Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Care Package #1,

Going Bananas Missing You.

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For this package it all started with wanting to make Jerome some banana nut bread, one of his favorites. The kids helped me decorate his box with some paper and stickers I found at Hobby Lobby. It turned out to be a really cute package.....we hope he likes it!

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In This Package:

Banana Nut Bread
Planter's Honey Roasted Nuts
Banana Chips
Banana Cream Pie Pudding
Nutty Bars
Banana Split Sucker
Banana Marshmellow Treats
Banana Runts Candy

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Love from Home.

These pictures were tucked away in Jerome's bag with letters from home as a surprise for him when he found them......

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There is a personal meaning behind these words that Spencer wrote for his Dad.

And last time Jerome left it was difficult when he came home to get the kids out of our bed and into their own, to sleep in their own room (they were A LOT younger then).

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The "I LOVE YOU MORE" is a thing between Natalie and her daddy that they say over and over to each other.

Punch buggy is the kids favorite game to play in the car. Many times I have to initiate a "don't punch so hard" rule....they can get a little carried away with it. But Jerome.....he's the best at playing this game. He always manages to spot the bugs before anyone else does. And before he left he showed me a house on our way home that has an old bug, he told me to always remember that one so that I can at least get one on the kids. Thanks honey....but they have already figured that one out!

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It's funny....I can't go anywhere now without seeing a bug and every time I do it always reminds me of Jerome and puts a smile on my face.

We are adjusting to home being just us again.

The kids are all well and back in school. Spencer will have a lot of homework to catch up on, he has been absent since January 13th. I just hope that I will be able to help him with all of it.....I was never very good at algebra.....Jerome always helps him with his math homework.

Katie was up early this morning, she was excited to put a stamp on the letter she wrote to her daddy. We finally were given an address to send things to him while he is in training. I wish you could have seen the smile on her face as she put her letter in the mailbox and raised the red flag, then ran to catch the school bus.

The kids and I have been all talking about sending Jerome his first care package. We have a surprise for that one too. We are all excited about making what we are making to put in his package.

Our schedule is falling into place and we are all feeling better about the adjustment as each day goes by.

Jerome when you read this, know that Molly misses you too. I got a good laugh at you wanting me to put you on speaker so you could talk to her. I laughed when you told me what the other guys said and it made me smile to see Molly perk her ears up and stare at the phone. I think she misses you too....but she keeps the kids busy and their mind occupied. And yes, they do still feed her when they are supposed to ;) I love you baby.

Taking Off My Brave Face.

Sunday, January 22, 2012
Taking Off My Brave Face.
This song has been playing over and over in my head tonight....

It is well past two in the morning, I can't sleep but that is nothing new here lately.

Tonight I'm taking off my brave face.

I can't hold it in any longer.

I have hit a breaking point, a place that I don't feel like I can be strong anymore. At least not for tonight.

I appreciate all the support and kind words we have received from everyone. It has meant so much.

I'm just at a point where I can't pretend anymore.

I can't pretend I don't hurt inside like my heart was ripped out.

I can't pretend the loneliness isn't so overwhelming that I feel like I can't breath sometimes.

I can't pretend I feel like I am not falling apart.

I can't pretend that not letting these feelings surface will just mean I'm stronger.

Tonight I'm not. I'm not strong. But I am trying really really hard to be. But the tears just won't stop.

Tonight I'm being REAL.

Since Jerome has left we have been handed a load of things to deal with. The very day after he leaves Spencer gets sick and we spent the night in the emergency room only to find out he has meningitis.

The next morning I wake up to a phone call from school, Natalie was sick and needed to be picked up. We came home and she barely made it to the bathroom to throw up. She was blessed with a stomach bug.

I can't help but keep replaying in my head what the pastor lady (as Spencer called her) said to me. She came to visit Spencer while we were waiting for the tests to be run or the results to be in. I know when she entered our room that she wasn't expecting to see a fourteen year old boy distraught and wishing his dad was there with him too. I think she was taken aback by it all, by the tears swelling up in his eyes as she asked him if she could pray with him. She said a very emotional prayer. She prayed for his health and that he would get better soon. She then prayed for all the pain and loneliness and longing to be together that was felt in that room. She prayed for Jerome's safety and God's hand to protect him while he is away and to protect us as well. When she finished talking to Spencer and was getting ready to leave she hugged me and said that it isn't His intention for us to go through all of this alone and that everything will be OK (I had kind of laughed off emotion I was shoving down when she entered the room and told her how it was a deployment curse). She knew I was holding it all in. She kept asking to call our church or our pastor, and asked if he knew we were there. I didn't....because I had my brave face on....I was strong, or at least pretending to be.

And here I sit tonight feeling like I am falling apart inside. I'm not as strong as I think I am....but I am trying really hard.

The other night Jerome texted me to ask how Spencer and Natalie were feeling and if they were getting better. Then he asked how I was.

I told him, "I think the kids being sick has just broken the strength I thought I had to get through this. They are feeling a little better now so I'm feeling like I can take a big breath and just breath out all the stress..."

He replied by telling me, "I never doubted it...that's why it's not hard for me to leave, I know you have everything under control...you don't know how much I LOVE YOU!!!"

I cried when I read his message...tears of love. And I kept telling myself to be strong.

Tonight I can't be. Maybe I've just hit a point that I can't hold these feelings inside anymore. Maybe it's because I'm exhausted physically and emotionally. Maybe it's because I am trying so very, very hard to be strong for everyone else. Maybe I just need to cry so that I can move on and be strong again.

Tonight Natalie climbed in bed with me and watched a little bit of tv with me. It was time to go to bed and I told her I needed her to sleep in her room tonight. I was feeling all the emotions built up inside and I just needed a good cry, but I didn't want her to know. But I wanted to be strong and not let her know why I needed to sleep in bed alone. She asked again to sleep in bed with me and I tried to explain to her that I needed some time to be by myself (I don't think I have had any time to deal with this emotion since Jerome left). She asked again and I told her the truth...I took off my brave face and told her that I just needed to be alone so that I could cry and that I was missing her Daddy.

She reached over and held my hand and said,"Mommy you can cry with me here....it's OK. I know you are sad. It's OK to cry in front of me."

And so I did.

She fell asleep in bed with me with her hand on my back as I was crying into my pillow. I felt awful, I wasn't holding it together and I at that time was not being strong. Yet she was calm, comforting and understanding and strong for me.

I am going to be real here, honest and speaking what I feel inside. That sometimes is the purpose for all of this. Mostly it is so that Jerome can see pictures of our kids growing up while he is gone and to keep a journal of everything we go through good or bad. But sometimes it is a way of letting my feelings out that I can't keep bottled up inside.

Right now there are six loads of unfolded, but clean laundry sitting on our dining room table.

I haven't cooked a single dinner since Jerome has been gone because honestly it has been nothing but Jell-o, Gatorade, crackers and the typical BRAT diet. And to be even more honest...I just haven't had the time to and emotionally I'm not ready to sit down at a table and have dinner with Jerome not being there.

There has been a child sleeping in our bed every night since he has been gone.

There is a Christmas tree on our front porch that the wind knocked over the other night and scared me to death. I need to do something with it, but haven't had the time to. Jerome was going to take care of it before he left but we ran out of time with all the packing and everything else we were trying to squeeze in in that week.

There are Barbie's and board games scattered all over our living room floor.

Jerome's dress military shoes are sitting underneath the bench in the entry that just caught my eye today and when I saw them I got all choked up.

And to be completely honest, I sometimes want to throw the paper chain away that me and our girls worked so hard on. Because every time I look at it, it just feels like forever staring back at me.

I can't eat because I don't have an appetite. And I can't sleep at night because the quiet at night is when my mind starts wondering.

So there you have it. That is how I'm doing.

I'm not strong tonight.....but I am trying very, very hard to be.

I need to be strong. I need to be strong for my husband so that he can go over there and know that we are good on the homefront. That he can focus on what he has to do and come home safe to us again.

I need to be strong for my kids. They haven't broken down as much as they did the last time he left, but something tells me they are holding it all inside too.

I know that I can do this. I've done it before....it is just very hard to do. Just for tonight I am taking a break from being strong.
"Just Cry"
by Mandisa
Why you gotta act so strong?
Go ahead and take off your brave face
Why you telling me that nothing's wrong
It's obvious your not in a good place
Who's telling you to keep it all inside
And never let those feelings
Get past the corner of your eye

You don't need to run

You don't need to speak
Baby take some time
Let those prayers roll down your cheek
It maybe tomorrow
You'll be past the sorrow
But tonight it's alright
Just cry

I know you know your Sunday songs

A dozen verses by memory
Yeah they're good but life is hard
And days get long
You gotta know God can handle your honesty
So feel the things your feeling
Name your fears and doubts
Don't stuff your shame and sadness, loneliness and anger
Let it out, let it out

You don't need to run

You don't need to speak
Baby take some time
Let those prayers roll down your cheek
It maybe tomorrow
You'll be past the sorrow
But tonight it's alright

Just cry

Just cry

It doesn't mean you don't trust him

It doesn't mean you don't believe
It doesn't mean you don't know
He's redeeming everything.

You don't need to run

You don't need to speak
Baby take some time
Let those prayers roll down your cheek
It maybe tomorrow
You'll be past the sorrow
But tonight it's alright
But tonight it's alright

Just cry

Why you gotta act so strong

Go ahead and take off your brave face 

Posted by AmberHope at 4:36 AM Description: http://img2.blogblog.com/img/icon18_edit_allbkg.gif

Description: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ObeXsMALZi8/TZBi_e_t_JI/AAAAAAAAAPE/pOvgPagXdOQ/s45/Web%25252B2%25252BIPA.jpg
It's always been said that " a real man is one that can allow himself to cry. " I believe that holds true to women as well. Being strong doesn't necessarily mean you need to shield your children from your pain, or hide how you feel. Last night Natalie witnessed just how much her Mother loves and misses her Father. I know she will never forget that. She was the brave one. She learned that you need to cry and be held too. She was happy to be the one to do that for you; let her. In some way I think that by her feeling needed, her feeling brave... that she grew a bit stronger... perhaps she thought to herself, " I am strong too and my family needs me. " Perhaps that moment will help her when she is sad. I see nothing wrong with you crying with Natalie last night. I know that if I were in your place, it would take every ounce of strength I had just to get out of bed in the morning, to get the kids to school, to smile when all you want to do is cry... When your loved ones say they are here for you if you need it, know that people love you and they mean that. No one expects you to be strong in a way that doesn't allow you to feel what is natural to feel. No one expects you to hold this in and be strong for everyone else, and then cry alone in your room. That doesn't seem fair does it? There were very few times when my Father cried. And when he did, I knew it was serious. When I was the one that made him cry, I felt a bit of security... a realization or confirmation of his deep and true love for his child... I imagine you have experienced this as well? When your children see you cry for Jerome, it doesn't weaken them my dear, sweet sister... it strengthens them... it strengthens their hearts because they experience that realization... that undeniable truth that he is a part of you... and you need him... it strengthens their character because they use empathy... they learn that they are very important, that they are needed... and that they can help their mother in her time of need. I promise you that when Natalie remembers last night, it will not be with sadness... she will remember it with a sense of knowing and pride. You will get through this... yes it seems like forever, and yes it will be the most difficult thing you have ever done... but it will still pass. Stay the course. Your children are older now... they are smart, understandin, caring and tender hearted, just like their mother. Let them hold you if you need held. I believe, with my whole heart, that you are teaching them far more by being open with how you feel, then you would be by putting on a brave face. Just let go and breathe... you will make it through...you just have to do it one day at a time. That paper chain WILL get smaller. Just imagine what a wonderful feeling that will be! I love you sis, so very much.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Long Distance Lullaby.

I miss you Jerome. Stay safe and know that I love you more than you will ever know.

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{ our version of the song }

One more deployment
One more night away from you
One more phone call
To say I'll be home soon
I'm just so tired
Of all the distance in between
All I really need is you with me

I miss your voice
I miss your smile
I wish I could give you
A kiss from a thousand miles
Sleep well, my love
Tonight when you close your eyes
Hear my long distance lullaby



I know it's hard when I'm so far away
And these words can only go so far to sing

I miss your voice
I miss your smile
I wish I could give you
A kiss from a thousand miles
Sleep well, my love
Tonight when you close your eyes
Hear my long distance lullaby

Just close your eyes
I'm coming home
You'll hear me sing
I know it's hard
I'm coming home

Thursday, January 19, 2012

2 a.m.

It's two o'clock in the morning and I can't sleep.

I lay awake in bed alone, listening to the quiet of the house, looking at the picture of my husband sitting on our dresser and missing him, and realizing just how empty the night feels without him. The only sound coming from our room is the sound of our dog, Molly, snoring away on her cozy bed in the floor.

The past few days have been such a whirlwind. I am exhausted, completely exhausted but it is two in the morning and I can't sleep.

Monday we said our goodbyes at the airport. I don't have any pictures from that day, but I don't need them. I remember all the goodbyes, they keep playing over and over in my head.

I'll never forget seeing Jerome holding both of our girls in his arms and hearing them sobbing telling him they will miss him. I won't forget how he tried to not cry but couldn't hold it back while holding them.

I'll never forget how Spencer stood strong like a grown man,hugging his dad and trying to be brave. I remember seeing him watch his dad leave, walk through a gate knowing that he won't see him for another year.

I remember the excitement I felt when the man at the ticket counter gave me a pass to go through security with Jerome so that I can see him off on his flight. And how that pass in my hand felt like such an amazing gift.

I remember Jerome, with his arms around me giving me a last kiss while the speaker was calling the final boarding call.

I remember watching him walk away.

I remember turning and not wanting to leave. I just wanted to stand there in that moment....just for a minute more. I remember the heaviness I felt in my heart as I walked away, up the stairs and down the long hall, further and further away from the plane that the man I love was sitting in waiting for take off.

I remember as I walked down that long hall how each step felt so very lonely. Each and every step was a reminder to me that I am alone now, that it is all up to me to carry on everything at home. That this day I have been dreading for months has finally made its way into our lives. Each and every step hurt, it hurt to walk away.

I remember trying to hold it together as I walked through the doors to where our family and friends waited. I couldn't hold it. My son, my wonderful son put his arms around me and I cried. My tears were rolling and he was the strength I needed at that moment.

The rest of the day I tried to stay busy but in reality I was just numbing the pain that was tearing at my heart.

That night as I climbed into bed I laid there for a minute looking around at our dark, empty bedroom. Then I rolled over onto his pillow, the smell of his pillow brought all of my emotions to the surface. I cried into his pillow missing him so much.

Then there was a knock at the door. It was Katie, her eyes were filled with tears, she looked at me and said, "Mommy....I miss daddy". I pulled the covers down and she climbed into bed. Then I pulled out the book we had made for them for when they were missing their daddy. She opened the book and her daddy's recorded voice started reading the book "Under The Same Moon" to her. She let him read the book to her three times that night. She snuggled beside me and said, "Mommy, I like that book. It makes me feel like daddy is here".

Tuesday morning we all slept in. I knew our kids needed a day to be able to deal with their emotions before going back to school. The girls were doing good, considering, but Spencer didn't want to get out of bed. He told me he didn't feel good so I let him stay in bed....I thought he was just upset about his dad leaving. Later I told him to get dressed, that I was taking them all to get some lunch and get out of the house to get some fresh air. I thought it would do Spencer some good.

While we were out I realized that he really wasn't feeling good. We quickly came back home and he went back to bed. Jerome called us from Skype later that evening and I had Natalie go wake Spencer up so that he could talk to his dad, hoping that it would cheer him up a bit and make him feel a little better.

He came in and sat down beside me. I could feel the heat from his body just by him sitting close to me, I knew he had to be running a high fever. He talked to Jerome for a minute then bent his head down to type something on the computer and he grabbed the back of his neck in pain. I immediately took his temperature and it was 103.2. Then Jerome said, "Take him to the ER right now" through Skype, he didn't have to tell me, I was already yelling at the girls to grab their shoes. I called my neighbor who knew the instant she answered the phone something was wrong. I felt so bad dropping our girls off at my neighbors in such a rush. Her husband opened the door and I basically said, "Here's my girls, thanks for keeping them on such short notice. Oh and by the way.....here is two cans of soup....I hadn't had a chance to fix dinner yet, I'll call you from the ER and let you know what is going on".

After a long night in the ER (not from waiting though, they took us back immediately)and many tests later including a spinal tap I was told that Spencer had viral meningitis (of which I already knew seeing we just went through this in October with Katie). We were able to go home though, with instructions of quarantine, lots of fluids and plenty of alternating motrin and tylenol. We pulled back into our driveway around two in the morning.

Today has been a struggle for Spencer. He has been in pain but not the extreme pain I saw Katie go through. His fever keeps spiking and he is completely sick of drinking gatorade. I know though in a few days he will feel a bit better.

Friends have asked to keep Natalie and Katie. They know that I don't want either of them to get sick with meningitis. Katie is staying at her friend Sydney's and Natalie at Emily's. I am so very thankful that their moms offered to keep them, in hopes to keep them well. That is a friend, someone to step in and help in a time of need, and I am very thankful for it.

Spencer was able to talk to Jerome this evening on Skype. He was awake long enough to talk to his dad and then fell back asleep.

And so here I am. The first quiet time I have had in these past few days. The first time I have felt like I'm not spinning in a whirlwind. And the first time I have had a moment to feel the feelings I feel about this deployment. Sometimes the quiet isn't wonderful. Sometimes the lack of a whirlwind life isn't wonderful. Sometimes you miss the little bits of life that somedays get overlooked until you don't have them anymore.

But, the end of today just means that we are one day closer to Jerome coming back home. And even though it is past two in the morning, I can't sleep and am missing my husband....I know that I am strong. I know that our kids our strong. I know that their daddy is strong. I know that we can make it through this whether we have whirlwind days or quiet days that go by, each day that we make it through is one day closer to a wonderful homecoming.

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When you read this Jerome, know that I am glad that you made it safely to where you are at now, even though I'd rather have you here with us. I love and miss you so much.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Holding My Breath.

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You know how you feel when you know something you dread is coming and you hold your breath in hopes that it just might pass you by? These days that is how I feel.

The long wait of his deployment day is getting so close that I just want to close my eyes and pretend this isn't happening.

But eventually reality sets in, I exhale, and know that I have to do this whether I want to or not.

This week has been so busy. We have been loading everything that we can into every single day. Jerome is being the wonderful husband he is and making sure everything is squared away at home before he leaves. Yesterday we spent the day together just getting errands ran. Both vehicles needed an oil change. Jerome needed some things to pack before he leaves. We dropped the truck and van off at Walmart to get oil changes, while we were waiting we picked up a few things he needed.

Good sole inserts for his boots since he will be walking four miles in full gear.

Nice, thick socks to wear among other things.

As we were checking out and getting the keys to the truck the cashier held up the shoe insoles and told Jerome that she had some just like these and they were the best fifty bucks she had ever spent on herself. He laughed and said he hopes they will be good. The deployment came up, soles for his boots is where it started. She asked where he was going and he told her. Then she went on to tell us that her son-in-law is mobilizing and is getting ready to go to XX base (name of the base I won't say yet). Jerome laughed and told her it is a small world and that maybe he will see him there.

Then the cashier shook Jerome's hand, thanked him for his service, then reached her hand out to me. She shook my hand and looked at me and said, "How do you get through it?".

That little question took me by surprise. For a second I think I was holding my breath. I smiled, looked at her and said, "You just learn to cope".

Oh how the shake of a hand, a smile and a polite reply to a simple question sometimes feels like a sting.

Deep inside I knew the answer, you do learn to cope but not without great heartache.

There are days that come and go just like any other normal day.

Then there are days that I don't want to cope. That I don't want to go through this again. Days that I can barely eat because of all the built up nerves. Or the nights I can't sleep and just watch the alarm clock move from hour to hour, trying to make myself fall asleep because 6am and getting our kids ready for school comes really early when you haven't had much sleep. Or times when the thought of him leaving seems unbearable to deal with, it takes my breath away and all I want to do is lay in bed and cry. Then eventually I muster up enough strength inside of to make myself cope, I have to.....it is my only choice.

Yesterday evening felt like one of those days.

After we finished checking out we sat quietly in the truck waiting for the van to finish. Jerome knew that I was hurting and pulled me to him and I just cried. He didn't say anything, he knew to just hold me.

He made me smile again and assured me everything was going to be OK and to quit worrying.

Then we came home, I started dinner while he helped Natalie with homework. It felt like it was back to a "normal" day. That was until after dinner. I knew he was in our bedroom going through his stuff, getting his uniform ready for today. But what I didn't know was that he was getting ready to start packing.

I walked into the room and saw the empty trunk sitting there....waiting to be filled with all of his things that he will need for this deployment. The emptiness of the trunk sitting there in front of me just made me stop what I was doing and stand there looking at it. I held my breath because I didn't want to hurt again. I decided to not let it get the better of me and that at that moment I was going to make myself deal with this and so I did. I picked up my camera and started shooting. Not that this is a happy memory that I'll always want to remember, but it is still a memory. A piece of us, a part of our life.

{earlier this week on one of his weekly conference calls with his unit}

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I love this picture for what it represents. Jerome is packing, looking at me smiling knowing that this is how I am coping with it at the moment. But still I see in him a man with unwavering strength that is ready to go and do his duty. And behind him is the paper chains that the girls and I made. One for each day that he will be gone (actually a little less is there....we ran out of paper), and every day we will take a chain off to count down the days to his return.

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Everything was going fine. We were talking and laughing, I was taking pictures. He went back to Spencer's room only to return to find Katie upset. She didn't know he was packing for his deployment either. He picked her up, she cried on his shoulder and told him how she didn't want him to go. He wiped her tears explained to her that he had to and that the time would go by fast. He started joking with her to get her to cheer up and told her that this time next year he will be here getting after her to clean her room or do her homework. She laughed and started saying things that he will be saying to her next year. He always has a way of making us all feel better about this deployment. He can make our kids laugh when they just want to cry. He can make me forget that we are facing a deployment and to just enjoy all these little moments we are given right now. I love him for that.

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When you read this Jerome....know that I am so very thankful to have you as my husband. I love how you remain strong in the middle of all this deployment craziness and how that you have always been the strength that helps us exhale when we just want to hold our breath and hope this deployment won't come our way. I love you with all my heart and soul.

Send Off Party for Jerome and Noah.

Saturday night we had Jerome and Noah's Send Off party. There were many friends and family who came to the party. It was a great night and I know Jerome enjoyed getting together with all of his buddies before getting ready to leave.

I had a table set up with cards for everyone to write a message to Jerome and put in a jar. I will be sending him these cards with packages we will be sending, a few cards at a time throughout his deployment.

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I made these jars for each of the tables. The sand represents Afghanistan. Each jar had a different set of pictures, his Chief pinning, his brother Joey pinning his ESWAS pin on him, him and his buddy Aaron on the USS Hayler, his last deployment to Afghanistan, marching in a Memorial Day parade and our kids waving their little American flags and many, many more pictures.

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The cake was made by my cousin's wife and turned out beautiful. I had her make it as a service members flag. Natalie and Katie iced the cupcakes I made. Jerome's brother Joey did a wonderful job with the cooking for the party.

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His friend Alex gave both Jerome and Noah a wonderful send off toast. It was very well written and spoken. There was a lot of laughter and tears.

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Our girls enjoyed dancing with their Daddy.

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Jerome loved having all of his family there.

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We danced to our song, The Longer The Waiting, by Josh Turner. Jerome started singing to me while we were dancing which made it even more special.

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Our dance was cut short because Katie started crying seeing us dancing together. She and Natalie both were crying. She later told me that it made her sad seeing us dancing together because she was going to miss seeing us together when her daddy leaves.

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Spencer became emotional once during the party as well. He was crying and Jerome was crying as he was giving him his "be strong, I'll be back in a year" talk.

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Our kids went home with friends and Jerome and I made it a long night and enjoyed the rest of the night (morning) with his friends and brother.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Katie's Daddy Daughter Date.

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Yesterday evening Jerome took Katie out for her Daddy Daughter Date.

Katie decided on bowling and McDonalds.

Katie won the first game of bowling. She was pretty thrilled to have beat her daddy at bowling (even though he never bowls either).

They bought a pitcher of soda, a big bowl of popcorn and two games of bowling.

Then they went to McDonalds to eat and she came home with a M&M flurry in hand.

She had a great evening with her daddy, especially beating him at bowling.


Lately the simple word "time" has been on my mind....constantly.

How much time we have, how many days, and now it seems almost how many hours.

Time is going by so quickly.

It is on my mind when I lay down to sleep at night and it is the first thing that comes to my mind when I wake up in the morning.

At the beginning of this week I asked Jerome what his favorite home cooked dinners were so that I could fix them for him before he left. That way when he is eating those MRE's he will be remembering the good meals that were fixed for him before he left.

We sat down with our schedule in hand.

Monday he was taking Katie out bowling and to dinner for her Daddy Daughter Date.

Tuesday his Dad was coming out to spend the day with him and help him put some motion sensor lights on the house and then out to dinner with Spencer and his dad.

Wednesday is an evening off, but maybe take Spencer out and have some one on one time with him.

Thursday he and Natalie are going out on their Daddy Daughter Date.

Friday our girls are going to birthday sleepovers, Spencer and his girl out to the movies. So Jerome and I decided we could squeeze in one more date night.

Saturday we are having pictures taken by my sister and then to his family's home to visit with everyone and spend some time together.

That leaves Sunday. One day out of this week before he leaves to fix a good home cooked meal.

The time is going faster than I had imagined it would.

And even though it is going by fast, I am glad that we still have time to squeeze all the "one more's" in.

The one more Daddy Daughter dates.

The one more night out with his son.

The one more date night.

The one more dinner at Pam's.

And we will have at least one more home cooked meal.
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