3. I like the way that her family communicates, in that they actually communicate. I mean, they didn't sit around and talk about their feelings (THOUGH I TRIED), but they just spoke to each other like they were people...I don't know, I'm not awesome at communicating myself so I'm having a hard time describing it. They have real conversations with each other: about their days, their lives, their friends, etc. It was just a normal way of operating for them, not something forced or schmaltzy.
4. Their hard times have made them stronger and closer. You can feel that their bond has been forged with a lot of hard word, love, forgiveness, acceptance, and understanding. It was great being a temporary, honorary member of the family for a week and feeling that bond that they share.
5. They don't operate under any pretense. They are who they are, and they are proud of that. This makes them very easy to hang out with. Everyone is accepted, you can come as you are (e.g., an emotional wreck from California), and they will treat you well.
6. Each family member has some kind of interest or hobby that they fill their spare time with. I love that. I didn't see a lot of mindless vegging out. It was inspiring.
7. They laughed at my inappropriate jokes.
8. They are super casual. Amen.
Heidi and her oldest son...Slingshot (when I first met Heidi I couldn't remember her sons' names, so I just gave them random nicknames) picked me up at the airport in SLC.
A word about being back in Utah -- it didn't feel like coming home, as I was fully expecting it to. I was there for a week and some change, and I never felt that 'home' feeling that I always felt in DC when I thought of Utah. Actually, I did on the day that I spent in SLC with my friend Michelle. More on that later.
Anyhow, they picked me up from the airport, and from there we went to a bunch of thrift stores. I was shy about getting my camera out, so no pictures for me or you of those adventures. Sad. We had lunch at a place called...darn. Seriously, I can't remember the name of it, but it was one of those hole-in-the-wall, local-favorite, cool-kid places in Sugar House. I liked it.
That night...I don't remember what we did. Oops! Heidi went to a lot of trouble to get my room ready for me, which I thought was so nice since she was very busy at the moment trying to get her daughter ready to leave on a mission in two weeks. She had written a welcome message on the chalkboard above my bed, which I loved.
I...cried myself to sleep that night. Ha! The end.