Wednesday, February 29, 2012

3am Marshmallows.

My sister Savannah has been coming out to our house on some weekends since Jerome has been gone. We go shopping, go to dinner and have fun.

The beginning of February she came out for the weekend, brought her boys and Natalie and Katie had fun playing babysitter with them.

We stayed up watching a movie and got to bed late. Bradley had gone to sleep earlier than usual and Savannah was hoping he would sleep all night.

He did not sleep all night.

At three in the morning he woke up and was asking for marshmallows. She had to drive to work the next morning so she kept trying to get him to go back to sleep.

He is a persistant little boy and kept insisting on 3am.

I got up with him, I thought maybe he was hungry since he had gone to bed earlier. I carried him into the kitchen but told him I did not have any marshmallows in the house. " have marshmallows!", he would say and I would tell him that we didn't.

"Let me see!", he'd say. So I carried him into the pantry to show him that we in fact did not have any marshmallows.

"There! Right there! You have marshmallows!", he said as he pointed to a box of Lucky Charms.

I fixed him a bowl of cereal to eat and he stood at the chair in the kitchen to eat it (Spencer and his friend Zack had been working on a Rube Goldberg project and everything wasn't where it should be).

LuckyCharms Blog 01

After giving him a bowl of lucky charms to eat....I realized he wasn't going to eat the cereal.....just the marshmallows.

One by one he ate all of the marshmallows out of the bowl. Then he decided to give the rest to Molly, our dog.

Molly was as happy as could be thinking that she was going to get fed a bowl of cereal at three in the morning. In fact, she loves it when the boys come to visit.

Bradley is one of those kids that can make everything funny and cute, even eating only the marshmallows out of a cereal bowl at three in the morning.

I decided to record him, because he was making me laugh, even though I was half asleep.

Half way through this video is hilarious.....after I asked him if he was finished and he went to put his bowl away....just watch....

Thursday, February 23, 2012

He Surprised Me.

A few weeks ago Jerome and I made plans for a trip to Fort Polk. He was given a few days leave and we decided that I would fly down and we could spend the weekend together.

A week before the trip he called and sounded happy, he said, "I have some good news for you....". They were going to be given more time off than we had been told, which meant we would get to spend more time together.

I rushed home very excited after dropping the kids off to school and worked on changing all the reservations I had already made.

I changed my flight departure day with so much excitement I could barely stand it. I know going from two and a half days to four days and an evening may not seem like a big difference, but it was to us.

I couldn't wait to board the plane and be on my way to see my husband once again.

I counted down the days on a calendar I had made....

Countdown 01

Finally the day I was to fly out had arrived. I spent the morning packing the rest of the things I needed.

Jerome was going to be in Dari language class and cultural training all day and wasn't supposed to get out of class until late that night and then take a long drive to the airport if he was going to be able to meet me.

My flight was to land in Alexandria, LA at 9:30pm that night. All along he kept telling me that he didn't think he was going to be able to be at the airport in time and that we would probably meet at the hotel.

But, but.....I know how Jerome is with surprises and I KNOW that if it were at all possible he would make it to the airport.

The entire flight Kourtney (Noah's girlfriend who was also flying down)and I both kept talking about getting to the airport in Louisiana and wondering if our men would be waiting for us there.

We had a 3 hour layover in Atlanta. We walked through the airport and each man we saw in uniform made us both even more excited to get on the next flight out. We weren't the only women flying down to see our men. There were several women and there were also several men in uniform and you could just feel the anticipation.

Finally our plane landed safely in Alexandria and as I was waiting for my tagged carry on, Noah texted Kourtney and told her that they had made it to the airport.

We both walked out of that long corridor from the airplane to the lobby both knowing that our men would be right there waiting.

We stepped out and Jerome and Noah were nowhere to be found.

I kept looking around with my eyes....thinking that surely he was there. I couldn't see him anywhere. So I made my way from the second floor to the tall escalator to go to the baggage claim area.

I was standing patiently on the escalator looking all around trying to find my husband on the floor below....I didn't see him. I kept looking but he was nowhere to be seen.....

Airport 03

Then as my wondering eyes were looking all around for him.....I felt his hand on my hand.

He had hidden by the escalator to surprise me and only he could reach as high as he did to place his hand on mine to surprise me. He smiled at me as I turned my head to see him....and I just wanted to jump off the escalator to hurry up and be in his arms.

Airport Together Blog 02

Being together again was a feeling I can't even begin to describe.

It felt like home being in his arms again.

Airport Together Blog 01

We had a wonderful weekend together.

One of the days I was there we drove to the base and he showed me around. Where he slept, where he ate at, where he marched and did pt and so on....

Tigerland 01

We went to the movies.

We went to dinner every evening.

We staid up late.

And we slept in every morning.

We spent every minute together and we enjoyed it.

Uniform 01 blog

All weekend long anytime that I would start being upset about having to leave him again, he would look at me, hold my face in his hands and say, "No crying allowed...not yet".

Monday was there before we knew it.

I was sad about having to say goodbye again but thankful for each and every minute we were given to spend together.

Monday night came quickly and it was time to drop him off at the base. I drove so that I would know my way back. He turned our song on on my ipod and started singing along to it. I smiled but wanted to cry. I didn't want to leave him again but knew I had to.

We talked a lot on that long drive to the base. We laughed together and sang together. And we planned another trip so that our kids would be able to see him one last time before he leaves. I would love to fly the four of us down there but that is impossible so I will be braving it and driving hours upon hours to be where he is again.

I used to drive to Camp Lejeune every other weekend when he was on medical hold after his last deployment. It would take us fourteen hours to get there. So I keep telling myself...whats a few hours more? I think it will be a fairly easy drive and our kids are all so excited about getting to see him again.

I am glad they are excited about it, because at first they didn't want to go because they didn't want to have to say goodbye again. I can't say I blame is very hard to do.

Kissing him goodbye again was hard. I wasn't sure at that time if I was brave enough to drive me and the kids down so I wasn't sure if this was our goodbye before he leaves to go over there.....but I kept telling myself that it wasn't the last time. That way I could kiss him and not cry. I could be strong and smile back at him instead of crying when we say goodbye.

I kept telling myself the long drive back that I would see him again. Kourtney rode back with me to Alexandria and we talked to whole trip back.

I couldn't sleep in that empty hotel room very well that night.

The next morning I allowed enough time to get ready and leave for the time for being sad.

It wasn't until I checked my bags in at the airport, made it through security and sat down and waited for boarding to start that it hit me.

Kourtney was talking about her and Noah. I noticed an older couple sitting across from us....I think she had overheard Kourtney talking about missing Noah. She looked at my necklace that Jerome had given me before this deployment and I know saw his wedding ring hanging on the necklace too. She looked at me and smiled a smile like she knew we were sad about having to leave our men behind. I smiled back at her and looked away out the window because I could feel my eyes welling up with tears. All the noise and commotion seemed to disappear around me and all I could think about was Jerome. I missed him so much already.

I boarded the plane and thought that I was going to get a row of seats to myself. But a few minutes later two soldiers made their way back through the aisle and one of them sat beside me, the other in front of me. The man sitting beside me was wearing the same army green uniform my husband is wearing now. I couldn't stand to see it because I was missing Jerome so bad so I layed my head back and closed my eyes and tried to not look at that uniform the rest of the flight to Atlanta.

111. the anticipation of counting down the days to see my husband again
112. the sound of the wheels on my suitcase rolling through the airport
113. landing safely
114. the feel of his hand touching mine, surprising me to where he is standing
115. his smile and the way he looks at me
116. the way his arms feel like home
117. the warmth of his kiss
118. hearing his voice in person, not just through the phone or skype
119. the way my heart skips a beat seeing him in uniform
120. having dinner together again
121. watching a sappy, romantic movie together...even though I know he'd rather be watching an action movie
122. holding his hand while he drives
123. talking about our future together
124. a pillow fight
125. driving around town, going nowhere, but just enjoying being together
126. watching him enjoy a good dinner, knowing he enjoys it much better than the galley food
127. the pride I feel for him, even though I'm sad leaving him
128. knowing that I will see him one more time before he goes over there
129. the kind smile from the older woman at the airport departure gate
130. the view from above the clouds in an airplane
131. landing safely....especially after a white knuckle landing
132. our kids excitement to see me again
133. the love I have inside for my husband and our kids

Jerome, when you read this, know that I'll never forget the way your hand felt on mine while I was looking all around for you....and you were right there all along.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Month In Pictures | January 2012

Month In Pictures January blog

We enjoyed having Jerome and Noah's Send Off party at the local American Legion.
I danced with my husband to our song at the party.
We laughed and we cried.
We were happy to have friends from far away stay, Jerome enjoyed catching up and talking about old USS Hayler days.
We clapped our hands and smiled at the wonderful toast their friend Alex made.
We spent a night out on the town with friends.
Natalie enjoyed her daddy daughter date to Blackhawke Grille with her daddy.
Spencer enjoyed one last paintball trip in the cold weather with his dad.
Katie enjoyed her daddy daughter date and went bowling with her daddy.
We spent a whole day at the Reserve Center waiting on papers and processing for Jerome to be completed.
We got new military I.D.'s
We enjoyed a nice dinner and our last date night for a long time.
We watched him pack his things.
We spent time with family and friends at the airport.
We gave hugs, lots of hugs and kisses to him.
We cried.
He held each of our kids as they cried and said goodbye.
We cried.
I walked through security with him and gave him a long kiss goodbye.
I watched him as he had to turn and walk away.
I cried.
We came home to a home without him.
We made it through a week of what seemed like a deployment curse.
We made it through.
We celebrated on February 1st by going to dinner, hoping that he will be here this time next year.
We learned to live with just the four of us at home.
We miss him.

Care Package #2, Valentine's Day

A Valentine's Day care package for the one we love.

Care Package #2, Valentine's Day

It has been a while since we shipped this package. I don't remember everything we put in it, but here are just a few things:

Pop Tarts, because he loves them
Hot Tomales Candy
2 Red Powerades
Homemade Chocolate Brownies
Reese's Peanut Butter Hearts, his favorite
Pink Snowballs
Red Zingers
Red Hearts Candy
Card from Natalie's Class
Cards from his party
Lotion and Scrub for his hands (something he needed)

This is the card Natalie made and her class signed to send to him....

Care Package Two 02 57

Care Package Two 03 57

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Middle.

I absolutley love this song.

Not because it is a beautiful song.

But because somehow I find inspiration listening to it.

It makes me wake up and realize that even though these days without Jerome here are terribly hard to get through sometimes.





I know that right now it is hard, but somehow each day I am finding a little bit more strength to make it through another day without him.

It doesn't mean I miss him any just means I am learning how to adapt to these days.

Deployment 03 57

I know soon we will be able to look back, and this deployment, like the last one, and it will be nothing but days past.

We still have to live and smile and enjoy these days in matter how much we miss him.

Deployment 01 57

This package arrived several days ago in the mail.

I knew what it was before I even opened it.

To be honest.....I didn't open it for two days.

Some things, such as this, remind me that this is it. This is really happening. We are really going through this deployment. And some days, like the two days I let the package sit on the dining room table, it is better to make it through the day without the reminders.

Deployment 02 57

"The Middle"

I get this feeling every year, the first days of winter
Pull out that box of souvenirs, to read your old letters
In that stack of memories, found a note you left for me
It almost feels like you're still here
I hear your voice in every word
You told me to remember

Take each day and make it last
Cause you turn around and the future is the past
Here and now is all we have
The beginning and the end mean so little
What matters most is what's in the middle

Makes me smile when I look back to every summer
You forget your birthday and just laugh; say it's just a number
But Sunday afternoons, they meant so much to you
The simple things were golden, you found beauty in every moment

Take each day and make it last
Cause you turn around and the future is the past
Here and now is all we have
The beginning and the end mean so little
What matters most is what's in the middle

The day you're born is just a start
Your last breath is a question mark
The story of your life is in the in-between

Take each day and make it last
Cause you turn around and the future is the past
Here and now is all we have

Take each day and make it last
Cause you turn around and the future is the past
Here and now is all we have
The beginning and the end mean so little
What matters most is what's in the middle
What's in the middle

 (you can pause the music on this blog at the bottom to listen to this song)

Jerome, when you read this, I want you to know that I can't wait to see you again. And thank you for the surprise phone call this morning....if only I could start out everyday to the sound of your voice. I love you baby.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Natalie's Daddy Daughter Date.

Jerome took Natalie out to Blackhawk Grille for her Daddy Daughter Date.

Natalie wanted him to wear his uniform and go to a nice restaraunt.

Jerome and I were given a gift certificate as a Christmas gift to Blackhawk Grille, knowing we weren't going to have time to use it all, he took Natalie out to this very nice restaraunt.

Natalie dressed up. She got in my jewelry and put on a pair of my "fancy" earrings and she wore my heels that matched her dress.

Daddy Daughter Date Blog 01

It was POURING the rain outside the night they went to dinner.

DaddyDaughterDate 03 Blog

DaddyDaughterDate 02 Blog

Natalie enjoyed being able to go to dinner just her and her daddy before he left.
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