Sunday, January 1, 2012


The past two weeks have been so wonderful getting to celebrate Christmas with my Hubby home safe & sound. I am incredibly blessed that my soldier has returned from Iraq 3 times now, without so much as a scratch. I will never stop thanking my lucky stars for that, nor will I ever forget the sacrifices so many others have made...

As part of OpLove I have had the honor of photographing other families together; this time I got to turn the lens on my own family. And I am incredibly grateful that they had their cameras as well so that when the time came I could drop my camera and run to my Soldier...those hugs & kisses were much needed in deed!

Above is the plane carrying my soldier coming in for the landing. As soon as those wheels touched the ground the crowd broke out into a huge cheer. Moments like that you will never forget....the breath you've been holding for the entire deployment just finally lets go, and for the first time you can allow yourself to believe your Soldier is really there...and that you'll soon be reunited.

Below is one of my favorite captures from the homecoming....after I got my hugs & kisses in I was able to grab my camera in time to catch my Soldier getting a welcome home hug from his Uncle, who happens to be a retired Army Veteran himself. Knowing the bond that they share is more than just one of a typical Uncle & Nephew makes this photo priceless to me. It is one I will always cherish.

Below are the moments after the plane landed, when we all stood patiently as the Soldiers exited the plane and got into formation. The Patriot Guard  was there to line the walk they would pass through as they entered the hangar for the ceremony.

Families arrived about an hour or so before the plane landed, and we were all glad to see that Santa himself was there to make sure our special deliveries arrived on time. I think the kiddos especially loved the little treats he handed out...helped make the time tick by a little quicker before all the Mommys and Daddys finally arrived!  Below that is my Mom & Dad with the welcome home signs they each made for my hubby. My Dad wanted to make a sign that he knew would stick out in the crowd; one Mike would see and know for sure it was meant just for as only a true Mountaineer fan would want to see, Mike was greeted with the traditional WVU anti-Pitt slogan. Priceless.
These memories below were all captured by our awesome cousin, Melody, who was part of the crowd there to honor Mike. This is the first homecoming where we've lived close enough to family that some of them were able to get here on such last-minute notice to help celebrate the homecoming. It meant the world to us to get to share that moment ... and I'm so thankful for having these memories to share with our friends and family.

It goes without saying that hopefully we will never have to face another deployment again, but knowing that we have such amazing friends & family to help us through those long months apart makes is bearable. We are truly blessed....

To all the Men & Women who are serving our Country - Thank You for all you do, and I wish all of you Safe & Joyous Homecomings. XOXO


  1. It was a wonderful day!!!! :) -Elizabeth R

  2. And now I'm crying :) Welcome home, Mike! So happy you guys are together again...have fun!

  3. Thanks so much! xoxo