The next part of our family journey – we’re moving!

Last Friday I accepted a full-time position at John Brown University (our alma mater) as the staff writer/social media manager.

That means the Gumm clan is moving to NW Arkansas – beautiful Siloam Springs to be exact.

Though I haven’t talked about it much on the blog, for the last 14 months I’ve been working part-time for JBU as a local Phoenix admissions representative. It was a fun 10-hr a week job that allowed me to talk with high school students, parents and guidance counselors about JBU.

And the more I talked about it, the more I remembered how much I loved it there. And each time I’d travel back to¬† campus I’d fall more in love.

SSThis desert girl is really a small-town Southern girl at heart. Siloam Springs was voted one of the Top 20 Small Towns in America by Smithsonian Magazine. I LOVE it there. It brings me so much joy.

To top it off, we have family in NW Arkansas. Mark’s brother and his wife and 5 kids live there. So does his aunt, uncle, their two grown-boys and their families with another 7 kids.

So for the last 6 months I’ve been stalking the JBU job listings and putting feelers out, including to a classmate of mine who happens to be the director of communications. He called me a few weeks ago to let me know about the position. I applied, they flew me up for an interview last week, and here we are.


I’ll work remotely until school finishes and then we’ll get the family moved in June. The kids handled the news quite well. One out of 3 is excited. The others are more sad right now – the idea of leaving friends behind is hard. I get that. (I was 12 when my parents uprooted us to live in S. Calif. for 18 months.)

We told them it’s not really just about the job. It’s a chance at a different life. A slower pace. A safer environment – one where they can ride their bikes downtown to meet their friends at the coffee shop. Where the whole town turns out for Friday Night Football.

Oh, and the icing on the cake? The college tuition benefit. All four kids will be able to get free tuition at an amazing Christian college.

Lots to do in the next 10 weeks – PURGING, packing, cleaning. It’s a good time to do a serious simplifying.

If you think of it, pray for the kids especially. We want to handle this time with them with patience and understanding.

But look at this….don’t you want to move to this….???

siloam-springs-autumn siloam-springs-downtown-main-street 3e2fede6fc788fb6bf78c90595ce94cd


  1. Kathleen Flanagan says

    So excited for the Gumm Clan! Congrats on your new adventures ~ both work-wise & living-wise. Terry & I have consciously decided to leave the metropolitan mayhem in favor of small town ambiance ourselves. “Wholesome” is our new, favorite word. What a great place for your children to spend their teen years. I hope & pray this new chapter is filled with an abundance of wonderful, new memory-making joys.

    Blessings & prayers,

  2. Cherissa Roebuck says

    Siloam Springs can hardly wait to welcome the Gumm family! We are SO happy you are coming to (in my opinion) the best town in America!

    Praying for smooth transitions in all your changes-


  3. Carole says

    What awesome news Julie! I totally understand wanting to refresh those Southern roots. What an amazing opportunity – and college tuition!! We moved about 18 months ago and while not easy – it has been a great transition. So happy for your family!

  4. Megan oneal says

    Wow, what exciting news! A new chapter and it sounds like it will be a great one! These photos make me think of Stars Hollow on Gilmore Girls. I always wanted to live there. Did you ever watch that show?

  5. says

    I just found your blog today and, much to my surprise, I see that you’re moving to NWA! My family and I currently live in North AR (Harrison), which is just a couple hours from Siloam Springs, but we’ve had our house on the (slow) market since August in an attempt to get over to Bentonville (close to Siloam Springs). We are in the very beginning stages of the international adoption process (Peru) and I’ve been looking through your Pinterest board for fundraising ideas. :) Welcome to Arkansas!

    • says

      Omg, I’m moving to Harrison from Kentucky in two months! I’m house-hunting currently, in which are you? I’m so excited because of my move to Arkansas, I hope I’ll like it there!

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