Our new little chef!

What makes cauliflower taste not like cauliflower? Marinade, tossing, and roasting. You have to truly transform this cruciferous veggie for it to be edible. Tatum helped me do just that this morning.

In a large plastic bag, we added coconut aminos, maple syrup, hot sauce, and black pepper to florets.


That’s right, toss those babies! Now, what do you think Coopy is thinking?
Drop it! Drop it! Drop it!

Sorry, pup, you have your own chew toys.

Dinner will be delightful tonight. Thank you, Tatum for your tossing precision!

My little reader!! The roles have changed

Oh the days of me reading to her….they seem to be passing away.

This summer, she is to read five books and report on two. She has already finished her assignment, but she still must finish her five. Now, for Tatum her reading level is in the 3rd and early 4th grade. Therefore, her books are chapter books and take a little longer to read.

She’s already read Bunnies in the Bathroom and Puppies in the Pantry.

She just finished Beagle in the Backpack, and I was S.H.O.C.K.E.D to see it’s a 5th grade level! OYE!

She took the AR test this morning. Wow. 90%.

Anyway, the cool thing is that she is choosing to read on her own without me. Just today, she was a bit under the weather. She wanted me to bring her some books, and for an hour, she just read and read and read and read.

You can hear her laughing and enjoying the books.

Every day while she eats lunch, I read to her Nancy Drew. When I was a kid, I had a huge set of these yellow books. We are on the second book right now. Then, at night we read for about 30-45 minutes. However, now she wants to read to me instead. Oh, the sadness. I love her reading to me, but I do miss doing the reading too!

Even at bedtime, you can find her reading.

I look forward to reading more books with her! We’ll do our own mini book club. (We’ll be true Book Buds!)

So proud of you, Tot.

“Two Girlz” Wednesday this week: Beauty and Bagels

Tuesday was taken this week with my presentation on ZOOM for GCU. So, we had to move our ‘Two Girls Two”sday to Wednesday.

Again, I surprised Tatum, so she wanted to dress up for me. I decided to make her feel ultra-special by wearing a dress myself. With the quarantine, it’s been easy to look schlumpy everyday.

First stop: Pedicures before school starting!

They were quite busy, but we enjoyed our comfy pedi chairs while we watched HGTV Property Brothers. It made us excited to move into our home.

We decided on GCU purple (more like lavender). You like our toes?


Now we headed over to Chompie’s for a quick bite.

Oh, isn’t she just beautiful?

I offered her a cookie or a bagel with cream cheese. Scooped and toasted of course!

She picked the blueberry bagel.

We played “questions.” Basically we each get to ask anything to each other, taking turns. We mostly talked about school coming up and what excites her/scares her the most. We tried to get all our concerns out so we could discuss them before school begins. It was a very fruitful discussion. (as usual!)

We also laughed our pretty new toes off! We so enjoy each other being together.

Happy Birthday at the Sanctuary

OH, he did it again. He outdid himself. Yes, my HHH planned to celebrate my birthday around May, but with the quarantine, we couldn’t really go anywhere.

The Sanctuary is a high-end, classy, beautiful hotel tucked away in the Camelback mountains. Doug found us a fancy suite back in February because in the summer, the rates are about 1/2 the price. So going in July was smart! Also, the restaurant, The Elements, is beyond delicious. (He took me there for my birthday five years ago when we were dating).

Mama agreed to watch Tatum, so she made Mama a lovely little picture to say THANK YOU.

Doug and I were then off! When we arrived, our room wasn’t quite ready so we just waited in the bar with a view of the mountains.

Then when we got to the room, they welcomed us with a few cookies, some champagne flutes and a nice card for me. I felt like royalty!

We didn’t have much downtime because we had dinner reservations at 6:30, so we immediately got all gussied up. I wore the same dress I wore there five years ago, but I had it shortened for my hubby. Thought he’d like that!

My HHH looked so dapper! I had to take a couple shots. He is relaxed, and for that, I’m grateful!

Ok, we walked a whole three minutes to get to our destination. Love that because it is 114 degrees out right now. Yikes!

Don’t we look so cute?

Now, can you believe that FIVE years ago, this was us? I think we look a lot better together now! Well, that is about 30 lbs difference for the honey. (His heart grew and his body shrunk…that’s a deal!)

We ordered an appetizer consisting of count them……Yes, 4 prawns. But they were SCRUMPTIOUS!

Our salads were also amazing. Wedges with bacon, tomato and for honey, blue cheese.

Now, what did we talk about? We brought some fun questions to go DEEP with each other, and they did not disappoint. We had such fun conversation and at times, pretty intimate. I loved it!!

Before we ate, he surprised me with the sweetest card.


I’m blessed.

I’m even more blessed when my salmon came out. It delightfully sat upon a bed of broccoli. I have to admit, though, Doug’s filet looked mouth watering.

Oh, yes. Now we are talking!
Later, Beau MacMillan, the chef, came out to welcome us back. Check this out.

This was five years ago:

Tonight, he invited us back for a tasting menu. OK, twist my arm.

The rest of the night, we enjoyed being together alone in the room. It was such a joy.

We have come a long way in five years.


NOW! Two lovebirds.

I love you, HHH. Doing life together forever with my best friend.

Hanging out in Tot’s bedroom

I used to basically live in her bedroom. She’d play play play and I’d work work work; draw draw draw. Whatever we did, we loved hanging in her bedroom when we lived at mom’s.
Well, today, Tatum suggested I work in her bedroom. How do you think it went?

Well, the real test was Coopy. Would he lay there and lick my laptop or my leg or the bed or what not…. Nope! He did just fine.

He’s a very observant little guy.

Two Girls “Twos” Day: Panera and Painting

Tatum had insisted on us wearing our matching overalls.

We always have to start with some type of treat, so today did not disappoint with little chippers.

It was definitely one of my favorite days because we always have a rich conversation. Today, we talked about our emotions. Tatum FEELS everything. Often our feelings can control our day, but if we can name the feeling, discuss it, then give it to God, we can not let the feeling be in charge of US. A simple feeling of frustration can escalate to more frustration to anger and then KABOOM. If at the genesis of the frustration, we can talk about it/deal with it, then it doesn’t have the power over us.

Now, back to the cookies!

Later, we were to meet my friend Cana and her son Ethan at As You Wish to paint!
I wanted to make Tatum a plate to commemorate her adoption and to have her mission statement right there for her to always see.

Here is the “BEFORE.” I’ll pick it up after it’s been through the kiln.

Oh that puffy paint makes me crazy!!

Final product:

Honor God, others, self

Love God, others, self

Learn from God, others, self

Laugh with God, others, self.


I love you so much Taties.

Spiritual Birthday: Two years ago today

Tatum accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior on July 27th, 2018. How did I know this?
It was early July of this year, and Tatum asked me when at 5 she accepted Jesus? When did she make that choice? I told her I couldn’t remember exactly the day.

Then, I happened to look it up in the blog, and BOOM. There it was on my first click in 2018. July 27th. It was way too coincidental. So, we decided to celebrate it on that day this year.

Doug bought her the sweetest card and a key from HIS heart. What a beautiful card!

More gifts now….We are so into Nancy Drew as I was when I was a kid. Apparently, Nancy Drew has some more current books (The Clue Crew books where she is only 8 or 9 not 18).

I am more of a classic Drew girl. We are enjoying them.

Oh yes, the card!

And the piece de resistance!

I love you, Tot. May you follow HIM and Love HIM more than you ever love this world. As His disciple, may you learn and grow in His LOVE.