Counting Blessings · Davis Family · Emily (Me) · EmptyNest · Italy · Marriage · Parenting

Becoming Empty Nesters

Please note, I’ve updated the name but not the URL for my blog. In a world full of Catholic Bloggers, I just want to be me. I’m unapologetically Christian/Conservative, but I’m a lot of other things. I’m not the great writer others are…. and I am just going to journal and play here. I hope you like the new lightness of the blog (ok, not always light). LOL

August 3rd, we will have been in Italy for four years. I can’t believe how fast and how slow it’s gone. You know what I mean?

On July 6th, our youngest left for Texas to go to Engineering School. He got into so many schools, it was hard for him to decide where to go. We landed at a small school in Texas. I say WE because we had tons of family conversations about it. And although pop culture tells parents they have no say, I beg to differ.

You see that young man… he’s going places. And his daddy, friends, a few teachers, coaches, family and I all worked as a village to make sure of it. He did the majority of the work, but I won’t be dismissed.By the grace of God, he is continuing to stay focused and spread his wings. We could NOT be prouder.

My cousin Laurie and her hubby and our family friends Andi & Jay are standing in for us in Texas. We also have my bestie Kelly and approximately a zillion family/friends (ok – I’m exaggerating). We couldn’t be more thankful and blessed with their influences in his life and their love for all of us – I mean – it’s not an easy task I’m sure. We’d all do it for others too… but it’s amazing and scary in some ways. Sigh.

So anyway, today is the 20th day we are living alone. It’s weird currently. There is so much to do. Let me catch you up…

  • MAJOR TASKS/LIFE CHANGES:
    • Bud graduated
    • Sorting Through 19 years of stuff.
      • The big toss
      • Shipped the rest
    • Bud left for Texas.
      • Orientation – Andi took him
      • ROTC Camp – we will drop him off
      • Buying lists of things – Andi & I
      • Driver’s License – Andi & Fam are helping him
      • Gym – they take him daily
    • Tarleton Conversations and emails…
      • I will say this. I literally sent the Prez/VP of the college an email after how great the entire Admissions/Advisor/ROTC team treated us. They answered a billion questions and called us, emailed us – and yes, even heard back from the VP. Can not say enough.
    • Planning our Trip to Texas
      • Getting Bud to FW
      • Graduation Party – Thanks Laurie & Mario
      • Visiting Friends & Family
      • Visiting Lake House – and fishing trip – Thanks Mario & Laurie
      • Finding dog sitter – Check! Thanks Rachel.
    • Finding a New Place To Live
      • We did it. We found a new Realtor. We told them exactly what we wanted, and how much we wanted to pay. We looked at half a dozen places and found one that we are super excited about.
      • We are moving to a town called Teverola. Many Americans live there, but it’s also very Italian. And we are happy. It’s a one-story, bottom floor apartment. 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, fireplace, pizza oven, nice porches, living area and kitchen are open. And plenty of storage. It’s nearer to the Support Site and we are going to start going to the gym there. Very excited about that.
      • But mostly – it’s a small Italian town with little shops and people say they walk everywhere, etc.
    • Marque’s Job
      • We are now hoping our contract is renewed.
      • The word is, no matter who wins, Marque will stay.
      • Pray for us, my nerves are continually shot here. LOL
      • Marque is not worried at all.
    • Pet Update
      • Gianna is going to live in England at the end of July. There is a group there who works with dogs who have behavioral needs. It’s best for her… also, it’s best for us. She has never allowed us to bathe, brush, or even pet her. She was abandoned, and she just never came around. And she’s gotten progressively aggressive – but she can’t help it. The vet said she is the most anxious dog he’s ever seen. Who knows what she has been through. We have nearly had her for two years and have tried everything. Trust me.
      • Melvin has been with us since January. He was about 5 weeks old when he was found on the streets of Gricignano and we have had him since that day. He’s 7 months old now. Strangely – they look like siblings, except Melvin won’t ever weigh over 7.5 Kilos (16 lbs). It’s been so nice to have a dog who greets us and wants to play, love, etc. You know? Sigh.
      • Goose & Mavericks are outdoor cats and we rarely see them. They are neutered but it’s so common for cats to be outside here. Unsure if they will come with us to new place. Doubtful. Being outside has thinned them up. Funny because they love the puppy and Gianna continually tries to eat them. LOL
    • Health Updates
      • Marque has Type2 Diabetes. After his colon cancer he got thin, and was being careful. But with the pandemic stress, senior year stress, etc… he gained it all back. He’s currently working with our doc to get it straightened out. All diet and exercise related. And trust me, we are working on it.
      • I am working on truly getting over past trauma. It has affected my blood pressure, and anxiety in ways that I have to prayerfully and purposefully learn to control. Sigh. I’ll tell you about the book/workbook another time. Once we settle in our house I will have plenty of time to work on me. Blah.
    • Em’s Volunteering
      • No CCD this year. Parents here don’t take it seriously and it’s frustrating. In fact we have taken a step back from the base Parish. Gotta find a good Mass and Parish experience. It’s super sad. But I am continuing to work on my relationship with God. Need to talk to the new Priest. I miss a Parish to get involved in and make good friends. It’s not how it works here. Sigh.
      • IC Club – all is well there. I’m the Events Coordinator for this next year. So exciting. Happy to say that we have a positive and helpful team. So thankful.
      • NMCRS – I am hopeful to get back involved there.

If you made it through that – you’re awesome. I will tell you this… as much as we miss our son (and for that matter all our people), we are loving hanging out, and working together to sort through things to downsize. It’s so easy to cook for two people. Y’all, I’m serious. If you want to know the truth – it’s only been 20 days that we’ve been alone. But we are a great team. And we know once we get through actually dropping him at college, the process of downsizing our stuff (which thanks to black mold won’t be hard – you’re welcome)…, moving again, getting through contract renewal… it will be smooth sailing.

We will likely be overseas until bud graduates college. But we hope to travel and spend some time in the states, and have some visitors over here.

Enjoy these pics of Melvin and Gianna – wait till you see how alike they are –

More soon…

Love & Hugs,
Lady Em

Currently · Davis Family · Emily (Me) · LadyEm

Can We Talk…

Dear Ones,

It’s hard to be honest all the time. You may be thinking “say – WHAT?”
But I’m serious.

I come from a generation who was raised to make everything sound good. And I feel like I can’t be honest, or I may lose the three readers of my blog – but y’all… I’m gonna come clean…

Y’all, after years of battling demons, brought on by childhood and some life-long trauma, I realized through a couple of good doctor, that I have work to do to get healthy – Not just “oh I have work to do”, but actually DOING the work.

I really am hoping to blog more. I really am hoping to craft more. But I am currently and uncomfortably concentrating on me. God is really working with me too. I’m so thankful.

If my falling off the face of the earth hurt you, please forgive me. I promise you, the few friends I have who follow or comment, I pray for you and think of you daily. I miss you all and I’m so sorry.

Please do check back. I do have a lot to say.

Love hugs & blessings,
LadyEm

Anxiety and Fear · Catholic · Catholic Faith · Currently · Emily (Me) · Faithsanity · Italy · Mental Health

Faithsanity – We All Need It!

Dear Ones,

#truth

Did you ever experience heartbreak whilst praying a Novena or Listening to a suggested video?

Ahem, I have a point.

Well yesterday I had one of those moments. I was reading the forward for the St. Therese Novena, and it was suggested we listen to a video from the Pray More Novenas Retreat. Y’all – it was overwhelming. My chest and heart were heavy with sorrow at how lacking I am in my trust for God. But it was AWESOME and NECESSARY! And it took every fiber in my being to not beat myself up for being weak.

I really do try, every day, to look on the bright side. And I find that actively praying and being involved in Catholic Community is essential to my Faithsanity. You say, “what is Faithsanity? That’s not a word!” I say, “yes it is, I just made it up!” To me it means – being present in my faith and having good and faithful people around me that keep me on the right track. No – it’s not their job. But when you spend your time with quality, uplifting people, your attitude and angst can turn around. I promise you that. And anyway – the back and forth mentally can make life feel insane. Without my faith – on days I doubt and turn my back – I feel insane. Therefore, the word Faithsanity stands. I’m gonna say it’s an ACTION VERB! The art of purposing to stay active in the word and surrounded with Faith so that you won’t lose your mind. How’s that? You’re welcome!

I won’t bore you with everything I’ve walked through in my life. If you have read my various blogs the past nearly 20 years, you know the craziness of my childhood, and all the details that brought on a monumental lack of confidence in myself and my talents that God gave me… And sadly, my lack of trust for God himself.

I don’t know if you are like me, but for as long as I can remember, my mind, when any little thing goes wrong, spirals very quickly to a dark place… Not a place where I would harm myself (though I have thought of it at times in my life)… But a place where the doubt and the “well of course things won’t go right, how could it… no body cares about me…why do you hate me God?” thoughts trickle in. And I’ve made a lot of bad decisions based on how little I thought I was worthy of God‘s love. It could be the smallest thing and I spiral. So weak – right? In my mind, I’m so weak… and yet, in HIM I am strong! Come Holy Spirit – help me remember.

I am here, in Italy, separated from a truly faithful community. Even though I teach CCD and am involved, I do not feel close to these folks, many who truly do not put God first. I’m sure there are people here who would take offense, but it’s very weak Catholicism here. Very weak indeed. Our Catholic Community at home was close and strong and lived liturgically. And it was awesome… Admittedly, I did not always see it. But that’s not the point. The point is – I need that close Catholic Community. I need to stay in the word and bridge the gap of being away from home whenever and however I can. Because this whole hiding thing I’ve been doing – it doesn’t work! lol

Anyway – before I talk your heads off, Let me lead y’all to this clip I watched yesterday… If you are struggling with self worth, self doubt, and any kind of spiritual negativity – Please click the link (look for the study sheet too)… and LISTEN to this. Memorize it. God knows our world and knows how much we need him. I implore you!

I may listen to this daily for the next several days. I want it to really sink in. As I was watching, I became hopeful that I will once and for all, really take the words in and realize that I am special to God and That I have a purpose. If you are walking through a period of time, be it daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly or just randomly periodic… where you need assurance that God loves you and that he doesn’t need you to be perfect he just needs you to trust him…

This is for you: The Gift of St. Therese and Her Weaknesses

Additionally – Please sign up at Pray More Novenas for a great spiritual experience. John-Paul and Annie are spectacular and bless us all so much. I always get so much out of it. Being honest, there are times I miss a day, and that is ok. God knows your heart. Catch up and keep going. Without great and encouraging people like these faithful two, I’d be lost. I’m so thankful.

I just thought I’d share that with you! It may make absolutely NO sense to you.
But I am struggling – obviously… and I am going to keep coming back and reminding you that there is hope in God and our Faith! We are blessed and we are strong. And our Weaknesses will teach us what we need to learn – therefore to view them as gifts is necessary!

1 Peter 5:7 –   Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you. 

Be blessed Dear Ones. I miss you all.

Love & Hugs
LadyEm

Catholic Faith · Emily (Me) · God's Plan · Health · LadyEm · Self Improvement

Season of Me? Building a Relationship With God…

Dear Ones,

It has nearly been four months since I’ve blogged…

Currently, I am participating in Mary Lenaburg’s 30 Day Encouragement Challenge “You Can Do Hard Things”. And I write this to her in the comment of her Day 4 video… “I’m walking out of a season where I simply was tired of being bold/courageous. Tired of putting a smile on my face and pretending all was well. Just exhausted with the hard things in life. This is truly a time of refocus for me and I really appreciate that you have put this together. Thank you again Mary!”

The funny thing is, in my mind I had been dealing very well with everything life tossed me. And, as a Catholic, I had been performing well. Do you say performing? Yes after much thought, even though the love for God is there I was somewhat going through the motions. I told myself I had to do certain things in order to be a good Catholic. But I was not taking care of myself.

I gave up my career many years ago to care for our youngest child who is autistic and anxiety ridden. And I even began to speak words of anger to him and my husband as well… As I became increasingly resentful that all of my life goals and dreams seemed to be disappearing. Embarrassingly, The evil one was starting to creep into my mind and tell me lies.

No matter what I did, I could not shake the overwhelming feeling that I was never gonna be good enough for God. And I think somewhere along the way I stopped believing that He cared. Even as I thought children that God was love… I did not believe that He loved me. Because I have been through so much I allowed the insecurities of my past to convince me that I was not a good mom or wife or even a good person…

In the sessions that we have with Ms. Mary, she asks us basically to determine the HARD thing we need to overcome. Mine is learning to love myself; To Deem myself worthy, And to know deeply the love of God again. In order to do this I have to allow Him to love me and build my relationship with Him. In order to be a better mother and wife and friend… I need to relearn how to love myself. It’s weird to say out loud it almost 58 years old that I will battle the demons of my past and my present… But I intend to do so with the full armor of God.

If I’m not here, lol it’s not because I don’t have a lot to say or things that I want to write about. I just need to make sure that I’m writing in the correct spirit. I don’t want to be a negative person. The anxieties and stresses of life have caused me to not be well physically and mentally. And I need to concentrate on regrouping for me and my family.

I want my legacy to be one of ministry, not misery. I want to impart the right wisdom from growth. I need to listen for God’s plan in my life. And I’m excited to see what He needs me to do for Him.

I don’t say these things to worry you. Honestly I say these things to encourage you because I know that I’m not the only one who is walked through childhood abuse, incest, self degrading behaviors, loss of children, and this overwhelming need for life to look perfect for others… P.S. – it’s not. Lol

I’ll be fine. There is much good in life. And I will be back at least weekly. I have some work to do in order to get my mind right…and I will be praying for you.

Thanks for understanding.

Love & Hugs,
LadyEm

Blessed Mary · Catholic Faith · Catholic Mom · Emily (Me) · Our Lady's Image · Saints

Celebrating International Women’s Day!

Dear Ones,

If you know me, you know I love celebrations. But, I have to be honest, I grow tired of special days set aside for this and that. In my house we celebrate each other daily – I mean – maybe not with presents, etc. I hope you know what I mean. Sometimes my attitude about things doesn’t mesh with societal norms – but I have to be honest – I’m ok with that.

So many beautiful women have influenced my life. Truly – from my Grandmothers, Aunts, Cousins, Sisters,,, to many friends and acquaintances that have become family-like. I’m so thankful for each and every lesson, example, piece of advise, every book you have written, every way you have inspired me, etc. I just want to make sure you know I’m thankful for you all EVERY DAY, not just today.

With that, I actually did a google search wondering if others felt the same. There are so many reasons that the Catholic Church/Faith fits me so well. Check this out:

While the world may celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th every year, these saints prove that the Catholic Church celebrates women’s day every day of the year.  Check out these women and how they impacted the Church! 25 Women Saints Who Prove Every Day is Women’s Day!

Thank you EPIC PEW!!!

I’m not going to pontificate about being a woman/mom means to me… instead, I am going to leave you with a few quotes from my favorite Female Saints:

And Let us not forget our Blessed Mother, who taught us to Trust God, Say YES to Him, gave birth to Our Lord! There could be no better example on International Woman’s Day than a young, innocent girl who risked it all and gave us EVERYTHING! Amen!

Happy International Woman’s Day. Wherever you are – be blessed. If you have influenced me and I love you for it – I’m sure you know.

Love, Hugs, & Blessings,
LadyEm