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May 10, 2011

One Car Down and One To Go!

I guess I should have asked someone to pinch me a few weeks ago because sometimes it's hard to believe we really are moving to Germany. Even with all the appointments, paperwork, and running around on base, it hadn't hit me yet. Sure, there had been numerous times where I have sat alone and thought of how much my life is going to change in the next month, but the gravity of what is actually about to take place didn't hit me until last night...when we sold my car.

D and I had been contemplating since day one whether or not we should take our Nissan Murano with us to Germany. We'd heard the roads and parking spaces are a bit smaller, but we'd also heard that people bring mini vans and pick-up trucks and do just fine. So, we have been on the fence about selling it or taking it for a while now. My beautiful, shiny Pearl (that's her name, mind you) is just barely 2 years old and was a present to myself back in 2009 when I got my first "big girl" job fresh out of college. She was a bit of an impulse buy seeing as we randomly went to the dealership just to look and walked out of there 4 hours later with the first (and only) car I test drove. When you know, you just know, right? It was like my wedding dress...I knew what I wanted when I walked in and fell in love with the first thing I tried on. Pearl had everything...she was fully loaded, leather clad, and drove like a dream. She helped D and I survive driving through the worst snow storm of our lives two Christmases ago and then again last winter. She's hauled things for moves, yard sales, and family vacations. She even protected me through my first fender bender (totally not my fault...I was rear-ended at a stop light). I couldn't have asked for a better car. 

So, then came the decision to take or sell her. We had been praying about it for weeks. This decision was to be one of the biggest ones yet and had been a major source of worry for us both. We had heard horror stories about other families who didn't own their car outright and the lender refused to release the car to be shipped overseas and those families were stuck storing a car for 3+ years and still paying for it. That situation scared the crap out of me. I also didn't like the idea of possibly having trouble driving or parking in certain areas of Europe just because I had a larger vehicle. Too much travel stress and traveling is supposed to be fun! After praying and contemplating over this for weeks, D and I decided we'd take it to CarMax and see what they would give us for it. If they weren't going to give us what we owe on it...or within $500 (because that was all we were willing to fork out) then we'd just take her with us. If they gave us exactly what we owe or more, the decision would be easy...SOLD!

I just knew we weren't going to get back what we owed. I had a sinking feeling we were going to be low balled and we'd both leave discouraged. We kept putting off making the visit to CarMax because we were afraid of what they were going to say. The car is in excellent condition with low mileage, so why wouldn't they give us a great price? I tried to keep a positive outlook by repeating that to myself. Finally, after church on Sunday (we planned it that way...I figured going after church would calm my nerves) we dove Pearl to CarMax and got her appraised. We sat there for what seemed like years waiting for the appraiser to finish. When she came back inside to her little cubicle we were sitting in, she asked if we were ready to see the number. I had a huge lump in my throat. It all came down to this number. If it was large enough, Pearl would be gone and we will have just made the biggest step yet in our moving preparations.

It was like waiting for the test grade that you weren't sure you did well on or not. You want to know, but you don't want to look. You kind of peek through your fingers as you click the mouse on the computer screen until the grade pops up. You take a deep breath and finally look.

I almost died.

They gave us almost exactly what we owed on the car!!!!!!! Within $100. I was speechless. D and both looked at one another with complete disbelief. We were going to sell the Murano. The appraiser asked how that number sounded and I looked at her and said, "I'm so happy, I'm about to cry!" She laughed and said that she was happy for us and glad it was what we both wanted. She then handed us the approved offer and told us we had 7 days to bring the car back and accept it. She shook our hands, wished us the best of luck in Germany, and out the door we floated. I say floated because it was obvious D and I were both on cloud 9!

Last night, we drove back to CarMax and sold Pearl. Driving her for the last time was bittersweet. I got a little choked up in the office as they were peeling the DOD sticker off of her. I mean, did they have to do that right in front of me?!?! Gosh! I know it's crazy to get all worked up over a car...but it's what the car represents in our life right now. I got her just as we were getting settled into the crazy Virginia chapter of our lives, and now I'm selling her as we prepare for the exciting Germany chapter. If you had told me a year ago that I'd be selling parts of my life to prepare for a great European adventure, I would have laughed at you. It's crazy where time and life will take you. Completely bittersweet.

On another exciting note...D FINALLY GOT HIS ORDERS!!!! Same day as we sold Pearl....I'd say she had something to do with it. ;) We've got a meeting with TMO this week and we can now move on with the next leg of planning. PRAISE THE LORD! It's all in His perfect timing. I should know better than to worry. We've still got D's car to sell, but that won't happen till we go on leave the beginning of June. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as this transition becomes more real. I pray that God will continue to prepare our hearts and minds (and those of our family and friends) for this big change. We are very excited, but still have lots to do!

It's all finally hitting me now...and there's no turning back.


  1. So glad things seem to be falling in place for you and David! I love your blog... keep them coming! Kathy

  2. I'm glad that the situation worked out with Pearl! It seems like it was meant to be! I can't begin to tell you how excited I am for you to get over there and start writing about all the amazing adventures you're going to have!

  3. If it makes things any better regarding your decision, I totally think you made the right choice! I came over here with a GMC Jimmy, a small-ish SUV, and realized how difficult it really was to drive and park it outside of the base. I now have a VW Beetle and it is perfect over here! The parking spots are super small, and if you ever have to parallel park that thing, it would be a nightmare! I ahve been in Germany now for seven years, and am very glad that I haven't had the Jimmy the whole time, as much as I loved it. Good luck with the rest of your move!

  4. I'm sitting here, re-reading your blog posts from 3 years ago and enjoying them even more than I did when I read them the first time. It's amazing that your Germany tour is coming to a close and you will be back on US soil very soon...I can't wait to see what your next chapter will be; I pray that it will be even more amazing for you and the "D". Miss you much, love you more!


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