Dress Pants Dilemma

17 Jan

While I was home over holidays I stopped in to Banana Republic because I had a serious need for more dress pants for work. I picked up two pairs for a little over $60 a pair. I wore them each twice before I washed them and when I went to put on one of the pair on Monday morning…crap, too short! They shrunk, even though I washed and dried them according to instruction. I actually washed and dried them on lower settings than instructed.

So my question for you, lovely reader, do you have a favorite brand of dress pants that hold up well? It would be even better if they stayed pretty wrinkle free because I am lazy and don’t iron.

Advertisements

Falling Into Place

15 Jan

My biggest struggle with being married to the military, and in life in general, is making peace with the unknowns. I am a planner and like to know what the future holds. These past two years I’ve become better about rolling with the punches and letting what happens, happen.

With Eric’s end of service date approaching and our plans to start a family set I’m itching to have at least a general sense of direction for us.

After a few conversations over Facebook chat, because that’s where all important discussions should take place, Eric and I have a road map of sorts for the next two years.

And, breathe out. I feel so much better knowing that we aren’t heading into 2014 with two potential major changes – a baby and an unemployed husband – and figuring it out as we go. Yes, I know there will be bumps along the way and not all will work out as planned, but at least we now have a destination in mind.

What are these grandiose plans, you ask? Number one and the biggest of all is to start growing our family. Next is the decision to move when our lease is up in July. I really hate that we do not have any outdoor space so I am going to look at a nicer apartment complex tonight and another one on Saturday. And finally, Eric is going to start working towards his bachelor’s degree when he gets home. I want him to be college-educated and I want him to take advantage of his GI Bill as he does not have the option to pass it along to our children. While he is in school I will continue working until mid-2014 when I will begin looking for a job down in the Tampa area where we want to move. Once I secure a job Eric will transfer schools and we will finally have reached most of our big goals.

Here’s to hoping for a successful few years and a lot of good times along the way.

Thoughts

9 Jan

This blog is a journal of sorts for me. I love the art of writing and looking back at where I was in life at different times. I had mentioned in a past post how Eric and I had wanted to try and get pregnant when we came home from deployment only to later find out that our Tricare coverage was ending sooner than we thought. These past few months I have been struggling with the fact that I so badly want to start a family. Family and friends are having babies they didn’t plan and it made me jealous. After being hired on permanently at work I find myself, finally, where I should be. Eric has done such a great job of saving while he is deployed and we know I can carry our insurance when Eric gets out of the Army but we are living in a city we don’t want to stay in. We couldn’t possibly risk the chance of getting pregnant and bringing a baby into this world with so many uncertainties in our future. Not only that, but if we do move like we so badly want to we would have to wait even longer so I can build up time at a job I don’t even know if I could find.

Eric has handled my very loud frustrations about our situation with both grace and understanding. While I was home over the holidays Eric brought up the idea of extending his contract. At first I was adamantly against the idea but he explained that it would only be for a few months. I was still hesitant, I know how ready he is to be done with this chapter in life but we quickly came to realize that perhaps a few months longer in the Army wouldn’t hurt. We would have free health care for a little longer, he would have guaranteed employment for a little longer, and most importantly, it opens up the opportunity for us to try and get pregnant.

If we do not get pregnant by June we again have to put family planning on the back burner but I am so excited and so is Eric. It’s finally our turn.

My New Car

4 Jan

My time in Wisconsin flew by and I never felt like I was on vacation, don’t you hate that? I had a wonderful Christmas and New Years thanks to quite a bit of skype time with my husband. Unfortunately I am home sick from work for a second day with what might be the flu but now I have time to share about my new car!

My sister and I got into town on the 23rd and on the 24th, yes Christmas Eve, my dad and I headed out to start car shopping. I test drove a used and new 2012 Jetta that day but the prices weren’t right and the car just didn’t “feel right” to me. We headed back out to another car dealer the day after Christmas and I test drove a used 2011 Jetta that I really liked. It had both the heated seats and the sunroof that I really wanted but it was white gold. I wasn’t quite thrilled with the color but if I could get a good price on it I was willing to compromise on the color. The salesgirl was very nice but answered our questions way too quickly and incorrectly said the carfax showed no accidents. When she went to see what kind of deal she could get me my dad picked up the carfax and saw that there actually was a “moderate” accident on the vehicle. Her and another sales guy ended up getting close to my asking price but I decided to walk away and head to another dealer. On the way there I told my dad that if I didn’t find anything at the next dealer I would go back and buy the white gold Jetta.

I am SO glad I decided to walk away. We got to the next dealership and right away the sales guy seemed way more knowledgable about the Volkswagen pre-certification process and about the cars in general. There were 4 Jettas that I wanted to look at and right away I eliminated the only one that had a sunroof because it was way out of my price range.

Eli, my sales guy, grabbed the three keys and we headed out to the lot. There was a white Jetta on the list that I was most interested in but the listing showed it didn’t have a sunroof and the interior was tan. I told Eli that I wasn’t too into the tan interior but I needed to see it in person before I made a decision. When we got out on the lot Eli hit the unlock button and the lights on a white Jetta with a sunroof flashed. My dad asked him what car he had unlocked, because 6 or 7 Jettas were all together, and he hit the key again and the grey one behind it unlocked. My dad asked if he had unlocked the white one as well and Eli hit another key and the white Jetta with the sunroof unlocked. Ahh..a white Jetta with a sunroof and heated seats! All three of my “wants”! As soon as I got in the car with my dad I told him this was it.

The list price was already in my price range and the car had less than 9,000 miles on it. A big part of me thinks someone made a mistake and they priced the vehicle as if it did not have a sunroof because all of the other vehicles I looked at, including the white gold one, were priced much higher. The sunroof is an aftermarket but it works great and the car was used and serviced by the dealer so it’s in great shape.  I ended up only having to talk them down $189 to get to my price and I walked away a very very happy camper. I still can’t believe I got everything I wanted in my car. A lot of people laughed when they asked what kind of car I was looking for and I responded “a 2011 or 2012 white Jetta with heated seats and a sunroof”.

photo 1-3

Isn’t she beautiful!?!

photo 2-3
photo 3-3
photo 4-1
I ended up liking the tan interior, oh and look, there’s my dad’s reflection

Eric ended up finding out that he is going to be home a lot sooner than we had thought, I am so excited, so we are in the process of trying to get my car shipped down here asap. I had decided to buy at home and have it shipped instead of buying down here since my dad is a lot more knowledgeable about cars and the shipping price wasn’t too high. If we can’t get it down here intime by shipping it my parent’s are going to drive it down one weekend and fly back home. I can’t wait to have it here!

Looking Forward

31 Dec

2012 was a really good year for me even though half of it was spent so far from Eric. I am so blessed to have a fantastic husband, a great job, and a beautiful new car.

I think I finally grew up this year. I knew Eric and I would survive this deployment and come out stronger on the other end. Have there been sleepless nights and tear-filled moments? Of course. But have him and I both accomplished great things this year despite the separation? Absolutely.

A major goal of both mine and Eric’s for 2013 is money management. We need to get Eric’s IRA set up, bump up mine quarterly, get a budget set once he is home, pay down on our car loans, and still put money away for a few things we have planned for the year and beyond.

2013 is going to be an interesting year but again I know we will handle it in stride. It will be even better to be spending most of it together.

Hello From the Cold North

23 Dec

Hello, hello! My sister, the dog, and I made the drive from Georgia to Wisconsin yesterday and arrived last night. My sister flew in Thursday night so I wouldn’t have to drive alone and my mom will be making the return trip with me. Traffic was great and I ended up driving the whole way and making it a record 13 hours.

It’s cold here but I’m glad I am able to be home for the holidays. I miss Eric like crazy and being here without him is hard but I know these two weeks are going to fly and then it’s time to start getting ready for homecoming!

Hopefully I’ll be back soon with the next post in my financial mini series but until then Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

20121223-074713.jpg

Checking out snow for the first time!

Six Months

17 Dec

Taking a quick break from the pre-holiday chaos to write up a post. This week marks six months since Eric deployed. Part of me can’t believe it’s already been that long and the other part feels like it’s been forever and a day.

I was telling Eric this past weekend that he is coming home to a wife who is completely different from than when he left. When he left I was unemployed and I now have a full-time career with amazing benefits and my own office bigger than my childhood bedroom. When he left I drove a ’98 Taurus just like I have since I was 17 but when he gets home I will hopefully be in a shiny very new-ish vehicle. When he left I was sitting comfortably but healthy in the jeans in my closet, I now need to buy new ones because I’ve hit my ultimate goal weight and the pairs I own are falling off me.

These things are good – amazing in fact, and I am incredibly proud! But I wanted to make these changes with Eric. Not having to tell him about them over the phone or through the computer screen.

One thing I didn’t want to happen this deployment was change. Nine months is a long time for someone to stay the exact way they are so I knew he would be different but I didn’t think about how I would be different.

I often say “I never thought I would be an Army wife”, “I never thought I would live in Georgia”, and “I never thought I would be married to someone who was halfway around the world for nine months”. I need to realize that I am an Army wife, I do live in Georgia, and we have already completed 6 of 9ish months apart.

I can’t wait for him to be home.

20121217-210721.jpg

From the countdown app on my phone