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VOTE: Meet our 2014 Nom the Mom Finalists!  by Tara

May1

Nom the Mom 2014 VOTE (FB Size)Holy buckets, you guys! We asked for stories about fabulous moms and, ohhh boy, did you ever deliver! We were overjoyed by the response we got for our fourth annual Nom the Mom contest (want to see the pics of some of our nominees? Go here!).

You know how Oscar nominees always say “It’s an honor just to be nominated!” Well, I think that that is particularly true in this contest. What mom wouldn’t want to hear how amazing she is??? So thank you to everyone who shared their lovely moms with us! I wish that we could have selected ALL of those that were nominated! But *sigh* it just isn’t possible.

So once again, I asked for a volunteer committee of five Linn Area employees to each separately review each entry and then submit their top 5 moms to me. I complied their votes and the top 3 moms emerged to become your finalists in the Nom the Mom contest!

Now YOU have the toughest job of them all – CHOOSING the deserving mom who will win the Elevate Salon & Spa Pampering Prize Package worth $250 (info on HOW to vote is right after the three stories).

Here they are, in alphabetical order:

The Mom: Laura

Nominated by: Jill & Christine (her daughters)

Everyone claims their mom is the best. But mine really is. Of course she taught us those all important- and quite useful skills- of walking, talking, and potty training. (Thanks for those mom!) However, the things my mother have taught of the most importance, are things she taught by example. Through my school years she woke in the morning to make her pot of coffee and a batch of muffins before shuffling us out the door for school and then off to work her full time job. After work, she shuttled to and from our sports activities, made dinner, and helped with homework. She spent hours and hours proofing my papers- even through college. After getting us off to bed, she would then do house chores, pay bills, and her own homework (Yes, she even went to school!). When my father began his own business, she was his biggest supporter; she was also the only other employee. Now 14 years later, he has a fleet of eleven semi-trucks, and she still tackles this full-time office position daily.

But these don’t even scratch the surface of describing how wonderful she is. Four years ago on April 11, my brother was in a tragic motorcycle accident. He was taken by ambulance to St. Luke’s where his prognosis was grim. As they loaded him in the helicopter to life flight him to the U of I hospital, my parents were told to be prepared to say goodbye. With a few dozen miracles on his side, he hung in there. My mom stayed by his bedside every moment she was allowed those first days. She literally did not close her eyes for nearly three days, out of fear of missing any of the moments he might have left. He was in critical condition for days, in an induced coma for weeks, and in the hospital for a total of 174 days. His accident left him, a 19 year old, paralyzed from his chest down. It was just 4 days before his 20th birthday that he finally went home. Leaving the hospital was an exciting stage- but not nearly the end of the healing road. My mom tried to go back to work full-time, but was eventually laid off. Although rough, it enabled her to better manage my brother’s needs at the time. After leaving the hospital he still needed assistance with wound care, medications, and mobility. He still had several surgeries ahead. She shuttled him daily to physical therapy, group exercise, and appointments as far as Mayo Clinic.

Now, just past the four year anniversary, he has started driving lessons and gone back to school. I graduated college. My sister started college. I bought a house. She has devoted herself to making sure that we were all set up to succeed- regardless of the situation. She has always been the glue in our family and our biggest fans- and far too often received too little gratitude. She deserves to be pampered because she has always taken the time for everyone else but herself.  (Click here to vote now for Laura!)

BY0TuY

The Mom: Jennifer

Nominated by: Amanda (her stepdaughter)

Jennifer, often called J.J by those of us closest to her does everything at 150%. Whether it’s baking cookies, cleaning house, having dance parties in her garage, or fighting the tumor in her brain…she simply doesn’t hold anything back. J.J. came into my life about 17 years ago when I was about 13. My younger sister Ashley and I were unsure at first about Dad’s new girlfriend and eventually fiancé as we are fortunate enough to have an amazing Mother ourselves.

The whole “Step Mom” persona was showing its ugly face and we just weren’t so sure we needed another Mom. But as it turns out, we hit the jackpot in gaining another Mother figure, and better yet friend in Jennifer. I still am not fond of the term “Step Mom”. Maybe I watched Cinderella too many times as a child, but that label makes me cringe. There’s nothing “step” about her. J.J. to me, was that very important woman in my life who I could turn to…a friend.

But one that, on top of my Mom and Dad, played a hand in shaping who I am. After our Dad and J.J. were married they welcomed our youngest sister Olivia into the world. Jen and Olivia had an immediate and special kind of bond. I’ve watched her publicly make a fool out of herself to make her laugh, encouraged her to love the skin she’s in, and created some of the best Halloween costumes and decorations for their favorite Holiday. I could list a million things that are alike about them, or that they’ve done together, or stories about how Jen has gone above and beyond for her mini me. But that wouldn’t be enough.

It’s impossible almost to put into 500 words what makes someone a magnificent Mother. It’s something you’re born with. Something that is just in you. For me, especially in my adult life, she has been a friend, a shoulder to cry on, someone to celebrate with, and someone to turn to. J.J. listens and empathizes and immediately starts to problem solve.

This past August when Jennifer was diagnosed with Glioblastoma we were devastated. But oddly enough, it was HER spirit and HER strength that lifted us all up. Jennifer is superwoman. No REALLY…I think she has a superwoman costume under her clothes and at night when we all go to sleep she is out saving people and fixing things. Between radiation and chemo, she still manages to take care of the people around her. But cancer is just a detail in a very amazing life. Jennifer….J.J…..is just good. Her spirit and her heart are gifts that aren’t often seen. Olivia, Ashley and I are lucky. Everyone who knows her is lucky. #FaasStrong (Click here to vote for Jennifer now!)

 


The Mom: Rachel

Nominated by: Matthew (her husband)

My wife Rachel is the most amazing mother I know. When it comes to our two sons Joey and Charlie, she is the most selfless and caring parent a kid could ask for. She is always there for them, whether it is to praise and cheer their achievements, or to console and give advice when things don’t go as planned. She has an undying love and patience with our kids that is both amazing and inspiring all at the same time. In any instance, she has that perfect “mom hug” that makes things feel even better – or lets them know everything is going to be okay.

Always a teacher at heart, she is always showing them how to do things around the house. She does this obviously so they learn responsibility and self-dependence, but in turn it is also helping make them more confident about themselves and their abilities. She also encourages their creative sides, and lets them know it is okay to express who they are and how they feel. She also helps stir their imagination by doing arts and crafts, or by sharing her love for reading and encouraging them to get lost in a good book.

One of the most important lessons she is trying to teach them is that you have to work hard to get what you want in life, and you should never give up. They have not only heard how important it is to get a good education and to make the best of what you have, they have also seen it with their own eyes. Rachel has showed them this first hand herself by going back to college to earn her B.A. degree in teaching. When she graduates in May of this year, Joey and Charlie will have witnessed four years of her hard work, sacrifice, the sleepless nights, the up’s and down’s, and even some of the tears that go with being a full-time student. In the end, they will see the reward when she accepts the diploma she earned and (hopefully) gets a position she wants in her career field. To top off this entire achievement, she has done this while continuing to be a full-time Mom and wife as well. Given the craziness of our household, this has certainly not been a small task.

Our sons are incredibly proud of their Mom, and feel very lucky to have her in their lives. The guidance and inspiration Joey and Charlie receive from her is something I wish all kids could experience in their lives. I know when she becomes a teacher, her students will feel the same as Joey and Charlie – and be that much better for having her in their lives. So because of this, on behalf of Joey and Charlie: I would like to nominate their awesome Mom (and my wife) Rachel for this award. She is very deserving and it would be a wonderful way to thank her for all that she does. (Click here now to vote for Rachel!)


 

How to vote!

To vote, click here! Anyone at all can vote – whether you have Facebook or not (we made sure of it!). Only one vote per person! We will be watching IP addresses and reserve the right to remove any votes we believe are not in compliance with our rules, so please play fair!

The knock-your-socks-off mom that gets the most votes by midnight on May 9th will win a Pampering Prize Package worth $250! So please go vote and help one deserving mom have the best Mother’s Day ever!

Contest: Nom the Mom 2014  by Tara

April22

Nom the Mom 2014 (em)

She wiped your drippy nose. She was at every soccer game, rain or sunshine. She has inspired you with her quiet (or not so quiet) confidence. She even has eyes in the back of her head. Now it’s time to celebrate her awesomeness!

For the fourth year in a row, we are honored to partner with Elevate Salon & Spa (formerly City Looks Salon & Spa) to provide a relaxing pampering experience valued at $250 to one knock-your-socks-off Mom.

To nominate that super-spectacular mom in your life (your mom, wife, sister, grandma, friend, co-worker, etc.) just go here. Be sure to include a picture of the lovely lady you are gushing about! (No – you do NOT have to have Facebook to participate!)

All entries are due by midnight on Monday, April 28th.

What are you waiting for? It’s time to Nom YOUR Mom!

Win $250 for using MyMoola in February!  by Tara

January31

LogoMyMoola5

Chew on this: You could win $250 just for using MyMoola in the month of February!

Whether you are brand spankin’ new to our fabulously FREE online money manager or you’ve been using it for months, do one of the following in February and you will be automatically entered to win $250:

  • Create a budget (click here for the video)
  • Set up a loan pay-off or savings goal (see the video here)
  • Add an external account (yep, we’ve got a video for that, too!)

Easy peasy rice and cheesy! The $250 winner will be announced the week of March 17th.

We have 9 videos and TONS of info at www.LinnAreaCU.org/MyMoola for you to check out!

CONTEST RULES & ELIGIBILITY

Eligibility
This contest is open to all members and non-members of Linn Area Credit Union who are 16 years of age or older at the time of entry and are residents of the United States. No purchase necessary. The contest is not open to employees of Linn Area Credit Union or their immediate families.

Entry
To be automatically entered, you must do one of the following in MyMoola in the month of February: 1) Create a budget, 2) Set up a loan pay-off goal or savings goal, or 3) Add an external account. Entries can be mailed to: Linn Area Credit Union, 3015 Blairs Ferry Road, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402.

Winner Selection
One (1) winner will be selected randomly and contacted immediately during the week of March 17th.

VIDEO: I Mustache For Your Advice Winner!  by Tara

July26

Bosking and TaraWe revealed the winner of our “I Mustache For Your Advice” a couple of weeks ago (check out the post here), but have finally uploaded the video! Hey, better late than never, right? ;o)

Steve and his daughter Anna visited with us at our Mt. Vernon Road branch last month. Anna, who is 12, really wanted to get her dad something nice for Father’s Day, but didn’t have the money. She and her mom came across our email about the contest and Anna knew right away that she wanted to enter her awesome dad.

Here is the video of the adorable pair:

Congrats again, Steve! We hope the $200 helps as you redo your basement! (P.S. If you are busy redo-ing YOUR basement like Steve, we have super low rates right now!)

Contest follow up: Hightlight Reel Winner!  by Tara

July5

In January we asked you guys to share with us your Highlights of 2012. We even made it into a contest, because we’re cool like that. :o) The photo you picked as the winner was of a beautiful engagement. Taaaah dahhh:

Chris Farrell

“This was such an emotional and amazing day! Marvin McNutt is a beautiful person and watching my granddaughters shear joy as he presented them with “daughter bracelets”, after he proposed and gave their mother a gorgeous engagement ring, was a moment I will never forget…captured in this picture.”

After chatting with the winner, we discovered that there is so much more to the story, guys.

As mentioned in the caption, the proposer pictured is Marvin McNutt. Does that name ring a bell? If you live in Iowa or are a college football fan, you’re probably familiar. He is the all-time leader in receiving touchdowns at the University of Iowa (Wiki’s sports lingo, not mine!). The young woman above is Brittney, the daughter of one of our fabulous members (and the winner) Chris. And, don’t worry, we made Chris SWEAR that should would use the gift card on herself! We know how you moms are – so selfless! ;o)

Since we are all about the warm fuzzies around here, so we asked the now bride-to-be to share with us all the details of that beautiful day. Because Britt writes a little blog of her own (cleverly named “Mixed McKnutts”, I thought it would be perfect to welcome her as a guest blogger on the one year anniversary of their engagement. And, head’s up, it is chock-full of pics! Enjoy!

I still remember the roll of my eyes and the belly laughter from my gut when my sister said she wanted to introduce me to an Iowa football player.  I immediately dismissed the idea citing every reason why I thought it was ridiculous – he’s younger than me, he’s an athlete (that screams trouble, right?), I have two children, and just NO, not gonna happen!

Well, it happened and I thank God every day that it did.

It wasn’t long after I met Marvin that we fell in love. How could I resist such an amazing man? The athlete stereotypes I was bombarded with went right out the window once I met him. He’s genuine, goal driven, patient, loving, hilarious, educated, and a man of God. He is the perfect dad to our daughters. Marvin’s energy is electric. Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of having a conversation with him will tell you, he’s just a GOOD person. Period.

It’s only fitting that this vibrant and bright man was born on the day when fireworks light up the sky – the 4th of July!

Last 4th of July, Marvin, Paris, Sophia, and I all went to St. Louis (Marvin’s hometown) to celebrate his birthday, the holiday, and say ‘goodbye’ to his family. The following week we were moving out of state because Marvin was drafted to the NFL (yay!). My mom and siblings came to St. Louis as well, so that they could spend as much time with us as possible before our big move.

Marvin’s family all came over to his parents house for a big BBQ – I’m talking, like, 50 people! Which is completely normal for a McNutt gathering. We all squeezed into the living to watch Marvin open his presents (all 2 of them!). His mom asked him to tell everyone about our new house we were about to move into. Marvin stood up and starts telling his family about the house and when we were moving. He starts telling everyone about how fabulous I am and in my head I’m thinking, “Oh, that’s sweet, honey, but the dramatics are a bit much.” Marvin is always very vocal about the love he has for me, so I figured this was another declaration of his love for me (swoon!). Until I heard, “… But the present I want most for my birthday is…”

Ibritt2n the millisecond between him catching his breath and continuing, I thought, “THIS IS IT. This is the moment I’ve waited for since we fell in love!”

Gasp.

“…for Brittney to spend the rest of her life with me.”britt3

Marvin dropped to one knee and says in the most perfect way :) “Will you marry me?”

Ahhh!  At this point I’m crying, shaking, but somehow managed to say “YES!”

Marvin handed Paris and Sophia each small box with a bracelet that says “daughter” on it. I’ve never seen the girls so happy! Paris later said that she was fighting back tears of joy and did not want to cry in front of everyone.britt5

 

I couldn’t have asked for a better proposal – our daughters, parents, siblings, Marvin’s grandparents, and extended family were all there to witness this beautiful moment with us. There was one more special person that was there without my knowledge. Marvin had coordinated it so that my best friend, Alynsia, from Seattle flew in to witness and celebrate with us. She had been hiding out at a neighbor’s house!  It doesn’t get much better than that!

britt6Oh, but it does.

Marvin made reservations at a restaurant in St. Louis to celebrate. We ate on the rooftop with the Gateway Arch on one side and the St. Louis Cardinals playing a game on the other side of us. We were surrounded by our best friends and family. We ate, drank, danced, and watched fireworks from the rooftop.

I can’t tell you which team won the baseball game, but I can tell you that I felt like I had won the World Series that night!

I fall more and more in love with Marvin as each day passes. I absolutely cannot wait to say “I do” to my best friend when we return to good ol’ Cedar Rapids, IA to join in marriage in March 2014!

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Contest Winner: I Mustache For Your Advice!  by Tara

June17

And we have a WINNER in our Father’s Day “I Mustache For Your Advice” contest! Congratulations to…

Steve

“Whenever there is trouble, you can always come home.

I will ALWAYS be there.”

Well, Steve, we think Anna is pretty lucky to have you as a dad. :o) Enjoy your $200 Visa gift card!

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Contest: I Mustache For Your Advice!  by Tara

June6

Father's Day Email image

Did your Dad ever give you advice that made you bristle, but once you had time to mullet over, you saw the wisdom? Then we mustache you a question…

What is the most memorable advice the dad in your life has given you? We want to hear it! One lucky papa will win a $200 Visa gift card.

Simply enter here and make sure to attach a picture of your dad (it doesn’t have to be related to the advice – unless the advice is to always have a mullet and then we insist!).

And, no worries, you can enter any guy who has been a father figure in your life (so you can nominate your husband, for example). Also, you do NOT have to have Facebook in order to enter. Heck, we don’t even  make you “like” us, even though we certainly like YOU!

You have until midnight on Sunday, June 16th (a.k.a. Father’s Day!) to get everything submitted! The winner will be selected on Monday, June 17th through a random drawing using on random.org. (Click here to enter!)

Don’t make it a close shave – enter today!

 

Nom the Mom 2013: Meet the finalists!  by Tara

May3

MomsHoly buckets, you guys! We asked for stories about fabulous moms and, ohhh boy, did you ever deliver! We were overjoyed by the response we got for our third annual Nom the Mom contest (want to see the pics of some of our nominees? Go here!).

You know how Oscar nominees always say “It’s an honor just to be nominated!” Well, I think that that is particularly true in this contest. What mom wouldn’t want to hear how amazing she is??? So thank you to everyone who shared their lovely moms with us! I wish that we could have selected ALL of those that were nominated! But *sigh* it just isn’t possible.

So once again, I asked for a volunteer committee of five Linn Area employees to each separately review each entry and then submit their top 5 moms to me. A BIG thank you goes out to Jess (Finance), Stacey (Member Services), Debra (HR), Amy (Collections) and Matt (Compliance)! I complied their votes and the top 3 moms emerged to become your finalists in the Nom the Mom contest!

Now YOU have the toughest job of them all – CHOOSING the deserving mom who will win the Pampering Prize Package worth $250 (info on HOW to vote is right after the three stories).

Here they are, in alphabetical order:

Esther

The Mom: Esther

Nominated by: Dale (her son)

Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. Prov. 31:10. For most of her 94 years Mom has fulfilled for us her children this proverb. She has taught us by her example good manners, to live quietly and honestly, and to be a faithful wife and parent her husband and children could safely trust. Her name is Esther(Click here to vote now for Ester!)

Kaci

The Mom: Kaci

Nominated by: Jan (her mother-in-law)

The “SPECIAL” in the MOM I NOM is the over the TOP LOVE she exemplifies. She is a MOM whose children are her EVERYTHING. She is teaching them so many dynamic characteristics they will need to face the upcoming challenges of our next generation. She LEADS by example teaching them healthy eating habits , physical exercise and discipline. They have to earn their screen time by eating five veggies a day. Today, she told her 4 year old son she needed to grab a bite to eat before they ran errands and he said: Have a SALAD mom w/tomatoes !! Since a very young age she has taught them to read, spell, and math. She has taken them to the library since they were very young also and the 4 year old has had his OWN library card for several months. He knows what area his books are in and knows how to check them out. She has taught them the value of money and saving. If they see a PENNY in the street they will pick it up and put it in their banks.. They enjoy recycling and going “GREEN”.She has taught them it is important to respect others and their property. I have to say that our daughter-in-law is ABOVE & BEYOND any MOM I could ever dream of to raise our grandchildren ~~ THE NEXT GENERATION… (Click here to vote for Kaci now!)

Katie

The Mom: Pat

Nominated by: Katie (her daughter)

I’m nominating my mom because she has been my teacher, best friend, counselor, provider, and protector. She was a single mother raising both my sister and I as well as holding two jobs to pay for everything. She has had a few health problems but despite it she started a support group and helped others even though she had her own that she was trying to deal with. She always taught us values growing up, right from wrong, and to be nice to everyone no matter what they’ve done. She’s been there for me listening to me rant and rave about life and giving me advice to help me through. She’s always patient and kind even to complete strangers. She has always provided me with everything I needed love, nurturing, clothes, a safe home, and money when I was a little low. She has been my protector through a lot from bad relationships to my health issues that I’ve been going through for the past couple years. I’ve never been able to get her a really great gift and I think this would be the best gift ever and it couldn’t go to a more deserving person then my mom. I love you mom and all the support you’ve given me through my life! (Click here now to vote for Pat!)

How to vote!

To vote, click here! Anyone at all can vote – whether you have Facebook or not (we made sure of it!). Only one vote per person! We will be watching IP addresses and reserve the right to remove any votes we believe are not in compliance with our rules, so please play fair!

The knock-your-socks-off mom that gets the most votes by midnight on May 9th will win a Pampering Prize Package worth $250! So please go vote and help one deserving mom have the best Mother’s Day ever!

Contest: Highlight Reel Winner  by Tara

January16

And the winner… racking up 538 votes…. is:


“This was such an emotional and amazing day! Marvin McNutt is a beautiful person and watching my granddaughters shear joy as he presented them with “daughter bracelets”, after he proposed and gave their mother a gorgeous engagement ring, was a moment I will never forget…captured in this picture.”

Congratulations, Chris!!!

A big, huge THANK YOU to everyone who shared their pics with us. We absolutely adored seeing all of your 2012 highlights! Here’s to an even better 2013! Cheers!

Contest: Highlight Reel  by Tara

January8

Whew! What a year 2012 turned out to be! We know you guys were all super busy doing amazing things and surely snapping lots of pics along the way! We’d love to see your favorite from the year and add it to our Highlight Reel! It could win you a $100! Click here if you’re ready to get started right now! The sooner your pic is up, the sooner people can start voting for it!

What kind of pics are we looking for? Anything that was important to YOU during the year! Weddings, babies, fur-babies, family pics, babies, vacations, a “first”, a school-time success, babies – anything! (Sorry, we’re suckers for babies!)

It’s so easy to enter this contest! You have until midnight on Tuesday, January 15th to add your favorite picture from 2012 along with a caption here. Then you and everyone else can vote for your favorite entry! We will choose a winner out of the top 5 most voted for pics. The lucky winner will get a $100 Visa gift card!

If you do NOT have a Facebook account – no worries! You can still use the same entry form to upload a picture and to vote. If you have a Facebook account, you can use a pic that’s already on your page. Makes entering really simple! Questions, just send Tara an email by clicking here.

Enough dilly-dalling! Time to enter your favorite pic from 2012 and get VOTING!

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