Tuesday, December 8, 2009

'98 Ford Windstar

Before I had kids I said I would never drive a mini-van. Never. My snobbish and idealistic younger self envisioned a Volvo cross-country {navy-blue} or some sort of savvy SUV. All of which makes my current vehicle so ironic and laughable.

As we prepare for a big driving trip, I've been thinking a lot about the Windstar.

Purchased used 6 1/2 years ago from a trusty colleague and paid for within a few months, we figured it would give us extra room for the soon-to-be family of 4. It would simply be an intermediate vehicle we'd drive for a couple of years until we upgraded. Later I looked up the van in Consumer Reports only to discover that the ratings were less than hot. Far less. I wondered if we'd made a big mistake.

The paint on the bumper and fender became peely after a while, much to the embarrassment of my children who should be too young to express vehicular shame. But they have finally stopped asking when we will get a new van.

The short version of the story is this: a van we had only planned to keep for a short time, that should only have lasted a few years, has chugged along for more than twice that long (that's about 65 in Ford Windstar years) with only one repair.

Strange but I have come to love this van and the loyalty it's provided my family. I jokingly say it's "built God tough." There's no reason it should still be running. But every month it does, every month we have not had to go buy a new one, I'm thankful.

Moments of slight embarrassment still sometimes show up unannounced, but I'm pretty good now at swatting them away. Moments when I hope that others don't define me by my van. Usually I don't care but every now and then that before-I-had-kids mentality takes over and I want to crawl under the van instead of in it.

The day will come, maybe soon, when I'll have 4 doors instead of 3, when I'll wave goodbye to upholstery stains and the rogue french fry lodged in the ash tray. And though I'll be thankful for a new and improved ride and probably sit up a little straighter in the driver's seat, I'll always be grateful for the odd and humbling provision of my '98 Windstar.


Taking a little detour {and because these days I'm not posting terribly often and I don't want to forget this}, I have the BEST gift suggestion for any new moms or soon-to-be moms in your life. Enter The Padalily...

Mom-invented by my BFF, Lily, this super-stylish and comfy pad simply velcroes around the handle of the cumbersome-to-carry infant car seat. This way you can carry it in the crook of your arm without bursting a blood vessel or getting a hernia. I can't believe someone didn't think of this sooner but for Lily's sake, I'm glad they didn't!

Seriously people, I had one of these with my 3rd child and I couldn't believe the difference it made. It was so nice to have both hands free to hold the other kids' hands or to tote the many bags I'm always hauling around.

I give one to every new mom...and you should too. {But not to any mom's I'm going to give them to.} Right now, Lily is offering a special promotion: 20% off and free shipping with the code, OCTPAD. Now get shopping! The mommy-arms will thank you.


  1. Our minivan isn't as old as yours, but it is extremely humbling. Yet it just keeps chugging along, and so I keep giving thanks for it, and praying that God will keep it going.

  2. What a great story about the Windstar! I think you should send your story to Ford. They'd probably be glad to hook you up with a brand new Thunderbird convertible!

  3. Stopping by from 'Tuesdays Unwrapped' what a great sentiment - I, too, was of the 'NEVER in a million years would I drive a mini-van' camp. And now, here we are driving a 1995 honda odessy - that we bought a few years back from a friend of ours since they were up-grading. It has also been a loyal vehicle despite it's age and mileage. The radio has long since stopped working, but I am so thankful to have a second vehicle to drive here and there with my two kids while my hubby has been diligently working on his PhD. This is a season, and we keep saying - we'll just get through this one more year, and then we'll consider another vehicle - - - (as our other vehicle is also on the older side) this may be the 3rd year we've said that! ;)

  4. Isn't it funny that sometimes God blesses us in ways that we didn't expect? You don't look like a van person. . . yet what could be more practical for someone with three little ones? You don't look like an old car person. . . yet what could be better than being able to go another month or two or twenty without having to buy a new car?

    Even funnier are the things in which we take pride. Makes me think of Jeremiah 9:23-24.

    You're the best.

  5. we have some hilarious memories in the vans my mom used to drive. One died and one might still be going to this day somewhere out there.. So one day your kids will almost give you a hernia laughing about it! It builds character :) I LOVED the lillypad gift you gave me with Zoey..I highly recommend to anyone!

    love, Amy

  6. Oh my gosh!! This post hits SO close to my heart. Your "never drive a minivan" story is the same as my own. And like you I can't imagine life without my minivan. Hence the name of my blog: 2cool4myMinivan. My original post telling about my blog name told a very similar story to your own. My minivan is much like I am - not always the coolest on the outside, but the good stuff is within.


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