting in our name and waiting. It’s staring at other couples waiting. Everyone is on their phones.

For worse is making a mental note who was waiting before you. It’s our night, not theirs.

For worse is knowing you’re paying a babysitter to watch the kids while you stare at a hostess. You question if you remembered to give her your name after asking how long the wait is. Yes, I have done this before and Scott will never let me live it down.

Romance shouldn’t come with a wait.

Fyllan (pronounced “fill-in”) is a new restaurant app for your android or iPhone. I got to try out the app on Friday. We never waited for a table at Rozzelle Court Restaurant in the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City. Scott and I checked in by showing the app code and we were ushered directly to our table.

The app works in real time so you never have to call or book a reservation days in advance. The app is free to download.

The app is easy to use. We picked a restaurant from the map.

IMG_7065

IMG_7060.PNG

We wanted a restaurant with ambience. Oh, I don’t know, maybe a 15th-century Italian courtyard ambience. And live music! Sold.

Rozzelle Court Restaurant at the Nelson-Atkins Museum.

IMG_7061.PNG

img_7062.png

We booked two guests for a 7 pm dinner time on July July 21, 2017.

Each restaurant will display a price to book. The price is determined by the restaurant according to the average ticket cost. This cost, paid on your credit card at time of booking, is used as a credit towards your final bill. The credit will also cover gratuity. Restaurants may list specials or additional options such as “meet the chef.” Fyllan charges 10% of your final bill for its service. Fyllan will make sure you’re dating – not waiting.

And rest of your night is yours.

FullSizeRender.jpg

FullSizeRender 2.jpg

FullSizeRender.jpg

FullSizeRender 2.jpg

FullSizeRender 3.jpg

Thank you Rozzelle Court Restaurant and the Nelson-Atkins Museum. I am not a food blogger or even a foodie but you sure do make me look good on a Friday night.

And Fyllan – thank you for giving us a date night without the wait.

Scott still knows how to make me laugh for the better.

IMG_7024.JPG

Links: 

Fyllan app

Rozzelle Court Restaurant

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri.

____________

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

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

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.

FullSizeRender.jpg

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.

IMG_5073.JPG

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.

___________

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

The letter F.

Are you smarter than a 5th grader?

Scott’s not.

The letter F.

Fifth grade.

This isn’t a post about Emma’s 5th grade homework. But it is about Scott failing.

After school today, Emma told me they had a meteorologist from Kansas City’s KSHB 41 Action News talk to her class. The fifth grade is finishing up their weather unit.

Emma: And guess what? She said Gary Lezak works with her. He is the chief meteorologist. When she asked the class for questions, I told her that you interviewed Gary Lezak for your magazine!

Me: You did?! What did she say?

Emma: She asked which magazine and I told her Simply KC. And you’re a writer. She said that is cool.

Me: Aw, that’s fun! Hey Scott! Emma said that female meteorologist from Channel 41 came to their school. Emma told her I interviewed Gary. Isn’t that funny?

Scott: Which meteorologist?

Me: I assume that morning one. Really pretty. Hey, Emma! Did she say what time she wakes up in the morning?

Emma: She wakes up at 1:30 in the morning.

Me: Oh, yeah. It was her then.

Scott: Lindsey Anderson?!

Me: How do you remember her name?

Scott: Emma, is she really tall?

Me: How do you know she’s tall?

Scott: Here, I’ll pull up a picture. I don’t know. She seems like she would be tall.

Scott smiled at his phone.

Me: Hm, I never notice people’s height, I guess. Tall?

Scott: Here. Is this her, Emma? Daddy’s favorite forecast lady? The one I watch first thing in the morning? Sometimes twice.

Me: WHAT.

Scott: Here, look. Lindsey Anderson.

Emma: Yeah, that’s her.

Scott: Yeah, my favorite. I wish I would have known that. I would have taken you lunch. See, look how much taller she is than everyone else standing with her. I knew it. She’s tall.

Me:

Emma: She’s really nice.

Scott: She seems like it.

Me: Give me your phone.

Scott: No.

Me: Give it to me.

Scott: No. Why didn’t you tell me Emma was having a guest speaker today?

Me: I didn’t know that. I hear you watch the weather every morning but I didn’t know that you’re watching Lindsey Anderson.

Scott: I know when she repeats her outfits now.

Me: WHAT! Are you giddy?

Scott: She’s my new crush.

Fifth grade.

I’m married to a fifth grade boy.

And I’m tall too, Scott.

___________

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

F

The letter A.

The letter A.

Stop. It’s not the scarlet letter A. Or A-hole A. Or Sesame Street’s, “brought to you by the letter A.”

It’s “what the hell did I sign up for” A. 

I’m didn’t think this over. It’s how I make decisions.

Would you like to buy my Girl Scout cookies? Delicious. Here’s some cash.

Do you want me to cut your hair, like, more than a trim? Does that mean you think I should? It’s getting too big isn’t it? Yes, do it.

Do you want to participate in the A – Z writing challenge for the month of April? You must write every day using a different letter of the alphabet. Sounds fun! Sign me up.

What am I doing? It’s 9:51 Central Standard Time on Day 1. Day A.

I’ve written 30 days in a row before. Last November I participated in Nano Poblano. I loved it. There are some great posts from that challenge. I know they’re great because I read them months later. They’re good. I laughed.

That’s the thing with writing. I can’t tell if I’m writing shit or not. Like, right now. Is this shit? I don’t know. I’ll be able to tell in a few months, long after I forget about this post. I’ll be able to tell if I keep your attention because you’ll come back tomorrow.

Here we go.

The letter A.

Awe: an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, or fear produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful or the like.

That was me this week. I was in awe. Mouth-dropping awe. The I-can’t-believe-that-just-happened kind of awe.

There’s a blurred line between writing for a Kansas City magazine and writing about my personal life on this blog. I have my own column in the magazine. It’s about my personal life. But I don’t write my “professional life” articles on this “personal life” blog.

I live many lives.

A Kansas City magazine is for Kansas City. For me, Kansas City is home. I was born here, raised here, married here, and we’re raising our kids here. My extended family lives here too. In fact, if you live anywhere in the Kansas City metro, you probably know one of my cousins. I have over 100 cousins and second cousins. They’re multiplying as I type. I don’t know what to say other than my mom’s side is Mexican and my dad’s side is Catholic. Hey, it’s not stereotyping if it’s true. 

Kansas City doesn’t have beaches or mountains. We’re probably the furthest you can get from both. The best part about Kansas City is the people. I mean, sure, we’ve all flipped off one another on I-35 but for the most part we’re good people.

Kansas City is known for barbecue and jazz. Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse in Kansas City. Ernest Hemingway wrote for the Kansas City Star. We breed funny people such as Eric Stonestreet, Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd, and Jason Sedeikis. Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl, is from Kansas City. And that cute Kate Spade clutch you’ve been eyeing? Oh, yes. My daughter, Kate, isn’t the only Kate from Kansas City. Hallmark cards, Garmin, and Sprint are headquartered here. But like I said, the best part of Kansas City is the people. Superman said it best, “I’m from Kansas. I’m about as American as it gets.”

If you look at a map – you’ll find Kansas City is actually two cities. Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri. I live on the Kansas side. I’m Team Superman.

If I’m going to show off Kansas City to you, I’m going to take you to Kansas City, Missouri.

My first stop – Union Station. Union Station is Kansas City’s train station. It’s the train station of the past but also the train station of the present. It’s been called “Kansas City’s castle” and “Kansas City’s front porch.” A 850,000 square foot building, opened in 1914, is bound to pick up a few nicknames.

Union Station can show you the best of Kansas City without leaving on an Amtrak train. I can take you to a live theatre or a movie theatre. We can wine and dine at one of Kansas City’s best restaurants or we can grab a coffee to go. We can check out the latest traveling museum exhibit or look at the stars on a sunny day in the Planetarium. Science City is here and it’s exactly what the name implies. It’s a kid’s dream – not to mention a teacher’s dream too.

I forgot to mention – Union Station is drop dead gorgeous.

IMG_3280.JPG

Sit in awe. It’s ok, people do it all the time.

At her peak, she was a train station that saw over a million passengers during World War 2. Her main hall can hold 10,000 people. “Meet me under the clock” only meant one clock.

FullSizeRender.jpg

95-foot ceilings, three 3,500 pound chandeliers, a six-foot wide clock. She is grand. When you’re drop dead gorgeous, pictures never do you justice. Forget a world stopped still in black and white. She’s always had color. When I say you can sit in awe, you can sit in awe of the soldiers boarding for World War 1. Or maybe that man in a fedora has a flask of whiskey hidden in his suit because it’s the Prohibition. You might even see Walt Disney carrying sketches of a mouse. He’s taking a gamble by leaving for California. You can see what it was like arriving in Kansas City for the first or maybe last time. The walls of Union Station holds most of Kansas City’s history of hellos and goodbyes.

I went somewhere else inside Union Station. It’s a place those millions of people have never seen.

I went to the attic.

IMG_3285.JPG

I didn’t meet anyone under that clock. I stood 95 feet above it. The clock is still wound by hand.

IMG_3282.JPG

And those 3,500 pound chandeliers? They’re originals.

IMG_3279.JPG

I stood above those too.

FullSizeRender 4.jpg

They can still be raised and lowered but the crank to do so sits untouched.

FullSizeRender 3.jpg

There are not many Kansas Citians that can say they’ve been in Union Station’s attic. There’s office space that surrounds the building, some of it forgotten.

FullSizeRender 7.jpg

There’s graffiti on the walls showing teenagers being teenagers. I’m looking at you, Eileen Glynn of July 11, 1975.

IMG_3276.JPG

The walls upstairs were never meant for show. A 1910 construction worker probably never considered there might be a 35-year-old woman calling out his sloppy mortar job in 2017. But it’s still beautiful. 

My job is to write stories for Kansas City. I like doing it. I love it, really. I love showing off my hometown. Union Station is the queen of stories only most of them will never be told.

I’m sitting in Kansas at 12:16 a.m., writing a story on Union Station and I’m still in awe.

The letter A kind of awe.

___________

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

A.jpg

The Trojan horse shot my Achilles heel.

Hi. Welcome to 2017.

I’m in bed, introverting.

If you look up “introvert” in a dictionary, you will learn that an “introvert” is a noun – a person. Sometimes it’s an adjective – such as, Julie is introverted.

“Introvert” is also a verb. Julie needed to go home after chaperoning the school field trip because she needed to introvert.

It’s my blog and I can write new grammar rules if I want.

Extroverts gain energy by being around other people. Introverts gain energy by being alone. That’s it. That’s the difference.

This doesn’t mean that an extrovert is friendlier than an introvert. Or extroverts are the only ones that stand up for themselves. Rosa Parks was totally an introvert. Jim Carrey, Drew Carey, Audrey Hepburn, Ellen DeGeneres, Conan O’Brian, David Letterman, JK Rowling, Albert Einstein, and Beyonce – oh girl. They’re all introverts. Introverts can make you laugh, make you think, make you dance, make you proud. They can entertain you. And they most likely like you.

And, like me and Beyonce, we need to re-charge alone. We need to introvert.

The in-law family Christmas rolled into town two weeks ago. They came from all over – Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Florida, Washington (state), Tennessee, and California. Kansas City became home for the holidays.

A Trojan horse showed up in my house and all 30 of them busted out in front of me. And you know what they did? They took over. 30 people need to, like, eat. Scott’s family eats. Oh, do they eat. We observed “Christmas dinner” for seven nights in a row. Seven Christmas dinners. The big meal of the year, times seven. I mean, they rolled out pre-appetizers, appetizers, first course salads, main courses, sides, and desserts. And this wasn’t a scoop out of the ice cream container for dessert. Pies. Scott’s grandma baked pies. And homemade fudge. And breads. Plates of sin offered every night for seven nights.

Traditional. That’s the word. Scott’s family is traditional. They even say things like, “good grief.” And if they’re really shocked – like watching me down two bottles of wine only to make a George Michael video for Instagram – they’ll exclaim, “did she really? GOOD NIGHT!” and they’ll fall over in laughter. Scott’s family is a Peanuts comic strip. It comes out adorable and funny when you try to explain them.

“We’re normal.”

“Knock it off, Scott. I’m half Mexican. Throwing an enchilada and couple tamales on a plate is my normal.”

I’m sorry, I got off topic. The food distracted me. The Trojan horse rolled into my house, aimed and fired at my Achilles heel and now I’m dead. I totally screwed up that metaphor, didn’t I? 

The reason I’m starting off 2017 introverting in bed is because people, so many people. I’m re-charging. I’m trying to get back to normal, my normal with a freezer full of tamales from my mom. I’m trying to find my creative rhythm, my focus.

No, I didn’t start yoga.

Although, I should get my ass in the gym because that was a lot of food.

___________

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

 

My date with Amy Schumer.

** Warning: This post is rated R. I’m not a G-rated writer by any means but Scott’s grandma reads this and I felt I should post a warning. It’s Amy Schumer, come on. **

I am not a lesbian.

Amy Schumer is not a lesbian either.

But that’s not going to stop me from calling Amy Schumer my date because my go-to male date was crushing on a male deer from a treestand.

Amy did everything right. She told me to put away my cell phone. She never picked up hers. She talked. I listened. She had the wit and delivery to send my ab muscles into spasms. I left wanting more.

fullsizerender-copy

Amy Schumer has no idea who I am. I went on a couples date but it wasn’t that kind of date. I picked up an extra 4th ticket from a neighbor when she realized she had to miss Amy Schumer’s performance in Kansas City last night.

Things I learned on my date with Amy Schumer:

  1. Be brave. But if the media or your partner tells you “you’re brave” for showing your body, you have every right to kick their ass with your brave self.
  2. Some – but not all – mothers of sons can’t let their sons go on a date because they want to have sex with their sons themselves. I’ve said this for years, Amy. Mothers of sons are far more intimidating than fathers of daughters. Someone write a sad country song about that.
  3. The sex talk with daughters should also include the vagina smell discussion. Soup. It smells like soup. And that’s ok.
  4. It really isn’t fair to be a woman. Women care too much about what others think. We need to start thinking like a man. Let things go. Don’t let body image bother you. When was the last time you heard a man ask you if he tasted ok? Never, Amy. Never.
  5. Then again, it really isn’t fair to be a man either. You need to get hard. Stay hard. And do all the physical work of moving back and forth, front and back, in and out.  Women get the luxury of just laying there if they want to.
  6. If you want your relationship with your partner to grow closer, travel out of the country together and hope for food poisoning. One of you can shoot military-style -MC16 bullets mixed with a gallon of shit water out of your ass. And the other can push you off the toilet so he can put his face in the porcelain bowl of death. Scott and I went to Mexico once and we can confirm it brought us closer.
  7. We’re all the same stories during a drunken black out in our 20s. Or 30s. No one blacks out and wakes up in their bed next to a yoga mat and a cleaned house. No. You wake up on the floor and you can feel the hate for you radiating from your partner’s sleeping body. When he wakes up, he will tell you everything you did the night before because you don’t remember. Like how you ate a whole package of the “special gummies” even though you were told to only eat one. Then you decided to eat two sleeves of Ritz Crackers dipped in guacamole, only the “guacamole” was butter. Or baking two pizzas and slapping them together to make a sandwich. These are totally Amy’s stories, Scott’s grandma. Not mine, so not mine.
  8. Amy Schumer doesn’t like the Cleveland Indians because the word “Indians” insults the Native Americans. Amy Schumer respects the Kansas City Royals for not being offensive. I didn’t mention during my date that Kansas City’s football team is the Kansas City Chiefs and they play in a stadium named Arrowhead.

Some things are better left unsaid on a first date.

___________

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

nanopoblano1

1985.

Scott: Wake up! Why do you keep falling asleep!

Me: Huh. What. Did they win?

Scott: IT’S GONE. IT’S GONE! BALL GAME.

Me: What happened.

Scott: Royals won. Go back to sleep.

Me: Ok, good. Good night.

 

1985.

Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” was released.

Back to the Future was showing in theaters.

Growing Pains and The Golden Girls made their TV debut.

Microsoft introduced Windows 1.0.

The Nintendo Entertainment System appeared on shelves in the U.S.

The Titanic was found on the bottom of the Atlantic.

My mom was pregnant with my brother.

I was 4 years old.

My sister had a case of the terrible twos.

My other sister didn’t exist. She was like the picture of Marty McFly’s sister on Back to the Future.

1985 was the last year the Kansas City Royals were in the playoffs.

In 1985, the Kansas City Royals won the World Series. They defeated the St. Louis Cardinals.

I don’t remember any of it.

Childhood amnesia blocked out the years 1981-1985. The only thing I remember about my life is in photographs. I don’t remember feeling my mom’s stomach kick. I don’t remember my sister’s terrible two meltdowns. I don’t remember moving into a new house that year. I don’t remember standing in a crowd of legs at the Royals World Series parade in Kansas City. I don’t remember blue confetti falling in my dark hair. I don’t remember.

But if I open the window on a cool fall night and turn the baseball announcers’ voices on low volume, I can relax. If I lay my head in a lap and that person runs their fingers through my hair – I will fall asleep. It’s like a drug.

The only thing missing is the pregnant belly near my head but everything else is the same.

That I do remember.

 

Are you just as shocked that the Kansas City Royals are in the playoffs? Do you think they will make it to the World Series? What is one of your earliest childhood memories involving professional sports? Does anyone have Royals tickets Scott and I can buy from you? I promise I won’t fall asleep at a live game.

royals

 

Two days until certain death.

Saturday, July 12, 2014. 10 AM, CST.

May Scott and I rest in peace.

I can’t live in Kansas City and not ride the world’s tallest water slide. It’s true – world’s tallest. They have pushed back the opening date of the slide for safety adjustments. It’s open, running and ready to send us flying to our watery death. Or maybe smacked into a tree. I need to check out the terrain.

It’s called the Verruckt. I have no idea how to pronounce it but they say it means “insane” in German.

Oh shit.

Oh crap in my pants.

A 168 feet, 7 inch drop. And at what foot marker do bikini tops go flying off?

Insane? I’ve been called worse. What’s German for “you-crazy-ass-voodoo-practicing-witch-I-haven’t-shot-my-deer-yet.”

Scott doesn’t want to do this. He’s not insane. He offered to stay with the kids at the bottom like a responsible adult.  ‘Til death do us part, SCOTT. We’re going together covered in each other’s pee. A couple friends have offered to sit at the pool bar and “cheers” us down. I hope in their drunken stupor they can catch my bikini top. It’s like the bouquet at a wedding. Who’s going to die next?

We’re totally filming this with our Go Pro camera.

Meet us there. Who’s IN?

 

This is probably my last blog post. Our will is on the bedside table.

I love you all.

 

What is the craziest thing you have ever done? It’s not the craziest thing I’ve done but it’s up there – WAY up there. Would you ride the Verruckt? 

photo-29 blog

All I want for Christmas.

October 6, 2013.

Voices came pouring into my ear from my phone. I couldn’t understand the words. Something about my niece and sister. I had to be dreaming –

Jenna and Evelyn fell down the stairs. Evelyn is bleeding on the brain. She’s being airlifted right now. They’re taking her downtown. Do not bring Emma and Kate here. Where is Scott? She’s still alive as of right now. She was grey when Jenna and Steven got to the hospital with her. We don’t know. She needs a neurosurgeon. The pressure is building. The doctors and nurses are working as fast as they can. You can’t talk to Jenna right now. Your dad and I are here. It’s a race against time. There’s nothing we can do but wait. 

My world fell apart. My body shut down. I felt nothing. I couldn’t feel hunger. Or thirst. I didn’t even feel sad. I was in shock. I fell into a world deeper than sadness. But I just watched her at my house. We played peek-a-boo in my driveway. I made her fly like an airplane into Emma and Kate’s faces. We waved at neighbors driving by. No. NO. DAMNIT, NO. Not her. She’s only 6 months old. This isn’t happening. This is not my life.

In the days following the accident, I wrote updates on Facebook to keep our family and friends updated. I was going outside my Facebook norms. My Facebook page is used for pictures of my kids, selfies and blog posts. I rarely post what I’m actually doing.

I felt like I was bothering people. I felt like people were rolling their eyes at the drama being put on their newsfeed. I didn’t care. I needed their prayers, happy thoughts, well wishes. I needed a higher force over Evelyn. My words spread. Friends, family, my 5th grade best friend, my former teachers, my DJ from our wedding, high school classmates that I haven’t talked to since high school, neighbors. Everyone. I heard from everyone. Evelyn had everyone in my world rooting for her. It’s all I could do.

I need every prayer and well wish in the world for my sweet baby niece, Evelyn. She suffered a head trauma accident this morning. Evelyn has bleeding on the brain. She was taken to Children’s Mercy downtown. I don’t know what to do other than ask for everyone to think of her now. Thank you.

Evelyn is out of surgery. They have stopped the bleeding and relieved the pressure off her brain. She has been moved to the PICU. The next 24 hours are critical – watching for blood clots. I’ll update you when we know more. Thank you, your prayers and well wishes got her through surgery.

Evelyn had a great night! She is doing as expected after head trauma surgery. She is swollen and sedated with every tube imaginable stuck in her. I am happy to report a male nurse put a pretty pink bow in her hair. It’s his first time at making a bow for a patient.

"Evie phone home."

“Evie phone home.”

The nurses removed Evelyn’s catheter. She is using diapers now. She is still sedated, on a ventilator. She is kicking more in her sleep – good sign. She had a fever last night, it’s low grade now. They took blood and urine to see if there’s an infection. She was given more donated blood while I was in the room because her blood levels were getting low (not a big deal – doctor just wanted to top her off.) She is also getting Jenna’s breast milk in her feeding tube now. Evelyn squeezed my finger today. She fluttered her eyes open for Jenna and me. She says thank you, everyone!

Evelyn is a strong little girl. She kicked off her hand IV and leg IV last night. Nurses went ahead and took those out. They removed her head brace. Neuro gave the go to remove her ventilator. Sedation has been turned off. We are waiting for Evelyn to wake up so they can remove it. Should be very soon.

Evelyn is awake and alert. Starting procedure to remove ventilator. Please pray and think of her now.

She has been extubated. She didn’t like that very much, big tears rolling down her face. But she did great and she is calm now. Steven said she looks beautiful.

After 4 of the hardest days of my life, I got to play the sweetest, tear-filled game of peek-a-boo with Evelyn. She remembered her favorite game with Aunt Jules!! Her central line will be removed today and she will be transferred to a “regular” room. The leaks on her brain stayed in between her skull and first membrane over her brain. No permanent brain damage – she should continue to develop normally. Thank you for all thoughts and prayers! She’s getting there!

My finest hour of Aunthood is watching Evelyn take a nap in my arms.

My finest hour of Aunthood is watching Evelyn take a nap in my arms.

My Christmas wish – to watch Evelyn spend her first Christmas completely oblivious to her mountain of presents because she would rather play with the crumpled wrapping paper on the floor. I want to watch her laugh at her cousins, Emma, Kate and Gabby squealing at all the excitement. As soon as the presents are opened, I want to lift her up and bring my camera phone out in front of us. I’ll tap my phone. Then I’ll post the picture of my Christmas angel on Facebook. That’s all I ask this year.

photo-26

Jenna, Steven, Evelyn and our family would like to thank you. We would also like to thank the wonderful miracle workers at Children’s Mercy – Kansas City. This Christmas will be extra special to our family because of all of you.

KSU’s defense gave me cankles.

I don’t want to mention the unmentionable that happened on Friday night at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

But I will write through this because writing helps my depression. Unfortunately, writing will not help my cankles.

I was raised a die-hard football fan. I attended my first football game at Arrowhead Stadium with my dad when I was 8 years old. I couldn’t tell you who the Kansas City Chiefs played, what the weather was like or even if it was a night or day game. Childhood memories are sketchy like that.

You don’t need to understand the game to feel the emotions of football. Arrowhead was a beast. The sea of red chants echoed in unison. Arrowhead would get so loud, I couldn’t even hear my dad yelling at me as he lifted me up over his shoulders. All I could see from 6 feet up in the air was Arrowhead being electrocuted. The whole stadium was shaking, lights flickered, red and gold sparks flew. Goosebumps ran through my body and I had no idea why.

I was hooked.

Die-hards fans – they do not waiver. They do not jump on bandwagons. The die-hard will experience glory days. They will also experience days of gut-wrenching heartache.

Sometimes the gut-wreching heartache shocks the body on a physical level.

My body turned against me.

I don’t know what happened.

Look at her elephant feet! Cankles! Are you sure you’re not pregnant? I’m scared Julie’s club feet are going to stomp on me! Boom Ba Ba Boom! Oh, did you hear that? Julie left the bar! If someone were to tell me these are your feet, I would never believe them in a million years. You’re kinda like that girl on Willy Wonka, will you explode purple?

I heard it all. Thanks, friends.

Sure, my swelling could have been from tailgating in a heat index of 110 degrees. It could have been from the beer flowing down my throat like water. It could have been from standing on my feet for the entire game screaming at the defense every time North Dakota State had the ball. Oh gawddd – North Dakota State.

No. I know exactly why my feet swelled. K-State’s defense made my body physically shut down. I can’t handle a home opener L-word.

I threw my game ticket in this guy’s face while at Pita Pit.

I hope you like this souvenir, doncha know.

He's laughing at my cankle feet and the W.

He’s laughing at my cankles and his W. This picture is used without permission because I don’t know who this is.

For all the heartache, I believe I handled myself well.

Oh wait, let me adjust my ice pack. 

I have become numb to the pain of the Chiefs but I still cheer them on. I’m not ready to become numb to the Wildcats.

The cankles will be worth it when K-State wins a football National Championship. Probably next year.

Win or L-word, we still look cute in purple!

Win or L-word, my niece and I still look cute in purple! Elephant feet cropped.