Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What to Expect

Here it comes; emptynestdom (yes, I made that word up, feel free to use it) in all of its glory.

I was prepared with some pretty great books for What to Expect When You’re Expecting, What to Expect the First Year, What to Expect the Second Year and even What to Expect Before You’re Expecting.

But what do you expect after you’ve expected, survived the first year and the second year, not to mention the toddler years, the pre-teens, the teenaged years, the build up to college and more?

What do you expect when the school year starts and your kids are off at college? What do you expect when you’re expecting . . . well  . . . nothing.

I’ll tell you what I'm expecting:

* Silence. And it’s not golden. I’m rethinking that whole “don’t talk back to me, young man” thing. I think I’ll take the back-talk. I’ll start to talk to myself. Out loud. It'll become a habit and people will steer clear of me in department stores.

What to Expect | graphic designed by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

* Chores will take less time. There’ll be no picking up to do. There will be so much less laundry, not only because there are less people, but because no one throws clean clothes down the laundry chute because they’re too lazy to put them away.

* Dinner will be peaceful. No one complaining about what I'm serving. Even if it’s fish. Even if it’s fish twice a week. And no one is running off in the middle of the meal. Not to mention that every dinner will have leftovers so now I can cook once and eat twice.

* I may get to eat my own meal. I’ve suddenly realized that I’ve never been able to eat a whole burger before. Someone (well, two someones) always finished theirs and grabbed a quarter of mine.

* There’s no one to blame when the toilet paper roll runs out. There’s also no one there when I yell for someone to bring me another one. This one could be a bit of a problem.

* There’s a car in the garage when I want to leave. In fact, there’s two. And they have just as much gas in them as they did the last time I parked them in the garage.

* I plan to sleep through the night. The garage door won't be go up at 1:00 am, no one’s forgetting their key at 2:00 am, the toilet doesn’t flush at 3:00 am (well, unless it’s me), and no one remembers at 4:00 am whatever it is they need for the next day.

* I will actually get to taste me own baking. There’s no longer a group of teens standing by the oven waiting to grab the goodies between there and the counter. And oh, how I'll wish there was.

Dark Chocolate Chip Berry Bread Pudding | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

Dark Chocolate Chip Berry Bread Pudding

Dark Chocolate Chip Berry Bread Pudding | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

* I can no longer ignore my cell when it dings. It may ding every 2 seconds with social media updates and conversations but I'll now check it every single time. Just in case there’s a text.
* The in-house techie has left the building. And this is a very, very big problem for this blogger.
* The grocery store is already a difficult place to be. I have to keep taking out of the cart all of my kids’ favorite foods that I no longer need to buy.
* I'll need to find a new route home. For three years I’ve driven by the high school and smiled when I spot my child’s car. Now I already can’t bear to drive home that way.
* And the countdown, it's changed completely. I used to count down the days until they went off to school. Now I'm already counting the days until I see them again. 46 days as of today, in case you’re interested.

Hope I make it.
 Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


Dark Chocolate Chip Berry Bread Pudding
Printable Recipe
1 (16 oz) loaf of Italian bread, coarsely chopped into cubes
4 ounces whipped cream cheese
8 eggs
3/4 cup hazelnut creamer
3/4 cup milk
¼ cup brown sugar
2 TBSP white sugar
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
1 # berries, cleaned and larger ones sliced
5 oz dark chocolate chips
OPT: powdered sugar, vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for topping
*Grease a 9 X 13 glass baking dish.
*In a large bowl, whisk the cream cheese, eggs, creamer, milk, sugars, salt and cinnamon.
*Add the bread and mix until all of the bread is wet.
*Gently mix in the berries and dark chocolate chips.
*Spread into the prepared dish and cover with tin foil. Refrigerate for 4 hours or up to a day.
*One hour before cooking, remove dish from refrigerator and place on counter.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Remove tin foil and cook for one hour.
*Remove from oven. Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm.


  1. Oh how well I know this, but for me it was a little different. They were at home for college and then one went into the AF and the other moved out. Only to be seen when he needed laundry done or we invited him to go out to eat with us. Our food bill decreased, laundry decreased, my alone time DRASTICALLY increased, which was good for about a week, then I was done with it.
    Yes I started talking to myself, out loud, and the cats. They've become the teenagers and ignore me now. LOL
    You will adjust, it will take time and when you get used to your new normal BAM one of them returns!

    1. I love knowing you did all of this before me and that you're a strong, happy, fun and funny person on the other side. There IS life after the kids go. . .

  2. Oh Karen, this made me laugh and cry! My two boys will be leaving at the same time, two years from now, and I am already crying about it. Sending strength and good wishes your way :). If I lived closer, I would come over and stand by the oven and wait to grab your delicious food!

    1. I think that's exactly how I'm doing right now, often laughing on the verge of crying or crying on the verge of laughing. Treasure those two years.

  3. Transitions mean something new and good on the other side!

    1. Yes, so bittersweet because although I certainly hope there's something good on the other side, I'll never again have what was on this side.

  4. Well said! And that bread pudding looks wonderful. You'll make it through these next few weeks--and it does get easier!

    1. I hope so. I just have to adjust, and this truly is a BIG adjustment.

    I dread those days soooo much!!!!!
    You will make it through this! I know you will!!!!
    More HUGS!!! 46 days worth!!!

  6. Much more craziness at work and I will be knocking on your door with my resume. I sleep weird hours, so I can easily interrupt your sleep. I would love to steal the baked goods as they are coming out of the oven. This could be a win, win. 😄. Stay posted. LOL

  7. Aw, I miss my college boy, too! Left at home are the two pickiest in the family, but I'm grateful for all my friends who help me eat what I bake :) Your bread pudding sounds divine!!!

    1. Yes, it's always necessary to have someone to eat what you bake. I'm going to be sending a lot to work with Hubs.

  8. You need to find your happy Karen, whether it be pole dancing or race car driving! This time is about you! You can't hide out in your kitchen or behind the computer you gotta get out there and find what makes you laugh out loud, something that you look forward to doing. What is your biggest dream? Writing a book, starting a cooking school whatever it is go for it now! This is your chance. These years will fly by to and before long there will be wives and GRANDBABIES but this is your time to get to be Karen, whoever you want her to be! Go for it, I'll be one of your biggest cheerleaders just don't give up.

    1. Actually, I'm not sure what I want to do. You're right, I need to find a new passion. Good to know I'll have a cheerleader.

    2. I was worried I might have went to far. There's alot more you than you give yourself credit for and it's your turn to shine. You can still be wife and mom. Just be Karen also. I had just hit were you are at and I stalled out, granite that one year I was hit hard. One day maybe I'll explain more but by the time I got my breath back mom needed me. I'm trying to compromise my dream by turning tragedy into something I can some day be proud of. Just don't put off your dreams any longer I guess is what I'm trying to say.

    3. No, not too far, I understood exactly what you were saying and that you're passionate about it.

    4. That's a good word for it haha! How about noisy, meddling or rude! We could go out Thelma and Louise style hahaha! Oh the mental picture!

  9. Karen, this post made me sad to read. I know that things will get better for you. Take care!

    1. You're right, I'm not the first person to go through this and I won't be the last. Things will get better. Can't wait.


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