The Last of the Lasts


This week has been chock full of ‘lasts’ for our family. The last time to pack a lunch, the last day of setting the {early} alarm, the last day of preschool for Emmy, the last day of kindergarten for Collier…but, by far, the most emotional last of the last things for us to do this week will be saying “See you later” to our dearest Miss Gayle.

Six years ago, we found the literal pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Miss Gayle came highly recommended through a family friend and she has been a total Godsend for us. I’ve written before about being a working mom and loving it, and I only have the freedom to enjoy what I do every day because I have never worried about whether my kids were happy, healthy and loved. Her house is a haven for my kids and the other sweet peas she keeps. All the kids at Miss Gayle’s house are thick as thieves!

She has kissed boo boos, braided hair, fixed lunch treats of strawberries and whipped cream, and kept up with the endless questions and quibbles from the sweet kids. She throws the best birthday parties each time one of her crew makes another trip around the sun. She listens to all my drama and helps me keep my act together. She blows bubbles for hours and takes a group of six kids more places than I take my crew of two. She drives the preschool carpool and sends me photos when I travel for work. She is a bonus “grammy” for my kids and her sweet grandkids are always topics of conversation at my house. She does not treat her charges as her job – they are truly her passion. She loves my kids as if they were her own. And they can feel it every day.

When I asked what their favorite thing about Miss Gayle was, my kids responded:

Emmy: “That I love her because she’s so sweet to me.”

Collier: “That she takes care of me…and her clothes.” (She’s a sharp dresser!)

Funny story: Just this past fall, Emmy decided she’d like to be known as Emerson at preschool. No problem, right? Except at the preschool open house, we learned that while Emmy could spout off her name at top volume, she only knew how to spell her nickname, not the whole thing! Parents of the year right here… Of course, Miss Gayle swooped in to save the day, sending me a video the next morning of Emmy proudly spelling AND writing her whole name. {As you might guess, she wasn’t overly committed to the whole Emerson thing and we’re back where we started, but now she can spell it!}

Because of her, my kids have the sweetest relationship. She teaches them and coaches them and her influence on them is part of who they are forever. There aren’t enough words in all the languages in all the world to describe how important she is to our family.

The only way I know to try is to say: Miss Gayle, WE LOVE YOU!!
Do you have a “Miss Gayle” that you are thankful for?

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Back when I graduated from the University of Tennesse {GO Vols!!}, I never thought that one day I’d be working a full time job, getting to raise two amazing kiddos with a pretty great husband, oh and by the way starting a small custom gifts business out of our house {Check out Two Blooms!} I grew up in the Buckeye state, and between college and now, my husband Chris and I did a brief stint in the Windy City. Living in downtown Chicago was amazing, but it has made me appreciate Knox-vegas even more! There are so many things to do and see here, and we are always on the go enjoying activities and trying to keep our little guy, Collier, and sweet girly-girl, Emerson, entertained. Just like my scatter-brain, I’m looking forward to sharing all sorts of great random tips, tricks and finds with other mamas in Knoxville. We’re all sharing this crazy life together – and that’s the part of being a mom that’s the most fun for me!


  1. It’s so great to see this tribute to Gayle! It is very much deserved. We had the experience of using her with our daughter Hannah when she was a baby many years ago while I was working and it was such a great time for all of us. We were and are friends with Gayle and Mike previously but she was full up when we needed a babysitter. But after she kept Hannah one time she said she wanted to keep Hannah so much we let her and the rest is history. There is none better than Gayle. Hannah was so much happier with her than a daycare that she just blossomed under her care and I was at peace and was able to work with without worrying about her from then on. Hannah graduated high school the other night but Gayle is certainly a part of that celebration in no small way. Congratulations Gayle for all the jobs well done in raising these kids for us!

  2. Miss Gayle truly is a Godsend. She just happened to read the paper one day in 1994, where I had placed an ad looking for a caregiver for my son. We set up a meeting to come to her house. The moment my son Dylan walked in her door, she embraced him and loved him like he was her own. When my daughter Taylor was born in 1997, she came to the hospital and saw my precious girl before I even got to. She welcomed her into the group with ease. I never had a minute of worry when they were in her care. Once they had grown up and were no longer staying at her house, they both continued to visit her frequently. I used to say that she was their favorite mother. LOL.
    My son loved her family so much that now, at 24, he works with her husband Mike, who is every bit as special as Gayle. Two years ago, when my sweet daughter was killed in a car accident at 18 years old, I know Gayle felt as if she had lost one of her own. Gayle is truly an angel here upon this earth. I am forever grateful for her love and guidance for all “ her children”.

    • Hi! I happened to read the blog and I’m looking for a trustworthy caregiver, does Gayle have any openings? If so, could you give her my number please

    • Robin, my heart Is melted In a million pieces! Thank you for your sweet words. I will always love your family like my own, and will be ever grateful for our chance meeting in 1994, when the Corum’s entered my life and heart forever.

  3. I have a “Miss Gayle” of my own… she is Miss Casey, the real Miss Gayle’s daughter!
    As the author of this blog alluded, the peace of mind that comes from knowing your children are happy and loved when in someone else’s care is priceless. Miss Casey is the main reason my single parent household is able to function despite my crazy work schedule and one child in school with the other starting in August. I could not do it without her, and I am forever indebted to her for her role in raising my precious young men.

    • Oh thank you so much for those sweet words Heather!! I love your boys so and I am so blessed to have you all in my life! ❤️


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