28th Birthday, a Mom Van, and The Good and the Beautiful

Yesterday was my 28th birthday! And we did something crazy... We got a van! Here's the whole story.

Truck Trouble

We've been thinking about trading in our truck for several months now, but just weren't sure if it was the right thing to do. It's been having more and more problems lately, but we were torn between paying it off and selling it, trading it in, or just fixing it and keeping it. We took it in for maintenance about 2 months ago and it started acting up soon after. Ryan took it to Les Schwab and discovered it needed $3000 worth of repairs done! How did the Ford dealership not find that!? And this is on top of the $6000 it cost to replace the turbo last year. It was just time for that thing to go. It was beautiful, but too unpredictable and unreliable. It got to the point where I wouldn't drive it because I was scared it would break down, and I didn't like Ryan driving it either.

So for my birthday, we headed over to the Honda dealership to look at minivans (specifically the Honda Odyssey that we'd heard great things about) and SUV's. Apparently Costco has a membership perk where you get a discount on a new or certified pre-owned car, so we tried that out and it ended up being pretty good! The Honda people said it was better than their employee discount haha.

We looked at the van and several SUV's, and surprisingly the van won us over. We also looked at the Honda Pilot, but the inside was SO tiny compared to the Odyssey, and the other SUV's were just crazy expensive (although Ryan really loved the Chevy Traverse - I won this round, so he gets to pick out the next car we get. It will probably be a massive, bright red truck 😄).

Thank Goodness for Costco!

The nice thing about going through Costco was that we didn't really have to haggle. They gave us a $3,000 discount right away, and Ryan asked for a little more for the trade in on his truck and that was about it. It was still an all day thing, but it was much less stressful that it could have been otherwise.

I wasn't sure about a minivan at first... The only thing I was really excited about going into it was the price, but as soon as we drove it I was in love! It drives like a car, but has so much room! It's the perfect vehicle for our family right now.

A Sweet Birthday Surprise

When we got home, Susan had cheesecake and cupcakes all ready for everyone. She said Kender and Rhett helped make them (the cupcakes)! And they also made me this sweet "sunflower" bouquet. I love those boys 💗

The Good and the Beautiful

This last one is from this morning. Ryan snapped a photo of Kender and I doing school. It might not be the most flattering picture (lol) but I love when he captures candid precious little moments like this 💗

Recently we switched up our daily routine (again). It seems like we've had to do that pretty regularly, but Kender decided he wants to work out of the Good and the Beautiful level K now. We tried it back in September, but it was a bit too advanced for him so we stepped back and worked on the Level K Primer (sort of in between preschool and Kindergarten), and worked out of the book Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons. He really liked TYCTR, but I think he was getting bored of doing the same stuff every single day... That book really works, but it's also really boring. Now that he's ready for the Good and the Beautiful level K, he's doing awesome! I really love that curriculum. We skipped ahead a few lessons to find a spot he felt comfortable, yet confident in and I'm really pleased with his progress. At the beginning of the year he really struggled with the mini books, but now he reads them so well! I'm really proud of that kid 💗

PS - the lady at the dealership who did our paperwork said she also homeschools her boys! I love running into people who make me feel normal lol


  1. A van! Congratulations! You are going to love it! Happy belated birthday!

  2. Thanks! I love it!!! I never thought I'd love a van haha :D