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Happy Mother’s Day


Happy Mother’s Day all!

We’re having a pretty low-key Mother’s Day this year. This is our first full weekend back from the cruise. I flew in late last Sunday night, but hubs just drove back with his mom & the girls on Tuesday so we’re still dealing with the unpacking and tidying up that comes after any trip.

I was really mad at myself this year because with all the cruise hubbub I really let Mother’s Day get away from me! Every year I like to do something for all the special Moms in our life (of which we have 5, between Moms/MILs and grandmas). I should’ve planned something before our trip but I didn’t and was left scrambling last-minute for some idea that wouldn’t cost much, would be meaningful, and that I could pull together QUICK given that I knew it was definitely going to be late (womp, womp!) I’ll be the first to admit that this year’s gift was a little lackluster. But it was homemade by the girls and yours truly. Here’s a picture of one of them:


Yep. The traditional homemade M-O-M card.

This is our first year doing this style of card. In previous years (see here or here), I always put a little more effort to having the item be handmade by the girls, with my help assembling things. But now that the girls are learning and growing by leaps and bounds (I started blogging here when they were just 20 months and they’re now almost 4 years old! *tear* ), I wanted to put their ever-expanding vocabulary to use! So I wrote the Moms’ names (Grandma, Nana, Grams, Mamaw, and Nan), then I helped the girls to brainstorm words that started with the letters in the person’s name. After that was done, I wrote little notes to each person on the back and the girls signed their own names!!! Well….kinda. They’re SOCLOSE to writing on their own, but they do better with tracing so I did the dotted outline and they traced over the top. I made a little note to make sure the recipient knew these were authentic signatures! A fun milestone for the littles to celebrate! : )

I hastily ordered a few recent pictures of the girls from Costco (basic 4×6 size) and slipped everything into an envelope. Dropped it off at the post office on Saturday (yup – I told you they were gonna be late!) and we were DONE!

I know our grandmas love kid crafts and pictures, and they are always welcomed gifts! Plus the special touches (e.g., the girls picked the words themselves & signed their own names) make it all that more meaningful. I still feel a little guilty that the gifts are going to be late and it was so rushed in its execution but I always think it’s the thought that counts, and better late than never! A lot of love went into these gifts!

What are your plans for Mother’s Day this year? What do you normally get the special “Moms” in your life?

Weekly Debt Update #14- Happy Mother’s Day!!


Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there that read this blog. All mothers are amazing in their own way. Here’s to you!!

I celebrated the Mother’s Day weekend up in the Buffalo. Instead of doing what I normally do for my Mother, which is buying a gift, I brought with me some fresh cut flowers and a note I wrote by hand thanking her for all that she done for me over the years and how much she appreciates it. It felt like small gesture (to me, anyway) but according to her, it was the best gift I’ve ever gotten her.She loved it so much she cried and hung the note on the fridge. I’m very happy that I took everybody’s advice and went with a more sentimental and thoughtful gift than one that I would have picked out in a hurry at Bed, Bath and Beyond or something.


How do you celebrate Mother’s Day- do you visit, call, or write your mother on Mother’s Day? And Mother’s- how do you wish to be celebrated? I see a lot of Facebook posts and tweets wishing their Mother a happy Mother’s Day (or birthday, or any other holiday), even if the person isn’t on the social networks. This just bothers me as it always feels disingenuous and more of a popularity/competition thing. Ugh. Is anyone else bothered by this, or is it just me?

As for Mother’s Day at our home, even though we don’t have kids, we do have “kids” (AKA dogs, lol). So we each do a little something for each other on our day. This year I made GF a little bag with some awesome smelling candles, and a card (each “from the kids” of course). I also made her dinner, took a nap with her (I seldom nap) and relaxed as we watched Game of Thrones. Nothing monumental, just a acknowledgement of how much I and “we” appreciate her.

As for my debt balances:

Loan NameInterest RateOriginal Balance- May '09Current BalanceTotal Paid Off
Sallie Mae 015.25$27,837.24$23,985.23$3,852.01
Sallie Mae 024.75$22,197.02$18,820.44$3,376.58
Sallie Mae 037.75$20,692.10$0.00
Sallie Mae 045.75$10,350.18$7,407.64$2,942.54
Sallie Mae 055.25$6,096.03$1,255.39$4,840.64
Sallie Mae 06 and 074.75$6,415.09$0.00$6,415.09
Sallie Mae- DOE 015.25$5,000.00$0.00$5,000.00
Sallie Mae- DOE 025.25$3,000.00$0.00$3,000.00

I’m so close to paying off #5, I can already feel it.

BTW- my feeling from last post (here) has passed. Yay! So I’m back in the mindset of hitting the debt (semi) hard. I have a real good feeling about my “fun” fund and setting that money aside to get me through. Thank you for all your support!

Have a great week!


For My Mother…


It seems like the hip thing to do is blame all your personal shortcomings on your mother. She’s the one who raised you, spent the most time with you, and set the foundation for who you would one day become. Since I’m such a trendy gal, here’s to you mom…

I blame you for my confidence. When I wasn’t sure if I could do something difficult, you were there to remind me I could.

I blame you for my happy childhood. My favorite memories are of sitting on the couch listening to you read to me.

I blame you for creating some of my best unforgettable experiences. You made sure I went to Ireland to visit my sister when we both know you wanted to go just as badly. It was my most memorable trip and I can never thank you enough for giving me that chance.

I blame you for a great education. You spent 11 years teaching me at home even though some of the family told you it was a bad idea. Thanks to your dedication, university was a cake walk – and I’m only partially socially awkward *wink*.

I blame you for my health. You never let soda or sugar in the house and abhorred white bread. Sure I sneak in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s now and then, but for the most part, I stick to what you showed me.

I blame you for my irresistibly good looks. OK, OK, I had to throw that in. You and grandma are gorgeous ladies with fabulous skin – and I like to think that I look a little like you both.

I am a very lucky girl.

I love you mom.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there!

To all the mothers…


Mother’s Day is on Sunday (thank you to my sister for reminding me). I was going to write a Mother’s Day post on Monday but decided to help out those forgetful holiday folks like myself. You have two days to scratch out a note to dear ol’ ma… and if you can’t afford to pay cash for the gift, DON’T CHARGE ONE!! She’ll understand.

So here’s an open note to my mother – and I’ll try my best not to sound like a Boyz to Men song.


Thank you for teaching me that children don’t need money to be happy. You made sure I knew love from my family was worth far more than the cash so frequently doled out to my friends from their uninvolved parents. I had the happiest childhood (and heck, adulthood) a kid could ask for and it was never because you showered me with the finest things in life – you knew you couldn’t buy joy. You showed me love, compassion, kindness, and at times… the back of your hand when I deserved it.

Thank you for teaching me responsibility. You didn’t teach me how to get into a financial mess, but you taught me how to own up to my mistakes and pay for them no matter how much it hurts. And speaking of taking responsibility… um… yes, I was the one who left the candle burning and set the counter on fire 11 years ago. Sorry about that.

Thank you for your faith in me. When we went on that college campus tour and I saw the $26,000 a year price tag, I told you it was a nice dream but it would never happen. You looked at me like I was insane and spent the next few hours with the financial aid department. They told me I had to keep a nearly perfect GPA and you told me you knew I could do it… and I did… but only because you believed in me more than I believed in myself.

I wish every kid could have a mother like you. The world would be a great place.

I love you mom

Happy Mother’s Day & Money Tips from Mom


To all of the moms out there, I wish you a very happy Mother’s Day! My son and husband went out shopping yesterday to buy me gifts and it was all about practicality. I received a package of pens and a small pillow to sit with while working on the computer. Both were my son’s ideas (although I have a sneaky feeling that if dad wasn’t there I would have ended up with a LEGO set or something LOL). If the rain holds out, we may end up visiting the lake for a picnic to round out the day. We’ll see.

While searching for a Mother’s Day quote, I stumbed across an article at MSN about money tips from your mom. While the tips are not specifically finance-related, they are the things moms often say that can be applied to your financial life.

“Have a place for everything, and everything in its place.” “You can do anything if you set your mind to it.” “Practice, practice, practice.”

There are 10 tips in all: 10 Money Tips from Mom.

Happy Mother’s Day!!