Monday, November 2, 2015

World Congress of Family IX

This past week I had the chance to attend the World Congress of Family in SLC. It was a whirlwind and I don't even know what to say about it because there was SO MUCH (like 7 am - 10 pm everyday). But Im just going to start writing and we will see where this goes:

1) I spent the first few days with my sister and her family. It felt so good to see them and cuddle those kids. Elouise and I met for the first time! Oh babies they smell so good (and now because of this conference I know why!) I felt so blessed to sit and talk with my brother-in-law and sister at night time. Girls just need to talk--ya know what I mean? The night I left I went into the "older" girls' room and told them to give me a hug because I was going to leave before they woke up in the morning. Amelia (6) got tears in her eyes and wrapped her arms around me and said "But I don't want you to leave...." Ive decided the hardest part of living so far away from my family is that I never have a known "Don't worry, I will see you again ___________." Usually this could be filled with "at Thanksgiving!" or "in a few weeks!" But it makes me feel a little sad when I can't fill it in. Maybe saying those things was always more a comfort to myself than it ever was to the people I said it to.

We didn't choose the thug life....the thug life chose us. 

Motherhood ready. Just kidding, if you cant tell, she is, once again, screaming in this picture. 

Elouise not screaming!

Screaming ensued moments later, but look at how squishy she is!!

She really didn't scream as much as I made it seem. 

2) I got to have dinner with some of my mission companions! I also spent two almost whole days with my very best friend. Oh joy! My best friend's boyfriend is half samoan and has darker skin. At dinner with my sister's family, Amelia, the aforementioned 6-year-old, looks at them and says "You guys aren't the same color..." haha! It gave us a good long laugh. 

3) Tues-Friday was spent at a hotel in SLC at all day conference. I was part of the BYU-I group which means I had access to the whole conference, including meals, and special scholar sessions. In my opinion, the meals were always more productive than the actual sessions. Though the sessions were oh so informative.

I am naturally more reserved, especially in group settings where I don't know anyone. A night inside with netflix or a book sounds much more appealing than a party. However, I knew going into this week, it might be my only chance to really put myself out there. I wanted to make sure money wasn't wasted on my being there. So, I did my best to act confident and like I knew what I was talking about the whole week. When I saw speakers or leaders in the hallway, instead of letting my heart race and walking past, I would walk up, look them in the eye, shake their hand and begin asking questions about their career. There is one program I talked to where I even said, in my very best, "I can do this and know what is up" voice: "I like what you are doing here. Are you looking to expand past Utah and Idaho? I live in New York and would love to help with that." To which the man replied "Yes. I think we would be interested in that, could I get your information?" I spent an entire lunch with a table of 40-50 year old professionals teaching them how they could best use social media in each of their fields. Im going to be honest, I was really proud of myself for going completely and utterly out of my comfort zone. I even kind of liked it. (That being said, you should know that just about every 2 hours, I escaped into a bathroom stall were I would stand with that door shut and my eyes closed for 10 or 15 minutes taking deep breaths to make it through overwhelmingly large amounts of people)

4) Kyle's aunt was also at the conference! We spent most of every day together, except for meals and certain sessions here and there. It was such a tender mercy to have her there. I still think it is so cool that you get married and adopt a new family. 

5) As for the content of the conference...I do not know where to begin. I surely cannot write it all on a blog post. We heard from preachers, doctors, social scientists, economists, lawyers, government officials, psychologists, governors, kings, mayors and dukes from all around the country and world. We covered from traditional marriage, to child trafficking, to childbirth, and everything in between. Some statistics were truly staggering. I cried a couple times. Sometimes I disagreed with what was being said. God is Not Dead 2, and The Abolitionist (which you guys GOT TO SEE when it comes to theaters) were shown. A Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert and a Piano Guys concert were held. If you want to talk about a topic more specifically, I would be more than happy to do so. 

For real, O.U.R. was the most powerful presentation of any subject that I have ever heard. There is no greater evil on the planet earth being fought against than this (child trafficking) right here. Tim Ballard, the founder himself spoke to us. Almost the entire presentation he did so with tears in his eyes. If there is one thing I walked away from the conference believing it is that THIS is a REAL issue and that we cannot pretend it isn't happening or that someone else will do something about it. 

7) I ran into Linda S Reeves in the hallway and she asked me a question about where to go. She then asked me all about my life and was truly angelic. 

8) As much as I loved Utah, it felt so good to come back home and be with Kyle again. It seemed a strange juxtaposition to be talking about the importance of family while being separated from my husband. I'm glad to be back. 


  1. I NEED to hear all about this: your thoughts, what you learned, what I could be doing, etc. See you later this month!

  2. 1. Bathroom stall recoup: GENIUS!
    2. One day I will go to a Piano Guys concert.
    3. You are amazing and brave, sister! We should like talk sometime. :)