20 October 2010

Cotton Field Love

Yesterday, Joshua and I had engagement photos taken by the lovely Ashley Brockman at Sapphire Eyes Photography. She took us to a cotton field (perfect because Joshua loves cotton fields), railroad tracks, and the beach. Here is a sneak peak at one of our faves from the session... more to come once Ashley sends the rest! She's from Arizona, but I was lucky enough to book her while she was here in the area for her husband's homecoming. Yay!

16 October 2010

The 10-Hour Homecoming!

He's home! After 7 long months, my beloved has made it home in one piece from Afghanistan. I've been so busy loving him up and reconnecting with him that I haven't made the time to blog, and it's been wonderful!

The night Joshua's company was supposed to arrive, we were given an arrival time of 10pm to be waiting on base for them. As always with the Marine Corps... his arrival didn't actually happen until 5 hours after that time. Funny story...

So I spent the day of his arrival cleaning house, primping (shaved, showered, waxed my lip, white stripped my teeth, pore stripped my nose, lotioned, painted my nails, flat ironed my hair, did my makeup, TMI?, etc.), cooking and baking. Yes. The weather outside was horrendous... absolutely horrendous. It literally would not stop pouring rain. Thick, heavy, loud rain. I waited half the day to take out the trash and finally just layered up in my rain boots, windbreaker, and umbrella and did it. I still came back drenched!

Around 7pm, Felice was over at my house while I was running around like a crazy woman, and we decided to leave to go to her house since it's a bit closer to base. Then, a friend called and told us there was flooding everywhere and it would take forever to get on base, so we should leave earlier than planned.

Leaving the island was a bit ridiculous. The gated entrance to our condo community was flooded so high, I didn't think I'd be able to get out. The water was up against my car doors and it was scary! Once we got to Felice's and our friend Kristine met us there to also meet her Marine, she told us the main gate to base was CLOSED due to FLOODING!

[Cue panic attack.]

We left five minutes after receiving that info, hoping that the gates would reopen and we could get on base before they closed them again.

Two hours later, we got on base.

It wasn't because the gate being closed, no. Halfway to base (with Kristine in her car, followed by me in my car, then Felice in her car), traffic completely stopped. We sat there for what felt like an eternity before a cop stopped us and told us the road was closed.

[Continue panic attack.]

Not only did he tell us said road was closed, he told us every road to base was closed and our "best bet" was to just "go back where we came from" and "wait it out."

Um, no sir, I've been waiting 7 months, this isn't a matter of just "going back where I came from and waiting it out."

I must have been staring at him with such wide eyes and my mouth dropped so low, that a female cop then came over and informed me, "We just finished rescuing a person whose car was overtaken by the flood. No one can go through this way."

Mmhm. So! After a frenzied game of calling each other cell phone to cell phone in the middle of horrific rain while trying to get to our deployed men, Felice told us all to follow her. Thank God for Felice, I just have to say this right now. She's incredible with directions, and despite the fact that she just moved here from New Jersey... she knew what she was doing! Granted, we had to drive nearly an hour north and then back south to get there, but we got to base! The main gate was reopened, and we arrived right on time, around 10pm.

Kristine & I, ready to go
Our friend Debbie, myself and Felice... waiting at the gym
Home at last!
Five hours later, around 3am, our Marines marched into the gymnasium where we all awaited them. By then, our hair had frizzed out and our makeup had rubbed off. Well, at least mine did. My eyes were red from being tired and worried and anxious, and my face hurt from smiling too much at all the new people I met while waiting.

I don't quite know what took so long for them to arrive... the flooding for one, of course. Their buses had to trek through it as well. The armory, as well. The armory always takes hours on end. After a brief formation, the Marines were released and given back to us.

I was standing on the side of the gym behind Joshua, so he didn't see me. I grabbed the back of his daypack so he wouldn't get away too quickly, and he turned around, and we had our first hug... then kiss.

We couldn't go right home, because he had to get all his bags and then wait for all his Marines to get their bags. Then, once we were ready to go home, we weren't even sure we'd be able to because of the flooding. It took another 2 hours, but we were home by 5am. I made him some food, showed him around the condo, and we finally went to sleep later that morning.

The first week back felt like a dream. I didn't believe it had really happened, that he was really home. This second week has still been dream-like, but it's finally sinking in that he's home, here, and we're together.

We've had lots of company since he first got back, and more coming. So I must head off now to clean house again for our next house guests that are staying with us for the next week. I get a whole Saturday with my love! Life is very, very good right now. ♥