Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Happy Homecoming

Anyone who has ever read more than two of my blogs should know by now that I like to look for the big meaning behind the littlest of things. This, in turn, translates into me liking to make big events for the littlest of reasons. Well this weekend, my husband finally came home from deployment, which was a BIG deal in and of itself...let us all try to envision the spectacle I attempted to make out of that!

Homecoming was a day I planned for and anticipated since the moment my husband left. He deployed in September and his welcome home banner had already been ordered, shipped, and stored away in October. The "welcome home cake" was researched months in advance. My homecoming outfit was purchased in April--3 months before the big day. I burned through two evenings and a bottle of wine making my daughter's American rag tutu for her to wear the night of her daddy's return. The "Welcome Home Dad" banner that I handcrafted for the inside of the house was hanging weeks before my husband actually came home. I kept stacks upon stacks of patriotic scrapbook paper, stickers, etc. piled up in my closet to turn into decorations for the big day whenever inspiration struck me. I literally had to ground myself from Hobby Lobby once their Fourth of July decor hit the display shelves.

With all of my advanced preparation and unnecessary planning, one would think that the big day would have gone off without a hitch...think again.

The day of Nathan's homecoming, I was still hostessing two houseguests (which in hindsight, was one of the best parts of the craziness as it kept me super distracted.) After I dropped them off at the airport, I thought I had around six hours or so to put the house back together and decorate it. Turns out, I didn't get six hours, but four. Score one for being on Facebook too much and catching the LAST minute change to the flight schedule!

In Facebook world, the banner that I had hung above the garage was showcased flying prominently and proudly in the sunshine.
In reality, I had to hang that bad boy up in the rain. It took me about 40 minutes, 50 big rain splats to the eyeball, and 16 good whacks to the thumb before I was able to get that sucker secured above the garage. Around 430pm I went through the garage to take out some garbage and found it on the ground, in a wad, covered in dirt. Already being dressed and ready to go, I grabbed some Command Strips and stuck it directly to the garage door. As we fled to the car in a tizzy, I found the banner again on the ground, in a big muddy rain puddle. The dirty sign eventually was draped over the car seats for Nathan to see after we walked him to the car.

My photo album will remember my patriotic scrapbook paper crafts like this:
In fact, my husband never got to see them this way. Remember the rain? Not so good for paper pinwheels. The first time my husband saw them was picking out soggy paper wedged between the bushes and throwing them directly into a garbage bag.

The signs my children painted for my husband will be forever remembered as looking like this:
But moments before the soldiers piled into the room in formation, my son spilled his bottle of water all over both of them, completely destroying his and bleeding paint down Samantha's.

The fabulous homecoming cake stayed looking fabulous...
...It was just room temperature by the time Nathan got home to it about 5.5 hours later. (I didn't get to nestle my icepacks into the middle of the cans in the midst of the rush to leave the house.)

My dress was pretty awesome, until my son smeared Cheetos all down the backside of it. My hair did look good until I had to stand outside in the rain for about 15 minutes before being allowed to enter the building. My makeup looked good too until I cried it all off. (But they were happy tears!)

But in spite of all of the craziness and waiting, we FINALLY got to share this moment:
And it was absolutely every bit as perfect as it looks :)

And I am not so crazy to know that in the end, that was all that really mattered.
(And I hope my husband feels the same way after I brought him home to eat a supper of leftovers and warm beer!)


  1. I really enjoyed reading this. I welcomed home my soldier last July 2011. The week leading up to his homecoming was far from ordinary though. I lived in Nebraska at the time and was working with my current employer to set up a new job for when we moved at the end of July. I was home and staying with my parents the weekend prior to homecoming with my sister and her three kids. That weekend a terrible storm swept through the area and heavily damaged our farm and left us withough AC or power during the crucial part of the storm recovery. While doing storm clean up, my sister (who has three young children) had a gall stone pass and caused excruciating pain and ended up having emergency gall stone surgery to get it removed. The next morning we were all on our way to the coming Home ceremony. Needless to say, I never got the chance to travel back to Nebraska to retrieve the Welcome Home banner, my outfit, or anything else I had planned. The important thing was that no one was seriously injured from the storm, the farm was still standing, and all the important people were present for his homecoming. Thank you for sharing and congratulations on your soldier being home! And thank you for your sacrifice while he was serving.

    1. Thank you, Brittney! I have heard so many homecoming horror stories, so I know that my "disasters" are very VERY tiny in comparison to the ones other people have endured! Kudos to you for overcoming all of your homecoming craziness, rolling with the punches, and focusing instead on the things that really matter!

  2. Aww! How sweet :) I too am at fault for being an over-achiever! Maybe that was God's plan to prove how much your hubbie love's you in spite that in the end not all of your tasks worked out as perfectly as you had planned. Congrats on your family's reintegration! I am looking forward to having my hubbie home in a few days too! God Bless you and your family