{The one} with tears…

Good things

December 6, 2009

follow @kelleenhitephoto
Portrait photography in Jacksonville, and the surrounding areas. Specializing in amazing seniors, busy families, and fabulous brands. 
more categories
we're KHP
Senior Info

I am very seldom speechless, and anyone who knows me would testify to that, but today I was utterly and completely speechless. Perhaps its because I did not trust myself to speak through the tears, or perhaps its because I dont think there would have been any words that would have added anything to what I experienced today. Some of you may have seen my facebook post about the one of the most AMAZING moments I experienced today…

A little background- I met Hayley and her family through the fabulous T Family about a year ago, and I liked the family instantly. Well, shortly after I met them Al, Hayley’s husband, and father to the three most adorable girls EVER, left for 6 months in Pax River, MD, to be followed by 6 months abroad. The first 6 months of his trip, he was able to come home about once a month. After Memorial Day weekend home with his family, he returned to Pax River and the left for Quitar, and then for Jabuti, Africa. So, the day he left, Hayley and the girls hung a paper circle chain around their kitchen and family room- a circle for every day Al would be gone.

I remember coming over in early August and seeing that chain- it was so BIG- and they were almost half way through! I cant even begin to imagine how daunting the chain looked to them on the day Al left. Each time we got together, we laughed and chatted about the perfect “coming home” outfits, and we cried about the tough things: When Mallory would walk in the Homecoming Football game with her mom…and all the other girls would have their dads. Or, when I was heading to the Orientation at school with Mark and Ash…Hayley was taking the girls without Al. I was always stressed when Mark was gone for 2-3 days {I think one week we went 7 whole days…} and Hayley and the girls went almost 7 months….

I knew Al only briefly before he left…but during the 6 months he was gone, I learned so much about him, and his family and how amazing their sacrifice is for all of us here. Every day, we all take for granted the incredible challenges these families go through every day. Day in and Day out, the risks they take {and have taken} for our freedom, the lonely days and nights, both at home, and across the world- how do we even begin to say Thank You? Your sacrifice is priceless…

Well, today, I have to say Thank you to you guys for yet another thing, for making me a part of your celebration. To see all the signs in our neighborhood and flags welcoming Al back, to drive onto NAS and see all the cars lined up to get in to celebrate the homecoming, to see the plane do a fly over and pull into the gate with a Huge American flag flying…

But most of all…

To see three children who I have come to love as a second family running, no SPRINTING, to hug their father, with tears streaming down their face…and seeing one of my dearest friends kissing her husband for the first time in 6 months…

Well, its utterly fabulous…no thats not even good enough words… it was fantastically beautiful, and deliciously overwhelming…

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it. I hope that what I captured today will serve as a small Thank you for the sacrifices you made for us over the last year and the awesome gift you gave to me today….

Welcome Home Lt. Commandor Al D’jock- we missed you!

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts…


The Hite’s {and the Churchill},  The Wagner’s and all of us in SJGCC

To view the slideshow please click the arrow in the center below… ENJOY! {It will take a few minutes to load}

  1. Lisa Harrison says:

    Welcome home Al! I am so happy for Hayley and the girls! You did a great job Kel! You got were able to share such special moments with the rest of us.

  2. Rayhana says:

    That was so incredibly beautiful and so moving! Thank you Al D’jock and family for all of your sacrifice.
    (Kelly- you know I am pregnant and super hormonal, you can’t do this to me….I sobbed uncontrollably!)

  3. amy high says:

    Welcome home Al ! Words can not express how happy I am for you and your family. Thank you for all in which each of you have had to endure … one could never fully understand your sacrifice. Thank you for allowing us to be part of your return.

  4. Caitlin says:

    Wow…awesome Kelly!! I cried like a baby!

  5. Stephanie Konecny Pruden says:

    WOW! I haven’t seen you in so many years! That made me cry! Welcome home AL! THANK YOU for serving our great nation! I hope you have the best holiday season with you beautiful family! Happy Holidays old friend!! Stephanie

  6. Effie & Butch Hannon says:

    Welcome Home Alan!
    Thank you for your service and the sacrifices of you and your family!
    May you & your family have a truly Merry Christmas.
    Love, Butch & Effie Hannon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Planning Tips & tricks

Download Our
What NOT to wear Guide

So planning a senior session and wondering WHAT NOT TO WEAR? Well, we've got your covered! Grab our free guide for all the senior session details!



A guided process and loads of fun. An effortless and remarkable experience that gives you art you will cherish for a lifetime, and help you past that empty nest syndrome. Thats the goal of every KHP session, and we can't wait to meet you!