There are certainly some things we miss from our life in Illinois. Some you’d probably expect. Here are some you might not expect and we’re a little embarrassed to admit…


Peanut Butter

…but not just any peanut butter

Just ask one of my college roomates who bought reduced-fat peanut butter once and was scolded by me. He’ll tell you I take my peanut butter seriously. In fact, I’d like to publicly apologize to Jordan for how hard I was on him, but I’m even more sorry that I made him eat that peanut butter he bought.

The obsession started young when my mom started buying JIF. That’s when I realized all peanut butter is not created equal. Over the years I’ve moved on from JIF into more natural options where the oil separates and you have to keep the jar in the fridge. So you end up with clear oil on top and a brick on the bottom – just perfect at 11pm when I’m looking for a late night snack!

The heavens opened a few years ago when Kathi brought home the Kirkland (Costco brand) peanut butter. It’s 100% natural and organic, only 2 ingredients (Valencia peanuts and salt), and tastes amazing – But the real kicker is – you can put it in the fridge, it doesn’t separate, and it’s still soft and spreadable. C’mon! Who are the peanut butter ninjas who pulled this off? And why did it take so long?

It crossed my mind the first time I spread the Kirkland creation in Colorado. Wait – there’s no Costco within 1 hour drive!

Kathi wisely brought one jar with us but when it was just one jar! Now I had to treat it like my one canteen of water on a Sahara desert expedition. When it inevitably ran low, Kathi bought some crappy peanut butter from a local natural grocer. It of course separated into brick and oil and I thought this whole moving to Colorado thing might not work out after all.

Days passed. Someone commented to us that Costco delivered. What?!! Saved by the UPS man! Now the dark brown truck brings the light brown concoction I can’t live without.


Casserole Dishes

When we were temporarily living in the condo and had all our stuff in storage Kathi said, and I quote, “I miss my pyrex dishes. I can’t even make a good casserole.” After being amused for a second, I quickly realized the wife of my youth is gone and I’m married to a grown woman who likes to make casseroles. On a positive note, I do like casseroles.

“I miss my pyrex dishes. I can’t even make a good casserole.”

Kathi Bowman

circa 2018


Creature Comforts in the Automobile

We sold 2 cars before moving and bought one used Chevy Traverse that is getting the job done. I hate spending money on cars and we tried to get a mid-quality trim level (no leather, no sunroof, no gadgets, etc.) since we really don’t need that stuff. We bought it on Carvana which was a pretty cool experience, but we realized a few things upon starting our “7 day test-own” period. The car doesn’t have push-button start, remote keyless entry, or dual (digital) climate control. Gasp!

Even our old Kia had these features and we had gotten pretty accustomed to these handy amenities.

With the intelligent key system (which goes by many names), you can walk up to your car, unlock it by touching the door handle and start the engine with a button all while keeping your key in your pocket or purse.

Kathi kinda wanted to return the car when we realized it was missing these features but alas, we have survived having to press the button to unlock and lock the car. And turning the key to start the ignition makes us feel pretty retro and cool. 😉

And dual climate control is apparently an upgrade where it actually tells you the temperature in the car and you can set your OWN digital thermostat. That way your wife can have the A/C set at 62 and you can sit 18 inches away with it set to 75. Now we’re slumming it old school turning the dial from blue to red. Our indicator is no longer a digital readout. It’s the kids screaming from the back seat that they are too hot or cold.

The good news on the car font is – we are surviving and finding it to be pretty easy with one car in town. We’ve walked, biked, and taken the bus to different places in town to minimize the need for the car. We filled the gas tank only 2 times in the first 6 weeks so the gas budget is looking solid!


by Kathi

Costco & Target

Being part of a small community means less options for shopping. In general, I am fine with this because I have wondering eyes at the store and tend to make unnecessary purchases. However- there are two big-box-sized holes in my heart.

First of all, Costco. I bought everything there from ground beef to batteries to a GoPro. For people who like to eat tons of fresh, organic foods, Costco was our jam. Plus the kids loved it when those guys at the exit drew a smiley face on the receipt.

Also, Target. Target was one of those places that seriously had everything I wasn’t looking for. Going to Target was really more of a social outing for me after having kids. Get a latte, peruse the Hearth + Home section, buy my kids tons of cute Cat and Jack clothes they don’t need, and feel like everything was right with the world.

Now the closest Target is 1.5 hours away. I have been there once and I think I heard angels singing upon entering. Costco is a farther journey, which we may have to do occasionally when our Perfect Bars start running low.

The silver lining in this tragedy is that both stores offer online opportunities for purchasing. And we have Wal-Mart here so…. I can buy batteries there if I need to.


Furry Friends

One of the saddest parts about leaving Illinois was leaving behind our two furry friends, Reese and TJ. I am not embarrassed to admit that I miss them, but Ryan won’t admit it. They were a constant in our lives for almost 11 years and seriously are the best cats – friendly, great with kids, nice to look at.

We decided that if we could find them a good home, then it would be better for them to stay put instead of journeying 1700 miles into the unknown with us. Praise Jesus we found an amazing couple to take them in who loves cats (shout out Dawn and Russ!). For the record, they are staying temporarily with Dawn’s mom right now, and we did go to visit them before we left. They pretended they didn’t know who we were so… there’s that.


My Pottery Barn Buffet

To go on this adventure, we parted with a lot of furniture. We didn’t care about most of it. However, there were a few things I cared deeply about. In particular, my Pottery Barn buffet. Beautiful rich mahogany allowing for extensive storage, it epicly stood in our dining room for the past 8 years.

I stalked this item online for months before purchasing it, and my loving, far too reasonable husband pointed out that it is ridiculously heavy and also calculated the exact dollar amount it would cost to move. Whatever. Where am I going to store my Kitchen-Aid, bruh? Luckily, it also found a great home with my bestie, Nicole, as did some of my other favorite pieces of furniture. So I can always visit it there if I want to.



As I mentioned before, small town means less commerce. The restaurants here are wonderful, but there are very few chains. We’d love to get us some Chik-Fil-A once in a while. Seriously, is there better customer service ANYWHERE else? Is there a cleaner kids playground anywhere else? Can you trade in an “educational” toy for ice cream anywhere else? I rest my case.