About Biglifesmalltown.com

What does it mean to have a big life, and is it really possible in small town? I’m a thirty-something graphic designer married to a software guy. We love to travel and have lived in several great big cities, but in 2005 we decided to move to a small town. Partly we were just ready to leave Washington DC and move back toward our beloved mountains in the West. We also got some inspiration from Rich Kaarlgard’s book Life 2.0, which I highly recommend. Our small town of Sandpoint, Idaho has 6,000 to 8,000 residents, depending on the time of year and how far out into the county your census goes (and who you ask). We do not have Whole Foods Market, but we do have an enthusiastic local whole foods movement. We do not have Trader Joe’s, but we sometimes trade out services! By living a big life I mean not getting stuck in one place or one category; exploring new things, being open and always learning. In a small town that means you have to seek out big city culture sometimes, but you can also learn and do amazing things in your backyard. Our biggest adventure over the past two years has been our adoption from Ethiopia. On May 15th, 2011, we arrived home with our three children, ages six, four and 14 months. It’s been a crazy and wonderful roller coaster ride!

8 responses to “About Biglifesmalltown.com

  • Justin Cordle

    Hello Kimberly,
    Justin Cordle here. Misty and I just discovered your blog tonight while rummaging your Facebook page and have spent the last few moments of this evening reading it and catching up on all the latest happenings of the Manning clan. We are SO EXCITED to see what God is doing in your life with this new family! We will be praying for You, Charles and the your three blessed new children. I hope you are all kept safe and healthy for the remainder of your trip.

    If the two of you find a few extra minutes in your trip, I hope you will find some rest in one of my favorite texts: Psalm 139.

    Be Blessed,
    Justin & Misty

  • Jen Decker

    Hello Kimberly and Charles,
    I was just referred to your blog by a forwarded email from my small group. Of course I was pleasantly surprised to see that you two are finally getting your dreams come true, times 3!!!!
    After reading a bit of your blog and your current stay in Ethiopia, I was moved to tears of happiness for you and your new family. I’m so grateful to know you both, and am especially looking forward to meeting your children when inevitably we’ll run into each other around town. May God continue to bless you all on this amazing journey! Safe travels for all of you, and Congratulations šŸ™‚

    Jen Decker

  • Jessica Janssen

    I frequently pass by your home on my way to work and noticed the banner out. I have so enjoyed reading your blog! Matt and I share similar sentiments about living a big life in a small town. As both a lover of travel and an aspiring parent, I found reading about your journey into parenthood a delight. I wish you all safe travels home and a hearty welcome back to Sandpoint. Congratulations!

    Matt & Jessica,
    neighbors and fellow BCEDC members

  • Ted Matt

    Charlie & Kim,

    Dave & Christine shared your letter with us, and we are so happy for you. In my recollection I remember you were in Sand Point, but it has slipped my mind—- we love Sand Point. Several years ago we stayed in Sand Point and ate dinner in the restaurant across the lake where we had a beautiful lake view. The people in town were so friendly we really took a liking to it.
    We are very excited for you with the pending adoption. You will have an instant family. I’m not sure that you know this, but Dave’s two sisters are both adopted. They are a total blessing. And I can’t think of a better place to raise children than in Sand Point.
    We look forward to hearing more as your house fills with the joys of the little ones. There is nothing like it. May God continue to bless you and guide you. There’s nothing like children to make us aware of how much we need His guidance.
    Blessings abundant,


  • Noel and Laura Boismenue

    Hey Charles and Kimberly,
    Things have slowed down a bit here in Minneapolis finally, and we’d love to hear what is going on with you in life and on the adoption front. Noel got back home with Nathaniel Felmeta on January 20, and we’re having a blast! Noel enjoyed especially spending time with Tereke now that Felmeta was in her room. And when Alex spotted Noel at the orphanage he asked, “Daddy?” as if to say, “Is my daddy here with you?” Hope you guys are well! I’m reminded that we need to be, and will be, praying for your family.

    Noel and Laura

    • kkmanning

      Hi Laura!
      It’s so great to hear from you, I couldn’t seem to find any contact info for you! How is little Nathaniel doing? That’s great you got to bring him home in January…you must be having so much fun! Good news today from court, and we are just hoping that the process moves speedily along from here. Say hi to Noel from us too!

  • Kim

    Wow! I thought we were brave by adopting two older kiddos as first-time parents. You have proven me wrong. YOU are the brave ones! šŸ™‚

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