The Life of a Musician’s Wife

First, a preparatory note, I am going to be very transparent with you all today.

I get two main questions now-a-days. From those who don’t know me personally, “what is it like being married to a famous person?” From people who know me, “how have you been doing with Josh being gone?”

Josh is gone about 3 – 4 days every week and when he is on tour he is gone for a week or a month at a time. If you do the math, that means he’s gone at least half the year.

So, what is it like being married to a famous person? It’s just marriage but, instead of eating dinner and sharing a bed with my husband every night, I regularly don’t see him for days.

This makes for a marriage of a whole different sort. I used to say that at least army wives had it harder. But now that our new reality causes for a lot more away time than before they put out “Should’ve Been Me,” I’m not so sure that’s true. Instead of worrying about my husband for a period of deployment and then readjusting when he gets home, I have the potential to worry about him all the time and we are readjusting every time he gets home. To put it in perspective, if automobile accidents are the #1 cause of death then perhaps my husband’s job is more dangerous – most of their time is spent driving from venue to venue. And whenever he gets home it’s not just me readjusting to having him around and him readjusting to having a wife but we have to relearn each other since we are both taking separate journeys and experiencing different life-changing scenarios that change us in separate ways.

How have you been doing with Josh being gone? It’s actually been all over the place. Some days I’m so lonely I can’t stand it. On those days I usually have a hard time pulling myself out of bed and then I mope around mumbling incoherently to my dogs while effectively avoiding working for as long as possible. Other days I love the seemingly “single” life I lead when he’s gone. I get to choose my own schedule, play my music loud, I can leave my house messy or keep it spotless, and no one else is responsible for my mood but me. But for the most part it is just a daily grind of working all day, walking the dogs before supper, eating supper and either reading, watching something, or working some more until the day is over.

On New Years Eve 2012 I was asked what my favorite part of 2012 was and I realized that I didn’t have as many forthcoming thoughts as usual. Upon further reflection I realized it’s because outstanding memories are those times spend with a loved one that became extraordinary because of spontaneous adventures, great conversation, or laughter. Good times with Josh have most often been the source of those remarkable memories for the past couple of years so with him gone so often I have come to better understand the reality of a daily grind and how, without bench marker memories along the way, a whole year looks like a blur of sameness.

There are plenty of benefits to our lifestyle though. With Josh gone increasingly I have been able to fill my time building my photography business, writing children’s books, investing in friendships, getting involved in my church, and completing other projects that would have not been possible if I had been spending all that time with him. I have been able to step out of me and us to better notice those around me and serve them when I can. Our hearts grow fonder towards each other with each absence so it’s like our love for each other is growing exponentially. There is something so special about that first embrace when he comes home. There is so much more joy in our house with both of us living out God’s purposes for us. And finally, I have the joy of not only seeing my husband living his dream but changing the lives of so many people, and that is the greatest reward a wife could ask for. The time apart is absolutely worth it for the kingdom. And though it may not be a romantic journey for a marriage but marriage is about learning to love more like God anyway and I think this journey is definitely doing just that for us.

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Citizen Way at the K-LOVE Fan Awards

Citizen Way performed at the K-LOVE Fan Awards this year.  Many of you friends have been asking about the experience and asking for photos… well today is finally the day!  Sorry for the hold up 😉

Josh, my mom, and I devoted the whole week to Nashville exploits.  The first couple of days we all paraded aroud together but before long Josh got busy with various K-LOVE Fan Awards related activities so my mom and I continued the fun just the two of us (for the full week of fun in photos and story CLICK HERE).

Time flew and suddenly we were standing outside the Ryman Auditorium.  The guys were immediately sent down the red carpet.  Though wives are welcome to walk down it was recommended we let the guys fly solo to better enhance the two sets of brothers dynamic.  So Alison and I skirted up the sidelines and waited for them at the end.  They guys were naturals – easy talkers with ready smiles.  I was a grinning fool at the back just gushing over with pride for my hardworking and completely adorable husband.  I watched as they were dragged through all the interview lines; they never missed a beat even though microphones were continuously shoved in their faces and cameras and lights constantly lingered overhead (Josh was featured on a video, CLICK HERE to see it).

I finally got to lace fingers with my hubs again and we slowly filed inside to find our seats.  We, and all the artists and their peeps, were seated on the main floor of the auditorium while all the fans packed the balcony seats – there were 1,200 seats filled by the artists, label representatives, managers, and the artists various family members and the remaining 1,800 seats were filled by all the fans.

The festivities started with a hoppin’ performance put on by Toby Mac and then the Duck Dynasty stars took the stage as our emcee’s for the evening.  The ceremony was a sort of rotation going from Ducky Dynasty, to award presenters, to interviews, to videos, to live performances and on.

Citizen Way‘s performance slot was near the beginning of the evening.  I have never been so proud in my whole life as when I watched my starry-eyed husband take the stage.  There was a moment in the show when he backed away from his microphone just to listen as the whole audience sang along – I can’t imagine how incredible it would be to not only see that load of fans but also his favorite artists singing along to their song.

Other moments in the ceremony that stand out are when For King and Country had a party on stage as they ran around crashing cymbals and jumping off pianos, when Natalie Grant brought Kari Jobe on stage with her and rocked our hearts out in worship, when K-LOVE presented an award to the brother of a crippled little girl for loving on his sister with such devotion (CLICK HERE for a highlight about that), and when they closed the night by bringing all the artists on stage to lead us in worship.

After all four hours of visual and emotional stimulation my belly was so empty my strapless dress threatened to fall down, my feet so sore I couldn’t feel my toes, and I was simply ready to crumple up and sleep but the night wasn’t over, we still had an after party to attend to.  The after party was a mingling event for the artists where there was food and live jazz music.  We made it long enough to satiate our hunger and meet a few more of Josh’s musician friends but then we snuck out and made for our sheets.

Below are some photos from Citizen Way‘s sound check at the Ryman and I included the collection of images I grabbed with my iPhone of the actual awards ceremony too.

What was one of the proudest moments in your life?

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For more blog posts about Citizen Way CLICK HERE

Nashville Road Trip to the KLOVE Fan Awards

A couple of weeks ago Josh, my mom, and I all piled in her car and headed to Tennessee.  Our strategy was to spend one night in Gatlinburg, just for fun, then we would spend the rest of our time in Nashville.  We went with a few purposes, but ultimately went at this point in time for the K-LOVE Fan Awards (Fan Awards blog post coming soon).

We arrived in Gatlinburg late Monday evening, but not before trolling through Dollywood to get there.  The place struck me immediately as a deep south version of a cross between Vegas and the Wisconsin Dells – kitschy amusement and theme parks strewn with neon lights, themed music, and colorful imagery.  It struck me eerily as the large yellow moon peeked just over the mountains in the background of the vacation destination chaos – we actually discussed if the moon was real or if it was a part of one of the venues.

When we arrived at our hotel we hit the sheets right after gobbling up the hospitality gift of warm cookies and slept solidly until around 10 the next morning.  We lazily packed up then hit the streets for downtown Gatlinburg.

Downtown Gatlinburg was was an odd hodge podge of unlikely combinations; there were mostly plump white folk wandering the streets infested with major chains, while the unique, local joints took to the side streets with their handmade concoctions, free tastings, and live folk music.  At first I couldn’t even see past the obnoxious corporate establishments but before long we wandered into quaint stores, ma and pa coffee shops, and various alcohol centers brewing their product out for the world to see and offering live folk music at their store front.  The day was an utter joy and when we finally drank our fill we loaded the car again and left for Nashville.

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In Nashville our goals were to explore the neighborhoods Josh frequents, meet the people he now calls “friend” within the music business, and scope out East Nashville for potential living quarters.

For day trips and meals we frequented the favorites spots Josh has stumbled on since signing with Fair Trade Services; we ate at delicious, local restaurants, drank coffee at specialty shops, moseyed around various neighborhoods, and explored towns.  My favorite spots were CREMA (latte pictured below) and downtown Franklin.

I was most excited about meeting the folks Josh had been already telling me stories about for several months.  At that point I had only had the privilege of meeting their label A&R rep and their head of management.  While down there I got to get better acquainted with other label and management peeps, various band folk Josh has grown relationships with, and some awesome wives.

And lastly, our secondary reason for taking the week in Nashville, was to scope out the area in hopes of finding “home.”  Josh got really busy, really quickly so before long it was just mom and I spending the days away together.  On Josh’s first day of a packed schedule Mom and I ventured over to East Nashville to scope it out – this was the neighborhood recommended to us as our place to hunker down if we moved.  My initial impression was underwhelming and as we wandered about the prospects didn’t improve.  The town was cute and the restaurants were fun but I wasn’t impressed and, most importantly, I wasn’t “home.”

Home is the place my heart is called to.  My first major decision in my life was to choose a college to attend.  My mom and I toured schools one weekend and when we arrived on Judson University’s campus there was no mistaking my feeling of “home.”  We didn’t bother visiting any more schools, I applied, and was accepted and enrolled only one month into my senior year of high school.  My most major decision was to marry Josh.  I remember hiding behind my childhood home waiting to make my grand entrance into my backyard wedding ceremony when I had my last conversation with God about marrying Josh.  I was slightly overwhelmed at the magnitude of committing a lifetime to someone, even if they were my best friend, but the moment I thought of Josh and saw his face in my mind I was stuck by the truth that Josh was home for me.  Lastly, and most pertinent to home hunting in Nashville, Josh and I have chosen each of our homes due to a sense of home.  Josh and I have called four residences our home in our three-year marriage.  Each one was right.  I remember praying about each prospect before choosing to move or stay, and Nashville was absolutely no exception.  Before even leaving for Nashville, Josh and I were struck by inklings to stay.  When I arrived in Gatlinburg I felt a “no.”  When I arrived in each exploratory neighborhood of Nashville I felt a “no.”  And when I  arrived in East Nashville I felt a “no.”  So, long story short, Josh and I were told “no” about Nashville and “home” about Chicago.

And then came the K-LOVE Fan Awards… but more on that later 😉

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A Photo A Day | May 27 – June 2

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This week was all about the KLOVE Fan Awards!

My hubby is in Citizen Way and played at the Ryman on Saturday as a part of the festivities so we make a trip out of it!

MONDAY on the road to Gatlinburg

TUESDAY off galavanting in Gatlinburg

WEDNESDAY on the road to Nashville

THURSDAY a cool floral tree in the parking lot at WSMV

FRIDAY Citizen Way sound checking it up at the Ryman! (my only opportunity to snap some REAL pictures of the guys)

SATURDAY coffee date with Mom at CREMA

SUNDAY one last look at Nashville

A full blog post of this week of adventures coming soon!

Check out more “a Photo a Day” blog posts HERE

Citizen Way at Christ Community Church

Last week Citizen Way played for Christ Community Church‘s senior graduation party.  All the students came clad in fancy gowns escorted by various family members.  They spent an hour enjoying hors d’oeuvres and jazz music.  Then they were ushered into this auditorium for a graduation speech and the Citizen Way concert.

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