Our Journey to ‘Healthiness’

It all started in Fall of 2013… We have tried knocking out all processed foods from my kitchen, which worked so well for us… that is until morning sickness with Baby Grace set in… then I gave in to the convenience and siren’s call of Doritos and Goldfish.

But the reason why we made the switch to no/low processed foods was because my entire family was living Sickagedon 2013. In a span of two months, my kids and husband had horrible flus, colds, stomach bugs, coughs, squirts, pukes, you name it, they caught it. I was the only one who was not a victim of said tragedy, but was during the time we learned of our first miscarriage. I mention this because moms tend to feel like miscarrying your baby is your fault somehow, and because I have a kick-butt immune system, I felt like my body just kicked everything out-including my sweetie growing inside.

Needless to say, Mama Bear got angry. I wanted to kick out all that was causing us pain! Aaaand we needed to give our washer and dryer a break from sanitizing poopy, pukey sheets! (… and rugs… and clothes… and towels… you get the picture). So after hitting the blogosphere hard, I came across some good friends in the local Des Moines area who wanted to gradually kick out sugar from their homes. We eventually formed a facebook group called, “Healthy Eating Families.” These ladies not only inspired me to slowly but surely take baby steps in ridding our house of processed foods, and providing real food options! And it worked! NO SICKNESS from January to March! Eating real food and kicking out common chemicals saved my bebes from a big part of the flu season!

Because of this Healthy Eating Families group, I learned how to make my own toothpaste, water and dairy kefir, kombucha,  elderberry syrup, sauerkraut, and fell in love with Essential Oils.

In late Feb, I started feeling SUPER TIRED and sick from being prego. I could not even say the word, “Kombucha” without gagging. Literally. I let all my living, probiotic saturated, creatures die on my kitchen counter. It was sad/liberating.

I am looking forward to gradually kicking out the chips, tortillas, bread and boxed granola bars in hopes of making my own after the baby is born and I emerge from the postnatal fog. But until then, we have truly incorporated a healthier diet consisting of many more fruits and veggies as well as grass-fed options for diary! We are still feeling good!

To aid us in our health, we use Essential Oils for our entire family! I firmly believe in this hippie stuff! But I am totally aware of how expensive providing healthy choices can be. I have written some posts on providing healthy, natural choices for your family on a budget. Feel free to ask questions! We are all learning together.

Essential Oils on a Budget

Real Food on a Budget (Stores with the best prices!)

Blogs to follow to Stay on a Healthiness Budget

Apps for Motivation to stay healthy!



Journey. I love the word. I especially love when it applies to one’s life. I like it because there is a beginning and eventually an end (which provides me with a much needed sense of control or order)… but SO MUCH lies in the middle. Journey also implies that life. goes. on. Even after the hard times…

The month of October has been just that for the Halbach House. We have endured virus after virus, sleepless night after sleepless night. First, Ben got up in the middle of the night, came in to our bed after asking so politely if he could. After snuggling my sick boy, he puked all over me and our bed (and new sheets!). Like a virus, it spread to the other boys leaving a poop and puke trail behind it… Well because boys are pretty gross even when they are heathy, this virus must have felt at home because it didn’t leave. it just hopped from boy to boy for over 10 days. Which means, for 10 days, there would be at least one of our previously kissable boys, covered in puke or poop (OR BOTH!) at 3am. Every. night.

It finally left our two younger boys and spent all of it’s time with Mikey. Poor Mikey was really struggling to fight it off, so much so that he needed to be hospitalized, even overnight! But 5 popcicles, 3 chocolate milks, and 1 Octopod later, he came home and was now healthy enough to kill that nasty virus, once and for all!! And that he did 🙂

But our sorrows/frustrations did not end there. That Tuesday, only 3 days after bringing Mikey home from the hospital, I went to my first midwife appointment. I was so excited to hear that quick pitterpatter of a heartbeat and after waiting in the waiting room, reciting my medical history and stripping down/wearing my paper skirt, the moment finally came! First, the warm gel they put on your belly, then the mini microphone thing, next heartbeat right? Not today. My poor midwife tried and tried, pressing here and there, but just could not find the heartbeat for the life of her.

I am not the kind of person to freak out. So I just took deep breaths, preparing myself for what could happen next. Preparing myself for the possibility that the little butterbean growing inside me stopped growing inside me…. My awesome midwife told me that sometimes this happens but not to freak out until we know something for sure. So she rushed me in for an ultrasound. I was waiting in a new waiting room with women and their joyfully swollen bellies, suddenly jealous of each and every one, clinging to the hope that mine would grow to be that big in 6 months…

And again, stripped from the belly down, donning a paper skirt, I finally saw the proof of my worst fear. My baby had stopped growing, stopped moving, stopped…. living…

My worst fears were still hidden. The words of my loss had not been spoken yet. So I did what I was formed to do, I hoped. I hoped with all of me that the baby was just small, just sleeping. But after the too-long ultrasound was over, the ultrasound tec pointed out what blood flow looked like and that was not any blood flow in my baby. She then said with such compassion, “I am so sorry.”

punch.in.my.heart. Just as the life was taken from my baby, breath was taken from me. I just cried. A lot. But? How? Why? I’ll never hold you! I’ll never see you! You will not get to meet your awesome brothers? Cried some more. Achy heart grew heavier…

I thanked the tec for her compassion and went home to cry in my husbands arms. We had no idea that that day would end up that way… but it did. This was October 15th, 2013, the National day of remembrance for miscarriage and infant loss.

Because we told everyone and their mom about our pregnancy, we decided to do the same about our miscarriage. We had no idea how many people would put fourth their prayers, kind words, empathetic stories, etc. To read more about my post-miscarriage, life-giving moments, read here.

After the miscarriage, Matt and I were as strong as ever… this strength was so needed to endure the next trial of October, which was strep. For all three boys! We caught it early and got them on antibiotics. Mikey’s strep was of course a super strain because it was not responding to the antibiotics, so one call from the school nurse, one pair of pukey jeans, and one stronger prescription from the doctor later, he was as good as new.

Then I got walking pneumonia!

So what have I learned throughout this month? A few things… mainly that life. goes. on,

Also that cleaning up poop and puke off the carpets and tiny bottoms count as a prayer, so I shouldn’t feel guilty when I haven’t set aside ANY time to pray or be with God during those dark times.

And that the resurrection of Jesus brings hope to me during this time.

And that I have three beautiful boys and an amazing husband who are alive and kind of healthy 🙂

And that each of us are on a journey. Today, for most of us, is not the end. There is tomorrow. This too shall pass, right?