Big E Homecoming

The day has come! After being deployed for almost eight months (240 days...but who's counting?) DaddyO was finally coming home!

We got a text message earlier than expected Sunday morning that his ship was within view of the land and just a couple hours away from pulling into port. I jumped out of bed and ran to the window. There he was!!! A toothpick of a boat slowly growing bigger as it moved across the horizon.

EJ watched him from the comfort of the couch as she slowly woke up.

Avia and I gave Aunt Lisa and the cousins a wake up call then started getting ready for the big reunion. Excited tension was in the air. Would we make it for their docking? Would we get to see DaddyO walk off the ship? These were just some of the questions racing through my mind as we hurried off.

Our parking spot was a bit of a walk from the pier, but the cousins were eager to help push the stroller.

What wonderful timing, the ship was just pulling into the pier as we arrived. It was an impressive sight. Sailors lined the deck as thousands of people cheered. We wove our way up to a tent reserved for families with babies born during the deployment. The only way we could have gotten closer to the carrier was to jump in the water.

We all had welcome home signs ready to wave for DaddyO.

DaddyO texted that he was in the hanger bay waiting to be one of the first groups let out. Then we just watched and waited.

The kids had their Avia, aunt, uncle, and cousins to keep them occupied.

And then they started coming off the ship! We spotted DaddyO walking down the steps with Uncle B and PopPop in tow.

He was finally home! EJ beamed as he gave her the roses.

She sported his hat on the way home.

I hope it will be quite a while till we have another homecoming to celebrate!

Here is a video about the final homecoming.

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