The Passengers of my Life

 

The Passengers of my Life

With my coffee in hand, I sat down at my desk, powered up my laptop, and clicked on Facebook. Scrolling through my newsfeed, I noticed that one of my posts from Takeoff and Landings was shared on a PW’s page; I couldn’t help but get a little giddy.

Wow! Someone must have liked what I’d written.

However, within seconds of viewing their post, there were some negative comments that a few people felt compelled to share.  To me, it felt like a dozen people were stating their opinion, but in reality, there were only one or two. Unfortunately, for them, they didn’t agree with my Christian viewpoints as it was related to being a Pilot’s wife.

Needless to say, my day had vastly taken a nose dive and landed hard with tears of negativity and doubt.

Have you ever encountered those types of passengers showing up and choosing to sit right next to you?

Those two “wonderful passengers” (sarcastic tone) grabbed a seat and within minutes became a thorn in my side. They stole my armrest, talked non-stop in my ears and wouldn’t let me have a moments peace. Sadly, it was a long, long, flight for me. That lasted a week!

I flew head-on into a self-pity mode. This wasn’t the first time I’ve boarded a plane only to sit next to those travelers who have caused me to run into the lavatory and cry.

I’m sure we’ve all been there.

When we find ourselves wandering with those passages in our lives, that’s when we should look for the Manual of Emotions and process the situation. 

Here are a few examples of rowdy passengers you might want to look for:

Negativity Nancy. She can arrive at a moments notice, reaching for the call button and telling you that you’re not experienced enough or questioning your position to say things. 

Those critical and negative comments hurt. Ultimately I found myself crying in my closet, feeling like I had a failed landing.

Doubter Debbie. She will plague you with questions of why? how? and are you sure? She’ll take the controls and leave you doubting your actions.

Debbie had me in full-speed confusion about sharing my story. She was spewing excuses into my headset about why I shouldn’t be doing what I love to do.

When seated next to these types of passengers, what’s a girl supposed to do?

My Manual of thoughts

When I come across these type of tourists, ones who like to play with my thoughts and emotions, it’s then I have to pull out my Life Operation Manual and figure out the best way to navigate the situation. Here’s what I’ve read and learned:

  • Maintain Control of the feelings that arrive in our thoughts.

I recall reading — “Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business …, You believe in your creations…  they deserve to be out in the world.  You create because you have a God-given ability to do so.” (Rachel Hollis Girl, Wash your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are)   Armed with that encouragement, I decided to have a better perspective and outlook!

  • Analyze the problem: what is really causing the problem? It is the cynical passengers’ or something else?
  • Take appropriate Action: by looking for someone to talk to or ask for a hug.
  • Maintain Awareness of our surroundings. Stand firm to your goals and trust God to help you what He has called you accomplish.

This life is not easy peasy. It takes prayer and lots of grace and mercy.  I have a story to share, and maybe, just maybe, one PW or two PW’s might be able to relate and say,”That’s where I am! I really needed to hear that!”

One of my favorite authors said, “Negative thoughts lead to a crisis response-activating us physically but hindering our thinking. Positive thoughts allow us to process a situation accurately and respond in a healthy way”.

Are we going to let those contradictory passengers take over our flight? Or are we going to seek out those that bring us the courage and strength to get back on course?

Who I want to travel with

When I find myself squished tightly between Negativity Nancy and Doubting Debbie, it’s then that I can choose to leave my current seat and search for those passengers who can lift me up instead of tearing me down.

Here are the types of seat-mates I would much rather fly with:

Focus Frances. She can help us get back on track by reminding us that we have value and importance to those around us. “Frances” can focus our vision and help us live our best PW life. Thankfully, I didn’t have to search too hard for my “ Frances.” I reached for the intercom and called out to my wedge of friends to vent while sipping a glass of wine. By doing so, I was able to look out the window and see the blue sky of encouragement.

Goal setting Ginger.   Not only is she there to pull me out of the depths of self-pity, but “Ginger” reminds me of my final destination and helps me re-evaluate what I’m doing.  When I was shot down by someone or something that caused me to reroute my thinking, I had to find the ticket that had my goals written on them, showing me a first-class seat in life.

In those days of flying around in my self-pity cloud of discouragement, I recall a scripture that I highlighted in my bible, “Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable.” (Philippians 4:8 NLT)

“What we put into our minds determines what comes out in words and actions.”

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “What we put into our minds determines what comes out in words and actions.” I was allowing those negatives comments to shut down my engine (mind) and stay that way.  I had to ask God to help me find my focus ( the keys) to start back up and fly into what I’m called to do.

I won’t lie to you and say I immediately go to God and ask for help. It takes practice, and I have to practice every day.

As I make my descent and final landing, I’m learning I don’t need the approval of many or even one. I write, look at the flight plan God has put in front of me and fly with that. When I do that, it’s a much smoother journey.

What about you, what sort of passengers in your life have you come in contact with?

Love to hear from you and maybe we can help each other as we carve this PW life. Just leave a comment below.

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fullsizeoutput_4b1Whether you’re seated next to your pilot in the right or left seat of life, we are flying and taking off and landing together. Flying alongside my pilot for over 25 years I have found a sense of courage, discovered independence that I thought I did not have and developed a better understanding that I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.  Maybe you want those things too. You have come to the right place.

  Take-off and Landings Always, Tiffany

Coffee in the Air

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Coffee in the Air talk (1)I’ve had the privilege of talking with a few PW’s about their window view of what it’s like being married to a pilot.  I’m calling them “Coffee in the Air” and it’s a series I hope to share at least once a month with you and that you hear from different PW’s on how they navigate this crazy, sometimes turbulence yet, wonderful, life we live.

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For my first chat, I had the fun opportunity to visit with my friend, Lisa North who I met a few years ago when Jeff and I were in the beginning stages of moving back to Texas.  As soon as we met, Lisa and I connected as if we’d known each other all our lives. 

So let me tell you a little bit about this amazing lady. Lisa lives in Dallas with her husband, Jacob, and their 14-year-old daughter, Sarah. For over five years, Lisa has been a Real Estate agent, handling residential and commercial properties”, as well as dabble a little in investment properties. Lisa is also the Cheif Operating Officer of the North Household, and she represents her title with honor!

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A dose of southern charm and Texas strong, Lisa is a woman full of love, strength and a heart full of passion for God! So listen in as Lisa, and I discuss the ever-changing flight plan of a Pilot Wife.

As we were catching up and talking about our husbands and flying, Lisa shared that her family is in a different season right now with Jacob’s job.  A few years ago, he flew over to “the other side” and now works at the SWA Headquarters in the Communications department.  “I miss him flying…just the other day I said, ‘I hope you fly soon!’ You get used to your husband gone for three to four days at a time; I needed me time!”

I had to laugh (and could relate) when Lisa told me, after sipping her coffee, that when he starts to get on her nerves he leaves and when she starts to miss him he comes back.  I’m sure you could relate! I know I can!

When I asked Lisa what she enjoyed about having Jacob take-off for a few days, she cheerfully stated,”I have complete control over the remote. I don’t’ have to cook dinner. I have time where it’s not distracted.”

With Jacob working at Headquarters he doesn’t fly as much — he only flies once a month to stay current. “Right now it’s been three to four months since he last flew. He’s been home every night,” Lisa says. One of the most important things about having her husband home every night is that he is there when their daughter has a special event or birthday.  Lisa opened up and said, “That’s something not to take for granted. He doesn’t fly as much, and that’s okay.”

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So what does Lisa say is her biggest struggle after all these years? As long as she and husband have been married, Jacob has worked in the office more than flown combined. “I still experience those PW’s challenges of trying to do it all. I feel everybody needs me and I’m running around crazy! The most significant challenge for me is balancing.” Can I get an Amen? I can totally understand that! 

Lisa continued to open up to me about another challenge she goes through which is maintaining and developing friendships. “Friends are essential in my life. “Over the years, I’ve realized that friends change throughout our seasons of life. Right now I’m in a season where I’m don’t have a close-knit group. I’m 47 and friendships are harder,” she tells me after taking her last sip of coffee. Lisa has two best friends that live in Georgia and when they reconnect it’s like as if they had just spoken the day before.  Those type of friendships are worth more gold!

I asked Lisa what advice she would give to other PW ’s, and I have to say I will fly away with some of her suggestions:

1. Try not to beat yourself up feeling as if you have to do it all yourself. It gets better cause you to learn to adapt to each season. You find a new way to cope!

2. Communicate constantly. Keep it open at all times, especially when he is home.

3. Cling to the Word, or find a devotional, that you read to get through those challenging times as you are navigating your way through family and raising children. 

4. Learn the art of adjusting. Especially in areas of raising kids. We must learn to grow with the changes and roll with those unexpected flight plans of life.

As I was talking with Lisa, she said something that was so profound it has stuck with me ever since, “Just remember it does get better cause you get better dealing with it” I don’t’ know about you, but that is excellent advice!

As we started to fly into our final descent, I had to ask what sort of things she enjoys when she’s not selling properties, maneuvering teenage life, or sharing the remote with her hubby. Surprisingly,  we discovered we both like shopping, taking walks, the chance to read in solitude with a nice warm cup of coffee —and hanging on a wing and prayer raising a teenager!

Lisa loves her coffee! She almost made me spit out my last sip of coffee when she told me that she loves going to Starbucks with her coffee and stare aimlessly at her laptop and do mindless thinking. What PW wouldn’t want to do that?

When our “Coffee in the Air” time landed, Lisa and I said our goodbyes promising not to let so much time go by without taking again.  I’m sure we could have kept on talking. But we both had responsibilities that require our attention and love. Until next time!

Love to know what connected with you in our conservation.

What kind of future “Coffee in the Air” chats would like to know more about it?

 

Take-off and Landings Always, Tiffany

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Fear of Arrival…

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t-shirt add ons

Have you ever walked into a room feeling apprehensive about what you were wearing?

As I headed into a party the other night where pilots, flight attendants, and other friends, were in attendance, I wasn’t sure I had chosen the right shirt. In fact, I was so nervous I carried my tote bag over my chest to cover it because I didn’t want anyone to see what it said.

What was I wearing that caused me this much panic and anxiety? 

Yes, He’s working

No, I don’t know when he’ll be home.

Yes, we are still married.

No, He’s not imaginary.

While I love the shirt and think it’s highly appropriate for a PW like me, I was uncertain about how people would react to those phases. Thankfully after one cold beer, my t-shirt insecurity flew away.  As I talked with different people throughout the night, people stopped me to ask about my shirt:

  • A group of pilots laughed at the phrase, “He’s not imaginary, and No, I don’t know when he will be home.”
  • When another pilot read my shirt said, “No, he is not imaginary and lets’ keep that way. My schedule can change at a moments notice and heck; I don’t even know where I’m going half the time.” ( actually, our pilots do know where they’re going).
  • Even my PW wedge of friends couldn’t help but laugh cause they personally know the truth each of those phrases conveys.

Despite my earlier unease, I’m glad I wore the shirt to the party – not only because it added some fun to the evening, but it also reminded me of how I always respond to those phrases with others.

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Yes, he is working. I’m not just making it up. His job is to fly those big jets in the sky, which requires him to be away from home a lot. He will wake up at 0 -dark early or finish his day at the wee hours of the morning.  His day is making sure hundreds of passengers arrive at their destinations without any technical difficulty.  He loves the work he does, and I’m proud of him for it!

 

No, I don’t know when he will be home. I’m not the PW who tracks his location all the time. Instead, I  put on my Superpower PW cape and take on my day!  I run errands, manage everyday household tasks and fill my day doing what I love to do such as writing (my job) and work on staying calm and picking my battles with a teenage boy. 

Jeff’s schedule can change in the blink of an eye. As I’m writing this, Jeff got called out on a three-day trip. He’s scheduled to come back tomorrow. However, that could change like the wind, and he could be home three days later.  So, no, I don’t know when he will be back.   But when he does return, I’ll be happy to see him fly into my arms. As long as he’s been a pilot, I can’t remember a time when I haven’t been happy to see him.

Yes, we are still married.  That’s why Jeff leaves for three or four days. Hahaha! I won’t lie to you, we’ve had turbulence, malfunctions, and miscommunications in our marriage. (you can read about those here).  But over the course of our marriage, we have learned to carry the bag of grace, patience, respect, and more importantly, the oversized bag of love.  I have heard from a few PW’s and their spouses that being a pilot requires some adjustments that are different from flying.

In the book Highest Duty by Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger he says, “I can control an airplane and make it do what I want it to do. I can learn all of its component systems and understand how they work in every circumstance. Piloting is well defined, with a process that is predictable and understandable to me. Relationships, on the other hand, are more ambiguous. There’s a good deal of nuance, and it’s not always obvious what the right answer is.”

Let’s be real, girlfriend, we are far from being predictable and understandable! At least I know I’m not!

So, yes, we are still married, I love him more and more each time he lands back into my life.

He is not imaginary.  Because I attend events, parties, and church by myself a lot, there have been occasions where people question whether I really have a husband!  When someone asks me where my husband is,  my brain goes into auto-responder mode:

*He is flying. 

*He’s gone for a few days. 

*He’s on the beach and decided not to take me (just to be sassy!)

I get excited to tell others about my husband and who he flies for. I’m proud of who is, and I talk about him with respect and love.  Trust me, he’s not imaginary… he’s alive and real!

In the end, it was fun to wear my shirt. In doing so, it brought up some great conversations with other wives and even their husbands.

If I made my own PW t-shirt, here are a few statements I’d consider having on it:

Stay steady and calm upon arrival

Altitude and Attitude are essential

Flexibility needed in all areas

I make him happy when he leaves and when he comes home

If you were to make a PW t-shirt what would you have on it? Leave a comment below, love to read what yours would say.

fullsizeoutput_4b1 Take-off and Landings always, Tiffany

(**You can read more about these on a series I did A Pilot Wife and her shoes)

 

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Daughters of a Pilot…

IMG_6289Raising kids and having my husband travel comes with its challenges. There have been times that I’ve questioned my mothering skills and have become so frustrated that I would cry if his trips were one day too many.

A couple of weeks ago I asked my adult daughters how they felt about their dad traveling. More importantly, I was curious how they saw me as I was carrying that extra parenting bag on my own.

Paige, my oldest daughter, was little more descriptive in her answers. I guess you could say the firstborn view came out in her. Paige was born into the military life with Jeff who was gone for 6 months at a time and was surrounded by other kids who had their dad gone for long periods as well. Paige was a strong-willed child and still is. She would let you know if she was unhappy and she was definitely not afraid to speak her mind.  Now that she in her early twenties she has become an amazing young woman. She is independent and strong, like her mother. She works full-time for a start-up company in Austin.  Surprisingly, she and her sister, Jillian, live together!

My youngest daughter, Jillian, has always been the wise, old soul kind of girl. She often tells me to settle down, or says, “Mom, you gotta pick your battles with Tobin or Adin.”  Jillian helped me a great deal when I was dealing with health issues, and she immediately stepped up and helped out with family responsibilities that I couldn’t handle at that time. I will always be grateful and blessed for her help and attitude. She is in her early twenties now and works at a Flour Mill. In addition to her job, she is a part-time student at a Junior College in Austin studying  Organic Farming.

Here are the five thought-provoking questions I had asked my girls….

  1. What’s it like having a dad who travels all the time?

Jillian: I’ve never thought it was that weird because that’s how it’s always been! It’s cool that any city I go to he has recommendations. The opportunities to travel both as a kid with the family and now as an adult is amazing and all the trips we’ve been able to take because of his job is incredible… not something to take for granted!

Paige: Kind of annoying. But it just becomes life. At some point, I realized how weird it would be if dad was home all the time and how annoying that would be. 

As a little girl, teenager and now in my early twenties?

  • Because everything was about ‘me’ when I was little, it felt like a personal thing. Like “oh dad doesn’t care if he misses my birthday.” – not true 
  • As a teenager, I started adopting my own independence. I didn’t take it as personally. It was just the way our house worked. I got to have his car when he was home. 
  • Now, I’m an adult. It doesn’t bother me. I learned to crave the space from growing up the way I did, watching mom and dad orbit around each other to an extent. Occasionally, I’ll call dad and the call with go straight to voicemail and I know he’s flying; I just know to call him in an hour or two and fix problems myself. 

2. Did you learn to play-off on Dad and I when he was on a trip? How was I when dad was gone?

Jillian: Mom is the person to ask about most things but for the “big” decisions you talk it through with mom and get the final vote of approval from dad. Dad’s harder to talk to sometimes and sometimes more strict… but I think that’s based off military experience, not pilot life. Mom was always firm on “I’m the same person no matter if dads here or not” so not much of difference.

Paige: Not consciously? Mom, obviously, took the brunt of the parenting just because of proximity. 

  • Was I scared of Dad for a long time? Yeah. He was the hammer. He would get home and whatever trouble I got in 3 days ago was suddenly remembered. It was like “ah I love my dad but he’s scary.” He’s really tall and his voice is really deep, it as a lot for me sometimes.  
  • Mom was a little more stressed out with dad gone. She had 2 kids to take to school, a dinner to cook alone. Then, we decided to add another lil baby in the mix. At a few points, mom had a job so she was doing all that plus working with dad being gone. She constantly had to tell her friends “oh Jeff is flying, he can’t be here.” In a world where a women’s place is based on her husband’s success (and arguably, availability) I think that was hard. Some of mom’s friends just didn’t get it I think. 

 

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3. Did you enjoy your dad being gone? Cause I recall a few times you girls asked when he was leaving.

Jillian: Sometimes! Because he gets antsy when he’s home too long! But also sometimes I’d think “hmm when is dad gonna be home for longer than a day or two?” when we were working on a project or he got called in semi-unexpectedly.

Paige: Yes, sometimes. We were a house full of girls. He was (and is) this giant man who booms around the house. I’m making him sound like a giant, but he’s not. He just takes up space. Like any human does. 

  • Me and dad butted heads a lot as I got older. When I was mad at him, it was great having him gone. I didn’t have to deal with tip-toeing around him trying to be nice when I was fuming. 

4. Were you ever worried about Dad flying? If so, Why?

Jillian: No. I think flying with him in smaller planes 1-on-1 and seeing his knowledge really solidified how much knowledge he has about flying/air safety that I can’t even grasp.  He’s also an observant guy who always talks about issues in the news/scary stories openly and I’ve never doubted he can think smart and quick to manage any situation.

Paige:  During 9/11 yes. I remember that day. 

  • When your dad is a pilot, there’s just always a certain amount of fear associated with the profession. Being 30,000 Ft. in the air in a metal tube isn’t a natural place for humans to be. So, of course, it’s a little scary. You have to become comfortable with accepting the fact something bad might happen. You have to trust that things will turn out. 
  • When dad started flying with a gun and going to the shooting range, that’s when the danger of what he did set in a little bit. 
  • When I was little I remember sobbing when he left. I thought he was never going to come back. I totally just neglected the fact that he already flew airplanes every day. 
  • There was a night in college when I woke up from a dream and dad had died in a flying accident. It was 5am and I called mom and dad. It’s a scary dream, my worst nightmare, but it’s just a fear. 

5. What have you learned by having a dad who’s a pilot?

Jillian:  Airports aren’t scary or stressful unless you make them that way. Time management is the key to life.

Paige: Traveling is fun. 

  • Traveling is stressful. 
  • Traveling is taxing, emotionally and physically. 
  • Traveling is worth it. 
  • I will forever have a love for aviation. If I get to retire early, or ever get to have time in my 30s, I would like to learn how to fly. Just for fun. 
  • The space mom and dad had in their relationship is rare, and they made space work for them. They had to establish a lot of trust. As an adult, I’ve realized I couldn’t live with someone who comes home and lives in my world every day. Having a dad that traveled and a mom that stayed at home made me live with 2 very independent parents. They trusted each other and were really a team in both providing for the family and raising us. For the most part, they made it look easy, even though I know it wasn’t. 

Just for fun, I asked the girls what they told friends if they asked what their dad’s job was…

Jillian: My dad flies airplanes and its cool. My friends thought the same thing. Plain and simple.

Paige: What he did for work and what he did in child rearing are 2 different things, but related. 

  • When I say my dad is a pilot, people think it’s cool. It allowed him to do adopt a pilot with my 5th-grade class. Now when I say my dad is a pilot, it’s usually followed up with explaining how much training he had to do to get there — I have a lot of friends who are scared to fly. I’m like “get over it, my dad is a pilot. He literally has to go through so much training.”
  • But, raising us, he made me f*** work for s***. Sorry for the profanity but it’s true! 
  • When I left for college and didn’t have a car, was living with 14 other college students in a house, and had little money my friends were like “Wait, what? Won’t your dad help you with school? Why do you have to have a job? So mean.”
  • Now I describe him as an airline pilot, highly intelligent, if not conservative-leaning, hard-working dad who worked really hard so we could live comfortably growing up. He loves me, he loves our family, but he’ll also give me advice + compliments sometimes at weird times. Imagine being home although Christmas and having your dad say “Have your own finances together before you get married, you should buy your own house.” Or running a half marathon and at mile 8 having him say “Just so you know, I really like who you are as an adult.” Dad is a low-key feminist, but he wouldn’t say that. But he is. He has always prompted us to provide for ourselves, be able to be independent, to not need to depend on anyone else. 
  • When I tell my friends those stories, they laugh. You never really know what dad is going to say or do next. He might rent a plane and fly to Tampa, he might buy a tiny boat, he might have to have an emergency landing on a trip. His life is more exciting than he thinks it is. 

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WOW! After reading their honest answers, I cried. But a proud cry.  As a mom, I felt like I wasn’t there for them as I wanted to be. I was surviving from sun-up to sundown. I yelled, slammed doors from time to time, and I’d cry in my closet or behind a locked door.locked.  I tried hard not to reveal the ugly side of me, but more often than not, I did just that.

Lest you think I forgot about my son for this interview, I promise I didn’t! I was going to ask Tobin these questions as well, being a teenager I knew his answers would only be one-word sentences. So I’ll wait a few more years to ask.

If you’re a young mom, a mom in the teenage season or have adult children just remember that you’re doing a great job. Your kids see that.  I had a friend tell me, “The seasons you are in with motherhood become different only cause you get different.”

I couldn’t agree more. 

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Take-off and Landings, Always Tiff

Where is my Cookie?

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A few years ago Jeff called me after he was flying the friendly skies and had nestled in his hotel room for the night. I asked him how he was and he said that he was waiting for a new coffee pot to be delivered. It was seven o’clock in the evening, so I was puzzled as to why he wanted coffee!

Apparently, the coffee pot in his room was not percolating as it should be.  He was craving a warm cup of decaf coffee to eat with his delicious, mouthwatering cookie (I could literally taste the cookie and smell the coffee as he was explaining it to me).

As we were talking, or should I say, he was giving me a detailed write up on his gooey, melt in your mouth treat, there was a knock at his door. His new coffee maker was delivered on a silver platter as requested. Okay, maybe not a silver platter…but this whole thing was becoming quite the event.

While waiting for his coffee to brew, Jeff was a smart husband and changed the flight plan to ask how my day was, if the kids were behaving, and reminding me that he loved me.  However, as we were sharing our day, all I could think about was the darn cookie!  Our phone conversation didn’t last very long cause I had to get off this whole cookie- coffee trip!

Where can you find such a cookie? This source of this delightful dessert is none other than DoubleTree hotel. Have you ever stayed at a DoubleTree Hotel? ( link)

DoubleTree’s motto is …”Every stay starts with a warm cookie welcome, no matter where you are in the world. The cookie is only the beginning. It represents the constant dedication to our guest and thoughtful touches that ensure you feel special and cared for throughout your stay.”

  Their chocolaty cookie is all about a  sweet treat. Their cookie is to die for!  You can read about the history here.

Cookie Envy

After our phone conservation, I sat down at the kitchen table and looked out the window. I was worn out and ready to call it an evening. Escaping to my room for a long, warm bath- and a cookie!- Sounded like bliss.

If anybody needed a cookie, it was me!  It was in that moment that I found myself wishing I could call up room service and have a special sweet treat and my drink of choice delivered on a silver platter.

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I hate to admit, but I do pack the jealousy bag from time to time.  I dream of nights in a spa hotel with soft, luscious sheets and pillows, freshly folded towels in the bathroom and all the sweet and heavenly smell of the lotions and creams. And the heavenly aroma of a freshly baked treat that will melt in my mouth waiting for my arrival.

Then my dream comes to a screeching halt, and I remember that my husband makes sacrifices every time he is flying. He sleeps in a hotel several nights at a time.  He misses out on a lot of family time. Honestly, I really shouldn’t have cookie envy.

But  I do.

Yet when I come to the end of my day, and I’m relaxing in my living room chair or my bed, I’ll tell you, I wouldn’t trade it for the world! Cause I know God is watching out for me. He gives me the strength to handle each day as it comes. It takes a unique woman to be a Pilot’s Wife, and God knows that. 

I may not get that warm cookie or decaf coffee delivered to me, and that’s okay.  I know that my dessert may come in other forms such as a kiss goodnight from my teenager, a little boy laying his head on my lap, or a call from an old friend. Or maybe, just maybe, God will bless me with his spiritual, warm treat and coffee and remind me as a wife and mom that I’m doing a pretty good job at this so-called Pilot’s Wife thing.

That’s all the dessert I need.

I came up with my DoubleTree motto:

“Every day starts with a warm cup of love. I will always have that feeling no matter where I’m in the world of a mom, wife, daughter,  or friend. The cookie (experience) of a warm heart is only the beginning to melt away the stresses of the day. It represents a constant dedication to our family and thoughtful touches from our loved ones that ensure us that we’ve felt special and cared for throughout our day”.

Here is the link to Doubletree Cookies recipe for the world-famous DoubleTree cookies. Ask your family to make them for you for you (wink, wink) while you lounge in your favorite chair.

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A Pilot Wife’s Mother’s Day…

pilot's wife mother's day

“I have always told my husband that however Mother’s Day “went down” would be a direct indicator of what Father’s Day would look like. We do have that advantage with Mother’s Day being first.” – Wife of a Pilot

Several weeks ago I asked a group of pilot wives what they wanted for Mother’s Day. After reading their answers, there was one common bond between all of us: appreciation, love and the chance to relax.

Here are the Top 5 ideal gifts that PW’s dream of —

1.  A day off to enjoy going to a  spa

A day to relax, me, myself, and I.  This was a first class dream for the majority of wives.

Is it too much to ask that we want “me” time to relish in quiet and finish a thought? Or have a massage with scented oils that relive some of the stressful knots in our shoulders or arms from picking up toys and little people?

Right now, I dream of a spa day! I have an aching knot that is throbbing intensely from the stress of a teenager, from sitting at the computer, and from selling our house in Florida. Need I go on?

2.  A chance to work in the yard and putter around

Being able to plant and play in the garden was another popular request several wives posted.  “Oh, the eternal hope and promise of a seed,” one wife noted. As  I become older and witness my children maturing into adulthood, there is something about the promise of a seed (child) and watching it grow.

For me, I would love for the stupid squirrels to stop eating my precious flowers. Thanks to these invaders, the flowers I planted a few months ago are half chewed on or dug up from the squirrels thinking there are nuts are in the soil.

3. Vacation by myself

Vacation all by myself? Is that possible?

One PW stated that she was going camping with her son.  We all chimed in that she would receive the Mother’s Day reward! It’s a semi-vacation by yourself.  Another wife commented, “Well, maybe with an air mattress, a down comforter and a bottle of Veuve Cliquot.”

I loved this idea from a girlfriend, “Every Mother’s Day I only want a night away with my other mommy friends at a hotel – a full 24 hours off! It’s the best, and I look forward to it every year!!” Now that’s a gift!

Just last week for our anniversary, my husband and I took a weekend trip to the hill country and stayed at a B&B. I almost told him to leave me here after our time together so I could write and enjoy the birds chirping and the sights and colors of the wildflowers. Of course not having a teenager argue with me about taking out the trash, or having the dog following me to go out to use the restroom, would also be a vacation benefit.  Side note: I do have a great teenager, he’s just a teenager.

4. House cleaned and organized

If you’re like me, I love a clean and organized house. When I had little ones running around the house, the most important Mother’s Day gift for me was to have a neat and tidy home.

Clearly, I’m not the only one. One overworked and weary wife flew in with, “I want my house to stay spotlessly clean (without me doing it) for an entire week!”  Another one cried, “I just want the lines in our carpet to resemble I vacuumed. Is that asking too much?” There was one wife who pushed the called button and said she would love to have her husband send a cleaning lady and a professional cook for the days when he’s away.

Personally, I would just like my teenager to stop wiping his hands on the railing as he goes up the stairs to his room. Or have a meeting of the minds with the dust bunnies to stop leaving their mark on my floor. I also have issues with an unorganized closet, drawers, and kitchen pantry. I have a friend that is an organizer by trade, and she recommended that I go online to napo.net to get some awesome advice and ideas.  I’ll do that after my massage.

5. Spend the day with my family

While it’s not always a popular choice for moms, it can have its own reward.

A PW friend shared with me a heartwarming Mother’s day moment with her family, “One financially lean year when my husband was gone, I gave each child 3 dollars and drove to the dollar store. I waited in the car. They came out so proud!!!!! They each picked out some trinkets, and the cashier lady even threw in a balloon. It was probably the most precious Mother’s Day. Brings a tear to my eye today. They were five and nine years old.” I don’t know about you but receiving a handmade or thoughtful gift from your kids is priceless.

I have been a mother of 3 incredible kids and one special little boy that came into our lives for a just a few years.  As I think about Mother’s day I just have to remind myself that I’m a good mom. I’m not a great mom. I make mistakes. Who doesn’t? But when I see my children smile, bring me a homemade card or gift or just want to sit in my lap, I can’t help but feel that is the best gift of all. IMG_0697

My friends, may you have a beautiful Mothers Day.  I hope you get your house cleaned and organized (even it’s just for a day or two), the chance to putter around or plan a trip just for you, and above all, to spend time with those you love and who allow you to wear the title, Mom.

Take off and Landings Always,Tiffany

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A Pilot’s Wife Vows

Pilot's wife Vows

I, ____________________, take you, _______________, to be my lawfully wedded pilot, to have and hold, from this day forward, in turbulence and delays, for richer and for first-year pay, in sickness when you are gone or home, and in health until either you or I take off to the pearly gates.

I also do solemnly swear to be your one and only pilot wife.

I promise to remember:

To take your uniforms to be pressed or to wash and iron when ready for departure.

How to get around in a new city and remember to always to have my passport updated as well as our kids.

The names of the airport abbreviations as well as military time.

That the only constant thing in our life is flexibility on both our parts.

That it’s me that sets the mood for your arrival and departure.

I promise to follow:

You in an airport terminal cause you know where to go.

You to the tropical islands when you say let’s go.

You if or when you choose to live close to the airport to reduce commuting.

Your lead when there is a sudden change in reroutes or flight plans that will affect our family.

I promise to remind you:

Of important dates when I would like you to be home for.

 Not to forget your work badge/headphones/ and jacket if needed.

About birthdays, anniversaries, or other special memories that are coming up.

I’m not here to pack our unpack your bag. (unless asked)

I love you regardless that you put your towel on the floor, leave your suitcase in an area where I trip on it, or you forget food on the counter cause you are in a hurry to get to work.

That sometimes life is not a check-list.

I promise to try to:

Make friends for me and find couples that we can go out with.

Be more patient when appliances break when you’re gone or I have to go to the emergency room by myself for a child’s sprained or broken ligament.

Be flexible when you call to say you have been delayed or detoured or got called out unexpectedly.

Keep focused on the positive instead of the negative.

Be understanding and not get over excited if something happened at work. I need to listen when you need to talk. And let you work through the situation. wedding-wedding-ring-53585

I promise to wait:

For you to come home later than expected.

For your schedule to come out, so I know when you will be gone, but also know that it might change.

 To talk to you about important things that need your attention until you have arrived home and had a chance to reconnect.

To hear from you’ after you’ve landed the plane and arrived safely at your hotel.

 For that kiss with potential(4-second kiss) all over again.

I promise to live:

Within our means your first year with the airlines.

With your suitcase always out and your travel bag of personal items on the bathroom counter.

With a piece of furniture that you like and that makes you feel at home.

With you wanting to come home and wipe the kitchen counter or just piddling to reconnect with the family.

With the understanding that as a pilot you are a man of routine and like to have to control (over some things) but that’s what makes you a good pilot.

*A life of my own; to find a passion that will give me a feeling of independence and confidence.

I promise to be there:

For when you need to talk about your frustrating day or you encounter an unexpected delay while at work.

For the kids when you are gone.

To leave something to eat for you on those late arrivals coming home.

For those times that you need me home at a certain time for a delivery or appointment that you arranged, but are unable to make because of work.

I promise to love:

For the life, we created together, not the life we think it should be or left behind.

For your integrity and strength and passion for life, not your uniform.

For who you are today, not who I want you to be.

Take off and Landings Always,Tiffany

What would you add to a Pilot’s Wife vow?  Leave a comment below.

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