An Ode to our Car

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I’m about as far from a “car person” as one can be. I never dreamt of owning any certain car, nor do I really know anything about them if they break. I am however, a very sentimental person. Not so much over things but people, places, and memories for sure. I love traditions. I love nostalgia. If the house was burning, I’m not sure I would grab anything other than my kids and Kev and run out the door. I do love pictures, but I have a blog so there is no panic to grab photo albums. Then 2 weeks ago we decided we needed to get a new car and I realized just how attached I was to our car… like I sobbed at the thought of having to get rid of it. Oh the Ellie (as we like to call her). We have owned a Honda Element since well before Kev and I were even married. It was the first “big” purchase Kev made in his adult life after college. We drove all over the place with that car while we dated. So many late night adventures, listening to music and holding hands. We drove my sister to her wedding in that car. We drove off after saying goodbye to our parents to move 6,000 miles away. We drove cross the US, shipped it to Hawaii on a freight and then lived out our Hawaiian adventure with that car. It also got shipped back to Seattle and driven back across Canada when we moved home. It’s the car that rushed me to the birth center when I was in labor. It was the car we brought Rowan home in. It’s the car that holds every major milestone in our 10 years of being together. Kev loves that car. I love that car and this past Tuesday we said goodbye (insert every cry face emoji).

After we got married and left for Hawaii my Mom gave us the cd single of Steven Curtis Chapman’s The Great Adventure. It’s since then become our family adventure song. It’s cheesy for sure but whenever we head out on a new adventure we put that cd on and listen to the song. That cd, that holds that one single song has stayed in the car for almost 10 years. We may or may not have made up actions to go along with the song (if you want to stop reading my blog I don’t blame you. hahahaha!). I emptied the Element on tuesday as we waited for Kev to get home. I took that cd out and I placed it in my purse. For the last time we loaded up the girls in our beloved car and headed to the dealership to trade her in. Our new car (or should I say Van- don’t get me started) is super nice. All decked out, leather seats, seat warmers, bluetooth, back up camera, sunroof. It’s all great but it doesn’t hold anything to my memories in the Element. Anyway, when we drove home in the new car I took out the cd and put it on. Kev looked at me and said something very thoughtful and profound- I won’t do it justice so I am not going to try (it made me cry) but this is our new chapter. A new vehicle to fill with adventures and memories. The girls are over the moon about the van and seeing them happy makes me happy (plus who can complain about side doors that open and close themselves). I see your ways mini van… I may be changing my view to the darkside.

“Saddle up your horses
We’ve got a trail to blaze
Through the wild blue yonder
Of God’s amazing grace

Let’s follow our Leader
Into the glorious unknown
This is a life like no other
This is the great adventure…”

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*Mark this as one of the cheesiest posts on jenloveskev. If you are curious we ended up getting a black XLE Toyota Sienna. We are basically these parents now.

  1. Oh my gosh my dad and I used to jam so had to that song! I know every word and I love that it’s your family adventure song!
    I fight the minivan fight daily over here…

  2. O man. car nostalgia. I feel you Jen. Ryan works in the auto industry and over our 11 years together we’ve been through 23 cars if you can believe it! A couple have stuck it out much longer than others though. And with the special ones that lasted a bit longer than the others, I was always emotional saying good bye. I remember the adventures we had in them and the stages of life we experienced in them. For some reason, my memories of those chapters are so vivid when I think of how the cars played their part. Not sure why, but the whole situation makes me smile. So just know you’re not alone. Feeling emotional saying goodbye to a trusted and loyal car has always been tough for me too. That said, you’ve got yourself a mighty fine swagger wagon now. You’ll be creating new memories in major style from here on out 😉

  3. Jessi •

    I love love love your blog! And I totally started signing that song in my head when I was reading your post, gotta love 90’s Christian music! I think it’s Steven Curtis chapman though, not MWS (as we refer to him in our home, bahahaha). I think we could be could be musical buddies, I mean United…so good.

  4. Stephanie •

    I can totally relate. I had a Beetle (his name was Elliot) that I drove after high school until two years ago. (now I have a VW station wagon) I cried when I sold that thing, I put so many miles on it and drove it everywhere. Same story as you, got married in it, traveled across county and brought home our first baby. Oh the memories of having that Beetle for over 10 years. I’m hoping to have my current VW (Julia) for that long. 🙂

  5. This is so funny because I just bought a new car Saturday and have been planning my post about all the times with my old car hahaha You have the CUTEST family! That last photo of all of you in front of the Element is just awesome and I love your pants. I’m not into cars really either but when you think about it, cars are a HUGE part of your life and share in most of your life experiences. I brought my daughter home in that car I just sold. I mean, that’s a major life moment! So sad and bittersweet. So exciting to have a new car, well, or minivan. Haha I’m not quite there yet with just 1 kid though.

  6. I haven’t really had a car that I’ve been attached to since leaving university as i’ve moved around so much both domestically and internationally but i’m hoping that i’ll get to this point at one day soon when i lay down some roots. And hey, its just a car but its the wonderful memories that make it – its always the good memories.
    P xo

  7. Heather E •

    I totally get the emotional attachment to your car! My family is super into their cars, and while now, I barely even drive (I live in NYC), when I was a child and we sold one of our cars or trucks I cried hysterically and followed it up our block every single time!

  8. I had a very similar experience when we sold my husband’s car. I actually hated the way it looked all through the years, but when we were about to sell it – I got very emotional. We had fallen in love in that ugly thing!

    Sentimentality is a funny thing.

  9. Melissa •

    I loved this post. Seriously teared up while reading it. When we traded in our VW Passat for our Honda Odyssey, I had a hard time with it too. Lots of tears. May you make many new memories with your new vehicle 🙂 (Automatic doors are AWESOME to have when you have little ones.)

  10. So many happy memories! Just think of all those to be made in your new car.

    Totally digging tour outfit in the first pic. Where are those pants and cardi/jacket from?

  11. Ahhh, I’m sure you’ll make lots of memories in you new van. I drive a hideous full sized van that I alternate between calling “big mama” and “the beast” so I can’t wait to have money to replace it haha!

  12. OK, love everything from this post…and love you guys.
    That song though–will always have a special place in our heart: When I gave birth (nearly fifteen years ago,) to our first born, Josiah–It was a long and very hard labor/delivery. In fact, he came out not breathing, and had to be given oxygen for like 8 minutes, and all kinds of drama that made it a very traumatic experience. Well, weeks later, when we were ready to watch the birth video, only then did I discover that The Great Adventure had been pretty much blasting IN the hospital room as I pushed Josiah out! Neither Dave or I even remembered that! 🙂 Haha…Such a great tune to enter the world by, right/? 🙂 XO To you all. Enjoy the min van!

  13. I feel your pain on the van..I just can’t justify the family ride (even with a kid and all the space). but I hope that you chose that particular one JUST because of that video…HILARIOUS!!!!

  14. margaret •

    The timing of this post is so funny. This morning the power window in our (very old) Subaru Outback would go down but wouldn’t come back up. It totally sent me into a panic of thinking about needing to get a new car. I completely understand your sentimentality.

  15. Elizabeth •

    Love this! We also recently updated to a mini van and as the date got closer to switch out our other car, I couldn’t believe how excited I was getting about a van. A minivan. But man, those seat warmers are pretty sweet, along with the automatic doors/trunk when you are 8 months pregnant and caring for a toddler…it’s definitely the nicest car I’ve ever driven! Hope you enjoy yours!!

  16. That was our family adventure song as well! When I was 12 my family moved us to CO from MI and although I was sad about it at the time, we rocked to that song a million times on our drive out there. 15 years later I stilllove that song and all those memories come flooding back whenever I hear it. I hope you have great NEW adventures in your NEW family van!

  17. Missi •

    Oh my SWAGGER WAGON?! Amazing. Also, now that dang song is stuck in my head, and I hadn’t thought of it since middle school Christian skate night!

    I hear you about sentimentality and the strangest things. I still pine for our newlywed apartment, even though it was tiny and hot and generally miserable while we lived in it. (But it was our home when we FIRST GOT MARRIED! And I made my veil in the bedroom! And we woke up the day after returning from our honeymoon to find that a guest from our downstairs neighbors’ party had wandered into our place looking for a bathroom!)

  18. Missi •

    I can’t get over the swagger wagon. Really.

  19. I’m not a car person either, I don’t even like driving. But I do understand how a car can hold such wonderful memories.

  20. Swagger Wagon, oh my god. Laughing so hard over here.

    Before we had Alexa, I was in love with my Beetle. It was the car I had always wanted, and I got it right after we moved to L.A. I thought I would have a hard time letting go of it, but after six months of contorting myself and hurting my back to put Alexa in the backseat, I was happy to give it up for an SUV with four doors!

    To the future! Onward and upward!

  21. I am still driving my first car I bought at 17, a 93 Honda, and I am 25. I’m pretty sure I will bawl when that car can no longer run!

  22. Alainna •

    Awww! The car I drive now is named Leksi. I swapped her with a friends car for a weekend and my son refused to get in the other car. He cried for 45 minutes after she left (our car) and I hadnt ever seen him happier than when we got her back. It can be hard to unwind the memory from the item. Congrats on your new van & adventure!

  23. I get it, I felt the same way when we sold our beloved Subaru Forester. It’s not the physical car it’s the memories! And we got the same new ride as you, black Sienna XLE AKA the swagger wagon. I love it. Nicest car I have ever had.

  24. i’ve been sentimental with the last two cars I’ve had to hand the keys over to – even when I hated my last car and voluntary sold her. Like everyone says – it’s the memories … and that car is one of the only constant that carries through all of those precious memories! Maybe the swagger wagon will be the first car your girls learn to drive in … Look at all of those memories you have to look forward to! 🙂

  25. aw, i teared up reading this, haha! i’m not a car person either but then, two years ago, we got a car to travel the US (and to keep when we moved out of the city). on our roadtrip, the car quickly became the third part of our little fam. i’ve become beyond sentimental about the car (zion the scion, in case you were wondering!) and i can’t imagine the day we have to get rid of him. the hubs and i have already talked about how zion will take our first babe home from the birthing center this summer and i cry just think about putting our new little babe into zion (our first child, as we like to call him).

  26. Christine •

    our car is a 1997 sedan that a sweet friend gave to us for free when they upgraded. we are so grateful for it, it holds our family of four nicely and when it almost died we were so sad because there’s no shot in hell we’d be able to buy a new car on my husband’s salary and me home with the kids. so that being said, enjoy your new van for me please! some of us would LOVE a nice new car no matter how dorky it is! you guys are blessed.

  27. i love this post!! sam has an element and so does my sister. crazy to think they don’t even make them anymore! love to you guys. have loved catching up on your blog and sweet family. <3

  28. So, I’ve never wanted to cry about a car, buuut…I might have just shed a few tears over this post. Also, that video is hilarious. I want a swagga wagon sooooooo bad!!!! #sadbuttrue

  29. Jen! I totally feel your pain. There is nothing like car trade in sadness. That sounds insane when I read it over but it is true!

  30. I have looked at the bride and groom photo at the top at least 10 times now and asked myself, “Is that REALLY them?” Blonde hair and long hair? You’re going to have to convince me! 😉

    PS – I love reading all of the Element names. My husband and I call ours the Elephant, because it’s large and gray!

  31. This post is adorable! I drove a hand-me-down minivan for a long time and I never really got into it but it finally went kaput and I traded up to a brand new Subaru Crosstrek, which I LOVE. I hope we end up with tons of adorable pictures of us around the car like you have posted here.

  32. I can totally understand your attachment to that car. I have an ’05 Honda Element (an orange one) and it was my first major “adult purchase” too. It’s seen me through SO many adventures – lots and lots of drives between Tennessee and Pennsylvania (visits and moving back and forth). So many good times. I often look in the back seat and am amazed it now holds car seats for my stepson and my son. I never thought those would be there! Now I only wish Honda still made Elements — and made a “stretched out” version with a 3rd row of seats, because we need more room for our growing family! I know I’ll have to say goodbye to it eventually, but I’ll be sad when I have to do so. It has been the best little adventure-wagon ever!

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Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

Jen Loves Kev
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