Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Significance on a Wintery Wednesday Morning

Good morning, friends.

It's a biting 27 degrees here this morning. Peyton and I are the only two who have managed to crawl out from from the big cozy nest of blankets on our beds to brave the chill downstairs. Peyton is eating breakfast and contentedly watching PBS Kids, and I'm sitting down for a quick rendezvous with my computer before the rest of my world wakes up.

This morning I have a simple thought: What do I want to make significant today?

You see, on a typical day surprisingly too many things become "significant" in my mind. Unfortunately, almost none of them are things that I should attach significance to.

signif⋅i⋅cant- adjective. important, of consequence.

So on this chilly Wednesday morning, as this year nears its segue into the next, I commit to being intentional about where I attribute significance in my life.

Will you join me?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Plans Change...Mountains to Move

Do you ever have those moments/days/weeks/seasons when your words are few, but you still somehow feel the need to say something? Anything. Every now and then my fingers just want to dance their way across the keyboard and write their own story. Come what may, they need to flit and flutter and plink and plunk and create a masterpiece out of the silence.

Tonight I spent some time looking at recent pictures of pudgy pink newborns and giggling bouncy toddlers who fill up the hearts and homes of many of my friends. I found myself so excited for them-- and so sad for myself.

A *very* small handful of you know that Jeremy and I very seriously and prayerfully considered a vasectomy reversal earlier this year. We knew that God was calling us to open our hearts and grow our family, so we thought that this was the best and most affordable option for us. We even went in for the consultation and had the procedure scheduled.

About three weeks before the appointment, I knew that we needed to cancel. My spirit was keenly aware of what my mind wasn't-- that our lives were about to be turned upside down and that we needed to wait.

Waiting is tough. Especially when you aren't 100% sure what you're waiting for. But I can tell you one thing, the wait is always always worth it.

As we've danced around this topic, the conclusion that we've come to is that we absolutely love being parents. Love it. Love. It. (Did I mention that we love it?) What's more is that there are 147 MILLION orphans who desperately need and want parents to love them. A daddy to tuck them in at night. A mommy to feed them until their bellies are full. A brother to pray over them. A sister to sing and giggle and dance with...and as much as they need me, I know that I need them too.

Our idea of increasing our family biologically is off the table. Something about it just feels off now-- not wrong, just not the best plan for us. Jeremy and I don't have any idea how or when we can ever begin to look at adoption-- the mountain seems too steep, but I know that He loves those lost little ones out there enough to bring them home to us when the time is just right. Until then, we'll keep on praying, believing and loving them from across the world.

By the way, the only thing Peyton asked Santa for this year was one G.I. Joe-- and gifts for all of the orphan boys and girls all over the world. Tears fell down my face when he shared his Christmas wish to Santa Clause. What a beautiful and merciful heart. I'm so thankful.

Monday, December 14, 2009

News...without *too* much news...

Aren't you curious now?

Without further ado, I wanted to give you all a quick update on Jeremy's job search.

Tomorrow at 1:30pm, Jeremy has a phone interview. Please pray that if doors are supposed to open that they will. Moreover, if this is not the best opportunity for our family, then our prayer is that the Lord clearly and swiftly shuts the door.

I'm sorry to leave things on a bit of a cryptic note, but that is the most important detail at the moment. I'll share more as soon as I know more.

Thank you, thank you, thank you wonderful friends! Jeremy and I absolutely feel your prayers.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Chirp, Chirp...oh, wait...umm... (cough, cough)

Tweet. Tweet. Tuh-weet!

Ahh, that's better!

Do you tweet? If so, how do you like it? I created a Twitter account about 9 months or so ago and I haven't done ANYTHING with it, but today I decided to take the plunge after I saw a tweet that I wanted to re-tweet. (Whoa, I feel like I'm speaking some alien cyborg language. My head is spinning. Is yours?) Nevertheless, I successfully did it!

I downloaded TweetDeck to help synch Facebook and Twitter! I would love any Twitter, TweetDeck or Facebook tips, tricks or sanity-saving solutions to keep my social-networking sites organized.

Wanna tweet with me? Follow me here! Let's do this thing. It always helps to have moral support.

I knew I'd have to hop on board the train at some point if I wanted to stay connected to the world. That day has officially arrived.

To that I say, "tweet-tweet!"

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Promises in the ruins

I've started this post once already, but I had to stop and literally draft an outline to keep my brain from taking all sorts of bunny trails that would leave your mind reeling from the pandemonium that was 2009 for the Smith family. That was Sunday night. It's now Wednesday (almost Thursday) and plenty of words have spun around in my head that I really want to share, but my heart doesn't know just where to start.

The "beginning" is the logical response, right? But, where exactly the beginning begins, I'm still not sure. So tonight I'll share enough to bring you in to the here-and-now. In time, with love and a warm mug of hot cocoa by my side, the rest of the details will sift themselves into the crevices of our story.

Jeremy and I are at a crossroads in our life. It began in December 2008. We agreed just before Christmas last year to make a concerted effort to slowly dig our way out of debt. Step 1: Put our house on the market at the beginning of the year. And that's how it started. Simple. Easy. But that isn't quite how the story goes.

On January 2, 2009, I drove a beautiful young friend/student down to Garden Valley, TX so that she could begin an internship with Teen Mania Ministries. Some of you may know that Jeremy and I met back in 2000 when we interned for TMM as well (not that its pertinent to the story at hand). Anyway... As we were driving along TX-37 somewhere between Mt.Vernon and Mineola, I rolled down the window and as sunshine poured over me, I felt God breathe new life into my spirit.

I spent sweet precious time with Him on that trip. He spoke little, but promised much. It was a secret rendezvous with my Lover as He sang love songs over me. I came home revived, excited and ready for all that was surely just around the corner. My heart knew what my head did not.

And it looked as if plenty were about to happen: writing, selling our home, a little bit of side work for me, passing the baton and stepping down from student leadership, adding children to our family, writing some big checks to debtors...and more. But little by little, nothing and everything crashed into each other throughout the passing months with deafening silence and paralyzing emptiness.

Through a series of unscrupulous practices on the part of his management with Abbott, Jeremy's employment was terminated at the very beginning of August. Honestly, we were both flooded with relief and almost giddy with excitement for new doors to open. We didn't share with very many people what was going on, simply because we didn't have answers and we were confident that the tapestry God was weaving in our lives would be ready for display in due time.

Then, only three short weeks after he lost his job, Jeremy received a call and got an offer with another position in contract pharmaceutical sales that he hadn't even applied for-- right here in Lafayette. It's obvious that every single step of this process has been "worked together for the good" by our Daddy who takes incredible care of each minute detail of our lives, but we knew very clearly that this new opportunity was in no way the destination of the journey that we started upon last January. It was provision. And for that, we've been humbly grateful.

Fast forward to last Friday. Pharma had a conference call (for which Pharma companies are infamous) and the topic of said call: displacement. Displacement=Job loss. Again.

For those of you doing quick math, that is 2 job losses in 4 months.

At this very moment, I can say that it feels like opportunity coupled with a swirl of hope and excitement. Almost a sweet relief. But this time around, it's also filled with anxiety. Not anxiety over bills (because God knows we have needs that only He can cover), but anxiety over somehow missing His best for our family in the name of responsibility and wisdom.

Just this evening I read in My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers, "It is the things that are right and noble and good from the natural stand point that keep us back from God's best. To discern that natural virtues antagonize surrender to God, is to bring our soul into the centre of its greatest battle. Very few of us debate with the sordid and evil and wrong, but we do debate with the good. It is the good that hates the best, and the higher up you get in the scale of the natural virtues, the more intense is the opposition to Jesus Christ."

So tonight my reason, my prayer and my surrender for sharing this with you is to ask you to pray for us. I have full assurance that He loves us more than any of you could ever love us. We desperately need clarity, direction, open doors, discernment and laser focus right now. The house (still ours), more children (natural or adopted), writing, conquering debt...are all on pause for the moment. That's ok. We've learned immeasurable truth this year and we've felt our heartbeat as a family conform more to the heartbeat of God. Isn't that the most important blessing of any journey that we take with the Lord?

How to walk it out physically? Where to BeChange.LiveLove? We don't know. But we pray that we see some tangible answers (preferably) soon.
For now, I'm clinging to the promises that He spoke to me under the warm Texas sun-- promises that the ruins of our plans are simply the beginning of His.

(And for the record, I didn't consult the please have much grace for this tired brain-numbed blogger.)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Platitudes and Gratitude

I'm participating in a little Facebook challenge to post something or someone that I am thankful for throughout "Thirty Days of Thanksgiving" this November.

Easy-peasy, right?

I would follow through on that set-up and say, "WRONG," but well, actually it is pretty simple-- on the surface.

Cutting through platitudes and digging into the places of my heart that hold the deepest gratitude is the tough part of the assignment. I find myself not wanting to type what's expected, but rather desiring to reveal unknown pieces of my heart, hidden by time and distance or silenced by superficiality. But, I want to share more than what floats on the surface. Remember, "..deep calls unto deep..." (Psalm 42:7).

Having a forum to share our gratefulness is cathartic. It's difficult for me to stop at one thing, person or idea each day-- so I may not. I have a feeling that after November comes-and-goes, I will have plenty left inside my soul to expose.

Don't be satisfied with delivering platitudes; share gratitude.

Gratitude conveys love.

BeChange. LiveLove.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I still can't wrap my brain around this thing called "blogging." Maybe it's because I'm comfortable with concrete black-and-white, all-or-nothing, do-or-die commitments to goals and ideas that that look good on paper. The wishy-washy, back-and-forth, try-and-fail way that actually depicts everyday life leaves me feeling like I've fallen short. And if I feel like I've fallen short, then why in the world would I want to put it all out there for everyone to know? Hmm...

But, you see, I love feeling connected. Connected by passions, commonalities, goals and even *gulp* failures. When I read your blogs, I feel connected to you. So perhaps, regardless of the content, and looking past my shortcomings, you might just feel a little bit more connected to me if I blogged too. So, for me-- and, for you, I'll give it another shot. Just have some grace, please. It probably won't be my last time falling off the horse. (Next time, just prod me like cowboys poke cattle. I think it'll work. Ask Pioneer Woman, she'd know.)

My heart is growing and changing and evolving in ways that I haven't been able to articulate yet. But below are just a few things that stir me up and make me smile (or cry). I'll try to touch on them all at some point.

Orphans and International Adoption
Debt & Student Loans
Writing and Research

Disney World
The Church

Weird combo, huh? True though. I don't even like how disjointed that list is, but it'll do because it's honest. (Honesty and I might have to negotiate a little to make this union work in the future.) As for now, I'm off to read The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer.

Question of the day: If you're a homeschooling mommy, what method has "clicked" for your family and why?

Discuss amongst yourselves. Not really, please discuss here! ;)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pico De Gallo *is* good! Who knew?!

So which of you kept the secret of pico de gallo from me all my life? I thought I HATED it until this past year when Chili's (yes, as in the restaurant) opened my eyes to a whole new world of flavor. Think pico on Chicken Enchilada soup, quesadillas, tacos, etc. I'm eternally indebted. As my thank-you gift to the world, I'm passing along my own tribute recipe to Mr. De Gallo. Enjoy (and if you don't, pretend that I'm not the one who made up this recipe...thanks)!

4 Fresh Tomatoes (seeded)--thank you Nana and Papa for gardening
1/2 White or yellow onion-- shoot, use a purple one if you're feeling sassy
1 Fresh jalapeno (seeded if you aren't into setting your mouth on fire) or a few teaspoons from a jar if that's your most valiant effort
Fresh Cilantro (to taste- or omit if you're like me and think that it tastes like metal-- although I've made up with cilantro in recent days as well. I included it in tonight's little pico party...)
3 Tablespoons of Lime Juice
1 Teaspoon of Kosher Salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Throw all of the above in a food processor and pulse 8ish times, drain off excess liquid and enjoy! That's it...really.

*The food processor makes it look a little rugged and, well, haphazard. If you want it to look a little more neat and tidy, chop up all veggies on your own and mix up in a bowl. I assume that you would end up with significantly less liquid this way too. I'll try that next. Tonight was all about convenience. *

Side note: Please forgive all photos. I'm now officially accepting donations for a new camera and Adobe Photoshop. (no, no...not really... because we all know that I'm absolutely going to win one from The Pioneer Woman soon.) ;) Speaking of Ree, doesn't this pico recipe make you want to try this?! Let's all try it soon and reconvene to discuss. Ready, set...go!
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Saturday, September 5, 2009


Sweet, sweet peace.

I just went in to give Parker one last night kiss (but since I grabbed the camera and ran downstairs to blog it, I'll most definitely be sneaking in one more time before I finally retire), and this is what I found. She's all zonked out. Not a care in the world. BOTH of her silky "night-night's," her Tinkerbell blanket, her Tinkerbell Minnie Mouse, her HIDEOUS kitty-cat pillow, Snuggle-pup and my old "Herself the Elf" sleeping bag are within reach, and all is right.

She's 2.5 years old now. Time flies. I couldn't be more in love with my little Ragamuffin Princess. Tonight she started doing forward rolls on her own. She's *finally* talking! She loves butterfly kisses and singing "This Little Piggy" with her daddy. I could go on, but my prose is *seriously* lacking tonight, so I'll spare us all.

God, please don't let the days pass too quickly. My heart can't take it. Thank You for every moment and memory with Parker.
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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fair weather blogger

Hi. My name is Kirsten. I *am* a fair-weather blogger, and I need help.

Really, I just need to get my blogging fingers busy even when I'm not "feeling" like it. It's probably a great practice in self-discipline. Speaking of...

My first three weeks of trying to part "weighs" with Chubby were somewhat of a failure. BUT when I stepped on the scale at Weigh and Pray this week I was somehow down 2lbs. Whoot whoot-- now, I had actually expected an initial loss of about 6-8lbs by now (seeing as the first week is usually a biggie followed by a slow-and-steady loss after that), but considering my serious lack of initial commitment, I'm thrilled.

I've finally broken down and found a very gently used elliptical machine on Craigslist. I sold our Flip (which I wasn't using) and turned around and bought the machine. I was an elliptical addict when I used to go to the gym, but I've resignedly admitted that getting to a gym simply isn't a convenient use of my time or our family finances. Plus, I *love* working out during the kids afternoon naps! The home machine does a fantastic job, it just doesn't give me as much information as the fancy-schmancy one at the gym did.

I'm two days into it at 30 minutes per day. It's probably time to get back to the Shred too. That's a tall order. Maybe by the end of summer I'll be swimsuit ready-- just in time for winter. The irony is beautiful.

Over and out.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Commercial Mania

I just walked into the bathroom to find Peyton standing on his stool trying to get his toothpaste on the brush. It wasn't coming out easily, so I told him that we need to squeeze from the bottom of the tube, to which he replied, "I told you we needed to buy TouchAndBrush! It makes things soooo much easier!"

Thank you, commercials.

This follows weeks of him telling me about how we need Resolve Deep Clean for our carpet, Bendaroos for his sheer enjoyment, Snuggies to keep him warm at breakfast, etc. Nice.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Weighing, Praying and Shredding the Pounds

1 Corinthians 9:26-27 (The Message) "I don't know about you, but I'm running hard for the finish line. I'm giving it everything I've got. No sloppy living for me! I'm staying alert and in top condition. I'm not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself."

Jeremy and I decided to take the kiddos out to a couple of different parks Sunday afternoon because the weather was so amazing! I was having fun looking at all the cute-patootie shots that we got of the kiddos...

Then, I stumbled upon this one...

For the love of chubby! Argh!


Chubby and I parted ways back in April 2004. I had managed to loose all thirty-ish pounds that I had put on during college with the help of Weight Watchers online. In an ironic twist-of-fate, that very same month, Jeremy and I found out that we were expecting Peyton.

After Peyton was born, I almost made it back again-- and then came Parker. ;) Now, none of this is their fault. I blame no babies. I have plenty of cute lil mommy friends who bounce right back from baby ( know who you are). My flab has no one to blame except for me and, of course...trail mix. Let me tell you about trail mix in a nutshell. (Nutshell/trail mix. HA!)

I started back on WW online around February of last year. By the end of March 2008, I was doing great and making super progress. Then, on Memorial Day weekend, we went camping with some friends. I made a bag of trail mix. I let myself become a slave to the trail mix. And that, my online friends, is how it all went downhill. One bag of trail mix, a weekend away from my computer, and a false sense of self-assurance and I fell off the wagon.

So, here I am, 10lbs heavier than I was this time last year. But, by the grace of God-- literally, Chubby is not here to stay. I've got three, no FOUR, things on my side this time:

1. God
2. Weigh and Pray group at Elston Family Church
3. Blog accountability
4. Jillian Michaels-- I'm shredding away the pudge!

I took some grossly unflattering pictures a few minutes ago when I finished up day #3 of the "30 Day Shred." They were actually so grotesque that I decided not to post quite yet. I might get up the chutzpah to do it a little later. (Has anyone else actually notices how during the "lose weight" stage of working out that your skin looks flabbier than when you haven't kicked its tail?!)

Expect some more posts with rants, raves, tips and tricks about weight loss, working out and just how to make your body your slave. I'm so thankful that I'm not on this journey alone. Love you all!!! ~K

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Broccoli-Cheese Soup: Eat At Your Own Risk

2 bunches broccoli, cut into florets
1/2 cup salted butter
1/2 lg white onion, diced
1/2 cup flour
2 cups half-and-half (feel free to substitute fat free or milk or any combination- your arteries will thank you!)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (mild or sharp)
2 cups of chicken broth or stock
Velveeta Cheese
kosher salt

1. Cook (steam) broccoli until easily pierced with a fork and drain (go ahead and puree about 1/3-1/2 of the broccoli with a fork or in a food processor)
2. Sautee onions in butter until tender and transparent
3. Sprinkle in the flour and stir constantly for 5 minutes
4. Add half-and-half (or milk) slowly, stirring constantly
5. Stir in grated cheese until smooth
6. Slowly incorporate chicken broth into sauce
7. Add Velveeta to taste *I typically add 4-6 oz. You can omit if you prefer, but the Velveeta gives it just a touch creamier texture
8. Stir in pureed broccoli
9. Cut up the remaining pieces to the size of your preference and add to soup
10. Simmer 15 minutes stirring often

Note: I served this to friends BURNT once. It wasn't nearly as good. Make sure that you stir *OFTEN*-- I cannot overemphasize STIR OFTEN and keep the heat on a medium low setting after the onions are sauteed.

Serve with homemade garlic bread from a french baguette-- and don't skimp on the garlic. Bon appetite!

*I accept no responsibility for any potential ill-effects*

Friday, May 1, 2009

Vegetables: Love'em or Hate'em They're Here to Stay

"I give whatever grows out of the ground for food." Genesis 1:29 (MSG)

Throughout my entire life I have had a vehement disdain for anything resembling a vegetable. Growing up, I sat at the dinner table many nights crying as I tried to choke down a pea. It should not have been difficult. My parents' rule was that I had to eat the same number of vegetables as my age. 8-years-old = 8 peas. Easy peasy-- Get it?! (I crack myself up!) No really, for me it was pure torture. I cried and cried, and I never did learn to appreciate veggies.

Fast forward 28 years. I am desperately trying to bury the proverbial green hatchet. In a salute to broccoli, I made this delicious broccoli cheese soup for dinner last night. It was so yummy that it was all I ate. I forgave broccoli. With mercy oozing out of my soul, I even considered that peas and I just might reach a truce soon...if it weren't for this:


I went up to my bedroom writhing in frustrating, annoying, indescribable pain. It was worse than natural labor. I had no idea what was happening to my insides. Surely my appendix didn't just burst. Right?All I knew is that I was pleading with God to make it stop. After clenching my teeth for what seemed like an eternity, I finally fell fast asleep. And when I woke up, it dawned on me.

Broccoli = Gas

Gross. Dirty, dirty trick. See what I get for trying to be nutritionally responsible (please ignore the cheese and other fatty goodness included the photographed soup)?

I'll keep trying. Broccoli will not defeat me. I'll beat this body and make it my slave. And one of these days, vegetables won't make me sick anymore. Literally.

Please share any hints, tips or tricks that you know to help me turn my taste buds green!(Figuratively, of course.)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Drumroll Please...

Oh, wait...I didn't tell anyone that I was starting a new blog. Hrm. I suppose that means that I should forgo the grandiose introduction. Or not. Maybe a big hoopla sort of blog inauguration is like a new store's "Grand Opening Extravaganza!" Or not.

That reminds me of one time, back when I was young, single and dreaming of a high-falutin' career back while I was still living in Dallas, Texas, a Chipotle had a huge "grand opening." They gave away free beer and burritos. At least that's what a trendy co-worker of mine told me (who, incidentally, *always* made it to the en vogue hang-outs. And, ironically, the hot-spot du jour of that evening happened to be a strip mall Chipoltle. Go figure. I digress...I do that religiously.). I didn't go. None-the-less, whenever I think of a grand opening, I think about a crowded Chipotle filled with loud tipsy co-eds all trying to out-cute the others. Eww. I get hives just imagining it. I'm glad that I stayed home.

Which segues nicely into the very simple reason that this blog is titled "A Homespun Heart." I used to be quite the social butterfly (middle school-- don't knock it! I'm sure that all you Shawnee friends remember Comet's games, movies like "The Cutting Edge," putt-putt, etc. We were some socially savvy junior highers...please throw me a bone and comment if you both read this AND remember the good'ol days)-- and from there my social impetus has been pretty much downhill. I'll spare you the details.

Suffice it to say: I got married. Had a baby. Tried to work at an office. Tried to work from home. Had another baby. Tried to go back to work again. BUT, my heart just couldn't push past the front door of my home. All I wanted, all my heart must've ever wanted, was to wrap myself up in this cozy life that God has lined out. When I try to wriggle my way out of it, it sucks me back in like a giant black hole. So, alas, my heart is intricately interwoven with my home and everyone within it. I wouldn't change a single thing.

I've been a little bit gun shy about starting another blog, so let me lay out my disclaimer so that I don't feel the urge to go back into blog-hiding.

This blog is simply a place for me to share my heart and to open up my home. We were not all created equal. We all have differing ideas about what is best for our families-- and *that* is an awesome thing! Let's keep it that way...something to be celebrated rather than a point to be scrutinized. My hope is that you will always leave my blog encouraged, never condemned or dejected!

Love Jesus. Love people. Simple.

I'm signing off now, but I'll be back...pinky promise. (Unless you don't heed the disclaimer, in which case, I'm back to hiding from all future blogging activities. For a while, anyway!)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Coming Soon...

I'm working on getting this blog up and running. In the meantime, if you want to learn a little bit more about me, feel free to visit my other blog at