A Mama’s Farewell Letter to Oklahoma

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Dear Oklahoma,

I moved here seventeen years ago when I was a teenager. Eighteen years old to be exact. I had a lot of dreams and hopes for my future as I entered college, but I knew no one here. I had no friends and no family in this state, and that strangely appealed to me. I saw nothing but a fresh start and big blue skies (I really was convinced the skies were bigger here!)

I loved my college years. I made many friends that I am still close to to this day. I met my husband here and, although neither of us is from this state, we chose to stay. We were connected to people, we were getting jobs, and we loved our life here in Oklahoma.

A few years into our marriage our first daughter was born. I struggled through those early newborn days but found a support system of other mamas in a breastfeeding support group here. Those ladies became very dear to my heart as we were all figuring out this new stage in life. We met weekly and laughed and cried together. We babysat for each other when we needed a break. We shared worries and concerns with each other about our growing little ones while reassuring one another that we were doing a great job!

I quit my job to become a full time stay at home mama and began to truly explore the city with my baby girl. We loved going to so many places like the zoo, the science museum, The Myriad Gardens, and Friday night art walks. She took her first steps at Mesta Park. She was dedicated in our beloved church home. Those members there have loved us like their own family and our girls have lots of adopted grandma’s at our congregation.

I started working out and taking care of my body for the first time in this city. You may laugh at that, but taking a postnatal “mom bod” to the gym for the first time ever was intimidating. But now those instructors and workout buddies I saw week after week have become another source of motivation and strength for me.

When I began writing for the Oklahoma City Moms Blog five years ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to connect with and share experiences with so many moms in our city, not just through writing, but through the events we’ve held throughout the city.

My second daughter was born as my older one was beginning her school life. I loved falling into a routine again with a little one and finding things we loved to do in the city like events at the public library, visiting the cowboy museum, strolling through Will Rogers Park. Meanwhile my oldest was thriving in her school despite how nervous I was to be away from her that many hours a day. I will always be grateful to her teachers and her school for the love and care they have given her over her four years there.

So why would I leave this place that I love so much?

My husband’s job is becoming more flexible and he has always wanted to move back to his home state on the West Coast. It just seemed like things were lining up in life to allow this dream to happen. The decision was tough and it wasn’t made lightly, but we do look forward to the adventures ahead.

So farewell, Oklahoma. I love you. You will always hold a very special place in my heart even though I was not raised here. This is where my husband and I settled down and the roots of our family began to grow.  I birthed and began to raise my babies here. I have been surrounded by so many other women who taught me so much about what it is to be a good mama.

I know there will be other women and new friendships in another state who I will learn from and share with as we watch our children grow up. I know there will be new adventures and places to explore in a new town that I will learn to love as I weave it into the fabric of our lives. And I know that you, Oklahoma, will always be here for me with your big blue skies when I come back to visit the land and the people that I love so much and who have helped shape the proud mama I am today! 

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Katie left her home state of Tennessee to come pursue an interior design degree in Oklahoma fourteen years ago. She met a handsome young fella from Oregon while in school, and they decided to marry and settle down in OKC. A dog and two daughters soon followed. She has been a textile designer, showroom merchandiser, custom furniture draftsman and children’s minister, but her most challenging and favorite role has definitely been that of a mother. You can read about the adventures she shares with her family at Strawberry Ruckus. Katie enjoys reading, being creative, exploring old houses, eating peanut butter, zumba and watching complete television series all at once on Netflix.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I can relate to this. Hubby is military. We have been here 9 yrs now. Our kids were 2 and 8 when we moved here. Hubby has now retired. Our son has graduated high school and starting OCCC in the fall. Hubby found a new job that will allows us to stay here while our daughter uses the only school that is available with what she needs right now. OK is far from perfect but it is where my kids are growing up. I miss my beloved Florida and hubby misses Tennessee, but we know right now this is where we are suppose to be.

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