Sometimes with big purchases like a new car you plan for months, do tons of market research, poll your friends, etc…Or sometimes you decide on a Saturday morning it’s time for a new car.  We fall into the latter category, this time at least.  We have had our Dodge  Grand Caravan for almost 5 years.  We bought it when I was newly pregnant with our second child and hubs and I decided that wrestling with two carseats in the back of a Pontiac Grand Am was getting ridiculous.  It was our first family car, and we have practically driven the wheels off (shhh- don’t tell that to the dealer who just gave us a decent trade-in value on it).  That car has been from Alabama to Michigan, New York state multiple times, driven across the country to California, shipped to Hawaii and back, all over Arizona and most recently made the trek across the U.S. to our new home in Tennessee.  It’s been in the desert, on sandy beaches, buried in snow, hot, cold, and everything in between.  The van has seen about 3 thousand packs of french fries handed back to eager hands in the backseat, more than one spilled juicebox, been the final resting place for many missing toys never heard from again, and more nuclear-level tantrums that I can count (both mine and the kids).  It is also the van that we brought home our second child in, where I cried after dropping my husband off for multiple deployments, where our family had sing-alongs to Preschool CDs, and a place my husband and I could hold hands as we drive listening to all the chaos in the backseat not sure how we are going to make it but at the same time never wanting these years to end. 

Our trusty old girl was getting a little long in the muffler, so to speak.  She needed new tires, was leaking oil, and had a yellow scrape down her entire right side from when I swiped one of those cement pillars at the gas station.  And she was pushing 100,000 miles.  It was time for us to decide if we wanted to keep her knowing we would be putting money in pretty regularly from now on, or turn her in for a new model.  My husband quickly said it was time to go, and had the kids in the van ready before I could blink.  I had more trepidation.  Could we afford a new car?  This is our van, are we really ready to turn it in?

At the dealer we looked at the year-old Town and Country’s and Grand Caravans.  We were able to find exactly what we needed, did a little bit of haggling (always wish we could have done more), and came away very happy with a 2013 Town & Country.  After waiting forever for the finance department to draw up the paperwork I was so anxious to be done with the whole process.  It wasn’t until I went to get in the new van that I remembered we were leaving our lady behind.  I was shocked in that moment at how nostalgic I was.  But, papers were signed.  Loans were approved and it was time to move on.  I got in behind the driver’s seat of our new van and was struck by how clean it was, how good it smelled, and how shiny all the gauges were.  We had things we didn’t have in our old van like satellite radio, an automatic gate, and the back even had its own built-in flashlight for crying out loud.  I started to feel a little better about our purchase.  It was okay to pamper ourselves a little bit.  To have a newer car that was dependable.  We will make new memories in this vehicle as the boys get older, we face more challenges, and have more adventures. It is time to move on.  I’m good with it, I really am.  And if I start to get sad I’ll go play with the cool new trunk flashlight.  Or listen to some satellite radio.  At least until the free trial runs out…  Have a great week!  🙂

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