Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Spring Has Sprung (Or Has It?)

Hi there!

I thought I'd just do a quick update post today since I feel like it's been a little while since I've been around. I posted last week only because of the magic that is blogging--I scheduled the post ahead of time, shut the front door, and walked away.

So let's talk about spring, shall we? What is with this crazy Midwest weather? We've had warm, then rainy, then last week it was apparently warmish again, and today I PULLED OUT MY WINTER COAT! Seriously?! I'm feeling schizophrenic here and am definitely ready for the roller coaster of early-spring to be gone. Away. Out of here.

I'm ready for all out WARMTH.

Still, I shouldn't complain. Last week we enjoyed a few warm (and windy) days in Florida for what, I realized while we were there, might very well be our last spring break. Not that we adults actually "get" a spring break anymore, but it was our last spring break with a child in school in our home.

So that's a strange reality.

You know what else is strange? That same kid, our last, is graduating from high school in less than two months, and in less than four months she leaves for college, making us . . . empty nesters!

For what it's worth, I'm having all the thoughts. And yes, all the emotions. But as I told Julia, I'm going to write an article one of these days on why I'm excited about the empty nest. Yes, it's fraught with all kinds of feels, but it doesn't have to be a bad thing.

So this spring (and summer) is bringing big changes to our family.

Not only will Child #3 be shipping off to college, Child #2 will be shipping far, far away (our first to move out of the Chicago area) for graduate school. We're so proud of her and thrilled for the opportunity (she'll be entering a doctoral program in physical therapy), but to think it won't be an adjustment would be naive. Right now she lives less than a mile from home, and every so often she pops in my front door with a "Hiiii!" and a hug. Come August, I'm going to have to drive 15 hours to get that hug.

It'll be totally worth it.

What else do I have to tell you? Ah, yes! Every-other spring brings one of my favorite writing conferences ever: the Calvin College Festival of Faith and Writing, and it's next week. I've attended this conference for the past 10 years--this is my sixth Festival--so it's obviously a favorite. Plus, it's usually around the time of my birthday, so it feels like a bit of a present to myself to geek out to go listen to writers talk for three days.

I'm also excited to be leading a Festival Circle (a small group that will meet twice during the weekend) on writing prompts, which will serve the dual purpose of making me feel like a teacher again (yea!) AND dusting off some of the more creative ideas I've had rolling around in my brain. Who knows? Maybe I'll find some inspiration in my own seminar.

Inspiration. That's what I feel like I'm lacking these days. Things have been slightly crazy around here, so it will be nice to slow down and have a few days to just soak in the writerly life. (Not that the Calvin Festival is a chance to slow down--not at all! This serious introvert will come back exhausted from all the people and the talking and the stimuli. But it will be great.)

A couple of weeks ago, amid calendar coordinating and tax preparations and talking through business travel, I asked my husband, "Do you think our lives will ever slow down?" To which he simply asked, "Do you want it to?"

He knows me so well.

And now, so do you. At least, you know a little more about what's been happening in my life and what's to come.

It's always a whirlwind.

But such a good whirlwind it is.


  1. Empty nest is such a transition. Did it make me incredibly sad when my kids moved out. Yes. It did. I miss them terribly. But, I must admit, there are advantages LOL. I do less laundry :). My house gets a little bit less messy. I cook less food, and less often. I really thought that by this time in my life (you and I are about the same age I believe), my life would slow down. and you know what? It hasn't slowed down one bit. And, as your husband said, I don't know that I want it to. I am blessed. I have a great job, a great husband, a great family and great friends. I am busy, I am happy. Every stage of life is exactly what we make it. I want this stage of life to be as awesome as it can be. Blessings my sweet friend!!!

    1. I love this, Robbin! So glad you've made the adjustment--sounds like you two are flourishing. And I am so glad to have other parents who have been there pave the way for me. I really am excited about the change. Not to say it won't be sad at times, but God is so good and so faithful, even through the changes. Thanks for being here!