March 31, 2009

New Car

We got the offer for my beat-up Malibu on Friday. Marcel and I went car shopping most of Saturday and test drove a handful of different vehicles. Just like before we got the offer when I was on and off the phone with insurance companies, I was on and off the phone with my mom, because we weren't thinking we'd be car shopping for many years!

The Crazy Story
Monday, we went to test drive a Pontiac Vibe, simply from a picture my mom sent me from the Idaho dealer and 1 commercial I saw, but Pontiac isn't with Chevy here like in Idaho, so they didn't have one. Because of that we test drove another Chevy Malibu & an HHR, just something Marcel threw in for something very different. We were so close to buying the Malibu but I had to take Marcel back to campus for class. I then went to the old Malibu and got the last of the stuff I had in it (took some more pictures of the crazy amount of damage) and authorized the tow company taking it to a salvage yard somewhere. Picked up Marcel and instead of heading back to Chevy to buy the Malibu, we found the Pontiac dealer to test-drive a Vibe. Marcel had to test drive a Mazda 3 to get to the Vibe, because the lot is actually 2 lots about 5 minutes apart. He loved it for the power, but not much else (probably because of my influence on how ugly the interior was!). We both test-drove the Vibe, he a lot longer than I because I really only needed to know if I could see out the mirrors, the sun shade didn't take up the whole windshield, I could reach the radio and heat/AC buttons, and the interior was pretty. He was at first disappointed with the power of it until he realized he was going 60 much faster than he expected. It quickly became clear that we both enjoying driving and riding in the Vibe than the Malibu--so our decision was made!

There were still so many decisions to be made...Marcel and I had been judged/stereotyped/looked at funny (insert correct word here) before we'd even get out of the car at each dealer we went to, and with our blessing, my mom and stepdad will actually be the ones working with the Idaho dealer to get us the car. We used the dealer's website to figure out which of the 10 we wanted. As soon as we get the check from the "guilty" guy's insurance, they'll head down and pick up the Bailey's new car--I'm less than 2 months away from being a Bailey!

The new car
2009 Pontiac Vibe
Wrong color, but the picture is just from online

Through the entire process of dealing with insurance companies, my mom was working hard to remind me that something good was going to come of it, somehow someway. After our hectic day of car shopping and me being very stressed all Monday morning almost buying a car, I feel so much relief after finally deciding what we'll be getting. Like I said before, it's only a few years earlier than Marcel and I ever imagined buying a new car, we are grateful we found a car we LOVE and can afford, even very early in our marriage that has yet to start!

Always remember the lesson we learned in this unpredictable situation:
God won't give you something you can't handle and there's a silver lining to EVERY situation!

March 27, 2009

And The Damage Is...

I got a call today from the guilty guy's insurance. They saw my car this morning and with the advice of the auto body shop, the damage exceeds the value of my car so it will be getting totaled out. They are going to let me know by Monday night what sort of check I'll be receiving.

His insurance still hasn't taken liability officially since I have not given my recorded statement, but my insurance agent said by them totaling out the car they are already proceeding like they have accepted liability, which is a good thing!

I'm very sad to think that my cherished Malibu is going to be transferred to a salvage yard in just a few days. It still seems too nice a car to be there. I have a rental car for now until we hear how much the car is worth and decide what to do with the money. Not sure what's happening next. I do know that I hope for myself and every person I know that there are no more accidents in our lives. It's a big stressful mess and no one was even hurt in this crazy accident.

March 25, 2009

Being A Grown Up Sucks!

As of right now, I have decided that being a grown up is nothing it is cut out to be!

I've been on the phone all morning calling my car insurance, the "guilty" (is it mean that I keep referencing him that way?) guy's insurance, which is giving me the runaround about dealing with my car, getting it towed, getting a rental car. Turns out, they want me to pay out of my pocket to have my car towed to an auto body shop, as well as a rental car, because they don't pay for things until they have completed their investigation because it was one of their drivers at fault. The good news, I can get their discount at Enterprise, if that even counts as good news ;)

Then, after my doctors appointment today, I took my prescription to the pharmacy to get it filled and turns out my insurance was terminated on January 1st. I had gotten a letter that it would be but I called was assured that indeed my coverage was still active. I am even still paying for it every paycheck (I'm only part-time but am eligible to pay for insurance, which I do gratefully!). I called 24 Hour Fitness Benefits to basically be hung up on saying I needed to call Blue Cross. I call Blue Cross and hear that they can't do anything until I talk to 24. Yet another runaround. I think it will be fine and they'll retro-date my insurance so that today's visit is covered but it's just been something else for me to deal with today...

Yep, it's official, I don't wanna be a grown up anymore!

March 24, 2009

My Car Got Crashed

Today on my way to work at the gym, I got in a car accident. I was less than 2 minutes from work (driving time, of course!) and in the busiest part of my 30 minute drive from Forest Grove. I slowed down at a red light, like most people do, and next thing I know, I'm being hit from the back and pushed into the car in front of me. There was the "guilty" driver and 3 other cars involved, and I was #2 from the front. There were a few causes of the accident, from the mouth of him: 1) He wasn't in an area of town he knows well, 2) he thought there was more distance between the 2 lights where the incident occurred, 3) he got distracted by a parked semi truck that serves as an advertisement for a truck driving school. He told us he didn't even have time to hit the brakes before he hit the car behind me.

I didn't feel hurt there and told the firemen I was fine, and it really was the case, besides my shaky limbs I felt fine, but as I sat at work every minute that went by I could feel my neck getting more and more sore. I have ice on it as we speak and am going to the doctor in the morning to get checked up.

The damage is obviously more than $1500, so I not only have to deal with insurance companies and arrange a rental car (my car got towed from the scene--the person who was behind me got picked up by my co-worker so he gave me a ride to work), I have to complete a 7 page form from the Police Department. YUCK.

Here's the damage, just from the front!

It's from my phone, so I'm not sure what the quality of the picture is, but I think it shows pretty well what my car looks like now. The back isn't quite as bad but it gives the front a run for its money! I'll keep my blog updated with my condition, and the condition of my car, which in all likelihood will be totaled out.

March 22, 2009

Random Act of Kindness

Yesterday, after a long morning of working with the kids at the gym, I got to Marcel's dorm starving and ready for lunch. As soon as he got to the door to let me in (he was nice enough to have lunch ready and waiting!), a girl came up to me asking me how to get to Pacific University, which she was already at since we were at the dorm. She then told us that she had just taken the bus from Hillsboro to see her aunt who lived in an apartment near campus--she had no address or phone number! Marcel and I both thought of the same one, and directed her in the right way to go. She seemed confused so Marcel offered me to walk her to where she thought her aunt lived. When we got to the most known Forest Grove apartments, it turns out that she lived in a small house near an apartment complex, so we headed back to campus to drive her around town. In my 15 minutes of walking with A (neither of us can remember her name but know it started with an A) she revealed to me that she was actually trying to find her foster mother's house who she had stayed with just 1 night earlier in the week before getting placed into a more permanent home. She opened up to me about her dad being physically abusive to her and her 10 brothers and sisters, but that she was the only 1 who stood up to him. She was only in foster care because she had confided in a high school teacher who was willing to help A get out of the horrible situation.

Once we got back to campus, we called Marcel for my car keys and he offered to come with. We drove all over Forest Grove and it seemed like everytime we found something that could possibly be the house something in her description changed (just like we were looking for apartments, then suddenly a small house). Turns out the foster mom was supposed to pick her up at Safeway (there's a bus stop there) but she wasn't there when A got off so she decided to find the house herself because she had no phone number to call.

After driving 45 minutes through what always feels like an extremely small town, we did miracously find the correct house: a little red house, very close to where we started, just on a block we somehow skipped!

As Marcel and I headed back to his room, all I could think about was that we did a great thing. Marcel and I pray nightly that God will use us to be a light to other people and today allowed us to see for ourselves that we can in fact be a light. The more interesting thing to me is that I was starving and ready for lunch way before I left work and with the walk time, drive time, then reheat lunch it had been almost 2 hours and I hadn't felt hungry. God took care of my needs so that I could help one of his children in a much worse situation than I've ever been in. The few hours we spent with A opened our eyes to what we're capable of with God's help.

March 20, 2009

My Fiance Is The Best

I spent tonight in the Pacific Library 24 Hour Study Room getting the last of our invitation materials printed (they are going to be mailed by next Friday! One more thing to cross of the huge list.) When Marcel came to get his key back from me--it's the only way into the library afterhours, and also happens to be how he gets into his dorm, which is the only real reason he needed it--I was surprised by seeing him at the door holding a handpicked flower for me.

I absolutely love this flower. In Oregon, it's the first sign of life after many months of rain, and in the case of this year: snow. It's the reminder that we will one day see sun again, and spring is right around the corner!

Marcel is continuously surprising me in very small, but extremely meaningful ways. It had been a long day of again working 2 jobs just in time to get home and work on wedding plans, and he shows up with a gift for me. He never ceases to amaze me and I ask myself daily how I could have gotten so lucky to find such a perfect guy to spend the rest of my life with.
Only 71 more days until I'm Mrs. MaryBeth Bailey!

March 16, 2009

The Last Session

Yesterday Marcel and I had our very last pre-marital counseling session. I walked out of the meeting feeling very emotional, partly because of something we were talking about, but partly because it was the last one.

They gave us their parting advice and while the mentor husband's came with a warning that it was super cheesy, I felt particularly moved by it. He quoted a Bible verse (to which I can't remember the reference) about love covering all. He then reminded us to realize that we are each other's life partners. That nothing can ever come between us if we don't let it. God has called us to experience the roller coaster of life together and that as long as we keep loving each other, we can make it through anything. He then closed our last session with a heartfelt prayer about our last minute wedding planning, because even if it is only 1 day, it is a celebration of what God has planned for us, for our upcoming marriage, and for us to always have our hearts open for hearing the direction God wants to move each of us individually and as a married couple.

We feel extremely lucky that we were able to work with the mentor couple we did and that it was God's timing that brought us together with them. It has deepened our relationship in a way I was never expecting from going through these 8-10 sessions. It has opened our eyes to the work that we have to consciously put into our marriage in order for it to be as loving as God has intended.

The people I have shared with about us being in a pre-marital counseling group have more or less laughed at it, but we both realize the experience it has been for us and we would never change it for the world!

March 9, 2009

A Small Gesture That Spoke Volumes

I am fascinated with the show Jon & Kate Plus 8. I stay at Marcel's every Monday night, mainly because I don't work and he doesn't have late class (band classes keep him busy until 10pm), but the fact that he has cable and gets TLC is an added bonus. Every week after we watch House, which we both love, he sits with me and lets me watch Jon & Kate. I find it very entertaining to watch such a crazy situation run so organized--something I desire when we finally have kids :) Plus, it's true what they say: kids do say the craziest things and with 8 of them the show always makes me laugh. Oh, and Marcel really does enjoy the show he's even decided we'll have 3 then 7 to out-do them! (I say 3 the first time and we're done; no chance for the extra 7!)

Today as I was getting off work at 10am, I found the sweetest thing! Marcel sent me a text message that said, "I love you and hope work didn't come too soon this morning. Jon & Kate are on Oprah at 4."

Seems so simple, but it told me something:

Even something as simple as watching a commercial made him think of me and my needs, well maybe this is just a desire, but nonetheless he was thinking about me and keeping me happy!

March 4, 2009

It's Official

After what feels like forever, I finally heard back from the apartment we applied for.
We are picking up keys and can start moving in April 3rd.
Things just keep falling into place! Only 87 more days until our wedding :)

March 1, 2009

Marcel Drew, my love

Today we had a pre-marital counseling session on a Sunday morning where I work, so our morning looked like this: Marcel drops me off at work, goes to church alone, finds stuff to kill almost an hour and a half (sometimes its 2 hours) before coming to pick me back up.

Today, he went to the Goodwill Outlet store near my work, and when he picked me up this is what our conversation mostly went like:

"I went to that Goodwill store today and met a really nice black lady from Forest Grove." (In this area you don't see many different races)

"Oh, really?"

"Yeah, and she had bought a lot of stuff and was taking the bus back to town (FYI: I give myself about 30 minutes to drive to work, so on the bus it would be even longer),
so I offered to bring her stuff to her."

"Stories like that make me wanna cry!"

Well after counseling--on money, it was a fun one!-- Marcel took a weird turn, all because he was the one to remember we had a stranger's things in my trunk. We got to her house and she invited us in, and was very disappointed that we couldn't stay longer than just meeting her family. Marcel has her phone number and strict orders for us to come by soon!

I know it before this event today, but my fiance (and husband in 90 days!) is an amazing person. He takes simple actions and turns them into a way of showing God to others. It wasn't out of our way to stop by her house, but he would have done it anyway, because it was such an easy way to help someone in need. I just have to say that I love him more now because of my realization!