Roots Tech: And Emotional Landing

Family History Fanatics and RootsTech

It’s hard to believe that 100,000 people tuned into the live streaming of RootsTech 2017 when 10,000+ were attending in person on Thursday and Friday. Knowing what it felt like to be at home when the fun was happening in Salt Lake, I wanted to serve my readers and YouTube followers. But first I had to get there!

My husband and I flew into Salt Lake on Wednesday. We have these five kiddos that think they need food, clothing, and housing. As such, Andy has to work as an engineer, which makes time off scarce. I have to arrange childcare for FIVE as they’re not quite old enough to fend for themselves. It’s really challenging to find someone who would take that many kiddos. I remember it being much easier to arrange childcare for one or two.

As I packed my bags, I listened to Liz Wiseman’s Rookie Smart’s based keynote. I also watched the Twitter feed during her session and loved how people tweeted their favorite nuggets of wisdom.

My #genchat buddy and her fun #NotAtRootsTech photo!

If you haven’t read the #NotAtRootsTech feed on Twitter, you need to take sit down with a glass of your favorite beverage and enjoy the feeds while watching the sessions that are still available at

So Andy worked a half day, and then we hustled the kids to my AMAZING cousin, and we hopped on a plane headed to the Rockies.  I was #NotAtRootsTech yet, but I would soon change my status to #RootsTech with boots on the ground, or rather hot pink sneakers.

As I landed, I choked with tears. You see, Salt Lake City Airport has numerous homecomings. Young men and women between the ages of 19-25 devote 18 months to 2 years of their lives to serve missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. And, their families stay behind and wait anxiously for their return. If you’ve ever experienced the return of military service men and women after a deployment, you have an idea of the homecomings that happen in the SLC airport. My good friend had just welcomed home her son to Houston after such a mission in Paraguay, so my tear factory was on high alert.

Andy and I passed the families as they craned their next to see their loved ones who were deplanning behind us. As soon as the cheers erupted, my tears flowed. I texted my friend, and she understood.

My Girlfriend knows these homecomings ass to well!

My heart aches for those who have service men and women or missionaries that they have limited contact with during the months and years they are apart. Their homecomings are emotional for them and this crazy woman with a super sentimental side. I’m so happy for their reunion, but I seriously needed to get some sleep because my figurative marathon was about to begin.

Further RootsTech Conference Reading:

  • RootsTech Review: Little Details, Big Impact
  • 5 Tips to Survive RootsTech 2017
  • It’s Okay to Be a Fanatic at RootsTech
  • Learn to Write at RootsTech 2017 with Devon and Andy
  • FamCity Launches Kickstarter Campaign

Family History Fanatics Videos from RootsTech 2017

What's New with American Ancestors?

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

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