Preemie Mama…..Being Real….

In response to Lisa-Jo Baker's beautiful post: It's time to tell the truth about motherhood, I thought I might post some things that, as a preemie mama, I wish had been shared with me. Truth be told, I would love to be able to return to the days when our little man spent 69 days in the NICU after arriving at 27 weeks 2 days and share what hindsight has so lovingly revealed through time.

A few of these things were shared with me by my cousin, who was also a preemie mama, and for that I am eternally grateful. I say that to say this - it cannot hurt to hear the "realness" from more than one person during those days that you just are not sure you can continue down the path that God has chosen for you as a mother to a premature child. This is not meant to be an all inclusive list by any means - just a few things that may help….even if it is just one….

So - here goes:

1. Do NOT get comfortable!
                a. Stats - like heart rate, oxygen levels, blood pressure, everything - can change in an instant - for the better or the worse.
                b. Your baby could be moved to a new pod, bed, etc., while you are away - it could mean your baby is doing better, it could mean that the NICU has a lower or higher head count and need the space in the pod they were in the last time you visited. Roll with it - it will be okay.

2. If the nurses and other NICU staff aren't panicked - it does not help for you to panic.
2b. By the same token - if the nurses and other NICU staff are moving quickly around your child - stay out of their way and ask questions later. They will give you an update when they can - until then - pray and remember to breathe (after all, it will not help if you pass out - that will take the attention they need to devote to your baby and direct it to you….).

3. If you wake up in the middle of the night and wonder how your child is - call. If the NICU nurse is not in the middle of an urgent situation, they will gladly give you an update on your child - even if it is to assure you that your baby is sleeping soundly. If they are not available, be prepared for them to maybe give you an estimate of when you should check back. It is okay to ask - it may just give you the peace of mind you need so you can rest.

4. Rest, rest, rest - and - get more rest…..I know this seems selfish - but really - it isn't. While your child is being cared for in the NICU, it is best for you to rest as much as you possibly can. Now, you should know that my preemie was my first child - so I did not have other little ones at home that needed me to care for them. My point is mainly to say - if you can rest, do so. Worrying in the middle of the night will not change anything related to your baby or the care they are being given while they are in the NICU. However, lack of rest for you could lead to feeling overwhelmed with the updates and information you receive about your baby - which isn't healthy.

5. Know that you will probably not understand 1/2 of the information that you are given regarding your baby and the treatments or care they are being given - and that is OK! Ask questions of the doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, etc. If you still do not understand everything - that is OK! Know that the staff of the NICU are normally the cream-of-the-crop and have studied and cared for premature babies for years. I will say - stay away from search engines to research medical terminology and procedures. If you are like me, your imagination runs wild with the overload of information that can be found on the internet. Playing the what-if game regarding your child and their health is never a good idea.
5b. However, by the time your child "graduates" from the NICU, you may feel that you could go to school and easily become a NICU nurse because you have heard some of the same terminology over and over again and you know more than you ever wanted to know! It is worth noting, though, that no matter how much you think you understand as time goes on - you still aren't the expert when it comes to medical "stuff". You do, however, know your child - so if you notice something is off or different - it is okay to ask or bring it to the attention of the staff. You will be involved in your child's care and ultimately will have the final say on some decisions, but know where the line is drawn.

6. Be as involved in the care of your child as you can be - when you are able to visit (and hopefully that will be often) change diapers if you are able to, take their temperature, assist with bath time, if your baby has graduated to being bottle fed - feed them a bottle, kangaroo care (holding skin-to-skin) as often as the nurses and doctors will allow it, read to your baby often. Always ask the nurses if it is okay for you to assist in these processes - but know that they are happy to see the parents involved in the care of their baby, so, if your baby is ready, the nurses will help you with these tasks until you get the hang of them.

7. There will be noises - alarms, oxygen machines, babies crying, phones ringing, etc., etc., etc., - oh, there will be noises - but - try hard to drown out as much as you can and enjoy the time you have when you visit your child. Cherish each moment and each new milestone, no matter how small - each minute is precious and worth celebrating! Believe me - I am a little OCD when it comes to noises - it is HARD to ignore everything going on around you in the NICU - but it is so worth the effort it takes to enjoy your precious miracle.

8. Don't be afraid to ask the nurses if there is a social worker (or similar position) on staff at the hospital. You want to speak to the social worker to find out if there are any programs that can assist you with care for your baby. I won't go into the options we were given here because they probably vary by state - but know that the social worker is an invaluable resource for preemie parents.

9. Be friendly to the nurses! Get to know them - remember that they are humans, too, and more than likely have spouses and/or kids at home. This means….they have bad days, too! Know that they will have days that they may have had a disagreement with a close friend or family member before they came to work.  They may have a day where their tiny, precious patients have a hard day physically - and that is emotionally and physically draining for them, as well. They want every patient to be healthy and happy, and they want to be able to celebrate milestones with the families of the babies in their care -- but, they know that, unfortunately, sometimes life in the NICU isn't all sunshine and roses. The health of their patients impacts them - good or bad - so, if they aren't as bubbly with you as they were yesterday, or something else seems different- remember they are human.

10. Remember to take one day at a time - remember #1? - don't get comfortable. Take each day as a new day. Celebrate that gram gained today (yes, I said gram), because tomorrow, it and two others could be lost.

11. Trust God and leave it to Him! He knew that your child would be born prematurely. He knows the plan He has for your child. Your worry is not beneficial to anyone. Your plans pale in comparison with His. Know that, good or bad, He will carry you through it all. Give God the glory! He can turn this NICU/preemie test into a testimony!

12. Remember - it is okay to be real. You know the people in your life that you can be real with - they may not have been through what you are going through - but they listen if you need to talk and can cry with you when you just need a good cry. You will need at least of few of those "ugly cries" - you know the kind - throughout your child's stay in the NICU - and it is OK!

13. You will be scared. My son was born at 1 pound 13 ounces and 13 inches long. I was scared!! He was SO little - I felt like if I touched him, he would just fall apart. But, you know what, he didn't. And your child won't either. It is daunting to see your child with tubes, c-pap masks, and everything else that is attached to them, but remember, beneath all of the equipment is your baby. Your precious miracle. Of course, follow doctors nurses orders on touch times, holding, and such - but know that you will not break your child. Preemies may be little - but they pack a lot of fight in their little bodies! It is okay to be scared - but, observe how the nurses interact with your child, and follow their lead if they give the approval - after all, they have tiny patients every day.

14. You will continue to grieve the loss of feeling your baby during the last few days, weeks, or months  of pregnancy. You will continue to wish that those beautiful maternity photos of your friends could be yours. You will continue to wonder if you did something to cause the premature birth of your baby. You will continue to wonder if your child's development is where it should be for his adjusted age. You will continue to wonder if you will ever be able to carry a pregnancy to full term.
you will continue to have all these thoughts and many more…
I wish I could tell you that these thought stop - but, for me - my son is now 17 months actual / 14 months adjusted - and I STILL continue to have these thoughts….and you know what?! It is OK - you are normal for having these thoughts….. (see the following: What Being a Preemie Mom Means)

Just remember to enjoy the little things - celebrate every day and every new accomplishment, no matter how small! Our preemies might be pint sized, but they are still bundles of fight and energy!

(Again, this list is not meant to be all inclusive, and I know that every preemie's experience in the NICU is different. Please know I do not mean to diminish the pain and hurt that many go through with their preemies and in the NICU in any way. I simply write from my experience - for that is all I know how to do.)

What would you be real about as a preemie mama?


Ascension by Stacey Rourke: Launch, Blog Tour Stop, Review, and Giveaway!!

It is finally here! The fourth book of The Gryphon Series by Stacey Rourke!!

Watch the Ascension book trailer:

My Review:

Twists and turns - yes, those are the words I would use to describe the plot of Stacey Rourke’s newest masterpiece. Our hero, Celeste, is faced with gut-wrenching decisions that could turn her against everyone she was chosen by the Gryphon to protect. Throughout the story, I found myself wrestling with the same emotions as Celeste - trying to decide where my allegiances would fall. Mrs. Rourke certainly has a knack for engaging her readers! I had to force myself to take a break during one of the most action-packed scenes because I realized it was 5:30 in the morning and I had not been to sleep! The cliff-hanger ending has me anxiously awaiting the next installment of The Gryphon Series....it cannot arrive fast enough!

The Re-Release of the Gryphon Series includes graphic novel sketches of the characters:


Bat-Bull Demon:

Excerpts from Ascension:

Excerpt 1:

Somewhere between sleep and awake he came to me. The mattress shifted under his weight as he settled in beside me.
Warm breath teased against my ear. “I could ne’er leave you, lovey.”
His wandering hands gripped my waist and rolled me to face him. This warbled land governed by sleep couldn’t conjure his whole essence—too much time had passed for that. Instead it teased me with glimpses of what I’d been missing; silky hair caressing my cheek. Hot kisses traveling down my neck. Emerald eyes filled with an insatiable hunger. The sensual awakening that jolted through me when his mouth found mine.
“I’m always with you,” Caleb whispered against my lips.
I twined my arms around his neck and pulled him closer; a move that garnered a low groan of appreciation. His hands roamed up my arms and encircled my wrists. In a sudden, shockingly violent, move he forced them down against the mattress and pinned me there.
I gaped in confusion as green eyes blinked to sapphire blue. His seductive stare twisted into visible disgust and hatred. Like ink dumped from a bottle, the black drained from Caleb’s hair. The dripping color leaked away to reveal long strawberry blond hair ponytailed at the nape of his neck. Alec. Not the latest version of him currently possessed by a three-hundred-year-old demon, but the Alec I first met whilst rolling a tire. The carefree boy I had started to fall for before fate intervened. Yet the look that darkened his gaze was more murderous than welcoming. I thrashed and bucked beneath him but couldn’t seem to summon one iota of strength. His grip on my wrists tightened to the point of pain.
“Is he worth it?” he hissed in my face. “Is he worth the blood on your hands?”
Crimson red blood bubbled up Alec’s throat. It seeped between his teeth and dribbled down his chin. “Will he still want you when he knows what you’ve done and what it cost?”
Squeezing my eyes shut, I cringed further into the mattress as blood rained down. The warm stickiness, with its pungent rusty smell, dripped on my face and soaked my shirt.
I risked a glance up to see Alec’s lips curl in an evil grin. “Now, how ‘bout a kiss?”
He bowed his head and crammed his blood soaked lips to mine. My muffled scream quickly turned into a gurgled gasp for air as I fought not to drown in this crimson hell.

Excerpt 2:

Blood pooling.
Swirling together to form a detailed map of carnage.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk.” The Countess pursed her full lips in a mock pout. “And to think he was trying to save you. You must feel simply dreadful right now.”
Anger quickened my breath making each word come out a breathless gasp. “Shut … up.”
“Why’s that?” She rested her palms on her ample hips and let her head fall to the side in a flowing curtain of scarlet. “Don’t feel like talking about it? Can’t say that I blame you. Here he was marching over here so gallantly to protect you while you called him names and berated him. That’s evil even by my standards and I make a viable vocation out of this.”
One stride into a forward charge toward certain death, I froze. My shocked heart lurched into an awkward stutter beat. The cause of my surprise? Rowan, rolling to his side and yanking the dagger from his gut. The Countess’s painted lips pulled back in a sneer.
Heels clicked across the floor with sharp snaps as she strode straight for him. “I hate it when people don’t have the courtesy to die the first time you kill them.”
With the stiletto heel of her boot, she pinned Rowan’s wrist to the floor … then stomped. Rowan howled and writhed as blood spurted from his wound. His injured hand loosened around the hilt. Before the blade could clank to the ground, the vile enchantress scooped it up. Flipping it in her hand, she arched back for the death blow.
“Nooooo!!” I channeled everything inside me. Pulling every emotion that ravaged me throughout this god-awful day into my core, I raised both hands and hit her with the full force of my telepathic fury.
The dagger flew from her hand as she pin-wheeled into the darkness.
I rushed to Rowan’s side and eased him to a sitting position. “Row? Rowan?”
It took a minute for his sleepy gaze to find me. Even then his dilated pupils hinted consciousness would be fleeting. In the distance came a soft thud. The Countess must’ve found the other side of this massive hall. My little stunt bought us seconds only.
“Row?” My fingers dug into his shoulders as I attempted to shake him awake. “Can you teleport? I don’t know any other way out of here and we need to go now!”
In place of an answer, his eyes rolled back and his head lulled to the side.
Like rapid-fire gunshots, her heels clicked closer, building around us in an ominous echo.
I slapped Rowan softly once, then a second time with more vigor. “Rowan! Come on! One little poof then you can pass out! I promise! Just get us out of here!”
He woke with a jerk, a protective passion rising on his face. His tensed features sharpened. Turquoise eyes blazed as his injured hand weaved into my hair and pulled me to him. Blood dripped down the back of my neck and dampened my hair, yet pulling away never occurred to me. His lips brushed mine with a tentative question—a plea for acceptance. I hesitated for a fraction of a second before consenting with a resounding mutual urgency. Locked in each other’s embrace, we disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

Get Your Copy of Ascension HERE Today!

About the Author:

Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012.
2012 InD'tale Rone Awards Finalist for Young Adult Teen Romance
Stacey Rourke is the author of the Gryphon Series. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant, drooly dogs. Stacey loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. She is currently hard at work on the continuations of this series as well as other literary projects.

Keep up to date with these links:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: A GG Editing event paid for by Anchor Group Publishing. Giveaway is sponsored by the author who is responsible for the delivery of prize. PAGES OF MAYHEM received no compensation for this post.


Coming Soon!! Ascension by Stacey Rourke!!

Don't miss all that in store for the Blog Tour release of Ascension next week!! It will be EPIC!!


Cover Reveals & Giveaway: Stacey Rourke's Gryphon Series Reissue

Well friends, we some more exciting news! The award winning Gryphon Series from best selling author Stacey Rourke has made some exciting changes. Each book will have all new covers and AMAZING illustrations. But that's not all, today you are getting a sneak peek at the next thrilling book in the series, Ascension!

sacrificecoverredo Embracefrontcover conduitfrontcover



From best selling and award winning author Stacey Rourke comes the heart-pounding continuation of the acclaimed Gryphon Series.

The turning point of the Gryphon saga is at hand …

Battle looms. Three unstoppable forces prepare to clash in a colossal explosion that could wipe Gainesboro off the map. Fate and sacred calling have landed nineteen year old Celeste Garrett in the middle with nowhere to run.

Her trust wavers as she uncovers dark secrets of the Council, powerful enough to test her loyalty and turn her against those she swore to protect. Playing to the longing of her heart, a malevolent enemy uses her weakness against her to form an alliance.

With the trumpets of war about to sound, which side will the Conduit choose, and who will be left standing?



Illustrator Crystal Ord will be bringing some of your favorite Gryphon Series characters to life!

Crystal Smalls Ord is a freelance illustrator and writer who resides in the rainy Pacific Northwest. Her art and stories have appeared in the macabre children's lit magazine, Underneath the Juniper Tree. Last year she illustrated her first children's book, Ethan's Story; My Life with Autism which can be found on Amazon.com. Her art has also appeared in hitRECord.com's musical short, Madamoiselle Noir.

In her free time Crystal plays with her kids, cleans house, teaches music in Sunday School, and lingers in the geekery corner of Pinterest.

Contact her at:

Website: wix.com/fynn47/author-website.com

Facebook: facebook.com/smallsord

The demonic and fantasy elements of the Conduit’s journey will jump off the page thanks to Robert Immings;

In 2000 Robert Immings graduated from the Art Institute of Atlanta with a BFA in graphic design. Since then he’s done work in package design, web development and designed training applications and software interfaces. These days he’s a mild mannered operations technician with an electronic trading firm in Alpharetta Georgia. Earlier this.year he had a chance to enter Sony's "Treasures of Middle Earth" design contest which was a promotion for the hobbit movie. He came in as a runner up. More recently he had the opportunity to do some sketches and collaborate on the cover for Emily Fogel's wonderful fantasy novel Dragon Wars and created the cover for her soon to be released book "Chasing Flames". Right now he’s excited to be working on a collection of illustrations for Stacey Rourke's Gryphon Series.

He’s always interested in illustration and graphic design projects and can be contacted at robertimmings@hotmail.com.

[divider top="0"]

black&whiteimageABOUT STACEY ROURKE

Author of the Laugh-out Loud Gryphon Series and the nonfiction book I'm Not Crazy I'm on Lupron; a Journey Through Infertility. Learn more about Stacey's books at www.staceyrourke.com or diaryofasemi-crazyauthor.blogspot.com. If you are a blogger or reviewer interested in reviewing any of Mrs. Rourke's work please contact Sara O'Connor at Gliterary Girl Media. Thank you for visiting this page!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Flaming DARTS?!

“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;”

 ~Ephesians 6:16

Recently, our church had Kevin Ezell, President of the North American Mission Board, as a guest speaker on Sunday morning. He read the above verse from Ephesians and pointed out that our shield of faith is not to defend ourselves against arrows or swords, but flaming darts. Tiny, flaming darts. 

I don’t know about you, but I had never really thought about that before. We have all probably seen some kind of knight movie where they use shields to defend themselves in battle. Battles against flying arrows, flaming arrows, and swords of other knights. But DARTS?! All I kept thinking about were the darts that my dad had when I was growing up so he could participate in the lunch-time tournaments at work. 

But, to be honest, the more I have thought about this since Mr. Ezell spoke, the more it hits home with me. Darts - tiny - just enough for a pinhole - that is really all it takes for Satan to weasel his way into our minds, hearts, and spirits. I know for me, he LOVES to make me doubt my self worth. Just a tiny dart is all it takes to send me into a downward spiral of depression and darkness. Satan also likes to attack my mind by making me question my friendships and other relationships. He wants me to feel alone - and not only doubt people, but God’s love for me.

God does NOT want that for me - He has equipped me with a shield of faith! Even if some days all I do is use that shield to duck and cover, it is better to USE the shield than to let the darts of Satan hit me like a million tiny missiles. We are given the shield to enter into the daily battle - protecting us from the darts of Satan so we can fill our hearts and minds with the Truth of God’s Word. 

And what is even better?! God says that shield of faith with EXTINGUISH those flaming darts - not make them bounce off and the fire can ignite the ground and still get to me. The shield will make the doubts that Satan tries to get into my mind go up in smoke! I don’t know about you, but that sounds like Victory in Jesus to me!!

I don’t always remember this amazing truth, but I am learning every day that I have to be very observant, guard my heart and mind, and use the tools that God has equipped me with to defend against the daily darts that come against me!


Book Blast & Giveaway: Sidekick Chronicles Vol II: A Pirate's Tale by Stacey Rourke

Who needs a little more Rowan?

Stacey Rourke presents a Gryphon series novella

The call of the sea.

The promise of adventure.

For Rowan Wade, the need to return to his swashbuckling ways is enough to betray the only woman he’s cared for in over three hundred years.

With vengeance in his heart, he’s determined to exact his revenge on those that mutinied against his father. 

The arrival of an unlikely ally challenges Rowan’s plans. Her goal isn’t to stop him, but to lead him on a journey of self-discovery to unravel the mysteries of the twisted path that led him to the Dark Army.

Will it be enough to make the pirate shift course? Or will he be lost forever in a rum-induced haze? Hoist ye colors and prepare to set sail with the Gryphon Series’ favorite pirate!

My Review:

Stacey Rourke has done it again! This novella gives a glimpse into the past of the Gryphon Series’ dark, hunky pirate. Rowan Wade has an interesting history that shaped and haunted him some three centuries. He yearned to return to the sea and exact revenge against those that changed his life forever, but a visit from a counsel member might change his heart. In this tale, secrets of Rowan’s dark past are revealed that changed how I felt about the sarcastic, hard-hearted pirate and his betrayal of Celeste in previous books. However, in the classic cliff-hanger style that is Stacey Rourke, I was left craving the next edition of The Gryphon Series to find out what happens to Rowan and The Conduit on their next quest.

Buy A Pirate's Tale at Amazon 

Chat with Stacey Rourke
Friday, July 19 at 2 pm
Twitter #PiratesTale

July 19-August 4

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012.
2012 InD'tale Rone Awards Finalist for Young Adult Teen Romance
Stacey Rourke is the author of the Gryphon Series. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant, drooly dogs. Stacey loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. She is currently hard at work on the continuations of this series as well as other literary projects.
Keep up to date with these links

A GWR Publicity event paid for by Anchor Group Publishing. Giveaway is sponsored by the author who is responsible for the delivery of prize. PAGES OF MAYHEM received no compensation for this post.


Review & Giveaway: Virtue Training Bible

“Patience is a Virtue”...I cannot tell you how many times in my life that I have heard, or said, this phrase. Whether from my parents or other family and friends, this phrase seems to be ingrained in my head; so much so that now I repeat it to my son! I know that this phrase is biblically based, but, normally, a Bible verse does not accompany this “slogan”....until now!! I am SO excited to be armed with the Virtue Training Bible (VTB) in my journey of raising a child. Each of the 43 topics included in the VTB has multiple scripture references that can be used in training up a child, and personal Bible study, in the ways of living a virtuous life in Christ. I love the fact that every virtue, or other quality that aids in a virtuous life, has a passage included where a character in the Bible displays the virtue in their life. These examples from real people can help my son learn how to apply the other verses in his life, too. I look forward to using the VTB in my personal Bible study, as well. My son may only be one, but I know that he is like a sponge - absorbing everything he sees. With the help of the VTB, I can help ensure that he is absorbing biblical virtues and characteristics! I know that I am not perfect and will not display every virtue all the time, but God is still working on me - and He can use the VTB to remind me of what I should be doing!

You can learn more about the topics included in the VTB, and how to equip your household with this vital tool by visiting the website: http://www.virtuetrainingbible.com

NOW, the exciting part........a GIVEAWAY!!
Mindy Dunn, the creator of the VTB, has graciously agreed to sponsor a giveaway of a VTB Chart Set to my readers!! Enter below via Rafflecopter! Winner will be contacted via e-mail.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Book Blast: I'm Not Crazy, I'm on Lupron by Stacey Rourke

According to CDC, infertility effects 11% of women in the US. Author Stacey Rourke shares her own journey in her new book:

Basal body temperatures. Hormone injections. Invasive procedures - that leave no room for modesty. Tips on “effective positions” from well-meaning grandparents. 

When the natural way fails to work these are all added to the so called “fun” process of making a baby. Walk this rocky path to motherhood with author Stacey Rourke as she openly and honestly shares every good, bad, and awkward step of her three-year long journey. Using humor to break through the perils of infertility, she gives the lowdown on all the strange, embarrassing, and heartbreaking aspects. Stacey guides us through an unforgettable path that ends with a kid on each hip and hope for all those suffering with infertility. 

BONUS MATERIAL: “Morsels of Hope”
Success Stories from Infertility Survivors

Buy I'm Not Crazy, I'm on Lupron: A Journey Through Infertility at Amazon and B&N

If you are facing your own struggles, Stacey wants you to know you aren't alone.

Chat with Stacey Rourke
Wednesday, July 3 at 11:00 am eastern
Twitter: #Infertility

Enter the giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more information about infertility visit these sites:
Resolve: The National Infertility Association - www.resolve.org
International Council on Infertility Information – www.inciid.org
American Fertility Assoc. -  www.theafa.org

Disclosure: A GWR Publicity event paid for by Anchor Group Publishing. Giveaway is sponsored by the author who is responsible for the delivery of prizes. PAGES OF MAYHEM received no compensation for this post.


if you want to make God laugh...

....say/sing it with me "tell Him your plans"....

One of my life passages is Jeremiah 29:11-14, which says: "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile."

I think one of the biggest things that people stress about is plans: plans for future, for children, for day to day activities, etc. In Jeremiah, God declares that He knows the plans He has for us. I have never really thought about the saying "If you want to make God laugh tell Him your plans" in relation to Jeremiah 29:11. He already has plans for our life - so why do we allow ourselves to stress about making those plans for ourselves? God says clearly, that when we seek Him with all our hearts, we will find Him! So, God laughs when we try to take the planning of our lives into our own hands because He has the Master Plan.

I cannot say that I have an "easy" time not planning - those that know me know how schedule, planning, and to-do list oriented I am. And I cannot say that I am stressed about it all the time - but I do know that I need to get better about not taking so much time to plan every little detail of my life out, and spend more time at the feet of Jesus and in His word.

{kind of a side note: While I was still a member of the work force, I worked in a small office with about 8 people. We had an open floor plan and there were only 2 men. So, you can imagine that, even on a good day, we sometimes would be annoyed with each other, or have a hard time concentrating in general on our tasks. I found myself stressing out daily because I couldn't concentrate on my tasks and my to-do list for the day because I could hear every keyboard clicking away at each of the desks and hear every detail of every phone conversation. For those of you who don't know me well, I graduated college with a degree in American Sign Language interpreting - so, part of my training was to hear everything going on around me so I could accurately interpret for the person I was serving. Therefore, noises easily distract me and make my head spin to the point of being overwhelming at times. I have the ability sometimes to shut this "extra sensitive" hearing off, but more often than not, while I was working, I would be overwhelmed. So - I came up with an acronym to help me during those "flipping out" moments.}

"When face with STRESS remember to breathe!!"
Satan Tries to Ruin Eternal-minded Security & Sanity
Believe that the Redeemer Endured All, so Trust Him for Endurance

Satan tries to distract us from our true focus by making us think we have to plan our life down to the minute details. However, our true focus needs to be serving Jesus by loving and serving others around us. This journey can be TOUGH - we stress out and become frazzled, and, therefore, less effective in the roles that Jesus has called us to. Again, I cannot say that I am and expert at this by any stretch of the imagination, but I had an epiphany, so I thought I would share. Maybe you have thought about all of this before, so it is a reminder to you. Maybe this is a new perspective for you on something that has been on your mind or that you have been stressing out about. Either way, I hope that it will make a difference to someone.

Until next time - remember to breathe!


sippy cup woes

I am beginning to think that I may lose my mind before my little man decides he will take his milk out of a sippy cup! I have to remind myself that, along with trying to transition to a sippy cup, his tummy is trying to adjust to whole milk and table food. He will take his milk out of a sippy cup if he is eating in his high chair, but only if we offer it to him after he has had several bites of food. However, when he is finished with his meal, and we move to the couch (the transition we would make after every meal of baby food for him to take his bottle), he refuses to finish his milk out of a sippy cup. He cries and cries and cries! If I put the milk in a bottle, it disappears like he has been thirsty for hours! But even then, he would prefer warmed milk to cold milk. He will drink water and juice from a sippy cup while playing in the living room without issues. My little man may just drive me to the crazy house. 
On the flip side - I have to remember that each and every day he is changing, growing, and learning new things. I also have to remember that I have trouble with change, so, why wouldn't my little man have trouble with change. In his little mind, transition from high chair to couch means he will get a warm bottle of formula - not a cold sippy cup of whole milk. Objection to change without warning begins EARLY! With repetition,  and patience on my part, he will eventually take his cold milk out of a sippy cup. In the mean time, I need to slow down, breathe, and enjoy my snuggle time!


Cover Reveal: Sidekick Chronicles Volume II: A Pirate's Tale

The call of the sea.

The promise of adventure.

For Rowan Wade, the need to return to his swashbuckling ways is enough to betray the 

only woman he’s cared for in over three hundred years.

With vengeance in his heart, he’s determined to exact his revenge on those that mutinied 

against his father.

The arrival of an unlikely ally challenges Rowan’s plans. Her goal isn't to stop him, but to 

lead him on a journey of self-discovery to unravel the mysteries of the twisted path that led 

him to the Dark Army.

Will it be enough to make the pirate shift course? Or will he be lost forever in a rum-

induced haze? Hoist ye colors and prepare to set sail with the Gryphon Series’ favorite 


What people are saying about the series
"The series in a whole is quite amazing. It leaves you breathless with all the cliffhangers, hot sexy men, and the courageous heroine! 
Dying for more while agonizing over when the next book come out.
~ M. Abbott

" The Gryphon series Is packed with supernatural creatures, action, romance and comedy. The characters are so awesome, you will want to meet them for real. 
These books hooked me and my non reading teenagers and won't let go!
~H. Alexander'

"Oh My Gryphon! This series is great and I love how Stacey Rourke takes her humor and sassiness and brings it to the next level!"
 ~M. Williams

"The first that I was actually able to get my teen-aged daughter to read! She then came back begging me to grab her the whole series!
Sure to make you LOL time and time again, so be warned of where you read!"
~ Phenomenal Reviews

Find her books
All of her books are currently only $0.99
The Conduit
About The Author

Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012.
2012 InD'tale Rone Awards Finalist for Young Adult Teen Romance
Stacey Rourke is the author of the Gryphon Series. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant, drooly dogs. Stacey loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. She is currently hard at work on the continuations of this series as well as other literary projects.
Keep up to date with these links

a Rafflecopter giveaway


From time to time, I will "feature" businesses owned by people that I know; we should all support small business & entrepreneurs.

If you, or someone you know is looking for employment, and you are struggling with writing your resume or need help with interview skills, turn to InterviewSnob!

Gala Jackson is my former college roommate. She is an exceptionally talented professional.

Visit her website for more information:   http://www.interviewsnob.com

here i go....

I have been contemplating starting a blog for a long, long time. I think about topic ideas: books, acronyms I have created, scriptures that inspire me, projects I have completed, etc., etc., etc. Finally, I decided, it is my blog, I can post about all those things and more! So, here goes. No promises will be made about how often I will post, but I can tell you that it will definitely be a plethora of topics - hence the name, pages of mayhem!