Archives For celebration

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I hope you have all heard the beautiful melody with even more lovely lyrics, “Leader of the Band” by Dan Fogelberg at some point in your lifetime.

Fogelberg penned the song for his own dad, Lawrence, who was a musician, educator, and band leader. In Dan’s words about his paternal inspiration, “I was so gratified that I was able to give him that song before he passed on. In his final years he was interviewed many times by the national press because of it. He went out in a blaze of glory, which meant a lot to me and my family.”

My husband’s grandfather passed away in the early morning hours this past Father’s Day.

I can’t help but think of William (Buck) Woodard, aka “Poppy,” a role model for all who knew and loved him, when listening to these lyrics.

“His gentle means of sculpting souls took me years to understand… My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man. I’m just a living legacy to the Leader of the Band.

Isn’t that how life and death traditionally unfold? We rush through life, attempting to keep pace with everything and everyone buzzing around us?

And then a loved one passes and it is as if God gently places a hand upon our shoulder to slow us down, to pause and reflect on those we love and the life we live. It is during this time of reflection when we soak in the magnitude of the people who have helped shape our lives for the better.

I was able to tell Poppy goodbye and he gave me the same comforting smile and hug he always extended to family and friends.

He was, and will remain, the Leader of our Band.

In loving memory of Buck Woodard

Written by Heidi Woodard

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No rest for the weary

April 28, 2015

I’m 38 years old, but I may as well be 83 based on my body’s inability to fully recover from a girls’ weekend getaway.

The Woodard ladies comprised roughly half of the entourage.

L to R: Me, my mother-in-law, and my three sisters-in-law comprised roughly half of the total entourage.

My lovely, much younger, sister-in-law Kristi is getting married in June. In true pre-wedding fashion, a large group of ladies gathered together for one last hoorah for the single bride-to-be.

We landed at a popular, central destination spot to celebrate – Kansas City, MO. There we soaked in the city’s attractions, including the Power & Light District, various breweries, a Pedal Hopper party bike tour, and the best sushi place the city has to offer.

Pedal Hopper

Pedal Hopper injuries are legit.

All of the bachelorette party goers – and I mean ALL of them – are awesome people, which makes me look forward to the big wedding day even more. The 2.5 days we spent together flew by in what felt like 2.5 hours because of the Maid of Honor’s attention to every single detail.

Speaking of 2.5 hours, that’s roughly the amount of time I napped on Saturday afternoon following Friday night’s festivities. I don’t go to bed at 2 AM frequently enough (thank God!) and my lack of training made it nearly impossible to bounce back…yet bounce back I did on Saturday evening.

Much of the weekend is now a blur, thanks to lack of sleep, some specialty drinks, and the most amazing pudding I’ve ever tasted in my entire life (NO it wasn’t laced with anything illegal…it wasn’t that kind of party). I am a big fan of making people laugh so, fortunately for me – and in particular my back – the mechanical bull was out of commission at the last bar we visited.

I gave Kristi a two-sided necklace that has her maiden name engraved on the side that faces her heart and her soon-to-be new last name on the side that faces outward. I feel that it’s very important for married couples to remember that they, as individuals, are as important on their own as they are as a pair. I feel like this is something I’ve learned throughout my 15-year marriage to my husband. We haven’t tried to change one another, just compliment each other.

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There was no rest for the weary when I got back into town Sunday as I had two of my son’s baseball games to attend. So while all the youngins could lounge and recharge after returning home, I was busy cheering on a bunch of 11-year old boys. I’m now nursing a nasty sore throat as a result, but I don’t regret a single second of my time with friends and family.

You only live once. If you’re asked to join a rowdy bunch to celebrate a special occasion, don’t ever pass up on the opportunity. I was reminded this weekend how blessed I am to be able to sneak away with the women I love and to return home to the family I love.

Written by Heidi Woodard