Monday, January 7, 2013

The Party's Over

The decorations are (mostly) down, daughters have safely returned to their homes away from here, and as a bonus...I have a cold. Yep, the party is most definitely over.

Even though we're entering the second week of a new year I've had a daughter at home. Life remained in holiday mode around here until yesterday.

Yesterday reality burst my bubble.
I guess it was time.

Daughter1 had to head back to work right after Christmas, but Daughter2 is still in grad school which meant an extra week spent at home.

With her momma.
Where daughters belong, but I digress.

She is such sweet company.  We like a lot of the same things-cooking, playing games, shopping, and talking about life over long leisurely lunches.  She's 22, but still lets me hold her hand. Daughter2 has been teaching me to play the piano, and just when I begin to feel like a lost cause she's patient and makes me laugh.

I don't know if I'll ever actually 'play', but I will treasure the memory of the lessons.

We went to see Les Mis on Friday, and she didn't even make fun of me (much) for mis-reading the start time.  We sat in the quiet dark theatre by ourselves for an hour at 10 in the morning, and we gabbed the minutes away until the actual start time.

Les Mis.  We loved it.  A mesmerizing tale of love and hate and cruelty, of forgiveness and redemption. The music is haunting and beautiful.  Go see it.

We had a fun dinner out on Friday night eating our favorite Thai food, and again on Saturday night dining in a favorite Italian restaurant. Hubs and I have made a pact that its grilled chicken and salads for the rest of the month.  Well, the rest of the week anyway.

Yesterday we trekked to the airport for daughter2's flight home.  As we stood at the security checkpoint, my love-hate  relationship with United departures was confirmed. On the one hand, this spot has been the gateway to some wonderful adventures. On the other, it feels like the place where I am forever telling my girls goodbye, watching them maneuver computers and luggage and boarding passes as they re- take their place in a grown up world.

Our house is quiet most of the year.  I can do quiet.  In fact I like quiet, except when I don't.  When daughters come home, a lightness you didn't know was missing seeps into the rooms and spaces you live in every day.  They fill the quiet with something soft and warm and right.

That elusive something lingers here scraps of paper left behind, bathroom sinks to be cleaned,  and linens to be washed.  Today it's back to the routine of everyday life.  I awoke this morning to a pink painted sky...

...a gentle reminder that everyday life is beautiful too.


  1. The house is lighter when the sound of girls talking and laughing is all around. I keep telling myself that the quiet is good - but I am still missing the sounds of sisters enjoying each other. This is a beautiful post :-)

  2. You have such a beautiful heart for your daughters. I haven't experienced the same sorts of hellos and goodbyes because I'm in the throes of the teenage years, but I will one day.

    I absolutely love the photo you posted today.

    Happy New Year, Joyce. :)

  3. I'm sorry you have a cold and that the house is quiet again. You did well, and gave your girls wings to fly. Some day hopefully they will give you grand babies and the house will be loud again.

  4. Stunning view!! And such a beautiful morning sky. Amazing!
    You wrote out your emotions so well and I could really feel the sweetness of having your daughters home with you and the bitter sweetness of having them leave again. I know exactly what you feel and hope you have many new projects to tackle in the new year to keep you busy.
    from BEtty

  5. I have to agree with LynnMarie have given your girls roots and wings and that is the best you can do for them. When I miss the little children I had, I have to only think about the wonderful adults they now are to know that things are right.
    I hope your cold heals quickly.

  6. That was beautiful - I can remember when I was empty nesting - one son in the military - with the economy the way it is, they slow but sure had to move back home, after a good 5-8 years on their own. At first it was nice.

    I miss those quiet times in my home but realize that one day, they will be gone again and I will have to go through all of that once more.

  7. The shared love and friendship between you and your girls is a beautiful thing. Thank you for letting us share in a glimpse of your life. The early morning beauty is also a reminder that God continues to pour His beauty and awesomeness into your life even when there are empty spots. Loved your post.

  8. Wow, that sky is beautiful! You still have snow on the ground...I am jealous ;)

  9. That last picture is gorgeous! When OS was still in college, I actually liked it when it was time for him to move back. I'm such a schedule-kind of girl, and he was messing things up! (Mother of the year???) :)

  10. I love you last picture. So beautiful and tranquil!
    Feel better!

  11. I have my oldest home until next Monday. Yay!

    That is an absolutely gorgeous picture. It would make a great jigsaw puzzle.

  12. Now you get to come down to my place and "party" with Daughter 1!! And what, a beautiful pink sunset!!

  13. I have to agree, there is nothing like having a daughter around. Sons are nice, too, but not quite the same...

    I really enjoyed your snow pics from the previous post, and this one. So beautiful!

  14. What a beautiful sky. Sounds like you had a very nice week with daughter2. Starting on my decorations today.

  15. I'm with you, I have a love/hate relationship with the airport. I'm looking forward to sweet company... :)

  16. what a beautiful picture!!! Hope you feel better. Knock on wood - no colds yet in this house.

  17. What a beautiful family you have, Joyce. It sounds like you spent some really precious time with your daughter. Thank you for sharing this sweet post with us. Happy New Year to you and your family. I pray you feel better soon.

  18. Yes. At home with their mama is EXACTLY where daughters belong. And a big 'ol YES to the rest of your post too. Daughters are just the BEST and I do so miss them when they aren't here. Feeling your sweet lonesomes...

  19. One of these days can you get permission from a daughter or two to tell a story of a time when they were not so sweet? Just so I know mine are normal? ;)

    1. Well mine are older than yours and that makes a big difference. They've had their moments : )

  20. GORGEOUS picture of the sunrise ... lovely view, too.

    We moms may get used to the empty nest, but that doesn't mean we have to like it. ;-) And God often rewards us with grandchildren ... to bring us light and laughter, little hands to hold, little ones to snuggle with.

  21. So glad you had such a nice visit with your girls!

  22. Thank-you for that post. I was the daughter leaving my mom's house with my two kids and it was just as hard on me as it was on her. That sunrise is absolutely breath taking and if it is breath taking in a picture it must have been overwhelming in real life. I gave my mom a plaque that said Home is Where my Mom is. Truer words have never been spoken.

  23. We have an only child, a 13-year old son... and I cannot imagine the day when he gets on a plane and heads off. Lord, help me!