Last weekend, Apes and I went to her hometown of Bristol, TN, to help pull off a surprise birthday party for her grandma (aka Mamaw Erma).
Mamaw Erma was turning 86 and she'd never had a surprise party before. It was time.
April's mom, Ginny, worked feverishly for months to pull this thing together. She had the brilliant idea to combine the party with a family reunion and spent countless hours tracking down kinfolk (see, there's proof I spent the weekend in the hills of TN - I said 'kinfolk').
Doing all of this behind Mamaw's back was no easy task - especially since Ginny lives with Mamaw.
Mamaw is sharp. But she's also hard of hearing, so that helped some. If the hearing aides were on the dresser, it was safe to get to the bat phone and make some calls.
After several conversations, it was decided (without my input) that April and Mamaw would go to get their hair and nails done on Saturday afternoon while Ginny and I ran around like chickens with our heads cut off buying supplies and decorating the pavilion.
Something. So. Wrong. With. This.
"You don't even know HOW to get a manicure!" I argued, sizing up April's non-existent nail beds.
When she shrugged her shoulders and said she was the best person to get Mamaw around town and to the park, I had no recourse. Well, none that made any sense.
So, that's what happened. April took Mamaw to get beautified and Ginny and I set everything up.
These pictures tell the rest - we had a blast!
The view from the top of the hill, heading down toward the pavilion:
Ape's mom, Ginny, testing out the noise makers in preparation for Mamaw's arrival:
Mamaw Erma arrives! And is very confused. She wants to know if we're aware that a bunch of her family is here...what a coincidence!
Mamaw Erma and Teri, April's sister:
Claire, Judy and Apes pose for picture 1,232:
Bindy the bubble-eating dog (and yes, I kissed her on the teeth and jowels..shut up):
April and Erin (the fiance of April's nephew, Ray):
Hailey, April's GREAT niece, getting busy with some sidewalk chalk:
Jay and Teri (April's sister and brother-in-law...at one time, Mamaw actually thought I was hitting on Jay. True story...):
Me and Hailey (and the silly string I thought was a good idea...):
Until right about THIS moment....
Once Hailey was schooled on respecting her elders and told only to aim for her friends, everything was right with the world:
One of Ape's family members dug up this old photograph of some great-great (great?) family members (that expression you see on the baby is EERILY similar to the face I make when April tries to make me hang up my clothes):
Hailey with Mamaw's cake:
Hailey terrified the big pink rose will get eaten before she has a chance to claim it:
Me recreating all of April's formative-year school pictures:
Ray, Hailey and Erin:
She's invisible. You can't see her.
Apes never walks. I have to carry her everywhere. It's exhausting.
Trying out the "baby makes three" photo :)
It was a fantastic day. I'm honored to be a part of this family.
Mamaw truly enjoyed herself:
That last picture still makes me smile.