Where I've been
Starting a new decade certainly makes me think about where I’ve been the last 10 years, even the last 20. Where have my kids been, who have they known, what is their story when they are my age? I have thought a lot about being small, all the different communities I was a part of, how when people ask where I am from I say “Colorado, grew up in Denver, graduated HS in Grand Junction, met Kevin in Vail”. But I have been in Sonoma for almost 20 years. I have been in Sonoma longer than any place in my life. 
I have thought a lot about being a little girl in Morrison, growing up across the street from
Bill Bauer
(Jr) and next door to
Michelle Hagan
, how one of my favorite places to play was on the old wagon we had in the rocks out front. How we only had to cross the creek and we were in the most amazing dirt bike jumps, I can vividly remember being at the top of the high hill and how it was really steep down, flattened a little and then went down and made you jump. Why don’t I have more scars from playing over there I’ll never know. I also vividly remember playing a soccer game in our extra long back yard and the ball went through the dining room window and we ran next door for Carol Rinkert to help us since we were latch key kids. It was a small cul-de-sac and the relationships were ones that looked out for each other. 
I remember switching schools in 2nd grade from Peiffer Elementary to Rocky Mountain Christian School and meeting friends to last me a lifetime. I met
, Jeff, and
Kristen Cottier
, Cheryl Hughes, Chris Colby, Jim Howard, and all the other RMCS kids that we grew up with. It was sad when that school closed and that chapter of our safe little lives had to end. But what a sweet school. My first teacher, Mrs. Lively got pregnant and we watched her belly grow all year. We would all line up and walk three blocks to the neighborhood park for recess.
Bornschlegel taught me how to ride the RTD public bus back to her mom’s where we were babysat until my mom got off work. When the school grew enough to justify a middle school, we loaded up in a church bus and drove across Denver to another church building to have more classrooms. That was the first time I had a locker. I’ll never forget riding a skateboard down the ENORMOUS hill at that neighborhood park (seated of course) but it went SO fast. Again – how are there not scars? 
RMCS closed after my 6th grade year so in Middle School I found myself at a new school with another new group of friends.  I quickly became inseparable with Missy
Melissa Manderscheid
and the class had so many friends to meet,
Jody Kroonenberg
and her amazing birthday celebrations including one up at the farm.
Annika Olson
, Kristen,
Jennifer Decker
Aimee Bryan
Jon Layne
Jeremy Reitsema
  (who maybe didn’t even go to school there), and of course my carpool buddy
. I stayed at Denver Christian through my freshman year and for the first time realized that having an older brother,
, was not so bad. He was a senior my freshman year. His best friends were Heath and
Jerrod Rickard
. I may or may not have gone to my first party that year with my brother. I still consider those peeps my friends. 
In 5th grade, we switched churches and I moved from Bear Valley C of C to University. I left my friend
Becky Canter
and went to a much larger youth group. It was a little bittersweet. And really I member the reason was that my mom wanted to be with other moms that were also divorced and knew the struggles of raising her kids in the church without my dad. I loved that youth group though. I loved how the other parents loved us as their own. My brother and I made so many friends and went on adventures AKA mission trips, ski trips, area-wide devotionals.  I met
Todd Hess
David Hayes
, and many other friends that came and went from that group. Including myself when as a sophomore we moved to Grand Junction. 
As I reflect back on growing up in Denver, many many communities and families took me in and made me one of their own. I went to many schools; I was given the opportunity/challenge of making new friends time and time again. I look at my boys being raised in the same house, going to school from preschool to high school with the same people, playing sports, going to church, and seeing the same families as they navigate their life. They have stability and deep roots. We are all given a different path. I have just been thinking a lot about mine. What’s yours?


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