Start spreading the news! We're headed to the Great Lakes State!
It is with a heavy (and excited) heart to let you all know we're leaving Chicago. I'm getting a little choked up even writing this, and sharing this with you all makes it even more real. We've decided to move to my homestate, Michigan, to be closer to my family. It only took a couple weeks after Emory was born that we realized we wanted to be closer to family, and the type of childhood we wanted him to have we would have a very hard time providing him in the city (such as having a play set and a back yard for him to play in). We wanted to be closer to family for holidays, have my parents involved in Emory's life, and just have a different quality of life (and a cheaper cost of living!), so after weighing all our options, we decided to move.
This decision means I will not be going back to work after maternity leave. I was so nervous about letting my employer know I was leaving, but my boss was so supportive and it made me feel even better about making the move. She told me, "If you're making a decision for your family, you're making the right decision." Now it's time to bring on the Michigan job hunt!
We initially planned on living with my parents until we found a place to live, but the stars aligned and we actually found a house in my hometown. We're currently in the process of buying it (so send all your well wishes and keep your fingers and toes crossed for us!), and if all goes to plan we'll be moving in before Christmas. This is how you know you've made the right decision; everything is falling into place, and I think we're exactly where we should be.
But all this exciting news doesn't make leaving much easier. This is a move we honestly weren't planning on doing for several more years; we love the city. After John living in Florida and Taiwan and me living in Florida previously, Chicago is the first place that's felt like 'home' to both of us; a feeling neither of us had felt in such a long time.
Chicago will always hold a special place in my heart; it's where I met John, where were got engaged and started our lives as newlyweds, where we adopted our cat Stuart, where I first learned the art of calligraphy, where Emory was born, and where I grew into the person I am today. I'm so thankful for all this city has given me; first and foremost, Chicago gave me my family. The city has also taught me lessons in diversity, gave me opportunities for my career growth, and lifelong friends. And truly, that's going to be the hardest part--leaving our friends, they're seriously the best damn group of people.
I'll miss all the fun city events and markets, my book club, all the amazing restaurants, Cubs games, the awesome shopping, and just living in such a fun and thriving city. We have so many memories here, but it's time to make new memories with our son, and thankfully we're just a short plane or train ride away. We'll be back to visit soon.
Here's a trip down Chicago memory lane...