Cooper’s scare and the immense love for him!

It was a typical Saturday morning. Tatum and I always do a craft, and this one would be for Tom. Tom works for Monty (who is our contractor). A couple months ago, Tom broke his hip and we thought that might be it for him for a while. Well, he’s back at work! Tatum wanted to make him a card. Daddy, Monty and Tom are all holding up wood and building. (Tom is on the ladder wearing his colorful tool belt). I love how she planned it out and encouraged Tom with this complimentary card.

Well, after all of this fun, Cooper was playing and ran up behind Tatum. She slipped and fell on top of his paw. He continuously YELPED so loud and I grabbed him to feel his paw. It was literally dangling at the tendon. I thought it had ripped. Tatum was devastated with guilt even though it was an accident. I tried to hold my cool, but I was shaking and crying. Immediately, I found an emergency vet and headed over with the little guy. Daddy met us there.

On the way there, I prayed prayed prayed. Tatum and I both prayed for a miracle and a healing.

When we got there, they took him back for a check and then we met with the Dr. He said Cooper did not seem to be in pain when he felt around his paw and tendon area. He only was limping a bit. We took him home and I kid you not; within a couple of hours, he was back to his old self, running, playing, romping. HUH!!???? Was it truly a miracle? I believe so.

He did not want us to go the pool, however. He needed some TLC as he was so tired. He just laid on our towels. Don’t go!!

We did end up going and later that night, the HAY family served at UMOM through Matthew 25. We prayed with many homeless families and we served them as Jesus would. I believe God wanted us to be there, and therefore, He made sure Cooper would be fine. MIRACLE.

Later that night, Coopy was so relaxed. He just laid in my arms.

We love you SO MUCH COOPY!!!!

Form, storm, norm, perform: The Hay dynamic

Getting married and forming a family means that there are going to be growing pains. I remember when I was in sales, we would discuss group dynamics. The stages really do make sense: form, storm, norm, perform.

It has been a new experience for all of us, but since Tatum is a young’n, she is learning from scratch. WE are all FORMING.

Maybe that’s better because she doesn’t have past triggers which may be set off. Her ability to have self-control has been challenging. STORMING is happening at times. For example, she has a tendency to tell Daddy what to do or tell him “No, that’s not right.” This is just direct disrespect and dishonoring. Also, she can have highly emotional feelings which then escalate and cause her to say things like “Go away.” This just produces wrinkled hearts and then sadness all around. She feels extremely guilty immediately, and she does apologize, but the sting stays.

Sometimes it feels like heads are coming off and frustration sets in for all of us.

She wanted to ask Daddy for more date nights, so she asked him to sit face to face so she could present her invitation. Having a relationship foundation is so key to forming and norming. Besides you are more likely to care what one knows if you know how much one cares.

He immediately agreed and was excited. NORMING HAPPENING!

Then, at our Hay Happens Family meeting that night, we are trying to NORM some more with strategies for self-control. Remember the motor oil STP?

It makes things run smoother. So does being quick to listen and slow to speak. First time asked must be accomplished as well. None of this is new for Tot, but we need some reminders.

I love this process. It’s messy and sometimes painful, but after a storm, FLOWERS BLOOM. This is the part where the HAY family will PERFORM! Perhaps it’s two steps forward and one step back. Just so we are moving forward.

We may not always agree, but teams can only grow through conflict and then SOLVING IT through talking and praying. Gosh and we do!

Tatum is embracing the growth, the challenges, and she is LOVING being Tatum Hay. It won’t be official until next year, but right now, the HAY family thrives in love:
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor 13:13)

Cooper STOP being so cute!

He loves being under the stool. Especially when we are doing our journals or chatting.

He also LOVES to be belly-rubbed.

Cooper, if you get any cuter, we may have a competition between you and Tot. With the two of you in the HAY home, it’s quite overwhelming/beyond comprehension. SMOOCH!

The changing looks of the TOT! Many boxes checked this week

She’s got the doggie backpack and lunchbox. CHECK.

She’s got some fun heart glasses with a new look today. (including a new belt) CHECK.

She dons her jumper today. (CHECK)! She wanted to wear for PE day (of course with shorts underneath). “This is much more comfortable than I thought! Can I wear this to church on Sunday?”

The pigtails and her big smile; I just can’t get enough of her cuteness. (CHECK).

Sparkles may join her today. CHECK?

Oh, Tatum. Your first week of school was such a success. CHECK. You learned to overcome some friend conflict by “talking it out.” You got excited about your math homework and your writing and reading growth (YOU COULD SEE HOW FAR YOU HAVE COME). And, you had the best attitude. I love watching you grow INSIDE AND OUT! (CHECK!)

The firsts of the grades; sending her off!

And how can I not be a bit emotional? That is a bit of an understatement. I was a mess of tears, but thank goodness for hugs and friends.

Tatum was up a bit before me, all dressed and ready. She came into the bedroom as I was getting Cooper out and ready for his walk. She wanted to go with me on this new day.

I bought a few kiwis to brighten her muffin. The seeds looked too much like crawly things, so it was the first time she didn’t finish her breakfast. I mean this NEVER happens. But, I did try to make it special and that mattered to her the most.

We got out of the house in record time but first, look how adorable she looks.

The cuteness gives me cavities, srsly.

We got to school in time for lineup. Charlotte wore her jumper today. OH, the love!

The whole school (only 1st-12th) headed to the gym for a welcome ceremony for all including parents. They started as every day they start: the pledge to the American flag, pledge to the Christian flag, and pledge to the Bible. Then 2 seniors sang “Bless the Lord O’ My Soul.” and we all sang. Prayers and love to the students. It was remarkable and made me grateful for the covering on this school, on the teachers, and on the students. Blessing BEYOND BELIEF. The hugs from parents calmed my heart too.

I headed off to coffee with some of the moms from her class. We did have a nice time, but I was still a bit sad. Am I ridiculous? Probably.

She had the “BEST DAY EVER” and reported that she loves Mrs. Finnman and seeing all her friends.


That night, we had a very deep conversation about friendship and how sometimes friends let us down but we still remain kind and forgiving. We also discussed why does God allow evil. Yes, she wanted to know. (I did say, let’s have a conversation about ANYTHING on your mind). I mentioned something I had heard: With shadows, you need to have sun. With sun, you don’t need shadows. In other words, with the presence of evil, there IS GOOD. We can know that God allows this but only for a time. He CAN’T force love upon us, but He can promise us eternal life and a life of HIS strength and love to keep us afloat. It’s our choice. He loved us all so much that He did send His son!

We also talked about her adoption. I told her August 22nd is coming and that we WILL celebrate. The best day ever for me! (The day I received the phone call about her). She asked me why the girl who carried her couldn’t keep her. I told her that she never wanted to be a mom, but she knew I had prayed and that TATUM was chosen for me. SHE WAS WANTED; not an accident.

It was an emotional day. I see that she is growing up, but I see that we are growing in our relationship. The most important thing for Tatum is that she loves the LORD more than she loves the world. The next is our relationship being strong and open.

I can’t wait to see how God uses you this year, my sweet girl.

Tomorrow is the big day!! First Grade!

Doug and I wanted to celebrate Tatum on Sunday night. I made her a nice dinner of her choice; she wanted a big salad with chicken, sausage, cheese and chips and salsa. Daddy gave her a sweet card.

We then took Cooper outside for a walk (new adventure!), and we let go the balloons into the sky: Launching into first grade!

I love the symbolism of balloons flying hight because they represent Tatum’s future. It’s going to soar and be an adventure. I can’t wait to be in the front seat of her life.

Now, we are ready for a new day tomorrow. We only go for an hour to her classroom to meet and greet and drop off supplies.

She’s all ready with her backpack filled with her supplies here. Tuesday is the official start.

Here’s her classroom. Tatum’s name is on the whale! The gentle giant which Tatum is for sure. A giant heart with such gentleness.

When we got there, there was a scavenger hunt for each student. Great idea, Mrs. Finman.

Part of it was to help with a puzzle and greet Mrs. Finman

All done!

She was to make a bag when we got home of all kinds of things that represent her. She wanted me to take a couple of pics when we got home to include in her bag. Cooper and her Bible definitely are included. She LOVES Jesus, Mommy, Daddy, Coopy, and her activities.

Here are some of Mommy and Tot, Daddy and Tot, swimming, golf, hiking, and family time. These are all the things that make Tatum the TOT!

I can’t wait for your first day tomorrow sweet girl!!!! I love you!!!

Daddy and Tot: Adoration all around

I had to snap their pics because not only is my little cutie pie all ready for church, but my honeybun looks so spiffy. You two are my sweetest dears ever. I love you both so much. And, most importantly, I love the relationship that is growing.

Daddy is so intentional in showing LOVE for Tatum. He is always buying her cards and making her feel absolutely ADORED.

Thank you, Daddy for being so amazing. Tot, you are growing so much, and we love you!!!