Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Car!!

Over the past month or so, my little 02' Nissan Sentra SE-R started having some issues. It seemed to be burning oil, so my parents agreed to give me some money to help with getting a new car. I almost considered getting the Nissan fixed, since that would be the cheaper option, but it had other problems. The trunk still leaked from a wreck 2 years ago, the visors were both broken, the radio didn't work, the sunroof motor was about to die, the paint was faded and peeling, the seat belts didn't want to retract and it had 155k miles on it. It was a great little car and I'll miss it. After adding oil honey to it..and oil..I didn't have any more problems with it, but who knows how long that would last. I wanted to sell it when I could still get some money out of it instead of driving it into the dust.

So, with trepidation, I set out for a new used car. I decided I really wanted a Mazda 3 hatchback. It was sporty but still had versatility so I could haul the dogs around. I couldn't find one I liked..the one I drove was ok, but they were asking too much for the miles it had on it. I also drove an 09 Scion xB, a 10 Toyota Matrix, an 09 Hyundai Elantra Touring, 11 Kia Soul, and was also looking at a Pontiac Vibe, but after a ton of research through Consumer Reports, online forums and Fuelly, this is what I ended up with: a 2011 Hyundai Elantra Touring SE!!!

Yep..it's brand new and only had 39 miles on it when I drove it off the lot! I've had it for just over a week and I love it. I paid more for it than I was originally looking at, but it has a lot of hands free features like blue tooth, plus leather...which means dog fur won't stick to everything. It has plenty of space and gets a little better mileage than my Nissan did. They have me $1500 for it as a trade in, which I felt was fair considering the shape she was in. I really wanted to get a picture of my with the old & the new car, but they'd already driven mine away to be sold at auction. =( This one also has a ton of safety features my Nissan didn't. Curtain airbags, traction control, bigger tires, a break away engine I'm not looking forward to 5 years of payments, but it's new and has 60k mile bumper to bumper warranty plus 100k mile power-train warranty. I spent a little more because I had financial help and figured if I was spending the money, I wanted to get what I wanted. I can never thank my parents enough for helping me out...I could have never gotten this car without them! So..technically, they own about 45% of it! I just feel so blessed to have them as parents. They're generous, fun and so easy to talk to. They didn't have to donate to the cause, but they did so they'd know I was safe on all my travels.

I'm still getting used it and am scared to death that it'll get scratched or something. Our driveway is awful, so I have to creep up it so I don't get mud on it. Two days after buying it (yesterday), we had a snow/ice storm and I had to drive home from work in it. I was terrified, but it did brilliantly. I'm not sure if it's b/c of the car or my awesome snow driving skills, but in either case, I still made it home safely! Anyhow, here's to hoping for many, safe years together!! Oh, and a fast payoff!! =) OH..and also, Happy Binary Day!!!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Alright, alright..I realize it's already past both those holidays, but I've been busy. The past few months seem almost like a dream. Jeff's been traveling a lot and brought me pretty things from all across the globe. This past Christmas was incredible. It was the first in a long time where we rolled out of bed and straight down to the tree in our pj's. Noel got a big girl bike and a hobby horse..she was amazed at all the stuff under the tree! I had to work the night before, so Jeff waited to come pick me up and then we headed up to VA at midnight. It's been an 18 year tradition that he goes to the Omelette Shop on Christmas, so we stopped and had a late dinner/early breakfast which I paid for the rest of the day. Upset stomach when there's so much Christmas yums to have is just not fun! We got to my parents house around 3am & was up by 8.

It was just a fantastic Christmas. It had nothing to do with the gifts. Don't get me wrong..we all got some great stuff, a Pandora charm bracelet, cute pj's, jewelry, clothes, gift cards, furniture, money, I could keep going..but this isn't the point of my story. It was just relaxed and fun...it was about spending time with family, laughs, and fun...which is exactly what Christmas is supposed to be about anyway and the way that God intended it. Loving the time with your family and enjoying each others company is the best way to celebrate Jesus' birth..it has nothing to do with how much money you spend or how many gifts you get or give. It's about love..and this Christmas was full of it. It was also full of snow, which was awesome!

After Christmas at my parents house, we went over to Jeff's brother's house for lunch and gifts. There was soooo much food that I can't believe I had only one plate full..and only one serving of Aunt Brenda's broccoli casserole. It's the most awesome thing ever. I don't know what she does, but I've never had any that compares to hers. We had something like 13 people there, so we couldn't even fit in one room to open gifts. Even Justin, who's normally very quiet and reserved, was more at ease, open and talkative than I have ever seen him. I think a lot of it has to do with Jamie and Crystal both dating other people who have kids. Him and Griffin get more attention and therefore more social interaction and while I don't agree with the whole living/dating situation, it seems to have had a positive impact on Justin, and that's really what's most important. Christmas at the Lane household was followed by dinner back over at my parents house. Oh..and I forgot to mention that we left yet another gift in Paul & Brenda's front yard! This year was a Hokie Forest Face. They loved it!!!

After dinner, we went to Ron & Misty's for Christmas with the kids and had a great time. We also went by the mausoleum to visit my grandparents. They hadn't engraved my grandfather's marker yet, so Mom called to get that straightened out. We drove up to the Star to gets pictures of Roanoke covered in snow.

I love my little hometown! =)

The weekend went by way too fast, but it was so much fun! For New Year's, Jeff took me to The Melting Pot for dinner and we rang in 2011 with a champagne toast and some awesome fondue. I was stuffed and we had a great time! I'm hoping this year will be prosperous. I want the economy to improve, I want Kelly to find a job that's fulfilling and allows her to still spend time with Noel. I hope for a little one of my own. I hope to get my house decluttered and suitable for having company. We just have way too much stuff that needs to be gone through and tossed. It's a daunting task! Most importantly, I hope to re-renew my relationship with God and find an intimacy that seems to get lost in the day to day shuffle of life. I miss feeling that closeness. The same thing happens with Jeff. We get busy doing our tasks and forget how important it is to stay connected. We drift apart and a few months later we notice it and reconnect. It makes me wonder though, am I the cause of it? Am I the one doing the drifting?? Probably..and I want to work on that this year. So, here's to hoping that everyone has a fabulous year and accomplishes what that want to! God bless!