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Pretty, Shiny Things

Our Olympians have returned! The Wisconsin representatives did an outstanding job with a total of 7 medals! Congratulations to all the athletes who challenged themselves and put forth amazing, amazing efforts in the Games!

Friday morning I woke to another huge dumping of snow. While Ben was firing up the snowblower, I eased my car out of the driveway only to get stuck in a huge drift and have to back up into the garage until Ben had a few swipes completed. The early morning drive into work was no fun!

However, 4 hours later when I was packing up for the day, the sun had popped up and was effectively clearing up the roads. Sun does a better job than any ice melt. It’s amazing – the roads were almost perfect! I drove over to see the family and spent some time shoveling slush from the bottom of their driveway. Back-breaking work! Mom caught the “Hong Kong Phooey” as she’s calling it and was in bed recovering and Dad had just woken up, after only falling asleep a few hours ago. Definitely still on Korean time!

I volunteered to drive Dad down to Madison so we could pick our rockstar athlete up and bring him home. Luckily the weather was wonderful – I’m not sure how much I’d have enjoyed it driving down in the snow. Eeek!!!

We spotted the weary travelers arriving at the hotel about 10 minutes after us – great timing. Everyone looked pretty road-weary except Alex apparently had used every opportunity to sleep. Aside from sleeping all but two hours of the flight from Tokyo to LA, he also managed to nap at the airport. I tell ya, Alex is my hero!

Team USA Wisconsin:

olympians

While the other athletes’ families had farther to drive and would come on Saturday, Alex wanted to get home to his own bed ASAP so we made the drive Friday. On the way home, I got a call from Ben saying that our garage smelled like a new car showroom…

The ride home with Alex was terrific. We called Mom so she could listen to all the commentary of the trip and Alex talked for more than an hour non-stop. My favorite comment was regarding his conversations with Olympic Half Pipe medalist Hannah Teter. She was doing the unified team snowshoe event on Alex’s team and went over to introduce herself.

Then she stepped back and said to Alex “Wow, your English is amazing! What country are you from?”

Alex replied, “The United States”.

Hannah: “Oh, well that explains it. Ha ha!”

Alex: “What country did you think I was from?”

Hannah: “Russia”

Umm Hannah, all the athletes are head-to-toe country outfitted. At any given time there’s about 20 TEAMUSA markings on Alex’s clothes. Too funny

Alex just before the unified team event:

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Alex’s snowshoes – up close and personal:

snowshoe

I got home around 8:30 with Ben informing me that he’d blown through 1/4 tank of gas sitting in my car listening to the SiriusXM radio and monkeying with the various settings. It’s official folks, my 13 year old car – whom I’ve been with through thick and thin – had been replaced. I bought my first car in April of 2003. I’d just accepted my first job out of college and would start the next month after graduation. I remember feeling so light and free of worry knowing I had a new job in the bag before I even graduated. So I went to the car dealership during Easter break and drove back to school with a 3 year old Malibu that had just gotten off of a lease. She was a little banged up (both inside and out) but nothing major and only had 36,000 miles on it. Considering I owned the car for 10 years, I more than got my money’s worth. It was cheap, reliable transportation until last year when it started acting up. Since I figured out the source of the issue though, it’s been great. Just not in the snow.

So after much debating, I splurged and bought my first (and last) “new” new car. From a finance perspective, I clearly know that buying a brand new car is one of the worst financial decisions you can make. Even when I crack the numbers, this car’s yearly ownership is 3x my old car. But, it’s my one time splurge. I’ll likely have this girl 10+ years too so we decided to get exactly what I want. After that, we’re back to cars just off of lease!

Five miles baby.

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I realized a funny but amusing truth. I’m sure all of you women know about “new baby smell” and how divinely wonderful babies smell, right? I think the same thing is true about guys and “new car smell”. Ben insists I drive everywhere now so he can experience the smell. He’s crazy about it! Ha

He’s also crazy about taking pictures of me driving down the road in it:

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On Saturday we drove back to see the family and hear more stories of the travels and competitions. Plus, I was dying to see the goods.

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Alex’s medals were absolutely the coolest things I’ve ever seen – I loved all the Korean lettering on the bottom too! We also got to look through the vast collection of pins Mom & Dad collected during the Games. Tons from different US states and many of the various countries as well.

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They had a fun booth set up one day where a Korean man was personalizing fans. Mom went and asked for few different ones, and suspected the man got “Alison” confused with “Alex” – although he assured Mom the fan said “Alison”. So mom went to one of the Korean volunteers and had her read the fan to Mom. Sure enough, Mom was right. So she went back and got a corrected one.

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Too fun!

Sunday was spent doing the usual grocery shopping followed by laundry and hours of lovely lounging about. I’ve been really fortunate that this semester has been TONS easier (so far) than last semester. We’re already starting week 5 and I fee much more relaxed and on top of things. Last semester I never would have had a Sunday to just veg around and enjoy myself. It was wonderful!

And now, back to the work week. Make it a great one folks!

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4 Responses

  1. Pretty bling! Congrats to all the athletes!

    So what kind of car did you get? We are going car shopping after I finish the bathroom.

  2. Congrats to Alex and all of his team mates.

  3. SO much excitement in this post! Shiny medals,a talented athlete, AND a new car!!??! Sounds pretty amazing to me!

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