I know this is a terrible picture, they all are, but can you see his cheeks turning red? So cute!
Me pinning on his new rank!
Giving his thank you speech - he thanked me and Isabelle and his parents.
Eric deserves all of the love and adoration in the world! But good gosh, trying to put on any sort of celebration in his honor is a headache because he just doesn't get all the fuss. He thinks that any sort of attention on his promotion is silly and he'd rather just go about his day. So this is the part where I would argue all of the reasons why he deserves a celebration in his honor. This is where I would tell you all about how kind and gentle he is; and how hard he works. I could even go on and on about how he works tirelessly until the job is done without question, and how he will inconvenience himself to no end in order to get done what he needs to get done without inconveniencing others. And how he values talking to people face-to-face rather than only through email or texting and will go out of his way to get an answer in person because that's how he likes to interact with the people he works with. I would also mention that working with the German nationals is one of his most favorite aspects of his job and how he'll miss the conversations they have. I would love to tell you how much the 39th Transportation Battalion has meant to Eric and how he can't believe how lucky he has been to have learned from the absolute best soldiers and leadership the Army has, and there is no doubt he wouldn't be where he is without every single one of them. But all of that would only make him role his eyes even more. And the fact that I'm even writing an entire blog on his promotion makes him feel silly. He just doesn't get it.
No matter what he thinks though, his promotion to Captain is important, and he deserves at least a little fuss. So to stay true to his no-fuss demeanor we did not go all fancy when it came to his promotion ceremony - he wanted BBQ for his ceremony lunch and BBQ is what he got! And for the man who hates cake and most sweets, he got cookies instead! (Because other people do like sweets and it wouldn't be a party without some sort of dessert. (It can't all be about Eric.) But seriously though, who doesn't like cake?! It's just weird.)
It was difficult planning a promotion lunch in an almost completely empty house. I could only whip up a few cold dips since we don't have our crockpot or have any ability to bake anything, everything else had to be catered. We are limited on the kinds of foods we are buying since we have to be mindful to use them up before we move out of our house in a few short weeks, so we don't have the spices I like and are almost out of most of our condiments. I was also distracted with a family matter back home since my mom had a medical emergency that resulted in surgery - she's okay now, but it was one heck of a week and there were moments where I wasn't sure I was going to be able to pull off his promotion in the way that Eric truly deserved.
But thankfully... it came together and he LOVED it!
Had to include my personal favorites! Yum!
The turn out for Eric's promotion party and lunch was WAY more than we expected! It was incredible! There was standing room only during the pinning and a long line of people that wrapped around the entire room who waited to say "congratulations" afterwards. Eric couldn't believe how many faces he saw as he said his thank you speech! He was humbled by all of the attention.
He didn't understand all of the fuss over a promotion, and wasn't all that concerned over a promotion party, but it ended up being better than he imagined! He loved being able to hang out and eat his favorite BBQ with some really amazing people. It wasn't fancy, but it was perfect for a guy like Eric.
Eric said that he couldn't imagine a better way to celebrate his promotion. For him, a low-key lunch with everyone he has worked with over the years was.... perfect! He was so thankful that he was promoted right before leaving Germany. Everything about our life here has been incredible, and this was certainly the exclamation point on one of the best chapters of our entire lives!
CONGRATULATIONS, CPT SCHNELL!!