Livin’ the Minivan Dream

Roughly two months, 14 days, and 6-ish hours ago, I bought myself a minivan. There are so many buttons and beeps and warnings in this thing I’m sure if I give it the old — up up, down down, left right, left right, B A start — the thing will actually lift off. While I fully appreciate having the means to purchase the car and the bodies to fill it with, I did not want a minivan. I tried every replacement: big, small, new, used, and in the end screamed and kicked my way to Honda to wait in line behind a dozen or so other families as they cherry-picked their perfect Odyssey off the lot and drove away in white picketed, 2.5 kid bliss!

Livin' the Minivan Dream | Houston Moms Blog

Over two months later, and I’m here to tell you that you are not being lied to; there are major perks to livin’ the minivan dream. My top five are below. Feel free to sing your own praises — I still don’t know what half of my buttons actually do!

{1} The Doors.

I’m just going to start here; it’s the easiest sell. Yes, the sliding doors are amazing. Amazing as you are approaching the car when leaving the park, amazing as you load up with hands full, and amazing that kids can open/close all on their own. No door dings, no wind blowing doors shut. Big open, wide, sliding spaces people! It’s legit. Believe in this if you don’t want to believe in anything else.

{2} One Touch Open/Close Liftgate.

I know this comes on many SUVs as well. But you aren’t coupling it with sliding doors, and we’ve just established those as the holy grail. So one touch liftgate + sliding doors…it’s not getting much better out there friends.

{3} Price.

If you want a 3 row vehicle that also includes a trunk, you’ve put yourself in the Suburban/Expedition XL/Sequoia grouping of large SUVs. These are beautiful cars with beautiful lines and lots of power that come with great features, including a great big price tag. That minivan and its sliding doors can easily save you $20K. A lot of my eventual choice came down to that: I couldn’t justify all the extra expense for a car that 3 kids under the age of 5 would be {let’s be honest} ruining.

{4} Lowered Chassis.

You might put this in the “con” category on your little sheet. But being low to the ground allows even 2-year-olds to climb into the car themselves and climb up into their car seats, leaving this pregnant mom without any bending. I didn’t initially realize the value here. I thought being low to the ground was a turn off, but I’m going to put this up there with those famous sliding doors!

{5} Built in Playscape.

When I say my children are obsessed with playing in my minivan, I’m understating. It is a jungle gym, a bounce house, Chuck E. Cheese, and an Adventure Zone all in one. Everyday when I get home, the shrieks of excitement aren’t for me. They are for the playscape I just rolled into the driveway. Half an hour of open-door play time bliss as I talk uninterrupted to my neighbors in the driveway is well worth all the cool points I lost in that Honda dealership in early spring.

Did I get you to come to the dark side? I promise I’ll be the first in line with you for that Luxury SUV when these carseats are a distant memory. We can smile at the sweet, tired, hands-full mom as she closes those doors from the front seat for the first time and realizes that we weren’t lying about the greatness.

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Jessica and Sarah are tandem bloggers and self-dubbed ‘sister-cousins’ because sometimes the lines get blurred, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. Both New Orleans natives, these cousins transplanted to Houston after Hurricane Katrina and have never looked back. Jessica is the mother of twin girls, Laine and Olivia {March 2010}, and a sweet and curious one year old boy, Owen {Jan 2013}. Sarah is mom to Maggie {Aug 2011}, who keeps her on her toes, and the most adorable little brother, Jack {Nov 2013}! By day, Jessica is a stay at home mom, and Sarah works on the financial and managerial end of the healthcare industry. By naps, lunch breaks, and nights, they run an adorable children’s clothing company called The Little Crane Smocked Shoppe. Follow these two, their families, and their adventures in small business ownership on their blog…and don’t forget to show them some love at their shop too!


  1. In addition to all of your pluses because you’re right, sliding doors are the best.

    Can fit 3 huge car seats in the 2nd row, leaving a super huge trunk in the back or extra seats for family visitors.

    3rd row seats fold down completely flat, and so easily too.

    You can easily remove each individual 2nd row seat to create bucket seats or an even bigger trunk for temporary cargo transportation.

    The odyssey drives so nicely and smoothly.

  2. I’m 3 months in to minivan life and it is a dream! With a 2.5 year old and a 7 month old…it totally fits our needs for this stage in life!

    Plenty of trunk room for a double stroller and other things

    Room for 2 car seats and an adult to sit in the middle row

    Sliding doors for tight parking spaces

    One click to open the doors for my toddler to climb in (without help!)

    My pride was a little hurt at first, but 3 months later I am proudly owning and rocking the mini van life!


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