Saturday, February 26, 2011

# 3. Buy a New Mac.

I've officially been a Mac user since the summer before my freshman year of college. For those of you that are counting, that's 5 years ago. Five years, is, in laptop land, practically ancient. My laptop was my primary (as in only) computer all throughout college - I took it to class every single day, and wrote nearly all of my notes in every class on it. That's seven semesters of school, with 5 classes each (approximately - I had a few semesters with 4 classes, but I also took a few summer courses). In any case, that's roughly 240 classes a semester that my baby went to. I designed all of my wedding on the computer - the stationary, the organization, and the correspondence. It was the start of my blog, of my emails, and of my facebook. It held more photos than one can count.

My laptop has had a great life, and it's been very good to me. But it's also had a rough life. I've carried and lugged it everywhere. Throughout school, my laptop was nearly always with me - 12-14 hour days. It's been bent, scratched, and dented. The USB ports are at angles, it's second battery only has about a 45 minute life span, and it's on it's 3rd power cord. all 80 gigs of it are full, and it's made a clicking sound as the fan dies for the last year or so. It's running Tiger OS. Last week, the airport died - meaning my laptop has to be plugged into an ethernet port in order to connect to the internet world. 

And so I took a trip to the Apple store. 

With Sean being in school, we still get the discount for Apple products. There was a really small price difference between the old one and the new one, so we just opted for the newer one. I downgraded to a nice little 13" MacBook Pro, and I absolutely love it. I'm still keeping my old one for now, and slowly moving things from one computer to the other. 

I hate spending such a large amount of money, but I know that we have it available. I just need to tell myself that it's okay to do it sometimes. I love my new lappy though. It's a great birthday gift to myself :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Turning it down

I did end up getting the promotion. I turned it down.

Many of you probably think I'm nuts, but it just wasn't right for me. It would require me to work Thursday - Monday, and I'm already annoyed with having to work on Sunday. But no weekend days off? I would rarely see Sean, and I would almost never be able to come home without taking vacation. Plus, it was only a 10% raise - which on my salary, isn't much. I'd lose most of my bonuses too, which add nearly $300 to my monthly income.

Basically, money isn't everything. I had to weigh my pros and cons, and I just wouldn't have been happy. I almost cried (and not tears of joy) when they offered it - I didn't want to make the decision. But I did. I did it for my sanity, for our relationship, for my family.

And now, while I love my job as a training mentor, I will most likely start to look for another job. I think I'll call up UMKC career center too. I need something that pays more, and preferably with weekends off. My job has been great breaking into the world, but I'm realizing that I'm getting nowhere fast - and it's frustrating to work somewhere that doesn't have require a degree when I have one.

Here's to the best - we shall see what happens!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Full Weekend Off

My normal schedule is Sunday - Thursday. My weekend is generally Friday and Saturday, which has both is good and bad points. It's awesome, because I get Friday to myself. I can craft, shop, do laundry, and clean in peace, without Sean. It's great to have the time to wind down from a hectic week, and I love it so. It also leaves Sean free on Sunday, which means that he can save his weekend homework, and we actually spend time together. Plus, Sundays at work are usually pretty slow, which is nice to ease into the workweek with.

It also means, however, that we go to mass on Saturday nights. And for some reason, our Saturday night masses is like the geriatrics league - there's so many old people! Sean doesn't mind the traditional, slower paced masses, but I much prefer upbeat. It's also really really hard to see everyone talking about lazy Sundays when I'm stuck at work - I'd much rather be home with my husband and kitten. Knowing I'm not the only person that has a sucky shift definitely helps, but still. I want my Sunday mornings back.

This week I have them. One of the trainers at my work is out of town (training people in Jacksonville), and with the snow storm, one of the training classes was delayed. This means there's currently two classes...and one trainer. They asked if I would be willing to change my schedule to help out, and I jumped at the chance. I would love to get into training in the future, and this is a great opportunity to get the experience and boost my reputation at work. The people I'm training are on a great track, and with a little practice, will be fantastic reps. It also gives me the chance to brush up on my knowledge and learn the new tricks that have come out - because they don't always get forwarded to the floor.

Ideally, I'll be helping this week and next - but I also applied for a promotion to another work group. If I get that, my training stint will likely end on Wednesday. I almost don't want it to. In fact, while I would be excited to get the promotion, I'm not 100% sure it would be the best move for me. We shall see, I suppose. It's not like I can worry about it right now anyway.

Anyway, I have a lot to do today. Yesterday we enjoyed the weather, but that means I'm so far behind today. I'm going to make a pot of chili for a coworker who is going through a rough time, prep dinner for tomorrow, and go to Michaels for some thank you note supplies, as well as supplies for Katie's 21st birthday shot book. Crafty times!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Honeymoon Excitement

Generally, one honeymoons right after the wedding. Due to work, law school, and getting married in the middle of the freaking winter, we're (obviously) not following that course of action. Our 'mooning plans have been postponed until August, in order to give us A) time to save and B) a better schedule to work around. Now, plans have just been finalized, and I'm here to reveal our honeymoon destination!!

Where might we be going? Here's a hint:
Oh, and this isn't just any cruise folks. Oh no.

This is a cruise aboard this ship:

That's right. We're going on a Disney cruise. 

Sean and I will be adventuring to the Mediterranean, on a 7-night Disney cruise.

I was very leery about doing a cruise for the honeymoon (and, at first, adamant that we would not do one), but this one is different I feel. We'll be docked by 8 am every morning, so we'll spend a majority of our day at the ports of call. If I do get seasick, it will only be at night (and the ocean will be calmer). Because we'll be flying on Disney Air, if the flight is delayed, the ship waits for us. Plus, it's the only way we'd be able to see all of these places in just one week. 

And it's Disney. Sean proposed in Disney World (the first time). I love Disney. We're planning on buying the Disney vacation plan, so we can go there much more often. 

So where will we be going?
We'll be flying into (and out of) Barcelona, Spain. We're really hoping that we'll have time to explore a bit, but we're not entirely sure. 

Our first stop will be Villefranche, France (not Cannes, like the map says). It's the port for Monoco and Nice. 

Next, we'll head over to La Spezia, Italy, which is home to Pisa and Florence.

Our next stop will be Civitavecchia, Italy, which is port of call for Rome (and, more important to us, Vatican City!!)

Following that, we'll be off to Naples, Italy, with hopes of going to Pompeii.

We'll get a day at sea (our only one!), followed by a stop in Palma, which is a Spanish island. 

The back to Barcelona, where we'll catch our flight home!

The Disney cruise won't be cheap (that's for sure), but we've got the ability to do it. Sean's parents were amazingly generous, and gifted us almost the entire amount (actually, it covers everything except one of our flights to Europe). By saving up and waiting to take our honeymoon in August, it really helps too. It's going to be fantastic and I can't wait!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

#80. Refinance My Car

When Sean and I were looking for new insurance after we got married, we were looking for a lot of different things. Yes, we wanted low rates, but we wanted other things too. We wanted a real person - and preferably a young person. We both want to support our generation breaking into careers, and we know that it's hard with the baby boomers still lingering around in the job field (aren't they supposed to retire or something? ugh). We also wanted renters' insurance, because we don't live in the nicest area, and we can't afford to replace our things in case of a fire or whatnot - and you're responsible for that (not the apartment complex people!). Another thing we wanted was a national company. We know we're probably going to move in the next few years, and we'd rather not switch if we don't need to. We ran our quotes through their websites, and compared each one with what they offer.

We ended up with State Farm. Not only is the agent from StL (woot woot hometown love!), but he's our age. Paul's actually not the agent himself, he's more of an apprentice, but we like him (and Chad, the agent) nonetheless. We've got everything we need for less than $200 a month, which is a great deal.

What we didn't know when we signed up, however, is that State Farm refinances car loans.

Even though my dad is a cosigner on my car loan, I didn't have any credit yet and I didn't put any money down on my car. I had a terrible interest rate too. I needed it though. I'll never buy a used car (we've had major problems in the past, and I love knowing that if anything happens, my warranty will cover it for the next 5 years). I can budget my car payment each month, but I can't budget for what ifs on a car very well. The new car just works better for me, especially peace of mind wise, and I know that we'll be able to drive it for at least another 8 years - on the short end.

Long story short, my dad is no longer a cosigner and my loan interest rate dropped around 2.5%. While the payments don't change much, we also knocked a year off the loan (going from a 6 year to a 5 year). I'll still pay what I'm paying now though (which was already more than the minimum), with hopes of getting it paid off even sooner. I'm also hoping to put at least half of my tax refund towards the car as well. I figure the sooner I can pay it off the better. Theeen I get to start on school loans with full force. Eesh.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Tuesday, the KC area got hit with roughly 16" of snow. I know some people don't think that's a lot, but for a bustling city that has to continue to work, it's crippling. As most of you know, I work at a security company. It's means I'm DoD cleared, have great benefits, etc. But it also means that I don't get holidays or snow days, because security is 24/7/365. I left for work Tuesday morning without even a snowflake in the air. I really didn't want to go, because I knew that the snow was aiming for us. But, I've already used one sick day for snow this year, and I'm really trying to save it all for the honeymoon. Also, I'm trying to get that promotion, and I knew it would look really good (and I have an interview for it today!). So I went.

(Did I mention that we were already declared a state of emergency? At that the NatGuard was in KC?)

By noon, there was 4" of snow on the ground, and I knew I wasn't getting home. Colleen and I booked a hotel room across the street (only $10 a piece thanks to my work!). We both had to work in the morning anyway, and it worked out for the best. Work gave us free pizza for dinner and a free meal the next day, and I got a few overtime hours in on top of it. Wednesday, all of the managers rounded up shovels and tow ropes and dug everyone out (while on the clock too - yes!). When I opened my car door, snow literally fell in. We had such high winds that there were snow drifts everywhere. Mostly the snow stopped around my knees, but at some points it was up to my hips - my hips people!

Wal-Mart closed.

I was so glad to get home Wednesday night. Sean cooked, and I spent the night with a long, hot shower, snuggled under blankets, and watching movies.

The city is mostly drivable, but there are still a ton of snow piles, and a few buried cars. There's supposed to be more snow next week sometime, but hopefully that fizzles out. I'm done with snow. Can I move south?