Well, 7 months came and went. And my husband is home safe and sound.
I was overcome with emotion Thursday morning while I was driving to the gym. Remembering how scared I felt before this deployment, anticipating what it would be like to be apart for so long.
I was dealing with some anxiety that I didn't even understand but trusted God to show up for me as I depended on Him. I give him all the glory, and all I could repeat was "thank you Lord" with tears in my eyes on Thursday morning.
The ceremony was set for 2am on Friday morning. My week was planned down to the hour. Cleaning each room in the house, cooking a few things Billie loves (deviled eggs, paleo muffins, egg prosciutto cups, and chicken salad), and getting my heart ready to have a husband home again!
It was recommended that family arrive at the Hangar at 11:30pm on Thursday night. I took a 1-hour nap that afternoon (fat chance of anything more than that!- ha) then tried to pass the time at home before getting dolled up and making the drive to post!
Excitement and relief flooded over me when I walked into the hanger and spotted my friends.
Here are a couple of them. A tad excited. Plus a tad delirious. Let the waiting begin.
We waited and chatted and waited some more. Then my mother in law and Billie's step dad arrived, and I was SO excited to see them. They made the long drive from Louisiana to be here for the special occasion.
Around 1:30, the crowd went outside and lined up behind some barricades.
We were all tracking the flight on our cell phones. We watched and listened in the direction we thought the plane would come from. Finally, we heard the plane in the air! The crowd began cheering, and goosebumps ensued.
Landed! After a short time, the soldiers began to file out one at a time and walk towards the hangar before lining up in formation.
Then... I spotted my man. I ran behind the barricaded crowd, following him all the way towards the hangar. He didn't see me, and I didn't have a voice to yell. But gosh, it was SO good to see him.
Families returned to the hanger and waited while the guys gathered in formation. As instructed, we yelled "OPEN THE DOORS" in unison, and soldiers pulled the hangar doors open for the formation to march in.
I spotted Billie so I could make a bee-line to him once formation was broken. See him on the end of the row??
And that's exactly what I did.
We hugged and chatted for a few minutes before the guys lined back up and went outside to turn in their weapons.
FINALLY, we were reunited again and free to leave around 4:15am.
There is nothing else like a Homecoming ceremony, that's for sure. I'm incredibly thankful I got to experience that. I am not a night owl, and I was nervous about how I would be at 2am. But I didn't feel the time at all. Deployments can be hard. But reunions are SO sweet. Feels like my heart could explode from happiness.