Fabulous Living in the Empty Nest Years

I have the honor of having new friends and lifelong friends who are my age or older. I thought it would be fun to share some of the amazing people that I know who haven’t let the empty nest years slow them down. Some have reinvented themselves after all the cuties have flown the nest and some have just kept on keepin’ on doing what they have always done.

I know that some people enter this season of life without a thought or care and then there are some like me who think….”Oh my, now what do I do?” “What’s my purpose?” “Does anything I do make a difference?” “People aren’t interested in what a 50 plus woman thinks or does.” “So much for 20 year goals…I may not even be here.” Sounds like a pity party, doesn’t it? Well, I refuse to have a pity party. I want to embrace this season of life with all that God designed for me with all that I have…. and I know you do, too!

My husband and I are enjoying our season of empty nest as much as possible. We have been traveling and seeing things that I only dreamed of. We enjoy our kids and grandkids and love being around them. I don’t take anything for granted and I know where my blessings come from and because of God’s amazing grace am I able to do the things that we are able to partake in.

I know I have some young moms and even singles that are readers of my blog. That makes me happy. I want to encourage you that someday, you will enjoy life after you have raised your children. I always struggled with that thought as I couldn’t imagine living without my children close by. Yes, I’m one of those. I love being a mom. Now I have the joy of being a Mimi and watching my children in their marriages and as parents. My heart smiles when I think of my children as adults and I will hold the memories of them as little ones that depended on me for everything in my heart forever. Seasons of life are sometimes hard to get used to, but, if we are prepared, it will make it easier. Personally, I wasn’t prepared. I’m still learning.

All that to say….I really hope these articles of introducing you to some amazing ladies will only inspire and encourage you for the future. Also, for those like me….it’s never too late to be inspired and make any changes that need to be made. Are you ready to meet my first inspirational friend?

I met Rhodema 4 years ago. She and her husband were moving to our area from East Texas and the leader of a writer’s group that she was a member of, gave her my email address to see if there were any writer’s groups in her new city. Rhodema is a writer. She has been published in a few magazines and is working on a historical fiction book.

When I received her email and answered her questions, I also told her to contact me when she made the move and we would go to lunch. Once she got moved and all settled, she contacted me and we attended a writer’s group and also went to lunch and became instant friends. We were the same age and had a lot in common.

Rhodema had recently lost her father whom she loved very much. She has four grown children and 4 grandchildren who are basically all around the world. Rhodema homeschooled her children through graduation. Her oldest is married and has 4 adorable children and she and her husband are medical missionaries in a far away country. Another daughter is a nurse at a hospital in another city. Another daughter is a Moody Bible Institute graduate and is in the process of moving to another country as well. Her youngest is an aspiring actor in Hollywood and has been in several television shows and movies.

Rhodema is also the wife (38 years) of a busy doctor who has his own practice. So, you can see she has a busy and full life. Once she moved to her new city and oh, so far away from family, friends and church, she found herself in the throws of the empty nest world. She loves writing and she loves gardening and that kept her pretty busy, but, she felt something was still missing. The quietness was still hard to get used to. So one day, she picked up a paint brush and gave it a whirl. She loved it! She enrolled in some painting classes and joined a painters club.

Long story short…..

This very week, she is a featured artist with over 40 pieces of her work on display and for sale at a local venue. She is now known as a local artist of our city.

If all of that isn’t enough, she is also a tutor for some college age students and she volunteers for a mission in our city.

I hope you have enjoyed getting to know my friend, Rhodema! If you would like to follow her on some of her social media, here are her links:




A couple of years ago, I shared in a post, a friend of mine in Oklahoma who is also an artist. She is another one who picked up a paint brush one day and is now a well known artist. Click here to read about my friend, Karin and follow her work. She is amazing!

Yes, I picked up a brush and tried to paint. It didn’t work. I just don’t have it, evidently! I know many artists and it seems everyone has their own style and what fun it is to watch them in all of their creativity. I can do a stick figure and that is about it.

Thanks for being a reader of my blog and I hope you will subscribe and receive updates in your inbox each time I make a new post. I’m trying to build my reader list. If that isn’t your thing, that is okay. I do hope you will come back and visit again. My desire is that you will be inspired and encouraged by something you read.

Until next time….

10 Ways to Enjoy An Empty Nest Christmas


After spending many fun filled years of making Christmas special for your busy family, now it’s just you and your husband.  Or, it may just be you and no one else.  Christmas can still be just as fun and festive, just in a different way.  Children always make Christmas special!  Now, with the children gone, it’s a bit quiet.  You get to rest from all those years of non stop activity and searching for ways to make each Christmas the most memorable.

I hope this list of 10 Ways To Enjoy Your Empty Nest Christmas, will inspire you to make this a memorable Christmas!  There are so many ways to enjoy this time of year; this list will just get you started.

  1.  Get your calendar out and decide what all you want to accomplish this season.  Make notes of any appointments, sites to see and area events to attend.  Get your tickets early and set your plan in place.
  2. Decide how you want to celebrate Christmas.  Will you have Christmas at your home or have you been invited to celebrate with others?  Get invitations out to whomever you want to invite to your home for the special day.
  3. Have you always decorated your home over the top?  You may want to continue or you may decide to scale back a little bit.  But, if it makes your heart happy to see twinkling lights, then put them up even if it is just you that will see them.  Decorate for you with the things that you like.
  4. If you have grandchildren that will be coming over during this season, have things ready and prepared for the visit, such as puzzles, crafts, Christmas books and movies.
  5. Speaking of children, invite your grandchildren over for baking cookies or a special craft time and just have fun.  There might be a special exhibit in your area designed for kids at Christmas; take advantage of that and make a date with a grandchild. You may even know of a child that doesn’t have a grandparent.  Adopting grandchildren would be a huge blessing to a parent.
  6. Make gift giving fun for friends and family members.  Be creative and do something that is unique and special.  It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive.  Just something that says, “I was thinking of you and love you.” Wrap your gifts with lots of love.  Nothing better than a beautifully wrapped gift.  Almost as fun as the gift itself in my book.
  7. Try out a new recipe and invite some friends over for dinner before Christmas and before everyone gets busy with their family.  It’s always fun to have guests in our homes during the holidays.
  8. Have a Christmas Tea.  Set a fun festive table and invite one or more friends over for a tea and have simple treats to eat.
  9. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or shelter and help where needed.  Donate money to your favorite charity.  If you are crafty, make items that are needed for a ministry that helps others.
  10. Enjoy your quiet time and spend time reading.  Take  time to soak up the amazing story of God’s wonderful gift to us all those years ago.  What a glorious time when the world comes together to acknowledge a little baby that was born to save the world.  Some reject this good news, but if you have been changed because of Christ, you have reason to celebrate, whether you are at home alone with your twinkling lights or in the midst of a loud busy home full of activity……It is time to REJOICE!
  11. Bonus Tip!  I thought of one more thing.  The New Year is fast approaching.  Take time this month to work on your goals, dreams and plans for the coming year.  Pick out a planner that is just your style and get to planning for a successful coming year!

Merry Christmas!  Enjoy your empty nest Christmas and make it a special one for yourself and those you are in contact with during this sweet season!

I would love to hear what you do to make your Christmas special each year!  Comments are always fun to read, so feel free to leave a comment, it may inspire and encourage someone!

Click here to read other posts in this series of Making a Full House a Home for Two in The Empty Nest Years.

A Home For Two

An Empty Nest Christmas!

merryMerry Christmas!

Are you in the middle of the empty nest years and wondering how to make Christmas special for your empty nest home?

When Jim and I married in 1980, we pulled together our Christmas traditions from our homes and meshed them together and came up with our own.  Before we had children, Christmas was easy; we would go to our parents homes and celebrate with family and join in with whoever invited us that year.  Once our children came, we found it important to be home and build our own style of Christmas morning and all the festivities before that special day.

Many years went by with lot’s of fun Christmas memories with our family and our extended family and friends.  I have a photo album and a box of “want to be photo album” pictures to look back on.   We also have videos of some family Christmases that I’m anxious to go through.  I’m sure I will have to have a box of tissues as I watch them, though.

Now that our two children are grown and have homes of their own, it is back to just my husband and I.  I have to make the decision of how much I want to decorate, when before we would decorate for the kids to make it as festive and fun as possible.  Now, as I decorate, it’s just for us and those that visit our home during the holiday time.  It’s still just as fun, but oh, so different.

This year, I decorated a tree with ornaments from the kids younger years.  I found the first ornament I ever bought when Patti was just a baby.  I loved seeing the ornaments of Nathan’s when he was a basketball player and all his ornaments had to do with basketball.  Between Patti’s ice skating ornaments and Nathan’s airplane ornaments, I was in tears by the time I finished the tree.  I’m sure that those ornaments will ever mean anything special like they are to me, but, I will continue to cherish them and the memories that go with them.

Something important to know when going in to the holiday season with a quiet house is knowing my purpose.  My purpose should be to enjoy this time of the year and now make memories for my husband and I and those that are around to enjoy with us.  My purpose is to cheer on our children as they now make memories with their families and begin their own traditions.  My husband and I have never put pressure on our kids to spend Christmas with us each Christmas or every other Christmas.  Although, I do admire those that have it so organized that everyone knows which Christmas and which Thanksgiving to spend with which family.  Since our lives were always so busy and unpredictable while our kids were growing up, we didn’t have anything set in stone of when to be where, so we have stuck with that rule now.  Life is so busy and things happen that to insist on certain years and times for everyone to be together, just doesn’t work for us.  We find out what everyone is doing or have planned and work around our time to be together for holiday time.  However it works out, we make the best of it and enjoy it to the fullest.


If I could go back and make some changes to the way we celebrated Christmas I would for sure have taken more pictures and put them in albums.  I now have pictures in boxes over the past 36 years and the Christmas pictures are mixed in.  I did manage to put together an album a few years ago, but so many pictures are missing. *(goal for 2017; organize pictures!)

I would also insist on a family picture each year.  Nothing crazy fancy but, maybe sometimes yes, crazy fancy.  And the complainers would just have to deal with it.  I’m a people pleaser, so if someone complained about having to dress up for a picture, I would say, “Ok, we will skip it then.”  If I could go back, I would stand my ground.

Another thing I wish I would have done was to not let holiday drama affect me.  You know…the family members that treat you a certain way while you are in their home and you just deal with it because it’s Christmas.  If I could go back, I would just let it roll off of my back and never think twice about it.  As long as I treat others like I should with kindness, forgiveness and grace, I shouldn’t have a problem when treated badly.  There isn’t anything different you can do when someone dislikes and disrespects you if you have those three things in your life.  Of course it is difficult to have those three things if you first don’t have love.  There really isn’t room in my life for the drama that some folks have to have.  Acceptance is all people really want and to be valued as having worth.  What better time than Christmas to practice what you preach…..Love one another!

One last thing…I would have focused more on the whole reason we celebrate Christmas; the birth of our Savior.  However festive we make our Christmas, we can always bring it back to that little baby who came to save the world!  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son…..” John 3:16

That’s pretty good, only three things I would do different.  I’m sure there are more if I put more thought into it.  The past is the past and we must give ourselves grace so we can be stronger and continue on in making this season the best season ever!

Merry Christmas and enjoy your holiday you own special way, even if it’s an empty nest!

Click here to see the listing of other posts in this series of the Empty Nest Life!

A Home For Two