celebrating my Mom's birthday just after we moved in to the Spruces; with extra (special!) guests from Idaho in attendance
We jumped in. John was very involved in his studies and enjoyed his classmates. I invited other spouses into our home and into our lives. We gathered people together in our dingy student apartment. And as we brought people in those old walls and tiled floors became home.
And the pattern began. A new city, a new home, and new friends to gather near us. "Is anyone coming for dinner?" has become a "FAQ" in our family. One Christmas eve we were the only English speaking family in attendance (that was our first time in Dallas). We introduced Halloween to a huge group of friends when we lived in RSA. And Christmas night anyplace but Utah is one of the best nights for a gathering-after presents are opened and others are wishing for family to be with, we play surrogate with soup, bread, and boardgames. Our largest gathering was a wedding luncheon hosted for baby sister Jenny. Smallest party? probably the nights when full time missionaries or moms of other traveling husbands come to sit at table and share a meal.
And we love it. Having people in makes our house feel like home. Joining with others to celebrate anything from a birthday, to a holiday, to a day off of work. It has become part of who we are; gatherers. And home is the best place we can think of to gather others to us.