These were some of my favorite family stories growing up. My sister and I must've asked to hear them at least 20 times. See, my parents moved to Colorado in the early '90s.They were newlyweds and had just moved into their first home — a small, mountain-style house nestled up in The Boulder Heights. Which is essentially up in the mountains and in the middle of nowhere. Never having lived in the mountains, it took a while for Mom and Dad to get acclimated to their new surroundings as well as their new neighbors, i.e. bears, mountain lions and more. But of all the stories my parents have from their years in the heights, This one is my favorites. It's a Mayer-Leimkuhler family classic.

Boulder, Colorado, 1993. One night, Mom and Dad were in bed, about to go to sleep, when they heard a noise outside. Being that they were literally living up in the mountains, animals were not uncommon and they assumed it was a raccoon. When they got up and went out back to check, they found a little baby bear with one of their trash cans on its head. Not having lived there very long, they hadn't bear-proofed their trash cans. Not thinking anything of it, Dad reached over and chucked a couple rocks at the trash can. It worked and the baby bear ran off. As they made their way back through the house, they passed the living room and stopped dead in their tracks. Pressed up against their large glass windows was a bear, standing almost 8 feet tall with its paws up staring in at them. Mom and Dad, naturally, freaked and dropped to the floor crawling back to their room, where they called the sheriff, who essentially said, "Nah, fam you're on your own, call back when the bear is actually IN your house."

I'd really like to be able to tell you that incidents like this were uncommon, but then I would be lying. About two weeks after my parents moved in, my mom was in the kitchen. It was early and the fog was rolling in heavily. My mom turned towards the open screen door just in time to see a tail almost 4 inches wide, curling around the back of the house. My mom remembers thinking to herself "If the tail is that big, how big is that cat?

Run-ins with mountain lions became anything but unordinary during my parents' years living in The Heights. One of the most memorable stories involved something pretty traumatic. My parents were driving home from a party. They turned into a neighbor's driveway only to find a mountain lion eating a deer. That was when they knew they'd left the midwest behind.

My parents moved down from the Boulder heights when they found out they were expecting me. Somehow a house in the middle of nowhere, where there were more mountain lions then people didn't seem to be the safest place to start a family.