Actual Things: Unmarried Dot Com

Dear friends,

I’ve had a cold so long I can barely remember what it’s like to not have a cold. As I was lying in bed last night still hacking after a second dose of Nyquil and some good old fashioned night soup*, I started to get really fed up. (*Night soup is that thing where you are so desperate to stop coughing you get up at 1am, make soup to eat in bed, spill some of it on yourself and then pray you don’t die of an accidental cold med overdose leaving your children to find your puffy-faced body in a bed full of used tissues in the morning.) I decided to refocus on tranquility by saying all my thank you prayers. Since I’ve been Catholic most of my life I have a habit of ending my prayers with the sign of the cross, only last night instead of the traditional “Amen” I realized I accidentally ended my prayer with, “In the name of the Father, the Son, and The Holy Spirit, Dot Com.”

So there I was, wheeze-laughing in the dark in m’soup-stained tank top…

This brings me to my second actual thing. I overslept. Which means my kids overslept. Which means we had approximately 9 minutes for a 12 minute drive. By some miracle of traffic patterns, we coasted up to the door with about 15 seconds to spare as I tossed backpacks into the backseat like they were life jackets on a sinking ship. As I watched my sweet blonde cherubs head for the front door I rolled down the window and started shouting things like, “LET’S MOVE! LOOK ALIVE! I WANNA SEE KNEES TO CHEST!” It really put a pep in their step and I’m thinking that maybe I should start wearing a coach whistle to drop off.

It’s a good thing I’m such a natural motivator because kids can be so inconsiderate, am I right? Like, I didn’t leave the house bra-less in a soup-stained tank top and accelerate through four yellow lights for you to mosey in 20 seconds after the bell and make me look like a bad mom.

Thirdly, and this is a biggie: I got unmarried a while ago. For months now I’ve mulled over when and how to share this information publicly, but the more I thought about it, the more all of your comments over the past years came flooding back and reminded me that I should just keep it real. It wasn’t in the plan for the original fairy tale ending, but I still got a lot of fairy tale moments over the years that can never be undone.

So I’m back to writing. As a single mom, I assure you I have a backlog of material to share with you. If you’re reading this, please know that I appreciate you. I hope you’ll forgive my absence and come back with all of your hilarious feedback I treasure so much.

And those are the actual things.

Love, Emily

 

Alternate Titles:

Working On My Night Soup

Accelerating Through Yellow Lights: A Philosophy For Life

Unmarried With Children

Fairy Tale Middles

I want to sneak in a HUGE thank you shout out to the many, many supportive women friends who have been true bright spots through this cloudy, unpredictable season of my life. Here are a few of them:

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6 Easy Ways To Hide Your Inner Garbage Person

6 Ways To Look Put Together

Ditch the ponytail/messy bun for a side bun. Spray your side part with dry shampoo, then pull all your hair loosely to one side, secure the non-bun side with a single bobby pin to keep from having fly-aways, and do the usual messy bun on the other side, just below your ear. Add dangly earrings. Quick. Chic. Wear it on a date. Wear it to work. Wear it to church. Go crazy.

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Same amount of time and effort. Perfect for those of us in denial about our root situations.

 

 

Put self-tanner on your face, neck and chest. It’s fast, makes your skin look healthier, your teeth look whiter, and you can get dressed right away. My favorite.

 

Line your lips. This is a must for me, but I’ve noticed that a lot of my friends don’t bother with it. TRUST me. Lipliner is the new eyeliner. I buy the cheap ones in nude tones so I can keep one in my makeup drawer and one in my purse and they will work with any color lipstick or gloss (think Rimmel, Wet’n’Wild, etc.) Resist the temptation to buy the ones that don’t need sharpening. They’re convenient, but they don’t last nearly as long as the ones you have to sharpen.

 

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That’s a scab in my nose from having to blow it so much due to allergies. But I love you so I’m keeping it real and posting what appears to be a picture of me with an enormous booger. Could I go back and crop it out? Yes. Do I have the time or energy for that? Nope.

 

 

Don’t rely on your workout clothes as a go-to if you’re not actually working out. It’s so tempting to put on yoga pants and a zip up when we’re feeling blah, but that’s actually when you should toss on your favorite jeans, a button down, and some booties. I own exactly two button downs. One is from Old Navy and one is from Forever 21,  both are older than my 2nd daughter.

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Add a scarf. It makes you look instantly put together. Stella and Dot scarves are THEE best scarves ever. You can wear them tons of ways, including as a dress or pool cover up. True story, once I was wearing a beautiful silk white shirt with a scarf and I spilled red wine all over my white shirt so I just took it off in the bathroom and wrapped my scarf around me like a top. (This also allowed me to rinse the shirt before the stain set. Bonus.) Shop my favorites HERE and HERE. Wear them all year round. (Don’t forget you can always shop with me through http://www.StellaDot.com/emilykuhlman – DM me if you’d like my two cents!)

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Rethink baseball caps. I have tons of them. You will most likely find me in my KC Royals cap. When I got it my bestie had blinged out the logo with crystals, but they fell off over the years so now it’s just my plain, perfectly-broken-in, goes-with-anything, covers-my-greasy-roots, makes-me-look-like-I-care-about-the-sports cap. *I prefer hair-down to ponytails. Efficient on windy days, and doesn’t require ANY hairstyling.

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I urge you to resist the workout clothes and messy top-knots and tell me if it improves your day! There’s no need to feel frumpy just because you haven’t washed your hair in five days or gone shopping in five years. It might even boost your mood or score a compliment. Just know that no matter what you wear, you’ll always be the same beautiful garbage person in my eyes.

(You can find me on IG @MrsKansasMommy)

Lessons In Broken Toys: Just Go With It.

Today we came home from school to discover that Savannah’s (weird, trashy, but favorite) My Little Pony “Barbie” had been severely mauled by Mr. Biffles. Savannah was understandably horrified. (Bif lacked any signs of remorse.)

Hearing Savvy’s cries of shock and grief, Avery and I made quick work of a rescue mission. Avery got the silver duct tape while I performed CPR. I patched up the arms and leg while Avery applied the defibrillator (a Shopkin), as Savvy hesitantly looked on. Soon the doll was stabilized and the wailing subsided. Avery declared the doll “still beautiful.” I offered that her name could be “Ilene,” as she was now missing one foot. Savvy was unpersuaded. Continue reading

Actual Things: More Sh*t My Kids Say

Today I had to take Savvy(3) to the doctor with me to get my blood drawn. She watched curiously and asked lots of questions of the nurse. As we were walking to the car:

Savvy: “Mommy, is that nurse going to keep your blood?”

Me: “No, she’ll send it to a lab.”

Savvy *knowingly*: “Oh. Which one?”

Me: “…I have no idea…”

Savvy: “George?”

*This is George: the lab. He is NOT a licensed medical professional. Please do not let him convince you otherwise.

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“GEORGE WASHINGTON DIED IN HIS OWN BED!”

I spend most hours of my life with my kids. And they like to run their mouths gab. Whenever they say something worth remembering, I use Facebook as a lazy-ass modern alternative to a traditional baby book so I can capture the moment, well, in the moment.

Emily Kuhlman and Daughters

Here are some actual conversations I’ve captured with my children Avery (5) and Savvy (3) lately:

*Picking up the girls from school*
Me:”How was Teddy Bear day at preschool?”
Savvy: “Good. I saw a wiener.”
Me: “Excuse me?”
Savvy: “I just kidding!”
Me: “Why would you even tell Mommy that?!”
Savvy: “Wieners are so funny!”
*a beat of silence as I debate whether or not to admit I agree*
Avery *flinging the car door open whilst shouting like a doomsday prophet on a street corner): “GEORGE WASHINGTON DIED IN HIS OWN BED!”

Naturally the members of my family now enjoy shouting this out at random.

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*Overheard*
Avery: “Savvy, if you don’t behave we’re going to sell you to the market for pork.”

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Avery: “Do bunnies smell good?”
Me: “I don’t know, I’ve never smelled a bunny.”
Avery: “No. Like, do they have a good sense of smell? Why would you smell a bunny?”
Me: “I don’t know. I thought it was a strange question.”

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*Savvy and I at McDonald’s, both wearing Ugg boots.*
Old lady with white hair (talking to Savvy): “What happened to your forehead??”

Savvy: “It’s a birthmark.”

Old lady with white hair (to Savvy): “I knew a little boy with one of those and they had to cut it off his face! Well you’re a pretty little girl anyway. I like your boots!” *looks at me* “Those Ugg boots only look good on children. And they are way too expensive.”

Savvy: “I had a grandma with white hair but she’s dead.”

Normally I call her out on all of her egregious lies, but I let this one slide.

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*Our pomeranian Mr. Biffles nips Avery on the ankle.*
Avery (*shouting down at the puppy and gesticulating wildly): “I DON’T WANT TO BE COVERED IN BLOOD FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE!”
Me: “He’s six pounds and his teeth are smaller than grains of rice. Settle down.”
Avery (completely calm): “I know. I was just warning him to make a point.”

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Savvy: “Guess what my skin is made out of…”
Me: “What?”
Savvy: “Glorious meat.”

This has prompted me to start proclaiming things like, “THE GLORIOUS MEAT HAS RISEN. THE GLORIOUS MEAT DEMANDS WAFFLES.” My new goal in life is to write her wedding announcement for the newspaper with the line, “…and the bride wore glorious meat.”

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Me: “Where’s your little sister?”
Avery *casually*: “Oh, you know.”
Me: “No. I don’t know.”
Avery: “She’s in the family room relaxing in a giant turtle shell I made out of toys and trash.”

I took one fifteen minute shower, people

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My parents’ dog Annie died last year and since they live on a ranch in the country, they buried her in a corner of the yard and planted some lovely flowers. My mom walked the girls over to show them that they could come visit Annie’s grave whenever they missed her.

Avery: “So Annie’s actually in there?”

Mom (*delicately tiptoeing around discussion of the afterlife): “Well, yes, but her spirit isn’t there, it’s only her body.”

Avery: “Just her body?”

Mom: “Yes.”

Avery: “No head?”

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And last but not least, probably one of the darkest days in dog-shaming history:

Dog Shaming

 

 

Actual Things: Sprouts

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Today I was offered a shoulder rub by a vagrant loitering outside of Sprouts.

I seriously considered it. I even thought what if it’s a trick and he does something sneaky like grabs my boob real quick; then I decided it would still be totally worth the risk for a good shoulder rub. Then I looked at his long scraggly beard and thought how a microscopic bug could easily jump out of it and onto my head and I’d get a free massage but also lice. As I assessed the risk I noticed it was time to pick up Avery from school, so my dilemma solved itself.

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March Madness, Sprots, and Badass Babes

Sprots: The proper term for athletic events, for people who hate athletic events.
I may be the only person in history who has never filled out a March Madness bracket and this year is no exception. But if you eh-like-ah-da sports, you should definitely check out the blog and podcasts over at SprotsTakes.com. Last month I was honored to be featured as one of their “Badass Babes” for Galentine’s Day. I love the laid back spirit of this group of female writers. Might even make me want to follow the sports…
Here is my Badass Babe Interview by Staff Writer Emily Kristen of Sprotstakes.com:
Emily Kuhlman may be the funniest woman I’ve ever met. Our paths crossed at a blogging conference a few years ago, and she’s been on my “Must Follow” list ever since.
 

She’s the brains behind Mrs. Kansas Mommy, a blog where she candidly and poignantly describes raising two little Badass Babes of her own. It’s an honest look at parenting and it often makes me literally laugh out loud.

Check her out on Instagram and Twitter 

 

Kristen: What’s your favorite way to spend a day off?

Kuhlman: Watching This Is Us and eating candy that I steal from my kids’ Halloween buckets while they’re at school.

Kristen: What qualifies someone as a “badass” and do you think of yourself as one?

Kuhlman: Yesterday my five year old daughter drew a picture depicting me as a pregnant unicorn. I’d say that means I’m pretty badass in her eyes, especially considering I’m not even pregnant. Or a unicorn. Additional Badassery:

  • Doing things that scare you because they might make your life bigger, like entering a pageant as a grown woman, or going after a job you’re not quite qualified for and working your ass off to be great at it, or birthing a child. In that order. I know because I’ve done all of those things, some twice.
  • Admitting when you f*cked up and moving forward to correct it. I don’t understand people who have a hard time apologizing. I view it as a way to reclaim your dignity and show that you’re the kind of person who deserves respect too.
  • Wearing orange because it’s your favorite color, even after your best friend tells you it looks bad on you.Jessica.

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Kristen: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Kuhlman: A pregnant unicorn. Also a singer, actress, travel agent, and marine biologist (I was very into the movie Free Willy).

In a way, I became all of these things if you count the Sea-Monkey kit my kids got for Christmas as marine biology. Which I do.

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Kristen: Who has inspired you most?

Kuhlman: My celebrity heroes are mostly First Ladies and Comedians: Jackie, Michelle, Louie, Tina, Amy. It may seem like an odd pairing of jobs but if you think about it, these have to be some of the most emotionally-brave people on the planet to do what they do.

In terms of inspiring my life choices and actions, my women friends are the people who bring out the most energy, humor and compassion in me.

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Kristen: What are your goals for this year?

Kuhlman: Sadly I don’t have an answer for that, so I will create some now:

  1. Stop swiping my card when there’s a chip reader. It’s a waste of my time and yours.
  2. Beat level three on Mario Run.
  3. Make it to at least one athletic event of each of my nieces and nephews who play the sportsballs.
  4. Get published.
  5. Be a better person than I was last year. My husband and I will vote in December and then no matter the consensus, my parents will decide.
You can check out more Badass Babes here.

The Bare Gyminum

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I went to the gym today for the first time in months. I have no excuse other than that working out is not my Me Time. Watching Hulu and eating my kids’ Halloween candy in my own empty house is my Me Time.

So you always know you’re at the gym in Johnson County when the middle-aged moms with their large fake breasts and manicured fingers are significantly fitter than the actual trainers. I saw one mom today that was like a muscular skeleton in head to toe Lulu Lemon, chiseled midriff bared for all to see. Lest you think I’m body shaming, I’m not. I am always the first one to say, “Damn girl, those legs are hot!” or “I just have to tell you, your body looks amazing!” As I type it out, I’m now realizing these unsolicited comments might actually be sexual harassment. Like, what if I was randomly commenting on men’s fitness levels?

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