A Look Inside My Minivan

So last September as we prepared for Maddox to join our family we knew it was time to give in and finally purchase a minivan.  My dream car would be a Yukon or Tahoe but financially . . . yeah right, and more importantly I was not about to lift small children into a monster car every day!  Our lovely Honda Odyssey has surprisingly turned out to be one of our favorite cars, my husband probably fell in love with it first and I would often catch him driving it places even when the kids were NOT with him!  Of course we bought the van used, but it was new to us and in excellent condition.  The floors were beautiful and there were mats covering the entire van, something that would come in handy with having young kids. 

The day our minivan came home I made a promise to myself.  I would not be that mom with the van that has layers of trash in it.  I would not be that mom whose van doors slide open and food wrappers fall out of it.  Snacks and small toys will not be tolerated in my van.  Crafts from church would be taken inside immediately and not left to sit there for days until the crafts the following weekend are added to the pile.  The smell would stay fresh because no gummy snacks would be allowed.  My trunk would be organized, carrying very minimal things that we might need in an emergency like wipes and water. 

Well . . . I broke my promise to myself.  Like in a BIG way.  My intentions were good for a while, and the kids were happy with water.  But slowly the screams in the car were too much.  Then there were the times that I knew my kids were hungry and I felt bad making them wait for a 25-minute car ride to eat at home.  I thought that having the excuse of being far from the back seat would keep me from giving things to Brooklyn and Gavin but you guys . . . I have literally thrown bags of food at them.  I have also thrown some cups before, which has not gone too well.  The crazier and louder my life gets the looser I am about the “rules” I start.  Not to mention when the weather gets hot I clean my car less and less. 

I am that mom with the stereotypical messy minivan. 

Did you see that white paper on the floor in the third picture?  That's actually a really important packet I'm supposed to bring back to the Dr.  There were so many dried bread crumbs it looks like I make my family do communion each time we enter the van.  The gummy smell was intoxicating, which made sense since I found some in every single possible crevice they could possibly have fallen in.  Baby D had enough food under his seat that I wouldn't need to pack a snack for him for at least a week, I could just simply reach under his chair and grab a handful of crackers each car ride for him to enjoy.  Those damn sippy cups that I keep buying because they go missing all of the time, I found four.  

I have that van.  Thank God I fill every single seat in there so I don't have to give anyone a ride.  "Need a ride? Sorry, I wish I could give you one, but we're full!" is what I might say to someone- but the reality is they might pass out from the smell, get a cracker thrown at them or stain their pants from the leftover food thrown into the middle seats.  

Yesterday my oldest girl Pima and I tackled the messy minivan.  I needed to clean it for my sanity and she wanted to help for some extra iPad time!  Here are the after pictures . . .

I made a promise to myself again.  I promised that my van will get messy.  If my kids are happy in the car then I'm happy.  I could easily be the mom who sticks to my clean car rules, and I applaud those of you that are, but that is not the fight that I want to pick.  We all wave our white flags for different things and this is mine.  I surrender and give up having a tidy minivan.  I'm currently trying to figure out discipline for teenagers that I've never parented.  And most recently my husband and I are battling the court and finding a lawyer to fight for our Baby D.  Those are the battles that I make time for.  


  1. Love this and love you! Be proud of your messy mommy-mobile!

  2. Good for you Sara! Love reading your blog!