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Friday, October 29, 2010

New Car? No Car?

My Car has been making some noises, so I finally got it in to the mechanic yesterday.
His words were as follows, "Yep, it's going to cost more to fix her than she's worth... I'd get it to a dealer who'll offer you $4000 on a trade in- ASAP."
You see, I have been driving a 1999 Altima since I turned 15. My parents drove it from 13-15, as they bought it new for me, but I wasn't old enough to drive it yet. I never named the car, but I somehow feel that was the right thing to do. It has been wrecked twice- once into a ditch, where the only damage was to the alignment and the tire; and once into a curb... where there was $1500 worth of damage, broken shank (Whatever that
is), rim, etc. So, it really hasn't been mistreated- never even hit another car (that had to be reported)! All repairs done on time, oil changed, tires rotated, etc. But apparently that was not enough. I was in for a new axle, as the one I had on the front was starting to creeeeeeeak when I turned- apparently that's normal to need replaced at this point. So, I had been driving it until that got louder- which is what the mechanic told me to do. Then last week, it got louder- but ALL KINDS OF CRAZIER, too!
Anybody ever heard a car that sounded like it was pulling cans on a string behind it? When it's not moving? Apparently that's a TIMING CHAIN. And
replacing that would be more than my car is currently worth, according to KBB. Especially since there are sparkly things in my oil now- which must mean it's ground some metal off of something and is not coursing that through my car's veins at a quick pace.
So I got home and looked up my car on in the "fair" condition. Just to see what it is worth. $640 TRADE IN VALUE. Crap. No one will sell me a car for that! (At least not one that will run... so, one like mine!)
Now we are faced with the following decision:
-Buy a new car? One that loses 1/2 of its value the second you
turn the key and put on your seat belt? But I could get $5000 for my trade in... and possibly my mom's Nissan Discount?
-Buy a used car? I'm talking Certified Pre-owned, people! I'm thinkin Rogue, Murano, Equinox... Apparently those run about the same as a used one with $5000 off would- except they already have miles on them and butt prints in the seats.
-Buy no car and save up for a new(to me) car? That wouldn't work... would it? I'd have to go in to work much earlier and get off earlier (kind of). But I think we could swing it- with the exception of days that I would have home visits that las
ted past 4, or days that I have to work Support Groups, or Enrichment is later... eh- it wouldn't work for long.
-Buy a beater and save until we can buy a real car? This one probably sucks the most. This is the reason I currently will tell you I hate my husband for brainwashing me. My car needs to be moderately reliable- as I drive 50-150 miles in it per day, and am often in neighborhoods (for work) in which I would like for my car to ALWAYS WORK, ALWAYS turn on, ALWAYS be able to drive quickly away from a potential drug deal or shoot-out... You think I'm kidding. This option would leave me driving Donnie's car, and him getting the crap car once we come up with the $3000 to pay cash for it. I know what you're thinking: Oh, you get the newer one, and he gets the junker! No, I'll be getting his 4-year old, 100,000+ mile car, while he will be getting something that is $3000
or less, but still not ridiculous. He is getting a new (to him) car. I keep getting screwed here! :)

His/My car with E & Das Boot

I hate this plan
I hate not being able to get a brand new car (yes, I am 4 years old!)
I hate being an adult and having to make "responsible decisions"
I hate our lack of social life for the next 6-8 weeks while we "save up" money... UGH!
I hate* my husband.
I hate* my husband for the following reasons:
- His vehement refusal to purchase a new car and put us $27,900 in debt
- His ** belief in not financing stuff (including a VS Angels Card- but that's another story for another day!)
- HIS insistence to drive my car until it croaks so that we can "save up" enough money to purchase a $3k car for him to drive

* By hate, I really mean LOVE. I mean love love love love love for being the kind of man who is willing to make the sacrifice now and withhold gratification in order to have something better later. By HATE, I mean love- for helping me understand the importance of not putting ourselves (and eventually our children) into massive amounts of debt that we wouldn't be able to afford if something happened to one of our jobs. By Hate, I mean love for being willing to let me drive his nicer car while he drives mine that might explode at any minute---just until it won't drive anymore- driving my car until we have the money saved up to purchase a beater for him. By hate, I mean LOVE for being smart enough to present this in a way that I kind of thought it was my idea so that I would agree to it...

** By HIS, I mean "Ours" (due to the aforementioned "brainwashing")


I will update on ways that we intend to save some money later. Right now- I have to get ready for work! :)

♥ Emily

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I try to come up with some good stuff to blog about, so that the one other person besides me who reads this is entertained. Every time I think of something good, I get distracted and/or am not home and forget. I keep getting these awesome witty ideas and funny stories to tell, but then they float away before I can get a good grip on them.

Look at my sweet sweet sleepy babies! Yes, Martini is in her Packers Jersey... and that's a TMNT shirt on Mellow.

I have this friend who has been urging me to read this book for a while. It's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. I don't know if she's trying to get me to read the book because it's good, or just because she wants to ensure she has a job by pumping up Covey sales... I'm just kidding, I know it's a good book! The other day I hurt my back and I haven't been able to do much movement since then... so I thought to myself, "What could I do that might be a good idea and make me feel better?" You see, I'm not good at this whole "relaxing" thing. I get antsy when I have to sit still for very long and I start getting anxious that something's not getting done if I hang out too much. SO I decided- some people like to take a bubble bath and read- I'LL TRY THAT!
Heads up, though-
Bubble Bath+Music+Relaxing+Wine+Reading= Wet Book.
It has since recovered, but I only got through the first 45 pages before this tragic event happened and I decided to get out and dry off. So far, I'm liking it! I'll let you know how it goes.
I'm starting to think that the book is going to do this horribly mean thing by telling me that I'm the problem. Since I know that can't be it, the book must be flawed. :-) I'm kidding, but really... the book is definitely showing me that it's me that is the issue. Not my job or my clients; not my coworkers (whom I adore) or my hours; me. It's the paradigm from which I am viewing the things that I do that is making me unhappy and overwhelmed; nothing else. I had begun to come to this conclusion after I was talking to someone I know one day about what we want to be when we grow up. I was asked the following question: "If money was no object and you could do any job you wanted, what would it be?" I couldn't answer it. That either means that I am supposed to do just that- nothing, (I think I can go for that idea!!) or that I have begun making myself miserable to the point where I can no longer come up with anything that I would be happy doing. So- it's me! And, please don't think I'm saying that I'm in any way miserable- I actually really enjoy my job 98% of the time- I had just started focusing so much on that other 2% that I was convincing myself that was how it is all the time.
Since I have started the book and actually made a slight dent in it, I am going to do my best to follow through. I'm going to stop telling myself that I'm too busy (because I'm not) or that I'm too tired (because I'm not too tired to stare at the TV for 2 hours per night) and do this stuff! I think that if I can read just 30 pages per day I can finish the book by the middle of next week. I know that's a small goal, but I've talked myself out of reading for so long that I have to start small!!

Also, I stepped on the scale today and realized that I have gotten back into fatty status. As of tomorrow, I am never eating again.

I'll let you know how that goes.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Busy, good, super fantastic day.

We went to Arrington Vineyards last week- forgot to tell you about that...
here are my favorite pictures from that day...

So yesterday, October 16th, was a very busy day in the McKee household.
Wanna know what was on the agenda?
- Surprise birthday breakfast (consisting of cake and ice cream) at my brother's house at 7:45 am.
- Pink Panther volleyball games at 9am and 10am.
- Naptime... lol
- Amy's Wedding at 4pm

- Bat Mitzvah at 7pm

So, written down, that doesn't look like as much as it felt like yesterday.
Let me break it down, though.
- My brother's bday was yesterday- but we all had a bunch o
f stuff to do, so my mom and I decided to surprise him in the morning! D and I left the house at 7:35 to get there at the same time as my parents- cake, ice cream, presents! He was not up yet, so we got to surprise him with a wake up party!!!! It was fun. I love ♥ having cake for breakfast.
- I'm helping a friend coach a volleyball team of sorts. It's
a "rec league" sort of thing, and half the kids have never played a sport before and/or are home schoolers, so it's "Non-competitive; Just to learn the basics." I don't know if you've met me, but I'm what some would call "slightly intense" or "very competitive." I don't know the meaning of the term, "non-competitive." I believe that if it's a sport, there is a score, and my team needs to have the HIGHER score. I don't believe in the kids games of soccer or t-ball where they don't keep score; I keep score in my head when attending these games. I hate LOSING. I even dislike ugly winning. I don't know how it happened, but somewhere along the line (I'm going to blame my HS Volleyball coach), it was instilled in me to play sports like each play is the game point, like each and every thing you do is what the game hinges on, never surrender a point without the other team EARNING it. This, you see, is why "non-competitive" is a challenge for me. I've coached before, both for a club (travel- highly competitive) team and for a HS team. I've been the one on the sidelines with kids who think the same way as me about playing. I've broken clip boards, instructed children to run suicides/do wall-sits/push ups/etc. for consequences of not playing in the manner of which I know they are capable. I now have to sit and be mannerly and clap with a "you'll get it next time" when balls hit the floor. This is probably the biggest feat of self-control I have ever exercised. And, I know, that sounds crazy. But I'm crazy, so it shouldn't be a surprise. Our girls yesterday played OK the first game and we lost it in 2. We then played a team that only had 4 players and had to take it to 3 GAMES (we play 2/3 instead of 3/5). I thought I was going to have a heart attack. It was ugly, but we somehow pulled it out. haha I just have to keep reminding myself that these are kiddos who aren't as concerned with winning as much as having fun; they like being out and hanging out with their friends and playing. They aren't competitive, it's a game. Eh, maybe I'll master that when I have my own kids...
Probably not.
- Amy's Wedding- Donnie and I agreed that it was a good thing we are already married. This was the most beautiful wedding I think I've ever attended. From the colors and decorations to the spirit of the two people joining together. It was perfect in every way. The two of them are clearly made specifically for one another... and I don't even know him that well! (Well, technically... I read his blog a lot, but don't know him face-to-face, you know). To see how he very obviously is every single thing that compliments her, and how pure the love between the two of them is... it's refreshing.
(my favorite image from my camera...)

Every time we/I attend a wedding, I think of all the things I would have done differently. We would have paid more for a photographer who knows more about weddings; we probably would have had the ceremony in a church... or maybe it would have been outside. Would we use the same colors? No. I would want to do it this time of year because chrysanthemums are my favorite flower, and we would have had the entire place filled to overflow with mums of every color and size. My bouquet would be a million spider mums. It may have been more formal, maybe. Or maybe we would just go to the beach (like my original idea) and get married in the sand at sunset... nah. Probably not. But these are all the things I think about when we attend a wedding. It's enough to make a girl go crazy (not to mention possibly $25k into debt!)
Then I think about this: we got exactly what we wanted out of it. There are a thousand things we could change (and probably would if we could go back in time...) but the general goal was accomplished... We're married- all these other things are just details. Pretty, colorful, well-photographed details. :-)
- Bat Mitzvah- I've never been to any type of Jewish celebration, but this was fun! We weren't able to attend the morning ceremony (although I wish we had had the time!) but the evening party was super. I really enjoyed hanging out with some of my co-workers and getting to know them outside of work! It was also really fun to see how much fun the kids were having. It was wonderful! I highly suggest future Bat-Mitzvah attendance to any considering it. :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I got bit by a dog today. What kind of dog, you ask?
It could have been a big, "scary" Rott or Pit or Doberman or Chow.
It could have been a nice family dog, like a boxer, heeler, or a golden.
It also could have been a precious little fluff ball like a Martini dog or Pompom.
Chihuahua-Weener Mix.

It almost made a chiweenie-sized hole in the wall, as I contemplated punting that little dog through the dining room.

But I was the bigger person (both literally and figuratively) and just yelped loudly and tried not to cry, as it got a good piece of skin.
I then laughed as it's momma chased it through the house with a fly-swatter.

Stupid dog.

♥ Emily

Because no blog is complete without a pHOto...
This is the barn at my great grandmother's house. Mom and I went up there a few weeks ago. She's currently in the hospital bc she had a really bad infection and her son wouldn't take her to the Dr... so her great nephew had to take her to the ER where they found out that her infection was incredibly worse than they thought and they have forced her to stay since then. She's 96. And still 100% Fireball! ♥