When Craig and Nikki Miller decided the time was right to move to Indiana, they didn't know exactly what to expect. They'd lived in Washington, D.C. for the past 12 years, and all their shared history was attached to that place: careers, marriage, friends, and the births of their first three children. Craig was returning to his Hoosier roots, having spent his childhood in Muncie, Indiana, but neither of them knew a lot about Indianapolis before the first visit--just over two years ago. Craig applied for jobs here in preconstruction work; he now works for Shiel Sexton. Their first impression of the city: Indy seemed very friendly and welcoming. Now that they've made Indianapolis their home for the past two years, Nikki says, it has proved to be even more welcoming than they could have known or guessed.
Craig and Nikki have four children, aged 9, 7, 5 and 1. Their youngest daughter was born in January 2016, while they were renting a house in Historic Meridian Park; during those months, they scoped out Indy's urban neighborhoods, looked at houses, and figured out school options. They homeschooled in the past; they now settled on The Oaks Academy as a school for their two oldest kids, who are rising second and fourth graders, and found a church home in Windsor Park at Indy First Free Methodist Church. They strongly favored the Windsor Park neighborhood when looking for a home, but hadn't found anything the right size for their family. One day Nikki got a message from a Fall Creek Place friend and fellow Oaks Academy parent that the house next door to them had unexpectedly become available. It seemed too good to pass up, so they made an offer right away. They moved into their new home, about a block away from the school, around Memorial Day 2016.
Now that the Millers have lived in urban Indy for two years, they can reflect on the positives of Indianapolis as compared with Washington, D.C., particularly regarding kid-friendly attractions and activities in the city. "Maybe it was that we were leaving all the Smithsonians behind, but I was really surprised (in a good way!) by the quality of the museums here--we love going to the IMA and of course the Children's Museum. And the number of generous private donors, as opposed to federal dollars in D.C., really makes the museums feel special. I love seeing Holliday Park donated by the family, our Carnegie libraries, and the Glick everything!" Craig and Nikki also enjoy taking their kids (and scooters + stroller) down to the canal and to White River State Park in the summer.
The Miller family has appreciated the friendliness and "Hoosier hospitality" of their new city over the past two years, and this welcoming vibe has been especially evident on their street, with the neighbors on their block. They love that their kids have the freedom for impromptu play dates; since their street is relatively quiet and traffic-free, the Miller kids can play outdoors with their neighbors next door and across the street without worrying parents. Craig and Nikki also enjoy the Memorial Day block party, the Fall Creek Place 4th of July bike parade, and the neighborhood Easter egg hunt at the park. Fall Creek Place is a vibrant, connected community where neighbors are engaged with each other and take an active interest in the city. Welcome to Indy, Miller family! We are glad you're here.