Thursday, September 17, 2009


What a week, y'all.  We made it past the 15th at work!  Not that y'all care or know, or care to know, but that deadline was extra tough this year because the Feds decided to make EVERYTHING due that day, starting this year.  Basically it's the final extended deadline for all corp, partnership, and trust returns.  You kids still have till 10/15 to get your returns in, but everything else had to go out this week.  So yeah, a little tougher this year.  But we survived...
So work has been busy, but my weeknights and weekends have been crammed lately too - I feel like I've just been running around like a mad woman.  This week my new girls' small group met on Tuesday.  We've also been serving with the 2-to-1 ministry at our church on Wednesday nights.  I don't really talk about that on here because God forbid one of our engaged couples find my blog and think I'm going to post about them or something!  Other than to say we're involved in it, I won't ever really talk about it on here - for that reason.  Anyway, so that's Wednesday... and tonight our couples' small group meets.  So like Monday was going to be my only real night at home to get to do anything domestic, but I ended up working late.  And I've been getting up extra early trying to get a couple of invitation orders out the door - so I'm really just exhausted.  We have no plans Friday night and I'm SO glad.
So I think the women's small group is going to be really fun.  There are 13 of us.  It's my first *official* women's small group through church, so it's an interesting experience as compared to our couples' groups (which we've been in on-and-off for years now).  Some of the girls already started telling their "stories" and it's funny how much more in-depth women go with their stories in a group of women versus a bunch of couples.  It's not like it gets all sappy but I think we just open up more and are a bit more vulnerable - which is cool.  Like one of the girls just came out and said "I don't have a relationship with God.  I want one but I have no clue how to go about it."  I thought that was wicked awesome.  To be able to say that in front of a bunch of girls you don't know in a "church-ish" setting - so cool.  I have to say I love the first few meetings of a new group - I love hearing everyone's stories because people come from so many different places.  And of course we automatically have these preconceived ideas of who these people are before they open their mouths - and I'm always surprised by what I hear them say.
I do know a few of the girls in the group, including the leader, so it's not like I'm totally in the dark here.  I am (of course) the ONLY one of the 13 without kids.  Welcome to my life!  Ha!  But that's cool - I totally expected that.  I certainly don't know everyone's story yet - so I know there's something for me to learn here.  Though I'll probably pass on our first "social" gathering - a trip to the pumpkin patch next month with our "families."  That's a great place to go with kids and all, but what the hell would me and the hub do?  I'll catch the next one.  And speaking of pumpkin patches, has anyone else noticed that going to the pumpkin patch in the fall is like THE thing to do now with kids?  Seriously ALL of my friends with kids have pumpkin patch pictures each fall.  I don't ever remember going to a pumpkin patch when I was a kid.  I think our pumpkins came from the grocery. 
Moving on...  so this weekend is also pretty busy, but it's a fun one.  The hub and I are going to see Dave Ramsey on Saturday at the Civic Center!!!  OMG, so excited.  It's his Total Money Makeover Live event - which we attended for the first time last year.   And as y'all know, we've been drinkin' the kool-aid ever since.  It's not really any new information for us, but he's just SO fun to see that we didn't even think twice about going again.  Plus it's good to get a a pep talk from him to re-energize our efforts.  I can't believe it's been a year since we sold the townhouse - remember this post?  And it was this time last year that Dave was in Atlanta.  God has amazing timing, you know.  His perspective is a little more clear than ours.  We were so fired up - we immediately started an FPU class the very next day.  But anyway, y'all have heard me ramble on here about my love for Dave and his ministry.  It's certainly changed our lives and empowered our marriage.  His "program" is nothing new... it's not some "get rich quick" scheme or anything like that.  It's about living on less than you make, getting out and staying out of debt, and building wealth so that you can live like no one else, give like no one else, and ultimately change your family tree.  He just calls it "grandma's advice," but like I've said before, he is blessed with this amazing ability to communicate this info in a way that gives people hope and really gets them fired up to make a change.  Love it.
Oh and while we're talking about money - I've got two quick things for ya.  One - I totally returned those Pottery Barn flatware sets I mentioned and, hell yeah, they gave me a store credit!  No questions asked.  What's even funnier is that the price per set had gone up $5 since we got married (ahem, 7 years ago), so we actually made money.  I am genius!  I really do like a $250 giftcard in my hand over 5 unopened boxes collecting dust in a random kitchen drawer, don't you?  And hellz yeah if I didn't already buy some Christmas gifts with it.
And number two - this is a biggie, actually.  We got a new car!  Totally random, I know.  Turns out my dad decided he wanted a new car.  And once my dad gets his mind set on something, he is like ALL about it.  So when my mom told me they were going to look at cars last Saturday, I knew they'd probably come home with one.  So anyway, I was on my way down to Piedmont Park to meet kuntry bride and my mom calls me and tells me that she and my dad talked about it and decided to offer their old car to us.  Even though we love our little beaters (Phoebe, do not take offense to that - it's a term of affection, really), my mom - the ultimate worrier - worries about us having two cars with like 200,000 miles on them.  "They could break down any minute!"  Like when we go on a trip out of town she always insists we take her car.  But we love our little paid-for cars.  And we'll drive those kids till the wheels fall off!  Which according to my mom, is "ANY minute!" 
So anyway, they offered to GIVE us their old car - a 2003 Honda Element.  And my dad takes excellent care of any gadget he has - from desktop radio to a car.  So it's in as pristine condition as it could possibly be for its age.  The car, not my dad.  OK, my dad too - he looks great.  Anyway, the car also has less than 100,000 miles on it.  AND it's a great doggie mobile.  We gave up our doggie mobile, if you remember, solely to get rid of the debt and monthly payment.  And sure, we can cram our three crazies in the back of either of our cars, but it's a little tight.  Belly always ends up sitting on poor Charlie's face or something.  "Because I can," she'd say.  Oh and did I mention the car's free?  I was like, "OK maybe y'all should see what they'll offer you for it at the dealership - you might change your mind!"  But my parents had already made up their minds.  We of course said, hell yeah!  We loves free!  And we offered to give them cash from whatever we sold our Lexus for (yep, the Lexus will be going - Phoebe's staying).  But they said no.  So not only are we getting a free car, but we're able to sell our Lexus - it's like free money.  And we think we can get more than what we paid for it.  The hub got a really good deal on it and we also had a new transmission put in earlier this year.  So all that was just an amazing and unexpected blessing this past weekend.  Granted, my dad's car is a little goofy looking.  It's an orange box.  But heck if we care.  It's free.  His old-busted is our new-hotness.  And it frees up a lot of cash for us to be able to make even more progress.  What's not to love?!
OK but just to give you a great and very real comparison between the new coupon-clipping-money-saving-debt-busting me and the old hey-that's-cute-OMG-let's-buy-it-and-the-$200-shoes-to-match me...  A few years ago, before we bought our townhouse, it was time for the hub to get a new car.  We had only been married like maybe a year.  His car was about 11 years old and truly was on its last leg (unlike Phoebe who's almost 12 and is still kicking ass and taking names).  My mom was also getting a new car around the same time.  Just like this past weekend, they offered up her old car to us.  For free.  It was a periwinkle Pontiac Grand Am - I don't remember the year, but it wasn't that old.  Older, but certainly not old.  But instead of taking the *FREE* car, our idiot we-think-we're-so-smart selves went out and bought a NEW car with payments.  Because we were too cool to drive a purple Pontiac, I suppose.  So let's go into debt and get something flashier!  Awesome plan, Betty!
Well you know, all you can do is laugh.  Sometimes you have to get drug through the mud and learn things the hard way.  I wouldn't change anything - it's part of our story.  I mean this whole financial journey, along with all the infertility shit, has taken my relationship with God to an entirely new level.  I probably should not say "shit" and "God" in the same sentence.  Anyway, I'm truly a new person because of it all and I've grown SO much and in ways I'd never had imagined.  So no, I wouldn't change a thing.
Gosh, this post has totally gotten outta control and terribly long - thanks for sticking with me.  Alright, I'm outta here, ladies.  I'll come back with a pic of our new car, who I'm thinking of naming "Ross."  If the hub lets me.  OK peace out!  Back later... xoxoxo  Oh! And...


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Jill said...

Good stuff! Excited about the new group, the new car, and everything!! Enjoy Dave this weekend!

Preppy 101 said...

I have recently started a new small group weekly Bible study and I love mine! That's the best feeling!! Glad you got the car + cash! Yay for you. Have a great weekend! xoxo

Maureen said...

Super news about the car... I don't make a car payment without thinking about you. I am green with envy... we'll get there. I love that you have blogged about it all. A true inspiration.

Bella said...

LOL, reading this post just wears me out! YOU are one busy, busy girl, but it sounds like it agrees with you. DH and I just bought one of Dave Ramsey's book and we really, really going to do it this time.

We can so relate to your car story...sadly more than once. Hopefully, Dave can help. (((hugs)))