the start: why a blog?

Welcome to our blog!

We are Ruben and Jenna Alvarez and along with our daughters are La Familia Alvarez.

We created this place for a few reasons. First, we frequently have family and friends asking questions about the way we have chosen to live and raise our family – often regarding traditional foods, attachment parenting, natural living and radical Christianity – since it is often different from the norms of society. We were frequently sending them book suggestions, topics to search for, other blogs to read, and lengthy conversations over text messages, and while we love doing that and will continue to do so, we thought a blog would be a way for us to create a resource to direct others to and also a way for us to keep track of my favorite methods, resources, products, recipes and articles we’ve gathered over a few years of research, which is our second reason for creating this blog.

Here we will talk about many different topics and resources, including but not limited to:
Natural health and living – natural remedies, living a chemical-free lifestyle, healing our teeth naturally, holistic dentistry, amalgam removal, lead awareness, natural remedies and types of products we purchase and use
Pregnancy & Parenting – preconception nutrition, pregnancy diet, natural birth, attachment parenting, gentle discipline, babywearing, cosleeping, cloth diapering, baby-led weaning, elimination communication, natural birth
Traditional and organic foods – bone broths, fermented foods and beverages, grass-fed and free range meats, unprocessed foods, eliminating processed sugars
Homesteading – backyard chickens, gardening, DIY projects

But the one factor that ties in all of these topics is this – INTENTIONAL LIVING. We’ve made these lifestyle choices not by chance, but intentionally, with much thought put into them. Our goal is to live the happiest, healthy lives we possibly can in order to be able to most effectively achieve our ultimate goal and calling: to go and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We don’t want you to think of this blog as a place for us to point out what we’re doing right and you’re doing wrong, or for you to think what we’ve decided is the only way. Let’s be on this journey together. A journey to live intentionally through the choices we make, rather than floating along and letting the default choices our current culture, government and corporations decide the way we live our lives. As long as we’re all on that same page of intentional living, it doesn’t matter where in the journey each individual is at or what we choose on that journey because we’re on the same journey. You will learn from us but we also hope to learn from you.

One of my favorite websites, Becoming Minimalist, has a great article on living an intentional life: http://www.becomingminimalist.com/the-helpful-guide-to-living-an-intentional-life/. I encourage you to read through the short but dense article, but here are some key concepts:
“Don’t just drift through life. Live intentionally and on purpose.”
“Realize that your life is made up of choices”
“Living an intentional life will require you to take a step back and evaluate the flow of           the stream (of our current culture) to determine where it is headed, how it is affecting         you, and if it is taking you in a direction you desire.”

And as another blogger put it, intentional living is:
“to consciously live our life in a way that drives our dreams and goals. To consciously          make choices for our lives instead of leaving it to chance. Not allowing the world’s              distractions take me away from my dreams and goals.
(livingintentionallysimple.wordpress.com)

This isn’t a place for negativity or heated debates. We are simply sharing the decisions we have made for our lives and family. If you don’t like it, that’s just fine. We are more than open to honest questions, positive or well-researched alternatives to our viewpoints, and friendly back and forth discussions, but we won’t tolerate negative or hurtful language or attitudes in the comments.

Lastly, we do not consider ourselves experts nor are we perfect. We make informed decisions and recommendations based on the time and resources we have to research and also based on our personal experiences. It’s possible something we are doing at one point might change in the future. It’s possible the way we do something now turns out to be completely wrong in the future. And we are ok with that. We are still learning and evolving to this way of living, so please show the same grace and patience we will show you as we go on this journey together.

Ruben & Jenna