Unexpected Cookies

I want to tell you the sweetest little story–literally since it involves cookies

It doesn’t really have a moral or an eye-opening epiphany; it’s simply a story for story’s sake because sometimes we all need a little ‘sweetness’ in our lives.

I hope that’s okay with you!?

I went away this weekend to a women’s retreat. I’ll work on telling you about that in my ‘spare time’ (**insert rolls of maniacal laughter). It was a good time, and I had some pretty interesting thoughts about you, pilot wife life, God, and women in general. I also had the unexpected opportunity to get to know two pilot wives and a flight attendant a lot bit better, which is a nice bonus. Anytime we can gather as women and/or pilot wives to breathe life into one another is extraordinary. 

Plus a bunch of little house elves (who looked a lot like teenaged boys in Young Life tee-shirts) kept magically causing plates piled high with yummy food and a ridiculously endless supply of coffee and chocolate to appear everywhere we went. To say I spent the weekend walking [jittering] around super caffeinated would be a bold understatement. Here’s proof. 


Too. Much. Caffeine. 

Anyway, my amazing pilot kept our two kiddos while I was away. If you could glean one teeny-tiny piece of advice from this particular story, I hope it would be to lay off the caffeine. 

I’m just kidding (sort of). It would actually be to allow your husband to bond with your kids without hovering and nagging. He’s more likely to feel motivated to give you time away if you get this important point. I don’t care if they ate chocolate cake for every meal, learned to play poker, and did oil painting in their Sunday best. 

They lived. The end. Nothing left to know. Just turn the other cheek and bite your tongue, ladies. 

Seriously, give it a shot. 

While at the retreat they had given us these baskets chock full of treats (and I do mean FULL) and told us to take what we didn’t gorge on home. One of the items in the basket was a package of Milano cookies. 

Now many years ago plus a few more, I remembered my pilot telling me in passing how much he liked those particular cookies, but we have never bought them once in our 17 years together. I have no idea why. However, seeing that little package brought that distant conversation rushing back. 

And I thought to myself like any ah-mazing wife how sweet of me it would be to take them home as a tiny token of my appreciation of his willingness to watch the children while I gorged on chocolate and caffeine. 

Upon my return home yesterday, he was laying on our bed while I unpacked my suitcase, which by the way felt totally upside down and backwards as the wife of a traveling spouse. I proudly fished out the two packs of Milanos I had snagged [no shame people] and tossed them triumphantly on the bed beside him. “Thanks for watching the kids this weekend! Would you like a little treat?”

His reaction was not what I expected though. You know, like sonnets of deep adoration and swooning at the overwhelming revelation of my wifely generosity…because, duh, Milanos

But noooooo! What I actually got was an awkward, really confused look coupled with some unexpected, weird questions. “Ummm…what is that? Where did you get them? Why are you giving them to me?”

Dang, honey! Thanks for bursting my wife-of-the-year bubble with a quickness!


I did that wife thing where instead of just listening to him I started running all of the worst case scenarios through my overactive brain (I seriously have to lay off the caffeine). Maybe he was mad that I took them from the retreat for him? Or…oh my gosh! Maybe I remembered the long-ago conversation wrong (after all I can barely remember what I ate for lunch some days) and he actually hated them because they were something his horrible ex-girlfriend used to buy him?!? 

Sometimes I wish the creative writer part of me would just shut the heck up. 

Perplexed, I meekly explained that I had gotten them as a treat for him because I [thought I] remembered him liking them and we never had them at home. 

And he started to laugh. LAUGH!

I love you!” he exclaimed. “Look in your nightstand drawer! Go ahead, do it.”

I pulled open the drawer and found that he had stuffed it full of secret treats for me to find during his next trip…but not just any treats. You guessed it–

Milano cookies!!

“Your office desk drawer is full of them too!” he laughed. 

How. Sweet. Is. That. 

I started giggling too. It’s just so darn cute. My pilot and I had gotten each other the exact same extra-special treat at the exact same time–a treat we have never bought in 17 years of marriage. I mean, what!?! 

It’s like our hearts were beating in sync even though we were far apart. 

People, that’s love. 

Marriage? Well, sometimes [a lot of times] it’s hard. Sometimes [a lot of times] we have to choose to love each other when we don’t like each other much at all. Sometimes there will be turbulence to traverse and engine failures to overcome. 

But if you fight hard, love harder, and keep your eyes focused on one another…

You can still find an incomparable sweetness in your marriage. 

Like unexpected cookies in a drawer. 

I love you, aviation family. Keep it sweet. 


~Angelia (a fellow pilot wife)


Hey lady, you suck at being a wife and mom. Yeah, you.

You are a terrible mom. Your husband is probably having an affair. You should be ashamed of yourself as a human being. CPS should take your kids from you. Your husband should divorce you. You don’t deserve kids. You are a loser, a worthless piece of….

Except you are not; and I am not.

Not even remotely.

You see . . .

Every single one of the above comments have been personally directed toward me by complete strangers during my stint as a blogger. This was primarily on another site I author, and thankfully none of these particular comments were pilot wives. But man, you have to have some titanium skin to maintain an internet presence.

Those comments weren’t from pilot wives… But some have been. I received a message recently strongly admonishing me for suggesting that, as pilot wives, we should love and encourage our husbands. In short, she basically demanded that I apologize for loving a pilot.

But I won’t. Not today; not ever.

I love my pilot. Fiercely. Unapologetically. 

Look, it’s okay. I’m not mad, or hurt, or shocked, or even a teeny-tiny, itty-bitty, eensy-weensy bit upset.

Because with positivity, inevitably comes negativity. When you choose to trek knee-high into the muck of people’s brokenness, you will have to deal with their pain, hatred, misconceptions. You better wear armor. Brokenness begs for more brokenness because it does not want to wallow in the pit alone, so it seeks out positivity and tries to smother it in its suffocating folds—to destroy it.

But I am wholly convinced that love wins.

Unfortunately, bullying has become rampant in all aspects of life. There are some misinformed, hateful folks out in this self-entitled world that have the ridiculous notion that a flashbulb glance at a singular moment in a person’s life gives them the self-inflicted authority to judge, criticize, and stereotype the entirety of a person’s beliefs, values, and worth—that somehow 943 words of a blog or five minutes in a Wal-Mart aisle affords them an inalienable right to reign down harsh judgmentalism on a complete stranger.

But it doesn’t.

Don’t judge her entire life’s journey by the one leg of the flight that you happened to spend on her plane.


Until you have flown a thousand miles in her shoes…

Until your wings and heart are dangerously iced over by the difficult journey through the winter storms she has endured…

Until every muscle in your body aches from the strain of trying to survive the life turbulence she has faced…

Until you have faced lonely holidays, car wrecks, birthdays, a loved one’s death, accomplishments, sickness, ER visits (and on and on) with your spouse 2000 miles away…

Don’t judge her; just love her.

Anonymity is a dangerous weapon. Oh, the things we can say and pain we can inflict from behind the safe little haven of our faux Gravatar as ‘flygirl’ or ‘anonymous.’

It is incredibly easy and safe to pour out brutal criticism on a momma in IAH from a comfy chair in Seattle without knowing all the facts.

It is incredibly easy to label a pilot wife in MDW as worthless when you have never met her and heard her cry tears of loneliness.

It is incredibly easy to lay down judgement upon an aviation marriage in EWR without understanding the difficulties of this lifestyle.

But do you know what? It’s just self-righteous folks being ugly for the sake of being ugly. You need to send negative people flying out of your life faster than an eject button on an F15.

You. Don’t. Need. It.

I’ve heard your stories, and I love you. I have seen you soar and stall, and I still believe in you. I have lived this life, and I know. 

The pilot wife life is hard enough without the naysayers. Don’t submerge yourself in their cesspool of stagnant negativity. Instead immerse yourself in a refreshing river of positivity.

Aviation friends, let me tell you a little something, something.

You don’t suck at being a mom. Or a pilot wife. Or an ANYthing. 

Are you going to make mistakes now and then? Of course! We all do. Yep, even me!

I know, right!? 

Anyone that tells you differently is either lying or has never navigated the jet streams of marriage and parenting. Let that perfect somebody throw that first stone. Seriously. Go ahead

The truth is this . . .

If you feed your kid only homegrown organic or if you feed your kid Taco Bell seven times in a friggin’ row because your pilot is gone and you are losing your ever-loving mind; if you go on date nights with your spouse regularly or if you can’t remember the last time you had a date; if your kid has a tantrum in Wal-Mart now and again or if your kid sits quietly at Wal-Mart every single time you shop (yeah, right); if you are married to a commercial pilot who is gone four days at a time or if you are married to a military pilot who is gone four months at a time, if you have never raised your voice to your child or if you have raised your voice to your child so many times [today] that you have lost count, if you have zero kids or if you have nine kids, if your house is Martha Stewart immaculate or Rosanne Barr chaos, if you are a working pilot wife or if you are a stay-at-home pilot wife…

It matters not.

If you love your family with all your heart, if your children are safe and cared for (yes, Easy Mac counts), if you make the decisions that are best suited to your family and your circumstances, you are a good mom and a good pilot wife.


You listen here, aviation friends! You keep making decisions that are right for your family. You keep on fighting the good fight. You keep surviving the best you know how. You keep loving your pilot fiercely.


Soar confidently and unswayed upon the wings of your beliefs and decision, my dear friends. Do not be dismayed. Do not be moved by anonymous fools. Do not bend to the will of group conformity.

And do not apologize for loving your pilot. Ever.

EVER! Do you hear me?

Let me clarify. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. We all have different experiences, different situations, and different personalities which influence the direction from which we view a topic. That is not only okay, it is absolutely necessary. Respectful disagreement and discussion are the beautiful tools by which we learn and grow.

But those people—the naysayers, judges, and haters? Those who slander, slash, name throw, and stereotype randomly with wide open mouths and wide shut ears? Their words are nothing more than a bitter reflection of bitter hearts, and any shard of truth or useful advice that may have potentially existed is inevitably obscured and obliterated by hatred.

Sometimes in life, you just have to let folks roll off of you like rainwater on Turtle Wax. You cannot make them happy, so don’t dally with fools.

Pilot wives, those people are always going to exist in this world. From the eye roller in the grocery checkout line to the internet troller who just plain hates life as a pilot wife and wants you to join her in abject misery—they are nothing more than an unpleasant altitude drop on the flight of life.

Hit. The. Eject. Button. Now.

They will always hide behind the safety of anonymity and criticize you, this lifestyle, your choices, your husband from a safe distance. They are always going to claim the self-imposed right to judge you without flying a single skymile in your exhausted, busy, chaotic, overwhelmed pilot wife shoes. They are always going to have a poorly founded and loudly stated opinion about everything you do…or don’t do.

But frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

And neither should you.

Now GO! Live your beautiful, crazy, amazing, chaotic aviation lives unapologetically.

love you, aviation family.


Angelia (a fellow pilot wife)


Oxygen Mask

I’m probably the only idiot in the world that actually pays attention.

Like clockwork, a flight attendant dutifully stands up front with an emotionless countenance belied by the utter boredom in his/her eyes and trudges through the required safety demonstration with practiced if not efficient monotony.

But you can hardly blame them.

All around me, other passengers slump in their seats in various states of apathy, fiddling numbly with their carry-ons and posting last-minute social media quips on their electronic devices, purposefully oblivious to the information being so ‘cheerfully’ conveyed up front.

But not me. Heck to the nope! I intentionally make eye contact and enthusiastically watch the whole darned thing in all its mind-dulling glory. So yeah, if you are a flight attendant and some creepy lady from 2A was actually watching you and smiling interestedly, it was probably me. Don’t freak out, I’m normal.


I swear, if we ever have an emergency water landing (and we actually survive hitting the deceptively hard surface of the ocean at 325 kts) I’m going to be the only one on that sunk hunk of junk who knows exactly how to use my seat as a flotation device while calmly following the aisle lighting to the nearest emergency exit which, by the way, might be located behind you at the ‘aft of the cabin.’ Just in case you were wondering.

Yeah, I’m an obsessive-compulsive overachiever like that. Don’t judge.

You would be shocked to know how many sweet, in-flight conversations I’ve had with flight attendants just because I listened. When it comes right down to it, that’s all anyone really wants isn’t it, to be heard? But that, my dear friends, is another conversation for another day.

“Oxygen and air pressure are continually monitored. In the event of a decompression, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you. To start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally. Although the bag may not inflate, oxygen is flowing to the mask. If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your own mask on first, and then assist the other person.”

Yada, yada, yada. This is a snippet of the instructions they share with over 8 million disinterested people around the world daily.

But did you catch it? That really, really super duper important part? Or were you too busy fiddling with your carry-on? Because it matters.


Secure your own mask on first.

Why? Because you can’t save anyone else if you, yourself, can’t breathe– Not your children. Not yourself. Not your husband. Not your marriage.

I know, ladies. You are trying to save everyone in your life because you, my  beautiful aviation sisters, are strong, amazing, caring, compassionate, heroic women. You give of yourselves until there is nothing left to give–and then you give some more.

But, honey, I also know that you are dying. You are so busy trying to put on everyone else’s oxygen masks that you have forgotten to secure your own mask first, and you are suffocating. 

You. Can’t. Breathe.

You feel like the world around you is spinning wildy out of control. The air that sustains you is thin…oh, so thin. You are desperately gasping for every breath.

Listen to me, ladies. I am standing at the front of the cabin, jumping up and down and screaming like a banshee to get your attention, and I’m telling you that you have to secure your mask first!

You can’t save your children, your husband, your marriage until you, yourself, breathe. 

It’s time to secure that mask and take a deep, rejuvenating breath. Because the cold, hard truth is that you can’t take care of other people until you take care of you.

But how? How do you start breathing again when you’ve been oxygen deprived for so long?

You put on your M.A.S.K.

M-Make time for you. In order to survive life as a pilot wife you have to learn to F.L.Y.–to first love yourself. Give yourself permission to live life to its fullest when he’s home…and when he’s not.

A-Accept that this life is just plain difficult at times. Forgive yourself and your pilot on the days one of you mess up, celebrate the days that things go well, and remember that each morning is a brand new canvas waiting for you to create a beautiful masterpiece.

S-Speak up. “Fine. Nothing.” Our perfect, practiced, mechanical response to ‘how’s it going’ and ‘what do you need?’ We spend so much time pretending to be invincible that we have forgotten how to be vulnerable. Tell your husband how you need him to love you. Tell those around you how they can really help you. Then for goodness sake, let them.

K-Kick negativity to the curb. Negativity is toxic to your soul and your marriage. Surround yourself with people and places that speak encouragement and positivity into your life. Remove negative influences with a quickness, like yesterday. The overflow of your heart will be exactly what you pour in. Negativity or positivity? It’s your choice.

You are beautiful. Capable. Strong. Selfless. Amazing. 

You take care of families, jobs, pets, homes all while your partner is hundreds of miles away. You spend your life making sure everyone else has their oxygen masks securely fastened. However, it’s time you secured your mask first and, for the first time in a long time, breathed. 

You. Deserve. It.

I love you, aviation family.


~Angelia (a fellow pilot wife)

Follow me on Facebook 

Until Death Do Us Part

Time is to marriage as running water is to a mountain.

It doesn’t stop for anyone or anything and can slowly but surely, almost imperceptibly, chisel away at the tiniest cracks in the foundation until they widen and become insurmountable chasms. Over time, it can destroy the tallest mountain, create gaping canyons, and alter the landscape until it is virtually unrecognizable.

Time is to marriage as running water is to a mountain.

It doesn’t stop for anyone or anything and can slowly but surely, almost imperceptibly, chisel away at the tiniest cracks in the foundation until they widen and become insurmountable chasms. Over time, it can destroy the tallest mountain, create gaping canyons, and alter the landscape until it is virtually unrecognizable.

Nearly fifteen years ago, my husband and I stood on Madeira Beach in Florida, the waves lapping lazily at the shore before rushing back out to the waiting gulf, the sand warm between our bare toes, the future as vast and full of hope as the dancing sea. The date was April 6, 2002.

On that long ago morning, a page in our story was turned; he became my husband, and I his wife. We spoke two little, giant words—‘I do.’ Not an empty, temporary promise, but a forever covenant between man and wife avowed before friends, family, and God.

For better or worse. For richer or poorer. In sickness and in health. Until death do us part.

Take a long moment to ponder the full depths of that beautiful, timeless promise…

Just, wow.

Like any marriage, we have experienced seasons of plenty and seasons of struggle. We have endured moments of great joy and moments of great sorrow. We have watched life enter this world— And leave it.


There is a lot of life wrapped up in fifteen years—a lot of running water. It is a long time to love only one man, one woman—impossible really, and becoming more and more implausible in a society that glorifies the easy road.

Because, quite frankly, sometimes leaving would be easier than staying.

We have not always liked one another, but we have always chosen to love one another. Love is worth fighting for. He is mine, and I am his, and letting go is not an option. Ever.

It simply can’t be, because once you embrace even the remote flicker of possibility of goodbye, it will fester and spread until the once unthinkable becomes the inevitable. Time will chip away at your foundation until one day you wake up and find yourself staring at the man or woman you once loved across an impassable chasm, and you won’t recognize them anymore.

However, the erosion of time is escapable. You can fight the hands of the clock and refuse to allow them to chip away at your vows. There is hope for marriage. Don’t let the world tell you differently.

Don’t wait for the developing cracks to widen into chasms before dealing with them. You must fill the cracks with mortar as soon as they appear.

Great marriages require intentionality, selflessness, and constant forgiveness. We must deal with issues as they arise. We must choose to love one another in action even in seasons when we don’t like one another in emotion.

Remember it’s not worth winning those small battles if it means losing the war–your marriage.

Because until death do us part. 

My pilot and I are living proof that two imperfect, flawed people can defy the hands of time. We have walked through the raging fires and came out on the other side still holding hands. We have shared fifteen amazing years of life together, growing stronger with every year, defying the inevitable tick, tick, tick of the clock.

Because intentional, selfless love is the mortar that defies the waters of time. Love wins.

Today I sit in awe and wonder of the last incredible one and a half decades of my life, and I sit in eager anticipation of the next decade and a half.

I am so thankful that my husband came into my life. I am thankful that neither of us chose to walk away when the going got tough–heaven knows there have been plenty of opportunities.

I am thankful we fully embraced the longevity of the vow we made at the alter, opting to fight for it even when it seemed insurmountable obstacles blocked the path to our forever.

I am thankful that we picked the narrow path, choosing time after time to love beyond the borders of individual ‘me’ for the sake of the whole ‘us.’

I pray for your marriages today and always. I hope that you surround yourselves with positive, encouraging influences. I hope that you choose a better path, the narrow path, even when it’s the harder path. I hope that you find the courage to love each other when you don’t like each other, the strength to fight for your marriage when it’s hard, and the desire to stay even when it’s easier to go.

I love you, aviation family.


~Angelia (a fellow pilot wife)


The Gifts Pilot Wives Really Want for Valentine’s Day

Dear Pilots,

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, men everywhere will soon be searching for that perfect gift that says ‘I love you’ to that special lady in their lives. Florists, restaurants, and chocolatiers are rubbing their hands together in eager anticipation of the mad rush to prove that ‘she matters’.

Retailers already have their shelves stocked full of everything Valentine—from rub-on ‘I love you’ tattoos to overpriced, heart-shaped boxes filled with strange concoctions of orange and crème candies covered in various shades of chocolate. There will be giant stuffed bears, pink striped zebras, and even toothy alligators all holding huge hearts imploring her to be your Valentine and declaring your never-ending love for her. Because, well, nothing quite says ‘I love you’ like a last minute, life-sized, purple gorilla with ‘totally ape for you’ plastered across his Buddah belly that you picked up from a roadside vendor on your way home from the airport.

Not! You might as well just get her a Thigh Master and make yourself comfortable in the ol’ doghouse. I’m kidding! Don’t do that either!

So what does she really want?

Here are a few simple but amazing Valentine’s Day ideas that are guaranteed to have her falling in love with you all over again! And, hey, you can tell her you thought it up all yourself. I won’t tell.

  1. Something. You know the drill. You ask her what she wants, she gives you a very decisive and decidedly useful, ‘Oh…nothing,’ and you make the mistake of actually believing her. Silly husband! She may think she wants nothing. Maybe she even does…in that fleeting moment of Valentine commercialism defiance. But when the candy-coated day actually arrives, you are a hundred miles away, and all of her friends start posting those cuddly selfies of themselves with their very present nine-to-fivers holding huge bouquets of flowers, purple gorillas, and sub-par chocolates, her defiance quickly fades into lonely oblivion. So guys, remember her. A strategically hidden card before you leave on a trip. An early morning phone call telling her she’s your one and only. It doesn’t have to be diamonds and pearls, but something. Just…not nothing, no matter what she said. It’s lonely here without you. There’s nothing like a ‘love’ holiday and some radio silence to remind her just how lonely it can be.
  2. Time to herself. If you have children, this is a priceless commodity in her life. Instead of flowers that quickly wilt and die, buy (or better yet make) a card and stuff it with a homemade coupon for ‘me time’ along with a Visa gift card. If you are afraid she will spend it all on the kids and dog (I know you, ladies!), then a combination of gift cards for a spa day, a massage, or her favorite boutique will work great. Your job will be to watch the children while she goes out and gets pampered for an entire day. Pilot wife moms are exhausted, overworked, and often misunderstood by our mommy peers. She desperately needs time to get away from the turmoil of life and recharge those batteries. She will return a better wife and mother than when she left.
  3. Time with you. The one thing your wife craves more than anything else in the entire world is quality time with you. You are apart more than together and she misses you like crazy. Find a sitter, book a night at a hotel room (those hotel points and flight privileges are going to come in handy), turn off your phone, and take her out somewhere nice for a Valentine’s night on the town, sans kids. For one evening, let her enjoy your uninterrupted company without that sink of dishes and the stack of bills calling her name. She can become so overwhelmed with the never-ending grind of motherhood that she forgets how to be anything else but mom. Give her a chance to dress up, put on some perfume, and remember why she fell in love with you in the first place. She will thank you. In fact, you will probably thank you too.
  4. A clean house. Just about every pilot wife out there is frustrated by the state of her home. Cleaning a house full of children is one of the most ungratifying and never-ending tasks on the planet. And if she works too…forget about it! By the time she gets to the living room, the kitchen looks like she never touched it. Dishes seem to multiply like rats, and don’t even mention the laundry–and most days she doesn’t have her beloved partner to help her out! She’s drowning. This Valentine’s Day, hire a one-time thorough housecleaning from a local maid service and watch her face light up with glee. If you want to really hit it out of the park, hire a once-per-month service for the whole year. And who knows? She just might find something else constructive to do with all of that extra time she has on her hands.
  5. Words of affirmation. This is huge. If I had a dollar for every time your wives have expressed this need to me… Well, I probably could hire my own house cleaner. Write her a letter. This sounds so simple, yet I know how difficult it can be for some of you. Take time to purchase beautiful stationary and sit down and open up. Be transparent with your emotions. Tell her how much she means to you, what you love about her, how much you appreciate all that she does. Tell her that she matters. I know you think she already knows, but she doubts herself more often than you begin to realize. Flowers die. Chocolate disappears. But your words of affirmation and love will resonate in her heart for a very long time.
  6. A chocolate stash. It is no secret that most women love chocolate. What most women don’t like, however, are those overpriced, commodity, crème-filled chocolates that come in heart-shaped Valentine’s boxes. Instead of squandering your money on packaging, buy her something she really loves. For the lofty price of the heart-shaped Valentine’s Day boxes, you can purchase a cute decorative box at any hobby store and stock it full of a variety of her favorite treats. Make a label that says ‘Wife Stash,’ and you have a the perfect gift. She will love it more than any heart-shaped box because she will know you gave it some extra special thought just for her. And on those long trips when the dog pukes on the carpet, the tire goes flat, the dishwasher breaks, and junior gets the plague, she will have a stash of sanity from you!

Look guys, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Your wives love you so much. If you heard the way they praise you and constantly dote on you, your hearts would overflow. She’s working hard to figure this side of the pilot life out and keep your home together while you travel, but she desperately needs to know how much she means to you! Oh, and about that purple gorilla…just don’t!

I love you, aviation family. Have a happy Valentine’s Day.


**footnote–I was going to write an equal opportunity blog about what pilots want for Valentine’s Day, but I asked my husband and he said ‘sex’. I couldn’t quite stretch that into a six-point list, so here’s your spotlight. 😉

A Fellow Pilot Wife