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  • Writer's pictureKelsey Petersen


Hey, Rexburg,

When I first met you back in the fall of 07′, I was a naive, almost 19-year-old college freshmen grounded in my Texas routes and so ready to live “on my own.”  And even though you’re a notoriously small town, you felt really big. And even though there aren’t a ton of things to do here, you felt really exciting, too. Those first couple years here were filled with late nights laughing with my roommates (a group of girls that were as silly as I was), awkward first dates, and game nights… lots and lots of game nights.

And then life took me away from you for a while. I grew up a lot in those three years that I was gone, so when I came back in the Spring of 2012, I was a lot different, but you were the same.  Your winters were still fierce and your summers were still bomb. And it’s because of you, Rexburg, that I met Michael. You’re the reason he showed up on my doorstep one night. And you’re the place where, on one day in May, we fell in love. We spent the summer walking around barefoot and eating a lot of Snoasis snow cones. We tied the hammock around two trees at Porter Park. We slack-lined and frequented Little Ceaser’s way too often. We sat in the gazebo at the Gardens and talked about how nice it would be to be married. And then, that fall, that’s what we did.

It wasn’t a big wedding, but it was perfect. We spent our “honeymoon” at the Marriott by the first exit and had out celebratory dinner at JB’s Diner the next day. We lived at Central Park in a studio apartment without an oven or any closet space. That winter was the coldest one I’ve ever known, but we stayed warm in our little home, binge-watching shows slowly streamed on Netflix and cooking on a hot-plate.

I’m not going to lie, Rexburg, sometimes it was hard to live here. Like when I wanted to drive down 1st W without stopping for 323 pedestrians. Or when I wanted to go to a mall. Or when I wanted somewhere new to go out to eat. Or when winter lasted NINE months out of the year. Or when I wanted to make more than $8.00 an hour. But for the most part, I’ve really loved my time with you.

The other day, I was pushing Elise in the jogging stroller while I was running past Madison Hospital, and it hit me how very special you are to me. It was here that I first met my long-awaited baby, and it’s here that Michael and I came home, frazzled and unsure, and grew together as we learned how to be parents. You and I have been together for about a decade now, and somewhere in that time, I grew up, fell in love, and became a mom.

Although I feel like it is definitely time that Michael and I move on to the next exciting chapter of our lives, I know that I’ll always cherish these past few years. Because through all of the bad days, and snow days, and testing days, and just—all of the dips that come with living life, I’ve made friendships that I’ll keep with me forever, and memories that will always make me miss you.

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