Archive of ‘Playground Confessions’ category

Peanut Butter, Paint & Playdates

As I sit at the island in my new kitchen eating my new favorite snack and thinking back on the day, I find that I am quite in love with this little town. Lawrence has filled the holes our family was looking to fill.

Less than 2 weeks in this small town and I’ve met some of THE most amazing people!

Living in Colorado, I sort of grew to expect people to be busy or “too busy.” Everyone seemed to have “too much going on” or were going “up to the mountains.” My friends were mostly my neighbors and trying to find a Mommy Group that I really fit into wasn’t that easy. I loved my MOPS (Mothers of Pre Schoolers) group, but never really grew too many of those friendships too deep. My neighbors were great people and we loved them…we MISS them, but again, BUSY! I get it. Once you have kids, your lives are busy.

Or are they?

“Busy” became an excuse it seemed. You can easily tell someone you are “busy” and just get out of a lot of commitments and promises.

In Lawrence, it’s slower. I don’t live in a Concrete Jungle that 100,000 people PER YEAR are moving too. In fact, I live in the opposite of that…a country dirt road and a quarter mile private road where I actually saw a pack of coyotes gnawing on a crow today.

It’s slower here. People aren’t racing. Highways aren’t full. Buildings don’t block the sun and there isn’t a Brown Cloud over the city. Strangers wave at you from their car with what I call the “Two Finger salute.” You can stop on the side of the road on your drive home to let your babies get out of the car and look at the tiny calves at the cattle ranch next door….and by “next door” I mean about 1/2 a mile down the road.

Finally….our Insides match our Outsides.

I feel like I’ve made more *friends* in the two weeks here than I did after 10 years in Denver. Now, mind you, I’m still getting to know a lot of these people and most of them don’t know how crazy I can be yet….but these people are opening their doors to me. Their hearts. Telling me their stories and it’s been humbling to have found what we came looking for.

Think about that….

When Kirk and I started whispering this dream to move out of the city and away from the mountains we love to let our boys grow up on land and with space, we really didn’t even think we were serious! We honestly would just say that we wanted “a slower life” and for our “to be less consumed by stuff.” We wanted a life where our boys knew corn grew in fields that farmers tended to and that it was their livelihood and that corn did not, in fact, come from Target.

Our dreams and whispers are now a reality.

And we are meeting so many great people! It’s been so fun these past 2 weeks. I can’t wait to see what some of they will add to our already so very full hearts and lives. Getting to know new people and hear their “stories” has really shown me how blessed we are to be at this place at this time in our lives.

I swear I’ve told our “story” 40 times.

Here is the condensed version if you are just now tuning in.

We lived in the City. Bums shit in our yard. Intravenous needles on our porch. Sirens all night. We moved to the suburbs, got married, had kids and could see from our dining room table what the neighbors were having for dinner. We were sad that our boys had a cul de sac patch of grass and one rock to jump off of. Was it enough? We would visit family here and started fantasizing about renovating a farmhouse (F You, Joanna Gaines). Two years passed. Looked at houses. Found one we liked. Almost made an offer. Kirk went to look at a house in the country on 13 acres with 2 horses. I didn’t go with him or realtor because I didn’t want to live in the house based on the pictures. Kirk was gone for 3 hours. I called Kirk. Kirk said I had to come look. I drove down the drive and two horses galloped along side me. Kirk had hands in pocket, smile on his face and had taken a Lover….she was a white home with a red door and a barn and animals galore. Made offer. Offer accepted. Listed our house. Sold in one showing. Two months later lived with friends and family until house was ours….BOOM!

You should see the looks on people’s faces. Their first reaction is ALWAYS, “we LOVE Denver…we would love to live there” and then they realize what they’ve just said and next is, “Well, welcome to Lawrence, you will love it here.” And we get that…we DO! Denver is gorgeous! The mountains are gorgeous. The weather is gorgeous!

But…my amazing, thoughtful, smart, kind and wise husband said this one night and I stopped him and grabbed my iPhone just so I could write it down (an act which takes ALL romanticism out of what he actually said).

“Colorado is beautiful. It says, ‘Come!! Play here.’ But Kansas is beautiful in a different way, It says, ‘Come!!! I will feed you, I will take care of you.’

And who doesn’t want that? Would you rather play or be held tight by a place and people who will take care of you?

Reeve is loving his new school and already has new best friends (but he does cry a lot of Deklan, Camden, Lucas and Jordan….and it breaks my f-ing heart. Real tears….sad tears in the backseat with no words or whining and that’s how I knew it’s real). And all of this after 2 weeks straight of painters in my home and 3 melt downs over wall colors. All of this after a bag of graham crackers covered in my new favorite Skippy Natural Peanut Butter Spread with Honey. And all of this after yet ANOTHER day where my best friend, Whitney, takes Reeve for the day (while she’s actually working from home) so I can run an errand of some sort.

And that’s a whole other post…the help we’ve received from her and my Sister-in-law….that’s another one. Also, there is the “take me to my knees” emotions that I experience every time I’m with my best friend and our boys are best friends and it all began with a sorority almost 20 years ago. She said it first when she said, “Would our 20-year-old selves ever have thought our boys would be best friends?” And all of this after THREE playdates with people I’ve never met but who have heard about us or who we met at church or on a playground.

It’s crazy how this town has opened it’s arms to us…LITERALLY!

Why, the other day, at Story Time at the library with Whitney and another sorority sister from KC someone came up to me and said, “are you Jessie?”

SHIT…..who doesn’t get sweaty pits whenever a conversation starts like that?

It was a friend of a friend (4 friends and counting actually) who I became Facebook friends with. She recognized Lowe and me and we hit it off just like we were REAL friends and not Facebook friends. We chatted and she introduced me to another friend and now I’ve got 12 friends here in Lawrence I didn’t have 2 weeks ago! We even have a coffee date this week and will probably find a way to either get drunk together or spend money on jeans together soon!

Her name is Melissa and she has a new blog too! CHECK It out HERE!!! Her story is REAL! I can’t wait to see what brought us together in this world! I can’t wait!

She is quite a bit funnier than mine and makes me rethink my whole modus operandi. I’m all “need to buy some boots to kick horse shit piles in because that’s what the previous owners told us to do to make the grass in the pasture green” and she’s all over there blogging about cute clothes and Luminous Weightless Liquid Foundation and pink skirts and bottles of wine that cost TWENTY DOLLARS!

Folks….if it ain’t got a 9 and a 9 and then a period and another 9…it ain’t coming home with me.

But, Melissa, I’ll drink your $20 vino and let’s skip that coffee playdate and go straight to The Wheel and show them young bitches what Black F Me pants and a choker look like.

Thank you Lawrence for being such an awesome little secret in the very middle of the US of A….we love it here and can’t wait to meet more cool people! Also, I think we are the only people here who don’t have a KU basketball schedule memorized and who have to look for the mountains to know where West is?!??!!

and some random pictures from this week

My boys looking out the back window. Every morning the same 3 deer come eat and these two wait and watch them. I love how they look so much alike here.12783597_10208932696019568_21454204118041882_o. These should give you an idea of how exciting MY life is.

These two thought it was so cool that they had on, as Reeve said, “Similar but different shirts.” Addison said his Polo shirt (with Polo players) had “two guys playing golf riding on horses.”

IMG_7453I don’t know how to rotate this, but I am obsessed with these $2.00 wax melts from Wal Mart and giggled when i read this one. It’s Fire Amber and it says “souls catch on fire.” IMG_7461

and, when you have Honey Peanut Butter on Graham Cracker addiction you must use the treadmill to an extreme!IMG_7468


For When They Ask Why

I was at Dick’s Sporting Good’s the day before Christmas looking for THE best last minute gift that entered my mind at 2 a.m. while feeding Lowe when I ran into the husband of a friend of a friend.

I smiled and was so nice to him despite being tired and running behind and even though Lowe was Hangry. It’s just what you do, right?

I asked him what he was looking for or who he had left on his list or some generic question like that thinking I’d make polite small talk and then wish him a Merry Christmas and be on my way.

Except, he was kind of a dick!

He’s always been so nice and so it’s quite possible that he was suffering from Last Minute Husband Christmas Stress, I’ll give him that…but it’s not really an excuse.

I quickly realized he wasn’t in the mood for my Holiday Cheer as he NOT ONCE made eye contact and said, “Well, I’m off to find some Carhartt’s for Kirk…we bought a Ranch in Kansas, you know?”

And he said….

“Yeah…Good luck with that…..” followed by a scoff.

Look, I get it people. Colorado is beautiful and we are all proud of our views and skiing and the weather and all, but we have choices in life. That’s the message here I guess. We have choices.

I knew there would be naysayers. I had a friend recently decide to leave the suburbs to move her family to a mountain town for the SAME REASON WE DID and people would ask her “WHY?” and “are you sure that’s a good idea?”

She warned me and I’m grateful she navigated those rough waters before me so that I could be prepared.

At the end of the day, all I care about in this WHOLE WORLD is what’s best for my family and my boys….and that’s WHY!

So, ask me WHY we are moving to Kansas (go ahead, say it with disdain). Ask me why we bought a ranch. Why did we want the horses? Ask me…go ahead! I’ll tell you the same thing I will tell my boys because it’s the most important thing there is!


At the end of this life, family is all we have left. When I’m long gone from this world and all my boys have is each other, I doubt they will ever regret that they got to grow up close to their Brother Cousins or an Aunt who will spoil them rotten or an uncle who will be at all their baseball games or grandparents who will sit in the audience at EVERY school program with smiles on their faces and tears in their eyes.

Very soon in our lives, we won’t be the only ones cheering our boys on.

Sure, Kansas doesn’t have mountains. You can’t ski many of it’s hills.

But you know what?

Colorado doesn’t have family.

But we do…and we are going back to them so our family can be together…

So there is your WHY!


And with that….it’s a crappy Snow Day here on our 3rd to Last Day in Colorado and I’m just fine with that. I get so sad whenever I look West to the mountains and it helps that I can’t see them through the snow. You know what does suck though? Snow Days when all of the toys are packed up and your kid is already “bored” at 8am. Oh, and the coffee pot is packed up and I’d pay someone $50 for a Starbucks delivery.

and…..Kirk is working from home (which should be great) except we have to tiptoe around and I have to fight with Reeve who wants to run downstairs every 5 minutes to show daddy something….

and….we have nothing to eat in this whole house except some tortillas, Cheerios, 2 eggs, 1 beer, shredded cheese, 4 hot dogs and a box of Teddy Grahams…

Welcome ~ First.Post

Well Hello There.

Welcome to my first post here.

My name is Jessie. This is me and my husband, Kirk. He is my favorite person. He is the kindest, most gentle man I’ve ever met. He loves music, baseball and our family so hard you can see it.


Kirk & I ~ October 2015 at Keystone Wedding

I have written a blog for my boys for over 4 years. You can find so much more about them at To Those Who Wait. My hope is that someday they will read about their lives from the day I found out I was pregnant with each of them on with their wives and children and laugh and delight in all the stories and memories I kept for them.

Kirk was my first & only online date. We got married after knowing each other a year and a half. I walked down the aisle to “Here Comes the Sun.”

We have 2 boys (Reeve & Lowe). Each has a story to their name that I love to tell people.


The Day Lowe learned how to roll onto his side and found Brother’s face….

I am from a small town in Kansas (about 800 people). Went to University of Kansas and moved to Denver in 2007.

Turquoise is my favorite color. Sushi my favorite food. Or Mexican. Or fish. Maybe it’s chocolate? What can I say? I love food…especially if I don’t have to cook it.

I can’t bake b/c I have a tendency to improvise….but I wish I could.

I love decorating and have inherited my love for antiques from my parents. I would paint every room in my house a shade of blue if Kirk would let me.

We own a screwdriver and a hammer…so we aren’t very handy (yet), but we seem to always have awesome neighbors who let us borrow their tools.

October, November & December are my favorite months (fall leaves, food and LOTS of presents, sparkles and traditions).

I prefer to wear flip flops but, for some reason, own about 50 pair of shoes

I’m 6 feet tall

and while I could go on and on, I must leave you with this…I honestly believe that there is nothing more important in this world than having a home where my boys feel safe, loved and free to play and explore.

For that reason, and that reason alone, I have named this blog Burbs To Barns. As you will see in my next post, Kirk and I whispered to each other from our pillows for over 2 years a dream that would change our lives and that of our boys in the most positive way imaginable.

I hope you follow us and come along on this dream with us.



Family 15-1.jpg

Family Photo from our Christmas Shoot 2015 ~ Denver