As we've added children to our family, he has managed to travel less with each one. For this I'm thankful. Lately, it would seem he has needed to travel a little more than what has become normal. It's good for me, that these trips have only been a few days here and there. He hasn't taken any long international trips in a long time. For the most part, this is good all of us as we miss him a lot when he is gone. And of course, he misses us. But Craig has a heart for international missions, particularly Africa, and I know he misses it. Hopefully he will get to go back sometime and take us with him!
When we first got married, nearly 9 years ago, I always tried to make his time away go faster by doing fun things. I'd have dinner with a friend, rent a girly movie he didn't want to see, or go "home" to Ohio (we lived in Michigan at the time). Since we've had kids, I still try to make daddy's time away special for them. It is always hard on them and having distractions helps! I plan play dates, we go to the zoo, we eat "fun" dinners every night, we stay up late and have movie nights, and we plan a "party" for daddy when he arrives home. We bake cookies and make signs and make sure he knows we missed him. It is always fun to celebrate our family being whole again.
One of the kids' favorite parts of daddy going on a trip is they get to sleep in our room. Sometimes we set up their indoor tent and they camp out. Sometimes they sleep in our bed with me... and I wake up with a sore back. =) But we have a great time creating memories and that is the idea. I don't want them to remember that when daddy traveled, mom was grumpy, stressed, and tired. It's not that those things aren't true, because sometimes that is the case. But my hope is that they look back on times when Craig is gone as a special time they had with me.
Here are a few pictures I snapped on Craig's last trip when the kids were in our bed.
Noah and Bear at the foot of the bed, Gracie laying in the wrong direction, and Elijah right where I left him. Somehow they ended up like this by the middle of the night!
Gracie's feet on Elijah's head
Out like a light! (And his sister's feet were removed from his face)
Here they are after I moved them over to one side of the bed to make room for me!
Where is Hannah? She is still too young to join in any late night fun. She (and everyone else) sleeps better when she is snug in her crib!