In You’ve Got Mail, Kathleen Kelly makes the difficult decision to close her beloved The Shop Around the Corner children’s bookstore. It’s a decision that, she notes, was not an easy one as the shop was such a large part of her life since she was a young girl. When she tells the older and wiser Birdie of the plan, her friend replies, “Closing the store is the brave thing to do … you are daring to imagine that you could have a different life.”

Never have these words rang so close to home as they do to me now. Later this summer, I will be leaving the place I’ve known since childhood and moving to a different life in Terre Haute, Indiana. Bryan accepted an amazing leadership role at Indiana State University. So Bryan, Sophie and I (and Casey, Cody and Tess) will become Midwesterners after all these years in San Diego.

In many ways, I feel like Jo March as she leaves her small home of Concord for a new life in New York. Only I’m doing the opposite of Jo, as I’m going from big to small. I don’t mind the small, and I welcome a slower, less crowded pace. I hope I will be as brave as Jo as she embraced her new life and the adventures that lie ahead.

I am sad to leave my family, and the community I’ve come to love. And I’ll miss all that’s familiar to me. But I’m excited to experience a completely different way of life and find new places to explore. We’ll be able to see parts of the country that I’ve never known before. Sophie can perfect her basketball skills and become a Hoosier. And of course, seasons! Finally, trips to the pumpkin patch in autumn when I’m not wearing sleeveless tops and flip flops in 90-degree heat!

I’m fortunate that my business allows me to work virtually with clients from all over the country. Hopefully my writing and marketing skills will help new businesses and entrepreneurs in Indiana and the Midwest. And I can’t wait to share all my new thoughts and moments here with all of you (so much more blogging fodder!).

It’s going to be a crazy summer. So much to think about as we pack up our belongings to move east. I’m still wrapping my head around transporting an 8-year-old, two dogs and a cat across country — that will be a road trip for the books! There will be many more musings about our move and Indiana in the future. But for now, I’m ready to imagine a different life in Indiana.

Thanks for your all your support as Leah’s Thoughts makes a cross-country journey. Moving tips will be appreciated!

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32 Responses

  1. Wow! Big adventure! I’m retiring to a small town in Inland Northwest. Excited for all of us as we embark on new lives!

  2. Wow! Big news and exciting too. Congrats to your husband and I’m sure you’re all find your niche in new digs. Good luck and we all look forward to hearing about it. Advice– get rid of as much stuff as you can.. but that’s so hard!

    1. Thank you so much, Lisa! Yes, we’re trying to get rid of as much as possible. The good thing is we don’t have huge amounts of stuff and I’m not a keeper of everything. So crossing my fingers!

  3. Wowza! I applaud those who are brave and can make the leap. The consideration of moving has crossed our path with starting a family and my husband’s employer leaving CA. At this particular point I’m just not ready. So, yes, I say it is the brave thing to do. Hopefully they are paying for movers and you can make it a fun adventure as you make your way to Indiana!

    1. Thanks, Joann! I’m definitely looking at the move part as an adventure. I’m excited to see the United States by car too.

  4. I’m so excited for you and your family and this new adventure that awaits you. I’m also sad you won’t be an hour south of me but thank God for the internet!!

    1. Thanks, Wendy! And OMG, thank goodness for texting and Facebook! We can still connect and chat about all our favorite TV shows. And I promise I won’t spoil since I’ll be watching the East Coast feeds! πŸ˜‰

  5. Congratulations Leah — both for your husband’s professional opportunity and and your family’s opportunity for a new adventure! We never know what doors are going to open for us in life and I’m so excited for you to walk through this new one and see all is beholds! Look forward to hearing more about your next chapter. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Caryn! Yes, it’s an exciting time and it will be fun to see what our new life looks like. Thanks for always being so supportive.

  6. Leah,

    First of all, congratulations. This will be an amazing adventure for you and your family.

    Secondly, waaaaahhhhhh!

    Thirdly, I’m really impressed with your attitude about it all. And I’m excited to see what comes next. Keep us posted!


    1. Thanks, Allison. I’m trying to stay positive and look at the exciting things to come. The actual, physical move is the stressor for me right now. But luckily I have a few months to prepare. πŸ™‚

  7. Congrats!! I’m so excited for all of you. What an adventure. Can’t wait to read all about it!

  8. OMG! We will miss you so much, but at the same time, I wish you great adventure and happiness in your new chapter!

    1. Thank you, Lesley! I will certainly miss you and the CBI community that has embraced us for so many years. It’s sad to say good bye to that part of our lives. But at the same time, exciting to see what comes next!

  9. Congrats on the brave move to the mid west! IU is the rival of my son’s alma mater, Purdue University. We traveled quite a bit to Indianapolis, Indiana to get to West Lafayette — a tiny university town.

    The pace will be something to get used to, very slow indeed. However, we met very nice people over the course of our son’s four years at Purdue, and he has nothing but good memories about his time there — though he couldn’t wait to get back to the west coast because those winters were brutal.

    I have a tip for you and your family before you leave. Hit up the Northface Outlet at Plaza Las Americas to pick up full length coats, gloves, etc., for a fraction of their cost out there. You’ll be glad you did.

    Good luck and we’ll see you online, Leah!

    1. Thanks, Suzette! We will be very close to Indianapolis, so I’m excited to check out the city. I love that there are so many great universities in Indiana too, and that’s awesome your son had such a great experience at Purdue. Thank you so much for the tip too! Winter clothes and supplies are definitely NOT something we think about here! πŸ˜‰

  10. How exciting (and, I’m sure, scary) – Leah! I’m originally from PA, lived in OH (lots of family and friends in Indiana) so I call that my first home. Unlike your move, I moved TO the west. Given your enthusiasm about seasons and your positive attitude about the move, I think you’ll love it. It will be a different pace, and – as you said – so much to explore! And, yes, great writing fodder!

    1. Thanks, Melissa! It almost seems counter-intuitive to go from west to east, but I’m excited for the change. And you are so right about the seasons! I’m always complaining about the lack of fall and winter in San Diego. I guess I’ll finally get to experience that part of nature. πŸ™‚

  11. I can really relate to this! We’ve made two big moves: without kids from California to Colorado, and then with kids from Colorado to Maine. I can honestly say that both times it was wonderful and completely for the best, in most part because — like you — we were so excited to make the move. Our son (at ten) was probably the least thrilled because he left all his best friends (our daughter was five so less impacted). My biggest advice is have fun. Things were unpredictable during the move (we drove, which I loved), and I found when I rolled with the changes (instead of trying to control them), it was easier. Mostly, it was such a huge adventure, and I think because we treated it like that, it was a lot easier and more fun with the kids. If you need any more thoughts, please feel free to email…welcome to the seasons, Leah, I know how much you’ll enjoy them!! And now that you’re a few miles closer to Maine, here’s hoping for a meet up!!

    1. Thanks, Julia! I appreciate your words. We are driving too, so I’m looking at it as an adventure to see America. You know what’s funny, I always see your gorgeous Instgram pictures of Maine and long for that nature and beauty. I know Indiana isn’t Maine, but I’m excited to be able to see the gorgeous fall colors and winter scenery. So that’s exciting to me. And yes, hopefully we can meet up sometime! Would LOVE to get to Maine and other parts of the East Coast!

  12. Leah,

    I just found out you and your family are starting a new chapter…how exciting! I wish you all the best.

    Clayton and are beginning a new chapter as well…..we sold our home and are down-sizing! We move next Saturday. I have been packing and discarding for weeks. Goodwill loves the Kraft family! It is amazing how much you accumulate after 29 years in a home.

    We also have our first grandchild on the way! Cory and Allison got married last July…the baby is due early November.

    Safe travels.

  13. OMG nooooooooo, don’t goooooo. I can’t believe I missed this big update. Hope the road trip goes smoothly for you and we’ll miss you here in SoCal. xo

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