For the first time in 18 years, these steps sat empty during the Back-to-School early morning pics. Our oldest is finishing up his last year in college, and our youngest, is starting her freshman year in college tomorrow. When we started Let’s Dish! 16 years ago, the first day of school pics on these steps were only just beginning!
Today, Katie - whom I’ve had the pleasure of working together with for all 16 of these years, has the thrill (along with different kind of tears) as she takes ‘first day of school pics on the steps’ of their son starting Kindergarten, and daughter starting pre-school. This truly makes it easier for me…it’s so fun to watch others’ little ones grow up, and fun to relive these times!!
Gonna be honest though, during those first two days of empty nesting this past weekend, all I really felt was an empty heart. After a bunch of ‘self talk’, I realized that if I could turn back time….there really isn’t much I would change, so rather than feeling empty, my heart should feel full! If anything, I wish that I could slow time down. As a kid, I thought my Mom was crazy when she talked about how FAST time went! Now I get it. I’m realizing now, that the trick is what you do w/ that time. Looking back…it’s not the ‘big things’ that I miss, it’s truly the little things. I long for one more family bike ride, watching the kids flip the extra pancake batter super high outside, watching the backyard football games and the front yard dance performances, and another (even if it’s super quick around the kitchen island) family dinner. There’s no better way to see your kids, and hear about their day, than having something ready to eat when they’re ready to eat J
Going forward, I’m striving to be more present (certainly easier said then done). And now that our family is living in three states…I’m feeling blessed with family texts, facetime, and our next ‘together time’ with friends and extended family. Time which we all appreciate even more, and time to reminisce favorite memories…and make many more new ones!
I have a ton of role models to look toward that are really rockin’ this next phase of ‘empty nest. full heart’ life! One of which I met just recently is Sue Hawkes. I highly encourage you to read her book, Chasing Perfection, and follow along w/ her daily blog and podcasts at sayyess.com. She’s been a true inspiration to me, and many others!!