83706- Boise, ID Birth-1991
While I lived in a few different zip codes in Boise, this is the main one I remember. It's the one in the Lakewood area of east Boise otherwise known as "the place I grew up" in my mind. We moved to Lakewood from "the bench" when I was in third grade. Jefferson Elementary to Garfield Elementary if you're in the know. I was devastated at the time but quickly made friends, got my first crush (John King) and fell in love with my new neighborhood. It was one of these planned neighborhoods with trails, small ponds, parks and "secret passages" galore. Absolute heaven for a kid on a bike. Not to mention the sheer numbers of kids roaming the neighborhood at all times. We lived there until we moved to New Jersey the summer before my junior year of high school.
07869- Randolph, NJ 1991-1993 (my parents continued to live there until 1999)
If I thought I was devastated when we moved across town in third grade, it was nothing compared to the despair I felt at the move to New Jersey. First of all, I had never been on an airplane before this OR been east past Wyoming at this point in my life. Not to mention the life long friends I would be leaving behind, including my best friend Jill but also including some of the cute boys we ran around with. I also had an athletic "career" I had been working on since the 5th grade. The coaches knew me. I knew all my teammates. Junior year would have been a huge year for me in both basketball and volleyball. I distinctly remember, shortly after learning we were moving, attending a girls varsity basketball game with some friends. As we were leaving my Sophomore coach sees me as I'm going down the stairs and he's going up. He turns to me and points and says "That'll be you next year, Jeppson!" I turned and ran down the rest of the stairs bawling and continued to bawl for about an hour after that.
But, as with most things in life, it all worked out for the best. Moving to New Jersey was an amazing experience. I went from a place where being a Mormon what everyone was or what the other people hated to a place where no one even knew what a Mormon was. I don't think I had ever met a Jewish person before moving there and ended up having several close Jewish friends. And I quickly learned that just because someone's last name was Cohen didn't mean they were related to all the other Cohens at my high school. Duh. One thing I didn't expect when moving to Randolph was how welcoming everyone would be. Most of these kids had grown up together and had been in the same classes since Kindergarten. A new face was something of a novelty and everyone was beyond kind to me from the second we got our boxes unpacked. And, of course, with my "street smarts" outweighing my "book smarts," there would have been absolutely NO WAY I would have gotten into BYU had I applied from Boise, ID. New Jersey definitely gave me an edge there.
84602- Provo, UT 1993-1994
Freshman year of college at BYU. Deseret Towers. S Hall. 2nd Floor. Room 211. Right side of the room. And who occupied the left side? None other than my amazing best frousin, Memzy. What a year of learning and growth that was. I loved every second of it. I weep for any freshman at BYU who opts to not live in the dorms. It is such a unique opportunity that you can never re-create after your freshman year is over. It's also where I met my life-long best friend, Flem. Unmeasurable happiness bubbles up inside when I think of room S-211.
84604- Provo, UT 1994-1998
Sophomore year included a move to "the Riv" and into Apartment #8 (also known as the coolest apartment ever, to us). Imagine Memzy, Flem, Colleen and I all living under the same roof....and now we have a kitchen and a family room! It was magical. The fun of my Freshman year paled in comparison to the fun I had my Sophomore year. Roommate Sunday dinners, surprise birthday parties, boys allowed in the apartment!, our bead curtain leading back to the bedrooms, Hart's next door, getting people to loan us their cars, watching Conference on wall-to-wall mattresses in the front room, dance parties/cleaning checks (Holiday drum solo anyone?), and on and on and on. Also, as an added bonus, this was where I met the love of my life.
Gty and I were then married in April of 1996 leading us to live in a variety of places around the Provo area. A condo owned by some family friends in New Jersey for the first few months of marriage. A little one bedroom apartment waaaaay south of campus which required an elaborate car pooling system with our friends who lived there to get us all to campus every day. A short stint in some other friends' condo up in Orem while they were trying to sell it (they sold it a month later). Then finally, we had a good year in the cutest brown house ever on 500 West. During all of these moves we were working at Covey Leadership Center (Gty was), attending school (that would be me), applying to business school (Gty again) and loving hanging out with other newly married couples (both of us). Again, it was a time in our life never to be duplicated again.
47906- West Lafayette, IN 1998-2000
Gty is attending The Krannert School of Management at Purdue University at this time. We were so excited to move out of Provo and see what the "real world" had in store for us. I became the family bread-winner working at Great Lakes Chemical as the admin for the LINX team there (that college degree sure paid off, huh?). During these two years we acquired a dog (Maggie) and a baby (that'd be JBird). I needed to go back to work a bit after JBird was born in order to keep our benefits so Gty was able to work his classes to take care of JBird while I went to work. It's funny to think about that now but we somehow made it work.
12211- Loudonville (Albany), NY 2000-2002
Gty accepted his first job out of graduate school with Owens Corning and we head out to Albany for him to work in the management of one of their plants there. This is where we bought our first house for $150,000 (seriously??) but never furnished the living room or dining room. It had the squishiest, softest blue carpet in there and made for a perfect ball field for JBird to run around on. We also added TBone to the family there in January 2002. 9/11 happened while we were there which made it feel a little too close to home.
43551- Perrysburg (Toledo), OH 2002-2004
After paying his dues in the plant and on a sales rotation, Gty got transferred to the home offices of Owens Corning located in Toledo, OH. Now, obviously, Toledo isn't exactly at the top of the list for places people want to move to, but, as with all places we have lived, we learned to absolutely love it. We purchased our 2nd house here and it was my DREAM house (as my dreams were at that time). Brand new, gorgeous bright kitchen with an island, amazing master bathroom (the Albany house had no master bath, if you can believe it), huge backyard, and on a cul-de-sac where JBird would eventually learn to ride a bike. In stark contrast to Albany where no one would even make eye contact with anyone else, we could not get out of our new neighborhood without at least ten waves. Perrysburg is a classic mid-west town. Happy & humble people. Nathan & Annalisa moved to Michigan (about 3 hours away), and hated their apartment, so we saw them all the time on the weekends. We loved our ward there which always makes a huge impact. I will always remember our years there fondly.
29803- Aiken, SC 2004-2006
Wow. Talk about a culture shock! Not only is Aiken in the south (a place I never dreamed I would live) but it's a small town in the south. The confederate flag is still waved proudly in front of homes and bumper stickers with sentiments such as "Happiness is a northbound Yankee" ran amok. Our realtor's accent was so thick we often needed her to write things down so we could understand what she was talking about (example: "heeding an eyelighter" really meant "heating and air letter" See? Yeah.) Despite having an "interesting" ward, we loved our time there. I meant one of my dearest friends there (Heather) who, being from Ohio herself, ran up to my Ohio license plate sporting car in carline at the boys' preschool and explained her desperate need to have a fellow Yankee to hang out with. I agreed we must stick together and a life-long friendship ensued. With both the boys in preschool, Gty and I met often for lunch at our favorite restaurant of all time, Malia's. That is, until Beebs was born and then the three of us met at Malia's a little less often. We owned three palm trees and a hot tub there. And the wisteria just dripped from everything during spring and summer.
COLORADO 2006-Forever, hopefully
Before Colorado, we averaged about two years in each location. At the end of those two years I was always ready to move. I can honestly say that these past four and a half years have FLOWN by here. I have never felt more at home in a place as I have here. It scratches us right where we itch, as Gty loves to say. Weather? Perfection in all four seasons. Our ward? Dreamy. So many fun people to hang out with. Big city nearby but we live in a smallish town. Proximity to family? We can finally drive to visit family rather than fly! I can see us being here a long, long time. I want my kids to go to college and be able to say they're from Colorado.