Monday, February 11, 2013

Thinking Out Loud: The Vehicle Dilemma

Several years ago, with only 2 kids and a history of fertility issues, I found the perfect car for us.  Our Chrysler Pacifica crossover was the perfect size for our situation.  It seats 6 total, with 4 captains chairs and 2 more seats in the back row.  While we had only the 2 kids, we kept the 3rd row down and had a great amount of cargo space.  When Hollyn came along, I was pleased that I'd chosen a vehicle we had room to grow into.  With one kid sitting in back, we lost some cargo space, but still have had enough for our needs - even family Costco trips.  Camping?  Well, that was tricky, but we made it work, somehow.  (Thanks to Brian.  *sigh*  It's so nice having a man who knows how to load so campactly.)

But, all along I knew our car would be best for UP TO 3 kids.  Although it can technically fit all 4, there is simply not enough cargo space left, especially since an additional person means even more cargo to include.  AND, Brian's little 23-year-old truck is not super reliable.  Surprised? ;-)  So that's been on our list to replace too.

Basically, it's time to re-evaluate our vehicle uses and needs.  At first I was thinking I'd keep my Pacifica since my day-to-day errands and chauffeuring don't require much cargo space. To make up for it, I thought I'd get Brian a 6 seater truck or SUV which I/we could swap for should I/we need the cargo space.  But Brian didn't love the idea of driving a big rig to and from work each day.  He wanted something small and gas efficient.  One night as I drove myself to another activity by myself, I realized that I also do a lot of either solo or 1-2 passenger driving.  I have band and now stake choir weekly, I go the gym several mornings a week alone.  I often do my grocery shopping at night alone.  SOOO, I see now that a small car would be used for more than just Brian's work commuting.  So yeah, something cheap with tax returns and that'll be good.

But what about the family car?  I still need something that can fit all of us, AND all our stuff.  Ideally, I want to be able to handle super-cargo trips like camping, vacations, and Costco.  It's currently between a minivan or an SUV that seats up to 9.  I'm NOT opposed to minivans for their own sake.  There is  no need to convince me of the merits of such a family car.  But the SUV would have some perks that I REALLY like.  Of course, so does the van.  Ugh!  It's so hard to decide.  Please offer your thoughts and ideas.  It's so hard to decide!

Minivan: The pluses are fuel efficiency, sliding doors, and drive-ability.  The cons are seating versatility and I'm concerned that even the stow-n-go type space behind the 3rd row isn't enough for the super-cargo instances.  These trips aren't super often compared to driving around down though, but when they do arise, I don't know what I'd do about it.

Does this seem like enough space for 6 people's luggage?


SUV: The kind I'm looking at has at least 8 seats (2, 3, and 3), but I'm especially tempted by the kind with a center seat in the front row.  In that case, the pluses are that we could potentially ALL sit in the first 2 rows, and  have the entire space behind the second row for cargo.  For the rest of the time when we don't want/need a kid up front, we'd have all sorts of options for where to put them.  One or two kids in the back/3rd row would still leave us with a seat or two that can be folded for more stuff space.  Also winter trips, rare as they are, would be safer.  Cons are the lessened fuel efficiency (not sure how different it is though.  Could be close), the lack of sliding doors, and perhaps trickier for parking.  (Comparing sizes though, the SUVs I'm looking at are only a few inches longer than a van,  (I'm not looking at Suburbans - those are more than a foot longer and too big.) and the same width.)

I don't know.  I'm not even going camping this summer, with a newborn and all, so it'll be about a year and a half before that situation even arises.  I just want something that does it all.  Could a van do that?  Would a mid-sized SUV be too much, despite it's similar size to a van?  I want your thoughts.

I could have the center seat down and it would function just as well as a van does inside

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Media Dump

So this little presentation right here, this is the result of my parents graciously taking Brenny and I along down to Grants Pass to attend my nephew's baptism.  Brennan may have talked his Grandma into playing this song a time or two ;-)  (original)

Flat Stanley joined the boys for a game of Herioca

This little lady LOVES books.  (She's perfectly content to read to herself)

And this little lady likes attention and acting the "Star"

And THIS little lady made a mess, mess, mess, mess all over the home...
This one's blurry, but it's the best smile one

I just love this look

Yes, I know Hollyn dominates the pictures and comments on the blog.  But she's the youngest and changing at the fastest rate.  Wait 'til little brother comes along...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Some Thoughts

I was recently reading in the scriptures (specifically 2 Nephi 13/Isaiah 3) about some signs and happenings that will be/are made manifest in the "last days".  There of course many of these signs that we recognize in our lives today.  This verse caught my attention as one of those, "Truer words were never spoken" things.

And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.
Isaiah 3:5

The last half is definitely a "Yes! Yes! Yes!"  But the first sentence has remained in my mind even now, several weeks later.  I don't generally consider myself as someone living in conditions of "oppression".  Not like so many egregious examples throughout history.  But I considered the idea of neighbors oppressing each other.  One of my first thoughts upon reading that was, "like the bag ban that a minority managed to get passed in Corvallis recently".  It's things like this that are becoming more and more common.  Rather than a Monarch oppressing us, we the PEOPLE are oppressing ourselves and our neighbors.  Lobbyists are certainly a big way.  All of our bureaucracies creating rules and red tape and minding everybody else's business - but these bureaucracies are created by some sort of demand, whether the group demanding is a clear majority or not so much.  Our government leaders are continually finding ways to oppress us further and further, but we're ELECTING these leaders.  So it's sad.  It's hard to watch our freedoms pass away.  Even the seemingly "no big deal" things, like city rules enacted limiting the height one's lawn can be or the colors they may paint their house.  Or how often someone may hold a yard sale at their home.  Doesn't this sound EXACTLY like people being oppressed, "...every one by his neighbour..."?  Being around for these last days has it's advantages, but at the same time it's hard to watch it all go down.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Midnight Strangler

Last night I was lying in bed sound asleep.  At some point I became aware that Brian's arm had landed on me, but I figured he'd move it eventually and continued my sleep.  A little later Brian began some jerking movements, but again I ignored him as this isn't terribly uncommon for him to do for a while.  It's often associated with some talking/mumbling in his sleep, but I was in a deep sleep of my own and only aware in the background of my mind what was going on.

Then all of a sudden... Brian sits partially up, swooping towards me as his other arm reaches over me.  With both hands seemingly coming towards my neck or face, and his face quickly approaching mine, I thought "He's either coming in for a passionate kiss in the middle of the night, or he's about to strangle me!"  Either one sounded equally probable ;-)  In surprise I jumped and gasped.  At that, Brian suddenly dropped, his head thumping onto my chest as if he'd passed out.  I waited, holding my breath.  The seconds passed, and I wondered if he really had fainted.  I slowly and shakily let out my breath.  This roused Brian to the point that he pulled up his head, whispered, "Sorry" as he rolled over, and immediately began snoring.

I laid in bed for the next hour or two in awe over what had transpired in a few short seconds.

Later this morning I told Brian what happened from my side of the story.  I figured he wouldn't remember a thing. (He NEVER remembers dreams.)  But this time he blushed and told me he was dreaming he was wrestling a guy.  At the point of my "attack" Brian had been going for a final choke-hold.

Ummmm... should I get my own bed at this point?