After 7 interviews this spring, and two job offers from great schools, I accepted an Assistant Faculty Position at the University of Kansas. We will be moving there sometime in November for a Dec. 1 start date. We are excited in particular about Kansas for a bunch of reasons - on my part, it's a good department with lots of really nice people, they have EVERYTHING I need and lots of stuff I don't even need, they have lots of internal support to help me ride through this economic trouble (really important in this field), a low teaching load, and nice lab space. With regard to the rest of the family, it's close to Grandparents, with most of them a 5 hr drive North and several more a 10 hr drive south, it's near Kansas City with LOTS of amazing job opportunities and an airport for easily getting around, and it's a super nice family friendly town just like the one we grew up in (with much cheaper cost-of-living than Seattle). Also, they have a great basketball team.
Some of you may be wondering what exactly it is that I'll be doing as an Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas. This job is tenure-track, which means that if I work my hiney off for the next 5 years and they approve of me I'll get tenure and move into a secure position. Some Assistant Professor positions are research-focused, and some are teaching-focused. This one is in between, with more focus on research than teaching (which is what I wanted). I will be teaching a maximum of 2 classes per year with the rest of my time spent writing grants to get funding, mentoring graduate students, publishing research papers, presenting my work at meetings and seminars at other universities, and doing various 'service' related activities like helping with hiring, advising undergraduates, etc.
The interview process was very fun, but also very grueling. For each one I traveled to a place far away and had an intensely packed schedule with 15-25 meetings with other faculty, 2 research-related presentations, every meal and minute of spare time spent with members of the department, and a quick return home to my family where my 3-yr old had little comprehension of anything except how badly she missed me. By the 5th interview (which was Kansas), I was feeling pretty wrecked. The silver linings: I saw a lot of new and old friends on my many trips, including a particularly great trip back to Minnesota where I saw my Ph.D. advisor and lots and lots of old friends. Also, Washington pays for massage therapy treatment and all the travel warranted a lot of treatments (I had one after every interview).
So, we are now preparing for another big cross-country move, hopefully the last one we make, and we are excited!