Monday, September 03, 2012

50th party blog guest - Barbara Wallace

Barbara Wallace is also a relatively new friend, being one of the Romance/Cherish gals (and I love her books). We have lots in common. Dogs. Food. Gorgeous men. And I haven’t even started talking to her about music and films, yet… :o)

Anyway, over to Barbara:

Happy 50th book, Kate! Every time I see that number, I am amazed. This month marks the release of my sixth Harlequin romance title. Every one of those six books took blood, sweat and a whole lot of tears to get on the page. When I think that Kate accomplished this feat FIFTY TIMES (more actually, since she’s now writing book 52 or 53)…well, I feel really honored to be sharing a release month with her – and to be helping her celebrate this tremendous milestone.

I’m all about the celebrating milestone. In my opinion, even the smallest achievements deserve to be recognized. Finished a project? Woot! Woot! Made it through two whole days without breaking your diet? Way to go! Good for you! Got a A+ on that paper you worked all night on? Let’s have ice cream. Alright, that last one may explain why the diet achievement is so noteworthy. But I digress... What matters is that I believe it’s important to recognize key moments in our life and mark them somehow.

This is why I need your help. This week I’m marking my own significant milestone. Not the above-mentioned sixth book – though I am happy about its existence. No, I’m talking about something far more personal.

This week I became an empty nester.

My only child left for college this weekend. For the first time in eighteen years, my husband and I have only each other for company. Now part of me – the mom part – wants to spend some serious time curled in a ball missing my baby. (Actually I did a little bit of that the day I left him at the dormitory.) But there’s another part of me – the writer and the wife – who realizes that, it’s also this is the start of a brand new phase of life. No more is my schedule governed by gymnastic practice times and homework assignments. No longer will my family room be filled with boys playing Call of Duty while depleting the stores of my pantry. The laundry pile is smaller. The grocery bill is smaller. The MESS AROUND THE HOUSE is smaller. Time, space – life – once again belong to my husband and me. At least until our son makes his first visit home.

I feel like I should do something to mark this new phase. Something that says, “yes, I miss my boy, but I’m ready for part two of my life.” Something that says this is my time. Sadly, said celebration can’t be too extravagant, because even though it’s my time, my money belongs to the University of Rhode Island.

So that’s where you all come in. What suggestions do you have for marking this special transition? Are you an empty nester? Did you make changes in your life? Celebrate the new living arrangements? Share! I’m eager for suggestions. I might even borrow one or two.

Soon as I finish sniffling and wishing my son was six years old again.

By the way, because I am all about celebrating milestones, I’m donating a copy of my September release, Mr. Right, Next Door! as a door prize. Granted, it’s not as awesome as Kate’s FIFTIETH book, but then, she’s 44 books ahead of me. ☺

You can find out more about Barbara Wallace at her website
Or talk to her on Facebook at
Or follow her on Twitter @BarbaraTWallace


Liz Fielding said...

Enjoy your freedom, Barbara - make the most of every minute of it. (He'll be home with the washing before you know it!)

Natalija said...

I don't have children yet, but when I moved out of my parents house & later when I moved to another country, in order not to feel homesick I decided to find a hobby that would keep me busy. It worked!

PrincessFiona01 said...

I've sent four of my darlings out into the world. It isn't much of an achievement because I've still got three at home to keep me occupied. It will be interesting to see what I do when No.7 packs up to go in about 6 years from now. I was pregnant with her when I sent No.1 off. And no I wasn't consciously replacing her. DH will probably celebrate by wandering around the house Nekkid. I'll probably just turn the bedroom into a library.

Donna Alward said...

Go to lunch with the Mister. Hold hands. Do something you would have done but didn't (or at least didn't often enough).

Hugs. And hooray!

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Hi Barbara!
I had a tough time after I dropped my son off for his first year of college, too! But I still have one more at home.

As far as what to do with your time about visit friends in New York who would love to see you???!!!!

Laney4 said...

My two are 25 and 27 and still live at home (working full-time, paying R&B, bought their cars with cash, and are now saving for a home down payment). However, they go away every other weekend, so that's "our time". Like PrincessFiona01's DH, "Nekkid" could be ... um ... embraced, for lack of a better term, LOL. DH and I use coupons and gift cards to go out for a meal together if it is cheaper than making it at home or we aren't near home. We enjoy geocaching and hiking. He bikes; I can't because of my knees, so I walk elsewhere with my gal pals.

I'm reminded of when my youngest went to Kindergarten full-time that first day. I was crying coming out of the school (my baby!), but by the time I got to my car I was yipping for joy. Bittersweet, I guess.

I am currently scrapbooking my magnetic photo albums. Am only up to 1992, as it IS a long process - especially when the MIL "found" pictures from the late 1800s to the 60s that I just HAD to go back and insert somehow (my DH is 63; these are his younger years). I know we are in a digital age, but technology changes; scrapbooks don't. My kids can take photos of the scrapbook pages if they want later, but I am chucking thousands of photos (as much as possible) in order to get down the volume. Thankfully, I had been at it awhile before I got to my kids' baby photos, so I was able to look at five pics of my first-born on the hospital bed and keep only "the best one" before chucking the balance. I've thrown out all pics of noses, ears, etc. that have nothing else in the pictures. I've chucked pics of wedding cakes, forestry, and numerous duplicates. It is cleansing, but I still feel close to my kids throughout.

Caroline said...

For the first time in years make time for YOU and the DH! You both deserve it! And as Liz says he'll be home before you know it! Caroline x

Julie said...

My two are still at home @ 20 & 22, but they are hardly ever here. DD (oldest) graduated last spring, and is teaching 4th grade! DS is starting an automotive repair program and is a volunteer firefighter. So it's only sorta empty.

Enjoy your time together! Hubby and I are. :)

bn100 said...

Maybe gardening? Have fun.

Maria Mohan said...

Hi Barbara, I read one of your romances, Heart of a Hero, last year. It was awesome.

It must be hard. My eldest (I have 4) was 17 yesterday. Another 18 months, and he'll be off to college. It's breaking my heart already. If he goes to college in India where we live, he could be terribly far away, given the distances. But he wants to go to college in Ireland, my country and he'll be thousands of miles away. I'm so not looking forward to it!

Robyn Grady said...

Barbara, I still have one at home (well, make that 2 since a week ago because the eldest is back for "however long") and it is a really weird feeling whenever a bedroom becomes vacant and there's one less tv/stereo blaring in the home. My advice?
Enjoy the quiet! =)

Annie Seaton said...

Barbara... enjoy the peace and quiet ...they come back with husbands, wives and children! And it is wonderful

Barbara Wallace said...

Thank you all for the advice and well wishes. I'm sorry I wasn't here to comment yesterday, but my lovely husband came up with the perfect distraction for our first empty nest day - sailing off the coast of Rhode Island.

Laney - funny you should mention scrapbooking - I have a box of photos sitting in my family room waiting to be organized. It's going to be my project for the fall.

Maria - thank you for the nice compliment. I'm so glad you liked Heart of a Hero!

And you all are right - the quiet is nice. So is rbe clean house!

Kate Hardy said...

First name drawn from the hat for 'Mr Right Next Door'- Laney4. Please contact me kate(dot)hardy(at)btinternet(dot)com with your details, and I'll get everything sorted :o) Thanks for taking part!