How a Jeep taught me to loosen up

The last couple of months have revolved around an ongoing debate at my house. My fiance Mitch wanted to trade in his truck (which he had just purchased in November) and get a Jeep. My list of arguments as to why this was a bad idea was long:

  • You just bought this truck. If you didn’t want it, you shouldn’t have bought it.
  • We are saving up for a wedding. You don’t need to be spending money on toys.
  • How are you going to haul things without a truck?
  • Yes, I know it seems fun, but do we really need it?
  • I don’t know why you have to change vehicles so often; this is the fifth vehicle you’ve owned in the seven years we’ve been together.

And so on and so forth. I was dead set against this purchase. But, as I thought about it more, my arguments really it didn’t have to do with any of the above points. It had everything to do with a difference in two philosophies:

Philosophy #1: Lifetime of a vehicle

Amanda: A vehicle should be driven until it dies, paid off so you can save money for something new.

Mitch: A vehicle should be driven until I find something better (and not lose any money).

Philosophy #2: Large purchases

Amanda: High dollar purchases give me anxiety.

Mitch: Can I afford it? Awesome. Moving on.

It’s not uncommon to have differing philosophies in a relationship, especially about money. But, at the end of the day, we have one overriding policy between the two of us: if it doesn’t affect our joint finances, I don’t tell him how to spend his money and vice versa. We’re too independent to like being told what we can and can’t do with our respective incomes and so we’re good with this compromise. Which is why, last Tuesday night, Mitch became the owner of a 2008 Jeep Rubicon.

And I couldn’t be happier.

As we’ve been having this argument, all of my points centered around fear. Fear of spending too much money. Fear of not having enough money for the wedding. Fear of getting into the habit of frivolous spending. But those are my fears, not Mitch’s. He knows he can afford it and he’s better than me at looking at the bigger picture. He saw how driving a Jeep could allow us to have better experiences than his former vehicle. Not just for him, but for us as a family.

And he was right.

We spent the 4th of July weekend in northern Michigan, and here’s just a glimpse of the blast we had thanks to the Jeep:

Jeep ride with Mitch and my dog

Our first family ride in the Jeep with the top off, feeling the wind in our hair (or fur).

Dog eating ice cream

Nothing like taking the Jeep to get some ice cream – even Leo got his “pup cup”!

My sister and her boyfriend joined us to do a little off-roading in the Jeep. When you're flying at 60 mph down bumpy 2-lane seasonal roads, your hair's going to get a bit crazy!

My sister and her boyfriend joined us to do a little off-roading in the Jeep. When you’re flying at 60 mph down bumpy 2-lane seasonal roads, your hair’s going to get a bit crazy!

 

I have a bad habit of getting a little too uptight, and not enjoying the moment for what it is. But Mitch’s “frivolous” purchase was one more example of how he consistently shows me how to loosen up a little, chill out and have fun.

So here’s to many more off-roading, wind in our hair, singing to the music moments in the Jeep!

 

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Top 5 holiday weekend highlights!

It’s been a long time since I’ve taken a vacation, but this past weekend I disconnected and headed to northern Michigan to spend 4th of July with my fiance Mitch’s family at their lake cottage. While I didn’t get all the things I had planned to do accomplished, it was amazing to stop worrying and just enjoying being with great people having fun.

Here’s some of my highlights from the long weekend:

Off-roading in our new Jeep

Last week, Mitch bought a Jeep (more on that in the future) and this weekend we really got to see what it could do. Northern Michigan has some great two-track seasonal roads that we went and played on, and we were lucky enough to have my sister and her boyfriend come and join us!

My sister and her boyfriend joined us to do a little off-roading in the Jeep. When you're flying at 60 mph down bumpy 2-lane seasonal roads, your hair's going to get a bit crazy!

My sister and her boyfriend joined us to do a little off-roading in the Jeep. When you’re flying at 60 mph down bumpy 2-lane seasonal roads, your hair’s going to get a bit crazy!

 

Cruising into town for some ice cream

Most of these northern Michigan towns are pretty small, but we took some time to cruise into Harrison in the Jeep (top off!) to get some ice cream. My dog, Leo, even got to get in on the fun!

Jeep ride with Mitch and my dog

Our first family ride in the Jeep with the top off, feeling the wind in our hair (or fur).

Dog eating ice cream

Nothing like taking the Jeep to get some ice cream – even Leo got his “pup cup”!

Celebrating the marriage of one of my oldest and best friends

On Saturday, Mitch and I drove over to Holland to watch one of my best friends, Robyn, get married. Robyn and I have been friends for about 18 years, starting with doing gymnastics together. It was great to see her take her next step in life with a wonderful man and see the love they share for each other.

High school friends at Robyn's wedding

Robyn was a beautiful bride! It was so great to celebrate with her and our two other best high school friends, Holly and Nicole.

Mitch and Amanda at Robyn's wedding

Mitch and I clean up pretty well!

Tooling around on the lake

It’s not 4th of July in Michigan without a little time on the water. Between getting the pups on board, getting a good sunburn tan, and watching fireworks from the pontoon while they went off from all directions around us, there’s nothing like a little boat time to boost your spirits.

Dog on pontoon boat

Leo absolutely loved the boat – this is his “happy face”!

Hanging out with family

Over the past seven years, it’s been awesome to get to know Mitch’s family and hang out with them on weekends like this. In the next two months, their current cottage will be demolished to make room for a newer one that will fit the growing number of people who come to the lake and enjoy each others’ company. This last weekend at the current cottage was a great time to reflect on lots of good stories and make a few more. Plus, I was especially glad that my sister and her boyfriend could join us for a day of boating, off-roading, swimming with the dogs and playing games. This is what a holiday weekend is supposed to be about and we did it in epic style.

Can’t wait for the next lake weekend and a chance to make even more memories. Hope you had an equally awesome 4th of July with your friends and family!