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December 11, 2012

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The first weekend of December (before Greta got sick and massive amounts of snow fell), we stepped away from the painting and Christmas-decking and went car shopping. Like, alllll weekend.  Normally, I would say such an event doesn’t exactly fit into the DIY/Home Design thing we got going on here, but some time ago, even before we bought this house, I posted about when I got in a pretty bad car accident here and I thought it would be good to do a follow-up post to that.

Life is scary after you are in a car accident.  I didn’t drive for a long time and I still close my eyes frequently as a passenger.  We actually went down to one car because I was so convinced there was nowhere that I needed to go that was so important that I wanted to risk my life (!!) on the road again. After a long, long time–maybe a year, I started driving short distances during the day again. But mostly, I was happy to let Chris do the driving and somehow it worked for us.  I’d walk places or he’d pick things up on the way home from work. The last few months, Chris has been urging me to get behind the wheel again–my own set of wheels and I wasn’t sure I was ready.  And then, just four days shy of exactly two years since my car accident I was nervous but we went out and bought a second car. For me.
Of course, it wasn’t justlikethat.  We researched for a long time before we came to the conclusion that something large enough to haul things like lumber and furniture, or even scraps to the dump would be nice since we borrow or rent trucks and vans so often.  I liked the idea of a van because of the sliding doors.  I know there is some stigma about minivans being not cool or something, but coming from a young (cool!!!) mom to one rambunctious child–worrying about getting her out of the car while simultaneously making sure I don’t hit the car parked next to me with the door I am wedged behind is the worst.  Sliding doors were all I wanted.  We test drove pretty much every mini-van there ever was.
There were some that had tons of cool features like DVD players and backup cameras (love those) and crazy amounts of cargo space.  But they felt like overkill in the seating department.  We are a family of three.  And while we definitely would love to expand our family, we have learned over the past two years to live for and enjoy the family we currently are.  Then we discovered the Mazda5 which is classified as a microvan but is comparable to the size of a station wagon and…it has sliding doors.
We test drove two and bought the second one.  It felt like driving a car–which I was more comfortable with.  It got great gas mileage.  There was seating for 6 (although it would have to be 4 adults and 2 kids, I don’t know how an adult would sit in the third row of seats. Pretty tight back there) but the seats all stow away so hauling was a perk too. It just felt like the perfect car for us right now. So we snatched it up.
So am I a mini-van mom now?  I guess I am.  Although I guess technically I would be a “micro-van” mom. Ha! But I’ll answer to either.  We have already put the newest member of the family to work several times.  She (he? Name has yet to be determined) hauled Greta’s new big-girl bed home for us:

And I packed her full of decorations for a Christmas party we were asked to decorate for.

And Chris emptied our garage of another round of renovation debris. I have zoomed around town (in true Mazda fashion) with Greta in tow running errands that I hadn’t for the past two years.
After I posted this photo on Instagram, a lot of you asked how I liked our Mazda5.  Although it has only been a little over a week, I can confidently say I love it.  I love the way it drives, yes, but I also  freedom and the confidence it has given back to me.  I’m driving again–and that is blog worthy.

P.S. Totally open to car name suggestions.  ;)

What do you think?

  1. Kathleen Preslar says:

    We bought our Mazda 5 six years ago when we had two small boys. Our boys are now big-ish
    and added a little girl to the mix and we still love our 5! We have never had any problems with it, still feels like a new car to me. Hope you love yours as much as we love ours! BTW, I’ve sat in the very back a few times and as long as you are only 5 feet tall, you can sit comfortably back there ;)!

  2. Elisabeth says:

    I had a car accident last week – most terrifying experience of my life. I’m just so glad my toddler wasn’t in the back seat (I was on my way to pick her up).

    Now I’m terrified to get behind the wheel again. Today will be my first time driving in a week…and I can’t WAIT to get it over with. I’m just terrified I’ll be in another accident right away (and my insurance premiums will go through the roof!)

    Congrats on starting to drive full time again, and looks like a great vehicle.

  3. Melissa says:

    My mother had that car and loved it for how it drove (awesome turning radius!) and the convienance of the sliding doors etc. I dont want to burst any of your excitement but after the first 4 years of owning it she had A TON of problems with it… putting 8 grand into it in one year, I would suggest getting an extended warrenty.

  4. Kim @ Yellow Brick Home says:

    No surprise here since we like all the same things (sheesh!), but we have a Mazda, too! A Mazda 3 though. Love it.

  5. Congrats! Your new car is so cute! I really like it!

  6. Lyndsay @ that 70s house says:

    congratulations on getting back behind the wheel! two weekends ago, we bought a new Mazda3 Hatchback and I am loving it so far too, drives wonderfully and the gas mileage can’t be beat! So glad you are happy :).

  7. Sarah says:

    We bought our Mazda5 almost a year ago to replace our old car after my husband and I were in a pretty terrifying crash. Although I’m still working on my own comfort level while on the road, the car is great! It has been perfect for our family of 3. I hope you enjoy it just as much. Thanks for sharing your story.

  8. Staci @ My Friend Staci says:

    Congrats!! The term “Micro-van” has me cracking up– this little guy is cute!!Kind of like a big brother to my Pontiac Vibe, which has a micro-SUV feel at times.
    I’m so glad you are feeling confident enough to start driving around again.

  9. Nichole K says:

    Thank you for sharing your story! I couldn’t bring myself to read about your accident – too scary because I was in a bad accident almost exactly a year ago. It could have been a lot worse (black ice + highway + rush hour traffic) but I was blessed to only injure myself and my car, and no one else. I couldn’t give myself time to take a break from driving since I commute to work everyday, but I am a Nervous Nelly behind the wheel still and I totally understand your aversion to driving. I con my husband into chauffeuring me around whenever possible :). Hope you LOVE you micro-van! Perhaps Zelda the Zoomer could be her name?

  10. Kristi says:

    Oh.My.God. I read your accident post. So scary and I’m so glad everyone was ok. As a first time mom I am terrified of driving (with or without my little one) and even being in the passenger seat is scary. I have to drive on the scary interstate mon-fri to get to my grad classes and it sucks! You are right. Life can change in one second and we need to love what we have. I think you should call the new wheels “Mom”.

  11. meaganbriggs3 says:

    Eeeek chills thinking about that accident again.

    Ok, I feel like her name should be Jetty, or Boris for Boy.

  12. Laura @ Chaotic Domestic says:

    Glad you’re getting back out there. It’s really tough after an accident, but the good thing is you learn and become better because of it. The new car looks great. I always feel safer in a bigger car, so it seems like a great choice! The hauling capability looks fantastic – can’t believe you could fit that big bed in there!
    http://chaoticdomestic.blogspot.com

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