Kensie Kate

Happy, colorful design & hand lettering


home sweet home...unfortunately

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This post is overdue. I just haven't known how to write it or where to start. I tried to talk myself out of writing it at all, telling myself that I don't owe anyone an explanation. I held off writing until I had more information, until I knew all the answers.

In September, I left to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Philadelphia. I came home and was released on New Year's Day for medical reasons. I was sick for 12 weeks before coming home and did everything I could to stay. About 6 weeks after I left, I started blacking out as much as 15 times a day and passing out randomly, like while I was sitting in church. I went to doctors, had blood draws, and EKG, an echocardiogram, wore a heart monitor, and couldn't get the answers I needed. It was a rough decision, but everyone involved agreed that I would be able to find out what was wrong and get better faster if I were home. I came home on New Year's Day. It was decided that I probably had a genetic condition called Vasovagal Syncope, something my uncle and cousin have too. By coming home, I was able to see the same cardiologist who diagnosed and treated them, someone who is one of the leading doctors in the country regarding this condition. Since I've been home, I have seen the cardiologist and had a Tilt-table Test (I'm not even going to start describing what a horrible experience that was). I found out that I do have Vasovagal Syncope. Basically there is a communication error in my body that makes my blood pressure and heart rate plummet until my body yells "RESET" and then I pass out. The doc prescribed a heart medication to keep my blood pressure elevated. I was in the parking lot at Costco about to go pick it up when I had a realization and told my mom, "What if it's $200! No one is going to want to marry me if I have $200 heart medication!" Thankfully for my future husband, it was not that much. I also have to eat lots of salt (I now order french fries wherever I go) and no sugar. If it works and I don't pass out, then I can go back to being a missionary in Philadelphia. So now I'm just waiting for the next doctor's appointment to find out what's next.

So that's pretty much it. I loved being a missionary and I'm hoping to get back as soon as they'll let me. Until then, I'm trying to stay busy. The hardest part is not knowing how long I'll be home, but all things considering, I'm doing pretty darn good for not so good (:

She's a missionary now!

Uncategorizedkensiekate1 Comment


Hi this is Tiffani.  I have the fortunate blessing of being Kensie's mom.  I'm going to be updating Kensie's blog for the next 18 months because last week my sweet girl left for her mission.  It was a bittersweet moment when we dropped her off at the Missionary Training Center in Provo.  Bitter because this mom is going to miss her daughter very much.  So will the rest of her family.  Owen wrapped his arms and legs around her and refused to let go. It literally took three of us to pry him off.  But the sweet so out weighs the bitter.  Kensie has talked about serving a mission for a long time.  She had plans to graduate from BYU the week that she turns 21 and be ready to serve.  When the age requirement was changed to 19 we were stunned.  I immediately knew that she would choose to serve.  She is so excited to go to Philadelphia and learn more about that beautiful and historic part of our country and serve the people of that area.

So what does that mean to the Kensie Kate shop?  For the last few months Kensie has been preparing to be away and that included designing new materials for her shop that will pop up here and there.   I will be printing and shipping all orders.  I am also a graphic designer so I will be able to handle any custom order needs that you may have.

Thank you so much for your support of Kensie and her website and etsy shop.   When I convinced Kensie to open her shop just over a year ago we never imagined that it would blossom into what it is today.  All of your encouragement has meant a great deal to her.  Here's to a good 18 months!  (I hope they go quickly!)



what to know about getting wisdom teeth removed.


dreaded getting my wisdom teeth out. I have had my fair share of surgeries and I was not ready to sign up for another one. I thought maybe I could sneak on a mission without getting them out, but the x-rays said otherwise. In fact, when the surgeon saw them, he said "These are bad. Your recovery is going to be quite a doozy." Not what I wanted to hear just minutes before being laid on the operating table. The surgeon was able to squeak me in just 2 days after calling for an appointment, meaning I didn't have a whole lot of time to prepare mentally. The night before, I googled and read up on what I needed to know to make the experience as uneventful as possible. Here's what I learned from my own experience:

Don't eat after midnight the night before. Because of the anesthetic used, it can be dangerous to eat any closer to surgery. Because I have had plenty of other surgeries, I figured this was the case, but I didn't find out for sure until it would have been too late.

Wait to eat until the numbing wears off. By then, it should be safe to be done chomping on gauze. Having all the feeling in your mouth also makes eating much easier.

Do not use a straw. I was glad I read about this the night before, because I was to loopy to read the doctor's instructions after surgery. I was fully planning on using straws because I thought it would help keep liquid away from the incision sites. Drinking from a straw creates a vacuum in your mouth that can disrupt the forming blood clots needed to heal properly.

My diet was really only heavily restricted for the first couple of days. I ate applesauce and pureed soup. After that, I could eat most things, I just had to be careful. I mostly chewed with my front teeth and made sure to rinse out my mouth. I stayed away from crunchy things that could get stuck in the incision sites. Cold foods are fine, but it is important to stay away from hot foods for the first couple of days.

Ice is your friend. Ice is only needed for 48 hours, but I used it much longer. I never got much swelling, but the ice was just comfortable.

Lortab. Lortab. Lortab. After a couple of days, I was okay if I didn't take medicine (but certainly more grumpy due to the pain I was experiencing), but if I did, I had virtually no pain.

Sleep with head elevated. In order to prevent dry sockets, sleep with your head elevated more than usual. The worst part of the surgery was that I could not sleep. I am a side sleeper, so to not be able to lay on my side made for a miserable few nights.

Stitches are nasty. My stitches were the kind that dissolved, but no one prepared me for the awful taste when they come out.

That's pretty much it. All in all, much better than I expected.

they called me on a mission


I may or may not have freaked out this morning when I saw mail in the mailbox, but no big white envelope. For ten minutes, I was contemplating what I would do for the next 10 days if I had to wait until after our vacation to find out where I would be spending 18 months. But good news people, that was yesterday's mail, and there was still a good chance that I would be receiving a call today. My mom, Owen, and I headed to Salt Lake to get some things for our vacation. It was a good distraction and we had a neighbor who dutifully watched for the mailman. Somewhere in the middle of shopping, she texted us that the mail had come. We had her go check our mail and, sure enough, it was there. She kept it at her house for safe keeping from 2 certain curious brothers that would be out of school soon.

I should add that I have been feeling incredibly sick since last night. Like the kind of sick that means an organ needs to be removed. I don't have many options left as my tonsils, adenoids, appendix, and gall bladder are all gone. Everyone else cleaned up and got ready for people to come over while I laid in bed and tried not to die. I finally felt like I might live about half an hour before people showed up.

We made our guesses, ate fruit and cake, and then it was finally time.

"Sister Smith, you are hereby called to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission."

I will be speaking English and I report to the Provo MTC on September 4th.

I made plenty of guesses, but Philadelphia never crossed my mind. I was really hoping to go foreign, but the idea of not having to get any shots is really appealing. I told everyone I wanted to somewhere warm. I hear it will be for about half the year. And well, the other half will be bitterly cold.

Things have really fallen into place lately. I've been accepted into the Studio Art Major at BYU and I've had a lot of business opportunities present themselves.

I am so excited to serve the Lord in Philadelphia. The mission boundaries actually spread into 4 states, so I am excited to learn exactly where I'll be. Though I wanted to go out-of-state, I am excited that I will get to start teaching immediately instead of learning a new language first.

My dad would really like me to extend for a month so he can catch a baseball game when he and my mom pick me up. I'll see what I can do, dad.

 P.S. I give all my friends posters like this one when they leave on missions. You can order one for your own missionary in my shop.

I hope they call me on a mission


My mom had another CT scan today to see if fluid was continuing to build up. It is possible she will need to have drains placed later this week. Today was so incredibly busy, but I took a 10-minute break to eat lunch and START MY MISSION PAPERS! It has taken a few weeks to coordinate where I will submit them since my time is split between Bountiful and Provo. I am so excited to get them turned in and find out where in the world I will serve the Lord.



adios amigo


I headed back to Provo tonight. My mom isn't feeling super duper, so I'm heading back tomorrow after I take a midterm. Before I drove back, I stopped to say good bye to one of my good friends. Matt will be set apart as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints tomorrow and he will enter the Missionary Training Center on Wednesday. Because of the recent increase in the number of missionaries due to the age requirements, his date has been pushed back, and you can tell he is ready to be out there sharing the gospel. Matt will spend a few weeks in Provo training, 3 minutes from my apartment, before he leaves to serve the people of Mexico.