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    Stocking stuffer ideas for HER

    Micah and I rarely do Christmas gifts for each other, but we do take charge of filling each other’s stockings. If you are looking for ideas to fill a lovely lady’s stocking this year (or if you are a lovely lady hoping to drop some hints to your personal Santa), here are some fun, non-traditional items that a variety of women might love to find hanging from the mantel.

    For the beauty queen…  this quick-dry top coat or this amazing tinted moisturizer

    For the woman who loves to cook… this fun seasoning or a milk frother for fancy winter drinks

    For the blogger or social media maven…. an iPhone remote shutter and a smartphone tripod

    For the crafty types… a “bone” folder (the secret to good gift wrapping) or new scissors for art or sewing

    For Bible reading… a journaling bible, some pens for note-taking, and a little help with Bible literacy

    To refresh a weary mom… encouragement for motherhood, something sweet for her coffee, and a magazine subscription

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    That minivan life…

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    There are three types of moms in the world…

    Those who willingly embrace a minivan (approx. 20%).

    Those who reluctantly accept that a minivan is the most practical family car (approx. 50%).

    Those who hold strong and refuse to be seen in a minivan (approx. 30%).

    Let me break down the math for you. As women enter into marriage and consider having children, two categories exist. Some women admit, “If we have a bunch of kids, I’ll probably be a minivan-driving soccer mom someday.” Only a small portion of women willingly accept this truth. Ain’t no shame in their future minivan game.

    Then there is the rest of female society — the 80% of women who say they will never drive a minivan. It’s understandable. A minivan looks like a giant dust buster. Your parents might have owned one back in the 90s, when vans only had one sliding door. It is totally normal to convince yourself that you will never drive a minivan.

    And it’s totally normal to eventually change your mind about this conviction. We will call these women “minivan converts.” I am one of them.

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    I became a minivan driver quite by accident. We were visiting family in Washington for an extended two-week trip when Zianne was just over a year old. I was newly pregnant with Talitha, and Micah’s uncle kindly offered us their old Honda Odyssey to drive for the duration of our trip. A free car to drive with easy carseat access? Count me in. So I drove a 2002 Honda Odyssey with my 14 month-old child for two weeks, and I fell in love…

    I didn’t know I needed sliding doors and van storage space and an easy place to do diaper changes on the floor of my car, but I DID. From that point on, it was destiny. I told Micah that at some point in the future, probably when we had 2-3 children, I wanted a minivan. Automatic sliding doors became a legitimate desire of my heart.

    Micah, like any good father would, tried to convince me otherwise. He did not want to drive a minivan. Surely, a sleek SUV would do the trick. In order to convince me, on our next trip to Seattle, he rented a shiny black Tahoe. It was pretty. I don’t deny it. Tahoes are arguably the best-looking SUV. But as soon as we loaded our two kids and all our luggage into the back, we started laughing. We could hardly fit everything inside. Before we even left the airport parking garage, Micah’s fate was sealed. There would be a minivan in his future.

    In case you are still wondering, let me tell you about the five main reasons a van is far superior to an SUV:

    1. Those power doors. You have 2-5 young children. You click a button. They all climb inside the car themselves. They can click a button and close the doors themselves. It’s magic.
    2. Access. The minivan is lower than an SUV (but higher than a car – perfect balance if you ask me), so it’s easier to get kids in and out of. As someone who has giant babies that weight 20+ pounds by six months of age, there is no way I want to hoist my gigantic child IN a carseat carrier into an SUV. I would need chiropractic treatment on the regular. And the seat configuration (bucket seats in middle row with optional 8th seat added) allows for much easier access to the third row. If you have to use your third row daily, a minivan is the most efficient option.
    3. Cargo space. Unless you opt for a huge SUV like a suburban (which I might switch to once my kids are out of carseats), there is WAY more storage space in a minivan. Not only is the trunk space better, but all the seats easily fold down or can be removed, so you can literally haul huge furniture in your van. Our van has a roof rack, towing hitch, and all the seats in the interior can be folded down or removed. Bring it, trucks and SUVs.
    4. Friends assure me that gas and repair costs are much less expensive for a van versus an SUV.
    5. I repeat… the doors open and close on their own with the click of a button. Hallelujah and amen.

    Of course, there are those in the final category. Those refined women who are devoted to their anti-minivan convictions. I see you. I see your sexy Pilots and Tahoes and Sequoias. I see a woman who knows what she wants and is willing to break her back and cram her crap in the back of her SUV just to maintain her dignity. I respect you. But I can’t be you.

    I have no dignity.

    But I have convenience, comfort, cargo space, and no need to see the chiropractor.

    And that’s why I chose the minivan life.

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    Saturday Snippets

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    A ridiculous number of great links this week…

    I had to stop reading post-election articles for a few weeks, but I finally got around to a few of them, and I’m sharing just my favorites: He is still on his throne // Don’t succumb to apocalyptic language

    Also, as a recent PhD grad I have been nodding my head in agreement regarding the liberal intolerance that flows from our nation’s universities

    Because I think Jen Wilkin is so wise about addressing current problems in women’s ministry nation-wide…

    Women, an important reminder that Jesus is not our cheerleader

    A challenge to pray with your spouse

    I love this backpack (handmade!)…

    An amazing list of non-fiction Christian books from 2016 (I want to read them all but especially this one and this one)…

    Planning to FINALLY make this soup

    Great news for Full House fans

    Some great resources for advent

    Three good questions to ask your kids at dinnertime…

    A conversation about Bible literacy

    I’ve tried the highly-rated Hue leggings and the lauded Lu La Roe leggings, but Lauren Conrad leggings are still the VERY BEST in my opinion (and super affordable)…

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