Diary
51 Comments

Coffee Talk 12.11.22

Good morning on this 3rd Sunday of Advent! I realize this is almost the same photo as last week, but I can never resist taking a picture in the early morning light of the Christmas tree when it’s still dark outside.

I started my day as I usually do with coffee and devotions, and then I shuffled into my office to check email and blog stats and get started on today’s newsletter. One of these days, I’ll learn to get it prepped ahead of time!

This week has been a bit of a downer, with my daughter at home trying to recover from mono. She’s bored and sad to be missing out on so much. The plan is for her to start going to school for half days this week, so we’ll see how that goes.

I did manage to get out for a bit on Thursday; I ran to the mall while Savannah was at the groomer’s, so that was fun. Everything is decorated to the nines, and there was some holiday hustle and bustle in the air, with more people milling around than on a typical weekday.

And then yesterday Becca and I did a Trader Joe’s run, and we had some friends over for a casual dinner last night. It was really nice to catch up, and it made things feel a little more normal around here.

I’ve been trying to wrap up my Christmas shopping this weekend. I like to keep things somewhat even between all three kids, although it never works out quite as neatly as I’d like. It’s harder as they get older too. And then Caroline’s birthday is Christmas Eve, so that’s another whole element to balance!

Speaking of my middle child, she’ll be coming home later this week for Christmas break. I’m looking forward to that, but she’s doing the drive by herself this time, so that makes me nervous. I know I have to let go at some point, and she’s almost 20 years old, but the drive from Boston to Philly is not for the faint of heart.

She does have two friends riding with her, so at least she won’t be alone. That’s the only way we would agree to it. Even so, you can find me on my knees before the Throne of Grace until they’re safely home.

And I guess David wraps up his college classes this week as well. With him living at home and commuting, I tend to lose track of his school calendar, but I think he finishes up on Thursday. That means we have a full week before Christmas with everyone at home.

We really should find some fun and festive things to do as a family, but with the ages and varied interests of my kids, it rarely works out. I guess we did go to the Tina Turner Musical when they were all home over Thanksgiving. I suppose that will suffice for a family holiday outing this year.

It’s a lot easier to find things to do with one or two of the kids, like the Sixers game tonight with David and Becca, and Caroline and I have tickets to see Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella in Philly next week. Becca was going to go too, but I don’t think she’ll be up to it. She’s saving up all her energy to {hopefully} perform in the holiday band concert the following night. It’s always a really good show, with lots of familiar Christmas music, so I’m looking forward to that.

Alright, that’s enough of my rambling this morning. These Coffee Talk posts often seem kind of pointless, but when I skip them, a few of you say you miss them. It’s funny to think that when I started this blog in 2006, this is pretty much what all of my posts were like!

Of course, I had a lot more I could share when the kids were younger, and the anecdotes were more entertaining. These days I always feel like I’m weighing my words, and I probably delete more than I actually publish, but I guess it’s still cathartic to write things out. I’ve always been a writer at heart.

In other news, I’ve got some fun posts planned this week for the blog, including a few more holiday looks and some white elephant gift ideas and hopefully a new try-on haul. As we’re nearing the deadline for online orders, do you have any more requests for gift guides? Anything I haven’t covered? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll see what I can do.

I’m also open to hearing about fashion-related topics you’re interested in seeing as I start to plan content for January. Yes, I’m already planning January content… as they say, social media never sleeps.

Enjoy what’s left of the weekend, and have a restful and blessed Sunday!

Join the Conversation

51 thoughts on “Coffee Talk 12.11.22

  1. Just wanted to say hello! I recently found your blog and am really enjoying it! Hope your daughter continues to recover from mono. I had that a loooong time ago in college and it’s definitely no fun! Prayers for her and hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

  2. Hi Jo-Lynn, You are my favorite person to get fashion advice from. I love your down to earth personality. That is also why I love your coffee talks. Keep up the good work! Don`t fret about rambling, I think a lot of people, myself included, think of it as regular conversation. Have a great day!!

  3. Good Morning – I love the pictures of your tree in the early morning and I really like the Coffee Talk posts – thanks for doing them. We always get a real tree, but this year we have rescued and adopted 3 kittens, all about 7 months old now so we aren’t in a hurry to get an indoor climbing post 😂. We’ll have to anchor it to the walls in multiple places, to be safe. Hopefully I’ll have gorgeous early morning pictures like you soon enough. Cheers!

  4. Love your coffee talks and sharing day to day life! So many in the blogging community make it sound like they live in snow globe where all is perfect 🤷‍♀️
    So glad to hear Becca is feeling better! The flu has been hitting our area like crazy so I’m not going too far. I’ve been to a few Christmas outings and musical but I think it’s time to be closer to home as Christmas approaches… having our whole family together is top priority right now! Praying for safe travels for Caroline ..

    1. Well, rest assured, it’s far from perfect over here, haha! Yes, it sounds like sickness is rampant everywhere this year. It was to be expected, I suppose, after a year of wearing masks and staying away from people. Our immune systems are all out of whack. I hope you all stay well.

  5. Love your coffee talks. Its nice to hear your life outside blogs, as you navigate the ups and downs of this life like the rest of us. Prayer is key for it all. Prayers for Caroline and her travels home and for Becca’s health. Enjoy your family outings with them all. I miss the days before empty nesting.

    1. Thanks, Kathy. I definitely think I’ll miss it when they’ve all moved on… at least the earlier years. These in-between years are rough, I’m telling ya. Prayer is my lifeline, for sure!

  6. I enjoy your Coffee Talks, even if you feel they are much to do about nothing! That is life. Your children’s situations almost mirror mine exactly. I have a 21-year-old making the drive home to Pittsburgh from Nashville later this week (he attends Belmont, which I think Becca is considering?). We try put him on a plane when he comes home, which isn’t very often. But his car needs inspected, so…yeah. He’s also a live-in-joggers guy like David.
    My daughter is also a high school musician like Becca, and our school’s amazing holiday concert is coming up soon. The talent is just unbelievable. It’s like a professional event!
    With all of these things in common, I feel like your Coffee Talks are like a conversation I would be having with a friend. Enjoy your week! ❤️

  7. I always look forward to your Coffee Talks on Sundays! I appreciate this glimpse into your family life even when you feel like there’s not much to write about. I’m sure your momma’s heart will be happy to have all your family together soon. Praying for safe travels for Caroline and a complete recovery for Becca!

  8. Jo-Lynne, I look forward to your Sunday coffee talks! Nothing takes us to our knees more than our children. Praying safe travels for Caroline, and healing for Becca.

  9. I have an idea for a future post. This might sound like a silly question but because you have such an active social life, what’s the secret for making friends who want to do things with you? We don’t go to church. Plus it doesn’t help that I’m not very outgoing. I’m more of an introvert. I do have coworkers and former classmates for friends, plus my husband’s siblings. Unfortunately many people I knew where we live have moved out of the area, and some friends don’t live close by – they’re 45-60 minutes away which makes it hard to get together. We haven’t connected with our neighbors although we tried when we moved in 20 years ago. I know you did a post about throwing a party for friends, but how to have a vibrant social life kinds of eludes us, lol. When kids were young we were very focused on them and work and the grind but now we feel like we have time for friends and haven’t exercised our friend-making muscles in a long time.
    As for clothing posts, try-on hauls are great, really miss seeing Loft try-ons. I think their clothes have improved lately. Winter outfit posts would be very welcome, plus outdoor posts wearing hiking outfits, etc. And if Paul could do some modeling that would be great. Always looking for men’s wardrobe ideas for my husband.
    Hope Becca feels better this coming week and can manage half time classes.

    1. I agree that it would be fun to get ideas on meeting new people! We are moving to a new state next year and leaving a lot of friends and family behind (so hard!). Thankfully we’re moving into a new 55+ community that will have lots of activities and many others who are new to the area. I have found church to be a great way to get to know people through book clubs, study groups and small groups but you can join a book club or card/game group anywhere. I’ve heard there are social media sites that make it easier for people to meet new friends – kind of like a dating app for friends. Hope Jo-Lynne can give us some insight.

    2. That would be hard. I made most of my friends at church and in the neighborhood when my kids were younger. I’m not sure what I would do if we moved to a new area, except try to find a church with people I could make friends with.

      I agree that LOFT is getting better again. I just did a pretty big LOFT try on last week – did you catch it? https://jolynneshane.com/try-on-haul-winter-sweaters-holiday-dresses.html

      I keep thinking I should get Paul involved, but we never seem to get around to it. Maybe a goal for the New Year.

  10. I’d enjoy a post on last minute gift ideas. Not specific items necessarily but general ideas for items that are easy to source. Also I enjoy closet clean out/ organization posts in January. I know you’ve done that before but I wouldn’t mind it again. Maybe a list of suggested items to consider getting rid of? Also I use this time to stock up on closet basics so a generic checklist would be good. Or maybe have several posts with a roundup in each? (Like a layering tee/tank roundup one day, undies the next, etc). Regardless what you decide I’m sure we’ll enjoy it!

  11. I will continue praying for Becca and I will definitely pray for Caroline and her friends very safe travels home! With my personality, I would be a basket case. This reminds me of the Sunday post Tania Stephens recently had about always wanting to be in control and how we should remind ourselves that God is the only one in full control of everything. I am one of those that love your Coffee Talk posts, even when you do t feel like you have anything to share, and I love the picture! Our tree is on a timer. On dreary days like today, I wish it weren’t so that I could turn it on. Have a blessed day!

    1. Thanks, Ginger. I will try to focus on other things a basket case, but it won’t be an easy day, I’m afraid. I hope her friends are good at helping her navigate and not distracting.

  12. Happy Holidays! Am so sorry to hear about your daughter’s mono. I have actually had mono 3 times in my life. Yes, we can get it multiple times. Since it’s a virus, it’s always in your body. My brother has had mono twice. Each time, it took me 18 months to fully recover. Here’s wishing your daughter a quick and speedy recovery! Mono is terrible. Looks like she is doing better already and will send extra thoughts and prayers her way.

    My daughter is attending Tufts University in Boston. She’s a senior so this is the last year and then her job is bringing her back to Colorado. Yes, the drive can be tricky and it’s hard to let go. We let our daughter drive her car from CO to Boston. I didn’t sleep for the 4 days she was en route with her friend. She did great! I think I have more gray hair. Upon graduation, she will drive back. Apparently, word got out it was so much fun, that there is a wait list of people who want to do the drive back with her.

    All the best for a wonderful holiday season with your beautiful family!

    1. Three times, oh my! That sounds awful. I really hope we can get her well and keep it at bay after that. I’m laughing about the drive being so much fun, she has a wait list. I guess that’s better than traveling solo.

  13. Jo-Lynne
    It’s always nice to hear what’s going on in your part of the world. I think you’ll find it makes the rest of us feel normal. Sharing many of the same things we are All going through or have experienced
    Keep it up
    Oooh that drive from Boston is daunting the first time out. Just navigating computer traffic through the city. Glad she has company and it gets easier every time. I’m a Boston Girl and it still takes some planning for me
    Ever thankful for navigation system and have learned never to vary from it. (She always knows what traffic to avoid haha)

    1. Yeah, she likes to just follow the GPS, and I keep telling her she needs to know where she’s going and bypass NYC. Kids these days! They can’t navigate on their own. We are going to try to talk her through it so she goes over the Tappan Zee.

  14. Your morning view looks so peaceful and pretty. Sounds like a good sign that Becca is feeling bored and has the energy to go out. Hope she continues to get better! For a future post idea, I’m still needing help with pairing the right shoes with pants, jeans and skirts. I’m on my feet all day and need comfort but still want to look stylish of course! 😉 I ordered a pair of Sam Edelman leather loafer style shoes from Nordstrom and they arrived yesterday; the Lior loafer in black. I like them a lot and today I plan to play around with them a bit. I know you tend to wear booties this time of year and I wear them too, but on days in the high 60s I often want another option. I used to wear ballet flats a lot (as we all did right?) but I need a replacement that’s more current. I’ve given up on finding the unicorn of straight leg jeans for my body. On Friday (our jean day at work) I wore my long flare/bootcut jeans with my white Vejas sneakers and it worked great. So I felt like I don’t always have to pair the bootcut with a heel (my height helps I think). Have a wonderful Sunday!

    1. I love those Sam Edelman loafers; I think they’re a great option for you. That’s pretty much what I would wear, other than boots and sneakers. They were saying ballet flats were making a comeback. I would love to see that. Have you tried the chunkier loafer? I agree, your height and body type might allow you to wear the flares with Vejas. I tried it with the Weekender, and it wasn’t awful, to be honest, Maybe just a look we have to readjust to.

  15. Jo-Lynne, I am one of your readers who love your Coffee Talks. Prayers for safe travel for Caroline and a speedy recovery for Becca.

  16. I like your Coffee Talks, but also realize some days you might just want a break! 🙂

    I like reading your blog even though I’m not a big buyer. It helps me find things I really want when I do shop.

    1. That’s good to hear, I do try to vary the topics so it can be useful even if people aren’t shopping. And yeah, there are some weeks that I’m just not feeling chatty… believe it or not! 🙂

  17. I will be transitioning from full time work to retired. My plan is to get dressed everyday…….just not sure what to do with all the clothes I have accumulated after working for 38 years?????????Help……

    1. Once you determine what you no longer need or what, I would donate to a woman’s shelter or Dress For Success. Keeping it all in your closet will just be overwhelming and frustrating when you try to put casual outfits together that fit your new lifestyle. But some of it might translate okay to your new lifestyle; it will probably take some time to figure that out.

  18. I am having spinal fusion surgery in a week, and won’t be able to bend, lift or twist for four months! I have been told looser, elastic waist bottoms will be required for ease in getting dressed without bending over. I have purchased some items for that, but will not be purchasing any normal clothing items for awhile. I have more than enough jeans and pants, but it’s still fun to try new things. But feeling good again more than offsets the desire to shop. I will still enjoy reading your blog in the meantime.

    1. My first time responding, though I’ve been following you for a few months now. My favorite thing you do is explain why something does or doesn’t work… like with the Loft Fair Isle vs the green sweater dress. It helps SO much!

      I work in an office and am aiming for a smart casual look. My jeans can’t be raw hemmed or distressed, but I can wear them! So posts on that vibe would be really awesome. Also, I’m on a medical weight loss program so am buying cheaper clothes this year with a mind to replace with quality when I reach my stable weight. I love your spend or splurge posts for that reason.

      Thank you for doing what you do!

  19. Jo-Lynne,

    I love reading your Coffee Talk posts! You know I have been a huge fashion fan of yours for a while now but we also share the common bond of being “band parents.” I had to share with you that I got to attend my son’s first HS band concert Friday night! As a former band director now band parent I was busting ’ my buttons with pride of course 🙂. I certainly hope and pray Becca is up to performing in her band concert – the band director needs her! 😀 Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  20. Love your coffee talk rambles. Even though I’m a Jewish atheist (it’s a thing) I totally relate to your down on your knees vibes when waiting for a child to drive home. The first time mine did it she told my husband when she was really leaving but told me she was leaving much later than she did. So just as my worrying was about to ramp up, she was home! What a gift!!!!

  21. I am a brand new subscriber – and getting closer to “middle age” and still want to dress current. I had a motor vehicle accident some years ago, and as an unfortunate result, I have some extra weight that is stubbornly sticking around. I would love to see some plus size options once in awhile too. I know that I certainly feel too self-conscious to wear a lot of the shorter sweaters right now, for example.

  22. I always feel sorry for those who have holiday birthdays. My son’s is New Year’s Eve and over the years he has gotten shortchanged. I always felt like I had to have Christmas totally put away by New Year’s so his birthday would be special. But after Christmas there’s nothing left in the stores and everyone is broke. As parents, we tried to make it up to him as best we could. On another note, the Blue Man Group is coming to Philly over the holidays. It’s a very clever and entertaining show if you all haven’t seen it. I think your whole family would enjoy it.

    1. Ugh, that has to be difficult. Caroline has always said she likes having a Christmas Eve birthday, but she’s not one to have parties or things like that. I think a January would be harder, actually. Thanks for the tip on the Blue Man Group.

Want More?