5 Reasons I love my credit union

When hubs worked on the hill, he joined the credit union for hill staffers.

mymm_post_008_mycu I can’t begin to tell you why that single decision was one of the best he ever made. That bank account, was our first joint bank account – just about a week after we got engaged. Probably before we even had the date set to our wedding.

Credit Unions, for those of you not in the know are non profit cooperatives that exist to provide financial benefits to their members. They are member owned and thus any “profits” come back to the members in the form of low interest rates, rebates and dividends.

There are so many reasons why we love our credit union, why we tell all of our friends to find a credit union, I can’t possibly share all of them but I will share the top five.

1. They’re compassionate. Hubs and I haven’t had the easiest of time since we’ve been engaged with our finances, but our Credit Union has worked with us, been more understanding when we call them with hardship requests and more flexible with payment dates. They won’t be tacking on a $35 fee at 12:01a the day after our car loan is due if we miss it by a day or two – they actually have a 5 day grace period!

2. Lower APRs. In comparison to other banks, who feed off high APRs, we’ve never had one – not even for our credit union visa – that was over 10%. How’s that for winning?

3. They’re member focused. Everything they do, has the members best interest at heart. This makes sense since Credit Unions are member owned thus the banks work for the members not for

4. They’re convenient. Even when we lived in CT, we were able to use a credit union that was near by to make deposits. Here in Annapolis, we use a credit union down the road from us so we don’t have to drive into DC every time we need to take money out or make a deposit.

5. They support their communities. I love that credit unions support their communities by not only providing financial literacy education courses for their members to make more informed decisions. Our credit union alone has donated large amounts to the Capital Caring Hospice, and best of all, they’re the hosts of the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler. How cool is that?

 

Are you a member of a credit union? What do you love about your credit union? 

This post is sponsored by Make Your Money Matter, in association with PCSU, though all views expressed are my own.

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25 days of Christmas Fun: Elf’ed

“I can’t believe you didn’t notice it!”

Sometimes I’m a bit clueless. And oblivious.

“I mean, it’s right there!”

It was. It was right there.

He made a comment on the Amazon certified frustration free packaging. “You better not be buying anything on amazon!” It came out more like a squeak. A defenseless squeak. We’re really bad at surprising each other, regularly, but this year I actually pulled a couple tricks out of my sleeve.

“I am. I’m buying all of things. In certified frustration free packaging. I’ll wrap them all saying they’re from Bernard.”

“NOPE. Bernard isn’t bringing you anything. What have you done lately? What was your random act of kindness today?” I stuck my tongue out and harrumphed him on the other side of the couch.

This Elf is going to be the death of me the next few weeks. I know he’s supposed to be hidden but I want to make him a little more obvious…a little more…I dunno. Something.

Silly husband. Silly Elf.

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25 days of Christmas

So we’re a couple weeks into the holiday season and I’ve actually checked a lot of my 25 Days Before Christmas list.

So let’s recap:

Friday night I went to a cookie swap that one of my mama pals hosted – was lots o’ fun but not so fun driving to Severna Park in the crappy rain. I felt like I was 80 and could hardly see. Note to self: get new windshield wipers on the car before our next trip north.

We went to the Tree Lighting in Burlington after Thanksgiving – and saw the lights (Two birds. One stone.)

The whole night was awesome and added bonus – it snowed!

We decorated our tree – and I took adorable photos of Ethan in some cute Hanna Andersson PJ’s. He discovered the joy of wooden ornaments – his fascination in them is worse than the cats. They leave the tree alone. Homeboy is obsessed with fallen pine needles and any ornament within reach. Oh boy.

We got nice family pictures thanks to my lovely JLA pal Sarah Jane (she blogs over here!) – super shout out to her for being amazing. I know she’s still dabbling in photography but she’s got a knack for photos and beauty and has impeccable taste so I asked if she wouldn’t mind taking our pictures downtown. An exchange of wine for photos went down and the pictures turned out perfect.

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I also snagged Ethan’s first Holiday ornament – Adam and I both have ours (at least I think I have mine…) so now we have all three! Ethan’s is absolutely perfect and I love that I found it on Etsy – the homemade, wooden aspect is perfect for our tree!

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So far, it’s been a festive couple of weeks. We also took Ethan to see Santa at the Westfield (go early!); I had a crafty holiday date with Liz but more on that later since it’s a post for itself; my Mom’s group decided to go through the County to donate to a few needy families so I picked up a couple things to contribute – similar to Toys for Tots but much more localized; finally we bought the Elf on the Shelf but have yet to do anything with it. Please hold while I get my creative juices flowing. His name is Bernard in case you were wondering.

I should also note that it’s a record that my Christmas cards are ordered (waiting for them to come in so I can send them out before we leave) and 90% of my holiday shopping is donezo. This is a record.

What’s been your favorite part of the Holiday season so far?

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Four years

This day four years ago I said “I Do” to my best friend, my love, my everything.

{via Megan Garrison}

{via Denise Muncie Photography}

Crazy how this time a year ago we were just telling our families and our friends about the surprise that happened to be our little boy.

Happy anniversary Adam. I love you – and Ethan – more than anything. Thanks for being my partner, my best friend, my soul mate. I wouldn’t be where i am without you.

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During the storm…

I don’t know what you all do during a massive hurricane but us New Englanders (well, Marylanders now. Former New Englanders) aren’t equipped for this kind of crap. I know it’s just some wind and rain but that’s a LOT of wind and a LOT of rain. Also, I learned…hurricanes are kind of boring.

Since Adam volunteered to go down to the Armory yesterday, I’ve been on my own and will be for the foreseeable future – or at least likely through the week as we have no idea when he’ll be released then he has drill weekend Friday through Sunday. Thankfully my mom and sister are coming down this weekend so I won’t be ENTIRELY by myself.

So yesterday after he left…. I cleaned. A lot. And alternated watching the news and a Sex and the City marathon. Because that never gets old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The kitchen, dining area, livingroom, bathroom, and spare room/nursery are all spotless and ready to be mom approved.

I still have to work on in the bedroom – but I’ll get there. Eventually (maybe tonight or tomorrow).

Since I got to work this morning and was promptly sent home (see, I don’t text and drive. Especially not in hurricanes) I’ve been chilling, watching Dawson’s Creek, updating the blog, and being a curmudgeon on twitter…well kind of.

And I baked.

I was going to make muffins also but this was easier and I just kind of got lazy after the cupcakes.

Now I’m just waiting – power keeps flickering. One load of laundry is done, one more to go that hopefully I can get done tomorrow morning (pending power status) – as of right now I don’t need to go to work until noon (if I have to go in) so I feel much better about all that. Hurricanes, I have learned today, make one productive.

Meanwhile, Adam’s being all high speed National Guardsman while his unit helps out the folks down in St. Mary’s County. #soproud

How do you hunker down during bad weather??

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The Art of Spectating

For the past five years, Adam has spectated almost every race (minus the seven he missed while away at training last year) that I’ve ran. Trekking around DC for 7 hours while I completed my first marathon, standing in Central Park in the rain for 2+ hours when I ran my first half marathon, standing in sub 30 degree weather for nearly an hour while I ran a 4 mile race in Central Park, waiting in heat, humidity and everything in between.

This weekend, I got to pay it all forward. He’s run a couple races with me – a 10k here and a 5k there (1 of each to be exact) so while I sold my Army 10 miler bib a couple months ago, I got to play spectator.

Lesson: Specatating is not as easy as one thinks.

@ the start line. I headed over to Route 110 after to see him run by.

The perfect spot to watch him go by. “I’m near the portajohns after the bridge.” I told him. (He snuck his phone in. No one checked. It helped. Bunches.)

After watching him go by, I had had these grandiose plans to head over across the memorial bridge til I realized how wrong I was that that would be easy. Sure it was a metro stop away to get off at Arlington but what would be blocked off? How long of a wait would I have? Who knew!

Instead, I headed over to mile 6 on Independence. I camped out right before the 6.2 mile mark cheering on the runners with my cowbell and enthusiasm. They are AMAZING to watch. Not to mention, it was the perfect day, the weather was perfect and autumn like.

So many flags and amazing runners! I was definitely a little heart broken that baby Schmidt has me sidelined, but I felt really great cheering on the hubs.

Just before the 10k mark where I was camped out.

I figured at that point I should start heading to the finishing knowing that he had about 3+ miles left and who knew how long it would take me to get over there. Unfortunately, I was starved and really had to pee. Baby Schmidt isn’t such a fan of huge walks without eating for long periods of time. Wamp wamp.

I grabbed a quick bite, and made it to the bridge over 110 between mile 9 and 10. Unfortunately, I missed his big finish but I caught up with him in the finishers area.

YAY!! He’s totally all army strong and a year ago? He likely would not have been able to finish. Well, maybe he would have finished but not nearly as awesomely as he did.

So, so proud of him. AND his first ten miler (that, let’s be honest, he didn’t train for as well as he could have. Or should have) was better than MY first ten miler time back in 2009 (GW Parkway Ten Miler) so there’s that. That race for me was a month before I ran my best marathon ever (5:31:something).

I can’t wait to get back out on the roads with him – picking races that we can bring baby Schmidt on in our soon to be obtained jogging stroller, next year we definitely want to do the Army 10 miler together so we’ll have to get our parents here to be awesome spectators.

How to be an awesome spectator

1. Be prepared. Make signs. Cowbells. Be ready to scream your butt off. Not just for your loved one but for EVERY runner.

2. Have a plan. Where you’ll be. Figure out the most strategic spots. If I had been a block or so down, I could have seen the husband TWICE but I didn’t think about that. Wamp wamp. Races aren’t necessarily easy to navigate so be sure to give yourself plenty o’ time to get to point to point.

3. Have fun! Races are meant to be fun – enjoy it! You’re not the one putting blood, sweat and tears into the race so be sensitive to that. Also, check out the runners on the course – I heard a piper, saw Uncle Sam, Captain America, etc… the people who put some creativity into their race garb are AWESOME and sure to make spectating even more fun for you!

4.  Have food and drink on hand. Your runner pal might need a sip of your water/beer/juice but seriously – I got super dehydrated being out there for almost 2 hours. Note to self, water bottles aren’t just for runners. Not to mention, runners like snacks. Gummi bears, fruit, anything quick, small and nutritious (even sometimes not) – they’ll appreciate anything of the sort. At least I did 🙂 

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Coming Home & A PR

Reunited and it feels so good.

{Walking on the Riverwalk in San Antonio}

{fiesta by Market Square in San Antonio}

{graduation – you can see hubs in the front, 2nd from far left}

 {He’s all MOS qualified and graduated! My husband the baller combat medic!}

We had some great food while we were there at both Mi Tierra and Zinc Wine Bar. Both were absolutely AMAZING. I’ll be posting reviews of both of them over on NewlyMarylanders this week – yes i know they’re not Maryland related but the thing about that blog is that it’s about Adam and I and our journey.

We got home super late Friday night, only to have to be up even earlier to get to a work event for me on Saturday AM. I was working a table with one of our OT’s at a local 5k which was TONS of fun and I set a new 5k PR!

I wasn’t expecting to PR but the thing about hubs now that he’s all in the military and shiz is he has to maintain a certain level of fitness. So I ran a little bit harder than I expected. It didn’t feel too hard, just slightly uncomfortable given that I hadn’t really ran in the past…2 weeks.

Total time: 28:11 (!!)
Avg pace: 9:09/mi
AG Place: 4/10
Overall: 42/164

BALLER.

 All in all, we had a fabulous homecoming. It was cold at Annapolis Cup but we had fun with the ladies from Junior League. We enjoyed a fabulous happy hour dinner at Yellow Fin, and came home having an early night to watch the Blind Side. A fabulous weekend indeed.

How was your weekend?

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Thankful

This year I am thankful for…

This guy. And the fact that we have survived 8 long weeks apart. Only 3 more to go. This distance has solidified our relationship and my love for him in ways I never thought possible. I am incomplete without him.

Family. Parents. Siblings. Grandparents.

Good friends. Seriously amazing friends. Old friends. New friends. Near friends. Far friends. Just friends – the family that I have created and has been my rock for the past two months.

Team 6 and LivingSocial.

Running.

Lilly. Tory. JCrew. lululemon. And all my other favorite brands.

And of course all of you. My blog readers. This whole blogging world. So thankful to be a part of it. Thank you all for reading and for being amazing.

Happy Thanksgiving all.

What are you thankful for??

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One month to go

Dear Hubs,

As of yesterday, it’s only one month til I jump into your arms (maybe not literally) in Oklahoma. One month from today, you will graduate from Basic Combat Training. I am SO proud of you. For all you’ve done, accomplished and for all you’re going to be. Hearing you with goals again makes me know that everything we’ve struggled with and gone through the past two years, has led us to this and that this? Will lead us to the best life ever.

The past 43 days have been so incredibly trying. For both of us but I know, that in these past 43 days we have both grown and our love has grown more than we ever thought was possible. For me? I’ve conquered anxieties, been rejected from two promising positions, and found strength where I didn’t even know I had strength. I’ve missed you more than words could possibly describe, ached for you with a longing I never knew was possible and felt my love for you grow stronger than ever before. Every day I am so proud to be your wife. So proud of everything you are and everything you’ve become and everything you WILL be.

29 days left. Until I see you, kiss you and hug you. Until I can whisper I love you in your ear and see you smile again. Until I can spend a lazy morning in bed, intertwined with your warmth in our bed. Until you are home and can greet me at the end of each day. Until I don’t have to come home alone to a couple of crazy cats (whom I adore but they’re not you).

You are my other half. My better half and in 29 days? I’ll be reminded of that all over again.

xox

me

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The (Not) Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The not good…

I didn’t get up to run this morning. Will have to run tonight when i get home. I’m really not a morning person, no matter how hard I try. I just love that snooze button so damn much.

The bad

I did not get my promotion I had interviewed for. Which means in about three weeks my schedule will change again, and I won’t have a life for two months. “It’s not you…” they said. But still, the curt words of rejection sting regardless of the reason.

I won’t be going home for Thanksgiving. The raise I was hoping for, won’t be happening.

the Ugly

The news above? Not all bad. Well except the job part that really sucks. A lot.

But the suckiest part of all…is all I want is to curl up in the husbands arms and cry my eyes out and I can’t. I can’t even talk to him. Until Sunday. Maybe. For 15 minutes at most.

As I was told last night by a fellow JLA member, “things don’t get easier” and “you can’t be strong all the time” – this doesn’t bode well for me if I’m a week in and want to break down. But her? I have a lot of admiration for her considering her and her husband have been apart for longer than they’ve been together. Good to know I don’t always have to have it together – that people get it.

God this is going to be awful if he gets deployed. That being said, I’ve got some amazing pals here at work who have surrounded me with love and kindness. And that’s the key to surviving as a military wife I’ve been told – surround yourself with awesome, supportive people and find a community to rally around.

Moving on…

That being said, I need to reevaluate my long term goals. Find my passion again. Think about what I want to be doing and what I am doing and how one can assist me toward reaching the other. Because lets face it, this job – while I love, love love my coworkers and my company…ain’t a dream job.

So tonight, i will go for a run. I will watch something cheesy on television. Drink a glass of wine. And pick myself up from my broken my pieces. I will write my husband a long old skool letter and let myself cry and feel defeated. Tomorrow, when I wake up to do my workup (which I will do!) I will be re-energized and recommitted to being a rock star (which I haven’t done as of late).

In the mean time. I’m going to keep on pushing that ignore button while tears sting my eyes.

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