Dated 10/30/15

I woke up this morning and everything felt a bit different. I think it was the anticipation of seeing my wife and kids the next day, and knowing that moment was only 24 hours away. I had a little extra pop in my step. I did a quick 2 miles around the track, which felt easier than usual. I came back, motivated to write, and boy did I write!

Around 11am, I meet up with my workout group, where we did a pretty intense session of circuit training. Today, I felt faster, stronger, and for the first time since I have been here, I was able to hold my planks for the full 60 seconds! Definitely seeing progress on the physical fitness front. I played basketball for about an hour after. A couple people around here have labeled me “Mr. Basketball” as they can always find me on the court at the same time each day, and I probably have the most accurate 3 point shot at the camp.

As I head back into the dorm to hit the showers, I hear my name called on the loud speaker asking me to report to the visitation room. What? A visit today? Totally confused, I threw on my pants and a fresh tee, despite having a distinct athletic odor from having not showered yet.

As I walk into the visitation room, who do I see? My beautiful wife and 2 boys for a surprise visit! I was overcome with emotion, as my kids crawled all over me and gave me the most amazing welcome I had ever received. I look at my wife with tears in my eyes, in such shock with this amazing surprise. That exact moments was one of the happiest moments in my entire life.

The original plan was that my wife was going to head north to Valencia after my son’s halloween parade at school. They would leave around 1pm, to arrive there by about 4pm, and then do dinner at Chuck E. Cheese. They would spend the night, so they would be able to be there to visit early the very next day. Apparently, my son said that he didn’t want to go to the parade, but instead go see daddy. Without hesitation, my wife got on the road early to drive 4 hours straight to come see me, and arrive before the 1:30pm cutoff time for new visitors. She arrived at 1:19pm, which is when I was called in. The entire visit was nothing short of magical, as we cuddled, played with numerous different board games and toys, and ate vending machine snacks lillke it was Thanksgiving. My kids kept a hand on me at all times, as it was clear that they missed the feel of my touch. My wife and I shared this amazing moment, where we told each other that we love each other now more than ever. The most amazing woman on the planet. She really is.

This marked the best day since I have been here. It is moments like these where I realize, that despite my unfavorable surroundings, I truly am a blessed man.

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