How I got HERE.
Hi! I'm Afton... like the river (if you’ve never heard the song Flow Gently Sweet Afton, I highly recommend Nickel Creek’s version), but not after the river... or the song. No, unfortunately it was nothing that cool. I was apparently named after a character in the old hit TV show, Dallas. [Excuse me while I go Google that for (oddly enough) the first time ever.] Wow. After more than 30 years, I just confirmed that there was indeed a character named “Afton Cooper” on Dallas sometime around my birth. I wonder if she was a good guy or a bad guy... but not enough to Google it. ;)
Anyway, WELCOME! I’m glad you found me and I hope you’ll stick around for some encouragement, education, fun, and downright cuteness (I mean, have you SEEN my kids??).When OUR (my husband says they’re his, too) kids were somewhere around almost 1 and almost 3, something began to really change in me. With my husband’s late step father being a Nutritional Counselor of 40+ years (and retired Doctor of Natural Medicine), we had a decent amount of health knowledge compared to the average Joe, but like most people we never really took it that seriously. We “tried” to eat healthier by cutting out junk foods, we took our vitamins and minerals, and tried to make more natural choices when we had ailments. That was pretty much the extent at that point. Even with my own health issues that had slowly been getting worse over the years, it still wasn’t something we seriously thought about. BUT... now we had young children. And as they say, “that changes everything”. And boy, did it. We now had these two beautiful gifts from God to think about.
Like most parents, we were at the pediatrician’s office it seemed every couple of months. Earaches, strep throat, fevers, earaches, colds, coughs, fevers, earaches... you know, “the norm”. Or was it? I can’t tell you it was some loud explosion that went off alarming us to WAKE UP and start doing some of our own research. No, it was more of a still, small voice. Call it what you will, but we were listening.
Somewhere around this time, a sweet friend introduced me to essential oils. She knew I had begun researching natural ways to help our children heal. The number of times they had been prescribed and given antibiotics was, quite frankly, ridiculous. (I just didn’t realize it at the time because I was uneducated.) When I learned about antibiotics (and other medications) and what they were doing to our babies, I felt angry with myself for allowing it and KNEW there had to be another way. After looking into essential oils, we ordered our first “kit”, which included all the basic oils we would need to start ridding our home of toxic chemicals. Diving into the world of essential oils was a HUGE help in getting us turned toward the healthier journey our family would begin.
You ever heard that saying, “surround yourself with people you want to be like”, or maybe, “you are what you eat”? One thing you’ll learn about pointing your family in a healthier, less-popular direction is just that... it’s less popular. (And I’ll get into this more in depth in the future.) You will most likely find yourself excited to share something you learned to a group of friends who either (a) are just not interested, or (b) don’t want to hear what you have to say because it will make them feel guilty about not wanting to inconvenience their lives with education and better choices. Either way – it’s not your fault or your problem. But you DO need to get some friends who will support and encourage your new direction, and definitely some who are going the same way you are!
At this point, I had a good handful or 2 of these friends – some that I knew already, some through social media. Lucky for me, at the beginning stages of our new journey, I was headed to beautiful Savannah, Georgia for a 4-day lady’s retreat for one of my side businesses. Little did I know, the hostess would also be flying in her niece from California to join us. From the West coast to the East coast, this girl would be become my best friend and truth-seeking Clyde to my Bonnie. Tip: If you don’t have friends who love you enough to speak TRUTH into your life - even if it means pointing out where you could be wrong - get some!
That piece of the puzzle is SO important, because as I began to start unlearning everything I’d been taught by the media, the medical industry, and family members (Lord have mercy, those family members), the support network I’d started putting into place was probably the #1 reason we stuck it out and didn’t run back to the ped for more antibiotics when any of those three were feeding us fear tactics. (Again, another story for another day.)
Well, long story not as long, we made it through the next few bouts of sickness with essential oils, immune boosters, and lots of rest and cuddles. No. More. Antibiotics. No fever reducers. NONE. Not one. And you know what we found? Right before our eyes our kids were getting stronger. They were sick less, and when they were, they were healing much faster. Our experience gave us more and more confidence, and has become our testimony over these some six years.
I have grown immensely passionate about all things TRUTH. When you start learning that things just aren’t what they seemed, you (I would certainly hope) naturally become hungry for more truth – especially when that truth is what is potentially the one thing keeping your family from optimal health and a less stressful life.
Through this blog, I hope to ENCOURAGE and EMPOWER others to do 2 main things:
EDUCATE!Read. Research. Ask. Watch. Listen. Learn. THINK! Repeat. In this world of information, there is no reason that every single person should not be able to research any subject PAST the surface of mainstream media.
STOP LOOKING FOR THE MAGIC PILL!Our society has become so accustomed to instant gratification. Even in the world of health and wellness, there is no secret fix-all. Take, for example, essential oils. Using a high quality, first distillation, synthetic free EO can significantly add to your overall health. However, using EO’s can only do so much if you continue making other poor choices regarding your diet, healthcare, and lifestyle. You’ll often hear me use the word “journey”, because that’s exactly what it is if you are dedicated to it. (For some, I suppose it’s more like a weekend vacation twice a year.) It doesn’t happen overnight, and you shouldn’t expect it to.
What I DO NOT intend to do through this blog, however, is:
Pretend that I know everything (I’m on this journey, too, folks... I’m just living it out loud here...)
Diagnose or cure (I’m not a doctor and don’t play one on TV either). The information on this blog has not been evaluated by the FDA and is NOT intended to diagnose, treat, or cure anyone of anything. These are my thoughts and opinions and should be treated as so. I don’t really encourage treating any blog as your go-to means of urgent medical advice. You should seek your integrative or naturopathic doctor for these matters.
Advertise for products or services that I don’t actually LOVE myself, or know first-hand a friend or family member who does (which will always be clearly stated).
So stick around a while, hop in the conversation and let’s all work toward making this a better place for our sweet lil babies coming up behind us... what say you?
Other fun things about our family:
We don’t actually raise peanuts (not that I’m against it, but first I want to learn vegetables). Our kids are "Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Linus". (Wait for it.....)
My husband and I are 19 years apart. Not your typical relationship, but turns out we both aren’t that typical and I can’t imagine life with anyone else.
I live in a small town that has very minimal options for organic eating. I love our 25 acres, but jealous of those who have a Whole Foods within a 30 mile radius. Thank the Lord for Thrive Market and the options we DO have until I can become a master homesteader.
I secretly want to get a travel bus and hit the road with my family for a year or 2 of adventures.
I love music. LOVE it. I sing (sometimes even in a band, but mostly just on Smule), and REALLY want to make time to learn the ukulele one day. I host the podcasts on www.bandtogether.rocks and I'm a huge fan of their mission!
We are an entrepreneurial family. We run a full time Printing/Graphic Design business and full time Real Estate company (brokered by my husband) in North Central Florida. Our daughters are always coming up with business ideas... our oldest made around $400 selling oily DIY's at a kid's craft event when she was 8, and our youngest (now 7) has made hundreds pet sitting. They currently dream of having a Farmer's Market booth.
I'm an unlikely "cook". I'm sure my long-time friends get a good chuckle at the thought of me sharing cooking advice online. When we got more serious about "food for fuel", I got in the kitchen. I've learned that real food can be simple and delicious (herbs are my best friend)!
I am passionate about natural wellness. Aside from loving this sweet family God has blessed me with, I know my calling is to encourage others through the truth I'm learning.
We are homeschoolers who didn’t see it coming. (You know, parents who were climbing the ladders of success who “thought” homeschooled children lack social skills??) Best. Decision. Ever.