Wake up call. December 7th, 2023

I have put my family through a roller coaster ride, and truly that is half my battle. Tatum asks for prayer from her class and teachers almost weekly. Doug remains steadfast in his love and loyalty to me; patiently hoping that I will be “back” or better!

I know that I can’t control so much of this, and this is honestly the battle. I wish I could make it all go away, and I ask God daily….WHY? HOW? WHAT DO I DO?

Well, slowly, in HIS time, He is answering. We have had to sacrifice dating, vacations, “fun” outings because of me. Tatum and Doug seem unaffected, but it takes a toll. HOWEVER, what I do see cannot be created without true struggle. It’s CHARACTER. It’s TRUE LOVE and COMPASSION. Our Tot volunteers in Special Ministries and now with the 1-2year olds.

Also, just yesterday, I found this in her photos.

She WANTS to be with me…all the time.

ANd then there’s my honey. He doesn’t deserve this! Just today, he gave this to me.

Man. I’m so blessed.

December 7th, I got a diagnosis of:

I won’t be a VICTIM ANY LONGER. NO, I am the CEO of my health, and from now on, I’m going to be taking control WITH HIM. God is giving me answers while humbling my family and ME especially.

Disappointment to Blessing. Make it a habit

You can turn around a disappoint by taking your eyes off yourself.

Can I tell you a quick story? 

Well, back in the summer, we went to a King and Country concert…they are A.M.A.Z.I.N.G in concert, and I decided to buy tix for their concert this Friday night Dec. 8th. Bought the tickets back in July!

I got awesome seats and parking..spent a TON of money. All good, right? 

Well, alas. It’s been a VERY rough year for me (actually the past five but this past one has been the worst), and I was hoping for a break by Dec. 8th. I’ve been going to bed at like 8:45pm every night because that has been life or death for me. Since the concert starts at 7, and seriously I have a bit of fear to go. Breaking Tatum’s heart has been the toughest part.

We turned it all around; TATUM and I decided: LET’S DONATE THE TICKETS! She WOULD LOVE TO DONATE the tickets to someone in Unlimited Special Ministries or a Pastor at SBC.

We reached out to Carolyn Meyers at SBC who is the head of the Special Ministries.

This is her email.

Hi Steph, 

I reached out to all our DK Unlimited families as well as the special needs moms in our moms’ group at SBC.  A woman named Brittni has a son in a wheelchair She, her husband, and her sister will be going. She is THRILLED! How could she not be.  This is amazing! Thanks so much for thinking of our special needs families.  This is huge for them. 

So Grateful,


THEN, Brittni emailed:


Can you please send this to the generous donor!


Thank you so much for these concert tickets! We love country music and get out for concerts rarely so this is such a treat! So thankful for you generosity! 

Love, blessings and Merry Christmas!

Matt and Brittni Lamb and Brittni’s sister who is joining us;) 

Tatum also decided she’d give US a concert tonight! She’s been working so hard on practice. Here is her dress rehearsal.

I love her ATTITUDE. We have so much JOY. Yes, we miss out, but we MAKE THE MOST of it and SEE JESUS’ hand in everything.

Tonight’s her concert! We cannot wait. Make giving a habit. Amen.

Mary did you know, it happened this night!

She had tried out back in October to play Mary at the PVCP Christmas concert, and tonight would be the big night!

She practiced so very much with Mrs. Cline, and Mrs Cline had such kind words to say about Tatum;

In fact, this was the email I received the next day after we gave her a thank you gift:

SHE DID TOTAL EMBODY MARY with her nurturing way. This night would be never forgotten. …Anyway before the night, we gifted Tot:

We arrived early to save front seats, and the program was waiting. Tot: Top billing!

The first part of the concert led up to Mary and her calling from God.

All the music and was just so inviting and beautiful! Of course, I just couldn’t wait for Tatum to arrive on stage. Oh…wait, here she comes with her hubby, Joseph. (Hayden!!! We love him!)

We awaited for her to speak!
But they first had to be near the angels and manger.

She then prayed and prayed.

We all were speechless. Her speech humbling herself before God as a chosen servant was awe-inspiring.

She then held Baby Jesus as if she was really holding him.

Gulp. Wow. Just ….wow.

Her dear friend Felicity also sang a beautiful solo

After, so many came up to me with so many compliments of her maturity, beauty, and articulate words.

Happy Birthday to my HHH!!!

It should have been a HUGE shindig. No, a fabulous PARTAY…but alas; it was just us. The three of us. Which to me is the best of all.

Tatum loved on him with a card.

She to multiply his age times a billion and give him this many hugs!
She wanted to find a bonding activity, so she got him this video game. We are still looking for fun ones to do together.

WE need ideas here as we are not video game geek experts! sigh.

Now, I wasn’t sure what to do for my honey as I wish I could give him a weekend away. Suffice it to say, I am hoping to help his sleep at least so he remains top notch!
The OURA ring will hopefully help. I LOVE MINE!

He will size his finger and then we’ll get it ordered.

Lotsa cards and love to my honey bun.

Oh, and then..his FAV. Lemon cake. (now mind you, I make it keto-friendly, but it still tastes..well, DELICIOUS!

I love you beyond I can express. You keep me going, my love. Without you, Tot and Jesus, I’d be a mess. May this next year be our best. xxoo

DeLIGHTing in Christmas (deco Hay-style)

My honey. He plans…percolates…perseverates…ponders…until he gets it all set up in his mind. Such is this year.

He had us come out to the sidewalk and await the unveiling of BEAUTY. Wonder. LIGHT!

Let’s scoot on in.

The story of the little red truck and how it just had to be part of our display. Not only this antique vintage one, but the lil bitty ones on the tree. Gosh. Isn’t it just the sweetest evah!?

He thought of everything. OH..wait. The reason for the season. Not the truck. HA!
Jesus? Are you there? Are you anywhere around? Yes, honey, next weekend.

Stay tuned, folks.

In the meantime, inside, we get ready.

Thank you, Baby, for doing all you do to make our Christmas deLIGHTful! XXOO

Thanksgiving and ThankYOUJesus 2023

It was a miracle. Truly. The whole week of November 20th, I was not doing well. Nope. My body was not moving and my mojo was dead. I was so nervous about pulling off Thanksgiving with Austin and my mom. BUT, Alas. I woke up feeling like a human, and YES! I could make the sides, and my honey could smoke our lovely little turkey.

Tatum made my day with a little picture to say I LOVE YOU.

Then, off to the kitchen to get my groove on. Mashed cauliflower, Roasted maple carrots, green beans, and some salad. It would be delightful with daddy’s winning smokey masterpiece.

I had Tatum work on the table decorations. She made each place setting, and made it look welcoming.

She also got all perty in her new Old Navy warm up suit. Oh, my…she is beautiful! (Photo bomb by Coopy)

Mama and Austin came over early, and they intensely…(srsly!) played the game of SORRY. Again, maybe sorry we played this?

Let’s lighten it up with a few pics, k?

Oh, look at that…my lil QTpie.

And who is the other star of the day? THIS HHH! Look at his masterpieces? Still SMOKIN and LOOKS DELISH!

We are a great team, honey!

We had no problem eating this…

Oh, look at my family for whom I’m so very grateful.

A success because we not only enjoyed the meal, but we enjoyed just being together. Simple and fun. I’m so blessed to have this family. It may be small, but it is MIGHTY!
God is good all the time; all the time, God is good.