Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Dealing with Empty-Nestness

How many times have you heard, "Enjoy them now, they'll be gone before you know it."? I know I've heard it a lot as I've raised my four kids. Never did I dream it would be the case for me. Well, this last month my husband and I joined the ranks of what is known as "empty nesters". That's right, all four of kids are away at school. I guess this makes us "mostly" empty nesters as they'll be home for Christmas and summer breaks. 
Lots of folks have told me how nice it'll be for Brian and I to have time together to do things we want or how much money we'd be saving once the last one goes. While that is true, no one mentions how you now need to do most of the chores yourself or how many leftovers you have because you've forgotten how to cook for just two or how it feels when it comes time for night prayer and you're the only one here to pray it. No one ever said how dinner time can end up being a quick 15 minutes because you and your spouse have had at least one or two other people at the table keeping up conversations for the past 25 years. And even though I knew it was coming, everyone forgot to mention just how quiet and lonely the house feels when you're the only one home. 
So now that's off my shoulders, what does one do to deal with the "empty nest syndrome"? I'm sure there are a ton of websites, books and even YouTube videos with advice, but I've decided to stay with the basics.
1) Pray. That's the first and foremost priority. Pray for your spouse. Pray for your kids. Pray for your extended family, your friends, the Church, the World. You can do this at home, at Mass, at Adoration. Just be sure you're doing it. 'Nuff said.
2) Love on your spouse. My husband has been doing an amazing job this last week showing this as I've been down with a viral thing causing me vertigo. I've actually been home from work for over a week. He's been making sure I'm keeping up on my meds, getting me tea and food, not to mention going to the salle today to be the "office guy" and doing my spot at Adoration tonight. Last night we talked about planning some specific things to do together, and the smile on his face when I suggested making homemade pasta was worth more than I could have imagined!
3) Fellowship with others. Plan a meal with another couple or family. Go to coffee with a friend. Join a Bible study or other group at church. Also be sure that you're serving in some capacity somewhere- church, a food bank, pregnancy center, etc. There are a lot of people out there needing a bit of help!

I guess I wrote this as a reminder for myself as much as sharing it with others. Let me know what other ideas you may have for getting ready and dealing with being an empty nester!

And Sew It Goes

My latest fabric adventure has become a joy and privilege as I've started making & selling pocket oratories and quilted icons. Theses were inspired by The Little Oratory by David Clayton and Leila Lawler as well as a photo of a beautiful French vintage travel prayer packet found on Pinterest. I started making these this past spring and opened up my Etsy shop "Piccolo de Luce" which means a little bit of light. It has given me so much joy to have folks buy these tiny traveling oratories which helps them to be able to pray wherever they may be. I'm working on revising my design and plan on having them ready for share the middle of October.
                                One of my Triptych (three-sided) Pocket Oratories
I've also started making some of my own quilts, and I am super excited to have had one in this weekend's Quiltopia Quilt Show at The Willamette Heritage Center at the Mill. It was a fun quilt to make, and I'm happy with the way it came out. 
                                                    My "Put a Bird On It" Quilt
After reading about winterizing old houses on Like Mother Like Daughter last week, I've decided to start making the list for our 1912 uninsulated and sometimes very damp farmhouse. The one project that I'm most looking forward to doing is the "door cover quilts". With the winter breezes that blow through our house (remember, uninsulated) this should be a fun project to help us stay a bit warmer. Be sure to check out LIke Mother, Like Daughter for more terrific winterizing suggestions.
                   The sun is shining now, but Old Man Winter's just around the corner.

I'd love to hear about your latest project- sewing, crafting, cooking or whatever you've got going on. It's way more fun to share projects and bits of life with others as we continue on our journeys!