Monday, December 18, 2006

Homecoming last

Sorry it has been so long since I's been a busy few weeks since Seth came home, what with Christmas coming up so soon and my house to soon be bursting at the seams with the boys and Katie. But, as promised, here are some pictures from the homecoming.

We awaited his arrival in this gym, along with a ton of other families who were just as anxious as we were to see their Soldiers. A very nice lady took this picture of all of us...waiting. They were delayed an hour or big surprise...but nothing could dampen our spirits.

Loud music echoed off the walls of the gym, kids ran around everywhere, and welcome home signs covered the walls and were held by family members. There were huge smiles, as well as a few tears, in the bleachers around us. The guys finally came running in, amidst smoke and was soooo exciting and my heart was beating a mile a minute. Katie screamed so loud that she was hoarse afterwards. Here they are, our boys, standing in formation and waiting to be dismissed. Seth is in about the 4th row back from the front on the other side of the gym...we spotted him when he ran in.

After they were dismissed, Seth found us and immediately gathered up his Katie. This picture pretty much says it all...... :)
The rest of us waited in the bleachers for them so they could at least have these first few minutes alone.

You can see from the redness around Katie's eyes that she shed a few tears of joy, so did I when I saw his smiling face. Funny, it still gets to me when I think about it......go figure...... :)

After the ceremony, Seth stopped to say hello to a couple of people and to one of his Lts who came back about a month early. That Lt made every homecoming ceremony, and there were many, until all his men were home...that says alot about the caliber of officer Seth has. Finally, we picked up his bags from the holding tent and headed for the cars......and home.

What greeted Seth on the bumper of his truck was a little present from Kevin...a bumper sticker that read My brother is in the Air Force. The expression on Seth's face was he and Kevin have a great rivalry about the Army and the Air Force...but the sticker was still there a week later..... :)

We took this picture of the brothers being brothers in the backyard of Seth & Katie's new house on base. I have a picture from about nine years ago where the two older boys were squishing Seth just like this. Some things never change......thank goodness.

This last picture shows what Seth did the rest of the week after he came to Dallas. We all headed for the country where he couldn't wait to tear up the countryside on 4-wheelers with his brothers. He got quite a bit of air on this jump...but at least he didn't break another

All I can say is...I'm so thankful and happy that he's home...... :)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Giving thanks......

Here's a picture of my welcome home kiss for Seth, but before I post any more pictures of Seth's homecoming, I need to give thanks. It's true that Thanksgiving has come and gone, but it hasn't for me, and it may not for some time to come. I've been thinking alot about all the wonderful blessings God has bestowed on me, especially this year. I've been given so much...a wonderful family, great friends, supportive co-workers and bosses, and the safe return of my youngest from much more than I deserve. I'm so thankful for each and every one.

I have to start out by giving thanks for all of you guys out there in the milblogosphere who have been so very important to me. Especially those of you who have, or had, a loved one deployed. All of you have been so supportive. You've made the year move so much faster than it would have by sharing your lives and faith when I needed it so badly. You have helped me in ways you'll never know. It's funny how I've become so attached to all of you and I've never even met you, and probably never will. I wish that I could hug each and every one of you, but alas, a cyber hug is all I can send your way...for now. I want you all to know how much you've meant to me and how appreciated you are and that if you ever need anything...I'm here. And I mean that.

I want to give special thanks for those wonderful people in my life who have been there with a shoulder when I needed it, be it in person or over the (the ancient warrior who always kept me grounded and was anxious to hear the latest about Seth's adventures), Susie and Sharon (my sisters who were such wonderful distractions and helped me keep things in perspective), Ken (my wonderful hubby who put up with me through thick and thin), Rick and Kevin (my two older sons who were just always there and steady), Gabe (Seth's buddy in Iraq who kept me informed when I couldn't talk to Seth), and Casanova (a long-distance friend who's been there, done that - deployment, that is - who put up with my emails, was always there to reassure me when things got scary, and would call to make me laugh just when I needed it most). You've all seen or heard me at my worst during this long year of deployment and have helped me find my smile again. Not many have seen me that vulnerable...after all, I'm the strong one.....right??? There's no way I could ever tell all of you how much you've meant to me without crying more than I am right now...but you'll always have my undying love...and I'll always be there for you, no matter what.