Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Dreamy Birthday, Part I

Recently, Matthew had a birthday!  It was on a Friday, so he took the day off and we made a whole weekend out of it!  Unfortunately I had to work, so Matthew filled his day doing other things...a hike with his good friend Tim at Torrey Pines Reserve (beautiful!), a midday appointment with the DMV to renew his license, and then off to support his good friend Marc in buying a new car (GREAT story there, but I'll let Matthew, or maybe Marc, tell that one).

Then the "Birthday Boy" came home to his first birthday gift of the weekend:
"Happy Birthday!  This Maverick REV-6 is for you.  I've got one too.  As of this moment, consider yourself UNDER ATTACK!  Love, Me :)
We had a fun game shooting Nerf darts at each other...well, mostly Matthew shooting them at me (he IS an experienced shooter ya know!) before a quiet, relaxing evening with the puppy.

Matthew received many birthday gifts throughout the weekend...However, God had a much bigger and better gift on its way that only HE knew about and could deliver...

But First, Let's Step Back a Week

For YEARS, Matthew has been dreaming of one day owning a BMW M3.  For the last couple of months, he's finally been looking for one.  He originally thought he'd own an E46 model (the 2001-2006 version), but after viewing this video...

...he started thinking that perhaps this newer model (an E90) was worth a test drive.  How could he not after that review?!  (If you skipped it, it's worth a watch...some later references will make more sense if you've seen this video.  So get with the program, and watch the's quite entertaining!)

The weekend before his birthday, he found a white one at CarMax.  White is a very safe color for Matthew because he HATES white cars (he owned one once and says he's never gotten so many tickets...of course the car was also a Nissan 240Z), so there was no chance he'd want to buy it.  As he put it, he just wanted "to sit in it."  "Hmm, okay, let's go," I said...seeing no real harm in sitting in it...

Of course, if you know Matthew, after sitting in this E90 coupe (and checking out the engine), he wanted to take it out for a we did.

All I can say  This car definitely had a lot of grunt, and as Matthew said later, it was a LOT of car.  It wasn't very impressive: rough sounding, not super comfortable to ride in, and the thing was a BEAST!  (We figured out later that this car must have had the competition package, kinda like putting more "bite" in your tiger...Have you watched that video up there?  If not, go watch it; there's a reference here.)

Just for kicks, I asked the salesman if they had any sedans (like the one in the review video).  He found one in Ontario and arranged for it to be transferred down here for us.  We didn't bother checking out the specs; we just wanted to see it to be able to compare the two types.  We just knew it was a "black" E90 M3 sedan.

Birthday Test Drive

Later in the week, Matthew got a call that the sedan had arrived, so on his birthday weekend, we went back up there.  Matthew thought it would be fun to be able to drive an M3 for his birthday, and he was pretty excited about it.  We spotted this "black" car from the parking lot...but a funny thing happened as we got closer...the car turned BLUE!  "Uhhh...this could be a problem," Matthew said as we stared at this sparkling midnight blue beauty.  The sales manager came by and gave us the key so we could sit in and check it out while we waited for the salesman to arrive.

Here's a short video as we waited for the salesman:
As we got into the car and took a look around, we both kept saying "Wow!" As it turns out, not only was this car beautiful on the outside, it had EVERYTHING!  Matthew said it a few more times:  "This could be a problem."  In fact he told me "DO NOT let me buy this car today!"

Needless to say, we didn't escape before the salesman could get to us.  Here's some footage of the test drive:
Yeah, we both loved that car...and we were even given a chance to sleep on it.  Matthew didn't have his license extension on him (which meant he legally couldn't buy the car), and we had to head home to get ready for his Birthday BBQ.  So, the guys at CarMax agreed to hold the car for him one more him plenty of time to think about it...and simply walk away if he so desired...

The BBQ was fun:  just a few close friends and very laid back...and we even had cake!
Matthew eyeballing his birthday cheesecake
Stay tuned for Part II...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Laticia: Realizing Dreams

Over the years, I've realized many dreams, like putting myself through and graduating college, buying a new car, earning a Masters degree, finding a job that I love, going to Hawaii, etc.  At the time, each of those achievements seemed pretty big, especially the college-related ones.  But the biggest dream I've realized in my life has been, without a doubt, becoming debt-free and finally owning a home in San Diego...and with that dream, another one followed shortly thereafter...

The House

By the grace of God, I realized a HUGE dream about 20 months ago when I bought my first house in San Diego...something I NEVER thought I'd be able to do!  This house is truly God's house.  If you want to see how escrow went for me and read about some of the "fun" I had with my homebuying experience, checkout this blog I created just for it:

As it was happening, it didn't feel real, and I was kind of afraid of waking up from this dream I was having.  I think it finally sunk in when I had my first major repair last year when my water main had  some leaks (not just one!) and I ended up replacing the PVC piping with copper (Thank you Matthew!!).  Yeah, that was a big dose of reality...welcome to home ownership, right?!  Nevertheless, I still have days when I can't believe I actually got out of that little apartment in PB and bought a house...with an oceanview!!...and a yard!...which led me to realize another dream...

The Puppy :)

God is sooo good!  Just two months after I'd moved into my new home, I had the opportunity to realize yet another dream!  Of owning a doggie!  And not just any doggie...a boxer puppy!  Coincidentally, as I was going into escrow, my tennis instructor's Mom's boxer had a litter of (12!) puppies, and he kept reminding me of this at every lesson (He knew I eventually wanted to get a boxer, and he also knew I was buying a house with a yard).  Finally, in December, when he said they had three left, and one was a girl that I "would fall in love with," I gave in and decided to meet her.  I believe it was after he tagged me in Facebook with this picture:
Will you love me?
She sure was cute, and he even let me have her for the day.  Believe it or not, I gave her back that night saying I needed to sleep on it.  What?!  This was a hard decision for me because a) I had just bought a house, b) I wanted to make sure I was ready for this kind of commitment and would be able to give her a good home, and c) Matthew wasn't exactly gung-ho about it.

Needless to say, on December 30, 2010, I became a first-time pet parent, and I believe I have given her a fantastic home and the kind of life any doggie could ask for!  Her name is Sophie, and she kinda rules the even has her own Facebook page :)

I absolutely could not wait to get a house so I could get my very own dog...and it's taken awhile to get used to the idea that she's MINE and not borrowed!  I love my baby girl Sophie so much!  And there isn't a day that goes by that I don't look at this adorably sweet bundle of unconditional love, and thank God for her...and say to myself (or Matthew!) "I LOVE having a doggie!"  (By the way, Matthew adores her, and they have a very special bond between them.)
Did you just say "TREAT?!"

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Realizing a Dream...

Realizing a dream is an amazing experience, and yet it's sooo surreal at the same time.  I think that's because it's not something that happens to us every day.  We spend so much time and energy thinking (and dreaming!) about the dream, that when it becomes a reality, it feels like...well...a dream!

We've created this blog to share with our friends and family all of the goodness of God in our lives, including realizing our dreams as they become reality...from the most insignificant to the most elusive and wildest dreams we could imagine.  Without dreams, what have you got?  Besides, we're big believers that With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26

We hope you enjoy the ride with us!

~ Laticia and Matthew