Thursday, June 25, 2015

Want To Win A Wonderful Stay At AmericInn? #sp

AmericInn Disclosure

Next Wednesday, we are starting our first road trip in two and a half years. Not only that, this will be Fred’s first road trip with us. We’re heading back to the Midwest and we’re taking him along for the ride…literally!

I have no doubt we’ll be stopping along the way and taking lots of family selfies! We’ll be a new family after all. Maybe as we head back we’ll stop in Blue Earth to get a family selfie with the Green Giant! Speaking of selfies, check out what AmericInn has going on!

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SELFIE PRIZE PATROL: SEEKING WILD AND WACKY VACATION PICS!

Wild, Wacky and Wonderful. That’s what AmericInn Hotels is looking for this summer—in your travel photos. And they are giving away prizes! AmericInn—the largest midscale hotel brand in the upper Midwest—is inviting adventurous travelers to enter a selfie or other photo of their wildest, wackiest, most wonderful travel moments.

If they pick your pic, you’ll win a free night at any AmericInn location ($200 value). Even better: up to two people in your photo will also win a great prize. AmericInn is awarding a prize each day all summer long, and will be awarding an additional prize exclusively for readers of Woven by Words!

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HOW TO ENTER

To be eligible for the prize reserved for my readers, just use this link thru 7/10/20115:

https://adventure.americinn.com?blog=Woven

From the world's only corn palace (Mitchell, S.D.), to the world’s largest concrete gnome (Ames, IA.), to statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox (various locations), there are plenty of off-the-beaten-path locations, unique events and small-town festivals to see and enjoy, and AmericInn wants to be part of the fun. Original photos from anywhere in the world—or anywhere else you can get to—can be submitted online.

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Photo entry winners will be selected based on the uniqueness, creativity, and fun reflected in the photos! Entrants may also create a digital postcard with their photo on the contest website.

So get wild, get wacky, get wonderful and get going. I can’t wait to see where you’ve been!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

My Daughter The Licensed Social Worker #EarnItFrameIt #sp

The Motherhood Disclosure Church Hill
I have a daughter with a Masters Degree!
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I have a hard time wrapping my brain around so many pieces of that statement. Me. Having a “child” old enough to have put themselves through graduate school! Me. Having children who are extremely smart. Me. Having children who want to make something of themselves!

Let’s talk about my girl!
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When she was 16 and got her first job, she decided to have two jobs. Not only have two jobs, she was a full time online student taking college courses. To top that off, she also was a student leader at church and involved in activities at school! It was always a concern for me that she never took a breather.
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Fast forward to her going off to college. She got a job off campus. A job that was very physical for her. Then she had two jobs, while being a full time student. She was also involved in her church and always active in one way or another.

Spring ahead to graduate school and she has school, an internship, an assistant teaching job, and answering phones at an engineering firm. I’m pretty sure that girl never slept! Again, always concerned for her. She’s absolutely a Type A person.


It made me happy to hear her going to concerts, going to Wisconsin to hang out with her roommate’s family, running, etc. I have to say, I was looking forward to her graduating from college! All of the pressure for her to get all of her papers in and graduate with her degree!

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May showed up, and my girl was getting to walk down the aisle and receive her diploma. Imagine what she was going through finishing up her 18 years of being a student. Not only was she finishing school, all of her jobs were coming to an end! In one week, she ended it all: school, internship, assistant teaching, and answering phones! So much change for one person. Again, I was the concerned mom. lol How can I not be?

Guess what? She got through it. Not only did she get through it, she got a job as a social worker in a hospital before she even left the school. What a blessing for her to go into her field as she finishes with her accomplishment of graduating at 23 yrs old with her Masters!

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I’m proud of her and everything she’s done. She put herself through school because I couldn’t help her. I barely scraped by myself so she took on the debt alone. Can you imagine?
This girl…this young lady…is spectacular!

Because I couldn’t be there to watch her official graduation (insert mom guilt sob), I asked Katherine from Creating Awesomenessity to make her some personalized cookies! She made them and shipped them to her. They got there the day before my girl graduated! Aren’t they spectacular?


She was pretty surprised to get them and that’s exactly what I was hoping for! Of course, I would’ve rather been there, but these cookies were fun to send.
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If you have a graduate, and you’re looking for the perfect gift, as you can see above, having a diploma frame, so they’re able to show off all of their hard work is the perfect solution! If I hadn’t given her this frame, it could quite possibly sit rolled up in some drawer for years. There was no way I was letting that happen. You shouldn’t either!

Church Hill Classics would like to extend a free shipping offer that was developed exclusively for my followers/readers. The promo code is: HK55F and will provide Free Domestic Ground Shipping on any of their products on www.diplomaframe.com. The offer runs through July 13, 2015.


Not only that, Church Hill Classics just launched their new "Proudest Moment" photo contest with cash prizes. This contest is open to all legal U.S. residents. There is no age requirement. Parents, grandparents, and teenagers are welcome to enter! Please read the Official Rules. It doesn’t have to be a graduation photo, but can be a special achievement or event in your life.


Have you gotten your graduate their gift yet?

Monday, June 8, 2015

I Got The Man His Wedding Ring #FredNMimiSayIDo

How can it be so hard to choose a man’s wedding ring? It went from being a plain ol’ gold band, to one with diamonds, to camo colored. There are an unlimited number of designs for guys now.

We ended up not going back to the same jeweler where I got my wedding set because we found a jeweler near where we live who would take our old rings. They’re a small jeweler with only two stores. What they do for people who want to get money for their items is, if you keep store credit they give like half as much more than what you would get if you were just to cash out.

Honestly, it’s hard to see how little your jewelry is worth when trading it in. That was a shock to the senses. I have the paperwork for my engagement and wedding rings back in MN, and I think the diamond might’ve been worth more, but then again, that could just be me. lol

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Fred and I went in and looked through the rings with one of the sales gals and had an idea of what he liked. Sheesh, who knew shopping for rings with him would be so tough. Hearing the words “cute” and “nice” didn’t scream, “I want that one honey.” I really walked away not knowing at all what he would really like other than one with crosses and that he didn’t want anything that reminded him of his other wedding ring.

It was finally getting down to the wire, and I got the idea that I wanted to surprise him with my choice and I wanted his mom to go along with me when they came down to celebrate Fred’s birthday. She and I took time to go out, and pick his ring while the guys were washing the side of the house.

Surprisingly, she and I found a ring that I didn’t remember seeing before. I really liked it, and to me it was really classy, but it didn’t have crosses on it. I knew the couple Fred had picked were symbolic of our faith, and I was sure he’d prefer that the most, but when I saw this ring with his mom, I was really undecided. I ended up going with the ring she and I chose, but I won’t ever know truly whether or not he would’ve preferred something else. He’d never tell me if he didn’t like it because that’s how he is.

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I also struggled with comparison to my ring. His ring is probably ONE payment he makes on my ring! That’s a guess since I’m not sure of the exact price of the entire set, but still. here’s this mere pittance of a ring, and mine is dazzling and debt incurring. I feel like he gets the short end of the stick both ways. His ring is titanium, not gold, and there aren’t any diamonds.

That being said, He’ll probably be fine with it. The guy wears ZERO jewelry. Not even a watch. Can you imagine how hard it is to buy gifts for this guy?

I guess in just a few weeks I’ll find out what he thinks, hopefully by his reaction.

Was it hard for you to pick your spouses wedding ring?

Monday, June 1, 2015

A House Built On The Rock #FredNMimiBuildAHome

I was so excited to go out to the property, and the people in the small cul de sac adjacent to our were out in their yard. I wanted to get some ideas from them about how the building process went for them. Instead of just exchanging a few words, they gave me a full blown tour of their home! As I share about their home I'm going to show the progress of our future home! So exciting!

For the record, my house will NEVER be in the condition for someone to come by the house without notice and find it immaculate.

We were given five home designs to choose from. We chose the biggest one and of the remaining lots for sale, the largest one, which is just under 1/4 acre. Man that’s so small. lol It’s also a five bedroom. So I was excited to see the modifications this couple had made.

Turns out, there was a LOT! They had the same 3 levels that we will, but instead of having 5 bedrooms, they went with 2! TWO! Must be nice. The couple showed me around. I was excited to see that they picked out their own lights in the entire house, faucet fixtures, ceiling fans, and pretty much anything else they wanted! That’s EXACTLY what I was hoping to do.

The first floor was pretty much exactly how we’re going to have ours except we’re not going to have an island. I figure if we ever want one (just for more storage and countertop space) we can get one built. I just wanted as much open space as possible.

Their second floor was totally customized. Instead of having 4 bedrooms on the second floor they took the room next to the master and combined it to make it one large master! The third bedroom next to the master was left alone. The fourth bedroom wasn’t created and left open as a seating area. They changed the laundry spot from a closet into a room. It took over more of their master closet, which I wasn’t thrilled with. To top the 2nd floor off, their master bath was completely customized. The husband did much of the work himself!

We headed to the top floor, and they were using it as storage. It was roughed in, but that was it. Ours will be completely finished and used as the 5th bedroom.

They also did a lot of work outside; work we won’t be getting around to for quite some time. They added a 3 season deck, but that’s not something I’d ever care for. If we did anything, I’d love a deck. We won’t be able to have a large deck because the backyard will be quite small and I for sure want a veggie garden. Well, I want a garden if I can get enough back dirt in, but if not, if the clay rears it’s ugly head, then a deck it will be!

What's your favorite part of looking at new houses?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

We’ve Decided To Build A House! #FredNMimiSayIDo

We’re planning a wedding, and now we’re planning on building a house. So how the heck did this happen, especially when we’re planning one of the most stressful things a person or couple can do.

Here’s how this all went down.

Almost two years ago, Fred realized it was time to buy a house. Unfortunately, he went out of the county to find a house. That would’ve been all fine and dandy had we gotten married either that same summer or the one after. Since that didn’t happen, my boys have gotten settled into their schools. I don’t want to have to move my oldest to a brand new school the last two years of his school. That just wouldn’t be fair to him.

You have to understand, my boys grew up for almost 14 yrs in the same town, and with all of the same kids. Buddy had gone to 3 different schools in the last two years (including the one back in Annandale). There was no way I could move him again. I would’ve married Fred and lived in this dumpy house for the next two years if I’d had to.

We could’ve moved into his house in the other county, but to have Buddy stay at the same school, that would’ve cost $8,000/yr! Then  if we moved back into this current county in a couple of years, that means Doodle will have to move to another school, then back into these schools, and build those friendships again. UGH! I can’t do that to him, so that would mean another $8,000/yr for him! Sixteen grand a year until we get back into this county? Just crazy.

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Fred and started talking about options. We could rent his home, but recently, the rentals in his development have all ended up with police cars in front of them. Delightful, eh?

We could buy a house that’s already built, but most of the homes in this area are several hundred thousand dollars out of our price range. Our hope was to find at least a 5 bedroom, or a 4 bedroom with maybe a bonus room we could use as a 5th bedroom. Man alive that was hard to weed through.

I stopped looking for 5 bedrooms and on a whim decided to look at 4 bedroom homes figuring maybe one of the 4 bedrooms would be big enough for the youngest boys to share while still having enough space so they weren’t on top of each other.

Enter, a small development being built just a few miles from the house I’m renting right now! They have several houses designs to choose from, and we headed to an open house a couple of weekends ago. We walked through a couple of the styles the week before with our realtor so we had an idea of what they looked like. What we didn’t know was which plot of land we wanted.

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Turned out they had the one lot of land that wasn’t at a premium price and was the biggest one available still! That was definitely the one I wanted, but we looked at a couple others as well. We also walked through the biggest home that was only framed in. I’m not someone who can imagine something that isn’t there. The way it was set up, we knew that was the design we wanted! It’s a 5 bedroom!

That means the kids will all get their own rooms, and Fred and I will have a bathroom connected to our bedroom. On top of that, we’ll have the most amazing walk in closet! I’m super excited about that. We’ll also have an extended porch and fireplace! Two things I’ve never had before in my own home!

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We found out very quickly that we wouldn’t be able to change the outside design of the house. I had hoped to push out the entryway about 5’ because the stairs are pretty much right there the second you walk into the house and it doesn’t have an entryway closet. My dream had also been to have a sitting room where I could have a reading nook. Maybe one day in the future.

We’ve been able to change things inside the house. Fred’s going to get a Jacuzzi tub, we’re putting the fireplace along a side wall instead of in the corner, and extra windows in the living room. I’m a lover of windows! I kept looking for ways to add more windows. lol

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There were things I found out we can’t change. I wanted to go nuts personalizing the heck out of the house, but the builder has asked us…well, me…to take it down a notch. I was already going on contractor sites finding their leftovers to see if I could use them in our house. Craigslist has complete, custom kitchens that people are getting rid of while remodeling their homes! I wanted to go gang busters, but I guess not this time.

We’ll have to live with the standard, new construction white paint on the walls and native Maryland plants in the front yard. We’ll have to live with it until we’re given the seal of approval to move in and then c-ya! I’m planting my own plants, painting the walls, and hopefully having a heyday. Of course we’ll have no money left after moving in, but I can dream for now. =)

Have you ever built a house from the ground up?

 
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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.