A Farewell To North Iowa: We’re Moving South

NI Bloggers Collage

We’re moving again. With a million and one emotions running through my heart and my head, it’s time to share that Jake and I are moving to St. Louis, Missouri this summer. Jake accepted a new job opportunity within his company and so we are on the move again. This time, we’re heading south.

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At the Minnesota History Center for North Coast Nosh cultivated by The Sioux Chef Sean Sherman.

I’ve always been an Upper Midwest girl. It’s all I know. Home will always be Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, but I’ve learned I can find home in other places too. Moving is mentally and physically exhausting, but I have no regrets, for I’ve made the most wonderful friends. I’ve learned that I hate living in a new city for the first year, and then, by the second, I’m crying as I say goodbye to friends because I don’t want to leave. St. Louis is completely new to us, but there’s no reason to expect it won’t also feel like home soon enough.

One of the most difficult things about this particular move is grappling with the realization that I won’t always be a North Iowa Blogger. What began as five women who met for dinner has grown into a vibrant group of 34. We throw memorable parties, get invited to explore cities and states, and volunteer. We love sharing interesting stories about North Iowa and have created a close-knit community where local bloggers of all ages and experience levels are welcome.

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Visiting Hoover’s Chicken Hatchery in Rudd, Iowa, riding wiggle cars at Carlson Tree Farm on the Franklin County Harvest Bloggers Tour ’14 & baking pies with Cristen Clark.

Sara Broers will always be the first Iowan blogger I ever met and she painted the best picture of our group when she described the evening we volunteered at Music Man Square with Beth and Amy Hild before Christmas. “Where else would you find 20, 30, 40, and 50-year women having fun and getting along?” When there were lulls, we darted around snapping goofy photos and taking ice cream breaks.

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During a lull, Amy and I worked hard to snap this photo.

Before the North Iowa bloggers, most of my friends had been my same age. Now, more of my friends are of different ages. Life’s better this way.

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I don’t believe in flyover country. It doesn’t exist.

Flyover country Collage

From left-right: Val’s farm in Hampton Iowa, Pilot Knob State Park in Forest City & the Fossil & Prairie Park in Rockford.

I’ve embarked on fantastic adventures and eaten delicious food in the Twin Cities, Fargo, Mason City, and all of the spaces in between. If your joy’s in the journey and the search for your next favorite thing, you’ll never be bored.

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Beeds Lake State Park, Hampton, Iowa

15 Comments

  1. Best wishes, Jeni! I’m sorry that our visits won’t be as frequent, but know we’ll stay connected. Happy thoughts!

  2. I am getting all weepy reading this. It is getting real, isn’t it? Our little group is going to be scattered but we will always be close wherever we are. I am excited about the new opportunities for you guys in St. Louis! I think it is going to be amazing.

  3. I know you got settled into life in Mason City and that you were still just about a two hours drive away to the Twin Cities, but you guys will really like St. Louis – especially the restaurants. I had a hard time warming up to the city over the years of traveling there, but like Chicago, it’s almost a second home for me these days. You’d better like baseball and Italian food, and you’ll have to make up your mind up if you like provel over mozzarella on your pizza. (I still go for mozzarella on St. Louis pizzas, but I’ll mix it up from time to time with some provel instead.) Good luck with the move and congrats to Jake for moving up in the company!

    • I can’t wait to find out what kind of cheese I like on my pizza. Can’t be too mad about having to do some pizza research:) Thank you for your incredibly kind words. I will be looking through your St. Louis posts for dining ideas.

  4. Sad to see you go! But you know we’ll still follow you and keep in touch! Are you coming to Beth and Nick’s house for the blogger meet-up in a couple weeks? And 34??? I had no idea the group had gotten that big!

    • Same here! I love your recipes. Unfortunately, I can’t make it to Beth & Nic’s, but will look for more meet-ups.

  5. Miss you already, my friend! Although Air Choice One has us a flight away.

    • I’ll be taking advantage of Air Choice One this coming year! And if you or the group is ever in my neck of the woods, I’ll meet up with you.

  6. I am so happy that we got together that one night at LD’s. None of us knew what friendships and experiences led down the road. I’m so happy to have shared several Iowa firsts with you and I can’t wait to see you explore many new firsts in St. Louis.

  7. I feel like a broken record, but I have such mixed emotions. I am sad you are leaving, but I’m so thankful for our friendship. I am also so excited for you! I can’t wait to read about all your new adventures. Plus, we’ll always be sisters conjoined at the heart – no amount of distance can change that. Love you! xo

    • I am sad too! Moving is so stressful, but I’m grateful that we could live in North Iowa so I could meet my long lost sister.

  8. Jeni, you are my favorite Iowa blogger, you’ve always been there for me, since the beginning! I really love how real you are and won’t stop stalking your blog and trying to get you to come back to Iowa to see me, and share a Peppermint Bar at the Fair. I hope to visit the Lou someday! XOXO

    • You might be my favorite Iowa blogger too and you’ve always been there for me as well. Visit anytime! We’ll call you if we make it to the Des Moines fair

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