Saturday, June 6, 2015

Goodbye Week, HELLO Maggie!

You guys, holy crap, this week has been so long and so exhausting and filled with such highs and lows that I CANNOT believe that one week ago today we hadn't even hosted Claire's birthday party yet. And we did! We hosted a birthday/graduation party for twenty 4- and 5-year-olds, and then I took on a new barre schedule, work was crazy because of my impromptu accident-induced absence the week before, Landon had a graduation awards ceremony and end of year party, Claire was home for the week because her school is over but camps haven't started yet, James launched an entire freaking new company and responded to 6,357 emails and made 439 phone calls about that (only a slight exaggeration), I finally met the owners of my barre studio (weird story) while drinking wine at another teacher's impossibly gorgeous mansion and then I came home and had a complete meltdown over James's impossibly busy schedule so I got 2 hours of sleep that night before I taught my 6 a.m. barre class on Thursday morning and I needed to decorate the kitchen table mid-meltdown because Claire's birthday was also on Thursday and she's five and the birthday pig doesn't just dig itself out of the birthday drawer.

The kids began summer league swim team practice and had their first meet, and I went to every dealership in Fort Worth and bought a new car on Friday, and then we hosted Landon's birthday party at the house this afternoon. I also said goodbye to my best friend at work while he heads to a detail position in DC and then to my boss and former firm mentor (I followed him to the SEC) as he heads back to being a partner in BigLaw, leading to all kinds of career crisis questions for me.

Wednesday night outfit: totally right for wine with four ladies in a million dollar pool house while meeting the barre studio owners who hired me over the phone two months ago, right? School does not prepare you enough for these kinds of decisions

I don't think I've ever had a week like the last one. It was intense. And though it had some lows (meltDOWN on Wednesday night), it also had some incredible highs: James's company launch! Seeing orders come in for his Brick! Landon's incredible 1st grade awards ceremony in which he won ALL the awards! Clairebear turned 5! And, the subject of this post, I got a new car! NEW! Like 19 miles on it new! I've always bought used cars with at least 30-40,000 miles on them, so seeing the 19 on the odometer as I pulled away from the dealership kept making me giggle.

Her name is Maggie the Steel Magnolia and I love her so much I sat in her for an hour last night soaking in her new car smell and touching all the buttons.

Obviously, my car was ruled a total loss. The appraiser actually laughed when he told me that, like "yeah, OBVIOUSLY, your car is not going to be fixed." I'd been so determined not to let myself hope I was getting a new one that I'd made myself believe that maybe the damage wasn't all that bad, but as he said, "I mean, you're basically missing the front half," and I remembered that yeah, it was a really bad accident. So the upside of having a moment when I genuinely thought I was going to die is that the car loan for my 2009 Highlander with 98,000 miles that still had 20 months of payments left is no more! And we still had dollars leftover to make a big dent in the cost of Maggie. Liberty Mutual has been a gem throughout this process.

So back to Maggie, she has curves and all the latest features. Including a few I haven't discovered yet. I only made it to page 128 of the owner's manual last night.

I had a ticking timer on my rental car, and I also didn't like driving my rental car, so I took off work on Friday and decided to stop at each dealership in town with a car in my midsize third-row SUV category. At each one, I test drove my chosen car, told the salesman my plan (I'm driving each of these four vehicles, I'm asking for your best price, I'm going to lunch and picking one based on how much I liked driving it and how much I liked your price.), and walked away with a price. I had generally good experiences. A few manager hard sells- "what can I do to get you to drive away in this car and not go test the others?" To which I responded, "is this honestly the best price you can give me? [Adjustments made.] Okay then, there's nothing else, I'll be in touch."

I went to lunch and weighed my options. The new Highlander was a near winner, but the Santa Fe had all the features the top of the line Highlander had for less money, plus I liked that it was just a little smaller. And the sales guy was upfront and very non-pushy, so back to Hyundai I went and about 45 minutes later I drove away in my car, possibly squealing and trying not to gawk too much and focus on the road.

I seriously love her so much.

The salesman joked that no one ever reads the manual when he haeded the 4" thick book over to me. I laughed and said OH, IT WILL BE READ. Post it flags got involved. The fun nearly got out of hand.

The kids declared her "the coolest car EVER" and all of our new giant car seats fit comfortably inside with the two big kids in the back (Landon in a Britax Frontier because you can use the 5-point harness until 90 lbs.; I literally just learned that the weight limit on a car seat overall is separate from the weight limit for the 5-point harness; Claire's in a Pioneer) and Cora in her Marathon in one of the captain chairs. The third row has its own temperature control and Landon said it was "just like a spaceship" and I said, yes, yes it is.

So I survived the week and drove off into the sunset in a new car. I owe posts on both kids' birthday parties, Claire's actual birthday, and Landon's end of year stuff, plus I got a new Stitchfix, and I've found new recipes you should try. And new books! (I found a new series and read three books this week too; sometimes you need to escape and my escapes involve baths and romance novels, currently a series starring a mid-twenties attractive brunette as the grim reaper; I know, this is why I can answer the innocent, "oh, what are you reading?" question I get from coworkers all the time). Also, my grandparents are stopping by for a brief overnight visit tomorrow night and I'm subbing for another teacher's barre class tomorrow afternoon. And Cora, oh my god Cora, she's so adorable and fun it makes me ache a little. She's learning so much so fast, and she is such a combo of fiery and unbelievably sweet. She needs a post too.

But now it's 11:30 and my owner's manual and I are headed to bed. I hope you all survived your weeks as well and I'll see you on the flip side. Though I'm not entirely sure what day that means.


  1. Yay for the Sante Fe! We just bought one (in red!! squee!) 3 weeks ago and I am in love with this SUV. Seriously. I have a 5 year old and a 7 month old and was driving around a giant boat of a minivan that was just too big and I hated it. The Sante Fe is the perfect SUV size, so nice and cozy, but big enough for the kids to be comfortable. And the features! Oh my! Like you, I have no idea what all the buttons do yet. This car really is amazing for the price point. I'm so pleased you got one too! :)

  2. That roof is amazing! I'd never even heard of such a thing. I hope things slow down for you a bit soon--sounds like that was quite a tiring week. But so many good things! Enjoy :)

  3. Love my Santa Fe!

  4. Where are the tether point on the Sante Fe? We are on the hunt for a car to fit 3 kids and I am struggling to find one that has Latch and tether points in the right spots to fit 3 carseats.

    1. The two captain chairs int he second row both have Latch and tether points, and one of the two seats in the 3rd row has a tether (but no latch in 3rd row). The big kids are both in the 3rd row now, with Landon using the tether for his high back booster. When Claire gets bigger we'll move her up to the 2nd row to use the tether too, but for now I cart coworkers around a lot for lunch so it's nice allowing an adult to sit in that chair while she's still well below the required tether range.