Hi all! I’m stealing some time on the computer while Steve is at the gym to update before we head out to dinner tonight :o)
Saturday, I made my way up to the Dallas area to see Angela canadagirl, Chris punisher1373, Tyler and their family while they were in the state. Ang asked if I would mind doing some family shots and I said, “of course!” I never turn down an opportunity to learn. I had packed up my studio Friday night and also purchased an umbrella to try and diffuse light into with my external flash so this was going to be my first time using all of this stuff. And instead of buying a $100 reflector set, I bought some silver car sunshades for the car and spray painted a side gold.
The 3 hours went by really fast and I made it to Ang’s in-laws house. I got to see Tyler who had gotten so big since last time I saw him! I set up my gear and between Angela, her FIL and I ironing that 10’x20′ muslin background, it took almost 2 hours! But then we were set up and ready. We first did Valentine’s Day pictures of Ty before some father/son pictures since Chris is deployong to Afghanistan next month. Then, we had the entire family along with some family shots. In between shootings, Chris’ niece loved to take jumping shots and was a great assistant…lol.
Afterwards, everyone went to a bar/grill close to the house to get some food and just hang out. I had to jet by 5pm since I had the dogs and it was a 3 hour drive to get back home. I said my goodbyes to everyone and made it home to relax for a bit and edit some pictures.
The next day, I woke up and went to see my friend Tina who cuts my hair. She opened her salon extra early to squeeze me in and was giving me the scoop at my former place of work. People are crazy there! After I got my hair done, I went to Verizon to do a contact book transfer with Steve’s old phone to his new phone before getting some take out for lunch. It was a chilly day and pho just sounded so good right then.
Veronica came over shortly afterwards to help me set up the decorations and banners outside of the house. We got everything set up in about an hour before she had to leave so after that, I focused on vacuuming, dishes, laundry and cleaning the bathrooms. The day was going by really fast and then I got the call that the ceremony was postponed an hour from 11:30pm to 12:30am. I let the photographer from Project Love Reunited know and he was still ok with coming so yay!
Originally, I wasn’t sure if I was going to have time to made a sign like I usually did, but now with that extra hour, I could! So, with markers and posterboard, I made my magic. The next thing I knew, it was 10pm! My plan was to leave the house by 10:45pm since it takes about an hour to get to Fort Hood so I raced to shower, blow dry/style my hair and do my make up. I left 5 mins later than I had anticipated so I got there around midnight.
I parked and walked onto the field with my sign and was instantly drawn to a crowd surrounded by 2 big TVs. They were showing the soldiers getting off of the planes so I was getting excited! I met my photographer and we went over to the heating tent where I found my in-laws. By 12:25am, I said I was going to make my way over to the field so Steve’s mom came along with the photographer while Steve’s dad stayed in the tent since he was not a fan of the cold.
While on the field, I saw my former FRSA and rear d commander (this was before Steve changed companies) so we chatted and I got the word that the buses just left the airport so they should be here within 20 mins. When the photographer left to add more layers (it was chilly that night…30’s), I got a text from Bill spuzzlightyear who told me to walk to the webcam since the ceremony was being broadcasted. So, I non-chalantly walked in front of the camera and was texting…my fingers were frozen so my typing skills weren’t all that great, but apparently Christine krizteen and Lori nurse2k were also watching so I got a few screenshots of myself….lol. And just to note, there were a LOT of people there, they were just sitting at the bleachers and not on the field where I was…lol.
haha, me texting at Cooper Field with my sign under my armpit
I secured a spot at the left side of the field since that’s where Steve and I agreed to meet. Before we knew it, the buses were coming! Everything just happened so fast. I was cheering, waving my sign, and the soldiers were living up in formation. They marched onto the field where the chaplain said a quick prayer before they were released.
I held my sign up walking and probably in 30 seconds, I spotted Steve. I ran over to him and immediately started crying. I had some streaks fall, but no snot face, luckily! His parents came to hug him and the photographer got us in one big group hug…lol. I tried wiping the tears away, but it’s not really effective with leather gloves so we’ll see how the pictures turn out.
This was the only picture I took that night! I will have to wait for the photographer pics.
By now, it was some time past 1am and Steve’s parents were tired so they said they would let us go home and we’d catch up later. We thanked the photographer once again for coming and then we made our way towards home. On the way, we stopped by IHOP for some food where the first thing Steve wanted was mozzarella sticks…lol.
When we got home, I had Steve wait in the laundry room so I could get my camera ready and record the dogs’ reaction to him. Salado was SOOOOOOOOO excited that Steve was back! Coco and Cody–not so much…lol. They greeted him and then were like, “hmm…I think I’ll get some water now” lol. But Salado was jumping and sprawling his arms out to Steve.
Dogs’ reaction to Steve’s homecoming
We didn’t sleep until 4am or so and then woke up around 8am where we were chatting in bed until 9:30am. When I peered over, all the dogs were leaning or snuggling with Steve and/or his legs. I was like chopped liver! They totally have forgotten who took care of them for the past year!
We got out of bed, had brownies for breakfast and my mom called so she talked with Steve for a bit. We had plans to see Avatar, but my mom said we had to see it at an IMAX theater. We had a quick lunch at 5 Guys which Steve has been craving for MONTHS before making our way over to the TX State Musuem where the IMAX theater is. The movie and the whole 3D and IMAX experience was incredible. The technology that went into this movie was an awesome experience in itself and definitely worth seeing at an IMAX over a regular movie theater for sure. The movie itself was pretty good, too. It’s not a new theme, but it still made me laugh, cry and sit at the edge of my seat.
After that, we went home and crashed. We napped up until our reservations for dinner at the Melting Pot which was generously paid by the gift card we received from the Falcones (thanks again, guys). We had the usual Big Night Out and the manager came by with champagne since it was our 2nd time celebrating a homecoming there (MP and their tracking software…lol). Everything was great, but the icing on the cake was tha they still gave us the military discount! We didn’t even ask for it since I already knew they had switched it to Sundays only, but I guess this was an exception. Sweet!
Tuesday, I went to work while Steve took care of some things including shopping for ingredients for a dinner he was going to cook that night :o) When I got home, I changed and we went over to the park by our house and ran 3 miles. This is the first time he’s ever seen me run which is true because I started March of last year, just after he deployed. Since then, I had run 3 5ks, 1 10k and a 5 miler. After our run, we went home–Steve showered and got dinner ready :o)
While cooking, his friend, Ash, FINALLY calls and after the usual “welcome home” notions, he finally drops the bomb that he’s getting married and wants Steve to be his best man. Steve was sooo happy! I played dumb and was all, “oh? what’s awesome?” lol. After the call, I showed him my emails back and forth with Ash. I was like, “I had to keep my mouth shut for 11 days!!!!!” lol. But in any case, everyone is happy.
Steve made me a spicey turkey cassoulet which was really tasty! I gave him a haircut and we snuggled on the couch with all 3 dogs to watch all 3 hours of LOST. Who knows what the heck is going on now!?!? lol. It’s so nice to have my husband back home.
Today was Steve’s first day back at work. He’ll have to work until Friday and then he’s got a month off. His first project will be to tackle the garage–he’s got 4 boxes of stuff he shipped over from Iraq and no room in our garage so he’s gotta go through the Army junk we have there now and make room–otherwise, his car will be parked in the driveway because I’m not giving up my garage space…lol.
Anyway, that’s the word on the street! Thanks to everyone for thinking of us :o) I hope to get our homecoming pictures soon. I emailed the photographer and he said he’d be sending them out on a DVD soon. I know he shot a wedding and an engagement session shortly before the homecoming so I’m sure those take precedence over my pics. As soon as I get them, I will be posting them!!!