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Excitement!

I never know how to head these silly posts....

So we survived our stint house-sitting while mom and dad were on vacay.
We had a relatively uneventful rest of the week. Finished shampoo-ing the carpets at our place and they look fantastic and feel great to walk on in bare feet again! Side note: anyone who knows me knows that since I grew up a SoCal sun-worshipper, I prefer to walk around barefoot and am just not comfortable when I get home until the shoes and socks come off.

Since Matt was still sick, we played things pretty low-key. On Friday night, we watched Sixteen Candles. It's one of my favorite John Hughes movies and Matt said he'd only seen bits and pieces of it before. He loves the same JH movies I do, and had wanted to see if this one was just as good, since I enjoy it so much. His concensus is that he really enjoyed it. We both decided that Robert Pattinson is attempting to be the new Jake Ryan. However, Jake Ryan is emotionally believable and doesn't come off as smug.

On Saturday, Matt had to work until noon, so I spent those extra hours trying to catch up on all the sleep I lost throughout the week. Matt's mom called and woke me up around 10:30, though, so I didn't get to sleep as late as I really wanted. Oh well. When Matt got back, we packed our things and moved our personal belongings and food back to our own home. We were ecstatic to be back in our place and to celebrate, Matt took a shower in our own shower. After that, we decided to go out and test drive a couple of cars. We thought we had been decided on the Mazda CX-9 at one point. However, I was never fully comfortable with the price and the gas mileage. Matt had been giving me a lot of grief about the latter issue for the past month, saying I was silly for wanting a larger car but keep the same mileage. I told him I at least wished the CX-9 had better mileage than 24mpg. I currently get about 30-32 with the Elantra and I drive quite a ways to work each day, so I felt this was a valid point.
Then, when gas prices started shooting up a couple weeks ago, I wanted to cry, feeling as though my new car was slipping away from me. There was no way I wanted to pay $80+ for a tank of gas! We'd be spending more a month in gas than we would on the car payment, which is plain silly. But Matt kept brushing this aside, saying "there's really nothing we can do about it".
Until he filled his car up with gas last week.
And spent $42 on a tank.
All of a sudden, he comes home that night and says "uh, we need to talk about your new car".
So we sit down and discuss what have now (ha) become valid concerns. There was no way we'd logically be able to justify buying the CX-9 anymore. Would I be happy settling for a sedan again? Not really, I said. I've been "settling" ever since I got my drivers license. I'm ready to drive something I actually want to buy and still want to feel like I'm driving a "grown-up vehicle". He mentioned the Mazda 3 hatchback. I took a look at it and said I liked the design and idea of it. I then mentioned the Hyunda Touring, which our friend Ryan has and seems like it could be ideal. Matt also said he wanted us to consider the Honda Civic, which is what Ken currently drives. I told him it's the only sedan I would consider b/c it gets great mileage, Ken loves his, and the fuel gage looks like a health bar and that if I put gas in my car, I could pretend I was casting regen. Because I'm a dork like that.

So, on Saturday, we decided to head over to the Honda dealership up the street and take a look at the Civic. Even though I know how much Ken loves his, I had a hard time getting excited about it. It didn't seem like much room in the back and when I got in the driver's seat I was practically hitting my head on the roof of the car (I'm not sure how Ken avoids that since he's about 6'2- maybe he slouches?). But, envisioning all the money I'd save in gas, I drove it anyway. I felt like it was somewhat underpowered when driving it and wasn't all that impressed. It just didn't feel like "me". When we got back, Matt found out it had a timing belt and so we pretty much crossed that one off the list. We were hoping to avoid the extra $500-$600 that comes with needing to replace a timing belt every 60K miles that I currently have. However, we had also checked out the interior of the CR-V while waiting for the sales guy to bring up the Civic- and we really liked what we saw. I liked that I could just slide comfortably into the seats when getting in- there is no bending down or climbing up into the seats. I liked that even though it's not a full sized SUV, it felt roomy. The dash and steering wheel felt of much higher quality than in the Rav4. It also didn't suffer from an overabundance of buttons on the dash that you sometimes see in vehicles these days. I got in the backseat (I always test the backseat of cars so I know whether it would be torture or not if we drove our friends/family around) and there was plenty of room back there. The trunk/cargo area was very exciting, as it had lots of space, the bottom floor lifts up to reveal the spare tire, and there's even a cargo shelf that fits over the top in order to hide what you're storing. All I could think of was "yay: baby-changing table on the go!" I had a flashback to when I was a kid, watching mom change Ken's diaper on the cargo shelf in the hatchback Escort, thinking what a great idea it was that the car-maker had included it in the design. 28mpg. Not as great as now, but certainly not as bad as the CX-9. Matt told me that he's pretty sure that since I have a "light foot" when I drive, that I'd probably get about 30 on the highway. And since we're used to putting down about $10K to $12K downpayment on vehicles, this was very much in our price range. Also, it has a timing chain, which means no replacement of a dumb belt! I definitely had to drive this car. So we sent the poor sales guy back down the hill to look for another test drive. He came back and popped the hood for Matt to check out. I looked over his shoulder and nodded at the appropriate times, attempting to look knowledgeable. When I got bored with that, I hopped in the driver's seat and fell in love with the fabric on the seats. Feels like that odd cloth/suede material they use on all couches these days. But I love that stuff anyway, so I was happy. This one had a moonroof, and I decided that since Matt has a moonroof in his car, I'd like one, too, since it appears to be standard on the EX model (the EX-L model has heated seats and the computer/navigation system, but I don't feel like I need either of those). So we all got in and I test drove the CR-V.
And. I. Loved. It.
They had to practically pry me out of it with a crowbar so Matt could drive it, too. It just felt comfortable. Right. Like an extension of me. I've never ever had that happen with a vehicle before.
Now naturally, the sales guy wanted to talk numbers when we got back. We had told him we weren't there to buy that day, but to research. That we're working on trying to refinance our home first and that if we were to buy a car now, we would be "dinged" on our debt-to-income ratio for the loan since we would be going from having no car payments to having one car payment. But we stuck around because we wanted to see what they were willing to offer us. Turns out that since Matt works at a competitor dealership, they were willing to give us employee pricing and .9% apr, which was very cool. We went back and forth about five times with offers, but in the end, had to re-emphasize that not only do we not have all the money we need to make the downpayment we want yet, but we *have* to refinance first before we can even think of buying a car. They were very sad and we were very sad. However, I can't help but be fairly excited, knowing we're very close to doing this.

On Monday, we locked in the rate on our refi. We were hoping rates would go down a little more, but everything I've been hearing says they're going to continue to go up. At least this way, we're still saving $146 a month, which will help. The appraiser came out yesterday and mom was there to let him in so he could take pictures. I had gone crazy that morning, making sure everything was neat and tidy because I hate when I look at appraisals and people leave their homes an absolute mess. It's very much like looking through someone's medicine cabinet, because you get to see what their homes look like and how they live. And I can never understand if you know someone is coming by to take pictures of your home in order to evaluate it financially, why would you not take the time out to clean up the trash, hang up your clothes, or straighten up your countertops?
But the guy came and went, and for now we're waiting to hear back what the value comes back as. I emailed the appraiser last night and sent him a list of all the improvements we've done since we moved in.

So for now, we're trying to save money on our home so I can (finally!) have a new car- one that I actually want and is fun to drive. But also practical for our (eventual) expanding family.

Bad side to weekend was that apparently all of Matt's drainage from being sick this week migrated over to his ear. It was hurting him when we went to pick up mom and dad and by the time we dropped them off at home, it was so bad that he asked me to take him to the emergency room. I've had plenty of ear infections as a kid and since I have issues with sinuses, they've usually been related. However, Matt maintained that he'd never had an ear infection and doesn't have problems with sinuses. I also know how much ear infections hurt, so I wasn't going to tell him no. So we went. And spent two hours there just so they could tell us it's a sinus-related ear infection. Okay, so nothing really scary, that's fine. They gave us a prescription for antibiotics and vicadin (for the pain) and sent us on our way.
Matt is since doing better, although he says he still has a lot of crap in his ear. My thought is that he's fighting a sinus infection and unfortunately, it spread to his ear. He's been fairly tired this week and we're both trying to rest as much as we can. Him because he's getting over being sick. Me becauase I'm trying not to get sick.

And this weekend, he has to work until noon again, then we're driving to Hillsboro for Easter with his whole family. And then on Sunday, will be Easter with my parents (pretty sure Ken may be working). So this weekend will be another busy one!

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