Tuesday, June 30, 2009

View from the top...

Here's a picture of my hometown, lit up at night.

My last day of work is tomorrow, and see the tallest building to the far left of the picture, the dark tower in lights? That's where I work! (ed) Talk about a view from the top, huh?

Well today, I'm also experiencing a view from the top, but it has nothing to do with looking out the office window. (well, I'm also wearing 4 inch hot pink heels today, but again, not my point! lol)

No, today's view from the top derives from success. From blessings. From chapters in life ending and new pages turning. After tomorrow, I'll be forging onward in my calling, in my new career, in the two things most important to me - my family, and my writing ministry. I feel on top of the world!

Don't get me wrong. Life isn't perfect, and it never will be. For example, my MIL is still in the same condition she's been in for days now. No changes, for the good or for ihe bad, which I suppose is still a blessing in itself...but life is about perspective. About choosing our view. I could look out the top window of my office building and get dizzy and scared from the height. Or I could sit back and marvel at the beauty of the earth around me. Perspective.

What is your view today? Are you looking at your blessings and your problems from the best perspective? Or are you wallowing on the ground, afraid to look around you?

Let me just say, the view from up top here today is absolutely gorgeous! I hope yours will be too =)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Busy, busy week!

Manic Monday! I'm exhausted and its only 9:03.

I slept great from 10:00 - 3:00. Then at 3:00 it sounded like Little Miss woke up, saw her stuffed girafee Gi-Gi, squealed in delight, and proceeded to play tea party or something until 3:30. lol Not kidding. She settled down around 3:30, then at 4:17...

the phone rang.
Not what you want to happen when your MIL is in a coma in the hospital two hours away. The only words to describe that feeling is bone chilling. I answered and a professional female voice asked for my husband. Her calm tone just panicked me more. I passed the phone over and squeezed his arm until I could tell by his words the worst hadn't happened. It turns out my MIL lost her traech (didn't even know that was possible!) and had to be put back on the ventilator for the night. Not a huge deal, but we are glad they told us. I think that incident confirmed for my husband that even though he's hours away and now back at work this week, they will keep him informed, regardless of time. That's a relief.

But sleep didn't really come after that, as you can imagine!

I also left my phone at home and had to go back after getting halfway down the road and then got to my mom's to drop off Little Miss (for the third to last time because of work! yay!) and saw in the mirror that my silver dangly earring had a second orange earring dangling from it. Still not sure how I managed that one...

So that's the beginning of my Monday. And the week only gets busier! Today and two more days left at work. Ever! Yay! Then Thursday is hubby's birthday and a date night for us. Friday is my big booksigning at Barnes & Noble. And Saturday is the 4th of July and a joint birthday party for hubby and two of our good friends. Whew! Let the fun times roll...

And let the caffeine flow!

Friday, June 26, 2009

3 more days!

This is my last Friday in the workforce!

Well, I say that, as if motherhood and writing isn't two full time jobs in themselves!!! lol So basically I'm not "quitting work", I'm just going from THREE jobs to TWO. haha.

Speaking of motherhood...I must give props to my cousin for her adventure yesterday. Here's her Facebook status of the event.

"trying to find a "jumparoo" insert to replace the one my daughter DESTROYED this morning!"

So naturally I inquired as to what happened, and got this answer.

"long, gross story! my son ended up in the fetal position in the chair across the room - it was a funky morning. needless to say the rug must be burned and the jumparoo insert bit the dust too!"

After I quit laughing, I emailed her privately to ask more details. Turns out her daughter, who is only a few days older than my Little Miss, had somehow managed to dirty her diaper sideways in her jumperoo, which then leaked, well...everywhere. As my cousin put it, "when I came in the living room, she was river-dancing in it on the rug."

I have SO MUCH to look forward to after next Wednesday. =)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Unique quiz...

I found a pretty unique, fun quiz today. What Room of the House Are You?

This one caught my eye because I've been thinking about the settings in my stories lately. Not the overall setting as in a particular city, but individual scene settings. Where do my scenes take place? In my current WIP, set on a Texas ranch, I have a lot of scenes in the barn, in the guest cabins, in the paddock, on the trail, etc. But most of my older stories involve more inside time, such as churches, friend's living rooms, kitchens, banquet halls, cars, dining rooms, etc.

Well, I took the quiz, and apparently my setting has been all wrong. =)

Here's my answer! (quit laughing!!)

You Are the Bathroom

Overall, you are a healthy person. You enjoy taking care of yourself.You are also quite attractive. Looking your best makes you feel your best.You are conscientious and detailed oriented. You stay on top of things.You are very honest and open. Privacy is not something you need a lot of.

Take the quiz here!

Maybe you'll get a more acceptable answer! =P

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Let the countdown begin...

Next Wednesday will be my last day as a full time employee outside the home! Then I'll start a new job - being a stay at home mommy and author.


I'm excited and nervous! lol Any words of advice from veteran stay at home moms?

I'm not so nervous about getting my writing done, because I've already gotten lots of great tips on that from other authors, and I know my mother is still going to want to keep Little Miss often. She has already told me it'd be impossible to go from keeping her all day, 3-4 days a week (and more often lately since my MIL's accident!) to hardly at all. So there will be plenty of time to meet deadlines and have productive writing time. Praise God for loving Nana's!! =)

I guess what I'm nervous about right now is the $, of course, especially in this time of economic chaos. These things rarely work on out paper but under the nervous "oh my gosh, I won't have a paycheck anymore" feelnig is such true peace I know-know-know this is what God has for us. So He will take care of us.

It will be an adjustment but an amazing one, one I've wanted for the last 11 1/2 months. My Little Miss is growing up and I've been so fortunate to have still caught all of her "firsts" even while working full time. Now I'll be there even more AND before her first birthday. God answered my specific prayer of that timeline from months ago!

Basking in blessings today...

PS - no big news on my MIL today, other than they are getting ready to move her to a long term care facility. This isn't a bad thing, just the next step. She'll be moved when the facility has an opening.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Praise God!

I received an update on my MIL last night.

The nurse called and said that after my husband left my MIL's hospital room after saying goodnight, she OPENED HER EYES A FEW TIMES and a tear rolled down her cheek.


This is huge! The closest to awake that she's been yet, obviously, and plus....how sweet is the tear? Not a coincidence. She knew her son was there. God is at work.

We must keep praying!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Joining the ranks....

I'm super excited to announce that as of July 2nd this year, I'll be a SAHM! (stay at home mom).

This has been a long time dream of mine and we're finally making it happen. No, God is making it happen. Everything has come together in regards to second jobs and my writing and we're taking the leap of faith! I'm terrified yet peaceful and I can't wait!

I'll get to stay home with Little Miss and work on my writing. Talk about a dream come true, and more than worth tightening the belt a few notches.

Pray for us as we venture on this new journey. And please keep praying for my MIL. No changes since my last update regarding the EEG. At least now, in July, my little family will be together and can travel together to visit her.

Praise God for this dream come true! =)

Saturday, June 20, 2009


The latest on my Mother in Law:

They did an EEG yesterday to monitor her brain activity/function, and the doctors said it didn't come back as high as they'd hoped. There is definite activity but low function, as they said and while that's not really bad, its not great either. So we're still stuck in the middle, unsure. And this could still go either way. But God is still at work!

We are just waiting! Still. And keeping the faith.

Hubby is spending the entire weekend at home for Father's Day and I can't wait to see him - neither can our Little Miss. =)

Happy Father's Day everyone!

Friday, June 19, 2009


And the winner of the copy of NEVER THE BRIDE is....



Congrats! Please email me at betsystamant@yahoo.com with your mailing address, and I will get your book in the mail ASAP.

Thanks for entering!

I'll be doing more contests soon. =)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Leavin' on a jet plane...

Okay, more like in a Sebring, but close enough.

I'm heading out to visit Hubby at the hospital today. No more updates that I'm aware of at his time. Please keep up the prayers and pray for my safe travel. It's a less than two hour drive but its a boring one. I plan to hit Starbucks first and load up =)

Updates and drawing for the free book tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Latest

Yesterday was a roller coaster - the kind you ride while swearing to never get back on.

We labored all weekend as instructed on deciding whether to proceed with the brain surgery option or the sedation option. My husband and his sister were adament on sedation. Less risky, no chances of them taking away good cells from the brain, etc. So that was supposed to be done Monday, along with her trach so they could finally remove the ventilator and such.

Well, Monday, the neurologist was supposed to come by and he never did.


So Tuesday, the trach was done at 10:30 and went well. Then the doctor finally came by and said he was at a loss. That he had no idea what else to do, that it was a waiting game for sure now, and that it didn't make sense why she wasn't awake yet.

Super encouraging. (do you see my sarcasm positively dripping off your monitor?)

He then said that surgey was no longer an option at all because the pressure wasn't even (not sure why that matters, but I didn't go to med school, so....) and that at this point the heavy sedation we had agreed on would accomplish nothing and would be a waste of time. He then added that he fears they missed something like a possible brain stem injury that would "explain" why she hasn't woken up yet, etc. so they arranged for another CT scan.


Then all of a sudden, I found out through Facebook that she's in surgery. Poor Hubby is getting so confused as to who knows what and who he texts what to, that he hadn't told me. I called right before she was getting out of it. Anyways, turns out the doc didn't want to give up yet (how kind of him) and wanted to do the surgery after all as a "last resort" before resorting to simply waiting. Apparently the CT scan showed nothing new after all. Which is good, but still confusing.

She made it through the surgery well, they did nothing to her actual brain, as once discussed, just simply removed a portion of skull to allow her brain room to breathe.

After an hour or so, the pressure had already dropped!! So that you can see numbers-wise, average pressure in a regular person's head is said to be between 4-18. That's what they want to see in my MIL. Well, on a good day her pressure has been 28-30, on bad days, 40. After surgery? It was a 10. Praise God! The doctor said last night that was a great sign and it didn't guarantee it would STAY down but we could surely hope. He also said that the pressure lowering is also no guarantee of her waking up but again, it could certainly help.

We all know that her waking up is, as my husband said, between her and God.

Thank goodness its not up to the doctors.

Don't get me wrong, her doctors seem to be really great and we've had no trouble other than the typical "waiting" issues that all hospitals deal with in regards to making rounds. I don't mean to sound so sarcastic and negative about them, I know they are doing their job and a good one, considering. Its just frustrating and I'm so TIRED of roller coasters. Just tired in general.

But we press on. With a smile, a prayer, Starbucks and lots and LOTS of Diet Coke. =)

Please pray today that the pressure in my MIL's head stays down and that she wakes up from her coma. Because now the doctors truly are done, and at a loss if this doesn't work.

Which to me just means they're now officialy out of the way for God to do something really big and impressive, and get ALL the credit. =)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fun new read...

Rene Gutteridge has always been a favorite author of mine, and I was excited to read this one! You will be too! =)

Jessie Stone has spent thirty-five years fantasizing about marriage proposals, wedding dresses, and falling in love. She’s been a bridesmaid eleven times, waved dozens of couples off to sunny honeymoons, and shopped in more department stores for half-price fondue pots than she cares to remember.

But shopping in the love-of-her-life department hasn't been quite as productive. The man she thought she would marry cheated on her. The crush she has on her best friend Blake is at very best…well, crushing. And speed dating has only churned out memorable horror stories.So when God shows up one day, in the flesh, and becomes a walking, talking part of her life, Jessie is skeptical. What will it take to convince her that God has a better love story than one of the thousands she’s cooked up in her journals? Will she trust Him with her pen when it appears her dreams of being the bride are forever lost?

A romantic comedy with a spiritual twist, Never the Bride is what it means to lose control—and getting more than any woman could ever imagine.

Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge’s awesome creative chemistry has already impressed fans of The Ultimate Gift—the two co-authored the novelization of the film. You won’t want to miss this duo’s latest collaboration!

Click here to buy at Amazon! OR...guess what? You can sign up with a comment to this blog post to be entered in a drawing for a free giveaway! Drawing held this upcoming Friday the 19th. Double your chances by hitting up my friend Georgiana's blog and enter there too!!!! =)

Author Bios:

Cheryl McKay is the co-author (with Frank Peretti) of the Wild and Wacky, Totally True Bible Stories series, which has sold nearly 200,000 copies, and the screenwriter of the award-winning film The Ultimate Gift. Rene Gutteridge has published thirteen novels including Ghost Writer, My Life as a Doormat, the Boo Series, the Occupational Hazards Series, and the Storm Series. Together, McKay and Gutteridge are the authors of The Ultimate Gift, a novelization based on the feature film and popular book by the same title.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Decisions today...

Last night was a good night. Hubby was home for the first time to sleep in a week, and we had a good family after/evening together. Went to the Boardwalk and ate a nice dinner, and Little Miss was in fine form, very happy to have Daddy home for awhile. She danced to the music at the restaurant and played hard with her "da-da" - even said the actual word "daddy" for the first time. Precious!

Today is a day of decisions. Please pray for my husband and his sister. It looks like today they will be doing the trach (spelling?) to help her breathe and allow all the hoses to get out of her mouth finally. That will help her appearance, too, I am sure. They will also be doing the heavy sedation probably today at some point, to knock her so far out (on top of her own coma) that she can do nothing but lay there and heal. Its a better option than brain surgery, which was our other choice.

So please pray that our decision are the right ones and that we will all have wisdom. Thanks!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

No news is good news?

Sometimes I wish I had more background in the medical industry.

But Hubby does, being a fireman/EMT and he says the knowledge he has makes this situation with his mom good and bad all at once. Good because he knows things, can interpret and translate what the doctors and nurses say to his family, and it feels nice to understand - but that just is an added pressure, having to put positive spins on it for his family so they don't feel worse, and of course, its hard knowing exactly how severe this is and what her chances are.

But thankfully, we believe in a GOD who is much bigger than percentages.

No real news today on her condition. About the same. The pressure went down significantly yesterday morning but back up significantly last night after a busy day of visitors and treatment. Its fluctuating every day like that. I guess thats better than staying up...?

I had a good weekend visiting Hubby and he is coming home today for the first time to sleep in his own bed in a solid week. Today is one week exactly from the accident. Feels like its already been a month. Can't believe it.

Hubby will keep going back and forth this week. Please keep praying for us. The strain of us not being a family together just makes this harder. Little Miss, Hubby and I have been together in person a total of maybe 7 spread out hours in the last solid week. Not kidding. I counted yesterday.

Keep praying for Cindy, and all of our family as Hubby and his sister make decisions tomorrow regarding a possible surgery for her brain, or a heavy sedation that will enable her to hopefully rest to the point of having to do nothing but heal - machines will do everything else for her like breathe, etc. The scary part about the sedation option though is while its less risky than surgery, she'd have zero brain activity during that time. To me it seems like that'd make it less likely for her to ever wake up since she's having brain activity now on her own. But I don't think it works that way. We'll definitely talk to the docs about risks before deciding.

Thanks for the prayer and support. More updates to come. =) We're praying for a great day today!

Friday, June 12, 2009


No real news one way or the other. I'll be going back to work next week and can blog again regularly then and be connected again. I miss everyone!

Please keep praying for my MIL Cindy. Right now she is still in the coma and the pressure in her head is up and down. Sometimes too high, sometimes back down where its "okay". Sort of like the roller coaster we've been on. Her facial swelling is down, her pupils still dilating but not evenly, there is definitely more trauma behind the right where all the brain bruising is.

The doctor mentioned seeing how the weekend goes and then performing a trach (spelling??) and feeding tube on Monday to get the hoses out of her mouth. He also mentioned the future potentional of brain surgery if nothing changes over a long period of time but that he didn't WANT to do that...so I'm not sure.

We are holding to the faith. Thank you for your support and encouragement. Everyone has been so very amazing. My work has been understanding about me missing this week. The fire dept. where Hubby works has been even more outstanding. They "passed the hat" for him and took a collection, not to mention told him to take as much time as he needs off - paid. Our neighbors have offered to water the bushes and take our trash to the dump and mow the yard while we're all back and forth, and I've had countless offers of babysitting hours, not to mention prayers. God is good in His provision.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I blogged on Craftie Ladies of Romance today if you want to come visit!! Our theme this month is Fathers and the men we love.


Monday, June 08, 2009


Please be praying for mother in law Cindy and my husband BJ. We were visiting Cindy Sunday out of town (about 2 hours from where we live) and she and BJ were horse back riding and she had a bad accident. She basically fell from the horse at a full gallop into a tree before hitting the ground. Its very serious, she might not make it. Please pray for full recovery and for God's mercy.

Also please pray for my husband, he was there when it happened, and not only saw the whole thing but had to work on his mother medically as a trained EMT/fireman befoe the helicopter got there to airlift her. His shirt was quite bloody when he left and the emotional trauma of that has to be fierce. I hurt so much for him.

Please also pray for me and my husband as we drive back and forth between the cities over the next few days until we see what will happen. Right now there is not a lot of brain activity and she is unconscious. She has a bruise on her brain, fractures all over her body including her spinal column, a failing right kidney, bruised lungs, etc. We are waiting to hear the rsults of this morning's second CT scan before we know more.

The doctor warned my husband and his sister they might have to make some hard decisions reg. life spport and other isses in the next few days and to be prepared for the worst. But I believe God is bigger than doctor's grave words and I pray He will show off in this situation as He's done countless times over the past.

Thank you for your prayers and support. I'll keep everyone posted but might not be blogging regularly this week, obviously.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Once upon a...whaaat???

Every night while we're settling in with Little Miss's last bottle before bed, I tell her a story. She's just had her bath, is all snuggly in PJ's and her favorite blankie, and we sit in the dark living room while she drinks her bottle and drifts off to sleep. My stories usually begin with "There once was a Little Miss, who was Princess of a land called..." and wing it from there. Some of the stories, depending on how tired I am at the moment, make little if any sense and I can imagine my editor cringing from halfway across the country.

Usually though I try to give the stories a moral value, such as "There once was a Little Miss, who was Princess of a land called Giving..." and then talk about how the townspeople always gave each other gifts, until one day, Mr. Greedy came to town, and everyone turned selfish, until Little Miss Princess realized the reason Mr. Greedy was so greedy was because he'd never been given a gift before. So everyone shared their gifts and then he gave them all back out and shared too.

Not bad for an exhausted working mama, huh?? LOL!

Two nights ago, Little Miss fell asleep before I could even tell her what happened in the Land of Chocolate.

Last night, though, Little Miss didn't fall asleep during her story and I could tell she wanted another one. I said "okay, what about Goldlilocks and the Three Bears?" I started it, then stopped mid-sentence. What kind of moral story is that? Stealing? Breaking and entering? A little girl wandering into a stranger's house? Where are her parents? Why does she not know this is bad? Doesn't she understand the danger?

So I said "Okay, let's do Little Red Riding Hood instead." Then froze again. Talk about a terrifying bedtime story. Little girls, dark woods, mean wolves in disguise - as grandma!!! A trusted friend!! Sheesh.

We seriously need a fresh batch of fairy tales. Humpty Dumpty was just depressing. Rock-A-Bye baby, no thanks!!

Why can't nursery rhymes go more like this?

There once was a Little Miss
Who loved to be hugged and kissed
She cleaned up her toys, didn't try to call boys,
and made her parents life pure bliss.


There once was a little girl
Who loved to spin and twirl
She played all day in her sweet little way
While dressed up in ribbons and curls.

Seriously, Mother Goose. Where's the happiness?

PS - I ended up editing Goldlilocks and the Three Bears to make it child friendly and moral. =)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Got Milk?

I was leaving my house for work this morning, and about a 1/4 mile from our street (on a windy, country highway) I saw two cop cars parked on the top of a sharp curve ahead, lights flashing. I immediately slowed down, assuming there had been a wreck. People take that curve too fast all the time, and I braced myself to see a car in a ditch or against a tree.

No wreck! Just two potbellied sherrifs standing on the side of the highway, scratching their balding heads and pointing at...


Yep. Cows. Sixty of 'em, easy. All milling around the front yard of a house next door to their (open) corral, just feet off the road. Some were grazing, some were walking, some were mooing. They looked thrilled to be free.

The sherrifs, not so thrilled. I couldn't help but laugh at their stricken "what the heck do we do now" expressions!!

Looks like someone's in for an unexpected Thursday round-up...

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Book Signing!

Yesterday, my local Barnes & Noble store invited me to do a book signing for RETURN TO LOVE in July! I'm so excited. I'll be posting more details closer to time for my local friends, but just wanted to celebrate the good news today.

I have an entire month to scheme and plan the details of what I want to bring with me to make it even more fun for my readers. I know free candy is a must, and I'm also considering a themed give-away basket with the email sign-up for my newsletter.

Any other ideas? =)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Happy June!

It's June!

A new month, a new start. Summer is officially beginning - sunshine, popsicles, grass stains, swimsuits, lemonade, warm breezes, and tank tops. Let the fun begin!

What is your favorite part of the summer? What changes for your family?

For us, nothing much will change other than it'll be 101 outside instead of 81. lol Otherwise, work and play will continue as usual. Obviously there is no school in the mix yet, but in a few more years....agh!

But there is a lot of fun stuff to look forward to this summer!!

My first novel with Steeple Hill releases July 1st. Then there's the 4th of July celebration we always play up with fireworks. I'm hoping the potential book signing in New Orleans will work for July or August. (waiting to hear back from then now)

Then let's see, my husband's birthday and good friend Katie's birthday is in early July (and her husband too! big party!)

Then of course, it will be Little Miss' first birthday!! Talking about doing it up big! I'm already planning...heh heh heh. It will have a secret theme you'll find out later =)

What about you guys?

Monday, June 01, 2009


If you work or have worked in an office before you've inevitably heard the "How are you?" - "Fine...for a Monday" exchange that seems to go on every single week.

I have a confession. I really don't mind Mondays.


No, it's true. The day goes by fast being "new" and its nice to get a routine going again, get back into structure from the weekend - especially with a young baby. Weekends can throw off our routine, and while they're certainly fun, its always nice to ease back into the swing of things.

Our weekend was an extra fun one this time. We had a good friend visit from out of town, so I had lots of time with Little Miss while Hubby hung out with his buddy bike riding, fishing, etc.

Then Sunday was family day, so Hubby and I and Little Miss slept in and went to the park with a picnic lunch. We sat under a shade tree and ate sandwiches and cookies and chips and then strolled around the park in the shade. Very relaxing and peaceful! (pics to come!)

What about you? Are you more of a structured person, enjoying your routine? Or more of a flexible, take it as it comes type who prefers the weekend chaos over Monday's structure?

If you're a fellow writer, take it a step further and let's see who is a seat of the pants or a plotter. Does the seat of the pants writer also prefer flexibility and fun chaos to structure? Or vice versa?
Let's take a Monday poll!! =)