Sister Wood

For over 20 years, I’ve had a sister named Julianne Hansen, and it’s been one of the most blessed blessings in my life. Yesterday, after returning from her honeymoon and attending her last reception, she officially CHANGED her last name.
Official meaning -of course -she edited her Facebook Profile.
She’s now Julianne Wood, and I keep staring at it. Julianne WOOD. The more I stare, the more surreal it seems.
We woke up (slowly again) Saturday morning and got us all to the Temple on time.
As I waited for Julianne and Steven to come into the sealing room, I was plagued with “Sunrise, Sunset” playing on repeat in the back of my cultured mind.
I literally prayed for the song to LEAVE LEAVE LEAVE while I tried to absorb the beauty of the sealing room in the Brigham City Temple, and while that helped… all I could really focus on was.
“When did she get to be a beauty?”
“Swiftly fly the years…”

I barely made it through, man. BARElee.
After the sealing, I was in charge of helping Julianne Wood get all fixed up for pictures outside of the temple which means I got to play in the most gorgeous bride’s room I’ve EVER seen and only had to put up with one person thinking Ju was my daughter.
I almost shouted, “I’M TWENTY NINE!” but decided in the end to take the lady-like route of complaining about it later. Also, I’m trying to adopt the higher thinking of James Allen.
I’m also working on the whole, “no man can hurt you without your consent” thing. I’m going through a growth spurt of sorts.

As I followed Julianne through the Temple as she prepared to see her brand new husband and greet the crowd outside, people kept talking to me. They handed me an umbrella because it was raining outside. They gave me directions. They told me where to stand and why to stand there.
I blinked and nodded and grinned like a fool and listened to NONE OF THEM because I was too busy watching my gorgeous sister. I was able to see her husband’s eyes when she walked in and he beheld her in all her bridal glory. How could I listen to PEOPLE when I was too busy living in the present? I ASK YOU!
As a result, I totally bunked at whatever it was they wanted me to do and wherever it was they wanted me to do it. But hey. Life goes on.

I want to share so many photos, but the best ones belong to my sister -my brother Mike and his wife, Brittany, took the pictures. They are pretty amazing. I’ll ask permission to share them later! But this one is mine. The picture, the girl, the awesomeness… all mine:

We got in a few really good ones while the rain drizzled around us, and then we ate a luncheon in an old church while the rain poured outside. With the few hours between the wedding and the reception that night, we slept at Tia’s house. We ate ice cream. We packed up and headed toward Riverton, UT.

It was so good to see family we haven’t seen in years and old friends from good ol’ Joe City. We met Julianne’s mission president who we’ve heard SO much about.
“I’m so glad to finally meet you,” I said. Lacy came up and tapped on me and I added, “We feel like you’re part of the family.”
“Is that your daughter?” he asked.
“Yeah,” I stroked her pretty blonde hair.
“We’re already friends,” he smiled, “I know all about her baptism and her school and everything.”
Lacy reminds me a lot of Will Rogers. She never met a person she didn’t adopt, or something.

Julianne designed a sign and Danny’s sister, Darah, brought it to life. We displayed it at both receptions. And I loved Julianne’s cake -cheesecake!

I got as much Steve Time in as I could:
And then Danny and I took a Prom Pic:

By the end of the night, Julianne was tired from getting up early and greeting people, so she gave up on the bouquet toss and gave it to the little girl who was stalking the “toss” bouquet with eagerness:
And she shared because she’s Lacy and her heart is made of pure gold mush:
Julianne sent her bouquet home with me, saying, “I know it’s just going to get thrown away, but I can’t bear to do it.” And I thought as long as it was getting thrown away, I might try pressing it. I’ve never pressed flowers before, but I took on my mother’s well-taught, “Why not?” mantra and googled a bit. I ended up pressing the flowers and greenery between coffee filters, and I used an iron. It sizzled the moisture out of the flowers, and quite frankly: ended up COOKING them. But hey! As long as it’s being tossed into the trash, why not? I spent a few hours pressing, pressing… watching Netflix and pressing, pressing. Because I didn’t get ALL of the moisture out, I left the flowers in their coffee filters and smashed them in some cookbooks. Friday night, I pulled them out and arranged them in a frame, clenched my eyes shut, took a deep breath and opened them up for the big reveal:
I’m so happy with how it turned out (and RELIEVED that I didn’t ruin it!) and now I want to iron ALL OF THE FLOWERS.

Julianne and Steven left their reception in proper style:

We stayed the night with friends and then headed back to Sunny AZ in my mom’s new van. It has a built-in DVD player which means we watched what Alice wanted to watch 70% of the drive.
I can quote “Despicable Me” from memory now.
Alice calls it, “Bee doe’s.”

Danny was a champion driver and my brother, Jim, kept Lacy and Trenton entertained with Pokemon.

One week later, we set up the Joseph City reception and I had a good laugh about it all. Seriously, we planned for MONTHS. We crafted, schemed, shopped, dreamed and THEN! We set up for 6 hours, partied for 2 hours and then took it all down. Ha! And it’s ALL WORTH IT. Humans are crazy, folks. Plumb crazy.


Julianne designed everything, so it made it all the decor really easy!


I burned their names and initials on wood slices, and they turned out good! We used them for centerpieces and decorations:



There was ice cream and TONS of toppings.  Julianne and I giggled when our niece walked by with her BOWL full of goodness.  “Go show your dad,” we said.

He didn’t laugh as hard as we did.  Dads…

0530151832Alice dug in, ran around and crashed hard that night.alicecollageAnd where food is, there boys are also:


It has been such a wonderful experience all around -being around family and celebrating is definitely at the top of my favorites list.  Family, celebrating, eating… something like that.


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