Tag Archive | empty nest

First Apartment

The time has come. After two years in the college dorms, my daughter has found full  independence, and is ready to spread her eagle wings in an apartment.

It’s always a little scary when your children spread their wings, and take that first leap. So naive, so innocent. You want to stand right under them with a safety net.Safety_net_tnb

As impractical as it seems, my heart yearns to continue to be the mother God intended me to be right from the start. Funny how time moves you further and further from your natural ability to mother. If you’re not careful, it can leave a gaping hole.

Yet I stand from afar, watching, and praying. Filling my hole with hope and love.

The eagle’s launch is inevitable,. . .. and so she soars.

Letting go

????????????????????????????????????????????The past is always a part of who you are. We all live in the present, but many of our choices are made based on past experiences. Unfortunately not all past experiences are good. So when do we let go of the past and move on? How do we know what do keep from our past, and what to discard?

Our brain creates emotional triggers from the things we experience, whether good or bad. Our brain has a tendency to refer back to the original experiences even when a new one happens. Sometimes this creates a false trigger even if the experience and situation is not exactly the same. This can lead to false assumptions and sometimes wrong decisions. So how do you watch out for this?

  • Try to pin point the present feeling your having with a similar one from the past. (dig deep).
  • Once you’ve determined the original feeling, write down all the ways the current situation differs. You’ll eventually realize that although the emotional feeling was triggered, more than likely the situation is not the same, and can be handled differently.

Things to remember:

  • Holding on to the past, prevents you from growing in the future.
  • Life happens until the moment you die.  If all you do is look back, you’ve stopped living.
  • Stop being who you once were so you can become who you are today.
  • Letting go is not a weakness, it’s a strength.
  • Be thankful that night turns into day, that goals turn into realities.  Use your positive fuel to reach for tomorrow.

Are you ready to let go?

No Care for Baby Boomers

o-ELDER-CARE-MILITARY-facebookThere are 10,000 Baby Boomers hitting age 65 each day. They’re becoming caregivers, as well as those needing care. People are living longer than ever, and many Boomers will be caring for their children and parents at the same time.

The fact that Boomers had fewer children than earlier generations, and both men and women are living longer, makes a recipe for fewer caregivers in the years to come. It is projected that by 2030 there will be only four potential caregivers available for each person 80 or older, down from a high of more than seven in 2010.

The average caregiver in 2009 was a 49-year-old woman who had a job outside the home and spent nearly 20 hours per week providing unpaid care to her mother, according to a 2011 AARP Public Policy Institute study.

YIKES!! These statistics are frightening! I’m 47 right now, and in 20 years I’ll be 67, with no one to take care of me? It’s a looming thought, and unfortunately a very realistic one. I can no longer hide my head in my electronic devices. ( I would have said “sand” but electronic devices is where my head is these days).

I can already predict that care-giving is not going to be easy for me, or my children when it’s their turn.

I have done web design for several clients who are senior advocates. A senior advocate helps families find the best senior living options for their needs and budget. They talk to you about your loved one’s medical conditions, level of independence, behavioral and nutritional needs, and hobbies. Based on your loved one’s condition, they advise about location and financial resources to narrow your options for care. Many of them are FREE, and are paid by the care facilities.

Where and what condition will your loved be 10 years from now? Maybe you’re already at that care-giving stage. Here are a few questions that you’ll want to explore:

Does your loved one have advanced health care insurance? How much does it cover and how long does it last? Are they eligible for Medicare?, What about an advanced health care directive or a will? Where’s the mortgage, the title to the car, bank accounts, insurance policies, stocks and bonds? Is an Estate Plan needed? Who in the family should have power of attorney, legal and medical, to keep track of end of life wishes and ensure they’re carried out? AARP’s 35 questions for an aging parent

The health of your aging loved one is something to certainly consider in the coming years. Women are especially living longer without husbands, so planning for your parent or loved one’s future, both medically and financially now, is critical before things become a crisis.

Autumn, time for a change

Photo Aug 20, 8 02 52 PMRight now I’d love to hold on to August and the warm summer days indefinitely, but like it or not, September is just around the corner. The hustle and bustle and business of work, school and sports will once again take charge of our lives.
I will treasure the time that my daughter and I spent together this summer while she was home from college. She was away working at a Christian camp most of the summer, but the last few weeks I’ve enjoyed her company. We shopped, and tore through our movie list that we made at the beginning of the summer. She’s off to college again this weekend. I will miss her.
As the autumn comes, the trees change color, lose their leaves, and the weather gets cooler. As we gear up for another Fall season, it is the best time to take full responsibility of what happened in the previous seasons, both good and bad. We must remember that the crops that were harvested during the summer, produces the fruit that sustains us through the barren season.

Seasons of Life

Photo Jul 06, 8 01 26 PMThose nasty little Arachnids are about to make their debut again this August in Southern California, hanging from the trees as they travel furiously back and forth, spinning their little webs at dusk. The one thing I do like about the Lord’s changing nature seasons, is that they are somewhat predictable. God’s simple creatures anticipate, and appreciate the seasons. Their circadian clock never fails to kick in when it’s time.

I think sometimes as we age, we fight God’s seasons, anticipating the worst. We begrudgingly deal with our less-than-pleasant present: a regimen of chemo, financial setbacks, the empty nest. Are you experiencing a winter of discouragement, cold and icy through your soul?

Success in life is often cyclical. Success doesn’t last forever. Soon the winds of change will come, and everything will be dead and barren. But the Lord gave us TIME. ( Ecclesiastes 3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven). Time allows us to take advantage of the season among us, to adjust to its newness, and prepare once again to settle into some sort of routine.

What season of life are you in? Whatever your season, embrace the opportunities of life.

Baked Meatballs

Simple Italian Meatball recipe. I serve with vermicelli.

spaghetti

1 lb hamburger
2 eggs, beaten with 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup bread crumbs
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon garlic salt
pinch of parsley
freshly ground pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients with hands.
Form into golf ball sized meatballs. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Add to tomato sauce and cook for 20 minutes.  Serve with your favorite pasta.

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First Year of College

Photo Oct 30, 10 05 55 PMWell, the girl is home from college. First year completed!

I was very excited for her to go to college. Although she didn’t go far, we accompanied  her, and her STUFF to college in August in three crammed SUV’s! When she managed to fit all her STUFF in a dorm room with 2 other room mates, I knew she would do just fine her first year.

She was 27 miles North of us, and we didn’t see her very much the first semester. I remember she told me that the university encouraged Freshman to stay on campus, and refrain from going home too often. I think she wanted to come home more, but she took her college’s advice. Needless to say, the house was quiet and empty without her.

She adjusted well to college life. She really seemed to enjoy her freedom, her friends, and her classes. She kept several Nanny jobs that she had in high school, so she even had a few dollars coming in to fund her gas, and Bonsai Bowl addiction! Instagram kept me “in the know” throughout the year (well about her social life anyway), and iMessage filled the void. She did very well academically this year, and decided to change her major. She made a very wise decision to go with her heart, and God’s calling. She wants to work with children.

Although she’ll miss her college buddies, I think she was looking forward to coming home. As the weeks grew closer to the end of school, we began to see her almost every weekend. Then I realized that she was bringing car loads of STUFF home again. She would come in the door and say “a little help please..(dah!)” The whole family would drop everything for 5 minutes to unload, and she’d be gone again, leaving my living room, and halls full. My husband would just shake his head, looking like a dear in the headlights as she pulled off, wondering how many more trips she would have to make to get all of her STUFF home.

Well it took 3 weekends, and she did an excellent job planning the STUFF trips! She’s home from college for a few weeks and then off to work at a Christian Camp for the summer. I feel like I’ve suddenly been awakened from a pleasant nap. Having her home for a few weeks, I realize that college kids are a little like two-year-olds (but often not as cute!)–they may be independent and a bit more mature, but they are still totally self-centered. While in school they sleep when they want, eat when they want, come and go when they want, put their STUFF where they want (my pantry is a mess again), and answer to nobody. They come home and forget that the rest of us don’t operate that way. The hurricane is back.  My husband and I decided that when she’s home, life is a tad more difficult but also alot more fun. She’s highly entertaining and brings liveliness, laughter and love to our home.