a Photo a Day | July 21 – Aug 3

Two Very Full Weeks in Photos!

For more “a Photo a Day” CLICK HERE.

These past couple weeks things went a little nuts.  I had my parents visiting and watching Maisy while I photographed several weddings, then Josh and I traveled to MN for some gigs where I got to see all sorts of family and friends (Maisy is a popular little girl) and photograph a gorgeous engagement session in downtown Minneapolis, we came back just in time for me to photograph another wedding in the Chicago suburbs, and finally Maisy and I tried to take it easy on Sunday (Mom bought her some black and white books and clearly she’s taken by them).

Week 1 |  July 21 – 27

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Week 2 |  July 28 – Aug 3

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So I’m Married to a Touring Musician

He comes home, he leaves, and he comes back again.  After over four years of marriage I have finally adjusted to such a reality.  Just like most couples get used to parting ways on weekdays, I have gotten used to parting with my husband for a day or a few days or a week or a month…

I hear a lot of “I could never do that” or “wow that must be hard” or “how do you do it?”  You don’t have to feel bad for me.  We chose this lifestyle and it does have its disadvantages but it most certainly has its advantages.

Disadvantages

I miss the night time snuggling.  He misses the night time snuggling.  Truth is, I think he has a harder time with this one than me.  At least, when he’s gone, I get to welcome the dogs into my bed.  The best bed snuggles he gets on the road is a butt bump with his brother.

A job on the road is a dangerous one.  Fortunately I am not a worrier.  However, I do have my moments.  Sometimes I get struck with a panic that any given moment my husband’s life might be obliterated while on the road.  They say car accidents are the 9th leading cause of death.  The Citizen Way boys drive themselves across the country overnight.  Crazy folks drive around in the middle of the night you know.  Sometimes Josh will tell me of a close call.  Like one time they were trekking along as usual when a semi truck freakishly swerved from the right of them to fishtailing around the front of them and into the ditch on the other side without even the slightest moment of contact.  I lean heavily on God’s protection and fold myself into the truth that no matter what happens He will get me through it.  There is beauty in that.  Beauty in needing God that way.

Sometimes he has more fun than I do.  Sometimes they play around at an amusement park, completely bypassing all the lines with their fancy VIP passes.  Sometimes they get to go to really warm places in the dead of winter and come home with some nice tans.  Sometimes he gets really cool, free stuff.  Sometimes he gets to go to a place I’ve always wanted to visit.  I love that he gets these things!  But I do admit that I occasionally experience a trickle of jealousy when the most exciting thing I’m doing is culling a wedding.

I just don’t fit in.  When Josh is gone I am half of a couple.  This means I don’t exactly fit in with my couple’s friends and I don’t fit in with single friends.  I think I fit in better with my single friends and, admittedly, tend to enjoy outings that aren’t strictly for the couples more than those that are while Josh is away.  In the early days of Josh hitting the road I would jump at any invitation to be out with people.  Not too long into my readiness though did I find it was hard to always be the single one at the couple’s outings.  I found myself feeling like a little black sheep that people felt sorry for but no one really knew what to do with.  More significantly, I found I became more homesick for Josh.  Sometimes this was a fond homesickness, I longed for him to come home.  Other times I grew frustrated that I didn’t get to be normal and have him around always like my other friends.  You can imagine that the latter was particularly grievous to our relationship.  Bummer for Josh to all of a sudden have a frustrated wife when he didn’t do anything wrong.  All that being said, there are so many times when I love going to couples outings so don’t be scared to invite me!  If I don’t think I’ll be able to handle it I’ll just hang back.

I’m stuck with the full load of responsibility.  When Josh is gone, especially for long periods of time, I soon get stressed by the load that falls on my shoulders.  I am suddenly also in charge of the matters Josh consistently takes care of.  As a result of this phenomenon I happened to take on most of the load on a daily basis.  This way, when he’s gone, I don’t get hit so hard with lots of extra responsibilities, I just get hit with the full load I normally handle.

Communication gets tough.  Those of you who are married know how important good communication is.  When Josh is on the road we are left to the occasional phone call and texting.  Of course this is helpful, but phone calls can only dig so deep.  I’ve come to find that certain good communication habits fall by the wayside when they haven’t been practiced even for a little while.  When we get back together we are suddenly held accountable again for body language or tone subtleties that get masked by a phone call. We tend to misunderstand or misread each other for a good chunk of time before we get adjusted back to good communication habits.  We also find just how much is left out of our phone conversations.  After all, it’s hard for Josh to be as transparent and sociable with me when a whole van of dudes will hear what he tells me too.

Advantages

I can get lots done when he’s gone.  Sometimes friends ask me how I possibly manage to be so stinking productive.  Well, the answer is, I am frequently left to my own devices and a girl’s gotta do something!  This is how I can tackle a photography business, freelance photography work, DIY projects, homesteading, cooking and baking, blogging, writing, and other varieties of productiveness that come my way.  This is, perhaps, the perk I enjoy most about our unique marriage.  I love feeling useful and like I’ve accomplished a lot in one day!  I love that in one day I can get all my photography work done, make a homemade meal from scratch, finish a DIY project or two, take the dogs to the dog park, and still sit down and read at the end of the day.

I get to be Miss Independent when he’s gone.  I basically get to live like a single person while Josh is away.  I get to do what I want, when I want, with who I want.  Sometimes I like to go out with my single friends while Josh is on the road.  Sometimes I rearrange the house.  Sometimes I let the house be messy.  And sometimes I clean the place until it’s sparkling.  Sometimes I like to watch Tangled three nights in a row.  Sometimes I like to make a salad the way I like it.  Sometimes I take the dogs for a long walk along the routes Josh hates.  Sometimes I play my favorite music very loud and dance as undignified as possible.  Sometimes I sit in complete silence for as long as I want.

Alone time is good.  I’m not sure if it’s because of my lifestyle that I value alone time and quiet time so much or if it’s the way I was from the beginning, but all I know is the moment Josh comes home I am struck my how much more noisy my life gets.  When it’s just me at the house I get to choose any and all noise that fills my ears.  Then, suddenly, when Josh gets back my whole day is packed with music or other noise – sometimes I even experience the noise through the night with heavy breathing or as I try to lay down to sleep while he’s still working on a song in his studio.  If Josh isn’t actively writing or rehearsing a song, teaching music lessons, or performing on stage he’s usually still singing some song as he goes about his day.  What I’ve learned in all this is that, eventually, even music just becomes noise.  The bit I miss least when Josh is gone is the repetitive song playing.  When he’s recording or practicing a song I hear the same one line of melody so many times that my feelings towards that line of notes is no different than to how I would respond to a broken record or someone unrelentingly knocking on my front door for an hour.  This admittance pains me because I feel guilty for feeling this way – especially when most folks comment on how I’m so lucky to have my house filled with live music all the time.  I will admit that the first time and even up to the fifth or sixth time I’ve heard the same song in a row I feel blessed and privileged… it’s when the song seems like it’s never going to end that my seams start to split.

The reunions are always incredible.  They say, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.”  Well I’d say Josh and I are well advanced in fondness due to all the time spent apart!  Every time he leaves I am now in the habit if switching gears to life as an off-the-market single woman.  It’s like changing clothes to me now.  Simply switching gears.  My heart lives in this interestingly content place of getting things done, hanging with the dogs or friends, or soaking up some alone time while also wholly looking forward to the moment he walks back through the front doors and into my longing arms.  It feels like the honeymoon stage all over again!  You may be thinking, well I’m sure glad I’m not in the honeymoon phase anymore!  We were way too emotionally insane and unbalanced to want to go back to that!  Let me tell you a secret, this perpetual “honeymoon phase” of ours is a different kind of animal.  Instead of coupling the intense emotional excitement and passion with so much miscommunication and misunderstanding we get only the former!  Cool huh?  Perhaps this sounds totally not fun to you, but I’ve come to love the emotional highs and lows.  Also, to be completely transparent, good ‘ol hanky panky after a forced period of time away is real nice.

Sometimes I get to go with.  For every tour he’s a part of I make a point to make it out to at least one show.  Even this small consolation of a free concert is enough to be a perk but it’s the overwhelming pride and joy I experience as I watch the world’s kindest and most adorable man living his dream out on stage that really takes the cake.  And to top it off, sometimes I even get the opportunity to go with to a really snazzy event or to an awesome location.  Some of my favorite “business” trips with Josh have been to the KLOVE Fan Awards and to the SESAC Awards Ceremony.

Love and Friendship

Even with all of the advantages to our marital lifestyle I must admit I do get significantly lonely when Josh is gone.  It is just me and the dogs at home after all and they aren’t much for conversation.  I know some people are unsure what to do with a lady in a situation like mine.  Do we invite her or not?  If I could choose, I would always be invited!  Even if I can’t make it I am always filled up with warm tingles when I am invited.  The only other alternative is me pestering all you folks to hang out with me and with a husband gone so frequently that truly gets exhausting!  Moral of the story, the best way to love on this lonesome wife is to invite me for a hang.

Moving Forward…

And now we just had a baby, a little girl.  I’m sure a lot of these advantages and disadvantages will start looking very different.  And I’ll probably have more to add now that we have Maisy around too.  Maybe I’ll fill you in after we’ve experienced a couple rounds of Papa being away 🙂

 

Citizen Way in Brunswick, Ohio

It is my goal to make at least one show every tour.  This time around, the closest Citizen Way got to me was Brunswick, OH… a whole 7.5 hours away.

I would like to share a few fun facts about my trip:

  1. I traveled with my Mom and we had fun!
  2. I was 36 weeks pregnant – that’s 9 months folks.  My mom was petrified the whole time that I was going to go into labor, particularly when we were at a standstill in Chicago traffic.
  3. We hit rush hour on the way there (adding at least an hour to the trip).
  4. We almost ran out of gas about an hour out from my destination.  Turns out, Amherst, OH is not the place to fill up because it seems to me they have made getting gas a sort of treasure hunt, hiding their gas stations from direct paths and plain sight.
  5. We went 30 minutes out of my way when a construction zone blocked my exit.  I turned into Little Miss Crazy Driver for about 5 minutes because that folly maxed out my patience quota for the day.
  6. On the way home we sat in some more Chicago rush hour for 2 hours and 20 minutes.
  7. We did all of this in about 36 hours.  Nine hours there (thanks Chicago traffic and unnecessary detours), 17 hours in Brunswick (9 of those asleep), and 10 hours home (thanks Chicago traffic).

All in all, an exhausting trip right?  But it was so worth it!  Pregnancy hormones have made me a bigger sap than I ever could have imagined myself being and as I gazed at my husband on that stage the well broke and proud tears trickled down my face.  My one method of saving face was hiding behind my camera.  It was so fun seeing Joshua play saxophone for Mercy Me too!

Also, truth is, I laughed so hard with my mom in that 2 hours and 20 minutes of Chicago traffic that I almost wet myself – come on guys, I was 9 months pregnant, give a girl a break!

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a Photo a Day | May 12 – 18

Almost a full Week in Photos!

For more “a Photo a Day” CLICK HERE.

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Photo 1:  We were given so many great picture books at our baby shower!  Thanks to our generous friends, Baby Calhoun’s library is off to a great start!

Photo 2:  A simple “professional profile” portrait session for BRAVA Magazine.

Photo 3:  Sometimes I like to prop my hand on my belly now-a-days.  Handy little arm rest!

Photo 4:  Mom and I road-tripped it out to Brunswick, Ohio to see Citizen Way play!  I am committed to making at least one performance per tour they are on and since Brunswick was as close as it was gonna get we made it happen!

Photo 5:  Sam was giving some creepy eyes.  He’s funny.

Photo 6:  I love that I have had such a steady increase of boudoir photography work to do!  I did this incredible boudoir shoot at the studio last week!  Can’t wait to work on these images and put together an album for her to give to her lucky husband-to-be!

A Photo A Day | July 22 – 28

So I am indeed a slacker.  Missed a couple of days.

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MONDAY face nuzzling morning snuggling 🙂

TUESDAY Carter came to visit at the end of my Book Party and miss Hannah read him a little story (I have written a children’s book and I summoned some close friends over for a reading of it to work out any last minute kinks before I send it out to agents)

WEDNESDAY a newborn session with new little Krueger

FRIDAY Citizen Way at Discovery Church in Elgin, IL

SATURDAY Joanne + Nick are married! (full blog post coming soon)

What’s your favorite this week?