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!

Posted in Family Forever

Like Father, Like Daughter

When people find out that my husband is married to me, and they know my dad (who is a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the United States Army) they often ask how he does it? How is he able to deal with “the Colonel” as his Father-in-law.  He simply answers…I’m married to him.

So yes, I am just like my dad. Almost to a “T” which is kinda scary for me some days.  I mean I love my daddy, but to think that in a few short years, I could be exactly like him…aye yi yi

So on his birthday (3.15.xx), I want to honor him and his many wonderful traits that I seem to mirror.

He is a money saver…AKA tightwad. But actually, I love to eat out and get a McDonald’s Coke every day… he would NEVER do that.  BUT, I do get pretty panicked if my husband wants to sit down and talk about money.  Like, I  need a brown bag to breath in, and break out in hives and become really hateful and want to just say, “save it all” or “I can’t do this”.

He is a worker. Always.  If he’s not working, he’s eating or asleep.  And that’s the same for me.  My husband wonders why I can stay up until midnight on a “work night” when he or I are out-of-town…I tell him it’s because I stay so productive that I forget what time it is and don’t get tired because my mind is still running running running.  But as soon as he and I sit down to watch our favorite TV show for the evening, by 9pm I’m asking if we can go to bed (or it’s possible I have face planted into the couch pillow completely unaware that the show has gone off…)

He is a rules guy. Don’t break the rules or you lose a friend.

He always thinks you can do better.

Wait, what?

You want me to expand upon “how” I might be like him for “he is a rules guy”? Oh you really don’t want to know that.  Are you sure?  Well, Okay.  I don’t just like rules.  I LOVE rules.  And  hate for them to be broken.  You know, like, “this is my box and everything stays and fits inside my box”…  Hey!  At least I recognize it!!

Anyway…moving on.

He always thinks you can do better. And typically, you can.  His famous phrase as a high school teacher and even as our dad (I have a brother. I need to write about him.  He’s handsome, successful, and single ladies *wink wink*) Anyway, his famous phrase was: “You did good, BUT…”  While that can be a hard discussion when you scored a 100 on the test, plus 5 bonus points (no lie)…I now see what he was driving towards.  So, I set that same expectation of my kids, my husband (I’m ruthless) and the people that work for me.  Probably a little too extreme at times.  But I’m grateful for this, because for me, it was better than teaching me I am #1, and everyone should know it, then fast forward a few decades only to come to the workplace and have all my hopes and dreams burst before my eyes, because reality hit.

He has integrity. And to quote my husband verbatim “he has more integrity in one pinky than most men have in their whole hand.”  Now, I don’t have that much yet…I still have some growing to do, but in my line of work (Purchasing), you HAVE to have integrity, otherwise you’re FIRED!

He loves COKE. And well, my love for COKE is no secret here, geez it’s even part of this Blog Site name.  When I was younger, he ALWAYS had a Coke in hand.  I can even remember times where he’d be standing around, drinking a Coke and all of the sudden he would need to use both hands.  So, instead of setting the Coke can down, he’d just hold it in his teeth.  Shew-I sure am glad he taught me that trick!

He Never Ever gives up. On anything.  Or anyone.  …But I actually do give up…  Not on everything, but on some things.  Like working out.  Who wants to do that every day anyway?? (Well. He does actually. Oh no…another one where we are not so aligned.  I better get back on track.)

He can’t lie. Which is a good thing I guess, and also why he’s not a lawyer.  Nor am I.  We are really just terrible at it.  Lip quivers and all.  But for me, if I know the truth, I must tell it, and do so quite candidly.  It’s like, if there was such a gifting of being brutally honest…then dad and I have that gift!  Sometimes, it’s quite beautiful.  And.  Well.  Other times, it’s just not.

He’s sentimental. Don’t let the military façade fool you.  Underneath that outer Army shell, is a loving and gentle dad, who…  Listen people, I’m not going to ruin his tough man front, we’ll have to save that for another day.

We are, what I like to call, “quick-task doers.” Although, dad’s never turn out too quick.  Anyway, since we like to work and stay busy, we often find the MOST random tasks to do, at THE worst times.  In fact, my mom was telling me a story the other day about how dad almost made her late because of some menial task he “had” to do last minute.  I just laughed.  Out loud.  In her ear, on the phone.  Hard.  She finally asked, “why are you laughing?  It’s not funny!”  To which I commented, “you’re right, it’s not, but I’m laughing because I am JUST like him.”  Oh Lord Help me!  Or my husband…or both!

He is the jack of all trades. And master of them all!  As I’ve gotten older, I often wonder why God blessed me with some true talents that don’t always go hand-in-hand.  But after seeing my dad for so many years, I believe it’s because we use these talents for the kingdom…whether we even realize it or not.  We impact people through our varying avenues where God opened a door for us and we decided to take a step and walk through.  And I guess, perhaps, not everyone walks through every door that opens for them.

So thank you dad. On your birthday, I celebrate you.  What you’ve taught me.  What you’ve instilled in me.  The leader you’ve taught me to be.  The integrity. The stamina. The loyalty. The compassion for mankind.  And to always serve something greater than yourself… God, our county, our family.

Now I’m crying and mascara is running down my make-up blotched face. Oh My face.  It’s ruined for the day.

Someone get me a COKE.

Posted in The Home Front

A mom’s hard day (AKA-the weekend, for me)

It’s 8pm. Sunday night. Mountain Dew and iPad in hand. (Yeah, yeah, it’s not Coke but I needed something harder!)

And I’m drained. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. And it’s all because I was solely (okay maybe that’s an exaggeration) responsible to keep watch over the kids for the afternoon. (Yes, I am their mother, but no one really understands how much my husband actually does in comparison to what I do. So yes, I’m a sad case-judge me, I don’t care. I’ve come to terms with the fact that God did not design me to be a stay-at-home parent…I further our family best by working outside. So while I’ve struggled with this for years, I’ve mainly accepted it & moved on.) Anyway, back to me being the main caregiver for the day…You see Sunday’s are usually “Race Day” in the Busby home (this can change to Saturday’s too…it strictly follows the NASCAR schedule.) And since my hubby sacrifices so much by staying home with the kids, I try to give him peace while the race is on. So that’s what happened today.

But before I get into the meat of this post, let me preface this with the fact that I love my children DEARLY. I mean they are my world…well they are 2nd. No. Still not right. They are 3rd in my world. Jesus being my forever #1 and my hubby #2…because well. Well, I chose him. And he was there before they came along. I wouldn’t have Them, without Him. And when they leave us, well quite frankly, we’ll be stuck together…forever! But they are so very loved by us and I am blessed God chose me to be their momma…but let’s be real. Some days this mothering thing is HARD! And none of them are even teens yet (in the words of a country artist and a good friend who uses this often…”Jesus take the Wheel”)

Let’s just start with how much and how often they eat. As soon as I get breakfast cleaned up, they are at my feet asking for a snack and when they devour that, they are telling me how they’d like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with no crust, 5 chips, and a glass of juice for lunch. And let’s not even mention the constant requests for a piece of gum…

Then there’s poop. Sorry for those of you grossed out by that, but it’s the current stage we are in which opens the door for this subject matter to have its own category. Either someone needs to poop and is telling me (just because). Someone has pooped in their diaper and it’s stinking up the entire room we were all just previously enjoying, thus vacating the area as if a bomb threat came in (yeah, I have stinky kids). Or the one that is going through potty training, needs to poop but is holding it and whining about needing to go poop because they refuse to go in the potty until A) a diaper is put back on for nap/bed time, or B) it starts to creep out and is inevitably found on the floor for someone to clean up…

And then there’s whining.

And because as a parent you are caught between potty breaks and handling the children’s food, you use about 1 bottle of soap per week and your hands feel as dry as sandpaper. And yes, lotion helps but every time I finish lathering up, there’s a reason to rinse my hands, again. Every. Single. Time.

Or perhaps, they come into your room, after having already gotten themselves ready, to announce they do not want to go to church today. They don’t like church. Well, dear one..in this house, we go to church on Sundays. My husband and I refer to this as a “drug ” problem that has long term benefits. We were both “drug” to church each week as children and we now serve Jesus through our church. (But really, the word of God does say  “Train up a child…he will not depart from it.”)

And the whining again.

And the time change is no one’s friend because besides loosing sleep, now when it’s announced to get Jammie’s on, I was questioned. My eldest even got up, went to the window, pulled back the drapes (oh who am I kidding, we don’t have drapes, but it sounded fancy), and said it’s still daylight. Yes. Yes, I know but that does not matter. In this home (I’m liking this phrase today) we go to bed when the clock strikes 8pm not when the sun says so…Sorry.

And the baby is teething and fussy and while he has 6 teeth the child flat out refuses to eat anything more than a liquid food. Forget the “slightly” (and I mean slightly) chunky baby food jars. No way. Not this kid. He finds those chunks, and by ever-so-cleverly scraping his tongue against his top lip, every chunk on that spoonful is right back outside his mouth. And while we’ve tried “self-feeding” with dissolvable bites, he only licks those enough to get some flavor, none are actually consumed.

Lets not forget the whining.

Then its bed time. Which doesn’t always mean anything. Just because they were put to bed at 8pm, doesn’t mean they actually lie down, oh no, they still need time to play by themselves (I mean I try to make it acceptable to play by themselves during the day, but they won’t leave our side…). And then they get louder and make enough noise to wake the baby a few times. Then a few more moans and whines, from the older ones this time, wanting a drink or whatever they can think of to prolong the actual activity of going to bed. And then suddenly you realize the house is silent.

Success. The day is done! Even if this may be accurate…

IMG_0267

But I wouldn’t trade this life for any other… like the old saying goes, it’s just a hard day, not a hard life.

However, I do foresee a McDonald’s Coke to start Monday though…

 

Posted in Random Ramblings

But they must be heels..

Have I mentioned I have 40+ pairs of shoes, with 80% of those being heels?

No, this is not a post about all my heels and how I store them in their original box, on specially made shelves, where there’s a photo of the shoe on the outside edge of the box so I know which pair is which. But maybe I should consider that one day…

But this is one of my favorite type of posts, because it’s simply the randmness of whatever pops into my brain…

I do love wearing high heels. I think they clean up any outfit and give you a sense of confidence that is indescribable. And it’s not because I’m short!

Short. I was always known as the “short girl” growing up  but really, it was fine for me. I kinda liked the attention. Now I mask it with heels, so when I do wear flats occasionally, I knock the socks off people. Ha!

Lunch. I absolutely love to leave the office at lunch and eat out! I’d probably do it everyday if I knew it wouldn’t break the bank…or me, from the weight I’d probably gain.

Speaking of lunch, do you have those people in your life who just brighten your day when you grab lunch together? If not, find some…it’s life changing…for real though. Anyway, I ended up telling a good friend today, that I loved having lunch with her because it’s like a little bit of Jesus right in the middle of my day!

Trolls! This is my current obsession. Yes, I’m in my 30s, but this movie is bomb (pretty sure I’m too old to say that, and sound like a teenage wannabe, but oh well). I originally only watched it for the kids…okay, maybe not. But it is super cute and the music is awesome! And I may or may not know every word to every song because I downloaded the soundtrack…

Planner. I’ve already changed my method and we’re barely 2 months into 2017! I was seeking wisdom on Planner organization & was advised to use a 3-ring binder. I loathed the idea at first. I’m totally a “bound book” planner girl, but after perusing the aisles of Walmart, I decided a binder was actually cost effective (which spoke to my cheap, err economical, side) and “could” have potential… Minus the whole part that now my “binder planner” is not fully compatible with my handbag. *sad day* So, I’m not totally, 100%, sold out to the binder cause, but I’ll keep you posted on how March goes…

Girl Scout Cookies. Did the sleeves get shorter or did I just grow up?  I swear there are less cookies than what used to be, and did the price go up? Oh who cares…they are a little piece of heaven on earth, even if they are only two bites (one for some).

As a final thought, don’t blog when you are still exhausted, as you will end up trying to finalize the post for 1 hour because of the frequent cat naps inbetween.

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

Exhaustion…

Total and utter exhaustion!

Fullfilling exhaustion!

Exhaustion where you know you gave your all. You laid everything you had on the line.

You walked away with nothing left!

For me, it set in around Thursday at 11:30am… When suitcases had been packed (and unpacked and packed again about 3 times due to carrying around gifts, 17 extra shirts which was the equivalent of 8 lbs in my suitcase, and projectors and staying in two hotels over the course of 3 nights). The 50+ slide presentation, presented.  The goodbyes said (to our New Bern Purchasing team).  Barely any Coke found (sadly, I’m not kidding, we were in the birthplace of Pepsi). The 5 pages of itemized receipts checked (that’s no lie). And we were loaded up in a GMC Yukon to make our trek back to TN from the lovely conference site of Atlantic Beach, NC. (Don’t have too much pity on us, we actually just took the  Yukon for a 1 hour drive & hopped the plane…no added team bonding of “punch bug, no punch back,” through an 8-hr car ride to TN–we were team bonded out!)

Myself and 2 other managers had completed our first 2-day offsite purchasing workshop for our team, and it was PERFECT!

Okay, so maybe not perfect to a “T” but with only having 2 months to plan it (all the articles I researched showed “to do” lists up to 6 months out!) and my perpetual  positivism (*grinning*), it really went off without a hitch!

We brought 15 people together for team bonding…and bonding we did! (Just ask my team…I am the Queen of Team Bonding…the cheesier, the better in my book). We didn’t just bond at the evening dinner events out on the back patio with the waves crashing in the background (yes, be jealous) but also during the two days of sitting in no-window rooms, discussing the highs and lows of what we do everyday…babysitting and firefighting, also known as “Purchasing.”

We started the day promptly at 8am, thanking them for the hard work in 2016 of achieving BP. No not gas…”Business Plan”. We set a few ground rules, which also included a gift…a Snickers bar, just in case anyone turned “diva” during our critical discussions. Then we actually got started with the day having each person put together a slide of photos or memes or videos to “introduce” themself within a 5 minute time slot, where everyone spoke for 8 minutes (yes, you read that correctly). But come on, who doesn’t love getting up in front of your peers, talking about yourself, to a totally captive (eh…”forced” captive) audience.  Then it was Coffee break time, which also came with muffins & pastries…Yum (well I hope they were good, I actually didn’t get to try one).

Throughout the rest of the days, we had overviews of how the interactions should be, set expectations for the upcoming year, had some lunch by the sea, where we discovered hotel guests out by the pool in bathing suits. I tried to explain that we were also in suits, just a different type…  (not buying it) . And there may have been some plotting on how to relocate the projector to display against the hotel & circle together the lounge chairs for the afternoon session, but since they were stuck having me mostly in charge, the relocation didn’t happen. (I’m cheesy, not easy…)

We had breakout sessions where the team could give their inputs of what is (and isn’t) working. We bonded through music and a game of “hot potato” (and yes, it was noted as such on the agenda-I told you I’m cheesy) to show the analogy of owning up vs. passing the buck.

The team laughed; some until they cried at the jokes and dry sense of humor we discovered in some of our folks.  They brought up the critical points, no matter how critical because it needed to be noted. A few of them tried to compensate for the lack of Coke by swaying me to drink a “Dr. Wham…The Cure for the Common Cola” #didntwork.  They asked good questions.  And most importantly, they seemed to have left feeling appreciated, giving the feedback that they fully enjoyed the workshop.

SUCCESS!

So the exhaustion of team dinners, staying up to rehearse slides (My apologies to the poor soul on my left, who had the pleasure of hearing purchasing topics and welcomes and transitions at midnight…), checking presentation order to match agenda time slots, and ensuring everyone was always accounted for (I will forever be a momma bear-Did it with youth groups, my own kids, and it won’t stop for my teams…and apparently it’s a nickname I have). And while the further exhaustion of setting the table places with gifts of gratitude, always being “on cue” for the discussions, and coordinating the details during the event, drains the ever-living life from you, I walked away knowing I laid it all out with the intention to bring nothing home with me.

But I did. I brought something home with me. And it wasn’t a souvenir.

It was a renewed scope. Refreshed vision. Re-energized passion.  Why Or How, you might ask… through them. Through their excitement and renewed passion and sense of gratitude to us for taking our time out (& away) to simply show appreciation. Sure, we set some hard tones, some new levels of expectations, but when it coincides with gratitude, anyone can bare the brunt of brutal much better. (I should Copyright that slogan😉)

And oddly enough, my pastor’s message for today was 100% confirmation of it all.

The title: How we can be “uncommon” in our communication.

The How: by giving and showing- Praise, Thanksgiving, Affection, Encouragement, Environment of Kindness, Truth in Love, and Prayer.

ALL of those things happened last week, in some form or fashion. WoW!

So while the weekend didn’t fully allow for the exhaustion to wear off, it settled and now resonates in my soul that all the work was for something greater and was purposed!

…but did I mention that I’m glad to be back in TN where they actually serve Coke more than Pepsi! Thank you Jesus!

 

 

Posted in The Home Front

The one that made me a mom

Today is Saturday February 11, 2017.  And today my oldest son and husband had a father-son day to celebrate his 5th birthday (which is tomorrow). They went to McDonalds to get Lego Happy Meals and go see the Lego Batman Movie.  Oddly enough, 5 years ago today, Chris and I were at the same McDonalds, looking at Lego’s on Ebay (my husband may have a slight obsession for Lego’s, which he’s passed onto our oldest son), while I was in the early stages of labor.  So let’s travel back and reminisce on the birth of the child who made me a mother, shall we?

I should probably preface the whole story with the fact that on Friday, February 10, 2012, I came home from work and announced that I was completely caught up. No emails in my inbox, my “Maternity Leave Notes” notebook (yes, I had one of these, would you expect anything less from this ODC girl you’re getting to know?) was updated and my desk was clean…  While I didn’t “pray” to have the baby that weekend, I might have mentioned to God in passing that this was great timing if He saw fit to proceed…

Chris and I were young…well I was young…and we started off the evening at McDonalds. Why?  We needed their WiFi and I, as a preggo women 3 days from her due date, needed a Reese’s McFlurry.  (Which by the way, they don’t keep as a standard available topping and sorry Sonic, your Reese’s blasts just doesn’t make the cut…good thing I’m watching what I eat these days, huh…).  Wait, What? Did she just say Needed WiFi?  Chris had just started his obsession with collecting Lego mini figures, but the problem was we didn’t have internet because we were “conservative in our spending”…okay, we had a tight budget to live off of, so yes, we needed WiFi.  (I know, for the millennials, this would be like living without water, but rest assured, it is possible to forgo this amenity).

Anyway, as Chris perused page after page of Lego figurines finding everything from Buz Lightyear to Sponge Bob Squarepants.  I kept feeling more consistent pain. Chris acted on his gut instinct and as we got home, he began to time the pain for the next hour.  At 11:00pm, Chris stood up & said “I better get dressed” (he was in ball shorts and it was cold outside, so jeans were a necessity). WHAT?!? I panicked! I didn’t want to go to the hospital & potentially be sent home.  I know many first-time pregnant women go into the hospital several times, but I didn’t want to be “one of those” women.  But alas, he made me get in the car and we headed to the Oak Ridge ER.

They began to monitor the baby’s heart rate & my contractions, while providing lovely room service of Red Gatorade and…nothing more! After about an hour, we noticed the screen said “Admit Patient”.  As I saw this, panic settled in…I looked at Chris & tried to calmly muster the next words…”I better finish this Gatorade because after they admit me, all I get is ice chips!”  (And you thought I was panicked about birth. Nah. But don’t come between me and food/drinks!)

They didn’t admit me for another 3 hours, when they came swooping through the doors at 3:30am, scaring Chris & I awake from the dead of sleep. Apparently the baby’s heart rate dropped 2xs & our doctor was now committed to having this baby boy within 24-48 hours.

Around 7:00am our doctor came to see us. I was so relieved to see him; the nurses were not my best friend during dilation checks and starting IVs…  He began to induce through IV meds and then went on to church, noting he’d be back shortly. (There’s something refreshing about the man that is about to deliver your child, going to church prior to the day’s festivities.)

Up to now, no one knew anything about the events that had transpired over night, we decided it was finally a reasonable enough hour to call them. My momma was the first one there!  I was elated to see her, as I longed to see someone who had been through this before, who could look me in the eye and remind me I am strong enough to do this!

As family arrived, everyone got their few moments with me, but around 1:00pm, we kicked everyone out…(per my request). Listen, my personal preference is the opinion that they didn’t participate in the event of making the baby, so they didn’t need to be first witnesses to the birth.  But again, strictly my opinion…and to each their own!

After several episodes of back-and-forth with increased induction meds, trying to break my water a couple of times, and nothing moving this process along, it was getting worrisome. Well for my family and Chris.  I knew nothing, but later (as in like 3 years later) I found out that apparently with the baby’s heart rate dropping sporadically and no dilation progress, mixed with constant contractions, it was about time to call for a C-Section.  And so while everyone was consumed with those thoughts, I was over here just begging everyone to pray the delivery happens with the first shift nurses, because I didn’t want to deal with a shift change to night nurses during the climax point of this process.  (I would like to take a moment to note here that my dear best friend and gal I call sister had little faith that this would happen…I love her dearly, but do, every-so-often, remind her how Great our God is).  Because in fact, I did have our first son about 45 minutes before shift change…

After having my epidural and still dealing with quite some pain, they were about to call the anesthesiologist back, but the doctor made a final check and said… “It’s time to push”.  And during the next 30 minutes of pushing, the baby seemed to give up. His heart rate would drop, he was tired, and he just wasn’t ready to be removed from his home of 9 months; my womb (that’s for my mom…she loves that word).  But by using the assistance of a birthing apparatus, the doctor was able to deliver him with no complications, and…

At 6:11pm, on Sunday February 12, 2012 (almost 5 years ago), weighing 5lb 14oz & 18.5″ long…our first precious baby boy joined the world!! Chris was a fantastic support & all he could say was how strong I was through the whole thing…20 hours of labor & only 2 spent on meds!

And as we shift back to February 11, 2017, tomorrow I will have a 5 year old, who is smart as whip, hilarious, a friend to all (at least his teachers say he can talk to anyone), sensitive like his mommy (almost to a fault), never forgets anything-down to the details, handsome and knows it, a good big brother, and who now declares that once he turns 5 I can no longer cuddle him (we’ll see about that, after all, I’m still mom).  I’m glad God chose me to be his mom!  Now let’s go have his birthday dinner…His choice.

Grilled Cheese!