Happy 36th birthday to the most amazing man alive…my one and only, and my best friend
Chris, for your birthday this year, we thought there would be nothing better than to let you know just a few of the many reasons we are so grateful for you in our lives.
Our kiddos took this task pretty seriously…Matix and Marley were so cute and wanted to write down what they were going to say to make sure they didn’t forget anything important :). Ruby had PLENTY to say about you, and Cash? Well, he’s two and a half, and said whatever came to his hilarious little head.
Without further ado… out of the mouths of your babes…
Now, from me? Too much to possibly write here, so I’ll keep this short and tell you the rest in person…
I love you so, so much, Babe. We may have the occasional spat (let’s be honest, they’re almost all my fault!), but no matter how many we have, these statements will always hold true:
YOU are my best friend,
YOU are the one I laugh with about the silliest things,
YOU make me a better person, just by being around you,
YOU are my mentor,
YOU are my partner in crime,
YOU are my rock,
YOU are my everything.
Working, living, and raising a family together 24/7 can carry some challenges…but I’ll tell ya…I wouldn’t have it any other way. The benefits of having you to experience every aspect of this life with me far outweigh those challenges. This life is so much better with you in it (not just for me, but for those reading this too). Thank you for being the love of my life. Thanks for standing by my side as we accomplish our dreams and help others accomplish theirs. I am a better person because of you.
Thre is nothing more special that getting a handmade card from one of your children. Our nanny helped Cash make the cutest picture for us for Valentine’s Day featuring a big bouquet of flowers on the front. It was so adorable. And get this, she used CELERY!
Perfect for not only Valentine’s Day, you could make a card featuring this celery-inspired bouquet of happiness for Mother’s Day, Easter, Grandparent’s Day, a get well card, even a just-to-say-I-love-you card. The possibilities are endless!
Interested in helping your kids make their own? Here’s how:
As many of you know, our job takes us on many adventures around the U.S., and most recently, around the world. Four of the Powell Six Pack went on these adventures while Matix and Marley stayed home because they are in school. (Boy do we wish we could’ve taken them!!) We ended up being gone for two weeks straight, the longest we have ever been away from Matix and Marley. While seeing some of the most beautiful places in the world was AMAZING, we couldn’t wait to be home and together again as a family.
Our nanny, who stayed with Matix and Marley, thought it might be fun for them to create an awesome surprise for us to come home to. Because Valentine’s Day is coming up, they decided to give us one serious heart attack.
We walked into our bedroom, bathroom and closet to find this:
With some of the sweetest messages:
From our sweet, amazing, superstar kids:
As if coming home to these two wasn’t awesome enough, their surprise made it even better. It is so true what they say, “There’s no place like home.”
“♥ Love isn’t finding someone you can live with, it’s finding someone you can’t live without.” – Rafael Ortiz
On a fateful evening back in December of 2008, I met the man of my dreams. I just didn’t know it yet. It started with a cheesy pick up line — or so I thought — until I realized that he was really that sincere and sweet. He told me that my arms looked amazing and wanted to know how I trained. At the time, I was guarded. I was struggling to put the pieces of my life back together as a newly single mother of two young children, and the last thing I was looking for was a relationship. Chris was working through his own issues, trying to make something of his life and struggling to get back on his feet after losing everything. After the seminar we talked for hours. We discovered how much we had in common and developed a genuine appreciation for each other. For months, we supported each other as friends — I helped him restructure his business, and he helped me through my daily trials and tribulations. The more we got to know each other, the more our appreciation grew for each other. We tied the knot in June of 2010. Little Cash joined our family in 2011, and we’re all anxiously awaiting the arrival of our new little one in November, who will make our Powell Pack a six-pack!
That being said, our life together is not always full of “butterflies and roses,” as Chris likes to say. Oh, no. We have relationship and family challenges just like everyone else! Not only are we trying to be the best spouses and parents we can be, but we also work together 24/7/365 to help guide transformations for some incredible people (featured on Extreme Weight Loss on ABC) and other projects that are so important to us. And while we love every aspect of the life we’ve chosen, it can sometimes take a toll on our relationship if we’re not careful. So how do we keep that spark alive? I’ll let you in on our four little secrets:
• Take advantage of every single moment. From caring for our amazing kids, to nonstop schedule revisions, to running the family business, to being year-long coaches to our transformation contestants, to doing household chores, to dealing with Chris’ crazy travel schedule (he’s gone pretty much 75 percent of the year) — I could go on and on — it can be difficult to find time to spend together and reconnect. I know we’re not alone in this challenge — this is the reality of life! We’ve realized if we don’t create time to spend together, it’s just not going to happen. Some of the time we spend together isn’t what you’d necessarily call “romantic” (although any time with my man is what I’d call “romantic”!): we run errands, do household chores, work out, take walks, and just sit and talk. We’ve discovered that a few minutes here and there can truly strengthen our relationship, and believe it or not these moments of “real life” we get to experience together are the ones that truly define our relationship — it feels so good to know that we can enjoy even the most mundane of tasks together ;). And how do we do it when we’re on opposite sides of the continent? Simple: we take advantage of technology (video chat and our iPhones) to spend as much time together as possible, every single day. We set “family dates” between breaks to play games, eat dinner/lunch, and just play… all over computer!! We make it work, and make it enjoyable!
• Take time for yourselves. While time together is crucial, it’s equally important to have some personal time to keep our individual souls happy and healthy. Whether it’s yoga, meditation, working out, cooking, writing, or simply relaxing, we make sure we take care of ourselves so we can take better care of each other and our kids. The stronger, happier, and healthier we are individually, the strong we can be as a team and a family ☺
• Be a team. Chris and I are two imperfect people. We both have strengths and weaknesses. Chris excels at some things I struggle with, and vice versa. We’ve learned to combine our strengths to form this amazing team that is so powerfully effective in reaching our common goals. And when one of us is struggling, the other one steps up to the plate to make up the difference. When he’s on the road and I’m left to run the family business and take care of the kids, I do it, because that’s what true teammates do. When I’m struggling with the kids, he steps in and takes over, because that’s what true teammates do. But no matter what, I know he’s got my back and he knows I’ve got his. No matter what. We are a team.
• Be each other’s best friend — always. Chris and I were best friends long before we decided to get married. We had a relationship built on openness, honesty, vulnerability, and an unconditional appreciation of how perfectly imperfect we were, and this best friend relationship formed the foundation for the marriage that we value and fiercely protect today. I know from past experience that when we get close to someone, it’s easy to take that person for granted and fall into the stereotypical “nagging wife” and “lazy husband” roles, or vice versa. It’s also easy to get irritated with your significant other’s imperfections. The solution Chris and I discovered is that we ALWAYS treat each other like a best friend — we even have “My Best Friend” tattooed on our ring fingers as a constant reminder. So the next time your significant other leaves the toilet seat up or the lid off the toothpaste — again — think, “How would I approach my best friend in this situation?” and then do it. When he tells you the truth about how a certain dress looks, even though it might hurt, try to react and respond to him like you would your best friend. And when your best friend talks, really listen to what is said, like a best friend would.
Let’s be honest: all relationships go through good times and some not-so-good times. Put these four little secrets to the test and see if they can not only keep that spark alive, but help those not-so-good times become better as well. Now that’s a win-win!
This day, 3 years ago, at 6:43am this man and I were brought together as husband and wife for time and all eternity. Quite the step for me back then, considering at the time I didn’t feel so lucky in love and had made a youthful commitment to never marry again. But I had a feeling something was different about him and this time.
The difference? I had found my best friend. I had found the human being that I could be ME around, 100% of the time…and he still loved me. In fact, after spilling my deepest darkest fears and secrets, this man only loved me more!!! As someone who once searched to say the right thing at the right time to make people in front of me happy, I now (thanks to you, Chris Powell) have NO filter (haha). I have felt what it feels like to be honest and authentic, and have felt what it feels like to be loved for that, and I can never go back.
Chris and I tiptoed around the word love for 6 months after knowing we were in love. Instead, we found a much more fitting and powerful word for how we felt about each other, that we still use to this day. “I appreciate you SO much,” is what we say. And it’s the doggone truth. I do appreciate the person he is on every level – far beyond his insane hotness, believe it or not (which I considered a “con” when I met him!). Chris is a person of honesty, integrity, values, character, humility (SO humble!!!), kindness, hard work, and determination. I knew I’d never find anyone else like him – he’s one of a kind!
Three years now – I’m sure we are like babies compared to some! But with so much in our lives, marriage isn’t easy. Marriage isn’t made to be easy and is full of benefits and costs. Thankfully, we see that the benefits of this once-in-a-lifetime union far outweigh the costs. When times get tough for us, we simply remind ourselves of the tattoo on our ring finger (a diamond ring seemed so unpractical to me when we married, especially because we were still living with my parents and making very little $$!). His ring says “my best friend” in my handwriting, and my ring says “my best friend” in his handwriting. Reason? Because we have seen marriages come and go, but best friendships like ours are a made for an eternity. It is a reminder that above ALL ELSE, we are BEST FRIENDS – - we ask ourselves, “how would I treat my best friend in this situation?” Oftentimes, we treat our spouses differently…especially when they nag :-). This helps us put our priorities in order and remember why we appreciate each other so darn much.
Thank you to my best friend for loving the root of who I am. I know without a shadow of a doubt that no matter what happens to my face, body, mind over time – because we all age – you will always love and “appreciate” my soul, and I will yours too. I’m blessed, grateful, lucky, happy, in love…to infinity and beyond.
In honor of your 35th birthday today, I want you to know just 35 of the MANY things I love about you, Mr Powell :-). I have to tell you, this was a hard list to narrow down! I wish you were turning 100 – would have made my job so much easier!!
I love that…
You have the kindest eyes I’ve ever seen.
You make me want to be a better person every single day.
You don’t know how to give anything less than 110%.
You’re hot as all get out.
You make me and everyone around you feel like they are the most important thing in the world.
I love your brainstorms.
You are incredibly coachable – I ask you to change something, and you do…permanently. It’s never temporary. BLOWS my mind.
You have the most amazingly funny sense of humor EVER! I WISH the world could know that side of you!!! You make me laugher harder and more often than ANYONE else.
I love that you are my best friend.
I love how easy you are to please (I could take a lesson!).
You make me feel safe, even from 1000 miles away.
Your trust in me is unreal. Makes me strive to be even more trustworthy.
You are the best thing that has happened to this world, in my eyes. We need more CP’s running around :-).
You are even more amazing when the camera is off of you.
You were made to be a daddy…our kids are the luckiest kids alive.
You are BRILLIANT, Chris Powell. Oh, yet another thing I wish the world could REALLY see…they only get a glimpse, but wow, if they really knew.
I love how you sleep with at least 5 pillows every night – and that no matter how late or how tired you are, you will always cuddle with me until I fall asleep.
You taught me how to dream.
That body of yours is Ah-MAAAAAzing!!!!!!! And you work your booty off for every bit of it.
You are so honest…sometimes TOO honest ;). It’s refreshing.
I love how you think I’m beautiful even when I haven’t washed my hair in 4 days, and my acne is flaring up :-).
I love that you love what I love: family, a killer workout, and getting stuff done!!
I love that you get more and more handsome with every year and every wrinkle. Forever handsome. You are timeless.
I love how you look at me.
I love how you will do ANYTHING to make our family happy.
I love that your perfect date night is takeout and Modern Family…which is exactly what you chose to do tonight for your big day!
I love your hugs – we fit perfectly together.
I love that we can do anything we put our minds to, together.
I love your obsession with whiteboards…you would decorate every wall with one if I let you :-).
I love how you play the piano for me…beautiful! One of the things that won me over right there. PS: Check out the video below!…he makes me cry a little :-)…. and for more, check out yesterday’s blog.
I love your passion…for everything.
I love that you see the best in all things – especially challenging times.
You never let me give up.
I love how much you love playing with the kids. You would do that all day if you could!
I love that you came into my life. It is forever changed. I am forever grateful, and forever yours, Chris Powell. I love you.
Gosh – I can’t wait for you to get older so I can’t tell you MORE things I love about you! 35 is just not enough….I could go on forever.
So many people ask how Chris and I keep our spark with him traveling most of the year (75 % of the time to be exact). That is SUCH a great question and is one I often ask myself!
Me and my man!
One of the hardest parts of my marriage is being away from the person I love and respect more than any other grown human being (my kids are loved and respected very differently, of course). It’s HARD knowing how great life is with my best friend in it, and then accepting that most of the time he won’t physically be around. It’s hard raising a family together with him sometimes thousands of miles away. It’s hard showing him how much I love him, and for him, showing me how much he loves me when I am in Arizona and he is in Canada, New York, Florida, or Peru (to name a few).
But we do it…and doggone it, I think we do it pretty well, considering our circumstances. We have our rough days (mostly when he is away), but I sure do rest my head on my pillow every single night knowing that my best friend (who happens to be my husband) loves and respects me more than anyone else in the world, and I know he feels the same way. I also know that when he comes home after 2 or 3 weeks away, life always does resume as if he was never gone.
Our lives were meant to be lived together – they were. He is the yin to my yang, my partner in crime, my soul mate and my best friend. Like any other couple though, we have to work at this. Here is one of our biggest secrets of all (that we even tattooed on our ring fingers, as a reminder) to long-lasting romance:
Remember we are BEST FRIENDS before husband and wife – ALWAYS.
“My Best Friend” Tattooed on our Fingers!
Chris and I were attracted to each other for so many reasons. Physically, of course, but at the point in our lives that we met, neither of us was interested in physical attraction. His kindness, compassion, love, brilliance, and uniqueness are what drew me to him. I guess I had a trait or two that he liked as well (wink wink), so our friendship very quickly blossomed into one I had never experienced before. Within mere weeks, Chris and I were convinced we were meant to be life partners. We thought that maybe we were meant to marry different people, but we were CERTAIN that our friendship (built on trust and respect) was irreplaceable. We went on to realize that the mother/father of our future kids was right there in front of each of us the whole time, so we tied the knot!Having seen some failed marriages, and having experienced one myself, I knew that so easily there could come a destructive comfort with marriage. Some of you might know what I’m talking about: when we get so close to someone, it’s easy to make them our punching bag when we’re mad. It’s also easy to soon fall into the stereotypical “nagging wife” and “lazy husband” roles – or vice-versa. You’re smiling because you KNOW it’s true! We begin to forget why we found our husband so endearing after a while, and TRUST me, they begin to forget what it was like when you didn’t nag them!
Solution (and this works like a charm for Chris and I!) – ALWAYS treat your man or woman like a best friend! Forget for just one second that you are spouses, and think of them like the best friend they used to be…and still are!
Next time your significant other leaves the toilet seat up or the lid off of the toothpaste, think “how would I approach my best friend”? When they pass gas if front of you when THEY KNOW YOU HATE IT (I love you, Chris!) or, when they tell you the truth about how a certain dress makes you look (which can hurt sometimes!), just try-oh-try to respond, react, respect, and love them like you would your best friend.
There’s a good chance that once you start treating them like a best friend, they’ll return the favor, and the romance will follow and blossom!
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. It’s the time to share something special with your special someone. It’s the season of hearts, flowers, candy and love which can make a huge dent in your pocketbook. One of the most priceless gifts that we can give (that’s also FREE!) is the gift of quality (and healthy!) time together!
Chris, Cash and I on a Powell family hike!
I’m not talking about just physically sitting in the same room together – you need to communicate with each other and interact. Texting each other doesn’t count!
Healthy relationships are built on healthy activities and quality interaction. Whether you are in a relationship or single, we all have people in our lives who need to know that they are loved and cared about. This might be a relationship with a special someone, a family member, a good friend, or yes, even remembering to tell yourself that you are incredible and are loved.
So what are some healthy things you can do to show love this Valentine’s Day? Skip the chocolate and candies. They’re temporary. One thing we do in our family is workout. This is actually how we enjoy spending our time together. The kids join in and we make it a fun family activity and sometimes it’s just Chris and I after a long day. Because our time together can be so limited, we make it really count. One of our favorite activities is hiking. We live in the beautiful southwest and this is the perfect time to enjoy the cooler weather and the beauty that surrounds us. We talk, we laugh, we love this time we get to spend on our hikes.
Some of you have snow or crazy weather that is keeping you indoors this time of year. Don’t let that stop you! There are lots of things you and your loved one can still enjoy together. Go climb an indoor rock wall, or play a game of indoor tennis, find an indoor batting cage or golf range. If you enjoy the outdoors and the cold, go downhill or cross country skiing, snowboarding or even snowshoeing. There’s nothing like cuddling up after a great day spent together enjoying the beautiful outdoors.
Chris and I send you our love this Valentine’s Day and can’t wait to hear what healthy things you did with your loved one.
You’ve heard the saying before, “Life is like a bowl full of cherries”. This ever popular phrase comes from a song written back in the 1930s that starts off like this:
Life is just a bowl of cherries; Don’t make it serious; Life’s too mysterious. You work, you save, you worry so, But you can’t take your dough when you go, go, go!
Cherries and Life Have a lot in Common
Both are bright, delicious, have seasons, can get a bruise or two along the way, and yes, have some pits in there too! There are also a few things about cherries that many people don’t know. In honor of National Cherry Month, check out these fun facts about red, delicious cherries.
1 cup of cherries has just 90 calories
Cherries are full of fiber and vitamin c
Cherries are full of antioxidants
They contain cyanidin which has anti-inflammatory properites
They also contain the highest amount of natural Melatonin which is known to regulate the rhythmic patterns of the body.
And a few strange trivia facts about cherries….
At one time it was against the law to serve ice cream on cherry pie in Kansas.
China once considered cherries a prized food fit for royalty.
Mix It In
While we often think of cherry pies and cherry chocolates (perfect for those guilt free days!) did you know cherriess are just as yummy added to cottage cheese, greek yogurt, or simply add a few crushed cherries to your water (or even a sugar-free Verve!) to start getting some of these benefits! Keep in mind the sweet cherry or dark cherry is usually used for eating and snacking. While the tart cherry is used for cooking and recipes.
Cherries are also that perfect snack, especially when on-the-go. They’re great for adults AND kids! My favorite are the bing cherries…be careful though, they have pits in them!