Moving to Utah has not been the easiest. This is the furthest I've lived away from family, but that isn't the real reason why it is difficult.
I love our ward, but it's basically a married student ward. There are two young men and no young women in the ward. Many of the people that move in that have only been married for a few weeks and just about every month there is at least one baby born. It's not uncommon for Fast and Testimony meeting to turn into pregnancy announcement/ now that we have a baby we are a "real" family meeting. I perfectly understand the excitement, but that's not a testimony. I had a testimony about the importance of families and having children long before I even met Jonathan. Last summer, we were called to serve in the nursery. The children are from 18 months to 3 years old and we usually have at least 6 kids every week. I get down on the floor and I play and interact with some of the funniest people in our ward. I absolutely love it! In our ward, couples without kids tend to be called into nursery. It really gets to me when people talk about nursery as a form of birth control. That's not the purpose of being in nursery at all. It's about helping these wonderful children learn basic principles of the gospel and how to interact with those around them. There is a lot of happy screaming and the occasional physical confrontation in class, but there are also times when a child says "I'm sorry" without being told to or notices that someone hasn't had a turn and make sure they have a turn. We are laying the foundation for these children. This is the first organized class they are part of and certainly no where near the last one.
Jonathan and I have been married for just over four years now and we are a "real" family. Sure our family isn't growing (if anything it's getting smaller because Jonathan's losing weight). A family is not dependent on the number of people, it's doing things together and making your own family traditions. I know some people thought it was weird that we were "alone" for Thanksgiving and Christmas this past year. I don't see it that way at all. Jonathan is my family and I am Jonathan's family. We spent the holidays with our family. When I was growing up, there were some years that we spent holidays with extended family and others where we stayed home as the six of us. Either way, I was still spending time with family. We are constantly make decisions and sacrifices for our family.
I can't express how happy it makes me to have a family of my own. Sure it doesn't look the way I envisioned it, but I love spending each and every day with my sweet Jonathan.