Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day

My family is not well off by any means. We cannot afford many nice things.. least of all a brand new gas grill. However I've been wanting to buy my husband a new gas grill for years! We had a gas grill.. something we took with us when we moved out of his cousin's place back when we first got together. His cousin had purchased it, but never used it. So this grill is well over 10 years old. Over the years we've replaced the burners on it to keep it working, but it's small and old and doesn't work that well anymore. Actually we haven't used it in a couple years now, and a few months ago hubby mentioned buying yet another new burner for it to get it working again.
A couple years ago I was able to buy hubby a small charcoal grill, and he was thrilled. But of course grilling with charcoal means you must buy charcoal periodically.. and since we have a large family we must use a lot of coals. Basically we use a whole bag of charcoal everytime we grill. It gets expensive. Also, since this grill is a couple years old and wasn't put away after each use, it is rather beat up and rusted (the bottom actually fell out of it on Memorial Day so I had to replace it with another cheapo charcoal grill).
So, earlier this year I decided hubby would get a gas grill for Father's Day this year. It was probably in March that I began putting aside $20 a week as I could towards purchasing this grill. I did my homework and found a grill I wanted for him, and the cost was around $200. So I set that goal for myself to save $200.
Mid-May I began purchasing small items to go with the new grill.. a grill brush, utensils, grill cover. I also planned to purchase a new propane tank as well, since ours hasn't been used in a couple years and I don't know how much is in it.
May 20th I was wandering through Walmart doing my weekly shopping. I headed back towards lawn and garden to buy another item to go with the grill (I was getting 1 small thing a week) when I saw this gorgeous grill on display with a sign over it that said $148. I didn't believe it at first, so had to hunt down some more of these grills to ensure that was the correct price.. and believe it or not, it was. At that point I had saved $120.. but I thought to myself that if I did not snatch this grill up right then and there, I wouldn't find it again when I came back for it, or I'd find it but it wouldn't be this price any longer.

So, I purchased it and asked them to assemble it for me (which took 2 weeks due to some unforeseen circumstances on their part.. thank goodness I was not in a hurry).
I finally picked it up with less than 2 weeks to go until Father's Day, and I hid it in the shed.
I was so excited about this gift that I could barely contain myself. There were so many times that I wanted to give it to my husband early, or tell him about it.. it was practically killing me!!

But I held it together, because I knew the surprise on Father's Day morning would be priceless.
So, Sunday morning I woke up super early because I was too excited to stay in bed any longer.
I occupied my time that morning with baking. I made hubby some cupcakes, his second favorite flavor. I also made my homemade macaroni and cheese with bacon (one of his favorite dishes).
At 10:30 a.m. I let the kids wake him up and give him the gifts they'd made for him in school. After which I sent all the kids outside to wait by the grill.
I ushered hubby outside with his eyes closed and positioned him properly in front of the grill.
He opened his eyes and said "Whoa!!". He immediately asked for something to grill.. which I had planned for. I bought some frozen burgers to grill for lunch.. and steaks to grill for dinner to go with my macaroni and cheese.
Hubby called everyone he knew to brag about the grill. He also kept saying through out the day that he wanted more food to grill.. and was thinking of all the other dinners we'll plan this summer using his new grill.
At dinner time he posted this on his Facebook page: "Steaks on my awesome new grill and my wife's homemade mac n cheese. Could Father's Day be any better? Absolutely not!!"

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bad Luck!

Over the past few weeks I've been dealing with a string of bad luck. It seems to have all hit at once. It's honestly nothing absolutely horrible.. but the fact that it's all hitting at once does make it hard to handle.

I don't want to go into major details.. that could take awhile, but I will give a basic idea of what's going on:

My sh*t hole of a trailer is slowly falling apart. The boys' bedroom floor caved in on Memorial day, one of the light fixtures fell out of the ceiling, there's a leak under the trailer making the whole place smell like sewage, to top that all off the maintenance truck seems to have taken permanent residence in my husband's parking spot forcing him to park way up the road and walk to and from his car after his 12 hour shifts at work. I also got into a fight with my neighbor last week when I tried to park his car in the road after I'd worked an 8 hour shift.

My grades are slowly falling in one of my classes. Nothing major, at the moment I'm still in the 90's, but any more low grades and I can kiss my 4.0 goodbye and every low grade throws me for a loop because I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform well. Again, this is nothing major.. but added to everything else it feels rather major.

I was dealing with some issues with a co-worker last week as well. For some unknown reason she decided not to speak a single word to me whenever we worked together. I could feel the tension. I'm not sure what the problem was but it made me dread having to work with her. She seems to be over it now because we talked during our last shift but I still don't know what her problem was last week.

I'm still dealing with the stress of my FIL not being able to handle my children while I work. They don't seem to want to behave for him and it gets very difficult on him sometimes. They have good days and bad days, but last week they had an absolutely terrible day and my FIL almost quit on me.. which would have forced me to quit my job since I can't afford to pay a babysitter on my salary.

And to top it all off, finances have been a bit tight for the past few weeks. We've needed a lot of car repairs lately which have cost more than expected. We drained our checking account, and even needed to take some money out of my savings account to cover all the repairs. Thankfully all of our bills are still paid, but I don't feel as if I have any breathing room right now, and I haven't been able to send off any more money to the bankruptcy lawyer, so my plans are being put on hold until the finances loosen up again.

We also had to take $300 out of another savings account this past week to purchase an air conditioner for our house. This will be our 3rd summer here and I honestly don't know how we survived without a/c this long. Wednesday was 95 outside, and probably 105 inside. I think my cats were pretty close to death in that heat since one of them was throwing up all over the house. So while the a/c was certainly a necessary expense, it's still upsetting that I had to take the money out of savings in order to buy it.

So.. those are the majority of my problems in a nutshell. May not seem extremely major to a lot of people. I know plenty of people deal with worse on a daily basis.

But at the moment it seems that I have nothing positive to speak of. At least that's how I feel. I know over all there are plenty of positives in my life. But when everything is stressing me out it's hard to see those positives.

Last week all the stress had me in an absolutely terrible mood. Well, to be honest I'm still in a terrible mood, but I'm a little better than I was last week. Last week there were absolutely no good thoughts running through my head at all. It was a little scary.

This week I'm just trying to remind myself that yes, bad things happen.. but eventually something good will happen again. My "Nana" used to say: "This too shall pass". It's true. Eventually all of these bad things and all of this stress will just be a memory. Life tends to go in cycles. You have a cycle of good luck followed by a cycle of bad luck, then back to good again. So right now all of the bad luck is piling on me.. but if I tough it out, I'll see some good luck again.

Man I wish that good luck would hurry up!!