We. Bought. A. (GULP). MINIVAN.

I’s car has been dying a slow death for about 6 months now. And by slow I mean the death happened when Chicago decided that negative degrees was the new thing. We literally jumped it 4 times to get to the four places we went to look for our next ride. She was a good old 10 year old gal with lots of spunk and a *nearly* kidless interior. She was basic (not in the modern sense of the word #targetandstarbucks) but in the sense that you didn’t need a college degree dating later than 2008 to operate her. 

Enter Bertha. She is a lovely preowned T&C (not to be confused by T&A for all you 90s folks). We are unsure of whether she is blue or black- it depends on the sun. She is fully loaded with the entertainment, leather, power doors, and cup holders/consoles that moms DREAM of. We found her after looking for new, used, and non existent vans. She. Is. Glorious. Here is what I learned about shopping for minivans (or any car when you are in a crunch, on a budget, and need something different). 

RESEARCH. One of my longest soul sisters, M, has the exact car that we now bought and its mainly because we know the power in word of mouth. Chrysler should hire that girl because she made it a no brainer once we found our unicorn car. 

Who isn’t on a budget? This girl is on a b.u.d.g.e.t. We came up with the idea to write out our bottom (desperate or I isn’t going to work on Monday) line. Before we even got to the dealerships (4- yes 4). We walked away from 2 Town and Country’s, one Pacifica, and an Odessy (that we couldn’t even buy because they are recalled until March). We FINALLY got that bottom line to work at the final dealership. SIDENOTE: we had S and B with us for 3/4 of these nightmares… er… experiences. I was sweating for all of the negotiations in which I was a COMPLETE B*tch which is a whole other post). ASK FOR #allthethings. Get that car certified, gas, weather mats, headphones, their firstborn- whatever it takes to make you get the feels when you leave in your new beast. 

WALK AWAY. Just. Do. It. If it doesn’t feel right, walk away. We kept finding that when we pre-emailed about a used vehicle (we looked at new too), we got the B-team of salesmen. At one place, we had a man that was literally BURNING the time clock as my 2 year old licked her hands after playing in sleet water from the shiny tile of the showroom floor. GET IT TOGETHER DUDE! We are a family of 4 with kids who hate us right now. JUST RUN THE NUMBERS. We should have left after he had no idea what the difference was between 2 models. 

GIVE IN. My mom had a minivan growing up. Her name was Gumby. She was, yes, green and had gold hubcaps. Not rims. Hubcaps. She was the opposite of cool, and even in the 4th grade, I knew it. I swore I could never want one of those. And then I had two kids who act like drunk wet noodles when you put them in the car and I’m like #givemealltheslidingdoorsandTV. 

At the end of the day, I love my sweet, sweet Bertha. She is big, beautiful, and I didn’t have to lift my BOB stroller 4 feet to get her put away after Stroller Barre class today. I love her. She loves me. Alas, I can listen to Bone Thugs N Harmony on 104.3 while B says “bone” after each verse in peace while feeling like a good mom. 

Holiday Hangover

Holidays with one kid seemed hard. It was not. Holidays with a toddler and a newborn was hard. It was not. Holidays with 2 toddlers was hard. But magical. It felt like an actual season as opposed to something I was rushing through. I learned a lot about the spirit I thought I lost years ago this holiday season, and I certainly learned a lot about what I need to get through the holidays healthy and happy. 

I NEED to workout. The whole house is happier when this lady is active. Cat and dogs included. Not only do I need to workout, but I need to do it WITH people that I love. My soul sisters make it a heck of a lot easier to push myself and enjoy the ride…. er…. run… er… whatever it is. 

I NEED to connect with I (hubs). We need to date each other. Which is super hard. But we figured it out pretty well. A while back, on a whim (Thanks to aforementioned soul sister S), I bought my husband a record player for our anniversary. Truthfully, I still don’t love the idea of I spending $14 on a record when we have spotify and amazon music butttttt it has given us a chance to connect. I plop down with him in our “record room” (dining room), some candles, and a bottle (box) of wine. That is my perfect date night. We connect, talk, and enjoy each other. 

I NEED my soul sisters. They (namely J) let me vent like a crazy lady all day long. And thank god for that. 18 months ago, I was a lost not-so-new mom in suburbia. I didn’t have my tribe. But I found them. And I am loving them HARD. How I found (made) my tribe is a whole other 3826 posts, but I can’t imagine life without these beautiful souls and their kiddos who I love like my own. Yesterday, I was with some of them, and when I saw C and A’s kiddos, it was like I was picking my own kid up from preschool for the first time. C’s son hugged me for a good 5 minutes and all was right in the world. 

Onto 2018 with #allofthethings. We will start with fingers crossed that SS (my 2 year old) starts using the big potty for poop so that I can stop barfing while essentially cleaning poop filled tupperware while trying to relay that it was still a “good job”. Other goals for 2018: Date, Love, and LIVE my dream.