Proof of Life | Journal Entry No. 10

Proof of Life

Journal Entry No. 10

Welcome to the Proof of Life journal entry series.

Writing more in general, and specifically with you, is something I hope to continue throughout the year.

Like many of you, life has become clearer over the past year and there are many things I have dropped along the way that I deeply desire to pick back up. In turn, there are things I never want to pick up again.

From the very beginning, I have always felt like we are on this journey together and I can’t wait to hear what proof of life will come to mean to you.




The Comparison Game | Part One


18 ½ years ago we moved from Ft Collins, CO to Castle Rock, CO. They are about 90 miles away from each other. At the time my husband had been driving about 90 miles each way to his job for two years so that our family could live in Ft. Collins. It had been the reason we had moved from Washington DC and it was the town I had lived in after college. It was a town for families even though it also had the energy of being a college town, hiking was all around us, bike lanes for miles, tree lined streets with historic homes and an incredible old town.


Jack was two and Maddy was soon to be born and we knew something had to change. Kelly was spending 3-4 hours driving each day, and as much as we loved that town we loved our family more. When Maddy was about 6 months old we made the move to Castle Rock. We chose the town based upon proximity to Kelly’s office and we knew no one.


I think I cried every day for the next two years and I am not exaggerating. As a stay-at-home mom I was leaving the support of other moms, friends and everything that was familiar. We had built a new home so there was not one big tree for blocks. From the library window of this new home I could see the neighborhood park and if I saw another mom with kids there, we would quickly get the stroller, pack up and hope that this would be the day we would make friends. It was a lonely time. Kelly was traveling more and everything that I knew was gone. To be honest I felt sorry for myself a lot and it was hard to see the good in front of me.


What made it worse was that I was not letting go of the other town. When our floors had to be redone because of a manufacturer mistake I took the kids and we stayed a week in Ft. Collins and hung out with friends. I would take day trips with the kids to go to the park and just see the old gang. As I was there I would compare this town to my new town and all I could see was everything that the new town wasn’t. I would then cry all the way home. I feel a little foolish telling you all of this but it is true.


The truth also was that nothing was going to change until I changed my heart and my perspective. I knew we had made this decision for all of the right reasons but it was hard. I was lonely. I was starting over. I didn’t know where my place was. I had two little ones with no outside support. As long as I was comparing this new home to our old home…I was going to be stuck. Until I laid that town down in my mind and heart I wouldn’t be able to see what was good right in front of me.


Roots take time and they take action. I had to show up through ACTION to have a glimmer of hope that this new town had a beautiful future for us. This was a hard sell to even myself because of how much I had loved our life in the past. So, action for me looked like finding a local church, connecting with other mom’s through book clubs and homeschool groups and putting myself out there in our neighborhood. I am an introvert and these things do not come easily for me but they were necessary if I wanted to see what this town had for our family and me. It also meant not comparing the towns and not spending as much time traveling to our old life. Each time I did this I was prolonging connecting and creating roots where I currently was planted.


What I am about to share, I have no idea if they would have come to pass if we had stayed in that same town. I have no way of knowing where life would have led me, but what happened DID happen in THIS TOWN. Everything good that has happened to me as an adult (outside of my marriage and children) started because of relationships in THIS town. This town that I didn’t really want. This town that I kept comparing to another.


Read Part Two HERE

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  1. Liliana Grip

    Hi Jeannie,

    Having lived in Ft. Collins for 23 years, and the moving, I know exactly what you are talking about. I still pine for it. We were there this summer and I was ready to go back. It’s home for me.
    Once we got back to Bainbridge Island, WA, I realized that we left Ft. Collins for all the right reasons and that my life here, with proximity to my daughters and grandchildren, is exactly while we are here and it’s the right place for us.
    Ft Collins will always have a special place in our hearts, but as they say, “You can never go back.”

    1. Jeanne Oliver Author

      Bainbridge is so special too. Most places also hold special memories in our mind and the reality is no place is perfect. I can now see it as just a nice town and I have my heart weaved into places like Castle Rock, CO and Manzanita, OR. My heart aches for different places but I guess that is what happens as we get older. But in the moment it can be hard. So thankful you are loving the beautiful PNW and your grandbabies!

    2. Beverley (UK)

      I am struggling as I face this in the future. 30+ years back I moved 100 miles for my husband’s job. He was already working so established. I on the other hand had to start from scratch, with everything.
      Its anticipated we will be returning “home”. Once again I will have nothing, family all gone. Husband’s family still around and partial social life established. Even the art groups I might have joined, have failed to resurface due to Covid.
      So its a big step for me, which I’m not ready for…. yet.

  2. Rebecca

    Oh Jeanne,
    I have been struggling with this for three and a half years. So many similarities… new build, acres and acres, big dreams and all for my hubby to be close to work. What blessings, yet all I could see was my nest emptying after a decade of homeschooling, leaving extended family, the struggle to find a new home church and the hard work of making deep friendships. How I needed to read these words today…and I need to go have a heart to heart with Jesus! Thank you for opening up and sharing! A blessed Thanksgiving to you!

    1. Jeanne Oliver Author

      I truly believe that HOPE looks like action. I know things are changing and different but also remember change (and good intentional change) takes time. Roots don’t happen over night. Part two is next week and I hope it encourages you.

      1. Jan

        Jeanne, I feel you! This is a great encouragement! I urge anyone still struggling with a move to look into http://www.just It’s a wonderful organization that helps women ‘move on after moving in.’ There are resources as well as groups across the country. A friend gave me the book when we moved to Puerto Rico and it was a lifesaver! I am now a group co-leader in South Carolina.

  3. Dominique Rose le Crane

    very well written, very moving, I can understand your loss of home, friends habits,it can be miserable.

  4. JoAnne Morales

    It’s the first of your journey entries that I read, and I love it! Thank you for sharing your personal experiences, it is not easy to expose oneself so openly. What you shared may not seem earth shattering to some, but I can totally relate. I have NEVER had roots ANYWHERE so I do not even know what that means, exactly, but I know I need to get some fast. I too am in a new-ish town (it has been two years, is that still new?) and I am getting the itch again. I am finding all the things that are wrong with it, the people, the roads, the servers in restaurants, the customer service reps that answer my calls (even if they’re not in THIS town!), but I am and so everything that goes wrong is because I’m here, in this “new” place that I like only sometimes. I too compare it to the last place I lived, and when I was there I compared it to the one before that…but I digress. You have definitely inspired me to write my own journal entries because writing this, to you, has felt so so good!

    I cannot wait for Part Two, and I will certainly look for your first nine entries, as well. I hope you find them roots growing, I really want to know what that even looks like, until then I wish you very happy holidays, but above all a lot of peace and fortitude.


    1. Jeanne Oliver Author

      Thank you. We moved over 18 years ago and we have planted deep roots at this point. I think there is joy and contentment that comes from not always looking back, comparing or planning for the next thing. There are huge gifts waiting for us when we can see the beauty right where we stand. I hope you find that too!

  5. Paula Keeler

    My move from Hanalei Kauai to Wasihngton state was a very similar transition. My children were grown and out of the nest and I think that made it harder for me to get out into my new old community. We had moved back to a community we had lived in 10 years prior. My thought was that it would be familair and all of my old connections would pick up where they had left off, but that was not the case. It was slow going then covid hit. Still trying to find my “tribe” and path forward.

    1. Jeanne Oliver Author

      That is a huge move and very different weather too. Sometimes going back is not always what we think it will be. I hope you find the people and community that will make this move so beautiful!

  6. LeeAnn Thoresen

    We left the place where we grew up, and brought up our children as the stresses of luving in a big cuty had taken its toll. It meant leaving our high paying jobs, our children, our friends and our home we had worked so hard on. My husband and I cried and hugged each other as we left our driveway for the last time, but finding our peace together was paramount. We have been gone for nearly 13 years now and we love where God led us. We found our peace and more. I couldn’t even imagine leaving here…until we do 😊

  7. Jenni Gavin

    I am crying because I feel all of this in my heart right now. I am postpartum with two kids under two and after our second, I left my comfortable corporate job. For five years, I have refused to set roots on our farm because it wasn’t our “plan” and it was in my husband’s home town, not mine. Although only 15 min away, I would drive back to my home town for everything: my friends, the kids activities, the gym, etc. until about three months ago when I joined the gym here, have gone to church, and started to set my roots down. The acceptance and embracing the journey has brought me so much more joy and contentment. Thank you for inspiring me in so many ways. Coming to The Foraged Home workshop has been the beginning of a big transformation in my life and for that I am forever grateful.

  8. Cindy Wahlstrom

    I understand your post so intensely. Perspective and a positive outlook are so important. Like you, I am an introvert and my early married years were extremely lonely. I am now on the other end of lonely as my daughters are grown and my grandchildren are growing and their lives are full and busy. I have loved past visits to Fort Collins so I understand your love of it. Someday I hope to visit Colorado again and maybe check out Castle Rock. Your posts always warm my heart and fill me with gratitude. Thank you!

  9. Jennifer

    I am so glad and blessed that you wrote this. I have been struggling with our move as well, for three years now! My husband wanted some land so we moved out into the “country” and I have been feeling really lonely and isolated for three years now, pining for my old gym, friendships, etc. I like where we live now but feel there are still some things missing. I cannot wait to read part two of your story! Thank you so much for sharing this.

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