I was in my second semester at UTA driving home from class when the guy in front on the ramp slams on his breaks getting onto the interstate. I then slam into the back of him. Awesome.
I had the typical college freshman credit score and crossed my fingers that I could get approved for a used car with no money down. I did! I drove off the lot in a used Nissan Sentra and a ridiculously high interest rate.
At that point in time I was living in Fort Worth with my boyfriend Darren, going to UTA, and working at the reception desk of a large hotel chain. The little car was working out well. I was making payments, paying my insurance, and then I was pregnant.
I was nineteen and freaking out just a little bit.
Okay a lot a bit.
About three months into my pregnancy I dropped out of school. I had “morning sickness” pretty much any time my eyes were open.
If I ate food I puked. If I stood up I puked. If I sat down I puked.
Sitting through 60 minutes of class was impossible. I became a distraction getting up and down to hurl cookies in the hallway trash can.
Eight months into my pregnancy I was fired from my hotel job.
Cited “bad attitude” or some crap.
Darren and I were living in a two bedroom apartment that we had shared with is sister. When she had moved out Darren took over her portion of the rent. We were “making it” but barely. I was in tears when I called him and I can only imagine his level of stress at that time.
We agreed that if I got rid of the Nissan payment then I could just stay at home with the baby.
I called my brother who had just turned sixteen to see if he’d like to take over the payments. He agreed and I became a stay at home mom!
We downsized apartments and moved closer to Darren’s work. I was able to take him to work on days that we had doctor appointments or whatever. We were making it work as a single car family. Then we moved further away.
And then further. Had another baby.
And then even further. Had another baby.
Eventually, we moved to the outskirts of the metroplex and a good half hour from Darren’s work. It was more of a hassle loading up three little kids to take Dad to work than it was worth. I was back to bumming rides with friends.
We were renting a house in a community FULL of stay at home moms. I made friends fast and figured out ways to keep us entertained close to home.
Since I was home a lot it only made since to add more kids to the chaos. I started babysitting for a few working friends. It was kid city. Needless to say those years were INSANE in the membrane.
I think I’ve blocked most of the trauma.
Four or five toddler babies running around screaming in a house full of tile flooring. FUN.
Did I mention LOUD NOISES are a pet peeve?
Did I mention we were a single car family for more than SIX YEARS?
Darren worked his ass off and by the end of 2007 we got a second vehicle! I’ve never been to prison, but I can imagine what that day of freedom feels like when you finally get out. I was officially a member of the minivan mom mafia.
Deep inside, I had issues with this. A minivan!?! I was twenty five! Wasn’t I suppose to be driving a Honda Accord or used Ford Mustang? You know, something cute that twenty somethings drive.
I was OBSESSED with Mustangs in High School and was certain I would have one someday.
I didn’t complain. Trust me, I was THANKFUL for four wheels and running engine. The air conditioner works!?! BONUS! I drove my minivan with pride. My kids were safe and we were free to roam!
Once I had one kid out of a car seat I was searching for a way get out of the minivan mafia alive. We started looking around for something we could fit three kids in that would not cramp my style. We had discussed a jeep but it did not seem REASONABLE with the kids so we dismissed it.
We eventually traded in for a Honda Pilot SUV! It wasn’t a bus and I thought it was totally cute. I was happy! Darren was still making two car payments when we built our first house and became home owners. I was getting the fitness bug and started earning more income from home when I decided to take a job teaching fitness classes at the gym. It felt good to help out with the bills at home but I really wanted to do more.
Darren had taken the Pilot to be serviced at the dealership when he texted me a picture of this jeep.