our totally awesome old van.

there was this one time in our life (and by one time, i mean now) that we owned a totally, awesome, old van.
when we were pregnant with milo, we knew we needed to graduate to the minivan club, so we searched and searched until we found our van.
it was the perfect price so that we could pay in one lump sum, and not have to take a loan out.

i loved that van a lot...until one day, i realized that my totally awesome van, was indeed an outdated sucker.
my friends were actually the ones with totally awesome vans cause their doors actually opened on their own...with the click of a button.
they had sunroofs, cd players, windows and locks that actually worked.
it was a lifestyle i just didn't know about.

i experienced quite a few times at the carpool drop off line where the teacher walked up to my car door and just stood there, staring at it.
she was waiting for it to open by itself.
i had to motion to her "you have to use your hands and open it yourself" (insert me making all sorts of awkward hand motions).
she still would just stare, not understanding that a van door doesn't open by itself.
i mean, come on lady...it wasn't that long ago that you actually had to use your own muscles to open car doors.  gimme a break.
and the kicker?
she would WALK AWAY without closing it.
ummm, i'm pretty sure that if you had to open it with your own hands then you're gonna have to do the closing too.
i would have to hang my head low and hop out (while everyone is waiting behind me) and walk around to manually close my van door.
this particular teacher did this every time she had to get my child out for carpool.

i started to get anxiety over it.
it was an ordeal every time...the awkward hand motions...the getting out to close the door...or sometimes just driving away with it open.
this time last year our totally awesome van started to get less and less awesome.
the driver side window would not roll down anymore, so add that to my list of awkward moments.
having to pull up a bit at a drive-thru so i can open my door to get out and get my goods...because my window won't roll down.
or when our automatic locks stopped working...and the only way i could get into the car was to unlock the driver side, with the key...then reach across and unlock all the other doors.
this was awesome with 5 kids in tow...in the orlando heat...let me tell ya.
don't get me wrong.  that van is a good one.
in fact, mr. anderson still drives it.
it's gotten us where we need to go everyday since we purchased it nearly 5 years ago.
i was relieved when i got over my initial shock of being pregnant with olive last year, and realized that "ahhhh yah, we have to get a new car to fit all of us!"
and so we did.  last summer, we bought a new van that fits us all.
and the locks work.
and my window rolls down.
and the doors open on their own.
no more awkward hand motions for this mama.

to all of you who may be driving a totally awesome old van...rock it proudly...even when it's awkward.


  1. ever see LIttle Miss Sunshine? The car that they drive?

    That was us.

    My rockin old van broke down on me MANY times...the windows didn't work...and the gas mileage was broken...loved never knowing if I had enough gas or not!

    we finally got a "new" used van.
    I drive it with my head held held high!

  2. I had to read this post out loud to my husband as we chuckled. We know all too well what you are talking about. His car is reaching 200,000 miles and you can just tell! Cute post!

  3. Oh Emily,
    You made my morning! and yes I am thinking you wrote this post to me as I just die laughing every time I hear of Mr. Old Van. Thanks for sharing it!

  4. Oh I just love this post!! Mostly because I completely relate...our totally awesome old van wasn't in quite as bad of shape. But, you are so right about people not remember how to use their arm muscles to physically open the door! And forget about the trunk. Glad you got to upgrade! (My beloved van was totalled by a deer a couple years ago and we bought an even bigger horror story. haha!) Have a great day!

  5. Emily, the piece about the awkward teacher is so funny! I mean, how awkward?! Goodness! Hope you are enjoying the new ride :)

  6. My big old crown vic's driver's window doesn't open either! I totally feel your pain involving drive throughs, trying to get parking tickets, or drive through bank windows. :) It's SUCH a treat when I go through any type of drive through using my husband's car!!! lol.

  7. i drive a '93 volvo wagon... by choice. it's a beast that i love but there are some "oh brother" moments when i pull up next to the mom in the white pearl 2012 Escalade! and... in the 70's my parents had a van that said "Blue Jeans" on the side, sadly....this is TRUE!

  8. been there, done that!
    exact same thing!
    now I proudly rock my Honda Pilot, especially because our inlaws bought it for us, so it's completely paid off and newish!

  9. i love old cars! i drive an old van (well it's a 2001 toyota-so to us its new because it is the newest we've ever driven a car). i am not ashamed. my van even has a VHS player in it! for reals. it may be old, but we can play movies on long car trips, and even though i have to get out the car to rewind the videos and put them in, it is totally great. it was the luxury van in its day.

  10. What did ya get?? Also, when we had 4 extra kids for two years we drove a 15 passenger van. Whoa. That thing was huge. All the little kiddies would file out and people would just stare. I did not like that van and was glad to see it go. Now I'm just in my normal Dodge minivan. I really need it to last eight more years until Morgan and Carah go to college. Then I'll get a car. That will be glorious.

  11. This post had me laughing.. like reaaaally laughing. Too funny!!

  12. I don't have a van, but I do have a super awesome nine year-old car with a crack in the windshield and only two of my four windows work... of course, one of those that work is NOT my driver's side window. Awkward drive-thru's, for sure!

  13. One of our first family vehicles was a VW bus. And it was pukey lime green. And it was also my father's family van back in the 30's. Ok, the late 50's. Still. So old. "The Turtle Cruiser", as it was affectionately named, was my big brother's first car. He would drive me and my siblings to school in it every morning, and one of us would have to sit on the floor and hold the sliding door shut. And there were no seat belts, and only one bench. And it swayed back and forth on windy days. It is only by the grace of God that we are all still alive today.

  14. Our van's driver side window doesn't seem to like the central Florida heat because it'll stop working but then when we get a cold snap it starts working again! haha!

  15. Ahhhahaa, I love this. It's like people just don't have common sense anymore. I am with you... if you had to open the door with your hands you will also have to close it. WOW.
    New cars are always exciting! Can't wait to get a mini-van for our future family!

  16. i actually laughed out loud when i read about the drive thru! we've all been there :O)

  17. I'm sure that van built a lot of character! :) My mom once had a minivan that if you didn't close it JUST right, the sliding door would slide open at the right speed/turn. My mom got so used to this that she knew how to turn to get it to close while driving haha! Definitely a great memory and a character builder haha! ;)

  18. Made my morning - thanks for sharing! I rocked an old (not really) honda accord that did not have automatic locks, and I got to do the "unlock the drivers door and then climb all over the inside to unlock the other door" move too. It was awesome. Automatic locks were mandatory on the replacement vehicle!

  19. I am laughing mostly because I relate... kinda. I had to drive my parents' "totally awesome van" when I was a teen. A teen! It was awesome. Totally. I hated it. lol

  20. Oh my gosh! This made me laugh so hard cause our van doors do not open on their own either. Your description of picking up your kids at school is EXACTLY mine!! Especially the teacher not closing the door!! haha! Loved when my oldest was finally old enough to shut the door herself! Seriously I'm still laughing! Glad you got an upgrade! ;)

  21. When it's a gift from God you rock it ! Our 2 first cars where a gift from other people in our church. They were old and awkward, but What could I say, we needed it and God gaved it ! So I could only praise God. I also praised God when we bought our presented car and God gaved us the money to pay it cash ! Thank's God for your provision !

  22. Laughing my butt off! We had our totally awesome "old" van just 3 years ago. Yep, no automatic doors. . in fact, not even two side-sliding doors. In your position in the carpool line, I would totally feel like you did. Sometimes you wonder about those "special people" God places in your life. . .*sigh*

  23. Yep, we're on our 2nd rockin old van here. I am LOVING that we have no car payment and it gets us where we need to go. But, how could 2 vans in a row have driver's side windows that don't go down? Ugh. Oh well.

  24. Our silver bullet is kinda old…2006. That doesn't SOUND old. And thankfully all the windows and locks still work. But I have had several awkward moments with the manual sliding doors. Minivans are very impressive beasts. I'm looking forward to buying an "old" 2012 van in 6 years or so. What did you get that can seat 8? And how do you get 6 kids buckled in? As a new mom with 1 baby, I'm just wondering! A friend of mine had 3 kids and then become foster parents and overnight had 6 kids! They had to get a new vehicle, an 8 seater SUV to fit them all. Then, immediately after, she found out she is pregnant! Crazy fun times.

  25. We bought a new minivan 5 years ago.. a strip down one, and opted to NOT spend the extra 3K for automatic doors. I may be lazy at times, but for that amount of money, I can open and close my own door. Lots of people leave mine open as well. We don't have a DVD player either, and I like that too, because I don't have to deal with the kids begging to watch a movie in the car. The only time I ever miss it is on a long road trip...

  26. This post had me near to tears from laughing... I can't believe the teacher in question put you through this every day. My oh my. I rock a mini van... only 4 years old, but most around here refuse to drive one. Go figure. They are the best thing since sliced bread! P.S. Loved your big beautiful belly in your last post... I too showed very similar with our monkeys. Happy Friday.

  27. I used to drive our old family minivan to college. If I didn't catch a particular light green on campus, the van wouldn't make it up the hill to the parking lot and it would die on the side of the road. I'd have to turn on the hazards and sprint to class until I could come back and get it started again. Character building, I tell ya, character building!!
    (I think I would have hung a sign in the window for that clueless teacher you had to deal with)

  28. hahaha... I learned to drive in the family van!! It was awesome, never had to worry about changing lane; just start merging over and people will move :) I drove the old van around for my entire 16th year and got all sorts of funny looks, but I love it and I have so many fun stories to tell my kids!

  29. Aww this makes me feel better! We are having to upgrade to a mini van due to an unexpected child. I have loathed the idea. We refuse to take a payment also so I am sure I am going to end up with something a little older. You made it feel good! As long as it gets me from point A to point B I will be proud of it! Thank you!

  30. Dude! I hate when they leave my door open after that first awkward "HELLO YOU HAVE TO OPEN IT YOURSELF!" moment that already took place. Now It's "HEY, CAN YA SHUT IT NOW??" Hilarious. Good stuff.

  31. Hi Emily,

    I just stumbled across your blog and am glad to be here! This post had me laughing. Hooray for your new van.

    You have already encouraged me to embrace the camera...and I will be linking up for sure!

  32. terri baker drove a bright yellow van with mustard carpet on the inside for 10 years. deal with that in your heart.

  33. I literally was laughing out loud reading this! I so relate to the school carpool pick up. I have experienced the EXACT same thing over and over! I was so glad once my oldest could open and shut the door herself. Happy for you that you got an upgrade! :)

  34. bhahhahaa, this post made me laugh out loud...oh i love it! we have yet to enter the mini-van era (only one kid so far) but when i was little, we had a really awesome dodge caravan...with wood paneling...it was super hip.

  35. I love my totally awesome old van. The windows that don't roll down, the broken headrests, and all. I will drive it until it's dead. :)

  36. we have the same old van and we just ogt a new one that also has to be manually opened and closed. totally go thru the same thing ev time i pick lulu up from preschool.

  37. YES! I have an old van :) the carpool thing happens to me A LOT. For years, I opened my door with a key until we got an automatic lock thing-y from Best Buy. BUT the van is all paid for, no loan ever taken out for it!

  38. oh my word, you just described my van to a "T"...I have a sister in law who refuses to ride in it. I'm so glad there is someone out there who understands!

  39. I so love this post!! My van is the same! Counting the days until we can afford to upgrade! Trying to remain thankful I'm not still driving the hunk of junk we has eight years ago!


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