SALT LAKE CITY — Josh and Naomi Davis, a couple from New York City best known for their blog, Love Taza, may seem like unusual speakers for a RootsTech conference keynote address, but the couple managed to effortlessly articulate how social media and blogging relate to family history during Friday's general session at the Salt Palace Convention Center.
“It’s amazing the parallel between … family history and genealogy and social media today,” Josh Davis told the Deseret News. “It’s really about people connecting. We hope that when people connect, they are uplifting and inspiring one another, focusing on the good, focusing on sharing the experiences and moments in their life that are most meaningful. That is also why people become passionate about genealogy is that they discover a story.”
These stories, Naomi Davis explains, inspire, uplift and encourage those reading “in their current role or roles in the future.” The Davises believe everyone has a story to share.
“Some people might say, ‘I’m not really sure I have a story,’” Josh Davis said. “They might say, ‘There’s not much to my story’ or ‘No one would be interested,’ but we want to tell you that you do and there is and they would be. You’re already writing your own story, whether you like it or not. The exciting part is it’s up to you to choose how you want to live and how your story will go. Your story doesn’t have to be like anyone else’s story because it’s yours.”
Their story began in a normal way. Josh and Naomi Davis met while in college. He was a student at Columbia University while she studied at Juilliard School. In 2007, the two were married, and shortly thereafter, Naomi Davis, a native of Woodland Hills, Utah, created a blog in an effort keep in touch with her family members, who lived across the country.
Their story has become well-known as their blog and their family have grown. Nine years and three children later, the Love Taza blog receives millions of page views every month, and the Instagram account is followed by more than 386,500 people from around the world.
Perhaps the reason the Davises are passionate about everyone having a story to tell is because they’re still surprised by the millions of people who read about their story.
“Sometimes I feel like, 'Why do people want to tune in or follow along? Because I’m not climbing Mount Everest or starring in some big Broadway show,'” Naomi Davis said. “So much of my life is just the everyday, but I really do believe that the everyday is such a beautiful thing if you live your everyday with purpose.”
Love Taza serves as a place for recording the cute things the Davis children say, the emotions that come with pregnancy and the couple's feelings about parenting.
“I’ve never done any of this before, and it can all be a bit hard to navigate at times,” Naomi Davis wrote in 2013. “Sometimes I feel like all I’m doing is meddling with these perfect spirits and placing my own fears and habits and shortcomings on them. I spend a lot of my time crossing my fingers and praying I don’t screw them up to terribly. ... I'm just thankful I’ve been given this chance, with these two beautiful, healthy and happy babes. So here’s to this beautiful stage of motherhood where I wouldn’t mind if time slowed down and let us linger right here a bit longer. Because it really really is my favorite season, and sometimes I feel like I’m going to wake up soon, and it will all have been a very short dream.”
The Davises may consider their family life ordinary, but people enjoy reading about it. Perhaps it is because readers enjoy knowing they are not alone in their challenges, or maybe it is because they need hope that it will get better. For whatever reason, they come to the blog, and the Davises hope they will leave with a greater appreciation for the everyday.
“When you’re in it, sometimes that everyday can be overwhelming and exhausting and not feeling like anything special, but it really is,” Naomi Davis said. “Find ways to celebrate the people in your life and your role in your life and find that silver lining in your own life. I really hope people can take that from us in some small way. Celebrate motherhood. Celebrate the everyday. Celebrate family.”
“One way to think about that is life is made up of small moments,” Josh Davis added. “A life isn’t five big moments but is made up of individual days. Naomi works really hard at documenting something every day.”
This habit of documenting something every day began when Naomi Davis was a little girl and her mother set aside time each day for her to write in her journal. It is a habit that has paid off in a way her mother probably never imagined. She says that by looking for the small moments to document each day, her gratitude for life increases.
“When it’s witching hour at 4 o’clock and your kids are going crazy, you’re like, ‘This will pass. It’s been a beautiful day,'” Naomi Davis said. "And once they’re all in bed, I’ll miss them and wish it was 4 o’clock again.”