Todd smiled as we drove into the Teton Valley and said, "This place feels like home."
I can't describe to you my feelings for Rexburg, Idaho and the good people who live here. We were dating the first time Todd brought me to meet his family. His parents grew up in Sugar City, Idaho- home of the sugar beet mascot. His grandparents were farmers and educators.
In fact, BYU-I, formerly Ricks College, was named after Thomas E. Ricks (Todd's great-great grandfather).
I was quite an oddity when we first visited (I still am if the truth be told). We watched a John Wayne movie together with Todd's cousins. Halfway through I asked who John Wayne was and whether or not he was a good or a bad guy.
I hugged and kissed Todd's aunts AND UNCLES. They were shocked. I guess these farmer-types don't kiss like my New Jersey Italian family does. Ha!
When they talked about Provo, Utah being a town so big and far away, I laughed. They weren't joking. Oops.
My in-laws had their hands full with me. It was a rocky, somewhat humorous beginning.
I know that I dreamed of feeling at home with these people, and today I do. These are our people and they are so, so good.
I wish each of you could come to my in-laws home. It's perfect. My mother-in-law is honestly the most balanced person I know. Her house is in order. She is able to serve because her foundation is steady. I actually go into a slight daze when I get here and compare her home to mine.
She insists I will feel greater order as my kids get older, but I know it is deeper than that. She has an absolute contentment in her role as a wife, homemaker, and mother. She is so healthy mentally. It is really neat to watch.
My mother-in-law is a planner and a doer. Her home is not fancy or trendy, but it is so tidy and functional and well cared for.
I believe this Rexburg home feels like a temple. This is hard to do with 35 grandchildren running around. But, they do it. I believe these people "Live after the manner of happiness."
In a day and age where good families are rare and rapidly disentegrating- I wish everyone could feel this home, this community.
Jakob has been spending his summer months here. I'm so grateful that he knows these people. He is one of them.
Todd grew up in CA, MI, and MD. Whenever life got crazy (like during the Detroit riots), his mom would say, "I wish we could all pack up and move to Bitch Crick." (Mormons like to use bad language when naming places so they have an excuse to cuss every now and then. Ha!) I say the same thing. There is safety out here near Bitch Crick.
Rexburg feels like home to me.
In fact, Todd and I own burial plots here in the local cemetery.
I was so insecure and defensive when we were engaged. I remember posting the scripture in Ruth on my wall-
16 And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
It felt like that kind of love was impossible-- and yet here we are.
For the next few weeks, I will feel so grateful for this respite. My husband says this place feels like home. I say, I wish my home felt like this place.
I feel so grateful for home, so grateful for family.
Life is good.