All pictures below are courtesy of Kimber Wassenberg with Photography for Jesus. Thank you Kimber for everything!!
And now for our homecoming story...
Parker was due to land in Norfolk around 8:00 AM on Thursday, December 29th. It was forecasted to rain all morning and was around 50 degrees that day, so conditions could have been better, but rain or shine, he was coming home! I woke up at 4:45 AM to get ready, met my friend Karly and our photographers at 6:30 AM, and drove to base. Everything went perfectly, and we didn't encounter any traffic or bumps along the road. Overall, I was feeling really good. I was anxious and a little jittery, but my husband was coming home from deployment... that was to be expected. ;)
We waited in the squadron for a while before getting word that one of the two planes had taken off the ship and was on its way to us. The second of the two planes, however, had maintenance issues and was stuck on the ship. At that point, we had no idea who was on which plane. We were assured that both planes would still be coming in that day, but instead of coming in together like they were supposed to, one would come in on time and the other would be delayed.
We were all anxious hearing this, and of course everyone wanted their husband on the first plane. About 30 minutes before the first plane touched down, we got word of who was on which plane. Parker was on the first plane and was in the air (yay!), but all of my friends' husbands were on the second plane. It was bittersweet. I was excited to see Parker, but I hated that they were going to have to wait.
Seeing the plane touch down and the engine switch off is such a surreal moment. I knew my husband was just a few feet away from me, but more importantly, I knew that he had officially returned home from deployment safely. There are just no words for how wonderfully freeing that felt.
I ran right to him (okay walked quickly... I was 31 weeks pregnant, after all), and I will let the pictures tell the rest. :)
The local news usually makes an appearance at homecomings, and they asked if they could interview us when they saw how pregnant I was. Our interview actually aired that day at noon! I will try to share it next week... it's always fun to be on TV. ;)
December 29, 2016 was my favorite day of the year and easily one of the best days of our lives. I am so thankful that Parker is home safely. Now the real fun begins... it's time to have a baby!