Homecoming 6 Months Early

I have finally come out of the clouds and have landed safely back into “reality”. My writing has taken a back seat to evenings spent catching up on 7 months of missed conversation, cooking real dinners, his TV shows, his Netflix picks and his favorite restaurants. Isn’t it funny how that happens when they get home. The boys have spent lots of one on one time in between soccer, boy scouts, motorcycle rides and the new Wii. I thought it was time to catch up on the details of this unique homecoming.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about our last phone call from “over there” and how strange it was knowing that he was “really” on his way home. I hate to admit that I wasn’t letting myself get too excited until I knew he was in Kuwait for fear the Navy and the Army would change their minds and keep him in country.

In my last post I talked about planning for R&R and I was told to plan for a HOMECOMING.

When was the last time you heard of that happening?? (more details of why that happened in a different post)

I think when he finally landed in the States he had been traveling for over 72 hours. I feel for the guys whose wives plan trips immediately upon their arrival. I’m so glad I sought the advice of several wives on this subject….who knew it would take FOREVER to get out of “over there”. Plus, since it is so close to summer it makes sense to wait till then for any road trips. The only requests he gave me for his homecoming were: his favorite meal, his favorite beer, something from his favorite store in the mall (VS), and no parties….oh and me off work for a week.

I was able to pull all of that off with not too much effort. What was different about this homecoming than ones of the past?

1. It was in a airport vs. a pier so we stood out like crazy.

2. My neighbors thought I was crazy when they saw me with 50 plus mini- American Flags that I put on every other driveway from my house to the entrance of the subdivision. After asking “Can I put a flag by your mailbox, my husbands coming home from Afghanistan tomorrow”, it was finally starting to sink in. The more I said “it” the more emotional I found myself, so after about the 7th house, I quit asking and just starting putting the flags in the ground anyway.

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The Last Phone Call from “Over There”

Soon my husband will be home. Just when I was hating the Navy, they saw fit to shorten my husbands orders and the Army unit he was attached to agreed! I’m so loving the Navy and the Army right now! I’ll probably never say that in the same sentence again! ….at least I hope not! Instead of R&R and two weeks of bliss at home (minus the nagging feeling that saying good-bye again would be harder than the first time), he announced he wouldn’t be coming home for 2 weeks….he was coming home… home.

I thought, “Did he just say “home home”?? I had already planned the next weeks. What we would do or……not do, places we would visit, the favorite meals I would cook. Two weeks of favorite things and special days to show the guest of honor just how much he was missed and loved. Now, I have weeks and weeks and weeks with him….no impending airline reservation calling him back “over there”.

The other night about 730pm, my phone rang. It was him and we chatted for about 15 min, talking about his flights and process home. I said just before hanging up, “so, is this our last phone call from Afghanistan?” he said, “yes, I guess it is…” and there was an unmistakable silence on the line.

Six months later and we are almost done….almost….. I can’t wait for the phone call from Kuwait.

Decorating for Christmas

This weekend has been filled with lots of food, family, friends and the unpacking of LOTS of Christmas decorations. I always tell myself I am going to decorate the first weekend in November. It never actually happens though, because the hubby insists “no decorations” until after Thanksgiving. So….Thanksgiving weekend is traditionally when our decorations go up. This year I had ample time to get decorations up early…..and even though I had rearranged furniture and purchased some wreaths for my windows nothing really made it out of the attic.

I guess Big K was working his “delay the decorating” magic all the way from Afghan. This weekend like tradition would have it, we put up our tree and decorated our house. I had contemplated not decorating since we might not be home on “Christmas”, in the end I decided to pull every box down. LilK was a big help and the hot cocoa was flowing.

Here are my top 5 hightlights from the decorating extravaganza.

1. We have more Santa’s than any family should have. (Somehow Big K received a Santa one year and family always makes sure we get a new one each year.)

2. Hanging Big K’s stocking was very sad, made me miss him even more. I almost didn’t put it up…..but then decided against it. It is right next to Med K’s who’ll be in FL for Christmas this year.

3. The living room has the perfect window for the tree. Last year I put it up in the corner of the living room….it looks much better in front of the window even though it takes up more space.

4. The fun of decorating two trees. Our family tree is in the living room and I have one skinny tree in the dining room. I hang all white and silver ornaments on that tree….it is very simple and does not have that many ornaments.

5. Finding and remembering the story behind special ornaments. We get one special ornament every year. They usually come from some place we have traveled. They don’t have to be expensive, just unique. Sometimes they are dated, but not always. It’s a great tradition and I especially love all the hand made “school” ornaments.

Now if I can just locate my camera to take some photos…..

Bill O’Reilly Visits the Troops in Afghanistan

The husband reported over the weekend meeting Bill O’Reilly. He was supposed to see him on Saturday, but missed him due to work schedule…however on Sunday Bill was at the DFAC spending time with the troops and hanging out. Craig said Bill looked very tired, Im guessing the time change and the fact he there are no “heavenly beds” nearby contributed to his haggard look. Im so thankful that he didn’t let his tiredness stop him from sharing some love with the troops. Craig said he had been giving out his new book, but that they were out by the time he got there.

I’ll be posting the photo they took together and more details.

Craig said it was a bit of a circus and that he probably met over 1,000 soldiers / sailors and airman.

I think its great for the troops to have the distraction and positive words of encouragement during this holiday time.

Thanks Bill O’Reilly for the trip, meeting my husband…..and I hope you got his autograph.