Saturday, December 18, 2010


It seems to be the season for miracles...right? The miracle of Christ's birth, people giving generously to those in need, and snow in Tennessee. Well, not exactly a miracle but unusual given that most of our snow comes in January and February. We are getting excited that we might have a white Christmas for the first time since 2004 when we lived in Germany - that would be cool!

Even better in the miracle department was the vast improvement in Vince's dad's health. For two weeks he laid in an ICU after suffering a heart attack unable to clearly communicate. His organs began to battle infections and shut down. He had pneumonia in his lungs, a kidney that stopped working, an infection in his liver and a pancreas that forced him to go on a feeding tube. It was grim. I believe in the power of prayer - and that man was on every prayer line I know of plus the multitudes of family and friends who prayed privately for him. Vince cried at his bedside unable to see this strong man, a hero to him, suffer in pain. After a week by his side, he journeyed back to Tennessee bracing for the worst. The next morning he woke to a phone call from his father. He woke up that morning uttering the words "God is great"! It was the first sense he had made all week --- he realized he had been saved! I don't know what constitutes an "actual miracle" but this was the miracle we had prayed for as a family. Alleluia!

Although he has much recovering to do, he is sitting up, talking and even stood up. We are thankful and blessed to have been part of the season of miracles in this way. We love him and hope he continues to receive blessings and healing!

I hope each one of you experiences a miracle of your own this season!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Problems with Peace

Today was just one of those days when I didn't feel much like a success. Not as a mom. Not as a wife. Not as a friend or as a business owner. I just felt like a big fat failure. I hate days like these and I spent quite a bit of time alone today trying to figure out why I feel so ..... YUCK. I believe that we are attacked on a spiritual level and this is a good way for the enemy to bring fear into our hearts instead of the truth and light, hope and promise that this season should be bringing. So much focus is on "what to do", "what to buy", "what to cook"....I think it makes me a little grouchy and anxious instead of peaceful and joyous. I think what really makes me feel the worse is that I allow these thoughts to take over where that peace and joy should be sitting. Double YUCK.

So as I embark on this busy holiday season of celebration, I will try and keep my focus upward and quiet my mind to things that matter most. I am not going to let fear make my decisions. I am not going to be persuaded by any marketing that I "need" something to make this season bright. I am not going to stress because it is December 6 and I haven't even thought of a Christmas card. I am not going to worry about what to cook, what to wear or what I still have on my "list of things to do"....I am just going to be the best Kirsten I can be and stay focused on peace in my mind, heart and soul.

Here's to peaceful days ahead for you too!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

After 19 years...

...we had a little reunion of some of my AOPi sisters here in Nashville. What a blast! I am not sure I ever subscribed to the "these will be your friends for life" bit when I was pledging a sorority some 23 years ago as I am a bit cynical. But here we stood many years later as if no time at all had past, rehashing old memories and making new ones that will thread us together for years to come. I am so glad I was a part of this group - these women are amazing, smart, beautiful, funny, and confident - exactly the kind of women I would choose for my friends today. So, here's to you ~ my beautiful sisters ~ alpha love!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

etc. designs

Today was my first day officially being displayed in a local store. Here is the display I created. Cute and pink, huh? I have been a watch making fool lately! Phew...guess I better make some Gator ones for my girlfriends coming in town this weekend for the Florida/Vanderbilt game! GO GATORS!!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Haunting!

It was a spooky site on Paddy Trace as the Reeds geared up for a night of haunting. We carved pumpkins in the afternoon, Vince spending the most time creating an intricate Gator/OU pumpkin ~ awesome! And he says he isn't artistic! I was feeling witchy and dressed accordingly ~ however, I didn't scare any children. In fact, one little three-year-old girl said she wanted to be in my witch family so she was going to dress like a witch next year. Too cute!
I took Ben to his cousin's and we hung out at the street party for awhile before trick-or-treating with my vampire nephew, niece and brother! Sarah went to her friend's party and trick-or-treated in her hood. Vince wore his Darth Vadar costume and passed out candy to kids ~ taking time to talk to each one ~ maybe too much, as one 6-yr-old said, "Can I just get my candy please?"
Isn't that essentially what it is all about? Candy! Hope your haunt was delicious!

Friday, October 8, 2010


Coming to a neighbor...near me! Yep, it's that time of year again when the kids and I create fun little boo baskets to "scare" the neighbors with. If you decide to do it -- it is fun, easy and affordable! Go to Christmas Organized for the free downloadable signs and poem. (I know it says Christmas, but they have other stuff too!) I filled our tins with items from the $1 bin at Target. LOVE me some Target! They have dish towels, rubber band bracelets, pencils, halloween socks, candy, bubble bath (for the moms!!), yo-yos, etc. Easy peasy! So get your neighborhood boo on and go spread the fun!

xxoo kirsten

Thank You, No Thank YOU

Remember my post about Gray Photography? Well, I was so excited about all I learned from their workshop, I sent them a little goody box thanking them ~ and they loved it so much they mentioned it in their blog.

Check it out their blog at Gray Photography. Very cool. Turns out they love snail mail as much as I do!
xxoo kirsten

Monday, October 4, 2010

RUSHing through Tennessee

It was great having the Cindy and Charlie Rush visit had been about 3 years since we passed through Colorado and got to spend time with them. They have known me since I was a baby as they are some of my parents' closest friends.

My kids were digging their RV and Ben declared that if given a lifetime supply of poptarts he could live there forever! (smile) My sweet 6-yr-old niece, princess that she is, declared the bedroom her "favorite room" and checked out the contents behind the closet door in case there were any fabulous shoes! :)

Vince dutifully performed the Civil War History tour with Charlie highlighting all the major historic sites and battles in the area. At night we laughed and enjoyed some games of Hand & Foot where the women spanked the men! Woo Hoo!

Hope to see them again soon. We just might have to plan a ski vacation out to Colorado next January with the kids!

xxoo kirsten

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Photo Lighting WOW

Just went to Zach & Jody Gray's (Gray Photography) off camera lighting seminar and learned SO MUCH! I have so much confidence in using some of those high tech equipment pieces and even know the names of a few now! Yeah!!!
Here is one of my favorite photos I shot - yes me! I think it looks like it should be an ad in a magazine. The lighting was bright, but with proper metering and flash, we got the sky to look very dramatic. Cool, eh?
Going back today to learn the business end...that might be the hardest part for me! :)
xxoo kirsten

Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's Official

..I have decided to sell my watches. What started out as a creative challenge for me to find something unique to make for a friend's 40th birthday has turned into a fun little business! I have already sold 10 watches and have two local store that are interested in possibly carrying them...more to come on that later! I will keep posting as news develops or doesn't. I am really okay if it doesn't "take off" because it has been super fun thinking of new designs and challenging myself to make each one different. (no design the same)

On the same note...I have been reading a book called Failing Forward and loving the philosophy of just going for it and learning along the way. So who cares if I fail? It will certainly lead to a more enriching life than sitting alone in fear!

If you are interested in buying a watch - just email me, call me (if you know me) or visit my website (when it is up and running -LOL!)

xxoo kirsten

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Love these kids!

Just wanted to post a couple pictures to start my day off good. Yesterday was a bad mommy day and I posted on Facebook that "I quit". But a little sleep and perspective does a heart and mind good. I do love these kids and want to squeeze the love right out of them!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Don't Despise Small Beginnings...

Well, for some time now I have played with the idea of writing a blog. Not because I think I have anything profound to say or share, but just as an outlet for me to purge all the things that run around in my brain on a daily basis.

I literally summarize my day mentally every night when I lay in bed. It takes me a good 25 minutes to actually fall asleep. So, the thought came to me that I should write down my little thoughts, share my ideas and see what evolves. I have big dreams, ideas and thoughts, but my beginnings are quite meager.

For a long time I pondered what to call this blog since I didn't have a "focus" for it and after many brainstorming moments I decided on Keystrokes & Kaleidoscopes. Here's why: The "keystrokes" is pretty obvious - it is a blog and the written word typed; plus I have a background in writing and hope to one day author children's books. The "kaleidoscopes" represents all the creative things in my life I have passion for - which change daily or weekly depending on my mood. Yes, I can be moody! When I think of a kaleidoscope I think of how it constantly changes as you turn it and as you stand in different light. So some days might be "mommy posts", some days I might share something I created in a scrapbook, other days might be my thoughts on friendship or tips for gardening. I just don't know. I wanted to leave a loose focus so I could just express myself according to the light and color of the day!

My good friend Denise (and great source of inspiration) told me as we sat and drank coffee the other day, "Don't despise small beginnings." And she is right. Every dream takes root somewhere. I have dreams of being a successful photographer, writer, mother, gardener, cook, scrapbook designer, artist, wife, friend.....and I could go on. But those things don't happen overnight. They evolve with little bits of water and fertilizer along the way; some pruning here and there; some sun and some rain.

I am excited to see what this blog evolves into and I am trying not to limit expectations or force success. Here's to lots of beautiful colors!

xxoo kirsten