It was a sheer look of shock, then a warm embrace, as a Mississippi family returned home to find their soldier dad there, surprised that he’d returned from deployment.
"I don't really, like, know what I was thinking. It was more just like, oh my gosh!” Holly Grimes said of the moment she laid eyes on her husband.
Jeffrey Grimes is a soldier with the National Guard who had been on deployment in Kuwait. The last time he felt his family’s embrace was last Thanksgiving.
“For this very needy, clingy family, that was very hard for us,” Holly told InsideEdition.com.
Since then, the family has kept in touch using FaceTime and social media.
The prankster decided to pop up on them at their Mississippi home. He was almost foiled when Holly decided to take the kids on a three-hour trip to visit grandma’s.
"I get a text saying, 'Hey, I'm going to go visit my mom for the day.’ I'm going, 'No,'” Jeffrey told InsideEdition.com.
He decided to hide, which was a little tricky.
"We've got security cameras in the house and I didn't want her to be able to look through the security cameras and see me. I was having to hide for four hours in my own house," Jeffrey said with a laugh.
He hid on the couch, sitting directly underneath one of the cameras, and he was out of sight.
At first, Holly believed her husband’s return was just a dream.
“The next day when I woke her up for church, the first thing she said was, ‘So it wasn’t a dream,’” Jeffrey said.
Watch the video above to see the family's emotional reunion.