Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I'm off again until Monday. Time for food, fireworks, family, and blessings.

Have a wonderful turning of the calendar =)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The difference between men and women.

So I've discovered the biggest, most official difference between men and women.

Here it is, as played out in my own house this very morning...

Me, working out for the third morning in a row in our expanded closet to my new P90x dvd, muscles quivering, muttering under my breath and declaring my instructor a monster, while deciding that anyone who can do a one-legged wall squat is an alien, and literally trying not to throw up at my attempt to do a regular wall squat.

Hubby walks in the closet, yawning from just getting out of bed. He tugs on a clean sweater and jeans, and grabs his wallet. He smiles at me, and I glare back, sweat running in rivulets into my eyes.

"Have a good workout, baby." He stretches down to kiss my forehead.

I keep glaring. "Have a good greasy, sugary, syrupy, fattening, yummy breakfast at Whataburger with my dad." I add extra oomph to my next weighted leg lunge.

Apparently the glare in my eyes was enough to X the kiss, because he straightened and quickly backed toward the door. "Guess I better go now."

"Guess ya..." Gasp. Sputter. Moan. "Better."

Yep. That's the difference. He gets to enjoy a calorie laden, fat soaked, delicious breakfast and never think about it again, while I'm still trying to convince last week's Christmas cookies to quit clinging to my burning thighs.

Atleast now I'm extra motivated - motivated to get a six-pack abs just so I can point and say "nyyyah nyyahh nyaahhhh nahhhh", anyway. But whatever works!!!

Have you started your New Years resolution/goals/work-out program yet? I wanted to get a jump start on the New Year and already be immersed in reaching my goals before January 1. Somehow it seemed more motivating that way.

What do you think?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Visit me!

Check out my latest Crosswalk article published today, and read about my prodigy Christmas tree =)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Holiday Palooza

Whew! What a week!
I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas weekend. I know ours was busy but fun, with lots of family time, laughter, and of course, FOOD!

Here are a few fun pics of the big event!!!
Christmas Eve at my grandparents...

Christmas morning, at home then at my parent's house...

She loved her wagon, new toy vacuum cleaner and baby stroller the most!
Did Santa bring you something special?
Hubby gave me a gift card for a professional massage, woohoo! And I got much needed curtains for my living room and bathroom, and a lot of artwork to hang to finish our decorating.
Any extra fun memories to share? Please do!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas

This is my last blog post for the week, as I'm sure many of you won't be around to read much anyway =)

Have a wonderful holiday season, see you guys back next Monday! Merry Christmas, and may I leave you with this profound thought I heard recently...

"There was only one Christmas - the rest are anniversaries."

So, Happy Anniversary, from my family to yours!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Quiz

It's Monday and I'm about to fight the crowds at Walmart in a bit with my 17 month old commandeering the buggy, so I needed a quickie blog today!! But this looks like fun!!

Your Holiday Personality is Outgoing

The holidays give you a chance to stay busy and have fun with your friends. You love each and every holiday activity.You are a truly social creature, and other people make the holidays special for you.Whether you're out caroling, ice skating, partying, or shopping, you love being part of a festive crowd.You are always up for holiday cheer, but you also make sure to take time to help those in need.

What is your Holiday Personality? Take the quiz HERE!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Good news!

Good news! My agent, Tamela, re-posted the article I wrote for SCRIBBLE CHICKS Wednesday on Hartline's Literary Blog. Check it out here! She's running it as a series. Part two will be up the 22nd. Hartline's blog is written by the four agents in their company and is really great for advice, encouragement, and industry news.

In other news...

My husband called me on his way home from work this morning. He said "Are you sitting down?" I said "Yes" and he proceeded to tell me that he started reading The Best of Evil by Eric Wilson (see previous blog post!) at about 7:00 in the evening.

He finished it at 3:30 in the morning. My husband! A non-reader! This is huge. And in case you didn't realize, firemen really appreciate sleep because of their crazy schedules. For him to miss sleep for the sake of a book is just, well, a Christmas miracle.

Now he's asking for the sequel. I'm so glad I was sitting down! ;)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

S is for Shocked

Last night, my husband uttered words he's never before spoken. Words that shook me to my core, words that I'd only dreamed of him saying in our seven plus years of being together...

Words that, basically, made me look like this:

"Hey, baby, why don't you go pick me out a book you'd think I'd like?"

I was wrapping a present at the time, and nearly cut myself on the scissors. My mouth dropped along with the scissors, and I stared. He looked up from where he'd been hanging his jacket. I sputtered. "A book?"


"Like, a fiction novel? Not a devotional or history book?"

"Yeah." He shrugs.

I'm still confused. "You mean, a book - like with words, not pictures?"

"YES." Now he's almost annoyed.

I'm still convinced I'm in another world, but I dutifully go and pick out two fiction novels from my personal library that I think he'd enjoy. Inside, shock is battling pure, unadulturated happiness.

Let me explain. My husband is not a reader, by any means. For example, last night he finished the third book he's ever read by choice in his entire lifetime - a devotional type story for hunters. He read my first novel, Midnight Angel, published by a small press a few years ago, but it took him forever and I think he forced himself. He hasn't read my new Love Inspired stories, and I wouldn't even ask. He is just NOT a reader.

He was dyslexic for awhile in junior high and that totally turned him off reading, understandably. He's got it beat now but he still relates reading to hard work, and when he already works two jobs, well, he's interested in relaxing - tv, video games, hunting, outside projects, flipping through magazines...not books. He reads his Bible as often as he can, but when it comes to fiction, there is just no way. It's not happening.

I'm not sure what inspired this question of his, but I wasn't about to let it pass by. I nearly panicked, thinking "so many do I choose? this is one my shot in time!" but I quickly got it together and gave him Eric Wilson's "Best of Evil" since I knew he'd like the hero, with his tattoos and secrets. Next in his pile if he makes it through Eric's novel is "Leaper" by Geoffrey Wood, which is HILARIOUS. I hope he makes it to that one too!!!!

Is your husband or significant other a reader? Or can you relate to how I felt last night? =)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Blogs, blogs, blogs

I blogged today at Scribble Chicks and at Craftie Ladies of Romance. Come join me!

At Scribble Chicks, this week we have been discussing "So you've got a manuscript writen, now what?" Today's post is on you have one? Do you need one? Come check it out!

At Craftie Ladies of Romance, we've been discussing Christmas Ways & Frays - ways we celebrate, and frays that arise when things don't go as planned! Come visit us and comment on your own Christmas mishaps =)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Do you ever wish you were rich?

The Bible says the love of money is the root of all evil, and we can't serve both God and money. But He doesn't say that MONEY is the root of all evil - just when we go overboard in serving it instead of Jesus. There's a very definite line there, one that I pray I'd never cross if I were ever in the position to do so.

Today, I wish I was rich. I'm not talking about because it'd be nice to not stress about our bills for a pay period, or because I want the adorable purple purse in JCPenney or because I want to buy Little Miss a pony (I don't, I mean figuratively). I just mean I wish I had extra money to bless others with.

I think it'd be the coolest thing ever to be able to leave a waitress a $100 tip and bless her socks off that shift. Or hear of a friend needing to pay a hospital bill and saying "you know what? I got that. Don't sweat it." Or just randomly mail another friend an annonymous envelope full of cash because you felt God prompting you to do so.
We recently had some meet a big financial need for us and it still brings me to tears of gratitude and I pray one day God allows me the chance to help bless someone else in that same way.

God, so far, hasn't given me this desire of my heart, and it's sad for me today especially, because there are several friends who I wish I could help this morning...and I just can't. Friends who are good people, who have good hearts and love the Lord and are struggling to make it.

God provides for His children, He's proven that to us time and time again. I'm praying for His provision today for others. Will you?

Monday, December 14, 2009

A not-so-conservative Baptist...

Have you ever walked across the church parking lot and, through the multi-windowed-wall, seen your topless husband go jogging down the Sunday School hallway through a throng of people?

I have!

Sadly, my first thought wasn't that something was wrong, as it must be to illicit such random, borderline crude behavior, it was instead "Man, I can't take him anywhere."

(if you've met my hubby then you understand! lol)

His bicep tattoos seemed much more vivid than usual as he jogged past our associate pastor and the women's sunday school class. Oy. As I grew closer, not nearly as surprised as I probably should have been, our friend Michael, who was visiting this Sunday, held the door open for me.

"Michael, will you please explain why my husband is topless?"

Sheepish look. "I can't tell you."


Ducks head. "He told me not to tell you."


My mom voice must have been activated, because despite the good nine inches height he has on me, he quickly spilled the beans. "He turned his motorcycle over in the parking lot, and his elbow is bleeding."


Little Miss and I had taken my car to church that morning and Hubby took his motorcycle, because he was supposed to be leaving straight from sunday school to go visit his mom in Alexandria. He had said he would only go if it wasn't raining/wet, which it was, but he didn't want to take his truck because we really didn't need to spend the near $100 of gas money it would cost for a round trip. He really wanted to see his mom, and since it wasn't technically raining, he was going to go ahead and go.

The thought immediately made me nervous, because of the slick roads, so on the way to church I prayed that if he wasn't supposed to go, if something was going to happen, that God would stop him and make it clear.

Hello, flashing red light.

He'd taken the curve around by the gym and the back tire slid out, and the weight of the bike on him cut his elbow up on the pavement, even through his leather jacket. Hubby bandaged up his arm and put on a clean shirt (he'd brought one with him to change once he got there, thankfully, just so his good dress shirt wouldn't be in the elements on the ride there) He attended Sunday School with the intentions of going ahead to Alexandria and getting his arm looked at the hospital where his mom has been the last few days. I told him my prayer and what I'd asked God, and asked him to please think about it before leaving. He did, and after Sunday School, said he'd trust me and stay home. Whew. Miracle!

He went ahead and went to Quickcare after Sunday School and got 6 stitches, just to get it taken care of since the bleeding wouldn't really stop. So I was left to field all the questions and jokes in his absence.

So, our Baptist church got a show this morning, but God also showed up, so that's something. Maybe the talk will die down later...then again, maybe not since I'm now posting all the bloggy details. =)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Quiz!

Thought we'd take a break from the holiday chaos today to take a fun Christmas quiz! Here you go, post your results in the comment section!!! QUIZ!

My results were perfect for me - I LOVE this movie and collect all things Snoopy, have for as long as I can remember.

Your Christmas is Most Like:

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Each year, you really get into the spirit of Christmas.
Which is much more important to you than nifty presents.
What are your results??? =)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Shop til you drop?

So its officially December 10th. Christmas is in roughly two weeks - yikes! Are you ready? Have you finished your shopping yet? I was hung up on a gift for my Pappaw for the longest time, but had a break through last night and am now very pleased with what I ordered for him! Inexpensive but meaningful - whew. I won't post what it is here just in case he reads my blog - hey, you never know. He and my grandma have all my web addresses and are quite computer savvy as of late. =)

Is there a person on your list you are kinda stuck on? Does anyone have any ideas to share for the stereoytpical "hard" people in our lives? (i.e., sometimes buying gifts for the men in our lives is difficult because their toys are too expensive, and really, how many times can you buy someone a tie or wallet before they see a pattern???)

I'm getting out in the cold later with Little Miss - gotta pick up her cough syrup, poor little bunny, and then we're running a few last minute errands for wrapping paper and stocking stuffers - then I think I might be done.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Gimpy at Christmas

My grandfather (dad's dad) has always had heart issues. He's had bypasses, chest pains, heart attacks, and I can't even count the times he's had stints put in or heart caths done. Some of my earliest memories involve sitting around the hospital waiting room, begging change for vending machine candy bars and reading in those hard vinyl chairs while we waited the latest news. He's a strong man, a former Marine, and is the type to say he's fine when he's not, or brave through pain when it would crumble most people. Anytime he's had recoveries to wait through, he hasn't been the easiet patient. He wants to get up and work and DO things...he has a servant's heart and would rather help at the church than sit in his recliner as instructed.

Thankfully my grandmother is equally stubborn, so he gets good care =)

Well, my grandfather had a routine heart cath done yesterday morning, but he had complications. I didn't even realize he was having a heart cath done in the first place, that's how common these are to us now...until I received word mid-afternoon that there were issues and he was being transported from one hospital to another that specializes in heart issues.
I couldn't go up, since Little Miss and I were both under the weather ourselves and Hubby was at the fire station, but my dad and sister camped out with my grandma and aunt and cousins, so no one was alone as we waited word. Turns out he had bled pretty badly during the procedure, and they couldn't get it to stop. Not sure still exactly what happened or what tore, but they ended up having to crack him open and go in and do a double bypass. His last bypass I believe was 1989, so it's been twenty years and was in need of a redo. But 20 years of scar tissue made it difficult, and the bypass took a solid 5 hours. We received word his heart was off the pump and beating regularly again around 9:30 p.m., but they were still concerned about the bleeding. He's on blood thinners, and since it was an emergency procedure, they didn't have time to get him off of them before having to do the surgery. They added platelets to try to thicken it, but they couldn't thicken it TOO much because of the stints. Sigh.

So he's in ICU and doing well, and will remain there for 3 days and in the hospital for a week. Hopefully he'll be able to come home in time for Christmas and sit in his designated recliner and let us wait on him as he so deserves.

I appreciate any prayers for my grandfather this holiday season! Thank you! He's the toughest man I know, and so very godly. But I'm not ready for him to go Home-Home yet!!!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

A gift exchange of a different color...

Have you ever played the Dirty Santa gift exchange? There's a dozen names for this game, so odds are you have! It's where everyone brings a gift to a party and draws a number, and each person in order of their number opens a gift. When its your turn, you can either open a new gift from the pile of unopened gifts left, or steal someone else's opened gift. Usually there is a rule as to how many times a gift can be stolen before it's "dead" and safe with its current owner. The game ends when all the numbers have gone and all the gifts are opened. If no one ever steals from you, then what you opened is what you're going home with.

The game is really fun, and works great for large family gatherings or church parties.

Last night, the women's minsitry at my church played this game at our annual Women's Christmas Party and let me tell you - it gets intense. We'd have put the boys in the picture above to shame.

Forget that several of the 45 women there were minister's wives, and that we were all conservative Baptists. I can assure you when this game is played, religion is not a factor. We might smile and bring our pot luck dish, covered with a hand-embroidered Christmas towel stacked neatly atop our Bibles, but when the game starts, the gloves come off!

This year, the gifts were really great, especially considering we had a $15 limit. There truly wasn't a single item I'd have not wanted to get "stuck" with. Of course there are always the "hot commodity gifts" that seem to get stolen back and forth right away. This year's hot commodities were a cute snowman Christmas Card holder, a lemon-limeade scented candle and dangly black bracelet, a large snowman cookie platter, and a Christmas pillow. I ended up coming home with a Fritz & Floyd small snowman serving tray and Casting Crown's newest Christmas CD - score!

It cracks me up though - every year, there's always a few women who get a little too involved. There's some ladies who get loud and fiesty but you can tell its all in fun. Then there are others who truly seem to have their feelings hurt if someone steals a gift from there. It makes me want to yell "Uh, guys, everything in this room is $15. Just go buy it for yourself!" lol The competitive edge can easily take over.

Have you ever played this game? What are some of your memories if you have? We do this every year on my dad's side of the family because there are so many of us. We set a $30 limit and its really fun. Of course, its even funnier after the game is over because people start swapping under the table and bargaining with their immediate family members to switch =)

I survived the game last night, barely, and hopefully will survive the one we play Christmas night. Wish me luck!!! =)

Monday, December 07, 2009


So Saturday, I along with many others from the North Louisiana/East Texas area, gathered together at Canton Trade Days and shopped til we dropped. Literally. The temps were super cold and the booth pavillions, while covered, were open on the sides, minus the sun, so it was actually colder in the booths than in the parking lots. But it was girl's day, and we had a blast and I checked off the few remaining items on my Christmas list!

But now I'm sneezing and congested and last night I had a sore throat. That part is gone now, its all in my head at the moment. All signs point to allergies/being in the elements, I don't believe its a virus. Just annoying! To make myself feel better, I cooked a homemade chicken noodle soup, and it was spicier than I intended (probably because I couldn't smell what I was adding to the pot! lol) Well I think it worked too well, because now I'm a drippy faucet. Oh well. It was tasty!

How are you faring with the cold season? Hopefully avoiding the flu and cold viruses! I am determined to feel better ASAP, because this is a busy week of Christmas parties and get-togethers I do not want to miss!!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Bye bye, Uncertain!

Thanks for all the supportive comments yesterday, friends! My husband did receive word - he will be laid off by the end of the month...with no severence. Not sure how that's fair or even legal. I guess the city isn't required to offer anything, but you'd think they would under the circumstances.

I was joking yesteday with an old coworker that if we didn't love the Boardwalk so much, we'd boycott shopping in Bossier altogether =)

But the neat, God-thing is my husband has already been given job offers. Not necessarily fireman-related, but if we get to the point of just needing a paycheck, any paycheck, the opportunities are there. It's nice to see how everyone has rallied and cares for us!

Right now, we're in the midst of considering some transfer possibilities to other departments, which we'll know more about in the days to come. Hubby really wants to stay a fireman if the Lord wills. When he got on with Bossier almost two years ago, it was, in our minds, a life-career choice. That hasn't changed! But we'll see what doors God opens.

I posted on Facebook this morning that "there is a lot of Uncertain, but for now the house is quiet, the Christmas tree is glowing, my Bible is open, and its warm and cozy inside. Uncertain, there is simply no room for you in this picture."

And an hour later, even though my daughter is awake, the cartoons are playing, and my Bible is shut for now, nothing has changed. Bye, bye Uncertain! Hello, faith.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

And the waiting continues...

Many of you remember my posts a month or so back, when we first heard about my husband's potential lay off from the fire dept. here in town. The city had a HUGE (like 6.5 million!) deficit in their budget for 2010 and thought the only way to compensate was to let go 80 city employees, mainly firemen and policemen.

I'm still a little angry just typing that.

Since then, we've heard a zillion rumors. First, he was for sure laid off. Then he wasn't. Then it was a maybe. Then the other day, we heard that the mayor had devised a plan to draw funds from a different budget, something to do with our city's casino revenue, I believe, and that all the jobs would be saved.

Well, our city council - the same members who once looked into the TV via news camera and swore they'd do everything they could to save our firemen and policemen - voted "no, we better not, that's too risky".

So now the official word is, 80 city jobs WILL be laid off, including that of 6 policemen and 18 firemen - 8 from the line, and 10 who were in the current training academy. Yes, that's better than the initial number of firemen's jobs being cut, but to those 18 who are getting booted, its not much better at all.

My husband is going into a meeting at 9:00 to be given the details, and we're all pretty sure it's a meeting for the 8 who will be laid off. That's speculation, makes sense. We'll see. It's not his fault, he's just a victim of the "last hired, first fired" mindset which I suppose is only fair.

I would like to give a thank you to the three council members who did actually try to postpone the vote and buy more time for our men - but for the rest of you, well...I'll just stop now. You'll all realize your mistake next time there is a big city emergency and you're painfully short on manpower and our city's once-excellent, Class 1 response time rating sinks to the dirt because a station closed.

I'm really not as bitter as I might sound! I know God has a plan, and sometimes His plan includes opening doors and giving us a little shove through it. I'd much rather be led through a door I wouldn't have normally chosen and it be God's will, then choose a second door and be outside of His plan. Anyone with me?? =)

After 9 o'clock today, my husband will probably be without a job, and that's not much of a Merry Christmas gesture. BUT...I have complete faith that God will provide something else and that will be an amazing Christmas gift when it happens. God has already blessed our socks off this past week in a way only He could have done, and so I will trust His provision this week as I did last week.

I will NOT key the council member's cars...I will NOT key the council member's cars... haha. J/k.

Sort of.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


Are you feeling stuck in your WIP?

Visit me at SCRIBBLE CHICKS today and read about a recent breakthrough I experienced. Maybe it'll help you have the same!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

That Certain Spark by Cathy Hake

I was recently given the chance to review (for free, as I'm now obligated to report by law!) a book by Cathy Marie Hake titled THAT CERTAIN SPARK.

Okay, I know we can't officially judge books by their cover but I LOVED this cover. Check it out. Isn't that great?

You know that cover model had fun with that one! =)

Here's the summary:

Gooding, Texas, is about to gain a double blessing--a veterinarian and a doctor. But when siblings Enoch and Taylor Bestman arrive, the discovery that the long-awaited doctor is in fact a woman has the town up in arms. Karl Van der Vort is no exception, though he becomes Taylor's first patient...against his will. Karl finds he can't deny Taylor's doctoring skills, but he also can't come to terms with her unladylike occupation. Taylor, on the other hand, wants only to prove that doctoring is her life's calling, despite the town's opposition. But when her practice--and Taylor herself--are threatened, Karl's protectiveness flares into a different emotion altogether.As Pride Meets Attraction Head-On, Sparks Begin to Fly!

Here's Cathy, who I know personally through the ACFW and is a dear, sweet woman with a talented daughter who is also an author as well. Just goes to show you writing genes run in the family =)

I'm hoping my daughter picks up on that from me one day...though she's only 16 months old right now, so...we have time to see. =)

I enjoyed this story, the characters were vivid and likable and relatable. The plot interesting and different. I don't read a ton of historicals but this one was definitely memorable.

However, I do have to say that I got a little hung up on the dialogue. A minor plot point was the banter between the hero and heroine, which is always fun to see. But because of the heroine's education and medical training, and because of the historical setting, sometimes the banter came across a little too hard to read. I found myself backtracking a lot, trying to figure out what they were really saying and even had to look up words sometimes. It was a little distracting, and stopped the flow of the story, but not a huge ordeal.

If you're looking for a unique read and enjoy historicals, I bet you'll like this one. =)

Buy your copy of this lovely novel HERE!

And read more about Cathy at her website: