Dennis is finally home!!!! And this post has video! 🙂

I have one sister. She currently lives in Hawaii. What, omg, that’s so awesome, how is that possible?!?! – is the reaction I usually get when I tell people this. And yes, in many ways it is awesome, but the reason she lives there is that her husband Dennis is in the army. And she’s been by herself all year while he was in Afghanistan. That’s the not so awesome part. Obviously because we spent a year worrying about his safety and her being so far away from us! That’s the downside of Hawaii, its so so far from the East coast. Plane tickets are not cheap… I was lucky to have made the trip to visit in October of 2011 before he left. And this time, when he gets back, they won’t be there much longer. So, I arranged for me and my mom to go visit! I was so excited to go with my mom, she never really gets to travel and has always dreamed of going to Hawaii, so we made it happen!

There will be more Hawaii photos and fun coming soon, but for now this post is about the Welcome Home Ceremony we were able to attend while visiting. It was so wonderful to see Rita and Dennis reunite and to be there for something so special.

The Army likes to wait as long as possible to give details of when exactly the welcome will be, which can be annoying, but we get it. We finally found out that the Ceremony was going to be at the lovely hour of 1:00am! So we got there plenty early to scope the place out and get a good seat. And by some miracle, we ended up sitting right across from him! It was a long wait for them to come out, I think they like to tease everyone. Especially when they make them stand in formation and won’t let you run up and greet them right away! And my some other miracle, I was able to find him and zoom in as they walked out, and then not get trampled as everyone ran to their loved ones, and find a spot to clearly capture their reunion… phew!

But all of the waiting gave me some time to play with my camera and capture some video. I had planned on shooting the part where they run and hug and kiss, and I wish I had thought it out more beforehand, because I wasn’t planning on doing a whole video. But when I got home I realized I did have enough footage to put a little something together, and it actually came out ok! Nothing spectacular of course, but it tells the story well enough. So see if it makes you cry! I get a little choked up every time I see how excited Leia (the dog) is at the end!

And of course I took photos as well. I gotta say though, that when I pictured this event in my head, it was outside in the sun and perfect for photos. But no… and I didn’t pack my flash for the trip 🙁 The lighting in this place was rough…. some of you know what I mean. But what could I do?? Remind myself that these pictures were not about perfect lighting and angles, they were about remembering the moment. And I cannot tell you how happy I am that Dennis is back home and back safe with Rita.

So sweet, isn’t it? Thanks for taking the time to read my post!