Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Look, New Year, New Baby!

Well, hello there, 2012!

With my fabulous blog makeover (thanks to my sweet friend, Shannon at Sweet Bean Co.), a new year to look forward to, and a new baby; we've got a lot to be thankful for!

We, along with our Regal Pup had a wonderful, memory-filled holiday season.  We welcomed a new addition to our family, between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  

It's been non-stop since little Evie's arrival, but things are finally starting to return to our new normal.

Without further adieu, our little blessing's birth announcement:

Created by Sweet Bean Co. Designs
My theme for this year?  

Mindful Living

I plan on making a lot of lifestyle modifications for myself and our family.  I am eager to share this journey with my readers, and hopefully shed some light on some important topics.  Although this blog's main purpose will still be to journal our family's everyday life - I need accountability to incorporate these shifts to our everyday norm.  So, I have decided to include these changes on this blog.  

The reason for starting this journey is simple - good health.

As I have learned more and more about the dangers of what I use everyday, I often have wondered if I was giving myself a slow, death sentence. What causes cancer?  What exactly am I eating?  What am I using to clean my home?  How is the computer, cell phone, and TV affecting my brain?  What is my carbon footprint in this world?  But, of all of those reasons, the one thing that stands out to me the most is the cancer question.

Within one week, my best friend's father was diagnosed with Stage 3 melanoma cancer.  Then, a few days later, my dad called to tell me that my uncle was just diagnosed with stomach cancer that is in it's 4th stage.  By the way, my dad himself has been fighting sarcoma for over 6 years.  The cancer had spread through his veins, and he had his right arm and shoulder amputated in September, 2010.  A quadruple amputation (meaning 1/4 of his body was removed)!  Cancer has been a royal pain in the you know what in my family.  Cancer is not picky.  It can strike anyone, regardless of age, gender, and social status.  I'm beginning to truly believe that what we put in and on our bodies is the cause of cancer.  Are we all destined to have this horrible sickness at one point in our lives?  With all of the people I know who have had survived it, and died from it,  I'm leaning towards that wild assumption.

I was first made aware of the dangers of certain foods back in 2007.  I had just read the book, Skinny Bitch, written by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin.  While the book was written to help people lose weight, and ultimately, change their diet and lifestyle;  it also included a manifest of what the dangers were in eating certain foods, and how the food made their way to our plates.  It's not an easy topic to digest (no pun intended), but it unveiled the toxins and chemicals in our food, and how animals can be inhumanely slaughtered for our benefit.

Shortly thereafter, I caught an episode of Oprah.  Oprah happened to have a woman by the name of Kris Carr on her sofa that day.  Kris' journey is amazing, and you can read about it here.  She has been able to stop the growth of her Stage 4 cancerous tumors by changing her diet and lifestyle.  If that's a possibility; then shouldn't this lifestyle change prevent cancer, for those that have not succumbed to it?  I am hopeful of that - which, is why I am starting this journey.  But, I also know that there are many other positive reasons to embark on this little project of mine. I want my mind, body, and spirit to be all that it can be.  I want to leave this Earth, KNOWING that I lived my life the best way possible.

What changes do I want to make?

Let's start with my mind.  I rely far too much on my iPhone, TV, and laptop to entertain myself.  And, what's worse?  I use these same devices to entertain my son.  I find myself getting irritated with him, if he's a distraction to these things.  How sad is that?  (As I am writing this, I am jumping back and forth between tabs of Facebook and Pinterest.  And, playing Words with Friends on my phone).  "Multi-tasking" has become a new standard in our lives.  How many people do you see on their cell phones while driving?  I am certainly guilty of that!  I crave the simpler times of my childhood, but, am I too addicted to cut back; or even give up some modern technology?  I feel like it is just another way to put ourselves in danger; whether its by driving or by living our second life online.

Next, my body.  Obviously, eating healthy and exercising regularly helps.  But, I feel like that may not be enough these days.  I have always used the excuse "you can eat anything you want, as long as it's in moderation."  Well, I don't find that to be true any longer.  Chemicals, preservatives, and toxins run rampant in the food we devour each day.  More and more people are altering their diets to eating only fruits and vegetables (raw).  Or, eliminating gluten entirely from their diet.  And, not surprisingly, they feel more energetic, healthier, and happier.  I had quite the emotional pregnancy with Evie, and to think that what I eat can affect my mood is astounding.  I'm excited to jump on this "bandwagon!" 

The outside of the body is just as important as the inside.  Am I using all natural products on myself?  Are my kids safe from certain products?  I am excited to share that I am already using a new skincare line that is truly 100% all-natural.  Check out Annmarie Gianni Skin Care for some great products!   My kids are now using California Baby products too.
{These are products I discovered on my own.  I am not being compensated for these recommendations.}

In addition to taking care of our bodies, I plan to take a more natural, chemical-free approach in our home too.  

Lastly, I'd like to enlighten my spirit this year.  I want to reconnect with others, with myself; and deepen my relationship with God.  I want to let go of resentment.  I want to be happier.  I want to not sweat the small stuff so much.  I want to enjoy my family more, play with my kids, and laugh a lot.  I want to seek God first, and then allow everything else to take shape.  

I am sure I may fail in some areas miserably.  But, I hope that between being a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend - I can keep it all together.  With a little guidance from others, and research - I hope to accomplish my goal:  To live mindfully, and be happy.


Shannon said...

Wow, what a post! I can tell you put a great deal of thought into writing this and I wish you the best of luck! I think we can all stand to make some changes in our lives, and now is as good a time as any! Hugs to you, friend!

Mama K said...

Congrats!! Our babies were born right around the same time, with similar weights, and exact same height! :) Happy New Year!!

jbeatty said...

This is great. I've been on this same journey with food. Knowledge is power! I want to check out your facial line and what you are using for your kids as well. I wish you the best in your endeavors! xoxo

Lisa McCrystal said...

Wow, these are transformations we're doing in our house too!!! We need to talk soon! I miss you!


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