Saturday, October 23, 2010

Baking, Baking, and more Baking!!

It's been too long since I have written a blog entry, but our baking has continued! We made peanut butter chocolate cupcakes for Shawna's birthday, and s'mores "cupcakes" well, because Mommy just wanted some chocolate! I think both were a big hit!
All this home cooking and baking from scratch reminds Mommy a lot of her Grammy Charlene. We haven't really told you too much about her yet, but as you get older I'm sure you will hear lots of stories. Your middle name actually comes from her.."Taylor" which was Grammy Charlene's maiden name. Unfortunately she passed away a couple of years before you were born, but she would have loved to have met you! I know she is watching you grow from heaven and smiling down on us. One thing I know she would really have loved was all this baking we have been doing. She was quite the baker and having 5 children of her own she knew how to cook things from scratch and work with what she had. I wish I had taken a lot more of her knowledge of cooking and sewing with me, and shown a little more interest in those things when I should have. There are days when I wish I could call her and ask her for her homemade chocolate cookie recipe, or how do I know if my bread is rising properly? Now that I have you, I would love to ask her to teach me to sew! She would say it is ridiculous that they charge 30 dollars for a pillowcase dress that she could probably have whipped up in an hour with 5 dollars worth of cloth!
She was one of the hardest workers I have ever met. When she set out to do something she did it, and she did it right. She always completed what she started. She raised 5 children including your Grandpa, and we think he turned out pretty good! Days before Grammy Charlene passed away she was out gardening. She would never think of not tending to the garden, or taking care of her family and home because she wasn't feeling well. Everyone else always came first. I will always admire that about her, and hope that I can always remember whats really important just the way she did.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

More rain....

means more baking! Today we spent the day making homemade bread. When I say spent the day I mean spent the whole came out delicious but I'm not so sure I will do that too often. Its a lot of work for a loaf of bread, but just like the cupcakes the taste difference was huge! The smell of this bread traveled throughout the entire house and if you ever feel like you need to "taste" fall you just need a slice of this! This recipe was also from that great blog I was telling you about, She is amazing and has amazing recipes. Tomorrow begins Mommy's work week, so the baking business will be on hold until Monday when we make Shawna a birthday treat! Peanut butter cupcakes.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Christmas in October!

or Christmas pictures at least. Today we spent the afternoon in Newburyport with Daddy trying to get a Christmas picture of you for our holiday cards this year. 56 degrees, rainy, and windy wasn't the perfect conditions for our family outing but we did alright considering! It was so nice for all three of us to get to spend the day together since it doesn't happen often with Mommy and Daddy's opposite schedules. One things for sure though, there is nothing that brings us a greater joy than being with you!
Here is sneak peak at some of the pictures we took today. Of course I will not include the ones we picked for the Christmas cards since those are a suprise!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Rainy days lead to baking days!

This week has rain in the forecast for everyday up until Thursday, so what better to do then stay in PJ's all day and bake! That's just what we did....throw in some Mickey Mouse clubhouse and The Wiggles and we had a pretty perfect day! Not to mention the fact that you decided it was a good idea to skip your you are sound asleep at 6:40 pm which is a pretty good deal for Mommy since she can blog, clean, and catch up on things that need to get done around the house.
I'm not so sure you were really into the whole baking thing, you enjoyed smashing the pots and pans together and being the taste tester, so we made a good team! We brought our baked goods over to Grammy and Grandpas house, Sue next door, and Auntie and Uncle Derek's. I think they were a huge hit!
So what did we make??? Homemade apple pie cupcakes! Everything was made from scratch, the cupcake batter and frosting! This was a first for Mommy since she normally buys the boxed stuff. I found an awesome blog called She made everything look so easy to make homemade and the taste difference was huge! If the time allows for it Mommy will continue to make our baked goods from scratch. I also have a list a mile long of recipes from Annie's blog that we just have to try! Looks like baking will be our new thing in order to put a dent in the list of goods I want to make!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

everyday we are one step closer to a toddler...

What baby? Whenever I see people I havent seen in quite some time they ask me how the baby is. What baby are they referring to? I no longer have a baby, and the more I think about it the more it makes me sad. Dont get me wrong, I will always remember the newborn smell you carried around, how you fit so perfectly into my arms, and spending long nights awake with you. Every stage you go through is more and more fun and those memories are so close to my heart that I just have to close my eyes and everything is there like it was just yesterday. Somehow though between then and now you transformed into this little person with your own attitude, likes, dislikes, and view on this world. You know exactly what you want and you have learned how to let us know when it isnt what you want. Tommorow you are going to be one and half years are sleeping in a toddler bed, drinking from cups, using a fork and spoon to eat, saying more words that I could list here, and continuing to amaze us everyday. Sometimes Mommy and Daddy have to remind ourselves that yes you are ONLY a year and a half old....if we say "Olivia do you want to take a nap?" and you sternly shake your head and say "No" well you still probably need that nap. As sure as you may seem and as much as it makes us laugh you are still our baby!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sending prayers up to heaven, and hugs miles and miles away for our Uncle Andy to get better soon!

ok, So I know this blog is called "The Sweet Life of the Powell Family" but sometimes events happen that are not always so sweet. Most of this blog will be upbeat and happy but either way I want you to know what went on in your lifetime that created who you are today. Anyways, Mama is so proud of your courageous Daddy, Uncle Andy, uncle Jake, and Papa too for serving in the United States Marine Corps. They are all amazing men and have served this country to protect our freedom. I can never find the words to truly express my gratitude to all those who have served. For now though, hopefully Thank You will be sufficient. Uncle Andy is currently deployed to Afghanistan and just recently got hurt by an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) Thank god he was able to call everyone to let us know he is ok. It sure beats getting the phone call from the Marine corps FIRST staying he is in critical condition....So thank you Uncle Andy for getting in touch with everyone first! I know it made a huge differance for everyone to be able to hear your voice. We are hoping and praying they will send him home to his family to heal, but the Marine Corps is the Marine Corps and they will do there own thing. Last we heard Uncle Andy is healing in a hospital in Afghanistan for about 6-8 weeks and then he will go back to fight with the other guys in his unit until the end of his deployment in February. Mommy's still hoping they change there minds and let him come home, I believe he has served his time in this war.
Since you were born there has pretty much always been a Powell fighting in Iraq or scary as it can be we are so proud of the brave men in our family. Daddy even spent his time in Iraq before you were born. I always want you to remember that everyday men and woman are putting their lives at risk to protect us. I know it wont be hard for you to forget with Daddy and the rest of our family who has the up most respect for the men and woman in the armed forces but I want you to spread that knowledge. The older you get the more often you will hear people complain about the little things (even mommy I'm sure) Try to remember this:
(this is from an email Mommy got and really puts things into perspective)
You stay up for 16 hours, he stays up for days on end.

You take a warm shower to help you wake up, he goes days or weeks without running water.

You complain of a headache and call in sick, he gets shot at as others are hit and keeps moving on.

You put on you anti war shirts and go meet up with your friends, he still fights for your rights to wear that shirt.

You make sure your mobile phone is in your pocket, he clutches the cross hanging onto his chain next to his dog dags.

You talk trash about your buddies that are not with you, he knows he may not see some of his buddies again.

You walk down the beach staring at all the pretty girls, he patrols the streets searching for insurgents and terrorist.

You complain about how hot it is, he wears his heavy gear not daring to take off his helmet to wipe his brow.

You go out to lunch and complain how the restaurant got your order wrong, he may not get to eat today.

Your angry because your class ran 5 minutes over, he was told he'll be extended an extra 2 months.

You call your girlfriend and set a date for tonight, he waits for the mail to see if there is a letter from home.

You roll your eyes as a baby cries, he gets a letter with a picture of his newborn baby and wonders if they'll ever get to meet.

You criticize your government and say that war never solves anything, he sees the innocent tortured and killed by their own people and remembers why he is fighting.

You are asked to go to the store by your parents, you don't, he does exactly what he is told even if it pus his life in danger.

You stay at home and watch tv, he takes whatever time he is given to call home, write home, sleep and eat.

You crawl into your bed with down pillows and get comfortable, he tries to sleep but it woken by mortars and helicopters all night long.
Get better soon Uncle Andy. We love you and are impatiently awaiting your safe homecoming.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

17.5 months

Who stole my little baby girl and replaced her with this toddler? In the blink of an eye you went from Mommy and Daddy's peanut to a big girl. Olivia you will always be Mommy's 7 lb baby girl who entered this world screaming "I AM HERE and I am about to change your world!" You sleep in a toddler bed more crib! You are awesome and slept through the night the very first night we switched you over! Slept from 8:30-7am even though Daddy thought it may be a little too soon to get rid of the crib we proved him wrong! He's getting used to the fact that his girls are pretty much always right! Add Image

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Changing leaves, crisp air, apple pie.....

It can only mean one thing. Mommy's favorite time of year is on the way! Fall. There is nothing better than fall in New England. The scents, the air, Halloween, and thanksgiving! Lots of time with family and friends. Mommy will be signing up to run the 5 Mile Feaster Five road race on Thanksgiving morning. Time to kick this running thing into high gear again!

We went apple picking on labor day weekend with Daddy, Grammy and Grandpa! It was so nice to have Daddy around not working for a couple of days. The only bad thing about fall is Auntie had to go back to school. She had her first day yesterday and you were so used to seeing her everyday that you went and sat outside her door yelling Aunnntiiie. We can't wait until Christmas time when baby boy Tremblay (AKA your new cousin) will be here! Auntie will be home on maternity leave for 6 weeks! We can't wait!

Hope you enjoy the pictures from apple picking the other day!

Today we are off to sign up for some swimming lessons at the YMCA in Andover!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Who ran a 5k?

Mommy did! My very first 5k. I've been waiting 3 months to write this blog entry! I ran the Yankee Homecoming race in Newburyport MA. The entire thing, not one break even for water. I had you my little pumpkin pie on the sidelines watching and coach Daddy on my side running with me. 4 months ago Mommy couldn't run more than 2 minutes. Now she was running a 5k in about a 30 minute time. Yeah, yeah that could use a little work, but hey I ran across that finish line! Just like I told you Mommy was having a makeover, she's lost 17 pounds so far! Next up, continue to healthfully lose this weight and run a 10k.

Here are a few pictures from race day.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Look who's walking!

16 1/2 months old and you started to walk on your own! You took about 8 steps from Daddy to Mommy the night before we left you with Grammy and Grandpa for the first overnight trip ever! Of course while we were gone you started full on walking! Thank god Grandpa got it all on video. About 2 days later you continued to walk, run, and dance! It's like you've been doing this walking thing your whole life!
While Mommy and Daddy went white water rafting in Maine, you slept over Grammy and Grandpas house for the first time. You were a good girl, and even slept for a little bit while you were there. We missed you a lot and were ready to come home to see you!
It's an amazing journey watching you grow. You are becoming so independent and want to do everything on your own. Now that you are walking you really are not a little baby anymore. As much as I miss the days of cuddling you in my arms nothing beats you running over to Mommy and Daddy to give us a kiss in the middle of playtime. Each stage in your life continues to bring us so much joy. There is no better gift we could have than waking up to you everyday and having you teach us how to love over and over.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Letters to my former self

Dear Lighthearted, Playful, Youthful Stephanie,
Enjoy being a child...spending long summer days in Harrison Maine at Grammy and Grandpas camp water skiing, boating, and swimming. Watching movies at the magic lantern and quick stops to the candy stores! Beautiful summer nights at Harrison Old Days even if they include slipping in puke after someone threw up on the pirate ship. You will never get these times back with your entire family. Mom, Dad, Jenny, Grandpa, Grammy, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins. You will never forget weekends in Maine with everyone! Spend as many weekend as you can at Grammy's house on Revere beach. She loves when you spend the night and you both always have a blast! You will forever treasure those lunches with Grammy and trips to get a new book or crossword puzzle. Listen to the wisdom and stories your Grandparents have to share with you. When you are older you will never forget those stories. Enjoy every second of this time now and don't stop enjoying it when you get to become a teen and are too cool to hang out with your family.

Dear 16 Year Old Stephanie,
It's senior year of High School, enjoy every last second of it. You are going to grow up a lot quicker than you ever imagined you would. You will meet some lifetime friends who will go with you on this roller coaster of life. You will fall in love but he will probably tell you he is going to sign up to be come a United States Marine. At the time you don't realize how much it is going to influence your own life and future. Don't stop him though, it makes him the man he is today.

Dear Newly Engaged Stephanie,
Remember that boy I told you about in High School? Well, he went into the United States Marine Corps. He successfully completed boot camp, got stationed in Virginia, Georgia, and North Carolina. He's deploying to Iraq in a couple of months...and guess what? You are going to marry him. You stayed home in Massachusetts while he was stationed in all different places. Let me just tell you long distance relationships are not fun. However, it will all be worth it in the end. Just a few weeks before he has to deploy you two will have an extravagant wedding. It will be perfect. Don't stress over anything. The atmosphere of that night will be like a fairytale. Everyone will have an amazing time. You will be blessed to be surrounded by everyone who loves you except for Grammy Charlene who was watching over everyone that night making it perfect!

Dear New Wife Stephanie,
Your married...and he's gone. Its not exactly the life of a newlywed you had dreamed about. You are married but he's deployed to Iraq for 7 very long months. He will be ok. He will make it home safely. Let your family and friends take you out places and spend time with you. Don't sit at home wondering if he is ok. Keeping yourself busy is the only way to make this time pass quickly. Before you know it you will be waiting for that bus to pull up to Camp lejeune North Carolina and there will be your Marine. It will be one of the greatest moments of your life. He is home now....for good. Now the life you imagined can begin.

Dear Pregnant Stephanie,
Morning sickness has gotten the best of you. Do your best to enjoy being pregnant. Other than the never ending all day month after month morning sickness you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby growing inside you. Be grateful for that. Don't bother fighting over boy names. It's a Girl! She will be perfect...She will be born one day after your due date so don't stress about going 2 weeks past and needing a c-section she will come when she is ready.

Dear New Mommy Stephanie,
She's here! She's perfect! You didn't know love until you held her in your arms. You had no idea what people meant about a mothers love until that very moment. You will see your husband in a whole new perspective. He is a better father than you could have ever imagined. He will take over while you are resting in the hospital, don't worry about a thing he has it all under control. Including changing the very 1st diaper and giving the first bath. Don't bother attempting to breast feed. It will send you on an emotional roller coaster when your milk never comes in. It's ok, formula is not poison. Just enjoy every second of you itty bitty tiny infant. Cliche or not she will grow up far too fast!

Dear Present Day Stephanie,
Life is good. You have a supporting family, great friends, a husband who adores you, and a daughter who makes you laugh smile and cry. Stop stressing about a spotless house. Chores will get done. Remember to take a few minutes to yourself each day. It makes you a better mother and Olivia deserves the best. Keep running, it relieves stress and you will get to that half marathon don't let little bumps in the road stop you. Live everyday like it is your last.

The older you get, the less time I can get on this computer!!

Ok, so I know I said I was going to get better with this blogging thing....well here I am. Updating on your life. Its 10 pm on a Friday night, your sound asleep, Daddy is at work and here is Mommy...Catching up on well everything! Lets see whats been going on....You are almost walking, actually you took about 3 steps the other day! yay. We were all so proud of you! Any day now I know you are just going to take off! Mommy's cousin Pete and his wife Becca and two kids Hannah and Ryan came for a visit from Texas! They were here for a week and you got to go visit with them on Plum Island. You loved playing with them, they are just a little but older than you are, Hannah is 4 and Ryan is 2. Here are some pictures of you with them. Enjoy!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 4th of July!!

This year you were awake for a lot more of the festivities than last year. We had a BBQ at our house on Saturday (the 3rd) with Mommy and Daddy's friends. You stayed up and partied for a few hours and even had a friend your age Sophia there to play with! The next day on the 4th we went to Grammy and Grandpas camp in New Hampshire. We spent the day on the lake! You loved swimming in the water and watching all the people and boats go by. We can't wait to go back soon!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Blueberry picking!!

Well, we picked quite the day to go blueberry picking....90 degrees, humid, and blazing sun at noon. You enjoyed it none the less and were passed out again on the car ride home! It sure is fun having Auntie Jenn on school vacation!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Fun in the sun!

Since you are napping and I am feeling unproductive I decided I would update your blog! I could be doing the dishes, or one of the loads of laundry that is starting to pile up, but that can wait until I get a second burst of energy! It's only 2 o'clock in the afternoon and we've already had a full day of fun. We went to the beach this morning with Auntie Jenn and Uncle Derek. Hope you enjoy the pictures from our day! All that fresh air knocked you out. You've been asleep since we got home.
We hold her hands....She holds our hearts!
Olivia Taylor Powell
7lbs 0 oz 19 in