New Car!!

Yeah! Today we closed the deal on my new car. I didn't have time to take my own pictures so here are a few of my actual car from the dealership:



It's a 2007 Pontiac G5 with 27,000 miles. I am so excited! It gets 10 mpg more than my Jeep and we are saving a couple thousand on our loan and my payment went down too! We are going to put the extra money on Clint's truck because it is almost paid off, then we'll have Clint's truck payment to put towards my car. Hopefully we can pay it off in less than 2 years! Happy Birthday to me!

edit: This car is an improvement over the Jeep for a few reasons (that my stalker sister reminded me of). My Jeep had a radio, cassette player, and an mp3 input...but no cd player. Also, when I say radio, I mean a tuner style radio, with a dial and all. So I never could really get a station unless I tried hard. My new car has actual preset radio stations! You never realize how nice they are until they aren't there! I also have a cd player now! I remember last year when the Sugarland CD came out and I rushed to Target to buy it. On my way to my car I ripped the package open, hopped in the Jeep, and held the cd in the air while I realized that I still had no cd player. I had to wait until I got home! Boo.

Another bonus is that my number 2 setting on the air/heater control works! In the Jeep the 1st, 3rd, and 4th setting all worked great. So you either had just a little air or full blast, which sucked. Now they all work!

Finally, the back rest part of the passenger seat in my Jeep was tilted so you kind of sat at an angle. Now you can sit straight! Woo Hoo!

So that pretty much sums up my new purchase!

Country Fresh


As most people know, I worked at Cracker Barrel for almost 5 years. The first 6 months or so I worked in Bloomington when I went to IU. I started there as a hostess because I didn't have any serving experience but I slowly earned my way to the server line. I transferred to the Plainfield CB when I transferred to IUPUI. Let me just say that it was a culture experience. There were maybe a handful of girls working there that were under the age of 35 and only 1 boy server at the time. Of course there were male cooks and managers but the restaraunt has around 50 servers. Talk about estrogen and menopause.

After the first night I wanted to quit...but I slowly grew to love it there. I actually liked working there more because everyone as a whole was a lot more dependable than the college kids that ran the Bloomington CB.

In case you are wondering, and this was the most popular question, "What do those stars mean?" Well, you earn 1 star after your 1st month and 1st passing evaluation. You earn your 2nd star after another 3 months and another passing evaluation. You earn your 3rd star after another six months and passing evaluation. You can earn the coveted 4th star after a grand total of about 2 years and multiple evaluations scoring 98%. Of course, I never missed an evaluation and earned 4 stars in both hostessing and serving. So in all, I had 8 stars. Impressive, I know.

After almost 5 years, even I had regulars! Of course they could all be my grandparents but they tipped well and I really enjoyed waiting on them. It was so nice to be requested and to have them look forward to you waiting on them.

Well the end of this magnificent journey had to come sometime...last January to be exact. I have only eaten there twice since then, which seems crazy since it was my favorite restaurant before I started working there. Before working there I only ever got the french toast. Well, I learned that I liked the chicken strips both grilled and fried, the pancakes, the pork bbq, and of course just a cheeseburger. All of a sudden I feel hungry. I miss a lot of the people I worked with, although I still see some every so often. One thing I don't miss is the grease you wear home; it's on your skin, your clothes, your hear, everywhere! Grosses me out just thinking about it.

The best part of serving is that it is one job I know I can do that the rest of my family could never do! :)

Criminal Minds

As my closest family members know, I am addicted to 2 shows.

Law and Order: SVU. This is my original addiction. Not only do I own several seasons on DVD I got my sister hooked too. Both of our DVR's are full of SVU's.


My second, newer addiction is Criminal Minds. I have been watching old episodes from my DVR ever since Clint started working on the rental house we bought. If I have to sit alone at home, I might as well watch my fave show!

I know I could be doing much better things instead of watching tv: cleaning, laundry, lesson planning, playing with Zoe, reading books...but I am addicted. I am especially addicted to Dr. Spencer Reid. He is the tall nerdy one in the back. He is a super genius with nice wispy hair :)

Of course I have one other show that I am anticipating the season premier for: Amazing Race. I would LOVE to be on this show! I love traveling and want to travel so much more. I also love competition! The only problem might be my potential partner: Clint :)

What do you love to watch?

Traveling


I couldn't think of a better title to this blog post so I decided to just be straight to the point.

I have traveled a little bit in my short life (yes I know I am about to be 25 but that is still a short amount of time to me!) but not extensively. I do have hopes though of reaching the far corners of the earth, like my sister Lindsay. It just might take some time.

Here is a quick rundown of where I have been so far:

California - I was born here, so I know it kind of doesn't count...except that I left before I was 5. I have been back a few times but that last was way back in 1996 (I think) with my sister. There is a plan in the making to create an RV experience out there with my sister.
Colorado - last summer Clint and I drove to Evergreen, Colorado with my bff and her boyfriend. It was so pretty there! We stayed at the highest point in Evergreen (at least on our 'little' mtn). The drive was half the fun! I really enjoy road trips!

Pittsburgh - see previous post about this trip...really enjoyed it although it was brief.

Scarborough, Canada - In 6th grade I played softball in the Peace Games. We traveled by bus (again, another road trip!) to Scarborough. We went to an amusement park among other things that don't really stick out in my mind. We played 2 games, both of which I pitched. I had a really good time seeing some place so 'different'.

Ocho Rios, Jamaica - Clint and I spent our honeymoon at a Couples Resort in Jamaica. It was absolutely beautiful! The ocean was the perfect temperature so we barely used the pools and the sand felt good between our toes! We decided as soon as we got that they we would return some day.

Well those are the more exciting trips I have taken. Of course I have been other places; Michigan with Hilary twice, Myrtle Beach with the family years ago, Holiday World several times, and Yellowstone national park when I was younger. Most of those trips didn't have anything too exciting or I don't remember many details.

My next post will be about the places that I really want to see and actually have plans to get there someday (as opposed to just wanting to go there). Leave me comments about great travel ideas/destinations!

16 mpg? you gotta be kidding me!

So everyone knows that I drive this cute little Jeep Wrangler:

Well, some people don't know what kind of gas mileage it gets. Let me tell you: crappy. I really like my Jeep and don't mind the terrible gas mileage because I don't really drive that much anymore. Well, when Clint and I drove to PA we drove my sister's Cobalt. It got almost 35 mpg! Seriously! That's double my mpg! We got to Pennsylvania on 10 gallons of gas.

So, Clint and I had this awesome plane that we would try to sell my car. I don't know if you know anything about Jeep people, but they love their Jeeps. I didn't think that it would be too hard to sell it and not lose too much money on it. So far it hasn't been successful. We want to sell it outright because trade-ins never get much.



We might try to trade it in though for a Cobalt or something similar. We will lose some money on the Jeep, but my payment and loan would be a lot less, the gas bill would be less, and the insurance would probably be less too. Not to mention that it would be helpful for the environment! Too bad I can't get a hybrid. Keep your fingers crossed that we can work something out!

Pittsburgh

This weekend we visited two high school friends who moved to Pittsburg after college. Clint's friend got a job out their and his girlfriend moved with him. Well, Justin has visited Clint and all their friends several times since moving to PA, but no one has really been out their to visit them. We decided to make good use of our three day weekend and drive out there.

Saturday we left around 1pm...much later than we had planned. We borrowed my sister's Cobalt to get better gas mileage. And by better, I mean almost double what both of our vehicles get. We made it there and back on 20 gallons. Not bad. So good actually that we are debating a vehicle change in our household. More on that later.

We got to their new townhouse and ordered pizza. We then ventured to downtown Pittsburg. There are 3 rivers that go into the downtown area. It made the city look so neat. I forgot my camera the first night, so I don't have anything pretty to show :( We went to Bar Louie for a few drinks. It was a really nice bar...seemed fancy but the city was like an old industrial building. They had these cute little cozy booths...but they were too small for 6 people.

Next we headed to a little strip of 3 bars: Bar Room, Saddleridge, and Steelhouse. Steelhouse was just a regular bar, except way bigger than any in Indy. It was nearly empty so we decided to try out Saddleridge. This is a country-rock bar. Complete with a mechanical bull. Of course, Clint had to try it out. He had tried it once before at 8 seconds and was thrown off very quickly. However, in PA he lasted pretty long. Check out the video to see for yourself :)


video

We hung out here for a while because it was more happenin than Steelhouse and not as loud as Bar Room. Bar Room was a really loud dance club with a huge dance floor. We spent a little time there in the middle of the evening but it was so loud and there were drink spilled everywhere. We ended up going back to Steelhouse for a little bit and then decided to call it a night.

Sunday we ate at EatnPark, which is kind of like Dennys. It was pretty good. We then decided to catch a Pittsburgh Pirates game. Bri and Justin have seen quite a few games and even got free bucket hats. I decided that I wanted to be a true fan that day, as well as make Clint one too.


I also took some nice downtown views.


So in conclusion, I decided that I really love Pittsburg. Except that I can never remember the h at the end of Pittsburgh. I kept telling Clint that we should move there. If I could get my family to move there I would totally be for it 100%. I love the big city feel that Indianapolis is seriously lacking. He wasn't too keen on the idea...mostly because of family and friends. We'll see in a few years :)

family...for better or even better?

So my family is pretty close...and I don't mean just one side either. I'll explain it from both sides.

Dad's Side
My grandma has birthday dinners every month (except a few). Whoever has a birthday that month gets to pick the dinner menu and dessert. If there are 2 birthdays, then there are 2 entrees. Sweet deal huh? Now I wouldn't say that these get togethers are anything spectacular. They are actually kind of overwhelming now. When I was little I loved going to grandma's because we would usually go to a hockey game and stay the whole weekend (blog on weekedns at grandmas to follow). Now, as an adult, it is overstimulating. My grandma and 2 aunts talk the whole night...and I don't mean each takes turns. Oh no. They all 3 talk the whole night, at the same time, all trying to be the loudest. Nevertheless, it's family time that I do enjoy. When Clint first started going to family events was when I noticed he was a bit dramatic. He would say that we were always going to grandma's for dinner. I thought once a month was nothing. Well...we hang out with Clint's extended family maybe 3 times a year. So, I see where he is coming from.

Mom's Side
Now...when I say my mom's side I actually just mean my mom. Her whole family lives in California...so obviously we don't have monthly get togethers. I do see my mom a lot though. We love to get together for game nights. We are all avid game players...and good ones at that. My favorite 3 games also happen to be my sister Lindsay's least favorite games...Peanut, Shanghai Rummy, and Blurt. She claims that it's because they are too fast paced. I think it's because she can't hang. I feel like I need to blog soley on games now...more on Sardines later.

So basically...I get a large dose of hanging out with the family. Clint took some time getting used to it but now he just whines in silence because he knows we ignore it :)