FIVE love years and Eight Days a Week

It’s been five years since the official day of Tatum’s adoption. It’s her LOVE day! Although she was in my heart before she was born and she was with me the second after she was born, I still love to remember this day five years ago.

So we headed to school; I love how God shows himself to us. We had another spotting of the quails as they crossed our paths on the way to school.

This little family seems to like our cozy neighborhood. Well the key is that they are happy here, but they are definitely scared of us. Kind of like Scaredy Squirrel!

When we got home, I gave her a little gift. Scaredy Squirrel in puppet form. We love this book series. He’s an adorable little control freak afraid of most everything, but he learns to venture out and make friends and have a life!

She just loves him because he overcomes his fears.

He enjoyed Tot reading to him during nap time.  I hope he’s not scared of Marley the big white dog in her books. (heeeeeehee)

Later to celebrate her love day, she sang Eight Days a Week to me in her new outfit from Mama.

Thank you Mama for the cute outfit! And thank you Tot! I love you more than Eight Days A WEEK!


Ending a chapter at PFT

Today is the day she graduates from Paradise For Tots. She has been in Kindergarten this year, but only 1/2 time. She will be officially in Kinder next year at Paradise Valley Christian, so tonight is just going to be a celebration of her time at PFT. (and a very sad goodbye).

She made cards for Ms. V and Coach Matt:

Boy are we going to miss them!!!

We got all ready to go. Coti had to stay home.

Mom and Tot matched as they always do when we get fancied up.

We arrived early and awaited the graduates.

Here she comes!


They sat down and then…

We sang God Bless America and the Grand Ol’ Flag.


Coach Matt read a lovely prayer he wrote out.

And then……One by one Ms. V called them up.

They each had to say what they wanted to be when they grew up. Most every boy said a Lego Builder and most every girl said a veterinarian.

Tatum wants to be a Dr. and a teacher like her mommy.

When finished, they moved their tassels over.

I don’t know how I’m going to handle this next year. First Kinder, then college! Help me! I love you to pieces Tot.

We are going to miss you, PFT. All of you: Ms. Linda Jones, Ms. Jeri, Coach Matt, Ms V…and all the teachers.

Slow and steady always wins

Doug and I have been together for 3 and 1/2 years now. It all started at Houston’s. I knew he was different than any man I had ever dated. Kind, funny, selfless, and loyal. I could just tell he had a heart of gold.

He met Tatum when she had just turned 2. I thought for sure that would be a no-go on his part because he already raised his son. Would he want to take on another child? He embraced her from that first minute. We just kept plugging along with our relationship. ANY time I had an ounce of doubt, the Holy Spirit would whisper: Stay put. Don’t go anywhere. He is the one.

How could this be? I didn’t feel it. Anytime I had the “it” feeling with another man, it ended abruptly, so I knew that my feelings were not so accurate. So, I did. I stayed put and continued to learn more about Douglas Hay. He wowed me every time I saw him or talked to him because of his complete devotion to not only me, but my mom and Tatum. He NEVER wavered once.

We went through ups and downs, but not because of any arguments or emotional roller coaster moments. Just circumstances and really me catching up to him in his feelings for me. I just wanted to be where he was in the love he had for me.  However, our friendship was like no other. There were no secrets and there was nothing we held back from telling each other.

Then it happened. We had a FIRST DATE all over again at Houston’s three months ago.

I needed fresh eyes! It was at that moment when I  realized: I LOVE THIS MAN and I know I want to spend the rest of my life with him.

We started to look for rings. My BFF Jocy told me one of our buddies from middle school is a diamond broker: Mike Lippman. Coincidence? NO. I called him and what a GOD thing that was. It all clicked for all of us and Doug and Mike set the wheels in motion. I knew I wanted a certain diamond cut (princess), but that was it. He did the rest.

He had the setting made special. The middle big diamond is cradled among other smaller diamonds. Our love is represented by that middle diamond, and we are wrapped in Jesus Love.

How? Well that creative sweet man had a cross engraved on the back as he showed me on Card 10:

The ruby in the middle is the love of Christ shedding His life for us. It’s also a reminder of our bond being rooted and grounded in HIM. That is our foundation, and it has been since Day 1.

Then Doug wanted to have a ring made for Tot so he could propose to her.

You can read about my proposal and our proposal. 

Mike and he designed them to match. I know he went through so much to get them right.


Slow and steady really does win. We’ve been through so much already, but I see now the purpose for the long, slow process. We grew so much as friends, and now? We can grow as a family. Doug, Tatum and me. Well, and my mom, too because she adores him and it is definitely mutual. Coti even adores him and he’s a tough cookie!

Douglas Hay, I cannot wait to be your wife. I also can’t wait for Tatum to have now an earthly father. The perfect man for her (and for me).

I love you completely.




Two Days. Two Promises. Two Blessed Girls (part 2)

We all got ready for church and little did my mom and Tatum know what was to come. What a night was last night!!!

This beautiful lady here is about to find out.

And this one too:

Oh, Tot. I love you so.

Your world is about to grow and change for the best.

When Doug walked into the cafe to meet us before church, my heart melted. My man is here. For the first time, I truly felt captivated.


Service was amazing; all about the GOODNESS of God. And He is so good.

We came back to our house and Tatum gave me my birthday presents. Doug and she had made me up a gift bag full of my favorite bars. Yum!

We’ll be having one of those later to keep up my strength.

Ok, now the moment we all have been waiting for. Doug pulled out the picture with TATUM and he proposed to me again.

I felt like a princess.

He told me he wanted to be our spiritual leader and protect us forever.  He pronounced his undying love for me and knocked my socks off. Even though it had happened the night before, I lived it all over again. My heart just melted with joy and love. (and seeing Tatum so happy)

Do you know what I said??

Thumbs up all around.

Then the ultimate.

He proposed to Tatum with a ring he had designed for her.

He said: “Tatum, I’d be honored if you would allow me to be your daddy.” I was dying. Melty melt melt.

Do you know what she said??


We’ll take you, Doug, Love!

Our rings match:

He had a ring designed just for her in a size ONE. Isn’t it amazing?

I need to change the title now: THREE BLESSED GIRLS. My mom is so happy.

More about the rings and my love in the next blog.

When he left, she couldn’t wait to wear it. The rule is she must wear it with at least one of us. She now keeps it by her bed and is telling everyone.

Doug, you bless us every single day.


Two Days. Two Promises. Two Blessed Girls (part 1)

It was my birthday, Saturday May 19th. I woke up to Tatum singing to me in my bedroom. What else was today to hold? I honestly had no clue. In the past, Doug has blown me away with surprises. So…..hmmmmm????

During breakfast, God gave us this gift of seeing new life. These quail parents are so nurturing to their young. So much love in these little birds and in their family. Very prophetic.

Tatum and I worked on a craft during the day, and then I got ready for my date with Doug.

It took me forever to get dressed because it was the day of the Preakness, so I was in and out of watching the race as I did a curl or two. Not the most efficient method, but I got to see JUSTIFY win. (He won the Derby so now he just needs one more win at the Belmont Stakes to get the Triple Crown).

After getting all gussied up, Tatum tried on my shoes.

You like, Mommy?  I like if you don’t break your neck.
Ok, now she snapped a few of me.

I was ready and waiting. Doug wanted me ready at 4:50 SHARP so we could start our “adventure and mystery” outing. So promptly at 5:09, he showed up.  (LOL) This meant we had some “wait” time to snap snap snap.

He arrived, the HANDSOME DUDE!!! Wow.

Then Tot’s turn. She got dressed up for “the arrival.”

Then the kisses goodbye. I love you Tot. Have fun tonight! I have no idea what I’ll be doing? Bye Coti boy!

When I got inside his car, he handed me a stack of 10 envelopes.

And I opened up Numero Uno.

The card came alive and sang “We will…we will rock you!”  to me.


I then opened up Card #2.

I guessed it: HOUSTON’S! We had our FIRST date there back in January of 2015.

And so we started with a little glass of wine. Little because we split one. I needed to pace myself, right?

A short conversation and a chat with the waitress who recognized us from our visit 3 months ago. How cool is that!?

Then Card 4:

I guessed it again. Our Wine bar (Terroir)!! We had to go there of course! It’s our “living room” on all of our dates. We love to go there because we know everyone, it’s cozy, and it just feels happy. We have so many memories there. 3 1/2 years of them!

And guess what he did?????
He bought fancy pantsy cookies for everyone there. Now that is awesome. Thinking of others on my birthday. I loved this!

Come and get the cookies, Scott, Chris, Jean, and Kristy!


That was so fun. (I saved a couple for Austin, Tot and me). Now what will we do??

I guessed it, hooray! The Royal Palms. Wow, I know how pretty that place is. Many of our presidents have stayed there.

And we did. I warned him that my shoes were NOT made for walking. They were made to look pretty, but that was their only function. 

Now, with ALL The beauty there, he wanted to show me this amazing fountain.  (LOL) Srsly, babe?

As we walked the sun was shining through. How symbolic. The beauty of the sunset… Things to come?

I warned him he might need to carry me since my feet were ready for an ice bucket or at least a run in the fountain,  so we headed to T. Cooks. The concierge, Cassandra, who he had prearranged everything with was all ready for us. Then, the waiter, who he had “interviewed” a week prior, showed with the wine chilling. I mean, WOW. He doesn’t miss a beat.

Octopus for an app. They should not call it that since you get maybe one piece of one leg. Maybe Octopus part? BUT, it was delicious!

And the salad??? I wanted to bottle up my dressing. Oregano vinegarette and feta dressing. SO YUMMY!

They had Chilean Sea Bass, and I found out it really isn’t sea bass at all but Patagonia Toothfish. Who knew?  For marketing sakes, they fancied up the name. I’d eat it anyway. It’s like buttah on a plate!

Doug had a perfectly cooked Filet.

All was going just swimmingly! We were having a blast. We both took our last bite, and he proceeded to take out a piece of glass.  He set it on the table and brought out a puzzle.

I knew this was the picture since it was on the box.

He told me this was his favorite of us (my mom took this pic at his Christmas party 2016.) We were just having fun and being silly. A good memory.

So there I am completely focused building the puzzle and totally missing the candle and birthday wish behind me!


Ok.. Enough! I want to build this thing!


After I finished,

he asked me to look for any clue in the picture that was different. What??

Glasses ON: I’m searching HOLDING IT UP to stare, and then the waiter saw what it said behind the puzzle and made a face. I of course then turned it around. AND…..

Will I!????????

Now apparently I forgot the most important part. According to Doug: I was in a bit of a shock, and I did not answer! He presented the ring then. More on that later. 

Now, he had me open Card 10


There’s a surprise on the back of the ring. Read about that here:

Here’s a peak:

I had not answered!!! He then had to ask:  “So honey, is it a yes??”  I was so caught up and in real shock I was just “oh my gosh, oh my gosh – is it really happening now!!?

Apparently guys need to hear the answer. Because, they’re like 99.99% sure it’s a yes.  They think they’re on solid ground like no doubt it’s going to be a yes. But then is it??? He needs to hear it so:
I made it clear:

Ok, now the ring. The story is coming.
We headed home and I was still in shock and so much joy. We called Mike, our ring guy and my friend from middle school. He was OVERJOYED.
Stay tuned.
I wasn’t going to tell Tatum or my mom until after church. SO, the ring went with him back home.  I had to hold it all in. He had more suprises on Sunday.
I love you Douglas Hay. You made my day, my life, my world, the happiest I can ever imagine. We have such a life ahead of us.

Coti is always part of it..

Coti and Tatum, cuddling again. Can you just handle the cuteness?

Well, later on, Tatum’s brain took over, and she turned her room into a race ‘o’rama Ville. Magnatiles helped make a colossal car wash.

Coti helped monitor it all. He had to check the cars in.

Later, Tatum, Dino, Bella, and Coti waited for more customers.

It’s never a dull moment.