YES! DH is home now (well not RIGHT NOW!) but home from over there!
DH had asked someone from his office to send me his return flight info and she did...but that was it. LOL! DH told me that I should be able to find them at the airport so we could all be together to greet them... but I'm getting ahead of myself.
After DH had passed his job on to the new guy he had quite a bit of free time and was emailing and instant messenger-ing me a lot. It was quite funny as his night was my morning...so he would always sign off "good night! sleep well." and I would of course say "good morning" but he was "talking" to me during his evening before he went to bed.
When it was getting pretty close to time for him to leave I asked if we would be IMing the next day and he ignored the question. So I knew he was leaving the next day. His return trip took a few days, but we knew when he would be home.
So Wednesday (9th) Darly & I headed to the airport. When we got there we learned that the parking area that I was intending to park in was full and we had to park way out in the boonies. The temp was below zero and by the time I got our car parked and locked up we had missed the shuttle to the airport. So we walked. As we approached the next shuttle stop we had also just missed that shuttle...ugh! Well we walked quickly!
When we got inside the terminal we went to the Airlines ticketing to get a pass to go out to the gate. but of course that info isn't posted on a sign anywhere...and I didn't find a "Customer Service" counter anywhere. I had walked past all the lines trying to find a Airlines employee to ask where we were to go and as I headed back I finally saw a gal trying to make sure that folks were in the correct line. I hollered at her from over 3 lines of folks if I could ask her a question. She says I can and as I make my way to her another gal cuts in front of me to ask something. *eyeroll!*
So I finally get to ask this employee ... "My husband is returning from Iraq today. I was told I could get a pass to go meet him at the gate. Can you tell me where I need to go to get that?" As I finish saying that another family meeting their service member had showed up too. This employee says she can help us and directs us to an empty computer to print out our passes. It turned out that the other family's service member was DH's boss.
So next we get to wait to go through security and then take the train to the concourse. When we get to the gate of course there is no arrival info because normally you can't meet folks at the gate. It doesn't even tell you at the gate that the plane is coming from Xcity. So I asked the gate agent while flashing my pass.
We don't notice anyone else at the gate to meet our guys...hummm
The plane finally arrives and starts unloading. DH's boss' family has a "flat daddy" (they took a picture of their service member in uniform and blew it up to life size and mounted it on cardboard...they had been taking it with them all over and taking pictures of them doing stuff with the "flat daddy" in the shots) One of the other passengers notices the "flat daddy" and tells us that our guys are all waiting at the end of the gangway to come out together.
Finally our guys come out of the gangway...and it seems that no one else has noticed (meaning the folks waiting for to board for the next flight) so I started clapping for our guys. You could tell when folks realized what was going on and started joining in. Many folks walked up and thanked our guys and wished them a Merry Christmas.
As we made our way up to baggage claim some of the guys disappeared, so we waited for them all to get back together. Turns out that one of the kids had left his backpack and they had to go back to get it (I was wondering why all those kids had backpacks when they weren't going anywhere??? I never did find out why) So we all rode the train back to the terminal together and everyone else from the office, boy scouts and some veterans were there with flags and welcome home banners!
it was a very respectable welcome home for the guys!
We then had to make our way to the base for DH to fill out all his paperwork. That took a long time because everyone kept coming in to talk to the guys...especially DH because of his position. DH was actually getting a bit annoyed with them.
We finally made it home and let Lilly out into the garage to greet DH. At first she was scared (I think the balloon that DH was holding might have been part of it) but as soon as DH said "Hello Lilly" she knew who this guy was and gave him a proper hello!
DH won't have to go back to work for real until mid Jan. So I should come up with something for us to do or we're going to go nuts!
I've been working on our Christmas cards and we still need to get our family picture taken so I can get the cards printed. I'm hoping to get that all done today. Wish me luck!