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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Official Retirement Ceremony - Check!


We sure clean up nice.  As in, I feel so much prettier when I'm not wearing sweat pants ;o)  


Amber spent two hours curling my hair!  And after we sprayed the shenanigans out of it I am happy to report that those beautiful curls stayed in all night!  Someone I met at the party was surprised that I was a mom of two small children.  I'm like "yep that's right.  I fooled ya cause I'm not wearing sweats and a ponytail."  Just kidding I didn't really say that.


Moving on to more important things... like how the night wasn't actually all about me ;o)  If you squint up in the front there, you can see Herr Harald Strauss speaking at the podium.  (If you squint up right below him you can see me sitting next to our squadron's Commander but again, it's not about me ha!  More on our seating arrangement in a bit.)

This picture is one I stole from the Herr Strauss facebook fan page.  You heard me.  This guy is legit.  Mainly, he's one of those brilliant mad scientist types who you stand in awe of while chuckling at.  You understand those kind of complicated emotions, right?  

Here are just some of the reasons we chuckle:  He almost always looks like he just rolled out of bed... we're talking major bedhead here.  He also almost always wears biking pants... as in he literally bikes Everywhere so even when he's at work he's often wearing stretchy pants with reflective stripes.  Jesse and I were placing bets on whether or not he'd wear them to the retirement party... and though he was wearing dress pants, he did not disappoint.  In classic Herr Strauss fashion, he wore running sneakers with his dress pants and a baggy fleece zip vest over his plaid dress shirt.  Amazing!

Fun Herr Strauss fact:  He told us that he has logged 89,000 miles on just ONE of his bikes.  He modestly told us "well it was in the past twenty years."  Doesn't matter, dude.  You're still amazing.  

Okay now here are some of the reasons to stand in awe:  This guy is one of the best climatologists ever.  Probably not in the whole wide world, but he's been working with the United States Air Force in Europe for 33 years.  And his name is legend in the AF weather field.  They call him "the Beast".  (I'm still unsure if that's because of his skill or his hair.)  I knew that he was cool and had been there awhile, but it wasn't till they started thanking him and presenting his gifts and awards that I realized... Herr Strauss is a really big deal and it was such an honor to be at his retirement ceremony. 

This man's expertise has directly influenced many of our military actions in Europe and the Middle East in the past three decades.  He has had his hand in some of the major planning and has been given awards for his contributions.  As they told story after story I realized that knowing the weather for the next day(s) is absolutely crucial for skilled battle tactics.  I know, that may seem like "duh Jessica" but still, it just hit me a little more.  

I kind of teared up a little when Lt. Colonel Wall (our Commander) presented him with two beautifully framed flags.  A German and American flag, with a certificate saying they were flown over Ramstein Air Base on the day of Herr Strauss' official retirement... in his honor.  See?  The guy is a big deal.

Okay a few personal highlights from the evening:  

Kid-free-dress-up-date-night.  Need I say more?

This one is embarrassing but super funny so I will gladly share it with you all:  I grabbed Jesse's butt in front of his flight Commander (Captain Gage).  Before I knew who he was.  GAH!  It was super funny cause I assumed he was just talking to a group of Airmen (I'm not sure why I would assume that since I already knew we were the youngest couple there... more on this in a second.) and I had just gotten back from the bathroom so like the classy gal I am I walked up to my Love and grabbed his tush.  When he turned around a tad flushed and introduced me to Captain Gage I was cringing a little inside ;o)  But I played it off cool and *hopefully* he just thinks we're madly in love and not gross/ill-mannered.  Though, yes I agree that was possibly a little much for a fancy event.  Live and learn ;o)  

The coolest and possibly scariest part of the evening:  We found out three days before the party that we would be Col Wall's guests because we would be the youngest in attendance.  What this MEANS is that he pays for Jesse's meal AND we sit at the head table with him AND Jesse gives Herr Strauss his final gift from the squadron.  

So because I was sitting right next to the Commander and directly across from his wife and front and center in the room and at the same table as the guest of honor... I nearly peed my pants a few times.  But besides sweating bullets over which dang glass and silverware were mine, there were no major mishaps all evening.  Like, I didn't trip walking to the buffet and I didn't fall asleep during Herr Strass' speech... which was tempting I assure you ;o)  The Colonel and his wife Barb are great (just normal people like us but way more important) and put us right at ease.  Well, I was at ease... I don't know about Jesse ;o)

PS Jesse showed me a trick with fancy dinners - watch someone else and copy them!  So I waited till Barb filled her water glass before I took mine.  Whew!  Brilliant trick Babe!

So there you have it folks, our first Air Force Retirement Party!  We will apparently be disappointed at every other party we go to, because I guess they aren't normally full meals at the fancy officer's club.   

Because like I said, Herr Strauss is a big deal!

3 comments:

  1. What a fun night! You looked beautiful and nice shoes by the way!! :) Haha...oh my word, with the tush grabbing! You are too funny! Glad you had a good time! :)

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  2. Those shoes. I miss you every time I wear them. It was a good time, thought I need to cool it on the tush grabbing at fancy dinner ;o)

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