Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Payson Temple Construction...

  A few weeks a go an older gentleman in our stake gave the most amazing talk on temples.  He drew my attention more to the temples being built around us.  Since, I've been enamored with the construction.  Chris drove me down to Payson to see how this temple was coming along.  Quite fine if you ask me. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

There was a crow knocking on my window...

In the middle of the night, last night, I heard a crow outside our window.  It was so loud that it woke me up for a good while.  I kept listening, waiting for Chris to wake up and hear it.  Finally, I rolled over and woke Chris up so he could hear.  I could have sworn the crow was knocking on our window.  As soon as Chris rolled over toward me, the crow stopped.  Oops, I guess the crow was Chris the whole time.  I just started laughing and he fell back asleep.  Chris never snores or really makes noise, so I don't know what happened last night. Except that I'm pretty sure I was sleeping with some large black bird.

Monday, June 24, 2013

How did/or do you save for your kid's education?

I've been thinking a lot about saving my future children's education.  It’s a topic and discussion I have frequently with customers at work.  The great thing about my job is, I usually present all the account options and then the person decides with their broker what is best for them.  I’m often shocked at how people go about it and when or how they start savings for different facets of their life.  There are a number of different ways to invest for this purpose.  I've just written down my five top options or the one’s most commonly used.

1.      Don’t save at all.  When it comes time for your kid to go to school, let them figure out how to pay for it.

2.      Save your own money in a special account for your kids.  There is no special tax break and pay for what you need when it’s needed, with no obligation to each individual kid.

3.      Setup a bank savings account for each kid and only put a small portion of money into them.  Once your child becomes a teenager, let them start to save and manage for future expenses.  Helping out along the way or course.

4.      Setup an individual account in your child’s name that you are the custodian for.  When your child reaches a certain age (based on the state you live in) the child automatically gets the full amount of funds transferred into their name, to use for whatever they want.

5.      Setup an education savings account.  All funds HAVE to be used for education.  If one child does not go to school, the funds can be transferred into another child’s name and so forth until someone actually goes to school
Here are my thoughts.

I believe in a savings of some sort.  I don’t believe I’d be where I am today if my parents hadn't paid for my schooling.  I am also a huge planner so this is something I think about.  Therefore, number one is out.  That being said, I'm not trying to portray that Chris and I have large sums of extra cash for this purpose.  It's just a priority that I really want to start early on. 

I’m drawn to just saving my own money is an account labeled “kids.”  Since Chris and I don’t plan on being billionaire’s, I don’t know if the tax shelter of the other accounts would even matter to us.  Plus I LOVE the idea of having the money be mine and be used at my discretion – I’m selfish like that.   The bad part of this is that it’s easily accessible.  Easy to dip into when life comes up a little short.

Sisterville does her version of number three, and I actually really like this idea.  The part I don’t like is that the money can’t be invested.  After working in a brokerage firm, I want my kids understanding the stock market and being mindful of it on a regular basis.

I think just giving up all the saved money to your kid because they reach a certain age is a horrible idea.  I’m always surprised that almost everyone picks this option.  Perhaps they have more faith in their children than I’m going to have in mine.  But honestly people, how responsible is anyone when they are 18 years old?  Even if the sum of money is not that large, by the law the funds must be transferred completely over to the child.  The thought astounds me, good grief!  Mostly because everyone who does this, gives their children like 10’s and thousands of dollars and their kids are brats.

I also really like this idea of an education savings account.  Where the funds have to be used for education, they can be invested, and if one of your children doesn't go to college than the funds can be transferred to another child.  My only beef with this idea is the logistics.  I’m all gung-ho with one kid and put a consistent amount away each month.  However, by the time number three or four comes along, we could be dirt poor.  Therefore, our first child has quite a bit of money saved up and by the time the last one comes he has nothing.  Long term this might be a harder plan to keep up.

Any other good ideas?

What did your parents do for you?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The end is near...

There was this one time when I first met Chris that I figured him a slacker. 
A complete slacker actually.
I knew he hadn't been in school for a few years, but whenever we spoke he always told me he would finish.
All the sudden I started to actually like him and so I put on a little pressure. 
Perhaps that's an understatement, it was more like an ultimatum. 
Summer 2011 he was re-admitted to UVU. 
I've been saving these pictures ever since.
Tonight this guy aced his accounting test!
I couldn't wait sharing them a moment longer. 
He's actually going to graduate in August and only has two seconds of real school left. Holy crack!
Other than some help in English 2020, this guy hasn't asked for a lick of help since. 
He's a natural student. 
Working at his dream internship this summer. 
 This might have been our first ever picture together. 
The start of something great!
Wouldn't you agree?

Post edit - Chris would like everyone to know that this letter was not a surprise, that everyone gets into UVU, and he has no idea why we took pictures. Funny though!

Friday, June 21, 2013

We're having a....

Tricked ya!
We don't know what we are having yet. 
We find out the first part of July.

I put a poll on the side bar so you can vote.
Chris wants a girl.
I want a boy.
Sisterville wants twins.

What do you want???

Ways we are different...

The Pioneer Woman did a little gig on her blog listing the ways her and her husband were different. I thought I'd be a copy cat....

1. C reads manuals and books with actual informational text.  I only like to read for fun, the less brain power exerted the better.

2.  C will eat anything but raisins.  I will eat anything but, raising, onions, water chestnuts, meatloaf, and any casserole my mom makes containing any concoction of those ingredients.

3.   C has watched R-rate movies in his life, a lot.  I've only seen two.  Once in which is Pretty Woman, and the other in which I really wanted to see because I read the book, so C volunteered to watch it with me.  He covered my eyes and fast forwarded through the naughty parts for me.  P.S. Totally not worth it. P.S.S. C doesn't watch them anymore either. 

4.  C likes sushi.  I hate sushi.

5.  C takes extremely long showers, washing and re-washing every body part.  On the other hand, could easily win the fastest shower competition.

6.  C likes to stay up late and sleep in late.  I fall asleep early (despite my best efforts) and wake up early (also despite my best efforts). 

Side note: The other day I told C-man we needed a family motto.  He asked what I had in mind and I said, “The Bates family gets up early and gets shiz done.”  He fell back asleep before responding….

7.  C wants a dog.  I prefer not having to take care of something morning and night. Been there, done that,

8.   C wants our boys to be “ballers.” I want all our kids to by gymnasts and compete in the Olympics, since it’s my favorite sport to watch.  Now I'm hoping their a sort of strange mix so we can create the “Bates Globe Trotters.”

9.  C hates yard work and usually ends up sneezing the entire time.  I actually quite enjoy yard work (you just wait until I blog about my garden.)

10.   C likes Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup milk shakes. I like mint Oreo milkshakes. This makes it really hard to share.

11.   C knows how to drive in the city, do city thing, and find city places.  For me, the less stop lights the better.

12.   C talks to his family occasionally, with good long chats. I talk to Sisterville every day, sometimes twice, or maybe even more.

13.   C doesn't like his clothes to touch the floor.  My clothes have magnets inside them that naturally attract them there.  

14.   C drinks a lot of caffeinated beverages.  I prefer no caffeine in my beverage.

15.   C is good and being really sweet all the time.  I’m really good at saying sorry after I freak out. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My favorite two tots...

If you don't think these two are cute, than something is seriously wrong with you.
Click here to see more. 
Lately I've been loving the pictures of the small tots.

P.S. Big shout out to my husband Chris who edits everything for me.  He is a master of Lightroom and never gets full credit.  Thanks to him we've been able to bust out quite a few sessions, all while I lay on the couch trying to grow our own tot.  

Life Changes....

I think everyone goes through different stages of reflection.  My thoughts are so different first thing in the morning than they are when I fall asleep.  Why is it when we fall asleep that our mind thinks up the strangest things?  

Lately I've been thinking a lot about living contently, and reflecting on all the change that's taken place in my life the last couple years.  Here's the thing.  I hate change.  In fact it's thing about myself that I've always hated.  I always wanted to be that girl in college who lived in the same apartment for four years, choose a major and stuck with it, has a good 5+ years at a job, you know that type of thing.  Let me explain why I've never been that girl....

1st year of college - Salt Lake and Orem - Two different Universities
Live in New York - why not!
Finish College in Orem - four different apartment complexes - three jobs 
1 year working - 1 apartment complex, 400 different hotels
Two years of graduate school - live three different places
Spanish Fork Apartment - First 2 months of Marriage
1st year of marriage - Live in Heber, work in Finance
Move to Provo, keep an adult job, have a child.....

At night I've always laid in bed thinking about what I was going to do next.  I always had some sort of completion date that would bring something new, something different.  The end of the semester, graduating, getting married, or moving to another job.  Everything was inconsistent and there was always an end in site.  The entire time I longed for no more changes.  Live in one place long enough to make it a home.  Have a husband. Have a family.  Work somewhere longer than 12 months. 

Here I am with all of that.  Chris and I are finally in a good place.  We love where we are living.  I can see us here for awhile.  We want to raise our family close to the people we love.  Everything I own no longer fits in the backseat of my car, and we're going to have a baby. Call me crazy, but the lack of change in my life is what scares me the most.  Living with change is hard, but I'm finding that living content is even harder.  At night I daydream Chris gets a job in Europe or some crazy place that we have to move to for a couple years.  It sounds like such a nice option. 

I realize this all makes me sound superficial.  I realize having a baby is a huge change.  One that will beat out all my other crazy adventures.  However, until then and moving forward I've tried to make five goals for myself and my family.  Something that will help me remember that the changes you want to make in your life can happen without moving, or switching jobs.

1.  Keep planning adventures.  Make travel a higher priority.
2.  Keep my professional dreams alive.  All of the sudden I have these thoughts and feelings of being a stay at home mom.  I have no strict opinion on either or and hope not to offend, but I really want to keep some sort of outside work alive.  Even if my 50+ hour weeks are not a reality. .
3.  Center my home more around serving others.  
4.  Get rid of TV and spend my evenings doing something more productive.  Read more books!
5.  Leave the house messy and let more important things take priority.  Give in to Chris when he would rather have a hug after a long day than a clean kitchen. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Provo City Center Temple...

I went and took photo's of the construction of the new temple.  I figured I might want them for posterity sake.  

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Rock Canyon Park...

One of the things I thought I'd miss most about Heber was the great places to go for a walk/hike.  As a result of Chris's night classes, I had a lot of extra time alone up there. I have no clue why I had those thoughts.  First, I still drive to Park City everyday so I can stop anywhere on the way home.  Second, there are so many great places in the valley.  

When Chris and I were dating we went to Rock Canyon Park quit a bit.  There is some great trails up the canyon and we loved learning to take pictures in manual mode with my camera, hiking and talking for hours.  It was there that we first spoke about a future together, etc.  Memories only significant to us of course....
 Chris's photo's from our trip back this week.  The only thing I didn't remember is how steep it was, and by steep I mean - only if your pregnant, constantly on the verge of puking and laid on the couch everyday after work for the last two months.  Than your walk might be a bit strenuous, for everyone else it will be a nice afternoon stroll.