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I turned 50 last June and have been very interested in figuring out what I want to do with my life now that my job of raising kids is done and was on that path for a little while before my birthday and then last August our oldest daughter and her family moved in to get on thier feet. They do not ask much of me, so that is not a problem, they have the front part of the house and we use the back family room at night and most days I hang out in our bedroom.

It is a lovely room with a beautiful view of our back yard

this is a view out our bedroom window from my desk, taken this past summer. It is a lovely view all year, changing scenery but I have to admit I to get a bit of cabin fever.
I am used to having a studio for my crafts and jewelry and the computer in the front living room and then moving through the house all through the day depending on what I am doing. Now, I watch tv in here, eat breakfast and lunch in here, draw in here, write in here , you get the picture, I live in our room until the evening . When my hubby gets home, we head out into the family room and watch tv until we each go to bed, he first, me later, and I sneak in there, like now, to use the computer while he sleeps as it is in our room !!!

So, my challenge is to be creative in a tiny space. I have all my stuff around me, beads and paints and art supplies, but I have to  make room on the desk and pick up everthing when I am done, which makes it hard to be creative when you have to pack it all up between play time. I had a work bench in our room, but it took up too much space and we had to remove it.

It is a real challenge for me to get in the creative mood lately but I am so bored and reading just is not what I want to do, which never happens, but unfortunately has. I love to read at the kitchen table but with people in there all day it is not the relaxing reading atmostphere I like, so for now, no reading.

I am not really complaining, I am glad the kids are here. I hated it when they were in Calif and it is worth any temporary sacrifice to have them here in Texas with us, but I need to figure out how to create in this small space and in creating find what it is I want to do and be . Writing is a passion, photography is a passion, I love to make jewelry and I love to draw, but I am not doing much of any of it right now . I would say I take more pictures than anything because I can do that sitting right here. I get amazing pictures of the squirrels and birds and cats that roam our yard and do take the camera out from time to time and find interesting things to shoot and of course my family is always fun to take pictures of. I have thousands of the kids and grandkids.

So, that is my current challenge. Finding myself in the small space. I am still searching for that child in me that wants to play that I talked about yesterday in my other blog Time to be me .  It has been so long since she was out, I am having trouble luring out into the open. I luckily have a husband that never lost his child like wonder and ability to play and hopefully he can help me pull her out into the world again. LIfe is so wonderful, so much to do and see. I want to be part of it and enjoy my life to the fullest. I need to get out of this room too, but for now, with no car, I am a bit stuck, but that should  change soon.

So, I will keep working hard to figure out what I want to do, and be and learn to work around this small space. One day I will have the house back to where it was, but until then I want to make progress on moving forward in my life. I do not want to sit in limbo until one day when the kids get thier own place. I deserve to be happy and fullfilled now and that is what I intend for myself.

So, as they say, one day at a time, I will get there, and I know it will be worth the journey !!

I am trying to figure out how to add pictures to my posts, so lets see if I can add any , okay, so here goes, a fun snow picture taken  recently

Yay, I did it !! I am excited. I have not been able to put any pictures on this blog because I did not know how , and I am thrilled to figure it out.

This picture is our daughter and family who live with us, enjoying a rare Texas snow storm. You would never know it snowed so hard now, but it was sure fun.

One of the things this picture does is show some of the positive things of having your kids move back in, moments you would have missed if they were in their own home.

I took  around 70 pictures of them out in the snow that day, it was a lot of fun and a day we will always remember !!!

So, renesting has its challenges, but in the end, it is worth all the hard work to have moments like this, which are priceless !!!

Where is it ?

When you renest it can completely change how you have been living your life. You have gotten used to sitting something down and then later when you need it, it is still where you left it, but once your grown kids move home with your grandkids, you are now asking, where is ….??

Shoes, keys, papers, pens, jewelry, might not be where you last put them. Leaving a cup of water out unattended may turn into a misfortune !! It is in a way like starting all over again, but you are a lot older, lol !!

So many things I got used to having out in the public area. A notebook I used to write down stuff I saw on tv that interested me, a new book, a gadget on tv, or just notes watching a show, and now, I can’t do that so I end up just not writing those things down or finding a piece of paper and then I try to keep track of those papers. I need to find that notebook and keep it just inside our room and hit pause on the dvr and walk in and get it, I just have not done it.

I cannot leave my stuff laying around if I work on a project in the family room, it may never be found again. Shoes have disapeared to be found later in very odd places, put there by a creative three year old. Life as you knew it is gone, you have to go back to where you were when you had some kids and put it all up , even the stuff in your own room, they do get in there, even if just to come in and say hi, so medicines, vitamins, markers, pens, all have to be out of reach , just in case !!!

It is hard some days, but I do love having them here. I know all of us will be happier when they can move into thier own home, the kids and us, but I have a feeling I will miss these days somewhat, just like I miss our own babies being little when I sit and think about those days.

I am sure we will enjoy having the house back when that day comes, just as they will love to have thier own space as well. But until then, we all  have to change our ways, none of us more than Grandma and Grandpa, but we are getting used to it now.  When we forget however, we have a lively three year old more than willing to remind us he is here !!!

I have had to acknowledge some anxiety issues this past couple of weeks. I could not figure out why I felt so bad and why surgery had not gotten rid of the symptoms that caused me so much trouble and then I finally figured it out.

Anxiety. Stress, stirred in with a touch of depression. I am sure it is something many empty nesters , let alone those who resnest go through.

I just could not get excited to do anything lately but I am happy, not curled up in bed refusing to live. I thought depression meant you slept all day and did not enjoy life and I do enjoy life but something was not quite right for me.

So, I am dealing with the anxiety and working hard to get moving again here on this site so I can talk more about the things I am going through, which I know will help with these issues.

I will write more on this subject later, but just wanted to start the dialog on it at the very least, for myself. I have not had any visitors in a long time, but this site is as much for me as I had hoped it to be for others in my situation and I am hoping that the writing process will help me to overcome my current issues with the anxiety and stress I am experiencing.

Merging two families into one house is easy physically. You move them in and there are there. Not a problem. At first, especially when it is exciting to have kids that might have lived far away, it is very easy, but then eventually you get to day to day living. 

Let me stress this. It is hard for everyone. Not just the renesters. Being a family that is used to your own home, own kitchen and routines, having to move into your parents/ in laws home is not easy. Both sides have to give and take and it takes adjustments for everyone.

We are lucky to have a house that makes it extremely easy. They have the front three bedrooms, living room and bath and we have the master suite and family room in the back. We are very lucky. I has to be harder on familys when there is not that much room and kids have to share and families have to share the tv, we do not have to do that.

So, there are hard days for all of us, but it is okay to acknowledge it can be hard and just be okay with that fact. Anything worth having or doing takes work and that is true of merging two familes into one. 

My son in law wisely pointed out that we cannot live like two families in one house, we have to be one family. Very smart observation and something that is very important.

The things hardest for me is changing a lifetime of habits. 

I may not want to do the dishes right after I eat, but rinse them and put them in the sink and do them later, but I can’t. I have to keep them up so we all have the space we need to work. A 1924  kicthen is not set up for a modern family of six. I have to stay on top of it, and as an adult ADD er that can be hard sometimes.  Sometimes having to wait for the washer and dryer is hard, I am used to doing my laundry when ever I want, we have to schedule around each other now. It is not a bad thing, just an adjustment for us all.  It is worth the work however.

My best friend pointed out that when things are hard once in a while she thinks I feel guilty to complain because I am so happy they are here and she is probably right. For the first eight years we lived in Texas our daughter and her family were 1400 miles away in Calif. Having them here is a dream come true and my husband and I have no regrets. We would do the same thing over if  givin the chance to change our minds. We are thrilled they are here. even when it is hectic and crazy around here.

However, I do tend to hold things in sometimes, probably out of guilt and not wanting to make them feel bad. I am trying to do better at that. They are very open to discussing anything that bothers me and I hope I am always as willing to talk with them. It does go both ways.

If you have a “this my house and you do it my way “, attitude, it will not work. I can tell you that right now. Kids that have been married years and have kids will not respond well to that attitude.

You should not take on the challenge of merging two families unless you are willing to be unselifish and be willing sometimes to keep your mouth shut when thier way of doing something is not your way. It is not worth it to nit pick and you can go back to your way when they move. You can also learn from them too, as who says your own way is the best way. I try to stay open to that as well.

So, it can be a wonderful adventure and time with your kids , or a horrible experiance, all depending on  your attitude. It is okay to admit once in a while that it is hard, but see the gifts that come with it and concentrate on those. Like the title says, it is okay to admit it can be hard, but just learn to  be okay with it and you will do fine !!

I have been away for a while as we adjust to our new life with a full house again !! After dealing with some  health issues and getting those back on track I am ready to be here again writing !!!

I picked this subject because it is something I have been dealing with lately. I went from having the house to myself all day when my husband was at work and being able to do whatever I wanted in quiet each day, to having to adjust to a full house and things sometimes out of my control, which was hard, because when we were raising the kids, we had control and could set the pace, but not anymore.

Now, I have to plan my day around others, and it makes it harder sometimes, but you just have to adjust. I found that I have floundered for a while as I tried to figure out how to create and have the life I want while living in a small area of our house. I went from a full room to myself for creating, to one room that serves as our bedroom , office and studio. It makes it a lot harder to do.

I have spent months watching too much tv and being pretty bored. I just could not seem to get exctited and motivated about anything and I have wasted so much time.  I finally just decided that if I want the life I want, to be creative and busy and having fun, I have to make it happen, it is just that simple. If I wait until I am not needed to babysit or to help out, well, that may never happen. With four kids, and three of them so far with at least two kids, it is a constant stream of sitting and helping out through the week. My daughter in law actually gave me good advice that I took a long time taking, it is hard for anyone to acknowledge I am working on things, if I am not working on things and product to show for it. ie, I have to do the things I want to do and prove to them I am busy, so when I really want to work on something, like this blog, or the book I am working on, or jewelry or my photography, then I need to do it and then let them work around me when possible. Sometimes w hen appts or work are involved, I need to be a bit flexable and this is for all our kids, not just the ones living with us. We really sit less for them then our other daughter who does not live with us.

I am rambling a bit here, I am a bit rusty, but the point I am trying to make is, you have to decide what you want to do, and then put that first. Set time in the day for your creative efforts, and then as much as possible defend your territory and have them work around you whenever they can. If you do not set some limits, you will find that you go from day to day feeling frusstrated by your lack of purpose and boredom and have no idea how to get out of that rut. That is exactly what I have been going through for a while now and now it has been months since I posted here.

It is really easy to get swept up in the day to day of having a full nest again. You almost do not see it happening. Now, you can’t just let the dishes set, and do them later in the day , now  it affects other people. You cannot just assume the laundry is free whenever, another family has to do thiers so you have to tag team your laundry. Same with cooking if you are eating seperate meals, which we do for health reasons, I am on a strict diet so we have to work with each other in the kitchen. It is so easy to let those things distract you and overwelm you and pretty soon you are just on the sofa watching tv and thinking how bored you are and that you never do anything anymore !! I have been in that spot for months now and I finally decided that enough was enough !!!  I want more and my kids want me to have more !!

We become better parents and grandparents and  spouses  when we feel personally fullfilled with our lives. When we get up excited about the day and looking forward to projects and hobbies, it makes us happier and more interesting people than we are when all we talk about is the headlines on AOL or what we saw on tv !! I know for me, when at the end of the day, I see something I have created myself, a page in my blog, a chapter for my book, some photos I am proud of or a piece of jewelry I designed and made that I love, it makes the day a better day. It is something well worth fighting for.

So, if you , like me, are caught in a rut, you have to pull your feet out of that mud and get out, and find what you want to do and just do it now. If you are confused about what you want to do, then try some things. Take some glasses at your craft store or the community college,  find something you can really get exctied about and then do it !! Think back to when you were a teen, what did you love, even as a child, did you love to draw, or paint, or even play an instrument ?? That is a great place to start !!

I think as parents we often lose our childlike wonder of life and if we can recapture even a bit of that, our lives can be so much better and so much more interesting and full !!!

So, get out there and create something , and have fun doing it, and you might be so surprised how happy it makes  you, you just have to take that first step and do it !!!

There are so many considerations when you renest and one of them is financial.

I knew the groceries would go up and maybe some utilites would change but I was unprepared for the full extent of what it would cost.

Our daughter moved in with with two kids  no money and needed our help and hated asking for it. She knew it would be an expense and worked hard to get a job, but it took her a few months to find one.

Our grocery bill  went  through the roof . It was shocking how much we were spending. We thought we were being repsonsible and making up menus and making grocery lists but we found what we were spending at the grocery store was unbelievable.
When we last had a family of six, our son was here the first five months she was here, groceries were a lot less money. I was unprepared for the added expense, even though I thought I was completely prepared.  We also found ourselves eating out a lot more, my husband and I  to get out on our own for a while and all of us when we were  tired and unorganized and it made life easier.

For the first five and a half months she was here, my husband was making a lot of overtime and we were fine, but when that dried up, the reality of the situation kicked in. I did not have as much money to throw at food and all of a sudden we had to face how much we were spending and that we could not continue to spend that way. Our daughter has pitched in since she got her job  and buys a lot of stuff now, but the bill is still high. I am not sure I can get it down to where I want it to be and that is something we are going to have to figure out. We are probably going to have to refigure what we are going to spend, I know I am not allowing enough, so it is an ongoing challenge for me to figure this out !!

The main thing is, they are so worth it all, and I would take them again even if I had know the cost. I just wish I had paid more attention at first to what we were spending but a combination of exitement they were actually here and the craziness of the time seemed to distract me from the facts. I allowed it to continue for months by just not paying attention. I am not proud of that !!

My best advice for anyone in this position and is thinking of moving family in , is , figure out what you think it will cost and then double it !! That formula works well with home remodeling, I think it works just as well in figuring out what it costs to live while renesting !!

We are still figuring it out, but a menu and an iron clad list is the only way I know, along with bringing cash only to the store, to help  keep us  on track. I think alowing a bit of wiggle room is not a bad idea either. An extra amount added per week to what you think the groceries will cost so you have it if you suddenly remember something that is important and you have to have, or you find a good sale on something you use a lot and want to take advantage of that sale. That is something I am working on doing but still struggling. It is the plan  however and I have to stick to it or overspend the budget. It is hard, but getting easier.

It makes it all a challenge balancing the financial aspects of it all, but it is so worth every bit of it. It just takes patience and some time to get the hang of it again !!

Today, I went through last years bills and our electric bill a year ago was a hundred bucks smaller. That is a lot. That is too much considering we have a lower rate now. We are going to have to have a family meeting and figure out ways to cut the cost. I am constantly turning stuff off, I hate being the light police, it is not fun, but neither is a huge bill !!

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