It was a crazy week of knowing and not knowing when Mike would be arriving home. First it was Wednesday night, then Thursday night and just kept getting pushed further and further back. I had cleaned the house several times and tried my hardest to keep it in some kind of order. I had made several frozen pizza's and mac and cheese dinners because I was so anxious I didn't want to try and make a big meal. Every time I did something like change a diaper, put them to bed, go run an errand, go to sleep alone I would think to myself, "could this be the last time I would be doing this alone?" I had such a hard time not telling people "at this time tomorrow...". It was thursday night and I knew that Mike was leaving Germany (his layover) and would be heading home. I got Logan ready for bed and read him one of the "deployment" books about Daddy being away from home. This one was our favorite. I made a star out of paper to put in the book so that when we were reading it, he would see it and I could then tell him that we are bringing that star to Daddy tomorrow. When he saw it he kinda froze and then grabbed it, looked at it and put it down and wanted it to stay next to his bed.
I got a text at 2:30 Friday morning from Mike saying they were in Maine and going to be leaving soon to come to VA. Our told time from the Command was 6:00am for their arrival. I was going to get to the airport at 5 just so I could get my bearings on the surroundings and just get ready. So I was up early curling my hair and I got another text from him at 3:30 saying they were leaving shortly and it was only a 1.5 hour flight. I was like...ok that means you will get here at 5! I gotta hurry! I had bought a special outfit for me and the boys and even though it was so early, I still wanted to be all dressed up. I woke logan up and said "lets go get Daddy"...ok, just to let you all know, I have WAITED so long to say those words. In the beginning of the deployment he would say "go get daddy?" and I would have to say later. It felt so good and so unreal to say that. He happily got dressed and sat on my bed watching 101 Dalmatians while I got Austin ready. They had matching outfits....the cutest ever! As you can see in the pictures Austin looked soooo tired, feel bad for the babe he had no idea what was going on.
We arrived on base and a good friend of mine was there early too. I was grateful I wasn't there by myself, however because they were early we were the only families to greet over a dozen guys who have families on their way. I felt so bad that they weren't there to meet them right away. Anyways, we got through the security and not ten minutes later were they walking through the doors. I couldn't believe it was happening!
Because they were early, my picture taker wasn't there and so I was able to snap pictures of the boys with mike and there may be some pictures of Mike and I on a friends camera...we will see. We saw Mike walk in and Logan was standing next to me holding his star and Austin was in my arms. He saw us and Mike's face lit up, I stooped down to point out Daddy, and once he saw him we took off for Mike. Logan was saying "DADDY! DADDY!" and I was kissing my man. He never looked so handsome and so incredible. After a long hug and kiss he stooped down and looked at his son.
As I knew it would be one of the first things Logan would say and do would be to show Mike the Monster truck that he was holding and say "Monster Truck!"
There were hugs and kisses.
And Logan and Mike traded stars. Mike had made him a star to give Logan when they saw each other.
Then Mike got to see his BIG boy Austin. Who was only 6 weeks old when he left and is now 8.5 months old. Austin was hesitant at first and just starred at Mike.
But after a quick toss in the air, Austin gave Mike one of his genuine and huge smiles. Kinda neat to see Mike with his gorgeous and amazing sons.
Here we are as a complete family again. There weren't any tears shed once we saw him and we were smiling the whole way home, Logan talking our ears off. The rest of the day was filled with "Daddy Wrestle!" and mexican food. It wasn't until things quieted down that I was able to soak in Mike, and then I let the tears flow. I didn't realize how lonely I was and how much I was holding my breath during the last 7 months. To have the help from my partner and their dad is incredible. To have that loving touch and incredible smile right in front of me is still so surreal. I am so grateful that the Lord brought him home safely and that things are going so well. It isn't easy having to say goodbye, adjust, have them come home, and then adjust again. But when it is the Love of Your Life...it is so much more than worth it.