If you’re reading this you already know…

Most of you know, but if you don’t, here’s a bit of news. The Bowmans (Ryan, Kathi, Elliot, and Alexa) are making a move to live in Colorado for 18+ months starting in Summer of 2018.

So why are we doing it?…

 

3,000 Acres, 3/4 Mile High, 365 Days A Year

Let’s be honest. We can’t deny the main reason we are headed to Colorado is for snowboarding.

Since our sophomore year of college in 2002, we’ve traveled west to Utah or Colorado almost every year for 3-4 day trips. We’ve always dreamed about being near a ski resort for an entire winter season so we could potentially ride for 100+ days in a year! Watch out for videos of a mom-snowboarder doing 360s in the near future!

Steamboat Springs is where we’re planning to live and Steamboat (the ski resort) will be our playground. At the top, you are nearly ¾ of a mile above the elevation of the base and there are 3,000 acres of skiable terrain! Carving up fresh powder on a piece of high-tech composite for a couple miles is pretty unreal – kinda like those flying dreams you have when you’re a kid!

Speaking of kids, we’re also excited to watch Elliot (and maybe even Lexi) master new skills on the mountain.

We’ve never been to the mountains in the summer, but most people say it’s even better than winter. So we plan to let the natural beauty of God’s creation be all we need to have fun all year long!

Steamboat Ski School

 

Expand Our Horizons…Literally

Kathi and I have both lived most of our lives within a 5 mile radius. The one time we travelled outside of our 5 mile bubbles, we went 160 miles south to the University of Illinois and met each other on day one. It obviously changed our lives in a pretty big way and led to the existence of these two faces.

We love where we live, but we also don’t want to miss out on other experiences because we’re comfortable and satisfied. If a 160 mile traverse across the Land of Lincoln was what allowed us to meet, what or who might a 1,100 mile journey westward introduce us to?

We’re not sure, but we want to find out!

 

“Easy Living”

If you live in the Chicago suburbs like us, you probably don’t hear the phrase “easy living” too often because everyone is running themselves ragged with work, birthday parties, baseball practice, snapping awesome pics and video for Instagram stories, and driving in rush-hour traffic. It’s all good stuff (except the traffic), but the ever-present burden of it all over many years can definitely weigh on a person or a family.

The trends around simplicity and minimalism that are rising in popularity in our culture really resonate with Kathi and me. So apart from just living somewhere else for a while, we purposefully wanted to choose a place that was smaller and forced us into a slower pace of life.

The move will also force us to let go of a lot of possessions – even some stuff we really love, like our house.

We’re planning to not own a home for a while. Goodbye American Dream (and Cook County property taxes!). We’re also going to learn to survive with one vehicle. As for all the other stuff, we’ll be donating, selling, or lending out whatever we’re not bringing.

 

Life Fast

I realize the only reason Americans abstain from food is because they have an upcoming colonoscopy, but if you’ve ever done a fast for more voluntary reasons, you probably realized you don’t need to consume all the awesome (and not so awesome) calories you’re accustomed to eating.

I’m hoping this season for our family can be a sort of “life fast.”

We feel really blessed and can happily say the good definitely outweighs the bad in our current season of life, but we hope to come away from this experience with a new outlook on how grateful we are for the good things while at the same time learning to loosen our grip on some of the not-so-important things.

 

White Space For Kathi

mini-retirement

Kathi taking in the view on our 2017 Steamboat trip. 

Obviously a huge step in making this all work is Kathi saying farewell to a solid job that she held for 10 years. It allowed her to work earn full-time income, while only being out of the house two days a week.

Kathi isn’t sure what the future holds, but we’re both excited for her to take this time to “rest and reload.” We both believe God has big plans for her, and the extra “white space” may be just what she needs to hear His voice more clearly.

Ultimately, this feels more like a comma than a period in her career; but she is excited to focus primarily on being a mom to Elliot and Alexa for the foreseeable future.

 

Why Not?

We took this picture on our trip to Steamboat in 2017. We thought the trail names were surprisingly poignant to this post!

This question “Why Not?” may seem flippant, but it’s been a key question for us. And the reality is – we have some really good answers why we should NOT do this! Such as…

  • Saying goodbye to family and friends we love
  • Leaving a church where we truly experience God’s love and presence
  • Giving up a dual-income situation that gives us financial security and lots of time at home with our girls

We can honestly say we don’t know if this is 100% the right decision, but we’re willing to take the risk!

In future posts, we hope to expand on some of these themes, share pictures, and keep you updated along the way. So subscribe below if you want to get updated when we post something new.