I was planning on posting some straight up AMAZING Skinny Chicken Alfredo today, but my heart’s just not in that quite yet. And it is too delicious to be written about when I’m not feelin’ it, nahmean?? Do not fret – it will be posted later this week. What I HAVE to write about today is Seth’s homecoming.
I have been talking about Seth coming home for weeks and weeks on here, but I was not allowed to mention exact dates/times/etc…for security reasons. I have been dying to tell you what has been going on. And now I finally get to talk about it because HE IS HOME!!! Ugh, so happy. So, our homecoming story!
First of all, Seth was supposed to come home a week earlier than he did. He found out very soon before his supposed return date that he was being pushed back a week. Which really sucked. But that week (surprisingly) ended up going by very quickly, so it was all good. The days before he actually came home were emotionally insane, which I will write about in another blog post that will be about the deployment in its entirety.
So, the morning of: we got up (by “we” I mean his mom, his dad, and I) at about 7:00 am and started to get ready. I woke up to a text from Seth from WAY earlier in the morning saying that he landed in Maine! It was absolutely incredible to hear that he was on U.S. soil. Soon after I woke up, he texted me again saying that they landed in Topeka. Which is around forty five minutes from where I live, so that was really crazy to wrap my mind around.
I remember having a SHOCKING realization that it was the exact same time of day for both of us. “Wait…it’s 7:17 for you too!!!! WE ARE IN THE SAME TIME ZONE!” After months and months and moonntthhss of dealing with a nine hour time difference, being in the same time zone was CRAZY and awesome. It was crazy awesome ??.
So we got all ready to go, drove over to the building where the ceremony was being held, picked our seats, and waited.
There was an Army band that was there to entertain us. You might be thinking “Oh like a band with trumpets and violins and all that jazz?” because that’s what I was thinking too. Nope – it was a straight up band-band. Like a rock band. And they were in full uniform. It was so strange to see guys in uniform jammin’ out to the Rolling Stones because they are usually so formal and serious when in uniform.
Awww yeah. Get it.
They were actually really good!!!! So the band played for a bit while we all waited, and my stomach was just going CRAZY. Like, more so than on my wedding day. There was so much anticipation and build up, I can barely put it into words. I felt like I was going to bust into a million pieces if he didn’t walk through those doors in the next three seconds.
Then the Army band started singing “Happy” by Pharrell (say whaaaat? Yes.) and the main singer yells “And now, everyone, give a huge welcome to your soldiers!” And as he said “soldiers” the doors busted open and they all started marching out in a line. The crowd went crazy. It was an indescribably exciting moment.
Okay, this picture was soon followed by extreme nervousness, because Seth just wasn’t walking in. Lines and lines of people were filling the room, and Seth wasn’t one of them. The soldiers even stopped walking in at one point, and the doors looked like they were closing. My heart dropped and my mind went into minor panic mode for about ten seconds (felt like minutes) before the line of soldiers continued. Then I saw Seth walk through those doors, and my heart stopped. One of the most exciting moments of my life, that’s for sure.
All of the soldiers had to face forward until everyone finished marching in, so Seth (along with everyone else) wasn’t facing the crowd. Finally, once everyone was inside, they all turned and faced us.
This next part was the most emotional part of the day for me. More than seeing him walk through the doors. More than hugging him for the first time. The soldiers all turned to face the crowd, and I watched Seth. His eyes immediately started scanning the crowd, looking up and down, side to side.
When we made eye contact for the first time, a big smile spread across his face. The first time we had seen each other in eight months. Of course I started basically sobbing immediately. I’m not sure how to put that moment into words, but making eye contact with him for the first time and seeing that reaction – I’ve never experienced a moment like that in my life. Not to mention they are supposed to keep straight faces while in formation, so all the guys around him were stone faced and he was grinning ear to ear. UGH – best moment ever.
They kept them in formation for a few minutes before releasing them to us. And theeennn it happened. They were released, and everyone ran down into the crowd of soldiers. I was rushing through, looking for him like crazy. It didn’t take long. This picture is blurry, but it’s right after we found each other.
And then lots of hugging, lots of crying, lots of kissing.
His parents were able to come too, which was awesome!
This phase of the day probably lasted for about fifteen minutes. Then we were able to get his bags, leave, and go home for the Boone reunion, which we were both SO PUMPED about. If you even semi keep up with this blog, you know how obsessed we are with our dog.
I can’t tell you guys how many times over the last eight months Seth said things like “What if he doesn’t remember me?” “What if he just doesn’t really care that I’m back?” So the reaction that Boone ended up having to Seth coming home was just perfect.
This picture says it all:
The look on Boone’s face!!! So sweet.
He got back yesterday morning, and it has just been absolutely fantastic. Deployments suck, but man – you can’t beat those homecomings.