For the past few years, I've been attending a singles' congregation. It is only since January that I've reverted to what is called a "family ward" ( i.e. NOT a singles' congregation). My ward is great: lots of young families, many who work for the state department, are highly educated, speak multiple languages, and are genuinely interesting and curious people. People here are friendly and welcoming, and I have enjoyed seeing children, teenagers, and older adults at church again.
The flip side? Our ward has an unusually large number of small kids, and sometimes, it can get CRAZY! Last night was no exception. I walked into the "cultural hall" (i.e.--the gym, with a stage in the back) where the dinner was held, and it was packed with people and extremely loud. The food was already largely picked over by the time we got to the front of the line. Kids were running all over the place.
Not long after we had eaten, it was time for the program to begin. The MC tried to begin several times, then finally had to plead with the group, "Parents, please gather your children to your table so we can begin." The program consisted of a couple of numbers of little girls prancing around the stage, off-time, to various Christmas carols (apparently, this was classified as "ballet") and some choral arrangements.
Does this description seem negative? It shouldn't. What I'm trying to convey is that being in my ward is a macrocosm of growing up in any big mormon family: loud, chaotic, fast-paced, and fun. I feel like I've come home!