Daddy’s (Been) Home!

My strong man!

My husband Jeremy travels with a band called downhere as their drummer and road manager. This past year he was gone for roughly 150 days! Yes, you can have some pity on me. Last year was the hardest year of my life just trying to be a mom to two babies who didn’t walk at the time and help Liam reach some key milestones while nursing a new baby who doesn’t sleep well. Motherhood is the hardest and most rewarding job and I’m blessed to be able to be a stay-at-home mom, but to have to do it with only part-time help is draining. Don’t get me wrong… I truly believe in my husband and his line of work! He gets to play music for a living while ministering to people all over the world… and he is good at it if I do say so myself! I believe God has called us to this right now and that is why we are making these sacrifices.

He has been in town for the past month and has been a HUGE help for me! Thank you, Jeremy!! I need to brag on him because he really is such an amazing Daddy to these babies and is very helpful around the house. He has made sure I have some away time from the kids, so I don’t go crazy which nearly happened several times last year. We’ve had a couple date nights… I always treasure those! We’ve been able to reconnect with some friends and actually attend church together! We even took the kids out to dinner with us one night which we have never done before just as a family, and we actually had a conversation… a rare moment even during dinner at home! It was a pleasant experience but not one I would recommend doing regularly for several reasons. We also took a trip to Peek-a-Boo Playtown for special needs night where they give discounts to people who have extra special kids, sweet deal! 😉

Even though he has been in town this past month he still had to do some work for downhere since he advances the shows and is their merchandise manager, so he’s been able to stay working from time to time. He has also picked up a second job a couple days of the week to help supplement income. Thank you again, Jeremy!

This past week downhere started recording their next album, so he was busy in the studio and we really missed him since we were spoiled having him around so much the previous weeks. I took the kids and joined some good friends of ours and we went to the studio one night and got to hear Jeremy lay down some drum tracks for a song. Liam loved it, of course! I took some pictures so you’ll see them below!

I love you, Jeremy! Thank you for all your help! You are an amazing husband and father to our babies!

Liam watching daddy record drum tracks.

The other side of the glass.

Where the producer sits. Nice place, huh!?

Daddy getting ready to send Liam down the slide at Peek-a-Boo Playtown.

Karis and Daddy at Peek-a-Boo Playtown.

Ten years later… an answer to prayer!

Wow, it still seems so surreal! Downhere officially owns a bus! What a huge blessing, huh?! They have played together for ten years traveling North America in a van and trailer. The van they currently have is #3 and has 250,000 miles on it – it’s on its last leg. God has continued to provide for these guys over the years with tour dates, a great record label, songs that seem to touch the hearts and lives of people all over the world, an incredible bunch of fans, various awards, friends for life, and now a means of transportation that will provide many benefits to this crazy life.

Here are a few perks of now owning a bus… from my perspective:

  • A big plus is the possibility for more family time. Meaning, when it’s convenient for all we will be able to join Jeremy on short trips here and there. Liam is a good traveler so I’m praying this little girl will fit right in too;).
  • Jeremy will potentially be home a bit more. Now that they have the luxury of being able to sleep in a bunk and take turns driving through the night, they will be able to leave later and return home sooner. We really treasure the time when Jeremy is home so this is a very nice perk!!
  • It’s a much safer way to travel. Thanks to those of you who constantly pray for safety on the road! It’s amazing they have been so protected over the years considering the amount of miles they’ve driven and the type of vehicle they’ve traveled in.
  • And of course the obvious comfort level! The guys figured they spend 3 months out of the year living out of the van. That’s a long time to be stuck in a smelly van that feels every single bump in the road… I know because I traveled with them for 3 years sharing a bench with my honey… now that’s true love;)!

So I cannot express my gratitude enough, as a wife of a traveling rock star, to those of you who have given to their bus fund. Needless to say, God is faithful and through your giving efforts has continued to reassure them and pave the way for them to reach others for his Kingdom through the gift of music. This crazy life is definitely a calling… and the Lord continues to call them back to the road and back to the studio, and all the while families are growing and there are more mouths to feed. And God is faithful. I am overwhelmed and in awe – and yet not completely surprised because the God we serve is more than I can fathom and loves to bless His children in ways we can’t imagine. Honestly, in a way I am a bit sad too, because it means they will STILL be traveling and not coming off the road. Like I said, it’s a calling, and one the wives need to be called too as well. The fact that it’s a calling doesn’t make it easy by ANY means – in fact it’s quite the sacrifice if I do say so myself! But whoever said surrendering your will to the Creator would be a smooth ride (hopefully it’s about to get smoother, pun intended!).

Here are some pictures we took while Jeremy walked Liam and I through the bus for the first time!

We put Liam in Jeremy’s bunk… he didn’t like it too much. Guess it’ll take some getting used to;).

It has 12 bunks, a front lounge and a back lounge.

My 2 rock stars;)!

Oh, and here’s a fun fact about the bus… it used to belong to a hockey team;). Perfect for a few Canadian boys, eh!

4 years ago today…

I married my prince charming! Literally, Jeremy dressed up as prince charming and proposed to me at a “staged” birthday party while I was in my Cinderella dress… but that’s another blog. Right now Jeremy is in Denmark with downhere playing a show, so we will be celebrating next week. It just doesn’t seem like 4 years have actually passed by! Where has the time gone?! I wish I could live that day all over again as it was a total dream come true. I truly married the man of my dreams and love him more today than I did 4 years ago!

I looked back at our wedding pictures this afternoon and had some good laughs to myself, and thought I would share them. Here are just a few that were taken by friends or family, not our professional photographers that we hired. Awwww, sweet memories!

cakeFunny story about this cake… I guess right before people showed up for the reception the whole top half of this cake fell off onto the floor and the glass figurine of Cinderella dancing with Prince Charming broke. So my friends that were there to help set up had to call Publix (where I had the cake made) and they rushed in a new top. They brought a top they already had made I guess, which would explain why the top half is a little bigger than the bottom. And they had to use frosting to put the figurine back together (and we’ve since replaced it). I remember noticing it but didn’t ask questions. Then after we returned from our honeymoon everyone filled me in. It’s always something, right?!

isleI love this picture… my Dad is so handsome! And it’s kind of small but you can see Sherri and little Jonah in the background on the right side.

waitingI know it’s blurry, but at all weddings I just love watching the groom as the bride walks down the isle. He has such a sweet, tear-filled look on his handsome face!

prefect10Jeremy did such a great job dipping me for the kiss! I didn’t expect it!! And all the groomsmen had score cards they held up during the kiss… the only one who had a 10 was right beside us – it made for a great photo!

LeavingThis one is blurry too, but I just love the look on our faces. This was taken right after they said “Mr. and Mrs. Thiessen!”

laughingI love this candid shot! Not sure what we were laughing at. Ok one more I promise…

Expect“Expect Great Things From God” – This archway is above us in the picture shown above. And it pretty much has been our “motto” in our marriage! God continues to amaze us in this crazy life and we want our marriage to reflect his love and greatness and point people to Him!

My Favorite Bib…

This bib is courtesy of some friends we met through downhere, and is always a good reminder! Jeremy does a good job to let me know, but it’s nice to see this once in a while too, ha! Thanks guys! I’ll put up a picture of him in my favorite onesie later this week.

bibIf you’re having trouble reading it, it says “My mom’s a hottie”!

White Man’s Overbite

Well, our good friend Krista captured this wonderful moment Friday night in Muskegon, MI. I’m not sure what to say – I know I make faces when I play, but I had no idea they were this bad! Wow…

Jeremy’s Week in Review

“Week in Review” – that sounds pretty lame, really. I’ll have to come up with some clever title for this like Grandpa’s “Weakly Note” – any suggestions, Grandpa? I’m obviously having a hard time hitting the Monday deadline, aren’t I!! As usual, we’ve had a pretty full schedule since I last posted. Let me “break it down” for you:

  • Last Friday we drove BACK to Nashville and flew to California where downhere performed at Spirit West Coast in Monterey on Saturday. On Sunday we did a concert in Roseville, CA and then flew back home (finally!) on Monday.
  • Tuesday we went to see the Bourne Ultimatum (I’m a big Jason Bourne fan – you can read more about the movie here).
  • Wednesday Erin did a Cinderella party in the AM, then we had lunch with some friends of downhere who had travelled in from various places (VA and MI, mostly), and then I was wrapped up in meetings the rest of the afternoon.
  • Thursday was spent getting ready to leave town again for 10 days. Erin worked at her part time job and I ran around getting errands taken care of – it was a pretty busy day (and not enjoyable in 100+ degree heat!) and we finished it off with dinner with two other couples from church – so that was great.
  • Friday we got up at 2:45am (I’m shaking my head as I type this) to drive to Michigan to play at a festival with Leeland, Jars of Clay, Casting Crowns, and others. Erin’s going to post some pictures from the day, and you can read some of my post about the day here as well (we nicknamed them “Jars of Thigh” for the night – need I say more??).

That should be it – we’re headed to Ireland next week so it will be probably much more interesting. Hopefully we’ll get some down time next week – I’m really feeling like I’m needing it. So we’ll see…

Update on the last week

Well, I told Erin I would do my best to do a weekly post on Mondays about what we’ve done during the past week, and I already missed my first post. How did Thursday get here so stinkin’ fast?!?

I’ll tell you how… we have been trying hard to just keep things together in the last little bit. Here are some of the noteables from the past week (and a bit):

  • we went for dinner to The Melting Pot which was a wonderful experience – a first for both of us to this particular restaurant, and a reminder that we need to pull our fondue pot out of the closet! (Read a more detailed post about our night out here.)
  • Thursday we (Erin, myself, and the band) flew to Seattle, WA where we arrived around midnight and stayed with some friends there
  • Friday we drove out to Quincy, WA and performed at Creation West. What a GORGEOUS venue (I’m sure Erin will post some pictures from the day soon). The day was definitely slammed – we were on the run all day – but it was fun to share it with Erin’s parents who drove out from Montana to spend the day with us. We arrived back in the Seattle area by 1am or so to stay with some other friends.
  • Saturday we got to sleep in a little bit before Glenn, Erin and I went for a run on a beautiful riverside trail in the Redmond area. Erin had one of her better runs, and Glenn and I did 7 miles at a 7:58 (min/mi) pace – the fastest run I’ve done at that pace for that distance in a long time. We performed Saturday night in a coffeeshop in downtown Seattle where we were surprised by a visit from two of my best friends (groomsmen at my wedding) Wes Morris and Mike Guenter, who drove down from Vancouver. So we were up until 1:15am that night just hanging out and visiting with them.
  • Sunday we played three times at Overlake Church – twice in the morning services and once in the evening – before rushing off to the airport and flying through the night back to Nashville, arriving at 8am Monday morning. We were picked up from the airport and drove directly to Lookout Mountain, GA where we set up to lead worship for a camp all week.

And that’s where we’ve been this week – here in GA leading worship for these kids and taking naps in between sessions trying to recover from the crazy weekend. We’re pretty much recovered – just in time to mess it all up again by flying out to CA tomorrow for the weekend. I’m going to have to squeeze in some laundry somewhere… Okay – you should hear from me around Monday again – the update will be much shorter I’m sure. Later!