Posted in Uncategorized

And just like that, it’s complete (not over)

Another Christmas in the books! Since I was young, Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. I love the decorations, the music, the gift-giving, the spirit and cheer, the family get-togethers, and year-after-year treasure even more the true gift of the season…our savior.

As I reflect on this year’s holiday events, I know how blessed we are and I have such gratitude. Because, like the quote says, “Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters,” and that’s where I find myself this year. Seeing what, or rather WHO,  really matters and having a greater sense of value for it…

From aunts and uncles, who know how to keep the laughter going and our spirits bright, but with the same swiftness, can pull us into a moment of worshiping Jesus through guitar playing and campfire-like Sing-a-longs.

To grandparents who poured out love through gift giving but more so through their presence. You see, growing up as an Army brat, we never lived close to family, so if grandparents didn’t visit us or vice versa, it was just the four of us! I loved going to my grandparents’ house, playing in my favorite spots, sitting in my grandma’s bar stools to play or talk to her while she cooked, and sneaking into my grandpa’s office, sometimes while he was in there preparing for a sermon, to play with his briefcase (the one I have the honor of carrying to work each day now). I also loved when they visited us, and recall a time where I begged them to come by writing something to the effect of “come visit us” followed by one-thousand “pleases.” (Literally). With them telling my mom over and over they weren’t coming, about 6pm Christmas Eve the doorbell rings and there they were! Still such fond memories.

To my brother, who would hate my way of gift giving.  I mean who doesn’t want a roll of wrapping paper filled with 20, $1 bills, stuffed between tissue paper… Or how we used to sleep in each other’s floor on Christmas Eve because we were so excited we couldn’t stand it! And to now, how he truly spoils not just me, as his sister, but also the hubs and my three babies. And I really do mean spoil.  He’s better than Santa😉.

To my parents, who made us wait for what felt like eternity before we could come see what Santa left because the video camera had to be set up, and dad had to get ready and have some juice, and do anything else that could possibly prolong the process. But, who is also a big pile of mush at the end of Christmas Day and always ready to reminisce about the highs and lows of such a great day.

To my hubby, who also spoils me (see a trend here?) but within our means…we decided long ago not to go into debt for the holidays. And he always supports any new crazy holiday traditions or ideas I may have, and this is huge. He loves the reason for the season, but Christmas is not his favorite holiday, so many times he does things simply to please my desires, and that, like I said, is huge!!

My mother-in-law and her ability to be her most generous self because she has a true love for our babies and it’s beautiful to see her joy through their excitement.

Speaking of my babies, living the magic of Christmas through them, brings me back to the excitement I felt year-after-year, and keeps it alive. Such a newness, but also difference because now I’m the parent with all the tricks up my sleeve.

And finally, to my mom. She is the glue. The thoughtful gift giver, always striving to get what you want and finding other simply “neat” things to stick in your sock or wrap in a box. She’s the one who makes the monkey bread each Christmas morning and cooks Christmas dinner. She also spoils us. She pours out her all to make your experience the best. She is our Christmas spirit and I am so thankful for how she instilled that in me to now pass along and even share with her.

And my feature photo has absolutely nothing to do with this post, except to display a few favorites that I have received this Christmas. On second thought, it does go along with it…showing how I was “spoiled” by these great people I get to call family…

A fabulous handbag, to carry my new phone case, which is of course a print of my fav TV sitcom ‘Friends’. And doesn’t every girl need a great pair of RED booties??? And finally, the shirt. Ya’ll should have known that SOMETHING in this picture would have to do with Coke & Jesus❤. Because that’s my goal here…to keep it real & keep it focused on Jesus…and you can’t forget Coke!

Posted in Christmas Crazy

…and to all a good night

The stockings were hidden with the gifts from Santa behind the couch,                            in hopes that the littles would not escape their room, see the loot, and make mom a grouch.

Poor rhyming….I know I know, but it’s after 11pm (which is late for this granny) & Christmas hustle & bustle with 3 kids, ages 4 and under, who by-the-way are all strong-willed, hyper, excited, not a calm bone in their body, type kids is Not for the faint of heart.  And as our 2nd (maybe 3rd…honestly, I can’t remember) year playing Santa…this parenting at the holiday thing is tiresome! Not to mention the mommy guilt that comes along, free of charge.

First, you may be wondering why I wouldn’t know exactly how long we’ve been playing Santa. “It should be easy, how old is your firstborn…” Except, I learned this great trick from a very wise woman, that when they are that young they have no clue who the gifts are from, so let the grandparents spoil them, they are going to anyway. So, over the last two years is when we started buying major gifts for them.  (Don’t be judging…you’re just jealous you didn’t save up those first few years too…j/k).

Anyway, now that it’s getting real because our 4 year old understands, it’s so fun! But with that fun, I’m slowly learning, comes a whole pile of WORK! No one told me about trying to hide gifts in your closet for 2 months. Or baking special cookies for Santa. (My Santa was perfectly fine with oreos…j/k, I do think my mother had special cookies for ours…) Or putting together toys, trying to be quiet and avoid the stirring of one to walk down the hall to go potty and find their Santa gifts being put together by the elves known as “mom and dad.” Shew! Makes me tired just writing that!

And tonight, about 5 minutes after all 3 were put to bed and threatened….I mean highly encouraged…not to stick their head outside the doorframe of their rooms until mom and dad are awake, I sat to take a small break before toy building ensued and it suddenly dawned on me…we didn’t let them put out the cookies they cut, baked, and decorated!! And the milk! Ahhhhh (insert Kevin McCallister’s well-known scream when he realizes he’s “Home Alone.”) ” What kind of parents are we? How could we forget part of the typical Santa tradition? How do people with those elves keep up …Everday? (I forgot 1 task, on 1 day). Do we go get them up and all roused back up, just to set out cookies?” (I believe when I asked this question, my husband secretly thought, ‘She’s lost her mind’). So, we let them be. We poured some milk in a glass, and the Cookie Monster of my home, ate a bite from each cookie, and we continued on with toy construction.

And while you might be thinking, oh that’s not bad, just some toy instructions, there’s also stickers for the toys, and batteries, and screws, and boxes. Those darn cardboard boxes that are cumbersome and bulky but still have to be hidden because our Santa doesn’t leave his trash, he picks up after himself…

With all said and done, I’m totally excited to video them running down the hallway, for us to experience the joy of the season, through their tiny souls. So while I have now ranted about the difficulty of keeping up with “playing Santa”…I’m actually grateful. Grateful for all my parents did. Grateful for grace, and to give myself that same grace because, cookies are minor details. Grateful, for a husband that doesn’t add to the mommy guilt and yet checks me back into reality over cookies and hustle & bustle, and reminds me…”it’s okay” or to just go drink a Coke 😉


Posted in Christmas Crazy

Another one in the books

Each year, for as long as I can remember, my mom had an annual “open house” Christmas Party. Meaning anytime between the chosen block of 4 hours, people could drop in, make a plate, have a few conversations with familiar faces, and then be on their way. No games. No requirement to stay the full time. No tacky sweater requirement, although that used to be my mom’s specialty outfit (sorry mom). And No obligation to come. Well, except that if you continually show no interest to come year-after-year, you will most likely not be included in following years invites…just sayin’

Over the years the party has changed for me. When I was a kid, I have no idea how my mother managed getting all the food ready and dealing with my brother and I, except that she’s a saint & made motherhood look like a walk in the park. You see,  I have vivid images of us hounding her about “how long till’ the party starts”, “when are people going to get here”, “can I eat yet”, “are my friends coming” and so-on and so-forth. [And this is why the Busby’s annual Christmas party lasted two years].

Then it evolved to my teen years where I played it cool. Sometimes, on a rare occasion, okay I think only once, I had a boyfriend who would come (and it ended up being the night I dumped him…I should blog about that!) Then I was involved in our church youth group, so sitting around cutting up about any of the dumb stuff we did became pretty popular material for our youth leader to use to make jokes to pass the evening.

Then it was young adult, “no I’m not married, yes I’m still single, no I don’t have a date for this party, and yes my job does satisfy my lifestyle right now” years… But thankfully I had “the girls” (you know who you are) by my side, otherwise I might have ended up admitting myself to a hospital for depression from the social network of parties and the questions that come in order to “catch up.” (This was also before the days of social media popularity-thank you Lord-or there would be no need for the game of 21 questions as everyone would already know my life circumstances, and would have expressed their opinion by the choice of “liking” my post or by making a comment, I’m sure)

Now I’m married with THREE kids (don’t worry, some days I don’t believe it) and so instead of frequent socializing, it’s more of corralling the kids to stay in the play room, “reminding” them in a stern but friendly tone to say “excuse me,” and keeping the youngest away from the crowd, because so far, he’s not a fan of humans (I’ll explain this shortly, but it’s a new phrase from my 4 year old). BUT, I do want to note, that my husband is fantastic in this arena, as he lets me socialize while he tends to the kids. I know ladies, I’m blessed! But listen, I was careful in the “husband selection” process, as I knew I already acted like “the man” in most cases, so the kids were definitely going to need someone

Anyway…the party always leaves me with a sweet sense of the holiday season from being close to friends and family, sharing stories of days gone by and days to come, with our bellies full of punch and goodies, and at the end, a house full of…

LAUGHTER. From sarcasm from the guys, crazy nonsense from “the girls” and whatever my children have done or said.

You thought I was going to get all sappy there, didn’t ya. And it does bring a good sense of the holiday, but with our crew, sometimes it’s just cray cray!  And tonight didn’t disappoint.

From my oldest starting to call adults “humans” which he was then asking my mom, “are these all the humans that are coming?” I tried to explain. Now he’s just doing it out of spite for the correct terminology (or it could be the fact that we keep laughing at him each time he does it).

To the baby throwing fits when people simply wanted to say “hi” and he wasn’t digging them being in his space, so all out screams would begin…

Or the disappointment that settled in when the oldest two came expecting one of my mom’s famous family dinners, only to realize the “party food” was “the dinner” and we would not all be sitting down together to break bread.

Which then led to daddy fixing peanut butter sandwiches. (I wish I had invented peanut butter-what a billionaire, & genius!)

Or when my “brother from another mother” (not really, but I just claim him as my brother) told me I look “mature” tonight as my outfit wasn’t as young and hip and stylish as I perceived, since others had it on too. I still liked it and plan to wear it again.

Or my oldest running up to my mom’s hair dresser and loudly proclaiming “hey, you cut hair but I don’t come to you because it costs money.”  To answer the questions in your mind right this moment: Yes, he heard one of his parents say that. No, it wasn’t his father. And we do still cut the child’s hair, but with three kids and this momma needing to keep her grays in check, you gotta cut costs somehow, so my husband has mastered buzz cuts and we are all just fine with it. Now, if only I could do the same for my daughter…Kidding, Kidding.

All-in-All a good night, leaving me happy with how the party has changed. I appreciate the value of this life so much more through the relationships of family and friends, and especially at the holidays.

That, and then you have the kids who sure do make it interesting.

*Disclaimer-the photo was actually taken at my mom’s! I love her home, but especially at Christmas!

Posted in Random Ramblings

…if I could turn back time

I would have written about 4 blog posts… Oh well.

Life has been crazy. That’s no excuse for my lack of attention to my blog, but sadly things got crazy in my world. Like quicksand crazy. Maybe soon I’ll share a little about that as it involves some holiday festivities, travel (an 8 hour road trip with three kids under the age of 4, where the good Lord helped two parents come out alive), wild work days, and trying to keep up with everything by using a completely un-structured Bullet Journal, where I cannot wrap my mind around the concept but trying to implement it as my planner. (Yeah-definitely more to come on that). Here’s hoping I get it under wraps by 01-01-2017!  So in light of the craziness, I’m here to share random thoughts because that’s truly life right now. A mass of messy madness.

-I’m thoroughly enjoying my Christmas tree this year! (But I do every year)

-I hate chapped lips. I have finally found some lip balm that works, but I’m learning it means I actually have to apply it on the regular, and let’s just say while I thought the “gap” was finding the right lip balm, it’s not…

-I love my job and the people I work with…  No worries. That’s not to be a kiss up in hopes that my boss reads this and sees my enthusiasm.  But I mean if so…

-I am about to decide that I want to start the tradition of buying a “yearly family Christmas ornament.”  I’ve only had a family for 6 years and now I want to try to recall which kids were present each year, or even try to match it with a special celebration we did that year… What am I thinking?   I’m thinking about getting the cute face/people/personalized ones, but actually just bought one this year from a place we visited & plan to just add our names where they fit. I think I like the spontaneous option better. And why not? I’m back-tracking anyway.

-My husband does not understand why I love Hallmark Christmas movies because he thinks they are all the same, to which I tell him…they are. It’s the predictability us women love…  No guessing what’s going to happen next, just simple, stay the same, happy ending, in the midst of our favorite season, movies.

-“I got this feeling, inside my bones…I got that sunshine in my pocket” I LOVE that song.  And so do my kids.  It’s our official Dance Party song.  And it’s great on a bad day!  You have to get up and dance / sing it, no matter what your mood is.



-Pretty sure it’s the latter.  Some days I try to make a list of all the things I need to get done, then the list gets shoved into a pile of paperwork that includes a task of “go through paperwork” on the to do list, so doesn’t look like I’m going to find that list…  (Yeah, see why life has been a bit chaotic in Jennifer’s world).

-I just need a Coke.  Not just any Coke.  A large fountain Coke from McDonalds, which by-the-way costs $2.07 including tax but in NC I found it for $1.00 for any size!  Why can’t they have that here??  So sad!  And so hard on my budget.

Until next time…which hopefully won’t be a long time.