Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Came Early–Welcome Home

Christmas came early in our home.  We got the best Christmas gift we could ask for – having our family back together again!

Smith Family Homecoming_0582

The USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) returned from a 7-month deployment on Saturday.

Smith Family Homecoming_0008Smith Family Homecoming_0028

My friend Audra of Simple Soul Photography braved the cold and wind to document the occasion.  She did an absolutely amazing job capturing the joy of homecoming. 

Smith Family Homecoming_0075Smith Family Homecoming_0050bwSmith Family Homecoming_0147

Jarrod (and my dad who had met the ship in Mayport, Florida and rode back into Norfolk on a tiger cruise – more to come on that in another post) was on the flight deck, and he and I were on the phone with each other so that he could find where we were standing in the huge crowd and move to a spot directly in front of us.

Smith Family Homecoming_0084Smith Family Homecoming_0090 text(My dad is next to Jarrod with the circle going through the middle of his hat)

Smith Family Homecoming_0121Smith Family Homecoming_0136bw

My mom was holding Charlotte for a while, and I had her for a little while too.  It wasn’t long before she started saying, “Stroller!  Stroller!”.  She was warmer and more comfortable in the stroller.  It didn’t take her much time to settle in for a nap.

Smith Family Homecoming_0157Smith Family Homecoming_0250

Trenton also found ways to pass the time while waiting for Daddy to come off the ship: finding and playing with a random button found on the ground, eating a pop tart, and hanging on to Mommy.

Smith Family Homecoming_0224Smith Family Homecoming_0276Smith Family Homecoming_0347

I am so in love with the next sequence of photos.  Trenton saw Daddy, ran up to give him a hug, and then ran back to me to make sure I saw Daddy too!

Smith Family Homecoming_0357Smith Family Homecoming_0360Smith Family Homecoming_0362Smith Family Homecoming_0366bwSmith Family Homecoming_0371Smith Family Homecoming_0375bwSmith Family Homecoming_0379

And then it was my turn.  After seven long months, I had my husband back.

Smith Family Homecoming_0383Smith Family Homecoming_0384bwSmith Family Homecoming_0388Smith Family Homecoming_0391Smith Family Homecoming_0395

Smith Family Homecoming_0437

And Charlotte?  She was napping through all of the excitement!

Smith Family Homecoming_0406Smith Family Homecoming_0465

Since Sleeping Beauty didn’t show any signs of awaking soon, Trenton got a gift from Daddy.  Trenton is so proud of his new “Daddy Ship”.

Smith Family Homecoming_0422Smith Family Homecoming_0425Smith Family Homecoming_0426

And then it was my turn again.  Oh how I missed this man.

Smith Family Homecoming_0493Smith Family Homecoming_0484bw

Smith Family Homecoming_0651

We finally decided to wake Charlotte up.  She was a little shy at first, but it didn’t take her long to warm up to Daddy and wrap him around her little finger. 

Smith Family Homecoming_0512Smith Family Homecoming_0516Smith Family Homecoming_0528Smith Family Homecoming_0635-1Smith Family Homecoming_0625bw

We are so happy to have our family whole again! 

Smith Family Homecoming_0572

There are many military families who are not as lucky and don’t have their families together this holiday season.  Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

I selected this post to be featured on Military Blogs. Please visit the site and vote for my blog!

48 comments:

Gabby said...

i don't think i have loved a post as much as i love this one! the pictures are A-MA-ZING! made me tear up all over again!!! so happy y'all are together again at last! Merry Christmas to all of you :)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! God is definitely good! I do admit I teared up several times, seeing all the happiness on everyone's faces! I know you all won't need any presents this year, as being together after so long is the best gift!

Jessica said...

stopping by from Kelly's Korner -
love all these photos and what a very Merry Christmas gift indeed! I completely understand...my hubby's deployment just ended a few weeks ago - I think our families have A LOT to celebrate this year. Welcome Home to your husband and much thanks for your family's service to our country =)

MamaMunky said...

This is my first time at your blog and i balled my eyes out at these pics. What a wonderful early Christmas present! I got out of the Army right after the birth of my son (now 17 months old) because I just couldn't bear to leave him. God bless your family!

Lobster meets Peach said...

I found your blog via Kelly's Korner and I just had to vote for your beautiful post! Thank you to your family for all you give up to keep American's safe! I hope your lovely family has a Merry Christmas!!!!!

Kelly L said...

Your post made me cry - So happy your family is together for Christmas! I am your newest follower from Friday blog hop.
I am hoping you will be interested in joining me for a January Challenge - I'm looking for recipes - money saving ideas - coupons - any idea that you have found that works to save you and your family money. Would be great if you could visit my site for more information - All contributions will have links back to the contributors site... Thanks much - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
I've Become My Mother
I've Become My Mother facebook

Terri Thompson said...

What a beautiful series of photos and how wonderful to have your husband back right before Christmas! I hope you & your family have a most wonderful Christmas!!

Mom of the Twinkies and Tot! said...

I'm sobbing over here now! Gorgeous pictures to capture such an amazing day for your family! I recently met a friend through twitter who was in Hawaii but moved in with her inlaws while her husband is deployed right now and it just happened to be where I live that her inlaws live. I love getting together with her and will miss the day that she moves after her husband returns home. I'll of course be happy for her and her family being back together, but will miss my new friend! It's amazing what technology can do nowadays! I can't wait for her to have this little homecoming in a few months, too! Merry Christmas!

Jenny said...

Thanks, everyone! We are so happy to be back together! What a wonderful Christmas season!

Irena J. said...

can't say enough how I admire navy and military wives. You girls are such heroes, when i think of you I'm so ashamed of my winning when hubby goes on a business trip for a day or two. Enjoy your holidays, you definetly deserved it!

hilljean said...

Oh these photos are just gorgeous! Absolutely sweet. I am so happy you got your man home :) Happy SITS day and Merry Christmas!

Kim@Co-Pilot Mom said...

What a wonderful day - and how amazing that you captured it all with such photos! Hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season!

Ashley Ellis said...

What gorgeous photos! Brought tears to my eyes!! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

Anna Hettick said...

How sweet!! I loved this post!! So precious to see a sweet family reunited.

Happy SITS Day!!

Student Mommy said...

Wow - that even brought tears to my eyes. Explain that when I don't know you!

Emily @ The Busy Mom's Diet said...

So sweet! I'm totally tearing! Happy SITS Day!

Growing Tween said...

This brought tears to my eyes! My hubby was in the military when we were first married and I remember those cold mornings in Yokosuka waiting for his ship to pull in! I couldn't wait to show him how much the babes had grown (we didn't have Skype!).
Have a wonderful day sharing your story today on SITS!

doseofreality said...

Oh my Lord, I am totally crying reading this post and looking at these AMAZING pictures! What a perfect way to capture such a wonderful reunion! Happy SITS day! :)

Bev Feldman said...

What stunning photos to capture such a beautiful holiday return! Happy SITS day :-)

JDaniel4's Mom said...

What wonderful reunion! I love the hug series of pictures too.

Sarah said...

Having been in the Navy, I can totally feel what it's like to come home. I remember waiting on board counting the minutes until I could get off the ship and see my parents. Glad you get to spend Christmas with your whole family together! :)

Beautiful pictures! Brought tears to my eyes. :)

Dez said...

Best pictures/blog I've seen in awhile. what an amazing gift for you all. Beautiful! Thanks for the heart-warming today:)

Kate Eschbach said...

Absolutely beautiful pictures! Thank you for sharing such a beautiful moment with us! Happy SITS day.

Organized Island said...

Oh those photos tell the story so beautiful! What a wonderful way to capture that day. Thanks for including us all in it. I feel like I was there! Happy SITS Day! Kudos to your friend on the photography too!

The Liebers said...

Beautiful pictures of a beautiful homecoming! Merry Christmas indeed!

Lauren said...

These Pictures are beautiful! Merry Christmas! Happy Homecoming! Hope you all enjoy the holidays together!

misssrobin said...

Congratulations on having your family back together. Your photos are beautiful! What a wonderful day well documented.

Kelly Stilwell said...

I'm sobbing, too! What beautiful pics! Thank you for all you do for our country. It is a sacrifice for both of you, and I am so grateful.
Happy SITS Day Sistah!

Sheila Skillingstead said...

Someday your son will have a Tiger Cruise with his father, too. The photos are awesome. I especially loved the first black and white one of you and your son smiling. You couldn't smile any bigger. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, count the hours, and just about every good wish you could have.

Enjoy your SITS Day, too.

Vicki M. Taylor said...

What a beautiful memory you and your family will have for years to come. I'm wiping away the tears that fall down my face. You've moved me so deeply with your pictures and words. Thank you for sharing! Have a very Merry Christmas.

Kristen Grimes said...

Oh LOOOOVEEE!!!! What a nice holiday gift!

Stephanie Kneese said...

That is such a precious holiday gift, thanks for sharing!

Chris Carter said...

OH what PRECIOUS pictures to hold on to and cherish!!! I am so touched by your family and all you do to sacrifice for our country! GOD BLESS YOU!!! What a beautiful homecoming... Happy SITS day!!!

Whitney said...

Great pictures and Merry Christmas to you and yours!! What a wonderful feeling!

Tracy Joyner said...

Girl, you brought tears to my eyes! I want to save this post like it was my own family album!
My son has joined the Navy and leaves for training Jan.16. I'm so proud of his choices and happy to be a Navy Mom.

TracyAnn from www.crochethappy.com and http://asktracyann.crochethappy.com

dinoheromommy.com said...

HAPPY SITS DAY...what wonderful post.. .so beautiful...I was crying as I read.

Sensual Sierra said...

My heart filled with joy as I read your story. Your photos are amazing and I am in love with the black and white ones. They capture so much in such a short moment!

Congratulations to you and your family on being able to be a family again.

You can read my blog at http://sexyonthedarkside.wordpress.com/2012/12/18/feeling-stuck-in-emotion/

OneMommy said...

God bless all our military families!
Hope you have a wonderful holiday this year, too!

Happy SITS day!

jamie @ [kreyv] said...

In tears! Thank you SO much for all your husband AND you do for our country. I am forever grateful. Thanks for sharing your blog today!

Jill from PJgamers said...

Those pictures are amazing!! Happy for you that you get to be together for your christmas time :)
♡ Jill

Mo @ The Baby is Fine said...

These pictures are amazing! It was so smart to have someone else there to take photos.

The ones of your son seeing his daddy are priceless. I cried.

Thank you for sharing!

thebizymama said...

Oh my goodness, how this made me cry! I was that little girl nearly 40 years ago when my dad came home from overseas. Those photos are amazing. How lucky you are to have that special moment captured!

DaniD said...

Lovely post that made me tear up - perfect timing on this post (albeit last year) but for this year - reminds us how thankful we should be for what we have!!!

Sew MB said...

This is awesome! I am three weeks away from my husband's seven-month deployment. I've already got a photographer friend on board for the reunion. The boys will be so excited. What a great Christmas gift. :)

Teresa Hermann said...

I loved your post! The pictures are fabulous. My son is in the Navy and stationed in Guam. He is coming home January 9th for 3 weeks. I have not seen his precious face in 1-1/2 years. You pictures just made me all the more excited for his homecoming!

Hope Reid said...

Awesome! so sweet. You have a beautiful family. happy SITS day!

Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories said...

Beautiful and very moving story. I hope many more military families have a joyous reunion for the holidays. Thanks to you, your husband and other military families for the sacrifices you make for our freedom and way of life. New fan here from SITS!

Sarah Williamson said...

Brought tears to my eyes! Incredible photos. So much emotion <3

-Sarah
www.sweetandsavorylife.com
www.facebook.com/sweetandsavorylife