For our little boy we wanted to make his room have a transportation theme and so that transferred to his baby shower as well. We had fun putting it all together. We didn’t want it to just be airplanes so we went with all different kinds of transportation. If you like the signs you can find them at Creatively Expressive’s Etsy page.
How my pilot got to be there for the birth of our daughter
First of all I want to say that this may not work for all pilots/families/aviation careers. My husband was a fairly senior First Officer at a regional airline when my daughter was born so he had more of an opportunity to change his schedule around than I know a lot of pilots do.
When we went to our first doctor’s appointment our doctor gave us the “due date” of our child and we started with that date in mind. In my husband’s contract he is given 2 weeks off each year, my husband saved both of his vacation weeks for around that date. He bid for the 2 weeks surrounding the due date at first, just in case she came a little early or late. When the date got closer we found out our daughter was breach and with our doctor’s help we made the decision to have a scheduled c-section. When my husband heard that we would know the exact date of our daughter’s birth he was able to trade his vacation into the week of and the week after so that he would be able to spend the most time with us. We were lucky that she did not come 2 weeks before (not only was he working that whole time but his parents and my parents were all out of the country). I am so thankful that everything went according to plan, we woke up the day of her scheduled c-section and I got to have my husband by my side while our baby girl came into this world! I pray that the same can be said for our second.
St. Maarten: Where my pilot wanted to honeymoon
When Austin and I first started talking about where we wanted to go for our honeymoon I rolled my eyes when the idea of going to St. Maarten came up. Maho Beach just seemed like the stereotypical pilot destination choice. Growing up I was never one to vacation on a beach because I lived about 10 minutes from one. I agreed to go because I knew it would be fun for Austin to see Maho Beach and I always heard beach vacations were relaxing. When we got there I wasn’t sure at first because there were areas that we had to drive past that were “not so nice” (to put it nicely). Once we got to Maho Beach and got see the beautiful clear water and I got to see the look on my husband’s face as the planes came in, I changed my mind. We had so much fun, we went 2 different times on that trip. We went one day when it was all smaller aircraft coming in (the less busy day when we had the beach to ourselves) and the day when the big aircraft were coming in (the day the beach was filled and we spent more time at the restaurant next to the beach but still had a great view). Overall I am glad we did it even if it was a stereotypical pilot vacation destination, we still had an amazing time and I am sure we will be going back.
When daddy’s home…we play!
Austin’s schedule right now has been crazy, he is definitely gone more than he is home. Honestly, it has been like this since our daughter was born (almost 2 years ago). Needless to say our daughter has never known anything different. She definitely makes the most of her time with him. They love to run around in the backyard, hit the golf ball around, pretend to play video games and (my personal favorite) cuddle while watching cartoons! I love the smile she gets on her face when she has her daddy’s undivided attention. More than anything I love seeing the smile on his face as he sees her joy. I pray they never lose this bond they have now and I’m not sure if their bond would be as strong if he was home every night. Part of me thinks that she understands that he is not always home so she makes the most out of her time with him.
A pilot on “vacation”
My husband and I both love to travel so for my birthday I requested that we take a vacation to Rome, Italy for a week. When we started our trip I realized that a normal person’s vacation was not the same for a pilot. He is in airports and hotels all the time for work. As we were walking through the airport I could see the look on his face, he did not look excited or relaxed, he looked like he was working. At first this was something I was offended by, I planned this trip so we could relax and have a good time together, not realizing how my husband viewed travel now that he did it for his career. Once we got to Rome I asked him why this was so hard for him. We talked about how he is away from home so much for work that it is hard for him to be away from home for vacation. He also let me know that he was happy to be there with me to celebrate my birthday but that if it were his birthday he would choose to stay home. After that talk we both made the best of our time together. We got to eat some of the best food and see amazing sights. Communication was key in this situation and it helped me understand how he prefers to spend his downtime.
How my pilot proposed!
Austin didn’t (and still doesn’t) own his own airplane. So, one day he rented a small plane at our local airport so he could take me up for an hour or so. This is something we talked about doing but I never really knew if it would ever happen. We got there that morning and I was taking pictures because it was the first time I had ever been up in a small plane. When we were up in the air he asked me if I wanted to take the controls for a minute. I really didn’t want to, honestly scared I would make us crash somehow. I took the controls for a second and then wanted him to take them back so he did (not realizing until much later that it was so he could get out the ring and prepare to propose). As he was flying he reaches into his bag and pulls out a ring and asks me to marry him (no, he didn’t get down on one knee in the airplane, I wouldn’t have wanted him to). Of Course I said yes and had to get a picture in the plane right after because of how happy we both were in that moment.
Pilot/Aviation themed pregnancy announcement
When my husband and I found out I was pregnant with our second child we knew we wanted to do a fun announcement to include our daughter (well me more than my husband… he could care less how we announced it). When I put the uniform on her she was so excited to dress up like daddy! These pictures are some of my favorite even without the announcement on them. Some people have asked where we got the outfit for this:
The shoes and pants– we already had
The shirt– the boy’s section of Old Navy
The hat– part of my husband’s uniform
The tie– just a black piece of fabric we had
The jacket– the boy’s section of H&M (my mother-in-law added the stripes with thin silver tape) I also included a photo of the fighter pilot jacket we found at H&M but didn’t end up getting.
Aviation/Travel books for kids
My daughter loves to know about what her daddy does and she also loves to read. Some books we checked out at our local library, others she got as gifts and some she picked out herself. If your child loves to read and is also interested in airplanes/aviation/travel here are some fun books they may enjoy.
1st time non-reving with my toddler alone
My daughter and I were going up to Upstate New York for a family reunion. We got to the Charlotte airport at 7am and we didn’t realize that the day before they canceled a flight (and as I type this I can hear all the pilot’s wives sigh). There are 3 airports within a 2 hour drive of where we were going. I rolled my daughter’s stroller from gate to gate trying to see if any flight had any open seats (I only needed 1! My daughter was 1 year old so still a lap child). As you can imagine my daughter was fighting a nap so hard in that busy airport with so many things and people to keep her distracted. I could not tell you the number of different gates we went to or the number of different flights we tried to make but we stayed in that airport all day. Finally at 4:30pm there was 1 open seat left on a flight to an airport a 2 hour drive away from the town we were trying to get to. As we were sitting at the gate about to board my daughter falls asleep for her nap.
Aviation Themed Home Decor
Even though my husband is a pilot and he sees airplanes all the time we do have a few aviation/travel themed decor items in our house. We both love to travel and we love the aesthetic look of airplanes. Here are just a few from around our house that may interest you. If you know of any other items that may look good please let me know in the comments!