Yes I drive a van and before you haters out there throw up in your mouth I have to say, don't knock it til you drive it....just sayin! I was told that once you drive a minivan, you will be converted and I think that is true. I am not sure who loves it more, the kids, Scott or I. Vera is smitten with the automatic sliding doors, Scott likes the nice, quiet ride, I love the fact that I am no longer launching myself over the middle seat to buckle kids up for preschool and Solon is pretty impressed with the multitude of secret compartments and cup holders (for which have only held water so far ;).
Now the story behind the minivan is a good marriage 101 story so I thought I would record it for someday...
You see about 6 1/2 years ago and much earlier in our marriage. I decided we needed a new vehicle at the time we were double income no kids and none on the way. I drove a bug and Scott drove a large white sedan. I scouted out the car I wanted. We went together and made a deal and were sacked with a car payment for the next 5 years. Yes car payments are a part of life and with 2 incomes, it was not a huge deal...but once I had Solon in my arms and my dreams changed in an instant. We went from 2 incomes to 1. Because of my pressure to buy the last car, we had to give up a lot of extras like cable, etc because of the debt we owed. It was one of those decisions that haunted Scott and I. We hadn't prayed about it, it was my idea and he went along with it, despite his better judgement. Luckily we paid it off a year earlier, God provided in the interim despite the stretch financially and we both learned a very valuable lesson for this time around.
Our SUV was our primary mode of transportation, we rarely use Scott's car for any family outings. We had some issues with it about 18 months (in the middle of our house purchase) and we had to completely replace the transmission (to the tune of 5000), luckily GM claimed some fault and paid 80% but it was still a hefty bill. After that, the car seemed to never fully recover and our trust in it had waned. We continued to drive it though in hopes we could eek out a few more years of no car payments.
However on a recent trip to the lake, the air conditioning sensor started to go crazy and not work reliably, the automatic windows were not working consistently and the most important -- the engine was still being quite temperamental Given this is our primary car for our children, reliability is paramount. Scott and I chatted and he did a lot of research while I prayed on the sidelines, giving my opinion when necessary but this time letting Scott take the lead in the ultimate decision. I had learned my lesson the last time around...
Scott realized after much research the best time to buy a car was the end of August/beginning of September and Toyota was offering 0% financing He chose Toyota for the reliability - remember our chief concern! He asked me my preference on color and necessities for features. Since it has been so long since our last car purchase, all of the "necessities" come standard! This time we got what we needed and nothing extra, praise God for his patience with us. We are learning!
He went to a few different dealers to get the best deal for our SUV (knowing it was a lemon, we didn't feel comfortable selling it ourselves). One afternoon, after a trip to the dealer over lunch he drove into the driveway with our new car. I didn't know what he chose, that he went and that he was bringing home a new car. If you know me, this was a huge trust moment for me in my husband and guess what he more then rose to the occasion. I feel like we have vindicated ourselves from our last not well prayed about decision!
And we all love it...and we got to keep our ISU plates (priorities)
Scott got it with 0 miles on it and it only had the 21 miles from Ames on it when he got home. I have never owned a car SO new!!!! It was stressful watching the odometer click each mile away. We are up over 1000 already :(.
It has been a month and we are all smitten, I am officially a van convert and it has been a blessing to our family to have a reliable car again - no stress about what unexpected fix-it bill might pop up. We know what day the bill is due and how much ;)! We still haven't eaten any snacks and it is still very clean. Scott is impressed and he should be, you mamas know how hard it is to keep a car clean. It still smells new and I hope it does for a while as we won't be getting a new car for another 7+ years :).
So call me what you may - soccer mom, swagger wagon, shaggin wagon...I love it and I am happy to give you and your 6 closest friends a ride too :).