Posted in New Year

So what’s the plan?

Ever hear or say that?

Me too!

So I thought I’d share mine (which includes plans for HERE!)

*in no particular order:

  • Devotional Time. This year I got serious and said I need to pour into myself everyday, not just certain days a week, which was previously based on emailed devotionals (and how they run their posts) or “when I feel like it.” So I bought this devotional by Christine Caine and I’m loving it!
  • Fitness. And not this kind: But “working out” fitness. So far I’ve started slow. Its all about starting and forming the habit anyway, right?!? So for now I’m walking on the treadmill each morning. 12 days straight-that’s a record! #dontjudgeme
  • Keeping “Get to” in my mind. If you missed my previous post, see here for insight into “Get to
  • Blog- write once a week! I know. I know. That’s a tall task considering last year I didn’t even hit 1/month! Anyway…this is my 2nd post of the year…so I’m hitting my BP2018 (all you business folks will get that!)
  • #reneeeverday2018 challenge. My own challenge to post a picture on Instagram everyday, which will be “raw-n-real” insight to my world, keeping up with life in general, and sometimes link into blog posts here. So hop over and follow me there: jenniferrbusby

And that about wraps it up!

What are your plans?

Posted in New Year

Best Year Yet

2018.

Two thousand and eighteen.

MMXVIII

Dos mil dieciocho.

Many ways to say it or write it. But what will we do with/in it?

I always love a new year! Something about a fresh start re-energizes me. Plus, come on, it follows my Favorite Holiday–CHRISTMAS!

I used to always make resolutions.

I can actually remember fulfilling 1! Maybe…

Then one year a Pastor challenged his staff to complete a goals evaluation sheet! Ya’ll know that was right up my alley! I love excel sheets, and tables and forms…so I loved a questionnaire that made me reflect and think.

Then another year, I simply jumped onboard with our entire church and focused on the same verse that full year, while reading the Bible through-as a church! That was cool!

But for the last 3 (this being our 3rd) Years, alongside my hubby, we have been selecting a “word” for the year to keep us engaged.

I’ve had words like:

Focus

Intentional

And to be honest, last year during my year of “intention”, I was about 6 months in, and had literally lost sight of my word. Clearly no intention happening at that point.

So this year, I approached everything about “my word” differently.

I started a doodle page to brainstorm any and all ideas:

Once I decided my word (short phrase) , I also decided I needed a daily reminder of it. Someway I see it each day. I didn’t want to just put it in my car or on the bathroom mirror, I literally felt compelled to carry it with me…visually.

So I began thinking how to do this…

If you know me, you know I LOVE jewelry. Not the fancy, diamonds, $$ stuff…I love the flashy, costume, cheap stuff! So, I asked for it to be put on a bracelet!

Oh the agony my husband faced trying to get this poor Etsy lady, who likely only gets “Name” requests for bracelets, to understand in about 5 emails, going back-and-forth, that this was a specialized gift with a phrase. …It’s not just one word. No, Not a name. Yes, both words need capitalized. No, they don’t all run together, you need to put a space between them. Yes, I want 3 identical bracelets-name wise, but in different colors because my wife is a fashionista (or at this point he wrote “spoiled”).

**He did so good! I love them (the others are a black one and a red one)!

And finally…as a surprise, he put it in our stairwell. Now, in our home, this is a stairwell down to our basement/garage…not like the “main” stairwell. (All of your perfectionists can sigh a breathe of relief-ha!) However, I leave for work through this stairwell each and every day and it’s another great way to remember my hope and goal for 2018.

And now that you’ve heard all about the selection and reminder process, let me tell you why “Get To” is my 2018 focus. I didn’t just hear this phrase for the first time in 2017; I think I’ve heard it for at least the last 4-6! And it’s no elaborate phrase (as you can see…my girlfriends even like to tell me the bracelet looks like a jacked up version of “ghetto”). It’s not cutting edge or “swag” to be trendy this year. But it’s perfect for me. It reminds me to be thankful…

I “get to” wake up early and spend time with Jesus (even if it’s just starting with 10 minutes!-I love sleep–a lot!)

I “get to” workout, because my arms and legs and body are physically able.

I “get to” eat healthier because I am smart enough to make better choices for myself.

I “get to” go to work each day, because I’m blessed with a job I love! (For some of you it may just be saying “I’m blessed with a job…no love in there” and that’s good too).

I “get to”…well I think you get the point.

And in life, we often approach things as I “have to”. I have to go to work. I have to go grocery shopping. I have to plan this birthday party, or I have to go to this birthday party. I have to clean the house. I have to do (do I dare say it…I will! It’s a new year, we’re trying to be positive here folks) laundry.

Instead…In 2018, I want to go from a place of “have to” to I “get to”.

So here’s to 2018…I “get to” keep drinking Coke (I wouldn’t give that up! The whole Blog would be ruined!)

Posted in Family Forever

A day late and a dollar short…

On America’s Birthday, or labor day or Veteran’s Day (a day late at this point), I always think of my dad.

Growing up there were times it was just mom, my brother, and me at home in the evening, for a road trip to see family, or on weekends because dad was somewhere, doing something…what I thought at the time was “at work.”

You see in my younger years, his career was serving the United States Army, reaching the rank of LTC (Lieutenant Colonel). Yet as a child, this rank meant a hill of beans to me, as I would wonder why he was sleeping during the day after having to pull an all-nighter or even a week-long shift, or why he missed things because of “work.”

In my teenage years, he retired from the U.S. Army and worked at our local high school, where he started and built up the (highly esteemed…my words, ha!) JROTC program. However, even then he would spend an infinite level of hours at school or competitions or after-school practices, etc…for “work.” SIDE NOTE: Now I wonder how my mom was able to manage two kids daily or while traveling (by car or sometimes in an airport), because truth be known I can barely keep me and my three alive on the weekends if my husband has to go out of town (Thank the Lord for iPads).

The question that I kept coming back to over the years was…“Why was work so important to him?”

Now I’m in my… Oh come on, you didn’t really think I was going to tell you my age did you? Anyway, now I’m an adult, married, with a career and 3 kids of my own (I know, it still shocks me that I have 3 kids). I experience the privilege to vote, and unfortunately now have the maturity to understand how cruel our world can be. I have learned that what my dad was actually “working” on all those year, what he was “doing,” was…

Serving our Country

Fighting for our freedoms that men and women have fought to protect for the ages.  Braving what others might not, for our country. Protecting the people of the USA. Practicing what he was taught when he first entered the Army as a young lad, which was “Country first.” My dad has a true heart for this country proven by 20 years of service plus continued years of honoring his country.

I could likely end this post with a few closing statements, however I really want to give you some insight into how much this man, my dad, truly Loves this country…because that also helps explain why he was always “working”…

So as you can imagine some women couldn’t deal with a man like this. I wouldn’t be able to. Now this could partly be due to the fact that I am just like this man, however that’s another blog post… But my mom could and I make this point, because of a significant story of when they married.

You see, it happened pretty quickly. I’m talking ‘shotgun wedding.’ No, I’m kidding about that, but it is still a secret to my brother and I how long they were together before engaged to the wedding day… And to say my grandfather was none too happy about it, would probably be an understatement (so I hear, I don’t speak from firsthand knowledge).

Since he wasn’t quite ready to walk her down the aisle to this “hairy-legged boy” (as my husband would say), my grandpa had the preacher (oddly enough, a family friend) talk with both of them, separately, with my dad going first. Sounds more like a secret background check if you ask me. When it came to be mom’s turn, this pastor, a family friend, the one that was to marry them, told her this statement, which is probably why they are still married today…”You have to know that if you marry him, You will never be first in his life. If he has to choose you or his country, he will choose his country.”

Clearly she was okay with it, they had 2 kids and after 37 years, are still married…

And…That’s why we have freedom folks.

Because there are men and women who love and live for our country. And to each and every Veteran…Thank You!

Posted in Christmas Crazy, Random Ramblings

These are a few of my favorite things…

I opened up my laptop with intentions to simply sit down and focus on getting caught up at work (is that even a plausible thought these days?). Anyway, instead I opened up a blank email and started this blog post. So here I sit, really doing several of my favorite things…

  1. The Christmas Tree light are on…(YES!! My Christmas Tree is UP and decorated. I typically wait until October 31 or November 1, but this year I just couldn’t wait.)
  2. Watching a Hallmark Christmas Movie! YAY! I’ve been waiting for these to start, like all year long!
  3. While being the only one awake in my house of 5! I LOVE solitary me time, where I can do whatever I want! I mean I love family time, but I do treasure time by myself…pretty certain that trait will never leave me.
  4. Eating. I really have to stop letting this be my favorite thing to do… I’ve been gaining weight since our vaca in August…I feel Terrible.
  5. Blogging! I still haven’t achieved a monthly post, much less weekly like I set out to do this year…but when I get the need to write (which is what happened as I sat down tonight), I do act!
  6. Being Productive. Well…I may not be doing my actual work, however I am checking something off my natural “to do” list.

You know there is just something about doing your favorite things when life feels…like Life. Lately life has felt and has actually been a bit messy for me. I think this is why I put my tree up just a tad bit early. Truth be known, I would have put it up a week ago when my husband pulled out the “tree box” when we were cleaning out the garage over fall break. However, he was not in favor and I did hold off…1 week. Having up my Christmas stuff and being able to watch Christmas movies brings a certain calm in my world. Maybe because it brings me back to my childhood days and loving the wonder and excitement of Christmas, or it’s the change of atmosphere it brings to my home for a short 2-month season. Whatever it is, it’s comfort. It’s calming. And it’s come just in time.

Posted in It's all in a day's work.

Old School vs. New Age

If you follow me on the blog or social media, if you know me as a friend, if you work with me, and even if you have just spoken to me as an acquaintance, you probably know I like to be organized…and I have likely asked you “How do you keep track of your work tasks / personal tasks / note taking in meetings / etc…”

For me, it seems like this has been an ongoing challenge for the last year.

*Disclaimer = Don’t ask my husband, he’ll likely tell you I’ve been fighting with this since we’ve been married (7.5 years). And if he does tell you that, and decides to complain about it…well know it’s all his fault. You’ll find out why shortly.

So during this, let’s just call it 1 year, I’ve tried a plethora of planners/notebooks/apps/etc….

Bullet Journal – This intrigued me because of course we all ‘want’ to be crafty in some way and I have a deep love for colorful pens! But alas, it took a LOT of time and I really like to keep notes separate by subject and the whole point of Bullet Journaling (if you do it the way as “created” by Ryder Carroll,  BUJO ), then you’ll know that essentially “pre-planning” your journal breaks Every. Single. Rule. of the system.

Franklin Covey – YEP, I pulled out my beloved burgundy, leather bound, 3 internal with 1 external pocket, 6 ring zipped binder. And FAILED. It’s so big and I travel at least 1x per month and each time I would pack my laptop briefcase I would intentionally not take it. If I did anything, it was remove the needed pages, just to leave the bulky binder behind.

3-Ring Binder – You know the binders for school, like the large size that high schoolers use. (Don’t judge me, it was a recommendation from a girlfriend at work whom I dearly admire and learn from each time we sit down to chat).. Anyway, I’m not sure why I thought this would work from me. I mean, if I’m leaving behind the “classic size Covey” what on earth made me think I was going to tote around a normal notebook size, 1-inch binder. I was able to pre-plan and I did LOVE the flexibility of moving papers from 1 section to another, or printing off an important email, punching holes and dumping it in the Alphabetically-organized section of which it belonged…

Yeah, I ditched it too.

Weekly Planner – I made sure to buy a fun color in hopes the color alone would motivate me to use / carry it. Except, it really only helped with planning and tracking to-do’s. There wasn’t enough space to take a note. I mean I barely had enough place to list out 6 to-do tasks per day,,,,

Electronic – Here it got messy and this is where I would revert to paper. I would try to take electronic notes in Word or OneNote or in an “outlook task”, heck I even took notes in an email message on occasion (don’t judge—I’m like a lost puppy right now, OK). The problem came when I needed to use the very note taking device to present during a meeting and I was restricted from taking the electronic notes…So then I was back to pen and paper. About a month ago I was ready to dive full-in to Outlook tasks. This was proving to work, because I could set reminders or a date and it would sync with my calendar. So almost like having a weekly planner to lay out when I want to work on something. But with a company initiative to drive down our inbox size, I found out my ‘tasks’ eat up email space…well we can’t have this!   So then I moved to Microsoft OneNote and I will say, it is nice. Still feeling it out, but so far, so good!

So in each of these, electronic vs. paper, I have never fully been 1 way or the other. I have always still been using both, which I think is part of the madness that’s making me cra cra.

Now that you’re fully up-to-speed, let’s start with this morning…

So as I’m discussing it with my husband today for the hundredth time, he said why don’t you run 2 short-term trial periods.

WHAT? Why didn’t you come up with this earlier? Why are you just NOW giving me this idea? AND…Why didn’t I think of this? I work in an industry where we run tests and trials on your (hopefully you have one) Bosch Dishwashers and Thermador Ovens ALL week long! What a novel idea! A trial period.

Go fully electronic for a few months, then fully paper, then make a decision of which one you like best and be done with it!

So…

For September and October I will be 100% electronic. Then November and December 100% paper. Then hopefully before January 1, 2018 rolls around (yes, we are only 4 months away from the new year!!) I will have a preference and can run with it for 2018 and not fight this mind over matter battle any longer—or at least not in 2018, this is the first goal.

Anyway, if you have any preferences, leave them in the comments. As you’ve already read, I like to find out what each person prefers / uses / how they manage it daily and weekly. So, I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Travel

If you don’t follow your own travel tips, you’ll likely have a bad time

Flying tips…just from 1 day:

#1-Do not try to eat a sandwich on your way to the airport. Before I even took a bite, I thought “Lord please don’t let me spill this on me…” Yep 2 seconds later it was ALL over my jeans and the bottom of my shirt. A White shirt. With drops of yellow vinaigrette dressing on it now. I still managed a decent look by tucking it in.

#2- Avoid the back seat of the bus. Because…(in my best game show host announcer voice) “Come on back, Jennifer Busby, to seat 14B, where you have all the finest amenities. A seat with no reclining option, no overhead bin compartment because that belongs to the stewardess. And the best one yet…sitting directly across from the lavatory. Yep, you guessed it, you can literally stretch your arm out and close or open the lavatory door. Go ahead, try it out.” (Too much? You get the point..) 

But really this does buy you 2 things, aside from opening and closing the door while fully seated/buckled in (promise. I had to do it, the door flew open mid-ascent):

1. You have now become the bathroom monitor. Everyone looks at you and says “is someone in there?”

2. The SMELL. Now I’m not necessarily talking about someone’s “extras” they have so purposefully planned to dispose of while flying 30,000 feet in the air, (while that is unpleasant) I’m referring to the actual smell of an airplane bathroom. It’s a thing. (Sidenote-when I would fly as a young girl with my mom, I would never, ever use the airplane bathroom…the smell is likely the reason). Anyway…it’s a very distinct, cleaning smell? But not a good one…more like “I’m the thing that’s in here, trying to cover up all the wee-wee and poo-poo (sorry I have toddlers) smell but I really don’t work, I just blend in with all the nasty to create the lovely odor you are experiencing now”. Gag Me! It’s opened 4 times in 20 minutes. I might die before this flight is over. (About 9 times total!)

#3-I think my ears pop more when I sit in the back. 

So there’s the tips just from a 5 hour portion of a day…

Posted in Random Ramblings

Remember me?

Oh HI!

I’m that girl that thought it would be cool to blog and set a 2017 goal to do it every week, created a list of weekly topics (not completely filled in, but started none-the-less) and wrote her last post in March never to be heard from again…

Or at least not for the last 108 days, 22 hours, 45 minutes, and 41, 42, 43 seconds.

Yeah, so I got the hankering to write tonight. But as I sat here, 2 days into a 4 day weekend of being a single parent (my husband is working. No worries, we are still happily married), I found myself wanting to write about my woes of how I am tired of…

-all 3 kids crying at the same time. Literally. Every. Time.  It usually starts with the baby as his older sister pesters him, then she ends up tripping over something and starts crying, and finally the 5 year old decides he’s unhappy about the snack options he’s been given.  So there we are, all standing at my feet, all 4 of us crying.  Yes, 4.  Sometimes I just join in too.  You know the old adage, “If you can’t beat em, join em”….well I tried it.  It usually makes all 3 of them stop. (It’s a good tactic…try it out moms!)

-being sticky, and dirty, and washing my hands 400x per day which then dries them out, and lotion doesn’t help because as soon as I put it on, I’ve gotten sticky, Again…

-my 3 year old pooping back-to-back times in her pull-up. (*With Sincerity* Dear Lord, please help her to see that there’s nothing scary about going poop in the potty.)

Anyway, you get the picture, but I hated to have been away for so long and come back with only complaints. So instead I’ll just elaborate more on why there’s been a break.

And no, it’s not writer’s block.

Really, it’s been a swarm of things…besides the fact that life is just plain busy (for everyone), let’s start with work… my counterpart at out sister plant, left the company.  My travel schedule has been insane.  Since I last posted, I have traveled at least 1 week per month, with May actually having 2 trips, 1 of which I was in Berlin.  Then personally, we’ve been busy putting the house up for sale (we so desperately need a yard and not a hill), my step-daughter got married in June (it was a beautiful barn wedding and her now husband, that’s still weird to say, is such a nice guy!)  and then we moved them at the end of June.  And lastly, but most importantly, Spiritually, there’s been a storm swirling around me.  You see, I tend to keep my feelings bottled up until I have a complete breakdown.  Well in turn, I do the same to God.  I bottle up all my heartaches, joys, pain, and overwhelming burdens.  And lately, I’d just not let myself have any breakdown and I’d gotten to the point where I really wasn’t sharing ANYTHING with ANYONE.  That’s dangerous Folks!

What saved me?

My husband. Thankfully, he’d been praying and fasting the last few weeks and he shared with me that God spoke to him about me…

“Oh Really! Did he tell you what a wonderful wife you have, and how you should give her a nightly massage due to the stress she’s under at work? Ever so slightly moving his eyes to the right, without moving his head to actually face me, he responds…“No.”

There’s a pause.

He said “you bottle things up for too long and don’t share. And you need to share those things with God”

“That’s true.” I said very openly.  My husband was slightly shocked that I was willing to be so real in that moment of truth.

Needless to say, within a week, he could tell I was bothered and one night, he told me to go pray. I knew this was “do or die” time.  Something in me said, this is the turning point.  I laid in bed next to him, not wanting to move.  My flesh wanted to stay put.  I fought.  Not with him.  With myself.  Ever have an argument with yourself? Well, I do, and this night was one of the worst.  My flesh so desperately wanted to keep pushing God away.  I wanted.  No, I needed.  Wait. Better yet, I Deserved, to stay put in my pity party and drown my sorrows in despair.  But yet, I had enough spiritual grounding from years gone by that my spiritual self knew I needed to do what my husband advised.  I prayed for God to give me the strength to get up. Finally, I wiped tears away, leaned over into my nightstand, grabbed my bible, and told my husband I was going to pray.  This was at 10pm.  2 hours later I returned to bed, with a peace I hadn’t felt in months.

Just let it out folks. His grace is enough to handle anything we need to share and His loving-kindness rebukes my wrongs but holds me in His arms like a loving father does his disciplined toddler…

So there’s that.

Then the other point that’s kept me on a break…

I want routine.

Wait. What?

What does that have to do with this blog, you may ask. Well, you see, I have this “grand plan” to have a totally awesome morning routine that involves getting up at 4am, being able to have quiet time with God, workout, and do some writing on my blog and book, then start reality of getting ready for work.  I’ve had this plan for at least the 7 years I’ve been married and not one of those things are actually happening in the morning, not consistently anyway.  So, in the midst of a breakdown last week, sharing with my husband that I wanted “to be able to do it all,” he simply said…”you can’t.”

I started to get huffy.

He stopped me. This is not a “I’m putting you down thing”.  He explained that I really just needed to pick 1 thing to focus on for 1 year, and then add the next thing.  I started to argue with him, as normal, because I said 1 year was too long.  He stopped me again, and this time posed an interesting question..

“If you had done this 5 years ago, where would you be…”

Oh.

So, while I’m actually breaking his logic now, as writing was not the “1 thing” I picked to focus on, I know that when I have a hankering to write, I need to write. So let’s just say, we’ll see what happens next.

I do plan to circle back to my blog plan and see what I can put together for the 2nd half of 2017…after all, being half-way through the year, what better time to evaluate where you’re at in your goals.

And…McDonald’s has $1 Cokes right now.

Why are you still reading this? Go there now!

Okay, so…I said A LOT of random things, I talked about Jesus, and I just had to throw in the point of $1 Cokes (still not sure why anyone is still reading this)…so, this post is actually a true example of this blog site.

Score. I’m Back!