Y’all, this is a big day for me! As of today, my car is all paid off and is officially 100% mine. 🙂 WAHOO! I’ve been in a pretty good mood about it all day long. Several months ago I decided I could bite the bullet to double my monthly payment in order to pay my car off early. I’m not supposed to be done until July. Take that car payment, credit union, and interest! Boo-yah! I even just double checked my account balance online and it shows some lovely zeros. I am so stoked about this. I will go Saturday to close my account, get back the overage from my payment along with my $5 from opening my account with them. It will be delightful closure to owning my car. Yes ma’am, it will. This is my first car to pay off on my own. The last car that was in my name, but paid off, my great aunt helped me finish the last payments. It was fun to have it paid off and when I got into my terrible wreck, I was so thankful because it allowed me to have options. However, this time around I earned it. I worked hard for it. I sacrificed the last 6 months and I made it. Mazda3, you are all mine. It is finished. Here are some pictures from the day I bought it and then this week. Cue the circle of life music. 🙂

Mazda3 and Me - April 2007

Mazda3 and Me - February 2012

My Valentine’s Day was quite lovely. My brother called tonight with a cooking question and it was funny to hear that miles apart we both had chocolate lava cakes on our Valentine’s agendas. L and I went out to dinner, which was a new thing for us. Neither of us could recall the last time we had been out to eat on Valentine’s Day.
Mandola's Tray          Valentine's Dinner
We went for a good walk when we got home, then came home to make these cakes. Oh man. Last year we made them and cooked them too long so they weren’t so lava-y. This year I remembered this mistake so we cooked them for fewer minutes. Too fewer minutes, as it turns out. When he turned them upside down on the plate, one of them immediately splooshed out the sides. Uhm. That can’t be good. When we got the baking dishes off, they just oozed into piles of not-at-all-cooked-enough cake batter. I touched the batter and it was hardly warm in the middle. Well that’s not okay at all. We ate some of the edges that were clearly cooked, and it was good.
Splooshed          Oozed Out
But the rest we just disposed off because we weren’t trying to say “I love you” with salmonella or other food borne illness. 🙂 It was pretty funny and we did a lot of laughing about it. I got some beautiful tulips as well. They are quite cheerful on my counter.

Valentine's Day Tulips

Cheerful Tulips!

You all should know I’m a weed spreader. Along with a love of tulips and gerber daisies, I love dandelions. Love. I know they are weeds and people who have yards probably hate them, and me for spreading them. I am nearly compulsive about picking and blowing on them when I see them in full bloom on the side of the road or in a field. They are so tempting with their fragile spores that I can send along their merry way with a strong breath. It’s so fun! Sometimes I make a wish, sometimes not. I did it three times tonight on my walk around the neighborhood across the street. Weed spreader. I’m not all apologetic either. Doesn’t this look pretty? I think so. I love them.

Life has has a lot of challenges for me lately. Today there were two sets of lyrics that were particularly encouraging and inspirational for me. I hope they are for you too.

Beautiful Things – Gungor (chorus only here)
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new

Get Back Up – TobyMac (chorus excerpt)
You may be knocked down,
But not out forever,
Lose our way,
We get back up again,
So get up, get up,
You gonna shine again,
Never too late to get back up again,
You may be knocked down,
But not out forever

Good will come from the tough stuff. That’s how character and faith are developed, I think. It’s how I have an opportunity to practice what I believe. And it’s good to remember, that in the moment I may be knocked down, but it’s not permanent. I will get back up. I will have something beautiful made out of my life. And friend, if you are feeling hurt or discouraged, I promise – you will too. Beautiful things come from the dust. That’s His promise to us. I hope that gives you the same hope it does to me on the days that suck.

My foodie pen pal package will be here early next week! I’m quite excited about it! After pondering, I think I will have to sit out next month. I’m traveling to Phoenix for a conference and the timing will make things complicated/stressful. Bummer. But I’ll probably rejoin the group for April. Good times.

I hope you all have had great weeks! What did you do to commemorate Valentine’s Day? How do you encourage yourself when you are feeling down and out? What motivates you to keep going? Do tell!


1 Comment

Filed under Faith, Food, Holidays, Money

One response to “It is FINISHED!

  1. Yeah!!! Congrats on *owning* your car!

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