Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lets talk about Bets.. the new stand mixer.

Black Friday has passed.  Thank God, that was a painful retail "holiday" for me to go through.  I should just invest in Kohl's stock with as much money as I gave to them this weekend.  Although, I don't feel too bad giving them my money since I was able to get 20% off my purchases online, get free shipping, and get Kohl's Cash back from my purchases (hello new pots and pans?)..

Of course the KitchenAid stand mixer was on sale, of course I wanted it.  I had this dream about one day getting married and registering for this sucker.  Normal price is around $400... That is not in Teh Megan's price range for kitchen appliances.  The hand mixer I bought from Walmart when I moved in the new MD apartment?  $6.  Yeah, I'm cheap, judge me.

Teh Bear and I went round and round about how I was NOT going to buy a stand mixer because I wanted someone else to get it for me.  Then I started bitchin' about it on Facebook.  I have enablers for friends.  No jk.  ENABLERS, almost every-single-one-of-my-friends-is-an-enabler.  There should be a help group for that.  Teh Model was the first one to tell me that I could find a KitchenAid mixer for right under $130.  I didn't believe it was possible.  No wai.  So, she sent me a link and I checked it out.  I was right, it was no wai.  It was through various "cash back" incentives that the mixer was so low priced.  So, I had successfully talked myself off the ledge.  By this point, it was Thanksgiving lunch time, saved!

After a very delicious Thanksgiving lunch, I came back home and stared longingly at the Willow Blue Artisan KitchenAid 5qt Stand Mixer on Kohl's website.  I was in love.  Last time I was in love?  I ended up in an apartment upstairs (even though I preferred downstairs, because I loved the floor plan that much).  Time before that?  I bought a couch, even though the color wasn't exactly what I had wanted, I wanted the couch bad enough to accept the color.

I got out my handy dandy computer calculator (side note: best idea ever, put your calculator on your desktop/start menu, so much time saved!).  I begged and pleaded to the internet and calculator and stand mixer and Kohl's gods.. please make it happen!  The "regular price" was $399.  They had marked it down to $299.  When you put it in your Kohl's shopping cart? $269.  With a 20% off code I found not very ninja like?  $236.  The cherry on top?  Teh Sister loves me so much, she "bought" this for me, which meant taking her 15% off employee discount off of the final price.  Which meant the total was right at $200.  Plus, it has a $30 mail in rebate, which can be up to $42 if you decline their magazine subscription..  Which means $158ish for a 5qt KitchenAid stand mixer....  Ok, you got me, Howie.  DEAL!  (If you didn't get that reference, its for the best.)

I had added the mixer to my shopping cart.  HOURS later I finally made the decision to actually buy this sucker.  I figured while I was at it, I'd check and see what their prices were on anything else that I had been looking at buying, mainly a vacuum.  With all the discounts I was receiving, the vacuum ended up being cheaper from Kohl's than Amazon, so that was also added to the shopping cart.  Finally, I noticed a CrockPot for $10 after mail in rebate.  Well, why not.  I've always wanted to try out this CrockPot phenomenon.  Added.

Finally, I'm going to check out, and there's issues with the Kohl's card I was using.  Me=crushed.  It took an hour to get that deal sorted out, and by that point, my Willow Blue option was no longer available.  Me=Crushed.  You may not know this about me, Gentle Reader, but I struggle to have a favorite color.  I love all colors, so for me to have finally come to a decision on which color I liked was an hour long process of itself.  No jk.  I had debated on the Willow Blue, which Teh Bear kept referring to as Duke blue, which I would ignore every time, red, black, dark grey, light green, apple green, a fun color like darker yellow/orange...  It took me a while.  I went through all the colors several times.  My computer was like, seriously lady, just pick a stupid freakin' color.  It's just a stand mixer.  My computer is obviously a boy if it had a gender.

While I was on the phone, having to place my order, because the internet gods were punishing me for taking such a ridiculously long time to make up my mind on if I was going to buy the mixer or not, then what color to buy, then what else I should add to my cart, the lady was telling me that my Willow Blue, red, dark grey, green apple, and pear colors were all out of stock.. ALREADY.  This was only 11pm.  Since when did people become so internet savvy about black friday, gosh.  Finally, I went with Ice Blue out of desperation.  I just wanted to buy a freakin' stand mixer before I 1- got frustrated and changed my mind, 2- just changed my mind.  The photos online made the mixer look like a bearable sky blue ish-y color..  Fine.  Order finally complete around 11:58pm on Thanksgiving night.  HA, take that people standing outside for hours before a store opens.  Hello, $90 in Kohl's cash, yes, we can be bffs.

The order confirmation came via email saying my order would arrive Dec 6-9th.  Well, ok then.  That gave me sufficient time to plan whatever my first recipe was going to be in the new mixer.  On the 27th, I started doing some serious research.  I considered challah bread, mousse, or a brownie recipe that had been passed on to me with the review, "THESE ARE THE BEST BROWNIES EVER."  Obviously, the 6th isn't close yet, so I had some time to make up my mind.

Then I received an email saying that my mixer was ready to be shipped on the evening of the 27th.  Okie dokie, it will be here in a few days then, deal.  On the 28th, I came home for lunch, after much debate because I had strongly considered Chipotle.  At my door, there was a box... that said KITCHENAID STAND MIXER.  OMFG IT ARRIVED!!!

So soon????
I brought it inside, did a little happy dance that it had arrived so quickly, but threw in a few confused "how did it arrive so quickly" kicks for good measure.  I then ate lunch, skyped with Teh Bear, and went back to work.  I didn't even take it out of the shipping box, I had plans for it.

Willow Blue (image)
I still wasn't a huge fan of Ice Blue.  I had my heart set on Willow Blue, but apparently, so did the rest of America.  I decided after work, I'd swing by Kohl's and see what other colors they had available.  I crossed my fingers for my Willow Blue.  I brought my mixer to the return desk and said I'd like to exchange it for another color, then went back to look at the selection.  Red, red, red, silver, black, silver, silver, black, black, red.  Seriously?!  It was like NC State had taken over the KitchenAid stand mixer section.  I took a red one back to the front with me, it had been my 2nd choice.. way back when... 4 days ago.  I got it up to the counter and the lady behind me was telling me how red was "in" now.  I explained that I remember when red started coming "in", because I had bought Teh Mom a red microwave with the full intention of having to return it for the silver one the next day.  I really liked the red, much to my surprise and Teh Sister's surprise.. Teh Mom also liked the red.  Jaws hit the floor that day, and I didn't have to do an exchange.  

I looked at the color of the blue mixer through the handle, and I looked at the photo of the red mixer.  I just didn't have the heart to settle for the red one.  I knew that it meant that my kitchen would always be red themed, which is already my bedroom color..   Which would just lead to red taking over my house, and I just couldn't take that risk.  After very much hassling with the ladies at Kohl's who tried very hard to find a Willow Blue mixer for me, to no avail, since my model is apparently no where on the Kohl's website anymore, I just accepted the Ice Blue mixer for the retro 50's color that it was, and lugged it back to the car to return it home.

Since the mixer arrived so early, I hadn't decided on a recipe to try with the mixer, which meant that whatever I made with the mixer required on-hand ingredients.  I had box funfetti mix and box brownie mix, but brownies shouldn't be made with a mixer (ever) and cake mix was just too easy.  After some internet scavenging, I found a recipe for made from scratch cake that I had all the ingredients to.  Well, ok then, made from scratch cake it is.

After putting the cake in the oven and returning to my computer, I felt guilty.  Who makes just a made from scratch cake and has no icing to go with it?  I couldn't be that person, so I looked up my buttercream icing recipe and made more magic happen with the mixer.

Betty Draper would have done it this way.
While I was working on the cake and icing, I kept thinking to myself, this feels like a very Betty Draper type thing.  The made from scratch cake, the retro colored mixer.  I was just 2.5 kids, Don Draper, and a huge house short of an early episode of Mad Men.  The mixer has been properly named Bets, or Betty when I'm mad at it.

Overall, I'm pretty hyped about my purchase.  I'm sure once I start making crazy stuff like challah bread where I can walk away from the mixer and let it do its thing and come back and move on to the next step, I love Bets even more.  But for now, we're at that awkward getting to know each other stage.  She's tepid of how I'm going to handle her gears and I'm working on better accepting the retro-ness of Bets.  I'm sure that soon enough we'll be the best of friends though.  

I mean, I wouldn't have had any reason to create this completely made from scratch masterpiece if Bets wasn't in my life.

That is definitely a ridiculous amount of icing.. Oops.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Fall Cooking/Decorating

I never thought that I'd turn out to be that person that decorates for the seasons.. and I don't think I really am with the exception of Christmas.. butttttt.. that said...  This year I've wanted to do seasonal baking for practically every holiday that has rolled around.  It's like Betty Crocker has consumed me

Also, I'm not sure if you've met Teh Mom or not, but I remember for a very long time decorating for most of the seasonal holidays/events.  When Halloween rolled around it was Teh Mom's excuse for not only pumpkin and black cat decorations, but also the fall foilage decorations.  We also had Easter decorations.  I can't remember any July 4th decorations off the top of my head, I don't really my family being extremely patriotic in any way other that usually going to enjoy fireworks at some place.

The biggest events were always birthdays though.  Not a birthday passed without decor.  That definitely got passed along and I'm not sure Teh Bear really understands, but he thinks he does, so I'm letting him go with it. 

Since being in Bahrain, the setting in of the spring-freakin-fever, the having my own personal kitchen, and a general loathing of delivery/take-away/restaurant food (due to having to eat it so often in the past few years).. Better Crocker has really taken over.  I feel like baking is a thrill (mostly so I can bring it to work and have everyone tell me how delicious things are).  Its so very domestic and gross and stuff. 

Because of the Betty Crocker syndrome (oh yes, that is what I'm calling it), I subscribed to a few food/baking blogs.  Something I've noticed about food blogs?  Any holiday is a reason to be creative with food.  Seriously. 

Well, Halloween was here, and there were some awesome ideas in one of the blogs I read.  These Halloween-Cakes-in-a-Jar might actually beat out funfetti ghostie cakes that I made several years ago when Pirate Gone Marine and I were dating.  The best part of those cakes?  The suggestions she made about what she was going to do for Christmas w/ red velvet cake. 

Personally, I'm not a super huge fan of the red velvet.  Give me lemon or yellow cake any day.  But, I do know several people that love red velvet cake, lucky for them, I like them a lot and would be willing to do some red velvet experiments.  I also think that this whole creative baking thing is a much cheaper idea than Bahrani jewelry for Christmas.  Just sayin (prob got that idea from Teh Mom also.  Although she usually did/does coconut balls/peanut butter balls (yummmmmmmmm)).

The idea of being back in the states for the holidays this year is beyond exciting for me, which you, Gentle Readers, will probably be hearing about until I start bitching about how Christmas has become a consumer holiday and everything is all about what to buy, blah blah blah.  At least for November (and probably some of December if I get some snow), I promise to enjoy it.  I'm sure most of this comes from the fact that I've not experienced USA Christmas in 3 years.  Eventually, you forget what its like to walk past stores covered with Christmas balls with 10% off signs in the windows.  You realize that the rest of the world could care less about Christmas.  You also realize that a silver 2 foot tall tree and decorations are the best Target One Spot investments you ever made... if they arrive in time for Christmas..

Friday, November 25, 2011

Life is good.. and I'm grateful.

Usually, every year around Thanksgiving your FB/myspace/twitter/whatever-social-media-you-use feed explodes with "30 days of thankfuls" or "I'm so thankful for.. blah blah blah" posts.  This year, I didn't really feel like I got as much of that.  Or maybe I would have if I didn't have so many people blocked?  Who knows.

Personally, I try not to play into all that hype of doing it just because everyone on Facebook is doing it.  I'm a rebel like that.  Nonetheless, off the the I'm so thankfuls definitely were reminders of everything that I have to be thankful for.  And, just to note, I was thinking about this laundry list of things WELL BEFORE Thanksgiving time rolled around.  I mean, I've been listening to Christmas tunes since September?

But, I really do have a lot to be thankful for, and not just because its Thanksgiving...  but because even when I think my life really sucks, it really doesn't.

For instance:
Living in Bahrain meant being away from my family for yet another year.  But I building up my savings account, which has definitely made coming back to America and paying for Real Life much easier.  I learned about working long shifts, which made me grateful for being able to get off work before dark.  I couldn't wear my uniform off base, which makes me appreciate being able to get ready at home and drive to work now.  I got my IDW, I got a NAM, I did some cool work, I met some awesome people.  While I will tell everyone for a very long time that Bahrain was the pits (which it is), it wasn't as bad as it could have been, not that I would have wanted to find out what could have been was.

I am grateful for many things:

-the support of my family/friends/Teh Bear.
There are days that I go without talking to these very important people (with the exception of Teh Bear who I do talk to everyday at least for a few minutes on bad days (good days=more than a few minutes)).  There have been days that I've talked to them several days in a row.  No matter what, I know they are there for me, always.  Like Teh Dad organizing the purchase of Indigo Montoya/Teh Turtle.  Like Teh BFF dealing with Teh ZepZep when he was down and out.

-having a job.
There's a lot of hubba-ballew going down on Wall Street right now about some job crap.  Ok, its not really crap, but I haven't really kept up with it because I have a job, which doesn't give me an excuse to be ignorant about world events, but some people are whinin', some people are bitchin', some people have legit complaints, and no one seems to have any solutions.  I have a good job.  It's plain and simple.  I could still be a server at Texas Roadhouse, but instead, I signed a contract and said, I'll be your peon US Government.  I might not like my job everyday, but I have job security for now, and for that I'm grateful.

-the ability to afford things.
This obviously stems from the last point.  Moving back to America is FAR, FAR from cheap.  I had to find a place to live, which the military does give me money for, but everywhere wanted a piece my first born child every month for a decent place to live.  I had to buy things that I didn't have: a car, furniture, things for the kitchen that I had to leave in Bahrain due to power sockets/voltage differences, clothes for winter, a chair to sit in until the furniture arrives or the packout get delivered.. THINGS.  Things that just keep adding up, that make me feel super materialistic, but at the same time.. Teh Dad says, "You're investing in your household."  Oh, am I?  Pretty sure I should just go buy some Kohl's stock.

-having things.
I have a still new computer, a brand new car, a brand new bed, brand new furniture (which will be delivered at some point in the next 3 months..), a new place to live, a new job, the ability to make new friends, new kitchen toys, new purses, new sheets.. Things.  While pointing all this stuff out makes me feel materialistic, I know there are people in Africa who live in a mud hut with a pottery vase for water from the river and a crude pot to cook over the fire with with 1 set of clothes...  So yes, its materialistic, I acknowledge that.  But, I also vow to make delicious goods with my brand new KitchenAid stand mixer and distribute them to people I know (this is me not being greedy, see?).  I also know that these things don't represent ME.  That having things doesn't make me a better person.  But having things makes my life more comfortable.  They aren't necessary, but they are definitely nice.

-being me.
Being away from friends/family, not being in America, putting on a uniform, sometimes these things make me feel like little parts of me are chipped away.  Having to deal with life without my peeps, living in a place where its not acceptable to say things I normally would or dress a particular way, being in uniform and having to follow rules that I don't always like...  these things are sometimes difficult for me to accept.  Not that I didn't choose this life, but Teh Megan who goes home to be with her peeps, who doesn't have to put on a uniform, in America.. she's a bit different than Teh Megan who was in Bahrain.  Granted, these things have also altered my personality in some ways (most would say for the better), but I notice a difference when I get to be with my people and not feel like I have to limit myself on things that are very ME.

I hate it when other people are right.... and I hate it more when someone is referred to as "Brother"....  (image)
Sometimes these things come to me when I'm driving down the road.  How I'm in Teh Turtle and its still new and it needs to be washed (how if I was in Bahrain it would get washed every day, but by an Arab, and man its delightful that most everyone speaks a variation of English I can understand) and how lucky I am to have been able to visit NC and NJ and how awesome the weather is (no matter what the weather is as long as its not over 75°F) and how delightful smelling my favorite fabric softener is and how it works so well on my new sweater and then my American cell phone might ba-dunk or Drrroid at me, and I smile because that's someone in America sending me a text or a notification from Facebook, and how I have a really good life.

And I believe the quote.  I believe that the more grateful I am for my life, the people in my life, the things I have, the more I that appreciate all that I have (vs how I couldn't have them) and the more happiness I feel.  Life is cool like that.  Tricky, but oh so awesome.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Facebook, Why do you pretend to know me?

Like the most modern websites, Facebook tries to peg their audience by IP address/location info/gender/etc.  These are some of the ads/random things that FB has given me.

Please note, I've never put it ANYWHERE that I can read/speak Arabic.  IP address "matching" must be how I'm getting these ads in Arabic..

I'm not gonna lie, this clever little play on words definitely made me smile.

squiggles = Derka Derka.
Hair plugs really?  In Dubai?  No, I'm in Bahrain.  Not the same.
Sims on Facebook, hrm.  Someone went back in time and realized my love of the Sims.. and this was tempting.
Bath and Body Works is open at the mall that we are prohibited to go to due to protests.  Score!
"Get Bitten!"... seriously?  Some people have definitely been watching too much Twilight.
Oh Arabia, how you love your coffee/tea...
Because I'm a woman must mean I need lipstick/beauty products to look amazing..  I'm pretty sure that's what most Arabic women think due to the insane amounts of make up they wear.
Halloween @ Pet Arabia.. this one is definitely aimed at non-Arabs, since most locals loathe dogs and the cats are all strays.
OOo Bridal Week!!  What?
Derka Derka
OOO yes, I could totally go learn English!
Derka Derka

I'm just confused to how Barack Obama and NPR are related to eating an Odwalla bar...  or the NEX.

Now that I'm back in America, I've gotten a lot less Arabic ads.  After clearing my cache and resetting my router, I even stopped getting search results in Arabic, YAY!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Small habits that haven't changed yet...

So, I'm officially an American again.  Not that I actually wasn't an American at any point, but it sure started to feel that way for a bit there.

I'm livin' in America.  I've purchased Starbucks more than once.  I've had fast food.  I ate at Subway for the first time since GTMO.  I had American McDonald's.  I've had to resist honking my horn at people.  I've been driving in MPH instead of KPH.  I've had to look out for cops and unmarked cars along the highways.  When going out to eat, there wasn't a 30 minute wait between my food arriving and the waiter/waitress returning to the table.  I saw most of Teh Family in my minimal (2.5ish, thank you rotator delay) days in NC.  I crossed state lines.  I have been able to fulfill plans.  I spent dollars instead of dinar.  I've spent 10 minutes trying to find the correct place to change the time format from Bahrain time to Eastern time for the blog (you'd think if you changed the time for one Google application (calendar), it would change the time for all your Google applications, apparently not).

Honestly, its amazing.  I feel like I could just keep repeating that over and over.  I feel like my FB wall has become a devotional shrine to how awesome being back in America is.  This makes me feel kinda bad for the friends I have that are still in Bahrain and have to see my America smut.  Sorry guys and gals, I just can't help it.  I've become one of those people.  I hate it, but I can't help it.  Seriously.

And maybe a lot of it isn't because I'm back in America so much as I feel like I'm finally starting a real life.  Now you're like, you're cuurently having your real life, Teh Megan!  You're correct, Gentle Reader, I am.  But, for the first time in my adult life, I now own my own bed.  No jk.  I didn't have my own bed until I was almost 26 years old.  That's the life of a chronic mover.  I also only owned handed down furniture.  Just a note: there is nothing wrong with hand-down furniture, its free, you're probably taking it off someone else's hands...  But, there's just something very "real life" and "adult" about owning your own furniture.  The knowing that next time you move/PCS, you will probably actually have to worry about weight limits is mysteriously thrilling.

But, despite all these great things, there are still things that I haven't gotten used to yet.

-The button/handle to flush the toilet being on the side of the toilet instead of on the top/center of the lid.
-High speed internet being slow (which I only know when/if someone else tells me, since I'm used to crappy internet).
-Having a cell phone that is connected to the internet, that I can update FB from.
-Having a smartphone.
-Text messages to my phone that are from people that live in America.
-Not being able to call my Bahrain peeps.
-Temps being in Fahrenheit.
-Being able to pay for everything with plastic.
-Not honking at idiots on the road (Teh Bear always likes to warn me, "You never know who is carrying a gun.")
-Not being honked at.  (I did get honked at today and thought to myself, "pfft, I had so much space, you're an idiot, save your honkin' for something better."  Hello desensitiatization...)
-Traffic lights changing from red to green instead of red-yellow to green.
-My new car and all its perks and surprises (automatic lights, push button start, back up camera).
-The idea of getting time off for holidays (after most of the last 2 years getting minimal to no time off, I'm like Pavlov's dog).
-Blogging again.

Hopefully, this is me getting back into the blogging routine.  I've not uploaded the photos on my camera since before I left Bahrain, mostly due to the crappy internet I've had to deal with since moving out of my flat in Bahrain.  I've got photos of adventures in Bahrain, adventures of my flights to get home, adventures of being in NC, new car smut, adventures of getting to MD, adventures with Teh Bear, and soon enough there will be adventures of my trip to NJ!  So many exciting things for the Gentle Readers to look forward to, yay!

As to not have yet another photo-less blog, I give you falling down icy steps bruise:

I will have to post an updated photo before this big nasty goes away, in probably at least another month....

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Random Travel Thoughts

It's obviously been a while since I posted a blog.  I'm sure the hiatus will continue for a little while longer as I get settled in, get associated with Pax River, and a visit from Teh Bear (YAY!).

Flying for almost 24 hours and driving for 8 hours gives you a lot of thinking time.  It's too bad I don't have a little scribe in my head to write down all the ridiculous thoughts I have..  I think that at least a few of you would be highly entertained by the things that run through my mind.  So, I'm going to try and recall some of those things.

-An air terminal isn't your bedroom.  Just because there are benches doesn't mean that you need to make it your bed.  Eventually, the rest of the people on the flight will show up and you'll be taking up 2 extra seats.  If you want to sleep, the floor space is ample and just as uncomfortable.

-How does storing my carry on's under the seat in front of me and opening my window shade have any effect on take off/landing?  Is the pilot using my window to see out of?  I semi-understand the put your crap under a seat thing, because if something bad happens, no one needs to be hit in the face with my hard-back book.  But, lets be honest, if something bad happens, I'm sure that my stuff being under the seat in front of me will actually only trip me up while I'm trying to jump out of my seat to shove people out of my way to get off the aircraft.

-There is no comfortable way to sleep sitting up.  I don't care if how cushy my neck pillow is or that I brought my own blanket.  Seriously.  I can't actually get rest while sleeping sitting up.

-There are many, many comments you have to keep to yourself because you aren't really able to tell the people who would "get" your comments, and you don't want the people on your flight to think you're "crazy"...

-After being overseas for 2 years, everything you do feels like the first time again.  Eating the fast food you always used to eat, feeling the rain on your face, stopping for stop signs, going into your favorite stores, paying exuberant prices for gas...  And you don't care if its bad for you, cold out, or expensive, you do it and like it because you're home.

-(In a photographer's frame of mind) You will drive around places that you haven't been to in a while and think, "Wow, that would be an excellent shot."  Except you are on your way to an appointment and you won't have time to stop.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Once, I bought a car in America, while I was in Bahrain.

This has been a very long adventure.  But, the new car buying experience is finally at an end.  Teh Dad picked it up today from the dealership and he delivered it safely and in one piece to his garage.

We started with price quotes from USAA and other various places on the web.  LOTS of hours of research went into this.  

You remember ALL CAPS GUY?  I do.  Teh Bear suggested I visit him while I'm home and show him my new car, but I'm not sure he's worth my limited time.  

Every time I got a new USAA price quote, a plethora of car dealers would email me.  I'm sure that by now they recognize my email.  I actually responded to the automatically sent emails once and said I was just getting an updated price quote for the dealer I was working with.  Someone responded back and said, well, can we try and find what you're looking for?  I said, sure, but you should know that I'm not buying this car till November and that I'm currently stationed oversea, but eat your heart out.  Never got a response from that butthole.  I considered emailing him back and thanking him for his time, and that I hope all his other customers were as successful at buying a car from him as I was, but I refrained.  Again, not worth my time.

Teh Dad also did his own inquiring about the Sportage.  He got several calls.. at which point he learned to NEVER give out his cell phone number to a car dealer.  He kept doing research, very diligently, he gave them his house number instead.  He received many calls and even more messages on the answering machine.  He test drove 2 different models at Paramount Kia in Hickory (where ALL CAPS GUY was located).  They were difficult to deal with and said that what I wanted couldn't be acquired.  We were quick to walk away.  But after dealing with ALL CAPS GUY, I was pretty bummed and frustrated.  Teh Dad was not to be deterred.  He trucked on, all for Teh Megan.  

One lady from Keffer Kia in Gastonia, NC (yes, that was my obvious plug for these guys) had left EIGHT messages on the answering machine about Teh Dad's inquiry.  Teh Dad told me about this, and I said, "It sounds like she wants to sell a car."  He agreed and he contacted her a few days later.  Tonya, a very patient and determined lady, worked with Teh Dad and myself throughout the process.  She would email me and talk to Teh Dad on the phone and through text messages (Teh Dad is pretty hip these days, sometimes he even "lol"s me during chats).  She worked with Teh Dad to see if she could find a 2011 EX model in the blue, but it wasn't to be had.  So, we bumped up the 2012 model.  Since I knew exactly what I wanted and still wasn't there, she made the exact car I wanted appear on the lot.  She even sent me photos of the day it arrived on the lot (which I promptly posted FB because I'm shameless).

Teh amazing Tonya!!!!
I'm sure that Tonya repeated many things between Teh Dad and I.  While Teh Dad and I were in contact often, sometimes he hadn't got a chance to tell me things before I would ask Tonya the same questions.  She always answered me with patience.  She never said the deal couldn't be done, and she never stopped communicating with us, which was super important to both Teh Dad and I.

While finding the car was fairly easy, talking about price over the internet is tricky.  At first, there was potential issues with giving me the USAA price because the car wasn't on the lot.  Then, we worked through that because when I purchased the car, it would be on their lot, and while they had ordered that specific car for me, it was on their lot.  Teh Dad did some talking with the manager and Tonya, and they agreed to honor the USAA price.  It turns out, the car they ordered had more added features than I had specified, and they were willing to give me that car at the USAA price that I had found, with the military discount.  We were in business.

Now the issue of paperwork and actually picking up the car came into play.  Tonya was willing to drive the car to Teh Dad so he could check and make sure that this Sportage had all the features I wanted.  After she sent photos of the itemized stickers, we were confident this was the one.  Teh Dad told Tonya that he trusted her and that he was willing to put money on it to hold it so it didn't get sold before we could work out the details.  Teh Dad worked out getting the hold payment to Tonya, and I told him I'd pay him back.  Easy day.

While Teh Dad had been doing car research, I had been doing financing research.  I was willing to go with the dealership if I was able to get incentives from them, at a decent interest rate.  I was pre-approved with USAA in the beginning of October, but I was still interested if I could get a lower interest rate than 3.25%.  I went by Navy Federal on base and applied for a loan, despite the credit hit I would get for applying for another loan.  A few days later, I was approved for 1.79% and they gave me a pre-approval check.. well, hell yeah, totally worth that 2 point hit on my credit score!  I air-mailed that baby off to Teh Dad so that way we could get this buying a new car show on the road.

Teh Sister picked up the check for Teh Dad, she had also went with Teh Dad to do the American test drives.  So this was quickly becoming a family event.  Teh Dad wasn't able to get down to the dealership right away due to work, but he and Teh Stepmom made sure to get down there the first day his vacation started.  While I harassed him for photos, he was signing away my monies and finalizing the deal we'd he'd been working on for 3 months.  

Who takes 3 months to buy a new car?  *Waves*  Teh Megan!!! 

I'm stupidly excited.  It's my first car that I've ever purchased on my own (and by own my own I mean with my own money more than I did the whole process myself).  It's a brand new car.  It's exactly the specifications I wanted.  Teh Sister posted the pics of the car arriving at Teh Dad's for me, since my hotel internet is complete crap.  Truly a family event.  There is new car porn smattered all over my FB page.  There will be more to come when I actually arrive in NC and get to drive this car that I've bought.

It's still kinda weird to me that I bought a car without having ever driven it... without even being in the same country!  Whew, talk about faith and trust!

I can't thank Teh Dad and Tonya enough for their patience with me and this process.  I really might have to get Teh Dad that cheesy ass shirt, cause he said he liked it...  I'm not sure if he was just kidding or not, but he wears all the other shirts that I've picked out/gotten for him, despite his opinions that they are heinous (he just doesn't know good taste).

How about some photos?  YAY!

Before: 1997 Honda Civic EX (aka Teh Kaar)

Giving Teh Kaar a goodbye hug.

Jassim and I the day we transferred ownership.

Jassim was at work!
After:  2012 Kia Sportage EX (yet to be named)

I'll be there for you soon, Baby!

So new and shiny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  /squeal!!!!!!!

I promise that eventually, the excitement will wear off.. but probably not anytime soon.  I'm only slightly sorry for that.  I feel like I deserved to do something big for myself and this was it.  I loved Teh Kaar.  But, she was on her last gaskets (even though they had been replaced).  Jassim is happy with his new purchase, and I'm completely happy with mine!

Now to get to America so I can drive it!!!!

PS.  What should I name it?!?!??!?!?!?