The world’s largest family history gathering and don’t they look so thrilled to be here! D was incredibly tired as he and C had gone snowshoeing with their Young Men’s leaders in the morning before meeting us at Rootstech, but otherwise we were excited to be there this year.
I have participated in some way in every year of Rootstech, except for 2014 when Little A was a two-week-old baby. I think that was the year they first had Family Discovery Day on the closing Saturday, but it was geared more towards youth groups. I like the new emphasis on coming as a family instead, and I’ve brought the three older boys every year since. Those Saturday sessions are all streamed online, but there’s just something about being there in the Salt Palace with thousands of other families and genealogy enthusiasts that is just the boost we need.
A and I went early to check out the expo hall, but it was so huge and there were so many people that we didn’t spend a whole lot of time there. We did find and say hi to two friends who were working at various booths. My step counter app still says I walked nearly a mile and a half that day, and that was with DH dropping us off and picking us up right at the door. I’m sure other years when I’ve attended all three days, I’ve walked much farther, but just that one afternoon has worn out this pregnant lady. I’m still recovering, three days later!
We watched all of the morning keynote speakers online at home Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, but it was nice to come in person Saturday afternoon. We really enjoyed President and Sister Nelson speak, along with Sheri Dew, Vai Sikahema, and Reno Mahe. There were some amazing stories and tender feelings shared. All of their sessions are now online at lds.org. We need to rewatch Pres. Nelson’s as C and D missed it (and I’m pretty sure I took a short nap towards the end!) We also enjoyed Hank Smith’s presentation (the boys know him from Liahona’s Youth Conference every fall) and they are now huge fans of Jason Hewlett, a local comedian, who was the emcee for the closing event with two a cappella groups from BYU. They especially loved his “Daddy Dinosaur” routine. We laughed lots!
I don’t have any great notes to share; it was just so wonderful to listen to talks about families from a gospel perspective and to have reaffirmed the great importance of searching out our family members both here, and that have gone before us. And there was cake! There was a big emphasis on food and family this year.
Ancestry had this cool map with stickers that you could place where your ancestors came from. In retrospect they probably shouldn’t have been standing right in front of the map, but just picture New England and Western Europe completely covered in little ancestry stickers. Even the blown-up Europe off to the side of C’s head was pretty full. Many people came from Britain! So we added another sticker to Norway and Newfoundland (which only had one other!)
Now I need to take some time and check out the regular Rootstech classes that were streamed every day and are now online.