Saturday, November 17, 2007

I See... The Hampstead Young Married Ward

In all fairness to journalistic honesty and integrity, the first post should include one of the first ideas I saw via my Mormon third eye: the Hampstead Young Married Ward. When Deon and I and rugrats moved there in 1996, it seemed to be your normal, balanced ward. Then, after it was split in November 1997, and after few years struggling as new wards often do, it was blessed with an onslaught of 41 families moving in during one summer! Most of these families hosted Dental school husbands and fathers; most were under the age of 30, and a large portion of them had kids in the nursery, or were actively preparing to have kids to put into the nursery. It was a wonderful, crazy time for a 40-something Bishop who loved children. I soon learned that if a Bishop came up to you and googled all over your cute little babies, you pretty much had to let him hold them, and I admit now that used it to my advantage. In stewardship interviews with stake leaders, when our minimal youth attendance/program was discussed, I would often explain- "actually, President, we do have a lot of youth attending our ward- they just happen to be married to each other."

Since there were only a few families with parents and children our own age, we were forced (and I am glad we were) to get to know the young families better. At times Deon and I felt like"senior missionaries" in a young marrieds ward- we rapidly grew to love and respect all the youngsters, to the point that when their dental degrees are done, and they flee back to Western Zion, we truly mourn their loss and wish we could follow them out there. We miss the example they set for our children and for us.

One listless Sunday afternoon, when I was struggling to fill my sabbath with productive thoughts, my mind strayed again to how unfair it has been to enjoy the engaging and inspirational company of so many of these young, growing families, only to have it mercilessly yanked away when their four years are done and they leave Baltimore; it's another bean in my life is unfair bucket. Then, as she often does, Deon saved the day for me; she showed me all the blogs that the young families have posted about how they are living their lives scattered across the USA, and suddenly I felt that you were all a part of my life again. I went "blogstalking" for hours and read about new babies, new teeth, halloween costumes, babies walking for the first time while their mommies run marathons....

Is it possible that, if I start my own blog, I can replicate those idyllic years being surrounded in church by beautiful babies, sesnational small kids, and the parents that raised them that way?

My Mormon Third Eye thinks so.. If you were a young family in the ward at that time, and remember me, come visit my blog and tell me if my Third Eye vision is seeing clearly!


  1. Looking forward to more posts in the future.

    I was going to make some reference to the lyrics in the song Graduate by Third Eye Blind but I couldn't find anything appropriate.

  2. I see my husband has beat me here! He is so on top of things it kills me. I am also looking forward to more posts from your unique perspective. We loved being in the Hampstead Ward and we miss you too! I am definitely thankful for blogs to keep in touch!

  3. Your pictures make me homesick. I have to say that due to people like you and your wife our family's experience there was one of the richest we could ever hope for. You made our ward our family literally and so thank you for keeping us updated. We miss you and hope you have a Blessed Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas.

    Love, Keri

  4. It's great to hear about you! The internet really is a great way to keep in touch. You can't stalk me through a blog but I am on facebook. There are lots of other "teenagers" from Hampstead ward on there too. So, go sign up on (I think your son is on there actually) and then you can see our pictures and updates etc.... It's so easy and you can keep in touch with everyone at once!
    Great to hear from you.
    Love Julie

  5. Our Maryland days were definitely bittersweet. But we did have an awesome ward and a wonderful bishop. Our current plans have us coming out to visit Jim's family at the beginning of next summer...maybe we will have to plan to attend the Hampstead Ward.

  6. I am excited you jumped on the blogging bandwagon. It is such a great way to keep in touch. We miss you and your family very much! Thanks for being such great examples to us. We love you!
    The Price's

  7. We love blogging buddies! It is great to see you in this big-little world we have! We could not have asked for better examples ourselves as we trekked through our dental experience. We look forward to more posts!

  8. It is great to see we now have a way to keep in touch with a family that was such a great support and example to our family. Thanks for all you guys have done and for being such a great example to those of us who were just starting out on the adventure of life. We look forward to keeping updated.