Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Just another Manic Mon...er...Tuesday

So, I missed a day. Which is completely different than skipping a day. Skipping implies that I was completely aware of the fact that I hadn't posted anything and was consciously and voluntarily not posting anything. Missed means that I thought I had put something up at 1 AM the night before, when in fact, all I had done was choose the pictures for the post. And it was 1 AM, after all. I could have been doing the limbo with Matt Lauer under the Eiffel Tower and I probably wouldn't remember the next morning at 10 AM.

This morning, I remembered. Crickets from over here yesterday.

I sat down to download the 20 or so pictures I took of Homecoming with my camera on Saturday. I selected. I copied. I pasted. I then selected them from the camera. And I deleted. Just as I always do. Except when I went back into the folder on my computer, there were 4. And none of them were of us. Crestfallen doesn't even begin to describe it. Had Neal not been standing in front of me, offering a plate of fresh-from-the-oven biscuits drizzled with Savannah Bee honey, I would have erupted into a twisted face cry.

I hate it when I do things like that. Thinking back on it, there are only 4 or 5 photos that I took on Saturday that I'm truly sad I lost. It's a lesson learned, definitely. And I'm glad I learned it when I have some back-up photos taken by a photographer and friend, rather than learning it with, say, our photos from Paris. But it's a moment in time that is vulnerable to my memory, which, unfortunately has been gnawed through by moonshine and age.

Much love and appreciation goes to Dane Cook's Baby Daddy for snapping these on Saturday. They are suddenly more precious than gold.

I felt a tiny bit ridiculous waving this fun-sized American flag around when I really just wanted to wrap the biggest one I can find around me like a shawl and go sprinting down Main Street.

You may call it Ho-tard or Hot-tard...we called it hysterical. But that may have just been the mix of insomnia and Scrubbin' Bubbles fumes talking.

First one off the bus and carrying his trash from a carry-out order of Burger King. Not exactly how I pictured this moment. Luckily, I've learned to roll with it.

I'm not sure what he's saying here but I would be willing to bet both of my beloved fur balls that it's "Woo-hoo!", which is his default expression for any situation that calls for jubilation.

I did make him set down his trash before kissing me. I do not need Burger King to be immortalized in our Homecoming photos.

ChiefHasNoRhythm and DivaVee were reunited, as well.

 Although I had just seen Chief a month earlier, when he came back to Georgia for his R&R, DivaVee hadn't seen Neal since the 4-day pass at Ft. Bliss.

Chief and I exchanged a quick "welcome home" hug as I had, just a month ago, dined on his famous spaghetti (prepared with a stick of butter, thankyouverymuch. As Kallay would say, oh my thighs).

Home at last. This deployment was, apparently, a little harder on some than it was on others. The 352 was directed to retrieve their bags from the bus and then everyone was to reconvene in the drill hall. Our chaplain, who was also returning from Iraq, unleashed a little Martin Luther King, Jr. when he was asked to pray towards the end of a short ceremony. He started innocuously enough...thanking God for the beautiful day and a safe return to friends and family. But then that bald-headed, country boy bust out with, "And we are free at last, free at least. Thank GOD ALMIGHTY we are FREE AT LAST." That is a Soldier who is happy to be home.

And the people said AMEN!

In the time it has taken me to write this post, Neal, who is a cheesy appetizer of awesome, has managed to restore the deleted photos. He just handed me a memory stick and, unceremoniously, muttered, "here ya go." The man deserves a parade...a galaxy named after him...or, at the very least, some homemade cookies. Here is a just little bit of what he has managed to salvage in the past 20 minutes. God save the queen, God bless the U.S.A., and God love my husband, who fixes everything I break.

DivaVee says these boots are the very reason that everyone thought I was married to a brotha. Sorry to disappoint. Neal is basically snow white.

If I didn't think DivaVee would stalk silently in the night, all the way across base, and tie dead fish around my front door, I would show you a photo of what she looked like last Christmas. This woman is proof that a low-carbohydrate diet and daily exercise will melt those pounds right off. She greeted Chief as a more slender, much stronger, version of her former self. I just think she looks hawt!

There's very little in this world that's as delicious as a tutu'd baby's butt. Our fearless FRG Leader holds a 352 baby who was born during the deployment. Mama is bringing her up right, complete with Army tutu, ACU headband, and matching ACU shoes (notice the shoes, people. *swoon*).

Things are slowly falling back into place around here. Neal has diagnosed the washing machine, installed an HD antenna in the living room, baked biscuits, and updated his Facebook status. Having them home full time is an adjustment...don't let anyone tell you otherwise. But at least I can work all day knowing that if I want a hug, I just have to walk down the hall.


  1. It's really fun reading this now that I can hear your voice saying the words, inflections and all! I'm so happy Neal is home safely!

    Those boots are pretty freaking fabulous!

    And one more ! for good measure :)

  2. I love that I can now put a face with all the Diva Vee stories. I really have to come down to GA and hang out with you ladies for a few days!

  3. Hooray! Love it!! OMG the HOTARD bus!! When I saw that pic on your facebook I almost made a comment but then realized the photo was actually in someone elses album and I wasnt 100% confident that they would not be offended and that I wouldnt look like an asshole. Glad we can all agree on the HOTARD being HO-LARIOUS. :)

  4. I love this post! Mostly because I know how happy you are to have your sweet Neal home. I love the pictures and I'm so glad he is home with you, but even more excited for you that he recovered your pictures. You have a biscuit just like my Tebo. He is good like that too. :)

  5. I'm so glad the bus was meant to be a joke. I saw that pic on your page and died laughing, and then I waved Ryan over and he died laughing. So, whew! I feel much better knowing I'm not the only one.

    Also, those boots are effing hot lady, and you look FANTASTIC! So happy, so healthy... now go! Have a biscuit! :)

  6. I was grinning like an idiot while reading this entire post.
    I am so happy that you rock those above-the-knee boots.
    I am so happy that Neal was the first one off the bus (Burger King, be damned).
    And I am so happy that your Husband is back to fix things, bake you biscuits and love you all up-close-and-personal-like.
    WooHoo, indeed!

  7. Love the boots and so happy that your Neal is home safe and sound!! I don't know how you do it and a big heartfelt thank you for what you both do for all of us!

  8. You two are one of the best-looking couples I have ever seen. Your friend got some amazing pictures!

  9. Look at you! You're so hot in those boots.
    And I'm so glad you laughed at the Hotard thing because I laughed my ass off when I saw that on FB.

  10. Yeah! Go soak up all the hugs you can my dear! Welcome Home Neal!

  11. Awwww, I love all these pictures sooo much! Though I'm sorry you lost yours. That happens to me, too :(

    Welcome home, Neal. Gosh, you guys are a handsome couple!


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