Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ready to Settle Down?

First and foremost, and hopefully, she doesn't kill me...Congrats to Liz & Taylor! They are expecting a little one this fall! I am sure that they will be the best parents ever!

And no, that does not mean that Shane and I are ready to settle down just yet. However, in the past few weeks, something has definitely "clicked" in both of our brains. We both have come to the same conclusion that before we can even remotely consider adding to our family, we would really like to purchase our first home. Something about apartment living and raising a child just does not seem appealing to us. However, given that the days of 0% down or 80/20 loans are long gone, in order for us to purchase our first home, we need to save a significant chunk of change for a down payment.

Unfortunately for us, I think we'll need more than what we can find in the couch cushions in the next year...conversely, this is what has "clicked". In the past few weeks, we have both been analyzing our expenses and trying to save were possible. Some prime examples include cutting the cell phone bill down from the $99/month plan to the $50/month plan; looking into DirectTv (with no HD) to drop our cable bill from $80/month to $40/month; looking for apartments that are significantly cheaper than our current place; etc. Although the changes are not monumental, when added up throughout the course of the next year to year and a half, they should make us that much closer to owning our first home, settling down, and starting our own family. In the meantime, we'll just continue to dream about our first home. Our latest favorite website -- http://www.har.com/

Hope all is well! I'll write more soon -- a little summary of our Valentine's Day activity - a wine tour of some Virginia wineries! Love, Steph & Shane

Friday, February 20, 2009

Go Cubs Go...

...and its only the middle of February! However, this post has nothing to do with how well they will do this year, or whether or not "this year is the year", rather we are about to embark on the annual Cubs nightmare for all fans...trying to get tickets!

Basically, the open up what they call a "virtual waiting room" at 10:30 EST. Once in the waiting room, you do just that...wait! Tickets offically go on sale at 11:00 EST/10:00 CST. At that time, they begin "randomly" (or so they say) selecting people out of the wait room and give them the opportunity to purchase 6 tickets. Normally, opening day, Cubs/Cards, and Cubs/White Sox are the first to go...sometimes purchased by fans, other times purchased by so-called just trying to make a few bucks.

Shane and I will both be entering the waiting room in one minute...in an attempt to score at lest 6 bleacher tickets to the Cubs v. Astros game on May 16th...no only will Shane get to see his Astros play, but more importantly, I will get to do the following
- Spend a weekend in Chicago
- Celebrate my last year of my twenty's with none other than the awesome Mrs. Susie Kiefer (we are turning 28 again, right?)
- And get to see Lawren, Jen, Shana, Carrie, Kate, Toni, Sam, Tiff, and more! All of my friends that I miss dearly!

Alright, back to work. Fingers crossed that I get in and can purchase tickets. Not exactly excited about the idea of scalping...despite its successfulness in the past!


Stephanie & Shane

UPDATE: After nearly 3 hours of sitting in the virtual waiting room, I finally got in, but then was informed that I could only buy 1 ticket...just 1 frickin' ticket! So after purchasing, I continued to wait for another chance. Luckily, while I was waiting, Carrie was able to get in an purchase her second ticket...and bless her heart, asked if we wanted it for Shane! Which of course, we said yes...and its a good thing too. I got a second opportunity to buy tickets a mere 10 minutes later and low and behold all of the bleachers for the May 16th game were sold out. Ouch. Oh well. At least I don't have to sit and wait anymore...and we have 2 tickets for my birthday fun day with my friends! Thanks again Carrie, you are awesome! And have a least a beer coming your way!