May 15, 2014

The farm.

Weekends away make for the most hectic weeks, don't they? I just found a container of feta in my bag and a pair of running shorts in my dish drying rack. I have no idea how either got there...

Role model

But I digress.

My parents, mostly Dad, love a good surprise. And as someone who prefers to be prepared for every situation, I’m impressed with how well I’ve come to embrace it. So, with my twin brothers’ 26 birthdays, my cousin’s graduation from high school, my nana’s surprise (surprise!) 70 birthday, and Mother’s Day all falling within a few weeks of each other, I decided a somewhat last-minute, unannounced trip home was in order to celebrate. I snapped up a ticket to Indianapolis, alerted only my non-birthday Nana, and wrapped a few presents to throw in my bag.

When I arrived in the Hoosier State on Thursday night, Nana was waiting to scoop me up and drive me the two hours to our tiny hometown. She kept such a good secret - sneaky, sneaky Nana!

Speaking of which, how lovely are both of my nanas? Both sharp as a whistle, too!

Non-birthday Nana
Birthday Nana + Twin Brothers
I spent the night at her house and debated how I would let Mom and Dad know I was in town the next morning. Both parents had something come up and couldn’t make the lunch planned for my grand entrance, so I had to find a Plan B: Call? Show up at their offices? Tag them in an Instagrammed picture of myself sitting in my nana’s kitchen? (They're so tech savvy.) I went with texting a #selfie of me and Nana frowning with the accompanying text “Sorry you can’t meet us for lunch!” And lunch we did. 

It's safe to say you're back in Indiana when there is something called "korn nuggets" on the menu. These little gems, along with Cherry Coke made with real syrup, chili cheese fries, onion rings, spanish cheese buns...I was ill.

That Midwest corn-fed diet
Happily ill.

Both parents finally responded (excitedly but rather slowly) and we mapped out our reunion. For Dad, this meant delivering him a kiss and a chocolate soda from the local ice cream stand.

Mom was throwing the surprise birthday party for her own mom, so I volunteered to help her with last-minute preparations that evening after finishing up with work. This primarily involved picking up a bouquet of balloons so big they threatened to carry me off into the windy sky. 

She then exploited my handwriting to the fullest. I made sign-in sheets and menus and signs for the party.

When we finally got home with pizza that night, the sky was getting dark. Dad has been claiming to have the best garden in the county for ages, so I wanted a quick tour before the storm broke. I slipped on some boots and followed Mom around as she pointed out various melons, strawberries, tomatoes, basil, more kinds of mint than I knew existed (chocolate mint?!), all things green for morning smoothies, peppers, and more. Dad might just be right.

Strawberry plants

Did you know that marigolds keep the bugs away?

People always seem to be surprised that I grew up on a farm, and I'm not sure why. I rarely have shoes on under my desk at work and I tell everyone I know about my love for rhubarb pie. Aren't those giveaways? 

Let the pictures be proof. And look that that stormy, Indiana sky! Beautiful.

The sky was getting darker and darker, so we went inside to finish up with party prep. Mom icinged cupcakes for days and I made batches of brownies.

Eggs from the neighbor's farm

Oh. my.

My new obsession is Duck Dynsaty – I make NO apologies – so I showered up and watched a few episodes that night while going through old pictures. I thought I’d share a few:

I call this look the "John Lennon"
Fearlessly protecting my babies
As usual, one of the boys ( + no shoes)
Dad pulled the one on the right out the night before picture day, hence its "rawness"
Age 3 - Still growing into that forehead; still not wearing pants
Monster baby brother

I'd give just about anything to go back and hold one of my brothers and have a conversation with my petite self.
My favorite picture of my grandpa, a respected surgeon. Daddy's on the right.
I hopped into bed…and woke up by 5am the next morning. There's no time zone change between ATL and IND, so I’m not sure why, but I went right into a whirlwind of a day. I spent the party catching up with family – no one else knew I was coming, either – old neighbors, people from church, cheerleading coaches, friends, etc. and thanks to my cousin, escaped with one decent picture:


Meg said...

oh, that baby kyla!

Carrie said...

Two quick things: your brothers have the nicest teeth ever. And what the what is a Spanish cheese bun?

mellyford said...

Your dad could be a part of the 'Dad's are the Original Hipsters' book. And, baby kyla....omgggg! can't handle. Love!