Can We Talk?
Empty Nesters - Episode Description

Kayla can barely hold back her excitement about hugging Winnie the Pooh during our upcoming Disney vacation, and Brian finds himself humorously torn about whether to use the resort gym amidst all the walking. As we share our daily routines, from Kayla’s involvement in a women’s summer study at church to Brian’s newfound joy in grilling on a spotless grill, the conversation takes a heartfelt turn. We candidly explore the emotional complexities of Father’s Day, especially when faced with infertility and the reality of being empty nesters. We reflect on how certain holidays can be particularly challenging without children in the family, making this a deeply personal and relatable discussion.

We delve into themes of faith and gratitude, sharing touching stories about our experiences with other “children” God has given us and their profound impact on our lives. Amid these emotional moments, we lighten the atmosphere by discussing our favorite fictional characters and books, debating the age-old question of reading the book before watching the movie, and sharing our thoughts on Disney parks. We also spill the beans on our fears, future plans for getting a dog, and foods we absolutely refuse to eat. This episode is a rollercoaster of emotions, filled with laughter, love, and unexpected insights that will keep you engaged from start to finish.

Empty Nesters - Transcript

0:00:00 – Announcer

We go together like Peas and Carrots. The Peas and Carrots Podcast, sharing life from our piece of the vegetable patch, Brian and Kayla Sanders. 

 

0:00:11 – Brian

Welcome to the peas and carrots podcast. Hi, I’m Kayla and I’m Brian. Welcome to this week’s edition of the vegetable patch. I’ll tell you y’all, let’s just start here. Why are you so excited? 

 

0:00:25 – Kayla

The countdown is on. Countdown four we are leaving for vacation in a few days. 

 

0:00:32 – Brian

She’s got her little hands out in front of her like a little girl and she’s swinging them back and forth. 

 

0:00:38 – Kayla

Yeah, it’s vacation time. 

 

0:00:41 – Brian

Now, who are you going to see? 

 

0:00:43 – Kayla

Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore Piglet. 

 

0:00:49 – Brian

Mickey Minnie, you sound like an eight-year-old you going to hug Winnie the Pooh? Yes, absolutely. You going to hug Mickey Mouse, probably. 

 

0:01:00 – Kayla

Okay, I mean maybe not, I don’t know, Donald Duck, and I mean they’re all right, but you don’t like Donald, I do. 

 

0:01:10 – Brian

But you love Winnie. 

 

0:01:10 – Kayla

But I love Winnie the Pooh. Okay To me All right. But yeah, we are headed south for vacation. We are, and I’m so ready. 

 

0:01:20 – Brian

I talked to my friend who lives down there. He said to bring shorts. 

 

0:01:23 – Kayla

He says it’s hot yeah, it’s 98 degrees the day we land. 

 

0:01:26 – Brian

So a little bit toasty. Miss Sanders is outside of her comfort zone and God’s using you, I’ll say that because last night you started what. 

 

0:01:38 – Kayla

We started our women’s summer study at church and it was really sweet sitting in a room with about gosh, I don’t know probably 30 women who, seeing them huddled in groups talking about just life and their journey with Jesus, and it was pretty amazing. It took me a while to wind down. I’m a little tired today because it was after 11 o’clock before all the adrenaline left my body. 

 

0:02:07 – Brian

I was asleep by then. 

 

0:02:09 – Kayla

But I actually had to like people and talk, stand up in front of the group. 

 

0:02:14 – Brian

It didn’t kill me. So proud of you. Why? Thank you. God’s using you. 

 

0:02:21 – Kayla

You are a very, very happy man. 

 

0:02:23 – Brian

I am because I’m grilling again. You are a very, very happy man. I am because I’m grilling again. My beautiful bride this past weekend cleaned my grill for me. It really wasn’t bad. I would like to clean my grill, but this is a conversation. My standards of what is clean is different from other people’s standards and we’ll leave other people undefined at this time. Good choice, okay. Yeah, so miss sanders cleaned my grill for me. I did, and you’ve. 

 

0:02:53 – Kayla

I’ve planted all the flowers, and so the back deck is your little sanctuary. Oh, I love it you can sit out there I grilled us some steaks, grilled some chicken last night. 

 

0:03:03 – Brian

So it’s just chicken last night. I’m a happy, happy, happy boy. Summer is in full swing. 

 

0:03:09 – Kayla

I’m excited, so I may have floated an idea with you. Here we go, that while we were on vacation our Hang on Before we get this out. 

 

0:03:19 – Brian

The answer is no. The answer is no, but go ahead. The answer is maybe. The answer is no, our go ahead. 

 

0:03:24 – Kayla

Go ahead. The answer is maybe the answer is no, our resort has a really nice gym. 

 

0:03:30 – Brian

Okay, let’s stop here. Okay, how many miles a day are we going to be walking at Disney? A lot, seven to eight. I do not see the need to go. 

 

0:03:42 – Kayla

But we could do some of our strength training. 

 

0:03:43 – Brian

No, no, I just still haven’t recovered from the to go, but we could do some of our strength training no no. I just still haven’t recovered from the look on your face by about 12 noon or 1 o’clock we’ll be strength training dragging my tail from here to get a Dole Whip ice cream across the thing in Hollywood Studios. 

 

0:03:57 – Kayla

That’s my strength training, okay good to know, so it’s a maybe. 

 

0:04:02 – Brian

No, it’s not a maybe. I will stretch forth a hand and pray for you as you go to the gym, while I lay in bed. 

 

0:04:09 – Kayla

In all seriousness, though, what is the gym next to at our resort? What is right next door to the gym? Ice cream, an ice cream store? 

 

0:04:18 – Brian

I will walk by you with an ice cream I’ll wave at you. I’ll even watch you. It doesn’t, no, but if I’m walking eight miles a day, I am not going to the gym. Okay, in 98-degree weather. So maybe I’ll have sweat rolling in places I haven’t seen in three years. Bless America, so that’s a hard pass for me. Are you really going to go to the gym on vacation? Maybe, Maybe I don’t believe it. I do not believe it. Best laid plans y’all Best laid plans. 

 

0:04:59 – Kayla

Forever empty nesters. It’s a good this is a good topic, but a hard topic Again, being that this is coming up on Father’s Day and that is a complicated holiday for you. You had a wonderful dad. 

 

0:05:17 – Brian

I had a great dad I mean the best ever, even wrote a book about him called Be Like Dad, which you can find on Amazon, by the way. But this is a tough holiday for me, and we’ve talked about this before on this podcast. We’ve talked about infertility. We never were able to have children and we were in that time period where we didn’t adopt either. Okay, let’s just be honest. And now, being 56, don’t take this wrong I don’t want a kid in my house. I’m too old, I’m setting my ways and I’m cranky. I want to go to bed about eight, 30. Okay, I’m just because by the time that kid’s coming out of diapers, I’ll be going into them. So I just say it. But Father’s Day and Mother’s Day are hard days. 

 

0:06:07 – Kayla

Yeah. 

 

0:06:08 – Brian

And sometimes Christmas Day can be hard. 

 

0:06:11 – Kayla

Yeah, Because you see all these pictures of families snuggled up on the sofa in their matching pajamas and they’re doing all these things together. 

 

0:06:22 – Brian

But as many of our friends, it’s just me and you, which is great, it’s wonderful. 

 

0:06:26 – Kayla

Yeah, we are a family. Yeah, but we were saying the other night, as it comes up on Father’s Day, there are so many of our friends entering the stage of life where they are becoming grandparents. We are reminded that life looks different for us. 

 

0:06:43 – Brian

Not bad, but different and we’re not asking you to feel sorry for us or something like that. No, we’re just sharing our struggle, how we’ve seen Christ be sufficient. Let me say it absolutely yeah. Let me say it like that yeah, there is no pity here. 

 

0:07:01 – Kayla

There is no woe is us, there is a may. We all remember each other’s situation, that our situation is also not the same as our single friends, and then our situation is not the same as those who would long to have an evening with a quiet home. So, yeah, it’s again. It’s different is not bad. It just means that we embrace a different reality. 

 

0:07:32 – Brian

Now. So let me just say this we’re never going to have a home that has grandkids squealing in it. 

 

0:07:38 – Kayla

Yeah. 

 

0:07:39 – Brian

Their parents begging us not to spoil them. But I guarantee you we would. 

 

0:07:43 – Kayla

Oh, absolutely. 

 

0:07:44 – Brian

I mean, I’d take them to Target and whatever they pointed at, I’d buy it. 

 

0:07:47 – Kayla

Yep, I have no doubt. 

 

0:07:50 – Brian

But let me say this we also have a history. Whenever we lived in New Orleans 20 years ago, we mentored college, we mentored seminary students and every Thursday night there’d be 10, 15 students in our home. 

 

0:08:09 – Kayla

Yeah. 

 

0:08:10 – Brian

And when we moved here to Virginia, we just continued that tradition. We brought college students in our home and there were Thursday nights when we were here in Virginia, where there’d be 20 students in our home.

 

0:08:24 – Kayla

Yeah. 

 

0:08:24 – Brian

And many of them called us mom and dad. 

 

0:08:27 – Kayla

And that was a real privilege to get to do life with them. So a typical Thursday, and again this started in New Orleans with seminary students who were single, lonely. They were part of our church but they did not have a home outside of church. They were really struggling some of them. So we would have dinner together and then we would spend probably 30 to 45 minutes talking about something theologically related. 

 

0:08:56 – Brian

We’d have a Bible study. 

 

0:08:57 – Kayla

And then we watched Survivor. It was a tradition that everyone would kind of choose who they thought was going to win Survivor and we would watch that together and then, honestly, some Thursdays at like 11 o’clock, we would say, okay, you people have to go home, we have to go to bed. 

 

0:09:14 – Brian

And it was always a race to see who could be there first Thursday night because they’d bring their laundry. 

 

0:09:18 – Kayla

Yeah. 

 

0:09:19 – Brian

And so they would always bring laundry. 

 

0:09:21 – Kayla

I’ve taught many a young man and young woman how to sort clothes. Well, I’m up for that lesson. So, yeah, no, you’re good you leave our laundry alone. 

 

0:09:31 – Brian

We also had a rule in New Orleans that Friday night was like date night. 

 

0:09:35 – Kayla

Yeah, our home was opened. Honestly, Thursday night was not the only night that they could visit, but Friday night was off limits. And I think we’ve shared this before. 

 

0:09:44 – Brian

We’ve shared this story before. How I jokingly said, Friday night’s off limits, I said now, if you show up at midnight, that’s okay, that’s Saturday, that is off limits. I said now, if you show up at midnight, that’s okay, that’s Saturday. 

 

0:09:56 – Kayla

I never thought anybody would show up at 12.01 am. 

 

0:09:57 – Brian

DR Randall shows up at our door. 

 

0:10:01 – Kayla

Are y’all awake? Yeah, son, what’s up? 

 

0:10:05 – Brian

Well, you said we could stop by after 12. Well, what am I going to do? Come on in. 

 

0:10:12 – Kayla

You’re going to watch a movie, and that’s what you did. I think I fell asleep, yeah, but he was happy. So, yes, we have had a bounty of a really rich life with students who not only have we had a chance to pour into them, they’ve poured into us, and we now have young men and women who have families of their own and we get to delight in seeing them going through different stages with their kids, and they are incredible parents and it’s been fun watching various ones of them get married and then have kids and settling down and buying their first home. 

 

The call that we get of. I mean, I’ve lost count of the number of young men in particular that have said hey, would you all meet us for dinner? It’s important that you meet my fiancé, or hey, there was one in particular. We were sworn to secrecy that there was going to be a proposal, but it was important to him that we meet her beforehand. So different is not always bad, but here’s the reality that we are in. They have all grown and flown, as parents would say, and genuinely as they should. They have their grown and flown, as parents would say, and and genuinely as they should. They have their families to go to when, when Christmas rolls around, when easter hits, when they go and spend time with their biological parents, and that is exactly how it should be. Now we have been surprised and delighted on many a holiday where we’ve gotten a text saying hey, we’re in town, Can we get together? Can we visit Now? 

 

0:12:02 – Brian

I need to be honest. I’m just going to be very vulnerable. It still hurts some Sure. After all these years it still stings that kids and grandkids that they never show up, that kids and grandkids that they never show up. So I’m trying to grow in this to be satisfied with him. 

 

0:12:19 – Kayla

Yeah. 

 

0:12:20 – Brian

Because he is to be my portion. 

 

0:12:23 – Kayla

Yeah. 

 

0:12:23 – Brian

I am to taste and see the Lord is good. I’m not to taste and see what I wish I had. I’m to taste and see that he is good. Yeah, so that’s what I’m trying to do. 

 

0:12:37 – Kayla

And I will admit as well that there are times that that familiar ache returns, never knowing what it’s going to feel like to carry another human, never getting to answer questions such as okay, whose eye color would he have? Whose personality would she emulate? How tall would he be? What would she be when she grows up? I mean, these are questions that we’ll never have an answer, and yet the Lord has been faithful to fill our lives beyond full, just not with children of our own. And yet I also, at this stage in my life, I see friends of ours who they have raised children and then, for various reasons, their children have kind of gone their own way and so pouring out as a parent for 20 plus years, and then your child kind of turns and veers off, and I cannot imagine that heartache. And so everything is a little complicated. When you really stop and think about it, life is not just cut and dry. 

 

0:13:51 – Brian

No, I’ve come to this realization is that what they sell you in movies is a lie. It’s never that beautiful. It’s never that peaceful and it’s never where you get to put a bow on it and say life is perfect, it’s never like that. 

 

0:14:05 – Kayla

So I do worry. 

 

0:14:08 – Brian

Shock. 

 

0:14:09 – Kayla

I know what if god takes me first really that’s always been something that no, no this is something that plagues me and I worry that if god took me first, if we’d had kids, I could know that you had loved ones who were going to take care of you upon my passing, and that’s always plagued me a little bit. 

 

0:14:33 – Brian

That plagues me as well, because your worry is my worry. I mean I get up at 2 o’clock in the morning to go do what 56-year-old men do at that time of the morning and I come back to lay down and those things start. I mean it keeps me awake. Like you know, if I don’t wake up in the morning, she’s alone. There’s nobody there, and so I try to yeah. That’s why church, community and that kind of stuff sometimes is important, because now I don’t want to leave, tomorrow I’d like to have another. 

 

0:15:03 – Kayla

Yeah, please don’t. 

 

0:15:04 – Brian

I’d like to have another 20, 30 years with you. Yeah, as long as I can get around well, but I do worry about that. But I have to trust that the God who’s gotten us this far, he will be faithful to get us home. Yeah so. 

 

0:15:18 – Kayla

Yeah, and another beauty in this is we can see that God continues to surround us with couples. They’re beginning their journey. We can encourage them, we can support them, we can help them to see that it won’t always be this hard. But I may not ever fully understand his ways. I know enough of him that I can assure that younger couple that God is good and I can share with them, that he can be trusted and that he’s faithful and he’s true, and that his plans for them are way better than any plans we could ever have of our own. 

 

0:16:03 – Brian

I didn’t think I was going to cry today. You’re just ripping my heart out. You’re just ripping my heart out. I guess I got a little bit further to go than you. I would tell those couples that he’s true and he’s faithful and he’s loving and he’s caring. But part of your life might also be a little bit of bitter profit, because God doesn’t always operate. 

 

0:16:29 – Kayla

But hopefully that will drive you closer to him. Gotta get a Kleenex. 

 

0:16:35 – Brian

I wasn’t expecting this today. I mean here you roll up in here. So sorry, now my mascara’s running Stop. Will I ever be 100%? Okay with this? I’m trying. 

 

0:16:54 – Kayla

Yeah. 

 

0:16:55 – Brian

I am trying, but I’m thankful for Jesus. I’m thankful for you, darling, I mean it. I’m also thankful for all the kids who’ve passed through our home kids who’ve? 

 

passed through our home, yeah, I mean. And when they’re in town, they make a point to see us and introduce us to all their littles. And some of them they’ll call us and they’ll say Mom, Dad, we’re expecting baby number five. And I’m like, look, y’all need to figure out what’s causing this and stop it. You’re on five or six now, okay, so, but we love it. But I just want to say this what you just said deeply impacted me. I’m trying yeah. 

 

And I can tell couples that he’s faithful and he’s good, and I’ll do a better job of that. So that’s too much for me. Thank you, getting to know you. 

 

0:17:54 – Kayla

Yeah, okay, that was pretty heavy, so we need a little lighthearted. 

 

0:18:00 – Brian

I’m still wiping tears in my eyes. Yeah, I need a candy bar Piece of fried chicken. All right, what you got. 

 

0:18:10 – Kayla

Just a few questions about us. Some of these we get from people and some of these that I came up with on my own Just to kind of let them get to know us just a little bit better. Who is your favorite fictional character? 

 

0:18:23 – Brian

Darth Vader or Godzilla? Quick answer, or can I give one more? Sure? Willy Wonka, oh good one. Gene Wilder yeah, you favorite fictional character. 

 

0:18:36 – Kayla

Mine would be Mary Poppins. 

 

0:18:40 – Brian

Practically perfect in every way. 

 

0:18:42 – Kayla

Or, of course, any of the Winnie the Pooh characters. 

 

0:18:45 – Brian

I don’t understand Al. I don’t even know why he’s in the mix. He’s wise. No, he’s not, he’s crazy. 

 

0:18:51 – Kayla

Oh Well, all right then Best book you have read to date? 

 

0:18:58 – Brian

This year To date Best book Not this year. 

 

0:19:00 – Kayla

Just To date Best book Not this year just To date, unreasonable Hospitality. 

 

0:19:06 – Brian

Oh, phenomenal, phenomenal book, loved it you. 

 

0:19:14 – Kayla

The Diary of Anne Frank Wow. 

 

0:19:17 – Brian

That’s gone a little bit back. 

 

0:19:19 – Kayla

Okay, I’ve read some good books, but that one still impacts me more than I think any other. I mean not including the bible, but yeah somebody’s going to somebody gonna be like you people need some Jesus. Will you ever get another dog? We get this question a lot the answer is yes, okay we’re just not in a season to have a dog we’re not. 

 

0:19:42 – Brian

We’re way too busy and we wouldn’t be home enough. 

 

0:19:46 – Kayla

We are typically home two, two and a half hours a night, and that would be well. Let me clarify that. 

 

0:19:54 – Brian

Hang on, where are we sleeping? 

 

0:19:55 – Kayla

Before we go to sleep. That would just seem very selfish at this stage of our life, but we do. We have plans to get another dog. What are you most afraid of? 

 

0:20:09 – Brian

How honest do I want to be? 

 

0:20:10 – Kayla

Oh, you have to tell the truth or I will. 

 

0:20:13 – Brian

Spiders and being alone. 

 

0:20:16 – Kayla

Getting lost because it’s happened before. 

 

0:20:21 – Brian

Yes, yes, getting. 

 

0:20:23 – Kayla

I cannot handle feeling lost or not knowing where I’m going.

 

0:20:26 – Brian

That GPS takes this all throughout. Oh, I freak out. 

 

0:20:29 – Kayla

So what has to be first for you the book or the movie? 

 

0:20:33 – Brian

I really don’t care. Oh really. Yeah, I’ve never read the Harry Potter books. I’ve seen the movies 50 times a piece, though. 

 

0:20:41 – Kayla

What. 

 

0:20:43 – Brian

I’ve never read Chronicles of Narnia. I’ve watched those crappy movies too. Rude. Well, they got trees walking in them. 

 

0:20:54 – Kayla

And yet Godzilla is okay. This is where we are. Are we going to do this. 

 

0:21:02 – Brian

I feel a little judged. I didn’t criticize. 

 

0:21:06 – Kayla

We need to poo and you called chronicles of Narnia crappy. 

 

0:21:11 – Brian

Well it’s not my cup of tea. 

 

0:21:13 – Kayla

Well, okay, Godzilla’s not mine, but he’s awesome. Anyway, your punishment is you will now read the first Narnia book. 

 

0:21:21 – Brian

I am not Yep, I will go to book jail. I am not reading that Book jail. I am not reading that. 

 

0:21:27 – Kayla

Favorite Disney part. 

 

0:21:28 – Brian

No, you got to answer that Book or movie. 

 

0:21:30 – Kayla

Oh, I have to read the book first, really, because then I want to compare to see how true they stay to the book when I watch the movie. Why is that important? It matters to me. Maybe if you’d read the Chronicles of Narnia. You would like the movies have you ever read it. 

 

0:21:46 – Brian

Yes, all of them my uncle gifted me this set you read all that Prince Caspian stuff and all that. 

 

0:21:52 – Kayla

Yes, I did. Walking it back a little bit now. 

 

0:21:55 – Brian

No, I’m just because Carol Lass again take me to book jail. 

 

0:22:01 – Kayla

Favorite Disney park. 

 

0:22:03 – Brian

Hollywood Studios Easy Hollywood Studios. 

 

0:22:08 – Kayla

It’s a toss-up between Hollywood Studios and Epcot for me, because Epcot has the International Village and I love that. 

 

0:22:16 – Brian

You love the English village. I love all of it Fish and Chip. They have a little tea shop there in the English village. You like that. 

 

0:22:25 – Kayla

What is a food you refuse to eat? 

 

0:22:29 – Brian

Mushrooms, Brussels sprouts. Unless they’re doused in garlic and bacon. I’m not going to touch a Brussels sprout. If you can still taste Brussels, I ain’t touching the sprout. 

 

0:22:40 – Kayla

Yeah, it’s not happening. Probably okra. Oh yeah, ain’t touching this brown. Yeah, it’s not happening. Probably okra, oh yeah. 

 

0:22:47 – Brian

Mushy okra, yeah, bell peppers. 

 

0:22:49 – Kayla

Okay. We don’t have to list all of them. 

 

0:22:51 – Brian

Oh, sorry yeah. 

 

0:22:52 – Kayla

Okay, what is your Enneagram? 

 

0:22:55 – Brian

I’m an eight with a seven wing. 

 

0:22:57 – Kayla

And I’m a one with a two wing, and none of that surprises anybody who’s listening. A one with a two wing, and none of that surprises anybody who’s listening. So yeah, but there we are. So those are just some random questions about us. Speaking of questions, the first two people to go to our website and answer the question correctly, you will win a peas and carrots coffee mug what is this week’s trivia question? 

 

0:23:19 – Brian

so, our. 

 

0:23:20 – Kayla

Our question is book or movie which comes first for you? Do you have to read? 

 

0:23:27 – Brian

the book first, or I mean it doesn’t matter it’s just an honest answer. They can say I don’t care, but so hey, if you go to our website, the first few people go to our website. Answer that question correctly yeah, so book or movie. You’ll win a peas and carrots coffee mug, a good pack of Cute little stickers, and then we’ve added a pen a peas and carrots it’s very, very nice. They just came in. 

 

0:23:54 – Kayla

So click that trivia button. Answer that question. Peasandcarrotspodcast.com. You can search Peas and Carrots Podcast wherever you get your podcasts, or visit our website peasandcarrotspodcast.com. When you do, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast. 

 

0:24:09 – Brian

You can follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Just search for the Peas and Carrots Podcast. See you all later. I’m off to book jail. 

 

0:24:18 – Announcer

For more about the Peas and Carrots Podcast and to reach out to Brian and Kayla, visit peasandcarrotspodcast.com. Growing through the challenges we face and finding hope along the way. That’s the Jesus Fix It Podcast with Jess. Check out jesusfixit.com or search Jesus Fix It wherever you listen to podcasts. 

 

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