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Category: My Thoughts

The Empty Nest Journey

Hello Friends!

Over this past year I have been sharing parts of my life as I use my “therapy” to cope with a stressful job and the prospect of being an empty nester.  My journey towards an “Empty Nest” took a left turn!

In some of my previous posts I talk a lot about how life throws you curves and how you have to adjust to them.  Well, after having an empty for about a year, one of the little birds has come back for a spell.

Our middle daughter, who had moved to Tennessee to take care of my mother-in-law, and who decided to stay in Tennessee after her grandmother went home to our Lord, now decided she was missing too much of her niece and nephews lives and wanted to move home.

The Move

So, a couple of weekends ago my husband, our oldest daughter and her two children traveled to Tennessee and packed her up and moved her back into our house:)  We are no longer living in an empty nest!

The move was not without some harrowing moments though.  There was an issue with their hotel overbooking and they were sent up a mountain, with a wrong address, and they almost ran off the mountain.

My husband is an extremely accomplished driver, having driven miles in his job and having experience backing up with a trailer.  Well, let me tell you a secret – he was scared!

He said that the road just ended and he had to have our daughter get out of the truck and attempt to direct him, an inch at a time, in turning around at the top of a mountain.  IN THE DARK!

Needless to say, our daughter was crying and our 5-year old granddaughter was crying (and I think my husband would have cried too had the kiddos not been in the car!) at the thought of falling off the mountain!

They did get off the mountain, proceeded to argue with the hotel when they told them they would have to disconnect a loaded U-Haul trailer (not happening), got their money back and drove down to Pigeon Forge and booked another motel.

After that experience, they needed some down time.  So they took our granddaughter to a mini carnival and then let her swim at the hotel! She had a blast!

The following weekend we went to a reunion of my mother-in-law’s family.  It was the first one since her passing:(  It was lovely visiting with everyone and Amy was able to play with the grandkids!

Amy and 3 of the 4 grandkiddos

 

Empty Nest no more!

I had just begun to park my car in our garage after not being able to for 8 months and now I can’t again:(  Oh well, with a bit of work and good organizing I might be able to park it again soon.

Life is always throwing us curves and we always have to adapt the best we can.  Although our bird has returned once again (I think this makes 4 times but who’s counting. lol), we welcomed her home (along with another dog and cat), made room for her things and went back to our life.

It has been mostly seamless, she’s pretty low maintenance.  She must have picked up some good habits because she has been sweeping and doing dishes without me having to ask her!!!  That’s something new!

We may not be empty nesters any longer, but we will always do what we can to be there for our children!  We will still journey on down the road for the next time the empty nest opens up.

Until then, here’s to family!

 

 

Catching up

Good Morning Friends!

I have a lot of catching up to do!  I have been away from the blog for some time now and I apologize for that, but as I know I’ve mentioned before (hehe-a couple of times) life can throw you curves.  Well, this curve took me some time to navigate!  Almost 5 months!

I started this journey to share my creations that I make with Stampin’ Up products, some DIY projects and my journey as an empty nester.  That is still my plan and I believe that I can now devote more time into that sharing:)  My latest share are pictures of the before and after of my craft room.

This was my craft room in our old house. (I know, it’s a bit obsessive, right? lol)
This is how the room started in the “new” house. Pretty huh?
This is how it looks now. Still a work in progress:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the pretty floors! It’s the one thing the contractor did right!

The subfloor in the entire house had to be replaced or you might fallen through!  Not only that, supports had to be built to hold up the joists to support the awesome new floor (distressed hardwood bamboo).  Needless to say, the house was more of a fixer-upper than we originally thought!  Where is Chip and JoAnna when you need them???  Not here in Indiana that’s for sure!!

We also had some contractor issues.  He could not get a dry wall sub to show up and work or to actually do good work!  We had a professional electrician and plumber do some work (okay work is a loose term – it was a major overhaul on both accounts!!!) and they kept saying “you are being taking advantage of.  These guys are not professional.  You need to fire them”.  Well, we wanted to but to educate those who aren’t aware, and we weren’t, if you buy a home that HUD has listed and you have a contractor bid the work, you have to use that contractor to finish the job because the renovation funds come listed in your name and the contractor’s name.  Boo!

We wanted to fire him before we closed but that would meanthe whole loan process would have to start from scratch and that would mean another 60 days!  Not gonna happen!  So, we muddled through and we are now finishing the reno on our own.  (We finally said enough is enough)

The contractor did discount some for the sub-par work that was done and did vapor barrier the crawl space (at no charge) to protect the supports his guys put in, but it still did not make up for the headaches and work we had to re-do.  (Whose going to replace our front doors? Yes, plural-it’s a double front door that some id— sawed them off to make the threshold higher, and now you can see daylight through it! The contractor said “I didn’t authorize that!”  Well you’re the boss so the buck stops with you!  (He didn’t think so.) Oh well, live and learn.

What was supposed to be a nice pre-retirement house with a lower mortgage payment ended up being a lot of extra money out of our pocket that we hadn’t banked on and now we have to work longer than planned.  (okay that was sort of a pity party, sorry)

The house is becoming beautiful!:)  Now that my craft/studio room is coming together I feel more complete and creative so the projects will begin soon!  My kitchen is functional and our master bath is almost done.  I still have a garage full of boxes to unpack (seriously, it’s the entire 2 car garage!!!) but if I have lived without it this long, I see a major garage sale coming this spring!!

The lesson learned is do your homework!  Get a certified home inspection (don’t rely on HUD or your contractor, they both under-reported the issues), really research your contractor-talk to people he has done work for and don’t just go by the reviews on the internet, sign a contract with the contractor and have a completion date noted with penalties if it’s not done by that date, make sure he has your budget and have a lot of patience.

I’ll sign off here with a very simple card from a retired Stampin’ Up stamp set that I love.  It’s to all of you who read my posts and hope you return for the posts in the future!

Just a quick card I made this week. I don’t have my “picture stage” set up yet:)

Christmas Wishes

Happy Holidays –

Blessed Christmas Wishes to you all!  Is everyone ready for the Holiday?  I know I have all my gifts bought, but wrapped? Well, that’s another thing entirely as I’m sure some of you know:)

This year in the Ingle house (well it’s really the Shaw house, who are allowing the Ingle’s to stay with them since the Ingle’s are currently homeless!), we will be celebrating Christ’s birth early on Christmas Eve.  We will be getting together for brunch and then sharing gifts, visiting with the family and enjoying the newest grandbabies on their first Christmas!

Tradition-

Traditionally we would meet at my parents house.  We would have a small snack and then head to church for the Christmas Eve service.  Then it’s back to the house for another snack (of course) and then share presents.

As our children have grown and moved away, travel time has had to be taken into consideration.  We really don’t want our daughter’s family (1 1/2 hour driving time) and our son’s family (1 hour driving time) to be out on the interstate late at night.  So, we opted for brunch instead of supper.  This way no one is out on the road during the dark.

I know that as everyone’s children grow up and start their own families, they also start their own traditions.  Because of that, we are all too aware that we may have to be flexible around all holidays.  That’s okay, because just being together is the important part of a family.

***Update – I failed to mention that we also have to be flexible around the holidays with our “middle child” (lol Amy).  Amy lives in Tennessee, so seeing her during the holidays becomes even more problematic due to her job and our jobs.  Carl went to see her over the Thanksgiving Holiday but I can’t get down there until the 2nd week of January.  She does have friends she will be sharing Christmas with, but being so far from her tugs at our heartstrings.

Although I missed putting her in this post, she is never far from our thoughts!  Sorry Am!

House update-

As I mentioned above, and in other posts, we are living at my parents house and are so grateful to have a place to lay our heads.  We purchased a fixer-upper.  We thought it just needed some cosmetic updates, but when you open walls and pull up floors you sometimes get more than you bargained for as you can see from these pictures:)

Master bedroom
Master bath

As you can see in the master, once they pulled up the bad floor, the subfloor was also bad and needed to be ripped up.  The master bath shower fell apart when we tried to change out the shower handle so we have to re-do the entire shower now.

I know you can’t really see the picture of the main bath very well, but there is no floor at all!  Water damage.  The kitchen was gutted as well.

Main bathroom
Kitchen

Okay friends, these are current photos of the house.  I took them a couple days ago, but as of last night, they haven’t changed.  Our contractor promised me that we would be enjoying Christmas dinner in our new house.  By looking at these photos, do you think we will be in the house by Christmas?  I highly doubt it!

It was our Christmas Wish that we would celebrate the season in our new house, but that may not actually happen this year.

Light bulb moment –

As I stood in the living room last night waiting on the electric company to turn the power back on (oh wait, forgot to say that we are having the electrical panel upgraded so the electric has been off for a few days), I felt like crying!

It finally hit me that we are not going to be celebrating Christmas in our new house this year.  I felt helpless.  There is nothing I can physically do to help this process along.  It’s all in the hands of the contractors.

But then I remembered something very important.  It doesn’t matter where we are living when we celebrate Christ’s birth.  It just matters that we do celebrate it.  It matters that we give to each other as He gave his greatest gift to us, His Son.  It is in that message that I am so humbled at the gifts he has given to me, my husband, my children, my family, my health, friends, a job and yes, a house.

I had gotten caught up in the idea of being in a new house and decorating it for Christmas and then sharing that with our family and friends.  I had momentarily forgotten the most important reason for the season.  Jesus Christ.

My Christmas Wish for all of you is that you will also remember the reason for this season and try not to be caught up with all of the commercial hype and the stresses that this time of year can sometimes bring.  Rejoice in the season of Christ!  Celebrate with your family and friends, no matter where you are!!  Have a very Blessed Christmas!