Tuesday, February 24, 2015


I bonded big time with the mothers.  I had never really met them as we all live in different parts of the Southside and the girls had formed their friendships in our nearby high school where students come from all over.  All four of us were becoming empty nester's for the first time and it made for some heartfelt talk.  But it was mostly upbeat as we helped the girls get situated and participated in their excitement.

But...I so felt it the next day.  That overwhelming pull -the-covers-over-your-head sadness.  I really thank all of you for your warm wishes and advice in my last post where I blathered on about my baby leaving home.  As much as I want to say I've taken it all in stride...I haven't.  I may be veering off into left field but I want to mention a website I subscribe to called MindBodyGreen.  It's like a self help book that doesn't involve 14 chapters of redundant info that you forget in five minutes.  You simply pick and choose the articles you want to read.  In a nutshell,  Sunday afternoon, after forcing myself to take a shower and straighten up the house, I happened to go to this website and read an article posted that day called, The Upside Of Feeling Bad".  How ironic.  There was a  paragraph that resonated with me, "Accept the wave whatever the ride.  You use all of your energy pushing it away."  This was truly food for thought.  I spent a lot of time that day letting my thoughts and feelings flood over me; how I left home so easily in my 20's without so much as a glance backwards.  Did Abby have that lack of feeling that I did for home and family?  And don't get me started on why I felt that way then.  That's a whole different post if not a book.   It all boils down to me feeling what I need to feel instead of running away from it.

 pictures of Lake Shore Drive a lot, don't I?  It's an iconic part of Chicago.  I mostly share the lake view...this is the limited skyline I was able to snap through the car window when we left the Northside at about 7 that night.  Beautiful, but it made me feel a little empty.  The siren song that took my girl.  

In spite of what I read and did Sunday (and I hope you take a peek at that website), yesterday and today I have thrown myself into cleaning, organizing, laundry, cooking and baking.  I took Layla to the vet yesterday to get the ear plug taken out (love that sexy Dr. B.  I am such a shameless cougar!).  That perked me up (the getting out, puleeeez!) and I was also happy to get a few phone calls from Abby and some texts.  She wanted pics and videos of the dogs and the prints of her photos.  She is nesting in her new place, as I am as well.  It's a new and somewhat difficult time for both of us, but it will make us stronger and more mature.  And above all, we will always have each other.  That will never change.

I promise in my next post that I will have my act together and share some boring recipes, maybe a few mundane shopping trips with Emily.  I might coax The Husband out for dinner at a new place, and yes, I'm visiting MC and our precious Elsie Thursday.  Can't wait!  I wanted to tell you that I received in the mail the sweetest gift for the baby from one of my very best blogger friends, Mary.  I have carried on way too long so I am going to post a picture of my granddaughter with this lovely present in my next post.  Thank you, Mary.  Please visit her, she's a lovely person!

If I haven't visited you or thanked you for your comments, I will be around soon.  It has been crazy here.  And I lost a bunch of ladies I followed by email.  I finally figured out those blogs somehow ended up in my Spam folder, so friends, I'm catching up, it wasn't personal.

I'll be back soon (and on a more positive note!).

Jane xx 

Joining in on a new multi-blogger fun party called Share Your Style.  Visit and see some great ideas at No Minimalist Here!


20 North Ora said...

You've had a lot of big life events occur in a really short time. Just enjoy that precious new little angel and be proud that you raised a sel-sufficient child who is now on her own.

Love and hugs,

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Jane, I know exactly how you feel. My son lived with me until he got married and we are very close, since I raised him all by my self. I thought I would just die, I was so lonesome and I missed him so much. It was so sad to come home after the wedding to a empty house. They stayed at the hotel where the reception was and left the next day for their honeymoon. So I didn't get to see them for 2 weeks.
But, you raised her to be a beautiful woman and she will do well. They have to spread their wings. She will have a ball with the girls in their new apartment.
Now you have that beautiful Elsie to have such fun with.
Stay warm and cozy in your home and hopefully Spring is just around the corner.

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Jane,

We have no children and so we cannot begin to imagine exactly what your feelings are. But, we are sure that your bond with your daughter is strong and will continue to develop as the years go on. Life takes its twists and turns but you have clearly given your family a loving home and it is from this caring background that they draw their own strengths and will value all their lives.

Abby's room looks wonderfully warm and welcoming. She has made a great start with everyone's help and we wish her every success in the future.

Kathy Moreland said...

Abby's room is so nice! Love those cupboards, and the closet, WOW!! What a nice place for them to live. I know they will have lots of fun on their own. It's hard to let go, but we must. I only have one daughter, so I only had to do it once. I know you are proud of all your children. You write so lovingly of them. Take care, and enjoy your sweet granddaughter. Grandchildren are one of life's greatest blessings!!

deb @ frugal little bungalow said...

of COURSE you'd feel sad when she moved out...you are her mommy :)

Stacey said...

You're a busy mom! Love all the bedding that Abby picked out and the goodies you picked. We are going tomorrow to move my son from Oklahoma to Missouri for his first REAL job. We are so excited and I've been collecting things for his place too. He actually seems to be caring what it looks like. :)

Theresa said...

Well, I totally understand... I've been there! I LOVE your daughter's place! The bedding is SO pretty and that table is precious! Great job painting it! Your daughter's room is perfect and I love the long built in cabinet! Enjoy your day dear friend, BIG HUGS!

Rita C. said...

Jane, I think this was a GREAT post. I love Abby's new place - her space looks so warm compared to the walk through! Give yourself time - anyone who's been through this understands completely. I love that all 4 girls' moms are 1st-time empty-nesters a great bond to have.
Tulips, candles, organizing - I feel like you've got it together much more than I. I'm just sitting around, waiting for winter to leave, doing very little.
Have a great weekend.

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

You feel so torn - you are happy and excited for them, but missing them is the hardest thing. All of us empty nesters are right here with you :-)

podso said...

What a heart felt post. I can just feel your emotions of the weekend. I remember leaving home too, and it not being a big deal. I never thought of what my parents --especially my mother--might be going through. I remember leaving our youngest at college, the rain was pouring down and as the windshield wipers worked, it seemed as though they were wiping my tears as well. Better days are ahead and you have that wonderful grand baby to think about!

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

There is nothing prettier than a vase with white flowers. I always set my dinner table with them when entertaining. Simple is best.

I love candles also, but now use the timed battery operated ones. I had a decorative regular candle explode one New Year's Eve and that was the last candle I lit.

Anonymous said...

oh my, I ih i could give you a big ol' hug, its so hard to have our chicks leave but in such great style your little birdie did, beautiful nest she's making, take care sweet lady, all will be well, spring will cast a whole new light on things,

Maggie said...

Good to catch up with life in Blondie's world, today. There's so many big events happening around you that I reckon you're allowed to get emotional now and then.
Take care,

Pondside said...

I can just imagine the fun you must all have had! It reminded me of moving our Lillypad into her first place. Your daughter has definitely inherited your decorating gift!
Looking forward to baby pics!

NanaDiana said...

What a wonderful post, Jane. We have all been there and it is never easy. WE have not had one child come home to roost...oh-I take that back-we did..our oldest after 20 years of being out of the house came back after a divorce for a short while. I am glad you were able to help the girls get all set up. She will do just fine....and so weill you! xo FDiana

NanaDiana said...

Excuse my mistakes. For some reason I am typing and seeing blank screen Crazy

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

Looks like Abby is getting settled in nicely. I love the nightstand you painted for her. The girls are so lucky to have such a nice, caring group to help them move. Can't wait to see more pics of your sweet granddaughter!

Barbara F. said...

You have had a lot of things happening lately, all good though! When I left my parental home, I was so excited but felt guilty! My mother was devastated which only added to my guilt....but it all worked out beautifully! The apartment looks great.

Sonny G said...

my heart understands your sadness.. of course she misses you , she's just excited about this new beginning in her life.. You are still MOM and you always will be... hold tight to that thought when your heart aches..I am wishing you peace and joy..
big hugs and warm thoughts

Kathleen Grace said...

I applaud you for working through your feelings. I know it's an ongoing process, but having a new grandbaby to love will surely be a help!

Beth said...

Abigail's room looks inviting. Glad you and the moms and girls all got to bond. You know she is in a good place. You will eventually get used to her not being home, just as you have with Emily and the boys. Being the youngest and seeing as how it makes the nest empty, instead of just one less child, may make it more difficult. My youngest moved out about 5 years ago and has been married to the most wonderful woman for almost a year now. My oldest has been gone for almost 15 years and she moved 1000 miles away. That was hard, but we try to see her and the family as often as possible.
I like your tulips! I used to have a "Moon Garden" (all white) but since we did the total makeover, not sure if we will find a good spot for that again. I hope so. Take care.
Hugs, Beth

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

I loved this post and your ability to share honest feelings. Abby will be fine and you will be too ... "Accept the wave whatever the ride" so profound. Jane the stand's update is so pretty for Abby. I think her bed looks tailored and sophisticated, I adore her bedroom space/loft area.

White flowers I love. Roses and Tulips are divine in white.
Candles set a mood and I also burn many... But always out of reach from the cats. Too curious and have no fear, oh maybe it's no sense they have!

My feet get cold in the winter, thick socks are heaven for me. I discovered Gold toe extra thick white socks with a Terry lining keep my toes cozy warm. Kohls sells them. Can't believe I just gave you a sock tip!!!

Stay warm sweet friend and I'm sending you a big hug.

Simply LKJ said...

There is nothing better than flowers and candles during the winter months. Somehow makes things bearable. Jane, I can so relate. Our oldest has been on her own since leaving for college, only coming to stay for a few days during holidays. She is about 30-40 minutes from us, but we do not get to see her often as she teaches and has a busy schedule. Our youngest has been away at school (12 hours away) and only home for the holiday breaks and some summers (she stayed at school most o last summer). She is graduating in May, but off to grad school. Where? We do not know yet. But, all the schools she applied to are 6 or more hours away. Her going to a new town all by herself is scary to me (not so much her). I was a homebody, still am to be honest. I just thank God everyday for technology. It allows me to still be so involved in their every day lives. Will be praying for you both as you adjust.

Traci said...

Glad you got her all settled! I love how the tv stand turned out. I really wanted to switch out my headboard to a fabric one but the Allergist didn't think that was a good idea. Oh well. I love white flowers too!

Connie said...

You certainly had a busy time of it:) When our daughter left home, I thought I was ready, then I spent a little time each day in tears. I missed her something awful. It is our job as a good parent to raise our children to be independent and to be able to go out into the big world and take care of themselves. Just like little birds that fly off from the nest. With all the love and training you have put into your daughter, she will make wise decisions in life. It's her turn to fly. Even if it brings a tear to Momma's eye, but she'll always be your little girl:)

June said...

It's looking beautiful Jane! Abby's space is so lovely. I do the same thing with candles...always burning the too.
Girl...you get more done in a day than I do in a month, I swear!
sending hugs....

Debby said...

Of course, I missed your last post. I have to figure out how to put my favorites in my blog roll. I tried awhile back and messed up so badly that I had to call a friend to help restore it.
You, my dear, have had a lot of adjusting lately. Your husband's health, a new grandbaby and a daughter leaving home. Just remember she is close enough to visit whenever you have that need. That was nice when my daughter (our first one) was only 2 hours away at college. I could get to her and back in the same day. Then when the next two left they were states away. We struggled for many days after dropping them off at their colleges. I remember our second child called in October and said he didn't think he could make it. I asked if he meant til Christmas and no he meant til the end of the quarter. Oh my. We talked him into staying that quarter. He returned home and went to a local branch for one year. Then off to a college a couple hours away. When our last one left, it wasn't so hard, hah. He is only a couple miles away and needs us constantly. He has special needs and they are demanding. Not so much physical but emotional.
Enjoy this new little baby. You will find in time, it's fun having adult children on their own. A proud moment for me this week was when there were 10 of us at the same 3rd and 4th grade basketball gave cheering on our little girl. It just warms my heart to see my kids and their little families. Hugs to you.

Primitive Stars said...

Such pretty Tulips, bring Spring on!!!! Yes, I understand you would feel sad, they are are children no matter what age and we miss them..... Blessings Francine.

Marigene said...

Gorgeous tulips. So hard when the last little chickadee flies from the nest...you will survive and even enjoy it!
Hope you are planning on taking pictures of Elsie each time you visit so we can watch her grow.
Have a wonderful week, Jane.

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

It sounds like you are doing well, Jane, even if you are crying inside. Big hugs!

If you can, share some more pictures of the new baby with us. My daughter prefers not to have my granddaughter on the internet, so it is rare and far between
pictures I get to share of mine.

Oh - we had a heat wave today - 29 degrees! I'm ready to break out the flip flops. : ) Hope your weather is bearable.

Diana Wise said...

Hi Jane,
Loved your post today and I could feel your sadness. It's so very hard to let our children go. You are such a good Mom and I love how you've helped her create such a beautiful space to call home.
She is so lovely and I'm sure she will do well. I'd be excited too if I had a brand new grandbaby to dote upon. You are blessed in so many ways. Keep that beautiful smile on your face and continue writing your heart out.


susan said...

Well, you actually sound a bit better than you did in your last post, Jane. As Esther Hicks says, "you have to pull in your oars and just float. No sense trying to row against the current." Love your white tulips.

Bluebird49 said...

Jane--do you know how well you write? You let the reader what you're feeling, both the more serious, and the funnier things.(Okay, I believe you--you're NOT a cougar! But..it's kinda fun to "think" of it! haha!) I admire the way you can write with just the right candor, and still be so light at the same time. I'm not sure how to explain it. If you ever thought of taking any "serious courses" in something "different"--maybe you'd enjoy a writing class--(even an online one)-although you certainly don't need it. You're very good at blogging. You have a strong "voice."

I loved the table you painted for Abby--it's just perfect, and I could just feel the softness-- the "cushy-feel" -- of the throw on her pretty duvet. Boy, what I'd give to have all those cupboards and closet space anywhere in this house
! Oh--I think that I would be thrilled if people thought I was a "nerd".. but in my twenties, maybe I would have felt differently. lol
She's your daughter--she's beautiful, intelligent, and she's strong. You and your hubby will be there if she needs you, you're not far away--- and I know she needs to "do this thing." You have a lot to be proud of--and I know you are. She's being sensible about money, and, as my daughter so sweetly wrote to me long ago, "Mama, you and Daddy gave Ed and me both roots and wings, and I just wanted to say thank you."

You've obviously done that, too--no matter how you're feeling---I can tell Abby has roots and wings, and she's going to be fine.
Oh--your white tulips look so blissfully pure and sweet smelling! I don't blame you for picking them up. Just the thing for a "winter room."
Hugs, dear girl!

Julie Marie said...

Hello Jane... Abby's new place looks wonderful!... I love all her clothes hanging there, and also her built in storage, everything just looks great!... hang in there, I am sure your feelings will perk up soon and you know, she is just a short distance away... I remember the very first post of yours I ever read, over almost seven years ago, and you were feeling melancholy... I tried to cheer you up then, and am always here for you if you need to talk to this day... I am so enjoying your IG photos and look forward to that recipe you promised!... much love, xoxo... Julie Marie

Carla from The River said...

Hi Jane,
A lot of changes for you. xx oo
I will be praying for you as you adjust. I may have already told you, my son will be taking Driver's Ed this Spring. Changes for this Mom too.
Love, Carla

Leslie Harris said...

Oh Jane. I remember the big move-ins for my boys and it leaves you winded that's for sure. That queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach, at least that's how I experience loss. Although I do totally agree with the advice you read--about allowing your feelings...I think words we hear stay with us because they offer something truthful. I think letting go is one of the hardest things for a mother to do (at least for me) and I can only imagine with a daughter it might be a bit tougher. I'm so glad she's close by. And that she has such a positive, beautiful environment!
hugs to you,

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Hi Jane,
I think Abby will really enjoy her apartment! It's beautiful and your such a good Mom helping her get all set up.
I love your skyline pics. It makes me want to take a trip to Chicago bad.
Katie moved out of the house the month she turned 18. I was not very happy but she seemed to need to do it. Now she is just down the road from me.. oh and having labor pains. She still has 4 weeks left so I am a bit worried. Her contractions were coming every 5 to 10 minutes but now they are just when she moves a lot. Ugh..this isn't much fun. Well enough on me. I love reading your posts and getting caught up. Hugs friend, Cindy Can't wait to see more baby Elsie pics too!!

Doreen@househoneys said...

Change is part of life. In fact, it IS life. Some changes are welcome (like a new grand baby) and some aren't. But just because they aren't welcome doesn't mean they're not positive changes, as is the case with Abby.. This is her turn to shine, and like Judy said, be proud you raised such a lovely daughter. Aside from being proud, go ahead and be sad. I read the article and agree completely with her thoughts. I'm always a little leery of people who are eternally cheerful, because that's just not realistic. It's so much healthier to acknowledge and accept sad or negative thoughts. I think it helps us appreciate the truly good moments more...and you're going to have plenty of those my friend. ;)

(I adore white flowers too. By far my fav).

A Quiet Corner said...

The table you re-finished came out awesome! Did you sand it before you painted since it looks like there's a finish on the original. What kind of paint did you use...latex?...:)JP

Sweet Bee Cottage said...

Her room looks so lovely! We aren't quite at that stage yet, but I can imagine what it might be like. Hang in there, girl!

DREAMS ON 34th STREET ~ French bread & family said...

Well you most certainly honored the request of this blog friend! Thank you for sharing the images of Abby's new digs! Her space is delightful and that table you painted turned out fabulous!

This month has been a "H - E - double hockey sticks" of a roller coaster ride for you!

A Birthday...
Becoming a grandmother...
The weather...
A move!
The empty nest...
I remember when I drove away after leaving the kids at college. I cried off and on all of the way home. (I think Mr D was kind of offended...like he wasn't "enough"... : )

Jane, the empty nest is why I started blogging.

I met amazing people like you!
In a mindset where you feel alone...you find so many people walking in the same shoes...and I know for a fact that you and I even have some of the same shoes! LOL

What happens next is beyond joy!
When Holland Grace walks in the front door, she takes a right hand turn and goes up the stairs to Chrislyn's old room, which she now calls "her room"!

In just a few years you will be there. Believe me...the nest will be jam packed, the babies will be adoring you!





Linda said...

I think it is absolutely wonderful that all you moms bonded so well!!! This will make everything so much easier on you all!!!

Amber talked about having an empty nest someday. She said the thing about quads is that you have four kids but they all leave at once! Talk about a shock! And I can't eben THINK about the financial side of having FOUR in college at the same time!!

Jen Vandervoort said...

It can't be easy to have her gone, but at least you know that she has a beautiful room, and it's decorated very nicely.

I love that table...very mission feel to it. You did an amazing job!

Ride the wave...very good advice.


Lori said...

So much going on ~ you know that she will be fine and you will be fine. It's hard when that last bird leaves the nest. Can't wait for the baby pics to start coming in ~ Happy weekend xo

Town and Country Gals said...

it's so hard when they leave! It took me a while to adjust to Kate leaving! Your girl is going to have so much fun with her girlfriends, you guys did a great job on her room, it's adorable! I know you're having a good time with little Elsie, enjoy her, they grow so fast!

Debra@Common Ground said...

Hi Jane, I know those feelings so well, having 2 grown up daughters. I don't know what I did without texting them. Her place looks wonderful and I know this will be such a special time in her life. The white tulips look like Spring, and make us happy and bring so much joy!

Barbara @ 21 Rosemary Lane said...

What a wonderfully heartfelt post. I know it must have been really hard to move out your baby girl. I alsomt dread the day I will have to allow my own daughter to spread her wings and fly. But what an exiting time it is in her life. Wishing you all the best and thank you so much for sharing so much of your life with your readers and at the Share Your Style link party this week.
XO Barbara

TexWisGirl said...

hoping the girls love their new home place. :) i love white roses - my favorite. :)

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, Jane, there is something about being in the city at night when it is cold out that can make us lonely for loved ones and home.

Terry Klein said...

Hi Jane, I also love white flowers. Was just looking at a picture of Lilly's of the valley in HGTV magazine & dreaming of spring. Abby's apartment looks awesome. How fun in the heart of the city. Checked out Mind Body Green. Such a cool site. I hope it helps to know so many blog friends are thinking of you when you are down and wishing you the best.

Kit said...

Oh Jane! I am an empty nester and still remember when my youngest left home for good. It is so sad. But before you know it, you will adjust to this new life and new and wonderful memories will be made. Hang in there! Hugs, Kit

Heather Lindstrom said...

Such a heartfelt post, Jane dear. I love that you are able to share your feelings, during the exciting times and the sentimental. Most moms go through this at some time in life and I'm sure you are giving comfort to other women feeling the same way today. My step daughters are on grown and on their own now. We are having them over for Sunday dinner and I can't wait to catch up. Sweet post, girlfriend!
xx, Heather

Karen Ann said...

Oh, Jane.. my oldest just moved in her own apartment and a thrill when she comes by for dinner. I LOVED having all my chicks in the nest and I am not looking forward to the completely empty nest. *sigh Your daughters space looks lovely. You must be so proud.

lynn said...

abby's room is darling, jane:) don't you feel good that she received what she needed growing up to be able to now go out on her own! thanks to you and your husband:)

Melanie said...

You know that I understand about being an empty nester! How are you doing? Love the nightstand you painted for Abby. Hope you are getting lots of lovin' in on your new grandbaby!

Carol said...

I'm so glad your experience with "move-in day" for your daughter was positive. I'm sure getting to know the parents of her roommates gave you much reassurance that Abby is in good company.

I'm with you about candles. I love them, both real and my many battery-timer ones. I really enjoy the ones from the Bath and Body Shop, but I only buy them when they are on sale. The aroma lasts right down to that final flicker & the wick is done.

That nursery looks adorable, and I cannot wait to see more pics of that sweet baby girl.

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Nancy Crowley said...

Hi Jane,
I am just catching up on visiting with your blog, it's been too long. I must say, this post resonated. I was let go today. I ready that phrase you mention about riding the wave, and wow, talk about timing. I'm just so sad right now, so many not-great changes, and I can see choices coming at me to either embrace the unknown or become like Mr. Rochester's crazy wife hiding away wailing in some upstairs bedroom for eternity. So thanks for such a thoughtful post. I hope I can ride the wave and find some faith that I am not as small as I feel right now. xx Nancy