{Almost} Empty Nest

A baby bird takes 2 weeks to hatch from their egg and another 2 weeks to leave the nest. Wow! That is fast!

Humans typically get at least 18 years (and sometimes more) with their children. The first 9 months you are pregnant seem kind of slow, but when it’s over you feel as if it has flown by. I have come to the realization that the next 18-20 years flies as well. Mainly because I.Am.There.

I remember carrying my boys waiting on them to arrive, the late nights with sick boys when they were little, the teenage struggles when I got less sleep than I did when they were nursing every 2-3 hours, the tears I cried–both of joy & sadness…..Oh, how the time has flown. You are not alone sweet Mama (or Daddy)! Many have gone before you and many will go behind. Hang in there because being a Parent, although one of the hardest jobs you will ever have, is also one of the most rewarding.

I have a 23 year old who gave my first Grandchild 7 months ago yesterday! That 7 months has flown. They live 12 hours away, so when I see pictures or Skype she looks like she has grown so fast!20140205-112241.jpg

This week, my 20 year old son interviewed for a job (ahem, a career) an hour and a half away from here. If he gets it, he will be moving out soon.

My 18 year old is graduating HS in May. Tonight we have a meeting for 1 of his scholarships for College.20140205-112321.jpg

Don’t get me wrong….I’m thrilled my boys are growing into fine, young men! I just pray I have given them everything they need to be responsible and dependable and productive in life.

Hear me Mamas & Daddys! TIME FLIES! All these struggles with hair, clothes, chores, homework, etc…..they will soon be gone. My encouragement to you parents of young children today is this:

1. This too shall pass–If you are having a hard day, be encouraged that you WILL survive it.

2. Take a little time for yourself each day to breathe! Whether you are a working outside the home Mom or a working inside the home mom life can be overwhelming some days. Moms who work outside the home don’t have a break because they are doing so. They need wind down time too and their job begins again even when they clock out at 5. Moms who work inside the home need time to be alone because they are also on the clock.

Here are two things I did that helped me when I was in both positions….when I worked inside the home I made my children have at least 1 nap time together. I had a baby and a 22 month old, so I started as soon as the baby got on a schedule to make that happen. During that time I did NOT clean or work for at least 30 min. I rested, watched tv, read a book, prayed, ate a meal without sharing a bite, used the bathroom by myself….I.needed.that. and you.do.too!

When I worked outside the home, I took 15 min when I got home to sit down, take off my shoes and just breathe. If I couldn’t be in peace in the living room, then I would go to my bedroom and shut the door. It didn’t take long for the boys to understand that Mommy needed a few minutes before she heard “What’s for dinner?” “He hit me.” or any other myriad of things.

So if you are feeling overwhelmed, put yourself in time out! It will help! I promise!

3. Take/make time with your spouse! Put the kids to bed at least half an hour before you go to bed….even if they are older and you give them half an hour to read a book. You need time to talk and connect. Even swap babysitting one night a month with friends who have kids. It’s free and if “all” you do is have dinner in and talk, then it’s worth it!

4. Enjoy this time with your kids! Let me repeat that….ENJOY THIS TIME WITH YOUR KIDS! It really will be over before you know it! They will be standing on the edge of the nest flapping their wings and when you least expect it they will jump!

Now, I just have to remind myself of this on the days I secretly wish they were out flying instead of sitting on my couch watching tv and eating all my food! Ha ha! 🙂 There will be days like that too!

Press on my friends! Take care of that “baby bird” until they are ready to fly–then watch them soar! 🙂




Weary Mamas

I saw a post from a friend yesterday about the struggles of her day.  As I read it, I could FEEL the words she wrote.  She was tired, her kids were sick (yet again), one of them was having a meltdown….She was weary to a certain degree.  She craved another Mama to tell her it would all be okay.

Have you been there before? I know I have! I don’t think there is a Mother out there who hasn’t felt overwhelmed at least, oh, a million times!  Sometimes we just need someone that has been there to tell us “this too shall pass”.  Now, before all the Dads get upset that I’m just talking about Moms, I know there are some Dads who do a lot to provide and help with their children, finances and cleaning.  So, I know dads do a lot too.  But for today, I am speaking to Mamas because I am one!

I saw this picture yesterday on FB and I really thought about what it said.  I know that I personally feel like I always have something going on.  Part of that is because I have children (and forgetful children) and part of that is because I am a volunteer–not just because I live in the Volunteer State either!  Ha Ha!  But I never want to be too busy to spend time with God.  I know I couldn’t make it without Him!


When I had my youngest child, this was my life.  I had a “bonus” son who was 5, a son who was 22 months old and a newborn.  I worked full-time up until 2 weeks before my last son was born and then I stayed home.  I wanted to be able to stay home at least until my children went to school.  With the costs of daycare it totally made sense.  We even though about homeschooling our children, but that didn’t happen.  I think it was really a combination of things.  I tease it’s because my middle son was strong-willed, but that really wasn’t why.

I remember my husband worked 12 hr shifts at his job and he went to work less than a week after me coming home with our youngest son.  Trying to nurse a baby who wanted to eat every 2-3 hrs, keep up with a toddler who just wanted to go outside and play but it was too cold, trying to rest myself and get a schedule of food and naps while changing diapers and forget about trying to clean–I was exhausted!  He called me on one of his breaks and I just cried on the phone and told him I couldn’t do it.  HA!  Oh, he was so sweet and encouraged me that I really could.  But that was a WEARY time!

I worked for about 9 months right before our youngest turned a year old.  Then, I was home again!  I loved being able to spend that time with my boys–even though it wasn’t always easy.  When our middle son started Kindergarten, I started work.  Now, I understand that everyone can’t stay home and everyone can’t work outside the home.  God made us, and our situations, different.  There are probably people who are working that could stay home and people who are staying home that could work, but that’s not a question I choose to debate.  I believe we do what we feel is right and there should be no judgement on a fellow Mother regardless of whether she works inside the home or outside the home.

I can tell you, since I’ve been on both sides, that you WORK regardless!  Being a Mom is a full-time job!  I think sometimes the world wants us to feel like Stay-at-home moms do nothing but watch TV and lay on the couch while spending all the money their husband makes on QVC….and that Working Moms get away from the children and spend their time in a fantasy world where they don’t worry about the things at home for that 8 hrs and spend all the money we make on clothes & shoes (oh and that we don’t love our children).  Well, NEITHER of those is true!  Though I know that SAH Moms crave & need adult interaction, they are working hard at keeping up with everything that has to be done on the home front as well as the schedules of extra curricular activities and volunteer work.  And working Moms are trying to do their “outside” job, but all the while are thinking of what needs to be done at home, what the schedule for after work is and what they might be missing in their kids’ world this week.

I would like to encourage all you Mamas out there to stick together!  Not just with those Moms who are like you, but also with those who do the opposite of you.  I like having SAHM for friends–they help keep me grounded about what the important things in life are!  They help remind me of the days when my children were younger and now I can look back and see the fun we had.  Even though I missed some things my kids did because I worked, I worked even harder to enjoy the time I had with them.  And, I hope that SAHM can look at me and see that although I don’t have it all together I enjoy my family.  Family is important–whether you have a big family or a small one–and making the most of that time, as well as taking some time for yourself, is a necessity.  Whether you just started your family or like me, are almost an empty nest.

Encourage a Mom this week!  Send her a message, note or card.  Let her know that motherhood can be challenging, but some of the best things in life are worth working for!  Also let her know we don’t have to be perfect!  I could give you a long list of things I’m not perfect at, but I’m thankful that my God sees the good and sometimes sends sweet friends in to remind me that I am loved!


Lord, I pray for all the Mothers who read this.  I pray you give them grace to see through the hard days, peace to know things will get better and rest when they have the opportunity to take it.  I pray you surround them with women who are encouragers who allow them to talk when they need to and let them know it will be okay.  I pray for both the Stay at Home moms and the working outside the home moms would respect each other and love each other–not talk down or be jealous of the other’s “perceived” way of life.  I thank You for the different abilities and strengths you give each of us as Moms, Wives, Sisters, Daughters and Friends!



Here is a snippet of my morning today–just so you can realize that I DON”T have it all together as a mom! Most of my days are similar (& sometimes worse) than this. HA HA!

I went to bed at 11:30pm, got up at 4:30 am to let the dog out, then got back up at 6:30 to start my day.  I got Brian’s clothes ready, woke Hunter up, fed the dog & let the dog out. Then I went to make lunches for my guys and realized that we had no lunch meat or peanut butter and we had no chips or crackers and the only fruit we had was 1 over ripe banana. So, I proceeded to tell them they would need to eat at school today (which isn’t near the amount of food I pack for them). So, I let the dog back in, get Brian’s medicine for him, pray with him and kiss him goodbye. Then, back off to force Hunter to get out of the bed–that is a fight every morning. I took a quick shower because my hair HAD to be washed, got dressed & left my hair curly and just quick dried it because I didn’t have time to completely dry it. Finally got everything together and headed out the door and I thought we would be good. Then I started the car and my gas light came on. I knew I wouldn’t have time to stop on the way to get Hunter to school or he would be late! So, I drove him to school, asked him where his backpack was (he forgot it in his dad’s truck) and where his checker was (he forgot it at home). I’m not worried about the backpack, but he HAS to have his checker! I went to the closest gas station to put gas in. When I left the house I was burning up because the heat wouldn’t kick off (& I was rushing around), so I forgot to grab a sweater. Here I am pumping gas in the cold with half sleeves on freezing!  I knew I didn’t have time to go home to get his checker, so I grabbed something for breakfast and headed to work. When I got to work, I opened the passenger door and a CD case fell out of the door pocket, opened up and the CD went rolling under my car….thankfully it just kept rolling because it rolled uphill out from under the car and then hit the wheel and fell. I could just see me climbing under my car to get a CD! So, now the only thing I have to do is work, go to the post office and run home to get his checker, drop it off at school, log into the school lunch area and put money on his account (since he doesn’t normally eat at school) and come back to work!  See, life is never boring!

When I get stressed about it all I just try to remember the good times! I hope you can too!

I think about the country song “Don’t Blink”…..it is so true!

Don’t blink
Just like that you’re six years old and you take a nap and you
Wake up and you’re twenty-five and your high school sweetheart becomes your wife
Don’t blink
You just might miss your babies growing like mine did
Turning into moms and dads next thing you know your “better half”
Of fifty years is there in bed
And you’re praying God takes you instead
Trust me friend a hundred years goes faster than you think
So don’t blink


3 Grandmas & a baby

There are lots of things in my life that bring me joy and make me laugh. God’s “sense of humor” is sometimes one of those things. He has a way of bringing good out of situations that some people would see no good in.

I recently found out that my oldest son & his girlfriend are expecting a baby. At first, I was a little shocked because I knew they hadn’t exactly “planned” it, but the idea grew on me quickly. Babies have a way of doing that!

So, I had been talking to Chris’ mom. Yes, I talk to my husband’s ex-wife, frequently. I affectionately call her my wife-in-law because when you marry someone you get their family as in-laws. And since she is Chris’ mother, she is family! Chris is my “bonus son”. I received him as a bonus when I married his Dad! Some people don’t understand how I can love a child that isn’t “mine” like my own. Well, he IS mine! Ask any parent of an adopted child and they will tell you the same thing.

We are fortunate to have a good relationship with Tammy & Jeff. We & our kids have stayed at each other’s houses. We have exchanged Christmas gifts & spent holidays together. And we have spent many hours around tables either at our homes or in restaurants during the last 20 years. Tammy & I have spent hours on the phone talking & praying. She even called me 2 yrs ago right after their house had been broken into to ask us to pray for them. Most people think we are weird when we tell them about our relationship, but we think this is what “normal” should be. 🙂

So, back to my original story. I was sitting at work the day after Chris had sent us a recording of the baby’s heartbeat — Oh how precious that sound is!!!! Tammy sent me a text and asked if I wanted to go to visit them. (Chris is in the Army and stationed in Kansas, so it is a long way from East/West TN!) Of course I did!!! So, over the course of the next couple days we got our plans & schedules together with them so we can visit them and our grandbaby in the oven.

I can’t begin to tell you how excited we are! Of course, I joke that maybe we will get a reality show out of this. 😉 You should see the looks on people’s faces when I tell them I’m flying to KC with my husband’s ex-wife and spending 4 days in the same hotel room with her! It is quite amusing. They just don’t realize we are going to have so much fun!

It is amazing the work that God has done in all our lives! He can make people see beyond themselves and do more than they could ever do on their own. More than we ever imagined! I just can’t help but think how blessed this baby will be.

I also can’t wait to meet her parents. I think there is something special about meeting the other grandparents-to-be. There is this common bond that you share. Can you imagine 3 soon to be Grandmas in the same room?! Nothing could be better except when the baby is here and we all get to hold it for the first time!

Be on the lookout, because if you know me you know pictures will be coming soon!!!!! I have already started packing my suitcase and so far it is half full of photography props.


I really can’t tell you how I feel about being able to take maternity pics of my own grandchild! It’s funny how as you get older people tell you to “wait until you have grandchildren”. Now it’s almost here!

Stay tuned…..

Don’t you see that children are God ‘s best gift? The fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children! Your enemies don’t stand a chance against you; you’ll sweep them right off your doorstep. (Psalm 127:3-5 MSG)