Debt Free Glamour

Weeee'reDeeeeebtFreeeee!

 

This has been very exciting for the Fittin Family. Being debt free has changed the way we think about money and how we ultimately live our lives. I’ve talked before about how we got there, and I’ve since learned that staying that way is something that is always a task.

Our culture thrives on debt. Who needs to save for something and actually have the correct amount of money to buy it when you could just…you know…not. Something like buying a car is enough to make you want to throw in the chips and be done with it all. This is what we recently found out anyway. I kid you not, we went to one car lot and the salesman asked us if we were cash or credit. We said “cash” and he went inside to “check on something” and DID NOT EVEN COME BACK OUT TO HELP US.

Anyway.

We sold our second car, the one I primarily drove, in order to pay off our last remaining debt, Bryan’s car. I was quitting my job to stay home and we were just really itching to be done with the whole debt thing. I didn’t drive much outside of work anyway, and thankfully we had some amazing friends with an extra car who were willing to let us borrow it while we saved up for another vehicle.

It was totally worth it, because now we are the proud owners of this beauty!

2014-11-18 14.06.14

Um, just kidding.

I really want to tell you that being debt free is this awesome, that you can buy crap like this left and right because NO MORE ANNOYING DEBT BILLS.

But I’d be lying. The truth is, being debt free is awesome, but not in the ways you’d think. We still have to budget, like a lot. We’re still learning how not to have a steady second income for that extra cushion. We don’t get to go on shopping sprees and have a lot of fancy stuff. For real, y’all. You should see Grady’s nursery right now. We are t- minus 4 weeks to due date and he just now got a crib. We’re still missing so many necessities. (If you see me out and about, please take the time to remind this frustrated nester that people have babies every day by squatting on the ground and they have them sleep on dirt and don’t have their video monitoring devices set up yet and they are totally fine. Thank you.)

We’re missing them because we have to save for them.

It’s no fun.

But you know what? It’s still worth it. We don’t owe anyone anything unless it’s for utilities or other services we use. That feels pretty awesome. BOTH of our cars are fully ours. All of our large appliances (As non-updated as they may be) are fully ours. All of the other crap that people usually owe some random bank or JC Penny for is fully ours. 

And that feels pretty good.

What doesn’t feel great is car shopping on a mediocre budget. I am…how-you-say… extremely and overly picky. I was not about to buy a car that someone had smoked in, that had weird, unknown stains in it, or that I felt like I was on borrowed time with. Bryan loves this about me, you can ask him. Be sure to ask him about hotels too, he loves shopping around for hotels with me on trips. I make it super easy and fun.

Bryan and I actually had this conversation multiple times as we drove through the lot and saw all of the shiny, new, awesome cars.

“So, do you want to just finance a car?” “Actually, yes. Can we do that please?”

It was not at all easy to stand our ground here.

Because we are about to more than double our family, we needed a third row. This meant a giant huge car. I was down with a Tahoe, but super not down with a Suburban. Bryan was all over the Suburban thing. “We can haul so much photography equipment!” Correction, buddy. You can haul photography equipment a few times a month, meanwhile I’m stuck driving children around in this thing like it is literally my job.

We found a Tahoe that looked all sleek and awesome on the outside, but was all not awesome on the inside like at all. Rips and stains abounded, but I was willing to take it because it was decidedly not a Suburban. Our offer was turned down on it, so we headed back out to the lot to search for the winner. Guess what it was?

2014-11-18 14.06.21

Can’t make this up. Apparently my efforts to show God that I have nothing left to learn have not been convincing, because He gave us this. A giant Suburban in one of my least favorite car colors. And y’all, I can’t even deny how awesome it is.

It is big enough for our future crazy family. It has bucket seats, allowing me to have the comforts of a minivan without the whole “driving a minivan” part. It has had one owner, and was not used as a kid-car, so the 13-year-old gray leather seats are pristine and I swear have been sat in like 4 times tops. Best of all, it was comfortably in our budget.

Perfect.

I do feel like a beast driving around in this thing. JUST TRY TO MESS WITH ME, CRAZY ARKANSAS DRIVERS.

God continues to refine me, despite my best efforts, even if it takes a huuuuge, unwanted but admittedly awesome vehicle to do it.

Still debt free, baby!

Love, Alex

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Crying in the Ultrasound Room

See my dress color? Yeah. It took me a while to get to that thumbs up.

See my dress color? Yeah. It took me a while to get to that thumbs up.

Now I’m sure some of you thought that title may have corresponded to precious, loving feelings of seeing my baby and finding out its sex. I think I’ve made it clear that I am not precious, and while I do cry a lot, talking about the amazing feelings of seeing your baby are awesome, yes, but also not unique banter for a blog. What I’m getting at is that I cried hot, sad, guilty tears that day. And before you come at me with pitchforks and torches shouting about how I’m ungrateful and unloving, hear me out. Especially because I think I’m probably not alone in this.

It most likely won’t come as much of a shock since the majority of women hope for a girl during pregnancy, but *shocker* I wanted a girl.

I had my reasons. Everyone in my larger church community seemingly had lotsandLotsandLOTS of boys and I wanted a different experience than them. We have girl dogs (ahem, children) and though it might sound silly, watching Bryan with them and knowing the type of man he is, I just wanted to see him with a daughter so badly. There are petty reasons, like the fact that girl clothes are 1000 times cuter than boy clothes, (<–fact) and also bigger reasons like the one I have to pull the vague-card on again (I really do promise to share soon).

Regardless of all the things, Bryan and I were both standing squarely on the girl-train.

In my increasing nervousness as the big day approached, I did some research on gender disappointment and found that it is an actual clinical issue that many women deal with. This should have made me feel better right? “No!” said my brain, “That would be much too logical!”

I was just so afraid of being disappointed to find out it was a boy and then feeling guilty about being disappointed like a vicious circle. I talked to a few people about it, most of whom understood, some of whom did not (Thanks guys!). It didn’t help to hear friends and family refer to the baby as a “him” before we even found out though, because as ridiculous as this sounds, I knew their happiness at guessing correctly would make it harder for me to pretend to be excited.

On July 24, we got up and headed to the clinic with a belly full of baby and butterflies. We were called into the ultrasound room first. Just like that. No doctor visit barrier. I think the tech was a little weirded out at ALL THE QUESTIONS. “Already? Are you sure? Like this? Right here? Uhh, so do you have kids? What’s the worst reaction you’ve ever seen of someone finding out the gender?” (You guys…) She told me that none were really too bad.

Awesome.

So we’re all chit-chatty and “Oh my gosh that’s our baby!” for the first few minutes. Then. She waves past the evidence quickly, but we had already seen. “Ok, are you ready to know what it is?! It’s a boy!”

Silence.

I had such mixed emotions at that moment. Here I have a perfect, healthy baby BOY and all I can think about it my disappointment–>guilt for being disappointed–>but…BABY GIRL CLOTHES–>our baby is healthy!–>disappointment–>OMG HE’S SUCKING HIS THUMB–>well they do say boys are easier and now I’m off the hook for the birds and the bees talk–>disappointment. (<– vicious cycle. I know you appreciate me spelling it out for you because it’s not obvious or anything really.)

I cried. Like, so much that multiple tissues were needed. It was embarrassing and I hated myself for it.

All of the articles I had read about gender disappointment talked about how, much like when you take a pregnancy test that is negative and mourn the loss of a baby that never was, you mourn the loss of the baby girl or boy that never was.

I got it. Sitting in the waiting room accepting the fact that we wouldn’t be having a girl before having to fake excitement for the doctor was hard for both of us. Not to mention the fact that we had this family reveal dinner in the works for that very night that I had to polish my acting skills for.

gender reveal 1

Oh hey guys!

I got to work that morning and immediately started messing with our Amazon baby registry as a coping mechenism, hoping to distract myself with cute and shiny. It was overwhelming enough trying to pick out so much stuff with all of the reviews and safety reports and options and opinions to consider. What made it harder was that BOY STUFF IS JUST NOT AS CUTE AS GIRL STUFF. Plus, as it turns out, I’m super picky about the boy crap I actually do like. I’m so much fun, no really.

See?

See? So much fun. (Ugh so grainy. Sorry guys, It was dark in there!)

Oh, and I had to call the bakery to tell them what color to use to fill the cupcakes and I’m sure the poor girl at Rick’s just thought I was a heartless weirdo.

“Hey, just calling to tell you the filling color..it’s blue *small amount of forced excitement*”

“Oh a boy! Yay!”

“…yep. Ok thank you *more forced exctiement*.”

I mean…

How awesome are those though? Not-at-all-humble brag: the catchphrase was completely my idea and not a product of Pinterest at all.

How awesome are those though? Not-at-all-humble brag: the catchphrase was completely my idea and not a product of Pinterest at all. (Again with the grainy. I tried with the editing, I really did.)

We took our announcement photo to post after the reveal dinner, which we made it through and I didn’t cry at all. Small victory! It was actually a lot of fun to watch everyone bite into (or the smart ones use a knife to cut) the cupcakes and cheer at the filling color (which they would have done for either one of course).

See how genuine my smile is? ACTING.

See how genuine my smile is? ACTING.

The next morning, I talked to my mom and apologized for being a giant brat crabby the night before. She said she knew I was disappointed and completely understood. AND THEN (this is the “wait it gets getter” part) she said possibly the most profound thing ever. Work with me here because apparently I’m even more selfish and dense than I ever thought.

She told me that as much as having a little girl would have been wonderful and sweet and awesome,God obviously has a plan for our son, and that plan is much better than anything we could have dreamt up for our baby girl.

Ouch.

I realized that I had been thinking of this only from the standpoint of me having a baby/child/teenager. I was forgetting that there was a lot more living for him to do after the “raising him” part was over. And I think that kind of rocks.

A few minutes later my dad called me.

Let me pause here and explain something, because what I’m about to say will have much more meaning once I do. My dad and I are like, the same person.  Seriously. Both stubborn  as mules, both feel the need to constantly be right, and both tell it like it is and have to work hard on the encouraging words. So while my dad has lots of amazing qualities, the pretty words aren’t normally one of them. This is how I know God was (more gently than usual in my case) sending me the words my heart needed.

He told me that he knew I was hoping for a girl, but he thought I should know that I was going to make the best boy mom. He said that watching me with Grant and Guy (the sons of both of our mentors and who we watch when they are out of town), he could tell that I was going to be great and natural at this parenting thing. (<–HAHA)

Cue the tears. Seriously, y’all. This is when the good times started for me. I still had set-backs, like on vacation when all I saw were adorable, clean, well-dressed little girls and mangy, screaming, fit-thowing little boys. Hold me. But I got to go shopping at the outlet malls with the world’s best and most patient mom because for real, I AM SO PICKY, and I got some freaking adorable stuff for Grady.

That’s his name, Grady. OMG my child has a name. And OMG I’m over halfway there. And OMG I’m someone’s mom.

Crazy Eyes.

 

I've told you about my husband's obsession with bears, yes? Imagine my excitement to find this. I mean really.

I’ve told you about my husband’s obsession with bears, yes? Imagine my excitement to find this. I mean really.

My child is already swimming in threads thanks hugely to my wonderful and generous parents. Can you tell which piece is the favorite?

My child is already swimming in threads thanks hugely to my wonderful and generous parents. Can you tell which piece is the favorite?

Love, Alex

PS: For what it’s worth, here is the link for our ultrasound video. Not that I expect anyone to go watch it. I completely understand that what is wonderful and exciting for proud parents is just soooo boring for others. 🙂

The Daily Fav Day 23: My Loved Ones

So today is the day! After a year of waiting, getting excited, and talking a big game, my birthday is here again!

This year, as always, I wanted to spend it with the people I love, and that I did. On saturday, I got to spend the day with my momma shopping, eating lunch, getting our nails done, and drinking a lot of caffeinated beverages! I got to see my grandparents Saturday night, and Sunday I got to go to church, teach FPU and eat at my favorite restaurant (more on that tomorrow) with my favorite people and eat cake and ice cream (which y’all know I love)!

I have always known that my family dynamic was a little different from most, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We are a witty, rambunctious, overly open and honest, loud, close-knit group. Bryan (Of course) fits right in with us all and has navigated the waters of pile-ons, dishing it out AND taking it, and flurries of pop-culture references like a champ. While we are, of course, polite and non-obnoxious in public, we rather enjoy seeing the looks on grandparents and other family members’ faces when we show our true colors.

They always make my birthday so special and beautiful. My family has graciously participated in my overly celebrated day for my whole life, never squashing my enthusiasm or making me feel unspecial or ordinary. Bryan has spent the entire month taking me on unique dates and treating me like a princess to celebrate this ridiculous holiday. I feel so overly loved and thankful.

I’m so glad that I come from where and who I do, and that I married who I did and inherited his family as my own, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Yay Birthday!