Sunday, October 23, 2011


Tonight as Pop was doing one of the things he loved most--woodworking and for his grandkids at that--he had a heart attack. We, nor the paramedics, firemen, or ER were able to revive him. 
 We just celebrated Creighton and Charleigh's birthdays last night.
 He loved his girls (and boy) so very much. Charleigh's birthday will forever be a day of joy and of great loss. Charleigh was his little princess. They had a special bond. Now I know even more why. God knew we needed some good on this day and he sent our princess to provide just that.
Philip leaves behind an amazing legacy of honor, service, humility, loyalty, sincerity, honesty, and literally the list could go on for miles. This man was unique in a million ways. He was such a sweet, quiet spirit, gentle in all that he did, yet strong and capability as an ox. He rarely slowed down to do anything for himself. His life was a gift to all as he continually just gave: his time, his resources, his skills, his heart, his hands. He loved well. He lived well. He was an amazing man. He leaves us while it feels way to early and was too fast. It's painful all the more because of who he was.

Pop, we love you. We always will. Forever. We'll never forget you, your life, and the example you left for us. I hope that Jackson can one day be even just half the man that you were and he'll be great. Thank you for all the thousands of times you gave of yourself for and to us. So much of what we have you've had such a major part in. We are all so sad. Jackson and Creighton miss you so much already (as do we all). We don't understand but I do trust the Lord. I love you Pop. Thank you for everything. I am so thankful for the 9 years I was privileged to know you. I am so blessed to have been your daughter-in-law. I will see you again some day, Pop. I am a better person from knowing and loving you. It will never be the same without you, ever.

Sweet baby turns 2!

Charleigh Tatum October 23, 2009. Only a few hours prior your first mother made the most selfless and loving choice of giving you a Mommy and a Daddy. She chose for you. She chose us.  She gave you life. She gave us your life. She's our hero.

 Your story sweet girl is special. It was ordained by the Creator of the universe. You were meant to be here, to be a part of three families, to have a story that will encourage others, to have life, to be a little sister, and so much more.  There is no doubt that the Lord has plans waiting ahead for you, no doubt.  His weaving of stories and people to get you here at all, and to get you into our arms, is undoubtedly a story woven with purpose, with love, with care, with preciseness.  You are indeed, one special little girl.
 When you were just a few weeks old we dedicated you to the Lord in front of our church family in Bartlesville, OK.  You are so loved and cared for by so many people.
 You have always had these EYES that just sparkle and twinkle and glow! You were expressive from the beginning and oh, my, are you expressive still to this day!
 Your first were the best gift of all that year...2 days before Christmas we knew you'd be ours forever.  Your birth father made a choice to make, and it was hard, but he allowed us to be your Mommy and Daddy. It was such a special holiday with SO much to celebrate.
 From the very beginning your brother and sister have loved you with a love so unconditional. Still to this day they can't get enough of you and your sweet personality. (when the "taradactyl" comes out, they indeed still love you but it sends them running far away :))

 Your sweet smile lights up the room, still to this day!

 On July 7, 2010 the judge told us what my heart already knew. He said you were ours.  He said I was your Mommy and Daddy your Daddy forever. He gave you a new name: ours. OURS. You were ours. I knew it already but to have it confirmed legally was just beyond my wildest dreams.  I couldn't believe it had all happened, that it was real. As if it might come out of my chest, and be physically visible, my heart grew once more, and immediately it was filled again with love for all of my kids, for our family. It felt complete.

 You grew and grew and became a little person. You delight my heart.
 God made you adorably cute. I mean A-Dor-ABLE.
 You are full of life. Full of laughter. Full of joy.
 Your first birthday was so much fun! I couldn't believe you were one! You loved loved your cake.

 Your smile overtakes your face. You are a happy happy baby!
 I love your rosy cheeks!
 Such a trooper even in freezing weather! You look adorable!

  You gave me hope to be out of diapers by now, but it was all just for fun and games and now you haven't been on that potty but once in a long long time. :) stinker!
 Dressing up is fun too!
 You are so silly and SUCH  A MONKEY!
 Maybe you'll grow up to be a doctor :O)
For sure though I know you will always fashionable.

 And so many people love you! :)
 My littlest Diva.
 And yet, silly as can be :)
 And a girly girl and a tomboy all at the same time.
 You love to stop and smell the roses and pick flowers and enjoy life. You make me enjoy life.
 The smallest things are important to you. You already see so much detail. Nothing is too insignificant for you. One of your favorite toys to carry around is a purple plastic play knife. It's special to you and I have no clue why, but you love it.
You LOVE shoes. In particular right now you love your "parkoly" shoes (sparkly). And then there is a famous pair of flip flops around here that are navy blue and have white sharks on them. They are boys size 12 (as in your brothers) and you LOVE them and want them everyday. If you see them you scream, "my floop flops" and it's all over if I don't let you wear them. You don't care that they aren't yours, are 8 sizes too big, or that it's cold out...and thankfully it's humorous and you're cute! :)

Charleigh, our world hasn't been the same since you entered it.  Actually since the day we began praying for you, it's been a journey.  It's not always been easy, nor has it always been tough.  There are moments I just look at you in wonder and awe of our amazing God.  When I see you with your birth mom it delights my heart. I am thrilled beyond what makes sense because before we knew of you it was a little scary to think of you having a birth mom and a mommy.  But it works. It's not always easy but it's wonderful all the same.  She loves you immensely, and I know because I see it in her eyes when she holds you.  We love you immensely and I know this because I feel it, know it, believe it, trust it.  I am so thankful that this was the Lord's plan for our lives, for you life.  God gave me you.  I am so glad He did.

You are beautiful Charleigh. People from all over talk about you, even when they just get mere moments with you.  There is something special about you.  You talk every single day more than most 5 year olds. Your vocabulary is astonishing. I can't believe what all you can do. You've known your ABC's for some time now, you can count to 10, you know most of your colors very well, you know your animals sounds, you are learning shapes, you can repeat anything (even when it's really inconvenient :)), you adore your Daddy and stop EVERYTHING you are doing when he comes in the door each evening, you love to sing and dance and have memorized the words to SO many songs it's actually very impressive, you can laugh at the right moments as if you have an amazing sense of humor you obviously didn't get from me, you have an attention span much longer than it should be at 2, you have a deep understanding of many things no one would are just amazing at every turn. You constantly on the move, unless of course, you want to watch "punzel" which I have no idea why you still like that movie, but you do...and you want to watch "teebee" all the time.  You are spoiled beyond belief and since you are my baby, I'm okay with it. :) You are super sweet on one hand and very independent, stubborn, and already sinking into the "terrible twos" on the other.  You keep us busy and on our toes as you constantly think you can do ANYthing and everything your brother and sister do.  I love your sweet voice, except when it's not sweet and you scream in the highest octave known to man...I don't really love that, but we're working on it.  You are growing like a weed, but still seem some days so little.  Since you are most likely the last one, I'm trying to savor every moment I can with you (and then some).  You are a delight to our family Charleigh and we all love you dearly.  Thank you for who you are, for loving us back, and for making me a better mommy!
 I love you,
Happy Birthday Sweet Charleigh Tatum.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

2nd and 5th Birthday Party

We have a lover of all things Mickey Mouse (I think it's funny she was the only one NOT at Disney World last year).
 And, probably like most other 3-100 year olds, the most fave Princess for Creighton is Rapunzel!
 So we had a combined family party this year. It was a nice time had by all.
 I bought a yummy chocolate chip cookie cake from Sam's and did the art myself....I was quite proud of myself...The girls were happy campers!
 We had some Rib Crib catering for din din...

We had a short dance party
 snapped a few family pics :)
 and opened up those awesome presents!
 She has a few Mickey Mouse friends, but she was super excited about this guy

 Creighton was mighty excited about most of her presents.  Love her looks!
 Cutest hat on the planet...she wears it so well (and often!)
 Love love love these two girls!
 She's talking on her phone and cuddling with Mickey.  She's precious
 Kinsley and Charleigh loved playing with all the fun new things.
 Creighton got ALL the princesses for her birthday...they are well loved

 The Table!
 Walmart does a great job for me...
 It's not perfect, but I was impressed :)
 Jessica's birthday is the day after Charleigh's so we celebrated hers too!  The birthday girls and their cakes!
 Devouring them
 Nonna and Charleigh
 3 generations of strong women!
 Love this one of my mom, Creighton, and I.
 That's thumbs up! :)
We have two priceless pictures of Pop from the party. 
Creighton and Pop
 Charleigh and Pop
 loving still on Mickey...he goes many many places throughout the day