Yes, my husband grew up in Green Bay. That says it all. We bleed green and gold and even have our own brick at Lambeau field with our kids names listed followed by “Pack fans since birth.”
If you throw a soccer ball to my hubby, he plays football. If you throw a basketball to him, football. You can imagine the excitement that game day brings in our home.
It’s a fun tradition to be part of this Cheesehead family, even if we do live in Panther territory now.
That picture above are the good ole days when we all watched the games together. Win or lose, it was a family affair. Now that we’re spread throughout four states, game days look a little different, but one thing remains the same, win or lose, it’s a family affair.
A few years ago, I started a family group chat. It’s been one of the best mothering moves I’ve made and I highly recommend it for all family. It’s so much fun. We share serious requests, updates, funny stories, but during our son’s college football season and the Packer game, we watch games as a family.
It’s so much fun!! This is one screen shot of at least 100 texts that flew back and forth during the game and yes, our daughters got in on it too. You know the girls join the group chat when two lines of emojis start happening. (We love our clapping hands, football and fist bumps.) 😉
If you watched the Packer vs Dallas game last Sunday, you know these texts were at the beginning of the game. By the end, there were lines of “I feel sick. I’m going to throw up. This is too intense,” and more.
With the hundreds of football games I’ve watched, I know how to bring the food. During our college game days, we are always on the road, so it’s straight up tailgate food and personally, our team families kill it.
This year, I’m organizing all the tailgates and Furman gear , plus simple football tablescape fun lines the tables. Whenever I see inexpensive football items, I pick them up. Just a few items makes it so much more festive.
We send out a simple sign up sheet for hot foods, chips, drinks, sides, desserts and then always have a “I’ll bring something, but can’t commit yet.”
We can never get enough Mexican inspired food in our home and Salsa, Guac, Taco dip, Taco Salad are continuous staples, so I combined the best of both worlds by heating up José Olé Chicken & Cheese Taquitos as well as their Beef & Cheese Mini Tacos and Nacho Bites.
We are awfully excited about this week, but the nerves are running high for our guys. I love my Packers, but after the very difficult and emotional college season we had as a family, my emotions are not quite there over guys I don’t know in real life. (Shhh, don’t tell my boys.)
I melted some extra cheese on top, added side of guac and dolloped our favorite salsa and sour cream for a perfect game day food. It saves me so much time and they love them!
And of course, many of you know my daily visiter, my special blessing nephew, Eddie. He had to show off his portion and he polished them off in seconds.
If you’re looking for some quick game day snacks and want something that will save you time, try the José Olé appetizers. While I partnered with them on this post, I buy them all the time for our family.
If you’re looking for some more game day inspiration, here are a few more of my favorites. I have so many more appetizers. We are kind of an appetizer type of family, so find some more here.
What are some of your favorites? I’d love to try a new one.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Jose Ole . The opinions and text are all mine.
It’s been quite the eventful weeks in our Schmidt household. Having all the kids home under one roof (if even for a few days) has filled this momma’s heart to the brim, but I’m dreading the back to college countdown.
I’ve been bursting in anticipation to tell you our most exciting news, so I’ll spill just a bit of the surprise, and then keep you waiting a few more days for all the details and pictures.
My favorite moment of our whole Christmas season came on the evening of December 23, when the girl we’ve been praying for ever since our eldest son was a baby boy said, “Yes” to his marriage proposal.
All those years, we didn’t know her name, but we knew she’d be amazing. Now that we’ve met her and the whole family has fallen in love, she’s more than we dreamed.
I can’t wait to share their sweet story. It’s pretty special (and yes, this is the “snake in the hedge fund office son” for those who have been following my blog for a few years).
Now onto my bittersweet news.
January is always a month when most love to dream big, set goals and for nearly all Americans, re-examine their finances. As always, I am your biggest cheerleader when it comes to getting our finances in control and last year, I partnered with my personal bank, Suntrust’s amazing onUp Movement to encourage us to change the stressful dialogue that centers around our finances.
I talk about money choices a lot around this blog. Our kids are forced to dialogue with us and it’s been a balm to my heart to see the older ones putting into action what they’ve heard for years. Our son used budgeting worksheets like these to save and pay cash for his diamond ring. Now, they’re using solid financial principles as they plan for their wedding and future together. (See this calculator which helps to set saving goals.)
They are learning quickly that they must sacrifice in their every day money choices in order to make room for even better choices later one.
For those that haven’t followed my blog for long, two and a half years ago, I shared my BIG, audacious dream with you on this post – Dreaming Big. (This only came after years of financial challenges and then setting up a new financial future with confident choices.)
I still get so excited thinking about it and I spend enormous amounts of daydreaming energy putting that desire into action. Yet if I was keeping on track with my goal, our big barn used for gatherings, classes, retreats and weddings would be built by now.
Unfortunately, the best laid plans didn’t occur.
I cut back on work hours and income cut drastically, but I was much more present. Our son didn’t get the scholarship we planned on, so we’re paying for private university tuition at a school we really feel he should be at right now.
The above mentioned items were manageable because we have a budgeting and emergency plan in place, but what I didn’t plan for in this dream of mine was the fact that the land owner might say “No” to our land offer.
We saved and I nearly lived like we were unemployed because we were committed to paying cash and not going into debt for the land. We finally went to the owner with a fair price to buy 20 of her 40 acres. We thought it would be a done deal. In fact, I had that land cleared and footers being poured in my plans, but after a few days, she came back to us.
She said, “No.” She decided that she wouldn’t split up the land and would only sell all 40 acres in one lump. My heart sank and my mind screamed, “I don’t want 40 acres. I don’t even want 20. I just want 5 – 10 more to protect our property from others building in our back yard.”
To say it’s a set back is an understatement. We will need to buy all the land (and land is wonderful), but once the land is purchased, there will be no cash to build anything. I would be fibbing if I didn’t share that little bits of my heart shattered with the news, but I also know it’s a wonderful, first world problem to have. I will still be inviting you all to my place, but it will be for the most beautiful camping weekend ever. Bring your own tent and pitch it by our creek because we’ll have plenty of land for you to be comfy. 🙂
I told you all I would keep you updated on my big, audacious goal and it looks a bit different right now. I still brainstorm creative ways to try and make it happen and it’s never far from my thoughts. (Anyone want to put a down payment on a wedding spot five years in advance? 😉 ) I’m forever thankful that I can even have a financial goal like that and am not giving up.
I even took Suntrust’s Mental Wealth Quiz to see how I was doing with my finances and it agreed that I was finally at a place to step forward with confidence.
How are you doing with your financial goal setting? Any goal you’re shooting for this year? It always helps me to get it down and verbalize it so it becomes real. I’d love for you to share.
Check out the myriad of free Financial Tools to help you set goals for the year. They are incredibly valuable. I’ve used this college savings calculator since we still have three more to go. I wrote about Ways to pay cash for college here and the challenge of that goal.
Sunburst’s purpose is lighting the way to financial well-being. When you feel confident about your money, you can save for your goals and spend knowingly on what matters most to you.
The onUp movement was created to guide millions of people one step at a time towards a more financially confident life without ever losing sight of the moments that matter along the way.
Join the growing number of people transforming their stress into positive motivation to move onUp.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.
Are you trying to start some New Year’s Eve Traditions or think of some family ideas for New Year’s Eve to make it extra special? (Or additional traditions for New Year’s Day found here.)
Here are ideas for fun of all ages.
Best Ever Game Night
One of our favorite things to do is to have a full fledged game night. Set up stations (card tables or blankets on the floor) around your house with various games at each location. Set the timer, and no matter where you are in the game, stop and rotate stations. (Yes, a station can even include a bedroom for creativity.)
Depending on how many people are playing, create teams to make sure that everyone gets a chance to play each other. This keeps it quick paced and fun.
Make sure you have one of the stations include my Conversation Starter Questions? Yes, a good ole fashioned “Get to know you better” station. We have used them so much this holiday time with little ones, high schoolers, college agers and adults. It’s been a blast. One reader even suggested to put one inside of some balloons and every hour, pop a balloon and have everyone answer a question. Love that idea!
If you want to make this even more memorable, set up this station around a back yard bonfire with blankets, hot cocoa and some S-Mores. Oh, how cozy!
For our family, I’d have to include some of our favorite appetizers and dips too. 🙂
Head to Waffle House or your favorite greasy spoon
In college, I was notorious for my all night jaunts at Waffle House. It brings back such fun memories, but sometimes it also reminds me of how “old” I am getting since I never am spontaneous like that any more. New Year’s Eve is the time to be fun loving and this is something kids young and old would enjoy. Head out late and order breakfast for dinner, or if you want to avoid the crazy drivers, do it the next night and still embrace the spontaneity.
New Year’s Eve is the best time for reflecting on the past, as well as contemplating new beginnings. On New Year’s Eve, set the table with a special candle for each person at your celebration, then lower the lights. One by one, each person lights someone else’s candle and shares a special memory or major achievement that the other person has accomplished during the past year. They may recount anything from a hard earned victory, a long awaited promotion to something deeper. It is then the honored person’s opportunity to share their New Year’s resolutions with the rest of the group. This tradition is a wonderful way to share in each others trials and triumphs from the past year, and to lend support for future dreams and goals. [Read More…]