The Ultimate Betrayal

Guys, we have a problem. On the grand scale of “Problems the World Faces” this is, like, a .5. It’s a small problem when placed against the backdrop of all the things that could go wrong.

But it’s still a problem.

My van is falling apart. A moment of silence, if you please.

It’s a funny thing, paying off a car. When I submitted the final payment, I felt an awesome sense of victory. I felt like I was sticking it to the man.

We enjoyed a WHOLE year of no payments before the heat shield on my engine went kaput and we needed to sacrifice one child’s college fun to fix it.

(Sidenote – I actually have no idea if it was the heat shield that went bad. I can’t remember what happened. I just remember that when the mechanic told me the issue and how much it would cost, I felt like he was explaining the mechanical failure of a space shuttle – not my van. So I’m sticking with heat shield for the purposes of this blog post.)

That event began a slow descent into car maintenance hell. New tires. New belts. New this and that.

Shattered windshield.

A few months ago, the check engine light came on. I pretended I didn’t see it for awhile before finally taking it in only to find out the fuel level sensor was going bad. It didn’t take a $60 diagnostic test to figure that out given the fact that my fuel gauge is never accurate.

Then there was an oil leak.

Then they told us how much it would cost to fix the fuel sensor, and we’re thinking it would be more beneficial to just get a new car than sink that much into this current one.

That’s when it all hit the fan.


Lee came home and scoured the internet for new used cars. I peeked over his shoulders and do you know what he was looking at?



“You don’t really need a van anymore,” he tried to reason with me. “You could just get a 7-passengar SUV instead.”

The betrayal! For shame.

Of course, I did consider it briefly. I considered the cool points I’d get back if I got rid of the minivan and went back to traipsing around town in a slick SUV, no longer neutered by my four-wheel metal office.

But then practicality set in. I have three children, all of whom are on track to be rather tall. If Sloan doesn’t slow down, he could easily reach 6 feet by junior high.

I tried to envision him and his tall, lanky friends crawling into the back of a 7-passenger SUV, and all I saw were broken windows and a lot of inappropriate jokes.

Someday I’ll experience release from the confines of the minivan. Someday I will pull up to the curb in a saucy little car that screams “hip” and “cool.” I’ll probably be a grandma by that time, but whatever.

I’ll be one hip granny.

Until that time, however, I’m afraid the minivan is the practical choice for me. They even have vans with built in vacuum cleaners now. WHHHAAAAA?????

Ten-to-one a mom came up with that idea. I’m still waiting for minivan makers to adopt my brilliant idea. And when they do, I expect them to give me a free van for the duration of my minivan driving years.



So there you have it. I may be in the market for a new minivan in the coming months, and my husband is a traitor to the minivan community. I still love him, though. If for no other reason than for his brilliance in this movie.

Peace out.

We are the minivan

A few weeks ago, I began pulling out of a parking space and my rear bumper sensor indicated someone was walking by behind me. Actually, the sensor let loose a piercing screech that caused all three kids to cover their ears and me to throw the car in park and karate chop the air while screaming HIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYYYYYYYYYAAAAAHHHHH!

Apparently my rear sensor was on the fritz. That was its last swan song. My bumper will never beep another warning. May we all share in a moment’s silence.

When I first figured out that I wouldn’t have the beep to warn me if I was going to run over a bike, or a plastic basketball goal…or the dog, I panicked slightly.

“How will I back up if I don’t have the warning signal?” I lamented.

“Um…the same way you did for the first fourteen years you drove a car,” my annoyingly amazingly practical husband answered. “Use your mirrors and turn around and look.”

Ah. Novel idea. He’s a keeper, that fella of mine. A keeper.

Of course this won’t save a stray bike that finds its way behind the back bumper, but if I hit their bikes, then hopefully lesson learned. Don’t leave your bikes under my dead rear bumper, kids. Don’t do it.

We could, naturally, get the sensor fixed – that would solve the problem lickety split, but I’m not sure I want to spend the money on that when, you know, I could just use my mirrors and turn my head around. Right?

I realize that my minivan, being a little over four years old at this point, is quickly heading down the hoopty van track. In fact, she’s sprinting there. When the bells and whistles start fading and the scratches from wayward bicycles and scooters make patterns down the sides, the luster of the minivan wanes.

Not hot.

This is part of the stigma of driving a minivan. People don’t want to drive them because when sticky, Nutella laden fingers slide down the sides and dot the windows, it becomes apparent that we’re farther away from the carefree days of our youth than we want to acknowledge.

Our moms drove minivans. Weren’t they old?

Sorry mom.

There’s another thing. Minivans get dirty. I’m pretty sure our minivan had the new car smell for 12.4 minutes. That was it.

That’s not very long.

Minivans take a beating on a daily basis for hours on end, and those of us driving them, while well-intentioned, simply can’t keep every stray french fry or Cheez-it or ham sandwich accounted for.

Some of them simply fall beneath the cracks.

Incidentally, have you noticed that french fries never mold? This is why they are the perfect food for feeding young children on the go. Drop those bad boys under the seat and never fear. They will harden into a perfect fossil – a reminder of the days when life was crazy and kids couldn’t get the food from a box to their mouths.

But no mold.

Good job McDonalds.

I’ll tell you what, though. Minivans have something something those shiny, fancy SUV’s and sports cars don’t. That’s right. They have that one thing that makes them hotter than all the rest. And that one thing is…



This is awkward…

Okay so a scratched up, sticky, faded, smells-like-sweaty-children-and-french-fries-fosselizing-under-the-seats minivan may not be anything more than convenient, alright? HOWEVER!

Those of us that drive the minivan, even the minivan with a broken sensor, we know that there is just something about them that makes us feel a teensy bit proud. Because every time we get in our minivans, whether they have all the bells and whistles, or perhaps just a solitary bell on its very last leg, we know that we are in the trenches. Life teems from the backseat and KidzBop screams from the speakers.

We make the minivan hot. Our families make the minivan hot. This season of life makes the minivan hot.

Hawt if you will.

And that is all.

So tell me, you minivan driving moms and dads? What about your minivan makes you feel hot/hawt?

The Migraine

No post today. I’m recovering from a wicked headache that’s left me feeling sluggish, tired and a fuzzy-brained. So for fun I give you the video Lee and I made last year.

We are such dorks.

Happy Monday, everyone!

I have a confession to make

I need to tell you all something and it may be hard to hear. Maybe you should sit down for this. Wait – what’s that? You’re already sitting? Oh. Um…Great! That’s really…super.


Look I didn’t mean to be deceptive. You must believe me when I say that. I really truly to my core wanted to believe it was true, but the fact of the matter is…

I guess…I mean, what I’m trying to say is…

I don’t always think minivans are hot.


I know you’re disappointed. I know that I have been steadily convincing all of you over the last couple of years that they are, indeed, a sexy means of transportation but-


What now?

You didn’t believe me?

You don’t think minivans are hot either?!

*hangs head in shame*

I went to the salon yesterday with my hair piled in a bun on top of my head where it has remained for the past year and a half. I sat down dramatically in the chair and yanked out the ponytail holder, letting the golden orange locks spill onto my shoulders.

“I was trying to save money,” I said pitifully as she gingerly combed through the brassy gold locks. “The box said my hair would turn a dark blonde.”

“The box lied,” she said.

“Well, I need you to fix it and I need you to give me a total hair makeover. Drastic. Edgy. Fun.”

And then, friends, I uttered the words that revealed the deception of my heart.

“I do not want to look like I drive a minivan.”


Forgive me?

She fixed my hair, then she chopped it off. Waaaaaaayyyyyy off. And she covered up the brass up top. Then we made it just a tiny bit more fun.


Just a little pink...for fun.


When I first mentioned to Lee that I wanted to put pink highlights in my hair, I told him that the only thing holding me back was the fact that I’m a mom who drives a minivan.

“I don’t want the kids to end up taking me on Maury Povich someday under the unfortuante title MY MOM DOESN’T DRESS HER AGE!” I moaned.

But I have to tell you that as I strutted out to the parking lot, my van glinting in the afternoon sun, I suddenly felt a surge of confidence. I’m a minivan mom, yes. But I’m a minivan mom with pink in her hair and I happen to really love it. And suddenly I didn’t feel so bad about being said minivan mom.

Even my van felt a bit edgier and more fun! With all the scratches running down the sides from the kids’ bikes, I’d venture to say my van is down right punk.

Lest you should worry that my pink highlights are going to my head, I bid you fear not. I do retain the humbling necessity that will ever remind me of my minivan mom (and ever aging) status and that is the pair of the glasses that I have to wear now because my eyes are wearing down on me.

They do give me a respectable minivan mom look, though, don’t they?

I’m sorry I let you down, dear readers, but I hereby pledge to continue the valiant fight to erase the stigma of the dreaded minivan. I will say it over and over until I believe it to my core.

Minivans are hot, minivans are hot, minivans are hot…

Say it with me?

Minivans are hot, minivans are hot, minivans are hot…

Takin’ Care of Business

This post comes to you with a sheepish, yet polite, request for help.  I hate talkin’ shop, but wanted to just toss a few little things out there.  Don’t worry, though.  This post won’t be all dry.  I’ve got a gem of a story to tell you at the end.

It’s my dangling carrot.

So here’s the deal, friends.  I stink at self-promotion.  It makes me wildly uncomfortable.  As I told someone recently, it makes me feel a bit like the girl standing on top of a table in a crowded room and screaming LOOK AT ME!!  And I’ve never been much of a table top kind of girl.


But, my goal in the next few months is to beef up the readership and participation on my blog.  And to do that, I need your help.  If you read something on here that you like, would you mind forwarding it on?  You can hit the little Facebook button at the bottom of the page, or if you’re the Tweetin’ kind, you can give a little Tweet.

You know…if you want.

Also, well I don’t talk about it much and, to be quite honest, I don’t utilize it much, but I DO have a Minivans Are Hot Facebook page that you can like by clicking riiiiiiight…here.  You don’t have to drive a minivan to like the Facebook page, but I will warn you that should you choose to follow the blog AND the Facebook page, you will likely start to feel the pull of the minivan.

Because minivans are bringing sexy back.



If you do read something you like and have a second or two to respond, well, I’ll confess – I’m a bit of a comment whore.  I promise I will respond to you…or you can respond to one another.  I like community so let’s build a community of minivan lovin’ (or hatin’ – you know who you are) women…and men, too.  I know you guys are reading.

Finally in the manner of business, I would like to ask if there’s anything you guys would like me to specifically write about.  Is there are particular topic you like better?  Is there something you’d like me to avoid discussing (the frequency of my childrens bowel movements?  DONE! – Look how accommodating I am)?

Seriously – let me know.

Now, on to that carrot:

The Scene:

A beautiful, sunny Florida afternoon.  The kids are playing outside while I enjoy a few quiet moments alone to do whatever I want – which means I’m cleaning the kitchen…again. The windows are open and a beautiful, cool fall breeze is drifting in.  Nothing can break the perfection of this moment.  Nothing, that is, until I hear a scream that rattles the glass throughout the house.

The back door flings open aaaaaaaaand CUE DIALOGUE!

“Mooooooooommmmm!!!” Tia shrieks, running into the house all sweaty and red-faced.  Sloan comes running after her with a tormentuous (this is my blog – if I say that’s a word…it’s a word) grin on his face.

“What in the world?” I say as she throws her arms around my waist and cries.  “What’s going on?”

“Sloan stole my gun!” She cried.  Sloan throws his hands up in mock innocence. “What’d I do?” he yells.

“What gun, Tia?” I ask, detaching her from my leg.

“My pwetend gun!  I was fightin’ the bad guys with it and Sloan took it and now the bad guys are gonna kill me!”



“Tia, if it’s a pretend gun, can’t you just get another one?”  I try my best to say this without rolling my eyes.

“Nope, she can’t,” Sloan says with a smirk.  “Because I destroyed all the guns in the imaginary gun shop.”

“Yeah!” Tia cries again.  “And he ate the pie I made for Justin Bieber who was gonna come over for dinner at my pwetend house!  I don’t LIKE Sloan.”  She stomps her foot and runs to her room, slamming her door.

“Whatever!” Sloan yells in return, huffing to his room.

Landon walks in at this moment and strolls past me with string and a crowbar tucked under his arms.

And this folks is why I am slowly but surely losing. my. mind.

The End.

Don’t go disrespectin’


We live in sunny Florida now and I have to say…it becomes my minivan.  If you thought she looked hot cruising the streets of St. Louis, you should see her down here.


But there’s a problem.  “What problem?” you might ask.  “What could possibly be bothering you in sunny Florida?”  I’m so glad you asked! The problem, you see, is that is appears her hotness does not garner the proper respect down in this beach town.


I know, right?!  How could it be? At first I thought that maybe it was Florida.  Maybe FLORIDA didn’t understand the royalty of the minivan.  But then I realized that I’m living at the beach right now…where a bunch of teenagers roam free at a time in life when most of them are pretty sure they know everything about everything.  You know…teenagers.

So anyway, as I cruise down the highway between here and Tampa, the ocean spread on either side, I have to tell you – my van?  She sings.  The ocean becomes her. BUT every time I drive that strip of highway, despite the fact that we’re zipping along a little above the speed limit (ahem…we’re at the beach – don’t judge) inevitably, some teenage boy in his sports car drives right up on my tail.  One even flashed his lights at me.

Flashed his lights.

They then buzz past me, their tatooed arms hanging out the open windows, leaving my poor little van quaking in their base filled, disrespectin’ dust.  But not to worry.  Nope…not to worry a bit.  Because I know something those little boys don’t know…

You see, I know that there’s a good possibility that 15 years from now, most of those boys are going to be haulin’ down the highway in a sleek black minivan filled with young ones.  I know that someday most of them are going to trade their unintelligible rap music for Kidz Bop and their ears will bleed as do mine.

I know that someday, they’re going to be driving down the road and some hot shot is going to whip around them, laughing at the power he thinks he wields in the tiny little sports car that he got from mommy and daddy.  And they’ll mutter under their breath something to the effect of “Jackass,” which their oldest child with the eagle ears will hear and shout, “What’d you say?” over the screeching sounds of kids singing the latest and greatest hits and they’ll shrug and yell back, “I said he’s got no class!”

I know this.

And so I drive in confidence down my beach highway.  In my sleek black van…with scratches down the side from the numerous times small children have run into her with their bikes.

*sigh* No matter what I do, driving a minivan is never gonna be cool…is it?

The day I questioned everything I knew to be true

Saturday night found Lee and I in the minivan, kids in tow, heading out to the mattress store to purchase two new mattresses.  Never mind that the kids desperately needed them.  Never mind that Tia’s mattress was so cheap that is was literally falling apart and becoming a potential hazard.  Never mind  that both mattresses had been peed on so many times they could be deemed a health code violation.  Never mind any of those things.  The fact is simply this:

I went out on Saturday evening to buy mattresses and thought it was fun.

Hi, my name is Kelli and I am a  bona fide minivan mom.

Ah, but we haven’t even got to the best part of the story.  What?  Surely you know there would be more to this story than the fact that I had a hoot buying twin mattresses on a Saturday night, right?  A hoot!

It was the incident that occurred when we returned home that sent my world aspinnin’.  It started simple.  We came home so Lee could drop the kids and I off and return to the mattress store to pick up our most exciting purchases.  We had to remove the car seats and fold down the back seats and clean up a bit.  And it was during this event that I began to question my entire identity.

The title of my blog is Minivans Are Hot.  With the operative word being Hot.   I know, I know…Minivan and Hot together in a sentence is an oxymoron.  And most days I would beg to differ and would launch into a diatribe about how it’s sexy to be a mom and how minivan moms have it goin’ on and I would work my hardest to convince you that I was right.  Until Saturday night…

What I found in the back seat of my minivan was anything but Hot.  Let’s start with what I found under the seat, shall we?  It was sticky…it was brown…it had flecks of leaves and dirt stuck to it.  What was that?!

From there I removed the kids car seats to find enough dried, crumbled food to feed a small pack of wild baboons.  It was sealed into the lining of the seat fabric and had to be scraped out with my fingernail.  *heave*  Don’t even get me started on what  I found in their seats.

But the piece de resitance came when I crawled into the way back and looked inside the cup holder.  It is here that I gasped, looked at my husband and exclaimed, “Gross!  This is why minivans are NOT. HOT.”  Then I clutched my chest with the gravity of my statement and fell in dramatic Disney Princess fashion onto the seat, the back of my hand against my forehead…

No I didn’t.  That last part didn’t happen – mostly because I wouldn’t want to lay on those seats for $100.  Maybe for $1000, though.

In the cup holder sat dried, crusted, molded bread.  It appears my children are stock piling food in the back seat of our minivan in the event that a giant meteor should come crashing down to earth and we need to seek shelter inside the car for a significant amount of time.  It also appears that they have eaten portions of a sandwich and then shoved the remaining portion in the cup holder and have, every day for who knows how long, been looking at this rotting sandwich and ignoring it.

It’s like I’m raising little cave people!

I promptly dug out the rot and marched to the trash can.  My husband, sensing my impending melt down went dashing for the Shop Vac in the basement.  Being the super hero that he is, he spent the next half hour sucking the muck out of our minivan while I went inside and lectured my children on the importance of throwing away rotten food.  I also tried to talk myself out of changing my blog title from Minivans Are Hot to Minivans Are A Place Where Horrors grow Beneathe the Seats and in the Cupholders While You Yourself Obliviously Drive From Here to There Thinking You Are Looking Fine When Really You Are Controlling a Moving Science Experiment.

But in typical Hero fashion, my man came inside just as I was certain that my entire online identity was going to have to be realtered and yelled “Ta-Da!”  I walked outside to see the seats clean (hey look!  The fabric’s grey…) The cup holders clean…er.  They still have a sticky substance that I can only assume will need to be chisled out at some point (probably just before we decide to sell the car).  And it smelled much more pleasant too.  It was actually quite nice in there.

I smiled at him and jumped into his arms.  Small birds flitted about our heads as he spun me around and when we kissed little animated hearts floated up into the dusky sky. 

Alright…that last part didn’t happen either.  Sometimes I wish I lived in a cartoon.

Despite the cleanliness of my car, however, I couldn’t shake the fact that I had outwardly acknowledged the un-hotness of my minivan.  And so I’m here to retrain my mind.  And if any of you are having a hard time believeing that Minivans Are Hot like I am, then why don’t you join in with me as we repeat the mantra over and over.  

Minivans are hot, minivans are hot, minivans are hot, minivans are not, minivans are not…


Let’s try again.

Minivans are hot, minivans are hot, minivans are hot…

Do you believe it?