{Welcome Home!}

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I’m so blessed to be able to hang out with the Foust Family as they waiting for Daddy to come home after a long deployment!  These people have become my people over this last year and I am SO THANKFUL to have this awesome family in my life.  Through a Bible study group with four families, we’ve all grown so much closer and I’m so happy God put all of us together at just the right time.  He set things up so perfectly.  He was planting those seeds and growing those roots in our friendships just when we all needed them.  Chelsea and Nate found out Baby Grace was on her way right before he deployed and we got to share in that new baby joy with when she was born this summer.  Our little tribe has become so close and it’s just awesome to have a group of women who know you will have your back when you need them, big or small.  So. Incredibly. Thankful.

This was my very first big homecoming and I have to say that it was one of the coolest things I’ve EVER experienced!!  (Nate did get to come home for a few weeks this summer after Gracie Jean was born and even without all the fanfare, that parking lot homecoming will still be one of my favorite moments!!)  The excitement of THOUSANDS of people waiting for their loved ones to come home is incredible.  The signs and the flags waving and the music playing and all the little details that go into making this homecoming special will blow your mind!  All the news people were there – local and national news, papers, military press, you name it!  (Gotta say I kinda geeked out a little when I saw the crew from CBS This Morning!  One look at that sound guy and the lens on that camera and I knew we weren’t in Kansas anymore, Toto!)  And the excitement was contagious!  Little ones were jumping up and down waving flags, excited to see mommy or daddy again.  Even a Navy officer couldn’t contain her excitement as the boat rounded the bend from the bay!  We were walking and she stopped us to make sure we saw that it was just coming into view behind us.  It was chilly and dreary (and I was praying SO HARD for no rain drops) as we made our way to our spot.  Just as the ship turned in by the pier, the sun came out and the clouds opened up with beautiful blue skies!  It was THE PERFECT “Welcome Home!”

We waited for them to secure everything before the sailors could get off (which seemed like forever!) and it started to rain.  And rain a little harder.  And get colder.  And colder.  So we squeezed into one of the heated tents and waited it.  So. Many. Babies.  Y’all, new babies EVERYWHERE!!  My hats go off to you guys!  You look at all these tiny fresh (and some SUPER fresh) faces all bundled up waiting to meet Daddy and it will melt your heart.  But then you look at those faces of the mommies holding them and you’re in awe.  Tired faces.  Excited faces.  Happy tears.  Quiet anticipation.  Legs bouncing with excitement and to keep little babies happy.  You guys are rock stars.  You’ve held down the fort while Daddy’s away and you did it with a brand new baby.  You guys are my heroes!

As the skies cleared (again), we went back out as they got ready to get off the ship and meet their families!  Nate was one of the first groups off and the kids could not have been any more excited!!!  They went around to meet them and it was one of those moments where you have to remind yourself to take pictures now and cry later lol!  Gosh those little faces when Daddy got there!  GAH!!  I love those first hugs and first kisses and the little hands tucked safely in Daddy’s.  It never gets old!!  So many people yelled “Welcome Home” as he passed, holding a baby on one side and holding a little hand on the other.  You could hear people comment on how cute the girls looked in their matching coats.  Nate even got stopped by the paper for a picture and an interview.

I’m so happy you guys are all together just in time for Christmas!!  Thank you so much for your service, Foust Family!!  Wishing you guys a season full of snuggles and relaxing and all the family togetherness you can squeeze in!!  Welcome Home!!!

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