So any way... I am home safely. That is all that concerned me about a week and a half ago - well, that and seeing my wife and daughter again. My wife set up a nice surprise for my daughter that involved me going to my daughter's school in uniform and getting the whole ordeal on video... Well that was the plan until the Army happened. Instead my wife took our daughter to her godmother's house and I surprised her there... I think some video may have been involved... It hurts to think. My daughter did her really excited bouncy thing when she saw me. Kids. I love them.
The highlight of my homecoming was that my wife had a nice surprise for me at home; she told me my lasagna had burned and we would have to get Taco Bell for dinner and then as we pull into our apartment complex I notice all these little American (MURIKA!) flags and signs welcoming me back to God's country (TN) and what looked to be my in-law's car. Inside the apartment was indeed my in-laws and one of our priests and his wife (plus a Russian exchange student). Oh, the lasagna was fine. The thing that made me smile (remember, I am jet lagged and tired of the military by this point) was the tub of beer sitting outside of our door. I love my wife.
We went to bed shortly after dinner and my wife and I did what couples normally do after they haven't seen each other for a year and the one who left on deployment comes home... We slept. Rather, I slept and she did that funny thing where she acts like she's having a comatose seizure. She is so cute. Oh, and her hair is green. The next day is when I died. Also, we got more beer.
|It doesn't have a blue ribbon in the name for nuttin!|
Apparently my daughter loves to pretend that she is a princess and that somebody in her vicinity is a prince. It just so happened that this instance mommy was the prince and I was the dragon. I was slayed after being jumped and trounced upon for a good five minutes. Then the roles changed, my daughter was the prince, mommy was the princess and I was still the dragon. I was once again dispatched with the utmost prejudice after the mandatory trampoline session. I think I have died about 10 - 15 times a day since then.
My first Sunday back I did what any good Orthodox Christian does and went to church. No joke there. I really enjoyed being back right up to the point where the priest who does the announcements and birthday and anniversary sing-song and blesses the food for coffee hour called me up to have the whole parish welcome me home. I really hate being put on the spot, but when a priest requests your presence you do not deny him and audience.
Monday I quickly got back to dying in whatever form my daughter could come up with... Mostly stabbing after the jumping.
Tuesday, I died. We went to a chiropractic appointment where I set up a massage appointment for myself. Then I promptly went back to dying.
Wednesday, I died, then school time for my sweet one. I had a job interview I am still waiting to hear back from. Then I died some more after being treated like a bouncy house.
Thursday, more school and dying. We also traded our Mustang in for a Jeep! Ah, more room and just in time for a road trip!
|This little guy seriously stayed with me for about 15 minutes while we waited for the salesman to get back with the key so we could test drive.|
Friday, school. Helped one of our priests pack and move some of his office stuff from one story to another as he got ready to have some of his grandchildren move in with him. Met a guy who is going to seminary in Greece, he's awesome. Then we picked up my daughter from school and I died some more.
Saturday, no school, I died. Helped our priest move some more stuff, then to my daughter's godbrother's birthday party (who is a great grandchild of the priest), we had fun. Then we went home. I died again.
|She later obtained a lightsaber and killed me with it.|
|I received this picture as I was trying to put an old bookshelf back together.|
Sunday! Church, change into kilt during coffee hour. On the road to Indiana to meet my mother. I don't think I died that day, but again, thinking hurts. Also, met my step, step, step father and his extended family. One of his sisters lived in Florida next to some Russian Orthodox. My step father repairs old tractors and such and has a bunch of tractors just lying around.
|Naturally my daughter is attracted to big orange stuff, must be the TN in her.|
Monday, Holiday World and Splashing Safari. Saw a Catholic Church in Santa Claus IN named Saint Nicholas, had a laugh. Had a good time with my stepsisters, step-cousins, wife, daughter and mother. Pretty sure I didn't die this day either, but I came close on one roller-coaster. My daughter was infatuated with one of her step-cousins because he was a boy.
|We both died a little while waiting in line for this ride and while on it.|
|My daughter with some sort of dog at Holiday World.|
|She was so tired that she just laid down on my head. She fell asleep in the car in no time.|
Tuesday, the little one woke up in a very happy mood and decided to go ahead and get the killing out of the way first thing. She stabbed me between all of my ribs. All of them. Little toddler knuckles hurt in between ribs. We just lazed around the house and relaxed from our fun filled weekend. There may have been something about bubbles and chalk art, but I was too busy dying to remember.
Also, my wife has discovered this neat thing of putting food coloring in with shaving cream and letting our daughter "paint" when she has a bath. It's great sensory play for her, and we can paint mom with minimal clean up required.
Overall, my homecoming has been spectacular, much better than last time - mainly because I wasn't trying to acquaint myself with an 8 mo old infant and throw myself into a role of fatherhood that I had never been in before. This time around, I am much more comfortable with my role as Daddy and husband and I knew what to expect as my wife was able to keep me updated through the power of Google.
I'm glad to be home and if I ever volunteer to leave again please take me out back and flog me.