Five on Friday: Holidays Most Often Spent Apart

My husband is leaving early Memorial Day to travel to Asia. It’s no surprise really. He’s rarely home for Memorial Day … and honestly a bunch of other holidays. So this Friday, let’s share the most popular holidays for our road warriors to be out on the road rather than at home with us.

  1. Memorial Day – With summer tour season ramping up, Memorial Day weekend is always primetime for fairs, festivals and shows. Which means I’m usually grilling out with my other “single” friends.
  2. July 4th– Fans like to party on July 4th. And that usually means there’s music and concerts. So our husbands are out there working while we’re celebrating the 4th on our own.
  3. Labor Day – As the summer tour season winds down, Labor Day weekend is always a good one for a final push of shows. Giving true meaning to “labor day” for our husbands.
  4. Valentine’s Day – Even though it’s in February, my husband and I inevitably are apart on Valentine’s Day. Whether it’s a short winter tour, TV appearances, award shows or whatever, it seems this holiday is our nemesis.
  5. Birthdays & Anniversaries – So these aren’t technically “holidays,” but you still celebrate them! And, Murphy’s Law most always plays a part in making sure the hubs and I are apart for them.

I’ve spent plenty of other holidays alone (Thanksgiving, New Year’s, Easter), but thankfully those instances have been rare occurrences. What about you? What holidays does it seem your husband is never home for?

Five on Friday: Celebrating Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Roses

Show of hands, how many of you actually get to spend Valentine’s Day with your husband? I know for me, out of all the years we’ve been together — be it dating or married — I think we’ve spent TWO together. And perhaps that’s why this year I find myself very. “Oh its Valentine’s Day? I didn’t even notice.” But, there’s really no reason why us Road Widows can’t still celebrate this day of love despite being apart. So I present to you, five ways to still make Valentine’s Day awesome while apart.

1. Flowers. Okay, so its a little cliche and unoriginal. But my husband sends me flowers every Valentine’s Day, and it still makes me giddy as a school girl. Even if I might outwardly roll my eyes a little and sigh, “They cost too much!” deep down I’d be devastated if they didn’t come.

2. Send your Valentine a valentine. I don’t know about any of you, but the gesture of letters that Chris’ husband left for her while he was on tour recently left me a bit green with jealousy while also wanting to high-five him for the amazing, amazing gesture. But, that gesture goes both ways. Leave a valentine in your husband’s suitcase to find later, or send him an extra mushy text message today (photo optional – hehe) to serve as a valentine.

3. Break out the wine and chick flicks! Okay, so lets be real here. It sucks to be alone on Valentine’s Day. Even if your happily married, it sucks to see your friends going out on special dates for the evening. So what do we ladies do? Why we pop open a bottle of wine (just one glass… or four) and throw in a sappy chick flick! Maybe go grab a box of chocolates to indulge in at the same time.

4. Girlie time! Now for me, girlie time means facials, pedicure, manicure, bubble bath, etc. Those things you don’t take time for otherwise. Treat yourself as your own valentine by treating yourself! Bonus is if your husband is coming in off the road soon, you’ll be extra fabulous for him and that late-Valentine’s Day-date that you know they’re promising.

91: Chocolate Hearts

5. Get outta here! Call up your fellow Road Widows, or maybe hook up with some of your single friends, and paint the town red! You know everyone is going all out at restaurants, bars, etc. Why not partake and have some fun!?

So… what are you doing for Valentine’s Day?

Five on Friday: The perfect gifts for Road Widows

IMG_4916If I know my fellow Road Widows, we’re all more worried about getting gifts for our family and friends than we are gifts for ourselves. So I thought I’d compile a list of gifts for Road Widows, to possibly save us all time.

1.  A globe. I was going to say a wall map, but just this week I met a women from Alaska. She told me, very seriously, about being asked why Alaska is so cold if it’s down by Mexico. YOU CAN’T MAKE THAT UP!  So let’s forgo the map and go for a globe. That way we can show our kids, or even just help ourselves fathom, the distance between us and our road warriors when they travel internationally.

2. A calendar. It’s a go-to gift at Christmas, but its quite handy for those of us trying to coordinate our own schedules along with kids schedules and touring schedules.

3. A spa day. Look, it can be stressful, this life we live. A spa day full of facials and massages and mimosas and manicures and… oh man. Make it happen, Santa. Make. It. Happen.

4. Road trip flights. We like getting to go see our guys on the road once in awhile. An open round trip would be so appreciated! For example, my husband has some shows near his hometown next year. I really want to go to those… I’d love even more to have them paid for already.

5. Hubby home for the holiday. Let’s face it. We spend a lot of holidays apart. In fact many of us won’t have our husbands home all the weeks leading up to Christmas. Some will, unfortunately, be apart ON Christmas. But I think I speak for all of us when I say that the best Christmas gift would be to have our husband home and with us on Christmas morning… opening gifts and sharing kisses under the mistletoe.

So tell me… what did I miss? What’s YOUR perfect Road Widow specific Christmas gift?

Remembering To Be Thankful. Even When It’s Tough.

As I sit here writing this, my husband is packing. Packing for a tour in Australia for several weeks. We’ve had a good break until this point. He’s mostly been home for two whole months and it’s been so nice having him around to do “normal” things.

The past few days I’ve found myself thinking in various moments, “I’m really gonna miss this.” I’ve thought this when we’re all sitting at the dinner table laughing at my daughter singing the alphabet in her “nice princess” voice and then screaming it in her “mean princess” voice. I’ve thought this every time my husband walks through the door and my son yelps excitedly and then crawls at mach speed to bear hug him. I’ve thought this when we have family movie night in our pajamas because, well, it’s Friday night. And I’ve thought this when my husband, my co-parent, is able to step in and take over when I’m losing my patience with our three year old.

These moments. They’ve made me sad.

When he’s about to leave, it’s easy to start going down that road. The one where you start mourning all the things you’re going to miss. I do it often.

This time though, I’m trying to turn it around. I’m choosing to remember grace and thankfulness. During a holiday season that is sadly losing it’s true meaning to consumerism as so perceptively stated in The Huffington Post, I think it’s important for all of us to stop and reflect on what is truly good in our lives. Even when it seems hard to do so.

giving thanksFor me I am thankful that my husband has a job that allows him extended time at home when he gets it. I am thankful that his job has afforded me the flexibility to be at home, raising our kids, and available to him 100% when he is home with us. I am thankful that our children have a strong and healthy relationship with their father because when he is home, he is able to be in the moment with them.  I am thankful that my children are healthy and happy because their parents are healthy and happy. And, I am thankful that while he is often gone, I still have a partner – as a spouse and as a parent.

So while it saddens me that I will sit at our family’s Thanksgiving table on Thursday while my husband sits at another halfway across the globe, I will still be gracious. I will choose to be thankful for ALL that we are blessed with. Because our blessings, they are plentiful.

What are the moments you miss when your guy leaves for a run? How can you look at that differently from a perspective of thankfulness?

Here We Go Again

We’re gearing up for another trip – a tour to Australia. I’ve been trying to write about what a great time we’ve had together during my husband’s off time … but today I’m just not feeling so grateful.

Rather, today I’m feeling a little frustrated, bummed and stressed.

Next week is Thanksgiving. And while most – not all, but most – of our friends’ husbands’ tours are winding down for the holiday season, we have one last push. My husband is leaving sometime this weekend (though I couldn’t tell you exactly when because we don’t have flight info yet!) and will be out of the country for the holiday. We have been apart many holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. BUT Thanksgiving and Christmas are sacred. And him being gone for one of these holidays kills me.

Up until now I’ve just been putting it out of my head. We’ve been enjoying his time at home and there was no sense on dwelling on the future. Well, now it’s staring us in the face. And I don’t even know if we have all weekend together before he leaves or none of it. I’m kinda falling apart about it.

Fortunately my parents are helping me drive myself and the kids to their house for Thanksgiving. It’s a 10+ hour drive, so there was NO WAY I was doing that alone with two young kids! So we won’t be alone for the holiday. Thank goodness! And the kids are so young they don’t know any different – daddy is at work and we’re at Nana and Grandad’s. It doesn’t matter to them that it’s a family holiday.

I, on the other hand, do know. It is the season for giving thanks. And while there is plenty I’m grateful for in my life and I’m thankful that I’ll have my loving family around me, I’m still mad that my husband won’t be with me. It just doesn’t seem right. Half of my heart will be missing.

Thanks for listening Road Widows.

Happy Mother’s Day Road Widows!!

A few inspirational quotes for all you moms out there … Enjoy your day!

“Making a decision to have a child — it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”  — Elizabeth Stone

“God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers.”  — Jewish Proverb

“Women do not have to sacrifice personhood if they are mothers. They do not have to sacrifice motherhood in order to be persons. Liberation was meant to expand women’s opportunities, not to limit them. The self-esteem that has been found in new pursuits can also be found in mothering.”  — Elaine Heffner

“If nature had arranged that husbands and wives should have children alternatively, there would never be more than three in a family.”  — Lawrence Housman