Thank You President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama

 

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Thank You President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama

On November 4, 2008 I wept in my bed while my three year old daughter slept beside me. You were elected the 44th president of the United States. Despite constant scrutiny and criticism you ran your campaign on hope and change and spoke to me in a way no other presidential candidate ever had. I looked at you and saw me. Not just in color. But in values of family, progress and community. I voted for your family, for what you stood for: progress not perfection. Change we can believe in.

Today, I celebrate you. Your legacy. Your passion. Your integrity.

I’ve watched your family blossom. I’ve watched your calm and resilience in the face of devastation. Your humor and resolve. You both continually inspire me to strive for more. In myself and in my community. Through your compassion and authenticity you have opened your arms and hearts to the world allowing me to feel part of your journey – our journey. Through the good, the bad and the nasty. I applaud you for choosing to rise above on so many occassons. Going high I’m sure wasn’t easy, but showed your character time and time again.

For many of her younger years my now 11 year old daughter would refer to you as “Uncle Obama” and while I giggled every time she said it, it was a clear reminder of your reach. You have been a President for the people. For all people. Without using arrogance or being nasty and disrespectful, you’ve been absolute class acts and I am proud that my daughter and my future child, have you two as role models regardless of your no longer living in The White House.

My heart is full of gratitude, love and hope.

Thank You.

 

With Admiration and Deep Respect,

Alexandra



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Give The Gift of Education To Growing Families with MEFA

I partnered with Fidelity & MEFA in support of the U.Fund Dreams Tour. As always, all opinions are my own #UFundDreams.

A child born in 2017 will enter college in 2035! As I anxiously await the arrival of my second child due February 6, 2017, thinking about college and the year 2035 feels like a lifetime far far away! Diapers and wipes and preparing for maternity leave seem more pressing than saving for college. Not that it’s not important to set my children up for success, but as far as priorities it’s low on the list. I’m sure I felt the same way when my daughter was born almost 12 years ago…and BAM she’s starting middle school in the fall! Seriously, when-did-that-happen?!

Pregnancy announcements can bring a rush of excitement and love to the expecting family, their extended family and friends. Gifts for new babies often include baby bottles, blankets, books, wipes and other baby essentials and fun baby gear. It’s no secret that newborns and young children go through many items like diapers and wipes. Did you know the average newborn will need ~10 diaper changes every day? As I was planning for how many diapers we’d need in the first three months, you can imagine my surprise with the number of diapers we’d need in -just- the first three months. Bring on the diapers!

While tangible baby essentials are absolutely necessary, what if the larger village surrounding expecting families thought about the long term success of babies in addition to short term needs? Instead of cards for our little one, I asked friends and families to gift us their favorite children’s book. Literacy has been a major part of my life and has unlocked many doors while providing hours of joy and content. It’s been a priority as a mom to instill a love of reading in my daughter and now in my second child as well. Will baby be able to read at birth? If only! Yet, I understand the benefit of literacy on young minds and the power it can provide in the future.

Communities surrounding growing families have many options to support parents and babies, and I encourage you to consider a gift of education to parents-to-be. It’s no secret that the cost of education continues to rise, making the reality of affording higher education seemingly out of reach for many families. I’ve been overwhelmed with the prospect of the cost of college, however it doesn’t have to be a hurdle that can’t be conquered. Think about how much savings you would have if families started saving in their child’s first year of life or even the second or third. It’s never too late to save -and- it’s never too early to start investing in the future. Small and calculated investments quickly grow over time, reducing the amount of money families have to borrow when they start college. With the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) specialists are available to support parents every step of the way, taking the guesswork out of college savings. Hear from other parents committed to setting their children up for success and join a larger community where savings is possible, with the right support. And don’t be afraid to get family and friends involved! Parenthood is one tough job and I firmly believe it takes a village!



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Investing in My Children’s Future with #UFundDreams

I partnered with Fidelity & MEFA in support of the U.Fund Dreams Tour. As always, all opinions are my own #UFundDreams.

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It’s hard to believe that 2016 is almost over and that I’m only seven weeks away from my due date! This pregnancy has been anything but smooth sailing and has me incredibly eager to meet baby! To the dismay of many family and friends we aren’t finding out the gender this time, which is a bit unusual for me since I don’t like surprises! Like many expecting parents, the arrival of another baby has me over the moon excited, nervous and a bit overwhelmed. Babies are wonderful little creatures but there is a ton to plan and prepare for and now that we’re in the final stretch I’m anxious to get everything in order before he/she makes their arrival. What’s weighing heavy on my mind these days? Money and savings. How to make the most of what we’re bringing in and investing in our children’s future so we when we say sky is the limit, we truly mean it.

Being a parent for 11 years (!!) now I’ve navigated saving for the future a few different ways and as life changed my methods have too. One thing is for sure, I could do a better job! And with another baby on the way, it’s imperative I create a solid savings plan and stick to it. But, as many of us know, it’s easier said than done. There are unexpected expenses, medical expenses and everything in between that can deplete a comfortable savings account in no time. This has happened to me multiple times and I’ve often felt like a deer in headlights, unsure of what to do, where to invest and how best to leverage my income. It can be a lonely road and my little money tree in my kitchen windowsill just isn’t cutting it!

With one baby due in February and another in fifth grade college really isn’t that far away. Man, I think I just fainted thinking about my baby and future baby entering college! I’ve joked with my daughter that wherever she plans to go, I’ll be right there with her! Not that I don’t trust she will excel and make smart decisions, but because letting go is hard, and I suck at it. Part of equipping my children for success starts with building a solid foundation for them to go out into the world and become whomever they dream of becoming. For my daughter, these days that means a singer, rockstar, chef and veterinarian. And I’m her biggest cheerleader and remind her daily of her greatness.

So whether I have $5 or $100 I’m saving it. And that’s the key – start saving! The Massachusetts Educational Financial Authority (MEFA) agrees with this sentiment. The earlier parents and guardians can start saving pennies and dollars toward higher education, the less families have to be burdened by paying back student loans and worrying about how to afford the many expenses associated with college. Will it be easy? Define easy! But, we’re not alone in the journey and there are countless other families wondering the same questions we have – how to save on a limited income? How much do I need to save? What is the cost of college in state? I need help! I am so there. Think of MEFA as a helping hand and resource for you and your family as you navigate savings. You don’t have to do this alone! With their support you can create a customized plan based on your needs, that’s right, there is no one size fits all plan with MEFA. You create a plan that makes sense for YOU and your circumstances. That way you can ensure your success. Just one small step today makes all the difference in the future.



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