Saturday, June 2, 2012

Being a Grown-Up

So I'd hoped to keep this mostly entertaining and lighthearted... the occasional intense, emotional story now & then to maintain my humanity, but I don't want this to just become a dumping ground for my difficulties & baggage. Yet, in the same way, I don't want to come across as one of those always happy supermoms who make a perfect seven course meal for dinner every single night and had perfectly clean, adorable kids that obey every word out of my mouth, not out of fear, but because I'm the world's awesomest mom and they love me that much! Yes. I can lie through skillfully snapped photos and carefully crafted entries, too. But, well, I don't want to.

At least not that much.

I might have the kids stand in the cleanest part of the living room or dump the laundry off the couch so I can take a picture of them without a crazy cluttered background because that is something I would do anyway.

As a gesture of good faith, here is a photo of my kitchen sink as it looks right now:

The sprayer hose is curious about what goes on in the lefthand basin.

Oh, sure... that's not so bad... until you turn around and see this behind you:

I think that's a partially-eaten Triscuit on the bottom-left.

Yeah. That's a galvanized metal tub. Full of dirty dishes (not to mention all the other random dishes scattered about the house). Did I mention I don't have a dishwasher? No? Oh, well, I don't have a dishwasher. I wash ever'thang by hand, folks.

In the corner of the tub picture you might have noticed the black bucket of eggs. That is one of three currently sitting on my kitchen floor awaiting deposit into the proper incubators:

We don't incubate the cat food. It's never worked for us, anyway.

I think we may have lost most of our first round of birds, probably because while we saved up enough eggs to incubate, the buckets sat on the kitchen floor and got kicked & tripped over by everybody. That and one of the incubators went on the fritz for a short time and got well over 100 degrees. Homemade balut, anyone?


Anyway, the latest in our epic saga of being young, married, with 2 kids so far, and being perpetually poor (I kind of feel like all or most of those points are redundant) is that our car has a blown head gasket. At least, that's what the guys at the garage told me. And yes, they're trustworthy. I'm not going to some Shady Ray's Chop Shop Junkyard & Repair Garage.

The quoted price to fix? $1600. (Oh, hang on! I think I've got that floating around in the bottom of my purse!) So we can't afford that, really. I suppose technically, we could, but that would make Verizon, Geico, and the electric company very angry with us. So we found a repair manual for $20, a full gasket set for $200, paid extra to have them sent via 2-day shipping, and bribed a mechanic friend to help The Hubby fix it this afternoon. And by help, I mean "do all the work while The Hubby hands him tools and makes sure they don't lose any bolts."

The bad news is that after pulling a few things apart, he now suspects that the car may actually have a cracked head. They're forging ahead with the repair, as the suspicions were voiced before the entire engine was pulled, so they weren't getting a really good look at it... but I am a pessimistic vehicle fatalist and have already begun looking for a "new" car.

Thus far, I haven't heard back from them. I'm kind of hoping that "no news is good news" but even if they get the car put back together and all that, we're all worried that there will be something else wrong with the car that we didn't anticipate. Overheating several times can really mess with an engine (although, in our defense, we always pulled over right away!). I'm wishing/hoping/praying/dreaming that they'll get it all fixed. Especially since I have an important dentist appointment, which I've already rescheduled once, on Tuesday afternoon.

Although, I have to say that I've been fairly calm throughout this entire ordeal. My husband, too. I told him I wasn't sure if we'd been visited by an Angel of Peace or an Angel of Apathy, but whichever it was, I was glad to not be freaking out about this like I normally would.

We both know that God has us right where He wants us. And I think He may be knocking me down a peg or five, because I'd just recently been feeling pretty secure. We had a small chunk stashed in our bank account, nothing financial was really looming in the horizon, and life was beginning to get calm and routine. There may not be anything too bad about that, but routine can lead to passivity and being too comfortable. Frank Peretti once said in a message which I often listen to when I need a little boost that the way you learn to trust God is by having to. Maybe I've hung in there enough times that things like this aren't as scary as they once were. I still feel apprehension and concern about the situation, but it is not all-consuming like it has been in the past. (Not to mention that a very dear friend has been praying especially for peace for us.)

I've heard some people say that God will sometimes nudge you all the way to the edge of the cliff before pulling you back again. I also like to think that sometimes He'll even push us over the edge completely and catch us right before we hit the bottom. I don't think I've been pushed off the cliff yet, but I do think He's giving me a good, hard look over the edge to help me put things back in the right perspective. His perspective.

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