adventure, Arkansas, Automotive, family, Life, marriage

A new car

Over 3 years ago, we were in California about to move to Northwest Arkansas. But I needed a bigger car to drive cross country in. So even though I swore up and down that I would never drive a minivan, I made the decision to purchase a minivan. I actually was excited because of all the space. We had gone from a small Mazda 3 to a Chrysler Town & Country.

This is a picture similar to our van but ours was gold.

But it wasn’t a good decision after all. The day we packed up to leave California, the van broke down. I got in and ready to drive off from our apartment, when I shifted, I heard a screw fall and then the shifter wouldn’t go into park. Since I couldn’t put it into park, I couldn’t turn it off. We stopped in Stockton to get it fixed only to find out it would take 3 day. WHAT???

Luckily, my husbands 96 year old Grandma lived in Stockton. She let us stay with her. So in a way it was a blessing in disguise. Our kids got to spend 3 whole days with their great grandma. So I’m very thankful for that. I was not thankful for the $800 plus I had to shell out on the van.

Finally after 3 days, we hit the road. It took us 3 days to drive the 1800 miles plus. My husband drove the U-Haul, I drove the van with the girls. I had never driven that long distance before. It was fun. Well….kind of.

At one point, we made it to Oklahoma. While we were driving, we saw a storm off in the distance. Slowly I realized, we were driving straight for that storm. And once we finally made it into the eye of the storm, I realized just how different storms there were from ones we had in California. I was not prepared. I had never driven in rain and lightening so bad in my life. It scared the crap out of me. You have to remember, we came from Northern California that rarely saw any kind of storm.

We made it through and finally made our way into Arkansas. I was so excited. It was so green and beautiful. And the Ozarks just blew my mind. We made it and unpacked into our rental house.

After that, all kind of things went wrong with the van. I lost a tire, it blew. A few weeks later my radiator blew. And a bunch of other things. Over the next three years, it was something every year. The radiator blew twice in less than 2 years. Then the shifter broke again a few months back. I’m pretty sure I put more money into that van than it was worth.

So I had enough. The other day I made the decision that we were upgrading to a brand new car. And this next car will be the one we drive for the next 10 years.

so last night, we traded in our van and bought a brand new 2019 Kia Sorento.

Its a beautiful car. It’s all decked out and even had third row seating. I love it.

Now I will no longer carry the stress of this van around. I was always worried daily about it breaking down. I don’t have to worry about that anymore. Now I have piece of mind. I can’t tell you how wonderful that feels.

Arkansas

Storms

One thing I haven’t got used to here in Arkansas are the storms. The storms here are like no other. In California, you never saw storms like these. Hell, we barely saw rain. We were always in a drought.

Where we live is considered a part of Tornado Alley. However due to the Ozark mountains, as I have been told, it seems storms rarely develop tornados but if they do it’s usually EF-0 or EF-1 tornados.

We do get lots of thunderstorms, tornado watches, and tornado warnings though. And the most active time for this is April though August and then some time in the fall.

The weather here scares me sometimes. But it’s also exciting. Because we’ve never experienced this before. This year we’ve already had two tornado warning and I’ve had to take shelter twice while at work. So instead of my kids doing earthquake drills at school like back in California, they to tornado drills.

This weather does scare my children a lot. Take right now for instance. We are under a severe thunderstorm watch. And the loudest crack of thunder just happened about 10 minutes ago. They started screaming from their room so I had to go and get them. I put them in my husband and my bed with him. And I am currently laying on my kids bed. In the bottom bunk. Storms still freak them out.

I’ll post some video of some of the storms that happened here below. Do you live in an area that gets bad storms? Tell me about it in the comments below.

Arkansas

Leap of Faith

So we live in Northwest Arkansas by way of Northern California. We just celebrated our third year here in Arkansas. And I do have to say that this was the best thing we could’ve ever done for our family.

Where we lived in California was OK. We were in Northern California, Sacramento to be exact. In my opinion, they didn’t have the best for our kids. I didn’t care for the schools, and the violence was getting worse. Now I grew up in Sacramento, born and raised. And it was wonderful for me growing up in the 80s and 90s. But in my opinion it’s just gotten better over there.

I knew that I didn’t want to raise my children in California. I never liked living in California. I never felt like it was home. And so we started looking at other states that we could possibly move to to raise our kids. We looked at Texas, South Carolina, Oregon, and Arkansas. And I have a girlfriend that lives here. She also moved here from Northern California. She told me how great it was, how amazing the school system is, how affordable housing is and so we decided that Arkansas would be where we would live.

We moved here without ever visiting. We saved up our money and I quit my job and we packed everything up and moved. We didn’t have jobs here nothing. We just hoped that things would work out when we got here. And they did. I got a job within two weeks of being here. We rented a house for about eight months and then we bought our very first home.

We had always wanted to be homeowners but living in Sacramento there were no homes that we could afford. We are a single income family as my husband is a stay at home dad with our children. Because in California childcare costs about as much as a mortgage and we didn’t want him to work just to pay child care. Because then we would be paying somebody to raise our kids when he could stay home and raise them.

So when we moved here and I started working we realize that we can afford a nice home here. And that’s exactly what we did. We got a beautiful three bedroom two bath house with a huge yard in a really great and safe neighborhood. And we got it for under $150,000.

We absolutely love the school that my oldest goes to. And now our youngest will be starting kindergarten there this year. And we have just really found our forever home. We absolutely love Arkansas.

Taking risks like what we did is really hard and really scary. I remember the whole drive from California to Arkansas I was so scared. I kept telling myself, what if we hate Arkansas? Lucky for us we loved it the moment we got here. And no matter how scary it was, I am so glad that we took that risk.