One Year Ago Today….

One year ago today I met the love of my life. I met with Lee for coffee and we never spent another day apart since then, well maybe one day due to our children’s schedules but the point being is that we met off of Match.com and were such a perfect match that we never looked back.

In all honesty if I were to set a bullet point list of qualities that were important to me in a relationship as well as a life partner, Lee would fit every single one of them. We have an amazing capability to communicate, to show love to each other through all stresses and at the end of the night he never falls asleep without his arm on me.

Brandy Ellen Gets Engaged

Each day we wake up happy to be near each other, we don’t like being apart but we are not so out of our minds being apart that we can’t handle it. This week is living proof that we are two people, when put home together for a 12 day stretch, still don’t falter. No matter what you throw at us, we start swinging and always make it out on top. There are so many stresses going on in our world but that hasn’t kept our love from growing stronger each day.

When Lee comes up behind me to give me a quick hug or a quick kiss on the back of my neck while I am cooking our family dinner, I still get shivers. Goosebumps are a common occurrence when you put me with Lee, just the mere sight of him makes me so heart fluttering happy. Today, is one year and I am still just as smitten with him and him with me as our first day we met for coffee.

Engagement Ring

Never in a million years could I have thought I would have met someone who was indeed who his profile said he was, his appearance was what his profile picture showed him to be. Everything has been our most wonderful time of our lives and as we celebrate our one year anniversary today, we look down upon my left ring finger at the commitment Lee made to me and I made to him late Christmas night.

On Christmas night we went out to dinner, then walked around looking at the Christmas tree lights at the town common and then returned home to read this couples book. While reading this couples book we found that a lot of the tips and quotes that were inside of the book were ways we already think daily about each other, ways we already show each other our love and have for the past year. I don’t foresee that changing, why? Because if I only shared with you the extent of the challenges we have faced in the past year. It’s a long story, honestly, we may just write a book about it all someday. For now, they are our own family secrets so-to-speak that don’t need to be broadcasted, but let me just say this; Lee and I have experienced a level of stress that I personally have never, ever had to experience in such a mind boggling, jaw dropping way before. We never let these stresses affect our love, we cannot change outsider influences, we cannot change other people and we are determined to remember our love for each other at the end of every night – no matter what!

Engaged at 32

About 11pm on Christmas night, Lee got down on one knee and asked if I would do him the “monumental honor of becoming his wife”, there were tears, giggles because we both were so nervous and happiness. With a ring that is so pretty yet so simple. We now have committed to marrying each other in the future. We do not have a date set yet, we have the commitment and the intent to wed down, but now it’s all about planning what kind of wedding event we wish to have and then pick a date.

Right now, in all honesty, I am just enjoying the complete happiness that comes with being engaged and so is he. We are so blessed, both us as adults and our children, to have been able to experience the joining of two families with two adults who are completely, utterly in love with each other. Prior to our engagement, I had asked my daughter {because my son’s at ages 5 & 7 really have no real concept of “marriage”} what she thought about us getting hitched. Lee also asked his children what they thought about the idea of us getting married. With great happiness, all three of our older children were happy about the idea of us getting married. That was all we needed to know in order to move forward, while our children do not tell us what relationship we shall have or not, it is important that they play a key role in building our family, together, forever and always. The children are a huge part of our combined love together and we want them to know that we both love them all very, very much!

How much you could save when you do it yourself this Christmas!

Christmas is just around the corner, and if you haven’t started making a dent on your Christmas list, why not check out the following ideas. If you want to give something personalized, and unique whilst saving a few pennies along the way… Get crafting! There are so many craft hobbies at beginner, intermediate and expert levels. Just see the graphic below to get you started…

Save With Homecrafts
Brought to you by Homecrafts

A Great Hand Out Idea for Halloween – College Savings Registry @GradSave #halloween

Have you ever created a baby registry?

How about a registry for a wedding or maybe your child’s birthday?

GradSave is about the same concept, you create a college savings registry by going to GradSave.com and connect a 529 Plan or prepaid college savings plan to your GradSave account. Once you have your GradSave account page created you can share this with anyone; let’s say Uncle Mike lives in Texas but you live in Vermont. How can Uncle Mike give to his niece or nephew each holiday season or birthday time? Well, Uncle Mike can put a gift of money into his niece or nephews college savings plan by utilizing the GradSave College Savings Registry that you created. I know many elders who would much rather give the gift of savings to a child than the gift of a materialistic item, for that is how they can pass along a future for their younger generation relatives.

College Savings Registry 3

With all that in mind, why not pass along the idea of saving for college by placing $10 coupons in your trick or treat bowl this Halloween? You will be able to educate others on how they can setup their own GradSave College Savings Registry and in turn they will be passing along the idea to their children that saving money is important. I personally wasn’t ever taught to budget money nor save money, but I eventually did learn through trial and error. Would you not rather a child learn through example rather than trial and error?  I think it’s important to teach children to save at a young age so that they learn the concept that money doesn’t grow on trees.

College Savings Registry 2

College is an important advancement for your child, whether they go to college for some off he wall career idea or they go for what you had hoped they went for, you must start saving now to be able to afford the ever rising cost of college tuition’s. The younger your child is, the more money you can save. GradSave’s College Savings Registry really makes it easier to save and allow family to donate to the child’s college fund from afar.  This Halloween you can go to GradSave Happy Halloween Page and sign up to register for your child’s registry today or you can simply print off these coupons to hand out to your trick or treaters this season. Not handing out trick or treating items this year? If you are attending any Halloween event you can print off these images and do what I did; place them on cardboard or card stock and hand them out at the event. 

College Savings Registry

Remember, this is a legit College Savings Registry so by signing up you are indeed attempting to allow your child’s 529 or prepaid college fund to be attached to this registry so that others (friends and family) can donate to your child’s college savings from anywhere at any time. Do not simply sign up because I am sharing this information with you; I am sharing this information as a great idea for Halloween hand outs and that I feel strongly about saving for college if you are able to do so. With GradSave College Savings Registry you can essentially take your child’s college fund further by opening doors for far away relatives and friends to easily donate to the fund.

Click here to visit the GradSave Halloween Page. Remember to use my referral code of HHHAPB if you are signing up.

Click here to print these coupons in white (shown in images) or Click here to print in black  to hand out this Halloween. {will open a PDF document in new tab/window}

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Happy Faces, Happy Moments

I love looking back on pictures that make me smile… my boys and me in one shot, all happy —

Mama Bear Fights for her Kids

The Dad at my house on Christmas Eve —

Grampa spending Christmas Eve with Grandkids

Getting a pic of all three of my kids and me, just to find out the little one was showing his chewed up food —

My three kids and me

And our first year of getting our Christmas tree without help from anyone else –

Christmas Tree Cut Down

I love that when I look back at so many pictures I have taken that each time we all seem so happy. The kids sort of went through a funk for a bit, due to situations that arose, but now they seem to be super happy again and I just had to look back to cherish some of those happy moments today as I prepare to have them gone with their Dads for the weekend.

I love my family so much!

 

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone

Now I never really have celebrated Valentine’s Day in the past, honestly you won’t find me getting all crazy about receiving some expensive gift, but I can see that this day could be a wonderful day to simply celebrate the love you have for that special someone in your life. I created Valentine’s Day cards for my kids and my boyfriend on Treat.com this year and can not wait to hand them their cards today!

Happy Valentine's Day

I think the best gifts for any holiday are those that come from the heart, so today I wanted to share with you all some simple, low or no costs ideas for a Valentine’s Day gift for that sweetie in your life:

  • Home Made Dinner In – get out all of those cooking supplies and recipe books. Find a meal set for a king or queen and cook that loved one the most amazing meal set by candle light if you wish at home in your own dining room.
  • Make a Crafty Fun Valentine’s Day Card – Don’t have the money to go spend on a card? Have construction paper and copy paper (or printer paper)? Well then create a cute red construction paper card shape, cute a piece of copy paper into the shape of a heart, attached it to the front of the card and right a cute little phrase on it. Inside you can use Google Search to find cute poems or sayings {if you can’t come up with a crafty poem of your own} and write it on the inside of the card with love from you.
  • Clean the House with the Kids – Sometimes it’s the small things that count the most, enlist yourself and/or your kids to give that other parent in the household a day and night off from having to do anything. Take complete control of the household from chores to cooking and make her/him feel like they are having a total vacation day.

Valentine’s Day to me is simply a day to remember the love you have for those you are blessed to have in your life, there is no need for spending crazy amounts of money if that’s not in your budget. Just simply take today to let that special someone know how much you love them.

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