Bless My Heart

the improvement of a southern girl


The Smith Science Laboratory – Experiment 1

Abby, my 8 year old, is a young scientist. The only problem with this is that science isn’t really taught like it ought to be anymore. Math and English, kids.. that’s the important stuff.

Yeah… whatever…

I decided to take matters into my own hands and let her do some experiments at the house. This was helped by me walking upon this book one day. I quickly snatched it up, as it was EXACTLY what we needed.


She giggled a mischievous giggle when I handed it to her. We have decided to do as much of them as possible, but at least one a weekend. #1 is quick and messy. We learned about the rapid release of carbon dioxide.


The video speaks for itself πŸ™‚

MVI 3572 from Juli Smith on Vimeo.




Cleaning Up

They are putting out school supplies in the stores, sigh… I have a month. I’m never ready to go back. Never ready until that first day back, that is. And then I’ll get excited and anxious for a completely new school year. I am blessed to be able to start over again in my job, year after year. That’s what it feels like, at least. Never monotonous, never boring. Never the same kids or the same problems or the same victories. Always different. It’s good for me – I like change. I like change that happens without me having to change it, rather…

I have things that need to change in my life. I have people who I need to talk to less, and people who I need to talk to more. I have things that I need to cut out of my heart and seeds of growth that I need to plant in their stead. I have allowed weaknesses to grow in my soft spots instead of fortifying those areas with what I really need.

  • I really need my God.
  • I really need my family.
  • I really need my health.
  • I really need the Earth.


I have already made small changes that will help me along this journey. I have hooked in to a wonderful church filled with genuinely Godly people, and I am trying my best to carve out time for bible study and devotionals. Although my mother was a Christian and took us to church whenever she could, I still did not grow up with a strong foundation for worship and fellowship. That being said, I have a deep desire to have a rock-steady faith and fall in love with my one true Father.

I am blessed with the family that I have been given. Most of all, the hearts that live in my house. My sweet girls need a strong momma that can show them how to live with confidence and compassion. They also need to grow up with two parents that love each other completely. What an example for them in a dark world! I am my husband’s, and he is mine. It has been this way from the start, as we saved ourselves for one another, and that is they way it will always be. We live in a sex-driven society and relationships and families are broken every day. I want my girls to grow up knowing that you CAN have the relationship that you dream of. That doesn’t mean it’s not hard. That doesn’t mean we don’t butt heads and fight. It means that mommy loves daddy, and daddy loves mommy. No matter what.

I am tired of feeling sorry for myself. I am a strong women on the inside, and it is time once again to reflect that on the outside. I am making the changes that are needed – however hard they may be to do. The new gym with childcare, although a 20 minute drive away, takes away any excuses that I had. I am creating new habits, new hobbies. Ones that bring out who I am. I am experimenting with mountain biking and want to look into kayaking. I have my eye on entering road races again. Maybe join the pool and start swimming laps? I am so much more than I have been up to this point.

I am never at peace like I am when I am outside. It is my escape. My redemption. I need mountains and streams. Rocks and trees. Fish and birds. Sunsets and new dawns. Shooting stars. Funny thing about shooting stars and me, I always see them when I am at my lowest point. I feel like it’s my direct message from God that I am not alone. I need to be outside more. Even in the 100 degree Louisiana summertime heat. It is where I feel whole.

I don’t think I have been happy since early 2010. That’s too long. I will be 34 in a few months. I will not let the crap load of circumstances that have been handed to me affect my life anymore. I’m cleaning up.

Oh, yeah… I need a tattoo πŸ˜‰

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Eatin’ at Home

The Man and I are trying VERY hard to keep all meals at the house this month. This is mostly to keep our budget under control, but it will help the waistline as well, of course. This past week wasn’t perfect, but we did have a few meals that would have never happened had we not had this goal. Being tired and hungry after working all day is a recipe for fast food binging, especially if you haven’t set any meat out to thaw that day! I was non-functional Sunday-Tuesday with my back, so that was another challenge we had to get through. Luckily, I have a great guy who has been stepping up with house duties.
The eats:
Sunday is Pizza Night!!!


Forgot the pic of grilled chicken with gravy and asparagus.

Wednesday- Pasta w/ Chicken Sausage


Thursday- Mexican Bowl w/ rice, black beans, tomatoes, and sausage.


Friday- Chicken n’ Dumplings at the in-laws


Saturday- Elected to take Mom out for Chinese buffet for Mothers Day. An exception for the occasion.

All in all it was a great first week of our Eat-at-home challenge. A few of those meals were completely thrown together last minute, but it makes me feel good knowing we saved a handful of cash doing it. And for those wondering, the girls ate everything we did… Mostly. They topped their own pizzas, and didn’t care for the chicken sausage (but tried it, at least). I think try are becoming more receptive to seeing something other than nuggets on the table though, so that’s a good thing.