Setting your children up for success

My two little investors

Here are my two littlest investors and I am going to share how I am setting them up for success. First and foremost I am not a financial advisor and by no means an expert but I am sharing what I know and have learned in my investing journey.

I first learned about 529’s at a young age when my father started putting my Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) in my own account. He was also gracious and put half of his PFD in my 529. A 529 is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed for future educational expenses. The only downside to a 529 is that the funds can only be used for educational purposes. It may not work in your favor if your child does not have plans on attending college, or a vocational school. I am not planning on investing huge amounts into each of my children’s accounts. With each of their PFD’s half of the funds will go into their accounts and the other half will be invested in their UTMA which is a Uniform Transfers to Minor Act.

My children who are 4 years old and 6 months old each have an account for their 529’s with Alaska 529 which is associated with T.Rowe Price. There are many other websites that offer 529 plans make sure you do your research. I chose Alaska 529 because my children’s PFD’s can be deposited directly into their accounts.

Now I chose to open UTMA accounts for my children because I can invest in Mutual Funds, ETF’s (exchange traded funds) and individual stocks. With a UTMA I am able to invest as little or as much as I prefer up to $13,000 per year per child. I chose Vanguard to open their UTMA’s because I have been a Vanguard investor for the last 10+ years and I like how their website is user-friendly also their funds have low expense ratio’s.

Creating an account on Vanguard is fast and easy. Once you decide which account you want to open with them then it takes a couple days for the funds to hit the account. Once you see the funds in the Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund the key is moving those into a mutual fund, index fund, or individual stock. You do not want those funds to sit in the Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund because they will not start accruing that compound interest.

When it came to selecting funds for my children my go to tickers have always been VOO (Vanguard S&P 500 ETF), VTI (Vanguard Total Stock) and VTSAX (Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Admiral Shares). The key to choosing funds is selecting ones that have a low expense ratio. I prefer funds that have an expense ratio of 0.10% or less any more than that you are losing out on free money.

If all this is another language to you and confusing I recommend checking out Personal Finance Club’s website Jeremy does an amazing job of explaining all of this in simpler terms. At the beginning of the year I knew that I wanted to learn more about investing and the stock market. I went head first and started watching hours of YouTube videos, researching the web and then started stumbling across great finance accounts on Instagram. If I can start, you can do it! Sure, it can be scary at first but the scarier thing is not starting. If you have funds sitting in a bank account and you are not sure what do with it I suggest you start researching investing. And if you are scared to put it into the stock market look into HYSA (High Yield Savings Accounts) at least allow your money to work for you.

My goal for my children is to set them up for success and allow them to have that financial freedom that I am working hard to create for myself. I am working on that generational wealth. Money should not be a topic that is taboo it should be something that we discuss with our children at a young age. I know that when my daughter is old enough I will allow her to choose her own stock to invest in for her birthday present. For now mama will invest in one stock for her each year and right now mama is liking AAPL (Apple).

And if you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out I am willing to share what I know to help others. I hope that this post was helpful and if you enjoyed it please feel free to leave me a comment. Quyana Chuck Norris!

Just go for it

I am going for it. I am applying for a Family Nurse Practitioner Program. When I finished nursing school in December of 2018 I was convinced that I needed that I needed to have an actual real nursing job before I applied to a Nurse Practitioner program. It has always been a dream of mine to be a Emergency Medicine Nurse Practitioner and return back to the YK Delta and work in the sub-regional clinics to provide care to the Yup’ik communities. Growing up in chaos has always had me preparing and overly preparing for the next step. It doesnt matter if I am driving, preparing for a test, anything I am always going over in my head what road I will take, when I will turn left, what lane I will be driving in, and when I will turn my blinker on. I have always prepared myself for my next move no matter what. When I would have surprises occur in my life I would panic and freak out. My body would go into a fight or flight reaction and I would always fight because that is what my body was used to. When a crazy event would happen in my life growing up I would always fight and as an adult that would be my first reaction. So applying to FNP school after completing my BSN was not in my head.

This was taken after completing my BSN. I did not walk during graduation but instead snapped this to celebrate my completion of the program.

I always felt that I needed to have actual “real nursing” experience. And what I mean by nursing experience is inserting IV’s, foley catheters, assisting in codes, and all that hands on experience that I do not get on a day to day basis as a school nurse. After completing my BSN I thought that I wasnt smart enough. I didnt have the experience because I was only a school nurse and I felt that I needed that hands on before applying. However, as a school nurse I am getting that nursing experience just in a different way. I was not confident in my skills as nurse and I always felt that I needed “real” experience. I now realize that I am good enough. I have the experience. I can do it. And I will do it. I do not need to have worked on a Med-Surg Unit to apply to FNP. I do not need to have that hands on experience before applying because I will learn it while in school and through my clinicals. And I do have the experience I just dont have it as a nurse.

This was after completing my AAS in Nursing in December 2018. I started my program 6 months pregnant and graduated when she was 18 months old.

My love for the Emergency Room started in February in 2008 when I was hired on as an Emergency Room Technician. I loved it. I loved every aspect of the ER and I felt so comfortable. And that comfort was because of my childhood and growing up in chaos I craved chaotic environments. I strived in that environment and it felt like home. And in that time working in the ER I was accepted into nursing school the first time. But that first round of nursing school did not work in my favor. I was young, arrogant, and felt I knew better than the instructor and I had a hard time keeping my mouth shut. Thankfully, I was failed out of the program due to personality conflicts between myself and the instructor after the first semester. Looking back I was creating chaos for myself and instead of keeping my mouth shut I chose to argue back. It was a hard lesson for me to swallow but I am thankful that it happened. I have learned from it and I can say that I am thankful for that experience. I worked in the ER for almost 3 1/2 years and had plenty of hand on experience with assisting the nurses and providers. But because I wasnt a nurse during that time I always felt that experience wasn’t “good enough.” I know now that it is good enough. And I am good enough. I am confident in my skills, and I know that along the way I will learn those skills I need in school, clinicals and on the job.

My daughter Syd was a huge motivation to finish school and continue on my journey.

I felt a strong urge and incline to share my thoughts because if you are wanting to do something in your life and you are afraid to do it, DO IT!

Have the confidence in yourself to know that you can do it. Take the leap. Make that call. Apply for that program, job whatever it is. You are good enough. I am taking my own advice and taking that leap. Its scary. Really scary but I am comfortable and feeling confident in myself.

I have all the support in the world and I am so thankful for that. My husband has been my rock through everything. He was by my side when I was failed out of the nursing program the first time. He has watched me change jobs because I was never happy. He has always had my back and has been supportive no matter what. I am so thankful to have my best friend by my side pushing me to follow my dreams. Thanks boo.

And here is my husband who was supportive through everything and still is to this day.

I am excited and scared for this next chapter.

But I am ready. And I am confident in myself and I believe in myself. And I can do it!

Mama’s Positive Affirmations

Mama’s Positive Affirmations

You are a good mom. I am a good mom.

You are not a bad mom. I am not a bad mom.

You are not your thoughts. I am not my thoughts.

You are safe. I am safe.

You are not alone. I am not alone.

Tomorrow is a new day.

You are not in charge of anyone’s happiness but your own.

You don’t owe anyone anything that includes space.

You are amazing. I am amazing.

You are okay. I am okay.

You are exactly where you need to be at this very moment.

You do not have to enjoy every moment. It’s okay to not like this moment.

You can do this. I can do this.

You are strong. I am strong.

You are loved. I am loved.

Step outside and take three deep breaths. Breathe in love. Breathe out the anger.

I am grateful for my health.

You are a survivor. You are giving your children the best possible life.

You are alive. I am alive.

I am here. I am ready. I am prepared to ride out this wild storm. I am strong. I can do this.

Here are my positive affirmations to help me in my postpartum depression bouts. When I am suffering I will turn to these to help me through those deep, dark moments. The one that I will repeat to myself over and over again is:

You are not your thoughts.

I am not my thoughts.

My thoughts can be so scary at times but I know that those moments will pass. I know that there are times when I am overly exhausted and I need to remind myself that I am okay. My goal is to post my affirmations on post its around my house. I will repeat them every morning when I wake. I am a good mom. I am safe. I am not alone.

Postpartum depression and postpartum rage can be so scary. I know that I am not the only suffering and I find comfort in knowing that I am not alone. Navigating through those emotions can be so difficult when I am trying to heal my childhood trauma wounds. Becoming a parent opens up wounds that I must have hid deep, deep down in my heart. But I am trying every day and that is the important part. I am doing the work. I am showing up and learning. It’s hard. And somedays are harder than others and I avoid going down that road because its hurts my core. I know that I have to go down to that dead end so that I can heal and move forward.

My self-healing journey has been a long, long road but I am so thankful where I am today. And I am excited where I am going to be 1, 5, 10 years down the road. I deserve to be healthy. I deserve to be happy. I deserve to enjoy my life to the fullest. My children deserve a happy, healthy mama. My husband deserves a healthy wife and partner but mostly friend.

Find your people. Find what works for you. Keep going. Don’t ever give up. Know that you are not alone. Reach out to me if you have no one and I can be your person. Motherhood is hard. Self-healing from childhood trauma is hard. And navigating those headwaters can be scary but know that you are not alone.

You are not alone.

You are safe.

You are loved.

You will be okay.

Wednesdays Rock!

Wednesdays Rock! when they are filled with fish head soup, fish egg spread, akutaq, pike and seal oil, finishing a qaspeq, and finishing a beautiful wall hanging that I inherited from my mama bear Jeanne.

The fish egg spread was ahhhhhmazing! And now its all gone! In my tummy and I shared with my coworkers and friends! I cant wait to make more.

I was able to finish this lovely qaspeq for one of my first friends in kindergarten. I loved how bright and fun it is!

You cant have fish head soup without the akutaq so I had to make a fresh batch. Akutaq is eskimo ice cream made with Crisco, sugar, milk, and berries. This time I used my fresh blueberries and salmon berries and it tasted scrumdiddlyumptious! Don’t knock it till you try it 🙂

And my mama bear Jeanne gave me this beautiful wall hanging that she was going to toss aside but I gladly snatched it up! The only thing I had to do was add the binding. I love how beautiful and simplistic it is. This is her view from looking out her store in Cooper Landing.

I am hitting the road and heading to Milky Chance this evening in Anchorage. I hope to goodness the roads are not jam packed and I can make it in time to see the show!

Happy Thursday! Seize the day!

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Home sweet Home

Home sweet home in beautiful Soldotna!

I am so excited to start making some serious sewing magic in my new sewing room.

Stay posted! I should be getting all my things for sale posted with prices hopefully by this weekend 🙂 I am trying to juggle school, work, part time job at the quilt shop, my business, and my family.