Category Archives: Empty Nest

Because misery loves company….

This was my day yesterday.

And will be a healthy portion of my day today…so follow along for a lesson in technology…because in order to reduce ALL my photos on this little oversized website…from  what you see right there to…

what you see right here…

I had to do …

as to make sure I preserve things like…

because….whew…we wouldn’t want to let this kind of photographic treasure to be lost in cyberspace, now would we?

But seriously…as I monotonously clicked through the steps for…Are you ready???…2,600 photographs that attached to this here little journey I have taken you all on over the last few years…I had a lot of thoughts running through my head.

So here are just a few of them…

<3 Wow…what a ride it has been. Not just getting the opportunity to pursue this thing that has scared the living daylights out of me just going public with so many private parts of me in hopes of sending out some words of hope, comfort, exhortation, humor, life-stuff from my heart and God’s Word…but the whole sometimes-messy, often-crazy, surprisingly joy-filled life God has blessed our family to live.

<3 I was also struck by how vivid my memories were attached to each photo…whether it’s cups of coffee or a beautiful presentation of a meal or a random photo of a some flowers on one of my walks, I didn’t look at a single picture and wonder about the story behind it.

Like this one…

was the day a blizzard was going to keep Lola from coming to visit and this guy got busy dressing warm and grabbed his mommy’s wallet so they could just come to me.

Still get big old sloppy tears thinking how I considered strapping on snow shoes just to get to him.

But here’s the thought that adds some insight into maybe your life today…

<3 As I went through all the steps sooooooooooo many times…it was tedious and repetitive and mind-numbingly boring at times.

I would go back to the ones remaining and think of the hours I had put in and how many hours were left to go and it took everything in me to fight the urge to just quit.

And then this terrible thought struck me.

What if it doesn’t work?

What if all this time I have put in to this task does not accomplish what needs to be done?

You see, if it works out the way it is supposed to and my site is blissfully unencumbered by unnecessarily excessive data…well…all the effort is worth it.

But if it doesn’t.

Oh my goodness…

And it made me think how much of life is like that.

If my motivation for sticking it out is for the satisfaction I will gain from the success of my desired result, I will end up short so many times.

But if my motivation comes from obedience to follow through the tasks I have been fulfill the purpose for each day by being in that moment, doing that thing…whatever it is and whatever the outcome…all for the glory of God…well…

that changes everything.

So I will finish those picture edits today, in between loads of laundry that we are just going to wear and throw back in the bin tomorrow…I will prepare food and then exercise to counteract the calories…I will dust and vacuum the same particles I tried to vanquish yesterday…I will drag out my journal and start outlining a lesson for Sunday and along the way I will tap out some more thoughts for you for tomorrow…and I will do it… in obedience…all to the glory of God <3

I have no guarantees that the time I spend on any tasks will have any lasting effect.

But sure as heck…if I didn’t do them…there would be some serious setbacks for those plans and purposes God prepared in advance for me to do.

So let’s do the thing…even if it’s repetitive and boring and we just did it yesterday and here we have to do it again today.

Let’s do it and do it well, shall we?

How about you?

What’s your Kingdom plan today?

Be blessed as you carry it out…step by step, piece by piece…byte by byte  <3

And speaking of birds…


Spring has possibly arrived here in the Midwest.

 Although, if the forecasts are correct, it will still be a roller coaster of seasons for the next few days as we swing from the 70’s to the 40’s with a sprinkling of rain. 

I know I talk frequently about our grands, but honestly…they bring a dimension to our lives that I was just not expecting. 

And that first one still gets to me somewhere deep in my spirit after almost seven years of life with him. 

Maybe it is because he is our first.

Or maybe it’s the intensity of those green eyes, ringed in grey and sprinkled with hefty doses of amber, that always seem to look past my face and into my soul. They seem to add poignancy to most conversations with him. 

So it was this past weekend when he, along with the band of brothers and Sweet Caroline, came for a visit with mommy while their daddy was at work. 

As they played in the living room, he took notice of a little wooden bird house I had put on the hearth with some other spring items before Easter. 

He recognized it as one he and his dad had made for me. Just to make sure he remembered correctly, he picked it up and checked the back. 

Sure enough there was the black marker lettering his mommy had added….

I had tied a pretty ribbon on it when he gave it to me and it has come out every Spring to help chase the last of the Winter trim back down to the storage closet. 

I thought he would be pleased I still had it.

Instead those eyes I mentioned above turned and looked right into the deepest parts of his Lola and he asked me… 

Lola, how many?

How many of what I wasn’t sure, so I asked him what he meant.

How many birds have made a nest in it?

I answered…none…no birds had ever been near it.


I stammered around trying to explain that I had wanted to keep it nice…how I had always just kept it inside because if I put it out in a tree, the weather and the sun and the birds would ruin it.

And then this little man-child… who basically holds his Lola in the palm of his hand since she first laid her own grey-ringed blue with flecks of amber eyes on him…spoke to me as if I was the child…

and he said…

Lola, it’s a bird HOUSE…it’s supposed to be for birds to live in. That’s what it’s for.

Well…he had a point.

So I promised to hang it in a tree and on Monday morning, once the silly snow melted and the grass was clear, I made good on my vow. 

I untied that pretty little bow and I hung it out there on a low branch of the tree right in front of the house. 

I stood and watched it swing from the branch and I cried a little thinking how the rains and the dust from the fields and the hot summer sun of the Midwest is going to wreck that sweet little bird house. 

I took a picture and sent it to him and I know he will look for it the next time he comes and he will want to see if any birds made a nest there. 

And I can’t help but wonder if God might just be whispering through the wisdom of a child to this old heart of mine that holds on to things and people a bit too tightly in hopes of preserving and protecting them from the wear and tear of life. 

Maybe the beauty was never in the appearance of the vessel itself, but in the fulfillment of the purpose for which it was made.

Always something new to learn as we journey onward <3

Nothing profound because apparently it is winter again….

To the untrained eye, this may look like a picture from back in February but no…no…

it was indeed taken a short while ago from our kitchen table as I marveled at how the snow encrusted trees are quite lovely and yet have somehow lost their charm on account of…

you know…

it is April.

And no.

I didn’t leave Valentine pictures up on the door…

that would be the handiwork of some visitors on Saturday.

While this guy…

was at work,

this crew…

came to LolaPapi’s.

We ate, played and visited the Children’s Museum to give mom a break…


she ended up putting away multiple carts of groceries…

because you gotta keep the shelves stocked somehow.

And Miss Caroline?

She was like Lola…the Children’s Museum is soooo loud and soooo full of well…children…and she would just rather play with…

shiny things.

So that was some of our weekend.

Hope yours was good and would someone tell Aslan that we need an end to this endless winter…please???


If the printer decides to mount an attack, I am safe <3

Russ had to travel this week and I must admit, I felt an added edge of protection having Rocco staying with us.

Although he never really barks or seems too alarmed about people coming in and out of the house, I just knew if I needed him…he would ditch the stoic facials and tap into his inner dogness and be my hero.

Sure enough, last night he roused from slumber as I was working at the kitchen table and moved with curiosity towards the front of the house.

He took a defensive posture and gave a couple of threatening barks.

Bolstered by knowing he was a dog of size and power, I ventured from the kitchen…only to hear the printer processing the documents I had just sent via my MacBook…yeah…

when I told him it was just the HP ENVY 5660, he shook his ears, yawned and headed back to bed.

Looks like the only way this weapon of mass destruction is going to do me any harm is if I get a paper cut.



Happy Friday!

We got home late Wednesday and yesterday was my day with the band of brothers and Princess Caroline…so…needless to say I am tapped out in the brain this morning.

I will give a huge shoutout to all the young moms and dads out there because … have mercy…what you do is E.X.H.A.U.S.T.I.N.G.

And…mind-numbingly repetitive…

and thankless…

and frustrating.

But you are raising up decent little human beings and providing for their needs while training them to make good choices.

You might think…

as I did yesterday whilst holding a baby on my hip as I prepared dinner and wished I had a third hand to wipe the constantly dripping noise…meanwhile answering Emmett’s same question for the ten zillionth time and pulling Joel out of the pantry …in between telling Graham how many minutes were left on the timer for his reading homework…every thirty seconds…

that you are losing your mind.

However I can tell you…

you will look back on all of this one day and know in your heart…

it was just a long string of Best. Days. Ever.

And all of us out here on the other side say a big huge THANK YOU for everything you do.

It all matters and we love you for the care you give your little ones.

You will make it.

All of you.

So just keep plugging away and take up every offer of help that comes down the pike…you deserve it.