I have always had a weird fear of "settling down" - meaning buying a house and living there for a long time. Matt thinks I'm crazy. But there's always been something I liked about living in a place for a few years and moving on to the next cool place, discovering it, meeting great people, etc. Maybe that "fear" is partly due to the unknown and worrying that I may have to live away from family permanently so I just wanted to avoid that for a while.
But, after doing this a few times and as my kids get older, I'm finding myself feeling more ready and looking forward to settling down. (we do have a couple of moves still.) :)
I love Iowa City. It has been an incredibly easy city to live in with amazing people and surprisingly a lot to do and see. But for the first time, I've felt far from our families. Traveling in and out of here is expensive and takes longer than I'm use to. Driving is more than a day (or two). We won't get visitors like we did when we lived 10 minutes from the beach on the west coast. :) So I'm actually longing for the time to be living closer to family, spending holidays together, having them come to our events and celebrations, especially, when I see how much my kids love all of their grandparents.
My parents were here and we went and saw some fun things, but they mostly just wanted to read with them and play at home. Charlie started calling my mom "Jule" and my dad "seeve" and followed my dad all around. It reminded me just how important extended family is. My kids have many great-grandparents around, too, and some of their healths are failing. It makes me wish I was closer. I think Matt and I have grown from all of these experiences away and have made such incredible friends. I think the time is nearing, though, to settle down (hopefully) close to family.
Here is our little trip to Nauvoo, IL. The early pioneers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints settled there before they were driven out and began to move West. We stayed in this great hotel across from the temple. It was gorgeous. We also took a "carriage ride" through the little town of Nauvoo to learn more about the history. We had a fun little roadtrip.