Monday, June 16, 2008

Welcome Home Daddy

The plane has landed, the countdown clock is complete, and Daddy is safe at HOME in our arms again. Reunited as a family, the moment will forever be etched in my mind. We've waited so long for this day. And now it is finally here. Words cannot describe the outpouring of emotions we feel. After 15 months Daddy is finally home!

The outcome...priceless. What happened before hand, not so much how I pictured it. As I look back at it now I'm starting to see the humor in it. Hopefully I'll find it even more humorous as time goes by because in the moment it was kind of frustrating. Let me just fill you in on some of the details. Darryls return date has always been somewhat of a mystery to us, so I figured we wouldn't find out the official time he would arrive until right before the big event. This did seem to be the case as we were finding out the day before his arrival, that the plane would be landing at 6am on June 10th. Hmmm I'm not so much of a morning person so I figured setting the alarm clock would be easy enough. Evidently it wasn't, luckily I woke up on my own at 5:30am, not usually what happens. I knew I wouldn't have time to take a shower and get the girls ready so I figured I'd better get a move on. I must have been still half asleep and frustrated at my shower dilema because as I was running out of my bedroom to wake the girls I slammed my little toe into the wall. I thought it would be just a stubbed toe but the pain ended up not going away and I couldn't put an ounce of weight on it. So here I am no shower, broken toe, trying to get the girls ready, sounds like a fun morning.

We drive up to the gym where Darryl's Brigade will be reunited w/ their families, and there was not a parking space to be had. So I just decided to park across the street. Let me just say that was the longest hop of my life (but definitely worth it). We didn't make it to see the live video footage of Darryl's plane landing and the soldiers getting off the plane Top Gun style, but we did make it in time to get a seat and wait for about an hour for him to be bused from McChord to Fort Lewis. Cora was getting so impatient. As they lined up in formation the band played a few songs, a few words were said and they were released to their families. I decided to stay put in one place w/ my toe the way it was and let him find us. Meanwhile Cora was sobbing holding onto my leg because so many other families had already found their soldiers. It seemed like an eternity before Darryl found us. My dear friend who took these wonderful pictures finally saw him and waved him over to us.
As soon as Cora saw him she took off in a full sprint wrapped her arms around his neck and I can't remember when she finally let go. All my worries melted away at this toe, no shower, missing the plane touchdown, he was in our arms, finally here, nothing else mattered and that's how it should be. I can't thank my friend enough for being there with me, finding Darryl amongst the 315 other soldiers who all looked very similar, and taking such precious photos of a special time for our family.
That night I got on my knees and prayed with many thanks to Him for bringing us together again. My heart is so full.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Our "Vacation" to AZ

Here we are only one day to go before Darryl gets home. Could we been any more anxious or excited...I don't think so.
I wanted to post about our AZ trip before the big homecoming. My memory isn't what it used to be and I've learned if I don't write things down right away it's crazy how fast I'll forget it. Good thing for journaling.

The girls and I decided to take a trip to AZ to visit my sister and her family before they move back east to GA and it was a nice way to break up our wait time before Darryl gets home. Our good friends and neighbors the Hofers also just moved to AZ so we were excited to see their family again too. Trips are always fun to look forward to and I've had them spread out throughout this deployment which has helped us manage through.

The flying part by myself with the girls isn't my favorite thing to do, and this trip didn't help my attitude about flying solo w. them. A poor decision I made from the start was wearing white pants on the flight. What rational mom does this? I was setting myself up for something "really wrong" to happen. We are flying into the Tucson airport and I forget that it is surrounded by mountains, which means a lot of turbulence. Cora gets motion sickness and I forgot to go thru what to do if you experience this on the flight. Hmmm....good thing all she had to eat and drink all day was apple juice and pretzels. After she was finished I showed her the white baggie tucked in the seat pocket in front of us and told her what it was for. Just a little too late w/ that instruction. Oh well. At least we were renting a car at the airport and no one was going to be there to see us (and smell us) get off the air plane.

We ended up renting a Ford Edge. We definitely couldn't miss it in a parking lot because it was a nice burnt orange color. Fitting for AZ. Cora still talkes about that car and everytime she sees one that looks like it or even a car w/ the same burnt orange color she says there's our car. When Daddy gets home I want one of those. Sorry Cora we're getting another Van.
As we started our drive down to Sierra Vista Cora was so excited to see Cacuses. That is not a spelling error, she really called them that the whole time. I turned on the radio and to my surprise...Dust in the Wind came on the radio. Perfect timing as we're making the drive from Tucson to Sierra Vista...really just desert in between.

On this trip we also discovered Shay has alergies in the desert just like her Daddy. Her nose was running the whole time and the drainage would go down into her tummy and the poor little girl would have her tummy get upset almost everynight. Needless to say we were doing laundry everyday. Good thing my sister lives on post where they don't have to pay for water.

My cute little nephew van ended up getting a serious case of the hives when we were there as well. Poor little guy. They honestly covered his body from head to toe.

More and more this vacation was sounding like one out of the National Lampoons Vacation movies.

Aside from all this we did have a great trip and it was wonderful to see all the cousins play together. Lisa's husband JC watched the kiddos so we could have a sisters' night out. Thank you JC! We went and saw Baby's Mama but I think we were laughing more at the theater than the movie. We always have a great time together no matter what we do. We had a "Survivor Finale night" w. our dear friends the Hofers. So much fun to watch it w/ friends then by myself. We went to see these cool underground caves the "Colossal Cave" in fact and it reminded Lisa and I of one of our favorite movies Goonies.

I'm so glad we took this trip. I love to travel and see beauty in all places and landscapes. Coming from green WA it was amazing to see the desert and all of its beauty and especially the awesome sunsets. It was a great trip and I am happy to report after some dramamine and more instruction we didn't have any mishaps on the flight home. Until our friend picked us up from the airport and Shay started getting sick in their new van...shoot. All in all we loved our trip and would do it again for sure *especially because we'll be traveling w/ Darryl on our next trip!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

She's got talent

My sister Lisa that is. We just went to visit with her and her family in Arizona
and had a great time. But that is another post. This post is for me to commend her artistic ability and showcase one of her talents so that it can be in my journal and on my walls. I've always wanted to have visual talents. Unfortunately If I want to do better in that area I will have to take a lot more art classes because it doesn't come as easily as it does to my sister Lisa. Here are some pictures she drew of Cora and Shay. I have included the photos she used to draw her pictures. When I went to have them professionally framed last month the guy behind the counter was really impressed and said she should do this for a living. Hmmm..just a thought Lisa. I love you so much and I am grateful you have shared your talent with me. Thank you for these gifts that will be treasured all my life. (If we ever have a fire, *knock on wood* which I hope we don't, I'll be grabing them off the wall on the way out.)