My colleague Samantha McGarry wrote this lovely post and I thought you should all read it. I love seeing happy marriages and learning from them. I love her secret ingredient and feel like it’s one that is a must in the recipe for my own lasting marriage. Thanks for the inspiration, Sam!
This week, Devin and I celebrated our ten-year anniversary. Wow! Ten years.
When I said “I do,” to him back on April 25, 2002, it was with the conviction that I had found someone who matched me. I knew that being married to this guy would be fun. Of course, it would have its share of ups and downs, like any marriage. Naturally we’d bitch and moan at each other along the way. I knew there would be many things I’d do and say that would bug him – and that there would be many, many (did I say many ?) things he’d do that would seriously nark me. And then there would be all the other regular stuff that would interfere, sneak up, challenge, or freak us out. Like pets, work, no work, children, money, mortgage, fridges, religion, family, schedules and all that.
Of course we love each other. That’s a given. But the secret to what has kept this union sound, light-hearted, reasonable and fun is ….. silliness.
Hey lady, I’m great — and thank you! How are you doing?
The guy waiting at the end of the aisle wasn’t so bad, either.
Of course, photos from the fabulous Zac Wolf. Did you know he travels?
A while back, my friend (and fellow band spouse) Krissy referred to me as her Claudia Joy Holden. We are both big fans of Army Wives, so to me, this was a compliment of the highest.
As you know, I in no way consider what we go through as “band wives” to be the same as what Army wives go through. I couldn’t imagine needing to be strong enough to not hear from Jay every time he leaves, and not even know where he is, knowing that he could be killed at any moment. I have a lot of respect for the men and women that support their soldiers (however much I may not support war).
But the reality is, this is the closest thing to something I can relate to on television, and in a way, it gives me a lot of strength and serves as an excellent reminder.
I admire Claudia Joy’s character. She handles everything with grace, she stays strong and while she loves her husband and hates to see him leave, she understands his choice and supports him. Often times supporting him means sacrificing her own dreams.
Claudia Joy accepts that this is the life she chose. She supports other women who also chose the same kind of lifestyle and offers them a shoulder to lean on and someone to talk to.
Each time a new tour comes about, I do my best to maintain a stiff upper lip. I’ve gotten better at handling the news and giving my husband a kiss before sending him off on the road.
I do my best to listen to other wives and girlfriends in the same situation, and to provide advice when they need it. I have to say that I have been lucky to meet so many amazing women because of this venture. We’ve created quite the little community.
So, I think about Claudia Joy. This season you get a chance to see her human side, that the life is not always easy for her.
This life isn’t always easy for me.
I left my house at 8am, in tears, to go to work. I don’t know what it was about this particular tour, but having Jay leave was harder than it has been in a while. Maybe because we finallymoved into our house, and like the first few months of our marriage, we don’t get to experience it together. It seems that every big step we take in our relationship is followed closely by him leaving.
In a way, it is incredibly comical. In another way, it makes me (and him) a little blue. I’m feeling much better now, but it was a really difficult day.
Thankfully, I have an amazing support system. We had forced office fun after work and had a lot of laughs and great conversation. I was even able to laugh while my boss told one of our newer staffers that my husband is a “professional rock star.”
I’m lucky to have an office full of people that I know I can count on. Today was hard. I only wanted to be in my bed, with my dog, never to leave until Jay returns home.
This weekend, my best friends are coming by to see the house, and I am so excited to show it to them. I’m excited to spend time with them, catch up on their lives, and know that I am in good hands.
P.S. The seedy underbelly of this blog helped me write a new post for work. Check out my four steps for coping with trolls.
It’s day one of the Defeater/Touche Amore tour and I am sitting on my couch, in the great room, with my dog and my brother. This first night isn’t so bad, because the next show is a half an hour away from my house and I’ll be able to attend/bring my husband home after. Love that.
Though I have to admit that seeing Bridge 9’s tour kick-off tweetdidcrush my heart a little bit.
As you all know, we finally moved into our house on Thursday. Friday morning I went to town doing work for my client and then I went over to my Dad’s house so we could head to opening day at Fenway Park. For me, this is one of the best days of the year — I consider it the official start of spring and I get to spend the day with my dad, watching a game I have loved since I was little, including a team I have loved just as long.
Saturday morning I got an early start, enjoyed the view of my backyard and found a home for my oven squirrel (among other items received as a result of the wedding). I put so many hours into unpacking and there are still so many hours left to go.
We had breakfast at this little, hidden gem called Leah Mae’s. It’s, quite literally, like eating breakfast at your Great Aunt’s house — tea room included. The mismatched dishes line the walls and they pull them down from the shelves and stick them on the table in front of you. It was really cool.
Last night while Jay put together the tour binder, I finally got to test out my new tub. I had cleaned all of the bathrooms earlier in the day and believe me, the wine, the Nora Roberts and the soak were well deserved.
I can’t wait to share with you the contents of the “Basket of things you need but wouldn’t remember you needed.” For now, time to continue with the task of unpacking while my brother and the dog watch Cupcake Wars.
P.S. How pretty are those flowers?! My fabulous mother-in-law and stepfather-in-law sent them to us. I’m so worried I won’t be able to keep them alive. You guys saw my Bonsai tree (which is actually doing well, now).
(Photos from yesterday, from the top: UHaul — I’ve seen this before, but this time, it really is happening; Jason doing what he is best known for: working and drinking coffee; Me being psyched that this is the last night we will spend in someone elses bedroom; saying goodbye to the temporary studio)
I had considered writing this post last night, but realized that talking about class and moving in one post was a little bit senseless. Plus, I figured I’d be took tired to actually write a post after what is going to be the third most exciting day in my relationship with Jason (this day comes after getting engaged and getting married).
The only room that will be complete, mostly, will be the kitchen (but we all know I LOVE being in the kitchen, so, this is exciting for me). The rest of our furniture is either very old and has fallen apart, or is very cheaply made and as fallen apart. So we have a TV and a bed.
Thankfully, Target is in our backyard (you think I’m kidding or exaggerating) and time is on our side.
I’m excited to be moving closer to my family, some of my friends and to be in a space that is all ours — for the very first time in our relationship.
But like the finale to everything wonderful in our relationship, Jay leaves for a two and a half week tour on Tuesday.
Seriously, the life of a band wife.
This morning at work, my boss, Beth, walked around the office putting vases of daffodils on everyone’s desks. She and my other boss, Meg, had scheduled a special company lunch for today, which included a special surprise.
Nearly all 30 of us gathered around the conference room table, Panera sandwiches in front of us, as Meg and Beth told us how much they appreciate how hard we have all been working. They handed us each an envelope. Each one contained a token of their gratitude and a hand-written note explaining why they appreciate us.
I can’t even begin to tell you how touched I was.
A few months ago I had written a post with my thoughts on class — it isn’t about being physically beautiful or done up, but about being a good person and treating others with respect.
We have all been extra busy at work over the last few months. While that hard work has been incredibly rewarding, it has also been difficult. Meg and Beth consistently thank us for our hard work and let us know that they understand where we are.
Taking this extra step, to let us know, even if it had simply been flowers or a special lunch, was so incredibly classy.
I know that I gush about my job on this blog quite a bit, but working for these women inspires me so much each day. They are the living proof that women really can have it all — successful marriages, careers, and great relationships with their children.
I hope each of you has something that reminds you that the sky is the limit in your lives, as well.
Thank you so much for the kind words!
First off, I would like to thank Laura for the amazing opportunity to contribute to this blog. Reading her posts is a wonderful way to feel connected to her and Jay, as well as other couples who are living a very similar lifestyle as myself, and discussing how we deal with the emotional ups and downs of being away from our significant other for such long periods of time.
Okay, a little about myself…my name is Dana, and I am finishing up my BFA in photography, with minors in visual communication design and music, media, & enterprise (whew!), from The Ohio State University. I currently work at Substream Music Press and Hot Topic and have been holding various jobs in music since I was 17.
My boyfriend, Chris, and I met briefly on Warped Tour in 2010, while I was out running everything for Substream and he was working for Bridge 9 Records. I had a rather large crush on him that summer, but since I am a very reserved person, so I did not have the guts to tell him how I felt. A year passed, and in May of 2011 I landed a job on the production team for Krazy Fest, an amazing weekend music festival with a lot of history in Louisville. We reconnected there, hit it off instantly, and the rest is history.
I guess you could say we are in an interesting situation with our relationship because both of us tour. My touring stints are usually limited to the summer months, since school is my number one priority, but being on the same tour together is a very rare stroke of luck that we fell into more than once. Being able to wake up in a new city every day, hop off the bus, and see the love of your life is something I never thought I would be able to do. Most people know what Warped Tour is, but most don’t realize how grueling it can be, both physically and mentally. You are always hot, always sweaty, always stressed, always tired, and always around a million people, all the time. Having someone to turn to and completely understand what you are going through while dealing with the frustrations of two months of hell makes it that much easier to go through.
I think my background in touring made it easier for us to deal with distance so well and still maintain a healthy and strong relationship with each other. When we first started dating last year, Chris was still living in Boston with Laura and Jay while working full-time for Bridge 9, and I was still here in Columbus, so right off the bat we knew what we had to do to make it work. Technology plays a huge role in keeping us connected and involved in one another’s lives. When we are apart, we video chat, text, and call each other throughout the day. When Chris was on tour and I was home, he would turn on skype while he was at the merch table, and I would leave mine on in my apartment, and although we could not really talk while it was on because of the noise, it was so comforting just being able to see each other’s faces and instant message each other back and forth with goofy things. We also made it a point to write each other letters while on the road. Texts and phone calls are nice, but there is just something about opening your mailbox and finding a letter for you in it. It is something to hold on to, to feel, and to know that someone else is thinking about you. I have all the ones he has sent me on a shelf next to my bed, and when I’m feeling lonely or upset, it is comforting being able to read through all of them and know that we still feel the same way about each other now that we did the day we met.
After Chris left Bridge 9 last winter, he moved back to Indianapolis, which was only 3 hours away from me. I got spoiled by having him that close to me, and I think I started to take for granted how much I got to see him after that. When he was offered a great job in LA with Kings Road Merch and moved out there at the end of January, it was like starting all over again with the distance, multiplied by 100 this time though. I’m not going to lie…I was heartbroken. I did not know when I was going to see him again, and that killed me inside. I think I cried for a few days after he told me it was official. At the same time though, I was not about to hold him back from something this big for my own stupid selfish reasons. We quickly got back into the swing of things, and I couldn’t be happier for him. He has a lot of old friends there, and I am glad he is doing so well at his new job and loves LA so much. I cannot wait to join him!
This summer will be different from the last two for us, since I will be on tour for 2 months while he is home. I am excited to spend my summer with so many old friends, but it just won’t feel the same without Chris with me. I am sure I will be posting more about that once tour starts.
I think the best way of coping with the distance is just to find productive ways of keeping your day busy and interesting. I am a very creative person, and I love working with my hands, so art is my biggest outlet for dealing with loneliness. Photography, glass making, printmaking, bookmaking, painting, drawing, ceramics, and sculpture have helped me throughout my whole life in dealing with problems and providing a sort of escape from reality for a short time. I am also an avid reader, xbox addict, and snowboarder, all of which help release stress. Communication and sharing are absolutely vital as well. We make sure to include the other in our everyday life and share everything, from what we did that day, to how work was, to what we ate, etc. Even if it is something as goofy as something weird we saw while on our way to work or a cute dog that we saw, it is worth sharing. Trying to make a long-distance relationship work off of one word texts and phone calls along the lines of:
“What did you do today?”
will not survive. If you have a horrible memory like me, you might find it worthwhile to jot little things down throughout the day so you remember to share it with them later. Being a photographer, I always find myself taking pictures to remember events by as well. Sharing little things keeps you from feeling left out of the other person’s life while they are away.
Another important way of keeping your sanity while apart is just simply by surrounding yourself with good people. If you are sitting by yourself all day, your thoughts will get the better of you. Even if I spend the entire day with friends, I can still find myself getting bummed out and lonely when I am trying to sleep, but sometimes that is unavoidable. Of course you are going to miss the person and be sad that they are gone, but this is where that communication is key. That loneliness and lack of communication will lead you to distrust your significant other, and a relationship without trust is doomed to failure.
It will be interesting being the main one touring now, though, since Chris is back to working full-time. Regardless, if I am with someone that can make me feel like the luckiest person in the world, even though we are traveling and living thousands of miles apart, I am willing to do whatever it takes to make it work, because it is absolutely worth it. Distance is not forever. Whatever hardships we may face, we take them head-on, because we love each other.
I’m sure I left a lot of stuff out, but if you guys want to know any more, feel free to ask me and I will do my best to cover everything. Thanks for reading, and thank you, Laura!
On Friday, everyone was buzzing about the pending Mega Millions drawing. Jay and I did not play, but it’s still interesting to think about what you would do with the money if you did win. A lot of people say that they would never work again. Me? Here are seven things I would do if I won, even just part of of, $650 million.
1. Pay off debts. From cars to credit cards, to the house we just bought, the first thing I would do is pay off all of our debts. Paying off my credit cards, though they were small balances, was one of the best feelings. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to be completely debt free.
2. Pay back my education. I was lucky enough to have a father who paid for my college education. I am so grateful for that because it has allowed me the amazing career I have today, without the stress of paying back student loans. Jay and I wouldn’t be in the position we are now if I did have that kind of debt.
3. Build an amazing studio. We’re going to start building a really cool space in our new house, starting in May, but I imagine the kind of place we could buy and build out if we hit it big. We may not need to work anymore after winning the lottery, but Jay can’t stand having a day off. I can’t begin to imagine the kind of projects he could produce in a stae-of-the-art, no expense spared, recording studio.
4. Create college funds. Going back to number two on the list, I’d start two college funds for my future kids. Although I hope the educational system is reformed by the time I have 18-year-olds, I certainly won’t hold my breath.
5. Build an IRA. I mean, c’mon, saving is still a smart thing to do.
6. See the world. Now, Jay has been to many different corners of the world, but when touring, you don’t get to really see the corners you’d like to. We’d head off to the UK, Australia and Europe. Plus all the best island destinations. And Disney World. I am a sucker for Disney World.
7. Give to charities. I would love to give a substantial donation to organizations researching MS and fibromyalgia, as well as organizations that work with children.
Even listing all of these things, I know we wouldn’t even begin to make a real dent in that kind of money. Of course I think about things like buying pieces of property all over the world, sending Jay back to school for whatever he wants to learn, and taking a lot of random classes myself. I suppose the list could go on forever — or until the money runs out.
What would you have done if you had won the Mega Millions?