Sunday, October 4, 2009

Why I love my credit union

Years ago, while working my way though college I stumbled into a banking job. There were some perks to working for a “big bank”, like learning the ins and outs of the finance world. After 3 years I had worked my way up to the title of personal banker. I loved this position, at least at first. I felt like I was really helping people. After about 6 months a big ball of reality blind sided me. My job was not about helping, it was about selling. It was about selling whatever the trend product was at the time. I hit one of my lowest points when I was ordered to walk around a college campus targeting new students, enticing them with candy bars to fill out credit card applications. It felt ethically slimy. Shortly after that, I transferred to a different branch.

At my new branch my eyes were forced open even wider. I soon learned that the “big bank” not only held no regard for it’s customers but also cared very little for it’s employees. Our branch went through 3 robberies in a 6 month period. There were even shots fired at the last one. The “big banks” response was to put a 70 something year old unarmed guard in the building part time; and move us up from number 8 to number 6 on the “at risk” list. That’s when I quit

The last robbery had left me needing about 6 months of intense therapy and a fun little title of PTSD. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason… My husband thought that he needed to get me out of the house at least once a week, so we started bowling (I even have my own shoes). We soon made friends with a family that would meet up every Saturday for some bowling in the dark. That’s where I met Bobbie. Bobbie told me all about this fabulous credit union that she worked for and insisted that I would love working for them too.

I knew from the start that I had wasted so much time at the “big bank”. Verity was about their members first. While still making sound business decisions we were never ordered to push any one product, but trusted to find the members need and help them with it. The members loved us too. I’ll never forget, one of my favorites, she hand knit me a baby blanket when she found out that I was pregnant. I’ve used it for all three kids. After working in such a hostile environment for so long, the change to Verity was like coming home.

I know that my story is a little dramatic, however, I have heard similar stories time and time again. People getting fed up with poor customer service and then finding refuge in their credit union. So I ask why? Why wouldn’t you use a credit union over a “big bank”? For the most part they have better rates, they are just as safe, they are totally accessible (with shared branching), and most importantly, they are all about you.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Last Confessions...

I want to put it all out there (series three)

-I have a hard time toning it down when I’m excited
-I won’t get a dog because I don’t think we are responsible enough… how
  did we get 3 kids?
-I cut my son's hair because I don’t want to pay for it
-I cut my husbands hair because he doesn't want to pay for it
-I do anything for quite time, including paying the bills
-I hate the way my husband mows the lawn
-I love people watching… you people should watch what you do
-I believe in making friends with everyone I meet
-I love small town parades
-I believe in saying yes first
-I like to raise money for good causes
-I don’t like whiners
-I can remember exactly where I sat in Kindergarten
-I can’t remember if I put deodorant on this morning
-I make a lot of lists
-I still play pretend… in my head
-I love budget planning
-I am crafty
-I believe with all my heart that I would make the perfect Verity Mom!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The gift of gab

Today I worked in the nursery at my daughters preschool. There were three adults in there, all talkers and only 6 kids. It was a fun morning. Two and a half hours of sharing. We talked about everything from grocery store coupons to childhood cancer. By the end of our time together something dawned on me, women like to share things.

As moms we sometimes feel like our voices don’t get heard. After all, who wants to hear about how you found your favorite laundry detergent a whole dollar cheaper somewhere, or that the latest greatest discipline technique is nothing more than hype. Other moms want to hear, that’s who. As moms we have an unspoken sisterhood of knowing that we have all been “there” or will be at some point. We want to feel useful, smart, and taken seriously. We want to be heard, and because we want to be heard we talk. We talk to our kids, we talk to our husbands… but lets be honest, they’re not listening. So, we talk to other moms.

Moms like to listen too. As a new mom I can remember talking to a telemarketer for close to an hour one day. I was so thrilled to talk to another adult that I didn’t care that they were trying to sell me something. I listened to their whole speech on why I needed to buy magazines from their company and by the end not only decided to support their charity but also told several friends about them (I support mothers against drunk driving M.A.D.D.). Since that time I have learned that by simply listening to other moms and their tips I can save a lot of time, money, and anguish.

That is why I feel so much bra burning excitement for Verity Credit Union's Verity Mom competition. This competition has so far, proven to be an incredible marketing campaign with a message to all business’s out there. Mother's matter. All three of us women (the finalists) have a lot to say and offer. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to go to and place your vote. It’s not just a vote for Verity Credit Union.s next spokesperson, but a vote to say a mothers voice can be heard in the big world of business.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mothers Laws

#1. You can’t be at your computer the moment that the top 3 finalists are announced for Verity Mom. Your mom promises to call you the moment it is announced (should be 9 AM). 9 o’clock comes and goes… 9:05 comes and goes… 9:10 comes, and goes. The sinking feeling that you have not made it starts to set in, because you know the only reason Mom wouldn’t call is if she didn’t want to let you down. At 9:15 you get the courage to call her… she answers… SCREAMING!!!
Moms Law: The moment it really counted, your mom became completely technologically inept and couldn’t figure out how to refresh a computer screen or dial a cell phone.
Daughters Law: Still love ya mom!

#2. You get an email from Verity Credit Union asking you to make a 4 minute video with specific criteria, and you have 6 days to do it. At the same time you are looking at your calendar, noticing that you have 3 school meetings, one church meeting, and a phone conference scheduled in the next two days.
Moms Law: On the third day when you are finally shooting the video you look like a pale raccoon with strung out hair and a wrinkled shirt. This doesn’t seem to make other women want to be interviewed by you, nor does it look any better with a pound of make-up and good lighting.

#3. On the fourth day of no sleep and serious raccoon eyes you finally have convinced enough moms to be on your video and it is now ready edit.
Moms Law: Your computer crashes.

#4. Your nickname is Grandma because you drive like a turtle. After dropping your son off at school you are for the first time in days not feeling rushed.
Moms Law: You get your very first speeding ticket.

#5. It’s Saturday morning and your husband is at work. All three kids want something different for breakfast, and you are having a hard time finding a shirt to wear that doesn’t smell like spit-up. Then, you realize that you read the email from Verity Credit Union wrong and the video is suppose to be 3 minutes… lots of editing to do.
Moms Law: An agent calls to let you know he will be showing your house in 20 minutes.

#6. You’ve always disliked Murphy and his laws… what a pessimist!
Moms Law: After thinking about your last week you realize that he may have been on to something.

More Confessions…

I want to put it all out there (series two)

-I can’t sing (but I keep trying)
-I’m just under 5 ft. tall
-I have a lot of grey hair
-I have a serious love for honey mustard
-I haven’t used the post office to pay a bill in 4 years
-I’m allergic to cats
-I grew up in Gig Harbor
-I’m CPR certified
-I get a little sick at the sight of snot
-I love the outdoors
-I can’t help but smile when I say my kids names
-I still want to be your Verity Mom!

YouTube - theSimsonator's Channel

I've been pouring myself into the Verity Mom campaign and it's been a lot of fun. I have to admit that I haven't been as attentive as I usually am to my family, but we've still managed to get out and have a little fun in the last 3 weeks...

YouTube - theSimsonator's Channel

Remember to get your votes in at by October 4th

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My miracle

Dear Lilly,

Tomorrow you hit the big seven. Seven months that is, and I'm sad. You are my baby, my last, my angel. I know I call you grumpy and tell everyone how feisty you are, but I hope you know that I love every second of it. The last seven months have flown by, and I want to write this all down before I forget.

October 22 of 2006 I woke up cross eyed and weak. Sounds kinda funny but it was scary. Your daddy took me to the emergency room where for hours on end we went over all the possibilities. They told me it could be anything from a hemorrhage, to a stroke, to MS. Test by test kept coming back negative or inconclusive. After a few days in the hospital I was sent home with no answers and an eye patch (I was so glad that it was almost Halloween). Six weeks later I went through a series of tests with a specialist that looked over all the tests I had been through, he told your daddy and I that I had had a stroke.

You're to little to understand now but by the time you read this you will know that mommy was too young and healthy to have had a stroke. This diagnosis lead to many more tests and specialists trying to figure out why. After almost a year of this I gave up. The doctors told me that sometimes "things" just happen. This was devastating for me, I'm not a quitter, and I like to have answers.

Your daddy and I had always planned on having 4 kids, but we were coming to the realization that we were going to have to let that dream go. Once we were finally okay with the decision to be done having kids, we decided that we weren't done helping kids. So, we started the classes and paperwork to become foster parents. We were half way through the foster parenting class's when we found out that we were pregnant with you.

I was scared but your daddy was strong. He kept telling me that everything happens for a reason, we just had to wait to find it. After about 4 weeks of seeing the baby doctor we got our reason. The doctor ran a blood test that had not yet been checked, and he found that I have a rare blood condition. I will never forget his words that day: "your baby has saved your life, it would have been only a matter of time before you had another stroke".

You are meant for great things Lilly. You have been finding answers and creating peace since before you were even born. You are my true miracle and I am so grateful to have you. I know that there will be fights, and at times I will get mad at you, and at times you will think you hate me. You're allowed, life wouldn't be as good without a little passion, but know this: I love you with all my heart! You are my angel and I promise to watch over you, just like you have been watching over me.

Love you,

Monday, September 21, 2009


I want to put it all out there (series one)...
   -I'm scared of spiders
   -I hate doing dishes
   -I throw most of my kids art away
   -I weigh 139 lbs ... working on it
   -I love it when my checkbook balances to the penny
   -I spend a lot of time looking for the "best deal"
   -I give the phone to my 4 year old when telemarketers call
   -I still have baby teeth
   -I believe in doing what I love and loving what I do and nothing less
   -I appreciate every day even when the coffee is cold, the beer
     is warm, and the kids won't listen
   -I still have a crush on my husband
   -I say I'm an open book... but there are some chapters that
    I won't put in writing
   -I want to be your Verity Mom!

check out this video:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pick me, pick me, pick me!!!

Look! Someone graffitied my car. Must have been some crazy obsessed woman that is willing to do just about anything for the title of Verity Mom. Must have been someone that puts at least 100% of energy, creativity, and thought into everything she does. Must have been a mom that isn’t afraid to put herself out there and let people know who she is and what she is about. Must have been a gal that doesn’t embarrass easy… must have been me.

I’ve always seen people driving around with window paint on their car and thought “It must be nice to be so passionate about something.” I found my something. I love being a mom, I believe in being “real” all the time, and I thoroughly get off on telling people about great finds and products. This competition of Verity Mom has given me that opportunity. I have been ranting and raving about Verity since I worked for them 6 years ago. I not only loved working for them but I truly believe in their products and mission. Verity is not just a Credit Union. They are a family of superior employees with ethics and want to give the best to their community. They give the best by offering exceptional customer service and great products, like the Cartwheel Checking account. Thanks Verity for this opportunity.

As the hours count down to the final 3 decision being made I’m reflecting on my campaign. Did I use enough creativity? Did I market myself and Verity well? Did I impress them enough to pick me? Yes, yes, and I sure hope so. I know that the Verity Mom job is perfect for me, I'm just hoping that Verity realizes that I am the perfect mom for the job.

Don’t forget to post comments about me on their website

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The good wife

Today while driving to pick up my son Jasper from school, my husband Josh turned to me and said "You don't understand just how tired I am." My response in my head was something like this:
-"Really, you want to compare notes? Because I
  don't remember the last time you got up during the 
  night to breastfeed a baby!
-"When is the last time you got up in the middle of 
  the night to wash sheets?"
-"Remember on our anniversary, when we went to that really nice cabin, and I got up while the rest of 
  you sawed logs, just to make you all home made doughnuts? ...I was on vaction too!"
-"How many times have you jumped out of your   
  skin during a really good dream to the sound of a toddler hitting the floor?" (note to self: buy guard rail)
-"Try having to change your shirt while half asleep because you are soaking in breast milk"
-"Have you ever stayed up until 2 in the morning to finish cleaning, or sewing, or doing just about anything
  because that is the only time that there is uninterrupted quite"
-"How many days in a row can you go without a shower because you are so sleep deprived that an extra 15
  minutes of sleep sounds better than people thinking you look or smell good?"
-"I spent almost 9 months being so uncomfortable in my own body that a full nights sleep was nothing but a
-"Then I had the little monster and can't even remember how long a full nights sleep is."
-"Then because I can't think straight anymore, I decided to do the whole baby thing 2 more times."
I then looked over at my husband who get's up at 2:30 AM every morning to go to work to provide for all of us, and I noticed the dark circles under his eyes. I smiled at him and said through my teeth "It must be really hard for you, you should go to bed early tonight." I love him, if he thinks that he is sleep deprived then I should let him have that, because later when I'm complaining to the man that works on his feet on hard concrete for 9 hours a day that my feet hurt, I'm going to expect a foot rub.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Top 10 quotes of the month

10 things I never expected to say:
~this months favorite quotes

10. Said: “I’ll give you a dollar if you smile for the picture”

Wanted to say: “Smile for the freakin picture already, and act like you think I’m the best!”

9. Said: “Who put gel in the baby’s hair?”

Wanted to say: “thank you for playing with Daddy’s hair products and not mine”

8. Said: “What’s up your nose?”

Wanted to say: “that’s impressive, your brother has never gotten anything that big up

his before”

7. Said: “flush the toilet, flush the toilet, FLUSH THE STINKIN TOILET!


6. Said: “Nooo, the hole in the apple is the mark of a really sweet apple”

Wanted to say: “just eat the dang apple, Mommy hasn’t been to the grocery store in a


5. Said: “My bra is not outer space ear warmers”

Wanted to say: nothing... at this point I wanted to bury my head in a pillow and feel sorry

for myself... it didn’t help that the bra cups could actually close over his entire head.

4. Said: “Is this poop?”

Wanted to say: “Really? Again?”


Wanted to say: “Wish I had thought of that torment for my sister when I was your age.”

2. Said: “It’s not acceptable to pull your pants down in the produce isle”

Wanted to say: “Why me?”

1. Said: “Did you just wax my eyebrow off?”

This time I was able to say just what I wanted... it was my mom doing the waxing.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The widow

Okay ladies, put on your black, stop the clocks, and get out your tissues. Today was the mark of a very sad and hard time in many of our lives... opening day of football. For many of us wives this was a bitter sweet day. On one hand I love football. I enjoy getting up on Sundays, putting on my blue and silver and yelling at the TV... for one game. On the other hand, I loose my husband to fantasy football, hours and hours of Fox Sports Northwest on top of hours of games, and in some very sad cases face paint. Yes today was a day to pout and be sad.

The brakes went out on my husbands car and he started to fix it yesterday. He realized that he needed a part that he didn't have after the parts place had closed. I assumed he would be right on it right after work today. I was wrong. When I asked him why he was half naked sitting next to a pile of laundry that needed to be folded, he got a big smile on his face and responded with "today is the best day of the year" and pointed at the TV.  "There will always be tomorrow to fix the car, today there is football."

Five years ago I realized that this football obsession was here to stay and that I could embrace it, get divorced, or live with being a football widow for 4 to 5 months out of the year. The second two sounded like a lot of work and sadness (I'm too lazy for either). So I put on my brave panties and decided to embrace it. Now, when I go for something it's all the way, and this situation was no different. I joined 2 fantasy football leagues that year. One was a random one that I found on a sports website. I joined that one because I didn't know anyone on it and it was a good place for me to really try things out and learn for myself how to play. The other league was made up of the groomsmen from our wedding and a few other guys that my husband has been playing with for years... and oh, did I mention that my husband was also on the league? I don't know if he was happy, maybe a little turned on, or utterly scared that I was a team owner on his league, but I will never forget his face when I told him. It was a cross between ready to puke and surprise.

I took first place in his league that year... and the crowd stands to do the wave. He didn't think that me beating him was cool (probably his worst fear come true) but he told me that I had never done anything that had meant more to him. I was a little offended since by this point I had planned a wedding, had 2 kids with him, and given up my career to play into his June Cleaver fantasies. He explained that the fact that I had taken so much interest in something that was that important to him was an act of my love for him. I still think he was being a little mellow dramatic, but it was true.

I gave up doing things on Sundays (sometimes even church) to wear my Seahawk colors, drink beer, and eat chips. I gave up talking to my husband about preschools and play dates for looooong conversations about about the importance of running backs and a good QB, WR combo for fantasy teams. What did I get out of all of this crazy town football loving maham? A better marriage. A better friend. Great communication.

So, today may have been a sad day for you or a friend of yours. But, hope is not lost. I encourage all of you that have football fanatics under your roof to do what I did and embrace it. It actually is a fun game to watch and you won't believe how cool guys think you are when you know what a flea flicker is. Embracing a passion for something like football also encourages us moms to take a brake, smell the roses (or chicken wings and beer in this case), and enjoy our men. After all, "there will always be tomorrow to fix the car, today there is football."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

In the eye of the beholder

Dear Jasper,

I'm sorry. I sorry that you inherited my agility and gracefulness. I'm sorry that I chose to take you camping the three days prior to your 1st day of 1st grade. I'm really sorry that you fell off that mossy log and hit your head on a rock leaving a large red egg shaped bump in the middle of your forehead. I'm even more sorry that I then took you to the beach where there were lots of aggressive bees and the meanest one found your ear. Most of all I'm sorry that you fell down face first onto a cement patio putting your teeth through your lip and scraping up your chin. You have every right to be mad at me.

You have every right to be mad at me except that if you think about this carefully you will realize that I am the coolest mom ever. You're welcome. You're welcome, that instead of early bed times and strict routines leading up to your first day of school, you got ghost stories and late nights by the campfire. You're even more welcome that when you fell off that mossy log, I didn't yell at you for not listening to me about horse play on slippery objects for the ten minutes leading up to the fall. You are welcome for me taking you to the ocean to throw rocks and dig in the sand. Finally, you are welcome for the fun you were having while I wasn't watching you because I was feeding the baby, when you tripped over the dog and planted your face in the cement... chicks dig scars... you'll thank me later. I love you buddy and I really did have the best of intentions. I'm really sorry you got hurt but really glad you had fun.

Love you always and forever,

The first day of school

Tomorrow marks a big day in my little boy's life. It's his first day of 1st grade. He was so excited tonight that he went to bed without any challenges and is now sweetly sleeping with a smile on his face.

I'm feeling butterflies for him. Will the teacher see the brilliant inquisitive loving boy that I know? Will the other kids be as excited to see him as he is to see them? Will my little by hold it against me that I couldn't give him everything he wanted for the first day of school? I'm hoping that it will all be okay.

For the start of kindergarten we took Jasper shopping. He got a new backpack, clothes, and shoes. This year our budget has changed and there were some rather tight restrictions on what we could afford. First, we decided that he didn't need a new backpack, last years was in good shape and he still loves it. That left us with a budget of $30 for new clothes and shoes, and after a busy summer of growth spurts he desperately needed both. So I packed up my pride and headed for the secondhand stores.

Thrift stores opened up a whole new world of possibilities. I found name brand clothes with department store tags still on them, and I even found a pair of designer jeans for myself for $9.99 (focus! focus! we're not here for me!!). So, at the thrift store we found 4 shirts and a sweatshirt for $7.50. We can also feel environmentally savvy for buying clothes that others couldn't use. Next stop was hitting the sales, where we found 2 cool pairs of jeans for $16. Last was trying to find a pair of shoes for $6.50... that he would want to wear. That's when grandma surprised us in a huge way. She generously sent Jasper new shoes, shirts, and pants (Thanks Grandma!). All of a sudden Jasper has a very cool environmentally friendly wardrobe to start school with. I have $6.50 to put towards a cute pair of jeans that I have my eye on.

I'm sad that I wasn't able to buy my big guy the new Seahawks sweatshirt that he wants, but I'm super excited that I was able to make a little into a lot, and in the process be a good example for him. Tomorrow he will start going to school all day long, and I will miss him. It will be hard to drop him off, but the good news is that I know he'll be well dressed, I'll still be on budget, and most importantly we've both grown up a little. I can't wait to pick him up, and see that same sweet smile.

You Find Out Who Your Friends Are

The launch of my Verity Mom campaign has been so far, so good. My fans on facebook are rolling in, and I even have a few followers on Twitter. I hate to admit it but some insecurities surfaced yesterday. I thought that I was going to be judged on my looks, my creativity, and probably just about everything that people could pick apart. Instead I got an overwhelming amount of support.

Just a few hours after everything was posted I got a call from my husbands cousin wanting to know how she could help (thanks Tracy). My brother-in-law wrote a seriously nice post about me on (thanks Jonn). And my rock star sister-in-law took it upon herself to start campaigning for me(thanks Em). Whoever said in-laws are hard to deal with obviously have not meant mine.

I'm sitting here tonight a happy woman. Sure, my house went from show ready (it's on the market) to fire hazard in two days. My kids never got dressed yesterday, and my fantasy football team might totally stink this year (didn't get my draft picks done), but it was worth it. It's in situations like these that you find out who your friends are. They are the ones that support you, stand by you, and laugh at you (cuz lets face it, you're funny). I'm so thankful for my family, my friends, and right now especially my in-laws.

Learning to appreciate the naughtiness

You'll find that I write a lot about my daughter Laraine. It's because she gives me a lot of material. Just today, I wrote down 3 different quotes of hers that totally cracked me up. I also put her in time out 4 times, threatened to throw her toys away, and took away her t.v. privileges by 10 AM. Oh and did I mention that I threw her make-up and case in the garbage (thanks for that Christmas gift Grammy...)? The thing is, I get frustrated with her attitude and naughtiness, but I know that it's part of what makes her her.

Laraine was born 3 weeks and 2 days early (the least premature of my babies). Shortly after birth she went to the NICU where she camped out for 2 weeks. Those first 2 weeks were hard for her, she struggled... a lot. Watching my daughter struggle just to perform the very basics of life was to say the least horrifying. I remember sitting outside of her incubator praying that God would do great things in her life and make her into a strong child. I got my wish.

Four years later she is outspoken, funny, courageous, beautiful, crazy, and did I mention a little naughty? I have to remind myself on a daily basis about my prayer that day; and know that if she wasn't constantly pushing her limits than she wouldn't be growing into the strong independent woman that I know she will become.