Thursday, August 22, 2013

Grandbaby pictures

My brother Dion took family pictures for the Finch family in Utah this last weekend at the beautiful gardens at Thanksgiving Point.
They turned out so great!
And I am so happy to have some new pictures of  Isabelle 
and of Branden and Amber with Isabelle.
They are such a cute little family!
I love that she is so smiley now.
I wish I could see her in person.

Isabelle with her cousin, Abigail.  They are so cute together!

Gotta love those eyes...

I just love that smile. I miss this cute family!

Buying a car with Frank...the experience

In order to tell you about the experience of buying my cute little Honda Fit
You have to know a little bit about Frank 
And me

Frank has always been a wheeler and a dealer
Haggling doesn't bother him
As a matter of fact, he enjoys it.
I find any kind of confrontation incredibly uncomfortable and that includes any sort of bargaining.

On one of our first dates
I remember going to a pizza place.
Frank asked if they had any specials and the girl said that they had a coupon for some particular deal
So Frank says that sounds good, he'll take that deal.
She asks if he has the coupon, which of course he doesn't.
He says no but he's sure she must have some behind the counter she can use.
And he says it in such a way to leave no room for questioning.
And I just had to walk away...
I'm not embarrassed.
And I'm fine with him getting a better deal.
I just can't take the confrontational feel of the thing.
As small as it is...

There have actually been times in our marriage when we have been in the process of buying something and Frank is, of course, working to get the best deal...
And it makes me so uncomfortable that I literally side with the sales person!
I can't keep my mouth shut.
As you might imagine, this annoys my poor husband.

But over the years I have learned to keep my mouth shut.
I sit silently, if uncomfortably, while he haggles and debates.
I make no faces.
I give nothing away.
But he knows I am squirming inside.  I hate it SO MUCH.


On the friday before our anniversary we decided to go on a date.
Frank drove us to the Honda dealership that is right by our house
(literally 2 miles away).
I was surprised but since I'd been obsessing over the car I figured he was going to let me sit in it again or something.
We went inside and he actually started talking to the guy about going for a test drive.
So we drove it around.
The Fit.
It's so cute!

The sales guy looked exactly like Jake Gyllenhall.  No joke.
I told him so on my test drive.  He said he gets told that a lot.
this version:

And I started to imagine how cool it would be to take a picture of myself with my new car next to Jake.
(yes, I call him Jake in my mind even though it isn't his actual name)

After the test drive we went to the little cubicle and Frank actually started to talk numbers with the guy.
I was quite surprised because we did not discuss the possibility of buying a car today!
We discuss color.  Jake drives us around the lot and shows us the various colors available.
I pick out my fun blue car.
(Jake is probably smacking himself for calling it the color that "slaps you in the face" before he realized it was the one I wanted...)
There is a LOT of back and forth between Jake and Frank.
Discussion of trading in the van or not.
Frank is doing "research" on his phone whenever Jake leaves the cubicle.
Which is unusual for Frank because he never buys something without doing all kinds of research beforehand.  He goes into a purchase with all the information he needs to get the best deal possible.
And this was not the case here.
He was flying by the seat of his pants...

The dealership closes.
We are still there.
Frank tells Jake that if this is the best deal he can get, Jake has nothing to worry about.
Frank won't go to another dealership just because they will match this deal.
if this isn't the best deal we can get, we will go elsewhere.
Jake has worked hard and we'd like to give him our business.

Anyway, after a lot of effort
(and me sitting stoicly next to Frank the whole time with no expression)
they actually came to an agreement.
I was going to get a new car!
I was a little freaked out, I'm not gonna lie.

And we start to sign papers.
Frank is looking over the contract and at the bottom is a fee for "paperwork"
Its like $300 or so.
Frank asks what it is and takes his pen to cross it out.  He has no intention of paying it.
Jake tells him that everyone has this fee and explains it (blah blah blah) and tells Frank that he can't just cross it out.  It's on all the contracts.
Frank says he won't pay it.
Jake goes to talk to the manager.
He comes back and says that there's nothing he can do about that fee.

we leave.

after all that time and effort and haggling and we are down to signing the papers
and we walked away because of the paperwork fee.
But that's what makes Frank a good shopper in these situations.
I would have caved and paid the $300.
and so would most people I'm sure.

But not Frank.
And I was surprisingly relaxed about the whole thing.
I mean, I hadn't planned on buying a car anyway.


The next morning we were across town at the temple
and Frank says that we should pop in to the local Honda dealership.
I say that we don't need to do that...there's no rush.
But he wants to.
He is going out of town the next day and he'll be gone for our anniversary.
Our 25th.
I'm realizing he's hoping to get the car as a big anniversary gift for me.

So we go into the dealership and he tells the guy
"I want to see a salesman.  I want to talk numbers.  I know what I want and I know how much I want to pay.  I don't want to waste a bunch of time here so if you can make a deal with me right now, you will make a sale but if you try to give me the run around and think I'll spend hours here then I will walk out."
So we sat right down with a salesman.
Frank has done his homework by this point and the deal he wants to make is significantly better than the one he agreed to the night before.
The salesman and manager agree.
We buy a car.
It takes only a few minutes.

The only downer for Frank was that we had to wait until Tuesday to pick up the car, we couldn't have it that day as he hoped.
But Tuesday was our actually Anniversary so that was kind of cool, in a way.

But it did mean that I had to drive 40 minutes to get my car instead of going to the dealership that is 2 miles from my house.
It also means that every time I drive past that dealership I think of Jake.
And I feel bad for him.
And for me...
no picture with the famous look-alike.

Friday, August 9, 2013

My perfect Fit

An event from May 2013:

I've never been a car person
I just don't care about them.
I don't pay attention to them and I'm not impressed by them.
I don't notice if you have a fancy one.
I don't notice if you have a crappy one.
I do want one that is reliable
(this comes from years of living in a family with many many car troubles)

But in the last couple of years I have started to loathe my minivan
Oh I can see the plusses to having one
It can carry a lot of cargo
It can haul a bunch of kids around
If we need to pick up a sheet of plywood at Home Depot, it's no problem

But my minivan days, I feel, are over.
I mean, I'm down to one kid for Pete's sake!
Sure he has a big drum set that he occasionally wants to haul someplace
but should that fact rule my life?
I should think not.

And so my days of noticing cars began.
I started to notice little cars.
And this noticing of little cars also fed into another of my natural instincts
I love to save money.
And little cars get good gas mileage.

I've mentioned before that I am a nickle and dime kind of person
and the whole "saving money by having a lower gas mileage car"
fits really well into that mind-set

My husband, on the other hand,
will start analyzing the pros and cons
of one car over another
He will talk about how the cost of the new car versus the savings on gas doesn't make sense
blah blah blah

Anyway, I started looking at small cars on the road
in brochures
in magazines
I secretly went to a couple of dealerships and sat in some
I told myself I didn't need one
But, OH, I wanted one.

And all of this wanting
made me hate my van even more.

It is dirty
It smells like boy
teenage boy
It has a couple of dings in it.
None of them by me
Its big and ugly and grey
and big
and every time I fill it up with gas I am disgusted

And I start talking about small cars
All the time.
I annoy my family.

Carter and I start pointing them out when we drive.
That one looks nice.
This one is too goofy looking.

I finally decide that I like the Honda Fit.
It seems like the perfect combination of
Little Car and still some cargo space.
Its not smart-car-tiny.
But its still definitely small.

Aaaand....I become obsessed.
We start pointing out Fits whenever we see them on the road
(yes, suddenly they are everywhere!)

Frank is still not convinced this is a good idea.
For one thing, what if we need to buy something big at Home Depot?
But, I counter, we just moved into a condo! Why would be do that?
Anyway, we can just rent the little truck from Home Depot if we need to...
What about the furniture I'm always wanting on the side of the road or at garage sales?
I admit.  That gives me pause.
But I soldier on.
I want to be rid of the mini van days!

And, although the buying of it is another story entirely...
I end up with
my perfect

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A day at the beach

Carter is away at High Adventure (Boy Scout Camp) for the week so Frank and I decided to take a day off and escape to the beach!

We started off our day right, by sleeping in a little.
Then off to our favorite diner for breakfast.
We then drove to the beach for a relaxing day.
We didn't pack a bunch of stuff, just brought our towels and chairs and beach umbrella
And of course a book to read.

The weather was perfect, not too hot with a nice breeze.

We read and walked along the sand
We ate a nice lunch
And shared some roasted nuts

Once it got close to evening we picked up our beach stuff and relocated to the stage area for the entertainment

I love this part about this beach
It feels sort of small town or something...
This cheesy band plays music
And all kinds of people get up and dance!
Kids and adults, old and young, boys and girls
I love it.