Wowie! Wow! Wow!

In the words of Junie B. Jones, “Wowie! Wow! WOW!”  Things are groovin’ around here! This is going to be a catch up dump post. You’re excited, aren’t you?!

Wowie! WOW! WOW!

1. God is gooooood!  Life is full of ups and downs. Every single day, I can see both sides; but the thought of eternity makes the downs blur away and makes the ups seem that much sweeter. The ups are just a taste of the goodness there is on the other side. Last month, one of our family friends lost their 15 year old son and we are all trying to focus on the sweetness that eternity brings, not the heartache that this life can force us to endure.

2. Thanksgiving was wonderful. The bad news is that it just gave me the taste of the awesomeness that is the holiday season (and breaks away from school!)! Let me hear a “Ohhhh Yah!” for the winter break coming up!

3. Football. The husband’s high school football team made it to the state championship so football season juuuuust ended around these parts. Film watching has come to a halt and the days of cheering in the freeeeeezing cold has come to an end.  It is absolutely crazy for the baby and his mommy to have daddy home.  Wowie, wow, wow!

Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights

4. How is it December the 6th?! I have to admit, it has seemed like much of the year has went at a snail’s pace while I’m in the midst of things. However, when I look back, the majority of the year flown by!

That’s life though, right?!

5. I need to jump on the whole Christmas card bandwagon; considering it is the 6th of all. Yet, if I were being honest with myself I should go ahead and put hearts on them and send them out for Valentine’s Day, that seems like an attainable goal.

6. My first graders are completing “Christmas Around the World”. It has been a whole lot of fun! I simply can’t wait to teach it next year and fix all of my mistakes. Ugh. I just want to teach the same grade twice….. next year my friends, next year.

Also, I happened to have bought 4 different units on TPT to help me teach this unit. I think I should just make my own!

7. Jackson slept well last night! Woo- Hoo! Some night sleep is great! Others, it the exact opposite of great.

8. I could talk about the awesomeness of Christmas and pandora Christmas music all day long. …… add hot chocolate and I’m all set!

9. All the news of South Africa makes me think that I never shared a small detail about myself connecting to that country. My first kiss was with a boy from South Africa—– I had to go to a different continent, half way around the world, to find a boy that was willing to kiss me! HA! ……That being said, I have a great heart for their country and hope their week of mourning is all that history deserves.

10. I am running out of motivation to cook. I get home between 4:30-5:00 and needing to get supper on the table by 6 o’clock is SUPER hard for me. I need a cook. Anyone want to move in and cook for a family of three?! Pretty please. Thankyouverymuch!

Hope you are all having a wonderful December! I send you much love! XO! -Julie

Hi, friends!

Long time no talk. I know.

Let me update you.


Bahahahaha! This is some hardcore truth people, hardcore truth. I haven’t slept through the night in well over a year. ……(to be honest, I think I have gotten two nights of 9’ish-5:45’ish, I have to add that if the husband reads. The sweet boy has slept through the night twice. I guess I’m supposed to survive on those two nights. 🙂 )……. I’ll survive. I just found this to be quite funny. Maybe I’ll do a sleep post sometime soon. Soon meaning before the son graduates from highschool. Ha!

We celebrated a 1 year birthday around here. Sock monkey themed.



We had chocolate covered frozen bananas, sock monkey themed homemade bunting, sock monkey decorations, and a whole lot of love. I’ll have to do a bunting post too! I’m obsessed. You should be too.

The boy is walking, smiling, singing, and saying a few words. It is amazing. I’m blessed. He is my world.

The update on me: I’m still teaching full time, no surprise. I am teaching 1st grade for the first time. I could spend the next 8 million words describing my experience in my new position; maybe in due time I guess. Some of what has happened is still too fresh for me to blog about; but to sum it up, this was not what I expected. My heart and soul have been stretched and stomped on— raised back up and clung to the hope in these children’s future.

I have spent the last few months struggling to keep my head above water in a way I never have before. My heart has been calling, almost crying (literally), out to God to help me through this year. Some of these kiddos are a challenge, and that is putting it mildly. I just want what is best for them and I’m trying desperately to give it to them.

I hope you all have been doing GREAT! Fall has officially set in and winter is on it’s heels here; it snowed all day Friday!…. but then I saw a snake on our way to the park today. (yuck! I’d rather have snow!)  Happy Weekend, Friends!

HOW ARE YOU?! ANY AMAZING WEEKEND PLANS?!    I swear, I still read your blogs, I just don’t comment on the ol’ iPhone, I’m too lazy! 🙂


Here I sit. Coming back to the ol’ blog to write a post. A post I’ve been meaning to write for quite some time.


Nothing life changing. Don’t get too excited.

I am the kind of person that has a block in action when I have something on my mind. Things must go in sequence the way I imagine it in my mind or it flat out doesn’t get done. I hate the way my mind works sometimes. This is one of those times because I’ve had several posts I’ve been wanting to hammer out but this one was the one I wanted to get posted and for about a million and one reasons it just never happened. It’s happening now.

One year ago… this was me. 

32'ish weeks pregnant with the little guy.

32’ish weeks pregnant with the little guy.

Let me tell you….. since that picture a whole lot in my life has, um —— shifted. I about said changed but that would not be an accurate statement. It wouldn’t be an accurate statement at all. My life has just shifted. You must have noticed that it has affected the blog- a lot.

I quickly realized that my life is richly blessed and I have many priorities: God, my son, my husband, my family, my job and the children it affects, my health, and making sure my house doesn’t completely fall apart or become overtaken with dust bunnies. Those priorities are my foundation and I can’t seem to find the time to make many of them fit the way that they used to. This isn’t a bad thing- it is just different. Not the way they had been. Would I change this? HECK to the NO! I’m okay with the changes in my life—– in fact, I love them.

My handsome little man.. He owns my heart!

My handsome little man..
He owns my heart!

The way I spent my time has shifted. I’ve shifted….. sometimes I wish my hips and stomach would shift back to where they came from. No luck in that department.

The way I spend my time now shifted and 100% revolves around the question: “Will it matter tomorrow?” I find myself asking this numberous times a day and if it REALLY doesn’t matter- I let it go or I don’t do it.

During the school year, I try to stay 100% focused while at work so when it is time to go home- I go home. I have sat down at the computer at 9PM only to realize that me sleeping WOULD matter the next day, so I head to bed. I’ll open an e-mail to see what amazing new deal is on Zulily that I can’t live without only to delete it because it won’t matter the next day if I spent my time lusting after things I don’t truly need.

Time. There is nothing more precious than our time so I’m learning to spend it wisely. I just want to crawl around the floor with my son and make memories.

Does this mean I’m saying ADIOS to blogging- NO WAY! I just had to stop by and thank all of you for sticking around while things are shifting. 🙂 I appreciate all of you more than you’ll know and I’m excited to hopefully find some time to truly catch up with all of you! {{hugs!}}


These kind of moments. They will only happen once.


If you are a teacher, the title of this post is only partly a pun. The other part is  a total clue to the change that is coming up in my life. Ever since 2009, I have taught a different grade of children. Yadda, yadda, yadda. You’re all my amazing readers, you’ve lived through me pulling my hair out over the ordeal….. SO, here is the BIG news!

I will be teaching 1st grade next year! Woop Woop!

But wait, isn’t that still different than what you’re teaching now? Isn’t that bad news?

…. Yes……… BUT, after that, I’ll continue to teach   1st grade. Hooray! I have a permanent position! My boss told me the good news via an evaluation. He was trying to distract me while I was reading the evaluation and told me it said the ‘same old, same old’ and mumbling while I was trying to read though the form. Then it happened, I saw the words “transfer to unwrapping common core for the 1st grade curriculum” …… Truth be told- I nearly peed myself. {only wish I were kidding}

1st grade....... here I come!

1st grade……. here I come!

I almost screamed and probably would have but I was rendered breathless; it was so surreal. I kept wondering if it were all just a cruel joke but my boss reassured me that it was school board approved, I’ll be teaching 1st grade next year——— and STAYING there!

“Oh my God!” I stammered as I bent over in the deepest disbelief.  Dear God, I’ve made it through this challenge and it is finally coming to a close! Praise His holy name!… For real!

Next year, I will be teaching phonics and the chunk “CH” instead of teaching slope-intercept and how to calculate a curve or how to diagram complex sentences and then turn them into complex sentence written in the opposite format as previously written. AND——- GET NEW KIDS!

Truth be told, I almost cry when I really think about giving up the students I’ve had for three years in a row. I get a massive lump in my throat when I think about someone else teaching them and spending their days with them….. but I know it is what is best for all of us.  I’m thankful for the experience and MAJOR challenge but am thankful that I get to move on.

God is good.

Cutest Picture EVER

Our little SNOW BEAR!

Our little SNOW BEAR!

It is spring break all and I’m enjoying being able to take a breath….. I also have some exciting news on the home front. NO, Jackson will not be a big brother- that is always the first thing on people’s minds- which I think they must be crazy! I’ll be sharing that news pretty quickly on the blog world. [Clue: a few of you that have listened to my story over, and over, and over again will be glad to hear this news! For the first time in years a certain aspect of my life is finally going to be stable next year! ]

I should be back sometime this week to share a new salmon recipe and maybe a link or two to some of my new go-to recipes as a busy working mama….. I was also wondering what you would all like to see on the ol’ blog. I’m sure more pictures of my cutie aren’t on the agenda since it’s a healthy living blog. But, I am the creator so, take it or leave it- baby cuteness just can’t be cut out 🙂

I hope you are  all doing AMAZINGLY WELL! Spring is in the air. HOORAY!

Special Days

Hello all! I’m living in pure bliss right now.

…….. There are these special days in life that are to be savored….. These special days in life are for naps (not by me, but by Jackson)….. These special days in life are for family…. This special days in life are for cuddles…. They are for magazine reading, prayers of thankfulness, catching up on laundry, picking up the house, and pure joy. These special times are called…..


OH Happy Day!

OH Happy Day!

Snow Day Naps

Snow Day Naps!!

I have been super blessed with some SPECIAL DAYS called ‘snow days’. School is not in session and my job is to take care of my little man. Timing couldn’t be more prefect as my blessing has caught a nasty cold. Tips on sleeping, congestion, and fevers are welcome!!!!! 

These special days have allowed me to take care of him and get him back to health. I’m so lucky.

I had to drop in and share our special day!

  • Question: Did you have Snow Days as a kid? What did you do?

Pain & Prayers

Right after the new year, our community lost the life of a three year old little boy in a tragic accident. The pain is running deep for everyone…..

Yet, many of those in pain haven’t even touched the depths that pain can really run. My heart is absolutly broken for his mommy, daddy, and three beautiful sisters.

When I read of the news my heart sank. The news was illusive and gave no specifics. The news simply stated that the accident had claimed the life of a three year old boy……. I almost wept to my husband as I read the words, let my heart fill in the blanks  to what the news  was saying. I shuddered as I realized, “Oh my God, it’s _____.  He went to be with Jesus.” “Oh my God, it’s _____,”

{I left his name blank because it is not my place. It’s just not my place.}

I spent countless hours playing with this sweet boy at football games. He was my first friend in my new town….. The husband is the football coach and I was new to town. I knew no one. I had no friends. I was an outsider.  Sweet _____ welcomed me with open arms and a superhero to fly around!

This one was his favorite.

He always played with me and innocently handed over his superheros for me to play with {I could see in his eyes that it was *so* hard for him to share}. We would soar Captain America around the football stadium and kick it with The Ninja Turtles! The fact that this three year old would share his toys was way beyond me- I could tell that inside he wanted to keep them to himself but always found it in his heart to share with me so that we could both have fun. His parents are simply AMAZING parents. I cannot state this enough. They brought four children into this world and each child is sweet and kind and wonderful and amazing. They have raised GREAT kids! …..Unfortunatly, I fear that the nature of this accident may cause one of his parents to question everything in their life. This kills me.

I have not shared here on the blog, but I have lost a sister. She was killed in a tragic accident when she was only six years old. My father placed the blame on himself for quite some time. I sat at the kitchen table and saw when a memory would cross my parents mind—- the pain that would emerge in their eyes was too deep for words. Although many times no tears would fall from their eyes, I could see the unbelievable pain inside. The pain that comes from the thoughts of what might have been…. This was my childhood. I have seen that kind of true and encompassing pain, deeper than most can even comprehend.

{{I am NOT complaining. My parents are the absolute strongest people I have ever met. ever. ever. Their strength to grow closer to God and continue on with His plan will amaze me forever- and this amazement and admoration grows every single day of my life. Every. Single. Day. }}

My sister's maid of honor bouquet for my wedding....  I will always miss my sister.

My sister’s maid of honor bouquet for my wedding…. I will always miss my sister.

I post this because it is VERY heavy on my heart. Not many know of this kind of pain. The pain of putting a child or a sibling to rest is more than many can imagine and beyond what anyone can comprehend…….. With a truly heavy heart, I know that the time has come when most peoples’ pain has subsided, leaving the family feeling completely alone. This true pain that they are left with has become a new way of life. The time comes when the world moves on and the family is left dealing with the depths of true pain.  That time has surely come for them. People seem to return to their normal lives and this family is still sifting through what has now become their new normal, without their adorable and beloved son.

I pray for them…… long after many have went on, this family will have to learn how to move on in their own way. I pray that they find their way.

My heart is broken for his family. The loss of a child is senceless. It will always seem senceless. It is not the way the world is supposed to work.

Hold on tightly to the ones you love.

Making milk is a superpower! ||{healthy lactation cookies}||

First off, this is a completely “MOM” related post- if you couldn’t tell by the title. 😉  I do realize that many of my posts have “shifted” since the birth of my blessing, – but hey, my hips have shifted too. Life isn’t fair 😉   ……I am sharing this because of a few requests and the fact that I didn’t find a healthy lactation ‘cookie’ while in my search.  I searched high and low, sifting through all sorts of pins on Pinterest—–only to find unhealthy options……  So I’m sharing my own! Who knows, maybe I can help a mom out!

Making milk is superpower, truly.

Sadly, it is not a superpower I possess easily. It is hard work for me. Darn hard work. I’m a wannabe superhero milk producer.

Yep, I’m a wannabe.

I envy all the women that have gallons of breastmilk stored in their refridgerators for their little blessings to enjoy. I really envy them….. like the way I envied Rebecca on Full House because she got to kiss Uncle Jesse. Yep, that kind of envy. That is neither here nor there. Back to the nursing talk.

I take about 30 supplements daily, drink lactation tea 3-5 times a day, and drown myself with water all for the sake of producing juuuuust enough milk for my little one. All of this is doctor approved and suggested; don’t think I’ve went off the deep end here. (but sometimes I feel like I have!) While I’m at work, I also pump every time my son would eat—–> just to keep up.

IMG_0987 Making milk is a superpower! Lactation Cookies

Then, there is this other little thing I do—- eat lactation cookies! 🙂

I can’t lie to you and tell you that they are the best thing I’ve ever eaten, they’re not. However, they do help me eat healthily in a pinch and provide some good things that support healthy lactation. I’m telling you, I do EVERYTHING I can to make milk for my little superhero!

Healthy Lactation Cookies

  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/3 c. rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon (I probably put in waaay more cinnamon, I’m a cinnamon junkie!)
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 overripe bananas (the waaay ugly black/brown ones)
  • 1 c. ground flax
  • 6 Tbsp brewers yeast* (can add as little as 2 T)
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar (I use dark)
  • 1 Tbsp good quality vanilla
  • 2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350°.  Mix the flour, oats, soda, salt, and cinnamon thoroughly in one bowl. In a seperate bowl mix remaining ingredients and mix well, mix very well.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and dollop the cookies on in whatever size you’d like. Bake for 12-14 minutes. (always 13 minutes on the nose in my oven!!)

*note: most recipes I saw only had about two tablespoons of brewers yeast. I just thought that didn’t seem like much for a whole batch of cookies, so I just kept dumping it in!

IMG_0969 Lactation Cokies

Many other recipes add peanutbutter & chocolate chips to make them more ‘cookie like’. But, if some of you recall, due to some “issues” south of the border, I can’t eat those things. So, mine ended up being UBER healthy. They remind me more of a muffin than a cookie. But their cookie nature makes them easy to grab and go for me personally. Plus, I can make varied sizes of cookies that way; something a muffin tin won’t allow!

I am in no way, shape, or form saying that these are a cure all for a low milk supply. For some women , eating lactation cookies can really help; while for others it really doesn’t do much. I like to think that they aid me in healthy lactation but more importantly, they aid me in a healthy lifestyle as a busy mamma! Because I choose to nurse Jackson over my lunch time on MWF while he’s in the same town as me, I have very little time to eat lunch at work, we’re talking 5’ish minutes! I grab one or two of these and know that I’m getting in some whole grains and something that can help with lactation.

WHY these are supposed to help:

  • Oats are shown to aid in lactation as well as just be darn good for you.
  • Brewers Yeast is shown to give some women’s milk production an extra boost.
  • Flax is sometimes shown to help as well, depends who you are asking.

So, these are winners for me and I find myself making them each and every week.  I do hope those of you  out there that are breastfeeding mammas, I hope you easily come by the superpower of making and abundance of milk………… ………But, for those of you like me, the PROUD WANNABES, cheers! Grab a cookie!

God knows better than me?!….. Who knew?!

I was crossing my fingers to win the lottery and put off going back to work for a little while. No dice. Bummer. I even was certain that if I won the lottery, I would go back to work free of charge; as long as they let me build a daycare on the school grounds and hire someone stellar to watch my son while I was instructing my lovely students. Guess it’s now written in the stars for us (yet! 😉 )

Lottery for me?!

November 1st was the set date that I would become a mother AND  a teacher. The day was quite dreaded and I had no idea how I would feel about the whole thing when it finally arrived. My maternity leave was bliss, I loved staying at home with my son….. Honestly, I was very scared that I would go stir crazy on maternity leave; manily because it was football season and I would be completely alone from 7:00 am- about 8:00 pm. {In a small town!} But, we found our groove and I was able to get things done as well as be a mom. It was nice.  Okay, I’ll be honest- it was out-of-this-world-wonderful!

I have known from a pretty early age that I wanted to work with children, even when I was one myself. I just knew that my genuine love of youthful spirits would lead me to teaching. So, I became a teacher. I love my job. BUT, it is no secret around Spinach and Sprinkles that my current situation as far as my job is concerend is a little….. ummm…… less than ideal.

I have taught Kindergarten, 2nd grade, 3rd, and half a year of 6th grade all in consecutive years and am currently teaching 4th grade. That is five years of changing. That means that for FIVE YEARS, I have never taught the same lesson twice! It has been new each and every single day for FIVE YEARS!!!!!  The only thing that has stayed the same for three of those years is my physical classroom—-and MY STUDENTS! That’s right, I have taught most of the kids in my classroom at least two years and four of them have had me three years **in a row**. (Would you like their addresses so that you can send them sympothy cards? I’m sure they would appreciate it! 🙂 ) Talk about a challenge!

My five years of challenges in the classroom.

I have been spending the last two, going on three, of those years crying and stressing about everything concerning my job; from the big to the small….. Then, I got the biggest blessing of my life and found out I was pregnant. I went to school for a full day of 4th grade and went into labor while teaching on the second day of school.

I was able to take an 8’ish week maternity leave due to the nerve damage I experienced. When those 8 weeks were gone, my heart was truly sad. I didn’t want to leave my son….. I repeat, I did not want to leave my son.

LOVE this cutie!

LOVE this cutie!

However, God has a better plan for my life than I have for myself. I recieved a huge shock……. I finally saw God’s plan for making me teach the same kids for three years in a row; I missed my kids. I honestly feel like a few of them are my actual children and I needed to get back and remind them of how much their mom at school loves and cares about them. I KNOW I never would have been able to go back to work if I didn’t care about my kids at school this deeply. God knew what I needed better than I did. Truly, I would have been a stay at home mom if it wasn’t for my unusual circumstances. He kept me with the same class for three years so I would still feel a calling to be a teacher/mom to students every year, not just my own son.  He knew I could be a mom to my baby and my kiddos, I just needed to have three years with some kids to convince me that I could do them both….. for the love of children.

His timing is PERFECT!

Who would have thought; God having a better plan than this girl. Who knew?!

QUESTION: Have you ever been able to look back and see God’s perfect plan for something that has been tough in your life?

Gone missing….

Okay, so I am totally sorry for dropping off the face of the planet. You all deserve an update in many areas of this girls life so I’ll jump in and say “life if good”.

Life is good

I have no excuses for my absence, a lot in my life has shifted and I’m just going with the flow. I’m trying to to not feel guilty about where I’m spending my time though.  I spend my days 100% focused on the tasks at hand so that I can enjoy a few minutes a day just enjoying my son. I RARELY open my computer; no worries though, I still blog read (I’ve been keeping up with all of you!) and catch up with my blogfriends, it just happens to be at 12:00 am, , 2:00 am, 3:50 am, and 5:30 am via iPhone while nursing the little one.

I went back to work on Novmeber 1st and—– golly am a pooped out by 6:00 pm! I struggle to stay awake till 8:45 every night. It’s like being pregnant all over again! It is truly hard being a full time mom, wife, and teacher. As well as sister, daughter, and trying to be a good friend is MEGA tough too. Yes, I’m fully aware that I’m not the first mama to do this and I’m not complaining about it. It is just new to me.  I’m feeling pulled in quite a few directions- any working mommies out there with tips or advice? I’m all ears!! 🙂

Within the next few posts, I’ll be filling you in on;  going back to work and how something COMPLETELY unexpected happened, our breastfeeding journey, what’s going on with my son, post-baby body, and sharing a few delicious recipes (one for lactation ‘cookies’ that have been my saving grace!).  Thank you all for sticking around and checking in to see if all is well in the Spinach and Sprinkles household. I’m glad to report that we are….. BLESSED! 🙂

Love my little man!

Love my little man!

Again, thank you for dropping by to see how things are going and for your continued support and love. I hope each of you are doing great and feeling very blessed as the season of love is upon us!