In case you didn’t notice in our social media feed, our booth was PACKED non-stop for FDIC 2015. It was an exhilaratingly exhausting event for me and my team (who ROCKS! Couldn’t do it without you all!)
There was so much positive energy I had to find some way to share with all of you out there in blog reader world. So here it is. Try to channel 60,000 people in the gigantic Lucas Oil Stadium amidst the shiniest, meanest looking fire trucks you’ve ever seen. And then picture a little 10×10 booth on a corner aisle with non-stop traffic from every size, shape and age of firefighter saying “My wife told me I MUST find you.” We are FILLED UP. So full from all the love you gave us at FDIC 2015.
What made my heart melt more than anything were words and actions of these visitors to our booth. Here’s the list:
1. Showing Up with Text Messages of Screen Captured Shopping Lists
Do you know how many firefighters showed up with a screen capture on their phone of the exact item his girl wanted him to bring home? They. Are. Listening. Don’t you ever think you’re forgotten when he’s away. And don’t you just LOVE technology?
2. “Tell Me More”
When asked if they knew what FirefighterWife.com was, we didn’t hear the classic humph and grumph. In fact, I didn’t even personally hear it once which is a first for trade shows because there is always that grumpy old chief who says he’s survived 30 years and doesn’t need any pointers (um, nice Chief, how about your young guys maybe?) Even from firefighters who were now divorced we heard a positive response. “I wish my ex-wife knew about this.”
Is there anything sweeter than a man showing his caring side and interest in something for his wife? Well yes, but at FDIC, this is by far the sweetest.
3. “Can I get a trade in?”
Ok so this was a joke by one of the husband’s of a fire wife already in our community. But our Jessie had the best quick response. “No, but we do offer remodeling.” (And that’s really the truth!)
4. “Will it make you happy?”
Some couples were there together and the wife was really interested in Marriage On Fire. Watching the conversations develop as they decided if they wanted to participate you learn so much about a couple. Many husbands did somewhat role their eyes and say “Fine.” To which my husband replied, the first video of the series addresses the fact that not many men really want to sit down and do a marriage study let alone one with an online community. Bravo, brother. We promise it won’t be as bad as you are thinking.
But ultimately when those husband’s saw the look in her eyes and said “Will it make you happy?” that’s truly the moment. The moment where we both sacrifice for each other. I mean, she did just walk a hundred miles around Indianapolis looking at fire apparatus and gear and tools and pretend to be deeply interested, right?
5. “I need to check with her first.”
Those husbands who knew that the $80 / couple annual price for Marriage On Fire was just out of their comfort zone smartly deferring to a joint conversation. Yep. Smart move guys. Agree on the budget. And you make the phone call not about another $80 pair of fire gloves but something you can do together.
6. “I lost my ring finger in a shooting accident and don’t know if I can wear a wedding band ever again.”
Well theres probably only one person in the world who can walk up and make that statement. I choked up and dashed for the box of QALO rings we were selling with the Marriage on Fire program. It didn’t matter. This guy wasn’t leaving without a ring. (And if he did, Ted from QALO would have given me a lashing. That’s why we love our partners so much. They are so generous and giving!)
7. Facetiming to show their wife the selections and sizes
There you go again technology. FaceTime to the rescue to be sure they picked just the perfect item and style.
8. “I *must* bring something home for her.”
This was by far the #1 statement of the show. He wasn’t leaving empty handed.
9. “She sent me here on a mission to register for Marriage on Fire.”
Yes! People are reading our emails and social media and even better…..the husbands are listening!!!!
And now perhaps the funnest question we asked for the whole show:
10. “How big is your wife’s chest?”
The best thing a husband can do is bring home the right size and cut of shirt for his wife. Some guys blushed when we asked them this question. Others gave us hand motions. Sometimes they accidentally looked around at us girls in the booth to find a comparable model (we blushed!) But we always did our best to make them feel comfortable and find the right size and be sure they knew this was a very important part of the process 😉
11. “There’s my husband!”
The wives who spied their husbands on our social media posts literally shopping in the booth was incredible to me. In a world where it seems up to Facebook’s whim and fancy to decide when our posts are shown and to whom, it seems that all of you were able to pick out your husband’s!!! So cool. (and in case you were wondering, freakishly intimate social media like that is exactly how our Fire Wife Sisterhood community stays connected across the miles and timezones)
12. “I know this couple in our firehouse who could really use this.”
Everyone knows that couple. The divorce rate (not statistically measured officially) is clearly in the 75% range in the fire service. And you all know a firefighter right now who’s marriage is struggling. Share a post over to them. Send them our way. I hope we can be a ray of hope in their world.
13. The elbow move
As we describe the Fire Wife Sisterhood and Marriage On Fire to a small group of firefighters, there’s always that one giving the elbow to the quiet guy. Usually he was the one who’s engaged or about to be engaged. Dead giveaway. We made sure they knew to nominate him for a free 1 year access at FirefighterWife.com/nominate
14. “I wouldn’t miss a great date night with my hottie”
Indy on Fire event. It’s not a bunch of single firefighters looking to do dishonorable acts to their marriage. And we FINALLY got to meet Captain Willie Wines lovely wife Donna!
So many there together on a date night. It made my heart sing <3
15. The Memorial Stair Climb
These events happen all the time. All over the country. And it never ceases to amaze me. The images of the fallen 343. The firefighters in gear recreating the selfless act in their honor. I get goosebumps even just writing this.
We are honored to be a partner with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and QALO who donated a $17,000 check from the sales of the Thin Red Line rings. Order yours here to support our non-profit organization for fire families – 24-7 COMMITMENT and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
16. “I rushed straight over here after my HOT class.”
This may have been my most favorite visitor of all to our booth. He’s a big strong younger firefighter with a stay at home wife with 2 or 3 little ones back home. He’s working 2 full time jobs plus training and money is tight. It was tough for him to get all the words out but I knew exactly what was happening there. It was my world 10 years ago.
He couldn’t buy anything but I stuffed his hands full of “Love Never Fails” and “Commitment is Courageous” decals before he headed home. But I must speak to his wife.
Dear Fire Sister from the Indy area whose blonde haired husband stopped by our booth just before closing on Thursday (or was it Friday?) evening,
Stay strong. He is working hard to provide for your little growing family. I know it’s not easy and he probably comes home tired and grouchy and fussing over politics at the department. And you’re equally exhausted from chasing the little ruggers all day, possibly 2 straight days in our world. All you want is a relaxing shower – ALONE – and for babies to sleep soundly and for him to touch you gently before you both crash and to see the light at the end of the tunnel of the financial challenges. All this training does payback. And those babies do grow and get easier. And you do find your youthful form again eventually. And yes, they do someday sleep through the night. And how all us fire wives here wish we could give you a big hug, a dose of fire strong and all the right words of encouragement to get your through this season.
Remember this. No one ever said marriage would be easy. But everyone will agree that it’s all worth it. When all else fails, love never does.
I hope you find this and it brings you peace.
Your Sisters in the Fire Family Life
*sigh* Totally filled up and full of energy from the spirit of the community that is the fire family.
Where will be next? Check out our events page which is always up to date.
Can we come to your local fire show? Probably not. My husband is still a firefighter and we’ve got 4 kids at home. He uses much of his vacation now as we travel to a few key fire industry events. But you can always ask us at this form at our website.
How can I bring this to my department? We got this question a lot and I love it. Because there is only so much our little team can do and it takes each and every one of us to step up and bring this positive atmosphere for family and marriage to the fire service.
If you are a chief / union president / HR benefits coordinator / auxiliary, we do offer annual subscriptions to a department. You pay a discounted rate for your entire department for the year. We give you a special code for members of your department to register at a discount. Just use this form to contact us.
Can we still get those shirts? Yep. Check our online store which opens seasonally.
Do you ever sleep? Yes. I spent a lovely day on Sunday sleeping in with my little ones while my husband was already off on a 48. You know it. Fire Family Life. We couldn’t imagine it any other way.
Thank you to everyone. These little words don’t seem like enough but know that we appreciate our followers and customers and subscribers more than words could ever say.