Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The "Vacation" Ends!



Shawn is home and safe! He arrived Thursday morning last week and it has been HEAVENLY! The kids were stuck on him for 36 hours straight, which was fun to watch. At the airport we were all stationed just at the bottom of the escalators at baggage claim. There was quite a big group and with all of our signs and excitement, other travelers must have felt a bit intimidated. Most of the wives stood together in a row, focusing on breathing evenly. We would see a bit of green or grey and start to jump then realize we had been a tad over-zealous. When the soldiers finally started to filter down, it was amazing to watch each family reunite. What a beautiful blessing we are given in family! Earlier, one of the local news channels asked me to wear a mic and told me to, "just do what you normally would." I warned the man that there would be gushing and very little audible speech. He was OK with it. We did a small interview after Shawn arrived, gave hugs and handshakes, then went on our merry way completely surrounded by our own little bubble of joy.

This time apart has been some of the most challenging and important time of my life. I have learned more about myself than I could have imagined. I grew to understand my weaknesses better and be less afraid of them. I have been able to marvel at the strengths of others. I have learned to be more confident about my strength in motherhood. I have been reminded in big and small ways that my Heavenly Father is the only constant ear in my life and have been humbled by His mercy toward me. I have felt gratitude for understanding the importance of sacrifice and what a fundamental role it plays in love. I realized how much I have taken for granted as a citizen of this country. Though my love for Shawn was certain before he left, I have fallen even deeper in love with the man who completely holds my heart. Looking back, though there were many dark nights, I wouldn't change a thing.

15 comments:

Jaclynweist said...

I'm so glad he's home! I totally admire how awesome you've done. Not sure I could do it - but then I've never had to so how would I know? You did awesome!!! And I admire Shawn for going to serve our country!!!

Tongue River Boulters said...

Glad you are home and with the family shawn and Jill you are superwoman

Rachel said...

Your husband is one of the best men I know. I'm so glad you don't have to be away from him anymore! Thank you for sharing him with all of us that enjoy our freedom!

Tony and Whitney said...

So glad he's home! I kept watching the news for when the last group came home. Thanks for your sacrifice--both of you.

Melanie said...

Shawn, welcome home!!! We are so excited you are back. We miss you all.

ali said...

wow, that must have been an amazing experience! I wish I could have been a fly on the wall to see all of those families reunite!

Welcome home Shawn!

Kara said...

I am sitting here. Crying in my cube. I am so glad you are all back together again!

Diane said...

We are so grateful he is home safe and sound. WHAT a perfectly sweet photo of him with the kids! Jill, we couldn't be more proud of you for all you did in keeping your family together so Shawn could do what he needed to without undue worry. I am so glad that he is home to help you and the family prepare for the next great event...your darling twins! PS to Shawn...did you by any chance get to visit ancient Babylon?

Laurel said...

Beautiful post.
So grateful for the Shawn's of the world and the Jill's who let them go.
THanks for sharing this part of your journey.
I adore you.
PLEASE lets be friends.
xoxo

Jenn and Paul said...

I'm so happy for you! Yep, saw you both on channel 2 while I was cooking dinner. You're hair looked great by the way and you seemed to maintain some composure.;)

Adam and Bri said...

Welcome home, Shawn! And what a beautiful picture. I just heart it. (and you)

ty and megs said...

this made me cry!! i'm so happy your family is on to "the next adventure!"

love you guys!

Erin said...

I am so happy for you and so grateful Shawn is home safe and sound. Thanks for sharing that moment with us. Love you!

Chocolates for Breakfast said...

Welcome Home...sniff...wonderful
picture...sniff...you are all amazing...sniff...so happy that you are all safely together again...sniff...thrilled that you have the twins and each day together to look forward too...sniff, sniff...yes, I'm crying here! Love you tons! (speaking of tons, that is one BIG backpack!?)

Juli said...

Hooray Hooray Hooray!! Hugs and kisses and more hugs and kisses to all of you =) We love you guys so much and I'm so glad your family is back together for good!!