My daughter, McCall, stopped by our house last night. She said she wanted to send a video of Christmas greetings off to her husband who is deployed in Qatar. He has been gone for almost seven months, and has six more months to go.
It had been a crazy, busy day for me, which isn't so out of the ordinary for this time of year, but particularly busy, crazy yesterday. My kids and I have recorded a CD to send out as our Christmas cards (as long as they are post marked before December 25th, I'm okay with the lateness). We finished up recording on Tuesday night, I had met with a friend to talk about the design for the CD jacket, and yesterday was the day to get the order of the songs finalized, send the text to the artist, and email the pictures I want to use for the front and back - problem was .... I could NOT find the pictures we were using anywhere. I turned my house upside down. I looked in every pile, every bag, every drawer, checked every flash drive I could find in the house, searched through every folder on the computer and they were no where to be found. Now what?
Chloe said, "It's okay. We can just take a night this week and go to Scheel's or Thanksgiving Point and do them again." If it wasn't already the 20th of December, I would have been okay with that.
I had taken the day off of work to try and get all of that done so that today I could just drop all of the pieces and parts necessary to the studio that is putting the CD's together for us.
I did get my Christmas decorating finished (yes, it's been a process this year), and got all of my totes back to the storage unit. I did clear off all of the paperwork on my kitchen island, which makes me extremely happy since that is my nemesis. I did have a neighbor come over to help me figure out how to get my outdoor Christmas house lights working again, which we did (cue Hallelujah Choir here), so overall, I did feel fairly accomplished beside the fact that I wasn't any closer to getting the pieces and parts together for today's intended drop off. Sigh.
I told McCall that I had that company Christmas dinner to get to and was being picked up around 6:00, so she planned on being over ahead of that to get our messages recorded for Jared. When she came, I wasn't ready. I hadn't done my hair and was still wearing my jeans, t-shirt, and slippers from the day. I had had an outfit in mind to wear, but wasn't loving how it was looking (pants were a little tight - it's all that darn candy that's around my new office space) so I started to freak out ... just slightly, but freak out none the less.
Chloe kept telling me to come downstairs to record my message. "Mom, just put anything on. It won't take very long."
"I can't. My ride will be here any minute and I'm not ready. Haley isn't even home yet. I'll record my message later when she does."
"Mom, no, really, just come downstairs, it will take two seconds. We want all of us to sit as a group and send him a message, then each individually."
"Chloe, I can NOT come downstairs right now. I don't want to hold up my ride and I don't even know what I am going to wear yet!"
I heard Elliott downstairs, "Hey Jared, it's Elliott, just wanted to say Hi and wish you a Merry Christmas."
Chloe was following me around my room, back and forth from my bed to the vanity, into the closet. "Mom, you need to come downstairs, there's a surprise. It will take two seconds, seriously."
I walked down the stairs and turned to go into my living room, and then I saw the fatigues. I looked up and standing in front of the Christmas tree was Jared. My hands went over my mouth, my eyes filled with tears, and I just stood still. It was one of those surreal moments, where you can't clear your head to think about what is happening in that moment.
Jared walked toward me and we just hugged each other as I cried. "Why are you here?" (It was really one of those awesome soldier come home surprise moments caught on film.) Nothing else seemed to matter in that moment of time. Jared was home for two weeks. My daughter's husband was home. Libby could not have been happier .... her daddy was finally home from "work."
Best Christmas surprise ever.