Hi! I’m Julie. I’m a busy, full-time working, pastor’s wife and mom of 2 VERY extremely busy boys (Judah, 8 and Asher 2). Our life is FULL in every aspect of the word. We are so very blessed and so very busy! Every year I find myself dreading the “all class gift occasions.” You know what they are: Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Halloween.
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I find myself, again, wondering what am I going to do. You see, I have this knack for being mildly creative, but not so crafty. Ugh. It’s a frustrating area to live in when you constantly come up with ideas, but don’t have the skills to carry it out. [Enter wildly handsome, ultra talented husband of mine.] God knew what he was doing when He put us together. We totally balance each other out and, more importantly, he knows how to create whatever pops up in my brain because he just so happens to be a genius graphic designer (on the side).
The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust Him.
Picture this: A little girl in the dark, hearing her father's voice---but not knowing where to go??
Not knowing what was in front, what was behind, what was to left or right of her.
She knows she is safe because she recognizes her daddy's voice though. The voice of a father who has never left, nor forsaken her. She hears a voice that is familiar in the midst of a place that is unknown and dark.
by: ashley solberg
For whatever reason, some things just pair well when mixed together. I wouldn't normally think to get a bowl full of blueberries and cut up some pears to go with, but as a smoothie? Yes, please! Then you add in spinach, almond milk and a protein shake mix, you are all set. For this particular recipe, I was aiming for a new variety of smoothie for my picky eating prone kids. We used a protein shake mix by Kidz Shakes to make sure they get the right amount of nutrients for them, but you can easily add in your fave adult portioned shake for yourself too.
by ciara gris
Ok ladies! Here is my step by step guide to creating the perfect Valentine's Day date night look! Even if you plan to grab dinner with a few girlfriends, this look is super easy to create. I love it because it still has that soft and flirty look perfect for any occasion. Trust me, men do not care about your makeup, so spending extra time trying to perfect your ombre lips or glitter eyes isn’t always necessary. Less is more when doing your makeup for a night out. If you are not comfortable wearing lashes then you can opt out and just go bigger with mascara. The last thing you need is to have your lashes distracting you from having a nice time. Use your own artistic expression and customize the look however you'd like! Have fun with it, you’re only wearing it for a short time! At the end of the day you get to wash it away and have fun experimenting with something else the next time.
When you look up the definition of a nurse in the dictionary, it is "one who is trained to care for the sick." Yes, that is obviously the biggest part of the job, but it is so much more. You are a listener, a shoulder for tears, an encourager, a human calculator, an emotional wall of strength...the list could go on and on. What an honor to be entrusted with not only the vital part of survival for a person, but also their hearts during times of need.
Over the last eight years, I have seen things that would make you chuckle, but also things that would make you cry. In my first week of ER orientation alone, I would've had enough material to write a book! Cue the thought of "what have I gotten myself into?" But as time went on and I got out of survival mode from the overwhelming amount of knowledge I had to attain as a new nurse, I learned a few things...
About six months ago, if you asked me how I felt about change, I would’ve said it didn’t bother me at all. As far as I was concerned, I could handle change with no problem. Change jobs with no problem, change my style of clothing with no problem and on a good day, change my hair color with no problem (super crazy about the hair, ya know what I mean?!)
Actually, at one point, I considered myself a professional when it came to handling change. I actually thought I liked change. Boy, was I wrong.
Every day is full. Sometimes I have an agenda and it quickly changes based on the immediate need. I spend most of my days with the title of mama bear/homefront project manager and in the mix is pastor’s wife, counselor and small business owner. For a long time, ‘busy’ was a badge that I proudly wore. It justified me as a woman. I felt like if I kept myself busy then I was doing it all right. In fact, the busier the better. In our culture, it is easy to look at another woman’s busy and think differently of them; like it is a competition. The deeper I got into my busy day, the prouder I felt. The truth is that I was missing out on a huge community while trying to wade the deep waters alone.
I remember loving fruit rolls as a child-you know the round ones that were oh so good? It seemed like we wandered the aisles of the grocery store for what seems like hours until we arrived in the produce section where there was a stand with twenty different flavors my little self couldn't decide upon. My mom always let me snack on one and let me hand the wrapper over to the cashier at check out-shhhh, don't tell!
Now that my kids are a tad older, I thought I'd introduce fruit rolls as a special treat sort of snack, but holy yowza, there's a lot of sugar and a whole lot of unpronouncables! I came up with a super easy, make your own recipe that their six little hands enjoyed helping with. And the best part? I even snuck in Kidz Sprinkles Multi-Vitamins by Dr. Rach for extra vitamins, minerals, probiotics, enzymes, fiber and omega-3. Yep, that felt really good and I may have given myself an itty bitty pat on the back.
No matter how long I’m married to my handsome hubby, I never (EVER) get tired of dating him! We are one of those weird couples that actually enjoys being around one another. Hehe!
In all seriousness, I absolutely love spending time with my hubby. With life being, well, life… setting aside time for just the two of us is absolutely vital. Sure, we see each other every day, and we talk all the time, but there’s just something so re-charging about that special time together. It’s a couple (or few, if we’re super lucky) hours of time where we refuse to worry about work, kids, the future, or whatever else might be weighing on us at the time.
Sometimes, we are so eager for a date night that we just throw ourselves together, say farewell to the kiddos, and run out the door as fast as we can.
But lots of times, I like to dress things up a bit. Nowadays I realize I can have both cuteness and comfort, so I go for it!
Now that 2017 has kicked off, I wanted to share a personal journey I've had within myself, which is embracing confidence.
One day I was reading an article about Oprah embracing her journey of loving the skin she lived in. She talked about how she conquers personal goals within herself and how she continuously surrounds herself with people she can learn from and help make her a better person. It honestly stuck out to me because, Oprah, being a woman that doesn't lack resources by any means still has struggles that money can't fix. From what I gathered in the article, she intentionally keeps healthy relationships around her and confidently tries to be the best version of herself daily.
So I made a mental checklist of things that I wanted to be more confident about within myself, and I asked God to bless me with healthy relationships that could help grow me into the woman He created me to be.
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