SOCIAL MEDIA

BIG changes

Wednesday, January 1, 2014
For the past couple of months Justin and I have been trying our hardest to cut out some of the horrid habits we have acquired over the years. I will say, becoming a natural family is a lot harder than we initially thought. Altering your lifestyle is much more than just saying you need to change (although that is a great start), it requires restraint, and definitely hard work. So what type of growth are we hoping to make in the new year?

Well, for starters, we are actually embracing the word "natural" and not so much organic. Gluten free snacks are stacked in the Howland home as of late. We are shying away from a lot of processed foods and ingredients like white sugar, white flour, and any type of soda. Those ingredients strip our bodies of minerals, and they definitely don't put us on a "natural" track. In order to truly feel good, we plan on nourishing our family with healthy, and natural substitutions. The bonus? Implementing good eating habits will pave a healthy lifestyle for our little (and future Howl babies).

Another change that we are making as of NOW is delayed vaccinations (I know some people don't agree). But as of today, this is the decision we have made. I literally just spent over two hours researching, reading, and watching all kinds of videos with Justin (I love how involved of a parent he is), AGAIN and watching his reaction to the ingredients and possible outcomes of vaccinations, hurt my heart a bit. I think there are a lot of things parents don't choose to education themselves on, and I think it's unfortunate. We have vaccinated, and will continue to (delayed, as stated), but that's after long, extensive research. Please be "in the know" when it comes to what's going into your child's body (If I could stress anything, it would be that). Take all factors into account when vaccinating. Sorry for that little vent, but I do think it's imperative that parents step up and get in "the know." Any who, we have taken a lot of factors into consideration. The two most important being that Ava is exclusively breastfed, and the second being she is not and will not be in any type of daycare facility. *** For those of you who are interested in doing a little more research, I strongly encourage you to watch mama natural's vaccination videos. She gives you a thorough description of each vaccination, the doses, and what kinds of ingredients are put in vaccines. Childhood vaccines*** Each video is less than five minutes, but can definitely be life changing for you and your family. Don't stop your research there, her videos are meant to give you a general ideas and descriptions.

Justin and I will both be full time college students come next month, and education is definitely a huge change in 2014 for us. I have managed to maintain A's in all of my courses these last five months, and that is an educational goal for myself moving into this new year. I take my education seriously, and I am more than sure Justin will too. I think being a full time student, and working full time will present challenges for my husband, but he is a trooper and I seem him fulfilling his goals to obtain his degree. We are both overly confident we can continue to motivate and encourage each other.

 Speaking of next month, we'll have definitely settled in our new Washington home by this time. During our "what to implement" discussion this past week, my husband actually had one awesome request. At least once a month, we'll have a date night. This is perfect for us, considering we will be near family members, and I know leaving Ava bug with people we trust isn't going to be any type of issue. Having a child has definitely changed our marriage, but I'd have to say becoming parents changed our marriage in such beautiful ways. That being said, our main center of focus may be Ava, but we haven't forgotten how she came to be (us two). So, whether it be dinner at a restaurant, a nice beach side picnic, or just "some day" shopping for appliances at Home Depot, we will continue to nourish and allow our marriage to flourish.

Aside from physical goals for Justin, and more mental health goals for myself, this is the jist of the growth we would like to have happen for our family this year. Notice how I said growth? Growth is never ending. Achieving growth is the biggest motivation anyone can have.  If you take nothing else away from this post, leave with that. A motivated being can move mountains. Always have a goal in mind, always work toward growth.

Happy New Year all!

♥- Leilani

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