Old, faithful Corolla
My 1st and only vehicle until a few days ago was a 1997 Toyota Corolla. This car has been with me through several life changes including being dropped off at college with all my possessions stuffed inside, many roadtrips to Chicago and Kansas, graduating college, getting married, finding my first job, moving across the country 6 times, long work commutes, and having 2 children. When I bought the car it had 37,000 miles on it and today it's still running strong at 211,000 miles. In all those miles it's only broken down once (and when we got it to the mechanic it started for them and they could find nothing wrong :) It's been a very dependable car and I only hope this next vehicle will perform as well. As much as I loathe buying a new vehicle when the current one is still running we've obviously outgrown the Corolla as we were literally sitting in the dashboard to accommodate the gargantuan rear-facing carseats that have taken residence in our backseat.
So, over the summer we began looking for mini vans. We had pretty specific needs which meant there were very few options and seemingly none that fit in our budget. As football season and the arrival of Nora drew near we decided to put the search on the back burner and just continue to save money in hopes of finding something this winter. I hadn't looked for vehicles in over a month, but one day I decided to see if anything new came up and lo and behold a new vehicle showed up on autotrader that fit all of our criteria, was at a dealership near by, and was in our price range. This was a huge answer to prayer and Kyle thought we needed to jump on it...however there was no way he would be able to buy a vehicle at this time (I didn't think I could talk the dealership into opening before 6 am or staying open after 10 pm which is when Kyle is available at this time :) However, the guy who helped me buy my 1st car, moonlights as a mechanic, and happens to be my kids grandpa was in town! What a blessing he was able to go with me to look at the van. It looked great, drove smoothly, and according to my dad the inner components looked good. I called Kyle and he gave me the green light. Thankfully the dealership was a small family owned company with really laid-back salesmen (i.e. no pressure or intense negotiating). My dad did all of the talking and within 5 minutes I was writing a check. I drove the van home and marveled at how God provided in His timing (I was really stressed about the vehicle situation this summer, but once I let it go and tried praying about it we found something when we weren't even really looking).
Our new ride
I never in my wildest dreams would have thought I would be excited to own a mini-van. I always said I would never own a mini-van I was more the station wagon type...but we need the extra seats and it's so convenient.