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.
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.”
What’s a girl (or a boy) to do when she finds herself in a foreign country with very minimal fitness equipment, minimal time with a work schedule, and two little kiddos in tow?
A fast, fun, high intensity circuit, of course ☺. For me, it’s always important to maximize the limited time I do have to workout, so these are always a wonderful go-to.
This workout came straight from Crossfit’s home page a few days back and was perfect, considering my travel circumstances. I started with a 5 minute treadmill warm up, then did the following as quickly as I was able:
500 meter row (the workout called for 50 pushups, but I wanted something to counter balance the pressing motion from my burpees instead)
50 jumping jacks
50 swing ups
50 second handstand hold
To finish? A nice and easy stretching session while my muscles are still warm.
Although this wasn’t the hardest workout I have ever done, it was nice to know that with so little equipment and time, I was still able to get the workout in that my body was needing.
Travel can be tough, but doesn’t need to be an excuse for fitness failure! Something, even this quick circuit, is better than nothing ☺.
“Are you here on holiday?” Everybody here asks…with their dreamy New Zealand accent, I must add.
This isn’t the first country (or state for that matter) that we’ve visited where this question seems to be asked repetitively. If not by the locals, then by friends, family, and our loyal Facebook, Instagram and Twitter friends. Nope. As a matter of fact, so much of our lives is spent on the road in beautiful, breathtaking places that Chris and I had only dreamed of visiting just a few short years ago.
While it might seem like the answer to that burning question should be an easy “yes” or a “no”, it’s slightly more complicated than that.
Yes, Chris and I get to travel the world. And we get to do it with our family in tow. But I must admit, not one single, itty bitty (or huge) trip we’ve taken since we have met has been for the sole purpose of vacation or pleasure. I kid you not!
All of them, every single one, to date has been for the purpose of work. Most of these trips are to visit our peeps or shoot the show, but occasionally our trips are to take business meetings, or visit some of our favorite morning or talk shows. “That’s a LOT of work trips,” you say! Yes, yes it is.
BUT…and this is a huge “but”, this doesn’t mean that we don’t make every trip a holiday ☺. Because we do!! We have learned that since time is precious…and it’s hard for us to take time for ourselves, or ever really travel just for fun, we can make fun wherever we go.
I never in a million years would have thought that I would have the opportunity to see the world like I have been able to. I also never imagined my 4th child would see 6 states and 3 countries just after her 2 month birthday. And that’s just little Ruby’s experiences! If Cash, Matix, and Marley ever write a book…I’ll tell ya, they would have some adventures to share!
How do we do this? We work hard (REALLY hard), nearly all day everyday with a huge smile on our faces. Why smile when we work? Two reasons:
One: We hardly consider this work. We get to inspire and BE inspired by people everywhere, and we get to make best friends with those people transforming their lives. The saying is true…
“Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Two: Because we know in the midst of these extremely long days we put in (on the phone coaching from afar, on the computer writing or tweaking programs, shooting the show, developing tools to help millions…not just those on the show), that when our work day wraps, a new adventure in a foreign location awaits the Powell Pack ☺.
The perfect example – Today we were lucky enough to get to spend half of our work day on one of the most beautiful, black sand beaches of New Zealand. Knowing this was the location of the shoot, we brought the family along to play between shoots. Cash had the time of his life (going on a scavenger hunt today) while Ruby smiled at everyone and everything ☺. And for us? What’s better than being able to sneak kisses and hugs from some of our bundles of joy during our work day? Dream come true.
So, whenever you wonder if “we are here on holiday,” you now have your answer.
With Winter Break coming to an end, I can’t help but sit back and appreciate the days these kids have had off from school. With our family’s abnormally busy life, it often proves tough to find “together time”, and this holiday break was the perfect opportunity for some much needed family bonding and even new, updated family pictures!
I love the days I get to spend with my kids without worrying about spelling words, projects, math sheets, and all the other homework-related things we get to do every day. Just lots of play time
I’m especially grateful for the holidays this year. We’ve been able to finally slow down (thank you, kidney stones, for the forced slow down!) and enjoy spending time together.
Just days until our crazy adventures begin again . I’ll miss this break…
So many people are asking me if I am working out yet, post-baby. The answer is yes with some fine print ☺. While I have done a couple structured bouts of movement that could be considered “working out”, I am not yet allowing myself to push at the intensity that I am wishing I could, just to be safe.
Most doctors and reputable sources recommend waiting 4-6 weeks post-delivery before Mom gets back into her regular workouts. However, the same reputable sources and doctors also say the most important thing is to listen to your body (we are all different!). They say if you worked out before pregnancy, and continued to workout through your pregnancy, there is a good chance your body may be ready for exercise much quicker than if you didn’t workout before and/or during pregnancy.
My own personal rules of thumb are these:
1. Get my doctor’s okay to begin.
2. If I am experiencing vaginal bleeding still, I am not ready to workout. If at anytime after I start working out, bleeding resumes, I will stop until it subsides and doc says it’s okay to begin again.
3. If I experience any physical pain (unrelated to regular muscular soreness that follows any good workout), I will stop working out or modify the movement to eliminate the pain. I believe that our bodies talk to us this way, and we should listen!
4. If my breast milk production slows down at any point after resuming exercise, I will slow down my workouts, or stop altogether, until milk production ramps back up. Side note: this may also be a sign my calorie consumption and water intake need to increase.
There you have it. As long as these 4 things are in check, I will begin my workouts.
With every baby, this time period has been different. With Matix and Marley, I waited nearly a full 6 weeks because I didn’t do much (if any) exercise during pregnancy. After Cash, I waited about 2-3 weeks, and after Ruby I gave my body 2 weeks before I started “working out”.
I use quotes because, once again, the workouts were so light compared to my usual, but I know just how important it is to start light. More than anything, this was my structured way to move functionally like all new moms (and humans, for that matter) do each and every day. Think:
squats – like sitting and standing from couch or toilet,
presses – like we do to help our bodies off of the floor or how we push the stroller, and
pulling – like we do to lift our babies and hold them to our chest
Nice and basic. Easy and functional.
Time to share the workout! It was one of my favorites and can be done at ANY level of fitness, from beginner to advanced. By choosing a workout that is scalable, I knew I would be able to throttle it up or down at anytime, ensuring I didn’t overwork my body the first time back.
Disclaimer: If you plan to attempt this workout, please make sure you have your doctors approval, as every body is different post baby. Some are ready sooner than others. Your doctor can help you decide if YOU are ready to begin workouts again.
And…a side note: Even if you are NOT pregnant or postpartum, this workout could be great for you – don’t be scared to rev up the intensity! Give it a try.
My 1st Post-Ruby Workout: 12 Minutes of Tabata
What is Tabata? Four minute rounds of exercise. You perform a move for 20 seconds, followed by 10 second rest, repeating 8 times, totaling 4 minutes. Go at your own pace. If you are only able to get ONE repetition of move in during the allotted 20 second time period, then only do one repetition.
Moves I Tabata’d (4 minutes each move. 3 moves, totaling 12 minutes):
Air Squats – My first round I got 20 in, but by round 5 I was slowing down to about 10 squats in 20 seconds.
*These can be modified to be done from a couch or chair. You basically sit down and stand up from the couch or chair to complete one rep.
Pushups – Oh…I struggled with these. Round 1, I did 12. By round 7 and 8, I was happy to get in 1 or 2 pushups. I slowed down once I realized my core needed some attention.
*Feel free to modify this to pushups from your knees or even pushups from your waist.
Bent Over Rows – I used a 45 lbs weight for both arms (not for each arm ☺). These felt good, but worked muscles I seem to have been neglecting for the last little while.
*These were great to end with. I felt like I got the harder moves out of the way first, and got to end with something a tad lighter.
Moral of the story – listen to your body and your doctor. Move when you are ready, and don’t be discouraged to see your fitness levels aren’t where they were pre-pregnancy. Day by day, with some patience, hard work, and perseverance, we can all become even stronger than we were pre-baby!
Cashy and I just couldn’t resist joining in on the turkey-time fun during this Thanksgiving season. We turned to our trusty Fingerpaints to create Cashy’s very own turkey!
I should note: this craft was done pre-Ruby, pre-kidney stones, and pre-flu . I’m just now getting around to posting though, hopefully in time for you and your little ones to enjoy before (or even on) Thanksgiving Day!