Friday, May 17, 2013

"Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's back to life we go."

To my disbelief and probably to yours I presume as well, Adam's two week leave came to an end today. They say all good things come to an end, but why can't some things just never end? Having his leave never end, that would be AWESOME BLOSSOM!! Please and thank you apply it to this moment. ;D Although he did go back to work today he was home in record time, at 10am!!, so at least we have the rest of the day together! I'll take that schedule!! 

Some of you may be wondering how our leave time went, some of you may just be dying to hear about all the details of our very special homecoming, and some of you may not care one bit. So for those of you who are dying to hear, let me begin! ;D

That Friday, May 3, 2013, the day I had waited for over 8 months, finally arrived!!

**No more waiting!!!**

I went to work for 3.5 hours. Some of you may think that's crazy, but for me it wasn't. I needed a distraction to make me less anxious for the day, so work was the answer. So glad I did. It went by fast (although I was antsy the whole time) and I was out before I knew it. After work I went home to change, do my make-up, let Baxter out to go to the bathroom, and grab everything I needed. Before I knew it, I was on my way to my hair appointment. Half way there I realized I forgot the sign for Adam on the pier, since I wasn't planning on going home after my appointment, but decided that I wanted to get to the appointment right on time and I could choose to pick it up after, depending on the how long the appointment ran. Good plan! The appointment went so smooth. I got my hair shampooed (my FAV thing about a hair cut), cut, and curled, all in less time than it would take me to curl my hair itself! 

**beautifying myself for the big moment**

After the appointment I realized I had plenty of time to go home and grab the sign before I headed over to the shuttle to take me to base. I went to the house and actually went to the bathroom and completely forgot the sign. Got half down the street before I realized it and went inside to get it again. I almost forgot it a 3rd time, but fortunately right before I walked out the door I remembered (nerves much, anyone??). I finally arrived to the shuttle stop (which I had been a little worried about) and it turned out that it was the perfect choice. By the time the shuttle left, about 10 minutes after I arrived, they got notice that the ship was just starting to pull in. Perfect timing anyone??!! I got to the base and met the photographer I had squared away. Let me take a quick pause and explain this to you.

During last deployment I had found out through a friend about this operation that provides free photgrapthy to military families, for homecomings for either at airports or pier-side, called Operation Love Reunited. If you are military, any branch, I would highly recommend you check this operation out. Photographers from all over the country participate, you just have to contact them (in a couple of months prior to your homecoming) before they book up for that homecoming. Last deployment I looked into it, only 1-2 months before his homecoming. Um, completely didn't realize then that that wasn't enough time in advance {which is why I warn you to contact them in a couple of months prior}, so I didn't get a photographer. Turns out I didn't need one then, however, for this homecoming I wanted to make sure I contacted them in plenty of time. In January I contacted them, and I'm glad I did then. I contacted all the photographers in my area (about 6) and they were all booked up, except for one. She said she might have had availability, but to keep her posted. About 1.5 months prior I contacted her again, keeping her in the loop, and she said that no one else kept in contact with her, so our homecoming would be the one she would capture. SO BLESSED!!! So our photographer was going to be Sparrow Photography.

Anyways, we walked together to the pier and got to see the ship pull in. 

**USS John C Stennis arriving HOME!!!**

I'm so glad that I finally got my pier-side homecoming. I told Adam that I wanted to at least have 1, so we decided that this one would be the one. Everything about it was amazing. Seeing loved ones smiling ear-to-ear trying to spot out their loved one, to seeing new mommies with their precious little ones, anxiously awaiting to meet daddy, to see tears of joy and anxiousness on wives and family members-so much ambiance!! Loved it. When they finally rang the liberty bell, both Wendy and I tried to spot Adam. Everyone blended in, and you had to squint quite a bit, but we tried. I tried calling him on his cell phone, but it went straight to voice mail. He called me and it took him a few moments for him to spot me with the directions I was giving him, but it worked finally. WE WERE WAVING TO EACH OTHER!!! AWW!! I finally got a glimpse of my man-only took over 8 months, but I'll take what I can get!

From that moment, we thought it would be such a long wait, since after he hung up the phone he was going to go wait in line to get off the ship. We saw the first couple of people coming off, but man we thought it would take forever. Low and behold {my man is always up to something} he "cut in line" {sorry to any of you wives who had to wait longer} and before I knew it, about 15 minutes later my man was coming through a barrier and was INFRONT of me!! AWW  At that moment. Time just sort of stood still. Everything we had been waiting for was all over. Every moment of pain, sorrow, and heartache, EVERYTHING, was worth it for that one moment, and that sweet, sweet kiss. I didn't remember all those lonely nights, the occasional tears of wanting him, or those moments that I needed him the most. Those moments were lost and replaced with such an incredible moment. And for that reason, and that reason alone, I am SO grateful for Wendy. That is why I wanted to have a photographer there, to capture our moment, the one we had been waiting what seemed like FOREVER for!!! Here are some of the sweet moments she captured.

**Some people wait a lifetime, for a moment like this. I just had to wait 8 months.**

 **The longer the wait, the sweeter the kiss!!**

**Pausing our moment for a candid, which is actually my new fav pic of Adam!**

**Before we left, hand-in-hand**

We left what seemed our fast homecoming, hand-in-hand, to our home, which many of you know was the first time Adam would be seeing our home filled with OUR stuff!! I decorated it so the moment would be more fun for him, with Americana decor of course!

**Left to right: His welcome home banner, Stennis Yard sign, American flag clothespin banner (thanks pinterest for the idea!!), flags lining the drive way, and the navy and American flag hanging**

When we arrived home, my next favorite moment came: Adam reuniting with Baxter!! Oh My Sweetness it was too cute!!! That dog couldn't have been more excited to see his daddy home!! He had enough excitement for days!! So precious!!

 **Baxter happy his daddy was home!!**

And from that moment on, my man hasn't left my side. So happy he's home. So happy we are reunited. So happy he's mine and SO INCREDIBLY WORTH THE WAIT!!

 **Walking in the door**

 **Infront of his sign**

I'll post again tomorrow all about our leave and {hopefully} with the rest of our homecoming pictures!!

Much love from BOTH OF US!!,

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