It was a crazy morning! We got everyone up early and my sweetie made our favorite special occasion breakfast, chocolate Malt-o-Meal with lots of marshmallows. We still had all the smiley-face plates to put on the lawn before we could leave for the airport.
We were finally loaded just after 9:00 and we were off.
It's a 20-minute drive to the airport, but we already knew the flight had taken off about 10 minutes ahead of schedule and we didn't want to be late. The airport was a zoo! We found out later that there were 19 missionaries on that flight and all of their families were waiting for them to come down the escalator.
It took a while. We tried to wait patiently, but our eyes were constantly scanning for suits and skirts and name badges. After what seemed like forever, we saw that first name tag, but it belonged to an elder and his family was super excited to see him. Then a second elder came down. His cheering section wasn't nearly as big.
Then we saw Teach. She was crying and waving. I waited until she was about halfway down the escalator before I ran to meet her at the bottom. It was one of the best moments of my life. I hugged her for a long moment and then released her to share with the rest of the family.
After many tears and hugs, we finally left the airport. We didn't have to be at the church until noon so we had about an hour for her to become reacquainted with the house and the changes we have made over the past 18 months.
Her release was quick and simple. She interviewed with the Stake President and then she bore her testimony for us. After that she took off her name badge and we had a closing prayer. We drove back to the house and ate pizza and talked and talked.
Teach was worried because she had brought very few clothes home with her. She is also about 10 lbs lighter so most of what she left here wouldn't fit so I took her shopping. That took most of the afternoon. She was exhausted since she had to be up this morning at 4:00, but I couldn't convince her to lie down for a while.
We had tickets from the Read Today program that let us all into the Bees baseball game for free, so after a quick dinner we took off for the ballpark. We were a little late, but it was still a great time. We talked and giggled and enjoyed being together in the beautiful night air. I know I had other family members there, but we didn't see any of them. (Hope you all enjoyed the game!)
The kids even got 2 seconds of mini-fame on the Jumbotron for their crazy dancing!
I took Teach and most of the kids home after the 7th inning stretch. Bossy left with her family too. Only my sweetie and Sport stayed and the game went in to extra innings. They didn't get home until about midnight.
It was a wonderful, glorious day! Teach is sleeping in her own bed again. She keeps calling me "ma'am" which is a little weird but in a good way. She is mostly still the same sweet girl we sent out in the world a year and a half ago, but there is now a maturity and a confidence about her that I hadn't seen before.
A mission is a wonderful thing!