Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sorry, Ladies

This is to inform all that the greatest man on Earth is taken... he's mine!

I'd consigned myself to my first Thanksgiving away from not only family, but my hubby, too. I was sad about it, but this is what we signed up for, and at least he's not deployed and we get him for Christmas.

Last week he told me about a gift he was mailing me. He explained that I would get a series of e-mails, but not to open any of them until he said it was "time." For a fleeting moment I thought he might be coming to visit me and that all the fuss about timing would be around his flight schedule. When he explained on Monday that I'd have to wait until the kids were in bed to start the e-mails, I knew I'd been foolish hoping for a visit.

I made sure the kids were in bed by 8:30 last night and anxiously waited. The mailman had delivered a fairly small package that day, but I was under strict orders from Fred not to open them until he gave the "go." He had insisted it was something I've always wanted. Looking at the small, insignificant package, I had NO idea what could possibly be in it that I've "always wanted."

Finally he sent me an instant message online giving me permission to open the first e-mail, which was telling me to be sure the kids were asleep and reminding me NOT to open the gift yet. Done.

So Fred said I could open the 2nd e-mail. It gave me instructions:
1. Get changed into something very comfortable, such as warm pajamas
2. Grab a warm blanket
3. Make some hot chocolate
4. Turn the lights low in the living room
5. Open the package and proceed to ‘E-mail #3’
6. DO NOT read the letters, yet (the package had 2 letters in it)

He instant messaged me to take as long as I needed to feel totally relaxed. I felt a little funny, but I did as told to get comfy. I finally opened the package and found a DVD and a CD. The CD was Josh Groban's Christmas CD, "Noel". Yes, I really have wanted that one.

The DVD was so unexpected. I've always expressed how badly I want a house with a fireplace. Yes, I know all the hazards and mess they can be, but some of my fondest childhood memories are of sitting near my parents' glowing fireplace, chucking our Christmas wrapping paper into it, cooking chestnuts, warming up by the fire after Christmas caroling, and just the ambiance only a crackling fire can create. So, you pop in this DVD and can select whether to watch a crackling fire full screen, morphing your television into a mantle, or you can view a full fire place, tastefully adorned in holly. You can also opt to watch it with the natural crackling and popping, or with a lovely arrangment of soft instrumental Christmas music.

SO, my instructions were to turn on the fire without the music and turn on the Josh Groban CD, while sipping my hot chocolate and snuggling the cat (I swear the cat was in on it). I was to listen to the first 2 tracks and then open the #1 letter from the package during the 3rd song.

The 3rd song is Josh Groban's adaptation of "I'll Be Home for Christmas" with parts of the song consisting of expressions of love from deployed servicemen to their families. Of course I burst into tears, not for myself, but thinking about all the families and servicemen spending the Holidays apart.

The letter was so sweet. He wistfully told me how much he misses and loves me, often feeling lonely and wishing I was with him. He even made a few adorable comparisons to Twilight's Edward and Bella's feelings for each other. It made me laugh through the tears.

I was then to call him. He didn't answer the first time, which mildly annoyed me, so I tried again a couple minutes later. This time he answered and asked what I thought. I started crying again and he certainly sounded pleased with himself. I told him he's the most wonderful man in the world and that he was right: he had given me something I've always wanted (the "fireplace").

He said I could open the final letter. I struggled to get the tape off #2 and finally opened it to read:

"Please rescue your poor freezing hubbycicle out back! L-l-l-l-l-l-ove!"

I was too stunned for a moment to do anything. I started saying, "NOOOO, no way... no way." I finally got up and turned on the back porch light, opening the blinds. AND there he was, grinning at me! I was SO SHOCKED! I managed to open the door and fell into his arms sobbing. I just couldn't take it all in!

When he kissed me, I teased him that even though he'd been waiting in the cold, his lips weren't icy like Edward's. He laughed and explained he'd only been back there about 1 minute.

Here's how his scheme had worked:
He arranged with our friend Kaylon to pretend to be Fred, instant messaging me with Fred's IM name. He was on the phone with Kaylon, telling him exactly was to type to me, so I NEVER suspected anything on that end.

When Kaylon had told me to "take my time" it was because our friend, who picked up Fred from the airport, missed a turn on the way home. Unlike most logical places in the US, in Ohio when you miss a turn, it may be miles before you can backtrack, so they suddenly didn't know how long it would take to get home.

When I called Fred the time he didn't pick up, it was because he wasn't close enough yet. Our friend drove like crazy and managed to drop Fred off just a couple minutes before I opened that final letter. So Fred never got the chance to get truly icy.

SO, I cuddled with him on the couch in disbelief until we dragged ourselves to bed. I was still not convinced the whole thing wasn't a dream. I had talked myself out of hoping for this!!

This morning was so sweet. When Gregory came in to wake me, he was (obviously) surprised and delighted to find his papa, and crawled right in bed with us, hugging Fred excitedly. The girls were excited, too, although Leora's still warming up to him. They made waffles all together. It's been such a WONDERFUL morning!

SO, as I began, sorry ladies, but the greatest guy in the world is taken... and he's mine.

This is from Good Morning America. It's not the complete song as it is on the CD, but it's definitely worth watching, as they recognize several families and the artist expresses his love for the troops.


Ashley and Spencer Bunn said...

That is so sweet made me cry just reading it. I think that we have the best men in the world. I'm so glad he's there spending Thanksgiving with you.

Trish Olsen said...

my goodness that sound liek Fred to do somethign like that. but my goodness i would have been so blessed if jeremy had done somethign liek that for me. You are truley blessed. And i am sooo glad you have him for Thanksgiving :)

John and Becky Bowler said...

How sweet of Fred. :) Hope you guys are are having a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Liz said...

what a thoughtful, thought out romantic expression of love on so many levels. job well done Fred,and Debbie you are one lucky and well loved gal

Shawna said...

hey- what about your friend Shawna being such an excellent liar????

I'm so glad that things worked out. I love you!

McCooks said...

That is so sweet, it gave me chills. I sounded like a movie.
Hope you had a great thanksgiving.

Nick & Kristen said...

WOW.....I am so happy for you to see your husband! What a sneaky romantic guy!!!

Aaron and Shantelle McBride said...

Oh my gosh!! That is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo romantic!!!! I just about burst into tears because I know exactly what it is like to be missing your hubby like that. Wow! I am glad you guys were together for Thanksgiving. :) Good job, Fred!

Kate and John Farris said...

Oh my goodness!! That is the cutest story ever! I am so happy for oyu guys.

Your Friends,
K & J

Robin and Larry said...

Thankyou for sharing such a wonderful thing.... despite tough times.. LOVE is what gets us through it all! YOU are a VERY LUCKY GIRL!
Merry Christmas! :)

Charity Brown said...

Hey... ran across your blog on the Yates' blog. This story is so cute! I'm going to make Tyler read it for hints! ;)