Sunday, December 26, 2010

Homecoming!

This post is a bit late, but I'm sure you can all appreciate how busy we've been getting reacquainted and enjoying our time together (especially at Christmastime)! Chet said, "I'm glad I came home at Christmas instead of July (or some other random month). It makes coming home seem more special!". I agree!
I'll describe the actual homecoming for you. It started out very organized. I left work early, went home and got ready, picked up Sydney from daycare (I dressed her in her "homecoming" clothes before leaving daycare), and we got to the airport in plenty of time. Sydney was sleeping in her carseat when we arrived at the airport, so I snapped her carseat into the stroller frame and we went inside. A crucial part of this story is that I had not actually spoken to Chet since he began his travels. We turned off his cell phone service while he was in Africa, and I hadn't turned it back on yet. I was able to track his flights, but his flight from Paris (to Atlanta) left almost two hours late, and I had no idea whether he had made his Atlanta-to-Jacksonville connection. So...when Sydney and I arrived at the "Arrivals" area where Chet would emerge, I woke her up and took her out of her carseat because I wanted her to be awake and me holding her when Chet saw us. So we waited...and waited. After waiting for 30 minutes, I knew Chet had missed his Atlanta connection (and by this time, Sydney was very hard to contain as she was crawling all over the floor and trying to twist out of my arms each time I picked her up). Thankfully, the people at the Delta Airlines help desk took pity on me and looked up whether or not Chet had missed the flight. They confirmed he had, but they also told me he was on the next flight to Jacksonville, scheduled to land at 6:36 p.m. Woo hoo! Only an hour away! I assumed Sydney was still tired since I had woken her up earlier, so my plan was to strap her back into her carseat and drive around until it was time to meet Chet. Yeah right...
Apparently, Sydney was NOT tired, and she just screamed in her carseat instead of letting the hum of the car lull her back to sleep. Also, I do not own a smart phone, so I was not able to track whether or not Chet's flight was on time, but I called my mom and she did it for me and kept me updated via text. And thank goodness for that, because Chet's flight departed Atlanta an hour late (which meant a 7:27 p.m. arrival instead of 6:36 p.m. instead of originally-scheduled 5:03 p.m. arrival...sigh). At this point it was still not even 6:00 p.m. and I was driving circles around the airport with Sydney screaming in the back, so I decided to take Sydney to the nearby children's consignment shop which I knew had a play area, and hoped that would keep her happy. I was right: it did keep her happy. I just had to watch her like a hawk, because often she would stray away from the toys and go for the crumbs that had accumulated in the corners of the play area. I have to be honest: the play area was quite disgusting, but it was keeping Sydney occupied, and I made myself feel better by sanitizing her hands every five minutes or so. After she was bored with the play area, I took her to the toy aisle of the store and ignored the giant sign that read "BUY before PLAY", but these toys-for-purchase were much cleaner than the others, so who could blame me? The time actually passed by quickly at the consignment shop, so before too long it was time to get back into the car to go to the airport. I was actually cutting it a bit close, and got on the wrong highway, so I was really rushing once we finally parked. I put Sydney in the stroller again, even though she was awake, because it was easier to run while pushing the stroller rather than run while holding her. And, yes, I was running. A few minutes after arriving at the "Arrivals" area again, my phone rang, and it was Chet calling from the airport USO (which was down by baggage claim). We had just missed him! So he told us to stay put and he came to find us, and we had our homecoming near the airport information desk. But that's okay, because by this point, we were all weary and ready to just be together and get home. Sydney went right to Chet and started "talking" to him and grabbing his face, which is a compliment, because she doesn't just grab ANYONE'S face. Oh, yeah, one more snag. I decided to bring our nice camera to capture the moment, and was snapping pictures, then realized they were all blurry. In the midst of all the excitement I had flipped the switch from "automatic" to "manual" focus, so we'd already been together about five minutes in these pictures.
Welcome home, Chet/Daddy! We love you!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great shots! You can tell that Sydney knows her Daddy in these pictures, even after a 6-month absence! -PJ

CranfordFamily said...

awe! This made me cry! I love it!! Cute pictures!!!! I'm so glad he's home safe!

The Jackmans said...

How Sweet!

19Fruits4Life said...

Welcome Home Chet!! Great JOB Ashley! Praying God's continued blessings over you all! Happy NEW Year! Love & Prayers, Jens & Cindy Brynteson