The moves of an empty nest

January 4, 2018

Who thinks about an empty nest when they first decide to be parents?  When we made the decision to have kids (way back 26 years ago), we didn’t talk about what it would be like to have an empty nest someday.  We were too busy being scared to even take the first step!

We went forward together on blind faith that all will be well, with a copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting in hand.

It was and is all well.  And…we’ve discovered how much of a treat it is to be a parent, even an empty nester parent.

My only regret is that I didn’t take more pictures along the way.  I was so engrossed in what was happening, I didn’t grab my camera.  But, on second thought, being absorbed is a good thing, especially when it comes to parenting.  If only my memory could snap out a few Polaroids to prove it?  That technology hasn’t been invented yet!

When I wasn’t taking pictures I was in the process of growth right along with my kids and my husband.  Together, we’ve watched our daughters grow and mature and walk away from us strong and ready for life’s adventures.


In the last 5 years, we’ve all grown so much together while we’ve been miles apart.

Both girls have a bit of my attitude toward life.  “You tell me I can’t, I’ll show you I can, and will!”  They’ve got that look…and they haven’t lost it all these years growing up with me as their mom!  We couldn’t be more thrilled with them and how they’ve stuck together, despite being miles apart, and through major milestones in their lives.  Sisterly love is awesome.

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Our oldest moved out of our house right out of high school.  A major tug on a momma’s heart – pictures of “oh…this is a tough time for me…” are few.  My mom’s dementia journey began about then, and in retrospect, I’m sad I wasn’t there more for my daughter.  Despite my mental absence, she thrived and even put us to the U-haul test her share of moves in the past 5 years.  Her next move, I’m only guessing, will be a big move.  Time will tell.  She’s helping lots of little kids in their early growth in the career path she chose after graduation.  They are lucky kids for sure!

Our youngest, well, she’s challenged all of us by moving the furthest away.  While our oldest moved just over 2 hours away, the youngest said: “I want to go to school in Chicago.”

Gulp…that’s 6 hours away…

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And, then, “I want to live off campus, will you help me find a safe place, like in daddy’s arms, but close to the bus/train station?”

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With an awesome roommate, who we fell in love with just like she was one of our own.

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They made a scary deal for mom & dad, a ‘doable’ journey all the way to graduation.

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Each move-in, and move-out, and every hello and goodbye in between, we’ve all grown stronger, braver, and ready for more adventures!

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PS…I love to visit the Windy City…but it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be to wave goodbye.  Except for Pizzano’s pizza…and Logan’s square’s Jam…hmm, a road trip to visit may be in the works?

Daily Post Prompt:  Treat

Daily Post Photography Challenge:  Growth






By Shelley

Letting my quirk out one post at a time.


  1. Reply


    Great post, fully identify with it too

    1. Reply

      Thank you! I appreciate you stopping by to read my post. I loved your take on growth too, grapes to wine, nice! I’ll be following your wine adventures!

  2. Reply


    This a nice post Shelley. I don’t want to imagine yet when we will have an empty nest also. In a few years, they will definitely move out when they go to College. My eldest have been living with my mom and sister and far away from us when he started high school. The school where he studies is the best school in our country and is much nearer in my parent’s home. When he go to College next year he will definitely not live with us. One has moved out and two will be moving out soon. Oh my

    1. Reply

      Thank you, Winnie! I couldn’t imagine the empty nest either. It grows on you…gradually! Take all the opportunities you can to HUG them! Sounds like you’ve got great plans for them and that you’re thinking ahead. Enjoy this time, it goes by quickly. Hugs xx

      1. Reply


        Yes. They all know what they want in life especially the eldest. He has great plans. And yes we always hug and I always ask for a kiss 😊. I grew up not having these kind of affection and I saw the difference. It’s nice talking to you. I’m learning a lot of things from 😘

        1. Reply

          Impressive they know what they want in life! Hugs and kisses are treasures you’ll never regret giving (receiving) generously! Glad to hear it is everyday life for you to do so and that you’ve instilled that in your kids now! Sorry to hear you didn’t receive the same growing up. Hugs to you, being a mom is a tough job, one I would never trade though! xx

          1. Winnie

            Yes! Being a mom is a tough job but very rewarding and I salute you too. Thank you for always sparing your time to reply 😘


            Thanks, Winnie! Fellow moms need to stick together! I will always reply, I might be slow to do so, but I’ll always reply – ditto to you, thank you, for replying too!

          3. Winnie

            Thank you for your kindness 😘


            You’re welcome!!

          5. Winnie


  3. Reply

    Alan Morley

    Enjoyed reading this post. I’m currently on the opposite end of the spectrum, having two toddlers. Started a family a bit late – my first-born was when I was 41 – so ’empty nest’ won’t become a part of my lexicon until deep into my 60s. But it still doesn’t stop me from imagining what my boys will look like, be like, etc., when they reach that independence age. My oldest will be heading to Kindergarten in September, and I’m sure my wife and I will be misty-eyed at that milestone.

    And you shouldn’t have regrets about the photos and camera thing. It wasn’t always top of mind to grab the camera (providing you hadn’t run out of film) when leaving the house in the pre-smartphone era. 🙂

    1. Reply

      Thank you, Alan, for reading and for sharing your story. That’s not too late, just the right time for you and your family! If your wife is anything like I was when our oldest went off to kindergarten, you’re gonna want some extra kleenexes and hugs ready! Ah, yes, the film days, I definitely didn’t get enough photos then! I appreciate your thoughts on it being okay to miss a few moments over time! Best wishes for an awesome year with your family!

  4. Reply

    Tina Schell

    Don’t think I’d be so fond of the windy city this month but then again we have our own brush with winter underway! Loved your story this week and seems you’re making up for lost time with the camera! Good job.

    1. Reply

      You’re right there Tina! We’ve been there when it is cold, not this cold, but cold and it isn’t that fun. I’m still amazed my daughter endured it for 4 years! Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate your feedback!! I’ll be by to check out your entry for the week too!

  5. Reply


    Lovely post. I like the idea of the polaroid from our memory!

    1. Reply

      Aw, thank you, glad you enjoyed the post. If you figure out the polaroid idea, let me know! 🙂

      1. Reply


        I sure will

  6. Reply

    Create Space

    Heart warming post!

    1. Reply

      Thank you, Marie! Love your photo for growth too!

  7. Reply

    Growth – Olivia – What's (in) the picture?

    […] The moves of an empty nest – Quaint Revival […]

    1. Reply

      Chris, thank you for the pingback and I love the adorable picture of Olivia! Happy New Year to you and yours!

  8. Reply


    Hi! I found your blog through the WP Photo Challenge (Growth), so I browsed a few of your posts. You’ve got a nice friendly way with words (and pictures), and I can really identify with your thoughts on an empty nest. Yes, we stay busy, but I sure love those times when my son and I get together. Pat yourself on the back — sounds like you gave your girls roots and wings!

    1. Reply

      Hi Debbie, thanks for reaching out and stopping by to read some posts on my blog. I appreciate your kind words. Nice to hear from fellow empty nesters. Stay in touch, I’m following your blog now so I’ll stop by there too!

      1. Reply


        Thank you so much! I’ll follow yours too — we might have more in common than either of us knows.

        1. Reply

          Aw, thank you! I appreciate the follow. I’m looking forward to hearing more from you and discovering ways in which we have things in common. It’s going to be a great year!

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