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Lifestyle & Human Interest

After Kids All Move Out, Empty Nesters Celebrate with Hilarious Photo Shoot

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Couples face the empty-nester stage of life in a variety of ways. Some are generally sad, feel like the house is too quiet and still have the same nagging concerns about their adult children as they had when their kids were under their roof.

Others party. Mitch Henslee, 59, and Betsy Henslee, 50, of Beaumont, Texas, definitely fall into the latter category, and they’re sharing their celebration with the world.

With the kids being 18, 21 and 30, it’s truly the end of an era. While others with younger kids were getting their first day of school pictures done, this couple arranged for a photo shoot of their own.

Betsy first came across the “empty nester” photo shoot idea several years ago by accident.

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“When I was looking for a photo of poses for a senior shoot for my 21-year-old I found an empty nester photoshoot and I thought, ‘I’m going to do that when my youngest leaves,'” Betsy told Fox News.

“It was really just meant for us for fun. It’s our personality we like to have fun as a family.”

The photos start off by showing Mitch and Betsy standing in front of their home pouting and holding a sign with a broken heart that reads “So Sad…” But in the sequence of photos, the couple flips the sign and it reads “hahaha … Just Playing!” — then the partying begins.

Popping bottles, sending up cascades of confetti and standing gleefully behind a sign that said “Expecting 0 Kids!” while holding a large, silver zero balloon, the couple laughed, danced, kissed and celebrated their newly rediscovered freedom.

People commented to jokingly warn them that the kids come back and are still on insurance until they’re 25, and grandchildren will skew the empty-nestness. A few piped up to warn them that if they didn’t watch the partying, they might be expecting all over again.

Some commenters were a bit put off by the display in general, with some suggesting that the parents don’t actually care about their kids, but many understood exactly where the Henslees were coming from.

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Betsy also clarified that her “close-knit” family has a good sense of humor — one of her kids even shared the photoshoot on their own page.

“Who said that an empty nest is a lonely one?” Bee Photography shared on Facebook on Aug. 19. “Now that the kids are finally grown & gone .. and they have the house ALL to themselves, Betsy & Mitch are living it up & pouring it up!”

“Well folks, it didn’t take us long to figure out the ‘Empty Nester’ thing!” Betsy posted on her Facebook page.

“We still miss all our girls, and the house is a little quieter, but its a party on the patio at the Henslees moving forward!”

The only downside to the whole arrangement might be that now the messes can be tracked to their maker.

“Now it’s going through the house and realizing when the house is messy, it’s not them,” Betsy said.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking