After months of laying low at home it was time to venture out on some necessary projects.
Laura really needed a bed after sleeping on the floor for a few months. Since Emily and Nathan were both on toddler bed, the natural progression would be to get them twin sized bed and then give Laura one of the toddler beds.
I’ve been keeping an eye on a IKEA bunk bed for a few months, but with the store closed we had no way of getting one. Every week or so I would see if there were any used options but nothing came up.
When IKEA opened last week we decided to just go make a day of it – the store is over 1.5 hours away – and get what we needed. I had the thought to do a final look on facebook marketplace and sure enough, the exact bed AND a mattress were listed less than 30 minutes away for a fraction of the cost.
Andrew went Monday night and picked up the bed, leaving the money on the front porch so we had zero contact, and loaded it precariously into our honda civic.
Tuesday the kids and I got their rooms switched around, moving Emily’s old bed that we built 5.5 years ago into Laura’s room and sliding things around in Emily and Nathan’s room to make a space for the bunk bed.
The kids also helped me to deep clean the mattress.
A quick view of baby girl jackson. She’s getting so big!
Andrew had meetings and work off and on on Tuesday and in his spare moments he built the bed with the kids. I ran to the store in the evening to buy twin sized sheets and mattress covers so that the kids could actually sleep in their new bed.
On Wednesday we decided to go van shopping about an hour away to look at a Dodge Caravan that I found on craigslist that was probably as old as we would go and at the top of the range of miles we wanted, but for a great price. Andrew and I were both feeling overwhelmed by the prospects of shopping with the kids and prayed that a way would be made possible.
Well Wednesday it was a nice, cool 70 degree day – a HUGE contrast to the 90 degree weather with humidity that we have been experiencing in Georgia during June. Andrew looked up a bunch of other van options on Wednesday morning that fit our criteria and we planned to test drive several vehicles in the afternoon. I found a mechanic that had great reviews and he said he would be available in the afternoon if we found a car for him to look at.
I packed as much food as our cooler would hold, which felt incredibly foriegn since it’s been months since leaving our home on a family adventure, and we headed out around noon.
Miracle number two (number one being the weather) was that we ended up in a city where everything was close together. We were able to zip between the different options, Andrew the real hero for taking out and putting in and taking out and putting in THREE car seats at every stop, and by late afternoon we ended on a van that we were super interested in. The dealership had just done some work on the body that needed to dry so we went and got Chick-fil-A for dinner while we waited to do a test drive.
Emily REALLY wanted to eat a picnic table but we didn’t have a clue where one might be. I told her we would look and I found a green spot on the map less than a mile away from dinner and the dealership. Miracle number three: it turned out to be the perfect picnic spot, complete with a table, for us to eat our dinner. This was our first family picnic since last fall before I was sick and pregnant and then the pandemic and we had a fabulous time.
We test drove the car and knew it was an amazing option for our family, but it was also after seven. We headed back home with plans of getting it looked at by the mechanic the following day.
Thursday morning we sent the kids outside to play after breakfast and got packed up for another day on the road. Andrew played a board game with the kids while I went on a short walk to try and wake up a bit after having such a full week. We hopped in the car and arrived at the dealership a little after noon.
The day was a bit warmer and I was counting our blessings that we did all of the test driving yesterday when we were outside for the entire day. We all went to the mechanics and left Andrew there to work while I found a nearby park called McDaniels Farm to take the kids to.
We ended up at a gem of a place. It had great walking trails, lots of rocks for collecting, and historical buildings and farm equipment with just enough information for us to read and have everyone be super interested.
This was my first outing with the kids since October and it was amazing how nine months later the kids were so much older and some of the challenges we used to have were gone. Also it is absolutely MIND BOGGLING where circumstances have been that I haven’t been able to take my kids to a park in NINE MONTHS. Holy cow.
The clouds came out and cooled things down the moment we got out of our car and went away and soon as we were done with our 1.5 hour adventure. I was beyond grateful to Heavenly Father that our necessary van purchasing experience led to a week of feeding my soul as well.
The mechanic gave us the green light with a few things to talk to the dealership about taking care of and we went back to negotiate the price for our new car. Andrew and I were a great team and knocked $3,000 off the total price. The kids were amazingly patient the whole week and after another hour of waiting while we signed and paid for our new wheels, we headed to Jimmy Johns for dinner.
Emily found another great outdoor eating space in the shade. We enjoyed the experience together and then Andrew drove the van and I drove our beloved honda civic with the kids home.
On Thursday night we realized that knocking out these two huge projects really opened the door to many more. I started cleaning out the garage a little bit on Friday morning but had to take a nap by 10:30am. On Saturday we decided to make it a family affair and spent the entire day cleaning out the garage. We unpacked boxes, got rid of two shelving units, rearranged ALL the storage, and organized all of our remaining possessions.
The end result: a super clean garage with space for our new van. Now we just need to do that in the kids rooms!