Back in early March, Mr. W and I drove to Tennessee for what was supposed to be a big weekend of surprises for my grandmother's - you know Fran - 80th birthday. For a family that is not too savy about communciating, we all managed to let the cat out of the bag about nearly every intended surprise.
One of G'ma's sweet painting friends made her a cake!
When Mr W and I showed up unannounced Friday night she gushed, "Ahh...I wasn't expecting you until tomorrow!" You can't get much by Frances.
These fun signs lined the streets to her house. We're not sure who made and posted them, but we spyed this one on the way home from dinner. (Forgive the bad aim of the photo, it was taken froma moving car)
I was terrible at snapping pictures during this weekend- I was really sick! I got none of sassy G'ma on her new laptop (which she loved!), none of the fam out to dinner celebrating, none of my high school friends Manda and Amanda who came to the party and sat with me through coughs and sneezes (and maybe a mini cheesecake or two) at the kitchen table while all the grown-ups (and of course, Mr W) bellied up to the bar down in Fran's infamous party room.
Mr Dubs is a great bartender...
I did capture the only suprise: Fran walking in to find our family all the way up from LA - that's Lower Alabama, not Hollywood.
Even though she knew about all the plans - fancy dinner out, the party, Mr W and I making the trip home - Fran still had a big night. She loves being the belle of the ball, the center of attention. Here she is, in her double-fisted glorly, butting into the toast my Daddy attempted to offer....
"I'll take it from here, David"
Here's to 80 years of Fran, the fiesty lady who:
gave me full reign of the ice cream when I was a little girl
let me come to her house when I was grounded in high school and invite over my boyfriend
bought me beer in college
gave me the ring she never took off her finger for the nearly 50 she was married to my late grandfather to wear as my own wedding band
- makes world (or at least Tennessee) famous angel biscuits I cannot seem to recreate, despite many lessons
does not have any cellulite (seriously - why did I not inherit this???)