Summer 2016

I want to talk about my sister getting married.


I don’t know the last time I wrote in here but since whenever that was, little Brittany got engaged. Here is how it went down from my perspective.

  1. Saturday night Mark and I went to a party at John’s.
  2. Sunday around 4pm we are both napping.
  3. Eric calls me twice. I answer the second time.
  4. He and Brittany have just come home from camping, and he learned she wanted a private engagement – not one with the whole family there. Eric had been planning on proposing in front of the entire family. Plans are changing. “Ché – I have the ring. I think I should propose tonight. Will you and Mark come down to the beach and take pictures… or if you’re hurting, we can do it next weekend.”
  5. “Eric – let’s do it.”
  6. I run to Best Buy to grab a new charger for my camera, and beg the battery to charge at least a little before we  leave.
  7. I cry intermittently throughout the afternoon, at Best Buy, sitting on the couch, driving to the shore. I have to get my shit together.
  8. Mark and I arrive in Spring lake around 9. We sit on a bench in the shadows. We wait like an hour. We’re tired, and staring at every stranger who walks by.
  9. There! I see a flash of a camera on the beach. Brittany’s taking selfies.
  10. They are walking to the boardwalk.
  11. They’re under the streetlamp- Eric is hugging her. I’m sure he’s shaking.
  12. I’m shaking.
  13. I snap a photo – it’s loud. I duck behind Mark.
  14. Eric gets down on one knee. I snap more photos. Brittany is beyond surprised.
  15. Mark tells me to get closer – I say I have to hide – he says why? The secret is out.
  16.  I walk closer, taking blurry photos because I don’t have the flash on.
  17. Eric says “Ché and Mark are here”, Britt turns and says “whaaat?”. She lets out one sob. It was funny.
  18. We hug.
  19. The ring is beautiful.
  20. We take more pictures.
  21. We head to CJ’s for a late late dinner and drinks for them.

Since then:

Venue is booked, Wedding is 8 months away, Bachelorette party is in the middle of planning, Mark and I have said yes to being in their bridal party, I started the speech, the save the dates are on their way.

I am learning so much about weddings – how expensive they are, how much coordination they require, and my GOD how sensitive family is.

It’s happening so fast, but I am so happy. I love Eric. We’ve been friends since we were roommates in Belmar. We’ve been best friends. And he and Mark get along really well, which is something Britt and I always hoped for.

It’s so wonderful and surreal and also, stressful at times. But that’s okay. My job is to keep everyone calmed, and I’m doing well. I am the peacekeeper! Mark’s proud, my mom’s grateful, and Britt is breathing easily.

New Car

In late April or early May, the Scion died. Driving on the parkway it just stopped accelerating. I was listening to a podcast in my headphones, because the Scion had no adapter to use, and once the podcast ended I noticed a weird noise. Within 5 minutes I was on the side of the road. It was completely donezo – needs a new engine.

So I finally bought myself a new car! My first ever new car. My mom is a miracle worker and got me approved for a loan at several banks before finding the best rate. I ended up locking in a 2.6% rate which is amazing. My credit is really  good – which is also amazing because 6 years ago it was terrible.

I got a Nissan Rogue. I wanted a compact SUV for storage and space but nothing so big I can’t drive it. I also needed something that wouldn’t be too bad on  gas since I still commute 4 days a week.

It’s black like I wanted and now I have bluetooth syncing so I can listen to all the podcasts I want, and talk on the phone through the speakers. It reads my texts to me, and it has a backup camera. All things that have been available since 2000 or earlier.. but new to me! The Scion didn’t even have an AUX port.. so you know, this is wonderful.and really all I could afford in terms of new cars.


Mark helped me with the down payment and for that I’m eternally grateful!  I have a 5 year finance on it and then I’ll own it. If it’s still good, I’ll keep it – or I’ll sell it. Maybe I’ll even work close enough to home by then that I can lease a car in the next 5 years — oh the possibilities.


Let’s talk it.

  1. In October I’ll get my first ever substantial bonus. Savings.
  2. I’m hoping to get 1,000 for the Scion (the guy is putting in a new engine and thinks he can sell it for 5K). After paying him for his work and my mom for fronting the cost of the engine. Whatever I get – Savings.
  3. Obviously in February I’ll have my tax return – hopefully 2,ooo or so. Savings.
  4. Continue the 100/wk I put aside now. Savings.
  5. I am still working on cutting back spending so my checking can remain healthy and full. I need to spend less so I can save more.

Why? Because Mark and I are getting engaged this year and weddings are expensive. My mom is not giving me nearly what she’s giving Britt. I am hoping for $10,000 from my parents basically. Then, whatever Marks family can give.

Mark will need to front the rest. I don’t like that, though I don’t think he’ll care. But I am saving now so that I can help toward the wedding too, and because a good savings is fucking important to me. If not for the wedding, for the eventual house.

I just get stupid and don’t save enough. Plus with the new car, my finances can be as tight as I let them be. It’s up to me to make it work. I hope to have $10,000 in savings by the time I get my tax return. That shouldn’t be impossible.



We’re  staying in a bungalo on the beach, walking distance to Mayan Ruins. Not all inclusive – no we’re staying in  a small town where we can eat with the locals each night. There is no wifi, no TV. Limited electricity. Just Mark and I eating fresh food, drinking cerveza, swimming in the cenotes, and exploring the beaches of Tulum.

We’re staying in this on the La Zebra resort. I just can’t wait to spend 9 days disconnected, exploring and sunbathing with Mark. If there is one thing that rejuvenates us, its a week on a beach, in a town we can walk through.


This is my first non-inclusive Mexico vacation. I love that Mark pushes me out of my comfort zone and says, yeah maybe it’ll cost more, but let’s really experience something. It’s completely paid off now, save for like $700 to pay upon arrival. The flight is paid, the shuttle service is ready, the room is waiting.

But First!

Jeff Ward gets married next week. So we have to do that.

I am leading the Twitter handle launch for my department. That is very fancy sounding, or not at all , but its keeping me busy.

We’re going to see the Deftones next week, which is Mark’s band, not mine,  but everyone goes when they’re in town and that’s a lot of fun.