“I am glad I picked you as my mommy,” uttered Tatum as we played on her bed. This was preceded by “I love you.” M.E.L.T went my heart.

If she only knew how much I CHOSE HER! No, God chose her for me.

The melting did not stop there. The Polar Express was coming to the movies in Scottsdale! (There is like ZERO snow you see). This was to be a preview of our train ride to come in two weeks. img_4814 img_4817

Tatum went in her jammies since it was past her bedtime, and this is what made it more fun for all of us.

IKEA + Doug’s Skills = Happy Room

and a Happy Mommy.

Everything has to have its place. And, as time goes on, especially in a kiddo’s room, stuff happens. Serious stuff! How does it all happen? OK, I take responsibility for ALL of the bazillion books she owns, but the rest?

It all needs a place. I have always believed that an organized space is a fun space to play in. Also, creativity can thrive in an organized, streamlined environment. If there are places in the room to let creativity take place, it happens!

So, I got to work looking on the IKEA website and VOILA! I found the perfect space for her wall for books and random “stuff.” Step one!

Doug did the building and Tot did the helping. 20161127_115635_resized_1 20161127_115632_resized_1 20161127_115012_resized_1

One down! Three to go.


Now, we are getting somewhere! 20161127_124350_resized_1Step 2: The next piece was the table. Again, I felt that the workspace had to be available in order for learning and fun to thrive! So, I bought another table from IKEA with its hidden compartments! I just love this store.

When it was all said and done, I hugged Doug like crazy, made him a ridiculously small lunch (did not equate to his work!)20161127_150435_resized_1, and took lots of finished “After” pics. Tot did the posing. Crafty table next to the dollhouse.

Book Spaces and BINS!IMG_4802 IMG_4799
Closet which is a fun place to hide or playIMG_4807

And just bonus pics of the room. She wanted to pose it out!IMG_4804 IMG_4806 IMG_4805

There is a bit of sickness here you see. I enjoyed this organizational endeavor too much. She can now thrive in her new streamlined environment.
Thank you DOUG. Thank you IKEA. Thank you TOT!

Now, off to go buy some more books! (Now that I organized them all, I realized I have a few open spots to fill)  (haha!)


Simply Thankful

Today did not need to be anything different than other days. We are always grateful and full of thanks.

It began with her belting out a song at O early o’clock. Screen Shot 2016-11-24 at 8.12.12 PM Screen Shot 2016-11-24 at 8.12.21 PM

She was practicing her “Jesus, Jesus, little baby Jesus…born in Bethlehem” song. But, really? This early?  Aren’t there more quiet activities at this time?

We decided to make notecards filled with things/people for which we were thankful. 

IMG_4785She was first so excited to use her stencils because now she can draw a perfectly square square!


IMG_4783It was time now to make the tree Christmasy! (hey, that rhymes as Tot would say.)

IMG_4786 IMG_4787The rest of the day was spent with Doug’s family. What a great time, and such a fun opportunity to meet with Doug’s family and for Tot to jump!


The Real Deal: She’s officially F.O.U.R (Part III)

Did I mention that there are days preceding this exciting culmination? Could it actually get better from the festivities at the park? Or from the opening of the gifts?

One word:


We arrived home after Sportball, and kindly, Doug had decorated and set up the you know what. Remember it rhymes with ball and mouse, then put those words together.

She walked in through the wonderful world of streamers and balloons, and VOILA!
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Then she had to open up some of the rooms!

I had to figure out the layout of the house. They don’t tell you where all of these rooms go, and when you are interior design-challenged, it takes a picture or something.


She did fine figuring it all out.
20161122_151104Mama bought her some cute clothes (thank goodness since I have not focused on her attire much).20161122_151256 20161122_151403

Mama dresses her so cute!

I then had to pop out the sleeper gift! I found this for a steal, and I never expected it to be winner, but OMYGOODNESS!20161122_151626 20161122_151626 20161122_151734She couldn’t stop belting out the songs….I mean serious singing going on!

Guitar and all (Doug provided the percussion)

We sure appreciated all of his help…and decorative savvy.
IMG_4778Tot, how is it that you continue to become more and more amazing??? You knock my UGGS off!

Kind-hearted, vivacious, charismatic, Jesus-loving, creative and cuddly-wonderful. (etc!)


Dollhouse Surprise (Guest Blogger: Doug!)

As Tatum’s birthday approached Steph had a great idea of getting her a doll house. She remembered how much fun she had growing up with one and this would be the perfect surprise for Tatum and perfect for her 4th birthday! So, Steph enlisted my help to build it. Sure thing I’m thinking, I’ll just snap the thing together and be on my way – right?

Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 11.31.13 AM

My first clue that my expectations might be off a bit was the box seemed to weigh a lot for a simple plastic doll house

Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 11.31.18 AM

So, unpacking the box, checking that all of the parts are there (including the hardware packages!). This is going to take some study to make sure we don’t have any leftover parts when done. …and I dig in!Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 11.31.23 AMScreen Shot 2016-11-29 at 11.31.43 AM

Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 11.31.49 AM

Almost there. But first, I need to get the doll house table done. Now, as we all know, IKEA furniture can be troublesome and often times you get the pleasure of disassembling it and reassembling it correctly.   The table, however, was unexpectantly SIMPLE!

Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 11.31.54 AMScreen Shot 2016-11-29 at 11.32.00 AM

Done! That was easy. Now, let’s stack everything together…Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 11.32.05 AM

Ta Da!! Everything stacked together perfectly just like Steph planned!   I can’t wait to see the excited expression on Tatum’s face when she is surprised by this huge Doll Mansion. Oh, I mean Doll House!

Now, bring on the next kid assembly project (see Happy Room Blog!).


Tatum’s Birthday Part II: Gifted

They await…the gifts. (at least the ones from the party). The ones for her REAL birthday don’t come for another four days. And as I mentioned in my last post, I’m not chomping at the bit to see my little girl turn BIG four. But, alas….

So we begin.

Coti waits patiently as we don’t pay any attention to him.


I am taking notes as she is powering through the “oh my goodness, mommy! look!!!”
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Did you say Peppa Pig? Yes, this is a real character and she (the pig) has a plane apparently.


Well, this pig has to fly, and so does her little brother George. What a hit this was!

Can’t forget all the great books she got..

20161118_183232_resizedNow the big problem? Baby and Paddington bear (remember where they were left!!??)  were not to join this party time. They’d have to meet us up in the morning when I dropped by Jennie’s house for the “pickup.” How is she going to get through this night!!???? (The back up baby, Baby 2 (the OTHER baby), just doesn’t cut it like before)


So, we made it to Jennie’s house the next morning? Aahhhhhh. Reunited, and it feels so good (as the song says!)


The rest of the next day was filled with checking out the new toys and sending thank you’s to all the guests.

Cafe/Kitchen (I had to build this doozy), but no batteries needed (for once)

A build a flower thing-a-ma-jig.

A new baby…really the carrier made this thing a hit.

More Peppa fly time…

And…all of this knowing in the back of my mind that Tuesday, the approaching BIG FOUR day, will be filled with her wonderful new gift. Wait and see what it will be. I’ll give you a hint: It rhymes with Ball and Mouse. Now put the two words together. VOILA! See Part III!

(Oh, before I end this post, Doug, again, was nowhere to be seen because he was behind the camera, so I got a bonus pic of him with Tot today after church. It was the Cardinal play day, so we thought we’d send them some winning vibes) Love you, Doug!

IMG_4765Part III coming up!