Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes! #CoffeeTalk

What a week, you guys. It’s definitely been a series of highs and lows as I come to terms with how things are about to change for our family in various ways. It’s all good change, but even good change comes with some growing pains, ya know?

I had a down day earlier this week, and I shared a bit of what was on my heart and mind in one of my email newsletters. You all were so sweet and supportive, and I appreciate all of your comments so much. I know there is much to look forward to, but I needed a day to let it all sink in and indulge my sentimental side.

I’m generally a pretty practical person. I have my own life, my job, my own interests, my friends… I’m not one of those moms who has spent the past 18 years focused solely on my kids, volunteering at their schools and extra-curricular activities. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) In fact, sometimes I feel guilty that I don’t do more.

All I’m saying is, I always figured I’d be fine when my kids move on because I have my own interests and people to occupy myself with, but I’m realizing it will still take some getting used to. An empty house can seem very loud somehow.

The funny thing is, I love an empty house… when I know everyone is coming back home to sleep at night. But now that I’m getting a glimpse into a future of hellos and good-byes as my kids start to move on and create lives that don’t necessarily include me, an empty house suddenly dredges up all sorts of memories and emotions I wasn’t prepared to deal with.

I’m already feeling better, though. My son came home from camp yesterday for a brief respite before he returns this afternoon (he is allowed 24 hours each weekend between groups of campers) and suddenly the world seemed to right itself on its axis.

He was his same old self, and I can see myself getting used to him coming in and out of our lives. There’s actually more to talk about when he’s been away, and it was nice to hear about what he’s been up to this week. Even his sisters seemed interested in talking to him.

I did his laundry and made his favorite dinner, and when I set the table, I smiled as I counted out 5 dinner plates instead of 4.

After dinner, he returned to his video games, and Paul and I went down the street to visit with our neighbor-friends. When we got home, D was gone again… assumably out playing basketball with friends. (We need to have a discussion about letting us know his whereabouts when he’s home. This independence thing is going to his head already!)

This morning, everything seems right with my world again — normal-but-not-normal, but normal enough.

I’m sure I’ll have more melancholy days as the summer progresses, as we take this house apart and move into our new home and get D off to college, and it may take time to get used to our new normal, but I’m also excited to get to the other side — both literally and figuratively.

We’re sort of in limbo at the moment, waiting to get the keys to the new house. I did some packing earlier in the week, but then I slowed down as we got closer to the weekend. I’m not quite ready yet to start taking things off the walls and end tables and things, and there’s not much else left out that we’re not using. In fact, I’ve already had some moments of wishing I could access things that are packed away in boxes.

And so we wait.

It’s affecting all of us — the waiting. Normally this time of year we’d be relaxing and enjoying summer vacation, but we’re all feeling a little antsy. That’s okay, though. There’s nothing wrong with a little anticipation!

Meanwhile, I’m trying to enjoy this glorious weather we’re having… FINALLY! It has been such a cold, wet spring, but I think Mother Nature got the memo, and summer seems to be here to stay. The sun is even shining today — our first Sunday without rain in weeks… maybe even months. #noexaggeration

I’m looking forward to church this morning, and then we have plans to go out to lunch with friends. After that, we may spend a few hours at our swim club before we come back here to the neighborhood for our annual Father’s Day kickball game. It’s always dads vs. kids, and the dads usually win, but the kids are getting bigger so it will be fun to see if they can finally school their dads.

I wish my son could be here for that, but I know he’s where he should be, and there will be more Father’s Day kickball games.

We don’t have much going on this next week, except for D’s college orientation on Thursday… Why do they schedule those so early in the summer? It seems too soon!

But anyway, that should be an experience. I hope it doesn’t send me into another tailspin of emotions, but I actually think it will be kind of cool. At least it will give me a diversion from packing.

I hope you all have fun plans for this gorgeous Sunday. Enjoy your Father’s Day!

Join The Conversation

56 Responses

  1. It’s all good. 
    I remember being anxious as my boys went off to college in Indiana, and was laying in bed one night and God said, as much as you love them and watch over them, how much more do I, as their Heavenly Father, love and watch over them. 
    It was a good reminder that He’s in control ❤️
    Thank you for sharing your family with us, Jo-Lynne! 

  2. Happy Fathers Day!  When I moved back home after a divorce, at the age of 21, I was expected to let my parents know my whereabouts and when I should be home.  And that request and respect continued until I married Larry at the age of 37.  The past two days have been very bad for Larry, the worst he’s had in a really long time.  I’m hoping today will be better, since his son, our DIL, and granddaughter are on their way down to visit for the day.  Right now it looks like it’s going to storm, but maybe it’ll move out quickly.  Be blessed!

    1. Yes, we always had those expectations as well, and I figure it’s good practice for when he’s married. I mean, I still let Paul know where I’m going… and even my kids if they’re home. 🙂 He just needs a little reminder.

      I’m sorry to hear Larry isn’t doing so well. I hope he got to enjoy his son’s visit yesterday.

  3. Hang in there girlfriend. I know it’s tough when the 1st one leaves the nest. We live in Oklahoma and our oldest son went to school in Blairsville, PA. We moved him to school and got him settled in his apartment. When we left, I cried my eyes out from Blairsville to Indianapolis, IN. 
    Good luck with the move. I can’t wait to see pictures of the new house.

    1. Oh, no… that sounds so sad. I know I’ll shed a few tears, but I am comforted that he’ll only be 30 min away. Funny, I was disappointed when he turned down Pitt – I thought it would be better for him to go away to school, but now I’m happy he’s going to be close. 🙂

  4. Jo-Lynne, 
    I have been reading your blog for years. And even though you don’t know me, I’m sending you a cyber hug for those times you feel melancholy. I have a 3 year old boy, but I know I’ll be in your same shoes before I know it. Glad to hear today is a better day.

  5. The setting of he table sure rang true with me. It feels so good to set those 5 spots. We have an “empty” home today. I need to conjure up a Happy Father’s Day. Have a lovely day. Kickball seems like so much fun! Still no daily emails! No matter what I do.

    1. Well, darn. Your situation is truly baffling, and I’m so frustrated that MailChimp can’t just manually fix it on the backend. I just looked, and it STILL says Pending Confirmation and also shows you unsubscribed on May 26. But when I unsubscribed you, I did it on June 12. So it looks like you unsubscribed first – probably trying to fix it. But it also still shows you as opted in to the GDPR list and wanting to get both daily and weekly emails – but they aren’t sending. Grrr. I guess you don’t have another email address you could use?

      I will reach out to them again, but they weren’t very helpful. They seem to think you should be able to update your profile and it should work.

      This whole situation makes me want to start over from scratch with another email provider, but that is crazy, and would make everyone sign up yet again, so I keep trying to work thru everyone’s separate issues and get them fixed. I’ve lost half my list at this point. 🙁

  6. Ahhh change …. it’s both our friend and our enemy.  I always try to look to scripture to find comfort.  

    “And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.”
    ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭31:8‬ ‭KJV‬‬

    “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:”
    ‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:1‬ ‭KJV‬‬

    And one of my favorites: 
    “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”
    ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13:8‬ ‭KJV‬‬
    Have a blessed day!  And Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there.  

  7. This August, I will drop our 4th and last child off at college. I’ve got experience, so while I no longer have the fear I had dropping off Baby Duck #1, there is still that happy/sad pain building. While you know it’s right and good that they are beginning a new, fantastic chapter, it does mark the beginning of things never quite being the same at home again. That new normal. We are also moving in a couple of weeks and I am actually quite glad to not begin my new chapters as an empty-nester in the house all the kids grew up in! Cheers and prayers to all of us, young and old, making new transitions!

  8. I remember going thru all of those emotions when my son was getting ready for college! It seems to hit you at the most unexpected times! Hang in there and just take it one day at a time. 

  9. Jolynne. I know what you mean about the weather here in Delaware it has been much of the same. I was afraid to wear sandal because i hate how they feel when they get wet.  I was very happy to see the last few days i could wear sandal but i had a pedi I decided to go for it.  I understand your feels of growing pains. I have a daughter who is going to high school and is already talking about driving. All I keep thinking is what happened to my baby. I have my own life  but still its just  the two us . Its hard 

  10. I totally get what you’ve been feeling but you will still have your daughters at home and later when your son comes home to visit he will actually throw off you new routine. Everyone will adjust and things will follow into place. It’s even harder when you have an only child. My daughter is in her 3rd of college but still lives at home and commutes to save money but I know it won’t be long before our home of 21yrs will be different without her here. I am doing what I can to prepare myself. 

    1. Yeah, I think from now on, our lives will be a series of getting used to new routines… but then again, isn’t parenting just that way the whole way through? Every time you get used to a stage, a new one replaces it. Ahhh… life. Never boring, that is for sure!

  11. When each of my children left for college I got a dog. It really helped me get through the whole empty nest thing. I realize it is not a solution for everyone. One is trained as a Therapy dog and I do Therapy dog work with elderly and special needs kids. The other dog is my sport dog, and we do competitive agility. We all learn to adjust in our own ways.

  12. I think all your feelings are normal. Good to share also. You are doing great. Maybe keep a journal.That way you can reflect later.

  13. Ahh, I love all this Jo-Lynne. Brings back such bittersweet memories. We’re very much into the rhythm of the hellos and goodbyes here, and it is indeed a sweet and satisfying rhythm at this point. But it does take some getting used to. I just encourage you to give yourself – and Paul, because he’ll have adjustments, too, especially with his one and only male child gone – lots of grace. At unexpected moments like you experienced this past week, the changes will grip you. But you’ll move on through them.

    You sound so much like me. I, too, thought that because I wasn’t overly invested in my kids’ every moment that I would breeze through these transitions. But we all have to come to terms with change in one way or another. It will be the little things.

    When I think of my own kids and how we interact now, it’s very much as you described it. We do have more to talk about, and we’re able to have interesting and vibrant conversations that don’t depend on me telling them what to do or when to do it, etc. It’s just a nice, easy exchange of ideas, plans, goals and experiences. You’ll learn to love that. But I also admit, there are days when I long for the mayhem and chatter and busyness of a full home. Ah, well…

    Blessings sweet mama! You’re doing great!!! XOXX

  14. Wow you are so real!
    Hv had all those feelings…
    When they come home from college and know
    Everything!  Remember that time well!
    My youngest will marry in few months and I am looking
    at boxes packed this morning…
    Her to her new home and me to my new
    Retirement condo!
    Exciting to see God to reveal his plan in our lives and
    also in yours!

    1. That’s a lot of change, but it sounds like good change! Enjoy your new retirement condo. I’m guessing it’s a lot less maintenance than your current situation. 🙂

  15. That “freedom to come and go” part is hard when the kids reach that age. Mine have agreed to either Life360 or Find My Friends. That way I can give them their independence, but if I’m curious where they’re off to, I can do a quick check and have piece of mind.

    1. Yes, I do have the Find My Phone app and I use it often. That is how I knew he was at basketball… well, and my neighbor who I was hanging out with asked me if he had gone with her son… which he did. LOL! But anyway. I figure I can’t rely on that forever, it’s not much to ask him to just let me know where he’s going, but it is definitely a nice backup to have when he forgets. 🙂

  16. Good afternoon!
    You are so Blessed to have more then one. My son will be 29 in August. Where does the time go? He still lives with us because he couldn’t afford college and housing, plus he wants to bit land and build a toy house. 🏠
    I would of had Five children but it was not meant to be. I have Four in heaven, Grace, Elizabeth Tanisha and Gabriel. My heart was so broken I felt like I couldn’t go on. But I did! My son has really blessed me. He’s absolutely wonderful. He really is a miracle. 🙏🏻 it took us Five years to get pregnant. So I treasure everyday that he is here with us. When he was 15 I was diagnosed with breast cancer given 2 years to live, I prayed hard and asked God to at least let me see him graduate, I did. I am so thankful. I am still here and hope one day to be a grandma when he’s married that is!
    God Bless you always!
    By the way I went to Macy’s stylist consultant to get advice on how to dress etc. They never called me back after filling out the questionnaire.. so it’s been so wonderful to see your IG and blog. You have no idea how much you have helped me!! Thank you soooo much!!!

    1. Hi Cindy, that is a lot of heartbreak. I’m so glad to hear that God saw fit to bless you with your son and that you’ve been able to beat the odds of the breast cancer diagnosis. PTL!

      How odd that Macy’s never got in touch! I’m so glad to hear my blog is helpful. Sometimes it seems so frivolous considering all the important topics I could be writing about, but when I hear that it’s helpful, I feel so much better about the time I spend on it. xo

  17. So glad your son had a chance to get home:) I know what you mean about the comings and goings of our children. That was a real hard one for us as our children stayed home to go to university, so as they got older we had to loosen the strings just a bit, but still required respect and consideration. It ‘s a real learning lesson going to bed when you know your ducklings lol aren’t in yet, so I still find myself waking up to do a last check. (no wonder I’m tired some days Ha!!) Our son is 21 and going into year 3 of university he took a year off after year one, (which was the best thing for him) and has now found his groove. Yeah!! Our daughter 24 graduated last spring and will be with her job soon to be one year. She’s still living with us and guess what? She just got engaged on Friday night. WE are SUPER excited, but here goes another season. For me I know now when she leaves it will be to start her own life and be the wife and perhaps mom someday God has prepared her to be. She’s one of my best friends and we have had a lot of girl time, and she’s not only close to me but her dad (that will be hard) and her and her brother have a very close relationship. I’m thinking these are the days I will find hard. The emptying of the nest but I truly thank God I’ve had these extra bonus years. I’m praying now they stay close as his family lives in the same area as we do, almost neighbors. So Jo Lynne you are never alone. We can only take one day at a time and cherish each one. Thank you to the ladies who shared such great reminders of God’s power. He is in control and will watch over our children when we can’t. Its a great comfort.
    Hope you enjoy your day. Its sunny and hot and time for some time by the pool.

  18. Thank you so much for writing this post. As my boys get older, I have started wondering and thinking some of the same thoughts that you have articulated…. So your words have been tremendously reassuring.

  19. I too just had my oldest graduate, a son. We had his party June 8th and had a great time with friends and family. He came to me 4 days later and said I don’t want to go to college anymore. We were suppose to leave today (Father’s Day) for college orientation on Monday morning and come back Wednesday. He was going to college in another state about 4 hours away. He said I would really rather do an electrician apprenticeship instead of a 4 year Construction Management degree. So I’ve gone through all kinds of emotions in just a few days. From disappointment and worrying if he will be able to make enough of an income without a 4 year degree ( his dad and I both have 4 year degrees). To relief, that he told me before going and 2 months later saying I’m quiting and all the tuition, room and board and fees we would of already paid for.

    So now we need a new game plan and figure out how to get him into the Union Appreciatship program. My guess is he is too late to start this fall and will need to stay at his current job at an RV dealership. Life can really throw you curves. I’m trying to catch everything thrown my way. I guess we will have to wait and see what happens. The unknown and not having a plan really bothers me.

    1. Wow, that is QUITE a curveball! I would be a basketcase, I’m sure. It sounds like he has a good head on his shoulders, though. He has a plan. He knows what he wants to do, and yes, he figured it out and told you before you were all out the tuition payment. Also, he has a job currently that will sustain him until he figures out the next steps for the apprenticeship.

      I understand the desire to see your kids get a 4-year degree, but it is getting sooo expensive, and there are a lot of other great alternatives out there now. It sounds like he has given it a lot of thought. (((hug))) mama. It will all work out. Hang in there. xo

      1. Joa, I just had to add my support here as somebody who has a property management company. It is so hard to find people with maintenance skills, and looking at the future, now that everybody is encouraged to get a four-year degree, it is only going to be harder. Your son sounds like he really knows what he wants. Excellent electricians are hard to find. He can make a great living, especially if he eventually has his own business and trains other under him. Where would we all be without safe electricity? Good luck to him.

  20. Hugs to you. Sounds like you’re in a good place. I think it’s something that comes and goes and there are moments of being sad and other times of being okay and excited for the times to come. We had orientation for my son last week (I know – early!) and it made me excited for everything he has in store for him. 

  21. My heart aches for you, as I was in your exact position this time last year. We were packing Johnny up for Summer session. As you well know how that turned out. But here we are, a year later, and truthfully, even though things are different, they have stayed almost the same. I have found that the more I let go, the more he is here. Because he wants to be……….not because he thinks he has to be. I was up in arms about the “tell us where you are thing”. And then I remembered that he is an adult. He does it all the time when he is at school. The time has come for me to trust him and trust in the job we did raising him. It is is still hard when he leaves, but it gets easier. Trust me. And trust in the job you and Paul did raising him. Enjoy your new home. Enjoy your new phase in life!

    1. Thanks, Jen! And yes, I do remember you going thru this last year. We already have our paperwork set up so we have power of attorney if need be, thanks to your advice! I’m glad Johnny is doing well!

  22. Good luck with the college orientation!  I was in your shoes last summer and the change is hard even when deep down you know it’s the way it’s supposed to be!  For my son’s orientation I was not expecting to get emotional at all!  In fact I was very excited about it but when we walked in the doors out of nowhere it hit me!!!  I fought so hard to hold back the tears but a few managed to escape.  I was shocked at my reaction but I guess it hit me that very soon after that we would be bringing him back there but not bringing him home!  But the good thing is the joy it brings to see your child on their own and doing very well!  For me I guess I finally felt like after all the doubts of whether or not I was doing this parenting thing right I have started to see that I did enough things right!!!  But I still wish I knew how we got to this point so fast!!  Enjoy every moment with him this summer! (Even if they are few and far between)  and good luck with your move!

    1. Thanks, Amy. I’m preparing myself for that reaction… because it’s close by, I’ve been to the college a couple of times. We went to the bookstore to get some stuff for graduation gifts. So I’m HOPING it won’t hit me too hard, but I’m sure it will be different to be there for orientation. Ugh… I knew this would be hard, but I don’t think it is possible to adequately prepare yourself. Thanks for the encouragement. xo

  23. Jo Lynne, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings. You know even though I love fashion, Coffee Talk is my favorite post of the week! I don’t have children, so I can’t speak to this with any authority, but as I think about it, it seems as though it will be exciting for you to move into the next phase with your son. It won’t be just a parent tending to child relationship, but rather the beginning of a more adult, complex and interesting relationship. 

    Ah, and how crazy that we’re moving at the same time. We take possession of the new home on Wednesday, and the movers come Thursday! We have almost everything boxed up already, minus some essentials. I’m really ready to start the new adventure! Best wishes for an easy move! 

  24. Hey Jo-Lynne, I feel you on all of this! I attended my younger son’s Grade 9 “grad” (in Canada, that is the last year of Jr. high) on Thursday and my oldest son’s grad (Grade 12) on Monday – so I have been kind of a mess in the last little while. The oldest has started a job and now we are seeing him a bit less – I too miss the 4th plate at the table. 🙂 I know everything will be ok, but it all seems to be happening so fast. Before I know it September will be here and my youngest will be in High School! Ahh! 🙂

  25. Oh Jo-Lynne, I am a mother of two sons. My firstborn I lost in 2016. My second born married August 2017. Trust in the Lord. He will never leave you or forsake you. He holds you, your husband and your children in the palm of His hand. Trust in Him. Through the valley He reveals Himself and on the mountain top he proclaims His glory! Rest in Him. Always.

    1. Thank you, Michele. I believe that with all my heart. I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child. My heart aches just thinking of what you must have been through. I’m grateful that this current stage is all good changes, but I also know that we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, so I’m definitely trying to embrace it despite the uncertainties.

  26. I’m nearly 80 (though tend to look younger, but never as young as I think) . Our 16 yr. old granddaughter is with us off and on this summer. We live in a casual coastal/mountain community, but get to the city occasionally. I don’t want to embarrass her. Any suggestions as to how to dress here and in San Francisco.

    1. Hey Kathleen – my best advice is to look through my spring and summer outfit posts and adapt for your style. (There is a tab on my blog under the Fashion header with each season, or you can see all my subcategories here: https://jolynneshane.com/category/fashion-over-40.) I’m assuming it’s pretty casual where you are, and I do a lot of casual looks. I know I’m younger, but hopefully you can adapt some ideas. You also might like to check out some of the over 50 fashion bloggers here: https://jolynneshane.com/over-50-fashion.html for some other ideas and styles. Hope that helps! I’m sure your granddaughter will enjoy spending time with you no matter what you wear. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close this search box.