The most common thing we are asked about our home projects is how we have the time to do them. Answer: We are empty nesting.
I’ve been a mom for 22 years and Mike has been a Dad for 26. We combined our families 17 years ago and together we have three boys aged 26, 22, and 22. Throughout high school our two youngest boys were both year-round high school athletes and we both work full time which means free time was non-existent. Our last home was cute and comfortable and we did some projects, but most of our time was devoted to kids’ activities. In 2012, our youngest two boys (one mine, one his) graduated from high school and headed off to college.
I’ll spare you the details of the drop offs but taking two boys to college in the same weekend was devastating and traumatic. Just visualize ugly crying. You can’t prepare for that no matter how you try. It is four years later and they have since graduated college and it still makes me cry. Mike’s oldest son was already living on his own and suddenly our house was empty. Both boys went on to be collegiate athletes and traveling to their events took up some time. But going to one event a week isn’t the same as shuttling them to every practice and event for 12 years. Suddenly, we had free time. Lots and lots of free time.
As time went on we started to get into the empty nesting groove. We realized we had the chance do things we had never done before like date nights, time with friends, travel, and creative house projects. Two years into the boys college career we decided to move. I have always loved decorating and bargain hunting. Mike can fix almost everything and has incredible self-taught wood working talent. After looking at about 7,000 homes we decided to buy a house that needed a makeover.
Renovating and decorating gives us something fun to do and living with disruptions is certainly easier when there are only two people. More importantly it has been an outlet for us as we navigate our way through the new normal that is empty nesting.