Monday, April 22, 2013

Saturday Celebrations: Kelli's wedding

My sister got married on Saturday, which was the impetus for this little trip of mine. I was glad I could be there for her special day. She had a small wedding at Sandy Stake Recreational Center. We've had family reunions there in the past so it was a familiar venue. Instead of being involved in planning the wedding we were invited as guests; we didn't have to set up anything. It almost felt funny going to a sibling's wedding and not be stressing out about getting things set up properly, but Kelli threw this wedding herself--her boys "gave" her away instead of our dad. And I suppose that's as it should be at this point in her life.

We got to sit in the reserved seats up close but I think we sat on the wrong side accidentally because we had a great view of Allen from where we were sitting but a not-so-great view of Kelli.

My cousin Carlie came. She was our only cousin who made it. We took a self portrait. I held the camera because I have the longest arms, but I also have terrible aim so we barely all made it in there.

Benjamin, who had been happy and friendly the whole time we were waiting for the wedding to start, decided to start fussing the minute the ceremony finally started (I feel like it started about an hour late...was I the only one?). Josie took a lot of these pictures while I nursed Benjamin (right there in the front row) and then I took the camera with me when I got up to walk him around (so that I could get some pictures of more than just Kelli's back).

Here's the officiator with Allen, waiting for his bride:

Sabrina and Oliva were flower girls. I can't believe how big they're getting!

Stephen, Allen's son, was the ring bearer:

You can kind of see the band back there, playing a very unique wedding march. Benjamin thought it was great music to bounce to (he finds most music is good for bouncing (even when there's no music he bounces)).

Rosie was one of the bride's maids. She looks so pretty in red!

Here's Allen with his son (Stephen), his father, and...I think his sister.

Andrew (my nephew) and Matthew (also my nephew (but a tad less confusing than Andrew)) escorted Kelli down the aisle.

They looked very sharp in their tuxedos (though Andrew just could not hold still--he was rather funny to watch but terribly tricky to take a picture of).

Here are the pictures I took while I was bouncing Benjamin at the back of the room.

I love how the twins were hiding behind Rosie. She's a wonderful big sister.

They exchanged rings and vows, were presented to the audience as the Mr. and Mrs. and then given permission to kiss, for the first time, as a married couple.

And--oh, boy!--did they ever kiss. I have just one word for you: snogging. 

Even their officiator looked a little shocked by the amount of kissing going on. At least we know they like each other.

Olivia was like, "Stop it, guys."

It was seriously such a long kiss. It's a good think Patrick didn't come to the wedding or he'd probably have ended up on the floor cowering in the fetal position, covering his eyes, and moaning, "Violence! Violence!" (which is how he'd react to any hint of physical intimacy that he saw on television when he was younger).

Allen's a musician so a lot of his friends (and family, evidently) are musically gifted. One of their friends wrote a song and sang it for them and his sister sang The Rose for them. She had an amazing voice.

My Uncle Bruce and Aunt Sara came, which was so nice of them! They stayed up all night packing up their house. They are going on a mission to Mauritius and they leave for the MTC (Missionary Training Center) tomorrow and then will fly out to Mauritius next Monday. I'm so excited for them!

Uncle Bruce served a mission in France as a young man, so he speaks French and has done remarkably well at keeping it up over the years. Their mission is French speaking, so he'll get to use his French again. He and Aunt Sara have been going down to the MTC once a week for quite a while to practice their French.

I was so glad I got to see them before they left! Uncle Bruce gave me several hugs: one for 2013, one for 2014, and one for 2015. He also invited us out to visit him in Mauritius and as awesome as that sounds I have a feeling the plane tickets out there are not cheap.

Me, Uncle Bruce, Mom/Naanii, Aunt Sara, Carlie
We kept adding people to pictures with Uncle Bruce and Aunt Sara. He's a mathematician and said that we had x-number of picture possibilities (but if we threw Benjamin into the mix we'd have y-number). I have no idea if the numbers he came up with were correct, but I would wager that they were.

Same thing as last time but with Grandma Layton and my dad
We grabbed a quick picture with the bride.

And with Josie...

And with Benjamin...this is where Uncle Bruce said, "Oh, no! We now have [y-number] of possible picture combinations. I forgot about Benjamin!"

I stood behind the official photographer and took my own pictures because I'm too impatient to wait for prints of these kind of things.

Besides, I don't know if she captured the shots like this:

Andrew is the world's biggest ham. Even when he's trying (somewhat) to be serious he comes off as a little goofy.

Both of those boys (and Rosie, too, for that matter) tower over me. It's so weird to think that I knew them when they were teeny, tiny. One day I'll probably be towered over by Benjamin...unless he continues to stay as short as he's been on his growth charts. I'm pretty sure Matthew and Andrew haven't ever been in the 0th percentile for their height and that's the only percentile Benjamin's ever been in.

Here are the bride and groom with all their many parents. The moms are on the right, obviously, and the dads on the left. From left to right we have my dad, Allen's step-dad, Allen's dad, Allen, Kelli, my mom, Kelli's birth mother, Allen's step-mom, and Allen's mom.

For as long as I've been alive my family has always just been my family. My parents are my parents and my siblings are my siblings. Even though I know in theory that I was raised in a blended family it doesn't feel like I was because my family has been the same for my entire life (besides the addition of a my younger siblings). I think it's more complicated for my sisters, since my mom isn't their mom. She is, though, because she formally adopted them. I think that makes her more than a step-parent since she's their adoptive parent.

I still remember when I found out that my sisters were "only" my half-sisters. It was such a quizzical idea for me to wrap my head around. I was rather young which means that I could be rather annoying. I remember having my mom phone home from work (or somewhere) one day and she asked to speak to Abra, who was babysitting us. 

"Abra! Telephone!" I hollered. 

"Who is it?" she asked.

"It's my mom, but not your mom," I told her. "Because we have different moms."

I didn't ever mean it in a cruel way, but I'm sure my sister didn't enjoy my reminder that we weren't entirely blood relatives (I'm sure because I remember her getting rather upset with me for saying that to her (and rightly so)). I suppose, though, in a way I had to explain it to myself. Not that it even matters because family is more than just blood. I know three little people that I love more than anything in the world...and they're only 50% related to me as well!

At any rate, our blended family makes for rather large family pictures. Here's one with all the parents...and my grandma. 

And here's Kelli with both of her moms:

And here's Kelli with Dad:

After the wedding and the lunch we had a lot of cleaning up to do but we had a lot of fun doing it. Benjamin got passed around, the boys played basketball (after we'd finished sweeping half the gym), and we took a lot of pictures.

This was Benjamin's first time meeting his cousins Olivia and Sabrina. I think they would have liked him better if he had been awake but as he was they found him a little boring and weren't very impressed with by his presence. I asked them if they wanted to try to hold him but they didn't act very interested.

Josie, on the other hand, was interested.

After most of the guests were gone and the cleaning was almost finished, Kelli realized that they hadn't even signed the wedding papers yet. She asked me to take some pictures of her and Allen signing them because "pictures or it didn't happen." If they can get just get them delivered to the records office (or wherever it is you hand such documents in to be formalized) their marriage will be 100% official. Not that anyone ever neglects to hand in marriage documents (it's an inside joke and if you knew it you would be laughing as hard as I am thinking about it...or perhaps you'd just be groaning and shaking your head a might not be that funny).

We also managed to get a picture of Kelli and Allen and our little family. My dad and David had sneaked away to take my grandma home before we could get one with the professional photographer, but Kelli's friend Kevin made a wonderful substitute photographer.

Andrew did a lot of baby watching for me while I helped with clean up (he actually helped with clean up quite a bit, himself, but someone always had to be on baby duty). That boy sure is a baby charmer! Benjamin just loves playing with him!

I was going to write about the rest of our Saturday but it's getting super late here and Benjamin is absolutely refusing to calm down and go to bed so I'll write about the rest of Saturday tomorrow. Or later. I probably shouldn't make any promises. 

As exhausting as weddings are (or any day) there's still the rest of the day to fill at the end of them (just as my day keeps going on and on today). Hashtag: Go to sleep, baby!


  1. So are Andrew and Matthew and Sabrina and Olivia all Kelli's children? Josie is your older sister, too? And David your baby brother? Nice "meeting" your family. You look radiant!

    1. Very close...Rosie, Matthew, Andrew, Olivia and Sabrina (and now Stephen) are Kelli's children. Josie is my little sister. David is my older brother. Two siblings weren't at the wedding. :)

    2. Well, I thought Josie looked younger, but your comment about your sisters being half sisters made me wonder if ALL of them were. :) Thanks for satisfying my curiosity. I'm really glad you and Benjamin were able to be there. I loved seeing your mom!

  2. Josie will be relieved to know that she looks younger than you, Nancy...since she is nine years younger! :o)

  3. I suppose, your comment to me on the phone wasn't as bad as David's reaction when he found out! His reaction was to clarify for EVERYBODY who came to the door that fyi: "Did you know that Abbi and Kelli didn't come from my mom's stomach?"

    1. Well, I am just very glad that David did know anatomy really well at that time! Discussing my stomach is one thing; I would not want him to get much more specific, and had he had the vocabulary to be more specific, he would have been!

    2. And by "did" I mean "didn't"...