Total Eclipse of the Heart - A Sweaty Homecoming Story

Total Eclipse of the Heart - A Sweaty Homecoming Story

Welcome Home to the Hot Mess Express

The Mack Kearney Family - From L to R: My Mom, Sean, ME & and my Dad in front of the USS George HW Bush Carrier in Norfolk, Virginia on Monday, August 21, 2017 - #SolarEclipse2017

The Mack Kearney Family - From L to R: My Mom, Sean, ME & and my Dad in front of the USS George HW Bush Carrier in Norfolk, Virginia on Monday, August 21, 2017 - #SolarEclipse2017

Raise your hand if you've ever experienced a deployment homecoming in your life?

Maybe you had a sibling, spouse, child, friend, roomie or even a neighbor leave on a long ass work trip because of the military. If you have, you know how this dog and pony show goes. If you haven't and think it's all love stories and sweet times the day they return, you've got another thing coming. (Disclaimer - Lots of cute and wonderful things do take place at the homecoming events. Fathers meet children for the first time. Couples get engaged. Pets pee themselves, the usual...all of the cute internet things you see do happen.) 

Don't get me wrong, I was thrilled to see my hubby step foot back in America but NO ONE EFFING TOLD ME how things actually work at these events. I'm here to tell you, it's hectic. And weird. And hot depending on the time of year and location. And packed. Like anxiety attack packed with strangers. BUT also fun, exciting, and a once in a lifetime family experience that we wouldn't change for anything in the world.   

Preparation 

Whatever you do, don't search these things on Pinterest. You'll only see sad videos that will lead you down a rabbit hole of tears and laughter and 3 hours of your life that you'll never get back. It will also build unrealistic expectations. (TRUST me on this.)

Here's the real deal - If your spouse pays attention you can apparently get signed up on lists that actually inform you of how to prep and what to expect, but mine didn't know that was a thing. (Or so he claims.) So I just stood around looking as lost as Karen in Mean Girls most of the time. (Her boobs...they can sense when it's raining. In my case that day, the rain was the sweat from my frizzed out hair and boob tape. AND THEY SENSED IT.) 

Don't be a Poster Child 

Don't let it consume your time and brain power...á la me. There is no way anyone can actually read them. And there is a higher than likely chance no one will give a rats ass about your witty lyrical rewrite of the most applicable song to your situation. I mean I rewrote a song because it was the GD SOLAR ECLIPSE and maybe 3 people understood the reference. Also, don't google or Pinterest search these ideas, either. Everyone does the same thing. Seriously, you can look if you want but I have faith in your creative wit. Think of your life, your person coming home and make something they will appreciate. I could expound more on this thought, but I will save that for one on one wine time. If you want some gossip girl level thoughts on this, feel free to email me and I'll let you in on some funny shit. 

The welcome home signs I lovingly crafted are below. Shout Out to FedEx in Virginia Beach for printing them on the fly for me. :-) I use a variety of design tools depending on my task, but for easy to make items like this I use Canva, Pic Monkey, or In Design. 

The Rest of the Mess

If you want the honest truth, here it is. IT WAS HOT AND I MADE POOR LIFE CHOICES IN MY ATTIRE. I had sweat stains on my DVF. My hair went from Giselle beach waves to a stinkin' wet dog mop in 0.8 seconds. I loved my jumpsuit but wearing a one piece with pants when it was sunny and 97 wasn't the smartest decision. (Hey, beauty is pain, right?) I also wore my SW dupes and regretted that pairing. My calves got a stellar workout. Ladies, help me out...I saw lots of beautiful women just as fancy as I thought I was in my mind but they didn't seem to be sweating like a whore in church like me. (WHY? Tell me your secrets. It could just be not wearing a poly blend pantsuit in summer, but I refuse to believe my poor choices had consequences. HAH! ) Even my husband, who sweats more than most, was slightly appalled by my puddles. (For better or worse, right?) 

Honey, I'm Home!  

Hey, no matter how I slice it, joke about it, or look at it - my person is home! We had a cool day. I may have been overwhelmed, hot or annoyed BUT at least he is home. Our families had a great trip to Virginia. We had some shenanigans with our pups and ate a lot of delicious food.

P.S. - I will post more thoughts on some tips I've learned from this experience, but I know you're really just wondering what I wore. :-) (Because this is a fashion blog, btw.) 

The Mack Kearney Family at Lunch on Monday, August 21 after the USS George HW Bush returned to Norfolk. From L to R (in back): Sean's brother, Tim; My Dad, Gary; Sean, Me, Sean's brother, Matt; Sean's Dad, Jim. From L to R (in front): My Mom, Nan and Sean's Mom, Millie. We ate lunch at Chick's Oyster bar in Virginia Beach, VA. We were able to watch the Solar Eclipse from the waterside tables. 

The Mack Kearney Family at Lunch on Monday, August 21 after the USS George HW Bush returned to Norfolk. From L to R (in back): Sean's brother, Tim; My Dad, Gary; Sean, Me, Sean's brother, Matt; Sean's Dad, Jim. From L to R (in front): My Mom, Nan and Sean's Mom, Millie. We ate lunch at Chick's Oyster bar in Virginia Beach, VA. We were able to watch the Solar Eclipse from the waterside tables. 

What I Wore

I trusted Rent the Runway with this occasion, obviously but I also found similar options online if you prefer to purchase your looks instead. 

My dress from lunch, photo above, is also from Rent the Runway. Information on that and similar options to purchase are below. 

Rent the Runway Diane Von Furstenberg Jumpsuit

Rent the Runway Nicole Miller High Low Maxi 

If you are a military spouse and have any feedback or funny stories to share, leave me a note in the comments below. And for those that have experienced a deployment and survived without drama, You 'da Real MVP. ;-)  

XOXO, 
Stephanie

Updated September 4th: Our post was featured in Independent Fashion Bloggers LALM for August 31st. Make sure to check out all the other fabulous bloggers included in the weekly roundup. 

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