I mentioned Monday that Parker's winging felt like a wedding in a lot of ways. We looked forward to the day for months, and we had planned and planned and planned down to the very last detail. If that doesn't sound like a wedding, I don't know what does. I wanted to try to make the day as special for Parker as I could. Obviously, he was receiving his wings, so it was already going to be an unforgettable day. However, there were a few little details that added to the day that we want to remember. It's not every day one earns his wings of gold and becomes a Naval Aviator!
One of the things I was most excited about surprising Parker with was this custom banner. I hung it over the garage so he would be surprised when he came home from work a couple of days before the winging and left it up through the weekend. Of course, I also learned a valuable lesson that I really should know by now. Don't print dates on anything involving the military. I ordered this banner before we knew Parker's winging date would be moved and wrote the original winging date. Then, the Navy saw an opportunity. We thought it was pretty funny that I had to sharpie the new date on. It happens.
I ordered cookies from a friend to serve after lunch the day of the winging, and I can't get over what a fabulous job she did. Wink Cookies is so talented and makes one delicious cookie! Our family and friends were raving about these all weekend, and so were we.
As a winging gift, I ordered Parker the third and final plane that he has flown throughout training: the T-44A. I love that he has a collection of all of the military planes he has flown, and I am excited to add to the list when we find out what he will be flying in the fleet. He was so excited to receive this final plane. I loved getting to display the three of them on a table for our family to see.
I also decided to order invitations for the family that was coming. These weren't really necessary, but I thought they would be fun keepsakes for everyone. Again, I printed the date, and the Navy saw an opportunity. I loved how these came out though, and I know our families were excited to receive them. I have been excited just to have it on my refrigerator for the last few weeks. It reminded us just how close the winging really was.
Parker presented me with flowers at the beginning of the winging ceremony when the spouses were recognized. What girl doesn't love getting beautiful red roses?! The ceremony wasn't about me at all, but it was really sweet of Parker to give me flowers and for the presenters to thank the spouses for our support. It's a shame we had to move two days later and didn't get to enjoy these beautiful roses longer!
Last but not least: the wings. I ordered these wings for Parker a couple of months before the winging and was itching to give them to him. I decided to buy them in Pensacola. That's where our military and aviation journey began, and I thought it was only fitting that the wings come from there. They are just gorgeous, and Parker earned every bit of them.
Parker's winging is a day we will never forget. It was such a perfect, special time to celebrate the culmination of so much hard work and passion. I had fun planning all of the little details for the big day. I wanted it to be absolutely perfect, and I really think it was. He's a winged aviator, yall! It's still sinking in, but we couldn't be more thrilled!