Kate and Lauren Share Tea

Later that afternoon, Spencer and Dale took Sarah outside to play in the snow and Lauren offered Kate some hot tea. She had accepted and they had a nice visit in the formal living room by themselves. Lauren right away told Kate not to feel awkward under the circumstances.

Kate gave her a half smile. “I feel bad—”

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Kate Feels Better, a Little

After picking up Sarah from Mrs. Pettigrew’s, they picked up dinner from Subway. Kate wasn’t in the mood for using her culinary skills. Though she felt less tense, she was still angry and upset she had to leave Sarah in a few weeks. They were still getting to know one another and the ‘rules’ of their relationship, and all that, which made her unhappy at the prospect of leaving and having to start over when she returned. But with so many troops stationed all around the world, she had to. After all, this is what she signed all those papers for.

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Fun at the St. Louis Zoo

library books about zoo animals

library books about zoo animals

Sarah was so excited to see the ‘aminals’ at the zoo. She and Kate had read several library books over the last few days in preparation for their outing. They read about the different kinds of animals you might find in a zoo. Kate was excited to show them to Sarah and to spend a relaxing day with Spencer as well.

The day turned out to be perfect for November. It could have been snowy, rainy or windy and cold, but it was going to be in the low-sixties, which Kate thought was a fluke. But they were going to enjoy it.

When they arrived and parked in the zoo parking lot which was pretty sparse, Spencer took out the stroller for Sarah, but she wanted to walk for a while first. Kate held her hand while Spencer pushed the stroller loaded with their jackets, water bottles and a cooler holding their lunch. The stroller was a gift from several of the office gals and Kate had made great use of it so far.

zoo pix 004

tiger

 

giraffe

giraffe

 

 

Gorilla or ape?

Gorilla or ape?

 

Sarah enjoyed all the animals they saw from the elephants, painted dogs, tigers, lions, giraffes, ostriches and peacocks, snakes (ew, Sarah said), hippos, to the fish and birds. The walking was great exercise and Sarah was ready for the stroller after several stops along their route. They rode the train, which she loved and they enjoyed popcorn during a break, sitting on one of the many benches along the zoo’s walkway.

Clouds starting rolling in and the wind picked up, so they made their way back to the car. The threat of rain had been minimal, but now it looked like the skies could give way to a rain shower. Sarah had fallen asleep in the stroller, so it was just as well they leave. Kate had several snapshots to scrapbook later when she got the photos back.

“That was fun!” Spencer said, unlocking the car.

“Yes, it was,” Kate said, unbuckling a sleepy and heavy Sarah from the stroller. Spencer unloaded their things and folded the stroller to stow in the trunk.

Kate thought about how easy it was to do things with Spencer and Sarah. She had dreaded being a mom, and knew it would be hard. Not all days would be like this. Gazing through the window along I-64, back across the river to Illinois, Kate thought more and more about making the three of them a permanent family.

****

Until next time,

Michelle

Kate Married?

After putting Sarah down, Kate played with Buttons while the dishwasher ran its cycle. She aimlessly tossed the ball for him to chase. Her thoughts wandered down the road to think about what life might be like if she and Spencer were married. She only had six months left of active duty and now that she was a mom, she was pretty sure she wanted to get out. She could still use the educational benefits and as long as Spencer was active duty, they could still use the gym and shop at the commissary. And they would have health insurance for Sarah. That was a pretty important benefit.

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At Lambert St. Louis Airport

St. Louis Airport

St. Louis Airport

Spencer had the flight information and led the way. After a few steps, they realized it was awkward to walk in a horizontal line, so Spencer stopped in front of Sarah and asked, “Is it okay with you if I hold you?”

“Sure, Mr. Daddy.” She answered as if it was a given and a silly question. She leaned her head on his shoulder as soon as she’d been picked up. Kate smiled and took Spencer’s remaining hand. Silently, Kate worried Sarah would call Spencer Mr. Daddy in front of John’s mom, but what could she do if she did?

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Kate Dreads Lauren’s Visit

The following Thursday Lauren and Judy were coming to clean out John’s apartment. Spencer offered to drive her and Sarah to the airport and she gratefully accepted. She would have been too anxious.

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Kate and Sarah Thank Their Friends

Kate's Thank You cards

Kate’s Thank You cards

 

After lunch, Kate put Sarah down for her nap and took out thank you cards. She wrote a short note to each of her friends who attended the shower yesterday and left them on the table for Sarah to add her name. Might as well start manners early, Kate thought.

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Kate Searches for a Daycare

The next morning, Kate had to get started looking for a daycare for Sarah. Kate dreaded having to put her there, but what was a single mom supposed to do? Kate pulled up Google on her computer and typed in local daycares. She knew she wouldn’t need one until after the exercise at work next week. That Spencer. He volunteered to work a lousy shift just for her sake. She shook her head. What was she going to do with that man?

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Kate Catches Up

While Spencer worked for his neighbor, Kate turned on her cell phone after finding it in her purse. She had to charge it before she could play messages or read her texts. Most of her friends called her on her cell rather than the apartment phone. She let Buttons out on the patio and fixed Sarah a bowl of sliced fruit and milk. She made herself some toast and coffee.

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