Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A busy (read: expensive) year shaping up

Well, just when we thought Bill might actually get to use some vacation for, well, vacation . . . .

Life happens.

Kids, when they grow up? Become big, giant money sucking machines.

You think they're big, giant money sucking machines when they're in diapers and daycare?!?

Just wait. Just you wait.

And when you have four of them? Might as well just hand over the checkbook.

My kids? Just nickel and dime us to death. "Mom, I need gas money." "Mom, I need groceries."

And now? We have two big events coming up this year. Poor Bill, all he wanted was to have a week off just for himself. But now? Two big unexpected family events.

First, we found out about a month ago that Bill's oldest daughter is expecting a baby sometime in October. Grandbaby number two! While that's exciting news, it means a trip down to southern California when the baby's born -- probably for about a week.

Bill only gets two weeks vacation a year, mind you.

He has nearly a week saved up.

Then, a few nights ago we get a phone call from his younger daughter.

"Dad, I'm getting married!"

"Yeah, I know, you told me last year. You're getting married June 15, 2010."

"No, Daddy we moved it up."

(Bill is praying under his breath -- please don't say this year, please don't say this year please . . . )

"I'm getting married June 7th!"

Bill, hopefully, "Next year?"

"No Daddy, this year!"

Bill, trying not to groan, puts his head in his hand, while trying to sound excited, "This year? Like, in three months from now?"

"Yeah, isn't that great, Daddy?"

"Oh yeah, honey, that's wonderful," Bill says, watching his vacation flying out the window.

Where does Daughter #2 live?



We live in California.


We just moved. Moving is expensive.

Because at the time? We didn't know a wedding, necessitating a plane trip to Cleveland, Ohio, was in the works.

I checked airfare? Cleveland is not a popular stop in the airline industry. It's certainly not anybody's hub. Even on Southwest, it costs over $900. One reason, is that we're wanting to fly out on a Friday and fly home on a Sunday, two of the heaviest (and most expensive) travel days of the week. The reason? Poor Bill doesn't want to burn any more of his vacation days than he has to. And besides an expensive plane trip, there's renting a car, and a hotel room, and food . . . OMG.

We had hoped to put our tax rebate/economic stimulus money from the government into the bank and start building our savings.


Not gonna happen. I just hope we get it soon enough to buy our plane tickets.

And then, another trip to SoCal when the baby's born in October. At least we can drive there. But there's a week of motel costs and meals out . . . not to mention gifts. Oh, and a wedding gift for the younger one, and I'm sure some wedding expenses. Sheesh.

We'd hoped to go to Chicago for Christmas to be with Bill's Dad and sisters back there. First of all, Bill won't have the vacation time anymore. Secondly, we won't have the money.

We thought that at this time in our lives, we'd finally have some time (and money!) for ourselves. Ha!

And I'm really not complaining; it's wonderful to have so much family. Children, grandchildren, parents, siblings -- it's truly a blessing to have such things. I just wish most of them didn't require a plane trip to visit.