Coffee Talk 10.02.16


Good Sunday morning! It’s another gray, drizzly day here in eastern PA. I must confess, I’m over it. I stayed inside most of the day yesterday, working and catching up on chores around the house, trying to ignore the depressing landscape beyond my windows.

Then late last night, I sat on cold metal bleachers in the spritzing rain, peering through the sea of umbrellas to try and catch a glimpse of my son playing the drums in the marching band. I was so grateful for my new trench coat and rain boots. They’re getting thoroughly broken-in this weekend!

I haven’t gone running since I got home from South Carolina, but I think I’m going to have to brave the fog and drizzle this morning and get out there for a short jog. My body feels stiff and sore from working out and not doing any cardio to loosen up those abused muscles, plus I need the emotional pick-me-up.

My moods are very much affected by the weather, and when we get days upon days of rain and gloom like this, it starts to eat away at my joy. I know that true joy is found in the Lord and not the atmospheric conditions, but the fact remains, lack of sunshine can really affect us emotionally and mentally. I know a brisk run would do me a world of good, but it’s hard to get motivated when the weather isn’t cooperating, and every day that goes by that I indulge my laziness makes it that much harder to pick it up again.

Wow, I didn’t mean to make this post all doom and gloom. I’m not even depressed yet, but I can feel it coming on. I thought by today the sun would be peeking through and giving us a glimmer of hope, but right now, nada. I know we all said we need the rain, but we’ve got enough to last us for a while, thankyouverymuch. It’s time to move on out!

Okay, so that’s enough of that. In other news, my husband took the girls to his college homecoming this weekend out in western PA. I haven’t mentioned it because I don’t like to broadcast when I’m home alone, but I guess it’s safe now since he’s coming home today. The original plan was that we all would go, and my son (who is a junior in high school) could tour the campus and get a feel for a small college atmosphere, but then we found out his high school marching band’s home cavalcade was yesterday. It’s a pretty big deal and he didn’t want to miss it, so my husband took the girls on his road trip, and I stayed home to play chaperone and chauffeur.

I can’t believe we’re talking about looking at colleges. Wasn’t he just learning to tie his shoes? It’s quite surreal. My son is more interested in big schools with alumni that root for their college football teams for life, but my husband and I are big fans of smaller colleges, so it will be interesting to see where he ends up.

The girls, on the other hand, were excited to see my husband’s alma mater, and I guess they ran into quite a few old friends. It sounds like they had a large time. I can’t wait to hear more about it when they get home, plus I’ll just be glad to have them home safe and sound.

Not to beat a dead horse, but that’s another reason I detest this weather. I worry about the roads — not just my husband driving back across the state with precious cargo in the backseat, but my son has started going out with friends, and the back roads where we live can be treacherous when wet. I sat up Friday night until he got home from a party, praying for safety.

This is a whole new stage of parenting for us, and letting go of the apron strings has been harder than I ever expected. I don’t really consider myself overprotective — a helicopter parent, I am not — but I am a bit of a worrier, and learning to let my kids spread their wings is definitely an exercise of faith.

I’m always so thankful when they get home safely, and I take comfort in the fact that I still know where they’re sleeping at night, but it won’t be long until I won’t even have that bit of reassurance. How do you mamas do it when they go off to college? I just don’t know how I’m going to handle that.

Of course, I do have almost two years left until I have to face that particular parenting challenge, so I guess I need to put it out of my mind for now and make the most of the time that’s left. I don’t want to take it for granted for a second.

If I’m going to get a run in before church, I need to wrap this up and get a move on. Before I go, I want to tell you that LOFT is running a flash 50% Off Sale Everything PLUS Free Shipping with code SHIP50!


It is for today only, so don’t wait around! I featured several items from LOFT in my 26 Days of Fall Fashion series (such as this side-tie poncho, this layered sweater, this bow neck blouse, and these sateen jeggings) so if you had your eye on any of them, now’s the time to splurge!

I’m rather annoyed, as I placed a large order yesterday when tops and pants were 40% off, and an extra 10% isn’t insignificant, but I guess I’ll end up returning a few things and it won’t be a big deal in the end. I ordered a bunch of pants, hoping to find dress pants that I like. They have some slimmer styles right now that look promising. I also snagged this striped poncho. I can’t wait to style it with my aubergine skinnies!

Okay, that’s it for me. I’ve procrastinated long enough. I need to get myself outside and get those endorphins flowing before the rain picks up again! I hope you have a blessed day, no matter what the weather conditions are like in your neck of the woods!

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47 Responses

  1. Hang in there girl I’m sending you sunshine ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????lol

  2. Hi Jo-Lynne!
    I’m with you. My babies are junior and senior in highschool this year. My only comfort is that God will give us the grace we need to deal with their leaving home when the time comes.

    It’s hot and muggy in FL here today. I still have my beach and pool bag stocked and ready for those breaks in the action when everyone wants to cool off.
    It does not stop me, however, from wearing baby boot cuts, and peep toe booties to church today. LOL

    Love til later,

    1. It was like that in SC. I don’t enjoy that either. I really detest humidity, Maybe it comes from having straight hair that frizzes out with the slightest bit of moisture in the air, lol.

      I’ve threatened for years to move to Arizona. It seems like a great solution, but I know I’d miss the seasons. I usually love this time of year. I’m sure we have some beautiful days to come. Patience, grasshopper…

  3. Make it a blessed day Jo-Lynne! While you’re over the rain, those of us in GA are praying for it since we are still in a drought situation. I so wish I could jump on the sale Loft is having, but until I get off the weight and switch out my clothes, I don’t need to add one piece of clothing to my closet. We are watching our 17 yr old granddaughter search for a college for next year. Fortunately, she is very into scholastics, so she wants a smaller college, where the focus is on education, not sports. And we are watching her with the first boyfriend. It’s not easy for us grandparents either!

    Have a great Sunday!

    1. Ahhhh… the first boyfriend (or girlfriend.) That’s a whole other post! Haha! I guess we’ve just gotta hope and trust that we taught them well.

      I wish I could send you some of our rain! The hard rain is over (and it was definitely much needed) but since then it’s just been misty and dank — not even helpful, just depressing. LOL!

  4. My husband and I went to a small college in central PA, so we wholeheartedly support the small college experience. Can’t wait to check out that Loft sale!

  5. Your comments today about worrying about your children at different stages in their lives struck a chord with me. Two days ago my husband and I traveled four and a half hours to help our youngest son- who is 25- pack up for a cross country move. We also brought his dog home with us as he can’t have him yet at his new place of residence. Although our son hasn’t lived at home since he graduated from high school, he was always within driving distance. I am struggling with the fact that he will be so far away. They never quit being our babies. I pray for a safe trip and happiness in his new home.

  6. I raised 3 girls. When my oldest left for college over 2,000 miles away, I cried and laid around for a couple of days. It was devastating even though I always wanted her to have her wings. I look back knowing it was a wonderful thing. She is a pastor’s wife, artist, soon to be college instructor, multi-talented being used by God. I also suffer from SAD and struggle with less than sunny days. Keep those bright colors in your life to help your moods! I am learning about how to run to God instead of those other things we usually run to…bless you today! Mary

  7. You’re smart to get out and run when you know you need the pick-me-up!
    And as far as the kids, our oldest just left for Spain for a year! I was already mourning the short time we had left with her in the house, and she up and graduates high school a year early – so, not only is she not in the house anymore; she isn’t in the country! Talk about feeling like you have no control over their safety! But when it gets to the point they are ready to grow up, you have to trust you’ve raised them with what they need to live their lives – and trust them – and know God loves them more than you do – AND pray when you worry! Several years ago when I was wishing I could press a Pause button and keep them little for a while longer, I asked a friend whose daughters were in college how she handled it, and she said just enjoy every stage. I’ve always felt that was excellent advice. Enjoy every stage. ????

  8. Just wanted to comment on sending kiddos off to college. I’ve done it twice so far. Both times God gave us a terrific gift. The summer between graduation and college. While we realized a great deal of their attitude and behavior came from a place of uncertainty (their identity as high school students had come to an end and they had no idea what to expect from college) those summers were an absolute misery. They seemed to feel they were entitled to spend the summer hanging out, doing nothing. How dare we suggest, after all their years of hard work and what they were facing, how dare we suggest they do the dishes. (etc) It was a blessing to send them off to school. Rest assured, once they settled into college life and routine, their regular, (mostly) reasonable selves returned.

    1. Haha, that’s funny! I often say there’s a reason that teenagers get snarky – so it’s not so hard to let them go. But honestly, mine aren’t too know-it-all — not yet, anyway. I know there’s still time. 🙂

    2. We experienced that too Susan! I was ready to pack them up by July and send them to college early. Of course by the time came to take them there were definitely tears! Our oldest daughter and her husband now live a 16 hour drive from us, cell phones and face time are so helpful!

  9. Don’t mean to preach–but thank God for all the blessings He has given to you! We would give anything for some rain as we are having a severe drought. Would love to have some cloudy, rainy DAYS here.

  10. I wanted to chime in here as a mom with one child out of college and living across the country, two in college, and one sophomore in high school still at home. Your question of how moms of college-aged kids cope struck me, and I wanted to respond with how I have coped. One day at a time…..lots of prayer, and then more prayer… trusting that my husband and I have raised our kids well, and now, it is up to them to make their choices, but please God, guide them to make good, healthy choices!
    Lots of conversations and support from friends whose kids are also off to college and friends a bit farther down the road to show me that yes,
    I would survive this change in our relationship with our kids. Weekly mandatory phone calls home on Sundays (so we knew they survived the weekend!!), some texting in between, visits to college once in awhile so as to give the kids their freedom and let them grow into who they are meant to be, but always always a phone call away for support if/when they need it, no matter the time of day. Much reading of books and articles about how to cope with the kids off to college. Many tears, honestly, missing the kids so much and the hole they leave in our family left behind. But as time goes on, and you go visit your child at college, and you see how happy he/she is, you start to feel more comfortable about them being away and able to take care of themselves, and you feel a bit happier because your child is happy, growing, needing this time to become who God has made them to be, just like we needed that time when we were their age. It is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, sending each one off to college, but this new stage of life with the kids has been incredible, too. I’ve also had to learn to fill my time since I’ve been a stay at home mom all these years, and now my house is emptying, fewer responsibilities with the kids and such, so much more time to sit and feel depressed about life changing — but now I am starting to volunteer and do more good things for myself which has benefited me and my entire family. Life is change, hard for me to accept, but there it is. But, always cling to the reality that change can be good…nothing more fulfilling than to hear your 23 year old son tell you that he grew up knowing he was always loved–and, of course, is loved now as a young adult, and always will be loved. 🙂 Blessings to you, Jo-Lynne, and your growing family.

  11. Ah, yes…the college years! They are certainly challenging for parents in new ways.

    My older daughter, who is a teacher, went to my alma mater, a small, private university, and I was comfortable with that choice. Of course I missed her terribly and there were big adjustments, but it was in my realm of experience.

    Then my younger daughter, who is an engineer, had fewer college choices and went to a large university for her major. She is also my shy one who has some anxiety issues and doesn’t make friends easily. That was tough. She would often have projects which required late nights in a lab, and she would always call me on her cell phone as she walked the long way back to where she had to park. It made her feel safer and the walk seem shorter.

    As someone said, God grants what we need. But, yes, it’s challenging at times. It’s also a special time when you’re so proud of your children and what they’re becoming and accomplishing!

  12. Hi Jo-Lynne, I admit I share your weather-induced moods. Fortunately for me I live in sunny Arizona now. However, strangely enough I sometimes get blue because we haven’t had a good rain! Go figure! I read your sentiments about your son soon heading for college (yeah, two years is soon!) with empathy. I’m just this year a true emptynester, with both kids living 2,000 miles away from me. It is an adjustment, but God is good to get me through it. Coincidentally I blogged about this very conundrum just this week…about letting go…even in the in between stages. You might want to check it out https://kayharms.com/2016/09/grown-child/

    Take care. The sun will come out!!!

  13. Kathy gave you great advice, so ditto, from me. The only thing I’ll add is that senior year, they are so busy they are rarely home. I’ve always said it’s God’s way of preparing us parents. ????
    I have 3 that did the big college experience, the oldest (a girl) was 9 hours from home. The two boys, who are 3 years apart, chose the same college, 4 hours from home so they were there together for a couple years, which was really nice. Our baby is a senior there now. He was the one I personally struggled with the most. I still say I never got over him going to Kindergarten-ha!
    They all loved their choice, and I will have to say it’s pretty cool catching a glimpse of your kid on TV in crowd of 80,000 at their football game! The traditions at a big school are amazing and it was very cool being at a game in person too. That being said, while I loved the campus my daughter was on, I didn’t initially feel the same way about the boys’ choice, but it’s their choice. Go on those visits. They will know which one feels right for them.
    Enjoy the process. We raise them up so they don’t need us anymore, as hard as that is, that’s when we know we did well.
    Hope you enjoyed your run, even if it was in the rain! I did 7 miles in the rain a few weeks ago and it was awesome.
    But I totally agree with you about the dark, dreary days and my mood.
    Take care!

    1. That’s all great input! And you are RIGHT – if they don’t need us, we did our job. 🙂 I did enjoy my run. I just did a quick 2 miler b/c I was late to church but it felt GREAT! I made good time too. It was spritzing – but just enough to keep me cool. I can complain all I want, but this is great running weather. 🙂

  14. Hi Jo-Lynne,

    As an empty nester mom to a 25 and 29 year olds, I have to say what gets me through is lots of prayer and staying in touch by phone and text. Also, it helps to remind myself that God loves my babies even more than I do. I know that sounds impossible, but I believe he does and he watches over them for me. Hang in there, growing up is a process and we get prepared for it gradually just like they do.

    Happy Sunday!

    1. Yes, and thanks for that reminder, Cheryl. I was praying that same thing yesterday morning. I know God loves him more than I do, but it’s hard to wrap my head around that. 🙂

  15. I’m a huge small college fan too. I had such a wonderful experience at a small university and certainly feel most comfortable with that for my kids. Only our oldest has gone off to college so far but he did choose a fairly small college. I found that the best coping mechanism for me is just seeing how very happy he is and how much he loves it all…his friends, major, sports, classes, and job are all so perfect for him. It is such a joy knowing that our school research paid off and he is in the right place. I know that’s not a guarantee when you choose a school but careful consideration of the options and priorities will really help you find a perfect fit. And of course there’s a ton of prayer involved and maybe just a tiny bit of tracking his whereabouts on my iphone. LOL!

    I’m glad your run cheered you up and I hope the gloomy weather ends soon. At least you are getting some chances to wear your new clothes!

  16. Your post today really struck a chord with me. My oldest is only 11, but we are working through giving him more and more freedom. I tend to trust that he will try to make good decisions…it’s everyone else I distrust! My parents used to tell me this as a kid and I didn’t really get it until I became a parent. It’s a daily choice to trust God with my kiddos and I’m not always good at that.
    As a side note, I picked up the Loft striped poncho a month or so ago when I happened on a sale at the store. I tend to wear the same size as you and needed the xs/s and it is plenty big. I love it and can’t wait to wear it!

  17. I’m a Western PA girl. My daughters went to Grove City College and Westminster College. Grove City is an outstanding school and a terrific value. Christian values thru and thru. Our oldest daughter loved it. My youngest daughter had a great experience at Westminster. Her professors had a huge impact on her. Two of them attended her wedding! Small colleges are wonderful. Big or small, your son will choose what’s best for him.

  18. I already commented but wanted to write again to say THANKS for alerting us to the LOFT flash sale! I ordered some things for my daughters for Christmas! Feels good to get started on that, especially since things could get extra-hectic around here with a new grandbaby coming in a few weeks!

    1. Well, sheesh. I placed the order after considerable time spent at the computer, then after my order was processed, I received 8 e-mails telling me products were unavailable! I ordered 10 items and will receive 2. Is that usually LOFT’S practice – to accept the order and then let you know things are not in stock? Had I been notified when I clicked on an item to purchase that it was unavailable, I would have kept shopping. I hadn’t ordered from them before. Just checking. Sorry to vent!

      1. The same thing happened to me at the Loft. This makes zero sense to me. I actually didn’t know until the delivery day that one of my items was not being shipped. This policy needs to be changed!

        1. That’s very frustrating. I’ve actually never had that happen there! I think it’s b/c of the sale, so much stuff was being sold that the computers couldn’t keep up. If you let it sit in your cart for a little while, someone else gets it and it becomes unavailable by the time you check out. That has happened to me at Nordstrom before, but not LOFT.

      2. How frustrating, Suzanne. As I just said to K, I’ve actually never had that happen to me at LOFT, but it has happened at Nordstrom. When they run such a good sale, so many people are shopping, if you let stuff sit in the cart for very long, it can become unavailable by the time you check out. I hate that this was your first experience shopping at LOFT b/c I usually have a very good experience with them. 🙁

  19. When my kids went off to college it helped me tremendously to remember if it was God’s will for them to be in a different town, state or country, which was the case for us for about a year, they were safer there then inside my own house. Still, I know it’s hard to let go. One day at a time.

    Also wanted to mention I went shopping for jeans at Macy’s yesterday and the clerk told me that for a $5.00 donation to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, you can get 25% off your total purchase of top name brands such as Kut from the Clloth, Jag etc. Macy’s doesn’t accept coupons on their top designer brands but this is a way to receive a discount right now! I was able to save over 60.00 on 2 pairs of jeans that otherwise would have been full price. Plus the donation is going for a good cause. I’m not sure, but I think this offer is going through October.

  20. I hope the sun has come out for you this week! The college talk really struck me. I applied to fairly large universities, and ended up going to a college with only 1200 students. (It’s now a university, but still only has 1300 students, and I work for the university.) My husband went to a larger school for undergrad and graduate school and it was SUCH a different college experience! I hope your son gives small schools a chance too! 🙂

  21. If your parenting skills in any way parallel your fashion skills, your kiddos will do well. It IS hard lengthening the rope; I taught my 2 oldest (sons) how to drive and I worry daily (at 33 and 29 years old) if I taught them all I should have! Be vocal in your convictions, seize every teachable moment you can, pray, and then let go as they can handle it.

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