Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Visiting Derek, part 2: Family Day

Family Day Ceremony
A family day ceremony is always held the day prior to the actual basic training graduation. We found our way to the Sand Hill, the special part of Fort Benning that is reserved for basic training, and over to the Delta 3/47 barracks. There was a short ceremony- a little bit of history detail, awards given to a few soldiers and drill sergeants, and the explanation of the honor of wearing the black beret.

Jackson, who had been up until almost 2am the night before, wasn't all that cooperative so I missed out on a lot of what was said, but I knew enough to be super proud and to know that my moment to actually see his face was coming soon! I'm not sure there are really any words to describe this moment, just pure excitement and joy.

When we first got to meet up with Derek, Jackson did his I'm-purposely-avoiding-eye-contact face, where he is trying to look at Derek without looking at Derek. He looked like he might cry. But, that only lasted a second before he really realized it was Daddy. Here is Derek's first open mouth, slobbery and wet, but loving kiss from Jackson.

Immediately after we got to say hi, all married soldiers and their wives had a mandatory meeting. What genius planned that!? To finally get to see our loved ones for the first time in 10 weeks and then have to sit in a meeting. I think it's safe to say that not very many people were actually listening. 

Derek's Highly anticipated First Meals
As soon as the meeting was over, Derek wanted to get off post as soon as possible and then go get something to eat! We had Fudruckers for lunch and Texas Road House for dinner-- yum and yum!! He had been anticipating a Dr. Pepper for a long time, but it turns out it was just too sweet. He still enjoyed the food, though I would have to remind him that he didn't have to shovel it in-- that he had more than five minutes to down his whole plate of food!

Jackson and Daddy wasted no time in getting back to their silly little games. Even though the picture didn't turn out all that great, you can still really see the smile on Jackson's face looking up at his Daddy.

Jackson's Birthday Celebration
We decided a long time ago that we wanted to have a little celebration for Jackson's birthday while we were there to make sure Derek could be a part of it. I purchased some cookies while we were at Fudruckers, I packed some candles, and the hotel let us use the breakfast room. We sang Happy Birthday and he enjoyed opening his presents-- Elmo socks, some Elmo books, Elmo DVD's (from Grandma and Grandpa), and a train.

We spent the afternoon picking up some things at Walmart (namely ibuprofen and junk food). Derek was insistent at purchasing a mini-laptop. When Walmart didn't have a very good selection, we headed over to Best Buy. I tried every line I could to persuade him just to wait until the next day to get one... "they are so impractical, why not just get a new laptop?", "why don't you check out Dell because of the military discount they offer?"... but nothing worked!! I literally had to look at him and say, "I am really telling you, you cannot purchase a laptop right now." He finally backed down, but only because it was so completely obvious that I already had purchased one. He was still pretty surprised when I gave it to him at little Jackson's birthday celebration. Being a good wife, I already had it charged and ready for him to start customizing and playing with his new toy. (I'm so glad I ended up getting him one because he actually has computer and phone privileges each night, if he has time-- so we can email and Skype to keep in touch!)

Once we were got the surprising news that I was pregnant, I began planning how to get Derek as involved as possible being several states away. I picked out the ultrasound place and made an appointment before Derek had even left! I knew 20 weeks was far enough along to find out the gender of the baby and I wasn't going to find out without Derek right there with me! Derek and I went back to the room to be the first to know if we were going to have a little girl or a little boy-- and then Forrest, Linda, and Julie came back too.

 Our precious little girl

We got to spend nearly half an hour just looking at our little girl, watching her movements, and all of the little details we could see. It's still pretty early for the best 3D sonogram pictures, but we were still able to get a good glimpse of her. And we have a DVD too.

Can you see her smiling at us?!

We had a jam-packed, crazy-busy day, but it was so nice to have Derek around! We had to take him back to the post by 8:00 that night. We came back to the hotel to rest up and get ready for his graduation the next day!


1 comment:

  1. Congrats on your great family day & finding out its a baby girl!


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