Traveling Man

Text from Luke:

“It’s not looking good for me to get on the earlier flight. On standby, but the flight is full. My original flight is delayed 1.5 hours.”

Luke has taken on a new role at his company, which means he is traveling much more than before. It started in January of this year and so far he’s gone to Mexico six times. His travel is not glamorous either. Three flights, customs, a car ride to end up at a gold mine in the heart of Mexico. One time recently the house he stayed in didn’t have heat!

This week was the first time that he’s been gone, I’ve been working full time and Lila has been in childcare during the day. Essentially, my first go-round managing a house, baby and work on my own. I realized this week just how much Luke does to keep our life running!

Cue to this morning. Wake up at 5:30 am to crying baby – feed baby – put baby back down – shower – make coffee and pack lunch – wash baby bottles and pumping gear – pack baby bag – get dressed/makeup – feed baby again – diaper and dress baby – pack up car – take trash to curb – load baby – drive to work – drop baby at daycare – make it to work at 8 …. 10 minutes late.

On a typical day, Luke will usually cover making the coffee, packing my lunch, taking the trash out, changing Lila’s diaper, washing the bottles and such …. okay so basically he does everything while I feed the baby and get myself ready.

I have a massive amount of respect for all you single moms out there.

Beyond the day to day, having Luke gone takes away an element of comfort and relaxation to our home. I have a really hard time sleeping in a big empty house and constantly spook myself with noises. Lila also hasn’t slept as well, waking up at 5 am two days in a row. Probably because I made her sleep in our room so I wouldn’t get so scared!

I also feel really bad for him when he misses things with Lila’s development. Last night she rolled over for the first time and thankfully I was able to capture it on camera so Luke could see. I know not being home for her milestones is really tough on him.

As much as I miss him when he’s away, I know everything Luke does is for me and Lila. To provide for us and secure us a financial future free of worry and stress. We’re lucky he has such a great job and with a company that values family too. Tomorrow for example, he gets to work from home and can spend all day with Lila.

Luke gets home tonight and I cannot wait. I’m going to have a clean house, steak, big kiss from me and snuggles from Lila waiting for him. Just in time too. A new text came through:

“My flight is back on time. I can’t wait to see you both tonight.”

Me either, honey.

One Year As “Mrs. Batman”

Well, one year of wedding bliss is behind us. This past Sunday was one year to the day from when we said “I Do” in downtown Chicago. And what a whirlwind year it’s been!

St. Vincent DePaul Chicago Wedding

Before I got married people told me that the first year was the hardest, so I braced myself for an adjustment period and maybe a few arguments. Looking back on this year though, I must say this year has been nothing but happiness!

In fact, it dawned on me when a friend was telling me about her relationship woes, that I have not cried once this entire year. And I am a pretty emotional person who used to have a good cry about once every 1-2 months. Realizing that I have not shed a single tear (and it wasn’t an “easy” 12 months with our move and starting a new job)  just shows me how truly happy Luke makes me.

The same friend who was crying to me about her guy asked me for my one year of marital “wisdom.” I thought this was funny. What could I possibly know of value after just one year? But I thought about it and decided that my advice would be this:

Marry the right person.

Vauge, I know. So how do you know when it’s the right person? Well in my opinion, it’s about three things:

1. Sharing similar values and interests and dreams.

2. Finding someone who compliments your strengths and weaknesses and personality.

3. Choosing someone who you genuinely love to be around…. a lot. Someone you can have interesting conversations with, who makes you laugh, who is kind, considerate and who you don’t argue with often.

Oh, and it also helps if you think they’re super hot. :)

Now thinking back on our wedding, there’s one part that I smile most when I remember that day….our wedding swing dance! Here it is again for your viewing pleasure- don’t miss Luke’s big moment around 1.18.

Happy anniversary Luke! I am the luckiest girl in the world to have spent even one year as your wife. Love you to pieces.

5 Things You Learn About Your Spouse During an Engagement

The engagement period, before you officially become husband and wife, is filled with fun things like trying on pretty dresses, tasting delicious food, celebrating with friends/family and planning what you hope is a perfect day.

It is also a time when you will learn more about your future-spouse than you likely ever have before. Sure being engaged is fun, but it’s also a time when you’ll face more decisions, stressors and financial worry than you probably have as a couple before.

I like to think of this time as a practice run for what your marriage could look like. Here are five things I think you can learn about your spouse throughout your engagement.

The list is written as what you can learn about your groom, but these easily could be switched to embody a bride as well.

1. You learn how you handles stress and anxiety as a couple. Even if you’re a seasoned event planner, creating your dream wedding undoubtedly brings a lot of stress, which can put your “fighting style” as a couple under a microscope. How you work through wedding stress together is pretty telling as to how you’ll handle issues in your marriage.

2. You learn how he manages his finances, and if his money-style matches with yours. Sure your parents may be footing most the bill, but almost any couple will face big financial decisions when planning their wedding. If you think dropping $200 per table on flowers is perfectly fine and your groom would rather spend $200 total, then you should probably sit down and discuss your financial expectation and goals for your life together.

3. You learn how he deals with your emotions. There was a time during my engagement when I felt overwhelmed and a little scared of the magnitude of the commitment marriage means. I didn’t have many friends going through the same thing, so I turned to Luke. He could have been defensive or misconstrued the feelings I was having as a dig at him, but instead he listened, empathized and let me know what I was feeling was totally normal.

How your guy handles the emotions you surely will be feeling leading up to your wedding is a great indicator as to how he’ll support you during you as your husband.

4. You learn how “involved” his family will be in your life. You’ve all heard the horror stories of the mother-in-law who completely takes over the wedding planning- steamrolling the bride. Hopefully none of you ever have to go through that (so glad I didn’t!) but if you do, I’d take this a definite sign as to how involved your husband’s family is going to be in your life and the influence they’ll have over the decisions you’ll make as a couple.

5. You learn if he has traditional or modern view on  male/female roles. I anticipate I could get some flack for this one, but I think that if your groom is resistant to helping you plan your wedding, it could be a sign that he has traditional views of what his role as a man is in your day-to-day life. This is the guy who could also think that laundry, cooking, cleaning and child-rearing are a “woman’s job” (which isn’t always a bad thing if you have the same views).

Of course there are exceptions, like if you and your mom don’t want his involvement, or if he’s crazy-busy with his career at that time, but if you try to involve him during the engagement and he shows no interest, you may want to have an open discussion with him about his expectations for your roles in your marriage.

Those are the big areas I felt like I learned more about Luke during our engagement. Luckily they were all positives that helped prepare us to be happy in our marriage.

What else do you think you learn about your significant other during the engagement period?

The Final Piece of the Puzzle

Luke, more so than anyone, has felt the most stress from this move. It’s not easy to lead the charge on packing and moving 1,900+ miles, buying cars, getting acclimated to a totally different lifestyle – AND worrying about finding a new job (esp while your wife is MIA working her butt off).

I think it’s no secret that for a man, a lot of his self-identity is tied to what he does for a living. That’s why I know it was incredibly hard for Luke to give up his job in Chicago to let me pursue my dreams here at Heavenly. Not many guys would do that.

He’s been not working for about a month now, and while he has been taking advantage of the time off by skiing nearly every day, I know the anxiety and worry was weighing on him.

That’s why I’m so happy to share that he was offered and accepted a great job yesterday! He’s going to be a senior accountant with a young, fresh company in the gold-mining industry. The job will involve some travel to Mexico, international accounting and many really great benefits.

I’m so proud of him for securing not only a job during a time when unemployment is so high, but a really good job at that! He’s a pretty remarkable guy.

This was the final piece of the puzzle for us before we could relax and really enjoy our new lifestyle. It’s all smiles from here…