Thursday, August 29, 2013

North Carolina - Part 2: MATTHEW COMES HOME!

I got to Jacksonville around 5 pm. Janessa and I had some good quality girl time. We hung out and I tried to distract her from the fact that her husband was arriving home that night! Matthew had been stationed in Afghanistan for the past 8 months. I tried to keep her focused on anything, but I probably did not help much. :)

We decided to have comfort food for dinner: Kraft Mac and Cheese, salad and chicken tenders. It was delicious and just what we needed.

We knew he was arriving at the base at 4:15 am the following morning. Around 8 pm Janessa called the hotline and got great news! They were running ahead of schedule and were going to be at the base at 2:15 am! We were so pumped.

Janessa started primping around 10 pm. We planned to leave at 12:45 to get there early to hang out with the other families and wives. Janessa has been volunteering and hanging out with a wives club that has been just super. I was excited to meet those ladies as they were coming out to support her when Matthew came home.

We were ready by 12:30 am and were antsy so we left early. Here is excited Janessa:

We got to the hanger a little while later. It was super cool! I was surprised by the quantity of kids that were out at 2:15 am. Not only were they out, but they were running around and having a blast.
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I loved all the home made signs for everyone’s loved ones:
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I even made one!

There was one sign and baby that just got me. I saw a stroller approach me that said , “Outta my way…I’m MEETING my DADDY Today!”  I about lost it. So I took a picture of the stroller and then I saw he baby inside. He was so sweet. Check out his onsie…
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“Welcome home Daddy. I’ve waited my whole LIFE to meet you”. Oh man. How can you not want to see that man meet his new baby son?!? Amazing.

I enjoyed the whole experienced especially so much…

Janessa’s friends arrived and gave her a beautiful necklace. They were super sweet and I am so glad she has them.
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We closely watched the time. As it got closer to 2 am people started collecting in the front of the hanger. 

We were all ready. I was going to video, Janessa had her sign and the girls all had camera’s and phones ready to document the moment they found each other.
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We were ready! Then the busses pulled up and the crowd went crazy. The guys got off the busses and lined up as the crowd cheered. What a moment…
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and then the buses pulled away…(get ready to tear up a bit)


Matthew and Janessa's actual meeting:

After taking the video, I snapped a few more pictures…
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Then I got my hugs and Matt got to enjoy my sign…  IMG_3103

It was an unexplainable experience. I loved seeing all the families find their loved ones. IMG_3095

From there we got all his gear and drove home. It was about 4:30 am when we arrived. I went inside to video Matthew and Janessa’s puppies reacting to seeing Matthew for the first time in 8 months.

Check it out tomorrow :)

Love and Hugs, Lizzie

1 comment:

  1. I have no words except to say what an absolutely amazing experience. I am so glad you got to be a part of it. So happy for Janessa and Matt, and that baby's onesie and sign just about did me in.