We own our car!

I just sent the last payment for our car!! We now own this baby completely!! Well, as soon as they process the payment and send us the title, but YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

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Now we’re going to be able to get really serious about those credit cards that we’ve been working on FOREVER. No more car payment!!

And we did learn some very valuable lessons about buying cars. Like, specifically, not to get suckered into buying a brand new car when we don’t have the money to afford that. Six years is a long time for us to let that lesson sink in really nice and deep.

We just passed the 100,000 mile mark on this beauty, by the way, but we should be able to get several more years of driving from this car. We just spent a chunk of change getting the works done at the mechanic’s — new brake shoes and pads, a new rear shock (or two?), all new fluids, new filters. I feel like the only thing we didn’t get on this trip was new tires. But she’s a happier car now.

I’m just SO EXCITED to have finally paid off that loan!! That feels AWESOME.

Favorite things: Candle

When I went out shopping with Justin’s grandma a couple weeks ago, I found this candle at a surprisingly expensive store with fantastically friendly women working the sales.  I kept being surprised that the prices were quite so high, and then finding something that was really adorable, and then having a delightful snippet of conversation with one of the ladies working the floor.  I found the candle in the back of the store in a section full of things on sale for 50% off.  I was looking it over when one of the ladies came over to tell me that she’d bought two of those and she *loved* them.  And when I couldn’t find a price on it, she ran over to find that out for me, and when she told me how much it cost and I said I had to think about it a little bit, she told me to think hard because it was a really nice candle.

I bought the candle.  And she’s right, it’s a REALLY good candle.

And here’s the fun bit:  it runs on two D batteries.  Yeah, it’s a completely fake candle.  On the bottom of the candle, it has an on, off, and timer function.  On and off are self-explanatory, but the timer bit is the really awesome thing about this candle.  When it’s turned on using the timer function, it will stay on for 5 hours before turning itself off.  And then 24 hours after the time it was turned on the first time, it’ll turn on again.  Which means that sometime between 7:15 and 7:30 every night, the candle turns on, and then it turns off five hours later.

It’s AWESOME!  I wander into my bedroom in the evening and find a cheery candle burning on my dresser.  I go to sleep to candlelight and don’t have to worry about burning the house down.  I don’t have to worry about smoke or chemicals being burned into the air of my house.  And I don’t have to think about lighting it or blowing it out!  It turns on by itself, a helpful, cheery little flickering sweetness.

It is, for certain, one of my favorite things in my house lately and one of my favorite things I’ve bought in a while.  And I really didn’t expect to like it so much.  I thought “Hrm, candle.  Looks pretty.”  And now I’m all “Battery powered candle!!!  Best invention ever!!!!  I want to have more!!!”

And I’ve seen some terrible fake candles, so to prove my point that this is awesome, I’ve made a quick 34-second video showing that it looks really realistic.  There’s no sounds — the whooshing sound in the back is just the air-conditioning blowing, and then clicks as I try to figure out how to stop my camera from recording.

(I’m not sure it’s working in Chrome, but it does work in Firefox. And I’m not checking IE because I hope none of you use that.)

Isn’t that great! There’s no way I’d be able to burn a real candle that close to a beloved childhood teddy bear. But it sure looks like I am!! :)