Tag Archives: changes

Reminder: I DO Have a Life

I’ve had a life for a long time. And it doesn’t only revolve around the kids or even Jerry. As all of them are less home-centered and stretching to new places, I am reminded of two things: 1) It’s okay to cry 2)I DO have a life outside of my family.

Part of a BENew journey is embracing changes. In the last year I’ve processed lifestyle changes, thinking differently about food and movement. I’ve enjoyed (and sometimes struggled with) the changes that comes with having a different body. As my homeschooling family is growing up by leaps and bounds, I process change again. I hope to transition well, to give my loved ones wings to soar solo and to stretch new wings myself.

Today’s pictures are a celebration of this other part of my life, the world of writers, where I find community and stretch for new heights. Colorado has a lot of wonderful opportunities for writers. As Colorado Coordinator, I’m most involved with ACFW Colorado, but there’s a wonderful spirit of cooperation in our area with other writers groups, including Words for the Journey. A few weeks ago a bunch of writers, both WFTJ and ACFW members, gathered at the invitation of WFTJ to a “write-out” at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs.


My thoughtful friend and fellow author, Megan DiMaria, makes sure I know about this event each summer and invites me to share it with her and the others.

Broadmoor 1

Megan used to be teased at her work because she brought a beautiful tablecloth to enjoy her sack lunch upon. She’s one of those rare people who truly savors beauty, and the Broadmoor is is a Megan kind of place.

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My Broadmoor day was so filled with magic, that I just had to dance in the empty ballroom.

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I pray I can dance into and through this latest transition of celebrating kids who do crazy things like get married and go to college.

And, because this blog started to process weight loss, I’ll admit it. I also pray I can ignore comfort food and seek comfort that makes a difference. This latest test of my new lifestyle is fierce and with it comes cravings I really should ignore. They only mask the real need, for me to recognize the passing season and give permission for mourning.

When Stephen drove away for his first day of “real” school away from me, I curled up in my old blue recliner and had a little talk with the Lord. I cried some, not sobs, but big bubbles of tears that slid silent and wet down my cheeks. But they are not just sad tears, they are proud tears, too.

This is how it should be, this transition, this quiet house. And I must remember to let the tears fall, take a walk, listen to music, or read a little, instead of reaching for some big cheesy mess.

How about you? What tempts you to run to the arms of comfort food? What do you do instead?

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Comfort or crash?

Changes and a Bag of Chips

I’m don’t typically grieve summer’s end. But this end is more endish than normal. (Warning! Mom letting go post. Tissue might have been required to write this one. Freedom to commiserate with author freely given.)

Change #1: This summer marked the beginning and end of having Alex live with us. Honestly, in the month he lived with us he became another of my kids. I got attached, then I had to say good-bye.

family silly

Now he’s home in Spain where I’m sure his mom and dad are thrilled to have him back, but can I just say Spain is a long way from Colorado?

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Change #2: After homeschooling my Stephen for the last 17 years (counting from birth here), he’s going AWAY to school. Though technically homeschooled, he’ll spend each day with a teacher who is not me for the first time ever, earning dual high school/college credits and all kinds of mountaineering and leadership certifications. It’s a great opportunity for him! (But, uh, here I am, the who never had to cry as she sent her son off to kindergarten, waving good-bye at the school bus. (Okay, he’s driving himself and I’m not standing at the door crying in my robe, but STILL!))

stephen on mountain

Change #3: Seth leaves tomorrow for college. I had to adjust to him living out of state for 9 months to play hockey, but then he was home a year, attending community college. Now he’s leaving again, and him moving into a college dorm feels more “away,” more permanent, more next step into adulthoodish. (Insert picture now of mom sniffing as the little red beater car pulls out of the driveway, stacked to the roof with all his most important belongings.)


Change #4 Okay. So they’ve been married since May, but give me a break. The house still seems empty with both Sarah and David gone. I know married people should live together in their own place . . . but, hey  . . . I got used to having them around when David lived with us before the wedding, and when they DO come over now, the boys monopolize them!

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photo by Kim Liddiard of Creative Pixel photography

Change #4: In the midst of all the kids moving into new stages, Jerry took two new jobs and is working long hours away from home. I know most of you are used to a spouse (or both) driving off daily, but Jerry and I have shared a home office for the last ten years! I miss my man! Thankfully, we have a plan. We hung out a shingle with Life Force International a few months ago, and right now about 1/4 of our salary comes from this endeavor. It’s our goal to keep building this as our next home business and get Jerry back home! (But for now I’m whining, remember the image of me waving good-bye to all my loved ones.)

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The good news for me is that Sam is home at least one more year. You might pray for him. At almost 16 he doesn’t need me holding him, reading Frog and Toad, or tying his shoes. (Okay, okay, I WON’T!)

sam on mt

I’d like to say I’ve handled everything with grace and wisdom. What really happened is I ate a whole bag of chips and a bunch of chocolate and spent hours watching Downton Abbey on Saturday!

At first I felt lousy about that whole bad food/no exercise/wasting time thing. But I don’t anymore. I needed that crash.

On the Benew journey I think we have to leave space for “those” days, the ones where we need to not think, to not try so hard, to indulge a little.

“Those” days just can’t be most days.