• I've Got Mad Skillz,  Jim Has Mad Skillz,  Something That Could Change Your Life,  We Are An Awesome Couple

    Middle-Aged Dogs, New Tricks

    One of the trade-offs of having grown kids who live elsewhere (Wah! I miss them!!) is that we have a lot of spare time to do…well, whatever we want. A few months ago Jim made a couple of comments about possibly wanting to learn how to play guitar, something he did as a child but only short term. I thought about buying him a guitar for his birthday and, after debating with myself about whether he was really serious about wanting to take it on, I headed to Guitar Center. I bought him a basic acoustic guitar, figuring that if he didn’t really care to learn we could just return…

  • Family Fun,  Reflections on Parenting

    The Plan

    Being an empty nester is weird. Full disclosure: while our 23-year-old is currently living with us while he works and saves up some money for his next move, I still consider us empty nesters. Maybe THAT’S weird. Anyway, being an empty nester is weird. It’s weird because once the kids grow up and move out, it’s awesome because you’re thrilled that they are starting a new chapter in their lives and you can start a new chapter in your life, but it’s also sad because they are starting a new chapter in their lives that doesn’t include you on a constant basis, and you’re starting a new chapter in your…

  • Childhood Memories,  Reflections on Parenting

    It’s Just A Table…Or Is It?

    Something happened last week that made me realize that I’ve spent a whole lot of time reflecting on the changes Jim and I (and this house) have gone through since J left for college (when we officially became empty nesters), but next to no time (okay, no time at all) reflecting on any changes the boys have gone through in regards to the two of us and this house. Let me try and make some sense. In my parental mind, I naively assumed that once the boys were settled in at college—or in an apartment, or whatever—that was it; their adjustment was made. That’s not necessarily true, as I just…

  • Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?,  Reflections on Parenting,  UGH.

    Empty Nesting Is Awesome, Except When It’s Not.

    I love my life the way it is at this moment. I have one son who graduated from college and supports himself with an actual job, and I have another son who is a college sophomore, living only two hours from home. I work from home. I have the freedom to sleep in if I want, workout for as long as I want, not cook dinner for a whole week if I don’t want to, and most of all, pack a bag and take off to visit friends or accompany Jim on a business trip if I want, with no problem. Many of my friends who still have kids at…

  • Amazing People,  Family Fun,  My Kids Have Mad Skillz

    Truly Thankful.

    After all of the grumbling I’ve done about getting the Hanukkah decorations up and how I just couldn’t manage to get it done in a timely manner—and before the holiday actually started, even—because a whole chain of events had to take place first, like dusting and vacuuming, getting my work done, blogging, laundry, coloring my hair, grocery shopping, and procrastinating in every other way possible, I had a revelation. Granted, I didn’t see the light until we were in the midst of placing each of the menorahs of our family collection in their own special places around the house, but I saw it. Jim had driven to Wisconsin to retrieve…

  • Confessions,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    Or I Could Just Keep Buying Bread Like I’ve Done My Entire Life.

    We own what I consider to be an average amount of small kitchen appliances. Wait. Better make that a slightly-above-average amount of small kitchen appliances, partly due to the following: 1. We were given one of those Cocomotion hot chocolate makers/mixers a few years ago (we don’t use it anymore but it’s cool so I keep it, you know, just in case). 2. When I purchased a large slow cooker a couple of years ago, I refused to get rid of the small one we already had (Great for entertaining!). 3. We have an electric fondue pot, which (I think) is probably uncommon in the average household, but very common…

  • Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?

    Perhaps I Should’ve Bought Fewer Treats And More Tricks

    Though I wouldn’t say my boys are total opposites because they share lots of the same fundamental characteristics, they do have many differences. Take, for example, the way they both reacted as college freshmen to receiving packages from me. D, who is now a senior (finishing up this December, one semester early…HOLLA!), did not like packages from home. If you can believe it, he actually found it embarrassing. I have never heard of such a thing. Here I was, sending all kinds of goodies–in quantities that he could share with his friends, too–and after being at school for less than a semester he asked me to stop sending packages. After…

  • Fun in Chicago,  We Are An Awesome Couple

    Stalking In Starved Rock State Park

    A little more than a week ago, Jim and I were sitting around trying to make a variety of plans for the weekends ahead. It’s what you do when you’re an Empty Nester, you know. Suddenly you have all of this time on the weekends because you don’t have kids coming and going at various times: if you don’t make plans to do things, you’re basically just living from meal to meal and that’s no fun at all. Jim and I are all for fun, so we spend lots of time on our calendar of activities. After a few minutes of silent and individual thinking he said, “You know, if…

  • Reflections on Parenting,  We Are An Awesome Couple

    Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da, Life Goes On…

    We’re just about ten days into our new Empty Nester status and I can report that things are going very well. Life goes on, you know? Just as I thought, the transition itself and the actual act of dropping J off at college were the toughest parts. The adjusting to his daily absence in the house has been easier. I mean, I have done only four loads of laundry in ten days, and I probably could’ve gotten away with doing only three loads if Jim and I weren’t exercisers, needing our workout clothes laundered so we could throw them back in the rotation. Also, a couple of days ago I…