Happy Birthday to my honey Part 2! Puppet style

Although his real birthday is Monday the 30th, we wanted to maximize the celebration by doing in on Sunday. So, we kind of tricked him and told him we were going to have a Hay Happens meeting at 4:30pm, so wear your shirt! He promptly came out at 4:30 donned in the Hay Happens garb. We did too. (But, we had a dress underneath so we could give him his surprise!)

After our meeting prayer, we retired to the bedroom and told him to close his eyes. Then we ducked down and guess who popped up? Gerald and Piggie!

Yes, welcome to the show!

Hello Douglas! What do you enjoy doing in your free time???? He loves hanging with his family. Love that answer.

Uh oh. Here comes the cameo performer….COOPY, please, show some control.

Now, we are ready for our song. Tatum, could you please sing Happy Birthday for us?

Mommy accompanied her, TADA!

Next, on the agenda is the whirlwind card. Piggie and Gerald, will you introduce? (Hi Tot!)

Tot will read her 30, and Mommy will read her 30. (Why do you think we came up with 60…hint hint)..

And there are many more actually!

He loved the show, and we gave him his present: A pair of Raycon earbuds so he never misses a podcast again!

We love you so much Daddy!

Happy Birthday to my honey! Part 1

Yes, Birthdays in our house are a multi-day event. So, part one of Doug’s birthday took place with a complete surprise up our sleeves. I had told him that he needed to be available from Friday around 3pm to Saturday around 9am. We’d all go away. (wink wink).

We left the house at 3:15 and I told him we had to stop at my mom’s. He had no idea what was about to take place.

When we got there, my mom gave him a task and then we all met in the kitchen. I gave him this card:

He and I would go to Flemings for dinner and then stay the night at the Hilton (for dessert…heh). Tot would stay at Mom’s. He was sideswiped!
All of a sudden, his relaxation quotient flew to outrageous levels.

We had a little champagne on our patio and relaxed before getting ready. (It was a tad chilly out there!)

We got ready, and oh, doesn’t he look fabulous?

And me… He wanted me to pole it.

We sauntered over to our destination. So nice not to drive!

It is so nice to be out to celebrate. We forgot our masks, so they let us have a couple before sitting down.

Then it was a lovely dinner of ahi appetizer, filet, salads and some wine. We had a list of fun questions to ask each other, so we ended up staying for a while and chatting. How refreshing!
Happy Birthday to you, baby!

Back to the room for some dessert. Long overdue!

More to come, honey. (Thank you so much mom for hanging with the Tot and making this possible).

Happy Thanksgiving 2020!

This year we’d have dinner at the condo. Who would have thought that!? However, it was cozy and quaint. And…we had a special guest! You’ll find out soon.

The day started with us venturing out for a walk outside. We were going to ride our bikes, but alas…it is way too chilly! (Finally!) So, we opted for a bundled up walk.

Three miles later and much ideating (Doug did some dreaming of landscape ideas and I looked at the birdies), we arrived back home for a craft.

Doug says he is not good at these, but I beg to differ.

We centered our turkeys and….oh Coopy. You need some love.

Ok. Focus.

Voila! We wrote our thankfuls on the feathers. Colorful feathers I might add.

The common themes: Family, God, our health, and Coopy. Not to take anything for granted, ever!

The turkey baked, salad chopped, cauliflower potatoes pureed… now, Tot and I worked on some paper craft centerpieces. Ollie and Poky we named them.

And we set the table ready for Mama and AUSTIN!

Before he came, we took some pics. Always gotta take the pics.

Beautiful Mama and daughter. So blessed.

My handsome hubby…Tot you take amazing pics

My turn with the hubster.

Look at this….oh my favorite people.

Ok, time to read Squanto. Tot and I shared the reading. This is the true story of a special Indian who God used to help the Pilgrims here in America.

Austin arrived just in time for our feast!

Tot prayed for our meal, and then we played Thankerchief around the table. You read the poem and wherever the Thankerchief stops, this person says their gratitude. You do this over and over until all have shared.

We shared our gratitudes, and it was so fun to hear Austin say he was grateful for his new job!

We had a nice cozy delicious dinner and pie. After dinner, a game of Snorta to make us laugh.

Soon we’ll be in our new home, but we continue to make special memories in our little condo.

2020 was tough, yes, but we all grew closer this year, and for that, I’m eternally grateful.

I love you family!

Happy Official Birthday Taties!!! 8 years !

Ready to go greet at church. Tot and I greet at the 8am service so we have to get there at 7:30am. What a great way to start her birthday. Now, realize that when we are there, many older people look forward to seeing Tot. For example, a few weeks ago, this one gentleman had heard it was her birthday on the 22nd. Well, we were standing there at church, and Tatum said, I wish I had something that said “it’s my birthday.” Then, guess what??? This sweet man (with his family) handed her a birthday card.

It had a button on it for her to wear, first of all. (whoa!) Second, look what it says inside.

How incredibly kind. They made her feel so special, and all of her kindness of smiles and happiness through her greeting paid off. It showed her the value of serving. You never know what will come back to you!
After church, I made her some French toast. Delightfully delicious. Then we had to clean the house for our dinner tonight!

We also built some Lego Friends sets. How cute is this?

Doug would take her out after lunch for some ice cream and a Daddy daughter date. She would get to spend 8 Daddy dollars too!

While she was gone, I set it all up. She had a blast with Daddy, and when returned, look what she bought?

I got her table all set up.

And then Mama arrived! And look what she brought? The cutest shirt ever!

The presents shower began. Literally a showering of gifts. But first, a Waldo card. Kind of a fun scavenger hunt. The 8th one on the list is for her to go find her name in the house.

She found it. Her name TATUM HAY has 8 letters and now she got a raise to 8 dollars (being 8!)

Then, gifts galore

Some more LEGOS (Love to Daddy here with the space shuttle), some clothes (and jammies shown), and her gift of the year! She has wanted this for a few months.

It’s….First a kiss.

A FitBit for kids! She wants to track her steps and have a sleep tracker.

Hmm..where did she get this idea!? Guilty!

Coopy can’t wait to join her in the count.

My mom enjoyed giving her some pretty clothes. She has the BEST taste!!

And a COOOOOL card!

My dear brother and Dolly got Tot some puppets to enjoy inspired by Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie.

How completely adorable and fun for imagination.

We enjoyed salmon, salad and fingerlings (she had asked for this), and after dinner, I had another little surprise. A blessing for her.

I first prayed for her:

And then she sat on my lap to read the 40 blessings. Each one has a Bible verse associated (many which we know from our memorization). We first sang the initial blessing from the song taken from Numbers 6:24-26:

The Lord bless you and keep you;  the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;  the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.”’

We sure love you, my sweet girl. Each one is for you.

Mama and Daddy adore you as well.

Let’s sing one more thing: Happy Birthday Sweet 8 year old-Tot.

May you know how incredibly loved you are by God, Mommy, Daddy, and Mama.

The Long Awaited Birthday Party! 8 years of Tot!

I sent out Evites to all of her buddies. She wanted a Lego-themed party this year.

Almost everyone would be there, but Hayden couldn’t come. I got the nicest text from his mom.

Hayden still wanted to give her a gift. We were overwhelmed with the kindness.

Tot got home from school with a crown and a big smile. She’s ready to party.

All of her classmates wrote inside. All so true!!! xoxo

I headed over to the park to set up, and Doug was kind to pick up my mom and bring the Tot. I set up the food, gift bags, and balloons. Eva would make the cupcakes. Oh, Eva. My hero. She made our wedding cake and she offered to make Tot Lego cupcakes. (She used to have a bakery).

Can you even!!? Little chocolate molded Legos on top.

My mom delightfully came with my honey. How is it that she is 8? We had her 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6th bday party at the park. (Oh, 7 did not happen. No need to discuss).

You look so pretty mom!

The kiddos started to roll in. And then, they disappeared into the park. So, the adults all visited. This was wonderful. I even got a pic with my guy. The park is starting to decorate for Christmas.

Eva found out that the last train would be at 5, so we assembled all the kids and got to the line. First, a pic!

From left to right: Sedona, Mia, Lincoln’s older sister, Isabelle, Mina, Lincoln, Tot and Zoe, Liam, Maddy, Kathryn, Teagan, Sophia, Tilly, and Drew. Ethan is in the front.

Well, they decided to give us our OWN train. WOW! But first, look who showed up!
Mrs. Phillips!!!

I love you, Tot!!!!

She rode on Mrs. Phillips lap. It was so special!

After the train ride, we headed back for the Lego cupcakes and singing. How perfect because we were all together. I prayed for the group and Tatum, and we began.

My little Eeeeeeeee….say it. 8!!! year old.

I just want to give you another hug and kiss!

Now, before Tatum even starting eating, she asked if she could serve everyone a napkin. Servant’s heart. Melt

And then she wanted to make sure everyone got a gift bag.

Did you get one?

Then, YUM!! Those cupcakes. THOSE CUPCAKES!! We had just enough and even one for Mrs. Phillips’ son. ( We did save just a few…heehee)

You like, Carley? (We are so glad you came!)

A few friend pics. Tot and Teagan (she is TALL!!!)

and Carley

We had a blast. Time to head home and open gifts. We headed to mom’s to eat dinner and open.

There was no shortage of games, Legos, art supplies, crafting gifts, and hair accessories. To be a girl!

I took notes so we could send Thank You notes. (something I model so she knows the importance of appreciation and gratitude.)

The real birthday is on Sunday. We can’t wait to have a nice family dinner and celebrate you as a family.

I love you TOT! I can’t believe you are E.I.G.H.T. The ONLY symmetrical age besides 101. HA!

Thank you friends. Thank you so much for coming and being a family with us.

The 8’s have started: Beginnings

Birthdays around here get more and more exciting each year. How does this happen? Maybe we just adore each other, and so we just can’t help but spoil one another .

I’ve been holding onto gifts for a while now. So, this morning (Friday), the last day of school until the after Thanksgiving, I needed to surprise her with some presents. Also, it’s her birthday party today so we had to have a little appetizer. New PVCP garb and a water bottle for her school today.

Also, today at school, they have a couple of tests, a Thanksgiving celebration and play. So, I gave her a card to encourage her.

She didn’t have to take the spelling test because she got 100% on the pretest.

But what they do need. Masks. So if you need to wear them they should be cute.

Cooper wanted one.

A nice little breakfast to send her off for her special day before her birthday party tonight.

When you get home, (Thank you Daddy for picking her up) you’ll head to the park! I can’t wait to see you!

The HOME stretch: McCormick here we come

Remember this picture? Back in April 2019, we took this pic.

It’s been a long road. Yes, it has been a windy, bumpy, often-detoured road to move into our home.

You see, although you have a plan, the plan often gets thwarted. Nothing you have done has made this happen, yet it always happens. Why? God’s plan. He has a much bigger plan, and at the moment, it seems like it’s just not fair or right. Then, you have perspective. You see God’s hand in the mess, and you rejoice. To watch Doug be 100% involved in this project for over 1 1/2 years is amazing. He has been extremely focused while perhaps others have not. HOA issues, permit issues, contractor issues, contracted help issues….and the list goes on. Doug? He has never let us see him sweat. He’s been like that turtle that just keeps going slow and steady, having faith all along the way.

It was to be a maybe 6-month project. It turned out that the WHOLE house was gutted and redone. Termites we can thank for some of that. Doug’s dream we can thank for some of that too.

It’s now so close. Doug’s commitment shows, yet he is exhausted. He goes to the house EVERY SINGLE DAY before work. Then he gives his all to Honeywell and to our family. 100% to each area is a lot of percents. Not really humanly possible, so I dream for him to slow down. Take in some hobbies. Take in His walk with Jesus. Take in us…family time. It’s all around the corner. Literally.

Ok, you gotta see where we are now. Look at the front. Painted…windows. WOW

That door! That 9 foot bazillion dollar door. He was right! It’s magnificent.

And the foyer!

The atom light I picked out. Yay me! (I didn’t give a lot of advice, so I’ll take it)

Our bathroom is glorious. (Doug is working on building our closet. More to come).

Her closet that he built WOW!

Our bedroom.

Kitchen. You’ll see it soon.

Oh, this is the laundry mud room. More later.

My office, the living room, her bedroom, you’ll see soon.
Here’s the hall bathroom.

Oh, we are so close. Maybe after Thanksgiving.

Honey, you have no idea how grateful we are. It’s a dream I’ll never take for granted.

God had us wait so we could be closer as a family in our condo. Also, so you could be home during this time from Honeywell. So many blessings have come from this length of time. We made some valuable friends at the condo which wouldn’t have happened!

We look forward to maybe Christmas in our new home. Until then, we are just grateful for the JOURNEY. May we always embrace to process and not the destination.

XXOO. Love you so much, Tot and HHH.