For starters, the night before we left, I had stomach issues. I've been dealing with stomach issues for a while now where I get really bad GERD (nausea, heartburn, vomiting, sore throat because of stomach acid), but it's only on the rare occasions I don't regularly take my Nexium. But of course, the night before we left I was up a majority of the night with stomach aches and nausea... it would figure! So I got on the road later than I wanted and we had to make a few stops along the way because of my stomach issues. Once we got into El Paso, it was chaos. I had to get my car inspected since it wasn't up to date and I wanted to run to the store to get a few things.
Originally Derek was scheduled to come in at 9:00 that night and then it was changed to 11:15 that night. Naturally I thought with the time change, I had plenty of time to get everything done. Not. So. Much. Bear with the long story! I got into El Paso around 6:00. We went straight to the hotel, of course, and checked in. I give the guy my card, I sign the sheet and as he's getting my key ready, he says, "Oh, sorry to mention this now, but our boiler is out and we won't have warm water until around 11 am tomorrow." I was kind of mad about it, but it wasn't a big deal, I could suck it up. Well, I got up to the room and got all our expensive electronics in the room and I instantly smelled cigarette nastiness. I had booked a smoking free room... Needless to say I was pissed, but I figured I could get the car inspected and deal with it later.
At 7:00 when I finally got to Pep Boys, our friend text me to make sure Derek was still getting in at 11:15. So I double checked online just to make sure he was. Wouldn't you know it, the time said 9:00 again!! I needed to shower and get ready and I was supposed to be waiting for 40 minutes at Pep Boys. So I asked the guys at Pep Boys if I could just cancel my inspection because of the circumstances and they rushed it for me (super nice of them, too). But on the drive back to the hotel, I remembered that there was no hot water!! So I went to the front desk and asked for a refund because of the smoke and water. They did refund me, but they were reluctant. Regardless, I went to another hotel and it was a mad dash to get moving.
I was supposed to leave at 8:00 to head to the airfield. I figured it would allow enough time to get there, grab Lilli some food and grab myself something to drink from the shopette.... It was 8:00 by the time I got in the shower at the other hotel room! Needless to say, between Lilli and myself, we were running to get ready and get out the door. I got to the airfield, half wet hair and the worst make up job ever, around 8:55 that night. We made it just in time to see him land! It was a magical moment and I was on the verge of tears the whole time just anticipating him in my arms. We saw him get off the plane and then waited about 30 minutes after for him to turn in his weapon and do in processing. When we finally did see him.... words cannot explain the joy! Here's the pictures from that day. We are so relieved and happy that he is home :)
Watching the plane come in!
Waving to the fellow soldiers coming home
Our outfits for daddy's homecoming!
Lilli just trying to be patient
She was so tired and cranky. But she is so pretty!
Love these sweet hugs!
Looking at the cool ceiling and her reflection.
She was spent. She wanted to go home.
They were finally released!
Lilli and dada's first hug!
So attached from that moment on.
I finally got my kisses and hug!
So much relief and joy all at the same time.
Hugging with a death grip, haha!
Our family, finally complete (and a grumpy child who didn't want to take the picture :)