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When I was six, I convinced my little brother to join my club.  For his contribution of nine dollars, he could be vice-president, while I was president, secretary, and treasurer.  Even though I only contributed a dollar myself, as the treasurer, it was my responsibility to ensure our money was spent in an appropriate manner, and I opted to purchase hair scrunchies and pink animal cookies that I didn’t share.

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Hardly a day goes by in my adult life in which my brother doesn’t ask for a return on his investment and insist that I officially dissolve the club. Of course, being wiser in the ways of the world, I tell him it’s in the club’s best interest to stay active.  After all, this is the club in which meetings are held in little red tents, attendance is taken with heart-shaped stickers, and the president is officially recognized as a princess.

Last week, I heard my brother invite my nine-month-old son to join a club with him.  As he laid out the terms of what the club would entail, I could tell he had wised up since his days as the runty little brother.  Watching my brother crawl around and “zoom zoom” across the room, my little one in tow, I was reminded for the thousandth time why I’m so glad we opted to move closer to home once our son was born.

I was the girl who couldn’t wait to move out of her hometown after high school and was ready to embark on a new adventure after college.  Two weeks after getting married, my husband and I moved from Indiana to Charleston, South Carolina, where we officially began our life as husband and wife.  Our days were spent teaching and our nights and weekends were spent exploring and hanging out at the beach.

124-Moving to IndyA year and a half into our marriage, we adopted our puppy, and almost exactly a year later, we welcomed our son into the world.  The arrival of our sweet little guy brought grandparents flocking and made life feel perfectly connected.  Our first week as parents was exhausting, but knowing we had reinforcements made our sleepless nights much more bearable.

Once that first week was up, and our parents had to make the 15 hour drive home, we were left feeling discombobulated.  Our exhausted haze was no longer viewed through rose colored glasses, and two people who had always sought independence and adventure were left missing family. Don’t get me wrong, the occasional tear would sneak out upon leaving family after Christmas break or summer vacation, but for the most part, we really enjoyed having our own lives in our own place. That changed the day our son was born.

Without jobs, a home, or really any clear life plan, we moved everything we owned up to Indiana when our son was 8 weeks old.  Knowing in our hearts that it was the right decision, we hit the road and never looked back.  People frequently ask me if I’m glad we moved, and as I sit in my brother’s apartment (the one next door to ours), I feel at peace knowing that Kevin’s childhood will be full of fond memories of family, and that’s the greatest gift of all.

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Katie is a Butler University graduate, who was lucky enough to meet her husband the third day of college. After graduating as one of Butler’s top 10 women, she went on to do Teach for America; South Carolina. She was a second grade teacher in a school with a high Hispanic population and loved every second of it. Never intending to be a stay-at-home parent, she worked until the day before she gave birth, took one look into her son’s eyes, and decided she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom after all. After re-prioritizing upon the birth of their son, Katie and her husband decided to move back to Indianapolis to be closer to family. She recently graduated with her master’s degree in education. She loves to cook, celebrate holidays, watch movies, party plan, travel the world, take walks, and play with her Border Collie. You will likely find her seeking adventure, hunting for bargains, helping others get healthy through her passion as a health coach, or cuddling on the couch with her hubby, baby, and puppy. If you’re interested in reading more about her crazy adventures, check out her personal blog, A Quinning Love.