Posted in The Home Front


Definition: noun. a structure consisting of a roof supported by columns at regular intervals, typically attached as a porch to a building.

My porticos (past and present):

I’ve only lived in two houses that had a porch. The first was a nice covered porch. The full length of the house. 7 white columns which upheld the covered roofing of the porch (I always hated that there was an uneven number). No railings between the columns but definitely a 1’ drop from the porch to the ground. On occasion porch sitting, after a long day of work, with kids playing in the front yard would happen. I’d try to gulp down a steaming hot cup of coffee. I say “try” because… Well. Because. I hate coffee. There, I said it! I have tried over and over to like it but I just Do Not! Anyway, at that time I didn’t realize how much I’d grow to love porch sitting.

Fast forward 3 years or so…And I now have the second home with a covered porch. I call it a home; it’s an apartment. An apartment which is the basement of a home. A split level home, where the top floor has tenants as does the bottom. Confusing I know. Anyway, what is considered my “front” porch, is actually below the top floor tenants’ covered back porch. Further confusion. …but it’s absolutely lovely. It’s tiled flooring, which I love, because no fear of splinters if you’re without shoes. It has 4 circular columns, which line the edge of the porch to the yard. Parallel to the columns is the exterior of the red brick home, with a large 2-panel window with white shutters. Then a full glass wall / door into the “entry way” of my home. I’ve added a rug, a couch, and a fire pit (which I’ve wanted for a while and finally bought for myself this last year). And to top it all off, I’ve lined the white ceiling with outdoor bulb lights for evening time porch-sitting. Side Note: I’m still trying to outsource the work of hanging a TV for music or even movie watching but have yet to find anyone willing to do this task. Anyway, this home, this porch, is by far probably my most favorite place on earth. Aside from the beach (keep that in mind, as you’ll want to remember that for later in this post). One of my favorite humans even calls it “The Happy Place.”

Why? Why do I enjoy the portico?

So, now that you can picture the porch you’re sitting within, in your mind, I can actually write the post I set out to write. Whew! Like I mentioned, I didn’t realize that those initial porch moments would grow into my porch now being my favorite spot in my entire home. Growing up, I was never, and still am not, an outdoorsy person. I don’t love to hike or bike. I don’t like to camp. I don’t like to fish or play sports outdoors. I have allergies which make me crazy if I’m outside for too long. Really, the closest thing to me enjoying being outside is riding in a convertible with the top down. (Sad, I know). However, as I moved into this home, I knew something special had to come of this porch; hence adding the rug and couch.

When I first moved in, and still now, I sweep the porch. At least weekly, sometimes more pending the dirt build up, etc… Keep in mind it’s actually a long porch, and therefore takes some time to sweep. However, I love to sweep it. I own a leaf blower which would be so fast and efficient, especially with 3 kids, but I’ve never used it. Not once in the 8 months I’ve lived there. Sweeping, Ive discovered, on my porch, helps clear my head. And…I get to be in my favorite spot a little longer. Sometimes just me and my thoughts. And sometimes, if it’s been an icky day, I can escape and sweep away all the negativity. And breathe.

And today. Today I spent ALL day out there. In “the happy place.”

Not sweeping all day. Ha! I’d be a crazy person if I did that. I mean, I did sweep at the end of the day, but the morning, I simply started off my “work from home” day, in the crisp spring air, laptop in hand and sunshine glistening off the freshly mowed (from the day before-otherwise I’d been sneezing up a storm) grass. My kids got there and we continued to just stay on the porch/yard. Not necessarily on purpose. It just, happened.

Starting the day!!
Rain-Made creek
Evening activities❤️

We ate lunch, snacks, and dinner out there. I finished my work day out there. They climbed trees and ran races and jumped in the “rain-made” creek I now have in the back yard. And even after dinner and after creek-jumping, as bath-time rotation started, we stayed. And we cranked up the fire pit and plugged in the bulb lights and roasted marshmallows. And I swept.

And as I was sweeping, my daughter said “oh I love this, it’s like the beach!” (And remember from earlier, I love the beach). I stopped. I smiled. I said, “yes dear, it is!” And just like that, I’ve definitely created a “happy place.” It’s freeing and simple and warm and refreshing. Just like the “beach” vibes give to us when we are there.

So, my conclusion: our portico is our “portal” to our “beach” (mindset at least). I LOVE that. And I love even more, that my kids sense and feel and love it as much as mom!

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 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…


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 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!

Posted in The Home Front

…or maybe not!

While doing the 8+ loads of laundry for my family of five this weekend, I actually had this thought.  Well not the exact thought from the quote above…more along the lines of, “wow, wonder what I’ll do with all the free time I’m going to gain when the 3 kids move out!”

I mean I love my kids but one only has to pick through a basket of 3-day old burp clothes and baby onesies, that were once soaked in slobber and spit-up, and have now dried to take on a new shape and smell that will pretty much make you gag into the washer, one time and the above quote becomes meaningless.  Don’t get me wrong, I think I will miss them. (It’s too early to say for sure. All of them are under the age of 4, which means they have/are living the toddler age together, they will be tweens at the same time, and then teenagers. Actually, let’s just pray I’m still alive to do their laundry at that point). But, I’ll miss the pitter patter of little feet running through the house, and their sweet voices, and playing/talking with them, and so much more that I have yet to even live through.  However, I do not envision standing over the washer wishing for just one more time to wash a poop stained pair of Minion undies or hope to have 5 loads of baby clothes to wash in one week. It ain’t happening! (sorry the country girl side gets out every now-and-then).

Plus, I don’t even like doing my own laundry, except for the fact that I enjoy wearing clean clothes. So I think I could stop washing my clothes and not miss doing so.  And if that’s the case, then why would I miss the never-ending battle of children’s clothes?

Well, just in case this quote is in fact true, & I will someday yearn to see an over-piled basket of stinky, stained kids clothes, I’m taking preventative measure now…I’ve started teaching my oldest how to fold socks and am now looking for the best opportunity to do washer/dryer training. You might want to join in!