Checking In

Checking In

Hello there, friends and readers. I want to take a moment to check in and let you know we’ve had some big life changes in our family over the last two weeks.

As you may already know, my stepson was married to his sweetheart in Cambria early this month. Ryan and Hayley’s ceremony was so beautiful – the entire weekend was wonderful from start to finish. I will be sharing more photos from the wedding weekend here on the blog at a later date but here is one of my very favorites.

Photo credit: Leana Myra Photography

My father-in-law, Dave, was unable to attend the wedding due to failing health. We learned Dave was terminally ill about four years ago. He fought hard and managed to lead a comfortable life while undergoing treatment. But lately, his health began declining and mobility became an issue.

My husband moved in with his dad to care for him back in late March. I also spent the majority of my days and nights at his home, about an hour from our house. I am sad to report that Dave passed away Saturday, April 14th – the same day Bill’s mother Doris passed away seven years ago.

Dave will be sorely missed by all of us as he truly was the center of our family. He was always one to share all kinds of advice to his kids and grandkids about finances, home improvement, cooking, gardening, communicating, playing the Lotto and living life well. He was such a character. We are all so sad to have to say goodbye.

During Dave’s declining health my husband, Bill decided it was time for him to retire from his position as Deputy Fire Chief of Santa Rosa Fire Department. He was spending every day caring for his father and we didn’t know how long he would be living with his dad. Bill was with the fire service for 34 years and had been thinking about retiring for quite some time. We didn’t plan for him to retire quite so soon, but it was the right thing to do for us and for our family given the circumstances.

Retirement will be a huge change for both of us. I, for one, am thrilled he is retired! Although we don’t really know what retired life is like yet as so much of our days lately are focused on the upcoming funeral. But so far I enjoy having him home everyday.

Some of the things I love are not needing to set an alarm before bed, taking long walks anytime we want, no fire radios waking us up in the middle of the night and no more worrying about Bill being out on a wild land fire for many days or weeks at a time.

Having three big life events occur in the span of one week – both joyous and heartbreaking – is taxing and exhausting to say the least. I’m focusing on our family and taking care of myself and Bill during this time of change and adjustment but very much looking forward to the time I feel ready to get back to blogging regularly. I have so many things to share with you!

Thank you to everyone who has reached out with emails, texts and cards. It is much appreciated.







  1. Kim
    April 20, 2018 / 6:56 pm

    I am so sorry for your families loss of the matriarch of the family.
    In the same breath I want to congratulate you both on your husbands retirement & marriage of your son.
    Please thank your husband for his many years of service in the fire department.
    Firemen have saved our house in the wildfires.Their bravery & courage always humble me to their dedication & service.
    Hope you both enjoy the next chapter in your lives.

  2. April 21, 2018 / 12:54 pm

    🙂 Dear Adrienne,

    I’m sorry to hear of the loss of your father-in-law. However, I hope that time will help heal the sorrow.
    Now that your husband is home for good I trust that together the two of you will be able to get through these sad time better.
    The very best to you and your family!

    Claudia xo

  3. April 21, 2018 / 2:20 pm

    Those are huge changes all at the same time. I send condolences on the loss of Bill’s father and rejoice with you over his retirement. You are such a lovely couple and I know on the other side of this funeral you will be planning and enjoying your time together.

  4. Lori
    April 21, 2018 / 9:08 pm

    I am so very sorry for the loss of your father-in-law.

  5. April 22, 2018 / 12:21 am

    I am sorry for your loss. Sounds like Dave had an incredible family that looked after him.

  6. April 23, 2018 / 8:31 am

    So much change in such a short period of time. Both congratulations and condolences. Sending love to you both xoxo

    • Adrienne Shubin
      April 24, 2018 / 2:01 pm

      Thank you, Kathy. It has been a whirlwind these last few weeks. Today begins the settling down phase (I hope!). xoxo, A

  7. April 30, 2018 / 1:11 pm

    SORRY for your LOSS………….XX

  8. Brenda
    May 14, 2018 / 1:55 pm

    Oh boy, life throws all kinds of “stuff” our way – and so often, all together. Very sad to hear of your father-in-law’s illness/death – so difficult to say final goodbyes. And it sounds like Bill and you have made some great decisions about making time by retiring/stepping away from blogging for the moment – best wishes to you and look forward to your return.

  9. June 1, 2018 / 2:28 pm

    Hi Adrienne,
    I am so sorry to hear about Bill’s father passing in April and that it was on the same day as his mom 7 years ago. I can’t imagine how much you’ve been going through with your family and so many changes. Hope you are settling into life with him retired and love following your adventures on Insta. I will be in Ukiah a lot this summer so it would be great to meet up at some point and catch up in person.

    PS the wedding photo of the ceremony with Ryan and his wife is beautiful!


  10. Jacquie
    June 22, 2018 / 1:43 pm

    It’s been two months since you posted this, and I have missed reading your blog, but more importantly I hope that you and your family are ok. These are some dramatic life changes, and I hope that you have come through the sad one and are healing, however slowly that may be, that you and Bill are adjusting to your new togetherness with love and patience, and that Ryan and Haley visit you often.
    Looking forward to your return.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 24, 2018 / 10:26 am

      Hi Jacquie – It’s so kind of you to stop by and leave a note. We are all doing okay – adjusting ever so slowly to this new life of ours. There have been so many changes with 2 kids getting married, one moving away, Bill’s retirement (a huge change!) and his father passing away. Plus our region is still trying to pick up the pieces since last October’s fires.
      I don’t know what I will do with my blog. I have changed so much since last fall and my priorities and values have shifted dramatically. I used to find fulfillment in my online life – blogging, social media, connecting with others online – but now I find fulfillment in my real world life. So that is a good thing, I think. But I do miss aspects of blogging and I think it’s important for me to write (keep this old brain active!).
      I am giving myself some time to figure out whether I want to continue blogging. I think about it everyday. Sometimes I go to write a post and the words just don’t come easily anymore. Perhaps I will give it another go this week.
      I appreciate your kindness and for taking the time to leave a comment.

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