Wednesday, November 29, 2017

family photos

one of my favorite things is taking photos to capture a moment in time. pictures are kindof my love language, actually. i love pictures mainly because they are memories. all over our house, we decorate with photos because they make our house feel more home-y. i also love using photos in gifts that i give, and i have even used them to decorate wrapping paper. you could call me photo obsessed. ;)

now that we have nephews on each side of our family, Thomas and i have loved capturing photos of them as they grow older. this year we wanted updated family pictures of both of our families, so we had a family picture day at both of our Thanksgiving celebrations! we ran out of light and weren't able to get a good photo of my entire family together, but we did get some good ones prior. and now is the fun part where i get to show off my two beautiful families! ;)



Monday, November 27, 2017

the thing about buying a car...

the first car we bought together as a married couple

this is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own.

i haven't had a car payment since 2008, and my husband paid off his car before we got married... so we haven't had a car payment the (almost) five years we've been married. i've gotta say, it's really nice not to have that extra payment each month, and we don't ever want to go back to having a car payment if we can help it.

since i've been in grad school this past year and a half, we've been living on just my husband's income while also paying for grad school. it has made things tight, but after paying so much money in loans for undergrad we did not want student loan debt this time around. it has been making me think about how glad i am that we made good financial decisions in the past, so that we don't have these extra payments now. 

we've bought three cars since we've been married, and we've been able to pay for them in full which has been so great. only one of those cars did we want to buy, the other two were for necessity. we bought the car i have now because my VW bug that i had since before college died on us. the car my husband has now, we had to buy because he totaled the first car we bought together. i'm glad that even though two of our purchases weren't planned, that we were able to pay for them in full. of course, the insurance check helped a lot with that third one.

three things we keep in mind when buying a car

o1; buy used. when you buy a new car, you lose so much value the second you drive it off the lot. if you are going to try to sell it or trade-in within a few years, it never pays to buy new. there are exceptions, if you can find a really good deal on a new car (and you will drive it for 15 years)... but those are few and far between. we have found some really great used cars with low mileage. you just have to really look at multiple places, and even check out car ads for people that are selling their own cars. the first car we bought as a couple, we bought from a woman who was selling her car. it was nice not to have to deal with a salesman, and know exactly what we were getting.

o2; do your research. know about the car you are looking to buy and what the market price should be. that way, when you are talking to a car salesman, he will know you have done your research and you are more likely to know if he is stretching the truth a bit. a great place to do research is, where you can read about different cars and also see reviews that customers have made of cars they've purchased. you can put in everything you want in a car, and it will show you the market price for that car with all of those specifics. it is a good thing to know if you are going to try to negotiate! you can even put in specifics about your car and it will tell you what you should expect to get from a dealer or if you sell it yourself.

o3; have a price and be prepared to walk. when we bought my car, we set a price we were willing to pay (based on money we had saved up) and we were prepared to walk if the salesman couldn't match our price. knowing what we were willing to spend, helped us when we were looking at cars also. if the car we liked was way over our price, we didn't even entertain the idea. we set our price a little lower when we told the salesman, so if he wanted to go up some we had wiggle room in our budget. this only works if you are willing to walk if they won't negotiate for the price you have set. we basically said "we have this amount in cash that we can pay" and had the cash ready to hand over. i think we stood up and were about to walk out when they agreed to the price. but salesmen know if you are bluffing, so you have to be ready to actually leave. sometimes, you may actually leave and drive off... and they will call you to say they can do your price. it is all about knowing what you are willing to pay and not going over that amount. sometimes a salesman may not go for it and you will leave without getting a call. that's okay... just find another car place to negotiate at and get the price you want. 

what is your philosophy on buying cars?

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

project 12 | October

i love having my years captured month by month and plan to keep up with project 12 this year as i can. it's fun to look back on the details of our year at the end of it, as well as seeing how we change through the photos each month. :)


i had three big papers due before fall break, so you could say i was ready for the break by the time it came! ;) this semester, all of my assignments are spread out so there is constantly something due each week which makes it stressful. i try my best to work ahead as much as i can, but constantly feel like i can't get ahead on the big assignments. i was able to work ahead in two of my classes before break, which i'm thankful for because as soon as we got home i had a nasty upper respiratory virus and an ear infection. i was pretty sick the entire week and hardly had energy to do any school work, so i was glad i worked ahead and could take time to rest. fall break was also the midpoint of the semester, so at least i am traveling downhill now!

over fall break we went up to KY and OH with my parents and my in-laws to visit some of our family friends and the Creation Museum & Ark Encounter. once i found out that there were animals at both places... i was in. ;) it was a short weekend trip, but it was fun and kinda like a mini-family vacation with both families. i read the story of Noah and the ark in the Bible before we went so it was cool to think about it while "seeing" the ark. even though no one knows exactly how it was built (because that's not the point of the story) it was cool to see how big it was and imagine how it all worked.

the weather finally cooled off about mid-month and it actually feels like fall around these parts now. which i'm thankful for because after living in the armpit of SC for two summers, it was a long time coming! i just hope fall temps stick around for a little while... fall, you are a welcome friend! 

October 3 - picnic dinner at the lake
October 13 - dinner out & celebrating finishing my 3rd paper of the month
October 16 - saw Air Force One at the airport cause the president was in town
October 17 - toured an Inpatient facility with my supervisor
October 18 - meeting with my supervisor and the school liaison
October 20-22 - family trip to KY & OH
October 29 - afternoon trip to the mountains

what have you been up to this month?