Daddyman did not want a big work party but they sorta did one anyway. I'll put those pictures in another post. We planned his family and friends party for the day after the official last day, so my parents were here to keep the kids so I could go with Daddyman to all his retirement stuff. It was fun and games (mostly lol) until an officer "read him out". That part was sobering. It was only a few short sentences but in those moments, I was struck again at the enormity of his service and sacrifice. Twenty-four years given to the service in defense of freedom. What a man I am privileged to be married to!
There were a lot of people there but I cannot post pictures from most of the event b/c I do not have permission from anyone to put their pictures online. Since I want to keep all my friends, I am respecting their privacy here; so just IMAGINE a lot of people in the room. ;)
So without further ado, here are some pictures from his goodbyes to the Air Force (which by the way, do not do justice to the occasion at all!):
Who is this little kid????
One of MANY medals... this was for meritorious service. The 9 year old camera girl was not instructed to keep Daddy's name out of the pictures so this is the only one you get. :)
This was a very important prop for the skit the kids did. It's a C17 (with a flip-top lid) in case you can't tell. ;)
Water balloons we felt were a necessary part of a hot July party
One of our favorite people in the world. THIS lady here is the one who told me autism didn't have to be permanent. The moment she spoke those words are forever etched in my soul... as is the amazing amount of help she and her husband have given us over the years. This particular picture is him holding the hammer she gave him, to go with the "Honey do" list she gave me. :D
The kids and I put together a little silly something for entertainment. Tony and I read aloud the "Top 10 cool things about being in the USAir Force" by David Letterman, while the girls acted them out. Google (youtube) it and guess which number this is!
Tony & I reading the Top 10 things list
Can you tell which number this is?
Somehow this is the only picture that was taken of the skit! But hey, it was cute and you'll just have to take my word for it. The kids came up with almost the entire thing themselves!
Eating watermelons before the guests arrived... someone had to make sure they tasted ok!
Oh look, another taste tester!
Close up of the NOT first piece the two of these were sneaking out of the kitchen.
Kate is somewhere in there... I think behind Grace. Aren't they adorable?!
Listening to our friend affirm and encourage Daddyman
My Dad protecting the food. :D
Ok now for my speech. :D I had the worst time coming up with a short and sweet one; after all how can you possibly condense 24 years into a few minutes? I read my speech off my cards b/c I knew if I didn't, I'd yammer on and on and people would perish from starvation, children would riot, etc. So here is my short speech.
One of the Air Force motto's is Integrity first & service before self. His office motto the last few years was "order to chaos". Those mottos all sound great but they are not easy to live out. Many people don't even bother trying. However Daddyman is the very picture of these. There have been numerous opportunities, both professionally and personally, where it would have just been easier to throw in the towel than to keep moving forward. But instead, he consistently and with patience worked toward a solution. These characteristic have been mirrored in our marriage. Through sickness & health, richness and NOT richness, better and worse, Daddyman has remained strong and steady. It has been my privelege to walk the military life with him and I am very excited to see where we will go from here. (Insert mushy ending)
Life is hard. Neither of us is perfect. But I couldn't have asked for a better partner in life. He is the exact opposite of me; I'm fiery, he's level headed; I'm hyper, he's calm; I speak before I think, he thinks before he speaks; I am chaotic, he brings order. He is exactly what I need.
And I am more proud of him than I can ever say.