Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Party, party, Par-tay!

I can't believe I'm so behind in my blog!! Part of me was avoiding any pics of my Josh leaving until I could do it without, well....for about 2 weeks any time I came across the images I boo-hoo'd and tears on a computer don't mix. But I'm ready! No crying allowed! I'm totally over it.

My boy's been gone 3 weeks as of today, we've been getting letters from him and some calls, even our first photo of him in uniform! We're so happy for him. And I'm ready to blog! Woo-hoo.

***Can you believe all I had with me was my blackberry to snap pictures on? I was simply too wound up to think straight. Forgive the dark pics please!***

On October 30, we had a small farewell party for Josh at our neighborhood community (pool) center.

 It was easier to have it here since there was plenty of parking and some of Josh's friends (ok, many of Josh's friends, including himself) partake in the tobacco products. See see those benches? That's the smoking section. They spent a lot of time outside.

(Insert a prayer from Mom -here- that not being able to smoke at at boot camp means that Josh quits for good. Fingers crossed X I worry about my boys health).

Luckily the party was the day before Halloween so I was able to get this uber scary door decoration. Oooohhhhh!!!
A reaper, you ask? Oh yes. A GRIM REAPER. Josh loves reapers & we have had our reaper "issues." Plenty of them to be honest; one being on his arm and was what kept him from getting a waiver into the Marine Corps....see a pic HERE. I won't mention what's on his rib cage.....nope. I just had to buy the door hanging & Josh loved it.

I loved the camouflage table cloths!

I found Army confetti, little trucks & tanks, whistles, Army men, granades and all sorts of party favors for the tables.

I thought they made cute center pieces!

Gold & black ballooons (Army colors!) and USA table covers. On the walls were some great Army decals that I found at a party store.

(That we cut out way past midnight the night before I have to add) And I have to add that because we are not "after midnight" kind of people. We're old and moldy and like (no, LOVE) our sleep. But anything for our boy.

I found these banners, Army canteens and a blow up machine gun. It was an Army party afterall.

This was my favorite part....this is the BOYS POSTER WALL.

My brother in law & sister made this poster, isn't it awesome? (The inside scoop behind this poster ---> heard here on the blog for the very first time, folks: is that my brother in law was incredibly, lets say...protective of this "said board" and was the master mind and creator of the entire design.....but DID, however, allow my sister to sign it. With gloves on. She was extremely honored).

It's a gorgeous poster & Josh loved it! We found little Army parachute men (from the Toy Story movie collection at Toys R Us, lol) since Josh is going to Airborne school after basic training (then off to Ranger school).

He's a glutton for punishment.

This is the GIRLS POSTER WALL (was I drunk when I glued feathers to my poster?)

Would you look at what my 6 year old niece Madison made for Josh? It's adorable!

This is the two of them "acting gangsta" at a pizza parlor back in March. My sister wasn't allowed to touch this poster either. Poor girl.

Yeah....Josh & Rodge showed up for about 10 minutes to bring the stereo and to "help decorate" and this is what they accomplished. Then {{{POOF}}} they were gone.

My honey was putting together wine glasses (we went through all 40 of them!) and getting all of the beer, wine and drinks chilled.

Soon our guests started to arrive.

Theres Mama Kay (My East Coast Mom) in the white blouse along with some of our friends & neighbors.

And Johnny telling his mesmerising sea stories  ;o)

My beautiful friends Tammy & Patty that I met ions ago in Japan who drove (Patty) over and hour & (Tammy) over 3 hours to come to the party, and I appreciate it so very much. It meant the world to me xoxo I could do a whole blog on these two and what their friendship means to me. Hey...now there's an idea....

In all of my craziness & fury I didn't take any pics of the food we had catered. Oh my God was it delicious! We used Red, Hot & Blue and everyone ate like there was no tomorrow. It's the best BBQ around, recipes straight from Memphis. If you've never been --> Go, ya'll. Go now!

In more of my craziness & fury I forgot to take pics of all of Josh's friends. Of course, like I said earlier, most of them were outside smoking every 20 minutes and had I gone out there I would've suffocated to death, making this blog post impossible. So I'm happy I stayed inside.

 (((Just imagine all of the pics of Josh's friends HERE)))
(Sorry, Josh!)

Found one! Only one.....

Wait, here's another...my boy is having some more food.

I posted this before but I love it. He's so happy! About to dig into the gorgeous cake that my caterer friend Lynn made.

It deserves a second look. I posted a full blog about it HERE.

The hired help. Serve that cake, Boy!

Here's another one! Sorta.

HAHA! Josh & Brandon doing whatever it is they are doing. Josh looks like a drill sergeant to me. Did I mention that he & Rodge shaved his head the day before? Well, they did. The things boys do when they're bored...

This is one of my fav's and probably the only pic I took of Josh and a few of his friends. Rodge is 2nd from the left, I adopted him when the boys were in the 8th grade
(Not literally, but he's been my boy for a long time, it's hard to know anymore.)

I printed this 4x6 photo (that's Josh's recruiter, bottom left) and put it in a letter to Josh. I'm thinking it may cheer him up to remember he has friends at home supporting & rooting for him.

At the party everyone signed a photo mat for Josh. I'm going to put his first official Army photo in uniform (Private Josh!) in it and have it framed for him.
The party was fun -- our friends went home early'ish and the kids got to dance and eat more and have a good time visiting. We kicked them all out at 1am and Johnny and I were there til 2am cleaning up. Did I mention that we are not "after midnight kinda folks?" It was completely worth it, though. Anything for our boy  :o)   Josh stayed at Rodge's house that night and all was well.
The next day Josh "recovered" and more friends stopped by to raid the refrigerator of all the left over BBQ and cake. Happy kids!

On November 1st my boy (my only child, sniff) got his things together and waited unpatiently for Sgt. Nurse, his Army recruiter to come pick him up for his overnight stay at Ft. Meade. He would be shipping the next day.
As I watched him wiggle and nervously check the clock every 3.5 seconds and looking out the window, I couldn't help but think that he looked much like his first day of kindergarten sitting there with his brand new backpack waiting for the bus. He didn't have much hair back then either.

Sgt. Nurse arrived and I begain screaming "THEY'RE TAKING MY BABY!!!!!" and called 9-1-1.
No, I didn't. I quietly took pictures, smiled a lot, stood brave, waved like a goober and told Sgt. Nurse to take care of my boy.

I quickly hugged Josh and told him we'd see him in the morning at Ft. Meade to see him off. I wouldn't miss it for the world.

......And off they went.

I watched as Josh literally left home. For good. I know he'll visit a lot, God willing. But that was it. Short and bittersweet.


So maybe I'm not "over it" completely and I'm not sure I ever really will be. Isn't that the way it's supposed to be, though? When you have a child you love them their whole lives then you set them free....but, they remain embedded in your heart forever and occupy a permanent space that no other can fill. Ever. And so I'll always miss him. That's my prerogative.

I'm so happy for Josh, and I mean that sincerely. All I want for him is to find a place in this crazy world where he belongs. A place where he can be successful and make a difference, be independent, be an honorable man, find a beautiful & loving partner to share his life with, be at peace and have pure joy in his life. That's not asking for too much, is it?

Oh!! And I want grandchildren. Lots and lots of grandchildren!

But let's get him through boot camp first, okay?

I lied. I need a tissue.

(Videos of his swearing in and departure from Ft. Meade coming soon - I can only take so much for one day)


1 comment:

katherine said...

Just to give a little more back story on the "Ranger" poster, John said he didn't want to make a poster and said he would just sign mine. Then he said he was going to make the Ranger Tab on the top and let me do the rest. Well, our black marker didn't work, so I went to the store to buy some. By the time I got back the whole poster was done, and all that was left to do was color in the Ranger Tab and sign the poster. I hope everyone liked MY poster!! LOL!!