In 2002 my husband and I moved to Wheat Ridge. We found this cute little house we liked, but more importantly we fell in love with its great big back yard. We weren't even married at the time and didn't have any kids but we knew it was in our future. The majority of our friends were making the transition from downtown living to moving towards the suburbs as they looked towards their future with kids as well. We liked Wheat Ridge because we could get that small town feel but still be close to all we loved in downtown Denver, however we never had any intention of staying. This will be our starter house we said, 5 years max we said, it'll never be big enough for kids we said…
Well 12 years later we are still in the same house, we still love the backyard, and we now have 2 kids, 2 dogs, and 2 cats in this little house.
Many times over the 12 years our friends, who have three plus bathroom houses in Castle Rock and Highlands Ranch, have asked, when are you guys going to move out here where you can get a big house and live in a neighborhood where everyone is around your age and has young kids. Every time we get that question we smile at each other with that knowing grin of "they just don't get it" and we say…. Never.
Honestly, I have cursed the fact that we have one bathroom and there have been times when all four of us are in it, I have shown frustration with the lack of kids right next door when my kids are claiming to be bored, I often worry about the school situation around me, and I've been known to voice my opinion on updates that need to be made in our community. I do, however, think these are things I can fix, or at least be a part of the solution, while still keeping all that this place has to offer.
What my kids do get here is diversity, they get to see life in all its stages and colors. They have had tea parties with the neighbor lady who grew up in England, they "help" a elderly couple down the street with yard work, they have friends from all walks of life, and they have a giant back yard to run and play. We get to walk down to our favorite restaurants and pass by neighbors who have lived in Wheat Ridge before it was Wheat Ridge, people who are just moving in because they heard the rumors about this community, and houses with gardens as their front yard and chickens as pets. My husband and I get to feel close to downtown Denver and the culture we have always loved there.
I love to meet up with my friends from the "burbs" and hear how much they hate all the traffic, how long it takes them just to go out to eat, how much they wish they had more variety in their neighborhoods. To me these are all the things we can take for granted in Wheat Ridge if we don't stop to take a breath and recognize its beauty, diversity, and pace; if we don't stop to say "This is why I live in Wheat Ridge."
Brittany grew up in a small town in Nebraska, has lived in Colorado since 1997 and Wheat Ridge since 2002. She is a graduate of Arizona State University and currently a Learning and Development Consultant for Wells Fargo. She has two daughters and her husband owns his own real estate company. Brittany has served on the Animal Welfare Commission for Wheat Ridge and is part of the 2015 Wheaties Academy.