ok so here's the deal:

You get two choices - The Short Version or the Long Version.

The Short Version:
Truck is Dead. Long live the Neon. Jetta is the new black. Brett is going to be an adult. I need to go to church more often.

The Long Version:
While we were in Texas we started having some oil problems with the truck. Sounds like the oil sending unit was going out. We were able to make it back home, no major issues. The day after we got home (Sunday), we started getting snow and ice. We wound up hitting a patch of ice on the road, less than half a mile from our house. We lost control of the truck (at like 10 miles per hour) and hit a light pole. No one was hurt, but it crunched in the front passenger side quarter panel and the headlight. Called the insurance company, filed a claim.

Monday, because of the snow and ice, the body shop was closed. so we had to wait until Tuesday to have them come pick it up. We were left with only my car - which i have always called "arthritic" because it doesn't like to work really well in cold weather. We knew we were going to be blowing our whole savings on the $1000 deductible that was on the truck to fix the front end damage. So we had no money for a rental car. My dad let us put the rental on his card, and we were riding around in a 2010 Honda Accord for a week and a half.

The Friday of the second week, we were able to pick the truck up from the shop. I guess from it sitting idle for almost two weeks, it was clanking and banging in the engine - BAD. so we had to take the rental back - bc the insurance wasn't going to pay for it, now that we got the truck out of the shop.

We basically decided then and there that we were going to have to trade the truck in on whatever we could. #1 to get a vehicle that was going to be reliable, and #2. to get the truck out of our hands, we didn't have the money to fix it, better to just cut our losses - it was paid off in August.

Tom talked to our credit union, and got some figures and rates, and we started looking online for vehicles. We found a few that were in our price range, but most were previous rental cars - which i refuse to buy, and they ALL had really high mileages for the years they were.

During this time, we also did some work on my Neon. Come to find out, the thermostat was bad, and it was causing my car to not operate at "Normal Operating Temperature". We drained the coolant, replaced the thermostat, and replaced the coolant, and, pardon my French, "I'll be damned" if she doesn't work like a newer car! She doesn't die on us like before, the heater works. It's amazing!

Wednesday night, while I was on the treadmill, Tom decided to hit up Landers Imports' website on a whim - and there it was: a 2007 Volkswagen Jetta, great mileage, pretty car, decent amenities. Great price. So we decided to put in a dealership info request through the internet to get some more info about it.

The next morning (Thursday - 1/27), Tom got a call from one of the sales women, saying that they had just gotten the car in, and weren't sure if we'd be able to test drive it that night, but if we wanted to come look at it, we were more than welcome to. We jumped at the chance, and went after work. She was right, the service guys were still checking it over, and we weren't allowed to test drive it. They hadn't even cleaned it by the time we got there.

Come to find out, they had only made the trade in for the car less than a week prior, and they had only had it on their lot for 2 days. Now, somethings gave me goosebumps on this first day: 1. When Tom got into the driver's seat, he went to kick the seat back for his long legs, and said "Woops, I'm too far back!" It's the first time i have EVER heard my husband say that in a car! 2. When we were shopping for houses, we found our house when it was only on sale for - get this - TWO DAYS. How funny is that?!?

Anyway, we really liked the car, and asked when we might be able to test drive it. She said either Friday evening, or Saturday. She also said she'd give us a call. Well, we didn't get a call on Friday, so we gave her a call Saturday about 9 a.m. She said the car is available for test driving, if we are still interested (well, no duh! we are still calling about the car... ding dong. lol!) They also requested that we bring the trade in.

This worried us, because of all the clanking in the engine - I was really terrified that it wouldn't make it. So, tom drove the durango, and I drove my little car. I followed him, the whole time, keeping my eyes peeled, in case he threw his hazards on to pull over. From where I was, behind him, I didn't see any problems. When we pulled into the lot, I didn't hear any problems. Here's why:

We took back roads to the lot, that way, we weren't putting extra stress on the truck. Also, in case we broke down, we were stuck on the freeway lol! Anyway, so on these backroads, they are kind of hilly, so from what Tom said, whenever he crested a hill, he'd throw the engine into neutral, to try and save what cylinders he had. He said he could tell when we lost a cylinder - because of the scraping and stuff. Well, at one hill, when he threw it into neutral, the engine DIED on him... and wouldn't turn back on. So, he kept trying and FINALLY it started back up for him. There is a huge hill right outside the dealership. Tom said that when he crested that hill, he turned the engine off, and just coasted down into the lot, and into a parking spot.

We are thanking God right now that the truck made it. Technically, it should NOT have made it. Tom says that the 8 cylinder engine MIGHT have had 3 or 4 cylinders still working when we turned it off. It's honestly by God's grace that we made it.

It was so weird, whenever the manager went out to start it, to value the trade in amount, because we could hear it inside, and on the far end of the building. it was a scary, terrifying sound. and it did NOT want to start. So they gave us bare minimum on trade in value. I'm thinking if we had traded in my pink bicycle, we might have gotten more on trade in value. lol!

Anyway, after that, we did the test drive. Tom and I each drove it on the highway, backroads, hills and curves. I was very pleased with the handling, lots of safety amenities, lots of cup holders, moon roof. it was nice. We were very happy. So, after the test drive, I didn't even ask Tom, I just asked the lady "So what do we need to do to make it ours?" lol!

Then, we did the financing, which took about an hour and a half. The guy we talked to was AWESOME! We had financing through our credit union, but he was able to get us a MUCH better deal. for a 2007 Jetta, we are paying $40 more than we were paying on the 2003 Durango. Plus Gap insurance (basically if you total out the car, and you owe more on it than the total amount, the Gap insuarance makes it to where you won't have to keep paying on a car that is totalled.), it also includes a warranty - bumper-to-bumper, and Taxes and Sales tax. We are so pleased with our experience.

The only downfall is, they still had some service work to do - for example, the headliner (i always call it the ceiling carpet lol!) was coming down in one place, so they ordered a whole new peice - it was supposed to be there on Friday, but it didn't come in, so it'll have to be done on Monday. and when we were test driving it, we noticed that one of the blinkers was accelerated, which means there is a light out on that side somewhere. So they are SUPPOSED to get all that done on Monday and/or Tuesday at the latest. So we should have our car in the next two days.

We are SO excited. If anyone is wanting a great experience while buying a car, please try out Landers Imports - the sales woman's name was Susan, and our financing guy was Jonathan. They were AWESOME. They do have an expensive lot: Land Rovers, VW, Jaguar. we are hoping, when it comes time to trade in my neon, to work with them again.

That's been the frustration of my January. The good points: 1. I was asked to make a wedding cake for one of the girls in the office. She's having a "low key wedding" so nothing super fancy, but white cake, white buttercream, black fondant ribbon, and black frosting squiggles. I'm also thinking about making red chocolate candies to put on the middle of the three tiers. I think that will tie in everything nicely. Their colors are black and white, with a touch of red (basically the roses).

Also! I got a promotion! I am now the License Director - at least that's what I think my title is anyway! I have my own office! I love it! I LOVE the new position, and I really like still being able to help the girls doing testings.

AND! my nephew Brett is getting confirmed in the next few months, and I'm so proud of him. I remember my Confirmation, and it meant so much to me. Basically, for those that don't know: Catholics get Confirmed around the age of 14, 15, 16. It is when a Catholic Young Person becomes an adult in the eyes of the church. The sins of a child fall on their parents, basically because the parent should be teaching them better, or taking better care of them. When a Young Person is confirmed, those sins are on their own shoulders. Each Young Person chooses a Sponsor, who is supposed to help them in the learning process. I have been told by my sister, that my nephew wants ME to be his sponsor. Before today, I had not been to church in almost a year. Not because I didn't want to. but I felt I didn't have to. I pray to God every day. I try to thank Him for everything we have, and I always believe their is a reason for everything. i never thought about what it was doing to my neice and nephews. I forget sometimes that these kids look at EVERYTHING I do, and they either admire it, or they dispise it. I've tried very hard during their whole lives to make sure I was not a bad influence with things I do, I never thought about the things I don't do. y'know?

Ok, enough rambling! Sorry it's so long! I guess my "Short version" was too much of a teaser, ehh?

<3 Jessica


Checking in!

Hey guys! I'm on vacation! I know things get super hectic and super crazy this time of year!!

Slow down!!

Love you all!!