Stepping Outside My Box, Again

My favorite thing about starting my blog a little over a year ago, was that I get to share with you that life outside of kids can be, and should be amazing.  That’s not to say that it has been easy.  It hasn’t.  Life after the boys went off to college was met with tears and frustrations, but I have embraced it.

They have now graduated and are in job hunt mode, but that hasn’t stopped me from living life.  Yes, I love when we can adventure together because I love them to pieces.  I also haven’t let them being in the house again, stop me from trying new adventures myself.  While I may occasionally choose to head out with them instead of joining friends, they aren’t my sole identity.  On the other hand, since I have them here again after only seeing them for 5 weeks the last two years….I am still a mom and they are pretty amazing young men that I get to hang out with on the odd day off.

That all being said, when life hands you opportunities I am telling you that no matter how uncomfortable it may be, don’t stand inside that box and later say “what if”,  I say jump in with two feet! If I hadn’t done that what amazing experiences I would have missed!


Going All Girlie!

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m not what I would consider an overly girly-girl.  Don’t get me wrong, I put on make-up most days when I’m not jumping in a pool to teach lessons.  There are also many days when I go make-up free and I’m fine having the “pool-hair and just don’t care” look.  I love cars.  Well……

My amazing hair stylist, Brooke Benson at The Basement, got married recently and decided to have a themed wedding.  It was wedding #2 for both her and Rod and I loved that they went all in for the theme.  It was a black-tie affair and guests were encouraged to embrace the theme….Great Gatsby.

At first I was like, yea I think I will just stick with traditional.  Then my friend Lannyl shared that she hadn’t had prom in high school and wouldn’t it be great to go all out and do a girls day from beginning to end…with our hubbies joining us later.  I was like, um maybe.  I remembered prom, fondly, kinda.  I was working and going to school.  We didn’t have the money for me to do the girly-thing.  I couldn’t afford someone doing my hair or make-up.  Heck, my grandmother made my prom dress (which I loved her for since she was amazing!). Well,  I decided that this could be like the prom she never had and the prom I had wished I had all those years ago.  We went for it –  right down to the false eyelashes and accessories! It was awesomeness!

                          Getting our make-up done.           Getting our hair done.




Putting on the final touches.





And hanging out with my hubby and our amazing friends.



Thanks Brooke! For giving me an excuse to dress to the nines and embrace life! And being my friend and hair stylist for 13 years!  Best wishes sweets!


Runway Fashion, Me?

Yep! I was in a fashion show!  Didn’t I just say I wouldn’t consider myself a girly-girl?  Isn’t fashion the epitomy of girliness?

Really? Me? I’m old I thought!  A few months ago I met Stephanie and her hubby, the owners of BoHo Chic Boutique, when I joined fellow bloggers Carleeh Mulholland, of @healthycarleeh and @healthysocialite and Melody Todd of @honestchatter to the soft opening of their brand new store at Seattle Premium Outlet in Tulalip, WA.  I had a great time trying on clothes with friends I knew would tell me true when I came out of the dressing room.  I came home with a couple of pieces, one of which you have seen on my Instagram before.

One day I received a DM from Steph, asking me if I would be interested in being on of the models in their upcoming fashion show.  They were going to celebrate the opening of their larger store at the Seattle Premium Outlet.  I thought, is she serious? I checked with Carleeh and yup, she wanted me, Kathy.  The DM wasn’t meant for one of my younger, hipper peeps. Me. 53, almost 54.

This was so incredibly outside my comfort zone.  Be girlie again. And even girlier by having someone choose my outfit and walk around on a stage. In front of people? Have them watch me? E-gads!

With much encouragement from my friends, I went that afternoon.  I did my hair.  I did my make-up.  I brought a bunch of accessories and stuff to change my makeup and hair just in case, because did I mention…I did my hair and make-up?  I brought my Spanxs, because frankly, I was a little intimidated and worried…. everyone there was going to be amazingly younger, prettier and younger than me.  They probably had their hair and makeup done by professionals.  These were the thoughts going through my head.  I was so incredibly nervous!!!


I did it.  I jumped in with both feet!  I had my outfits chosen for me.  I listened to what we needed to do, how to walk, how to stop and pose.  I went for it!  OMG! It was amazing!  I would totally do it again if they asked.  It helped that Carleeh and her fam were in the audience front and center when I looked out there the first time.  I focused on their smiles and cheers.  And I did it!  I didn’t trip. People didn’t gasp because I was older and have wrinkles.  I wore those clothes and I smiled.

When people tell you that life feels like it is ending when the last child leaves the home, tell them that it doesn’t have to.  Share with them the many adventures that can be had if you only embrace them.  Encourage them to get out there and meet life head on, try new things.  Tell them to pop onto the blog Before and After My Empty Nest or catch me on Facebook and Instagram.

Life can be simply amazing…..if we step outside that box every once and a while!  Do it!

Coming Soon…Adventures in Portland!

PS Thank you Carleeh for capturing the fashion show photos!

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