A couple weeks ago I took this picture on a warm, pleasant Sunday evening:

…and found myself here the next day:

Dave and I got to head to the frozen tundra of Rexburg, Idaho with the majority of his family to hear his Dad give the BYU-Idaho devotional.

Have I mentioned how gorgeous that place is in the summer?  Oh and the temple makes is just so beautiful:

But I will tell you what, it is FREEZING in the winter.  Us desert people had a rough time getting our bones to warm up.

But our hearts were warm the whole time (cheeseball I know).  It is SO awesome to be with family.  I adore Dave’s.  Check them out:

That is a good group of people right there I tell you!  That picture is from our dinner at Dave’s uncle’s home (see him sitting there by Dave’s dad in the front right?  They look so much alike).
Seven of the nine kids were there, two spouses and Dave’s cousin who I call my own too:
We had a great dinner together that first night, loved that Dave’s uncle kept giving his brother (Dave’s dad) the business that he should sure be nervous for the next day (when he had to speak).  Love teasing brothers.  Little did I know at the time how nervous he COULD be though…he knew how huge that conference center is…I didn’t!  

Check out this pic. from the next day!
That place holds 15,000 people and it was almost full.  Yowzas!  
But hold on, let’s go in order here.
That night we tucked the parents in bed and stayed up really late playing games.  We laughed so hard, I’ll just say, Dave was on his A-game. 
The next morning we had a family prayer and got ready to go.

My friend, Christine Gilbert and her husband are the ones behind the scenes at BYU-Idaho these days and we adore them.

Clark and Dave knew each other at BYU and Christine and I have gotten to know each other through our Motherhood Retreats through the years (the latest one is back HERE…well the latest one I got to go to, the one this year was the weekend before Max left so I couldn’t make it 🙁 ).

Now that is a power couple I tell you!  They are amazing.  They have eight kids and it was so fun to see them in action up there in Idaho.

Christine and I have become closer since Max got his mission call and I realized her son is in his mission (just started in June).  It’s been so fun talking to her trying to get tips on what extra things Max would need over in Taiwan, etc.  She invited us over to their house the morning before the devotional.  It was so fun to be there and catch up and Christine is so gracious!

After we visited there for a little while we headed over to campus all together.

 …and then headed in for the luncheon before the devotional began.

It was such a beautiful hour we spent in that room.  The spirit filled it up with love as everyone went around and told a little about themselves and gave a few thoughts.

Dave’s parents served a mission at BYU-Idaho for over five years.  They were a huge part of some pretty amazing programs they instigated up there.  It was so fun to hear more details about the things they have done there.

I couldn’t help but feel so incredibly overwhelmed with love for that family I get to be married into.

And for the families I get to interact with through our Motherhood retreats.

And for how Christine’s family is leading the students up at BYU-Idaho so beautifully.

Once again, how amazing it is to be “enshrouded in a family.”

I’ll be honest, the day before when it was so dang cold and we hadn’t been on campus yet I wondered how in the world anyone could live in that place.  But this day, with the lunch and then heading over to the conference center all together and interacting with the students I realized what an exceptional place that is.  What an amazing place to go to school!

This awesome lady runs the devotionals (a huge job) and took care of us in the “Green Room” and showed us where we’d be sitting on the stand:

 I was pretty amazed at the magnitude of that place and the crowd when we walked out on the stand.

Love this picture Dave’s brother took (thx Paul!):

Dave’s Dad did such a wonderful job.  He talked about the legacy of a family.  And check out that great family of his:

(Missed you Bob and Laurel!…and all the spouses!)

I love this quote they took from the talk:

Isn’t that the best?  Bob told stories of his heritage and how tough decisions and hard work changed the whole trajectory of his family.

How grateful I am that whether we are born into functional families or not, WE can decide “where our devotion will lie and to whom to look for guidance.”  Yes, some have to work so much harder than others, but change can be made.  And that change ripples to affect generations of families.

So grateful for this guy and that we get to make those decisions together for our own family.

 And I’m so grateful that God is there to help and direct when we need Him (always).

We drove back to the airport through the frozen tundra so grateful for all we had learned and that we got to be together up there in that wonderful spot.

A whole recording of the devotional is HERE if you care to listen.
Way to go Bob!  Love you!


  1. So glad you were able to come to the frozen tundra! I live there and love it! BYI-Idaho is so amazing, and that secret is getting out! It is growing so fast! The Gilberts are great people. They have been backdoor neighbors to my sister in law and so I've had the privilege of meeting them a few times. Such great examples to us!

  2. Here's another shoutout from a Rexburg reader. Your in-laws did a great job and had such a sweetest to them! It is indeed cold here but the snow makes it easier to ski in 🙂

  3. The quote is perfect for what I need to share. I am grateful for good people who share their testimonies so willingly. Thanks for posting the link to the devotional. I hope to listen to it later when I have some time. My daughter absolutely LOVES BYU-I.

  4. I love Rexburg and BYU-I. My daughter and her husband are graduating in April, I am so looking forward to being on that campus again. I am an on-line student through BYU-I, so I feel like it really is my school too. I remember seeing that someone named "Pothier" was doing the devotional and I wondered if it was someone related to Dave. If I had paid attention to the picture I would have known, lol. I know most LDS kids think that BYU is the place to go, but I agree with you, after being on that campus in Rexburg, there is something special about that school.

  5. I will listen! Thanks for sharing. So inspiring to see the family he raised – it gives me hope that you don't have to raised in a functional home to have a successful family. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your blog as well, I've learned so many things from you too!

  6. You were in my neck of the woods! I live in Idaho Falls- Although you call it "frozen tundra"…. I will take "frozen Tundra" over a 115 degree July any day! 😊

  7. I was there!!! I recognized the last name and my suspicions were confirmed when he showed some family pictures. That is one of the best talks I have heard at devotional!! What a great family!
    It would've been so good to see you there, but I chickened out at the last minute to go up on the stand.

  8. What a fabulous post and a message close to my heart concerning "breaking the mold" in not-so-ideal family experiences. In the picture after the devotional, I believe the man shaking your father-in-law's hand is Edwin Sexton, my husbands mission president. So happy you were able to have that experience and share with everyone!

  9. I was there and it was such a beautiful devotional! You are seriously part of such an amazing family- but you already know that! Thanks for always being such a wonderful example of fiercely devoted motherhood. I've been learning so much from you over the years and I can't wait until I have my own fan-bam!

  10. I wondered if it was the same Pothiers! So glad you got to experience a taste of BYU-Idaho. I graduated 4 years ago, but have been so interested in watching the Gilbert family over the last year. I would LOVE to meet Sister Gilbert- she is my hero to have such a large, young family through school and demanding work! My husband and I are just at the beginning of that path, and I'm not sure how we are going to make it some days. I sure wish I could rub shoulders with both of you!

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