This is a collection of stories and photographs to chronical the Fowler family's adventures as we grow.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fowler Fam Update

Well, life has been pretty overwhelming this last month. Drake headed to Denver right after thanksgiving making me a single mom for awhile. Being alone while working, taking care of Olivia and keeping the house in perfect order for showings has made for a dizzying time. Olivia and I went out to Denver last weekend to to look at rentals and to see Drake. Olivia was SO HAPPY to see her Daddy. She lit up like I hadn't seen in weeks and she was so content and happy to have us all together.

I actually have no pictures from our trip. It was so busy that there wasn't time for much fun. We spent three solid days in the car driving around that city looking at rentals. The first day we looked at homes that I probably wouldn't let my dog live in. In neighborhoods that I would not want to go out in at night. As you can imagine I was ready to pack it up and go home. We went up in price and found nice homes but still in neighborhhods I wouldn't want to go out in at night. Then we went up (again) in our price range (over our price range) and found some great neighborhoods and livable homes. If we wanted to pay about $1600 a month we could have found a nice home in good condition in these neighborhoods. However, that is not possible for us so we decided that a good nieghborhood was important and we could make do with the home. These are very small houses we are talking about here- 800-900 sq ft. Difficult after living in a "mansion like" 1500 sq ft home right now.

We actually found a good deal in a great area. It is hard for me to be excited about it right now as reality is hitting home and I am realizing that this is really happening and it is going to be really hard. I am trying, though, to walk in gratefulness and gratitude that we have a job. As for our house,no offers. We decided to throw it into the huge rental pool here in Asheville. The rental market has a lot in it right now so we had to go lower than we would have liked for rent. Thankfully after 4 days, we have renters. It is two ladies I know from the college. They responded to the ad and then we realized we knew eachother. It is going to be good to have people that we know renting from us. It will be a financial struggle when we move- no job for me, high rent plus covering the amount that our renters here won't cover in the mortgage. We do think that in the end it is better for us to rent. Why sell at the very bottom of the market when we can wait and sell in a few years for a lot more? (hopefully...)

It definately doesn't feel like Christmas for us. No tree or decorations and our house slowing getting packed up. Without all of our usual decorations, traditions and Christmas events it has made me remember the true reason for Christmas and the true spirit of Christmas and for that I am happy.

I am sorry, this was probably a depressing blog but that is just where I am at right now. As for Livie, she is really into toothbrushes (hers and mine) and her baby that her Great grandparents gave her at Thanksgiving. She has been rocking it in the chair and feeding her bottles. I will leave you with some pictures of Olivia, she brings more joy than any material possession, home or place ever could.

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

While Daddy is Away

Olivia and I are missing Drake terribly. In the evenings when she and Drake have their play time she wants me to play the same games that they normally play together. Unfortunately, Mommy is not as good at rough play as Daddy, but I try. The evenings are the hardest time as it is usually a bit of a break for me (and Olivia). Tonight I was desperate enough to take Olivia to the mall at christmas time and cold and flu season to play at the play place. This usually results in some kind of illness for Olivia and this time of year it is CRAZY there. Anyway, Olivia is staying busy and it seems like everyday she is into something else. Right now she is really into climbing up into chairs, especially the rocking chair in our bedroom. She likes to rock back and forth and trace the wood carving with her hand. This is pretty cute because this chair was in Drakes house when he was little and he did the same thing. Olivia also has been really into feeding herself with her fork which is very messy business. She is actually getting pretty good at it. She also now has a strange fascination with the caps that go on the bolts on the bottom of the toilet.She pulls them off and then I have to take them away so she doesn't choke. I had to include a picture of Olivia with Drakes picture. I take it down all the time for her to look at. She points and taps the glass and says "Dada?"

We miss you Daddy and we can't wait to visit you in Denver this weekend! Love Rache and Liv

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Snow Bunny

Olivia is really starting to warm up to winter clothing :) She got a hat and mittens from her Nana and Papa and we bought her a set as well because it doesn;t take long for one set to get dirty and need washing. She is so adorable in her winter clothes. I had to capture a few pics.

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A walk down memory Lane

When we went back to Michigan, Drake and I left the baby with Nana and Papa for a day and we went to back to East Lansing to visit MSU, our beloved alma mater (sp?). We had such a great day reminiscing about how far we have come in the 4.5 years since we moved to Asheville from MSU. We lived in a 400 sq ft OLD, OUTDATED apt on campus in married housing on campus. Commplete with Train tracks outside our hour apt. where the train would pass by nearly 20 times each day and night! There were times we weren't sure how we would make the rent or pay for food but somehow we did. The two of us stuck together and we have mad such a great team.

Drake is now in Denver and will come back for Christmas. My Christmas wish is that we can sell our house or find a renter to cover our mortgage. So that Olivia and I can join Drake in Denver after Christmas and be togther. So far we have had no one come to see our house because the market is just so slow. My brother reminded me the other day that this is the time to have faith, more than ever. Well this was a bit of a rambling but it was just a reflection of mine. I leave you with pics of our trip to MSU- it was a beautiful snow covered day and MSU has some of the most beautiful old buildings.

The Peanut Barrel- A great hang out after my night classes

Our old Apartment! The top right hand apt was our home sweet shoebox for 3 years

The Student Union
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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Belated Turkey Day

Things have been beyond busy for us lately, I am only now getting to post a few pics from Thanksgiving in Michigan. We really enjoyed getting away from the house for awhile after we worked on it night and day to get it ready to put on the market. We listed it the day before we left for thanksgiving. We would put Livie to bed around 8 and work on the house until 1 or 2 in the morning. We had so many friends who came to help with the many projects and we could not have done it without them. We completely gutted and remodeled our master bath, updated our other bathroom and the kitchen in 3 weeks. In addition to my part time job, Drakes job and parenting. Anyway, we are happy to be done with the projects around the house and have a good thanksgiving together.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

You might want to sit down for this one....

So it has been a while since my last post and for good reason. About 2 1/2 weeks ago we found out that Drakes office was closing here in Asheville. We were prepared for this possibility as in the last year the office has gone from approximately 20 down to 5. We have been blessed each time there was a layoff that Drake has kept his job. It is truly a reflection on him as an employee. It has been so sad to see so many of our friends move away to look for work. We love Asheville and have had no intention or desire to leave. However, we were again blessed as Drake was offered a position at his compnay's headquarters in Denver, Colorado. We were prepared for a lay off but not a transfer, however we are grateful that we have a job as they are particularly hard to come by in Drakes profession right now.

So we have a short window of time to prepare our house to sell(great time to sell a house huh?), pack our things and leave the life we love here in Asheville to start over in Denver. We spend every free moment, painting, tiling, remodeling the bathroom, packing in order to get ready for this move. We are up till 2 in the morning working on the house and still doing our regular jobs as well as being parents to a very active 1 year old. Life is beyond crazy right now and Drake and I are beyond stressed. Luckily we have great parents who took a week to come and help, we have friends and family who are pitching in and helping. We have no idea right now how this will all play out. Drake has to be there the first week in December. He is coming back for Christmas and we are hoping against hope our house will be under contract and we can move after Christmas. This is where the miracle has to happen. The market is in the toilet and it is the holidays, the odds are not in our favor. However, we believe in a God much bigger than ourselves and one thing is for sure- He can sell our house. So we have to have faith. We can see how God has taken care of us in the past so we can only believe in that for the future.

Well thats it for now. Back to painting. But I must leave you with pics of Olivia. A few weeks ago we had a cold snap (40 degrees- yes we are true southerners now) and Olivia and her cousins went out to play. Olivia hated the cold. I put her in her usual sweater and she was frezzing so I added another coat and both hoods and she was still freezing. She normally loves being outside but she just stood there, very still and shaking. She evetually fell several times as she is not used to a coat and that was the end of outside time. What on earth are we going to do with this Southern Belle in Denver Colorado in the winter?!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

What Olivia's been up to...

Well, Olivia stays quite busy these days. She loves to open our cabinets while I am cooking or cleaning in the kitchen. I have this philosophy that when you have a child it is required that a mess be made,in order to actually get something accomplished. Then at the end of a long day of making all sorts of messes, Olivia enjoys unwinding on her Dora the Explorer sofa with some popcorn. It's a tough job but somebody has to do it...

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Today we had Olivia's first birthday party. We had some of our wonderful friends come to celebrate her birthday. Olivia was dolled up in her princess outfit and she had so much fun with all of the kids. In addition to the 10 children we had about 12 adults. It was pretty much 2 hours of pure chaos and Olivia loved every minute of it! She got some great toys which some of her older friends had to show her how to open. Part of the time she just looked in awe. We had cheese pizza and cheese puffs for the kids (Olivia's favorites- she ate 2 pieces of pizza). We also had strawberry punch. For the adults we made a big pot of soup, had french bread, chips and salsa and of course- beer (to make the chaos more bearable). Drake and I made Olivia a homemade cake which she enjoyed and then had a sugar high. She has had more sugar this week then in her whole life combined! All in all it was a great party and we are so thankful to our friends for making it a special day.

First birthday bonanza

The days surrounding Olivia's birthday have been exciting! On her actual birthday we had a pancake breakfast and Daddy went in to work late, then we played with cousin Tatum all day and then that night after dinner Olivia had some of a brownie that Daddy brought home for her. She got it everywhere! Olivia also got presents from here grandparents- a musical shopping cart and clothes and another toy from Grandma and Grandpa and from Nana and Papa she got a box full of goodies- an outfit, DVD, and books! Olivia has had fun playing with her new things. She actually climbed right into the shopping cart, which isn't suprising- Olivia loves to climb. She will climb anything-the dishwasher,the sofa, shelves.... She also loves books. She sits down and pulls out her board books and flips through the pages and babbles. She also constantly brings the books to me to read to her.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Happy Birthday to our Angel

To our darling angel on her first birthday,
Olivia you have brought more joy, sunlight, purpose, love, inspiration, magic, peace, laughter and meaning than we ever could have imagined. We remember your birth as though it was yesterday. When you entered the world and were put on Mommy's chest the joy we felt brought us to tears. It was instant love. This past year has been amazing. You are such a happy, joyful girl. Your name means "bringer of peace" and that is true of you. You have brought peace to our lives. Our wish and prayer for you is that you always keep your joy, your love for people and your love for adventure. Those are qualities you already possess and we pray you always do. We would do anything for you and we will always love you and support you no matter what. There is nothing you could ever do or be that would change our love for you. Thank you for being the best little baby we could have ever asked for. We can't wait for all the years to come. We will love you forever, Happy birthday Olivia.

Mommy and Daddy

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Trip to the Nature Center

A few weeks ago we took Olivia to the Nature Center here in Asheville. It is such a great place with tons of nature trails, boardwalks and best of all... animals! They have bears, deer, Bobcats, foxes, birds, reptiles etc. Olivia loves animals so we thought we would take her. A bonus is that by signing up for a yearly pass, we can get into hundreds of zoos in all different states for free. Anyway, Olivia had fun although at times she was more interested in just walking around and not so much some of the animals, since she is getting so good at walking now. She has been at it since 10 1/2 months old and loves to find new places to show off her walking skills. They even had a petting area with goats and sheep that she could pet. I, of course was nervous she would get bitten or catch some disease, however, I pushed those mommy fears down inside and let her have fun. I did cover her hands in sanitizer the minute we left the petting area.