Monday, March 11, 2013

Calculated Risks.

A few weeks back on the way to drop the kids off at school.

Lo: "Mommy, there's our house! Are we going to get it today? Are you going to go see the man about the house?"
Me: "Maybe, baby. Maybe. Mommy still doesn't know what God has in store for us. Mommy's going to go look at a few cars today because Mommy and Daddy REALLY need to have our own cars, but if God doesn't show me a car that's right for us, I promise you I'll go see the man about the house."
Lillie: "I want my own room." ((Insert bottom lip out so far birds could perch on it.))
Me: "I know, Peanut. I know. I want you to have your own room too, but we're not going to get upset if we don't get the house, it just mean God has something so much better for us in store."

I spent all of my off day that week from 10-5 car hunting. Nothing felt right. I started getting excited that maybe I was meant to be in my dream home. The dream home I'd found shortly after the kids started school. Yes, it was for rent... BUT, it had a lease/purchase option. It was built in the early 60's, had all the original hard wood floors refinished, built in bookshelf in the third bedroom (Lillie, our reader's, room), a huge formal dining room that could be used for crafts/play/computer stuff. I've been smitten ever since I stepped into the musty Grandma smell of that house directly across from Lo's Elementary school. The same Elementary school I went to.

And then I told my Dad to pull off at one last car lot. It was a buy here, pay here shanty of a place. I didn't have high hopes. And then I saw the X-Terra. I'd wanted one since High School. I started feeling my heart pound in my chest. After talking to the dealership and transferring money around and talking to my car insurance company, everything just fell into place. I'd talked the dealership down like a champ, worked the maintenance it needed done into the cost of the car and despite the ridiculous interest rate, knew without a doubt I'd be able to refinance it through my bank for much MUCH cheaper in a few months. I'll be able to have it paid in full within a year. A YEAR. Last Fall I was in tears at the bank because they told me even at 30 years old I'd *STILL* need a cosigner on any lease or credit card (yes, even a secured card.) Not because my credit was shit, but because I'd literally built NO credit whatsoever in over 7 years. Why is it, that even though I'd paid off all my debts, left all my accounts in good standing that I was getting shafted? Why is it, you can file bankrupcy and come home to loan and credit card approvals in your mailbox before the ink is even dry on your discharge papers? I just didn't get it, and yet, here I was... approved for the truck I'd wanted forever. APPROVED.

We only need to make a little more financially each month to take on a house payment be it lease or mortgage. So hopefully my review gets me some sort of raise or the Husband can find GOOD employment somewhere. I'd love to say I want a raise, who WOULDN'T want a raise, right? As of right now, however, I'd love to have some sort of relief where I'm not solely responsible for bills, expenses, etc. So here's for the little things. For hopes and wishes and prayers and fairy dust. Lillie needs her own room, Moose needs a back yard, Logan needs a safer environment to run and play, and Mommy and Daddy need a room to express our creativity. Heads out of the gutter y'all, I'm talking about an arts/crafts/computer room. SHOOT, this is a "semi-safe family blog" y'all! I'd like to be able to open those floor to ceiling on days like today where there's a breeze and it can trickle through the whole house. I'd love to open the back door, and yell for the kids to come in for dinner...

I weigh my decision between the truck and the house from both angles often. We needed the vehicle. NEEDED. As much as I love that house, and as much as I want all the little details that pull at my heartstrings... we NEEDED the vehicle. Thanks to my occupation, housing is not an issue, so housing was not and is not nearly as important.

I still wouldn't mind a fresh "home" start.


Friday, March 1, 2013

Snot myself lately.

You'll have to forgive me, I'm having a rather amazing time rocking this fabulous head cold slash sinus thing right now. Wait, what? You forgot I blogged. Me too there for a minute. I started to miss you guys. I began feeling a void and not knowing or understanding what exactly it was that I was missing from my life. It was you. Shit started getting real and I ditched like a 17 year old boy whose girlfriend's period was 20 minutes late. So here I am, on my knees in front of you, humbling myself and devoting a few minutes to just clear my mind.

I should have named this post "bullet points." But I didn't. So let's move along, shall we?

Risks. Some of you may understand why this is my topic of the hour (maybe month), but we're not going to put promises out there into existence because I don't want to fail. There's always the risk of failure when promises are made. Be it vows, treats for good behavior, discipline for bad behavior, career advancements, etc. I don't want to make promises I may or may not be able to keep. Thus is the story of my life.

Hello, I'm Tiffany and I'm gonna ramble like a mother fucker on fire because this is my first post since JULY of last year. Again, "bullet points" would have been a better title. Helicopter.

Let's play ketchup and keep with the theme all at the same time. If this were a drinking game, we'd probably call it "bullet points." Banana.

I took the risk of taking Lo out of a for sure great school district so we could "spread our wings" and deepen our bottomless "responsibility well" I like to call "adulthood." He now gets in trouble for "inappropriate touching." Apparently hugging a friend or high-fiving a classmate is inappropriate. I call it being a sociable five year old boy. But what do I know, apparently I rock at this whole parenting thing.

I was on the PTO. Was being the key word. I have the shirt to prove I paid the $10 to be a team player. They stopped calling me after I declined working the popcorn table at family move night because my kids were sick and um, hello? My kids go to bed at 8 because we're lame as shit. This movie thing didn't start till 7:30. Do the math, y'all. I did get a little irked when I wasn't informed about the family fun run. Not halfway into the school year and I was crossed off the PTO call list. I guess I should be flattered.

My father moved in with us. So much for living on our own. It benefit both parties though, so I'm not beating myself up too much about it. Shit happens. Shit like my Grannie passing away last week. My inner Catholic (dudes, like everyone else in America, I've got at least a drop of Irish blood in me) feels insane amounts of guilt about her passing. We'll save the details on that for another post.

I bought a truck. An X-Terra to be exact. I've wanted one ever since High School and we needed a second vehicle. I now have one more bill to pay every month, but you know what, I didn't need a cosigner and I feel really fucking great about that. I love my truck. LOVE my truck. Let us not talk about how it's been at the dealership more than my parking spot in the short time since I've had it. I took the risk of buying a used vehicle, but somehow managed to get the dealership to do thousands of dollars of work to the truck without charging me anything extra. It's all being covered in the cost of the truck itself. Which I talked them down to $8k for. Maybe there really is something to having a used car salesman for a father.

If it weren't for the fact that it keeps Lillie entertained for free 5 days a week under the poorly veiled disguise of a pre-k education, I would yank her out of her pre-k program. Even though she's 4 and can do Lo's homework and her 1st Grade "Summer Fun" workbook, she's still got one year of pre-k left before she can enter Kindergarten. I am praying that she doesn't resent me 10 years from now for putting her in full time school so I could work.

Speaking of work. I work 9-6 most days that end with the letter "y." Remember, my children go to bed by 8. I love my job, but I love my children more. Infinitely more. It kills me to the core that I get a total of 3 daylight hours with them on days I work. T-H-R-E-E. It's not nearly enough time. And yes, I miss being the "at home parent." And yes, I am jealous most days that the Husband gets this time with them and not me. It makes my uterus heart hurt. I don't want to miss Lo losing his first tooth (any day now) or taking Lillie to her interpretive dance class (which, note to self, must look into finding a local studio that offers such a class.) Mothers bring their babies to the leasing office and I hold them and smell them and make ridiculous faces for little gummy smiles while their Mama's vent or fill out their checks for rent and my heart aches to be near my own children. Teaching them, molding them, dancing with them. I try not to dwell on it so I organize another filing cabinet or call a thousand million gajillion leads in hopes for a big commission check the next month so I can take Lillie to get her nails did or to make more empty promises of seeing the big stupid rat and eating at his appropriately named restaurant/germ circus. At least they serve beer there... if we ever find time to go as a family that is.

I've also fallen in love with a house. A HOUSE house. The kind with a yard, a history, built in bookshelves, vintage black and white tile and serial killer lighting over the inset medicine cabinets in the bathrooms. The kind of lighting that makes the "ting ting TING ting" noises as they charge to full brightness. I want to rent the house. I want to lease to own. I want to outright buy that bitch and make it mine. That little voice in my head called "logic" knows we can't afford it. Not on one income. Not any time soon. I constantly catch myself looping through pictures on the property manager's website and just as constantly hand it over to God, because I know I can't obsess about it without being tragically disappointed when someone else makes it their home.

The seven year itch is here. I'm not saying it's HERE here, I'm just saying this year marks seven years of marriage to the Husband. We finally had our first big test of our vows and our strength as a team. I had to find strength in myself and in my love for him to find forgiveness. There's work to be done there, but we must first work on ourselves. He's trying, and I know God is testing my patience and us, so I'm trying too. I'm trying to find understanding for both current issues and issues from my childhood. I'm constantly reminding myself of how patient he was with me while I lost my shit a year ago. There were times I felt alone in my anxieties, but I know now that he was waiting for me to breathe again. Listening for that sharp intake of breath when I would start holding it all in when my world was imploding on itself. Seven more years will go by faster than the last seven. I am lucky to have him as my friend, my soul mate.

I'm still ticking items off my 30x30, but at a snails pace in consideration to when I first started. The Husband and I ran Ram's Hot Chocolate 5k in Atlanta in January and a group of some of my best girls got together for Shape's Diva Dash last weekend. We've still got The Color Run and Dare to Dash in April. I might make it to 30k by my 31st birthday (2 months, 4 days and 5 minutes... but who's counting?) I'm no longer pressuring myself to mark them all off so quickly. Priorities have changed a bit since then and I'm not going to beat myself up when some things are just beyond my control. That's not entirely true. I will beat myself up about it, but I will forgive myself just as quickly. Last year was all about telling others "no." This year it's learning when to tell myself "no." Baby steps.

Next post will have pictures, honest. Fingers crossed it won't be another 8 months from now.