For over a year now I’ve had my name on a list of photographers willing to photograph a military homecoming pro bono.  I thought that when I put my name on that list I’d have a homecoming to photograph in just days.  Well, I was way wrong.  A year passed and I still hadn’t heard from any military wives but I kept hoping and praying someone would contact me soon.

In late November, I had my first contact from a sweet lady named Karly!  I responded (with plenty of exclamation marks!) as soon as I saw her email.  Nevertheless, another photographer Karly had also contacted about doing homecoming photos responded before me.  So, Karly went with that photographer but said that she passed my name onto her friend and I should hear from her soon.  I checked my email constantly over the next few days and was so excited when Chelsea contacted me!  We emailed back and forth and one Sunday we talked on the phone for about 30 minutes.   I got the story of how Chelsea and Parker met and fell in love, heard about their dog, Jenny (a.k.a. brown dog :), and got some details on how military homecomings work.  When I got off the phone with Chelsea I was even more excited for this homecoming!  One of my dreams was coming true and I was so happy I’d get to document something so special for Chelsea and Parker.

The day of Parker’s homecoming arrived and I met Chelsea at 6:30 am in Norfolk.  We then drove onto the base following behind Karly and her photographer.

We arrived at the squadron about an hour and a half early so we went inside for a little bit first.

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Chelsea kept an eye out for the rain.  It had been forecasted most of the morning but, when we first arrived, it hadn’t started yet.

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Eventually we moved down to the hangar as the homecoming time drew closer.

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Chelsea and Karly made the cutest signs to welcome their guys home!

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And I’m convinced Chelsea is the cutest pregnant lady ever. :)

When Parker was deployed Chelsea didn’t know she was pregnant.  She found out 10 days later and shared the good news with Parker over FaceTime.  Chelsea’s pregnancy made the homecoming even more special as Parker had never seen Chelsea 31 weeks pregnant before!

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The military wives and friends talked as they waited for their spouses to arrive.  In the midst of these conversations, Chelsea would stare out longingly to the horizon, her eyes just searching for that plane that would bring Parker home to her.

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After some time Chelsea and her friend, Karly, saw a plane land and rushed over to the edge of the hangar with their signs.  Their men would be here soon!

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There it is!!

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The excited tension in the air just kept growing as the plane drew nearer and nearer.

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And Parker was home!

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Baby bump admiration time :)

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Chelsea and Parker were interviewed by Channel 3 and then we got back to more pictures. :)

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Parker and Chelsea, thinking back to this homecoming still warms my heart and puts a smile on my face.  Thank you for letting me be there to capture something so special.  I hope and pray these pictures adequately captured the love and commitment you two share.

Kimber :)

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