Celebrating Leap Year: Tot and I wrote our first book

It only comes once every four years, so what else could we do to celebrate but write a book together. It all started with us planning out what we wanted to write about, and we landed on it being about a pig and a pup. Perfect! Now it was time to come up with a plot. We didn’t want to have any words in the book. Therefore we would portray our story in pictures!

A notecard would hold our ideas.

Now we are ready. We divided up the pages and got to work.
Tot started with the cover of a beach.

(We added the words later).

After we each drew each page, we “bound” the book and VOILA! It’s ready for publishing.

Would you like to read the story with us? You follow along and add words with your own imagination.

Book TWO here we come!

(special thanks to Mo Willems and Charles Schulz for the inspiration behind Piggie and Snoopy).

Celebrating ONE year with my honey

Doug and I decided to spend the evening together sans Coopy and Tot on Saturday. Mom offered to watch Taties, and Coopy went to the pet hotel. We are so grateful for the help!
I got up early on Saturday morning to take Cooper to the hotel, and this was on my window. I didn’t even notice it for a while because it was literally raining cats and dogs; more like tigers and wolves! How sweet this is.

Later on, we both got ready in separate bathrooms, and this was sitting on the kitchen counter. I have the most romantic sweet hubs ever.

He wanted me to wear something a bit short and tight, so I tried to accomplish this. The things we do for our loves!

We tried to get some self shots with our new camera, but we realllllllleeeee need a tripod. So…we waited until we got to Mastro’s. Doesn’t he look AAAdorable!?

Mastro’s is one big class act; it is a bit dark inside to set the ambiance. It is also staffed with sub-waiters and sub-sub waiters to make sure you are completely spoiled. We sat down and received a nice card.

Started with a little vino.. CHILLED table-side.

And then we ordered some sashimi tuna sliced ultra-thin with a lovely truffle oil on the side.

We decided to make a list as we ate about, “The Benefits of Being Married.” We each took a turn. Stay tuned for this!
The dinner was immaculate and perfect. Filet cooked to medium and perfection and I had the coveted Chilean Sea Bass. Melt-in-mouth delicious.

During our transition time, my love went to the car and returned with this:

I slowly unveiled the SCROLL! He used a branch from our new neighborhood in McCormick; tied it with leather straps and wrote on the vellum papyrus.

WWWWWHOOOOA! The memory key made it even more special.

Look at this:

He captured the most significant milestones of our year. He’s so right…we’ve grown SO MUCH as a family and as a couple in this short time. What more we have to come!

He is so incredibly creative, but more importantly, in tuned with ME. Together, we captured so much of the joy of being married. (disregard my less than stellar penmanship).

We would’ve filled up the whole card, but this came:

STOP THE INSANITY! This looks good enough to eat. Ok, we will!
Served with a bucket of cream on the side. SRSLY.

What an amazing evening. Yes, it was pricey….

but so memorable. Tatum and Coopy were missed, but it’s so important to build “US” apart from our other parts.

I love you, Douglas Hay. I love being your Mrs. in every way. SMOOCH!

Her horse was in the show!

A couple of weeks ago after school, I received this note in her notebook.

Tatum told me they had been working on a horse in class. I had no idea that she had been working so hard on it. The tickets were included with a shirt.

Well, the day arrived, and she was ready!

We arrived right on time, and I couldn’t wait to see it!

Mrs. Guy was ready for her when she arrived.

WOWWWWWW, Tatum! Look at that!! It’s magnificent. I’m in awe. It looks like a Picasso, sweetie!

I am seeing her uniqueness in this; the others were good, but her’s had such a colorful flair. The horse is wearing cross earrings and a cross bow. Jesus is in it! Love it.

Now, we got a wee bit distracted while there with this beauty.

Tatum had to climb in and go for a spin.

Can we get one, Daddy?

Oh, yes… back to the artwork. All the kids did such a good job!
Her friend, Mina won first place. We are proud of all the kids.

Have a great day, Daddy!

Daddy has started “Daddy Dollars” with Tatum. When she leasts expects it, he swoops in and rewards her with one.
This morning, she was so pleasant and fun. This deserved some encouragement to continue this behavior. What better way than with a DD!

It’s fun to receive these because she then gets to go to the Daddy store (i.e. Hobby Lobby) and redeem for exciting prizes. What a creative, fun Daddy she has!

Capturing God’s Creation on the Canon

It was our first official outing to take pics of birds. We figured we’d head to the Riparian Preserve in Gilbert on President’s Day when Tot would be off school.

Well, we forgot that the rest of AZ would be off that day too, but oh well. We still enjoyed nature!

We arrived there nice and not early which probably was our first mistake.

No worries; we’d just go stroll around the lake and see what we’d see!
First, we caught eye of these cute little turtles.

And we then spied a couple of Valentines. They were kind of hiding from the crowds.

Ducks were everywhere.

The ring necked were glorious!

And of course other beauties.

Doug was getting masterful pictures. We spotted many types of birds. Our bird book at home will come in handy.

It was time for Doug to get back to work, and it was a bit too late to find many birds. We sure had fun, however.

Any outing with my family involving nature is a bonus!

One year down; a lifetime to go

We’ve been married ONE YEAR today. I can’t believe it’s gone by so quickly!!

I woke up to a decorated mirror. Tatum noticed Daddy forgot the “R” in Anniversary. Minor fix. Daddy, let me help you.

Aaaaaahh that’s better.

The best part was that we just spent the day together in simple way. My favorite. Church, games, pool, and …..wait for it….

The top of our CAKE!! We saved it! Let’s check it out.

Will it still be as delectable? The top was the gluten free cake, so I was excited. Lookin delightful. ONE Year!

Dig in you two.

Daddy, whatcha think?

The cake is still fresh and tasted like it was made yesterday. Our marriage this last year is like this tall cake top. First, it’s on the top of the cake to show that we have been building all year to this peak of one year. A true mountain to climb but, God has been our partner through it all. The thick icing covers the rich foundation of cake and is the sweet moments of joy and laughter we have all enjoyed. It’s a complete package which stays fresh, sweet, and solid. Thank you Jesus for giving us this cake as a reminder of our strong foundation in YOU and the sweet joy of each other.

I love my family on our FIRST Hay Valentine’s Day

First, I made Tatum some X and O pancakes.

She gobbled them up. They were made with love of course. She had to finish her homework during breakfast since she spent the night before with Daddy for Daddy/Daughter Date night. They had a glorious time at the park as usual.

I love when they spend time together. Heart bursts all over!

Tatum’s school had Grandparents Day so she had a chance to seranade Mama.

MOM LOVED IT and said Tot was the most animated up there. No shocker there!
Anyway, I also surprised Doug with a little goodie in his lunch with a love card. He loved it, and he then outdid himself with a few surprises for me when he got home. Actually, he had goodies for all of us!
He knows how to spoil his girls.

Tatum had spent the day also getting the table ready. She cut out all kinds of hearts for the table.

I loved getting the table ready for my honey too!

It definitely became more beautiful with his flowers (added later). We had a great time playing games and laughing. Of course, we had to play some TobyMac as well.

I loved my cards and flowers.

Tot LOVED her goodies as well. What’s inside???

Oh WOW! Robbie the Robot is a new joy to our home.

And notice that gorgeous bouquet in the background.

He even spoiled my mom with some love!

I married a good man who knows how to make the women in his life feel special.