Good Bye Old Girl

Well, the time has finally come to replace my car. It’s been a good car for me, but it’s finally reached the age where it’s more of a hassle to maintain it, than it would be to replace it. Matt and I had already determined we were going to replace it before next winter, but a few car troubles have prompted us to push up the timeline a bit. After Thanksgiving, my car started blinking the low coolant warning light. I of course treat every warning light on my vehicle as though it has just transformed my vehicle into a ticking time bomb, so that freaked me out a little. After a coolant flush, I was getting the light again, and it got to the point where I had to top up the coolant weekly. I was losing coolant somewhere, but I could never find a puddle of leaked antifreeze under my car. Last Saturday night the temperature gauge starting creeping dangerously close to red line, and we finally decided that we didn’t really want to invest the time and money into fixing a coolant issue, since we already planned on replacing the car in a few months.

I’m kind of sad to see the car go; it’s still my first car, and it has a lot of memories for me. Of course, I AM looking forward to being rid of the hassles it’s given me.

Ok, forget that last bit of sentimentality. We just got back from the dealership, and I now have a shiny, dark blue, 2008 Toyota Matrix. I never realized how crappy the Saturn was until I drove something that didn’t suck. And the Matrix is niiiice. It has power windows, power locks, a moon roof and loads of cargo space. The old Saturn can go bugger off. Goodbye Old Screamer! (Bonus points, and perhaps cookies, if you catch the reference.)

The Wedding!

The wedding was October 6th, and it went off (mostly) without a hitch. The weather was drastically hotter than either Matt or I had hoped for; we chose October for fall colors and cooler weather, not record setting highs of 87°F. The church had air conditioning, though, so it all worked out in the end. Outside of the unseasonably warm weather, the only slight hiccup was that the flower girl, my 2 1/2 year old niece Laurel, got about 2/3 of the way up the aisle before she changed her mind and ducked down a pew. No screaming or crying, just a slight detour, so it could have been much worse.

Overall, things just went well; the flowers were beautiful, the food was tasty, and the photographer was fabulous. Any doubts Matt had about dropping the amount of money we did on the photographer were gone as soon as the portraits started. She was friendly, quick, and took beautiful shots (what I saw on her camera, at least). The proofs should be ready in about 4 to 6 weeks, and I can’t wait to see them. I’ll post the link once they’re ready, so everyone can check them out.

I just got the photo CD from my sister of all the pictures she took that weekend; I’m expecting another CD from mom & dad any day now, with the pictures they took. Once I get them all cleaned up and weed out the less fabulous shots, I’ll put them up at the gallery. I need to finish up the honeymoon pictures, too, and post them; expect a barrage of photos in the near future.

Welcome Baby Marin!

Say hello to my newest niece; Marin Ava, born September 12th at 7:26pm.

Funny story – Nikki & Mark didn’t want to find out the gender before the baby was born (like with Laurel). Mom was CONVINCED this baby was going to be a boy; she bought blue EVERYTHING. So the night Marin was born, Mom was gathering up all the baby boy clothing she had bought from Kohl’s, and trying to take it back before they closed at 10pm.

Go here to view to rest of the photos.

Bridal Shower Photos and more

This past Saturday was my bridal shower up in Traverse City. It was pretty fun, as far as bridal showers go, I must say. Lots of fun games, tasty food, and family. And lots of kitchen gadget goodness! Of course, now we need a bigger kitchen to hold all the kitchen stuff. Or maybe a storage unit – Matt & I still haven’t claimed our storage unit in the basement of the apartment yet.

The day after the bridal shower, we had a surprise baby shower brunch for Nikki & Mark, since their baby is due about a month before the wedding. Apparently she had no clue, even when she walked into the restaurant and saw Mark’s family there. She was under the assumption that the brunch was for Matt & I, and was terribly confused as to why her in-laws would be at our brunch.

Set Phasers to ‘Shop’

So last night we (and by “we,” I mean “I”) caught Hell for not having registered anywhere for the wedding. I never know where to register, or what to register for. Mom sort of took care of the first one for us – she told people were going to register at Target and Kohl’s, which works. So tonight Matt & I filled out the registry, and got one of the fun little zappy guns, and registered for things at Target. Having had my own place for over 2 years, though, I already had most of the household basics. We have a full set of Pfaltzgraff dishes, new towels, a nice vacuum, a KitchenAid mixer, basic furniture, a decent TV, DVD/VCR. Pretty much the entire kitchen is set. Being content with what you have makes it difficult to register for things you want. It’s not that we don’t want things, it just that some things we wouldn’t register for until we had a house, or a garage. And while I’d like a nice big flat screen television, who would buy one for us? I think our registry is going to be a bit fun, if nothing else.

Wedding Music!

Well, I think my dad just solved my problem in trying to find a song for the Father/Daughter dance at our reception. I was brainstorming, trying to find an appropriate song, and the best I could come up with was Butterfly Kisses. It’s not a bad song, but I think it’s a bit overused and impersonal. So today I get an email from dad, saying unless I already had something I wanted to use, he was requesting “I Loved Her First” by Heartland. I hadn’t heard it, so I searched online, and I think we have a winner. For those of you that haven’t heard it, I’ve embedded it below. Opinions?

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I Totally Love Big Lots

Matt & I were out tonight, picking up some things for the apartment – he needed a nightstand, and we were looking for a small bookshelf for the office, to hold computer books. We went to Big Lots, since they were closed Sunday when we tried last. Holy crap! We should have gone earlier! Not only did they have a nice little nightstand, and a short bookshelf, and a magnetic towel bar for the kitchen, they had ANIME! Good anime, even! They had the Cowboy Bebop: Best Sessions for $3! Sure, it’s not the whole series, but it’s only $3. They had stacks of anime; lots of which I’d not heard of before. We got the first volume of Galaxy Angel and Panda Z for $3 each, as well. Even if they turn out to be crap, they were only $3.

Finally moved in!

This past weekend, Matt & I moved into our new apartment. It’s really nice – nearly twice as large as my old apartment. Third floor apartment, too, so it was LOTS of fun moving stuff in. We still don’t everything situated the way we want, but we’re getting there. The old apartment has been a major hassle, though. I contacted the leasing agent at the old apartment, to let them know we’re not renewing the lease when it expires at the end of the month, and we’ve made alternate arrangements since we never heard back from them about the availability of a 2 bedroom apartment. Now they’re like “Oh no, we need a 30 day written notice!” Um, my LEASE EXPIRES. I didn’t RENEW. I’m not breaking my lease, just not renewing it. And now they’re trying to tell me my lease expires the end of July, not the end of June. Try again – my original lease was January 2005 through December 2005. When that expired, I signed an 18 month lease, from January 2006 through June 2007. It’s this kind of crap that caused me to LEAVE the old apartment. I was there for less than 30 months, and in that time there were at LEAST 3 different leasing agents. No one informed anyone else of what was going on – the original leasing agent waived the pet rent, but didn’t note it on the lease, and 2 subsequent leasing agents started harassing me for having a cat. They were bad about upkeep; my screen door was bad when I moved in, and was never fixed. The cupboard underneath the garbage disposal was moldy and warped from when the disposal leaked. They replaced the disposal, but ignored my requests to do something about the cupboard underneath. When the doorknob for my apartment broke and needed to be replaced, it took them nearly a week to replace it. I’ll be happy when I don’t have to deal with them anymore.

Just Popping in to say “Hi”

I’ve been meaning to post a bit, but I’ve been a bit preoccupied the past week or so – Matt & I move into our new apartment this weekend, and I don’t have nearly enough stuff packed as I had hoped. This past weekend we went up to Traverse City for my cousin’s wedding – photos are coming soon, I promise. Once we get moved and a bit more settled, expect to see posts more often.

Photos from the Kent Trail

So the weather has finally warmed up to the point where we can start going for bike rides again. Wednesday was our second time out this season – still not up to the full 11 mile round trip, but working our way up there. The last time we went, I couldn’t believe all the flowers that were in bloom, and wished I’d brought my camera. This time I had no such regrets – I made a point of bringing my camera along. I took pictures of all sorts of pretty flowers, including these purple ones I can’t identify. I was fairly confident that it was a variety of phlox, but all the references online say that phlox has five petals, not four. Any ideas?