I would post a picture but I'm not really sure what it looks like yet--and yes, that's precisely how much interest I have in cars. I do know what kind of car it is, though. It's a Toyota Sienna. Which is a kind of minivan car. Joe and I very briefly went to both a Toyota and a Honda dealership during our date night while Joe's parents were watching the kids (because the only thing I can imagine more nightmarish than bringing your kids to a car dealership is maybe bringing your kids to Ikea when those kids refuse to be left in Smölville or whatever the hell that Ikea kids' penitentiary is called). Honestly, they're very similar cars, but we kinda liked the Sienna slightly better.
Anyway, I found a good deal online for below the MSRP with good financing options blah blah blah financial talk and Joe had an early afternoon off while I was on call and I told him to just go get the damn car because it's not exactly like I wanted to spend a weekend myself in some car dealership back office arguing with Jerry Lundergaard about not getting that Truecoat and fine, he'll do a damn lot count, what the Christ! So Joe did. Get the car, I mean. The reason we don't have it in the driveway yet is because we decided to listen to everyone on the planet and get the leather seats after all (I always thought of them as some sort of unnecessary luxury option, like a seat warmer, until the cleaning benefits were pointed out to me) and the leather seats take about a week and a half to put on.
I think the car is grey, with a beige inside. That's...about as much as I know. Whatever, Joe saw it. I'm sure it's fine.
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I like to think that we're generally financially cautious. For example we decided, after some consideration, that we probably shouldn't get a new car and have a baby and landscape the backyard at around the same time, so the backyard improvements are shelved until at least next year. Which is fine. I mean, it would be nice to have a swingset upon which evict the kids from the house, but what the hell, indoors is nice too. All the better to develop osteomalacia, kids. Now do like on "Mad Men" and go watch TV.
That said, on the way home from Hilton Head I made a declaration. (I do that sometimes.) I declared that we should live frugally in so much as it was possible, but that also, we should try to take trips together as a family as much as we were able. They don't have to be big trips or expensive trips--I'm not talking about flying us all to Rome or anything. But just little day trips. Weekend trips. Stuff like when we went camping last fall, or when we lived in New York and used to go to that pick-your-own-fruit farm. Just time away, all together, making memories, on purpose. Spring Break was great but since we've been back, I've really noticed how little time we're all able to spend together, and how much, during the course of a normal week when the kids are going to school and Joe and I are at work, that time together is purely process-driven. It's all: rush home, get dinner into gullets, homework, bath, snack, bedtime. The weeks blend together. And they go too fast.
So on the spur of the moment, Joe and I decided that, instead of staying around town for Memorial Day weekend (which was the original plan--and I'm sure if we did the weekend would have been consumed purely by errands and minutiae) we were going to take a small trip, a family trip, and spend time together as a family of four (well, five--we're bringing the dog) before we expand our ranks. Kind of a babymoon for all of us.
Therefore, we decided to rent a cottage in North Georgia--a little short notice, most of the cottages were already booked up because most people are smarter and think ahead--but we found one that's close enough and not too expensive and folksy looking as all hell. I think it's across from a cornfield, actually. Also I think there's some sort of fishing creek right nearby not to mention a fire pit outside the house, and what the hell, your kids are only young once. I think they're going to love it.
It's funny, because I've been kind of stressed out about all manner of things for the past few weeks--just about all the usual, like time and money and kids and job stuff--but now that we have a little something planned, I feel a lot better. It's nice to have something to look forward to, with people that you like.
And since we'll have a minivan by then, think of all the crap we'll be able to bring with us!
How about you guys? What small do you like to do for quality time with your families, and what bigger things are worth the splurge?