For years, Darlene Cmelka and Mohammed Yazdani had talked about all of the places they could imagine living, when they eventually left Chicago.

Celina, Texas was probably not on their radar during those conversations, but they couldn’t be happier that’s where they ended up.

Darlene, who was a Chicago police officer and her husband, Mohammed, who is a car dealership manager, moved their family of five (three kids ages 7, 9 and 15) here last summer.

“We found Celina and decided to come here for the quality of life, weather, phenomenal schools, and immense business opportunities,” Darlene said. “Celina is a family-oriented growing community and we wanted to give our kids the experience of being able to play outside and have access to parks and all outdoor activities.”

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Searching for the perfect place

Darlene said her family had been looking for several years for the perfect place to move to and after visiting Dallas, they knew the Lone Star State was for them.

“We had been looking for a while,” Darlene said. “We took a trip down to Dallas; we had never been here before and we absolutely loved it. Everyone we talked to was raving about the schools and the area, especially in the Celina and Prosper areas.”

With so many companies moving to the area, Darlene and her family wanted to find out what everyone was so excited about.

“Everyone has such glowing reviews of Dallas, but before we decide to buy, we wanted to get a feel for it,” she said.

Deciding on Dallas

When they visited in 2021, they loved what they saw. Darlene retired early from the Chicago Police Department and her husband decided he would commute back and forth to the car dealership he was working at in Chicago.

By August, they were in Prosper, renting a home. And a few months later they found their dream home in Sutton Fields, a 622-acre, master-planned community in Celina.

Residents in Sutton Fields enjoy amenities like pocket farming, community gardening, farmers markets, and community events. 

In Sutton Fields, they found a four-bed and two-bath open floorplan that they describe as being perfect for their family.

“We love our pool, all of the amenities and being able to walk around and bike,” Darlene said. “There are so many new opportunities being developed, like in Downtown Celina. We’re just so looking forward to all of these new businesses that are going to open.”

Having so much nearby is a major plus of living in Celina, Darlene said.

“All of the neighboring towns are close by with malls and shopping but the community is quiet and secluded,” Darlene said. “In 10 minutes, you can be at the health club or the grocery store.”

With neighboring states offering quality higher education, the location in Celina gives her high school son lots of opportunities to not go too far away and still get a great education.

“The neighboring states are so accessible, it really makes living here such a great place to be and creates opportunity for our kids,” Darlene said.

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