On valentines day we had a little road trip to Whitesburg, aka my hometown in Eastern KY.
Baby brother, hubby and I pilled in my SUV an headed home for a very special occasion.....to celebrate my Granny's 90th birthday. Did I tell you it was a surprise party?!?
Let me back up for a few seconds and mention that nobody in my family expected this day to happen, making it even more special for my family. You see, Granny B suffered a major heart attack last summer and has never truly recovered. She requires 24/7 care split between a paid caregiver and my dad and his two brothers. For the woman who loves to get up and go, it's been really hard for her. She's always tired and can't do the things she used to love to do - going to church religiously, weekly trips to "Pennys" (aka J.C. Penny) and any excuse to shop for a new handbag or "pretty suit". I know exactly who I get my love for shopping from. It's clearly in my blood.
Keeping a surprise from her is almost impossible. She may be the nosiest person I know. She lives right next door to my parents and knows every step anybody in my family makes. We love her dearly for it. Growing up, I can always remember exactly 2.5 minutes after we walked in the door to my house, that the phone would ring. It would of course be Granny, wanting to know every detail of what we had been doing. She's a trip.
So Satruday morning I called her and told her that Kevin Rex and I wanted her to come over for dinner. I also told her that she knows I would be taking photos and we needed to get cleaned up. Her reply "Now Whitney Elaine, I am not getting out of my pajamas...and you are just gonna have to be okay with that." That of course wasn't going to happen. When you turn 90 you need to wear your pearls, your wig, your lipstick and Kentucky Blue...duh!
So the inner occupational therapist came out in full force and off to Granny's house I went to giver her a bath and doll her up. It's the first time she's had on makeup since Christmas. I even pulled out the lipstick and she couldn't have looked prettier. (even if she secretly hated it the whole time....can we say DIVA?!?! she totally is and i love it!)
My brother and Dad pushed her across the street in her wheelchair through two inches of snow to my parents' house. Where everyone was hiding......and then SURPRISE!!!!
We had a small get together of about 20 people. Mostly immediate family, but some of Granny's friends and her caregivers. It was perfect. I snapped away on my camera and will cherish these pictures forever. She was so happy and so surprised.
My mom and aunts made hot dogs/hamburgers and endless amounts of appetizers and finger foods. It all came together so well.
Here is my other grandmother...aka Mammy Dot...she's such a sneaky little bird. Always into something. She now lives with my parents as her dementia continues to progress. She's a hoot and we love her. Her and my granny are total opposites and it cracks us up.
Granny racked up in the gift department :-)
And this non-pinterest worthy cake is the best sheet cake I have ever tasted. It was made by a lady in the community who is famous for her birthday cakes. Growing up in Whitesburg, an "Abbey-cake" was the epitome of a good birthday party. So darn good.
Ohmygoodness how cute is the picture of Granny and her bestie? I can't take it :-)
She talks to this woman on the phone more than I talk to all of my besties combined. I am talking hours. It's so sweet to me.
Granny and three of her grandchildren....she has 6 total.
Granny and her baby Boy. It's a big joke in our family that my dad is the favorite. The secret is that it couldn't be farther from the truth. He is 110% her baby.....still today!
To prove it...after the party and everyone had left, I was int he room with her and dad and she looked over it at him and said
"thank you Steve so so so much for doing all of this. it means so much to me. i can't believe you did all of this"
Say what?!?! I am pretty sure my dad didn't do a thing...that it was all my mom and I pulling this off. But that's just the thing, she would of course give my dad all the credit!
Granny and her three lil redneck boys. Boy, did she have her handfuls raising them...and that is putting in mildly.
It's been a rough year for Granny, but she made it to the big nine - zero! That's truly an accomplishment. We love her dearly as she is the matriarch in our family and has held us all together. She has lived without my papaw for over 30 years and still wears her wedding ring everyday.
I see so much of myself in her - my inner diva, my love for shipping, my nosey nelly-ness, my tendency to stress over everything.....oh i could go on. While I consider myself close to all my grandparents, she takes the cake. I grew up next door to Granny B and she was so involved in mine and baby brother lives as children and adults. She attended every graduation from kindergarten to graduate school, she was at every gymnastics recital and cheerleading competition, she tailgated with us through baby brother's college football games in her late 80's, she drove me to piano lessons and picked me up from school when mom and dad couldn't. She was right next door when my brother drank the last bit of milk, she was there when I wanted to play dress up in all her jewelry and shoes, she was there when I was learning to drive and would almost giver her a panic attack.......and the list goes on. There are not many childhood memories that she isn't a part of....and for that I will always be grateful. I am thankful for every day God still gives us with her.
I don't know how many birthdays we have left with Granny B, but i have a feeling she's a tough cookie and she just might make it to 100.
Happy 90th birthday Granny!